Monday, March 2, 2015

On the upswing

I am afraid to say it out loud (or write it down I guess), but I think my shin splints are healing. The horrible pain on the side is gone. I have tightness in my calves still, but with rolling and ice it goes away. I have been doing leg strengthening exercises as well as rolling every night. Plus, I think those few weeks off helped (as much as I hate to admit it.) I have been back to my regular schedule, and I am working on safely running without intervals. The last few runs have produced this:

 These are new records I set this week. I don't know if it is the new watch (I love it!), the rest, or the compression sleeves, but I feel like I am flying now when I run. I have a 15K in 12 days. I had a time goal set for it which I quickly dismissed when the shin splints hit. I am still reluctant to go for the goal because of the bridges on the course. I am trying to find all the hills I can to work on it, but nothing can really prepare me for the bridges except running on a bridge. At this point, though, I am happy that I can run it.

Did I mention that the NYC marathon lottery is tomorrow? I am going to be pretty antsy waiting to hear from them.

Saturday, February 28, 2015


My kids have been quite a handful lately.  I am in the middle of potty training, and it is somewhat successful. I forgot how time consuming it is to teach a child to use a toilet instead of a diaper. Other than that, Meeghan is deep into the terrible twos. She is very stubborn, and loves to dump water all over the floor. I can't get her to sit for any type of learning so I am trying to find creative ways to teach her. Most days I am at my wits end from her antics, but at night when she tells me she loves me it is worth it. 

Hannah is 4 going on 14. Door slamming, spitting, attitude, and eye rolling. I am in trouble when the real teen years hit. I have caught her lying a lot, and she just doesn't understand why she needs to stop. Despite her behavior at home, she is flourishing at school. She has started reading, and keeps asking for more to learn. She loves school. She even asked me for homework yesterday, and we have been working on flash cards today. I hope her love of school continues as she gets older. 

These two (plus my two fur babies) have been keeping me busy. In fact, it took two hours to write this post. I grumble about how I feel like I never have a second to myself, but I know in a few years I will be sad that they won't want me around. For now, I make sure there is plenty of chocolate in the kitchen to help me through the days. 

Thursday, February 19, 2015

That time I ran a marathon and my legs hated me for it

I have mentioned it before on here about how I am struggling with an injury. It is calf and outer leg pain which is being lumped into the category of shin splints. Basically, after the marathon I didn't stretch or roll, and now my body hates me. I usually stretch after every run. I did not after the marathon because it was raining, and I was starving. Plus I had to hunt down my dad because he was lost. I also didn't foam roll or stretch that night before bed. The odd thing is I felt great after the race. I was walking without any problems. I felt fine the next day as well. I took 6 days off and tried to run. My calves locked up on me, and I was done after a mile. I tried the next day and it was a bit better. I was told to rest, roll, stretch, ice, and all that stuff. I couldn't though. I was too stubborn, and I think I made it worse. Finally, E started treating me like a child and put me in time out. He was not going to let me out of the house to run. One time I tried to sneak out by claiming I was going for a walk, but he knew I was going to run. He gathered the dogs and the kids, and we all went together. So, I decided to listen to him. In the month of February I have only run 5 times for 13 miles. I am usually at the 40 or 50 mile mark by this point in the month. Most of my runs have come in the last week when my legs were feeling better. I have been using compression sleeves and intervals. Two days ago I was able to run 3 miles without any pain. Today I ran 4 with no pain. There is some tightness, but no pain. Unfortunately, my endurance is gone. My legs are fatigued pretty quickly so I am going to stick with intervals to finish out this racing season. I have a 15K in March and a 10K in April. I had grand goals of a PR in the 15K. I have changed my goals to finishing the race. I have been playing around with intervals, and I have found that 2 minutes of running to 30 seconds of walking worked really well for me. I will stick with that and see if it works as my distance increases. Hopefully, taking a bit of time off in April will heal whatever is wrong with my legs, and I can start fresh in May.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Alton Brown Live

I am a science nerd. My degree is in biology. I also love food. When you combine the two, I am in heaven. That is why I love Alton Brown so much. He teaches you about the scientific component of food as well as teaching you how to cook. He currently is out on the road with a live show called the Edible Inevitable Tour. I was so happy when I saw Jacksonville was on that list. Due to the Navy, and lack of babysitter, I waited until the day before to buy my ticket. And, yes, I went by myself. It was okay though because it was hilarious. Hilarious! I laughed for 2.5 hours straight. My cheeks hurt by the time I left. He talked about many subjects, sang a few songs, and even made a pizza on a huge easy bake oven. If you are a fan of his, and he is heading your way, I suggest you go. You won't regret it.

The view from my seat

Sunday, February 8, 2015

My day off

E decided to take the girls to Disney World today because Meeghan has been asking to ride Dumbo, the tea cups, and the tram all week. He said he wanted to take them, and I could stay here. A day to myself? Yes, please! Do you know what I have done today? Not much. I went for a run (oops, I can't seem to rest even though it hurt), I am doing laundry, watching non-animated television, and I went grocery shopping. I love my kids, but I have found to keep my sanity I need some time to myself.  Some people are perfectly content with the constant chaos. I am not. It makes me nuts if I can't have quiet at some point. This is my quiet. Of course, I still have the dogs hanging around, but they are pretty quiet compared to a 2 year old and a 4 year old. Tomorrow it will be back to the grind, but for today I will pretend I am 25 again and have a lazy Sunday.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

This and That

Do you ever have those days where you sit down to do something, but then you are interrupted? I have those days a lot. It seems like I am constantly interrupted, and I never accomplish my task. That explains why things have been pretty quiet around here. Nap time is gone. Meeghan still needs a nap, but she won't nap now that she is sharing a room with Hannah. I try to enforce quiet time, but they are fighting me on that every day. I sit down for a minute to do something, and I find myself right back up to stop the commotion in their room. Here is the quick rundown of life for me (quiet time isn't very quiet today).

We bought a new car! It is a 2015 Dodge Grand Caravan. Yes, we went the minivan route and I love it. I love it. It is so much easier with the girls. The insurance process has been a nightmare, and we know for sure we are switching because of this fiasco. We are waiting until they pay out, and then switching.

I am entering the scary world of enrolling Hannah for kindergarten. I called her neighborhood school last week, and was treated poorly. I was giving the lady the benefit of the doubt, but I found someone else had a horrible experience with the office staff as well. Our neighborhood school is also a technology magnet school. I am not sure how I feel about that. Hannah likes technology, but I am not sure I want the focus of that in every subject. 

Potty training is going terribly. I am tired of changing diapers, but I am afraid if I push too much Meeghan will resist even more. I am trying to be patient and let her tell me when she is ready. 

I have my first real running injury. I have peroneal tendonitis. Okay, it is a self diagnosis, but from what I have read it is dead on to my symptoms. I guess it is from marathon training, and probably not letting myself fully recover afterwards. 2 miles into a run I am in pretty serious pain and can barely walk. Although the other day, once I made it past the 2 mile mark I felt great. It was the fastest I had run in months. I don't understand. So, I am going with the RICE method and I will be trying out compression socks. My next race isn't until March so I have some time to heal. It is frustrating though because running is my little bit of peace and quiet. I need that solitude to regroup for the day. Has anyone tried compression socks? Any recommendations? 

Friday, January 16, 2015

2015 Walt Disney World Marathon Recap

I am going to start with the best words in the world. I finished! It was pretty brutal at times, but my determined butt was crossing that finish line. I started my marathon weekend by waking up at 2:45 Saturday morning to watch E run the half marathon. He was doing the Goofy challenge which meant running the half Saturday and the full Sunday. I hung out with him in the start line staging area until he left for the corrals. At that point I went to Magic Kingdom to watch him run down Main Street. It was frigid (for Florida), but the view was worth it.

"Frozen" castle

Christmas tree was still out

Sunrise from the monorail

After I caught him at Main Street, I sprinted to the monorail to try to catch him at the Grand Floridian. I missed him by a minute. In hindsight, I should have gone to the Polynesian. I know for next time. After that, I went back to Epcot to catch him at the finish. I saw him at mile 12, and then again at mile 13.05. I was frozen and exhausted after this. I felt like I had run 13 miles. We decided to make it an easy day in Epcot to save our legs. 

Sunday morning. Sunday morning was the morning I was dreading and anticipating. We made it to Epcot with plenty of time to spare. E decided he would start with me since he was still nursing his IT Band injury. I agreed to run intervals with him which would be the first time I had tried them during a race. Shortly after 6am, my corral crossed the start line. It was a beautiful sight. 

Our intervals were working well except E took the lead and we were running slightly faster than what was comfortable for me. I knew we would need to slow down during the run interval if I was going to make it. He told me to take the lead so I could set the pace. The first few miles flew by, and we were having. For real. We were having fun. We made it to Magic Kingdom in great spirits. It was pretty crowded in places which was frustrating, but we knew there would be some bottlenecks. We made up our time during the open areas. We finally made it out to the Speedway and on our way to Animal Kingdom. 

I was starting to get tired, but that is not unusual. I was 13 miles in so I knew fatigue would start to set in. Animal Kingdom was fun. They had some animals out and the animals had race bibs on. It was great! We were there before the park opened so no one was riding Expedition Everest. As we exited Animal Kingdom to head to Wide World of Sports, there was a huge crowd of people. It was just the boost I needed to get through the next few miles. I seem to start to break down mentally around mile 15, but this crowd helped me so much. I tried to make it to every kid to give them a high five. 

The trek to Wide World of Sports was brutal. I was starting to lose it. I had that heavy feeling in my chest again which was telling me I was in my head too much. At some point along this stretch, there was a lovely woman handing out M&Ms. They were the best tasting thing in the world. I think I told her she was the best, and thoroughly enjoyed my handful of candy. Wide World of Sports takes up almost 5 miles of the course. As you approach it, runners are heading toward you on the other side of the road. Their mile marker says 21 while yours says 16. It is very tough to handle mentally. It was so tempting to cross the median and join those runners. 

Wide World of Sports is a huge complex with many different types of fields. We wind our way through this complex for a few miles, and it is tough, It is tough to see people ahead of you, and they are so close, but you have to take a billion turns before you get to them. The crowd support was better than I thought it would be and that helped so much. You do run on the warning track of the Atlanta Braves' spring training field which is pretty cool. 

As you exit Wide World of Sports, you cross mile 20 or The Wall. I was tired, but physically okay. Mentally I was bat crap crazy. Unfortunately, E's ITBS flared and he was in pain. He tried to run the next interval and he couldn't. He told me to go on ahead, but I said we started together and we would finish together. So we walked the last 5 miles. It was painful and long. Oh so long. We were both pretty quiet for a mile or so. I think we both needed to process that we weren't going to end the race like we wanted. I knew I could go ahead, but I wasn't sure if my mental state would have hindered me. We walked our way through Hollywood Studios, the Boardwalk, and then Epcot. We decided to run the last 0.2. It was very painful for him, but we wanted finish line pictures of us running. Despite the pain, the rain (oh did I mentioned that it rained?), and the disappointment we still finished. I vowed the entire time I would never do another marathon, but here I am contemplating the NYC lottery. 

For my first marathon, I think Disney was a great choice. So many aid stations, so many spectators, and the parks are awesome to run through. I am so glad I chose to do this. It may not be what I was hoping for time wise, but I can say that I was happy. I am usually not an outwardly emotional runner, but I started crying the minute the medal was placed around my neck. Luckily, it was raining so most people didn't notice, but I was a wreck. There were so many emotions to process, and they all spilled out in the form of tears. I proudly wore that medal the rest of the day.