"The woods are lovely dark and deep, but I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep, and miles to go before I sleep." ~Robert Frost

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

A long uphill battle

So I got back into running, slowly. First I was going to the track and doing speedwork, thinking it would make me stronger and less prone to injury. It went well for about a month and a half. Then it was painful and I was on the verge of injury. I backed off, incorporated much more road biking, and took it easier.

About 2 months ago, I began yoga once a week. I have always been opposed to yoga. It's just not fun for me. No sweating. Heart rate low. I did it anyways. It has really seemed to help me with core strength, and of course, flexibility.

Then I started letting myself run once a week. One long, easy run a week.

I tried to add strength training - weights. This I have done about twice a month for a few months. It hasn't stuck yet.

Then I added spin class. This got my heart rate up. It's only an hour, but it maxes my heart, so it's something. I would rather run, but I'll take what I can get. It also makes me push and pull against a large amount of resistance. I feel this is my current strength training.

So I've been doing once a week long, plus every now and then, getting Yonton to do one of the "knobs" of Shut-In with me. I got in Shut-In again this year. Hard to believe it's a month away. I've done a few medium-legnth runs with faster miles around the last three. (7-9 mile runs total.)

I opted out of a long run with friends last weekend, knowing my IT band was super-tight and bothering me. I was proud of my seemingly smart move.

So that's my long uphill battle. Going mountain biking this morning. Did 8 run with speed at end last night. I have skipped spin class this week so far, opting for more sleep. I plan on going friday.

My goal is to run SIRT without injury, and do Tsali Frosty Foot Fest in January.

Friday, March 18, 2011

The day I slowed down

So I am now up to 1.5 mile runs.

For me, apparently this means I can bike for 1-2 hours, then run 1.5 miles, then skip, butt-kick, hop, side-step crossover 1.5 miles.

The biking is pretty normal, but adding my calisthenics made my legs sore. (Suprise) So I had two days of work (no scheduled activities) then yesterday went for my 1.5  mile run. My head is good at justifying a way to get to run more. So yesterday I decided that I could jog slow for the entire 3 miles, and leave out the calisthenics and it'd actually be easier on my legs. So of course, that's what I did.

I was really tight when I started, for at least 1/2 mile. I decided to run naturally for me (less on my toes) and be relaxed. I tried to focus on holding my core tight. Then it got fun. I stayed relatively slow. I heard my garmin alert me to one mile and it had been a while since then. I dreaded looking down to see I had already been my 1.5. Turned out it was 1.42. I finished up my 1.5 and walked 0.2. Then I decided I could just jog slowly. I decided when it started to hurt, I'd walk. I wasn't uncomfortable at all until 2.4 miles had passed. By that point, I was so close to the parking lot, I just slowed down some more.

It was nice to get to "run" the whole time. Today I am biking. I work Saturday so I'll get another run Sunday. Thank you for every chance I get to get to run.

Sunday, March 6, 2011


After week one of running, I still feel the same - which is good! My foot doesn't hurt any more than it did without running. This week jumps to 1 mile runs. I did a mile on the treadmill and it felt great. It was hard (sadly) but it did feel great. I was told by a friend (who ran in college) that running on her toes helped her shin splints. So, I am trying that too.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

These changes, they're changing me...

Well now, after months of neglect, I have been cleared by my doctor to run 1/2 mile three times a week. I must say... this made my day!

I got a pair of orthotics made that had a high spot in them that caused a foot injury of some kind. After my weight cracking them, I had to take 3.5 months off and heal. (It's hard to stay off your feet as a nurse, and it's impossible not to run down the hall when a bed alarm goes off at night.) Makes the healing process much slower.

Anyways, I am posting to renew the inspiration for myself. I have been mountain biking a lot lately, given the week of spring-like temperatures. It's been awesome, and incredibly inspiring for the spring I get ahead of running.

I have to start slow. (And for anyone that knows me, this is a challenge.) I am allowed 1/2 mile three times a week, never two days in a row. If all goes well, next week it can be a mile, and so on. I can increase milage 1/2 mile per week until 6 weeks. At that point, I can start running 4 times a week. I am determined to stick to this schedule and do my shin-stregnthening exercises. I have missed running too much to stupidly get myself injured again.

I'm excited and look forward to maintaining my blog once again...

In place of a cheesy running quote, I am placing my all-time, most favorite running video.


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

My Everest

Finally, I have conquored it. It was kind of like nursing school for me... I waited a long time to be able to say I was a nurse. Now, I can say, "Why yes, I did the Shut-In this year."

For me this race meant a lot. I trained for it so very hard last year, and got injured, blah blah blah. I was really disappointed and discouraged with myself. I define myself as a trail runner, and in Asheville this is the race that I believe defines a trail runner. I could keep writing about how much it means to me that I accomplished it, but I think I'll just tell the race report, with some background.

So, in the last 60 days, I have run 61.05 miles. Yep. That's all. My highest mileage week was 16.21. Now, if I had made the mistake of looking this over before the race, I would have scared myself for sure. Thank goodness I didn't.

So the race had the pleasure of falling on my birthday this year. I am a huge birthday person. I LOVE birthdays. But even though, I have waivered about doing it for two main reasons.
1. I didn't really feel prepared. Compared to last year, this training year was a joke. However, this wasn't a big issue for me for some reason.
2. This was the very same day/time as the infamous Green River Race. A lot of my friends went to Saluda to watch that race instead, and Yonton was in that race too, so I wanted to support him.

In the end, I realized how much this race meant to me and made the right decision for me.

Race day.

It being my 29th birthday and all, (I may mention that an annoying number of times, so prepare yourself), I woke up to an omlette breakfast with fabulous honey-covered toast. Mom came and picked me up. (I consider mom my #1 fan. She always goes above and beyond and always says she had fun. She drove around in 25 degree weather for 4.5 hours and waited outside in that weather to crew for me.) Anyways, we headed to the Arboretum at 8:15 for packet pick-up. She helped me decide on how many layers and which hats to wear, given the snowy and FREEZING conditions. Before the race started, Steve my stepdad, my sister Stephanie, Blake, her husband and Bailey, my niece all came to see me off too. It was awesome.

Brenda and Marc from SMR were running too. I lined up with them. The final decision was announced upon start that we would be doing the last two miles. Given the snowy conditions, road closure was impending. It's not really Shut-In without the last two greuling miles. I would have felt cheated out of the experience and was so happy the whole race went as planned.

The race started at 10am. I decided to really take my time and relax. There were many miles to go. I was excited when we took a right at the end of Owl Ridge onto Hardtimes Rd. I knew I would see my family at the top where the parkway meets. I had to shed some clothes here, so I tossed them to mom, gloves and all. (I wish I would have kept the gloves.) I felt it was too soon to take a snack break, but I did drink a little cup of water to stay on the safe side.

Here was a significant climb as the race turns to the trail. I walked, as did most everyone. Most of the race here continued uneventfully. I jogged at an easy pace if it wasn't a significant hill and walked hills. It  was exciting here, because I knew I would see mom at Chestnut Cove, then Sleepy Gap. It was fun to have the crowds at the overlooks. I decided that I should start eating here, it had been about an hour since the start. I had gone to get my favorite cappuccino hammer gels the previous day, but apparently I am not the only one who likes them because they were sold out. I ended up getting those Sport Bean things. I tried some at Chestnut Gap, but they were horrible and I knew if I ate them it would make me sick. Anyways, I kept running and after those two, I told mom I'd see her at 151 and kept on my way.

My friend Kim and her husband Adam were kind enough to stand at Bent Creek Gap with some food/clothes for me if I needed it. I was glad I had given them an extra shirt, becuase it was pretty cold out there once you couldn't move too fast. When I got up to Bent Creek Gap, I had a hard time spotting them. Kim had told me she was going to make a huge glitter-glue sign, but at the time, I couldn't seem to find it. I don't know if it was blood sugar or blood pressure, but I couldn't see very well - I just couldn't focus enough to see them. I decided I should eat 1/2 of a banana here on account of that.

I thanked them (once they pretty much grabbed me by the shoulder) and kept running, thinking I wouldn't see any aid stations for 7 more miles. Thankfully I was wrong and the Forest Service had let water aid stations at each scheduled overlook.

Ferrin Knob was here, which is about 1,000ft elevation gain in less than two miles, with a 500ft drop in 0.7miles on the top of the peak. Needless to say it's rough on the legs, and slow. There are a few parkway crossings here with aid stations at most. Due to the parkway closings, however, it was one awesome person and a water cooler. I kept on uneventfully. My legs were pretty tired, but still working. My shinsplints were fine. The only frustrating part was my left Achilles was really tight. It's doing better now though and I was able to make it fine then too.

As 151 was approaching, I got excited to see mom again. At this point the friendships of a long race began to form. I had been running with Jim and a father/son team for about 10 miles. The father/son duo fell behind right before 151, and Jim and I kept on. At 151, there were a lot of spectators. I did spot mom though and had a snack and some water. I grabbed more gloves and a hat and was on my way.

As I stepped onto the trail, my heart soared. I realized if I started this section, there was no going back. I knew I'd finish. I also had the realization that I may break 4 hours. These last two started pretty uneventfully. I felt okay... then the mountain rose, and rose, and rose. It was the equivalent of 80 stories - 80 stories after a 16 mile run. It was amazing. I didn't even know if I was moving at some points. (I didn't think 1 inch steps counted, but now I do.)

Needless to say, I finished. I walked the last downhill mostly too, scared of my failing legs and frost-covered leaves. I saw mom at the finish. I had my first coke in 3 years, some potato chips and a handful of m&m's. It was so cold up there though, that I felt someone had placed me directly in a freezer. I didn't even want to take a picture by the sign - which is VERY unlike me. I was freeeeezing, and wanted warmth. I grabbed my shirt, and we left.

We rode down 151 to Asheville with the heat on high, all clothes layered on and the seat warmers on high. I was convulsively shivering. We switched cars, drove to Weaverville in my car which literally has the hottest heat of any car I know. I still convulsively shivered. Once I got to mom's, I sat in front of the wood stove for 30 minutes and finally was able to stop shivering. Once I felt I wouldn't die of cold, I put on a suit and got in the 110 degree hot tub. I stretched in there for about 30 minutes, got out and took a boiling shower, and dried in front of the wood stove. Finally, I was warm.

It was a great experience. I'm glad I didn't decide to wait another year - prepared or not.

It was my Everest, and I conquered it. And I will continue to do so, for years to come.

Friday, October 15, 2010

22 days to go! Oh, and FALL ROCKS!

This will be short, but I just have to say...


It was so very fabulous! The trails were covered with leaves and the wind was blowing and it was sunny and beautiful! At one point, the pine needles were snowing down on me and the sun was shining down through the trees. I LOVE fall running.

The new orthotics I had made at Foot Rx have done a world of good for me. I only ran for about an hour straight, the last hour was quite a struggle though. It made me realize how out of shape I am.

With Shut-In in 3 weeks, I figured I better start kicking my ass some if I hope to finish it. Maybe next year I'll actually be in shape for it. But back to the shins. They didn't hurt much at all! My hips and right knee hurt (that same knee thing during the DuPont half and it's training).

I have also decided to embark on a diet overhaul. Here we go!a

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Would you rather I start smoking?

I had a slight unhealthy love for the blue and grey look of the Montrails, but they didn't work with the new orthotics.

I ended up with the Brooks Cascadia 4's (which I already had) because they were on sale! They said that the shoes I had were not the problem, that possibly I needed a more supportive orthotic. It was time for a new pair of shoes though.

So I also got a new orthotic made with major arch support. I wore it all night at work, but unfortunately by the end of work, my right shin hurt so badly that I was limping. (Unreal.) I'm upset. : (  I work again tonight, I am going to wear my old orthotics and see if that helps.

I really thought this would be the answer, but now my shin hurts so badly I think I have done more damage. I feel like something is against my running. I don't know what it could be except karma or something. (Too much My Name is Earl.) A lot of people are able to easily keep up their unhealthy habits. Why is it such an ordeal for me to keep up my healthy one? Blugh.