Weight I have lost

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Post Richmond Marathon

Well after the Marathon, you know D and I went to drink.  Richmond was special because we went out with V and E, and as a special bonus, D's best man B drove down to hang with us.  We drank a lot and had a lot of fun.

Unfortunately, my groin was hurting something fierce.  I ended the night early (like 11) and they all went out.  Sunday, E and B left, and V, D, and I all went to Perly's for brunch. If you are in downtown Richmond, you should go.  The food is delicious.  V went to drive home after that. 

Pierogies at Perly's

Reuben at Perly's

Which left D and me to go drink.  I hobbled to the first brewery.  We had beers.

We took a car to the 2nd brewery.  I hobbled to the bar.  This groin hurt.

We went to the 3rd brewery which was having a bottle release.


Finally we went to a bar.  When we got our fill there we walked to the hotel.  The next day we drove back to Atlanta.

I hobbled all week, but seemed to get a little better.  That may have also been to some strange virus both D and I got that resembled food poisoning but lasted 4 days.  So over the weekend the only thing we did was go to the Atlanta Half-Marathon Packet Pickup, not Expo that was not in Atlanta.  I won't go into it, but I did write the ATL HM people to let them know I was both disappointed having to drive 30 miles RT to another city where the race wasn't even going to be (thankfully, I read my emails or I would have had to drive 60 miles, RT), and the reason I find Expos beneficial.   Anyways...

Monday- Wednesday were just going to work.  Monday, I did call the doctor who said he could see me December 26th.  Wednesday night, I wasn't sure I was going to be able to run the half on Thanksgiving, so I made a Pecan Pie Cheesecake (I would have made it anyway).  We worked on cleaning the house since both of us had been sick the week before, and then went to bed.

Thanksgiving morning we drove to the race that is over by A's house.  She wasn't doing it, but if you have read the blog, you know she lives relatively close to Turner field, which we do too, but if you are running 13.1 miles, you don't really want to walk 4 miles home, so we drove.  Anyway we were really early, so we sat in the car.  I got out once to go to the bathroom. Up until then, my leg felt fine.  D didn't want to run.  I told him to shut it.  Finally it was 7:25 and it started at 7:30 (or maybe 7:55 with it starting at 8, I don't remember).  So we started to the start line.  For some reason, I decided to try out my leg.  It was nagging while walking just a little.  I went down the parking lot all of 5 feet, and knew I couldn't run on it.  I started to cry.  D said he would drive me home. I said I would wait in the car for him.  He was already in the driver's seat with the car on, when I got in.  We went home.

The Pecan Pie Cheesecake was really awesome.

So...I had called the doctor on Dec 1.  He had an opening for Dec 8.Great, since I have a race on Dec 13.  Dec.2, stepping out of the shower, I slipped on the tile and fell. I hit my head.  I'm not really sure if I knocked myself out, because I don't know what time I took a shower.  I do know it took me forever to get upright.  But after that, my leg felt a lot better. Not really. But I keep telling myself that. Mostly, Dec 1-8 involved a lot of Advil...although on the 7th it might have been because of the Strong Beer Fest and the headache that was involved after.  Dec.8 finally rolled around, and I went to see the Sports Doctor.  We talked, and I showed him where my groin hurt. He was pretty sure it was an adductor strain and was thankful that I hadn't started my lifting regimen, yet.  For shits and giggles, and because I was there, he took an X-ray of my pelvis.  We looked at it.  He goes, "You started hurting on Nov. 5?  And then you ran a marathon?"  I was like, "Yes. Why?"  He pointed to the X-ray.  He goes, "See this black line?  That's a crack. Your pelvis is cracked. That's why your leg hurts." He called it an Inferior Pubic Ramus Stress Fracture (I think, since all I heard was Pubic Ramming).  He looked at the rest of the Pelvis.  The good news is that my hips look great, and the ball/socket joints look great.

So, "Doc, what does this mean? I have a race on Saturday."  He said I could run the 5 miles, but after that no running for 4 weeks.  And if it still hurt, to call him and I then would have to get a MRI.  So he gave me a prescription for Celebrex and sent me on my way.

But seriously, a cracked pelvis????

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Richmond Marathon 2014

So Saturday morning came.  I was nervous.  My leg hurt.  I woke up and immediately took some Advil.  It was early, like 5:30.  My nerves were just "ahh."  I slowly figured out that my compression pants and 1 shirt was going to be my outfit.  (The race started at 30 degrees and was going to end at 45).  I decided on a baseball cap.  And I had throwaway gloves.  I got down 3 bottles of water and 2 Clif Bars between 5:30 and 7:30 and used the bathroom plenty.  I had my 2 Gatorades in my Camelbak, some Margarita Shot Blocks, I thought Advil, and 5 Honey Stinger Waffles.  To be honest, D was doing his own thing, and I really wasn't paying attention. I took 11 Advil.

Selfie in the hotel room
At 7:30 we decided to go downstairs.  From everything I could've read, the race was basically open for 7hour and 10 minutes total.  So I wanted to start upfront.  So I started with D in the C corral.  I was supposed to be in G.  Had someone said something, I may have cried, but no one did.

Us in the hotel lobby right inside of the start line

So someone sang the National Anthem, we watched the Half Marathoners start (different course), and then the start of the marathon began.

I ran and my leg felt ok.  Sigh of relief.  I ran along Broad Street.  It was pretty crowded, but I seemed to be doing ok.  I got over to the side, so I could do my 9/1 run/1walk thing.  My music was going.  There were a ton of people out.  I guess it is the friendliest marathon.  I was really surprised considering it was 30 degrees out.  But maybe it was hotter. My hands were really hot.  I don't know. Miles 1 came and went.  Only 25 more to go.  "Al, if you think that way, this is going to be the longest race ever. God, my hands are hot."  At Mile 1.5, I got rid of my gloves.  Mile 2 was just running and moving out of town.  We turned somewhere and got on Monument.  There were a couple of monuments (duh), and a lot of row houses.  I miss that in Atlanta.  We don't have row houses.  At Mile 4 we turned.  There was a juggler.  He passed me.  I really hate running jugglers.  Yes, it does piss me off they run faster than me with those stupid balls, and yes, I really do hope they'll fall and trip.  This one dropped a ball and I did feel kind of a calm happiness (hey, I never claimed to be nice!).
Mile 1: 13:27
Mile 2: 13:49
Mile 3: 13:38
Mile 4: 14:10

I turned again, down another street.  There were a few hills.  Having looked at the course online, I knew there was a nice downhill at 7, so that's all I focused on getting too. Again a lot of housing (not row anymore) and it was kind of mundane, in terms of scenery.  However, there was a band, and lots of people out.  Still trying to get to Mile 7... Turned on this little road, and it was down hill.  I could see the 10K line.  I only had to do 4 of those.  Yay, 1/4 of the way there (yeah, I know my math was off).  Then there was a hill.  I walked up it, which was fine, and then resumed running.  It was really shady through mile 6 and downhill.  It was cold. I wished I still had my gloves.  Overall I felt good though.  I was keeping my eating to every 2 miles.  Drinking my Gatorade on my stops and water every 2 miles (at the provided stops).  We got to this little town (like a shopping center) with a "festival" for the runners.  It was a little odd, but all the people there were having a good time and they cheered on all the runners.  So it was nice.  Then we started across this bridge.  I had a lot of energy.  This woman in a blue shirt had her shirt riding way up with her belt rubbing.  At my walk break I sprinted up to her and told her to pull it down not to get a blister.  I think at this point I was at my 4/1, but I don't remember.  Anyway she said thanks.  She seemed to be an interval runner as well, although I couldn't figure out her intervals.  On the bridge we crossed over the James River.  I tried to enjoy it.  There were a lot of leaves.  Once over the bridge, I ran down an "on ramp" and got to Mile 8.  I beat the Mile 7 Cutoff.

D between Mile 4 and 6
V between Mile 4 and 6

Mile 5 14:12
Mile 6: 14:08
10K Time: 1:27:19
Mile 7: 14:17
Mile 8: 14:13

Mile 8 and 9 were alongside the river. It was pretty flat but cold.  The houses were HUGE, and I was really surprised the number of people out, considering how cold it was.

Me between Mile 8 and 9
At Mile 9.9 (not really but you know), you passed a band who was singing to all the women (there were a lot out there).  I passed blue shirt lady again.  We had to run up this hill.  It was a pain, but I got up it. I was starting to get tired.  Shit.  I switched to the Shot Blocks because I was getting tired of the Honey Waffles.  Still a lot of people out.  I wove myself through this neighborhood, and finally was out on a main road.  A couple of times I did see some women (never men) get into cars.  I wondered if they were cheating.  I don't know.  I kept going.  Blue lady and I were shuffling past each other.  Mile 11-13 seemed to be a lot of up hill.  We seemed to be heading back into town. At this point I don't know if it was Richmond, but it is a town.  Finally up all these hills, and the 13.1 mile mark. Oh, why didn't I sign up for the half? But I had beat the 12 Mile Cutoff.

Mile 9: 14:51
Mile 10: 15:07
Mile 11: 15:39
Mile 12: 15:31
Mile 13: 15:56
13.1 Time: 3:11:12

Mile 14 and 15 were all about getting to the Key Bridge.  14 brought me to a more industrial section.  A turn to Mile 15 and I was on the bridge.  It was windy. You needed to look down.  It seemed to be a major trip hazard.  A lot of people were stopping.  At one of my walk breaks, I dug around for my Advil. There was none.  FUUUUUUUCCCCCCKKKKK! This was concerning to me, because 11 miles there was going to be a problem.  I got over the bridge, and some band dude asked me if I wanted a drink. I was at a party stop.  I was so confused.  No, I didn't want a drink.  Someone handed me some water.  I took a sip. It was Coke. I may have spit it across the road. I don't know why I didn't look at it before drinking but water and Coke are vastly different when you expect one and get the other.  I switched to 2/1 intervals.  These 2 women, Sisters with Sole (I think) came up.  They could do I was limping. I was trying not to cry.  I told them I lost my Advil.  One brought out a baggie and said, she had extra.  To those 2 women, THANK YOU!!!  They went on, I regrouped and restarted.  I turned and went down this winding road.  I hit Mile 17.  They were handing out towels, but I was so far back the kids had started playing swords with them so they didn't really look like something I wanted to put on my face.  I skipped over.  All the water stops were still full.  I just kept moving, but I really wanted to be done.  It was a struggle.  "Just keep moving, AL.  Si se puede."  I kept going.  Finally on BLVD.  I know the Arthur Ashe Center is on this road and it is the last hill.  I was now on 1/1.  My hamstring was killing me.  I wondered if I had over compensated.  I got to the hill and almost cried. In my head, it meant I was going to do it.  I still had to get to Mile 20 which was the last cutoff. I past the lady in the blue shirt.   I saw the Mile 20 sign, and was so deliriously happy.  Only 6 more miles.  Oh Fuck!  6 more miles.  I knew I had to turn into some little neighborhood, so I kept running.  I knew I had slowed down, but I could do it.  Just stay "Si se puede, AL."

Mile 14: 16:11
 Mile 15: 16:05
Mile 16: 17:09
Mile 17: 17:16
Mile 18: 17:08
Mile 19: 17:43
Mile 20: 17:34
20 Mile Time: 5:09:16

The blue lady pulled up beside me, right as I started walking.  She was walking full time. I looked over and told her we had beat the cutoff. She started to cry.  I told her to stop.  We walked a little. She said this wasn't the race she wanted. There was no one out and she was injured. I asked if she wanted me to get a medic. She said no.  She stopped to stretch and take some aspirin.  Then she caught up (it wasn't hard).  At this point I realized I could walk to her pace or run to her pace.  So I walked.  She said she was sure the weather had kept the people out.  I told her I was shocked how many people were still cheering us.  I told her to keep walking and I would make sure we didn't slow that much down.  We walked in silence. I periodically told her how many "laps around the track we had."  When we got to 16 laps, I took a picture.

16 more "laps"
She liked the lap idea.   We walked down Brook Road.  Mile 23 passed us.  Some people offered us their last 2 Saltine Crackers. We took them.  Blue Lady was named Kathy and she was from Charlotte.  She had been running with her coach, but told her to go on and get a good time.  She would just go as far as she could.  We turned.  I looked behind us.  There weren't that many left.  I told her we had 9 laps.  Again more quietness.  We got to Mile 24 and I decided I wanted to be done, so I told her I was going to run.  I got to Mile 25 on my own.  I remembered my calf. I remembered my girl who I once said would cross every finish line with me.  Like hell she wasn't crossing today.

Guinness was getting that medal!
She pulled up beside me with another woman, who was also hurt.  They were both pissed. I was too.  Kathy wanted to cry again. I told her she wasn't allowed to. Because at this point we were so tired, there was comraderie, but man if I'm not eloquent.  I told them "This is character building.  This is when a recruiter asks you what your best accomplishment was, it was this, because there was a mental toughness that overrode the physical.  Stupid or not, we would finish.  This is where we grew a set. This was where we became men."  Then we all laughed.

The entire race there were these flourescent green people.  I assume they were coaches for a local running group.  They were pretty awesome because they had been cheering us on for the last several miles.  One of them let us know we had 11 minutes to get to the finish line.  We had less than .5 miles.  The other lady and I said good-bye to Kathy.  The last part of the race was downhill.  My legs hurt.  I wanted to be done.  I saw D among all the people and there were a lot.  I was going to finish.  I crossed.  It wasn't pretty but I did.  I just started to cry.  I got my medal and hugged the medal lady. I got my blanket and hat. I found D. I hugged him.

D finishing

V finishing.

D and V waiting for me
Me finishing

Mile 21: 17:52
Mile 22: 19:20
Mile 23: 18:54
Mile 24: 18:06
Mile 25: 17:23
Mile 26: 17:31
Mile .27: 4:03.7
Marathon (26.27 according to Garmin): 7:01:11
D Marathon (PR): 4:43:15
V Marathon (PR): 4:45:16

 And then I told him I had to find Kathy. I know he was like, "Who is Kathy?"  She crossed (she actually had a better net time than me, but eh), and we hugged.  Then she saw her friends, so I left her.

V and her friend E found us and we all hugged.  While E took our pictures, Kathy's running team came over, and thanked me.  Really?  She helped me.  We cried and got a picture as well.

Me and D
D, me and V
Me and Kathy
Post Marathon Beer
Finisher's Hat, Shirt and Medal

The Road to Richmond.

So the last time I wrote about running (and not leaves), was over a month ago. So this entry will be the road leading up to Richmond.

On Wednesday, 11/5 (or maybe it was Thursday), I went to the gym.  Nothing exciting...a 3 mile run. I may have been aiming for 4, but something about the run felt off.  My groin hurt.  Of course I finished the run, because it was "just" 3 miles.  The next few days I hobbled.

Saturday, D and I went to the Silver Comet for the last short-long run of 10 miles.  True to form, I had trouble in Mile 9-10.  And my groin hurt in Miles 1-3.  But it warmed up after the first 3 miles.  I finally didn't have to see any more leaves.  I felt comfortable with my time.  3 more small training runs and I'd be ready.  So later in the day, my groin really hurt.  We took Scuttlebutt out for some beers (us not him) to celebrate the Life of Porter, and I got some Honey Waffle things at the running store.  At one restaurant, I could barely get out of the chair, and when waiting for the bathroom, the manager told me about one upstairs, and I just laughed.

Scuttlebutt at The Square Pub

Me and SB at Twain's

D and SB at Twain's
None of those small runs happened.  Wearing compression pants, and going through a 200 count bottle of Advil did.

So Friday, 11/14 we drove up to Richmond. I had stopped talking about my leg, in hopes the pain would go away.  It was rather a boring 8 hour drive.  And I have to say that South Virginia is one of the worst offenders of leaves.  You are separated by a median of trees with huge trees on both side of you with cops every few hundred feet hiding.  Yeah, yeah.

Probably the most exciting thing on the drive to Richmond (this is Gaffney, SC)

D and I finally made it to Richmond.  We were meeting our friend V there.  She decided to take a bus tour of the route. When we got to our hotel (we stayed at 2 different ones), D and I couldn't park so we just went to the Expo.  It was packed.  The layout was odd.  You got your number up front. Then you had to go to the other end of the Arthur Ashe Center to get your shirt.  I only noticed this because of my leg.  We debated whether to get D a throwaway hat, but we couldn't find one that wasn't pink, or said, "I run like a girl," or one that didn't cost $30.  He said he would be fine, so we wandered a little more.  We found the Kentucky Derby Marathon Table and got a code to sign up for that with a discount.  Then we left, because it was so crowded.

V was now at her hotel, so we offered to pick her up and go get dinner.  All together now, we went to dinner.  Now D and I had eaten pizza for 30 weeks every Friday, so we were in a ritual.  V eats Eggplant Parm with spaghetti prior to a race. She's in a ritual.  We had found a restaurant prior to leaving our respective homes/states, and that's where we went.  D dropped us off and went to park.  On the way into the restaurant, I told V that she was not to comment on the way I was walking. I was in a lot of pain.  I told V not to order anything, because this didn't seem to be the place (I didn't see her Eggplant Parm).  The place told us the sit-down restaurant was next door.  We go over.  The guy was nice enough, and we were at the right place.  V orders a wine and D and I order beer.  The guy hands us a menu. There is no pizza or Eggplant Parm on the menu.  Again, I look at the website.  Really?  We ask the man, and they had changed to another type of restaurant (not Italian).  But you have PIZZA in your name.  Where is it?  We paid for our drinks and left (after D found another place).  We got there and it was packed but they had pizza and eggplant parm.  It was across the street from Mellow Mushroom.  The pizza was delicious.  The beer was delicious. (The delicious beer, pizza, and eggplant parm place was Mary Angela's.)

Pre-Race Ritual of Guinness and Pizza (and Eggplant Parm)

We finished eating, packed up a to-go box, dropped V off (with some beer we brought her) and checked into our hotel.  We got ready for the race (with me not knowing what to wear (and not knowing if I could run)), and went to bed at about 830.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Leaves Are Not My Thing

I'm eventually going to write my marathon race report, but there is a greater issue going on.  My hatred of leaves.  

I've known since I was very young I hated them.  We lived on one side of Patapsco State Park and the grocery store was on the other side.  Even at age 4, I could figure out we went from this bright "happening" place to this dark, dreary environment.  The surprise was the other side and the MEMCO, which was like a Sam's Club with lights before Sam's Club was ever around.  (Rte 40, in MD driving from Howard County to Baltimore County).  Even if we did go to the state park, to see the colors of the leaves, I was bored.  Leaves are gross.

My dad used to ride his motorcycle to go see the leaves change colors.  When I was 13 or 14 I would go with him.  I would have one side of my head pressed into his back, and look at the colors.  I would hope he would ride to DC or Baltimore so we could look at the different stonework in the buildings.  It never happened.

Ironically, I ended up moving to the City of Trees, Atlanta.  I actually had no idea this was Atlanta's moniker until recently.  I don't know why people say Atlanta has no seasons.  There are at least 4, just usually no snow.   You certainly get to see the leaves.  Having a 30 mile one way commute that takes 60-75 minutes one way and 90-120 minutes the other way, I get to see the leaves.  And every day I think how ugly they are.  It doesn't matter what color they are.  Someone said the colors are beautiful. And I think, once you've seen 1 red leaf, 1 yellow leaf, 1 green leaf, and 1 orange, haven't you seen them all? And if they are changing colors, they are just all going to turn brown and fall on the ground, and you are either going to have to rake them or hire someone to rake them.

I traveled to Vermont with friends once on a road trip.  I don't know how many times we had to freakin' stop to look at the leaves.  It was painful.  I would much rather wait for the phone to ring or watch paint dry.

So I usually think about my hatred of leaves about once a year.  And this year, I commented on it to my friend V.  Since D and I have been running the Silver Comet Trail, I said how boring it was, plus once you saw the 4 leaves, eh.  V laughed and said she guessed I didn't want the WaPo article about places to getaway to see the leaves.  Really?  People do this?  The conversation further ensued about how wet leaves really suck and if you're a child and your father makes you rake them, touching the wet ones is disgusting.  Not to mention if you put your hands in a pile of them, there might be snakes underneath. And the smell?  Moldy dying tree smell.  Blech. The wet leaves are bad for runners too.  So slick. Can you tell nature and I are one with each other?

When I bought my first house, I was so happy as there were only 2 trees in the yard and one never took off.  In our current house, 2 of the trees that were supposed to be in our yard "magically" moved in the middle of the night to our neighbors' yards.  We still have 2.  They weren't buried deep enough because I trip over the roots all the time.  All I think about is that the roots of the trees are going to demolish the pipes in the house.  My neighbors cut the limbs of one of the trees so it is no longer resting on my roof (I had asked him if I could do it) for critters to come live in our attic.  Why did he cut them? Oh, because the limbs of another tree fell on his car.  So I'm not really sure if it is leaves or trees, but either way, I'm not fond.

So this post is going somewhere.
This is what I got last month.  All that hard work for LEAVES!!!!

Yes, it's for real, and it's mine
But secretly, I'm damn proud of these leaves.  Just don't tell anyone.

Now the leaves below...just cut them down so I can look at people.
Sitting in traffic with nothing to look at but leaves...I actually have pictures from 2012 bitching about this

Another day sitting in traffic with nothing to look at but leaves...I actually have pictures from 2012 bitching about this

Friday, November 7, 2014

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Romp and Stomp 5K

So this race was the start to our Annual Celebrate the Life of Porter' Life Day (here and here).  It was a cold 39 degrees when we got up with winds going at 25mph.  Being that neither of us have run this year in anything colder than 55 degrees, D and I weren't sure what to wear.  The wind kind of settled it that is was going to be a double layer day and gloves.  Seeing that we were "only" running 3 miles, if we got to hot, we could suffer...

Let's back up.

On schedule was a 12 miler day.  We had planned awhile back that we would do the race and then continue running.  No big deal as we have done this once before.  Tuesday, we went running. My calf was tight.  D's quad was tight.  Wednesday we didn't run (or maybe I got the days wrong, but whatever), because my knee hurt in the knee cap.  I took a lot of Advil and cursed it.

Thursday, I decided I would run 3 miles at the gym.  I walked .5 with no issue.  Started the treadmill to run, and didn't last 30 seconds.  The pain shooting from my knee cap was not ignorable.  I stormed out of the gym.  D was in the parking lot.  I had tears running down my face from anger and disbelief.  More advil.  I got home and walked Scuttlebutt.  Ran up the street for 10 seconds and felt fine.  WTF had just happened.  D thinks it was the treadmill.

Friday was Halloween, which meant traffic would be insaner trying to come home from work.  D went and got our shirts and numbers, and I had a beer with a work buddy.  Then met D for another beer (tradition) in Cabbagetown at Milltown.

It really is pink
So back to Saturday morning.  We were no longer running 12 miles.  Just this 5K. We got ready.  I had 3 goals.  Goal A: To finish the race.  Seriously I was terrified about my knee.  Goal B:  Get a sub 40 minutes. It seemed like awhile since this had happened.   Goal C: To get a PR, although I had no idea what that number was.  So we got to the Romp and Stomp 5K.

Yes, we were cold!
Lots of people there all bundled up.  D and I huddled together.  I just put on my music and listened. Finally we were able to start.  We said good-bye to each other.

The race went up a hill on Carrol Street.  We turned and continued up a hill on Wylie.  It went down and past the Krog Street Tunnel and then back up.  The cold air was in my lungs, and I was having a little trouble breathing.  I checked my watch and it said I had gone .4 miles in 4 minutes.  That could not be right. I don't run that fast.  Wylie flattened and then we ran onto Flat Shoals.  My watch hit 9 minutes and I walked.  I was already at the Coffee/Dog shop.  I was confused of how I got this far.  I resumed running , turned and my watch dinged Mile 1, with the Mile Marker.  12:30.  Good job, AL!

I continued running.  Most of this area is down hill.  I was pretty sure I would have to run up 1 hill in the next 9 minutes.  Why are there so many people around me?  I never run with people.  This lady looks like she has a nice pace.  I'll run behind her.  I wonder if she realizes you can see through her pants.  I wonder if that means you can see through my pants.  Ah, this hill.  Ah 9 minutes...I can walk the hill.

I got to the top, turned and decided to do the 2/1 intervals.  There was more uphill.  I passed a ton of people including see-through pants lady, and wanted to stop, but thought of my friend Starunner who always says, "You can do anything for ___ minutes."  By the time I got to the top of the hill, I had a minute left.  I ran that and was back to Wylie to do the sharp turn.  Decided to add another minute to the run interval because the street was downhill.  Got to the 2 mile marker at 25:10 (12:40). Continued, turned and was back on Carrol Street.  I walked a minute here and resumed running. More uphill, grrr.

Being ever so classy, all I could think was that I shot my wad too early.  My legs were tired and I knew the rest was pretty much up hill (although, really these hills aren't anything...).  I finally finished 2 minutes, and was at the Krog Street Tunnel, and went to walk/run through it. There had been some controversy with the tunnel the week before.  The plus side of all the controversy is that the tunnel smelled clean and I could breathe while in there.  The artists had gotten a lot of art back on the walls as well.  Got to the end and turned around and came back.  Finished another 2 minutes right outside, in time to walk up a hill.

I don't think I walked a full minute, because I knew I was close to the finish line.  My watched dinged I had run a mile, but I knew that wasn't right, since there was no way I ran it in 10:44.  I passed Mile Marker 3 (no ding on my watch) at 38-something.  I turned and saw D.  I really wanted to finish before 40 minutes.  I ran as hard as I could for the last .1 miles.  I crossed the finish.  I stopped my watch.

It read 39:30.  Woohoo!  2 of my 3 goals met.  When I went back and looked.  It was my fastest 5K since the Romp and Stomp in 11/03/12.  So yay!  

We got in the car and went home to rest up to take SB out.  Unfortunately a family emergency arose. So the Celebration of Porter's Life will be this weekend.

39:30 PEOPLE!!  Finally this running thing is paying off.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

"Only" 20 Miles

So, on Friday, D and I were scheduled to run 24 miles.  I know some trainers think you shouldn't run more than 20 miles.  For me, I want to run more, because I don't know if I have a mental block.  Like in all runs over 10 miles...I have a terrible mental block between Mile 9 and 10.  I have no idea what it is about, but I have to fight my brain to get through that space.

But anyway, it was a gorgeous day.  There was a nice breeze.  The trail was a bit boring.  And truthfully, so was the run.  Because let's face it, running a long run by yourself is boring.  And I mentioned we were running on Friday, so the trail was empty (we had Beer Festival Plans for Saturday).  I struggled through Mile 9 and hit my first hill at Mile 11.  A couple of times I thought of turning back sooner and finishing the run somewhere else (don't ask me where...).  At Mile 11, I also saw a restroom and water fountain. I didn't stop.  Between Mile 12 and 13, that rest stop is all I thought about.  My shoes were shot (over 400 miles), but I hadn't broke my new shoes in yet, so the old ones...I knew I needed a Body Glide Break on them.  So at Mile 13 I stopped and fixed myself up.*

*Somewhere at Mile 12, my HRM said I had no heart rate.  Right beside a school.  Not thinking, I whipped my shirt up and adjusted and spit on everything, and got it going.  A guy going the other day, gently reminded me I was in a Public Park by a school.  So think before you do that.  Just sayin'.

Me, Body-Glided, and Rest-Stopped!
So I resumed my run.  I actually felt really good.  Until Mile 17.  My hip started talking.  I started paying attention to my watch and distance.  I told myself to ignore it.  It started hurting more.  I had no Advil.  Hmmm.  I had 3 miles to the next stop that D could get me at, or 7 to where he actually was.  Hmmm.  I got to Mile 18, and my hip, knee and butt let me know they were alive.  On my walk breaks, I could tell I was slightly hobbling. I decided to stretch.  Still screaming leg.  My brain and I were fighting.  I was now walking everything.  I finally decided that at Mile 19, I would sit down and call D and ask him to pick me up with 20 miles done instead of 24. We were 3 weeks from the marathon.  If it hurt in the marathon, I would push it.  But right now, it would do more damage than anything to be stubborn.  I texted him and let him know that it hurt, but I was ok.  I just needed him to pick me up.  And that I was in a good mood.  I told him I'd see him in 20 minutes.  I resumed the walk.  I tried running twice. The first time, I thought that maybe I should call him back.  But the second one, I decided to go with my decision to call it quits.

Me at Mile 19, calling D
Later I looked at my pace.  For 18 Miles is was 16:15 and for 20 it was 16:45.  It actually was a good run.

Red Brick Hoplanta- To 20 Miles
But this is where the "only" comes in.  I kept telling people I "only" ran 20 miles.  Sunday, my friend ran the Marine Corps Marathon.  I don't know why he stopped (swept, injured, etc....I didn't ask), but he put, "I "only" ran 18 miles."  Then on FB a friend who has had surgery and is getting back to walking put, "I "only" walked 1.5 miles."  And then on Monday, a co-worker told me, "Well, unlike you, I "only" ran" a 5K."  Clearly, "only" needs to be removed from these sentences.  We "only" got up, exercised and tried to be healthier.  Why are we dismissing our achievements?  Could any of us do these things a month or 2 ago?  No.  While it is easy to not go out and exercise, we have to remember not to dismiss our achievements when we do.  Other people shouldn't be pointing out our achievements.  We should be standing with our heads high, yelling from the roof tops.

I'm in taper mode this week.  I still have pain in my hip, but I also need to break in these new shoes.  Yesterday, I "only" ran 2 miles, walked 1 and stretched a ton.  And I'm proud of trying to take care of this hip.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

12 Mile Clarity or Delirium?

I'll write more about my 12 miler later (maybe), but have you ever run a run, and wanted to thank people?  But then been afraid to call them out because maybe 40 other people might have been offended that you didn't call them out.  And you know that those ~40 people have every right to be mad, but really you can't stop thinking about the few people that are helping your runs, and how every thing is clicking.  And you feel like an asshole for not thanking the ~40 people but you keep going back to the people in your head while you run.  And then suddenly, you passed the 10 miles.  And you go, "I'm delirious, so thank you!"

In no particular order, except for the last 2.

To those ~40 people - you support me.  I'm sorry your exact name didn't come up on my run.  But you inspire me, and keep doing it.
Marie - si se puede. I'm still laughing.
Nina- my pro bono running nutritionist and mentalist- I got hungry at mile 9. I know why!
Jonathan- for reminding me that I can run, and don't need to relearn it.  And to prove them wrong.
Cher- to keep trying, and always be strong. And I listen to some sucky music
Yas- I must ask you for a play list.  SHUT UP!
Lisa - to know when I get to 9.61 miles I can call someone who won't flinch when I'm in complete tears.
Jen - for when I don't feel like doing it.  You inspire me.  And yeah, Coach Vader might kick my ass
Turff- I love you, but I'm never running in Ptree City again!
Bethany- I'm glad GreTchen has a great Mom, and and awesome sister, JoDee.
Justin and Amy- we inspire each other
Susan- being honest about quitting (I needed to hear it), and telling me about Honey Waffles
Delane - for the inspirational texts and letting me cry to you on your vacation when I needed to
Victoria - because change is not a stagnant thing and to don't be satisfied of where you are but where you want to be
Hillary - if I had a sister, I'd want her to be as awesome as you. #teamvickie
Matt - your smile makes me happy and you will always give the best hugs. And you are my best friend besides D.
Doug (the infamous D) - who doesn't fix me, just supports me.  And that is more fixing than anything.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Is Everything Finally Starting to Click?

So a couple (2) weeks ago, I had mentioned the only way to get faster outside, was to run outside.  And so I ran around the neighborhood twice for 5 miles.  It wasn't really anything to write home about.  The only thing special about it was that I ran under the 16:02 pace (barely). 

So yesterday, I had to run 5 miles.  I talked to D who had day off. He hadn't run yet when I started home.  He had mentioned he charged our Garmins.  It was really nice out.  He mentioned going to the gym because he runs faster there.  I just wasn't in a gym kind of mood (I actually haven't been in a running mood, but that's besides the point).  We both agreed to run at home.  I got home and changed. 

And we started our warm up (walking up a hill).  I mentioned how I really had wanted to take SB to go get a beer.  D had taken him to the vet earlier and SB had just wanted to chill outside.  D thought that was a great idea.  We both may have paused and REALLY thought about going home, leashing up SB and going to a bar.  However we were already out, and dressed.  We continued our walk and then parted ways. 

I started my run and it was kind of ho hum, except I almost got hit by a car.  Electric/hybrid vehicles really suck in terms of being able to hear them come up behind you.  I got to where I normally take a walk break, and checked my watch.  It said I had more to run. Hmm!  Went up the Terrorist Dog Hill, which is now Crazy Dog Hill, came back down, and now it was time to walk.  So I did.   Got to USP Hill and usually the time to walk is coming down the hill.  Again, still had to run.  Bell South Way and Drug house, same thing.  I got to walk up the hill at the Friday house (different than Drug house).  What is going on?  The watch dinged the Mile was over at 13:31. 

Wait, what?  I haven't pulled a 13:31 mile outside in so long, I almost forgot I could.  I completed Mile 2 by German Shepherd Pass a little slower.  Then I repeated the route.  Again, the walking breaks were not at the "usual" spots.  I was totally confused. I felt I was exerting a little more effort than usual, but not that much.  Had I just become "lazy?"  Had I not been trying?  What was going on?  Who knows?  My legs felt good. Mile 3 was faster than Mile 2.  Mile 4 seemed to go much slower (and it was).  OK, I finally finished the loop.  Only .75 miles more. 

At this point, I really didn't care about my time, because I was so excited about Mile 1.  I checked once and saw I was going much slower than I should be. I picked it up.  I decided to run the whole .75 miles, with no walk break.  And then I was done. 

I was still in disbelief as I walked home (600 feet).  I walked into the house, and D asked if I ran the whole thing.  I said yes, and he said I had picked up some speed.  He expected me in another 10 minutes.    I said, I was pretty sure I was way faster than the last time I ran that route 2 weeks ago.  I checked my watch, and sure enough...8 minutes and 31 seconds faster.

Just have to keep this up.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Si se puede! Si se puede!

This week's long run was 21 miles.  I did my 5 miles and 8 miles with no issue, except boredom.  We started carbing up on Thursday.  I kept looking at the weather, and the predicted humidity was going up each time I checked.  I got more and more nervous.  Our dogs were all sick, so there was that stress too.

Friday, I tried hard to devise a plan.  I decided I would take 7 hours to run. Which meant that I would be running in weather from 68 to 83 degrees.  RH would be 93%.  What lovely conditions.  I was stressed out.  How would I do this?  Not only mentally but physically.  I had shown my coworker, M, the damage across my stomach from my 8 mile run.  The waist band of my shorts had rubbed my stomach raw.  My arm rubbed on my bra to the point of rawness.  It was bad.  How was I going to prevent that?  I was pretty sure this run was going to be a fail.  I told M that.  She speaks Spanish, and came over and did this little dance.  She told me to imagine her at every stop, yelling, "Si se puede!  Si se puede!"  She told me to imagine her holding the Mexican Flag.  She was like, "Basically, imagine me showing up to the wrong rally to cheer you on."  The ridiculousness of that cracked me up.

D and I met our friend R later on Friday for drinks and to sell him our GT tickets, since we would be unable to go.  Then we went and got pizza. When returning home, I got my food ready, looked at my Camelbak, got money ready for that, and put everything together on the counter, including the Gatorade that was supposed to go in the fridge.  Then I went to bed.

Saturday morning came, and D saw the Gatorade on the counter around the same time I thought about the fact I didn't recall putting it in the fridge.  For once, I didn't freak out.  D told me there was plenty of Orange flavor cold, and if that wasn't ok, we could stop and get some. I told him the orange was good, and thanks for letting me use it.  We continued getting ready.  The weatherman kept telling us what a gorgeous October day it was.  If 85 and 90% humidity is an awesome day according to him, I want to smoke what he's smoking.  He also assured no one would get wet with the few storms pending (ask GT how that went with the rain delay that required the fans to EVACUATE the stadium).  I ate 1 Clif Bar and 2 bottles of water at home.  On the way to Silver Comet, I drank most of another bottle of water and ate another Clif Bar.

So D and I got to the Silver Comet just as the sky opened up.  We and every other person in the parking lot just sat in their cars.  I posted this on Facebook and M sent back, "Si se puede! Si se puede!"  Finally after about 10 minutes, it let up and I told D I was going.  He said he was too, so we got on our fuel and off we went.

I focused on not looking at my watch.  Don't worry about it, Al!  I pretty much did fine.  The one thing I did notice, was I was not drinking my gatorade very much because I was afraid I would run out.  At Mile 8 I started thinking negatively.  I kept saying, "Si se puede."  I passed D who was returning.  I wanted to return.  "Si se puede."  I kind of had to go to the bathroom.  I remember my friend L told me to just look around and notice things.  At Mile 9.15, I saw a building in a SC parking lot.  However the bathrooms were closed, but the water fountain worked.  I drank a lot.  It felt good.  I had been eating every 2 miles.  But water tasted so much better.  So I continued on my way.  My foot started to hurt.  I decided to walk.  I had also passed the turnoff to McDonald's.  I started running 3 minutes, walking 2 (I had been doing 9 running, 1 walking) and finally got to 10.5 miles and turned around.  "Awesome job, Al.  Furthest on the SC in this training period.  That deserves a "Way to go!" And you are out of Miles 9-10."

I decided I would go to McDonald's and get some Powerade. Should I call D there too?  Si se puede!  What if McDonald's didn't have Powerade?  Would that do me in?  Was there a convenience store there? I could just get water at the fountain.  Most of this was done while walking.  I decided to walk to the Mile 9.15 marker (the marker I just passed).  I got there, and decided not to turn to McDonald's but go get more water.  I drank a lot and then decided to go to the 8.5 mile marker (where my friend picked me up last time on the trail).  This was a combo of walking and running.  I noticed my foot really hurt and my knee burned.  I had still been talking myself out of calling anyone at the Mile Marker, but knew I had to stop.  I remembered what I told D.  Stop if I need to and fix what is wrong, and then keep moving.  I stopped at the bench and got my Body Glide out.  I took my shoe off and covered my foot in BG.  Got the shoe back on.  Applied BG under my knee brace on the part that bugged me.  Put it back in the Camelbak.  Debated on the eating my Clif Bar.  I wasn't feeling good (vomit-y).  I didn't want to eat anything.  My bag had a lot of Gatorade, so I decided I would see where I was at Mile 17.  I got up and went on.

Body Glide Break

I continued walking more than running, but I also noticed my shoulder really hurt.  It hurt more when walking.  I took my Camelbak off.  Still hurt.  Camelbak back on.  I restarted the 3-2 thing.  Si se puede!  Miles 4-8 have a lot of roads you have to cross, so on the way back , it cut up the run.  I was pretty sure my time was all over the place.  I did notice I ran 12 miles faster than my slowest, but my 13 was too slow for my liking. I decided I would call D at 17.  I mean, 17 miles is not bad.  But my legs felt fine.  So maybe I should just tell him I have 4 left.  2 women training for a full passed me.  Their legs looked bad. Their form looked bad.  I was walking and decided to walk to 17 miles.  Their form made me think with my shoulder, I would really hurt it.  Finally I had to stop and get out some Advil at Mile Marker 5.3.  The 2 women were there stretching, but were pained.  I would have offered them Advil, but I had no more.  And then strapped the Camelbak back on, and walked.  Si se puede!  Si se puede!

I ran a little during Miles 14 and 15, but by Mile 16 I was done.  So I walked to Mile 17.  Finally I was back at the Bike Depot.  I went and got more water.  I still had plenty of Gatorade.  I sat on a bench and let D know where I was.  I just rested.  I talked to some guy for awhile.  4 women told me I needed to finish.  I had some more Waffle Cookie, but I still didn't feel well.

The sky turned black and the women told me I needed to go, or call someone.  But I needed to get the 4 miles done quick if I was going to do it.  So I strapped the Camelbak on once again.  The 2 runners came in and called someone. I actually only had 3.88 to go (but who was counting).  I crossed the street and resumed running.  4 minutes on 1 off. The tunnel at Mile 3 got there quickly.  Only 3 left.  That's 12 laps around a track.  Let's focus on the next .25.  Keep going.  10 laps, 9 laps.  I got to the bridge I hate.  Keep going.  Si se puede! Si se puede.  Was that the last bridge?  8 laps. The rain that started coming down was ice cold. It felt awesome.

2 bikers yelled, "You got this."  7 laps.  6 laps.  I'm just going to walk to that bridge.  Oh it's uphill after that bridge.  5 laps.  Why are you walking? I like walking.  4 laps.  A little running.  More walking.  3 laps, 2 laps.  OK, 10 minutes or 8 minutes?  You can run.  Just run.  Finish out with a run.  1 lap.  "You are going to do this!"  20.96.  Come on.  Keep moving.  21.00!  My arms went up in the air.  A biker said, "Congrats"  although I'm sure he didn't know why I was cheering, since I was still on the path.  But I was done.  Yes, I had to get back to D and the car and Mile 0 but I was done.  I sucked down the rest of the Gatorade.  I was done.  I saw D and told him I finished.  He gave me a hug.

Then we went and got water and diet coke.

Si se puede!  Si se puede!

Monday, October 6, 2014

The First Week of October

So after last week's 18 mile debacle (or shall we say 9.61 mile finish), running seemed to be a bit of a struggle this week. 

However the weather cooperated.  I seem to run slowly outside so my fix to that was to run outside.  Tuesday, I ran 5 miles around the 'hood.  It was a little hotter than I had expected (83), so I grabbed my water bottle full of Gatorade and went.  I didn't really know what to expect because I wasn't fully there, mentally, but I kept my legs moving and focused on getting the next .25 miles done (I don't particularly care for this course because I have to do it 2 times and then add on streets, but I got it done).

Wednesday was Porter's birthday.  She would have been 13.  We had 8 miles scheduled, but we went and had beer in her memory.  Because, yes, my dog's birthday is THAT important to me.

So that put 8 miles on Thursday. I wasn't really feeling it.  I knew D wasn't feeling it.  I finally got to the gym.  I put on a pair of compression shorts.  They were not the ones I thought, and they were a little snug.  I don't know if that was the problem, or if they had a pre-existing hole in the inner thigh.  Whatever.  I decided to do 8.  At mile .5, the fat that was bulging out of the hole was rubbing against the seam of the other side of the shorts (yeah, my thighs touch).  So at Mile 1, I stopped and Body-Glided the hell out of the hole,because my skin was burning.  Anyway, D got there.  He wasn't exactly excited to do 8.  I could feel I was making my gait weird trying to run without the fat touching the other thigh.  I decided to do 4, he did 5. 

Saturday came.  I think D thought I was being weird, because I was really preparing for 12 miles.  Because of last week, I ate 2 Clif Bars before heading out.  I had bought Honey Waffles in an attempt to eat real food (not gels or blocks) while out.  So I packed 2.  Got my 40 oz of Gatorade.  Then it was 55 degrees.  I decided to wear long sleeves when I saw there would be no temperature change in 4 hours.  So compression shorts and a long-sleeve light T (my ATL half-marathon shirt).  And then we were off.

D asked where I was going. I told him I really didn't know.  And I didn't.  Even when I started, I wasn't sure if I was going to go through my own neighborhood or venture south.  I decided to stay in the 'hood, but I got up to the top of a hill and decided I'd rather go travel north.  So I did.  Although I typically drive through Ormewood Park, Grant Park, and Peoplestown, I stay on 3-4 roads.  I know the streets of GP pretty well, from previously running there, but I never really went into Ormewood Park.  So off I went.  Can I just say what big hills there are there?  The one road that I typically drive on is relatively flat, but go off that road, and BOOM!  Downhills steep enough to have to walk down, drawn out long hills that never seem to end.  At mile 7, I finally got out of OP and to Grant Park (the actual park) and decided to run the Summer Shade 5K route in reverse.  Except I knew it wasn't long enough, and I didn't really want to run on Boulevard because I would have to run on the sidewalk.  So I ran part of the route, and ended up even further north up at Woodward.  I ran to Boulevard and then ran all the side streets all the way to Hill.  I decided I would run Connally to Georgia and run around the parking lots at Turner Field.  However Peoplestown was setting up their fall festival and Georgia was closed, so I ran around the streets that hold the GA State Track (I didn't actually run on the track).  Finally I was at Mile 10.  I was pretty sure this mile was mostly downhill (I forgot to take into account the uphill up Georgia (the away from the festival) to Cherokee.  Finally at Cherokee running south, it was downhill.  But I could tell I needed to determine more of a route.  I did some side spurs and ended up getting off of Cherokee because zoo traffic was building up.  I ended up finishing back on Hill.  I called D and he came and got me from the pet store (we needed dog food so this was planned). 

Me, finished 12 Miles
My time wasn't great, but overall, I felt strong mentally.  And even if the time wasn't great, it was consistent.   And as evidenced of Mile 12, I think I really wanted to be done.

Sunday I planned on doing the 8 miles around the neighborhood.  Since I know the route and where to take walk breaks I didn't look at my watch.  At mile 3.3, I was exhausted.  My quads were killing me and basically, I thought they were going into revolt.  My watch time made no sense, when I finally looked at it.    Since the dogs were sick, I told D I would swing by the house, and if he left me a message to come in (i.e. took my Gatorade inside), I would...else I'd continue.  Yeah, that 4 miles was looking good.  I headed home, and when the watch dinged at 4, I had to do a double take.  I figured my lack of fueling for this run (I don't think a slice of pizza 3 hours prior and a 32 oz Diet Coke really count), had worn me out.  It didn't occur to me 6 minutes faster than anything I had done in 2 months of outside training would be the culprit.  So I got home, and no message, but I was completely done.  So I went in. 

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

September's Strides

Weight Lost: 2.7 pounds
Miles Run/Walked: 113.54 miles (30 more miles than August!!!)
Longest Run: 15 miles
How many runs missed: 1.5 (1 6miler and I didn't finish my 18 miler)
Achievements: Deciding not to quit training after a mental meltdown
Craziness: Running/Walking 113.54 miles this month

Monday, September 29, 2014

What a Sucktastic September

This month has been really hard in terms of mental training.  I have made almost every run, and before Saturday I had run over 98 miles.

However, every long run but one sucked.  It actually started August 30th with a 12 mile run.  It was 71 degrees when I started.  I ate one Clif Bar and went out.  I got to Mile 7 and someone informed me I was running on a rather busy road, which is normal, except I had drifted into the middle of it and not realized.  So I headed home.  D met me with some Gatorade, informed me it was 79 degrees and over 89% RH and we walked together for me to finish 12 miles with a 18:19 pace.

On 9/6, I did a half marathon.  I thought with all the training I had done there was no way I could do poorly.  I got my personal WORST, by 12 minutes. The course was not hilly.  It went from 68 to 81 degrees with 95% RH while I was out. I ate one Clif Bar before driving 90 minutes to the race.  I forgot my iPod.  The race sucked.  I walked the last 9 miles. I finished 13.1 with a 17:13 pace.

On 9/13, I had an "easy" 10 mile run.  I got 8 done before the walking started. I don't know the temperature but it was 98% humidity.  I finished 10 with a 17:45 pace.

I started thinking I should quit training for the marathon. D assured me it was the humidity and that my feet would stop hurting, and I would pick up speed.  For some reason I believed him.

On 9/20, I ran 15 miles.  I did it feeling strong.  I ran out of Gatorade at Mile 13, but past that, no big issues, except my speed wasn't there. I didn't pay that much attention.  I think the RH was ~70%.  The temp was 71.  My pace was 16:33.

On 9/27, the wheels fell off. It was 68 degrees, RH was 86%.  I went out for an 18 mile run.  I ate one Clif Bar.  I got to Mile 7 and was getting progressively slower.  Every negative comment anyone has ever said to me popped in my head.  I started to cry while running.  I ran out of Gatorade.  I continued to cry.  I got to the half way point. I left D a profanity-laced message.  I tried not to quit.  My foot hit an acorn, rolled over it and I tinged my hip trying not to turn my ankle. I went a little more, with my hip letting me know it was there and said, "Fuck this," and sat down on a bench and cried.  I texted a friend and she came and got me.  D came and got me from her house.  I told him I quit running forever.  My pace was 16:34 for 9.61 miles.  I have no idea where I put anything related to running when we got home.  I refused to talk to D. And I cried like I was in mourning.  I slept and cried for the rest of Saturday.  At the one time I did talk to him, I told him I wasn't going to Richmond, and to have fun. 

Sunday, I woke up still feeling unable to get out of bed.  I started looking at my blog.  I don't train in the heat. Looking at pictures, I should be eating more than 200 calories before going out for a run that is going to burn 2500 calories.  Looking at previous schedules, if I ran more than 3 times a week, the 4th run was not the LSR, it was a 4-5 mile run.   These are easy changes.  I still continued the self-doubt. 

I talked to a friend who is a 2-time stroke survivor.  I felt kind of selfish, knowing I can run (relative), when at one point he had to learn to walk and use his arm again. "If you like running then run, cut the anchors weighing you down free. Life is just too short," he said.  I told him I was afraid to fail and validate the negative people.  He said he didn't quite understand how quitting wouldn't be doing the same thing. 

I've been thinking about the quitting versus trying/failing.  The stress is there. You can read until you're blue in the face about long slow runs and not to pay attention to the pace. But no one writes about being the back of the pack and having run with the SAG truck behind you. If you are a middle of the pack, you will never know what that stress is like. D doesn't understand.  My friend V doesn't understand.  They have never come to water stations that have NOTHING.  When they look up pictures from a race, they actually remember camera people still at the stations.  Me, the cameramen, if they are still there, have packed their cameras and started texting, unless you have a person waiting for you that tells them to do their Goddamn job.

Am I stressed?  Yes.  Am I worried about not finishing?  Yes.  Am I worried about the SAG truck?  Yes.  Am I stressed that I'm more worried about the fact I can finish if it weren't for that stupid SAG truck?  Yes.  Do I worry about the pace of 16:02 now more than ever?  Yes. 

Am I still running this freaking race?  Yes.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

August's Tallies

Weight Lost: 1.8 pounds
Miles Run/Walked: 83.64 miles
Longest Run: 12 miles
How many runs missed: 3 (1 10 miler and 2 3milers)
Achievements: Keeping my leg healthy
Craziness: Running/Walking 28.55 the last week of August

Friday, August 15, 2014

Bursitis Rears Its Ugly Head

So for about a week, my outer knee has been hurting.  Did I stop running?  No.  Did I wear a brace?  No.  Did I do kicks or any exercises I know I should be doing?  No.  Did I use the foam roller?  No.

Am I totally shocked I woke up on Thursday with pain in my hip running down to my knee?  Yep!

Funny how that works. 

So Thursday morning I got to work and read how to combat bursitis/ITB without going to the doctor.  Anti-inflammatories, ice, a band on leg, rest, slow down, etc.

Then Runner's World put something on Facebook about avoiding injury.  It was all about the recovery run.  Reaching in the cobwebs of my brain, I recall the PT telling me this.  To run slowly. To stop if it hurts, etc.  I also recall that I have been running pain free up until I gained too much weight to wear my CW-X compression capris that don't require me to wear a brace.  That hold in my hip and knee, etc. (Stabylix)  And that no other brand really works as well in that department (and they don't have my size at the moment).

I had a class to take yesterday so I couldn't run and buy yet another brace (it's not like I know where all the other ones are).  So I took Advil throughout the day and felt remarkably better.  I decided I would try to run and if I couldn't, I would walk.

Running is a relative term.  Yesterday it was running at a 4.3 pace.  It was easy since it was so slow.  I walked every 3 minutes.  This is what I could recall my PT telling me to do.  The walking was really hard because I didn't feel tired, so I didn't want to do it.  I did.  When I finished, I felt accomplished.  And then I did my kicks.  And when I got home, I rolled on the roller.

So after work, I'm going to go get a brace.  10 miles should be interesting tomorrow.  I am not sure if I will use the brace or am I going to try to stuff myself into compression capris.  Either way, I know if I feel pain to stop.  But I also feel good that I have a plan to tell the bursitis to STFU, and to go away.  I just wish I hadn't gotten cocky and been doing this plan all along.

Friday, August 1, 2014

July's Journey

Weight Lost: 1.3 pounds
Miles Run/Walked: 68.99 miles
Longest Run: 7 miles
How many runs missed: 3 (1 6 miler and 2 3miler)
Achievements: Running on a Sunday in SC to get my 4th run in
Craziness: Running 6 miles on a TM almost 30 minutes faster than running 7 outside.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Tank Top Review, Bottle Review, and a Week in Review

So this was an interesting week.  I managed to get 1 run done in the morning.  I was meeting a friend for beers after work so I needed to knock it out.  Thursday's run didn't happen on Thursday. I thought leaving work at 3pm might make me be able to get to the gym by 4...Um, try 5.  Anyway, angry and pissed, I drank a few beers instead.  Friday was to get ready for Saturday's run, so again, no run. 

Saturday was a 7 mile run.  I was trying out a few things that I hadn't tried before.  One was running in a tank top.  I am not a tank top kind of person. I don't like feeling skin on skin.  So the thought of sweaty skin on skin is just gross to me (yeah, that could be taken a few ways, I guess).  And I couldn't help but wonder if chub rub would happen between my bat-wings and my underarms.  But running in the summer in Georgia sucks.  And I couldn't stop thinking about how heavy my shirt was during the Beltline 5K (granted, it is probably the heaviest shirt I own when it is dry).  So I bought a tank top from Moving Comfort.  The other new thing was a hand-held water bottle.  I used to have one.  In his more destructive days, McMenemin ate it.  But I'm in between the running with nothing and running with a Camelbak with my distances.  So I needed something. I chose a Camelbak Handheld (mostly because of the price).

Moving Comfort Endurance Tank
Camelbak Hand-held Water Bottle
So anyway, Saturday, I put on the tank.  It was pretty thin. The one odd thing was that it had a draw string at the bottom.  I guess if you wanted to look cute, you cinch it and stuff.  Um, yeah.  I don't pay attention to much during running, and looking cute in the GA Swamp Weather is way low even on that radar.  So I just let the shirt hang.  I grabbed the water bottle with water, and left.  

Me, Pre-7 Miles
I didn't really know where I was going.  I started with my main route of down the side of the prison.  There was a train, so I couldn't cross the track, so that changed the path a little.  I went up to Hill Street, but I really hate the side-drop of Hill, so I took Milton down to Lakewood and turned to go up the bridge.  The hills aren't steep, it is just a rolling section.  I was doing run/walks so the first thing I noticed with the water bottle was that it had a twist top meaning I couldn't pull up the top with my teeth.  I had to use my hands.  Not a huge deal, although I did almost rip my teeth out of my mouth. (I guess I could have looked BEFORE running at this detail).  I got over the bridge and ran the next part of Lakewood, which is pretty flat.  My pace was all over the place.  I didn't pay that much attention...I paid attention to how my legs felt.  I got to Richmond and a cop drove by and told me and a woman who was walking to the store to stay off Richmond which wasn't on my path anyway.  Saw another cop car and an ambulance.  I got up to Jonesboro, and really didn't want to go right, which is my usual path. As I was trying to figure out right or left, I saw 3 older men sitting on the corner (yes, this is usually a drug corner).  They had a pickup truck there with a TV (and extension cord to somewhere), 3 beach chairs and an umbrella.  They were sitting in the chairs drinking some beers (I assume...they were in a brown paper bag).  The aroma in the air might make some people hungry without realizing why.  Anyway, they were quite shocked to see me come past.  I know they checked me out.  Why?  They informed me my butt was small enough and men like a big butt.  I guess I could have been offended, but it really made me laugh.  Anyway , I would have had to stop at the light to cross, so I went left.  I ran down to the cemetery and really didn't feel like dealing with a down hill for .2 miles (I was at 3.3 miles and decided to do an out and back), so I turned and did a flat street and then came back.  The guys were still there. They told me I could stop.  I told them that that was ok. 

A little further up, I tried changing hands with the water bottle.  I'm not left handed by any means, so I don't know if the bottle is not made for left-handed people or if it was just an ID10T error, but I couldn't use it.  So back in the right hand.  Although everything on the bottle was wet and sweaty, it wasn't a nuisance.  So I really liked that part.  I definitely recommend it.  The tank top was good.  The one thing I noticed is that I must use my sleeves a lot when I run because I didn't have that luxury.  Oh well.  But it was pretty nice. The return home was hilly, but done.  

Me, Post-7 Miles
Sunday I was in SC with Scuttlebutt visiting my dad (I drove up on Saturday). 

Scuttlebutt on the way to South Carolina
We went running at 630am.  After 15 minutes, I had to return Scuttlebutt home as it was too humid for him.  Atlanta was 66 degrees and 70% RH at 6am.  Northern South Carolina was 74 degrees and 90% humidity at 6am.  It was gross.  Anyway, SB was having trouble, and walking a lot, so I dropped him off, and continued my run.  It was nice to be done exercising before 715 in the morning. 

Scuttlebutt...not after the run...but I'm sure that picture looked the same

*I paid for my tank top and my water-bottle, and my thoughts on them are my own.