Never Say Never

I once swore I’d never run a race in costume. I’ve never begrudged those who chose to do so, but it just wasn’t me.

Well, I’m running the Disney Star Wars Dark Side Half Marathon next month. And I’ll be wearing a costume.


I’ve not got it entirely together yet, but I’ll be going as Rey. I’m ridiculously excited and I plan to do photo ops during the race despite that that’s another thing I thought I’d never do and I hate getting my picture taken. I’m a serious runner, don’t you know?

My husband has some understandable concerns that I will try to run off with BB-8 if I spot him during the race. I told him that BB-8 wants to come home with us. I don’t think I have him convinced.

 I don’t know why he puts up with me. He did give me a BB-8 necklace for our 19th anniversary yesterday. He’s enabling my Star Wars mania. It’s cute that he thinks I’ve seen The Force Awakens only six times in the theater.

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A lot of WTF

Hello from Florida!

 

Roadie, the RRCA mascot, taking a nap on my afternoon coffee

 I’m down here getting my RRCA Coaching Certification. It’s been a helluva long time since I had to sit in a classroom setting — yesterday after lunch was rough. It was tricky to keep my attention on track even though I’m highly interested in the topic. 

It was a shock to go from 15 degrees to over 80 with humidity. My 70 minute run on Friday was slow, but ok. However, the run I did around 6pm yesterday wasn’t great. For some weird reason my cadence is much lower than usual. I don’t know what that’s all about. It tends to get stupid high, like 220 strikes per minute, when I have any sort injury or niggle, but it normally hovers around 192-196. It dropped to 182 yesterday, and I don’t know why. It translates to being slower than expected and I felt like I was running faster. It was strange. I hope it’s just some anomaly. 

At any rate, my expectations for the NYC Half are pretty low at this point. 

I’m wondering if some of my body being off lately is because I’m having issues with fibroids caused in part by an excess of estrogen. I had surgery to have several removed six years ago, but some have grown back. I’m seeing a new gynecologist soon to see about taking care of the new growths laparoscopically rather than having to cut through my abdomen again. The upside will be some weight loss (fibroids are pretty dense and can weigh a bit) and maybe a flatter stomach (I have an enlarged uterus from the growths), and perhaps we can address the hormonal/metabolic issues. My largest fibroid last time was the size of a lemon. Yuck. 

Still, I’m less than thrilled to be dealing with this crap again. I wasn’t running the first time I had them removed, and recovery was very slow — just walking was tough for weeks after. I’d like to avoid invasive surgery. No time for that in my training schedule. 

Fun times.  I hope to have it resolved soon. 

I’m supposed to run 10-14 miles tomorrow and I’m kind of dreading it. Here’s to hoping it goes better than I fear. 

 

Ireland won.

 We went to the Nations Cup horse show on Friday and had a nice family dinner last night, but otherwise this isn’t really a vacation for me. I’m actually feeling kind of stressed out right now, not only from the health issues but also my kid had a car accident (he’s fine) and hasn’t been dealing with his ticket, etc. I worry about him often. 

Waiting for all this to pass and not let it get to me too much. 

Pity Party

Hey all. Welcome to my pity party. Pull up a chair, but don’t get too close. I might hack a bright green glob of yuck on you.

I was feeling pretty great through Tuesday. I had a Pace Booster run, and it went fantastic. I felt like my old self, with light feet, relaxed gait and quick legs. The total run lasted 70 minutes including the warm up and cool down, with 2 times 15 minutes intervals and – 4 minute recovery jog between them. My first interval was at an average 7:42/mile pace and the second was 7:26. It felt pretty effortless.


So I was surprised when late yesterday I started feeling a rumbling in my upper respiratory. I had a fitful night of coughing, but I felt mostly ok this morning. Went to my usual personal training session, and my trainer took it easy on me (he didn’t like the sound of my cough — he’s smarter than I am about my health, thank goodness). I was going to do a 65 minute easy run today, but I ended up doing just 50 minutes and at an even more easy pace than planned. Which didn’t feel all that easy. My heart rate was a little high for the pace, which means my body isn’t quite itself today.

I’m glad I decided to do the run on the treadmill because 1) it was easier to cut the run short when I needed to, and 2) it was raining and in the low 40s outside. As soon as I got off the treadmill, I knew I was in rough shape. I shivered all the way home. My temperature was over 101 and I was coughing up the before mentioned yuck in a neon color that tastes like infection (sorry, TMI). I had a hot shower, got into my pjs, and fell asleep of the sofa watching old episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer <= comfort TV.

Oh, and I sound like a two-pack-a-day smoker. Charming.

Unlike when I got sick in November, I’m not going to push my luck. I’m running the NYC Half in a few weeks, but it’s not a goal race. It took me this long to get back to close to my fall fitness, so I don’t want to have another do-over because I “need” to stick to a training schedule. Luckily, my germs presented themselves at the start of a scheduled recovery week.

Back to my Buffy episodes. See, there’s a bright side to being sick. Except that there’s evil clowns in this episode. I may have to skip this one.

seriously, does anyone like clowns?

Happy Valentine’s Day

  I’m actually not a fan of this holiday, but I wanted an excuse to use this graphic. My husband and I went to see a friend in the play Much Ado About Nothing and grabbed dinner at Panera. Romantic. Especially since the bonehead at the register got me the wrong salad and since we did it as takeout, we didn’t find out the error until we got home. 

Holy hell, it’s been cold here. I haven’t run outside since last Sunday. Fortunately, my treadmill runs have gone well and I’m feeling more and more myself. I’m still only doing one stamina workout a week plus a long run — and no speed work — but we bumped up my mileage a bit and added back in an optional 20-30 minute easy run on Saturdays, so I’m back to running 6 days a week like I prefer. 

I’m still not planning on having a PR goal for the NYC Half on March 20. The buildings in the city make my Garmin go crazy, so I’ll be running by feel and I just want to have a good, solid run. I’ve already got my dinner reservations for the weekend #priorities. I’m hoping to score Hamilton tickets, although the only place they seem available is from resellers, and I’m not sure how much I can trust them. For cheaper tickets, I might take a chance, but these are starting at ridiculous prices for lousy seats. I suspect I’ll have to find alternative plans for keeping off my feet the day before the race. 

  I had mostly easy runs this week, plus one Pace Booster workout. The workout was for 60 minutes with two 10 minute intervals at Steady State pace. The end of the second interval felt rougher than I’d prefer given the pace, which a few months ago would’ve been much easier for me. But that’s where I am today. Just a few weeks ago, I was struggling for a 9:30-9:50 pace, so I’m counting my blessings. I hope I’ve learned my lesson about overdoing things. 

  Yesterday I watched the marathon Olympic Trials on my iPad while doing my 30 minutes on the treadmill. That was pretty fun. I totally pretended I was running with them. My coach did well under the conditions. She’s mainly an ultra runner and I think she’s got bigger events for her upcoming. She still came in 101st female, which was pretty good for a very warm day. I wish I could’ve been there, but the timing wasn’t great for us to travel to the west coast and back. 😦

I was really sad that Deena Kastor withdrew from the race due to an injury, but I’m taking note of her good decision for my own future benefit. Meb and Desi thrilled me for earning their spots on the Olympic team — love them both. I really admire how they execute their race strategies with confidence. And Shalane and Amy running together for 24+ miles were tremendous examples of teamwork. I’m so excited for our Olympic marathon team. And so excited that NBC actually aired the trials for the first time. It was so inspiring to watch. 

Today was 14 miles on my schedule, and there was zero chance I was going to run outside today:

    

Wind chill of -26. No thank you. You can see on my dash that my tire pressure was low due to the cold. Even my car didn’t want to go outside today. 

I entertained myself on the treadmill with season 3 episodes of the show Shameless. Which I must be because there is a lot of naked on that show and I was at the Y. I awkwardly blocked my iPad a couple times if there was simultaneous nudity and people nearby. 

I’m still entering each workout conservatively, adjusting speed if I feel good. I predetermined my paces for today and stuck with it except letting myself a little loose the last couple miles, but keeping the effort fairly easy. It’s tempting, since I’m feeling more myself, to push pace. However, I think it’s prudent to hold back a little longer and allow my body to continue to recover. Setting my pace plan ahead of the run is a good way to exercise restraint.  This was the longest I’ve run since Space Coast at the end of November. I’m finally feeling like I may get back to my previous fitness… and maybe even improve before year’s end. My personal trainer has been helping me rehab my niggles and build me back stronger. Taking it easy for awhile has been worth it, even though there were several weeks there that I was beginning to feel doubtful. And massively ticked off at myself. 

I’ll be treadmilling it for a bit longer, depending on how the weather shakes out this week. I do not have a badass card for running outside in below freezing temps or in icy conditions. And I don’t care. I don’t enjoy my face stinging, my hamstrings complaining that they’re cold and worrying about slipping and falling. I’m too old for that shit. 

NAASFP Certified Marathon Coach

I just received notification that I passed my certificatation and am now a NAASFP Certified Marathon Coach, which also allows me to coach other distances of running and walking programs.

The whole process took me about a year to complete, and I really feel like the program taught me a lot. In particular, the practical that I completed with a volunteer client helped me learn the ups and downs of coaching and how to be adaptable. I chose this certification because of the depth and breadth of the learning.

In early March, I will be attending a RRCA Certification course in Ft Lauderdale as an addition to my NAASFP credential. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, my plan is to offer coaching in exchange for charity donations. My next steps will be to set up accounts with some charities so that clients can make direct donations to their charity of choice. I’m really excited about the opportunity to share my love of running and do some good at the same time.

Getting Back to Myself

Hi there, strangers!

 

My new purse

 It’s been crickets here on my blog. Things are fine, I just have been hanging out on Star Wars message boards liked the obsessed weirdo I am (don’t ask how many times I’ve seen the film — I’ll plead the 5th). I’ve also been trying to declutter my house (no small task) and hauling bag after bag of items to the donation bins. My husband and I also took an overnight trip to Portsmouth, NH, which was fun.

My running is finally coming back after about two months of struggling. It hasn’t been easy tabling my previous goal of PRing at the NYC Half and scaling back to almost all easy runs, but it is what my body needed after I ran myself into the ground. Now I’m thinking I might not get a PR but I can probably safely aim for a course PR, which shouldn’t be hard as long as I’m healthy. The calf and hip flexor strains are all but gone now and I’ll continue to rehab both. And if I’m running a fever or coughing up a storm I will <u>not </u>keep trying to train at the same level through my sickness. Tough lesson to learn. Like a moron, I had to learn it the hard way. 

I’m going to try a little faster running on Friday (I have a 60 minute run with 10-15 minutes of steady state paced running in the middle) and see how that feels. The long runs have gone pretty well, albeit slow. My speed has definitely suffered the past 6-8 weeks, but I think it’s going to come back now that I’m not injured or sick. It’s a huge relief to not be anxious that my workouts will go poorly. Sometimes it’s nice to just run easy and enjoy it. 

A Step Back for Every Step Forward

I’ve been avoiding the blog because, well, my running has been frustrating lately. As one nagging pain eases, I seem to develop a new one. I’m sure it’s all compensation related, but whatever. It’s driving me nuts and is kind of depressing. I feel slow as hell and on the days when I do feel pep in my legs, one of my strains (the latest one is my left hip flexor) yells at me to slow down. For every decent run I have, I seem to have one lousy and one meh run to go along with it. I’m turning 46 in a few weeks, and I’m in serious denial. My aches and pains remind me of the facts. 

I’m trying to feel grateful that I’m still able to run, but honestly I’m just bummed. 

My son turned 21 today. That makes me feel positively ancient (my kid would agree). I’m still worried about him for a myriad of reasons. I have to say, the whole millenial generation baffles the shit out of me. If that statement doesn’t make me sound old, I don’t know what will. 

Aaaaannnnnd to add to my crotchety old lady list of complaints, this weather bites.