Monday, May 30, 2011

05/30/11: Boys Town National Research Hospital 5 Mile Race Recap

I woke up this morning hoping desperately for rain.

It wasn't.

No, I didn't want the event rained out, but I did want a little rain to cool things down. It was the first race....heck, my first RUN of the season where the heat and humidity were surely going to kill me.

Low 80's (roughly 27C), wind gusts up to 30 mph, blue skies, and the turnout of people was wonderful!

Because the event was on the Boystown campus, parking was tricky. We ended up parking off campus and walking the mile or so to the start.

There was a 400 meter kids runs, a one mile walk/run, and a five mile walk/run. My sister and I had entered ourselves in the 5 mile.

I should probably mention now that the route was hilly.

Really hilly.

Oh. my. gawd. hilly. :-)

Sara, from the running club found us near the start line, so it was the three of us girls. Taking on the hills, and the wind, and the humidity, and the heat.

We were doomed before ever beginning.


Inny (my sister) found us some red,white and blue sequined headbands for the occasion!!

We spent a little time stretching and getting warmed up. The 5 mile didn't start until 8:45, so we had about an hour to kill.

But the starting gun finally went off, and off we went. :-)

("traffic calming device ahead")

Woohoo! She wanted to finish in under 1:15:00 and blew it out of the water with a chip time of 1:11:36!!!!!!!!!

Sara and I came across the line at chip time of 1:01:54. Not TOO bad for as hilly and hot as it was. I'll take it.

Plus, NO pain in my legs. NONE!!!!!!!!

The pain today was all cardiovascular. Boy am I out of shape!!! :-)

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

05/25/11: Keystone Trail North

Tonight was Wednesday night ORC (Omaha Running Club) distance training clinic night. The speaker was there to talk about nutrition and supplements.

She was actually a really good speaker, and I wish we'd had more than an hour. That's the second week in a row. Kudos to the organizer for picking great speakers.

Highlight of the talk, chocolate milk = confirmed awesome recovery drink.

Yeah, yeah.....all the magazines agree...websites concur....but now a flesh and blood dietitian gave me the thumbs up, all systems go!


But, in all seriousness, she had quite a bit of good information...I took quite a bit of knowledge out the door with me that I didn't come in with.


After the speaker was done, we all gathered outside in the storming, raining, wet weather to run. I LOVE running in the rain, by the way. L.O.V.E. it. :-)

I had 4 miles on my "take it slow, get back into the swing of things, try not to hurt yourself more than you already are" plan.

We did 5.

The first 3 were great.....the second two were into the wind, and my legs were starting to bark at me a little.

I swear, one of these days I'm going to get them to shut up. :-)

If it wasn't for the fact that I have one gal I run with during these runs, I would have had a hard time finishing as strong as I did. It's amazing how fast your fitness base and stamina go away when you have to stop running. And, for some reason, the mental part of getting back at it is soooooo much harder the second time around.

Tomorrow morning the schedule calls for a 1 mile run.

1 mile?

Not that I'm complaining or anything....but it doesn't seem very long. Although, it will be a good chance for me to work on running without intervals. It'll be fun to watch my mile times improve. When I run distances, I'm all about "just finishing on two legs." My pace is pretty consistent....or, at least it was last year when I was able to run consistently. So, adding in a short distance every once and a while will be a fun way to switch things up a bit.

Well....I'd better stop typing and get to bed. I've taken on some new stuff at work, and have been working longer hours. Then having the speaker and group run...I think Mot is going into Nej withdrawals.


'Night all!!!

5.01 miles, 10:45 overall average pace

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

05/24/11: Square One

Well....maybe not square one....but I definitely feel like I'm repeating the first chapter.

Chapter 1: So, you want to start running?

1) Running consistently. In order to do well in the sport, you need to participate on a regular basis. Not once, maybe twice a week. :-) For a multitude of reasons, I've gotten lazy about getting up in the morning.

2) Don't push it. Yes, I used to put quite a few miles on during the week. But I can't just jump right back into it. Too many miles too soon leads to injury....and I've got plenty of that going on already.

3) Chocolate Milk. Hello my friend. I've missed you so! There's nothing like having an actual, real, legit reason to drink chocolate milk. :-)

My legs did OK on the run this morning. They were tight, but not as bad as they were during the 5K this weekend. Although, the weather more than made up for it. It was truly gorgeous! 55 degrees (13C), no wind, clear skies, chirping birds, and no need for a headlamp.

Heck, not only did I not need a headlamp, I barely needed reflective clothing.

Perfectly beautiful!

Sometimes starting over is fun...right??? :-)

2 miles, 10:59 overall average pace

Sunday, May 22, 2011

05/22/11: The Gambler Half Marathon and 5K

Months ago, I was trying to decide between two half marathons that both were scheduled to take place in the middle of May. I decided on The Gambler in Council Bluffs, IA...and was THRILLED to hear that one of my closest friends from junior high/high school was going to come up and run it as well!!!

Rachel and her family (David, Hannah and Dessa) arrived Saturday afternoon. We took them to O Dining for lunch, then drove over to CB to pick up our race packets. David and I had signed up for the half, while Rachel and Mot signed up to run the 5K. It was going to be David's first half and Rachel's first 5K!

I had decided last in the week that I wasn't going to push my leg injuries any, and just run the 5K along with Rachel, Mot and my sister (her first 5K as well!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

After we picked up packets, we headed back to our place to hang out. Mot made a marvelous naked (olive oil, instead of a red or white sauce) pasta dinner. We sat out on the back deck...we sat inside around the dining room table...talking, laughing, and cutting up fruit for the biggest fruit salad ever. :-)

Some artwork done left for us on our pantry door, her youngest daughter was the artist. :-)

I can't put into words how great it was to see them! You know how you have friends, that no matter how long it's been since you've seen them.....when you see each other again, it's like you saw them just last week? Even though her girls are so darned grown up....she looks the same to me. Happy. You can't help but smile when she's around.

Because they'd been driving all day, the running around with us....we were all pretty tired and hit the sack early.

(They got their own pillows AND didn't have to sleep on the floor.)

(Sorry, inside joke.)

The next morning came quick. We all got up, dressed and met in the kitchen for much needed caffeine....then we shuffled out to our cars and across the river to the race start.

"Say cheese!!" At a red light...I stood up through the sun op!

David, Rachel, Inny, myself, and Mot before the race. ***

We tried to keep the pre-race atmosphere as un-serious as possible.***

Who, us? Un-serious?

No way!!!

One of the race sponsors, and the start/finish venue was Harrah's we had to get a few pics with the hotel in the background. ***

Starting area humor.

Mot and Hannah are two peas in a pod. They spend the weekend cracking up us.

A future Sunday Night @ The Worm member??

Finally, it was time to run. Participants had been milling around at the pre-race start area (the start line was actually ON the road into the casino, and wasn't closed down until 10 minutes before the race). Everyone was hanging out in the parking lot, and at race time...we all walked the 100 or so feet up the road to the start.

The weather turned out being really nice actually. The entire week they'd been forecasting chances of storms...and then heat in the mid 80's. We ended up with cloud cover and a chilly breeze through the whole thing.

Over the shoulder shot while running.

Since David was the only one in our group running the half, after I switched to the 5K...he took off on his own pace. Mot ran with him until the 5K and half routes switched....Inny ran a minute or so behind him, while Rachel and I decided to stay together. It was AWESOME getting to run along side her during her first event!

One section of the 5K had a small out and back. Perfect time to take pics of the others while they ran!

People were laughing at us as we ran by each other yelling and taking each other's pic.

(Mot ended up hitting the wrong button and shutting his camera off, instead of taking the picture of me - giggle.)

The last mile of the course was along some of the city's trail system. The route then ran under the parking garage of the casino, and out into the "concert cove" area along the river.

You can see (on the far left of the picture) that the flooding Missouri River has started to take over the lower level of the garage.

Rachel slapping hands of her family who were waiting for at the finish.

Her goal was to run it in under 45 minutes. She killed her goal by finishing with a 41:20 time. Rock on!!!!!!

The two girls, Rachel, Mot and I waited around (eating chocolate chip cookies and drinking Bud Light Lime - provided by the event) until David crossed the finish line.

From there, we drove back into Omaha. Everyone wanted donuts for breakfast, so we took them to an awesome donut shop in town. (The boys introduced us to Lamar's donuts last year sometime.)

(not sure what they were looking at)

After breakfast, we went back to our place so they could shower, pack and head back home. I hated to see them go....the weekend went so fast. But, trust me, we'll be seeing them soon. Now that they live so close (about 4 hours-ish?), we have to take advantage! :-)

(*** photos courtesy of Rachel's camera)

Thursday, May 19, 2011

05/19/11: Running the Keystone Trail

That's right, you heard me....RUNNING the Keystone Trail. Not walking, not crawling.....


I stopped by the group distance running group last night to hear the speaker. I didn't take my gear, I had no intention of running.

I probably should have....but, to be honest, I just didn't have it in me. I was feeling a bit defeated. But as I was leaving, and the group was getting ready to head out.....people started asking me if I was going. (I figured the work clothes would have answered their questions before they were asked...but apparently not.)

The group "coach" gave me a hard time. And the girl that I've teamed up with in previous group runs seems disappointed.

Damn. I felt guilty....but mostly, I felt like a quitter.

Sara, the girl I run with during the group runs, asked me if I was interested in running this morning. Yep, I've finally found someone else that gets up and runs at 4:30-5:00 in the morning.

I couldn't help myself, I said yes.

The whole way home I kept wondering what I was thinking. I had to walk my two mile run the day before...and now I've agreed to run with someone. I'm either going to have to walk or quit early on her. What was I thinking???

My alarm went off at 4:30, I slouched out of bed, into my running clothes, then into my car. We met at 5 am and off we went.

I was nervous before we I told my body to start running, I winced and cringed...waiting for the pain.

There wasn't any.

I nearly shouted in joy.

We ran 4 miles before we had to call it quits and head home.

4 miles....running.....

Who'da thunk it? :-)

I got home, made myself a glass of celebratory chocolate milk (chocolate milk, oh how I love thee!) and iced my legs.

Instead of wrapping my legs, one at a time, with an ice PT gave me a little icing tip. You've probably all heard of this and have been doing it for ages....but to me, it was a revelation!!!

First, take a dixie cup....the small bathroom size are a little two small, so go for the kitchen size.

Fill it up about half way with water and freeze it.

When you're ready to ice, take it out of the freezer, and tear away the cup part, leaving enough to hang on to.

Then begin icing. Instead of sitting with ice packs on my legs for 15-20 minutes takes 5 minutes (each leg)...and I'm done. It goes from feeling colder than heck, to the skin going a little red, to feeling slightly numb. The cold goes to the exact spot I need...and it takes less than 1/3 of the time (per leg).

I iced my legs, drank my milk....jumped in the shower, and headed to work.

I ran today. Now THAT'S a way to start the day off right! :-) :-)

(4 miles, 11.17 overall average pace)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

05/17/11: Taking it slow....the beginning....

The weather was perfect this morning...chilly, but not freezing. The skies were bright enough at 5 am that I didn't need a headlamp. The birds were chirping and the rabbits were out in full force!!!

I set out to run a short two miles today. Nothing fast, nothing furious...just two solid miles.

Good news, I made it the two miles.

Bad news, I was walking.

I tried running...but I don't think it can even be considered running as I doubt both of my feet were off the ground at the same time.

The fronts of my lower legs were screaming....the backs of my lower legs were screaming...the insides of my lower legs were screaming.

It was ScreamFest 2011. (I give it two thumbs down.)

I backed off and walked....then tried running about half a mile later.

No change.

When I hit the one mile mark, I turned around and came back home.

If anyone saw me, they'd have thought me completely nuts. I was talking to myself. I was arguing with myself. I was consoling myself.

I'm not sure what to do.

Yes, I was having pain when I started this second round of physical therapy in April...but it was nothing like what I'm experiencing now.

Is this a case of "you're going to hurt, get used to it.....but quit trying to fix it, you're only making it worse"?

Or is it a case of "sometimes it gets worse before it gets pain, no gain?"

As of right now, I'm not running the half this weekend. I couldn't run two miles today....what am I doing thinking that I can do 13 this weekend?


My third half marathon is a DNR before I even begin.

During that mile walk back to my house this morning, the thought of a DNR was the most depressing thing ever.

But eventually my thought process turned to the future.

If I want to get things fixed and complete a full this fall, I might have to make some sacrifices along the way.

If 18 years of dance has made it impossible for me to develop any kind of solid running life style (like I've been told by many people along the way)....then I guess there's ultimately nothing I can do about it.

I'll admit...I'm a little down right now. I hate posting this on my blog....I hate not being happy happy joy joy for all of you. But I guess these down times make the up times seem all that much better, right?

I'll be up tomorrow before work again...out there trying to run. And, if I can't run, I'll walk. One foot in front of the other.

Truth be told, I have to say I'm a little excited to run the 5K this weekend instead of the half. It takes quite a bit of the pressure off my mind. I know quite a few people who will be there doing it along with me. I won't have another medal for the rack....but even though it's cool to get them, it's not what it's all about.

Monday, May 16, 2011

05/15/11: I get by with a little help from my friends....

And also from people who are practically strangers.

As I've mentioned, I joined a long distance training group. I did it for a couple of reasons...but mainly, because the idea of running 18, 19, 20 mile training runs by myself sounds dreadfully boring.

Although, because I've only ever trained by myself, I don't know anything different.

People talk about how it makes the time go it makes it better and more enjoyable.

I'm going to test it out, and see how it goes. It might not be for me...or I might love it. I'm going into it with an open mind.

Sunday was the first time I've been able to join the group for the Sunday am long run. We headed out to a park on the Iowa side of the river. There were a handful of us there.....and everyone was running different distances, as usual. My schedule called for 8 miles....but after the way my last attempt at running went, I decided to just run and see how long or how far I ended up.

Once around the lake was just over 6 miles....and I thought that would be plenty.

At about a mile, I was ready to stop and go back to my car. Both of my lower legs were like blocks of cement. Every single muscle, from ankle to knee, was tighter that the string on a compound bow.

I decided to ignore my embarrassment and train with the 2 min run/1 min walk intervals that have worked so well for me. No one else in the group does 'em. And, you know, I wasn't embarrassed about using them at all, until this last half marathon I ran.

Runners and spectators alike were making comments. "She's walking already?" "Why even come to these things if you're not going to run?"

I'd see people clapping for everyone who went by....and then they'd stop when I got there.

Hearing people cheering keeps a runner going. Granted, we run every day without it...but there's just something about the support you get along the way. Cowbells, signs with awesome messages, music.....

Hearing comments like this, even though you know to ignore them, is a complete buzz kill. A serious downer.

But, I'm not going to injure myself and take the pleasure out of running by listening to what they say. So, on Sunday, I sucked up my pride and took a walk break after only running 2 minutes. I could go further...much further. But I wanted to be able to walk the next day, right?

After the first mile, I stopped at a park sign to stretch my screaming muscles. I took 20 seconds or so, then headed back down the road. Up ahead, I could see the "leader" of the running group coming back towards me.

"Oh crap."

As soon as he was near, I told him that I was doing run intervals, and he didn't need to wait for me.

He could see that I was limping along, and stayed to talk. I told him that I was working through some shin splints (no need to go into the unabridged version of my woes), and that he could continue on, I didn't want to hold him back.

He ran a couple intervals with me, then said he was going to run and catch up with other members, to see how they were doing.

About a mile later, he came out of the woods (runners have no shame...when you gotta go, you gotta go). He hadn't caught up with the group, and said he didn't enjoy running alone...would it be OK if he stayed and ran intervals with me.

For the remaining 4 miles, we talked about assorted running topics. He asked me for my I got into running, how long I've been doing it, what events I've run in, etc. He then asked me about the issues with my legs.

He recommended a great doctor, who ended up being the doctor I'm already seeing. He recommended a great physical therapy office, that ended up being the group I'm seeing. He suggested some stretches and strength training exercises, that are a few of many I've been given to do already. Then we laughed. "Well, I guess you're doing everything that you can. The answer is out there, now you just need to let them find it. Be patient. It might not be an immediate fix, but the fix is there somewhere."

Then we just ran....not speaking. Every once and while he'd tell me to slow it down a little...or speed it up a little. He started "singing" some military cadence at one point....which got me laughing...but seemed to do the trick.

By the time we got back to our cars....we were soaking wet. Not from sweat (granted, there was plenty of that), but from the rain that started falling on us at about mile 3.5. I was wearing shorts, but my bright orange running coat. I'd debated wearing it...but was glad that I had.

The muscles in my legs, all of a sudden, loosened up at about mile 5. Wouldn't you know.

In fact, he started laughing during the last 3/4 mile. Apparently my pace had picked up significantly.

"You can see the finish line, can't you?"

I replied "I just want to get this damn run over!!"


I know don't if he ran the whole way with me because there's something in the group running handbook that says "leave no runner behind." I don't know if he was worried I'd make it, or worried about leaving me to run by myself in the park.

Whatever the reason, him sticking around kept me going. I don't know how far I would have made it before I just walked the whole way back.

I went to physical therapy today and told her about the pain the orthotics caused on Wednesday...I told her about how my legs, from the knee down, were in a state of mutiny during most of my Sunday run. I swallowed my pride and told her that I was scared, frustrated, mad......

She has asked that I not put any more major walking miles on the new orthotics. She just wants me to wear them each night around home while making dinner (giggle), doing laundry, etc. She is also going to have me come in again this week, for an extended session, so we can go over all the different strength and stretching exercises she wants to load me down with. "This is war...but we have to be smart about it."

We're taking a step back, going back to the beginning.....refresh, reboot, retry. Do over.

I'm trying to make sure my spirits and emotions follow suit.

(6.22 miles, 11:10 overall average pace)

05/11/11: A day I nearly didn't post about....

I headed to our local running store to meet up with the long distance training group. There wasn't a speaker, but the group run was still a go.

I arrived on scene about 45 minutes early. My PT has asked me to start putting more walking miles on the new orthotics in my shoes. So my plan was to walk a couple miles, then switch back to my old inserts and join the group for the run.

At just over a mile, I turned my walk around and headed back to the car. I noticed then that my legs were getting sore. Right in the "problem area." About halfway back to my car I was nearly in tears and contemplating going barefoot.

I wasn't running, I was just walking. I was doing exactly as I was supposed to...and it was making things worse.

Well hell.

I got back to my car, and switched inserts in my shoes. I then took 15 minutes to do some serious hail mary stretching.

The group gathered, and off we went.

I made it about a mile...then against every fiber of my being...I quit.

I never quit.

I took my disobedient....unruly....crap-tastic legs back to my car. I hobbled like a 95 year old arthritic woman.

I cried.

Then, my phone rang.

It was one of my dearest friends, Rachel. She's coming into town with her family this coming weekend to run in a 5K (Mot is also entered in this), while her hubby runs the half (the run I'm hoping to attempt).

We discussed when they'd arrive, we discussed that they'd stay with us, we discussed the pasta dinner Mot is going to cook us. :-)

We talked running, and we talked about my injury. She told me that most people would have quit long ago, were they to face the same issues, for such an extended period of time.

She will never, EVER, understand how much that meant to me. How her words, though simple, came at the time I needed them most.

Aren't friends just the best things in the world! They don't even have to try or work at just comes when it's needed.

She's right, of course! I'm not a quitter. And I'm not like most people.

I went home, iced my legs, and knew that I'd be out there running again.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Jumping in with both feet....

Last year I tackled running a half marathon...heck, last year I tackled running...period.

This year, I thought I'd run in a handful of halves, but also sign up for my first 26.2 event! (gulp)

Now, on top of all of that, I've finally decided (with the help of my sis) to bite the bullet and try out a duathlon.

I've had a duathlon registration form printed and on my desk at work for months....but getting out on my bike to train hasn't been much of a priority.

Inny emailed me this weekend and asked if I'd be interested in trying out a duathlon....and one of them on her list was the one on my desk!!

I didn't hesitate, it seems I'm meant to enter and try one out!!! My response to her was an immediate "heck yeah!!!"

We're going to team up on one in June, and them compete as individuals in another in July.

Now I need to find a way to add cycle training in with my full marathon training. And, on top of that, realize that I'm training for long distance runs...not short 2 mile sections. Two completely different beasts.

Oh well.....if anything else, we'll have a blast!!!! :-)

Sunday, May 8, 2011

05/08/11: Offutt Airforce Base Runway Run, 7 mile event

Happy Mother's Day to all you mothers out there!!! :-)

My alarm went off at much for being able to sleep in this weekend. (hehehe) I'd signed up for the 2011 Runway Run!!! I'd heard about the event after the fact last year...and was intrigued. A seven mile road race that winds through the Airforce base, and down the friggin' runway???? Sign me up!!!!!!!

The air horn sounded at 7:00, and we were off.

I'd somehow gotten myself lined up behind the security forces group. Was pretty proud of myself for staying up with them past the first half (never completely losing sight of them the rest of the way).

A quick 1/2 mile run downhill to the base entrance.

I put my camera away once we got on base. No one said we couldn't have them....but I wasn't going to push my luck. Large men with even bigger guns were all along the route. :-)

Although, I did sneak it out once while running down the runway.

The bad: I started off way too fast. (No WAY! ME start out too fast? Who'd a thunk it?) So, by the time I hit mile 5, I was done. I kept going....but my splits were ridiculous!!!

Mile 1: 9:50 (whoa!!! way too fast for me...I'll never be able to keep that up)
Mile 2: 10:12 (there you go, slow it down)
Mile 3: 10:35 (just right)
Mile 4: 10:33 (still holding, but d*mn, I'm getting tired!!!)
Mile 5: 11:05 (ouch!)
Mile 6: 11:02 (no comment)
Mile 7: 11:45 (double ouch!!!)

The runway stretch was INTO the wind...and the last .75 mile was UPHILL!! But, still no excuse. I started too fast, plain and simple. Didn't do my run/walk intervals (there were no other walkers that I could see!!!)

Not sure of my official time. I forgot to stop my Garmin just after crossing the finish. It tells me I did it in take a couple minutes off of that, and there you go. 10:47 overall average pace.

Scored a pretty sweet performance shirt though!!!!!! :-)