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August 2015

6.5 miles done

Those people that say every mile is great. Running is pure bliss. Yeah they are liars. I love running. I really do. Today’s run……totally sucked. Pretty much every step of every mile was awful. I didn’t want to get out of bed. The scenery was beautiful, except for the trees that had been cut down at the park. I got started later than usual so there were TONS of people out. Many shirtless boys running in glorified boxers that nearly ran me over at every turn. My toes hurt and my knees complained. I made sure to get the miles in and even took the hills on the road around the lake, not just the trail. 

  
I hit my first official wall at only 3 miles in. Thinking I can’t do this. At mile 4 I highly considered jumping into the lake and swimming across to get to my car. At mile 5, a guy running toward me on the road clapped, gave me thumbs up, and told me good job. I needed that more than the stranger probably could have guessed. I pushed through and finished the 6.5 miles. I decided to stretch in the grass. I usually forget to stretch but I was sore and thought it would be a good idea. I was wrong. Just seconds after getting into a lunge position, my knee cap popped out of place. So here I sit, a couch pillow under my knees and an ice pack wrapped around it as I write. Usually this keeps me down for several days or more but it done’s feel quite as bad today as it has in the past. 

  

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TGIF

It’s Friday.. Finally Friday and I am purely exhausted. Monday and Tuesday were mainly preparations for the memorial that will take place tomorrow. I took time off work (since my company doesn’t offer bereavement days for the death of an in-law) to help out but went back to work Wednesday. Since Wednesday, I have not stopped to do anything but sleep. I got my running in and even went to spin class this morning. A friend of mine started a plank challenge group on Facebook that I joined for accountability, so I have done those at least. My cross training has been pathetic for a while now. I can’t get out of bed for anything other than running.

Work has been crazy. I got back to work on Wednesday and my phone didn’t stop ringing until 7 pm tonight. I did 5 days worth of billing in just 3 very long and tiring days. In fact, I still have the majority of my paperwork left to do. Work is never over. The plus side is that I don’t have to use any vacation time for Monday and Tuesday. The minus? I’m utterly exhausted. I need a few weeks vacation to make up for that. Alas, I will have to wait for October but at least I got a fast pass for Elsa and Anna this time (yes, I love Frozen, don’t judge me). I also finished up the biography for my father in-law that will be read tomorrow in front of everyone.  I feel like I did a good job on it but still a little weary about my words being read in front of everyone. As long as it does the amazing man justice I’ll be happy. I’ve learned a lot about Captain over the last few days. For example, he was offered an internship with NASA. He was mind-blowingly smart.

Tomorrow will be my 6.5 mile run and then off for a day of remembering Captain. I will be trying hard to keep it together. Anyway, I’m going to finish my progress notes and pass out.

Just What I Needed

  

Already miss this man like crazy.

This has been a tumultuous week. The day we lost Captain seems like forever ago. I will be honest with all of you. I haven’t done jack since Sunday. I felt a little guilty but, at the same time, not at all. Today, I started writing my biography of Captain’s life. I started out pretty good but got stuck after just one paragraph. I have this thing about writing that creates more frustration than it really should. I wrote stories ever since I could put sentences together and I loved it. That all ended when I moved back in with my parents for graduate school. My mother found a story I wrote and totally flipped out on me. This blog was the first thing I have been able to write since that day, roughly seven years ago. It’s almost debilitating. 

I decided that would be the perfect place to step back and clear my head. A run was in order and well overdue. First, I had to run to the nearest sporting goods store and pick up some new gear. I only had two skirts and one pair of shorts to run in and I sat in dog pee wearing the only one of those that was clean. I ended up hitting the jackpot in the clearance section. Two new skirts and a new bra! Woohoo!! I threw the new duds on and headed out the door. I used two trackers, Mapmyrun and my Garmin forerunner 15. I clocked in 4 miles and my pace was different between the two trackers. I don’t know that I will do that again. I just wanted to use mapmyrun as a way of sharing my training with the friend that is going with me to Princess weekend. My pace was somewhere between the lower 11 or high 12 min/mile. 

  

I wish this could be accepted as my true pace but there’s a bit of a dicrepancy between my two trackers..

When I got back, the rest of the family arrived and were starting to go through more pictures. Captain was incredibly selfless and donated his body to science so there isn’t a funeral but we will have a memorial service. It’s been super hard on hubs getting ready for this. I have a good portion writtend AND got my run in. I feel completly refreshed and not prepared to go back to work tomorrow. I still have some work to do on the bio but it is coming along pretty nicely. 

In other news, the announcement of the inaugural Star Wars half marathon weekend in Disney World has me wanting to see if I can transfer registrations. You guys may know more about if this is possible or not. Captain loved Star Wars and the whole family talked about joining in and doing the 5K together and doing it in Captain’s memory. He loved Disney World and would have given anything to have been able to go back for his seventh time. My mother in-law is even talking about doing it with us and making a family plus friends weekend out of it. As much as I want to do the Princess Weekend, I would give anything to make this happen but I guess we will see!

Life Goes On

Another day has passed but it feels equivalent to three. It feels like three days ago that I got up to meet Lindsay for a 7am run. It wasn’t though, it was today. My first thoughts were about my father in-law (I will be referring to him as Captain from now on to shorten things.)

My day started off with getting up reluctantly to the sound of my alarm around 6:15 am. I fought tears on the way to the park but the run was just  what I needed to keep things together. I was so out of it this morning that I mixed up my knee braces despite having them labeled left and right. I forgot my armband so no music or metronome. It was okay though because I never really pay attention to music when I run with friends. I chunked the phone in the car and it felt good not to have it with me, in all honesty.

The run was good and the company was even better. The actual work felt so much harder than it really was. Our pace was very, very slow and steady. I ran to Wal-mart afterward and picked up some aloe vera juice, as suggested by Robyn for stomach issues.

We spent the rest of the day eating with hubby’s family and receiving guests at my brother in-law’s house. That’s one thing about his family. They are social butterflies. My family was not like that. My family didn’t have a whole lot of friends and I really didn’t like family gatherings. I, personally, have an awesome group of friends but hubby’s family is a whole new level for me. Basically, I grew sick of visitors. I hate being the center of attention and my Mother in-law, of course introduced me to every person that stopped by. I’m the most recent addition to the family so it was more attention than I really like. I did all of it without much complaint because I knew it was what she needed.

As for me, I’m debating on a run or a strength day at the gym tomorrow. Maybe both. It’s the thing that helps keep my pieces put together. I have to find out in the morning if my company allows for bereavement time for in-laws but I will be taking off work either way. Captain was an awesome man who also insisted on donating his body to science, so there will be no funeral. We will be having a memorial service over the weekend, however, so there is still a lot to be done.

My favorite aspect of the day was sitting around with the family and getting to hear funny stories about Captain as a younger man. He’s so much like my hubby and was so full of life, even through his sickness. I miss him more than I can explain already. I’m more than a little nervous about some things we have to do tomorrow because I have a big, important task ahead of me. Hubby was going to write Captain’s autobiography to be read off during the services but he told me on the way home tonight that he wanted me to do it instead. He thinks I’m better with words than he is and I really didn’t have much jobs given to me to do anyway. I’m happy to do it and try my best. I used to write all the time and I loved it. However, I feel like I have totally lost my writing voice in the past 7 years or so. This blog is the first successful attempt to maintain any kind of writing at all and I’m not ever truly pleased with my voice in here. I’m working on it, though. Send some good thoughts my way so that I can do this wonderful man and the life he lived justice. I still feel like he has just been napping in the other room this whole time.

My summary for the running part is 3.4 miles done at an incredibly slow pace.

I’m welcoming a distraction from this day and finally getting answer these questions that Britsrundisney tagged me in the other day. I’ll try to figure out how to link you to their blog from this app if I can. You should check them out! 
Would you rather run along a beach path or a mountain trail?I’d have to pick a beach. It’s flat and I just haven’t found the love for hills yet. I think I could even run by the beach without music. The peacefulness of the wasves would be enough. 

If you could choose the flavour of Gatorade at your next race’s aid stations, what would it be? I’m quite fond of the strawberry lemonade kind. You can’t go wrong with the classics either blue, red, yellow. I don’t really remember them by name. 

If you are given a $100 git card for a running store, what would you purchase with it? Running shoes!!! I can never have enough shoes! That used to be how I was about high heels but, much to the surprise of everyone including myself, I have thrown out most all of my heels and traded the addiction to running shoes. I totally coveting the new brooks ghost 8 and the new balance Tinkerbell shoes because, well…Tinkerbell…..

Do you prefer to use a training plan or wake up and then decide how far or fast you want to run? I do much better with a set plan. I like to overdo it because I was to feel BA. Training plans keep me on track in a much more healthy manner. 

Would you rather start your run with the uphill and end with the downhill or start your run with the downhill and end with the uphill? I prefer the hills somewhere in the middle rather than beginning or end but, if I had to pick, I’d have to go with at the beginning. Nothing would stink worse than being all the way through the course and then hit a monstrous hill. 

When you can’t run, what kind of cross-training do you choose to do? I have been doing spin calls and lower body strength training right now. I was doing upper and lower body weight lifting but my arm is injured and I haven’t been ready to go back to the old routine. 

What is your preference –> out and back, point to point, or loop runs? That really depends on where I am running at. I love my loops at the park. Honestly as long as the loops aren’t around a track, I’m cool with any of it. 

If you could recommend ANY running related item to a new runner it would be? Buff bands!!! I was voted most improved runner (or something like that) in my running clinic in the spring and the prize was a free buff band. I wear that thing EVERY time I run! I have been meaning to buy others from them but haven’t got around to it yet. It’s truly the best headband I have ever had. I even wear it to work sometimes. 

Do you see any wild animals while out on your runs? I’ve seen deer, raccoons, geese, ducks… the standard stuff for Arkansas.

Ever gotten lost while out on a run? Not so far. I generally run in my neighborhood, at the park, or wiht the group in downtown….not a lot of chances for getting lost there. 

If you could have one meal waiting and ready for you each time you got home from a run for the next 30 days… what would it be? Ugh that’s tough because I love so many different foods. I will say, Hubs grills a mean steak and I do love mashed potatoes with all my little southern heart. 

Capris or short? What do you run in most? Skirts!! I love my running skirts. I was wearing onlt capris or longer tights to hide my double knee braces. I have since come to embrace the bulky things and I love throwing a bit of my girly girl self in the mix too. 

At what mile (or how many minutes) into your run does your body start to feel like it is warming up and ready to go? After about the first mile I feel like I have really gotten into my groove. The first mile is always the hardest.

What do you do with your key when you run? I eith put it in the pocket on the front of my water bottle if I am carrying that, in the little key poket on my skirts, or in my bra. My belt doesn’t fit my enormous phone so I gave it away. 

If you could re-live any race that you have done in the past, which one? I really enjoyed the Little Rock Half Marathon. It was not my best time. I had IT Band pain and it was freezing cold (raining and even some snow) but it was so well organized and I made a friend there. I also totally cried at the finish line because I was so happy to have just been able to finish. The road to that race was not an easy one. 

What type of run is your least favourite? I love all my runs!! 
When you go for a run, do you leave from your front door or drive somewhere to start? Both. If I am strapped for time I will step out the door and run in and out of all the coves in my area until my miles or minutes are done. If I have the ability to, I will drive to the park or downtown to run. 

When running in daylight, are sunglasses a must or an annoyance? A must! My blue eyes are super sensitive so must have those shades. 

When you get tired, what keeps you from quitting? I visualize the finishline of the race I am training for or I think of someone else that cannot run and I run for them. This week, my father in-law has been what made me push through. 

Thanks for reading and feel free to answer the questions yourselves in the comment section. I would love to learn more about all of you! I’ll try to go back in when I get on my desktop and tag some of you super cool people. 

Terrible, Awful, No Good Day

  

I was scheduled to do my long run this morning and I was going to get up and do it. I missed my spin class Friday so I told myself, No Excuses. I got a text from my running buddy this morning around 5:15 am saying that she was battling food poisoning and wasn’t going to make it to the 6 am run. I hadn’t even had time to respond to her when hubby’s phone rang. Hubby isn’t the type to talk on the phone, especially before he’s had his coffee so my heart jumped. 

I could hear my sister in-law’s voice on the phone. She’s got quite the volume and I could tell she wasn’t her bubbley self. Father in-law wasn’t doing well and they were headed to the hospital. We jumped out of bed and  stumbled around trying to find suitable clothes. We rushed up the gigantic hill that leads to the hospital entrance and dashed up the stairs to the CCU. 

My brother in-law was standing in the hallway. “Dad’s gone.” was all I remember him saying. At that instant my heart broke. Father in-law was sick for a long time and I know he’s not suffering anymore but the pain of him not being there is larger than I ever thought possible. I love my own family but we are not close for a number of reasons. I became very close to hubby’s dad and enjoyed all his cheesey science fiction movies and jokes. He was a lot like hubby and I know that I am going to miss him like crazy. 

This day has seemed to last forever. The never-ending, terrible, awful day. I haven’t picked myself up or kicked myself into gear. I have ate brownies (triple chocolate chunk) and pasta among other things. Today just doesn’t feel like a day to stick to a plan. Comfort food and cuddles are in store. For no, I choose to believe it’s a bad dream and I’ll let reality hit when it comes. The world has lost a truly amazing, kind, and selfless man. I count myself incredibly lucky to have been able to get to know him for the 5 years I have. One thing I know is that I will miss him like crazy. 

You ran at what time?

  
I still maintain that I hate Wednesdays. They stink. They have stunk for the past two weeks and then some. Thankfully today is Thursday. Last night was not so good. My father in-law has been sick, as many of you know, and we had another scare with his health. He has an infection in his lungs and that’s no bueno. I left work a bit early last night because of it. That’s the good thing about working house to house all day. I couldn’t get this type of flexibility in most places. By the time I got to the hospital I was already in tears. I try to keep myself together and stay positive for everyone else. I guess that’s the counselor in me coming out. I dried the tears as best I could at met hubs at the hospital. 

Overall, there was not much change in his situation. Not better but not any worse either. That was a plus. We all ended up camping out at the hospital because my mother in-law didn’t want to be alone in case something did happen. I can’t say I blame her. When I went home to get an overnight bag together, I threw in some running gear and told hubs that I wanted to run near the hospital before the first visiting hours in the morning. I wanted to run for his dad. He supported it and didn’t even tell me I was insane for it. 

We slept on a “bed” made out of two benches we pushed together and was equal to the size of a double bed. Not the most comfortable of accommodations but I wasn’t going to complain. The waiting room had multiple cubicles for families to sleep in or just hang out and there were a few other people in there. I was wide awake for most of the night. Every time I would get to where I was about to fall asleep I would hear the strangest snore in the world. It was something like a cross between a snore, a gasp, and a cough. Everytime I heard it, I couldn’t help giggling silently which woke hubs up too. I was wide awake to 1 am. And 2 am. I had just fallen asleep when the alarm hubs set for me at 3:45 am went off and he nudged me. (and I was dreaming about getting ready to run…)

I stumbled out of bed and managed to get ready without waking the entire room. I took the elevator downstairs and was delighted to find the air was cool and light. No humidity! I basically ran loops around the hospital, thinking of my father in-law with every step. The path I ran behind the hospital actually could be seen from his room. The streets were well-lit and there wasn’t a lot of people out. I still proceeded with as much caution as I could. I really don’t have the fear gene that most girls I’m friends with do but I’m not entirely stupid about it either. I only had one earbud in and held my phone in my hands for easy access. 

It was one of the best runs I’ve had in a long time. The miles weren’t easy but they weren’t crazy hard either. My feet were light and there was even a breeze. My times weren’t terrible. I did 4 miles in 48 minutes and 36 seconds. 12:09 min/mile. I was utterly pleased and wide awake for the visiting hours. I know I’m not the fastest and I may never be but I am working hard and I’m much farther along than I was a year ago. I’m starting to feel the weight of the lack of sleep now that I’m one client away from the end of the day, though. Thank God for iced coffees! Spin class tomorrow if all is well with hubs’ dad. 

the Dreadmill

Okay so, maybe calling it that isn’t entirely fair but I do prefer running outside. I’m going to actually grab up my own treadmill for the winter time portion of training if I can find one that’s not too expensive. I can’t walk across the bathroom without getting injured so I’m not going to chance it on the slippery stuff. Our winters aren’t quite as bad as my nothern friends but we get ice for winter weather and not much snow so it will be safer to stay indoors for training those days. 

That’s beside the point though. Wednesdays seem to be me biggest enemy. I can generally get up early every day of the week, except Wednesday. I planned to get up at 5:30 am this morning to hit the gym but ended up just a little later than that. It’s just so hard to get up on Wednesdays. I decided to throw in some speed workouts on Wednesdays to help improve my pace and give me something a little different to break up the routine. I’ve never done speed work on the treadmill, so this was a first for me. I’ve done sprints on the track and hill repeats outside but that’s about all I know regarding speed. I hit up good old pinterest the other day and found a treadmill speed drill and decided to just go by that. 

I ended up having to modify it a bit because my legs have never really hit better than a 10 min/mile pace and the routine called for an 8 min/mile pace on the first few sprints and went higher after that. I feared that, if I attempted those paces I had never hit before on the treadmill I would end up on one of those youtube or vine videos of people being basically sucked away by the thing. Rather than risk going viral, I modified it to hit paces of 10 minutes and 9 minutes. It felt good and I enjoyed the push I had to give myself on those portions. I don’t know if it was very helpful but I did end up getting an extra 2 miles in for the week. I may try to hunt down a different treadmill workout to see if it does any better next week or just hope for dry weather and do hill repeats at the park. 

Even though I’m not positive about how helpful it was I was glad I got up and did it. I also did day 2 of my squat and ab challenge. An extra plus, I got to see a crazy cool looking sky on the way home. The sun was an orangey-yellow, surrounded by clouds that looked more like smoke and a few lightening strikes hit that looked like livewires. 

Ready for Autumn

  
Well, I did get up but it wasn’t earlier than usual. I drug myself out of bed at the typical 6:00 am and made it to the park a bit before 7. I took time to grab my water bottle and eat an English muffin for fuel before the run. It was brutal from the very beginning! It was hot and the air felt heavy. so my miles were a bit more sluggish than I wanted. I did okay for the first two miles but I struggled in the last one. I extended a couple of my walk breaks to a minute instead of 30 seconds.

The scenery was beautiful since I made it out to the park. It was extra peaceful since school started back around here because there was only a few other people out. A few runners and some people fishing. My pace was pretty consistent, even though it was a bot slower than I really wanted it to be. I also intended on going for the full 45 minutes and hoped for 4 miles. The air was just so sticky and hot that I wimped out at 3 miles but that’s still longer than my usual Tuesday runs. 

  
Threw some Disney in for this run!

I cam home and finished up by doing day 1 of a 30 day abs and squats challenge. 10 sit ups, 15 bicycle crunches, and 30 squats. I’m going to try to stick to that challenge every day. I have really been slacking on the ab workouts. I have been told three times in the past week that I have lost weight in my upper body. The scale doesn’t show it so my theory is the weight just shifted from up upper body to my tummy. I was pretty excited to noticed this morning that my thighs weren’t rubbing as much! That may be TMI for some people but I’m excited to be seeing differences. Hopefully terrible eating habits from last night won’t ruin that too much! (Pizza, reeses cookies, and hard cider….it was a rough day.)

Tomorrow I plan to do a lower body workout accompanied by a sprint workout on the treadmill to help with my speed and day 2 of the ab and squat challenge. This girl is ready for the few weeks of Fall weather we will get before it turns freezing cold. I’m getting just about sick of the hot weather running!

How’s everyone else’s training coming? Anyone seeing signs of progress? What about tips for some good speed workouts?

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