Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Oshkosh Half Marathon + Seven More Miles

This weekend was the first of two 20 milers that we have on the schedule for the Cellcom Marathon training plan.   I'm not entirely positive I will get the second 20 miler in because the morning they are doing that, I have clinicals from 6am until 2pm....that sort of gets in the way.   I might be able to get it in on Sunday (twss) but you just never really know if that'll happen or not.

This weekends plan was for Kim, Rachel, Matt and I to meet at 5am to run 7 before the race and then finish up with the 13.1 race so that we would be done running by 9:10am.   I woke up at the ass crack of dawn to hear wind and rain blowing on my bedroom windows.   Shit.

I got up and went to drink coffee.   A little bit later, I get a message saying Rachel is sick and not racing.   Kim wasn't going to do the extra mileage and Matt was still willing to meet for the 7 before the race.   I hesitated in saying okay but I did and then I went up to pee before leaving only to hear down pouring rain on the roof above the bathroom.   I went back downstairs and told Matt I was waiving my white flag and that I'd see him at the start of the race instead.   I fell back to sleep for a good 30 minutes and then got up and tiredly got ready again.  I drank a little more coffee because dammit, I was tired and then out the door I went.  Thankfully the rain had stopped and the weather was looking decent.

I got to the race and found Matt very quickly.   Parking is not an issue at all for this race.  You get really close to the start no matter when you get there.   As soon as I got there, Matt got out of his car and told me that now Kim wasn't replying to his text messages so he was assuming she wasn't coming at all either.   Looks like it just the two of us!  We both noted how cool it felt and questioned what to wear.   I threw another shirt on.   We went to the restroom yet again before the race and at that point it was already time to go line up.   Before we knew it the race started and we were running.

Almost immediately something felt terrible.   I've been having these terrible under the rib cramp and entire stomach pain while running lately and it was back.   I didn't say anything to Matt at all.   I didn't want to believe it was real.   I was like .25 of a mile into the day and it was bad.  I wanted to throw up the pain was that bad.   Close to a mile in, I told him.   He had no idea that I had been running with it from the start so he said "Maybe you can run it off"  which is typically what you can do but I honestly wanted to vomit.   At mile one, Lish was at one of the water stations so I took a layer off and threw it at her as I passed.   That was a really nice option to have.

Right at one mile we quickly stopped to walk.   Already.   Lame.   Matt stayed with me though so I didn't feel like a loser that badly then.   At least I had a friend.   Walking didn't seem to be helping so finally I just said "I don't know what to do" and started to run again.   Eventually by mile 3 the pain was gone.  It was glorious.   Unfortunately, Matt then started to get some pretty bad knee pain so at mile 3 we took another quick walk break.   I took this chance to drink some Cocogo (what I run with for all of my long runs) and eat some honey stinger gummies.    We didn't walk long and started running again.   We kept with the 3 mile plan the entire time and it worked really well.   He would stop at the water station to fill his water bottle at that point and I would drink some more Cocogo and eat more Honey Stingers.  We kept the pace completely easy and conversational the whole race.  Only at one point did I feel winded and I think it was just from talking too much.   I told Matt that I needed to shut up for a minute to catch my breath and it worked.

Matt and I run like this all of the time.   He pulls me about 95% of the time.
He claims I drift off of him.
Before we knew it, it was close to the end.   I enjoyed the last few miles of passing people.   Usually I was always so tired by the end that I was being passed but I told Matt that if we did this right, we should be able to pass people the last few miles and that's exactly what we did.   It was fun to feel strong at that point.  We picked it up a lot the last mile and ran it in strong.  We finished under 2:09 feeling great.

Because of me being a pansy that morning, I still had 7 miles to get done.   We all parted ways to head home and I was heading home to get the last 7 miles in.   I felt ready for it and excited to get it done.    About 3 minutes into my drive home I got a message from Matt saying he'd run the last 7 with me too, otherwise he probably wouldn't get it done so that's what we did.   It was a little rough to run 13 miles, drive and then run 7 more miles but it went better then any other 20 miler I have ever had.

This week is a step back week and the long run is 16 miles which really doesn't seem like much of  a step back week to me...but whatever.   It's crazy we are already this far into the Cellcom training plan.  A couple more weeks and we are already to taper.   Yikes.   I wouldn't mind the weather staying cool for Cellcom but of course we'll be thrown some crazy wrench and it will either be 90 degrees or 45 mph winds.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

All of the good things....

Today was a good day!  Not every day feels as good but I feel like I accomplished a lot today.

First, I just finished my homework.   A lot of this class is self taught so I have tons of videos to watch and tons of my text book to read during the week.   We only meet for class one day right now and during class we go over some of the stuff from the videos and text book but most of it is practicing the procedures that we learned about from the videos and text book.   Soon we will also start clinicals where we will be going to a nursing home to put the skills learned to real life use.  

Second I managed to start the day off right by grabbing my balls and finally using the squat rack at the gym.   This thing is terribly intimidating to me but it really was easy once I got over my anxiety.   I'm still on track with my lifting schedule!  Shoulders and Abs tomorrow!

Third.   I ate this.   It was amazing.   You should make it.  Now.

Fourth.   I was able to run outside with shorts.   SHORTS!  This is the first time in probably 6 months!  The run was not exactly easy (today was legs day) but that's what you get after running over 20 miles this past weekend.  

Fifth.   I ran a 5k this past Friday and it sucked big time.   It was raining and sleeting and about 32 degrees with 30 mph winds.   I gave up at 1 mile in and had horrible stomach pains but whatevs!  On the positive side, I didn't look like I was going to puke at the finish line photo.   I don't look happy either.

 Another bonus?  Our front row parking.   We sat into the car until seconds before the start to keep warm.  I do not believe in becoming acclimated before running.

Sixth.   I found out Mike's getting promoted again at work.  He was just promoted in December and now he's going to get another nice raise.   This is perfect timing with me quitting my job to go back to school.   Thank you God.

Seventh (and last) good thing is this week our house should sort of get back to normal.   We are doing some renovations thanks to an ice damn in our attic above our kitchen and decided to also fix the bonus room we have.   We have always hated it.   There were so many things wrong with it that it needed to be gutted so after finishing my 18 mile run on Saturday, that's what I did.   Saturday and Sunday the transformation went something like this:

 The door that Mike is standing in for the last picture is no longer there.   It's boarded up and gone!  Previously they had plastered over a door!   You had a door on the outside of the house, but no door on the inside.   I would get packages delivered to this faux door all the time.

Now we are just waiting for the drywall and plastering guy to come on Thursday, Friday and possibly Saturday to put it all back together again.   I can not wait.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Here are some bullets for you...

  • I have a 5k this Friday evening.   It was the 5k that I ran last year that I PR'ed at and swore I wouldn't run again but here I am doing it again.   Idiot.   The weather is looking splendid!  

                               I'm guessing a PR is not in the works for this race.   

  • I'm still lifting weights!   For the past month, I have only been doing weights at home with what I had but this just wasn't cutting it.   Since Monday, I have been going to the Y and doing Jamie Eason's Plan.   I'm sure I look like an idiot scoping out all the machine and trying to find the one I need to use and how to use it but eventually I will get it.   If anyone has any weight lifting programs/plans they use and have had great success with, let me know!    Here is my one month comparison.   Not much of a difference there...darn. 

  • Speed work seems to be working.   I have done intervals one day of each week and my pace is picking up.   That's always encouraging.   We did a 13 mile long run this past weekend and I felt great the whole time and felt even better the next day.   No soreness or anything (other then my tight hamstring) so I'm feeling pretty happy about that! 

  • I have a half marathon in a week and a couple days.   It's also the day we are supposed to do our first 20 mile training run for the Cellcom marathon.   I am thinking I will probably do 7 before the race like I did a couple years back during training.   The one sad part about this is that I wanted to race the Oshkosh Half Marathon and if I'm running 7 before hand, I certainly am not going to be as fast as I would like to be.   Once again, not much I can do about it though.  

  • This is all I have today and I don't really know how to end this post other then with a pointless bullet point.   The end. 

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Three Things Thursday

A little late to the game here but at least I've got a post.  

1. Nursing school.   I had my first test today and I was totally nervous.   I had no idea what to expect.   I knew it was fifty questions but there was so much material covered in the first lab that you never know what they will ask.  

Pre-Test.   Nervous!
Thankfully as soon as you finish, you get your grade and I aced it!  Only a million tests left!

2. The girls are on spring break this week and it's hard to come up with things to do when the weather is not spring like.   I had dreams of taking them for walks, letting them play at the park and going for bike rides but unless we want to be covered in mud and snow and cold as can be, these things are just not happening.   Instead we've managed to do things like go to the mall and walk around.   Go to the YMCA and play.   Mike took them to Monkey Joe's today while I was at school.  

She stood like this for a good 2 minutes.   Not creepy at all.

We are all sort of bored with this spring break.  I'm ready for them to get back to school and I think Katelyn would prefer to be back at school too.   Kenzie just wants to do nothing.   That's her personality.  Sleep in.  Eat.   Play on the Kindle.   That's the good life.

3.   This dog.   He's my parents, sort of.   Was my sisters but it's a long story and now my parents have him for good.   He lives to be held like a baby.   And then within minutes he falls asleep.  

Yes.  One of my numbers was a dog sleeping.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Feeling better

Last week I had the IV Iron given to me on Thursday.   On Friday, they had me go in for another breast ultrasound to check things out there.   I have a very small amount of fat on my body from my belly button up (But I've got love handles, heeeyyy!) and because of this, it makes it very hard for me and any doctor that has felt my boobs to do a breast exam.   You feel all of the lumpy, bumpy breast tissue and lumpy and bumpy is not what you are "supposed" to feel when you do a self breast exam.    I am not new to this experience at all.   Back in 2004, they found a lump at my annual exam.   They sent me for an ultrasound and found the lump.   It was not a cyst.  They decided to have me come back for a biopsy but when I went back for the biopsy they changed their minds and decided to do another ultrasound again and also a mammogram.   Then they decided it was a non-cancerous tumor.   Apparently one that will never turn into cancer.   Good enough for me.  

Last year my primary care physician sent me again for another ultrasound.   She just wanted to be on the safe side with all of my blood results for the past year and because she did a breast exam and wasn't thrilled with how lumpy and bumpy they were.   This is also when she said to me "Oh you're so thin! I can feel your rib bone!"  while doing my breast exam.


How much are breast implants?  Anyone want to sponsor them for me?

So fast forward to Friday and here I am again.   Thankfully the ultrasound technician remembered me from last year and so it set the mood right away for being chill and not awkward.   We easily talked while I was naked from the top up.   She took the pictures she needed and then went and discussed them with the doctor.   He came in and asked me what brought me there so I explained everything.   He then looked around a little with the ultrasound wand and was so excited to tell me that everything was great looking and then proceeded to show me everything on the ultrasound itself.   He was showing me how it's great that my boobs were lumpy and bumpy because of the small layer of fat I have over my boobs.  He proceeded to put the ultrasound on my back to show me the "tiny" layer of fat I have on my body and then got super excited when he saw my back muscles in the ultrasound and asked me if I was a triathlete.  

So yeah.   Apparently all is good there.  

Now I honestly can tell a different with the IV Iron.   On Friday, I did my long run for the weekend.   I had 12 miles on the schedule and had to go out and do them solo again because of schedule conflicts.   I knew it would be fine with the Macklemore station on Pandora but the weather did become challenging.   I forgot how windy spring is.   I ended up changing my route a bit while I was out there to avoid the head wind as much as I could.   My legs were pretty dead and didn't feel like they warmed up until about 9 miles in but to my surprise my pace was very fast for me, especially for my long run pace.   Coincidence?   We will see!

Yesterday was nearly a perfect Sunday.    We laid around for the majority of the morning.  I finally showered and then my mother in law took the girls for the afternoon.

Kitty love is always first on Angelo's weekend schedule.

 Mike and I wanted to go eat breakfast somewhere but wanted to try something new so we went to WeatherVane in Downtown Menasha.   It was perfect!

I can see us making this a regular rotation.   The prices were very reasonable and the food was delicious.    Be sure to check their hours before you head there though.   They have very limited hours.

This week should be interesting.  They are doing a lot of construction to our house and the kids are off for spring break.   If the weather would just warm up so I could take the kids to the park!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Trying to figure out my health and other stuff

As I previously mentioned, I am having some issues with my health lately.   For over the past year, they have been trying to fight anemia with different methods and medication and none have been successful.   I went from vegetarian back to omnivore in an effort to help as well and even that made no difference what so ever.  Not only was I anemic but I was also low in WBC's last time I had my blood checked so my primary care physician has referred me to a hematologist.     I saw them for the first time on Tuesday and this is his current thoughts:

-Not too worried about the low WBC's yet.  They are not terribly low.   But my ABS Granulocytes are also a little on the low side so not really sure what to think quite yet.

-Swollen Lymph nodes in my arm pit (a new occurrence since my last visit with my doctor) throws a wrench in the thought that I'm simply just anemic.  Decides to do a breast exam on the spot and hates my boobs just like every single doctor I have ever seen.   They are very dense and fibrous and make it pretty impossible to feel anything.   Sends me to do a mammogram today (Friday).   After today, I will have had had 3 ultrasounds and two mammograms on my breasts since 2004.   I'll keep you posted on the results of today.

- Decides to do Intravenous Iron.   I had that done yesterday.   They warned me that it takes a long time.   You sit in a large room with other people that are getting iron, chemo etc.

Every chair was full when I came in.   Four hours later, it looked like this:

Apparently Iron takes longer then any other treatment.

It at least gave me a couple hours of working on my nursing homework.

The first hour I tried to do homework but they gave me Benedryl through the IV and I was pretty loopy after that.   I found myself reading the same paragraph over and over and not retaining an ounce of it.   I wanted to sleep but you're in a room with a whole bunch of people so if that isn't awkward, I don't know what is.

I will follow up with the Iron in one month.   He will redraw my blood and check my levels again.    He's also hoping that my lymph nodes magically go down on their own.   If not, he mentioned biopsying one.

Basically what it all comes down to is either this is all just a reaction to low iron for an extended period of time or the mention of cancer or bone marrow issues also came up.   He said he didn't want to jump to soon and do a bone marrow biopsy either so he wants to start with the IV Iron first.

Onto running.   I have 12 miles on deck for this weekend.  I think I may actually do it today because temps are going to be more favorable and it just fits into the weekend better today.   Mike already gave me the green light on it.  

The kids start spring break today at 11:30.   Yesterday was my last day at my job.   We actually will not have to shower before 8am every single day next week!   I'm pretty excited about it.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Still trying new things in 2014

This year seems to be the year of a lot of firsts for me.    Mike likes to tell me that he thinks I've hit my mid life crisis at 30, and while he might be partially right, they are all positive moves that needed to happen.  It just took some major ugly crying from me and pep talks from Mike while I was laying under the covers in bed all weekend to finally make the move toward my happiness.  #truth

The newest thing to add to the list of new things in 2014 is school.   Last week I gave my two week notice at work so that I can focus solely on one thing.   School.   I enrolled into the Nursing program here and the way that it works is that I will have one year to get my supportive classes taken care of and then the following year or two you work on getting done with the Licensed Practical Nurse classes or Registered Nurse program.   I am currently taking the CNA class, as this is a requirement to be enrolled in the LPN ready program and RN ready program.

I'm pretty nervous about all of this because the program is extremely time consuming and difficult as it is a fast paced degree.   I've known of several people that have been through it and I have heard all of the stories about how stressful the whole program is but I have always wanted to be in the medical field for as long as I can remember and I'm getting old and need to do something about it now.

On to other things.

This weekend I was forced to run 16ish slow miles all by myself.   Normally I have my normal group I run with but no one could go with me this weekend so I considered skipping the run as well my options and decided to do it on my own.    I was sort of excited about the idea of listening to music for the run since it's been a long time since I've been able to do that on a long run.   Someone needs to buy me a jammie pack.  I would love you forever.  I also did a half assed "map my run" route just to make sure I would be able to cover the miles needed the way I was going and once I saw that I could, I X'ed out of mapmyrun.com and left for my run with my Garmin.   This plan didn't work.   My Garmin died at 3.5 miles into my run.   This is happening far more then I would like lately.

I just kept running and sort of tried to guess how many miles I had ran so far.   It's weird to run 16 miles and have really no idea how far you have gone.   I kept thinking how I've ran races without a Garmin but they at least tell you the mile markers and for this I had nothing.  

The sidewalks were nothing less then dangerous.   On Friday the temps were in the 40's so everything was melting but when I went out for my run on Saturday morning, everything froze again so I was constantly having to slow down to go over long stretches of icy sidewalk.   At one point I even had to turn around because the trail I was running on was so icy and water covered it was impassable.  Just when I got out of that area, I saw another running heading that way so I gave him a nod and then told him that you can't get through that way.   He kept running but turned around and nearly fell on his ass right in front of me.   Then he continued on like it never happened even though we both know it did.   Laugh at yourself, dude.  It'll make you feel better.


Eventually I got to the point where I had to really guess on how far I was.   I wanted to be over 16 miles, not under so I tacked on a few more blocks and then started back toward home.   When I got home, I mapped out my run to find out I ran 17.1 miles!  I ran over an entire mile more then I had to.   Some might be thrilled by this but I was not.   Because of it, I did not have time to shower before Katelyn's soccer game so I had to go to that freezing cold and smelly.   My Garmin is now fully charged so it better be good for the week.   I am by no means a Garmin whore but when I am alone, it's essential.

Do you use Map My Run before you head out for a long run?

What do you do for a living?