Adjusted Reality

“Reality can be beaten with enough imagination.” – Mark Twain

Tag: marathon Page 1 of 10

The Woodlands Marathon

It was an interesting weekend, I’ll say that.  I’m still exhausted. 🙂  Instead of a chronological account of everything, I feel like I need to do this in categories, because it was the best and worst of times… at times.

Mar7-1

Pre Race Nutrition: A+

I think I’ve figured out the optimal day before and morning of nutrition.

  • Day before breakfast: something hearty that makes the stomach happy.  More like 500 calories rather than my normal 200-300.  I had leftover “light take” chicken parm and it was spectacular.  Pretty sure a bagel with turkey sausage and cream cheese would be a good go to as well, since I probably won’t luck out and have leftover chicken parm again.
  • Lunch: I wasn’t feeling that hungry after the big breakfast, so I went for a 6 inch turkey no mayo no cheese with baked chips and a powerade.
  • Snacks: Random pretzels and baked cheetos and some jerky while driving there and navigating to packet pick up.
  • Dinner: My tried and true – salad, chicken, and mashed potatoes (above).  We went to Omega Grill and it was one of the best pieces of chicken I have ever had.
  • Race day breakfast: two belvita breakfast cookies with a slather of chocolate almond butter and two caffinated powerbar chews.

I felt topped off but not sick.  A little caffeinated, but not jittery.  I was able to use the bathroom before the race and didn’t have to stop during.  If nothing else went right this race, it’s really nice to have a pre-race routine that rocked, because that’s been hit or miss lately.

Race Nutrition: B

I took all the gels I had, and expected to potentially pick one up at the gel stop around 20 or grab an extra somewhere if I needed it.  Well, they were out of gels, and the only food offered to me was a tub of PB.  Hmmm, no thanks, I’ve never had that while running.  I made sure to get extra gatorades and I think I did fine, but I did feel a TOUCH lightheaded for a sec around mile 21-ish.  Next time, bring the extra gel just in case.

Post Race Nutrition: B

It always goes water, gatorade, then beer, and this was no exception.  The food tent was a little sparse by the time I got there, but they had garlic toast left, and I think I crammed them two pieces in my mouth before I chewed anything.  On the walk home we picked up some Taco Bell, which I usually think is the nastiest thing in the world, but that Quesalupa was LIFE.

Since then I’ve just kind of made sure to eat something every few hours.  I haven’t gotten to the point of getting so hungry I’m shaking, and I also haven’t felt like I’ve eaten like an asshole, though I have had 4 different fried things already today and it’s lunch, so maybe that isn’t entirely true.  The QUANTITY hasn’t been assholish, but the quality kinda has been.

We had a few adult bevvies with dinner post marathon, but actually saved the CELEBRATION for the next day, which I actually think worked out better for recovery.

Gear minus my shoes: A

I wore new sunglasses (I know, I know, nothing new the day of the race…), and they worked out great, thankfully.  I wore the same tried and true kit I wore at SpaceCoast, down to the same socks (but probably not underwear).  I lubed up enough so I got almost ZERO chafing, and that’s pretty damn impressive for a warm marathon.  I missed a few spots with the sunscreen, but I got most of the surface area and it stayed put.  I’m sold on the race belt for my number thing now.  It looks a little doofy but it’s SO nice to have space for gels.

Mar7-3

Shoes: D-

I barely passed them because they got me to the end of the race, but I think it might have been IN SPITE of that, and I might have been better off barefoot.  My entire left arch and left toe have become blisters, not those cute ones you just notice after you finish a run, but the kind that show up at mile 10 and go, hey lady, you have to run 16 more miles, fuck you.  I got a blood blister on my right foot as well.  Sorry Clifton 2s, you’re shit and I’m donating you and never running in you again (though I’ll probably still go for another pair of Hokas, just not THOSE).

Lesson learned: when your shoes just don’t work out, it’s not worth toughing out a season in them hoping they get better.  Live, learn, use them for short runs and buy more shoes.  In hindsight, I’m pretty sure this was part of my hip problem, and I’m hoping that staying out of them for the next 2 weeks/rest of my life will prove that.

My actual race performance: D

Here’s that bit where I usually focus on and it really is a small part of Saturday’s story.  I held sub-5 hour pace through mile 11, where it became abundantly clear to me that my body was not going to continue with that much longer.  The hammies and glutes cramping started at mile 5 and never got better, even though I shoved 303s (herbal muscle relaxers), caffiene, and the super electrolyte gel.

I was able to keep it under control at first by backing off the pace by a little up hills, but once the blisters kicked in, my gait adjusted, and other things started to hurt too.  I went from a goal of 4:59:59 to hoping I would be able to finish before I was swept off the course because there was very little running left in my legs even before I hit the halfway mark.

My attitude: A

I won’t give myself a plus here, because there were a few miles in which I really did contemplate DNFing, but it was more along the lines of adhering to my c goal, which was do no lasting harm to my body.

I started with a true open mind, ready to take whatever cards the day gave me and make the best of it.  If my body said running the whole thing was possible, I was ready to go all in.  Until it became obvious that it was time to fold. (ok, I’ve finished with the poker metaphors here, moving on)

I was a little salty with myself at first, but it became crystal clear very quickly that my mind was not giving up.  It was my body.  This was not my day.  And that became OK.  I decided I wanted my finisher shirt so I was going to continue until either I could not go forward without risking further injury or I was pulled from the course.

Then, I realized, I had no idea what to do with myself for the amount of time I realized I was going to be on course.  I only had a ~2 hour music playlist I planned on bringing out at mile 13, and it was weird hearing all these super pump up songs while I was intentionally walking, not out of failure, but preservation.  I had no concept of intentionally taking 6 hours-ish to complete a marathon and being ok with it.

And then I ended up walking next to and met… Aubrey?  I think?  Marathon brain.  And we talked for a few miles about other marathons and training and all sorts of random stuff.  I started to feel better and told her I was going to run a bit and I hope she’d catch up with me later.  Sadly, I didn’t see her again, but I hope she had a great day!

Between the blisters and the other pains, it was more painful to START running than anything, so once I got going, I tried to keep it up as long as I could, because the walk breaks had to be long too with the blisters and the cramping.

After 30k, I made a turn and there was a spectator that I thought was being super nice, talking and encouraging me and offering me food.  Then I realized that she was talking to the gal behind me.  Embarrassing!  However, I made friends with both of them (Sadie!  I remembered a name of someone I met that late in the marathon!) and we walked and ran a bit together through early 20s, until I decided that we were probably holding each other back enjoying our walk and talk, so I decided to run ahead and we ping ponged back and forth until the end.

I figured a little more running couldn’t hurt, so I ran the last mile and a half and made it to the end.  I found Zliten and said something like “I finished! I made friends!  I can has offseason now!”, to which I’m sure he was super happy not to have to deal with a super pissed off emotional mess, which I was absolutely not.  I came in with hope for a great day but I was absolutely prepared for many situations, and finishing in about 6 hours was absolutely not the worst of them.

Mar7-2

Proof I was hoping for the best!

Body Condition After: D

Let me tell you, walking most of the second half of a marathon was no easier on me than running the full race last year, probably WORSE.  I won’t say this is the sorest I’ve ever been in my life, but I wouldn’t necessarily say I can remember ever being more creaky 2 days removed from any race yet.  I went from baby giraffe on day 1 of life, to baby giraffe on day 2, and today, I feel as if I can upgrade my condition to old man with a walker.

There is no ANNOYINGLY FINE going on here.  I am physically and mentally spent.

Quickies:

Course: B-.  The elevation profile makes it look deceptively flat, which is in the sense that there are no big hills, but you are always going up or down.  Not my favorite.  However, you get to run through the woods.  It’s gorgeous.  I can train differently to make the hill problem go away so it’s not a dealbreaker.

Course Support: B.  They never ran out of water/gatorade, which was solid, but being out of gels at mile 20 sucked.  They extended the cutoff because it was warm, which was nice of them, and even finishing at 6 hours, I felt like they were still supporting the back of the packers well.

Spectator Support: A.  The course is one loop, but it seemed like it was fairly easy to get around, because I saw many people cheering multiple times.  The town really comes out to cheer people on!  It’s awesome!

Hotel: A.  We stayed at the Hilton Garden Inn.  It was about half a mile from the race start – perfect warmup walk, and painful cooldown but probably actually probably great for me in the long run hobble back from the race.  The restaurant had great food in a pinch when we were too… marathoned to go anywhere else for dinner.  It was extremely QUIET and the room was comfortable, and I got decent pre-race sleep and AWESOME post race sleep, and both of those are hit or miss.

All’s well that ends well.  It’s done.  I’m FREE.  It’s offseason.  Cheers to that.  I’m not sure if I’ve ever been less sad not to be training for something.

Mar7-4

While I gave marathons up about 20 billion times on the course, I can’t 100% be done with them forever.  Zliten had a great day and beat my PR by like 40 seconds.  I will qualify that it was on a slightly short course though – I registered 26.08, he registered 26.0 – so the jury is out whether it ACTUALLY counts as a house PR.  We’ll leave it at that and say we both have the pleasure/pain of running 5 hour + a few seconds marathon times.

And, sure, there’s a voice in my head that wishes I could have been dealt some different cards, but that is just not how the day played out.  And I am TOTALLY ok with it.  Frankly, I’m just ready for this blog post to be over, because I’m so super excited about moving on and what’s next.

It’s time to heal, it’s time to rest, it’s time to grow (and shrink) in other areas, it’s time to fix things, and it’s time to do something completely different.  I’m SO pumped about this. #projectspring, GO!

Birthday Boxes

It’s my birthday today.  It’s not a big one, I’m not moving age groups, my (haha) BQ time isn’t getting longer, but it is always time to pause and reflect on things.

March17-1

52 weeks and 5 days ago.

First of all, I’m running a marathon in two days.  At first I was kind of bummed with the timing (you can’t really celebrate a birthday properly when you have to avoid booze and spicy food and anything too overly fatty or rich).  However, I think I’m actually happy about it because of the idea of mental boxes.

One way for me to look at this race is to look at this race is as the culmination of the last 7 months.  Normally, I’m all bubbly and talking about the race as a celebration of your training and popping champagne all over the course.  Unfortunately, this last cycle has been more about overcoming obstacles than happily checking boxes, so I’m more than ready to put it away.

The last 7 months has seen an experiment with nutrition gone completely awry, causing me to swiftly gain about 12 lbs.  It delivered me feeling great and confident to my first race (70.3), and gifted me with that specific 12 hours per month where all I want to do is curl up and die, and then a bike crash, causing me to finish OVER AN HOUR slower than my goal.

After that, my head and heart quit on me for a while, causing me to be completely unenthused with training, and hit a pretty low point with a personal worst at the 26.2 distance at the end of November.  After some time, I found some new enthusiasm skewing my training towards chasing a PR at the half marathon distance.  I didn’t quite hit it, but I felt like I ran well and showed I wasn’t too far off my game.

Jan27-1

Thumbs up indeed.

Then, with my head and my heart pretty well in it, I spent the prettiest (for running) 3 weeks of the year on the treadmill, and then my body quit on me – specifically my hip.  I’m sure everyone is sick of hearing about it, but it’s really frustrating to have to cut a marathon training plan down from running 6-7 days a week to 3 planned runs, where one usually ended up getting cut short or cut altogether to attempt to heal the stupid him of doom.

These are all things that happened in the last half of my 36th year.  The good news?  Today I start my 37th.  I can officially package up age 36 and put it in a box with a bow and put it in the closet.  Will the choices I made last year affect me?  Absolutely.  However, I can choose to leave the baggage that doesn’t matter, the mental bullshit, the doubts, the fears, and the negativity in that box and start with a fresh attitude.

I embark on a romp through the woods, not as a culmination of these things, but 2 days after the start of a fresh year.  I like that better.

There are a few things I’d like to put in this new box to bring with me on Saturday.

The body does not forget.  I feel like I am incredibly undertrained because I like checking all the boxes and proving that I’m a workhorse and I can go all the miles because miles are actually pretty awesome.  In the last five weeks, I’ve gone a lot less miles, which feels less than awesome.  But over the last 7 months, I’ve ran double digits NINETEEN TIMES.  This weekend will make 20.  That doesn’t suck.  The body does not forget how even if it feels like there is NO WAY I’ll remember how to run long right now.

This race is about working with my body and mind, not fighting them.  I’m ready for a few arguments near the end, around mile 20-something, when they SHOULD pop up, but I’m hoping to spend most of it just focused on my stride, my breathing, and the course.  I want to quiet my mind and just run with no expectations or judgements.

I gave 7 months of focus on these races instead of focusing on fat loss or time off or learning how to line dance or anything else.  My goal is to at least honor that focus, even if it all didn’t go as planned, and run the best I can with the cards I’m dealt that day and end the day satisfied.

marathon06

This day’s cards were a REALLY hot day and a sock that wanted some sort of revenge…

I have a general plan.  My goal is to run without looking at my watch for the first 5 miles. I warm up reaaaaaaaal slow nowadays, and I’m forcing myself to not care if some of those miles tick by in the 12s.

From then until halfway, I’d like to judge where I’m at, and work on cutting my average pace to 11:15/mile if it seems reasonable to do so.  It may not be any increase whatsoever, or it may be a little bit of a challenge.  I’m typically strongest at this point of the race, so I’d like to set myself up for success.

13.1 through about mile 20 is where things get sticky for me.  My goal is to simply not slow down if at all possible.

Usually, somewhere in the 20s I get a second wind.  If that comes, I’ll harness that and speed up as much as I can or at least try to keep it together.

My A goal is 4:xx:xx.  My B goal is to finish before the cutoff.  I’m striving for the former, but I definitely will back off if anything feels acutely injured.  I’ll do this distance again (though maybe not for a while…) and I’d rather miss it this time and live to fight again if that’s what it takes.  Franky, my C goal is “do no lasting harm to my body”.  My mind is not allowed to quit, but if my body does, after the last 6 weeks of hobbling through some parts of runs, I have to respect that.

No matter what happens, I have to have a little perspective, which is also something I want to make sure comes with me into my new box.  A disappointing time or walking a lot or even if the dreaded DNF happens to preserve myself from injury will suck.  No doubt.  However, I read on the internet (so you know it’s true) that only something like a fifth of a percent of people have finished even ONE marathon and I’m toeing the line of my sixth in 3 years and 4 months.  That doesn’t suck.  Not one bit.

It will be an opportunity to go out and test myself and see where 37 starts.  Where 37’s head is at.  Where 37’s heart is at.  It is not a measurement of self worth.  I am not Saturday’s race time.  For my birthday, I paid someone to close off the roads for me and give me gatorade and a t-shirt and a medal, and I could have an awesome run or a shitty run, but I’m going to go play on the roads for 5 hours, give or take, because I CAN.

 

Five Days

Aaaaaah, it’s marathon week.  At this point, I’m as ready as I’ll ever be.  The hip issue is slowly becoming less of one.  I’m a little worried about the lack of training but at this point, the hay is in the barn.  Nothing I can do now but lace up my shoes and go run 26.2 miles (and probably a little more since I think the course is long).

Two cool things about it already:

I have one of the best bib numbers ever: 1111.  Isn’t that lucky?

Also, Zliten and I joked that at least we’d have a shot at winning our own name divisions – and we’re the only ones with our first names.  So, all we have to do is finish to win.  I’ll tuck that away for around mile 22.

Just a few more very short workouts, lots of sleep, hopefully not much stress, and we hit the road Friday at noon.  It’s all happening!

Training:

Feb29-2
You know it was one of those weeks when the post-long-run beer selfie is the closest to a training picture you have…

This week was weird.  Monday and Tuesday were the shittiest training days I’ve had in a while.  Monday I explained in detail here, but Tuesday was the aftermath.  Zliten convinced me that the treadmill would be better for us to tempo, and I decided to give it a try.  For me, it was not.

My hip was still feeling gross and it just had no power.  The constant speed of the treadmill was not working for me.  I tried to get started running about 3 times and gave up within half a mile each time to go roll, stretch, and the last time, have a small hissy fit outside about it.  The good news is that it was so cold and windy, that tantrum was short lived, and I decided that at least I was getting my fucking steps in for the day and walked at 2% incline at 3.5 for about 30 minutes.

Thursday’s run still had my hip feeling a little weak, but I was able to complete a 4 mile run with some speed segments in it, and things felt pretty great after.  I also started to figure out the new normal with how my body is right now, and do some strategerie on how to pull the best run I can out of these legs.

The first thing is not to try to keep up with anyone or anything.  Trying to keep pace with my husband is an exercise in frustration right now, so I’m not going to do it.  I will let him go at any time I need to.  If I’m having a good day, I might catch him later and get to motivate him through the last few miles, perhaps.

The second thing is that during this race, more than any other race I’ve ever done, I need to watch my form.  I cannot slump or I will cramp SO EARLY.  I need to stay easy up the hills or I will cramp SO EARLY.  I need to keep my cadence high and strides shorter, especially if my hip is cranky.

The third thing is to let go of any expectations.  The watch can say anything it wants, the time that passes can be anything it needs to be, I just want to let go and run through the woods for 5 hours, give or take.

Here’s the breakdown from last week…

  • Monday: hour 45 min easy group ride with BSS (weather permitting), core
  • Tuesday: 1 mile warmup, 4 mile tempo, .5-1 mile cooldown a little running, a lot of walking, and a whole lot of tantrum throwing
  • Wednesday: swim at lunch, core PM
  • Thursday: 3×1600 (9-9:30 min/mile) with 400m recovery, 1 mile warmup and cooldown 4 mile fartlek
  • Friday: off, core
  • Saturday: 10 mile run, last 5 at race pace.
  • Sunday: riding bikes, either inside or outside for at least 20 30 mins + core + long sunset walk

And here’s the plan this week:

  • Monday: run to the track, 4×400 with 400 recovery in between, run home, core
  • Tuesday: 20-30 min trainer ride
  • Wednesday: 3 miles at marathon pace, core
  • Thursday: 15-20 minute swim
  • Friday: off, some walking to keep the legs loose
  • Saturday: 26.2 baby!
  • Sunday: offseason begins!

…and while I’m getting pretty excited to race in FIVE DAYS, I’m also pretty pumped for my offseason plans.

Food/Scale:

Feb29-1

A delicious picture of noms in progress…

Let’s keep this short.  I’m doing ok with my (fairly relaxed) goals, but the scale is definitely not going anywhere.  I’m alright with this, because in a couple weeks, this section of my life will be in focus and I’ll start chipping away at those numbers on the scale.

You can only have so many hards at once, and once training takes a back burner, this will become my main project. Tracking 100% of the time (yeah, even on weekends), and much more stringent calorie goals.

  • Track as much as I can.  100% is great.
  • Booze cannot interfere with bedtimes, calorie counts, or workouts.  I think this should just be the motto for the year.
  • Try not to eat like an asshole.  Balance in all things.

For now, though, you get a story about my backyard.

We’ve owned a well loved grill and smoker for about 8.5 years.  It’s actually so amazingly seasoned that even just grilling something would make it taste as if it’s been lightly smoked, which is AWESOME.  We’ve been holding off getting a new one as long as we could, because it’s a lot of work to break it in, but the hole in the old grill got so bad it wouldn’t heat up… so we now have this lovely thing of beauty pictured above.

Zliten is attempting to put it through it’s paces, so we had a meat-a-ganza on Saturday.  There was a giant piece of brisket, a rack of ribs, chicken breasts, and some habenero chicken sausage.  The chicken and sausage were instant hits, and we learned some (delicious, delicious) lessons on how to make the ribs and the brisket better.

For the week, I have some great meals – chicken, chicken sausage and cauli-taters, shepard’s pie with brisket, ribs with (light) blue cheese and (not light) bacon potato salad, and I made zuppa toscana to go with salad.  We’re set.

The theme of this week is: don’t do anything stupid, which includes eating and drinking.

  • Booze cannot interfere with bedtimes or calorie counts.  Booze also goes away for the week around Tuesday or Wednesday (and obviously keeping the consumption responsible if I do choose to imbibe on race week).
  • Eat like a normal human until Thursday.
  • Have a nice big (non-spicy, carb heavy) meal on Thursday night (the night before the night before, which also happens to be my birthday!).
  • Come up with a plan for Friday (the day before) for optimal carbing up.
  • Whatever we want after the marathon for a few days (I may be making my list because it is indeed my last hurrah for a while). 🙂

Life:

Feb29-3

My goal in life is to have this much attitude.  Or, shall I say… catitude?

This week, it’s all about continuing the mellow.  I mean, all I had for this last week was…

  • 8 hours sleep most every night
  • Keep it mellow – do the relaxing thing instead of the crazy thing if faced with a decision.

And I pretty much nailed this.  I think I may have slept 6.5 hours Thursday night, but I made up for it with a zero alarm weekend and solid 10 hour sleep nights both Friday and Saturday.  We had a super relaxing but productive weekend.  We stayed in, we grilled, I read an entire book on Saturday, we binge watched Fuller House Sunday, but I also got a bunch of chores done and have more than enough food for this week since it’s a short one.

Let’s keep it going:

  • 8 hours sleep every night (no exceptions)
  • Dinner with family on Tuesday night.
  • Be boring all week, including my birthday.  There will be plenty of time to play after the marathon.

And with that, it’s time to go back to making my way through the week. I’m kind of excited and ready for it to be race day, but I’m also excited about every extra day I have to get amazing rest, fuel, and hip healing mojo before I race.  It will get here soon enough!

 

 

1 week 5 days

For some reason, until TODAY I’ve been able to put the marathon in a box and tell myself it was pretty far away.  Now that the countdown is at ONE WEEK and some change, I have to face that it’s coming up right soon here.  I’m actually feeling *better* about it than I was last week, and I’m not entirely sure more time to waffle around about it would be a good thing, but still.  Marathon imminent.  Freakouts ensue.

Training:

Feb22-1

#tfw you just finished a long run and your brain isn’t quite right.

Last week, I hit all the sessions, but I had to make a sub on Thursday and skip the speedwork due to crankyhip syndrome.  It ended up being the right call for many reasons.

  • Monday: core (day off cardio)
  • Tuesday: 5 miles of speedwork: 6x800s around 9 min/miles, 400m recoveries
  • Wednesday: 45 mins trainer ride, core
  • Thursday: 4-5 miles of tempo work (between 9:30-10 min miles) easy 1.7 miles, 30 mins easy spin
  • Friday: 30 min lunch swim, 20 min trainer ride, core
  • Saturday: 16 mile run (ready to flake on this if my hip starts feeling bad), no slower than 11:30 min/miles (also ready to compromise pace if needed).
  • Sunday: 32 min combo outdoor, trainer ride

I’m pretty content with how it turned out.

The good:

I was able to complete my last long run for 16 miles.  I whined and complained my way through the end of it, but to be fair, I was dealing with some mad blood blisters, not my favorite weather (70 and DRIPPINGLY humid), and my music died 4.5 miles from home.  It was slower than I would have liked – the first four miles averaged 12:20s, and the rest were between 11:30-12.  However, I came away with a solid, slow long run and I’m not feeling my body or soul crushed by it.  Which is pretty much how I wanted to go into taper.

I was able to knock out a good speedwork sesh on Tuesday even though I really had no want after a long staycation weekend of food and drink.

I NAILED rehab and prehab this week.  I stretched and rolled almost every day, and I hit the 3 core sessions with at least 20 mins of solid core-only work.

I hit my 3 other days of cross training.  Other weeks I’ve been flaking on one of them.

The bad:

My hip wasn’t able to handle 2 fast sessions so close to each other (Tuesday night and Thursday morning) *or* my hip is just not handling mornings well (as evidenced by my super slow first 4 miles on Saturday).

I did flake on the pool this week and rode my bike instead, due to laziness about getting to the gym.  I want to get there at least once this week!

Overall, even though the middle of last week, I’d tell you the world was ending, I feel like it was a pretty positive one on the bookends.  My hip is not 100% but I feel like some of the changes I made last week with how I’m sitting both at work and at home, how I sleep, being deliberate about both my run and walking strides, all the rehab and stretching… it’s helping.  I’m not out of the woods yet, but I’m seeing the light through the branches.  That 16 miler in which I was no worse for wear after really helped things.

I’m kind of in a state of taper already, but, hey, it’s time to OFFICIALLY call it that.

  • Monday: hour easy group ride with BSS (weather permitting), core
  • Tuesday: 1 mile warmup, 4 mile tempo, .5-1 mile cooldown after work
  • Wednesday: swim at lunch, core PM
  • Thursday: 3×1600 (9-9:30 min/mile) with 400m recovery, 1 mile warmup and cooldown (at lunch?)
  • Friday: off, core
  • Saturday: 10 mile run, last 5 at race pace.
  • Sunday: riding bikes, either inside or outside for at least 30 mins

Every day goals:

  • Stretch, roll, ice.  There is no reason I can’t do this at night while watching TV.
  • Call any sessions that feel bad (either tone down the intensity or just take my ball and go home).  The hay is in the barn.  All I can do at this point to fuck things up further is a) get into bed and not leave it until next Saturday morning or b) try to cram in last minute training that I shouldn’t.  I am so much more likely to do b), especially when I feel like I missed the mark some weeks, so I need to watch it.

This is kind of the week that can make or break me. I need to make smart decisions.  The end.

Food:

Feb22-3

Gotta love how my picture is of the snacks and the wine.  I promise the whole front half is produce!

While I don’t feel like it was a complete fail, my goals definitely didn’t work for me here.

  • Track 100% of my food and try to stay in range.
  • Weigh at least once
  • Use up leftovers this week
  • Booze cannot interfere with bedtimes, calorie counts, or workouts.

I keep tracking until Friday and then missing the weekends.  I don’t really even have an excuse this time, I spent plenty of time with my phone and laptop over the weekend.  I think it’s partly knowing that a month from now this is going to be the main focus, and I’m giving myself a little break.  It’s also partly frustration at zero progress even though I should be making some with the math.  I can’t bring myself to get on the scale because the number isn’t going anywhere.

It’s affected my mood over the last 6 months.  I feel fluffy and frumpy.  I don’t really like putting on clothes.  While I’m not a complete angel, I also eat relatively healthy and per fitbit, most days come in about 500 calories over what it says I burn.  Per the nutritionist, I shouldn’t have put this much weight on this fast eating the way I did.  It just doesn’t make sense to me.

I also don’t feel like there’s much I can do until I kick this thing into high gear next month, so I’ll keep doing the best I can without driving myself insane.

Let’s keep it super simple and gentle:

  • Track as much as I can.  100% is great.
  • Booze cannot interfere with bedtimes, calorie counts, or workouts.  I think this should just be the motto for the year.
  • Try not to eat like an asshole.  Balance in all things.

Life:

Feb22-2

You know you’ve made it when you have a specially lit gallery wall of one of your most favorite (still alive, not 100000$ per piece) artists!

I’m starting to already think about the spring and the offseason, and while I’m a little apprehensive about the food portion (calorie deficits are not bad once you get used to them, but a BITCH to initiate), I’m super excited for the life part.

It’s actually going to take some intentional thought to adapt to being a normal person during the spring.  Over the summer is easy – any hours I can are spent at a lake or waterpark.  Can’t really do that *too* much before Memorial Day… I need to take some time and really decide what sort of normie I want to be, otherwise I’ll go to my default of couch + netflix even though I have energy to do other stuff.

I may already have tons of plans and a post brewing on that one, but it’s not time yet.  Blinders back on.  Race in 12 days.  Focus focus focus.

  • Gaming Thursday
  • Lunch and hanging art lights on Saturday with Zliten’s parents (our Christmas present).
  • 8 hours sleep (most) every night.

Done and done and done.  I think I had 7 hours Thursday night but close enough. I love our new wall and it is so handy to have an electrician in the family.  It makes me think about the (lack of) skills I would have in the zombie apocolypse.  Then again, I’m pretty good at solving problems and telling people what to do and getting them not to kill each other.  I guess that’s pretty important.  There will always be uses for management.

This week (and next week) are all about the mellow.  I want to make sure I give myself the best chance for success at this race and that means rest and recovery.  I don’t even really have much to put here, but let’s do it:

  • 8 hours sleep every night
  • Keep it mellow – do the relaxing thing instead of the crazy thing if faced with a decision.

And, that’s about all she wrote for the weekly recap.

The Hip Chronicles

Sometime around January 18th, I remember thinking… hmmm, my hip feels a little cranky after today’s run.  I should keep an eye on that.  Today is February 19th, and we’re just starting to see the light.

Feb2-2

Which means I’ve had to do more of this than I’d like.

Things I’ve done since then:

Week 1: attempted to ignore it and still continue to run every day, but much lower mileage and easy pace.  It was still very minor and I figured it would go away quickly.

End of week 1: race a half marathon and be completely and totally exhausted after… hip was a little cranky to start the race but felt ok during and after… til the next morning.

Week 2: Took the week COMPLETELY off running, just 5 hours of biking and swimming (clocking my longest swim evar with 7300-ish meters, woo!).  Saw the chiropractor and she affirmed my decision to give it a rest for this week.  I felt good about being conservative with my hip and by Sunday, it felt pretty healed.

Week 3: Decided to move to the 3-day per week training run program.  Hip slightly cranky to start each run but feels alright during and after – I complete an easy 4 miler, a life-affirming 4 mile tempo with 1 mile warmup/cooldown, and a darn decent 18 miler, as well as some cross training.  Felt like things were getting back to normal.

Week 4: Hip doesn’t feel great to start this week.  I made it through the run on Monday and still by Thursday my hip hates me.  I see the chiropractor and she pokes and prods it again and says nothing serious is wrong, it’s core instability and this is the weird way it’s manifesting.  At first I find it hard to believe, but then I realize a) how many times I’ve put “do the dozen” on my weekly list and failed and b) biking outdoors and swimming both help core and I’ve not done much of either since October.

The prognosis is: no more than 5 miles at a time every other day, and core work every other day for 10 days before I try a long run.

This week, week 5, it’s Friday.  I’m now 4 weeks and 5 days from the first twinge and I STILL had to cut a run short yesterday morning. The good news is that I’m re-evaluating everything in my life and sorting it into two categories – is it good for the hip or bad for the hip?  I’m making changes to the way I sit at work, at home, sleep, and I’m being thorough about warmup, icing, stretching, and rolling.  Totally things I should be doing anyway but it being at the forefront of my mind will hopefully help me not slack on this stuff again.  Just finally today I’m feeling the fruits of my labor here.

The bad news is that in the last 4 weeks I’ve had miserably low running miles and things have gone from meh to bad to ok to worse to hopefully improving but not great yet.  To be fair, until about a week ago, we were just playing the wait and hope it will go away game, but it’s definitely not encouraging to have babied it this much and still be having issues.  I’ve ran 7 times in the last month.  That’s not much for marathon training season.

Feb9-2

My big run this block, and the last time I was really, like, *smiles*

So, I’m kind of irrationally terrified and my brain goes stupid places when that happens.

Terrified that since a medical professional said nothing is really wrong, that I shouldn’t just be pushing through this and training normally.  If it might not be healed by the marathon, I might as well be better trained, right?

Terrified that maybe something is really wrong and even running a few times a week is doing bad things.  I really want to do this marathon, but not at the cost of being laid up for months.

Terrified that on so little training, even if I am feeling healthy March 5th, it’s a bad idea to run this race.

Terrified that somehow I subconsciously wanted to get injured so this race has an asterisk (excuse for not doing well).  “Well, I didn’t PR but I’m just happy I was able to run with my hip.”  That kind of shit.

Terrified that being physically weak will make me mentally weak during the race.

It just boils down to being terrified I’ve done the wrong things and am going to do the wrong things.

I can’t change anything about what I’ve done.  Maybe if I would have cut the streak a week early and stayed off of it the week before the half marathon?  Maybe if I wouldn’t have raced so hard?  Maybe if I would have made strength work a priority?  Maybe if I hadn’t gained weight?  Can’t do a damn thing about any of those things now.

What I can do is wake up every morning and decide to make the best decisions I can with the information I have.  Yesterday’s workout call was to run easy and short and bike and stretch and roll instead of a 5 mile tempo.  So far, that call seems to be a good one considering how things are feeling today.

Today’s work call was to take a lot of walks and try not to stay at my desk for too long without a break and for the love of all that’s dear and fluffy, sit like a normal human being in a chair.  Today’s sleeping call is to try to do whatever the heck I did for the last two nights, because I woke up without pain (legs curled up instead of one sprawled, I think).

Also, while I still can be terrified, I’m trying to keep in my head advice I gave to someone else yesterday: the body doesn’t forget that easily.  I’m not laid up flat on my back.  I’m still running some miles, and running them pretty fast.  Over the last 4 months I’ve put together some nice weeks of training.  I just have to take this one home a bit more conservatively than I would like.

The other awesome thing is that I care.  I’m pissed I’m not running.  In November, I may have just been tempted to just say fuck it and walk away.  I do actually want to start this race.  I would like my 6th shot at a marathon PR.  I care about getting to that finish line and getting my stupid medal and t-shirt and all that jazz.  That’s something.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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