Saturday, December 30, 2017

Last minute nerves

I am currently laying in a tub contemplating the half marathon i am doing in the morning, 13 hours away. The description of it says mostly flat with some "fun hills" to keep it interesting. If you know anything about race descriptions, that tends to mean a hilly race. I don't think it's as hilly as the San Juan half was, but I'm expecting hills.

And I haven't been training on hills, not like I did for the San Juan half.  So, my thing with my knee has meant that I plan to walk downhill but I've always had a pride about the uphills. In fact, when I was running the San Juan half my mantra on the uphill was "races are won on the uphill" and I ran up every single hill on that course. And since then my mantra on uphills has been "if I ran San Juan, I can run this hill."

So tonight I'm laying in my bath thinking I may have to walk uphill too. And I get embarrassed. The people on the course won't know I've been struggling with my knee. They won't know that I'm not properly trained (for the second distance race in a row). But it's so silly to think that way. Everyone is there for their own reasons and have their own abilities. There may be a couple (I've been one) that feel superior because they ran up the hill, but that's their issue, not mine.

 My sister let me borrow her knee brace for tomorrow. I've never used one before, so I hope it helps. =) I also need to remember to take some ibuprofen before I go.

I woke up last night with a rash on my neck. It itched so bad at about 3am I had to get up and put cortisone on it. This morning it was a little better but it's still not gone. I hope it doesn't get worse between now and the morning.
Anyway, I won't be posting tomorrow, so I hope everyone has a great New Year's. Stay safe! And thank you for reading my ramblings this year. I'm sure next year won't be any better writing, but I'm also sure I'll continue to write and run.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

I've been thinking about goals a lot recently.  I know that I've said so many times that January 1st is just another day and my goals don't have to start there, but I do get caught up in all that "new year new start" crap that I really don't believe in.  The issues that I've had in 2017 aren't going to magically disappear on midnight New Year's Eve. 

The biggest issue that I've had actually has only been since August when Chris had his stroke.  I've had other struggles throughout the year, mostly in my personal life, but the biggest one was when Chris had his stroke and changed our financial situation significantly.  And that's not going away.  He's not magically going to get better suddenly.  It's going to still be a wait and hope thing. 

With all that said, I am still working on goals for 2018.  There are things I would like to do differently, I touched on them last week, but I'm still thinking about specifics.  I don't know if I will get all of it down and out of my head, but I'm going to continue with them.  I think the majority of my desire is to "fix" my financial situation, and without getting a new job, I don't know if that's going to be possible . . . unless Chris does magically get better.

My running has been less than mediocre.  I did go for a really nice run in eastern WA when we were over there for Christmas.  It snowed, and for whatever reason (maybe because I live in an area where it rarely snows and never sticks around long) I always have the desire to go for a run in the snow.  My parents live on a hilly road, one way is a gradual downhill for a half mile and then a steep up hill and steep downhill and steep uphill again before reaching the 1 mile point (if I continued past the 1 mile point it would continue to be a steep uphill for another half mile).  All other directions are all up and down constantly.  With my recent knee problem, I am trying to avoid running downhill as that seems to aggravate it the most, so I decided the gradual downhill followed by the steep hills . . . but that meant I would have a half mile of gradual incline to get back to my parents house and I still would have to figure out another mile (to make 3 miles). 

Well, as I was descending the steep downhill I thought that running through the abandoned gravel pit at the bottom of the hill might be fun.  I hadn't wandered through it since it was active in my teenage years.  And it turned out very interesting, I found all sorts of things.  And it added the extra mile I needed.
Anybody want lunch?
A shooting range?  Not my parents, someone is trespassing.

rocks, just because

Tires, yes, I tried to flip one, it was cemented to the ground.

I was able to flip this one. ; )
The view back to my parents house.
And just me
We had a good, if very short Christmas with my family and with Chris's family. 

And we were back over the mountains and home on Christmas Eve.

I went for a run on Christmas day after opening our presents.  I was planning on 8 miles, but my knee started really bothering me, so I cut it short and ended up only running 5.5 miles.  I'm really hoping my knee will hold up for my last half marathon on Sunday.  I have to run it in order to get my series medal . . . well, I may end up walking a lot of it.  It's going to be a slow one.

I have been stretching but I need to also work on my butt and hip muscles.  I think that will be my biggest 2018 fitness goal, increase hip strength and flexibility, butt strength, and overall flexibility.  I'm tired of the aches that have plagued me this year, so I think that will help a lot. (I hope.)

I hope you all had a great Christmas and are safe on the New Year.  We have nothing planned, so it will be a quiet evening at home, I think. =)

Wednesday, December 20, 2017


If you've followed me for very long, you know I don't do New Year's Resolutions.  "Resolution" means "the firm decision to do or not do something" and I've always thought making that "resolution" at the first of the year is silly.  I can make that resolution today, or tomorrow, or yesterday, I don't need a new year, new week, new month, to get started.  Today is just as good as January 1st, and better because Jan. 1st is 2 weeks away, and I'd already be on my way by then.

I've been making goals for a few years now but I actually have been pretty unsuccessful in achieving my goals each year.  I try, and that's the best I can do.  I just went looking for each year's goals, and I am not good at labeling so I couldn't find actual posts with the goals, but I found the years' wrap up posts that talked about the goals for that year.

I started running in March of 2012 and didn't make any goals.  I guess my goals were to start running and to lose weight, which I was successful at. 

In 2013 I couldn't find anything related to goals.

2014 was the year I started making actual goals.  That year I wanted to run 100 miles a month and to run a marathon. I made these goals while struggling with plantar faciitis, and didn't succeed in either goal.

2015 my only stated goal was to stay injury free, which I succeeded at.  Deep down my other goal was to run a marathon, which I was also successful at.

2016 I wanted to run a race a month (started on my 40th birthday in October 2015 to end on my birthday in 2016), and I sprained my ankle and was unsuccessful.  I also wanted to run another marathon (also unsuccessful).

2017 my goals were to "do more half marathons" and run another marathon (ultimately I wanted to PR my half and full marathon times).  I did succeed in running more half marathons, 4 to be exact (well it will be 4 after December 31st), and I succeeded in running another full marathon, I did not PR either.  I did however PR my 10k time.  A few months into the year I found the Washington half/full marathon series, and that became my new goal, to complete 4 half or full marathons to get a special medal.  I will succeed in that, even if I have to walk on Dec. 31.  Overall, in 2017 I ran (or will after Dec 31) 4 half marathons and 1 full marathon.

In 2018 I have a few non-running goals.  I want to get out more, I want to start hiking.  I am going to start that.  My sister and I have talked about hiking for years, and we don't.  I'm going to do it, even if I have to go alone.  I have also been thinking about starting an Etsy shop, so I'm going to work on that in January (I picked January because it's after Christmas and I'll have more time).  I also want to switch banks, so that's another January goal (again January is because it's after Christmas). 

My running goals are to PR the half distance (under 1:59:00) and the full marathon distance, ultimately I want a marathon under 4 hours.  I also want to work on my strength, which I did start in 2016/early 2017, but quit cause I got bored.  I always say I'm going to work on my flexibility, and do a little yoga here and there, but I would really like to work on it. 

I just read my January 2017 goals post and in it I talked about resolutions vs goals, and I found myself nodding along with it (which obviously means I still believe what I wrote) (honestly I'm surprised I was so insightful 11 months ago).  ; )  I also talked about another goal I had forgotten about . . . that I succeeded in.  I said I would stop talking about my weight, and for the most part I did.  I know that I said something a couple times (maybe 2? times), but I really used to obsess about it, and haven't lately. 

I'm headed to eastern Washington tomorrow after work to see my family for Christmas.  It's very doubtful that I will post again before Christmas, so I hope everyone has a great Christmas. . . or whatever you celebrate.  

Monday, December 18, 2017

Security Alert

I didn't realize I didn't post at all last week.  I guess I haven't had a lot to say lately. 

After my 8 miles on December 3rd, I felt on top of the world.  I was so happy I was still able to run 8 miles that I thought it would be a piece of cake to finish the year with a half marathon.  Well, last week (December 10th) I decided to run 10 miles, then this week 11 or 12 and I'd "taper" (is one week a taper?) Christmas week. 

I went out for my run on the 10th late.  We had a lot of shopping to do, Christmas and grocery shopping, then we took Maddox to go see Santa at the mall.  They were having a big event at the mall with a bunch of activities that were all free.  Unfortunately we couldn't enjoy most of them because Damian had to work at 4pm and because of the shopping beforehand we didn't get there till after noon.  Maddox did go play in a big pile of snow that they had trucked in from the mountains.
He's in the orange coat with his back to me.
And Damian wanted to do a rock climbing thing.  Poor Damian, it was not really meant to be a hard thing, and he was up in 5 seconds and flying back down. 

Maddox also went partway up (he's on the wall in the second picture) but he looked down and got scared and came down right away. 

After we got home, I went for my run.  I had been on my feet the entire day, they were sore, and my knee was a little achey, but I decided I needed to run no matter what.  Unfortunately I didn't think about the precautions I had done the week before, walking at every mile mark and down every hill, and my knee started bothering me pretty early in the run.  I already didn't want to be running, it was getting dark, I had been on my feet all day, I was tired, so I ended up cutting it short.  I only did 7 and a half miles.  I figured I could easily run 10 miles the next weekend and still be fine for the half marathon on the 31st. 
It was a beautiful run though.
I only ran once during the work week last week.  I haven't wanted to run after work in the dark, and I only had one opportunity to run on my lunch break at work. 
On Saturday I wasn't sure how far I wanted to run.  I needed to go to the store during my run to get some meds for Chris.  The store he gets his meds at is only about a mile from my house, so I figured it'd be super easy to stop and I wouldn't have to carry them far.  Well, I was about a quarter of a mile from home when I hit 4 and a half miles, I knew I wasn't going to get to 5 miles, so I decided to stop my tracking and call it good.  I had my phone in the pocket in my arm along with my license and debit card, both in a sleeve (the same sleeve).  I pulled my phone out and stopped MapMyRun, the app I use for tracking, and put my phone back in the pocket and walked home. 

Sunday we went grocery shopping and finished up our Christmas shopping.  Chris used his card for our grocery shopping, but when we were getting Damian's present I noticed that I forgot to put my debit card back in my wallet. 

We were headed home when I looked at my phone and noticed I had 2 emails from the bank.  I get notifications all the time from the bank and I usually ignore them because I keep pretty good track on what's in there (usually nothing).  Well, this time right before I hit delete I noticed both of the emails said "Security Alert: Unusual Debit Card Activity."  I clicked on one of the emails and it said they had detected unusual activity on my card and I needed to call them right away or my card would be suspended.  There are definite times that I would ignore this type of email and send it to spam, but since I had forgotten to put my card in my wallet I decided to call them.  Plus, I figured if they asked me for any numbers I would refuse to give it to them and would hang up.

Turns out that it wasn't spam email.  I had 3 transactions from Walmart and 2 from some gas station I've never heard of.  All of the transactions had been denied except one at Walmart.  It took me awhile before I remembered if I had spent it or not, we do go to Walmart regularly, but I didn't remember going at all the day before and we hadn't been there on Sunday, so I told them that it must have been taken.  And then I remembered my run, and realized it must have fallen out of my arm pocket in between the store and home. 

It bothered me for awhile trying to remember when I took my phone out of the pocket after going to the store.  I was thinking the only time I took it out was when I got home, so I was upset that someone that I knew on my quiet street would pick it up and then attempt to use my debit card.  It really was a little while before I remembered I took my phone out on a fairly busy street to stop my tracking app while walking home and it must have fallen out there. 

It is interesting how they detect the fraud.  I go to Walmart regularly, so it's not like it would be an unusual place, and they attempted to spend $100, $50, and succeeding in spending $67 and some change.  It was also denied at the gas station two times, both purchases around a dollar each.  None of these purchases are ridiculously large or unusual for me to spend, so I wonder how they knew it wasn't me.  Anyway, I'm thankful it was caught before they were able to spend a ridiculous amount of money that I don't have.  They stopped the $150, but allowed the $67, so I have to wait up to 90 days to get that money back, which sucks, but not as bad as $217 would suck.

Anyway, after the mystery of the debit card was solved I went for my 10 mile run.  And right away, in the first 2 miles, my knee started aching.  I did remember to walk at every mile point and walk down all hills, but it was still not feeling great.  It's not the pulled muscle pain that I had a few weeks ago, this is the same pain I had after my marathon (Google describes it as "runner's knee" which is caused by a weak butt and hips). 

Immediately after my run it hurt a lot, and for the rest of the evening.  I iced it and am taking ibuprofen, but I'm discouraged that it is back.  Today it's been pretty painful.  I will take it easy for the next few weeks, but will continue to run a little.  The half marathon I have to do is December 31st, so I have 2 weeks, and then I can work on getting better.  I am expecting this will be my slowest half ever, I'll be lucky if I finish in 2 and a half hours.  My slowest half was this year, the San Juan Half Marathon that I finished in 2.09.26, but I think I did pretty good for that one as it was all hills.  I'm not expecting to do that good for this particular half, but I have to finish it.

That is what I keep telling myself, get through this last half, and I can rest and recover. And train for another half in February.

I've had some ideas for some goals for 2018, but as this is a pretty long post, I will type it up another day.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Just thoughts

In 2012 I started seriously running.  I was reading a blog, Runs for Cookies, that led me to more running blogs, that led me to more running blogs.  It motivated me to start running (and to start a blog).  I was literally reading at least 30 blogs at one point.  I was invested in some of their jouneys, and was following along with them as many of them started their running "careers."   I often would get behind, very, very behind, in my reading and would spend hours trying to catch up.  I didn't want to miss anything about these people's lives that I had become so invested in. 

If I found a blog (and I had several) that were older blogs, I would often go back and try to read from the beginning.  This was difficult as several people I read had years worth of posts.  Over time, the vast majority of blog writers I started following have disappeared.  Even some of the long term bloggers (hello Sublurban Mama! where'd you go?).  I had one that I read religiously (Poonapalooza) that started running at about the same time I did, and started blogging at the same time I did.  She was an extreme weight loser but I felt a connection with her.  She changed her blog to Punchapalooza and eventually stopped blogging completely, even left Instagram where I followed her. 

No I didn't stalk these people, but I did enjoy reading about their lives, and their fitness (most were runners, but not all).  I am down to 4 regular blog posters, out of the dozens that I follow, and of those 4, only one posts very reliably (you guessed it, Runs for Cookies, although she's not running much now). 

Do you ever feel like you have a connection with someone you've never met?  I'm sad every time I realize I haven't seen a post from one of my favorite bloggers in a long time.  I've been debating about searching for another blog to follow, but I don't know.  I don't read them right away, I tend to blog binge, and then go for weeks without reading any.  Having less is definitely a time saver for me. 

There's no reason to all that above, just something I've been thinking about lately.

The weather here in western Washington has been beautiful.  Cold, but beautiful.  It's sunny and clear, and it makes me sad that I run after work in the dark.  Well, actually I haven't done any dark running in awhile.  With my leg issue (I think I pulled a muscle) I cut way back on my running for awhile, and now that I'm back to running, I've been using the treadmill at the gym. 

Tuesday I went to the gym to run.  It was beautiful outside, and I really wanted to run outside, but it's also cold, and I didn't bring outside running gear, only capris and a light shirt to run on a treadmill, so I spent 40+ min running in place staring at the sun outside.  =/  So yesterday I decided that I needed to run in the sun, outside.  I took my outside running clothes and when I was done with work ran through neighborhoods in downtown Everett (where I work).  It was so nice, I ran to a small park and stopped and enjoyed the sunset for a few min and then ran back.  It was a perfect 3 miles. =)
I was unable to get to the gym to shower, so I did a mini sponge bath in the bathroom before I had to walk to the bus to go home.  I may do this again, it really was nice. =)

I've been thinking about . . . well, just life in general.  There are things that I've always wanted to do, but haven't.  I'm a fairly lazy person, once I'm home, I don't like to do anything.  I put off a lot of stuff because I just don't want to do it.  For example, hiking.  I think hiking would be so much fun.  The overnight backpacking that Damian was going to do this summer had me so jealous.  I let things stop me, like not having the gear for it (or the money to buy the gear).  And not wanting to do things by myself.  That was the biggest reason when I was younger, I didn't want to go alone, and I had no one else to go with me.  But recently, the more I think about it, the more I want to do it.  And I think I would do it alone (or with Damian if he wanted to go too).

My biggest problem is leaving the house.  One of the only reasons I make myself run is because I almost always leave from my house.  I can't remember one run where I drove somewhere to start the run (not counting races).  In fact, the majority of races I do are in my town, I don't go places to do a race. 

I think of things I want to do on the weekends, and then never do them.  Why?  Because I'm lazy.  I'm comfortable on the couch watching my TV (the many mindless shows I watch of others doing things.)  I just need to get over the mental hurdle of leaving my couch.

I think, in many ways, running, specifically long distance running, makes a person mentally stronger.  I truly believe that I am a stronger person, mentally, than I was 6 years ago, or even 4 years ago.  I just need to figure out how to channel my desire to do something into actually doing something.

Monday, December 4, 2017

6 miles +2

I mentioned on Friday that I went for a run at the gym on the treadmill and had no problems with my leg/knee.  I went to bed Friday feeling awful.  I was in bed at 8pm (early for this early bedder, and even worse on a Friday night), I woke up on Saturday feeling a little better but still not great.  I was planning on running 6 miles on Saturday, but with not feeling well and my leg was a little achey so I didn't want to push it.  But I knew that I needed to at least walk 6 miles over the weekend in order to see where I'm at so that I can figure out how I'm going to run (maybe walk) a half marathon on December 31. 

I decided that Sunday, no matter what, I was walking/running 6 miles.  I don't know if 4 weeks is enough to get back to half marathon ready, but I definitely can't afford to wait any longer.  Walking doesn't hurt my knee usually (unless it's already hurting), so I thought I would run a little bit and stop and walk for a bit, and then run again, and so on.  I figured as long as I could keep my knee/leg from hurting I'd be okay.  I decided that even if I ended up walking the majority of 6 miles, I still needed to do it.

I was anxious to go out to run, I was going to wait till after we go grocery shopping, but Chris was sleeping late, so I decided to just go.  I had no idea how long I would be out, but knew I needed to.  I started walking out of the neighborhood, but started running pretty quickly into the "outing."  I was running up a hill on my normal route when I started thinking about the downhill, I almost always start feeling a little bit of a twinge of discomfort on the downhill, so I also decided I would walk any downhill sections of my route. 

I have one major uphill in the first half mile, and then downhill, with another small uphill and downhill in the second half mile.  Then I have a long, gradual uphill till I get to fairly flat land that I do the majority of my short and mid-level runs on. 

I have definitely lost some of my fitness level because the long gradual incline that I run almost every time I run outside felt sooooo long.  I was so winded, and I kept wishing I would either get to the mile marker (no luck) or a downhill (again, no luck).  I pushed through and walked at mile 2 (mile 1 walk was on the second downhill of the run), but by that time I had gotten to the flat part of the run and felt good, so it was a short walk. 

There were some definite times where I felt I wanted to walk just because I was tired, but I didn't.  I kept it to every mile, but I was hyperaware of my leg.  If I had any small twinge of discomfort I was going to stop immediately, I never really did.

Somewhere in mile 4 I realized that I was going to have a steep downhill in the middle of mile 5, so I decided to skip the walk at that mile marker in order to walk downhill when I got to that spot.  In mile 5 I decided I felt great.  I had no leg issues at all, I wasn't winded, and I needed to see how far I could actually run, so I decided to add mileage onto the run.  I ended up running 8 miles, I got home and felt great.  I had no leg problems, and I wasn't dead.  In fact, I think I could have run farther, but I didn't want to push it.  Today I feel fine.  I do not feel any discomfort in my leg and I am not sore, both very good things.  It definitely makes me think that I will be able to actually run a half marathon on the 31st. 

I will say that I have the same discomfort in my knee that I had after my marathon, I keep calling it "runner's knee" in my head, but I really don't know.  But it's not a "bad" pain, one where I know I shouldn't be doing anything.  Anyway, that has reappeared today, but I am okay with that discomfort, the other, the leg/knee pain, was not good.  (I wondered if I had pulled a muscle in the back of my thigh, but I don't know.) 

I almost forgot!  And how could I forget such a huge running milestone!?  I lost a toenail.  I have had a pretty black toenail on my right foot for awhile.  A few weeks ago I painted my toenails a really dark purple to disguise it and haven't really thought about it much since.  Well, on Saturday night I was clipping my toenails and noticed that the black one was moving around weirdly, so I started looking at it more.  And sure enough it was partly detached from my toe.  Of course, me being the picker I am, couldn't just leave it alone, so I started messing with it, and pretty soon I had the tweezers out and was pulling on my toenail.  haha!  (I wish I had emoji's for this.)  Anyway, I pulled it off (no pain).  There is what appears to be another nail underneath, but it's super soft, so I don't know if that qualifies as nail or not. 

Anyway, I was kinda excited about it.  I've never lost a toenail before.  =)  I posted it (of course) on Instagram and Facebook.  I thought it was very funny that all my friends on FB hit that "like button" but not to "like" it, they used the "sad" faced one (if you don't have FB, then I'm sorry, I'm sure you're completely lost).  The only person that hit the actual "like" version of the "like button"  was a fellow runner.  =) 

Friday, December 1, 2017

running and tattoos

Well, I've been trying to take it easy on my knee/leg since my last post.  The 16th of Nov. I did something and it hurt worse than it has.  I took a full week off of running.  I did walk a Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving day with my sister, which was fun and my knee didn't hurt at all. 

On Friday after Thanksgiving I decided to go run, my knee was feeling fine and I thought it would be okay.  Well, about a mile and a half through the run my knee started bothering me again.  I thought it wasn't too bad and I would just do 3 miles instead of the 4-6 I was thinking about.  Well, the 2nd mile I ended up walking quite a bit, but I was thinking that it's not that bad, I can totally push through the pain.  I ran most of mile 3, and as soon as I got home had bad cramps and pain in the back of my thigh and knee.  It was awful. 

The worst part about it was that I knew the pain was not the type of pain that you can "suck up."  I knew it was a "bad" pain and I kept going.  The rest of Friday afternoon was not good for me.  I iced, I took ibuprofen, I rested, I cried and it hurt. 

On Saturday it was feeling better, but I knew I shouldn't run on it.  I don't know if I've mentioned, but over the summer I had the idea of running with a neighbor's dog.  The dog is a large one (I think he's a lab) and they never take him out.  They never walk him and he's very untrained.  I learned very quickly that I can't run with him until I train him a little (or a lot).  Well, with marathon training and hip issues, and running when I could, I had no time (or didn't make time) to take the dog for a walk. 
Also, every time I would take the dog out he pulled soooo hard and it was impossible to do anything with him.  At the Turkey Trot with my sister she gave me her dog's old choke collar.  Her dog was never good at walking and pulled constantly, and they trained him from a puppy. 

(I'm glad I don't have a large audience that reads this because I know that choke collars are not nice, and the reason they're effective is the pain they give when the dog pulls.  Like I said, my sister trained her dog from a puppy and tried everything else before resorting to a choke collar.  Hank is not my dog and his owners don't take the time or the energy to train him properly, and I don't want to make the time either because he's not my dog.  My hope is that the he's a fast learner, he's only 1 or 1 1/2 yrs old, and I'll be able to walk him without the choke collar eventually.  I also hope that a choke collar walk is better than no walk at all, which is how his owners have dealt with his constant pulling.)

So on Saturday I decided I was going to walk Hank (the neighbor's dog) and use the choke collar from my sister.  He did great.  He still pulls more than I would like, but it was his very first time.  Actually, now that I'm writing this, I'm pretty sure I walked him on Thanksgiving day after our dinner.  That walk wasn't very long, we went around the neighborhood, and since he was doing so good, I did a little extra.  Saturday I decided to go for a much longer walk.  We went 3 miles, and he did amazing.  He's much better on trails where there is no traffic or other distractions. 
I walked him again on Sunday, this time doing the 3 mile route that I run with the thought of teaching him that route so it's not so hard to get him to turn when I want him to.  Like I said, he's much more distractible walking on sidewalks rather than trails, but he still did great.  It gives me hope that by summer (or sooner) I'll be able to run with him regularly.  It also makes me think about getting a different dog when our dog is gone.  (Our dog is small and very stubborn, he's never been a good walker, and he's so stubborn and not a great kid dog, that I haven't really liked having a dog.) Unfortunately I haven't taken him since Sunday.  I get home after 6 often, and it's dark and I have to figure out dinner.  I know, I know, I take the time to go for a run at that time, but a walk is longer than a run, even just a 3 mile walk . . .

Yesterday I went to the gym and ran, and my knee/leg felt fine.  Today it is still fine, but I can tell it's not 100% still.  I don't know why the treadmill is so much easier on the leg.  Yesterday I played with the incline quite a bit to see if that was causing the pain, but it didn't do anything.  I may try a run outside tomorrow and see, but stop at the first twinge of pain.  I don't know how this is going to affect training and running a half marathon on Dec. 31st.  I hope that all of my marathon training isn't gone and I can quickly get up to the mileage needed for a half marathon, but it continues to be an issue.  This half marathon may end up being a run/walk thing.

(This half marathon is the end of the Washington Marathon/Half Marathon series I've been doing all year.  I have to run it in order to get the medal for running all the others.)

Also!  I almost forgot . . . my son has wanted a tattoo since he was 8 years old (that's when I got my first), and when he turned 18 he has constantly asked for a tattoo for a present.  I haven't done it, I've been hesitant because he's young and it's permanent, but he's going to do it sooner or later.  Well, a month or 2 ago I had the idea of getting a mother/son tattoo and asked him if he'd be interested.  He said he was, but we had no ideas on what to get. 

Then about a month ago I was talking to someone about it and they said to find something that means something to both of us.  We don't have anything specific that means something to us both, but the more I thought about it, I came up with something, even though I thought he wouldn't be interested. 
When Damian was little I read this book to him all the time, and he loved it.  It's about a mom who has a baby, and as a baby she rocks him at night and sings "I'll love you forever, I'll like you for always, as long as I'm living my baby you'll be."  As the baby grows she continues to rock and sing to him at night, even as an adult.  Then the boy is older and the mother is old and he rocks and sings to her.  Damian used to ask me if I did that when he was sleeping.  I even used that quote in his Senior yearbook last year as the letter from the parents.

So I had the idea of getting that "song" as a tattoo and asked him, thinking he probably wouldn't like it.  But he loved it.  The problem has been our conflicting schedules.  He's often at work when I get home at night, and he often works afternoons on the weekend and the tattoo place doesn't open until 12pm. 

Well, the Friday after Thanksgiving I told him we were going to do a mother/son thing after he got off work.  We went to the tattoo place to talk to them about it.  I told him that we probably wouldn't be able to get the tattoo that day, but we could maybe come back on Saturday (he had the day off).  Well, we were told that one of the artists had some time so could do it for us, but then we took too long picking out a font and making adjustments so we couldn't do it then.  He was pretty disappointed after thinking he'd get it.  And she doesn't work on Saturdays.  But she had an opening on Tuesday evening and he didn't work.  So we made an appt.

And on Tuesday . . .

 It turned out amazing!  He loves it, and that's more important than me liking it (I think). 

I added his birthdate to the end of my half. 

Friday, November 17, 2017

Fowl Fun Run 2017

I have not been running much.  I've been trying to let my knee heal from my marathon but still continue running a little so I don't lose it all.  The week after my marathon I ran 33 miles (but that was with 26 miles of a marathon since it was on Sunday, so really only 7 miles).  The following week I ran 16 miles, and this week I've run 6.5 and walked a mile and a half.

Saturday I ran the Fowl Fun Run 10k.  It was a last minute decision to run.  I have run it many times.
Well, I thought I had run it several times, but I've actually only run it 2 times, once in 2012 and once in 2015 (the 5k).  Oh well.  I don't run many 10k's, not because I don't want to, I actually like that distance more than the 5k.  Last year when I committed to running a race a month I planned to run more 10k's and then I sprained my ankle and ran 5k's because I couldn't do more than that. 

Anyway, 2015 was my last 10k, the previous one was in 2012, the Fowl Fun Run . . .  My previous PR, from 2015 was 56.37, and I thought that I could easily beat that time this year.  It was a completely uneventful run.  I tend to run too fast in the beginning, and I needed to run at a 9 min mile to get a PR, so I was going to try to stay at that pace.  I failed.  I kept telling myself I needed to slow down.  At mile 2 I decided if I could get my pace to stay around 9 min/mile than in mile 4 I could speed up as fast as I wanted.  I figured that meant I only had 2 miles left and I could run those fast if I wasn't dying.  I ran 8.45, 8.43, 8.46, 8.38, 8.30, 8.34, and the last 0.2 was 7.52.  My overall time was 54.16, which equaled 8.43 min/mile average . . .a new PR. A whole 2+ min faster than my previous 10k time.  =)  And I felt that I could have run faster for the whole thing.  I wouldn't have been able to do the push at the end (the last 0.2 miles) but the overall time would have been faster.  I did not get an age award, I didn't even wait to find out.  I didn't know where I was in the pack, but the last time I got an age award for that race it was just a ribbon, and I don't really care about ribbons.  I was 6th out of 11, the fastest person my age was 47.47, a 7.41 min/mile, no way was I going to beat that.
In 2015 they raffled off a bunch of things, including a mug that I got, but this year they were only raffling off turkeys and pies, and I didn't care about those at all, so I left.

My knee didn't bother me at all.  However, it was pretty sore on Sunday, so much so that I didn't do a "long run" on Sunday.  I was going to run 8 miles, but I didn't.  After Sunday it hasn't hurt much.  I ran on the treadmill at the gym on Tuesday and then yesterday I decided to run outside.

I don't know exactly what I did, but I stepped wrong and the inside of my knee started hurting a lot.  Previously it's been under my kneecap, so this is a new pain, and it hurts to walk, which the other didn't.  I'm pretty upset about it and rather worried.  I HAVE to run the Last Chance Marathon on December 31, I've run 2 half marathons and 1 full marathon as part of the Washington Marathon Series, and in order to get the medal, I have to run either the Seattle half or full marathon next weekend (not going to happen) or the Last Chance in December.  So this mean that I have to rest completely to let it heal so that I don't have to completely restart my training (I don't know if one month is enough time to retrain for a half).

So no long run this weekend.  I don't know if I'll get one next week either.  I guess we'll see how it goes.  Nancy, my sister, and I are planning on walking a Turkey Trot near her house on Thursday, so I guess that will be the test.  I won't run before that.  I may kill someone.  ; )

Monday, November 6, 2017


Well, I'm still having some knee issues.  I waited to run until Saturday.  I had no pain, or discomfort, in my knee after my run on Wednesday, but I wanted to make sure it didn't get worse.  I decided I could do 3 miles on Saturday if I took it easy and listened to my body.  I ran 3 miles and felt great.  It was a good run.
After my run I got a pedicure and overall felt pretty good.

Interestingly, I was reading my first post after my marathon in 2015, and I had the same problem with walking in my first run (I walked the last half mile of that run).  Although back then it was my feet that hurt, and my right one in particular.  I ended up taking almost 2 weeks off to heal.  One day, I remember it pretty clearly, my foot hurt so bad and I was walking to my bedroom, suddenly I heard a loud pop in my foot and then it felt fine.  I don't exactly know what was wrong, but obviously something in my foot was misaligned (or something) and needed to pop back into place.  I wish it was that easy with my knee this time around . . .

Sunday I woke up to snow.
I love snow, and I have the strange desire to want to run in the snow.  I may feel differently about this if I lived in an area where it snowed a lot, but I live in western Washington where I'm lucky to get snow once or twice a year.  In fact, my first snow run wasn't until late November of 2015.  I don't remember if I ran in the snow last year, I think I did, I remember a very slushy run where I was surprised at how hard it was, but I can't find it, and don't exactly remember when it was. 

Anyway, Sunday morning I was sitting on the couch watching the snow, and noticed it was still snowing (or maybe snowing again?).  Chris and I had decided that since I wasn't doing a long long run, I would run after grocery shopping but with the time change I was up earlier than normal on Sunday and I was starting to itch for a run.  I still hadn't eaten anything, so I decided I'd eat something and drink some water and see if I could get it all in me by 8am so I could run at 8:30.  I was successful and was getting dressed when Chris finally woke up.  I told him I was going to go run in the snow and we'd shop afterwards.

I had been debating running 8 miles, but I decided to do 5 because of the snow.  Well, I started running my regular 5 mile route, and on one of the early downhills I had a twinge in my knee. Oh, yeah, I forgot about my knee.  It was okay, so I kept running but thought I'd cut it short if I needed to.  By the time I was at a mile and a half I knew I wouldn't be able to do 5 miles, I got to 2 and a half miles and had to walk.  My knee was really bothering me.  I walked the half mile home pretty disappointed.  It didn't feel like I had run, and I was just discouraged.  I'd like to say I got over it, but I didn't. 

I got an email from someone regarding the Tri-Cities Marathon I ran last Sunday. Remember the post I wrote last week about it?  In the post I wrote about the guy that was acting crazy, well, the email I got over the weekend discussed him.  I'm going to copy and paste it here, I just found the whole story crazy and a little sad.

Disturbance at our 2017 TC Marathon
Some of you may have come in contact with a registered runner at this year’s Tri-City Marathon that caused quite a disturbance at several places along the course.  Or you may have seen his profane and incoherent rant of a “review” on our Facebook page.  If you witnessed his behavior or saw his FB rant, it is obvious that this person has no credibility.  However, I take a lot of pride in our 3RRR club and events and I want to set the record straight.
The story starts the day before the race at packet pickup.  Our race director talked with this man and though he seemed somewhat peculiar, he did not appear to be a threat to anyone.  In his discussion, this person was very forthcoming that he was convicted of a felony and formerly abused illegal drugs.  On race morning he exhibited more strange behavior, including a liberal use of duct tape, among other things, but again none of this behavior appeared to be dangerous.  And then the race started.
The race started in very dense fog, in some cases visibility was not much more than 20 feet.  One of our women club members, competing in her first serious marathon, found herself running with this man running directly behind her.  When he started making sexually harassing comments to her, it was very stressful, especially since with the fog it felt like she was alone with this strange man.  She was glad to catch up with another woman running on a relay team, but the man behind them just doubled down on the sexually harassing comments.  When they got to the relay exchange point and the other woman completed her run, our marathon runner was so stressed by the man trailing them that she hid in a porta-potty for several minutes in hopes that he would get far enough ahead of her so she would not have to deal with him any more.
While on the course, spectators witnessed this man yelling and cursing at other runners, claiming they were trying to “cut him off.”  Our marathon runner caught up and passed the disturbed man on the Cable Bridge heading back over to Pasco and noted that he was yelling at the cars on the way over the bridge.  So much so that the cars were honking back at him.
Then came the aid station at mile 16 on the Pasco side of the Cable Bridge.  A number of runners complained to the aid station volunteers that one of the runners in the race was yelling and cursing at other runners.  Aid station workers noticed this man kicking over cones near the aid station.  When he arrived he complained the cars on the bridge were trying to kill him (from his yelling and threatening the cars) and then threatened to kick over the aid station table and dump all the water/sports drink on the ground.  He did not make good on his threat, but his behavior was threatening enough for our aid station crew to call the police.  The disturbed man was taken into custody somewhere around mile 18 on the course.
After the police removed him from the race course, they did not have enough to hold him or charge him, so they needed to take him back to his car.  His car was parked at the Shilo Inn and this is where he caused a disturbance at the awards ceremony.  He once again started in with a profane and incoherent rant at the race director, who calmly let him know that he would address his concerns after the award ceremony was over.  When the race director went to find him for a discussion, he had already left the area.
Those are the facts of what happened and I wanted you to know.  I want to make two points here.  First, I want to congratulate our marathon race director for a good job of putting on the event and the calm and professional manner in which he dealt with this disturbed individual.  I am not qualified to determine whether this disturbed man suffers from mental illness or this was a drug issue, though the opinion of nearly everyone that came in contact with him was that he was “on something.”  This was our marathon race director’s first foray into race directing and he did a great job of dealing with this situation and avoided letting it escalate.  I’ve been directing races for over 35 years and have never had to deal with something like this.
Secondly, as I was collecting information to write this up, I was also getting the news about the tragedy in New York City regarding the terrorist truck driver on the bike path.  Obviously, there is no comparing what happened in New York to our situation with the disturbed individual.  But it reminded me that at our 3RRR events we are not immune to strange behavior or actions by others.  Just as in other parts of every day life, we need to keep alert and be aware of what’s going on around us.  Even as we are competing in our local events.  That may mean taking out your earbuds once in a while if something looks or sounds off.  And then let someone know…just like the runners did at our mile 16 aid station.
In closing, I know how hard you work to get ready for a marathon and the effort you put forth during the race itself.  To have that sacred time subverted by some disturbed individual while you are trying to put forth your best effort is a terrible shame.  I am saddened that some of you were affected by this person.  Know that he will not be allowed to register for any 3RRR events in the future.
I've been working in the mental health field for 7+ years, and even on Saturday when I saw this guy at the packet pickup and he wasn't doing much but saying hi to people in line, I thought that he had some mental health issues.  I'm no expert, but I truly believe that was his issue, and I thought multiple times during my run that maybe running helped him with whatever mental health issues he had.

Friday, November 3, 2017

Tri-Cities Marathon

You can find the first part of my marathon weekend story here

After my sisters and I got done looking at the parks along the route they were going to go to we went back to my parents house and had dinner, steak, and I set up all my stuff for the race.  I never did get really, really nervous.  It was nothing like my first marathon two years ago.  I wasn't running around looking for missing things, nor did I bring nearly as much stuff, especially food stuff.  Two years ago I had bananas, peanut butter, hard boiled eggs, and Snickers bars, this year, I had my chews and my Nuun. 

With so many people in my parents house (8) with 5 beds, but also we had to keep Damian and Callie (gf) separated, there was not enough room, so my parents hooked up their 5th wheel for us to sleep in.  The first night Damian was in there by himself, however, that put Maddox in a double bed with Chris and I, which doesn't work.  So Saturday night Chris, Maddox and I went to the trailer.  Well, Maddox still has trouble going to sleep without me laying with him, so I just went to bed with him in a pull out bed.  I had originally been in the main bed in the trailer, but moved when he wouldn't go to sleep, but left my phone.  I woke up in the middle of the night and Maddox's kindle was close, so I looked at the time 2am.  Then a few hours later I woke up again and looked at the clock on the kindle again.  5:46am!  I was late!  Like an hour later than I intended to be.  I jumped out of bed, yelled "Oh, sh*t!" and ran to the bed to get my phone.  Chris asked me what was wrong and I said it was 5:45 and I was late.  He laughed and said it was only 2:45am. 

I forgot that Maddox's kindle was set to eastern time (I don't know why). So I laid back down and fell back asleep (thankfully).  I woke up at 4:30 and got out of bed.  I ate my steak and eggs, drank my coffee, drank a lot of water and read a book for a couple hours. 

With the number of people going to the race (11 including me), we needed to take 4 people in my sister's car, so Chris, both my parents, and me all left about 6:30am to get to the race on time. 
The sunrise on the way to town.

On Saturday my sister asked me if I remembered gloves, I said I had some, but wasn't sure why she was curious.  She said two years ago she remembers me saying I wished I had my gloves because my hands were so cold.  I didn't remember that at all, and debated whether or not I wanted to wear them.  I had pretty much decided against it, because I had my running jacket that has flaps that go over the knuckles of my hands but Chris said he thought I should wear them.  The first park is at 4 miles and it'd be easy to give them to someone. 

It was super foggy when we got to the Tri-Cities.  I was kinda disappointed because the drive there was so nice, but I was glad I brought my gloves because it was really cold.  We all hung out in the lobby of the hotel until the start of the race. 

The day before while I was picking up my packet there was a guy that was sitting in a chair chatting with people in line.  He said that he was running his first marathon, and was a little "off."  Then while we were in the lobby waiting, my dad happened to sit next to him on a couch.  He talked to my dad a little bit, told him that his Nike shoes were from the gods and that the Nike check was his wings and when he got tired they would carry him through the rest of the race. Then when I was walking to the start line, he was talking to another person.  He asked the other guy if he had a drink to help with the nerves, the other guy said no, and he said that he drank a "40" to calm down before he got there. 

If the marathon had been one of those pictures with different objects that asks "what doesn't fit" he would have been the obvious pick.  He was wearing kaki pants tied up with a shoe lace and his shoes were so old they were being held together by tape.  I honestly was worried for him, thinking there was no way he'd finish.  

Anyway, they started the race and I, of course, started too fast.  I kept telling myself to slow down, but in the first half of the race I never quite reached 10 min/mile, I was faster.  I know that is bad, my goal was to do the entire race at a 10 min/mile but I felt good with my pace all through the first half and thought I'd have no problem keeping it.  After the halfway mark I added about 10 sec (or more) every mile, until mile 21 where I added 20, then 15, then 30, then 40.  I was able to speed up in mile 26 (speed up to 11:32).  =)

I ditched my gloves at the first park even though it was still foggy, but I didn't want to be stuck with them and my hands were pretty warm.  I debated ditching my jacket but kept it on because there was another park 2 miles away.  At the second park I didn't know if I wanted to take the jacket off yet or not, it was still foggy, but I was worried it would burn off and I'd be really warm.  I ended up giving it to my sister and was glad because it got sunny right after I left the park. 

The marathon 2 years ago, I didn't take any pictures.  I didn't want to slow my time, and I had my phone in an armband that was hard to get in and out.  I regretted not having any pictures of my family or of the beautiful weather.  This year I decided I didn't care about my time that much and I had a flipbelt that held my phone, so it was much easier to get in and out. 
I took several pictures of my family while I ran, none of them turned out great, but I am happy I have them. 

"Think Chocolate"
So back to the "crazy guy,"  he was behind me most of the first half.  I could hear him yelling a lot, so I knew he was back there close.  I had to use the bathroom in mile 11 so stopped at a portapotty and he got in front of me.  So then I was following him, and he was all over, he was waving his arms, and yelling, and swerving, it was very strange.  My sister and Chris were at the turn around point to give me more Nuun and afterwards they told me that right before the turn around he was jumping on rocks.  He slipped on the last one and landed on his crotch on the rock.  I guess he got up and said something like "nothing there!" and kept running. =)

The Tri-Cities has 3 main bridges, one in each town, and the marathon route crosses all three of them.  While going over the 3rd one, I passed the "crazy guy" and didn't see him again.  My mom later said that she saw him cross the finish line, which made me happy.

Between the park at mile 20 (also at mile 6) and the park at mile 22 (also mile 4) I slowed way down.  That stretch is flat, but really boring.  There's not really anywhere for my family to meet me along there, and I was pretty dead.

At mile 22 Damian joined me again.  I think he is why I finished.  I was really, really tired, and felt like I was barely moving. 

At one point a car passed and I told Damian that I thought it looked like someone I knew when I was young, very young.  Then she pointed at us, and pulled over and started yelling "Hi Cathy!"  I thought it was pretty cool, and random, that she happened to be driving by right at that time.  =)  (She confirmed it was her on Facebook later.)

Damian was my cheerleader again this year.  I was more dead this year than 2 years ago, and stopped a couple times and he really cheered me on (yelled at me to get my ass moving). =)  He also pushed me up the last hill to go over the last bridge, which there is no way I would have gotten up that hill without him.  He was pointing out the walkers and kept saying, "See, you're stronger than that!  You can run up it!"  At less than a mile left of the race I told him I was going to give him my bib and he could finish for me, I just thought the grass looked very comfortable, and again, he pushed me and kept me going.  He is a truly amazing kid.

This year the finish line did not have massages, which I was pretty bummed about.  They didn't even have chairs, which I thought was not okay.  The chairs we found belonged to The Arc, which is a agency that helps disabled people, they had people racing in wheelchairs (being pushed).  We stuck around for the awards, I was 5th out of 5 in my age group.  ; )
Can I sit down?


He was holding my legs up because they hurt.
Afterwards we went to out to eat at a place called HopJacks.  It's very good.
And then Chris wanted to go see his sister who has cerebral palsy and lives in that area.  We visited with her for a little less than an hour, I just needed to go, and went back to my parents.
Chris's brother playing with my kids
We turned on the (recorded) Seahawks game, and I watched it off and on, partly laying on the floor.  =)  (It was a very, very good game, and I wished I could have watched it under different circumstances, but oh well.)

And we all came home on Monday.  Damian had a hard time getting out of the car for lunch.  He's not in the same shape he was in 2 years ago and his calves tightened up.

I did attempt a run on Wednesday and only made it 2 miles before my knee started hurting. I ended up walking most of the 2 miles home.  It was hurting pretty badly in the last 2 miles of the marathon, especially going down the hill from the bridge, but it felt fine after Sunday night.  I guess the running on it is too much for now.  I will have to take a little break so I don't hurt myself badly.  I still have to run the Last Chance Half Marathon on December 31st to get my Washington Full/Half Marathon Series medal.  =)
Wednesday's run.