Sunday, October 26, 2014

Three years ago today...

It seems like just about everyone I know was racing this weekend! And today was the Marine Corps Marathon, the 3 year anniversary of when I ran it while injured back in 2011. I had to dig out some of the pictures and remember that bitterly cold day!

I wasn't sure I was even going to get to this point after being in pain for the 3 weeks prior to MCM!

 It's funny that I remember the pain, but I don't remember the heartbreaking feeling and agony so much anymore. I guess time does heal all wounds.

Getting that medal put over my neck, and having a poor Marine ask me if I was OK because I was simply sobbing, was one of the top moments in my athletic endeavors over these last 6 years!

I think I was in so much pain and fatigue here that I didn't get to flash the smile that I should have done after such an amazing feat!
I think I'm going to give the Marine Corps Marathon another visit in 2015. It's a lottery entry now, so I think I am going to register for the lottery and leave the rest up to God. If I can get in, then that is the sign that it's meant to be. If not, then I'll find a local marathon to run instead! :)

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Recovery Report

The beginning of Recovery Week #2 was going well... until Wednesday! That was the day I slammed my left foot into my daughter's dresser. I'm not exactly sure what I did to the pinky toe and the area between it and the toe next to it, but it got black and blue and painful quite quickly! I didn't run that night, and since I had been up late the night before, I waited until the evening to try to swim. It was very hard to walk or even to put on shoes. Standing wasn't a problem, so I am pretty sure it wasn't broken, but it was nearly impossible to bend my pinky toe.

Thursday night I was able to swim, and then Friday I rode on the trainer without any pain. Saturday morning I decided to try to get in an 8 mile run, but as I was getting ready in the dark so as not to wake up my husband, I rammed that same pinky toe into the corner of my bed frame. There is a chance I may have said a few bad words! ;) I took my workout into the neighborhood just in case I wasn't able to walk or run - but surprisingly I didn't have pain once I started running.

I kept up like this through the weekend and into Recovery Week #3. The black and blue area migrated from the underneath of the pinky toe to the top of my foot under the 3rd and 4th toes. I could walk, but wearing some shoes was still a problem as was bending my toe. But I could run and bike and swim with no problem. Wednesday was a beautiful day and I took my run to the mountain and enjoyed a glorious hour of running.

Thursday morning I woke up and my toe was more noticeably sore. After my swim I decided it was time to take a few days off and rest the foot and toe. So that's what I've been doing this weekend. I have done my upper body and core workouts still (using an oldie but a goody DVD: Tamilee Webb's Tight on Time! I forgot how much I enjoy it!). In the meantime, I've been doing Epsom Salt soaks 3 times a day, which have been absolutely the best thing! And I've also been icing the area of my foot 2-3 times a day. I have much more range of motion in my toe now and it's only moderately sore now and then. I wore a shoe last night and today that I had not been able to wear last week!

I am planning to take off again tomorrow and evaluate come Monday. I don't want to push it, so I may just start with shorter runs. Next week was planned to be a Cut Back Week, but if I do try to workout again, I will make the workouts even shorter than that.

Is it annoying? Yes. Is it frustrating? Yes. Am I dying to be out in the gorgeous late October weather we are having? YES! But in the long run, I know that taking care of this little injury now is more important. I have no races on the calendar with the exception of a Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving Day. It is a free race that has a number of distances available, so there is no pressure for me to run long if I don't feel like my toe/foot is 100%.

I am so glad that this did not happen before Augusta. SO glad! I'm very fortunate that I didn't experience any real injury or down time due to sickness or overuse during the 12 months that I was building up and training for the Half Ironman! This is my off-season, after all, so a little more down time won't kill me. Starting back from the beginning will be a pain, but it might end up making me stronger. And it's a good time to work on this strength training and yoga as well! :)

Happy Training, everyone! Or Happy Recovering, if you're clumsy like me! LOL

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Ironman 70.3 Augusta - Professional pics

The professional pictures from my Half Ironman are in! Here are a few of my favorites!
Coming out of the water! So excited that I forgot to start taking off my cap, goggles, and wetsuit! But mostly I'm just happy that I am coming out alongside another person in my own wave!

I'm only in the left hand corner of this picture, but it shows the beautiful Savannah River behind me! And, look - another red cap!!
Heading out on the bike right after T1 - I was so nervous. The bike was my most intimidating part and I was unsure how it was going to go at this point!
Obviously more relaxed on the bike by this point! I think this is around mile 35?
Focused on the run - I think this was the first lap! I like that I look so strong here!
Pushing it in the finisher's chute! Almost to the finish line!
The finish line! I made it!


Sunday, October 12, 2014

Recovery Week #1 Complete!

So my plan to start back to gentle workouts last Monday was foiled last Sunday by what my husband called "a perfect day for running"! He actually told me that he couldn't believe I wasn't out running because it was so beautiful out there. So I did the only thing I could do - I donned my running gear, including my new Augusta 70.3 visor - and went for a short run!

Hubby was right!!
So I didn't take 7 complete days off, but more like 6 1/2! I'm sure that's not going to hurt anything!

The rest of the week I did 30 minute workouts - 2 swims, 2 bikes - and then this weekend I did a "long run" and a "long bike" of 60 minutes each. I made sure to take it nice and easy, though I did run at Stone Mountain yesterday so the hills were a nice challenge.

Everything seems to feel really good physically, and my energy level is pretty much back to normal, I think. And in all my new free time I'm able to get caught up on my long-neglected housework and really focus on getting my high schooler's transcripts in order! LOL

This coming week I will be upping my weekday workouts to 45 minutes, and my weekend workouts to 90 minutes. Again, I'm keeping it nice and easy. I am adding strength training back in as well. If that feels comfortable, then I will up it one more time the following week - 60 minutes and 2 hours. And that's where I'll stay through the end of the year, with a cutback week every 4th week.

So that will be the sum of my off-season, and then in January I'll start working on my goals for next season - speed!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

So... what's next?!

I've been thinking about writing this post for the last couple of months, believe it or not. However, the post I am writing now is very different from the one I had intended to write. Many people have asked me what I would tackle next once the Half Ironman was finish. And though my goal was to live in the moment of the Half Ironman, which I really did and I'm proud of that, I did have a goal tucked away in the back of my mind.

Marathon Maniac.

So, my original intention when I was planning this post was to announce that I would be completing a full marathon in early November as part of my goal of doing 3 fulls in 90 days to become a Marathon Maniac.

But now? I'm not so sure.

I can't pinpoint one particular reason for my change of heart. And perhaps 4 days after completing a race of the magnitude of a 70.3 is not the best time to be making these decisions? But there are a number of reasons why I'm not so sure this is the time to tackle this goal, if I tackle it at all.

The first reason is that the Half Ironman took a lot out of me - physically, mentally, financially. And why I think that physically I could tackle another Full Marathon next month, mentally and financially, I'm not sure if that would be the best idea. My husband is one of the few people who knew I was considering this and he was/is on board, but that's a given. So it's not any outside pressure one way or the other. This is all internal.

You see, the reason I want to try another full marathon in the first place is that it remains the one goal that I set out to accomplish that I am not pleased with how it all turned out. And seeing how Augusta turned out when I had that one singular focus makes me want to try that for the full marathon, too. When I signed up for my first full, I did so to attain Marathon Maniac status. And then I also threw my first sprint triathlon in there as well. I wasn't simply training for my 'first' full marathon... I was training for 2 in one week as well as the Goofy Challenge. Which leaves me to wonder what it would be like to just train for ONE full marathon, and have that be my singular goal? Would the results turn out better? Would I enjoy the process more? Isn't that the whole point? Then if I enjoy that race, I could look for 2 more to complete if I wish to pursue Marathon Maniac status.

Additionally, this school year has proven to be much more stressful and expensive than I thought it would be. I knew that 2015 would need to be a step back in my racing, but I think I underestimated how busy this year would be. After the dance season is over in May and my son graduates from high school that same month, my time will open up. So, to me it sort of makes sense to delay any big goals until that time.

I have several other goals that I have in mind for the future besides just completing a full marathon. I would like to do a century ride (100 miles). I would like do a Full Ironman (140.6). I would like to improve my cycling speed before I do either of those, though. And after training for a Half Ironman and realizing the time and money involved, I know that I need to wait until the kids are ALL out of high school before I double that effort for the Full Ironman! LOL

So, right now...my immediate goals remain uncertain. Woohoo, isn't that an exciting announcement!?!

I might just swim, bike, and run for however long and however far I feel like for however many weeks I feel like doing it. ;)