Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Just when...


... you think things are going great there always seems to be something that pops up.  This was my view Friday afternoon and yes, those are my cute shoes on a hospital bed.

I felt "off" from the get go that day but I just chalked it up to fatigue.  But then I was sitting in a client meeting that afternoon and it started to feel like an elephant was sitting on my chest.  I had chest pain and soon it was spreading to my shoulders and neck. 

I finished the meeting and got some water.  I sat back down at my desk, drank my water and Googled chest pain spreading to shoulders and neck.  I didn't even have to open a single link; every preview on Google told me to go straight to the ER.  So off I went with a co-worker who gladly drove me and stayed with me.  I work with some pretty awesome people. :)


It's amazing how short your wait is when you walk into an ER and tell them you are having chest pain; it was either than or my new haircut that I got for the occasion.  I had exactly enough time to write my name and birthday.  By then they were taking me back to start an EKG.  Fortunately my EKG looked great.

The pain was not subsiding so next was a blood draw, a chest x-ray, morphine, and a CT scan to check for a blood clot.  Nothing showed up thankfully.

Diagnosis: atypical chest pain/severe anxiety.

I have a follow up with a cardiologist next week for a stress test and I can't help but wonder if you can win a stress test since you're running?  That's my goal... win the stress test!


The ER doctor told me to take it easy and I did that for exactly one day.  I ran a few miles on Sunday and was back to riding my bike on trails with Steve on Monday evening.  Not doing something physical is no longer an option for me... especially since it's one of the things that helps to minimize my anxiety.

So while this event scared me and even made me wonder how I could be possibly have a heart issue given all my running, I felt more confident knowing I would be OK because I have been taking good care of myself.  That's a good feeling because 6 months ago I would have felt very different and would have second guessed my health the entire time while waiting for the test results in the ER.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Run Faster...

I'm convinced the right nail polish color makes you faster...

... Run Farther.  This is the book I'm following to build a good base leading up to my half marathon training.  I'll be using the same book for that training as well.

I'm slow.  There's no way around that.  And while I'm OK with that, I'm not OK with that long term.  So this week I picked up with week 8 of the novice 5k plan in the book:
  • Walk 10 minutes
  • Run 1 mile
  • Walk 5 minutes
  • Run 6 minutes, walk 1 minute X 3
  • Walk 10 minutes
This has been a pride check for sure because I can run 8 slooowwww miles with no issues.  But they are slow miles if you didn't catch that previously. ;)

My theory is that if I run the running segments at a faster pace than I'm used to, with walking mixed in, it shouldn't be too much of a shock to my body.  Plus, I'm the type that fears running out of gas on a run but if I know I have a walk break here and there, I won't be as afraid to push it.  Am I correct in my thinking?  I think so but I don't know for sure.  But that's what I'm hoping.

I'm not crazy about watching my weekly mileage drop but I feel that this approach will yield better results long term.

I'll complete the novice 5k plan just in time to start the novice half marathon training plan and the two plans seem to be a continuation of the other.

I'm also mixing in hill repeats once a week because they suck.  That makes perfect sense...

Overall, I'm feeling great.  I don't have those nagging pains I had when I started running.  My legs feel strong and my confidence is increasing.  I still have moments of self doubt where that little voice starts saying, I can't do this.  Six months ago I would have agreed with that voice but today my response is, I'm not just running... I'm training.  For whatever reason, repeating that when I start to doubt helps me push through.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Trails & Life


It's been a busy few weeks around here!  I'm still running lots and I've added another weapon to my fitness arsenal: a bike.

Steve took up cycling and I started thinking that I could do that too.  I've been reading "Run Less, Run Faster" and one of the things they emphasize is cross training via bike, swimming, or rowing.

My bad shoulder is not very agreeable to swimming, we don't have a rowing machine, so the bike it is!


Plus it gives Chaney and me a chance to ride bikes together.


And witness this awesomeness...

Here's how my week looks:

Monday - Rest
Tuesday - Bike/weights {upper body & core}
Wednesday - Run
Thursday - Bike/weights {lower body & core}
Friday - Run
Saturday - Bike on trails
Sunday - Long run


Saturday is actually optional but I went trail riding with Steve a few weeks ago and I absolutely loved it!  It was a nice break from the monotony I can feel while running.  On the trails, you have to pay attention, think, and anticipate.

A few thoughts about trail riding... it's not easy, you can get hurt {my knee/leg are proof}, there is nature to contend with {snakes!} and you have to have a lot of trust in the person in front of you if they are leading.

And trust is a big one for me.  Because of things in the past, I'm not the most trusting person in the world.  But as I rode and followed Steve, I began to get more comfortable.  He didn't take me on trails that were too hard for me to make himself look better.  He looked out for me and helped me along the way.  He never got frustrated if I fell or slowed down.  Pretty much the exact opposite of what would have happened in my previous marriage.  As I realized these things, my nervousness about the experience began to melt away and that is a wonderful feeling.  Being with someone who wants to keep me safe makes trusting a whole lot easier.


So after my first trail experinence I knew I wanted to run on trails as well.  I found some Saucony Kinvara TR shoes at a great price and bought them.  I got to try them out while we were on vacation since the resort had a beautiful running trail.  It was a wonderful way to start each day!

Back to the shoes... they are great shoes!  They fit well and I don't feel every rock I step on.  I'm also going to wear them when I bike as I have no desire to clip in.  That just seems dangerous. ;)


As far as my regular running goes, I'm working on building a good base while adding some speed and hills into the mix.  My half marathon training officially starts on August 26th and I want to be ready to tackle that training plan.  Hopefully it will be slightly cooler by then too...