Running on Vacation

We leave for vacation on Monday, and I never used to be the type of person who ran on a trip. I mean, it is vacation after all! Somewhere along the line, probably when I started signing up for longer distance races, I discovered that it’s not only necessary in some situations but isn’t the torture I imagined it to be.

Now waking up early and getting the miles in while the sun is rising is really just part of my routine, so when I’m traveling I don’t even think twice about it. The Long Run, on the other hand always stresses me out a bit. When will I do it? I don’t mind 5 or 6 miles, but 16 miles in an unfamiliar location is really pushing it for me. I also don’t want to do it when I come back; I’m tired, I’m sure my legs will be tired and I will be really busy trying to bribe the cats into speaking to me again after “abandoning” them for a whole week 😉 .  My only real option left is to run before we leave, which means near back-to back long runs.  I did this last year before I went on vacation and it worked really well so I’m hoping I will have similar luck this year. Saturday I’ll be running 13, and then on Monday before we pack up LoLa and hit the road for a 10+ hour drive to Wisconsin, I’ll bust out 16. This isn’t the most ideal situation, but it’s worked before and hopefully with proper recovery (ice, ice baby) I’ll be able to pull it off again.

Since you asked, here’s where you can find me next week:

 

EAA AirVenture!

EAA AirVenture!

Most people don’t consider this an exciting vacation, but The Tall One has been going for years before we met, and we’ve continued this tradition by turning it into a bi-yearly trip. We really love airplanes/aviation and you really do get to see some awesome stuff while you’re there. Everything from planes that people have built themselves, to WWII era planes, fighter jets, and stunt planes are in one place and the shows/displays that are put on are amazing. If you aren’t into planes, this probably isn’t your thing (the first year I went, I was a total skeptic), but it’s really become something I look forward to. It’s not a relaxing, lay on the beach kind of vacation – you are out, walking around all day long. Last time we went, I averaged about 6 miles of walking per day. This year, we are staying with a good friend who works for the EAA and we’ll also be doing some volunteering while we’re there. Bonus? We get to go for a ride on a WWII B-17 bomber. So excited!  I’ll hopefully have some awesome pictures to share with you when I come back!

How do you balance running and vacations? How do you feel about working in a long run on vacay?

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Air Force Marathon Training – Week 7

Another week done! This was one of the few weeks that I haven’t gotten all of the miles in, that wasn’t due to my injury. I tried, but, sometimes these things happen. I’m not thrilled about it, but there are more important things going on than marathon training. I don’t like to get into super personal things, but our family is going through a pretty rough time and these last 6 weeks have been a major emotional roller coaster. And in the wise words of Forrest Gump that’s all I have to say about that.
Also, I don’t have a single picture to show for this week. All I’ve got is the before picture of my haircut; I don’t even have the after yet. Sorry ’bout that!! If you don’t keep reading, I don’t blame you…

Monday

Planned: 4 Miles

Actual: Rest. I woke up with every intention of running…and then I fell asleep on the couch. Oops. I figured it was no big deal, and I would just run when I got home from work. Then I didn’t get home until after 9 PM.

Tuesday

Planned: Rest

Actual: 3 Miles 32:30 (10:53 pace) I wanted to make up the 4 miles from the day before, but I farted around too much trying to work on blog posts and got started late.  At 3 miles I made the call to stop – I was dangerously close to being late for work and to be perfectly honest, I couldn’t see through the tears or breathe through the sobs. If I had the time though, I know that I would have been able to crank out another mile – I was feeling really good. Minus the whole sobbing hysterically while I ran thing.  Tuesday was a rough day, in general.

Wednesday

Planned: 4 Miles

Actual: 4 Miles hills 43:33 (1053 pace). I had a hair appointment right after work, so I made sure to get them in early. By Wednesday, my spirits had been lifted a bit and I was able to get out and work hard. No tears. No sobs. Just a good effort.

I really liked the color, but something was missing with the cut…

 

Thursday

Planned: Rest

Actual: Rest. This was another loooooong day, and I didn’t get home until way past 9:30. I also was kind of forced to make a few less than stellar food choices for dinner – a small chili from Wendy’s and a 6 piece chicken nugget box. I can’t even remember the last time I had Wendy’s, but pretty much it was that or starve. And a hungry Amanda is a very angry Amanda…so, chili it was. Calorie-wise, it wasn’t terrible; quality-wise was a different story. Which leads me to Friday’s run….

Friday

Planned: 4 Miles

Actual: 3.5 Miles 39:57 (11:24 pace). Since Tuesday and Wednesday were harder efforts, and Saturday was a long run day I decided to take Friday nice and easy. I would have been fine to finish that last half mile, but….let’s just say I was regretting last night’s dinner choice. I kind of had to rush home, and by the time I did that it would have been pointless to go back out for the last half mile. Aside from that close call, it was a good, easy effort.

Saturday

Planned: 15 Miles

Actual: 15 Miles 2:49:21 (11:17 pace). I started this run about an hour later than I would normally like to – I ended up going back to the hair salon to make a few small adjustments to my cut and the soonest they could get me in was 8AM Saturday. Since it was driving me nuts, and I felt bad about coming back, I happily took that time slot. I looked at it as a way to sleep in instead of waking up at the butt-crack of dawn like usual.

When I woke up, I could hear it pouring. I did my usual morning routine, and the whole time debated if I should just plan to run on Sunday instead. I checked the radar and the rain was supposed to continue all morning long so I figured what the hell. I actually really enjoy running in the rain, and since there’s always a chance it could be raining on race day I decided it would be a good idea.

I was in and out of the hair salon in 10 minutes, and now I love my hair! Wahoo!! I drove out to North Park and got started. As usual, my first few miles were too fast…for whatever reason, I just can’t seem to get my long runs under control. I really need to work on that…not clue how, but I’ll think of something 🙂  The first loop through was pretty uneventful…there were very few people out and I was enjoying the solitude. And I figured, if I started crying again at least no one would be able to tell.  By the fourth or fifth mile I had finally settled into a manageable pace in the mid-low 11:00 minute/mile pace. I learned my lesson last week and decided to take my water bottle and gels with me, rather than trying to stop at the car after each loop. Around 4.5 I took my first gel and kept trucking along. The second loop was really uneventful…I was in the zone. Anytime I sensed myself slipping, I would take a minute to check my form, focus on my breathing and give myself a little pep talk. It was working! I felt like I could keep going all day. I took my next gel at 9.5 and was still feeling great.  Just after mile 10, I even though to myself “maybe I’ll make the last 1 or 2 miles a fast finish…just to see if I can”. Bahahahahahahahahahaha!!! Hilarious. Just as I should have started to speed up (or at least try to), I hit a massive wall. It must have been made of reinforced steel because it knocked me on my ass. The next two miles were a total mental battle to just keep putting one foot in front of the other. I tried doing the form check trick, positive reinforcement…you name it, I tried it. Looking at my splits now, I see that I must have been able to do that for the last mile but holy crap on a cracker was that tough!! Aside from those last two miles, this was a great long run and I am really happy! Honestly, I would rather get some of these bad miles out of my system now rather than on race day. I’m not sure how to avoid hitting that type of wall again….it may be time to switch from English Muffins with peanut butter to something a little more substantial like a bagel as my pre-run breakfast.

Sunday

Planned: Rest

Actual: Rest. I hate to say this, but my Achilles Tendonitis has flared up again…and I still haven’t scheduled my Physical Therapy. It’s not that I’m not taking it seriously, I just really haven’t been able to – things are constantly changing and I hate to commit to these appointments if I have to keep cancelling them. The Tall One has been asking me everyday if I’ve scheduled them yet, and won’t stop until I do. He’s an alright guy 🙂  (No, really, he is. I don’t know how I would be coping with everything if it wasn’t for him!!)

How’s your training going? What do you do when you hit the wall – I will take any and all advice on overcoming that!!

 

Injury Update

This is a tad overdue, but…better late than never!

So, last Monday I went to see a Foot and Ankle Specialist to try to get some answers about my legs.  I wasn’t sure what to expect and was worried that I may be put on a running hiatus – a week or two would have been bearable, but any more than that and I was going to have doubts about running a marathon. I’m just getting into the bulk of training, and now is not the time to start missing long runs.  I have a tendency to overreact, in case you haven’t noticed yet.

My doctor – Dr. Jessie – was awesome. He was very thorough, asked a bunch of question, watched how I walk, and looked at my running shoes to determine my stride (which he was said was ‘a good, normal stride’).  My initial diagnosis is a mild case of Achilles Tendonitis – not bad enough to stop running, but I was given an RX for Physical Therapy 3 times a week and a super sexy, sleek Night Splint to wear on alternating feet while I sleep each night.

Don't be jelous

Don’t be jealous! And don’t hate on my pasty, pale legs 🙂

Dr J. also added these little insert/lift things (no idea what they’re called) into my current shoes that seem to help.

Not sure what they are, but they're helping! I think.

Not sure what they are, but they’re helping! I think.

I’ve been wearing my splint religiously, even though it can be uncomfortable as hell, and The Tall One makes fun of me.  I find that it’s pretty hard to sleep with it on – I can fall asleep, but usually wake up a few hours later and need to take it off. I look it as 3 hours is better than 0 hours. I was able to sleep with it on all night Friday (I was exhausted and nothing was waking me up!), but had to take it off last night so I’m thinking that I’ll eventually get used to it. Since I know that I have a hard time keeping it on, I’ve been wearing it in the evening as well while I watch TV, eat dinner, etc. and so far it has really been helping! I used it for 4 days, and then was able to run almost completely pain free last Thursday. WOWZA!! I haven’t been able to schedule the PT yet, so I am really excited to see how much that will help.  I’m going to start gradually increasing my evening runs from 1/week to maybe 2/week for the rest of the month and then go from there.

We didn’t get too much into how I came down with this, but I know that this was a classic overuse/doing too much, too soon injury.  When I was coming off an extended illness back in late January/early February, I tried to jump right back into normal training instead of gradually easing my way into it. This was my own fault, and definitely not a mistake that I’ll be making again anytime soon!

Air Force Marathon Training – Week 6

Oy! Where does the time go?? I have so many posts to write/share, but I haven’t even gotten close to finishing them so I might as well get my weekly recap up so there’s something on here!!

This was another good week of training – I worked hard, mixed things up with some speed early in the week and braved the heat for 13.37 miles on Saturday!! Full details below

Monday

Planned: Rest

Actual: Rest. I had to shift my long run the week before to Sunday so I made Monday a rest day rather than the usual short/slow day. I also had my doctor’s appointment (need to do a post about this, but in general it’s all good news!! 🙂   ), so I went for a short walk when I got home and that was it! After, I ventured out to get some new running/vacation clothes and got some great stuff! Yay for Target!!

Tuesday

Planned: 4 Miles

Actual: 4 Progression Miles 42:54 (10:43 pace). I didn’t specifically plan for this to be a speed workout, but I was feeling good and decided to go for it! I also hit the weights when I got home from work, for a quick workout!

Lookie there! It's amazing what you're capable of when you just go for it!

Lookie there! It’s amazing what you’re capable of when you just go for it!

Wednesday

Planned: Strength

Actual: Strength! I’m getting better at making the time for this – it helps that I’ve revised what I’m doing and am sticking with a plan that’s a little more manageable!

Thursday

 Planned: 5 Miles + Strength:

Actual: 5 PM (!!!!!!!) Miles 58:17 (11:39 pace).  5 pain free PM miles!! WAHOO!  After my Drs appt. on Monday, I put some changes into place right away and decided to see if they had any influence on Thursday.  Since it was only a few days later, I didn’t put too much hope in being able to do all 5 miles, but I had to give it a shot. There was some mild discomfort when I started but that quickly went away. I didn’t worry about speed at all – besides being hot and sunny (about 86 degrees), I was just happy to be out there and running pain free. Pace was the last thing on my mind (but it was still in line with my normal times). Yay!   I also did my strength workout that morning – I’m on fi-YAH!!

Friday

Planned: 3 Miles

Actual: 3 Miles 32:34 (10:51 pace) Good, solid early morning run! I was rewarded with this gorgeous sunrise at the end!

 

Waking up early has its benefits!

Waking up early has its benefits!

Saturday

Planned: 13 Miles

Actual: 13.37 Miles 2:31:25 (11:20 pace) at North Park. In a word? HOT. In more words? I’m kind of dumb…more on that as the stories continues.

This was kind of a weird run…I felt like I was going a lot slower than I was, so when I saw my average at the end, I was pleasantly surprised that I managed to hold a normal (to me) pace. However, I also started out waaaaaaaay too fast. I tried to slow myself down, but couldn’t seem to do it. No worries though – the heat helped with that later on.  I also need to learn how to judge the temperatures – last week it was so cool out, I ended up dropping my water off at the car because it was making my hand cold.  So this week, I decided to leave the water/gel in the car and just stop when I passed by and use the water fountains along the loop. When I made my first of two passes around my car, I decided I was still OK and didn’t need anything yet. I didn’t really want to break the rhythm I was in, so I kept going. I started to slow a little, and knew a water fountain was coming up and hoped that would give me a little pep in my step.

A tad fast for a long run

A tad fast for a long run

I got to the fountain….and there was a little runners reunion, or something, going on and even though I said ‘excuse me’, no one would move so I kept going.  A mile or so later, I was reeeeeally regretting not stopping at my car but luckily I got to the next fountain, and there was no line! Wahoo!  The sun was out in full force at this point, even though it was only 9 AM, and it was warm; the combination of these factors was making me cranky.  There was also a very large 5K event going on at the boathouse, and trying to weave through all of the tents, and jazzercisers and cars was starting to grate on my nerves ( I’m just a bit of a drama queen). So I finally made it to my car for the second time, and was never so happy to drink warm water in my life. And then…even though it was pushing 80 at this point, even though I was thinking about how thirsty I was….I left my water in the car. I didn’t want to carry that and my phone (I still haven’t purchased a case for my new phone yet….derp), so I figured that I’d still rely on the water fountains.

Slowing down...

Slowing down…

I trucked along, and got to the first water fountain….the reunion was over at this point, and I nearly skipped over to the fountain. Only to discover the water pressure was so low the water barely trickled out. I don’t care how hot it is/thirsty I am, no way am I putting my mouth that close to a public water fountain. This really increased the cranky factor, but still no worries, I can make it to the next one. I trudged on. Then,I crested another hill….and apparently the 5K had finally started, because all I could see was a sea of neon.  No. Just no. I just didn’t have it in me to try to weave through that (going against the flow of people), so I said eff it. Actually, I dropped the f-bomb (and a bunch of other words) for this one. Out loud. And people heard me. I apologized for cursing like a sailor and they laughed and said they didn’t blame me. I looked at my watch, and realized that if I turned around here, I would definitely make 13 miles by the time I got to my car and wouldn’t have to go anywhere near the festival. Amen to that. I got about.10 of a mile in, and realized that although I didn’t have to weave through people, this updated route meant no more water fountains.  Lots more f-bombs were dropped, but I kept them (mostly) silent or at least under my breath. I thought about walking, but that just meant it would be longer until I got my water. These last 2 miles were pretty much a death march, but the promise of toasty warm water kept me going. Then. THEN. I remembered there is a 7-11 just across the intersection from where I park. I started dreaming of a slurpee ( I missed the free slurpees the day before, and they’d been on my mind). The hope of a lemonade slurpee was what got me back to my car. <—- Yeah, just a little dramatic.

OMG end it now. Give me an effing slurpee.

OMG end it now. Give me an effing slurpee.

By the time I finally got back to my car, it was well over 13 miles.  I did take notice at the 13.1 mark that it was still faster (2:28) than my slowest half marathon time (2:31) so maybe the day wasn’t as bad as it felt. I got in my car and headed right for 7-11, sailed through a yellow light (oops) and made a bee-line for the slurpee machine.

Pure sugar never tasted so good.

 

YUM

YUM

When I got home, that sweet husband of mine also had a Gatorade chilling in the fridge, along with a glass of ice water. He’s alright, that guy 🙂

Sunday

Planned: Rest

Actual: REST. Much needed rest.

All in all, this was a really good week for me. I feel like there is light at the end of the tunnel for my tendonitis, and even though it doesn’t always feel like it, I’m managing to keep a decent pace in this heat/humidity. That is definitely a good thing!!

Air Force Marathon Training – Week 5

Whew! Another week down, and I am seriously behind in posting my update! Somehow I always feel even more behind that usual after a long weekend!

This was a fairly decent week for training – once again, I ran into some trouble trying out an evening run but now that I’ve been able to see a doctor I’m hoping those runs will soon be behind me! Post coming soon about that!! Other than that hiccup, training went pretty well, and I ran my first 5K in almost 4 years!

Monday

Planned: 4 Miles

Actual: Strength Training. I honestly cannot remember why I didn’t run – there are no extra notes in my planner so I’m guessing it was either weather related or I was just lazy. Not sure, but at least I got my strength in!

Tuesday

Planned: Strength + Cross

Actual: 4 Miles 43:41 (10:54 pace). This ended up being an unintentional almost progression run  – I knew the 5K was coming up and I figured one last run at some sort of “race pace” would be beneficial, so I pushed hard.  My 3rd mile crept up a little higher than it should have. I made up for it with the next mile, though. I was happy with how this run felt…it was hard, but not impossible. I love getting a good sweat on before work!

Not too shabby!

Not too shabby!

I also hit the weights when I got home, while I watched the remainder of the USA/Belgium soccer match.  So sad we lost 😦

Wednesday

Planned: 5 Miles

Actual: 4.28 Miles 53:25 (12:25 pace) Oof, this was tough. Read about it here. The good news is that I saw a doctor this week and am hopefully on my way to alleviating this problem! Yee-haw!

Thursday

Planned: Strength

Actual: Resting up before the big day!

Friday

Planned: 5K Race

Actual: Jane Neely Run for Your Life 5K. Read about it here! In case you don’t want to read about it – 3.1 Miles 31:21 (9:55 pace) and a new PR!

Saturday

Planned: 10 Miles

Actual: Rest. My brothers came in from out of town so we could spend some quality family time together while we all can. They were planning on arriving early, and spending precious time together was more important than 10 miles. It can wait.

Sunday

Planned: Rest

Actual: 10 Miles 1:55:43 (11:34 pace). All things considered, I’m pretty happy with this one.  I went out to North Park for the first time this year, and I was reminded how much I love it! The first 5 miles were tough – my ankles were hurting (what the crap?! that’s only supposed to happen later in the day), and I thought about quitting. But, I hate quitting. I knew that my doctor’s appointment was the next day, and I thought about the possibility that I may be put on a running hiatus. How pissed would I be if my last run for 2+ weeks (possibly) was one that I didn’t even finish?? Very, just in case you were wondering.  So, I made a pit stop at my car and dropped off the water bottle that I had been carrying (it was irritating me, and wasn’t really warm enough to need it) and sucked down a salted caramel Gu <—– YUM! I also saw Kim from This Runner’s Fuel, but was too chicken to say hi :-(! I decided to suck it up, and I tried to push a little harder for the last 5 miles. It felt like I was running faster, but according to my splits I really didn’t…mile 9 was killer!

It felt like I was going faster...

It felt like I was going faster…

Overall  this was a good long run. I didn’t quit, didn’t give up, and tried as hard as I could to keep an even pace (still working on that part).

In general, I think this was another solid week of training.  From here on out, all of my long runs are in the double digits and while I know they will be tough if the heat/humidity keeps up I am really looking forward to them! 🙂

How’s your training going?