Sally’s 2012
January 1, 2013

I love reading everyone’s year-in-review.  But I never feel that I have anything particularly interesting to share myself.  However looking back at where I’ve come since January 1, 2012, my year reads like the elevation profile of the 11.2 mile run through Percy Warner Park.

January
On New Year’s day I wake up with pain in my left shoulder.  It becomes very severe over the next few days and I begin many painful and expensive tests to diagnose it.  I eventually lose most of the strength and mobility in the arm altogether.  It is not for several months (see below) before we are able to diagnose the mystery condition.  But I take my first Caribbean vacation to Jamaica with my good friend Sara.  It is fantastic and just what we needed to thaw the dreary winter grays.  I also start training to Hoop the Half Marathon again.

February
I take a trip to Chicago to visit the city and see friends.  I begin planning my race calendar for the year.  But 2/3 of the way through the month I became very ill and take a brief stay in the hospital.  This sets me back physically and race and training-wise.  I eventually end up having to miss out on 4 different races this month and the next month due to illness and recovery.  I also support a friend during a difficult trial and witness that sometimes the judicial system doesn’t always work out the way it’s supposed to.

March
I miss out on the Triple Crown races due to the previous month’s recovery and post my first DNS ever, unfortunately it’s a 3-for-1.  I come up with an Athletic Bucket List and start working towards a plan to check off the items.  I tour the Kentucky Bourbon Trail and hit 7 distilleries in 2 days.  I attend an Olympic soccer qualifying tournament game.

April
I apply for the Nuun Hood To Coast team, though I don’t get picked, I still make a funny video.  I post some really high mileage with our hoop walking.  And eventually complete the Hooping the Half Marathon.  Many thanks to everyone who donates to the cause.  I finally really start training again in all 3 sports.  I also have my first swim lesson and find out that my self-taught freestyle form really isn’t that bad.  I also meet my Coach for the first time in a different swim lesson.  I witness my amazing friend Kira become ordained as an Episcopal priest.

May
I do my first open water swim ever, which also happens to be my first wetsuit swim ever.  I manage to survive both.  I compete in my first triathlon of the season and learn an important lesson of mental tenacity.  I have another minor surgery unrelated to my two previous medical issues earlier in the year.  I get a new fitting on my tri bike.

June
I make another trip to Chicago for a wedding and to visit friends.  I begin training with my Coach.  I go through a little bit of heartbreak.  I revise my race schedule for the year and really buckle down and distract myself with training.  I compete in the Du Run Run duathlon again and walk away with my first podium finish!  I also finally get back to the doctor for my left arm, and get a diagnosis of Parsonage Turner Syndrome.  I compete in the Muddy Buddy with a friend and have a great time, and once again somehow manage to never really get muddy in a mud event.  It’s a special talent.  I witness more heartbreak at the loss of a friend.  I also go to see Tenacious D with Sara and we have a lot of rocking out silliness.

July
I do a LOT of running, biking, swimming during the hot month, and put down more mileage than I ever imagined.  I compete in my first Olympic distance triathlon.  And I go to the Forecastle Festival after my race and get to see my favorite band play.  I volunteer at a major triathlon in my city and really get a chance to give back for all the racing that I do.  I run in a cape for beer.

August
My Coach comes to town and I get in another swim session.  I work on riding the course for my next big race, but the course keeps changing and I learn my lesson on some hills.  I get up way too early (even for me) to watch the Olympics for marathon and triathlon.  I compete in a Women’s super sprint tri and get misdirected on the course by a volunteer.  They throw out the run times and I end up with a podium finish, but maybe not the one I planned.  I begin physical therapy for my arm and shoulder.

September
I compete in my second Olympic Triathlon, in a torrential downpour.  This is my last tri of the season, but I don’t let that stop me because I sign up for my first Half Ironman race for the next year.  I attend my first Nashville Rollergirls bout and love it.  I buckle down on my running to train for my next few running races of the season.  I run my first 5k in probably 5 or 6 years, and walk away with another podium finish, once again a second place in my age group, which makes for a hat trick of podium finishes for the year.  My best friend has another baby, once again with a dramatic entrance.

October
I run in the Boston Half Marathon.  I get to visit my old friends and meet new ones, and see my best friend in a play.  I tour the Sam Adams Brewery finally.  I try Eritrean food, and of course eat lots and lots of lobstah!  I walk the Goo Goos Jog N Hog due to a painful injury.  That injury turns out to be peroneal tendonitis, and I also find out (on my 3rd Xray and MRI of the year) that I have a cyst in my heel, but the doctor doesn’t think it is affecting me.  I attend a Vanderbilt football game and watch them actually win!  I take a Motorcyle class.  I watch the Kona Ironman championships online and am amazed by the athletes.  I do the Color Run with a couple friends.

November
I make a road trip to tour the Calfkiller brewery and fall more in love with their beer.  I try to talk them into selling me a bike jersey with no luck.  I run in the Ragnar Tennessee relay race and tick off another Athletic Bucket List item.  I volunteer at the Flying Monkey Marathon and witness some truly hardcore runners.  I run the Boulevard Bolt and get another PR.  Coach comes into town again and we have a little team dinner and recap of the year and discuss the next year.

December
I start the month off with my first 12k, the 12 South Winter Warm Up, and finish the day with the 12 South Winter Warmer, one of my favorite beer fests.  Running and beer, what a perfect day!  Then I announce I’m doing something really crazy for my birthday.  I document all of my runs here, and follow it up with beers with friends.  I do one more Yazoo Barely a 4k Beer Run and earn a Yazoo Santa hat.  I find out I qualified for the USAT national championships for Olympic distance triathlon based on that Women’s race in August, which redeems the unfortunate results of that race.  I bake a monstrous cake and swear off buttercream forever.  I take a little New Year’s vacation and got to see my alma mater play in a bowl game.

2013
And what does 2013 hold?  I’ve already started working on my race schedule for next year.  Who knows what else it holds?  I’m hoping for a happy, healthy, and injury-free year.  Looking forward to ticking off more Athletic Bucket List items and maybe clawing my way to more podium finishes?  I’d also like to start trying to race more duathlons.  What are your plans and goals?

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35-35-35 FINISH!
December 10, 2012

So I tried really hard, but I was unable to “outrun my birthday” as a clever friend said to me today.  But I did finish my 35 miles, with 3 hours to spare!

The big 3-5!

The big 3-5!

Yes, I am going to “STOP” running for a while.  Well, until my next race next weekend.  I’m not as sore as I expected to be.   I had a massage today for 90 minutes and I feel even better.  Not better enough to consider doing this again, but I do think I came up with a good plan for this crazy idea.  I’ve never run much more than 13 miles in one day and I certainly didn’t even train up to that mileage going into this.  I am not an ultra runner, nor do I have interest in turning into one.  Hell I don’t even want to run a full marathon.  But it is amazing what the body can do.

But most of all I have to thank all of my friends who ran with me: Tracy, Trent, Marc, Amanda, Karen.  And to the countless other friends and even strangers who cheered me on through texts, twitter, facebook, and blog comments.  It really helped get me through it.  You have no idea how much I appreciated it!

But here is the plan that I followed:

The week before the run:
I didn’t run at all.  I rode my bike, swam, and did some upper body strength training.  I wanted to save my legs.  I also ate a little more on the heavy side.  I figured I wouldn’t be eating much during those 35 hours due to my sensitive stomach (when running).  I wanted to store as many calories for energy as I could.

The run:
I knew I had just an hour shy of a day and a half, but since it’s December daylight hours are at a premium.  So I had to get in my runs very closely together.  I figured I could run up to 10 miles at a time without much trouble, especially if I split it up into at least 2 laps with a break for water and stretching in between.

The first day:
As planned, I ran a 5 mile loop, and had some water and a few minutes for rest and some stretching before beginning the second loop.  I was feeling OK and mostly managing to keep a 10 minute or more pace so I made it a 6 mile loop to work in some extra miles.  After I went home, showered and stretched.  I put on my compression tights and did some work on my foam roller.  For the second run, I managed two loops of 5 miles.  I worked in a bit of walking any time I came to a slight incline or just to rest for a minute.  That evening, I had a 60 minute massage scheduled and I slept in my compression tights, taking them off after a couple hours.

Second day:
I woke up very early after sleeping well and ran 1 mile as a warm up.   After eating breakfast and a little more stretching and foam roller, I went for another run.  Another 2 laps of 5 mile runs with stretching in between and brief walking breaks during the second lap.  I went home and rested and stretched and foam rolled some more.  Then all I had left was 3 miles, so I made a promise to myself I would run the entire 3 miles.

Third day:
I scheduled a final 90 minute massage to work out final kinks.

Nutrition/Fuel:
I made sure to consume plenty of fluids, in particular water (for basic hydration), nuun and pedialyte (for electrolytes), chicken broth (for sodium), chocolate milk (for recovery), Coke (to settle my stomach).
I ate plenty of bananas (for energy and cramps), peanut butter on bagels (for nutrition), Cliff Shots/Gus (during runs), salt (for sodium and cramps).
And of course a celebratory “Shower Beer” before meeting friends for (veggie) burger and (waffle) fries and more beer.

beer

Runs:
I worked on trying to keep the first runs slow at 10 minute mile or slower and allow it to get slower on its own or be dictated by my pacers.

1.  Sat, Dec 8, 2012 8:10 AM
Distance: 11.00 mi
Time: 1:49:56
Avg Pace: 10:00 min/mi

Split
Time
Distance
Avg Pace
Summary 1:49:55 11.00 10:00
1 9:46.92 1.00 9:47
2 10:17.85 1.00 10:18
3 10:12.61 1.00 10:13
4 9:55.64 1.00 9:56
5 9:50.09 1.00 9:50
6 9:55.49 1.00 9:55
7 9:58.4 1.00 9:58
8 9:58.6 1.00 9:59
9 9:58.71 1.00 9:59
10 9:55.06 1.00 9:55
11 10:06.16 1.00 10:07

*****

2.  Sat, Dec 8, 2012 2:14 PM
Distance: 10.00 mi
Time: 1:48:44
Avg Pace: 10:52 min/mi

Split
Time
Distance
Avg Pace
Summary 1:48:44.4 10.00 10:52
1 10:44.4 1.00 10:44
2 10:56.9 1.00 10:57
3 11:03.6 1.00 11:04
4 10:35.2 1.00 10:35
5 10:32.9 1.00 10:33
6 10:36.0 1.00 10:36
7 11:07.6 1.00 11:08
8 10:59.1 1.00 10:59
9 10:37.2 1.00 10:37
10 11:29.1 1.00 11:29
11 :02.5 0.00 9:35

*****

3.  Sun, Dec 9, 2012 6:49 AM
Distance: 1.00 mi
Time: 10:11
Avg Pace: 10:12 min/mi

Split
Time
Distance
Avg Pace
Summary 10:10.7 1.00 10:12
1 10:10.7 1.00 10:12

*****

4.  Sun, Dec 9, 2012 9:06 AM
Distance: 10.01 mi
Time: 1:45:32
Avg Pace: 10:33 min/mi

Split
Time
Distance
Avg Pace
Summary 1:45:32.0 10.01 10:33
1 10:41.2 1.00 10:41
2 10:36.9 1.00 10:37
3 10:13.9 1.00 10:14
4 10:08.4 1.00 10:08
5 9:58.8 1.00 9:59
6 10:36.1 1.00 10:36
7 10:23.1 1.00 10:23
8 10:38.9 1.00 10:39
9 11:39.0 1.00 11:39
10 10:32.8 1.00 10:33
11 :03.1 0.01 9:44

*****

5.  Sun, Dec 9, 2012 3:06 PM
Distance: 3.00 mi
Time: 31:33
Avg Pace: 10:32 min/mi

Split
Time
Distance
Avg Pace
Summary 31:33.5 3.00 10:32
1 10:28.0 1.00 10:28
2 10:34.6 1.00 10:35
3 10:31.0 1.00 10:32

And as far as how I’m doing after the run, well I walked away fairly unscathed.  Yes, I have some muscle soreness.  Only had some pain in my knee while running on the last day, but that didn’t stick around.  Oddly I developed blisters on the bottoms of several of my toes.  No new blisters on my feet, but several toes (only on the bottom) were casualties.  I also have 2 weird tiny chafed spots on my back.  I’m assuming from a sports bra, but it’s just 2 small spots the size of a pencil eraser and kinda low to be my sports bra, but it doesn’t hurt and I can’t see it so I’ll pretend it’s not there.  Otherwise I escaped relatively injury free.  Not bad for an old lady!

35-35-35 3rd+ Run
December 9, 2012

Another 11 miles down in the books.  Just 3 miles left to reach 35!

Last night as I was falling asleep I had a dream about…running.  Go figure.  It was one of those dreams, I’m watching my feet as I run, then I step off the edge of the greenway and nearly roll my ankle…And jerk awake at the same time.  After that I got a decent night’s sleep.

Then I got up early and decided to do a short shake out run of 1 mile around my neighborhood.  Marc was a trooper and joined me on a humid 1 mile at a 10:12 pace.

Wow, my eyes look tired and puffy.

Wow, my eyes look tired and puffy.

And of course I had to get a close up shot of my hat.  This stuff has been getting me through the weekend.  Regular Body Glide on my body and the WarmFX Anti-Pain on my tendonitis and any other sore spots.

bodyglide

After getting some breakfast, I headed out to the greenway to join Karen for some more mileage.  She was a great pacer! And she had just paced her daughter during a good portion of a marathon the day before.

 5 miles with Karen and Marc.

5 miles with Karen and Marc.

Then Marc was a trooper and ran with me for the last 5 miles.  While I’ve been feeling surprisingly good, especially on the first 5 miles, I was starting to struggle the last 2 miles of this run.  I was sore and really thirsty.  It is unseasonably warm here and very humid because of the off-and-on rain.  But I did it.

Another 10 miles at 10:33 pace.  Maybe a touch too fast at this point.

Because of all the soreness and the heat I had to wear the most ridiculous outfit today.  Note the tri shorts under my running shorts hoping to minimize muscle vibration and my Swiftwick compression socks for the same reason.  I couldn’t wear my beloved fancy compression tights because it was so darn hot.  And speaking of the heat, I’m wearing a tank top…in DECEMBER!

Seriously, this is winter?

Seriously, this is winter?

Then I proceeded to take an Epsom salt bath and rest in my compression tights.

Consumed:
Banana and most of 1/2 of a bagel with peanut butter, with some coffee and some Pedialyte, and some extra ibuprofen.
Salt packet and Mocha Cliff Shot before running with some sips of water.
Mint Chocolate Gu at the halfway point and sips of Pedialyte.
Nuun during the last mile of my run.
Salt packet, chicken broth, Pedialyte, and big cup of chocolate milk after running.
Small coke while I was in Epsom salt bath.
Banana and a few small pretzels after the bath, plus an Immodium.

So far my stomach seems to be hanging in there.  I didn’t take any Immodium this morning because I was feeling ok, but managing your GI for 30+ hours is a delicate balancing act.  Hoping it holds out this last run and then on to the celebratory beers with friends after.

I’ve been doing pretty well about stretching (maybe not quite as much as I should), but the massage yesterday helped and I’ve been working my foam roller in quite a bit.  I try to wear my compression tights during rest when I can, or use The Stick.  I’m not nearly as sore as I expected, but definitely feeling the 32 miles I’ve done in 27 hours.

Less than a 5k left!

35-35-35 Second Run
December 8, 2012

Second run complete. 10 miles. 1:48: 44 (average 10:52 min/mile).  Thanks to Marc and Amanda for joining me for this run.

Looks like I have 3 hands holding her coke and my phone.

Looks like I have 3 hands, one holding her Coke and two holding the camera.

We started out with a 5 mile loop around one of my favorite greenways.  After a brief bathroom/water/stretching/Gu break, we took off down another part of the greenway.

As we started going through the two tunnels to another section of the greenway, I found a little surprise that Amanda had set up for me.

Holy Trackspikes Batman!

Holy Track Spikes Batman!

When I saw the first one, I had decided to walk that short but steep hill.  I laughed, because I figured one of the nearby high school track teams had been leaving messages for each other.  But then I got to the next tunnel.

tunnel

It says “Keep Going” and has a hopscotch with 35 on it.

Keep

Keep

Going

Going

35 hopscotch!

35 hopscotch!

Have I ever told you how awesome Amanda is?  She drove to a different part of the park early to write it on the greenway with chalk.  Best part, I’m running there tomorrow so I’ll see it again!

Fortunately the rain held off for these runs.  Had a little drizzle in the first run, but it was very light.  But it was really warm, especially for December.  I had a few more walk breaks this run and walked any small hills.

The park where we ran has a giant tree decorated for Christmas.  So, of course we had to get a picture in front of the tree!

tree

After the run, I went home and made a little dinner.  Then I had a 60 minute massage scheduled.  Really glad I had that set up.

Consumed:
Banana about an hour before I left for the second run.
Salt packet and Mocha Cliff Shot and some sips of Pedialyte before the run.
Salt packet and Peanut Butter Gu and some more Pedialyte at the break.
Chicken broth after finishing 10 miles.

Don't knock it til you try it.

Don’t knock it til you try it.

More chocolate milk.
Baked salmon and broccoli au gratin rice for dinner with a small Coke and some nuun.
Couple candy cane oreo type cookies for dessert and water and a small ginger ale.

35-35-35 First Run
December 8, 2012

First run down.  11 miles.  Thanks to my friends Tracy and Trent for joining me.

trio

First run we did an out-and-back of total 5 miles on Shelby Bottoms Greenway.  We tried to keep it at a 10 minute/mile pace.  It was overcast and we could hear thunder in the distance, but figured it would be fine.  After the first loop, came back to our cars.  Had a little stretch/bathroom/water/Cliff Shot break.  I got to run into 2 of my lovely Hoop Ladies who were going out for a little hoop walk.  So glad I saw them!

Just as we were starting the second loop, it started raining.  We ran through rain for about 2-3 miles, but it cleared up some.  Fortunately most of the greenway is tree lined so we didn’t get too wet.  I decided to run 3 miles before the turnaround.  So by the time we finished, we had gotten in 11 miles in 1:49:55 (exactly 10min/mi pace average).  Not a bad first run.  24 more to go!

Remember to finish saying "cheese" before you take the picture.

Remember to finish saying “cheese” before you take the picture.

At the finish, we ran into my friend Tiffany, who was waiting to cheer us on.  Trent and Tracy had to go their own separate ways, so I had breakfast with her.

Bonus, when you do a birthday run with Trent, you get visited by the beer fairy! Gotta love running friends who are also beer friends.  Thank you!!!  Can’t wait to dig into these lovelies soon!

beer

Back home I’m in my compression tights stretching and waiting to head out for another rainy run with friends.

Consumed so far:
Last night I went to the Nashville Tri Club party so I had a couple vegetarian soft tacos and a couple Miller High Life beers (don’t judge it’s the Champagne of Beers!) and some water. When I got home I scrambled an egg before bed so I had some protein in my system.

This morning I got up and had some coffee and some Pedialyte, half of a bagel with peanut butter and banana.

Before I ran I had a salt packet and a Mocha Cliff Shot and a sip of nuun and some water.  At the halfway point I had a Chocolate Mint Gu and some nuun.

After the run, I had about 3 small cups of chocolate milk.  Then I had another salt packet and downed some pedialyte.  I had a breakfast sandwich (egg/cheese casserole on a cheese scone) at Sweet 16 Bakery and cup of coffee with Tiffany.  Once I got home I had a small Coke in the shower (hey can’t start in on the shower beers yet).

Birthday Week Run
December 5, 2012

So I’ve lost my mind and decided to do something really not smart for my birthday.  I’m going to run.  Yeah, yeah, I know, I’m a runner.  But, I’m talking about running a lot.  A LOT.

Inspired by my very good friend, I have decided I’m going to run 35 miles* in 35 hours for my 35th birthday.  That’s a lot of running.  No I haven’t particularly trained to run 35 miles, but I’m also not planning to run all of it at once.  But I am planning to split it up into several runs over the day and a half.  I’m calling it my 35-35-35 Run.

I’m begging encouraging my running friends to come and run some of the miles with me.  Mostly I need someone to help pace me V E R Y  S  L  O  W  L  Y.  I figure the slower I go the less wear and tear on my body.  The first 3 runs will be split up into at least 2 loops so that friends can join me for a few miles at a time if they want, and to give me a chance to circle back around for water/bathroom/stretching breaks.

Saturday
8am – 10 mile run (split into 2 loops)
2pm – 10 mile run (split into 2 loops)
6:30pm – 60 minute massage

Sunday
9am – 10 mile run (split into loops)
3pm – 5 mile run VERY SLOW (if I manage to work in an extra mile or 2 in the runs above, this may be shorter, or longer if I was struggling)
6pm – Celebratory beer(s) with friends

Monday
90 minute massage (if I can still walk)

I fully expect there to be several walk breaks and that my last run will be nothing short of a fast walk slow run crawl.  I plan to switch out shoes periodically, and probably go through several bandaids and/or moleskin.

I’ll drink plenty of water, chocolate milk, nuun, pedialyte, chicken broth, and Coke.

I’ll eat countless Gus/Cliff Shots, Honey Stinger Chews, Sport Beans, pretzels, Immodium, ibuprofen.

When I’m not running, I’ll take ice baths, get a massage, use The Stick on my legs, fight with my foam roller, nap, stretch, and generally rest and stay off my feet.

* NOTE I reserve the right to change this to 35k at any time if I decide I have bitten off way more than my running shoes can chew.

Half Birthday
June 10, 2010

Today is my Half Birthday.  Yes, I am thirtysomething and I still celebrate my half birthday!  So, what?!  It all started many years ago on June 10, when I was very, very young, too young to really remember.  My mother did something that really upset me.  The only way she could cheer me up was to declare it was my half birthday.  She probably made me a cake or bought some ice cream or something else rather easy to appease a young child.  But wouldn’t you know it, I never, ever forgot it!  (parents let this be a warning, children are like elephants!)  And I’ve celebrated it ever since.  I don’t really do gifts or cake or a party.  But it’s nice to know that I’m still living and breathing after another 6 months.  And I think we should celebrate everyone’s half birthdays; life is hard, we all deserve a pat on the back a couple times a year!

Now, where’s my cake?!

Happy Birthday Sally!
December 10, 2009

A special birthday
October 5, 2009

Today would have been my dad’s 70th birthday.  I have been thinking about him a lot today.  All the time I’ve missed the past sixteen years.  All the things I’ve gone through since then.  And all the little things about him.  Tonight I decided to have a special birthday dinner in his honor.  I went to a seafood restaurant in honor of his (and my) New England roots.  Then found some of his favorite cookies and candy for dessert.  At first I thought I would have a birthday dinner for one, but my friend Shutterbug joined me after I put out a call on Twitter.  Things have been difficult lately as I’ve been by myself a lot lately.  She’s a great friend who provided great company and friendship on a nostalgic day.

Happy Birthday Sally!
December 10, 2008

funny pictures of cats with captions