Friday, January 19, 2018

Friday 5 - Dealing with my knee

This week went by pretty fast and it's already Friday!  I'm looking forward to the weekend as I've scheduled in plenty of time to relax :)  But before that, it's also time for the Friday Five link up hosted by Running on Happy & Fairytales and Fitness.
 Friday Five Linkup 2.0

I've been thinking a lot about what's going on with my knee and what I should do about it.  It led to a DNF in March of 2017 at the Rock and Roll DC Half. And then it also led to me getting swept from the Disney World Marathon earlier this month.  So, clearly ignoring it wasn't the right answer.  I'm not going to say I ignored it completely but I rested it a bit after RnR DC as well as started icing it after long runs and didn't have any problems with it during the Star Wars Half, the Columbus Half, or the Avenger's Half.  So I guess I thought it was fine and that RnR DC was just a fluke due to the sub-freezing temperature.

However, looking back at my recaps from last year, I did start having problems with it during the 20 miler for marathon training.  I also cut short my first weekend run during the taper because I started feeling knee pain around mile 9 or so.  I guess there probably wasn't much I could do about it at that point anyways but there were things I probably should have been doing the whole time during training.  So here are some things I'm going to work on this year.

1.  Medical advice - I'm going to see someone about my knee.  I've emailed my doctor and am planning to go to a physical therapist so they can hopefully give me some guidance.

2.  Body Pump - With marathon training and the increased time spent running, I stopped going to body pump and just did strength training at home, mostly with body weight exercises.  I think body pump really did make me a stronger runner so I'm going to make that a priority this year and keep going to class even once I start training for races again too.


3.  Foam rolling - I know part of the problem was that my quad and IT band on that side were really tight.  I could feel it, and when I went for a massage after my 18 miler, the massage therapist actually commented on how tight those muscles were.  When we were at the marathon expo, we tried out this electric foam roller called a BFF.  It was amazing and really did seem to get deeper into the muscles than a traditional foam roller.  It was super expensive but I'm researching less expensive options for something similar.
Image result for bff foam roller

4.  Anti-inflammatory supplements - I started taking turmeric before the race.  I've seen a lot of research about how it is useful for joint health and anti-inflammatory purposes.  It's an easy thing to add to my vitamins so I'm going to keep doing that.

5.  Explore options for during the race - And lastly, I'm going to start researching what I can do if this does happen during a race again.  So far, it does seem to be aggravated in the cold.  I don't know if there's something I can do to keep my upper legs warmer if it's supposed to be a really cold race.  My 20 miler training run also started in temperatures in the 20s.  I also want to look into biofreeze.  I saw a lot of people stopping at the medical tents to use biofreeze during the marathon.  Maybe that would have helped me to keep going?  I didn't want to use it during the race since I had never tried it before but in retrospect, I should have given it a try.  Also, maybe I should have stopped at medical for a tylenol?  I'm not sure if those things would have helped but in retrospect, they probably wouldn't have hurt.

So that's my plan for now.  Hopefully it helps!  If anyone has any other recommendations, I'd love to hear them :)

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

2018 Disney World Marathon recap

This is a hard recap to write.  This was supposed to be my first marathon, I had been working toward it for 6 months with building my base in the Summer and officially starting training in September, and it was such a let down getting swept a bit past mile 20.  But overall, it was a great experience.  I enjoyed the training, had fun with it, and enjoyed the race until I started having problems with my knee.  In fact, it was so much fun that a lot of the miles seemed to just fly by, even the miles on the highways!

But let's start at the beginning.  A lot of the talk of this marathon weekend was about how cold it was.  Thankfully for me, the weather warmed up as the weekend went on and the marathon was the warmest day of the weekend.  But the morning still started out cold.  I took everyone's advice and went with layers I could throw away.  I had on capris, calf sleeves, a short sleeved tech shirt, arm sleeves and a buff as my main race gear.  On top of that I had throw away sweat pants, a hoodie and gloves as well as a mylar heat sheet.


That seemed like the right level of clothes.  While I wouldn't say I was warm at the beginning, I wasn't too uncomfortably cold.  But the problem was the amount of time we had to wait in the cold.  We got to the starting area around 3:30 am.  We went straight to wait by the corrals and entered as soon as we were allowed so we could get toward the front of our corrals.  The race was using mini waves within each corral and we wanted to be in the first wave of our corral.  So I think we were in our corral around 4:30, the race started at 5:30, and we started around 6:15 or so.  So that was a long wait in the cold, a long time between race start and breakfast, and a long time between the last portapotty availability and the time we started. Since this was the 25th anniversary of the marathon, they had 25 waves and each wave started with fireworks and the hit Disney song from that year.


The start of the race was still pretty cold.  I had gotten rid of the throw away pants at the official race start at 5:30 but didn't get rid of the hoodie and gloves until almost 20 minutes after I started.  I didn't regret getting rid of the hoodie but I probably should have kept the gloves a bit longer.



Miles 1 - 5: 15:15, 15:14, 15:23, 15:31, 15:21
The first mile was pretty crowded but it spread out a bit once we were on the highway and headed to the magic kingdom.  (Course Map) I have to admit that the first several miles are all a blur and it seemed like we were at the Magic Kingdom gates before I knew it.  But based on my photos, there was a character stop with Launchpad and Scrooge McDuck.  I didn't stop for any actual character stops as I knew I couldn't afford to waste time in lines.  I only took photos if it was a character I particularly liked and just took the photo as I was going past so they're not very good.


Miles 6 - 12:  17:09, 14:51, 14:36, 15:02, 15:38, 16:11, 16:07
And then we were heading into the Magic Kingdom, which was amazing!  I thought this area would be really crowded but it wasn't too bad.  And it wasn't even that crowded when I went through the castle, I had to slow down a bit but didn't have to stop running.  I did have to make a bathroom stop here, which you can see in the mile 6 split of 17:09.  Each bathroom stop was 3-4 minutes due to the lines but I tried to pick ones with short lines.  I wasn't surprised I had to go so early in the race because we had to wait so long in the corral.


The Magic Kingdom was running up Main Street, then making a right into Tomorrow Land, then running through Fantasy Land, out through the castle, and a right to go through Frontier Land and out of the park through a back stage area.


After that was "cone alley." I had heard that this area was crowded and it was.  But somehow those seemed like my fastest splits of the race.  After that it was back on the highway to Animal Kingdom and then an out and back on a random road for miles 11 and 12.  I actually liked this out and back section because it was cool to see the other runners and they had some good DJs in this section.  Though this was also the section with a waste processing plant and it did not smell good at all.

Miles 13 - 18:  17:14, 16:55, 16:05, 18:05, 18:34, 21:37
A bit past mile 12 we entered the Animal Kingdom.  The park was open by the time we got there but it wasn't too bad because most people went to the Pandora section and we did not run in that area.  I loved that right before entering Animal Kingdom, they had cast members with real animals that you could pet and take photos with.


Mile 13 was my second bathroom stop (again reflected in the 17 minute split and it took 3-4 minutes) as I really had to go again and I saw a bathroom with short lines.  I have no idea why I had to go to the bathroom so much other than I must have been overhydrating.  We ran through Animal Kingdom, I saw several people peel off to ride Everest but I knew I didn't have time for roller coasters during the race.


Miles 15 to 18 was more time running on the highway.  Unfortunately, my right knee was beginning to hurt during this point and it shows in those splits.  I also had to go to the bathroom again!  I couldn't wait for the real bathrooms at Wide World of Sports and had to stop at a portapotty line, which is the 21 minute split.  My knee tightened up even more during that wait in line and I had a hard time recovering after that.  Getting up off the portapotty felt really hard on that bad knee.


Miles 19 to 21:  19:57, 19:14, 20:42

Clearly, this is the point at which I knew I was going to be swept.  I tried to pull things together and run when I could but bending that knee was just resulting in shooting pains.  I had to just start walking and the Balloon Ladies (Disney's visual signal of the 16 minute pace requirement) passed me around the mile 20 marker.  Which showed as mile 20.7 on my Garmin.  We had entered the Wide World of Sports around mile 18 and the exit was a bit past mile 20.  I kept walking the rest of the course in Wide World of Sports after the Balloon Ladies passed me and entered the parking lot a bit past mile 21 on my Garmin.  At that point, my race was over.


I was put on a van with a couple other runners and we were all shuttled to the finish line.  They did give us a medal and a commemorative 25 year anniversary Mickey ears hat.  We were also given a heat sheet, water, and food and then I went into the family reunion area to meet up with Mike.  We rested there a while, ate some food, and then took the bus back to our hotel.


I did have fun most of the race.  And seeing several people having to be put into wheelchairs definitely put things into perspective for me.  I didn't finish but I did what I could given my knee and the multiple bathroom stops.  My average pace was 16:53 according to my Garmin, and since I didn't pause it during the race, that includes all the bathroom stops.

I'll make a full post about my knee and my thoughts on that later.  But for those that have been reading a while, this is exactly the same thing that happened during RnR DC in March of 2017 that caused a DNF in that race.  Clearly, ignoring it since then was not the right thing to do.  I didn't have any problems at the other halfs I did last year but I did have pain in that knee during the 20 miler and during taper.  Both DNF races and the 20 miler were on the cold side but I can't control the weather so have to figure something else out.


Sunday, January 14, 2018

Weekly review - Disney World Style

I'm back from Disney World!  It was a good trip for the most part, but it started out with some disappointment when I go swept a bit after mile 20 of the marathon.  But I'll do my race report in a separate post and this will be more of a trip report.

Saturday - We flew out of BWI airport bright and early in the morning.   The flight was around 6am and we were in Orlando by 9 am.  We took Disney's Magical Express shuttle and we were at our Disney hotel by 10 am.  Our room wasn't ready so we checked in and left our bags with bell services.  Then we went out to the bus stop to head straight to the expo.

The expo wasn't too crowded when we got there because Saturday was the 4th day of the expo and I think most people had already come by.  It was a little confusing because things were in different buildings but the signs were pretty good and definitely helped.  The marathon bib pick up was in one building with the official run disney merchandise and Mike's chear squad pick up was in another building with the merchandise from other vendors.  I ended up buying a marathon weekend shirt and water bottle in addition to getting the official race shirt.

 
I'm keeping the stuff that says "marathon weekend" since it includes everything from a 5k to the marathon and found someone who accidentally got the wrong size race shirt so I'm going to send her my race specific shirt

After the expo, we were able to take a Disney shuttle to Disney Springs, which is a shopping/dining district.  We met up with some friends for lunch at Raglan Road.  We then took a boat back to our hotel since they texted that our room was ready.  I spent some time laying out my stuff for the race the next day, we had dinner at the hotel counter service restaurant and then called it an early night.  We were in bed by 8pm. 15,835 steps.

Sunday - Race day and the race will get a separate post.  After the race, we went back to the hotel to clean up, and then went to Epcot to walk around since we knew that would be better for recovery then just sitting around the rest of the day.  We met up with friends at Epcot, had delicious nachos, walked around and rode some rides.  We loved the new ride in the Norway pavilion that's based on Frozen.  I'm glad that we had an fast pass since the lines were pretty long for it.  62,481 steps, my most ever!

 
Huddling for warmth in the corral before the race starts

Monday - We got up early and went to the Magic Kingdom.  It was pretty crowded and we were happy that we had fast passes for some of the big rides.  We also did a dessert party that gave us access to a special seating area in the evening for the fireworks show.  It was a little pricey but we thought it was totally worth it!  We had a great view of the show and were able to sit the whole time which our tired legs definitely appreciated.  16,632 steps


Tuesday - This was our day at the Animal Kingdom.  Pandora was their new Avatar themed area that we hadn't seen before.  We had a fast pass for one of the rides, which we were grateful for because the line was more than 2 hours long all day.  It was an amazing ride!  We were all really impressed with it.  We got in line for the 2nd Pandora ride at the end of the park day and there was no line at all.  We had lunch at Tiffins, which was amazing.  The food was delicious, they had really cool art, and it felt like we weren't even in a theme park at all but a high end restaurant somewhere.


And of course, we had a lot of fun walking around and seeing the animals.  20,757 steps

Wednesday - Wednesday was a rest day.  We had thought we might hang out at the pool but it was cool and cloudy almost the whole time we were in Florida and it wasn't pool weather.  So we went back to Disney Springs.  We met another friend for lunch at Morimoto's.  We also did some shopping and checked out the Void virtual reality Star Wars experience.  It was amazing and may be among the coolest things we did on vacation!  My friend left that afternoon and we went back to Disney Springs in the evening to have dinner and check out a new bar, the Edison.  It was really cool.  They had well crafted (though expensive) drinks in a steam punk-y environment with a live band that was pretty good. 20,720 steps


Thursday -   Thursday was our day at Hollywood Studios.  We were a little disappointed in this park as it seemed like there was a lot of construction and not that much left to do.  Much of what was left was related to Star Wars.  We're big Star Wars fans and it even felt like too much for us.  We did surprisingly enjoy the Frozen sing-along.  We only checked it out because we didn't have much else to do but it was really funny!  We also did another dessert party (this one included alcoholic drinks as well) for the special seating area for the Star Wars fireworks show at the end of the night. 14,944 steps


Friday - This was our day at Epcot.  Sadly, Mike started feeling sick this day and it turned out he had picked up a stomach bug.  We did some rides and character meets but cancelled our dinner reservation and took it easy for the rest of the day.  Thankfully the hotel counter service restaurant had several vegetarian options since I ate there twice this day. 17,271 steps


Saturday - This was the day we traveled back home!  Not much to say except the flight went smoothly.  I still got in some decent walking at the hotel before we left and at the airport. 7,874 steps.

Sunday - It was nice being back at home and sleeping in my own bed!  I was also happy to get back to some working out today other than all the walking we did while in Orlando.  It was my first time working out since the marathon.  I did a 35 minute warm up on the elliptical and then went to body pump.



I'm linking up with with HoHoRuns and MissSippiPiddlin for the Weekly Wrap.


https://hohoruns.blogspot.com/p/weekly-wrap.html

Friday, January 5, 2018

Friday Five - 2018 Goals

Hope the week is going well for everyone!  It flew by for me and we're leaving tonight to stay at a hotel by the airport and flying out early tomorrow morning.  We should be in Orlando by 9am!  It's also time for the Friday Five link up hosted by Running on Happy & Fairytales and Fitness
 Friday Five Linkup 2.0

In the meantime, I've been thinking a lot about what I want to do for my 2018 goals.  This may change later in the year but this is what I think I'm going to be working on this year.

1. Sub 3 hour half marathon - I've gotten really slow this year.  I'm not sure why, if it's hormonal or something else.  It started before marathon training so it's not just that.  My half PR is 2:50 from December 2016 but I'd be happy to just get back below 3 hours.


All smiles after a PR race in Baltimore

2. Get back to body pump - I've been strength training at home but it's really not the same as going to body pump.  There are added weights and I push myself more in the class than I would at home.  So I really want to make it a regular part of my routine again.  I also feel like I was a stronger runner while I was regularly going to body pump. 

3.  700 miles - I almost made it to 700 running miles this year (I was at 675) and want to make it to at least 700 miles in 2018.

4.  Read more non-fiction (6 books) -  I'm keeping this one from 2017.  I really enjoyed the books I read and I know I wouldn't have read the 6 non-fiction books if I hadn't had this goal.  It was a great motivator.
5.  Cook more at home -  I have been eating out way too much.  It hasn't been good for my wallet or my waist line this year.  So I'm going to tackle both of those things with this goal to eat at home more.  And try at least one new recipe per month.  I haven't had a food post since March of 2017 and that's been way too long.


Beet, apple and cheddar pizza from Valentine's Day
So those are my goals for 2018!  Here's to staying motivated :) 

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

WDW Marathon training - race week!

Yikes, it's already race week!  I'm pretty excited and nervous if you can't tell :)  I only had a little bit of running this past week.  Between lingering breathing issues from a cold, the frigid temperatures outside, and being so close to the race and paranoid about every little twinge, I've had a hard time motivating myself.  But here's a summary of the week.

Monday - rest day

Tuesday - running on the treadmill at my brother-in-law's for an hour.


Wednesday - rest day

Thursday - pilates

Friday - rest day

Saturday - yoga

Sunday - 40 minutes on the elliptical


Monday - 4 miles on the treadmill at the gym


So what else have I been doing?  Well, I finished making my shirt for the race.  I also made a shirt for Mike to wear while cheering us on, though I don't have a photo of that one yet.


I also went over to a friend's house to catch up and she did my manicure.


Poor Mike was sick over the new year's weekend.  And I'm trying to avoid getting sick!  So he slept in the guest bedroom all weekend.  And we just stayed in for NYE, watched tv, and cuddled with the cats :)


We did leave the house for a pajama brunch on New Year's Day.  I had plenty of beverages lined up to hydrate with :)  I'm being good and trying to remember to drink water regularly throughout the day all week.


This week is packing, yoga and foam rolling, and hopefully at least one more run before heading down to Disney World on Saturday.  I'm also trying to figure out exactly what to wear.  I'm taking a bunch of layers and throw away clothes.  It looks like it will be in the low 40s and there will be a long wait before we start running.  But the high will be in the mid-60s and I won't be finishing until around noon so I don't want to wear too much.  I'm thinking the t-shirt with arm sleeves and capris with calf sleeves should be enough for running.  I'm debating whether I should use a long sleeve shirt under the shirt instead of arm sleeves but I think that will be too warm later in the race.  I'll have a throw away hoodie, sweat pants, heat sheet and gloves.  Hopefully that will be enough.  Any recommendations on clothes or suggestions on what else I should be doing the week before my first marathon?

We'll be in Florida for a week and I probably won't post while I'm down there, but I'm sure I'll be sharing photos on Instagram if you want to follow me there!

Friday, December 29, 2017

Friday Five - holiday gifts

It's Friday and this week has just flown by!  Of course, it helped that there were only three work days for me this week.  It's also time for the Friday Five link up hosted by Running on Happy & Fairytales and Fitness.  Since it's the week after Christmas, I thought I'd share some of the holiday gifts that I loved.
 Friday Five Linkup 2.0
 
1. Cards - I love all the holiday cards people send out!  I especially like the ones with family photos so I can see everyone and their kids.  For people that don't live nearby, it can be the only way I have to catch up other than Facebook.  And I was able to participate in the blogger card exchange hosted by Fairytales & Fitness this year.  It was so much fun and I loved the card I got from Meranda, along with a much appreciated Starbucks gift card.


2.  Pops! - Mike likes to collect the vinyl figures and this year, his brother and sister-in-law made us little figures that were decorated to look like us.  They're so cute!  And I love that it's my running outfit from the Thor 10k.  Mike's Pop is decorated like a cosplay he's done a couple times.


3.  Gloves - I definitely needed a good pair of running gloves and I'm happy to report that I've gotten them.  These are so practical and I have a feeling I'm going to get a lot of use out of them this Winter.

4.  Gift cards - These are always useful.  I know they don't feel as sentimental to some people but I love how practical they are.  And I love that you can get gift cards for so many different things these days.  I even got one for massages, which I'm definitely making good use of.

5. Charitable Donations - I love that I've started a new tradition with my older niece and nephew.  They both gave me the name of charities they're interested in supporting and I made donations in their name.  And they did the same for us.

I hope that all of you had a great 2017 and a great holiday!  Here's to 2018 being amazing as well :)

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Year of Running 2017

I can't believe that 2017 is almost over!  The year has really flown by.  Before the year ends for good, I wanted to look back at my year and running so I'm joining up with Courtney's link up.

Eat Pray Run DC

  • Best race experience: This is a close one between the Nationwide Columbus Half Marathon and the Disneyland Avenger's Half Marathon.  They were both great races but Columbus ended up having unseasonably warm weather.  So I'm going with the Avenger's Half.
 
  • Best run: The run that sticks out in my mind is the 15 miler I did in DC.  I loved having my running buddy back in town, and I loved the scenic route I had come up with.  Plus, it was great weather that day and we ended the run at a yummy place for brunch.
 
  • Best new piece of running gear: Oh man, I'm not sure.  I did get a new Garmin in June and it allowed me to start training by heart rate.  I feel like that really helped make easy runs more enjoyable so I'm going to go with the Garmin 335. 

  • Best running advice you’ve received this year: To have faith in yourself.  I wasn't sure I could do a full marathon but I wanted to try anyway.  And each long run I finished help erase doubts along the way.
 
  • Most inspirational runner:  I'm sure a lot of people will say this but it was definitely Shalane this year.  Watching her win the NYC Marathon was so inspirational!
 
  • Favorite picture from a run or race this year: I like this finish line photo from the Thor 10k
  • Race experience you would repeat in a heartbeat: Nationwide Columbus Half Marathon.  I loved the organization, the course support, and the way the children's hospital was so involved with the race.  It was a really inspirational race.  It helps that I have family and friends in Columbus too :)
 
  • If you could sum up your year in a couple of words what would they be? Slow and Steady.  I've really slowed down this year and I want to work on changing that in the future, but I've been happy with slow and steady this year.  I feel like my running has been more regular this year and I've exceeded past year's mileage by around 200 miles.  I also had my first 100 mile month!
So that's my year in running!  A couple additional stats, I had 11 races this year.  I ran in 3 new states (races in California and Ohio plus running while I was in Hawaii).  And my total miles for the year should be around 700.  

I hope everyone else had a great year of running in 2017 too :)