The Super Soggy Sixteen Miler

What’s fun about running 16 miles when the first five are through a cold rain?  You might think not much but when we look for it, we can find the sunshine in just about anything.  Even what I’m calling the Super Soggy Sixteen Miler.

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Wet and rainy view from this Saturday’s long run.

I spent most of last week not allowing myself to recall past difficult 16 milers (see Race Recap: Zumbro 17 Mile Trail Race and Marathon Training is Hard).  Or the fact that I’ve had issues spring up including “the injury” and now this pneumonia right around the 16 mile training run.  It would have been very easy to allow myself to start thinking some really negative thoughts such as “I’m not meant to do this”, “the universe doesn’t want me to do this”, “my body’s not cut out to be a marathoner”, etc.  Every time I would start to think those things I would purposely stop myself and remember that it’s just about a half marathon followed by a 5K.  Piece of cake right?IMG_3003

The first few miles were cloudy with mist.  Not lovely but not bad either.  And then at about mile 3 the heavens opened up and the real rain came out until about mile 5.  Two miles of rain is enough to get seriously wet.  I felt like a swamp monster for the remaining 11 miles.  But that was IT!  That was really the only problem with this run.  Just the sheer discomfort of running in wet clothes.  No injuries, and I finished the planned distance.  My feet were a little more raw than they might have been from the wet shoes but I’m hoping that will turn into better callouses.  (A girl can dream right?)

On to 18 or 20 and beyond from here.  It’s about to get fun.  Trying to find new routes and ways to keep it interesting.  Look out Delaware Marathon.  I have 6 weeks.  And I’m coming for you.

 

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Is Treadmill Season Over Yet?

I cannot tell you how completely excited I am for Spring. It’s been a relatively mild winter for Minnesota but it has been cold enough and icy enough to keep me inside and on the treadmill throughout the majority of my training runs. I need to get outside soon for pure peace of mind if nothing else. 🙂

The half marathon I’ve been training for (RnR New Orleans) is now less than 2 weeks away! I am so completely psyched to get out and race again. It’s been over 6 months! I have also never actually trained for a half marathon before so I’m excited to see how the training will affect how I feel during and after this race. I am not aiming for a PR this time considering the injury recovery but I would really like to finish pain-free and happy. 🙂

Let’s Try this Marathon Thing One More Time

When I decided not to run what would have been my first marathon in October 2015, I more or less dropped this blog too.  Grad school and a promotion at work consumed my life and I focused on those things and recovery.  But now I’m back and feel like I have something to write about again!

I’m registered for the Delaware marathon on May 8th.  I am very excited for this race and am trying to do everything completely by the book this time as possible.  I’m running my miles to the very best of my ability, working with a coach, watching what I eat, and this week even started adding back in strength and cross training.  It’s actually feeling like it can happen this time!  I’m especially excited for what will be the first race post injury: Rock and Roll New Orleans half marathon.  My only goal for this race is to genuinely have a good time and not hurt myself.  I think it’s a reasonable goal. 🙂

 

Updates: Running Vegan?

If you could think of the worst time of the year to give up meat, what would it be?  Early summer before all of the cook outs?  What about before an annual fish fry?  Or…How about a couple weeks before Thanksgiving?  Well, that’s what I’ve done.  And actually, it’s not awful.

A few weeks ago I started watching a few YouTube videos and found myself watching Gary Yourofsky’s “Best Speech Ever”.  I heard him talk.  Cried for half an hour and decided I couldn’t eat animal products.  Then I cried for another half an hour when I realized we hadn’t had dinner yet and I had no idea what to make.  I was internally freaking out.

I declared it a “snacking” dinner.  We just got a bunch of small things and called it good.  I think had a bagel and some grapes.  Not an awesome meal, but I realized there are things available that really don’t include meat or animal products.

The next day I dug in with research.  I watch lots of YouTube “what I eat in a day vegan” videos, read blogs, poured through recipes.  I went to the store and came home with a trunk load of vegetables, some Earth Balance (amazing vegan butter substitute), bread and pitas.  I joined a couple Facebook support groups, listened to podcasts and found some helpful iPhone apps.  I tried some new recipes, then some others.  I started to experiment with tofu, tempeh, vegan cheeses, agave, and nutritional yeast (or “nooch” as the cool kids call it).

I started to feel absolutely incredible.  My face started to noticeably clear up almost immediately.  I lost a little bit of weight.  My running didn’t suffer at all.

I’m not ready to commit to this for life, but right now life is pretty good.

Now I just need to survive Turkey Day. 🙂  I’ll keep you posted.

Fitness Update and (belated) Happy Halloween!

Wow, how is it already November?!  Last week was good as fitness endeavors continue.

What I didn’t mention in the video is that I signed up for swim lessons!  They start this Thursday.  I’m both excited and a little nervous.  It’s impressive and strange how those first-day-of-school-jitters are still around even though childhood is long gone.  Will I look like a dork?  Will the other swimmers think I look funny?  Did I get the right swim suit?  Should I bring goggles?  Even if I decide not to pursue triathlons, I’ve always wanted to learn how to swim and think it’s a good life skill.  My boys laugh at me because I am taking swim lessons and they are already good swimmers and super comfortable in the water.  So stay tuned for adventure in not drowning. 🙂

More Races! More Running!

New Race!
Things just keep getting better!  This week I registered for the New Orleans Rock and Roll half marathon with my BRF in February.  We really enjoyed the Rock and Roll Chicago half marathon earlier this year and am super pumped for this next one!  I’ve never been to New Orleans so it will be an adventure to check out a new city too.  It’s also nice to be feeling well enough to feel like a half marathon in February will actually be possible. 🙂

Ankle Stuff!
The ankle is actually mostly feeling better lately.  I would give it a solid 97%!  I’ve started using alternating head and ice in the evenings which seems to be helping.  And I’ve only needed the ibuprofen a few times this last week.

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Pic from yesterday’s run. Who doesn’t love Fall!?

Running Stuff!
Last week I really focused on building a post run recovery routine.  I make sure to do some calf stretches while taking in some extra fluids.  This seems to be helping the ankle as well.  I’m trying to build in healthy habits to reduce risk of injury as my workouts build in intensity.  And they have been!  I’ve been working with my coach and the workouts have been gradually increasing steadily each week.  The progress is really encouraging and it’s so nice to get out while the weather is still beautiful.

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My super sister in law helped me with this healthy protein pumpkin muffin recipe – thanks lady!

Recipes & Losing Weight!
I’ve also been working on trying new recipes and finding healthy ways to enjoy Fall favorites while dieting.  I have been trying to lose a few lbs and realize that pumpkin spice lattes every day won’t get me there. 🙂

And if you’re interested, here is this week’s update on YouTube. 🙂

And… We’re Back

Back in school, that is.  With a full time job, a house full of active hockey players and running/fitness aspirations, I’ve been taking my Ph.D. studies at a relatively leisurely pace.  One class at a time. Usually with 2 or 3 week breaks in between.  I’ve taken two 3 month breaks for the past two summers to focus on the kids’ sports, the race season, and mental sanity.  That’s unfortunately not an option this Spring/Summer and the way things shake down I’m on just 1 week breaks between classes until sometime early November.

Last week was that one, short week off.  Last month I took a brief glance at the required textbooks for this class that has started this week.  One was the beloved APA manual. Got it, no worries.  Two other books were used in another course – done, no big deal.  The third was new to me so I ordered it.  Done and done.  Logged into my course yesterday to glance at the syllabus, read the instructor welcome, yada yada – essentially giving myself “class 1”.

Today I decided to gather all the books together and start going through the week’s material.  I busted open the box from Chegg (should have done that a couple weeks ago).  The used book is falling apart but at least I have it.  APA manual, have it but probably don’t need it.  (Most of that stuff is available on the internet and I’ve been writing with APA for so long I could do it in my sleep.)  Where are my Tochim and Creswell texts?  Searched all over and wouldn’t you know it?  These two happen to be the only two books I’ve ever borrowed and returned from Chegg.com prior to this course.  A quick check on my Chegg order history confirms what I was dreading.  I have never, ever, ever returned or sold a book before these two.  Not for my undergrad.  Not for my masters.  $200.00 and 15 minutes later, one text is on it’s way rush shipped to me and the other is loaded on my kindle.  Thank you technology.

The lesson here kids? DO. NOT. GET. RID. OF. YOUR. TEXTBOOKS!!!  Like, ever.

Lol Amazon.com - No.  I will not be buying this book for a third time.  Nice try though.

Lol Amazon.com – No. I will not be buying this book for a third time. Nice try though.

While it is tempting to sit here and continue to blog and research the latest and greatest running tips I will get started on my homework and do what I can.  Working in the education industry as instructor and administrator, one of the most frustrating excuses a student can give is “I don’t have my textbooks for X reason, so I didn’t do the work”.  I’m not that student.  That’s not how I roll.  My rushed book (which is the majority of this week’s reading) will be here Thursday.  In the meantime there is plenty else I can do to get started and enlighten myself on the intensely interesting and gripping subject that is quantitative research design.