Thursday, December 31, 2015

2015 in review

Earlier this week, Strava informed me that I had run 906 miles so far this year, and wanted to know what my goal was for the year.  First, I was sad to see that I hadn't made it to 1000 for the year.  Second, I was confused as to why they would wait til there were only a few days left in the year to ask me what my goal was.  Little late for that, isn't it?  Anyway, I spent a day or two thinking it was terrible that I only had 900 miles for the year.  And then this morning I looked back at my summary for 2014, and saw that I only ran 690 miles that year. 900 isn't looking so bad.  It's a far way from the 1490 I had in 2013, but I guess it's not bad for all the tendonitis and asthma issues I've been dealing with.

Although I managed to get more miles this year, I ended up with fewer races.  2014 had 9 races, 6 of which were half marathons.  2015 got me only 8 races, and only 3 of them were half marathons, none with particularly stunning times.

There's a part of me that says it's time to give up on my half marathon goals and accept that my body has decided to be old and broken.  Of course there's another part of me that says never give up.  And of course that is the part I want to listen to.  I clearly need to be smarter about training now, and much more patient.  Neither my lungs, legs, nor feet will be ready for a half marathon tomorrow or next week.  If I want to get back to half marathon shape without getting injured in either the training or the race, I am going to have to be careful.  I only hope that I can rise to this challenge.

2015 running

2015 biking
(2014 bike : 2291 miles / 158,000 ft elevation)

I have no idea what 2016 has in store for me.  After two years of tendonitis woes I am wary of making any lofty running goals.  Maybe 2016 will be my glorious comeback, and maybe it won't.  Only time will tell.  I am looking forward to finding out what I will achieve in the coming year!

December 21-27

Just a few days late in posting this weekly summary...oh well.  I was out of town without my computer on Sunday.  And then I got home and just didn't get around to it.

Last Monday I had a root canal to save the tooth I killed by crashing my bike 4+ weeks ago.  Thankfully there was zero pain when the numbness wore off afterward.  Plus, the tooth is not nearly as dark as it was before the root canal.  Headed to the dentist next week for internal whitening, and hoping it can be done in one session instead of the three she said it would need.  I'd be fine with leaving it as it is now, but I have to at least go to the dentist to get the temporary cap removed and a permanent cap put on it.

I love the snipping convenient.  Using it to show last week's exercise means everything is in reverse order though.

total bike miles : 18.2
total run miles : 20.1

I was pleased with my 10 mile run.  Any run faster than an 8 min/mile pace is pretty good at this point, and my legs didn't completely die at any point.  They are still not very happy any time I get above 8 miles, but they complained slightly less this time, so that's encouraging.  Baby steps.  I will get back to half marathon shape eventually.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Daryn Straley

I learned last night that a core member of the weekly Pub Runs here in Lewisburg died this weekend after hitting some black ice.  I am still in a state of shock and disbelief.  I only knew Daryn for a few months, and rarely saw him outside of the weekly runs (and subsequent beer-drinking), but you get to know a lot about a person when you run and drink beer together once a week.  He often brought his dog to the runs, and she would dictate our pace for the first mile or more, straining at the leash and pulling us forward, her excited yelps alerting people that we were coming.

I last saw Daryn a week ago at the last Pub Run.  He brought Chester home after the run, and then returned to the Pub to have a few beers.  And he brought me a Christmas present.  It was completely unexpected, but he handed me a bottle of whiskey, Jameson Black Barrel.  We had drank some together on a different night at the Pub, and he said he remembered that I had liked it.  It was such an unexpected and thoughtful gesture.

I'm still trying to wrap my head around the fact that he is gone.  It's so hard to believe that he won't be standing at the meeting spot with Chester yipping at the top of her lungs when I show up for the run this evening, or future evenings.  His enthusiasm and general cheeriness will be sorely missed at the weekly runs.  My heart goes out to his family, who now must face the holidays without him.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Winter decided to show up

Last Saturday I enjoyed a sunny warm run in shorts and short sleeves.  This Saturday, there was ice and snow on the ground and a cold wind blowing. Last Saturday's run was definitely the more enjoyable of the two!

Runs this week : 
M : Pub Run 6 / 7:36
T : 6.1 / 7:56
F : 4.3 / 6:55
Sa : 5.2 / 7:58
total miles : 21.7

The Pub run this week was one of the warmest we've had.  It was actually warm enough to run in shorts, even though we were running after sunset!  It was just three of us again, it seems that the core group of runners has been established. Tuesday's run was just a jog around town to get some exercise. I took Wednesday off because of a staff/board Christmas party at 5.  I would have only had time for  a short fast run and I didn't feel like doing that.  I thought I would run Thursday, but I ended up babysitting all afternoon after school instead.  Friday the staff Christmas party/secret santa gift exchange was at 5, but I really needed a run, so I did short and fast.  In the snow.  First snow fall of the season happened on our last day of school before Christmas break.  No more than a dusting ever ended up sticking to the ground, but that dusting still hasn't melted in some places.  The roads froze into a solid sheet of ice overnight on Friday.  I waited til lunchtime on Saturday to run so that the roads wouldn't be quite as slick, but there was still ice in the shadows.  

In other news, I am kicking off my Christmas vacation with a root canal tomorrow.  Sadly, my front tooth did not survive the bike crash three weeks ago. Desperately hoping that the root canal goes without a hitch and no new problems arise.  

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Girls and their Horses

After a lovely 3 mile stroll though the fields on our horses this afternoon, we were all still hanging around and talking, and I had my camera out.  Sue convinced me to hand over the camera and get some photos taken of Pony and I.  She also took out my pony tail and took away my sunglasses.  I'm really glad she decided I needed my picture taken, because they came out great!  Afterwards, I took some photos of her and Nena with the horses.  So much fun!

Springtime in December

Wearing shorts to run in December?  Yes please!  And thank you!  Winters aren't so bad when it's December and above 50 degrees! I was very tempted to bike today, to take advantage of this lovely weather even though I should probably wait until my teeth are healed before I bike.  Then I slept in til 10:30, so I didn't bike.  I had plans to ride my horse with some people at 2:00, so sleeping more than half the morning took away the time I would have had to bike.  Probably a good thing.  Not that being around horses is any safer than biking right now...but thankfully I had a great time and nothing hit me in the face. Am I rambling?

Runs this week : 
M : Pub Run 5.8 
W : 5.6
R : 6.1
Sa : 7
total miles : 24.5

My legs were tired all week.  They never really recovered from last Wednesday's long run plus the ridiculous amount of hills I ran last week.  I was disappointed not to run anything longer than 7 this week, but but I did run 4 times and got my highest weekly mileage in a long time (not by much, but that's not the point).  In the end, I'm just grateful that I am back to running and my feet seem healthy.  Still having some asthma trouble, but it's not preventing me from running, only preventing me from running as fast as I might like to sometimes.  

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Tis the Season

...for Christmas Card photos!  I've done a couple of fun sessions so far.

I absolutely love the soft golden light!

Running for the Hills

Oh how I adore running hills.  Each time I ran this week, I told myself I would run 4, maybe 5 miles.  But that is easily accomplished in less than 45 minutes, and I am so used to biking for an hour or two, that 45 minutes just doesn't feel remotely like an adequate amount of exercise.  I have no desire to stop after only 45 minutes.  So I just keep on going.  Wednesday was my first exercise post-crash, and my first run in about 10 days. I hadn't intended to take 10 days of, but I somehow never got around to running while I was traveling over Thanksgiving week, and then I had to take a few days off from exercising after crashing so that the hole in my knee could dry out a bit.

Runs this week:




week totals

2100 feet of climbing this week, that's no joke.  A normal 20-25 mile week for me tends to be between 1100 and 1200 feet.  For the most part, this week's runs felt really good.  Wednesday's run felt great for the first 8 miles, but shortly into the last mile my left hip decided it was done, and it hurt quite a bit for the remainder of the run.  I was definitely limping when I stopped running.  It is the hip I landed on when I fell last Saturday, so I'm guessing it still had some healing to do.  Thankfully, the pain didn't last long and I haven't had any trouble with it since.  Of course, I also haven't tried to run 9 miles again.  My upper legs have been pretty sore all week.  Running a bunch of hills after a bunch of time off is apparently hard on my muscles...go figure.  My last downhill today was killer, my legs were not happy with me.  I felt really strong on the uphills though! Plus, I just ran 2 days in a row for the first time, and so far so good!  Tomorrow's Pub Run will make it 3 days in a row, but at least it will be shorter (maybe) and flatter (definitely).

Post-crash update : 

This photo was taken on 11/30, 2 days after the crash.  Still some marks on my face. 

This photo was taken 12/5, one week after the crash.  The marks on my face are now very faint, because I picked off the scabs.  My teeth are not as loose as they were, and they still look and feel pretty good.  No sensitivity to cold, which I hear is a good sign.  I tend to think that if my teeth were dying, I would be able to tell by now.  But I'm guessing I'm not quite out of the woods yet. I certainly am not anywhere near ready to start biting into apples again.  Or even my lunch sandwiches, for that matter. I am getting pretty used to cutting my sandwiches into bite-sized pieces and eating them with a fork though...

The hole in my knee is taking forever to heal.  I can't help but think that if it were summer it would be so much further healed by now.  Given that it's cold out and I have to wear long pants every day, I've had to keep it covered with band-aids so my clothes don't irritate it.  The result is that it doesn't get enough exposure to air to allow it to heal quickly.  Thankfully I've been able to wear shorts around my apartment this weekend and leave it exposed to air.  It is now looking so much better.  Oh and I guess it's not really a "hole"... just a quarter-sized patch of skin missing.