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Showing content with the highest reputation on 01/02/2019 in all areas

  1. 5 points
    December 2018 in Review Total mileage for the month: 316.3 -- in comparison: January - 207, February - 254, March - 298, April - 307, May - 355, June - 232, July - 290, August - 357, September - 305, October - 10, November - 114. This was a good mileage month, but only about 5 of those miles were fast (I am not even kidding)! In 2018 I ran 3,047 miles total, which was a yearly mileage PR! I ran 3,043 in 2018 (see #4 here), and I thought because of my calf injury this year I wouldn't be able to beat that, but in the end I did! Full story: I looked at my year-to-date total on Dec. 2 and although I'd never cared much about yearly totals before then, I suddenly felt it would be a complete tragedy if I didn't make it over 3,000 this year. So I did the math and suddenly had a goal of running at least 62.5 miles a week for the rest of the year, as long as my calf continued to feel 100%. I ended up with weekly totals over that and began closing in on my 2017 total, but I didn't expect to beat it until with 4 days left in the year, I checked it and saw that 40 more miles would get me there. 40 miles in 4 days is completely reasonable, so I decided to go for it. Nov. 26-Dec. 2: 52.4 (31 AlterG) Plus 4:05 cardio cross-training, 2:30 strength training Dec. 3-9: 64.8 (22 AlterG) Plus 1:30 cardio cross-training, 2:50 strength training Dec. 10-16: 72.8 (11 AlterG) Plus 2:46 strength training (0 cardio cross-training from here on!!!) Dec. 17-12: 75.5 (12 AlterG) Plus 2:40 strength training Dec. 24-30: 80.1 (10 AlterG) Plus 2:16 strength training Dec. 31-Jan. 6: projected at 70 Merry Christmas! Races: I had the final DNS of my injury, missing the California International Marathon. This DNS burned the worst by far. I'm hoping to return to the magic of CIM in 2019, though. Workouts: Dec. 13 - At the hill closest to the end of my run, I completed 4 x 1:00ish hill repeats. Hill repeats are hard for me even when I'm in shape, and these were tough for a mere 4:00 of hard running! I didn't time them exactly or take my paces on them, just ran from a sign to a mailbox that took me about a minute the first time, then repeated it 3 times before jogging back to where I was parked. Hills are a great way to get speed work with less impact, and I was scared of everything except hills sprints and strides this month. Dec. 28 - I finally bit the bullet and ran a real workout - 3 mile tempo at 6:36 via 6:43, 6:43, 6:24 (2.1 warm up, 2.3 cool down). I chose the windiest day to do this, but also figured that would mean I'd for sure improve on my next workout. I wasn't sure what to expect so I ran this by feel, as I am usually pretty good at zeroing in on tempo effort. I did look at my mile splits, and my main thought at mile 2 was "I may have lost my speed, but at least I didn't lose my ability to run consistent splits!". This run reminded me that it takes me 2 miles of any tempo to get into a groove and feel good, but I was still sure glad to stop after 3 hard miles! I'm very thankful to be running and to have the opportunity to re-gain fitness, but it's sure hard not to compare. I kept thinking "I have no idea how I used to run marathons averaging paces in the 6:20s!" but I also know that improvements come much faster when you haven't run workouts in a long time...here's hoping [Jan. 1 note - I did improve in my second workout back]! I wore two Garmins on this run: my old 220 and new 235, and they had all of my mile splits within 2 seconds of each other so unfortunately my disappointing pace was pretty accurate. Doubles on Dec. 18, and 26. My 80 mile week during the final week of the month was the first time I hit 80 with only 1 double! Strides on Dec. 10, 18, 23, and 26. Full body strength workouts: I started listing my weekly strength training totals with my weekly mileage above. Most of my strength routine uses body weight (e.g., planks, push ups, walking lunges) or resistance bands (e.g., clamshells, monster walks, glue bridges), but I do some weighted moves (e.g., squats, deadlifts, rows). I ran 10 miles in this ugly Christmas sweater! 8* is less cold with friends, but apparently feels colder to me than to Amy! Long Runs: Dec. 1: I tagged my 7.2 miles (7:36) as a long run on Strava, because when your outdoor runs have been 0 for 8 weeks, 7.2 is long! While the duration of the run seemed short, it also seemed like a long way to run, if that makes any sense at all. It was a nice one, with my running buddies Amy R., Elise, Rebecca, and Claudio on farm roads in 48 degrees. I can't say that I like being the one running the shortest distance, however. Dec. 8: 12.2 miles (7:39) with my amazing friends Missy and Rebecca on a cold and windy morning! I also ran 10 miles (7:26) for my midweek long run with Rebecca that week, on Dec. 5, which was my first double digit run outside post-injury! Dec. 15: 14 miles (7:19) with a wonderful group (Rebecca, Missy, Jackie, Danielle, and Claudio...I told Claudio he was in for a lot of estrogen!). Early on some of the 7:10ish miles felt a bit hot, and I sure felt the long inclines in miles 10-11, but my final 2 miles were my fastest (7:05, 6:50) and I was happy to average 20 sec/mile faster than the previous week, going 2 miles farther. The upside of returning from injury is that you improve much more rapidly than when you're fit! I'd had a few daily runs that were around 7:15 pace by this point in my comeback, but they'd been 5-6 milers, so this was really solid for where I was at. I then ended up running 12.2 miles the next day on Dec. 16 (oops - but the pace was slower at 7:57). Dec. 21: 16.2 miles (7:49) with Missy, before work. This seemed like a really good idea until my alarm sounded at 4:00 a.m. the Friday morning of the run! Shortly after, Missy texted me, "What were we thinking??!" We'd planned on a pace over 30 seconds/mile faster than this, but it just wasn't the day for it. After hearing the wind whipping around all night, we decided that even 8:00 pace would be fine and we'd consider it time on feet. It was very windy, but I think most of my problem was eating crappy the day before at Christmas events and probably also getting used to the miles...after all, I did go from a long run of 7.2 to 16.2 in 3 weeks! It didn't seem that long (thanks to my super long cross-training sessions that weren't nearly as fun), but for the remainder of the day my body sure reminded me that I hadn't run this distance in almost 3 months. But whenever you run 16 miles before the sun comes up, you accomplished something - plus Missy is awesome! Dec. 24: 14 miles (7:59) on Christmas Eve for an unscheduled but excellent long run! I met up with April to run the Chisholm Trail Marathon course in Wichita while visiting my parents for Christmas, which ended up being the perfect Christmas Eve bonus long run. The course is two loops of 13.1 miles, and she had a 14 miler scheduled so I of course ended up running the extra mile. The run went by really quickly and felt more like 7 miles instead of 14, and we only made one wrong turn when navigating the course from my memory (i.e., the course is very easy to follow even completely unmarked)! Dec. 29: 14 miles (7:39) mostly before dawn. I ran the first 7 with Elise, Amy, and Rebecca at around 8:00 pace, then did a progressive-ish 6 at around 7:20 pace because I felt good! We ran a 13 mile loop but when I got back to my car I decided to tack on another mile for 14 (funny, initially I'd planned a cut back long run of 12 this week but ended up with two 14s instead). I would have run 15-16, or maybe even 18, if I hadn't been on a time crunch to get home because Jon had to leave...and that was a nice feeling that I hadn't experienced on a long run recently! I followed this up with 11.6 miles the next day. Favorite long run: All of them! I love every single run! My new compression socks! Elise bought the same pack & we both wore a pair on 12/16 Cross-Training: I supplemented a little with cross-training as I worked up my mileage, but nothing like the previous two months (thank God)! The earliest I can start running on the AlterG is 6:15 a.m. (and I pulled a lot of strings to make that happen - the first appointment for it is actually at 7:00 a.m.), so some days I ran on it at the beginning of the month I did 30 minutes on the bike or elliptical at home before, because I can't sleep past 5:00 a.m. That died off pretty quickly though, hah. Reflecting with Amy on 12/13 (it was in the 40s this morning!) This is why Amy is usually in charge of post- run photos - Kansas City run w/ Jessi on 12/17 This is how dark it is when we finish weekday runs... Highlights/thoughts/randomness: Stopping cross-training was a highlight, for sure! Wow, I need running in my life. I fully believe that nothing helps your running more than running more. My first week back to running was rough, even though I ran 52 miles (only 21 outside, with 31 on the AlterG though). I felt like I'd lost everything and 3-4 mile easy paced runs were so hard it blew my mind to think that just 2 month prior I'd been running that for my second run of the day after running 3 times as far in the morning. 7 miles was really long on Dec. 1 and I truly didn't want to run any farther. I was very discouraged. The second week, though, I turned a corner and running felt good again! I got super excited for each run and they kept getting easier. The 10 miles I ran on Dec. 5 was easier than the 4 miles I ran on Dec. 2. I felt encouraged. The third week was even better, and so forth! My first workout back was also very discouraging, but I'm thankful I can try to improve. I built my mileage back up rather quickly post-injury, but my easy pace is slower and I did 5 weeks of easy running without workouts (I finally got brave enough to try a workout at 5 weeks, 1 day). However, slow running is so much better than no running, and at this point I don't even care if I never PR again. I enjoyed running with friends and never thinking about pace (in general I let whoever I was running with set the pace). I was not coached this month, and although I enjoyed running whatever I wanted, I was also reminded how easy it is for me to over-train myself. I had a general idea of what I planned to run each day (I even wrote out a rough plan at the beginning of the month), but my approach quickly turned to matching the mileage of whoever I was running with if it was farther. "I planned to do 8, but sure I'll run 12 with you; who cares that I ran 14 yesterday?!", "I was thinking I'd do 10, but 14 works just fine too!", etc. In related news, I will be starting back with my coach on January 1, as clearly I need someone to save me from myself. I'd considered training myself for my "for fun" March marathon (more info on that to come), and although I can write a good training schedule I am super apt to add things, which can come back to bite me. I hope to build from March for time goals in June and December marathons. I got a new Garmin for Christmas! I wouldn't have bought one for myself until my 220 died, but my husband thought I'd like it. He was right - I love my new 235. It was the only reason I doubled in Dec. 26; it was windy and wet outside but after opening it in a final gift exchange with my immediate family I was super excited to get out and try it. Winter running is here! I'll run in about anything temperature-wise, but bitter cold is my least favorite. I've been so thankful to be running I haven't even cared though! Most winters I'm scared that I'll have to run on the treadmill, but after putting in so many miles on the AlterG I'm not even worried about that (although I still plan to/hope to avoid it!). I don't have any more AlterG runs planned, but if the weather forces me indoors I'll use it over a standard treadmill to get miles with less impact once in awhile. This already happened on New Years Eve; I cannot quite manage 38 degrees and pouring rain. Life events: Christmas-themed everything! I wasn't the best at taking pictures, but we did a Christmas parade, put out outdoor Christmas decorations (our tree and indoor decorations were completed in November), and ate some Christmas treats. Albani had a terrible stomach bug the second weekend of the month so we stayed home all weekend. I could not believe how much puke came out of such a small body, and I felt terrible for her. I ran, read 3 books, and cleaned up vomit all weekend. For Christmas we visited my parents/siblings from Dec. 22-24 and Jon's parents/siblings from Dec. 24-25. It was hard to narrow down which photos to share! We are certainly blessed. For New Years Eve we saw an early movie as a family, and I was asleep before 10:00 p.m., which was everything I hoped for. Cold weather indoor entertainment Those are my PJ pants! Gingerbread house building Stockings at our house Pre-Christmas church service Christmas Eve at my parents' Cousin cuteness Cousin craziness My loves on Christmas Day Family Christmas Day photo
  2. 4 points
    2018 just wasn’t my year. And not to say that amazingly wonderful things didn’t happen, it just wasn’t the year I anticipated having. January Sober January. In an effort to try to lower my resting heart rate, clean up my diet, and just take a break from booze, I decided to embark on sober January with a couple of internet friends. There were times that I kind of missed it when I’d go out with friends, but it was not that difficult to commit to overall. That being said, I was happy to return to the world of IPAs in February. I had some top of foot pain following my races in December (er...2017) and decided to give myself a week’s rest the second week of January. Any niggles of pain I’ve had in the past have generally subsided within a week’s worth of rest. This was different. The pain was still there and despite me backing off my effort and mileage, I decided I needed to see a doctor. February After an initial diagnosis of tendinitis, my PT saw that I wasn’t feeling any improvement and suggested I see a podiatrist. Unfortunately, I was diagnosed with a metatarsal stress reaction and sentenced to a boot. February was a blur of depression. I couldn’t run, bike, elliptical, row, or walk. For someone who thrives on sweating, this was tough. I ultimately found some YouTube videos that allowed me to work up a sweat from a chair and took out all my aggression on weights. March I re-joined the gym so that I could swim and was allowed to bike early on in the month. Ultimately, I decided to nix the bike because the strap irritated the top of my foot. Despite me spending as many hours cross-training as I do during peak mileage weeks, I felt incredibly out of shape when I came out of the boot. The first few runs were tentative and my heart and head were in another place with Adam’s mom’s passing. It was the oddest mixture of grief over her loss of life and my own selfish joy being able to run again. April It never was out of the question that I would run Boston. The race, plane tickets, and Airbnb were all paid for and come hell or high water (pun intended), I would be there. I had 3 weeks of weight-bearing training when I toed the line. Fortunately, the misery of the elements nearly outshadowed everything else and I was so numb that even if my foot was in pain (which it wasn’t), I don’t know that I would have been able to feel it. May I thought things were looking up in May, but in retrospect, things just never really clicked. Perhaps I was too overconfident after Boston or too overzealous after 2 months of not running. Either way, I had a couple of good runs and a whole bunch of bad ones. As the month drug on, a soreness in my right tibia started to increase. I managed to eke out a pacing gig for Lauren at CJ100, but that was the last bit of strength I’d feel for months. June Sentenced to the boot again for a tibial stress reaction, I halted all exercise for a week. It was strange. At times, it felt all too easy, but well, it was easy. But at the same time, I craved those endorphins and sweat like a coffee addict needs caffeine. Towards the end of the month, I was working out again, but not with the same gusto I had in the first boot. I was in a funk. July Hot, miserable, and not running. Watching everyone go for big mileage and feeling really sad I was not able to be a part of it. The only good news was that by the end of the month, I was able to remove the boot and start weight-bearing exercise again. August Having somewhat learned from my previous mistakes, I started running again very slowly. I mixed in cross-training to stay fit and really tried to be okay with a slower pace. The doctor told me it would take about 5-6 weeks before things started to feel normal. Lo and behold, I started to notice those little things in both running and in regular life that made me feel more like me again. September I had long ago agreed (actually in sober January) that I would be a part of an Ironman relay team and complete the run leg. Unfortunately, with all of my injuries, I had been on the fence for months about actually committing. But, come the first part of September, I felt like I could complete 13.1 and not do any long-term damage. It was extraordinarily hot the day of the race and I was honestly glad that I was not in peak racing form or else I would have been pretty upset to go after it in 90°+ at noon. However, I was still pleased to finish in a respectable time of 1:40 and help solidify a 5th place finish for our team. At the end of September, I returned to Hinson Lake 24 where I completed 23ish miles of running before forcing myself to take a break. After that, I did a little bit more running and then a ton of walking. I ended up with 58 miles total and was happily tired, but not broken. October With the NYC marathon on the horizon, it was time to get serious about trying to get in a few key workouts before the race. Once recovered from Hinson, I looked to get in one 20 mile road run and a few speed work sessions before race day. I knew I didn’t have the same buildup of training in my legs as I had in marathons before the injuries, but I also knew there was something to be said for my first “real” race back and the confidence of having run that fast before. November NYC had perfect weather and everything came together for another BQ. I was aiming for somewhere between 3:20 - 3:30 and ended up with 3:24. Happily, I spent a couple of days resting and then did a reverse taper to get ready for Rehoboth. I didn’t fret when things weren’t clicking right away and just waited for my legs to feel good again to push the pace. I ended up running at the track one night because I didn’t want to mess with my headlamp and ran my fastest 5k and 10k according to my Garmin without looking at my watch for any splits. December Magical Rehoboth gave me a solid, healthy race in which I really didn’t feel like I was redlining the whole time. I knew that a PR was not in the cards for me and even a course PR was going to be nearly impossible. So a happy, healthy BQ? Yes, please! 2018 Goals: Volunteer/crew/pace > 5 races - check! Spectate/photos - Suwanee Half Marathon 2.11.18 Bib pickup & finisher medal handout - Run Your Bundts Off 5k 2.25.18 Crew (...ish) - Blind Pig 100 3.3.18 Spectate/photos - Yeti 7/11 3.10.18 Aid station volunteer - Umstead 100 4.7.18 Pacer - Cruel Jewel 100 5.19.18 Spectate/crew - Midsummer’s Night Dream 6.16.18 Aid station volunteer - Merrill’s Mile 7.6.18 Drop bag transport - H9 Dragon 8.4.18 Aid station volunteer/course sweep - Yeti Snakebite 50k 9.9.18 Course sweep - Bull Mountain Epic 10.6.18 Pacer - Stroll in the Park 11.25.18 Crew/pacer - Chattanooga 100 11.30.18 2. Marathon <3:10 - nope Not even close. 3:24 was my best effort of 2018, but considering the amount of time in the boot, I’m okay with it. 3. 100 mile race (not a 24 hour) - nope See #2. 4. 200,000 impression on LinkedIn - nope Not to make excuses, but my workflow was revamped in March and I become only a supplemental contributor by September. So even if we were at 200,000, it wouldn’t really be my work anyway. 5. Master InDesign - nope See #4. I got better, but my job no longer required me to use it much. 6. 12 new recipes - check! Extra checks. I stopped keeping track after the first 13. I bought a few new cookbooks and happily found some new recipes to add to my regular repertoire. 7. Read >20 books - check! 33 and counting. It’s funny that it years past, I’ve had the goal of 26 per year and never made it. This year, I lowered my goal and went above and beyond. Best books: Bastard Out of Carolina by Dorothy Allison, Open by Andre Agassi, and Let Your Mind Run: A Memoir of Thinking My Way to Victory by Deena Kastor. 8. Prepare financially & physically for Everest Marathon 2019 - check I slowly accumulated the money I would need to travel and buy gear for my trip. I hit my financial goal a couple of months ago and while I spent a lot of the year physically broken, the last quarter has me feeling much more confident about getting to Base Camp (and back home) in one piece. 9. Camp 2+ nights - not really I did camp in my tent more than 2 nights. But when I wrote this, I intended to have camping trip that would actually last 2 nights. And all my camping this year has been car camping - where my gear has be extremely accessible. 10. Finish the Georgia Appalachian Trail - nope I still have Dick’s Creek Gap to the NC border to finish - a jaunt of 8.9 miles. I did finish the Tray Mountain to Dick’s Creek Gap section in two different hiking trips. 11. Strength or Stretch > 30 minutes weekly - check! One of the few areas my injury actually helped me reach a goal was getting in strength and/or stretching 30+ minutes a week. I had really gotten away from this after getting into ultras and am happily seeing/feeling how it is benefiting my running and overall fitness. For 2019, I am excited to tackle a big spring of racing and then see where my heart takes me for the second half of the year. If there is anything 2018 taught me, it’s not taking my health for granted and to roll with the punches. For the first time in my adult life, I have a coach and I'm looking forward to a smart training block to kick of 2019. Many of my goals for 2019 are running-centrified, but as in 2018, I made sure to include other things to keep me well-rounded - to do things for myself and to do things for others. Here’s what I’m aiming for in 2019: 2019 miles in 2019 - Running miles preferred, but I’ll cut myself some slack if I do a lot more hiking in the second half of the year. 60 minute stretch/strength/cross-train per week - Some weeks were tough to even get in the 30 minutes in 2018 so this will be a challenge as I bump up to 6 days of running per week. But I’m hoping to incorporate more mini sessions of things like core work and resistance bands. 2 weeks (Mon - Thu) of meal planning per month - More running leads to more runger which leads to (often) more careless eating. If I can manage to plan for 8 days out of the month, I will hopefully stay a bit more balanced. I’ll take a free pass when traveling for 3 weeks in May. Volunteer/crew/pace/spectate 10+ races - It may be tough with my own race schedule, but the goal is to continue to help others achieve their own finish line success stories. PR in a distance less than a marathon - Considering all of my PRs in distances less than a marathon are very, very soft, this should be the easiest one to check off. But that also requires me to enter a “short” race and race it. 100 mile trail run or marathon PR - I’m carrying this over from 2018. It won’t happen this spring so I will look to the fall to see where my heart lies in my training. Read 30+ books - I have a minimum of over 50 hours of flying time scheduled for next year. I expect to read less with the uptick in running, but carve out more time by looking at my phone less. Call and/or write Grandma at least once per month - She’s 96 and is still 100% lucid. Her self-deprecating humor and never-ending compliments are the best. One no spend month - Back in 2007, Adam and I were saving for our first house and went on “the house diet”. We severely curtailed all spending to just the necessities and allowed ourselves one meal out per month as a special treat. I’m not saving for anything in particular right now, but I also feel like a no spend month would be good to save a little extra cash and make me think twice about things that I need rather than just want. Get a check up from all the docs - I’m great about my biannual dentist visits, but am pretty spotty about the regular doctor and eye doctor. Do something kind once per week - It can be anonymous or not. A large gesture or something small. The idea is to be thoughtful about it when possible and to make someone’s day a little cheerier. I hit half my goals in 2018 and while my intention of course was to hit all of them, I am actually feeling really great about what I accomplished. And that’s what I’m looking to do in 2019. Sure, it would amazing to hit them all. But also just having things to aim for is good too. I keep a printout of my goals at my desk at work as a reminder that A) I have a life outside of work and B) to constantly be aware of what I want to achieve.
  3. 3 points
    In many ways I'd like to just forget all about 2018 altogether, move on to 2019 and see what's next, hoping for less drama and less trauma. On the other hand, maybe taking a quick review will help me close the door. Feel free to skim around and look for the high points. No need for anyone else to get all bummed out, too. First, running. I finished the year with 550 miles, according to my spreadsheet. I don't trust either Strava (574) or GarminConnect (533) for my official mileage total. Maybe I'll look into the discrepancy sometime. In February I was in the second month of a very slow buildup after taking December off with a hamstring strain, when my left knee started acting up. A week off didn't help. Neither did a few more weeks. When I went in to the knee doc, my insurance wouldn't approve his recommended MRI until I'd gone through six weeks(!!!) of PT. That helped exactly zero. The MRI, when I finally had it at the end of May (three months after the first problem), showed some minor damage and the doc recommended letting him go in and scrape it out. What he found once he was on the inside was a small tear of the meniscus. That fixed, it took a lot longer than I expected to recover. Plenty of rest, lots of limping around the office, a few little test "runs" in July, more PT. It was a long summer. Once I discovered that running didn't make the pain any worse, I started a slow build up at the beginning of September. It sucked worse than any getting in shape period I've ever had. Every single run was a struggle, and I don't mean my knee hurt. That's the only thing that didn't. The rest of me was a mess. But I was undeterred. By the end of October I had my long run up to 9 miles and thought I'd give the half at Rehoboth a shot, if the other dominoes fell into place. They did. Tried a 5k in November that went better than expected. Not blazing and I didn't feel great, but it was in the lower 20's and I didn't die. Rehoboth went sort of the same. Never felt the joy, but I didn't die and my time (1:50) was decent. So, I declared my knee 100% and it's been good since, both at work and running. I've been doing short stuff since the race. December weather has been amazing around here. Last week I switched my long run to Friday because 50 degrees and did 9. On Saturday it was 31 and expected to snow/rain. I beat the weather, but with 10 yards or so to the end of the run, that stupid hamstring tried to pop again. So I've limped into the new year for the second year in a row. Did an easy 4 on NYD and could feel it most of the way, although not badly. I'm babying it now with ice and IBU, so I hope if I'm careful and stay slow, it'll recover and get me to spring. But, hey, I'm running, which is 100% better than not running. Second, not running. I assume it was from not running at all in December (after Rehoboth) and really pigging out on holiday food, but my blood sugar numbers were mostly not good when I had my annual physical. Doc had me re-test in April, and although I'd gone out of my way to eat much, much better, I'd improved only the tiniest fraction of a point. Having another reason to run is OK, I suppose, but still. My PSA was also up from the year before (and the year before that), so he ordered an April retest of that, too. Just like the blood sugar, it jumped again. That resulted in a urology appointment and a biopsy, which was mostly positive, but not conclusive. It also resulted in an e coli infection that won me a 3 day stay in the hospital. Thank goodness for health insurance. The next weekend (the Sunday before Memorial Day), my mom died. It was an unexpected result from minor injuries she'd received when she and Dad were in a fender bender a few weeks earlier. She'd gone through rehab, had returned home just the day before, and woke up the next morning with breathing trouble. Pneumonia. She lasted about a week after going back into the hospital. She was 82. In July I saw a dermatologist about a couple of spots on my lower legs that came out of nowhere and weren't responding to anything we'd tried at home. He took them off and had them checked. Basal cell carcinoma. Not a big deal if they don't come back. Big concern of they do. I have to go in now a couple of times every year to make sure. My October PSA screen showed another increase. Next step was an MRI which looks mostly OK according to the report, but I'm waiting to hear from the urologist before I can declare this item closed, at least for now. On the plus side, Big Mac, my elder daughter who lives in Seattle fell head over heels for a tall sciency guy and they are planning an April wedding. T-Rex passed two of the four classes she took last semester (we dropped the other two early on). Still hoping for her to reach a more functional level of work/study. My granddaughters seem to get more adorable every day. 2019 I'm mostly comfortable now planning for a late spring marathon. I'd like to stay close to home and do Glass City with Mark and (maybe) Peg, or join the growing group of Loopsters in New Jersey, but those are both at the end of April, and that's a little tight for my slow training plan and the winter training uncertainty. Not to mention that they are two weeks after Mac's wedding and there is no running allowed that weekend - not good for late mary training. At this point I'm thinking more the end of May and Vermont City. I had penciled that in last year before the meniscus, so why not just do a reset? No plans at all for fall yet. I may skip fall and do Disney next January, depending on finances this year. Training will be less intense while my body figures out if it's really old already. I'll switch tempos to Tuesday and skip most of the intervals for the spring race. Didn't get into Hood-to-Coast again, but am still interested. Maybe I'll try to find another of those silly multi-day relays to do and see if it's as fun as I imagine. As for my non-running life, one more year closer to retirement. I'll keep watching the numbers and hope the economy doesn't crash too hard so I still have some savings as it approaches. Still a few years away unless someone gives me that winning lottery ticket.
  4. 3 points
    Hey guys! It's been a long time since I've been on the Loop. I think I've only posted once on the "new" Loop, which isn't that new anymore, is it? Anyhow, I'm coming back and plan to keep coming back. 2018 was an up and down year. I came into this year off a really crummy 2017 when I had PF for pretty much the whole year, which caused me to run very little until the last couple months. I eventually got past PF and slooooowwwwwwwly built up to running some reasonable miles. It was nice to be running 3-5 miles 2-3X a week again. I ramped up a bit in the summer to run a 100 mile relay up in Vermont with a few other Loopsters. I've done that race a few times previously and always enjoy it - the challenge of running 3 times in a long day, the scenery, but most of all the camaraderie/company of my team. I look forward to doing it again in 2019. Things got very busy at work in the fall so the running dropped in priority unfortunately. Not a whole lot I can do about the work situation, aside from looking for a new job (which I am doing). But I'm getting in enough runs here at the end of the year to go over 500 miles for the year. I looked back in my log and see this is more than double my 2017 total, which makes me happy. Hopefully my 2019 total will be up over 1,000 miles like I did a few year back. I'm itching to put a few races on my calendar. Thinking the New Jersey one in late April will be official soon. Maybe another half in the fall. Or if things go well, maybe my 3rd marathon. So, that's what's new with me. Hope all of you get off to a great start in the new year and accomplish everything you wish for in 2019!!
  5. 3 points
    I last posted September 6th. That Sunday I ran a half marathon, and then started Master’s Degree classes in Nutrition on the following Monday. Once that started I was writing a ton for my classes, working full time and still running. Loop time dwindled to nothing more than an occasional quick visit to read and comment. It’s been a busy and challenging almost 4 months since then. More downs than ups but given what could be it’s hard to justify complaining. (But oh!) Lots of rain though. The half marathon was wet, wet, wet – run in the pouring rain and wind of the remnants of a gulf coast hurricane. I didn’t run it for speed on the hilly course – instead I aimed for full marathon goal pace, which I did successfully finishing in 2:14. I did not feel super optimistic however about this being possible for full distance, but I still had until late November to train, so there was time. Parked and hiding from the rain while I wait for the race to start. Classes started and I got very busy. 6 hours of graduate work while working full time (with 40 minute commute each way on average) and training for a marathon didn’t leave me much time for anything else. Those graduate classes also meant a lot of time writing on the computer so when I didn’t need to be writing for classes I couldn’t get myself to do it for any other reason. So I didn’t bloop. My classes (Life Cycle Nutrition and Nutrition Science) were challenging but went well. Usually the big due dates each week were the same for both classes but I got A’s in both so I met the challenge. I don’t know yet what the work will look like for the next set of classes. 1 trimester of classes down, 5 to go…if all goes as planned I’ll be done September 2020. Next up was my first trail half. It was in Kirksville, MO where I went to college. I got to spend the weekend with a friend who also ran the race. Overall it was a really fun weekend. I had been running all summer at least once a week on trails to prepare. Something I didn’t do was run on trails in the rain. I also didn’t buy trail shoes to wear for just one race since they’d been ok on the trails so far. I don’t know if either of these things would have prevented what happened next, but they might have helped. Yet again my race day was pouring rain (no wind this time). The trails were beautiful, but super slick. I fell twice, but didn’t feel any direct injuries from that. However nearly every step on the 11.5 miles of the half that were on the single track trail I slipped and slid. There was so much sideways stress and general instability that I’m not used to. After the relatively easy paced road half that I ran in 2:14, this race took 3:03. It was a hilly race, but almost every bit of that time was because much of the time I couldn’t run because of how slick it was. I expected to be sore in the days after. Initially it wasn’t bad, and I actually felt better than I expected. The 3 hour drive home the next day was uncomfortable, but not terrible. My neck was actually more sore than anything else at this point. (Probably from driving since I hate driving and I tend to hold on to the steering wheel super tightly) I didn’t really take a break from marathon training, just making this a cut back week so I continued to run as planned throughout the following week. My back ached a little but not too badly. Until Friday’s run. A mile in I knew something was different. In denial I kept going for another half mile (away from home!) until I knew this felt a lot like something I was familiar with. But I still had to get home. I made it home, and I knew I was probably going to miss some time running. My SI joint was angry again. Hopefully not as bad as last time but it wasn’t something I’d be able to run through. Despite the final result I’d really like to do this race again. If it’s not raining! This race was super well run, the course was beautiful and super well groomed. It has lots of up and downs and its share of roots and rocks, but is still seems like a good race for all levels of trail runner. Many chiropractor visits and much downtime later, my full marathon came and went and I didn’t run it. (Actually, it rained for that race too, plus there was a fire in the hotel I would have stayed in, so my friend had to find somewhere else to stay that turned out to be a dump, plus it was cold…it would have been quite the adventure) I was only up to running 6 miles the weekend of the race. This was another DNS for me. Not quite as crushing as the first one but that may partly be because of everything else going on. Since then I am finally back to running relatively normally although I’m still trying to be good about my core exercises that I was given *which I still need to do today. I’m slower again. Frustrating. But small problems. During all of this there was another challenge in my life. Just before my trail half I noticed my cat Izzie had a wound/injury to her inner left rear leg. A visit to the vet resulted in an antibiotic shot. The wound healed, but then came back. We went around this cycle several times until earlier this month, when it was determined the infection might be coming from the metal implant she got 8 years ago when she broke that leg. We were referred to the same specialist she saw back then. It took 2 more weeks to actually get in to see that vet. They did x-rays, and it wasn’t the implant. But that meant it was still a resistant bacterial infection. Normally they would prescribe pills but giving Izzie pills is nearly impossible. (Even for vets!) So after some discussion they reluctantly prescribed an injectable antibiotic that can cause kidney damage. I have to do the injections, we’re halfway through now. I hate doing it, and I don't think I'm doing a great job, but I don't know if I could get her to actually swallow 2 weeks of pills. It looks better I think, but because of the nature of the wound (it’s small, but a puncture) it takes a while to heal and doesn’t really look a lot different until right before it closes completely. Her follow up is a week from Monday. I will say that through all of this she’s otherwise been fine and acted normally. Cats hide pain well, but she’s never seemed sick at all. I’m trying not to be anxious after practically tearing myself apart over this (and classes and etc) but it’s hard. Even when it heals I will have a hard time relaxing since the skin has healed over before even though the infection was apparently still lingering. I feel fine. And I really like this ornament. It's mine now. Next up…the new trimester for school, fundraising, marathon training, trying to be better about keeping the house clean, I could go on. My books are on the way, I still need to make the tuition payment. I need to get started on my new round of fundraising for Team in Training/Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Lord willing, I’m planning on running the New Jersey Marathon in late April. (I hear there might be a few loopsters planning on being there…) I will try to write at least a really short bloop sooner than a post New Jersey RR, but I make no promises…
  6. 2 points
    My running has been sucky. Everything in the lower legs has been hurting, so I took an off season after my October race. But I never wrote about Wineglass. No excuses. My company banned Loopsters at work, and that was usually my lunchtime activity. But I still could have made the effort. Anyways, Peg and I met in Corning to pace Aubree to a shiny new PR in the half. Unbeknownst to Peg, she was really pacing me. My pacing plan is usually to follow a person or group of people who look like they know what they are doing, then run as hard as I can at the end. So I was the biggest loser of a pacer when Peg asked what I had for a pace in the first mile. I had no idea. I had never paced anyone before, so it was fun running alongside Aubree as she crushed it despite her repeating that she couldn't do it. The 1:45 group was about a minute in front of us, and we were way ahead of pace. I decided that Peg was a much better pacer than that dude. A big kick by Aubree and Peg's primal scream finished a sprint down Market Street and more Wineglass Loop magic. 7:00 PR for Aubree. 6 days later was my season ending race. A 6 hour event at the local park. I had never done a fixed time race and it turned out to be one of the most enjoyable races I've run. You get a real sense of how the speedy runners suffer just as much as the mid packers. You get to run with people of all abilities as you pass people and get passed. I got 25+ miles on a fun little loop with a few little hills and some rocky paths. Not much since then. Just trying to get things feeling normal. Starting to ramp things heading toward the 50k in April. For those heading to Jersey on 4/28, you're welcome to stop by for a shakeout the day before.
  7. 2 points
    For some of you, I still have a presence here, cuz I like your blog posts and comment when I manage to find something relevant to say. I haven't posted much because there isn't much running-related to post about. If I'm being honest, work and merging my life with someone else's has taken up quite a bit of my time. And Mary Jane has been relatively silent, so there's not much to talk about there. So it's like, what the heck do I talk about? Looking back at 2018, I had one big running-related accomplishment and that was getting a 3-4 minute PR in the half marathon. Ever since then, I've wondered how much I can improve on a marathon time. I mean, the one time I did a marathon, I was running with a bad hip and thinking I could never finish one. And then I did, and ever since then I've sort of wondered, can I do better? I suppose that's how it works. ANYWAY. Lots going on in 2019. A few major expenses are popping up, like, you know, a wedding, so I can't go too crazy. But here are the things I'd like to accomplish in 2019 (both RR and NRR). 1. Get married with minimal sad/frustrated/angry tears. But happy tears are okay. 2. Find the perfect waterproof mascara to successfully manage the crying part. Recommendations welcome! 3. Run another 5K PR in the spring. I took advantage of extreme early bird pricing for a 5K a few weeks before the wedding. Hoping for a 90-ish second PR, which means a lot of work and dedication to healthy eating (not necessarily weight loss, just fueling with good food). 4. Finish two more half marathons. My company participates in the local corporate challenge every year. Usually I do the 5K, but this falls on the same day as the wedding, so I have been considering signing up for the half marathon. A free race? Why not, says I? 5. Submit an audition tape for SURVIVOR. The future hubs and I went to an open casting call earlier this year (SO FUN), but haven't heard anything. So, I'm committing to submitting a full audition video, cuz why the heck not? And if Jeff Probst doesn't call me, then I'm onto #6 6. Finish another marathon. Probably the last one, cuz #7. 7. Start a family. We are both older, we aren't sure if it's possible to create a family on our own, but we will find out! And yes, I know people with young kids train for and finish marathons ALL THE TIME. But I'm okay with challenging myself with 5Ks and maybe the occasional 6.2 to 13.1-er. Maybe I'll be that lady that wins the geezer age groups at all the local 5Ks! Gonna make that a goal. 8. Work towards being the lady that dominates the geezer age groups. What is one of your running-related goals and one of your non-running related goals for 2019? 2018 Photo dump: Hiking in Moab I'm holding on for dear life; the future hubs is laughing hysterically. Post-race party at this year's family 5K. Engagement photos: (by Morgan Miller Photography) Thanksgiving Turkey Trot (did not do a race report, sorry) Christmas!
  8. 2 points
    If I remember right, meeting half your annual goals is WAY above what the majority of people get, so kudos. Best of luck to you in '19.
  9. 2 points
    You have so much to look forward to!!! Says someone who had a kid at 36, ran first marathon at 44, PRed in marathon - and BQed at 57, wins the geezer awards for 60+ … Life just keeps getting better.
  10. 1 point
    Great family picture. You even got the invisible dog to come out of hiding!
  11. 1 point
    I REALLY can't believe it is happening THIS YEAR. Pretty sure I won't be able to sleep the month leading up to it!
  12. 1 point
  13. 1 point
    I REALLY can't wait to hear about Everest. Hope 2019 is everything you want it to be.
  14. 1 point
    That's a hell of a year, hope it all goes off without a hitch. No, wait, with a hitch, eerr, with the hitch you WANT, but no others. I'm bad at this. There's a lot of joy in those pictures, I hope you get plenty more of those this year. My non-running goal is my exit strategy from this job. Running wise, well, I'll let you know when I figure that out.
  15. 1 point
    Happy new year!!! Question: Do your doctors have you eating, supplementing or doing anything different to try to avoid stress reactions?
  16. 1 point
    A roller coaster of a year, here's hoping for more highs than lows in 2019 for you!
  17. 1 point
    We aren't using them until after the wedding, so it's not technically jumping the gun, right?? Congrats to Big Mac! And Jeff LOVES him - I can tell he misses him when he's not around, and when he is, Jeff is always in his lap now. Sometimes I get a little jealous, but only when it's really cold LOL
  18. 1 point
    We're almost to solstice, so it's time to wrap up another year of running. 2018 was a good year, but also a step back year. I set another new old man PR for mileage. I'll go over 1,500 on Saturday for the first time since 1980, and probably finish around 1520 miles. On the other hand, I only ran 7 races. That's the first time I haven't run at least ten since 2006, and down from the 14 or so I ran most of the last eight years. Definitely lost a little bit of the fire to keep getting out there. In 2018 I was basically focused on two marathons. LA in March went great as I posted a 3:33 and got my 3rd BQ. New York in November was lots of fun too. I was happy to get a 3:46 and enjoy the experience. The rest of the races were basically for fun. In between and since it's mostly been about managing injuries. Ever since LA, my left knee has been problematic - always annoying, but never so bad that I had to quit. Rest didn't seem to help. Training didn't seem to make it worse. So I managed to do a whole marathon cycle on it. But now it is worse than ever, even after most of a month off. Bleh. Not sure whether to push it with weight training or baby it. I suppose I could get professional advice... Meanwhile I'm signed up for Boston in under 4 months so it's time to start running more miles...Taking it a week at a time for now. I suppose I'll stick with the training plan as long as I can. After April it may be time for a long break... Meanwhile my right ankle is now bothersome. My right buttock/hamstring still acts up occasionally. And my elbow has been sore for 8 months too. It started hurting after a long day of golfing and pulling a golf cart, and it never got better. Stupid old age. Getting tired of waking up with so many sore spots. But mainly it's the knee. Can't keep it bent (sitting) for too long without needing to straighten it out. Running on it isn't so bad, but it throbs after. So I take Advil. Anyway, 1500+ miles! Can't be too unhappy. I'm enjoying my running groups and the social aspects. Still feel pretty good after most runs. Plus everything else in life is pretty smooth. Life is good. Happy Holidays to all my Loop buddies out there. Still so happy we found this place and I can count on a hundred or so people around the country I can drop in on for a run.
  19. 1 point
    I love these goals, and I'm glad you're hanging around here!
  20. 1 point
    That's a good list for 2019. Good luck on achieving every one of those goals! Unfortunately, I cant help you with #2. 😉
  21. 1 point
    to be fair to Kelly, with that beard you look like you ought to be a semi-famous ultra runner.. ha.
  22. 1 point
    " right on pace with my goal, which was to run. " ha. that's my ongoing goal, too..fine race !
  23. 1 point
    What a comeback! Your joy is apparent in the race photos.
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