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About Me

Found 6 results

  1. TreeGirl

    1st 5K in Forever

    I'll give you my first race recap in forever and then I'll try to say why I've been so absent. If you remember me, you know I'm one for brevity but this one may stretch just a bit. A colleague and friend has been working on getting his fitness back and we do virtual check-ins with FB messages a few mornings a week to report on running and mental health status. A local 5K I've been wanting to do was a "go" for this year and was held last Saturday. it's called the Higgins Lake Sunrise Run and is always around the time of the summer solstice. They run the 5K through the state park and campground and the smell of bacon from so many campsites at 9 am is both incredible and torturous! I promised to run the whole way with him and be his pacer to get him under his goal of 40 minutes and we did! 37:19 across the finish line for him and like a good pacer, I let him through on his own and held back a few steps. He was incredibly grateful. We took a much-needed swim in the lake after the awards were over and it was the perfect cap on a great morning with the running community. A few weeks ago I ran my own 5K time trial on a very, very flat bike path near my house and did it under 30 minutes and was thrilled with myself so I know what I'm capable of and the Sunrise 5K was all about helping a friend get their confidence back. I may run it next year and see if I can place in my AG. My next event is as a volunteer at another local 5K for a festival in mid-July and then I'm registered for a 50K trail race in south-central Tennessee in mid-October with my trail partner, Joy. Going to be a blast of a lady's adventure weekend for us! On to the "why I haven't been around much" topic: My mental health took a nasty nosedive after teetering on a cliff for years and years. I started seeing a therapist and that helped me open my eyes to things I didn't know weren't part of everyone's lives. I never knew what I dealt with was debilitating anxiety, massive mental stress, and deep depression. With the help of my health insurance provider and a great person on the other end, I was connected to a therapist and continued with remote visits during the pandemic. Early this year I "graduated" from regular therapy visits and now only set an appointment when I can't pick an issue apart on my own. I have an incredible nurse practitioner as my primary care physician, and she agreed to try me on Prozac under my suggestion and approval of the therapist. I never knew life could be like this. Relaxed, happy, no short-temper, calm, focused. I had my recheck with my NP on Tuesday and I'm down 32 lbs in 2 years and I may be on some level of anti-depressant for quite a while or forever. I take care of myself; I get solid nutrition, I rest when I need to, I run, I paddle board, I x-c ski all winter, etc. Where am I now? I love my life. I'm so grateful for what I have and what may lie ahead. I'm forever grateful for this group. I have amazing friends just because of the Loop. The end of July I'm set to take off on a covid tested flight via Delta airlines to stay 9 days with "Moose" and "Countess FiFi (Davide and Fiona) in northern Italy. They're going to hike one part of the Dolomites with me and I get to see Davide speak at a race and run it, too! They're helping to have a much-needed mental health break from my husband Chris's chronic spinal arthritis issues and constant medical needs. I've learned a lot the past 2 years and I'm grabbing on every adventure that comes my way (as long as I can afford it!). Be ready for some incredible race pictures from Italy in late July and early August!
  2. I meant to write more often – I really did…Since I wrote in April I have run a couple in person races and some virtual races. I did an in person 10k that I also counted as a virtual 10k (because to me, virtual races barely count, and it isn’t as though I don’t cover that distance regularly anyway…) The in person 10k was the “Jim Schoemehl Run” to fundraise for ALS research. I also counted this for my virtual Flying Pig 10k, mainly because it was that weekend. I did the 3-way challenge, so as soon as I finished that race I did my 5k. The Sunday of that weekend I ran my half, and got it done before church which is an accomplishment. That was the first weekend in May. The medals came in the mail mid-June, picture included. I’m running with no actual plan right now. 3-5 miles (usually 4 or 5) on weekdays. 8-12 on Saturday. 3-8 on Sundays. One or two days off from running but I cross train or walk on my off days. Overall mileage cycles up and down. It’s mostly hot and very humid so the motivation to do more isn’t there. So in general, my running has been consistent, but not exciting. I also ran another 10k in May. This was the Ferguson Twilight 10k. An evening race, but close to home. I always think about doing it, but I’m not a fan of evening races so I usually don’t. This time I decided I would. I knew a PR was probably out of the question. I ran hard, had fun, and did better than expected by visually latching on to runners a head of me. One lady in a white shirt was a particularly helpful pacer, and I let her know at the end of the race. I had helped her some too, and we exchanged the first post-pandemic (or not so much, thanks Missouri…) high fives we each had. My time was well off my PR, but I feel like the race was solid overall. There was one moment of big running excitement and that came last week. I had always in the past considered signing up for the big local summer mile race – The Macklind Mile. It’s advertised as the fastest (road) mile in St. Louis. So it always seemed like a good place to shoot for a mile PR. But I never felt like I was really in shape to try. Including this year. But after last year when everything was cancelled, I decided to try and do more of these things I’ve been saying “well, maybe next time”. Because, who knows? So I signed up. It was a warm, sticky June morning. Typical. They do this race in waves every year, so there were no changes for COVID (and local restrictions have now been lifted, and despite MO now surging again in cases it’s unlikely they will be reinstated.) The waves were Men’s Competitive, Women’s Competitive, Recreational, Dog Mile, Elite, and Kids ¼ mile dash. Competitive in this case just means eligible for age group and overall awards. You have to apply to be in the Elite wave and it’s limited to 5 or 10 each men and women. No women ran the elite wave this year. The dog mile is really fun to watch and the top 3 this year all broke the course record for dog/person pairs - they were all in the 4:30s. After the men’s wave took off it was 15 minutes until my wave (women’s competitive). I had warmed up, sort of haphazardly. About 2 miles of running with a few surges thrown in but nothing that serious. I lined up at the start and we were off. The race isn’t quite all downhill. The first quarter mile is, but then there is a slight uphill from ¼ to the halfway point. My goal was to PR if possible – time to beat for that was 8:04. Better yet, sub 8. I hadn’t run that fast for more than a ¼ mile in over a year. I wasn’t sure at all if I could, but I was going to try. I was ahead of pace that first ¼ but then as we temporarily went uphill (just a little, when I’m not trying to run gut bustingly fast it would have been no big deal…) I slowed way down and I was off PR pace at the ½ mile mark. But then we had the downhill again and I was able to pick up the pace. I knew I was doing better, but I didn’t know if I could hold on. Besides being downhill, the race is almost without turns, so you can see the finish for a long way before you get there. It seemed like it was never going to come, but as I got closer and stole quick glances at my watch, I could see I just might make it. If didn’t fall down or pass out first…closer, closer, and BEEP…I stopped my watch. I had done it! Not only did I beat my PR, but by about 9 seconds. 7:55! It’s worth noting a similar effort level (though less willingly undertaken) in high school meant around a 10:30 mile…I was and still am pretty excited. Even so, I was 17th in my AG. (Which is too bad, because this race has really cool street signs for the AG awards…) Tomorrow, I’m running a 3k (yes, 3). Usually it’s on the 4th, but since the 4th is a Sunday, the race and parade that follows is on the 5th. I have a shot at an AG award here, but it’s not quite as cool. But it’s still motivating. I’m trying to pick a fall marathon (or even two) and I had wanted to make it a real vacation, but with my current circumstances as they are, I don’t feel like I can plan that. Eventually I will find that job I’m looking for and I’ll be less than 3 months into it by the time that race likely rolls around, so taking multiple days off is unlikely to be a good idea, or even possible. So I have to stay closer to home… On the on-going job search…yes, I am still looking. It’s been frustrating even finding the type of job I want, although as a look, I’m getting a clearer idea of what that is. I had one interview about 6 weeks ago, but it didn’t go well. I learned from it. But I’m disappointed in myself because I could have done better. Oh well, I’ll just take it that it wasn’t the job for me anyway. Flying Pig medals. Post Twilight 10k Men's start for the Macklind Mile. Just before the Women's start So happy with my PR. 7:54 is a lie. Even the watch says 7:54.9 when you actually look at it.
  3. My goal was to write every two weeks…hasn’t happened. I’m still plugging away. At running, at life, at job searching. Not much progress on any of those. The weather went from being a problem to being perfect. For about a week just after I wrote last time we hovered around 0* most mornings, had most of the snow we got this winter and ice and snow packed roads. All of that was finally enough to drive me back to the gym, and I did 5 treadmill runs at the gym in the space of a week. I’d have done one more at the gym, but I got there and didn’t have my card to get in (or any ID) so I drove back home and ran a loop of my street, over and over again. It doesn’t connect anywhere but to a road that is too busy (and has no shoulder) to run along. Out and back of the whole street is .8 of a mile. Not so fun, but no worse than the treadmill. It also works out as a bit of a hill workout. Not something I want to do regularly, but it worked in a pinch. The weather on my long run day went from 4*, to about 34* the next week, to about 64* the week after that. If that trend had continued through yesterday we’d have hit 94*. I’m very glad that didn’t happen. It was in the upper 30s to low 40s during my run. (To be completely accurate the 34* and 64* were the highs the previous two weeks, but they made the 30* warmer progression work…) I’m not running with much of an overall plan but within each week I’m doing 1 speedwork run (mostly), 1 steady pace run (no walking, but not fast enough to be a tempo), 1 long run, 2 easy runs (run/walk to keep my heart rate under a specific level) and 2 walks each week. Not in that order of course – I alternate the harder runs with the easy runs and walks. I did another mile test, and I’d improved from 9:01 in January to 8:54 in February. Still well off my mile PR of 8:04, but it’s improvement. I have a real in person race coming up Saturday – as all in person races have been here these days it will be a rolling start of small groups. It’s the St. Patrick’s Day Parade Run, normally a huge 5 mile race, but it’s shortened to a 5k and the location has been moved from downtown St. Louis to Forest Park. And of course there will be no parade. Next month I have an in person half (also a rolling start, also much smaller than the race would normally be). Both are I think about 10% of their normal size. No job news. I’ve only applied to a couple in the last month which isn’t good, but I’m having a hard time finding jobs I’d want to do and that I’m qualified for. I really wish I had figured some things out sooner – if I went back I’d do some things differently right after finishing undergrad. I will work on a shortened version of my master’s degree final project/paper to share here – it’s relevant and I’d share the whole thing but I doubt too many people want to read all 15 pages. Weather Feb 21st (random family for scale) That frozen waterfall is normally a trickle (It's named Dripping Springs), so it built up to the dramatic frozen waterfall gradually, but it was crazy to see. All of Creve Couer Lake was also frozen over and it's a pretty large lake (largest natural lake in Missouri, though there are quite a few larger lakes formed by damming off a water source. People were walking on the lake, which is a bad idea, but in this case turned out fine. Weather Feb 27th. Every bit of snow and ice was gone and I was too warm in that long sleeve shirt.
  4. eliz83

    2019 Review: I am MORE

    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.
  5. eliz83


    Total miles: 27.39Races: 1Minutes meditated: 25Coming of a shitty October, I honestly felt a little lost in November. I was (and still am) struggling with the loss of our pregnancy. Running just didn't feel like a priority, and so I didn't run much. I wish I could say I did a lot better with yoga and meditation, but I honestly wasn't great about that either. In retrospect, I was slowly creeping into depression, just going through the motions. There were bright spots, like watching my sister perform in Dracula with her community theater group and seeing the beautiful Mississippi in her new hometown or being able to run in my favorite park again, which was finally open after it was completely flooded in early AND late spring. ^^ Back on my favorite running path ^^ the hubs and I with the might Mississippi in the background I got some miles in, registered for my first Turkey Trot in Kansas City, and used that as motivation to keep a more structured running schedule. And yes, my first! Ever since I started running, I spent Thanksgiving in either Minnesota or Iowa. I'm working on an RR for that race, so stay tuned.On the important notes, once I realized that my mental health was not in a good place, I called my Employee Assistance Program, got referred to a therapist and moved forward with getting some professional help. I made it a point to open my Headspace App when I parked my car at work and spent 10-15 minutes meditating before I even got out of my car. It has made a big difference in just helping me feel more grounded. Grief and trauma are crazy forces in life, and it's so important that we take time to just breathe. I'm just really glad I have a wonderful support system, from my family & friends to my co-workers. It's funny when you start to talk about pregnancy loss, how many other people come forward with stories and give you love and support. On the flip side, I also feel like I've seen every single pregnant woman in the greater Kansas City metro. Then there was the time I was congratulating a cousin's wife on her pregnancy, and she thanked me and then said they were due the same month I was supposed to be due. She didn't know about anything that was going on with us, but it was still a sucker punch.Onto December. I've got lofty ideas about doing a half marathon in March, but since I generally don't run a lot with shorter days and cold weather, who knows if I'll get myself trained up for it. I'm tossing around a few ideas. My favorite one involves buying a spin bike AND a treadmill, but I know the husband won't go for that. Yet.What life-changing moment have you had that brings all kinds of stories, love, and support out of the woodwork?
  6. Avivocaruns

    Checking In

    Checking in from Derby City. Today was my first run in 4 weeks. I was training for the Kentucky History Half, but I got sick and couldn't run for four weeks without having some kind of relapse, be it epic coughing or a return of fever. So, I didn't. I needed the run. I needed to pound the pavement. My father is very sick. Part of it can be cured. The other part...well, we're not sure what it is. He had an MRI yesterday and will speak with an oncologist next Wednesday. Hopefully, whatever it is is treatable. I'm not ready to lose him, and that is my greatest fear. So I've been in tears most of the last few days and doing the bare minimum at work. But today's run was good. my pace was 12:40ish but it felt comfortable and that's where I am right now. My RBFF was with me and did a good job distracting me from my worries. It's also my birthday, so I'm glad I got to run today. I feel more like myself and less... like a drifter, just making my way through the day in a fog. I told her I wanted to run a marathon next year, but I want to take a long, slow training cycle so my body can be ready without dropping off the immune cliff four weeks before the race. I'm looking at Indy Monumental or Marshall. I hope to be around more often as I get back into running. My oldest will be four on Saturday and my youngest will be one next Wednesday (yes, the day my dad talks to the oncologist and it also happens to be his birthday). Hopefully my youngest starts sleeping through the night in the next few months so I can put my running plans in motion.
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