Is it too early for New Year’s Resolutions?

Thanks for letting me whine the past few days.  This community is so wonderful and so supportive.  After much counseling from you all and from my trainer, I think I’ve got a game plan for next year that’ll make me happy, not burn me out, and hopefully keep me injury free.

So, I’ve been doing some reflecting on the races that I choose.  I’ve come to learn that as much as I love the challenge of a half-marathon, I don’t know that I’m meant to do a lot of them (at least at this time).  I remember a post from my friend Lee when he talked about being a 5k-er.  That is HIS distance.  Sure, he can do half marathons and marathons (and is a total beast at them!) but in his heart of hearts, he loves a 5k.

I don’t know that I feel a strong pull toward any one distance, but I do know that I’m not defined by the distance that I do/do not run.  Any distance at all makes me a runner.  I just have to decide what keeps me happy AND healthy.

So, I think my strategy at this time will be to do no more than 2 half-marathon’s a year, and stick with shorter distances.  I’d like to do a spring half and a fall half.  But if I only want to do one, it’ll be the spring half (Shamrock!).  It was my first half, I love it, and I’ve already signed up for it 🙂 There are so many good short distance races in the fall, and I’d like to be able to do more of them.

This is what a dream schedule (not necessarily actual) would look like for me:

March: Shamrock Dolphin Challenge (8k and Half) *signed up already

May: Chickfila 5k or 10k

Maybe something in June/July/August?

September: Rock N Roll 5k

Early October: Crawlin Crab 5k

Late October: Wicked 10k

Early November: CNU Alumni 5k

Late November: Harbor Lights 5k or Half

Early December: ChristmasTown 8k

Late December: Surfin Santa 5 miler

I think I’d like to stick with 10k or under.  I want to end up with more quality races than quantity. I think I can do 5k’s more frequently if I’m doing far fewer long distance races.  My fall would be pretty race heavy, but if I drop the half and just do the shorter distances, I think I’ll be ok.

Realistically, if I need to cut down, I’ll just do the J&A Races: Shamrock, Crawlin Crab, Wicked, Surfin Santa.

I want to enjoy the run.  I want to stay healthy.  I want to do the races I love and not have the training kill me.  If I’m honest, I want to get back to my faster times.  The only way I’m going to get there (speaking for me personally) is if I stick with shorter distances.

Also, I want to try to keep some more consistent weekly mileage, even if its relatively low mileage.  I’m really enjoying all the other activities I’m doing, so I want to keep room for them.

I’m starting to have a sense of peace about this plan.  Its given me direction and focus to push through the end of the year with the promise of a new start.

Thank you guys for being so awesome.

Are you already thinking about new year’s resolutions? What race distances do you love? How do you find balance when planning a race schedule?

Shoe Problems + Self-Diagnosis

So I have been wearing the Saucony Guides ever since I started running. I got fitted at a great local shoe store (Running Etc). I have tried a pair of Nike that were similar, but they just didn’t do the trick.

I was a little apprehensive when the updates from the Guide 6 to the Guide 7 seemed pretty major, but after wearing them a few times, they didn’t seem that different.  Among the notable changes were:

-Saucony has switched from its ProGrid cushioning system to Power Grid for the 7 which is a 15% lighter and 30% more durable material.

-The Guide 7’s newly-created platform have a roomier wider toebox that is definitely more accommodating. Adjustments to the overlays have helped to open up the shoes fit as well.

None of these changes really worried me.  When I put on the shoe, it felt the same as the Guide 6.  So fast forward a few weeks into wearing them and I’m not so sure that these changes were as benign as I once thought.

I started having issues with my heels and arches (suspected plantar fasciitis – yes, yes, I know I shouldn’t self diagnose) a few weeks before I switched to these shoes.  When I realized how horribly worn down the tread was, I chalked it up to broken down shoes.  After switching to the new shoes, it felt much better….for awhile.  Now my arches ache after wearing them.

I didn’t have a ton of pain after Crawlin Crab Half Marathon, but I do remember my feet hurting more than normal while running.  After the Wicked 10k this weekend I had excruciating pain in my left heel the next morning. I couldn’t even bear weight on it for hours it hurt so bad.

Now I’m wondering if the shoes are playing a huge part into my foot pain.  The only other factor that changed in my life is that I’m now doing yoga.  All the research I’ve found is that most yoga poses (especially the simple ones I’m doing) are not detrimental to plantar faciitis… if that is even what is going on.

I’m not sure if the shoes are the culprit, but it seems a bit suspicious.  I probably should stop self-diagnosing and scouring the internet for answers and go get checked by a doctor for real answers.

All my issues seem to point to PF: the pain is worse in the AM or when getting up from a seated position, doesn’t hurt while running, only after, most of the pain is in the heel, but the arches feel tight throughout.

I’m rolling my feet on a tennis ball throughout the day under my desk.  I should be icing more than I am, but I do roll on a frozen water bottle occasionally.  I am going to work in more exercises to stretch out my feet, achilles, and calf. I know that I’m really tight in my back line.  My hamstrings are the only thing that have made any progress.  I hope that trying to stretch more will allow me to ease the tightness that is probably the source of a lot of my pain.

If any of you have suggestions for a stability shoe that is similar to the Saucony Guides, please let me know.  I’m willing to try a new style to see if that makes a difference.

Have you ever switched shoes and noticed a difference in your feet? Do you like to self diagnose?

Wicked 10k

Displaying photo 3.JPG

Awesome medal!

I just LOVE J&A Races.  The Wicked 10K is another favorite of mine that I really enjoy.  I was hopeful for improvement on last year’s time (1:21:28), but – spoiler alert – that was not in the cards for me.

I decided to be a Starbucks barista this year.  I bought a green apron and a patch from Amazon and made my own Starbucks apron.  It was pretty easy to make and easy to run in. I don’t know why I don’t have any pictures of myself in my costume. Blogging fail.

Unlike most races, I went this year with some friends! I usually like to go alone and meet people there. I got up early and headed down the road to my friend Jessie’s house.  The crew we had was her mom, twin sister, sister’s husband and me.  We got on the road kinda late, but made pretty good time to the convention center.  We did race day packet pick up (never again, I hate it).  Her mom was sweet to hold our stuff for us during the race.

We got in line for the porta-potties around 7:45am (8am start time).  We heard Team Hoyt and company start just before 8am, and rushed over once we were done.  Corral 1-2 were already off.  We were starting in Corral 5.  I stuck with Jessie and Emily for the 1st mile, then they started to pull away.  I completely lost sight of them by mile 2.

I was able to do a half a few weeks ago, but I guess from being sick, my breathing sucked and I just lacked the stamina to keep up a good pace for this 10k.  I settled in at a 12:30 pace and just decided that I’d enjoy the costumes and the course.

I’ve been having trouble with my feet (PF?) which I’m suspecting is related to the updated model of my shoes…but more on that later.  I also have a really tight left achilles, though I’m not sure why. I decided to take some walk breaks because the tightness in my left achilles was bothering me and my form was suffering.  I was attempting to have a 1:15:00 finish, but that slipped away.  Then I tried to shoot for 1:20:00 and I wasn’t sure that was possible, but I KNEW I could get under 1:25:00.  My official time was 1:22:49.

I’m not going to lie and say I wasn’t disappointed.  However, I haven’t really been as healthy as I should be, and I’m certainly not logging the miles I should be.

I met up with Jessie and crew and we headed to the party to get a beer.  The after party was on the beach this year – which is fun, but I find it to be really chaotic.

Displaying photo 1.JPG

I can’t believe I’m sharing this horrible picture! Its the only one I took!

After hanging around a bit, we went to the most awesome diner called Pocahontas Pancakes and got the best food ever! Could this be a new race tradition!?

Displaying photo 2.JPG

This my friends is a Monte Cristo on french toast and home fries (hash browns) YUM.

Here were some of my favorite costumes! All pictures stolen off the Wicked 1ok’s facebook page:

1.  the Beatles’ yellow submarine  – comprised of FOUR people

Displaying photo 2.JPG

2. Step in Time – Mary Poppins!

Displaying photo 5.JPG

3. Cupcakes

Displaying photo 1.JPG

4. This really cool skeleton thing

Displaying photo 1.JPG

5. Save the tatas (2 people that made up a pair of boobies!)

Displaying photo 3.JPG

6. Army Man

Displaying photo 2.JPG

7. Kiss

Displaying photo 4.JPG

8. Trolls

Displaying photo 4.JPG

9. Headless Horseman – someone dragged this behind them!

Displaying photo 3.JPG

10.  A Starbucks frap!

Displaying photo 5.JPG

11. Mariachi amigo (this guy was fast!)

Displaying photo 1.JPG

12. Ghostbusters!

Displaying photo 2.JPG

 Have you ever done a Halloween race? What is the best costume you’ve ever seen someone run in?

Weekly Update – 10/22

This week ended up being kind of a crappy week due to me being sick and a big baby.  In retrospect, I’m glad I took the opportunity to rest. Here’s hoping next week will be much more productive!

Monday

Ended up skipping yoga because life got in the way.  And by life, I mean my mother’s computer problems 🙂

Tuesday

Workout with Danny outside.

Three rounds of the following:

1. 12 front squats with a barbell

2. 6 split squat dumbbell press (each side)

3. 3 turkish get-ups (each side)

4. 200 meter run

5. 100 meter run

6. 50 meter run

Wednesday

Being sick hit me like a ton of bricks on Wednesday afternoon.  I opted for a rest day instead of yoga.  It was oh so worth it!

Thursday

Danny night.  I felt a lot better on Thursday.

4 Rounds of the following:

1. 12 deadlifts (bar + 20 lbs)

2.  8 side lunges (each side) with 10 lb plate. Raise plate overhead while holding lunge.

All this was after I lost my wallet and frantically drove back to Target to try to find it.  That was a workout all on its own!

Friday

I worked from home in the morning and had the afternoon off.  Mom and I worked on wedding stuff and met with the florist.  We had JoJacks for lunch…yum!

Saturday

Wicked 10k! More to come in my recap!

Sunday

Church in the morning, then Michael and I had a wedding planning meeting to discuss the budget, to-do list, etc.  We have done so much, yet so little!

Sick Pity Party: Party of One

I’m sick and feel like having a pity party for myself.  Granted I’m not super sick, just mostly allergy and sinus kind of sick.  But it sucks not being able to breath through your nose.  I had to run a total of  1050 meters last night during my workout…. it was way harder than it should have been!

I think the change in the weather is just kicking my butt!

I have the Wicked 10k this weekend and I want to do it (Halloween themed!) I’m going to rest up like crazy these next few days, and push through. No way I’m going to miss the opportunity to dress up and run with a bunch of other crazies in a costume!

I wish this were true!

Are you a big baby like me when you are sick? Have you ever gotten sick the week of a race?

Back in Time: 2013 Wicked 10K

Can you tell how much I just LOVE J&A Races?  The Wicked 10K is another favorite of mine.  I was super unprepared for this race too, and it definitely showed in my time.  This is a race that I really want to redeem myself in this year.

I got down to the convention center nice and early and sought refuge in my nice warm car.  After awhile, I headed into the convention center to check out all of the costumes.   I’m telling you what, I don’t know how these people ran in some of the stuff they were wearing.  A Scooby Doo Mystery Machine….CRAZY!  I think my favorite costume was a group of guys that dressed as Duck Dynasty and carried a canoe!

After awhile I headed outside.  Due to this being in late October, it was pretty cool, even by VA standards.  I completely overdressed and paid for it later (tank, long sleeves, short sleeves and capris).  I don’t remember much of the race.  I do remember when I could see the leaders doubling back I wanted to try to see Hollie, but no such luck.  I was getting hot, but I wanted to make to the halfway point before I adjusted my clothing.  After I hit the 5k mark, I had to stop on the side of the road and strip down.  I took off my top layer, got rid of the long sleeves, then put the top layer back on. I loved my long sleeved shirt too much to part with it, so I tied it around my waist.

I don’t remember the back half of the race much, but I remember that I walked.  A lot.  The last half mile or so is torture because you can see the finish line forever.  I finished in 1:21:28.

The good thing is that the after party made me forget about my poor performance.  J&A throws a good party – and the swag for this race was pretty exceptional too.  I’m really excited about this race for 2014 – I’d really like to redeem myself!

wicked

Yummy Blue Moon!

How do you feel about 10ks? Love them or hate them?  Have you ever done a Halloween race?