Thursday, February 27, 2014

Rocket Fuel

Eerrr...Pocket Fuel?? Either name works, and it's 50/50 as to what it gets called in our house.  What's important is that Brian loves the stuff!! Check this out!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Emma's Special Day

Because I make a point to never discuss religion here on the blog, but I do make every effort to keep family far away up to date on our life......I'm posting these pictures from yesterday w/no explanation and not much commentary. They are self-explanatory. : )  We are proud of you, Emma!
Emma's friend, Devon, took her shopping for a special outfit for the day.

Emma and her friend Chloe.

Myles, Grandma, Sophie, Auntie Melissa

Our CO, Bro. Knowles, and Emma.

She is loved by many and would get little surprises from friends throughout the day : )

Bro. Sparks, he gave the talk, which was built around life being like hiking Half Dome. It really was perfect.

The day ended with dinner at her favorite place, with some of her favorite people.
Here's a link to a video on Brian's blog.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Being Smart Isn't Easy

I had a feeling this week would be the week I knew for sure what I needed to do about WTC. Last week was a slow build of speed and miles. While it felt uncomfortable at times, I would say the real pain was gone, and it felt progressively better as the week went on.  This week I was adding hills back into the mix.  I started today's run climbing the toughest hill I have access to, which has an 18% grade.  Today's run w/elevation profile (it over estimates the elevation gain)-

While I got up it 3 minutes faster than normal, it hurt.  With a hill that steep I have to be able to climb using my toes, and unfortunately, it hurts. An "I'm doing damage" kind of hurt. Steep downhills weren't much better. Pressure on my toes on the downhills made it hurt.  And all that hurt made the rest of the run pretty uncomfortable, and not just in a "that doesn't feel normal" way, but in a "I just set this achille's recovery back a few weeks" way. Today's run was around 900 ft of elevation gain, WTC has over 4,851 ft of gain, with all the steep climbs coming in the last half of the run, including an infamous hill that has a 20% grade.

As soon as I got home I sent the "I'm out of WTC" email. I knew by the end of my run what my new game plan was. With no race on the schedule, I've got nothing to do but let this thing heal up.  I'm shutting down the running and focusing on getting in a workout 5 days a week and spending some quality time on our spin bike.

It's not always easy to do the smart thing, but I think I made the right decision if I'm thinking long term.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Almost negative splits!

I got 5 done this morning and am happy to report things feel mostly ok! I had some definite pain at the mile 2.5 mark, but this was after running uphill that whole time, and trying to push to get negative splits. That section between 2-2.5 miles there's a little steeper of a hill and it got me, bumped my pace up, but I'm still super happy with today's run. The pain was low in the calf and felt like a small rubber ball would pop out every time I pushed off that foot. It wasn't sharp pain, just "that does not feel right" pain, and I pushed through and it went away w/in .2 mile. It was another "a little further, a little faster" run.  I'm happy with any run where there are no miles in the 13's and the last mile in the 9's.  Next week I'll add back in some steeper climbs and descents, and a longer run, and go from there. Right now I'm having to snake the tiny hills coming up out of the creek beds, I can't go straight up as it flexes my foot back too much and it pulls in my calf, and not in a good way. Still not ready to say how I feel about WTC.  Taking it a day at a time.

Have a happy weekend, I don't plan on posting again till next week. Brian has a 4 day weekend, I'll be busy soaking him up.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Got Glue?

 That time of year again.
This was last weekend's project.  The kids have it pretty easy, they just do the experiment and tell me what happened.  It's mom who types, picks fonts, colors, sizes, prints, and glues (they help until they start getting sloppy).  Sophie's is the Shocking Wacky Water (new school wanted creative titles). Its mandatory for fourth grade.  Myles is the Doggone Good Treats project. His was optional. We don't turn down optional work around here, so he picked a project and we got it done.

This was glued to the back of the project. Notice the difference in penmanship between working with papa and working with mom.  He did the first 3 w/Papa, and last 3 with me.  To be fair, I'm the one who does homework with him everyday and he knows what I expect.  He's that kid who can do amazing things... if you make him. But he wont if you don't.  Or is that every 7 year old boy??
Anyway, I'm glad another year of these has come and gone.  And that Emma did not have to do one this year!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Little further, Little faster, No pain!!

I'm taking things very slowly getting back into the running game. I did 2 miles yesterday, and was pretty stiff the rest of the day. Getting up this morning, it felt good, so I decided to do 3 today and see how it held up going a little further, and running on it two days in a row. Guess what?? It was awesome!! Still a little stiff and uncomfortable, but no pain. And, today's run was exactly a full minute  faster per mile pace! And I was again able to get into the 7's for a few seconds at the end.
Baby steps!! Tomorrow's an off day, and I'd like to do 5 on Thursday if it still feels good.
You can't see it, but the fence posts had steam coming out the top.

Rocky and many ways to apply that but when I saw this stretch today, I laughed out loud because that was exactly what I thought "this is going to be a rocky uphill battle but I'm doing it." And, how pretty is the front edge of that rock at the bottom of the picture?
Yes, that would normally not be a celebratory run, but today it is!!

Monday, February 10, 2014

2 Miles of a Mixed Bag

Well, I ran!!  It was a mixed bag of feeling great, and some pain. I'm sure some of it is just being off it for 2 weeks, some is injury related.  I only planned on doing 2 miles, and stuck to it. Basically, flat is good. Hill, either going up or down, is when I feel it.   I was able to hit a 7:19 pace at the end on a flat, which felt good and was pain free and fast for me (it was a short bit). Whereas climbing a hill at a 14 pace was a bit painful. No sharp, fresh pain, just pain that I would expect to feel.  Initially I planned on making a decision after the first run back, but I can see that I'll need the week to figure out what is what - what pain I'm feeling and if it gets better or worse, and how far it will tolerate.
Bottom line, today was a success. I wasn't sure I'd even get 2 miles on it, so I'm happy!
I finally put up the run the injury happened on, and the long limp out before I got picked up, on my strava, along with today's outing. I didn't really want to look at it, but it's part of the journey, so it's up.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Thank You, Val and Dad!

 When we got home from our trip last weekend, I had two packages waiting for me. So exciting!!
My step mom, Val, sent this beautiful purse.  I love, love, love it! It's hand made, tooled leather. I love that it is beautiful, very detailed, yet neutral enough that I'll be able to use it with almost any outfit. Yes, I know a lot of you had handbags like this a few decades back, what can I say...I'm old school.  And, it smells so good! I have it next to my bed and my whole room smells like leather.  It has been..maybe never, since I've had a really nice purse. Mine come from Ross usually, sometimes Target if I'm feeling like spending an extra buck, so to have something so nice is really a treat!

 And these boots arrived, thanks to my dad's generosity!  You may remember, these were pair number one in the "boot" post.  Well, pair #2 is also on it's way, but will take a bit longer.  I love these boots! They are really pretty.  They started off completely dark brown, but as I moved them around trying them on, all these lighter cracks started to form (this is supposed to happen, and over time give them an awesome worn look).
 They really are amazing in person. Unfortunately, I could barely get them on. Admittedly, I had been sitting in the car for 6 hours and everything was swollen.  But, even getting up early and putting them on first thing...I could barely get the left one on, and the right one was a total no go. The right one could be from my stiff ankle not wanting to bend much. Either way, they are on their way back to Country Outfitter for the next size up.
Thank you both, Val and Dad, very much!!

Friday, February 7, 2014

Staying Mostly Sane While Injured

A few ways to stay mostly sane while injured-

1. Get up.
2. Get dressed in non running/workout clothes. I've been wearing date night outfits daily, because they make me happy.
3. Do my hair everyday. Try out new hairdos.
4. Do make up everyday.
5. Clean the house everyday.
6. Light my smell-good candles everyday. Currently burning Lemon Bar scented candles.
7. Wear real jewelry. Normally my garmin and id bracelet are my jewelry.
8. Paint toes in non black, blue, dark purple color. They are currently sporting a french pedicure.
9. Make dinner everyday.
10. Pretend that you'd rather be doing all the above things instead of being out in the dirt on the trail
11. Ignore the pain.
12. Discover Triple Sec.

Ways to have a break down-

1. See a runner
2. See someone in runner shoes/shirt.
3. Go to a running event, stand near the finish line and see how happy everyone is to be running/finishing what they set out to accomplish. Just being honest here, it was hard. Yes, I was happy for everyone, just wanted to be in the mix with them.
4. See a Strava Activity update in your email box (these are instantly deleted. I love all my running friends and I'm happy you are having great runs right now, but I'm not looking at what anyone else is running these days)
5. Get a Way Too Cool running group/race update email saying now is the time for those last long runs before it's taper time.
6. Sleep in, stay in pjs all day, do not do hair/makeup/brush teeth or shower.
7. Focus on the days that are ticking off your training schedule or how many/few days are left on it.
8. Missing the sights/smells/sounds of the trail, the grit between your toes, smell of cowpies in the air, and knowing that the creeks are now flowing due to the recent rain.
9. Not ignoring the pain -focusing on all the random burning, twitching, popping, thumping, spasms, and pain while walking, sitting, sleeping. (it is greatly improved, and on the mend...mostly)

Maintaining Perspective-

When running is such a huge part of your life, it's easy to get stuck in the negative thinking space when injured. That is an understatement.  In the moment, it feels like you're never going to run again (2 weeks is a long time in a runners world, people), that in one moment, one instantly lost 6 weeks of hard work, like it was all for nothing.  Thinking that there is no way you can recover in time for your race that you've been working hard to get to the start/finish line of.  Any insecurities that were lingering just under the surface while you were healthy and training are now blown up and in your face.

The reality is I will run again. I have not lost my legs/leg.  In the grand scheme of things, this will be a quick recovery (I'm optimistic that I'll be running in some fashion next week).  There is no other way I would have wanted to spend the 6 weeks that led up to the injury. The truth is that "training" gives me an excuse to do more of what I love to do, and I had completely enjoyed those 6 weeks, that time and and joy, training and conditioning both mentally and physically did not disappear the second my achilles went.  Can I recover in time for Way Too Cool? I don't know. That is the reality.  It could go either way - I try to run next week and still have too much pain and can tell it's not ready to be run on.  What that would mean is that even if I waited another 2 weeks and it was fine to run on, it would not be wise to, at that point, do a 50k (32 miles). OR, I could try to run next week, feel ok, take it slow but get a few more long runs in, and make it to the start line.  Either way, I will be ok. Either way, March will come and go. Life and time goes on. Eventually, this will all be behind me, and there will be many more adventures. I would just really like for Way Too Cool to be one of them! : )

Alright, there you have it, a little peak into the past 2 weeks.
Hopefully I'll be back to posting some great pictures from the trail soon!!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Huntington Beach - Post 2

A few of my favorites from the weekend-

Heading up the Grapevine.

The beautiful sunrise on marathon morning. The beach walk was dry, yet still reflected the pink light of the sky.

The view from sand to sea underneath the Huntington Beach Pier.

The beautiful Pier. If you shop at Hollister, and see the beach on the big tv screens, the cameras for those shots are on that pier.

Emma boogie bording. She would start way out in the big waves and ride all the way in. She borrowed a wet suit from Auntie Jill.

She had so much fun. A highlight was watching the dolphins. They were jumping completely up and out of the water, flipping in the air. Other times they would beat the water w/their tails. We were in awe watching the waves break, like the one rising in the above picture...and seeing the outline of dolphins inside the waves riding them in.  It was really amazing!  Below is a picture of exactly what it looked like, but it's not my picture, I was not skilled enough to get a shot of it.

Surf City Marathon-Post 1

There's lots of pictures in this post, so I'm not going to make them all big, but you can click on any of them to make them bigger if you'd like a better view!

 You know it's a big race/expo when the parking signs start blocks from the event.

 It was super packed inside the expo. It's a great expo..however...I don't know if it's just that we have certain products that we always use now, clothes/shoes that we are committed to, or that we have just "settled down" into who we are as runners now...but we both just wanted to get our stuff and get out, and both realized how "faddish", "trendy", "insert whatever word works for you" expos are. First time we've felt that way at an expo.
 While i would never personally buy a skirt from Running ( holy $$$), seeing their booth makes me happy!

 That big white tent is the expo. It's really huge!
 Race morning, 3:30 wake up call, obviously I crack him up.

 Parking is always a bear for this race, but not if you get there at 5 a.m. for a 6:30 start. Plenty early, time to sleep.
 He's putting his bib on above, and below....a welcome sight at any race...a sea of empty potties. TMI, I had the best pre race poop ever in history in one of those potties.  Too bad I was not running!  I had a kid in each pottie next to me and totally embarrassed them by playing Blake Shelton's Boy's Round Here on my phone while I was doing my business.  Aren't you glad you are reading this??

 We waited for the race start inside the expo tent, which was warm.

 Time to start!! Wheel chairs first.
 Check out that amazing sunrise!
 And they're off!!
 The kids and I walked on the beach path a few miles to a spot where we could see Brian go by a few times.  We love all the beach shacks along the path, and Emma has this placed scoped out for our next visit, surf lessons and a wet suit/board all day for only $75!

 Here comes the police escort for the lead runner on the road, and below he is heading on an out and back section on the beach path.

 And here comes Brian, this is at the 17 mile point. He's in red.
 And there he goes.  Then we walked back towards the finish.

 We spotted Tony, aka Endorphin Dude a few times, this is right at the finish and as always, he has a huge smile!
 And here comes Brian!!! I was so happy to see him!!

He got it done! Road marathon #7, done! He was totally fine the next day, ran a bit, walked all over the beach.  He thought maybe the soreness would hit two days out, but it didn't. He's totally fine, and going for a lunch time run today.  Great job, babe! Super proud of you!!