Hoka 10k 2018

Hoka 10k 2018

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Highs and Lows- Week 8

I was teaching Baby Boo about numbers. Care for me to share my thoughts on running 5k's?

Y'all already know about my EGD experience so I'll spare the details. It set the tone for how I felt during the week. Fortunately, I felt a lot better by the weekend so my runs were more tolerable.

  • Recovery Run. The day after Emerald City Half, I did a 6 mile recovery run. I'll be honest and say that I felt like complete crap. At this time, I wasn't aware of my esophageal issues. Looking back, that might be one reason I felt that way. The other is that I was just plain tired from the race the day before. If it weren't for Dani's company, I might have quit!
  • Easy 7 miler. Again, I felt like poo...I even ran 30+ sec/mile slower than I normally would in hopes it would feel ok. The poo-ness didn't kick in until the last two miles but it was enough to make me want to get it over with. I felt SO tight and my breathing just wasn't right.
    Post hilly run. I wish I had a pic of my pony tail. I opted for the pony instead of my usual braid. MISTAKE! My hair was so knotted up and lookin' cray cray.
  • Hilly Sunday. It's not the hilly part that's a low...my foot was bothering me and is still being annoying. After I got home from my long run yesterday, my dogs escaped the yard because some jackass left our gate wide open. I was running like a spaz down our road to catch our dogs before they got run over. On top of that, I was barefoot. As I was chasing after my Aussie, I tripped over a section of the sidewalk that was uneven and elevated. The anterior part of my ankle has been hurting since. After about 2 miles of today's run, I didn't feel a thing. It wasn't until the last hill in the last mile that it was bothering me again. I'm hoping if I take it easy the rest of the day and avoid running tomorrow, it will be better. I seems to be muscular...but what do I know?! I'm a lowly DPT. 
    Ice, Ice Baby...or, in my case, Peas, Peas Baby.

  • Rest days. I needed them like crazy this week. Thank goodness my first rest day fell on Tuesday (when all of the doctor appointment crap went down). I also rested on Friday since that was test day. Marion and I had grand plans to do our long run Friday morning but we both had chest pain issues this week! I probably could have tried to run Friday morning but my diet restrictions for the test wouldn't have allowed me to provide my body with the necessary fuel.
  • Even Steven Workout. I got this idea from a workout Lynn did in the early stages of her marathon training. Basically, as interval distance decreases, pace gets faster. I like trying different workouts and this didn't disappoint. I converted Lynn's original workout from minutes to distance in miles. I can't do things by minutes...it's just weird for me. Here's what I came up with: 
    1) Interval distance. 2) Recovery distance. 3) Goal pace in (...)
    I turned it into an 8 mile workout. Although my focus was keeping the prescribed paces for each segment, I was excited to see that my overall average was 8:07 (which is in my 8-8:12 goal range)!  We (Amanda, Theresa, Danielle) did well and actually stayed close to the prescribed paces:                                                                                                                     1.25mi (7:52)
    1mi (7:38)
    0.75mi (7:18)
    0.50mi (6:56)
    0.25mi (6:34)
  • Running in the rain. During my hilly run, it was SO HUMID the first 4 miles! I thought I was melting. As we turned around to head back, it started to sprinkle and eventually came down harder. It was the most amazing feeling. The humidity was lower, there was a very slight breeze, and I was being showered with the most awesome rain.
  • My longest long run since Flying Pig. It's amazing how tolerable these runs have been the second half of the year. They are a lot easier and less scary than before. I met an awesome group of girls at the Genoa Trail this week. We had several distances to cover so it was an interesting out and back experience! Marion and I needed 18 miles so we met to get in 4 miles before the others arrived. Dani joined us for 2 extra. Amber, Karen, Liz, Amy, and Jess joined for distances of 7, 11, and 14. We have some math geeks in the crew to keep up with that! It was such a gorgeous day with so many runners on the trail.
    Dani trying to take a selfie while we were running. When you are desperate to get in a picture, it helps to have a giraffe neck.
    Two highlights: 1) Hurdling over a barrier of sorts onto a trail where Amber intended to throw us in the water for a duathlon. 2) The anal cyclist yelling at all of the runners to move over on the trail when he had more than enough room to go by. I'm pretty sure we weren't even in his lane but whatevs. He wasn't near as bad as the O trail guy who always yelled "Single file, ladies!!!" LOL.  I was happy with my average (8:40 min/mile) and even happier that I rocked out my 18th mile in 8:01.

    The long run crew. Amber, Jess, me, Dani, Marion, Karen, Amy, and Liz. Thanks for a great run, ladies!!! Side note: Bazinga boobs. I cannot control that when I'm working out. Maybe I need to wear band-aids.

    My favorite quote of the week:

    What's next for Lisa? An insane speed workout on Tuesday IF my foot feels better. I also have my first 20 miler of the training season along with my biggest mileage week.

Friday, August 28, 2015

EGD au naturel

So...I have some things to fill you in on. My health was sort of a roller coaster this week. That barfing I mentioned in my Emerald City Recap was, unknowingly at the time, related to the crap I dealt with this week. After eating lunch on Monday, I felt like I had food stuck in my throat that just wouldn't work it's way down. I kept drinking water and it didn't help. Soon after, I was getting a little bit of chest pain but nothing crazy. After work, on the commute home, I got this intense sharp, stabbing pain in my chest behind my sternum. It was the most pain I've felt since child birth. It lasted several seconds and went away. I got this pain periodically through the night and noticed it was worse when I ate food. I was a tad bit scared but was confident it wasn't cardiac related which is why I did nothing about it.

The next morning, it was still there. I decided to call one of the nurses I work with to get her opinion. We discussed the situation and decided I should call my PCP. Fortunately, I was able to get in that morning. After discussion, the doc confirmed my suspicion of an esophageal issue. They did an EKG (the doctor admitted it was to cover his a$$...seriously, he said that to me) and wrote a referral for an EGD. I was basically stressed out to the max until Ohio Gastro called to schedule the test. I was just worried about having to take off work, rearrange my schedule...and will I be able to run?! They finally called me in the late afternoon and I was scheduled for a Friday afternoon appointment. Until then, I was told I could only eat soft foods and liquids (whatevs!) and, of course, no food/drink a certain amount of time before my procedure.
I was able to do my speed work and my easy 7 miler on Wednesday and Thursday. I planned to do my long run on Friday morning but knew I would have to rearrange since my diet had changed and I wasn't getting the calories I would normally eat. My instructions were to stop eating after midnight on Thursday and to only have clear liquids the following day. I also was supposed to stop taking anything into my body 2 hours before the test. Surprisingly, this was tolerable...mostly because I slept as much as I could that morning.
The hubs dropped me off at 2pm and I was supposed to get prepped, get the anesthesia, and, finally, have the test performed. They brought me back promptly and began taking my health history. When we started discussing meds, I told them I wasn't on birth control because I was trying to get pregnant. I assured them that I had my period starting August 10th and that my cycle has been 31-35 days all year long. They felt that was too close to potential ovulation and wanted me to take a pregnancy test. Sounds pretty basic, right? NOT FOR LISA.
I am known to get stage fright when it comes to peeing in a cup. Every drug test, every pregnancy test, every OBGYN appointment when I was pregnant....I cannot pee on the spot. To make matters worse, I hadn't had any fluids in my body for 3-4 hours and peed before leaving my house. I tried and failed for my first go round. They hooked me up to IV fluids since I wasn't allowed to drink anything. I'm not sure how many ounces are in each pouch, but they ended up giving me two of them! I tried to pee after the first and failed again. Same story for the second. They said I could not follow through with the procedure if I didn't pee. They had to confirm that I wasn't pregnant. UGH!!! I was so frustrated. I couldn't help but cry. Any normal person can piss in a cup...why couldn't I do it after 2 bags of fluid?!
The doc came in to talk to me about it and tell me my options. He said I could reschedule for next week. I told him that was not an option for me. I just couldn't rearrange my schedule for this. I wanted answers today! My other option was to do the test without anesthesia. WHAT THE WHAT?! ARE YOU F'ING SERIOUS?! PEOPLE DO THAT FOR AN EGD?! I was blown away. He told me that it isn't common but is very doable.
The only thing I could think to say was "I gave birth without any meds at all. How does it compare?" The doc laughed at me and said "Let's suit up." He said if I can give birth au naturel, I can do this. There was no part of me that was scared. I just thought of this pic that my BFF sent me recently:

Basically, they put something in your mouth to keep it wide open (think of any procedure you've had done at the dentist...your mouth is so wide that you can hardly swallow and you just drool everywhere).
That's not me. ;)
Then they put you on your left side with a drool towel under your face. He explained that I would initially feel like I was gagging then he would ask me to swallow to help get the tube down. OMG...I cannot describe how uncomfortable it was. It did not hurt but who likes gagging?! It was the absolute worst sensation ever. He said it would take 4-5 minutes.
I'm not going to lie...after it was inserted, I was so scared. I know I was crying only because I felt the tears rolling out of my eyes and down my cheek. I couldn't speak, I could barely breath. I just continuously gagged and vomited. I could feel liquid coming out of my mouth and felt I had no control. I prayed so hard that it would be over with. I'm getting teary-eyed telling the story. IT WAS SO SCARY. I knew I was in good hands, but that didn't help me in that moment.
I had the sweetest nurses and doctors trying to comfort me through it. The doc gave me a "break" halfway through which really meant that he didn't move the tube up or down for a few seconds so that I could try to control my breathing. They kept instructing me to breath through my nose. It felt impossible. How does one breath through their nose when their mouth is wide open?! Anyway, just imagine gagging, vomiting, and struggling to breath for 5 minutes while a tube is down your throat.
I was so relieved when it was over. I told them I was sorry for crying and gagging! They thought I was crazy for apologizing and said they were shocked at how well I tolerated it! You guys, I do not wish this upon you. If you ever have an EGD, I urge you to take the drugs if you can! Again, it didn't hurt... it was just so scary.
As for now, my throat is sore and that's about it. I did shart when I got home! My results were normal. He biopsied my esophagus just in case (results in a week). He said he suspects it's just GERD. The diagnosis was frustrating because I've dealt with heartburn for many years. I just haven't had it since I was pregnant. Heartburn was never one of my symptoms. I just feel like I have food stuck in my throat 24/7...like it's not going into my stomach. The doc told me to start taking 150mg of Zantac daily. We'll see if that helps. Hopefully the sensation goes away because it's just not comfortable. Fortunately, the sharp chest pains have subsided.
Thank you for all of the prayers and kind messages! You know who you are!!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Guest Blogger- Theresa

I met Theresa July 4th of this year. I had that 10k in Hilliard with Jackie and was going for a PR. I just remember being inside the YMCA and noticing this chick staring us down. At the starting line, I noticed she was beside us. I was getting ready to say "HI" when she said to me "Are you under 40?!" At first, I thought she was asking if my goal time was under 40 minutes...I started cracking up in my head thinking about what it would feel like to run that fast! What she was really asking is if I was under 40 years old because she wanted to win her age group!! Ha! We laughed a bit and decided the three of us would help each other out. You can read about our adventure in the link posted above.
Anyway, I have seriously enjoyed this girl ever since I met her. Prior to us meeting, she ran solo. All it took was three group runs for her to ditch the ear buds and join in on the adventure! I'm so blessed to have met Theresa. She exudes such positivity. I can't wait for you guys to read her story! Below is straight from the head of Theresa...no edits. ENJOY!!!
When I look at my life today, it is near picture perfect.  Wonderful husband, 4 beautiful children, quaint home in Muirfield Village, good job with cool places to travel, avid runner.  Those are surface things.  Important, but those aren’t ME.  They are “my resume” if you will.  The Me today is emotionally healthy (for the most part; at least in comparison to past), physically healthy and spiritually healthy.  This story is not about all the turmoil in my life, heck… we all have a past.  This story is about running.  What it was like in the beginning, the journey and what it is like now.  Running is the focus in many ways.  It changed my life.  
I have always been a perfectionist and an over achiever; maybe it was being an only child with very educated well-off parents who wanted the best for their child.  In college I had to triple major (hard majors too).  In grad school I wanted to get two masters at the same time.  Why?  Because people thought I couldn’t do it.  “Impossible”.  From an early age I was destined to prove people wrong.  Out of grad school I had to take that high stress, high pay job (because I was the FIRST to ever get THAT job at THAT age), get married and settle down to have kids.  I HAD ARRIVED.  Um, no I hadn’t.  I was lost.  I was insecure.  I lived my life trying to prove myself to others, compare to others, want more more MORE and never be satisfied.  I was soul sick.  I was alone in a room full of people.    
This void turned toxic; I tried to fill the void with anything from work to alcohol to then anorexia and bulimia.  The only time from ages 25-37 that I can think of that I did not completely abuse my body was during pregnancy; I would go from 120 pounds to 227 and back again; pregnancy was a reprieve from my eating disorders and using alcohol to numb my mind and obsession with control.
Eventually, this void became apparent and at 35, my world shattered.  I got a divorce with a 5yo and a 3yo; the youngest still in a diaper.  I was already void, but I still had my STATUS.  My “hey look at ME status”.  I had plenty of money, I had an awesome career!  3 weeks after my divorce was final, I lost my job.  My income was gone.  POOF.  No alimony, no child support, no job, no soul, no husband and no babies 50% of the time.  Did this make me change?  Hahahaha…. NO.  From bad to WORSE.  I never ate; I think I ate pickles once a week.  I would then feel guilty and not deserving of pickles (PICKLES!) and then make myself throw them up.  
FIFTEEN YEARS of my life was a struggle with anorexia, bulimia and drinking too much.  I decided enough was enough.  I had nothing left to lose…. I’m going to start working out again.  I went to the gym, got on the treadmill and ran.  I couldn’t run 1/10th of a mile at a 10 minute mile pace.  So much for THAT!  It pissed me off, so I signed up for the Air Force Marathon in 2013.  I started eating a little bit more, purged a little less, COMPLETELY stopped drinking to train and trained 3 days a week; one day 3 miles, another 6 miles and then a long run on the weekend.  I think my AirForce Time was 4:25 or something (remember, I get lost and also forget PR times, so don’t hold me to that).  The next moth I ran the Columbus… I don’t remember the time, but it was the mid 4’s.  I was hooked.  I didn’t have fast times because at mile 17 or so, I’d poop out; I remember feeling guilty about ingesting a Goo because it had 100 calories.  Gatorade during stops?  NO WAY.  Useless calories.  I was getting better with my issues, but it was a slow process.
After those marathons in the fall of 2013, everything changed.  I wish I could tell you what changed… WHY I changed.  Was it because I met the man who loved me for me and wanted to marry me and make me a mom of FOUR?  Was it because I got a great job again?  Was it because I started going to my Catholic Church frequently and prayed HARD for guidance and to let Him show me the proper path in life?  I don’t know.  Again, this is about RUNNING.  Since 2013 I have done 43 races; anything from a 5k to full marathons.  Is it an obsession?  Mmmmm, maybe.  To me, it is living LIFE.  It is getting up in the morning full of ENERGY, running my heart out, thanking God the whole time for giving me my body back after over a decade of abuse.  After my run, my head is clear.  See, running gives me what no human can.  It gives me gratitude, humility, sense of power, clarity, serenity, peace, hurt, pain…. EVERY EMOTION that I either ran FROM or TOWARD.  It teaches me BALANCE and to REST.  I can go to work with a clear head and do my job and do it well.  After work I can be a good mom to 4 awesome kids and a good wife to a husband that I adore.  And then…. I get up and do it all over again.  It taught me to be flexible; it rains sometimes or snows:  HAVE A BACKUP PLAN.  I travel frequently for work:  HAVE A PLAN TO RUN WHEN TRAVELING.  Kids get sick:  RUN WHEN THEY ARE WITH ANOTHER PARENT AND HEALTH IS STABLE.  
How did I improve?  FIRST THINGS FIRST:  My mind is different.  Running is 90 percent mental you know…. If your mind isn’t right, your run won’t be either.  Now, I don’t know if running improves your MIND or if your MIND improves your RUNNING.  That’s something that just blew my mind while typing.  Is it the chicken or the egg???   
How I improved running:
  • I treat running like a Board Meeting or Important Kid Activity
  • There is no excuse not to run unless you or a loved one is sick.  Period.  Not enough sleep?  Get your life balanced.  You need to sleep.  Learn to ask for HELP (hard for us runner types, isn’t it???? We LOVE to DO IT ALL and then hold all the cards for our employer or family with LOOK AT ALL THAT I DO!!!!).  
  • Always have another race on the books.  I race twice a month on average.  Not all marathons obviously, but I love the structure of training for a race.  It holds me accountable.
  • DO NOT BE JEALOUS.  I was HORRIBLE at this.  I was jealous of EVERYONE for ANYTHING.  I’m not anymore.  If someone does well, I talk to them afterwards and ask them how they train and I am HAPPY FOR THEM.  This goes back to humility and gratitude.  Be grateful you crossed the darn FINISH LINE!  Some people are in wheel-chairs for crying out loud.
  • I Can’t doesn’t exist in my vocabulary… EVER.  I can’t YET does.  I can’t run a 3:30 marathon….. YET.  I plan to on 11/1, but as of now, I BQ’d at the Pig last May at a 3:42 which is my PR.  I can’t run a sub 20 5k YET.  I plan to though on 9/5.  Two years ago I was THRILLED with a sub 30.
  • Be competitive, but with YOU.  One of my favorite sayings is this:  “I WILL BEAT HER.  I will train harder.  I will eat cleaner.  I know her weaknesses.  I know her strengths.  I’ve lost to her before, but not this time.  She is going DOWN.  I have the advantage because I know my opponent well.  MY OPPONENT IS THE OLD ME.”

I am not gifted.  I have no running talent.  What I have is willpower; that same willpower that I used to NOT eat, to be a WORKAHOLIC and lose my family…. That same willpower is there.  God just redirected that will to running.  Running made me balance LIFE.  LIFE.  Isn’t that what running is about anyway?  LIVING LIFE.  

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Emerald City Half Marathon

Race Swag!
I wish I could say that this race felt AMAZING but it didn't! As my regular readers/friends already know, I was treating this race as one of my long run workouts. My plan was to run 5 x 2 mile repeats at my goal marathon race pace (8:00) with a 0.75 mile recovery between each. If the plan played out, it would put me around a 1:48 finish time. I also had the responsibility of trying to lead my friend, Dani, to a PR victory.
As my regulars also know, I set ABC goals:
  • Goal A: Lead Dani to a PR.
  • Goal B: Accomplish workout stated above.
  • Goal C: Don't melt.
  • 4:30 a.m.: Rolled out of bed, hair lookin' fly...for a split second, I was actually pissed that I had a race because I didn't want to mess up my hair...had a hard boiled egg, a couple of pretzels, coffee, and a couple of bathroom breaks.
    Why couldn't my hair look like crap today?!
  • 5:25 a.m.: Leave my house because I couldn't sit still. I was a little nervous and I have no idea why! It's not like I was "racing." Whatever the reason, I just had to get on the road and turn on some rap music. "Booty Wurk" at 5:30 in the morning seemed appropriate.
    Pre-race. Jess is the only one that looks like she had enough coffee!
Ok, I got tired of bullet points.
Since I needed 16 miles for the day, I decided to do a 3 mile warm up before the race. My Garmin didn't find the location fast enough for my liking so I just started running. I'm sure I got close enough to three miles to make it count. After warming up, I stripped, attached my gel to my shorts, and headed to that start with my whole crew. There were too many of us to count! Some how in this process, I left my sunglasses in the car which I deeply regretted later. That sun was killer when it finally decided to peek out.
Since the planned start pace was 8 min/mile, we joined the 1:45 pace group. This was only my second time joining a pace group and these guys were on point with the pacing the first couple of miles we were with them. They were quieter than the ones I ran with at Flying Pig, but they were ok with us chatting it up. I told myself I was going to stick with the planned workout but something was telling me to make sure that's what Dani wanted since my #1 goal was to lead her to a PR. After miles 1&2, Dani felt she could try for another mile. A half mile into it we decided to take our first recovery at 2.75 miles. We took the recovery and, from there, I switched back to my 2 miles on/0.75 miles off. I tried to keep recovery between 9-9:15 min/mile.
I was feeling good about my workout for most of the race. The course was ok but not my favorite. I liked the part on the Glacier Ridge trails but wasn't a fan of the road miles at the beginning and end. They were long stretches that seemed to go on FOREVER. Also, were we in a swamp?! That part with the wooden bridge was scary. I thought for sure I was going to fall into a pile of gators. And did anyone else see the people horseback riding in the woods?! All I was missing was an angel of the Lord appearing to tell me this was all a dream.
As I was performing each of my marathon pace miles, I was just staying focused. I would look back occasionally to make sure Dani was there. I told her to just keep me in her visual field and she would be fine. I took my second gel around 5.5 miles when we took our second recovery period (the first I took 20 minutes before the start). From that moment until the end of the race, I could taste my gel every time I burped. That should have been my first clue to my big finishing moment I'm excited to tell you about.
Several focused miles later, I was approaching my last recovery period. I had just made friends with this girl who thought I was crazy because I smiled and waved every time we passed a camera. All I could think in my PT head was how much I wanted to fix her posture and gait. She would not pass the spatula test, Amanda! She would have had bruises on her face. Anyway, The only thing that got me through mile 11 was knowing I was about to get my last recovery. If I could get through that alive, I would only have about 1.5 miles to run at marathon pace.
The last 1.5 miles was the hardest I can remember in a long time....well, maybe since my 5k a month ago! Three things helped me survive that section of the race: another new friend (Kim), getting Dani her PR and telling every quarter marathon walker that I passed "Good job." There is something so uplifting about cheering on your fellow runners/walkers. My last mile was not at my goal pace but I still squeaked out an 8:15 mile followed by a quarter mile sprint at 7:40 (Enter rolling on the floor laughing emoji).
I finished with Garmin stats of 13.29 miles in 1:48:36. Official "13.1" time:
Right where I wanted to be. I did see my watch hit 13.1, and it was sub 1:48 so I was stoked about that.
As I crossed the finish line, I immediately went to the side. I had this weird sensation in my throat. I bent over and put my hands on my knees. All of a sudden, I started dry heaving! Seconds later...BARF-O-RAMA!!! It was this thin, yellow crap. I'm guessing it was probably my gel. I don't think it completely entered my system (hence, the burping and tasting my gel mentioned above). As an adult runner, I have NEVER thrown up before, during, or after running. I was right by the medics when it happened and they, of course, were concerned. I just remember saying, with vomit running down my face, "I'm good. This is not my first rodeo." WHO SAYS THAT?! Oh dear. I really was ok...mostly in shock because I didn't feel sick at all. It did get warm those last couple of miles so maybe that contributed. So that was the highlight of this run ;)
As for my friend Dani, she finished shortly after me and has a new half marathon PR!!! I don't think this race would have been as much fun without all of my friends being there. We even had some peeps cheering for us along the way!

Me, Marion, Theresa, Christine, and Dani. Post race relaxation in the grass.
What's next? Focusing on feeling more at ease with my marathon pace. I'll have plenty of practice between now and Indy. I'm sure part of the challenge today had to do with the fact that there was no real taper involved. I did scale back the miles this week but not like I will for Indy. I still remain confident that I can make this goal happen in November. In two weeks, I have my first 20 miler which will include some race pace miles. Hopefully that goes well!
Christine, Dani, Marion, Jackie, Me, and Felicia. Meeting goals=happy runners!

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Highs and Lows- Week 7

I kept repeating this on Wednesday...except mine would say "...run as fast as you need."

My first thought when I typed the title was "I'm not even halfway through training!!" ELEVEN WEEKS TO GO! It seems like forever but will fly by, I'm sure. It's a good thing I still have 11 weeks because I haven't run my first 20 miler yet. It feels so weird when your training partners are running different races during different weeks because your training schedules aren't the same.
This week's highs and lows will be a little different. Since I'm running the Emerald City Half on Sunday, I'll do a separate race report for it rather than include it here.

Just a fun throwback to a year ago when my stomach was starting to get over it's flabbiness and I still had that cute dark line down my belly. Post stroller run with James!
It's no secret that Lisa's an emotional mess lately. And, yes, it translates into my running sometimes. This week, I needed a break from waking up early. I've been more sleep deprived than usual and it caught up to me. None of my weekday workouts were as intended but that's life sometimes! Here are this weeks highs and lows:
  • Despite having some sad life moments this week, I have no running lows! I'm a huge planner and didn't follow my program as scheduled this week. I was supposed to run 6 miles, 8 miles, and do some 800s one day. I ended up with the mileage stated but did not follow intended paces. I see this as adjusting to life rather than being one of my lows.
  • Monday run. My basic formula is: run five days, Hip Hop one day, completely rest one day (sometimes I completely rest two days because I can't fit Hip Hop in my life schedule). Monday is usually a rest day but lately I've been needing it as a recovery run day. This week, I joined a few girls in Westerville for an easy 6 miler. This week was so awesome because we did the "Theresa Challenge." [see bottom of post for official definition] Amanda and I went into this run telling our friend, Sarah, that she was in charge of setting the pace. She told us she was thinking 9:30ish. After the first mile, 9:30 was non-existent! Sarah approached closer and closer to 9 min/mile. As we got closer to the last mile, I brought up the Theresa challenge. There were some giggles, some opposition, etc. Then I saw Amanda go from behind Sarah to beside Sarah. I knew in my head what was happening but kept my mouth shut...Amanda was initiating the challenge!! A few of us stayed with her and our group had a final mile of 8:45! It was really cool to see the excitement of a strong finish!!! This was definitely the highlight of my week.
  • After taking off Tuesday, I was supposed to meet my regular Wednesday crew for 8 miles. I was SO TIRED as mentioned above. I couldn't will myself to wake up and run. I think I went to bed at 9pm the night before (probably didn't fall asleep until 10 but I never go to bed that early), woke up at 4 am and decided I needed to keep sleeping. I know this sounds like a low but it's not. I ended up running that evening. While the hubs and baby were at a church event, I decided to stay back and run. Although I had an agenda for the morning, I had no agenda for the evening. I decided I would just run! I brought my Garmin but only looked at my mile splits. My first mile was 8:13 and felt easy so I thought I'd keep running at that "feel" and see what happens. I continued to feel good and noticed my splits through mile 4 were 7:53, 7:56, and 7:53. In the mind of a runner, when that happens, you don't stop there. I was already half way through and knew I had to keep going. At that point, it still felt easy but I knew I had 4 miles to go. Mile 5, 7:46. What?! It wasn't until then that easy creeped closer to moderate...but I couldn't give up now! Mile 6, 7:44. HOLY CRAP. At this time, it was a moderate effort. I had a decision to make. Tell myself I only have two miles and I can do anything for 2 miles...or do a cool down. Something happened in that moment that made the decision for me. As I started my 7th mile, I passed by the Gahanna middle school track. Some cutie was jumping and yelling out "LISA!!!!" I looked over and saw none other than...FELICIA! That's all the motivation I needed to finish strong. I finished my last two miles in 7:43 and 7:28 averaging 7:50 for my 8 miles. That is the best I've done so far for a race pace run! Nothing like a good run to chase the blues away.
  • 10k Thursday. I did a recovery run the day following my "No Agenda Run." So many good things about this. 1) It was a midday run which I LOVE! I was finished with work by 2:30ish so I was able to get in a run before picking up James. 2) I decided to practice pacing and was successful for 4 miles. I ran the first mile at an easy effort and decided I would try to keep the following miles within 5 seconds and without looking at my watch. I was actually impressed by my pacing effort (8:59, 9:03, 9:00, 9:02). At that point, I was having some major crampage and just wanted to finish. My last two miles were easy but much faster than the pace I was practicing (8:42, 8:40). 3) I realized the progress I've made in the past year. I posted on IG that, last year in June, I ran a 10k at my hardest effort with an average of 9:06 min/mile. This run was an easy recovery that I averaged 8:53! My hope was to instill some confidence in those that seem to be struggling or doubting themselves.
    Thursday was freaking gorgeous outside. I had to get a pic with the clouds.
  • The Heart Walk. I've participated in this the past three years with the company I work for (The MacIntosh Company). This year, I stroller ran with Baby Boo. I know it's a "walk" but you know I'm not about that life! ;) I tried to get close to the front but it's impossible at this event. Even with a walking start, James and I had a respectable time for an easy run! The course was hillier than expected so I won't miss out on my hilly run this week. Side note: I'm not gonna lie, it's a pretty awesome feeling to pass other runners when you're pushing a stroller! LOL!!! I know I have no idea if they are even trying but I don't care. It was enough motivation to get up those hills today!
    The Hear Walk. I have no idea what I'm doing with my hand.

THERESA CHALLENGE: When you are on a run and someone challenges you to run the last mile at what seems to be an unlikely pace. Example: Several weeks ago, we were on a 13 mile long run. Theresa said "We are going to run this last mile in 8:10 or less." Then you think "What the whaaaat?!" and run a 7:45 mile.


What's next? I run Emerald City Half tomorrow as a training run. If all goes as planned, I should finish around 1:48. I'm going to practice my marathon pace tomorrow. I can't wait to see all of my friends out there!
I'm not sure why, but I have this thing about wearing my race shirt to the actual race. I just don't do it. This is my first Emerald City race so I'm pretty excited about this cute blue shirt!

Monday, August 17, 2015

Afternoon Coffee

The evolution of coffee drinking has always been a passion of mine. Maybe I'm exaggerating...but it's definitely an interest. I can't recall how old I was the first time I drank coffee, but I know I was young (and I know that it had a crap ton of sugar and milk). It was like a treat to me. I remember my mom letting me drink it on the weekends...usually 1-2 cups.
In undergrad, I don't recall it being a thing of importance. I would drink coffee only if I was visiting home. Knowing my love for coffee now, it sort of blows my mind that it wasn't a priority in college. I must have had superpowers. I'm not sure how I held a full time school schedule, managed the GPA I had, hung out with friends, AND worked 30ish hours a week at Munchy's...all WITHOUT COFFEE.

Leave it to grad school to reintroduce coffee into my life. The time in my life that I had absolutely no money was the same time in my life that I met Starbucks for the first time. Need I say more? My friends and I went to coffee shops most days of the week to study. We didn't order just coffee. We ordered the lattes, the mochas, etc. If I could turn back time, I'd make myself like regular coffee so that we could save money and study at our homes!
When I finally became a real adult with a real job, my interests turned to regular coffee. I progressed from cream and sugar and eventually to just cream. When I started working with the geriatric population, I was impressed by their ability to drink black coffee. I was inspired to set the goal of drinking black coffee by the time I turned seventy.

Nowadays, I've ventured into the flavored creams...my favorite being Cinnabon. I MUST have coffee EVERY morning or I will freak out. That's why I'm not always perky when I go for those early morning runs. Well, that AND lack of sleep...which leads me to my point.

The past two weeks, I've started drinking afternoon coffee! Not everyday. Just a couple times a week. Life has been lacking in the sleep department and my body can't keep up with all of its demands. On the other hand, I'm wondering if this is my transition into the next coffee phase. I mean, I am going to be 33 this year! That's gotta mean something, right? I guess we'll see where this interesting topic leads me in life.
Tell me about your coffee evolution!

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Highs and Lows- Week 6

I've been quiet about my life issues the past week. Why, you ask? BECAUSE I'VE CUT THE DANG DRAMA OUT! Three+ weeks after blocking some peeps and 1+ weeks after removing myself from a certain Facebook group, I am FINALLY feeling some mental relief! I should probably stop here with this topic because, as soon as I feel some relief, some kind of drama seems to pop up!

Sun! Dani said she felt like a vampire coming out of the woods of Highbanks into the bright, rising sun!
Last week, I left you with a funky week of not being overly excited about running. I told you about a pain that made me fearful of potential injury. I haven't felt that pain since Saturday. As a precaution, I took the first half of my training week fairly easy. I had hill repeats scheduled for my first workout but decided to run the miles without the hill repeats. After a rest day and two easy runs, I felt ready for my race pace run on Thursday. My spirit took a 180 this week...well, maybe more like 140. I was happier and less stressed. Here are this weeks highs and lows:
  • As mentioned above, no hill repeats. I like those workouts so, in a selfish way, I feel I missed out. On the other hand, I don't feel guilty at all for skipping it because it was a wise decision just in case I was injured.
  • General fatigue. Even though my first two runs of the week were easy, I still felt some left over fatigue from the week before. I guess I'll take fatigue over pain any day.
  • My aching coccyx (pronounced "kok-siks but I prefer "kok-icks"). I think it's an over 30 thing. I had no trauma to it which is shocking because I'm always trying to fall and hurt myself. My best guess is that it was irritated when I tried lifting a 32 count water bottle thing onto the high shelf at the self checkout.
     I think that shelf above the plastic bags is what did it :(
    I'm usually very aware of my lifting technique (it's a PT thing), but I goofed up this time. Fortunately, running does not increase the pain but it hurts to go from sitting to standing and when adjusting my position while sleeping or resting.
A little anatomy for you.
  • Poor sleeping. I was going to say lack of sleep but that's my situation every week. This week, it was so bad that I nearly fell asleep at the wheel two different days at work. Those were probably the same two days I had afternoon coffee. Not sure what my deal was this week but I was feeling worn down in that department.
Your daily dose of truth.

  • Another successful race pace run. The fear will never cease. I will always, no matter what, get nervous about these training runs. This week, my task was to run 7 miles at my race pace....7 MILES! I was fortunate enough to be joined by Jackie and Meggie this week. The total run was 9.2 miles and 8:10 average pace with the fast miles being 8:08, 7:56, 7:46, 7:49, 7:56, 7:57, 7:44. There were some unexpected inclines but we powered through!
  • Long Run. We had a group of 6 for this one and ran in Dublin (Dublin=rolling hills). We missed most of the crazy hills. That might have been strategic on Theresa's end ;). Highlights include, but not limited to: Marion jumping towards me out of fear of the dark unknown, running through the "Tunnel of the Dementors," no skunk appearances, three deer, and hugs.

Me, Caty, and Dani.
  • Highbanks. It's no secret...I love this place. It was extra challenging today but I thinks it's because of my coccyx (which felt MUCH better this morning) and the fact that I was trying out some trail shoes that I borrowed from Meggie. The shoes seemed to work well for me but they're heavier than my other shoes. I'm thinking I might have to eventually buy a pair and use them regularly to get used to it.
    Meggie's shoes. Trail shoes are definitely different.


    What's next? Emerald City Half Marathon in one week!! This will be my first time to do this race. Although I am not "racing" it, I'm still planning a tough workout. It is a 16 mile day for me. My plan is to try the following: 3 mile pre-race warm up, 5 x 2 mile repeats with 0.75 mile recovery. Repeats will be run, hopefully, at 8 min/mile. I think that by going into this race knowing it's a training run, I will be able to accomplish my goal. It will still give a respectable sub 1:50 half depending on the recovery pace (which I'm hoping to keep around 9-9:15 min/mile). If this plan sounds appealing to you, let me know! I would love to run with you!

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Highs and Lows- Week 5

It's amazing how the things going on in your life affect your running. I was in quite a funk this week. It didn't necessarily show in my numbers but my heart wasn't in it. Things took a positive turn this morning when I got to meet lots of awesome friends for our Sunday hilly run.
Total miles this week: 45.11 (goal 43)
  • The funk mentioned above. If you've ever cried while running, you know it's not easy. I tried to make my stroller runs therapeutic but seemed to struggle through both of them. If I hadn't had the pleasure of hearing James talk to me the entire time, I would have hated every aspect of these runs.
    How I have mentally felt all week.
  • I decided it was a good idea to run a double on Wednesday and take James out for a 5k. The double part was fine...it was the fact that I ran only a few short minutes after stuffing my face with Whit's Frozen Custard. I had the side stitch from hell but was determined to get a sub 30 minute stroller 5k. I started off not caring about my pace but then I got annoyed that I was still in a funk. My splits were 10:04, 9:44, and 8:47. HA! That last mile was awful! I was pushing James with one hand and pressing the other into my abdomen where I had the side stitch. Wish I had a video of that one. (side note: my mood contributed to me finally calling the cops on the repeat offenders who leave their cars parked on the sidewalk. Yes, I'll do road running when appropriate but its unsafe in this specific section. If it were just me, that's one thing, but I'm pushing my baby. They were forced to move their car which pissed them off but made me give the mental middle finger...I'm just speaking truth. Confession is important, right?)
    Post stroller run. Neither of us look happy.
  • Hip Hop Fitness. I never thought this would be a low for me but it's my own fault. I didn't want to miss another week of Hip Hop (missed last week due to travel). I made the mistake of doing it the same day as my long run. I just hadn't recovered from the run yet so I was DRAGGING.
  • A pain scare. At some point on Saturday, I noticed throbbing pain in my leg. Soon afterwards, I noticed a similar pain in my other leg. In honor of my 7th anniversary of being Dr. Lisa, I self- diagnosed myself. It seemed like a shin splint situation. Maybe I over-did things on Friday by doing Hip Hop?! It wasn't a severe pain but annoying nonetheless. I actually woke up in the middle of the night with this throbbing pain. I made the decision to skip my run in the morning just in case it still hurt when I woke up. When I got up, I felt perfectly fine so I changed my mind, yet again, and met my girls in Delaware. (FYI: no pain while running or even afterwards but I did feel tighter than usual...and more fatigued)
    Putting the "I" of R.I.C.E. into action
  • I had a successful tempo run with Dani and Amber this week. After feeling like poo the day before, I was NOT confident about this one. The run was 7 miles and it took me 4 to feel mostly warmed up! The first two faster miles were not easy. Oddly enough, it was the fastest splits that felt the best. I was so proud of us when we finished! (tempo miles were 8:33, 8:16, 7:55, 7:31)
    My tempo partners for the week...Dani and Amber! You might not recognize me with my shirt on.
  • My always enjoyable Wednesday easy run. I spent the entire run unloading my troubles on Dani! Poor girl ;) She was a great listener. I honestly don't remember the run because I spent the entire time talking my face off. We ran, right, Dani?!
  • Long Run. Major highlight of my training week!!! I had 16 miles planned but had to incorporate some race pace miles in the second half (4x1mile with 1 mile recovery after an 8 mile warm up). This was my longest run since Flying Pig! I haven't done more than 14 miles in over 3 months! I can't say I was nervous about the increased mileage because 14 has been feeling easy. I was, however, nervous about doing some faster miles in the second half. Especially after feeling awful during the warm up. The weather was PERFECT outside. It was so cool that I kept my shirt on for 5.5 miles! That's about the time I had to make a pit stop at Creekside (you runners know what I'm sayin'?!). I practiced fueling during this run as well. I took a gel at 5 miles and 11 miles. It must have helped because I felt an extra boost soon afterwards. All I was able to eat pre-run was a few pieces of watermelon. Miles 9, 11, 13, and 15 were 7:45, 7:32, 7:25, and 7:12, respectively. Yes, faster than marathon race pace but I felt really good so I went with it. When I was running my last mile, I remember thinking "I feel like I could run a marathon right now." If the hubs didn't have to get to work, I might have been tempted to run more!
    That's pretty much the best picture EVER minus a few people. We had quite the group in Delaware this morning!
  • Sunday Hilly Run. I know I just said that my long run was a major highlight but today blew it out of the water. Between my craptastic week, my aforementioned pain, and lack of sleep the night before, I sent Marion a message saying I was going to skip this run. Not meeting these ladies was just icing on the stupid cake that was my week. I was totally bummed. Being the great friend that she is, Marion said, in a more kind way, "Get your boo-tay to Delaware and run the second half of the run with us!" Being the easily peer pressured chick that I am, that's all it took to get me up and going. I laced up my shoes and headed to Delaware, fully prepared to strip my shirt for an awesome, humid, hilly run. The down side is I didn't get as much time with some of the ladies who did 8 miles but I at least got to say HI. I WANT YOU LADIES TO UNDERSTAND WHAT YOU DID FOR ME TODAY. JUST SEEING ALL OF YOU TURNED MY ATTITUDE AROUND. I WAS OBVIOUSLY AN EMOTIONAL MESS WHEN I ARRIVED AS EVIDENCED BY THE 2 MINUTE SWEATY HUG I HAD WITH MARION.

What's next? I decided to rest tomorrow rather than do my hill repeats. In fact, I'm skipping hill repeats all together this week. I'll do a couple of easy runs leading up to my race pace run on Thursday. Emerald City Half is in two weeks! I'm turning that into a 16 mile long run with some race pace intervals (If you have any interest in being paced, we can talk details!)

P.S. If you ever want to join on a Sunday hilly run, don't hesitate to ask! I try to think of everyone but it's sometimes impossible.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

No Unnecessary Drama for This Momma

I will begin with words sung by Mary J:
So tired, tired of this drama
No more, no more
I wanna be free
I'm so tired, so tired
I've been on a recent mission to clear unnecessary drama from my life. Particular events in the last 7-8 months have caused a level of drama that I've never known. I wasn't part of drama like this in high school but the events that have occurred make me think that's what high school drama is probably like!
A year ago, I joined a particular group on Facebook. To protect my friends and fellow sisters, I will not give any details of this group and what it was meant for. This group presented many positive things for me at that time in my life...new friends, encouragement, and motivation to be a better me.
Now for one of Lisa's "keepin' it real" moments: You get a large group of women together (like more than a thousand women) and there's bound to be at least one bad apple. There's bound to be cattiness. There's bound to be some crap that hits the fan.

That's why I'm striving to rid my life of unnecessary storms.

I really enjoyed being a part of this group until I began to witness the gossip, malice, slander, and two-faced actions of some of these women. I've always struggled to develop relationships with other women. I'm not girly so I had a hard time relating. When most men take jabs at each other, they understand that it's a joke...that's just how they treat each other. When women take jabs at each other, it's personal...it's out of jealousy, envy and insecurity. No wonder I had issues opening up to women!
I must say that there are some absolutely amazing women I have developed relationships with through this process and I'm so thankful for those relationships. I feel confident enough in those relationships to make the decision I made tonight.
I decided that the toxicity of this Facebook group overshadowed the benefits of being a part of it. I decided to remove myself from this group (praise the Lord). I know which of these ladies support me. I know the ones who have my back and want what's best for me. I know the ones who will support me in the most sincere way. I have never felt so much relief to rid my life of unnecessary drama that has no effect on my Kingdom journey. I want to be part of the Light, not the Darkness. As I've mentioned in previous posts, as I've been processing my problems, I've finally realized I have to completely cut stupid things out of my life.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

I Have Insecurities, Too.

Peoples' opinions shouldn't matter. Period. To an insecure person, they do. If I go by that way of thinking, I AM INSECURE.
I am allowing one, two, or three people that I hardly know to get under my skin. Why? The only reason I am allowing it to happen is because I'm afraid of what they may or may not be saying about me to people that don't know me. Why do I care about the opinions of people who don't know me or care about me? The truth is, I shouldn't care...but I do. There are more days that I don't think about these people but it seems like, when things die down and there is no drama, one of these GEMS decides to do something stupid.
I may regret putting this out there, but it helps me to blog it out and it keeps me honest. I know that I'm not the only one to feel this way at some point. As I've said in a previous post, it blows my mind that women who are years older than me act like such children. How is that fulfilling? Dealing with selfish, rude people is annoying. 
I need to keep in mind that I am not defined by these other insecure women. I am defined by MY LORD AND SAVIOR. If someone doesn't want to like me based on someone else's opinion, so be it. That's life. I just keep holding onto the hope that people's true colors will be revealed if/when appropriate.
I want to continue my journey to become a better Lisa. I will never be perfect but I want to strive to be a better person, more loving towards my "enemies," and to embrace the relationships that build me up rather than tear me down.
I don't even want to edit this post so hopefully I made sense. I don't even feel like adding pics. Feel free to share your insecurities if it feels freeing to you. I will listen.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Highs and Lows- Week 4

I gotta be honest...I'm sort of in a pissy mood today. Not sure I should be blogging my highs and lows while in a bad mood but I guess I wouldn't be "honest mother runner" if I always posted while in a good mood. Ugh. I'm totally rambling. Anyway...

Total miles this week: 43.18 (goal 42)

  • I was forced to be flexible this week because we had a mini vacation planned to the family cottage at Lake Erie. I love the weekend trip but I hate running while I'm there. I don't know the town well enough to be comfortable with running on my own. In order to get my miles, I had to do my long run on Friday and my hilly run Sunday afternoon instead of morning.
  • The summer sun is absolutely killer. I love running in the heat of the day more than most people. Until this year, I ALWAYS ran in the late afternoon during the summer. I think, because I've become a morning runner (reluctantly), I'm not used to the intense feeling of the afternoon sun. I had two midday runs this week that were actually very good runs but the sun made it more challenging.
    SO HOT!
  • More friends out of town this week. They did not get approval from me to travel.

  • Hills. I did really well with my two hill workouts this week. They were both my midday runs mentioned above. I did shorter, steeper hill repeats this week (Emerald Parkway at Dublin Road) and managed to average 8:35-8:45 min/mile, including my downhill recovery, for my repeat miles. I then went back to Dublin yesterday and ran a route given to me by Jackie. It included almost every hill on Emerald and the up and down on Post Road. I averaged 8:33 for my almost 9 mile run.
  • I got to run with Jackie TWICE! It's no secret that she's my BFF. Solo runs with her are rare nowadays so my cup overflows when I get them. I ran the last 14 miles of her 22 mile run. I was so glad I could be a part of that mileage PR (for training...the girl did her first full marathon this year!). I haven't even run a 22 mile training run before! We got to talk about life and be open and honest with each other...best thing ever. That's what keeps the bond strong. She also joined Amanda, Christine and me on a race pace run...which leads me to my final high of the week.
    Yacky Jackie and me.
  • Race pace run. These are, by far, the scariest workouts EVER. I get so freaking nervous the night before. Self doubt consumes me. Not even a donut makes the negativity go away. I am so blessed to have a friend in Amanda. She has a niche for seeing peoples' potential and making that person believe they can accomplish what they feel is impossible. She is part of the reason I've been PR'ing all year long. She, along with my other running buddies, coach me through the tough runs. Amanda lead us through this run this week. She knew our goal and helped us to it...AND THEM SOME! I'm training as if I'm attempting a 3:30 marathon is hopes that I can at least get enough under 3:35 to qualify for Boston. This means that my race pace range is 8-8:12 min/mile. For this week's run, I was supposed to do 8 total miles with the middle 6 at race pace. We did so well that our overall average was 8:03 (including warm up and cool down miles) and our race pace miles progressively improved from  7:56 to 7:23!!! I was on cloud 9 after finishing this workout. The best part is that I felt good and relaxed during those fast miles. If I stay injury free and don't get pregnant, that goal is looking mighty achievable! 
    Race pace run splits!!

What's next? This week, I have to be flexible again because I may have to do another Friday long run. I have 16 miles on the program...my longest run since my full marathon at the beginning of May! I'm not nervous at all about the distance but I am nervous about mixing in the race pace miles at the end of it. 

Happy running, friends!