Thursday, July 22, 2010

My first TRI

Well I did it, I finished my very first Triathlon this past Sunday and I must say it was harder than I thought. However I can’t wait to do it again.

The morning of the Tri, by brother-in-law went with me to help me set up because I was way too nervous to go alone. He helped me load up the car and did not flip out when we had to turn around and go back to the house when I forgot my goggles. He was really great and I was so thankful that he went with me.

Once we got to the race I actually ran in to some friends from work and they gave me some pointers and tried to calm my nerves. I really just wanted to get started so I could stop thinking about it. When the time came we headed off to the beach and I was glad to see that they had 3 huge buoys marking the swim. Since I had to leave my glasses back in transition it was nice that these buoys were big enough that there was no way I could miss them. We watched as each wave took off and I decided that I would defiantly start in the back of my wave to avoid the madness at the front.

When it was time for my wave to line up I found a good place in the back and quickly learned that all the girls in the back with me were first timers too. When the gun went off I walked in the water and let the madness go before me. When I finally started swimming I realized that the pool is very different than Open Ocean and I started to freak out a little every time I put my face in the water. You see with everyone churning up the water you could not see a thing, and then the salt water would splash in your face and the taste and feel of it is totally different than the pool. Even tough I started to freak out there was no way I was quitting so I decided to just swim it with my head out of the water. I knew this would slow me down but at least I could still do it. All in all I was very happy with my swim time; I ended up finishing the swim in 10:21 which was still a PR for me.

The transition between the swim and bike was long. We had to run all the way up the beach into the parking lot and over to the transition area. Once I got out of the water I started running up the beach and then realized that I must have pushed harder than I thought on the swim since my heart was racing so much I was having a hard time catching my breath (this could also have been a side effect of the whole freak out thing), so I ended up walking a bit up the beach so I could catch my breath and calm down. The total transition time ended up taking me over 6:47 and really just took way to long. This I am sure if from being a newbie and just not really knowing what I was doing.

Once on the bike I felt good. I borrowed my sister’s mountain bike for the race and although she is much taller than I am it ended up working fine, I just had to really lean it down to get on and off of it but that was no big deal. The morning of the Tri there was a pretty good wind blowing and the bike section of the race was and out and back that took us over a HUGE bridge and then you turn right around and go back over the bridge. On the way out the wind was to our back, so I was making pretty good time with out working too hard. Once I got down the bridge and turned around I got hit by that wind and thought OH CRAP! I tried to pick up the speed so I could get as far up that hill as possible but it really did not help much. The wind was blowing so bad that all you could hear was the wind, I just kept thinking of my friend Tara who was out running in a 24 hour race and knew what ever she was feeling was much worse than my stupid little hill and wind situation so I just kept peddling along. I really can not express the total utter relief I felt when I finally made it to the top of that bridge and knew that the hardest part of the bike was now over, my smile must have been huge. When I turned the final corner to get back to the Transition area I saw my family. They all came out to cheer me on and it really meant so much to me. Even my little 3yr old daughter was there holding up a sign, and the smile she shot me really made my whole day. My bike time was not the best but it was better than my worst I finished the bike in 50 min.

The transition between the bike and the run went much faster than the first one and I was in and out in 1:57 which I am very pleased with.

Going into this I knew the run was going to be my weakest point. Not only because it was the last thing but since my leg started to bother me again, I never even got up to running 3 miles before this race. My longest run in several months was 2.5 miles on the treadmill. So although I was disappointed when I had to stop and walk I was not really that surprised. My goal was to finish and I did so should not be upset about my run time but I am a runner and to say that I am disappointed would be an understatement. My time for the run was 40:30 my worst time ever since I started running a couple years ago. I know I was not ready for the run section and could rattle off a ton of excuses for my time but really it just comes down to I was not ready for it and I knew that going in.

So my final time for the race was 1:50:23 which was 10min faster than I was hoping for. I am pleased with my final time and think I did pretty well for a first timer and being 2 months pregnant. I am however very disappointed that I can not do another one till after this pregnancy. I know I can do better and want to get out there and do it again. But I guess this will be a great goal for after I have this baby. I have already told my husband that we need to look into getting me a Tri bike because I am going to do this again.

My big comeback plan for after this baby is to do a couple where the swim is in a pool, then switch to a lake. Once I am feeling more comfortable with a lake swim I want to give the ocean a try again. I don’t like that I was so freaked out and will not give up until I can do an ocean swim and feel completely comfortable and relaxed.


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Prerace jitters or lack of training?

My very first Triathlon is just a few days away and I have to say I am getting nervous. I am starting to wonder why I get myself into these things and if I am just nuts. I feel like I could have used a few more weeks of training. As a matter of fact I have not done much training in the last couple of weeks at all.

You see my husband was activated and is down helping with the oil spill so he has been gone, which cuts down on my workout time. Then I planned a trip to drive down to see him and then visit my family in Florida (which is where the triathlon is) so I had to get ready for that and then drive the 2000 miles with my toddler, dog, and two cats. I also had my daughters third birthday that we went out of town for in this time frame. And then I found out that I am pregnant and with it being the first trimester I have been so tired that a few times I actually opted for a nap instead of a swim or run.

I know sounds like a lot of excuses right. I knew all this was coming up but really thought I would still have the time to get my training in. I was wrong. Last week I did nothing but pack, work, plan, and clean. No swimming, biking, or running at all. Now with just a few days till the race I am starting to wonder if I am really ready for this. I know each thing individually I can do but with them all thrown in together I am not as confidant anymore. And the last run I did the pain in my leg came back, so that has me very worried. I am going to try for one last run tonight then no running till the race because I am too worried about reinjuring the stress fracture again.

I know all my nerves could just be pre race jitters but then again I am not too confidant in my training this time around so not sure if that is all it is. To be honest I am almost feeling like not doing the race at all but feel like that would be quitting and I am not a quitter. I guess I signed up for this thing so I am going to give it my best and hope that is good enough. I just hope I do not embarrass myself in the process.

How do you all deal with prerace nerves when you are not totally confidant in your training?


Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Barefoot Running Book - Review

The Barefoot Running Book

By: Jason Robillard

As you all know by now after suffering another running related injury I finally decided to go barefoot. I have been back to running for a couple of months now and was ordered by my doctor to take it VERY slow. So this gave me the perfect opportunity to go all out barefoot.

I was contacted around the same time by Jason to see if I would be interested in reviewing his new Barefoot Running Book. I cannot even tell you how excited I was to get it and absorb all the information Jason could share. And man does he have a lot of useful information in this book.

By the time I got Jason’s book I had already started my barefoot journey, but still found the beginning of the book very helpful with all of his drills. You see Jason takes a do it slow and well kind of approach to bare footing it. He tells you how to get your feet ready to go totally shoe less and gives you drills to practice being barefoot. No matter what your barefoot level is you can benefit from doing his drills.

The book is broken down to sections for the beginner, intermediate, and advanced barefoot runner. For the beginner you will learn how to start going barefooted and what to expect as far as blisters go. Jason also gives you several drills to do so you can get your feet conditioned and use to sensing what is under them. The advanced section is for after you are able to run about 2 miles without discomfort during and after the run. This section talks about varied terrain, hills, and speed training. Jason also gives you more drills to practice these things and get your foot eye coordination working to peek level. For the advanced level you will learn about racing and he gives you ideas of what to do with that timing chip that goes on the shoes you left at home. He also talks about trail running and extreme weather.

I have to say Jason has covered it all. If you are thinking about going barefoot you really must get this book. He will walk you through every step to get you barefoot and running as soon as possible. This book has really helped me in my barefoot journey and will continue to help me as my feet get stronger and I can do more of Jason’s drills.

So broken down this book is a must have for anyone who wants to go barefoot. No matter what your level you will find useful information in this book. And Jason’s humor makes it a fun easy read. For those of you who are worried about the looks and comments you will get from going bare there is even a chapter to cover that. So this book is truly your one stop barefoot running shop.

Note: Even though I was sent me this book to review, the review is my opinion and I was not paid in any way to write this. I truly enjoyed this book and highly recommend it


Friday, June 25, 2010

Decided to TRI

Since my injury, I have had to do a lot more biking and swimming to keep my fitness level up. And now that I can finally run again I have still been keeping up with the bike and swimming so I finally decided to go for a Triathlon.

I have always wanted to do a TRI but fear the swim. I am not a strong swimmer and have never had any professional lessons. So all I have been doing to train is jump into my pool most afternoons and try to swim as much as I can. I am for the first time in my life feeling a little confidant in my swimming. Now I am not fast and I don’t think I even look like a real swimmer, but I am able to swim a couple hundred yards no problem.

I have been planning a trip down to Miami, Florida to visit my family for a couple weeks and decided that I will do my TRI there. I made this decision for a couple reasons, the first being that it is FLAT. No hills for the bike or run which is a huge plus. The second reason is because I am so nervous about this having a big cheering crowd for just me will be helpful and I have a lot of family and friend there to cheer me on.

So now I have 2 more weeks to train before I leave for Miami, then I will have one week there before the big race. Holy Moly that is not a lot of time. I have never done an open water swim and this Tri starts in the ocean, so I guess this is a great way to break me in right? It was suggested that when I get down there I should go for a swim in the ocean and see how it is, but to tell you the truth I think it will scare me even more. If I just wait till race day, I will be nervous anyway and then really have no choice but to do it. Maybe not the best plan but the best plan for me I think.

These next couple of weeks are going to be filled with a TON of training, I need to swim or bike 6 days a week and run every other day (still recovering so can’t push it). And then on race day I will just have to hope that it was enough. This is a Sprint Tri so it is a ¼ mile swim, 10mile bike, and a 3.1 mile run.

I would love to hear any advice you have for my first TRI. What gear should I bring? What do you tell yourself when you feel like running back to the car instead of in to the ocean for the swim? How do you handle the first time you get kicked in the face during the swim? What fuel do you bring? It is going to be hot so is a wearing a camel pack with water okay for the bike or too much?

Please share your knowledge, I know nothing and need all the help I can get… YIKES am I really doing this?


Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Running = Happy Mommy

It amazes me how even a little bit of running can make me feel great. I have finally made it to over a mile today 1.2 miles to be exact and on concrete too (which my doctor strictly forbade me from). The doc said it was too hard of a surface for my legs, but I am hoping the barefoot running will compensate for that (you know the built in shock absorbers in my feet/legs). I am getting sick of the treadmill and my feet need more of a workout on some other surfaces too so every other run I will try and get outside.

So far my leg is doing fine; to be completely honest I am aware of the spot that was hurting before. But only the day of my runs then it goes away, still not sure what it is but I am rolling with it for now unless it starts to hurt more.

The barefoot running is going great, I am reading “The barefoot running book” by Jason Robillard and following his advice (a book review will come soon). I was surprised today that my feet did not hurt and did not get tender the entire run. This tells me that I am not only on track with building my mileage up but my feet are adapting well too.

I have also decided to start swimming this week, and guess what that is going great too. I am finding the breathing to be the hardest part but find that every day I am getting better.

One other major thing going on right now is that my fellow running mom Anna Stein has brought me on as a partner on some websites. I always knew I loved doing graphics but never realized how much I really loved web design till now. We have created one site totally together and now we are working on a total site makeover on her site. Thanks to Anna I have decided that this is what I want to be doing. I find that I can spend the whole day working on the websites and never feel like I am working at all. Of course my family is getting a little annoyed with me for being on the computer too much so I need to find the right balance, but at 33 years old I have finally figured out what I want to do for a career.

I just find it so amazing that when I could not run I felt sad and depressed. I fought more with my family and was just stressed out all the time. Now that I can run even a little I am so much happier and my life feels like it is coming together. I believe that if everyone in the world ran that the world would be a happier place, I know my house is when I run.


Monday, June 7, 2010

Return to Running

Last week I finally got the results of the MRI on my leg. The doc said that it did not show a stress fracture but it might have missed it. He also thinks that it could be that my shin was stressed but not quite a fracture yet or that I just have very bad shin splints. Needless to say we still do not know what is really wrong with my leg.

He ended up giving me the option of starting to run again and see how it feels or to do a bone scan. I opted for the running. I am so sick of waiting and just want to get out there already. However when I made this choice I did not realize the return to running plan he was going to give me consisted of more time not running than actually running. Okay I knew I would have to build slowly but I just want to run so bad that I thought I could do a couple miles at a time at least.

Well my new running plan consists of starting out with ½ a mile every other day then I can build ¼ mile at a time. If I feel any pain I have to stop right away and wait a day then try again if I still have pain then I go in for the bone scan.

So far I have done 2 half mile runs and feel like it is such a tease. Just when I start to really get into it I have to stop. At the same time I am so scared of hurting myself again that I am for the first time in my running history following the plan and not pushing it. At this point I truly feel that it is just not worth more time off to get in a little extra mileage, so it is baby steps for now.

The one good thing out of all this is that because I have no choice but to build so slowly I am going totally barefoot now. The low mileage is no issue for my bare feet and I am willing to guess since I am building at this slow pace that my feet will adjust to my mileage at the same time. I am excited about going shoe free and with my history of pushing things till I am hurt I think this is probably the best way to break myself in to my new life as a barefoot runner. After all I have no choice but to go slow and build the mileage at a nice easy pace.

So I guess this last injury has finally taught me patients, well maybe not but it gave me no other choice but to practice it for now anyway. A half mile today a marathon tomorrow… well maybe next year.


Sunday, May 16, 2010

Rick's Barefoot Running Clinic

Yesterday was Barefoot Ricks first barefoot running clinic here in Kansas City. I was so excited when I heard he was doing this. I mean what perfect timing for me since I have just taken the leap to barefootedness.

I arrived at the park where the clinic was taking place and as I drove around I started to look around at all the people and check out their feet. I would pass by groups of people and think; no they have shoes not where I want to be. Then I spotted a few people with sandals and VFF’s and I knew this was the group so I parked and got out of the car. Rick had not arrived yet and more people kept showing up (I guess they all knew us from our now bare feet). We all started to chat and discuss barefoot running. There were a couple of people there that have been barefoot runners for some time now and so us newbie’s started to bombard them with all our questions.

When Rick arrived we moved to a sheltered picnic area to try and stay a little dry. Rick first had us go around and introduce ourselves and give a little running background. In this group there were runners who have been running there entire lives and then runners who have been running for only about a year. Running is the kind of sport where no matter how long you have been doing it; you are part of the running family as soon as you start. As we were talking and telling our stories more people were still showing up. One of the people that showed up was Barefoot Josh. Josh is not only a barefoot runner but a tail nerd also (this is the local trail running group I am always popping in on for their beginner runs and then totally get left in the dust, hey I am slow and even slower on the trails). Josh has been running barefoot on the trails, something I thought was not possible. Josh said he was planning on run two trail races this year barefoot but that he was not going to race them. Trying to race on the trails barefoot would surly leave you with a broken toe or worse. This is why they need a barefoot running division in races now.

After all the introductions Rick and a couple more experienced barefoot runners and they showed us proper form during a short run. I will attempt to describe the proper form here for you. Start by standing with your feet flat on the group underneath your body, and then bend your knees slightly. Now slowly let your body fall forward while moving your feet forward. You want to push your legs using your buttocks. When landing on your feet you want to have a center foot strike. (I thought it should be a ball strike but I was wrong). This helps to absorb the impact when your foot hits the ground.

Now if you are doing it correctly there are a few things that should happen. First you will notice that you are not bouncing up and down like you do when running in shoes. You will also notice that you really feel it in your calves. And you should notice that you are not making much noise.

Once we all learned proper form we had more questions then we went on a group barefoot run. We stared with a half mile loop then we went off into the woods on a muddy trail. I have to say that running in the mud was my favorite. It was so cool to feel it squish in between my toes. Also since I am still new to this my feet start to hurt after a while running and the mud soothed them and made them feel fresh, until I got back on the pavement that is. I ended up running about 2.5 miles before I had to stop. My feet are just not ready for a longer distance yet. I had such a great time and met some awesome people I truly cannot wait to do this again. Rick said that he was going to try and do this once a month till the bad winter weather arrives and I can’t wait till the next one.

Now the bad news, it looks like my stress fracture has not healed. I guess I should have taken more time off from running. After my last run I started to feel that pain in my right shin again. I decided not run for a few days and see how it felt at this barefoot clinic. During the run I did start to hurt again, I know I should have stopped running but I also knew that it meant this was going to be my last run for awhile so I just ignored it and enjoyed my run (bad yes but totally worth it). I will go to the doctor this week and find out how bad it is and how long I have to not run this time. I am really sad about this, I hate not running and now that I have found barefoot running I really just want to keep going. I guess if it is as bad as I think it is I can still continue with some barefoot walking in the hopes of breaking my feet in so that when I finally can run again my feet will be ready.

Note:  All the pictures above were taken by Barefoot Rick, I forgot my camera so I hope it was okay to use these.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Holy Blisters Batman

I was told that blisters are a part of the beginnings of barefoot running, but oh man I had no idea. Running with shoes I would get blisters on every run over 4 miles, so I thought no big deal I am use to blisters. Well let me tell you, the blisters I was getting with my shoes just do not compare to the blisters I am getting without shoes.

Yesterday I ran two whole miles barefoot and it felt great. After about a mile I could feel some hot spots on my feet but just ignored them because it felt so great to just be running. After I finally stopped running and got to my car I realized that my feet hurt worse than usual. I checked my feet out and found a huge blood blister starting on the bottom of my right foot. I then came home and after getting cleaned up started to do some more reading on beginning barefoot running. I found that once again I am pushing too hard to fast. Blisters are normal as my feet get use to feeling the ground again, but blood blisters are from pushing too much.

So here I sit with feet that hurt to walk on them much less run, hoping that they heal up quick so that I can get out there and run some more. However I think for a few weeks I will try and run with and without shoes. You see I really want to run and just going out to do a mile or two is not enough, but my poor feet are not ready for more so the only solution is to throw in some miles with shoes on. I am seriously debating whether or not I should continue to run in my heavy stability shoes or if I should bite the bullet and get a pair of VFF’s. If any of you have an opinion on this I would greatly appreciate your advice.


Monday, May 10, 2010

My First Barefoot Run

After five long weeks of no running I finally broke down and ran on Friday. I was supposed to be resting my leg (because of the stress fracture in my shin) for 6 weeks but just could not hold out any longer. I know I am bad, but the urge to run was just too overwhelming and after all my barefoot walks I really wanted to see how I did with a run.

So Friday morning while sitting at my computer working the overwhelming urge to run came over me and I figured what the heck and ran upstairs and changed. Then I grabbed my doggie and drove to the park in town.

It was not a great day to be running, it was overcast and chilly. A storm was coming in so the wind was gusting pretty well too, but on the drive over none of this mattered the excitement that I was actually going to run took me completely over. When I arrived at the park I found it to be deserted, I guess I was the only one excited to be out in such bad weather today. That was fine by me, I got out of the car stretched a little then hooked Prada (my doggie) up to her leach around my waist and started to run. I had decided on my way over that I would do my first mile with shoes. The only reason I did this was so that I could run more. It will take some time before my feet are ready to run several miles with no shoes and I wanted to get in a couple miles today so I figured the best thing to do was start with shoes. Even though my feet were covered in my old stability running shoes, I did run with the same foot strike I have been practicing for my barefoot runs. This actually made me a little faster which was a surprise since I had not run in 5 long weeks.

The park I ran at is a ½ mile loop so I ran around twice then went back to the car to remove my shoes. Once they were off, I took off again and found that it actually felt good to be bare footed and running. My stride felt good, my feet were landing lightly on the ground and I had a huge smile on my face. After the first loop around I did notice the same hot spots on my feet that I was getting during my walks. This did not discourage me at all instead it just made me feel more confident that my strike was correct (see the different foot strike on the right). During the run I did feel my calves tighten up; I have heard that with the different foot strike that it works the calves differently and they will have to get use to it, so I just kept pushing along.

After my barefoot mile was over I felt that I could have kept going, however since I did have a stress fracture I figured that I should not push and that after five weeks off two miles was a good test run. My shins felt fine the entire run so I am confident that they are healed and plan to continue my running. The only thing that felt bad after this run were my calves, they were pretty sore for a couple of days but like anything new I am sure they will get stronger the more I run.

This Saturday Barefoot Rick is holding a barefoot running clinic here in KC and I plan on attending. He is going to talk about barefoot running and check out your gait if you are interested. After he tells us all he knows and answers all our questions we will do a group barefoot run. I am so excited about this, not only will I get to see how I am doing and ask a ton of questions but I will get to meet some local barefoot runners too. Don’t worry; I will let you all know how it goes and what I learn.


Monday, May 3, 2010

Biking and Barefoot Walking

For the last 4 weeks I have been a good girl and have not gone running. However I am not one to just sit around and feel sorry for myself (okay I did do that for maybe a week) so I decided that since I cannot run I would try and take up biking again. Before I had my daughter, back when I was living in the land of endless summer (Miami, Florida) I would pack up my bike and go to Shark Valley every weekend. Shark Valley is a 15 mile paved loop in the Everglades where many people go for a nice ride and to check out the wildlife. I would usually pack a lunch and a good book and have a little picnic while I was out there too.

Since having my daughter, I have not really been on the bike much. I have taken her out to Shark Valley once before we moved (Had to see it one more time). And then in the last couple weeks I have taken her out on a couple rides with me. I am always nervous when I have her on the bike with me; I tend to ride really slow and am over cautious so it is not really a workout at all. But it has been nice to get back on the bike nonetheless.

Most of my biking in these past few weeks has been at the gym. You see I live in the land of HUGE HILLS. And I am very intimated by these hills, so I decided to ride at the gym. However after several weeks stuck inside at the gym it was time to move outside and give it a try. So yesterday I took off for a 12 mile ride. WOW, those hills really did hurt. I thought I was doing hills on the bike at the gym, well I have to say it did not compare to the real thing. My legs and tushy hurt so bad it was insane. I have never hurt so much after a bike ride in my life. When the ride was finally over and I got off the bike I was walking bowlegged. And then when I got home and had to climb the stairs to take a shower that first step was greeted with a pain wrenched howl as I attempted to ascend those steps. After several hours though the pain started to fade and I decided that the bike in the gym is just not cutting it so I must get out and ride more often. I also am thinking that if I keep this up after I can run again that I will have to invest in an actual road bike in the hopes that it will actually make it easier. We will see.

In addition to the biking I have started barefoot walking in the hopes that it will help my feet adjust faster when I can run. For those of you who thought I was joking in my last post let me assure you that I was not. I really think the barefoot running is my answer to running injury free, and I totally plan to give it a shot. I have been out three times so far each time for a 2 mile walk. I now have blisters on both feet and think that I am well on my way to getting calluses in all the right places. I am also trying to vary the services that I am walking on. I am switching back and forth from asphalt and concrete as those will most likely be the two services that I will be running the most.

My first two mile barefoot walk I took my daughter and she was very concerned that I had lost my shoes. Pretty much the whole two miles she was on the search for mommies shoes. Her excitement when I finally found them back at the car was a little amusing to say the least.

My second walk went really well and I found the concrete surface to be a lot easier on my feet. Although I sill came away with a blister my feet were not sore at all from this walk. The third walk however was back on the asphalt and my feet hurt the whole way this time. I also ended up with blisters on both feet after this one. I am still very optimistic and feel that I will be thankful for these walks once I start running barefoot.

So that is pretty much what I have been up to these past few weeks of not running. I have to say that this time around being injured I have kept the most active and although I truly miss running it has not affected me as bad. I think having the biking and walking to distract and keep me busy has really helped me not feel so sad about not running. I highly recommend starting a good cross training routine when out on an injury; this has helped me really get through this.

What keeps you from going crazy when you are out with an injury?


Friday, April 23, 2010

Totally Inspired

My third week of not running is coming to an end and I must say it has been hard. I have really tired to not complain and have even been happy and encouraging to all my friends that have told me about their awesome runs. I have been impressed and in awe of my friends who have run their first ultra, adventure race, and even Boston. All through it I have had the fear that I will never be able to do any of those things because every time I get my pace up or my distance up I get hurt. I have been feeling like I must just be a recreational runner who can only go out and do a couple miles a week and then sit on the couch and watch as everyone else gets to push themselves to see what they can do. Needless to say I have been miserable.

Then the most amazing thing happened. I read this post by one of my favorite bloggers Barefoot Angie Bee. I truly believe that life gives you what you need but sometimes we are just not ready for it, this time it hit me over the head with a brick. I have heard about barefoot running (I mean come on who hasn’t by now right) I even read the book “Born to Run”. When I gave it a shot for a one mile run on the treadmill my shins protested greatly, so I said this is not for me and went on my never ending shoe hunt (to which I still have not found a pair of shoes that does not hurt yet). After reading Angie’s post and chatting with her a little, I truly think that this barefoot thing might just be what I need. When I tried it, I already had bad shin splints so that could be why it hurt so badly. And this time I will be coming off of a 6week break so I am feeling very optimistic about it right now.

Angie suggested that I start walking around barefoot to get my feet use to it since I still have three weeks off. Then I will start off very slowly and increase my barefoot mileage a little at a time. Since I live on a dirt/rocky country road I will drive in to town and run on the track to start (I wonder if I could bring my dog with me on the track, anyone know?) I am feeling very optimistic and excited by the chance that this could be my answer to running. You see I love to run and not running just makes me sad and miserable. Angie I am so thankful to you for your support and advice, you have given me hope.


Friday, April 9, 2010

It’s A Stress Fracture

After my 8mile run Saturday my shins hurt pretty badly. The course I ran this week was pretty hilly and I just thought that was the reason my shins seemed to be getting worse again. On Sunday when the pain was not going away and my right shin hurt with any movement of the leg I took a closer look and saw that there was one very distinct spot where there was pain and swelling. I have come to the realization that I have upgraded my Shin Splint status to a Stress Fracture.

This week I talked to several runners and got some pretty awesome advice, and I have decided not to go to the doctor. I know that the doctor will just tell me not to run and that it will heal on its own. So that is my plan, no running for 6 very loooooooong weeks. Although I am very upset about this, I know that I am the cause of this. Once again I pushed too hard and hurt myself. One day I may learn patience but so far that word has not made it into my mental vocabulary.

I am aware that I will go absolutely insane if I sit around for 6 weeks and do nothing. So came up with a new plan, which is to hit the gym every morning after taking my daughter to daycare and do some upper body weight training and then jump on the bike. I am still too embarrassed to try swimming in front of people; I tent to flop around more like a dyeing fish than an athlete. So I will wait till the weather gets warmer and we can uncover our pool so I can practice before I try it at the gym. Since swimming and biking are my only two options for cross training right now, the bike will just have to do.

On a side note, I got my new Spira shoes this week. What a way to celebrate not running by getting a new pair of running shoes right. Talk about being crushed when the mail man dropped them off. I have such a hard time finding shoes that fit and so am worried that by the time I can actually run again that I will miss the opportunity to return these that I took them for a 1mile run last night while my daughter was in swim lessons. They felt pretty good, but my leg started to hurt so I stopped and got on the bike instead. I know that 1 mile is not enough distance to really try these shoes out and so I wonder if I take them out for a two mile run next week how bad that might be for my leg. The thought has also occurred to me that I am dragging this out so that I can still get some running done. Yes I am addicted and know that not running really sucks and the thought of it, well let’s just say I don’t like to think about not running. So here I am a runner that can’t run. I guess I will have to change the name of the blog to Midwest Biking Mom.

How do you all get through the weeks of no running when you are faced with an injury that requires you give it up for a while?


Friday, April 2, 2010

My Week in Training & Boob Day

After my admission last week about being a total couch potato, and totally falling out of my workout routine. I decided to really get back into things this week. So first thing Monday morning Neal (hubby) and I got up  at 4:30am and started P90X again. Since I am a runner at heart P90X is only the start of my day, somewhere in there 3 times a week I have to get my run in too. I must admit I skipped Monday’s run since it was the first day and I was sore from the 8miles on Sunday I decided that just P90X was enough for then. So here is how my week played out.

Monday – P90X Chest & Back, Ab Ripper

Tuesday – P90X Plyometrics

Wednesday – P90X Back & Biceps, Ab Ripper, 4.5 mile Run

Thursday – P90X Cardio X

Friday – P90X Legs & Back, Ab Ripper, 4 mile Run

(Note: I totally wimped out and did not get up this morning for P90X, so before dinner Neal and I plan to do it and we will)

This weekend I plan to do another 8mile run and feel very confident that it will go MUCH better than last weeks. My two runs this week felt good and I feel so much more like myself after all the working out. Now all I have to do is STOP eating like a total piggy and maybe just maybe I will lose some of the weight I have put on.

On another note. Today is my fellow running mom’s Boob day. For those of you who do not know Kari she is one amazing woman. Early last year she was diagnosed with breast cancer, and that woman fought it with all she had. After a double Mastectomy and months of chemotherapy she won her battle with cancer, hey we all knew it did not stand a chance against Kari. So back to the boob day, well today Kari is getting her new Tata’s. So our running mom group decided to run today in her honor, and since we were running for boobs we were suppose to go out with just our bra tops. Okay, I feel totally bad but I just could not bring myself to do it. After the weight I gained my body image is low, so I did what any woman would do in this situation and I made my dog do it : ) See how pretty she looks! I did wear my running mom shirt and during the whole run I thought of how Amazing a woman Kari is and that if I ever have to fight the battle that she did, that I would have the courage and strength to beat it like she did. You truly are an inspiration Kari and congratulation on your new Tata’s!!!


Sunday, March 28, 2010

I DID IT!!! Thanks to you all!

After my blog post yesterday about being a total couch potato I got many responses on facebook and dailymile with ideas on how to get me motivated and get my booty out there and run. I am happy to report that I woke up today and went for an 8mile run. On the down side this was the hardest run I have had in a very long time.

One of my running mama’s Jimmi told me that I should post what I am going to do and be accountable for it that way everyone could kick my butt if I did not do it. So last night I decided to post that I planned to run 8 miles today and posted it on facebook. Man I wish I had not done that. I was not feeling this run today, my legs hurt my feet hurt everything in me was yelling STOP go crawl back in bed! But I just kept thinking that there was no way I could go back home and post that I did not make the 8 miles, so I kept pushing on. I also was virtually running with two other of my running mama’s Anna and Jill (the three of us ran the Princess ½ together) so I knew they were counting on me to run today. I really wish we could have actually run together today though I really could have used them to help keep my mind off the pain today. Hopefully there runs went better than mine!

I also had the brilliant idea to run with my compression socks on today, thinking that it would help my shin splints. Well let me just say THAT WAS A DUMB IDEA!!!! Not even 1 mile in to the run I plopped my butt on the ground and ripped those suckers off. Man they hurt my calves it was such a relief to get those suckers off. This just goes under the Tracey’s list of how to make a bad run worse. After I got those suckers off and the pressure on my calves was relieved the run did not go much better. I was just tired and my body hurt. I did an out and back so I had no choice but to finish, I will say that every mile I would think I could turn around now and just do 4, four is good but then I would think about everyone who was counting on me to do this. At about mile six I really wanted it to just be over and I was really kicking myself for doing the out and back, then I thought about my friend Cathy who ran her first Marathon last week and starting having a hard time at 6miles but pushed through and ran another 20 miles, if she could do that I surely could do 2 more miles right? As soon as Garmin beeped that I was at 8miles I stopped and walked the rest of the way to the car. I was so glad it was over.

As bad as this run was, I am so glad I did it. I feel so much better having gotten out there and ran. And I know that my next run will not be as bad, this one just sucked because I had not run in a while. Thanks to everyone who pushed me and kicked my tushy to get me out the door to get this run in! And remember you will never regret running but you WILL regret it if you don’t.


Saturday, March 27, 2010

Just a Lazy Couch Potato

Since I ran my first ½ Marathon on March 7th, my running has well… I am not running. I feel like such a slacker. Not only have I not been running, but I am not working out at all. I have always been one of those people who gets up every morning at 4:30 am to hit the gym (well lately it has been the basement for P90X). I have now passed the point of feeling like working out to feeling like just wanting to sit around and be a total couch potato. I know that if I could just make myself get up and do it I would feel better but the motivation is just not there. Today I was really thinking about a nice long run (those are my favorite kinds of runs) and then I look outside and it is cold, rainy, and windy who wants to go out in that? Then when the weather has been nice I have had so much to do I could not get out. I know this all sounds like a bunch of excuses (even to me) but between my life being busy and my drive being gone I have not run more than 4 miles at a time in over 2 weeks. That is just sad.

I need your help to kick my lazy butt in gear! What do you all do when you have lost the motivation to just get up and get out there for a run?


Monday, March 22, 2010

My Running Shoe Search

As most of you know and for those that don’t go here, I suffer from Shin issues. I have tried resting; changing my stride, getting new shoes, and even barefoot running (don’t try this if you have shin splints…OUCH!). After three months of pain and having to severely limit my running, I am desperate for a solution. So last Thursday I decided to go and get fitted for a new pair of shoes in the chance that the ones I was wearing were the problem. So I headed over to one of my local running stores and we went through the process of my fitting.

The first thing that surprised me was that Caleb (the guy who fitted me) said my feet were not wide. The last time I got fitted for shoes I was told I had wide feet and was given an Extra Wide shoe. When I expressed my shock and disbelief at the fact that my feet were a normal width (I have thought for a couple of years now that I had freakishly wide feet) Caleb put me back on the scale and showed me again. WOW! My feet measured normal, ha I do not have troll feet!!! This made me very happy and opened a lot of shoe doors for me, but I am still a skeptic and wonder if this could be really true. After I ran barefoot on the treadmill to check out my gait I started trying on several shoes and running in them. I was a little concerned that they all felt a little tight. Caleb assured me that they fit and I was just use to swimming in my other shoes, which was most likley the cause of my blisters too. I finally decided on a pair and then was talked into getting some inserts for my arch that apparently rolls in and could be the cause of my shin splints. Caleb showed me the video of me running and explained how the way I was landing could cause my shin splints, and like I said I am desperate at this point and will try anything so I took them.

Later that day I went for a run in my new kicks (Brooks Ariel Medium Width). After about 2 miles my right foot started to hurt so I loosened up the shoe as much as I could and pushed through to 2.5 miles. At this point I was back to my car so I left the park and was very disappointed in my new shoes. On the drive home I decided that I really did not give them a chance and then hit the treadmill for another 2 miles when I got home. They really did not bother me much on the treadmill so I decided to try them out one more time before I took them back. The next planned run was an 8 miler and I thought that would be a great distance to try out the shoes. Well I got sick this weekend and never did get my long run in so I tried them out today. I planned to do a 5 mile run so I went to the park and took off. About 2 miles in to the run my feet were killing me, I mean really killing me and not just one both. I stopped to walk a bit then tried to run again, they hurt so bad I ended up limping back to the car. So these shoes are a flop, I am going to get them in a wider width and see how they work, and I may just take those inserts out too.

Why does finding my perfect running shoe have to be so hard? Is it too much to ask for a shoe that fits, and does not hurt my feet or give me blisters?


Thursday, March 18, 2010

The Miami Runners Club – the one good thing left in Miami

During my vacation I headed down to Miami, Florida for a week after the Princess half Marathon. I am from Miami and could not wait to see all my family, friends, and enjoy that weather that Miami is famous for. And of course I could not pass up an opportunity to go for a run in my summer running gear, who knows when summer will finally arrive in Kansas and I will have another chance to wear it all.

I have to say that I am a bit disappointed in the place where I grew up. I have always heard people from other places complain about the people in Miami and I never understood it. Now that I am living in the Midwest I am starting to see what all the complaining was about. Within minutes of us landing we headed out to get some lunch with my dear friend Sandi who picked us up from the airport. After lunch we were leaving the restaurant and I was holding my daughter and a women coming in lets the door go so it about hit my daughter and I. I was shocked, this would never happen in Kansas. In Kansas the women would not have even tried to come in to the restaurant till I was out the door and she would have held the door for me since my hands were full with a 33 pound toddler. But I forget that in Miami it is all about ME. This seems to be the big thing in big cities; you see no one gives a crap about the person next to them. Everyone seems to think they are better than everyone else and you should bow down and kiss their feet. Needless to say I never noticed this while I was growing up because it is all I ever knew and that is just how things were. And I am sure I was just as guilty as everyone else of having this mentality, I am so glad that I have changed though.

I am sure you all are now wondering what this has to do with running, well be patient I am getting to that. My sister and her husband have joined a running group called “Miami Runners Club” I wanted to go for their weekly Wednesday night run with them to spend some more time with my sister and check out the group. I was not really expecting much, I have run in Miami before and when I say hi to other runners I always get a look like ‘whatever’ coming from them. So we headed out to the meet up spot where we met up with Rony (my brother-in-law) and the Miami Runner Club. I was surprised right away when everyone greeted me kindly and we even laughed and joked a bit. Then it was time for the run, I stayed with my sister for the run and everyone kind of took off. We expected this, so that was okay, most of the runners in the group are seasoned runners and my sister is still pretty new to the sport. Needless to say I was really shocked when one of the other runners Wayne came back to check on us and then stayed and chatted with my sister and I for the rest of the run. Wayne is an Ultra Marathoner; he has already done one 50miler and is planning on doing a 100 soon, so needless to say our pace was much slower than his but he still stayed to chat. I was glad Wayne stayed with us; I really enjoyed running with him and talking about my favorite thing which is running.

When we were done with the three miles, Wayne took off at his normal fast pace to do a quick additional two miles while my sister and I went over to talk to a couple other runners from the group who had finished already. Everyone in the group was super nice and very accepting of this new person who just popped in for a run. When we left for the night I felt sad that I did not have this group in Kansas. I really enjoyed running with others and loved the fact that they all loved running as much as I do. After this I talked my husband into staying another day so that I could go on the group’s long run Saturday morning. I went out with Rony and we met the group at 6am (it gets very hot in Miami so you have to start early). There were many runners that were not at the Wednesday night run here on Saturday. Wayne’s wife Sheryl greeted Rony and I and gave us the low down on the run. Most of the group was doing 14 and since I had just run 13.1 the week before and the fact that Rony had only done 6 up to this point I decided that 8 was a good number for the day. Sheryl gave us directions and told us exactly where the the 4mile turn around would be. Then we all took off, we ran with Andy for a while then he took off at his own pace. When we got to a part in the path where we could go the wrong way, Andy who was running with Wayne and Sherryl waited to make sure we knew where to go and gave us directions again and told us where our turn around would be. He stayed with us for a little while again just to chat and make sure we knew the way. We then caught up with Tom who is back from being sick and doing a run/walk program so we ran with him for a while before we made our turnaround to head back to the car.

I have to say that I LOVE this group. The people were so nice and helpful; they were all very encouraging to me and to both my Sister and Brother-in-law. They took time out of there run to make sure we did not get lost and to just chat with us. After this run and we got cleaned up we went to The Runners High (the running store that the group is based out of) where Able (one of the group members who were out on Wednesday night) helped Laura (my sister) and Rony get some new shoes. Able took his time and watched them run in several shoes on the treadmill before he was satisfied that he fit them in the right ones. Nothing about this group was anything like what I was expecting from my new view of Miami. If you are ever in Miami I would highly recommend checking out this group and joining them for a run, you won’t regret it.

And I also have to give a shot out to Rony who did his longest run ever on Saturday with me. I am so proud of him and my sister, they both and turning in to great runners. In a few weeks they will both be running their first 10k, and at this rate I am sure a ½ marathon is in their future!


Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Plane hits runner and runner is to blame?

I am so sick of people blaming runners for getting hit by cars or in this case hit by a plane because they listen to their iPod. I understand that listening to music does prevent you from hearing some things, but does that really make it your fault when a plane falls out of the sky and kills you? Is it your fault then when a driver is talking on their cell phone and not paying attention and then hit you? Why is it that so many people blame the runner?

I heard this story on the news tonight about a small plane that lost its propeller and glided to the ground and in the process hit and killed Robert G. Jones who was running on the beach. I was sad and felt very bad for the man and even the pilot of the plane who I am sure feels bad about killing another man. Then I log in to check my facebook page and Runners World posted the story on their page. What happens everyone starts talking about how the guy was listening to his iPod and it must have been his fault. I was just shocked and frankly pissed off. I cannot even believe that people are blaming the poor runner who was out for a nice run and a freaking plane kills him. HOW IS IT HIS FAULT? If these people actually read the whole article instead of the first sentence that stated that the runner was listening to his iPod (like it is even relevant) they would have seen that the propeller fell off the plane which means it was SILENT. Even if Robert G. Jones was not listening to his iPod he would not have heard the plane, and I can attest that if the propeller had not fallen off and he would have heard the plane no matter how loud his music was (I know this as a fact since I fly in a small aircraft all the time, my husband is a pilot).

I think what bugs me the most is that other runners were putting the blame on this victim (because that is what Robert G. Jones is) only because he was wearing an iPod. I understand that there is a big controversy about music and running; some think you are not a true runner if you listen to music (I don’t get that, you are still running either way). I personally do both, I will listen to my music on some runs and not listen to it on others. People need to look at the whole picture before they blame someone for the simple fact that they were listening to music. I do get that in some cases it may be the runner’s fault, if they are not paying attention and run out in front of a car and get hit. My issue is that if you run and listen to music then no matter what happens (even a plane falling from the sky) it is automatically your fault if you are hurt or killed. I don’t care what your take is on the whole iPod debate, it should not matter when someone is killed they should not automatically be blamed for the sole purpose that they were listing to music. If this was the case then all car accidents should be blamed on the driver that was listening to the radio and I am willing to bet just about everyone does.

Here is a link to the article if you are interested in reading it


Monday, March 15, 2010

The Disney Princess Half Marathon 2010

This race started for me in April 2009 when the decision was made in my Running Mom’s group to do a race together and we all voted for this on (I mean what better race for a bunch of running moms right). Not all of us were able to make it due to different reasons, other races, family, finances, the kiddos, etc. But the ones of us that did make it tried to have a great time for all the running moms, and the ones who could not be there were sorely missed.

Friday night we had our official Running Moms meet up. We all met in one of the hotels and then headed out to the bar for a drink (well all except for Bethany, she is prego so no boose for her). We all quickly learned that most of us get pretty drunk off of one drink except for Jill that is, she really knows her beer. I had such a great time with the girls that I did not even think about how cold it was and we were all sitting outside. These women whom I have considered my friends for over two years now and have never actually met in person are the sweetest, kindest, most running addicted women that I just love to death. I can not even describe how totally excited I was about going to this race and meeting these ladies. My only regret is that I never did get to see Bethany or Heather again after Friday night, next time we will have to plan better.

Here is a shot of some of the group on Firday, now on to the race, I can talk about how awesome my running mom’s are all day so I will just cut my self off now.

After a very long Saturday (see details here), I woke up at 2:45 with only about 4 hours of sleep and sore feet. I quickly got ready, and headed over to meet Anna and Jill so we could all go to the race together. When I got to the lobby of the hotel I was excited to see Michelle another running mom had decided to join us for the race. We all got on the bus and went to the start. It was so cold that as soon as we got to the race area we headed over to get some coffee then waited inside a tent to keep a little warm before going to our corral (which was the last one so we had a LOT of time)

We were in corral E was the last one and that ment we started the race 30min after the first group started. It was a little sad watching the fireworks go off and hearing the cheers to just stand around in the cold an wait our turn. But once it was our turn the excitement was over the top. We could not wait to get moving and see what Disney had instore for us. We quickly relised that Michelle was much faster than the rest of us so we asked if she would mind staying with us till mile one to get a group shot, she did and here we are. Then Michelle took off, she is one speedy lady. The rest of us just ran slowly along taking picutes and chatting. It was soon after the first mile that we saw Captin Jack, there was no discussing it we just all ran over to get a picture. This is about how the rest of the race went, the three of us were just out to enjoy this 13 miles so nothing mattered but having a good time. I am a slow runner and I was so surprised that the three of us really did run well together. We all run at the same pace and it was just so awesome to run with someone else. The miles of the race just flew by, I can not even count how many time we would be runnign and see another mile marker and be shocked because we had just seen one about a minuet ago (well not really but it sure felt like it).
I have to say that Disney does not disapoint in there races. I knew we would see charetores along the way, but I just kinda expected the Princess and that would be it. They had charetores from almost every story they have, the only bad thing about it was that the lines to get some of the pictures was just so long that we really did waste a lot of time getting pictures…. But I would do it the same way again if I ever have the chance.

The race went from Epcot to the Magic Kindom, and there is not a lot of anything inbetween the two. Disney did make the effort to have some charetors along the way, but it could have made for a very boring run with not much to see. I was so greatfull that I had Jill and Anna, I never did get board and just so enjoyed the company and conversations. I never knew how much we all had in common and am just so thankfull to have had the chance to meet the two of them and share this experence with them.

As far as my shins and my sore feet went it was not too bad. My shins did not really bother me at all duing the race but after they complained a little. My feet hurt so bad by the end of the race but I truly believe it was from the previous days events. I personally felt great during the whole race, I never got tired or sore. We did walk about three miles of the race which was fine by me, I knew this was not the race for a good time and I just enjoyed the company too much to run ahead. I am signing up for another half in two weeks here at home just so that I could see if I can do it with out all the photo opts. I feel very confedent that I can, but am sad that I will have to run it alone. I will be thinking about Disney and my running mama’s the whole race and wishing that all my races could be as fun as this one was.  If you are thinking about running this race I say do it, but do it for fun and with friends. 

After getting back from the race my wonderfull husband showed me again why I love him so much. This was my first half marthon and he had a trophy made for me. The trophy reads “Congratulations on completing your first Half Marathon. Your loving husband” How totally seet is that, I have the best husband ever!