When Life Gives You Abnormalities....

As promised, I thought I would share with you all the details of my recent doctor's appointment.

You may recall that I had surgery this past July. I never disclosed the reason for my surgery because of my own embarrassment; however, as time has passed, I have become less ashamed of my issue. This is something many women deal with, unfortunately.

Anyway, about 3 years ago, my doctor discovered abnormal cells on my cervix during a yearly exam. It was not considered serious at the time. I was simply provided some pills to take and was scheduled a follow-up to make sure that everything was clearing up. My yearly exams turned semi-yearly to make sure all continued to get better. And it seemed to do just that. Two years passed and I was told each time that everything looked great. It was not until my final appointment (before I turned back into a yearly exam girl) that some serious abnormalities reappeared.

I received a colposcopy and they had to take biopsies of my cervix for testing. What they came back with showed that precancerous cells had rented out my cervix. To prevent these cells from turning cancerous, I was required to get what's called a LEEP procedure. This is a surgery that involves burning off a portion of your cervix that contains the affected cells. Once this was complete, I returned to the doctor and was told  they got the area of concern. I was good to go! As a precaution, however, I was required to attend follow-up appointments every 3 months.

On my very first follow-up, my results returned with abnormalities, so I was asked to return for yet another colposcopy just this past Monday. The doctor took several biopsies and was very thorough in this examination. She informed me that in the best case scenario, the biopsies would come back, show abnormalities, but not high-grade precancerous cells. As a result, I would only need to continue the follow-up appointments. The worst case scenarios would be a) the results would show high-grade precancerous cells and require another LEEP procedure OR b) the cells would have progressed into cancer.

The test results were just delivered to me today. Thankfully, I do NOT have cancer, but I do require to another surgery. The doctor informed me that they are going to remove a decent portion of my cervix to avoid any further spreading of cells. This surgery will be scheduled in March, following  the Rock n Roll Marathon. I made sure it was okay to wait until then and the dr said it was fine.

So here I am, on the brink of a New Year and already being dealt my cards. I am not trying to be pessimistic, but I am pretty bummed it had to come to this. I was hoping that this part of my life was behind me, but, it looks like the powers-that-be think I am up for the challenge.

...and I am.

2013 in a Nut Shell...Err...Blog Post

I'm saying "farewell" to 2013 with some sadness. I thoroughly enjoyed this year since it has been one filled with personal growth, challenge, accomplishment, and then some. As much as I would love to take you through every detail of my 2013 adventure, I know that we have plenty of other things at the top of our to-do list. ;-)

So here are some tid-bits from my running (and eating) year.

2013 Goals

After the Nick Adenhart 5K
  1. Participate in 10 races - This goal started out with only 3 races. But when I completed that within the first half of the year, I thought I would up the goal with 10. I still, kicked that goal's ass. I rocked 12 races for the year.
  2. Participate in 1 half - I ran 13.1 on plenty occasions, but I had yet to complete an official race. I participated in the Frederick Half Marathon as my first in May. I completed 4 half marathons in 2013. :o)
  3. Complete a 15 mile run - This goal was accomplished in January. It was the first run that I realized the benefits of eating on a run!
  4. Complete a 20 mile run - This goal was also accomplished earlier than I had anticipated (February). I was on fire!!!
  5. Complete 26.2 miles - This goal was a challenge! But attainable! My first attempt was in March, which I found myself hitting the wall between mile 20-23, which lead to my failure. For months, I put the goal off because it really did hurt my confidence, but when I was hitting 20 mile long runs, I figured I would try again. I was better prepared and reached the goal in October!
  6. Complete a mile in 6:30 - Unfortunately, I never hit this goal, but I did at least get a mile in the 6 minute range. Though, there is always next year :)

Top 2013 Races

It is really difficult for me to pick my top races of 2013. I think each was a great experience for me, but if I had to chose, here are my top 5.

  1. The Frederick Running Festival - This was my very first half marathon, so it will hold a special place in my heart for some time. I was very impressed with the size, organization, pacers, shirts, medals, PRs, etc. I will be a repeat runner for this race in 2014!
  2. The Hershey Half Marathon - I have said it before and I will say it again, there is no race that can compare to one that is focused around CHOCOLATE!
  3. Nick Adenhart 5k - I was very happy to support a fallen Wildcat that I went to school with. Though I did not know Nick personally, I felt obligated to participate. I also LOVE running this course. I have run the same course in the Run for Freedom 5k and have also found myself running it on my weekend long runs.  This was the first race that I ever got first in my age group! Pretty impressive!
  4. The HCC Turkey Trot - This race will always be a tradition. It was the first 5k I ever ran and I have loved it every year I have participated. What was so special about it this year was having both my best friend, Ashley, and my fiance Peter running it with me!
  5. Krumpe's Donuts 5k - Again, any race that is focused on delicious treats will always be rated high in my book! Not only did I get a free donut at the end, but I did better than I expected! This was my first race post-surgery and I finished just under 25 minutes. It really boosted my confidence after feeling down for some time.

 Top 3 Recipes

  1. Grilled Avocado Chicken Burger - Healthy and delicious! Need I say more? It was a hit with not only Peter and me, but all of my friends that tried it.
  2. Stuffed Peppers with Quinoa and Chicken  - Again, a healthier recipe that tastes fabulous! I thoroughly enjoyed this when we had fresh peppers from the garden. I can't wait till we start growing again so I can have stuffed peppers all the time!
  3. Chicken Quesadillas - I have made this recipe more than a dozen times this past year. Peter and I love it, our friends & family love it, and it is super simple to make! 

I thank each and every one of you that shared this wonderful year with me. I hope you all had a great year and intend on having an even better 2014!

What was your favorite race of 2013?

Did you accomplish all of your goals? Which one was the most rewarding?

What was your favorite food dish you had?

Marathon Training: Week 5

We have made it to the final days of 2013 and I just completed week 5 of marathon training.

8577RestRest13.1 AM Run
1.35 PM Run

So here's the break down...
On Sunday, I did an 8 miler nearby mom and dad's.

I thought I would be festive and show off my $2.50 Santa hat to the town of Williamsport. Not only did I get several honks from drivers, but the hat kept my head dry from the rain. Money well-spent, I would say!

On Monday, I had off work and I found it next to impossible to leave the comfort of my bed. I had planned for a higher mileage, but I did not want to overdo it since I was starting to feel exhausted. I also had a doctor's appointment that afternoon (which I will probably discuss in a later entry this week :-\). So I stuck with an easy 5 mile run out on the roads of Williamsport.

I was feeling a little more energetic on Tuesday. After putting my ham in the slow cooker for our Christmas Eve dinner, cleaning the house a tad, I went out for a 7 mile trail run.

A residence that lives near Taylor's Landing wished me "Merry Christmas!" I have no doubt it was because I looked awesome in my holiday Pro Compression socks and Santa hat! :)

That evening, we celebrated Christmas with our families. Peter's family and my own came over for dinner and everything was magically delicious! We had a sweet ham, mashed potatoes, rolls, cheese-filled rolls, Romanian salad, and cream puffs! I also threw in some homegrown corn that was frozen this past summer. We barely had leftovers!

I can't forget that we also drank like merry Christmas elves!

Our new barrel! Aging an Irish Trashcan, sans Red Bull

The following morning, CHRISTMAS, I did not schedule an AM run. In fact, the intention was to "sleep in," but Peter and I woke up at 7:30 AM...as usual. We relaxed for the majority of the day, but managed to run in the afternoon. This was Peter's first 7 miler!

I love nothing more than running with my fiance and I find it impressive how he is effortlessly increasing his mileage! I was so proud of him running that far on Christmas. His goal was to make it to Dam #4 and back and he blew that out of the water! I just can't wait to do half marathons with him in 2014! :o)

I took my rest days on Thursday and Friday and by Saturday, I was more than ready for my long run. I found it appropriate to do 13 miles for my last long run of the year.

My goal was to get under 2 hours, but I never seem to achieve that when I run alone. Only in races am I able to pull sub-2 hour halfs. I was still satisfied with that time though.

That evening, I went on an easy double with Peter, going a little over a mile. My calves were killing me and running that extra distance helped relieve the soreness! I swear by doubles!

Anyway, that was my week of holiday/running fun! I have already started my 6th week and am off to a great start! Hope you guys kick ass this week and leave 2013 with a bang!!!

Were you able to get your runs in even with the holidays?

What food did you enjoy on Christmas?

What is your running schedule for the remainder of the year?

Happy Friday, Post-Xmas Gift!

I hope you all had a fantabulous holiday! Peter and I sure did! We partnered up for a couple's 7 mile run. :o)

Anyway, this is going to be a quick post! I just wanted to share with you a super deal! When you register for a Rock n Roll USA race between now and January 1st, you can save $10 on your race entry before the price increase!!! Just go to the registration page, use promo code WINWIN, and let them know Lindsey, runfrecklesrun@gmail.com sent you in the "Referred By" field! You will get a FREE race shirt. How awesome is that?

Now go have a fabulous weekend!!!!

We Wish You A....

Merry Christmas!!!

Run Freckles Run

Marathon Training: Week 4

What a busy, busy week! Although I am still running around like a chicken with it's head cut off, I managed to find time between Christmas cooking and gift giving to share with you my marathon training week.

91 Mile AM
5 Mile PM
1 Mile AM
2 Mile AM
5 Mile PM
1 Mile AM
5 Mile PM

I already shared my Sunday run with you, so I will skip on to Monday. I woke up 15 minutes early just to get a mile in before work. Just a couple of weeks prior, I did the same thing and found it to be a great way to start my day. I am now making the effort to do it every day during the week, excluding Friday. I feel that I should have at least one day off from running!

It was difficult at first, mainly with the waking up part, but I followed the schedule. It wasn't until Wednesday when I began to wonder if this new schedule was actually improving my PM runs. I finally got under a 45 minute 5 mile time. That was something I have wanted for weeks. My body just wasn't having it before.

But I did even better on Thursday...

I went on a night run that had nothing but positive splits each mile, but still, that time is a 3 minute improvement from where I wanted to be for weeks!!! I plan to keep the morning mile to see if this time improvement continues and will definitely keep you updated with the details!

Saturday, I woke up to 50 degree weather, an amazing temperature for the winter solstice. I was very pleased because I had a 15 mile long run planned. It had been a while since I finished such a large distance, so I set my pace expectation for 10 minutes/mile.

As you can see, I did 3 seconds better!

It was a challenge, to say the least! There is an area of the trail that is made of concrete, so the snow had yet to melt from that portion. I was forced to trek through snow and ice, which really slowed me down. Time was definitely not a priority at that point. I was more concerned about slipping and falling into the Potomac River! Still, I was extremely satisfied with my finish time since it was better than my goal. It was a great way to end week 4!

Though I have been busy with holiday activities and a doctor's appointment this week, I have managed to run every day to keep off the cookies I have been shoveling into my mouth. I will get into the details once the week has come to it's end, but it has been pleasant! I hope each of you are  enjoying your holiday season as I have mine! And if I don't write a post tomorrow, I wish you all a safe and Merry Christmas!!!

How do you feel about running before work? 

How was your long run this week? How many miles did you do? Was there any snow?

What is your favorite holiday treat? 
- Mine is COOKIES!

Well, now that I am sitting for once!

I have not been the best running blogger. But I have been busier than usual! I did not realize how difficult it would be to have a moment on the laptop around the holidays! This is the first time in several days that I have kicked my feet up on the coffee table, with the computer in my lap.

I promise a more legit update, but I can't do so today! Although I don't have work, I have a house to start cleaning and a doctor's appointment to attend. So a true update won't occur until tomorrow or Wednesday. Sorry!

Until that update comes, here are some pictures of what I have been up to over the last week!

Hope you all are having a great holiday!

Marathon Training: Week 3

We are just half way through December and I am already done with snow. In this last week, we have had 2 snow storms, both of which put a dent into my running plans. So my 3rd week of training was extremely sporadic!

5 Double

The treadmill, laptop, and I were friends for the majority of the week...

Nothing like a musical to get your workout going! RENT!
With the exception of Wednesday...

Maybe every driver thought I was crazy. I running in shorts in the middle of December, after all! It was a great run though! I took a new route on my lunch break and the hills were wild!!! In the end, I think I was just happy to be outside!!

Skipping on to Friday, I completed what I would like to call "The Drunk Mile." When you mix alcohol and Red Bull together, you can't contain the energy within me! I HAVE TO RUN! I don't recommend such a thing...well I do, just don't blame me if you get hurt...but I managed to finish the mile without falling off or severely injuring myself. Though, I did go straight to bed following that one! It was close to midnight (yes, I am old!).

The following morning, I was not able to get the long run in I originally planned for. It was snowing like mad and I was not going to risk going out again after getting my car stuck last Sunday. The roads ended up being clear the majority of the morning, however. It was not cold enough for the snow to stick. The 3-6 inches they were calling for, ended up being -1. I think I saw more snow disappear that morning.

Anyway, I did finish 8 mile inside, while belting out some songs from RENT, and that put me at my goal of 36 for the week! It wasn't how I wanted to do it, but it was done!!!

Today, I was able to get outside, but I had to stick to the roads. Everything that was not asphalt was a mud pool! I desperately wanted to go to the canal to run, but I thought up a better plan. I would run from my house to the canal and back.

The site of the trail made me thankful I opted for the road instead.

Until I hit this hill on my way back...

And once you took the turn at the top of the hill...

You kept on climbing! This is also the point my car got stuck last Sunday.

I finished the run, logging 9.16, when I only planned for 8 today. The extra mile may come in handy if weather gets bad again...or if I'm feeling lazy ;-)

This week's mileage goal is 38 miles with a long run of 15 miles. Maybe I will be able to pull off a few doubles with Peter as well because at this point, there is not a snowflake in this week's forecast. I hope to keep my week's mileage as planned!!

Do you pile on miles just in case weather would prevent you from getting a long run in?

Do you have any alternatives to your long run? Like a cross-training workout?

Do you like snow?

Marathon Training: Week 2

2 weeks down, 14 more to go!

As I mentioned before, week 2 went so much better than the first. I am finally gaining back speed after feeling sluggish for isome time.

3 Double
4 Double

On Sunday, I did 8 miles alone, with 2.5 miles of speed work nearing the end. Later that evening, I went with Peter to run another 3. We took it easy because not only were my feet hurting, but he was also getting stomach cramps. Our eating habits weren't ideal the night before. All those Thanksgiving leftovers will kick your butt!

I took my rest day early in the week and ran on Tuesday. We had an "Air Quality Warning" since there was no wind, but I decided to run anyway. I had no idea that the air quality would actually affect how I did! Every breath just tasted like stagnant pollution particles. It was not refreshing to breathe at all! But I powered through it and finished in my regular timeframe.

The warning continued through Wednesday, but I felt a lot better running in it. I did a road run on my lunch break and took to the hills in the neighborhood near our home. Thankfully, I am getting a lot better at hills since reintroducing them into my training in November.

On Thursday, it was actually in the 60s! So Peter and I grabbed our shorts, short-sleeved tops, and our new pairs of compression socks.

We did a 4 mile road run since that is the max mileage Peter is doing right now. He improved his time by nearly 3 minutes too!! His progress is very impressive. I just know he will be getting some great distances & times VERY soon!!!

On Saturday, I had my long run and double. I already wrote about the long run, but thought I would share with you how the double went.

Though it was cold, I would not have asked for the weather to be any different. It was perfect for both Peter and I. Also, my body felt surprisingly good even after running 12 miles just that morning. It was the first time a double didn't feel painful! I can only hope that my future doubles will follow suite!

Anyway, like all of our partner runs, I followed Peter's pace.

He was able to maintain a consistent 10 minute pace for each mile. The last one, we finished in about 9:30, putting the total run just under 40 minutes! That was a 5 minute improvement since our run together on Thursday!!! I was so proud of him and I have confidence he will burn through 5 miles in the next week or 2!

Anyway, today I have a slight fever...probably from running an hour in the snow and getting zero sleep the night before. That means a rest day for me! I'm hoping to be in tip top-shape for a treadmill run tomorrow! I have a speed run planned :o)

How was your last week of running? Tell me about your best and worst run!

Snow Running & The Little Kia Rio that Could...Barely

Greetings from the North Pole!

We were expecting snow in the north east, but not to this degree. As of 12:00am, the winter storm warning was for 1-3 inches. Now, we are up to 6 inches with some freezing rain mixed in. 

Anyway, at approximately 9am, there was not a single flake in the sky. That meant I was running! I quickly readied myself so I could get in my planned 7 miler on the C&O before things got bad. The ground was snow free when I started out, but within 2 miles, the trail had a dusting. Regardless, I continued forward because I did not believe that the roads were going to be a problem once I got back.

I made it out to the Dam, where the river was noticeably higher and more treacherous.

I didn't stick around for long. I finally caught site of the roads and they definitely had snow accumulating on them. I thought they would have had some heat left in them to prevent that from happening so soon, but I was wrong.

I headed back to Taylor's Landing as quickly as possible, finishing my 7 miler in a decent time for myself.

I didn't immediately head out like I should have. I just had to snap some photos.

The running trail
The parking lot/boat launch flooded out
Bridge to Taylor's Landing

After the photoshoot, I hopped in my Kia Rio and headed off. Unfortunately, I did not get far. To leave Taylor's landing, you have to drive up a steep hill. You never think it would ever be an issue...that is, until it snows. My car decided that halfway up, it was not going to go any further.

My tires were spinning and I was afraid that I would lose control. So I called Peter and asked him come to my rescue. Though, as I waited, I kept trying to make it up. I kept turning my front tires to create traction then put my car in drive. It would make it a few feet, then slip again. I would repeat the tire method and attempt driving again, only to move another few feet. Eventually, this got me over the hill.

I still had to take my time driving home. The roads were awful for my little car. Every turn and hill made my car feel like it would slip. So I kept it at a safe 20-30 mph in a 50. Sorry to all you AWD folks, but I was not risking my car or my life! But I obviously made it home safely.

Even with the road issues, I still enjoyed my snowy run! But I may be stuck indoors for the week. Bummer! Still, I am lucky that I have a dreadmill as my backup!!

Have a good day all!!!

Are you getting hit by this snowstorm? Did you run in it?

Are you as unfortunate as I am and get your car stuck in nearly every snowstorm? How do you get yourself out of those sticky situations?

Long Run Day & Doubles

Good afternoon, my dears!

It was a tad cold this morning, which was a far cry from the 60 degree weather Peter and I ran in on Thursday, but I manned up and headed out for a 12 miler. It was important to me to get this long run in before the predicted snow storm we are supposed to get tomorrow. Boo!

Anyway, I decided to switch up the scene and run on the C&O trail in Williamsport.

I started running the second my feet hit the ground. If I am going to ssubject myself to cold weather, I am going to try to heat up my body ASAP! It took about 4 miles to actually feel "warmed up" unfortunately. My pace was all jacked up. My legs did not feel as though they were moving fluently. Many times, I wondered if I should just turn around and call it a day.

I even considered blaming a small obstacle as a reason to turn back.

This always happens after a rainstorm in Williamsport!
Thankfully, I stuck to my original plan because by the time I did hit mile 4, I felt great. So I ran out to the Potomac Fish and Game Club (6 miles) and then turned back.

It just looks cold!
Just before I started working on speed at mile 9.5, I took a short break by the train tracks that pass over the canal. There's an interesting structure that is just off the trail that I have always wanted to climb. Unfortunately, the first step is too high for me to manage, so I just took pictures.

Upon resuming, I worked on alternating speeds until I reached the end.

Now, I am resting before run #2. Crazy, right? Maybe not! Ever since Peter has reached 3 miles, I have been joining him about 2 times a week. I like getting the additional miles in at an easy pace. But, I was wondering if this was more damaging than beneficial. Apparently, not!

Runner's World has an article that details the positives of running doubles and also informs of different "double" strategies. The first, which I have done many times in the past, is breaking up your normal daily mileage into 2 even distances. This strategy is used when your goal is to improve recovery. For example, a 6 mile day would be broken up into two 3 mile runs. The benefit?
"You minimize fatigue but get a nice even boost of all the good stuff described above twice in one day. For my athletes, we most often schedule recovery doubles like this the day after a hard day."
The second strategy assists in training adaption. They suggest to run your second round when you will be feeling fatigued.
"You can place a second shorter run of 3 to 6 miles the afternoon after a morning hard (or they also suggest a longer) workout. It's unlikely you'll be fully recovered from the morning workout, so you'll be doing the second run in a slightly pre-fatigued state."
The final strategy is doing the double in the morning BEFORE your real workout later in the day. This is the "prime" strategy.
"The short morning run would serve to prime the body by flushing out the system and manipulating the muscle tension so that you're in a better position physically to run the hard workout in the afternoon."
In my case, the "training adaption" strategy is what I have been sticking with. I normally attempt this on Saturday, Sunday, or both. It is sometimes difficult to get motivated to get out there. It is also difficult to run with sore feet. Though, once I am halfway through, I feel fine and I rarely feel super exhausted afterwards. I can only hope that this benefits my marathon training.

Anyway, I am off for a 4 miler with Peter! Wish me an easy one!

How did your long run go this week?

How long does it typically take you to get warmed up on a cold day?

Ever do doubles? What was your strategy and was your experience good or bad?

Marathon Training: Week 1

Last week started the long road of marathon training. I am doing 16 well-thought out weeks prior to my participation in the Rock n Roll USA Marathon in March. I want to ensure that I am beyond prepared for an official marathon.

Turkey Trot

My week started just last Sunday with a 9 mile run. My intention was to do it all at once, but I woke up not feeling it...whatever "it" is. Not the best way to start marathon training, if you ask me. I ended up breaking the run into 3 segments on the treadmill, each segment being 3 miles each. I managed to finish it, though at some points, I was not sure if I was motivated for another round.

Tuesday was not much different. I ran on the treadmill in 2 sessions: 3.1 and 1.9. Frustration possessed me because I was running so much slower than what I would have liked. I found it so difficult to speed up. My body was fighting it. I was almost sure that the Turkey Trot was going to be a complete failure for me. Thankfully, I was wrong. Though, I am still disappointed for having a slower than normal 5k race time. I keep thinking that I did better post-surgery.

Luckily, Saturday went a lot better! Friday's rest day was like restarting a computer. When your computer freezes up or acts funky, you restart it and suddenly, it is like everything works right again. Like my 10 mile run on the canal. I felt good enough to even include some speed work on the last 2.5 miles. I am determined to get back to my old times...and do even better!

That same day, I intended on running 3 miles with Peter, but he opted out for the day, so I ran about 3.5 miles in the neighborhood that evening alone. That session also went really well! I was so happy to see my miles in the low 9s, high 8s.

This week already seems to be more promising than last. I already did 11 miles yesterday and they went better than I expected. Hopefully this means that I just worked out all the kinks already and no more will not occur for the remainder of my training. Wouldn't that be lovely!!! A girl can dream!

Anyone in the process of marathon training?

How long do you prepare for a half marathon or marathon?

Do you break up your runs?
Professional Blog Designs by pipdig