Tuesday, January 31, 2012

January 2012 By the Numbers

Run/Walk - 45.77 miles
Bike - 13.24 miles (recumbent bike, at the gym)
Swim - 3.17 miles

Yoga - 749 minutes (12 hours, 29 minutes! WOW!)


Monday, January 30, 2012

On the Road Again!

I ran this afternoon for the first time since Goofy!! I can't begin to describe how nervous I was in the hours leading up to this run. I kept praying for peace of mind, no matter how the run itself turned out. I have learned more about trusting God, but it still takes practice and control to do so. I didn't want to be freaking out during my run because I was feeling twinges and stuff.

The weather could not have been more beautiful. It must have been close to 60 degrees and not a cloud in the sky. . I wore my CW-X capris with a skirt over them, and a short sleeve shirt. I didn't wear the IT Band straps this time because I want to get back to running without the 'aids' and the only way I'll be able to accurately measure my progress is if I start back without them. I also ran the entire loop of my neighborhood instead of just the flatter areas.

I rolled before I came outside, and also did one rep of each of my PT stretches. Then I started out with a 5 minute warm-up walk. Then I moved into the 1/1 interval I had decided upon. I chose this one because I had done them a couple of times before Christmas without any pain - of course, that was with the IT band straps. I didn't run with music this time because I wanted to concentrate on my form. I have been reading a book called Chi Running (which I will go into in more detail in another post!) and I wanted to use the information that I've gleaned so far from that book to help me with my form. Mostly I was working on keeping my extremities relaxed and using more of a midfoot strike.

I didn't feel any pain at all during the run, though my legs definitely feel different than they did before the injury. I'm not sure if that's due to the injury, or if my awareness is just up, or what exactly is up. Maybe my legs are still tired and recovering from Goofy? I ran/walked for 30 minutes and then did another 5-6 minutes of walking to cool down and get back home.

Once I was back home, I rolled out my IT Bands again. Then I did a running yoga mini-workout from my Yoga Conditioning for Athletes DVD. I followed that up with another round of my PT stretches.

I still haven't had any pain in the 7-8 hours since I've finished my run. I am still very aware of my legs, not just my knees but everywhere. I think that must be fatigue. I drove twice to take my daughter to dance and pick her back up and didn't have pain in my knee but it did feel a little funny. It reminds me of how it felt back in early December. I will keep a close eye on everything this week and see how it compares to my next run which will be next Monday. I'm going to keep careful records of how I'm feeling so I can determine when to add more runs and when to back off!

This is definitely harder than just going out there and running. I really miss that and I pray I can get it back! 


Saturday, January 28, 2012

What Happened to the Week? (and Goofy Recovery: Week 3)

So often this week I thought, "Wow! This would be a great blog topic!"

And now, when I have the time to sit and blog for a moment? Nothing. Can't think of a single thing.

So I'm going to fold some laundry and see if I can get any inspiration. I'll be back. Wait right here.

::insert Final Jeopardy music here::

Back - still got nothing!

Okie doke, guess that means you get "stream of consciousness" blogging today. Sorry about that!

I guess I can go ahead and do my workout report for the week! :)

Monday - recumbent bike (35 minutes)
Tuesday - 1000 m swim
Wednesday - Yoga Conditioning for Athletes (60 minutes)
Thursday - 1000 m swim
Friday - recumbent bike (35 minutes)
Saturday - Yoga for the Warrior (60 minutes)
Sunday - Athlete's Guide to Yoga: Flexibility (49 minutes) PLANNED

This was my last week of "recovery". I added the bike, and if you read my blog earlier this week you know that it didn't go as well as expected. I went again on Friday and toned down my expectations (and my RPMs) and it went better. Yet, my legs were still quite tired. It makes me really apprehensive about my run on Monday.

The swimming and yoga were awesome this week. I have been staying nice and relaxed during yoga and my daily rolling and stretching and it seems to have made all the difference in the world! I'm not feeling anything while I drive now, or when sitting. I have a twinge now and then - and I'm more aware of them now since they aren't a constant thing.

On Wednesday morning, I stopped by the PT's office with Dunkin Donuts Munchkins to show off my medals and thank the staff for their support. I was nervous about going since it had been more than 6 weeks since I had been there - thought maybe they wouldn't recognize me. But they did and it was sort of like being a celebrity. I wish I had brought my camera now, but at the time I was just nervous! :)

Tomorrow I plan to do another round of yoga in the morning to prepare for Monday's run! Praying and hoping that it goes well. I will be attempting to do a 1/1 interval.

Hope everyone has a great weekend!







Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Team Tough Chik

A few months ago, I saw an announcement for a new team that sounded really cool: Team Tough Chik! It sounded really cool, and this part of the description really hooked me:

A lot of teams out there focus their attention on attracting only elite athletes, but that’s just not what Tough Chik exclusively represents.  So we threw out the “rules” and decided to design a team for everyone. 

With the busy-ness of life, I really didn't think more about it. I was busy trying to recover from this injury in time for Goofy and, quite honestly, didn't feel very Tough at all most of the time. So you can imagine when I started getting emails from Team Tough Chik while I was at Disney. I was very confused! I couldn't do much about it, though, because I have limited access to email through my phone! LOL I figured I just got on some mailing list somehow!


So imagine my surprise when I find out that my BFF signed me (and her!!) up to be a part of Team Tough Chik in 2012!!! I sure hope I'm able to live up to the title of "Toughie"! :)


Monday, January 23, 2012

Legs of lead

Wow, I may have over-estimated my ability to bounce back from Goofy so quickly! LOL

This morning I hit the gym and very cockily got onto the recumbent bike and began to pedal away. I got about halfway in when I remembered I wasn't trying to push things so I backed off a bit... but it was too late.

OUCH. Legs of lead!! My legs just felt like they couldn't move at all! It was awful! I ended up cutting it short. Got OFF the bike feeling much less cocky! LOL

It's amazing to me how strong I felt during Goofy and how completely NOT strong I feel 15 days later! I sure hope this is normal. Regardless, it makes me change up my plans somewhat... going to ramp things back up even more slowly than I originally had planned. Ugh.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Goofy Recovery: Week 2

Here is what my recovery looked like this past week:

Monday - Yoga Conditioning for Athletes (60 minutes)
Tuesday - 1000m swim; 8 minute yoga cool-down
Wednesday - Athlete's Guide to Yoga, Flexibility (49 minutes)
Thursday - 1100m swim; 8 minute yoga cool-down
Friday - rest
Saturday - Yoga for the Warrior (60 minutes)
Sunday - Athlete's Guide to Yoga, Flexibility (49 minutes)


I am feeling much better, and I think it's all because of relaxing more when I am stretching, rolling, and doing yoga. I have been able to drive without my left knee twinging which is incredible - first time in 2 and a half months! The only thing I'm feeling at all is the occasional pain/twinge on the front side of my right knee. I really believe it's related to the tightness in my right hamstring and how it all pulls through the knee when I am stretching. And hopefully with that relaxation I'm working on, that will diminish as well.

I'm looking forward to returning to the gym this week! I'm going to add a couple of days of cycling along with a small amount of weights.  I hope I missed all of the New Years Resolution-ers while I've been recovering. LOL

I think if all of the twinges are gone,  I will run/walk at the park next Saturday! :) 




Thursday, January 19, 2012

Rest

I tried to come up with a clever title for today's post and came up with nada. LOL But if you're here to see how the IT Band recovery is coming, then you're in luck! :)

As I mentioned before, I have been having random aches and pains since Goofy. It's frustrating, to say the least. But I'm trying to be a new version of the "Runner Girl" that I am and listen to my body much better than I have in the past. My original plan was to resume running on Monday. But, assuming that the aches and pains don't improve dramatically before then, I will postpone. And in all likelihood, even if it does feel better, I'll still wait the additional week. So here is my new and improved game plan:

Week 1 Post-Goofy: yoga only
Week 2 Post-Goofy: swimming and yoga (current week)
Week 3 Post-Goofy: cycling (recumbent at gym), swimming, and yoga (resume strength training)
Week 4 Post-Goofy: running (1x week), cycling, swimming, strength training, and yoga
Week 5 Post-Goofy: same as week 4
Week 6 Post-Goofy: running (2x week), cycling, swimming, strength training, and yoga

You'll notice there is lots of cross training in there. And that I'm resuming the running very methodically and slowly. That's the key to the plan. Careful. Slow. Wimpy. Patient.

I am also weaning myself off the NSAID that I have been taking since late October. I was taking one pill in the morning and one in the evening. On Tuesday of this week  began just taking the one in the morning. When my pills run out in a few weeks, then I'll be done. I'm hoping this will also give me a clearer picture of how my recovery is proceeding - sans medication.

Furthermore, I am trying something new with my stretching (aka home exercise) program. I have been wondering if the stretching was contributing to the twinges, and when I was doing yoga yesterday it hit me that during yoga you are supposed to relax and breathe through the hold. Well, when I'm doing my stretches, I think  push too far/hard in my stretches and, as a result, I'm getting little release in the muscle - and I think that's the whole point of the stretching. So starting with today, I am not going to push my stretches and instead just relax through them and let them extend through the relaxation. At least, that's my hope! LOL

And finally, I will leave you with a quote from RunnerGirl's Facebook Wall today, attributed to half-marathon record-holder Ryan Hall:
"I constantly remind myself that resting takes confidence. Anyone can train like a mad man but to embrace rest and to allow all the hard training to come out takes mental strength." 



Monday, January 16, 2012

Random aches and pains

I wish I could explain what is going on with my body right now. I seem to wake up with a different ache and/or pain each day. Last night as I was trying to go to sleep, I rolled over (the wrong way I guess) and my left hamstring seized up on me. My dad gets "charley horse" pains and even though I'm not sure if you get those in your hamstrings - when I felt the pain that was the first thing I thought of. Once I could move, I got up and tried to relax the muscle and stretch it out a little. That worked and within 10 minutes or so it was fine again.

And then this morning I woke up with right knee pain on the front of the knee below the knee cap. Oh, so much fun.

And, as if to add salt to the wound, while doing lessons with my kids (which involved a lot of sitting up in a hard chair), some strange muscle on the front inside of my leg would just randomly start twitching.

I feel like I'm completely falling apart! And with my 40th birthday rapidly approaching, it is not a happy feeling. I have only done stretching, rolling, and yoga since Goofy, and only 3 times on the yoga. Yoga is hard for me, but I try to be careful and not push the poses too much so they don't hurt me. I just don't understand why this is happening. I've been looking on Daily Mile and seeing other Goofy folks reporting their activities and nobody else seems to be experiencing this same thing - which just makes me feel even more like a wimp.

I am wanting to add swimming to the mix this week, so we'll see how it goes today and how I feel when I wake up tomorrow. I am trying so hard to trust God and to be patient! It makes me so upset how I can feel so close to Him and then a week later feel so alone and frustrated again. I'm so disappointed in myself!

Friday, January 13, 2012

So... Now What??

I've completed Goofy's Race and a Half Challenge?? What am I going to do next?!?! (And I just got back from Disney World so I can't say that, although I'm hoping for a return trip with my mom and my girls soon! LOL)

The answer: I have no idea!

For the first time in more than 3 years, I am not registered for any races.

It's sort of freaky, but necessary. I spent all of  my fall race budget (and the winter... and the spring... and the summer...) on Physical Therapy and Sports Massages. It was a necessary thing, and I don't regret it. But it didn't leave anything for future races, and I didn't want to register anyway until I am all healed up. If there is one thing I cannot stand it's wasting money - and having to sit out the Thanksgiving Day Half and the Lanier Under the Lights 5K was awful enough without knowing that I wasted good money on registrations. Knowing how I feel about such things, my husband surprised me with a "Non-Christmas Present" of a Visa Gift Card to use for race entry fees and gear in 2012. :D

But so far I haven't used it. What am I waiting for? Complete healing. I haven't had pain while running in a few weeks now, which is awesome. During Goofy, I even ran on back-to-back days for the first time in 3 months and had no pain. All of those are good signs. But I'm still doing a lot more walking than I am running. I would like to be back to running 3 days a week for 30 minutes at a time before I consider registering for a race. I don't know when that will be, but I am hoping for the Fallen Heroes of Georgia race in March. They offer a 5K or 10K, so I could see how my running is going then and decide. If I don't run that race, then I will volunteer because it is a cause that means a lot to me!

What I'd like to do in 2012 is another sprint tri, few 10ks, and a half marathon. But I'm going to have to see how my body responds to getting back into running before I do any race entries. I'm planning to run again on Monday the 23rd or Tuesday the 24th, depending on the weather and how Goofy recovery is going!


Thursday, January 12, 2012

Race Report - WDW Full Marathon 2012 (Goofy Day #2)

Saturday after the half marathon was spent at rolling and stretching out the legs, going to the expo to get my corral changed, then to eat lunch at the EPSN grill (I was STARVING!!), then to Hollywood Studios for the Backlot Tour (which I had never seen in all of my trips to Disney! @@), and then to a meet-up for Jan's team. Throughout all of these I was monitoring my legs/knees to try to determine if I was going to be able to start the marathon on Sunday morning. I had been praying for weeks that the decision-making would be easy and obvious for me. I only felt some fatigue and it wasn't bad, so I felt that my decision was made - I was going to start the marathon!
 
Corral B! Much better!

Despite being so tired and getting to bed early, I did not sleep well at all. I was up by 12:30 - my alarm had been set for 1:50 so I could repeat the morning process from the day before. But I just did not sleep. It was awful to know I had 26.2 miles ahead of me and I was already so tired! I prayed again before I got out of bed. It wasn't so much worry that kept me up, I don't think, but just the excitement and anticipation!

Jan was running the relay so we headed to the buses together. Didn't get quite as early of a start on Sunday but still didn't have trouble getting on a bus right away. In fact, there were buses EVERYwhere at Pop Century that morning! I'd never seen anything like that! The traffic was fine and we got to runner's village in no time. Jan headed to where her team was meeting and I headed to the ROTE tent. Again, I just wasn't able to talk much. I was so tired and getting really nervous.

My plan for the marathon was to start out walking. Jill was going to be walking because she is recovering from a stress fracture, and she agreed to walk with me. Then I would start my 1/4 intervals and do them for as long as I could. That was the plan anyway. I had no clue what to expect. My left shin had been a little sore that morning, but the long walk to the corrals took care of that. Unfortunately, there was a traffic jam getting to our corral and I was nervous about getting my stretching done. I completely forgot to take a picture of the corral sign or to get a picture of myself before the start. Really, before I was ready, it was time to start!

Jill and I started at the very back of our corral since we'd be only walking. She is a very fast walker, which is good because it kept me on my toes. I know I am a slower walker than she is, and I felt bad for holding her back, but she didn't complain! And I really appreciated the company!

This course is slightly different, so we started off going through EPCOT. I didn't take many pictures because my camera doesn't do too well in the dark.

From there it was off to Magic Kingdom.

Even though we were walking, Jill asked if I wanted to run up Main Street and I said YES! And then we walked again around Tomorrowland and Fantasyland before Running Through the Castle (because the name of my blog isn't WALKING through the castle ROFL)! Going through Frontierland, Jill asked if I wanted her to take anything when she finished the relay. It was getting warm so I asked her to take my long sleeve shirt. In my head, taking this shirt off under my short sleeve was simple. In real life, it took both me and Jill to do it, and I still think I flashed a few people! It's a good friend who will help you strip during a marathon, and then carry around your nasty sweaty shirt for you! Thanks, Jill!! :)

Mile 11 was the same point the day before that I started crying - and I cried again! I was so thankful to Jill for walking with me and she was going to be going soon and I was a little scared. Again, Jill was so encouraging - she suggested that I dedicate each mile to someone during the second half of the marathon. I thought that sounded like a great idea! Way too soon, it was time for her to turn off - she gave me a hug and then ran off for her transition point! (I also appreciate her relay partner, Ernie, for being so patient while waiting for her while she walked with me!)

I started right away with Jill's suggestion by dedicating mile 14 to her for all of her help and encouragement, not only during the race but in the weeks leading up to it. (When I got back to the room, I wrote down all of the miles and who they were dedicated to so I wouldn't forget!) I prayed for each person during their mile and thought about the reasons they were special to me! It was incredibly helpful!

I did another first during this race - I stopped to use the potty! My body usually shuts down during races but I guess I wasn't exerting enough energy this time or something. Regardless, using a porta-potty while wearing compression capri pants was interesting. I think I accidentally did some yoga trying to get the capris back up!

Shortly after my bathroom break was a banana stop. That was probably THE best banana I have had in my life! I seriously needed some real food by that point! 2 sport beans every 30 minutes was helping my energy but I needed a change.

I knew that the miles between Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom were going to be long and boring, so I brought my mp3 player and listened to my Goofy playlist. Between that and dedicating the miles, the time passed pretty well! My legs were feeling good and I still wasn't having ANY pain! It was fantastic and I was so thankful. I had been leap-frogging with a man in a Team 413 shirt (from Philippians 4:13). He and I spoke briefly and I told him how God was guiding me through the race and the whole weekend! It was great to share it with someone I knew would appreciate it!

Soon enough we were approaching Animal Kingdom - we didn't go in by the main entrance so I don't have a picture of the sign, but I have something much better:


I hadn't been stopping for pictures because I was worried about my time and when I had stopped during MCM that's when everything locked up. But I was feeling a bit more confident since I used the potty and nothing locked up. And Expedition Everest is my favorite ride so I HAD to get my picture taken with it in the background! :)

On the way out of Animal Kingdom, volunteers were giving out cold, wet sponges. I wasn't exactly sure what to do with it, so I took one and looked around me. I ended up wiping down the front and back of my neck and my arms with it. It felt great and I regretted not bringing my chilly pad towel with me. I had purchased it just for the marathon but I was so cold on Saturday that I didn't think I needed it - turns out it got quite warm! And if I was warm - and I'm SO cold-natured - I know others had to be completed wiped out by the heat! I also ended up stopping at a medical tent in the parking lot of Animal Kingdom to get some tissue to blow my nose and to get some vaseline. My chapstick had fallen out of my skirt pocket early in the race and my lips were so dry.

Mile 20 came quickly. I can't remember if the Hollywood Studios sign was before or after it, but you get the picture of it right now:
We still had the "out and back" to go, but this would be my best shot of the sign so I took it! I had dedicated mile 20 to my Dad. Mile 20 is when they say you hit "the wall" - my dad is tough, so I pictured him saying, "You hit a wall? Sounds like a personal problem to me - get moving!" It made me smile and kept me going!

Right at the mile 20 sign, my Team 413 friend told me that we could walk it in now - it would get us in under the time limit. I was a little confused because I thought we counted time from the last start corral. He said that to get the Goofy medal, you needed to come in under 7 hours. I looked at my Garmin and did a quick calculation and saw that I might be cutting it a little close so I said goodbye and continued with my intervals, pushing the run minutes a little harder. Yes, I still had enough energy to push a little at that point - even with the heat!

The out and back ended up being great for me because it was my first time to see some ROTE folks finally!! That was a big boost that they would call my name and we could say a quick hi!

Running through Hollywood Studios was a new one for me, just like Animal Kingdom. I had turned off my mp3 player before Animal Kingdom so I could enjoy it and I did the same again before the Studios! They handed out mini Hershey bars which was awesome and tasted SO good! I had to stop for a minute because I felt my right big toe starting to get hot. I had around 3ish miles to go, but that's a LOT of time for a blister to develop. I was carrying a mini size Body Glide with me, so I stopped and took off my shoe and sock and put some more Glide on my toes. I was really nervous that I wouldn't be able to get back up, or that I wouldn't be able to move again, but I had no trouble!

Once out of the Studios I felt a little more confident in my ability to come in under the required time. I checked my texts and answered a couple. I had taken a few more pictures in the Studios, and I also took some more on the way back to EPCOT. I was feeling so great, albeit quite warm. There is a professional picture that shows me walking through the World Showcase in EPCOT and I look exhausted but really I'm just getting tired and getting hot. I was also really contemplating what I was accomplishing and that was overwhelming!
Reece's favorite: The Eiffel Tower! I'm coming!!

I honestly do not remember much about running through the World Showcase! I remember hearing my name called in Mexico and looking up to find Jill and some of the other ROTE folks drinking margaritas (I think??)! I can't even remember if I said hello or anything - I think I may have waved and blew them a kiss or something! LOL The experience was becoming more surreal by the step!

Soon, the finish line was there and I was crossing it - amazingly enough! I was crossing it! Shortly after I crossed and got my Mickey medal, I saw Jan and she took my picture!


From there I went to pick up my Goofy medal - which they placed over my neck without checking my finish time for either race. I was a little annoyed! LOL I had worried over it for nothing! But I was so thrilled that I just cried when she put it on me! It was all so overwhelming!

I was still feeling no knee pain but I was very tired and my feet were sore. My fingers were really, really swollen which you can sort of see in the picture if you look at the hand holding the medal. The fingers got a little better but my face and the rest of me really swelled up and it's still not all the way gone 4 days later! Usually my wedding rings are falling off and this week they've been hard to get on!! It's really freaky, but I'm assured that it is normal and will get better in another couple of days. I am drinking plenty of water and I'm sure it will resolve itself. I'm sure it's also partly hormonal as I started my period literally right after the marathon was over! LOL Sorry any men who read my blog - I'm sure that was TMI! ;)

So I did it - GOD did it - He got me through the weekend and it was amazing! It was only through God's grace that I was able to complete the Goofy Challenge! He blessed me with all I wanted and prayed for and more because I never dreamed I could make it through without ANY pain at all! I am praising HIM and I also pray that I can remember this experience and keep it with me and remember it when times are harder and I'm struggling!

Physically and mentally, I am still so very tired but I am just taking it easy! I did some yoga tomorrow and I have my sports massage this afternoon. I may do some yoga on Saturday as well, but that's all. Then next week I hope to swim and maybe do the bike at the gym. Not planning to run again for another 10 days or so! I want to make sure everything is completely healed up! :)

I will never forget this weekend, and I think it's a great way to END my full marathon career! :D


Race Report - WDW Half Marathon 2012 (Goofy Day #1)

I never would have imagined that this weekend would turn out as well as it did! It was one of those times when something happens and there is no way to explain it except that it was God's grace. I can honestly say that I've never felt as close to God as I did during the last week. I had hoped and prayed that I would be able to complete the races, but I was OK with not finishing if that was God's will. I knew that I did not want to undo the progress I had made with my IT band - it wouldn't be worth it to me. I need to get back to running for pleasure and completing any one particular race just isn't worth another couple months of recovery.

And now for the race report:

As with all Disney races, you have to be up unnaturally early. Since I had to do my stretching first, I had to get up even earlier. I set my alarm for 2 AM, but my body woke me up at 1:15. I couldn't go back to sleep so I spent that time in prayer. I got out of bed at 1:50 and started getting stretched and rolled. My plan was to do all of the stretches that were done on the ground, since I knew I wouldn't be able to do those in the corral. Then I got dressed and headed over to the buses. I walked out of the room right at 3 and got walked straight onto a bus. I was so glad that I didn't have to stress about being in a line and waiting. Even though it was cold, I'd rather wait at the race start than in a line or in traffic (and apparently the traffic was quite bad). I got to the start to look for the H tent and the ROTErs, only to find there were no letters on the tents! ACK Luckily I found a couple of ROTE folks and attached myself to them! I was so nervous, though, that I didn't really do as much talking as I normally would have. I just get so nervous in front of groups of people. :(

Here I am at the ROTE tent before the race:


I walked to the Corrals with Jill, Carol, and Ernie... I was in Corral E, but some of the ROTErs told me that there were some issues with corral placement and I should go to the Expo to get it fixed. I decided that if I finished the half and felt strong enough to start the full, I would definitely see about the placement since I would need the time cushion. I said goodbye to my friends as they headed to their corrals, and I felt really alone. I decided to focus on what I needed to get done - stretching and peeing! LOL I didn't wait in a porta-potty line for more than 5 minutes so that didn't take much time. I had lots of time to really stretch out, which was great!

The race started and it was very crowded. One good thing about my corral placement was that there were lots of walkers so I didn't feel intimidated doing my 1/4 interval (1 minute running, 4 minutes walking). In fact, during the run portion, I often felt like I had to hold back because I just couldn't get around the crowds. My friend Jan had texted me that she would be cheering at mile 1 and 11 with her team (she was doing the relay on Sunday) so I kept my eyes out for her. I had decided that if I felt pain right off the bat, I would just pull myself off the course when I saw her and I could cheer, too. But I didn't need to - I felt great right off the bat and felt strong as I passed her!

A little too happy for 6 AM?? 
I was fairly familiar with the course because it's pretty close to the course that I've done for the Princess Half, so I knew what to expect. We headed to Magic Kingdom first - I ran into Anita from ROTE and we ran/walked together for a little while. That was nice to be able to have some company for a few minutes! Then it was time to enter the Magic Kingdom and I was so excited to run up Main Street USA and through the Castle! I couldn't believe I was actually able to do it and  that I was so still feeling so strong. I changed up my intervals just a little bit so I could actually be running up Main Street and through the Castle! LOL

Castle... here I come!!
After leaving Magic Kingdom, it was time for the long, boring stretch back to EPCOT. But this time I was just so thrilled to be there that it wasn't as hard. We passed a DJ and he said that we were just past the halfway point, and I started to cry! I couldn't believe that it was real! I laughed at myself for crying already, and said a prayer of thanks to God, and pushed on.

I caught sight of a few ROTErs ahead of me, and really wanted to catch up to them, but it took awhile with my mostly-walking intervals. Finally I found them and it was Katie, Steve, and Kim! I stayed with them for a little while and then they kept going with their own intervals. After that I kept finding more ROTE folks, until finally we all converged in a big group! It was fantastic! I really appreciated seeing everyone - and it was so sweet that so many asked how I was feeling. And they made sure I was feeling fine before they took off again for their next run interval. :)

And I was feeling great still! Jan was waiting up at mile 11 and she got this very silly picture of me! I have no idea what I was even saying, but I was having fun! LOL

Seeing Spaceship Earth (aka "the ball") at EPCOT and knowing that I was almost there was so awesome! I was still feeling no pain in my knees.

Look at this awesome picture I got of "the ball" with the monorail running in front of it?!

Soon enough I was passing the gospel choir, and then running through the finish line! It was more than I could ever have asked for or hoped for!

Now that I had completed the half marathon, I had to decide what to do about the full marathon the next day. I prayed that God would give me the wisdom to know whether or not to start the full...

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

I'm Goofy!! :)

Just got home this evening, but wanted to let everyone know that I successfully completed the 2012 Goofy Challenge! It wasn't fast, but that's OK! The important part was that I had NO PAIN and everything went beautifully!

Pictures and race reports will be posted tomorrow! Thanks for all of your support!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

All packed up and ready to go

I sure hope I haven't forgotten anything! 
 
Here is a picture my husband took of me on the morning of my last training run! It was 30 degrees with a nasty wind gusting, causing a 20 degree windchill. I layered up like crazy and he said I looked like a Gangsta! LOL
I do not know what this weekend will hold for me as far as racing/running is concerned. But I'm going to do my very best to trust in the story God is writing in my life. And I'm going to do my best to have a magical time!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

One More Thing

Yesterday was my last run before Marathon Weekend. My knees felt just fine, really, but I didn't actually run very much. I did a 1 minute run/4 minute walk interval to test it for marathon weekend. I wanted to make sure it would come in under the required 16 minute mile pace and it was fine. I did run outside despite the cold temps and high winds mostly because I didn't want to try something new - I've never run on a treadmill before. I did have trouble with my left shin and the ball of my right foot. I think it might be because I wore heels to church on Sunday. At least I hope it is. I really don't know.

I am tired. Not just physically tired, though I'm feeling that way, too, since I'm not sleeping well. I'm mentally and emotionally exhausted. Running was my escape and my release. And now it's just One More Thing I have to battle. I know I'm supposed to trust in the Lord, and I do. I am. It's not about that. The races this weekend aren't even really the major focus of my fatigue. I trust that God will get me through. I don't know if that means that I will finish either of the races, and at this point I'm too exhausted to care. It's going to be a battle for either race, and that's the part that I'm not really sure I care about anymore.

I've never had to face a race (or two) where I was completely and utterly unprepared. I know I've been doing the elliptical and bike and stuff for the last few weeks, but I really don't know if that's enough to prepare me for run/walking the distances that are ahead of me this weekend. And if I do try to run/walk these races will it push me back in the "progress" I seem to have made recently? Will I have to start all over again? I can't afford more physical therapy. I'd have to battle back on my own. Is it worth it?

I'm tired of battling. I've been battling so much for years. Running has become One More Thing. There are many things in my life that I have to battle, for my children's sake. Autism. Epilepsy. Anxiety. I have no choice in those battles. My kids can't battle those things on their own. But I don't have to battle my body if I don't want to.

I need to figure out if running is worth the battle. 

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Goofy Challenge Training - Week 4

A week from right now this will all be behind me. Finish or not, I won't have to think about it anymore. I think that will be a relief.

Monday - 30 minute run (1/1 interval)
Tuesday - 1000 meter swim; weights
Wednesday - Yoga Conditioning for Athletes
Thursday - 40 minute elliptical; weights
Friday - rest (unplanned)
Saturday - 5 mile elliptical
Sunday - Yoga Conditioning for Athletes

One curious thing I have noticed is that the soreness that I've been feeling in the last couple of weeks since I've been released to do activities again is that it's moving around. I guess as I loosen other places up, it moves on to the next really tight spot! Last week it was bad right where my front hip flexors are. Now that feels much better but I'm now feeling it in my glutes. Strange!

I have a twinge again in my left knee (but a different kind of twinge @@) that started after I did The Athlete's Guide to Yoga last week so I skipped it this week. I'll pick it back up after Goody.

I'm supposed to do one last run tomorrow but the weather is going to suck. I'm considering running on the treadmill at the gym. But I've never done that before and it makes me nervous to try something new so close to race date. So unless it's just horrid outside, I'll probably stick to the roads!

::deep breaths::