Jello Legs

Sorry it's been a while since my last post! I've been kind of busy this week with work... buttt...... I've got it under control now!

Let's start with the last couple of days. On Sunday I did an easy bike ride. It was the day after the 16 miles and I just wanted to take it easy. I averaged about 14-16 miles an hour and did a total of 12 miles. Now, the fun part of my little bicycle ride is that I cycled through a couple of neighborhoods to look at houses. My husband and I are hoping to buy a house in the next couple of months and I love browsing houses.

On Monday I decided to go swimming, and I'm not going to lie, it was hard! I feel like taking two weeks off from swimming really nulls you training. I ended up doing over .5 a mile but I struggled. About halfway through I ended up getting my groove back and finished up my swim. On my last lap, an aquafit instructor came and kicked me out of my lane. I should have told them I had one more lap, but I moved and finished my last lap in another lane. The most annoying part of moving lanes: there was ONE aqua fit person!!! They totally didn't need to move me. I'm not going to lie I was annoyed, and clearly I'm over it lol...

Tuesday I was scheduled for an easy 4 mile run. I got home a little later than I wanted, and the weather looked sketchy.. so I ran on my treadmill! I wanted to take it easy.. so I started at about a 10:00 min/mile, but I started listening to Demi Lovato's CD and I finished at about 38:52.... Not bad for taking it easy lol... Favorite song: TOGETHER.

Now let's talk about today! My friend N and I had planned on spinning today and so off we went to the gym after work. Before our spin class we wanted to do a little warm up jog and so we hit the outdoors. Now, we ended up taking a short cut back to the gym.....and ended up trail running for a little.

Action Shot!

We ended up doing 1 mile and made it just in time for the start of spin class. I LOVE the spin class we go to. The instructor is upbeat and makes you motivated to spin your hiney off. I worked in that class and I've got to tell you - my legs feel like Jello. The cool thing about the computers on the spinning bikes is that they actually tell you your total trip! Once I figured it out, I made it a point to push myself a little harder. In about one hour I ended up doing 21 miles! Not bad :) I'm hoping next time I can beat that! 

New Obsession: Demi Lovato's Unbroken CD

Are We There Yet?

Today I ran the longest distance of my life. I've never run past 14 miles, but today that all changed.

Since N and I started this DetermiNATION program we have been trying to follow the workout plan they gave us. I usually do my own thing, but decided to give it a try. It was hard to follow since I was also training for Miami Man, but I adapted. Today's training run called for 16 miles.

When I saw that distance I thought to myself that there was no way in hell I'd run the whole thing. I was wrong. I felt great, and not stressed out like I usually am when I'm faced with workout situations I've never faced before. I think I just didn't think about it too much. Not only that, but I avoided looking at my Garmin as much as possible. Don't get me wrong, Garmins are great inventions, but they can also make you a time-Nazi as you constantly look at your wrist to see what the clock says. Sometimes you just need to enjoy the run and not worry about time. Yes, I said that... what has happened to me??

As they dismissed us for the run I kept a slow and steady pace (probably a 6 RPE) and got wrapped up in my music. Which my song of the day definitely has to be "Party in the USA". I actually had to do two loops which kind of sucked since I never like seeing the same scenery more than once. As you make the second loop you feel like that annoying kid in the car who keeps asking: "Are we there yet?" Once you made the second loop you had to go about 2 miles out and hit a turn around to come back. As I got past mile 14 I could feel my body starting to hurt and ache, but I pushed through it. The best part was one of the coaches met up with me at mile 11 and stayed with me the last five miles. I have to say it probably helped me tremendously. She distracted me and kept me motivated; I finished strong.

This training run was definitely a mental victory for me. It confirmed the fact that I could take this marathon on head first. I'm not saying it will be easy, just do-able. My final time ended up being 2:40:49... which ends up being a 10:03 mi/pace. That's absolutely ridiculous and I almost gave myself a pat on the back. Although it was a faster pace than I expected, I wasn't a complete idiot about the run. The pace was comfortable and relaxing.

Tomorrow I'm hoping I can get a relaxing ride in (without clipping in bwahahahaha).  

Weekend Wind Down...

On Friday I decided to spin a little as I waited for Greg to get home from work. Nothing too serious, just 45 minutes of spinning at home. I did a 5 minute warm up with 5 minute hill climbs and two minutes of rest in between. I wanted to work on my "hill" workouts since they help build endurance on the bike. After my workout I took a shower and we went out for some sushi. I'm not a super big sushi person (I prefer the cooked fish) but I love my some Spicy Shrimp Sushi with a side of Miso Soup :)

Saturday I wanted to do a long run. The weather felt perfect and I had a lot to do on Saturday, so I wanted to make this a fast run. The workout was 8 miles. I took off and felt pretty good and pulled off an 8:30 mile for the first mile. I knew I couldn't consistently do 8:30s for 8 miles, so I slowed it down a bit. When the weather is cooler you feel so good running, you don't get that hot sweaty feeling you typically get in the summer. I ran to the halfway point and turned around to a set of dark grey clouds. Now, side note about me, I am very bad at reading clouds. I always think it's about to downpour when in reality there's probably not a drop of water in those clouds. I tried to pick up the pace a little bit more but my legs were in a full out rebellion against my mind. I made it home without feeling a drop of water having a total time of 1:10:15... That's an 8:48 pace. Not too bad my friends... After my run I made some corn bread muffins and some mini hotdogs (my specialty) for Bennett's first birthday party. As I made the food, I couldn't help but eat a mini hotdogs (or three).

Sunday my friend G and I went to a nearby park to practice clipping in to my bike. Yes, I don't clip in... EVER. I know it's probably a stupid thing (considering that my bike pedals are not made for regular shoes, but clip ins), but I just get so terrified of being attached to my bike. It's not like I haven't fallen before. I've fallen plenty of times, and not even with clip ins, but G decided it was time for me to learn and practice. So we get to the park and ride for a little bit as we clip in and out of the pedals. At first I was so nervous of falling, but as time progressed I could clip in and out more easily. Luckily I didn't fall, and will start trying to wear my clip ins more consistently to get used to them. Since we didn't ride that long, I might try spinning or doing a Jillian Michaels DVD.

Happy weekend everyone :)

Golf Course Run

Running on a golf course is always kind of fun. First, there's that feeling of rebellion :) Second, there's all sorts of terrain you can run on: sand, the greens, and the rough.

Today's run was nothing crazy, just a little over 2 miles. I decided to run around the perimeter of the golf course and it was pretty fun. I wasn't really going for time but just for mental health :) My husband was fishing while I ran and we met up at the end. It gets dark so early that I couldn't finish my 3 miles. Drats lol.

Yesterday I ran 6 miles. My legs still felt tight and so I took it super slow. I wore my compression socks  so that my blood could get flowing in my calves, and it felt great :) This weekend I'm doing in between 10-14 miles (not too sure yet)...

Sorry for the short post... but I gotta watch the end of X-Factor!!!

The Aftermath

I took Monday off from working out and it felt great. It's one thing to take the day off because you're injured; it's another thing to take a day off because you kicked arse in a race the day before :)

Monday I was hurting. Not just "aches and pains hurting from participating in a race," I mean full fledge "I just got hit by a car and dragged" hurting. I could barely move for the first couple of hours. I tried to get moving so that all the lactic acid build up and blood could get flowing. Monday's activities included: finding a new Farmer's Market (yay!!), traveling to Publix, and buying some new compression socks at Runner's Depot. See, a sock fair took one of my compression socks and I can't seem to find it.

Today I knew I had to get some sort of exercise in; I can never sit still. So, I did a 45 minute stationary cycle at a low intensity. I had my brand new compression socks on and I'm not sure if they honestly help, but I think they're a God-send. Tomorrow, I run :)

Today my husband and I were watching Criminal Minds and one of the characters participated in a triathlon.
I thought it was ironic that we were watching this today.
The hilarious moment of the night was when the character invited his new girl "friend" to breakfast after the race.
My husband looked at me and said "He's just going to leave his bike and stuff there? That's crap". LOL I love him.

I DID IT!!!!!

I made it :) There were times during the race where I definitely wanted to quit, but I didn't!!! The best part of it all was that I BEAT MY PREVIOUS TIME!!! Race-wise that was my goal and I cried when I saw my time. However, the best part of my race was wearing the ribbon in honor of my grandpa. No matter how hard it was to go on, I knew I had to.

The night before the race I could hardly sleep. This happened last time I did the half-iron distance and so I just went to sleep early and drifted in and out of sleep. When it was finally time to wake up I got out of bed and made myself 2 slices of multi-grain bread with peanut butter and a banana (plus a bottle of water). I was so nervous as I was getting ready and anxious to start. I packed up all my gear and went to the park. As I parked I was absolutely terrified. I had forgotten how it felt to realize that you were about to workout for about 7 hours. Not only that, but the mental exhaustion I was about to undergo. I set up my gear in the transition area and waited until my friend E got there. As I set up my stuff I kept thinking about the stupid wetsuit. I wasn't comfortable wearing it, but knew I would be freezing without it. I almost had an anxiety attack (my chest got really tight and I couldn't breathe as I ripped the wetsuit off of my body) when I was in the pool a couple of days before, and I feared that I was going to have a full out anxiety attack in the water. At the last minute I decided to wear it and prayed for the best. Before the start my friend E, another girl J, and I just hung out and mentally prepared for the race.

Right before the start I put on my wetsuit, I could start feeling myself get anxious and I took some deep breaths and told myself it was going to be alright. I yelled out good luck right before the horn and closed my eyes to pray. The horn went off and I slowly walked into the water as some of the front girls ran in. I finally started swimming and for the first 5 minutes tried to avoid getting hit. We were one of the last waves (waves are start times for triathletes- they're usually designated by age group or weight) so we were merging with some of the other triathletes on their second lap. After about 10 minutes I found my groove and just took it slowly, pacing myself for the two laps we had to do. When I got to the point where I had to run out of the swim for my second lap (they have a race mat where the sensor is underneath- I'm guessing it's to prevent cheating), I ran out and then jumped back into the water and decided it was time to push it. I cleaned up my stroke and started to really pick it up for my last lap. When I came out of the water I felt FANTASTIC and was so proud of myself for not having a heart attack in the water. I almost ran past the "strippers" (strippers- these are the guys/girls who literally strip you out of your wetsuit... How cool is that?) and had to turn back.

In the transition area I rinsed off my feet and put on my running socks and shoes. Even though I have clip-ons I've never gotten comfortable with them and so I always opt for my running shoes. I grabbed my helmet, sunglasses, and Garmin and headed out for the bike. This was the moment of truth. I had been super concerned about the bike cutoff and had to make sure I was right on pace to beat it.

The first about 15-20 miles were absolutely amazing. I felt great and was killing it on the bike, averaging 18-21 mph. This speed is unheard of for me lol. Then.... it happened... Gusts of wind that were like 18-20 mph (I honestly don't know how strong they were but they were stronger than any other wind I've biked against) stopped me. I was struggling just to go over 12 mph and had 8 miles to go before the cutoff time. What was worse was I knew that on the way back I was going against the wind the whole time. I was not excited in the slightest. I got through the second lap and was about to ride through probably the worst part of the race. During the first 40 miles, I went through all the water in my CamelPak and had nothing left. I did have a Gatorade bottle on my bike and felt like an idiot because I couldn't twist off the cap (I should have put it in a squirt bottle) lol. So I pushed onward and battled the wind, I was so weak and my back, hips, quads, hamstrings, and calves were completely on fire. I almost started crying as I realized I had 10 miles to go. After 2 miles, I got off my bike and had to stretch and open up my Gatorade bottle. I cracked my back which was probably the best thing I could have done at that point and continued to head back. After shouting obscenities out loud for many miles, I could see the end. I had never been so happy in my life. I got off my bike and walked back to the transition area. When I got to the transition area, my stepdad was on the sideline and he started screaming my name. That was definitely needed at that point. My parents were awesome :)

I was so tired from the bike and still had to run 13.1 miles. My ankle had been holding up, but I had to make sure it wasn't going to give out on me. What's crazy is my other ankle was hurting, and I think it was from overcompensating but I just couldn't think about it. I started my first lap and felt good. I had a slow jog going on and was thinking to myself that I might be able to pull this off.  I finally got past mile 2 and then I saw my friend N. There she was holding a bright pink sign and screaming my name. It was incredible, because I needed something to get me going and then she was right there. (Last year I had three of my friends, my husband and his mom, and my family at the race and seeing them helped me keep going. It's incredible how friends and family can motivate you, even when you don't think you can keep going). The course went through parts of the park which was cool, but annoying because the public isn't really paying attention as you run by (the zoo is still open and most people have no idea a race is going on). However, the parts that were not in the zoo were unpaved, uneven, and rocky as hell- not the best conditions for someone with bad ankles.

Then I got to the second lap. My whole body was in pain and I knew I had to be smart about how I was going to handle the rest of the run. I decided that I needed to walk and run the rest of the lap. I started off the second lap walking for four minutes to give my body a break. I ran until I knew I couldn't anymore and then would take a 2 minute break. I decided I would also take a break when I saw N so that I could hug her and tell her how grateful I was that she was there. She hugged me back and told me to keep running lol. I love her. I looked at my time and thought to myself that I might actually be able to beat my last half ironman time. I had to come up with a different strategy other than this run until I'm tired and then take a 2 minute break. I decided my new strategy had to be run as hard as I can for 8 minutes, and then take a 2 minute break. With my time in mind, I followed this strategy until I crossed the finish line. It worked.... I didn't know it worked until about 15 minutes later when I got to the time board. There it was... a 6:57. I cried. All my sweat, blood, and tears paid off. It was done and I couldn't believe that I just did it.

My wonderful husband taking my bike back to my car.
Check out my awesome tan lines on my legs lol.
Also, you can see my memory ribbon on my jersey. 
Even though I accomplished such a big task, the best part of the race wasn't part of completing the race.; it was afterwards. I was getting ready to go to the car to put my bike away, but made a pit stop at the bathroom before I packed up. In the bathroom, one of the girls looked at me and saw my ribbon on my jersey. She asked me if I ran for someone, and I told her I did. I told her it was for my grandpa who passed away while I was training. She told me that what I did was pretty cool, and she was right... it was pretty cool. I'm taking a break for the next couple of days, but will be back. This time.. I'm training for my first marathon... It looks like next year is going to be a long year....

Having A lot of Free Time on My Hands

Having a lot of free time on my hands... that's honestly what has happened since I don't workout as hard anymore.

It's getting close to race day and a part of me is scared racing on Sunday. Not because of the possible pain I might experience, but because I haven't trained this past week. I know that sounds stupid, but that's just how I feel. Even thought I've been training for months I still have the thought process that I needed to train this week.

However, a part of me is as excited as hell to get out there and just have fun. I think this injury shifted my train of thinking...for the better. You see, I was starting to get wrapped up on beating my time and kicking the race's butt, but now I just want to have fun. I want to bike through the redlands with a huge smile on my face. I want to run through the zoo and smell the wild animal poo (lol). I want to finish and stuff my face with horrible-bad-for-you food. I want all those things and I think it's because for a brief moment I thought all of those things I wanted was going to be taken away.

I won't be blogging until after my race. So until then... pray for me on Sunday lol...


So as you can probably tell by my post title, I am a happy camper! I'll tell you why :) I GOT CLEARED TO RUN ON SUNDAY!!!!!! Yes, I am shouting and therefore I am typing in all caps. I am so freaking excited. Before I tell you how excited I am, let me tell you about the last couple of days.

So as most of you know, I sprained my ankle on Thursday. It actually swelled up that night and looked horrible. I started experiencing a weird pain that night and thought it would be best if I went to Urgent Care where I had my ankle x-rayed. Everything seemed a-okay but I still made an appointment with the orthopedic. The swelling went down and it looked like everything was going to be okay; however, I wanted to be sure no permanent damage would come about if I decided to be a psycho and run on Sunday. So off I went to the ortho.

I got to the ortho after going through directions a couple of times with my co-worker N lol. I am known to be directionally challenged, among other things. When I checked into the ortho it was insane. I later found out there are 18 orthos who practice there which explains the amount of clients in the lobby. After waiting for about 15-20 minutes I was taken in the back and assessed by one of the doctor's assistants. During the assessment, the assistant ordered x-rays on my ankle and after mentioning my knee, ordered an xray for my knee. Literally two minutes after putting the order in I was taken to the x-ray room and had x-rays done. After I was all done, I was put back in my waiting room where the doctor came in 5 minutes later. He was awesome. He explained every x-ray to me in extreme details and ran some tests on me to make sure everything was okay. After looking at everything he concluded that I could go ahead and run sunday. He did say I had to tape up, but that's a small price to pay. I'm just so happy.

Praying for a Miracle

Two days ago I injured myself during half mile interval training. It was so bizarre. I don't remember falling, rolling my ankle, or stepping on anything. I was just so shocked when it happened that I wasn't thinking clearly. I remember catching myself, having people asking me if I was okay, and sharp intense pain that started throbbing when I put weight on my ankle. I wasn't too far from my front door so I hobbled over in pain.

I cried once I got home. Not a hard cry, but a soft I-can't-believe-this-is-happening cry. I wasn't sure how bad my ankle was, but I knew this type of pain was different. I took my shoe off and the swelling started. I iced it immediately and tried starting my RICE ritual immediately. My ankle seemed in bad shape, but I had faith that I could rehabilitate it semi-quickly. Well, I thought that way until I tried going upstairs. The inside of my ankle felt like it was being pulled in opposite directions. Like the muscle inside of it was separated and all I could feel was a dull pain that seemed to press on the bone. At that point, I thought I was screwed; Everything about this sprain felt different. I tried to go to sleep that night, but woke up in pain. At that point I knew I had to go to the doctor. So I texted my boss and told her that I needed to go see the doctor.

The doctor visit was nerve-wrecking. I wasn't sure what he/she was going to tell me but I knew it would be bad. I was just praying that I didn't have a fracture or a break. So after talking to the doctor and seeing my ankle, she decided to have it x-rayed. After reading the x-ray she said I was in the clear, but told me that there was no way I would be racing next Sunday. I was completely destroyed. I cried when I got to the car, in the car ride to the office, and in my office.

I just couldn't believe that after weeks of training, it was all over. I had sacrificed sleeping in during the week and on the weekends for absolutely no return. I had felt pain and bruised for nothing. I just didn't understand. The hardest part to accept was the fact that I trained before grandpa got sick. He used to tell me that I was so crazy running all of the time. Then he got sick. While he was sick I would still tell him about my runs, and I think talking to him even though he didn't talk back made me feel better. I was doing this race for him. This was before I decided to run with the American Cancer Society, and so this was really his race. I even e-mailed the race director last week to ask if I could wear a ribbon on my jersey in his honor. They told me to please wear it. Now, it was all gone.

Or so I thought... This morning when I woke up, the swelling in my ankle went down. The pain subsided and I can walk on it without overcompensating. I'm not saying that I'll be racing, but I am ridiculously motivated to be completely healed before next Sunday. So I've been icing, soaking my ankle in Epson salt, taking Tylenol, and wearing a brace. I am doing everything I can....and praying for a miracle.
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