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July through December Musings

It seems like the second half of my year was far more exciting then the first.  I like to save the best for last right?  Actually after the marathon my life seems to have simmered down.

July:

I turned the big 23.  I’m an old lady now.

I finally ran a 5k PR that I feel I’m never capable of again (18:35).

Life is good!

Life is good!

August:

As with the rest of the summer I worked a lot between 50-70 hours and was really burnt out.

I ran an 8k PR and then was hit by a cylist who broke my arm.

YAY for no sling!

YAY for no sling!

I was accepted to run for Oiselle! 

runningoiselle

September:

I ran the Rock and Roll VA Beach half marathon with Laura and Heather.  It was awkward because I ran it with a broken arm.

lauraheatherandi

merunning1

I moved to Texas.

I ran another half marathon a week later in San Antonio.  1800 miles of driving, two half marathons back to back…only to go a few seconds faster in San Antonio and win a sweet Growler.

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megrowler

(one week later) I found out I was moving to New Jersey.

The night we found out we were Jersey bound

The night we found out we were Jersey bound

October:

I drove back across the country seeing Laura along the way.

Lauranandi

I moved back home with my parents (again!) for a few weeks before my marathon.

Kris and I dressed up like Pumpkins for a 10k that I missed my PR by 5 seconds.

krislandi

November:

I ran my first marathon.

menewyorkcity2

I moved to NJ.  After moving to NJ, I took some time off of running and just relaxed and looked jobs for a while.

December:

I haven’t (honestly) done a lot of note worthy things this December.  It’s been just assimilating into NJ and looking for jobs.  I hope I have something to report by the end of the year.  I guess I’ll work on that.

I took photos in the snow.  It counts as productive.

I took photos in the snow. It counts as productive.

I did run my first and only race since the marathon, The Surf and Santa 10 miler.

rareglimpselolz

Thoughts of 2013:

Although 2013 was anything but calm I truly enjoyed the year.  It seemed like it flew by and that I was happier then I have been, especially in the later half of the year.  It seems like I should have been more stressed being jobless and the 4000 miles I drove in 2 months but I wasn’t.  It was a really good year.  I have found the more stressed “I should be” is when I become less stressed.  Little stressors that shouldn’t stress me out often are the worst for me.

Anyways upward and onward to 2014 from here!

Question for you: Most notable thing of 2013? 

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Rock and Roll Half Marathon VA Beach (1:28.49)

When the orthopedist told me on Friday there was no reason not to run the Rock and Roll half, I immediately got excited.  Even though my arm was cleared to run, my legs felt stiff from never really getting the lactic acid out from my 8k the previous weekend.  It had had a week to sit there and fester so although my arm was okay my calves were sore.  By sore I mean running a 9 minute mile the day before felt the way a 6:30 mile should. 

It’s no secret my two awesome friends Laura and Heather came down to race Rock and Roll as well.  We all piled into the car at 5:00 along with dad headed to the race start.  We quickly found parking and made it to the start an hour early.

lauraheatherandi

While lining up in carrol 1 I was a bit more cautious since I didn’t want to bump into anyone.  The doctor had said due to the location of the fracture the only way I could shatter or hurt the bone  more was fall on the exact same spot with the exact same force.  I still did not want to bump into anyone just because I’m overly cautious (and have pretty bad luck).  My GPS didn’t synch correctly so I don’t have mile splits but I’m 100% okay with that.

The first few miles I ran with Mike  a local that I often run races with.  It’s always nice to be able to find someone to run and be about the same pace.   The 5kers actually started at the exact same time as we did which was somewhat weird with a 15,000 person race.  The first three miles were a pretty big blur and we were all packed in like little sardines.

At the 2.5 mile mark I noticed the 5k shoot began, I couldn’t help but think to myself that having a 5k shoot of .6 long was a touch too much.  

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After we clicked off three miles I had already sweat through my top.  I’m not the biggest sweater and by the time I got water (which was incredibly difficult when you can’t grab things with your right hand) my tank was soaken through.  I knew my body had already begun to overheat.  At that point I decided it was wise to grab Gatorade and water at every stop.

Miles 4-6 were pretty uneventful.  Although I didn’t feel great I did begin to pass people.  This part of the course was straight, flat and on a main road of the area.  It made sense because it’s such a big field of people but it was pretty hard on the legs and boring on the mind. My most memorable moment of this point was saying go “Team Hoyt” and one of the ladies said…Hey I read your blog!  Team Hoyt never ceases to amaze me.  (They push disabled children in strollers while running a lot of races.)  Each and every person that is apart of this is truly amazing. 

Around mile 6 we turned and went into a nice side street.  It had shade.  I actually made some small talk with a few of the racers around me.  The relay hand offs were around mile 7 which was a bit motivating because there were more people cheering.  I was actually running (unknowingly) with the first relay team and he did his hand off and left).  When we turned into the base around mile 8 it was instaheatbox again.

I hate you straight flat pavement.

I hate you straight flat pavement.  Just kidding lets wave to Ally again.

It made a huge u shape around the base so you were able to see people about a mile in front of you wishing you were a mile closer to the finish.  My only thought during mile 9 was oh my stars I need more water.

I felt a sudden burst of excitement around mile 10 because I realized I only had a 5k to the finish.  I attempted to pick up the pace but that was not happening because it was so hot and I was tired.

Mile 11 we went back over the only hill on course (ie: a bridge).  My legs were shot and I was just dying and saying I think I can I think I can.  The humidity was getting the worst of me and honestly I was pretty miserable.  I want to use proper blogging and running technique about how I negative split this race but I didn’t.  It was completely dying and the last 3 miles were some of the hardest I’ve run in a while.

All aboard the pain train and down the bridge.

All aboard the pain train and down the bridge.

When we u turned onto the boardwalk I could see the finish line.  The finish line that was still .75 away.  I thought it might never come and I think those five minutes or so are contenders for the longest 5 minutes of my life.  I wanted to try and kick to the end…but didn’t have the energy.  So I just ran cursing every four letting word under my breath and hoping it killed time.

I finally crossed the finish line in 1:28.49 which I was very happy with. 

Afterwords we relaxed on the beach and also ran into Kristy who had a great race herself.

Done forever.

Done forever.

Overall thoughts of the race:

I had absolutely no idea where this race would go.  I know I say that a lot but after my previous week of training my calves were still sore. A lot of people said the rest would do me well, which of course my body was recovering but the lactic acid was still festering in my legs from the previous week.  The heat and humidity (around 75-80 and 94% humidity) was certainly a huge factor of this race as well.  In fact, they had 13 people taken to the hospital and one death.

All of that negativity aside I did have a great race.  Was it a PR? No.  Did I have a great time with great friends before I move tomorrow?  Yes.

Questions for you:

Have you ever run a Rock and Roll race? 

Final Arm Updates

After weaseling my way into an appointment with an “elbow specialist” orthopedist I have some exciting news.  Although the ER told me that I was able to run with a fractured elbow I wanted to get a specialist to look at it if I could get an appointment.  If you look dead center in my arm you can see a bruise and cut…that’s all I got.  So much pain for no showing.

meoiselle

I did not claim to have the most serious fracture injury but I have always claimed that I am a bumbling bafoon and an already injury prone runner. I need no help from others to injure myself.

That being said today at the orthopedist I have been cleared to fully return to running and he removed my soft cast. I will be able to run the Rock and Roll half marathon this weekend. That being said I’m not going to race like there is no tomorrow.  I’m going to run and see where it takes me.  Maybe a 1:30 race (that would be amazing) or maybe a 2:00 hour race.  I have absolutely no idea where the race will go. Either way I plan to finish the race at the same injury level as started.  I won’t be swinging my elbow and keep it as safe as possible.

The doctor thinks I’ll be fully healed in less than 4 weeks from the initial break last week. I am feeling very blessed for everyone’s well wishes and the fact that it wasn’t more serious. This week has been a while range of emotions and a wakeup call that you can train as carefully as possible but there is always the unexpected.  I have a few exercises I must do daily involving rotating and moving.  The best thing I can do is continue to progress the movements I can do safely.

So the big question is how was I able to get away with a temporary cast for 6 days and now be running again with a fractured radial head?

I have strived since my only stress fracture 2 years ago to get enough calcium and keep my bones strong.  I have consistently gotten enough calcium and I don’t have brittle bones because of it. I honestly drink 2-3 cups of milk daily, enjoy cheese, dairy and yogurt.  That being said after I was struck I fell on my elbow onto the ground.  I did not fall onto something that shattered or displaced my bone (knocked it out of alignment).  I’m extremely lucky that it just created a small crack which creates pain when I rotate the wrist and fully extend the arm.  It could have been much worse.  

Though I’ll probably mention arm updates occasionally I prefer to put this one in my rear view mirror. I am considering this a minor speed bump in my training and hopefully able to overcome this rather quickly.  This isn’t a stress fracture or leg injury.  Quite honestly it’s a minor broken bone and there is absolutely no reason for me to be worried about my training. 

So here is hoping this is my last injury related post and I’m off to pick up Laura from the airport and Heather tomorrow.

Adorable

Adorable

Questions for you:

What are you up to on Labor Day?

Do you get enough calcium? 

“Spring” Oswego Times

If you missed first semester’s post you can you know…look at that here…but after a nice relaxing January back at home, I came back to Upstate NY to continue working.  It was weird having a break but not going to school and just working.  Alas working on a college campus as someone not a higher up I suppose.  This post is more picture heavy because it’s easier that way…who wants to read 1000 words about my life…not you.

I had moved out of my old place on campus and with one of my fellow coworkers Danielle and a couple of other girls.  So not being alone had it’s advantages.  I really want to take this time to dedicate how much Danielle helped me through this semester.  She was always there to listen to my musings and chat with me when I was mentally struggling (which was a lot mind you).

danielleandi

Coming back was a big mental struggle, not because I hated Oswego (that much) but mostly because I came back to doing this every morning.  Shoveling my car out took at least 30 minutes.  Every. Single. Morning.

This is snow.

This is snow.

In the early part of the semester I found out I had been accepted to run the Lake Effect Half marathon.  (it had been sold out for quite some time) which was the motivation my running needed after some lackluster races while at home.

Can't forget about the Russian Headwarmer now can we?

Can’t forget about the Russian Headwarmer now can we?

The race was awful and the snowfall and ice made for an intense race.  However, something good came out of it and I met Heather who became one of my closest running friends.

Heather and I

Heather and I

Then a clash of the titans last weekend when we all did the 5k!

Then a clash of the titans last weekend when we all did the 5k!

 

On the other running note, I also became close very close with Laura who I have spent several weekends going to visit.  (Duh-you’ve seen her on the blog several times).

lauraandi

I am also really glad I was able to get lunch so often with Jessica and Jackie.  Jackie, my sophomore year college roommate who I’ve chatted about quite frequently also had a younger sister Jessica who went to school on campus.  We have quickly become really close as well and naturally I would become closer with her roommate too.

jackieandi

Work was a lot of fun in the spring too as I was given multiple opportunities to go to conferences and interact more with students.  Though I look like a student and am only a few years older than most of them, it’s hard to separate myself and remember…no you are not a student just staff.  That is something I struggled with a lot working on a college campus.   I’m honestly still in a bit of disbelieve that I’m not exactly a student anymore and technically I am in the “real world”.

This is an presh photo of a coworker and I eating chicken wings at a conference.

This is an presh photo of a coworker and I eating chicken wings at a conference.

So cliffnotes version of the Spring.  The semester I didn’t think I would come back…it was a great time.

I made so many new friends and became closer with so many different people who I will truly miss.

I enjoyed work to the fullest.

As I tell everyone that asks, I don’t hate Oswego or upstate NY is the slightest…however, Upstate NY does not give me all the opportunities I need to further myself in my life.

Will I miss my friends, coworkers and job?  Absolutely.

Am I nervous to make yet another new change in my life? Absolutely.

But with all changes you must eventually plummet and go for them.

Question for you: What has changed in your life since January?

Pink Ribbon Run 5k (19:05)

I will now do a typical blogger thing and divide my weekend recap into two posts.  The race I did…and real life stuff.  Mostly because I hate long posts and so do you. We will start with running because well…that’s more real life for Laura, Heather and I than the weekend…just kidding. 

The Pink Ribbon Run was a race in Genesee Valley Park in Rochester NY on Mother’s Day.  It was also an ALL WOMAN’S race and unlike many other races the only thing men could do was walk.  (Even Nike and Zooma both allow men to run).  That being said, there were over 1000 runners and over 1000 walkers.  It was the first year in the park (it had been previously held somewhere else).

lauraheatherandi

The week prior I had really wanted to have a good 5k.  Not that I haven’t had many good 5ks, I just wish I was consistently under 19 minutes for 5ks…but I’m consistently 19:0X.  This, as you can clearly read from the title was no different.  I don’t know why I expect to improve in a 5k when I do no speed work…but we all have unachievable dreams sometimes.

The three of us warmed up for a bit but we didn’t really warm up.  It was still a solid 40ish degrees but it was so windy.  I actually raced in gloves, though I had debated long sleeves but delayered about 1 minute before the gun went off.  We got to the starting line and since there were over 1000 people we lined up pretty close to the start.  Looking intense and I did a strider…I don’t know why but a lot of other people were so I thought…eh why not…it’s like cross country again.

And then we were off.

The top five ladies stayed in a very close knit pack.  I literally thought to myself, man it’s like we are in the Olympics.  (I was the weird stalker about 10 feet back).  The first mile was the easiest as it was pretty straight and not many turns.  I hit it in 5:58 and I was honestly a bit disappointed in it.  (Many of my first 5k miles have been 5:40).  But I just told myself, it’s windy, keep calm as that is still under 6 minutes.

During the second mile the lead pack had narrowed down to three and then two lingering behind and then me.  I managed to catch one of the others (the only move in position my entire race).  I could see everyone in front of me and this is where the course became brutal.  It was hair pin turn after hair pin turn and I continued to lose momentum.  My second mile was 6:25 (and yes that was about my average half marathon pace a few weeks ago).  Cobblestone, hairpin turns and wind all played a factor.

Mile three seemed like the longest to me…mostly because we ran through the start line, through a giant wind tunnel and oh yeah around some more hair pin turns.  I saw the finish line and once again saw the clock go right on over 19 minutes….but I kept running.  I didn’t stop and cry…then it might go over 20 minutes.   Oh right my third mile was 6:12.

I had a great time at this race but it was obviously not a PRing course.  In fact, I ran my first race post cyst injury in November at this same park at the equal of a 20 min exactly 5k and it was a beautiful day and easier course.  So I guess I’m moving up in the world…or down.

After the race a cute high schooler came up to the three of us and asked if were getting ready for counties next week.  As in high school county track.  Glad I can pass an a 17 year old senior high schooler I guess.

I think I just need the right races and I’ll be under 19 minutes.  A 5k course with a million hair pin turns is not one of them.  But honestly with all that complaining I did on this recap, I still had a great time and it was a great final horah with two of my favorite upstate NY runners. (and the other 997 runners and walkers).  Congrats, however, to Heather for setting a huge PR…which is going to come down when she runs a better course.

Questions for you:

Would you rather an out and back boring 5k, cross country terrain 5k, a hilly 5k, or a 5k on the track?

If you don’t want care for running 5ks, do you get mistaken as being younger often?

Actually, I remember asking this once and every single person said they could pass as 5 years younger…so that’s that.

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