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Sunday, April 29, 2012

So you'd think having not been working the last month, I'd have had PLENTY of time to blog and keep up with Sparkpeople. Yeah, not so much - between running around getting everything together that I need to have for the various school endeavors I'm working on, errands with and/or for the kids, travel and the actual TRAINING, and the fact I was without my computer for about a week, I'm ridiculously behind. I can't BELIEVE the last training blog I wrote was right after St. Patrick's Day! SO much has happened since then!! And I'm really not sure how well I can distill it all down, but I'll do the best I can.

So when we last left off, my daughter and I had just walked 13 miles on St. Patrick's Day, and I was on the last days of working at my former job (I blogged on 3/20, my last day was 3/21). That weekend we were in Atlanta, so my daughter walked the scheduled 18 miles without me, and I achieved NO fitness while in Atlanta (and didn't watch my eating very well either, and paid the price...which I've already covered elsewhere).

The following weekend was the first of two 20 milers - the BIG ones! Honestly? I should have blogged after the first one, 'cause I'm not really remembering a lot of details (other than hobbling around like an old woman the rest of the day, and being amazed I didn't hurt the following day). We were specifically told NOT to try and go at "race pace" - the idea was to just go the distance. Still, I wasn't happy about our pace that day - we DID it, but our time averaged out to about 17 minutes per mile, a pace that would get us pulled from the course unable to finish if we did that on the day of The Pig. But we had another 20 miler coming up in 2 weeks, so I made it my goal that we'd go faster on THAT one. (The route we took if you're interested:

The next weekend was another "scale back" week, where we did 12 miles - here's the route:

That was the Saturday before Easter, and the following week my niece was off school for Spring Break. Since my sister works for a different school district, her spring break had been the week before, so Aunt Lisa got to spend two days hanging with the niece! And since one of those days was Wednesday, I kept the niece late (to give my sister the single parent a break), picked up KITTYWULF and grabbed us all some dinner to eat in the car, and took the niece to training with us! She did SO WELL!!

Stretching before heading out...

We walked over 4 miles with an eleven year old, and I was SO proud of her! And she was so cute swinging her arms just like her cousin, it was adorable. :)

Stretching after the walk...

The next day KITTYWULF and I took Debora to the park (and yes, I totally made it my mission to tire her out for her mom, and it was a sneaky way to get in my exercise while having no time for the gym - improvising for the win!) and we had a BLAST! We actually went to 2 parks - the municipal park in Delhi (which has changed a LOT since I'd been there last), and then we went to Embshoff Woods and did the parcours there.

I have TONS of pictures, but I'll just share a few. The first couple are in the new community garden area at Delhi...

And now for shots from the Parcours (I expect to spend a lot more time out there in the weeks after the Pig, I have a Warrior Dash to train for after all). :)

Jumping Jacks!

Um, Aunt Lisa...are you kidding?

Monkeys on monkey bars! :)

Debora caught a butterfly, which we investigated for a little while and set free

More stations

As you can see, we had LOTS of fun that day!!

SO, back to training, and time for our second 20 miler. Which happened to be the same day most of the other training groups in the area were all doing THEIR long runs, so the Flying Pig staff was out on the course - there were a few extra porta-potties and water stops in various places, including down by the new casino site (yes, the pink person under the awning in this picture is a guy in a pig suit).

As our "last official training walk", this one was a doozy. I didn't end up mapping it so I can't *show* you the route, but I can tell you that we walked down Delta all the way pretty much to the river, and then took Riverside Drive all the way to downtown, then came up Gilbert and through Eden Park Drive (which we'd walked DOWN the last time, so heading UP was good hill practice) and back to the warehouse. The kicker? It started raining about the time we hit downtown - drizzling along the river, but just about the time we passed the water stop with the guy in the pig suit, the heavens opened and it POURED. Like thunder and lightning poured. And that's when we started the uphill!! Learned a few VERY important things on that run - the primary one being that my jacket does NOT repel water (but it HOLDS it really well - I kept having to empty out my sleeves). I also learned that I need to use body glide on my "wings" (you know, that flappy part on the back of your upper arms) because OMG the chaffing thanks to the wet shirt! And my hydration pack isn't especially waterproof (my poor phone took about a week to stop acting up on me after that, particularly because we took a wrong turn a few miles from the warehouse and I had to get it out to use the GPS to get us back on track, so it was in full rain for a little bit while I tried to get things to work).

The cool thing? WE BETTERED OUR TIME BY A FULL MINUTE! Yep, we were slightly under a 16 minute mile that time! THAT took care of my fears - I'm fully confident we'll be able to finish! But I was definitely hurting more after that one, and getting in and out of the car on our trip to the NEO the following day (and for several days thereafter) wasn't fun - my right hip was NOT happy with me.

So from that point, we've been tapering. My daughter had a training at the zoo (she volunteers there) the following Saturday, and I was SUPPOSED to walk the 12 miles without her, but I totally slept through my alarm. *sighs* So instead, I decided to actually step on a treadmill for the first time in a couple of months, thinking it was high time to test out my spiffy new Zombies!Run! iPhone app. BIG mistake (though OMG I love this app, it was a ton of fun). About halfway through my hip (which had finally settled down after a couple of days) started giving me fits again. I knocked it out, but it worried me - I ended up talking with my trainer buddy who nodded in understanding when I told her what happened ("You want to stay away from the treadmill, the impact is totally different and I'm not surprised it aggrevated things.") and suggested I use a foam roller to stretch the area out, which seemed to help. I alsoused some sports "muscle rub cream" over the next couple of days when I went to bed, and everything feels fine at the moment, but I'm sticking to the elliptical from now on until after we've done the race to be safe. We ended up skipping the 8 miler yesterday due to killer cramps on my part (but YAY for starting my period on time so it should be LONG GONE before the race! W00T!), and we haven't made either of the last 2 Wednesday nights either (due to concerts - we've been to 4 concerts in the past 2 weeks, and they've been AWESOME). But honestly? In every e-mail we've gotten from the trainers during this "tapering" period, they keep stressing that you can't UNDER train these last couple of weeks (resting and recovery after those 20 milers before race day is crucial), but you can definitely OVER train. So I'm not worried in the least - I've still kept up with cross training and the elliptical, and I think guarding my joints and health is by FAR the most important thing I can do at this point.

So there you have is DONE, and now we're counting down to the big day!! NEXT SUNDAY!! BRING IT!! WE'RE GONNA RAWK THIS!!!

Oh, and hey...I ordered our shirts (they should arrive on Wednesday), so if any sparkfriends are planning to be out cheering folks at The Pig next weekend, look for us! (We'll have roses on our hats too)

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