Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Weekly Review - 5/18-5/24/2015

So, yeah.  I've gone a week without posting anything but the recap, but I'm just too busy living outside the computer.  Sorry, not sorry!  I do have another post partially in the works, but I haven't finished it.  We'll see if that happens this week.  If not, oh well...

The first week of my plan went great!  I have been sore in places I didn't know I had, identified new weaknesses (and strengths - woohoo!), and overall, just enjoyed myself in my workouts this week.  Not running has really taken the stress off... Yeah, I'm still a bit obsessive about numbers (in lbs lifted or heart rate on the cardio... yes, I'm still training by heart rate even when not running!), but I'm not beating myself up over anything.

Physically - with regard to my injury - I feel good.  Only after doing something really crazy (like running around the kids playground at an 8:49 pace the other day for a short bit or doing tabatas including high knees and shuttle runs followed by incline walks on the treadmill) do I feel a bit of a twinge out of my hip, but it doesn't get worse during the activity and it is gone shortly thereafter.  So, I'd say I'm definitely healing, but not totally back to normal again.  I might not ever be, but I'm taking it one step at a time.  Still doing MCM no matter what.  Trip is already planned and committed to, right down to the hotel.

I'm thinking my weekly reviews might be really boring for the next few weeks as I'm doing this routine.  I'm doing the same split workouts - with slight variations within - each day.  My cardio changes a little, though.  The plan is still to post, though, even just for my own record.  So feel free to read as you wish.  :)

Monday: Chest Day.  I've always been kind of weak in this area, but I surprised myself by putting up some crazy high numbers (for me).  I think it's the new preworkout I'm using because I followed this pile on the weight and feel great thing all week long.  Other than kind of crashing in the afternoon and requiring a cup of coffee to pull me back up I am having no ill effects from this one.  The last stuff I tried had me feeling like I was in permanent anxiety and/or rage mode so I was a little scared to even try another.  Glad I did, though!  This might be a classic case of "you get what you pay for"!  After the chest weights I did a treadmill incline workout I found on Pinterest called the "Glute Burning Interval Workout".    It was really fun and I was able to walk 2 miles during it!

Tuesday:  Back Day.  Fun!  More PRs!  Then I did 30 minutes on the crossramp machine.  I really like the crossramps - they're not quite an elliptical because they don't have the fluid motion (or the handles to pull/push) but they're not a stair stepper either because your feet and legs do have more of a ROM.  I like the largely adjustable incline.  Anyway, I did the "Go Big Interval Challenge" and it was tough!  I was drenched in sweat but it was seriously fun.  Something else I notice about using the preworkout is that my heart rate is still way high heading into my cardio so I'm really burning off the calories.  On workouts like this when it's "easy" I try to have my heartrate at my easy run range.  When it's the hard interval part, I let my heart rate go to race pace heartrate.  Hey, it's keeping my mind active and keeping things interesting and fun.

Wednesday:  Arms and Core.  What I thought would be the easy workout of the week really ended up being the most challenging.  oof!  I did supersets and trisets with no rest periods and really threw down some weight on the cable machine.  Then I did a core tabata workout.  I did 8 rounds each of stability ball crunches, planks, and twists.  After all that I put in 30 minutes on the spin bike for a bit over 12 miles.

Thursday:  Leg Day.  Holy freaking crap.  I always forget that leg day is like the long run day of weightlifting until I get back to it.  Just trashed... but in that good way.  Hardest part was the damn leg curls... stupid freaking tendinosis of the hamstrings let me know it was still alive during these...  But I made it through!  Although it made the 30 minutes on the elliptical (yeah, the "real" elliptical, which I still do not have a love for) sheer agony.  I tried a "Brazilian Butt" workout from the internet and it was just terrible.  I really tried to go hard when I was supposed to but my legs were so dead.  I barely managed a sub 14 minute mile pace ffs... I probably would have been better off just walking. lol  Oh well, all part of the learning experience and the plan.

Friday:  Thank God the legs got a bit of a rest! lol  This was Shoulder day.  Getting better all the time on these exercises!  Cardio today was an incline HIIT workout on the treadmill (another Pinterest special).  I did NOT like this one at all.  Instead of varying the incline and speeds it pretty much just went from nothing to maximum incline and then stayed there and just varied the speed slightly.  I got annoyed and started playing around with it halfway through.  But, look on the bright side - another 2 miles on the legs!

Saturday:  Arms and core again!  Same workout as Wednesday.  This time instead of following it up with the bike, I got on the crossramp again and did a Glute Burner interval workout that was really fun.  It definitely made up for Friday's stinky cardio.

Sunday:  Rest day... or at least it was supposed to be.  While the kids were playing at a playground I took the opportunity to use the little trail/path that goes around it to walk.  Then I thought, I want to try to run a little.  So I did 2 short little running intervals - I don't even know how long they were I just kinda counted to 50 in my head, and completed the walk for a mile.  I didn't know how fast I was going until I looked at my phone afterward (I was using Endomondo to track) but I was going around 8:49 when I was running.  Meh.  What I do know is that while it didn't feel bad, it didn't feel amazing either, so I'm not ready to start making a conscious return just yet.  The good thing is that I wasn't in pain, just felt weird, and nothing ever intensified throughout and - most importantly - I didn't feel anything at all later on that day or the next.  Again, one step at a time.  And I've got time. :)

Here at the end of week one I'm feeling accomplished and driven again.  I like this.  I've lost 2 lbs (probably all water weight, don't get excited) and almost a full percent of body fat.  I blame most of that on nutrition, really.  I'm not doing anything fancy - just higher protein (1g per lb of bodyweight minimum) on lift days and higher carb on rest day.  I'm not denying myself anything, I'm just making what I want fit in.  I've drank beer, even (PNC park requirement!).  I've even gone out to eat.  I'm not starving, not doing anything stupid.

I put 25.14 miles on my legs this last week!  I know it's not all running, but it's something!  Anything to keep the cardio fitness going is winning to me!  Also - I did do yoga most days, just very short and self guided sessions.  I didn't do videos or written out guides and I didn't time myself.  I just sort of went with it!  Who am I?

Mom brag of the week: We went to the kids school for a Showcase of Innovations and each of the kids had a station where they were presenting something.  It was really fun and it seemed all the kids enjoyed themselves!  Above: Garrett and his partner were testing various objects for conductivity (these are Kindergarten kids!  Wow!), Vincent took apart a baby toy and can tell you what each part on the inside does, and Victoria was doing a presentation on the Navajo Indians and how they came up with their names based on the book "Sing Down the Moon".  All the kids there really impressed me.  It's always great to see kids excited to learn and share and be PROUD of themselves!  I'm a very big fan of celebrating accomplishments instead of always pointing out the negatives.  Who wants to keep working and learning when you're wrong constantly?

Monday, May 18, 2015

Weekly Review - 5/11-5/17/2015

Hi everyone!  Sorry I kind of left everything on an odd note the other day.  I haven't had a lot of time to check back in.  I'm still here, still happy and active as ever!  In fact, I'd even bet that I'm getting more activity now than I did when I was running 50 miles a week!  I'm getting more quality vs quantity in the sense that I'm doing a lot of different things.  It's been fun weaving my way back into the "I'm at the gym to throwdown and workout" culture.

So today I started my new plan.  I'm focusing my next few weeks on leaning out and burning fat.  Training with long distance running being the focus tends to increase my body fat percentage - I mean, that's where you store the delicious carbs, yo!  But I don't need all that right now and I want to look as great as possible at Sandcastle all summer.  So, I'd like to drop my fat a few percentage points in the next month.  I'm not so much concerned with losing weight as much as shuffling around my composition a bit.

I'm upping my protein intake, taking some new supplements and I'm going to lift 6 days per week and do 6 days of cardio.  I'm doing split workouts because a) you get a better - more focused - workout that way and b) I just think it's fun as hell.  I'm going to throw in some HIIT, especially when it comes to Abs, and my cardio will be varied between walking, the bike and the elliptical.  If all goes well I may be able to add some running in during the very last week of this plan.  But I'm trying not to focus on that.  If it happens - woohoo!  But take today's workout for example - it was chest day followed by an incline treadmill walk which scorched calories!  So fun!

BUT - I'm getting ahead of myself here.  This recap is for last week, during which I kind of prepped myself for this plan by putting myself through some tester workouts.  Monday's workout was the only one I did fully at home... the rest I went to a "real" gym for.  I evaluated some strengths and weaknesses and reassessed my cardio fitness (which thankfully is still largely intact since I didn't have to take weeks off of exercise like the last time I got injured!  Yay!!).  I'm wearing my Polar HRM for every workout.

Monday:  I did a chest and core workout in my home gym that included chest presses, pushups (75 of the things - oof!), bench flyes, crunches, air bikes, etc.  Afterward I went outside in the heat and walked around my neighborhood.  I got in a little over 2 miles and felt pretty good.. the only time I truly felt anything iffy out of my hip/butt was going down a big hill.

Tuesday:  Back day!  I have no idea where this strength came from since I have not done these exercises on my own (just to demo for clients) for a long time.  I hit a new weight record on every single thing this day except the back extension, which didn't surprise me because of the nature of my injury.  I did pulldowns, several row variations, used the barbells and dumbbells as well as the cables.  Very pleased!  Then I put in a little over a half hour on the bike.  I did a "Random Hill" workout that really kicked my ass.. in that good kind of way!

Wednesday:  I had my awful Ortho appointment I posted about before early in the day so I didn't go to the gym.  I chose to have a pretty chill day, which ended up being just what I needed after that bummer of a visit.  I did a 36 minute yoga workout before bed, though, which really helped me find a sense of peace and serenity about the whole ordeal.

Thursday:  Arms and abs were my focus today at the gym and boy did I find some weaknesses here - particularly in the triceps!  Goals to work toward.. that's how I take it!  I did many variations of curls - dumbbells and barbell, dips, pushdowns, etc.  For abs I did air bikes, v-ups, and hanging leg raises.  I forgot how ridiculously fun swinging around like that was and I lost rep counts so I'm sure I did some extra.  For fun, of course.  ;)  After the monkey swinging I hopped on a spin bike and did a standard endurance workout.  It was really fun, although I had a little trouble with the resistance knob and it took a while to get my heart rate in the zone.

Friday:  Shoulders! Presses, rows, and raises.. loved it!  Fun to look at myself in the mirror and act like a badass.  haha.  Later on I figured "what the hell" and tried out a treadmill workout I found on Pinterest.  It was a walking incline workout and it looked like fun.  I can definitely say that it was more challenging than I thought it would be!  But that was great and I got another 2 miles on my feet!  I felt like I was really getting a great workout in and it was a little fun, I admit, to get a little obsessive about numbers and speed for a while.  I ended up cruising Pinterest again later and saved a whole bunch of different workouts for both the treadmill and the elliptical.  I'll get some use out of them these next few weeks!

Saturday: Another relaxing yoga day. :)

My lilacs finally fully bloomed!  They were beautiful and smelled wonderful!  Unfortunately they did not last long with the storms and whipping winds.  :(  I'm hoping I get more blooms out of it this year.

Sunday:  A total rest day.  Granted, I walked all over the place doing things with the kids, but nothing measured.  And that's okay.

I feel very positive and accomplished about this week!  I got in some great workouts and had some fun.  I will confess that my eating wasn't squeaky clean, though.  Since I had this plan mapped out that started today I did allow myself to eat a bit of junk the last couple of days.  My bedtime snack last night was a huge bowl of ice cream with whipped cream and caramel sauce.  But hey, it did have a banana chopped over it so I got a serving of fruit there.  lol  I'm committing to my macro balance for this challenge, though!

Oh yeah... cronuts happened too.

That's it - nothing much else is new here.  I'm staying positive and I'm still planning on a tester run here in a couple of weeks.  Down, but not out by a long shot!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Finding Answers

I had my follow up appointment with my Ortho yesterday.  If you remember my MRI update few posts ago I was in pretty good spirits heading into this.  His assistant had delivered me the news that I didn't have a stress fracture/avulsion injury and that I was pretty much on a "rest and wait it out" period.  I have been content with that and had been making plans for a gradual return as necessary.  I've been feeling really good - minimal soreness, I'm walking normally, moving normally in general, and most times I even forget that I have an injury.  I'm exercising via weight lifting, walking, biking, and yoga pain free.  So, I was honestly taken by surprise when my doctor met with me yesterday in full on doom and gloom fashion.  He pretty much had nothing good to say to me.

His exact words: "I highly urge you to forget running.  Just forget it."  After which he went on to tell me that there are other ways to exercise (I had to hold back from saying "I'm a personal trainer... no shit, dude") and even gave my husband and I information about where his colleague Freddie Fu and his team buy their bikes.

Forget running.  Wait - WHAT??

He gave me a copy of my MRI report and pulled up the pictures.  According to the scans, the radiologists report and his interpretation I actually have not one, but three stress injuries in my pelvis.  I have a grade 2 reaction in the left pelvic wing, and stress reactions on either side of the pubic symphysis.  My gluteus minimus is also strained (I'm guessing that's why I've felt like it was my piriformis bothering me all this time), and I have tendinosis in both hamstrings.

But all those things don't concern my doctor.  His concern is the findings of high grade chondrosis/degenerative joint disease (osteoarthritis) in the left hip.  Given my age, my past medical history, current injury status and progression, his opinion is that if I continue high impact activity (running) that I will need a new hip in no time.  He has also referred me to another endocrinologist for a full workup to see if I have any other underlying problems contributing to all this.  I haven't went into too much detail about it here on the blog but while I was pregnant with my second child I had a tumor in my thyroid.  I chose to continue my pregnancy and allow the tumor to grow and had over half my thyroid removed after I recovered from my c-section.  I had my hormones monitored for a time afterward, but everything seemed to be stabilized and I've just had regular appointments since.  So, I guess things could have changed in that department.  We will see.  Maybe my blood clotting issues play into it?  I have deficiencies in Protein C and Protein S, both of which contribute to my recurrent miscarriages.  Again, I don't know.

I'm honestly just in "uhhh" mode right now.  I feel fine!  I'm kind of in shock.  How can so much be wrong? How do I not know this?  I still feel like I'm in the best shape of my life!  I take Calcium and Vitamin D everyday.  I take glucosamine and MSM every day.  I am making the appointment with the endo today but I also want to get a second opinion from another Orthopedist.  I'm not going to fish around for someone to tell me what I want to hear.  Yes, I want to run.  I'll even settle for run/walk.  Or walk/run.  I'll run 15 seconds per minute if I can still run.  But I would also like to keep the hip God gave me intact.  Joint replacement scares the shit out of me, even if it has become a more common thing these days.  I'd like to avoid it.

I'm not angry. I think I've gotten all the anger out of the way in the prior weeks.  I'm really just confused right now.  I want answers.  If I absolutely, 100% definitely have to "forget running", then ok.  But I want to be certain that's not just a hasty judgement call.  I'm no doctor, but personally it's not over until the fat lady sings.  And I haven't heard a fat lady yet. I am going to do MCM no matter what.  Last night my husband even told me that he will come out on the course and walk in MCM with me if that's what it takes.  Thank goodness for races with long time limits..

So I'm in limbo right now.  I have no idea until I get some more answers what will happen from here.  I can tell you tomorrow I will be waking up at dawn and heading to the gym... just like I did today.  But where my fitness goals lie a month, 3 months, a year ahead?  I don't know now.  I'm looking at bikes.. maybe I'll get into endurance cycling?  Become a more serious yogi?  Get into pole or lyra?  Achieve the goal I had before of being a bodybuilder and competitive eater? :P   Here is my MRI report if you're interested in reading it.  Come be as confuzzled as I am... lol

The report says "Suggestive of degeneration".  How does that translate into a need to stop running immediately?  Help?

I'm not forgetting about running... yet.  I'm going to continue to take these weeks ahead to fully heal, and get some more opinions before hanging up my Adrenalines for good.  Anyone know a good Ortho office?  I've been at UPMC Ortho at Mercy in conjunction with the Sports Med building in the Southside.  I'm no stranger to having to search for docs... I can't tell you how many OBGYNs and REs and Urologists we went through to finally be able to have 3 successful pregnancies.  Every doc has a strength and weakness just like a patient and sometimes you have to look for the one that fits your puzzle...  My 1% chance of ever having a full term pregnancy and live birth resulted in 3 healthy and strong kids.  I'm not going to take 1 doctor telling me my running days are over to the bank without exploring more.

And just so this isn't a total downer of a post, I do have a mom brag!  Last night we attended the Sarah Heinz House end of the year awards ceremony.  Sarah Heinz House is awesome and I'm so glad that my family is a part of their family and vice vera.  My kids will be attending their summer camps again this year too and they are so excited.  Anyway, my daughter Victoria won an award for attendance.  She's so proud of herself and I am proud of her too.  Having extracurricular activities on top of school is always a challenge, but she loves doing swim lessons and club activities at SHH!

Congratulations on another great year at Sarah Heinz House, Tori!

Monday, May 11, 2015

Weekly Review - 5/4-5/10/2015

We're coming up on a busy time of year here in this household.  The kids' school year is winding down and that always comes with festivals, awards ceremonies, field trips, other activities, and generally a whole lot of running around in addition to what is the norm.  My husband is working a bizarre schedule as well.  I really don't mind the bustle of activity because it helps to keep my mind off my own crap.  Getting away from my own mental battering is tough when I'm either here or at the gym or here or at the gym, etc.

This week I got to watch my daughter take the stage in the All City Honors Chorus.  She's a soprano just like her mama.  I used to do the music festival circuit as a kid so it was cool to be on the other side of the stage later in life and have that perspective. :)

My singing lady!

My oldest two kids also participated in their school Science Fair and both won awards for their efforts.  My daughter did her project on: "Which Tomatoes Rot Faster - Organic or Conventional" and ended up winning Best Procedure (we bought tomatoes of both kinds and she documented through writing and photos each day what happened).  My son did his on "Would The Titanic Still Have Sank If..." and his theory was based on what would have happened if the water tight compartments would have extended the entire length of the ship instead of only a portion of it.  He won Best Conclusion.  I am so proud of both of them!
Before the Science Fair.

Climbing trees outside the school is fun!

I also got to celebrate Mother's Day with a little program at the kids' school as well as over the weekend.  My youngest got me a little flower and it had a sweet poem to go with it.


We even did a little "find the flower part words" game in the classroom!

I loved watching them play even if I couldn't join in.

Also, if you haven't watched Disney's Monkey Kingdom yet, it is worth the time and money spent at the theater.  What a great movie.

Well, I guess I'll tell you how I fared in my workouts this week, since you probably came here for that and not to listen to me talk about the kids.  Although really this is something I do reflect on while injured - I really get wrapped up in running when I'm going at it full on and I have a tendency to want to push the importance of it higher in my priorities of thought in my head than it really should be.  I mean come on, it's not paying my bills or even changing my cat litter.  It's just something I *do*.  It's supposed to be for fitness and fun.  It's not my life.

Monday: I walked a mile around my neighborhood.  I just took it easy, and felt ok.  I also did a killer Chest & Triceps workout.  I had DOMS so bad for the next two days that it was hard to function.  My triceps even hurt to the touch.  God I love that!

Tuesday: I walked another easy mile around the hood.  Really the goal is just to stay loose and get my heart rate up a bit but not push anything.  I also did my old PT legs routine.

Wednesday: I did a shoulders & core workout.  I love working shoulders.. it's probably my favorite part to focus on.  My shoulders respond quickly and well to targeted exercise and I think maybe that's why I find it so fun - quick results, you know?

Thursday: I did a 1 hour yoga workout with a concentrated effort on balance work.  It felt really great and I was very loosened up when I was done.  I ended up walking a little over 2 miles around my neighborhood afterward!  I went the slightly hillier way too!

Friday: I did a core workout that I dug up from last MCM training cycle.  I picked it because of the superman variations.  I figured my pelvis could use the stability work.  I followed it up with a short 10 minute yoga session.  It was a lighter workout day than Thursday, but I'm not complaining!

Saturday: I did a 20 minute yoga video - more balance practice.  It felt great and I ended up feeling pretty accomplished with the week.  No real need to push anything else from here, given the circumstances.

Sunday: No scheduled exercise, but I did spend the day out and about and ultimately ended up at a playground with my kids.  I acted like a kid too and got on the swings and then did some strength moves on the monkey bars... lol.  This was actually probably the worst thing I did all week - the swing irritated my pelvic wing a bit and I landed a little hard on my feet after one of my bar sessions.  Oh well - I'm feeling fine today.  My attitude is currently that I can't let trying to live in a bubble for running purposes control my world.  Yes, I want to get out there and run and heal up and all that but at the same time I have to be able to live and have fun and play with my kids too.  They're growing up and I'm getting older and I can't stop time.

I think I had a pretty good week, all things considered!  I go back to Ortho on Wednesday and we'll see what happens from there.  Next week I'm planning on undertaking a pretty heavy lifting challenge.  I just hope the rest of my supplements get here on time.  Right now I'm personally looking at June 7th as my first "test run", unless my doctor has an objection to that.  Until then, I'm pretty content doing what I'm doing.  In addition to the walking, I'm going to be adding some elliptical and bike to my routine in the coming weeks.

I hope you're all doing well out there and enjoying the beautiful sunshine.  I promise I'm going to get caught up on reading all my blogs.  My schedule changes again starting tomorrow and I'm hoping I can dive in tomorrow late morning!

It is super hard to take selfies while impressing your kids with your swing skills! Haha!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Moving Forward

I'm in a great mood.  I have been for the past couple of days, thankfully.  Sometime Saturday night/early Sunday I made my mind up that I was done having my pissy pity party and being a negative Nancy about everything.  Yeah, yeah, the timing sucked on this injury.  Big time.  But you know, shit happens and we are not in control of every single aspect of life no matter how hard we try.  I don't know why this happened to me (other than the previously mentioned anatomical issues I have).  I was feeling great and thought I was doing everything right.  I strength trained, did my stretching routine daily and did yoga too, I ran most of my miles slow, at the time of my injury I certainly wasn't increasing my mileage, I was eating well, etc.  I wasn't nursing any niggles and didn't feel a single thing wrong with me until that 7 miler that felt stiff.  Again, shit happens.  Whatever.  Moaning about it and feeling bad about myself and the world doesn't help. So - moving on!

I've got another reason for my good mood too.  I finally heard back from ortho regarding my official MRI results (yes, I'm ticked I had to wait this long, but that's another story).  I'm thrilled to know that the doctor's initial impression was incorrect based on the first x-rays and exam.  I do NOT have an avulsion or any other stress fracture!  Yes, I tore up the muscle pretty well and have some damage there and there's possibly a mild stress reaction where the tendon inserts in the pelvis.  But, thankfully I was smart enough to stop running before it became an actual fracture.  Another few steps and I could have been done for.  My current prescription is "activity as tolerated", which pretty much sums up my doctor's mantra of "don't do anything that hurts".  I go back in the middle of next week to see him again, probably have more x-rays, and see where things go from there.  He might send me back to PT, might not.  This is pretty much just a "wait it out" thing.  But, no where NEAR what I had to deal with before... whew!

I am so freaking happy.  Yeah, it sucks I had to DNS two races.  But I'd rather this than the alternative.  I'm going to take this really easy.  I'm definitely not going to be running for a few weeks... nope.  Not going to do it however tempting it is.  I'm going to go for walks, ride the bike if I can, and do a ton of strength training and relax!  I'm even tempted to buy a real bike and go for rides on the trails I love over the summer.  I haven't had a real bike since I was a kid (yeah, I know, sad - right?)!  I did a killer chest and triceps workout yesterday and had DOMS so bad picking up a coffee cup was hard this morning... lol.  I missed this!  I also started doing my home PT workout again.  It seems to help.

I figure if all goes as I hope it does I'll start running again by the end of June.. taking it slow.. probably run/walking.  I have a 6 month post-injury speedwork ban so that's definitely out for the rest of the year.  I'll make it to MCM, though.  I'm probably either going to try a bare bones novice Higdon plan or a run/walk plan.  I won't be looking at a great time or a chance at a PR, but I'll get there in one piece and have a great time and enjoy the whole experience of it.  At the end of the day, that's all that matters.

Me acting goofy taking selfies before an MRI.  Who does that crap? Guess I do.  Must be those irresistibly sexy hospital gowns. 

Friday, May 1, 2015

My Goals for this Weekend

I'm sitting here enjoying a cup of Deadman's Reach.. which is by far the best coffee on the face of the planet.  I refuse to believe otherwise.  It's fantastic and worth the reaming I take from Whole Foods for it.  It will pick your tail up and send you flying that's for sure.  Even my husband says he can't tolerate a lot of it sometimes.  This is great stuff, folks... I really think if they gave this coffee to people in comas they'd wake right up.  It would be like that old movie Awakenings. RIP Robin - no one lived your struggle but you.

I'm debating going to the expo.  Nick wants to go.. pretty much for the GNC booth (getting a Gold card at race expos is free - which is a huge savings over the course of the year) and to shop around (and get free shit), but I don't know that I really want to be there.  It's not really worth picking up my packets.. I'll never wear the shirts for a race I didn't do and no one wants a full marathon bib right now.  And.. you can't transfer the 5k either.  So, I'm just out a whole lot of money (again) and when that doesn't always come easily around here it makes me mad.  Between last year and this year I have lost more money to Dick's/Pgh marathon than I have paid into the Marines.  That's SO not right.  If I didn't think I hated Dick's before for political reasons this sure doesn't give me any better feels about them.

But - whatever this is my life and I gotta get busy livin or get busy dying, right?  My main goal for this weekend is to make it through with my sanity intact.  I'm fully in the "up & down" phase right now.  Some moments I'm all "meh, whatever I don't care" and then others I'm either sobbing hysterically or going on an "OMG F THIS I HATE THE WORLD AND EVERYONE IN IT" tirade.  It's just not fair... but it is.. but it really isn't.

Pittsburgh Public Schools is even awesome enough to have scheduled the All City Honors Choir rehearsal (which my daughter is involved in) at the school that sits right on the 5K course on the North Side on Saturday morning.  That seemed super convenient when I was actually running the 5K, but now?  ugh.  They couldn't have picked a better place and time are you kidding me??

Hey, on the positive, though I've been eating pretty well the last couple of days (save for the red velvet cake) and I'm losing the long distance training carb bloat finally.  I don't feel too bad - really for what this injury supposedly is, I'm not doing bad at all.  I did a little lifting last night (upper body only) and I'm still walking ok.  The doc said I can do anything that doesn't hurt.

Other than just trying not to feel too sorry for myself, I'm looking ahead of course and trying to plan out the coming weeks.  A lot of it will be based on how I heal, but I'm going to do some nutrition cycling and strength train and flexibility work.  My son also said something pretty profound that's been circling my head but I'll get into that at a later date.

Don't get me wrong, though - I have my fingers crossed for everyone running on Sunday and I hope you all do even better than you hope to do.  You've already done all the work, you just have to get one last long run in.  Oh, and run it a little fast.  lol  You're all awesome runners.  I don't know any non-awesome runners.  Yes, that's a word. Hush.

One thing I do want to bring up after seeing many statements on Facebook, DailyMile, Twitter, private groups, and everywhere really - the weather.  And I'm only saying this as someone who on a good day does have a caring heart and has spent a chunk of time in Emergency Medical Services.  It is going to be warm.  You're not going to know you're dehydrated until it is too late.  Please take care of yourself.  I know you're all trying to make yourselves feel better by things like "It's not that hot" and "It's only going to warm up later" etc... and I totally get that.  But please don't let that cloud your judgement and the simple fact that (especially for full marathoners) it could get dangerous out there depending on how long you're on the course.  Temps in the 60s can negatively impact performance, too so don't be hard on yourself if the pace you've been running all these months feels harder than you think it should.  For example, had I been running Sunday, I was going to attempt a 3:45 marathon.  That's given "perfect" 40 degree running weather.  At 50, my expected performance would go down to 3:53 at the same effort, at 60, 4:01, and at 70 it would be 4:10.  Also, don't forget about the fact that at least in the beginning you're going to be tightly squeezed on the roads with 30K other people - that generates even more heat.

The following links are from an awesome running wiki and give info about running in warmer temps.
Impact of Heat on Marathon Performance (this is where the stats on performance came from - there's a cool chart in there)
Running in the Heat

I swear I'm not trying to be a downer but if I can save your behind from a med tent and keep the ERs clear for emergencies at least I'll have accomplished something good this weekend. ;)   I'm just someone who has seen people in the back of an ambulance for all kinds of things. Stay hydrated, dress appropriately (if you think you'll be chilly at the start wear stuff you can peel off as you go), and keep focused!  You'll be fine!

Most of all - have a ton of fun, cross that finish line in one piece, stuff your face with allll the food afterwards and then contemplate where your next adventure is taking you.