Solo Running vs Group Running

When I first started running, it was by myself. Dreamboat came along a little bit afterward, wanting to join me and I was excited for the chance to do something that we both love together. A bit later I got my friend Kat to join me and we ran together for a lot of training runs when Brian and I weren’t able to go. Kat got really addicted to running and even has a marathon under her belt. She did a lot of races I didn’t, and vice versa. We were practically inseparable, the three of us.

But then Brian had a job change that let him to travel every day, and the time for even a quick three mile run was non existent. He was so tired at the end of his 14 hour day, I couldn’t blame him for needing to just come home and sit on the couch and stare blankly at the television. So I would usually get up with him and meet Kat in the mornings before she had to take the kids to school. We’d usually run 3-4 miles, doing speed work and bridge work, and I’d be heading to my home to shower and get ready by 6:30am. Two and a half hours before I had to go to work.

Now, Kat isn’t as free as she used to be since she is working again. She’s a teacher and a wife and a mother of 2. I understand her commitments and we tried to make it work timing wise but it just didn’t. Now, she’s really hard to get in touch with and that has more to do with life obligations than anything else.

So I run alone now. And I’ve learned a lot about running solo.

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Gate River Run Training Week who knows, I’m ALIVE!

Well, kind of alive. Mostly alive. I’m breathing easier now anyway.

The ick that plagued Dreamboat for three days hit me for almost 9, and then to top it off, I got a violent stomach bug that has me feeling sick. I’m still battling the congestion too. It’s gross: but I feel like the stuff coming out of my nose – while clear/white – is thick and sticky. Part allergies, part ick. Good times.

I spent a good part of last week sleeping, coughing, blowing my nose and drinking lots of Tazo’s green ginger tea. Which, by the way, is AMAZING. I was in bed between 8:30 and 9pm almost every night, and was hopped up on so much Sudefed it was ridiculous.

I missed almost the entire week of training. I was able to get out there and do some speed work on Wednesday, but cut it short when my breathing turned into wheezing that I knew was not related to running up the train bridge as fast as I could. Then yesterday, on a whim, I went out and ran the 8 miles that were on the plan. I started out pretty good, and was keeping a pretty solid 12-minute pace overall for most of the first 4-5 miles, but then lack of sleep and dehydration and obvious signs of being

Then yesterday, on a whim, I went out and ran the 8 miles that were on the plan. I started out pretty good, and was keeping a pretty solid 12-minute pace overall for most of the first 4-5 miles, but then lack of sleep and dehydration and obvious signs of being sick for a week had kicked in and I slowed significantly. But, there were a lot of factors leading to the drop off for me (and if you follow me on Instagram/Facebook you have heard me complain about them) yet overall I felt good despite being tired. So I knew that if I was feeling 100% I could have done better. That’s promising, given how much I am beating myself up for missing a week.

Now, I’m nursing some really bad heel pain with ice packs and the awesome PF boot on my left foot, and have a date with my foam roller for the IT bands. I also see some serious stretching in my future, but overall I feel good. Not really overly sore, but then again, I didn’t do any bridges either. I keep forgetting how important stretching is to runners….

This week, I’m jumping back into training. This weekend will be tough as I have producer training after my scheduled shift on Saturday (which is a rest day anyway) and we have tickets to the Daytona 500 (YAY NASCAR!) on Sunday, so getting in my long run on Sunday might be tough. But I’m also going to be walking the entire day so I could just count that.

SUBTITLE (4)So that’s the plan for this week. I promise now that I am healthier and stable I will get back to your regularly scheduled blogging. :) Thanks for rolling with me and for being such great friends. :)

Running and Safety – My Scary Experience

It started out harmless enough. I couldn’t run in the morning, so I was going to run after work. Dreamboat, who originally said he was going to be working late, was at home as I ran in, changed clothes and took off. As I was walking to the front of my complex, I noticed a dark car driving around the complex. I didn’t think anything of it the first time I saw it. But then it drove by again. Then a third time.

Curious, I leaned over to try and get a better look at the car from the safety of the sidewalk once I got done crossing the street and said creepy dark car slowed down to look back at me, then sped off with a growl of his overworked engine. oooookay…..

I continued my walk to the front of the complex, and was messing with my phone to turn on my Runmeter while it was attached to my arm only to see the guy drive by behind me once again. He took off down the opposite side of the complex, and I saw him fly by me once I started to run along the sidewalk of the street my condo complex was on.

Odd. And creepy.

I didn’t see him again as I ran two miles out and then 1.75 miles back, but during that last quarter mile of my 4 mile run, I saw the car pull out of my condo complex and take off down the road. He blew by me again, only this time I was facing the car. It rumbled loudly; he was obviously speeding faster than the posted 40 miles per hour limit. Once I finished my 4 miles, I pulled my phone out of my arm band and kept it in my hand, texting my husband as I walked back to my home all the while keeping an eye out for the possible sighting of creepy car dude once again.

He never showed.

I went in and told Dreamboat about it, and he wasn’t as concerned as I was. He kept telling me to make sure I am aware of my surroundings, and be aware of what and who was around me. Which was obvious in my opinion. I’m not a weakling: I had taken numerous RunSafer classes, I’m always aware of what’s happening around me because my routes are on busy traffic roads, and I always run with my phone.

And I have alternative routes: I can run at my parents house which is a neighborhood I know well, I can run downtown and shower at a friends house before coming to work, or I can wallow and run on the treadmill. I could also just ACTUALLY go run in the morning. Sure it’s dark in the morning, but it takes a special kind of fool to wake up at 5:30am to go running, and since there are kids waiting for school buses at all of the apartment complexes that I pass on my route, there are always parents around. It’s a safer bet.

But this whole situation has me thinking about the things I do when I go run: I always wear my RoadID now that I have one. I always run with my phone as my gps tracker/music player so I can call for help if necessary. I always text Dreamboat when I run: How far I’m going, my estimated time frame, and when I finish. I have my Runmeter post on Facebook and Twitter that I am running at that moment and I have a consistent group of friends who comment on the posts so I know they know where I am as well.

Still – Thanks to this guy in his creepy dark 2 door car with blue headlights that was scoping out my condo complex? I’m not comfortable running around my area, even with all of those safety precautions, so I’m already working on making changes to my regular routine in order to protect myself.

And you should too. What kind of safety precautions do you use to make sure you are safe when you are out running?

Gate River Run Training: Week 5

If I had to choose one thing that makes training hard, it’d be a toss up between doing it by yourself and getting out of bed early in the morning. But the two are interchangeable for me: If I was meeting someone to run in the morning, I get out of bed and go. Now that I don’t meet anyone in the mornings anymore, I’m more likely to run after work and spend the few hours of early morning quiet reading or cleaning or whatever.

But now that has to change, and I can’t run after work anymore. At least for the month of February, thanks to outside obligations with work and the Dreamboat. So my alarm is set to 5:30am once again, and I am back to running in the early morning hours.

I’m entering week 5 of Gate River Run Training, and things are going okay. I wish my speed was up a bit more than it is right now, but I am in a constant state of TIRED and I know that is hindering the progress. I am working on that, however.

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Gate River Run Training: Week 4 and a quick update

I’ve been so behind in what I promised I would do with keeping you up to date on my training. I fail.

But the good news is, I’ve only missed 2 miles this week!

Monday was rest day
Tuesday was supposed to be 4 (I ran 2)
Wednesday was speed work (Which I did)
Thursday is two miles, but I’m going to do three.
Friday is three miles
Saturday is supposed to be a rest day, but I’m running the Wolfson Children’s Hospital challenge and my leg is a 5k.
Sunday is 4 miles.

That means I should get…14.75 miles this week. But it’s a taper week. So it will work out.

I’ve noticed a few things when I run in the morning. One is that it’s slowly starting to get lighter earlier. It’s incredibly hard to tell, but I can see it when I watch the sunrise while I run. Another thing is it’s getting COLDER here in Jax. A few mornings we’ve woken up in the 30s. That usually lasts till about mid-February and by the time we head out to the Daytona 500, we’re in shorts and tank tops. And then there’s the pollen.

It’s EVERYWHERE!

My crappy blue car is yellow. When I use my windshield wipers, a plume of yellow powder goes flying into the air. Grr. Jamie and pollen don’t get along very well, so this concerns me. it won’t stop me from running outside, but it will make me dig into the world of decongestants to see if I can breath easier when I do run. Do you have suggestions?

Okay, I have to dart off. Look for a longer post later this weekend! :)

It’s A Food Thing: Probiotics and finally giving them a shot

My mom told me to start taking them a long time ago but I resisted because I didn’t want to take another pill. My friends told me to take them because of the super healthy benefits that I can get from them. My doctor suggested giving them a shot due to the issues I have with my digestion.

After almost two years of hearing people talk about them, I finally broke down and bought a jar of probiotics when I was grocery shopping on Monday.

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35 races in 2015 for my 35th birthday

I turn 35 in March. While I am no where near where I hoped I would be in my fitness life (hey, I don’t have migraines as much anymore, I really can’t complain) I do know that I wanted to do it big this year to celebrate that I made it this far. It’s a big deal.

That’s when I came up with #35for35 – or 35 for 35. 35 races in 2015 for my 35th birthday. I liked the idea, because it would challenge me physically as well as mentally, and it’s bound to be cheaper than some kind of fancy jewelry and healthier than binging on cake and ice cream.

35 races in one year averages out to about 3 races a month. Completely doable, given the amount of races that happen here in Jacksonville in a given month. The only months I’ll have issues with is the summer and that’s because no one really races in 112 degree heat. As I started my research on what races were when and how much they all were going to cost and the like, I realized that I forgot one little thing: I work on Saturdays. And most of the races were on Saturdays.

Well, shit. That puts a damper on things.

So I turned to virtual races. A lot of people turn their heads and snub these unaccounted for races as things that bling whores turn to when it’s actually quite the opposite. In my research, I’ve been able to see that a lot of the companies that offer virtual races on a regular basis have charities that they are raising the money for, and share that information openly on their sites. Of course, you need to be selective on what races you register for in order to make sure that it’s morally sound, but still. Having options like virtual races helps others raise money for a cause, and helps us runners who are stuck missing the typical race get some experience.

I’ve already run the Best Damn Race – Jacksonville as a virtual. I plan on running the Safety Harbor and Orlando ones as virtual as well. And I’ve found the Idiot Runner Club has a virtual offer for their Skunk Run in March. Suddenly, getting 3 races a month seems significantly more doable than before. I still plan on doing as many road races I can here in Jacksonville, with the final race of my 35 being the Jacksonville Bank Marathon…my second attempt, and this one I will finish.

I’m excited because this will be a challenge. Physically, mentally…it’s going to be tough. I’m going to have to bail on friends for running, work around family and friend obligations, hopefully not infuriate the Dreamboat too much with my disappearing act to go run. It will take a lot of dedication, focus, training and motivation. I’ll be looking to you for help from time to time, I am sure of it.

You’ll be able to follow along with me here, on my Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages. I’ll be using the hashtag #35for35 in all of my posts relating to the races. And I hope you all will celebrate with me in December when I cross the finish line for my final race stronger, faster, and better than ever before.