Monday, August 20, 2012

Summer Running

So, I have had a heck of a time actually sticking to running over the summer.  I hate running when it's super hot, and since I live in Texas, I can do one of three things: 1) run SUPER early in the morning (like, before 5AM), 2) run late in the evening (it often doesn't get below 100* until 10pm, and I choose not to run when it is that hot out), or 3) run on the treadmill.  None of these options is appealing to me at all.  I have run on the treadmill 2 times, done a few night-time runs, and a few long runs on Saturday mornings around 7AM.

I'm training for the Spirit of Survival half marathon October 7.  I should really put training like this: "training", due to my lack of actual running.  Good news is I have added in weight lifting and I've only missed one session of that since we started 5 weeks ago.  I'm really enjoying my time in the (air conditioned!) gym, while I haven't been excited about running in quite a while.

I'm hoping that with cooler weather on the way, I will get back into a good running routine soon.  My goal this week is to run 3 times.  Hopefully I will do it!

Friday, June 22, 2012

My recent runs

So last Saturday I did my first run post-San Diego.  I ran about 2.5 miles, nothing crazy.  My pace, however, was really strange!  I ran negative splits for the first 2 miles, and then ended up walking/running a lot slower the last half mile or so (partly because there is a big hill leading up to the end of the course I usually run on Saturdays, haha).  Anyway, I finished with a pace of 13:31, I believe, which is about a minute faster/mile than I've been running recently.  It was weird!

Monday I went on a bike ride, about a 10 mile loop with my husband.  I tried to do some running after that but only managed about half-1 mile because of the heat (and the rubber grippies on my bike shorts were pulling very uncomfortably on my skin!).

I've been slacking a lot in the fitness department lately, so I'm hoping to do better starting next week.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Race Recap - San Diego!

So, I've been slacking on the blog a little bit the past week or so, but I feel like I have an excuse - I've been recovering from running the Rock and Roll San Diego half marathon on June 3!

The trip to San Diego was uneventful.  We got to check in to the hotel early, which was really nice, and then we had lunch at a nearby cafe.  Afterward we visited the expo and picked up our race packets - the shirt was the correct size, which is always a plus.  I was also happy to note it wasn't a dark color - in the past my RNR shirts have been black or navy, making them pretty much useless as training shirts, since they are too hot for sunny workouts and too dark for running at night.  This shirt is a nice light blue color. :)

My roommate for the trip ended up with a slight case of food poisoning, so I stayed in the room with her Friday night and Saturday during the day, taking the opportunity to rest, watch some TV, and read.  In retrospect I'm really glad I did this, even though I didn't get to see many of the sights in SD - my foot was trying to get sore from the small(ish) amount of walking that we did on Friday and Saturday.

Sunday we had to wake up at 3:30AM to make the 4:15 shuttle to the start line.  I am so not a morning person, but I managed to do OK, lol.  We went through the port-a-potty line a couple times, and then lounged in the grass while waiting for the start, which was at 6:15.  We lined up in the corrals after the start gun was fired and waited nearly an hour to cross the start line.

I ran with my friend for the first couple of intervals, and after that I took off on my own.  I've never raced a half marathon solo before (The Husband has always been with me in the past, barring Nike, when I had 3 teammates with me instead).  My intervals were kind of all over the place since I basically decided after the first couple of miles to just run and walk when I felt like it.  I kept up a pretty good pace, with a few faster miles here and there.

The worst part of the race was the highway on/off ramp section - there was nowhere level to run, even on the shoulders, so you were running at a slight angle.  Lots of people complained that their knees were bothering them because of this, and I was no exception.

Around mile 8 I caught my friend again and we did ~2 miles together before I had to peel off for a port-a-potty stop.  There was a good band where I stopped - Danny and the Tramp, which made the waiting in line more enjoyable.  Once I exited the "rest area"  I was ready to get to the finish.  I had about 3 or 4 miles left at that point, and this is where I started getting tired.  Mile 10 felt like the longest mile of my life, and by mile 11 my whole body was just sore and tired - especially my low back/sacrum area.

As I approached the finish line I started to feel a great sense of accomplishment - I did it!  I ran a half marathon (mostly) solo, and I didn't die, outpace myself, or anything!  It was pretty exciting.  I got my finish line photo made, grabbed some Cuties clementines, TruMoo chocolate milk, and headed for the Team in Training tent to get checked in.  Then I got a half of a PB&J and a chocolate chip cookie and got on the bus back to the hotel.

My watch time (I stopped it for my 2 port-a-potty breaks and 1 short stop where I was mixing some Gatorade with water because it wasn't dilute enough) was 3:10:49, which is about average for me.

I just registered for my 7th half marathon yesterday, which will be October 7 in Lawton, OK.  I'm taking some time to do other workouts right now, and training for that race starts in mid-July. :)

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Brick Gone Wrong

Yesterday I decided to do my second brick workout.  I went with The Husband to the usual place we ride, which is outside our city natatorium.  He was going to do some swimming drills, so I decided I'd run a mile or so while he did that.

I took off at my usual pace, and felt pretty good.  The sun was beating down on me a little, but it didn't feel too bad.  I ran longer than my usual interval, and everything was feeling pretty good.  I returned to the parking lot, dripping sweat and really, REALLY hot.  I pulled out my phone to check the weather and saw that it was 95*, with a heat index of 98*.  HOT.

I stood around waiting for The Husband to come out of the natatorium so we could ride our bikes.  Another friend was joining us, and once she and Tyler were there we started getting ready to go.  I put on my helmet, and within a minute or so I started feeling lightheaded and dizzy.  I gulped down some Nuun (Tropical flavor, which was new to me!) and tried to cool off.

After a few minutes I decided to sit down and removed my helmet.  We decided to skip the ride since I wasn't feeling too steady, and we went home.  I felt bad for making The Husband miss his scheduled ride, but it was definitely for the best.  We will try to make up for it this afternoon, but we're under a severe thunderstorm warning right now, so that may not happen.

Lesson learned - even if a run feels good, it takes some time to get reacquainted with hot-weather running!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Last "long run"

Saturday I did my last "long" run before the San Diego Rock N Roll half this coming Sunday, June 3.  I was on my own for the first half of my workout, as The Husband decided to do a longer trail run instead.  I did pretty well keeping my normal pace and intervals going (my Garmin 110 doesn't have the built-in interval timer, so I look at my watch A LOT when not running with The Husband, who has our intervals set on his 305).

I spent the second half of my 5 miler walking with a teammate, who will also be my room mate in San Diego.  I noticed afterward that my back was pretty stiff, and the bottom of my two smallest toes on the right foot were a bit sore, but not blistered.  I noticed these ailments following the Cowtown half in February as well, and I think it has to do with walking more than running during a workout.  Strange!

This week I'm just hoping to get in 2 short runs, probably 2 and 3 miles.  I also want to ride my bike, but we'll see about that.  I've decided to nix the weight lifting routine until after I return from my race, because I want my legs (and the rest of me!) to be fresh and not experience lingering soreness during my travels and race.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Mid-week update

So, Saturday we did a 6 mile "long" run.  I'm tapering for San Diego (June 3!), so I'm not too worried about mileage at this point.  It was a pretty good run, nothing special.

Monday The Husband and I went for our second trail run.  This time we did 3 miles around dusk (it was just getting dark as we finished up).  It was a pretty good run, except it was pretty warm and the humidity increased throughout the time we were running.  There were also some black buzzy insects that kept following us and buzzing really close to our ears, which is annoying.  And, there is this flowering shrub/vine thing, apparently ubiquitous around these parts, that is in bloom and the smell is AWFUL.  I'm sure someone would probably like it, but it's too strong and cloying, and it dries out my throat.  I think I may be mildly allergic. :-/

The evil plant looks something like this:
Abelia chinensis, courtesy of Kurt Stueber, under Creative Commons Attribution - Share Alike 3.0
And can be found lining the trails and sidewalks in many areas, often right alongside the much nicer smelling honeysuckle plants.  The ones I'm seeing now aren't quite in full bloom like this, but they are already VERY fragrant.

As we were heading back to our car after the trail run we spotted a large snake.  It was dark in color, about 3' long, and 3" in diameter at the largest part.  Not sure what kind it was since it was getting dark (and, to be honest, I didn't want to get any closer!), but it was kind of creepy, haha.

Today I'm doing my first weight-lifting workout and then doing another brick.  Hope I can still move tomorrow!

Friday, May 18, 2012

First Brick Workout!

Yesterday I completed my first-ever brick workout.  I will be doing a lot of these until my duathlon in July to get used to the transition between running and biking and biking and running.

We did a bike/run brick around 6PM yesterday evening.  First, we biked for 10ish miles.  It was fairly uneventful, with a few good-sized hills thrown in for fun.  We saw some goats, cows, and horses while on the bike, since the route we took is in a semi-rural area.  At one point we turned on the wrong road, and as we were turning around, I was going a little too fast.  I ended up slipping off the edge of the asphalt (no curbs in rural areas, remember!) and nearly sliding down the steep edge of the ditch (no shoulder on the road, either!) while still mounted on my bike.  I managed to stop myself without falling down, but my pedal did scrape up (and subsequently bruised) the back of my right calf.  But, all's well that ends well, right? :)

Once we returned to the car, we had to put our bikes back on the car, so there was a bit of a rest in between the biking and running, but that's OK.  We ran about .75 miles, just so I could get a feel for what it's like.  It wasn't as weird as I thought it would be, but my muscles and joints definitely felt very loose and jello-y.  It was pretty warm compared to the temperatures I've been running in, so my heart rate was high and I had to walk more than usual, but it was OK.

All in all, I really enjoyed my first multisport workout experience, and I can't wait to do it again!  Tomorrow I'm doing 6 or 7 miles with the team.  I think we may go by the rec center tonight to sign up for memberships (The Husband gets a discount as a city employee), so hopefully I'll start lifting weights and taking classes, too!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

I'm on fire!

I actually managed to get in a run on a Monday!  This must be some kind of miracle, haha.  I can very rarely motivate myself to get out and run on Mondays, for whatever reason, but The Husband wanted to go, so we went.

We planned to do 3 miles, but since we tried out a new route, it ended up being 2.75 instead, which is fine.  I learned that drinking a latte/mocha before running is a bad idea - it caused some reflux/heartburn/discomfort which was no fun.  It was also a bit humid which always makes me slower than usual.

Our pace was pretty slow for a short run, with 14:54/mi.  But I got out and did it, and that's the important thing! :)

Monday, May 14, 2012

10 miles - DONE!

Finally, I got my ten-miler in.  I went into the run knowing that I had to get the miles in no matter what happened.  I made sure and ate something beforehand.  I wore shorts I knew wouldn't ride up.  I used Body Glide on my armpit where my sports bra likes to rub.

And, it went really well!  We took a slightly different course than usual, which was kind of nice.  Around mile 7 we got totally drenched by a sudden (though not unexpected) downpour, which left me squishing in my shoes for the last 3 miles.  It was the perfect temperature for running in the rain, though, so it was kind of nice!

I didn't have any foot pain during my run, which was pretty exciting!  I only took one longer-than-usual walk break, and stopped to walk for ~30 seconds a few times in the middle of a run interval, but that's pretty much par for the course when I do 10+ miles, so I'm OK with it.  Our overall pace was about 14:45/mile, which is about 40 seconds slower per mile than my last few long runs.

I'm feeling pretty confident that I'll do OK in San Diego.  I will probably be running alone (The Husband isn't coming, and I don't have another running partner on the team), which will be a first.  I'm hoping I can stay motivated and pace myself OK!  I should probably have practiced running alone more, though.

I'm planning on doing a couple of short runs this week, and then probably do 8 or so on Saturday. :)

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Slacking Off

So that 10 mile run that was supposed to happen Saturday while we were out of town?  Got pushed to Sunday morning, and then got skipped altogether.  *sigh*  Oh well, I still have time for 10 this weekend, and it absolutely must get done, since I need to taper (from what, I don't know, since my running has been practically non-existent lately!) after that for the race on June 3.

I did finally manage to go running yesterday morning, after a 1.5 week hiatus.  I only did 2 miles, but it felt like quite the accomplishment because I actually dragged myself out of bed at 6AM to get it done.  I had been having some hip discomfort on the left side, which happens when I've been inactive for a long period of time (usually this happens on the right side, though).  That, coupled with the fact that I hadn't worn my orthotics since Friday morning made my run pretty mediocre, and my feet burned pretty badly for a while during the run.  That'll teach me to ignore my PF, huh??

I'm planning to run 2-3 miles tonight, and then I have my 10 miles to do on Saturday morning.  Luckily I'll be with my team, and the marathoners are doing 20 this weekend, so there'll be plenty of support.  I'm also getting excited about my duathlon training, which will probably start next week.  I'm planning to participate in my first duathlon on July 22, in celebration of my 26th birthday (July 21).  It is a 2 mile run, 9.5 mile bike, 2 mile run.  After that I'm also planning on a 15k in September and a half in October, so I'm really hoping to get back in the swing of regular training.  Hopefully adding in some crosstraining and cycling will keep me motivated and injury-free!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Prophesy Fulfilled

I *knew* my luck was running out with excellent long runs, and this Saturday's scheduled 10 miler proved that was true.

Firstly, I didn't fuel properly.  Then, it was too humid, which made me have to stop and catch my breath, a LOT.  Also, for some reason my new Asics fitted shorts were riding up, causing me to have to pull them out of my nether regions repeatedly, despite the fact that they didn't do that at all on my 8-miler a few weeks ago.  Finally, the humidity was also causing sports bra chafage.  All of this plus my already sub-par attitude at the beginning of the run lead to me cutting my run short at only 4 miles.  I let The Husband continue on, since I didn't want to drag him down with me, and he got in almost 9 miles.

Sometimes I think we need runs like that to remind us that we're not invincible, and that not everything is going to go our way every time.  I can appreciate running for that reminder, LOL.

I also volunteered as a Sonic car hop from 8:30AM-6PM on Sunday, so that sort of made up for my shorter workout on Saturday.  I was so sore all over and TIRED by the time we were done.  I ran some mini Fartleks during my shift, especially during the Happy Hour rush from 2-4PM.  We earned a lot of money in tips to help fund cancer research, so I call it a job well-done!

I should probably go run a few miles tonight.  Luckily the weather has been pretty great in the evenings this week, so that should be some motivation to get out there!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Trail run + long run!

This week I managed to run two whole times, aren't you proud of me? ;)  On Wednesday afternoon, The Husband came home and we decided to go on our first-ever trail run.  There are some cool trails out behind the dog park here in town, so we laced up our shoes, sprayed on our sunscreen and bug spray, and hit the trail.

Trail running is a lot different from road running, let me tell you.  The constant ups and downs, concentrating on each footfall to ensure you don't trip and fall, and the rocky, bumpy terrain are more physically and mentally exhausting than running on a regular paved surface.  We only went about 2 miles, but we really enjoyed it!  We saw several other runners out on the trail as well.

Saturday morning we went to Grapevine as usual.  I decided to make this a cutback week and schedule 6 miles.  It was about 45 degrees when we started, which felt pretty good, except my hands were aching from the cold.  Once we got warmed up and into the sun it wasn't so bad, though.

One thing we've really been enjoying on our runs the past few weeks is the scent of honeysuckle.  It seems like it's everywhere this spring, and it makes me smile and breathe deeply every time we pass the vines.  The Husband and I have also been listening to a Pandora station of 90s music during our long runs, which has been pretty entertaining.  For instance, I learned on Saturday that "Waterfalls" by TLC is the perfect tempo for my usual running pace.  Who knew?!  Don't worry, we're being safe - no headphones, just playing through the speaker on The Husband's smartphone.  Hope we're not annoying everyone else on the trails!

Anyway, Saturday's 6 miler was awesome!  I think I'm about due for a crappy long run, but I'm really hoping I get a break during my 10 miler this coming Saturday.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Long Run - 4/14/12

Saturday we headed out to Grapevine for a long run with our TNT family. I decided to go for 8 miles. Pre-run fuel was a kolache/sausage roll (jalapeno cheese, to be exact!), not exactly the healthiest or most traditional option, but whatever.

We had a really great run, no foot pain or calf tightness for me! The weather was pretty great, too, not too hot or humid. We stuck to our intervals (5 run/2 walk) pretty much the entire time, and when I started to lag or tried to stop running early, The Husband did a great job of encouraging me to continue on, which I really appreciated.

We finished in about 1:57 (this included a long-ish bathroom break which I forgot to stop the watch for), so our overall pace according to the watch was about 14 minutes/mile. Not too bad for a long run!

We're planning on a short run this evening (either on the road or trying out some trails), and probably another tomorrow evening. Saturday will be either 6 or 10 miles, I haven't decided yet.

Monday, April 9, 2012


So lately I've been feeling really stressed because of school. I have a lot of things coming due (it's about 4 weeks until finals are over), and between that and wanting to spend some time relaxing with The Husband after he gets home from work, running (and housecleaning, and lots of other things!) tend to fall by the wayside.

Anywho, on Saturday I woke up at 5AM to get ready for my long run and I just wasn't feeling it. At all. I ended up crawling back into bed (with a side of guilt for skipping out on my mentoring duties with Team in Training) and vowing to do my long run on Sunday morning. We got up yesterday morning and went out (after a long time convincing myself that it wouldn't be that bad). I was having some pretty crazy foot and calf pain/tightness during the first mile, which started to loosen up but didn't go away totally. We ended up only doing 4 miles out of the 8 I had planned, but it's better than nothing. Pace was about 15 min/mi. due to a lot of extra walking to give my feet a break.

I'm hoping to get in some more miles than I have been this week, but school is threatening to drown me in homework, so I'm not sure how that's going to go.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Weekday running

You know, this whole running thing would be a heckuva lot easier if I didn't have school, work, and LIFE getting in the way all the time! ;)

Yesterday I had my appointment to get my castings made for my custom orthotics. It was a surprisingly quick and easy process, and I should get them in a few weeks (I'm assuming, I kind of forgot to ask). The casting materials they use are pretty cool - they put a plastic bag over your foot, and then they wet what looks like a no-show sock with water, put it on your foot, and it magically hardens! Apparently it's made from fiberglass, which is a big step up from the plaster of Paris they used to use.

The weather yesterday on my drive home from work was GORGEOUS. It was nice and cool, with a breeze, and not *too* sunny, but not really cloudy, either. I had grand plans to go for a 4 mile run on the trail where we train on Saturdays, since I was going to be in that area for my appointment, anyway. Then I almost fell asleep in the chair waiting for the doctor to come do my castings, and by the time I left it had warmed up probably 10-15 degrees, and the breeze had died down. Plus I felt badly for not getting any homework done.

All in all, instead of my four mile run, I hit Starbucks, where I read an article for one of my classes on my Nook (love that it reads PDFs!) and then headed home. DH and I had takeout Chick Fil A for dinner and then FINALLY hit the grocery store. We also went by CVS to pick up my thyroid meds, and then we went for a short (2 mile) run. We did a fair bit of walking just because, so I don't know (or want to know!) our pace. And to top it all off, we had a pack of dogs come surging out of a house barking fit to raise the dead that nearly gave me a heart attack. :-/ Not the best run I've ever had (but probably not the worst). Looking forward to 8 miles on Saturday!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012


Missed another run. I'm planning to make it up this evening, it was only 2 miles. Life is so crazy right now it's hard to take the time to run when I just want to relax after doing homework all day!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Saturday Long Run - 3/31/12

This weekend's long run was AWESOME! My friend Bio (from Bio Experiments with Running) was in town, so she and The Husband joined me on a 6 mile run. The temperature and breeze were perfect, especially considering it was about 95% humidity during the entire run.

I had no foot pain at all during the run, which was fantastic! We did 6.2 miles in 1:30:54 for an average pace of 14:40 minutes/mile. Not the fastest I've ever run, but it was perfect for me. My foot was a little sore yesterday and this morning, but seems to be recovering pretty well from the run.

I have an easy 2 miles on the schedule for tonight, and a podiatrist appointment to get fitted for my custom orthotics on Wednesday afternoon. I need to add in more stretching throughout the day to aid in my recovery, but overall I'm really happy with my progress.

Friday, March 30, 2012


I'm already failing at sticking to my plan. That just figures. After I spent ~6 hours working on homework yesterday all I wanted to do was hang out on the couch watching Parenthood on DVD and eating leftovers. So I did, and it was marvelous. But it did not help me reach my running goals. Tomorrow is a new day!

Thursday, March 29, 2012


I just totaled up the mileage that I've done so far this year (not including several runs where I didn't wear my watch) - 50 miles. That's just sad. And I'm supposed to be training for races! I guess I need to get my butt in gear and actually put in the work, huh? Anyway, I just downloaded and printed my new training schedule for San Diego, so I'm going to try my hardest to stick to it, although the first couple of long runs might be shorter than the schedule since I'm just getting back into things.

So here are the runs I have scheduled for the next week, please help keep me accountable!

Tonight: 2 miles
Saturday: 6-7 miles
Monday: 2 miles
Tuesday: 4 miles
Thursday: 3 miles
Saturday: schedule says 10, I say 8-9

I can DO this!!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Vacation Run

Last week I traveled to Las Vegas, NV to visit my mom during my spring break. I brought 2 sets of running clothes so that I could do a bit of training while I was away, and on my first morning after arrival, I set out to run around their neighborhood.

I did 2 loops of their gated community, which totaled about 1.6 miles. Not a very long run, but better than nothing (especially after an evening of wine tasting and beer drinking the evening before). It felt pretty good, and the best part of all: NO foot pain! I guess I'm getting used to the orthotics, which is a relief.

I didn't manage to get in my second run, and I haven't run since I returned, but I'm planning to go out tonight for a few miles.

In other news, I've decided to switch events for the summer. I was originally planning to run the full distance in Anchorage on June 23. That got changed to the half after my PF diagnosis, just so I wouldn't aggravate things. Now, after looking at my class schedule for the summer (and considering my fund raising minimum), I have decided it would really be best to switch to the Rock n Roll San Diego half marathon, June 3. This way the event will occur during my 3 week break from classes, so I won't have to do homework (or end up behind in class) while I'm away. I'm a little sad about missing out on Anchorage, but I know it'll be there in years to come. On the bright side, I will get to meet one of my friends from the Interwebz while I'm in San Diego, and it will be my first visit to southern California!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Picture post

I know what you're thinking - 2 posts in one day? This must be MADNESS! :-)

I noticed the other day while perusing some other running/fitness blogs that I haven't posted any pictures of me here yet. I decided to remedy this by asking The Husband to take pictures whenever we go running. Saturday's the only time we've gone since I asked, so here are some pictures from our run Saturday morning.

Since it was St. Patrick's Day, our TNT coordinator dressed as a leprechaun. He really pulls this look off, don't you think?

A shot of me coming down one of the large hills on the east course.

The course we run on is surrounded by nature, I love how beautiful everything looks in the early morning light.

The Husband and I at 3 miles - decked out in green.

Another picture of the sunrise.

Saturday Long Run - 3/17/12

FYI: Saturday is our normal long-run day. I wake up super early (around 5:15AM), drive ~45 minutes to the area where our Team in Training group meets, and we start running around 7AM. I love running with a group - although I don't run "with" anyone besides The Husband usually, it's great to meet with like-minded people and run for a common goal.

Anyway, Saturday the full marathon folks were scheduled to do 12 miles. I, of course, am injured, so I've just been doing what I can. Saturday I decided I'd do at least 4 and see how it went, since it was only my second time running in the orthotics. The first 2 miles still felt terrible - my feet were fatigued/achy-feeling like I had run 13 miles already. This sensation stuck with me (at varying levels of intensity) for about 2 miles, and then - *poof!* - it stopped! I guess it's just a warm-up thing, because the next two miles went by with no aching, burning feeling AND I wasn't experiencing any arch or calf pain. It was great! I still decided to stop after 4 miles, although I think I could have gone longer. I don't want to push too much too soon while breaking in the orthotics.

Since I'm a bit behind in my training plan I think I may shoot for the half marathon (and a PR!) in Anchorage. I can set my sights on a full for December or February, I think, and get in solid training for that. The only trick will be keeping up my base mileage over the summer - it's SO HOT here in Texas that each run is an epic battle of the will just to get out the door.

This week I'm planning to run tonight (2-3 miles or so?) and 2x while I'm visiting my mom in Las Vegas. My flight leaves early tomorrow morning, so I may not post again until I return on Saturday.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

My week

So, I've had my orthotics for a little over a week now. I don't notice them at all while walking around anymore, so I'd say they're "broken in" for general activity. I ran in them for the first time on Saturday morning - that was an experience. I made it about 1/2 a mile before my feet started aching, and by 1 mile my feet felt like I'd gone 10 or more. Not an ideal situation, but I know that it will take some time for my feet to adjust to running with the orthotics.

This week I haven't done any running, mostly because I've been biking to and from work since Tuesday (my car is in the shop). So that's 6 miles of biking, 3 miles each way! I might try a short run tonight to see how things are feeling, but otherwise I'll just try to increase my distance on Saturday.

I have also been very good about not going barefoot in the house (with the exception of middle-of-the-night bathroom trips) by either staying in my (old, worn-out running) shoes + orthotics or wearing my Birkenstocks when I get home. I have also started rolling my feet out with a frozen water bottle. Now I just need to remember to do my stretches and increase the amount of time I'm icing/rolling my feet.

I still haven't heard back from my coaches on a revised training schedule, so I'm thinking I'll just make one up for myself. I will ask The Husband for his feedback as well, since he's *actually* run a full before. Stay tuned!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

My 1st Podiatrist Visit

So. I had my first visit to the podiatrist yesterday afternoon. Aside from a ridiculously long wait (it was about 40 minutes past my appointment time when I was taken back, and about an hour total before the doctor saw me), the appointment was good.

The bad news: I have plantar fasciitis in my right foot. It is not presenting with the typical heel pain, but rather starting at the ball of my foot and moving back along the arch. I have decreased range of motion in my big toe (especially on the right (injured) foot, but it's starting to affect the left toe, also). This is all caused by the way my foot moves when I walk and run.

The good news: I don't have to stop running! I need to do fewer runs overall, but I don't have to stop completely, which is good.

The treatment: I am to ice, stretch, and massage my foot. I am not to walk barefoot. I am wearing non/semi-custom orthotics for now, and once my insurance approves, I will be molded for custom orthotics. Not sure how long it'll be before that happens and they are ready.

I'm breaking in my orthotics right now (2 hours yesterday, 4 today, 6 tomorrow), and I should be able to do a modified long run on Saturday. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

1/2 Marathon Recap + Foot Pain Woes

So, we did it! We ran the Cowtown half marathon on Feb. 26. The weather was *perfect* for a race - around 50*, partly cloudy, and breezy (transitioning into gusty winds toward the end of the race). As you can tell from my blog, our training was not up to the usual standard, so we ended up walking the second half of the race due to my foot pain and the Husband's IT band discomfort. We finished in about 3:28, so definitely not our best time, but we had fun.

After the race I took the week off from running, but I did ride my bike on Thursday afternoon and Sunday morning!

Sunday evening we headed out for my scheduled 8-mile long run. Again, we had great weather for our run. We ran a different route than normal, which was fun. But my foot started feeling "off" around 1.25 miles, and got worse from there, escalating to a 3 or 4 on the pain scale intermittently. We rounded it out at 5.5 miles, and I immediately iced my foot. Haven't been running again yet, but we'll head out for 3 miles tonight and see how it goes.

I've scheduled an appointment with the podiatrist for tomorrow afternoon. I've never been to a foot doc before, so I'm hoping for a good experience, a diagnosis, and a fast recovery! I definitely recommend seeing a doctor sooner rather than later when you think you have an injury. Best-case scenario, it's a wasted copay, and worst-case, you have to take some time off. But it will be less time than if you wait too long to see the doctor! I realized when filling out my new patient paperwork that I've been having this foot pain on and off since mid-January, so it's definitely time to get it looked at. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Long Run Saturday

Saturday we had our first Team in Training run at our usual location in Grapevine, TX. It was raining, so we skipped the nutrition clinic we were supposed to have and got right down to running. We had four miles on the schedule, so off I went into the rain. The temperature was around 45* I think, with a light but steady rain.

I have only run in the rain one other time, and it was at least 80* that time (and the rain was a lot heavier), so this was a different experience for me. I had a really, really great run! I enjoyed the rain, running in nature (as opposed to in town, as most of my weekday runs are), and running by myself for the first two miles. I forgot my watch, so I don't know what my time was, but everything just flowed. It was awesome!

The 5AM workouts haven't been happening this week yet. I think we'll do a quick 2 miler tonight, and then resume AM workouts on Thursday. Sunday we're running the Cowtown half marathon in Fort Worth - we're woefully underprepared, but we've done several half-marys in the past, so I know we'll be fine, just slow.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Wednesday's Run

We got up at 5:00AM again yesterday to go for a run. We did about 3 miles (will have to add time/pace later, the watch is at home!). It was very humid and a little cool, but warm enough to wear shorts. It was pretty uneventful, although I was having some pain and tightness in my calves and right foot. I'm not sure if it's my shoes (which maybe have 25-50 miles on them) or if I just need to stretch more or what. Took a few extra walk breaks to try and avoid injury.

So far I am on track with my marathon training! It officially started Saturday and I've done 3 runs so far. I'm scheduled for 4 miles on Saturday but will probably run 6-8, since I have the Cowtown Half Marathon next Sunday and haven't had a run longer than 5 miles since my race in October. :-/

Monday, February 13, 2012

Back on the Wagon

Well, as you can see, it's been a couple weeks since I've run or posted anything. I got set back with a nasty cold for 2 weeks, plus motivation disappeared from our household for a while. We decided last week that today would mark a change - we're now working out in the mornings, so that the stress of the day, evening activities, etc. don't impact our workout.

The alarm went off at 5AM, and we were up and at 'em immediately. We were out the door about 5:15 for 2 miles. It was about 35* and was just baaaaaarely misting. We kept a pretty good pace (I forgot to start my watch on time so I'll have to get the exact time, distance, and pace from the Husband later). It felt good to get it done, and also allowed Tyler and I to spend time together, which doesn't usually happen in the mornings due to the Husband's commute time. It also gave me time to read before I left for work, so hopefully it'll help me meet my reading goals for the year, as well!

I think tomorrow will be a cycling day, so we'll take turns on the trainer in the morning. Bonus: I can read *while* on the trainer, as well as before and/or after (depending on who goes first). Talk about multitasking!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

My Essential Gear, Part 1

If you are new to running, you might have some questions about what kind of gear you REALLY need, and what might be nice to have in the long run (pun intended). I want to do a "series" to tell you about the gear that I find helpful and to help you know how to shop!

#1 Running Shoes

Whether you're just getting started or you've been running forever, shoes are the most essential part of any runner's gear (unless you're into the whole barefoot thing, but that's a whole different topic we'll save for later (or never)). I run in Brooks Adrenaline model, which is a support/stability shoe for runners who overpronate.

I suggest that EVERYONE who runs or walks for exercise should go to their local running store and get professionally fitted for shoes (at least the first time you buy). These professionals will watch you run/walk, look at and measure your feet, and check out the wear patterns on your old shoes. All of this information helps them determine whether you need a neutral, motion-control, or stability shoe. They will then pull several different makes/models of shoes that fit your needs and have you try them out. Whichever one feels best to you is the one to go with. If your ideal shoe only comes in hideous colors, try to get over that. Running is not about fashion (for the most part). Once you've purchased your first pair of shoes, you can buy subsequent pairs online, usually for less money than the local store. However, it's always nice to support your local running store (LRS).

#2 - Wicking Socks

Wicking socks are great for preventing blisters. They wick the moisture away from the sole of your foot, keeping your feet cooler and drier than regular cotton gym socks. Some good brands are Balega, Feetures and Thorlos. You can also find Nike socks in packs of 3 for pretty cheap. My favorites are my Balegas, because they are really thin and comfortable.

Check back later for more gear suggestions!

Monday Night Run 1/23/12

Last night we started our run at about 9:30PM. We were only scheduled to do 2 miles, so we set out on our normal route through the neighborhood. The weather was pretty nice, barely any wind (thank goodness!). Can't remember the overall pace, but it was a little faster than 15 min/mi. My legs and feet felt a lot better than they have the past week, which makes me happy. Husband and I had a difficult conversation at the beginning of the run which put my mood in the tank, unfortunately. I have been feeling very stressed lately, so I'm hoping getting in a good long run soon will help with that, but you never know!

Run Stats:
2.04 Total Mileage
29:02 Total Time
14:13 Average Pace

Next scheduled run is 3 miles on Wednesday.

Monday, January 23, 2012

"Long" Run - 1/22/12

So, yesterday was supposed to be a "long run" day. My running partner (aka Husband) and I procrastinated badly, and so ended up doing our long run at about 8PM. We started out with the intention of doing at least 7 miles, but the weather made other plans for us.

We headed out to the local "rail trail", which is a long, paved trail that runs alongside our local commuter train tracks. We parked at one of the train stations (where there were exactly zero other cars), and started off down the trail. The trail is not really lit along the way, so it was pretty dark for the most part. We brought a small flashlight so we could keep an eye out for wildlife (i.e. skunks) that might cause problems for us.

The first mile I was in a horrible mood (because I didn't want to be running). After the 1-mile mark my mood started to lift, and we continued to take advantage of the strong tailwind that had been pushing us. My lower legs and feet were burning (I think I pushed too much during our long run last weekend), so we decided to turn around at the 2-mile mark just so we could be closer to the car if we needed to cut it short.

Miles 3 and 4 were killer. We were facing 20-30mph gusts with constant wind in between, which made it feel at least twice as hard as any other 2 miles we've run in the past. We decided to stop when we got back to the car (at four miles) because the wind was just exhausting. I still need to check my Garmin to see what my average heart rate was... but it didn't feel that high for the most part. It was really just my legs/feet that were holding me back, which is a total 180* from where I was 2 years ago. Yay for cardio endurance!

Run Stats:
3.94 Total Miles
57:02 Total Time
14:29 Average Pace

Tonight we're scheduled to do an easy 2-miler, so check back tomorrow to hear a bit about that!

My first post!

This blog is really just a way for me to journal about my running-related activities. I have been an amateur runner for the past 2 years, and have completed 4 half marathons in that time. I am currently training for a 15k and a half marathon, both of which are in February. After that I'm setting my sights on my first full marathon, the Mayor's Marathon in Anchorage, Alaska.

I will be training for Mayor's with Team in Training, which is a part of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. We fund train for endurance events (anything from half and full marathons to triathlons, century rides, and hiking), raising funds along the way to aid blood cancer research. I am also a fund raising mentor for my team.

Anyway, if you've stumbled upon this blog and have any questions, feel free to leave a comment! :) More posts to come soon.