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Anyone have advice on learning to run?


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Well, a few running successes to report this week.  On Thursday morning, I did my usual long walk (3.5 miles with a shower and breakfast during a break at mile 1.5).  Because it was forecast to be cold and possibly snow on Friday evening, DH and I did our run that evening instead of Friday evening.  And you know, it worked fine!  I noticed in the morning that the long walk did my body's aches and pains some good; it got everything really warmed up with out stress.  Which actually lasted for much of the rest of the day and made the run in the evening feel better, too.  What's funny is that even though I ran less and felt better about it, it was 2 minutes slower than the same distance last week.  Oh, well.  I'll take it anyway for the feeling-better part.  Friday, I was Just. So. Tired. though!  I sincerely wished for at least another hour of sleep and maybe two.  Did not work out that day, nor on Saturday.  

On Saturday, DH and I volunteered at a local, small (I think they said 300 runners showed up) marathon/50k trail race.  We were at the aid station at mile 20, and were out in the wind.  And oh man, it was COLD!  I was refilling people's water bottles, and even with my gloves on, my hands got so cold that my Reynaud's syndrome triggered and I couldn't feel my fingers for a while.  Luckily, they had a box of handwarmers as part of the aid station, and someone handed me a couple when they realized how cold I was.  That helped immensely.  (It was so cold that the dispenser on the Gatorade tank was frozen shut.  DH, who was giving that out, had to ladle it out with a cup.)  It was interesting to get a look at the gear various people use and the things that they eat.  The aid station had PB&J and grilled cheese sandwiches, bacon, tater tots, chips of various kinds, Swedish Fish, M&Ms, cookies, Twix, and a few other things.  We came home with popcorn and animal crackers.  (We ate the popcorn.  Animal crackers are going to my office.)  Various people came through with their own food, mostly gels and bars and things like.  I saw one person with a boiled egg and what might have been dates in her baggie.  I'd have asked about it if she hadn't been, you know, in a race.  

As for the gear, well, it seems like the hydration packs with a zip-loc are the easiest to open and refill, though of course I didn't get to see which ones actually work best.  I also noticed that many people didn't want their packs filled all the way.  Then again, people who were carrying water bottles were commonly not out of water when they got to us either.  I'm sure that would have been different if it had been warmer.  The water bottles ranged from someone who was just carrying a regular 16 disposable water bottle to some really high-tech collapsible bottles.  The small ones that were shaped to fit a hand seemed like the most practical, as well as the most common.  I also liked the vests that some people were wearing.  They held water bottles on the front and I think had small packs on the back.  Several of them also had food pockets.  

I helped a couple of people with their electrolyte powders.  That was really hard with everyone as cold as they were.  Just opening the packets was almost impossible -- one of the workers finally had to use his teeth on one.  (He knew the runner and she didn't seem grossed out, luckily.)  We were the second shift, so missed all the really fast folks who had support teams doing that stuff for them.  The whole running club seemed to be one big support team for everyone else, though.  We did pretty much whatever we could for whoever needed it.  Since we were at mile 20, there were a few (three? four?) who dropped out at our point.  I'm not sure what all the issues were, but one poor guy was cramping up badly and once he stopped moving, got pretty cold.  First time I ever saw one of those foil emergency blankets in use.  I hope it helped.  I was going to put him in our car, but an aid vehicle came to pick him up and take him to the finish.  It was a really interesting experience, and one that I hope to have again next year, and maybe at some of the club's other long races this year.  It was kind of fun.

And on that note, though I haven't gotten to today's run, it's bedtime.  I'll write more soon.

ThyPeace, should probably actually do some of the club's workouts, except that they are all inconvenient times and locations and I run because it's the most convenient exercise ever.  Sigh.  One step at a time.



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Oh, and thanks for the reply, fairyfreak!  Yes, you should start running.  Don't wait until spring.  Start today.  It's easy!  Just put on comfy shoes and go outside.  Dress for the weather and walk the first few times!  It's really not scary and well worth it.  And no, no hot stone massages yet, though I've gotten hot towels, hot massage beds, and plenty of other heat sources.  Love me some heat!

ThyPeace, will have to try stones sometime!

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What a lovely day yesterday was.  DH and I had gone to see Logan the night before, had salads beforehand, and did a little shopping for work clothes after.  We went clothes shopping (for me) because DH was tempting me to get candy, and I didn’t want to.  I learned that my previous regular size – a 14 – is too big for me, and the 12 is not even a little bit tight.  I don’t think I’ll ever wear smaller sizes, though, based on where my bones are and how tall I am.  That’s okay.  A 12 works fine, and the NSV was kind of fun.

Anyway, we both woke up relatively early, but lazed around in bed because it was 23 degrees and neither of us wanted to go out to run at that temperature.  A couple of hours later, it was 30 degrees and we decided to go ahead and brave the cold.  Luckily, it was sunny and there was little wind, making things a bit more bearable.

I told DH not to stay with me, because my goal was to do his long route, but I was going to walk a long way before running at all, and was going to walk as much as I ran.  He started running at our usual spot, while I kept walking.  I walked for almost a mile before I ran at all, and the next two miles I ran when I felt like it and walked a lot.  Particularly on downhill sections, because my quads were hurting very soon after I started running.  Once I got down into the park that I was aiming for, though, it was just too nice not to run.  No wind at all, sun shining on me, a completely level path in a really pretty spot – there was just nothing to keep me walking.  So I ran, but still not all that long and definitely not fast.  Maybe a mile, then a walk break and another mile.  I found the most ridiculous water fountain down there.  It shot water a good 15 feet in the air.  Drinking from it was not very practical.  If it had been warmer, I probably would have played more.  As it was, I just kept going.  I continued alternating running and walking, never working really hard, and eventually I came out of the park and did the next two miles on sidewalk to get home.

Total distance was 6.62 miles, the farthest I have ever gone in one stretch.  Total time: 1:30:24, so a pace of 13’48”.  Which you know, is not the slowest I’ve ever gone.  More importantly, now I know I can do more than 10K without being in agony afterward.  (I ran 6.25 miles in December.  Ran the whole way, hurt for days afterward.  I think I wrote about that somewhere in this thread.)

The rest of the day was similarly delightful.  DH got home half an hour before me and started the laundry and took his shower.  There was still plenty of hot water for me, and then, well, afternoon in winter with nothing to do and DD elsewhere?  Let’s just say it was grownup time and very nice it was, too.  And there were naps!  And after that, we eventually remembered to eat a bit (I’d eaten a bit before the run, too, and a little protein after the run), and then went to church.  Rounded out the day with salads, popcorn, and grapefruit.  Because hey, why not?  And in my current life, popcorn is a nice treat, which is so much better than the days when we would “treat” ourselves to things that hurt our bodies much more.

So it was just an absolutely lovely day, which rounded out a really nice weekend.  Next weekend will be much more busy, because we’ll also be shepherding DD to her various events all weekend.  That’s okay. She’s pretty fun to be around these days, too.


ThyPeace, and today, my hip hurts even less than it did yesterday.  More bone broth and long run-walks for me.

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Another week, another few runs.  On Tuesday morning, I felt totally awesome.  My hip didn't hurt, my feet didn't hurt, absolutely nothing hurt!  In retrospect, I should have known that didn't bode well.  I was aiming for a 3 mile run and left the house just feeling like I could fly.  So... fly I did.  I didn't go out slow.  I went out like I could sprint the whole darned way.  Which, it turns out, I cannot.  So I walked a bit.  And then sprinted some more!  And then walked.  And kept doing that for the entire three miles because I literally could not slow myself down.  So.... sure.  It was a speed workout.  I am going to pretend that I meant to do that.

Wednesday morning I was a little tired, and my calves were letting me know they were thinking of being sore.  But I still felt good!  So I did an indoor endurance workout with lots of running in place and A-skips and butt kicks and stuff like that.  Because why not, right?  Oof.  That afternoon, I still felt good and it was a beautiful afternoon, so DD and I walked to our downtown area so she could go to the art store.  DH met us there and we all walked home together.  

Yesterday morning was supposed to be the morning that DH and I go walking together.  But... his heel had been really bothering him since his fast run on Sunday (remember that thing where he did it in an hour and it took me 90 minutes? yeah, that one) and was still bothering him then.  So we relaxed and didn't work out at all.  I went running last night instead, the first time in forever that I've gone running in an evening and he didn't go along.  This is the third time I've done this same course on a Thursday evening.  I am getting slower rather than faster.  Last night, though, I know of at least two errors I made.  The first, well, remember the sprinting and the calves I mentioned?  Oh my goodness gracious, the agony.  Nothing injured, clearly.  Just incredibly sore muscles.  And not so much my calves as the muscles right below the calves, whatever those are called..... the soleus!  That's the name.  And now that I know the name, I can look up what causes pain in it.  Ah.  Yes, running uphill.  Because the other thing I did on Monday was to reverse my usual route, meaning that I run up the half-mile hill that I usually run down.  I'm pretty sure it helped with all the right-side aches I've been having, too, because running clockwise around our campus leads to running a long way on a sidewalk that slopes such that my right leg is uphill.  I still think the bone broth helps a bunch, too.

So I did my run 4 mile last night in 53ish minutes.  Oh, and it didn't help when my brother texted me about his son wanting to FaceTime DD, who was at her other house.  That took a few texts to get coordinated.  (His son is 2, so we still facilitate the calls...)  While I was walking and texting, there was a guy who passed me on the half-mile hill.  Which I ran downhill this time.  He wasn't running very fast, so I just tailed him.  It was an interesting feeling -- I've never been able to just keep up with a guy before.  Of course, I couldn't do it forever, which leads to the second mistake I made.  I dressed too warmly for the temperature.  I wore my warm running tights (Nike Warm.  Easy name to remember.) instead of the other ones, and I was far too warm in them.  Easy enough to take off the long sleeve shirt and tie it around my waist, but it's a lot harder to take off running tights.  Not to mention indecent.

He went a different direction at the corner and I figured that was that and I started walking because I was boiling hot.  And then he passes me, still running!  Hmmm, I thought.  And kept walking.  Once I started running again, darned if I didn't start catching up with him!  And so it went for the next mile or so.  I'd catch up when I was running, he'd pull away when I was walking.  That lasted until he finally pulled up and started walking; I'm guessing he was done with his run at that point, while I still had half my run to go.  It was interesting to observe someone else's running pattern for that long.  I noticed how he slowed down every time his head dropped, and how one foot didn't land quite flat, and one arm didn't swing quite the same as the other.  Made me think hard about my own running quirks.  I hope it helped me run a little better.  I know it kept me running longer than I would have otherwise!

ThyPeace, it's supposed to snow next week.  I may have to take a few days off.


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So here it is, Tuesday.  Only one run to report, from Sunday.  It was cold -- 25 degrees.  But also sunny and not much wind.  So I dressed warmly.  Walked a good ways -- maybe a total of 3/4 of a mile -- to warm up, and then started running.  Timed myself from about 0.25 miles from when I started walking, which is my usual start point.  The measured run from there was 7.25 miles.  Of course, "run" really means a combination of running and walking throughout the whole thing, but hopefully we all know that by now.  

Anyway, it was a really nice time.  DH had offered to take DD to her morning activity, and they set off a couple of minutes before I did.  There was no hurry to get to another event, and no reason to push myself hard.  Best of all, my legs had finally start hurting a good bit less than they had been.  So once I started off, I just kept moving, running when I felt like it and walking when I felt like it.  I ran more than the previous week and, even though I went longer, it took the same amount of time or a little less.  Plus I knew where I was going, so spent less time looking around.  1:32:29 for 7.25 miles, for a pace of 12'45".  (Boy it's hard to put the quotes before the period, but I think that's right in this case.)  And I came home feeling as though I could do the whole distance a second time, though probably not as quickly.  So hey!  Maybe I could do a half marathon in 3.5 hours.  (The McMillan running app says I could do it in 2:53.  That's optimistic!)

I was definitely feeling some aches in my legs by the time I was done, but still felt like I could run more.  The rest of the day I was a little tired, but made it through without any great difficulties.  Except for some really big hunger, yowza!  This was the first time I actually tried to do a preWO and postWO meal the way they are stated in the Whole30 stuff.  Left me starving!  So I ate a big next meal and felt better after that.

I am not running today.  It's snowy and slippery and that just seems like a really bad idea.  So I'll do some shovelling later and call it a workout.  The 20 minutes it took to clean off my car was a good upper body starter for the day.  Though we only have a couple of inches of snow, it's very wet and heavy.  And a layer of ice on top just to make me work harder.


ThyPeace, and I had to get up early to send out the delayed opening notices.  4am is not my favorite time of day, especially right after a time change!

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So yesterday was a snow day for DD.  DH stayed home and teleworked and sent occasional updates.  DD spent 2.5 hours out shoveling neighbors' walks and drives with some of her friends.  They came back with what must seem to them like a lot of money ($130 to divide between them) and exhausted bodies.  By bedtime, DD claimed that she could not raise her arms.  This morning there was a 2 hour delay, and though DD got up at her usual time, she took a 30 minute nap before school and eventually asked me for some ibuprofen.  She perked herself up enough to go to school, but I bet she'll sleep well tonight.  That's a level of effort kids don't get very often these days.  She does gymnastics classes, but even that didn't prepare her for this.  And I thought I had a pretty sedentary childhood...

ThyPeace, spent about an hour shoveling herself, and thoroughly enjoyed it.  Especially the part where I was making a path for all the melted snow to get to the storm drain.  That was kind of fun.

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Friday I took the day off.  There was a meeting at school for DD -- she has had a drop in grades in the last month or so -- and I wanted to make sure that I had as much time as was necessary for the meeting.  And I have some school work of my own to do.  And I had to deal with a work issue that needed a couple of hours of work and a lot of thinking.  I was feeling more than a bit stressed after all that.  

It was a nice day, though.  Upper 50s, no great wind, some sun.  And I had the day off.  So when DH came home to go to his physical therapy appointment, I put my workout clothes on and headed out the door.  I made it 3.75 miles before DH finished his PT and came to meet me.  And then, because I was still feeling good, we went home and I took a shower, and then we walked downtown to get supper.  We actually went first to the running store to get a little green nubbly ball for DH to use on his poor aching heel.  And then we found some supper.  Which took far longer than it should have, because I really did want fish and chips and DH really wanted to just go eat at Cava like we always do.  It took a lot of negotiation and extra walking to end up where we did.  It was upwards of 7 miles between the formal workout and the dinner walking and the fish was excellent. ;-)

DH was walking slowly because of his heel pain, and was surprised the next day when the combination of that and the little nubbly ball seemed to have really helped.  I hope it does -- he's really been suffering from that.  He even skipped his regular workouts some of last week, in addition to not running.

And on Sunday, he slept for two extra hours in the morning.  I really should have grabbed something other than my iPod before I cuddled up with him, because I was awake the whole time.  That's okay, though.  I knew that he would wake up if I got up, and he seemed really tired.  I'm hoping that was part of the healing process.  Anyway, we did eventually get ourselves up and out.  Since it had been snowing and cold in the morning, it's just as well that we went out at noon.  We did the same run I'd done on Friday and then continued for another mile or so to a little shopping center that has a salad place we like.  (Chop't, for those in the area.)  DH had suggested that we do that, and then backed away, but hey, we did it anyway.  And I learned that it is not possible to run comfortably with a large salad in my stomach.  Obviously I suspected that would be the case.  Because of DH's heel problems, I wanted there to be a lot of walking on the trip anyway.  So we walked almost the whole way back.

Even so, by the time we returned, DH was having a good bit of heel pain again.  He iced his feet as soon as he finished showering, and then worked them with the nubbly ball.  Later in the day he tried out an ice bath for his feet -- up to about the middle of his shin.  There was a good bit of howling and shrieking involved.  I'd say it hurt a ton.  Two hours later when we went to bed, his feet were still cold.  However, this morning he said his feet hurt less than they had last week and he was able to do his regular workout this morning, so maybe it did some good.  I just sent him a reminder to ice his feet again while he's sitting at his desk today.

As for me, I feel fine.  Nothing hurts.  I'm not surprised, as Friday and yesterday were both much lighter workouts than I've done recently, and I missed last Tuesday because of the snow.  I bet I'd run my best 10k ever if I ran it today.  (Yes, I know.  I've never run a 10k before.  So it would be hard not to!)

We may miss the 5k that DH wanted to run next weekend, and I'm fine with that.  It's a really long way from the house and I'm pretty sure DD, who will be with us next weekend, will not want to ride along.  


ThyPeace, could really be happy with run-walks like these for years and years.  They're just ... nice.


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  • 2 weeks later...

So let's see.  Last update was more than a week ago, hmm.  I guess I've been a little busy.  So last week.  Ran on Tuesday morning, the day after my last post.  I did a shorter run than usual -- maybe 2.5 miles instead of 3 -- because of time constraints.  The less intimidating run (fewer hills) meant that I ran the whole thing.  It's bee a while since I ran continuously for that long.  And it was nice because this is a route I used a year ago.  I really struggled with it then.  Now it feels like an easy day.  And I had to laugh.  There are two women who I used to see all the time when I ran that route.  I used to be walking half the time, gasping for breath and really miserable.  This time I met them coming back and passed them.  I mean, wow.  I run faster than those two?  That blew me away.  (They can probably keep it up forever, though.)

The end of last week didn't work out so well for running.  A combination of timing issues and DH's sore feet saw me getting in two and a half walks instead of a long walk and a 4 mile run.  There was a little jogging in some of the walks, but not much.

So by the time the weekend rolled around, you would have thought I would be raring to go.  Instead, on Saturday afternoon I rolled myself up in a blanket and took a two hour nap.  I was wiped out -- stress from a long and very difficult work week, combined with staying up late to wait for my stepson, who came for the weekend.  Did I mention that it was DH's birthday on Sunday?  It was.  He had hoped to run a 5k for his birthday, but the sore feet prevented it.

Instead, Sunday we went out for my slow 7.25 mile run-walk.  DH only did 6 of it.  He was surprised at how much of it I actually ran, and I was surprised at how slowly he wanted to walk the walking parts.  Turns out he was trying really hard to minimize impact on his heel, so was kind of walking on the ball of his foot.  That requires a shorter stride and so a slower walk.  I finished my distance in 1:33, about three minutes slower than usual.  As usual, I came home feeling as though I could run more, or do the whole thing again, except for a niggling feeling in one knee.  It felt like I needed to pop it, or something -- like it was off track.  

The next day, not only was that knee sore, but there was a spot on the outside of my thigh that felt as though it was bruised. And the other ankle felt almost like I'd bruised it where the shoe was tied.  Maybe I tied it too tightly, not sure.  Plenty of aches, that's for sure!  So since I was aching and my stepson was asleep in the basement, I went for a walk with a little jogging on Monday.  It felt good to do something light that still got blood flowing to the running muscles.  Tuesday, yesterday, I did my regular run, albeit slightly shorter than usual -- 2.8 miles instead of 3.  I walked the slanted part of the sidewalk at the beginning, as I have started to do on each run.  I think that helped avoid some of the aching.  Today, though, my Achilles tendons ache.  They hurt when I stretch them, which means I need to either stretch more or not at all.  I'm just not sure which one yet.

All in all, nice solid times outside.  I am really enjoying the slightly warmer weather.  Yesterday I wore shorts and two layers on top.  Took the top layer off halfway through the run and didn't miss it.  Suddenly there are many more runners out than there were in January.  

ThyPeace, wishing for younger tendons, joints, ligaments, and cartilage.

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Just back from this week's long run.  I'm sitting with my feet and lower legs in a bucket of ice water.  I am not yet convinced of the benefits, but hey, it's a good reason to sit still for a few minutes.  The end of this week was similar to last -- too much stress and not enough free time in the evenings.  So no 4 mile run, but I ran both Thursday and Friday mornings.  Maybe a total of 5 or 6 miles between the two mornings; I didn't really keep track.  I worked until after 8pm on Thursday and Friday evenings, so by Saturday I was wiped out.  DH and I slept for 12.5 hours.  It was much needed, but sleeping that long after our usual wakeup time kind of messed with bedtime last night.  Hopefully we can get things closer to on track tonight. 

I went about 7.5 miles in 1:41 today.  It felt really slow.  Actually, the running felt fine, but I walked a lot more than I did last week.  I definitely run more when DH is along.  He didn't run today because of the ongoing sore feet, though he says they are getting better.  He's still hoping to run the 10k with me on April 23.  I have a feeling he'll re-injure himself then, but hopefully with a lot of the self-care he's doing now, it won't be as bad. 

My toes are now completely numb and I've finished my post-run snack (ham and frozen grapes; not exactly what's recommended, but it's what was available), so it's time to take a shower.

ThyPeace, planning to spend the rest of the day alternating between cooking, cleaning, work, and homework.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Summary of the week:  I ran, I skipped a run, I ran.  And it was good. 

And actually, yesterday I walked a lot to keep DH from running too much.  He was grumpy about that.  But he isn't in pain today.  I consider that a success.  My Achilles tendons have started -- or really increased the frequency -- of a fascinating popping sensation, like something is rubbing against something else.  I'm sure this is not a good sign.  However, they don't hurt or even ache.  It just feels odd.  I think I need a different shoe-insert combination.  Or maybe just legs that are better designed for running, but that remodel is going to take a little longer.

Alternatively, at some point I'm going to find a doc who will refer me to a physical therapist to help me with my weird little aches and pains.  I'm sure they're all fixable.  I just need some expertise to assist me with it.

ThyPeace, working on some very high stress projects at work.  Where I could also use some expertise to fix it.  Sadly, none is forthcoming.

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  • 2 weeks later...

My, it's a better point in my life than that last post was.  I have a staff of about 60 people (and a larger organizational oversight role for about 500 people).  Of them, there is one group that reports directly to me rather than through an intermediate supervisor.  Those folks started to quietly tell me to go get some sleep and a beer about two weeks ago, so I know the stress was showing to them, too.  After all the crazy stuff was done and decided and the associated work complete, I took last Friday and this Monday off from work and now feel much better.  Not that the time off was exactly restful with guests starting to arrive on Tuesday and the last of them staying through today.  We had 14 people at the house at peak, but most of the time there were just six of us.  My parents and sister (the extra three) are generally very helpful, so a lot of cleaning and outdoor work got done.  And oh, the cooking!

Still, Sunday afternoon after the rest of the guests left, I took a bag of chocolate and Jelly Bellies, lay down on the couch and ate them, and then fell asleep for a 2+ hour nap.  Everyone else in the house did approximately the same thing, though DD watched TV instead of sleeping.  She had just returned from spending the week in Chicago with my ex, where they did various fun things including seeing Hamilton.  She slept for almost 12 hours that night instead of napping during the day.

So.... lots of stress, lots of really bad food choices, and lots of unwinding and recovering.  By Monday morning, I felt utterly horrible, of course.  I'd gained more than five pounds since the previous Tuesday and running felt like I might fall over dead.  I ran anyway, but less than usual -- 2.9 miles instead of 3.5.  And I ran again on Tuesday... sort of.  I walked, jogged, walked again, jogged a little more, thought about throwing up, walked some more, etc.  Made it 2 miles.  Golly.  This morning, I gave in and just walked, and tried to be brisk and have good form while I was doing it.  

I've lost the five pounds I gained, and that five pounds motivated me to refocus and get back to my goal weight, which is another five pounds away.  I'm actually aiming for under that, as I really want my goal to be my max weight, not the "I can almost get there" weight it had been.  Monday was also the start of a new Whole30 for me.  I'm not eating perfect template meals yet; the mantra that's running through my head is "get clean, then get hardcore."  This week is about eating clean.  Next week I'll go for perfect.

So, back to running.  Oh!  I missed a few.  Last week, I took Friday off to do shopping for the weekend and spend time with family.  So the first thing I did Friday morning was get up and go running.  Since it was before the feasting, it felt fine.  DH and I had wanted to go on Thursday, but it didn't work out.  And because of the festivities on Easter, I knew I wasn't going to have time to run then, so I ran on Saturday instead.  The 7.25 miles was a really nice break, and the weather was lovely.  I really enjoyed the time outside.  DH is still working through his heel troubles, so didn't come along.  Instead, about an hour into it, he caught up with me on a bike and stayed with me for the next couple of miles.  It was a nice way to spend some time together.  As usual, I ran a lot more than I do when he's not with me.  The timing of that is much better when it's the end of a run instead of the beginning, though!  I never did look at my time for any of the runs, but that felt like it was a relatively good (for me) time.  

One of the other things that I decided to do is to re-join StepBet.  I have relatively easy step goals -- just over 10k for a regular day, just over 12k for a stretch day -- so all it will really do is encourage me to take a few extra evening strolls on weight training days.  I think that's a good thing, though.  

And one last note in this very long update.  On Sunday morning, I will be running a 10k.  This one, to be specific:


I'll be the one slogging along in the back trying to stay ahead of the 14 minute mile pace that kicks you off the streets.

ThyPeace, looking forward to it, actually.



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Kick some Butt at your 10K!!


I am kicking off my next whole 30 on Monday... things have gotten... out of hand... and I am trying to get back to where I was in the fall. funny how stress can really sneak up on you... and I am going to use your "Get clean, then get hardcore" for my whole 30 next week... lots of bad food choices and not enough of the working out I need. never mind the fact that my hypermobile SI joint totally messed me up last week.... well that and trying to get into the front seat fo the fire truck with all of my gear on... lets just say that I had some piriformis issues before that, and after repeated in and out and climbing on top of the truck to help teach prbies left my sciatic in a not so happy place... I am finally in a good space right now and am able to run again. still have a weird patch of numbness in my calf, but much better than the searing pain from last week.  looking forward to getting in a few runs this weekend. 

Alos getting back to the gym.. so the last piece of the puzzle is food....and getting back on that.. hoping I am ready for some good fall half marathons.

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Thanks, MadscienceM.  I don't think I kicked Butt, but I accomplished some things.  First, I finished!!  And second, I RAN THE WHOLE WAY!  I'm very happy with both.  There was a woman just a little ahead of me who kept a steady pace that I thought I could keep.  I could have passed her toward the beginning, but decided not to.  That was a good choice, because she kept that very steady pace long after I wanted to do something -- anything! -- else.  But she just kept going at her steady pace, and I did my best to keep up with her.  That worked until about mile 4, when my stomach started bothering me and she just kept running. 

So did I, just slower.  And somewhere around the 5th mile or a bit later, she really picked up the pace and ended up quite a long way ahead of me.  That's okay.  I. Just. Kept. Running.  In the end, it took me 1:07, so a pace of ... 10:47.  Huh.  I hadn't calculated it until just now.  That's pretty good.  (For me.)  No wonder they call it a PR course.  And it was really a nice course.  Flat or downhill most of the way, and because it's on a major road, it was beautifully lacking in side tilts and other things that hurt my various body parts.  By the end, though, my right hip was really aching.  And did I mention my stomach?  Sigh.  My first stop was the port-a-potties.  Next time a race starts at that particular time, maybe I need to remember to have coffee 90 minutes before that.  That usually moves things along relatively well for me.  Heck, before a race I could even try some regular coffee, rather than the decaf I usually drink.  (My family is hypersensitive to caffeine.  We usually don't drink regular coffee.  I learned the hard way in grad school when I was awake for three days after finals ended...)

Anyway, the race had good and bad points, and there are several things I want to work on to improve.  Mostly, I want to keep getting healthier at running.  By which I mean that I want to improve my form so that I can go longer before it starts to hurt.

DH also ended up running the race even with his sore foot.  He was debating even yesterday about whether he was going to run.  And this morning he was debating about whether he was going to stick with me and go slow, or strike out on his own.  I knew what would happen once he started running, though, and sure enough, he struck out ahead of me and just kept going.  Several months ago when we signed up for this race, his goal was to run it in an hour.  Today, once he left me, he passed the 1:05 pacer fairly quickly and soon started looking for the 1:00 pacer.  (I passed the 1:10 pacer and no one else, of course.)  He ended up finishing in 1:00:04.  And he also finished in a good bit of pain from his heel and Achilles tendon.  We got some ice from the med tent and he iced it on the train ride back to the start and also in the car on the way home.  And then he dumped his foot in a bucket of ice before taking a shower.  There was more ice, Aleve, and a bike ride to try to ease the pain, as well.  He found out last weekend that the bike ride helped a lot.  I don't know if it'll help the same day as a race; we'll find that out tomorrow, I suppose.  I hope he's not in too much pain.

Next weekend I'll have a regular jog in the part, and then the following weekend there is an 8K race less than a mile from my house.  I'll probably do that one just for the fun of it, even though it's not really long enough for my Sunday runs. 

And...the lady I followed for so long today was wearing a shirt that said something like "If it doesn't hurt, you're not doing it right." There was a 13.1 on the tail. 

ThyPeace, it makes me think about half marathons.  I think I could do one.  And the one that people have recommended to me ends about a mile from my house.  I have run parts of the course already in my usual weekly runs.  Hmmmm.




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sounds like you had a great run.. and way to go... Running the whole way!!! I bow to you and your amazing 1:07!!! I think that is great!!!!

hope your DH's foot is doing better... sounds painful.. but great job to him on his time as well!!!

You can totally do a half marathon... its by far my favorite "short" distance.... it can be fun and most times you dont feel like the world is ending during it... 



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Heh.  "...most times you don't feel like the world is ending during it..."  Now that is a ringing endorsement of a run if I ever heard one! :)  

I'm still recovering from Sunday's run.  I may also have caught a bug that's going around our office -- stomach stuff plus light congestion, sniffles, and overall body tiredness.  Not that I can separate the body tiredness from being tired from the run, but the other stuff shouldn't still be run-related.  Could be the combination of the opportunistic viral critters and my body being worn down from the run and from a few weeks of off-target eating and too many house guests.  Whatever the reason, I'm a bit under the weather.  And having joined a StepBet, I can't completely take the day off, though I did sleep in and skip my workout this morning.  That's going to lead to a lot of ten minute walks around the building and stuff like that today to try to catch up.  Probably not a bad thing; though my hip isn't sore like it was, the muscle aches from the run have caught up with me nicely.

I never mentioned the rest of Sunday when I posted before.  Man oh man, it was an eat-all-the-things day.  I came home craving peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and just couldn't shake it.  The post-run food was plentiful, and I had scrambled eggs, sausage, grilled peppers and onions, and an apple.  Maybe not the best choices, but the best of the ones that were there.  I completely forgot to think about bringing snacks along, which I could have by using the drop bag system they had in place.  I'll remember it next time.  

Once I got home, I had pork roast and, trying to emulate peanut butter and jelly, I had almonds and raisins.  It got me partway there.  Later on I had dried mango and more protein.  Oh, and there was a baked potato in there somewhere.  I was much hungrier than after my usual Sunday runs, though, which I had not expected.  I kept showing up in the kitchen, led by my stomach, looking for more to eat.  Not out of boredom, but genuine need for food.  And lots of liquid.  What finally settled me down, interestingly, was about six ounces of orange juice and a liter of lime seltzer.  DH had a similar experience -- he was drinking orange and apple juice for a while, and ate an orange at a time when he never eats them.  I realized afterward that we must have both really depleted our glycogen stores more than we have in the past, and our bodies were letting us know about it.  Something to think about for longer runs.

Speaking of which, I am stilling thinking about the half marathon course.  My first thought was to go out and walk the whole thing this weekend, but 13 miles, even at a walk, is probably too big a jump from 7.25.  I think instead I'll try for about 8 miles of it this weekend, and then work my way up from there to do the whole thing.  If I'm going to do 8 miles on Sunday, though, I need to do at least that much and preferably more during the week.  That's going to be hard if I want to run it, but doable if I do a couple of runs and add in walks in the evenings.  


ThyPeace, I've decided all this is because I like going out on walks and runs, not for the exercise and certainly not for the races.  And that reminds me, time for a walk around the building.  

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Oh yes, the "Eat all the things".... I get that afer a race as well... doesnt matter if its a 5k or a half, I am all about the food after.  sounds like you made some good choices...I think i am going to pack myself somethings for after my leg of the marathon relay... I am really trying to stay on target with my eating until my 48 hour race on May 19th... so even though the spread of post race food at the marathon relay is always good.. going to bring some snacks of my own.... :)


I think you going out for 8 miles this weekend is a good idea, tiny steps towards the HM goal..

Hope you feel better soon and do well in your stepbet challenge.

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As you'll recall, I'm doing a StepBet.  This is changing my workout habits so that I am going out to walk or run almost every morning, and I'm walking in the afternoons as well.  That's probably a good thing for building endurance.  At the same time, I am not doing the strength workouts that I had been doing, so I'm probably losing some strength.  On the good side of that, my knees don't ache right now.  Apparently they needed a break from squats.  Figuring out how to work some strength training in would be a good thing.  Right now, though, the weather is so nice that I'm having a hard time staying inside.  Yesterday I got around 21,000 steps (more about most of those steps in a minute) and it's looking like 14k or so today.  That's good; I'll get my two stretch days out of the way, and just have three active days for later in the week when I have less time.

So Sunday was absolutely fantastic -- for me.  No so much for DH.  As we'd planned, he dropped me off at the six-mile marker of the half-marathon I'm thinking about.  That would give me 7 miles of route to run and 1 mile to get home, so a total of 8 miles.  He planned to go back to the house, get his bike, and meet me along the way.  We miscommunicated about that, which I should have predicted because our underlying assumptions of each other's actions work really poorly when it comes to directional stuff.  We can't even load a vehicle or moving van together, but that's another story entirely.

Anyway, I walked for the first ten minutes.  It was pretty steep downhill, more than I expected from having been on other parts of the trail, and then a steeper uphill than I'd expected.  We'd driven along the trail to the dropoff point, so I was not surprised to see groups of runners coming toward me.  I guess they must be some training group or another, fastest first and then the slower groups behind.  The last group looked like I'd be able to keep up with them, depending on how far they go.  And whether they take walk breaks.  A lot of it is about the walk breaks, for me, though I'm sure I probably "should" push through and run.  But anyway, I walked for a while, and then started running.  Gorgeous day to run -- cloudy, 70 degrees, light breeze.  So nice.  I ran until I got to the water fountain and bathroom, took a quick break, then kept running.  Oh, and texted DH that I was there, as a marker for him.

Kept going, made it to the part of the trail that I hadn't been on before, kept going.  And going.  Past the exercise equipment -- wow, who knew that was there?  Maybe next time I'll stop and do a few sets -- and onward.  And more exercise equipment.  Another street.  Somewhere along there, DH texts me.  "Really?  You passed [street name], didn't you."  Yep, I had.  He had, of course, come down that street and then started back along the path to meet me.  He got to where I'd texted him and I wasn't there.  Sigh.  So I kept going, alternating walking and running, and he eventually caught up with me when I'd been going for about 3.5 miles, maybe 4.  And... his bike tire was flat.

Poor guy!  Because now we are about as far from our house as you can get on this route, he has a flat bike tire, and he has a bad enough case of plantar fasciaitis that it hurts to walk.  I really felt for him, and there was not much I could do to help.  We walked together until I was sure he was at a spot where he could find his way home (directional issues affect him in the city more than they do me), and then I kept running.  More time on a trail I'd never been on before, then finally back into familiar territory.  The whole way was pretty, with flowering trees and things.  And pollen.  Lots of gunk in my eyes on this run.  Apparently I've learned to clear my eyes and keep moving; another success.

Meanwhile, he was trudging along.  I passed a bike shop along the trail -- not open!  Oh, the cruelty.  At that same intersection, though, there was also a gas station where he was able to inflate the tire enough to ride it.  I stopped at the place where the half marathon route left the trail and waited for him, and then jogged along the route toward the bike shop we knew was open.  He went on ahead, and by the time I got there he was waiting on the bike.  We went to CVS and got a drink while we waited -- unsweetened iced tea for me, Coke Zero for him.  And then eventually I walked on to the farmer's market and he caught up with me there.  I bought rhubarb and sunchokes from our CSA farmers.  The rhubarb is getting cooked and then combined with applesauce to make it edible.  I love rhubarb, and it's just got to have something sweet with it, or it's inedible.  Applesauce (home made and canned last fall, no sugar added) works pretty well.

Walking around the market was a nice cooldown, and I had no intention of running any more.  But then DH was walking along and said he wasn't going to ride until we got across a certain busy street, and somehow I got the impression that he wasn't going to bike unless I was running.  So we crossed the street, he took off, and even though I could have just walked at that point, I ran anyway.  I actually made it home in only a little more time than him; the chain came off the bike as he was riding, and then the shifter didn't work right, and then the chain came off again.  It really was a tough day for him.

So in the end, we spent more than three hours outside and I ran and walked about nine miles.  When I look at my FitBit data, it appears that I had a high enough heart rate to be run-walking for about two thirds of the time, and just walking the rest.  Some of the latter part I wasn't even walking, but just standing around or strolling.  So if I were smarter than I am tonight, I could figure out how long it should actually have taken me to cover that nine miles.  I'm not going to try, though.  I just now know that nine miles that way is possible, and I could have kept going.  Pretty sure I could have done another four miles if I'd wanted to, certainly at a walk and certainly even run-walking.  I don't know how I would have felt the next day, though.

So let's talk about this whole running thing.  I mean, I went nine miles on Sunday.  Why did I do that?  It boils down to one thing -- I enjoyed it.  DH asked me if I want to run a local 8k that's next weekend.  And honestly, I would rather just go out and do ten miles at my own pace than run a race.  About the only benefit I can see to running a race is that it is a great motivator to put out my "best" performance for that given moment.  Doing that occasionally provides a nice benchmark for improvements and running gains.  The rest of it -- the crowds, the noise, the incredibly chipper people?  Yeah.  Hi.  I'm ThyPeace.  I'm an introvert.  Give me a quiet stretch of trail with no one around anytime.

ThyPeace, And then there was yesterday.  I'll save that for another post, though.

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So... Monday.  It was a little crazy.  I woke up and thought, "wait, I don't hurt."  I was a little tired, but not exhausted and not in pain.  So I went outside, still expecting not to be able to run.  I got home still wondering when it was going to hit me, but in the meantime I did an easy 2.5 miles with no problems at all.  That afternoon, DD had a sewing class in town, so I walked with her while she biked. Once we got there, I decided not to take the bike home with me since the predicted storms looked like they were going to be later than we'd thought.  I walked home (another 2.5 mile round trip) and got a few things done before heading out to meet her.  We had some time before our dinner with DH and some friends of ours, so went to Starbucks and tried to work on her math.  That didn't go well, but that's another story.

We went and met our friends, and foolishly stayed just a little too long.  By the time we got outside it was sprinkling and there were rumbles of thunder.

And... DD has an anxiety disorder.  Thunder is one of the triggers.

Let's just say it wasn't a whole lot of fun getting her home, though exposure is one of the things that the docs say is really good for dealing with anxiety and it can be hard to get good thunder exposure.  This was actually a good one, because although there were rumbles and it sprinkled the whole way, there was never a downpour and we were never in a really dangerous storm.  (Though she would tell you we nearly died, of course.)

I ended up jogging the last part of it while she rode her bike.  Have you ever tried to jog while carrying leftovers and a freshly-made globe pillow that's a gift for the science teacher?  No, I hadn't either.  It is possible, though, I can attest to that.

I ended up, just with the run in the morning and the two walks in the afternoon, logging well over seven miles. 

You'd think I would have been exhausted this morning, but no.... instead, my feet were practically walking before I got up.  I swear, it's like when babies learn a new skill and then can't stop doing it even when they're exhausted.  Except I really didn't feel all that tired.  A bit yes, but not the bone-aching exhaustion I've had before.  I still think it's because I'm only running and not also killing myself with Nike Training Club workouts on alternate days.  And I keep worrying that I'm going to pay for it one of these days.  It sure is nice right now, though.

ThyPeace, keeping this post a little shorter.  Tomorrow, I'll talk shoes and DD's new running regimen.


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Okay, NOW I'm tired.  Sleepy tired, need more shut-eye tired, please-let-me-have-a-nap tired.  This may have to do with an increase in carbs.  We'd had salad for supper the last three days in a row, and last night we had pork chops, baked potatoes, roasted sunchokes, apple-rhubarb sauce, and kale chips.  A feast!  And I suspect I have re-loaded any glycogen deficit I had, though I've actually lost weight since two days ago.  But in any case.  I could use a nap.

Instead, I'll do a bit of writing.  So I mentioned to DD that there is an upcoming women-only 5k where they give each runner a long-stem red rose at the end of the race.  And she was all like, "OoooOOooooo."  Yes, she is seriously a girly-girl.  And that is a good thing, because the incentive of a rose is enough to get her to agree to do the 5k and, even better, to go jogging with me every afternoon that she's with me between now and then.  Her stepdad on the other side (my ex's husband) is encouraging her to go jogging with him, too.  So hey, exercise may be part of her world for a while.

So yesterday we did our first round of jogging, all of 0.6 miles around the block.  (It's not really a block, but close enough.)  Regular jogging is not DD's style.  Instead, imagine this guy's motions on a 14 year old girl running along our street.  I really had to work to keep from laughing.  And she moved amazingly quickly while she was doing it, though I have more stamina than she does.  She used so much energy with all the flailing that she could only go for a hundred feet or so before stopping.  And you know, that's okay.  All exercise is good exercise.  If she keeps doing a little running every day for six weeks, I'm happy.

And then she realized that she should wear my old FitBit if she's running.  She has worn it before, but not with any great regularity.  So she pulled it out and charged it.  And then, because it's a little ratty looking, she looked online and OMG, did you know there is now a pink FitBit Alta HR??  (Actually, I think "rose gold" is the fashionable way to say it.)  She wants one with a passion only really seen in the young.  

And hey, I am not above bribery.  So I said, "Would you be willing to keep jogging every day all summer if I helped you pay for the FitBit?"  The answer was an instant yes.  So I'm thinking about it.  A hundred bucks is far less than I would pay for almost any class she would take, and the skills might actually do her more good.  I'm still thinking about it, but even better than getting myself in shape is giving her the skills to keep herself in shape her whole life.  At fourteen, she can gain far more from it than I can at 49 (and I can gain a lot)!

So, that's DD's new running regimen.  Looks like shoes and this week's runs are going to have to wait for tomorrow.

ThyPeace, other activities (like getting 4,000 more steps) call.





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Okay, let's go back to last Saturday and talk shoes.  At the stride clinic I went to in February, the shoe specialist said that she would like to see me in a different shoe and a different size.  So Saturday, now that we are past the 10k, I went to look at shoes.  The Brooks Adrenaline was the shoe she'd recommended and was also the shoe the nice young man at the running shoe store recommended.  For comparison's sake, he also had me try out a pair of the shoe I had been wearing in the size that they thought I should be in -- a 9D instead of an 8B.  The new size felt better.  The new shoe in the new size felt much better.  So I bought it.  It's the first shoe I've worn that feels... stable.  I never even realized that I didn't feel stable before.  But I ran in these shoes and knew I wasn't going to fall.  Other shoes I've worn, I am always thinking about making sure that I didn't fall.  In these new shoes, I had none of that sense.

So I didn't wear them for the long run on Sunday; that seemed completely foolish.  But I did wear them on Monday for all my trips back and forth.  My feet didn't hurt any, exactly, but I felt as though I had used some muscles differently.  My big toes, for example.  Some parts of my feet.  But the next day...  It was Tuesday and I had run two days in a row.  And I figured I'd wake up tired and in need of a rest day.  But I didn't.  I woke up a little tired, yes, but not very.  And I went out and that was the point where I felt as though my body just wasn't going to let go of a run that day.  So I ran.  Specifically, after I warmed up, I did sprints  Fast, walk, fast, walk, fast, walk... Over and over and over again.  I only stopped because I had to get ready for work.  And when I stopped, I was sure that I would be just destroyed the next day, probably limping so badly I'd barely be able to walk.

So Wednesday?  Nope.  I got up, went out, and didn't have the energy to do sprints again, so I just alternated running and walking.  But you know, I usually feel that way on Monday, not on Wednesday.  Thursday, I walked with DH and had to struggle to get my steps in, but that's because I stayed at work until after 8pm and had a really hard time getting any steps in the evening.  Managed it, though.  This morning, it was pouring.  I mean, really pouring.  Like a hose pouring.  So I looked up the indoor walking workouts that I've seen and did Leslie Sansone for 45 minutes.  Barefoot.  Jogging.  That was not a great idea; my feet are sore now.  Guess I'll keep wearing my new shoes!

ThyPeace, ended up with a lot of steps today between that and taking hte subway downtown and then going to a memorial... and then walking to dinner. 


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Started this on Sunday, so "yesterday" is Saturday:

Ooookay.  So yesterday I didn't run, but I did walk quite a bit.  StepBet and all, and though I usually plan the last day of the StepBet week as a rest, in this case I messed up a day early in the week and didn't reach my goal by all of 200 steps.  (My FitBit was counting a manual entry that I didn't realize was there, but StepBet only uses actually-counted steps.)  So yesterday I needed to get more steps than a rest day.  I still wanted it to be low-key, though, so I just did extra walking at various times throughout the day.  The longest one was the walk back home from Starbucks holding a cup of coffee; obviously not a strenuous workout, though I seem to walk faster than many people these days.
  Much of the rest of the day was things like grocery shopping and going to the musical at DD's middle school.  She has lots of friends who are in the show and wanted to see them all.

Got a decent night's sleep and then got up pretty early (for a Sunday) today.  I was out to start my run by 8:15.  There was an 8k race near my house today, so I saw those runners.  DH and I had talked about running it, but I really wanted the slower, easier pace of my own stuff.  The 10k two weeks ago was plenty of racing for me for the moment.  So I walked along and watched the runners who passed me.  Some of them were really fast.  Many of them after that didn't look fast, but were still running faster than I can run.  When I got to my usual spot to transition to running, there was an older man next to me, and I paced him for a bit.  Turns out he was faster than me, too, and I let him go on at his own pace.  I turned off from their course soon enough anyway, only to cross it a block or so further along.  Once I'd done that, I was free and clear and running with only the usual collection of other runners, dog walkers, people with kids, and occasional bikers. 

It takes a long time to go ten miles when you move at my pace.  (13:39 today, alternating running and walking as usual.)  A really long time.  You have time to look at things.  There's a cherry tree on the bank of the creek that parallels the path.  When I first ran along there, it was a dark octopus, all twisted old branches hanging over the water brooding, waiting.  The very next time I went by, it was bathed in white blossoms.  Still ancient and mysterious, but oh so beautiful.  This time, it was full of green new leaves, a cheerful, whimsical state for a tree of any age.  And such was much of the day.  There was the old man with the frightened, aggressive German Shepherd.  He was a strong owner and managed things well, but I could see the worry in his eyes.  He did not want his dog doing damage and there was too risk for his likes.  And there was mud, of course.  It's rained a lot in the last few days and the mud is everywhere.  Particularly under the underpasses.  I met a woman with two kids in a jogging stroller going the other way in one of them.  I climbed up onto the stone ledge and walked along and left her the driest -- not very dry -- part of the path.

Some short eternity later, perhaps an hour, I was still running.  And walking, of course.  I passed a new pond that I'd only seen once before.  There was a turtle on a log last week.  This week there were three of them in various spots.  I came to a fork where, the previous week, DH and I had debated the correct path.  I tried the other way this time and learned that yes, the path we want to take does cross that fork.  It's just up on a train trellis about 40 feet above where I was.  So I ran back the other way.  I have to admit that that was kind of the end of my energy.  I kept going, of course, but not nearly as fast nor structured.  I kept finding myself walking and would pick up running again, only to find myself walking some more.  This was at about mile 7.5, which was the distance I had been doing regularly before the 10k, so I guess it's not too much of a surprise.

I wasn't thirsty -- it was relatively cool here today, and there are two water fountains on the path.  I took advantage of both of them, though I didn't really feel as though I needed the second drink.  That was five miles from the end, though, so I knew I'd best get something to drink while I could.  And it reminds me again that as it gets hotter, I'm going to have to start carrying water if I keep these distances. 

Here's where I started typing again on Monday.  Now "yesterday" is Sunday.

But after that detour, I just started dragging.  I walked a lot more.  There was an uphill area where I walked almost the whole way, and then an odd jog that has no reason except following the half marathon course.  I did it, but without enthusiasm.  And the rest of the path on that long, straight trainbed, I alternated walking with a painful run that really made me notice how sore my feet had gotten.  I eventually even put my jacket back on, the one that had been tied around my waist for more than an hour, because I wasn't generating enough heat to leave it off.

But I kept going.  I have to admit that I'm not sure I was running entirely straight by then.  I had been hungry an hour before.  By this time, I didn't feel hunger any more.  Just incredibly tired.  And my feet hurt.

Eventually, after what felt like forever and was probably 20 minutes, I made it into the little park that will eventually be the end of the race.  There is a Papa John's that is literally right where I think the finish line will be.  I texted DH and told him that on race day, if I finish, I am totally having pizza.  A lot of it.  That's sometime in the future, though.  On Sunday, I just kept going.  The last mile or so, from the finish line to home, I just existed through.  Ran, walked, ran, walked.  Picked up a little as I turned into my neighborhood, then just staggered home.

There was nothing pretty about the last third of that run.  Nothing graceful or nice or anything.  It was sheer just-keep-moving.  Climbing the stairs to the house took all the energy I had left.


And then I walked into the house.  Did I mention I'd been getting texts?  Oh yes, various ones.  See, DD was supposed to have a group over from her youth group that morning, and they were supposed to start at 11.  So DD had made Rice Krispies treats and lit a bunch of candles, and DH had vacuumed and swept.  They were all set... and then they found out it was cancelled.  When I walked in 5 minutes later, DD was standing with a plate, a Rice Krispies treat on it, smiling at me.  "Mama, the group is cancelled.  Do you want a Rice Krispies treat?"

I gotta tell you, even if this had been my most important Whole30 ever (whatever that is), I would have broken it for that.  She must have been so disappointed that her friends weren't coming over, and yet she didn't show any of it and instead was offering me a treat.  I love that kid.  And the Rice Krispies treat?  She made them, but I added the vanilla.  They were excellent.  I loved every bite.


ThyPeace, I had two.

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A quick midweek update.  This week's recovery has been almost as hard as recovering from the 10k.  I wasn't as sore, true, but still sore.  And the tiredness and hunger were very similar.  I walked more than I ran on Monday, ran more than I walked yesterday, and this morning had to cut the whole thing short by a mile because of a late start to the day.  Still, I think I'm doing okay.  I am moving consistently.  And still not getting much strength work.  Nonetheless, I feel stronger than I did a few months ago, so go figure.  

I have also been very busy because of a combination of things that have come together to create a bit of a complicated week for DD.  Last week, her brother (my ex's child) turned out to have lice.  He has long hair and was thoroughly infested.  So when DD when back to their house, she of course immediately got lice.  My ex spend 7 hours on a Friday treating all of them and their stuff.  I've been the treater on more than one occasion (lice are endemic in the local schools, so every family deals with it), and it is not any fun at all.  DD's hair is as long as it's ever been, too, making the whole thing harder.  My hair is also long, so I had to be checked as well.  Luckily, none on my head, though it itches every time I think about it.  In addition, it was the weekend for the school musical.  DD was not in it, but wanted to see it every night.  She missed it on lice treatment night, but saw it on Thursday evening and Saturday afternoon.

All this is important because the end of 8th grade is also "pile on the work so you know what high school feels like!" time.  She was supposed to present her debate on May 4, but her English teacher had a brain anyeurism (yes, really) and that delayed things significantly.  It ended up being a week later.  And the math assessment was last Thursday.  She didn't finish it in class, didn't mention it on Thursday, and then blew it off ("But Mama, they said on announcements that it was a no homework weekend!") until Monday.  Then there was the science teacher, who was out sick much of last week and so the science materials didn't get presented on time but the test was still scheduled for Wednesday, so finish up the study packet, please.  And the history teacher?  Out last week because of Outdoor Education with the 6th graders.  So the essay on the start of the Civil War was also delayed and ended up due... Tuesday.

So once she finished spending her weekend relaxing, there was an enormous amount of work to do.  And on top of that, she's in the middle of a puberty growth spurt and her ADHD med levels are totally out of whack.  To say that it has been a tough couple of days is an understatement.  And because of the school she goes to, parental involvement is not only expected, but basically required to get stuff done.  At least with my kid; I'm sure there is a minority who can handle all this stuff on their own.  

In any case, she was up -- and I was helping -- with homework until after 10pm on Monday night (bedtime is usually 9:30).  That night she fell asleep with her clothes on and her teeth unbrushed, though I did braid her hair and make her take her night time (migraine prevention) meds.  Tuesday night she was up until 11:15; I made her take a much-needed shower.  By then, all the homework was done except a page of math that I hope took five minutes in study hall.  She worked really hard.

And -- she has now really gotten into the jogging after school thing because she wants to beat me at step counts.  So both days her breaks were time to run around the "block," which is about a half mile.  Yesterday she went four times.  I just grinned.  Lots of steps and even better, lots of exercise.  Today I ordered her the new FitBit.  (She decided coral was a fine color rather than rose gold.)  I'm not so happy that she spent the weekend not working on stuff and that she never mentioned the struggle with the math assessment until Monday.  But I'm pleased with how hard she worked to get it all done once she knew she had to.

ThyPeace, and yes, we are adjusting the meds in the middle of all this.


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This is going to be another long post.  You've been warned.  Not that there's anyone actually reading, but hey, it brightens my day to write, so I'm going to assume there's a tremendous audience of interested readers out there.

Okay.  So that last update had almost nothing to do with learning to run.  Sorry about that.  Last Friday was a nice little run.  I'd walked with DH on Thursday, so in spite of being tired from the homework marathons (DD had two more that week, the poor thing), my legs were pretty fresh.  I'd been thinking about the run-walk ratio of my workouts, and decided that it would be a good idea to try to run some very steady distances as well as doing faster runs with alternating walks.  It took a lot to slow down enough to be able to run the whole time on Friday, but I did it.  And felt pretty refreshed at the end, actually.  I walked with DH partway to the subway later in the morning just for the fun of it -- and because we were seeing Guardians of the Galaxy in the evening, so I knew there would be no walking then.

Saturday, in prep for a long run and because it was rainy, I did almost nothing.  It was delightful, though I didn't get enough sleep.  I have a feeling that was from lack of carbs the previous few days.  "Tiger blood" is great when you want it, but the lack of sleep that goes with it can be a pain sometimes.  

Now, for a bit of the "Learning how to run" stuff.  For my long run on Sunday, I did some prep on Saturday.  I planned to go about a mile further than the previous week and start testing hydration and fueling options.  I had read that one should have fuel for any run longer than about 1:15, and I'm doing double that at this point.  I also knew, from the end of the run last week, that I was both out of fuel and dehydrated by the time I was done.  I did some research online and learned (unsurprisingly) that every hydration option has its own proponents.  I also learned that the CamelBak-type backpacks are usually for runs longer than I'm planning to do right now, so I eliminated that choice.  We stopped at the running store on Saturday afternoon and I tested all their solutions for carrying stuff.  Nathan products are quite nice.  I tried their vests, belts, and hand-held bottles, and ended up with this:  https://www.nathansports.com/peak-hydration-waist-pak-4873n-1.

The diagonal slant of the bottle makes it easy to take out while moving.  Even better, its placement is right in the small of the back where I have been carrying my ancient flip phone ever since I started running.  It feels pretty much exactly like having my phone and a jacket tied around my waist, which is something I've been doing for ever.  I put plain water in the bottle -- hydration done.  There are two water fountains on the trail, so I figured I wouldn't need to actually refill the water bottle until the second one, which is at about the halfway point for my run.  

For fuel, I rolled five dates in a mixture of sodium and potassium chloride, which I have been adding to my water when I get home for some time.  Actually, I just dumped the salts in the bag and rolled the dates around in it, so there was extra salt in the bottom just in case.  I was glad I'd done that.  I also added some unsweetened baking chocolate pieces, just to see what they'd do.

I had all of that stuff ready to go on Saturday evening, and also set up the coffee pot so I could try the coffee-an-hour-before thing.  Sure enough, it cleared me out nicely.  Next time I just need to remember to dump out the old coffee so that the pot doesn't overflow.  That created a bit of a delay in getting out the door, as did DH pulling me back down to cuddle for a half hour longer.  Not that I object to cuddling!  I just nearly didn't get up again to actually run.

So... an hour later than I'd intended, out the door I went.  Nice day for a run -- 60 degrees, sunny, just a light breeze.  I walked for the first half mile as always, and then started running.  I noticed that I felt good.  So I kept running.  At 15 minutes of running, I forced myself to talk a two minute walk break, then ran again.  I did that five times total, with the walk breaks varying depending on how I felt and what else I was doing.  The first one, I just walked.  The second one, it being 30 minutes into the run, I had water, a salted date, and a piece of chocolate.  (I'd read that was about where I needed to start fueling.)  It tasted great!  It took a bit for the whole thing to settle in my stomach; I think I drank a little too much water.  Sip, not gulp....

The third time, I stopped at the port-a-potty (note to self, coffee is a liquid).  That's also where the first water fountain is.  And wait a minute, it's not working!  Doh.  This is going to be a problem if the second one is also not working.  In the meantime, I had a drink.  And a bit of the salts on my finger, because you know what?  SALT.  After that, I don't recall exactly what I did, but I had a few sips of water every time I walked and had a date every other time.  

Because I was running a lot, I noticed that it hurts to run.  Specifically, oh my aching right hip!  This happened at the 10k as well, and I have since been practicing running in a way that doesn't hurt.  Basically, that means pushing first my chest and then my hips forward and staying that way.  I tend to lose concentration and hunch over when I'm not thinking about it, though, and then it hurts again.  I probably should have slowed down early in my run yesterday so that I could get that right.  It was a day when I really had a hard time going slowly.  And in fact, for some of those 15-minute runs, I was playing with for-me-fast paces.  Not actually fast, mind you, but trying really hard to focus on "easy" rather than "slow," because some of the faster running isn't actually all that hard any more.  For short distances, anyway.  I should play with that more on my shorter runs...

Anyway, I eventually remembered how to run so as not to hurt my hip.  And I noticed that if I paused to stretch, things felt a whole lot better too.  So for the last two hours or so, I stopped maybe four times to stretch my hamstrings, calves, and hips.  I tried not to stretch my Achilles much, as I know that'll lead to soreness afterwards.  

With all that, I didn't get tired nearly as early as I usually do.  Instead of it being around mile 7 or 8, I would say I was feeling it more like mile 10.5.  By then, my feet were hurting, and the rest of me was pretty wiped out.  I was also out of dates and wishing for more, so I think a little more fuel might have helped.  I know for sure, though, that the water (slow sips, not gulps), salt, and dates helped.  The chocolate?  Meh, probably not.  It tasted okay, but I think I agree with the general idea that it isn't what I need for a run of this length.  I was craving protein by the end, but I'm not sure how that would sit in my stomach.  Maybe next time I'll try a couple of boiled eggs instead of the chocolate.  I'm resisting pureed sweet potato and things like that because pureed foods tend to mess with my digestion some.  

Edited to add:  After the run, I had several ounces of chicken and, though I'd intended something else, DH had bought a bag of cherries as a Mother's Day treat.  I had those.  They were fantastic.  Had a regular lunch about an hour after that, and felt fine in terms of food the rest of the day.  Even though my FitBit says I burned 1,500 calories.  Which seems unlikely, but who knows.

So.... after all that (yes, this is another too long post), I was out for 2:39 and went 11.6 miles.  That's a pace of 13:42, so almost exactly the same as the pace last week.  Hmmm.  That really doesn't make sense.  Oh, wait.  I blew it on my pace calculation last week.  Not sure how, but last week it was 14:22, not 13:39. 

So this week was indeed faster, which is what it felt like.  By the end, though, I was staggeringly tired, about like I was last week.  And because I was going faster and the dehydration and lack of fuel weren't limiting me, I also get to learn what the next limits are.  I need to think harder about my shoes and socks, because I have blisters in a couple of places (someone suggested turning socks inside out, which will definitely help with one of the blisters) and my left ankle is swollen on the inside, just behind the ankle bone.  From my Googling, it appears that there is a tendon there that didn't like the the increased distances I've been doing. Or possibly it doesn't like the new shoes.  I hobbled around a lot yesterday afternoon.

I woke up at 4am with aching everywhere -- just a little from the ankle, a lot more from my right knee and hip.  Aching enough that for the first time, I got up and took ibuprofen.  This morning, I walked and thought about running, but since there was still ibuprofen in my system, I decided not to, in case I was genuinely injured rather than just sore.  After it wore off, I didn't return to the same level of sore, which is encouraging. 

My ankle is still swollen, though.  I think this means that I am going to stay at this distance for a few weeks and try to build stamina.  I may also try using my old shoes and see if that helps my ankle.  Sigh.  I really thought I'd found a good shoe solution.  I may have to take my shoes and feet back to the running shoe store and hand myself over to the more experienced buyers to see what they can figure out. 

ThyPeace, if I were crazy, which I may be, I'd do some sprints on a track tomorrow.  You know.  Just to see how fast I can actually go.  Even if I am crazy, though, I won't have time in the morning to get to a measured track.  So that will have to wait for some other crazy time.

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It's Wednesday.  I did not do sprints yesterday, but I did run.  Based on how my ankle feels now, it probably wasn't a good choice to run, though it didn't hurt at the time.  So I'm going to try to walk the rest of this week.  Sunday is a trip to Hershey Park with DD's youth group, so no long run this week.  That's probably a good idea.  I'm going to refer to the "after increasing distance for three weeks, reduce the mileage for a week" advice that I read in one of my running books and claim that I planned this all along.  Sigh.  I hope that's long enough to heal.  

And in other news, I need to re-restart my Whole30.  I made it to Saturday and then the Mother's Day treats started arriving.  

ThyPeace, glum.  The entire goal is NOT to get injured.

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It's Monday, still no running.  My ankle still aches.  I've been doing more reading on the Internet and none of it is encouraging.  I think I have injured my tibialis posterior tendon.  And if so, the Interwebs say I need to consult a doctor or risk permanent damage.  Yay.  So now I guess I need to call my doctor's office and find an orthopedic guy who specializes in ankles.  Because in my area, they specialize that far.  

ThyPeace, pretty sure I know what practice I'll end up at.  They're a few blocks from my office.  I would usually walk it, in fact.  Sigh.

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