…and a Current Post!

Good evening from a delightfully chilly Chicago! When I flew out it was nearly 80 degrees and grossly humid; I definitely brought beautiful Vancouver weather back with me!

I had a great work trip and am feeling pretty good! I was able to get in a 4-mile treadmill run at the hotel fitness center yesterday, so all I need to do is run 3 tomorrow morning and I’ll be done with my weekly mileage. Some runners hate the tapering period because you get antsy by not exercising as much as you usually do, but with this work trip it was actually perfect for me. Next week might be a bit busy too, so I expect I’ll continue to enjoy the reduced mileage!

I’m definitely feeling some of my usual pain – as has been the trend lately, it’s not the actual tendinitis acting up, it’s my supremely tight hip flexors. While I did succumb to one of my pills on Tuesday, overall I’ve cut back dramatically in the past 5 days, which I’m really happy about. I was discouraged at feeling the pain this week but I reminded myself that I’m pretty much on my feet for hours at a time when I’m on these work trips, and that’ll be hard on anyone’s legs. So that’s that – from here on out I’ll just be using the pills as needed, rather than as part of my daily routine.

Last night I had two nightmares about the marathon – one was that I just wasn’t ready; I couldn’t find safety pins to put my bib on and I couldn’t find my gear bag to check. Then in the second dream I got a late start to the race – everyone was wayyyy far ahead of me and I was afraid the course would timeout before I was able to finish. And I thought I’d gone really far but it turned out I’d only gotten through 7 miles. And I had to go to work the next day with everyone expecting to see my medal and I had to tell them I wasn’t able to finish. It was a real bummer! I felt so relieved when I woke up!

I know exactly what’s going on – my family is coming to see me run and I want to make the perfect visit for them and it’s just taking me longer than I’d expected. So I’m way behind on that and trying to catch up. And part of me wishes I could just do one more really long run, like one more 16-miler. It’s not that I don’t feel prepared – I’ve been training all summer long – I guess it’s that I want to prove that my 20-miler wasn’t a fluke. Obviously I’ll be able to prove that on October 11, haha. πŸ™‚

Okay – must make dinner! Have a great evening!

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Old Post First!

I actually wrote this on Monday morning but my WordPress connection was weak so it didn’t post. Will write an updated post momentarily!

Good Morning!

Quick post before I head on a 2-day trip to Vancouver for work – I am so excited – Vancouver is one of my all-time favorite cities!

I’m so happy to write that I have been sans any painkillers in two days! It was a bit of a fluke – on Saturday night I went out with friends and just forgot to take my evening pill, and by the time I got home, around midnight, my hip really wasn’t bothering me so I just didn’t take it. Then I woke up on Sunday and still felt good, had a great yoga session (more on that in a moment) and decided to see if I could last the day without taking anything. Check! The main test was this morning before my run – I got through 6 miles with no pill and am going to see how far I can go! Either this is progress or all the good stuff in those pills just hasn’t left my system yet. πŸ™‚

The yoga class I go to on Sundays is considered for intermediate/advanced practitioners…I guess I’m not exactly a beginner anymore, but I’d hardly call myself intermediate. So I always set up in the back corner of the room so that I can look at everyone else to make sure my poses are somewhat in tune. The teacher is fabulous but I feel like some remedial student – she is constantly coming over to correct my form!! And it just makes me laugh – she’ll be like “see where your hips are facing?” And to me they look just fine but I try to put on an expression like “ohhh, I get it now” – even though I’m still clueless. πŸ™‚ Part of me is thinking about setting up in the way front next time so that she has further to walk to get to me! Hahaha!

This morning I did 6 miles and it all felt really good – I’m still pretty jumpy when I first get going, like my breathing is just out of control and I feel like I’m pushing well beyond my normal pace, but after a few run/walk cycles I start to settle down. It’s supposed to get significantly chillier here over the next few days – today may have been my last run in a tank top! My goal is to run 4 miles at the Vancouver hotel fitness center either tomorrow or Wednesday and then finish up with 3 before work on Thursday. The problem with my work trips is that I don’t have a whole lot of control over my schedule, so it’s possible I may not get a chance to work out – we’ll see. Anyway, after my run I had a great PT session with Josh – we think I might just have two more, one before the run and one afterwards – we’ll see!

And now for a selfish plea – there is an app out there called Motigo where you can record a cheer for me that will play during the marathon! All you need to do is download the app and click on the “cheer” setting – you can search for the Bank of America Chicago Marathon and you’ll see my name listed.Β All you do is record your cheer and say when you want it to play (sometime in the way later miles would be awesome!) and that’s it! From the app store it looks like there’s an advanced option with a fee, but the one I downloaded is free. I would love to hear from all of you, especially as the miles increase! One caveat – my mom did some experimenting and she thinks this app doesn’t yet work on Android devices. So those of you with iPhones can record away!

12-Miler Done!

So happy to be writing after a great 12-mile run – the last truly long run of the season! Next week we wrap it up with 8!

Not much to say about today’s run other than it felt really great. I got off to a bit of a shaky start with my breathing – it seems lately that I have to really warm up to get comfortable with running, especially during my long runs when my pace leader is able to start off with a bang. At first it made me really nervous and uncomfortable – lots of thoughts like “if I’m already struggling and it hasn’t even been a mile, how on earth am I going to get to 26?!” But now I’m more used to it – I just tell myself to settle in, settle down, and stop freaking out. Today especially I felt like I hit my groove around 5 miles or so. It’s so rare that the second half of a long run feels better than the first, but it definitely did today – the effort felt challenging but the time just flew by, fo’realz!

What I’m especially happy about is that my tummy stayed in control – I ate a UCAN chocolate bar this morning and felt energized to keep running without anything else other than water. And right now my stomach feels great – zero pain – a far cry from pretty much every day this week! So we’ll see how it goes – I’ll keep experimenting here and there but based on how I feel right now, after having completed nearly the first half of the marathon, I’ll stick with these bars. Thank you to my awesome cousin K for the recommendation!

It’s funny – I started to get a little pang of sadness today at one particular part of the trail. It was towards the end and for whatever reason it reminded me of a story that one of my running friends was telling us during the 15-miler, at that exact part of the course. And I started thinking about that run and how it was so hard and now so long ago, and it kind of made me nostalgic for the heat of our July runs, as crazy as that sounds! I know I’ll be feeling super sentimental when this is over – I did after my half marathon, and I barely trained for that race – just something to think about.

I mentioned yesterday that I’ve been reading running blogs and articles non-stop. I’m also reading a really lovely book by Kristin Armstrong (very much her own person, but you may know her as Lance Armstrong’s first wife – she refers to him as her “wasband,” which I think is adorable!). She writes a column for Runner’s World called “Mile Markers” and while it’s very much focused on running, it’s also really philosophical and thought-provoking. The book is just a compilation of her columns and it’s been the perfect thing to read this week – light but compelling, with certain passages that really resonate. She wrote something to the effect of when you’re not naturally gifted at something, it takes more determination, and in the end that makes you a stronger person. That so relates to how I feel about running. Ever single time I put my sneakers on I have doubt that I’ll be able to run a block, let alone a mile or more. It is a struggle every time, just sometimes less than others. And I think that’s why I take pride in it, even though I’m so slow. Growing up, a lot of things came easily to me – school, dancing, singing, relating to others – I never ran because it was too hard. And now that’s exactly what I’m chasing. It’s kind of cool to me.

And I am now signing off! Tonight I’m spending time with a friend in one of the suburbs, tomorrow I’m planning on a long yoga class at my gym, and on Monday I leave for a quick work trip to Vancouver – hoping to sneak in my 6-mile run beforehand! Will probably write before I take off. Happy weekend, everyone!

Catching Up!

I completely meant to blog yesterday and Wednesday and just forgot! So this is what’s been going on with me:

1. I think I made the right call on Wednesday morning when I woke up completely exhausted and still dragged myself to the gym…only to get on the treadmill for a minute and deciding that running was not going to happen. So I hopped on the elliptical and did my miles there – and I am not going to feel guilty about it. Frankly I think it was a morning I could have skipped the workout entirely – I was tired from my 8-miler the day before, when I was still tired from the 20-miler. I think a more experienced/confident runner would have just chalked it up to “listening to her body” and called it a day. So I’m glad I still got in the workout, even if it was just the elliptical – it felt like the right thing to do.

2. I had an absolutely awesome 5-mile run on Thursday. I was a little nervous that my lack of energy on Wednesday would turn into a bigger problem, but my run was pure bliss – gorgeous weather, absolutely gorgeous sunrise, and everything (breathing, legs, pace) just felt right. I felt redeemed!

3. I have been all-marathon, all the time – focusing on it constantly! My participant guide arrived in the mail tonight and I printed out the course route at work today – am going to study it intently! I know the first 13 by heart (not the actual course – that would be overkill – but the neighborhoods), but the last half will be new to me. In some ways I want to scope it out beforehand but I think I’m going to leave it as a surprise.

4. I’ve really been working on figuring out where my family can see me. There is an app they can download to track me and a manual tool where I input my projected pace and the tool spits out a map with highlighted areas and estimated times I’ll be crossing them. Today I saw some app where my family and friends can send messages to me and they will get played over my headphones during the race for support! I need to further investigate this!

5. I invested in new energy bars. I had tummy trouble all week (finally was feeling better today) and decided I had to at least try something new. So thanks to the advice of my fabulous cousin K (a nutritionist and a marathon runner), I have chocolate energy bars with a slow-release glucose, meaning one should last me for a good long while. Tomorrow I’m going to eat one before I head out and see how I do; I’ll have Shot Blocks in my belt in case I do need more fuel. It won’t be an entirely accurate test because we’re only running 12 tomorrow, but it’ll definitely help me gauge how my stomach reacts. Stay tuned for the outcome of this test – I know it’s fascinating stuff, hahaha. πŸ™‚

6. I have been getting all manner of support from my friends and family! Last week, just before the 20-miler when I was still completely filled with doubt, my awesome sister in law sent me these two cute little headbands, one that says Chicago and one that says 26.2. I wore the Chicago one for the 20-miler and am saving the second for the big day. It was such a fun surprise and meant so much to me! Β And today my absolutely wonderful friend M sent me this link – okay admittedly I’ve never been quite the last person in a race, but I TOTALLY.GET.THIS! I absolutely love this commercial and will watch it multiple times before the big day! See it for yourself!Β http://www.adweek.com/adfreak/nike-salutes-last-place-marathon-finisher-ad-thats-sequel-jogger-167161.

That’s about it for this evening! I am not quite as nervous for tomorrow’s run as I usually am for my group runs, which I guess is good – though I know anything can happen! I know for sure I can count on the weather though, so that helps a lot!

Talk to you tomorrow! πŸ™‚

 

Back in the Saddle, So to Speak

Writing on a lovely fall evening in my beautiful city! I can’t even count how many times I’m running and I see the city skyline and just revel in the beauty of Chicago – don’t get me wrong, I absolutely loved my ten years in Washington, but I feel so lucky to live here now!

Anyway, I think I wrote about my crazy tummy troubles after my 20-miler; it took me a good several hours to feel back to normal on Sunday afternoon. Yesterday I felt absolutely fine all day and into the evening, but just after I got into bed my stomach started cramping up – and stayed that way for HOURS. It was really uncomfortable and I didn’t know what to do – I know I could have taken something but I just feel like it’s better to ride that kind of thing out. Which was fine…except that it really didn’t let up until 1am-ish, so at that point I emailed my supervisor and said I was staying home sick today.

I slept in and woke up feeling better, not great, and went about my day – pretty much just stuck to the couch. By mid-afternoon I was feeling a million times better and decided I was well enough to tackle a run – my 8-miler mid-week run.

As soon as I started I knew it was going to be rough; my breathing was all over the place and it kinda reminded me of my Cape May runs – feeling like I was putting in a ton of effort but not really making much progress distance-wise. I definitely panicked. I tried to think of all the reasons why it could be a tough run and cited lack of sleep (even though I did sleep in this morning, it still wasn’t my usual amount of sleep), the weird stomach bug, not eating enough before the run (I didn’t have my oatmeal until noon-ish and didn’t get on the path until 4), and feeling a bit dehydrated (normally I can run a fair distance before I want water; today I was ready after 20 minutes!).

And then it dawned on me – hello – you just ran 20 miles on Sunday! Of course you’re going to have tired legs! I guess identifying the culprit helped because I continued to plug away. I thought many times about calling it at 4 or 5 miles (the other distances I need to run this week), but I felt like if I quit early I wouldn’t want to make it up another day. I was in it for the long haul.

Somehow I made it through. I kept telling myself that the hard runs are the ones that count the most because they’re forcing me to maintain my staying power (such as it is!) and to put my fears away – namely “if I can’t run 8 miles how on earth am I going to run 26?”

I guess I wasn’t the only one in this boat because I got an email from my pace leader afterwards – she said her run today was a total struggle too! So that made me feel MUCH better.

That’s all for tonight! Tomorrow I’m hoping to do 4 miles on the treadmill at the gym and I’ll wrap up my mileage with 5 on Thursday morning, hopefully. Also hoping my stomach sorts itself out – some people get colds or the flu, but I am totally prone to tummy troubles, and always have been. At least I’m used to it, I guess!

Have a great night, friends!

20-Miler!!!!!!

Clearly from my use of exclamation points, I finished the 20-miler this morning. πŸ™‚

The whole thing was just a great experience, precisely what everyone told me – as I’ve written before, CARA treats the 20-miler as a dress rehearsal for the real thing, so I had to pick up my packet material on Friday and there was a gear drop-off station and real water stops, etc etc etc – all really well done, really well organized, lots of volunteers out in force. And it was just a gorgeous day – cool in the morning with beautiful sunshine. Quite a change from our monsoon-miserable 14-miler!

Everything just went well – I slept well last night and felt really good this morning, found parking right near the race start, found my group no problem. The nice thing about this race was that CARA schedules the run/walkers to go first, so for one thing you get the experience of starting off right away (whereas for the marathon I’ll be a good hour behind the elites) and you all tend to finish in similar amounts of time. Granted the faster runners all pass you out on the course, but it works out.

My running partner and I stuck with our pace leader for a minute or two but quickly fell behind – no matter, because they were going a bit faster than what we were planning and we didn’t mind being behind the pack. I’d say the first 10 miles went really well – the first 5 flew, in fact. The way the course was designed, we ran north and knocked out about 4 miles, then the rest of the time was almost an entirely straight shot south.

All along in my head I knew I could default to walking and maybe around mile 12 I started to think more about it. I cannot blame my hip/tush – I really was not in pain – but my tummy was a bit on the fritz and I was just starting to feel tired all-around. So my running partner and I decided to run through 15 and then reevaluate. Sure enough, just past the 15 mile marker I told her to go on ahead. I wasn’t ready to stop running entirely but I was too tired to maintain our 5:1 ratio.

I held it together through mile 18, at first committing to a 2:1 ratio and then running…as the spirit moved me, haha. πŸ™‚ But by then my tummy was REALLY not happy with me so I was more than ready to walk it in. I walked at a fast clip and those last few miles felt great. I did get the momentum to run past the finish line, and immediately started to cry! I was just so grateful to get through it, especially with the injury and everything – and now I am way more confident that I’ll finish the big one. My goal for the real marathon will be to run farther than I did today, and I expect I’ll still end up walking – but that’s okay. I just want to finish.

One quick little anecdote – around the 12th mile, there was a small loop on the course, so we ran north and saw a bunch of runners going south, coming out of the loop. I wasn’t paying attention but my running partner was – she immediately spotted our pace leader and our other running friend. They were making a huge fuss about us, but again, I didn’t even notice – until our friend started yelling out “Lani Runs Chicago!!!” I was so disoriented – I was like “oh my god, are my friends here?!” I thought that was so cute, and what a fun boost!!!

A few lessons learned – today I didn’t do the gear check because I was able to bring what I needed (phone, keys, emergency cash/credit card, water, and Shot Blocks) in my running belt and arm band. But when the real race comes, I’m going to carry only essentials with me and put the rest in the gear bag. And I will add hand sanitizer for after the run – not to be totally gross but I needed a few port-o-potties and while they all had toilet paper (thank god!) , they did not have antibacterial gel.

I need to research other fueling options. My cousin K (a way better runner than I am!) told me about some newer products out there that are more gentle on the tummy. I don’t know why I’ve been okay so far and all of a sudden today my stomach went haywire (obviously I know just being nervous was part of it), but I have 3 weeks till the big day; I can definitely experiment with other products.

I need to double up on body glide – all things considered I actually feel pretty great and didn’t chafe TOO much, but I’ll be on the course at least an hour longer during the real race – I need to put on more glide than I’ve been using.

Otherwise I’m just going to continue taking the anti-inflammatories and continue foam rolling and stretching and continue the physical therapy. Oh – that was a super nice way to end the morning – the company my PT guy works for had a booth set up at the finishing party and my PT guy specifically told me to find him afterwards – I did, and he stretched me right out. I felt great!

That’s all for today! I shall spend the remainder of the day on the couch – I know I’m forever extolling the virtues of a post-long run walk, but today I just want to stay in my PJs and relax! I’m going to do some gentle stretches and foam rolling this afternoon but otherwise am totally going to indulge in sheer laziness – which is a rarity for me!

Two more long runs to go and then the big day will be here!

20 Miles Down, 20 to Go!

Sneaking in a blog post on a quiet Friday afternoon from work because I’m going out to dinner tonight and don’t want to psych myself out by writing much tomorrow!

I had a GREAT run this morning. Okay, actually it was a super challenging run, but in a good way. I was on the treadmill for the first time since mid-August (yes, I remember exactly when I had the run because it was right after my very first PT assessment), and I’d kind of been craving a treadmill run in a weird way. For one thing, I will have quality time with the entire Lakefront trail during my 20-miler on Sunday (that’s the hope, at least!), and I wanted to keep the views fresh. For another, it was raining and especially dark out this morning, so the treadmill was an easy fix. And finally, running on the treadmill challenges me in a way that trail running doesn’t – maybe it’s because you don’t have the chance to slow down and adjust your pace unless you’re manually playing around with the buttons, or maybe it’s the angle your running takes, but whatever it is, I always find it harder to run on the treadmill.

The reason I recall my last TM run so vividly is because it hurt. As soon as I put my foot down in my first running step it immediately triggered my injury. So I knew going into it this morning that that might happen again. But I wanted to see.

Usually I run on the treadmill at a 1.5 incline – I read at least a decade ago that that’s a good incline to mimic a real road, rather than zero incline, but during my last TM run I remember it hurt less when I lowered the incline. So this morning when I got started I set it at my normal warm-up speed and my normal incline, intending on decreasing it if need be. I did make it awhile on 1.5 but ultimately brought it down to 1.0 – fine with me. Happily I was able to increase the speed, so that was good!

Pain-wise I’d say it took some effort to get going but then somewhere past the first mile I realized I really didn’t have any pain. I know I’d been adjusting my gait at first but after I got going I think it was back to normal. I noticed I had very little pain in my hip flexors today, so maybe that means the treadmill angle was a benefit to me. Effort-wise…it definitely took some self-encouragment to keep going! Several times I thought about just wrapping up with walking but I was bound and determined to prove to myself that I could do all of my mid-week miles and get back on track with training, so somehow I stuck with it. At a few points I even increased the speed a little more and/or ran an extra minute. I felt GREAT when I was done – and relieved!

Today I’ve been feeling good too – I’m limping less when I first get up after sitting down awhile and I have very little pain. All good stuff. On my lunch break I went over to a running store to pick up my bib for Sunday – CARA considers the 20-miler a real dress rehearsal for the full marathon, bibs and all! I’ll get a finisher t-shirt at the end (assuming I finish!). And free beer and an extra session with my PT guy. πŸ™‚

As of this very minute I’d say I’m…90% nervous and 10% excited. I expect this time tomorrow it’ll be more like 95/5. And on Sunday morning…100% nervous.

Tomorrow is a rest day and I plan on doing just that – I’d like to go downtown to the Garmin store to buy my fancy running watch, so we’ll see! I told myself it was a weight loss incentive – I’m still 3 lbs from my marathon goal weight (which is like a million lbs more than regular runners but a good number for me!), but I think I deserve a treat. πŸ™‚ The watch will let me set my 5:1 run/walk ratio and will track my pace, overall time, and distance. So this means I don’t have to run with my app on and burn out my phone battery. I want that battery all charged up in case I need to Uber home on Sunday!!!!!

Will write again after HOPEFULLY finishing 20 miles on Sunday…and…cue the tummy ache!

10 More Miles Down…

Happy to be blogging from my couch, with ice on my hip and a glass of wine within arm’s reach. Today was a long day.

My schedule called for 10 miles, which I was bound and determined to get through. My pace leader is nursing a calf injury and was planning on breaking up her mileage throughout the week, but I need to get my endurance back and wanted to prove to myself that I could adhere to the training schedule. I felt like I did everything right leading up to this run: I foam rolled last night, did dynamic stretches this morning, took my pill, ate my banana, got plenty of sleep, and worked it out with my office so that I could come in late – thus running closer to sunrise and not jeopardizing my safety!

I guess the run started off okay, actually I know it did – as has been my habit lately, I was slower from the outset but my pain level was definitely in check. Actually the first 5 miles were fine, now that I’m thinking about it. But right around the 6th mile it started to feel really tough. The first 3 miles were in the direction of the “wind,” (which this morning was more of a very light breeze), and my next 5 were against it – at first it kind of felt refreshing (it was a gorgeous morning, I’ll say that much!), but again right around the 6th mile I actually wondered if I had been running in place – I felt like a turtle. I was going nowhere.

I told myself that once I hit 8 miles I’d be able to turn around and would wrap up the run with the breeze in my favor, but it was still just a huge struggle. Finally I pulled over to the side of the trail to walk it out a bit and told myself I had to get back in the game ASAP. I guess it worked, sort of – I did regroup and I did ultimately finish the run. I came home and was able to do some quick stretching and foam rolling before work, so that was good, but my hip flexors were screaming at me during my walk to the train station and then to work. On both legs.

I was a bit of a mess when I got off the train – usually I really do love my commute (I have a million ways to vary it up), but of course today was the day that the air broke down in the train car I was on. I kept waiting for it to come back on, rather than switch to a different car, and of course it never did. My mom asked me to call her once I was done with the run to let her know how I was feeling, and when I got above ground and made the call, I was definitely shaky. My legs were sore and tired, I was obviously overheated, and my tummy was already in turmoil. I almost broke down on the phone but I knew I had to keep it together for work, so I did.

I just didn’t think this was going to be such a struggle; it may sound weird but I LOVE a 10-mile run. Ever since I trained for the first marathon it’s always been a good distance for me. And I just did 14 on Saturday – this should not have been nearly the struggle that it was. Of course, this was also a very long midweek run – typically I don’t go into work after having run such a long distance. I had tummy troubles all morning long and if I’d been at home they wouldn’t have fazed me, but being at work and feeling so cramped up was just so uncomfortable.

But the day improved; I went for a few walking breaks which definitely helped to loosen me up, and my stomach was back on track by the afternoon. And then two things happened – I’d been emailing separately with two colleagues for work stuff and mentioned the running (they’re both runners) and I got the most lovely messages of support from them both. It made me really grateful and really encouraged and it reminded me how great the running community is. Later, as I was walking home, I ran into a few of my neighbors and they were all just so incredibly supportive and encouraging – one even offered to ride her bike alongside me if I wanted company on a long run, how nice is that?! And the others already promised to come out and cheer me on during the big day (the course route takes me within just a few blocks of where I live). So that was really awesome and uplifting.

And it was one of my colleagues over email who reminded me – hey – if I have to walk, I can walk! So maybe the new game plan should be to lighten up, do what I can with running, and if I need to default to walking after mile 16 or 18 or whatever, do it! As long as I can walk at a good clip I’ll be able to finish the course before they close it, so that’s really comforting to think about.

So that’s where we’re at. Thankfully tomorrow is a rest day and then I’ll wrap up my mid-week runs with another 5-miler on Friday. And then the big 20 will come…every time I come close to worrying about it I tell my brain to shut up, so I’m not going to dwell on it now! Hope everyone is having a nice evening – I am very happy to be going to bed and “sleeping in” until 7!!

5 Miles Done, 35 To Go!

This morning I got back into the swing of my mid-week runs with 5 miles in beautiful fall weather. I guess in general it went well, but I will say that my workout bonanza on Sunday might not have been my most brilliant idea – I was definitely sore yesterday and this morning. Not quite in pain…but sore. I’ve also noticed that my pace is slowing down…in some ways that’s not a big deal because I’ve always done my mid-week runs at a faster clip than my projected race pace, but then again that’s kind of what you’re supposed to do…so slowing down isn’t great. Of course…I’d rather run slowly than sit the whole thing out so I’ll take what I can get!

The anti-inflammatory pills are working really well to keep my tendinitis at bay; now I’m dealing more with super tight hip flexors. Every time I get up after having been sitting for awhile, I’m a little wobbly and it takes me more than a few steps to adjust. Today I really focused on walking tall and staying strong, rather than giving into limping.

I got an official update from the course directors today and it actually listed the deferment deadline as next Tuesday; previous emails have listed the deadline as tonight. So…we’ll see how I do on the 20-miler and then I can really make an informed decision to continue or not. I really hope I do. I’m so nervous about that distance, especially since I bailed on the 18-miler, but I keep trying to remind myself that I had a great 16-mile run, so I just need to push another 4 miles. It can be done.

In news from my dad’s baseball tournament, he completely broke our pact and pitched a 6-0 game yesterday, despite his sore shoulder and promising my mom he would not pitch! So I guess we know where I get my own determination from. πŸ™‚

Tomorrow morning the plan is to run 10 miles, the longest mid-week distance of the training cycle. My pace leader is nursing a calf injury and is breaking up her miles but I’m going to stick to the schedule – I think I need more mental confidence than anything at this point. Hopefully tomorrow evening I’ll be writing about a great run!

Have a great night!

Feeling Sooooo Good!

I normally don’t write on non-running days but I’m just feeling so great right now and wanted to share! Yesterday I was definitely tired and achy at the end of my run but went for a really nice walk in the afternoon to flush out my legs. I think a post-long run walk is just great physical therapy for helping my legs stay loose (as loose as can be, at least). My tush really didn’t hurt at all, but my hip flexors were definitely stiff and sore – still, I felt no worse after yesterday’s long run than I did after my runs earlier in the season, which was encouraging to me.

I purposely went walking to the running store for new sneakers. I think technically I could have gotten a few more runs in with my current pair, but yesterday I felt like I was coming down hard on my ankles and my arches – I wanted more cushioning. I stuck with my traditional Brooks Adrenaline and will break them in during my mid-week runs, then they’ll be ready to go for the big 20-miler. I think the cushioning will also help mitigate the tendinitis pain…wins all around!

This morning I spent two hours at the gym – 45 minutes doing my high-intensity interval training class, and an hour and 15 minutes doing power yoga. I was a little apprehensive for both classes because I knew inevitably I’d be engaging with my glutes, but I promised myself I’d take it easy. Normally I never take the low-key option because I don’t want to look lazy, but today there were a few moments during the HIIT class that I backed down a bit – and was glad I did. The yoga felt amazing – I am so glad I went! I was a little worried about getting bored (this was a longer class than I typically do) but the time really flew by and every pose just felt so beneficial. When I left I felt so loosened up, so flexible, and so strong. Oh, and so zen, of course. πŸ™‚

Now I’m relaxing on the couch, watching the Bears, and treating myself to oatmeal with milk instead of water – so much creamier this way! Later today I have a condo picnic and will do my cooking for the week. Tomorrow is a rest day so hopefully I’ll be ready to rock a run on Tuesday!

Happy weekend – Go Bears!