Tales of the Amazing Human Body

Hi there! I’ve missed you… I’ve missed blogging…. so many things (bad, good, and great!) over the last several weeks. 

(Bad – I have only got 1 more muscle up. Great – I got accepted to a professional development program by my employer)

 

I’m not entirely sure where the entire month of June went… other than lots of work, pool time, and puppy snuggles.

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Tonight, I am feeling sentimental … so I wanted to write about it. Of course, it’s about a workout..

The prescribed WOD was a two-parter.  The first part was CrossFit Endurance.  1 Mile for Time.  All day I stressed about this workout. Running has never been my forte – especially since my knee surgery.  I wanted to cherry-pick the WOD (aka: skip!) but I didn’t. I figured it was time to face my fear.

I will just jump right to it, because as it turns out, I set a 1 mile PR tonight!  I ran it in 8:30.

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Prior 1 mile would be 9 mins + some change.  

I know I’ve never been a fast runner.  And 8:30 is not “impressively fast” and it is far from the “gold standard” of 7-min mile set by my CF Coaches.  But it was a spectacular feeling for me tonight.

Realizing that 1-year ago, I literally cried in Physical Therapy as I did toe raises (i.e.: stand flat footed – raise to toes – and lower). My stitches had only been out for 3 days and I was still taking pain meds every six hours. 

 

Flashback Photo:

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What felt like torture at the time … and felt like I would never be “me” again…. time passed. Eventually (about 6 months ago), I got a full medical release.  I put in a lot of hard work. And I can’t wait to see where the next year takes me!

 

 

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Training for a Run… but not from Running

So, I’ve been doing CrossFit for a little over four months. Before CF I was training for a half marathon for four months. Then I blew out my meniscus and I haven’t really been running much since then.

In early 2012, during my half training, I averaged a 11:00 min/mile (or so). Looking back at my log, my “fastest” runs where I averaged under 10:30 were the short runs (3miles or so).

This is the weekend one of the biggest St. Louis running weekends. The annual Go! STL marathon, half marathon, and relay are all taking place tomorrow. I registered for the 5k run/walk last fall, as I was recovering from the knee surgery (and before starting CrossFit). I saw it as serving two purposes… #1 I’d have something to “train” for and yet at the same time #2 I wouldn’t be over committed.

Well, then… I fell in love with CrossFit. I started going to 314 several times a week… and I’d only run if it was programmed in the WOD.

I forgot I had this 5k… until just a few weeks ago. I told myself that I’d run for two weeks leading up to it. 

I didn’t. I went to CrossFit instead.

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When I thought about “opting” out and not showing up at the starting line today, Gregg helped set my mind straight. I had to go.

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Waking up this morning, I felt off. My stomach was upset with me (probably nerves) and I had no idea what to expect from myself.

I showed up at the ‘packet pickup’ promptly at 715am. It was 45 mins before the race was to start. I hate being pre-race solo. I didn’t like it for the Halloween run downtown and I hated it this morning. So I decided to set a goal for myself, I wanted to maintain a 10min pace and not take any walk breaks. I knew this was a “stretch” goal for me, considering how I felt on during Friday’s WOD that had three 400m runs.

But without a lofty goal, I won’t push myself.

In the starting line I met a young middle school girl who was clearly nervous. She had never run a race before and she was only doing it to participate in her school’s “Read, Write, Run” program. I told her the most important thing was that she had fun…. 

 And then, it was time to run.

The first mile felt slow. Very bogged down and crowded. I lined up too far back from the starting line.

At 1.5miles they had a water station. It seemed silly and unnecessary for such a short run, but my lips were feeling chapped and I needed just a little something. This was a bad idea, I didn’t stop, slow down, or try to pay attention to my drink. Sloshing it all over myself I took a sip, half of it going down the wrong pipe, and throwing the cup away. Only a quarter of a mile later I got a cramp/stitch in my side that lasted the next full mile. But I just kept running… 

Keeping an eye on my time and being mindful of my pace… I realized I was going to make my goal! 

Crossing the finish line at 29:58 I felt so good. My ankles and knee ached but I accomplished my stretch goal!  I finished 27th in my age division (top 11%).

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Honestly, I was shocked. Not having run any distance longer than 800m with any consistency in the past four months, I went out and ran 3.1 miles (no walk breaks). Compare that to the Halloween 5k that I ran in October (33:04) with several walk breaks and that’s a HUGE 3:30min PR.

 

I may not have been “Training” for a 5k…but I am certainly stronger. Both physically and mentally. I’m learning how to push myself. I’m learning how to set goals…. and achieve them.

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And now, let me tell you a secret… the racing bug may have bitten me again….. 

cookies, ice cream, sugar filled dreams

it has officially happened. last night every single dream i had (or at least remember) had cookies, ice cream, or some other sweet in it. 

in most of the dreams i was devouring the goodies without giving it any thought. chocolate chips hanging on the sides of my mouth, crumbs falling down my face. each time i woke up so upset with myself. for ruining the whole30. then, i’d wake a little more and realize it was all a dream.

it’s a good thing i don’t (a) sleep walk and/or (b) have any cookies in the house!!

[google “sleep eating”. there are a surprising amount of photos! yikes!]

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while the last two weeks have been challenging, i haven’t been (or at least, haven’t realized that i’ve been) tempted by sweets. i want to give in for the ease factor. or i really want my “triple grande skinny vanilla latte”.  or even just a protein shake! but i haven’t missed cookies. 

so why did i dream about them? who knows. but apparently it’s fairly common. you can read more here.

 

on to other news…this morning i slept in. sharing my pillow obviously.

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i didn’t get much of anything on the ‘to do’ list done…  but i absolutely enjoyed my day! 

it was a balmy 55 degrees and sunny. rather than going to open gym, i decided to dust off my running shoes. it’s been a while since i’ve gone out on a longish run and i had no idea how i’d feel. …. turns out i felt great!

my left hip started getting a little tight, which pulled on my right knee towards the end of the run. so i made sure to spend a good 30 mins foam rolling when i got home.

4 miles in 45 mins. (i actually hit 5k around 34:something and struggled to do much after that)

wearing my new top from my sis! it’s brighter than i would have picked but after i had it on i really liked it!

<sheesh my mirror needs cleaned!>

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hi bella!!!!

well, another great weekend in the books. now the puppies are snoring and i’m ready for bed.

good night friends.

 

whole30 recap (day 14!)

workout – 4 mile solo run.   i’m glad i took this pic b/c somehow data was lost in the sync from garmin to mac! laps 1-4 were the 3.1miles but somehow gone forever. the number nerd in me is very sad. also, i never match for workouts… it’s a goal of mine to never match.

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meal 1 – porridge, blueberries, blackberries, egg

meal 2 – spaghetti left overs [it’s a good thing i like this … it’s the never ending left overs!!]

meal 3 – pork, cauli-rice, candied carrots (baked with dates)

the truth shall set you free

Yesterday I went for my first “longish” run since my knee surgery (meniscus repair) on May 1st. 

It was 4 miles. Outside.

The day was beautiful… fall is certainly in the air here in the Lou. 

Before this, the longest I had run was 3.7miles… on a treadmill. But since I have a 10k to run in just over a month! i figured i’d better get my booty outside. I told myself “Self, it does not matter how long this takes you. But you will finish”. I got pretty winded. And my knee tried to give out on me a few times. But 50 mins later I was back home (having covered just at 4miles). I was tired. I was sweaty. But I felt great!

Why Do I Run?

1. To prove to myself  – I. Can. Do. This.

2. For the endorphin rush

3. So that I can refuel afterwards with crisp, cold, organic chocolate milk (nom nom nom)

4. An excuse to buy all those cute Lululemon tops!

5. Because lifting weights intimidates me.

 

Now, I know, that last bullet shouldn’t be something I brag about. But it’s true. I’ve always been intimidated of pumping iron. I know, really, I do, I know that I won’t turn into some hulk-woman. But I still have that fear. When I think back… this stems from many many years ago. I got my growth spurt before many kids in my class. I was not only the tallest girl in my class, but I was the tallest kid in my class, for a very long time. I became self-conscious. Anything I could do in order to blend in was my number one priority in life. I feared that because I was tall, big-boned, and had hairy arms (seriously, they’re really hairy) that I’d bulk up and become this freak of nature. 

So while all my girlfriends were these tiny, skinny, short, cute little things. I envied them.

Today, I am no longer so worried about blending in. And I love wearing platform wedges and crazy heels. So Why is it… that I can not get over the fear of lifting weights?! This is something I must work on… 

So, forgive me while I post too often of my runs. And how much I am learning to love to run. 

And remind me occasionally, that some cross-trianing and/or moving some iron would do my body good.

Truth…

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My fears….

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Losing a New Found Love

It’s been a long time since I’ve visited the old blog. There have been several nights I’ve written a blog post in my head… only not to capture it here.

One part of me wishes I’d been more diligent at documenting these thoughts, but it’s been a rather depressing several days.

FLASHBACK

Friday night, March 16th – I was so nervous for my first road race the following morning. St Louis St Patrick Day 5 mile run! For weeks leading up to that day, I’d mentally thought about how I would prepare and eat and sleep the night before. As it turns out, that was all for naught. Gregg and I went shopping (Banana Republic Friends & Family bay-bee!) and got lost in the mall. Dinner was at 9pm. A sandwich from Panera Bread.

Saturday, March 17th – My FIRST RACE!!! I was a nervous wreck that morning. My stomach was all in knots and I had to mentally talk myself down numerous times. Gregg decided to run with me, rather than just being a spectator. Once we got downtown my nerves were on highest levels. We lined up. Pandora wouldn’t work – couldn’t get a signal. So I queued up my old playlist and got going. (BTW – it’s worth mentioning that I broke one of the oldest rules in the book. I tried something new on race day. Several things actually. New running skirt (love). New socks (well, my toe socks were layered under those HAWT knee socks). New arm band for the iPhone (perfect). And wore a t-shirt (because it was green!) rather than normal tanks.)

 

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So, other than the fact that my shoe came untied at 1.5 miles. And I missed the first water station. Overall the race went really well.  I was faster than I expected. And I had so many endorphins at the finish line!

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As we headed back to the car… the trouble began.  (actually it began many weeks ago after the 9 mile run, but this was the breaking point)

My knee had a real hot, tight, sort of popping, pain. Ruh-Roh.

So I took Sunday off. And Monday. And Tuesday.

I was actually in Jury Duty all day Monday and Tuesday

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… just walking half mile from parking garage to courthouse (part of the very course I’d just run a few days ago!) left me near tears. So I made a doctor’s appointment for Thursday. The doctor wants an MRI on my medial meniscus… but insurance must approve.

So I took Wednesday – Monday off.

The weekend was damn near torture. But I thought to myself, I said “Self, rest now. Run later.” <– And this time I wasn’t being lazy!

Tuesday March 27th – TEN DAYS LATER! I decide to head to the treadmill. (Still waiting for insurance and I wanted to see if I could push through it… the Go! Half Marathon is just a few weeks away.)  I warmed up nice & slow. Some walking. Some hills. Ten minutes and no real problem. So, I decided it was time for a slow jog. Speed 5.5. Time less than 30 seconds. BAM! I can’t put weight on my right leg. I embarrassingly hobble over to the recumbent bike. Four minutes later… and nearly every seat adjustment later… I’m almost crying in the cardio section of my gym.

I needed to get off of it. So I hid in the tanning bed for 12 mins. Crying. Cursing. And wondering what I did wrong.

Today, my knee aches. I can walk. But I know something is wrong. And I’ve essentially lost hope for completing my first half marathon on April 15th.

I miss running.

I feel weak.

Im a quitter

See… even my recap is long and rambling and depressing!

So, I still haven’t heard from the doc about the MRI. But I plan to follow up again tomorrow.

In the mean time, I’ll be busting out lots of upper body strength and ab workouts. If I had to find a silver lining, that would be it.

 

80 degrees and Windy

One could easily forget that today was mid-March. It was over 80 degrees, sunny, and very windy!

A perfect day to leave work early (only 7 hours, what..what?!) and head out for a run. I logged about 5 miles tonight. The pace wasn’t great (56 mins) but it felt really good to be out an enjoying the sunshine after being in the office all day.

Oh, and after blowing off my long run yesterday for some interval/sprint time. It was raining and even though I got all dressed up and looked like a badass… I just wasn’t feeling it. So I changed and headed to the local treadmill.IMG 2329

Hard to believe that was yesterday… This was today! (Don’t mind the bags of donations in the background)

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I know I shouldn’t have skipped the long run. But 10 miles is pretty intimidating for me. I’m also getting anxious for my first race this weekend!

This will be my first road race ever. It’s the St. Louis St. Patrick’s Day run. It’s 5 miles through downtown STL. It’s a very popular race. I’m hoping i’ll feel like just another person in the crowd of 13,000 people! and not feel intimidated by it. So I picked up my race t-shirt tonight. Though, I learned (through all my internet reads) that only rookies actually wear the shirt on race day.

Other things I’ve been learning: how to stop/not stop at water stations, where to line up, and minding my P’s & Q’s (always thank volunteers and spectators!).

Here’s a video someone posted of the start of last years’ St. Patrick’s day run. I can’t decide if this helps or makes me more nervous.

So…here’s my Monday Motivation!

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So that just happened

Today I ran 9.23miles i n 1:48:02. I am quite proud of myself. But I’m also quite pooped. There will be more blogging tomorrow.

A quick recap:

1 Gu 25 mins prior to leaving. Walk .3mile warmup

Mile 1 – 9:32 avg pace *whoa need to slow down

Mile 2 – 11:30 (lots of street lights)

Mile 3 – 10:43

Mile 4 – 11:13

Mile 5 – 12:28 <–Gu #2

Mile 6 – 11:02

Mile 7 – 12:16

Mile 8 – 12:06 <– Gu #3

Mile 9 – ??? <– It get’s mess up here b/c I paused my Garmin (I don’t even remember doing it! and forgot to start it again.) I’d guess I hovered right around the 12:30 marker… I was spent

All in all… I am very happy with today’s run.

 

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Oh, I also downloaded a trial edition of MarsEdit3. I’m excited to try it and provide some reviews.

 

Speed Will Come

Today’s title is attributed to one of my dear readers (commented on a post not too long ago)

Given my pace slowed considerably from the last two long-runs… I wanted to focus on getting my confidence and my speed up.  So, I shuffled some plans around, rather than doing 4.5 miles today, I opted for my “3 miles or cross” that was on tap for tomorrow.

To start, I made sure to leave work at a decent hour (only 8 hrs in the office is a major accomplishment!) and then a quick stop at the grocery store for some healthy eats. I was home while the sun was still shining and it’s a balmy 52 degrees.

For 28th of Feb…that is awesome-ness! Thank you Mother Nature!

Anyways… back to the run.

I charted a course that has some little hills, through a graveyard, and along a city river (aka: storm water overflow). I planned the last part of the run is on a busy street to keep me accountable. I always feel silly when I’m all decked out like a serious runner… and I’m walking!

Started out nice and strong. In fact, as I was walking to my starting point (dynamic warm-up folks!) I was just itching to hit “START” on the Garmin and get going! Alas, I waited. Once it was time to run, I zoomed off!

Now, for those people who run, please try not to spit water on your keyboard as you see my times (I hear that milk shot from the nose due to laughing is not covered under most warranties!). Simply remember back… some, waaaayy back…. to when you started running. And how good you felt as you whittled time off your mileage. 🙂

1 mile: 9:23 avg pace (Avg HR 133, Max 149)
2 mile: 9:43 avg pace (avg HR 152, Max 160)
3 mile: bonk 11:00 avg pace (avg HR 147, Max 161)

Regardless of hitting the wall (or that mammoth hill!!) in mile 3… I averaged a 10 min/mile. Compared to the 11 min/mile (6 mile run) and 12 min/mile (7mile run!) And this is just what I needed to see today!

Later this week, I plan to research and discuss heart rates… be excited.

Half way to the Half!

Spring seems to have sprung a little early for us here in St. Louis. Today couldn’t have been a more beautiful day (minus the wind gusts). It was 50-60 degrees, sunny, with an occasional gale force gust of wind.

I got to enjoy this weather by logging a seven mile run.

Admittedly, I struggled finding my mojo to get going. My workouts this week have been M.I.A. and I’d lost a lot of the mental fortitude gearing up for such a run requires. I woke up early this morning and futzed around the house. Watching DVR’d shows like CBS Sunday Morning and Fashion Police (yes, I have musical-and-television A.D.D.). Gregg was headed off to the gym to take part in the CrossFit Open competitions (how many burpees can you do in 7 minutes?!). I took that as my queue to get ready for my run.

But I was hungry… and it was almost lunch time… so I had a bagel thin.

Then, I was cold… so I took a nice hot shower.

That made me tired… so I snuggled up for a 20 min nap.

The dogs didn’t want to let me sleep (they kept barking) and my mind kept planning my run. So, I got up, got ready, got out the door!

I’m beginning to experiment with my fuel and hydration. I wore my Nathans Speed 2 belt. It really does rock. And used 1 Gu (w/ caffeine) before heading off on the run. Another Gu (plain) was consumed about 50 mins into the run.

So off I go… I learned a few things on today’s run:

1) When I’m ready to quit 1.5 miles into a run, it’s best to be on a route that doesn’t allow any shortcuts. Calling for a pick up is not an option either. I said “Self, you will do these 7 miles today… whether it takes you 4 hours!”

2) One 10oz water bottle is not enough for 7 miles. But plan the last 2 miles around a park and you can get more water. You can also stand in line and watch puppies drink from the fountain.

3) Instead of cursing the wind… open your arms and embrace it. Literally. It will feel like you are flying.

4) When stopping at said water fountains, remember, if you pause the Garmin to start it up again when running. I thought I was stuck in a 1.5 mile time warp. Then I realized… It was tracking my heart, and pace, but not my distance!

5) Coming home to pups frolicking in the backyard and an ultra-supportive husband makes the sense of accomplishment even better.

Gregg and I ate an early dinner (steak, sweet potato and broccoli) and as much as I’d like to plop on my couch with my compression pants and a tall glass of beer water… we’re heading off to the in-laws for an Oscar’s Party!

My ballot would probably mean more if I’d actually seen some of these movies. Oh well.

For the record — today’s run: 7.1 miles in 1:24:16!!! 🙂

 

Books on Running

I’m a little late to the game (there’s nothing new)!

I didn’t fully appreciate the e-reader/Kindle craze until recently my mom gave me her old one. I am totally hooked. I read so much more. And I’m starting to feel like I could be a 30-yr-old add for Reading Rainbow.

But back to the point… Books with a Topic of Running.

I’ve downloaded the following through Amazon. I’ve sort of just been flipping through them… I plan to do a book review once complete.

So far, Mile Markers is awesome!

1. Mile Markers by Kristin Armstrong

 

 

 

 

2. The Nonrunner’s Marathon Guide for Women: Get Off Your Butt and On with Your Training by Dawn Dais

 

 

 

3. Runner’s World Performance Nutrition for Runners: How to Fuel Your Body for Stronger Workouts, Faster Recovery, and Your Best Race Times Ever (Runners World) by Matt Fitzgerald

 

 

 

 

4. Runner’s World Complete Book of Women’s Running: The Best Advice to Get Started, Stay Motivated, Lose Weight, Run Injury-Free, Be Safe, and Train for Any Distance (Runner’s World Complete Books) by Dagny Scott Barrios