The Never-Ending Ankle Saga

Sometimes I feel like my ankle injury and recovery has more installments than the Star Wars Saga.  If not for the injury, though, WHAT would I blog about?!?

Gut Check

Last week was tough.  I didn’t recover as quickly as I had planned from last Sunday’s half marathon.  I’m not sure what I expected, but I know that I didn’t expect my ankle to take almost the entirety of a week to settle down.  Sometimes I think I live with my head in the clouds.  Or the sand.  But most likely clouds because I generally have a “glass is half-full” mentality.  Sometimes this leads to my discouragement because always focusing on the positives kind-of pulls me away from the reality of the situation.  The reality of this situation is that, as much as it pains me to admit it, I still have a loooooooong way to go to be fully recovered.

Had I realized that Plano would be this hard on me, I would have scrapped the race.  I wanted St. Louis to be the stronger of my 2 half marathons this Fall and I’m pretty sure that I killed that chance last Sunday.  I spent a lot of time last week fretting and worrying about how I will get myself ready for St. Louis, how I can race it semi-competitively and manage avoid another setback like the one I experienced this past week.  After running a mere 2 easy miles yesterday, I know I was right to be concerned.  Then my good friend, Jenn, sent me the race elevation….

All I know is.... #aintTexas

All I know is…. #aintTexas

Race elevation actually did cross my mind yesterday.  I didn’t look it up because I know I can’t train for hills right now, and ignorance is bliss, right?  Thanks, Jenn, for covering me on this one…..

Step Aside, Ego

Let’s face it.  Every time I get myself into this kind of trouble, my ego has had A LOT to do with it.  OK….maybe my ego has had EVERYTHING to do with it.  My ego wants me to go run St. Louis as hard and fast as I possibly can (which, at this point couldn’t be either hard or fast).  After Dallas last year, I swore to myself that I would keep that ego in check.  Yet, I find myself at a similar crossroads again.  Running (and life) is a series of trade-offs in which you balance the risk with the reward.  Of course, when I signed up for this race I fully expected to be healthy and strong, but I’m not right now.  And the ONLY reason I signed up for THIS race was because a group of my running friends from all over the country (and Canada – can’t forget that Canadian!) would be there.  I need to stay focused on the reason I decided to go to St. Louis…..friends! Last night, while I was bellyaching to my friend Jenn, she suggested I run the race “REALLLLY easy” and enjoy the course (and bands) with her.

I’m most likely going to take the reward of running the race easy with Jenn instead of the risky choice of actually racing the race.  (Oh, running, how you humble me….over and over and over again.)  I’m actually really happy with this decision at this point – I am looking forward to running for the fun of it and enjoying the bands along the course.  The best part will be running with my Sole Sister!  Plus this decision relieves me of some anxiety – mainly how do I get myself ready to really compete in less than 18 days when I’m less able than I was before Plano.  I do have races on the horizon that I want to run as hard and as fast as I possibly can – Dallas Marathon, mainly, because I do have something to prove to myself on December 13.  If I can rehab myself and come back strong for Dallas, all this mess during these Fall races will have been totally worth it!

My current mantra:  I am more than my performance as a runner.

Cinnamon & Sophie

Alli finally settled on a name for the “store-bought cat” (as Bobby likes to call it): Cinnamon.  Cinnamon is a much better choice (IMO) than the others that were tossed out there: Meowington and Kitty Cent to name a couple.  Cinnamon made himself at home from the moment we brought him through the door.  He sleeps right next to me, often under the covers…..just like a dog! LOL (Sophie IS NOT going to like this when she comes out of that crate.)IMG_5579

Sophie has been crated for 2 weeks now and she is starting to make progress daily.  The first week was touch and go, and I began to wonder if she would ever get any mobility back in her legs.  Thank goodness I was wrong in that assumption.  She is still weak and wobbly, but is so much stronger and steadier on her feet than she was even 3 days ago.

Cinnamon LOVES to play with Sophie when I have her out of the crate sitting with me in the chair.  The cat is relentless.  Sometimes we have to lock him in a room just so Sophie can have some peace and quiet! IMG_5539

 

AND…..it’s National Coffee Day!!! For me, however, EVERY day is National Coffee Day 🙂

Happy Tuesday!

Jen

 

GrapeFest!

My big event this weekend was my half marathon, of course, but before that there was GrapeFest!

GrapeFest is an annual wine tasting/showcase event in Grapevine, Texas.  I’ve always wanted to go, but never worked it out in my schedule until this year!  Even so, the timing of my visit wasn’t optimal for my race schedule.  I knew that I was taking a risk going to GrapeFest the afternoon before my race, but I figured I would simply rest my legs and drink LOTS of water while relaxing in my hotel room afterwards. Unfortunately, the road to hell is paved with good intentions, and by hell, I mean racing after attending a wine festival.

Wine

Our first stop was at the Argentinean tent, where $14 got you tastes of 6 Argentinean wines not available in the US, along with a lovely souvenir wine glass.  While we were in line to get our punch card and our glass, a woman tripped on a curb and hit her head.  It was quite the dramatic way to begin the event and a good reminder not to drink too much!  Thankfully, she was OK and we headed into the tent to wait in line for what seemed like hours to get our first taste of wine.  To pass the time, I decided to snap a pic of us….except I kept having technical difficulties.  Dara offered to take over and she had technical difficulties.  Thank goodness Erica was there, or we would never have gotten a proper picture!

What would we do without Erica's selfie skills??

What would we do without Erica’s selfie skills??

Honestly, I prefer a nice sweet wine, but apparently they don’t like sweet wine in Argentina.  I ended up with a dry white something or other that was actually better than I expected.

I wanted to try to catch up my friends from Homestead Winery, so after the forever wait in the Argentina tent we went in search of the tent they were in….with a few pit stops on the way.  One VERY worthy stop was at Dr. Sue’s Chocolate, where I fell in love with Midnight Mocha.  Chocolate and coffee…merged together.  It is divine!

I may have made inappropriate noises when I tried this in the shop.

I may have made inappropriate noises when I tried this in the shop.

We never did make it to Homestead, but it’s just as well because I have their wine all the time!

After our second stop at the Argentinean wine tent, we scurried across the street to the sparkling wine area.  I do love sparkling wine and ended up with another commemorative glass!

I thought the bubbles would show up better in the pic.  This was hands down my favorite area!

I thought the bubbles would show up better in the pic. This was hands down my favorite area!

Festival Food

After all the wine, we decided we should get something to eat.  Only, there wasn’t ANYTHING that was pre-race approved.  Erica, aka Stomach of Steel, had a hankering for chili pie.  I couldn’t even imagine eating a chili pie.  And Dara, bless her heart, because she is from “up North”, has apparently never even eaten a chili pie.  Before I even ordered, Erica knew that I would be getting fried pickles because “it is the Texan thing to do”.  I ate about half my bowl of pickles then made the sign of the cross and prayed that all this didn’t affect me during the race!  Of course, I was still planning to drink tons of water.  Good intentions, right??

Fried pickles.  Totally worth all the race stomach issues.

Fried pickles. Totally worth all the race stomach issues.

Runner friends protect clumsy runner friends

After the woman tripping on curb and hitting her head event, Erica took it upon herself to be my personal protector for the remainder of the day.  I think she felt a little guilty about leaving me unattended for a few days (which is when I ended up doing the stupid single leg dead lifts).  She also knows how clumsy I am and that I don’t always watch where I’m going.  I’m probably not much different than the kids she teaches in preschool.  #sadbuttrue  Every time we approached a curb or anything else that I could trip over or run into, Erica pointed it out to me.  If only she had been around to point out the folly in my choice to do those dead lifts…..my hamstrings are still angry!

It was a wonderful time with wonderful friends, though, so the race day stomach issues and dehydration was totally worth it!

Happy Tuesday!

Jen

 

 

 

Plano Balloon Race Recap

This weekend was the culmination of 7 weeks of blood, sweat and tears to get myself race ready.  When I was diagnosed with a stress fracture in my heel on July 13, I fully expected that I would not have any shot at running this race.  I kept doing the math in my head over and over and I just didn’t see how it could happen.  My coach, on the other hand, told me that he felt it was a possibility and advised me to take it one run at a time.  Being able to cycle during the injury helped me maintain some level of fitness, although there isn’t anything that can keep you in running shape quite like running.  I’ve had some ups and downs the past 7 weeks.  I’ve been humbled – again.  Injuries have a funny way of doing that to you.

I’m not at 100% and I don’t expect to be 100% for quite a while.  Every increase in mileage has presented its hiccups.  And while I want nothing more than to focus on speed work – speed work provides an extra special hiccup that my body just isn’t quite ready to handle.  In the words of Juba from the movie Gladiator, I’ll be doing speed work “soon, but not yet”.

Queen of Stupid Sh*t (QoSS) Strikes Again

I had NO idea how this race would go.  I know how I have performed on the recent long runs – but those are at a turtle’s pace.  I know how I have performed on the easy runs (which are one degree faster than long runs).  I became increasingly nervous this week about “racing” the race, particularly because of some nagging heel issues from a tempo run one week ago Thursday.  It was bothering me so much that I had a lengthy discussion with my coach after Tuesday’s run and he told me to ditch the remaining workouts for the week except for the Saturday shake out run.  I iced it (some) and wore compressions (less than I should have) and continued my stretching.  My heel seemed to be getting better, but on Friday it just seemed to get worse…and worse….and worse.

OK…back up.  My coach also told me to “take it easy on the strength” during taper week and I did take it easy.  However, Friday morning (I know you can all see the slow-motion crash about to happen) I had a “great” idea while I was doing my ankle exercises.  Instead of doing my strength set for my hips, I would do those single leg deadlifts that I have been meaning to add in.  (Can I just say this was before I had even one whole cup of coffee?) So, I did the deadlifts.  And they were HARD.  And I should have stopped.  And I shouldn’t have used the heaviest handheld weights that I own.  And I regretted it as soon as I finished.  I seriously have NO idea what came over me.  Obviously someone let Crazy Jen loose AGAIN and forgot to tell me!  Just when I thought that I had committed ALL the sins of running….

As a result, my hamstrings hated me and I think that was THE reason my ankle was so angry.

Luckily, everything felt fairly decent on the shake out run, so I tried to put my worries aside.

Up, Up and Away

Race morning finally arrived, and…..I didn’t feel good.  My stomach was just nauseous.  I tried to eat, but it just didn’t taste good.  I knew this was going to cause a problem during the race, but at one hour until the gun, there really wasn’t much I could do.  I had decided to stay in a hotel so that I could sleep later, but I was away from home so that kind-of backfired since I didn’t sleep that well.  Plus, I had gone to GrapeFest (tomorrow’s post!) and had lots of wine and some fried pickles.  Even though I had really good intentions of hydrating at the hotel, it didn’t happen……I’m sure you can see a pattern developing.

My HM PR is 2:14.  I’ve actually run a 2:04 HM in training, but I can’t count that.  My ego, even knowing that I’ve only just built enough base for this race, really wanted a 2:14.  After the week with my ankle, I knew I couldn’t possibly shoot for that without causing some big problems down the road.  My coach advised me to run the first mile at 11, through mile 6 at 10:45 and pick up to 10:30 until mile 11, where I could open up if I was feeling like it.

The first few miles went fairly well.  I still felt crappy with my stomach issues and nagging allergies, but I was able to maintain my pace easily enough.  By mile 7, I started to struggle to keep the pace, which at this point I was sure was directly related to my lack of breakfast (lack of properly hydrating on Saturday hadn’t even crossed my mind at this point).  I was planning to take my gel at the next water station but it just so happens that they were handing out squeeze packets of applesauce.  I opted for the applesauce.  Just thinking about the gel made me sick to my stomach.  The applesauce did make me feel better for a bit and it gave me the energy boost I needed.

WAIT!  I haven’t even mentioned my ankle.  My ankle was a little sore at the start and through the first 3ish miles, but after that it worked itself out or I just went completely numb or I was too worried about my stomach.  In any case, the ankle wasn’t an issue. 🙂

The aid station with the applesauce was a two-way water station, so I grabbed an applesauce on the way back through.  The second one didn’t taste as good as the first and I spent the next mile or so just dealing with the yuck feeling of water and applesauce sloshing around on my stomach and debating whether to push myself to the point of puking (because I would have HAD to feel better, right?)

Around mile 10, I felt my psoas getting tight.  And then I became upset with myself because I haven’t released my psoas in some time and I was sure that the hamstring issue was impacting my psoas and I came full circle to being angry with myself about those dead lifts again.  And then I was just mad at my myofascia guy – he really shouldn’t have moved to Colorado and left me to take care of all this on my own.  Luckily, I wasn’t thinking about my upset stomach while I was cursing my myofascia guy.

The nausea at mile 12 became almost more than I could handle, so I walked for a tenth of a mile to calm my system down.  It worked and gave me enough of a boost to git’er done.  I was able to run a good, quick pace the rest of the race.  I was glad that I had some in reserve to do that and it sort-of redeemed the crap that happened on the course.

I ended up with 2:26:11.  That is my slowest HM EVER.  But you know what?  I’m not upset at all.  Just 10 weeks ago, I was sure that I would not be able to run.  And even though I did commit some biggies on the running sin list, I still did it.  And my coach told me that I hit it out of the park!  Even though he gave me times for a faster race – he expected a 2:35 finish.  Imagine what I could have done had I hydrated and eaten properly on Saturday….and skipped the new strength exercise….and not had too much wine at Grape Fest….and actually fueled my body with a good breakfast….  Aaaaaand my ankle seems OK.  It is a little swollen and a little sore, but I have my compressions on and am icing it every chance I get.  All in all, I have to declare this race a huge success!

Except for the fail….when I stopped my watch at the end of the race, I hit delete instead of save.  So I have no splits.  No cadence.  No heart rate data.  No elevation.  I nearly passed out right there before I got my medal.  Each time I think of it, I get a terrible feeling in the pit of my stomach.  This will be good therapy for my OCD.  Right??

I took this between periods of laying on the ground, thinking I might die at any moment while I was waiting on my friend Erica to cross the finish line!

I took this between periods of laying on the ground, thinking I might die at any moment while I was waiting on my friend Erica to cross the finish line!

Friends at Races are THE BEST

I recently joined Renegade Endurance, which is a running/racing club that has several members in my area.  I was able to meet up with a couple of the ladies in the group who also ran the race.  It was so much fun meeting new runner friends and I am excited to be a part of this amazing team!

Aubrun and her mother Christy from our Renegade team!

Aubrun and her mother Christy from our Renegade team!

And Dara, the cohort in crime to Erica, volunteered at the race and made a sign especially for little ‘ole me!  I LOVE IT!!!

Dara volunteered instead of running this race this year. And she made this sign just for me! I LOVE it!!!

 

Baring It All – Plano Balloon HM Race Goals

I may as well be standing naked before you right now, because that’s the way it feels to me when I write these types of posts!  But I’m running Plano Balloon Half Marathon this weekend and the race goals must be published!

If you really know me, you know that I don’t like hanging my hopes and dreams out for everyone to see.    Publishing and acknowledging my race goals (or any goal, for that matter) is difficult for me.  However, since I started blogging last year before Dallas Marathon, I have been working to be more transparent and open with these types of things (that was one of my main goals for starting the blog in the first place).  And if you knew me or read my race goals and recap during that time period, you know that I threw my race goals out there and fell miserably short on a couple of them.  I am happy to report that I have succeeded in making myself extremely uncomfortable, though, which means that I am at least meeting the goals I set for blogging.

I find myself at this stomach-churning crossroads once again as I face another race this Sunday.  I still find it painfully difficult to announce my goals, even if only 5 people read my blog.  I mean, coming off an injury should relieve some of the pressure, right?? Wrong.  The real struggle, for me, is admitting to the masses my pace goals for the race.  No runner has ever made me feel like less of a runner for not being fast, yet I allow myself to feel less because I’m not that fast.  Heck, I even feel like an idiot for ending up with a big ITB injury AND stress fracture within one year’s time frame.  <insert uncomfortable silence here>

<BIG GULP>  Here goes nothing.

The “Shoulds”

should want to run a feel-good race.

I should want to enjoy the course and take in the sights.

should want to run a race that won’t risk further injury.

should be happy that I am able to run this race at all, because two months ago I was almost certain it would NOT happen.

But I’ve never been very good with should.  

In reality…

I would really like the temps to be cloudy and in the 60s. (Go ahead and laugh.)

I would really like to kick this race course in the arse.

I would really like to attack the hills (You’re right, I probably will attack the hills anyway 🙂

I would really like to match my HM PR of 2:14 for this race.  I am faster than when I ran that 2:14 but….stress fracture.

I should probably add that I would like to start off slow, but I’m still me, so why waste my energy?  And we know how I am with should. 

In the end, though, I am genuninely excited to be racing again!  Even before the injury plague, I had been looking forward to this race.  Hopefully, I’ll be writing a glowing race recap on Sunday afternoon!

Until next time ~

Jen

Dads are softies and double-digit long runs!

Not having a litter box was fun while it lasted. 

If you read my one post last week (I SWEAR that I’m trying to get back on a regular-posting schedule!), you know that we gave away our guinea pig (which we had owned for only one week) and it was murdered by our dachshund, Sophie, before the new family could pick it up.  This put us on the market for a kitten, which is what Alli really wanted in the beginning.  I think Taylor pushed the guinea pig idea because her one guinea pig died suddenly and not too long after she got it and she was trying to relive her childhood vicariously through Alli! LOL!!

Long story short, Bobby, Alli and I were out running errands on Saturday (I KNOW Bobby planned this), when we somehow ended up at the adoption center and ended up bringing this little tiger home. IMG_5380

This is the strangest cat I’ve ever seen.  First, he gets his claws stuck in everything – even his own fur! LOL  Then he slept with Taylor Saturday night UNDER the covers.  I’ve never seen a cat that would sleep under the covers.  He is a very sweet kitty, though, and loves to be held and petted.  He doesn’t even mind asking when you aren’t taking his hints!  Asking, as in climbing up your leg to get into your arms.  Ouch!  He is still unnamed, but hopefully that will be resolved soon. IMG_5404

The Never-Ending Ankle Recovery Story

Running is still going very well.  I ran another “high mileage” week (high mileage, relative to the proximity to my injury) without many issues.  I did experience some ankle pain after my tempo workout on Thursday.  The workout was at a decent pace, but the time I spent on each tempo was quite a bit longer than in the last couple weeks.  I did my usual recovery routine, focusing on my calves to get them loosened up, but Friday’s easy run didn’t feel that great.  My legs were happy, my lungs were happy, but my ankle was NOT happy…at least for the first half of my hour-long run.  Since I’m hyper-sensitive to any and every ache and pain, I spend Friday evening and most of Saturday fretting over this.  I did no exercise on Saturday, which killed me because I was banking on a nice 20-mile bike ride.

My concern about the tempo aftermath caused me to be nervous about my 11-mile long run on Sunday – so much so that I didn’t sleep well and woke up with my stomach hurting.  Mental Martha strikes again.  I was even nervous about the weather because I dreaded being cold.  It ended up being perfect – sunny and temps in the 60s! (Go ahead and laugh.)  My nerves about all those issues melted away once my feet finally started pounding the pavement.  I ran in my Newton Gravity, to which my calves are finally adjusted, and didn’t experience any issues.  No issues, except when I was on Old Friend (my favorite hill).  My calves got tired and cranky, but after the hill the calf issues worked out soon enough.  The only other problem that I encountered was that I just got tired.  This is my fault, since I didn’t fuel on this workout.  I need to change my mindset….I don’t really consider myself to be in the midst of marathon training because of my up coming half marathons.  But, people, I’m in marathon training!

My gorgeous view on the way on Sunday morning.

My gorgeous view on the way on Sunday morning.

I love running in the country in Texas. Even the fields are breathtaking.

I love running in the country in Texas. Even the fields are breathtaking.

My legs were very tired and a little achy yesterday afternoon, which sounded the alarms in my brain.  I stuck with the recovery plan and wore compressions, stretched, rested with my legs up, Epsom salt bath and lots of foam rolling.  Today the legs are feeling amazing!  My biggest mental challenge this week will be to make it through the taper to my race on Sunday!  🙂

I’m not a camel

Anyone that knows me knows how I LOVE the long runs!  I love the battle; I love the challenge; I love the time out there on the road; I love the feeling after the run is finished.  One thing that I don’t love is carting around my water.  I have typically worn a 4-bottle belt on my waist, but was so heavy at the start that it had become a mental drain (not to mention a physical one).  I have been researching different products to find the best replacement.  I considered CamelBak, but sometimes I like to bring chia water or Accelerade in addition to my water.  I can’t even think about cleaning a CamelBak after carrying chia water in it.  Plus, I wanted the option to carry water plus another type of drink.  My bad-ass ultra runner Twitter friend, Chad, is an ambassador for Orange Mud and I’ve been eyeing his hydration vest for months.  So, I asked him about the pros & cons of the Orange Mud vest versus CamelBak and I was sold!  I received my new vest just in time for my long run and I loved it!  The water sits high enough on my back that I really couldn’t tell I was carrying around 50 oz. of water.  In the beginning, I was concerned that the vest would cause chafing around my armpits, but after the run I could find no signs of chafing from the vest whatsoever!  There is also so much storage that I will have plenty of room to carry my fuel on the long runs, plus my mace…and my phone…and whatever else I decide I can’t live without for 2-3 hours! I am very pleased with this purchase and am so glad that I finally bit the bullet and bought it! IMG_5387

Turns out I’m not the only endurance runner in Fannin County

I got a message this weekend asking me to check out a new running club in the area, Renegade Endurance.  Apparently there are quite a few endurance junkies in the good ‘ole FC that I didn’t even know about!  I was excited to have been referred to this group and joined almost immediately!  However, I’m a little concerned because I’m pretty sure that everyone else are speedsters compared to me! LOL  In any case, I’m ALWAYS happy to connect with runners, especially when they are practically in my own back yard!! So, when you see me posting with the hashtag #areyourenegade you’ll know why!

Happy Monday!!

Jen

Wilderness Adventures and Guinea Pig Murders

I have really good intentions of posting more often, but life is really getting in the way!

Last week, I found out that I DO NOT need bifocals….or corrective lenses, for that matter, which obviously made my week!!  That was until 15 minutes later when I drove through to grab Logan a hamburger and couldn’t find my wallet.  No worries….it was safely in my purse.  Why didn’t I look there first?  LOL

Wilderness Adventures

Ok, I didn’t really go on a “wilderness” adventure, but my sister, brother and I went out on Saturday afternoon to survey my mom’s 113 acres.  I haven’t been over there in AGES and it has really changed….changed in the fact that it is completely overgrown with thorn-producing trees and plants! IMG_5261

Somehow, I managed to escape the situation without poison ivy or poison oak, which is nothing short of miraculous.  I am extremely allergic to those terrible vines.  As soon as I got home, I stripped, threw my clothes in the washing machine and immediately took a shower to wash off any plant oil with which I may have come in contact.  At this point, I think I am good, since 4 days have come and gone and I have no sign of an itchy, red rash! *whew*

Since the “roads” were overgrown and practically impassable, we were on foot for much of the tour.  I felt like Bear Grylls – all I needed was a machete!

Yes...we worked our way through this!

Yes…we worked our way through this!

An area rooted up by feral pigs, literally the biggest menace in Texas!

An area rooted up by feral pigs, literally the biggest menace in Texas!

The cabin my oldest nephew built for high school weekend campouts has definitely seen better days!

The cabin my oldest nephew built for high school weekend campouts has definitely seen better days!

Guinea Pig Murder

In my ONE post last week, I mentioned Alli’s new pet guinea pig.  Turns out, she didn’t really like the guinea pig so I advertised the Great Guinea Pig Give-Away on Facebook Sunday evening.  Almost immediately we had found a new home for Bevo and the new family wanted to pick him up that evening.  Bobby put Bevo in the cardboard box in which we brought him home and placed it on Alli’s desk.  I took the cage outside for a cleaning.  When I came back into the house, Sophie was at the end of the hallway WITH Bevo in her mouth!  I have NO idea how a miniature dachshund was able to get that box off the desk in the first place.  In any case, Bevo was dead within minutes and I had to call the family back to tell them they would be getting an empty cage.  So far, no one has spilled the beans to Alli.  As far as she is concerned, we gave the guinea pig away! LOL

Bevo's last pic...literally less than an hour before his untimely demise!

Bevo’s last pic…literally less than an hour before his untimely demise!

Time for Cupcakes

It’s been a while since Alli and I baked cupcakes.  Monday evening we whipped up a batch of Red Velvet and last night we made my favorite, Kahlua.  Alli even tried a new fancy frosting decoration on some of the Red Velvet!IMG_5309

IMG_5311
Hitting My Stride

As I look back through my recovery journey since August 3, I am absolutely amazed at the progress I have made.   In August, I somehow managed to run 59 miles.  That number is incredible to me, considering I started with a 30 min 2:1 run:walk interval my first time out!  Last week, I ran 23 miles!!  I stopped focusing on mileage as a number quite some time ago, but I feel incredibly blessed right now because those 23 miles last week were the most amazing miles I’ve run since last year’s ITB injury.  The actual running has felt effortless – my runs would have been completely effortless if not for this stubborn, humid heat!  I am not currently having any of the post-run stiffness that I was experiencing before my stress fracture occurred, which I have also been battling as I have been rebuilding my strength and my running base.

Soul Sister 7 Mile Race

My friend Jenn and I signed up for a virtual race hosted by GoneForARun.com – Soul Sister Run which was 7 miles and to be run 8/28-30.  However, Jenn ended up with stitches in her foot so we postponed in order to run the race “together”….virtually. 🙂

Sunday morning, I set out on the run and it was amazing!!! And HOT!  I didn’t “race” it, because I am still building base and I will be racing Plano Balloon HM on 9/20.  I ran it at my turtle long slow run pace.

This will be the ONE and ONLY time I wear a race shirt on race day!IMG_5281

The funny thing is….you can’t tell that this shirt is completely soaked with sweat.  It was a hot one, but a good one!

Happy Hump Day Friends!

Jen