Friday, March 30, 2012

Getting Excited!

Hello to my three readers! I'm feeling much more optimistic about the marathon. Tomorrow I'm running a part of the course that I've never done before...or even driven. I hear it's pretty hilly so I think it will be good to test it out so there are no surprises on marathon day. Dunno though, surprises can be good. Not sure I want to "dread" the hills if they are really bad. I've been doing my hill training around Soulard so hopefully the course won't be too hard on me. I know running up Olive is going to be killer. Hoping to finish marathon around 5 hours.

Monday, March 26, 2012

20 Days Away

The Marathon is 20 days away and I don't feel ready. I attempted 20 miles on Saturday and made it just under 19. The first 13-14 miles wasn't too bad, but then I had to do some walking. I also had to take some resting breaks to stretch and drink water. After the run, my right knee and groin killed me!!! I literally felt like I was about to fall apart.

Training for 1/2's can be fun. Training for a full just sucks. I hate it. I haven't been doing my short runs during the week because my body is in too much pain from the long run. I am now starting to taper, doing a 12 mile run this weekend, followed by an 8 the next weekend. I am not sure how many short runs I will do.

Distance: 18.67 miles
Time: 03:25:44
Pace: 11.01

Oh, I also had about a 1/2 bottle of wine the night before this run... so, it is what it is. I won't be drinking wine the night before the Marathon, so maybe that will help some, lol.

On Sunday, my husband and I took the pups to Castlewood State Park to do a short 1.5 mile hike. We took a wrong turn somewhere and ended up doing 3.6 miles. It was a bit challenging because my leg was still bugging me, but it was nice to take our time and enjoy the scenery.


Monday, March 19, 2012

St. Patty's Day Hell

I woke up at 4.30 am on Saturday to prepare myself for my 20 mile run. I was a bit more excited about this run because a friend wanted to try to run with me! We set out at 5 a.m. My plan was to get 15 miles knocked out before 8.30 am...b/c I was running the last 5 in the St. Patrick's Day Parade Run.

It was pretty foggy outside and humid. But we took it nice and slow and it was really nice to run with someone. I usually get bored after a while of running on my own. My friend made it 3.5 miles before he turned around and I carried on by myself. I got to 7 miles when I first started to feel pain in my knee. I figured I didn't want to run that far away from home again, so I hopped in my car, drove my butt to the YMCA and did 7.3 miles there. I was in a hurry because I still needed to go home, change (I was a sweaty mess) and make it to the race start line. My knee was bugging me, but I thought it wasn't going to be a huge issue.

I was at the starting line by myself (I couldn't find my friends because the race was so huge)... and I was scared. The farthest I've ever ran before was 15 and now I was going to do 19+. That's a huge jump for me. The race started out good. I kept a nice slow pace. I even managed to run the first hill (I saw a lot of people walking it). But after 1.5 miles, my knee went from bad to fucking bad. I decided to walk for a bit, but that didn't help. I know I looked ABSOLUTELY miserable. People probably thought I was terribly out of shape and I was kinda embarrassed about that. Anyways, I kept on and tried to run some more. Then we got to a huge hill and I just decided to walk it. My knee was really starting to piss me off. I couldn't even run on the huge downhill. I got so mad at myself, I started to cry. My knee felt way worse than ever before and I kept telling myself there is no way I will be able to complete this marathon. I kept walking...and would try to run on it but that didn't last long. I did muster up enough strength to jog the last .7 miles and although it hurt, it was bearable. I was pretty pissy after the race and literally laid on the couch all day.

I'm kind of embarrassed at my finish time in the race, but oh well, it is what it is. I accomplished 19.4 miles!!!! And that I am happy for! I know the marathon isn't going to be easy, I expect pain and that's okay. I plan on doing 18-20 this weekend and then I'm going to start to taper. I'M SO LOOKING FORWARD TO THAT! Ha.

Splits from St. Patty's Day Run: (see, horrible)


So even though it was broken up and I ran outside in the dark w/ friend, in the gym on a treadmill and at a packed race, my time for 19.4 miles was 03:34:16. Average pace: 11:03.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

The Things I've Learned...

1) My MRI results show a normal brain!! well, w/ mild degenerative white matter which my doctor informed me that this is relatively common. They are assuming that my 9-day headache was a "cluster headache." ...but now I have to go see a cardiologist to monitor my heart murmur. I guess they don't want me to drop dead on marathon day.

2) Watch out on those Soulard sidewalks! I took a mean spill while running about 3 weeks ago. It looked like a superman flying belly flop. Ouch! (I also tripped about a year ago on the Soulard sidewalks and ended up w/ a broken elbow).

3) Slowing down my speed has helped out with the stomach pinches I used to get. I rarely get a stomach pinch now, which makes me very happy!

4) My doctor said that an average hr of 160 while running isn't all. He expects that.

5) Even though Soulard has horrible sidewalks (Soulard is a historic neighborhood and most of the sidewalks are brick...which are very uneven, but look pretty so it's okay), I love my neighborhood and my house. I've been doing the majority of my runs around Soulard/Benton Park and love how many people I see out walking their pups, the architecture is great and I can always spot something that I've never seen before.


6) I came across a pictorial map of St. Louis, dated 1875. Records say our house was built in 1883, but our house is on this map! Maybe this is not our house on the map, but it sure looks like it (Our house is set back from the road and from the other houses in our row) . Maybe the records are wrong. But whatever the date our house was built, I always imagine what it looked like 100 years ago...who lived there, what did they do?


Our house is a flounder...which is a house type that is unique to St. Louis. Since these houses were exclusively working class homes, decoration was limited, confined to segmental arched windows and perhaps a corbelled cornice. Flounder houses were especially appropriate for dense neighborhoods, where space was at a premium. They were often constructed as alley buildings, sharing a lot with as many as two larger tenement buildings.


There are a couple reasons why to build a flounder: to shed roof rainwater to one side of the property. Yup, water gushes down our side alley and into our basement :o/. Another reason, taxes on a half-house were assessed at half-rate.

Ok, so our house is considered the "poor house" of Soulard, but I still love it.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Back on Track

I'm back! least I think. Headache is finally starting to go away. I've never experienced a headache like that before. I rarely get them and to have one for 8+ days scared the shit out of me! I'm not exactly sure what caused it, maybe it was a really bad sinus infection? Bad migraine? I meet w/ my doctor tomorrow to talk about the MRI results so I'm hoping for the best.

On Monday my headache was pretty bad, but I decided to go out and run anyways. I ran 7 miles and my headache was feeling much better after!! Yesterday I ran 8 miles and then did a short 1 mile run this morning. I'm feeling good! Of course, the heat slowed me down a bit. We had the most perfect running weather over the winter...but I did miss the snow.

This weekend I'm gearing for my TWENTY MILE run. They are showing rain in the forecast so we'll see how well that turns out. I am also running the 5 mile St. Patty Day Run on Saturday. I'll try to get 15 miles done either before or after the race. Goal is to do it before and then hope running w/ other people will encourage me to get the last 5 miles done. Whew.

I'm ready for marathon...! It is one month away.

During my 8-mile run yesterday...I was feeling a bit exhausted. I ran across the Eads Bridge and when I turned around to run back downtown, I had a pretty fantastic view. I had to stop and snap a photo. That sunset definitely gave me the boost I needed.


Monday, March 12, 2012

In a funk...

I haven't been doing the best at keeping up with my running schedule. It all started with my right knee after my 15 mile run. Yikes!!! Talk about pain. I had some left knee pain during training for my first 1/2, but this was different. It felt like my knee wanted to literally fall apart every time I hit the pavement. I've taken some time off. When my knee started to feel better, my groin started to hurt. It doesn't bug me as much until after the run, which is good. I've been "trying" to stretch, but I've never been a good stretcher.

Anyways, I've also been dealing with a killer headache, near my left eye. It's really freaking me out. I went to one doctor and she was worthless. She looked at my left eye and my right eye and said, "they look fine to me." Oooookkkay. But this pain, how do I make it go away? She told me to go to the eye doctor. That night, it actually felt like a migraine, which would put me at day 3 of headache. I went to urgent care the next morning and the doctor, much more clever might I add, told me this wasn't a migraine. My doctor sent me in to get an MRI last Friday to test for MS and other tumors, whatnot. Ok, results showed no tumor and no stroke. I spoke briefly to the doctor there about the results and he said there was some abnormality in my results and I need to check up with my doctor. So this is where I am now. I still have this freaking pain in my left eye (feels more like pressure behind my eye). I guess they haven't ruled out MS yet, but the doctor said I don't have the typical MS developments. All this stress has been making it hard for me to get out and run, but I really do want that medal. My friend said something that really made me think... "we know you would finish the marathon, but your health is more important right now." I'm going on day 8 with this eye pain and I just want it to go away. ...would also like to know what the hell is causing it!!!