A Little Running and a Little Tom

Seriously, where has this week gone?  Not that I am complaining that tomorrow is Friday but how is tomorrow Friday?    Yesterday felt like Monday all day long.   Nobody needs two Mondays in one week.

funny quote my week all mondays except friday and saturday

This week, yes. Thanks Pinterest

I still love my new desk even if it is taking me longer to adjust than I thought.  I make it to about 1 each day before I need to sit; but I have adjusted to the chair finally.  I almost fell off the dang thing on Monday.  Between the wheels and the higher height of the seat, I had a few rough moments.  My challenge gave my coworkers a good laugh though.  :)

Tuesday’s run was rough.  Just ugh.    Not sure if it was partly due to tired legs or what but lets just leave it at 3.5 miles done.    Wednesday turned into a rest day.  I was supposed to go to the gym but I just wasn’t feeling it and work ran later than planned so rest it was.   I switched back to heels as well that day and for some reason, standing seemed easier.  I am so odd.IMG_6403

Tonight I had no desire to run the lake path so I headed back to my town and hit up the river path.   My initial warm up walk extended itself because I was a little nervous to run.  My last 2 4 “easy” runs have been the opposite of easy and throw in the Ventura half and I was just afraid of another rough run.  I couldn’t even decide on how many miles to run.  The Slacker in me was saying that 3 would be fine, the moderately reformed Slacker was telling me to do 5.   That tiny bit of fear was telling me to walk the whole thing.IMG_6407

I still have the 8:30/1:00 intervals set up on my Garmin, so after walking the first 9:30 I decided to stick with that and started running.   I tried to focus on my breathing and take slow, deep breaths.  I wanted to see if it helped any.  My old rule of thumb for most runs was to never be huffing and puffing even if it meant I was slower.  It worked for me last year, so let’s try it again!  I noticed after a mile or so that my form was better than usual.  I felt like I was running tall and it felt good.  Not sure if it was an added bonus of standing more  or if it was the shoes.   I was wearing my Sayonaras and I try to pay a little more attention to my form in them since they are a very neutral shoe and I tend to over pronate on the right side.   I was also running with Tom Cruise hands.  Why??? Again, I am odd.

I walked the 1:00 interval in both miles 2 & 3, telling myself I would try to run all of 4.  Sounds like a little thing but I haven’t run a solid mile in well over a month.   While I succeeded, I don’t think it counts.  At 3.5 miles I have to cross a street to get back to the path.  I tried to run across quickly but somehow my pepper spray leaped out my belt and landed in the cross walk.  I got to the curb and somehow paused both my Garmin and Nike+ app while spinning around.  I must have looked funny because every car was stopped staring at me.  What do I do?  Leave it or bolt and get it? I waved one car on and hoped no one on the other side would run over it.  I then bolted out grabbed it and ran back.  Dang it, that messed with my breathing!  And I finally lost the Tom Cruise hands.  :)  I carried the pepper spray the rest of the way.  1/4 mile later, I saw NikeC running my way, so we stopped and chatted a bit.  So yes, I ran all of mile 4 but I had 2 breaks.   :(

Overall, this was the least stressful run I have had in over a month.  For once I didn’t feel horrible.   Now just to duplicate it and still take it easy.   Easy, peasy right?  Ha!

How has your week been?  Anyone else have an extra Monday?

Anyone racing this weekend?  Long running?

Ever Tom Cruise’d it up?

Stand up!

After 6 days with no running last week, I was both itching for a run and nervous.   It’s like I was thinking I would have forgotten how to run or something.   After working at the Avocado Festival Saturday, I knew I had to be up early if I wanted to run before working the last shift at the festival on Sunday.    Now with the exception of race mornings, I am not an early riser.  At all.  I love sleeping.  But I forced myself out of bed and was running by 8:30.  Not even that early, right?   I was tired and my head is still a little rough so I had two route options- 3.8 or 4.2.  3.8 won and I felt like my legs took miles to warm up.  That I could have handled, it was my damn lungs that were annoying.  We rarely ever have humidity here so I didn’t bother to check it.  Fail!  The humidity was 70% that morning, some freak cloud system had rolled in overnight.  The clouds left but the humidity lingered.  Ugh.  But 3.8 miles done.  I checked the weather again at 3 and the weather was 102º with 9% humidity.  I would have rather run in that.9-14

I spent 5 hours working at the Avocado Margarita Festival on Saturday and 3 on Sunday.   The weather was awesome in work town and the festival was packed.  However I spent those hours in an old building.  It needed a fan and the giant generator was right outside.  It ran the entire time- so not helpful for my head.    Even though after a couple of hours, I started to tune it out.    It was still a good weekend and it was an amazing fundraiser and it sounded like everyone had a good time.   :)

Saturday

Saturday

I worked in a restaurant for years and it was 95% standing and walking.  When I started with my current organization I still primarily worked standing up.  I was used to it so it was no big deal.  When I was promoted and transferred locations almost 2 years ago, I went to a regular desk height counter and sat in a chair about 75% of the time.   It was kind of the luck of the draw that that was the way the new building was set up.   Surprisingly or thankfully, I only put on 6 8 pounds over that time.   I kind of felt like I was in a hole after a while and said that it was harder for me to keep an eye on everything- I’m such a lurker.   I would crack jokes that I either needed a stand up desk or a trampoline chair that I could bounce off.   I found out Saturday that one customer compared me to Wilson from Home Improvement because the most he says he ever saw was from the eyes up.  Then again he also thought I was a teenager when I saw him at the festival.   Ha!   A coworker used to say I looked like a Meerkat sticking my head up all the time from my computer.

Anyways, back in February I figured it could never hurt to ask, so I asked my boss if there was ever a chance.   It took awhile and had to go through a bunch of levels but as of yesterday, I have a counter height desk!!!  Woo hoo!  I did a little dance when I saw it after construction and I may or may not have hugged the counter.   I also have more drawers now.   :)   Now I just have to work on keeping it looking neater than the “organized chaos” that it was before.   I swear I knew what was in every pile, but now they are visible piles.

I am working my way back up to standing all day, so my legs are a little sore.   Between that and volleyball yesterday, I am crazy stiff.  My calves are tight and my abs are sore.    I feel like I ran more than usual playing last night and I was serving a little harder than usual.   I suppose it’s good news that I use my abs for my posture rather than my back right?    I know I am going to be a little achy this week adjusting but I am still so excited about it.  Such a nerd, I know.

We’re almost halfway!! How is your week going?

What about you?  Do you sit or stand for work?

Any fun events coming up in your neck of the woods?

Fessing Up

Considering how badly I hurt after Ventura I was expecting to be in pain on Monday and Tuesday.  Surprisingly, I felt fine.  I only felt a couple of twinges here and there.   Which was good as Monday was my first night back to volleyball.   I had Monday and Tuesday as vacation days, so it was super nice to sleep in on Monday.   I ran some errands and played on the computer, a nice relaxing day before volleyball in the evening.    While we didn’t win, we played well.  It was new team (sort of) and I hadn’t played in almost a year.   I thought I was going to be more rusty but it felt very familiar.

Damn, my shoes are white

Damn, my shoes are white

The only downside was the niggling of headache that had been lingering for a few days.  That niggling turned into a full blown migraine by Tuesday morning and I could barely walk, let alone get in my planned run.  I spent Tuesday in bed in a dark room.  Great vacation day right?   That headache has hung around since, so I actually have not run since Ventura.  I did make it to work the rest of the week though.  I had to take a personality type assessment (similar to Myers Briggs) on Wednesday for a training seminar.   Never take those when you have a headache.    Your answers are just a little off.    Oops!   Oh well, at least I got a decent laugh out of it.   And I think I figured out what triggered the headaches, so hopefully those will be easing.  :)

My 6+ miles of walking in the Ventura half gave me plenty of time to think; plenty of time to fess up.  Back in the beginning of June I posted my No Excuses Summer post.  For the most part I stuck to it.  But I shouldn’t have.  My lovely GI issue flared up shortly after that and it’s now going on 3 months.  Instead of stepping back and getting some rest, I turned in 2 of my highest mileage months ever.   My body said one thing and my head ego said something else.   Which led me to Ventura.   I’m not even mad because honestly the writing was on the wall.  My paces have gotten slower, walking breaks longer and I take a nap any chance I get- damn near everyday.

So, where am I going with this?  Half marathons and I are taking a little break.  I am dropping back to running 3x a week and capping my long runs around 9.    I have run 4 half marathons this year, that is double any previous year so really I have nothing to complain about.   But this means missing City to the Sea and that kind of pisses me off.   This would have been my third year running it.  I really like the course and the volunteers and this year the shirt is purple! I want that!  But the race also falls 4 days after I go to USC so a smarter head must prevail.  I’m not done racing though, I love races!  I am just going to stick to 10K’s and under for a bit.    I would love to run a half in November if I am healthy enough but I have accepted that Surf City (NikeC!) in February might be my next half.

At times I am ok with this scaled back plan and others I am irritated.  But then I did it to myself.  Now I have to stick to this plan and not let the lower monthly numbers play with my head.  Which is what happened the last time I said I should scale back.    I have the Avocado Margarita Festival this weekend so it’s going to be busy but hopefully my next post will have some actual running in it.   I want to run 3 days a week not none!

Ever taken one of those fun assessment tests?

Ever run yourself into a hole or is it just my special talent?

What are you doing this weekend?

Anyone racing?  (Good luck to Courtney at Don’t Blink Just Run!)

Ventura Marathon-Half- Recap

I had a feeling this post may border on wordy which is why most of the pictures were uploaded in the last post.   Now for what those photos didn’t show.

The Weekend-

I was able to get off work a couple hours early on Friday, so I headed straight home to finish packing and preparing.  I felt like I was both taking too much and not enough at the same time.   My mother and I headed out early Saturday morning, we planned on spending some time at the Ventura Mall before heading to packet pick up and the hotel.   I haven’t been in a mall in years and well it was kind of a let down.   The only upside was a Hot Topic for my inner nerd and I may have spent a little too much at Macy’s (damn Dooney!).  From there it was on to the hotel.

When I booked the hotel I looked for one that advertised as being near to the pier.  It didn’t occur to me to compare the addresses until 2 weeks ago.  Oops.  But I lucked out, the hotel was 1.2 miles from the pier on the same street and right next door to an In n Out, and I was able to get chocolate milk from the 7-11 across the street.  Sweet!   Dinner was at BJ’s Restaurant, where I indulged in a pretty good burger and fries.   That was followed by a 3.5 mile walk down to and around the pier to get my legs moving before trying to get some sleep.

Once checking out of the hotel on Sunday, we headed back to Santa Barbara for a little more shopping.   I was looking forward to a real Lululemon and just some window shopping.  The weather in Santa Barbara was amazing.   After that it was north to SLO for dinner and then finally home.  We were tired.

The Expo-IMG_6249

Not much to say here.  Packet pickup was a breeze, both easy and super windy.  Instead of a bunch of useless samples in the bag, they had a table or 2 of samples.   I only took a sample of KT tape.   The website looked like there would be a lot of vendors but most seemed more like local crafts and things.  Kind of like a farmer’s market minus the food.   I stopped by the ProCompression booth but there was no one working it?  There was live music playing and a little listening area as well.  A very nice (cute) police officer took a picture for us, but my mother deleted it- so there’s a selfie instead.  :)

The Race-

Race morning dawned and I had no need of an alarm.   I hadn’t slept well the night before and had been awake off and on from about 3 on.   I wasn’t feeling so great but that wasn’t too surprising to me.    I had packed some candy corns for race fuel but they sounded nasty so I did not even take them.  I got ready and headed out the door, I had planned on walking to starting line.    While I was walking there the marathon runners were running up the other side.   They looked so ready to go,  to the point that 3 were bouncing basketballs while running.   Seriously?  It’s all I can do to run a half marathon and you are going to bounce a basketball (or 2!) while running 26.2!!!IMG_6222

Anywho, I made my way up to the starting line in time to jump into the first wave.  A few announcements and count down and we were off!    I had issues getting both my Garmin and my Nike+ app started but managed to get them going not too far from the starting line.    I was aiming for a 10:00 average so when mile 1 came in at 9:50, I was ok with that.  Mile 2 seemed a little tougher and fell to 10:17.   I was using intervals of 8:30 run and 1:00 walk as I knew going in I wasn’t 100%.  Even with this I was tiring quickly.  The weather felt way warmer than I would have liked.   The course went through a nice housing area before going back to the main street.  It turned off towards the harbor for a quick out and back to add mileage before heading back down the main street into Oxnard and out into some fields before turning around and going back the way we came.  Mile 5- I took 2 walk breaks, I was having trouble getting my breathing under control.   I had already used my inhaler 3 times.  Which was odd because I hadn’t used it on any run since my last half marathon in July.   I kept trucking along until my next walk break at mile 6.5.  Which is where I had to get real.

I only ran once in taper week leading up to the race.  It was 3.5 miles and it was the hardest run I have ever done.   I mentioned briefly that I had finally started my antibiotics.  Between those and my lovely stomach I was thisclose to deferring Ventura.  I was feeling so crappy.   I told myself I was being a big baby and would be fine.  In reality I had no business running a half marathon at this time.   Mile 6.5 was the beginning of this epiphany (and others but more about that later).

I walked it in from there.  I called my mom at mile 7.5 and told her she had more time to relax at the hotel because I wasn’t going to be near 2:10:00.    I just kept walking.  I was so hot, my hamstrings were cramping, and my left shin felt super angry.    I took 2 cups of water at every aid station.  One to drink and one to dump over my head.  I alternated my Gatorade and their water to stay hydrated.   I had Honey Stingers in my belt but the very idea of those made me ill.   I grabbed a Cliff Shot around mile 9 and carried it for a while.  I eventually ripped it open around mile 11.  I had somehow managed to grab one with caffeine and I was hoping it would help the lungs.   I know it didn’t have enough caffeine to do anything but one can hope right.    I jogged a tiny bit each mile both to keep the pace below 14:00 and to loosen up my stiff legs.   The volunteers and the crowd support was pretty awesome.  Around mile 11.5, there was a little boy dressed as the Flash giving high fives. He was cool. :)IMG_6228[1]

The last 2.5 miles or so I was keeping pace with a women who was race walking and a guy who would run ahead and then walk.  I always caught him on the walking portions.  I couldn’t tell if he was doing intervals or if he was as spent as I was.  I never saw the 13 mile marker but did see the 26 one.  I figured I could run the last .2.   Ha!  That was the longest .2 of my life.  I thought the finish line was never going to arrive.   I did leave race walker and interval guy behind.   Finally there was the finish line and I was done.  Half marathon #9 complete, not my best, not my slowest but probably the most walking.   I won’t lie, I did get a little teary eyed at the finish.  Thank goodness for sunglasses.Ventura Marathon Results

Since I had finished later than planned, I barely had time to limp back to the hotel to shower and check out.  I hurt badly.  I don’t think I have been that sore after a race since my very first half marathon.  I gimped the 1.2 miles back to the hotel, stopping to stretch along the way.   The chocolate milk in the mini fridge was the best thing ever.   After checking out, we hit In n Out for food.  I was suddenly hungry.   Finding out that they still sold extra large drinks was the second best thing ever- that Diet Coke tasted amazing.   I did feel bad for my mom though, she had to be seen in public with me- jean shorts, teal tank and bright purple compression socks.  I was styling, ha!

So no, this race did not go according to plan but it was still a good weekend.  Shopping was fun, the food was yummy.  I also learned that I have serious problems tolerating humidity (74% WTH?!).  I got a few compliments during the race about my use of neon and I got a shout out from a fellow SLO ambassador when she ran by me.   So while I am rethinking some things, I still call this weekend a win.  :)

How do some of you deal with humidity on a regular basis?  Seriously, anything over 25% is rough for me.  Maybe I am spoiled?

What’s your post race reward?