Monday, June 27, 2011

Not Every Successful Run Means a PR

Ever since I can remember, I have measured my success in running by the time. What time was a success varied over the years but largely time mattered!  That does not mean that other things did not matter but first and foremost, as much as I hate to admit, it was about the time. I was ecstatic when I set a PR or increased my speed and disappointed in myself or sad when I did not, especially when it did not even come close.  And I am not saying this has totally changed and I have done a complete 180 where I will never care about time because to be honest as a runner, I care.  However, this weekend, my 8 miles taught me this:

I don't have to have a great time to have a successful run, in fact I can have an awful, down right dreadful run and it can still be a success, because hey I am out here, I am doing it and that in itself is an achievement.

As some of you may recall, I am having some shoe problems. In fact shoes and I are not in anyway getting a long lately. Which pretty much resulted in my tearful phone calls to my husband and my father on Saturday morning when I tried to run 8 miles and ran 3 minutes (yes minutes not miles!) instead due to massive foot pain, which I figured was shoe related (this being my 6th pair, in uhhh I week). I was pretty distraught, clearly, about the lack of shoes to run it. So the hubby and I high tailed it over to the Running Company and got some good advice.

And the results... Uh apparently I have been in the wrong shoe for ummm 3 years (according to them anyway, PT does not think so as much).  They explained that while I do pronate, the Brooks that I love so dearly are too much to correct my pronation and could actually be causing my IT Band pain, figures.   And the foot pain, not shoe pain, but some of my planta facitis that I have been dealing with (yes I am a mess, do you still love me?).  So they put some orthodics in my shoes and WOW it made a world of difference! I was soo excited to say the least, this might help the foot pain and the knee pain  YAY :)

So out we went on Sunday morning to give these babies a test drive, Aaron in blades and me in the shoes. Well, by mile 2 I was drenched and breathing hard at a pace that usually is a jog for me.  I could try to explain why, but why bother, it just is what it is.  It was hard to continue, plus to make matters worse I had to keep stopping, to stretch the IT Band, to adjust the compression socks, to drink water, to, to, to. etc. At one point, I got so annoyed I tore off my garmin and threw it to Aaron saying just take this thing away. My encouraging knight in shining armor (ok I know sappy, but true) encouraged me through and kept reframing my negative thoughts and sacrificing his better workout on Rollerblades to help me get through the moment, and you know what I did! I lived..barely lol. But despite all of this, the run was a HUGE success!! Guess what? NO FOOT PAIN = SCORE, finally phew, I think, I hope, I pray we may have finally found a winner with these shoes!

In real life, meaning non-running world, apparently my car is no longer being fixed. Insurance has decided not to fix it and just give us money to buy a new one, essentially.  In that regard, my brother-in-law taught me how to drive a stick, just to see if I would like it. Well, I did it...sort of..  We went to a parking lot to practice and I was doing great. Until this happened:

Brother in law: ok now lets pretend you are at traffic light, it is red. So this is what we do. Ok we are about to go green, you better go or people will be mad.
Me: Stall the car

Ok round 2,
Brother in law: take a breathe, lets try again, repeat scenario
Me: Stall the Car

Ok forget the traffic light just drive agian like normal
Me: Drive the car like normal.

Brother in law: Ok one more time, traffic light scenario
Me: Stall the Car in between fits of laughter
Repeat another two times ;)

Guess I am not made to perform well under pressure. Who knows how I managed to pass 2 bar exams.  Anyway I know, not a lot of pictures but I am working on it - how do you like the change in blog design, it is a work in progress please be kind to me while I work on the redesign! Also I need to get up a Dance Party Video at the request of many :)

Friday, June 24, 2011

Dance Party

Now I consider it a little ironic that I had a whole post on how nerve racking it is for me to bare it all on the elliptical and yet my other elliptical habits are really the ones to take note of.  It is those habits that people would be more apt to stop and stare at it, if you ask me.

The other day, Hungry Runner Girl posted her tips on how to keep entertained on the elliptical because it is by far the most boring of boring endeavors and while her ideas are stellar, it is not what I do most of the time (although I did use a few of them the other day, thanks lady!).  Instead, most of the time, on the elliptical I choose to have my own little dance party. Yup, you heard me, a dance party! With who you ask? Well, with me, who else of course? Oh yea, my iPod shuffle as well, can't forget that guy (although I sometimes do and he tumbles through the wash!).  And what are the results: I pass the time, have a blast, and the minutes fly by...well almost..seriously I am not a miracle worker

So what does a dance party on the elliptical entail?  Well, it is very simple to have your own dance party on the dreaded but very useful cross trainer, just follow these steps:

1) Get on the elliptical
2) Turn on your music - up high and drown out everything else.  I personally prefer a number of songs but my favorite dance party elliptical moves come from Gallaway Girl, Put Your Heads up in the Air, DJ got us falling in love again and  hmm pretty much anything else that it is easy to think up silly motions to
3) and finally pretty much just go to it and think up ridiculous hand movements.  I am serious - Put Your Heads up in the Air is pretty easy because well put your heads in the air...I am no great dancer as you can tell...

So yes, I am publicly admitting that I tend to make various weird hand motions throughout my workout on the elliptical.  But hey, it really pumps me and keeps me moving.  I really actually push harder and go faster while doing this, but I would say I do get the occasional stare (more so then with wearing a sports bra).  But to these stares, I say bring them on!  I really enjoy rocking out on the elliptical and getting an awesome sweaty workout in.   So what the hell? It IS MY workout, right? I pay good money to rock out on the elliptical.

Have any of your rocked out on the elliptical or am I the only dork?  Any good songs to choose from? 

Well, in shoe news, still not so good, the massive amounts of shoes I bought last weekend, I returned Tuesday :( I really wanted them to work, but no go.  Apparently, the heel cup of the shoe was no good for me.  And the shoes I bought on Tuesday, Brooks Glycerins, which seem great, I am still getting pain in the heel from and of course now I can't tell if that is pain from the shoes or residual from the previous shoes...and so my shoe saga continues :(

On one last note, I am trying to do a lot of beautification updates to the blog so sorry for wacky changes here and there, but I did finally figure out how to get the Twitter Button going, so please do follow me :)

Here's to a rainy Friday and a hopefully sunnier weekend!!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

My First Time

So I know that other bloggers have blogged about this before (and I may have even seen this title before, if so sorry!), but Sunday was my first time and when it is your first time you want to tell all your friends  - you know your very close friends who you have never meant but share all with, love you guys and gals! So how could I not share all the intricate details  of my first time - how I felt, what the play by play was, etc.

It all started Sunday morning at the gym - a likely place for your first time, especially when it is not air conditioned!  I got on the elliptical after a less than stellar run on Saturday (a run on Saturday -be positive, it is, what it is!). And off I went on my no fan, no tv watching elliptical.  I was to do an hour. 10 minutes in and half a 32 oz. water bottle later, I was dying. It was HOT - it is summer now, huh?  It was then that the itch came to me, maybe I am ready...Maybe I am secure and comfortable enough with my own body to "do it."  It took awhile (a mean about 5 minutes, because it WAS hot) as I contemplated taking the plunge.  As I sped along, contemplating whether I was ready so many questions popped into my mind - was I really ready? Could I do this?  What would others think of me?  But then another half a water bottle and 5 minutes later, I just could not take it anymore - I did it.... I took off my shirt!! (Wait, what were you thinking?)

So there I am for the first time ever baring it all on the elliptical - well almost all, I of course had my sports bra on, what do you people take me for?  Now, many people at gyms and outside run in sports bras. But I was never one of them.  I could sport a tankini or a bikini at the pool or beach with the best of them and be ok.  Yes my abs are not the best in the world, but I am comfortable enough with my body and actually really like my body to happily wear the latest styles and tan (well, actually I have been wearing the same bathing suits for the last uh...10 years ooops).  But something was always different for me at the gym, maybe because most who do "bare it all" have those killer abs or maybe it is the jiggle factor (you know the fact that you are moving back in forth, kind of accentuates those not so toned areas, in a not so nice way) but for whatever reason it was never for me (especially on days like yesterday when I forget my sports bra all together and am "forced" to do Runner's Yoga without it...a story for another time).

Anyway, so there I am out there for the world the 20 people at the gym who come as soon as it opens on Sunday morning and my mind is racing - a sketchy looking dude walks past me and looks my way and I am like eekkk, a girl and her boyfriend ride the bikes in front of me and I can only imagine what they are thinking...and so forth. But you know what I decided, forget them! I am comfortable with myself and am not happy dripping in sweat - so everyone else who is dying to take off their shirts but too scared, too bad for you, I am going to enjoy my workout and overheat a bit less, so there!!!

Thus my Sunday morning journey of self awareness....will it be my go to outfit, no way.  But if that hot and heavy feeling comes around again, you better bet that this no longer virgin will not think twice (ok maybe twice) about baring it all!  P.S. I do understand the importance of body glide now and rocked it after 5 minutes of shirtless cardio.

What are your thoughts on the subject?  Do you ever rock the sports bra only attire?

Saturday, June 18, 2011

The Blame Game

I knew it when I woke up this morning, I felt it somewhere in me.  Today was not going to be my day.  Whether it was the shoes, too much or too little food, or what, I had this little itch that told me, ehhh...

But I did not let that stop me and off I went with Aaron to run a mile warm up before meeting running buddy to finish 6 more miles with him.  I could tell as soon as I started things did not seem right.  The new shoes seemed heavy, my breath seemed off and my legs felt like lead.  When I saw the running buddy, I offered him at out - who wants to run with a slow poke when you are a speed demon.  He reassured me that he was having a pretty off day too and had already walked four times.  Then I was game.  Well, 7 miles turned into 5.  During which my foot and IT band hurt, my side killed, and I just did not have the mental energy.

And then it happened, the Blame Game started!! Oh, its the humidity, its the new shoes, its ... its.....whatever excuse I could think of to rationalize why my running was not going as well as I hoped.  At which point I brought this up with RB, why is it necessary for us or me at least to play the "Blame Game?"  When we are having a so-called "bad day" why can't we just accept it and move on? Why do we need to rationalize it? WHAT IS THE BIG DEAL?!? He said no need, just what it is today, to stop being so hard on myself.

The hubby said why does it even have to be a so-called bad day? Why can't it just be what it is - this is what you did today, that is it move on.  He compared it to the "jean syndrome" when girls notice their jeans are tight - they say I am getting fat whereas guys would just say the dryer shrunk them and move on! Hmmm...

So for today, the goal, as always, is to just let what it be.  It is, what it is. And that is just me for today - learn to respect and honor it!! This IS supposed to be FUN! Easier, said than done, but I am trying.

In other news, I have been having major shoe "issues."  Two months ago, I bought two new pairs of shoes at the Boston Expo.  They proved to be no good and seemed to aggravate my injury.  So we kept with the old shoes.  But about two days ago the shoes pretty much went.  They are digging into my heel and causing knee pain.  Clearly this is an EMERGENCY as I had no shoes for today's run. I ended up wearing the new ones (from the Expo) with the old inserts - which went well expect for the fact that it hurt the top of my foot. Sigh!! My feet have a mind of their own!

Result - my husband spoils me again.  We went over to Marathon Sports in Wellesley and a poor, unsuspecting employee asked if I could use some help.  After apologizing in advance, I began my Canterbury Tales of injuries and shoe issues.  He promised he could help and brought out some new ones to try.  He said that it seems that in trying to correct my pronation I went to far the other way possibly making things worse so we tried less arches and they felt amazing!!! I got a pair of Nikes that are so light, I think I could fly in them and a pair of Sauconys, which are wonderful for my black toes but the verdict is still out on where it will work for the top of my foot.  The amazing thing about Marathon though is I can wear them on the treadmill and even outside a bit before deciding if I want to keep them!!!

My array of sneakers...oh dear!

So we got those and oh yea while I was there more of my new favorite socks, and these, CW-X running capris/shorts! Wow, has anyone used these? They are compression and they make all different types to help with different injuries during and after runs.  Let's just say I wore these and my new shoes out of the store!  Ok, so I know,  I am spoiled but really excited to test out the new gear!!!

Sporting the new gear!

Hoping everyone has a wonderful weekend :) :)

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Runner's High and Runner's Yoga

So it has been four days four hours and ooo 19 minutes since my BIG WIN (not that anyone is counting), and I am still flying high as a kite (don't diminish the power a small local race can to do a runner).  I have experienced the so-called "Runner's High" a many of times after a good workout, race, event...but this one is like never before.  I am not sure if it was the fact that I actually won something for once in my life (most likely...just being honest!)  or the fact that I have officially transformed into a competitive athlete (in my book anyway) but either way I have had this constant elated feeling about my running and everything lately (which would likely be even higher if I was not dead tired from all these Bruins games!). 

Anyway, I was not always a "competitive runner."  To me, a competitive runner means being involved in the sport not just for a form of physical fitness and goals of having a "good body" or getting in a workout or losing weight, but to actually train for something and try to excel in it. I will admit for a long time running was the former for me and I kind of hated it (GASP!! I know how can I say this on a running blog).  But in the past year I have learned the importance of looking beyond all of those stereotypes to make running something more.  It has become something I could actually be good at (and everyone can be, and it is different for everyone!).  It can be a goal, something to work hard for and see results and goals met from (again different for everyone).  And when looked at in this light, running has such a joy in it and creates this runner's high for me. So when my PT/coach has me not running until Saturday (a week with no running just ellipticaling and weights and yoga) I "hold back my shock and dismay" and accept his prescription and how this will make me a better athlete and runner! And I do not worry that I don't get as much of a workout in but instead realize how this can make me improve even more and work towards my goals! Ultimately each workout is important and now that I have goals in mind I have learned to push harder than ever before and what used to seem like simple ellipticalling is harder than some runs.

So to that end Monday, Aaron and I tried out Yoga for Runners at South End Yoga. Actually on Sunday, Elizabeth, Aaron and I tried it out, only to discover that it had been cancelled on Sundays :( :(.  But the owner gave us an extra freebie which was nice to make up for it.  So on Monday evening we went to Yoga for Runners.  I love my husband for being willing to come into a class with all these petite looking runners and my man...who is not-say petite (love you hunny!).  Anyway, I am going to say it, and hold back your snickers - I am not a big yoga fan.  I do like the occasional deep breathing to calm me down and I swear by lots of stretching and foam rolling and I do not discount the massive benefits of yoga, but it kind of is a bit boring to me.  BUT I get it. It is so important and I am Queen of nagging injuries so off we went.  And you know what, shocker, we are going back next Monday (for anyone interested, the first lesson is free).  It was a bit different than a normal yoga class but similar.  We did stretch some really important areas and it was not easy!! All in all, I think I may really benefit from it. But only time will tell.  But I figure if I am going to break down and go to Yoga, it better be for runners! And I will admit, it was still a bit boring, guess I need to try harder!

Finally, any New England gals up for this event:  I would LOVE to go, but would rather actually go with people if anyone is game.

Ok, I have to:  GO BRUINS!  Have a great night everyone :)

Saturday, June 11, 2011

The Day I Fell In Love with Squirrels...

Ok, so I know that I told you that I hate squirrels and that I am down right scared of them, but today I fell in love with squirrels.  So much so that I even....

What's the certain turn around you ask from the last post, highlighting my life long fear of squirrels?  Well, to understand we have to start from the very beginning (I know, find a new musical reference! seriously!!)

I woke up this morning with butterflies in my stomach and ready for race day with a spring in my step but sad to see the rain.  But as I said to Aaron, I would rather have the rain than the heat of the past few days.

Well, lets cut to the chase, we got to Quincy to get ready for the 5 mile Squirrel Run with an hour to which time I waited and stretched and waited and went to the bathroom and went to the bathroom and went to the bathroom. Ok, yes it is only 5 miles but my bladder is literally the size of a peanut, and I was not taking ANY chances.

Finally, it was time for me to warm up...unfortunately the warm up scared me because I immediately felt the IT Band, plus the first start of the run is downhill, the worst thing ever for the IT Band, but I shrugged it off and took my spot at the front (hey, a girl can dream and it was a local race so why weave when I do not have too).

The gun sounded a million Garmins chimed, and down the hill I went (very slow, as me and the PT a.k.a my Guru had discussed) and it was short and then we were on flat ground without pain! YES!

Here I go zipping by, see the little girl, she totally made it in like record time, it was awesome! Anyway so the plan was to go the first 3/4th a mile as my slowest and then settle in, but I felt great so I just went with it. It felt EASY and PAIN FREE, so even though the Garmin blinked 7:14 and even a 7:01, I trotted along, amazingly passing people as I went.  And that is how the first two miles went, playing a little game in my head of who could I pass next? Mile 1: 7:21

Mile 2-3 we hit the beach, and the WIND TUNNEL OF HELL!!! It was soo windy and a bit of an incline and it hit me hard. I tried to keep up but those I passed, caught up, to my dismay.  I kept pushing, pretty much pain free but the wind was tougher. I promise as soon as I can I will buy a manufactured wind tunnel and practice in it, run along the windy Charles and massive hilly areas all the time.  Mile 2: 7:14

During Mile 3, I ran a lot with the "gray haired man in a yellow shirt" I passed him, he passed me, and then continued in front of me. That got me mad, so fine, if I could not pass him, then I was going to draft behind him...hey don't yell at me, that's what the PT told me to do. And at Mile 3 who was handing out water but my GURU!!!! Just what I needed (this is his race that his family puts on!).  At that moment, I really felt like this is what it is to have a coach because at that moment Jake screamed:


I can't let Jake down, no no! So I did what I was told and passed him.  Unfortunately he got  the better of me and we kept up the back and forth.  Mile 3: 8:01

But I kept myself going, I had a major stitch in my side and did not think my legs would make it and I wanted to puke but I carried all the mental energy I have learned lately.  The best one was from Lauren @ Health on the Run she recently wrote a post about racing that really spoke to me.  She explained her track coach used to yell at the end Dig Deep and how she always wanted to yell back, I have nothing left with the coach countering, if you can yell then you have something. I took that to heart! THANKS LAUREN!  I repeated that constantly.  I also used, baby steps, I run for the people who can't, One day I won't be able to run today is NOT that day (countering with I will always run) and so forth.  7:50

Mile 4 we were meant with about a half mile worth of hills.  It was at this point that I saw my first woman.  Now I have not really mentioned this yet but somewhere in me I had this little hope, feeling and this little thought/question, where are all the women, where are all the people? I must me a front runner?!?! Wait what?

But anyway, this girl who liked she was 15 ran by me (sorry girlie, you look, at the moment, so young, but not that I should talk, I always get comments like that too), I must have looked pretty awful because she said with a smile, "only one more mile, but the hills ahead stink."  She spoke like she was talking a quaint little stroll. I heaved back, "Yea its a bitch," and off she flew....UGH! Actually she was really sweet, I love her.

Ok, so Mile 4 still NO pain, but the hills sucked!! Ok I PROMISE MORE HILL TRAINING, running buddy get ready!...(and I thought I was doing hill training...).  Finally, we hit the point of no return, the gray haired, yellow shirt man returned and I knew we were almost there.  I looked at my Garmin and starting thinking PR PR PR PR!! Could I do it? I really had to Dig Deep! And I did what I know I am never ever supposed to do, work the downhill! I KNOW I KNOW, but I could not help I did (luckily my knees were nice to me and did not sing with pain).  Bye bye gray haired, yellow shirt man.

Home stretch, I just have to climb up the hill that I started on and I will be there.  I turn the corner to face the beast the hill watching my clock and trying to not waste time watching the clock.  And from out of nowhere this girl flies by me, OH NO, Aaron says he should of warned me as he saw it happen while snapping pictures uuuuhhh yea....see here it is in sequence, yay NOKIA camera, capturing my major fail lol

OK here we come I am in White, see the yellow shirt dude and the girl with the blond ponytail, watch her

 Here she comes OH NO!

Here I am, seeing her pass me...there is nothing I can do about it, at this point, I am giving it all I have got!
Ugh the shame...
Ok I am just pissed off here, but nothing I can do but get ready for this hill, ask my legs to be kind and make sure to beat the yellow shirt dude, as Jake told me too...

Oh it was a killer but PR PR I go

In the zone or what, thank you legs!!

I pretty much collapsed and held on to the railing at the end after I finished, oh my I never thought I was going to make it!!!  Aaron says the guy behind me almost fell over me because I stopped short so quickly, but hey at least I know I put my all into it as proven by the fact that I wanted to complex afterwards ;).   
And the point is I did it PRRRRR!!! 37:04, beat that last's year's 37:11!!!!  I am psyched, and I then went over to the other two girls that whizzed past me to offer my congratulations, they were both super sweet. I was really happy for them! 

And thus the beginning of my new found love for squirrels.  I think my favorite line from Aaron to explain my new speed was, "are you serious?!?" Yes siree!

And guess what?!?! You guessed it, 3rd in my age group (7th for women, 40th overall)!!! My first win ever!!! I might as well have won the Superbowl, I am that excited.  It has been a really emotional journey for me running and it is only lately that I have seen myself as someone who is really training to run, compete and not just to stay fit but for a competitive edge and love of racing.  All the training, all the emotional ties, all the hard work.  I can't even explain how much this means to me, there were literally tears in my eyes. I made Aaron take a picture of the results haha...and here I am with my medal, that yes I wore ALL day!

And thus my love for squirrels!!!!

And here is Jake and I (he is the kindest, most amazing, sweetest coach in the world, but smiling for pictures eh..)

Oh gosh, what a day!!! I am so happy and I could not wait to tell all of you my exciting news :) Oh btw, the gray haired, yellow tee-shirt dude that Jake yelled at me to pass was...his brother - yup thats the way we roll at my PT ;)

Happy Weekend!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

To Run like a Squirrel? Or a squirrel run?

So, a little dark secret of mine is that I am deathly afraid of squirrels - yes those cute little things with bushy tails...umm I think not!!!! Nevermind that I did a whole report on squirrels in the 5th grade, when I see them coming I "wake way for ducklings squirrels" - meaning I stop, turn around, crotch down and sit still hoping it won't come after me run to the either side of the street.
Ok today coming outside I saw a squirrel, can you find him in this picture...I still need help with photoshop sorry!

This aversion to squirrels came about in the seventh grade when I had a dream (yes this is all due to a dream!) that a squirrel with rabies attacked me as I was walking home from school.  Yup, thats it, that one dream created this irrational fear of squirrels.

Yet, here I am in my favorite squirrel tee-shirt?  And talking about running like a squirrel.....
Like the flannel?  Can you make out the bunches of squirrels on my shirt?

Why you ask do I have this shirt (I know you are on the edge of your seat waiting for the answer)?  It is because it is that time of year again where my PT holds his annual "Squirrel Run" - a 5 mile race in Quincy to raise money for ALS.  It is a small, fun race!  It has pony rides! and moonwalks for the kids! and beer at 10 a.m.  But there are also some serious competitors - people clocked in last year at about 26 minutes.

For me, this is a very monumental race. The first time I heard about this race was about three years again and I had just began PT for my running injury that sidelined me from ALL running for about 4 or 5 months. At that time, I had just started working with my PT and remember telling him next year I will run this race and he said of course!  And he was right! Last year, I stood proudly in line to get my race tee-shirt and ran my heart out for 37:11 minutes, an amazing time for me.

This year the race is this Saturday in Quincy at 10 a.m. (and btw it is a GREAT cause and soo much fun.  so anyone that is interested, you can register online or Saturday morning and we would love to have you).  This year's race is also significant to me.  It is about not being soo hard on myself.  37:11 wow! I was much faster last year and that is something I just have to accept.  And that is what I am doing.  trying to do.  I know that it is not realistic for me to have the goal of beating this time and I don't want to make it my goal (although a part of me would love to beat this time).  Instead, earlier this week, when I was sick (and thanks for all the get well comments!!!) I told Aaron my goal for this race is to be healthy (free from illness).  And I think I might just meet that goal as I am feeling much better.  I know my IT Band won't be perfect and I know my time won't be the best but I know that come Saturday I am going to stand up proudly and pick up my newly designed Squirrel tee-shirt. And hey maybe I will even try a pony ride....ok maybe not....

As just some catch up, I have been feeling much better this week after I took a much needed rest and came back strong with speed workouts like never before!!!
Monday I did this - 3 miles (with 2 mins rest in between) at 7:35, 7:24, 7:24 pace.  3 1/2 miles (with 2 mins rest  in between) at 7:24, 7:18, and 7:13 pace YES!!!!
Tuesday - Elliptical!!!
Wednesday - PT and 10 mins elliptical, 2 miles (14:38 yes!!!) and 10 minutes elliptical...
Thursday and Friday - elliptical and more PT to get ready for D-DAY SQUIRREL DAY.

On a complete aside, I am working really hard to make sure everyone gets my replies to comments when you post a comment and I try to reply to everyone. The issue is making sure you are notified of the reply!  I think I have it down.  So from here on out, if you don't get an email back from me but there is a reply to you on my blog, let me know!!  Oh computers...I am working on it I promise!!!

Happy Scooper Bowl Day!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

What's up sniffles?

Thursday morning I woke up with a scratchy throat.  Seeing how allergy season is full on, I decided to ignore it and hope that is was just my morning allergies and off to the gym I went.  Well, by 11 a.m., the verdict was out, it was definitely not allergies - as the day went on, I got worse and worse.  To make matters even more pleasant, my night time adventure entailed a trip to NJ (for Aaron's swearing in ceremony, a not to be missed event!)

While I made it to the ceremony, the rest of the weekend was spent in bed attempting to make audible sounds.  No one seemed to appreciate my "sick" language, which either consisted of a very low voice that no one could make out or grunts that resembled English baby talk.  Friday's workout = nope, Saturday's 8 miler = nope, Sunday's workout = nope.   Oh well...

There was a time when I refused to be sick, even if I was.  No need to let a little cold "can't get out of bed, utterly defeating" flu, get you down.  Just suck it up and get going was my motto - whether it was to school, work, or a friendly outing.  And forget missing a workout!  G-d forbid, I miss my planned run, whether it be 3 miles or 13.  I managed to completely get myself utterly sick 1st year of law school right during finals and instead of saving energy for the tests, I went to the gym, smart Steph, my grade suffered but I got in my run (not my best moment).  I even recall the number of times I said to myself "working out will make me feel better" only to have to call Aaron half way through the run to come pick me up.

I am not proud of these moments but I think many of you may be able to relate.  As avid runners, cyclists, swimmers, we don't let anything get in our way!  Vacation, rain, snow, or of course illness, nothing can beat us. Now maybe many of you are better than me and if so, I praise you! But for a long time this is how I functioned which was not a healthy way to go about things...but what can I say, I was young and naive? (hopefully people will buy that....)

But today while I sit in bed on a gorgeous Sunday afternoon reading about the wonderful adventures people have had and thinking of all the things that need to be done, I am proud to report that I have not done any chores, worked on anything, or exercised in anyway since Thursday!  This is a proud moment for me because it shows, in my mind, signs of a true athlete, one who knows how to honor her body and to listen to it.  My body has told me, in its own way, WOAH, slow down - move, races, car accident, give me a break woman!! So what can I do? You win body - three full days, of movies, tea, hot baths, back rubs!, and whatever food I can stomach (umm, icecream cake, what else?).  Beats trying to jump on the treadmill, only to fail miserably.  I hope, against hope, that this "antsy feeling" I am getting now to get up and get moving means I am finally feeling better (*knock on wood*) and that TOMORROW (not today) I will be back at it - work, house stuff, and RUNNING (after all I have an important 5 miler race next weekend!).  But if not, I have learned that all this stuff will and must wait, until MY body is ready.  And that as hard as it may be to sit on the sidelines for the time, I am very lucky to 1) have this time to rest and 2) know that I will be back at it in no time, something that is a gift, not to be taken lightly (I know that many others are injured or worse and have a much longer road ahead, so forgive me for even making a few days a "big" deal).

So for today I will happily well at least more willingly sit on the sidelines and let others have the fun and learn to enjoy some relaxation and see the fun and enjoyment in that.

Hope everyone is having a blast on this beautiful day:)

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Waterworks McGee

Tuesday morning on the way to work this happened….

Yup I started my week, by getting into a car accident having my life saved (ok it was life threatening but it was in the way that it was a car accident which can be life threatening!).  Thankfully the other driver and myself walked away unscathed.  And his car was drivable, but mine was not and had to be towed and is currently awaiting appraisal by the insurance company.  Soon after, Aaron to the rescue! He quickly arrived, and my loving but very worried father called many times to check to see if I was ok.   Minus a bump on “the good knee” I felt I was fine and Aaron dropped me off at work.  While I might have been physically ok, emotionally, not so much.  My boss’s boss, who did not yet know about the accident, asked me how my weekend was and I immediately began crying and shaking sobbing “I just got in a car accident.”  After a few more moments and discussion with him and others, it was pretty clear that I would go home for the day and one of my fellow employees drove me home.  Wow, I am soo lucky to have not been injured and have such a wonderful family, friends, and work environment that is there for me. 

I am not sure what got over me, but mainly I was so shaken up all day.  I pretty much uncontrollable cried the whole day, naming myself “Wheeping Willow,” “Waterworks,” and “Waterworks McGee.”  One of my closest friends came over and sat with me and Aaron “babysat” me too as I tried to calm down and relax.

Yesterday morning was much better but I was pretty sore and had planned to go to PT to have him check me out from the accident and post race.  Aaron and I loaded up in my cousin’s car, which we borrowed to discover it would not start. At this point, what can you do but laugh? So we did the only sensible thing and got in Aaron’s car that is in major disrepair and should not be driven more than 45 miles hour right now and drove crawled into Boston.

PT revealed that I am ok and ready to go.  We did a bunch of PT type things and guess what? And PT told me running/ellitpicaling Thursday and running 8 miles this weekend!! I love my PT. He is such a go getter!!! So all good things and hopefully my knee/IT band will come in line, and if not, there ARE more important things in life.  So I did run this morning with 1 mile run and then 5 minute elliptical intervals.  I kept at a 7:24 pace which was extremely hard for me and I am a little worried about my form that fast.  My knee did hurt but not as bad as the race - the breakup with the elliptical helped plus the difficulty of trying to maintain that speed helped as well..

So 8 miles this weekend – Aaron and I will be off (him on the rollerblades) and me running.  We will actually be in the NJ/NY area as Aaron is being sworn into the NJ bar.  Do any of you NY/NJ runners want to join us for a Saturday morning run? We would love to have you!

Besides the pictures that Aaron took Sunday, race photos are up! Oh dear, check here for Aaron’s "favorite" not my best picture haha

On a final note, I hope everyone enjoyed National Running Day yesterday. I did not run because of PT but I did actually do 4 mins backwards on the treadmill (this is by far one of the hardest PT exercises ever, try it, it is awesome for your quads and everything else – I set the treadmill at an incline of 15 and then do one minute intervals ranging from 3.6-3.8 speed, it is killer I swear!). I did celebrate however by registering for the Rock n’ Roll Vegas Half. I am so excited for this and the blogger convention!! Hope to see everyone there. 

On  a final final note (really this time!0, my wonderful black toenails have been worse than ever. Apparently I have been either banging them more or gripping with me toes/toenails, has anyone ever experienced this or have any advice?