Friday, November 30, 2012

Thanksgiving in South Padre

This year we decided to spend Thanksgiving at South Padre Island, Texas.  We had a wonderful week hanging out on the beach, swimming in the pool, "sleeping in", and eating out when we got the chance.

Playing in the sand

Preparing a strategy for sand castles

Someone gets tired easily

Dad found a clam shell

I love the beach!

Dolphin Watch

The octopus

Dolphins playing

Kick ass picture of a jumping dolphin

Friday, November 16, 2012

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Training Delays

Last week's training started out well.  Monday I ran sprints with Jennifer and we had an awesome workout.  Jennifer killed her usual pace and kept me chasing the rabbit.  Tuesday was an off day.  Wednesday was supposed to be a 6 mile run, and Thursday and hard threshold workout.  I decided to swap them and do the hard workout Wednesday.  I got the workout done, struggled a little to get to the fast pace dictated by my schedule but nothing unusual.

Later on Wednesday night I thought my right knee felt a little weird.  I foam rolled and figured it was just soreness.  Thursday I got up to do the 6 mile run and right away knew something was not right.  I decided to warm up really slowly and see if the tightness in my right knee (on the left side of the right knee) would work itself out.  I walked a little, ran a little.  1 mile in I headed back home.  This is not soreness, this was pain I didn't want to run through.  Not because it hurt a lot, but because it was a sign of something bad.

When I walked in a 6am, John was confused.  "Did you go running?" he asked. "Um, yeah, it didn't go well.  I came home."  John looks at me, wondering how to handle this.   Amanda at 6am without a run is not very pleasant.  "It's fine" I say, "just feeling a little off."

Thursday I iced on and off during the day, which helped a little.  But by the time I came home from work my mood was dark.  John had only to look at my face and he was scared.  "Uh... can I get you anything?  A drink???"  I had a beer and he sent Gwen to give me a big hug and tell me what a great Mommy I am.  I see through his game, but it was very nice.  After the kids were tucked in bed John approached the lion.  "Hey, what's the matter?"  "Well, my knee hurts.  Hurts in a not good way.  I'm not going to run for a few days."  "Uh OH".

So I didn't run Friday or Saturday and really by Friday evening it didn't bother me.  Friday night we went camping and I spent most of the day sitting around.  Saturday we went for a long walk and had no issues.  Sunday morning I met Jennifer for our 18 mile long run.  I felt fine for the first 4-5 miles.  We stopped to stretch a lot, but after about 6 miles I could feel that little pain in my knee again.  It was a warm, windy morning and we slowed down as we went around the lake.  By the time we got off the trail and Jennifer pulled up next to me at mile 17 she said "Your gait is off, you're limping".  Shit.  Double shit.  My feet hurt, my knee hurt.  It was ugly. 

I got home and John went out to get me 2 bags of ice.  I iced in the bath, Maddy chatting away with me for 20 minutes.  I didn't feel too bad Sunday.  I decided not to run Monday and booked a massage on Tuesday.  Monday I was sore and felt the little pain still nagging.  Tuesday's massage was just what I needed.  For about a month I had felt like my hamstrings and glutes were incredibly tight and I could not get a good stretch.  My suspicion is that the tightness in my legs is pulling the muscles around my knees into an uncomfortable position and running is aggravating it further.   The massage therapist worked my legs for almost an hour, and I was right, there were point in my legs she had to beat to release.  At least it felt like a beating.

John told me I would be stupid to run my planned 20 miler this weekend and I looked at him like he spoke another language.  NOT RUN THE LONG RUN?!?!  I sputtered for a moment "but I have a schedule, 20 miles, it's in the plan"  John kindly said "You've done the training, running this long run is only going to set you back.  Would you rather do this 20 miler, or the marathon?"  Humpf.

I didn't run Wednesday or Thursday.  I slept in *till 6:15!*.  I'm eating my way through the candy at my desk.  I'm trying to be rational.  This morning I woke up with a headache. I need to go running.  But no, I know the right thing to do is to rest and recover.  I will come back strong next week.  We are spending Thanksgiving in South Padre so I can do some short 3 mile runs and test myself out.  Since I won't have my regular routes I may feel less compelled to go longer.  I'm going to drink.  Beer, wine, margaritas.  I'm going to have pie.  Pie will heal my little knee.  I might even rub some on my knee.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Camping Fun

A few months ago I planned ahead and booked 2 weekends for the family to go camping.  The kids have backyard camped a few times and loved it.  Gwen has been asking to go "real camping" - meaning not in the backyard.  I thought if I booked 2 weekends we would have good weather for at least one.  In October we went to Colorado Bend State Park.  Bummer was that it was FREEZING cold out in hill country, the coldest weekend of the fall.  Even with the chilly temperatures the kids loved it and we had a great time.  We roasted marshmallows and I discovered that the best s'more is made with Nutella. 

We went for a very long hike to see a waterfall and the kids walked for 3 hours with little complaint - only Maddy got carried at the end.  We also learned a lot about each other.  Gwen will not use a composting toilet but she will squat out in the open and poop when she really has to go.  Mommy has a really terrible night of sleep on an air mattress and requires coffee to function as a human.  For being a princess, Maddy camps really well.  Dad can build a fire - using Mommy's trick of Doritos as a fire starter.  Jack gets really mad at Gwen when she doesn't let him lead on the trail once in a while. And socks make excellent mittens.

This weekend was camping trip #2.  This time we went to McKinney Falls State Park.  We decided we like this park better.  It was only an hour away, campsites had water and power, nicer bathrooms and they sold coffee!  Lucky for us it was also a much nicer weekend for camping, low 60/high 80.  We got to the campsite Friday at 6 and had enough time for John to build a fire, set up the tent and get dinner started before it got too dark.  Once again the kids had a great time and loved every minute of it.  ~Sigh~ while Mommy much prefers her own bed and comforts of home.


Sunday, November 4, 2012

Marathon training 2 week wrap up

Monday 10/22 - Threshold run, 7.25 total, 1:02:09, 8:34/mile avg
      warm up, 3 miles at 7:45 pace, 5 sprints, cool down
Tuesday rest day
Wednesday 5.25 miles, 50:03 total, 9:32/mile avg
Thursday took an unscheduled rest day
Friday warm up run, 2.5 miles, 21:37 total, 8:39/mile avg
Saturday Chosen Half Marathon: 13.20 miles, 1:40:54, 7:39/mile avg
Monday Rest day
Tuesday Rest day
Wednesday 6.15 miles, 58:01 total, 9:26/mile avg - with Jennifer!
Thursday 5.20miles, 46:47 min total, 9:00/mile avg - with Jennifer
        warm up, 6 x .25mile sprints in 1:41min, cool down
Friday 6.17 miles, 57:23 total, 9:18/mile avg - with Jennifer
Saturday long run 10.00 miles, 1:30:48 total, 9:05/mile avg
Sunday rest

Closed out October with 27.52 miles this week, 175.45 miles for the month and 1132.47 miles for the year to date.  Is that right?  I might need to check some math.

Chosen Half Marathon Race Report

On October 27th I ran (with Jennifer) the Chosen 1/2 Marathon in Greune, TX.  I wanted to do a half marathon before the marathon in December as a test run, to make sure that I am on track to meet my primary goal - qualifying for Boston.  This race fell around the right time and was close enough we could drive in the same day.

Jennifer picked me up at 5am, FIVE AM, and drove us down to the race.  I had picked up the packets the day before and paid a little extra for premium parking, so we were able to park close to the start and stay in the car a long as possible.  It was about 48 degrees and we spent most of the time before the race debating on what to wear - shorts or pants or crops, long sleeve or short sleeve?  We both went the warmer route but probably could have sucked it up with short sleeves or shorts.  We were right at that sweet spot of too cold to stand around waiting for the race to start but just warm enough when the sun peeks out. 

My GOAL was to run between 7:45 and 7:50 pace and finish in 1:42. Jennifer had looked at last year's results to see what the competition might look like.  She planted some little seeds that I might have a good chance of placing, which I hadn't really thought about.  But my goal was all about Boston, and I did NOT want to run stupid.

The 1/2 marathon started after the full marathon kicked off, at 7:15.  We ran the first mile in the dark before the first rays of light started to peek out.  I found it very hard to gauge my pace the first few miles.  I wanted to run fast to warm up, but knew the course had some rolling hills I should save my energy for.

Mile 1: 7:50
Mile 2: 7:35
Mile 3: 7:53
Mile 4: 7:35

The hills!  I do not run hills in training, there aren't many opportunities in my flat neighborhood.  The few on my regular route are more inclines than hills.  I am staying within my goal pace but it's a struggle.

Mile 5: 7:46
Mile 6: 7:47

Heading to the turn around point of the out & back course it's now light out and the road is scenic along the river.  There are camps and empty tubing spots and no cars.  I finally see the leaders making their way back and I count the women - there are at least 8 in front of me.  After I make the turn I see Jennifer and she's holding up all 10 fingers saying "10! 10!"  I know she means I'm 10th woman, which is pretty kick ass.

Mile 7: 7:39
Mile 8: 7:38

This part of the race is enjoyable, I get to see the other runners in both directions and get lots of enthusiasm from the other women out there, and get to check out what all the girls are wearing too.

Mile 9: 7:35
Mile 10: 7:51

Stupid hills on the way back are just as challenging.  I get passed by 2 women pretty quickly here and do not pass any others.  I figure there is still a chance I'll place, but I'm super happy with my performance so far and meeting my pace goals. 

Mile 11: 7: 29
Mile 12: 7:37
Mile 13: 7:25
Mile .2: 6:24

Yeah!  I cranked it out at the end and finished really strong.  My hamstrings hurt and my toes feel bruised from my shoes.  I'm going to HURT for a few days and I know I gave 100%.  My final time was 1:40:53 - knocked my goal time out and set a new PR by 4:00.  KICK ASS!

I walked around a little after the race, hobbled maybe.  They had a great food spread of Rudy's tacos, bagels, fruit, beer and soda.  There were lots of families hanging around waiting for loved ones.  I got to see Jennifer finish and also set a PR time.  We hung around long enough to check the leader board and I was in 3rd place in my age group!!  Woo hoo!  The volunteers said awards would start in 15 minutes so I wanted to stay.  Of course it was actually 45 minutes later before they just gave me my award so we could leave - Mommies have soccer and baseball games to get to!

It was a really nice race, hills and all.  The volunteers were nice, it wasn't too big and they had good food and drinks.  The race raises money for families going through the adoption process.  Instead of a traditional medal, kids passed out handmade beaded bracelets and thank you cards. 

Another race in the books, another PR and a milestone in my training plan.  Great all around.

Thursday, November 1, 2012