Saturday, March 4, 2017

Still Kicking

It has been ages since my last blog post-- 9 months.  I'm not sure I've ever neglected the blog this long before.

The blog is somewhat representative of my running, I suppose.  At one time, it was absolutely a focal point in my life.  Now?  Notsomuch.  I run fewer miles and race fewer races.  I work more hours than I did when running filled a void in my stay-at-home mom life.  I developed Hashimoto's hypothyroidism and am struggling through menopause.  Now that I'm on the other side of 45, in some ways, I'm older and wiser, and the hobby that became LARGER THAN LIFE is really just that now-- a hobby.

I'm thankful for the people running has brought into my life (well, most of them).  I'm happy to still be an athlete, though not a competitive one at all anymore (not that I ever was, really!).  But honestly, I'm glad to not have to plan my life around running!  I've decided that road marathons are the devil, so those were the first to go!  It's been two years since my last one.  I attempted one last April, but I became ill on the course, and dropped to the half.  I still love trail running, and I think trail running and hiking--maybe even backpacking-- will remain a part of my life.

Recently, I realized that any road runs over 9 miles are just leaving me so beaten up.  My achilles tendon or my right IT band or my left knee hurts in most long runs.  The road miles over the years have taken a toll.  I've run close to 10,000 miles at this point in my 10-year running career.   Trail runs leave me feeling centered and happy, not beaten up.

I had an amazing time at the trail/road hybrid 50K last June.  I was happy for the entire race.  I didn't worry about pace.  I just enjoyed the day.   I think I need more runs like that in my life.

In the interest of maintaining somewhat of a race report long on here, here's what I have raced since then:

August 2016-- I did the Wild Thang 9-mile trail run again.  I pushed as much as I could that day.  My time was slower on that run than in some years past, but I felt like I put forth a solid effort.  I was so happy my friend Michelle surprised me and decided to meet me at the trail that day.  My friend Vanessa also ran it as her first trail race.  Friends make running better1

September 2016-- I coached my good friend John for his first full marathon, and I joined him on the day of the Run 4 Water marathon.   I ran the half marathon and then worked as his crew along with some of his family members.  It was a tough, HOT day, but John finished his first 26.2.  Between my half and run/walking with him, I got in 20 miles that day!

October 2016-- My sweet friend Elleana decided to meet me at Land Between the Lakes in nearby Grand Rivers, KY for the beautiful LBL road half marathon.  We got separated at the start, but then we ran miles 2-13 together and had the best time chatting!  My stomach was very unhappy about the Patty's pork chop from the night before, so miles 8 on were kind of rough, but Elleana stuck with me!

I took a big break from races after October.  I had been struggling with my left knee, so I limited myself to only 4-miles at a time in November and 6 in December.  Reduced mileage helped!  I also started running with a shortened stride and faster turnover.

In February of 2017, I ran my first race of the year.  Elleana and I ran the Dry Creek 10K+ (7.3 miles to be exact) trail race.  We once again had a fun day.  We climbed over downed trees, splashed in puddles, and climbed a mini-mountain.  It was her first trail race!   The whole day felt like an adventure.  I loved it!  It really renewed my love for trails.

I am planning a few trail adventures this spring because I love them!   I'm also running a road half-marathon in two weeks.  I ran 12 road miles today, and well, UGH.  I've been worthless the rest of the day.

I'm going to run the half, but then I plan to focus on trails! I'm also coaching 6 awesome ladies for the St. Jude half marathon in April.

It's all good.....