Giving up the fight, but keeping the streak alive.

Since I ran my second half marathon in October, I have been trying to continue with my training. I had hopes of running my third half in December, my fourth half in January, and my first full marathon in February. Unfortunately my body had other ideas and I have finally given up the fight. Lately, most of my runs have not been the greatest and I have been fighting my way through them. I’ve been unable to go any further than 15 miles without some kind of injury sidelining me. For the last few weeks, every run I have done over 3 miles has resulted in pain and always in a different spot so it doesn’t seem to be a recurring injury. I just think my body is telling me I need a break and I need to scale back my weekly mileage. 

I will conquer you one day marathon!

On a more positive note, I can still run and I am keeping the streak alive. I have managed to run at least one mile for the last 7 days and I do not intend on giving up on that challenge. Here is how the miles have added up so far:

Tuesday: 2 miles

Wednesday: 1 mile

Thursday: 10k fun run

Friday: 1 mile

Saturday: 3 miles

Sunday: 12 miles

Today: 1.5 miles

I left my cousin’s house on Saturday morning to head home and after it warmed up, I went out for my run. I was planning on a long run on Sunday morning so I didn’t want to go too far or hard but I was feeling good so I ran out 1.5 miles and ran the whole way back feeling pretty strong with a pace of 8:51. It was a great run and gave me hope for the long run I had planned for Sunday. So that night I carbo loaded with some delicious pancakes with peanut butter on top.

I got up Sunday morning and knew that I wanted to get the run done first thing because I run better in the mornings. But it was 25 degrees out! So I bundled up in my running capris, compression socks, thermal top, my new pullover from Walmart, gloves, and a headband to keep my ears warm. At mile 3 there was still frost on the ground:

My hands got hot around mile 2, so the gloves came off, but I needed everything else to keep me warm for the rest of the run. Here I am happy for a walk/fuel break at mile 3:

At mile 6 I started feeling some pain in my achilles/calf muscle so I turned around and had another walk/fuel break.

Please excuse the luggage under my eyes, that’s what my allergies do to me.

It is so peaceful and beautiful running out here:

It was a struggle with the pain in my calf continuing to irritate me but I made in back home, 12 miles in 2 hours 1 min. I was pretty sore the rest of the day so I did my best to continually stretch and foam roll. When I woke up this morning I still had some residual pain in my calf so I rested most of the morning before heading to the gym around 10:45.

I decided to take it easy to try to work out the soreness in my legs, 35 slow minutes on the bike and 35 minutes at level 2 on the stair climber. Then I needed to get in my run for the day and it was raining outside, so I reluctantly hopped on the treadmill and did 1.5 miles at an average pace of 10:30. It was boring! But I got it done and the streak continues!

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How many men does it take to fry a turkey?

I have finally made it back to civilization! I spent my Thanksgiving out at my Cousin’s house in the country where there is no cell phone reception and very spotty internet service. It was nice to disconnect for a bit, but now I feel like I fell so far behind, so I’ve been spending most of today catching up on my internet life.

So here’s what has been going on for the last few days. Thanksgiving morning I got up early and walked down the street to participate in a local 10k fun run. It was a chilly 35 degrees but the weather quickly warmed up, especially after we started running. There were fitness challenges at each mile and I chose to try and do as many of them as I could. I started out too fast on the first mile so the 20 pushups were a bit challenging. During the second mile I was trying to keep up with one of the other runner’s so I was pushing pretty hard when we made it to the 20 jumping jacks. After that I had to slow down a bit and managed to do 10/15 burpees at mile 3. I got passed by a lot of people at this point and I was feeling pretty tired. That was when I decided to just skip the rest of the fitness challenges and try to make it back in one piece. Despite a foot cramp at mile 5, I finished in 1 hour 1 minute, which I was pretty proud of considering how bad I was feeling.

I headed back home to shower and grab my stuff so I could drive out to my Cousin’s house. I got there around 11:30 and was ready for lunch. I tried to eat something small since we were supposed to eat at 4pm. I also found these beauties waiting for me.

They were oh so delicious as evidenced by this only 12 hours after being opened.

There was some napping, football watching, and waiting for food during the hours of 12pm-6pm. Apparently, the turkey took longer than they expected so we didn’t end up eating until 6pm and I was past starving.

How many men does it take to fry a turkey?

Due to my desire to keep my stomach from eating itself, I scarfed down my plate full of goodies before I even thought about taking a picture.

Getting our grub on

Fixing our plates

I told my Dad he needs to be my official blog photographer since I didn’t have my camera with me and I forgot to snap a pic of my food. My Dad worked his magic and actually caught me before I devoured dessert to take a picture of the sweet deliciousness (minus one bite)

7up cake, caramel pound cake, and the best dessert in the world, peanut butter pie!

And then one of me about to swallow my fork whole (please excuse the awful hair, it had a long day)

I, of course, ate way too much and felt miserable for the rest of the night.

Friday morning we got up and sat around for a while waiting on our 10am breakfast call. After breakfast we decided to go to Walmart in the small town of Louisville, MS to see what kind of Black Friday deals there were. We figured with it being such a small town and waiting until after all the door buster deals were done, it wouldn’t be that bad. It wasn’t that crowded and the worst part was all of the merchandise taking up most of the floor space, so it was hard to navigate with a buggy. We found good deals on some Blu-Ray movies and I scored this awesome find:

These were $6 so I got one in red and one in dark grey. Once we got back, it was warm enough to get my one mile run in to continue my streak. I tried out my new red top and I absolutely loved it! This is what it looks like on:

After my one mile run, I was famished, so I went and ate some Thanksgiving leftovers and then joined in on the weekend entertainment.

Yes we are standing around watching a stump burn, we stood out there until dark keeping the fire going and enjoying the crisp fall day.

I tried to get some pictures of my Cousin’s pig Ellie because she is a behemoth! I never could get her to face me so here is the best shot I got.

Then I went out front and decided to do some hill training so I could eat more Thanksgiving leftovers for supper. I did one trip and called it a day, but it was fun to get some fresh air into my lungs.

Here is the spread of leftovers we had for supper:

Deviled eggs, gravy, green beans, corn, stuffing, mashed potatoes, turkey, ham, chicken and dumplings, corn casserole, black eyed peas, rolls, and homemade sourdough bread. yummy!

Then we spent the rest of the night laid out in front of the TV watching Duck Dynasty. This was my first time watching this show and it might become one of my new favorites, it is so funny!

Okay now that I have caught you up on my Thanksgiving,  I think my brain needs a break. Time to love on Daisy and get some rest before my long day tomorrow.

What did you do for Thanksgiving?

Did you get to spend time with your family?

Try any new and interesting foods?

 

The long run that wasn’t

So that 17 miles I was supposed to run yesterday…yeah that didn’t happen. But it wasn’t for lack of trying, I got my butt out there with every intention of putting in my miles and I was even looking forward to it. For some reason the running gods were not smiling on me yesterday.

I waited until noon to leave for my run because I am a cold weather wimp and couldn’t handle the thought of running in 50 degree weather. Turns out I either overdressed or started too late because it was hot, I really need to suck it up and get out there earlier next time. 

During my first mile there was a strange pop in my left foot and then some stinging pain in the arch. I kept running to see if it was just a twinge that would go away and it did after about a mile. Then around mile 3 my right hip started to ache but I kept pushing to see if it would go away.

mile 3, at least the view was nice

I reached mile 5 and stopped to walk for a half a mile while I fueled and regrouped. I was starting to get some pain in my left IT band and was hoping it wouldn’t keep getting worse. I started running again and only made it to mile 6 before my IT band started hurting so bad I couldn’t run on it. At this point, I was in the middle of the loop where I could either keep going or turn around and it would be 5 miles back either way. Thankfully my hip and IT band didn’t hurt when I was walking, but for some reason my foot pain from earlier resurfaced.

In the middle of nowhere

I pulled out my phone and opened Pandora to get me through this incredibly long walk (or sometimes running for as long I could before the pain started again). Running 5 miles does not phase me, but walking 5 miles is a entirely different story. My body is not used to walking long distances and those 5 miles took their toll. I finally managed to hobble my way home with a total of 11.35 miles done in 2 hours 40 minutes.

This was a nice end to my rough run

I immediately filled some baggies with ice, collapsed on the floor, and iced everything that was hurting. At least my compression socks seemed to save my calf muscles from any soreness.

I stretched, foam rolled, and showered. As long as I didn’t sit for any extended period of time I felt okay. This morning my hip is a bit sore and I feel a twinge in my foot, so I have no immediate plans for a run because I obviously need to let my body rest. It seemed like every injury I have ever suffered as a runner tried to resurface yesterday and I’m not sure why.

I did learn that I can run comfortably with my Camelbak, which will make future long runs easier. I really hope this doesn’t change my training plans, but I know I need to listen to my body and stop trying to push myself just because the calendar says I need to run a certain distance.

Do you find walking long distances to be harder than running them?

It’s a love/hate relationship

As the weather has slowly (or quickly, depending on your location) cooled off I have had to reacquaint myself with running in the cooler weather. This had me weighing the pros and cons of running in the heat versus running in the cold. So here, in no particular order, are the reasons I love/hate running in the cold:

1. I don’t sweat as much which means less chafing and painful burning of my eyes.
 *However, I still sweat, which just makes me colder when the wind hits me.


2. With less humidity in the air I can breath easier and it doesn’t feel like I’m running through a river.
*The trade off is that the cold air makes my lungs burn and my nose clog up/run like crazy.


3. I don’t have to get up before the crack of dawn to run outside and beat the heat of the sun.
*I actually enjoy the quietness and solitude that running this early delivers. I like focusing on my run without having to worry about cars, dogs, or other people.


4. I get to go and buy fun cold weather running gear that gets me excited for my runs.
*After a few miles, I get so hot that I no longer need all the fun gear I spent mucho mula on, but then I’m stuck carrying it.


5. I really enjoy long sleeved shirts since my arms are always cold and I don’t have to worry about straps falling or baggy short sleeves bothering me.
*I have some weird OCD thing where I constantly push my sleeves up my arm and them pull them down again when I am uncomfortable or anxious which tends to slow me down while running.

6. When it is cool enough to run in the daylight I am free to run anywhere, without having to stick to the lighted sidewalks.
*I live and run on an Air Force base, where the planes start flying early, so I might as well be running outside the Atlanta airport with all the noise and air pollutants I have to deal with. 

 All in all, I do like when the weather gets a little cooler but anything below 50 and I’m hesitant to leave the warmth of my bed/couch/house. If I can overcome my aversion to the cold, my new love for running will hopefully continue and I will conquer the winter blues like a boss.

  

Close…but no cigar

Friday was a great day! I drove the 4 hours down to the beach to see my long lost husband (well only 4 weeks lost). We met for lunch at Which Wich, my first time eating there, and I really liked it. To bad there is only one location in the entire state of Mississippi. Then Chris headed back to work and I went to the Condo to discover this waiting for me:

Tigger mug full of holiday Clif bars!
My hubby is so awesome!

Chris had signed up for two 5ks on Saturday and I had the decision to run one, both, or neither of them, depending on how I felt. Despite the surprisingly cold and very windy weather predicted for Saturday, I went to bed on Friday knowing I wanted to run both races. 
We got up early Saturday morning, dressed as warm as possible, and drove the 30+ miles to the race location in Pascagoula, MS. The Ingalls 5k on the Causeway started on Singing River Island and ran out across this bridge (in 50 degree weather and 20mph+ winds).

Bridge over open water=very windy!

The race was benefiting the Special Olympics so I decided to brave it and support this wonderful cause. I am so glad I did, because I not only received this amazing finishers medal (each one individually painted and handed out by participants from the Special Olympics) but I also got the sweetest kiss on the cheek as I was given my medal. 

Front of medal
The back of Chris’ and my medals, so cool!

I managed to finish the race in 26:14 despite fighting against the wind for more than half the race and I placed 3rd in my age group. There was also some wonderful pizza and cake for after the race and you bet I scarfed lots of that down.  

Then it was time to go searching for a last minute costume/something to keep us warm for our night 5k. I found a cute Supergirl shirt for cheap and got a thermal to wear under it. I also got a ear warmer headband because my ears were hurting really bad during the first run from all the cold and wind. It turned out to be colder weather than predicted so I’m glad I got this. Chris got a sock monkey hat to keep his ears warm/be his costume. 

I might have to wear this in all my races.

Once we got there and registered I spotted the trophies and knew I had to have one, they were so cool! The run finally started around 6:20 and it felt good to run and get the blood pumping. Despite the cold, I felt good and was running faster than I thought I would. I checked my Garmin way too many times because the course felt really long, but I was on pace to score my first 5k PR since April 2011 (25:29). I scored an amazing PR of 22:54, unfortunately the course was a bit short so that is not an actual 5k PR. My Garmin said 2.86, Chris’ said 2.90 and another friend’s said 2.98. The course wasn’t well marked so I guess that might have had something to do with it. 

Witches for the women, pumpkins for the men.

So now to address the title of this blog. Both the 5ks I ran yesterday were flat, fast courses and I had a great shot at getting a PR out of both of them. The wind during the morning 5k took that shot out of the running but I am so proud of the time I did get considering the wind. I know if the course for the night 5k had been long enough I would have gotten a PR of around 24:40 since I was running an 8:01 pace, so that made me really frustrated. However, I did do well enough to take home one of those awesome trophies with 2nd place in my age group and Chris also got one with 2nd in his age group! 

I also scored an awesome t shirt, bag, pretzels, laffy taffy, and some yummy bananas (they begged us to take some home since they had so many left). All in all it was a great day and I am ready to get out there again and finally get that 5k PR I’ve been wanting for the last year and a half. 




 

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