Thursday, September 30, 2010


My unspoken goal was to go 4-6 miles this morning. Opting for 20 more minutes of sleep in lieu of extra mileage, I knocked out 4.4 miles in a few ticks over 50 minutes, including several significant hills. Tiny morale killer when one guy went FLYING past me on one of my least favorite uphills, but at least I did it! Feeling a ton more confident, b/c I know if I can run 50 minutes, I can run for over 2 hours.

Time for a shower, work, an after-work event for arts and complimentary therapies for our Palliative Care Unit (don't worry, no alcohol for me!) and packing. Busy Thursday!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Down for the count...but on the mend

So, like I mentioned earlier, the training cycle has been going pretty much as well as (if not better than) expected and I've been managing to keep work and social obligations balanced. Had an AWESOME 12 miler in Auburn (ran 10 of that with the running club that I was originally too intimidated to run with), improving time (slow but steady) on my weekday runs and toughed out a solo 13 miler last Saturday morning and enjoyed a wonderful massage afterwards (and promptly fell asleep during it).

Then Sunday: woke up with a scratchy throat and tired (slept until 10:30) but it was raining (the reason I wasn't already on the trails with Amy) and cool outside so I talked it up to general fatigue and change of seasons.

We can quickly guess that it was NOT change of seasons, no?


I am not one to over-medicate at the first little sign and symptom of not feeling well. I tend to think that after two or so days of going to bed a little earlier, backing off the workouts, upping the vitamin C and maybe some mild OTC meds at night so I CAN sleep (in absence of being able to breathe) tends yield the same result of those that rush for a Z-pack (or whatever it's called).

Two days of this strategy and I was getting WORSE. Woke up with a sinus headache and congestion this morning so severe that I couldn't even hold my eyes open. (Nice image, huh?) So I did something I have not done in over 6 years...I called in sick to work. Knowing I had five meetings and a ton to do, but I could not afford another day of struggling and luckily my boss was COMPLETELY AWESOME and accommodating. Some of his first words: "You have to get better so you can run your race!" I mean, WOW.

So after going back to sleep, I headed to my neighborhood urgent care. I told the doc straight up that I had been feeling like crap since Sunday, what my usual philosophy was to care (above) BUT that I had a half marathon Saturday night and I had every intention to toe that line feeling the best I whatever we needed to do, I was game. Turns out I don't have a "cold" or virus...but a NASTY sinus infection that she informed me would NOT have gotten better on its own. 45 minutes later, 2 shots in my ass (Abx...and a corticosteriod--how could I NOT feel better after that?) where I may or may not have cursed out loud and 2 prescriptions later, I am feeling HUMAN again.

Matt and I took the dogs out for a 3 mile walk/jog tonight (after I spent the afternoon both working and napping) so we could get in a little "family bonding" before our trip and also so I could see how my breathing and stride were reacting. I didn't feel too bad, which was promising and I intend to get up early and try to crank out a few miles if I feel in the LEAST BIT up to it.

I haven't gotten sick in probably TWO YEARS!!! and now??? SERIOUSLY??? My running has been going SO well and I was not talking about it but seriously hoping for a PR at Disney given the nighttime (read: cooler) running conditions and flat course (flat? say what?). At this point, I'm just trying to finish strong and healthy and will take it back to the "training run mentality" so that I don't get myself too hyped up with anxiety. I will NOT be a DNF but I might not shave 10 minutes off my Mercedes time...or maybe I will? We'll see on Saturday!

Any tips for staying well and preparing for the next 3 days would be much appreciated. I have never had a race while "under the weather" before.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

It's been a BUSY week but with generally great energy surrounding it, so I am not complaining! Have had lots on my mind so hopefully I don't sound too frantic. While I've been feeling more "human" at work this week, the hours have still been funky and long resulting in no time to post!

I had a great run tonight after work on my usual trail with friend and co-worker, Lauren (who ran her first 5K with me earlier this year). It wasn't planned...sometime mid-afternoon she came in my office and said "you have to motivate me to go to the gym after work"...knowing I had a 3 miler (give or take) planned for this evening (her usual distance when she runs), I asked if she would like to come along and luckily she said yes! I am not a social runner, so I was a bit apprehensive, but I feel like I'm getting stronger and this is a new way to stretch myself. It was HOT (90+ degrees) after work and technical part of the trail is kind of tough, IMO, but she (we) did great! I'm not a coach, but would love to have the training/knowledge one day when I get a bit more time. I made sure NOT to ask "are you OK?", but instead would say things like "we are rocking this" or start random conversation when I could tell energy was waning. I let her know when we had less than .5 to go and even asked if she was willing to sprint when the end of the trail was in sight. It was SUCH a great time running with someone else...I hope she had just as much fun! (She said that I kicked her ass but in a good way!) How do you like to be motivated when you run? What do you dislike?

I had my first "medium long run" before work the other morning...set off in the pitch black at 5:15am for a 6 miler (not the norm for me, but you do what you have to do) and I would be lying if I said I wasn't nervous. (I look at it as good training for Disney!) I was SHOCKED at how many people I saw out and about though (more than what I see on the weekend!) and even how many were on my "scary" 6 lane hwy! It was SO peaceful though and amazing to be looping around the lake, watching the sun come up and the geese flock in. I love Star Lake (which is in my neighborhood)'s so picturesque at all times of day and year...and feel fortunate to have many options for running close by.

And I know this may sound strange, but I am unbelievably excited for my 12 miler this weekend (and have been since I put the training schedule together)! I am headed down to "the loveliest village on the plains" tomorrow after work for game weekend. I am staying with my favorite aunt and hope to be out by 5:15 (5:30 at the latest) for a route *kind of* similar to this week's AORTA Saturday plan. I want to go a bit more through campus and loop by Matt's friend's house (approx halfway) so that I have a place to rehydrate (and go to the bathroom if needed). ESPN's Gameday is being held at Auburn this weekend, so I am a little wary of potential hecklers around campus but I hope by getting out early enough I can avoid most of the madness. My aunt and I actually have ideas for a sign and plan to go up to campus for the broadcast once I am showered and caffeinated :) Then joining up with Matt for tailgating, visiting with my parents and "second parents" and HOPEFULLY getting into the game that evening. It's going to be a busy and quick weekend but I LOVE football and fall (even though it's not very fall-like around here yet) and always look forward to visiting my hometown during this time of year. Let's hope I can manage to get out of work a little early tomorrow and get the weekend started a little early :)

Thursday, September 9, 2010

A Day in the Life...

Challenged by Beth from Shut Up and Run, here is a snapshot into life as I know it. No day is ever the same, of course!

5:00a.m. Alarm goes off WAY too early. It's an early meeting day. Hit snooze a couple of times. In my grogginess realize I must have passed out without drying my hair, now to deal with semi-matted curls/waves. Thank God for my Chi straightener.

6:00a.m. Out the door. On the way to CVS to pick up a prescription. Thank God we have a 24-hour one close to our house. Listening to my favorite sports radio show. Getting fired up. Remind myself that this is why I often give up sports talk during football season!

6:05a.m. Ring the buzzer in the pharmacy drive-thru. Waiting. Waiting. This is a 24 hour drive thru, yes? Not a creature is stirring. Dammit, now I've got to actually go inside.

6:15a.m. Success! Back in the car and if traffic lights are working my way I should be able to stop at Starbucks. I'm exhausted and need some caffeine.

6:22a.m. Grande, non-fat, no whip Pumpkin Spice Latte acquired and I'm on my way.

6:35a.m. Parking lot at work. I love hospitals "after hours". Seriously.

7-9:15a.m. Meeting

9:30a.m. Opening my office door for the first time today. My office is not actually in the's several blocks away and I don't usually go there first on early morning days because it's out of my way. But I wonder if people think I'm just "strolling in" at 9:30. I know my immediate co-workers don't think this, but what about others? Why do I care? I don't pay attention to others, why do I think they're paying attention to me? Egocentric much?

10:00a.m. Another meeting.

11:15a.m. Need to get some WORK done. At some point get an email from coworker wanting to know if I can go to lunch. I was planning on eating soup and yogurt and working at my desk but I think I may be able to swing it today if I can stay hyper focused for the next 45 minutes. Find out boss is going out for lunch too, now I'm definitely getting OUT of the office.

12:15p.m. Walk to lunch. 1/2 soup and 1/2 salad from Newk's YUM Glad to get out of office.

1:00p.m. Back. Trying to multitask. Worried about some meetings that I have next week and am afraid I may need to work over the weekend to get prepared. Is it bad to hope some of these get rescheduled?

1:40p.m. Review stuff with boss, more multitasking before my 2:00 starts, including a call to Books-a-Million to find out the details about the Bobby Bowden book signing on Sunday. I am STOKED to meet him and will definitely be there.

2:10p.m. Meeting with my boss and one of my favorite doctors. Doc complimented my sunglasses(?) I obviously wasn't wearing them indoors and must have looked puzzled..."oh I was driving and saw you walking down the sidewalk earlier this week, I really liked your glasses" OK...(And no, I didn't pay that much...I won them at an event last year. I got to pick them out during a Yurman trunk show and LOVE them. I love David Yurman stuff in general)

4:30p.m. JUST getting out of that 2:10 meeting...the meeting was supposed to end at 3. It was a productive session mostly but exhausting too. More takeaways. We need to think about hiring someone. It's hard to give attention to the big picture and be forward thinking when you are scrambling in the weeds getting tasks done. I know it's all part of it and I don't mind long hours or hard work but it's hard to sustain. The meeting schedule has also been getting out of control lately. Sadly, today was a "light" day. Text Matt and let him know I should be home around 6:30. He's grilling burgers and we're watching the Auburn game tonight. It's Matt's alma mater and my hometown and where a lot of my family went to school, so I am also a HUGE fan.

5:15p.m. Wrapped up and ready for my 7am tomorrow. Check with the boss to make sure he doesn't need anything else. I can't believe I am getting out of here relatively "on time" tonight!

5:20p.m. Back at Newk's to change into my running clothes. No way was I changing in my building, it's still too early and I'm not interested in parading around in my shorty shorts with the possibility of being seen.

5:45p.m. Hitting my shaded and FLAT trail. Just going to run the paved part today. Realize I left my iPod in my car. Too lazy to go back, I will deal. Running without music is something new for me but it was good. Amazing how different my avg paces were today: 10:10, 10:23, 9:53 (with "best" times in the low 8's) even with having to cross this and stop/wait for others to cross as well:

6:35p.m. Pull into my driveway. Pretty good estimate of time! The burgers are REALLY good. Matt is an awesome "grill master" and cook as well. Dinner just in time for kick off :)

8:15p.m. Shower at halftime. I've been stinking up the living room long enough. Get laundry going as the 2nd half kicks off.

9:00p.m. Call from friend filling me in about Bunco group. I blew it off tonight in favor of watching the game and taking some time to relax. It was really nice to have this time tonight.

10:00p.m. Begin blog and facebook stalking. It's been a long but good day.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


I am halfway through week 6 of my 18 week training cycle and I truly could not have asked for a better 6 weeks of running to date. For me, this training cycle is about feeling strong and healthy at the end of each run, whatever the distance may be. I want to get through 26.2 feeling tired but healthy and I know that I have A LOT of demands outside of my running life this fall and I want to be realistic with what I can expect from my body. I definitely push myself in each doubt!...but I am also trying to really listen to my body and what it needs and not get hung up on "xyz pace" or expectations or whatever. We've established I am no speed demon, though I do think there is some inner "speed" waiting to be unleashed as I finally think my legs and lungs are beginning to catch up with each other, but that's another post and another goal for another time. I tend towards perfectionism in most areas of my life, so "dialing back" my goals is a departure from my norm and can be a bit uncomfortable at times. What is your training philosophy?

I had a GREAT 10 miler last weekend that gave me a boost of confidence. The route was even tougher than the previous week and I ended the run feeling stronger, which is always a great feeling. I felt like I could have finished another 3 or 5 miles and still would have felt OK. Unfortunately, I have come to the realization that I probably need to eliminate Patton Chapel Rd from my route, which somewhat limits my ability to reach other neighborhoods, but the terrain was really rough coming back and (thank God for Garmin) I ended up having to reroute myself off the road b/c not only did I not feel safe, but the road was BAD (I was hopping on and off the road, running with one foot in a drainage ditch and also at times having to run in people's yards!), thus affecting my gait and I really feared injuring myself if I had to stay on it much longer. I did really enjoy running in the Preserve though and may look into driving the 5 minutes over there and using that as my starting point this weekend.

As Matt and I finished up 3 last night (on my rest day but whatever), I was thinking that it was amazing that I had not had a bad day of running in 6 weeks. Of course, folks, tonight was the night. Honestly I think I was overtired, under-fueled and possibly under-hydrated. I was at work just after 6am (after being up until midnight working from home) and got home just after lunch break (grabbed half of a sandwich on the go) and had 3 meetings in the hospital today which adds up to a little over a mile each my 4 inch heels. I was HUNGRY when I got home but just wanted to get the 5 DONE, so I grabbed 4 sports beans (woo hoo) and headed out with a water bottle. My stomach got angry at mile 2, at 2.5 my stomach was growling audibly and at 3 I felt my blood sugar TANK. I almost called Matt to come pick me up I felt so bad, but I figured at that point I was "just" 2 miles away from home and could walk the rest of the way if necessary. Not to mention, I completely underestimated the hills on this route and my legs felt SHREDDED (from both the route and I think all of the walking at work today in those damn shoes) and I could NOT dial back my pace (I was seeing 8s, 9s and low 10s which is fast for me anyway and *really* fast for me given the hills) Not to fear, I would slow down when I was forced to walk every so often since I was feeling like poo. I finally got home feeling 10x worse than my 10 miler and then, being a glutton for punishment (and since I had promised, obviously not knowing how bad my run was going to be) I went back out for another 2 miles (walk) with Matt and the dogs (after grabbing gatorade and an apple). It sucks to have a bad run but at least I could identify what made it this way...I KNOW better and am usually very conscious about being fueled, etc...and I can be mindful of making it better the next time (tomorrow!). I think I'm heading to a FLAT and shaded trail tomorrow after work which should offer some nice respite for my legs. Do you run hilly routes even when you are not "hill training"?