Strides for Crohn’s

Do you walk? Do you run? Do you like to drink beer and eat food for a great cause? If you answered yes to any of these questions, Strides for Crohn’s is the event for you.

For just $25, you get to go for a fun run with some cool people, PLUS a t-shirt and a beer.

WHAT: 2(ish) fun run/walk, raffles, food, beer, etc
WHEN: Sunday, November 13. Packet pickup begins at 11 a.m., fun run to start around noon.
WHERE: Horny Goat Hideaway (2011 South 1st Street, Milwaukee, WI 53207)
HOW MUCH: $25 before 11:59 p.m. November 6th, $30 thereafter.

If you don’t feel like running or walking, you can still help the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America. Just head on down to the Horny Goat Hideaway from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. November 13th for some food, drinks and fun! A percentage of all drink and food sales will be donated to the CCFA.

Space is very limited for the run, so don’t delay! Register today!

Visit www.stridesforcrohns.com to register.

Ready to dance with dirt

Next weekend, I’m headed to Devil’s Lake for Dances with Dirt. My friends are running the marathon, but I’m doing the 10k. I did my last trail training run on Thursday and am confident I will rock it!

It was wet, muddy, slippery, etc and so forth. But I did 6 miles, faster than I’ve ever done on the trails. Woohoo! I saw countless squirrels and chipmunks and three deer, including an 8pt buck. Only fell once, and took care of that in the first half mile, so I had it over and done with and didn’t need to worry about that anymore.

Oh, and a mosquito flew INTO MY MOUTH. Disgusting.

I really enjoyed myself and was SO happy I brought a change of clothes. Driving home in my water logged shoes and clothes would have been a disaster.

The Great Milwaukee Race

Last year I joined three friends in running The Great Milwaukee Race, an urban scavenger hunt across the city. This year, with my bigger role with FitMKE, I’m helping plan the race! In fact, I just designed the race website. Check it out!

So, what’s The Great Milwaukee Race? It’s an adventure for everyone. Teams of 2-4 people will get clues to seek locations throughout the city. They will travel on foot and perform fun tasks at each location then move on to the next. This is a team race that is part foot race, part trivia and part challenges. Teams of 2-4 players must solve clues to find checkpoints throughout the downtown area. Once the checkpoints are reached, the teams must complete the challenge before moving on. Each team must determine their own route to the checkpoints. Depending on the route chosen, the total course mileage should be 6-8 miles.

Registration opens March 1st at 9 a.m., so get your team together today!

3 dogs, 3 miles, 1 wedding, 5 burrs, 1 NEHOD, a little dog conference and countless bathroom breaks

Try taking three little dogs for a walk. I dare you.

I’m watching Gizmo and Bandit this weekend because my parents are in Minnesota visiting family. I knew I would have to get a 3-4 miler in with them and Beep sometime this weekend, so we went Saturday afternoon. What a beautiful day.

We started on Wahl near Lake Park and continued alone Lake Drive through Lake Park and then down the hill at Lincoln Memorial Drive. We did a few running intervals (never more than about .2 miles because the dogs would get tangled in their leashes). We had countless potty/poop breaks but overall it was good. Well, until we found the burrs. ugh. that was a mess.

We continued down Lincoln Memorial Drive to Bradford Beach and took the trail/bridge across LMD and up to Wahl or whatever that street is near the water tower. Along this path, which was paved but covered in leaves, so it was a bit slippery. It is also a pretty steep trek up the hill. Half way up, we ran into a couple walking a pug and a mini dauschund and it was a mess/tangle of little dogs on leashes. We all couldn’t stop laughing and the guy said, “It’s a little dog conference!”

We got to the top and continued north toward Lake Park. When we hit the car, we were at about 2.5 mi and since I really wanted to hit at least 3, we continued on the path toward the lighthouse… and encountered a HUGE wedding party taking pictures. So if you know someone who got married and took pictures at the lighthouse, please give them my best and my apologies for having 3 dogs walk through the scene. We continued to the parking lot by the golfing/lawn bowling and headed back to Lake Drive and south to the car.

By the end, Gizmo and Bandit were spent, but Beep looked like she could have gone another mile or two. That dog never ceases to amaze me. She’s 7.8 lbs! My goodness.

I thought I would have 3 tired-ass dogs when I got home but now there’s wrestling and taunting going on.

As for me, I felt great most of the run/walk. I never stopped my Garmin, so this pace isn’t really accurate when you take into account the bathroom stops, burrs and encounters with other dogs. My foot started to ache a bit around 2.8ish so I’m doing a lot of stretching and icing tonight… I have 6 miles on the schedule for tomorrow. I’ll be taking it slow tomorrow. The plan is just to cover the miles, not to worry about pace. I hope my foot holds up! Luckily, my cardio fitness has drastically improved this year and its so much easier for my body to get oxygen on these run/walks. I am much less reliant on my inhaler, which is AWESOME. In fact, today I didn’t take it before I went out and didn’t need it at all during the walk. 😉

Will run for pizza

I was craving pizza. I was procrastinating. I was trying to avoid working out tonight.

But then I decided I should run TO the grocery store for a pizza (or three).

I am such a freaking genius.

I did a warmup walk then started running. And I kept going. And going. And going. It was just me and the pavement. I realized I had been running for more than half a mile and made the decision that I wasn’t going to stop running until I hit the 1 mile mark. I didn’t pay attention to pace and didn’t have music to keep me going, since my ipod battery is dead. I checked my Garmin every so often to see how close I was to the 1 mile mark. Then I started taking weird streets, in an effort to stay near the grocery store. Then I saw I was at .99mi and 12:45 so I sprinted til my Garmin beeped it had been a mile. Then I gasped for air and refrained from attempting a cartwheel on the corner of Pleasant and Water.

Then I walked to the grocery store, sweaty, smelly and all. I bought three pizzas and a six pack of diet 7up. Then I walked home.

And it was awesome.

Red sauce 60 minutes pre-run = omg hell

Had another great Team Challenge mid-week group run tonight. For the first quarter mile, Jodi and I stuck with Rochelle, Karla and Kevin… but after 5 minutes, we dropped back (they were going between 10:30-12min pace and that was pushing it for me for extended periods of time).

Jodi and I alternated running a quarter mile and walking a quarter mile for the first mile. Our split was 15:20ish. Unfortunately, this is where things went down hill for me.

You see, today I had time to make another batch of homemade tomato sauce with goodies from my garden. I spent more than 2 hours making the amazing sauce (fresh tomatoes, red pepper, garlic, onion, basil, italian sausage… shall I go on?) and couldn’t resist having some for dinner before the group run.

Note to self: NEVER EVER EAT A BIG MEAL BEFORE A RUN, NO MATTER HOW HUNGRY YOU ARE.

During the first mile my stomach started gurgling and its contents sloshed about.

By the 1.25 mi mark I told Jodi to go on without me. I wasn’t gonna be able to keep running. I thought I was going to puke.

About mile 1.6 (just about a tenth of a mile from the Lake Park Bistro stairs), I had a different kind of tummy rumble. You know, the I-don’t-have-to-puke-I-have-to -oh-crap-get-to-a-bathroom tummy rumble. I started running and was honestly worried I would either puke or shit my pants. Or both.

I made it that last tenth of a mile. But then I had the stairs. Those were brutal.

I wanted to scream.

I wanted to cry.

I wanted a toilet, damnit.

I got to the top of the stairs and luckily made it to the bathroom.

Aren’t you glad I shared this story?

This has to be a joke

My parents have asked us to go through all our boxes at their house to decide what we want to keep and what we’re ok getting rid of. As I worked my way through one of the boxes filled with trophies and breakables from my youth, I came across this:

I would like to note that this is how I wrapped up a bunch of ribbons from gradeschool… in protective paper and in a box with breakables. Hilarious. These are the athletic ones I found (there were also some science/art fair ones):

I would like to point out something here. There are five – count ’em – FIVE first place track and field ribbons. FIVE. Plus four second place and two third and one fifth.

Want to know what they’re all for? Well too bad if you don’t, because I am sooooo bragging about this right now.

Softball throw. I pretty much rocked at this.

Long jump.

Every single one of these is for running. YES RUNNING. What the heck?

Apparently, in 7th grade I did the 100 yard dash in 15:31.

Not too shabby at the 220 and 440…

And the 880 and I think the other one is a relay of some kind?

Now, these awards are from about 12-15 years ago, but it’s still cool to see that I did succeed at running at one point in my life. Oh, and before you get too impressed by these awards, I should point out to you that I went to a very small private gradeschool. Our track meet was with two other very small schools… so it’s not like I beat out a ton of people for these awards.

Do as I say, not as I do

I’ve been struggling with something for awhile now and I can’t keep it bottled up anymore. I’ve tried to be upbeat and positive about this whole sprained foot fiasco. Oh wait, you don’t know about this do you?

Yeah, that’s right. I never blogged about it. Why? Well, I kept putting it off… and off… and off… until I started getting bitter today about he whole thing. Sure, I tweeted about it and made posts on DailyMile, but I never really blogged about how it made me feel. Here goes.

I was scared.

My left foot pain is getting worse, not better. I’m so scared something is wrong that will knock me out of training for Napa. Please send some healing thoughts/prayers my way. Pretty sure I’ll be going to the doctor today. 🙁

I was relieved.

FOOT UPDATE: It’s a sprain of sorts. I have to take it easy and I should be able to still run/walk the Wine Country Half Marathon. Basically, taper is starting a week early. 🙁

I was sad.

feeling like I won’t get to RUN a 5k… ever. #jth says I can jog or walk SLOWLY on thurs. #fitmke #sadmke

I was bitter.

all of you running the storm the bastille tomorrow can suck it.#bitter #sadface #norunningtilnapa

Last month, I had to “take it easy” for the Great Milwaukee Race. I wasn’t supposed to run. But, I didn’t want to let my teammates down so I ran a bit (this was before I knew the foot was sprained). Then I had my long build-up run/walks for training for the half marathon. I did 8 miles… then almost 9… then just over 10 miles. All on a sprained foot. Yep. I am pretty badass. Or stubborn. One of the two.

Luckily, the diagnosis came a week before my taper was to begin, so instead of doing my last long run/walk of 12 miles… I started taking it easy and tapering back early. On the one hand, awesome. On the other, crap.

I had a “come to Jesus” conversation with my trainer via text message the day I went to the doctor. Here’s how it went:

Me: This sucks.

John: Why? It will be fine!

Me: Because I want to do it all 🙁

John: U will just not this week, u wanna be fit for life, not just a couple of months, right?

Me: Yeah. You’re right. I know I need to listen I just don’t want to. Haven’t had an “easy” week since I began training for the half

John: That could be part of the reason u are hurt at the moment.

Me: Prolly. Guess I’m just afraid of going back to my old routine of nothing. Know what I mean?

John: I will drag ur punk ass out of ur house and make u workout if u do!

Me: Deal.

I have tried to accept the fact that I had to stop running. I have tried to accept the fact that I had to drop out of a 5k two weeks ago. I have tried (and failed) to accept the fact that I can’t run the Storm the Bastille 5k tomorrow. This race is especially hard for me to miss because back when I decided to start this journey, my goal race was to run the Storm the Bastille on July 8. Sure, I am freaking doing a half marathon next week, but I can’t help but feel like a complete failure. My one, measly goal – Run the Storm the Bastille – #amyfail. Yes, my goals have changed. I can do 3.1 miles in my sleep. But I haven’t actually RAN a full 5k yet. This has been a psychological barrier for me and I have been eagerly anticipating the chance to show myself I can RUN a 5k.

Then there’s this whole all-these-people-donated-money-for-charity-because-I-said-I-would-do-a-half-marathon-and-I-went-and-overdid-things-and-may-have-put-the-whole-race-at-risk factor. Yup. I’m doing this whole get healthy journey for me. And I am worried about what my family and friends will think if I fail miserably next weekend. When I started training, my goal was to be at a solid 15 minute mile pace (4mph). I’m quite certain if I was able to run more, I would have no problem maintaining this pace. However, due to all of my training setbacks (including the knee problems a few months ago), I have been logging a solid 16:30-17:30 walking pace. So now, my new time goal is in the 3:30-4:00 range. I know I shouldn’t compare myself to others… but I have friends who are in the sub-4:00 MARATHON time range. And I’m just praying I can do a sub-4:00 HALF MARATHON. It’s a kick to the ol’ ego, that’s for sure.

I need to stop putting myself through this, but I can’t help it. There was a time (just months ago), where I couldn’t understand why some of my friends were working out ALL the time. They were running 7-8 miles FOR FUN. My idea of a good time was ordering a pizza, drinking a 6-pack of beer and watching basic cable Law & Order: SVU marathons. My idea of a good time was certainly not training for a HALF MARATHON. SVU Marathons are much more entertaining.  Now, ordering a pizza, drinking beer and watching SVU Marathons is still high on my list of fun times… but the times I’ve been able to run – actually RUN – I can’t describe the feeling as anything short of euphoric. It’s amazing what the human body is capable of. And I know mine is capable of running.

I know I need to listen to my trainer, my coach, my doctors… but I can’t help feeling like I’m a failure. I feel like giving up. I feel like putting on my fat pants. I feel like burying my sorrow in peanut butter M&Ms, fruity cocktails, microbrews, high-carb, high-fat meals… (and trust me, I have done this in recent weeks). But I know that is giving in. I can’t fall back to the old Amy. I can’t let the old fat girl win. The new fat girl is so much more fun. She feels better. She can walk up flights of stairs without losing her breath. She is 10 days away from completing a half marathon (at 250 lbs, none the less). She needs to get over herself, put on her big-girl underwear and stop being such a baby.

I guess what I’m trying to say is… don’t be stupid like I’ve been. Be smart. Accept your setbacks. Grow a pair.

I owned 10 miles

(This was written Sunday afternoon… which should explain all the references to “today”).

I can’t even describe the sense of accomplishment I feel right now. I did 10 miles today. Without stopping. (well, I made a couple of water stops but that is expected – no stops to stretch or rest though!)

My body hurts so much its almost laughable. Seriously. It hurts so bad I can’t help but chuckle. Why do I do this to myself? My feet, my ankles, my calves, my knees (oh lordy my knees), my hips, my core, my neck… everything. hurts.

I would SOOOOOOOOOO go sit in an ice bath if there was enough ice in this house. Unfortunately those two trays won’t be doing much for me.

Today’s run/walk started out horribly. I totally psyched myself out this morning while I was eating oatmeal. I almost threw up I was so nervous. I’ve never done a double-digit workout (well except for biking)… and I know how much I’ve hurt from the shorter distances (6,8)… so I knew today was going to be horrible. Then I realized I didn’t charge my Garmin so it was going to die mid-run. Then I couldn’t find my inhaler. Then I couldn’t find the sunscreen. Life was anti-amy this morning. I got pissed at my Garmin for not being charged and tried to get it off and in the process completely ripped the watch band. So that meant absolutely NO Garmin today. I ended up using an app on my phone I used in the pre-garmin days which kept a decent record (timing at least) and only looked at it twice the whole route today… but of course that’s cuz I got some encouraging text messages and tweets from my family and friends. You guys rock.

I got to practice late, waited for Coach Anne to tell us the route for the day and then I took off without the rest of the team while they were talking. I just wanted to get today over with, and chatting wasn’t going to help anything.

I walked the first half mile or so then ran down the hill for just over half a mile… walked for a bit, then ran another half mile or so… then Stephanie caught up with me. She’s a runner on the team but didn’t have childcare this morning so she was going to walk while pulling her kids in a stroller. We walked together at a good pace for a couple of miles and then the rest of the team caught up with us as we headed out this little point off veterans park. Then we headed back towards the Art Museum where we lost Marge and Dave.

Stephanie, Anne, Kevin and I went through Lake Shore State Park to the red lighthouse and when we turned around we saw Marge. Anne broke away and continued with Marge, Kevin stopped for a bathroom break and Stephanie got held back for a bit with the kids… I knew if I stopped I wouldn’t keep going so I just went. I ran back through the park (half mile or so) and into Discovery World, down the hall to the bubbler to refill my water. Everyone looked at me like I was crazy but I didn’t want to fall behind the group.

I saw Stephanie and Kevin up ahead by the Art Museum and ran until I caught up to them and walked along Lincoln Memorial Drive with them.

At the entrance to Veterans Park, we found Anne, Dave and Marge and kept with them to the bubbler by the tennis courts and then north along Lincoln Memorial. At some point (I think near the Northpoint custard stand), Kevin and I lost the rest of the group and kept going towards Lake Park Bistro. I had already decided that I would do 10 miles and forego the final mile in lieu of the stairs. OH MY GAWD. Climbing up the stairs at Lake Park Bistro AFTER having done 10 miles was brutal. Absolutely brutal. It hurt so bad to lift my legs up the stairs. Kevin and I got halfway and cheered on the rest of the team who was heading up the hill.

I got to Becky and the picnic table and collapsed… stretched… drank water… tried to wrap my head around what I just did. I got into my car and almost sat there crying but I didn’t want anyone to see so I headed home.

Today was magical. Today was horrible. Today was awesome.

I can hardly walk now. But it was worth it.

I owned those 10 miles.

I’m going to own 13.1 in 4 weeks. Scratch that. I’m going to make 13.1 miles my bitch.

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times

First it was good. Then it was really good. Then it was ok. Then it was meh. Then it was bad. Then it was really bad. Then it was oh-my-god-I’m-going-to-die. Then it was over.

My left foot/ankle bothered me quite a bit yesterday. I’m not sure what happened. I iced it on and off all afternoon and evening, hoping it would feel better.

When I woke up today it was a little bit better, but not great. I did not have high expectations for today’s run/walk. I was completely prepared to do a couple of miles and go home.

Around the first half mile mark, Coach Anne asked if I was going to run down the hill (I like to run down the hill at Lincoln Memorial Drive cuz it makes me feel fast). I told her that I would probably run down the hill and how I felt at the end would determine if I’d run any more today.

Well I started running. And I kept running. Before I knew it, I was by the Northpoint custard stand which is the 2mi mark of the route. And I was running. woah. I walked for the next 3/4 of a mile. Then I started running again. And I kept running. My pace was slowing considerably but I just kept going because I was afraid of what would happen when I stopped. I continued running til I got to Lake Shore State Park and then walked the first half to 3/4 mi of the loop. Then I started running again. I continued running (ok at this point it was more like a shuffle) to Discovery World. Then I realized that the route I thought was 10 miles was actually going to be more like 9 and I got mad and I went up Michigan past Discovery World out onto the pier to add some mileage. It was about half a mile but whatever. It was some additional mileage.

By this point my foot was starting to hurt more, but I kept alternating between walking and running for a bit longer. As I passed the lagoon the pain started getting worse. My pace was slowing. And slowing. And slowing. I ran out of water and bought a bottle from a vendor at the entrance to Veterans Park. I kept going even though the pain was getting worse. I was determined to show the lakefront who’s boss. As I reached McKinley Marina, I knew there was no way I would be running any more. The pain was getting worse. I was glad I had sunglasses on because I’m pretty sure I was crying a bit.

I’ll be honest. There were times during the last couple of miles that all I wanted to do was sit down and cry and call someone to come pick me up. But I didn’t. I kept going, despite the pain.

When I got to the Lake Park Bistro stairs and stared up Lincoln Memorial I knew there was no way I was going to make the last mile of our normal loop. So I cut it short and practically crawled up the stairs. No joke. It was so painful going up those stairs. My knees were aching. My ankle/foot was throbbing. I made it to the top and collapsed near the picnic bench Becky was sitting at. I almost lost it then but managed to keep my shiz together as I talked about what happened.

The rest of the day I was really depressed about what happened today. I focused on the bad so much I forgot that I RAN 1.5 miles today. And then another mile. And then a half mile. And then another mile or so.

I’m going to spend the next couple of days resting my foot and hoping that some RICE action will get it better so I don’t throw off my training. Here’s hoping my workouts at the beginning of the week are more strength-focused than cardio. Cuz the treadmill and eliptical aren’t happening.

SPLITS: 15:51, 15:13, 18:08, 16:17, 18:03, 17:33, 18:10, 19:39