Running, Races and Events in 2014

Total number of miles run in 2014: 1,306.1

Number of races: 7
three 5Ks
one 10K
one 10 Miler
one Half Marathon
one marathon

PRs: 0

Triathlons: 0

Cycling events: 1

Fun Runs: 2 (I can’t bring myself to count the Tofurky Trot and Tacky Light Run as actual races)

Although I put in quite a few miles during the early months of 2014, I did not perform well at all during races. I’m not sure what happened.

This graph shows my weekly mileage through the week of the Blue Ridge Marathon:

week mileage 2014 first partCharlottesville Ten Miler (March 29): 1:27:16/8:44 pace
I didn’t even come close to my 1:20/8:00 pace goal.

Chocolate Chase 10K (April 12): 48:48/7:52 pace
This wasn’t a key race, so I didn’t have a time goal.

Blue Ridge Marathon (April 27): 4:40:54/10:44
I was hoping for a race PR (so anything faster than 4:15:36), but again, I wasn’t even close.

The week after the Blue Ridge Marathon, I ran the Montalto Challenge 5K, but other than that, I had a few easy, low-mileage weeks before I started building my mileage back up. I was (secretly) planning to run the 50 Mile portion of the West Virginia Trilogy.

That plan went out the window when I hurt my knee in July. It took until the middle of October for me to feel recovered enough to start building my mileage again, and then, in December, I twisted my ankle.

2014 mileage second partMontalto Challenge 5k (May 3): 30:34/9:52 pace
This race was a week after the marathon, so I didn’t have a time goal.

James Monroe 5k (May 17): 26:21/8:31 pace
Mostly on trails/no time goal.

Kiwanis 4th of July 5K (July 4): 25:38/8:17 pace
My only goal was to beat my slowest previous time for this race, which I did.

Tofurky Trot (September 27): A family event. We jogged a little and walked a lot.

Culpeper Cycling Century (October 4): I finished my first Century bike ride!

Skinny Turkey Half Marathon (November 27): 1:55:56/8:50 pace
My goals were to run negative splits and to finish under two hours. I accomplished both!

Tacky Light Run (December 13): I did this one on crutches because I sprained my ankle three days before.

Health and Fitness goals for 2015:

1) Run at least twelve races.

2) Complete a half iron distance triathlon or an ultra. I was all set to do the Richmond Rox Half, but then I realized that the Zooma Cape Cod Half Marathon is the week before. Can I do both?

3) Yoga!

It’s time for a reset

I’ve been eating a lot of junk lately.

Pizza, chips, frozen meals, muffins, not to mention all of the holiday treats and desserts.

I’ve also been feeling pretty crappy. My eyes are puffy when I wake up every morning. My joints ache. I’m getting headaches more often. Car rides have been making me queasy. I’m  irritable and have no patience.

Oh, and all of my pants are tight, which really doesn’t help the irritability factor…

So, starting New Year’s Day, I’m cutting the junk out for 10 days.

That means:

No sweets (or sugar of any kind: natural or artificial). No cane sugar, corn syrup, brown rice syrup, maple syrup, honey, Stevia, or any food that contains any of these sweeteners.

No processed, packaged snack foods or frozen meals. This includes all of my “healthy” junk food:

IMG_20141230_135634_220No white flour.

No dairy.

In truth, I started today (except for the white flour and dairy). I have leftover pizza that I need to finish up. It is a mega veggie pizza, though. So at least there’s that.

Ten days of healthy eating to get myself back on track. I can do this.

Want to join me?

Tacky Light Run 2014 (6K on crutches)

IMG_20141214_072338The Wednesday before the race, I twisted my ankle. I tried to stay off it as much as I could, but by Friday night, the swelling still hadn’t gone down. Kurt asked me what I wanted to do about the Tacky Light Run. We were already registered, and had our costumes ready to go.

I told him that I wanted to get some crutches and go do it.

I didn’t really think it through. I had no prior experience using crutches. I mean, there had been a few times when I’d picked up other people’s crutches and played around on them a little (when I was much younger, of course.) But I had no idea what it felt like to use them for any amount of time.

Kurt bought me some crutches at Walgreens. I also asked him to pick up some ribbon and lights so I could decorate the crutches to match my outfit. He’s a pretty good hubby.

When my mom and dad found out that I hurt my ankle and that Kurt and I would be walking instead of running, they decided to drive up and walk with us.

Packet pick-up was in a tent outside of American Family Fitness. Luckily, the fitness center allowed us to use their restrooms to change. What a nice gym! We each got a coupon for a free 7 day trial in our goodie bag. I would definitely take advantage of that if we lived in Richmond.

Also in our goodie bags were a jingle bell and a cool bracelet/flashlight combo. The light didn’t match my outfit, though, so I didn’t wear it. Not matching would have been tacky. We parked at the high school and took the shuttle to Mines Park.


IMG_20141213_181111_749~2There were so many great costumes this year!

The starting waves for the race were:

Reindeer: Runners
Elves: Joggers
Gingerbread Men: Jog/Walkers
Penguins: Walk/joggers
Snowmen: Walkers/Strollers

We lined up with the Snowmen. It was crowded, and once we started moving, I had to be very careful. A little girl tripped over one of my crutches. Her mother looked mortified, but I just felt bad for the girl. I wondered for the first time if doing the race on crutches was somehow selfish of me. I felt like I was in everybody’s way. I also knew that I’d be very slow on crutches, but I had no idea that I wouldn’t be able to keep up with even the slowest walkers! I’m sure it was frustrating for Kurt and my parents to have to creep along beside me.

We very quickly found ourselves pulling up the rear. By mile one, I was really hurting. I was pretty sure I wouldn’t make it to the finish.

Somebody from the race pulled up beside us in a golf cart and asked if we (I) needed a ride. I wasn’t sure if I was ready to give up at that point, but was somehow convinced to take the ride. Once in the cart, though, I learned that they were going to turn around and go back the way we’d come. I knew I wasn’t ready to do that. I hadn’t seen the best of the light displays yet, and I also kind of wanted to experience the cookie stop with my parents.

So I got off the golf cart and continued on. I got a lot of attention, which made me uncomfortable. People were just trying to be nice and I knew I couldn’t complain about the attention, especially since I had put lights on my crutches. But I still didn’t like it.

We were too late for the cookie stop. No cookies. No water. Just somebody sweeping up the street.

There were kids singing carols and a lot of people out in their yards, cheering and wishing us a “Merry Christmas” as we meandered by.  We got some very enthusiastic cheering. I’m sure it had something to do with my crutches, but perhaps more to do with the fact that everyone had been standing out in the cold, drinking eggnog or whatever they were drinking, for hours by the time we passed by.

We skipped an out and back, which caught us up with some other walkers for a while. But not for very long.

PhotoGrid_1418562015812PhotoGrid_1418562102767Just before the three mile mark, I accepted another ride from the guy in the golf cart. Mom rode with me.

Kurt took this picture of dad waving goodbye to mom and I as we rode off. Actually, Kurt took almost all of these pictures, as my hands were both on my crutches and I was trying to move along as fast as I could (which was not fast, at all.)

IMG_20141213_193254_513We didn’t make it very far, though, before I asked the driver to let us off. I didn’t want to miss anything. In hindsight, I should have stayed on until I could see the finish line. We still had more than half a mile to go. My hands, wrists and under-arms were killing me. I was getting tired and sloppy with the crutches. It’s a bit of a miracle that I didn’t fall and seriously hurt myself. I would not advise doing an event like this on crutches!

As we were approaching the finish line, the police car that was following the last person came up behind us. We moved over to the sidewalk, and the police car passed, followed by all of the traffic that had been held up by the race.

It was my second time this year (and ever) being the VERY last finisher at an event.

What a year!!

IMG_20141213_195746_745~2We slowly made our way through the finish line chute.

Santa had gone home, but a very nice lady was still standing at the finish line to hand us our medals.

I love the medals. They double as Christmas tree ornaments.

IMG_20141214_064059_407IMG_20141214_071621We’ve got a collection going. I’m sure we’ll be back for another ornament next year. Love this race!

Sidelined again

I did a tempo run on Wednesday morning. It went very well. I was able to hold the pace and it felt challenging, but completely manageable.

More than once during the run, I thought about the fact that my knee and my hamstring seemed to be completely healed. I was feeling strong and healthy for the first time in a long time. I allowed myself to get a little hopeful about actually training again.

After a two mile warm-up, and four miles at tempo pace, I slowed to a jog. I was a little more than half a mile from my car. Because I like to keep things nice and even, I planned to stop when my Garmin hit 6.5. At 6.47 my right foot came down on a stray piece of mulch on the sidewalk and my ankle rolled. Hard. I swore. Went down. Caught myself just before I hit the ground. Some guys ran by and asked if I was okay. I said I was sure I would be. They didn’t stick around to find out.

I slowly stood up and hobbled to my car, which was within sight.

I chose icing my ankle over showering. I drove to Whole Foods instead of to the showers at the gym. I got coffee and a bag of frozen peas. I sat with my foot propped up on the frozen peas. It looked like it might be a little bit swollen, but I hoped I was just being overly cautious.

I wrapped it in an ace bandage and went to work.

I was on my feet quite a bit, but tried to sit down as much as possible. I even sneaked in a couple more icings. It hurt, but not terribly. I could walk on it.

When I finally got home that night, I took off the bandage and got into the shower. My ankle started swelling up. The pain got much worse. It now hurt too badly to put any weight on it.

I called into work. I took myself off the schedule at the Wildlife Center for Friday.

The pain made it hard to sleep.

I started worrying about the Tacky Light Run that Kurt and I are registered to run on Saturday.

By Thursday morning, it was feeling much better, but was still very swollen. I took a complete rest day (well, besides the laundry and vacuuming that really needed to be done.) I watched Miracle on 34th Street and several episodes of Gilmore Girls. I ate too many Christmas cookies and wallowed.

I was considering working on Friday, to make up for taking Thursday off (and since I had already taken myself off the schedule at the Wildlife Center, and was thus free to work.) But by Thursday night, the swelling hadn’t gone down any. It actually looked like it might even be a little more swollen than it had been in the morning.

IMG_20141212_075654_337IMG_20141212_075720_495This morning, it is STILL swollen. It also hurts more than it did yesterday, but not as much as it did Wednesday night.

I’m going to the store to get some healthy food (no more cookies and wallowing!) and to pick up some movies from Redbox.

It will be another day on the couch with my foot up on pillows.

I’m trying to be positive, but all I want to do is run. Or scream. I’m not good at sitting. I packed my gym bag last night, thinking that I’d go for a swim this morning (I have to do something!!!!) but I thought better of it when I realized the swelling hadn’t gone down any overnight.


Classes at Carver Rec Center

IMG_20141207_091405_025Monday 6:15 Cycle

Cycle class at Carver is very different from cycle class at ACAC. First of all, there isn’t a designated cycle room. The bikes are stored off to one side of the one and only group exercise room. Before class, each student chooses a bike and wheels it out onto the main floor. This set-up didn’t bother me at all, and I was impressed with the bikes. They are the same bikes they have at ACAC, only newer (or maybe just less-used, but I think newer, too.)

Another difference is that the instructor at Carver was a little late to both of the classes that I attended. Class started closer to 6:30 then 6:15. We got in a solid 25 minutes of hard work, which I had conflicting opinions about, but was mostly fine with.

The first week, there were only two people (including me) in the class. The second week, there were three of us. The classes were less formal (and less intimidating) than the ones at ACAC.  Despite the low-key feel, I still felt like I got in a good (albeit shorter) workout. I liked the class enough that I was planning to make it a regular part of my weekly routine.

But on the third week, the instructor was even later than usual. Finally (at a little after 6:30) I asked the only other person in the room if class had been cancelled. She said yes, that the rec center was cancelling all classes that didn’t regularly have at least four participants. She apologized for not telling me sooner. She had been informed at the front desk when she checked in and therefore assumed I had been as well.

I did my own workout, but it just wasn’t the same. I attend classes because I want to be on auto-pilot. I want somebody else to tell me what to do.

I’m pretty disappointed. I was counting on that class! There are no longer any early morning cycle classes being offered at Carver.

TRX & Core

I was excited to try this class, but had a hard time fitting it into my schedule. It is offered at 4:45 on Thursday afternoons (I get off work at 5) and 8:15 on Saturday mornings (I’m usually in the middle of my weekly long run at that time.)

Last week, I wasn’t doing a long run because I was running the Skinny Turkey Half Marathon on Thursday. So, I did an easy four mile run outside, then headed over to Carver for class.

I’m a huge proponent of bodyweight training and I love the TRX suspension trainer. Back when I was a personal trainer, I took one of the educational classes offered by TRX, but I had never attended an actual group exercise class featuring the suspension trainer. I had no idea what to expect.

I guess I was a tiny bit late to class, which is so unlike me! Maybe I had gotten used to cycle class starting late, and just figured none of the classes started on time.

When I walked in, there were four other ladies doing TRX squats. The instructor assured me there was room for me and quickly went about setting up another TRX. She made sure I knew what I was doing, then let me jump right in.

She guided us through a series of exercises. We covered all the basics: several different lunge variations, chest presses and rows. She also had us do some upper-back work, which I appreciated. Like most people, I could stand to spend some time strengthening those often neglected, posture-enhancing muscles.

Eventually, she had us move down to the floor for some hamstring curls, planks and push-ups.

Finally, we stood up for some stretching that felt oh-so-good after all that work!

It was a tough class. My abs, hamstrings and inner thighs were pretty sore for a few days afterward. Before taking the class, I was worried that it might be too intense, and not a very good complement to my running. I was pleasantly surprised that the class focused completely on strength and core conditioning (there wasn’t a cardiovascular component.) I actually think this class would be great for me! Unfortunately, I just don’t know how to fit it into my schedule.