Sunday, January 20, 2013

week two.

Days 6-12 mileage (week 2): 30.59 miles

Day 11. friday, january 11. Friday morning Run-A-Latte with Jeff

Ran a few miles from Starbucks with Jeff today. I think one of my favorite things to do is to run and then get hot coffee immediately after. Most of the run, I thought about the coffee. There was just a slight sprinkling of rain on our way back and it was a little chilly. The idea of coffee was all I could think about.

day 11. january 11. post run with my Starbucks.

Day 12. saturday, january 12. It's 70 degrees outside! Today and tomorrow's weather is supposed to be high in the seventies. It's January! I wasted a lot of my day today because I came home from work last night with some mega-shoulder pain between my right shoulder blade and my spine. When I woke up this morning, the pain was pretty bothersome. I figure it's probably from my fall on Wednesday. I fell pretty hard and caught myself with my right hand, so I probably jerked my shoulder, too. Around 3pm, I finally got my gear on and went for a run. I didn't want to, but I ran up Wiggington and back for a little five mile run. I was supposed to run for 70 minutes today, but I'll make it up tomorrow. Good thing about today's was super warm outside. I wore short sleeves and a skirt and it felt like spring!

day 12. january 12. 70 degrees.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Workout Wednesdays

Day 10. Thursday, January 10th.

Yesterday was a bad day. I fell down. It hurt. Today was better because:
  1. I couldn't feel as bad as I did last night.
  2. A workout was on the calendar for yesterday and I didn't do it, so I would do it today!
I love Workout Wednesdays. Maybe it's because I never ran for a team in high school or college and workouts represent the coached athlete. Maybe it's because I really do like speed and seeing how quickly I can turn my feet over. Maybe it's because the time and the miles pass so swiftly when I do a workout. Maybe it's because I often do them at the track at LC and I pretend like I'm in college on a team and someone actually cares about my performance besides me.

Whatever the reason, I always look forward to a good speed workout. Today really was my first real workout since training for Richmond. Last Wednesday I ran a few intervals on Fort Avenue, but I wasn't that focused and I didn't get my speed down to where I wanted it. It was my first real week back of running.

day 10. january 10. post-workout...compression sox rock.
This week's workout was to run 5x2 minutes a little faster than 5k pace. When I run on the track, I like to break down what my speed should be and then figure out what distance I should be able to run for a given interval.

I warmed up on campus and up Langhorne Lane.

Gregg came over to the track after my warmup to watch.

I started my intervals. It was warm-ish outside for January but I had on long sleeves and compression socks. I love how running on the track instantly warms me up. I start sweating, my breath is labored, more rhythmic. It's the pattern and consistency of the track that I really enjoy. Knowing that each lap or part of a lap is going to be the same if I work hard enough.

I had 3 minutes of recovery between each interval. They flew by. They seemed to go faster than the 2 minutes of actual running.

By the fourth interval, I was hurting a bit. Gregg had gone inside and the only person to look at was a passerby outside the track. The lights weren't even on because school wasn't back in session. It was dark, I was alone, and the night was quiet.

When I'm almost done with a workout, I always try to make the last interval really count.

day 10. january 10. don't stop believing!

Those last two minutes, I pushed harder. Really gave it my all. It hurt, but it felt good at the same time. Hurt so good.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

I fell down.

My first blog of 2013 was about a figurative getting back up after falling down.

My third blog of 2013 is about a literal getting back up after falling down.

Day 9. It was Workout Wednesday and Coach sent me some intervals to do on the track. My day at work was really bummin and I was tired and felt overwhelmed about a bunch of things. I was supposed to get off at 2, but worked until 5:15, so instead of going to LC to run on the track, I went home. I got out of my car and found Gregg working on the carport thing he built a few years ago. I looked up at him on the scaffolding,

Will you run with me?

His response: Wednesdays are my day off.

Maybe I'll just wait and run after dinner.

I went inside, went upstairs, opened the freezer, and pulled out some Christmas cookies. I ate four of them. I suppose that was hunger...or possibly just my need to eat emotionally. It had been a hard day.

I decided right after the fourth cookie that I didn't want to wait until late to run. Gregg came inside and he said he'd do a couple (two) miles with me. We suited up in our running clothes, he threw on a headlamp, and we went outside to run two loops around our neighborhood. Just over two miles.

It was really dark and I was thankful he wore the headlamp. He had also insisted on bringing pepper spray because I'm so afraid of dogs, especially Boogie--the evil dog up the street. He's the dog that chased me back in 2010 when I did project3sixfive Round 1. I will forever feel like that dog is out to get me. He barrels across his yard, barking fiercely, his nails hit the asphalt and I can hear him coming toward me...ugh. Not a good memory.

So we pass the house where Boogie lives--no encounter--and continue on. The first mile goes by without any issues. We head back around the block for the second loop and pass Boogie's house again. No dog.

Thank goodness, I think.

We loop around to make the second to last of two turns before we're back on our street. There's a slight downhill toward a stop sign before we turn left onto Chadwick and then make the final left onto Mullbury. As we head toward the stop sign, Gregg is just a little bit ahead of me. I'm thinking, I hope this mile is faster than the first.

And then,


I'm falling down, my feet aren't under me, and my right hand is going foward to catch myself. I feel my knee hit the asphalt, then a slight roll and my left hip, elbow, and shoulder are sliding as by body skids to a halt. About 3 feet of skidding to be exact. Mostly on my right palm, where the skin has rolled back to reveal a nice bloody oval.

Gregg runs over as I start to cry. My hand hurts the worst. And my knee. I half raise myself off the ground and then lay back down as Gregg says, don't get up.

I realize my watch is still running. I find enough energy to press stop, but then lay my head back down on the asphalt. Everything hurts. I cry some more. And kind of yell and groan and moan and whine.

We're less than half a mile from our house and I don't want to walk back home. Gregg says we should walk...but I don't want to. So we ran. And I made it home. And the shower hurt. A lot.

I acted like a baby all evening and asked to be waited on. Gregg was very understanding. He did say I need a fragile sticker though. I'm on the mend, but my knee had an awesome bruise on it the next morning and was all swollen, which made day ten's run a little tougher. More on that later.

day 9. january 9. my hand hurts.

my scuffed-up hand.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

A little catch-up

Days 1-5 mileage (week 1): 25.66 miles

I've started the year off on the right foot for the most part. I've run 2 miles everyday, not including today, so that's 11 days of running with no major problems or issues. Here's a quick recap.

Day 1. New Year, new goals. Goal was to wake up and participate in the New Year's Fun Run with the Lynchburg Road Runners. Plan foiled when I stayed out too late with Gregg, Chelsie, and Cheyenne on New Year's Eve. No big partying, just late (1:30am) to bed. Ugh. Couldn't wake up to go to the early run, schooled by Cheyenne who went to bed probably later and was still there. Haha. Ran 5 miles in the afternoon from my house to Hawkins Mill Road and back. Good, easy, little-bit-o-hills run.

day 1. january 1. nike spike skull shirt

Day 2. Everyone went back to work and I'm off so there wasn't much to do. Original plan was to go to Holiday Lake and run a loop with Chelsie and some other ladies who are doing the race (no, don't worry, I'm not running HL, just want to see what the loop is like...not interested in this weird ultra thing...jk.) but the plans didn't work out. Wednesdays are usually speedwork days when I've trained for my past two marathons, so Coach gave me a workout and I headed over to LC and ran some intervals on Fort Avenue. They weren't easy, but it is my first speed day in awhile and I'm out-of-shape. It's early, right? At least I was wearing a cute pink sparkly headband!

day 2. january 2. intervals on Fort Ave.

Day 3. It would've been so much more convenient if I woke up and ran this morning, but alas, it's me against my I.Hate.Mornings. self and I didn't win. Ran just under 3.5 miles on the Avenue after work. Had to be back to the store in time for Gregg to pick me up for dinner at Waterstone with Mark from Saucony. Easy run and even better hummus, pita, and veggie dip. I could eat that for my whole meal and skip the pizza. Yummo!

day 3. january 3. i have hummus to eat!

Day 4. Woke up with the early folks for our Run-A-Latte with the RR staff and our Saucony reps. Met Chelsie at the store at 6:30, ran to Starbucks, then met the 7:00 peeps for the rest of the run. Ran just over 8 miles and some were fast, quality miles. Felt strong. Coffee tasted good. Even wore my Skhoop skirt to keep your buns warm when you wear tights. Super cute and fuctional (it was like 25 degrees out when we started!)

day 4. january 4. "ain't no walk in the park."
day 4. january 4. skhoop skirt and Run-A-Latte

day 4. january 4. kylie, kristie, claire, jeff, jeff, and me
Day 5. Gregg ran to the store and met me after work to do 5 miles. He's a super husband. We ran from the store to the bike path, downtown, and then up Cabell Street and Rivermont back to the store. That Cabell Street ain't no joke.

day 5. january 5. running skirts chevrun print
day 5. january 5. NYC 26.2 tank from Firedaughter Clothing on etsy

Day 6. Was able to wake up and meet Chelsie at the normal Sunday run group. It was cold and my legs were tired, so we ran less than 3.5 miles, but we had coffee/hot chocolate after and that tasted good.

day 6. january 6. i'd rather drink coffee than run far today.

Day 7. Today after work is a staff meeting. I had about 2 hours in between work and the meeting, so I drove home and then ran back to work. It's a 7 mile run, and except for Wiggington Road in the dark, I really enjoy that run. Ran in a pair of pink CEP compression socks. They make my legs feel nice. Staff meeting went really well.

day 7. january 7. this USA T&F shirt makes me run faster.

Day 8. Didn't feel like running that much today. It was kind of windy but not that cold. Got my butt out and did though, but only ran 2.75 miles on the Avenue after work. Saw a man walking his dog while I was running. The dog wanted to chase me, so I swung out off the sidewalk into the street to pass them. I'm not taking any chances with dogs. We all know I'm not a huge fan. Run was fine once I started, but it's just that sometimes it's hard to pick my feet up and say I'm going to run. Other times it's so easy. Brought pizza home for dinner. It was good.

day 8. january 8. this Brooks half-zip makes me feel snuggly

Friday, January 4, 2013

You can't climb back up if you don't first fall down.

The past year has been one of awesome gains, amazing trips, and forever friendships.

My awesome job as manager at Riverside Runners got even awesomer at the beginning of September when we moved our store to a bigger location down the street (affectionately known as "Uptown Riverside Runners") because we were busting at the seams in our old store. How lucky was I to be part of a new page in the RR story--a campaign to inspire movement in our community and everywhere!?

Uptown Riverside Runners, #inspiremovement

I set PRs in almost every distance; from 800m to 26.2 miles and everything in between.

I ran my second and third marathons (Pittsburgh in May and Richmond in November) faster than my first.

I went to Chicago in June all by myself and ran in the Chicago Women's Half. The race started in Grant Park...way cool to run in this big of an event and it be only women. Made for a little more of a competitive edge because everyone I passed was a girl!

Chicago Women's Half, June 2012
In August, I visited my friend Sarah in Oregon. She and I used to teach 2nd grade together in Lynchburg, and then she moved to Oregon in September 2010. I always wanted to visit her and the opportunity to do just that and run Hood to Coast* all came together in 2012! What an awesome experience! The trip was full of memories--from staying in downtown Portland and visiting Adidas HQ and then Nike HQ in Beaverton, to seeing Mount Hood up close and personal, to driving across the state of Oregon in a van with a team of 5 other goofballs who were so much fun, to finishing the race on the beach in Seaside, to driving down the coast with Sarah, Ryan, Abigail, and Hank (including seeing Haystack Rock), to spending several days in Newport where the Knapps had made their was a trip I'll never forget.

*Hood to Coast is a 200-mile relay race from Mt. Hood to Seaside, Oregon. You run the race in legs, with 12 people per team, 2 vans, 6 people in each van, and each person on the team running 3 legs for a total of 36 legs. It's one of the most amazing ways to see part of the state of Oregon.

Starbucks was brewing "Hood to Coast" that morning

Up close and personal with the summit
The girls of Van 1, with Mt. Hood behind

Sarah and I right before my 2nd leg of the race

Most of the team after our finish in Seaside

Hanging on the beach in Seaside


Prior to HTC and through July, August, September, and October I was training pretty hard for what would have been my most anticipated marathon experience of my life. I was selected to run in the New York City Marathon through the lottery. I found out in April. I was already training for the Pittsburgh Marathon in May, so I was kind of surprised when I got in (my plan would be that I probably would only want to run one marathon each year). But I trained hard and was very ready for NYC, which was supposed to be the first Sunday in November. Then Hurricane Sandy hit.

Of course, plans changed. While Gregg and I were on our way to NJ to spend the weekend at my brother-in-law's before NYC, the marathon was cancelled (this was Friday) due to all the damage and tragedy from Hurricane Sandy. I was really bummed out, but understood why the city decided to cancel. We tried to make the best of the weekend and helped out with donations of clothes, linens, and shoes that we had brought with us. It was a neat weekend to be in NJ & NYC and spend with our family. We were lucky to have had that experience.

Jackie, me, and Maddie in NYC

Maddie, Gregg, me, Don, Chris, Sarah, and Jackie in Sayreville
To make up for all the training and no marathon in NYC, I signed up for Richmond the following weekend (November 10th). I didn't really know what to expect because it had been kind of a crazy weekend in NYC (just exhausting from feeling upset about what happened to NYC with Sandy hitting to feeling upset about the race being cancelled to feeling tired from travelling to not knowing what to run the week in between...) I was also lucky enough to end up with a migraine on Friday morning the day before Richmond. It seriously seemed like no cards were in my favor and that maybe I just shouldn't run a marathon this fall. Then we made it to Richmond Friday night and we had a really good dinner at the Strawberry Street Cafe with my brother-in-law's Aunt Nancy who we were staying with in Richmond, and had a good night's sleep.

When I woke up Saturday before the race, I felt as ready as I could be. And despite all the craziness in getting to this marathon, I was ready. I ran eleven minutes faster in Richmond than I had in Pittsburgh in May. It was a really really exciting and fulfilling and emotional day. I ran with the "NYC 26.2" shirt that I had made by an amazing Etsy artist, Firedaughter, and was supposed to wear in NYC. I felt so much positive many people who would read my shirt and be happy that I was there to run. It was just a really cool experience. I'm not happy that NYC was cancelled, but I understand. I am happy that I was able to run Richmond.

What. A. High.

I'm a lucky gal.

right before the start of Richmond

Kevin, me, Felix, Freda, and Jeff--all Lynchburgers!

me, Jeff, and Felix post-race; can you tell I'm stoked?

proud Richmond finisher!
Following the Richmond Marathon, my running plans were semi-slim. I would run the Turkey Trot in New Jersey while we visited Gregg's brother and fam for Thanksgiving. I would run the Peaks of Otter Christmas Classic 5k in Bedford. But other than that, I was kind of on the chill-out and recover plan. After those races, I didn't do much running. Especially in December. In fact, I barely wanted to run. And that is okay...they say it's a day of rest for every mile after a marathon to I took most of those days and just didn't do much structured running. I wanted to eat cookies and bake and shop and decorate for Christmas. So I did those things and worried less about running.

Then, in December, I felt kind of like I was putting on the pounds. It's funny how we all have our own perceptions of our imperfections. Especially women...and even though I probably didn't gain much weight--if any--I was just not feeling myself. I felt like I hit a really big slump with not running much for 6 or 7 weeks.

So last week, I decided that I had fallen far enough. In 2010, I created this "project3sixfive" blog to chronicle my goal of running every day for a year. I didn't exactly keep up with the blog like I had planned, but I did run every day for over a year (450+ days) and became a much more consistent runner. In 2011 and 2012, I ran and trained and got faster and everything was super.

For 2013, I just felt like I wanted to change my running schemes. So I decided that I wanted to run everyday for a year again. Climb back up from falling down. Jump back on the wagon. Pound the pavement (and maybe some trails with Chels). Run everyday. See where it takes me.

So I'm doing it. I'm back. Watch out 2013. I'm coming for you.

But all of this to say that 2012 was a really great year.

I ran better and faster than I ever have before.

I ran in Richmond, Chicago, Portland, Austin, Pittsburgh, Williamsburg, Lynchburg, Greensburg, Flemington, and from Mount Hood to Seaside, Oregon.

I ran with new friends in 2012 who will be more than just running friends forever.

The second that moves 2012 to 2013 happens quickly. With just a blink of an eye, one year is over, and a new one has begun. New Year's Eve 2012 ended with some gals I could call my sisters. What a difference a year friends and all.

Me, Cheslie, & Cheyenne: New Year's Eve 2012
Gregg and I on New Year's Eve