Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Taking Care of Business

First, I ran the Chicago Marathon this year. Slowly. In fact, it ended up being my slowest time for a marathon by about 5 minutes. I'm not worried about it. There are several reasons that factored into that, namely the weather and my IT band. If I have more time, I will try to recap it for you! I was never worried about the time for this marathon anyway. But I finished and marathon/ultra #9 is complete!

Next up is the Naperville Half Marathon this Sunday (November 8th). Since my longest mileage since the marathon has been 4 miles, I don't have high hopes for this. Ha! My goal when I signed up was just to get through it however I can, and get the medal...plus the extra medal for the Triple Crown Challenge. The extra medal was because I did the Fox Valley 20 miler, the Chicago Marathon, and then the Naperville Half Marathon. I'm going to do a 5:1 run/walk and do the half nice and easy!

After this half marathon, I'm going to be on the DL (disability list). I'm finally having surgery on my shoulder to fix the chronic shoulder instability I have from all the dislocations. For those that don't know, I was running on a dirt trail in July 2012, tripped over a rock or tree root or something, went flying like superman, and landed directly on my right shoulder dislocating it. Since then (with the majority being between 2/2013 and 6/2014) I've dislocated it about 15 times. The last time was in September of this year while taking a nap on the couch. I've had enough.

My surgery is scheduled for November 12th. They will be tightening up the shoulder joint since the tendons and ligaments are loose. I'm prepared for a painful, hard, and long recovery. I'm just hoping it will be all worth it in the end. If it sounds like I'm not too excited about this, I'm not. It's been a very hard decision to make. There's been a lot of stress and tears. Again, knowing that the likelihood of never dislocating it again after this brings tears of joy to my face. Having chronic shoulder instability and repeated dislocations is exhausting mentally and painful physically. Be careful how you are holding the rail when you go down the stairs. Be careful how you are putting on your sweater. Be careful how you are taking it off. Be careful that you don't slip on ice and throw your shoulder out. Be careful how you .... and the list goes on and on with things I have to think about every day to make sure I don't dislocate my shoulder.

So wish me luck! I'll try to follow up post-surgery and let you know how it goes (although it will be several days!).  I may just make a video as typing with my left (non-dominate) hand will be slow and tedious!  Hope you all have a great day and happy fall running!

Monday, August 31, 2015

Monday Make Up!

I got yelled at for not blogging. You know who you are! Haha!

Yes, I've missed blogging a lot of activities. Let me give you a very brief recap of my happenings!

In July, I competed in an International Distance triathlon at the Sister Lakes Triathlon in Dowagiac, MI. I rocked it out minus the panic attack that lasted the first 1/3 of the swim! My first international distance! I was so excited!!

I tri'd with these awesome people!

I also participated in the Venus De Miles 62 mile bike ride in July! I was an ambassador for the race this year (and I'm sorry not to have posted a recap of it by now). It was hard! So very hard! Haha! But fun and challenging and we helped a few people out on the course (we = Derek and I. Derek was once again a "men-in-drag support crew" for the race).

Some of the ambassadors - the 62 mile group

In the beginning of July, Derek and I also participated in the Metric Century ride in Plainfield on July 4th. Unfortunately for me, there was a detour and the course was upped from 62 to 68 miles. I get very grumpy around mile 50 on a bike right now so the extra miles were definitely a challenge! And the most bike miles I've ever done!  But it's a great ride and I love doing it.

After a long 68 miles!

Also at the end of July/beginning of August, I did the St. Jude Relay raising money for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Amazing Experience!

My amazing St. Jude team "Counting Stars"

A couple weekends ago, I ran the Fort2Base for the first time! They have a 10 nautical miles course (11.5 miles) and a 3 nautical miles (3.5 miles). I would love to give you a recap on this as it was so much fun and I had a great time! Finishing the race at the Great Lakes Naval Base and having all the navy men and women helping us up Hero Hill was amazing! Loved this race!


So I hope to write recaps on all of these. I will probably start with Fort2Base and work my way backwards.

Of course, I'm still marathon training for the Chicago Marathon...

Saturday morning early training runs!

I haven't only been running and biking...

I also tried my hand at painting! It was so hard! Still trying to get Derek to let me hang my painting in the living room! Ha!
Paint night with these beautiful ladies!

As of last week, I'm dealing with a bit of foot pain, which I'm thinking is the start of plantar fasciitis! Nooooo!!!! So I'm trying to nip that in the bud before it gets worse. Any suggestions? I'm rolling my foot on a frozen water bottle, stretching my foot, and was just recommended to roll it on a golf ball.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Weekend Heat And Racing

The weather around here has been a bit funny. I would say that it's been relatively cool with lots of rain. Way to go summer in Chicago. It has been great for running, of course, but terrible if you like to have some summer heat! I am one of the people that likes to have summer heat! It's so cold all the time in Chicago that when I can get 80-85 degree temps for a bit, I welcome it! Sure the runs will be a bit tougher but I know it will be a short time and come fall...hello fast race times in cooler weather.

Well, I'm biting my tongue right now. It's going to be HOT this weekend. Temps will be about 90 degrees but with the humidity, the "real feel" temp will be close to 100. At least in Dowagiac Michigan, where I will be on Friday night and Saturday.  Because, lucky me, I have a triathlon!  The Sister Lakes Triathlon.

I'm pretty bummed about it being this hot. I'm already going to struggle on the run but now add in the extreme heat and humidity. But it's ok. It's nothing new. I'm never one to shy away from running outside. So I've run in extreme heat before. I know how to use caution to make sure my body will be able to handle it. I know I will be slowing down and walking (often). I'm not going to come in first place anyway!  I'm also going to add my fuel belt on the run just to be sure I have my fluids handy.

I'm doing the Olympic/International distance. This is my first time doing more than a sprint! I've done two small indoor triathlons and 2 different sprint distances. This is how my triathlon this weekend stacks up:

1,000 meter swim (this is actually pretty short for an Olympic distance so I'm happy about that)
21.6 mile bike
10k (6.35 miles)

The event that I'm least worried about is the bike. Sure I'll be tired and my butt will hurt but I will get through it. The event that I'm most worried about...it's a toss-up. I'm worried about the swim for a couple reasons. I've never swam that far before in open water. I'm also really hoping my shoulder stays where it belongs! No dislocations on this tri please.  Not sure yet if the swim will be wetsuit legal but I'm hoping it is. I'm worried about the run because...it's last so I'll be tired. And it will be hot so I'll be extra tired.

I'm just going to take it one stroke, pedal, and step at a time. Get through it any way I can as best as I can given the circumstances. I'm pretty good at listening to my body but not very good at staying positive sometimes!

So we will see how this one pans out. I want to have an Olympic distance triathlon under my belt. My goal is to one day do a half ironman.

Good luck to all my friends racing this weekend. There are a lot of events going on and I know a lot of people doing them!  Stay safe and run happy!