Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Night Run Selfies, Cat Pictures, and Raynaud's

***Just a quick note! In 2015, I have every intention on participating in the JFK 50 Miler as a charity runner. Though the event is not until November, registration begins in April. I want to ensure that I secure a spot sooner rather than later. So in order to become a charity runner, I need to raise $500 to donate. The money will benefit several organizations in the area. Please see the GoFundMe site I have started! Any donation would be GREATLY APPRECIATED! Even a simple share would be awesome! Thanks ahead of time!!!***

Anyway! Back to my update!

I think it may be impossible to take a good selfie when you are out on a night run.

Flash be damned!

It's also impossible to come home from a run where my cat didn't find every awkward way of climbing all over me.

Then, there's also the regular Raynaud's flare up I get. It wouldn't be a cold night run without it. See how my ring finger is so much whiter than the rest of my fingers?

For those of you who are not familiar with Raynaud's, it is a disease that causes the extremities, like your fingers and toes, to have a reduced blood flow. Though some cases may be caused by medications, connective tissue disorders, eating disorders, and more, mine is caused by cold temperatures. They call it "being allergic to cold." Even when I slip into 2 pairs of gloves, I can still suffer. It sometimes happens in one finger, all fingers, the tips, or the entire length of each finger.

Raynaud's can cause numbness, reduced mobility, and worse, pain when the blood flow returns. Sometimes, I get extremely worried that I will do permanent damage to my hands on a long run when I lose the feeling in them from the start.

I've been looking into crazy warm gloves to wear, even if it is 40 degrees out. I'd rather my hands sweat than endure the pain I can get from it. I think it's going to take some trial and error to find what's best. For now, two pairs of gloves will just have to do!

For more information on Raynaud's, check out!

Do you suffer from Raynaud's Disease? What do you do to prevent a flare up?

Monday, December 15, 2014

Going to California & Long Run Weekend

Before I tell you about my weekend, I wanted to let you know that I am now officially signed up for the Rock N Roll San Diego Marathon!

 I have never traveled so far from home! The farthest I have ever been from the east coast was Gatlinburg, TN. So I am both excited and scared for this race! It will be just days after my 27th birthday and I will also be able to spend an entire week with my brother who lives just 15 minutes away from the start line. The only way that I would not be able to participate is health reasons. Keep your fingers crossed that my doctors appointment goes well in February! Pray for no surgeries!

Anyway, you may have noticed from my last post that I was caught up in logging lots of miles!

Let's start with Saturday!

I had planned an 18 miler and decided to make it interesting. In the past, I have only done my long runs on the road or on the canal, but this time, I decided to do both.

I started just outside my front door and took back roads to the canal, which was about 3.5 miles. I spent the next 7 on the C&O. Once I reached McMahon's Mill, I took the most direct route to my parent's house which was just about 8 miles.

It was actually a really good run. I was surprised how good I felt throughout the route. The only part that bothered me was the last 8. It wasn't due to energy levels, but the pavement had a severe slope, so one of my legs was positioned lower than the other. Yet, that happened to be where I ran at a faster pace. I guess I just wanted to get back to flatter ground again.

I arrived at my parent's house in just under 3 hours. My mom made me hot tea and then drove me home. Gotta love our moms!!! :)

I only suffered some slight pain in my hip, probably because of the road camber. It wasn't enough to deter me from running on Sunday.

I wasn't sure how far I was going to go. I thought it may have been more like 5 miles due to the hip issues. I didn't want to push it, but I was willing to give 10 a try. Although there was some nagging, I was able to get through 10 miles without a problem. In fact, I think it made my hip feel better to run on the soft trail. My original intention was to keep it slow, but I felt really good and was able to get some miles in under 9 minutes. I was not expecting that after an 18 miler the day before!

Today and tomorrow are rest days. I feel good enough to run, but I know my body needs rest after a 28 mile weekend so I will play it safe!

Anyway, that was my weekend! Tell me about yours?

What miles did you log this weekend?

Have you ever mixed trail runs with road runs?

Who's running with me in San Diego this coming May?

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Brink of Injury

Have you ever felt that you were a run away from injury? You felt the aches and pains through out your entire body and thought that one run would push you to the edge and either tear a muscle or fracture a bone.

I felt that way on Sunday and Monday. After my 17 miler, my big toe ached, which resembled an injury I suffered earlier this year during my marathon training. I also had pain in my hip. When I walked, it felt like my hip could have given out at any moment. Despite feeling the energy to run, I suppressed the urge and took a rest day on Monday. What made the rest day so hard was watching Peter leave the house in his running gear to hit the road for a 5 miler. I was jealous.

I didn't regret my decision, however. My body felt as if it were on the brink of injury. It needed a recovery day. That and I had many wreath orders to catch up on, as well as a Save the Date race bib to design. Really, it worked out in my favor. Not only did I catch up on my orders, but I also felt a lot better the following day. There wasn't any more toe pain, nor did my hip feel like it was ready to break. So last night, I went out to the neighborhood for a 5 miler myself.

My recovered body slammed out 8+ minute miles, even with the sky-high hills I had to endure. In fact, I feel that I went faster uphill than I did on the flat portions. I felt amazing. I think that the 17 miler broke me in. I had to hurt again before I could get better and achieve that runner's high again.

I ran tonight with Peter in my parent's neighborhood and had a decent time as well. I plan on taking the next two days off though so I am ready to put down an 18 miler this weekend. It's supposed to be in the 40s (my IDEAL running temperature). This long run going to be a mix of both trail and road unlike last week. Road just KILLS me. Anyway, I intend on making it from my house to my parents again. There's no rain that will impact me this time!!! I will let you all know how it goes!!

Have a great week, everyone! I'll be back this weekend!

 What are some signs that let you know it's time to take a break?

What are your long run plans this weekend?

Monday, December 8, 2014

The Sunday 17 Milers

After my failed attempt to complete 17 miles on Saturday, I made attempt 2 on Sunday. Typically on Sundays, I will tag along with Peter for his long run, but since he was only up to a 10 miler, I went out to the canal to get a head start. The plan was to run 7 miles alone and then meet up with Peter for his 10. I told him that I didn't want to leave him alone for his second attempt at 10 miles, but I think it was more that I needed his support/motivation to help me finish 17 miles.

The first 7 was just me and my iPod. I ran to Dam #4, then texted Peter to let him know I would be back to the start in about 30 minutes. My pace remained around 9:45. I think I was still recovering from my rainy, cold, hilly run from the day before. Though I felt slow, I felt pretty good.

Once I returned back to meet Peter, I quickly changed at my car (it was warmer than I anticipated) and grabbed my bag of peanut butter M&Ms. We restarted the same path I just ran. I got my second wind (or fifth) and we ran at about the same pace for the first couple of miles. My big toe began to bother me a little, which prompted worry, but I tried to ignore it. Once we got about 2-3 miles in together, the pace quickened. Peter seemed to have A LOT of energy despite this being only his 2nd 10 mile run ever. I was impressed, but felt so weak in comparison. Whenever the path would into one lane, I let Peter go in front of me, as I, at times, struggled to keep up. He was definitely the stronger runner during this run.

Around 12.5 miles into my run, we stopped at one of the boat launches off the river. They have bathrooms in the parking lot and I had to make a pit stop. That's also when we decided to sugar up on our M&Ms, just to keep fueled for the final 4.5 miles. I was hurting a little. Though the toe pain subsided, my body was aching, especially in my hips. Just placing my hands on my hips was a little painful! I tried not to let it get the best of me, as we still had a few more miles to go. So once we emptied our bladders, we immediately resumed.

It was really difficult to get started. The flow my body had was now out of sync. Peter ran as though this run was effortless, saying how good it felt. I, on the other hand, didn't talk to much. We were running anywhere from 9:00-9:30 pace, which was way faster than where I started. I complained a little of the pace and although Peter was willing to slow down for me, I told him not to. The faster we ran, the faster we would finish.  Our last mile was done in about 8:45.

My legs turned to lead as soon as I came to a stop. Though my body was thumping in pain, I was happy that my goal was complete. We returned home for a celebratory lunch of leftover spaghetti.

My toe has since began to bother me again and one of my hips is aching, so today is a rest day and perhaps tomorrow as well. Though I packed my bag to run after work, I decided to be smart and not try to injure myself. I am happy with my decision as my aching bones & muscles feel so much better this evening!

My plan is to get two 5 milers in this week, then kick it up to 18 this weekend. After that, I don't anticipate on upping my mileage. I feel I am already risking injury prior to the Disney half. So I will max at 18 until after that one.

Anyway, hope you all had a happy Monday! Let's make it a great week!

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Rainy Run

Though I am no virgin to running in the rain, today was a first. A long run with a consistent downpour. I was determined to get my 17 miler in, despite the forecast, so I suited up with little rain gear that I have and went out to the roads, without a set route in mind.

It has been a while since I have turned to the road for a long run, but there was no way that the canal was going to be a better choice. I had no doubt that there would be mud and perhaps streams of water that pushed me into a dead end.

So the road it was.

The only plan I had was to get from my house to my parents and have 17 miles of distance in between. I also wanted to conquer new roads I have not run in the past.

Because there wasn't any chance I was going to miss getting wet, I had to be prepared to the best of my ability. Since it was SUPPOSED to be in the 50s, I lay out a 2 short sleeved shirts, a pair of capris, and two pairs short ProCompression socks. I packed doubles so if I needed dry clothes at any point in my run, I could call Peter to drive them out to me. I also set out my HipsSister belt, 2 plastic baggies (one for my phone and one for my iPod), and a hat to help shield the rain from both my head and face. I did not pack food or water. Instead, I brought my credit card in case I would pass any nearby gas stations like Sheetz. They would more than likely carry Gatorade and the Power Bars I like.

I texted my mom, letting her know a general time that I would be arriving at her house and also gave Peter a general idea of where I would be, so in the case he didn't hear from me, he would know where to come looking. After that, I was off just after 9am. Thankfully, it was only misting at that point. Anything else may have deterred me from running at all. It was just a little more cold than I would have hoped, but I knew that my body would warm up soon after I started.

I took some back roads near our home and began to head towards the canal. I didn't intend on running on the trail, but just thought I would take the roads around there since I never actually ran them. I knew I was in for a massive hill climb too....

The bottom of that steep hill you see is about 315 feet. The top of the first slope is 421 feet, which took about 3 minutes to scale. I was only 4.5 miles in to my run when that came up. But that wasn't the only abuse I had to endure.

The rain became heavy around the time I got near that hill (of course!). My arms became red and were next to numb from the cold rain. My hands became harder to move, but I was hopeful that the rain would lighten up.

Not even.

I was determined to finish and told myself that I would call Peter for dry clothes onceI was halfway done. So, I pressed forward and headed towards Dam #4 Road. I wanted a taste of the JFK 50 route. At that point, I decided was going to follow Dam #4 Road to Speilman Road and then into downtown Williamsport, just as the end of the JFK 50 does. 

Though I wasn't at all tired, my body was chilled to the bone. As cars passed me, their tires pelted me with water. I know they didn't do it purposefully, but I would curse under my breath as I took the spray to my already soaked body. I knew of a pavilion that was just before I would make my turn onto Speilman, so I made the decision to stop there to call Peter.

It put me beyond the halfway mark by a mile.

Once I was shielded from the elements, my numb hands dialed Peter's number. I asked him to bring me my extra clothes and a towel to help dry myself a little. He would be about 10 minutes before he found me.

I tried to keep my heart rate up by jumping around and I tried warming my hands my placing them in my pants, just at the hips, but I was soaked. I began to shiver violently. I ended up sitting down at one of the benches and watched the rain as I waited.

I swear, it is pouring here!
As I did, I made the decision to call this run quits. I made it far enough in the elements. Especially those I wasn't used to or had proper gear for.

I was so thankful when Peter arrived. His car was my savior. My ride to warmth. My ride to the comfort of a scolding hot shower.

I think I will do the 17 miler tomorrow instead. When it is not raining.

Tell me! What is your rain gear recommendation? I need a nice jacket to shield me from getting soaked!

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Race Recap: The 2015 HCC Turkey Trot

Happy belated Thanksgiving! I hope you all enjoyed your meals without any guilt! After all, Thanksgiving only comes once a year so whatever calories you eat that day, don't count! Right?

For the past 3 years, including this year, I have participated in the Turkey Trot 5k,  hosted by Hagerstown Community College (stay close, go far). As I have mentioned in my previous recap of this race, this was my very first 5k, so it is very special to me! I competed for the first time in 2009.

Not long after, I suffered back pain which may have caused the numbness in my thigh. Thankfully, all that had passed and I have been able to compete in it 3 more times after that!

It was also Peter's first 5k just last year.

Anyway, we arrived just short of start time to grab our race packets. Typically, I show up to races way early, but ever since I've stopped getting pre-race jitters, I try to arrive just in time. We arrived at 8:30, which gave us enough time to attach our time chips, bibs, and throw the packets in the car. Since this race does not have official photographers and Peter, my back up photographer,  was participating, I had to rely on my GoPro to capture the race itself. So I attached it to my cap, made adjustments and by the time that was done, it was time to race!

If you didn't catch it in the previous post, here it is!

Here's my commentary!

It was freezing and as much as I have been told to warm up before a race, I never do. Maybe it's laziness or I just feel stupid doing it, but I never jog around prior to a race. So when the race gun shot off, it took a while for my body to adjust to the temperatures. I started off at a quicker pace to try to warm my legs up, but  going too fast in the beginning can ruin a race at the end. I did my best to keep consistent and not to let the quick first mile ruin me. I was able to settle into a good pace about a mile in (1:00 into the video).

In all honesty, I was hurting pretty early. The cold air felt like glass on my throat and stabbed my lungs. Going uphill also killed me despite running many hills over the past few weeks. For some reason, my legs felt like glue when I had an incline. I still pushed through the pain and did my best. I knew that a great Thanksgiving dinner would make up for this pain.

As I made my way through the second lap, the amount of runners thinned out and that's when I knew I was in the top half of the group. Despite the discomfort, I performing above average. Yet, the miles seemed longer now just because I was ready for it to be over. With one more mile to go (around 2:00 into the video), I had to dig deep to keep at pace.

At the 2:38 mark, I was passed by a runner in pink who I had not noticed previously. I envied her. She must have been behind me for the majority of the race, but had the energy to speed up. I tried to stay on her tail and maybe catch her at the end, but I wasn't that lucky. Our gap only widened.

At the end of the video, I slowed it down to show the BIG finish (3:00), which was still in good time. As soon as I stopped the video and took the camera off, I was approached by the runner in pink. I didn't recognize her at first, but she knew my name. She introduced herself as Gabby and it clicked! The Running Goober! It was my first blogger to blogger interaction. Unfortunately, I was huffing, puffing, and dying. Probably didn't leave the best impression. Sorry, Gabby!!! It was still nice meeting you and I will see you in Disney! :o)

I quickly made my way back around to the track to wait for Peter. You will catch a glimpse of him finishing at 3:20!

So here's the stat rundown for the both of us:

Finish Time: 23:36
Average Pace: 7:37
Overall: 91/697
Females 20-29: 12/89

Finish Time: 25:12
Average Pace: 8:08
Overall: 124/697
Males 20-29: 20/54

We both did very well, but like me, Peter also complained about the pain in his lungs. Although neither of us are strangers to running in the cold, this was the first race we did this year, so we ran that much faster and breathed that much harder.

Anyway, once I returned home and showered, I put on my 4th Turkey Trot shirt, which I loved this year.

Peter and I both matched by the end of the night.

This will be my last race of 2014. That's the plan for now, anyway! My next race will not be until January when Peter and I will be in Disney for our honeymoon. About 40 days to go! I can barely contain the excitement! I have always wanted to do a Disney race! My dream will be a reality soon!

Did you do a Turkey Trot this year? Where and what was the distance? How did you do?

Have you ever met a fellow running blogger in person? 

Do you wear your race shirt same day?