Wednesday, November 23, 2011

I'm back!!

Maybe. I rested until I couldn't stand it anymore and went for a run Sunday. I did 3.5 miles and my hip hurt pretty bad. Enter sadness, crappy day, etc. I made an appointment with an orthopedist for December 1. Any normal person would have stopped running until the appointment, but I'm not normal. Plus, I want it to hurt for the appointment, right? Right.

Last night I ran 5 miles. I thought maybe running the gravel trail on the dike might be nicer to my hip, so I did it. I don't know if that is what made the difference, but my hip barely hurt! I did about 3/4 of a mile on the road at the end and it hurt a little worse then, but that could have been because it was the end of the run. And when I say hurt, I really just mean I could feel my hip. It wasn't really painful like it had been.

I'm not canceling my appointment. I imagine the pain isn't gone, but I'm happy to have run 5 miles and not been in significant pain.

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving! I'm getting up bright and early to run 6 miles. I hope everyone has a wonderful day filled with lots of food, family, and maybe a little running!


Thursday, November 17, 2011

Adventures in Bicycling

For weeks I have been overdoing the training. I was so happy for nice weather and doing a bunch of races, so I overdid it. People have also been telling me this for weeks, but I ignored them thinking my body would get used to it and the pain would go away. But it didn't. It got worse.

After a run with the Independence Running Club (if you're local, you should join!) I decided I needed a break before I started my new program. I could barely complete the run. I just didn't have it in me. So I decided to skip my weekend runs and get back out on Tuesday. I think I expected my legs to know that I hadn't run 13 miles when I wanted to and therefore be perfectly rested. On Tuesday I set out to run and made it about half a mile. I was still hurting. Honestly, I couldn't even walk without pain. I decided I need more time.

Enter bicycle. There is no way I'm going a week or more without some kind of exercise. I can't. I posted on Facebook asking if anyone had a bike I could borrow for a few days and my lovely sister in law let me borrow hers. Thanks Marci!

Wednesday morning I rode the bike for the first time. Keep in mind, I am not a complete stranger to bikes. I rode them everywhere when I was a kid and a teenager. Have ridden as an adult. In fact, I had an epic wreck that I should blog about sometime. Anyway, I thought it would be easy. It wasn't. I rode 5 miles and was almost crying at the end. It was sooo hard! I posted on the C25K forum about how hard it was and got some advice. I know, it's a running forum, but people there are always happy to give advice about anything, whether they know anything about it or not (ahem, stephanie and someoldman). They mentioned tire inflation. I thought maybe they needed more air, but also thought it might have something to do with my fat body being on the bike.

This morning I went outside to ride and aired up the tires better. While my husband watched I might add :). Holy difference, Batman!! Today was soooo much easier! Still not easy, but easier. I really enjoyed today! I'm still not going to become a bicycler (bicyclist?), but it was tolerable. The only issue now is that shifting gears isn't working well. I took it to my father in law this morning and asked him to look at it and see if he could make it work better (Marci, if you're reading, I hope you don't mind!). He said just leave it and he would fix it. I just have to say, I love my father in law. Not just for this. He's just a really great guy. In fact, he's one of my favorite people in the whole world. I feel so lucky to have him in my life, and more importantly, have him in my kids lives.

Some things I've learned so far:
Air up your tires!
It's much colder when you ride a bike than when you run. Dress appropriately
Your butt is going to hurt after riding. And during riding. Hell, maybe even before riding just thinking about it.

I was walking home after dropping off the bike and my toes were frozen. They hurt so bad! One of my uncles asked what I was doing out in this freezing weather and I told him. He laughed at me. Then I shamelessly begged him for a ride home. Less than two blocks! But my toes were frozen and it hurt to walk. I'm pretty sure he's still laughing at me. He did give me a ride though. I love living in my tiny town surrounded by family.

Anyway, I hope to be back to running very very soon! I am upset and frustrated that I had to take a break before starting my training. It makes me feel like a failure and like I really might not be able to complete this run I have planned. I just know I need to be smarter about my training and not overdo it.

Hopefully I will be back to talking about running soon!

Happy Biking??


Thursday, November 10, 2011

A New Chapter Begins

Since I started running I've been asking myself, "what's next?" First it was a 5k, then a 10k, then a half marathon. After that I knew I didn't want to run a marathon, but wanted another challenge. Enter trail running. While trail running, I've learned about Ultramarathons. Those seem crazy for sure!

So, what's next for me? I think I could run a marathon. I know I could train for one. But I also know it would take me 5+ hours to finish. Do I really want to do that? Why do something if you can't do it well? What about an Ultra? Can I do that? Well, yes, but again, I'm slower than most people. A trail ultra? I will most definitely do that some day.

One day I was reading a running article on the internet and read about someone doing a birthday run. I think the guy was 55 and ran 55 miles. He had been doing this for years. I read it and thought "well, this guy has clearly lost his marbles." Moving on. Then I did Flatrock. I felt invincible! Shortly after, I starting reading a blog that I'm pretty much obsessed with. I've mentioned it before. It is written by someone who calls himself a Trail Zombie. At first, he seemed kind of crazy. Then I kept reading. And I started feeling kind of crazy. While catching up, I read about him running with a friend of his on a birthday run. I can't remember the amount of miles. It doesn't really matter. I also read about him and a bunch of his friends running 50k's, 50 milers and even 100 miles!

I think that first story I read planted a seed in my head. And then the seed started growing when I read the blog. Then I kept reading and the seed kept growing. All of the sudden I'm thinking "I will be 33 on my next birthday. 33 miles isn't THAT far." Well, it is, but it's doable. I sort of mumble something to Rick one day about running 33 miles on my birthday. He just didn't get it. I posted about this before. I was crushed. I really thought he would say something about how awesome it was and how I should go for it. He didn't. He did eventually say that he would support me if I decided to do it. I didn't mention it again until last night. I think I was a little embarrased for some reason. I think he still thinks I'm a little crazy, but he's getting used to it.

I talked to some ladies I run with about this and they thought it was great. Then I told someone that I admire a great deal, Stephanie, about it. Always one to encourage, she told me to go for it. I branched out a little further and told the members of the C25K forum that I'm on. With one exeption, they thought it seemed great. Or at least they didn't tell me if they didn't!

And so it begins. I'm training to run 33 miles sometime next fall. My birthday is September 4 (please mark it on your calendars. I like gifts) and it is very hot in September, so I might not do it on my actual birthday. I will do it though. My intention is to get people to run with me. If someone can run 1 mile, great! They can run a mile. Then someone else will join me. I would like to get enough people that can run a little bit so that I can have someone the whole way. Or, if anyone is up for a nice 33 mile run feel free to join me! I'm also going to have some partners from all over the world in the form of my C25K friends! They will be running miles that day in support of me. I hope. They said they would!

My ultimate goal is to run trail ultras. Gulp. I said it. I want that 50K darn it! Probably not at Flatrock next year because I doubt I could make it in the time limit. Maybe Turkey and Taturs! That's also a tough course, but maybe. Or some other race that is to be decided. I know I like to do trail races much much more than road races. The biggest issue with that is training. I don't like to spend a lot of time on the trail alone because I'm a wimp. I would like to join the TATURs for some runs in the future.

I started my new training plan this week and so far so good! I'm still a little sore from the 25K, but I'm doing pretty well. I'm sure there will be many posts about this over the next few months. So, for all of those people who have asked about my new training plan. This is it. I promise I haven't completely lost my mind. Or maybe I have. Either way, I'm excited!

Happy Birthday to my Dad tomorrow!!!! I won't tell you all how old he is. Unless you send cookies or something. I can definitely be bribed.

Happy Running!


Sunday, November 6, 2011

Turkey and Taturs 25K

Today I ran my second 25K! My time was much better than last time, but the course was quite a bit easier than Flatrock. Also, I'm in much better shape this time.

We went down to Tulsa last night since the race started early. Picked up packet, ate, and shopped. Then we went to the motel and Adam insisted on swimming. I hung out in the hot tub for about 15 minutes before I had had enough. I then went back to the room and got my stuff ready for the race.

I set my alarm and worried over and over about it going off at the right time. Since the time changed I was concerned. It turns out I was right to be worried! I kept waking up stressing about what time it was. I finally got up to check and it was 6:10. Oh crap! We needed to leave at 6:00!! I got ready in a hurry and we ran out. I grabbed some cinnamon roll thing from the continental breakfast on my way out. Somehow I actually managed to bring everything I needed. Oh wait, did I mention we felt an earthquake during the night? Oh yes, we did. I was asleep and I woke up to the world shaking. It was quite an experience, let me tell you.

Anyway, we arrived at the race location. It is not easy to find, but I had been warned about this, so we found it the night before. Thank goodness. We found a parking space, I gathered my stuff, and got out. Rick and Adam went back to the motel to get ready for the day and check out. They hadn't exactly had time for showers. I hadn't had time to do everything I needed to in the bathrooms, so I quickly headed to the port-a-potties.

Race time came and I got lined up. The gun went off, and we started running. The first few miles were pretty uneventful. I was running with some other runners and I enjoyed listening to them talk. Then I started running with a very nice lady named Kim. I was really enjoying myself despite the really huge headache I had woken up with and couldn't shake. At mile 3 or so we had to go up a hill. My chest started feeling tight and I couldn't catch my breath. I've never had that happen and it was pretty unnerving. I fell behind the nice people I was running with, much to my dismay. I eventually caught my breath and was doing fine. Until I fell. I don't know what I tripped on, but I went down hard. My hand was bleeding and I was kind of sore all over for a couple of minutes, but I was fine. I got up and kept going. After I sat there for a few seconds wanting to cry. And give up. It just sucked for me at that point. The next two miles were just difficult. I can't think of another way to describe it. I've been having trouble with my right hip and for a while I couldn't even run without pretty significant pain. Since I was only 1/3 of the way through, I just wasn't confident I could finish. It started getting better slowly. By the time I made it to the aid station at mile 7 I was doing well. The really really wonderful people there helped me clean up my hand, I ate some food, and continued on my merry way. After that I did great. Not to say I wasn't tired at some points and it wasn't difficult, but I was doing well. I was really hoping to finish in 4 hours but didn't want to look at the time and stress about it. At mile 10 I looked. I was doing well and knew I could finish in 4 hours if I kept at the pace I was going.

I was running and getting tired, but doing so well and I knew I was on target to finish. Then I got lost. Let me just say, this was in no way the fault of the people in charge of the race. The course was marked really well. I just have a horrible sense of direction it seems. I figured out I was going the wrong way when I saw someone else. He led me back to where I needed to go and I followed him for a while. I could have gone faster, but I was scared of getting lost. Because I got lost, then went really slowly, I didn't finish in 4 hours. I think my time was 4:13. My watch said 4:10, but I had been lost and it had stopped for a bit when I fell, so it wasn't really accurate. It thought I was done before I was, so I don't really know how far I went. I think I added a bonus half mile or so. Go me! For those keeping track, this was about 17 minutes off my previous 25k.

About 3 miles from the finish, I passed Eric Steele, RD for Flatrock. Actually, I had seen him at an aid station too. The guy is just way too cheerful considering what he was putting his body through. He ran the 50k. Anyway, he said something about this course being easier than Flatrock. It was for sure. Not that it wasn't hard and didn't have it's very difficult portions. It did. I just think it was easier overall. I was also in much better shape for this race, so that might have skewed my opinion a little.

One last thing the evil people planning this race did. I got the the point that I thought was the finish. Everyone was cheering, etc. Then some lady says, "just keep going, run around this building and then you will be done!" WTF? Are you serious? Run around the building? I thought I was done! I really thought I was being punked or something. But no, you really do have to run around the building. I did and I got my medal. Then I saw Rick and Adam (Ryan didn't come, he had a birthday party) and they were the best looking guys I had ever seen! We hung around for a little while I whined and then we left. We went to Quiznos to eat where I took a paper towel bath in the bathroom. Yes, I was able to lift my leg to put my foot into the sink to clean it. My legs were filthy. I can't believe I didn't fall and hit my head and pass out or something. I guess I'm just awesome enough to have made it work.

I don't have a lot of pics because I didn't really take any.

Here is the huge medal:
And me after the race showing off my medal:

Overall, it was a really great race. If I hadn't fallen and gotten lost I really think I could have done it in 4 hours. Maybe next time.

I am very impressed with all of the volunteers and organizers of this race. Thanks to all of you!

I think that is the end of my racing season. I might do the Turkey Trot in Coffeyville, but maybe not. I haven't decided what my next big race will be, but I do have something kind of big planned. Stay tuned for details!

Happy Running!!