Monday, January 30, 2017

Half marathon, Girl's night out, cat stacking and fairy gardens

I am thinking about doing another half marathon on Feb. 12th.  I'm already in shape for one.  If I do a long run next weekend that is above 10 miles, I should be fine for the following weekend to do 13.1 miles.  On the Skagit Runners page it's name is the Birch Bay International (Half) Marathon.  I'm not sure why it's called "international" but that is what caught my attention. 

I read a blog, I've mentioned her lots before, Runs for Cookies, and she lives in Michigan.  She talks about the Detroit Free Press Half and Full Marathon.  They both go into Canada, and I have thought it would be a really cool marathon to do.  My biggest problem with doing that marathon is the location, not that it's far away, but when Chris and I were separated, I dated a guy from Michigan that was very serious and now to bring up Michigan to Chris is awkward at best. 

Anyway, when I noticed the "international" in the name of the Birch Bay International Marathon I thought it would be one that also goes into Canada and I thought that would be awesome (although, I'm not ready for another full marathon, but a half would be fun too).  However, looking at the map of the run, neither one goes into Canada, even though it's right on the border. 

The course is along the water and looks really pretty (hopefully no rain!) so I decided I may do it.  (See how decisive that is?) ; ) 
This weekend my long run was "only" 7 miles.  I'm pretty pleased I did that. I didn't feel like it at all.  And then on Sunday we were planning to go up into the mountains a little to eagle watch because it's eagle season (I guess) and I thought it would be fun.  I was outvoted though when the day turned out to be cold and windy.  So instead I went for a 5 mile run.  It was a wet run.  My water resistant jacket wasn't made for western Washington running through clouds (that's what I consider the constant drizzle, it's not rain, it's not even a drizzle, it's like running, or walking, through a cloud).
 
Last week my coworkers (and one ex-coworker/officemate) asked me if I was interested in going to a "Girl's Night Out" event after work on Thursday.  Originally I couldn't go, but then all the reasons why I couldn't go got canceled.  Then one of my coworkers canceled so I took her ticket and went.  It was a lot of fun.  I might have bought quite a few things I didn't need. . . 
My coworkers and myself, I feel
very tall in this picture, and I was
wearing flat shoes.
This wine glass was one of the things I bought.
 Another of the things I bought they had to order, but I'm super excited about it.
It's like a glove, it goes on your hand and has a holder for the pepperspray.  It really is perfect, so I had to buy it.  This is the link to the site, but it's one of those sites like Mary Kay, you have to have a "consultant" sell you stuff. 

The receptionist at my work is very into cats and people give her all sorts of cat related things all the time.  This is a stacking puzzle thing, and we have spent quite a lot of time stacking her cats.  I really, really want one, especially since she's leaving in March.
And lastly (is lastly a word?)  I started a "fairy garden."  I've seen them on Pinterest and thought they were cool, but I don't have a daughter and they're always geared towards that so I never bothered.  Well, over Christmas we were in a gardening store and I saw all these goal fairy/gnome garden items and I decided I had to do it anyway. I put it together yesterday and I think, for what I have, it's really cute.  =)
Of course, as soon as I did it, and went inside, a cat (we have several wild cats living in our backyard) dug through it and I had to redo it.  But it's still cute even if the moss is a little dirty now.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Nookachamps half marathon

Last week was pretty uneventful.  Work, lift weights at lunch, work, go home, run (or not), go to bed, repeat. 

Actually, I only ran 3 days last week.  I lifted weights 3 days, and went to cycle class with my sister, the first time since Dec 1st.  It was much harder than I remember.  I didn't feel very good for most of last week, which is why I took off a day of running, or I was just lazy. 

I was sorta waiting to get the official results of the half marathon I did on Saturday before writing about the race, but they still haven't posted them, so I decided I'd write about it anyway.

It was a really nice day here on Saturday for the half marathon.  I had originally thrown on my new "water resistant" jacket because I thought it was supposed to rain, but I walked outside and could tell that it would be way too warm to run in a jacket. 
Taken while running at about mile 3
The entire first 6 miles was either downhill or flat, so I was running at a good pace and felt great.  My second mile was my fastest and I knew I was going too fast so I consciously slowed down.  The race went out of town (almost any race here that is long distance goes out of town because the town is so small) and through a small community near a lake.  We turned and were running through the small community when we turned again (sooner than I expected) and immediately a pretty steep uphill was in front of me.  Thankfully it wasn't long, but I forced myself to run up it.  After that it was all hills, mostly uphill. 

There was one length of a couple miles that was flat, but then back to the hills. 
I actually hadn't looked at the elevation part of this until just now, there are a lot more smallish hills than I thought.  But you can definitely see where the big hill starts, although that was at mile 10.  The first what I thought was a big hill started at mile 6.17.  Looking at that picture above, no wonder my legs were so tired at mile 11 when I started slowing down.  My splits had been pretty even until the last 2 miles.  I actually was thinking in mile 12 that there was no way I would be able to continue, and every time I thought that I would force myself to think "I can do this."  I was tired.

There was a brief moment when I looked at my Garmin and thought that I could actually PR, but then I did some math and realized that was a stupid thought, there was no way I was going to PR.  My best half is 1:59:47, my second (but first half I did) was 2:07:39, I did not beat either time.  (By the way, math is hard when running and tired, which is probably why I screw up routes and distances so often.)

My Garmin said I finished in 2:08:59 and mapmyrun said 2:09:20, I think the Garmin was closer to accurate, I was able to stop that sooner than the app on my phone.  It was still right around a 9.47 min/mile average, which is pretty good for someone that's been running most runs at over a 10 min/mile average, even short runs. 

All in all, I feel like it was a good race. 
 
Immediately afterwards.
I've done the Nookachamps 5k a couple times now and I knew that they have a decent selection of food afterwards so I went into the gym (it started and finished at the community college) and ate several orange slices and left.  I knew that I wouldn't get any age group placings (although that hasn't been confirmed since the official times aren't up yet) and I kinda just wanted to go home and take a bath.
 
By the time I got home I was soooo cold.  My finger tips had turned white, which has been happening sorta regularly lately when I'm really cold after a run.  It isn't pleasant, it's as if I've sat on my hand too long and lost circulation to my fingers, and then they start tingling.  It goes away after awhile but it's annoying while it's happening.
I didn't do much after the race.  Sat around the house, watched some TV, read a book.  Surprisingly I wasn't really sore.
 
On Sunday I decided I wanted to go for a short run.  I asked Damian if he wanted to go, figuring he'd say no, but he said yes.  So we went for a 3 mile flat run.  We definitely ran faster than I intended.  Damian is faster than me and I did tell him I wanted to be slow, but running with him makes me run faster.  I could definitely feel how sore I was.  Man, by the half way point my legs felt dead.  But I do enjoy running with him, so it was nice.
My new water resistant jacket.
After my short run, my legs were very, very tired.  Much more than after the half marathon, surprisingly.  

Monday, January 16, 2017

Creepy

This is my 7th post of January.  I have been averaging about a post a week for more than a year, some weeks I skip, and rarely I write two in one week.  I guess I feel like I have a lot to say right now, I don't know.  The last time I wrote more than 6 posts in a month was July 2015.  =) 

On Friday I ran 3 miles.  It was my first kinda creepy run.  I just wrote about my fear of the dark and the realization that it would be very easy for someone to grab me on one of my favorite streets.  I've been running on the opposite side ever since I had that realization, and remembering my pepperspray.  Well, Friday I was past that street and on a fairly busy one that is well lit.  It is right next to the hospital.  I was running and suddenly there was a guy next to me.  I've had people come up behind me, startling me, and pass me, but this guy was running right next to me and didn't pass me.  He was overweight, wearing sweatpants and a sweatshirt, carrying a plastic bag of stuff.  My first thought, well other than being startled, was that maybe he had just been released from the hospital (psych ward, was actually what I thought).  Anyway, I turned when he startled me and said "hi" thinking he'd pass me, but he didn't.  It creeped me out, so I hurriedly crossed the street, which is the direction I normally go anyway. 

Then I hear him say "what are you doing?" and he's crossing the street right behind me.  I said "I'm running" and kept going.  He followed me a little bit more and I finally decided I needed to face him and tell him to back off or use my pepperspray.  I stopped, took my headphones completely off (I had already turned them off), and turned around, but thankfully he was crossing the street again.  I turned and started running a little faster.  The whole way home I felt like I was being followed, but I didn't see anyone. 

I don't know what he was doing, if he thought he knew me, or what, but it creeped me out quite a bit.  It wasn't as scary as the almost dog attack while running at the lake a year and a half ago or even the bee attack before that, or as crazy as being attacked by your neighbor though.  Just one more of my crazy stories of things that happen while I run. 

This weekend was a busy weekend for me.  I had several projects at home that I've been putting off.  For whatever reason I decided this weekend was the time to do them all, well, 2 of them. 

Saturday I went for a "short" long run (remember when I would put long run in quotations, well, now it's "short," I guess it's all perspective).  =)  I have had a bit of a cough for about a week, and I woke up not feeling my best on Saturday so I decided to do 10 miles.  Well, while I was running I had a route planned out, figuring I'd eliminate part of my last long run to get to 10 miles, well, I ended up eliminated more than 3 miles, so I had to make it up a little bit at the end just to get to 9 miles.  But I'm okay with the 9 mile run.  I'm happy I ran at all. 

While I was running along the river I noticed a white specked bird on the other side of the river.  I stopped to look and I was pretty sure it was an eagle.  I kept running to get closer to where it was on the other side, and while I was watching, another eagleflew down and joined the first.  They were just swimming around in the water.  I stopped and took a couple pictures.  The top right one is as far as my phone camera would zoom.  I wished I could have gotten closer. 

The bottom left picture is the train that stopped me 2 miles from being done with my run.  I was not feeling this run.  I ran out of steam early (mile 5) and my feet started hurting at mile 6.5ish and I knew that I was going to have to add about a half mile where I normally end because of my miscalculation, so the train just annoyed me.

The bottom right is my recovery drink, which I didn't find satisfying, but I drank it while taking a bath.  Ironically, that is the last picture I'll ever take of my 3rd place marathon glass while using it.  Damian broke it while putting dishes in the dishwasher last night.  It's a smallish break, just a "chunk" taken out right where it says "Tri" but I was still really, really upset.  I still am.
While I was running I remembered I wanted to rearrange my dining room area.  The house we live in really has  no dining room, it's just a small breakfast area, and my table is way too big for the area.  We barely fit chairs around the table, so instead it has become a collection spot for papers and junk and we eat on TV trays in the living room, which I hate.  Last week I had a great idea of switching things up so I did it this weekend and it turned out great.

I didn't take a before picture, sadly. After going through a year and a half of pictures, these were the only ones I could find that sorta show the area I rearranged.  I have actively avoided taking pictures with this area in the background because it's always messy and doesn't look good.
The left picture is from Christmas 2015, and it shows the table, you can't see here, but the counter to the kitchen is almost touching the right side of the table.  On the left is a wall and just behind is a door to the garage, which you can see in the bottom right picture.  In that one, behind Maddox is two bookshelves and usually there were also 2 rocking chairs there as well.  The top left is when we moved into the house, and you can see the fireplace, wall, and next to that is the opening to the kitchen and the door to the garage.  Very tight quarters.

Well, I switched the table and the bookshelves.  Now the table is much more useable and the kitchen feels like there's more space in it.  I also cleaned off a cabinet that was in the garage holding tools, and added that next to the counter, making more counter and storage space, now I just need to clean the doors and attach them. 
Our big table was squished in that space under the window.

This is where the bookshelves were and 2 rocking chairs.

Oh, and I finally got around to decorating at least one wall in the kitchen.  The rocking chairs are kinda floating around the living room right now, with really no home. 

On Sunday I remembered I wanted to get Damian's old bed out and set it up for Maddox.  We've been working on getting him back into his own bed.  When we moved 2+ years ago, the house's furnace where we moved didn't work and it was in the teens at night so Maddox started sleeping with us because we had a heated mattress pad.  Well, it's much harder to get a kid out of your bed than it is to get him into your bed and it's been a struggle ever since.

We finally decided about 2 weeks ago to put him in his own bed, even if it is his toddler bed that was a crib before.  I have been sleeping on a mattress on his floor to get him used to sleeping in his own room, and most nights he stays there.  He's joined me about 3 or 4 times since we started doing this.  Well, I figured if he had an actual bed, maybe it'd make it easier for him, not to mention, he'd actually fit in the bed. 

But first I had to find a the bed in the storage shed.
It's the yellow peeking out there.
Then cleaning it.
Always fun with a cat in the way.
And finally putting it together, which was a pain in the neck!  This bed hasn't been used in 10 years, so lots of fun was had. . .
And the realization he might need new blankets.
What happened to relaxing weekends?

Friday, January 13, 2017

Happy Friday the 13th

Yesterday I spent a bunch of time trying to catch up on blogs I've gotten behind.  I found 2 quotes that I really liked in regards to the new year and goals/resolutions.

"I don’t think life is patterned in yearly segments, but I am looking forward to seeing what 2017 brings. I hope you are too." Kenlie from All the Weigh on her end of 2016 post.

I really believe this one.  I don't understand why people wait till Monday to start, or wait till January 1st.  Today is a much better day to start!  And not just in regards to goals, but also in regards to life.  January 1st is not much different than December 1st, the biggest difference is the number of the year.

"The secret to attaining goals is to realize there will be mess-ups and faltering steps but to not throw in the towel.  Regroup and move forward!!" MaryFran on Jan 2nd, 2017 from Believing in Myself

I don't believe in resolutions, I think they're silly.  Lots of resolutions are made for the beginning of the year, and almost as many made are broken before January is even over.  Goals are different.  You're working towards something, and just like in life there are ups and downs in achieving a goal.  There's never a straight path to getting where you want to be.  Accepting that you'll screw up is healthy and good, just as long as you don't give up.  This applies to everything, not just weight loss and running. 
________________________

Over Christmas I went a little crazy with the sugar and the candy.  I can't deny it, it was ridiculous.  Also, I may have mentioned before, but I have also started an afternoon Starbucks habit.  I have been spending about 3 days (it used to be 4) a week doing work at a Starbucks.  I absolutely love this time, it's very nice, but I don't like black coffee.  I like sweet coffee, so 3-4 times a week I have been getting a (at least) 370 calorie drink in the afternoon.  (My two cups in the morning from home is about 225 calories, that's 2 cups.) 

Anyway, Christmas.  Yeah, lots of candy.  We bought a ton of candy for Halloween, and I decided rather than eat it all, I'd put it aside and save it for Christmas.  Of course, by that time all the favorites were gone, so when Christmas came, of course we had to buy our favorites again.  So leftover Halloween candy, plus Christmas candy, plus homemade fudge, plus my sister's amazing chocolate covered cherries and pretzel/rolo thingies, and cookies, and peppermint . . . oh the peppermint!  Needless to say, when I weighed in on the first I was up.

I decided after New Year's that I would put away the candy (make my kids eat it) ; ) and the wine (I can't believe I added wine to this list) and the Starbucks coffee for awhile and see if I can lose this pesky weight.  Oh, and just in general tighten up my eating a little more.

Damian also asked me if I could start making my "green drink" again.  In that post that I linked, it's the first time I mentioned it, actually maybe I called it "green monster" the first time.  It's almond milk, spinach, blueberries and (if I remember) cinnamon.  I quit making it a few years ago because my blender broke.  We were on vacation and Heather, the girl that lived with us for awhile, broke the glass part.  Well, I replaced the "pitcher" (what is that called?) but didn't realize that she actually threw away all the pieces, not just the glass and I've never bothered to replace those pieces as well. 

Anyway, I have a temporary solution, that works, just not as well as the blender I'm missing, so I bought the ingredients for my green drink and have been making that.  I've heard that taking protein is good when lifting weights, so now I'm adding a protein powder, which is actually pretty good in my drink.  I'm only drinking that on days that I lift weights.  It might be a good recovery drink for after my long runs, we shop on Sunday and long runs are Saturday, so I haven't had the opportunity to make it yet after a long run.

Last week I wasn't as good with my coffee, and I had 2 glasses of wine 2 different nights. (I have to have wine on Hair and Wine Wednesday!)  This week I've been better with the coffee, but when I hurt my back on Tuesday I said screw it and opened a bottle of wine, I had 2 glasses Tuesday and 1 Wednesday night.  Even though I wasn't as good last week as I could have been I went from 158 to 154 from Monday to Friday, so that is very good.  I don't believe I lost 4 lbs, I think most of that was water weight or some such thing. 

I needed a coffee break yesterday, but decided not to get Starbucks.  Coffee from work sucks, but it's only a few calories compared to Starbucks.
This idea of not eating junk and quitting drinking so much Starbucks coffee is not new . . .  I was just looking at a post from last February, and it talked about the same things here.  Here's the post if you want to read it.  Maybe it's a new year thing.  Christmas and the holidays seem to generate lots of candy, so maybe about this time of year I need a reboot to stop the sugar craziness.  =)

I have decided that I talk way too much about my weight.  Some days I stand in front of a mirror and think I look good naked, and some days I don't.  But isn't that the way it is for even super skinny people?  Obsessing doesn't make it go away.  So, from now on, I will try to avoid mentioning my weight on here.  I will continue to weigh myself, right now I'm doing it weekly, but only posting monthly weigh-ins on my Scale Obsession page.  I'll keep doing that, but seriously, I need to stop talking about it.  It's ridiculous, no one likes to listen to someone obsess about their weight, no matter what size. 

I'm healthy and fit, and that should be good enough, right?  =)  Maybe I'll make that my 2017 resolution, no weight talk.  ; )

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Irony

I have been debating about stopping the MAF running.  I am slower than I was 2 months ago and I've been doing it for just about 6 weeks.  I guess that's only halfway through what they recommend to try it out for, but it is very discouraging.  Before I started this training, I was running under a 10 min/mile consistently.  I ran up all hills, and never took a walk break.  The first time I ran based on my heart rate I ran 3 miles at an average of 10:46 min/mile.  The last 3 mile run using this method I did outside was 10:45 min/mile.  I ran on the treadmill a few days later and that was an average 11 min/mile, but I was talking to my sister, and that may have affected it. 

The last long run I did (8 miles) before starting MAF I ran an average 10:19 min/mile, the first long run (9 miles) using MAF was average 10:24 min/mile and the last long run I did (11 miles) using the MAF training was 10:38 min/mile.

Last Saturday I ran 12 miles.  For the first time in awhile I was actually looking forward to my long run.  However, I didn't want to do the MAF training, so I decided to just run.  I used my Garmin with the heartrate monitor, and kept an eye on it, but didn't slow down or walk when it went above 135.  I ran 12 miles with an average of 9:54 min/mile, in case you can't do math (I can't) that's 44 seconds faster per mile than my last long run, with an extra mile in there.

I don't feel like the MAF training has been making me faster, or a better runner.  I walk up every hill I come to, every time. And I hate that.  Yesterday I went for a run after work, normal for me to do.  I ran my normal 3 mile run (running on the opposite side of the street) and I didn't keep track of my heart rate at all.  I did look at it occasionally, and it was quite high.  I ran an average 10:06 min/mile.  Why is that?  I was able to run under 10 min/mile for 12 miles, but not for 3?

I wonder if it's the cold.  It's not nearly as cold here as it is everywhere else.  I have friends on Facebook posting pictures of negative temperatures and tons of snow in eastern Washington, but it's still cold.  Right now it's 29 degrees, which means in the evening, when it's dark, it's much colder.  Last night it took 2+ miles for my fingers to not be numb, it was cold.  Anyway, I prefer running in cooler weather but freezing temperatures isn't very fun either.  I know heat makes me slower, maybe cold does too? 

Yesterday on my run, I glanced down at my heart rate just as I was finishing a hill (I ran up the whole thing) and noticed that my monitor said 225, I don't think that was true, I didn't feel like I was dying and it was early in my run, my heart rate monitor always registers higher than I think it is in the first half or full mile, but normally it's 168-ish.  Anyway, when I saw 225, I stopped and walked for a few min, I totally could have continued to run though.  Later as I was going up a long gradual hill that I recently have to walk on at the end, I could tell my heart rate was higher and thought that I should stop, I've never walked on this particular hill before MAF training, but suddenly I felt like I needed to. 

Anyway, I haven't decided what to do.  I did really enjoy my 12 mile run, I didn't feel like it was too hard or anything. . .

New subject. . .

Monday I posted about my 2016 running, and at the end I said "I guess my goal is always to complete a year of running without injuring myself.  I feel like whenever I write down more than that, I jinx myself."  Tuesday I went to the gym to lift weights, leg day, which is my favorite.  I did most of my workout and was doing stiff leg deadlifts.  The weight I wanted to use was being used (80 lbs), so I decided to go up to 90 lbs.  I did one set, and then 3 reps into my second set I felt something sorta pop in my back (it wasn't a pop, but I don't know how else to describe it).  I knew it was bad.  I put down the weights, well, put them away, and sat there for a minute.  I decided to cut my workout short (I was almost done) and went and stretched a little. 

My first thought when it happened was crap! what about my half marathon in 2 weeks.  The other thing I said in my last post was "I did learn some lessons about myself.  I deny that I'm hurt for way too long."  And again, I was telling myself that I wasn't really hurt, it will be fine, it won't affect my running at all.

Tuesday is a run day, it's been a run day for a very long time.  I debated the whole time home whether or not I was going to run.  I decided if someone was home when I got there to watch Maddox, I would run.  No one was home, so I didn't run.  Probably a good thing. 

Yesterday it was really sore on the way to work.  I rode the bus and the vibrations, plus the way the seats are, made it soooo uncomfortable.  However, as the day went on it didn't hurt as badly and the bus ride home wasn't bad.  I decided to run last night, and I didn't even notice my back while running at all.

Today it's sorer (autocorrect is saying that's a word, I didn't think it was) than yesterday, but my muscles are always worse the 2nd day after a workout.  I'm hoping it's that.  I'm going to the gym after work to do the treadmill with Nancy again.  We were going to cycle, but I don't think my back can handle being bent over a bike.  I guess we'll see how I feel tomorrow.

That's 5 posts in a week, I may be done for awhile.  ; )

Monday, January 9, 2017

2016 running . . . or maybe just fitness

I started 2016 at 147, which was up from my lowest in 2015 of 142.  However, with not running, or exercising consistently for 4 months I gained 10-15 lbs.  For whatever reason, that weight won't go away.  January 1st I was up to 158, the highest I've seen since 2/22/2013, almost 3 years!  =(

January 2017
January 2016

So what happened in 2016?
 
I ran a total of 8 races, which is the highest I've ever done.  I started 2016 3 months into my 40th year goal of running a race a month.  I ran the Nookachamps 5K, which I'm planning on doing the half marathon this year.  Although, after reading that race report again maybe a half marathon in January is a terrible idea!  And that course isn't an easy, flat course.  (One description says "mostly flat" and a review says "a few good hills.")
 
I had a difficult time finding a race in February.  If you're not willing to run a race on or near Valentine's day (I was away that weekend) there's very little out there.  I found a small 5K in an area I've never been in before. The DASSH 5K was actually 3.5 miles.  I never did find out my official time on that one, the system for finding times online was awful and since I didn't stick around after the race I didn't ever see any official times.
 
In March I didn't "run" a race, I did the Big Climb in Seattle with coworkers, which was fun, but uneventful. 
 I PRed the Tulip Run in April (5miles) also earning 1st place for my age group.  This is the 4th year I've done it , although the first year I walked with my sister.
In May I ran Bloomsday, which is a 12K (7.45 miles).  I PRed this race as well.  This was my 3rd year doing Bloomsday, the first year I walked with Nancy (which we're going to do again this year).

I was 1st among 29 people from Mt. Vernon.  =)
May 14th I went for a 9 mile run.  I was excited because I was just gearing up to train for the Seattle Rock and Roll Half Marathon and it was my longest run since my marathon in October of 2015.  This is my Instagram post from that run.
I went for a short run on the 15th, and then was headed out for a 4 mile run on May 17th when I saw a neighbor (sorta, if someone who lives a block away and I've never talked to is a neighbor).  He was in his yard, and he's waved at me before as I ran by.  Well, he waved again, I waved at him, and down I went, stepping in a hole and spraining my ankle.  He was very nice, but OUCH!
A few days after it happened.
I was in complete denial that it was very serious.  I thought that I'd be back and running in 2 weeks, maybe 3. I even went for a mile run 11 days later to see how I felt.  I stopped at one mile and called Damian to come get me.  But again, denial was my friend and 3 days later went for a 2 1/2 mile walk and repeated that 2 days later.  June continued my denial, and I ran 3 miles the 6th and the 8th, and 4 miles on the 12th.  After that 4 mile run, probably combined with the 6 miles from the week before, I decided I needed to take a longer break.  But I was determined to continue with my race a month goal, so I ran the Tesoro March Point 5k on June 25th.  Right after I ran that race I decided to go to the dr.  Turned out that I had strep throat but my ankle wasn't broken.  =) 
 
This was the first paragraph on my post on June 15th:
"I need to face some hard facts.  My ankle still bothers me.  It's not as often as it was, it's not even every day, but days like today, it bothers me.  I still have a spot that is a little swollen.  I need to quit denying it.  It is probably not ready to run on."
And the last paragraph on that same post:
"I started writing this yesterday, and my ankle really bothered me, so I was thinking I would stop running.  Today my ankle feels really good, so I think I could run . . . but maybe I should stick to what I was thinking yesterday and stop running so that I can start marathon training in 2 weeks and not worry that I'm doing more damage."
Talk about conflicted and denial, all wrapped up in one. 
 
After the Tesoro 5k I waited 9 days before attempting another run, 3 miles 9 days after getting x-rayed.  Stupid Cathy.  Whatever was going through my head at that time made me realize I actually needed to rest my ankle a bit, I went 26 days before my next run.
 
Did I mention that I had decided to do the Tri-Cities marathon again in October?  I can't remember exactly what day that "dream" died, but it was probably right about 2 weeks after that June 15th post, which I think was my "do or die" time to start training.  3 months before a marathon is not a good time to start training, and my ankle was still not good. 
 
In July I noticed an alarming trend.  I was gaining weight.  July 1st I was up to 150.  I'd been "tracking" my food on myfitnesspal for a long time (at that time it was 270 days) but not adding everything, some days just logging in to keep my streak.  So I decided to start tracking everything.  Today my streak is 457 days, but that's only 187 days of dutifully tracking everything (it hasn't helped though). 
 
So July, I was still determined to run a race a month, although I was getting less motivated.  I waited till the last day of the month to go to a race, I didn't even register, just figured I'd do it there.  Yeah, that got cancelled at the last minute (literally midnight the night of).  I had driven all the way to Ferndale (about an hour north) for the race, and a friend of Chris's was going to do it as well.  I text him to let him know it was cancelled and he asked if I wanted to run anyway.  So we met and did 4 miles, and I counted that run as a race
 
Sometime in the summer I was asked if I was willing to do the Northwest Ragnar.  Still in denial, I said yes!  But it never materialized for me, probably for the better.  But it did open my eyes to kinda wanting to do it.
 
I was feeling out of shape and blah-like in August, so I decided that on my vacation to eastern Washington I would start swimming for exercise.  I ran on August 16th but I decided to try out my sister's gym.  She could get me a 2 week pass for free, so I used that and started swimming on my lunch break.  Swimming is hard!  I also started doing a cycle class with my sister after work one day a week.
 
However, lunch break swimming isn't a good idea when your lunch break is only 30 minutes.  A lot of people stretch out their lunch for an hour, but with driving to the gym, changing, swimming for 30 minutes, showering, doing hair and make-up, and driving back to work, I was pushing 2+ hours.  I decided to keep the membership though because my insurance will reimburse me for $20 if I go 12 times in a month.  My sister and I really enjoy the time together and I enjoy cycling (well, I did) and a gym membership is less expensive than a once a week drop in (4 times a month), even without the reimbursement. 
 
However, I really want the reimbursement, so I still go at lunch 3 times a week, but I am doing a 30 minute weight workout instead.  I ran 3 times in August, all towards the end of the month.
 
In August my weight went up again to 155.  I figured once I started working out again, and especially running, it would drop quickly.  I was wrong.  In September it went up again to 156.4.
 
By August/September I didn't care about my race a month.  My ankle was trying to heal and I was being horrible with it, and I was really, really sick of the 5k's.  I had wanted to PR my 5k distance, but I didn't.  It is a pretty fast PR, I may never get a faster one (24:11).  So I gave up on that goal.  To be fair, even though I did not do a race a month, I did do 12 races from birthday to birthday.  I did 2 races in October 2015 (after my birthday). 
 
I started running again in September, starting September 11th I was back to full time running, about 4 times a week.  Looking at my mapmyrun calendar (I use a lot of apps, myfitnesspal for food tracking and mapmyrun for exercise tracking) it looks like I started lifting weights in October. 
 
In October I lost a little weight, weighing in at 155.8. I started increasing my long runs.  October 30th was 6 miles and I had lost a lot of my "speed."  I felt like I was running through peanut butter. 
On November 1st I weighed 154.2, which made me very, very happy.  I continued with the running, increasing long runs, and weight training. Nancy and I lost our favorite cycle instructor (I'm not sure what month) and we've really struggled to find a new one we like.  We've been doing other things as well, elliptical, walking (before it got too dark too early) and once (last week) she walked on the treadmill while I ran.  In November I started the MAF training (heart rate training), which I think I'll write a little about in my next post (this one is 4 in a row!).
 
In December it was more of the same, increasing long runs (training for the Nookachamps half marathon on January 21st) and weight training.  Sadly I weighed in on Dec. 1st at 156.2.  I finished December with an 11 mile run on the 31st.  =)
 
So what are my stats?  I ran a total of 672.49 miles in 2016 (a couple walks in there).  My lowest month of the year was July with only 7.23 miles, a grand total of 2 runs. (Really there should have been at least one month with 0 miles.)  My highest mileage month was December with 97.8 miles. Seriously, if I had known I would be that close to 100 miles, I would have done an extra run!  But I ran 11 miles on the last day of the year, there's no way I could have added any more miles that day when I realized how close I was going to be.  I had 2 PR's, both in weird distances (5 miles and 12K).  I ran a total of 5 5k's (I thought it was more) and no 10k's.  No half marathons, no marathons. 
 
2 years ago (2015) my goal was to complete one year without injuring myself.  It was the first year I actually accomplished my set goal.  2016 feels like a wash running-wise.  I did learn some lessons about myself.  I deny that I'm hurt for way too long . . . although that should have been a lesson learned in 2014 when I finally admitted, after a year, that I had plantar faciitis and needed to stop for awhile.  I also learned that I need to find out where I can get a professional massage more often!!  ; )  So this year?  Do I have a goal?  I guess my goal is always to complete a year of running without injuring myself.  I feel like whenever I write down more than that, I jinx myself.
 
I would like to do more half marathons, and I would like to run another marathon.  And I'd like to see about a Ragnar.

Friday, January 6, 2017

2016 in photos

Well, this post was going to be about my running achievements in 2016, but it turned into my year in pictures.  I guess my next post will be about 2016 running achievements, not like there are a lot, but as "Anonymous" posted on one of my recent posts, going from a badly sprained ankle to 10 miles again is pretty good.  =)

So here is my year in pictures. . .

My cute car died in January.
And my aunt let us buy her giant Chevrolet Impala, which I don't like.  It's not cute, and is not fun, and it's huge.  =(

In January I continued to run, starting to work on building my miles again since I had cut back so drastically after my marathon.  And I fell for the first time ever due to clumsiness.  (Well, if running in the dark and tripping on a crack is considered clumsiness . . .)


 We did our annual family trip in February.  We rented a huge house in Astoria and my sister from North Carolina came as well. 
Maddox, AJ (from N. Carolina), and Kaylee

My family
My sister and Dad, just because I like the picture.
 Also in February I cut my hair.  Which I've pretty much regretted ever since.
 In March I did the Big Climb in Seattle with coworkers.  That was lots of fun.  =)
 And I changed up my hair again in April, trying to get something I'd like.
 Also in April my mom came to visit and hit my broken car, driving it into the garage.  =/
 The reason my Mom hit my car was because she was bringing us dirt so I could begin my garden.  =)
 I started doing longer runs. 
 And PRed the Tulip Run, and whiched earned me a 1st place medal for my age group.
 I drove alone to Spokane (what a long drive!) for Bloomsday.  Also PRing that run.

My cousin's son went to the Bloomsday expo with me.

 Ran with Maddox, which this might have been my last run with him in the stroller.  He's so big now.
May 2016
And the event that defined 2016 for my running was stepping in a hole on a run and spraining my ankle.
I ignored how bad it really was and went for a walk/run only 2 weeks after spraining it.  I was only able to go one mile and called Damian to come get me.
We went to eastern Washington for Memorial Day, and went to a park in the town I grew up in after going to the cemetery where all my relatives are buried.

Damian started umpiring for baseball, just so he could stay in the game since his high school coach made it un-fun for him to play.
 And I changed my hair again in June.
 Maddox turned 5 in June, getting a "real" bike.
We went camping with my parents in July.  

 While camping we visited Mt. St. Helen's, but it was so cloudy you couldn't see anything.

My car got pooped on by a flock of birds.  I have never seen anything like this before.  It was very strange.
We went to my family's lake house in August.  It wasn't as hot this year as it was in 2015, but we still enjoyed ourselves.

Maddox was ready to go!!
Ready to get in the water!

I started swimming because I couldn't run.
My parents' came for a couple days with their boat.



 And FINALLY my garage was fixed in August.

 Damian started his senior year of high school.
 And Maddox started Kindergarten.


 In September I found my Garmin that I lost in June of 2015.  Right on top of a bunch of stuff in a closet I look in regularly.

 I went to Leavenworth with my sister for the 3rd year in a row for the Wine Walk.


Damian ran with me.
And so did Maddox.  (He didn't run 4 miles, just around the block)
Damian turned 18!!

 I started going to the gym in September, at first to swim while I was resting my ankle, which I finally admitted was badly sprained.  Then to go to spin class with my sister, and finally at the end of September deciding to stop swimming because I don't have enough time in my lunch half hour to swim, shower, and then get ready to go back to work.  So I decided to start weight lifting.
I turned 40 in October.  We went to the San Juan Islands for a very relaxing weekend and I got my first ever professional massage.



Damian got his Senior pictures taken.
And Maddox has the cutest school picture ever.
And I changed my hair again.
 I finally started doing long runs again in October, and got some new running gear.

 Maddox was a rubix's cube for Halloween.

 I mowed the damn lawn.

 And Nancy and I got wasted at a "classy" wine tasting in the Tri-Cities (eastern WA).

I worked on yoga again, I actually became more consistent with it in 2016, still not as good as I wish I was, but better.
I started a new training at the end of November, MAF, keeping my heart rate at or below 135, but above 125.  
In December I got a standing desk.  Something I've wanted for 7+ years.
 And I ran in the snow, very slowly.

I finished 2016 with my longest run since my marathon, 11 miles.