Custom Search

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Greek Fest 5k and surprise mile

The Greek Fest 5k is usually my worst race all year, so I was pleasantly surprised with Friday's good-all-things-considered race. David and I carpooled and got to the race together. We were cutting it closer than I would have liked - we got there at 6:30 for a 7 pm start - but it turns out I was worried for nothing: David had already picked our packets up, and there was no bathroom line, plus I read the site wrong - the 7 pm start was for the mile. The 5k started at 7:30. So I was standing around in 86 degrees waiting to warm up until closer to the race, and feeling nauseated. My technician keeps bringing bugs to work - or I'm harboring a parasite, who knows - all I know is, I've been sick to my stomach WAY too much lately. Luckily, a nice doctor hooked me up with a Zofran, but I still didn't feel too hot and hadn't eaten much (I actually ate a yogurt in the car on the way over - I thought it would be easy to digest and ready calories). As I waited, I heard them announcing the start of the mile race, and for some reason decided to run it as a warm up. I threw my T-shirt at David and was like, "Hold my shirt!" as I ran to the start.
Big mistake. I was behind a million kids. And I stayed behind them until almost the turn around. At about 1/3 of a mile in, I was at 6:20 pace! Help! I gunned it, and I was at 6:10 right after I made the turnaround point, and then I just ran hard to the finish. 5:57. Ack. Totally thought I could run much faster than that for a road mile! And I will someday - I just need to start, you know, at the line. Not behind every child in New Orleans (although I have to say, kids running the mile are super cute. I love how dedicated and tough they are. A mile is HARD for a little kid!).
Please ignore the bloated stomach and face of misery. 

The problem with that mile is that it was too fast for a warm up - it tired me for the 5k. And it wasn't fast enough to be a decent race on its own. I basically ruined both races!
Between the hard mile and the tough conditions (sick, warm out, not-totally-flat course), I expected little from the 5k. Even as I waited for the gun, my calves started tightening. I also realized that I'd forgotten to bring my iPod, and I've gotten used to using music in races. "Well," I thought, "It didn't bother me in the mile, so maybe I don't need it." When we started, I ran off too fast, although it was hard to tell because the mile one marker was way off and I wasn't glued to my Garmin. I pulled ahead of two girls, but I saw that one of them is a lot faster than I am, and assumed this was a workout for her or that she'd pass me later (she did, but it must still have been a workout - she's usually much faster than she was that night). The breeze on the lake wasn't murderous, but I could still sense the headwind when I turned around. As I headed back, I noticed that I was hunched and plodding, and kept reminding myself - pick up your feet! Pick up your pace! I started to tire a lot by the end, but I really perked up when I saw the clock. My tired 5k could still be under 20! I scooted in at 19:51. I didn't love that I fell apart at the end a little - 6:24, 6:31, 6:34, ten seconds between miles one and three! - but I did like that running a 20-in 5k didn't feel that hard. In fact, it felt like taking it a little easy on sore and tired legs.
I'm happy that the workouts we've been doing with the club seem to be helping my speed. Obviously 19:51 isn't exactly an Olympic time, and actually it's much slower than McMillan thinks I should be able to run for the distance, but to put it into perspective, I've only run sub-20 four times in my life. Two of those times were after I started training with the Power Milers. I'm sure my times will dip for the summer as the temps and humidity create challenges, but in the fall? I bet I've got my speed back!

Friday, May 26, 2017

Playing Catch-up

Nothing much has actually changed over here.
Still in a very frustrating medical waiting game.
Still have no employees (why is our hiring process so lengthy?!).
Still have classes.

The only big change is that I think I cured myself of my shellfish allergy by exposure. Don't try this at home, blah blah blah, but I ate shrimp every day until my rash lessened, redness reduced, and finally even the itchiness went away. I don't think I'll feel comfortable diving into a crawfish boil just yet, but I have nine months to worry about that (the season's over). The process sucked (rash all over for two weeks? Not fun!) but the results were worth it: I ordered arroz con mariscos at a new Peruvian restaurant, and had nary a reaction!

On the running front, the biggest news is that I was third at the Barathon, with a recap to follow - a much better showing than last year, where I didn't even drink the beer.
Bar...four? Five? 

Unfortunately, I have also started having that annoying inner knee pain associated with high mileage, probably because I ran 60 miles last week including a race, thanks to the race falling on my day off and me not planning for that. Last time this pain started up, I took time off, and that took care of it: I might have an off week in my future.

In the meantime, I have one more race: the Greek Fest 5k is tonight, and even though it's always, always, always a bad race, I'm ready to run it again. Mostly because afterward I get a gyro!

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Nothing good to say

Sometimes bloggers or Facebook friends will annoy me with vague posts, ones that seem crafted to garner attention, ones that nonspecifically beg prayers or offer universal threats. I'm about to run the risk of becoming one of those people. But hopefully I can write a post that is honest, yet not exploiting others in my life.
I haven't posted much lately because I haven't had anything good to say. I've been facing a lot of challenges, and in addition to being very busy, I haven't had the heart to write anything. Some of the stressors I can tell you all about:

  • Another vice president visit to my store (Two in three years! Why?!)
  • A promotion for one of my pharmacists - that's a good thing, but she'll be leaving, and that's a lot of upheaval. Plus we'll miss her, and it will entail more and more training.
  • Firing an employee
  • Working short a technician during a very busy period
  • Attempting to replace an employee.
  • Negotiating with both my own company and my leaseholders to expand my site
  • Being denied time off: I have only had a single day off all year, and that was when we closed for Mardi Gras.
  • Leading our community group solo while David attends meetings those nights
  • Hosting a weekly Bible study at 7 am Fridays
  • Starting another MBA class and figuring all of that out
  • The misery of an all-over rash and allergy (which is still hanging around)
  • Down one car for repairs, with the other flashing a check engine light
Everyday life stressors, plus some. It happens. I can deal with it. But it's all been magnified because I am very worried about a loved one (and here is where it gets vague).  A few weeks ago, a loved one texted me some results from a routine medical visit, and it was very concerning. And while it looks very much to me like cancer, and this person had a rushed oncology appointment right away, we don't have answers yet. We're waiting for additional labs to come back, and honestly, the waiting is worse than just getting bad news. I have already resigned myself to the worst possible diagnosis, and I'm vacillating between grieving and hoping that I'm over-reacting. And I might be. There are multiple benign explanations for the questionable results, and any one of them is a very reasonable answer. 
So for now, I'm just kind of anxious and sad and concerned and hopeful, all at once. Thanks for dealing with my vague-post and my general apathy for the last few weeks!

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Adult onset allergy

Last week was my break between classes, so I had a small dinner party at my house, since my tight schedule had prevented me from entertaining for a while. As we were eating dinner - which included shrimp - one of my guests asked, "What's wrong with your arm?"
I looked down and my arm was bright red and swollen, and, now that I noticed it, it itched. So did the rest of my body. When I could unobtrusively slip away from the party, I ran up to the bathroom to discover a rash from my stomach down (my chest, shoulders, back, and face are clear; the worst is on my stomach and arms).

Much to my sorrow, I think I've developed an adult-onset shellfish allergy! This is terrible news, because I love shellfish!
The timing is bad, too. The company vice president of operations is visiting my pharmacy today, and I look like a lobster. Hopefully I can keep the itching under control so he doesn't think I have some kind of gross nervous tick.

This is my only food allergy (outside of a minor problem with eggplant that has improved with age). Do you have food allergies? Any adult-onset? Any success stories with overcoming them?

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Weights for runners

Ever since all my injuries and surgeries, I've been putting a greater focus on strength, even though I may not always have time for extended gym workouts. One of my favorite half-hour workouts is below. It's adapted from this article, made to suit my own home gym equipment (which is just dumbbells).
The reps listed are on the lower end of an appropriate range, but that allows me to complete the whole workout in 30 minutes or less. I'm currently using my adjustable dumbbells with the 7.5-lb plates, so with the bar, probably 16 or 17 pounds each. If I want a harder workout, I add reps, or add a core workout at the end.

  1. Push ups on dumbbells. Three sets of ten.
  2. One-legged bridges: 25 per side
  3. Russian twists with weights, 3x10, sitting on cushion to add challenge.
  1. Clams x 50 per side
  2. Hip side plank dips, 3x10 each side
  3. Side leg lifts, 20 per side
  4. Side bridge: Put one foot up on shelf, step, or stable chair; lift other leg up until feet touch and lower back down to ground. 10 x 3 per side
  1. Romanian deadlift, weighted, 3x8 reps per side
  2. Deadlift, weighted, 3x 8 reps
  3. Dumbbell on shoulders squats, 3x10 sets
  4. Bicep curls 3 x 8 reps

  1. Step or box jumps, 3x10
  2. Jump squats, 3x 5-10
  3. Four-square jumps. Set up imaginary square; jump from corner to corner (alternate directions; don't pause) x 10
  4. Lateral jumps 3 x 6 reps (back and forth is one rep)
  5. Kettlebell swing plus shoulder press x 10 per side