Sunday, October 14, 2012
I know I've whined about this before: spark and apple are not friends. I really wish I could easily upload pics. I emailed some to myself to post on my last blog and they're sideways. I'm sorry! And now I'm typing this on my iPhone. Autocorrect disasters abound!
3 weeks ago today I was all excited about a new 14 mile running route with DH. Not even 2 miles into the run, I trip. On a shoelace, on a sidewalk crack, on my own clumsiness. Who knows?! Basically I landed on my left pinkie finger. My leg was a little scraped, but it was my hand that was in rough shape. Since my legs were fine, I wanted to try to keep going. We cut it short, but still managed 7 miles. Your call: I'm a complete idiot. Or a bada$$!! (OK, fine. A little of both)
DH wanted me to go to urgent care. I went to my parent's instead. My mom used to be a nurse and set it in a little splint. And said it may be dislocated. My dad told me rugby stories of setting ther broken fingers with Popsicle sticks. My mom swears that she said to get it checke out if the swelling didn't go down the next day. It wouldn't be the first time in my life that I ignored advice that I didn't like.
I still couldn't bend it the next day and again DH said, "go see a doctor." And I again ignored him. At this point it is fair to say that I fall in the complete idiot category. To be honest some of this is because of the cost of health care. We've been paying bills for the past 3 years: births of 2 kids then DHs accident. We've had a lot of health care bills and I'm sick of it. I was hoping that this would magically heal itself.
After about a week I knew something was really wrong. The finger looked like a Z. It was that crooked and it still hurt quite a bit. But as we all know, days can go by rather quickly an all of a sudden it's been a week. On Thursday night my mom saw me and she must have noticed when I winced or something. She screamed, "Maura Jeanne! You need to see a doctor immediately."
OK, that did it. When your mom uses your middle name, you know it's serious. I called first thing Friday morning and got x-rayed that afternoon. I will try to get the picture uploaded later. It really is something. They said I won film of the week. Which in some sick way makes me very happy! It's not broken, but I damaged tendons. And the volar plate shifted so now part of the bone is growing in the wrong direction. All that to say: surgery. One of the doctors wanted me to go in immediately. Another wanted to try a bent splint for a week. They gathered a whole team together and compromised. Surgery is Tuesday afternoon. Finger is in a splint now. The splint has it in a forced bend, which is unfortunately very painful.
The good news is that I'm still able to run! Ha! I have a real sickness. I ran 10 this morning with some friends and we ha a blast and there was no pain. And when they were scheduling the surgery and changed it to Tuesday, I said "yes! That's better!" Because I want to run with my group Tuesday morning. See? I have a sick addiction.
I know all runners eventually deal with injury. I never thought mine would be with one teeny pinkie finger! I'm a little nervous so I'd appreciate any positive energy or prayers that you've got.
Happy Sunday sparkfriends!
Thursday, October 11, 2012
I follow a great blog on Facebook: Run Like a Mother. The 2 women that write the blog and have published 2 books are incredible. Lucky for me, one was running the Twin Cities Marathon and the other was running the 10 miler. I was a little starstruck when I met them at the Expo. Then I went home and read their race goal blog. They recommend having several goals. As for time: have a "everything is perfect" time goal. And have a "everything is normal" time goal. Add a goal unrelated to time: some type of overall race goal. Pretty good advice.
A year ago I was registered for this 10 mile race. I ran a 5K in June 2011 and was slowly building mileage over that summer. I had very little concept of pace or pacing or nutrition or fuel or Bodyglide or lululemon. Someone asked me what my goal was and I said, "80-90 minutes. 80 would be super good for me so I guess I just want under 90." I really had no idea what that meant. When my time was 87:13 (8:44 pace) I was super happy. I had a great run, fell in love with running while training for that race, fell in love with racing that day and even committed to a marathon. Looking back, I can see what a big day it was.
A lot has happened in the past year. Many miles, several races, a marathon. And even with all of that, in September I was getting nervous about my first repeat race. I thought I hadn't gotten any faster. I can run longer distance, but I questioned my speed. I knew with how much work I'd put in, I wanted to see improvement.
All of that to say: my time goal was 85 minutes. That was my "everything is normal" goal. I aimed at 83 for "the perfect" time goal. My first thought for a non-time goal was to have a negative split, something that I didn't know what it was a year ago. (The 2nd half of a run is faster than the first). But wait, that's another time goal!
So, add another goal: soak in the changing leaves, look at the river and take breaths of gratitude that this is my city. TCM advertises itself as "the prettiest urban marathon in the country." I'm lucky to run these streets every week. I reminded myself to high five the kids and to smile.
I am a cold weather runner. But when I woke up Sunday morning and it was 28 degrees, I was a little annoyed at Minnesota. Really, girl? already???! I felt bad for all the people that traveled here for the race. And especially bad for the marathoners that had been training last weekend in 85 degree weather! Oh, MN, how we love you.
The Metrodome was open because it was so cold, which was awesome! I went to the bathroom 3 times. 3! And then ate a GU and got to go wash my hands after. No sticking running fingers. It's the little things:) We walked to the corrals and an announcer said, "4 minutes to start." yes!
I was in Corral 2 of 5 and I assumed that my times had just gotten me into it. Last year I was in 3. I lined up way in the back. whoops. From the very beginning I realized that I may be faster than I thought. I spent the first 3 miles zig zagging around people. Jumping on and off curbs and brushing elbows. This is a packed race. Almost 9,000 athletes.
As we ran up the Franklin Bridge, I took those moments to stare at the Mississippi and pray. Running is spiritual. There was something powerful in those moments for me. I turned my sight back to the 100s of runners ahead of me and had to laugh at all the puffs of breath. It was cold!!
Suddenly we were at mile 5. I had distinct memories of how I felt the previous year at various parts of the race. This was one example. Last year I was tired. I had no concept of how 5 more miles would feel. This year I was like, "crap! I gotta pick it up! We're already half way done!
And pick it up I did. I run Summit every Tuesday with my running group. I was now on incredibly familiar territory. I joined these girls in November so last year I knew the area but my legs didn't have the memories and experience. We got to Lexington and I pushed it. The sun was in my eyes even with my hat on. I had to put my head down, miss the mansions and push it. I saw my sister and stopped to give her a hug. I high fived little kids and pushed it some more. At about 8.5 a friend saw me and jumped in and ran with me for a few blocks. Just the surprise and boost I needed.
And then you see this:
The flag marks the 26th mile for the marathon, so 9.8 for us. The Capitol in the background is a beautiful sight and you finally get a downhill! I ran for it. I'd have smiled if I wasn't trying so hard.
Can I get a woo hoo??!
1st 5 miles: 8:26 pace
2nd 5 miles: 7:58 pace
average pace 8:12
my division: 79/967 (top 8%)
women: 413/4650 (top 9%)
I met each of my 3 time goals and shocked my socks off with those high percentages. This feels good. I am relatively new runner and was happy when I found out that I seemed to have some natural abilities. I'm also obviously happy to see myself improve. I don't run with a Garmin so I'm not always pace aware. Recently one of my running buddies and DH have both said things to me about how much faster I've gotten. I didn't believe it. Here's the thing, I needed this race to prove it to myself. Running is just as much a mental battle as it is a physical one. It doesn't matter what your pace is. Fast runners, slow runners, average runners. We all have mental toughness.
The second I stopped running I started to shiver and teeth chattered. Chicken broth never tasted so good. DH and I had locked our bikes at a park by the Cathedral the night before so we walked back up the hill and cheered for other finishers. We hopped on our bikes and went up a few miles to watch the marathoners start to come in. What an incredible day.
Can you tell I like purple? I swear those tights look silver in person.
Running has changed my life. It has brought me calm & peace, joy & laughter, muscles & heart health, serenity and giddiness. Run run run.
Monday, October 01, 2012
I didn't put September goals in print because basically my objective was just to get through it. Sept. is a transition month for my family since I'm a teacher. I spend more hours at work than usual and it's just tough. But I did have some goals in mind and the month went much better than usual.
I've realize that I love spark challenges, but sometimes I overdo it. Shocker, I know. Several times I've done loads of push ups just to meet a goal number but then the next month I don't do any because I'm sick of em. Obviously a poor approach to ST. So I decided to track 3 moves, no goal. Just do some whenever I think of it. And then the idea is to beat those numbers this month. Not burning out, just maintaining and building on strength. It's a pretty great feeling when you can do 25 real push-ups, on your toes real. And then it's pretty humbling when you realize how quickly you drop down to 10. Anyway, I want to maintain 15. And I want to get to 10 pull-ups.
Tricep dips: 195
This is how much I used to do every week. I'm trying to find a balance. And I haven't done any in the past week because of my silly pinkie finger injury. It's healing so I should be back at it within the next couple days.
Swim: 1 ( yep, 1 mile. I went swimming once and it felt amazing. I wish swimming fit into my schedule right now but I can only do so much. once or twice a month will have to be enough)
I'm happy with these numbers and have no concrete goals for oct. except, keep it up! The Fall has made running magical. I havehad a few really great runs recently (minus the one where I tripped and dislocated mentioned pinkie which is healing crooked). But seriously I love running in this gorgeous weather. My pace has been quite a but faster than normal and I think is because of the heat. I also think tri training made me stronger and faster. As far as my running goes, I couldn't be happier. The Twin Cities 10 mile is on Sunday and I am super excited. No more worries about beating last years time. It's all good!
I wanted to lose 0.5 of a pound. I lost 0.2 ha! After how much I went up around Labor Day, I'm good with that. I was with a bunch of running friends this weekend and one made a comment about me being skinny or something. And a good friend jumped in and said it was because I'm not running Twin cities (meaning the full marathon) or Chicago, which most of them are. And it's just so true and we all had a big pout fest about how hard it is to lose or even maintain for that matter, during marathon training. It's a tough battle that's for sure.
I've decided not to take on a 70.3 race at this point. I'm just not ready to commit that much time to training or that much money. My next marathon will be next Fall, which means training starts in June. Which means I have 8 months to lose these 5 pounds that would bring me to my made up ideal "racing weight " ha! Doesn't that make me sound fancy?!
The other thing that makes me feel like a fancy athlete is that I'm going to a training meeting. 4 of the girls I run with and I are getting together to plan races for next season and creating ST plan for the winter based on the Triathletes Training Bible. These women are doing a full Ironman or a few 70.3s. I have lots to learn from these über athletes and I love it.
Nutrition: take away Labor Day fair and bbqs and I had a great month. Such a great time of year for fresh veggies. I am ging to work real hard to grow more of our own next summer. And with this cooler weather I have an easier time sticking to my no snacks after dinner routine. Tea is my secret weapon.
September was good. I have a feeling October is going to be great! Tell me something you're going to do this month.
Sunday, September 23, 2012
I love to bake. I especially love to bake with my kids. Some sparkers have asked how I do it and what I cook with. I've experimented lots and found what works for me. For cookies, I use the real stuff. I almost always half or even quarter the recipe. But I use butter and other real ingredients. I've tried apple sauce and stuff in cookies and they have never turned out and then I don't feel satisfied. Sometimes I throw in flaxseed and I use a little less sugar than the recipe calls for. But cookies are cookies.
Now muffins and breads, here's where we can cut some major calories and fat! Fall is in the air and I am loving it. Yesterday morning I cranked up the Glee station on Pandora and we made some super yummy healthy muffins.
Heres's my substitutions for yesterday's pumpkin choc chip muffins:
Oil - Greek yogurt
Always use whole wheat flour
Use less sugar than the recipe calls for. (Instead of 2 cups, I use 1 and add 1/2 cup of honey, still high in sugar, but less processed means better for your body)
Double the cinnamon, needs the spice kick with less sugar
Half the chocolate chips
We danced around the kitchen, did a little fraction math, threw in some push-ups while they were baking. Voila! Healthy and fun morning with the kids! And the muffins were delicious. I put a few in baggies and froze em. That way I couldn't eat 17 of them.
It's a toss up of what's my favorite thing about Fall: pumpkin goodies or running in gorgeous weather. I seriously just want to run all the time. Today I have another running date with DH. he's going to take me on a route I've never ran. Through NE Minneapolis and over the Stone Arch bridge and around the U of M. I am so excited! 14 miles together. I know I've said it a million times, but its worth saying again. Running is so good for our marriage. :)
The twin cities 10 miler is in 2 weeks. This will be my first repeat race. It's incredible how much has changed in one year. I remember the nerves last Fall, the anxious anticipation. I would wake up at night and not be able to fall back asleep because I was so excited. And now I'm excited because its such a big day for the running community. I know several people that are running the marathon and my plan is to run it next year.
Of course I want to beat last year's time. One of my running buddies reminded me that this isn't my A race for the season, it isn't even my B race. Grandmas marathon in June. Olympic triathlon in August. My focus has not been speed. I've accomplished a lot recently. I need to remind myself of that. It's OK if I don't beat 87 minutes.
Who am I kidding?! I think for those of you that know me, know that I'll be really disappointed if I don't beat that time. I am hard on myself and am very competitive with myself. My goal is 85 minutes.
And if I don't beat that goal, I will console myself with the fact that I can now do 4 pull ups!! And, I am at a new low weight. So, life is good. Life is healthy and strong. Hope the same is true for my sparkfriends.
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