Friday, November 29, 2013

Thanksgiving Day Run 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!!!!

A day late but I was too busy enjoying the day with my kids and doing my homework to write about the run.

Today was the Mid-Valley Road Race which my family calls the Turkey Trot.  The race organizers need to come up with a catchier name for their race.  They have three options for Thanksgiving Day runners.  There is a 2.5 mile walk, a 3.75 run which is hilly, and the Scenic Challenge which is 5.2 miles and starts on the same route as the 3.75 but the shorter run is an out and back.  The longer run is a big loop that continues up a big stinker of a hill and then has another hill that is gradual but goes on forever.  I have done that loop on my own several times.  I even talked about it here when I finally managed to run the entire thing without stopping.

I have run this race twice before.  The first time was in 2010 when I had been running about 6 months and then again in 2012.

2010 - 47:49 Average Pace 12'55" placed 267 out of 284 and 18 out of 19 in my age group.
2012 - 52:18 Average Pace 14'08" placed 305 out of 318 and 19 out of 19 in my age group.

Last year at this time I had given up.  I hadn't been running at all and had gained back quite a bit of weight.  I was miserable.  There was only two good things about the race.  One was that I did it and the other was that I ran the whole thing.

I was worried about this years race.  I wanted to do better and I haven't done very well the last month with my workouts (as in not getting them done) so I was not expecting to do fantastically well.  I woke up with a little bit of a headache and my stomach hurt.  I didn't really want to get out of bed at all and considering how cold it was staying in bed and sleeping sounded like a better option.  But I dragged my sorry butt out of bed and got ready.  My husband had to work so it was just the youngest goober and myself.

The race started off and as usual I started towards the back but got passed by a ton of people.  It is really hard not to get caught up in the crowd and start off way too fast.  But I've run this route many times so I know the hills that are coming so I just worked on doing my own thing.  At the first half mile split I was keeping a very low 12 minute average pace and I was feeling pretty good.  I figured I would go a bit slower up the hills and try and make up time going down them.

Then I started passing people.  That is still very weird for me.  I usually am the one trudging along at the end of the group and here I am picking people off.  Roadkill is WAY more fun when you are the person doing the passing.  I was getting close to the turn around and was having fun watching the people who were already heading back.  I saw my daughter and was very surprised by the fact that I wasn't as far behind her as I thought I would be.  :)

It is always interesting to watch other people and the way they run or how we get competitive with people we don't even know.  There was a young woman ahead of me that I was slowly catching up with.  She would walk for awhile and then run for a short distance and then walk again.  She was walking when I caught up to her but as soon as I got by her I could hear her coming up behind me and she was running fast.  I admit, I sped up a bit.  She got next to me but I was pretty sure she would start walking again soon.  Sure enough she had to walk and I never saw her again.

There was another woman that was wearing a yellow jacket.  She had a nice steady pace and I was slowly gaining on her as well.  As we came to the corner to turn back onto the main road I passed her.  Then suddenly she goes flying by and I could tell she was working really hard to get in front of me.  But after she got a ways ahead of me she slowed back to the pace that she had before.  I was gaining on her again and once again I passed her.  For the second time I hear her coming and she sprints about 20 feet ahead of me.  I now can see the parking lot where we finish the race.  We have less than .20 miles to go.  I decided that I would like to have my last mile be under 12  minutes and I want to beat the lady in the yellow jacket so I speed up.  This time she tries to stay ahead of me but I was able to keep up the faster pace and ended up beating her by about 30 seconds. I turned around and gave her a high five and told her thank you for the push at the end.  She smiled and said the same thing.  :)

My results from today:

2013 - 44:02 Average Pace 11'54" placed 233 out of 281 and 9 out of 13 in my age group.

That's an 8 minute 16 second improvement from last year and a 3 minute 47 second improvement from the first time I ran this race.  Woot woot!  So much better!  I was so excited about the average pace being under 12 minutes because I don't usually do well when there are hills involved.

After race smiles!!  Love my girl!

I've got some things to be working on in the next few months.  I'll share in another post.  This one is about celebrating a really good day.  :-)

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving!!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

It Wasn't Pretty...But I Went.

It wasn't pretty.

I didn't go far.

I didn't go fast.

But I went.

And that is what I am measuring my success by this week.  I did all four of my runs.  I did the distance I was supposed to do, even if I had to walk some of it.  I did my cross training as well.  I ran in the dark with my safety vest and flashy lights.  I ran in the dark on the track while my daughter was at swim practice.  I ran in the morning on Saturday in the very cold weather.  Brrr!

This was technically a recovery week on my training plan which was good since I haven't been doing the running that I should so it was nice to have shorter runs.

Monday, Tuesday and Friday were three mile runs.  I ran around the neighborhood on Monday but it was almost 5:00 so I had to watch my feet carefully to make sure I didn't trip on anything.  Tuesday and Friday I ran on the track.  In the past I hated the track but the last few months I have begun to enjoy it more.  It is particularly nice in the dark because I don't have to worry about trying to see uneven sidewalks or things in the road that I might trip on.

Beautiful Sunset was my reward for one of my track runs!
I swam for 30 minutes on Wednesday night.  I had been going during the lap swim in the morning but the last few times I went it was really crowded.  Partly because some people in their lanes were swimming back and forth on one side of the lane.  This works great if there are only two people but not if there are more.  For whatever reason nobody wants to ask people to circle and so at one point there were six people in my lane while all the other lanes had only two people.  This happened the last two or three times I went in the morning.  The lifeguard is supposed to ask people to circle swim but she wouldn't and most people, me included, don't feel comfortable asking.  Going in the evening there are way less people which is awesome.  However, lap swim doesn't start until 6:00 p.m and it's hard to get motivated to go after working all day and being tired.  All that being said, I finally got myself out the door and went for my swim.

Saturday I slept in which was wonderful.  I got up and had breakfast and got ready to go but kept putting off going out the door.  I had to do a six mile run which was the farthest I have done since the Silver Falls Half Marathon.  This is a distance that is totally doable for me now but I wasn't excited about the run.  It was really cold outside!  Low 30's.  It is always hard to dress for the cold.  Layers are good but some things are warmer than others and then I get too hot or too cold.  It's a balancing act.

I finally sucked it up and headed out a little after 8:00 a.m.  It was cold but not to windy so that was a plus.  I started at a low 13 minute mile pace which wasn't too bad.  Unfortunately every mile got slower and slower.  I had 1.5 miles left to go and I just couldn't keep it up.  Everything was hurting, I had no energy and I had to poop.  (I know, too much information but you would not believe how hard that makes it to run.  It's VERY uncomfortable!)  So I walked the last 1.5 miles which made me very frustrated and totally ruined my average pace for the run to over 14 minute miles.

Iced over mud puddle!
My weight is stagnant again.  Not going down but not going up either so I'm trying to focus on the positive.  The title of the blog is Running in Place and Getting Nowhere Fast.   Some days I still feel that.  Other days I feel like I'm on the treadmill and I've lost my footing and have gone flying backwards.  On days (or weeks) like that it is hard to remember that I have come a long way since last Christmas.  I'm just not where I wanted to be or thought I could be considering the amount of work and effort I have put in the last 11 months.  Sigh.

This will be another busy week.  We have a lot going on with Thanksgiving and most of it involves food.  My workouts will be very important if I'm going to not gain holiday pounds.  I'll also be working on drinking lots of water to help with the bloating that I always seem to have during the holidays.

I may not go far.

I may not go fast.

But at least I'm still going.  

Sunday, November 17, 2013


I am such a whiner.  People assure me that I'm not but if they could hear my thoughts they would know that I really am.

I have gone on two runs in the last two weeks since the Silver Falls Half Marathon.  Two.  One was last Tuesday and one was today.  Ugh.

I will admit that it was partly because I was feeling sorry for myself.  I got back into the "Poor Me" and "Why can't I just be skinny?" attitude.  Not a good road for me to go down.  Last fall when I did that it lasted five months and I gained 20 pounds.  Ugh.

I also have been SO tired and with it getting dark sooner in the evening it has been hard to find the motivation to get going.  Ugh.

And I hurt.  Ever since the trail run I have been really tight and have had some muscles in my legs that were protesting after a day of work.  Hard to get motivated to run when you are hurting even before you get going.  Ugh.

Yesterday I went and got a massage.  It was a deep tissue massage.  I think the muscles under my muscles were tight.  And it really hurt but in a good way.  I didn't realize just how bad I was feeling until Wendie got me loosened up.  If you want a fantastic massage therapist who can give a relaxing massage or a deep tissue massage Wendie Gum at Body of Health Chiropractic & Wellness Center in Corvallis, Oregon is the person you need to contact! She is amazing!!  Just say'n. :)

Today when I went on my run I felt really good.  I went for a three mile run around the neighborhood and the first couple of miles felt great.  Then I felt a little bit of protesting from my legs so I decided I probably should slow down so I didn't end up hurting myself by pushing too fast too soon.  I walked a half mile, then did a slow jog for a half mile and then walked the last 1/4 mile home.  I still ended up with a 12'49" which was much better than my run on Tuesday which as an average pace of 13'29" and I felt like I was dying.  Today I walked twice and felt great when I was running.  The massage definitely helped!  And having a good run certainly didn't hurt the attitude any.  :)

The last few weeks have been frustrating.  I plan to do something about that.

  • I can't control how fast my weight comes off.  But I can control what I eat and how much exercise I get. 
  • I can't control how busy work is this year with extra meetings, new technology to develop curriculum for and a new grade level to teach.  But I can control how overwhelmed I feel.  I will do what I can to the best of my abilities and if something doesn't go quite like I want the world will not end.  (In other words, I don't have to be perfect.)
  • I can't control the fact that in order to keep teaching I must get my Masters degree.  I can control the content, which I am really enjoying, and remember that this is just a short term thing.  It won't be forever, it just feels like it right now.  
  • I can't control the tired feeling.  But I can do everything in my power to keep it in check.  Take my B12 vitamins, work out, eat right and get to bed early.  
I am going to do the best I can and remember that it is probably better than I give myself credit for.  

This is what I have to remember!!
We are nine weeks out from the Tinkerbell Half Marathon.  I have some work to do on figuring out how to fuel my body before and during the race.  Hopefully I can get things adjusted so that I don't bonk out the last few miles.  :-)

Thanks for letting me vent.  :)

Monday, November 4, 2013

Silver Falls Half Marathon 2013

The last couple of weeks since the Runaway Pumpkin Half Marathon have been rough.  I have been extremely tired and have had a really hard time pushing through the tired to do anything beyond work and homework.  It really sucks.  All my motivation has just flown out the window.  Between the Runaway Pumpkin and the Silver Falls Half I only ran one time (a 5K) and I did no cross training at all.  

My friends Josh and Wendie picked me up that way Joe could just head straight to the park after he got off work and wouldn't have to spend time picking me up.  We had a fun time laughing and talking on the way to Silver Falls State Park.  Joe arrived not long after that and we got ready to hit the trail.

The rain had arrived during the night so any thoughts of a cool, dry run were washed away.  Good thing we are Oregon runners and a little rain didn't worry us.  

I felt pretty good to begin with.  The course was beautiful.  I love Silver Falls State Park.  I have so many memories of coming to this park as a kid, as a young couple with my boyfriend (who became my husband) and lots of picnics and hikes with my own growing family.  Every season is different and every season is worth coming to visit.  

I kept up with my friend Wendie for about the first five miles and then she took off when I stopped to get a picture at the lower North Falls.  I ended up taking a picture for a couple and then they took one of me.  
North Falls in the background.
I was feeling good until I got to the stairs.  The stairs are at about mile 10 and the go on and on.  Then it flattens out some again and then you have to go behind the South Falls and then up a switchback trail to the top.  Ugh!  I was so slow!  I made it to the top but still had another 2.5 miles to go.  There was a water station at the top of the South Falls and this very nice woman handed me a water and told me in her most encouraging voice "You're almost done, only one more little hill."  Ha!  I've done this run before and that last "little" hill is a doozy!  My plan was to run the next two miles and then walk up the hill and finish strong.  That did not happen.  I was done, used up, had no energy left.  I felt like I was dragging each step.  I just wanted to quit.  But I kept going.   At this point all thoughts of finishing with a great time or a big improvement over the last time I did this race were gone.  I just was trying to finish.  

It was beautiful!
I trudged up that last hill and then tried to not fall on my ass on the way down the other side.  It was steep and the trail was muck by the time I got there.  I ran the last little bit and finished with a time of 3:28:42.  I only improved my time from two years ago by 3'12".  Not the improvement I was looking for.  I was hoping to be done in the 3:15 range.  Missed that by a long shot.  

On the good side, Joe and my friends were waiting for me at the finish with high fives and cheers.  Hard to be down too much when you have all that support.  

Once I got done I was a bit dizzy so Joe walked me over to the medic tent to have them check my blood sugar and my blood pressure.  Everything was normal so I changed my clothes to get warmed up and then went and got some food.  That helped a ton!  Love having peanut butter after a race.  

Because it was the day before my birthday, my goofy friends made me stand all by myself while they lined up in front of me and sang Happy Birthday. lol  Wendie pointed out that my face was the same color as my shirt.  :)  Then we had a group hug.  

I have great friends and I love getting new ones to add to my life!  :-)
Official consensus is that I'm pooping out at the end of my long runs and races because I'm not fueling up properly before and during the run or race.  So I have some things to figure out before the Tinkerbell Half Marathon.  It's hard because some foods just sit in my gut and feel awful while I run and others make me nauseous.  Also, I need to figure out what to carry with me that will keep me from running out of gas during the run.  Sigh.  I guess this is all part of the process but it was a bummer.  I admit it.  I am terribly disappointed with how my race went and how badly I feel I did.  

I went to the doctor today and we talked more about my energy levels being in the tank daily.  He is running some more blood tests.  This time we are looking at food allergies, insulin intolerance and hormones.  We shall see.  Hoping something pings soon.  Having no energy all the time sucks!  

I have things to work on, attitudes to adjust and things to overcome.  Glad I have such wonderful people around me to lift me up or kick my butt depending on what is needed.  

To all of my friends who lifted me up in prayer today for my doctor's appointment, thank you.  I'll let you know if anything comes from the blood tests.  

I have come a long way since last Christmas but I still have so far to go.  Trying hard to keep my successes in the forefront and not focus on the discouragements.  Some days that is harder than others.  

Next run is the Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving morning.  Hopefully that will be more successful.  Gotta figure out how to get my runs in even with the tiredness.  :(  

Sorry this one wasn't as positive as other posts.  It's been a tough couple of weeks and my performance on the trial run didn't help my attitude much.  I will work on my attitude this week.  :-)