Sunday, August 25, 2013

Getting Faster...for me anyway. :-)

This was my last full week of vacation before heading back to work.  As usual it was packed full.  I don't know when the relaxing portion of my summer break was supposed to happen but I'm pretty sure I missed it.

Last Saturday I was supposed to do a 7 mile long run.  Nothing too terrible and I wasn't too worried about it.  About a mile and a half in the upper part of my right calf started hurting.  Not just getting tight but actually hurting.  It felt like someone with really sharp nails was digging into my leg.  I stopped and stretched for a bit trying to get it to go away and then started off again.

I tend to go on my long runs on country roads and there are several very good reasons for this.  The first is that on a Saturday in a smaller city the odds of many, many people I know driving by and seeing me jiggling down the road are high.  I would rather avoid that if possible.  Second, if I go out in the country then I usually can't weenie out and cut the run short.  Once I'm out and about there really is no short cuts.  If I turn back I'm far enough away I have a long run, if I keep going then, yay!, I got my long run.  It's a win/win for me.  Although sometimes I don't see it that way at the time.  This run was one of those times.

I struggled on for awhile longer but the pain in my calf just kept getting worse.  I decided to walk because I really didn't want a severe injury.  Luckily the pain was only when I was running so I was able to keep moving.  I decided to keep going my route but I texted my husband, who had been doing a trail run after work, that if he was home I wouldn't argue with being picked up.  Otherwise I would keep walking.  He didn't respond so I figured he was still out on the trail and I would just keep moving.  Walking was good for another couple of miles.  At this point I have at least two and a half miles before I get home.  I decided I would try running again because I just wanted to get home.  If I ran I would be there faster.  But my calf protested quite loudly and I listened and went back to walking.  Unfortunately, now my calf was getting really tight.  It didn't hurt like it did when I ran but it was really uncomfortable and was getting worse as I walked.

I had just gotten to mile 5 when I got a text from my hubby saying that he was back in town and was heading my way.  When he caught up with me I had gone 5.5 miles, 3.5 of that walking.  As soon as I got into the truck I started to cry.  My leg hurt and I was so frustrated about how things went.  I tend to keep things going until I'm done and then fall apart.  Saturday was no exception.  I have never, not even at my heaviest and slowest, had to have my husband come and rescue me from a run.  It sucked!  I felt totally demoralized and defeated.  I had the "Why do I even bother?" mentality.  I tend to wallow for awhile when I go there.  Joe gets very frustrated with me when I do that and usually does a little ass-kicking to get me to "knock it off" as he puts it.  :-)

He posted this picture on my Facebook wall this week.  Point taken honey!  :-)

Taken from "Girls on the Run" Facebook page.  :-)
Sunday I went on a fabulous trail hike at Silver Falls State Park.  I took Goober #3 and we went with our amazing friends Josh and Wendie.  The weather was perfect and we got there early enough to beat the crowds.  By the time we finished there were a lot of people on the trails and the parking lot was packed!  If you are ever in the Great Northwest and want an amazing park to visit, Silver Falls is the place to go!  It is beautiful all year round and has been one of my very favorite place to go pretty much my entire life.   There are 10 falls in total if you do the entire loop, although some of them are only going during the winter.  It is worth the drive and the hike!!!  Here's a link to check it out:

Goober #3 did awesome!  I don't know if I'm more proud of the fact that she did it or that she didn't whine at all.  Not even a little bit.  And she was dragging the last couple of miles but she kept at it and got it done.  She is amazing and I love, love, love that she is active AND hanging out with her momma.  :-) 

The hike felt good and my calf didn't hurt at all.  By the end it was tight but that is way better than actual pain.  :)

Monday I decided to take a rest day to let the calf heal a bit.  Tuesday's run was excellent.  I had to go four miles and since the calf wasn't hurting at all I pushed it just a little.  I had a good run that had an average pace of 12'19 which is super speedy for that distance for me.  I looked up my average pace for a four mile run in January and it was 15'00.  I'd say I have improved a bit since January.  :-)

Wednesday I went for a swim and then a bike ride.  The swimming is getting better.  I'm think I can do the 750 yards at the triathlon in about 30 minutes.  I have to get out of my comfort zone on the bike.  I keep doing the same route because it is all right turns.  I don't have to get into traffic and there is little elevation.  I am going to have to get some longer distance in and some elevation.  The triathlon route has us going over the freeway twice on overpasses that, you guessed it, go up.  I'm going to have to do it sometime and I really should do it before the triathlon.  I'm going to do the triathlon route next weekend.  I hope.  :-)

Thursday was a rest day.  Yay for rest days, even though when I'm trying to lose weight I often want to skip rest days because more is better, right?  

Friday I was supposed to run three miles.  The first mile and a half was really good.  I did the first mile in 12 minutes and was on pace to do the same for the second mile.  I got to one and a half miles and then my calf decided that I needed to stop.  I had that same pain that I had on Saturday.  It sucked!  So I walked the mile and a half home.  I didn't want to risk getting injured and I really wanted my long run to go better than last weeks long run.

That brings us to Saturday.  I was supposed to go 7.5 miles.  I took off and tried to start out slow because this is a bit of a distance and because I really work hard on my long runs to have negative splits.  If I start out too fast then that makes it really hard to keep going faster every mile.  I felt like I was going slow.  I was trying to go slow.  Evidently slow is now a new speed.  My first mile was 12'53.  Huh.  I was worried that I wouldn't be able to get negative splits with that as my starting speed but overall I did really well.  The only mile I didn't get a negative split was mile 4.  I think this was because just before I started over the overpass I had to stop because a very large tractor was rumbling over the overpass coming at me and it was driving right down the middle of the road.  There is virtually no shoulder on the overpass so I am really glad that I wasn't on it when the tractor was on it too.  So I had a gain of 34 seconds on mile four.  But I gained back that 34 seconds on mile 5.  Then suddenly my calf was hurting again.  It must be getting better because it took longer before it started hurting.  So I stopped the run and then walked home.  I took the direct route home so I got a 1.3 mile walk in after my run.  While it wasn't an ideal run because I didn't get my distance in it wasn't terrible either.  

The five miles that I did run were excellent for me.  I was thinking about how my first mile I thought I was going slow and it ended up being under 13 minutes.  I was thinking about how since I started back with running in January I have had it a couple of times where I have taken a big jump in my speed.  It's almost like I can tell that my speed is faster overall because my "slow" pace is faster than it used to be.  I've just clicked down another notch.  Feels good.  :-)

Today I went for a 5 mile hike and it felt really good.  I usually feel like it takes everything in me just to keep up with the rest of the group.  The only time I felt that way today was when we were almost to the top of the hill.  Love feeling improvements.  Even if it's only in little ways.  

This week I go back to work. This means no more running when I wake up, whenever that might be, and then taking a nap when I get done.  :-)  Now it will be running after work and then going straight to bed.  lol  


  1. I am sure you are going to miss those morning workouts as much as I do. Breaks my heart to give up that part of my morning.

  2. I was thinking about you this morning, knowing that school would be starting and that your workout routine would need to change. Don't let it stress you out. Give yourself time to adjust. It will all work out, and soon you'll be in the groove of your new routine. Love you!