Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Sidelined with Bronchitis

I misdiagnosed myself, apparently.  I thought I was having a hard time because of my asthma.  I went to the doctor on Sunday morning with another issue, and decided that I would discuss my recent asthma symptoms with him as well.  I found out that I have bronchitis.  I was put on azithromycin for the antibiotic.  Antibiotics are not good to me.  They cause other issues if I don't eat yogurt.  I am not a fan of yogurt, but I am even less a fan of the other issues...

I am not running until I can breathe halfway decent.  I am hoping that day will be tomorrow.  I don't like missing my runs, but sometimes it is necessary. 

I just wanted to post an update as to why I haven't blogged about my most recent run, which was supposed to be yesterday.

Hope all is well!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Run in the Rain

I had to run eight miles today.  Unlike last week, it was overcast when I woke up.  I started to question if I wanted to lace up and actually run with the threatening skies.  I am not afraid of rain, I am afraid of lightning. 

Several years ago, when I was at a City Cup Softball Tournament in my hometown, it started to rain.  I wasn't afraid of rain and didn't think much of lightning back then.  The rain really started to come down, so games were delayed and/or called off and the team with the highest score at that point won.

I was talking to my brother, when all of a sudden he said, "Why is your hair sticking up?"

I laughed.  My hair was soaking wet.  I was sure he was kidding.  How could wet hair stick up, right?  Several years before, my mother had told us that if our hair starts sticking up in a storm, we are about to be struck by lightning.  I thought my brother was just thinking about that conversation and wondered if I would remember it.  

After I laughed, he said, "No, I'm serious."

My laughter turned to pure terror.  My mother was parked about 10 yards away and her backseat door was wide open.  I probably ran faster than I had in a long time and literally dove into her car.

Mom said, "What are you doing?"

When I told her, she agreed that it was a good idea.  She was confused as to why I would jump into her car and not have my three young children with me.  They were safely hanging out my siblings.  I was just trying to insure that they still had a mother on this planet at the end of the day.  I believe that I had escaped with my life that day.  I could not feel my hair standing up.  I would never dream it could stand up, being soaking wet.  If I hadn't been talking to my brother, I may no longer be here. 

So, that is the back story leading into today's run.  Rain, not scary, lightning, very scary.... 

My older brother was getting ready to head back to Washington after getting to spend some time with us.  He had asked what my plans were for the day.  I told him I was supposed to run eight miles, but I wasn't sure I would because it looked like it would rain.  I also told him I had to go to my daughter's play today.  I told him that besides those things I didn't have any plans.

As he was getting ready to leave, he suggested that it would probably be a good time to run, when it was cooler and overcast.  I decided that I might as well lace up and get going.  It was also at least 10 to 15 degrees cooler than last week.  I grabbed my drink of choice "Grape Powerade Zero" and headed out the door.

There were sprinkles, off and on, for about the first three miles.  After that, it was consistent rain for the next 4 miles.  I was thankful for the rain.  Not only did it cool things off, we need rain!  We are in the midst of a drought.  Lawns are brown.  We can only water twice a week for 30 minutes at a time.  Any extra rain we get is needed!

I said a quick prayer in my head, thanking our Heavenly Father for the rain, for those reasons.  I also include safety in my prayers.  To me, today, it meant not getting struck by lightning, and not being attacked on my run, by an animal or a human.  I believe I live in a safe area, but sometimes things happen. 

I didn't see a single flash of lightning on my run.  I am thankful for that.  Although, it might have helped me to run faster, I liked the pace I was at.  As far as I know, my hair did not stick up.  There was not a car I could dive into anyway.  Before I left, I let my husband know where I would be running.  I think it is important that someone knows where you are.

On another note, drivers don't seem to be as courteous to runners when it is raining as they are when it is burning up hot outside.  I had to wait at several crossings (without stop signs or traffic lights) for someone to let me cross the road, or for a break in the traffic.  I think that easily added a good three minutes or so to my time.  Today's time was 1:42:54.  It was better than last week's time, but not as good as I hoped, seeing how I didn't have to stop and fill up a water bottle or anything.  I did stop to drink my Powerade, instead of trying to run through it.  It seems that I get more in my mouth if I am not trying to run.

Next week is an easy week of running.  Next Saturday will be a four mile run.  The following Saturday is a ten mile run.  We shall see how that goes!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Thank Goodness for a Maverik at 1.5 miles and 6.5 miles in an Eight Mile Run

On Saturday, it was a very hot day.  I had planned to get up early, and be out the door by 8 AM to avoid as much heat as possible.  I got up early, but closer to 5:30 AM when my toddler fell out of bed.  Broken-hearted and feeling awful, I didn't fall back to sleep for a while.  Even though it was very cool that early in the morning, I wasn't ready to lace up and head out.  I was way too tired to even think about it, to be honest.

Once my toddler fell back to sleep, I was up for a while longer.  I think I fell back to sleep around 7 AM.  My husband knew I was planning to head out for an early run.  He kept asking if I was going to go.  I kept saying I would go later.  I knew each extra minute I could get for sleep would lead to a hotter run, but I also knew I couldn't run on not enough sleep.

I finally got up around 9:30 AM.  My toddler slept until then so I took advantage of it.  I got up, threw on my running clothes, and headed out the door.  I was headed to the trail and getting started at 10 AM, a full two-hours later than I had planned.  It was already in the 80s.  I had used www.mapmyrun.com to figure out where the 4 mile mark would be, so I would know to turn around.  I started my run with a bottle of grape Powerade Zero.  It was a 32 ounce bottle.  I had taken some swigs of it before I started the run.

By the time I had finished the five miles, I had finished the bottle of Powerade Zero.  I was very hot and sweaty, and still had three more miles to go.  I had to slow down.  I knew I was burning more fuel than I had stored.  It was not looking too good.  I had wished that I had taken smaller swigs of my Powerade Zero.  I was SOOOOOO thirsty.  After about 6 miles, I had slowed way down.  It was more of an attempt to not pass out than anything else.  I even convinced myself to walk a little, about 25 steps.  I never walk on my runs.  I feel like it diminishes the purpose of being out there for me.  I really had no choice and I had to "allow" myself to walk a few steps.  I was about 1/4 mile away from Maverik. 

When I got to 6.5 miles, there was the Maverik.  I ran across the street with my empty Powerade Zero container.  I went inside, visibly covered in sweat.  I asked permission to fill my container with ice water.  I didn't want to just assume that it was okay to do.  The woman was more than accommodating and told me there was some water on the fountain drinks.  I thanked her.  She told me it comes out really cold.  I  grabbed some ice and put it through the opening at the top of the bottle and filled my container.

I started drinking my water before I even got outside.  It was one of the best tasting bottles of water I had ever had.  This could be caused by me really needing hydration.  As I waited for the "walk" sign to cross the street, I drank some more water.  I also rubbed the bottle on my forehead and neck.  It felt so good!  I knew that I would be able to finish the last 1.5 miles.

The run took about 1 hour and 46 minutes, which included the stop at the Maverik.  By the time I had gotten home, the temperature was in the mid-90s.  I had wished that I could plant trees all along the trail so in about 10 years, I could have shade the whole way.  There are nice parts of the trail with shade, but there is a lot of areas without any shade.  When it was so hot, shade would have been wonderful!

I was sure to "tweet" @Maverik_Inc to thank them for the free ice water on the eight mile run.  Maverik is like the old "Uni Mart" in my hometown in western New York.  It is like a 7-11 or a Country Fair.  There are several located in the area.  I have loved Maverik since I was in college.  We always enjoyed their bread.  Anyway, back to the run, I did finish the eight miles.  It was the first time I have run eight miles since 2010.  I was happy to have completed it, even though it took a bit longer than I expected.  I have to run eight miles again this Saturday.  I am hoping it is cooler then!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Little Black Dog

Today I had to do a two-mile run.  I was exhausted all day.  I was hot all day.  I put it off until I couldn't put it off any longer.  I went and found some running clothes and laced up my running shoes.  Out the door I went.  I was grateful that it was only two miles.  I was sweating within the first quarter-mile.  The two-mile runs should be easy.  I think they would be easy if it wasn't so stinkin' hot out there.

I ran to the mile point and then turned around to run home.  I didn't run at the park today.  I didn't want to waste the gas to drive to the park to run and my toddler didn't take a nap all day and I was quite sure she would fall to sleep on the ride there.  That would have been bad.  So, I just ran out the front door to the mile point I had mapped out previously.

Once I turned around and started heading back, I was running through a neighborhood.  I was minding my own business, like most runners do, when a little black dog came running toward me.  Its owners were sitting on their front steps.  I attempted to keep running.  I thought the dog would stop.  The owners kept yelling to me that the dog was friendly.  The dog kept barking and jumping on me.  I was not amused.  I finally decided to run up on to its lawn to see if it would go to its owner.  Nope.  The owner finally told me that it just wanted to be petted.  I bent over and petted it for a few seconds and then attempted to start running again.  It wanted to follow, but it finally stayed with its owner. 

I have mentioned before about my fear of dogs while running.  It doesn't matter to me what size they are.  I  do not want to be bit and/or mauled.  I don't know what is legally permissible as far as defending myself against a dog that is running at me and/or jumping on me.  I need to find out.  I am an animal lover, I cry when goldfish die, and I also found that I cry when the frog that was trying to swallow a goldfish dies too.  I don't want to hurt an animal, but I don't want to be hurt either.  It is always my goal to make it home in one piece. 

I continued on my way home with no further incident.  I was a sweaty mess upon arrival.  It is always nice to make it back home! 

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Five Miles That Nearly Didn't Happen

Tonight I had to do five miles.  We all got ready and headed out of the house around 8:15 pm.   I had locked my purse in the trunk of my husband's car, but we ended up taking the van since everyone wanted to go.  I went and got my purse out and found my watch.  That was a really good find.  It would have been better if I had remembered to turn on the stopwatch and lap timer.  Oh well, maybe next time.

I brought my toddler in a tank top and pants.  I didn't put her socks and shoes on her, because I planned to push her in the jogging stroller the whole time.  When we got to the park, I discovered that one of the jogger's tires were flat.  I ran over some goat heads yesterday.  They are like a three-pointed thorn that seem to come from nowhere around here.  It popped the tire.  I couldn't run with her.

When that discovery was made, I put the jogger back in the trunk.  I was about to just call it a night.  My husband told me I should at least do something.  He said that he would keep an eye on her so I could get in a run.  I figured that I might as well, since I was there.

Tonight's run was a tempo run with a one mile warm up in the beginning and a one mile cool down in the end.  The middle three miles were at a faster speed.  I figured I would see how much of it I could get done before I was needed. 

I was able to get in the complete five miles.  I wish I had timed it, but I did get it all in.  My children, including my toddler, enjoyed time on the playground with my husband.  I was glad that I was able to get it done, since I have to do a two mile run tomorrow.  I would have combined the two miles with whatever I didn't do tonight. 

The weather is so incredibly hot.  It is horrible needing to wait practically until dusk to head out for a run.  I hate running in the dark.  Saturday it is supposed to be 100 degrees and I am supposed to run 8 miles.  It should be a very interesting run! 

Monday, July 15, 2013

Running While Sick and Running Clothes

I haven't been feeling good the passed couple of days.  It is no fun.  Although I haven't been feeling well, I decided that since today's run was just two miles, I would be able to do it without much of a problem.  That would be the first mistake.  The second mistake would be thinking that even though it was in the mid-90s, it would be okay.  The final mistake was not drinking as much water as I should have.

Well, all those mistakes can add up.  I wanted to get in the run before dinner.  I didn't want to run late tonight.  I think it has been causing some insomnia.  As the mother of four children, insomnia does not work out too well.  It is pretty bad when you are up really late, because you can't sleep, and then  you need to get up when the children get up.  My ten year-old is generally the first one awake.  Thankfully, he can take care of himself.  It is when my five year-old and one year-old get up that I need to really get moving.

I ran, and once again, without a watch.  I have no clue how long it took.  All I know is that it felt that my legs were dragging.  I didn't feel like I was moving quickly at all.  I was wishing I had been smart and just blew off the two-mile run.  By the time I was finished, I was a pretty huge sweatball.  I sweat a lot regardless of temperature.  When the temperature is in the 90s, I am going to be sweating a lot.  Thankfully, it was just two miles, or I may have not made it.

Just a quick thought... I sometimes forget about the correct colors for running.  I often wonder if some of the people that choose the color for running clothes have ever sweated during a run.  Gray is a horrible color for running clothes.  I was reminded the other night after my run when my nine year-old let me know that my rear was wet.  Yes, I did mention that I sweat. 

This brought me back to a day in 2010 when I was training for a marathon.  I put on gray shorts and I have no clue what color shirt, probably pink.  The shorts were short.  Little did I know, that this day, being a weekday, there would be a company having there summer picnic at the park I was running passed.  There were hundreds of people at the park.  There were people on the trail that I was running, smoking.  As I ran passed the first time, I saw them looking at me.  I had to run a mile passed them, then the mile back, and then turn around and run another mile passed them, and then the three miles back.  It was an eight-mile run day.  By the time I was passing them for the third time, I was horribly sweating.  I had six miles.  My shorts were soaked.  I looked like I had wet my pants.

Although, my family got a big laugh, as did I, from the appearance that I wet myself, I thought it would be fair to share the experience.  It was horribly embarrassing to me, but at the same time funny.  I knew I didn't wet my pants, but I am not sure they knew I didn't.  I don't think I saw anyone I knew, which I am grateful for. 

Just for your information, I have found that black is the best color for running.  I just need to remember that myself.  If you sweat a lot, like I do, take it from me, don't wear light colors.  You will look like you wet yourself, or you will have that sweaty line going down the middle of the back of your shorts or running pants.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Running In Circles

I have been training almost exclusively at a park in my town.  It consists of a 2/3 mile loop, a 1/2 mile loop (or 1/3 mile depending if you run from the opposite direction, apparently), and a 1/4 mile loop.

It is fine when I don't have to run more than 4 or 5 miles.  Today was a six mile day.  I started out at the park, but I couldn't imagine running nine times around to get in the 6 miles.  After I ran about 1/2 mile around, I decided to leave the park and jump on the trail.

I ran north for a long ways.  I figured it was close to three miles after checking my fitbit zip.  I then turned around and ran back to the park.  I had left my husband and three older children at the park to play.  I ran with my toddler in the jogger.

I have a hard time convincing myself to run in circles.  The view just stays the same.  I think my toddler gets bored too.  She can only stand it for so long.  I think it is also hard for her to see her siblings playing on the playground, while she just gets to sit in the stroller.  Every time we run passed them, she yells their names, as well as she can.  My oldest son will run over and give us a kiss on our way passed. 

I was thankful that my husband came for this run tonight.  If he wasn't there, I wouldn't have gone to the trail.  I wouldn't leave the kids at the park without an adult.  I would suffer through the laps.  It seems that the run on the trail went quicker.  Perhaps it is because I wasn't seeing the same view.  I don't know for sure how long it took.  My husband lost my watch while we were on vacation.  I need to get a new one.  Until then, I will just run and not worry about the time.

On tonight's run, I saw one of my visiting teachers, and her husband.  It is nice to see people I know as I run.  There were several bikers out tonight.  It was cooler tonight than it has been lately.  I saw an abandoned bike.  My toddler spotted the moon.  She loves the moon.  She also saw several birds.  She will say hi to them until they fly away, then she will say bye.

I am glad I went for this run tonight.  I didn't really want to, but I figured that I should.  I have about 1 1/2 months until my half-marathon, so I need to be ready!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Hot, Hot, Hot!!

I am wondering if I will ever see a temperature below 90 again.  Even after 8 pm, it was still in the 90s.  It makes it very hard to want to go for a run.  I waited as long as I possibly could to go running and know that I should end with some sunlight still looming.

I had to run 4 miles today.  I did the 4 miles.  Four very sweaty miles.  I was pushing my toddler in the jogger.  She hates going through the sprinklers.  As much as I would have LOVED to run through each sprinkler that was spraying the trail, I avoided them.  I think she appreciated it. 

I don't know when it is going to cool down again.  My preferred temperature is mid 70s.  50s or 60s are good for running also.  I don't want snow.  I would prefer this weather over snow.  Snow makes it hard to run.  It gets really slippery!  I always hope that the trail has been cleared of snow or the sidewalks.  Sometimes it is just hope. 

Tomorrow I have to do 2 miles.  I might try to get those done a little earlier.  I enjoy running, I just hate thinking that I could die of a heat stroke with my children on the playground and my toddler in the jogger.  I need to figure out a way to get in the runs and stay cool...

Monday, July 8, 2013

Why Do Some People Open There Mouths?

I was on vacation from June 28 until yesterday, July 7.  It was a wonderful time, I spent time in Reno and Topaz Lake, NV and Bridgeport, CA.  I had to get in my runs, whether I wanted to or not.  I guess I should say, if there was time or not.  I would say that I was going to run several times and just keep putting it off.  Finally, I would say I would do it in the morning, which I did.  The daylight temps were above 100, so I knew I would have to do it early in the morning or at sunset.

Tuesday morning, July 2, I got up and got dressed.  I had told my husband that I had to do four miles that day.  He told me to do it in the fitness area, on the treadmill.  My complete training for a half-marathon was done on a treadmill.  I went down to the fitness area, found a treadmill and jumped on.  I started running.  Within a couple minutes, I determined that it was near impossible to breathe.  I don't know if the air just wasn't circulating or what the problem was, but I knew I wouldn't be able to complete a full four miles, if I could hardly breathe after 1/4 mile.

I got off the treadmill and went outside to run.  It was already near 90 degrees at a little after 8 am.  I had on my running shorts and running shirt.  I was trying to stay in as much shade as I possibly could, running near the casinos. 

I had some neutral comments like, "You sure are dedicated to be running in this heat."

One man, on a side street, beside a casino, was rolling a joint or a cigarette.  I didn't stop to really figure it out.  He was older, mid 50s to 60s.  He was the one that should keep his mouth shut.  I was just trying to stay in the shade, not looking for any comments.  I had already run about three miles in the stifling heat, I was very sweaty.  When, lo and behold, he thought he should open his big mouth.  The following words spilled out.

"Oh, you're trying to get skinny.  I don't like skinny girls."

As you can imagine, if you know me, a million comebacks came flooding to rail my tongue.  Then I thought it would be wise not to use any of them on a stranger on a side road in a town I don't really know.  So, I said, "No, I'm just training for a half-marathon."  To which was the ever intelligent reply of "Ohhhhhh...."

I then got back to the main road and just ran back to the hotel and ran around the block there a few times until my four miles were complete.

I was proud of myself for completing the run.  It is difficult to run on vacation.  The food, which I refer to as vacation food, is devastating to trying to get in/stay in shape. 

I had to run on Wednesday, July 3, as well.  By this time, we had left Reno and headed up to Topaz Lake.  It is a beautiful area.  That day I had eaten some Costco food... a hotdog, churro and some of a chocolate and almond covered ice cream bar.  Then when we got to our hotel, we had a hotdog barbecue.  I was kind of hotdog-ged out.  I figured since it was dinner time, I should probably eat.  Then I had to go for a run.  It kept threatening to rain for a couple of hours.  I kept waiting, hoping it would just do it.  It would sprinkle off and on, thunder off and on, but no real rain.  I was hoping it would rain to cool stuff off.  At about 7:15 pm, I figured if it was going to rain, I would just have to get rained on while running.  I ran down to the lake where I found "NO TRESPASSING" signs.  I thought I should heed the signs and turn around.  I ran back to another road and found one that ran along the lake. 

It was a beautiful run.  At one point, I found a trail that brought me right next to the lake.  I took that trail for a little bit and then it ended.  I then turned around and went back to the road.  I ran along the road for a while longer.  There were many blind curves, and I started to feel like I could be pressing my luck.  I turned around and ran back.  I enjoyed that run a lot.  It is wonderful to find beautiful places to run. 

I planned to do a 5 mile-run at the Twin Lakes on Friday, but my quad was bothering me.  I thought I would be wise to let that heal for a bit.  I should get in my run later this evening.  I am a day off right now, but I think that will be okay.  On Friday, I ended up playing mud volleyball with my cousin, his wife and daughter, my sister-in-law and a good friend of our family.  It was a tournament, we ended up getting 5th out of 19 teams.  It was a lot of fun.