Time Warp Tuesday: That Day He Proposed

So it was actually 2 years ago YESTERDAY that Peter proposed to me, but the blog entry came out on the 29th. Also, Peter and I are just days away from our 1 year anniversary, so I thought it was appropriate to take a trip back down memory lane.

That morning, I went for a 19 mile run just because....

There wasn't an official marathon planned out, but I thought I would train for one to see if I could handle it.
Everything was going better than expected. I was able to maintain a pace that was perfect for me (10:30) and every few miles, I  would evaluate how my body felt, then how I felt mentally. At mile 5, just a quarter of the way through, I felt amazing. At mile 7, about a third of the way through, I continued to feel strong. I was honestly surprised how great I felt and the miles were flying by! 

At the halfway point, my foot caught a tree root and I took quite a tumble.

Not only did I bust up my knee, but my hand got cut up as well when I tried to catch myself.  Luckily, Peter was able to meet up with me about 2 miles down the trail. I ran at about a 9 minute pace to get to him due to my adrenaline rush. He was able to patch me up, while I took the opportunity to I eat some of my Nature Valley bars and M&Ms. 

I was able to finish the remainder of the run without a problem and that probably had a lot to do with the thought of Chick-Fil-A when coming home.

After stretching, I went into the kitchen, where my lovely boyfriend had Chick-Fil-A for us. Nothing beats waffle fries after a long run. Or this... 

We are planning for a wedding in October 2014 and believe me, everything is already in the works, so prepare yourself for talks of weddings intertwined with running.

If you want to read the full entry, click here!

Since we are also coming up on our 1 year wedding anniversary, we are going to Gatlinburg, TN to celebrate. We have rented a cabin in the Smoky Mountains for the week to relax and enjoy the sites. We've already planned a trip to the local Oktoberfest and a mountain biking adventure. We leave on Saturday and I am super amped! Just a few more days to go!!! :)

I've Got 99 Problems and Turf Toe Makes 100

They don't tell you that crutches hurt your armpits. They don't tell you that even your wrists will be sore. They don't tell you that going up and down the stairs is a trial. They don't tell you how to carry something as simple as a glass of water to the living room. They don't tell you that going to the grocery store is a workout. They don't tell you that people will stare.

...and here I thought training for an ultra marathon was hard.

So for now, the diagnosis that the doctor has given me is turf toe, or an over-extension of your big toe joint.

I felt just fine after the 24 miler (foot-wise) and then when I went up the stairs...BOOM...pain! Done! I've been on crutches for 2 days with only 2 more to go as the doctor prescribed. But I will add additional days should my foot still hurt. I will wear these bad boys up until Tennessee...just not in Tennessee.

She said I will be off from running for 10 days, which I can handle. It still shouldn't stop me from competing in the JFK 50, which has been my biggest concern with the injuries I have been getting. Thankfully, it hasn't been anything that would put me out for weeks.

I just need to make it through a few more months and then I am taking an extended break from racing. I don't even think I am taking my next round in marathon training as seriously. I have been  training nonstop for nearly a year now. I need time off from any plan or schedule. Just a few more months...

For now, I will take this rest time seriously and enjoy it the best that I can. It's just me and the couch.

Have you ever used crutches?

Any of you ever had Turf Toe? What was your recovery like?

Ultra runners! Did 10 days take away from your fitness?

24 Thoughts From My 24 Mile Run

1. Since when is it dark at 6:30am?

2. Come on, foot! Loosen up!
3. You. Are. Relentless!

4. Ahh, thank you, foot! Let's start this run again!
5. Hello, Canal. It's just you and me for the next 18 miles.

6. Clif bar time! Nom nom nom!
7. Walking breaks? What walking breaks!
8. I guess the sun isn't coming out today.

9. This challenge was brought to you by the universe and God. They knew that you had the strength, willpower, determination to kick this 24 miler's ass!
10. Maybe I should take a walking break. Hello once again, Clif Bar.
11. A golden retriever and 2 cats walking among each other. No owner. Is this Homeward Bound?
12. Halfway there. Here comes the real fun!
13. Well, I was going to take a walking break here. Oh well!
14. 10 more miles to go! Right now would be a great time to take a walking break...or not.
15. 9 miles left! In the single digits now. Screw the walking break.
16. I am feeling really sick. No more Clif bars for me.

17. Maybe I should throw up. I need to find a place that a random biker won't find me.
18. That was a waste. I guess I had nothing to throw up after all. I still feel like hell.
19. At least this stomach ache is distracting me from my exhaustion and pain.
20. My stomach doesn't even like liquids right now. This sucks. Better let Peter know I am running behind schedule.
21. Screw it. I am walking every mile I hit. So...shoe selfie!!!

22. This sucks so bad!
23. Thank God I only have a mile left...and there's a hill I can use as an excuse to walk!
24. There's Peter! There's grass. *lays in grass* It. Is. OVER!

Back to Back Long Runs

I had a pretty fulfilling running weekend. I was a bit anxious that it would not go well because of my foot issues, but thankfully, the anti-inflammatories helped me get through all the miles. I had back to back long runs as that is the ultra training way. Shew.

On Saturday, I had 18 miles. I started before 6:30, so I was really in for a treat: A beautiful sunrise.

I originally planned to run from my house to the canal and back again, but I decided that this was boring. Instead, I ran most of those 18 miles on the road. It was a gorgeous day and I did not want to limit that beauty to the canal.

I did end up running a few miles on the canal about halfway into my run.

I unknowingly turned up the pace for those 3 miles. I went from running 10-11 minute miles (I was walking all hills) to a 8:45-9:00 minute pace. Even when I tried to slow down, I ended up speeding up. The logic was not there.

After about 3 miles on the canal, I returned to the roads. That's when I encountered my new running partner.

I thought it was very fitting that I saw him when I did. It reminded me of the Tortoise and the Hare. It would be these last 5 miles I would need to focus less on pace and more on getting to the finish. Take your time! Conserve energy!

My left thigh started to burn at this point in the run. I was not used to logging high miles on the road. So I made sure that no matter how measly the hills looked, I was still walking them.

Trust me...not a measly hill. You can't see it because of the house and trees.

When I got to mile 17, however, running logic once again disappeared. There was a very gradual hill in a nearby neighborhood. Since I was less than a mile away from home, I figured why not keep running it. Strangely enough, I was running faster up the hill than I was on the flat. In order to actually slow down, I had to walk it.

I finished the entire 18 in under 3 hours. It was no 24 miler, but it sure depleted a good bit of energy. I also got sore pretty quickly after.

The next day, I had a 10 miler on the schedule. I was willing to tone it down to 8 because I was so sore and achy. Eight was the mileage Peter was looking to get in anyway and I figured I wouldn't miss those 2 miles anyway.

We went to the canal and we were immediately greeted with a kickin' breeze. It was SO NICE. The temps were down, it wasn't humid, and the views were to die for.

Suddenly, I was really looking forward to this run, but I still had worry about my foot. I was almost sure it was going to ruin this perfect day.

The first mile was pretty tough. My foot felt really tight so we had to stop to shake it out.  I felt my blood immediately circulate to that area and it seemed the troubles subsided after that. Unfortunately, it seemed as though the pain passed from me on to Peter. He started getting stomach cramps that affected his pace.

I ended up running ahead of Peter as a result. I would go about a quarter to a half mile in front and then circle back to meet up and run with him again.

We did stop at the dam together and took a short break.

After, I resumed my circling. I ended up with 10.35 miles by the time we were done the 8 mile course! How's that for going above and beyond of my day's expectations?

I wish Peter's run did go better for him though. We have all been there and have experienced a bad run. I have had a string of them over the past several weeks (darn foot). It was good that I finally got a good one in.

Today, I am taking some rest and may do so again tomorrow. Though the doc said I am allowed to run on my foot, it really sucks. I just want it to get better sooner than later. I do have a 24 miler this weekend that I want to be pain-free for!

Anyway, I hope you all had a great weekend and a fabulous Monday!

Tell me about your runs this weekend? What was your mileage? How was the weather? Where did you go?

What percentage of good runs do you have to bad runs? Recently, I am about 50/50 :(

What is your definition of perfect running weather? 40-60 degree temps. A mild breeze. Sunny. A few clouds are fine.

Silent Sunday: Best Weather Ever!!

Yes, another silent post. If I am being completely honest, it is because I am just too exhausted to right more than a few sentences. :o)

Race Recap: 2015 Mad Anthony Half Marathon

Before I hit the recap, it may make more sense to explain the days leading up to the race.

First, let's rewind back to Saturday's 24 miler. Although I finished and felt great about what I had accomplished, I experienced some intense pain in my left foot afterwards. Unfortunately, this pain is not a stranger to me. This is a reoccurring injury that I have had twice in the past. I self-diagnoised it as Sesamoiditis before, but because I was training for an ultra this time around, I had to be 100% certain.

I met with the sports doc on Friday. She x-rayed my foot and it came back to show there was nothing serious. She confirmed my self-diagnosis and suggested I either get cortisone shots to alleviate pain or get the sesamoids removed in the future. I was also given the go-ahead to continue running. Yay!

The half was the next morning and I was more worried/nervous than ever before. I had little to no training that entire week. I tried to think of it as a taper, but I still didn't know if I should race it or just hang back and enjoy the sites.

The next morning I popped a few anti-inflammatories. It definitely seemed to help mask the pain by the time we arrived to Waynesboro that morning. Still, I was not sure how the foot would feel the second I took my first running step.

I lined up with my friend Carly at the start. She and I finished in the top of our age group last year (I was in first, she was in second).

We joked about maintaining our spots in our age group, but I was confident Carly had me this year. Not because of the foot though. I truly believe she is a stronger runner than me. She gets sub-4 marathons and I have yet to achieve that.

Peter was also competing himself. He was racing off of a deferred entry from last year and because he has already ran one half, I knew that he was going to do even better this time!

When the race began, I hung behind Carly. I wasn't trying to stay close to her to try to beat her at the end. I was more using her as my pacer. I wanted to focus less on my time since I was worried about my foot, which thankfully was not giving me grief.

I stayed with her for the first 4 miles, but when we arrived to what they call "The Bridge to Nowhere," I lost her. 

I hate the terrain in this section. Because gravel and potholes are all over, you have to really focus on your footing. 

I went to about a 9:30 pace and Carly was barely in my site. I had a feeling I would not be seeing her again.

Once making it back to the main road, I regained some of my speed. I settled into a good rhythm and let my mind wander. I mostly thought of Peter and how he was doing. I wondered if he hated the "Bridge to Nowhere" like I did and if he would run the entire hill at mile 6 .

I did with much groaning, but still smiled at the crest.

What's great about the Mad Anthony is that once you are halfway through, the miles FLY. I find the course is relatively flat or you seem to be going downhill. It's easy to regain any energy that may have been lost from the mile 6 hill.

I found myself smiling or even joking with the volunteers.  Just before hitting the known uphill at mile 11, I sarcastically asked a volunteer if it's all downhill from here. I  am still not sure if they thought I was serious. 

Just as I asked about it being downhill...
When I hit this particular hill, I push through despite my exhaustion. At this point of the race, you are less than 2 miles away from the finish and this is the last obstacle. If you can stay strong, then you are good till the end.

I crossed the finish line in 1:53.

As soon as I crossed, I wasted no time in turning back and to look for Peter. I wanted to make it a point to see him finish. He was aiming to finish faster than his pub run time (2:24), but then again, we never know how things will go on race day so I was not certain how long I was going to wait.

It wasn't long though! Around 2:10, I saw Peter at the top of the hill that led runners towards the finish line. My jaw about dropped because I had no idea he would be arriving 14 minutes faster than his last time.

I told him to sprint.

His exact finish time was 2:10:59!!! I was so happy for him!

We both seemed to have excellent races and were very proud of ourselves.

Hell, I even got an age group award on a bum foot! I came in second while Carly took her rightful position in first!

Like every year, I give CFAR's Mad Anthony Half Marathon high marks. This was my 3rd year doing it and I am sure I will be back for more in the future. The course is great because not only is it a challenge, but the scenery is so refreshing! It really helps the miles cruise by! The course support and volunteers are also extremely friendly and motivating! You can't find too many better than this when it comes to friendly people.

Anyway, I feel like this recap has gone a lot longer than expected! I even took some things out to keep it down on word count! I hope it wasn't too much though! Definitely worth writing about regardless :)

Have you ever been diagnosed with sesamoid issues? How did you overcome it?

Have you ever raced on an injury? How did you get through it? Did you do well?

What race have done that had amazing volunteers? 
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