health and fitness

Monday Miles : Taper

One week from today I will have done the Walt Disney World Marathon. That idea is absolutely crazy to me! In fact I will be in the car driving home from Florida next Monday. It is insane to me how quickly time has gone by. I really do think time has some odd way of going faster when you are an adult.

Monday Miles : Taper | Country Girl Gourmet (more…)

Monday Miles: Taper Time

I took a small break from my Monday Miles posts but i’m back and just in time for taper.
Monday Miles : Taper | Country Girl Gourmet

My last few weeks of training have not been my easiest. I was gluten-ed at Thanksgiving and then a few days later I came down with a cold that went to my chest and I have been battling the entire month of December. I continued training the best that I could. I completed a 20 mile and a 19 mile long runs for December. Not exactly what I had planned but I’ve repeatedly have been told if I can reach that distance the final 10k should be no problem. My nerves say otherwise though.
My first 20 miler of the month was rough, It was when my cold made the turn for the worse. It was such a horrible run, I had asthma issues, feet issues and completely bonked. Then last Friday I set out to do 20+ but only made it to 19 due to getting a late start. I felt great during the run but my bad foot was causing problems. It kept swelling and I ended up having to take some breaks to loosen and ultimately take off my foot wrap. Otherwise I felt great, if the park wasn’t getting ready to close I would have done some more miles. These bad runs really have me wondering if i’m going to be able to do it. I think that is normal, just like the marathon bad dream I had.

This past week has been full of more rain that has kept me from running. I finally was able to go out over the weekend. I was looking forward to it. My husband got me a Garmin 220 for Christmas and it needed testing. I decided I was doing at least 10 miles, more if my foot didn’t bother me. My biggest fear right now is injury. So I went to the one trail by my house and was met with a surprise.

Flooding! I was a mile in when I came up on it. I was told about a well worn and marked path through the woods. The path was well marked but not well worn. I made it through only to come across more flooding. I didn’t even look for a bypass this time, I just turned around. I ended up finishing with 7 miles. They were good miles except navigating through the woods. No foot pan so I decided I would be going to the flight line the next day.
The flight line has been my nemesis. Six and a half mile laps. The laps really mess with my head. It’s boring out there most weekends too, there never seem to be any planes taking off. I only had 2 easy laps to do, so I did them. It was a much better experience than my last one at flight line. The weather even allowed for training in similar weather as what is currently forecasted for marathon day. Best part was no foot problems! Just my normal post run low blood sugar and sodium/potassium. It is now officially taper time.

Hopefully I won’t make myself crazy over the next two weeks.

Monday Miles: Week 12

I am now under 50 days until the WDW Marathon! Here are my Monday Miles!

Monday Miles : Week 12

This week I really don’t have much to report. Hitting my 20 miles the previous week I felt great afterwards. No muscle soreness etc. but I guess with all good things there comes some bad and I was soon to find out. Going into my weekday miles I went out for an easy couple miles around my neighborhood and I was hit with knee pain in both knees. A different type of pain in each knee too. I was forced to walk and even then my walking pace was slower than usual. I was hit with the not all runs are good runs and that includes short runs.

I was still determined to do my 21 miles this weekend though even though my knees were bothering me a bit. Then Saturday I started having some deep, down in the joint hip pain. I blamed it on the weather and my “old lady rheumatism”. Hey, I do have arthritis in my hips and a front was coming through. I was pretty worried and debated my run with my husband. his view is that especially after completing 20 miles as long as I maintain my base I should be good come marathon day. He understands my desire to complete the full distance before then though too and he feels I can still do that but he’s afraid if I keep pushing hard i’m going to end up injured.

Well, I couldn’t do nothing so I joined Team RWB Fort Bragg for some Hot Yoga. I figured the stretching could be helpful. I have to say the heat was not unbearable. Then again I lived in El Paso for 4 years. It was a great beginners yoga class, which was great for me since i’ve never done anything outside of P90X yoga. I was able to complete all the moves except for one optional version. I look forward to doing it again!

My hip though is still bothering me so i’m planning to take it easy this week.  I am still planning to do 22 miles this weekend though.  I will be doing the 26.2 before race day. My thoughts on that is as a planner I want to know I have my nutrition and basics down. I want to know how my body may react so I can adjust for it. I want to know if there is something else that I need to be tweaking. I am fully aware that things may happen that I did not plan for but I would be upset with myself if it was something I could have planned for.

So that’s where I am this week. Less than 7 weeks left until race day!

The Reasons Why I am Running the WDW Marathon

This week I purposely skipped my Monday Miles. I completed 20 miles for my weekend long run. My pace was on target and at times better than expected. I felt confident with my workout when it was done. What I didn’t expect during the run was how my mind was going to wander which leads me right here to this blog post. My mind kept coming around to the reasons why I am doing this marathon. So I figured what better thing to do would be to write about the reasons why I am running the WDW Marathon.

The Reasons Why I am Running the WDW Marathon

The first reason is because after looking at when I ran my first 5k and then half marathon I decided I  should needed to run a Marathon when I turned 40. I ran my first 5k when I was 30 and my first half marathon when I was 35 so 40 seems perfect for my first marathon.  I’m a couple years from 40 though but hey, that is ok. No one said I couldn’t make my goal early. Plus anyways registration for the race was on my wedding anniversary, it was a sign.

The second reason to prove that I can do it. Yes, it will be slow and easy and not my typical pace due to my foot injury but in 2011 I was told I would never run again. You have to be able to run for yourself before running for anything else which leads me into my last reason.

The final reason is for those who cannot. I am the Community Outreach Director for Team RWB at Fort Bragg. Team RWB is an non-profit veteran’s outreach organization. We reach out to veterans through both physical and social activities. Team RWB paid for my entry into the WDW Marathon, well more so reimbursed me for it. With that being said I find it incredibly important to do this race for our veterans and in memory of those who gave all.

When I say that I am running the WDW Marathon people are quick to ask, “are you dressing up?” After my long run my answer is a definite, No. I will be wearing my RWB shirt. I may add a sparkle skirt but I doubt it. The sparkle athletic ones are short imo and just don’t look as good on us girls with booties. I am still debating carrying a flag too. I carried the flag for the first time in a local race and honestly it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. It is something I need to look into to see if Disney even allows.

So there it is in a nutshell, why I am running the WDW Marathon. We all have our own reasons that no one can take away, we just have to get out there and do it. With proper training we can all do it. So get out there and run!

Now if you’ll excuse me I have some training to do. 

Monday Miles : Week 10

Sixty- One days until I run the Walt Disney World Marathon! Here is what i’ve been up to with my training, my Monday Miles!

MondayMiles- Week 10

So first let’s talk about my training. It is going horribly. I am not happy about it at all. Why, the weather, is a major reason. I am so tired of the rain. As I believe i’ve mentioned before it isn’t really the rain that stops me from getting out there but people driving their cars. People have enough issues driving on a good day around here, when it rains it is even worse. Personal Safety is big for me especially as a mother of four kids. With the trail near me closed I just haven’t found a safe-ish place to run. I live in a rural area with cotton fields and no sidewalks. I’ve had one too many cars buzz by me.

The other reason I missed my long run this weekend was my husband. As a military family we have some unique challenges. My husband left for a week on an adventure to Spain. He had to go jump out of an airplane and do some Army stuff. That means driving 30+minutes away to run for 4-5 hours while leaving my kiddos at home may not be the best idea.
I had hoped to get the miles in today now that my husband is home but…rain. Twenty miles in the cold and cold, pouring rain, yeah no. The rain is suppose to stop tomorrow so hopefully things will start looking up on the training front.

One positive for the week is I finally broke down and ordered a pair of CW-X Stabilyx Capri’s and I LOVE them. The first pair of CW-X I bought must have been mis-sized because the ones I bought fit nicely and I may have even been able to  wear my regular size instead of sizing up. They came on Thursday afternoon and I really wanted to run in them but my son’s bus was last and by the time it came I had to leave to pick up my oldest from practice and well it was dark out when we got home. Friday though I did 7 miles in them and I have to say they were wonderful! I can’t wait to try them on a long run.

So that’s my week. Low miles and  an awesome new pair of capri’s.

Are you running the WDW full? How is your training ?

Monday Miles : Week 9

I’m at  about the halfway point in my training Week 9 is done, 10 weeks until WDW Marathon. If you want to get picky, my halfway day will be Thursday but i’m still chugging along, or well trying to. Here is my training update for the week!

MondayMiles : Week 9

 

I don’t really have much of anything new to report this week. I had a horrible training week. The type of horrible that equals the lack of weekday miles. I took my typical Monday off and the rest of the week slipped by. Weather, kids, and homeschooling were the top culprits. Life just got in the way and I wasn’t thrilled. This week i’m hoping for better and the forecasted rain to go away. My son’s homeschool schedule is changing so that should alleviate issues too. I am optimistic that this change will mean that I can get in more miles.

My long run this weekend was not quite as far as I had planned. I went out hoping the odds were in my favor with the rainy weather. The first 7 miles weren’t so bad, just a drizzly, spitting rain. Then it started to pour. I decided to keep going remembering the forecast thinking it may let up. It didn’t though. I made the decision to stop at 13.1 miles. I was running around the Air Force Base again and there was a ton of activity for a Sunday morning. I saw a few planes land and later trucks full of rucksacks so i’m thinking some soldiers were coming home. People were not stopping at crosswalks and as the rain continues the puddles grew to the type that would splash over my head if I a car drove by. I didn’t want to but stopping would probably be the best option. I was just 6-7 miles short of what I wanted to do.

If anything I can say all these rainy day miles have me prepared if it does rain on race day.So that is a definite plus.  This week was also a reminder that not all weeks are going to be good weeks. You can’t control everything and nothing in life is perfect.

Gear wise I finally ordered CW-X Stabilyx 3/4 tights. I really hope they fit! I did try on some Old Navy compression and they really weren’t all that great, in my opinion. I know a ton of people love them but I found that they were lose around my knees and bunched up there. I also checked out a few other stores but I couldn’t find anything in my size. Tons of XS, S and XL but no Medium or Large even. I did catch a great clearance sale at Dicks and picked up 2 nice and bright (ok, florescent) Cold Gear Under Armor tops  for 15-16 bucks each! I really love the cold gear UA tops.

That’s about it for this week. It was pretty uneventful. So until next week when we start the single digit countdown!

 

Monday Miles: Week 8

Hey y’all, It’s another week, Week 8 of training to be exact! Only 11 more to go until marathon day. Here is my  late, Monday miles.

Monday Miles: Week 8 | Country Girl Gourmet

This week it was much of the same thing just a different day  except I was having some knee pain. I couldn’t figure out what I had done because obviously going 17 miles wouldn’t have done it. Upon googling my symptoms and reflecting on my long run (and hip issues I was having) I am pretty sure I have been introduced to IT band problems. WHY?!?!?! Really this just means I need to work on strengthening my hip. Plus I need to find some new compression gear. The capri’s I wore last week were too big and the CW-X tights I had bought were returned because they were too small, go figure. Seriously I think my daughter could wear the CW-X! I am thinking of giving a different style CW-X a go but i’m unsure after being so disappointed. I really love my Moving Comfort shorts but Moving Comfort no longer makes them and well my shorts are on the well worn side. Runner Problems I guess. Finding gear you love, that works well for you and then the company stops making it.

On my long run I ended up in an old pair of Nike tights. I bought them at an outlet in New Jersey years ago but only really started wearing them in the last couple years. I have no clue what type they are but they are great. As great as they are though they couldn’t stop my hip from yelling at me during my long run as my miles added on. This weeks magic number was 18 and I reached it. Yay!

I set off for that paved trail I had forgotten my Garmin at a few weeks back. This time I had my Garmin but at that i’m not sure of how accurate it was. When I go out and run I always run the Road ID App, always. This App lets my husband know where I am  and he checks on me quite a bit. Using this App came in handy when I got lost in the woods a few weeks back. He knew exactly where I was and could help me navigate. An added bonus to this app is that in addition to giving you a map of the route you took, it tells you how far you went, everything but your pace. It is awesome, one of my running must haves. Well anyways it said I went 18.5 miles and i’m kind of leaning with that. The trail is well marked and while my GPS started in line with the mile markers it kept getting further and further off.

I did it though. My only issue was around mile 15-16 I did stop and loosened my one shoe and stretched my hip. Once I stretched I was good to go to finish up. Again my pace was turtle pace but that is fine with me, for now.  The pace will work for the WDW Marathon too.

I played with nutrition on my long run once again and I think I found something that will work. In addition to Gu’s, Nuun and water I tried a protein bar at the 10 mile mark. It tasted horrible but it did exactly what I needed. When I finished my run I felt good, no blood sugar issues and no calf issues. In fact I had to leave immediately to go pick up some Team RWB gear for a Zombie run that night and I was able to do so with no problems. I still ate my pickles just in case though but other than the usual post run tired legs and a bit of brain fog I was feeling good.

Things are coming along. I just need to add 8.2 more miles onto my distance. If  I am able to continue with my plan, hopefully by December I will be there! Until next week everyone!

Monday Miles : Week 7

Woohoo it’s week 7 with 12 more to go until the WDW Marathon. Here are my Monday Miles; what i’ve been up to in the last week!

Monday Miles : Week 7

When it comes to getting my runs in, this week I had a good week. I do have to say it is a struggle sometimes. Between work, homeschool, kids and life in general it is often a matter of squeezing them in. This past week my “short” runs were 6 miles. I felt good doing them except for my feet. They did not like the shoes I wore so on Friday after a doctor’s appointment I got new shoes finally! So far I have done one run in them and I love them! I picked up a pair of Altra’s Superior 2. They  are comfy and I have plenty of room in my toe box. Something my feet desperately need especially since my insurance denied my orthotic.

That run I did in them was just my 17 mile long run on Saturday. I am so happy to have finally to get back on track. My original plan was for 18 and I am sure I could have pushed out 18 but at mile 15 I decided to head back. This past week I was doing loops around an air field on Fort Bragg, well Pope Air Force Base. According to what I found online the route was 6 miles and I planned to do 3 loops. Well, I took a wrong turnkey first lap and ended up at 6.6miles, lap 2 put me at 13.08. I wasn’t feeling 19.5 (plus I like doing whole miles) yet so I planned to go out 2.5 and come back. Mile 14 was hard and I ended up talking myself out of mile 18. Odd enough it was my fastest mile! Go figure. I headed back at mile 15, finished up at 17 and ate my pickles.

I am still working on nutrition for my long runs and this week I learned that Gluten Free pretzels were not what I needed. I have my Gu game down. I have a set schedule for them and as long as I don’t skew from that i’m ok but I have I have a calf cramping problem. I drink Nuun while i’m out but it’s just not enough. Pickles are my at home cure and I have considered bringing them with me on long runs. The pretzels just weren’t salty enough. I wanted to dump the pretzels and eat the salt at the bottom the bag. Then there is the fact I don’t feel the carbs did anything to help and I need the opposite. I need something to help stabilize my blood sugar. When I finished my 17 miles I felt my blood sugar crashing. Thankfully in addition to my pickles I had Mountain Dew in my car I grabbed just in case I needed the sugar and boy did I. I am thinking about going back to almonds but regular almonds, not the lightly salted that I usually buy or even some sort of jerky… I hate beef jerky though. Then I could be just bring pickles or mustard packets but then I would still need something for the whole blood sugar issue.

My shoes and pretzels weren’t the only new things for my run. I also wore new compression capri’s. After getting some CW-X leggings that did not fit at all I started looking for something else. I ended up with a pair of moving comfort capri’s that are like some compression shorts I like. I was so excited to get them and happy they fit. Unfortunately for me though once I was out  on my long run I discovered my capri’s were actually too big. I tightened them up and kept pulling the material up but it didn’t help. I have some pretty nasty chafing on my thighs now. My hips were yelling at me too… the pants just weren’t tight enough. Not sure what i’m going to do about those capri’s now but i’m back in the market for some new compression gear.

My plans for the next week is to start adding more miles during the week. Just do whatever I can. I also have a doctors appointment where I plan to talk about my pre-diabetes. I am hoping to be put on something for it. My girlie doctor last week was pretty sure my weight issues stem from my blood sugar not being on estrogen. So we’ll see. My girlie doctor did adjust my estrogen and put me on a new medicine for the first time in 5 years.  Hopefully, i’ll have some good news to report on that front come next week.

Monday Miles : Week 6

Another week of training has come and gone. Here is this week’s Monday Miles, just what I have been up to in the last week!

Monday Miles : Week 6

This past week I had a big appointment with my foot doctor. It wasn’t everything I had hoped for but I wasn’t told to quit running so that is always good. What I learned was that shot I had back in August did not work like it should have. That boils down to the area it needed to go was hard to get to. Now I get to have it done again but this time it will be x-ray guided. I have my appointment but I need to reschedule. My homeschooler is having some testing and afterwards I thought it would be better to have the shot done earlier in the week rather than later so it doesn’t affect my long run.

Talking with my doctor further we discussed my blister problem.  As I suspected I had been overthinking things and he boiled down to my gait. I’m not running how I normally do or should due to my injury. Solution getting an orthotic  at least temporarily. If the shot works, I shouldn’t need it. So later that day I got fitted for a custom orthotic and learned more about my feet.

I learned my feet are slightly 2 different sizes, and I definitely need a wide width shoe. The width of my foot though they don’t typically make.  That right there explains how come I have such trouble finding a good shoe that fits. For fun you can add in that I don’t have the typical foot, I have a Morton’s toe. That mean’s my second toe is longer than my big toe. The toe thing I knew…
I just didn’t realize how it affected the rest of my foots mechanics. I also learned my toes and foot are hypermobile. The more he told me about the mechanics of my foot I was like, this completely makes sense when it comes to how I got hurt. He went on and made molds out of my feet and now I wait. I wait on my insurance. I have Tricare, it is the insurance military and their family uses. Well, the orthotics office has to submit and see if they will approve my orthotics. The orthotics office isn’t optimistic. Tricare typically only approves orthotics for service members. I’m not sure their reasoning but we will see what they say. Personally I think it is a bit ridiculous as does my  husband.

My long run this week was a huge fail. I planned to finally go 16 miles and I only went 10 and change. I was so disappointed in myself. My course for the week was on a busy 2 lane military highway, speed limit 55 but people drive much faster. Once on got on that road I was on edge. I was constantly scanning the knee and higher grass for snakes and keeping an eye on traffic. I even saw a snake that my husband later told me was a copperhead! I’m thankful I was able to go far enough into the road to go around it. I kept going and chugging along. I felt good at my turn around point. I ate some almonds and kept going. Then in mile 9 my calves started to cramp. I told myself, it’s in my head, I got this, if needed I could cut things 1-2 miles short. I stopped though and my husband rescued me. I went home and ate some pickles, took a shower and was better.  My only issue was my toes hurting from new black toenails. I am wondering though is this the wall everyone talks about? If so what do I need to do so it doesn’t happen again? I already carry water, Nuun,Gu’s and a small bag of almonds… maybe I should carry some pickles too.

Speaking of carrying things I can tell you something good about my run! For my birthday my husband got me a Camelbak Ultra 4 and he gave it to me early just so I could use it on my run. I really liked it! It was perfect! I was able to effortlessly carry everything I would want with plenty of room for more.  Heck, I even took some toilet paper, because you never know! I don’t think I will be going back to my fuel belt.

So there it is! The highlights of my running week. 13 weeks to go!

Monday Miles: Week 5

Fourteen weeks until the WDW Marathon! Here is what i’ve been up to and what not!

Monday Miles: Week 5

The last week has been horrible when it comes to my running. Why? The weather has not been my friend, heck it hasn’t been anyone’s friend. Here in NC we hit our 12 straight days of rain today, Monday. Combine the rain and my favorite trail closing and being  pushed to the roads to run, I now have a problem. My husband has vetoed me from running on the road in this weather. I understand why, even though i’m stubborn and don’t want to. People drive like lunatics in good weather and are even worse in the rain. It’s all about safety. When you don’t have sidewalks it is just not as safe to run on the shoulder of the road in rainy weather, especially country roads where people drive much faster than they should. I have been researching different areas to run but i’ve come up with a whole lotta nothing that is nearby.

At this point i’m frustrated. I want to run and i’m stressing about how i’m going to get my miles in as I was rolling a big huge ZERO miles for the week come Sunday morning. I finally decided to drive across town to get some miles in. In Fayetteville they have a great paved trail that runs along the Cape Fear River, the Cape Fear River Trail. From trailhead to trailhead it is 8ish miles, they have extended the trail though too and it is over 10 now, well something like that. It would work, definitely better than nothing.

After I left my house I discovered I forgot my Garmin. Ahhh! I decided i’d be ok, there is an app for that. I started out with my Garmin Fit App. After the 1st mile it wasn’t giving me alerts so I added my Nike+ app. At mile 2 the Garmin app decided to quit. Then I noticed my apps were no where close to what the trail was marked. So much for technology. I’ve heard about this running without technology though and how freeing it is. Well it wasn’t for me. I have always run with a Garmin and i’ve been running close to 10 years now. I really rely on it. I tried though.  In the end it just wasn’t for me.

My run was far from my best. I was hoping for better but it just wasn’t happening. I have decided I need to replace my shoes. No ands, ifs, or buts. The tread is disappearing and I slipped and almost fell on my ass about a half dozen times. I love wearing minimals and Merrell’s have been my go-to shoe but their selection of women shoes has dwindled over the years and they no longer make the shoe i’ve worn the past few years. I have tried a few pairs of neutral running shoes but they just haven’t worked for me in the long run. I really have no clue what i’m going to get, only that it needs to be 0 drop.

So forgetting my Garmin and other tech issues, running in the rain and slipping what else could there be to make this a crazy run. How about a downed tree? Yep, that happened to at the 2 mile point. Took a minute or two to access the situation and decided to climb over it. I was getting my run done.

As my run went on there were no other obstacles it was a very basic run. I will say I did not fuel like I normally do. I barely touched my water or my Nuun. I took one gel when I was a bit past half way. When I finished I felt okay other than being bothered by not knowing how far I had actually gone or my pace. I drove the about 45 minutes home, got home showered, and went about my day. I sat down and ate a yogurt and then got up to make some cupcakes with Lil Miss. That’s when it happened. As soon as I got in the kitchen calf cramps hit in both of my calves. My husband massaged them out for me some and then I put my compression sleeves and ate some pickles. I would have never guessed that the cramps would have taken so long after my run to hit but they did. I put the blame entirely on myself too. I know my body. I am a “salty runner” and even though I didn’t feel like I needed it I needed to properly fuel and hydrate during my run to prevent these situations.

I am hoping the rain really does clear up and I can get back to my regular schedule this week. If not I will be spending more time in the garage with weights. Today we are getting a new bar. It is lighter so the kids can use it and it will help me with my form. Well that is the plan. Then, later this week I get to see my foot doctor again for a follow up. I’m really not sure how that is going to go. As for my big toe I can now finally bend it but it does not bend like my other toe. As for pain it only bothers me after long runs. I’ll let y’all know how that goes next week.

What do you do on rainy days when you need to run? 

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