Thursday, February 10, 2011

It Wasn't Pretty, But I Did It...

I said I was going to go for a run this morning, and I kept my word. It was only a mile, but this is the first mile that I've run since October so that has to count for something.

Let me back up a bit, and then I'll get to the run....

If you read yesterday's post, you know that I have been following my friend's progress as he trains for a 10k. We chatted a bit yesterday and he got me motivated to get back into it. I told him I was going to start by going for a short run in the morning. I was pretty excited about it. This was all during my normal work day. Unfortunately, Wednesdays are my day from hell for the week and I don't get to go home and relax at 5 pm. I had to go to class until close to 10 pm that night. (More on this in another post.) As the night slowly passed, I started thinking more about how tired I was going to be in the morning and how I was not going to want to get up and run. But every time that thought came into my head, I told myself to stop whining and deal with it.

So I get home from school right at 10:00 and my amazing boyfriend had dinner waiting for me. I know, eating at 10 pm is not ideal, but when you work from 8:00 to 5:00 and then go to class from 5:30 to 9:40, you don't have much of a choice. So we had dinner (baked cod, roasted squash and zucchini, and cous cous), watched some TV and talked about our day. I think we made it to bed a little after 11:00 and I crashed.

When my alarm went off this morning, I got up surprisingly easy. I tip toed out of the bedroom so I wouldn't wake Mike and got dressed in my running gear that I had remembered to set out before bed. I leashed up the mutt (this really is a term of endearment in my house--we absolutely LOVE this creature.) and headed out into the cold. We did our normal walk around the block to get his business out of the way and then I started the Garmin and away we went. I think Roman was a little shocked when we didn't make the turn back to home, but he quickly got over it and fell in stride beside me. He really is a great running long as there isn't a soul around to distract him.

We finished our slow mile in right at 11 minutes (Ugh...I have a lot of work to do to get back in to the groove) and then walked the last couple blocks back home. I'm glad I misjudged the route a little because I needed those blocks to convince my lungs to stop screaming from the shock of the cold air. I probably could have gone further than a mile, but it's been so long that I didn't want to push it too much. I vividly remember the pain I felt while pushing through the Army Ten Miler and I don't want to deal with that again.

I'm not going to run tomorrow. For one, I want to access the situation and make sure my back is healed like I think it is. And the other reason is that Friday is the one day of the week that I don't have morning mutt duties. So I'm going to take advantage and sleep until 6:00. I do have Saturday off from my part time job, so I'm already planning on another run then. I might even push it up to a mile and a half!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Starting Over

It has been a long time since I last blogged...November to be exact. Ugh.

If you recall, I was injured after completing the Army 10 Miler back in October.  I had high hopes that it would be a quick recovery, but that was not the case. I ended up giving up on all running, and pretty much any other form of exercise as well. It was all just too painful. I started in with the chiropractor. I was saved by one many years ago when I was dealing with intense back pain, so I thought it would be a good idea to try it again. After many months, I am happy to say I'm back to being pain free. I still go to the chiropractor, but I'm now down to once every other week.

Now that I'm pain free, I really have no excuse for my complete lack of physical activity. Actually, I take that back....I have a ton of excuses....I work full time, I'm going back to school so all of my free time is spent reading and/or studying, I have a part time job, and I desperately want to have at a least a pathetic excuse for a social life. But this just isn't good enough, I need to figure out a way to make room for one more aspect of a healthy, well-rounded life. I need to get back in the gym and back out on the roads.

I have been motivated by reading the new blog from my friend, Art. He is currently going through a training program for the Monument Avenue 10k. He has some struggles, but he is seeing some amazing improvement and it is inspiring.

So here it is....I am going to go for a run in the morning. I've put it out there, so now I have to do it! Mind you, it has been a long, long time. I'll be lucky to get through a mile, but I have to start somewhere. And I know that I have a running buddy hanging out at home right now that will ecstatic to join me....the pup won't know what to do with himself when he realizes that our normally short morning walk around the block will turn into a 10 minute run around the neighborhood.

Get ready world...I'm back!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Three Things Thursday - The Sappy Love Edition

December 2009
Happy Thursday, Folks!  In honor of my two year anniversary with my wonderful boyfriend, Mike, today's three things are completely non-running related.

1. Yesterday, November 17th, was actually our anniversary.  Unfortunately, our schedules are kinda crazy right now, so we couldn't really celebrate.  We will be doing something this evening to make up for it.  Thursday is basically our only free evening all week.  I work full time, and he is a full time student.  He is also a bartender, so he works on the weekends.  It is difficult at times with our conflicting schedules, but he's worth it.  Seriously, look how handsome he is...  Besides, I'm very proud of him for going back to school and working as hard as he does.  I know that it won't be like this forever, so I can handle it.

2.  Mike and I met at the bar where he works, 3 Monkeys.  He was working the door that night, and I instantly had a small crush.  I kept an eye on him all night, but I figured that would be it and I may or may not ever see him again.  I am usually quite reserved, so going out of my way to pick up a guy is out of the question, but for some reason I got up the nerve to hit on him that night.  I guess it was fate, because we went out on our first date the following week and I've been smitten ever since.

3.  We started dating in November '08, moved in together in October '09, got a puppy together in January '10, and we are now celebrating two years.  These are just a few of the major milestones in our relationship, but there has been a lot of amazing little adventures along the way as well.  I look forward to seeing what happens next, and I hope to have many, many more adventures and milestones in the future.  I will leave you with a few more pictures to tell our story...
New Year's Eve

Hanging out on the James
Busch Gardens
A Friend's Wedding
Halloween - Mr. and Mrs. Smith
Our First Place

Mike's First Time Flying

A Little Beach Time (no swim suits--it was cold!)
I hope you enjoyed seeing some of our memories as much as I did putting them together.  I can't wait to see what the future holds...

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Starting from Scratch

I think the time has come to finally get back at it.  I haven't done much of anything, except long walks with the dog, since I seriously hurt myself in the Army Ten Miler on October 24th.  I have felt so unbelievably lazy for the past few weeks, but I couldn't really do anything about it.  For the longest time, even the walks with the pup were unbearably painful, but I knew that I would have a crazed monster on my hands if I didn't get rid of some puppy energy.  Those walks, and all of my daily activities, are now pain free.  This has been the case for about a week now, but I was so afraid of the pain coming back, so I continued to be obscenely lazy take it easy.  I am now going out of my mind; I NEED to exercise.

I plan to start slow, and build back up.  I know that I can't just jump back into it like nothing happened.  I might not even run for a while longer and just stick with weights and other forms of cardio.  I would really LOVE to do some swimming, but the damn Gold's Gym is taking forever and a day to get the new pool ready.  I called up to the gym this weekend to ask about the pool and was told it should be ready by mid-December.  I won't hold my breath.  (Sorry about that random temper tantrum.)  In the meantime, I will just stick to the bike and elliptical and gradually work running back into the mix.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed that all of this down time and the numerous dates with my new best friend, the chiropractor, has been worth it.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Three Things Thursday

The weekend is almost here!  If I can just make it through one and a half days of work first....

1.  This Saturday is the SunTrust Richmond Marathon, McDonald's Half Marathon, and the HCA VA 8k.  I'm not running any of the races due to my injury, but I'm still VERY excited about it!  I live in the Museum District and will be just be a short walk from all three courses.  One of my best friends, Allison, will be running in the 8k this year so I'm looking forward to cheering her on to an awesome time!  (And she's in this picture from last year's half - the girl wearing a long sleeve black shirt)  I know of quite a few other people who will be running the races...some of them from the blog world (TMB, misszippy, momof3, David H.) and a few local friends (Heather, Michael, Maria).  I already have the three routes printed and my game plan mapped out.  Yay for spectating!

Not gonna lie...this freaks me out every time!
2.  I have another chiropractor appointment third this week.  I am finishing up my second week of treatment, and I can already see some improvement.  I'm not loving the amount of money I have to spend for this, but I believe it will be worth it in the end.  I went to a chiropractor 4 or 5 years ago when I was having so much pain after all of my back surgeries and it was amazing.  I am confident that chiropractic care is what got me off of all the pain medicine back then.  I'm hoping I have the same experience this time around.  I'll go into more detail about all of this in a future post.

He said I could use any pic, but he might kill me for this one
3.  Last, but not least....and a perfect subject on Veteran's Day...  I'm very excited because I have plans lined up to spend Friday evening with my good friend, Sean.  He is in the Army and will be deployed back to the Middle East early next year.  We don't get to hang out nearly enough, but I'm going to do my best to change that leading up to his deployment.  He'll be gone for a year and at that point we will only get to be pen pals.  He has already told me how much he will appreciate it, and I just think that is the least I can do for someone who is sacrificing so much so the rest of us can be free and safe.  Sean is definitely a hero in my book!  ...and to make amends for posting his cheesy picture, I will post one more to show his tough side...

This one looks Army Strong!

Ok folks, that's all for now.  In case I don't post tomorrow...I want to send good luck to all runners on Saturday.  I'll be on the lookout for folks I know.  Look out for me.  8k folks...I'll be at Grace and Robinson, just after you make the turn to head back downtown.  For those running the half and full, I'll try to be at Monument and the Boulevard for a bit and then head down to Grace and Lombardy.  Yay!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Long Time, No Post...And a Quick Army Ten Miler Recap

Hello everyone!  I hope this post is the start of my return to the blog world.  I have been MIA for a few weeks now, and I apologize.  In addition to being quite busy, I have to admit that I have also been staying away because of a small case of running depression.  Let me fill you in...
I have been having a lot of pain in my lower back recently, so I took a little time off to let it heal.  All seemed to be going well, so I did two short (about 3 miles each) runs during the week leading up to the Army Ten Miler on October 24th.  Both runs were pain during or I thought I was good to go.  My PT also agreed that whatever was causing the pain, most likely my degenerative discs, had calmed down and I was back to normal.  This made me so happy because I had been looking forward to this race for months.  My lovely friend, Megan, asked me if I would like to take her husband's bib.  He is in the Army, and they knew when they registered that there would be a chance that he wouldn't be around on race weekend.  That turned out to be the case, so I was lucky enough to get the chance to transfer in to the sold out race. 

Eek!  The excitement! (I'm WAY in the back!)

Race day comes and I'm feeling great.  Megan and I set out at a decent pace and we were passing folks right and left for the first 4 miles.  And then it happened...a small twinge of pain in my lower back.  It was just a passing pain, so I had high hopes that it wouldn't come back and we could keep it up.  By mile 5, I knew this wasn't the case.  It had come back a few more times over that mile and I just knew it was going to keep getting worse.  At mile 5, I told Megan to go on without me and I was going to stop and walk for bit to access the situation.  I walked for just a minute or two and the pain was gone, so I tried to pick it up again.  I made it to the 6 mile mark and decided to stop again and walk through the water stop.  By this point, I knew that running the rest of the race was not going to happen.  The only way I could finish was if I added in the walking breaks to give my back a rest.  At first I hoped I could run a mile, and then walk for a minute or two...that seemed like it would work, but it only lasted one cycle.  It was then, run half a mile and walk a bit.  This worked until I hit mile 9.  At this point, I was hurting A LOT.  The walking only gave me a slight break in the pain.  I probably did more walking than running for that last mile.  I'm sure the pain was evident on my face; it took everything I had not to just stop and cry. (Pathetic, I know.)  Then I heard someone say, "The finish like is just around the curve."  I refused to walk across the finish line, so I just told myself to suck it up and give it everything I had to run across the finish line.

So, I did complete the Army Ten Miler.  I finished in 1:56:17.  Definitely not a great time, but considering all the time I had to take off leading up to the race and the insane pain I was feeling during the race, I'm ok with it.  Despite all the pain and discomfort, I really enjoyed this race.  My mom was there to support me, I got to spend time with one of my best friends, the race atmosphere was incredible, and I was wearing a super cute camo skirt (Sorry, I don't have any was tight, so I didn't mess with taking a camera).  I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I can fix whatever it is that seems to be broken with me and run this race again next year.

I think that is enough for now.  I will wait until the next post to give you the low down on what has happened since the race.  I'll give you a small hint...there hasn't been any running...thus my depression.  Ugh.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

I've been MIA

I realize that I have been MIA from the blog world for a couple weeks now.  It has been a crazy time for me...birthdays, out of town guest (my momma!), trip to DC for the Army Ten-Miler, very busy at work, and contemplating a BIG change in my future.  Unfortunately, my blogging time has been slim to none because of this.  I hope to get back at it next week...and a recap from the Army Ten-Miler is forthcoming.

Ok, that was my quick check-in.  Sorry for the short post, but I have LOTS of work to do!  See you soon!  And in the meantime, please enjoy a small peek at the birthday celebrations... :)

No really, he is VERY excited