a lot of miles, a lot of thoughts…

Posts tagged ‘legs are sore’

Day 17, did I get ahead of myself?

I’m a planner, or a strategizer, or maybe just a dreamer. I’ve been thinking about this challenge for months. Seriously. In the beginning it was just an idea. I tossed it around in my head. I was looking for something. Something I could sink my teeth into. Ironically, at the time this challenge was merely a thought I was barely running. I was coming off an injury from another challenge and pressing through to run some races that I had already signed up for. You know, once you pay, you run. Regardless. But, I knew I needed something. Something big.

And then the idea took on a life of its own. It became real to me. And, I knew it was a bit out there and I didn’t want to leave anyone out. So I figured out ways that other people could do a version of the challenge.

And then I started telling more and more people. Yes, got some flack. Yes, got some eye rolls. Yes, got some “you’re crazy”. But I could visualize myself doing it. I could see me run the roads, run the tracks, run on the mills. I knew I would get up early to run, stay up late to run, adjust my schedule to run. And I waited. I waited for September. Every month I participated in some sort of challenge. All geared to set me up for success. All geared to make my core stronger, my legs sound, and my mind ready. I knew this would be a challenge that would test me. Physically, mentally and by the grace of God, emotionally.

I know there are other runners out there that could do this challenge and not even think twice. I know there are runners who could run circles around me, faster and longer. And I know there are runners out there who wouldn’t even give it a try; not any of the levels. But, none of them are me.

So, day 17. Day 17. I was already thinking about day 18 and day 20. I’m dreading day 20 actually. Not because I don’t think I can run 20 miles, but because I need to get all 20 in before 11 am. But, that’s a whole other post.

I had planned out day 18. 3 runs, 6 miles each. One in the morning, one around lunch and then one with either the high school or the Cheetahs. I got ahead of myself. I didn’t properly plan for day 17.

Day 17… I got another late start but it wasn’t too hot and I figured I’d hit the road. I plotted out a course that was originally about 7 miles long. I knew I was running with Team RockStar later that night and I figured I’d probably have to finish on the mill. I was feeling good the first mile or two. Not my best pace but better than the latest runs. I’m getting slower, which sucks, but rather than beat myself up about it, I simply go at a pace that I think I can go for a long time. On a gimpy leg? That’s slow. Anyway, somewhere during that run I decided to do a bigger loop so that I could maybe hit 10 miles. I hit mile 5 and out of nowhere my legs just shut down. I was coming up a hill and I literally slowed to a walk. If I’m close to the crest (and I’m still running) I try not to walk, I try to pull myself up the final incline but not today. And, gradually the mile times got slower and slower. And, finally I was walking up all the hills.
My legs were sore. My ankles were aching. But the pain wasn’t the same as before. I’ve run through the whole “muscle being pulled from the bone” pain. I have that weird ability to just overcome. It happened when I did my 1000 miles challenge and well, I guess, no I know, prayers work.
Anyway, I was beat after those 10 miles. Seriously beat.
I didn’t run with the XC team. I stayed back with two of the runners and we did some drills and core work. I was saving my legs. I really wanted to run the stairs and hills with Team RockStar.

The second run was all that it was meant to be. Its a challenging 4 mile run loaded with hills and stairs and it didn’t disappoint. Coming down the hills was brutal on my ankles. I had to walk down some of the hills cuz the pounding was just too much. But I really enjoyed that run.
And, then I finished the day with a run on the mill. Watched some Netflix and put day 17 in the books. It was weird. I should have planned it better. I shouldn’t have forced that first 10 miles. About 8 miles is my max right now. Anything over that, and I’m toast. But, I was so ready for day 18 that I let day 17 get the best of me.
I know better. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. How do you run 465 miles in September? One day at a time.



16 candles… Oh, I mean, 16 miles.

I have found that if I run a few hours AFTER I wake up then my legs have had a chance to wake up, warm up and rise to the occassion. So, on this day, I waited til just before 9 to start my run. I had breakfast; I had done some work from my computer; I felt ready to run!


My legs felt surprisingly good. The treadmill runs the day before really helped. My goal was to do at least 8 miles, more if I could, but at least 8. So, I plotted a new route and headed out!

As I was running I thought about all I have been through this past week or so. Emotionally, I was a wreck. Physically, I was beat. But, when I reached out and asked for a little support… things began to change. My right ankle was working again, although my left ankle was giving me some trouble, it wasn’t anything like I had experienced. I really thought, “I may actually enjoy this challenge after all!”

I added an extra loop to the run and tried to avoid stop lights. They kill my momentum. But that last gnarly hill? Yeah, it got me. Plus, my legs started getting super sore so I did walk a bit at the end, but over all it was a good morning run.


The picture shows my fatigue (LOL). But, the run was over, I was home and I was over half way done for the day.


That afternoon we took my older son to the doctor. He still wasn’t acting quite right from the concussion. We were told that what he was experiencing was still pretty normal and not to get too alarmed yet. Its just weird when your kid doesn’t act like your kid. Scary, but we are following doctor’s orders and praying for a full recovery.

I then headed to the Cheetah practice. They ran a VO2 workout so I started my last 6+ miles when they were done. Around, and around, and around, and around the track I went. First the football team finished their practice and then the band began their practice. I’m sure they were wondering who the crazy lady was running circles around them, literally. My legs started giving out in the last few miles, so I would walk one curve and run a 300, walk a curve, run a 300. And finally, mercifully, Sheila told me I hit my mark.

Smiling, ready to go!

The track I ran around under the lights.

And just like that, day 16 in the books!

When you set a goal realize that there will be challenges, obstacles and maybe even plan changers. But, don’t give up. Find a way, make a way, ask for help, ask for guidance. Just don’t give up. If its a goal that is really important to you, for whatever reason, don’t give up. Dig deep. Adjust your mindset. Put a little ice on it.

And, don’t give up.
Never give up

14 miles, thought it was going to be an all day adventure!

I’m still a day behind in my posts, but I will catch up… eventually!

Yesterday was the 14th. I needed to get 14 miles in but Friday was a rough day. Physically and emotionally I felt beat up! In the afternoon I went to the high school cross country meet. The kids did great. They’ve made a lot of progress and I think we are ready to get down to some serious training. Next week should be fun. 🙂 Then, my older son had a football game. During the second quarter he was on the kick off team and ran down the field, delivered a mighty hit and then “rung his bell”. He popped up right away but walked over to the sideline. His coach tried to talking to him and immediately sent him to the trainer. From the stands I couldn’t really tell what was going on. It looked like he had spoken with the coach and then wandered over to the trainer, shared something with her and then went and sat down on the bench. So unlike him. The trainer was still talking to him and then he took off his helmet. Bad sign. But, I still couldn’t tell what, if anything, was wrong. Then the team doctor came over and started really talking to him. When he did the “follow my finger” routine, I knew something was up. A few minutes later another coach from the team came over to the stands and I knew they were looking for Mike or I. Mike went down on the field. Spoke with the doctor, the trainer and Cody. After a few minutes he looked up at me and gave me the “we’re leaving” sign. I knew something must have happened. Sure enough, I get down to the gate where my husband was walking him out, and the kid was delirious. Yes, he has a concussion. The next few hours were a bit anxiety ridden but he’s gonna be okay. Just real scary for a while. He’s still not quite 100% but he remembers almost everything and he’s really chatty. Right now you can ask him about anything and he will tell you ALL about it! 🙂 He’s normally very reserved and quiet. So, to have him talk, literally non-stop, well, its quite overwhelming! But, that’s a whole other post. He’s gonna be fine…

Anyway, the Cheetah XC team was going to meet at Lake Murray for a run Saturday morning. I love this run, nice and easy, beautiful scenery, rolling inclines. And, you can make it either a 6 mile run or a 7 mile run depending on where you start. So, my game plan was to get there early, about an hour, and do the run once and then do the run again when every one got there. Don’t you just hate when game plans don’t go according to the plan? UGH!

So, I get there. My ankle is a wreck. Hurts just to walk but I know if I can get it warmed up, I may be able to run a bit. But, after Friday’s run I was willing to walk ALL 14 if I had to. I knew I needed to give the ankle a break.

Its foggy, a bit chilly, basically perfect running weather. I’m even wearing a sweatshirt! A Nebraska one at that. Go HUSKERS! Anyway, I start walking. Its sore, the pain is searing, and when Sheila tells me it took 16+ minutes to go the first mile I knew I was in trouble! I’d be “running” for HOURS to get the 14 in. I didn’t have time for a 4 hour run! Seriously! This was NOT going to work. The second mile clocked at about 15 something. Still not good enough. I picked up the pace, and the third mile was a bit faster. By then, thankfully, my ankle was warmed up and I started jogging a bit. Before the Cheetah team got there I had logged 4 miles. Took me almost an hour, but 4 miles were done.

Once the team was there I headed out and around the lake. This is a 3 mile run out to the bull’s eye and 3 miles back. I was actually able to run most of those 6 miles. I even ran two of them in under 10 minutes a piece. There was still hope! But, and isn’t there always a but?, Sheila’s power was almost gone, so before I could finish the last 4 miles I needed to “charge” her. I was gonna go two more miles out and then turn around and come back. It was taking too long to charge Sheila and it was getting hotter by the minute. The Cheetahs had left. So, I decided to call it a “run” and head for home. I’d finish the last four at home.

Believe it or not, my ankle wasn’t too terribly bad. Don’t get me wrong, it was sore as heck, and I thought I probably wouldn’t even be able to walk. But, prayer is a very powerful thing! During the walk/run I listened to my ankle. I changed up my foot fall to ease the pain and I had a few miles that were seriously pain free. My leg, far from healed, was at least willing to go the distance.

I got home. Had some breakfast. And, headed to the mill. I “charged” Sheila and turned on Netflix. I’m in Season 2 of the West Wing. 🙂 I ran the remaining 4 miles.

Day 14… 2 runs… 14 miles… I got this…

The Lake run…
before 9 14 1
after 9 14 1

And, the mill run…
before 9 14 2
treadmill 9 14 2
after 9 14 2

Thanks for the prayers… they are working and helping. Seriously. Wouldn’t have made it through days 14 OR 15 without them. And that’s another post…

A day late, nothing short…

Friday, September 13th, before the run…

And, then a few hours later…

And the photos…

before 9 13
view 9 13
run 9 13
after 9 13

Sometimes I need a little encouragement…

I had a conversation with my sister earlier today and it made me think about a few things. So, I’m gonna start this post with a few requests. Please hear my heart…

Yes, my ankle/calf is in pain. No, I’m not sure what is wrong with it other than it feels like the muscle is being pulled from the bone. You know when you eat a chicken leg and you pull the meat from the bone with your teeth? Yeah, that’s how my leg feels. (Glad I’m not a real chicken, I can only imagine!) Especially during the last miles of the first and second runs and all of the third run. Yes, it would be wise to rest my leg. Take it easy. No, this challenge isn’t going to win me any money, make me famous or even matter in a few months from now. Yes, only a few people even know I’m doing this challenge. Its not like its hit the major news networks. Yes, you think I’m crazy and I’m not listening to my body. Believe me, I’m listening! I hear it every time my foot hits the pavement! Yes, it hurts. Yes, I’m running with a bit of a limp. Yes, again, I know I should take it easy. Yes. You are right. You are oh so right. But… and you know what it means when you say but? Right? Whatever was said before the “but” doesn’t matter.

I am doing this challenge and I will run through this pain until I simply can’t run any more. Why? Cuz that’s just what I do, that’s just who I am. I set a goal, I work towards achieving the goal, and once complete I set another goal. So, instead of telling me all of the things I shouldn’t do, or am doing wrong, or giving me reasons -excuses really- to not push through, to not persevere… instead… encourage me, give me tips to make the chicken leg heal itself, feel stronger, feel better, not consume my run. Better yet, add me to your prayer list. Ask God to bring healing to my legs and the strength to finish this challenge. I know the challenge is “a bit out there” but I run, and I create these challenges, because there’s someone out there who can’t run, who can’t complete the challenges and so desperately wants to. They “hear” or read about my determination and my will to push through, overcome, and conquer whatever I’ve set before me and they are empowered. I run because they want to but can’t. So, rather than find reasons why I shouldn’t, or why you can’t – or won’t – find reasons why WE do.

God gave me a strong, healthy body. He gave me the ability to run. And for some reason, he gave me the desire to share my passion for fitness and running with others. So, I honor Him. Please do me a favor and cheer me on! Not drag me down. I can do that all by myself. 🙂

So… having gotten that off my chest. Here’s day 12. Enjoy.

First run of the day. Early, about 6 am. Looking to do 8 miles.
before 9 12 1

The run, the usual route. Not fast, leg hurting, especially going down hill. Mile 6 I called my husband to let him know I wouldn’t make it home in time before he left for work. He always makes me breakfast (eggs, half a piece of toast, a nibble of bacon and strong black coffee). I didn’t want him to worry about that since I was going to be late.
run 9 12 1

But, he drove down and picked me up. He could tell by my voice that I was struggling. He decided to give me a lift. Breakfast was waiting for me when I walked in the door. 🙂 My husband believes in me. 😉

after 9 12 1

Before the second run…
before 9 12 2

The run. Walked towards the end. Leg on fire. Kids did awesome tho!
run 9 12 2

After the run.
after 9 12 2

Last and final run. We tell the XC kids, its all in your attitude. If you expect to have a great run, even if you don’t, it will have been better than if you had expected it to be bad! Smiling! Let’s do this!
before 9 12 3

The run. Limped a majority of it. Cheetahs ran hill repeats again. Could only watch. 😦
run 9 12 3

After the run. Another day down. 🙂 Ready for some ice! And, a drink! 🙂
after 9 12 3

Last week I ran 28.9 miles. This week I’ve run 50.5. Sheila says so.
total miles 9 12

If I’ve offended you in any way, cuz I asked for positive feedback, thoughts and vibes, I guess… well… that sucks for you. When you set a goal and you tell me about it… I believe in you. I know you can do it. I know you will do whatever you can to achieve it. And, I will do anything I can to help you rise to the occasion. Do unto others… 🙂

Icing my chicken leg. Peace out…

9/11… a day to remember because we could never forget.

On this day 12 years ago, I had just dropped off my 4 year old at preschool and was hanging out with my one year old at home. The TV was playing in the background and then I became glued to the TV. At first I didn’t get it. I wasn’t alarmed. I was more… perplexed. I didn’t comprehend what had really happened. I thought, that happened so far away… New York (I live in California). It took a few days, really a few weeks, for it to sink in. And now… it makes me sick to my stomach when I think about what happened, how many people were tragically affected in those few moments, and how their families’ lives changed forever.

Our country changed that day. In so many different ways. So… today we honor the fallen, lift up those who lost loved ones and empower those who were in the midst and survived.

And, in light of that… I know this may seem trivial but I did run today. I ran 11 miles in 3 runs. 5, 4 and 2. The last one was not really a run, more like a fast limp. My right calf is on fire singing “wild thing!” and needs to be either cut off and replaced or iced til its numb and I no longer feel it. I guess I’ll be icing. Anyway… here’s today’s before and afters…

I know… its dark. I’m really in there. You can see my shadow. It was EARLY in the morning, no flash on my phone! 🙂
before 9 11 1

After the run. I took a new route, new streets, new hills, new leg pains! See how bright I am i the morning light! 🙂
after 9 11 1

Afternoon run with the high school. Also a new route, 4 miler. We started off at a good pace but then slowed. Everyone was in good spirits. One runner even claimed he had a “runner’s high”. There is some hope yet!
before 9 11 2

When we finished this run I headed straight to the trainer. I asked for a bag of ice. Seriously, me ask for ice? Yeah, my calf hurts that bad. 😦
after 9 11 2

And finally, the last run of the day. The Cheetahs did 250s and 150s so I waited to run my final two miles after their practice.

Cheesy smile cuz I just want this to be over. 🙂
before 9 11 3

8 times around this track. The last 3 laps were “limped”.

And, its over. Painfully, over.
after 9 11 3

But today is the 11th. (Someday I’ll post about the significance of the rose on the 11th.)
rose 9 11

I ran my 11 miles and look forward to my 12 tomorrow. Don’t worry about me, I got this. I’ll ice, tape and walk/limp when necessary. If this was easy it wouldn’t be a challenge, right?

Double digits… Day 10

Well, its finally here. The double digit days. We knew these were coming. Are we ready?

Mentally, yes. Physically, well that’s another story. I iced various parts of my legs today in an effort to reduce some soreness. I think it helped and when I’m done writing this, I’ll get out another ice pack.

Double digits. Another 3 run day.

This morning, got up early, was out the door before 7. Weather was cool. I actually wore running pants and a 3/4-length sleeve running top. Pace wasn’t fast but respectable (at least in my world). 4 miles.

before 9 10 1
after 9 10 1

Second run. The high school XC team had to do hill sprints today. Needless to say I only ran the warm up and the cool down. I cheered them on their sprints though. They ran strong today. I think today was the first day that ALL of them gave a true effort. No complaining (probably cuz the head coach told them that whoever asked “how many more” would get an extra one), full on effort up each hill, arms pumping, knees high, legs moving. Seriously, they did GREAT!

before 9 10 2
after 9 10 2

And then the last run… My favorite! Secret Stairs with Team RockStar!

Team Rockstar 9 10

This is a four mile run loaded with hills and stairs. Its challenging, its tough, it’ll test you. But running it with this group makes it fun, bearable, and worth it! After every one Brian is given the task to find us a random person willing to take the “end of the run” picture. Today’s photog, Tom, inadvertently snapped a shot of himself. So… photo creds go to Tom.

random photog 2 9 10

And of course my before and after…

before 9 10 3
after 9 10 3

Smiling cuz I just completed Day 10 of the Running 465 in September Challenge. And, I rock!