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Friday, November 14, 2014

One Week Until Philly

Good riddance to last week and all the election crap!  Being the ever-enthusiastic-political-extraordinaire that I am, here were my voting strategies:  

* Kay Hagan vs. Thom Tillis.  According to tv ads, you are both mean and, um, suck?  Hey there, Sean Haugh.  I don't know what you look like or how to pronounce your last name, but mm k, VOTE!

* Someone vs. someone vs. 847 other people that I don't know for NC Court of Appeals Judge. Hey, look!  Chuck Winfree!  That dude hosted the Love Connection!  Wait, no, that was Chuck Woolery.  Whatever.  Loved that show!  VOTE!

* Oooh!  Someone named Cheri!  I have a Streaker named Cherie.  Kinda similar.  Wait, what is Cheri running for?  Cherie is running the Richmond Marathon in a couple of weeks!  Yay!  VOTE!

So, maybe politics aren't my strong suit.  That's okay though; I've got another race to think about now...

T-Minus one week until Philly!  Gulp...

Right after my previous post, I was diagnosed again with strep throat.  When I came home from urgent care, I may or may not have thrown our bucket of Halloween candy across the room.  CON:  Feeling like a loser while having to clean it up by myself.  PRO:  STILL finding mini packets of candy that I missed...SCORE!  

At what should have been the height of my training, I struggled to get the runs done, even calling it quits on my 22-miler at mile 13.  Even though I finished my second round of antibiotics five days prior, my fever still lingered above 100, and I set out for the run the pouring rain...cuz I'm reelly intelijent.  Luckily, Mike knew I was struggling, and just when I needed a pick me up, he and Logan drove by ringing a cowbell out the car window.  Little did Mike know that his pick me up ended up being just that - he picked me up, and we drove straight to Starbucks.  Peppermint white mochas in red holiday cups are known to have a healing, calming effect (<-- I made that up).  And no, I did not throw it.  I'm not that stupid.   That shit is good.

Since then, my runs have been up and down.  Some are like DUDE!'re in great shape!  Some are like DUDE! ...find a new hobby!  I'm tired and all over the place.  Plus, while the fever has subsided, all the antibiotics have ripped my tummy to shreds.  My neighbors must think I am the fastest woman alive as I sprint back to the toilet house on about 77% of my runs.  Oh, and if anyone wants to challenge me to a farting contest, you better bring your A-GAME cuz it is ON!  (<-- TMI alert.  ...I bet you wish I put this at the beginning of the sentence, eh?). 

Yesterday, I went to the doctor to get all this tummy and strep mess checked out, and after impatiently waiting for close to two hours to actually see the doc (I may or may not have gotten huffy with the front desk lady out of boredom), here were her diagnoses:  1)  I need to cut out lactose, 2)  I need to cut out gluten, and 3) I have a small, umbilical hernia in my tummy.  Here were my responses:  1)  Nope.  Peppermint white mochas have lactose,  2)  Heyull nope.  Jen runs on gluten as much as America runs on Dunkin,  and 3)  What!  WHAT!?  Do you really want to go there with me right now?  Let me guess!  You want to perform surgery!  Yeahhhh, give me that laparoscope, and I'll shove it up *%$  *^%&.  Okay, okay, I did not say that, but you damn betcha I was thinking it!          

Mm k, no matter what, when I get to Philly, I am there to RACE!  I have been given a seeded bib number, which means I get to start in front behind the pros/elites.  And I think we get special bathrooms?  Yeah, they should probably give me my own bathroom.  Like, at every mile marker.  K, thanks.  I am excited, with a side of nutty, but like I tell the runners I do the best you can do on any given day.  Three weeks ago, while at my worst, I contemplated dropping out of the race.  Then I told myself to suck it up; you are healthy and able, and you will finish what you started.  ...unless you shit yourself.  Then stop. Seriously, just stop running. 

I have learned a lot over these past few months.  I know now that when we have another baby, I will not train for a race in the first year.  Too many unknowns and unforeseen setbacks, which if you are Type-A like me (Wait, me?  Type A?  Nooooo.) can drive ya to drink (Wait, me?  Drink?  Nooooo.).  Seriously though, I am continually trying to better myself at living in the "gray" instead of the "black and white".  I'm an awesome planner, but when plans get derailed, I don't always handle it so well.  Okay, okay, so I suck at it.  Regardless, I do know one thing...I cannot wait to see Logan's face when I cross the finish line next Sunday and to plant a big, sweaty smooch on those chubby cheeks.  No matter what the race brings, that face is guaranteed to make me smile!

Happy running and racing to everyone in Philly! 

   Spectators need to carbo-load too!
(this is kinda how I feel about gels, buddy...)

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Four Weeks Until Philly

Do you ever notice that people with those "wag more, bark less" stickers on their cars are the ones that make you wanna bark the most?  I mean, seriously, I wouldn't bark if you weren't driving 10 mph UNDER the speed limit or didn't just cut me off and pretend to not notice that you cut me off. 

Don't mind me.  I'm a fresh batch of grumpy cakes right now.  After being derailed last week by strep throat, Logan has now been diagnosed with the hand, foot, and mouth virus, which means this week is heading down the shitter as well.  Work and running are suffering, and sleeping is...wait, what is sleeping again?! 

In my exhausted state, I've reached a few, new lows this week:

*  After my run on Friday, I didn't have time to take a shower AND eat before getting to work.  So, I ate in the bath tub.  I dropped a dorito in the water.  I still ate it.

*  I'm pretty sure I've seen 742 attack ads from Kay Hagan on television this past week alone.  I'm so OVER them.  When I saw her face come across the screen on Sunday, I threw my half-eaten pumpkin pop tart across the room at her.  Then I finished eating it.

*  I told the pediatrician yesterday that the hand, foot, and mouth virus is like a designer coffee.  Hand, foot, and mouth is basically a long way of saying blisters just like a venti, soy, three pump, skinny, gluten free, extra shot, your-barista-is-never-going-to-get-this-right-so-stop-talking latte is basically a long way of saying espresso with fat free candy.  She stared at me blankly for about five seconds and then left the room.  I felt like a loser.  Then I went to Starbucks.

*  When Logan and I got home from the pediatrician, I noticed our front door was unlocked.   I convinced myself there was an intruder inside, saw a man come out from a room upstairs, screamed, spilled my designer coffee on Logan's car seat (which he was still sitting in), realized the man was Mike, started crying in the front yard because I am an idiot, and pretended not to notice my neighbor staring at me.  

So, yeah, it's time to reevaluate.  When I started running again after tummy surgery and preggo-life, I told myself that the Philly Marathon was merely a comeback race, and I'd go for something faster again in the spring.  I would get my legs back underneath me, give myself time to return to form, settle into the mom-work-marathon balance, yadda yadda.  I surprised myself though when I started running a little better than expected earlier than expected...a 19:30 5K, a 3 x 2-mile workout at 6:16 pace, some good tempos.  Nothing outrageous, but hey, perhaps if I kept going at this rate, I could gear towards PR shape for Philly!  This is where I lost site of perspective.  No matter what, whether it be getting sick, Logan having a rough night, a crazy work week; etc., I started expecting results from myself regardless.  This wasn't how it was supposed to be, and I need to get back on track with cutting myself some slack.  

Meh, who the hell am I kidding.  I don't think it's in my blood to cut myself some slack, so hey, with only a month to go until Philly, let's see what this mushy brain and tired, albeit eager, legs can do.  Bring it on, Philly!
**Cue Rocky theme song**

For now though, the number one priority is getting Hulk Logan healthy.  Despite having blisters, eh hem, hand, foot, and mouth sores, all over his body, he is smiling, laughing, playing, and well, just being his awesome self.  Last week when I had strep, I was convinced I was dying, sulking under a blanket, and cursing everyone on the tv screen.  We can learn a lot from babies.  Oh, and dogs.  Cats not so much.

Happy Barking!  ...and running of course.  :)

Coaching advice:  Ice baths go by faster with company!

Warren Rives 5K - First race in over 18 months! 

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Living Life to the Nines

This week has been pretty epic.  Mike and I celebrated nine years of marriage, and Logan celebrated nine months of, um, being alive. This week is also a down week in mileage (my longest run will be nine miles to keep with the theme), and then this happened:

Lawwwd, someone smack me!  ...homemade ice cream cake surrounded by homemade chocolate chip cookies and hot fudge.  Would it be excessively cheesy to say we are on cloud nine this week?  Too late.  I said it.  I'm a loser.  Shut up!  You weren't supposed to agree.  

Once the jiggle wears off from the cake, I anticipate my training will continue kicking ass.  I've been back at it for three and a half months now, and other than having a pet lizard living in my stomach, I feel awesome.  I rejoined a gym to hit the weights again, added tempo/speed workouts back in, and I'm not in as bad of shape as I anticipated after pregnancy and all that stomach surgery vomit.  My long run will reach 18 miles again next weekend, and I dropped two miles at 6:17 pace at the end of a seven miler the other day.  I start to hit the wall as I get close to the end of my long runs, but I know that is my endurance still rebuilding.  I am getting the itch to race and might enter a 5K for fun sometime soon.  Granted, the 5K is not my cup of Starbucks, but as a good friend said to me, I just need to "rip off the band-aid" and do it.  It's gonna hurt, and it might not be pretty to look at afterwards, but it's the only way to know where I am and move forward.  Seriously though, 5Ks kinda blow, dude.

So, yeah, this pet lizard thing. When you look at your stomach, does your belly button continually contract out and sink back in, even if you hold your breath?  Do you randomly see a bulge on one side that if you look five minutes later, might have either completely disappeared or moved to the other side?  Do you feel like you are being inflated like a hot air balloon the farther you run?  No?  That's because you don't have a lizard living in your stomach like I do.  It's the only thing that makes sense. So, I named her Lizzy.  Lizzy used to bite, but I keep her on a leash now, and her temperament is therefore well under control.  For reals though, abnormal abs have become my new normal, and as long as I am not in crazy pain or doing further damage, I am a-ok with that!

Life right now is all-around awesome.  Logan is growing up so fast (too fast!), and I fall more in love with him everyday.  He is standing up, has three teeth, and is so perfectly FAT!  Fat babies RULE!  He loves margaritas (proof he is my son) and wants to let all the single ladies know that he is on the market and ready to mingle.  

Disclaimer:  not allowed to date until age 35
I have become the master of efficiency lately.  It took me a while to figure out how to fit all the pieces of my life puzzle together, but it CAN be done.  When I am working, I am working; no random chit chatting with the nice lady sitting next to me at the coffee shop.  When I am lifting, I am lifting; less time in between sets, and less judging of those that take too long in between theirs.  What?  Me do that?  Nooooooo.  When I am done running, I move right on with the day; no more hoovering a bag of gummy bears, except for on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, because I earned it, and no more over-analyzing my run stats.  Ultimately, when I pick Logan up at the end of each day, I want all the other pieces to be in place so that he and Mike are my sole focus.  After all, they are the most important and beautiful piece!

Happy running!  
Only NINE weeks left until the Philadelphia Marathon!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Making Crazy Progress

I got a smartphone.

Next thing you know, I'll have a Garmin instead of my current GPS (Generally Pretty Stupid) running watch.  

Whoa now.  I can only handle so many changes at once without going crazy.  Although, I may already be there.  I texted someone the other night about being "auto-corrected", and my phone auto-corrected it to "auto-cracy" (ain't that irony).  Yep. I only owned the sucker for 12 hours, and it told me I was crazy.  Good times.

So, speaking of autocracy, which if you google it, is defined as a country, state, or society governed by one person with absolute power, I'm kinda there.  No, I'm not pulling a Hillary and running for office, but I finally feel in control of my life again (minus the 4am anxiety attack I had a few nights ago that I was never going to get all my work done...yes, relapsing is totally okay at least once, maybe four times, a week).  Working full time, raising the best son in the world (sorry, yours is pretty cool, but mine is the best), training for a marathon, and having time for friends/family ain't no easy feat, but I would have it no other way.  I mean, who am I kidding...I think I like being cracy?!  

Mm k, let's talk running...yay!  I have been hitting the roads again for nine weeks now, and I feel FABALICIOUS (please note that this word did NOT get auto-corrected by my smartphone.  oh, okay.).  Every time I make a jump in miles, my tummy and arm pinch me and remind me to stay in check.  They then settle down until the next jump, but I know now what to expect (thanks again, Elite Performance Chiropractic!).  I ran my longest run since the 2013 Shamrock Marathon this past Saturday (13.6 miles), feeling pretty cozy at 7:20 pace, and I gotta say, I'm pretty flippin' pleased to have done that already.  I have a long way to go to hit my goal pace over 26.2, but I am confident that I am well on my way again.

And on that note, it's time to get back to work to avoid another relapse.  We are taking Logan to the mountains this weekend, and we vowed to leave work at home.  Logan is hoping to add a few more pins to his "breweries and wineries visited" map, which is the weekend's goal.  Oh, your baby doesn't have one of those?  Oh, you don't know any other babies that do either?  Well, yeah, I already told you that we have the best son in the world, soooo, that makes sense...

Happy Running!
...or being naked, whatever.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Running on Empty and Loving It!

Yesterday, while fitting one of my runners for new sneaks at the store, I overheard another customer say, "I slept like a baby last night and had an awesome run this morning."  I thought about being a jackass and asking if she woke up screaming for her pacifier at 2am and peeing through her mattress at 4am, but I refrained.  I mean, I knew what she meant, but this phrase totally needs an extreme makeover.  Perhaps it should be:  "I slept like a koala bear last night and had an awesome run this morning."  Koalas apparently sleep soundly for up to 22 HOURS A DAY.  I want to be a koala bear.   

Yep, when you don't get a lot of sleep, you start doing stupid and/or insignificant things.  One of these things is googling and resenting animals that actually DO get a lot of sleep.  Good times.

Mm k, so even though I'm a tad sleep deprived, I'm no longer run deprived.  YAY!  I'll be honest, writing this post feels a little deja vu-ish.  I'm afraid to write too excitedly and positively because just a few months ago, my post-partum return to running was short-lived.  However, now that my false hernia has left the building, I've been hitting the pavement again for about three weeks, and I tell ya...I'm happier than a pig in shit!   

Okay, so I just googled if pigs are actually happy wallowing in their own shit.  Turns out that no, no they are not.  So seriously, who comes up with these phrases!?  Pigs apparently sleep for up to 14 hours a day though.  Bitches.

Anywho, I don't care that it's 95 degrees out, and I don't care that I'm tired.  Being able to run again has brought me back to life.  I'm more energetic, attentive, outgoing, and I probably won't bite your head off or start crying for no reason anymore.  It almost cancels out the sleep deprivation (almost), and I don't even go to Starbucks anymore.  Okay, that is a lie; I would never give up on Starbucks...I ain't a quitter.  

I'm working my way back gradually and am up to a 7-mile run again.  I can cruise along pretty comfortably at about 7:45/8:00 pace, so I'll take that, especially given the heat and my inability to figure out how to become a koala bear.  I still have some ab discomfort, along with what is possibly carpal tunnel syndrome, but I'm undergoing active release technique therapy with my sports chiropractor (Elite Performance Chiropractic) and hope to have both of their arses kicked soon.  My first priority is making sure I'm healthy; if all goes well, racing in Philadelphia this November will be chocolate icing on the cake.  Yes, chocolate.  Not vanilla.  Vanilla icing sucks.

  Happy comeback running, take two!

Koala'n after a tough 5-mile run today

Friday, May 16, 2014

Spaghetti-ng On With My Life!

There is only one way I like my spaghetti, and that is EATING it.

I am currently at home recovering from surgery to repair a possible spaghetti, err spigelian, hernia.  I was given a different diagnosis from my doctor and surgeon as to whether this bad boy even existed; however, I had to stop running in case it was a hernia, as the risk of it becoming incarcerated could have horrific consequences.  After trying to find answers some other way and procrastinating the inevitable, the only way to know for sure was through this "exploratory" surgery.  And finally, the verdict:  no hernia.  

Yay!  Good news!

Mmk, so raise your hand if you like having surgery for no reason.   Oh wait.  Your hand didn't go up.  Huh, whaddya know...mine didn't either!  I will stop whining eventually.  But not yet.  Maybe tomorrow.  Nah, let's go with next week.  Yeah, that's better.  Two weeks.

So, what was discovered:  my diastasis recti (a condition where your abs split in half during pregnancy) has not healed, there is evidence of other tearing and strains, and I have a small hole in my groin.  What?  Apparently none of this is causing my pain though.  Oh.  Wait!  What?  ...hence "exploratory" being in quotes.  No real conclusions.

So, my takeaway.  I plan to start working with a PT to restrengthen all this mess and start spaghetti-ng on with my life, eh hem, running.  According to the surgeon, I'll need about three weeks to heal until I can attempt running again.  I have been so good for the better part of a year now.  Following directions.  Resting when told.  Playing it safe.  I feel like none of that has worked?  So, time to revolt.  Ima get my a$$ off this couch today, rip off my steri tape, and go for a run!  Okay, no, no I'm not.  But I want to.  But this incision f*%^ing hurts.  And I refuse pain medicine.  Pain medicine is for wussies.  I'll probably be a wussy by the end of the day...

Don't you love how dogs have this ridiculous sense of when something is wrong with you?  Okay, total side note here, but all Zoe wants to do is put her head on my belly and stare at me with these oh-so-sad eyes as if she is saying, "Seriously, fix your sh*t, Mom!"  It's like, she knows.  Perhaps DOGS should be the diagnostic experts?  Now, only if dogs could talk.  We have all these technological advances today, yet, we can't figure out how to make dogs talk?!  Yes, I am bored and will probably come up with many more of these philosophical revelations by the end of the weekend.

 Mmk, back to sitting still.  To at least celebrate the good news of no hernia (cuz really, it is VERY good news), I think I'll have spaghetti for dinner.  With a big glass of whine of course.  ;)

Saturday, May 3, 2014

My Favorite Things to do When I Can't Run

Hi, my name is Jen, and it has been 47 days since my last run.

Currently, I am being monitored closely for mental instability.  Mike has removed all sneakers and other running paraphernalia from the house so I won't go off the deep end and hurt myself further.  Okay, just kidding.  But seriously, I miss running more than bread and peanut butter miss jelly.  I want my identity back.

I did have one relapse.  After watching the Boston Marathon, I was inspired by the great MEB.  I laced up and ran for 30 minutes.  HARD.  Not gonna lie; it was freaking awesome.  However, I was already sick with a cough, and the spaghetti hernia issue is still unresolved, so yes, I was in pain, but heyull if I cared!

So, I paid for it.  I now have strep throat, and since the surgeon and doctor still aren't sure whether or not I have a spaghetti hernia, diagnostic surgery seems inevitable.  I just wish I had more answers before going under.  If not a hernia, they won't even be able to tell me what it actually is.  Frustrating.     

Anywho, I have been keeping myself busy to take my mind off things.  I mean, I do have this thing called a baby, and work has me busier than a one-legged man in the circus.  In addition to these, I have compiled...

My Six Favorite Things to do When I Can't Run

1)   Honk my car horn.  Mm hmm, nothing quite burns off aggression like laying on the horn.  Did you just run a yellow light?  HONK!  Did you just cut me off at that traffic circle?  HONK!  Did you just stare at me for way too long while sitting next to me at a red light?  HONK!  And sometimes, my arm just develops a twitch, and for no reason, there it goes.  HONK HONK!  Ahh, so satisfying.

2)  Daydream.  Do you ever drive past a new road, path, or trail and think to yourself, "I want to run on that!"  Yep, I do it all the time.  My brain then spirals into running alongside Desi in the Boston Marathon, winning Chicago, or some other feat that clearly makes me a BADA$$.  Then when I'm actually able to run on it, I quickly realize that, oh, yeah, no, not even close, dude.  Poop.

3)  Set new the grocery store.  I mean, I have to be competitive somehow.  Okay, first, grab a shopping cart.  Second, make sure your shopping list has as many items on it as last time; no more, and no lessThird, wear the same shoes you wore last time to ensure no unfair advantages.  Fourth, reset your watch.  Okay, you are ready.  On your mark, get set, shop!  Stop your watch when you arrive at the check out line.  My current PR is 8:27 for 28 items.  Mm hmm, bet you can't beat that!

4)  Ride the indoor bike trainer.  Just kidding.  That mess sucks.

5)  Watch "Spirit of the Marathon" over and over again.  Feel awful about yourself as you lick cheeto cheese off your fingers while Deena Kastor pool runs for hours and hours on end while injured.  Then, cry like a baby when she still goes on to win the Chicago Marathon, and vow to never eat cheetos again.  Or until you watch the movie again tomorrow.  Whichever.

6) Appreciate life.  I have to remember that my life is pretty dang awesome and to keep everything in perspective.  Even though I have gone a solid year without real training, I can get it back; I WILL get it back.  Repeat this mantra over and over again.   If that doesn't work, get in the car, go back to #1, and honk the crap out of someone.

Tummy ultrasound.  Notice the black hole in the left picture compared to the beautifully flowing fibers on the right. Hernia?  Lodged flying saucer?

When Logan can't run, he favors the Irish jig.

Happy Running, y'all!