Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Obligatory End of Year Post

Probably sounds like a broken records since everyone is saying it by now, but where did the year go?!

I seriously feel like it was just yesterday that I rang in 2014 and was getting ready for SOTU (State of the Union - big beginning of year deal in the news world!) oh and my birthday since they fell on the same day last year!

The end of this year has been kind of crazy. 

I'm in the middle of dealing with doctors and procedures and all that jazz trying to get some sort of diagnosis on my GI issues (minor update as I still await biopsy results - the first med I am on has helped like, tremendously, thank god.)

I finished NYCM with a stress fracture and tendinitis and had my first boot experience. I hated it. 

Found out I was having my rent hiked by almost 50% per month and high tailed my ass out of Hoboken and to Queens! I want to give an update on all that but still putting together my new place. It is SO BIG. and SO empty still. So much space to decorate (I know such a problem, but it is, for my wallet!). But it's been 2 weeks and I LOVE my new town. 

At work it is kind of turmoil. I mean it usually is total craziness but the head of my department basically left unannounced and there are 5,000 changes happening right now so umm, happy holidays? enjoy no time off basically lol. 

On the upside I have begun running again!

On the downside - I am sorry all the cross training in the world does not keep you in running form. It is hard and I am slow as a snail. But I am running! And returning smartly. 

Running wise I wanted to enjoy this year. I mostly did. I ran what I wanted. I didn't necessarily have any stellar performances but I was not setting myself up to. I thought I could possibly PR the marathon but then Chicago was spent in every bathroom every mile, and the conditions on race day for NYCM took that thought before the start line. I am satisfied how it went. 

I must be real and realize that I am AT LEAST 8 pounds over my race weight when I was PR'ing the crap in every distance every other weekend 2 years back plus haven't put in the strength training I did back then. Plus all the stomach issues. I'm not there. I plan on working to actually get back down to a better weight and all that jazz. I just haven't felt like it but now my jeans want me to. 

I'm just kind of rambling but basically - 2014 has been pretty good to me. 

Professionally I grew a lot and had a lot of positive changes in my personal life. I feel like I GREW UP a lot this year and that is a good feeling. Running wise and physically - kind of stagnant. But running will always be there I just didn't have the heart to train HARD. I just put in what I wanted/needed in order to get through the races. 

I have thoughts on how I am setting up 2015 but one thing I know: I WILL NOT run a marathon. 

If I sign up for one someone punch me. Unless I have a massive PR in the half in spring that is not my goal (and in 3 months I will not be running in the low 1:50's to get that I guarantee).

So happy new year all! Hope the holidays have treated you well and you ring in the new year with the ones you love! 

Monday, December 22, 2014

It's Not All in My Head

Finally starting to get some answers. I swear I feel like finding a doctor who will listen, seems genuinely invested in figuring out a diagnosis and is not dismissive or medication happy is more than half the battle. 

As much as one does not WANT to have a colonoscopy, I was excited that he wanted one immediately. 

I was scaring the crap (lol) out of myself reading horrors of prep. Minus the fact that the drink has scarred me of anything grape flavored and maybe curbed my salt cravings for a while; let’s just say it was not anything like some of my worst days are. And fasting was surprisingly easy (once I left work that is). 

I waited for an eternity for my appointment. I had arrived the requisite 45 minutes prior for intake and then was finally taken back an hour and a half past my scheduled appointment time. From there it was a breeze as I was soon prepped, put under anesthesia and waking up in recovery. Best nap ever. 

A few minutes after I woke he came back to talk to me. 

And as I suspected, there is a lot going on: proctitis (a lot of inflammation and why I am constantly running to the bathroom), a large polyp they removed (and he said count my lucky stars I needed this at 33 because that is not something you want hanging out until you are 50) and a lot of long ulcers in my colon which could be indicative of Crohn's disease. 

Of course he refused to diagnose anything on the spot – awaiting biopsy, and blood results still. 

He said Crohn’s and my heart kind of stopped for a minute. I know something is wrong and on one hand I feel validated for the findings that they illustrate definitively how awful I have been feeling. But, I selfishly do not want to have to deal with a lifetime of keeping something under control. 

I got home cried for a few minutes and then pulled it together and won't dwell until I see him again and he makes an official diagnosis. 

I know that this is not the end of the world, and I do want answers as well as a course of treatment to help better what I have been going through.

So that is where I am at for now.

Time will tell but for now feel one step significantly closer to finding out what is really wrong. 

Thursday, December 18, 2014

GI Health Updates

If there was ever a week I was ready to have end it is this week!

Started out with a move Monday that was more painful than it needed to be (and reminded me why I hadn’t moved in several years) but that is for another day – I will share some of the new apartment as it is coming together!

Tuesday I had an appointment with GI doctor number 3.

And I am thinking third time is a charm. I didn’t like the first two AT ALL. I walked away thinking they had no interest in helping me find out what was going on and were prescription happy vs. diagnosis.

My new doctor listened to it all. Spent a solid half hour with me. Everything I have been going through for the past few years. And HE was concerned about my quality of life and how I have just been dealing with it and have learned how to work around it. And anxious to help figure out what is going on. I told him my primary doc was thinking IBD and of course he said for my sake he hoped that it wasn’t since that lives with you forever.

My opinion – honestly I just want to KNOW. If it is then we deal with it. If it isn’t I hope we just get to the bottom of it.

So what does this mean?

Well of course he sucked my blood out while I was there. He told me to stop the whole gluten free thing if it was making me feel worse (and is testing for celiac although he doesn’t think that is anything to do with it – I was abstaining from gluten for only a short period of time prior so hoping that the test doesn’t lose validity).

And what I was waiting for – the joys of a colonoscopy.


So I am now in the fasting portion of it all. And definitely cannot wait to start the prep (sarcasm in case you are wondering).

I actually really don’t care or mind. Considering how awful things have been I actually kind of can’t wait. I am feeling like I am one step closer to a diagnosis.

So here’s hoping that my Christmas gift is figuring out what the hell is going on with me! 

Monday, December 8, 2014

One Week Down: Gluten & Dairy Free

For starters: seriously anyone that willingly goes gluten & dairy free without medical necessity is bonkers.

Because, pizza. Sandwiches. Bacon egg and cheeses. Cupcakes. Ramen. BEER.

The list goes on.

Now I know that there are gluten free and dairy substitutions but especially with my carb fav’s I am not trying to eat crap that is made gluten free – because a lot of it is just that, crap. And devoid of nutrition.

The dairy thing I am better with because I had been trying for a long time to limit it.

So let’s see, I am now a week in and I think the main thing is that I am eating better. If for nothing else this has aided me in stopping my boredom binge eating because well, the things that I would mindlessly eat aren’t permitted anymore.

I’ve dropped a couple pounds which is a plus because I have some extra that I am in need of shedding (or errrr like 10 pounds that really need to go).

As far as feeling any improvement with my GI issues. Not going to lie, it is worse. Probably times 5. Most likely because I am in veggie overdrive and the extra fiber is wreaking havoc but it’s been pretty painful and not fun.

It has also really only been a week this is a process that will take time.

I really am more just being a brat about some stuff. It is the convenience that is more of a hassle. I learned the hard way traveling needs to be done with your own food there won’t be too much at the airports. Also I’m in the process of moving and it is harder to find quick grab and go options. But it is what it is. Need to plan and be prepared.

On the plus obviously lots more fruits and veggies. I discovered quinoa pasta and am a fan – totally filled my wanting #allthecarbs fix post workout Saturday. And even though my stomach FEELS like hell – I am way less bloated.

I foresee this helping me clean up my diet and be more cognizant of what I am eating. I have a problem with binge eating and take away those things that trigger it and the problem starts to disappear as does the urge.

I would like to hear from others for any good bloggers/websites for gluten/dairy free. Favorite recipes, restaurants etc. open to it all! 

Just 2 months and 3 weeks to see if any of this helps clear things up. 

Le sigh. 

Saturday, November 22, 2014

A Week of Highs and Lows

Boy was this past week an emotional rollercoaster! It is amazing how many highs I hit followed by some lows. The good news is that the good stuff severely outweighs the "bad" (and really not that BAD) and I am in pretty high spirits.

So let's discuss this jam packed week.

The good:
  • Dinner with the President of my company - I was so thrilled to get these few hours of time with her. She is pretty amazing and extremely open. The only thing she asked of us she invited (there were 4) was that we be open and honest. Done and done.
  • Annual review (actually FIRST review since I have been there - and I started March 2013) which couldn't have gone any better. Management gave me a glowing review and we talked about the direction I am going to go professionally the next couple of years and basically, good things are going to come. Happy because I have worked my tail off and it is recognized.
  • I SIGNED MY LEASE - and am moving from Jersey to Queens! SO EXCITED. There was a super stressful 24 hours after applying fretting I wouldn't get approved and would be homeless (lol) but got accepted to all apartments I applied for so had my choice of what I wanted. (sorry to anyone who I snapped at during that 24 hour period, my bad).
  • I will group this in: I am heading to Florida for Thanksgiving and a week with my family. I am so so so ready for a little getaway and warm weather. I am over winter and it hasn't even begun yet.
The bad:
  • As stated in my previous post, I have to go gluten and dairy free for 3 months. My initial reaction: make the cheesiest pasta I could for dinner. Mature, I know. December 1st it's on.
  • Decide with marathon #3 on the horizon next week to go to the podiatrist because my foot has hurt for a while now. Diagnosis: stress fracture - that is weeks old since it showed on an x-ray and a potential new one. Also tendinitis. Let's just say I am not running 26.2 on 11/30. Bummed but I've known something was wrong for a while. I prefer to tough things out but my gut told me to not run this marathon and get an opinion. So I've gained a lovely new fashionable boot. At least it is keeping my foot warm, right?
It really was a rollercoaster of emotions this week but I have to say I am so so so happy about the move that everything else is...just whatever. I have been wanting to move from Hoboken, and into my own place for a LONG time now (I've been in the same apartment since 2007 and have roommates) I am desperate to be on my own. I have a ginormous new place - and will be moved in just in time for the holidays!

And I think with the boot on and all that I can safely say I am a little over marathons at the moment. I am happy to step away and look at other goals. I am not happy with my body so am going to be hitting the weights/barre/yoga a lot more (and am cleared for all that with the foot, just no running or crazy jumping etc.) but that is all for another post.

In the words of Olaf: All good things!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

I Knew This Was Coming

If you have read any of my posts, follow me on Twitter or Instagram or we are Facebook friends then you at some point have undoubtedly read about my “bathroom woes”.

Long ago I went to a doctor who was super unhelpful and didn’t make any sort of diagnosis.

I’ve continued to go through cycles of torture for the past 3 years or so. Months of being fine followed by months of being in pain and having my quality of life drastically effected (as in must know where ALL the bathrooms are at all times).

Basically this go ‘round started up again the first week of October and has been awful since. This is what I am dealing with (might be TMI but well kind of too late for that!): either constipation or diarrhea, lots of blood, constant bloating and gassiness and always feeling like I have to go. I haven’t been “normal” in the bathroom since the weekend prior to Chicago. It sucks. A lot.

After that dreadful Chicago I made an appointment but work and life kept getting in the way and I kept rescheduling until I finally forced myself to go last night.

I then got quite the stern lecture. I know what is happening is not normal, I mean hello blood all the time, but how many people want to have intimate conversations regarding their gut and going to the bathroom? (okay can’t lie I am very open with my sisters about it but you know, SISTERS).

So she is sending me on my merry way to a new GI doctor and I know I am in for a colonoscopy (does the fun ever end?) and she said most definitely an IBS or IBD diagnosis (which I have suspected for a long time).

We talked about what could be done in the meantime – since most likely post diagnosis they will start me on some sort of drug regime – which leads me to what I knew was coming and avoiding – trying out going gluten free and dairy free for a minimum of 3 months and taking probiotic (align).

I have always maintained that gluten has no issue with me. But then again I have never avoided it. Because, HELLO all the good foods and I know I don’t have an allergy so I thought being gluten free was silly.

But it is time to embrace it. See if it helps. So as of December 1st (sorry I plan on enjoying Thanksgiving with my family in Florida and have a marathon 11/30 and will eat what I normally do prior #allthegluten) I will go on the gluten/dairy free bandwagon.

I do think I am sensitive to dairy and do avoid it a lot but this time, all in. Sigh.

But first I shall go on a pasta and pizza eating, beer drinking, ice cream consuming binge (and yes I know there are gluten and dairy free versions of EVERYTHING but it is like my last supper – or just an excuse to be a glutten).

And I will definitely be soliciting advice of those who are knowledgeable. I know this isn’t the end of the world but still sad pants.

But the good news is if it doesn’t make me feel any better I can jump right back on the gluten train…March 1st

Monday, November 3, 2014

NYCM 2014

Another NYCM in the books!

If you couldn't tell I was a little bit doom and gloom about this marathon. Due cause, Chicago was a nightmare, and too recent to not have on my mind. I would get twinges of excitement then think a couple weeks back and cringe.

I was going in with zero expectations. My stomach was a mess still and I was out of ideas of what to do, and won’t be going to the doc until next week for the real testing to begin. All I could do was to eat as plain as possible and cross my fingers and hope for the best.

I spent Saturday relaxing as much as possible and thanking our lucky stars that it wasn't the weather for Sunday. But then was seeing the forecast for the winds…but at least no rain, right?

Enter Sunday morning. Wake up to find out that there won’t be heated tents anymore in the Start Village with Team for Kids. Not amused.
Pre race selfie, obvi.
I had for once gotten everything ready to go the night before so getting out the door at 5 was a breeze. I couldn't “go” but my stomach felt okay. Ate my first plain roll on the way to the city. Then got on the TFK buses and was on my way to SI – I miraculously slept the whole way!

The second we stepped off the bus though, brrrr. That is all I can say. It was 7:15 and with a 10:05 start I was scared to wait around.

I spent some time with the TFK team ate another roll and then went to meet my running bff Tara who was in the same wave, same color, same corral as me. Talk about luck! We spent some time huddling to stay warm until without ceremony we heard the canons and were off! Kind of. Not without a few photos first!

I couldn't feel my feet and the wind on the Verrazano was so awful it wasn't hard to make sure you didn't go out too fast. As I was trying to make sure I didn't get blown off my friend Barbara came running up behind, love in a race so big you can find one another. 

Tara took off after about mile 1 and Barbara and I stuck together. My legs were not feeling loose at all and maintaining a slow cautious pace wasn't too difficult. Quite frankly even a slow pace seemed like too much effort. I started guesstimating finish times but knew it would not be under 4:30 and really didn't think too long and hard about it. 

We stuck together chatting and enjoying the crowds. So much love right from the start, the crowds make you feel like a rock star. DO NOT run NYCM without your name on your shirt. Seriously. People cheer you on like they are your family out there start to finish. 

Mile 5 I had to peel away for the bathroom. I was fine not hurting, but finally had to go (hadn't all morning but nothing like a few miles to get things moving) this stop maybe took 2.5 minutes even waiting in line. Spoiler alert that would be my ONLY stop for the bathroom all day! (Edit never mind I remembered I stopped after the Queensboro Bridge real quick to pee)

I was playing it pretty safe, I was walking through most water stops drinking a little and keeping cautious with how fast I was running. I would go through spurts where I would feel amazing and then equally like ughhh running isn't fun. I wasn't trying to be a rockstar out there so pushing it was not on the agenda.

I was focusing on when I would see people and started to be on the lookout. I saw Leticia at mile 8 and was such a boost. Then I was focused on #Mile14 and seeing the peeps from November Project. A nice infusion of energy as I prepared for the Queensboro Bridge. 

Going onto the bridge I was just trying to maintain slow and steady and not run too hard of an effort. But man did the bridge feel eternal. (and seriously the whole time I kept thinking - was it this HARD last year - meaning the whole course in general). Also I felt my left calf starting to strain but really low so was concerned it was my achilles. I tried to stretch it out but realized stopping and starting hurt. I got in my head a little bit at this point. Luckily 1st Ave gives you a LOT of distraction and I also knew to be on the lookout for a bunch of people. 

I should mention I had been deathly afraid to fuel so was STARVING by now and this is 100% the reason for the god awful brutally debilitating cramping that would ensue the rest of the race. When they were giving out the gels I figured if my stomach was okay for now I would go ahead and eat one. Then saw the magical med tent and decided to stop. 

Those people are magic. I got salt packets and salt water and calf stretching and massage. Just touching my calf was so painful. He told me to just be careful and several minutes later I was on my way. This is the point where I am in love with the crowds even more. I really really wanted to walk but was pushed to continue on. Slow as shit but continue nonetheless. I was still walking through water and basically starting to eat any and everything that was given out. Then as I was heading through the Bronx the right calf starts to cramp up which led me to hitting another med tent at mile 22. More salt, salt water, asprin and massage before I was off again. Both stops were worth the relief. 

I knew a bunch of people would be along 5th and in the park so I was just trying to keep busy looking for them and finally saw Beth and pretty sure I asked if I could just stop running at that point, haha!

As I made the turn into the park tears came to my eyes. A mixture of knowing I was on my way to the finish as well as just being overwhelmed by the day. I am not the most emotional person in the world darn these marathons really get me! I love the running community. 

I saw my friend Mike or rather heard him and then just focused on getting to the finish. I was on a mission to finish in under 5. I had done the calculations with about 10K to go (which took so long because long runs + math = impossible) and knew I would have to keep at it. Basically was just telling myself one foot in front of the other over and over. When I saw the 800 meter sign I knew it would be close. I was totally hurting at this point but oh so determined. When I got in the park I knew I had it and was just trying to go as fast as possible (totally not fast at all) to the finish. 

And then FINISH! 4:59:07 

And boy did I fight to that finish. I thought on a good day 4:30 was possible (4:29 last year) but the winds made it a whole new ballgame. 

After the 5:34 disaster at Chicago. Under perfect weather conditions on a flat and fast course this proves to me I was due for such a better day there. 

My garmin was totally off I lost a half mile on the bridge somewhere but from the online tracking can see the stops and such. But honestly NYC is tough. A few weeks after Chicago and I was hurting. I was riding the pain train hard for the last 10 miles or so. I never really hit a wall but I was in a world of pain. 

I may not have had a good race and may have hurt, but damn it I love NYC! (although seriously break my leg if I try to run it again next year).

2 fall marathons down and 1 more to go. Sigh. 

Thursday, October 30, 2014

It's Marathon Week...Again

A little bit of déjà vu here.

NYCM is in 3 days and I am so “meh” about it.

Everyone around me is all

And I am over here just like, no

Very conflicted – given the opportunity to bail I think I would. But then I try to think about how magical last year was – running with 100 degree fever and all – and I get twinges of excitement.

But they last about as long as it takes for me to recall how effing miserable Chicago was a couple weeks ago.

It would be easy to say move on but I’ve basically had a stomachache since. It’s been fun, let me tell you. I have been talking to my doc and am going again to some specialists but not until after though. I am pretty sure regardless this wouldn’t be resolved prior. The thought is IBD or colitis and such but just basically I am in hell and just fingers crossed that I am not in PAIN while I run Sunday.

Speaking of running I ran once in between.

12 miles 6 days after just to prove I could run.

It went well but since then my stomach has been so crappy (haha!) that I have stuck with cross training. So here’s hoping that my legs remember what to do come Sunday.

I have absolutely NO time goals.

All I want is to feel like THIS for 26.2 miles. 

PS will totes be wearing this same outfit again as I am again running with Team for Kids
Pure, unadulterated, happiness out there. I don’t care if it takes 6 hours (okay jk I totally will be upset if I run slower than that 5:34 in Chicago because that was a time with an hour plus added with stops and walking) but basically I don’t care if I am slower I just want to have a good day. And less than 15 port-o-potty stops.

So here’s to New York.

And imodium. I think I will be taking lots and lots of imodium. 

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Chicago Marathon Recap

I guess it is about time to recap the Chicago Marathon. I have a lot to say and also really nothing much minus it was miserable. Shall attempt to keep this as short as possible.

The weekend started promising. And by promising I mean a few hour flight delay that was kind of annoying. So I wound up getting to Chicago a lot later than anticipated on Friday night.
Saturday was spent sleeping in, doing a short shakeout run – side note, it was so gorgeous out and I felt great! – then went to the expo and to try and meet up with some people. Expo was ginormous but well organized and the packet pick up went smoothly. The only annoying part was the shirt, I was totally disappointed (I am not one big on swag in general but NJ, NYC, Hartford, West Palm Beach, Miami have all given great shirts I just expected something similar from a major – they seemed like an afterthought).

Anyways Saturday night we wound up at a great Italian place Quartino's. Sadly I stuck with plain food all weekend (bagels, turkey sandwiches, bananas, pretzels, blah) and just had margherita pizza and picked cheese off. However when we left my stomach was kind of gurgling. So I ran down the street to 7-11 and said some prayers as I ate tums.

Sunday woke up – on my own thankfully – because I set my alarms to PM instead of AM. Awesome.

Ate a Clif Bar and had some coconut water and then got ready. Going in without any major goals and just planning to run it really did not hit me until that morning that I was running a marathon. I very much had a no pressure no nerves calmness going on.

I knew when I woke that my stomach would probably make me stop a couple times because I couldn’t really “go”. But whatever I am okay with that kind of par for the course.

We got to the start area to check bags probably around 7:20 so by the time I checked my bag I HAD to hop in my corral or else get stuck all the way at the end. Being assigned F at the front of Wave 2 I really did not want to go all the way to the rear, which meant holding it in and not being able to hit the bathroom.
Oh look so pretty!
As we were counting down the minutes to the start, all of a sudden I got REALLY emotional. Like tears and a little crying emotional. I did a total WTF to myself baffled where that came from…but then the gun went off and we were walking to the start! And THEN they played “Born to Run” and some more tears came (and excitement)! A few minutes later we crossed and I was off!
One thing I must say is it was running perfection! couldn't have asked for better weather.
First thoughts = ugh I have to pee. Which meant all I could look out for was the first set of porto-potties. About a mile and a half in they came up and I sprinted to them. Took care of things and then was running back out and SO HAPPY I ran into Emily! And got to chat with her for a few minutes before I told her to go off and chase her sub 4 marathon (and she killed it!).

And after she left was when things started going south. My stomach just never settled. I stopped about for the bathroom shortly after the 5K and it was upset. I was trying to not panic yet but I wasn’t amused. A mile or so later I knew I had to stop yet again.

3 stops by 10K.

I had barely enjoyed a second of the race and pretty much knew I wouldn’t for the remainder.

I started texting my friend Maria to see if she would be at mile 10 for the first stop and thankfully gave me something to look forward to. I was miserable. I was stopping at each stop each mile. I tossed away any time thoughts I was in so much pain.

Basically felt like someone was holding on to my insides and squeezing as hard as they could. I would go to the bathroom run for a bit before knowing I had to walk.

Yes walking began at mile 8. I texted the boy then too and was already saying I was ready to quit. Was texting my sister as well…a marathon is daunting but I knew how terrible it would be feeling this way.

I missed my friends cheering at the first stop but luckily knew they would be around 16/17 which again gave me some motivation.

When I finally saw them I couldn’t hold back the tears. I was miserable. I gave her my Garmin and continued on my way crying. My legs were feeling good to run but I just couldn’t for too long and at this point was losing the will to even try.

I can barely tell you anything about the course. Minus great crowds. The people were fantastic! I tried to take it in but was pretty miserable as my race photos prove:

Does that smile look forced?
I got the text of where they would be cheering again around 23 and was happy to have something to look forward to. I also stopped an helped a man who went down with leg cramps. Helping someone else made me feel like I salvaged some good from the experience.

Also seeing our friends Dad catch up to me who was running his first marathon and rocking it made me happy someone was having a good race! Until mile 20 I wasn’t sure I could or would even finish. It took every ounce of strength to stay on the course. After seeing our cheerleaders the final time I was so ready to just be done. My stomach was doing better (relative I just was incapable of shitting anymore, you’re welcome) and I finally turned on my music and ran as much as I could of the last bit. I have never been so happy to see a hill in my life as I knew that signified finishing this self-imposed hell.

I crossed that finish and I think I may have cried a little I was so happy to be done.

In a personal worst: 5:3x (I honestly do not know my official time I refuse to look but know it is around there) an hour slower than my slowest. And really don’t care.

That race was straight up survival.

I definitely earned this one.
And now I have to do 26.2 twice more this fall. What was I thinking?

My stomach still hasn’t returned to normal. Although I did get through 12 miles over the weekend (didn’t revolt until the second I stopped). But I am hoping that it settles down. And soon. If NYCM is the same I do not think I have the mental strength to repeat that.

So that is my recap. Don’t ask me about where I ran or what I saw. I basically spent 5 ½ hours trying not to shit my pants. A few memories but honestly I didn’t get to enjoy more than maybe 3-4 miles. I will say – AMAZING course support. I would run the race again just because of the ease of it all. Logistics trump NYC by a million in my opinion.

And if one more person tells me a story of how they run through it and I should just try that I will throttle them. You don’t think I TRIED. Sigh. 

Friday, October 10, 2014

Pre Chicago Marathon Ramblings

Okay so apparently fall marathon 1 of 3 is happening on Sunday. When did that happen? I feel like I was waiting forever for it to finally get here and then BAM.

This week I was too preoccupied with the fact that I was sick and then work was crazy to really think much about the actual race itself.

I don’t really feel any pressure to throw down a PR performance. Goal is to finish feeling strong.

I think if the stars align as I line up race day morning that a 4:15-4:20 performance is possible (PR is 4:26). My second to last training run that I did was the NYRR 18 Mile Tune Up + 2 miles to hit 20 and I hit an avg 10:11 pace for that (3 loops of CP hills feeling strong, is confidence boosting) – and most of my long runs I did slooooow as molasses in the 10:30 – 10:45 range so I think a 9:30 pace (which I did a lot of my pace runs at or faster) is in my reach.

However, I have been feeling “off” and been sick.

I skipped my long run this past weekend due to being bed ridden for 3 days. I ran twice this week. Neither felt stellar. I just want a clear head and clear lungs and have OD’d on cold meds and pray for that.

Stomach issues went away for quite some time – however in the past couple weeks things have gotten “messy” again (TMI but lots of blood and cramping it hasn’t been fun) so not sure how it will behave come Sunday morning.

In an effort to see if it would help iron levels I went on BC for the first time ever 3 weeks ago. And I hate it. Like hate with a passion. For someone who doesn’t get any PMS symptoms let’s just say my boobs are larger than ever and hurt (super fun when marathoning) and I’ve had cramps for like 2 weeks. I’m not amused but also in the long run want to straighten out my iron levels and if this will help than I am all in. But know that I have a rocky couple more months ahead of me potentially. But my body just feels off and doesn’t help the whole running thing.

Now that I have overshared…

Basically I did not train for some crazy PR performance, I trained to be able to do the distance. Last year sucked the life out of me and the joy out of running trying to go sub 4.

On one hand I worry that I will be sad if I have my “worst” performance (4:31 or slower) but on the other I know it was not in me to do the work this time around. I loved all of my runs MINUS the long runs this cycle. I had to spend quite some time talking myself out of bed for the majority of them. While I did have a few really great ones once I got out there, I had a few really shit ones. Which is how it goes pretty much in training.

So basically what am I rambling about?

I am hoping that Chicago is a day filled with joy for running.

I hope that I don’t struggle through the race. And I hope that my body doesn’t rebel on me (stomach) and I can ENJOY the experience.

I am hoping that for my first time in Chicago – I have an amazing experience. I have heard so many great things about the city, and hope that it is everything it has been talked up to be!

Here’s to miles of smiles! I’m coming for you Chicago! 

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Chicago Marathon Training - Week 17

Umm marathon week! 

I will probably do another post so this is just a quick little recap. 

Still tapering. Things were going well until they weren't. Wound up sick and bed ridden. Womp womp. My anxiety level about this though was really more feeling lazy than missing runs would derail me by the marathon. 

When I had my DNF at Hartford last year (which I was supposed to taper down from before NYCM) my mileage was all sorts of wonky leading up to NYCM and I ran a 4:29 - with no hill training, while sick! 

I know my body is ready for the mileage. I just want to fly to Chicago and hit that start line healthy. That is all. 

Here was last week's training:

Monday - Cross Train! Arc 30 min / AMT 30 mins

Tuesday - 4.22 miles @ 9:28

Wednesday - 3.15 miles @ 9:31

Thursday - 3.2 miles @ 9:22

Friday - This was my planned rest day. I was going to run because I had a wedding that night and rest Saturday but I felt like shit. I somehow thought that I would feel better Saturday after being up all hours and drunk. Spoiler alert - did not happen.

Saturday - I wanted to die. Hungover. Fever. Got home at 10:30am from the wedding and got out of bed 3 times the entire day.

Sunday - I WILL RUN. JK. I will not run. 

Total Miles: 10.57 miles. Sigh. 

Monday, September 29, 2014

Chicago Marathon Training - Week 16

We are in the taper folks! This week brought a reduction in mileage as well as me being sick. I have just been feeling run down and Thursday and Friday was home from work attempting to rest up. 

I think it is just work + marathon training + busy social calendar catching up with me finally. 

Sadly, I have craziness coming up. A wedding this weekend, then Chicago, then a trip to Boston, then another wedding I am in and finally NYCM. 

Life ain't slowing down any time in the near future. 

And here was last week's training:

Monday - 5 miles @ 10:05 - I was surprised my legs felt pretty good after the 20 on Sunday

Tuesday - Cross Train - 75 minutes on the AMT.

Wednesday - 7 miles @ 10:51 - I was feeling shitty and kept this sucker slow.

Thursday - Home sick and got a guilty conscience that I needed to work out. I was smart enough to not run but umm then I decided to do about 60 mins of HIIT. I did this video from Blogilates a few times and then added in another half hour of a HIIT circuit I put together. Dripping sweaty mess in the privacy of my own home. But during the video who knew 50 seconds could seem so.long. 

Friday - Full rest day. I was home sick again and made myself actually REST. 

Saturday - I took a barre class then ran 7 miles @ 9:41 - I am LOVING barre. I am kind of ready to be out of marathon mode and really tone it up. Barre will be making a frequent appearance in my workout rotation.

Sunday - 
Bronx 10 Mile + extra. Planned to hit at least 12 but work emergency = me fielding calls while running and throwing in the towel once it finished (but yay negative splits!!)  Splits: 10:01, 9:34, 10:20, 10:10, 9:50, 10:16, 10:06, 9.48, 9:46, 9:43, 9:30

Buns were on fire - Bronx is NOT flat. Don't take barre classes the day before a long run. Noted. 

Total Miles: 30 miles - I missed one run - had planned to hit the mid 30's but I was better off having 4 days of running considering how I felt. 

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Chicago Marathon Training - Week 15

And just like that folks...we are tapering. I completed my final long long run after a stupid crazy Saturday which included a 5K, trapeze class and bachelorette party...and couldn't be happier that I will not be running anything over 2 1/2 hours until the marathon! 

I should probably PLAN my taper more but I just know what my long runs look like. I will reduce most likely 80% of my max week total this week. So mileage goal is in the mid 30's this week, probably down to 30 next and 2-3 runs the week of the marathon to shake out. 

I feel confident in the mileage and way my body is responding (aka I am treating it like shit in recovery and it is bouncing back just fine) but have no clue about pace come race day. I am pretty okay with that to be honest. Whatever happens, happens. I am not going to go in trying to hit any pace. I am going to see how my body feels that day and the goal is to give it all I've got - this marathon I don't want to finish feeling like I could have given more. NYC and Space Coast absolutely but not Chicago.

And here was last week's training:

Monday - Cross Train - 60 minutes of boredom on the Arc.

Tuesday - 8.1 miles for the day - double. Morning - 5.1 miles @ 9:15 / Evening 3 miles @ 10:20

Wednesday - 5 miles @ 9:11 - mostly easy with 1-3 min pickups at 5K pace throughout

Thursday - 6 miles @ 10:05 - my legs were pretty trashed at this point and ready to rest! It is good to feel like you have EARNED the rest day. 

Friday - Rest Day! The only workout that took place was lifting wine glass to mouth. 

Saturday - 5 miles total - 1 mile w/u 5K (27:32 - 8:53 pace) 1 mile c/d

Sunday - 20 miles @ 10:45 (guesstimate) Garmin died and still to come to life. I ran some, then ran a half marathon, then ran some more. It was humid and hot as a mofo, I was tired as a mofo, and never been more excited to be entering into taper in my life. Okay, exaggeration but staring at 13-14 on tap for this weekend seems like a walk in the park! 

Total Miles: 44.1 miles for the week! holla! 

Monday, September 22, 2014

Can I Get a Weekend to Recover From My Weekend?

Going into this past weekend I knew that it was going to be craziness. Part my fault because apparently I hate down time (that is a total outright lie. My favorite weekends are when I have NO obligations!).

If you would like to know everything NOT to do when you have a really long training run to complete (and you know, final one of your cycle – so one you really need as a final confidence boost) then do the direct opposite of everything that I did!

Friday night I had every intention of going home and chilling. Then I somehow wound up at happy hour after work. And then another happy hour after that (I consider anything before dinner happy hour…and I didn’t eat until like 10pm so yes happy hour went from about 5 – 10pm). It is funny how these things just HAPPEN. Good intentions killed.

I woke up Saturday morning 100% not wanting to run the 5K I was signed up for. It wasn’t even until 10am and about 1 ½ miles from home yet when I woke at 6:30 all I could think was I do not feel like it. It took a solid 2+ hours to man up to do it (since I realized I had to get the mileage no matter what and was crunched for time). Ran there, 5 minutes before the race grabbed my bib and pinned it at the start, ran the race (27:32 – started off racing then realized umm maybe a glass of water or any food before would have been helpful - cramping up like a mother and eased off) then ran home. Mission accomplished.

After I quickly had to eat, shower and get ready to head to the city to plummet to my death aka start off bachelorette festivities with a trapeze class.

Some of the fantastic ladies
Spoiler alert – it.was.amazing. This speaks for itself! Do it. Seriously. Go to Chelsea Piers for an awesome afternoon. I cannot wait to go back.

Then it was time to get ready for the rest of the evening – a later dinner at Café Espanol (it was fantastic) which unfortunately went until almost midnight and I turned into a pumpkin and started to feel crappy and headed home.

Short shorts, city nights ;)
Enter waking up Sunday for the Newport Half Marathon that I was running as part of my long run. It was gross out. I looked at the humidity – 96%. COME. ON. Took every ounce of willpower I had to get out of bed. But I did. Scrambled to put myself together and then was off to get some mileage in before it began. Dripping with sweat by mile 2. Showed up once again 5 minutes before the start, pinned my bib and was off.

Luckily I was running this super slow at LR pace or else it would have been even more dreadful. Not enough water. No bathrooms until mile 6 with a mile long line (took 11 minutes!) and realized that all the fuel I had for the run was ½ a cliff bar. Way to practice race day scenarios, G!

My shoes were actually squeaking they were so sweaty from it dripping down my legs. You could wring me out! Finished the race (and bumped into a friend with a couple miles to go so had someone to chat with – again this week for the 20 I didn’t listen to any music!) then grabbed a bottled water and banana and then was off to finish up. Garmin died around 15/16 so estimated the rest by time to get to 20.


I did a little recovery (by recover I mean shower and sat around in my towel eating twizzlers for a while) then went to watch some football and to dinner. But when my head finally hit the pillow Sunday night I was never happier.

Amazingly – I woke up and did an easy 5 today and could have gone (easy) forever. I guess that means I am in pretty good condition. Hopefully peaking at the right time for Chicago!

But seriously – I need a weekend for my weekend. 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Mile Races and 20 Mile Training Runs

This past weekend was quite the running one! I mean yes, most of my weekend usually involves a bit of running but I was running the NYRR 5th Avenue Mile on Saturday (for the first time) and then the NYRR 18 Mile Tune Up on Sunday as part of my 20 miler.

I was really excited about the Mile. Well mostly. I have never “raced” one and my strategy was just to go to the pain place…just hopefully not too early on. I warmed up by running up to the start. This might have been my favorite part – we were broken out by heats male/female based on age so I was able to cheer on the first 2 races as I made my way up to the start.

I got to the corals a few minutes before the start of mine and jumped in. Basically the course starts out slight downhill then uphill to the half then a nice downhill before flat to the finish. As I came to the ½ mile point and crested that hill I knew I had gone too fast and just tried to maintain to the end but I know I slowed a bit. True story – my ARMS were sore as I was running – thank you strength workout + I guess I was using them! The outcome was 7:22 – I was happy enough with that. I then headed over to the group from November Project to cheer on another couple heats before running my way back to the bus and heading home.

Of course since this was the first thing I had “raced” in a while I decided to put my times into a prediction calculator – and then laughed at the sub – 4 prediction. No. But I will take a 4:15 at Chicago and be happy!

 Spent the rest of the day getting groceries delivered and preparing for the 20 miles Sunday.

I woke up Sunday with no desire to run. I was a bit sore and my stomach was iffy. My friend had picked up my bib and temptation was high to not go to the city to run and sleep a bit more and do it. But I also knew I would blow it off for a long time if I didn’t go. So I hauled my ass out of bed and got to Central Park around 6:45. Sadly the Tune Up was set to begin at 7:00 and she didn’t show up until 7:2x so we missed the actual start. I didn’t so much care but I was COLD it was perfect for running but standing around waiting, not so much. I was SO stiff when I began running. I thought that the run was going to be shitty but after 3-4 miles I was in the zone!

Stomach rebelled at the end of the first loop and I stopped. Then I had a Gu shortly after and made another stop at mile 10 or so – my stomach and gu do not mix but I had nothing else at home, oops. I actually made it the next 10 miles without another bathroom stop. I was impressed with my stomach (especially since I did have another gu around 13 I think).

I finished the 20 in 3:23:39 an average pace of 10:11! For 3+ loops of Central Park and running “comfortable” I was thrilled. It was actually faster than I would have wanted.

It took all my remaining energy to drag myself home, shower, cook something and eat before I napped hard. How do people do real life things without a nap after? Please share your secrets.

I have also learned that Epsom salt baths are far more delightful than ice baths. Just saying.

Now this weekend I have a 5K I just signed up for on Saturday (that I think I will race) and then a half marathon as part of my FINAL long training run before taper on Sunday! Holy crap Chicago is around the corner!!!!