Peachtree City Classic 15k

Let me start by saying that I did survive adding on the additional mileage, and I completed my longest run ever of 15 miles in conjunction with this race.  Sorry I left all of you hanging.  I know you were at the edge of your seat waiting to hear if I did it or not.  😉

I have to say that this race is close to the top on my list of favorite races so far.  I was buying someone else’s bib, so I missed out on the communication from the race directly, but my friends seemed to be well informed of everything dealing with the race.  I drove over to PTC on Friday evening to meet the lady I was buying the bib from, so I could have it transferred into my name.  Yes, transferred people!  That alone is a huge bonus since it seems that most races won’t transfer bibs these days.  The process was actually really simple and quick as well.  The lady picked up the bib, and I walked back up to the pick up area with her, filled out a waiver, and they wrote the bib # on my form.  Done.  That was all it took, and the entire thing took maybe 5 minutes.  They don’t give you your shirt until you finish, so I’d get it the next day.   On the way out, I had some questions about parking and the shuttle, so I stopped to ask the person who was standing at the entrance to direct people and answer questions.  She was very helpful and showed me on the large map of the course where the Kmart was where the shuttle could pick us up if we arrived after 6AM.  To park near the start, you had to arrive by 6AM, so since we were planning to arrive around 7:40, we’d need to take the shuttle or walk to the start.  As I left, I drove from the start to the Kmart to clock the distance since I was planning on adding miles.  It was a little over 1.5 miles, so taking the shuttle, walking, or running are all options to get to the start.

Saturday morning, I arrived at 7:40AM and met Gem, so we could run 3 miles before the run.  She needed 12 miles for the day, and I needed 15.  Her sister and our friend Michelle also rode with her, and they both took the shuttle to the start.  I think they had to wait for the 3rd shuttle after they arrived, but the shuttles came fairly quickly.  Gem and I headed out while they were waiting.  There was probably a shorter path along the cart paths of PTC, but since Gem and I weren’t familiar with how to go, we stuck to the roads.  Since rain seems to love me, rain was in the forecast and started as soon as we began our run.  It was pretty light to begin with, but slowly got worse, and Gem and I were pretty well soaked by the time we got to the start area.  It was a little chilly, so I continued to run until 5 minutes before the race started.  I figured I might as well get in as many of my extra miles as possible before the race, so I’d have less to do after.  I ended up with 4.2 miles before race start.

As I came to the start line, I quickly found Gem and Michelle just before the gun went off.  The race started, and we were off.  The first bit of the race was on a main road, but it soon turned into a neighborhood.  As we ran past one house, there was an older lady (probably in her 80’s) standing behind her clear glass storm door in pants, and nothing on top except a purple bra.  I’m not sure if she was confused by the race or maybe she just liked her purple bra and wanted to show it off, either way, several runners on the course were quite surprised, but it was entertaining.  Towards the back of the subdivision, we headed onto the cart paths.  The cart paths were covered with lots of shade, went through tunnels, through the woods, and around a lake.  The course was marked well, and they had lots of volunteers.  Someone was calling out the time at every mile marker as well.  Towards the end of the course, you exit the cart path and are back on the road for just a short bit.

As we crossed the finish line, I kept running, but since the shirt pick up was after the race, I had to run into the amphitheater, down the steps, get my shirt, then head back up the steps to run some more.  Walking up the steps around mile 14 for me kind of sucked, but it wasn’t that bad.  I had told Gem and Michelle along the course that I would just run back to the car while they took the shuttle since it was about a mile & a half, so off I went towards my car.  I hit 15 miles about 8/10ths of a mile from my car, so I walked the remaining part, and it seemed the further that I walked, the slower my legs got, but I made it to the car.

And off to Mellow Mushroom for pizza and beer we went!

How big is my heart?

It’s a long story as to how I’m running the PTC 15K, but tomorrow morning I am.  For the first time in a LONG time, I’m actually a little nervous.  However, my nerves aren’t about the race.  I’m only using the race as a training run, so there’s no reason to be nervous about that.

I’m nervous because I plan to run 15 miles tomorrow by adding 3 miles before and 3 miles after.  This will be my longest run ever, and honestly, I keep doubting myself and whether I’ll be dying at the end of the 15K and just flake out on the extra 3 after.  My mind is playing tricks with me and making me ask myself if it’s too much too soon?  Will my hip be ok?  Is it too many miles before Savannah?  Will it affect my race there in 3 weeks?  But then, I look at training plan after training plan, and a 2 mile jump is normal.  An increase week, followed by a drop back week, and then another of an increase week by a couple of miles is par for the course.  If I was training for a marathon, then the next step after a half marathon would be 15 miles on Higdon’s Novice 1 plan, so it’s not an abnormal progression, so why am I nervous that I won’t do it?  Notice, I didn’t say that I was nervous because I “can’t” do it.  I guess that’s my answer.  I’m doubting my desire, my heart, my determination.

So, tomorrow is another step for me in answering that question of whether or not I have what it takes in my head & heart to work towards running a marathon in Albany.  I know that I can complete a marathon.  It’s just a matter of if I desire to.

Happy, happy, happy….

The day always starts better with a little bit of training whether that’s swimming, biking, or running.  Although, I have to say when it comes to STARTING the day, running is my favorite.

Swimming in the wee morning hours has to be done indoors in a pool, and I prefer to be outdoor, and I refuse to bike in the dark because it just scares me still, so I have missed running over the past couple of months, but starting back has been filled with challenges.  My days start better and I’m in a much better mood when I get to run in the morning.  I’m starting to feel the blahs leave, and the runner’s highs are returning.  Ahhh, life is good.

The only sad thing is that the days are getting shorter, so there are no more summer sunrises during my weekday runs, and I missed so many of them this summer due to the time off, but I guess if I can’t have summer sunrises, then a close second is an almost full moon in the sky this morning.  The picture just doesn’t do it justice.

This morning's moon

This morning’s moon

How many of you are morning runners?  If you’re not, then you should really give it a try because you’re missing out on a magical hour of the day, and I’ve never been a morning person, but running has converted me…. as long as the reason I’m up is to run.  😉  In those wee hours, there’s less traffic, beautiful sunrises, gorgeous moons, and even the occasional meteor showers.  If I wait to try to get my run in later, then it seems to never fail that life gets in the way.  Make exercise a priority, not something you’ll fit in to your day when you have time!  Happy Thursday people!

After my run this morning

After my run this morning in my favorite Headsweats visor

Road to Recovery

It’s 5:15 AM and my alarm clock is blaring.  Am I really ready to jump back into running?  Will this morning be a waste of time and effort, or will my hip hold up?  Well, the only way to find out is to try!  Out the door I go at 5:45 AM to meet my running peeps for a 3 mile run/walk followed by a 20+ mile bike ride!  I’m feeling rather skeptically optimistic.

Beautiful Day!

Beautiful Day! Post run & ride

There’s a group that has been using the Galloway method (http://www.jeffgalloway.com/), and their plan is to run 3 minutes and walk 1 minute, so I figure I’ll give it a go today and see how that works.  I stayed with 2 other ladies who are currently dealing with injuries as well which was kind of neat because when these two are healthy, I don’t have a prayer of keeping up with either one of them, so I got to talk to them about their injuries and road to recovery as well.

One is also dealing with DBS, but hers is much more severe than mine due to several underlying problems that already existed.  She’s been out for about 6 months, and she’s just now been released to start a run/walk program.  She’s hoping to run her 2nd marathon in November, so she has 2 under her belt before she runs Boston in 2014.  Yep, that’s right folks, she qualified for Boston on her 1st MARATHON!  Like I said, I don’t have a chance to run with her normally, so it’s nice to have that opportunity now.

The other girl has a calf injury and her PT is wanting to do dry needling on her, so she was asking us some questions about it since we’ve both had it done before.  She’s hesitant to try dry needling (http://www.neurosportphysicaltherapy.com/services/dry-needling), but due to the results I had on my previous calf injury with dry needling, I’d try it anytime a PT thinks it might help!  It’s a strange sensation, but basically a small needle is inserted into trigger points in the muscle.  You don’t really feel the needle much, if at all, when it is inserted, but when the PT finds the right spot, the muscle feels like it contracts tightly like a cramp or charlie horse and releases immediately.  After having it done on my calf, it was sore for a couple of days.  I had to have 3 sessions on my calf before it was better.  I will have dry needling for my DBS on Tuesday.

Running is always more fun with friends to talk and keep you distracted.  The 3 miles actually went by really fast this morning, and we completed it in just under 36 minutes with our run/walk pattern.  It’s funny that when I started a year ago my first 5K time was slower than that, and I was dying at the end of it, but today’s run felt extremely easy which is nice because one of my main fears with having to take time off due to injury is that I’ll be starting completely back where I was in January 2012.  As I ran today, I did feel the muscle some, but it wasn’t a pain or stretching sensation.  It was just more of it being used like when I do my PT exercises, which is a good sign….I think.  I will say that I won’t be jumping up in distance really soon, and I think I may actually stick to the Galloway method for this season since it’s supposed to help with injury recovery.

After the run, 2 of us jumped on our bikes for at least 14 but maybe up to 28 miles.  I hadn’t rode after running in quite some time since I haven’t ran in forever, so I wasn’t sure how it’d go.  We rode a 14 mile loop, and it wasn’t very hilly, so it was a somewhat leisurely ride.  Instead of doing the 14 mile loop a 2nd time though, we decided to opt for an 8 mile loop, so we ended up with 22 miles total on the bike.

Overall, I’d say today was a pretty successful outing, but I’ll see if my hip agrees with that verdict later this evening since that’s when it usually starts aching.  I’m hoping this means that I can start back running with my running buddies about 3 days a week.  I need their motivation, and I miss my friends!  Running buddies quickly become more than just running partners.  Some of the best conversations about life in general happen while pounding out all those miles!

Just suck it up!

I had planned on getting up and riding at Trek this morning with the group ride, but my bed was calling my name, and I gave myself every excuse as to why I could skip.  Of course, the bed won out, and I ended up sleeping until after 10AM.  As the day went on, the guilt set in.  I hadn’t hurt anyone else and no one was putting this guilt on me other than myself, but I felt like a slug all morning after skipping.  Now, I needed to figure out how to get out of this funk.

My son had a cub scout event at the skating rink, so my husband took him and my daughter, so I had the afternoon to get my lazy butt going.  Not having anyone to ride with and knowing that I’d be doing a long ride tomorrow morning early, I opted to head to the gym to get a swim in.

Even as I walked into the gym, I was trying to talk myself out of my workout.  I’m not sure what’s going on lately, but I think this whole DBS has me in a bit of a funk since I’m not running.  I fought the urge, and I got in the pool and swam the 800 meters that I’d set out to do.  My swimming is definitely improving with the freestyle.  I’ve totally given up the breaststroke due to my hip pain, and I think the freestyle is starting to really pay off.  The added bonus is that the freestyle also works the glute muscles that I need to strengthen, so they are getting the work with the PT exercises as well as the extra swimming now.  After my swim, I decided to ride the stationary bike for 30 minutes to get some more cardio in.  Again, it took everything I had to finish the entire 30 minutes without stopping early.  I haven’t been on a stationary bike in FOREVER, and it sucked!

Knowing that I have a 10K on Labor Day and the Allstate 13.1 in October, I decided when I got home that I’ve got to try to start training again, so tomorrow morning I will be attempting a walk/run for 40 minutes with some supportive friends of mine who have graciously agreed to meet at 6AM.  I’m hoping it goes well because I really don’t have time to put my training off anymore without starting to drop races.  A lot depends on tomorrow morning’s walk/run for me, so I’m off to bed with sweet dreams in my head.