Well, that wasn’t the plan

Even though the extreme pain of Thursday evening eased, I still felt sore on Friday.   Sore isn’t really the right word but it’s the closest thing to describe how my left side felt on Friday.   I didn’t pay much mind to it throughout the day.  Partly because the day was too damn busy and chaotic and partly because I figured it would go away by the end of the day.    When the text messages start coming before your alarm, you know the day is going be a little rough.    But eventually it was over and I was looking forward to a weekend of running and maybe a little shopping.

Poor use of my new pretty socks

Poor use of my new pretty socks

Saturday morning was a fundraiser for my mom’s tennis team.   They were completing a walk-a-thon and each boy had to walk or run or crawl 20 laps on the track.  One boy brought a unicycle!   They had a few hours in which to do this so my original plan was to run to the school and then complete my 12 miler on the track with them.  When my alarm went off, I could still feel that odd soreness before even getting up.    So I chose to sleep a little longer and then just head straight to the school.    I figured I would get in as many laps/ miles on the track that I could.   They had the track for 3 hours, I was still hoping I could get in 10-12 miles.   I didn’t really think they were going to be there that long and I was right about that.  However I was overly optimistic about my goal.IMG_9905Running hurt.    I walked a few laps and tried to run one.  Ouch.  Walked a few more and tried running another one.  Still ow.  Ok, fine I get it.  I walked out the remainder of laps.  So 5 miles walking done.  I still hoped to try and run later in the afternoon.  I ran a few errands and then had the afternoon free.   I could have/ should have run but instead I took a nap.  Naps are training right?

Which ones!?

Which ones!?

I’ve been doing the math and realized that if my Wave Rider’s wear like they usually do, I will need a new pair before the SLO Marathon.  Even if they did hold up through April, I would be running the race in very worn down shoes.  I’ve been hoarding the gift card I got along with my Heritage award for just this purpose so today called for a trip to SLO.   My mom and I headed down for a day of shopping, yummy food and hopefully a good hike to end the day.

The weather was awesome and the food was yummy as always.  My stomach was not cooperative for a hike, however.  This was more of the usual though and less of the odd soreness.  Which is probably partially my fault.    I start a new diet with lots of restrictions tomorrow so I may have indulged a little too much this weekend.  Oops, but not really.  I had to say goodbye.  :)   So the hoped for hike didn’t happen.  I did clear 10,000 steps on my Fitbit though and that is only the second time I have done that outside a day with a run.  Yeah, I need to work on that.   :)IMG_9921The highlight of the shopping was the new shoe purchase.   Aren’t new running shoes always the best?   I knew exactly what I wanted to try on so that made it fairly easy.   Per usual, the Running Warehouse was packed on a Sunday afternoon.  There were already numerous people being helped and a few waiting.   I checked out all the pretty shoes while waiting.   So very many colors!    I guess being a familiar face is helpful because one of the employees was able to grab the shoes I wanted to try while he was getting another customers.  Score!   I tried the Wave Rider 18 and Wave Inspire 11. I still love Mizuno.   :)    I had 2 pairs of Wave Inspire 9’s that I loved but just could not get behind the 10’s.  I never even bought a pair they felt so off.  I’ve been in the Wave Rider 17 ever since and am on pair 3.  I was nervous I wouldn’t like the update for the 18.   I liked the fit and feel, nothing felt too different, I just liked the feel of the Inspire’s better today.    In fact the only real issues I had with both pairs was deciding which to buy and the shoelaces.    The laces seem short, so I may be changing those shortly.   It’ll be interesting going to back to a support shoe after being in neutral for so long but I think it may be a good thing.     I picked my shoes and was in and out of there fairly quickly, double score!  Now I just can’t wait to take them for a run!

And I need to get back on track with training.   This was not a shiny week, it happens right?

How was your weekend?  Did you race?  Or run?

Shoelaces?  Do you like them longer or shorter?

Running Favorites and a Rough End

Happy Thursday!!!

Tonight’s run started and stayed pretty damn good right up to the end.  So before we get to that let’s do something fun!  I was tagged by Charissa to participate in a running survey/ questionnaire.  So here we go!

1) Location: Trail, Road, or Indoors?

Can I compromise and say dirt roads??  I run mostly on roads but love trails.   However I run a little crazy on trails and that probably wouldn’t be a good idea all the time.  :)

2) Time of Day: Morning, Noon, or Evening?

Late afternoon to early evening.  It’s partly due to my work schedule and partly due the fact that I love sleep.   I am so not a morning person.  Even races can be rough.

3) Weather: Sunshine, Mild or Hot?

Warm!  Crazy, I know but once I adjust to it, I love high 70’s-low  80’s.  However for races I would prefer it to be in the 60’s.  But I know the way I see the seasons going, I will be running in 90-100 sooner than later.

4) Fuel: Before, After, and sometimes during?

Runner fail.   :(    I don’t fuel before morning runs and rarely during long runs.   I usually have something with me when I am doing more than 10 miles but I rarely ever use it.   My stomach makes those choices and I’ve learned to listen to it.   For runs over 6 miles, I run with Skratch instead of water and I take Gatorade for races.  It’s odd but it works for me.

5) Accessories: Music, Watch & More?

My Garmin is a must, I love tracking those numbers.  I also always have my phone, my inhaler and my pepper spray.   I always listen to music but only keep one ear bud in and keep the music low.   Man, that’s a lot of things.

6) Rewards: Food, Wine, or …?

Food!!!  I love food.   :)  I celebrate most races with a good burger and fries.   We have a couple of great local burger places.  :)

7) Type of run: Long, tempo, intervals, hill repeats, progression, or recovery/easy?

Progression.    Tempos and intervals always seem harder and stress me out.  I like how a progression can start pretty easy and pick it up along the way.

I nominate-

Slow but Steady-ish

Boring Broad Runs

Don’t Blink Just Run

Piper’s Run

Embrace the Neon

Single-tracked Mind They count for 2!

Everyone else!!!

Alrighty, back to today.  My stomach was a little asshat today but no worse than it has been off and on since this stupid “flare”.  Seriously, it’s almost been a year.   Ugh.   My training plan called for a 15 minute warm-up, 2×2 tempo miles with a 3 minute jog in between, followed by a 15 minute cool down.   I knew that was unlikely the way my stomach was feeling so I  was optimistically aiming for an easy 4.    It was in the low 80’s when I got to the lake and it felt awesome.  IMG_9846FullSizeRender (4)Somewhere along the line I decided to see what I could handle.  After a warm up mile, I threw in a mile at tempo pace.  Then to give my stomach a little break I walked .10 mile and then ran another tempo mile.  And repeat.   The miles felt comfortably hard and my stomach was cooperating.  I made sure to take a break between all 3 tempo miles just to keep it happy.   After a .75 mile cool down, I was at 5 miles and called it for the day.    I felt pretty good and was stoked about the times I hit for the 3 tempo miles.  I as on the back side of the lake so I figured I would walk back to my car the long way around.  I would stretch along the way and I wanted a few pictures because it just looked so pretty.  The ducks are coming and it was kind of fun running with them flying overhead.   I took a few then I was on my way.  IMG_9854 IMG_9850I didn’t get very far before I was hunched over trying not to scream.   I felt like someone had stabbed me in the left side.   I figured I could breathe through it- nope.  Tried to walk it out- I could barely stand up straight -walking was barely happening.  I sat on some playground equipment to wait it out but it didn’t help.    It took me more than 20 minutes to make it the 3/4 of a mile back to my car.   Once there I finally did let myself moan and curse out loud.    I also googled which side your appendix is on.  I knew it was the right but  it hurt so bad, I figured if I was wrong I was driving myself to the ER.   I wasn’t wrong.  So, what, the gas pains from hell?! Yeah, tmi, sorry.  Now I’ve had gas pains before but this was ridiculous.  I could barely walk, I was hunched over the whole walk back to my car.  But now, I feel better.  Not great but back to where I was before.    I don’t think it was the running that did it, I felt fine, I made sure to check in with myself.    I did go back to my old medication today, so maybe the switch didn’t go so well?   It figures it happens the day after I see my gastro but we have a whole new plan to start next week..so yay?

Happy Friday!!!

What are your running favorites?

Ever have the side ache from hell?

Kick It Out

Monday came and went and I was in the oddest mood all day.   I was tired, like stupid tired but for some reason I wanted to run.  Which is odd in itself because Mondays are my rest days and I always look forward to just going straight home after the chaos that is Monday.   Thing is, Monday’s have only been a rest day since fall and darkness sent me into the gym in the evenings.   I refused to go to the gym on Mondays because of the crowds so I picked a Tuesday- Thursday schedule.   Last summer was more of a run when I felt like it kind of schedule.  isWatermarked

I kept it super easy on Sunday with a puppy jog, on more populated roads, so I optimistically packed my gear on Monday morning.  I still wasn’t convinced but figured if I stuck to the usual plan at least I didn’t have to pack for Tuesday.   :)  Slacker at my finest, right?   After work, I was still dead on my feet but wanted to run.   So I changed into my gear and then just couldn’t decide.

I was like Goldilocks, I didn’t want to run at work because it was too windy and kind of chilly.  I drove towards run town but wasn’t feeling it either.  It was still windy and I wasn’t liking the temp my car was showing.   Which was sad because it was in the 60’s.  Plus I figured one lap of the lake and I would end up bailing the first time I passed my car.  So I headed home for the river path, opposite end of town from lion sightings.   Third time’s the charm?isWatermarkedI set out with the low goal of 20 minutes.  If I still wasn’t feeling it, I would call it and just go home.    As I walked my warmup, I noticed something.  The way the sun was going down behind me and where the pouch on my belt was, I had the perfect silhouette on the ground.  I first selfishly noted that my shadow looked thin, thank you tricks of the shadows.   Then I noticed my hips, well first the previously mentioned pouch and how it was moving.  My hips were all over the place.   Do they always do that?  I am trying to run for crying out loud not strut the catwalk!

I started to run and just felt off for the next half mile or so.  Nothing ached or hurt, it just felt awkward.  Maybe it was because I was thinking about it more?   It seemed like my left leg wasn’t fully engaged in the party.  So I decided to focus on my form for the rest of the out and back.   I ignored my pace and my watch buzzing at my usual walk intervals (I’m still using walk breaks on most of training runs) and just paid attention to my legs.   I tried to focus on bringing my left leg around but telling myself that didn’t work.   Next I told myself to bring my knee up a bit higher on each step.  No luck.  I was running tall but it wasn’t helping.   IMG_9828The word “kick” lodged in my mind around mile 2 and for the next 2 miles, I repeated that to myself every few feet.    I focused on how I kicked back each time my left leg moved- not sure if that makes any sense.   I felt straighter and any ankle twinginess I had went away.  I felt pretty good at the end of the 4 miles but man my brain was tired.  Trying to think about my form and run at the same time was hard!  But I felt better than I had prior to my run.   :0    I checked out my Garmin data later and noticed a few things.   Over the last 2 miles, my average cadence picked up and my stride length increased.   The cadence made sense but I felt like I was taking shorter strides.  Huh?  And my run inadvertently turned into a mini progression- 12:52, 10:04, 9:25, 8:30.  Double huh.

Now to see what happens next run.

Ever felt like your stride was just funky?  What did you do?

Ever been completely exhausted but felt the urge to run?

Lions and Miles

I am not ready for the weekend to be over.  Not at all, I mean who ever is but this last week was just soooooo long.

I normally take the work day after a half marathon off but for some reason didn’t do that this time.  Silly slacker.   Monday I was definitely feeling those hills.   I would stand until my hamstrings protested then I would sit.  Getting up and down off my chair was a little challenging.  :)   Tuesday I was a little achy but I was ready to run.  However, I read the signs that I should have another rest day.   There was an incident nearby to work- thanks St. Patricks day- so after waiting for a bit I really just didn’t like the idea of changing and leaving the building by myself so we all left together.   So rest day #2.

We had been gearing up for a big inspection at work and had thought it was Wednesday.  Turns out there was a typo and it was actually Thursday.    I felt all out of sorts for the rest of the day.  We had prepared and readied ourselves but then nope, wait one more day, ugh.  I was looking forward to running so I headed to the lake path after work to get in some miles.

Got to test out the camera on my new phone though!!

Got to test out the camera on my new phone though!!

Ouch, ow, I was sore.    Stinkin’ hills.  I was feeling tight and a little stiff so I called it after 3.5 miles.   I was hoping for a better showing on Thursday.    However, that was the actual inspection and even though we had prepared the best we could, I felt like I ran around like a loon for most of the day.  By the end of the day I just felt nauseous and my head hurt.   I passed on running and just headed home.  Even my training plan recommended taking an extra rest day this week.  So I did. IMG_9774For some reason I felt like running long on Saturday instead of Sunday this week.  The plan called for 12-14 miles but let’s be honest, that wasn’t happening.   Partly because I was tired and partly because I just didn’t want to.  I thought that would be too much after last weeks race.  I’m trying to walk a line between my slacker ways and modifying the plan.   Normally the week after a race, the highest I would go would be 6 but I really wanted to hit 10 for some reason.   I really want to get used to running a minimum of 10 miles for my long run.

I have no idea why I am smiling.

I have no idea why I am smiling.

I headed out in the early afternoon prepared to take it super easy.  The week had kicked my butt and it was in the high 70’s.    The hill repeats in the middle hurt but they will help in the long run right?  I really need to find a long run with fewer hill repeats.  Plus the home owners probably think I am crazy.   I was doing good up to 8.  I should have called it at 8 miles but stubbornly pushed on to 10.  Miles 9 and 10 were so slow, they probably could have been walked.  Actually they mostly were.  :)

My normal run route from home is mostly on back roads or in older neighborhoods.  No sidewalks, lots of trees and green spaces and space between houses.  Narrow, windy roads and a couple of areas that look more like woods than town.   I usually see few cars, Saturday’s 10 miles had maybe 8 except for the 2 blocks I was on a main street.   Sometimes I hear things in the bushes while running.   Usually I see a deer or 2 (or herd) so I brush it off.     Like on Saturday, I heard something moving but didn’t see anything so I brushed it off and kept running.  This hit my Facebook later that night.

Ummm, crap?!   Think I’ll be running somewhere a little more mainstream for a while!!  Yes, I know they are around here but this was just a little too real for me.  I shared it again to my wall, and got comments reminding me that even dogs like to bite me.  Seriously a former co-workers’ husband calls me ass-bite.   So, yeah the gym is actually looking pretty good right now.  :)

How was your weekend?

What kind of critters do you run into?

How long do you rest after a race?

Why Worry

Warning- this was a little disjointed before last weekends’ race now it may seem even more so.

I’ve been a little all over the place lately.   I don’t think I’m in a funk at the moment but I feel it getting closer.   Maybe that’s why I fixated on this damn song so quickly.  It’s not like it’s awesome but it’s been bouncing around my brain and finding ways into this blog and my Instagram over the last month.   I need to figure this out so I can branch out the music options a bit, hehe.IMG_9363I’ve been so tired lately and things just ache. My head, my legs, my ankle, etc.   My stomach responded to the new medication for a bit but then decided that was just a trick.  Even I am sick of talking about my damn stomach.  But on that note, I see my gastro again next week so maybe we will try something new, fingers crossed.     Oh, I dream big, don’t I?   :)

As for my aches and pains in my legs, I know it’s not overuse.  Despite my goal of 1000 miles this year, my mileage has remained average and steady.   Like I wrote in my February recap, I am not going to break myself to hit some arbitrary mileage number.   It wasn’t until writing that statement that a light bulb lit up in my head.  Even then, it took a while to turn on.  Kind of like the way the original compact fluorescent bulbs used to warm up slowly?   That was me.   But once the idea was there I couldn’t shake it.  I fought with myself on every run because while part of me realized it was something I needed, it also made me feel like a quitter.   That or I was admitting defeat.  A part of me still feels that a little bit.

Where I am going with this?  Re-assessing goals.  I set a goal to break 2:00 in the half this year and I am not changing that goal.  It will happen this year but it is no longer my goal for SLO.   While I am loving my training plan for the sense of direction that it gives me, I am not 100%.   SLO is 37 days away now and I still haven’t figured things out stomach wise.   I almost skipped Wine Country because I was afraid it might interfere with the goal to break 2:00.   I finally decided that was not a good enough reason to pass on one of my favorite races.  Turns out, running it was the better choice.

I’m also changing my plans for SLO because I want to have fun that weekend.    I want to enjoy the expo and not worry about how much walking I am doing.  I want to enjoy the ambassador meet and greet and meet all the new ambassadors.  We are tentatively planning to all do dinner that night and I would like to not worry about how what I eat will affect a huge goal the next morning.   I want to enjoy the amazing scenery and crowds that are a part of this race.  Don’t get me wrong, I am running that half to the best of my ability and I will have no complaints if I PR.   But whether or not I do will not color my view of that weekend or my performance in a negative way.  I had enough of that in 2014.  IMG_9785

I love running and want to continue to improve but I am not going to lose the fun that I find in it as well.  So, yes, a part of me feels like a quitter taking a step back.   I also think this made more sense before I pulled off a 2:06 at Wine Country.  However I made the decision to push my goal back before registering for Wine Country.  So maybe the reason I ran it well was because I wasn’t stressed.   Maybe I put forward my best time since October 2013 because I finally remembered that one of my strengths running wise is in not stressing.    Well and being healthy, but I think I’ll actually break 2 before they figure out what’s going on with my stomach.  Ha!    I am sticking to my training plan because I want to improve as a runner long-term not just for a short-term goal.   This way I won’t want to cry when I am nowhere near the prescribed pace for 400 repeats.    Give me some time and I will nail those paces.   Before last week I was nervous about the hills at SLO-  now- bring em’ on.

So, tell me your thoughts?

Good choice- bad choice? 

Is this quitting or being smart?

Do you have another song co I can get this one out of my head?!