Hang on kids, it's gonna be a bumpy ride!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Tough Choices and Accountability

It has been months since I have blogged. I even missed my 2 year bandiversary post. I haven't felt too successful the past few months, so had no reason to blog. I have not run since April, I haven't worked out since April. Let me explain.

When I was 16 I hurt my right foot playing soccer. I stepped in a gopher hole and was told that I severely strained the ligaments in my foot. I was not able to walk in a shoe for 2 months and my foot has always been a little bigger since that injury.

Fast forward 20 yrs.

I had been running for 4 months. I did a half marathon and survived. Corporate Challenge started in March and I signed up for as much as I could. After the 5k in April I started getting a weird pulling feeling at the bottom of my right heel. That same week we had volleyball (which we took gold in!) and it was 6 hrs of jumping and bouncing around on the courts. 2 days later, during a neighborhood BBQ, my right foot swelled up to the size of a football. Had x-rays, tried some PT, had some more x-rays, was sent to a specialist, had even more x-rays (something strange was found by the specialist in my standing x-ray), went for an MRI and discovered that I was misdiagnosed when younger. I had actually broken my foot when I was 16 yrs old, the bone healed strange and ligaments that had torn (not strained) attached to the fractured bone. 20 yrs later, with being as active as I had been the first 4 months of this year, and volleyball added on top of that, cause the bone to chip and the bones in my foot to dislocate.

Did you follow all that?

In a nutshell, my right foot has a closed dislocation and will need surgery to correct. I had steroid injections done last week and haven't had any pain (unless I wear flip flops) in my foot since 2 days after the procedure. It will only last about 3 months. When I get surgery I will not be able to put any weight on my foot for 2-3 months. My doctor told me yesterday I need to prepare to be off of work for 2-3 months because I won't even be able to drive. That means I need disability coverage to help cover my loss of income during that time. But THAT means I cannot have ANY treatment for my foot for the next 12 months.

What does all of this mean? I will not run for at least a year and a half. I cannot participate in any high impact activity for at least a year and a half. I need to stop eating ice cream because I am so bummed out about not being able to do what I love.

I am looking for suggestions to some of your favorite low-impact exercises so I can drop the 10 lbs I have put on since April.

Ready. Set. GO!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Boston Marathon

Only one word to describe the bombings at the finish line of the Boston Marathon. Horrific.

It is hard to not be affected by a terrorist act taking place on U.S. soil, but I am so much more upset about this, as a runner. There is a camaraderie in the running world. You work very hard to prepare to compete in something that is one of the most physically grueling activities you can put your body through. Granted, I am a new runner and not anyone who would ever be able to qualify to run the Boston Marathon, but I have done many large running events and am doing the most important one thus far in AZ this weekend, Pat's Run. There are over 30,000 people expected at this run. The same amount that were in attendance at the Boston Marathon. That is an incredibly large group of people. People that include wives, husbands, children and parents who were there to cheer on their loved ones in what would have been one of the greatest celebrations of their lives. Volunteers who help to keep things moving smoothly. Paramedics and physicians who are there to help injured athletes. Now there are 3 dead, one an 8 yr old child, and over 120 others who were injured by the acts of someone without a soul.

All we can do today is pray for all of those people who are affected by what has happened.

Prayers for Boston.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Half Marathon Recap

Yesterday I participated in my first half marathon. My son did it with me and I am so very thankful for him being so supportive. It was one of the toughest things I have ever done, physically. I did NOT train for it...never even considered doing a half until we did our 8k three weeks ago. I saw a Groupon deal for it and thought, "What the heck. Why not?"

Yesterday morning started out great. We woke up at 5:30 a.m. in order to be out of the house by 6:30. We had an hour drive to Peoria from Mesa. I was scared but excited. I was about to do 13.1 miles. I have never participated in anything longer than an 8k and I thought I was going to die doing that a few weeks back. We got to the park about 40 min before start time and I immediately thought "What the hell did I get us into?" There were not many runners but the ones who were there were serious runners. Umm, definitely not me...at least not yet.

I had my son and I set up towards the back of the group. We started at 8:00. The weather was perfect. Felt pretty good about this adventure. I started out doing really well. I ran for over a half mile straight before starting to feel a little winded and tired. I was pacing myself to keep from keeling over later on. (Remember, I just started running 6 weeks ago. I still suck at it but am getting better.) My goal was to try and run 5 min and then walk 5 min through the race. Yeah, not so much.

By mile 2 the participants in the 4 mile "fun run" began to catch up with us. "Really? Whatever show-offs. Of course you can run faster than me, I am going 9 more miles after your are finished" is what I thought, but I was coming to find out how truly hard this was going to be. Oh, this is why people train for months for one of these things!

I was doing great energy wise and was singing loud, dancing around during our walking sessions and generally trying to embarrass the teenager from miles 3-5. We were having a good time. Then the leader came back from the other direction and I thought "Oh shit." I turned around at the next mile sign and saw 12 miles. Um, we aren't even half way and the leaders are almost finished! We did 5 miles in an hour but still had 8 more to go. Maybe I need to get serious here.

The running for 5 walking for 5 thing lasted a very short period of time. By mile 6 I was lucky if I could run for .10 mile without needing to stop. I did my first energy gel (PB flavor) and it helped a little bit. At mile 6 I sent my son ahead. He is in better shape than me and can run longer distances. "Go on...save yourself! I'll make it without you."

After another 1/2 mile a huge group of runners passed me going the other way. They were getting closer to that finish line as I walked further away from it, and I began to see how far behind I was and started to get worried. Am I the last one?? I spent the next 3 miles trying to catch up with the older lady in front of me who was walking her ass off and not slowing down a bit. Why can't I catch her?! During this part I was also getting a lot of support from the returning runners who were telling me how great I was doing and to keep up the awesome work. I started to cry. I couldn't help but think they knew I was the last one and felt sorry for me. The crying caused my sunscreen spray to get into my eyes and that made me mad and cry even more. Around mile 7-8 I became very emotional. Thought I was losing my mind for a bit. Here are these actual runners telling me how great I was doing when I was doubting myself and even saying how stupid I was to attempt to do something like this with no real training. So for about 3 miles I walked. All I did was walk. I was so sore. I was so tired. There was no way that I was going to be able to run again during this event.

The finally I hit mile 9 and about a half mile after that was the turn around spot to head back towards the finish line. Did my 2nd energy gel (chocolate, barf) and saw that I wasn't last...I was second to last. Holy crap. Catch the old lady!!

When I got to mile 10, I got a boost from somewhere. I looked at my HRM and saw I was going to have to push myself to finish in the 3:30 I set my goal at. Okay, run. Well...jog. I jogged off and on for the next 2 miles. Wanted to cry again when I saw mile 12 because I only had 1 more to go. Then I saw the old lady!!! Catch her!!!! I did...I ran until I caught up to and passed her. I looked behind me and the woman in last place was closing in on me. Walked for another 1/2 mile until I hit mile 13. Then I ran. I ran as hard as I could at that point (which wasn't much, believe me) and crossed the finish line at 3:25. I was handed my medal and it was over. Almost everyone was gone at that point. I was feeling very let down. No festivities, no "Hooray, you did it!" from random strangers. My family wasn't even at the finish line. My son came in about 15 min before me and had gone to get my husband from the truck. I would have probably cried had I not been so tired. So I put on my medal, walked to the water table and got a drink with the woman who had been behind me the entire race. Ate a banana, found my family and headed to the truck. It was done. I was in pain. My fingers were as swollen hot dogs and my hands looked like balloons.

Since we were on that side of the valley we went to Cabela's immediately after leaving the park. I knew that I was going to be in trouble in a few hours by how I felt at that point. Made myself comfy on a stack of rifle cases that I prayed wouldn't fall from under me while my husband shopped. I could hardly walk. Drove an hour back home and could hardly move to get out of the truck. I made my way upstairs and took a shower because I smelled pretty ripe (note to self, don't forget deodorant when doing 3 1/2 hrs of physical activity). I felt slightly better after my shower but had a hard time getting dressed because my legs forgot how to work.

Last night I was in so much pain I couldn't believe I paid money to feel so bad. I was very grateful my MIL invited us over to dinner or everyone in my house would have starved. I was waddling and could barely lift my legs to walk, let alone do anything else. I laid around a lot. Took a bath when we got back home, took some anti-inflammatories, put in a movie and went to bed. I slept like a rock. Didn't hear a thing until my husband came in to kiss me goodbye on his way to work.Woke up this morning feeling 70% better.

This was the most physically challenging thing I have ever done. It will not be my last. I will train for another half and will run it. I ran about 3 miles total in this one. Weak, but I finished.

Out of 220 participants I came in 218th. You want to know the definition of humbling? Having people twice your age kick your ass in a running event. But again, I started and finished it under my goal time. And for that, I am truly proud.

Still dark out! What am I smiling about?!

Sun was bright :-)

We were so happy...no clue what we were about to do.

There I am, all the way at the bottom.


Wednesday, March 6, 2013

The Gluten-Free Experiment

I have had digestive issues for over 4 years. It is embarrassing, uncomfortable and I am sick of it. After a lengthy conversation with my cousin who is a doctor, I decided to to a gluten-free diet for the month of March. I already gave up fast food for Lent so I am cooking at home everyday anyway. When I decided to do it I knew it would be difficult, but I had NO idea how much food contains wheat!! Holy cow! It will be interesting to see the results at the end of the month, but I am already noticing I feel better, my stomach is not as distended as it usually is and I have dropped 3 lbs since Friday. Must be doing something right.

I am also prepping for my first half marathon on Sunday. Yup, I took the plunge and signed up for it. Am I crazy or what?! Sounds like we are going to have some craptastic weather in AZ this weekend so that will just be perfect. Bring it on. Fortunately, my loving son is also going to participate in it with me. I took the day off work on Monday to try and rest & recoup and will drive back to Vegas with my boy for his Spring Break. I will post photos and all the gory details next week!!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Monday, February 25, 2013

I Want To Be Like Forest Gump

I want to be a runner. I want to want to run and keep on running. I want to be able to run for more than 5 minutes at a time. I want to be able to run a 5k and RUN the entire thing...not feel like I am going to die after running 1/4 of a mile. Then progress to longer runs. I know, it takes time for your body to get in runner's shape and to build up that endurance. But I want to be able to do it now!! I want to get that runner's mind where nothing can stop me...I can keep on going no matter what. I don't have that. Is there an app for that?

But on a more positive note, I am going to do my first half marathon in 2 weeks. Walking in my first half marathon, that is.  I got a Groupon for the City of Peoria 1st Annual Half Marathon, and for $30, I can do my first half. Even if it takes me 3 1/2 hrs, I will finish it. I honestly just want the medal and the ability to get a 13.1 sticker and not have it be BS :-)

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Running....On Purpose!

I have never been a runner...I have always hated it because I can never do it correctly and get frustrated. Well, I am pretending to be a runner now. My son and I participated in the 8k trail run as a part of the Lost Dutchman Marathon on Sunday and it was ROUGH. Very loose sand, so it was like running on the beach with 5 million rocks that tried to make you roll and break your ankle every 5 feet. My goal was to finish it in less than 1 hr 15 min and I finished in 1 hr 8 min, so that made me happy. My awesome son ran it in 58 min. I told him that if he was faster than me, to GO. Was very proud of him for completing it with me. It was so much tougher than I thought it would be. I honestly think the 10k on the road would have been easier. Oh well, at least we did it! Here are some photos of my boy and me from the run.
I thought they said rum!

My "little boy" and me the Superstition Mtns. behind us

 Start/Finish Line

Getting ready to start!

 Finished...where the hell is my water! Oh yeah, I took two. I was a little parched.

Proud but pooped. I am so not cute all sweaty and flushed with no makeup.

 Dirty Shoes

I have decided that over the next year I will continue to run and will complete the Lost Dutchman Half Marathon next February. I have a running coach lined up to help me and will register as soon as it opens. I will do it and I will complete it. My husband, son and I will also run in various events each month and we already have our next two planned, the Salute a Soldier 5k in March and Pat's Run, to support the Pat Tillman Foundation, in April. Are you sensing a pattern? With my husband being a veteran, we are all about supporting the troops/veterans and this gives him reason to participate in the runs as well. The 5k should be a pretty easy run, and Pat's Run is 4.2 miles...ending on the 42 yard line of ASU stadium. Very fun that we will be able to run onto the field but the run up to the stadium will be killer. If you have ever been there, you understand. If you haven't, all you need to know is it is built into a mountain in the middle of Tempe :-)

Have you done running events? Anyone ever do a half or even a full marathon? Please share your stories and advice and get running!!