Help! This taper is killing me!

I have the taper crazies… So bare with this crazy person post.

Saturday is my big race and I am not ready, like at all. I hope that is just the taper crazies talking, but my running has been TERRIBLE lately. I struggle to finish runs, my long runs feel like a battle, and I just don’t feel right. Since moving to Kansas, I have had the worst allergies and I simply can’t breath. Not getting good, full breaths really messes up my running. I’ve tried several different medications (Claritin, Allegra, etc), but they all made me very drowsy… and a little high. I spoke to a pharmacist about it and he suggested Flonase, since it is a nasal spray and likely won’t give me the drowsy effects, so I am hoping that will work. I just don’t know if it will kick in before Saturday (I am still sneezing like every 10 minutes). It’s amazing how bad an easy paced run can feel when you can’t get a full breath.


So I guess I am adjusting my goals a little. I am going to run with the 1:55 pace group, which would be a PR for me… just not the one I wanted. I think given the hills and my allergies, even 1:55 will be a stretch. In fact, I am afraid that just finishing the race will be a problem. Paces that once felt easy are hard, and I don’t know how I am going to deal with those hills.

The hills are going to kill me...
The hills are going to kill me…

I can’t tell if this is an actual problem, like I am not ready, or if I am just scared (and crazy) because it is race week. My confidence is wavering and I am not trusting my training anymore.

Hospital Hill Half is not the only thing on my mind these days. Next week I officially begin training for my first marathon. On Saturday, after Hospital Hill, Frank and I are headed to Boston for his job. I’ll just be tagging along for the ride (and to get some much needed work done). However, this means that my first week of training for the Chicago Marathon can be on the Boston Marathon course. Couldn’t be more cosmic, right?

I don’t feel ready to start training for Chicago either. I’m scared of the long runs, especially since just finishing an 8 mile run has been a struggle these days. If this is just the allergies, I need to get it under control.

Tomorrow, I am going to the expo to pick up my packet, and I’ll try to write a quick post then. Keep some good vibes coming my way this weekend, as I think my lungs will need them. 🙂

Do you lose confidence before a big race? Do you have any good allergy remedies? 

Training Update: Running Longer!

My training has been all over the place this week! I skipped a run on Tuesday because I had a weird strain in my quad (likely due to sitting for over eight hours EVER SINGLE DAY). However, I really redeemed myself by the end of the week. I was excited about signing up for the Chicago Marathon and did a great job on my long run. Overall, things are looking good for the Hospital Hill Half.

Monday: Rest
This is usually my rest day. Felt good, but I had a weird feeling in my quad so I was a little worried.

Tuesday: Yoga
I still had a weird feeling in my quad so I took another day off from running. I did some hot yoga and felt pretty good by the end!

Wednesday: 3.1 Miles at 8:58 min/mi
This was the usual Wednesday Fleet Feet run, but I decided to do a fast finish run. My mile splits were 9:24, 9:13, and 8:12. I was feeling great by the end! We then stayed for a bit at the bar to drink and eat nachos. Overall, great day!

The Wednesday crew!
The Wednesday crew!

Thursday: Hot Yoga
I went to my friend’s place to do the Bikram series in her heated yoga room. It was awesome and we spent the whole time laughing and making fun of ourselves. The Bikram series is always great to work out any kinks and I felt great afterwards and into the next day.

Friday: 5 miles at 8:32 min/mi
I went down to campus and ran around the lakes there. I saw a few people I knew from my department running and it was a PERFECT day to be out. I took it at a pretty good pace and felt great. I had great runner’s high and was so glad to be out and about. My going away party was that night and I got the chance to say goodbye to all of my friends.

Saturday: Biked 1.5 hours
I’m not really sure how far I went; I just know that I was out about 1.5 hours. It was a pretty beautiful day!

Sunday: 14 miles at 9:26 min/mi
This was the longest run I’ve ever done! I was so excited to start getting longer runs in, especially now that I’m running Chicago in October. I always get really nervous about running half marathons, so I think running further really helped me get a little more ready mentally for the Hospital Hill Half. Frank rode his bike with me while I ran so I’d have someone to talk to. I think he thinks I’m nuts for running so much. I did yoga after and stretched out, although I am feeling a little sore.

Beautiful day for a long run.
Beautiful day for a long run.

I’m really gearing up to leave soon. I said goodbye to Lizzy today, who left to go back to Los Angeles. She has been a great running buddy and really helped encourage me to run further. I hope to see her again soon!

Lizzy and I at the finish of the Holy Half with our medals!
Lizzy and I at the finish of the Holy Half with our medals!

I’ll be doing my last few runs in South Bend over the next few days. This week will be a tough one, but once I make it to Friday, Frank, our two kitties and me are heading to Kansas!

Do you have any big life events coming up? What are you excited for this week?

The Chicago Marathon: I’m in!

It’s official. In 164 days, I’ll be running the Chicago Marathon.

I'm running the Chicago Marathon!!!
I’m running the Chicago Marathon!!!

What’s in front of me are months of upping my mileage, stretching like crazy, a few 20 miler training runs, and well, crossing that finish line. I think if it hadn’t been for the support of my friends here (especially Kristina’s #peerpressure post), and my family, who are going to be there in Chicago with me, I probably wouldn’t be doing this. I’m nervous, excited, happy, a little shocked, and well, hopeful that I’m not a complete moron for signing up.

I'll be crossing that start line soon enough!! 162 days, to be exact.
I’ll be crossing that start line soon enough!! 164 days, to be exact.

I guess some really long runs will give me a chance to learn my way around my new town! I’m pretty excited about that.

My new apartment is that tall brown building. I'm gonna be living downtown!!
My new apartment is that tall brown building. I’m gonna be living downtown!!

I’m also going to use this as an opportunity to really get back to my yoga practice. Now that I got the cyst on my hand removed, I’ll have full range of motion in my wrist again. That means I’ll soon be back to handstands and arm balances! Oh, and I’m sure some leg and core strengthening won’t hurt my marathon training.

Do you have any big races in the fall? What’s your favorite distance to run?

A BIG few days

My last two days have been pretty crazy. Yesterday, I went to the doctor to have them look at a cyst in my right wrist, and they were just like… “yeah, we’re gonna take that thing out”. After a bit of a traumatic procedure (there were lots of needles involved), they removed it and sent me on my way. Hopefully the swelling will go down and I can get back to my yoga practice soon.

Today was rather exciting too:

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I haven’t signed up yet, and I have a few days to think about it. My family is super excited and really wants to come and cheer me on. I think it would be a great first marathon for me, since I do love the crowds at races. It would also be a nice way to say “good-bye” to area that I’ve called home for the last five years. I’ve been going back and forth all day.

Well, given the state of my hand, I’m gonna keep things short. Good luck to anyone still waiting to hear on their lottery application!

Some Goals, Weather, and a Dream!

This weekend is the season opener for the DINO trail racing series, and I couldn’t be more excited! I’ll be headed to Mounds State Park on Friday, to camp and wake up early for a 15K. The best part is… husband is running too! He’s doing the 5K, but I’m pretty excited to have him racing with me. He isn’t often a runner, but it’s fun when he comes out. The race is likely to be a muddy one. The snow has melted on the trails and it is projected to rain on Friday and Saturday. I guess that just makes for interesting trail conditions.

Perfect recipe for some muddy trails. Bring it on!
Perfect recipe for some muddy trails. Bring it on!

Typically I don’t have time goals for trail races, since the terrain and trail conditions play such a large role in race difficulty. I’ll be shooting for 1:35:00, but my only real goal is to just have fun and run a smart race.

I completed Kristina’s Virtual 10K for Team Paws today! It was pretty awesome, and I walked away with a PR! To make the day even better, it was warm enough to wear shorts. Spring has finally arrived.

I'm getting fast! This was a pretty big PR for me.
I’m getting fast! This was a pretty big PR for me. 

So, I have a surprise. It’s more of a dream right now, but I wanted to tell you, since it could really change my training in the next few months…

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I entered the lottery to run the Chicago Marathon. I realize that most people will not be picked, but hey, maybe I will. I’ve always wanted to run Chicago. I was in town a few years ago during the marathon and it looked awesome. It would be my first, and I think it would be a pretty awesome race to debut at. We’ll see what happens…

Anyone else looking to do Chicago? What do you think about trail racing? Also, go wish Lizzy good luck on her Marathon this weekend!