Monthly Recap

October Recap

Hello! Happy Monday!

Can you believe that tomorrow is the first day of November?! November always has a way of prompting feelings of thankfulness and I am looking forward to a month of positivity and thoughts of gratitude.

MONTH RECAP: October

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The cotton fields are in full bloom!

Total running: 241 miles

Workouts: I’d say it was a decent month of workouts, especially considering that I missed an entire week of running altogether. #TrackTuesday seems to be a fairly regular occurrence these days and I’m loving it!

3 mi. WU, 4 mi. LT tempo (6:44, 6:18, 6:18, 6:31), 1.75 mi. CD

2 mi. WU, 3 X 1 mile (6:36, 6:27, 6:33), 2 mi. CD

16 mile moderate pace LR (avg. 8:09 for 1st 8 & avg. 7:22 for 2nd 8)

2 mi. WU, 20 X 200 (40, 42, 41, 40, 40, 40, 41, 40, 40, 41, 40, 41, 40, 40, 41, 41, 41, 41, 38, 37), 3 mi. CD

2 mi. WU, 8 X 400 (91, 92, 91, 90, 90, 91, 89, 89), 3 mi. CD

Races: 3 this month. A 5K, 10K & Half Marathon. So very balanced! I also missed two 5Ks that I was originally planning to do, but it’s no biggie. There are plenty more races to be run (thankfully). One of the races that I missed was a Halloween themed costume race and Jessica, Rebecca and I were going to go as “three blind mice.”

Three blind mice. Three blind mice.
See how they run. See how they run.

It would’ve been fun, but hopefully we can make it happen next year (I’m going to hold on to our costumes :)).

Favorite Race: I really enjoyed the Shrimp Festival 10K in Orange Beach. The course was great, the entire race was very well organized, I got a 10K PR & ran with friends. It’s hard to beat that!

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Longest run: 16 miles

Shortest run: 2.75 miles (the pre-race warm up that ended rather abruptly). Oh, I almost forgot to tell y’all, but I went back to the scene of the “incident” to check it out and discovered this major crack in the sidewalk. Crack kills!

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Favorite run: The Comeback Run! Daniel and I decided to make a joint comeback (he had been off for 10 days and I had been off for 7 days). We did 3 miles together and it was glorious! His foot bothered him a little bit and my knee was still a tad sore, but for the most part we were just happy to be running.

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Rest days: 7

Other: I finally have some cross-training to report! I went to the gym a few times during my “injury recovery” and successfully mastered the art of the elliptical. I don’t hate it (as long as I have music, TV or a book (or possibly all three) to distract me). I must have the distractions though.

I’ve got a few races coming up in November that I’m excited about. A 10K (possibly (this one is still TBD based on how my knee is cooperating)), a 10 miler and a 5K on Thanksgiving Day (an appropriately named and timed Turkey Trot (as opposed to our other mid-October local Turkey Trot)).

What races do you have coming up?

Miscellaneous

“Bless Your Heart”

A little injury update for your reading pleasure …

If you are struggling with a common running injury (such as plantar fasciitis or iliotibial band syndrome), it’s nice to read posts of someone who has been through the same thing and how they overcame it. I would venture to say that a busted knee and face, fractured teeth and mild concussions are not super common running injuries (at least not all combined).

Who knew that running was such a contact sport?! [Insert face plant palm here]

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It can also be helpful is to read about how avid running enthusiasts deal with the dreaded time off. When you’re recovering from a running injury, you become very aware that running is indeed a big part of your life (but it is not your entire life). Dealing with the physical pain of the injury is not as difficult as dealing with the frustration of not being able to run (in my opinion).

To make matters worse (or perhaps better), we are currently a non-running household. Daniel is also benched for a little while (he’s got plantar fasciitis w/ some micro-tears in the fascia). I would almost venture to say that it has actually been good that neither of us are able to run. Misery does indeed love company.

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Kidding … kind of :/

So far, so good. I haven’t run in 6 days (but who is counting) and I am surviving! I honestly thought that I would be back running after 2 or 3 days, but it seems that was overly optimistic. I took it totally easy for 2 days. Walking was a challenge because my knee was ginormous.

Not normal …

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My lip was also huge, but I’ll spare you from any more pictures of that. The lip wasn’t affecting my running (or lack thereof). Running Wild had a Halloween themed run Tuesday evening that I hoped to attend (again, overly optimistic) and I was going to go as “Botox Gone Bad.” Clever, yes?

Tuesday I planned to go back to work. I was going to stay for half of the day and see how it went. Tuesday morning I had a really bad headache and when I got to work I couldn’t really focus on anything. I was just staring at my computer screens, but not really processing anything. It was an odd feeling and definitely not normal for me. I don’t usually have trouble focusing.

I texted Daniel and told him that my head was hurting and he suggested that I go to the ER and that they would likely do a CT scan on my brain to make sure that I didn’t have a subdural hematoma (blood in the brain (I had to ask what it was)). Cue anxiety.

The good news is that my brain is fine (aside from whatever case of crazy-head we were already dealing with), but they doctors diagnosed me with a mild concussion. I guess when you fall and hit your face/head on the concrete, it happens. To recover from a concussion you A) get plenty of rest, B) don’t think too hard and C) ease back into your normal, daily activities (i.e., running and working).

I’m just hanging out with the dog. Not running. Not using my brain.

The body is a funny thing. As soon as one area heals, other injuries start to surface. At least that’s what seemed to be the case with my teeth. I know that I mentioned soreness in my teeth earlier, but Wednesday and Thursday I began having extreme sensitivity. I couldn’t even drink lukewarm water without it causing me pain and cold and hot liquids were completely intolerable. This was a major bummer because I was relying on smoothies and frozen yogurt as dietary staples.

I was supposed to see the dentist Monday (after I get my stitches out), but since the pain seemed to be worsening, I called Thursday and thankfully they were able to work me in. The diagnosis there was fractured enamel on my front teeth and also some shifting of the teeth due to the impact of the hit. Apparently my front teeth could possibly die at some point in the near or distant future and at that point, I will need a root canal. Perfect.

Let’s talk about some happier things shall we?

Contrary to how the first part of this post may seem, I am really trying my best to keep a positive attitude. Life goes on all around us, regardless of how we choose to see it. We can choose how to interpret our environment. These interpretations are based on our attitudes. Like the saying goes: Change your attitude, change your life.

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I’m not saying that life is all rainbows and sunshine, but it’s not all doom and despair, woe is me, either. I still feel extremely grateful that it wasn’t worse. All of these things will heal and I will be back running in no time.

Speaking of running! My coach assures me that in one down week (with some light cross training), I will not lose any of the long-term adaptations (VO2 max, lactate threshold, aerobic threshold, etc.) that I have been working so hard to build. There will be a slight decrease in short-term adaptations (mitochondrial content throughout the muscle fibers, enzymatic capacity, APT production (i.e., all the stuff that makes my head hurt because I am not supposed to be thinking)). However, even the short-term levels should be back to 100% within 3 to 4 days of regular training. Woo hoo!

After a few days off completely, I decided to try out the elliptical. The elliptical is much easier on the joints than running and thankfully, my knee didn’t hurt at all on the elliptical. Your body also stays somewhat stationary on the elliptical (no bouncing up and down (i.e., sloshing the brain)) and there is a much lower risk of falling. I am very thankful to have some form of activity to help keep me from going completely stir crazy.

One thing I know for sure is that when I am able to run again (hopefully by Monday … fingers crossed), I am truly going to appreciate every step. Sometimes taking a little break (forced or not) is good! It can give you a new perspective and outlook.

Speaking of this new outlook, I had 3 different people say “bless your heart” to me yesterday! If you’ve seen Steel Magnolias, you know that “bless your heart” is pretty much the worst thing you could ever possibly say about a person. Ha! I know that “bless your heart” isn’t really an automatic insult. It could very well mean “That is a terrible thing that happened and I’m genuinely sorry.” Thanks to this new perspective, I am going to choose to believe the latter.

What’s going on this weekend? Anyone racing? Tell me about it. I need to live vicariously through your miles!

Miscellaneous, Thinking Out Loud

#CurrentStatus

Hello friends! Happy Monday!

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I have some extra time on my hands today (funny how that happens when you aren’t able to run :)), so I’m seizing the opportunity for an updated current things post. I really enjoy writing these.

Current book: Daniel has gotten me into John Grisham recently. I don’t read (or watch) anything violent, so I always do a quick overview of the plot before I start a book to make sure it isn’t anything crazy. We both started with The Firm. Daniel also just finished Gray Mountain and I just finished The Partner. We are about to switch and read the other ones now. We like to discuss the books as we go!

Daniel is also reading The Insanity of God: A Story of Faith Resurrected by Nik Ripken and I am also still working on Present over Perfect. It’s a great book, but it’s harder to read quickly. I can blaze my way through fiction much faster non-fiction.

Current music: I am obsessed (I think there’s a separate category for that, but it’s going here anyway) with The Garth Channel on Sirius XM. It is a mix of Garth Brooks songs as well as songs from other artists who inspired and influenced him and it’s amazing.

Current guilty pleasure: I am about to cuddle up on the couch next to this goober and enjoy all the puppy snuggles.

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Current drink: I try not to make diet sodas a daily habit, but for some reason when I am sick (or in this care I guess injured is more appropriate), I really crave Sprite. I am currently sipping on a Sprite Zero w/ a Lemon Lime Nuun tablet added in. Lots of lemony-limey goodness.

Just a fair warning: if you mix Nuun with a carbonated beverage, you need to do it over the sink. The combination is a bit “combustible” (I’m sure this isn’t scientifically the correct term, but the point is that it basically makes a little bit of a mess) and you’re going to have some fizz to deal with initially. It’s totally worth it though.

Current food: The food situation is a bit tricky currently. My teeth are still very sore and I am basically sticking with a mushy diet for the time being. I just ate a mashed banana on toast.

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Any hard-core Gilmore Girls fans will appreciate this.

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LORELAI: Mom, I think somebody already ate that.
EMILY: That is a mashed banana on toast.
LORELAI: OK.
EMILY: I used to make this for you all the time when you were a little girl.
LORELAI: You did?
EMILY: Yes, whenever you got sick I made this.
LORELAI: Are you sure it wasn’t the other way around?

I first got the idea for mashed banana on toast from this show years ago. They actually made it sound horrible, but it sounded good to me. Bananas, good. Beef Bread, good. ICYMI: That was a Friend’s reference (I’m on a roll today). Long story short, my mom and I started doing the banana toast thing and it’s actually pretty good (in my opinion). I actually added applesauce to my concoction today. Gotta let that toast get good and mushy before I can actually chew it (#fatlipproblems)!

P. S. Who is excited about “Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life?!” One more month!

Current obsession: The Instant Pot is pretty much the best thing ever! It is a multi-cooker, capable of completely taking the place of a pressure cooker, a slow cooker, a rice cooker, a sauté/browning pan, and a steamer. It cooks meals really fast (using less energy) and preserves the nutrients.

Y’all know that I am not a chef, but this thing is amazing. Here are a few things I have “cooked” in it (all cooked for less than 10 minutes!):

Baked apples (SO GOOD).

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Quinoa (for dayzzz).

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Daniel has used it more than I have. He’s cooked oatmeal, couscous (per my request, he doesn’t eat that voluntarily), steamed broccoli, bell peppers and lots of grilled chicken.

Current craving: Hot chocolate. Mmm.

Current need: A warm fire! It is nice and cool outside, so I have the porch and all of the windows open. It is chilly inside and of course, I am freezing, but I am determined to enjoy the beautiful weather! The struggle is real.

Current indulgence: I have a hard time with this category every time. I have let the word indulge acquire a negative connotation in my brain. When I think of indulge, I automatically think of lack of self-control or lack of self-discipline, which would be a weakness. I am really trying to shift my perception of this. Indulgence does not mean over-indulgence.

I’ve been taking time in the evenings to slow down (i.e., SIT DOWN) for a few minutes and enjoy the sunset. This might not seem like a big deal, but it has really been a nice change of pace. As I sit, I am immediately reminded of Psalm 46:10: “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”

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Current bane of my existence: Politics.

Current procrastination: I need to go through my closet and put some summer stuff away and get some winter things out of storage, but I’m not really feeling that today. I’ll blame it on my “injuries” instead of my laziness (which is a pretty legit excuse in my opinion).

Current confession: I spent a fair amount of time yesterday watching YouTube videos about how to curl your hair using a flat iron and practicing it. Again, I’ve got too much time on my hands.

So glamorous. LOL!

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Current quote: Ernest Hemingway: “We are all broken, that’s how the light gets in.”

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Current excitement: I just discovered the Garmin Face-It app and I have been experimenting with different watch home screens. It makes me smile!

You know … that time that I ran 26.2 miles, but couldn’t walk one. more. step.   015-edited

Current mood: Some combination of sleepy, content and grateful.

Tell me something that you are currently loving!

Race Recap

Fall is in the Air

Hey friends!

This should be a race recap post, but alas things didn’t go quite as planned yesterday. I’m sure you get tired of reading race recaps anyway, so I’m just doing what I can to keep things interesting over here.

Spoiler alert: You may fall before you fly.

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I was pretty excited to run the local Turkey Trot yesterday. The race started less than a mile from the house. It’s hard to pass up a race that runs on your “home turf.” Due to road closures and police support, we have one 5K course that most of the local races have to use. The first mile is mostly flat with a few turns, the second mile is a long, gradual downhill and then the third miles is back up the long, gradual uphill.

Since you don’t get an actual recap, I’ll give you the “plan recap.” I had my race strategy nailed down. My goal for this race was 18:15-18:20, so I needed 5:52-5:54 average pace. I was aiming for 5:55, 5:45-5:50 (given the downhill) and 6:00 (given the uphill) splits. The plan was to “go for it” (in a semi-controlled fashion) during the second mile because I knew that the third mile was going to be tough, but I didn’t want to dip too far under V02 max pace and really crash on the last mile.

I felt really good about this plan and I was ready to get out there and chase that PR. Fall (LITERALLY) came back from its hiatus and graced us with some fabulous running weather! We woke up to temperatures in the upper 40s. It doesn’t get much better than that for running.

Daniel has been dealing with some sort of tendon injury in his foot. He has an appointment with an orthopaedist Friday and we are hopeful that he will get some good news and be able to run again. In the meantime he is limited to biking and swimming. Since he wasn’t running, he went with me to the 5K. I was so glad to have him with me!

We left the house around 7:15 for an 8 a.m. race start. How nice is that?! I didn’t have to get up until after 6!

Here we are. I’m wearing GLOVES! WOO HOO! All smiles (for now).

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I ran and Daniel biked the mile up to the race start. When we got there I went over to the pre-registration tent to get my bib, but (of course) they didn’t have me on the list. Lol! I don’t know how these things keep happening. They were SO NICE about it though and mentioned that there had been a few problems with the group and online registrations. I headed over to the day-of registration tent and got (re) signed up.

After that was all squared away, it was time to do another mile or so to warm up. Our friend Tracey ran with us and we ran the first mile of the course and looped back to the start. Once we got back, I wanted to hit the bathrooms real quick before the race started. I told Daniel, “I don’t even really have to go, but it’s just one of those things that I feel like I am supposed to do before a race.” The line at the start was really long, so we decided to run over another block and use a less well-known bathroom. Leave it to a runner to know where every single bathroom in the area is.

We had about 10 to 15 minutes until the race started, which was plenty of time. We started towards the other bathroom (Daniel was on the bike and I was running beside him), when all of a sudden … SPLAT. I fell. HARD.

I don’t even know how it happened, other than I just tripped over my own two feet. Silly feet. Get it together. If you are a runner, you will understand that falls are inevitable. It’s almost a right of passage. You’re not a real runner until you’ve lost a toenail, pooped your pants, fallen on a run, etc. We’re an odd bunch. In case you are wondering, I have done two of the three things listed in the preceding sentence (I’ll keep you guessing as to which two it is :)).

I have fallen before, but never like this! I think I have maybe fallen 4 times (of course, I could be forgetting a time or two). The first two times I was really lucky and came away without a scratch! I even thought I had perfected the “tuck and roll” technique. If you’ve been reading for a little while, you may recall that I also fell last fall. The tuck and roll became a tuck and splat. I managed to strain a rib muscle that time (circa September 2015).

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This time, the fall was worse. I didn’t “tuck” at all, I just splat (or perhaps it is splatted …). I’ve not had to use the past tense of splat too often (Mom, when you read this let me know ;))

With no tuck and all splat, I managed to bust my knee and my lip (of all things) wide open. Note to self: DO NOT, I repeat DO NOT, try to break a fall with your face.

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As soon as I went down, my first thought was “my teeth!” I was convinced that I was gonna open up my mouth to a big ‘ol hillbilly toothless grin. Thank goodness all of my teeth remained in place. They are sore, but seem to be fine otherwise. I am so glad that Daniel was there with me. If he wasn’t injured, he would’ve been doing his long run with his buddies and I would’ve been at the race by myself.

I got up, dusted myself off and stumbled over to the bathroom that we were originally headed for. We tried to clean my mouth out and stop the bleeding. At this point I got really dizzy and light-headed. I was pretty sure that I was going to pass out, but Daniel kept me “with it.” He kept telling me to keep my eyes open, prop my feet up over my heart, etc. I was NOT happy about any of this at the time, but it worked.

I hitched a ride home from a guy that saw us immediately after the “incident.” He asked me lots of questions on the way home. I think he was a tad skeptical that I had managed to bang myself up this bad by running. Ha. After we got back to the house, we had to figure out the next step. Daniel called and texted a few of the doctor friends and after pictures of my fat lip had been texted all around, everyone confirmed, “she’s gonna need stitches for that.”

Thrilled.

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By far the biggest blessing of the day came when our running buddy, Ron, who also happens to be a plastic surgeon, met us at his office and stitched me right on up. Two stitches to the knee and three to the lip and I was good to go. This is actually the first time I’ve ever had stitches. He did a wonderful job. I can’t thank him enough!

People pay lots of money to get lips like this (err well, maybe not exactly like this).

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We are stocked up on soup, frozen yogurt, regular yogurt, pudding, applesauce, bananas, etc. (basically anything mushy) and Daniel is taking good care of me.

I’ll be taking a few days (at a minimum) off from running or a few weeks, depending on how my battle wounds heal up. Ron told me that most doctors would probably tell me to take at least a week off, but he said a few days should be good enough. He’s a runner. He gets it. I’m just going to play that by ear and see how the knee feels.

As of Sunday afternoon, my lip is very fat and my knee and teeth are pretty sore. I’m walking okay (if you classify a hobble as a walk), but I don’t foresee any running or strenuous exercise in the immediate future. I am definitely not complaining about that. I am just really thankful that it wasn’t any worse. I will keep you posted on my “recovery.”

This concludes the race recap that never was. Stay upright out there guys! Anyone else have a good falling story?

P.S (because I want to end on a happier note). Yesterday was little Brookser’s 5th birthday! Where does the time go?! Happy birthday to our (not so) little booger!

Pre-fall (obviously).

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Have a great week y’all!

Race Recap

Double Double Toil & Hussle

Hey guys! I had a wonderful, race-filled weekend! Saturday morning I ran the Shrimp Fest 10K in Orange Beach, AL and Sunday morning I ran the Gulf Coast Half Marathon in Mandeville, LA.

Shrimp Fest 10K (38:32)

The Shrimp Fest 10K has been on the calendar for a while. Running Wild Team Cheetah showed up in full force!

After a 2 mile warm up, lots of adjustments to our crazy shorts (yes: they are cute & no: I don’t recommend them for a race) and a quick team picture, we headed over to the start line.

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Jill, Lizzie, me and Jess!

We saw lots of friendly, familiar faces and we chatted waiting for the race to start.

The 10K started just after 8. There was also a 5K that started at 8:30. The timing of the starts worked out really well. Most of the race was run on the Backcountry Trail, which is a 15+ mile paved trail system that runs through Gulf State Park in Orange Beach and Gulf Shores AL.

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The trail is great for running, but is definitely more narrow than a regular road. If the 5K and 10K had started at the same time, we would’ve been weaving in and out of each other running the same direction in the last few miles (local runners think ATR). Because the 5K started later, we were actually going the opposite direction on the trail, which made it much easier to stay separated. Everyone stayed to the right and it worked quite nicely.

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I enjoyed running on the trails, but it got a tad lonely out there. I only passed one runner during the race. I didn’t get passed by anyone though, so I guess that’s a plus. I was in third place overall for the first two miles and passed the second place guy during mile 3. After that I just tried to chase down the leader, but I never could quite catch him.

Somehow my Garmin wasn’t located correctly at the start line, so my splits are a little wonky. It shows my splits as 6:36, 6:07, 6:07, 6:15, 6:15, 6:19 and 0:53 for the last 0.2 for a total time of 38:32 (6:13 average). I think that my first three miles might have been all closer to 6:10 – 6:15. The trees likely also had something to do with the signal not being great.

Thankfully the course was certified (and marked correctly), so I have qualms about calling this one an official PR. I ran a 38:37 10K as part of the First Light Marathon relay in January, but I didn’t get an official time for that since it was part of the relay. This was only 5 seconds faster than that, but I’ll take it!

The best part of the day hands down though was that we came in 1st, 2nd, 3rd & 4th overall females. You can’t beat that! We’ve been doing some workouts together here and there and to see everyone’s training coming together was super exciting!

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Good times (FAST & FUN)!

The race was very well organized and I would definitely recommend it. This was my first time to run it and I loved it!

I tried my best to recover, refuel and rehydrate Saturday afternoon. Compression socks were worn all afternoon. I propped my legs up against the wall for a little bit. I see people doing this all the time, so I figured I would see what all the hype was about. If nothing else, I got a good stretch in. I could also feel the blood draining from my legs, so I’m thinking it probably helped reduce inflammation and promote circulation.

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Gulf Coast Half Marathon (1:32:18)

A few weeks ago Rebecca asked if I would want to do this race in Mandeville LA. We did the race several years ago (2011) and it was a great course. Even though it was the day after the 10K, of course I said I was in! #alltheraces

The course is really beautiful. It starts in the Fontainebleau State Park, winds through some residential areas of Mandeville and runs along the North Shore of Lake Pontchartrain. The race starts at 7, which is nice (that extra hour makes a big different in the heat and humidity). This is another very well-organized event. The parking, bathrooms, everything along the course (volunteers, markings, aid stations, etc.) and the post-race awards were seamlessly executed and very efficient!

We decided to get up and drive over the morning of the race (it was about 2.5 hours away). My alarm was set for 2:50 a.m. (I KNOW). I was worried about sleeping through the alarm and I woke up just before 2 and wasn’t able to go back to sleep. We planned to meet at Starbucks at 3:30 to get on the road. At 3:35 or so Rebecca wasn’t there. I jokingly texted her to see if she was awake (assuming that she was probably almost there). Apparently she slept through her alarm and my text woke her up!

We had to do a quick reassessment of our travel plans (different meeting location and different driver (one of us (won’t say who) drives faster :)), but thankfully we made it to the race with plenty of time to get our packets and even get a short warm up in. Whew!

I wasn’t entirely sure how my legs were going to feel or what my “plan” for the race was going to be until we started running. I knew I wasn’t going to *race* (as in it wasn’t going to be an all out effort), but I knew that I wanted to push myself a little bit and see what I could do on tired legs. I started off with a few miles right around 7 minute pace (6:59, 6:54, 6:56).

After 3 miles I was feeling really good! I picked the pace up a little bit (NOT the brightest of ideas in hindsight) and ran the next three in 6:52, 6:44, 6:47.

I crossed the 10K mark in about 42:15 and that’s where it started going south. Yikes. I wasn’t even half way done! I had a weird pain in my stomach. At the time I was thinking that it possibly had something to do with the Cliff bar that I ate before the race. I don’t typically eat anything before races, but since I was awake for over 4 hours by the time the race started, I was hungry. I didn’t want to run on an empty stomach, although I was questioning this decision around mile 7.

Now I am pretty sure that I might have a strained ab muscle from coughing my lungs out over the last few days. I’ve had some crazy allergy or sinus congestion going on for a few days. I feel fine, just a tad coughy, sneezy and drippy (throw in a few more adjectives and I would have enough ailments to make up the entire 7 dwarf posse).

Anywho … miles 7 through 12 were rough. I was fading in general and the stomach pain didn’t help anything. Those miles were 7:00, 7:25, 7:37, 7:49, 7:31 and 7:14. I got passed by quite a few runners during those 6 miles, which is not a fun feeling.

My stomach started feeling better and I managed to rally for the final mile and finished with a 6:10 mile (my fastest mile of the day (by far)). I passed several of the people who had passed me earlier and I felt amazing! I don’t know where that mile came from (other than I was just really over it and ready to be done with the race), but it felt good to finish strong.

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My time was 1:32:18, which was good enough for 3rd overall female. Rebecca was 5th overall female!

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The race has a really fun post-race party and the weather was perfect. We hung out for a little while after the race to get our awards and enjoyed listening to the band and visiting with friends. The overall and age group winners got an additional (skull) medal. Skulls were definitely the theme today (notice the race shirts below).

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Whew. What a weekend! I think I’ll sleep well tonight! I hope everyone had a great weekend.

Tell me: What is the earliest you’ve set an alarm for a race morning? What is the most unusual or unique medal you’ve gotten?

Faith, Nutrition, Thinking Out Loud

Daniel + Donald + Dave = A Post about Meal Plans & Eating Disorders

Greetings!

Long time no see. Daniel asked me yesterday why I hadn’t blogged this week and I kind of brushed the question off by saying, “I don’t really feel like I have anything to say.” He was not satisfied with my answer excuse. He thought about it for a second and then said, “Isn’t that usually when you really have the most to say?”

Why yes, yes it is. Daniel has gotten so wise in his old age.

Here we are. I don’t even know where this post is going or if I will even hit “publish” once I write it, but let’s just see what happens, shall we? My hesitation is likely due to the vulnerability factor of the things that are on my heart.

I’m sure this crazy election is at the forefront of the minds of most Americans. I am not turning this into a political post, but I just want to acknowledge that all of this talk about sexual assault and the objectifying women is HARD. It’s difficult to hear and to be talked about as a “statistic.” It stirs up feelings that I don’t like and make me say things like “I don’t have anything to say” when in fact it is quite the opposite.

Moving on.

If you’ve been following along for a little bit you know that we somewhat recently started Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University. We have learned a lot and we are already seeing results and making progress towards our goals. The one thing that I have really noticed about going through this class is how over-arching some of the concepts are. In some ways I feel like Dave Ramsey has permeated our lives (in a good way).

We aren’t just learning how to create a budget for your money. Let’s face it. Budgeting is not rocket science, but sticking to a budget … now that is more difficult. It takes planning, communication, discipline and self-control.

So far I would say that the biggest positive takeaways have been in the areas of planning and communication. The planning relates to more than just money. Dave says that if you don’t tell your money where to go, it leaves on its own. The same thing relates to your time. If you don’t have a time “budget,” your time gets away from you. Seriously! Where does it go?

Communication is not one of my strengths. If you call me on the phone, I’m probably not going to answer (it’s really nothing personal, I promise) and to add to that, I don’t have voicemail. I don’t know what it is about the phone, but I strongly dislike it.

If you are in my life and we see each other on a regular basis, I am pretty good at staying in touch, but if we don’t see each other regularly, I majorly drop the ball on the communication front. In general, I’m not a big talker. I tend to keep my thoughts to myself (which is somewhat ironic as I sit here typing every single thought that pops into my head).

Daniel and I have been communicating well and collaborating on the budget. I even showed him how to use QuickBooks (proud wife moment). This might not seem like a big deal and it’s not like we didn’t communicate with each other before this, but I can tell that there has been a positive shift and for that I am thankful.

Every Sunday afternoon we watch our lesson, then we discuss what we plan to eat for week and then we go to the grocery store and try to not blow our entire budget in one fell swoop. He gave an example in one of the videos about a couple that didn’t have any retirement savings, because they “ate it” (i.e., they spent all of their money eating out). As it turns out, food is hands down the biggest “expense” for us as well (not necessarily eating out, but the combination of groceries and eating out).

There have been some positives and negatives from this so-called meal planning. I don’t really like to use that term for it, but I haven’t come up with anything better thus far.

Patience is not one of my virtues. When I get home from work (or running or whatever extracurricular activity is going on any given evening), I am usually hungry and ready to eat. Like I want to eat 10 minutes ago. I reach that “hanger” phase (hunger + anger) and it is very unpleasant.

We got an Instant Pot (it’s basically the opposite of a crock pot, for impatient folks like myself) and we are actually cooking stuff, so that’s definitely a positive. I like to use our lack of stove as an excuse as to why I don’t cook, but that is just a really big cop-out. We’ve had an oven before and *spoiler alert* I didn’t cook then either. Cooking is not something that I enjoy. I don’t know that it ever really will be, but who knows. I won’t write it off entirely just yet.

The thought of spending hours (or anything over 15 minutes really) on a meal that is going to be eaten in less than 15 minutes and then all that is left are a bunch of dirty dishes, well y’all, that just doesn’t make much sense to me. It’s kind of like ironing. I don’t understand it. It’s a totally foreign concept that I can’t wrap my (ignorant) brain around.

Back to cooking though. It is one of those necessary evils, especially if we have kids one day. Please read carefully: that if was very intentional. If we have kids, of course I want them to have a normal relationship with food and a healthy body image, which means that they will need to eat “normal meals.” I don’t want to “mess them up” and that is a very real fear (#realtalk) and also a little bit off topic, but not entirely off topic.

Let’s talk about meal planning for a minute. At first the thought of it was totally overwhelming to me. In typical all or nothing fashion, I had envisioned going from basically no meal planning whatsoever to creating this beautiful, healthy, nutrient-rich meal plan for us to follow for breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days a week. Of course that didn’t happen. Daniel (the wise old man that he is) suggested that we take it in smaller chunks. Let’s figure out one day’s worth of breakfast, lunch and dinner and try to have that each day of the week the first week. Then we can add variety gradually.

Small chunks. I liked the idea of that. I could handle that.

Having a meal plan is an important part of recovering from an eating disorder. It is the backbone of your recovery, because without it you aren’t able to do the deeper, emotional healing work that sustained recovery requires. The only time that I have specifically followed a “meal plan” is during recovery, which is why I am not real keen on the phrasing of it now. I just associate it with eating disorders.

Eventually you move away from following the “meal plan” and learn to eat intuitively (p.s., if you have mastered this CONGRATULATIONS and please share your pointers). You don’t want to be so rigid with your meals that you can’t deviate from what the plan says.

Rigidity. Discipline. Self-control. Those are a few things that I typically excel at. For several years now I have shied away from meal planning by convincing myself that following a meal plan was too rigid and I wanted to be more spontaneous with my food choices. While this is good in theory, unfortunately I am quite possibly the least spontaneous person you’ll ever meet. Cereal for dinner? So spontaneous! Oh my.

The first week of our “plan” we spent WAY more at the grocery store than we typically would have. Not gonna lie, that was kind of disheartening. We were trying so hard to be smart about what we were getting! After that first week though, we’ve been doing a lot better. So far our staples have been chicken (or some other type of meat), lots of grains (oatmeal, quinoa, couscous, etc.), beans, potatoes, yogurt, fruits and veggies.

The key for me is to actually prepare some of this stuff ahead of time (due to above-referenced lack of patience when hungry). We’ve been cooking the grains on Sunday and putting them in individualized containers to have during the week and then cooking the meat and vegetables the night of. It’s worked pretty well for us so far.

We are still working on adding the variety in there and I want to make sure to continue to work on that. I am really bad about falling into food ruts and I can feel myself doing that now, so I want to nip that in the bud. Being in a rut with a balanced dinner of protein, carbs and vegetables is definitely better than being in a rut with a dinner of cereal though! Baby steps.

I tend to fall into food ruts when I am avoiding dealing with something. It’s so bizarre to me how that happens, but sure enough it does. It’s almost like disordered eating is so ingrained in me that it is my first coping mechanism to deal with anything life throws my way. I am saying disordered eating instead of eating disorder there on purpose. They are not the same thing.

Someone with an eating disorder has disordered eating, but not everyone with disordered eating meets the criteria for an eating-disorder diagnosis. Eating disorders are psychiatric illnesses. Disordered eating, however, can just involve abnormal thoughts about food and episdoes of restriction or binges that do not amount to a psychiatric illness.

I haven’t gone into a lot of detail about my eating disorder and/or disordered eating on the blog, except for acknowledging that is something that I have struggled with and that I will likely struggle with (in a sense that I have to stay cognizant of it) forever. As bleak as that sounds, it is the truth. Everyone has something that they struggle with, whether or not they want to admit it, so we might as well be open about things so that we can help each other out.

I might do a post of “my eating disorder” story at some point. I’ve thought about it a lot, but I can’t decide what, if any, good would come from it. It would probably be very therapeutic to write, but I also think it might come across as hurtful to a few people who I care about. I’ll try to do an abbreviated version …

I’ve mentioned this before, but it is worth repeating … I have all of the intrinsic traits (perfectionistic, inflexible, disciplined, cautious, etc.) that set me up perfectly for this struggle. It was really just a matter of what would send me over the edge. It’s no one person’s “fault.”

A few mean comments and I was there. It started in high school. I lost some weight (I honestly don’t know the specifics of amounts, etc. and if I did I likely wouldn’t share that anyway … comparison is not a good game to play, especially in this area) and it got to the point where enough people expressed concern that my parents took me to the doctor.

My doctor (family practice) told me to gain weight and I did. It really didn’t seem like a very big deal at the time. I didn’t see a nutritionist or go to counseling or anything like that. Looking back I think this would’ve been super helpful. I would highly recommend any young girl that is struggling with weight or body image issues to talk to a professional about it.

Some people have awesome college experiences and remember it very fondly, but that is the absolute opposite of my college experience. I went to a big school, joined a sorority (I am NOT a sorority girl … learned that lesson the hard way) and was a small fish in a big pond. I was used to being a big fish in a small pond. The adjustment was too much for me. I threw myself into my school work (I graduated with a 4.0 and had no social life) and unsurprisingly, I started to lose weight again.

Same song, slightly different verse. I went to the doctor and was told to gain a few pounds. Got it. This time, however, I felt more “out of control” with the weight gain and that was not a good feeling. I was healthier physically, but mentally I was not. It was while I was at this (already) low point that I was raped. Talk about an earth-shattering, life-altering event. Bam. I was left feeling so broken that I didn’t think I would ever be happy or live a normal life again.

I was terrified. Of life. Of death. Of everything. After spending a few weeks at home, I went back to school and I tried to carry on as normal as possible, but I couldn’t. I was too scared to do anything. I had to withdraw from classes (another low point for little miss 4.0) and this is when I spent 45 days at an inpatient recovery center in Arizona. I am so grateful for my time there. I learned a lot. Unfortunately, I wasn’t ready or able to process everything that I learned. I still had a rough road ahead of me when I got back home.

I don’t recall ever really having one “aha” moment where things started to click and I was all of a sudden “healed.” Perhaps that is because I am still broken. We all are. While there was no one moment, there have been a series of moments, years, decades even that have allowed me to heal gradually.

Running has been instrumental in the healing process. I know that “exercise” in general is a slippery slope with eating disorders, but I truly do not see running as an issue at this time in my life. Exercise has been an issue, but I don’t run for “exercise.” I’m sure that sounds absolutely crazy. I don’t know if I will ever be able to adequately convey what I am trying to say with that. Running is part of who I am. It makes me a better version of myself. It gives me strength and confidence. It gives me friendships and love.

Daniel is a saint of a husband. He is supportive, caring and compassionate. God knew exactly what I needed in a husband. We both have struggles and in this oddly complex, perfectly imperfect way, we’ve helped each other overcome them. I couldn’t have asked for a better husband. When he said that I likely had “a lot to say” … #nailedit.

The ultimate TRUTH is that I am a child of God, created in His image. He is the ultimate HEALER and the one that sets us free from the chains that enslave us. He gives us great worth that nothing and no one (not even Donald Trump) can take away from us. He is the one that deserves all of the glory, honor and praise. Regardless of the results of this election, He is still King of King and Lord of Lords. He will reign forever.

Tempo, Track, WEW

Weekly Workouts

Hello! Coming at ya this evening with a run-down of my runs for the week:

Monday: OFF

Tuesday: 9 easy + RW group run

Wednesday: 3 mi. WU, 4 mi. LT tempo (6:44, 6:18, 6:18, 6:31), 1.75 mi. CD

I was tempted to take this workout to the TM or even the track, but ultimately decided that since I race on the roads and I need to do the workout on the roads. I need to get used to pacing myself, running on uneven terrain and battling the elements (wind, weather, etc.). I extended the warm up to avoid a humongous hill during the first mile of my workout again this week.

The workout was a 4 mile tempo at 6:15 to 6:25 pace. I have noticed that I have a hard time settling into the pace on the first mile of my tempo runs in the dark. I seem to be a bit slow on the first mile each week (even after an extended warm up) even though I feel like I am right on pace. There is a bit of a hill in the first mile of the route I have been doing (even though I avoid the humongous one), so I’m sure that has something to do with it.

I settled into a good groove during the second and third miles and was feeling good. I had to stop twice for traffic to cross the street during my fourth mile and it’s kind of difficult to get right back on pace after stopping. My overall average for the tempo miles was 6:27, which was only a few seconds off of my goal range, so I don’t really have anything to complain about.

No Ragrats.

Thursday: 8 easy

Friday: 2 mi. WU, 3 X 1 mile (6:36, 6:27, 6:33), 2 mi. CD

Friday morning was an impromptu track workout. I paced a friend for a few mile repeats and felt good!

Saturday: 9 easy

My legs were definitely feeling the quicker miles from Friday and a few miles into the run Saturday I knew that I needed to hold off and do my long run Sunday. I ran a few miles with the Daniels and headed back to the car. They did 20 miles and both of them ran great! I had some time to kill before they got back, so I headed over to RW for a few minutes and then met back up with the guys for breakfast.

Sunday: 16 mile moderate pace LR (7:46 average)

I am so glad that I waited for my long run because the weather Sunday was AMAZING! It was a perfect cool, crisp fall morning and I got in a great long run with friends. I took it a little bit easier the first half of the run (8:09 average) and then picked it up the second half of the run (7:22 average). I wish this weather would stick around for a while!

That’s it for the week. I’ve got TWO races next weekend. I’m pretty excited!

Have a great week y’all!