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This week has been a great week of running . . . although, in very hot temps.

I ran 8 miles on Monday morning with a young friend, who runs track in school.  She is used to shorter – faster runs.  This was a stretch for her running a longer – slower run.  I am still MAF training – using my heart rate, keeping it aerobic, which means slow and even slower in hot weather running.  She did great and was fun company. 

This week, I was going to try 2 runs on consecutive days, a first for me in over a month.  I ran 4 slow miles on Tuesday and felt great with no issue with Runner’s Ischemia.  Yay!!! It was a beyond happiness moment for me.

Don’t judge me on what I am about to tell you, I already received a scolding from Jenna, my daughter!!!

I was supposed to wait and not run until Thursday, but I had an opportunity and the only opportunity to run with my running friend, Cara, on Wednesday.  Due to our schedules, we haven’t been able to run together for a couple of weeks and I really missed running with her and wanted to hear all about her husband’s Western States run.  (BTW – He did amazing!!!) 

Totally logical, right?!!?!!

Well . . . at the moment it was totally worth it.  We ran 6.6 very warm miles with my heart rate monitor not working correctly.  It was reading way too low for the temp and the hills we were running.  I had to go by feel.  I felt great the whole run and thoroughly enjoyed my time with Cara. 

It wasn’t until I got back to the office that I had an issue with Runner’s Ischemia.  😦

I spiraled downward from my euphoria of the previous day.  It had been over a month since this had happened.  I had to work through the emotions of ‘why can’t my body handle running like other’s can?’

I inwardly knew I was pushing it, but went ahead anyway. 

Part of me really felt by lowering my heart rate that would solve my ‘issue’. 

 I could blame it on the heat, or maybe I was running faster since my heart rate monitor was reading incorrectly . . . but bottom-line it was my own doing . . . my plan had been two consecutive days, not three.

I’ve kicked myself around enough . . . it’s time to get up and get over it . . . I made a mistake, but running goes on . . . it is not the end of my running world, it is a lesson learned . . . (hopefully!!)

If I want to be a runner, a happy runner, with enjoyable runs I need to continue steadily moving forward . . . wisely!!!

Just like my walk with God . . . it’s a steady moving forward with many ups and downs, but moving forward . . . always learning . . . failing at times . . . not liking circumstances at times . . . but always moving forward in God’s strength, His love, His grace, His guidance.  I am very thankful that He never gives up on me and enables me to get up and over the next hill in my walk of life.

Sooooo . . . today, Saturday, I just finished a beautiful, cooler temp run (since I went at 6:30am) around my favorite lake trail.

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Me and Debora on Em’s Bench

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Beautiful View from Em’s Bench

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One of my favorite sections of this trail.

Today, I ran in cooler temps, with a dear friend, with no ‘issue’.  I  will NOT run tomorrow.  Next week I am only running on Monday and Tuesday. 

Running is an adventure, much like my walk with God.  I’m thankful He is in the midst of it all!!! He gives me the strength I need to do all things and hang in there.

Very thankful!!

Patty 🙂

 

I have been running using my heart rate as my guide for about a month now.  One word . . . SLOW!!!!!

After my diagnosis of Runner’s Ischemia I started running two days a week on non-consecutive days –  two weeks being free of any ‘issue.’  I then upped the running to three days a week on non-consecutive days with no problems.  My mileage was usually 8 – 10 miles a  run.  I figured if I couldn’t run everyday I was going to get the most out of each run. 😉

I ride my bicycle and lift weights on non-running days.  I’m loving the cross training!! It brings about a great balance to running, a much-needed balance.  I’m glad to get that balance back.

Along with running on non-consecutive days I started  MAF training – essentially figuring out my aerobic heart rate using Phil Maffetone’s formula of 18o minus your age, plus or minus 5-10 depending on your health and fitness level, the goal being that as one trains with their aerobic heart rate their body will learn to use fat as fuel and their pace will increase as their body becomes more efficient.  I started this training after reading this article on Miss Zippy’s Blog.  I read it after my diagnosis and I was ready to try anything to keep running – even running slower!!!

I took 180 minus 59 (I’m not there yet!!! But . . . almost!!) and added 5 extra for my fitness level.  This gave me an approximate aerobic heart rate of 126 bpm.  I was used to running between 134-145ish and sometimes higher. My first run using 126 was agonizingly slow . . . . I had to walk at times to keep my heart rate at 126 or lower . . . so SLOW.  My first run was 2 minutes per mile slower.  Mentally, I had to let that go.  I had to let my ‘natural to me’ running pace go – the pace I was comfortable with.  I learned that on warmer days my heart rate was higher just from the temperature and I had to go even SLOWER . . . On cooler days it has been amazing how much faster I can run at the same heart rate.

SUMMER = SLOW (for the moment, right?!?!)

It has been a month since I have been running according to my heart rate.  I have grown to appreciate it.  I can actually go farther on my runs and still feel great without as much fuel and without feeling exhausted after my run.  On June 6th, I ran 10 miles and my average pace was 11:48 min/mile, where before MAF training my average on the same run was 10 min/mile.  I was going to check how my training was going yesterday by running the same run, but it was so much warmer in the morning and my average pace was 12:17 min/mile with more walking involved just to keep my heart rate down.  I will have to wait until it is cooler or I go earlier in the morning to get a true test.

Once I got over myself and running slower, I have really come to appreciate it.  I have had NO issues with Runner’s Ischemia and I credit  running by heart rate and not running on consecutive days for that. I have also been hydrating better the days before a run and after. I am so thankful!!

I am also thankful that I run with friends who are willing to continue to run with me in my slowness and sometimes even walking.

Since this has been working so well, next week I plan on adding one more run on a consecutive day . . . yikes!!! It will be a shorter run between 3-4 miles, but at my aerobic heart rate.  I plan on running long on Monday, shorter on Tuesday, rest on Wednesday, long on Thursday, rest on Friday, and long on Saturday.  If this works without ‘issue’ I will do the happy dance.  I will feel like the training for my first marathon in December will be possible and be fun!!!

With the warmer weather this is becoming my go to trail, being it is a bit higher in elevation and has great tree coverage providing much needed shade.

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Sly Park Lake – 3 miles from my house – blessed!!!!

I hope you are enjoying your summer and moving in any form that you choose.  Make sure to get out there and do something!!! In the heat, that means earlier or later, but worth it!!! 🙂

Thankful to a great God for His faithfulness in all areas of my life!!

Patty 🙂

Today is National Running Day and I wanted to run, of course!!! I’m a runner and I needed to celebrate today by running, of course!!  But . . . I chose to ride my bike trainer and lift weights in honor of the day, because  bottom-line –  it’s all about moving in some form or another . . . and being thankful that I can.  Below is the story of my frustration with running at the moment.

I haven’t really been in the mood to blog about running much these days.  I am dealing with an issue called Runner’s Ischemia of which I will spare you the details.  I am listening to my doctor, not always easy for me, and not running on consecutive days.  Last week I ran on Monday around Sly Park Lake, a beautiful trail run of 8 miles and I ran around Lake Natoma, another favorite run of mine for 11 miles without incident.  Yay!!!!

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Sly Park Lake

After I got over my pouting and frustration with not running everyday and listening to a wise daughter, who helped me see the bright side and God’s side, I am much more at peace.

These past two weeks I have enjoyed cross training.  I’m riding my bike more and lifting weights again, something I haven’t taken the time to do for some time.  I’m relaxing about the fear of losing my gains in running pace and mileage.  I’ve had to question why I run? Why I still want to run? Why not just go back to my cardio workouts, my bike riding, and my weight workouts?

The answer –

I love to run!!!

I love to be out in God’s creation. 

I love to smile at people on the trail, as I run. 

I love to run with others. 

I love to talk about running, about shoes, about cadence, about technique, about hydration and fuel, etc.

It makes me smile!!!!

There are a few things I will be working on to enable myself to continue to run and train for a 25k on Angel Island in August,  another half-marathon in October, and a marathon, my first, in December.

I will continue to run twice a week through next week.  I plan to then up my days to three times a week – 2 longer runs with one short run and see how it goes.  I am also planning on being more diligent in using my heart rate to monitor my running, especially as it is getting warmer for the summer, and not being as concerned about my pace.  On my off days, I will continue to ride my bike and lift heavier weights, which is a more balanced approached to my fitness (God has a way of getting me where I need to be cause He knows I won’t get there on my own!!).  I’m hoping these changes will make me a stronger runner and my ‘issue’ will be no longer!!!

I am thankful for very supportive friends, who get the running thing . . .  🙂

I am thankful for a God, who is there with me each moment of each day and reminds me of what is really important and He knows my heart, He knows my passions, He knows I love to run . . .

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I will keep on moving forward in my running and with a great God, learning flexibility, which is NOT easy for me . . .  

Patty 🙂

Here’s a recap of May 4th – a fun, fantastic, fueled-correctly day to run my second half marathon.

I  laid everything out the day before.  Seriously, I am more organized with my running clothes and nutrition than I am when we pack for vacations!!! 🙂

Nourishment for running

I had checked and rechecked the clothes I would be running in, made sure my iPhone was charged, had my heart rate monitor in my bag, along with extra clothes, extra nutrition, extra Nuun (electrolytes), extra gels – after all I am a mom, right?!!! So really all I had to do was get up at 4:00 AM and make breakfast to eat on the road and get dressed and off we went to pick up Debora, Amanda, Emmi, and Kari.  Mike, my husband, was wonderful and was our chauffeur for the day.

We arrived and used the port-a-potties, but there is just something that makes you have to use them again before the race . . . nerves . . .

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Amanda, Kari, Me, Debora, and Emily before the race

The race started at 7:45 . . . and we were off . . . woohoo!!!

This being only my second race ever . . . I freely allowed myself to move along with my adrenaline leading me well . . . meaning probably went out too fast!!

Debora and I had trained together so we ran together.  I started the race very refreshed and ready to run after tapering my runs the past week and allowing my muscles to rest.  Debora, being the wonderful mom that she is, started the run already tired from being on a school trip to Yosemite with her daughter and taking some great long, steep hikes!!! She gets an A-plus for being the best mom!!!!

We had already decided that we were going to run together, stop (if needed) together, cry together, finish together . . . we were in this together!!!

She was amazing for being as tired as she was.  I must admit when she said she felt like she was ‘hitting the wall’ at mile 8, I thought, “No, surely not, this is way too soon,” forgetting that she started the run tired.  But what a trooper – she just kept moving forward.

I had a goal in mind, but my main goal was to PR.  My first half marathon I ran in 2:15 so I knew I wanted to run faster than that.  I knew we could do it.  Debora and I ran together – I enjoyed it and I think Debora would say she endured it!! 🙂

We crossed the finish line together both of us getting a PR!!!

I ran it in 2:13 . . . yay, a 2 minute PR for me . . . 🙂

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Yay, we all finished!!! We are all winners!!!!

This half marathon was a totally different experience from my first one. I struggled during my first one, by mile 10 I was done and just counting the ever so slow miles as they went by, not feeling well when I finished.

This run I felt strong the whole distance and I really needed that boost.  As a runner, there are good, bad, and just downright ugly runs.  When you have too many bad runs it is most discouraging.  I went into this race with a few too many discouraging runs and wondering why I am running.  I am here to tell you it only takes one good, strong, happy, energetic, butt-kicking run to remind one why they run!! 🙂

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After the race . . . ahhhhhhh!!

As I look back at my race, I am thankful –

Thankful to my long run friend, Debora, who got me through some difficult runs.

Thankful that we had the time to put into training, which made all the difference for this race.

Thankful for friends that I run with.

Thankful for the running community – such a great group of folks that are a bit crazy . . . about running!!

Thankful that I can run.

Thankful for this amazing body God has gifted me with!!

I am resting, mostly, this week and trying to be wise with my running, which doesn’t come easily for me.

I am signed up for two more races this year – Folsom Blues Breakout 13.1 and the California International Marathon (CIM)

At this moment, I feel ready and excited to train for them and that they are doable . . . ask me in a couple of months and I might feel different, but for today I bask in a great half marathon and will cling to that for some time.

As always, I’m thankful for a God who is always with me, is ever faithful and always good!!!

Patty 🙂

I have been very relaxed and thoroughly looking forward to running the Parkway Half Marathon.  I trained with my friend, Debora.  We ran on our own during the week and ran our long runs on either a Friday or Saturday.  We learned so much from them.  One day I would have a bad run and then the next would be Debora.  We had plenty of time to discuss our ‘issues’ and trying different ways to avert the ‘issues’ on our next long run. The issues range from hydrating to fueling to foam rolling our muscles to cadence to pace to breathing to compression socks to digestion issues to TMI issues . . . 🙂

Trust me when you run 15 miles with a friend you can cover a myriad of topics.

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Me and Debora after our 15 miler 🙂

I’ve learned that for less than 10 miles I only need to hydrate – no fuel.  When I run 10 – 15 miles I need to hydrate with fuel added.  I use a product called Fluid Performance, which has electrolytes and carbs in it.  That seems to be enough for me.  I take a gel along just in case, more for security – I haven’t had to use  it.  Things may change once I start doing longer runs for my marathon training.

I learned when I am done with my long run I need to drink something right away. I drink Fluid Recovery, which has protein and carbs for muscle recovery, as I walk around for about 10 minutes.  Then I can stretch.  Debora and I have had many conversations about what’s best for each of us and our guts during this running process.

So I have trained . . . I have done weight work for my legs, my core, and my upper body . . . I have read many running blogs . . . I have worked on my nutrition – upping my carbs when getting ready for a longer run . . .

So . . .

Why, after rereading the race schedule, reviewing the race map (Debora and I already ran the path, mostly), figuring out parking, going to pick up our race bibs today . . . why am I so uptight (nervous, anxious) at this moment??

In my mind I’m thinking . . . “Really, Patty, why did you sign up for this race and the two others you are signed up for? Why can’t you just run your short miles, your longer miles, your really long runs and just be happy with that? Why race?”

I can’t answer that!!!!

I don’t even know if I like running anymore . . . I don’t even know why I run . . .  

I THINK I NEED HELP!!!!

I would go out for a run right now to clear my mind, but this week has been my taper week, lower mileage week, and today most definitely is my rest day before the race tomorrow.

From everything I have read, this is a very normal feeling.  Well . . . honestly . . . I don’t like it!! No, not one bit.  Hence, I am writing today and getting this out, if it can’t be on a run it will have to be here.

This is what I can/will do today –

– Remind myself of all the training I have done. I am ready.

– Remind myself why I am running . . . what it has done for me . . . the closeness I feel with God, as I run

– Remind myself it will be a time to be around others with the same passion for running that I have . . . a time to be encouraged and a time to encourage

– Remind myself that I am running with a good friend, Debora, who has listened to me go on and on about whatever, who has encouraged me, who has waited for me (bathroom stops) patiently with a smile

– Remind myself that it is not all about me . . . it’s an opportunity to celebrate my love for running with a bunch of other runners . . . and run for Him!!!

Okay . . . if you have gotten this far, thank you!!! I feel much better.  I have a little more perspective . . . still shaking a little . . . 🙂

I have a goal time that I would love to hit . . . we will see . . . I’ll keep you posted.

I’m thankful for a God who knows my weaknesses and He loves me in the midst of them. 

I’m thankful that He has given me the ability to run . . .

Tomorrow I run for Him with a smile on my face . . .

Patty 🙂

PS – I just remembered . . . this is my do-over race . . . ’cause I never got to do it last year due to a broken foot while training for it . . . and I get to run it this year with my daughter, Emily, and some other great friends!!! Woohoo!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

I don’t have much to share today. I’ve read many encouragements on twitter to get out and run today with one of your race shirts on for Boston. I was going to rest today, but felt this nagging to get out in my neighborhood and run. I wore my one and only race shirt.

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No one really saw me other than a neighbor and a few dogs. But, it gave me three miles worth of time to think and pray for so many hurting. My heart felt lighter .… one of the reasons why I and so many others run!! My eyes were lifted up to God in prayer and in Him I found peace, hope, rest, and trust that He knows!!

I will never understand tragedy like this … there are no answers to the why’s … but I will trust and I will put my hope in a faithful God who does.

I read a blog today and she expressed so well how I and so many are feeling – undone. Check it out from Dimity from Another Mother Runner.

http://anothermotherrunner.com/2013/04/15/undonebostonmarathon/

Praying for so much tonight and so many and trusting in a God of comfort, of strength, of grace in the midst of life,

Patty 🙂

It’s been such lovely weather here in the foothills of Northern California – perfect running weather, not too hot and not to cold – happy for me!!!

Today it is a rainy day.

I had a choice to make – to run or not to run . . .

I still have my goal of 30 miles a week . . .  I had planned every run and knew I needed to get my 5 miles in today or, heaven forbid, I run under the allotted mileage.  Do I have a problem . . . possibly.  🙂

It stopped raining and I thought I had my opportunity, got all dressed in long tights, a couple of layers just in case it started raining and looked outside and, yes, it was raining again.  I made the choice to run anyway.  Put my windbreaker on, which will keep me a bit dryer, put my hat on and out the door I went.  It was just sprinkling and I actually enjoyed the freshness of the cool air.  It started raining much harder as I ran . . . but I didn’t care . . . I was already wet and I was outside and I was running!!

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Rain does create obstacles to run around through!!

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oops!!

God just seems to lighten my heart when I get out in His creation and exert myself . . . whether it be running or biking or hiking . . . just plain moving is all it takes.

I was reminded of the different seasons in my life that have been difficult to walk through, yet God was always there.

I was reminded of how my view in the midst of the difficult season was clouded,  with emotions running wild, not seeing clearly . . .  

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. . . kind of like this . . .

The rain blocks us from seeing clearly . . . can you tell what I’m looking at in the above picture?

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But look . . . I can see clearly!!!

The cool thing is that God sees the whole picture of our lives clearly!!

He knows the beginning, the middle, and the end . . . He is always right there with me in the midst of my unclearness, my rain, my difficulty . . .

I realized I can run in the rain (through difficulties) much easier when I remember . . .

. . . the faithfulness of God in my life in the midst of the rain 

. . . the times He held me up when I couldn’t stand

. . . when He surrounded me with friends that loved me in the midst of the rain 

In remembering . . . I have strength to go forward and ‘run in the rain’ with a great God who never leaves me and has never forsaken me.

As I write this, my heart is heavy for those who are in the midst of rainy – difficult, impossible, heart-wrenching – times. 

My prayer is that they, as well as all of us, have  grace for this moment in time that God has given each one of us.  Grace to take the next step, trusting in the One who knows it all.  Grace to remember all that God has done in their/our past and is doing and will do.

Philippians 4:14 “I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.”

I’m learning to run in the rain . . . and enjoying the journey

Patty 🙂