Achieved a goal…maybe?

Nature is cruel.

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Again, for the second day in a row, we had gooorgeous weather all day long…until we got out of meetings.  Then it started storming, HARD.  So, bye-bye, beach.  I have one more day to maybe dip my feet in the ocean!  Cross your fingers.

Happily, though, the rain was good for my plans to take a longer than usual run.

We don’t have a full-length mirror at home, so I used the hotel’s to take a full-length picture of me in all my running gear glory.0604 002Love my lucy shorts and BondiBand.  These are two of my favorite things lately.  Seriously.  

Pre-run snackage:

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My camera ate my lunch picture, but I ate about 1/3 of a Starbucks chicken caesar salad and a Dannon Light n’ Fit yogurt.   I wasn’t that hungry, and the buffet for lunch was gross-looking greasy Chinese that turned my stomach.  (I’m sure it was good, I’m just not a big Chinese food fan, especially not before a run!)

Anyway, I wasn’t totally feeling a run, so I challenged myself to beat a goal I’ve had in my goals tab for awhile—run 10K in under an hour.  I figured giving myself a mission would make it a little more fun!

And…I did it.  6.2 miles in 59:47.  It was HARD.  The gym was humid and I sweated more than I have in a long time.  But it felt good!  The thing is…I’m not sure I feel right crossing it off my goal list because it wasn’t a timed race.

In other news, these shoes feel fantabulous without orthotics.  I can’t remember the last time I ran a 10K and didn’t wind up with blisters or some kind of lower leg pain.  Eep!

In other OTHER news, we got to see 112 of our wedding pictures today online!  The gallery is password-protected so I can’t share, but we will have the full CD with several hundred images next week and I will do an exhaustive blow-by-blow wedding recap.

What do you say?  Did I reach my goal or not?

Salty, sweet, and carbs

I…am not posting pictures of most of what I ate today.  The “must have salt and sweet and carbs” PMS monster took over.  I put a huge dent in a bag of community pita chips at work.  There was a mid-afternoon Tootsie Pop.  It wasn’t pretty.

After work was better.  I decided, in the spirit of “To run faster, you have to run faster” to, well, run fast.  Two miles, fast.  17:36.  Average pace?  8:48!  I felt incredible.  It was hard, but not awful.  I just KNOW I can check off my goal of a 26:59 5K this year sometime.  I can feel it!

Unfortunately, it feels like this.

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Blisters.  Again.  On Monday, my feet were pristine—I got a pedicure the morning of the wedding, and God bless that Lisa, she took a cheese grater to them and they looked almost normal, save for the black toenail.

On my way home, I was counting the minutes until I could walk in the door and rip my shoes off.  I literally felt like my feet were being squeezed, HARD.  I don’t feel like my shoes are too small lengthwise, per se—but I feel almost like they’re too small from top to bottom, if that makes sense.  I think the orthotics take up a lot of room in the shoe and my foot feels kind of compressed.  Sigh.  As soon as I can, I’m paying a visit to the running store.  Again.  Ugh.

Dinner was my ultimate comfort food. 0519 002

There’s nothing like it when you’re feeling gross.  Obviously, this was totally healthy, because it was Annie’s mac n’ cheese and a whole wheat bun.  Right? 

One more work day until the honeymoon!  I’m dying here.  So. Excited.

Administrative note: Once I get our CD of professional pictures, I’m going to do full recaps of the wedding day!  Our photographer said we’d have them within a month of the wedding.

What foods do you lack self-control around?  For me, it’s chips of any kind—I’ll take a handful here and there until they’re gone, which is why I don’t buy them!  But when they show up at work…watch out.

Need for speed

Hummus craving?  Satisfied.

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Love it.  Although garlicky hummus breath is an issue.

I also had my usual spinach/balsamic combo, some cantaloupe (although it was hard and flavorless and I’m probably just going to dump the rest), and yogurt with granola.

Work today was CRAZY.  I wasn’t feeling the gym.  But I knew I should.

I decided that not feeling like going + blistering from the orthotics meant that I should keep today’s workout short.  I decided to run two miles.  After a mile, I decided to run much faster than I usually do and cranked the treadmill up to an 8:30 pace.  And…I felt fine.  It was hard, but not un-maintainably so.  In fact, I sped up and finished at a 7:50 pace!  All in all, I ran my second mile in 8:22, a new personal record for me.

While I was running so fast, (aside from biting my tongue REALLY HARD OW) I was thinking about fear.  I think I stick with “comfortable” numbers on the treadmill because I’m afraid of failing.  I know I can run a 9:50 mile, and I’ll do it well.  An 8:00 mile?  Scary.  I don’t know if I can do that.  I think my asthma is a factor here—I’m afraid that if I push hard, something bad will happen (although, realistically, I know my limits and would stop before that happened.)

I think the fact that I’m punching in a specific speed on a treadmill is holding me back.  Unfortunately, treadmill running is my best option for running most of the time.  I wonder how fast I’d be if I just found a flat surface and ran, you know?  So, from here on out…I’m going to run faster.  As Kath once wrote, “To run faster, you have to RUN FASTER.”  (Or something like that.) 

Even though I ran fast, and for less time than yesterday, my feet still blistered.  I’m beginning to accept that blistering just might be my normal (though I’m still going to try a wider shoe and see what happens).  Eff. 

In other news, we had our first kitchen fire today.

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Tim put it out quickly.  (He set a paper towel on a hot burner.) But our house is smelling a little smoky.  Oops.

Milhouse ran and hid.

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Buckley didn’t move. 0518 004

It’s comforting to know our animals would save us in a disaster.

Two more work days until the honeymoon!  And two questions:

1. How do you conquer your fears?

2.  Runners: how do you figure out your comfortable pace and stick with it?

Good omens

Today, Tim and I met for a lunch date at The Mixx. I was really impressed with their giant salads last time so we thought we’d try again.

I’ll take good omens in any form I can get them.  Like our order number.  (I feel like Kath!)  13 would have been better…but I’ll take it!

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I ordered a grilled chicken sandwich with Brie on a pretzel roll.  (I would probably eat a dirty sock if it was on a pretzel roll.)0407 002

I was nonplussed.  The chicken was basically the dry, cut up kind they put in salads, and it was just not good.  And it took them 15 minutes to get it to me!   Next time I’ll get a salad again.

More pretty springtime porn:

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Aside from the allergies, I love spring.  There’s a reason we’re getting married in May, and it’s because of all this gorgeous junk out there.

After the gym, I went for my last official run of my training plan!  I did two fast miles in about 18:30.  I felt great while I was running, but once I stopped..my left knee, shin, and ankle started aching.  I took the aggressive approach—I put on my Zensah compression sleeves immediately, and went home and massaged my leg with ice cubes for awhile.  Pain gone!  I’m going to take it easy—REALLY easy—until the race, and keep icing and foam rolling and crossing my fingers.

In other news, some components of various bridesmaids’ gifts arrived today!

The most adorable baby hat ever:

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And a Colts sweatshirt for the die-hard fan:

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Annnd the RSVP count shoots up again—67 yes, 44 no, 93 delinquent. 

This week has been pretty boring, but the fun starts Saturday!  Here’s what’s going on:

  • Saturday: Half Marathon! 
  • Sunday: Second bridal shower with Tim’s family
  • Monday: Get fitted for orthotics!
  • Tuesday-Thursday night: Vegas, baby!  I’ll be at a conference for work.  (And I’ve never been before!)
  • Friday-Monday: Napa Valley

Whee!  I’m excited.

Any must-sees in Vegas or Napa?  (I’ll be at Caesar’s Palace!)

April…hailstorms?

Confession: I forgot my camera at home today, so you get a lame iPhone picture.

I am still being ravaged by seasonal allergies, although today I had a stuffy/leaky nose rather than the raw throat/stomach thing of the last few days.  I’m hoping that’s a good sign?  I checked the allergen counts and they’re supposed to decrease this week, so that’s good, hopefully?

Lunch was boring.  This cantaloupe is not as good as the one I ate last week.

I had a few Shot Blocks before my run because my stomach was kind of growly.  I really like these, but they stick to my teeth!  I think they would bug me during a run.

 

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After work I went to the gym.  I decided to play with speed a little bit and ran 3 miles in 28:00.  Not a record or anything, but a good pace mostly pain free.  I will admit my left knee and ankle are twinging a tiny bit.

Apparently there was a hailstorm between the time I left the gym and got home.  Tim put them in a cup so I could take a picture for the blog.  See?  Hail.  April showers, indeed.  It is still pouring here!

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We officially have over half the RSVPs back!

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All these nice little notes make me smile.   And totally validate the hours I spent coated in tape goo with blisters from scissors!

I’m starting to get nervous about my half now that I KNOW I can run.  There are so many things that could go wrong—blisters, knee/foot/ankle/whatever issues, pukey-ness, falling on my face, asthma…I find myself just keep going over everything over and over again!  I still haven’t decided if I’m going to run with my Shuffle or iPhone, when/how much Gu I’m going to take, and so on.  It’s going to be a jittery few days around here.

At least I have a solid outfit picked out and tested.  That’s something, right?

Do you get nervous about racing?  What do you do to calm yourself down?

Back in the saddle

Yup.  You heard right.

Rewind.  This morning it POURED on my way to work.  Actually, when I left home, there was a hailstorm going on!  That was interesting.  This is what my commute looked like.  (At a red light, don’t worry.)

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Of course, things cleared up as soon as I stopped driving.

Spring has definitely sprung in these parts.  The grass is green and the flowers and trees are beautiful.

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Unfortunately, they’re also making me MISERABLE.

I seem to be extra-allergic to Kansas City.  All fall I could barely breathe, and now my sinuses are in mucous overdrive.  I felt better this morning than I did yesterday morning, but all day I was sniffling and sneezing and my eyes were watering.  (And I do take Zyrtec once a day, too!)  I also have a constant mildly queasy feeling from all the sinus muck building up in my stomach.  Blerg.  I hope this is gone by Saturday.

Today’s run was kind of a big deal to me.  Mentally, I NEEDED a good run under my belt to feel prepared for Saturday.  As per my taper plan, I ran four miles.  I kept the pace intentionally slow (10:00/miles) so as not to hurt anything just in case.

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It wasn’t particularly easy, given my allergies—breathing was a little harder than normal—but the good news is that my legs felt great!  No random shin/calf/knee/ankle pain.  Hallelujah.

Of course my feet blistered, though, despite coating them in antiperspirant pre-run.  Shocker.  I don’t even care at this point—in one week I’ll be fitted for my custom orthotics.  If anyone knows how to run with blisters, it’s me, and a new solution is in sight.

Anyway, it was a big relief to have a solid run under my belt.  It wasn’t speedy or easy, but it was definitely a-ok.  Phew.

In other news, people are very excited to come to our wedding!

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Bringing the updated total to 63 yeses, 36 nos, 105 delinquent.

Oh, and here’s some further proof that Southpaw and Milhouse are lovers.

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Yup.

What’s your favorite thing about spring?  I have to say, I love flip-flops and I don’t know what I’ll do now that I have a job where I can’t wear them to work every day! 

Low.

Happy fake Monday, dudes.  It wasn’t a great one.  I stayed up late last night writing thank you notes, and didn’t take a minute to myself from the time I got home to the time I went to bed.  I had a particularly vivid nightmare about being chased by Captain Hook and Mr. Smee that made me wake up in a cold sweat.

This, however, was good:

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Cantaloupe!  Is it in season now?  Because I was inspired to buy one yesterday, and that was a good decision.  It’s one of those fruits that I used to not like but now I do.  Maybe I’ll come around to honeydew soon!

It was supposed to be a morning snack, but I wasn’t really hungry for one, so I waited until lunchtime.  My lunch also included:   0330 002

A hunk of pretzel bread and a Wee Brie cheese.  (Not going to lie, I bought it largely because of the name.)

And a yogurt mess.

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Totally for the sake of the wedding, I finished things off with a caramel.  These are samples for our wedding favors!  They are delicious.  I think the guests will like them. 0330 004

Around 4 o’clock, I snacked on a Kind bar.  It was good, but tasted like a handful of mixed nuts, and mixed nuts are cheaper.  Oh well.  0330 005

Heh.  Nut Delight.  Giggle snort.

Anyway.  My plan was to try to get 5 miles in today.  Mentally, I wasn’t feeling it.  I just wanted a relaxing night at home with Tim and the zoo, but since I can’t work out tomorrow (another dress fitting!) and Thursday (podiatrist!) I went anyway.

I ran 1.25 miles.  And I quit because the pain was so bad.

What pain?  Well, let me preface this by saying I switched from the cushiony insoles from the running store to my regular shoe sockliner because my left knee and hips were complaining after last week’s long run disaster.  I figured the sockliner would make me blister, but at least my joints would be okay. 

Wrong.

Here is what hurt.  A LOT.

  • Left knee.  Less hurty than it was clicky and kind of loose and unstable feeling.
  • Left outside-of-the-shin muscle from my knee down to my ankle. 
  • Top of my left foot.
  • Blister on my right big toe from god knows what.
  • Right inside-of-the-shin muscle.

I haven’t run since Thursday, so my body has had four days off.  And everything from my knees down was just awful feeling.  My head knew that stopping was the smart thing to do.

I left the gym.  I walked to my car and I cried in the gym parking lot.

Oh, hell, I cried most of the way home, too, and when I saw Tim.

I did what Hal said.  But I have serious doubts about my ability to finish this half marathon, and I hate it.  I have given up so much time to training.   It’s days like today that make me want to throw in the towel and sit on the couch and get fat again.

Of course, the first thing I did when I stopped running was fat talk.

You ate so much crap this weekend.  No wonder your body is breaking down, it can’t carry all the weight.”

Who do you think you are trying to run a marathon?  You’re just the fat little kid in gym class.”

You’re not a runner.  You’re too fat to be a runner.  You never will be.  Runners are thin.”

And so on, and so on. 

I don’t know what I’m going to do right now.  I am so glad I have an appointment with a podiatrist on Thursday.  I hope I can get some answers, because I know the root of all these problems is in my feet.  Everything I have tried to make this better has just made it worse.

And so I’m feeling low.  Two weeks ago, I was 100% sure I would be able to finish.  Now I’m not so sure at all.