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.

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