Sunday, August 30, 2009

taking a week off

I thought that if I did a walk/run, I could get through my 16 miles this weekend. I tried. I made it through 8 miles and later wished I hadn't even done that. The knee is not better. So as an extreme act of preservation, I'm taking the week off. Through all of this, I have appreciated an amazingly supporting team. Two of them offered contact info for a massage therapist. Another brought a foam roller for me to try out. There has been a lot of support and encouragement, and I have appreciated it a lot.

Adding Wednesday and Saturday miles:
273.0 + 3.5 + 8.0 = 284.5 miles

In other news, yesterday I went to my first crop (marathon scrapbooking party). I was there for 9 hours and finished 6 pages. I had a lot of fun!! It was fun to see the younger girls there (high school age). There wasn't much to do in my town when I was a teenager, so seeing them made me realize what a nice, safe option it was for teens. Damaris schooled me on adhesives. I learned how much Jaymie loves embellishments. I saw the incredible range of tools people have. There was an entire table of Cricuts!I hope to go to another one sometime.

Monday, August 24, 2009

A bump in the road...

Metaphorically, of course. Otherwise, in Illinois, we'd call it a hill. Here's the deal: some time between Rock & Roll and the 14 miler, my right knee started bothering me. At first it wasn't much, so I decided to largely ignore it and hope it would go away, as aches and pains often do. It got worse. So much so, in fact, that what I didn't say in my last post is that after the 14-miler, I went home and soaked in a tub of the coldest water my house could produce. I actually carried a bucket of ice to the bath tub with me before deciding that the water was cold enough on its own. It hurt through an otherwise fabulous 3.4 mile run with Meg last week (area we don't usually run! beautiful weather! good venting!). It hurt enough for this past Saturday's long run (scheduled for 9 miles) that I ran-walked 6.6 miles and called it a day. I ran 3.9 miles tonight, came home to a bag of ice, and it still hurts 2+ hours later. The IT band across my right knee is furious.

I am seeking help. I have a marathon to run in less than 2 months and I really, really want it to happen. I'm going to a highly-recommended therapist on Wednesday, and plan to see my doctor on campus, hoping for a referral to the sports medicine clinic on campus. I will be icing regularly, and may look into getting a foam roller. If anyone out there has successfully emerged from IT band issues, please advise me! This sucks.

On the bright side, the weather here recently has been really something to write home about. Summer only got hot for portions of two weeks this year. It's starting to feel like fall. My officemate said today that he's a bit miffed at nature for not coming through on delivering summertime, but I think it's been great. The beginning of fall makes me want to bust out good fall clothes, for both running and work. It makes me crazy for Penn State football. It makes me want to bake until I run out of flour and sugar. We have some warm days left, but fall is giving us notice.

251.8 + 5.3 + 2.0 + 3.4 + 6.6 + 3.9 = 273.0 miles

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Mileage hike

Not much for this post other than an update on miles:

235.2 + 2.6 + 14.0 = 251.8 miles

My first 14-miler of the season was this morning. I ran the first 8 by myself then the last 6 with Coach Mike. I held my normal Saturday pace for the first 8. The last 6 slowed down a little bit overall, but not too much. I walked about .7 miles of it. It was pretty hot and humid out, so speed just was not happening. The 2.6 miles posted here was an early morning run yesterday. It was mostly for recovery from Wednesday--work out the stiffness, keep everything limber and in shape for today's long run.

We've had a lot of fun events here recently. Last night we met up with friends who have moved away and were in town for the state fair. It was great to see them and to have Elliot spend time with them. Thursday night was the Team victory party for all the Rock & Roll participants. I'll post a picture when I get one.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Tonight we ran like crazy people

I don't have enough good things to say about running this week. I seem to be on a multi-day runner's high. But let me back up. On Saturday, Meg and I ran the slowest 6 miles I think we've ever done, and it hurt (for me, at least. I think she was fine). My calves still felt shredded from the race. I babied them through the rest of the weekend and through the day on Monday. Then Monday night I went for my early-week run....and just let it all out. I tore through a 3.9 mile course. If it was hot or humid, I honestly didn't even notice. The sunset was beautiful. I felt great. It was a perfect release from the admittedly overwhelming anxiety I'm feeling right now in other aspects of life.

Yesterday I did yoga. It's good for the soul, the legs, and even the upper body. I felt good about it.

Tonight at the track, we ran like crazy people. The workout went like this:
1 x 1000 m. (0.62 miles)
1 x 2000 m. (1.25 miles)
2 x 1000 m. with a 400 walk break in between (2 x 0.62 miles)
Total: 3.1 miles (plus a 0.75 mi. warm-up and cool-down)

We held a respectable pace through the first 1000 m. Meg led the way through a grinding 2000 m. interval (I don't know what the total time was, but the mile portion of it was 8:20 I think). Then Allison and I positively tore through the last two 1000 m. intervals. We ran 1:50ish quarters, 3:45ish 800s (I can't really remember the times, but it's around there somewhere--Coach Mike, feel free to interject here). And, hold on to your hats, it was great. I had SO much fun doing it. I feel like I'm on top of my game. I feel good. I seem to have found my happy running place.

Tomorrow is a rest day, then Friday morning I'll do a few easy miles. Saturday is a 14 mile long run.

All of this keeps me sane.

218.2 + 2.5 + 6.0 + 3.85 + 4.6 = 235.2

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Getting to know Elliot

The other day as I was getting something out of the oven, I remembered being pregnant and telling my friend Marla how odd it seemed to grow a person in my belly and know only two things about them: it was a boy and he hated heat. Remembering that moment, I decided I wanted to stop and record the things I know about him now, at 14 months.
  1. He loves anything on wheels. On walks, he inspects every parked car. He also loves toy cars and trucks.
  2. He loves being read to, especially right before bedtime.
  3. He's a talker! Sometimes he lectures us, sometimes he's telling jokes, sometimes stories--all in unintelligible baby garble, of course!
  4. He's blond, with dark blue eyes that have small brown rings. His eyes and (I think) mouth are shaped like mine, but overall he looks more like Brendan. He has Brendan's nose and coloring. He has awesome dimples.
  5. On his play & learn table he shows a consistent preference for the banjo music/movement to the other instruments.
  6. He loves to dig things out of his toy box, sometimes to the point of almost falling into the toy box.
  7. Cell phones and remote controls are his cryptonite.
  8. He loves applesauce.
  9. The blue lids that come on Ziploc disposable storage containers are lots of fun. We almost never have many in the drawer because every day he takes them out to play with them. After slobbering on them, he even sometimes puts them back. :)
  10. He hates grass. I have no idea why. He will play with grass clippings, but will not voluntarily walk on grass and screams if you put him on the lawn, sometimes even with shoes on. He finds it especially not entertaining to be put in the yard and then sprinkled lightly by the garden hose on a hot day.
  11. His most coveted toy is the grill. He simply does not understand why he can't play with it, and that pisses him off.
  12. There are only two things Elliot consistently dislikes. The first is grass (see above). The second is knowing that someone is in the bathroom. It matters not whether he's home with both parents or just one of us. If either of us goes into the half bath and closes the door, he takes up his post, where he hits the door, tries to cram his hands underneath, and talks/yells at whoever is in the bathroom. Why? I have no idea. It sounds annoying, but it's actually really cute.
  13. He loves dogs. There are a few at daycare that are great with the kids and vice versa.
  14. Every time he sneezes, he smiles or laughs.
  15. We think he could find a bag of Cheerios in the middle of a corn field (we live in IL)
Those of you who see him, please feel free to add to this list!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Rock & Roll!!

Yesterday was the inaugural Chicago Rock & Roll Half-Marathon! We made it to race day!! I don't have much time to write, but I had such a good time, I have been looking forward to posting some pictures.

The basics: The weather was perfect. It was in the 70s with less humidity (I think) than was expected. It was so perfect, in fact, that I didn't even think about the weather until a slight breeze came up from the lake front, but even that died down quickly. It was perfect.

My finishing time was 2:06:09. That's almost 6 minutes faster than I ran the (almost identically) same course two years ago (pre-baby!) and over 2 minutes faster than I ran Indy last October. My ultimate goal is to run a half in two hours flat. Of course I hoped to do that, but my realistic goal was to beat my previous best race time, and I did that. I am more than pleased!! The only thing that could have made the race more enjoyable and possibly faster would have been Meg, but there will be more races.

Brendan and Elliot came with me to this race, and my friend Lynn met them there. I saw Brendan and Elliot between miles 4 and 5. I have to be honest, seeing Elliot watch all the runners choked me up for a minute. He didn't even see me, but that was ok. Just knowing that he was part of this was touching. Brendan did a fantastic job of containing Elliot and helping him to enjoy the weekend. The only major kid-related snafu all weekend came on the trip home, when I turned around to see that he had spilled milk all over himself, the car seat, the car, etc., after he was already mad about being cooped up in the car. These things happen. We did finally make it home and even got to the tail end of N's graduation party.

One huge lesson learned this time around: it helps to know the course. Having done essentially the same course two years ago, I knew where the harder parts would be, and planned accordingly. I really believe that the combination of good weather and knowing the course helped me to lower my finishing time. After the mileage update, some pictures!

193.4 + 6 + 3.25 + 2.45 + 13.1 = 218.2 miles

Elliot with Honey at Lynn's parents' place

Lynn and me after the race

Elliot and his sweaty Mama after the race

Me (on the left in the purple shirt) somewhere between miles 4 and 5