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Showing content with the highest reputation since 12/26/2019 in all areas

  1. 8 points
    Races: 7 (1 half marathon, 1 10K, 5 5Ks) Total miles: 458.7 Number of PRs: 3 (1 half marathon, 2 5k) Time seems to pass slowly and quickly at the same time! I think about all the writing I want to do, and in the blink of an eye, a month has passed and I've written no words - not on here, not in my journals, no where. But, as the husband and I have an unusually quiet evening, I figure it's a good opportunity to truly reflect on 2019. I'm not going to lie, sometimes it's easy to forget that 2019 overall was a pretty damn good year, and even the last part of the year came with a 5K PR. When I think about what I have discovered about myself - personally, professionally, and athletically - all I can conclude is that 2019 taught me that I am more. I am more than I thought I was capable of. I am more than a busy worker bee in the background. I am the future of public health. I am more than a middle of the pack runner. I am a competitor and my greatest competition is myself. I am more than a 10-minute miler. I can go faster, if I am brave enough to. I am more than a runner. I am a wife, a friend, a sister, a daughter, and a mother. January, February and part of March was as it always is in Kansas City. Cold, dark, and my least favorite environment to run in. In the depths of that awfulness, I found a radiating light - or rather a reason to enjoy treadmill runs - in the Peloton app. Taking Peloton's so-called 'Tread' classes with delightful instructors such as Becs Gentry, Olivia Amato, Matt Wilpers, and Jess Sims made miles tick by with a mental ease I hadn't felt in a long time. I got faster because they challenged me to be faster, and I rose to it. When spring arrived in Kansas City, I took their guided outdoor runs with me many times, because it's so much easier to do a tempo workout when you've got a friend encouraging you. April and May were complete chaos - getting married always brings a joyful and stressful disruption of life. I cried tears of stress, tears of joy, and tears of "it's okay, I just need to cry right now". I received a national honor for work, and managed a 7-minute PR in the half marathon on a tough, hilly course. Then I went and laid by a resort pool for a week. June, July, and August were just as fun. I took to running early in the morning and adjusting my work schedule so "early" was 6:30 and I didn't have to go to bed before the sun went down. I raced - yes, raced! - three 5Ks in three weeks, managing a PR at one of them. I logged miles purely for the joy of it. I joined a local running group for their Tuesday night speed sessions, and found new depths of speed and strength I didn't know I had. I ran by feel, forgot about the clock, and found I was faster than I thought I was. I started training for a marathon, not having a goal other than to finish and have fun. Okay, maybe I did have a goal in mind, but wasn't going to commit to it until I was more sure of my training. September came with some adjustments. I found I was tired, run down, and just a bit 'off' at the beginning of the month, which was all explained when I had four positive pregnancy tests. I made adjustments to the training plan, tweaked my diet, and continued training. Then the nightmare of October came, c-r-a-w-l-e-d by and left me devastated, hollow, and unsure of how to move forward. I felt stuck most of November, but signed up for a Thanksgiving Day 5K in the hopes that I would find something if I got out there and ran. I never wrote an RR for that race, but somewhere in the second mile I realized two things: first, mile 2 of a 5K is the loneliest mile and second, I need to do more core work if I really want to race well. I felt like I had nothing for December, but I signed up for a 5K last minute anyway because the race swag was a hoodie that said "Running with my Snowmies" with little runner snowmen on it. It's pretty rad, too. Just the right amount of weight and softness. In this 5K, I reaffirmed how lonely mile 2 is and how I really do need to do more core work. It was cold and dark at that race, so I started my watch and never looked at it again. I just ran hard. When it started to hurt, I tried to run harder. I crossed the finish line with no expectations, so was pleasantly surprised when I finished with another PR and a top 10 finish in my age group. I finished out the month with miles for Sara's brother Mark whenever it was nice, and tried to be thankful for everything in my life. It was a crazy year, and I learned so much. I made strides in my running, and began to find the types of training that allows me to thrive. I had life-changing moments and one that fundamentally changed who I am forever. I'm not sure what 2020 will bring. I've got some running plans, I've got some life plans, and I've got some career plans. But my goals for the year are focused on my whole-person health - mental, physical, and spiritual. There are no numbers tied to those goals, but I hope that the pursuit of them will allow me to become my best self. And if I can knock out three PRs again, well, that will be just fine, too.
  2. 6 points
    It occurred to me as I was driving an ambulance, my hands trembling from the rapid descent after a spike in adrenaline: I enjoy my job because it’s a lot like running and racing. Just a bit prior, I was on my knees in a crowded, semi-lit living room, surrounded by 3 firefighters, 2 paramedics, and 1 other EMT with the same title as myself… hovering over the exposed chest of a male in his 60s who was sprawled supine on the floor. My palms were face down over his sternum just above the xiphoid process, where beneath lay that precious pump of the human body: the heart. A heart that had stopped working. Cardiac arrest. It is controlled chaos. The area around the patient looks like a tornado went through a medicine cabinet… used needle catheters, wrappers, packaging, medical bags with contents spilled everywhere, oxygen tanks. I am doing chest compressions, taking over for the firefighter who had been doing CPR upon our arrival. He is now ventilating the patient via bag-valve mask, a breath every 5-6 seconds. The medic in charge of the scene is reading the cardiac monitor and calling out instructions. One medic is inserting an IV, pushing meds. The other EMT is holding the IV bag and handing over supplies. Another firefighter is speaking with family, getting information and medical history. There is sobbing, wailing, from one or two adult daughters, or perhaps a wife? I am too distracted to really take note, but I see glimpses of them in the shadows as they helplessly watch, as they call his name over and over, entreating, willing him back. Push-push-push-push-push-push… I have never done CPR on a human before, but the EMT training in class comes back. Beads of sweat are forming on my forehead and I hate that I didn’t take off my uniform parka; it is very warm in this crowded room. There is a hot spot forming at one place in my palm from it rubbing against one of the defibrillator pads with each compression. I feel calm. Acutely aware of every sound, sight, smell in the room, in ice-cold clarity, but at the same time, it seems as if I am in a dream. A trance. I am compressing, hard and fast, using my shoulders to drive the clenched palms downward. 20 thrusts, 50 thrusts, 100. You lose count. You just keep going. Someone asks me if I want to switch out yet. I shake my head and say another minute. Push-push-push-push. The monitor is showing the pumping of the heart; right now, we are contracting this man’s heart for him. Nowhere nearly as well as the healthy, functioning heart will do on its own, but enough to keep oxygenated blood circulating in vital organs. And most importantly, oxygen to the brain. The medic calls for a pause to check. CPR stops. The AED is analyzing, seeing if there is a shockable rhythm to deliver a charge to. For a second, everything halts, and I swear every person there held a breath at the same time. If nothing has changed, we have to go back to CPR, maybe another shock/charge, back to begging the body to respond. And then. The zig-zag blip across the screen. The medic reaches down and checks the carotid pulse. “We have one!” he says, and instantly radios headquarters to let them know we have a converted arrest. All 7 first responders gathered around let out a collective sigh, sharing quick nods of relief. It is a team effort. I feel tears pricking the back of my eyelids. Except there’s no time to waste now as the patient is packaged and carried out to the ambulance. Just because he has a pulse again does not mean he’s out of the woods. The family realizes that we stopped CPR, but that he is alive, and they are expectant and hopeful. We transfer the patient into the primary unit’s ambulance, and two medics hop inside with the second EMT driving. They head out with lights flashing, while ventilating and monitoring the still-critical patient. (FYI, Paramedics are amazing. They are the doctors of pre-hospital medicine, they are the kings of the emergency scene). I follow in my unit’s ambulance. I look down at my hands and realize that I am shaking. The entire time on-scene, I felt dead calm. Now I’m climbing back down the adrenaline ladder and it hits me like a tidal wave. There was the déjà vu, the familiarity. This is like running a marathon. The fear going in, the trepidation and nerves. While racing: the cold, calculating focus of doing what needs to be done, the almost trance-like state. The final suspense, the push to the finish, the physical demand. Then the relief, the accomplishment, the completion. Followed by the emotion, trembling, the wide-eyed coming out of the fog. A converted arrest feels like a marathon PR. Maybe even a better feeling, since you helped give life back to a person whose name you don’t even know. And then because the EMS gods are like the running gods in that they are unpredictable and ruthless, our unit got called to a second cardiac arrest on the same night. I go nearly 3 months without witnessing one… then I help work 2 of them in a 12 hour period. When it rains... As the assisting unit, we show up after CPR had already been initiated by the first-in unit. We assist with extrication and transport, this one being about 25 minutes from the hospital. At the hospital, I am on the side of the stretcher, feet on the lower rails a couple inches off the ground as two medics are wheeling myself and the patient into the ER. My one hand is holding onto a top rail to keep my balance, the heel of my other hand is used for one-handed CPR. As once again, I hover over a heart not my own…pushing, willing, hoping. It is strange how we humans are so connected. My own heart is exerting, doubling down, pumping harder… in order to help save the heart of another. An entire team awaits, swarming around us. A nurse takes over the chest compressions. I stand back, walk out, joined by the remainder of the teams. Our work is done. Once again, the shaking, the coming down from adrenaline. It is morning, nearly 12 hours in, at the end of my shift. I am suddenly exhausted. More so than I have ever been at the end of a shift. Today, the heel of my hand is tender and bruised, my shoulders and upper arms sore. Before we leave the hospital, we are informed. We couldn't save this one. Too far gone before anyone arrived, but there’s a duty to act and to always try. This is more of a race DNF feeling, the one where the outcome isn’t what you wanted. It hurts. You feel sad. Just like marathons gone awry though, you have to remind yourself you did what you could, you gave it your best. It is the unfortunate nature of cardiac arrests, much like races: perfect outcomes are more the exception than the rule. The variables are many and the margin of success is small. There are boring shifts of medical transports and helping Grandma up after she fell off the toilet. There was that time driving to Pittsburgh in a snowstorm with a two year old in the back of the ambulance, going to Children’s. There are end-of-shift calls that force you to clock out two hours late from a 12 hour shift. There’s vehicle maintenance and rig checks and supply restocking. Holding puke bags for vomiting patients. Cleaning blood off the stretcher. And charting, oh the endless charting. There’s a lot of mundane stuff as well as challenges taking you out of your comfort zone. In just a couple of months, I've been on a maternity call where a baby was born, a shooting with multiple gunshot wounds, a pedestrian struck by a car, several overdoses, and now two cardiac arrests. I've never missed the office job. And yes, I still run sometimes, too. Planning on gearing up for a spring race, and maybe some trail running and an ultra this summer. My focus has definitely shifted now that I work more and am focused on furthering training/experience in that field. But you cannot ask more from your life’s work than to have it give you purpose. And in the same way running helped shape me, fill me, and give me purpose, well, this is no different. A time on a clock or a heartbeat on a screen. You are fortunate indeed if you are able to do the things that make you glad to be alive.
  3. 6 points
    I'm pleased to report that my strategy of "To hell with it, I'm running through it" has been successful. Since 12/1 I've been running every other day, just about anyway. I've piled up 97 miles over 5 weeks, just being careful with easy runs of 4 to 6 miles. Got up to 7 twice now. The foot/ankle pain has slowly faded since I hurt it 11 weeks ago. Six weeks of not running didn't do much, but 5 weeks of running seemed to let it heal a little faster. Or at least didn't setback the healing process. Today's run I didn't feel it for much of the run. Toward the end I felt some, but not enough to really affect my stride. So I'm happily adding miles to my schedule. I had got quite out of shape and it was frustrating feeling so slow and winded. But lately it's getting easier. I still feel slow and out of shape, just not as much. I managed to gain ten pounds, so I need to work on dropping that now too. But it's a new year, time to start stretching myself a little more. Because I have a half marathon coming up in 8 weeks and I'd like to at least make a decent showing. Right now I have a goal of 8:00 pace and sub 1:45. With luck I'll regain some speed and be able to do better than that. But the main thing is to have fun and stay healthy. I was back East for ten days but got lucky with good weather and managed to get all my runs in on beautiful days in the 40s and 50s. Even wore shorts for most of them. Life is good.
  4. 6 points
    Somehow, another year passed! I learned a great deal on this journey around the sun. I ran 3853.6 miles this year (3854 per Strava), which was a significant yearly mileage PR, surpassing the 3047 I ran in 2018 and the 3043 I ran in 2017. I didn't check my yearly mileage until December 31, because I am already too obsessed with all numbers running related, but I knew I was in for a yearly mileage best since I've been running my highest mileage ever and haven't taken any time off. Before 2017, I never ran anything remotely close to 3000. My top 9 2019 photos on my running Instagram account I ran my first 400 mile month (December) and my first and second 100 mile weeks in the fall, although each was on the rolling 7 and not a Monday through Sunday week. I ran my first ever 90 mile week in February. Through this I learned that I really LOVE mileage! I ran PRs in the full marathon at Indy Monumental, in the half marathon twice (at the Indy Women's Half then at the White River Half), and in the 5K at the Panther Run. I ran 3 full marathons: the Chisholm Trail Marathon on March 24, Grandma's Marathon on June 22, and the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon on November 9. Although Chisholm Trail was my slowest marathon in a few years, I was very happy with it off of the limited post-injury training I had, and that I was able to run it at all. Grandma's was my second fastest marathon at that time (now my third fastest), which I was also very happy with off of a fairly short training cycle. Indy is my current PR, which I was of course happy about but I also sure wished I could have found 68 more seconds there. I set 3 Missouri state records: age 38 half marathon, age 38 10 mile, and overall female 2 mile. I'm not particularly proud of the times I ran in any of these races, but lucky for me no woman my age in this state have run faster on a certified road course. I won overall female in 5 races: Bill Snyder Highway Half Marathon, Sweatfest 2 mile, Sweatfest 10 mile, Panther Run 5K, and White River Half Marathon (I was overall person in this one). I podiumed/finished in the prize money in the Chisholm Trail Marathon (3rd female), at the Rock the Parkway Half Marathon (4th female), at the Brookhaven 5K (6th female), and at the Indy Women's Half Marathon (3rd female). I ran 11 races total. How you finish in races is heavily influenced by which races you choose, and I recently have gravitated towards races that I likely will not win, because I run faster within competitive fields. I primarily think of the women I'm running against as people who can help me meet my personal goals, and not as my competition (e.g., I don't care too much what place I get, but want to hit my time goals). Especially in my 2:46-2:47 marathons, I wanted every woman around to run 2:44:XX! In the non-numbers realm, I am proud that I came back from an injury (more here) and developed a lot as a person, including growing a greater appreciation of the process in running. I continue to find such thankfulness that I get to do this, and that God has given me this passion that brings so much joy to my life in many different ways. My biggest success of the year is probably zero injuries, and also zero injury scares! I didn't need a single ART session or any treatments this year despite running the most I ever have. I actually feel much better currently running 80-100 mile weeks than I used to running 50-70 mile weeks just a couple of years ago! I continued coaching a few running friends free of charge. While I don't have any formal coaching training, I've learned a great deal through my own experience and reading, and I don't want others to repeat my mistakes. I also love helping others - and of course I love being in the middle of all things running. Two of my proteges ran marathon PRs, and another ran two super solid marathons only 6 weeks apart, including one overall female win. I had so much fun seeing their achievements across training cycles. Running gives me so much that I am happy I can give a little back! I have a lot of running dreams and goals for 2020, but if I can accomplish the goal of continuing to run healthy that will be the best achievement I can dream of. Races are amazing experiences, but being able to go outside and run freely every day, sometimes twice, is unmatched. My 2018 highlights are here, and my 2017 highlights are here (this one also lists my mileage totals from 2010-2016). May God bless your 2020! Garmin stats 2019 Race Recaps: 3/24/19 - Chisholm Trail Marathon 4/13/19 - Rock the Parkway Half Marathon 5/25/19 - Bill Snyder Highway Half Marathon 6/22/19 - Grandma's Marathon 7/13/19 - Sweatfest 2 mile and 10 mile 8/31/19 - Brookhaven 5K 9/8/19 - Plaza 10K 9/28/19 - Indy Women's Half Marathon 10/5/19 - Panther Run 5K 11/9/19 - Indianapolis Monumental Marathon 11/23/19 - White River Half Marathon
  5. 6 points
    Hey there Loopsters! Hope you all had a good holiday and are excited for what 2020 has in store for us. 2019 was a good year for me in a lot of regards. I changed jobs and as a result, am in a much better work environment. I like what I do now, feel appreciated, and have much less stress. Can't ask for much more than that, right? Because I have more time - and more importantly, because I've been healthy - I had my strongest running year in a while. On Saturday, I went over 700 total miles for the year! Much better than the 504 miles in 2018 or the 223 miles in 2017, and a little better than the 630 miles in 2016. My high was 1,117 miles in 2014 so I have something to shoot for in the coming year. I made some progress this year getting faster. In the first few months of 2019, my average pace for all distances was 10:15 to 10:20 per mile. I track it by month and it goes up and down based on the length of runs in each month. By the end of the year, I was down just below 10:00 pace. In fact, every one of my runs in December was at 9:59 pace or below! So that was pretty cool and made me feel good. Being an engineer, I obviously like the numbers that I keep track of, but the best thing about this year is the amount of joy running brought me. After a few rough injury-plagued years, running has been so much fun for me this year. Lots of runs where I finished with a smile. Lots of runs where I was really glad I ran. And even those runs where I had no energy, I was content that I was able to run as far as I did. I look forward to 2020 as a continuation of the progress I've made this year. I'm picking out a few half marathons to do. My wife is talking about starting to run (she's a biker, not a runner) so that would be awesome to do some running with her. I expect my pace to continue to drop. And my total miles to increase. Sounds pretty good. So bring on 2020!
  6. 5 points
    Hello, I am have been a long time reader of the bloop, here and when it was part of the Runner's World web site. I am not much of a writer and sharing information about myself is a little uncomfortable, but in the spirit of new year resolutions/changes I am going to give it a try as I really enjoy reading about the other runners on the bloop . Also I have heard that if you are not uncomfortable then you aren't growing/improving. I've been a runner for about 12 years, I had run several of the Detroit Race For the Cure 5K 's before that as a way to honor my mother who died from breast cancer, but did not run consistently. I start running seriously after seeing a PBS Marathon Challenge program in 2007 about the training of a small group of non-runners for the Boston Marathon. I figured if they could run a marathon then I should also be able to and since I would be turning 50 the following year it would be good way to celebrate turning 50. So started my journey into running and after about a year of training I ran my first marathon; the 2008 Detroit Marathon in 4:30:10. It was very painful for me to gain the cardiovascular endurance needed to run long (any) distances, as this was before I had heard about the run-walk method. I figured once I had become fit that I didn't want to put myself through that painful experience again and have continued to run on a regular basis, except for a few injury timeouts (mostly bouts with plantar faciitis). I have completed 4 Detroit Marathons, and in 2016 the Boston Marathon. Now I run mostly half marathons, 10Ks and 5Ks,. I I need to be really motivated to put in the time and effort required to train for a full marathon, and that half marathons are much more manageable from a training and recovery time standpoint. I also enjoy trail running, but there are many trails near me. Last year I had a pretty good year being injury free and running 1346 miles, 5 half marathons (including one trail half marathon), 4 10Ks, and 2 5Ks and the Ragnar Trail Relay near Gaylord, MI. My fastest half last year was 1:49:19 at the January Snowman's Half in Mt Pleasant, MI with temperatures just below zero. I would have to say the half marathon is my favorite race distance with a personal best of 1:39:42 at the 2015 Let's Move Half Marathon in Mt Clemens, MI. I run with a local running group on Saturday mornings, usually running 10 miles and then meeting for coffee afterwards. Some of us have signed up for the Traversed City Bayshore Full or Half marathons on the Saturday before Memorial Day. I had been listening to a running podcast by Richard Diaz who specializes in endurance training and who has had a lot of experience training runners. For the Bayshore Half I have just started following Richard's intermediate half marathon training plan (18 weeks) with all the training runs based on heart rate and time. Best wishes and good running in 2020.
  7. 4 points
    Hey all. Its early January of a new year so I thought I'd write out a few goals I'm going to work towards in 2020. 1. Get Faster. I spent last year building up distance and more generally, just enjoying running. Did my first half marathons in a number of years. My times (2:31, then 2:27) weren't great in comparison to where I was about 5 years back (1:57). I'm not hung up on the slower pace, but do want to eventually get back to where I was. With absolutely no scientific reasoning (or really any cognitive contemplation), I've decided I'd like to get down below 2:10 this year. And then mount a challenge for under 2:00 the following year. I'm targeting a local half that looks kinda hilly (but is all down hill the last 7 miles!) in June, and a really really really flat half on the Rhode Island coast in September. If I put in the work, I'm pretty confident I can run the latter strong and end up with a good time. I know that speed work a good way to get faster. I'm planning on using the high school track in the spring, but will need to educate myself on how/what best to do there. Any of you that regularly do speed work, I would love to hear what you do and what you think might work for me. 2. Stay Healthy. Just like every other runner on the planet, I don't like being injured. I think my previous PF & ITB issues were the result of a few things that I should be able to control. The main one was committing to a half when I simply didn't have enough time in life to properly train, and then trying to 'catch up' the miles as the race neared. That was stupid. And I paid the price. I also did very little in the way of general exercise, aside from running. In 2020, I want to incorporate regular exercises into my running habit. I started with push-ups before most runs about 2 months ago and am starting to see some results there. My core is... um... well... let's just say I need to start adding core exercises too! 😂 I also have a series of leg/glute/abductor/adductor exercises that I want to add into the mix. These things will keep me in better shape and hopefully ward of injuries. The only issue is that during the week, I run early in the morning and adding more to the routine may mean waking up even earlier. But I like sleep a lot. 😉 I'll figure it out because I know I need to do these things. 3. Do Everything I Can to Make My Wife's Sojourn into Running Successful for Her! Yup, after many many years of DW not having any real desire to run, she's decided to this is the year she starts running. 👍 In December, I pointed out to her that the Hartford Marathon Foundation, which organizes many races during the year, has put together a series she might be interested in - a 'progressive' challenge of a 5K in May, a 10K in June and 13.1 in October. She bit! She's already signed up for all 3 and has her run plan (a modified none to run program) figured out through the 10K. She's going to put together the plan from 10K to Half as it gets nearer based on how she's doing, which I think is a smart approach. While I was at work today, she sent me a text that she did her first walk/run and "I didn't die. LOL" So it has officially started. I'm psyched for her. I told her that when she starts running outside (in the spring), I'll plan on running with her on the weekends at whatever pace she wants to run, and I will run all 3 races with her. For someone who runs 99% of his runs solo, I couldn't be any happier to have a run buddy! Should be good. I'll report on her progress as time goes by. Her history is accomplishing just about every goal she sets for herself, so I have no doubt she will cross the finish line at the Hartford Half in October. Boom! That's about it from here, Loop. Hope you all have a great week! - Apple Pie
  8. 4 points
    It might not be fair to say I've been putting this off for the last week. I've been off work since the 17th, just coming back today. This holiday time off may be my favorite part of working where I work. After careers in retail and transportation, it's pretty chill to have two weeks of retirement practice every Christmas. But not working has the effect of letting time sort of slip away. Before I knew it, I had so much that should have been written down that it's now at an intimidating level. I'm in danger of having the year-end and new beginning thoughts drift away. Anyway, here we go. First, the numbers. Races - 3 (Vermont City and New Hampshire, and Hell) Marathons - 2 (Vermont City and New Hampshire) States - 2 (Vermont City and New Hampshire) Mileage - 1,653 (new annual record!) What can I say? Everyone knows I'm a race hound.😆😆 Vermont started late with a t-storm and then got warm and humid. Crashed and burned to a 4:19 finish. But after ZERO marathons in 2018, I didn't care so much. New Hampshire was a hilly beast, following a brutal summer where almost every run felt like I was dying. But that day was perfect and I finished strong in 3:56, my first time under 4 hours since (believe this!) Marshall. And all those miles! I really had no clue until I went into the spreadsheet one day in December to do a quick update and make sure I was ready for the end of the year and saw that the 1,625 miles I had run was a tie for the most ever. And I still had a couple of weeks to go. Two months in NH training (Aug & Sep) were over 200 miles. Maybe I was subconsciously trying to make up for 2018 (or as I like to call it, the Year of the Meniscus). Lots of running in the first year of my 60s. Almost half of what Sara ran, so I feel pretty good about that. As for 2020, I'm hoping for about the same. No clue what marathons I'm going to run, yet. Should have an idea this week for spring. That will be a short training cycle, no pressure race just to check another state off the list. Then another run at a BQ in the fall. Haven't looked into where or when yet. Now, what's happened since I was here on the 17th? The 16th was my last run before Christmas. Flew out to Idaho Falls where Dad picked me up that night. T-Rex drove her roomie to the airport the next morning and swung by Dad's place to get me. We went to my Ironman brother's house to borrow his truck, then to her apartment to load and transfer it all to bruh's basement until April. Good to have friends in low places. After that I helped her clean the kitchen for the cleaning deposit. We had dinner with Dad and stayed to watch the finale of her favorite show, The Masked Singer. Also, BTW, T-Rex finished AND passed all her classes this semester. First time that's happened so we're all pretty excited about that. She was officially granted an Associates Degree and only needs to get one more pre-req done while she's home to get into her Medical Assisting program in the fall. HUGE accomplishment for her. Up at 4 the next morning and on the road home. There was a storm coming in, but we were out ahead of it and had perfect weather all the way back. One really long day (16 hours)(stayed the night in Council Bluffs) and a medium long day (11 hours) driving, and we made it back just a few hours after Big Mac and Big Ben (SIL) flew in for Christmas. I'd promised myself not to run when the kids were in town. Mrs. Dave gets anxious if I "abandon" her when we're entertaining. So we enjoyed them for the five days, had a great and peaceful Christmas. Ran Thursday, Friday and Saturday, then took a few more off and only ran yesterday. Now that things are normal again, I can get back into more regular mileage and start building for whatever that spring marathon turns out to be. Spent the last two days mounting the new TV (Xmas) over the mantel. Not an easy job since it's all brick. A full brick interior wall. Sometimes I wonder what possessed builders in the 60s.
  9. 3 points
    Another trimester of grad school done. 4 of 6 complete. It’s going well. I’ve been running just as much but with all the writing and reading I do for classes (besides the fact that I am also working full time!), I haven’t been to the loop much at all. I always thought I’d find a way to keep up, but I haven’t. This last semester wasn’t quite as interesting, I had Research Methods (which was basically prep for thesis work – and I still don’t feel ready to start that), and Nutritional Epidemiology, which wasn’t as interesting as I hoped it would be but they kept me very busy. Coming up I have “Gut microbiome, nutrition and behavior” and “Nutrition in pain and inflammation”. After that is just one more class and my thesis. (!) Officially I’ve decided my concentration will be more general nutrition instead of sports nutrition like I was initially thinking, but the difference is really only one class and I figure I can get more specific in continuing education classes that I’ll need to take over time anyway. My thesis will still be running related. The main work is still a few months away, but I am going to be doing a survey of runners and nonrunners to compare attitude about diet. Running has been ok. I’ve been mainly injury free – I did tweak my ankle running on a trail, and my knee sometimes complains because it just does sometimes since the Ellie dog incident. I am trying to regain some speed. I’m not sure if it is working. I ran another half at the beginning of October with a goal of finishing under 2:10. I didn’t quite make that but I was close at 2:11:xx. I ran a 5k and was about a minute slower than my PR, on an extremely humid and warm morning. It was good for 2nd in my AG in a relatively small race. I’m doing speed work and hills again in preparation for running the Asheville marathon in March. Fitting in homework while I travel for that might be a challenge, but with a couple extra days off work just for homework I believe I can make it work. I will have to make sure and check the syllabus so I can work ahead on any major projects due around that weekend. I got a couple running related gifts for Christmas – a new pair of running tights and a gift card for the LRS. I’m excited about the gift card, because I need new (road) shoes, but with the gift card I can also buy a pair of trail shoes, which might help me fall down less when I try to run on trails. They might also help with running in the winter weather. We’ve had some snow already – I spent most a week earlier this month running on the treadmill because the sidewalks were icy with that lumpy foot cratered snow that is really hard to run on – both really slick in spots and ankle busting in others. I’m still running with Team in Training too – the more I run with them, the more stories I hear, and the more I want to keep going. As in a phrase one of our local teammates coined (but probably others have said it too) – “Until there are no more sad stories.” Most blood cancers aren’t considered rare cancers, but Gabe’s life struck me this year something fierce. I connected with it in a way that surprised me. So, I will continue. Link is here, but that’s not the main purpose of this post (though you’ll make my day if you donate.) Photo dump from the past few months – Plogging (Late September). There is sadly way more trash than I can pick up on a run. 5k medal and AG award. (Late September - I think) Half marathon medal and shirt, plus medal and shirt from completing the spring/fall half challenge A fall run in Forest Park That tree just glows... Selfie at the Grand Basin in Forest Park with Art Hill (which I ran up) and the St. Louis Art Museum in the background. Sunrise along the trail in Forest Park. Hike with Ellie (trail was definitely too slick for me to run on) Sunrise when I got up to run on Christmas day - no filter, no photoshop, if anything the color was even more vivid in real life During my run Christmas day. (Out near my parents' farm)
  10. 2 points
    No pic of the “Running with my Snowmies” sweatshirt?? I think we might need to see that! Sounds like a lot of 2019 was really good for you. 3 PRs is a banner year. So congrats!
  11. 2 points
    Ooooohhhhh!!! I love this! I want to go running with you right now because I need more details! LOL Goals for 2020: 1) To stay healthy and injury free. 2) Quit/cutback Facebook. 3) Spring/summer decision: Sign up for a 50 miler (if and only if I feel my leg is ready.)
  12. 2 points
    I had one resolution for 2020 - to be more positive and happy. Then Amazon Prime dropped their free Doctor Who. So, I'm done.
  13. 2 points
    You the man, Tim. So many miles. So much mud. And all that strength work you didn't mention. Such determination. By the way, I love that lap counting system.
  14. 1 point
    Love this. And loved tracking your quest. A guy from my local group was there and ran 2:18:31 to get his OTQ and will be going to Atlanta.
  15. 1 point
  16. 1 point
    I'd have to race first. Unless anyone's interested in that one I did in 2004. Did my longest run in over a month, since the hamstring thing. That was Friday, out to the Chili's on Eight Mile and back. Nothing to be especially proud of, but just running is good. Since it was my 61st birthday, I ran ... wait for it! ... 6.1 miles. You heard about the guy who ran 70 miles for his 70th birthday? Yeah, I'm not doing that. Call me lazy if you want. Missed Saturday, also because I'm lazy. Mrs. Dave and I met some friends for lunch at a dinner theater (they have a matinee on Saturdays). It had snowed 6 inches the night before, then started raining about noon. I thought several times throughout the day about treadmilling it, but just couldn't get there. I did shovel snow twice, so there's that. Even so, it was 22 miles for the week, running 5 days in a row with no complaints from Sammy. Planning 30-ish this week. Since the rain on Saturday, it's been in the teens and 20s. Everything is ice. Good news it that when there's a good storm in winter, most folks get out and clear the walks. Especially if it's a weekend. So I have been outside both days this weeks so far. There are hazards of course, and the overall pace is awfully slow, what with nearly walking over the stretches that didn't get proper attention, mostly businesses. I could feel some soreness in different spots the day after, a sign that I'd worked different muscles climbing over and around the icy patches. Took a better route yesterday that had less ice and more running. Today it's supposed to get above freezing for an hour or so. What else? Got two puzzles for Christmas. Did the easy one last week in two evenings. It was a 500 piece round one of a Thomas Kinkaid work. Some old church building in the woods with a stream and a bridge. Now I'm working on a much harder, 1000 piece that Big Mac brought back from Amsterdam. MC Escher's "Balcony." This one is taking a might longer.
  17. 1 point
    Thanks for sticking by me! I need to keep up the strength work.
  18. 1 point
  19. 1 point
    Happy for you, OCRG. You put in so much work to get where you are today!
  20. 1 point
    Lots to look forward to!
  21. 1 point
    What a year! I wish it could have been all positive. Thanks for the miles for Mark. You are pretty amazing!
  22. 1 point
    Love it, Eliz! What an exciting year you had with a tough curveball in the middle. Congrats on the National Award!
  23. 1 point
    I read Mrs. Pie your comment. She said “heck no!” But I’ve got time to work on her. 😉
  24. 1 point
    this post made me smile.
  25. 1 point
    Salisbury, MD. All flat except for two freeway overpasses.
  26. 1 point
    I have learned A LOT about how to stay healthy in the past 5 years!
  27. 1 point
    Great goals!!! Maybe we'll have another runner in VT?
  28. 1 point
    Looks like 2020 is going to be a banner year for the Pies. I like to keep my speed work really simple. Two days a week - one tempo and one interval workout. If I'm on the track, it's mostly repeats of various distances under a mile (400s to 1200s), at a speed you can survive the workout, with jogging rest between reps. Anything longer (1600+) I'll do on the road.
  29. 1 point
    I am a fan of that strategy.
  30. 1 point
    All those miles and 0 injuries - that is really incredible!
  31. 1 point
    Happy you're so happy! Good luck with the swimming - Try to remember - it could take a long time for you to feel really good doing it (like running - the first few months often suck, but if you stay with it, things can get magical.) I did masters' swimming long ago and learned to love it. I never got out of the slow lane, but made huge progress. It can be very soothing to swim laps. I don't do it any more - switched to spinning as my second thing. But I hope it turns out to be great for you.
  32. 1 point
    What I needed to check was your total. I have memory issues. 🤭
  33. 1 point
    10 (very modified) pushups everyday. Easy enough to do that if I forget until I get into bed I will still be able to get up and do it, and my upper body is just so weak I need to do something...maybe by the end of the year I'll be able to do real ones.
  34. 1 point
    This year therapy was such an important part of self care. We're very much alike with how we use and view goals! ❤️
  35. 1 point
    Congrats on finishing a good decade on a high note! And your comment about being the cherry on the sundae really made my day when I read it on my bloop! Such a great analogy!👍
  36. 1 point
    I'm happy to have been here to see all of this. What a great year.
  37. 1 point
    I’m unpacking my suitcase, one soggy item at a time. My favorite sports bra, twisted and damp. Clammy shorts, turned inside out, a nearly-empty Gu wrapper stuck inside the right pocket. A sweaty shirt. A crumpled bib. Wet socks. Snot-encrusted mittens. As I drop each piece into the hamper, it hits me again. I did not run that damn marathon. I dropped out at mile 13, a decision I never dreamed I’d have to make. I’d arrived at the start line with a joyful heart. 2019 had been a rough year—a surprise cancer diagnosis, followed by surgery and radiation, then a raft of challenges affecting people I love—my dad, my brother, my son, a close friend. Sometime during the summer shitstorm, my daughter sent me a short text: I’m signing up for CIM. Interested? My immediate response: Nope. This is the not the year for me to run a marathon. But have fun. It took about 5 seconds to change my mind. Ignore that last text, honey. This is the PERFECT year to run a marathon. I’m in. Training went well for both of us. I’d had a tough time getting my energy back after radiation, but once I had a simple plan in front of me, I managed to reclaim my mojo. Running felt fun again. Less struggle, more magic. Lauren hired a coach and worked her tail off. Week after week of quality runs, all done in the dark before long days at the office. So much determination. Race weekend arrived and we were both more than ready. With husbands in tow, we connected at the Sacramento airport, made a quick trip to packet pickup, stopped at Whole Foods where we could each choose a perfect pre-race dinner, then found our Air BnB. No nerves (for me at least) because my only goals were to celebrate my return to normal and enjoy what could be a once-in-a-lifetime experience with my girl. Race morning went smoothly too. The rain had stopped, the busses were warm, and the porta potty lines were (relatively) short. We parted a few minutes before the elite took off, then 10 minutes later, I was on my way. I’m still trying to figure out why so many people do so well at CIM. Yes, it’s net downhill, but the rollers start in mile 1 and seem to go on forever. I was enjoying them though–floating up, cruising down—so damn grateful to be alive and on the move. The first hour flew by, but sometime in mile 8, I felt this weird sensation under my feet. It was like there was a hydraulic lift under the road, shifting the left side up and the right side down. At first, it was almost imperceptible, but as I continued, the slope increased. To keep from falling, I had to pick up each foot and place it back down on the ground very deliberately, like I was marching or doing high-steps. I slowed the pace, drank more water, slurped on Gu, took more walk breaks, swore at myself, focused on my friend with Stage 4 cancer, visualized the finish line—every trick in the book, but nothing worked. By mile 12, I was pretty sure I was going to fall off the side of the world. That’s when I knew it was time to call my husband. He and my son-in-law found me at mile 13, listing to the right as I tried to run. They pushed me to get medical help, but I refused. I know it was probably stupid, but I was afraid that if we all got caught up in the medical system, they would miss my daughter’s finish. I promised to stay in the car for the rest of the race and get help later if I still felt strange. They made it to the finish line in time to see Lauren go sub-4 with a 13-minute PR and a beautiful 23-second negative split. She says she didn’t actually feel on top of her game, but her coach had told her repeatedly, “I’m not training you to have a great race. I’m training you to run well, even if you’re having a bad race.” It worked. So … we’re about two weeks out now. The soggy clothes have been laundered and put away, and I’ve done a few easy workouts. I haven’t had any more vertigo, but I’ve met two people that had it while exercising, one during a 10-mile race, another while cycling. I’m getting a physical before the end of the year, so will talk to the doctor about it then. Haven’t decided how to redeem myself for this one. Stay tuned. In the meantime, I am trying hard to be grateful for what I gained, instead of focusing on what I didn’t accomplish. The training really did help put the cancer behind me. And the opportunity to share a marathon experience with my first-born—the girl who was running with me before she even entered the world—well, that’s the best gift of all.
  38. 1 point
    I think sometimes we get caught up in comparing ourselves with others or worrying what others may think. As someone who is/has comeback from a long injury all i can say is that I'm so grateful that I've been able to run some miles this year. Happy New Year!
  39. 1 point
    All great news! I love it! Happy New Year!
  40. 1 point
    It's great to read such a positive recap - with the work situation and running! Have a blessed 2020.
  41. 1 point
    That's a lot of long distance races! 😲 Must have been the snowshoeing ... although its never had that kinda effect for me. 😁 Nice going on a great year.👍
  42. 1 point
    Wow, what a mix of emotions on race day! 😮 Yay for your daughter, glad she kicked ass. That photo of her at the end is awesome! I hope your doctor has an explanation for the vertigo. Good luck on that front and in 2020.
  43. 1 point
    I'm impressed you run as many races/marathons as you do with all that is on your plate. 👍 I like the Halloween medal. Very cute!
  44. 1 point
    I LOVE this message.
  45. 1 point
    Wise words, TG. Happy new year.
  46. 1 point
    Love hearing all the trails you enjoyed! Snowshoeing really is an incredible cardio workout in the winter when snow gets deep.
  47. 1 point
    "the girl who was running with me before she even entered the world" what a dear sentiment. wishing you well in 2020
  48. 1 point
    Those pancake medals are fantastic! Good luck with school. The gut microbiome class should be interesting!
  49. 1 point
    DNFs are really tough pills to swallow, but I'm glad you have been able to find some silver linings. Here's to putting 2019 behind us, letting the life-changing moments be a part of us, and kicking ass on the roads in 2020.
  50. 1 point
    Sorry CIM turned out that way. I'm sure your daughter was happy to have you there. She looks so happy at the finish.
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