Wordless Wednesday

Rolling deep with BGR before our 10 mile long run!

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Ice Bath Haiku

ice bath haiku

As I have been training for middle distances, my mileage has increased as expected.  When I sat down to write down my training schedule, I wrote the word ICE next to each run that was longer than 8 miles.  I had heard from one of my BRFs, Real, that 8 miles was the distance that brought out the aches and pains during trains.  Anything more than 8 miles and you really feel it.  However, Real trained for her first half-marathon during the summer and raced it in the Fall.  I’m training for Spring races in the Winter.  The thought of coming in from a frosty (20-40 degrees) run and getting into an ice bath just didn’t fly with my brain.  The last thing I wanted after running next to an ice covered lake or pond was to come home and get into ice water.  No way, not me!

In February, I started doing runs longer than 8 miles but did I ice bathe after?  Nope!  I ran 9 miles the Saturday before my birthday.  On my birthday, I had a therapeutic massage.  The masseuse commented on how tight my calves were.  She is a runner herself and spent extra time getting the knots worked out.  I ran the RRCA 10 Miler a few days later to celebrate with no ice bath.  Then, my mileage dialed back a bit for a few weeks.

Fast forward to this month, I ran 9.5 miles 3 Saturdays ago and 10.3 miles last Sunday.  Following both of those runs, I came in and took my warm shower.  I wore my ProCompression Marathon socks to recover.  I made sure to stay hydrated, paid attention to the macros and micros of my diet, etc so that I would recover well.  However, for most of last week my calves were TIGHT!  My speedwork was more like slow-work.  My 7 mile easy run was cut short to 5 miles.  I did Bikram Yoga on Friday with the hopes that the heat and the stretching would help.  It didn’t.

So this Saturday’s long run of 10 miles – the last long run before the Cherry Blossom on my schedule – was BRUTAL!!!  Instead of my calves loosening up after the first few miles, they felt tighter.  I do 1:1 run/walk intervals.  I mostly walked the last 3 miles.  I finished in my worst time ever since February.  I knew it was time to embrace the ice bath.

If you haven’t taken an ice bath before, check here for some Do’s and Don’ts.  I climbed in to my tub filled with cold water, sat down and winced.  I stayed in for a little over 10 minutes.  When I climbed out and warmed up, not only did my calves feel better but aches in my hips which I had only just begun to realize existed were gone as well.  Even more important to me as a hysterrunner, the aches in my lower abdomen around my incision which I have felt since I started running again were also going away.  I thought that they were a permanent ache to deal with.  Turns out they too were just muscle aches due to running!  I’m a believer – cue The Monkees!

The Monkees–I’m A Believer

Have you ever taken an ice bath?  What do you do to recover from intense effort?

Faith and Fitness Friday–Run the Race

Today’s Our Daily Bread keep phrase is very timely for a runner.

run the race

It’s taken from 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 which reads:

Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.  And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.

Six Months & Counting

Today marks 6 months since my hysterectomy! On September 20,2012, I had my uterus removed. After months of hemmorhaging, it was the only choice. It turns out that I didn’t have endometriosis or cervical cancer. I did have numerous fibroids and 2 rapidly growing  tumors which turned out to be benign. The surgery was truly a lifesaver for me. Life post-op has been interesting.

Thanks to my surgery, I went from being a sometimes mother runner to a badass hysterrunner. When I first coined the term, “No uterus, no problem,” I had no clue how true that would be.

Before my surgery, I ran 10-12 miles a week. After, it was a battle to run 1-2 miles at a time. Today, I’m averaging 25 miles/week! Why? Because I am thankful to be alive! Pre-hyster, I was considering maybe running a 5K a month. Now, I have challenged myself to run 13 races in 2013, including several 10 mile races and my first half-marathon!

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I used to read stories about people who have a new lease on life and chuckle. Now I understand how grateful it truly feels to be able to do something you may not have had a chance to otherwise. I run for all of the reasons in this picture. I run to thank God for giving me my body back. I am thankful for the chance to make it healthier day by day.

Day by day, day by day, oh dear Lord these things I pray. To see things more clearly, day by day. Love thee more dearly, day by day. Follow thee more nearly, Lord, day by day. – Godspell

What are you thankful for today? Let me know in the comments.

Faith and Fitness Friday–Run with God

I came across this wonderful inspirational essay and had to share a part of it with you.  The original essay was written by Theodore J. Sanborn on November 7th, 2010.  It can be found at Listening for God.

I have been trying to work on my prayer time, especially while I’m running.  This essay reminded me that I may not be the only one!

The majority of people in our culture claim they don’t have time to run, and the other half say they don’t have time to pray. Although multi-tasking usually lowers our level of performance for each activity, the idea of praying while running might actually help us more fully achieve our goals in both areas.

Think about that – multitasking in a good way.  The author goes on to describe his “conversations with God” which helped him to get through half-marathon training.  He says that:

When we choose to engage him in prayer during our run we might achieve an even higher state of happiness – a natural state of joy in the presence of God without the persistent intrusions that might otherwise exist when we pray.

Then, he goes on to describe the ACTS Prayer Model which he uses in his running routine.

A for Adoration (Praise): Think about God’s majesty, power, and goodness. The Psalms are full of beautiful descriptions and images that you can freely appropriate.
C for Confession: Admit to God your faults. You might want to make sure that this part of the prayer, if not the whole prayer, is said silently, so as not to distract other runners.
T for Thanks: Give thanks to God for what he has done for you – health, family, etc. You could fill a complete ½ marathon thinking of things to be grateful for once you put your mind to it.
S for Supplication: Finally, after recognizing God and your own condition, you are now spiritually prepared to make requests to God for specific types of intervention.

He suggests breaking your run into 4 parts and focusing on each part of the prayer during the 4 parts of the run.  I plan on doing this on my long runs from now on.

What do you do to combine your prayer and running worlds?

February Race Recap

Thanks to all of you for my birthday wishes! I ended my birthday celebrations on a high note.  So much was going on in the month that I haven’t posted since my birthday on February 20th – not even a Faith and Fitness Friday!  I intend to make up for that today.  I will be giving you a recap of my first 10-mile race.

To celebrate life, I have been working towards running 13 races in 2013.  For February, that race was the Maryland Road Runners Club of America Club Challenge.  A 10-mile race in Columbia, MD with runners from RRCA groups from all over Maryland.  I was very excited for this race because it was my first chance to run 10-miles ever.  I’m running the Cherry Blossom 10-Miler in April so this was my chance to get used to the distance.  I was quite excited that this race was 4 days after my birthday and continued my birthday week celebrations!

Two weeks before I had run my furthest difference in preparation for the race – 9 miles.  I kept up with my tempo and speed work in the week following.  Then, in the week leading up to the race – my birthday week – I was overcome by shin splints during my tempo run and had to finish by walking.  (Shout out to Candace @cherishedflight for walking with me!)  My running shoes were overdue for replacement and I had been holding out until after the race.  For my birthday, I bought myself a new pair of Sauconys – same style & size but different color.  I spoke with the awesome folks at Charm City Run about whether or not I should run in the new ones.  We decided that risking friction and chafing was better than shin splints, especially since my feet were used to that style.

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20130306192811Old in pink on the left followed by new in blue on the right!

The Good – I finished in 2:30!  I wasn’t last!  This was a decent time being that it was my first time at this distance.  It is a 15 minutes shorter than the pace that the sweeper truck at the Cherry Blossom picks people up at.  Focusing on speed the next few weeks to insure that I meet my 2:20 goal for 10 miles.

The Bad – I started to feel the friction in my new shoes at about mile 4.  I didn’t have any moleskin or bandaids on me. Lesson learned.  At the mile 5 water stop, someone had 2 tiny bandaids which I placed on the area to try to reduce the friction.  I stayed focused on finishing.  I kept reminding myself of how far I had come.  Instead of a 2.30/1 run walk ratio though, I began walking more as the pain increased.  Even still, I managed to get to mile 7 without even noticing when I passed 6!  Then, right at mile 8, one of my BRRC running buddies started calling my name from the sidelines.  She was a sight for sore eyes.  She didn’t run the race because she is dealing with some injuries.  But, she walked and ran me in the rest of the way! Dechen was extremely encouraging.  She made sure to tell everyone we saw on the last 2 miles that this was the furthest I had ever run.  She definitely made the end of the race worthwhile.  The next best moment was right before mile 10 when I saw my coach Jen. Jen is who took the picture of us below.  I hid Dechen’s face because I forgot to get her permission to plaster her face across my blog.  I guess Dechen and Jen made it not too bad!

 

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The Ugly – An angry red blister on my left foot.  Really never want to get one of those again.  Moleskin is now added to my kit of things to carry during a race.

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So that’s it – the good, the bad, and the ugly of my first Ten Mile Race experience.

Tell me, how far have you run? Raced?  Have you ever had a blister?  How did you treat it?

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Rock N Roll Philly Half Marathon

Race # 10September 15th, 2013
Aiming for a PR!