September 30, 2013

I'm not running Marine Corps

Thursday, after my post, I headed out for a run. I basically left my apartment and went a half mile out and back in each direction so that if my knee started hurting, I wouldn't be too far from home.

I ran 6 miles all at marathon pace. It felt easy, I felt strong. I felt great. My plan was to take Friday off, run 4 easy on Saturday and go for 18 on Sunday.

I took Friday off. Saturday morning, I woke up with horrible knee pain. The Pilot and I headed out to Clarendon for Clarendon Day and weren't even there an hour when I said that I needed to go home because the pain in my knee had gotten to a 10 on a scale of 1 to 10.

Since then, there's the pain has somewhat subsided but is still there.

I'm under-trained for this marathon. I came into it recovering from injury and I guess I'm still injured. I honestly feel that it this point, if I decided to push through and run it, I would either not finish...or finish and jeopardize my chances of ever running another marathon.

I think I've known that this decision was coming for awhile, but it was still hard to come by. I love the Marine Corps Marathon. It was my 2nd marathon and my first PR. It's in my favorite city, which I can now, finally call home. The Start line is just down the street from my apartment and I was really looking forward to running my first at home marathon and having my family and friends cheering me on.

There will be other Marine Corps Marathons, but this isn't one I can just say, I'll run next year. The fact is, The Pilot and I are getting married next September, and running off to sneak in an 18 mile run on my honeymoon is just not something I'm interested in doing.

My marathon PR is 4:01:05. I've been trying to go sub-4 ever since I ran my first marathon in 4:08. Do you have any idea how much it kills to be that close to my goal and to not even be able to try for it?  I bailed on my spring marathon because I needed a break after running 3 marathons last year, so to be unable to try for that sub-4 distance this Fall is heartbreaking.

There will be other marathons, and I'll eventually get that sub-4 but for now, I'm going to focus on recovering and hopefully getting to a 26.2 Start injury-free in 2014. 

September 26, 2013

Three Things Thursday

1. Recovery - Proactive recovery is going well. After Monday's emergency acupuncture session, Tuesday's leg massage and yesterday's rest day, I'm hoping to head out for a run this morning and test out how my knee is feeling. My yoga teacher/masseuse rolled out what felt like a golf ball sized knot in my calf. She recommended epsom salt baths and magnesium supplements before bed, so that's what I've been doing. We'll see how I feel when I head out for a run later this morning.

2. Week Off - I've been off this week and it has been glorious. The travel bug in me used to knock the staycation but my goodness, this week has been wonderful. I've been able to run errands, clean my house, take care of some paperwork. It has been absolutely wonderful.

3. Little Black Dress - I'm ashamed to admit that I don't own this closet staple. I did...three years ago before I started running and lost a lot of weight. I realize that I have a Rehearsal Dinner next Friday and that an LBD is the perfect thing to wear. So I'm off to the shops today to go look into the wide world of LBDs and see if I can finally add this closet staple to my wardrobe.

Wish me luck on running!
Happy Thursday!

September 24, 2013

Marine Corps?

I didn't write a training recap last week.

Training just hadn't been going the way I had wanted to and, as I mentioned Thursday, I had all but resigned myself to dropping from the race.

Then, I realized how badly I wanted to run this race. How much I wanted to run a hometown marathon. How much I love the Marine Corps Marathon. How many of my friends would be out there on the course cheering from me.

I need to run this race.

I didn't run this weekend. I woke up screaming in the middle of Friday night with a Charlie Horse that kept me sidelined for the next 2 days.

Yesterday morning, I got up and headed out to run 18 miles. This was it. I was going to finish no matter how hard it was. I was finally motivated.

So I headed out. I started on the Mount Vernon Trail, crossed the Key Bridge into Georgetown, looped around the Lincoln Memorial and made may way out to Hains Point.

I felt great. I was maintaining an excellent pace and started visualizing the rest of the run, the rest of training, and the race itself.

At Mile 8.5, my knee started the same lock-up way it did back in June when I first injured myself. I stopped and stretched for a bit, re-laced my show laces, adjusted my IT Band strap and continued on. Every few steps, this kept going. I made it to 10 miles before the pain was so severe, I couldn't take another step.

Then, I had to walk 2.5 miles to the nearest Metro station to get myself home.

I got home and made an emergency acupuncture appointment. I had some errands to run beforehand and it hurt just to walk. Acupuncture gave me some relief but when I took the dog out later that night, I wasn't in good shape at all.

This sucks. I'm behind in my training as it is. I got a major pep talk from some friends and The Pilot this weekend and was finally feeling like I could run this race.

I have no idea how long this is going to sideline me but I'm crushed. For three weeks, I couldn't get myself out the door to run, I finally got motivated to finish training and this happens.

Today, I'm going for a 30 minute leg massage to try and work out what feels like an enormous golf ball in the side of my leg. I'm hoping that by tomorrow or Thursday I can head out for an easy run and get back into it.

We'll see. I'm not so optimistic anymore. What I do know though is that my work schedule is changing next week and will be much more flexible which means that if I need to head out for a long run on a Tuesday morning, I can. I'm hoping that that flexibility works in my favor and that I'll be able to toe the line on October 27.

Send love, prayers and thoughts for a rapid recovery for me.

September 20, 2013

This Weekend...

I will run 17 miles.

I will watch football.

I will meal plan and grocery shopping.

I will go to Mass.

I will clean my apartment.

I will spend time with The Pilot.

I will bake yummy pumpkin things.

I will embrace Fall and the changes it's bringing me.

What are you going to do this weekend?

September 19, 2013

Three Things Thursday

1. Marine Corps - Until yesterday, I was very seriously considering not running the Marine Corps Marathon. I'm terribly undertrained and just haven't felt up to running lately but somehow, after dinner with a friend I hadn't seen in almost 5 years (who is 6 months pregnant) and a long talk about running, I decided against not running. I've got my work cut out for me, that's for sure. MCM may not be the goal race I dreamed of, but I still have every intention of toeing the line on October 27.

2. Autumn - It's Fall. There's no way around it. While it doesn't officially start until Sunday, the long sleeves I donned for this morning's run and the need for a hoodie for Peyton's morning walks is proof enough that it's Fall. I'm not thrilled about this fact and may leave DC for San Diego for the winter months.

3. Eugene - This year, I was supposed to run the Eugene Marathon. I registered basically the day registration opened...and then I got offered my job and was told that I would be in Denver for work on Race Day. Well, this year, the Eugene Marathon has been moved to July...six weeks before the wedding, which means...I'll be making my way out west for a little marathon action next summer. It's going to be awesome.

I'm so glad it's almost the weekend. This week has been exhausting. I'm ready to bake boat loads of pumpkin things and battle with myself over shorts versus capris for my weekend long run.

Have a good one!

September 17, 2013

September Things

I just looked at my calendar and saw that it was September 17. When did that happen?

I guess it shouldn't have surprised me that it's late September since it was freezing outside today.

Since it was so cold, I finally decided to stop by Starbucks on my way to work for my first Pumpkin Spice Latte of the season.

It was $5. FIVE FREAKING DOLLARS...for a TALL PSL. Disgusting. That was my first and last of the season, and I am going to go buy some pumpkin pie spice this afternoon to start putting in my home ground coffee.

Thanks but not thanks.

This Weekend, my mom was in town. She took the bus down on Friday and Ryan and I took her out (well, she treated) for Mexican food. Saturday morning, Mom and I headed out for a fun, yet exhausting day of wedding dress shopping. We went to three different bridal salons in the DC area to get an idea of what I think I want to wear. I went in with the exact idea of what I wanted and walked out with something completely different.

*Fun fact: I am no stranger to trying on wedding gowns as I had a brief stint modeling them for David's Bridal in college.

Saturday night, after working up an appetite trying on all the dresses, we went to dinner at the place where The Pilot and I will be having our wedding reception. The food was fabulous and it was so exciting to eat there almost a year to the day from our wedding!

Sunday, The Pilot left bright and early and Mom and I headed to a Bridal Showcase to eat samples of obscene amounts of cake. *Side Note: It amazes me how much bad cake I tasted. I don't really care how pretty your cakes are if they taste like chalk.*

Absent from this weekend? Running.

I ran 5 miles each on Friday and Saturday and my legs were absolutely trashed by Sunday morning.

I had an incredible run yesterday after work but right now, I'm reevaluating my plans for Marine Corps.

The marathon is 6 weeks away and my longest run was 15 miles...almost 3 weeks ago. I'm not bailing, but I may not be making this the goal race I was hoping to. We'll see.

In other news, I've been praying for big changes all summer and they've finally come...not at all in the way I expected them to, but in a good way. I won't say too much about it now, but I can say that they're going to make me a lot happier and a lot more comfortable.

So that's what's going on this September! How is your early Fall shaping up?

September 13, 2013

One Year

There isn't really any way to describe this past week other than blah. Between temperatures almost in the 100s with raging humidity and raging thunderstorms, major delays on the Metro causing missed runs and allergies that seem to be plaguing all of the District of Columbia, it's just been blah.

None of that matters though, because next year? This week will be the most amazing week ever because one year from today...

...we're getting married!!!

(Don't worry, I promise not to count down obnoxiously until our wedding.)

Happy Weekend!

September 11, 2013

Marine Corps Marathon Training: Week 5

Last week...didn't go so well.

That's not true. I had a really bad long run which put a significant damper on the rest of the week.

I set out for 16 miles...and only ran 12. I had absolutely no energy whatsoever. From the moment I stepped out my front door, I thought about turning around. Somehow, I slugged my way through 12 miles before stopping and taking the Metro home.

It was hot...insanely hot. I was expecting the cool fall mornings of the past few days and I got 84 and sunny instead. I just had no energy to run.

I came home and spent the next few hours sulking about what this means for Marine Corps. I've never not been able to finish a long run before and that was a tough thing being so close to Race Day and feeling so behind in training at the same time.

I made up the miles with an easy 7 the next day, but it definitely put a damper on the week. I'm hoping to push through 18 this weekend, which will be a great way to reset my training going into the higher weekly miles.

We'll see.

I did manage an awesomely fast MGP (marathon goal pace) run on Thursday which, while completely draining me of all energy left me full of confidence.

That's marathon training for the span of 48 hours, I had a complete confidence boosting run...and a completely soul crushing run.

I just have to shake it off and get back into this week...and somehow find new shoes in the process. I realized last night on my run that I desperately need new shoes...and that Saucony stopped making the Guide 5s...almost a year ago (oops). I haven't been able to find a pair in my size *anywhere* online and I've heard that the 6s are pretty different.

Have any of you run in the Guide 5s and transitioned to a different shoe? I'd love some recommendations!

Here's a recap of last week's training:

Monday: 4 miles, easy and quick
Tuesday: 4 miles, easy
Wednesday: Rest
Thursday: 5.5 miles with 4 at MGP (or slightly faster!)
Friday: Rest (2 mile walk with the puppy)
Saturday: 12 awful, awful miles
Sunday: 7 miles, easy

So that's that. I'm trying to figure out when to run my 18 this weekend since my Mama is coming to visit, but I'll make it work!

Have you ever had a big setback run in your training?
How did you handle it?

September 9, 2013

Love/Don't Love

1. I always try to start these posts off on a positive note but I am not feeling well at all today. I definitely feel a cold coming on and I blame the change in seasons. When I walk my dog in the morning and it's 64 degrees outside, and then leave for work 20 minutes later and it's 82...that is no bueno for my immune system. Don't Love.

2. It was so good to be home this weekend after being away the last two weekends. Love.

3. This weekend kind of sucked. Not really, but running-wise, it definitely sucked. I bailed on my 16 miler at Mile 12 on a count of having absolutely no energy and every step feeling virtually impossible. Silver Lining? I made it to 12 when I thought about bailing at 1. Don't Love.

4. The good thing is, I figured out why I had 0 energy. I haven't taken my iron pills in awhile (they make me super nauseous, even with food) and it was that time of the month. That'll do it! I was able to make up my missed miles on Sunday and while I'm bummed that I missed out on the long run, I'm glad I figured out the problem and will hopefully feel better in time for this weekend's planned 18. Love? I guess.

5. The Pilot was away this weekend and I laid pretty low. Friday night I stayed in and curled up on the couch with my new book before heading to bed early. I'm reading Khaled Hosseini's new book. I absolutely loved 'The Kite Runner' and loved 'A Thousand Splendid Suns' even more. So far, this book is no exception to Hosseini's beautiful writing and I don't ever want the book to end. Love.

6. Saturday after my horrible, no good, very bad run, I sat on the couch watching the ABC Family Harry Potter marathon for several hours with my legs wrapped up in compression socks and a very cute puppy to snuggle with. 

Peyton and I are getting along great lately.
I think she's finally accepted that I am around more than the Pilot.
She's my little buddy now.
7. Sometime Saturday evening, I peeled myself off the couch and took a trip to Jenna's for some talk about life before we settled in to watch 'Pitch Perfect' (OMG WHY HADN'T I SEEN THIS MOVIE? I NEED ALL THE SONGS!) while stuffing our face with pizza and cheesy bread and drinking wine. Love.

8. Sunday morning, I got up and headed out for some recovery/makeup miles. I felt loads better than I did on Saturday and managed to get in 7 miles. I came home, did some cleaning (with Harry Potter movies on in the background) and headed out to meet Jenna and friends for some football. The Jets made an amazing comeback (which I missed) and won...which is probably the best they'll do all season, but a W is a W and I'll take it. Love.

9. Sunday night, I stayed in watching more Harry Potter, having more puppy snuggles, reading more of my book and prepping some food for the week today. I made an awesome dinner courtesy of Self Magazine and was in bed nice and early to rest up for the work week.

Farfalle with Sun-dried Tomatoes and Broccoli in a Balsamic Glaze.
A little sweet, but very delicious.
So there you have it, my weekend in a nutshell. I'm super excited for the week ahead. Mama is coming to visit and some big changes are happening over here in PTRS land. Stay tuned! 

September 5, 2013

Marine Corps Marathon Training: Week 4

Last week, I talked about how having a shortened training schedule basically means that there's no room to mess around. I don't have the luxury of missing a week of training like I did last year when I jetted off to Europe for Labor Day Weekend.

So, when I skipped my long run this weekend, I was a little disappointed.

But only a little.

It was a step back week. I definitely stepped way back, but you know what? It's what I felt like doing. Running in Texas would have been a suicide mission. Heat Index of 114 degrees with no shade in site?  No thanks.

I could have woken up early on Friday morning and run my 12 miles like I planned, but I couldn't. Last week was physically, mentally and emotionally I only ran 6 before work.

I'm ok with it.

Here's how last week went down:
Monday: Rest
Tuesday: Planned run...skipped it after accidentally walking 2 1/2 miles across DC after work
Wednesday: 4 miles
Thursday: 3 easy miles with The Pilot
Friday: 6 am miles
Saturday: Rest (which I needed)
Sunday: I played in the pool...that counts right?

No weights last week...again, it was a rough week for me. I'm already feeling much better about this week and am getting excited for my first run home from work in a long time!

September 4, 2013

Oops...I went to Texas

Last year, for Labor Day, the Pilot and I took off to Europe for the long weekend. Not quite in the financial position to do the same this holiday weekend, but still wanting to go somewhere, we weighed our options and took off to Texas to spend the weekend at my dad's.

We got in to DFW on Friday night and promptly headed home where we stuffed our faces with pizza that my brother and his wife picked up...then we stuffed our face with ice cream and went to bed.

I had long run plans of 12 miles (step back week) which I threw away as soon as I realized that the temperature was 106 with a heat index of 114. My dad lives in an area that has about 2 trees per square mile, so I took the opportunity to rest my legs after 3 consecutive days of running and just enjoyed the weekend.

Saturday, The Pilot and I were up bright and early (we were still on East Coast time) and headed out for breakfast with my friends Dustin and Lauren.

We spent the rest of the day lounging around the house, watching TV, eating snacks and hanging out before it was time for our ENGAGEMENT PARTY!

Yup, on less than week's notice, my sisters and step mom planned an engagement party for us and it was absolutely perfect.

My 3 best friends from high school came out for the celebration, along with some of my dad's friends who I've known forever and The Pilot's parents even made the trip down from New Jersey!
Us walking into the Party Room
The party was so much fun and it means the world to me that everyone came out for it. Being engaged has been ridiculous amounts of fun and I'm so excited for what the next year will bring.

Post-party, a bunch of us went for a midnight swim in my dad's new pool before calling it a night. It had been a hot, hot day and to jump into the water at night like that was perfect.

We spent the all day Sunday in the pool, relaxing before heading to downtown Fort Worth to take The Pilot's parents to Riscky's for some real Texas bbq.

Monday morning, we were up entirely too early for our flight home. We landed, I laced up my running shoes and got right back in the saddle. 

This weekend was perfect. It was a fabulous reminder of everything I have to be grateful for: an incredible family, a wonderful fiancé, friends I've known for half my life or longer, and the luxury of being able to relax and appreciate those things. The weekend set me up for a wonderful start to September because, even though I'm not going back to school...September will always mark the start of something new.

Oh, and if you're in the mood to shed some happy tears this morning, I highly recommend this: 28 Pictures that Prove Dreams Do Come True

God, I love holiday weekends!
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