Monday, March 30, 2015

Relay Reflections

I'll likely do a Texas Independence Relay race recap in another post, but for now I have a few thoughts I want to share.

1. This race, without a doubt, is my favorite, despite the sleep deprivation, agony of running in the heat, pressure to kick ass, and general delirium. I forget about my stress for 48 hours.

2. I can't believe my friends can put up with my bullshit. I'm not easy to deal with sometimes. I'm a bitch when I run in the heat, I'm generally a rule follower (not always a good thing), and I'm way too detail oriented sometimes. But nobody kills me while on the relay, year after year.

3. I'm way too consistent with my pace. Someday I'll blow it wide open and shock the crap out of people.

4. I appreciate each and every one of my teammates for different reasons...

- Thanks Tony for wanting me to be your navigator and keeping me laughing for 6 relays. We might argue too much but we get shit done.
- Thanks Geissinger for taking over the navigation when I couldn't read the map anymore Sunday morning, and for letting me treat you like a piece of meat.
- Thanks, Red, for being the coolest, hardest working, most caring teammate, and for talking about yourself in the third person.
- Thanks Katie, for being so amazing and talented, and for your concern about how mean Tony is to me ;)
- Thanks Matt for seriously being the most joyful runner I've ever met. Your positive attitude was contagious and I could learn a lot from you.
- Thanks Erica for convincing John to join us and for doing your best to control Danimal. We've missed you being on the team.
- Thanks John for being willing to endure one more relay and for not killing us. The one liners were truly epic.
- Thanks Emily for bringing such perfect humor and sarcasm to the team. Hot redheads are the best.
- Thanks Danimal for not drinking so much you couldn't still run like a badass, and for sticking with the team and giving your all when you weren't confident you could.
- Thanks Kalynn for being strong and fun and cute and darling and a really great friend...and the 7:20's don't hurt either.
- Thanks Cary for bringing it home at San Jacinto. And for being a size small.
- Thanks Team Mom Ginne for making us feel like we're all your kids, for being our rock. We love you!!

Who's giving me a massage??

Monday, March 23, 2015

I hate injury

I totally brought this on myself. I'm having trouble with my IT band, which is causing significant knee pain. I knew it was because I've let myself get weak. I've gotten lazy with core work and stretching and now I'm paying the price.

It's terrible timing. I have a relay in 5 days and a marathon in 34 days. 

I saw my sadistic friend Ken at Therapy Central this morning for myofascial release therapy to try to loosen things up and get advice on if the home trigger point therapy I'm doing is going to be effective.

He quickly discovered the probable root of the problem - tight gluteal muscles that are pinching the IT band. As he was working on releasing these muscles I about fell off the table from the pain. It radiates through my hamstrings and I wanted to cry.

My knee doesn't really feel better after the therapy (the 12 miler yesterday inflamed everything again) but I know it helped loosen things up. I need to continue to work on my glutes this week so I can avoid discomfort this weekend. My team is counting on me to be able to run at least 20 miles.

This whole fiasco just reiterates my need to take strengthening exercises seriously. But even if I work hard to get myself better I have a lot of doubts about my marathon next month.

It's a very hilly race and hills exacerbate IT band issues. It could make for a miserable race and there's no point is running on this beautiful course and hating life. I can handle the thought of running the half marathon. Still hilly, but doable.

I have a huge decision to make, and I need to make it soon before the race sells out and distance changes are no longer allowed.

Stupid silly problems to have. But frustrating nonetheless.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

2015 Checkpoint

I'm putting aside my kid struggles for a moment and focusing on ME for this blog post (the kid struggles are still HUGE, however)....

It's becoming more and more apparent to me that I continue to evolve personally, and I'm liking a lot of the changes that I have made this year.

1. Essential oils

I'm always looking for new solutions to problems or struggles, whether it's physical or emotional. I'm not a typical "hippie" chick, but the essential oil solutions really appealed to me after discussing with a friend who uses Young Living. It's been an eye opening journey the more I learn about the benefits of EO's, and I'm enjoying these benefits immensely. From muscle aches to headaches to insomnia to breathing problems, I'm trying to turn to EO's to find relief before anything else.

2. Home Improvement

We've been in this house for eight years now, so we're starting to see aging signs cropping up. Appliances that need replacing, general clean up, repainting rooms and refinishing doors and furniture, redecorating...a little bit of everything. Rather than hiring people to do all this for us, I'm trying to learn to do as much of it as I can. It's been fun to be a little more independent and to save money. I feel like I'm really contributing to the smooth running of the household by tackling these tasks myself.

3. Reading

I've read 7 books so far this year. My goal for 2015 is 25, so I'm well on my way. It's relaxing to me to spend time quietly reading, with a dog or two in my lap and a cup of coffee in my hand.

4. Cross training

I did start cross training more last year because of my triathlon training, so this isn't necessarily new this year. But now that the cold weather is passing, it's becoming more of a priority for me to get on my bike and into the pool. I can't wait for outdoor swim sessions, particularly since I'm seeing running injuries crop up. To be able to exercise outside without further aggravating those injuries will be so awesome. I never thought I'd be happy about swimming!

5. Not overscheduling myself

There are a lot of activities, races, parties, and volunteer opportunities out there. But my new favorite word is "NO." It's not good for me to do too much. I'm being very deliberate in what I commit to. I could do a triathlon every week or two, but I'm not going to. I made a very conservative goal of doing four triathlons in 2015, far fewer than many of my training buddies do, but I think it's a great number for me. There are fall and winter marathons and half marathons I could register for, but I am committed to only one other 2015 running race after the SLO Marathon and that's the New Years Double (I'm hoping to get up the nerve to do the 5K and Half Marathon on NY Eve and NY Day...32.4 miles total!). This will lead up to the Houston Marathon next January. I volunteer occasionally and I accept party invitations, but I do love a clear schedule most weeks. Does it mean I'm a hermit? No, it means I need to protect my energy.

6. Finding the Quiet

When I'm at home alone, I try to keep the television off. Our house is in a very quiet neighborhood and I really enjoy that. When the only sounds I hear is the birds outside and my pug snoring, I can find peace and calm. It's good for the soul.

7. Gratitude 

Because of the stress I endure as a parent (I know many find this hard to understand, but trust me....there's so much stress), I have to actively seek gratitude about the little things (and sometimes the big things). We have a gratitude jar in our kitchen and I find myself throwing little notes into it frequently. We plan to read all the notes at the end of the year.

So there's my checkpoint for 2015. I'm exhausted from the stress and uncertainty of some situations, but I think I'm doing a lot of good things, too.  When I see that something is working, I will continue to embrace it.