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Saturday, September 28, 2013

What a Week - OMG

So I have been MIA this week and I apologize, but to say we had a lot going on is an understatement.  From last blog, a week ago, you will remember we were dealing with some family health issues.  Those seem to be getting a little better.  Flash forward to Monday.  I am on my way to a meeting at an elementary school to help an eagle scout candidate with an irrigation project.  Hubby calls.  I knew immediately something was wrong.  We are the couple that run together, but we are not the couple that call each other at work.  I mean I am at work!

I answer and hear "you have to come home now." 

Me: "You know I have a late meeting tonight."
Him: "You need to come home now we have an emergency."
Me annoyed: "What?
Him: "We were robbed I have the police here."
Me not so annoyed anymore: "I am on my way."

That is when I got the story from hubby.  He came home from school and saw Mo, our 13 year old Maine Coon, looking scared and confused and sitting on our welcome mat.  All 6 of our cats are indoor only.  He thought did we forget to shut the door.  That is when he noticed the french doors were standing open and our front door had been kicked in. 

All of our electronics were stolen and when he called me he said "all the cats are out.  I got Mo, Frankie, Georgia and Pablo but Jazzy and Lena are gone."  It is funny how moments like these really clarify what is and is not important.  Lena and Jazzy important!  TVs, laptops, tablets, not important!  By the time I got home he had located all the kitties.  They were scared but safe. 

I have to say the police were great and super responsive our insurance carrier was really fast.  Our landlord is having the door replaced tomorrow a friend brought over a TV for us to use.  Amidst all the trauma and stress we have been reminded of how lucky we are.  In one clarifying moment we learned what really matters.

So for those who read the blog you know I run pre-dawn from home.  You may ask do I still do that?  The answer is yes.  I did it Tuesday morning, and the rest of the week.  Some may ask why?  I did it because I define me and I decide what I do, not some slimey thieves who would rather take someone elses hard earned possessions than work for their own.

On the running front I am proud to say I kept up my workout schedule.  I did a hill workout today for speed work. Tomorrow is a 10-12 miler on tap we will see how I feel. 

Next week I will still be without technology.  They are sending our check next week. I will be in Vegas for the largest water resource conference in the country all week.  My mileage and workouts will definitely be less next week.  Again I won't be posting.  Using hubby's work laptop to give this update today.

Also there will be blog dedicated to it because he deserves it, but among all the things that happened this week hubby ended his running streak when his nagging foot injury continued to worsen. He went to the Dr. Friday and we are awaiting the X-ray results.  I am so proud of his nearly 3 year streak, but maybe more proud he had the courage to end it realizing that he wanted to continue to run for life more than he wanted the streak. 

This is a lot but wanted to explain why I am missing your blogs.  I am sure you are training hard and doing great stuff.  When I get my tablet and return from Vegas I will be back at and anxious to catch up on all you have been doing!!  

Sunday, September 22, 2013

One of Those Aha Moments and Oh Yeah Might be the Worst Daughter Ever...

Everything I learned about healthy eating and living I learned on the interwebs.  I sure as heck did not learn it from my family.  That is the crux of the fun I have not been having since late last week.  My immediate family: mom, brother, sister and an aunt that lives with my mom and brother have a lot of medical challenges and issues.  It would be quicker for me to list out the diseases that do not run in my family.  Bubonic Plague and Leprosy, I think were good.  My dad passed away in his 60s after being ill for most of his life but incapacitated for 13 years. 

Their medical history is a long story let's make it short.  Because of these challenges my mother was driving my aunt to a Doctor's appointment on Thursday, because of her medical challenges she should not have been behind the wheel.  Because she also suffers from a case of terminal stubbornness she did not ask for help from us.  They got in a minor accident.  Because of her medical challenges she ended up fracturing her patella.  My sister and I have been trying to help out and shuttling folks around, oh yeah aunt and brother don't drive.  In the midst of all this, my assigned duty yesterday was to take my brother grocery shopping.  This is where the aha moment comes in, wait for it.  I wish I could have taken an instagram pic on my phone, but I am sure the result of that would have been my mother's exasperated "Kathleen" accompanied with a disappointed look and head shake. 

The cart was divided right in half.  One side full of medical supplies: adult diapers, all kinds of over the counter meds. etc.  The other side the food they planned to eat all week.  There were 3 two litre bottles of Pepsi, 5 packs of some processed cinnamon buns, sugar laden cereal, whole milk, hot dogs, every frozen food you can think of, unless it came with vegetables.   Did you know you can get tortilla encrusted fried fish with a side of macaroni and cheese?  In fact, I did not know this, but you can get almost every food frozen with a side of mac-n-cheese, unless it has a vegetable.  I just wanted to snap a picture and post "enough said."  Oh yeah to be fair there was one can of green beans.

Now on to the worst daughter ever part.  I know I am supposed to help and serve with a happy heart, but when I got back and my bed ridden mother was smoking and my obese brother was unpacking the "food" we just bought, all I wanted to do was get back to my life.  I can admit it.  I got angry.  Because they are in a difficult spot and a lot of responsibility is falling to me and my sister, but I feel like they are there because of their actions and decisions, and that they don't acknowledge that.  Yes I helped because they are family, but part of me felt resentful and angry, a part of me felt like an enabler, and part of me felt sad that they won't ever know what life is like if you make different choices.  Not really about running today except to say, if you read my blog you are probably someone who has an interest in their health and improving it and good for you.  Because you are controlling what you can in service of your family down the road.  It is not that we don't all enjoy things from time to time or fall off the wagon, but it is about never getting on and failing to recognize the role that plays in your current health situation.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

ATC Singleton Race Recap

So today was the Singleton with Atlanta Track Club.  We have a choice between 5 and 10 miles.  I probably should have done 10 since I just kicked off training for my Soldier's Half in November.   I was signed up for the 5 miler.  The race went pretty well.  We got there and Hubby has been fighting a bad foot injury all week so we decided we would run separately and we decided to forgo a warm up.  I could use the first mile since it is always hard to get out of the crowded field and he needed to reserve everything to make 5 miles.  Insert here that he is a bad ass because if my foot looked and felt like his I would have been sleeping in this AM.  Later in the post I will share how he failed to follow the careful plan we had outlined to try and prevent further damage to his foot.

For me, the race went pretty well.  It was incredibly humid and we were joined by a sparse light rain, what a refreshing change for the wettest year since record keeping began.  I had a very tough work week with long hours, late nights and lots of work.  I was looking forward to decompressing Friday, but you know what they say about best laid plans...Anyway little family car accident and resulting drama meant another late and frustrating night followed by what would surely be another frustrating day.  Did not really come to the starting line without baggage, though most of it mental.  Knock on wood I have been feeling really physically strong during my runs. 

I did take the first mile to warm up ending at around 9:30/mile.  After that I was nicely in negative splits in the 8/mile range.  As I saw mile 4, I was feeling everything, the rolling hills, the frustrating week, the fatigue of too many late work nights, and I had two thoughts. "Jeez I am glad I did not do the 10 and this is over in 8 minutes."  The last mile was a little hilly, I was a little mentally off.  I finished 2 seconds behind mile 4, which meant no negative split for the last mile.  Oh well, there are other runs. 

About hubby, I was supposed to wait at the finish.  He was going to stay at an easy 12 minute mile.  He finished right under 50 minutes, so for all those who have ever taken a math class you can tell he failed to stick with the plan.  I went out the last stretch when I saw him to run him in, knowing he had toughed out a hard run.  Of course running him in I had to point out that he was under 10 min/mile and I thought we talked about this.  Anyway, he says it helped his foot loosen up.  We'll see how it feels tomorrow, but no doubt, mental roadblocks don't get in his way like they do me. 

The Good of today:
Finished 43:12 - 8:40/mile.  This is almost 5 minutes faster than last year.
Placed second in my Age Group, must have a been a thin field for 5 milers
Overheard guy I had been trading off with all race as we came into the final stretch and I passed him:
Guys friends cheering "That girl is smoking you!  Move it!"
Guy: "I know, but I am dying and she isn't even breathing hard."

Also after the race while waiting for hubby, this girl stopped me and asked me if I had run a Spring has Sprung back in April.  I said yes and she said "I thought so.  Thanks for the push!"  That was pretty cool.  I am feeling strong going into my half marathon training. 

The bad:  Family is a challenge sometimes.  Sometimes things get in your head, that have nothing to do with running.  I have to say for over 20 years blasting this song in my car has always made me feel better. "Pushing the Needle Too Far" by the Indigo Girls.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

What Supports Your Running

This week I have been doing a lot of solo running.  Not a big change for me during the week, but usually on the weekend hubby and I do run as a couple.  He is injured and since he is a streaker it is a week confined to 1 mile treadmill runs for him.  I have been out kicking off half marathon training on my own.  Lately some of my blogger friends and companies I follow on Facebook are talking about things that get them running.  I think of these things as support.  You know what picks you up, what keeps you going?

I look at hubby swollen, bruised, and sprained foot and see him get on the treadmill and pound out his mile.  He seems determined to keep up his streak of attending our track club's Grand Prix series by running the Singleton 5 miler this weekend.  I see what supports that drive are his streaks, and mad determination (he is way tougher than me).  The streaks, all of that investment is what supports the idea that he can tough it out and ride it out. 

Someone else was talking about music.  It gets them going and pushes them through.  Usually the thing that supports is really what stands in the gap at that one moment.  The moment can be "I don't want to lace up and do this."  Happening right at the start. The moment can be somewhere in the middle of that long run where you say "yeah, I can't do this one more minute, let alone 5 more miles."  The moment can be in that first mile, before you find that rhythm when you think "seriously, what are you doing?  We have ice cream at home and a Top Chef Marathon on the DVR."  The thing about the moments, different as those are, is they pass.  The support, the thing we use, be it music, a streak or a running partner, they are the thing that helps us over the mental gap.  I guess for me it is likely music, especially if I am thinking about just not wanting to start.  Sometimes it is hubby, my favorite running partner.  When I just want to bag the long run it is probably stubbornness riding shot gun.  I don't want to come up short.  I like to finish what I start.  I just think, "I have done it before I can do it again." Surprisingly, as much as I wanted to quit.  As bad as I thought I felt, in a few minutes I am over the gap.

Everyone needs support.  What's yours?

Monday, September 16, 2013

Weekly Wrap Up and Goal setting

Okay so my Dailymile week ends on Sunday so I do my wrap up from the week, big on accountability, remember?  Then Goals for this week.

Wrap Up.

Pretty successful week.
Ran 26.67 miles
Ran 6 days a week per my September Goal
We got our first order from Nature's Garden Delivers (Organic produce).  It was great.  Cooked some excellent meals and successfully made a main dish with Kale that hubby loved.
Most days I put up my phone before dinner.  Not perfect.
Oh yeah.  I must do okay working out.  I am participating in a fitness program Walk Georgia.  The idea is you log your fitness activities and that equates to miles walked across the state.  I am in 4th for those participating.  I guess I get in more than my share of workouts.

Monday - AM Run 3.1 miles
Tuesday - AM Run 3.1 miles  Plank 1:08 minutes
Wednesday - AM Run 3.1 miles
Thursday - Rest Day
Friday - AM Run 3.1 miles and Plank 1:15 minutes
Saturday - Run 11 miles HM Training Began and Plank 1:32 minutes
Sunday - AM Run 3.8 miles recovery run -and Plank 1:10

All in all not a bad week.  Eating was pretty good.

Goals this week. 
Very busy week at work so first I hope I make it through the week without killing anyone.  Morning meeting was touch and go, so I need to pull it together. 

Actual goals for this week, I have a race on Saturday.  Not a long one, just a 5 miler.

Run 6 days this week ( keeping with the September goal).  I think during my HM training, that features some longer runs, the one rest day is a big help.

Eat well. - Notice I did not say cook.  I have to work late almost every night this week.  My goal is not to cook, but try and eat well even if I am grabbing something.  Luckily I have my produce from Natures Garden delivers so I am planning on some salads and some tuna with Avacado ( I am addicted to this).

Kick up the planks.  My shoulder is finally healed and I hope to build back up to plank a day.  This week with work and everything I will be happy with every other day.

Blog three times.  Like I said crazy week, just trying to be realistic.  

Race on Saturday _ Singleton 5 miler.  I don't really have any goals.  Hubby is still hurt so not sure what Saturday will bring.  May hang back with him and make sure he is okay. 

Hope you have a great week.  What do you hope to accomplish this week?

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Confidence Boosting Runs

Soldiers Half is two months away! So time to get down to some actual training.  I had a long run on tap for the weekend.  Originally it was going to be with hubby.  Well seems hubby ended up kicking a door on Friday the 13th and injuring his foot.  Since he has a running streak of over 1,000 days he is on one mile painful runs until it heals.  So I thought good day to head out and see where I am after a summer of shorter races and 5-8 mile long runs. 

I set my I Smooth Run App for a timed run, best running app in my opinion.  It is very accurate, measured many times against hubby's Garmin, and very versatile.  I set up for 90 minutes of continuous running with a 5 minute warm up and cool down.  I was hoping to eek out 9 miles at a comfortable pace.  Well I guess slogging through the wet, humid, horrendous summer we have had paid some dividends.  Also it might be the addition of planks and plies to my post running regimen.  In December when I started training for my first half my first 90 minute run was a little over 8 miles at around 10:10m min/mile.  Today I thought my app was broken as it kept racking up miles but never said you are half way through your work out until mile nearly 5 and 1/2 miles.  It also kept saying my current and average pace were in the 8 minutes.  I was beginning to think, "I wonder who is running."

The best part was I was just running a comfortable pace.  No struggling just enjoying the beautiful weather the scenery and my new Half Marathon mix I recently downloaded.  This run was a confidence booster for me.  I ran my February 1/2 at about 9:18 per mile.  Today I did nearly 11 at 8:55.  I know during the race I will be a little more pumped up.  So I feel like my sub 2 hour goal might be within reach.  I only need to shave 4 minutes off my last half.  I also tested out my Altra Intuitions one of the shoes I am considering for the race.  They felt pretty good. 

The funniest part was there was guy on Silver Comet running, I passed him three times, twice on my way out.  I passed him when I first started then I pulled off for some water and a restroom break at the rest area and passed him when I got back on.  I don't think he went out as far I did so when I was coming back to my car I passed him again.  He said to the guy next to him, "this is ridiculous! That girl  is lapping me."  Tomorrow will be an easy recovery run.  I hope everyone is having a great weekend.  We are having the most awesome weather!!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Rest Days...Taking a Break

Today was a rest day for me.  My legs and body felt fine, but work has been crazy and my days have been long.  Next week I am working late everyday.  I just needed a day to sleep in and I don't know not have to get up to run.  Just a day off.  I did find I missed my run.  It is what usually centers me and my day, but I also felt like I will enjoy it more tomorrow if I took a rest today.  My goal for September was to run 6 days a week so so far so good. 

I also hoped by taking a rest day today I will be more ready for a long run this weekend.  My half is two month out.  Time to kick up the training.  The forecast for this weekend is for cooler sunny weather.  I can't wait.  Now I just have to convince hubby that he really wants to run 8 or 9 miles this weekend.  I might have a chance he has been doing a few shorter runs this week.  Keep your fingers crossed.

I do notice I used to take rest days because my body could not handle the running.  Now my rest days are more for me to mentally recharge.  I guess that means over all I am a stronger runner.  Also I have been able to add back in a few more planks.  Not back to everyday but have gotten 3 in this week so far.  I can already tell the difference with adding them back. 

How can you tell you need a rest day? 

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Attitude and Challenges

This is the theme of this week for me.  It seems so many of my friends and some fellow bloggers are struggling with challenges.  For me work has been super busy and tiring.  I guess I have been thinking every life has struggles, tragedy, and challenges.  I am not one to dwell on those.  I am more about changing what I can and having a good attitude about what I can't.

For example someone struggling with a loss asked me today don't I worry about losing my husband?  I can say in all honesty that I don't worry about that and here is why.  I choose to live in the present moment.  If I spent my time worrying about what might happen I would miss out on what is happening.  They asked don't you worry about disrespecting those who have passed by moving on?  I can honestly say no.   I look at it this way.  In every challenge, tragedy or struggle something positive comes out if it.  If I spend all of my time reliving the past event I won't see and appreciate the gift that came out of the struggle.  To me that is more tragic.

I think running is sometimes a test like that.  Can I do this?  How much will I suffer?  How much pain will I endure?  Then out of being willing to tackle those challenges and face those fears in the present you will find a gift.  It may not be the gift you set out for at the beginning, but will be what you need.  Just some thoughts for those struggling through a tough time.  Don't lose the gifts of the present to the pain of the past or the fear of the future. 

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Feeling Lucky

This pic is not from today, but from a day when hubby was nursing an injury and he did one mile and I went out for 5 around our hood.  He met me in front of the house and, as he often does, he wanted to take a picture.  It turned out great and I love it.  It could have been the same scenario this weekend.  Hubby hit 1,000 days on his running streak Thursday and celebrated a little too hard barefoot at Silver Comet Trail.  His foot and ankle were really sore after.  I thought I would be running on my own this weekend while he recovered with short 1 milers. 

Of course I sometimes forget who I am married to.  That was the case this weekend.  I was getting ready Saturday to run just 5 miles since we had done 6 on Monday and I asked what he wanted to do.  I said I was just going from Parking spot A to B and back to A a little over 5.  I asked how he felt he said "fine."  I saw the wheels turning and I said, "do you want to run out part of the way with me and if you have pain you can head back and I will meet you?"  Of course as soon as I said it I knew his foot would have to be falling off before he turned around and headed back to the car.  Of course he did the 5 miler with me and it was really fun.  The beautiful weather was such a great change from the constant rain we have had all year.  Then today we headed out to a trail we like along the Chattahoochee River.  This weekend was one of those weekends where I am reminded of how much fun running is.  We just had fun.  We enjoyed beautiful sunny weather and time together.  Maybe just us girls, but I had on cute running clothes and felt great.  Finally feeling fully recovered after my fall, I was just enjoying myself. 

I was also reminded how lucky I am to have  supportive husband who loves running and supports me.  He is often the motivation that pushes me out the door.  At my half marathon he is the supporter at the finish line.  We also learned about a new local race today.  The Village to Village 11K in Smyrna.  It is the weekend after my Soldier's Half in Columbus.  I could tell hubby wanted to do the race.  We decided he would register and this time I would be the one at the finish line cheering him on and taking pictures.  This weekend just reminded me that I am a pretty lucky girl.  Hope you are feeling blessed and lucky too. Who supports your running?

Friday, September 6, 2013

Fitness Friday

Was it really only a four day work week?  Felt more like 8.  Oh well the good news, I had tons of deadlines that I met this week so I guess the hard work was worth it.  Also I got in my runs.  Nutrition was not as good as I like, but you can't have everything. 

Monday - Run 6.2 miles in the rain Labor day
Tuesday - Run 2.75 miles - crazy lightning storm made me turn around and head back.
Wednesday - 3 mile evening run with hubby and pick up new Atlanta Track Club shirts.  Thought we were going to our running store's for a group run.  Went there decided to pick up our Atlanta Track Club shirts and head to Silver Comet Trail for our run.  Running at night is definitely not my thing!
Thursday - Rest Day.  I was able to do my first plank since I hurt myself when I fell.  1:45.  I was glad abut that.
Friday - 3 mile run under the stars this AM.  It was beautiful and a little cooler.

Like I said we did not do as well on nutrition.  We had a Labor Day indoor cookout since we got rain and had sausage sandwiches and beans.  We were out a couple of nights so we grabbed something.  Cooked last night chicken, plantains, and broccoli. 

I am excited that we are trying this new subscription service, Natures Garden. They only deliver in Georgia and Arizona right now.  You can pick from a variety of sizes of weekly or every other week fruit and vegetables.  All organic.  We get our first order next Thursday.  I think it will be great because it is going to force me to try new veggies and fruit.  It is not that I don't like veggies and fruit. I love them.  It is that left to my own devices, I just stick with what I know.  Especially what I know how to cook.  I am excited about trying this. 

Hope you had a productive week.  Did you reach your fitness goals?

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Just for Fun and Inspiration

Ironic huh?

Seems simple enough, but I don't always succeed at that second part. 

Just a reminder if you dreaded the idea of your run today. 

Bet you never heard this one before?

Thought this was cool. Even on the worst day you ought to be able to find a reason here. 

Because come on... You got to have a sense of humor. 

Sunday, September 1, 2013

August Goals: Wrap up Falling Short and Setting September Goals

Okay so we just said good-bye to August and it was a rough month for me.  So how did I do on my monthly goals.  As usual it was mixed bag.

1) Running everyday of August - Well I missed two days.  One because my workday involved a 6 hour round trip drive and an 8 hour day.  Just too tired.  The other was after my unexpected fall I ran the next day and found the injuries needed a rest day. Goal not met, but a good try.  Ended up with 91 miles this month.
2) Wanted to read 2 books.  I actually read three so I did pretty well on that one.  Goal accomplished.
3) Needed to write an RFP for work.  I got it done and reviewed.  I revised it and now I am waiting on the final okay to advertise.  Goal met.
4) Wanted to continue plank a day.  So was doing great, then I fell.  When I did I am pretty sure I bruised a rib and reinjured my shoulder, an old injury from a broken scapula.  I have not been able to do plank a day yet.  It is getting better so hopefully I can resume soon.  - Goal not met.
5) Putting my phone up at dinner.  I will say I was about 50% successful.  This is progress before I never would have put my phone away. Half and half.
6) Cook at least 4 days a week.  - I have been cooking and made some fun new recipes.  - Goal met.

September Goals
1) Long run once a week at least 6 miles.  Got to start trianing for Soldiers Half Marathon in November.
2) Run at least 6 days a week.
3) Avoid being dragged into gossip.
4) Hopefully resume my planks maybe only a couple days a week to start.
5) Continue to put my phone up for the night around dinner. 

Here's hoping  you are kicking off the month with good health and happiness.  No looking behind only forward.  What are your goals.