Taking Care of Me

Yesterday I indulged in all the things I should be doing for myself every post race zero week.

First stop, The Foot Store in Mount Pleasant to get new kicks!

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I was so due for new sneakers at this point.  I didn’t particularly care for these either.  I made an attempt to go a little lighter weight and now I know for sure it just isn’t for me.  So I said good bye to the Brooks Pure Cadence…

After watching my gait and measuring my feet the super helpful man working with me determined what I had been pretty sure I knew.  I am an over supinator.  That is super rare.  Most people are over pronators (the exact opposite).  I had noticed at work one day I felt like I was walking on the outside of my feet.  I thought it was just something I did when I was working with patients being fidgety, but apparently I do it all the time.  Luckily he spotted it, got me in a wider shoe and put a lateral wedge in the heel to try any prevent me from walking/running with this gait pattern.

I ended up back in Asics in the Gel Nimbus 16.  I have been in Brooks my past few pairs but I feel great about this return.

A little bright but atleast they won't look so dirty

A little bright but at least they won’t look so dirty

After checking this off the list I headed to get a massage.  It was perfectly painful.  Not only did she nearly bring me to tears working on my quads but she worked out a disaster in my upper back I didn’t even know existed.  I have never gotten a massage in the few days following a marathon but those days are now over.  Ironically my leg soreness is gone but now my upper back and shoulders feel like they ran a marathon of their own!

Tomorrow (according to Hal Higdon) I am cleared to run again finally.  Only 2-3 miles but I’m excited to take the new wheels for a spin!!

What are your post race week staples?

Raleigh City of Oaks Marathon

Well after another long weekend of traveling I have another marathon in the books.

Saturday morning I got up and made our every Saturday pancake breakfast, had a cup of coffee, packed up and headed over to pick up Mary Ann.  We hit the road around 11:45, had a very uneventful drive (thankfully) to Raleigh, making it to the expo around 3:30.

The expo was less than exciting so we were in and out in about 15 minutes, claiming our shirts, chips and bibs.  We headed over to the hotel to check in and relax a little bit before trying to find some dinner.  Luckily our hotel was right next to the mall and since neither of us were familiar with the area we took a gamble that it would have some Italian food.  This mall ended up being one of the most ridiculous malls I have ever been to.  There were about 30 restaurants to choose from and the directory signs were touch screen and interactive.  So ridiculous.

After dinner we headed to Gap to get Mary Ann some new tights for the race due to the insanely unpredictable weather for the weekend.

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Once we got back to the hotel, we put in a good stretch session and headed to bed early.  We both slept great and thanks to the perfectly placed time change woke up pretty well rested.  We dressed in many layers, stuffed a bagel in and scavenged for coffee on the way to the race.

IMG_0092The sign couldn’t have been more appropriate.

Once we finally made it to the start line on NC State’s campus I decided on one final wardrobe change (actually in favor of less clothes which I never do).  We made a final drop off at the car, hit the potty and headed to the start.

We ran the first 11 miles just under pace, feeling great, mentally in a great spot.  The miles flew by through downtown Raleigh; it was beautiful though a little windy but nothing that made me uncomfortable.  My plan in marathons is always to stay right on pace from miles 10-20 then kick in with whatever I have left for the final 10k.  In mile 11 I told Mary Ann my philosophy, we agreed to go with it, then immediately started running downhill.  This part of the race was on a Greenway where we would go out and back, hence any major downhills were going to become major up hills, in the >20 miles.  By mile 16 my calves were trashed from running down hill and already dreading the future waiting for us in a few short miles.

Mary Ann had been hoping to qualify for Boston if possible, but if not just finish since it was her first.  We had been on pace until about 16 where I told her I was starting to feel not so stellar and she could go ahead whenever she needed to.  She agreed that finishing was the new goal.

We turned around and started heading back, every step bringing us closer to the 21st-24th miles of misery.  Once we hit the final brutal climb Mary Ann and I split up, but not enough that we were out of each other’s sight.  It is hard to run hills like that any way but what is comfortable for you so I was trying to get to the top then slow down to let her catch up for a little but after doing this a few times I got to the point that I felt like if I slowed down I would stop.  So for the remaining 4ish miles we ran together but apart, each looking for each other every few minutes.

I was counting down the end of the trail like it was the end of the race and with two miles to go it wasn’t too far off.  No more than 17 minutes left at that point I told myself, no big deal.  Eventually those minutes were over and I was able to smile through the finish and collect my medal in time to turn and cheer Mary Ann through her finish 45 seconds later!!

Please Ignore whatever is going on with my hair here!

Please ignore whatever is going on with my hair here!

I felt pretty trashed at the end so we walked around for a little, grabbing some snacks and water before heading to the car to hit the road home.

Crazy Medal

Crazy Medal

The acorn spins!

The acorn spins!

Despite this being the hardest marathon I have ever run we both had a great time and Mary Ann still wants to do another one so mission accomplished!  We went 17th and 18th female overall and 3rd and 4th in our age group.  Pretty awesome for ridiculous weather conditions and even more ridiculous hills in the worst miles of a race.

In the end, this race goes to you Mary Ann!!  I am so honored to have been there through your first.  CONGRATS!!

Darn You Nike and Your Sneaky Ways

So someone from Wells Fargo called up someone at Nike and informed them that I have financially recovered from not working for 3 months and should immediately receive their Holiday 2014 Style Guide.  Y’all, I think I want one of everything in there!

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Of course my absolute favorite thing they have to offer is the FIVE-HUNDRED DOLLAR running jacket!  Is that even real?!  My eyes almost fell out of my head when I saw the price.  However, it is pretty amazing.  In a dream world where I had a money tree in the back yard I would absolutely get it for all the super awesome features it has…

http://store.nike.com/us/en_us/pd/shield-flash-max-running-jacket/pid-1527246/pgid-10223517

Nike Shield Flash Max Women's Running Jacket

Nike Shield Flash Max Women's Running Jacket

The most important part I love about it is that you would literally be glow in the dark which is great with daylight savings time rapidly approaching.

The less expensive alternative, though still ridiculously expensive if that makes sense are the glow in the dark tights…

http://store.nike.com/us/en_us/pd/printed-reflective-running-tights/pid-1527227/pgid-1527228

Nike Printed Reflective Women's Running Tights

These along with about 34 other items scattered throughout started calling my name.  I am not sure why but winter running apparel is so much more exciting to me than summer.  I love wearing tights and a good tech pull over.  I love 30-40 degree runs (without wind).  I love those runs when there is such crispness in the air but the sun is shinning bright (or I’m always in for some light snow)!!  They are on their way my friends, just a matter of time!

Great Weekend and Bloggers Block

I have finally identified my bloggers block.  I feel that a post does not exist without a picture, which isn’t true but I still feel like it is.  My phone is my primary means of picture taking and my phone is absolutely shot.  It’s an iPhone 3 people, yes, that is still a really (semi)usable thing.  The backlight works about 10% of the time, the battery lasts ~20 minutes with use and it get to about 124 degrees while not using it.  Yes I realize these are very first world problems, but they are responsible for my blogger’s block!

Weekend:

1.  Friday night was fun filled with a girls night dinner and a movie.  We went to Zia’s, a wonderful taco/mexican place and had a delicious meal before devouring an awesome move.  We saw Gone Girl and I was NOT disappointed.  The movie actually stays true to the book and the acting was a little too perfect if you ask me.  Spoiler Alert (sorta): They both play their parts so freaky and true to the characters in the book its almost insane.  Well it is insane if we are being honest about it!

2.  College football was ridiculous.  I hardly pay very much attention to college football, my big day is Sunday.  After getting my long run in and finally spending an hour cleaning out my car I sat down on the couch, without my kindle, and watched upset after upset and was actually riveted.

3.  Sunday was amazing, the weather finally feels like football and we made our first true “football food.”  We made an easy crock pot beef stew.  I love eating real stick to your bones food, especially when I am training pretty hard and not feeling too terrible about it.

Last big week:

This is my last big training week before my taper.  I had 8×800 Yasso intervals in 3:25 today and nailed them, even feeling pretty good after dreading them all day!  I have 5 easy tomorrow, 40 minute tempo Wednesday, Rest Thursday, 10 miles pace Friday, 20 miles Saturday then immediately commence taper!!  I feel energized after my hard run today going so well and ready to finish out this week hard heading into taper.

Moral of this story: This girl needs a new phone, if anyone out there has an old iPhone on AT&T, help a sister out and I will finally return to semi-regular blogging!

Happy Monday y’all!

Building A Lot of Character

Well I finally had a running week to be proud of after a few less than stellar weeks.  The funny part is that it was in absolutely terrible conditions!

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Monday: Hills Intervals on the Cooper River Bridge- started raining 1/2 mile in to my warm up, wind into my face going up meaning rain into my face on the up (granted the down intervals were even easier), stopped raining on my 6th of 7 repeats…go figure!!

Tuesday: easy 5 mile run, pouring rain, just being a tough kid

Wednesday: 50 minute tempo run and felt AMAZING for such a tough run…plus I ran into Tiny Terror during my cool down at the end.  Of course I was super creepy and out of breath and crossed the street like “Hey, pant, pant, blogs, online, pant, you blog, don’t you blog…pant.”  Sometimes I make myself look like such an idiot

Thursday: Rest; 45 minute yoga for cross training (still loving Yogaglo.com)

Friday: 10 miles at pace, learned for the 27th time not to eat Mexican at any interval of time before running, it never ends well, road the struggle bus to acid city, maintained pace by some unexplainable miracle

Saturday: 20 miles, more rain, felt good, no music/headphones, actually peaceful (yet another miracle)

Sunday: 5 easy miles, more rain, can’t stop getting soaked!

I think I did a total of 5 yoga sessions this week (1×45 minute, 4×15 minutes).  My legs have felt incredible and not at all limiting to my training as they have been.  I especially notice the difference when I walk Scarlett in the morning and climb the stairs at work first thing, that’s when my legs have been achiest (if that is a word).

I also spent some time in this position last night, which I love.  Easiest way to do something good for myself, minus having to look at my gross feet.

IMG_1871Hope you had a good training week too!!

Crazy Week

Last Wednesday we had friends come in to town and the rest of the week was a whirlwind.  We didn’t really do any thing too exciting but spent a lot of time hanging out and going to the beach.  I was lucky enough to get a few good runs in the mean time.  But to catch up with random tidbits…

1.  We went to a restaurant called Leon’s on far upper King Street and I dove in to a fried chicken sandwich (after a 9 mile pace run of course) and it was fabulous and so worth it.  I especially appreciated the side of cucumber salad instead of fries, HUGE winner in my book.

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2.  We took Scarlett to the beach with us one day and she had so much fun.  We haven’t taken her at all this summer, but I prefer to take her in the fall anyway when there are a lot less people around.

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3.  Sunday was the first day of football!  My fantasy team got crushed, Eagles won, we all ate, drank and were very merry on this first day of a new season!

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4.  My run yesterday was incredibly eventful including this…

The hawk caught the squirrel and it was still moving while I was taking this picture

The hawk caught the squirrel and it was still moving while I was taking this picture, real life Animal Planet

…then I fell.  And shattered my ipod. Got the skin of my hand stuck in the shattered screen.  Got glass stuck in my hand.  Had to put alcohol sanitizer on it all day.  Big fun!

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My shoulder is actually the worst, I must have tucked and rolled but I couldn’t get a good shot of it.  If you have read for a while these pictures may look familiar because my cuts are all almost in the exact same places, right over top of the old scars.  Running is actually becoming hazardous to my health.

5.  I officially registered to go back to Boston today!!  Quite a few of our friends are going with us this time which will be awesome, I am so excited to share one of the best experiences of my life with more people I love!  Still haven’t registered for my race in November.  What is wrong with me?!

That pretty much sums up the high lights.  Hope your runs have gone better than that one!

 

Doesn’t Get Better Than This

We have had some friends come into town yesterday and more are on the way as we speak.  It is so fun having people in town, we love entertaining!!  I have been calling it early each night because of work but I am excited to be able to join in the festivities fully tomorrow night. 

I started my morning with my first cup of coffee with pumpkin spice creamer of the season.

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After a regular old day of work (although every day is still an adventure) I called Casey to see what him and his friends were doing to find out they were at the beach.  I rushed home, let Scar out and got my running/beach stuff together.  I always seize the opportunity to run outside of my normal routes, and on the beach was a double bonus! 

It was a tough run to begin with, 45 minute tempo run, but adding the beach was a whole different element of hard.  I couldn’t find the right sand and for some reason the sand rubbed my feet really strangely, leaving me with many, many large blisters on the bottoms of my feet; not ideal.  Regardless the run was amazing, I peaked at the pace I was hoping for and felt great.  Plus ending with a refreshing jump in the ocean is the best way to go!

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After leaving the beach, we headed to grab a quick bite to eat before coming home to watch the game. 

Roasted Beet and Goat Cheese Salad

Roasted Beet and Goat Cheese Salad

That is THE FIRST NFL GAME OF THE SEASON!!  It really doesn’t get better than September: pumpkin spice, beach runs, football season and cooler weather.  Bring on Fall in full force please!!

Real Life

So here’s the thing, real life really isn’t that exciting.  And guess what…? That suits me just fine.  I love having a predictable routine all week.  Monday: pumpkin spice latte day (starting this week), Tuesday: farmers market, Wednesday: grocery store, Thursday: thursday dinner with friends, Friday: well its Friday so that’s pretty self explanatory. 

What this leads to is much less to share that I feel like anyone really wants to read about, which is okay too.  It just means less than daily posts from me because I seriously don’t need to bore you all to death.  The real bummer is that every day I have so many things that I would want to share but because of HIPAA I can’t share all the stories that make me laugh, cry, want to scream and love my job daily.  What I can say is that my ego has been greatly inflated since I have started my job because I am luck enough to have someone tell me I am pretty almost daily, can’t beat that right.  It always helps that a lot of my patients can’t really see that well but I choose to forget that fact!

The highlights of this week really included three things:

1.  The first pumpkin spice latte of the year:

IMG_18152.  This week was a cut back week marking halfway through training for Raleigh, meaning Friday and Saturday resting and a shorter long run of 13 miles tomorrow.

3.  Casey and his dad made our back splash and painted our living room and kitchen this week!!  And it is beautiful!

Wish the quality of this picture was better, need to get my good camera back out.  They made this with wood from an old house they worked on and it turned out incredible.

Wish the quality of this picture was better, need to get my good camera back out. They made this with wood from an old house they worked on and it turned out incredible.

Main man working hard

Main man working hard

IMG_1820IMG_1822I am so in love with all of it!  So I’d say this week was a win overall.  The only bummer is that I have to work tomorrow because we can’t work Monday but have to make up the day.  Such is real life though…

Hope you are all having a wonderful Labor Day Weekend/last weekend of summer!

 

 

A Most Eventful Long Run

Today called for a 17 mile long run, luckily in much better weather than yesterday.  It was cloudy with a breeze/wind that really made the temperature tolerable.

Casey needed to use my car to get to West Ashley for a fantasy football draft, but I had plans to go to the beach with a friend (who’s husband was also at the draft) so I planned a run to go over to Mount Pleasant then back Downtown and out to West Ashley to finish where he would be drafting.

I headed out over the bridge into Old Mount Pleasant where I go fairly often and did my turn around at 4.75 miles to double back.  I trotted back through Shem Creek and toward the bridge to return Downtown and head toward the final stretch.  The upside of the bridge going back downtown is significantly steeper (though shorter) so I always bow my head and try not to look up too hard.  As I was staring down at the water, I noticed what looked like a boat flipped over and a man standing on top waving his arms; not exactly something you see every day.  People were running, walking and biking all around me without seeming to notice.  I finally ran into two ladies that seemed to be concerned.  We decided someone should call 911, the boat was sinking fast and no other boats were stopping to help.  I got on the phone and was describing what was happening to the dispacher and finally another boat came to their aid.  Once semi-uprighted, I could tell it was a small sail boat, this whipping wind must have toppled them over.  I continued to report the situation until miraculously both sailors had righted the boat and were some how sailing away!!  CRAZY!!  The boat that came to their aid rode along with them up the river, helping them as needed.  (I tried to get a picture of all this but it was way too small). 

Once I felt that the situation was sufficiently under control, I got back underway and headed down the other side of the bridge.  I stopped quickly to refill my water bottle before quickly heading back through town and out to my final destination.  While I was stopped, a man I had passed came running by as said, “You are an amazing runner, keep it up.”  It was such an uplifting thing to hear, especially from a guy that looked much older and much more experienced.  It was the perfect motivation to get through the last 7.5 miles.

In my final 4 miles I switched from my This American Life podcast to Things Mom Never Told You.  I was shocked and suprised to find an episode about the trials and tribulations of having curly hair.  It was the perfect thing to get me laughing (and commiserating) in my final miles. 

I finally made it to the house, feeling as good as you can at the end of a 17 mile run and was happy to spend the rest of the afternoon relaxing at the beach.

Hope you had a great weekend and wonderful long run!

Running with John and Jack

Today marked the transition from long runs to LOOOONG runs in my head.  Anything over 15 miles makes it in the second category.  I decided I wasn’t getting up early to do it, that I would just go when Casey went to play flag football.  I hit the road at 11.  I fully knew the consequences of my decisions and embraced the heat as character building.

I hit up Jack Johnson radio which pretty much gives me Jack Johnson and John Mayer alternating with a couple others thrown in here and there.  I figured if my music was calm, my mind would be calm.  The run actually went way better than I could have hoped for in those conditions.  16 miles in 2:16.  I am not going to lie, the parts in the wide open sun were a little brutal but when there was shade involved I felt pretty strong.  Added bonus: my ankle didn’t give me any issues!!  I really feel like I dodged a bullet there.

After I got home from my run and Casey made it back from football we both hit the showers before heading out for a really late brunch.  After having a half bowl of cereal pre-run, I was starving by the time we sat down to eat at 2:30.  We went to Prohibition on King Street which we have been to twice before for dinner and we were once again impressed.

I am on a mission to try the huevos rancheros at every brunch place in Charleston and these did not disappoint.  I usually get these because I feel like nothing in them is super awful for you and every restaurant does them differently.  

IMG_1802 By the time we were done it was already 4.  Sundays just absolutely fly by.  We decided to go somewhere else on King Street so Casey could watch the 49ers pre-season game.  My friend JK had to leave before we could get a picture, but I got one with Nicole, my lovely friend kicking butt in nursing school right now!

IMG_1806Overall, pretty great Sunday and weekend.  I am not quite ready to get back to the grind tomorrow but I know I will be happy once I get there!!