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

Monday, October 11, 2010

Weekend In Review

My weekend plans did a complete 180 on me.  What I thought I would be doing, I didn't do...and what I didn't plan on doing, I did.  Sometimes that's just how it goes.

Not exactly the case, but you get the point...

I had planned on running a 10k race this weekend, but unfortunately that did not happen.  As I mentioned in my last post, my back is giving me fits.  As of Friday evening, I had pretty much decided the race was not going to happen, but a part of me was still holding out hope.  I was keeping my fingers crossed that I would wake up Saturday morning and miraculously feel better.  That was not the case. 

I was pretty sure I wouldn't be getting up early to run, so I decided it wouldn't hurt to accept an invitation to paint with my boyfriend's mother again.  We have had one lesson already, so she thought we should go ahead and start working on an actual painting.  I still have a lot of work to do on it, but I'm pleased with what I have done so far. 

A work in progress
When I got up Saturday morning, I knew that the race was officially off the table.  I think that I could have powered through it, but I decided to be smart and not risk it.  I have the Army Ten Miler coming up in 2 weeks, and I REALLY want to run this race.  I decided I would much rather skip this 10k than risk causing even more damage and missing out on the big race in DC.

Now that I had some free time for the morning, I decided to take my pup down to the big Metro Richmond Pet Savers event.  The woman who fostered Roman until we adopted him at 3 months was going to be there.  We wanted to stop in for a quick visit so she could see how much he had grown.  She was very appreciative of the visit and couldn't believe how much he had changed.

I then spent the rest of Saturday enjoying the company of some girl friends.  We had a small get-together in the afternoon, and then met up again for dinner and wine later that night. 

Sunday was quite typical.  I did a lot of resting, relaxing, Skins watching, laundry, and I baked a pumpkin pie.  I LOVE pumpkin pie, so I can't quite figure out why I only make it in the fall.  Who's to say that you can't have pumpkin pie all year long?

Now that I have told you all about my run-free weekend on a running blog, I should finish my lunch and get back to work.  I hope to be able to talk about some amazing runs soon, but in the mean time, I will continue to read about all things running on some of my favorite blogs to keep me motivated during this frustrating time.

Have a great week!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

3 Things Thursday

I can't believe it is already Thursday.  I feel like this week is just flying by, which is JUST how I like it!

1.  It looks like I'm back on the Injured Reserve list.  I haven't run since Saturday.  My back is killing me.  I don't think it is anything that I did to cause an injury, I think it has just come to that time when my back has to have a little temper tantrum.  I have scoliosis, and have had 4 back surgeries.  I used to have pain and problems all the time, but luckily that isn't the case anymore.  Unfortunately, I still have problems from time to time.  One of the side effects of my spinal fusion is that I now have some degenerative discs.  Once in a while, I deal with "micro-movement" where my discs are moving just a bit to find a new alignment.  This only seems to happen about once a year, but when it does, it kills!  Just walking is painful.  Luckily I have at PT appointment already set up for this evening, so maybe my PT guy will have some advice to get me through this spell. 

2.  Tomorrow is my pup's first birthday.  And since I have become one of those crazy dog people, we are having a small birthday party for him.  Unfortunately we can't do it on his birthday because my boyfriend bartends on Friday nights, so we are having the party tonight.  I have a cake and a few other goodies for him and his friend, Winston.  Here is a preview...

3.  I was shopping at Target last night when I came across something that I had read about over at Rad Runner.  She mentioned this amazing lotion a while back and I just happened to find it.  I remember thinking at the time that I would love to try it, but then forgot about it.  Well, I'm glad I was lucky enough to stumble upon it.  If you have not heard of or tried this lotion, go get some now.  It smells amazing.  Rad Runner put it best when she called it a "little bottle of bliss." is making me hungry!
Well, there you have it...three random things on this lovely Thursday.  Friday will be here before you know and then...the weekend!  Good luck to everyone running races this weekend.  I know there are a lot of big ones on 10.10.10!  Very Exciting!  What do you all have planned for the weekend?

Saturday, October 2, 2010

September ends, October begins

September was a decent month, but far from great.  I spent half the month not being able to run.  Luckily that changed a couple weeks ago and I'm slowly getting back to where I was before being sidelined.  I only logged 25.3 miles this month.  I am looking forward to seeing what October brings as I continue to recover.

On the plus side, I have now been blogging for a full month now.  I have to say that I'm impressed that I have kept at it.  I wasn't sure if I would when I started, but I think now that I have made it a month, I shouldn't have any trouble staying with it.

But that's enough about last month.  I think I will save a full recap until next month when I will hopefully have much more exciting things to look back upon.

It looks like October is going to be a great month.  We are just two days into it and I have run both days, and volunteered for a race.  I have 2 races lined up this month, the American Family Fitness 10k on 10/9 and the Army 10 Miler on 10/24.  I am really looking forward to running a race in the nation's capital.  It is going to be amazing!  And on the non-running side, October brings two very important puppy turns 1 on the 8th and my boyfriend has his birthday on the 20th.  I need to do some thinking about what to do for Mike, but I already have plans for the pup.  I'm getting him a cake (yes, I'm one of those crazy people) and having his little dachshund friend, Winston, over to enjoy it with him.  This will be quite the sight, I'm sure!  And if all of this isn't great enough, my mom is flying in from Indiana to visit for a few days and she'll be here when I run the race up in DC.  FUN!

Now, let me tell you more about this morning's race...
Today was the Capital 10 Miler here in Richmond.  I didn't sign up to run it for two reasons--1) I wan't sure if my hip would be healed in time, and 2) I'm already running a 10 Miler later in the month and I didn't want to do too much.  So, I did the next best thing and signed up to help with the race.  I was assigned the job of course marshal and was pleased to see that I was to be posted not too far from my house.  I decided that instead of driving this morning, I would just walk.  I left my place at 6:30 and headed over to Byrd Park.  It was so peaceful walking this morning while most of the city was still asleep.  I walked along the Boulevard and passed by the new Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.  I have yet to check it out, but I hear it is wonderful.

Only 2 blocks from my place...why haven't I been yet!?!
As I was walking it occured to me that I haven't posted any photos of myself, except for my small profile picture.  So, I snapped a quick shot while walking past the museum.  You can see my new shorter haircut that I was debating about getting in a post last week.

I chopped off 6 inches last week...eek!
I made it to my post early, so I just sat down on a bench and enjoyed watching the day begin.  I drive by this little lake every time I take the pup to the dog park, but I have never stopped.  I think it is lovely.

The race started at 7:30.  I was posted at the 3.5 mile mark, so it wasn't long before the speedy runners came through.  Unfortunately, once the runners started coming through, I wasn't able to take any more photos...I was too busy clapping, and cheering, and yelling.  It was so much fun.  And the best part was getting to see so many folks that were on my training team this summer.  I was able to give a few extra shouts to my friends Heather, Maria, and Nigel!  They were all doing great!

It didn't take long, and all the runners had come through.  It was time to head on back home.  I called and talked to my momma on the 1.2 miles back to the house and then promptly went inside and changed into my running gear.  I couldn't stand not running after seeing all my teammates kicking butt at the race.  I ended up doing 6 miles in 1 hour and 6 minutes.  I would have liked to have gone further, but I had already walked 2.5 miles, so I decided 6 miles was good enough.

I have now rambled on, and on, and I will stop now.  I should finish getting cleaned up so I can take the pup out for a short walk before heading out to spend the evening with my friend, Allison.  Dinner and girl talk...sounds like a perfect Saturday night.

Hope you all are having a great weekend!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

An Early Morning Run Feels So Good

My alarm went off at 4:30 this morning.  I admit, I did hit the snooze once, but that still got me out of bed by 4:40.  This is rare for me.  I always go to bed with intentions of waking by 5:00 to get in that early run, but that rarely happens.  I can't seem to make myself get out of bed.  Once I'm up, I'm golden, but putting both feet on the ground is quite possibly the hardest part of my day.

This morning was different.  The reason?  One word, or actually one name...Allison.  My wonderful friend, Allison, is solely responsible for getting my lazy rear out of bed this morning.  She asked me last night if I would like to run with her this morning.  Once I agreed, she told me that she would be at my place at 5:00.  That was all I needed...a little bit of accountability.  I knew that I couldn't reset my alarm like I am notorious for doing.  I had to be up and ready because Allison would be waiting for me.  I couldn't let her down.  Not only am I appreciative of her for being the kick in the butt that I needed, but it means a lot that she is willing to slow down her much speedier pace to run with me.

So, I crawled out of bed at 4:39 this morning.  It was so early, Roman had to be coaxed from his bed, too.  Luckily I had the presence of mind to set out my running gear the night before so i didn't have to waste time digging in the drawers trying to find a pair of matching socks.  I got dressed, fed the cats, and took Roman for a quick lap around the block so he could do his business.  Just as I was heading back inside to put Roman back in bed, Allison pulled up.  Perfect timing.

I came back downstairs, turned on the Garmin, and we were off.  There was a light rain for the whole run, but it really felt nice.  It was just warm and humid enough, that the rain was more than welcome.  It was so nice being out there so early.  I don't know when was the last time I ran down Monument Ave and only encountered a handful of cars.  We didn't even see any other runners for the longest time.  We stayed on Monument until we hit the 1.5 mile mark and then turned to head back.  We made a few turns on our way back, so we ended with just over 3 miles.  We did 3.39 miles in 34:42.  I was even pleasantly surprised to see that we managed negative splits.  That doesn't happen too often for me!

I really enjoyed this run.  I hope we can plan to make this happen at least once or twice a week.  If I keep at it, I will surely get used to the early morning wake up, right?  How do you early birds do it?  Any suggestions would be great!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Maymont X-Country Festival 5k

Wow, this was hard!  This race was by far one of the most difficult runs I have ever had.  I know that seems silly with it only being a 5k, but it's true.  There were many contributing factors to making this such a horrible run.  Let's take a look, shall we....

1.  It was 95 degrees and humid!  It was September 24th, the second day of fall.  That just isn't right!  The previous week had me spoiled with highs in the low 80's, and then Mother Nature had to go and ruin it for me!

2.  I have never run a cross country race.  Well, not just a race, I have never run anything cross country style.  I am a loyal road runner, and after this race I think I will keep it that way.  I was naive enough to believe that running in the grass would be great as it would be much easier on my bum hip...that was not the case.  The entire race was uphill, downhill, uphill, downhill.  You get the picture.  And the few sections that were flat were not really flat.  I felt like I was leaning to my left or right the entire race.  This was probably the hardest part on me as it was really tough on my hip.

A glimpse of Maymont
3.  This was my first race after recovering from my injury.  And in all honestly, I don't know if I would go as far as saying that I have recovered.  I'm much better, but I'm still not back to normal.  Something is still just not right.  I probably was not quite ready to race again, and I know for sure that a cross country race was not the best choice for my comeback.

I was far from pleased with my performance, but I'm going to learn from it and move on.  I ended up finishing in 34:54, which is definitely not a time that I'm proud of.  On a more positive note, I'm proud of myself for trying something new.  Now it's time to think ahead and get myself ready for the American Family Fitness 5k/10k in a couple weeks.  I'm still a little up in the air on which race I'll do.  I'm leaning towards the 10k, but I know I have the 5k to fall back on depending on how I'm feeling over these next two weeks.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Three Things Thursday

Thursday is almost over, but there's still time for my little list.  I'm so glad that Friday is almost here!

1.  Tomorrow is my first race in almost a month, and my first 5k since July.  I'm running in the Maymont X-Country Festival that is being held this weekend in Richmond.  There are races Friday evening, as well as most of the day on Saturday.  It is a really cool event with distances ranging from 1 mile to 8 miles.  This will also be my first time running a cross-country race as opposed to a road race.

2.  I have been quite the lucky girl this week.  On Sunday I learned that I won a Tarma Designs necklace in a giveaway hosted by Momma of 3 on the Run.

Then on Monday I found out that I won a pair of Zensah Compression Leg Sleeves from Thomas at Beyond Fatigue, Pain and ACTN3.  Now, I just need to decide what color I want.  I'm considering the yellow, but then I think I should just stick with black.  The pressure to choose is killing me!

3.  I had already planned to take off early from work tomorrow because of the race.  It is at 6pm, so there would be no way to make it in time if I worked until my normal time.  After getting an e-mail from my salon about their Friday specials, I'm now going to take advantage of my half day and get a cheap haircut too.  I'm in desperate need as I haven't had my hair cut since May.  I'm really bad at putting this off in an attempt to save money, but I'm now at a point where it just needs to be done.  I always have grand ideas of changing it up and doing something new and fun (not as drastic as TMB @ Racing with Babes...she has guts that I don't have!), but in the end I just get the ends trimmed and I'm out the door.

Ok, time to wrap this up and get dinner going.  Hope you all have a wonderful Friday!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A Very Tired Suzi

Wednesday morning is the the hardest part of my week.  This is all because of the craziness that is Tuesday.  I work from 8:00 to 4:45 at my full time job and then turn right around and work at my part time job from 5:30 to 9:00.  That by itself is exhausting enough.  Then you throw in not going to bed until well after 11:00 on Monday night and getting up at 5:30 the next morning so there is time to walk the pup before getting ready for the day.

Yesterday had a little something extra thrown in as well, as trip to the dentist.  I don't know of anyone who likes going to the dentist...and if you do, shame on you!  I hate going to the dentist, but this may be because I ALWAYS have something wrong EVERY TIME I go!  Luckily I have what appear to be great teeth. (Thanks mom and dad for getting me those braces back in the day.)  Unfortunately they aren't as healthy as they appear.  I apparently inherited very poor enamel from my folks, so I have to work much harder than most people just to keep them healthy.

Yeah, something like that.
Anyway, sorry about that little dentist tangent.  Now back to my little rant....

So, long work day is finally over.  I could have come home and vegged on the couch while waiting for Mike to come home, but no, I was a good girl.  I changed into my best nighttime running gear, grabbed the pup, and headed out for a quick run at 9:30 pm.  We only did 2 miles, but that's all I had in me.  I guess I should just be proud of myself for getting out there at all when all I really wanted to do was lay on the couch and never move again!

And not only did I run, I also put together a quick meal so that Mike would have something to eat after spending all evening in class.  Ok, I admit that it wasn't a whole lot of effort on my part as I did just heat up a can of veggies and the rotisserie chicken that I picked up earlier.  But it's the thought that counts, right?!?  The food is ready when he walks in the door, so we grab our plates and head into the living room to catch up on the latest episode of Weeds.

The show is over, it is now past 11:00 once again, and I'm ready to pass out.  So pass out I did.  I'm pretty sure I was asleep within two minutes of my head hitting the pillow.  Bliss!  Too bad the sound of that damn alarm clock came so soon.  Now where is my caffeine IV....

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Weekend Recap

Friday:  I got up early and went for a short run before work.  This is not something I like to do as I LOVE to sleep, but it had to be done.  I originally planned on running Thursday evening, but that just didn't happen.  I was a bit worn out from my hour long lower body workout PT appt, and by the time I got home my boyfriend was already home asking about dinner.  I decided to pass on the run that evening and take care of it Friday morning.  So that's exactly what I did.

My work day was uneventful, but my evening was a lot of fun.  My boyfriend's mother does a lot of watercolor painting and she had invited me to come over for a lesson.  I was a bit nervous about this since I don't have a creative/artistic bone in my body, but I was interested in giving it a try.  I went over to her place around 7, and after we finished dinner, we moved in to the art room.  She was all prepared and had a great lesson for me.  I didn't paint anything exciting, just a bunch of circles.  Since I had never done anything like this, the first step is to just learn how the paint reacts to the the paper and to other paint.  It was very interesting and a lot of fun.  I'm looking forward to my next lesson.

 Saturday:  I got up early on Saturday to head to Mechanicsville to volunteer with the RRRC for the ReeseStrong 5k.  It really is a lot of fun.  I wish I could have been running in the race, but this is the next best thing.  I'm looking forward to volunteering at many more races with the RRRC.

For the rest of the afternoon, I pretty much took it easy.  I may or may not have snuck in a nice nap while my boyfriend, Mike, was doing homework.

Later that night we went over to see a couple that we like to hang out with quite a bit.  We ordered in some food, had a few drinks, talked, and played some RockBand.  It was a fun evening.

Sunday:  Despite a late night, I was a good girl and got up early for a long run.  Now, it wasn't as long as many of you who are right in the middle of marathon training, but it was the longest run I have done since my half marathon the last weekend of August.  I met up with my friend, Crystal, and we set out on a nice 6 mile run.  It went really well.  I had a little hip pain, but not too bad.  Crystal also did a great job.  This was her first outdoor run since May or June; she has been running on a treadmill all summer.  I had already planned on doing a longer run this morning, but I was so happy when she got a hold of me to see if I would like to run with her.  I think we did a good job of motivating each other to keep going.  We decided to go just a bit further and ended at a nice even 10k.

After the run, I didn't do much of anything else for the rest of the day.  I did take Roman on a walk.  I think we ended up getting in just under 2 miles.

And now, I'm finishing up this post and then I'm going to head to bed.  Mike is bartending tonight, so I'm going to take advantage and crash early tonight.

I hope you all had a great weekend as well, and that you will have a great week ahead of you.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Three Things Thursday

I'm new to the blog world, but this seems to be the cool thing to do on Thursday.  So, here goes...

1.  If you haven't noticed all the great giveaways going on right now, you must be blind.  If you do have your sight and you just didn't realize what you were missing, please look along my sidebar and see what's out there.  I do want to point out one in particular though.  This one is a bit different as it is a raffle, so a donation is required to participate.  It's worth it though.  It's for a great cause, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's Team in Training, and there are lots of great prizes.  Head on over to Courtney's blog and get involved!

2.  Fettuccine Alfredo is one of my favorite meals, but I know that it is dreadfully unhealthy.  I was browsing recipes at Runner's World yesterday and I came across a healthier version created by Rocco DiSpirito.  You can find the recipe HERE if you would like to give it a try.  I wasn't sure how it would turn out, but it was actually pretty good.  It definitely isn't the real thing, but close enough if it is going to help keep some extra weight off my hips and rear.  I would definitely make it again, but I am trying to think of ways to tweak it a bit.

3.  It has been 2 weeks since my last PT appointment.  I'm heading back this evening to check in on my mysterious condition.  I'll be interested to see how it goes and hear his thoughts.  I feel like I'm getting better.  I'm at least getting out and logging a couple miles at a time, but something is still off.  I just wish we could nail it down and move on.  On a side note, I was lazy this morning and didn't get out of bed in time to go for a morning run.  I'm hoping I'm not too sore after my appointment and I can sneak in a quick run before it's time to make dinner.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Small Steps

I just got back from a 2 mile run.  On one hand, I'm extremely excited to be getting back out there.  On the other, I'm so frustrated that after all my hard work this summer, I feel like I'm starting over...only 2 miles?!

I haven't been able to run in over 2 weeks and this is the first real run I've had.  It went well; not too much pain during the run, but now I'm sitting at home with ice on my hip and leg.  I'm doing this mostly as a preemptive measure against further injury, but at the same time I feel like it's a bad sign that I'm feeling the need to ice after only 2 miles.

Has anyone been in this situation?  Did you find it as frustrating as I do?

Despite the little bits of frustration and negativity that keep creeping in, I try to tell myself to stay positive.  Small steps can lead to something so big.  Besides, it could be so much worse, right?

Weekend Review

I had my first early Saturday morning shift since May at my part time job this weekend.  I'm broke as a joke (working for the state is not as glamorous and high-paying as some would imagine *grin*), so I decided to start working part time in the fitness center of a country club in the winter of 2008.  I don't work a ton of extra hours, as I already have full time job to keep me busy, but enough to see a little extra in my bank account each month.  I got to a point where Saturday mornings were my main shift.  I would go to bed super early on Friday nights, and get up around 4:30 the next morning to get ready and be there to start opening up around 5:30.  I know that sounds horrible, but it wasn't so bad.  My boyfriend is a bartender and works every Friday night, so it isn't like I was missing out on quality time with him.  Anyway...I pretty much worked every Saturday morning up until May when I decided to join a training team to train for my first half marathon.  The group did our long runs on Saturday morning, so I obviously couldn't be in both places.  After a lot of consideration, I decided to take the summer off from my part time job and just focus on running.  And now that the race had passed, I'm back on the job.  I will keep running and training for future races, but now I can do it on my own time.  I now have the confidence to do those long runs without the group.

I was so pumped about my first successful running attempt on Friday; I wanted to give it another go on Saturday.  After a nice afternoon nap to recharge, I headed out with the pup to try it again.  This time around we did 2.5 miles.  We walked a little so I could take a minute or two to assess the situation and make sure that I wasn't hurting anything, but we did run most of it.  Again, there was a little pain afterward, but nothing intense.  I did go home and ice, but all in all I think it was a success.  I'm looking forward to getting back out there this evening after work.  I'll let you know how it goes.

I decided to rest my legs on Sunday.  I was feeling good, but I don't want to rush back into it too soon and then have to take another giant step back.  Instead of running I went out to volunteer for a local race, the Runner Bill's K-9k.  When I heard about this race, I really wanted to run in it because it benefits the Richmond Animal League (RAL) here in Richmond.  This is the shelter where my wonderful pup, Roman, came from.  Unfortunately, my leg wasn't up for this run, so I decided the next best thing was to volunteer.  I was one of the course marshals and I really enjoyed it.  I liked seeing the faster runners hauling down the course...this isn't a sight I'm used to as I'm normally closer to the back of the pack.  The only negative about the race is that the turnout was rather small.  Now that I think about it, I wish I had been up for running this one...I probably would have had an age group finish!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Things are Looking Up...and a Few Other Random Thoughts

Anyone who has taken the time to read my blog up to this point knows that I've been struggling with some hip and leg issues.  Well, tonight I have seen my first real sign of improvement.  As I was walking my pup down Monument Ave, I started thinking about how I often see folks running in the grassy median.  I have always been one to stick to the sidewalk, but at that moment it occurred to me that maybe I could try to run a bit on the softer grass and maybe it wouldn't be quite as much pressure on my leg as is the unforgiving concrete of the sidewalk.  To my delight, that was exactly the case.  I'm not going to say that it was 100% pain free, but it was as close to it as I have come in quite sometime.  I'm not going to hold my breath just yet that I'm completely on the mend, but this has at least given me some hope.

All in all we did 3.34 miles.  A good majority was walking, as that's what we started out doing, but we finished strong once I found the courage to give running a try.  I can say that my pup sure wasn't expecting that workout.  I think that may be the longest walk/run he has had up to this point in his short life...and he is BEAT!


Now on to a few random thoughts...

I won a Twitter contest last month through K-SWISS and Josh Cox.  I won a pair of the new Blade Light Run shoes.  Well, they finally came in the mail yesterday.  I really like them, but I think they are just a little too small.  I had never worn K-SWISS shoes before so I just told them a 10.5 like I have worn in every other running shoe I have had.  I guess these run a little different in size and I need an 11. (Side note--yes, I know, I have huge feet!)  I hope they will let me send them back and exchange sizes!

The Kicks

I had a moment of weakness today.  After reading many blog posts over the past week that have mentioned cupcakes, I have been craving them like crazy!  After work today I stopped by the local cupcake shop, Carytown Cupcakes, and picked up a few.  Now let's see if I can keep from eating all of them!


Ok, well, I guess that's all for now.  I'm off to bed.  4 AM will be here before I know it.  Now if only I was waking up that early for a good long run...but no, this is for my part time job.  Yes, I'm crazy.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Getting Frustrated

I haven't been for a run in over a week now.  I'm starting to lose my mind!  Ever since my race, my right leg has been bothering me like crazy.  I have seen my physical therapist twice since then, but to no avail.  I have been resting, icing, stretching, and doing my PT exercises; nothing seems to be working.  OK, maybe I shouldn't say that it isn't working.  I do feel like it is getting a little better, but it just isn't getting there fast enough.  I'm dying to get out there and run, but I just can't do it yet.  I have been getting in some good long walks in, but that just isn't doing it for me.  Isn't it strange that I can walk without any trouble, but if I try to put any extra pressure on my leg it kills me?!? 

What's really interesting is that as much as this is bothering me, it is bothering my PT just as much.  He just can't seem to figure out what is causing the pain.  We are sure that it all relates to my back issues, but not quite sure how.  My PT has done all kinds of poking and prodding and twisting and turning and nothing seems to jump out as a major cause for concern.

Not only is this frustrating, but I'm starting to get a little worried as well.  I have a few big races coming up, and if I don't get back to training soon, I'm really going to struggle.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed that some day this week I'll wake up and everything will just feel better.  I'll keep you updated.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

If anyone is out there....

Here's a chance to win a Garmin for yourself.  Click on the link and follow his simple entry rules.  Doesn't hurt to try...

I'll keep my fingers crossed for you.  Let me know if you win!  Good Luck!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

It's Here!

Today was the longest day ever.  Why?  I couldn't wait to get home to see if my new Garmin Forerunner 305 had been delivered.  And what do you know, the UPS lady showed up at exactly the same time as I did!

I have been dying to get a Garmin ever since I started training for my half marathon back in May.  Now that the race has finally come and gone, I was pretty sure it was high time to get one.  I deserve it, right?  13.1 miles is no small feat!

I'm pretty sure my boyfriend thought I had completely lost my mind when I started doing a little happy dance in the middle of the kitchen upon walking through the door.  Now if only I didn't have to let it charge for 3 hours before taking it for a spin.  Oh well, I wasn't up for a run today as I'm still trying to let my leg heal up a bit from Saturday's race.  Maybe tomorrow????

Physical Therapy

While training for my first half marathon, I started having a lot of issues with my right hip and leg.  I battled through it for a couple of my long runs, but soon decided that something was wrong and I needed to get it checked out.  It seems that my scoliosis (more on this later) has done a number on my hips.  They are so twisted and tilted that it shouldn't be a surprise to find out that all my running was starting to cause some trouble.

I went to see the Sports Medicine doc and he decided to put me into physical therapy.  At this point, I was 3 weeks from the race and my training had already taken a serious hit.  My only hope of making it through the race was to dive into therapy and hope for the best.

When race day came around, I knew that I had made some improvements, but I was still a long way off from being "normal".  (I say this in quotes because I'm pretty sure I will never have a normal, healthy runner's body.)  I made it through the race, but it was definitely painful and I had to take more walking breaks that I would have liked.

I'm still in PT, and I just had my first post-race session last night.  The good news is the race didn't do any major damage, but I'm definitely having some flare-ups because of it.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I will keep seeing more and more improvement and I will eventually get to a point where I can run pain free.  Oh, that day will be amazing....

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Let's Get Started...

I completed my first half marathon this past Saturday, the Patrick Henry Half Marathon in Ashland, VA.  It was tough, and my time was pretty horrible, but it has me motivated to keep working hard.  I will be doing another half in November, so I'm really hoping to see a huge time improvement.

I have come across quite a few running blogs, and I have loved reading them.  I'm hoping that by starting my own, I will keep myself motivated and hold myself accountable to get out there each day and keep running.

I haven't quite decided what training plan I will use, but I have few days to narrow it down.  I'm using this week to recover from Saturday's half and I'll get back into it full force on Monday.  I'm sure I'll do a couple runs in the mean time, but nothing too serious.

OK, let's see where this takes me....