It’s been a while…

I haven’t written a post in quite a while. There has been plenty going on worth writing about, but I have been happy to just embrace the experiences for myself instead of rehashing each and every one in its own blog post. Now that the year is (WAY too quickly) winding down, I felt like catching up the blog would be fun. So here’s what I’ve been up to during the summer and fall:

I tried some new things in the running/racing department through the summer. Coming out of training for the Wrightsville Beach Marathon, I was surprised to find that I wasn’t remotely sick of running. But I knew my mind and body needed a break from strenuous training. So I ran a few races for fun including my first trail race (a 7k in 37:35), a local half marathon (1:44:39) my first 8k (36:54), and a 5k (25:07). I learned that I am certainly not as strong at short distances as I am at half marathons and marathons. The 8k and 5k were both in some pretty ridiculously hot temperatures. But even if the temperatures had been ideal I doubt the results would have been impressive. The feeling of trying to sustain faster paces for a shorter race proved to be pretty foreign to my body and I could never maintain my pace in the later miles.

'Please just kill me now...'

‘Please just kill me now…’

I ran a new half marathon PR. Several of my Bull City Track Club teammates were traveling to race the Lehigh Valley Marathon in Pennsylvania in September. I jumped at the chance to make the trip with them and race the half marathon, knowing that an early fall race would be my best chance to train for a good performance since the later fall months were booked solid with wedding and honeymoon plans. I ended up running a really solid race. I perfectly executed negative splits, starting around a 7:37 average pace at mile 1 and ticking down to 7:25 average pace by the time I reached the finish line (my last mile was 6:51, which surprised the hell out of me). The end result was a shiny new half marathon PR of 1:37:11 and I couldn’t have been happier.

A new PR and third in my age group. And beer, of course.

A new PR and third in my age group. And beer, of course.

I was accepted into the Boston Marathon! No explanation is really necessary except to say that, after over two years of very hard work, it felt so incredible to get this email.

Best News Ever

I helped pace somebody for the first time. Last week I ran the Richmond Half Marathon alongside my friend Amelia. It was her second half marathon and she was hoping to improve her time from last year of 1:46:30 to somewhere around 1:45. I had a great time running with her and even felt like I was a helpful motivator at a few points along the way. We crossed the finish line together in 1:43:12 – an incredible new PR for Amelia!

Richmond

Most exciting and hands down most importantly… On October 24th, a perfectly beautiful day in Wilmington, NC, Jeremy and I got married! Part of me wants to go into great detail about each and every part of that weekend, but every single time I try to do that the words that come out don’t seem to adequately capture our happiness and gratitude. The best I can do is say that we couldn’t have asked for a better weekend celebrating with all of our friends and family. The ceremony and reception were fun, stress free, and fit us completely perfectly. At the end of it all, we both agreed that we felt at peace, like everything was exactly how it should be now that we were officially husband and wife.

Announcement

Reception

We topped off a great wedding weekend with 8 days of complete relaxation in Jamaica. We enjoyed plenty of quality time together unplugged from email and social media, ate all the food, drank all the adult beverages, and simply enjoyed the view.

Jamaica

The view from our room. I definitely still miss it.

It’s good to be back on the blog after an extended hiatus. Now that I’m somewhat caught up, maybe I can do a better job of making this into a regular thing again!

What day is it?

Wow, this week has been a complete daze. The time change has really messed with me and I am more tired than usual. At the same time, there has been too many things going on for me to be a lazy mess like I would like to be.

I don’t have much in the way of coherent thoughts to share but I do have one big one…

It’s marathon week!

WB Marathon

It kind of crept up on me and it feels like just 2 weeks ago that I was running the Richmond Marathon. But I’m certainly excited – I absolutely love Wilmington/Wrightsville Beach and this race so it should be a great weekend.

I am compulsively stalking the weather which, as it stands right now, is making me a little uncomfortable. It looks like it may be another damp, rainy marathon for me.

70% chance of rain? No, thank you.

70% chance of rain? No, thank you.

I hope to be back for another post once I get some time and get a grip on what time of day it is and/or what day of the week it even is.

Has the time change been causing you problems? Have you ever run any races in the rain – if so what are your tips?

Hitting the wall

Sorry for my recent several day blog abandonment. I have several excuses and I will start with the positive and more fun one first.

I went out of town for the long weekend to celebrate one of my best friend Lauren’s bachelorette party in Wilmington. We rented a big house downtown and filled it up with a group of 11 girls. We spent some quality time on Wrightsville Beach, stuffed ourselves with good food (think Thai and sushi – YUM), and celebrated in some of Lauren’s favorite local bars. Both of us went to undergrad in Wilmington and it is always so fun to go back and get all nostalgic for our college days. Needless to say, in a house with so many women excited to be on a beach vacation, there was little sleep to be had.

Beautiful day on Wrightsville Beach.

Beautiful day on Wrightsville Beach.

A few of us at a delicious sushi dinner.

A few of us at a delicious sushi dinner.

I didn’t do any running or exercising during our trip because ain’t nobody got time for that. I had anticipated that this would be the case and worked my butt off to get my training workouts in Monday through Friday before departing for the beach early Saturday morning. This would be reason number two for the prolonged blog absence – between workouts and work I was busy and le tired.

I am mostly happy to say that I did fit everything in. I say mostly because, well, let’s just say the 16 mile long run I fit in after work on Friday evening was not my finest hour(s). The whole thing reminded me why I NEVER do long runs in the afternoon. It was hot, I was mentally defeated from over thinking the run all day at work, and I never know how to eat when I have to strategically plan multiple meals before a long run. I ran every bit of 16 miles. But even at a slower than normal pace it took everything I had and afterward I was spent and nauseous.

Now my body is punishing me. Which would be reason number three for my recent silence. Last week I experienced some soreness in the arch of my right foot that had me worried I was developing Plantar Fasciitis. I did some research and found some great tips and stretches that I implemented throughout the week with really good results. (I am going to share all of that information in my next post because I really think it helped.) It felt really good leading up to and during my long run so I told myself I could go ahead and do it as long as I was sure to stop if the pain returned. I was excited when my feet felt great during the run – actually they were pretty much the only thing that I would have said felt great.

Ever since, various aches and pains in my right leg have been hitting me pretty hard. My calf, my heel, and occasionally as high up as my hamstring and butt are all sore. I can’t even determine where the problem is originating at this point. Things that have definitely NOT helped me recover: riding in a packed car full of girls and luggage to and from Wilmington, not having my foam roller or ice packs on hand for several days after the long run, and walking on the sidewalks downtown with shoes that are less than supportive. Had I thought to bring my running shoes I seriously would have worn them out with my dresses at night to ease the pain.

A new week of training is supposed to be in full swing and right now it’s just not because things ache too much. I know I need to be taking some time off/easy… but that doesn’t mean I have to like it. Basically what I am trying to say in all honesty is that I have been neglecting writing and reading posts because lately the idea of doing it when my training is at a standstill seems kind of depressing and irritating.

Upon re-entering the blog world I am finding that more than a handful of other bloggers I follow are having issues with burn-out, injury, and illness recently too. While I don’t wish it on anyone, I guess it is good to know I am not alone. Maybe it is just that time in Fall race training season when people have issues with hitting the wall? Here’s hoping we all get past it quickly and safely.

Are you currently dealing with burn-out, injury, or illness? How are you handling it? What are your opinions on and/or approaches to taking time off during training?