Thursday, October 20, 2011

Baby Case

I haven't blogged much recently. I have been running. I've even had a few races and a few other running adventures, but life has busier than normal. I planned on doing a full running update this week, but then something happened and I've decided to blog about this instead. I'll return to running updates next week.

Last month our friends, Xavier and Emily, came to visit us from Texas. They had never been to Boston and we hadn't seen them in 3+ years. It was a wonderful week! We loved getting to meet their two boys, Graydon and Case, and they loved getting to meet our two. Even though it had been years, we picked up right where we left off. Lots of laughing and talking and catching up. At the end of the week I ran the Apple Fest 1/2 Marathon with Emily. It was awesome. She and I have been swapping running stories for years so it was awesome to finally run together. Right after the race, they returned to Boston and then flew home that evening.

While they were here, they mentioned that Case (10 months old) wasn't being himself. He wasn't eating very well and was more fussy than normal. Although he seemed to be pretty content, he had rough nights and wasn't as happy as they were used to. He actually cried through the whole race. We all chalked it up to the travel (they had toured the east coast for a week and half before they got to Boston) and being overly tired from the flights and driving.

Once home, Case got worse and then his skin turned a bit yellow. The first doctor said it was a virus so they went to another doctor, who promptly sent them to the Children's Hospital. After MRIs, cat scans and other tests, the results came back that he had a cancerous tumor in his abdomen and that it was pancreatic cancer. The tumor is so large and encompasses so many of his organs and veins that cutting it out isn't possible. Right now he is facing chemotherapy. They are still waiting to find out if it's Stage 4 (as most pancreatic cancer is when it's discovered) and whether it's moved into his bone marrow. Those answers will change the course of treatment they decide to take.

Emily and Xavier are still hopeful for the best, despite all the challenges that are in store for them. There is not a lot we can do for Case, other than pray.

This news hit me pretty hard. I cried all afternoon yesterday and again this morning when we got more news. It's difficult to see your friends go through something this difficult. It's hard to imagine what they have ahead. It's difficult to hear about such a young baby, who we fell in love with just last month, suffering this way.

And then it helps me puts into perspective everything else. It makes me grateful for my children and their health. It makes me want to stop "sweating the small stuff". Life is precious and can be fragile. It makes me grateful for the love of our Savior and Heavenly Father who, I believe, will guide us through trials and difficulties. I believe we will never be alone. I believe that Christ has this sweet little family in His hands and he is holding them up and helping them stand.

Friday, August 26, 2011


I went on a tempo run yesterday. Well, it was supposed to be a tempo run, but really it just plain sucked. By mile 2 I was completely done. My muscles were sore. My breathing was off. At mile three I thought "Turn around and go home. Six is enough." Unfortunately I totally ignored those thoughts and kept running. By mile 5 I was on the phone, crying to my husband and apologizing that he was going to miss his train because "I just can't do it". He told me not to worry and to take my time and that we'd figure out his commute once I was home. I kept plugging on - walking and jogging. Doing anything but tempo. I arrived home 15 minutes later and 1 mile shorter than I planned. It was a complete failure.

I was disheartened to say the least. This was twice in one week where I couldn't do what I had set out to do. Sure, my speed work has been great and I've been doing all the runs I'm supposed to but I'm not accomplishing my pace/time goals.

And then I read this article (7 Ways Runners Can Avoid Overtraining) and I realized that I was making some (not all) of the mistakes they say to avoid. I haven't been sleeping like I should. I work late (10 or 11) and then I'm up early running before the hubs leaves (and working some more until the kids wake up). I've been running around doing fun summer things with my kids and not relaxing in the afternoons. I haven't been following the 90% rule (I'm kind of a "go hard or go home" kind of girl). And I really don't cross train. It's all running for me.

And then what really struck me was number 7 and the signs of overtraining:

  • persistent achiness, stiffness, or pain in the muscles and/or joints (beyond the typical delayed onset muscle soreness felt after a workout)
  • lack of energy
  • fatigued and/or achy muscles
  • frequent headaches
  • feeling lethargic or sluggish
  • drop in athletic performance
  • not able to complete your normal workout
  • depressed, moody, unmotivated
  • nervousness
  • lack of sleep and/or appetite
  • weight loss
  • lowered immune system
I have felt nearly every single one of the issues mentioned. Especially this week. It's been two weeks now that I've had a headache nearly every single day. I came down with a little bit of a cold on Sunday night and never slowed down. I did all my runs. I kept working late. I played hard (the lake, the park, hanging out with friends, etc). I didn't take any time to let the cold run its course.

So, here I am on Friday completely wasted and exhausted. I didn't run this morning - really didn't feel like I could - and I'm not going to do my long run tomorrow. Yes, it's killing me. I hate missing runs. But I also hate being on a run and feeling so weak that I break down into tears and consider taking a taxi home (true story - happened yesterday). I am hoping that by forcing myself to relax for the next three days I'll start feeling better. And when I do start training again I am going to be careful about over training.

Has anyone ever had this experience with over training? Thoughts? Tips? Advice?

Monday, August 22, 2011

Nearly 6 weeks...

How is it possible that I have not updated my blog in that long? I'd say I was busy, but who isn't busy?! In all honesty, I haven't had any great running stories to tell on here. I've pretty much been trucking along doing my training - although I don't know yet what I'm training for!

I have four races this fall that I'm considering - 2 1/2 marathons, a 1/2 marathon relay with a friend and of course Tufts 10K for Women. The decision on the other 1/2 marathons is dependent on guests coming into town and my own issues with competition. {I'm going to have to get to that in a day or two - it deserves it's own post.}

I have had some really great runs recently and some really, really crappy ones. Friday's long run had me doubting everything I believe about myself as a runner. My sweet husband reminded me that I had been up all night with a sick daughter and was running on empty to start. However, it was still discouraging. But then today I ROCKED my speed work so my running world is feeling right again!

Anyway, I am still alive. I am still kicking. I am still running. I'm just not doing great with the posting! Stay tuned....

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Speed Work...without a Garmin

On Mondays I do speed work. I am using Ryan Hall's 1/2 training hoping to set a new 1/2 marathon PR (14 minute PR to be exact). So yesterday morning I headed to the track for 7 x 800m. I actually parked about a mile away, ran there to warm up and then started.

Based on my current pace and my desired 1/2 goal time, my speed work miles need to be around 8:30 (no slower than a 9:00 min/mile). Which means my intervals should be between 4:15 and 4:30. From the title you'll know that I do not have a Garmin. My friend gave me a polar watch/heart rate band which allows me to lap myself, but at no time while I'm running do I have any idea what my pace is. I am getting better at feeling it, but it's still a guessing game.

Once I finish the 800m, I'm supposed to recover for half the interval time. So here's what I do....

I run the 800m, lap it on my watch then divide by 2 and add that to the time when I finished the 800 m. Once recovery time is over I start running again and add 4:15 to whatever the time was when I finished the recovery. Which means for the first 100m or so of every lap I'm doing math. I'm not very good at math. I wasn't when I was young and had a fresh brain. And now that I have mommy brain, adding those simple numbers is much harder than it should be. Yesterday I was also trying to keep track of how many laps I actually did (because the intervals aren't based on distance, but time) so I was counting that too. So at any given moment of my speed work I have at least 4 numbers running through my head. I'm counting minutes and seconds.

Needless to say, when speed work is done, not only are my legs and body tired but my brain is tired. I guess it's a good thing to try to keep my mind working and it does help to focus on something else.

HOWEVER, I want a Garmin. It's on my wish list. We're not exactly in a position where I can go out and buy one, but I do have a birthday coming up (11-11-11 - pretty cool huh?!) and I'm hoping for a Garmin. If it doesn't happen on my birthday, then I just have to wait six weeks for Christmas.

Until then my little brain is getting as strong as my quads as I do this speed work. I guess it's a win/win situation, right?

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

A look back at June...

Six days into July and I'm already behind. With the holiday and my son's birthday (July 4), things have been busy. But June was a really, really good month for me so I wanted to make sure and post.

Miles Planned/Miles Run: 90/106!!!!

Rest Days Planned/Rest Days Taken: 4/5

Highest Mileage Week: 6/6 - 6/12: 24 miles

Long Runs Planned/Long Runs Completed: 4/4

Current Book: Just started Discovery of Witches. Really liking it so far.

Current Shame-Inducing Guilty Pleasure: My iPhone. I've had it for 7 months, but now I'm on it all the time. Probably time to take a break.

Current Colors: Red, white and blue of course!

Current Obsessions: Instagram - are you on? I love it!

Current Snack: Chobani yogurt. Yum-o!

Current Drink: Sparkling tangerine juice from Trader Joe's - so yummy (even if it is carbonated).

Current Song: Best Thing I Never Had - Beyonce. I went to NYC last week for Beyonce's free concert. Now I'm obsessed with this song.

Current Wish-List: A new workout outfit.

Current Need: A tan. It's already July and I'm still pasty white.

Current Triumph: Doing speed work two weeks in a row. This is a first for me. Oh and running more miles in June than I have since January.

Current Goal: Run more miles in July than I did in June. Also not die on my 10 mile run in the MOUNTAINS of UTAH!!!

Current Blessings: Excellent friends.

Current Excitement: Going to Utah for a sisters' weekend next week. I. can't. wait.

Friday, June 17, 2011

This and That.

How is it possible that June is over halfway over and I haven't blogged once? June was supposed to be a slow month and yet, it's flying by. Nothing too terribly exciting. Lots of day to day stuff.

Running has been great this month. I started a 21-day challenge and it's gone really well. I have 6 goals that I try to meet every day for 21 days. One of the goals is exercising a minimum of 30 minutes a day (except Sundays). Well, for me, if I'm going to exercise for 30 minutes, it's going to be running. So with the exception of yesterday when I did P90X Yoga, I have run every day this month. It's been awesome. I am well on my way to my 90 miles goal and will probably pass it up.

Another thing I've noticed is that I'm getting faster...and I'm not really trying. I did speed work one day last week. First time ever. My splits looked like this:

Warm up mile - 9:27
Lap 1 - 1:45
Lap 2 - 2:11 (recovery?)
Lap 3 - 1:51
Lap 4 - 1:59 (recovery?)
Lap 5 - 1:51
Lap 6 - 1:58 (recovery?)
Cool (really?) down mile - 9:03

I think I need some work on speed work. I'm pretty sure I should have slower recovery laps. It was a fun challenge and I'm excited to do more. The biggest "problem" is getting to the track. I rather just head out my door and start my run.

Two days ago I wasn't feeling it. I didn't get up to run in the morning (stayed up working way late the night before) and didn't have a chance until that evening. In order to force myself to do it, I had my hubbie drop me 3 miles from home. I had to get home and that helped. He always leap frogged the whole way, so that was kind of fun. I guess we do what it takes. But the really cool thing about that run - my first mile was an 8:02. It totally surprised me because I didn't feel like I was running that fast.

I guess that's about it. Wish I had more exciting stuff to report, but since I'm (still) not training for anything specific, I guess this will have to do for now. Hopefully something cool will happen soon!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

May - What?! It's over?!

Seriously?! Where did this month go? Between my daughter's tonsillectomy, Ragnar, my sister and her family visiting and the day-to-day stuff, May FLEW by. I really can't believe tomorrow is June. May kind of got by me. I don't feel like I conquered much. I feel like it was a bit stagnant in the physical department (other than Ragnar). But that's okay. I'm recommitted. June has some exciting things in store and I am going to make the best of this month - in every way possible. So, with just over an hour left in this month, here is a look at back at this whirlwind month...

Miles Planned/Miles Run: No plan/80 - my lowest number of miles since November. Bummer.

Rest Days Planned/Rest Days Taken: No plan/More than I should have!

Highest Mileage Week: 5/2 - 5/8: 27 miles

Long Runs Planned/Long Runs Completed: 0/0 - unless you count my 8 miler in Ragnar, I really didn't do any long runs this month.

Current Book: I FINALLY got Run Like a Mother from the library. Loving it so far. I also picked up Run! by Dean Karnazes and can't wait to start that.

Current Shame-Inducing Guilty Pleasure: Staying up too late and sleeping in too long!

Current Colors: Hot Pink.

Current Obsessions: Um, feeling like a runner again!

Current Drink: Water. I'm kind of boring.

Current Song: Fireflies by Owl City (played while I was on my night run on Ragnar) and Paper Planes by MIA (I know it's been out for a few years, but I just heard it recently and I love it as a running song).

Current Wish-List: Getting rock hard abs and arms. I want musclely arms. I really do.

Current Need: A pedicure. It's been more than two years since I had one professionally done. It's time for another one.

Current Triumph: Setting a new mile PR (8:00) while racing my (younger) brother-in-law.

Current Bane of my Existence: Not having a race to train for - I know, I can fix that. Working on it now.

Current Goal: Run 90 miles in the month of June. I need to do that every month for the rest of the year to reach 1111 miles in 2011. Also, conquer the hill by my home by the end of the month. It's about 1/2 mile straight up and I'd like to run it in better than 4:15 minutes.

Current Blessings: Healthy kids, healthy husband, healthy me.

Current Excitement: All the running I'm going to do in June.

Not a running picture, but this is me staring down June. Bring it on!