Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Training Tuesday - A Bit of a Stretch

No, I haven't taken up yoga.  Its a bit of a stretch to call what I did this past week "training."  I need a plan, or else things start to go to crap.  I suppose I could consider this a rest before I begin my big training at the beginning of the year.  Mostly I just feel lazy.

Planned ~ Interval run
Actual ~ Girls lunch
Chips & salsa curls it is!

Planned ~ Easy run
Actual ~ Shopping!
Took my dad to the doctor for his total knee replacement follow up surgery, and ended up Christmas shopping afterward.

Planned ~ 4 mile run
Actual ~ 4 mile run
Felt speedy on this one!

Planned ~ nada
Actual ~ nada

Planned ~ 12 mile run
Actual ~ 10 mile run
Met up with the training group and caught 4, then me and a buddy went out to grab a few more miles.  This coming week is her first half, so she didn't want to over do it.

Planned ~ nada
Actual ~ nada

Planned ~ total body
Actual ~ nada
Jay was in town, so he took me out to lunch.

So yeah, the half this weekend will be interesting.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Thankful Thursday - the Daddy edition

My dad had his total knee replacement surgery a few days post Ragnar.  Heavily medicated, the nurses didn't believe he was the driver for 5 blondes (and his brunette daughter) to run from Chattanooga to Nashville in less than 2 days.  I very much enjoyed seeing the nursing student's expression when I confirmed the story was true, and we already wanted to book his services for next year.

At the first of the year, he had his other knee replaced and the surgery went great.  He was in a toot to get the other one done - partly because of how great the new knee was feeling and party because he'd already met his deductible for the year.  This time around we were hoping it would go as well, and feared he wouldn't deal well with the disappointment when it didn't.   And we were right.  It didn't go as well.

It went better.

When it was time for him to be discharged from the hospital 2 days after his surgery, he walked unassisted - no wheel chair, walker, or even cane - to his car.  His therapists have had the problem of forgetting his surgery was as recent as it was, thanks to the progress he's been making.  They've tried to put him on the bicycle, only to remember its a bit too early for that. 

Yesterday I had the pleasure of taking my dad for his one month post op appointment.  We went to McKay's used bookstore to sell old books and shop for new ones.  Okay, who am I kidding.  I went to shop.  He went because my mom had loaded up a few bags, but he had fun playing on his phone while waiting on me to make my selections.

After a Trader Joe's stop and grabbing lunch at a Nixon's deli, we headed to his appointment.  Most of his stitches are out at this point, and his scar is already looking great.  It surprised me now not grossed out it looked.  (Technical writing on my part huh? :P)

My dad's doctor is an excellent surgeon.  Front the incision site to how quickly my dad recovered, these are all testaments to what a great doctor this man is.  What blew me over, however, was his bedside manner. 

The family had heard the tale (many times) about how the doc hung the signed, framed picture of my dad in his referee uniform - asking first where my dad would like it.  He works on the University of Tennessee athletes, so we knew others had given pictures as well.  We just assumed it was only collegiate or professional athletes. 

If I'm honest, I have to admit tearing up when I first saw the picture of a patient and his daughter at her wedding.  The note: Thanks to you I walked my daughter down the aisle.  Another photo showed a client posed beside a bear he'd killed on a hunt.  Yet another had a patient in front of his prize winning angus cow.  In the place of honor (directly where patients face as they talk to the doc) was a nun who'd had both her knees replaced.

I don't like being weepy and emotional.  As a matter of fact, I make fun of my father for it on a regular basis.  (Yes, one time I even passed him a tampon as he was crying in a movie.)  But yesterday I couldn't help but feel overwhelmed at just how blessed we are. 

We, as the patients/families touched by this good doctor so much they wanted to express their thanks.

We - my dad, mom, sister, and me - having been through 5 family surgeries and a lost job in the past 2 years and making it through the other side successfully.  (3 - dad, 2 mom)

We - my dad and I - for having that father daughter dance which, while defying polite society, summed up our relationship with 3 minutes of him wanting to kill me and loving every minute.

Me, for having my parents, grandparents, sister/BIL/niece/nephew as a major part of my life.

Me, for having a husband, job, and life that allows for time with my family - especially when they need my help.

I am blessed,
 far beyond what I deserve. 
For that,
to God,
I am thankful.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Training Tuesday - Limbo

I've got a half marathon in 2 weeks, but haven't really trained for it.  I've done some a long runs trying to keep up my distance.  My next race isn't scheduled until March 30th - I'm already registered for the Covenant Health Knoxville {half} Marathon.  I kinda feel like I'm in limbo without a specific training plan in mind.
Planned: Winterfest
Actual: Winterfest

This is the hardest working day of my year.  We throw a parking lot party for 3,000-7,000 or so - providing everything free of charge.  The planning lasts for months (at least for a few of us), but this day is  exhausting.  A 12 hour shift leaves little time for anything more than falling into bed at the end of the day.

Planned: Run
Actual: Rest

Had to do a bit of clean up from Winterfest, but mostly I was just worn out.  The Wednesday prior, I had company come.  The day they left we quickly cleaned up only to entertain more guests that evening.  Then the following day (Monday) I hiked with friends.  I'd been going non-stop for a solid week and felt every bit of it!

picture from my hike,
because who knows when i'm going to get caught up
enough to devote an entire blog to it.

Planned: Run
Actual: 3.5 mile Wog

I probably took more walk breaks than I should have, but still averaged a pace in the 10s.  Still feeling the tired from earlier in the week, I just tried to enjoy the perfect weather of the day and get the body moving a bit.

Planned: Rest
Actual: Rest

I contemplated getting a long run in, but given my ignorance about trail running (a race I was doing the following day) I decided to take yet another rest day.

Planned: Trail Race
Actual: Trail Run
I didn't exact race this one, but I completed my first trail run on Saturday.  Since it was a prediction run, we weren't allowed watches or phones.  Headphones are also not allowed on trails.  It was hard for me spending over an hour in the woods, running in circles with no clue where I am or how much I have left.  I walked (not power walk for efficiency, but slow walk in defeat) more of this than I care to admit.  But I finished, and didn't fall.  That's gotta count for something.

Planned: Run
Actual: Rest

Assuming I wasn't sore from the trail (and I wasn't) I wanted to get a 5-6 mile pace run at least, if not a full 10-14 mile long run.  I had church, then lunch with the family.  Then I just went home and crashed. #fail

Planned: Total Body
Actual: Total Body

This was my first time back to this class in over 6 weeks.  I dropped down in weights (8# for my heavy set and 5# for my light weights).  I'm not all that sore today, so I'll definitely be going up next Monday.

Friday, November 15, 2013

On Cosby Moonshine Race Report

I always look forward to the Moonshine run.  Historically, its my fastest 5K of the year despite the extra 0.1 they tack on to allow for high school cross country racers.  Each summer I slog through the heat and humidity.  Each October I race 3.2 miles, beating not only my previous 3.1 paces, but also times.

Two years ago, my grandfather took place in the 70-79 category.  The first place winner was in his early 70s and a runner.  Papaw was 79 at the time and never one for "fitness" activity.  His farm has kept him busy his whole life - first helping his dad, then supporting his wife and daughters, then as a 2nd job when he went to work at a factory, finally as something to keep him young after retirement.

Both leading up to and following the Iron Horse Half Marathon, I was experiencing hip/low back pain.  Not necessarily while I ran, but most noticeably in the time following my runs.  At one point, Jay noticed me limping and told me I had to stop running temporarily, especially if I wanted to be able to participate in the Ragnar relay two weeks after the half.

Sandwiched between the two races was the On Cosby Moonshine Run.  Knowing I'm too stubborn to DNS, my wise hub-sand suggested I participate as a walker instead of a runner.  Last year my papaw had a nasty virus and was unable to enter the 80+ division.  This year he was feeling good enough to give it a go.

My sister and nephew drove down, and we made it a family event.  My dad, Jay, and the little man were our cheering section, as Papaw, Mama, Kelly & I walked the race.

I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a bit disappointed to go for a shot at 1st place in my a/g (I've got three 2nd place medals), but I felt honored to join my grandfather as he walked for his medal.  Also at the race, one of my besties, Kristi posted an awesome time - running a 12:XX pace. 

As we lined up towards the back, we met a pregnant runner - walking the event.  She said with us the entire time and I think we all enjoyed chatting. 

This part of Cosby is very near the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and provides so much beautiful scenery.  The bull dog typically on the course was absent this year, but we still saw our share of animals along the way.

We finished in just over 56 minutes, my grandfather insisting he could have gone faster.   We weren't last and spent the whole time walking at a comfortable, conversational place.  After the last racers finished up it was time for awards.

I didn't place in my age group, but I did get to walk beside my papaw.  A farmer who's never raced in his life, who humbly walked his way to a first place in the 80+ category.  I cherish this photo far more than I ever could an a/g place medal and feel blessed to have had the opportunity to share this moment with my family.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Catching Up

Over the past month, I've been a very active participant in life.  While it has taken me away from the blog, it has given me plenty of fodder for future posts...whenever life finally does quiet down.

With my Papaw, sister, and mom, I walked the On Cosby Moonshine 3.2 miler.

The following week Jay and I joined the rest of Team Zach
for the Leukemia/Lymphoma Society Light the Night walk.
The next day...
I jumped in the Van on the Run to experience the Ragnar Relay.
He put off the surgery to be our driver, but 3 days after returning home from Nashville my dad had his total knee replacement surgery (if you're counting - that's 2 new knees for 2013).
Surgery went well and he's doing great.  My mom and I stumbled upon this sign at the hospital when we went for a walk to get some fresh air.  Certainly not the entrance (or exit) you wanna find!
I tried some new things.
Expressed much thanks.
Imbibed a bit too much during the Halloween pub run.
Celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary...
...entertained Jay's parents for an extended weekend...
...and met a Moonshiner
(turns out he's the one on the show that's never made a successful batch)
all in the same night.
The day after the in-laws went home, I celebrated the Veterans of this great country by hiking to one of the most scenic spots in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Then the next day, months of planning and prep work culminated in a 12 hour workday that ended with a bang.  Come for a visit and you'll be treated with Christmas lights in November.
Which brings us to today.  I'm going home, putting on jammies, and hibernating for the winter. 
Right after I do my first trail run, my next half marathon, and a Santa 5K. 
All before this time next month.
And I wouldn't have it any other way.