Saturday, May 27, 2017

May Runfessions

It is Runfession time and boy do I need this!

 I am linking up with Marcia's Runfessions to get this stuff off my chest πŸ’ž

May has been challenging.

I trained pretty well in March and April and I was feeling pretty strong on shorter runs, but May has felt like a setback. I unintentionally hopped on the struggle bus and the driver won't stop to let me off. My legs just want to walk.  I like to hit the button on my Garmin and go until I hit the desired mileage, but lately I find myself praying for a car to be coming when I cross a street, so I have a reason to stand still for a second! JUST a second...hahaha, a few times a second turned into 20 or 30 seconds, three or four times during a run 😜 I have no idea what is going on, but I am trying to  nip it in theeeee budd.

I am still feeling super weak on hills! Some mornings I can barely make myself gooooo. I runfess, I had hoped once I got my blood pressure under control and adjusted to my meds I would be zooming uphill once again, but it just isn't feeling easier.
After a few months of solid training aren't you supposed to feel stronger?! I just feel is annoying.
My next half has 1230 feet of elevation again LOL 😏 I have no delusions of running a speedy half marathon next month.

My streak of obnoxious race photo is going strong this year.

This was from the Petersburg Half I wrote about in my last post. How do I always managed to be captured looking CRAY - cray!?

How about this beauty!? This was towards the end of  a hilly half marathon I ran in February. I had a rough day, I was so over hills...I remember looking down, so I could not see the next one coming. The thought of any more uphill put me in overload! LOL I did not need this moment captured.

For the life of me, I can not take a decent race pic!

At my PR 10K in April I wasn't even in the pics. I also did not make the cut at Park to Park Half marathon...Argh...

At the Monument Ave 10K I was captured in heat decision to not wear a visor was killing me...terrible sun glare.

At least a photographer grabbed me at the finish line, but I still wasn't buying one, because every other pic looks like the one on the left! and marathonfoto is expensive. Maybe one day I will get an actual event pic that is good lol

And lastly, my motivation to get out and move this month had nothing to do with fitness goals. The desire to enjoy a few cake pops a week has been the driving motivation to get out and run.

What is motivating you lately?! 
What do you need to get off your chest this month?!

Keep on rocking!! 

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Petersburg 2017

Throwing back this week to share my Petersburg Half Marathon experience.

 This link was created to support active women. 
        Click HERE to see complete rules.
I am linking up with my awesome running gal pals Holly  and Tricia  Share your adventures and join the link up with Holly @ hohoruns and Tricia@ MissSippiPiddlin  

I ran this race April 22nd.

Throughout March, I was training with a dual purpose. Train for the Monument Ave 10K  and my half marathons in April. My track sessions and short runs went pretty well, my distance runs not so much, but I still felt fairly confident I could run decent races.

Saturday the 22nd I woke up and saw 72 degrees on my ceiling. I have a sensor on the side of the house that feeds temperature info to my clock :) I worried about my A goals for the race.

A goals:
run the whole darn thing without intervals
finish under 2:15 (10:15ish pace)

I have been using intervals to run distance for over a year now due to the issues with my feet...very sore toes, and pain in the ball of my foot. Since I had not done my long runs in March my feet were feeeling a little less tender. I had hoped to try to run a half just to see if my feet could/would hold up.

B goals:
run as long as I can without pain/switch to intervals if needed
finish under 2:18 (10:30ish pace)

My forever C goal:
don't pass out
don't get upset about a time, it is just running
feel proud, you just ran 13 freaking miles

I went downstairs, fulfilled my morning cat duties, ate some peanut butter nabs, drank a little ice tea and 24 oz. of water w/Nuun stood on the porch feeling how sticky and hot it was, and realized it was a C goal kind of day.
That led to the decision to rely on course hydration support, I really didn't feel like wearing my pack or carrying my handheld unless I really felt there was a legitimate shot to push myself; given the heat that was not realistic.
I also started taking a beta blocker for my blood pressure four days before this race. The Cardiologist told me not to over exert myself until I adjusted to the meds and to be kind to my heart in the heat, "Walk more. Avoid big spikes in your heart rate."   The whole high blood pressure was still new to me...I was a little nervous.

It is about a 35 minute drive and I arrived about 40 minutes prior to the 7 a.m. start time. I had to pick up my bib, the line was crazy!! It was 10 minutes to start time, before my bib and race shirt were in hand.  I bolted to the car to toss my shirt, and bolted back to the port a potty. I was in the POP listening to the National Anthem.
I caught the crowd moving across the line, it was much more crowded than previous years. This event has grown for sure.
I didn't even have time to think about how to set my watch (intervals or regular) I just started running.
There is a long incline uphill that lasts awhile close to mile two, it's only 50 feet up but it feels tough in the heat. As soon as I crested, I realized I wouldn't be running this thing without walking due to humidity, today wasn't going to be the day I found out if my feet could do it.
The third mile you enter Battlefield Park and it is rolling hills until mile 7 or so. The course as a whole has 426 feet of elevation gain, just enough to be a really fun challenge on a nice day...
I stopped my Garmin and scrolled to find my 4:1 ratio and hit start.
During the park section it became more humid and finally started spitting rain. A few times, it poured, but it never relieved the humidity, it just felt stagnate out. It would rain a few minutes, stop, rain again, stop... mile 7 is the last time I remember feeling any rain. I forgot to put my phone in ziploc and it got soaked! I took it out during the battlefield section to snap a few pics and all I could see was fuzz...
 Civil war doing a reenactment during the race - pics from my wet phone 

After it rained the sun came out strong for a few miles. I was super thankful the course had Gatorade at almost every stop! At mile 8, I passed a down runner who was being worked on, which bummed me out.
I dumped water over my head a few times trying to cool down at the later stages of the race. At the 10 mile marker I tried to dig a little deeper and pick up my pace, the energy stores were running low. I ate a pack of honey stinger chews running through the battlefield section, but I only had one pack.
Trying to run a little harder seemed to make me walk 10 x's slower doing my intervals.
I pushed on.
That last mile felt long! I told myself to relax, you are almost done, you feel fabulous (LOL), the Berry Gatorade at the last stop tasted wonderful,  stop worrying about your time, etc...
My brain was telling me: you are way too hot, this isn't fun, I wish this had been a 10 mile race, your feet hurt. When I realized I had about five minutes to go, I shut the brain down and smiled. I had to override all that crap and tell myself...enjoy it, you just ran 13 miles in the heat, and you are fine, always a win!
 I wondered if my phone would ever be normal again! 

I crossed the line and a volunteer tried to put the ginormous medal on me. I laughed and said I'll carry that! LOL Too tired to wear it. The medal was so big it made me smile. Every year it gets more over the top and I love it.

Volunteers were putting cans of ice cold Miller Lite in a coozie and handing them to finishers. Nice :) I took it and enjoyed every drop.

I knew from the clock time I had not maintained anything close to what I hoped, and I admit I was kind of bummed for awhile, but by the time I drove home and showered I was feeling better about the whole thing.
My official time 2:22:17 (a 10:55ish avg)

Link to my finishers video 

I was glad my average heart rate was nice and low, I got a red tech shirt, and I ran 13 miles, so all in all, it really wasn't a bad day at all :)

Thanks for stopping by! I hope you have a great week :)

Anyone have a ceiling temp clock?
What do you think of the mega medal?! Do you run a race where you receive a mega medal?
Ever soak your phone?

Monday, May 15, 2017

In A Nutshell

What I've been doing since my last blog!
      This link was created to support active women. 
        Click HERE to see complete rules.

I am linking up with my awesome running gal pals Holly  and Tricia  Share your adventures and join the link up with Holly @ hohoruns and Tricia@ MissSippiPiddlin  

I cannot believe I haven't blogged since January. I never thought I would go away that long, but life happens...

Here is the condensed version of catch up from January! Ummmm, I am still trying to figure out my 'new year" goals LOL I made need to just wing it at this point, huh?!

January feels soooo long ago!

It was December before I finally acknowledged to myself  I was injured again...stupid left calf...I took time off throughout November, December, and January trying to heal. I took off some long stretches, but I also ran some, so yep, I probably delayed healing some, but I didn't miss out on planned events and I did eventually heal. I don't advocate this, I am just being honest. I couldn't emotionally deal with being out completely.

January I was struggling with how I felt on runs big time. I gained a few pounds, and I just felt so weak. It was odd, usually in the winter I run happy and strong! I was puzzled, but I wrote it off as lack of consistency.

February was tortuous! This was the biggest loss of fitness feeling I ever experienced. I felt weak run after run, I began to wonder what else was wrong; but I would have a fun run every so often and it would keep me going. I spent all of February wanting to work on pace and incorporate speed workouts, but it was taking everything I had just to make my body go, survival running was all I had!

February 26th I ran the Sentara Colonial Half at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, VA

It was a tough run. Very hilly and I was coming into it with no long runs the whole month and this incredible weak feeling.  I  thought when I signed up for this race months before, it may be my shot to run a super strong race but it didn't work out that way. I just barely held on and finished.
2:20:12 and I was exhausted when it was over.

It ticked me off I felt so out of shape, and I was determined to get back to regular training in hopes of some good races before summer.

March I started doing track workouts and regular training miles. I was starting to finally feel better on the shorter runs and see some progress with my pace! However, I still struggled with the weakness on long runs and hills.  Even though I bailed on most of my long runs because I felt so weak, I ran 103 miles in March, hoping to make some noise in April and run a few fast races, but I still wasn't feeling 100%.

The 1st weekend of April I ran the Monument Ave 10K  ~ it was hot that day! I ran a 58:39 and it was hard fought. I felt rough most of the run. I was thrilled to meet my B goal and sub 60 a 10K (it had been a long time!) but I missed my A goal of a PR. I had a lot of issues after this race...a huge blister, very sore feet and toes, I was bummed it took so much out of me.
Robyn and me :) 

I met up with Meagan and it lifted my spirits after Monument Ave
The second weekend in April, I decided I had trained better than my Monument Ave time, so I hauled my rear to Urbanna, VA to run another 10K. 
I pulled off a PR 56:53 and felt content!

I missed another chance to do a long run that weekend, but I was glad I did it. I considered doing a slow long run the next day, but legs were shot. 

After this race I decided to finally deal with an issue my eye doctor had been giving me a hard time about the past few blood pressure. I've been getting high readings for quite awhile, and an increase in busted blood vessels and spots behind my eyes. He had a come to Jesus meeting with me. I told him my family doctor kind of excused the issue each time I mentioned his concern and he said... time to see a new Doc. I did, and ended up in Cardiologists office within a few days.
To make a long story short, I had lots of tests: a few EKG's, a CT scan of my heart, an echo cardiogram, all kinds of blood tests...and while I do have an enlarged heart, particularly in the left chamber, from untreated high blood pressure, I do not have any blockages. The Cardiologists said he wanted me to cut out my coffee, and keep exercising :) I am on two new medications and I am happy to report minimal side effects and a huge positive impact on my blood pressure :) My poor 'ol heart was working too hard for too long.
The Cardiologist said it was possible I might start to feel stronger once I adjusted to the medication, but so far distance runs have remained a challenge. I feel pretty weak.

I finished April with two half marathons. I was so sad my races ended up being in very hot humid conditions.  Spring in VA can be a toss up with weather, but usually we have some decent mornings...not so much this year. 

April 22nd  I ran Petersburg Half marathon in 2:22:17- it was all about survival in the elements.

April 29th, it was hot again and I ran Park to Park Half Marathon 2:20:34

One goal I did set for myself for 2017, run 6 half marathons. I have a good chance of completing that mission! I've already checked off three...not the way I hoped, but they are done, and maybe one of these days I will get around to writing some race recaps to share my experiences.

Another goal was to make something fabulous happen at age 50. Many of you know, I did train an finish my first marathon at age 50, and now I have set a 10K PR!!

How are you doing on 2017 goals? 
Tell about a goal you set for yourself so I can cheer for you :) 

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Frostbite 15K


I ran the Frostbite 15K Sunday January 22nd, which was also my son's birthday!!  It wasn't a frost fest this year. Quite the opposite. Humid, drizzling, and gray skies as far as the eye could see, but great running weather minus a few wind gusts.

The Frostbite is put on by the Richmond Road Runners: the course is spot on, chip timed, no medals, finishers shirt, pizza after the race, $$ cheap entry, starts at 9 a.m. sharp.
428 finishers this year.
They usually post finisher's video with the results, but so far my video window remains blank :(  Update! It is not blank anymore...type 35 (bib #) if you want to see me cross the line.

 good shirt this year - it is not a tech shirt, but it is a lightweight cotton. 

I woke up race morning and hit the snooze button a few times. I finally dragged myself downstairs about 6:45 a.m., drank a cup of coffee, took care of cat duties, ate a few bites of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and about 8 pistachios, then got dressed and drove a half hour to the start line.
I had 10 minutes when I arrived, did the standard porta potty stop and boooom! Off and running...

I made 10 min. miles my goal.
I have been having a hard time sustaining this pace for any length of time, so it seemed like the right goal so I could challenge myself and feel accomplished.

Rain prep:
(and it never rained LOL)
  • Wear my brooks vest, it keeps me feeling dry, but air can circulate
  • phone in ziploc in my running belt
  • visor keeps rain out of my eyes
  • feetures socks - mid weight (because they don't slide one me when wet)
  • Leave the orthotics at home (they feel awful when wet) I have never run more than a few miles w/o them! 

I took off and felt exuberant and thankful it was not raining hard (as predicted), so I wore my headphones, enjoyed my music and had one Nuun tablet in my handheld.

Word of  the day...consistent. I am not good at running a steady pace, so I tried to find that goal pace and just stay at it.

I wondered when my lack of training would show itself.  I have struggled the past two months not feeling well, the Panama City Beach half marathon Dec. 3rd, was the last time I actually covered 9 miles.

I probably should have used intervals due to my lack of running the last few months, but the reason I signed up for this is because I wanted to run every step of a race. My feet can not handle the half marathon distance anymore with out intervals, and while I appreciate I can run a half that way, I miss being able to take off and run without pausing.

The first few miles I settled into my pace, enjoyed the fact it wasn't raining, hummed along to my playlist, enjoyed running in a "new" area, thought about trying to pick up the pace about midway, and appreciated how the racing atmosphere helped me to dig a little deeper.

I told myself if I was feeling okay after four miles I would try to pick up the pace, and I did!

BUT, I realized I was going to burn out, my energy was tanking fast! Around mile five I reached for my pack of honey stingers chews in my vest and realized I forgot them! My Nuun was gone too.  I asked for Gatorade at two water stops to fill up my handheld but they only had water...booooo! I could have used a little energy boost.

I had been around the same three ladies almost the whole race. My race plan became hang with the group; and up and down the hills we went. Nothing crazy huge, but it sure isn't a flat course!

I felt a few twinges of pain in the ball of my feet but nothing awful, and then right at mile eight, the pressure started. It kind of feels like someone is standing on my foot pressing down, like I am being squished and I am going to blow toes two and three right off. It was all in my right foot, which has become my nemesis foot. Thankfully, my left foot was behaving so I was trying to wiggle my toes back and forth, and land a little different to see if I could relieve the pressure. I am in the last freaking mile feeling wonky from the pain, and I had to give in and walk. Stupid foot felt like fire...I walked 90 seconds. It felt like an eternity! I tried to run as hard as I could to make up the time, but my last mile would end being my slowest :(
I was so close to running every step of the race!

At mile marker nine I started pushing hard, I finished as strong as I could.  My right foot was throbbing, but the walking calmed it enough so I could rally a little at the end.

My official time 1:33:03 It is my slowest 15K to date, but I am proud of my time.  I am really coming to the terms with the impact this foot condition has on my running, and by the time I drove home I was completely over fact I had to take the walk break. Who knows??! I could be slower every year from here on out! What matters to me most, is that I remain in some kind of shape that allows me to cover the miles.

I was tickled I was actually consistent! Okay, truth be told, I got SUPER lucky I had some ladies around me who are better at pacing than I!!

A few more insights from this race I will carry with me:
  • I need to remember my fuel when trying to run a challenging pace LOL Duh!! I can't believe I left my honey stingers on the table. 
  • Set expectations for where you are currently at.
  • Based on my runs the past two months, this is a strong run. 
  • I still get discouraged at times over the damage in my feet but I will not give up. 
  • Took another huge step in the letting go process...I will not beat myself up over, or wish for, what I "used" to be able to do! 
  • Don't sweat the small stuff. It is just running. 
  • My feet seem to have about an eight mile limit for steady runs. I made this discovery during marathon training and even with my lower mileage the past few months, my feet gave up and the pain kicked in at about the same point. I should use intervals for anything longer than 8 miles, but I just got stubborn and wanted to test those limits again. 
  • I felt very accomplished with my effort and there is no way I would have pushed myself this hard on a training run.
Monday, my legs had that appropriate soreness that reminds me I gave it a good effort, and my tootsies were feeling better as the day wore on, so overall it was a very gratifying race.

My next racing adventure is a half marathon towards the end of February. My main mission right now is to get some kind of routine going and rebuild my endurance!

Thanks for reading my recap and sharing my journey with me  :)

Have you raced the 15K distance recently? 
Are you good at keeping the pace consistent? 
Any February plans? 

A Little Late To The Party!

Summing up last week in pictures and a few words! 
I am coming to the party really late!! This week is half way over LOL  

I am linking up with my awesome running gal pals Holly  and Tricia 

Share your adventures and join the link up with Holly @ hohoruns and Tricia@ MissSippiPiddlin  

Monday  - weight lifting and leg lifts at the gym - I came home and planked, it was my last day of my planking challenge - 5 minutes a day for a week,  I am so over planking!

Tuesday - five early morning miles (51:49) - I was sweating, sooooooo overdressed and I didn't match at all. Who cares, no one seeeeeeess me?! πŸ˜† Botched picture attempt πŸ‘€

Wednesday - 7.19 miles (34:40) to break in my new bike seat. I think it is the answer ❤ I don't know if you remember😒 but a few weeks ago I was chafed raw - I need to test it on a long ride, but this seat felt so much better!

Thursday - Ran 3.60 early morning miles (37:22) crisp, quiet, and I actually stretched after like I should!

Friday - Bagheera (my cat) was on a step in front of me and I didn't see her- I tried to not squash her with all my weight when she screeched and I tumbled down the steps. I reached up and grabbed the rail to stop myself, my shoulder was hurting and I wasn't able to lift all weekend, but everything is else is a - okay now! AT least there wasn't blood LOL 
I used all my morning time falling. I ran 1.6 miles (16:36) around the block to loosened up my right side which took the brunt of the fall. 

Saturday - took my son out for his 27th birthday and walked off the cheesecake later. 6 walking (1:32:17)  miles. My shoulder was still throbbing at this point. 
Picked up my bib and shirt for Sunday! 
Sunday - Here is my blooper race pic - hubby was trying to make me smile πŸ˜„ Real smile pic for the recap which I will post very soon. 
Hey, I ran in tank top for the freaking Frostbite 15K LOL I kept my vest on for the race because I was anticipating rain, that never came! 

I'll be stepping away from writing blogs for a bit, but I'll keep in touch through my Instagram page! 

I always debate if I should make an official announcement...or just fade away into the sunset, but as a blogger I feel attached to my online connections and want to acknowledge that your support, advice, and encouragement are important to me.
I mean if I lived next door and actually liked you I would tell you I was putting my house on the market, right. I would not just pack up and disappear without saying good bye. 
I have certain times of the year that are busier than others, the next few months are crunch time and I have a lot of extra work this year!  I sit at a computer all day. Sometimes I just have zero desire to try to create a post, or stare at a screen in the evening, even if it is to read something I enjoy! 

I wrestle with posting when I don't have time to read and respond to comments. 
Sometimes I feel like I am juggling too much social media. I started a Running Over the Hill Facebook page and was going to try to build it, but I realized it isn't what I want, for now anyway.  I really want to consolidate my energies into one place. Shoot, I barely check my personal FB page, it is mostly in existence so my disabled Mom can play her Farm games as me and herself, then send gifts to herself from me. 

I am sure I can't leave the blogisphere forever, but for now I will dial my efforts in on Instagram. There are many positives there, mainly I can keep my account private and still keep in touch with my friends. 

My Instagram Karenrunsva is 99% fitness, but I will post about my cats and other fun adventures from time to time. If you want to connect on Instagram send me a message! 

My race recap will be up shortly! 
All my best, 
Karen πŸ’—

Do you have a bunch of botched photo attempts on your phone? 
Is planking really good for you?!! LOL