Friday, May 31, 2013

May Wrap-up, Race goals, and Another Mother Runner house party

It all comes down to this. 7 weeks of running and cross training and preparing. My "A-goal" race is tomorrow. I've done all I can do.

But first:

Last night a bunch of my running friends and I went to a local shoe store to meet the authors of Run Like a Mother and Train Like a Mother (take a look in my sidebar at my favorite books section.) The original Another Mother Runners Dimity McDowell and Sarah Bowen Shea read from Train Like a Mother, raffled off cool prizes (I won a gift card to Saucony for a FREE pair of shoes or apparel!!), and gave us a bunch of swag (now I can try Nuun and various gels that I will need when I start training for the half). They mingled and talked to us and it was funny immediately recognizing their voices because I listen to their podcast. It was such a fun night and made even better by having so many of our Strong Running Mamas there (even though I missed the group picture because we left a little early).

7 weeks done!
May wrap up:

I had a bit of a setback in May because of these kidney stones. But considering that I have EIGHT KIDNEY STONES it's kind of amazing that I've done anything besides lay on the couch and bemoan my fate.

  • Mileage: 46.2
  • Runs: 11
  • Cross training days: 16
  • Cross training sessions: 25

So, my mileage was down, but not really by all that much. But my cross training was way up (thanks Summer Shape Up Challenge!). Hopefully it will be enough. I attempted my mile repeats last week and that didn't go well. I never did wind up trying again later that night because I was just too wiped out. Last Friday I tried again and I had to stop and pee halfway through the first mile and I was struggling. So I decided that what I needed more than mile repeats was to feel successful and I switched it up and did my favorite fast pick ups instead. And after that I did kickboxing (with much less energy than normal). I don't think one particular speedwork session is going to make or break me. Either I'm ready or I'm not. 

Tomorrow is going to be wicked hot. I have EIGHT KIDNEY STONES. When I did 35 minutes of cardio and then ran 3.5 miles on Wednesday I peed a bunch of blood. There are a million excuses to accept less than my best tomorrow. 

But I'm not. Accepting less than my best, that is. I'm going for it. 


C. Beat my last 5K time: 28:26
B. Beat my last Freihofer's time of 27:58 (I need to double check this!)
A. 26:30 or better

I guess I should also include "pass at least half my kidney stones immediately following the race" as a goal as well. I go to the stone specialist next Friday and will hopefully have a plan of action besides drinking a lot of water and waiting.

I'm not going to beat myself up if I don't make it. But there's no reason to not give it my all. 

Monday, May 27, 2013

Cross training and Jessica Smith's Summer Shape Up Challenge

The only exercise I have ever stuck with is running. It's remarkable really. But I'm at the point now where I want to improve my running and simply running more just doesn't cut it. I've tried over the past couple of years to add other things, weight-lifting, yoga, etc, but nothing ever lasted more than a week. Until I found Jessica Smith on the exercise On Demand. Specifically the 10 minute workouts. I started doing those and then I bought the book/DVD combo (Thin In 10, you can find it over there in my right sidebar) and then I subscribed to her YouTube channel (you can find that over in the right sidebar too). I would pick whichever routine I could squeeze in. I've had some good weeks with a lot and some bad weeks with a little.

My willy nilly days of picking the shortest workouts whenever I feel like it are over. I'm following along with Jessica's Summer Shape Up Challenge. It's a 5 week program with exercises 6 days a week. She posts the entire week's plan on Sunday--but just a week at a time. I'm used to thinking in months and not weeks so that's a bit of a challenge to me. But it's good. All of the workouts are free through YouTube and we comment on each video so she knows we're keeping up. It's a great motivator. I'm sure she's not going to hunt me down if I don't do a day, but it keeps me accountable and I find myself rearranging things so I can do it. I'm so excited that I'm sticking with something other than running that I am planning on donating to her website. I'm getting quality workouts in the comfort of my own home that I would normally have to go to a class to do. I just started Week 2 today and so far the only pain is that the rest day doesn't always sync up to my running rest day. Week 2's rest day is Saturday--the day I will be racing the Freihofer's. But once the Freihofer's is over I can try to plan my weekly runs around the Shape Up Challenge. I'm not sure what I will do if I wind up having to get these kidney stones blasted. But I'm not thinking about that yet. 

I'm hoping that all of this will make me a stronger runner and that by the time I do the half next fall it'll be a piece of cake (yeah, I'm kidding.). I guess I'll see on Saturday how well I do (provided I don't have any more complications). I know that I've lost 3-4 pounds in the last couple of weeks and my clothes fit differently. (I don't really track my weight, I've never cared that much about it, but I still weigh LightRunner every week and that involves me weighing myself first and then holding him). But really, the only numbers I'm concerned with are the ones on the clock at the finish line.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013


Yuck. Image from MedicineNet.
It has been a crazy week. Besides all of the good stuff like the Princess turning 6 (no superheroes this year) and going out for Mother's Day dinner, there's been some less fun stuff too. Like trips to the doctor and the ER.

Just a couple of months ago, I wrote this about hydration and how important it was because I had recently been diagnosed with a UTI and we concluded it was from dehydration. I may have been wrong. Not in the importance of drinking water and staying hydrated, but in the cause of my UTI.

On Mother's Day I ran 6 miles with a couple of friends who are MUCH faster than me. Midway through the run I needed to stop at one of their houses so I could pee. Blood. Yup, peeing blood again. Awesome. I returned to running, drank more of my water, and attributed it to running with people much faster than me. Then a couple of days later I did a nice easy 4 mile run early in the morning. I had made sure to drink plenty of water the night before and I think I may have even had water with me as I ran... and I peed blood again. That's no good. I went to the doctor the next day (Wed) and she prescribed me antibiotics in case I had another UTI and sent me for an ultrasound. I went to the ultrasound on Thursday and the tech just happened to be a runner. So we chatted a bit and she was a little more forthcoming with the info than any other tech I've seen. She told me right away that I had kidney stones. Argh.

Here's where it gets really fun. I started to feel less than 100% on Friday. Light headed, shaky, back hurt, cramps. Had I not known better I would have thought I was going into labor. I got in touch with my doctor who told me I did not have a UTI but that I had kidney stones (I pretended not to know already). I described what I was currently feeling and she said it sounded like I was passing the stones. Or trying to. She instructed me to go to the ER if I started to feel worse because I didn't need to just sit there in pain, I could go and get medication if I needed it. I talked to my mother who has had a zillion kidney stones and she described her symptoms when she wound up being septic and she said they would probably do a cat scan at the hospital and I thought I might as well get that done instead of having to schedule one later and well, for once I decided to play it safe and just go to the ER. I sat there on a stretcher in a hallway, alone, watching trauma victims come in and wondering what the hell I was doing there. I had started to feel a bit better (really it was the shakiness and feeling like I was going to pass out that concerned me, not any pain) except for being hungry. They took my blood and tested my pee again and said they would do a cat scan... and then they didn't. The doc on duty didn't want to expose me to radiation. So they did an ultrasound instead. I still had the stones (I'm not sure if they moved or not since we didn't have the first ultrasound results to compare it to) and some "weirdness" where my ureter joins my kidney. The doc on duty recommended I take ibuprofen, which is when I decided I needed to go home--since everything I had read said to NOT take ibuprofen. A different doc discharged me and said take tylenol, follow up with urologist. Oh and pay $70 on your way out.

Waste. Of. Time.

I suppose it was good to know I wasn't septic or suffering from a kidney infection. But other than that, I really didn't need to be there. I could have just gone to lay down and been okay. Oh well.

So here I am now, drinking water like there's nothing else to drink, and while I didn't quite pee blood during today's scheduled mile repeats, it was darker than it should have been. I have a follow up with my primary doc tomorrow and an appointment with a urologist scheduled for next week. I am planning on trying the mile repeats again tonight after the kids go to bed and I've spent all day hydrating. If I have the same problem... well... I'm planning on doing an easy 4 mile trail run on Thursday evening. If I still have the same problem then I'm going to have to accept that I need to re-evaluate my race goals. You know, for that race I have in 11 days.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Bye-bye April

While I might be trying to hold this baby back, I am pushing my running forward. Last week I had very specific intervals I was supposed to run: 1 mile warmup, 6 x 400 m @7:30 pace (8.0 with a 1% incline on the treadmill), .5 mile cooldown.

I didn't quite make it. I think I did the full 400 m (1/4 mile) for half of them, but the rest I just didn't last that long. Instead of looking at it as a fail, I tried to see it as progress. Up until that day I had only run at 8.0 for 1 minute intervals and here I was doing it for longer than a minute, just not quite as long as I should have. It was hard. When I started feeling like I had to hold on to the treadmill to keep going I realized that it wasn't worth it. I truly didn't feel like it was a fail though.

Today, I once again had very specific intervals to run: 1 mile warmup, pick-ups of 30 seconds each (for 2.5 miles), .5 mile cooldown.

I nailed it.

I think 30 seconds is my magic number. There was no holding on, no fear of falling. After each 30 second interval I either walked for 60-90 seconds or I ran slow (@ 5.5) for 60-90 seconds. I think I did more 60 seconds than 90. I wound up doing 17-18 pick-ups when I usually do 10-12 during the Fast 40 workout I do.

It was great. I felt strong. I enjoyed it and remembered why I love intervals. I have mile repeats coming up on the horizon and I think I may actually get up early and run on the road instead of the treadmill. I don't think long intervals on the treadmill works for me.

My April stats:

  • Mileage: 50.2
  • Runs: 12
  • Cross Training Days: 4?
  • Cross Training Sessions: 5

I had 2 miles less than March, but I did those miles in fewer runs. It must have been those longer runs with friends ... so I'm okay with that. I don't even want to talk about cross training.

I'm happy with April and looking forward to May.