Showing posts with label 5K. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 5K. Show all posts

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Vacation and Returning to Routines

It's no fun returning to your normal routine after vacation. After an average of 10 hours sleep a night and no alarms, setting the clock for 5:30 a.m. made me shudder. I could hardly sleep Thursday night, it's a good thing I returned to work on Friday I guess. One day to ease into it.

Running was great on vacation however my motivation since I returned home four days ago is a little low.

I did have one goal for myself on vacation and I am sad to say I didn't meet it. I wanted to run a half at least once while I had the benefit of crisp mountain air but my longest distance ended up being 10 miles. That seems to be some kind of personal wall for me and I need to find a way to crack it. Of course, I didn't carry any water for that run and that wasn't so smart, but finding that little extra you need to keep pushing evaded me that morning.
The invigorating mountain air was soothing for my soul.
Wrap up for vacation running:
Wednesday (the day I arrived) 3.11 in 28:44 a new PR for me. I had to look twice to believe it!
Thursday off
Friday 8.50 miles in 1:29:09  it was beautiful and I soaked up the views
Saturday 7.03 miles in 1:09:40 another good time for me, the cool air did wonders for me
Sunday 9.01miles in 1:32:49
Monday 8.22 mile brisk walk, my legs felt a little tired
Tuesday 10.02 miles in 1:41:20 I held my pace pretty good, but I should have gone farther
Wednesday (the day I left) 1.46 miles in 13:27 because it was drizzling and I needed to get showered and to the airport

That's the most running I have done in a week's time ever. My body held up pretty well and I didn't feel much soreness in my left hip at all. My hip has been a thorn in my side affecting my running, but it really didn't hurt until I sat on the plane for 6 hours cramped up. I have come to the conclusion the sitting is worse than the running. I think the 8 hours of sitting at work everyday is killing me. If I could walk away today I would be so happy. I don't do well trapped all those hours and as I quickly approach 50, my energy reserves are a little more limited than in my 20's and I resent I use up a lot of energy at work each day. After working for 32 years I am over it. Enough of that rant...

A few more views from Montana. I loved my time there :)

It was looking a little like Fall

I love the peacefulness

Hungry Horse Dam- the peaks in the background are Glacier National Park

One of my run routes

Path around the Lake in Whitefish

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Interval Saturday

It's Saturday and I am feeling rough again, a repeat of last weekend that I didn't want. I have never felt a 100% since last week. I tried to rest a lot this week but I seem to be losing the battle. I feel okay for a day or so and then back to being achy with a sore throat.

The scene when I came home

The scene when I left for the gym

I am trying to push through and get my four workouts a week in even if they aren't stellar. I did make it to the gym today and it wiped me out. I did intervals on the treadmill 5 min. @ 9:31 pace x 5 with an 11:06 recovery pace for one minute.  The first lap was tough, my body felt fatigued but that feeling quickly faded and it ended up flying by and I felt fine. I am always amazed that I can never predict how I am going to feel when running.

I did some core exercises and headed home for a shower. My shower was the best part of the day so far. I sure hope I wake up feeling better tomorrow! Found some left over antibiotics (two) so I hope it's enough to knock whatever this is out of me.

I went ahead and signed up for another half marathon next weekend. I seriously break out in a sweat just thinking about it. I still get nervous and run to the little girls room three times before I leave for a run so you can't imagine what a half does to me lol. I know I have issues...I am going to try get one more short run in and then rest through the week. My only expectation is to finish in under 2 and 1/2 hours...and enjoy it.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Discomfort & Resolutions

Last night I ran a quick 5K 9:55, 9:38, 9:37 and I felt great. It's wonderful how much easier it feels to run now the summer heat has taken leave. I walked about 40 min. to cool down. I showered and went to bed about an hour later. Sometime during the night I woke up to pain and my knees were mucking up my mobility.

I've have been in therapy for my knees in the past. When they hurt it's miserable. They will not bend at all and the pain shoots up and down my legs over even the slightest movement. I decided sleep was the remedy and woke up to crazy dreams next. The only thing that helps at this point is my ice gel pack wrapped around my knees, an anti-inflammatory, and not being stuck sitting at my desk at work for 8 hours. It was easy to decide I needed a sick day, especially since my hubby and son have both been sick and coughing all over the house for a few days. I can feel it coming on so the extra sleep will help fight it off.

My knees frustrate me. I have done pretty well over the past 6 months so I shouldn't complain, but pain always makes me grumpy.

Therapy notes:
  •  I don't have a solvable issue, my knees aren't as mobile as the average Joe's and the inner knee strains.
  • My knee caps aren't positioned quite right but after lots of hours the therapist couldn't make any real change. I was probably born that way.
  • He said use them or lose them. Just rest when in pain.
  • Limit time pounding the pavement.
  • Ice.
  • Sitting is bad. For as much as I sit (work, no choice) he wants at least an hour of movement a day.
  • Always stretch, and when you think you've done enough stretch more.
My last strange symptom - during my last two bouts of knee soreness my wrists also blew up...weird right. My ganglion cysts in my wrists were inflamed and causing numbness in my hands. I can't make sense of it ether.

It's strange how random the soreness seems to be. In August I had a week I ran a 8 miler, a 9 miler, and a 10K and was fine. The next week I ran on the treadmill for an hour because it was so hot and couldn't walk the next morning. My recent flare up doesn't make sense either...Tuesday I ran a 15K and woke up Wednesday feeling great.  Wednesday evening an easy 5K led to the pain that started in the middle of the night.

As I write this I am feeling better and as usual I can't wait to get my next run in. I do get scared when I think of my age, 47. I know I need to take care of myself. It will take longer to bounce back from an injury and it's easy to gain weight at my age, so my goal is to keep moving!

Each race I have run I always look over the race results to see who the oldest person is. There is always a handful of 70 year olds. The half marathon I just ran had two 71 yr. olds who beat my time.
I love that. They are my inspiration and realization that I can age and still have fitness goals...and accomplishments

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Feels Like 94*

I wanted to try to get 45 min. in tonight but with the shorter days and extreme heat (just go away already) it wasn't going to work out. I waited until as late as I could. It was still really hot; my Garmin stated feels like 94* and it really did. Truthfully, it just put me in a bad mood...isn't running supposed to release good endorphins? I have no tolerance for this latest heat wave.

Running a 5K tonight was worse than 13 this past weekend. I can tell quite a difference running on trail verses pavement. I am already aching in my left hip from tonight's run. I really do need to get back to my trail training. I realized this weekend what an impact changing surfaces has for me. Most of my runs in August were on pavement just because in summer the bugs are worse on the trail and it's just easier to walk out the front door instead of driving to the trails, but I am going to have to get back to going a few times a week.

I did receive my finisher photo tonight from my half marathon. I guess your first half picture doesn't have to be a glamour shot and this surely isn't, but I did feel pretty elated at this moment. Yep, it actually happened.
High Bridge Trail Half

Monday, September 2, 2013

Breaks and Fatigue

August 24th ended a streak for me. 4 workouts a week for the past 14 months. My work schedule this time of year is always crazy. 49 hours last week actually made it pretty easy to take a break from exercise. I hate to admit it but I feel my body really needed it. The pain in my hip never goes away totally anymore, it has varying degrees of discomfort, but it's never totally gone. I worked out one time the last week of August. Just once all week...ugh. It was a good work out day...the morning was 3 miles of intervals on the treadmill and a mile cool down...and the evening I walked 4 miles and ran 2...but that was it all week.

So time to begin a new streak right? I hope so...I got out this morning even though the humidity was about 96 %  I ran my 5 mile goal. I recently signed up with @mommyrunfaster for the Fall series of 5 and 10 mile runs. I felt pretty good for a 5K run...

I know I have issues - I had to stop and admire my Garmin. This summer hasn't seen many happy running moments so a 5k in under 30 minutes feels like a victory. I expected to feel all energetic after the four day break, but I was exhausted after this. My next mile was 11:16 which helped me recover and I ran 10:10 for my last mile. I was surprised by how fatigued I felt after such a big break and I am working on a new plan. My new favorite running shirt seems very fitting today.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

PR-What a way to Wrap Up the Week

Thursday is my Friday in the summer. I work four ten hour days so leaving on Thursday is always a happy time.  Today when I walked out of work I was pleasantly surprised that the suffocating humidity was finally taking a break! It was 81 degrees which feels so much better when humidity isn't 96%. So of course on my ride home I am thinking I need to run to enjoy this. Since I just ran 8 yesterday I figured 3 or 4 would be just about right. 
I ate and set out about 45 min. after digesting and thought maybe I should do 5 easy miles and just enjoy this. However, sometime after mile 2, my first peek at my Garmin, revealed my pace was better than I thought. Love that! I thought I really need to push my self and see if I can PR today. I have struggled in the heat so much I just wanted to see a decent time...
There it is! It's just seconds better than my fastest street 5K, but I'll take it.

I was pushing the last mile and I was getting a little cramp, but it's so much easier to think and breathe when you aren't suffocating from humidity! Go figure, right. 
I guess I could have set a new lap and ran for a few more miles, but nah! A quick walk with a few sprints home. 
9:49, 9:34, 9:08 happy dance 9:08 is a PR mile for me.
You know that just makes me want to go do it again!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

July 6, 2013 Glow Run

July 6, 2013 Glow Run

I’ve had a hard time trying to figure out what to say about this event. So here’s to keeping it simple:

1.      Glowing is fun! I don’t why, but getting to take a glow picture seems to make everyone smile.
2.      It’s better to put on all your glow gear after the race! The bouncing glow necklaces during the race bout drove me crazy!
3.      This is a friend kind of event. A lot of times I do races alone, but glowing requires a friend and luckily I had one.
4.      It was a fun night out, but I think the $38 fee is kind of steep. This will not be a repeat event for me. Anything that pricey should be chip timed, however my night went south and I guess I am glad there isn’t an internet result to haunt me. 
Kasey and I had lots of glow gear. I think the blinking rings were my favorite.

Maymont Park

 Maymont is a very pretty hilly park like setting. We arrived about an hour before the event started to pick up our race packets. It was about 90 degrees! By race time, my Garmin said 84 degrees (feels like 88) and 62 % humidity. I think it was hotter!  It was a mass pack start and the start/finish line was set up in a strange place on the grass. It was so crowded you really couldn't start running when you crossed the line. We just walked till we got to pavement and then had to work to get around everyone so we could get a decent pace going. Whoever organized this really should rethink it. They need to put runners in the front and walkers and strollers behind. I was feeling optimistic though and I kept thinking it’s only three miles, it’ll be fine. It didn’t take long and that thought was shot. Looking back now I realize I went from enthusiasm to defeat very quickly!

The first mile was okay and I made it up the hill at a 10:27 pace. I got a cramp sometime during mile one and the pain just persisted.  I just wanted to walk. I really wanted to go back and start over, but that’s really not an option. LOL I wish it had been!  Usually when I get a cramp, I can lift my arms, slow up a little, and it’ll go away. My arms at this point felt like lead weights and I couldn't hold them up, it was strange. This was the beginning of my overheating. My mental frustration was winning at that point because I was thinking you really only get one go around at an event like this and I was feeling miserable. Mile two I knew I was too hot and nerves were getting the best of me, I just wanted the pain in my side to go a-w-a-y! Sometime during the last mile I started to feel pretty overwhelmed, nauseous, and light headed. I was really hot! When we got to the last hill; I walked it, which made my last mile 11:00, but I just couldn't dig deep and find anything, all I felt was hot. The feeling of fuzziness and light headedness persisted and I really thought I might drop. I hate to not finish something so I was determined to keep going to cross the start/finish, but when I crossed I was down. I plopped on the grass praying I wouldn't get sick. Kasey got me water, but I had a hard time getting it down because I was so nauseous. I had to sit there quite a while to recover.

I have felt pretty bad a few times running in the heat, but this topped all! We had run 5 miles on a Sun. night a few weeks before and it was about the same temp, but the humidity was closer to 80%. I felt nauseous several times during that run but I took walk breaks making my last two miles ridiculously slow, but it kept me from totally overheating. I realize now I can’t push myself in this weather like I did when it was cold.

I sat on the grass for a while and I did start to feel better, but I kept getting weird chills because I was profusely sweating. We took our glow picture about an hour after the end and by then I was feeling almost like myself again. I was so discouraged over what had happened I wanted to go run again. We ended up going to Capital Ale House sitting on patio because you can’t sit in air condition after sweating that much and ate a yummy dinner at 10:30 at night.

Stretching is a big part of being able to run for me. Stretching really well while my muscles are still warmed up can make or break the next day for me. Any event I have participated in has challenged this because I don’t usually get to stretch like I want or need to. Sometimes it’s hard to find a good place to plop down and do it.  I woke up the next morning so stiff! We got in late and I was up before 6 a.m. because I hurt. I decided to get dressed and go for a short run to loosen up. My first two miles were slower than 11 min. but by mile three I was at 10:40 still pretty slow, but I felt better. I went home and stretched and was back to normal. I was still feeling pretty discouraged over the whole thing all day Sunday.  I went to the gym that night and hopped on the treadmill and did 3 miles in just shy of 30 min. I think I had to prove to myself I could still do it.

I did a lot of reading about heat exhaustion on Sunday and discovered some people with thyroid problems have a difficult time regulating body temperature. This did make me feel better, because I was feeling pretty down about being weak and not being able to tough it out. My TSH levels have taken a significant dip the past few years and this temp regulating issue will be something I discuss with the doc for sure. 

What I learned after the Glow Run….I will probably never sign up for anything else that falls in the month of June, July, or August. I just can’t handle the heat.

Kasey coming in and I was behind thinking about dropping

Wish these pics would have come out less blurry! You can still see I am fairly red.

Karen - Kasey  
You would never know I fell apart!

We are in the crowd just under the sign


Monday, April 29, 2013


Some days…

When the mind and body are harmonious you can accomplish great things. Unfortunately most days I can’t get them on the same page. 

Monday was one of those days. I always feel like I want to escape work and run. I thought I felt great, drank lots of water before I left work, went home changed, grabbed my Garmin and out the door. I like to walk for about 5 minutes to warm up and I felt okay. I hit the start button on my watch and off I go. Suddenly, I felt like I was pushing a wall, or pulling a two ton truck. About 1 mile in I decided my lofty idea of 5 miles was not going to happen. I tried to talk myself out of this, but it didn’t take long to realize that 3 miles would be an accomplishment for the day. I had rested Sunday and just walked so I really thought a quick 5 mile run would be reasonable…I am still learning. I have accomplished 6 miles one day and 5 the next, but bumping up to 8 miles for my long run really made the two day recovery necessary.

Also, all that water wasn't the best idea so close to a run. Hydration is supposed to be good for you right?! I felt kind of sloshy, needed to use the little girls’ room and I am running in a neighborhood, so there’s nowhere to go. So now about a mile and half in, which makes me laugh, because I only picture myself feeling this bad attempting a half marathon or something; I have decided I will do 3.1 and head back home. So the gal that just ran an hour and twenty minutes on Sat. is falling apart after being in motion for 10 minutes. Good grieeeef!! I am scratching my head wondering why I really want to run at this point.  I feel like I am pushing a wall, I need to use the little girls’ room, my legs are feeling funny, and I had on a pair of socks that were just a little too thin. Yes, when you are having a bad day even the littlest things can throw you off. About mile two I was so miserable, I hit the stop button on my timer…as soon as I started to slow down and walk I thought, “No way!” I hit the timer and pushed out 1.2 miles to get a 5K done at least. I stopped at 3.1 and it was 30:57. That didn't look too bad considering how I felt. I continued to walk home 2 more miles and did some sprinting and walking to keep my heart rate up. I did get a better calorie burn than if I just walked, but it’s always discouraging to not be able to complete what you set out to do.

The Garmin I run with
  • I need to tackle a longer distance a few weeks in a row and get used to it, before I try to increase my shorter run that week. 
  • I also need to make Sun. a weight day and cross train and give my (almost 47 yr. old) legs the rest they need. An end of the day run really isn’t the best time for me; I am much better racking up miles in the morning. 
  • I will not drink and run! lol I drank about 30 oz. and that was too much. When I participated in the 5K and 10K this year, I drank about 70 oz. for the two days before each day race. Race morning I just have a normal cup. I already knew this worked…and trust me I won’t forget this again! 
  • Interval walking/running is something I haven’t been doing since I decided to run back in Jan. It felt good and I realize those short intense bursts will help make me stronger.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Henrico 5K 2013

This is a well-kept secret in Richmond I guess, because it’s not the most crowded event, but it’s a great 5K stop.  I like the area, even though the course has a long incline for the last mile and a half. Challenge is good right? I didn't like it so much in 2012…I gave up and walked about the last high mile, but that gave me a reason to come back and redeem myself.  2012 the incline got the best of me; I finished in 34:54. 

I had never trained in 2012, just my usual walk/runs that involved very short bursts of running. I did it just to see where I was at. I wondered if I could run for 3.1 miles without stopping? The answer was no…which started the wheels turning in my mind. So, yes I ran a race before I ever decided to run and failure to be able to complete was my motivation to conquer this problem.

Cutest couple award for sure

In 2012 I went alone. This year I had friends with me. Everything is better with friends (Chris & Kasey above).

Somewhere during that last half mile I felt defeated in 2012. Was the problem more body or mind? It was my mind…I am learning that staying in motion is more about my brain than my legs (unless there’s pain). I thought I needed a break…time to retrain my thinking. Breaks not allowed!

I practiced running up a lot of hills about a month before this race trying to make my brain understand I can do it!

March 30th; it’s a clear and cool day outside; a perfect day to run. The beginning of this event is a little intense you are in one large group and booooom time to go! I started out sprinting; I swear it took a half mile to get my breathing under control and into a good comfortable rhythm. By then, the pack has thinned out and I was able to run my own race. Beautiful scenery, a large pond, well kept greens; I had to remind myself I wasn't just out enjoying the flowers. At the half way mark they turn you and back you go up the long stretch you just ran…it’s an incline and then a turn at Wawa. This is the spot I “lost” it last year. I had been jogging, got to the last hill before the Wawa…my mind won out, and once I started walking it was hard to get back to a trot…but not this year! 

Chris had left me and Kasey in his dust (Go Chris!) but having someone to run with made all the difference. I have (had) “hill phobia”, but I was determined I would make it and didn't want to discourage Kasey (by stopping & walking) so motivation of being with a friend and a little training carried me over that hump.

As I approached the clock at the end I realized I was just going to make it in less (just barely lol) than 30 minutes. Big smiles! It’s a surge of excitement and satisfaction to realize you have accomplished what you set out to do. 

After the race, Chris decided (luckily) we should hang around for the awards… and …shockingly, I got one! My finish 29:52!
couldn't believe it when they called my name! 
This overweight, 45-49 year old won 3rd in my age group. Such a nice medal too…I’ll take it!
I was happy with my finish, but I still wish I could have found a little more power and trucked up that incline a little quicker…maybe next year!

Somewhere inside of me I always want a little more. Some days my body feels on board with that and some days it doesn't.

Lessons learned during this event-never run again without my IPOD (I love music) and my IPOD never fails me. I had an old phone with a running app and music, it froze up very soon after we took off. Dealing with frustrations during a race isn't what you want! I have since acquired a Garmin Forerunner and this is the greatest thing ever (I am a stats nerd)! I put my IPOD in my running belt and my watch on and I am ready to go!