Food, Fitness, Photography

Food, Fitness, Photography

Sunday, December 10, 2017

and then it snowed

...but I didn't let that stop me from getting my mileage!  AND apparently my lungs are finally recovered because I survived a very chilly run with the guys today, at a pace that was definitely a struggle for me, and I didn't cough at all afterwards!  Hooray!

This week : 
M : group run 4 / 7:53 / 171 ft
T : circuit training 35:00
W : group run 8.5 / 8:02 / 397 ft
R : run w/Beth 6.6 / 8:12 / 338 ft
F : rest
Sa : TRX 40:00
run 6 / 7:48 / 433 ft
Su : group run 7.6 / 7:43 / 495 ft
total miles : 32.8

I decided to check out the Bristol running group this week.  It's hard for me to get motivated to study after driving home from work, so I decided that on the days of the Bristol run group, I would go to the library after work and study til run-time.  It worked really well for me this week.  On Monday I actually got to study outside in one of the city parks because it was so nice out (a little bit chilly, but just barely warm enough, and possibly the last warm day).  Some of the group members were the same ones I see in Abingdon, but there were a few different members as well.  It was really nice to run somewhere different for a change!  And added bonus, the brewery we meet at has a really awesome firepit to warm up by after the run.  

On Friday it snowed pretty much all day, although hardly accumulated, and then it snowed more Saturday.  And Saturday night.  I never had more than 1/2 inch to brush off my car as most of the snow didn't stick, but it did make the roads slick so I had to be a bit more careful while running!  

Today I just wanted the 5 I needed to get to 30 for the week, but I picked a loop I thought was about 6 miles, and it turned out to be 7.6.  Oops.  I let the boys set the pace for most of the run; it was a struggle to keep up at times, but I decided it was ok to make myself work a bit.  Once we hit 6 miles though, my legs were fatiguing, so I decided to slow it down the rest of the way.  It's not often that I run 5 days in one week, and I did put in some really good miles this week especially considering how easy the past two weeks were.  My next planned day off is Thursday, but I expect tomorrow's run to be short and easy with the Bristol group.  

Sunday, December 3, 2017

New month, new plan

I spent most of November in and out of a bad head cold, resulting in no running for the entire last week of the month.  The violent coughing finally subsided enough for me to resume running on Friday of this week.  Thankfully the afternoons have been in the high 50s, if it was much colder I probably would have had to wait even longer before running again. It's supposed to get cold again this coming week, I'm hoping I'll be able to continue running without bringing back the cough but I will be taking it one day at a time and trying really hard to stay healthy!

While running over the past few days, and thinking about the past month, I made the decision not to start marathon training until January.  I wanted to jump straight in, but I've decided that's not the smartest decision.  I need to make sure I am fully healthy before I start putting the demands of marathon training on my body.  So, December will be about running for fun.  I still hope to keep my mileage at 25-30 miles a week, but I'll run whatever feels good distance and pace-wise.  I think I'm going to try to get to 5 days a week of running so that each run can be a bit shorter, but I may or may not manage to fit 5 days into the schedule.  Really, I'll be taking it one day at a time! 

This week : 
 M : rest
T : circuit training 35:00
walk 1 mile
W : rest
R : TRX 30:00
F : run 4 / 8:09 / 210 ft
Sa : run 6.7 / 7:53 / 341 ft
Su : TRX 40:00
run 5.1 / 744 / 384 ft
total miles : 15.9

I realize that running 3 days in a row after 7 days off may or may not be the smartest choice, especially given how sore my legs have been from Thursday's TRX, but I just had to go enjoy the warm(ish) sunshine!  It was hard to keep the runs as short as I did, but I did manage to contain myself and not run 10 milers.  

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Sick again

Clearly ignoring the fact that I have asthma is not going to work for me.  I like to pretend it's not a big deal and that I don't have to take extra good care of my lungs...but here I am, sick for the second time in a month.  And this time the cough is 5 times worse.  So, I'm trying really hard to rest this time.  It has something to do with the fact that this cough is trying to rip me in half, but hey, whatever it takes.  I really want to go for an easy jog, but instead I'm keeping myself locked up inside. 

Cold air often makes me cough, but this year it's going to a whole new level.  Even jogging in the cold air the other day seemed to make my cough get worse, and my lungs barely have to work at a jog.  I'm starting to rethink the intensity of my marathon training plan for this winter.  First I have to get rid of this cough, and then see if I will be able to slowly build training back up or if I have to keep it light in the cold air.  Once I get rid of the cough I should at least be able to work on endurance training, if not speed work and tempos.

This Week : 
M : 34:00 circuit training
T : run 10.5 / 7:37 / 673 ft
W: rest
R: warm up w/Diane 3.1 / 8:42 / 33 ft
Turkey Trot w/Diane 3.1 / 7:45 / 105 ft
F : rest
Sa : rest
Su : rest
total miles : 16.7 

It's been a few years since my runner-siblings and I got together for a race on Thanksgiving, but we made it this year!  4 of us running, and another sibling driving us around and being our photographer.

We started out slow and gradually picked up the pace as each mile went by. 
Here we are picking up the pace in the final half mile.

I got home from PA yesterday mid-day, napped all afternoon, and then slept 9 hours last night.  I haven't felt feverish in 24 hours and my cough no longer makes my head feel like it's splitting in 2, although it's still giving my abs quite a workout.  I made a giant pot of vegetable soup today, and have succeeded in not exercising for 3 whole days.  Hopefully another good night of sleep tonight will help as well, as I head into a full week of work.  I'm going to try really hard to also take tomorrow off, and then I teach my circuit training class on Tuesday.  

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Race week

This week : 

M : run 5.3 / 7:48 / 246 ft
T : run 6.7 w/Corey / 7:32 / 236 ft
W :  yoga 30 min
R : run 5.1 / 7:52 / 312 ft
F : rest
Sa : warm up 1.1
strides 0.3
race 13 / 7:11 / 449 ft
Su : run 4.2 / 7:41 / 167 ft

total miles : 35.8

Saturday's race report can be found here.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Star City Half Marathon 2017

I'll write a full post later, for now just wanted to say that I ran my heart out and had zero oxygen left on the finish line at 1:33:24. Despite the fact that I was running as hard as I could, I didn't hit my goal pace for a single mile. Asthma had the final say despite all my hours of training, but I'm not going to give up. I will run a 1:27 (or faster!) someday!


Lots of thoughts in my head in the hours (and day) since this race. I am an over-thinker by nature, and so I will continue to think about this for awhile, even though I know there's really nothing to be gained from it.  I know that I ran my hardest yesterday.  I know that I run best by feel, and so I did not look at my pace at all during the race.  I was running a PR effort.  As the miles passed by, I was constantly assessing my effort and pushing harder if it felt at all possible. 

My lungs did not feel strong during this race.  Usually, I can make it through at least half the race before I start to worry about my lungs fatiguing, but this time I was really working for air the whole race.  This worried me, but I hoped it was just because I was running an extra fast pace.  I ended up using my inhaler at mile 4 and again at mile 9.  While I hoped that my lungs were struggling because of a fast pace, I worried that I was not in fact running that fast, but I made myself think positively throughout the race and pretend that I was on track for a PR and that all I had to do was push a little bit harder.  And then a little bit harder. 

I was struggling hard for air in the last mile as I made my final push to the finish line, but I kept telling myself it was almost over and I would make it.  It was a huge disappointment when I rounded the final turn towards the finish and checked the time clock as I sprinted for the line.  The clock read 1:33.  Even though I had been afraid I wasn't running a PR, I definitely was not expecting my time to be that slow, especially not for the effort I put in during the race.  My watch only had me at 13 miles on the line and normally I would keep going to 13.1 but this time I just didn't care.  My time was not at all what I wanted, I was barely getting any oxygen, and I just couldn't find a reason to care about being under the official distance. 

My lung haven't struggled that hard on a finish line in a long time.  And when I raced in September, I felt like I was almost ready to run a half marathon without using my inhaler during the race.  Yesterday was a slap in the face to those thoughts.  I did worry when I got sick a few weeks ago that it would weaken my lungs, and I'm assuming that is what happened here, combined with the cold air yesterday.  Even though I got rid of my cold in record time, there is still an occasional cough, and the cold air is always harder on my lungs.  It was in the 40s yesterday, so the logical explanation for my lung trouble is the cold air plus my lungs still being weak from the cough. 

gotta love asthma-attack finish-line face

It's hard to move on from a goal without achieving it, but I always knew that was a possibility with this goal, especially after I got sick.  I now have to switch gears to marathon training so I can PR the marathon at Pittsburgh in May.  I am not going to give up on PRing the half marathon, but it's going to have to wait.  Even if I could find another race soon and afford to pay for it, I'm assuming the cold air would compromise my lungs and keep me from the PR again anyway.  I might try for a race in early March, but if not, I'll have to wait til next fall.  And I'm just going to have to be ok with that.  It's already been 5 years since my race-verifiable PR and 3 since my watch clocked a PR on a course that was long.  What's one more year...?

The only up-side to this asthma race-failure debacle is my legs don't feel like they raced yesterday.  So I'm probably not going to rest quite as much as I had originally planned to after this race.  I am going to try to back off a little bit just because I have been training hard lately and I know my body can only take so much, but I probably won't back off mileage,, just maybe skip some of the faster workouts for a little while.  Famous last words, right?

Sunday, November 12, 2017

6 days til Star City!

This week : 

M : circuit training 33:15

T : yoga class 1 hr
run 10 / 8:34 / 906 ft

W : trainer ride 11.1 / 46:57 / 14.2 mph
TRX 10 minute abs

R : rest

F :  run 9 / 7:18 / 679 ft

Sa : run 6.1 / 7:50 / 482 ft

Su : TRX 35:00
trainer ride 12 / 48:37 / 14.8 mph

total run miles : 25.2
total bike miles : 23.1

Thankful to say my cough is almost entirely gone!  I've definitely been taking extra good care of myself lately, and maybe that special homemade chicken soup helped too.  

I hadn't originally planned to run fast on Friday, but I felt good starting out and my legs really wanted to go, so I ended up deciding to let them.  I didn't look at the pace while I was running, just ran as fast as I could maintain comfortably without getting too out of breath, then picked it up even faster for the last 2 miles (7:08, 7:06).  It felt really good, and was a great boost of confidence for me as I enter the final week before Star City!  

In other news, today is exactly 6 years since I ran my first marathon!  I've been thinking lately about how grateful I am to have had Jim as my running partner back then.  When I came up with the crazy scheme to run a half marathon, he trained and raced with me.  He did the same when I decided to be even crazier and run a marathon 11 months later.  If it weren't for him encouraging me, training with me, and traveling to those races with me, who knows where I'd be now.  Maybe I would have eventually run these distances anyway, maybe I would have kept running a 5k a day forever.  But I bet I wouldn't be about to run my 33rd half marathon in less than a week, or planning my 4th marathon in 6 months.  My running fitness has come a long way in the last 6 years, and I can't wait to see how much further I can take it!  

Flashback!  11/12/2011

PS : I can see my abs.  They aren't super 6-pack defined yet...but they are definitely there.  Exciting. 

Sunday, November 5, 2017

and then I got sick for the first time in over a year

I really need to learn to acknowledge/heed the warnings my body sends me so that it doesn't have to hit the self-destruct button just to get my attention.  I know that I can fight off head colds when I'm doing everything right, and it's not hard to figure out exactly what I did wrong in the last 2 weeks. My nightly sleep slipped down from 8-9 hrs/night to 7-7.5, which is probably what hurt me the most.  And then there's the fact that I let myself freeze in my apt, while bordering the underweight line, instead of just paying the extra $20/month it would probably have cost me to keep the heat higher.  My body wasted so much energy trying to keep me warm, it couldn't fight off the head cold.  Lesson learned: it's not worth it to save $20 a month.  I'm two weeks out from my race and now I have a cough that is unlikely to be gone by then, since it usually takes me an average of a month to fully get rid of a cough.  The only good side to this is that I'm being forced to take it easier in these weeks leading up to the race, when I would have kept training hard until the last week.  So the forced easier runs will probably help in the end.  But, depending on the coughing situation, I may not be able to get the PR I've been working so hard for.  My lungs have been the only thing preventing me from getting one before this, and they are now compromised.  I haven't completely given up hope yet, and I know there will be other chances next year, but this PR is what all my training has been leading up to for the last year, so it will be really hard if I show up to race day knowing it's not in the cards.  BUT I've been taking extra good care of myself since Wednesday, and even made chicken soup from an entire chicken for the first time ever today.  All I can do now is continue to take extra good care of myself and hope for the best!

The plan this week was a 4 mile tempo on Tuesday and 10 miles on Thursday.  But Tuesday we got out of school at 1 for Halloween, so I decided to take advantage of the extra time and do my long run.  After making plans to run a few miles with Chuck in the middle, I decided to push the first few.  I'm glad I ended up getting those fast miles in, because when Thursday came around I was too sick to do a tempo run.  The last mile was my fastest at 6:50, and miles 2 & 3 were also under 7:00, so I definitely got some tempo miles in this week.

This week : 

M : hill run 6.3 / 8:34 / 725 ft

T : circuit training 33:15
run 9 / 7:27 / 397 
(3.6 hard, 4 moderate w/Chuck, solo finish with last 1 hard)

W : rest

R : run 5 / 9:02 / 344 ft

F : rest 

Sa : walk 1.6
TRX 35:00

Su : run w/Corey 12.45 / 8:09 / 814 ft

total miles 32.7

In other news, there are only 2 months left in the year and I am 80+ miles ahead of my goal for 1500 miles in 2017.  October saw the fewest runs of any month, but the 3rd highest mileage, 2nd highest elevation gain, and it definitely had a greater percentage of faster runs!  I've already passed last year's mileage, and the 2 years before that were each under 1000.  It's nice to be injury free!