Monday, January 26, 2015

2 Half Marathons and 1 Tough Injury

Oh wow!  The last 6 months have been a ride!  I started school full time.  In an extremely difficult course for me.  Computer Sciences.  But I was doing okay.  I wasn't getting in as many runs as I wanted.  I was averaging 2-3 a week.  1 long run each week, with either 1 or 2 small runs 3.1 miles.  And I built every week.  I did 12 2 weeks before my first 1/2 marathon.  

I hadn't been intending to run this one.  I wanted my first to be my big one.  The ScotiaBank 1/2 marathon in Toronto on Oct 19, 2014.  My friend convinced me to do this other one 3 weeks prior to the Scotia.  And I said yeah why not, get the race nerves out of the way.  I should've looked at the course a bit more.  And my friend that had me sign up for it, well she dang well decided not to run it and drop to the 10km.  But whatever, I'm used to running solo, and this is my friend that just did an Ironman, so she is very forgiven.  

Well anyway.  The Base Borden run was a challenging run.  It was a little hilly.  I big one in the first 5 km and a long slow steep one at the 12 mile mark.  Oh and from 3 miles to about 7 we were on gravel in a winding desert like trail run.  I encountered a snake!!!  I am PETRIFIED of snakes.  I screamed like the girl I am and came to a screeching stop!  Like dust cloud popped up behind me.  It was so embarrassing.  But the weather was gorgeous, it was a sunny 78 degrees.  My favourite, hot and sunny!

Anyway it was during said race when my knee really started bugging me.  I had just gotten new running shoes, but I had worn them on a good 5 runs previously...(I thought they were good).  But I finished with a decent time, but not what I was (secretly) hoping for.  I finished in 2 hours 11 minutes.  

Really struggled with mile 12 on.  Definitely a mental challenge as well as a physical one.

Lola was so cute.  She was at the last 100 years, yelling "Run Mommy!"

My knee was really bugging me.  I felt the swelling right away.  But I could walk and I ran 3 days later, but my knee just got worse and worse.

Next up was my big one.  ScotiaBank!  There were 30,000 participants in all the runs.  I think there were 8-10,000 runners doing the 1/2 marathon.  Well that week before my knee finally said "F You" and decided to start seizing up and just aching all the way up to my hip.  I knew I was in trouble.  I headed to the chiro 2 weeks before to at least try and stretch it out.  I even went 2 days before the run.  The day of I woke up stiff.  Tried to eat, nope.  The weather was AWFUL.  Overcast, really cold, grey and a little wet in the early morning.  I really wanted to throw my over shirt off half way through but my # was pinned to it and I didn't want to stop.  

At mile 1 I knew this was not going to be a good run.  But I had prepared and I started popping the ad.vil right away.  I took 3 every 5 miles.  And a gel right after to try to give my stomach something to digest it with.  I was actually really doing very well at the 1/2 way point.  I was going way faster than I even had.  I finished the 10km in 54 minutes.  I was on target to finish in under 2 hours.  

And then mile 11.  My leg was screaming at me, and I just felt like I had nothing left.  God love the supporters around the race.  They were cheering me on when I would start walking, telling me I could do it.  Unfortunately it was so packed down there and cold that Jordan and the girls couldn't get anywhere near the finish line to see me cross.  But I did it!  I persevered through and crossed with sobs.  I felt like a total loser.  I could barely walk and I'm a blubbering mess with all these awesome runners.  I finished in 2 hours 5 minutes.  Not bad but I was really hoping for under 2 hours.   Still it's an awesome accomplishment.

I did get in one other run this summer.  The Run or Dye.  It was okay.  It wasn't what I needed in my training at the time, but you get the ones in you can, when your race schedule is based on babysitter availability.  

Anyway I blew out my IT band and actually had to take about 8 weeks off.  I'm building up again but it is so slow, especially with school.  But we have signed up for some interesting races this coming summer.  More on that to come!

Off to bed.  Homework done, blogging done, face booking done, kids asleep and husband snoring beside me.  Life is good!

Running Mommy!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

First 1/2 Marathon Next Week!

Am I ready for this?
Oh Gawd!
I have been running quite consistent for the summer.  I've been adding mileage every week.  My times are decent.  Last week I managed a 12 mile run, and I felt pretty good after.  Some knee pain but I think that is more than likely my IT band.  I stretched and stretched and a good soak in Epson salts seemed to make it better. 
And then this week....NO RUNS!  Argh!!!!
I'm in school full time now.  And with 2 toddlers.  Life is very challenging.  The weather has not been great.  I have no cold weather running gear as I've never made it to running in the winter.  Plus I like to run in the mornings and anytime I had time to do a run this week, all I really wanted to do was sit in a quiet house and drink my cup of joe.  Oh well!  I'm aiming to get up early tomorrow morning and at least bang out a 6-7 mile run.
My aim for this week is 2 small runs.  And then on Sunday my very first half marathon!  It's at Base Bor.den, the military base here.  I'm nervous and excited.  My first one was supposed to be the big one in October, but since I have had very little time for races this year I thought it might be a good idea to get the jitters out of me before my big one. 
I am going into this with no expectations of myself.  My only goal is to finish.  And hopefully run the whole thing.  My goal for October was to do it under 2 hours.  But I think a more realistic goal with my laid back approach to training will be to do it in under 2.5 hours.  I will keep you all posted on how it goes.
I do have a post coming about the 5km Run or Dye run I did this summer.  And some pictures.  Hopefully I get more 'fun' computer time this week.

Happy Running!

Friday, June 6, 2014

Entering my First 10 km

I'm torn.  It's in 2 weeks.  Do I enter and go for it.  So far to date the farthest I have run is 7 km.  I know I can push it to 10.  But is 14 days too soon?  Especially when L&L are pulling their usual tactics of letting mommy have no time for herself. 
The day of the run, I am hosting a party at the house for approx. 30 people.  It's a joint birthday party and a christening party.  I'm planning crock pot sandwiches for the food, and salads, and I've ordered the cakes.  So really it is just decorating prep that I'll be doing. 
I will have people staying at the house, so there will be lots of help.  Oh boy...Oh boy...
I think the answer would come to me easier if I had gotten in more than 1 run so far this week.  But alas, I have not.  I'm hoping to get out for one though in an hour. 
I wasn't kidding when I said I am still a rookie at this.  I'm still finding my way.  Right now I'm completing the c210km program, but I think I am going to start incorporating Hal Higdon's Marathon training.  (half). I have to make my decision. 
To run or not to run!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Squat Challenge Accepted

I decided for June I would do the 30 day squat challenge.  I will post a picture of it on my next post (with my phone).  Just in case any of you out there would like to join me.  Don't be shy, jump in even if you missed a few days. 
My running hasn't been where I would like it to be quite yet.  Not that my runs themselves have been bad, but getting them in has been a challenge.  I hate excuses but I do have them.  Lola and Lucy.  Lola is turning 3 this month.  And we skipped the terrible two's and are being introduced to the sassy 3 year old that refuses to listen.  And Lucy, well Lucky Lucy is just a tinch bit of a difficult child.  She has acid reflux and has a very hard time teething.  She's also turning 1 this month and is still not sleeping through the night consistently.  She really is a challenge for us.  We sleep train her and sleep train her, to no avail.  Anyway, those are my usual excuses.  So when I say L&L are at it, you know what I mean.  Lol!
My week of working out is going to run from Monday to Sunday. 
This week so far I have only gotten in one run.  Today.  I ran 6.6 km's this morning in 45 minutes.  This is probably my slowest treadmill run in a couple of weeks.  But I did get up at 520 this morning and run with nothing in my stomach and only half a glass of water drank.  Not a great way to attempt a long run for me.  My best days so far seem to happen when I've been up for 2 hours, had a bowl of granola, cup of coffee, and 1 litre of water.  I get less cramps, I don't get a headache, and it doesn't feel like I weigh 1000 lbs.  Lol!  But today I was looking down the barrel of a very busy day.  And if I wanted to run with as little stress as possible I needed to do it before the babies got up and Jordan left for work.  So up I got, and off I went to the basement.  Sure as shit though when I came upstairs praying I had time for a shower 2 little girls were waiting for me in the family room.  Oh well!  At least I ran. 
A slow run is better than no run!
I couldn't run on Monday as I had what turned into a migraine.  I used to suffer from these but I have had an amazing reprieve for 7 years.  Well screw me, they are making a come back.  If you have never experienced one I hope you never do.  They are horrid.  And yesterday was the first time I had a full blown one and still had to deal with two children.  Oh boy!  But I survived and today I pulled up my big girl panties and wore all my hats successfully.  I ran, I mothered, I wifed...(not a word?  Oh well!)  This week just might be a good week!


Tuesday, May 27, 2014

My Story so Far

Hello All!
I am Karen.  I am an infertile woman in my mid 30's.  And I am a new runner...well sort of...  I found fitness nearing the end of my battle with infertility.  I will never win that battle, I will always be infertile, but we have succeeded twice!    I am the mom to two little girls.  A gorgeous trouble making 3 year old, Lola.  And a dramatic, comedian 11 month old Lucy.  I am a wife to Jordan.  I am a pack leader to Tonka and Lex, our 2 maltese.  (We lost our old girl in January 2014).  And I love my life, most days.  Lol! 

But my story starts 7 years ago.  My husband and I were trying to get pregnant.  To no avail.  I visited the Dr and was told not too worry I was young it would happen....After 2 years of getting jerked around by my medical community we finally got a diagnosis.  POF - Premature Ovarian Failure.  My ovaries were the age of a 50 year old.  We had a less than 1% chance of having a genetic child.   During the 2 years of waiting for a diagnosis and testing (oh so much testing) I started to gain weight.  We discovered I had a thyroid disease.  I got medicated and balanced out.  I continued to gain weight.  Slowly...20 lbs a year...  The year we started trying I was 126 lbs. 

After a year of watching and waiting for one window to try IVF with my own eggs, I gained over 30 lbs. weighing in at 161 lbs.  I was turning 29 and I was done waiting.  After a lot of research we moved forward with an IVF cycle with a donor in Mexico City.
Unfortunately neither transfer worked.  We had everything and anything go wrong with our cycles.  I had an allergic reaction to the meds and dropped my lining during the stim cycle forcing us to do a freeze all on the eggs.  The eggs weren't great.  We had only 4 embryos.  And we kept finding fluid in my tubes.  Depression ensues. 
But I picked up my big girl panties and found an outlet for my anger.  I started riding.  Biking.  I wasn't losing weight, but I wasn't gaining either.  Everything was just toning up.  We decided to try one more time, with a different clinic.  And we decided to push and have my tubes removed, which we later discovered were toxic and would have never allowed a pregnancy to form. 
I rode my heart out that year.  I rode to forget.  I rode to push myself.  I rode to take back some control over my body.  I hated my body so much.  It was failing me at the one thing I was made to do.  Have a baby. 
The week before our transfer my husband and I did a Spin the Lakes Ride.  It was a 50 km ride around a lake up North.  It is a super hilly course.  And it was awful weather.  But I did it.  It was the only thing I concentrated on at that time.  I couldn't focus on the transfer or the possibility of it not working. 
Fast forward a year.  We had our miracle baby.  Miss LolaBean came screaming into our world.  The pregnancy was fraught with drama.  It was twins, but we sadly lost one at 8.5 weeks due to a bleed.  Lola's placenta wasn't functioning well.  I ended up with HELLP syndrome.  I was induced early at 35 weeks.  And she was our tiny little bean at 4.12lbs.   I still can't believe I gained over 45 lbs and had a 4 pound baby!  I got up to over 200 lbs.  But I was finally happy.... 
And then reality hit.  We had one embryo left to try.  But I was considerably over weight.  I don't believe it would have impacted our chances of it working, I can't say one way or the other.  But I knew myself.  And if I got pregnant at 184 lbs. I would balloon up even more and possibly lead a life of being considered obese.  I was determined.  We had one shot.  I wanted to put that embryo in the best body I could build. 
I started with a weight loss program.  They taught me how to eat.  Finally!  I joined a bootcamp.  I joined the couch to 5 km.  I started to lose.  I dropped out of the couch to 5 km.  I continued strength training.  Then I joined a 2nd couch to 5 km class.  And suddenly I was hooked.  I loved running.  The weight started to melt off.  I started swimming.  I continued biking.  I set a goal of running 3 5km races and one sprint tri.  And I succeeded. 
I was hooked!  We were ready to transfer our last snow baby in October 2012.  The morning of the transfer I ran 5 km.  I honestly didn't think it was going to work.  But I was surprisingly zen about it all.  I now knew how to find my happy place.  I now knew how to decompress all the feelings that infertility left me with.  I pound it out on the road. 
Fast forward another 9 months!  Lol!  And here I sit with 2 little girls.  I had a drama free pregnancy with Lucy.  I gained about 40 lbs again.  What can I say?!  I like to eat carbs and starch!  But I ran until 24 weeks.  And I think I looked pretty dang good!
But post pregnancy...Argh!  I am not one of those woman that lose weight with breast feeding.  I stayed the same.  And I felt awful working out too hard since I worked so hard to breast feed.  So I ran when I could.  With both girls!
And on December 31 I stopped breast feeding and started taking care of myself again.  It wasn't easy.  Lucy is an extremely needy baby.  And we have had a rough couple of months with her.  Acid Reflux and an awful teether.  Plus a 3 year old who is having her terrible three's.  Makes gym time limited.  But I do try. 
Currently since December 31, 2013 I have lost 27 lbs.  I went from 161 lbs to 134 lbs.  (as of this morning)  Not huge weight loss.  But it is significant to me.  I'm not as toned as I would like.  But that will come.  I am running farther than I have ever run before.  And I am running faster than I have ever before.  I signed up to attempt my first half marathon last night.  I'm really excited to see what my future brings me.
Well if you made it this far.  This is my story to date.  This is me.  I'm not done yet.  I'm a work in progress in all areas of my life.  I plan on sharing all my ups and downs with you.  All my runs and important training tips I find a long the way.
Welcome to my corner of the world!