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Sunday, July 28, 2013

Random Updates

Where have I been?? It's been weeks and weeks since my last post. In short, I've been right here, just very, very busy. Summer has been kicking my butt. My kids being home from school all day, every day, has made things nothing short of hellishly chaotic. Add in a 2 year old who thinks naps aren't her cup of tea anymore and the bit of free time I was used to having during the day, to let me work in peace, has disappeared. There were the vacations and the day trips, the play dates and the trips to the pool, in an attempt to keep the kids busy. My nights have been spent working until the wee hours of the morning, to catch up on what I didn't accomplish during the day. This has left little time for blogging, or much else, while online. One big thing we did this summer was take a trip to the Midwest to visit our families. Visit we did, we took a trip to the zoo and attempted many other St. Louis attractions, as did thousands of other people in that area during the 4th of July week. We enjoyed our trip, but the highlight was my new ink. What does a new tattoo have with running(this is supposed to be a running page after all)? Well, everything. My cousin out west is a tattoo artist, so I enlisted his help in doing the tattoos I've wanted for years now.
I've mentioned before that I often run in memory of my oldest son, who died as an infant over 10 years ago. I never take my steps and miles for granted, because the gift of being able to run was not something my son every got to experience. A couple of years ago, I got the idea to put his footprints, the ones they typically make prints of at birth, on my feet, so whenever I walked, he took those steps too. I got the idea during my brief running period in the summer of 2011. When I picked up running again in 2012, the idea stuck and it has stayed with me. I have other tattoos, but I got them all as a young adult, and my days of ink were thought to be over. But this idea wasn't a typical tattoo, it was special, it had big meaning. So I decided to take the plunge when we were visiting St. Louis. They are perfect. Here is the finished product.
They are exactly how they are on the paper, and I love them. He doesn't just run in my heart anymore, he walks and runs every time my feet move. I also got the tattoos just in time, because fall half marathon training has officially begun!! The training program for the Wine and Dine half marathon started the week after we returned home from St. Louis. I'm using the same program to train for the Rock N Roll half marathon 13 days before Wine and Dine. The program calls for 14 miles as my longest training run before Wine and Dine, so I might as well run a half marathon and count it as my training run. It's also going to be my "serious" run, without the pomp and circumstance, and character picture stops that Disney races have. I finished the Princess Half this year, injured and with some picture stops, in 2:48. I want to finish a half in under 2:30, so the Rock N Roll half is my chance to do that. I'm going with the Jeff Galloway 18 week training plan. Jeff Galloway partners with Disney and they put out these plans for each race, complete with dates. I have looked at other training plans, and while they are shorter than 18 weeks, they just aren't for me. The Galloway plan only has 3 runs a week. I like to do Zumba once a week as well, and a cross training/strength training day, with 2 rest days. It is a much lighter schedule. I looked at the Hal Higdon plan and it's much more intense, with more running on back to back days. This idea makes me uncomfortable, because I feel like I'd get burnt out constantly running, and because I am prone to injury. I battled ITBS, which is an overuse injury, and I can still feel twinges here and there while running. My biggest fear is that these back to back days for weeks at a time will put me back on the Injured Reserve List. So Galloway it is. I returned home from St. Louis, and a week after getting the new tattoos, I gooped them up with ointment, wrapped them in Saran Wrap, and laced up. Laced up in new shoes in fact. Last summer I started running in the Asics Gel Noosa Tri 7s. I loved them. When they started to wear out, I got fitted for new shoes, a different pair. I ended up in pain. Took them back, was fitted for another pair. More pain. They discontinued the shoes I did well in, and came out with a new version. I will admit it, they were ugly. They had 1 color scheme and they were ugly, so I tried different styles. None of them worked. I finally fell into a pair of Newtons, and while they felt good, they were such a minimal shoe that the lack of arch support wouldn't let me do more than 3 miles without arch pain. I knew they wouldn't carry me for a 10k, let alone a half marathon. Lucky for me, Asics released the Gel Noosa Tri 8s in more colors, and I finally bought another pair.
So far, so good with these shoes. I'm starting to climb in miles again. Last weekend I did 4 miles. I'm really proud of how my pace has improved, and I maintained under 11 minutes a mile for all 4 miles. During PHM training, anything longer than 4 miles averaged 11-12 minutes a mile.
This week I have 5 miles on tap. While I'm excited to be officially in training(just 15 weeks until Disney!!), I also really am not a fan of training. It's ironic, when not training and trying to rest, I just want to run. When I'm supposed to be training, I just want to rest. But I know the routine. I dread logging the miles, but I feel good once they are done. It's a vicious cycle. But I learned my lesson from skimping on training during leading up to PHM, and was forced to climb too fast in miles towards the end, aiding in my injury. I won't do that again this time. So I'm back, let the training festivities commence!

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