Crash, Burn, and Get Back Up (again and again)

Hello to anyone still following! I’ve missed you all, and I’ve missed running. Let’s talk about the last 7 months:

Life is life and depression is a jerk. I’ve been struggling hard to get back in a mindset where I care about myself. I feel the fog lifting and am almost ready to reemerge. Truthfully, I was ready at the beginning of June, but I had a couple injuries that have prevented me from doing much of anything.


My half was scheduled for the end of March, sadly, I ended up getting terribly sick and spent the day on my couch with a box of tissues and a life-time supply of Alka Seltzer Cold and Flu. I cried. I was so upset, but I was running a fever and could hardly move. I had to make a tough call and decided that traveling for a race wasn’t the wisest choice right then.

Fast forward a few weeks and that’s where the depression flared up again. With meds and counseling, though, I’ve made it past the hump there, and have a much more “me-positive” outlook on life.

In June I was ready to run again, but dropped a watermelon on my foot one weekend (note the bruise on my middle toe),

then sprained the same foot the next week. My doctor said the sprain was so severe that I had to sit out of running for 6-8 weeks. Grrr!

Here we are in July, and I’m just about ready to start training again! I have another half scheduled for the beginning of November and I can’t wait to get out there again.

I’ll update next week as I begin slowly testing my foot to see how it responds. Wish me luck!

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Getting Serious

I’m alive! Yes, I’m sure you were worried.

Life has been…..well…..life. It happens, we all have things come up that just render us useless for a while, and that’s okay. I’m here now getting back into the ol’ swing of things.

Running has been about a once a week activity since last we spoke. I get a 2-3 miler in and call it a week.

You may notice in my little count down over here ——————————> that there are 3 months left until my Half…YIKES! I did some calculations a couple weeks ago, knowing it was about time to get serious about training again, and found out that this week is it! Time to get out and start pounding the pavement again.

Today reset the clock, and also reset my training plan. The MyAsics plan was getting on my nerves with its reminders to run. I turned them off, but they still kept coming through. I’ve had great success with Coach Jenny Hadfield’s plans in the past, so I’ll go back to that. I’m doing the Half Marathon Beginning Run plan. Here’s how it’ll work out:

Mondays: Run

Tuesdays: Rest

Wednesdays: Run

Thursdays: Rest

Fridays: Hilly Run (on the treadmill)

Saturdays or Sundays: Long Run

It’s gotten bitterly cold (for) here this past week (below freezing even!), so morning runs have been unmotivated – that’s where my treadmill comes in! Yay for the treadmill (words I’ve never uttered before…). This morning I ran my 30 minutes in the garage. 2.14 miles, at a 14:27 pace. Considering I used my Apple Watch to track this, the numbers weren’t far off what the treadmill readout said. That is promising.

Anywho, I’m back, and will be catching up with you all again. There are many stories to impart, and I will sprinkle them throughout the next few posts.


Here’s a gratuitous cold kitty picture. Noah is a hefty 17lb cat – and Home-Skillet tucked himself into this teeny tiny little ball.

I think he’s trying to tell us to turn up the heater!

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I’m Back, Baby!

Hello hello! I’ve been offline (sort of) for the past few weeks, I hope you all are well.

Last we spoke I was to stay off my foot for 2 weeks, then slowly (emphasis on slowly from the Dr.) try running again. I didn’t want to post that I was back on track right when I started trying to run again (call me superstitious), so I waited until a week in to surprise you. 🙂

I started back into activity a few days before my 2 weeks off were up with a 3.5 mile walk with Ryan. I told him I’d go out for as long as my foot felt okay, or 30 minutes (which ever came first), then we would head back home. I had a few twinges, but they passed and 30 minutes won! During the 30 minute walk back home, though, I started feeling the familiar pain between my toes.

By the time we reached home I was thankful that my foot lasted as long as it had, the pain was slight, nearly non-existent, so I considered that a victory.

I waited 3 or so more days before venturing out for a run. I restarted MyAsics plan (knowing I shouldn’t run 4.5 miles after taking 2 weeks off). Instead, we started over at a mile. I was thankful for that.

Off I went last Wednesday. Goal: 1 mile @ 15:24. Actual: 1 mile @ 14:40. My foot felt okay!

I pushed Friday’s run to Saturday in favor of staying up until midnight to pre-order the new iPhone. 😀

Last Saturday the goal was the same. Actual: 1 mile @ 13:48. I could see my body yearning for more mileage. Something I would have never expected. BUT…..the pain was back. Dun, dun, duuuuuun. At this point my suspicion was proved possibly true. I had the feeling that the culprit was my “short run shoes,” the Saucony Breakthru. I had decided to wear them a couple more times to see if the pain returned, and it did. Time to ditch the problem and use my Saucony Zealot ISOs.

Sunday I got back to 2 miles. Goal: 2 miles @ 15:24. Actual: 2 miles @ 14:39. I was tired, no doubt, but it felt good.

So here we are at this week. Goal both yesterday and today were 2 miles @ 15:24; respectively my actuals were 13:49 and 13:44. I was seriously on auto pilot for both of those runs. Ryan even remarked this morning that either I was going faster, or he was going slower. I told him, I just stayed where I felt good.

I’ve now fully abandoned my other shoes (haven’t run in them since Saturday), and since doing that I’ve had absolutely zero foot pain! I’m SO happy to be back running. I had seriously missed it for the two weeks I was off.

Getting up before the crack of dawn hasn’t been an issue at all so far, though once my weekday mileage starts increasing past 3 miles I’m going to need to start running after work. Let’s just hope it cools down before I need to make that switch – the forecast through the end of September is still mid- to high-90s (F, 35+ C).

Question for you:

What have you been up to the past 3 weeks! Running? Adventuring? Catch me up.

Out of Commission

Hello! As the title suggests, I’m out of commission for the time being. I’ve been quietly dealing with some foot pain since mid-August. Assuming it was just a matter of working out some kinks, I kept running through it.

Last Sunday did me in. Before then, the pain would subside by the end of a running day, but Sunday left me hobbling well into Tuesday, and my run on Tuesday was excruciating. I did some research and decided to go to the doctor to get an x-ray to rule out a stress fracture.

Thankfully it’s not a fracture, but the doctor did tell me to stay off of it as much as possible for the following 10 days. Only then can I try a “brisk” walk.

Staying off your foot is hard work though, and frankly, it hasn’t gotten better since my appointment last week. I just keep aggravating it. A quarter mile walk to work, and then back to my car on weekdays doesn’t help – nor does the demands of my job wandering around campus for various meetings, or checking on classrooms (nor did my trip to see the 49ers play the Packers on Friday, nor did my trip to the beach on Saturday…..beach sand is not the best to walk on with foot troubles).

The elevator is my frenemy at the moment. I don’t usually use it at all to get to my 3rd floor office, but hobbling up the stairs just makes matters worse. I use it going up, but still refuse a ride going down, I know I should use it both ways but my stubborn “you can’t tell me what to do!” side is coming out.

My running plan is on hold for the week. I’ll reassess on Sunday to see how my foot feels. I can’t imagine it feeling 100% even then given the amount of pain I’m in today. I’ll try to take it one day at a time, though. You all have a great week!

Celebrations all around

Happy Monday all! How was your weekend? As you can see by my lack of posts mine was BUSY!

Let us start out this post with some celebrations (we’ll get to another celebration once I talk about my running!):

  1. Today is my youngest cousin’s birthday (Happy Birthday!!!)
  2. Today is mine and Ryan’s 11th anniversary (Happy Anniversary!!!) 11 years ago today we decided to partner-up. We’ve had our ups and downs like any relationship, and I’m sure we can drive each other batty at times, but I am so lucky to have him in my life. I couldn’t ask for a better partner in life. After going through 5 moves together (2 of which were homes we purchased); celebrating life events with our loved ones; crazy off-the-cuff adventures to buy cars 6 hours from home; trips to amazing places to photograph the world around us; and just sitting on the couch sipping a glass of wine with the kitties curled up between us, I can’t say I wish my life was anything different than what it is today. To many more decades, Love!
  3. Today we welcomed our new students to campus. Probably one of my favorite events to attend. It’s called “the Bridge Crossing.” All of the new students walk across the bridge and get cheered, high-fived, and serenaded by our Taiko drummers as they cross the bridge and walk through the Beginnings Sculpture, officially becoming part of the campus and starting the next chapter of their lives. When they graduate they do the same, but in reverse. I love the tradition of it. We didn’t have anything like this where I went to college.

Ok, now that I’ve stopped crying quietly to myself from all the happiness, on to the running things (why you’re really here):

Friday was great! I got to sleep in an extra 15 minutes because my boss cancelled our 8am meeting (woot!), so I had plenty of energy for my 2 miler.

2 miles @ 14:44

Yesterday was a little nerve wracking, though: the mileage was bumped up to 3 miles. Eep! I’ve never, that’s right, never run an entire 3 miles. 2 miles, yes, I think I managed that once or twice back in 2010 (maybe….), but 3? Nope – even when I completed my 5K in 2010, I ended up walking some of it because I went out too fast (lessons were learned during that race).

I woke up around 5:30am, super nervous. My alarm wasn’t set to go off until 6am, but I had the jitters, I tossed and turned and probably woke Ryan up with my energy. I didn’t budge from bed until 6 though. I took a deep breath and charged out the door before I could talk myself out of it.

Much like last Sunday, I didn’t rely on my watch; I just ran at a pace that felt comfortable, not overly pushing it, but not going exceedingly slow, either. MyAsics gives me half-mile check ins. So when my first check-in was only 58 seconds faster than the pace prescribed (still 16:07), I was happy with that because it meant 15:00/miles. Plenty good!

However, when my mile check in announced itself, I was VERY surprised because it said 13:49. What?! How can that be? I haven’t been anywhere near sub 14 this entire time, how can I be running that and not feel like I’m about to collapse. Rather than get all in my head about it and slow down, I shrugged it off because I felt good and just kept it steady. Next half mile, I was told I was running 3 minutes/15 seconds too fast. Which means we’re talking sub 13 – still, though, I didn’t feel it.

It was at that point, that I decided to take it down a notch, let’s just crank the enthusiasm back a bit, no need to get injured pushing too hard. I didn’t feel like I was pushing at all. Honestly, I’d gotten in a comfortable groove. So comfortable, in fact, that when Ryan came up and ran with me a little ways, I could actually speak to him (rather than grunt, like I usually do).

Next mile: 13:40. What the heck?! FASTER?! I did slow it down for the last mile. The sun was up and had started beating down on me, so that was 14:19. All in all my average pace for 3 miles was 13:55. Ho-ly-cow.

Let us celebrate this accomplishment. Not only did I run an entire 3 miles, but I also did so nearly effortlessly (relatively-speaking, of course) and faster than I’d dreamed I would at this point in training. Way to go me!

Question for you:

What was your biggest accomplishment/celebration this week?

I feel better

….when I run! Before my family and friends call the CIA and claim that I’ve clearly been replaced with an alien doppelgänger, I’m serious, and this really is me talking.

I didn’t lie in my first post that I actually do like running – as pained as it is to get my shoes on and laced up and walk out the door, when I’m out there, I’m happy (often miserable, but truly happy!).

Now for some “bad” news: Confessional 2 – I skipped my run yesterday. The alarm went off, I got up, got dressed, and then…..my stomach started gurgling. To spare you the details, a run was just not happening.

I thought about rescheduling it, but the idea of getting up early both Saturday and Sunday (like last weekend) just made me want to puke. So I made the choice to let it go.

This morning my tummy was all better, and out the door we went. I was suffering, though, after waiting two days in between runs. I shuffled along for the first half mile and was greeted with a “your pace is on target” from MyAsics. My thought was LORDY! I’m going slow! Then I remembered, I’m supposed to be going slow. I’ve been “cheating” this entire time by going “fast.”

Today I ran 2 miles @ 15:00/mile pace. How? You ask. Well, I decided to throw in a Fartlek. It’s a real word, I promise (real fun to say, too, hehe). As I rounded the bend for the home stretch, I thought, I really need to start getting my lungs prepped for faster paces.

Fartlek means “speed play.” According to some running coaches, it should be playful, and spontaneous (otherwise, it’s just plain interval training). Something like, “I’m going to sprint from the pine tree to the palm tree” or from “this light post to that light post.” I opted for: “to the end of the block.” I started slowly accelerating until I was at my end-goal race pace, and man was I tired, but it was worth it and it felt good.

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You see: I’ve got a “race pace” run coming up the day after my birthday (just 4 weeks from now), and I’m terrified, frankly. The fastest planned run between now and then is still barely faster than 16:00/mile, and my race pace (meaning the pace I’m shooting for on race day) is 11:24/mile. What the heck?! I’m not going to kill myself to do it, but I need to get conditioned to go a tad faster than I’m going now, and Fartleks are quick and “easy” sprints that could do the trick.

All in all, I need to remember: trust the plan. I’ll get there eventually.

Question for you:

How’s your Wednesday going? Mine has been fantastic with (homemade) chili verde nachos for lunch!

Groovin’

Hello all! I’m still here, just reeling in the amount of blog posts per week. When I run two days back to back, it just seems to make more sense to do one post about both (for my own time and sanity).

So let’s talk about Friday – Sunday:

Friday (planned run – 2 miles @ 16:07), actual run – zilch

Saturday (planned rest day), actual – run 2 miles @14:54

Sunday (planned run – 2.5 miles @ 16:07), actual run – 2.5 miles at 14:21

Now before you get out your torches and pitch forks on how fast today’s run was, lets rewind to Friday.

I’m not 100% sure what happened, my alarm went off and I just didn’t bounce out of bed like normal. It took a bit for me to come out of the sleepy haze, which is highly unusual for me. I opted to reset my alarm and do my run on Saturday. It may have been allergies, I got plenty of sleep.

Saturday at 6am, I bounced right out of bed like normal (hooray!), Ryan on the other hand didn’t. He still joined me for the run, but I think it took his entire run to actually wake up. Nothing special happened, I ran the whole two miles save for a quick shake of my legs at the 1 mile turn around. I went out too fast, and suffered the whole way. I rated this run a 2 out of 5 in my running journal, I was pretty miserable.

This morning, I wanted to sleep until 7, but checked the weather last night and it was already supposed to be  80+ degrees by then, so up at 6 again 😐 As we were exiting the house my friends pulled up, that was a nice surprise! They were parking one of their cars at my place before they ventured up to Shaver Lake for the SAR (Search and Rescue) Wild Run 10k. As I completed my run, I knew I had it WAY easier than their 10k trail run in the mountains.

For whatever reason I had more energy this morning, and decided to just trust my body to get me into a steady and comfortable pace. I really didn’t look at my watch obsessively as I normally do – I just jogged. Apparently my comfortable pace is around 14:20 – 14:40, anytime I looked at my watch it was in that range.

While the pace felt totally comfortable, I knew I was pushing harder than the past 4 weeks, but it was a GOOD push.

To celebrate, I decided to make chili verde for my lunches this week. I wish there was smell-o-vision, because our house smells AMAZING!!

 

 

 

 

 

And of course here are some gratuitous kitty shots:

First are the kitties enjoying Saturday nap time. They don’t normally snuggle together, but we think Noah is feeling a bit under the weather, and Margot is being a good little sister and giving him lots of love.

 

 

 

Here’s Noah being his needy self. He meows for attention, and Ryan picks him up and swings him over his shoulder. He’s quite content there. For a little while, anyway. Then he gets the squirms and demands to be put down. Weirdo.

Running for “it”

You’ll notice that the name of my blog is “Kathy Runs for It.” You may be wondering what “it” is exactly. “It” is hard to explain. Mostly it’s a feeling of accomplishment – finishing something that was started – confidence – inspiration – I could go on…..

When you hear the phrase “run for it!” you probably picture someone sprinting with every muscle in their body toward a goal (whether it be a finish line, or to safety from a hungry bear). That’s what I’m getting at. I want to run for it! Of course, I’m not sprinting. This is more of a metaphorical “run for it.”

Eventually I’ll get around to the sprinting, but realistically that’ll only happen when the finish line is in sight. Haha!

My lack of posts the past two days did not mean a lack of runs! Rather I got busy and just didn’t make time to check in and hold up my end of the accountability bargain we’ve struck. Today is another busy day, but I figured I would sneak in for a quick “howdy-do!”

Tuesday’s run stats: 2 miles @ 15:14 pace. I felt really good, and despite it taking the entire 30 minutes I have allotted for running in the mornings, I didn’t feel rushed enough to speed up.

Yesterday’s run stats: 2 miles @ 15:12 pace. I see consistency setting in. These are the two most consistent (pace-wise) consecutive runs I’ve done yet. Let’s hope tomorrow is just about the same. Yesterday morning felt harder though – I perceived the temperature to be much warmer than Tuesday; but when I got back and checked my Garmin Connect App, it said it was actually 2 degrees cooler! Go figure… (Ryan also confirmed that it felt cooler to him, so clearly that was my brain playing a trick on me).

The run yesterday morning was a tad more eventful that normal (except for the “spider incident” which still makes me paranoid). I had just turned around after going a mile out when I noticed a car coming out of the gated neighborhood. We all do the thing where the posture and form improve when we see someone else: the pace speeds up – you gotta look like a “real runner,” not like death. So I assumed “the pose” and “effortlessly” jogged across the driveway.

…..only to veer a little to far to the right and whoop! my ankle went into the gutter and the rest of my body went into the bike lane. I didn’t fall, I stumbled a few steps, shook my ankle out and continued down the road as though nothing had happened.

It smarted for a bit yesterday, so I stayed off of it as much as possible. It helped that last night I did a Paint Night with my Mama. We had a blast!

Here’s up close of mine:

And up close of hers:

It’s super fun! Everyone’s came out completely different. I really want to do another.

Question for you:

Are you artistic? What’s your medium of choice? (mine are fiber and camera)

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Sunday Runday

We’ve been extraordinarily productive this weekend! Friday we took off to take my car to get fixed, so while off we handled a bunch of returns, picked out and installed new toilet seats, and didn’t succeed in getting my car fixed 😐 Ms. Roxy (my car) is first in line to get her issue sorted out tomorrow morning (fingers crossed!)

Yesterday we trekked to East Palo Alto to return a couple things to Ikea (which weren’t poor quality, just not exactly what we wanted, turns out), while there we picked out some new back patio furniture. I’m pretty excited to have some dinners outside once it cools off some more!

Yes, it’s inside for now – it’s still too hot to eat outside, we’ll christen it tonight with some bbq hamburgers indoors.

This morning – whew! We did a bunch! Went out for a 2 mile run: 15:02 pace! My first mile was 14:20ish again, but that second mile was really tough, and I was going around 16:00 minute/miles to 15:00 minute/miles the whole way back home. I’m guessing that by Friday, I’ll probably be running it sub 15.

The plan for this week:

Tuesday: 2 miles

Wednesday: 2 miles

Friday: 2 miles

Sunday: 2.5 miles

I was much less self conscious today as compared to Friday, even though there were way more people out. I figure, if they can’t handle seeing a 50+ pounds over weight gal getting out and trying to get healthy, than to heck with them!

Actually, speaking of my motivations, I want to be clear: I am not training for this half marathon to lose weight. If that’s a side effect, so be it; but my goal in doing this is to be active.

Any who, back to today – after the run, Ryan and I decided that since we were all sweaty and gross, we may as well do some chores. He broke down the mound of boxes that littered half of our garage from the move two months ago, and I weeded the entire front and back yards. Let me tell ya: I LOVE THIS HOUSE! The yards are so teeny as compared to the old.

Once I was done with that, I came in, cleaned up, and made some pancakes for breakfast. We inherited this old-school beater from Ryan’s grandma, and I figured I would give it a whirl.

This girl is new-school though, and had trouble figuring out how to move the thing around in the bowl, while cranking, and not push the bowl off onto the floor….. I have yet to master the art of domesticity in that era, clearly.

 

You can see that I was successful, eventually. The pancakes were delicious!

Question for you:

What’s your favorite breakfast? Mine is biscuits and jam or honey, but I don’t indulge myself in that too often.

The Culprit

First, if you’d like to see the man eating spider from Tuesday, go back to that post and scroll all the way to the bottom. I caught sight of her on my run yesterday because I was running in the daylight…..I was totally right, she was out for human blood.

Yesterday’s run was my last 1 miler! Tomorrow I graduate to 2 milers like a big kid! I ran far too fast yesterday, I finished with a 14:20 pace, rather than the 16:07 pace I was instructed to do. My app was yelling at me the whole way. “TOO FAST!!! TOO FAST!!!” (just kidding here, it only does 0.5 mile check-ins and tells you “you’re going 1 minute 12 seconds faster than your assigned pace”).

I’ve got a couple theories as to why I sped it up: 1) It was sooooooo nice outside yesterday, a full 10 degrees cooler than any morning the rest of the week, and I was running almost 2 hours later than usual, that would account for a little spring in my step; 2) speaking of running later and in broad daylight, I was a tad self conscious running so slow with so many people out. They probably weren’t judging me, but I suppose I was judging myself.

Could be either of those reasons, or some combination of both. For tomorrow’s 2 mile run, I have to slow down, what I did yesterday wouldn’t be sustainable for me at this point.

I use a whole lotta technology when I run, my Fitbit, my Garmin, and my phone. They all give me different information, believe it or not. The Fitbit is for steps (and weekly challenges against my family and friends). The Garmin keeps track of my entire run: warm up, jog, and cool down. My phone houses my training plan from MyAsics, and I only turn that on during the run itself, not for the warm up and cool down.

If you go by my Garmin, I’m nailing the pace goals – but I don’t delude myself about that.

I’m planning on doing a 30-Day Yoga challenge (starting today, or Monday – it depends on a few factors whether I’ll start today). I need more flexibility, and a running blogger I follow (Run Eat Repeat) is doing it, so I’ll jump on the band wagon. Baaaaah.

My goal for this challenge is to do yoga on my rest days – I think that’ll be a nice start and work well into my lifestyle.

Question for you:

Are you a technology nerd? I am, give me all the gadgets and I’m a happy girl!