Friday, July 20, 2012

So far, so good

Training is going good!  Tomorrow morning will be our 3rd group run (although I missed the 2nd one due to being at the beach - ahhhhhhhhhh.).  Tomorrow morning's run will be at Centennial Park downtown - which is part of the actual course.

My knee feels - tight?  Not sure.  I foam rolled the hell out of my IT band, calves and hamstrings yesterday and it feels much better this morning.  Need to start back with my body weight squats, dead lifts, pistol squats (one-legged squats), and planks.  Pronto.

This is what Fleet Feet looked like the very first day when I walked in - at 6:30 a.m.!

I think there were approximately 75 women running that morning.  Awesomeness.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Half marathon training - TAKE 2!

That's right.  Today was Week 1 (of 12) Day 1 of my second attempt to train for a half marathon - I'm super excited!  Today:  cross train.  CHECK.

I decided to register to train with Fleet Feet so I would be with ... well, people.  And I'm not much of a people-person, so this is mainly for selfish reasons.  Ok, ok.  I'm excited to maybe make a few friends too.  ;)  More importantly, I want to show up at that starting line on September 22nd and finish my first half marathon damnit!!  Injury-FREE!  And this is the Women's Half Marathon so my training group is 99% women, with coaches, pace trainers, and physical therapists all on hand!  Surely I can make it this time with all that.

Our first group run is this Saturday at 7:00 a.m.  I'll have to leave my house BY 6:00 to get there early, sign-in, and the other stuff that no one knows about since it is the first group run.  Which means my alarm will be going off in the 5:00 hour.  On a Saturday.  During the summer.  I must really want this baaaad.  I am also getting a new car that day (maybe sooner) and we leave for the beach for 8 days the next morning.  So I have just a few things going on this week - all good!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

I'm baaaaack.

The Country Music Marathon and Half Marathon was this morning - I watched it from the couch with a cup of coffee.

And here is Sheryl Crow (right) running the half this morning:


Today was also the first day I have logged any miles by foot since my last 9-miler in March!  It wasn't a run - just a walk - following doctor's orders.  And those orders are to start walking, then aggressive walking, then run/walk - over a 4-5 week period.  I'll take it!

Pity party is officially over.  CMM Half Marathon is officially over.  So what does that mean?  I need a new goal.

Right now, my new goal is to do the Women's Half Marathon here in Nashville on September 22nd.  The most exciting thing I just read on the website:  "New Faster, Flatter Course!"  Flatter, huh??  Suh-weet!

I've already removed the calendar from the fridge and counted the weeks backwards from September 22nd and it looks like the timing will be perfect - I can take my month to walk and get back in the groove, choose my training program (thinking of going with Jeff Galloway's), and be right on time for the half marathon.  

Stay tuned!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012


Wow.  Sorry it's been SO long since I've posted!  To all 7 of you.  =D

I've actually looked at my blog everyday since the last time I posted.  And have had time to post a little... but not like I want.  So I haven't.

Here's the deal - this has nothing to do with running - but something I have learned since running.  So actually I guess it does.

I was an "all or nothing" person.  Until I started running 6 years ago.

(do you know what is bugging me the most about this post right now?? my GRAMMAR!  ugh.)

Anyway.  I told my BFF today.  I used to be an all or nothing person - but my running helped me.

(going into all lowercase now - cuz you care)

i now try to live my LIFE as an 80/20 rule. 80% of the time i'm going to eat exact, exercise exact, live exact, love exact, rest exact...... but the other 20% - i'm going to give myself a break.  a treat.  whatever you want to call it.

it's been working.  in all aspects of my life.  to myself (MOST importantly) to my marriage and kids, to my downtime to friends to family to everything.

i will not compromise myself MY happiness for others.

(sounds like a bible verse but i guarantee you it's not)

{lane change}

i think sometimes someone comes into your life for a reason (another cliche' type comment, i know, but just listen).

whether it's a bff, a passer-by-er type, or someone you've yet to meet, or work buddy/colleague, or, these days, online.

i feel really good today because i feel i affected 2 of those above people in a positive or healthy way.  I FEEL.  whether it really was... we'll see.

one is my bff.  one is someone i've met online through my running, found out she literally lives down the street from me, a stay at home mom like me, has a young daughter like me - omg - another bff???

everyone has problems.  everyone has issues.  including myself.  i'm not perfect.

i do know one thing.  i miss my running.  i can't WAIT til may til i can run again.  i am so thankful for my life and my family and my home.  i don't get too wishy-washy and dramatic - or at least i don't try too, but i have ZERO problems compared to a lot of people in the world.

do you?

Monday, March 26, 2012

Busy much?

Spring break is over... now time to get back to school kids!

I would have enjoyed spring break more if I could have done something.  Like... walk.  Anything.  And by the time the 2 weeks is over, I'm usually more than ready for everyone to be back on a regular schedule.  And I am.... but this time it's a little bittersweet (aka 'selfish') because I won't have all my little helpers to help me!  Actually, I'm getting around a lot better.  Cheating more than I should i.e. using 1 crutch so I can have 1 hand.

The boys are already off to school, Lucy starts swimming lessons today, and hubby leaves for out of town.  Swimming lessons are at the gym which means I get to darken the doors again.  I'm SO excited!  I just need to smell it.  I'm only going to ride the bike and stretch, but at least it's something.

As I mentioned before, I begin PT at the new place tomorrow.  Hopefully I can set up recurring appointments for Tuesday and Thursday's while Lucy is at preschool.  Thursday is also hubby's birthday and report cards come home (happy birthday honey!!  I hope.)  And then the grand finale' of the week - Friday is follow-up with the orthopedic surgeon to hopefully get off these crutches.  (crossing everything)  If he says I can't get off the crutches, I'm going to beg him to at least put me in a boot - PUH-LEEEZE!  I need my hands back.  And my life.  I'll even promise to not run the month of April.  Well, most of it?  The half marathon ain't happenin' anyway, and honestly, I know I need more healing.  I've come to grips with all of this.  Believe me, I've had PLENTY of time to think things through.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Spring Has Sprung

So that was our winter, eh?  Best winter ever in my book.  Only 1 snow, and the rest... unseasonably warm.

Since it is now spring, I thought I'd give a fresh, new look to Peace, Love, & Hamstrings!  Do you like my new background??

Still on the crutches but I did pimp my ride...

That pocket has saved my life!  I carry everything in that sucker.  As long as I have my bottle of water, my phone, and my Burt's Bees chap stick, I'm a happy camper.  For the most part.

So, some of you know how I love Fleet Feet - local (if you call a 40 minute car ride 'local') running store.  I love the staff there and all their products - even beyond shoes.  I follow them on Facebook and get their newsletter via email.  Well, I got the newsletter the other day and it was titled "Love Getting Injured?  Then Stop!"  Is that an article written directly for me, or what?  It even started with "Dear Andrea..."

Fleet Feet has some new, very cool products for staying injury free.  I love all that but I want my leg fixed ... yesterday.  Then I was reminded about their free injury screenings that they have twice/month.  I've thought of going to one a few times.. but now was the time.  I promptly emailed the owner - Christi Beth - and she immediately emailed me back - LOVE that!  Injury screenings are the 1st and 3rd Wednesday of each month from 3:00 - 6;00.  PUKE.  That couldn't be a worse time for me - on any day.  Wednesday is smack-dab in the middle of the week (in case you didn't know) and that almost guarantees my husband will be out of town - which in turn means I'd have to take all 3 kids.  Um, no thanks.  And 3:00-6:00?  Kids getting home from school, homework, and start dinner time.  Then Christi Beth said this "We have a screening today, but the schedule is full. Our next session will be Wednesday, April 4th if you want to call and schedule an appointment ... but if you're still holding out hope for the CMM 1/2 then I'd contact Perry Smith ASAP to see if he could see you sooner!"

Holding out hope??  Really??.. I mean... do you really, truly mean there ... still could... be... hope???  I promptly told her I wasn't really holding out hope - until she mentioned it - thanks Christi Beth - now you've got my hopes again!!  Just kidding, but it did flicker my spark a bit.  And it felt good.

Let's sum this up:  So Perry is recommended to me by my favorite RUNNING store, who conducts their INJURY screenings personally, and is a RUNNER himself - I want him to treat me.  I contacted Perry of ProMotion physical therapy - someone from his office contacted me an hour later and we set up an appointment for next Tuesday at 10:00.

I don't know why, but I feel like I'm getting ready to get real and proper therapy, and that my chances of success in running again are going to be so much greater because of the paragraph above.  

I'm so excited for Tuesday I could spit.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Hip, hip, hooray

Went to my first physical therapy appointment today.  Was told it was just a consult = I can take Lucy with me since hubby had to work.  Nope.  Full on exam and then exercises.  But as usual, Lucy was a trooper.  Except when she HAD to go 'tee tee' right in the middle of my IT band exercises... with no toilet paper in the bathroom (which they QUICKLY fixed with my glare)... and then missing the seat with said 'tee tee'... and then staying in there til I yelled 'what are you doing?'  Lucy: 'waiting for you Mommy.'  So, I quit my exercises and hopped on one leg to the bathroom - thank God it wasn't too far from my exercise table - and cleaned the floor, Lucy, and then myself up - all on one foot.

I have weak hips!  Well, howboutchee.  And I'm going to cheat a bit tonight as I need to eat before I pass out, and cut and paste some things about weak hips and why weak hips should matter to runners.  These are different exerts from a great article on the subject from

See if this sounds familiar: First your Achilles flares up. The next week your knee starts bothering you. Then your hamstring gets all hitchy. And all on your left side. It can't be a coincidence. It's gotta be the shoes, right?

Conventional wisdom has cast atypical pronation, or the inward roll of the foot upon striking the ground, as the running injury scapegoat. And while the torsional forces caused by atypical pronation shouldn't be disregarded in diagnosing an injury, new research suggests we look deeper, or rather, higher

The main hip muscles to focus on strengthening are the hip adductors, hip abductors, gluteus medius, tensor fasciae latae, piriformis, and hip flexors. If you're already injured, Ferber emphasizes the importance of "positive daily stress." Translation: Do the exercises every day. Once you're out of the woods, two to three times a week is sufficient.

I return to PT on Thursday and then Tuesday and Thursday of next week.  I will be doing all my prescribed hip and IT band exercises at LEAST once/day if not twice/day.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Are you mental?!?

Injuries suck.  (have I already said that?)

My strength has grown.  My endurance has grown.  My self-esteem has grown.  My muscles have grown (nice physical perk).  I've worked on my form, my technique, and my footing relentlessly.  I've read, and read, and practiced, and practiced.  And yes, there have been times I've become obsessed with running, but it's better than the alternative (insert your choice of unhealthy alternative).  I have barely missed a beat in my training schedule.  I've been a good little student and have played nice and followed all the rules.

Then the unthinkable happens.  And it freakin' sneaks up on you.  An injury. And it's not like it was a major injury or anything - and it's not like something popped or cracked or broke.  Something is just not right.  And then you start asking yourself the questions - "Is is both knees/legs/feet/calves or just one??"  "Is it just a pain I need to deal with and run through?"  "Does it really hurt THAT bad?"

And here I am on crutches and have been told I need to not run for at least 3 or 4 weeks.  (Honestly, between me and you, I think I'm gonna need a bit longer.  Just a hunch.)

If you're a serious athlete and have had an injury, then you KNOW that the physical hurt you feel is only one VERY small part of your pain that you have to go through in your rehab/recovery process.  The physiological pain - the mental aspect - of your injury, and the temporary, or God forbid permanent, loss to your sport can be far more devastating than your strained muscles or torn ligaments or fractured bones.  I believe that your physiological pain has to be directly addressed and "treated" - otherwise, the entire recovery will be slow and possibly suffer.

Family, coaches, spouses, parents - who are insensitive to these very important aspects of healing, can do more harm than good.

I finally consider myself a runner.  For a long time, I was on the fence.  But now, it is an extension of my identity and my sense of self.

This is a bump in the road.  A road I hope I have the privilege to run on for as long as my body and mind let me.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

All Rise!

The verdict is in:

1)  Mild to moderate strain in 3 muscles around upper tibia (soft-tissue issue);

2)  Benign bone cyst at back of tibia/below knee joint;

3)  Swelling on bone - 3 inches below knee joint aka "stress reaction"; "tibial stress syndrome"; "stress edema"

No signs of stress fracture at all.


1)  Dose pack steroids - 6 days, then 800 mg ibuprofen 3x/day;

2)  Address muscle part/soft tissue with physical therapy - 2-3x/week for 2 weeks;

3)  Crutches til the end of the month;

4)  No impact exercise - can swim and maybe bike

Don't worry about the cyst at all.


Yes, I'm glad I don't have a stress fracture.  Yes, there are a LOT more things in life that could be worse.  But right now in MY little running world, I'm devastated.

I cried like a baby all day yesterday.  The news plus the pain plus being so helpless around my house and having to have everyone else do almost everything for me plus my boys getting ready to leave plus my mom calling saying she probably wasn't going to be able to not only fly with the boys to FL but not even be able to take them to the airport because she is so sick.

Do you ever feel like your fairy godmother stepped out for a smoke break???

SO, today is today and that is all I'm going to (try to) focus on.  I haven't cried once so far and it's already 10:30 a.m.

I got up at 5:15 a.m. to get the boys up get my husband up so he could get the boys up.  (I hate having to depend on other people!!  I'm very stubborn in that area.  I'm very appreciative - but just let me do it.).  My mom called 5 minutes later and asked if I could at least drive her and the boys to the airport and she would do all the leg work.  PERFECT!!!!  That made me AND her feel so much better.  So that is what we did - it was definitely the blind leading the blind.

Monday, March 12, 2012

The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

The Good:

Did my 2nd 9 miler yesterday again at Shelby Bottoms.  It was another gorgeous day in Music City - 71 degrees!  Thought I'd share some of the beautiful scenery I have been doing my long runs at over the past 4 weeks:

I *believe* this is the pedestrian bridge that goes over to LP Field - which is where the Tennessee Titans play.

This is a roundabout taking you from the Greenway (where I run) to the pedestrian bridge.

And this is my favorite bridge.  Why?  Because when I have it in sight, I know I'm almost done with my run  because my car is parked underneath it.

The Bad:

When I started my run yesterday, I couldn't get my breath.  I forgot to take my Flonase nose spray before I headed out.  Not real smart running in a park in 70 degree weather in a state with a very high pollen count for almost 2 hours and forget your allergy medicine.  Finally, after I hacked up a few coughs, things seemed to clear up a bit.  I even spit twice.  I still kept having to stop and walk.  Which is fine!  I always take walk breaks on my long runs.  But this was more than usual.  I realized I hadn't even run 1 MILE straight without having to stop.  After I finished this stop-n-go for the first 3 or 4 miles, I told myself  'when I hit mile 5, I'm running straight til I hit mile 6'.  I had to channel my inner Goldilocks to do this... not too fast, not too slow, but juuuuust right.  And so, I did it.  A nice slow, controlled run. (FYI - I now feel confident saying that I'm currently about an 11:30 min/mile runner.)

After that, I decided I'd do it again from mile 7 to mile 8.  This thinking was definitely more fun, and I was looking forward to the challenge.  (shouldn't be such a challenge at this point in my training - to run 1 mile straight).

That *fun* idea never happened.  Before I got to mile 7, I had a twinge in my ankle.  It was mild, and if I landed my feet just right on the ground, I didn't feel it at all.  At this point, "just right" was landing on the big balls of my feet.  (you know, the balls of your feet, but the BIG ball under your BIG toe?  so, big balls.)  I was concentrating extremely hard to do this.  Too hard.

Mile 8-9?  All walking.  Well, all walking and a little bit of limping.  My whole knee discomfort was now radiating down my leg to my ankle and part of my foot.  Lovely.  I stretched quickly (a big no-no, but I was starting to be in more pain than I liked) and drove home.  After my 35 minute drive home, and no moving of my leg, I could barely walk to the door from my car.  I took a 15 minute ice bath and hoped like hell that my knee/calf/ankle/foot would be so numb, I wouldn't feel anything for a while.  Didn't happen.

The Ugly:

I'm on crutches.  The same crutches that I had when I had my stress fracture 6 years ago.  I'm waiting for my doctor to call with my MRI results from LAST week - when I could actually walk and before any of this pain started.  I think I need a re-do.  My MRI has got to be completely different from how my leg/knee/ankle - WHATEVER - is feeling now.  Right?

I've been on the verge of tears all day.  My kids are on spring break.  My boys leave tomorrow for Florida to see their dad - which is always a heart-panging day for me.  I need to pack their bag, but would rather send clean clothes in their suitcase than dirty, so I have a lot of laundry to do as well.  My 3 year old looks bored to tears.  My husband is on conference calls all day but dressed and ready to sweep me off my feet to the emergency room for another xray (that's what he keeps saying I need - honestly, neither of us know).  And he leaves out of town tomorrow.  And I can't walk.

Don't even mention my race.  Or lack there of.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Ice pic(s)

Real quick, I wanted to post some pics from my (drum roll please).............. first ice bath!  Yep - I did it.  I also did my 9 miles last Sunday successfully.  So - into the bath I went!

I asked my hubby when I was on my way home to start the water and make me a hot cup of green tea.  I changed into a MUCH warmer top and just got in.  SO. FRIGGIN'. COLD.  Omg.  My toes stayed numb for hours!  And they were OUT of the water!

Hubby also tested the water and it was 56 degrees.  I stayed in for exactly 12 minutes.

Do I think it helped?  Actually, I do.  Not that day or night, but the next day, I had zero soreness from my 9 miler.  I'll be doing it again.  When needed.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Flu, Pneumonia, Tornados... OH MY!

What a week.  I feel like I start all my blogs with that sentence.

Hubby had pneumonia.  Baby girl just left for the doctors after throwing up on the bathroom floor - due to her high temps and lethargy (flu??).  That stupid mouse is still here - I've named him "Smokey" for his dark gray color.  He avoids every mouse trap in the house - goes around them all.  He SO lives here.  And we had tornadoes and hail and thunderstorms off and on all day yesterday.  Oh, and I haven't ran since Wednesday.

I returned to Shelby Bottoms last Sunday to do my 8 miles again - it was GORGEOUS out!  I did the 8 miles in 1 hr and 27 minutes and I did the previous 8 miles at Shelby Bottoms in 1 hr and 34 minutes - PR!!  I rested Monday.  Tuesday I went out at 6:30 A.M. to do my run (it was a new weekly goal to go run one of my short runs right after my coffee - to burn the calories left in the tank) and it was a bit chilly.  I felt like I was dragging sand bags around my ankles - I could not get going.  My CardioTrainer totally screwed up again (I so need a Garmin!!!) and I realized that I better just get done what I could because I still needed to eat, get dressed and get Lucy to school.  I ended up doing 2.25.  Better than nothing, right?  Until I realized that I was actually supposed to do 4 miles - not 3.  Oh well.  Wednesday I woke up with sore knees and a little pain in my left knee - right below it to be exact.  Right where my stress fracture happened 6 years ago to be very exact.  So, I went to the gym, did 1.5 miles on the elliptical, 2 miles on the TM and that's all I could do.  I ended up taking not one, but two naps that afternoon.  I was exhausted.  So by Wednesday I was supposed to have logged 9 miles but was at 6.  Thursday I went to Wayne and did a light strength training and then rolled out my ITB areas really good.  YOWZERS!  They are really tight and they are still painfully sore as I type this.  Yesterday, Friday, I was supposed to do another "easy" 3 but ended up taking a rest day on purpose.  I am taking another rest day today in hopes of being able to do my 9 miles tomorrow.  However, the first words out of my mouth to my husband this morning were 'I think I have a stress fracture.'  Really?  Please no.  I will head out tomorrow and see what happens.

I think today may be the day to take the plunge (pun intended) and do the ice bath.  Or maybe tomorrow since today is a rest day.  Here are some do's and don'ts I found on ice baths - didn't know there was such a thing:

  • DO: Be conservative with water temperature as you get started. Most rehabilitation specialists recommend a water temperature between 54-60 degrees Fahrenheit. Consider starting a bit higher and inch this downward a degree or two each exposure.
  • DO: Recognize that each individual will have his or her own cold threshold. Play within your personal comfort zone, and consider investing in booties (toe warmers made of wetsuit material) as your toes are likely the most sensitive body part to be submerged.
  • DON'T: Overexpose! At the recommended temperature range above, 6-8 minutes should be sufficient. Unless supervised or you have history with ice baths, do not exceed 10 minutes.
  • DON'T: Assume colder is better. Spending a prolonged period of time in water colder than 54 degrees could be dangerous.
  • DO: Be aware that moving water is colder water. Much like the wind chill created when you ride, if there are jets in your ice bath and the water that is warmed at the skin's surface gets pushed away, the resulting impact of the water will be cooler than measured by the thermometer.
  • DON'T: Assume 54-60 degrees or bust. Cool water (say, 60-75 degrees) can still be beneficial -- as can active recovery (very light exercise to facilitate blood flow to musculature)
  • DO: Seek to simplify. Building a personal ice bath daily can be a daunting task. Look for a gym that has a cold plunge, or if you live close to a river, lake or the ocean, keep tabs on the current water temperature.
  • DON'T: Rush to take a warm shower immediately after the ice bath. The residual cooling effect and gradual warming are ideal. Consider initial warming options of a sweatshirt, blanket and/or warm drink... but DO take the shower if you are unable to warm yourself.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Ice, Ice, Baby

Ice is a runner's BFF.  And sometimes the ONLY thing that will make your knees or your quads or your calves or your glutes - anything - feel better.  I have yet to do this, but a lot of runner's take an ice bath immediately following a long run or race - to reduce inflammation to ALL parts at once.  I can't even imagine.  I hate the cold so plopping down into my nice relaxing, over sized round tub ... into ICE??  I think I'll pass (for now).  And what about my girl parts?  I think I'd wear a bathing suit to somewhat protect 'em.  (giggle)

Saw this on Pinterest today and it is so true:

The last pic would definitely be me.  I think I'd rather do just about anything than submerge myself in ice.  Makes me want to cry just thinking about it.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

FAT Tuesday!

(FYI - To date, I have ran over 100 miles for my half marathon training - whoo hoo!!)

So to celebrate Fat Tuesday, let's revisit the issue of losing weight - or lack there of.  After asking on running forums, talking to my personal trainer, talking to other runner friends, and doing every weight loss calculator I can find online, I have succumbed to the fact that I need MORE calories to lose weight.  I looooove food.  So this should be a piece of cake.  =D  Right?  (MmMmMmMmmmmm - cake.)

Because 3,500 calories equals about 1 pound (0.45 kilogram) of fat, you need to burn 3,500 calories more than you take in to lose 1 pound. So if you cut 500 calories from your typical diet each day, you'd lose about 1 pound a week (500 calories x 7 days = 3,500 calories).

Ok - so I was eating around 1250-1300 calories/day - most days.  I am now at a MINIMUM of 1600 calories/day.  So, it's 5 pm and I've already had 1300+ calories and haven't even had dinner AND I burned 500+ today running and at the gym, so I need the rest of my evening to calculate to at least 800ish calories.  I just poured a glass of pinot noir so there's 100 to start.

By the way, my 8 mile run on Saturday with the Nashville Striders - loved it!  That was the quickest (in my mind) run to date.  I burned 924 calories with that run - amazing.

Let the weight loss begin!!!  (It better.  If I gain weight with all this, I'll be one pissed off chica.)

Friday, February 17, 2012

Facing Fears

I have not followed my schedule this week.  I won't even be getting all my miles that I am supposed to in week 8 - which is 19 - gonna be about (exactly) 5 short.  I skipped my 5 mile run yesterday.  Not just to skip it like you just 'skip school' back in high school (everyone did that, right?), but I kinda rearranged my schedule and now I don't even have a chance to squeeze the 5 back in.  I'M. OK. WITH. THAT.  I have to keep telling myself this or the guilt will start to ooze.

So, last Sunday's run of 7 miles left my knees barking at me.  Monday was a rest day, and I had my echo on Tuesday - so I took another rest day for Tuesday because my knees were still bothering me.  Wednesday, I did Tuesday's run of 3 miles and 4 strides, and Thursday I did the elliptical (still trying to go easy on the knees) and an awesome strength training session with my trainer Wayne.  Dude made me do 45 dead lifts and 100 squats!  I'm sore this morning.  And on that note, today I will either 1) go to the gym and do the bike, or 2) stay at home and do yoga - to get some of this soreness out.  Why am I not running today (besides the knees) when I could do my 5 miles today, rest tomorrow (or cross train) and do my normal long run on Sunday?  I thought you'd never ask.

Because, I am going to face some of my running fears tomorrow.  A Saturday.  THE one day a week that I don't do any exercise.  Ever.  This was another subconscious reason that I rearranged my schedule.  But I had to let the week go by and see if I'd actually go through with it. <----------- I'm good about not following through with things.  Sometimes.  ;)

So, here we go - I am going to do a group run (a first!) tomorrow (Saturday - another first but not very earth-shattering) with the Nashville Striders (Nashville's most popular running group - a major first!) that is at Shelby Bottoms (another first - never been there!) that starts promptly at 7:00 a.m. (definitely a first!).  

I have never ran with anyone.  ANY.ONE.  I've stared at these training runs on Nashville Striders website for weeks and weeks now.  They do a half marathon and a full marathon training run of about what you should be at in your training.  (I happen to fall right on target with the half marathon training run of 8 miles tomorrow - yay me!)  I talked to my trainer and my hairdresser (both are like talking to bartenders - spilling all your guts of what's goin on or what's goin wrong in your life) yesterday about the possibility.  They both thought 'do it!'.  But I have been so nervous because of the above paragraph!  Just show up and say 'hey I'm here - don't know any of you, oh, and I'll probably slow most of you down.  oh, what?  you'll just go on ahead and leave me back here.  Oh hey - no problem."

So, last night I copy and pasted the 2 people's names on the website who were contacts for the training runs.  I was very pleased to get a reply within a couple hours!  (I hate when I send a question in an email and don't get a reply!!  Bugs the piss out of me.)  Peter is the man!  Like I told him, he already made me feel very welcomed and I told him because of that, "I'll be there!".

This is going to be so good for me!  So eye-opening.  So liberating.  So 'I can do anything I want'.  I am going to learn so much from this run.  I can watch other people run, watch their stride, how they land, etc.  I can TALK to someone - never done that before.  Well, once, to my friend Michalyn on the treadmill.  She said 'see!  you can run and talk.'  But what I'm most excited about is running 8 miles and not counting every freakin' 10th of a mile!  I don't really do that - but as Peter (my new BFF) said, "You don't have to experience the loneliness of the long distance runner while you train."  BINGO!  No, no I don't.  Oh, and did I mention that Pete is the PRESIDENT of Nashville Striders??  I have to show up.

During strength training yesterday, Wayne said 'you do need to learn to run with other people.'  Ya think?  It's only gonna be me and 31,500 of my closest friends with me on April 28th.  No sweat.  (running pun!)  I guess I do need to learn how to share my toys.

So tomorrow when you guys are all snug in your beds, I will be rolling out of mine around 5:00 a.m. so I can have a lot of coffee and a little food, leave by 6:00 a.m. so I can find this place that is basically downtown - remember that whole 'I live in the sticks' post - park, warm-up, get instructions (??? don't I just run?) and start at 7:00 a.m.  God I hope there is at least 1 person that is as slow as me.

Sunday, February 12, 2012


Time has really been flying by lately - can't believe I'm in the 70's for days left.

This week is a recovery week - so hopefully with my **forced** recovery week last week PLUS a real recovery week, my knees will cooperate for my long run on Sunday - which is 7 miles - man o man!  I just can NOT believe how far I've come!  Now, if my weight would follow suit, that would be shiny.  (sigh)  I was down 2 lbs, but they're back.  Story of my life.  I have been on a very clean eating streak for the past month or so, watching calories yet getting in enough for my running, and obviously exercising.  But my weight doesn't budge.

(I started the above post on Thursday.  It's now Sunday.  Busy much?)

SO, did my 7 miles this morning - at a balmy 28 degrees - took me an hour and 37 minutes (I think) and my knees are not real happy.  I think this just may be the way it is?  Knees start hurting at about the 5 mile mark?  As long as it's not a major injury, and I can treat it with ice, rest, ibuprofen and a glass of wine, I'm good.

Next week (tomorrow) starts week 8 and it's a busy one - personal-wise AND exercise-wise.  Upping the mileage, adding more strength training, and adding an extra day of cross-training - all to end with an EIGHT mile run on Sunday.  I'm tired just typing all that.  Personal wise - hubby is gone majority of the week which always = me extra busy.  Monday night it's supposed to snow which means Nashville will shut down at the first site of flake which also means there is a BIG chance the kids will be out of school on Tuesday.  Occasionally, I really enjoy those days, but I'm already having to cancel my personal training on Tuesday because I have an echo (not 'yoda-lay-HEE-hoo.....hoo.....hoo - but an echo cardiogram) scheduled to make sure I have a healthy heart - which the doc is pretty sure I do - so that's all I go into that for now.  Thursday I get my hair cut and colored - YAY!!  I know there's more - it'll come to me.

Well that was an exciting post!!  Geesh.  I'll do better next time.  I think the 7 miles has my mind a little fuzzy.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Do You Know Your Enemy?

(love me some Green Day - some of my all time fav running tunes)

I do!  --------------> Andrea.

Yep, I am my own worst enemy.  Always have been.  My husband just rolls his eyes - and slightly braces himself - when he hears the guilt start coming out of my mouth.

Trying not to do another Debbie Downer episode, but this week sucked (training-wise).  After my 6 mile run on Sunday, the pains just kept coming.  I *know* I'm being smart about getting more good food in my body and getting some extra zzzz's here and there this week, but I *feel* like a total slacker.  Not lazy, but like I've just folded and gone home.  Given up.  Thrown in the towel.  BUT I haven't.

Let's look at this in a brighter light:  I got 2, instead of 1, really good strength training sessions in, I got 2, instead of 1, semi-good core sessions in, I did 1 day, instead of 0, of cross-training (elliptical), and we all can guess that I got some extra rest days in.

For that part of the week, pity party over.  The other part = today.  I was supposed to do my first 5k with my 13 year old this morning.  He was so excited!  I was too!  He's been coming home from school and changing into running clothes for the past 2 weeks.

(He's come such a long way with this whole running thing - I'm SO proud of him.  I forced him to join cross-country his first year in middle school.  He's not very athletic so this was the safest activity.  Yes, I am that mom.)

I went and picked up our race packets yesterday, even though we couldn't get our bib numbers b/c the printer had a burp in the numbers (those would include our numbers - of course) so I would either have to come back (um, no - took me 50 minutes just to get there) or get them at registration this morning - which is what I was trying to avoid by picking them up when they were     "available" the day before. Whatever - we'd go a bit earlier than expected and get our numbers with the rest of the 2000+ people expected to run.  No biggie.  As I was watching the news last night, it said there was a 95% of rain, thunder and wind gusts today.  Joy.  I warned Isaac that there was a possibility that we may not go due to all that.  I don't have anything against running in the rain.  In fact, I have actually enjoyed it the few times I was faced with it.  But thunder?  Doesn't thunder = lightning???  No thanks.  And wind gusts?  Wind alone - I hate running in it.  So, this awesome date with my son was quickly looking like a disaster.  Not to mention my mood on the way home I'm sure.  Anyway, long story short (little too late for that), the news was right.  There was a huge and very colorful front on the TV - looking like it was coming through downtown Nashville just about at starting time (10:00 a.m.).  So I made the decision and have felt guilty ever since (see paragraph 2).  Anyway, I've promised Isaac I will find us another 5k to do together soon.

But guess what I found with all this??  A silver-lining!  Yes - me!  I get to keep my training on schedule by (re) doing my long run of 6 miles tomorrow (I was moving it to Monday due to the 5k today).  So, today I will try to decide where I'm going to do my long run (I'm not going back to the Greenway - it will be muddy and quite slippery with all this rain) and I'm going to take it slow.  I definitely overdid it last Sunday.

So CHEERS to a new week!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Ding dong!

(don't you love packages at the door!?!?)

...and the winner is...............

As my bff said - 'those are kick ass'.  Yes... yes they are.

And I am hoping that new shoes will be the help my knees need!  Oi.  After my SIX (yay me!) mile run on Sunday, they were killing me.  Actually, as we speak, I have corn and peas on the knees again.  BUT, the little pain/ache I have now compared to yesterday?  Zero.

Back to my SIX (yay me again!) - I'm more than dumbfounded that I have even done this.  Seriously.  This is NOT easy for me - nor is it normal.  As I've mentioned before, I'm no born runner.  Nuh uh.  I don't just cruise down the street, or the treadmill, or the Greenway (finally did it!) and look like "one of those runners" that looks like they are the happiest human on earth.

Speaking of the Greenway, the only spot I know to even get on the damn thing is in front of Kohl's.  I looked it up online and thought about going over to Percy Priest Dam and starting there - but I had no clue how to get to the actual trail.  So, my adventurous self went directly to Kohl's.  It was a gorgeous day here in Nashville on Sunday - like 55+ degrees - I was in shorts and a t-shirt at the end of January!  I do have to admit that the Greenway is quite pretty...

...and this is January!  Everything is dead.  Anyway, I always like to go out 1/2 my distance (3 miles on Sunday) on any run and then back - because I have to come back.  Always.  At my 3 miles, guess where I was??  Yep - Percy Priest Dam - I'll be damn.  So THAT will be my 6 mile jaunt (that's putting it lightly) from now on!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Debbie Downer

What a week - 'phew.  Glad it's almost over.

Every run I had this week was a disaster except for Tuesday.  I think it was in sync with how my life went as well:  1) hard-boiled eggs blowing up on the stove, 2) spotting a mouse running in the kitchen, 3) having to wear a holter monitor for 24 hrs due to heart palpitations (WTH???), 4) and my car not starting after I had all the kiddies loaded up.  SO - let's start uber fresh tomorrow, shall we??

Tomorrow is the end of week 5 - wow!  And tomorrow's run is my first 6 mile run ever.  I'm a little nervous - not because I don't think I can do it, but that I have this weird pain in my lower right leg - and as I've said before, any little twitch or pain in my legs = "injury" in my head.  Hopefully it's something that isn't properly stretched or something simple like that.  I am going to pace myself tomorrow and force myself to take it slow and easy.  (PUH-LEEEZ don't be an injury!) I still don't know where my run is even going to take place tomorrow.  Maybe I'll finally venture to the Greenway.

Man - I'm just full of excitement and good news, eh??

Monday, January 23, 2012

The Itch

And that is what I have.  I'm not talking about a gross, running body itch.  I'm talking about the itch to run.  How nice is that???  And it's 63 freakin' degrees in January!  (sigh)  But I've learned the hard way that rest days are AS important as training days.  So here I sit .... wondering what to do.  I have about 6 loads of laundry I could do.  I have numerous closets to clean out.  But those don't sound near as fun as resting.  So for now, I'll just think of my 3 miles tomorrow and my 4 miles (with NO walking) on Wednesday.  And what am I doing on Thursday you ask?  I think I'm going to visit my local (putting that mildly) running store - Fleet Feet - and see if my Mizuno Wave Creations are about to give up.  And there is a big part of me that hopes they are - or that they at least suggest that I have 2 pairs of running shoes to alternate - because I found another pair of Mizuno Wave Creations in not just one, but two colors I LOVE! (I haaaaate the color of my current running shoes - but when you're a true runner, you could give a rat's ass what color they are as long as make you feel like a rock star - or at least run and not hurt.)  So here are my 2 new loves - what do you think?

I think I like the orange ones the best.  And my daughter (3 years old) just picked the orange, so there ya have it!  But seriously, my knees have just started to hurt and ache a bit AND on the past couple runs, I feel like the balls of my feet are a little to close to the ground. 

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Close Enough

Another 5 miles done!  Well, it was more like 4.9, but it's sure close enough for me.  My CardioTrainer app didn't work right - I hate when it does that - so I really didn't know how far I went until I got in the car and drove it.  I walked a bit more today than last week (I just chant 'injury prevention.... injury prevention) and it was probably because of all the freakin' hills!  But do you know what is kick ass?  I KNOW I could run 5 miles without stopping <-------- couldn't say that 2 weeks ago!

Week 5 starts tomorrow.  And that means my Sunday long runs for the next 2 weeks will be 6 miles.  Yikes.  I'm running out of places to do my long runs.  I need to go to the Greenway - it has all kinda mileage.  But for some reason I just haven't driven that far yet.  And maybe that is just it - it takes so. freakin. long. to. get. anywhere. from our stupid house.  We definitely live out in the sticks.  When I do my neighborhood loop, these are my spectators:

Today, I went 'into the city' and actually passed 4 humans.  Running humans.  This girl is gonna go from running with cows, horses, and llamas to... well... this:

This, my friends, was the starting line at the Rock N Roll Country Music Marathon last year.  This is my race in April. No biggie.  (feeling faint)

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Single digits!

99 days to go!  Yee haw!  And as pumped as I am, I am fretting a bit at the moment with a bag of peas on my left shin.  But you can ask my husband - any little quirk or sting in my legs and I promptly RICE.

R.I.C.E. - rest, ice, compression, elevate

Today I got a 90 minute massage.  Ahhhhhhhhhh.  Wow was that needed!  And not just because my hammies were locked up like a vault, nor because I almost came off the table when she steam-rolled my quads - but for the sanity and the stress-relief.  After yesterday's hard-boiled egg explosion all over my kitchen to start the day AND the visit from a little charcoal grey mouse in my kitchen to end my evening, I think I deserved it.

Other than that, I cleaned my house (some) and have Savory Bean and Spinach Soup in the crock-pot as we speak/type/read.  =D

Three miles are on the books tomorrow plus core workout <---------- puke.  I loathe doing core work... but that is because it's where I need the most work.  I guess after 1 c-section and birthing 2 others, it tends to get a little lazy.  But what pisses me off is my cousin, who also has 3 kids - 3 precious boys to be exact - has the flattest stomach ever!  And so does my sister-in-law who ironically has 3 boys as well.  Maybe it was Lucy - the female did it!  Anyway, I'm determined to get this crap toned up somehow.  I always look like I'm 3 - 4  months pregnant - you know, that just barely showing stage when you're so giddy?  Not so giddy here.

Anyway, back to the 3 miles - it actually doesn't sound that long to me now that my long Sunday runs are increasing.  On most of my runs, Jason gives me the option to run/walk in certain intervals.  I haven't done them all like that - sometimes I feel so awesome that I just run the whole thing.  And then sometimes (but not a lot anymore!), like Tuesday, I probably walk more than I run.  And as long as it's not raining buckets, I will get to run outside tomorrow!  (I can only take so much of the treadmill.)

Sunday, January 15, 2012

103 days to go...

End of week 3!  I'm so excited.  I also figured out how to put my training plan on here (look at the tabs above).  So, week 4 will be the same as week 3.

My run today was so good - actually got the runner's high and my endorphins are still flying!  FIVE miles - wow.  I'm very proud of myself.  My legs felt strong, my energy was good, my breathing was good, my pace stayed steady.  Probably need to utilize my foam roller after that run.

foam roller - a firm foam log that is primarily used for myofascial release. They come in various sizes but they are generally six inches in diameter and three feet long. People using foam rollers typically use their own body weight and position the sore or tight muscle groups directly on top of it. The pressure from this causes a release in the muscle. A foam roller is often an alternative for seeing a massage therapist. It is an inexpensive, yet highly effective way to treat and prevent the most common injuries seen in runners.

Here is the one I have - I don't use it like I need to, but that needs to change.  I have a love/hate relationship with it.  It can be VERY painful... but in the end, I'm usually so glad I used it!

Friday, January 13, 2012

105 days to go...

I need this cat to run with me.

Maybe sometime this weekend I'll be able to sit down and actually 'talk' about what's going on and my running.  Been super busy this week (along with an intestinal bug) and now my brother-in-law is in town, snow day for the kids, MLK day on Monday - no school, 2 doctor appt's on Monday, and Lucy may be starting swimming up again on Monday.  'Phew - BUT I'm off to run 3 miles!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

107 days to go...

I saw this today and completely agree.  This is one thing that DOES work for me.  Accountability.

"If we write our dreams and goals down, we dramatically increase our odds of realization. If we share them with others, they become potent and alive."

Kristin Armstrong, Full Cup, Mile Markers blog, 

Man.  When my husband goes out of town - I have ZERO time to do much of anything except cart kids, cook meals, and run.  My house?  Disaster.  My car?  Major nastiness.  But I'm gettin' my runs in!!  And my kids are alive.  I'm doin' good.  

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

108 days to go...

I love this!  I've never actually done it... however, I've never actually ran a half marathon.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

110 days to go...

Well, I survived my birthday.  Didn't do squat Saturday from being soooo tired (going to bed at 11:30 p.m. is MAJOR late for me!).  And 5 martini's didn't help the situation either.  But got up this morning ready for "Long Run Sunday" - 4 miles.  So far, it hasn't gone so well...and by that I mean it hasn't even happened yet and it's 1:15 p.m (I'm a total morning runner).  But it IS going to happen.  I did do the 'well, I did pad my training by not 1 but 2 freakin' weeks - if I don't do my long run til tomorrow, so what?'  BUT, I start training with Wayne (personal trainer) again beginning Tuesday and I HAVE to have a rest day the day after long runs.  So suck it up Andrea - you ARE gonna run in the afternoon.  Geez - it's not like we're talking rain or a freakin' blizzard.  Just p.m. hours Andrea - still daylight even.

I can't believe I start week 3 tomorrow - woo hoo!  Week 3 goes like this:

Mon - Rest
Tues - 2 miles (no walking) + 4 strides - plus strength training w/Wayne
Wed - 3 miles (I've NEVER EVER ran 2 days in a row in my life - this is a new stepping stone for me)
Thurs - Rest
Fri - 3 miles + 4 strides + strength training on my own
Sat - Rest
Sun - 5 miles (another stepping stone!)

Jason from Strength Running wrote my half marathon training for me.  What I love about my plan is that I have the option to run/walk some of my days, but what I love more is the 'no option' days when he puts 'NO walking' on my mileage!  I need that kick in the butt and someone telling me exactly what I can do and exactly what I can not do - on this topic at least.  My husband would beg to differ.  =D

At some point this coming week, I will also add a yoga session in - I got Sage Roundtree's 'The Athlete's Guide To Yoga', so I'm looking forward to seeing if it keeps me stretched out enough.

And with all this week's running and training and stretching, hubby is back on the road.  Yep.  Will will be gone the majority of the week so I'm gonna be one busy chica, one busy runner, and one busy mama!!  'Phew.  I'm tired just blogging about it.  I'll be putting emphasis in the 'Peace' part of my title.  ;)

Friday, January 6, 2012

January 6, 2012

Instead of typing the date for my titles, I'm gonna start putting how many days left to my half - FYI, today is 113 days left!!

I'm 42 today - happy birthday to me!  To celebrate, I'm getting ready to head out for my scheduled 3 miles + 4x30 sec strides @ 95%. - to translate - I will run for 30 sec as fast as I can get this little legs to go.  4 times.

My hubby got me some Nike therma-fit tights for my bday - yay!!  He's probably tired of hearing me complain about running in the cold - although I don't think I've been TOO bad.  However, today it is going to be 62 degrees here in Nashville - won't need them today.  Just need to get my shorts and a t-shirt out today - ahhhhh.

My birthday cards this year were PRICELESS!  My husband and kids got me a musical card that when opened played MC Hammer's 'Can't Touch This'.  So on that note, I demonstrated to my kids what Hammer's moves looked like back then.  Almost pulled something in my hip.  Then, one of my dearest friends of all time, Dana P., sent me a card of a blonde hugging the porcelain God while a dark headed girl held her blonde hair out of the way for her.  Perfect for us back in the day!  Then my in-laws sent me a bday card with a runner on it - so cool!

And the real celebration - Mom/Grandma/Ra Ra is babysitting the kids tonight and Will and I are going to Sambuca in the Gulch for my birthday dinner!  (I actually run past Sambuca during my half.)  We've been once and it was extremely good.

My daughter is throwing her panties up in the air over and over.  Naked.  She says she is making a pizza-ria.  Apparently I'm not the only one that needs to get some clothes out.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

January 4, 2012

First run of week two and it was great!  I love when I have those.  (they are not as often as I would like)  I ran 2.54 miles in 25 minutes - and no walking today.  AND on the freakin' treadmill.  I have a love/hate relationship with treadmills!  They keep me at a nice even pace and I can work on form and breathing - but they are booooooring as hell.  You better have a pretty awesome playlist in my opinion.  I'm thinking of listening to a podcast - I have no idea what podcast - vs. music for a change.  Hmmm.

Boys went back to school today!  Yay!  Lucy goes tomorrow!  Yay!  I get my hair cut and colored tomorrow!  Yay!  Good week so far!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

January 4, 2012

First workout of week TWO!  Just a gym workout plus I added a half hour on the elliptical.  Two miles tomorrow - and I'm looking so forward to them!  I will probably do them on the TM (treadmill) for 2 reasons - 1.  it's below freezing tomorrow and I'm still a pansy when it comes to the cold, and 2. I want to make sure I run a nice slow, steady 2 miles - unlike Sunday's 4 miles that was all over the place.  And if I'm on the TM, I can control my pace.  It will be boring as hell but it's only 2.  It's only 2.  It's only 2.

Now?  A nap.  I woke up at 3:00 a.m. and never could fall back asleep.  : /

Monday, January 2, 2012

January 2, 2012

Happy New Year 2012!!

So New Year's Eve my hubby booked our hotel for the race!!  I'm so freakin' excited.  I reeeeeally wanted to stay near the start line, and we could have, to the tune of almost $500 for 1 night.  Just couldn't do it.  So we will be staying closer to the finish, which is fine.  Anything is closer to downtown Nashville than our house out in the sticks in Lebanon, TN!!

New Year's Day was my first "long" run EVER - 4 miles - AND it was a PR for me ('personal record' in runner lingo) because my farthest distance to run to date was like 3.8.  The first mile sucked big time.  I was freezing.  It was all uphill.  I felt I weighed 500 lbs (I don't - tee hee).  And wind gusts of about 25 mph.  I had to walk several times in that 1st mile - which pissed me off - BUT I have to remember that covering the whole distance is more important than having to walk a bit.  And walking helps with preventing injuries - which I am too accustomed to - so there.  When I ran back towards my car, I still had .5 miles to go!!!  So around and around and around I went in the Publix parking lot and sometimes the church across the street (there's one on every corner in the south ya know!).  I was in bed by 7:30 p.m.

Today - I'm sore.  Yowzhaa!  But a 'good sore'.  And I feel good in my head knowing I'm still on track.

So, this week?  I do exactly the same as last week.  Still getting used to some of the routines that Jason has me doing for warm-up, warm-down, and core exercises.  Core exercises <--------------- blech!  I hate doing them - probably because they are my weakness.  But Jason says I have to do them - which is why I hired him!

Also this week - kids go back to school (insert Charlie Brown happy dance).  I'm ready to be on a normal routine again!!