About Hannah

Wife. Mom. Librarian. Runner. Lover of Neon.

Sick and Tired

Nothing can bring a training plan to a grinding halt like a sinus / ear infection. Yuck. I felt like I went to the doctor early enough, but the last five days have been nothing but pain, drainage, snot, phlegm, coughing, and medicine fogs. I haven’t run since Sunday. Blah. And the steroid has me bloated and up several pounds. FRUSTRATING. Especially considering that I was supposed to start two doses of speed work this week.

At this point, I might just see what I can get done tomorrow with a long run, and then toss out the rest of the workouts from last week. It’s only a 5K. That’s what I keep telling myself. I’m only training for a 5K, so these workouts aren’t as vital. They are just the difference between how much progress I’ll make on my current PR.

At least that’s what I keep telling myself.

240

Yesterday was day 240 of my 10K step streak. Two-hundred and forty. Woah. Only 125 days to go. Yep, it’s official. I am definitely going to attempt a 365 step streak! One year of 10K+ steps per day.

I finally made an IG post about the new tool in my life. About a month ago, on a whim, I ordered a Sidekick Tool after both Gwen Jorgensen and Sara Hall posted testimonials. I’ve always been intrigued by muscle scraping, and it made a lot of sense when I read articles about the science behind it. I’ve dealt with a lot of lower leg issues over the last couple of years, especially shin splints. Physical therapy and regular strength training help a lot, but foam rolling and my roll-8 only do so much. Scraping seems to be the game changer. And my favorite thing about it…it’s fast. Only 30-60 seconds per area. Right now I’m only doing in on the days that I run, before or after stretching or PT exercises.

Side note: I know my shin splints are partially as a result of my pronation. I’ve tried several different levels of support shoes with none providing complete relief from my symptoms.

I started an experiment this week. I have started eating lunch at 11am. I normally take my lunch at work at noon. But when you wake up at 5am, have a small toast and coffee breakfast, run 3-5 miles, and then rush off to work, you are ravenous by noon, even if you add a snack in there. I needed nutrition earlier in the day. It’s been a great shift. I snack throughout the day and never have that empty stomach starvin’ Marvin feeling. I’ve been bringing a Vega One shake, chicken salad, these amazing almond flour crackers from Costco, and a Veggies Made Great frozen muffins…also from Costco. Actually, the chicken is from Costco too. Lunch by Costco!

Training is still happening. I’m struggling to get up and run before work four days a week. I find myself shifting one of my weekly runs to the weekend. I’m not sure if I should rewrite my training plan, so just keep trying to get all five workouts in per week and not worry about the days.

Alright…off to conquer the world. Also known as after school text message updates with the boys.

I lied

Almost three weeks ago, I blogged and said I’d blog again the next day. I didn’t.

What haven’t I done in 3 weeks:
1. Blogged.

What have I done:
1. Washed my face every night before bed. And my feet…it’s my number one self-care thing that gets forgotten. Wiping off my feet with a warm wash cloth before I go to bed feels soooo good. Does anyone else do that?
2. Did ALL of my workouts. Yep…in three weeks, I haven’t missed a single one. Well…this morning I snuggled Tiny Boy instead of running 3 miles. I’ll make it up tomorrow.
3. Stayed completely caught up on laundry, dishes, and vacuuming. I know…I can’t believe this one either. My house hasn’t been this clean in two years!
4. Cooked A LOT. We have eaten out maybe once or twice a week the last two weeks. I’ve actually meal planned and stuck to the grocery list. I also figured out how to bake sourdough bread on a weeknight without having to stay up until 11pm.
5. Read TWO books that have nothing to do with school or work.
6. Kept the step streak alive. Today is day 235!

I guess that’s what happens when I shove a big piece of pie off of my plate. I didn’t realize how much of my brain grad school consumed, but it was a big ole chunk. My ability to think and remember things is amazing.

Life right now is GOOD, and I’m enjoying it. Mr. Neon is still rocking the middle school math teacher life. The boys are having a good start to the school year. Tiny is in his last year of elementary school. Good riddance. I don’t know what it is about my kids and intermediate school (3rd-5th), but it’s rough. The principal and teachers are great, so I don’t know what our deal is. Those 3 years have been the most challenging phase for both of them. The one positive is that Tiny gets his first instrument tonight. Trumpet here we come!

Middle school is awesome in comparison. Runner Boy is FINALLY on the XC team and is thriving. Having scheduled practice every day after school is doing wonders for him. I can’t wait to see what he can do with the next seven weeks of the season.

This time though…no promises of when my next post will be. I always hope that I can get on here more often, but life (living the GOOD life) gets in the way. And that’s definitely not a bad thing these days!

A Decision

I’m not going to run a fall half marathon yet again. This will be the second year in a row that I have skipped a fall 13.1. When I finally said the words out loud to Mr. Neon, “I don’t want to run another half this year,” I felt an instant whoosh of relief. I’ve run 3 half marathons already this year, more than I’ve run before in 365 days. My body and my mind are rejecting the notion of training hard for 13.1 miles.

But I still want to train for something. And I feel the pull to do more XT. To brush off the dusty ole Beach Body on Demand app.

I’m heading back to my roots. 2013 was the year I became a runner and I fell in love with running over 5Ks. So…

I’m going to train for a FAST 5K!

It worked out perfectly that I start training today using the ten-week Train Like a Mother Own It plan. Run for the Roses in my town’s local 5K…the very first timed 5K I ever ran. After the first couple of weeks, I’ll see where I’m at and set my goal officially. My PR is 26:40. I’d like to see if I can get down to the low 25s. As close to an 8-minute flat pace as I can get.

In other news:

  • I’ve updated neonrunnergirl.com. It’s got lots of new info with more updates planned.
  • I’m done with grad school! Just waiting for grades to be posted and then the diploma will be in the mail. I’m still waiting for it to sink in. I have my MLS! I’m a real librarian.
  • I signed up for RRCA coaching certificate this fall. I’m hoping to offer very affordable run coaching on an individual basis later this year. Runner Boy and Tiny Boy are VERY excited to have Coach Mom write their training plans as an official run coach.
  • I’m on page 854 of Stephen King’s It. It’s not as scary as I thought it would be. But the new movie scared the crud out of me. Mr. Neon is excited because I said I would go see Chapter Two with him in the theater. I might regret that decision later!

That’s all for now. More tomorrow, since I don’t have grad school clogging my brain anymore!

Silent Progress

Good for her. Not for me! ~Amy Poehler

This has become one of my mantras this year. As I watch what other people are doing with their running and triathlon-ing via social media, I fight the urge to compare myself to them.

As a result, I went back through my Garmin data and hid everything. It’s all marked “Only Me.”

I didn’t do it because I didn’t want people to see what I was doing. I keep my training and my goals mostly transparent. But I was tired of comparing what I was doing to what everyone else was doing. And I was tired of worrying that other people were doing that too.

It’s changed the way I think about my training. It’s for me and only me. I run for me. And my progress is mine to claim, whether it’s good or bad. And right now it’s good. I finally feel back on track after a craptastic 2018.

I did a 5 mile tempo this morning. 9:14, 9:05, 9:05, 8:57, 8:50. Those are the kinds of times I was putting down before my 2:00:59 half marathon. The effort felt good, not too hard, not too easy. Just right.

Today is day 114 of the step streak. And I’m sitting at 408 miles for the year…the most I’ve ever run at this point in the year. I’m on target to break 1000 by the end of the October!

Prairie Fire is 10 days out. Please, weather gods, do your magic!

100

Sometimes I miss a run.
Sometimes I don’t hit a time goal for a race.
Sometimes I feel like a failure and that I’m failing at every single goal I’ve set in 2019.

And then I swipe left on my phone and see this…

This goal surprised me. It started with wanting to get the 60 day challenge badge on Garmin Connect. Once I hit 60, I didn’t really see a reason to stop. So I just kept going and here we are…100. 100 days of 10,000 steps. (note: I manually set my goal to 10,000 since that is what my work requires for getting health points for our wellness program.)

This goal didn’t happen easily. There were many nights that I hopped on the treadmill and walked anywhere between half a mile and 2 miles…sometimes a little begrudgingly. I’ve watched YouTube, Netflix, and Hulu to keep myself entertained as I truck along at 3.0 mph. Occasionally I’ve walked my final mile of the day a little tipsy after a glass of wine.

I’d like to say that this goal has helped me drop those few grief pounds I’ve been carrying around, but it hasn’t. It has given me something to look forward to every day. That little buzz from my watch when I hit 10,000.

How far am I going to go? The rest of the year would be pretty cool. Knock on wood, I haven’t gotten sick yet, outside of my occasional upset IBS, food sensitive tummy, so I have no idea how that would affect it.

Either way…it’s pretty cool. I’m not sure I’ve stuck with anything this long, outside of breastfeeding the boys. I hope I can keep it up. I’ll keep you posted. And as always…

The Un-Race Report

I’m nervous before every single race. It doesn’t matter if I’m trying to PR or if I’m just running for fun with my family. I’m nervous every single time.

I’ve tried a lot of different things. Mantras. Meditation. Warming-up a lot. Warming-up a little. Nothing works. I’m crazy nervous waiting for that gun to go off.

I put a lot of pressure on myself for Chisholm Trail Half Marathon. I knew the weather would give me a good chance to PR. Of course, PRing in a half marathon for me means breaking 2 hours. And I knew I hadn’t trained right to break 2 hours. I had gotten the distance in. I was ready to run 13.1 miles…no problem. But I had skipped too many speed days. I had missed too much strength work. I wasn’t ready to run 13.1 miles FAST.

But I’m stubborn, so I gave it a try. I told Mr. Neon that I wasn’t going to worry about where he was. I wasn’t going to worry about the 2-hour pace group. I wasn’t going to wear a pacing band. I knew the pace I needed to run.

The gun went off, I pushed the nerves away, and I moved forward. I ticked the first mile off at a 9:09. Perfect. I kept my head down and just got to work. The sun was beating into our faces, and we could barely see ahead anyway. Mile two was a 9:09. Ok…maybe I can do this. Mile 3 has the biggest hill of the course. I didn’t let that get to me. I gave myself license to slow down a tad. 9:30. Not the end of the world, but not where it should be. I still had 10 miles to make up time.

Mile 4 was a 9:07. Back on track. I tried to pick up the pace, but my body revolted. And not in the normal ways…my stomach felt fine, my legs still had pep, my mind was still sharp. I just didn’t want to try and run nine more fast miles and come up short. I knew a sub-2 just wasn’t going to happen. I wasn’t ready. I couldn’t trust the training because I hadn’t done it.

I decided to just run and enjoy the course. I took a deep breath and turned my watch to clock mode. I didn’t know that I ran a 9:13, 9:16, 9:26, 9:50, and a 9:45. I do know that at mile 7 there’s a Krispy Kreme. And the hot sign was on. I laughed and imagined Mr. Neon stopping for a free donut. I wondered how far behind me he was. He had to pull out of half marathon training at the beginning of February with an Achilles injury. He was hoping to run with the 2:15 pace group and get a good long run done in the midst of gravel bike training for a 50 mile race series.

Imagine my surprise at mile 9 when a shadow pops out on my right side and says, “See! I told you we’d run right past my school.” I could have cried. There he was. My handsome bearded man. I pulled up to a walk for the first time all race. Mr. Neon just grinned at me and said, “I’ve been watching your butt for the last 9 miles.”

We ran walked the remaining 4 miles. My left IT band started giving me trouble, so I’d run a few minutes and walk a few minutes. We finished with a 10:16, 9:48, 10:13, 9:51.

At mile 12, I got choked up. I had those existential thoughts I always have at the end of races. Mom isn’t at the finish line. She’ll never be at the finish line again. Am I supposed to ever break 2 hours without her there? And then the completely random thought of “maybe I should run a marathon again?” It’s nice to slow down. Could I slow down for another 13.1 miles on top of this one? Mr. Neon knew what my brain was doing, so when we turned the last corner towards the finish line he hollered at me to stay on his hip. We finished the last half mile with a sub-9 min pace. I’m not sure what he was trying to get me to, but he got me to a 2:05:59. A time I was good with.

Exactly 5 minutes slower than my PR and exactly 6 minutes slower than I wanted to be.

Now I’m sitting here contemplating doing something crazy. Should I try again SOON? Based on my data, I’m peaking. I’ve run once since Sunday and those 3 easy miles didn’t feel ridiculous like they often do after a big race. My legs feel good. I’m ready to throw down some speed workouts. I had my IT band released right after the race, and it doesn’t hurt at all.

Stay tuned and…