Running with Friends

I’ve been running consistently since 2012.

In that time, I’ve run 3 half marathons (training for my 4th starts today), 2 5Ks, and 1 full marathon.

With the exception of miles 20-26 of my marathon where my sister in law ran with me, every single mile of every single training run and race has been done solo.  I never really minded it – it’s all I’ve ever known.  I frequently see groups out running at North Park, on the River Trail or around my neighborhood and while I normally never give it another thought, I’ll admit that every now and then I feel a twinge of jealousy. How nice would it be to have some company and friendly conversation with another real, live person and not myself when I’m out there for hours at a time? Oh well, you’re not missing out on much, is typically what I would tell myself any time I found myself wishing for a running buddy.  

Wrong. I was so, so wrong. I have been missing out on so.much.awesomeness.

After commenting a few times on each other’s blogs that we should go for a run together, Jennifer(Running On Lentils) and I did! We met up Sunday for 9 miles along the River Trail and it was so.much.fun!

I’m not going to lie, I was really nervous.  I had pre-warned her that I am one of the most awkward people ever, but she still wanted to meet up which was great.  I really wanted to make a good first impression (told you I’m strange) so before I drove down to the trail, I made sure my teeth and hair were brushed and that my socks matched <—– taking the time to match socks is how you know I was taking this seriously.  It sounds funny to say that I was so nervous, but it’s true.  We don’t know each other in real life, and we were about to spend almost 2 hours in each others company. What if we didn’t get along? What if we had nothing to talk about? What if I’m being catfished? Ok, that last one is a total exaggeration but I think you get the idea.  Luckily, all of that worry was for absolutely nothing.   We settled into a good pace right away where the time and miles absolutely flew by and we never ran out of things to talk about! It was a gorgeous morning for a run, and we knocked those 9 miles out.  While I know that I will still continue doing the majority of my runs solo, I hope that we can still meet up for some long runs along the way! We’ll have to because even though I had my phone with me, I neglected to take a picture! Two bloggers meet up for a run and don’t take a picture? Did it even really happen then?

 

Thanks Jennifer for ignoring my awkwardness, and letting me tag along your training run. You are going to crush Buffalo Creek!!

Advertisements

Injury Update (Hopefully the last!)

A while ago, I shared that I was having some major issues with what ended up being diagnosed as Achilles Tendonitis.

I was given this bad ass boot to wear at night, a prescription for physical therapy 3 times a week for a month, and a follow up appointment 4 weeks after my initial meeting with a foot doctor.

And now it’s time for me to share that I never went to PT, and never went to my follow up appointment. Oops. In all fairness I really wasn’t able to commit to that kind of time this past summer, had to cancel my follow up and was never able to reschedule it.

Having said all of that though, I’m relieved to say that I am finally pain free! WAHOO!

How did that happen?

I did a few things on my own that helped immensely, and I feel really helped me get back on track

(1) At home “physical therapy”

Basically, I Googled ‘PT for Achillies Tendonitis” and did what I could at home, on my own schedule. Super cheap (FREE!), and very easy. I use two main stretches to help keep things loose:

The Stairs:

I place the ball of my foot on the edge of the step (and hold onto the railings because I can’t balance to save my life) and push my heel towards the floor.

Doesn't look like much, but, man does it feel GOOD!

Doesn’t look like much, but, man does it feel GOOD!

stretch 2

Don’t laugh at my cankles!

Feels so.good.!! To make sure I get the most out of this, I stretch on each step going up and hold it for about 5-10 seconds per foot. By the time I get to the top, there is no lingering tightness (is that a word? If not, it is now)!

   Tennis Ball.

Love this one so much. Gets all of that “tightness” out of my arches and my tootsies feel like new when I’m done. LOVE!!!

You're welcome for keeping my socks on for these pictures, by the way. I can assure you, it's not pretty.

You’re welcome for keeping my socks on for these pictures, by the way. I can assure you, it’s not pretty.

The second, and my most favorite…

(2) Wearing high heels again!

Can I get an AMEN?! When my tendonitis started to act up (back in FEBRUARY!!), the first thing I did was ditch the heels and wear flats EVERY single day. I assumed, incorrectly, that the heels were a contributing factor to my problems. Every single article, blog, etc. that I read said that heels are terrible for runner and to burn them all. At my (only) doctor’s appointment, however, he told me to put those heels back on. I almost hugged him!! Honestly, I can’t remember the exact reason, but I think it’s because it takes some of the pressure off of the tendon. I could also be completely making that up, so don’t hold me to it.

So far, it seems that wedges work best for me and I’m now on the hunt for a pair of fall ankle booties that are sassy and stylish, and *hopefully* have a wedge as the heel! If you’ve seen any, point in the right direction mmmmkay? I still wear the flats, but never on running days. Anything to keep these legs happy!

(3) Taking time off.

When I made the decision to not run the Air Force Marathon, I really let up on my running schedule. Then, a week later, my stepfather passed away and running fell to the bottom of my priority list. For the entire month of August, I ran maybe 14 miles, and I was really happy with that. I was soo tempted to run the Montour Trail Half Marathon (my first ever half 2 years ago!) on the 6th , but I was feeling too good and didn’t want to rush back and risk having a full blown flare up again. I remembered my long term goals, and decided that there was no reason I needed to run that race. There was also no reason to rush back into an intense running schedule. I’ve been doing what I can, when I can and am A-Okay with that. Having said that, though, I am getting really excited to start a real training plan again and am really looking forward to running a race!

Taking that time off ,I think, is what really allowed me to heal.

I am so grateful to be back in “fighting shape”, and can’t wait to tackle training for the Nittany Valley Half in December! Hopefully you’ll still be following along 🙂 !

3

This post is a few days late, but I couldn’t let it pass by without acknowledging it!

Wednesday was our 3rd wedding anniversary!

024

This year has had a little more than it’s fair share of challenges, and I am so grateful that he’s been by my side every step of the way. I can honestly say that without Tall One, I would not have made through this. He is my rock, my better half and my soul mate.

On Wednesday, I made sure to 4 miles – one for every year we’ve been married, plus one more for good luck 😉 !

I am a sucker for weddings – tell me about yours 🙂 !!

Running is a gift

Since I still have a month before official training for the Nittany Valley Half Marathon starts, I’m taking September nice and easy! I’m running 2-3 days during the week and both Saturday and Sunday, and so far I feel great!

I’m keeping my weekday miles low, using Sunday as my “long” run day (right now I’m sticking to 6-9 miles), and making a real effort to dedicate one day per week to speed.  I’m not sure if it’s because the weather is changing (I can feel fall in the air!), or what, but running has just felt so good lately! I’m hitting paces I haven’t seen since I don’t know when, and certain routes that used to kill me I’m running with relative ease.  Running is fun again!  

My biggest concern right now is keeping my tendonitis from flaring up, and I’m doing that. It’s been great to go out and if I have to cut a run short due to tightness (has only happened once, so far. *knock on wood*) I do it and don’t worry that I’m “slacking” and missing out on miles. I’ve been able to enjoy every single run and appreciate the fact that I’m out there, doing what I love and grateful for every second of it.

Sometimes, I think it’s too easy to get caught up in the training and the goals and look at a run as necessary and ‘I HAVE to get these miles in!!!’ and dread it, when in reality – it’s a gift. Make sure you enjoy it!!!

 

Where’s Wilbur?

Wilbur is the youngest member of our furry family.

 

A few days after we brought him home (left) and now

A few days after we brought him home (left) and now

We rescued him as a stray last October, and he’s been ruling our house ever since! He went from a 1.75 pound ball of fuzz and fleas to this handsome stud practically overnight!

In true cat fashion, he is of the firm belief that if you can’t see his face or that if he can’t see you  then he is invisible. You’ll be walking past a couch, or curtains, a blanket, or door and all you see is a long, fuzzy gray tail sticking out. I’ve started capturing this and posting it to Instagram with the caption #whereswilbur ?  

They are too cute not to share – hopefully they bring a smile to your Monday!

 

where'swilburcollage

 

PS – you can follow my shenanigans on Instagram here! There are plenty of cats, running, food and cats.