Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Finally Increasing Miles

I have a little over 6 weeks to my 1st half marathon this year. I'm running the Scranton marathon with a team at work. Until this week, I haven't had very high mileage weeks, or very consistent running for that matter. So I sat down last weekend and worked out the next 6+ weeks of running. (worked on getting my half & marathon medals hung up too)

This medal holder is for only marathon and half marathon medals. All my others are on a
different display. 

Last Sunday, Hill Dynamo and I ran 6 miles in the town next to us. We needed a change of scenery. It was in the high 40's which was wonderful, especially because we had wet feet by the time we were done. The sidewalks still had a lot of snow or big puddles from melted snow. We always have fun when running together, even when it sucks. I stopped for what felt like a million times because my legs and hips were bothering me.  I had to keep stretching but we got the miles done.

It was a gloomy day but the company was great. 

I took Monday as a rest day.  The mail brought me lots of goodies (the mug came last week but it's from the same blogger/Podcast, Fatman Chronicles). Check it out. It's a husband/wife team and they are fun to listen to, plus he's a Subber and it's fun to support one of our own.

So the mail lady brought my Fatman Chronicles t-shirt, which can be found on Zazzle and I was able to add my own little touch of customization; my Gasparilla stickers and Sub30 shirts, unfortunately we aren't able to make the trip to Florida for this race and my InkNBurn shirt that I plan on have #BeTheLion put on the back!


Tuesday was a 5 am day. Hill Dynamo and I met to get an early 4 miler. It's my favorite time to run, before the day starts and life gets in the way of getting the run done.  My legs were achy still from Sunday so I made some of my homemade muscle rub "Bone Juice". 

On Monday, My Musician says to me, "Oh that's a nice picture of you on your phone." I responded,  "That's our daughter. It would be pretty egotistical of me to have a picture of myself on my phone's screen." Fast forward 24 hours and I found this picture of myself in 2015 at the track, which I talked about in my last post. Well it's a picture that motivates me with my weight loss struggle, so on my phone it went. I almost always have my phone with me so a few times already, I see the pic and it helps me make smarter food choices.

Wednesday, I got up and ran at 6:30. Hill Dynamo had to work so I went alone but it was nice to sleep in a bit. I was only going to run 3 miles but then I had an emergency pit stop in the woods. Can I tell you it's difficult to find privacy this time of year with the naked trees and no ground cover! I felt much better so I ended up running 4 miles!

I'm starting to get a collection of torture devises under my desk
I looked at the forecast and decided not to get up early on Thursday to run. It was supposed to be almost 50 around 5ish. I bolted out of work at 4pm on the dot. Got home as fast as I could and found out I had to get my daughter to a friends house. So I changed fast and back out the door we went. Of course, I had to wear clothes over my running gear because she was embarrassed by my See-From-Outer-Space yellow shirt and too tight shorts. I chatted with the mom for a bit and off I went for my running date.  I broke the no-loud-music-when-running-on-the-road rule but I needed to just run hard and it drowns out the sound of my labored breathing and my brain screaming at me.

I wanted to stop so many times on this run. My lungs hurt, it was glorious. My legs hurt, but I pushed them anyway. It's not my fastest run but I haven't seen these paces out of me in a long time. It felt amazing. It was just the kind of run I needed. Look forward to getting through the Scranton half and starting to work on some targeted speed work.

I could not stop grinning after this one #BeTheLion

Friday is my rest day and I needed it.  My legs were a bit tight and sore from the night before's run.

I decided to do my long run on Saturday because of the upcoming snow storm.  It wasn't warm but it was sunny.  I felt really good going into this run.  One of my Fast Bitches does a #nowatchme, where you run by feel. I don't normally run that way but decided to try because I wanted to keep the run comfortable.  I had a goal of around 10:30 per mile and I'm pretty pleased with the overall run.

I'm always grateful for My Musician because he'll drop everything to rescue me. I was a couple miles into the run when my GI issues flared up.  I called him, he flew out the door, picked me up, took me to the gas station and then right back to exactly where he'd found me.

The last mile is all uphill and the very last hill is a tough one. I have only been able to run it a handful of times since we've lived here. This was not one of those times. I made it just under 1/2 way up and had to walk the rest.  My overall pace was still one I was really pleased with.

Views from my 7 mile long run

I'm really excited about this year's races and training cycles.  I'm cross training to try to avoid ending up injured again. Weeks like this help to really motivate me.  I can't wait to see what the spring brings.


Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Over Due Ramblings

I ran 6 miles of this 15k without my shoes

Hi there. Yes, it really is me. I know it's been awhile.  I ran a few fun races last year, ran part of a 15k without shoes, DNF in a race I always run because of severe leg pain, participated in a running series, got some cool swag, ran a couple half marathons, got to run in Annapolis along the Chesapeake Bay, lots of runs with my runner girl-Hill Dynamo, I developed dreaded PF - didn't run a bunch of races or miles at all because of it, ran my first Turkey Trot and it was the first race after recovering from PF, have slowing been working on increasing my miles and fighting winter, and I adopted a hashtag for myself!

Here's a few pics from last year. Scroll on by if you're not interested.

Sock after 6 miles running "barefoot"

one of my runs in early spring. I love running this hill! I only did the first hill that day, it's three miles to the top.  

Me and My Musician out for a rare run together

Chesapeake Bay

Medal #1 in a series of the bridges in the Bridge Run half marathon

OMG, we ran to PA.
Ok so it's only a few miles away! 

Hanging at Starbucks as part of our trip to the local half marathon expo 
Bridge Run half marathon

Bridge Run half marathon

Herald of Victory Half marathon.  Little did I know this sweet girl that I helped out the last half of the race would become one of my clients. 

I love the bling from this half

My Biggest Struggle 

Today I'm really not writing to write about my running. I'm writing to talk about a different aspect of my fitness. My weight. I went back to work in Sep 2016. I wasn't able to run much at all until January. Then in January I went back to school full time (only for a semester) but the stress of having a full time job I hated (I love where I was working, just not the job) and not running like I'm used to saw the weight creeping up.  Then I switched jobs within the company, summer hit and I was starting to have intense pain in my leg.  By July I had full blown plantar fasciitis and with the wise wisdom of my Fast Bitches group, I stopped all running. 

I am a summer runner. I love the heat and the humidity. I'm alive in the summer. It's my favorite time to run and I couldn't run a step. I was so depressed. Depression leads to no energy, Netflix binging and snacking for me. 

All excuses, I know. But now months later, I'm trying to increase my mileage for an upcoming half marathon and every step is a struggle. I feel extra weight by the fatigue of my legs and the difficulty I'm having in breathing. 

My roller coaster the last year
But the worst is how I physically feel all day. It doesn't matter how well I eat, I'm constantly feeling full and bloated. Nothing fits me right. I'm more tired than I have ever been.  Losing weight has always come fairly easy to me. But now that I'm 45 (very shortly to be turning 46) losing weight does not come easy. I go down three pounds and back up 5. 

I'm currently trying to find foods that are filling, high in protein and healthy fats and fall into what I can eat. I don't eat soy, I can't eat gluten or dairy (I can eat small amounts of cheese). I have a severe sugar addiction that I'm really trying to get away from. Most days are a success but then somehow a Snickers gets into my hands and the next couple days are bad.  I try to make light of it but the truth is my self control has been the worst it's ever been.  

I'm sharing because the more people that know I'm struggling with my weight and the depression that is coming out of it, the more I'm likely to think twice before letting that Snickers have space in my life. 

And I'm sharing because I know I'm not alone in this struggle. I know others are struggling to be fit and healthy. I know we can all achieve that goal but I also believe we can't do it alone. 

I don't want to be skinny. I want to be a healthy weight, a weight that I'm comfortable in my skin, a weight that I feel good about. The 163-167 pounds that I'm fluctuating between is not the weight that makes me feel healthy and comfortable with me.  

I found this picture today.  I don't often find pictures of me I like. I was not at what I consider my goal weight but I was fit and strong.  

This is the Kirsten I want to be again.  


Brief Update

Here's a little preview of what's finally coming together, a brief training update, a little chat on our upcoming weekend of 4 rac...