Sunday, March 31, 2013

I Can't Be Tamed...

Oh yes, that's Miley I'm quoting.  Let's review, just a moment...

I was taking it SLOW, right?  That was the plan? Slow with cross training, right?  TWO.  2. TWO runs a week is what the calendar said?  I even had an excuse this week because I had color added to my tattoo and I was going to be sore and it would be hard to wear a sports bra.  Well, apparently I cannot be tamed because this week I ran more miles than I ever have.  15 to be exact. 

I pushed to get 2 runs done before Wednesday and the tattoo appointment.  I had good intentions to not run anymore this week and just cross train.  Then Friday arrived, the sun came out, and the temperatures skyrocketed for the first time this spring and I couldn't help but just do that 5K that I had wanted to do. 

Easter Sunday arrives this morning and I was feeling a little "off".  It was rainy yesterday and this morning and I thought I would just take a little jog.  No pressure, just run up around the lake and enjoy the warm temps that have finally arrived.  So off I went!  It felt fantastic to just run and not worry about pace, although I did wear my Garmin. 

It was cloudy but warm and at some point it started to drizzle.  It was perfect though, cooled me off but didn't totally soak me.  The lake was lovely.

I ran by a statue in someone's yard and it struck me that I felt JUST like that statue looked at that moment.  I tried to take a pic, but I didn't want to really stop again and it was blurry.  I kept running. 

I made my way around a loop back towards my house and I was coming up my road at about 3.25 miles when Miley came on.  Yep.  I have no idea how the song got on my playlist, I guess from my daughter.  BAM.  Can't be tamed.  Fantastic song to run to, by the way.  And I just couldn't stop.  Nope, I can't be tamed either Miley.  I get it.  So I kept running...

Ran right by my house and back towards the lake again.  I still had that statue in my head and I thought I would run back to it and get that picture I wanted.  So that's just what I did!  I'm sure the people who had this in their yard thought I was nuts for standing there taking a picture of it, but it just made me smile.

That's how I felt!  And so I just kept running!  Another loop around the lake and at some point I was sobbing.   I knew I was going to run farther than I ever have and each time this happens I'm overwhelmed.  It just felt so good and I cannot believe that I can just keep running and running.  I never thought that was something I would be able to do.  The clouds started to clear out and the sun started to burn off the fog as I finished up.  The birds were singing.  It was just gorgeous.

When I got to 5 miles (1:00:20), I stopped and walked the rest of the way home (probably a half mile) because my knees were a little sore and I realized that although I may not be easily tamed, I AM easily injured!  

I hope everyone has a fabulous Easter, I'm hoping since the sun is now out, things will dry up and Rey & I can work on clearing the gumballs out of the yard.  5 miles AND yardwork!  Told ya I can't be tamed.  ;)

Friday, March 29, 2013

Fitness Friday!

SPRING has arrived!!!!  I was working as the sun came out today and I raced home to  throw on running clothes and get out there!  I had to wait a bit for my son, Dallas, as we were going to run the Jelly Bean Virtual 5K today.

I was so excited to find this and actually have time to get in our run today before it ends this weekend!  Naturally I had to sport some new gear, some that did work and some that did not.  I purchased a running skirt that is comfy, but I could tell the legs would ride up...and they did.  I didn't have any chafing, but for a longer run I might have.  Not sure if anyone has any suggestions.  I guess I can always just wear compression shorts with a sparkle skirt from now on!

I also got some cute compression socks from Running Skirts to just help ease some of my calf pain and they were fantastic!  Very cute too and no calf soreness at all this run.  I have had some expected soreness because my Brooks Pure Flows are a lower heel to toe than I'm used to, but I'm adjusting pretty be honest, I just wanted to see what cute socks would look like with the skirt!  LOL.

Naturally I had to have my Jelly Bean Bib on! It was sunny enough for sun glasses, I was totally jazzed.

Properly dressed, Dallas and I headed out!  We ran a route out of town that we only have gone on bikes before.  I remember biking down this gorgeous path and thinking how cool it would be to run but that it was too far!  HA!  We ran the whole 3.1 and finished in exactly 34:00.  That's a better time than our last 5K, so I guess an official PR for me, although I've done better on the treadmill.

It was a GORGEOUS day and I really just soaked it all up.  Dallas & I had a little trouble pacing each other, we kept speeding up thinking the other was wanting to go faster (we were listening to music on the way out and running).  I sped up at the end, and Dallas was really winded and needed to walk, but I really could have kept running I felt so fantastic being outdoors.   We walked most of the way back, jogged a bit for a while, and ended up doing a total of 5.35 miles today.

Have a fantastic weekend!!!  Ok, I need running skirt suggestions!  I need shorts that are a bit longer and do NOT ride up.  Any suggestions? 

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Sunrise TIMES TWO!

My day started early today, I needed to get one more run in this week (you will see why further down) and I had petsits to do before and after my run.  I headed out before the sunrise, actually arriving at the gym before the sun was up!  I would really puff this up and talk about how dedicated I am that I get up so early to run, but the truth is, I wake up around 4am naturally  and it's a good thing because my job requires me getting to clients houses pretty early to let dogs out! 

I headed right for the treadmill and got to it!  I was determined to get in 4 miles today.  I had to laugh at myself because I decided to try and take a picture while running (because I wasn't about to stop just for a picture) and that was a complete failure.  I don't know if people normally STOP and take pictures, but I will spare you the large BLUR of a shot that I got when I tried to take a picture of the sun rising while I ran.  It was lovely and I had told myself I could take a 1 minute walk break at 2 miles if I wanted, but when I got to 2 miles, I decided to push to 3!  I made it to 3 and then there was just no way I was going to stop there either!  4 miles it was!  The sun was UP when I finished!

It felt fantastic, not very sore and nothing hurt!  I just cannot explain how excited I am that I'm running without injury.  I don't know if it's the shoes or the taking it slower (ahem...not sure I'm really taking it slow) or just getting stronger, but I'm so excited!  I think Dallas and I are running a 10K on June 1st, and I feel like I will be able to do this and finally that I'm making some progress with my training. 

My 2nd sunrise was the reason that I had to get my run out of the way!  I got color on my tattoo this afternoon and I probably won't run until Monday because it's hard to wear my sports bras.  This is my first tattoo and I have written up how much meaning trees have to me previously, but I'll have to eventually do that here as well.  Let's just say that I have always had a special connection with trees and when I was younger never would have thought I was a "tattoo person" but when I turned 40 I decided it had been lurking there in my mind for so long, it was time!  I LOVE it and I'm really pleased with the color (it's been just the black silhouette for 3 weeks since my first session)

             Now I'm off to petsit some more at SUNSET and hopefully get home and relax! 

Monday, March 25, 2013

Monday Mantras

So, this morning when I was running, I was thinking...

Oh, yeah, about that.  Well, I know I said I wasn't going to run today, but I have a good excuse!  Seriously!  I looked at the calendar and realized I have to move things around this week.  I'm getting color added to my tattoo on Wednesday afternoon and I won't be able to wear a sports bra (i.e. run) for at least 4-5 days, so I want to get my runs in before then.  Makes complete sense, right?  Nevermind that patience post from yesterday.  ;)


First off, I ran 3 miles STRAIGHT.  Yep.  STRAIGHT!  I think that's the first time I have done that.  I usually take a minute to walk and so this is a big deal to me.  I broke my 11 minute pace as well and did it at a 10:58 pace, so that felt really good.  I actually don't think my pace changed at all, but not having that minute or two in there walking made it seem that way. 

Onto the point.  Sorry.  So, I was thinking about mantras when I was running.  I had looked around the web, thinking that having something to push myself or repeat in my head might be nice while running, but I didn't find anything I could actually remember.  It has to be easy, or I forget, so no long quotes about strength and perseverance for me!  Instead, I just let my mind go where it wanted, and realized that I have a couple mantras that push me through when I need it.

The first was "SETTLE INTO IT.".  I have no idea why I tell myself this, but I do it quite a bit and it really helps me slow myself down a bit, focus on my form, and BREATHE.  Sometimes I tell myself to breathe as  well, but usually just the settle into it works. 

The second was one that really helped when I wanted to walk.  Today I really wanted to keep running because I knew I could and wanted to run the whole time.  So, I just kept repeating to myself "I am a RUNNER." It really helped!  And I FEEL like a runner today! 

So, anyone out there have any mantras they use when running or working out that keep them going and give them an extra boost?  (such an assumption that anyone is actually reading this blog! LOL) 

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Spring is like Training.

I know, I know, this should be a blog, not a complaint center, but I'm new to this, so I can just ramble on and complain about any old thing, right?  ;)

It's March 24th.  It looks like January 24th out there!

It's not even a running day for me, but yet I'm annoyed that the snow keeps coming and I cannot run outside!  Ok, I know I CAN run outside, but I honestly don't want to.  I'm prone to accidents, Rey says I can cut myself on a spoon I'm so accident prone, and running in slippery conditions is not for me.  I do enjoy running in the rain occasionally, but WARM rain, not frozen freezing snow in SPRING!  Sheesh. 

This isn't the norm for Missouri either, it's usually warmer by now, as you can tell from the poor flowers. 


So here I sit in my house, wishing I could get outside to run or dig in the dirt or sit in the sun.  I have a half finished bottle-border in my garden, just waiting to be worked on.  So many spring projects that are just going to have to wait. wait. wait.  Have I ever mentioned I hate waiting?

Oh I feel an analogy coming!  It's kind of like my running!  
Stay with me here...

Yesterday I was already having to do some stern talking-to-myself as I was driving home from petsitting.  It had already popped into my head that I felt pretty good after my run Friday and MAYBE I didn't have to take it so slow after all.  Maybe I could run Monday too instead of cross training!  See, this is what gets me in trouble every single time.  No patience.  I want it NOW and I want it all. I want to be able to run 13.1 miles overnight, but it just doesn't happen like that.  It's like spring arriving...

(Oh I'm so good, I just came up with that!) LOL

It doesn't come overnight.  It comes in little bits and pieces.  First there is a warm day where it's beautiful and you can just tell that it's coming! The birds are singing and the sun is out.  You can TASTE it, just like when you have that good run that you pushed for and got farther than ever.  But then the snow comes back and it turns colder again for a bit.  You realize that you can't get there overnight, it's a process. Like running!  It takes time and dedication, it's a gradual journey!  Training is going to teach me that I need to be patient and take it at a pace my body can handle.  I will get WILL be spring soon, but you can't force these things.  

So bring on the snow!  (meh...not really, but maybe it's just a bit more tolerable now)

 It better melt tomorrow.  :p

Friday, March 22, 2013

I'm a terrible blogger, but I can run 4 miles!

I'm feeling pretty good right now, patting myself on the back for running 4 miles today!  I've only run 4 miles once before and followed it with a long injury, so this feels like a big accomplishment.  Not only that,  it was good time for me.  I did it in 44:52, which is a 11:12 pace.  I only walked for a minute two times, ran the rest straight through.  I almost started crying around 3.5 because I was so overwhelmed with being able to do it!

But, I'm a terrible blogger.  Seriously.  So, I get off the treadmill, sit down and do my stretches and then head out.  I get all the way to the door and realize I never did take a picture to capture this momentous occasion!  I seriously walked all the way back to the treadmill so I could take this picture.  AND, I was slightly embarrassed to do so because there were people on either side and I'm sure they thought I was nuts.  So I snapped it pretty quick.   A good blogger would have thought to take a picture before leaving with the ACTUAL STATS still on the machine!  LOL.  Ah well, this was my view for all 4 miles on this lovely 2nd day of SPRING?!?!?

So, I arrive home feeling pretty good and low and behold, there is a package with all sorts of fun spring/summer clothing that I ordered!  SCORE!  Bonus to losing weight, new clothes!  Not so great on the bank account, but I was due some new summery stuff!  Just to prove that I'm a horrible blogger, I took yet another horrible picture of one of my new dresses!  You can't even tell it's eyelet.  Seriously, I AM a photographer.  I swear.  Even photographers get to take crappy cell phone shots sometimes, right??? ;) 

Looks like this weekend is starting off on a good note!  I'm happy to say that my running is keeping me from going completely nuts with this weather.  Normally I would be crying and begging the weather gods to please let spring arrive, but I'm taking it in stride thanks to my endorphins.  Have a fantastic weekend!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Thursday ramble

I don't really have any specific things to post about, just some rambly rambles...

I have been shopping, for one, and that has been fun!  I've been on the prowl for some new running attire so my new shoes have some company.  LOL. Naturally, it has to show off my new tattoo, I didn't get it to hide it, so I suspect my new wardrobe for the summer will include racerbacks and strapless shirts/dresses!  This morning before I headed to the gym... (and my cat loves to photobomb)

and HELLO?!!!!  I'm feeling pretty good about my body in these fitted shirts!  I just feel comfortable and that is really nice.  I'm not really focused on losing pounds, but getting fit, and that's what seems to be happening!  Yay!

I ran 3.5 miles on Tuesday.  2 miles straight, 1 minute walk, and then ran the rest of the way.  AND I was at about an 11 minute mile, which is a good pace for me.  I am in a quandary about all my soreness right now though.  I was moving around a LOT on Tuesday after running.  I took my daughter to see Taylor Swift and basically ran in the morning and then just kept going all day long.  I wasn't very sore at all.  THEN yesterday I got sore.  In fact, I noticed that I get more and more sore the LESS active I am.  So 2 days after my run, I was pretty sore this morning.  I'm wondering if there's any relation to all this soreness and my fibromyalia diagnosis?  I got rid of just the normal unexplained pain by taking Vitamin D but I seem to be abnormally sore from exercising.  I don't know, maybe everybody is sore all the time when they are training?  I've been a runner for quite a while though to still be really so sore after 3 miles?

In any case, per my new 2x run a week, today was a cross training day.  I did the elliptical and bike and then I just couldn't resist that treadmill just for a bit!  It's like a drug to me or something. LOL.  I decided to just do a little "speed work", which I put in quotes b/c a 10 minute pace is not really SPEEDY, but for me, it's a minute faster pace than usual.  So I just ran a half a mile and stopped.  My son told me this is cheating on my schedule that today was supposed to be just cross training, but what can I say?  I'm a glutton for punishment.  ;)

For fun, from the concert (it was hard to pic one, I took TONS).  We had a blast, it was really fun.
ok, I lied...2 pictures it is!

Monday, March 18, 2013

I need a PLAN!

Lisa, my always-supportive-gushing-bestest-cheerleader-ever suggested I get a schedule going for my training.  DOH!

Seriously though, I sat around all weekend (ok, I didn't really sit around I had to work and other things I had to do...but MENTALLY I sat around!) feeling sorry for myself and worrying about my feet when I could have been proactive and started making a plan.

By the way, my feet feel better.  I'm still really struggling with knowing what SORE feet feel like compared to Plantar Fasciitis-coming-back-feet.  I'm going to just have to take it slow and get over it.  I was thinking yesterday how amazing it will feel to conquer this hurdle I have in front of me.

So, I have decided that I possibly need more recovery time than the average person.   Hopefully this will change, but instead of inducing more injury, I have decided to go way slower than I would like by running twice a week instead of 3x.  I have tried running less mileage but 3x and that has not worked when I start to up the mileage, so this time I'm going to run less but more.  Got that?  ;)  Run twice a week, cross train 2 other days, and then still up my mileage on one of the runs.  Friday's run.

I made up a quick calendar for the rest of March and I have it hung up.  I will find a better calendar and decide if there should be any changes at the end of the month.  I don't want to be rigid if it's not going to work and I'm leaving my mileage for the long runs open for now because I'm unsure of how slow or fast I will be able to add miles at this point.  Slow and steady, right?  :)

Ok, so I published and went away for a bit before having a lightbulb moment.  Rey bought some equipment to cram put in our bedroom so when he wasn't at physical therapy/work conditioning (he has a couple herniated discs) he could workout at home.  I had looked at them and thought they might come in handy, but I am so focused on my running that I never really CONSIDERED them.  Well, looking at my handy-dandy cross training schedule this morning, I realized that I could do at least one of my workouts right here at home!  I have no idea what I was thinking, but I'm thinking now at least!  I rearranged them as best as I could so that they would be ready and beckoning me!  LOL.  Then I worked out!  I'll most likely not be able to type, put my clothing on, or lift my arms at all by tomorrow at this time...and I broke a sweat.  Imagine that!  ;)

Sunday, March 17, 2013

My feet hurt.

No fancy titles there. Just angry rambles... Yesterday was not a great day.  After writing up this heartfelt post about why I want to run the Princess, my feet gave me a slap of reality.  I'm still not really recovered from the PF...or maybe I recover and then it comes back.  Either way, when I run outside, more than 3 miles, it hurts. 

I was so frustrated yesterday and I need to write it down so I can keep track of these things.  It wasn't the stabbing pain of Plantar Fasciitis just yet yesterday, but it sure felt like the beginnings of it.  My feet just hurt and burned most of the day, no matter how many stretches I did or how many Ibuprofen I popped. 

I'm just really tired of living in FEAR of this pain.  I have it in my head that if I allow the PF to come back, then I'm out of commission for months like last year.  It's just looming there and it is really taking a toll on my training.  HOW can I train if I am set back every time I run longer than 3 miles???

I'm considering cutting to 2 runs a week instead of 3 and just cross training (biking) on the 3rd day.  I don't know if I can get my mileage up doing that, but running myself into the ground won't get me there either.  I will do the race, so I need to add intervals or crosstrain or something.  I'll crawl over that finish line if I have to because I'm not the type to set goals and just give up. 

This morning the feet feel a little better, so there's hope, and I guess I should be glad that I have over 11 months to build myself up.  It's going to take some consistent commitment though and vigilance.  I've got that, luckily. 

Saturday, March 16, 2013


I started this blog to keep track of my training, but I didn't really explain WHY I want to run the Princess Half Marathon as my first half.  I thought since I'm pretty excited right now, dreaming, planning, training, and  reading blog reports from this year's race, that I should write down why I want to do this.  I'm sure there will be times this year, during training, that I forget my whys and come back to read this and remind myself what is driving me. 

*Special Note:  I'm a photographer and I am normally really good about siting people's photos.  I cannot stand when people use my photos without my permission.  This post is going to be the exception and I'm going to be a bit of a hypocrite.  I've spent well over a year looking at pictures of the PHM, saving shots to my computer as inspiration, and I have not kept track of where most of the shots came from.  Many of them are from Disney's website, but some are not, so if you see yourself running down Main street in one of these pictures, don't freak!  Just let me know and I will site your website/name/whatever you want.  Then forgive me and chalk it up to being sucked into the magic of this race! 


There, I said it.  If you know me in real life, you already know this!  It's true.  Some people call it an obsession, and they are correct.  I never went to Disney World as a child, I experienced it for the first time in 2008, when a special friend took my daughter and I on our first trip.  Seeing WDW for the first time through my daughter's eyes hooked me immediately!  I was in love.  Since that trip in 2008, my really only driving energy is to get back. It's true.  I'm always planning a trip.  ALWAYS.  I think each time I DO get back that the obsession will fade, but nope, I get home and not a day later I'm planning the next trip!  In fact, my daughter and I JUST got back from a special mother/daughter trip just a little over a month ago.  It was my 5th trip since 2008!

I'm a photographer, so maybe that is a part of what fuels the obsession.  There's just never a shortage of things to shoot and I have thousands of photos I have taken at WDW from tiny details in the parks to fabulous resorts.  I took this at 3am at Animal Kingdom Lodge, laying on the floor.  It pays to have insomnia!  LOL.

But it's not the photo opportunities that keep bringing me back.  It's the magic.  Disney is full of magic for many people, for me, the magic is about suspending the real world and letting it all go.  You can be a kid again (OR A PRINCESS!!!!) no matter how old you are.  You are in this magical world of rides, shows, food, fun, and entertainment that encompasses you.  The music, smells, little details take you away from the ordinary day and leave you feeling like you can relax, run, play, swim, have drinks & romantic dinners or scream on rollercoasters...all of it!  And there's something for everyone.  Every trip I have taken has been different.  Sure, we have done our favorites, but there is always something new to do or experience.  I even took an Anniversary trip alone with Rey.  It's not just for kids, we had a wonderful trip and explored the Food & Wine Festival and had a romantic getaway.

Ok, so back to running!  Nope, cannot tell I'm in love with the place.  Soooooo...what better place to experience my first half marathon?  A place where I can dress up, let go, enjoy, AND push myself to complete a challenge I have worked so hard for!  Disney knows how to DO things, and they know how to put on a party for this run!

I tear up and I'm overwhelmed when I round the corner and see the castle...every.single.trip.  I cannot even fathom what it's going to feel like to RUN down Main street!  This is taking two things that make me feel like I'm on top of the world and combining them!

and I admit it, I want to dress up.  I think part of why I like Disney so much is that I can feel like a kid.  WHEN I was a kid, I didn't allow myself to be a kid.  I have no idea why, I just wanted to be grown up.  Everyone told me I was so mature, but when I got older I felt like jipped myself out of my childhood, somehow.  I want to dress up as a princess and wear a tutu!  And all 26,000 women who are running with me will be doing the same!  How fun is that? 

Oh and I've already decided, I'm dressing like Cinderella.  Yep.

I'm going to  train hard (and right) and push myself this year because accomplishing this goal AND doing it at my favorite place, sounds like a dream to me.  An unforgettable adventure that is inspiring and challenging and fun all at once.  I cannot imagine doing it anywhere else! 

 And the BLING at the end isn't too shabby either!! ;)

 then I'm gonna have a HUGE DRINK.  Somebody get me a margarita and a grey goose slushie from World Showcase!  Stat!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Maybe I'm morbid.

Fantastic run this morning!  I knew there was a good run to come, it usually works that way.  I ran .28 in my vibrams, just down the street and back and then put my shoes on for the remainder of the run.  I can really feel it in my calves in the vibrams, which is good, and it helps me focus on my form even when I get my shoes back on. 

I ran through the graveyard again today.  I find myself there often, it's on the other side of the park.   I wonder if that makes me morbid?  Not only is it a lovely quiet place to run with no cars and a large area to run, but there's something about it that reminds me I'm alive.  It makes me appreciative.   I don't know if that's morbid, but I think about it a lot when I'm running there.  That all these people CANNOT run, and that life is short and I want to run while I can, enjoy while I can, extend my health so I can live longer...

and it's so incredibly peaceful.  It was so gorgeous this morning, and it's been a while since I could run outside, so I really took it in.  It slowed me down though, and taking pictures for the blog did as well.  Mixing my love of running, talking, AND photography on this blog may get me in trouble...or at least slow me down! ;)  I got in my 3 miles though and it felt great!  Calf soreness and a little tenderness in the feet, but no pain and that makes me happy!  Now I get to  rest work all weekend! 

huh...just realized that I use exclamation points a lot.  !!!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

In my head

I had one of THOSE runs yesterday.  You know, the one where you don't feel like going but you drag yourself into your workout clothes and force yourself to do it even though you don't feel like it?  Many times those end up being fantastic days, you push yourself and then out of nowhere comes this energy and fire and you finish feeling like this was exactly what you needed. 

Yesterday was NOT one of those days.  I was still sore from Monday's 3 mile run but unsure of what kind of sore I was.  This is where I'm not sure how to get out of my head and it just spirals into self doubt.

I used to not be in my head about this at all.  They say that running is mostly mental, you can go much farther than you think.  Not me.  My head is all there and ready, I can push and push and still want body, not so much.  I will push and my body breaks down and then I'm stuck nursing an injury for months.  So here I am, in my head because I'm terrified of being injured now.  Any ache or pain I worry.  I worry if it's the beginning of an injury, if I'm pushing too hard, if I should go slower, train less, rest more. 

The problem with that is that I've gotten to where I'm so afraid of any kind of injury that I think I'm holding myself back.  Three miles seems to be some sort of mental AND physical barrier.  I've done 4 miles a few times and ended up injured right afterwards.  How will I ever get to 13.1 if I cannot push myself without injury?

So yesterday, when I really wanted to just get on that treadmill and run my heart out, I didn't.  I did the elliptical for 20 minutes and then got on a bike.  My knee was achy and I just sat there going back and forth about whether I should or shouldn't be biking, should I just stop and not workout? What was this knee ache? Was I just sore from my run on Monday? Was the soreness in my feet just soreness or PF coming back?  ALL in my head and I never did get out.  There was no clarity when I got on the treadmill to do a short run/walk to stretch my muscles either. 

I walked/ran a bit, then I stopped.  I sat on the floor and stretched, I got back on the treadmill and walked slow.  Ran a bit more, took my SHOES OFF and thought I would strengthen my feet a bit with a little walk/run in no shoes.  This went on and on.  Of course, Dallas was on the treadmill next to me the WHOLE time I was doing this.  His body hasn't betrayed him the way mine has and he just made the decision to slow it down and go farther yesterday...and just did.  I think he did about 5 miles while I waffled back and forth on what I should be doing and whether aching was the same as pain. 

This has been rolling around in my head for days, it's really why I started the blog, I thought typing it out might help me find clarity.  Dallas said to me "If you are afraid all the time of injury and never push yourself, then you won't ever get any farther." and he's right, but it feels like a constant battle with my head and the fear of being injured and set back for months that I cannot seem to ignore. 

My feet are sore this morning, even after what seemed like a horrible workout yesterday.  It's not the same pain that I felt with my PF, but my brain doesn't register that.  My brain says that pain will lead to more pain and I'm unsure if I should slow down more or speed up.  I keep waiting for the answer to come to me but until it does, I'll just keep runnin'.  

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Those Glass Slippers...

In my quest to find out WHY my feet were on fire all last year with Plantar Fasciitis, I ran across some interesting and compelling information about SHOES. 

When I first felt that stabbing pain in my heels, I had no idea what it was.  I even ran the next day, unsure as to what the problem was and just being stubborn, as usual.  One quick internet search and I found my ailment.  Something called Plantar fasciitis.  I was to immediately stop all running, never walk barefoot again in my life (WHAT?!?!?) and get some arch supports for my feet.  These directions I followed for quite a few months, on top of icing, rolling tennis balls and all sorts of special stretches. 

The pain got slowly better, but too slow.  Summer arrived and I wasn't supposed to wear my favorite flip flops and keep my feet in supportive shoes at all times.  This had to be some kind of torture.  I cannot wear SHOES all summer!!  So, being the stubborn princess that I am, I wore my flip flops anyway.  Teva Mush to be precise.

 I didn't notice my feet getting any worse, in fact, they still slowly seemed to be getting better?  Every day I continued my calf stretches and eventually I was able to run again without the stabbing pain.  It still lingered there though and any amount of soreness scared me.  I didn't want that pain coming back! 

I was still wearing inserts and taping my feet/arches during runs

 but for the most part I had cut my runs down to nearly nothing and I was cross training, afraid to aggravate them running and have the PF come back.   Then I came across a  book...Born To Run.  Interestingly enough, the author of the book had running injuries and was searching for answers as well.  I was pulled into a world of information and  have found myself reading many books  on barefoot running and heel striking since then.  It might be that never going barefoot and putting inserts in my shoes was weakening my feet, not strengthening them!  The huge stabilizing shoes with massive heels were causing me to heel strike when running.  No wonder my heels hurt! 

Here is a shot from my 5K, see how my heels are hitting the ground first?  OUCH!

The search led me through quite a few pairs of shoes, settling on my minimal shoes, Brooks Pure Flow, and some Vibram Five Fingers for real foot strengthening. I ran in them for the first time ever when there was snow on the ground.  I didn't go far as you have to transition slowly when your muscles are weak.  It felt fantastic to just run down the street in these puppies.  I can feel the different muscles in my feet that I'm using when wearing these.  I took a nice 2 1/2 mile walk in them as well to help strengthen my feet.

 Less heel helps me keep from heel striking and being barefoot or in Vibrams actually BUILDS those muscles  in the arch so they are stronger...not encased in shoes that immobilize them.  Think about when you are in a cast for weeks and how those muscles are weak when you get out of it.  That is what massive shoes were doing to my feet and arches!

My calves hurt on those first few runs, they weren't used to stretching so much.  No heel pain though!  I'm overjoyed!  Rey has been teasing me because I have more shoes now than I think I ever have had.  I loved my Brooks Pure Flow, so I bought them in 2 different colors.  I also got another Brooks shoe, the Cadence, and I like it, but it's actually too much shoe for running, so I just wear them everyday.  My shoe stash...

So, although I'm sure a whole post on shoes isn't everyone's cup of tea, it has been important enough in my journey to warrant a whole post.   Chucking the glass slippers and running in less has made all the difference in my running and seems to be curing me of these injuries that have plagued my running!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

I run.

I was never a runner.  I dreaded gym glass in school.  I was overweight as a kid, not morbidly, but enough that getting a stitch in my side and sweating like a pig was not my idea of fun.  I have all kinds of other issues with my weight I have worked through over the years (being teased, being a victim) but this is about running and when I was young, I hated it.   I wasn't oblivious to it, however.  My father used to run.  I remember him going out with the dogs and running the neighborhoods around where we lived.  I would sometimes bike and follow along.  I never really gave it much thought, that he was a runner.  He called it jogging, and I never really thought about how he must have pushed himself, being very overweight, I'm guessing it was a great challenge for him.  I was young and didn't really pay attention to my parents achievements, however, so I didn't give it a lot of thought until I was older.

So, as an overweight kid who didn't care for much exercise, I became an overweight adult.  It was just what it was.  I was overweight and always had been.  I had spent years trying to lose weight unsuccessfully, I lost 20 pounds once when I was 20, doing Susan Powder videos and dieting.  That was short lived as I got pregnant that year.  68 pounds later, I gave birth to a 7 pound baby.  I was busy with my kids after that and rarely took care of myself.  I would dress them to the nines and be wearing a baggy ripped tshirt (you will see this below) and didn't really pay any attention to myself or my body.  I certainly didn't have time for exercise.  I was busy playing and enjoying my boys and I never did lose the baby weight from the first before gaining even more with the 2nd just 13 months later!

My last pregnancy in 2000 was my healthiest, but I still gained quite a bit of weight and busy with baby again, I found myself even heavier with a 1 year old a year later.  Something at this point clicked in my head and I started to put a little more effort back into myself and getting healthy.  It was slow going but somewhere in there I ran across a program called Couch to 5K.  I could run if it started off with just 30 seconds of running and then 3 minutes of walking, right?!?!?  I still remember that day when I got back from that 30 minutes of run/walking.  I threw myself on the floor in front of the couch (even in exhaustion, I think to not sweat all over the couch! LOL) and told Rey I thought I might DIE.  It was SO HARD!  It was exhilarating though.  That stitch in my side didn't feel the same as it did when I was an insecure girl in school.  It an ACCOMPLISHMENT.  I did it.  I RAN!  So, I continued. 

I would drive the kids over to my mom's condo and she would watch them while I ran 3x a week around her complex.  Gradually I could run a little more at a time.  The week that I ran 20 minutes straight I cried like a baby when I realized what I was doing.  It was my first runner's high, I think.  I was hooked.  And then the pain came...

My knees.  I didn't know much about running at the time, looking back I have no idea what kind of shoes I had and I'm not even sure I had internet back then...I guess I did to find C25K online, but I didn't have any idea how to find information at the time on pain and I vaguely had the idea that I had runners knee.  A few attempts more to run in pain and I gave up.  It's so sad, looking back, but I don't even know how long I went before I returned to running, but it was quite a long time. Years.  I would tell people how much I missed it but that I got runners knee anytime I ran more than 25 minutes straight and that I couldn't run anymore. 

Oh.mygosh.  I'm sorry this is so long!  Who knew I had such a long story!  Let's just jump to the past few years.  After moving out to the country and finding our nitch with a wonderful homeschooling group and starting my business, that itch came back.  I wanted that feeling again.  I never forgot it and I needed to find a way to get back to running.  So...I started back up Couch to 5K again.  Interestingly enough, I never had to start ALL the way back at the awful point where I couldn't run 30 seconds without being winded.  As I ran the program again, knee pain struck again.  I am a different person than I was back then, however, and knee pain be damned, I wanted to run!  I spent hours with ice packs and icy hot slathered on my knees those first couple months.  Rey was supportive, but worried that I was pushing too much...but the alternative in my mind was quitting again. 

The knees got better, but there was always another injury.  I had a cluster of warts on my foot all summer one year (ick, sorry...darn pool), pneumonia type sickness for a couple months, fibromyalgia pain until I realized I could cure that with Vitamin D, and then came the Plantar Fasciitis.  It  seemed that no matter what I did, there was always a set back and the PF was the worst.  It arrived in January of 2012 and set me back a whole year.  The pain was out of control for most of the year and slowly got better, but I couldn't run at all until late summer of 2012.  And run I did!  I stretched and stretched, took it slow, and crosstrained.  I also cut my calories and lost some more weight, which seemed to help, and in October 2012 finally ran my first official 5K!  (oh and FINALLY a picture!)

My trusty running companion, Dallas, my 17 year old son had joined me in training in the previous past couple years.  We ran it together and it was our first race! 

What a fantastic feeling!  Hooked once again, I decided that it was time I ran the Princess Half Marathon at my favorite place in the world...Disney World!  I have been reading about it for 2 years and I am determined to find a way to be injury free and run those 13.1 miles!  The race is February 21st, 2014 and I WILL be there running!  THAT brings us up to date.  Shew!  I have lots of other thoughts on staying injury free, those are future posts, however.  I just wanted to get my running history down here as a start.

This feeling I get when I run, it's powerful and amazing and free.  It hasn't just freed my mind though, it has transformed my body as well.  I recently turned 40 and I'm healthier than I was in my 20s.  I'm strong and feel younger than I did when I was young!  I put together a side-by-side on my 40th to see how far I have come and how much running has done for me.
Ok, promise my posts won't be that big from now on and will have many many more photos!  If you read through all that, you are a saint.  Now I'm off to see if I can figure out how to get a subscribe and like button!  Anyone know how to work this stuff?!?! LOL

I'm a Runner, not a Blogger...

and barely that!  I'm not criticizing myself, I'm just being honest and putting it out there so we're clear.  I decided to start a blog because a friend suggested it and because I was inspired by reading some running blogs.  Don't misunderstand, I'm not starting a blog to inspire anyone...well, except myself.  That's pretty much what I'm doing.  I'm blogging to inspire myself!  I love to journal and keeping track of my progress makes me feel good.  This journey has been long coming and so I intend to document it so that I can look back and see how far I have come.

I have a tendency to ramble (hence, not-a-blogger) and if you like proper grammar and non-run-on sentences, this may not be pleasant reading for you.  I like to write like I think...which can sometimes be all over the place! Sometimes might be an understatement.  LOL. ;)

AND, I have no clue how to work the blog, for the most part.  So, please excuse any glaring errors and changes that might come about as I learn what all these buttons mean! 

I'm a photographer as well, so this will be the one and only post that doesn't have a photo in it.  It's just not a proper entry in my mind if there isn't photographic documentation as well! 

I suspect this blog will be full of my life as well as my running journey because the two can rarely be separated in my world!  Up next...why I run, where I'm running to, and more about me than anyone probably needs to know.