Testing my limits in freezing and fitness


Many of you know that I have a new coach.  What you may not know is that he is making me work hard at some kick-ass workouts…..and I am loving it!  Saturday he had planned a cycle workout, which looking at beforehand I NEVER thought I could complete…..but I did! 🙂  I absolutely love pushing my limits to see what my body can do.  And I’m excited to have someone pushing me that can see the big picture (I am NOT a big picture person when it comes to my running), which means my workouts should help me get over this injury hump and hopefully stay on the not-injured side of life.

Yesterday I ran my “long” run, which I understand was conservative as a result of where I’ve been since running Plano 3 weeks ago.  It was a timed run (90 min) versus running a specific distance.  I am training almost exclusively by heart rate, which is probably the best way for me to train.  I tend to get caught up in splits (odd, I know, because I’m so S-L-O-W), but running by HR I can simply change the screen on my Garmin and I never have to see my pace! (Out of sight, out of mind….kind of)  The long run was hands down the best run I have had in months.  It was effortless.  My legs felt so fresh and my heel behaved quite nicely.  Don’t get me wrong, I am still fighting to put this injury to bed for good, but when I look back from where I’ve come I realize how much progress I have made.  At this point, I feel that I am working to keep reinjury from happening rather that working through the injury, if that makes any sense.

The beautiful sunrise on my way out for my run. God is good.
The beautiful sunrise on my way out for my run. God is good.

When your friends are named Elsa

We all have that ONE friend that continually talks us into things we probably would never do otherwise.  For me, that friend is Elsa the Ice Queen….I mean, Erica.  Erica has been trying to talk me into cryo for weeks.  In reality, I did want to try it, but I live in the sticks, people, plus I have 3 kids which results in me having a hard time just trying to fit my workouts in!  Saturday, Alli and I went shopping and I had cupcakes to deliver to Erica.  As we were trying to decide where we would connect, she *remembered* that she had a cryo appointment.  Alli and I were able to break away and meet her at the cryo place.  Since she was the only one there at the time, she graciously asked if they could fit me in…..OF COURSE they could!  LOL

I arrived with the cupcakes just as she was getting finished and she was wayyyyy too excited about me getting in to freeze my bum off.  The dude suggested that I limit myself to 90 seconds and since it was my first time, and I gladly agreed.

Perhaps my brain should have sounded an alarm when I was instructed to put 2 layers of gloves on my hands and these huge furry slippers on my feet – I’m assuming to avoid frostbite.

If only I had known how COLD I would be!
If only I had known how COLD I would be!

When I got in, the attendant raised the platform just enough so that my head was exposed and then the torture session began.  Before 30 seconds had even passed, my teeth were chattering and I was shaking all over.  So, so cold!!  (Have I mentioned how I HATE being cold?)  It seemed like an eternity, but at the same time it went by quickly, thank goodness!

My teeth were chattering! (OK...it doesn't take much to make my teeth chatter but it really was cold!)
My teeth were chattering! (OK…it doesn’t take much to make my teeth chatter but it really was cold!)

You do feel invigorated when you are finally out of the chamber.  The guy that was working said that it was because I had more oxygen in my blood.  Maybe that is true, or maybe it is because I was absolutely freezing and my body wanted me to get moving to combat the cold.  In any case, I did feel refreshed afterward and it was MUCH less painful than an ice bath!

Elsa, I mean Erica, had just completed a hilly half-marathon and swears that it helped her recovery.

Rock ‘n Roll St. Louis, baby!

My next race, <cough> I mean training run, is this coming Sunday.  I am flying out Saturday morning and can’t wait to spend the weekend with my favorite Twitter runners!  I know my heel isn’t ready for a race, so I am going to have to be happy with a training run.  But Crazy Jen is always lurking just around the corner and she wants to run this as a race realllllly badly!

How can I be disappointed when I get the opportunity to spend the weekend with some great people from across the country, even one from outside the country?!?  And this is just one more milestone in my coming back strong for Dallas Marathon, which is now a mere 2 months away. <GASP>

Happy Monday, all!



When all you can think is “Poor Jen”

When the Drama Queen comes out

It has been said that running is 90% mental and I completely agree.  But I think recovery requires more mental stamina.  Mentally, I’ve been dealing with this stress fracture in my heel very well.  For the most part, I’ve kept a positive attitude and have been able to focus on the positives.  I haven’t felt sorry for myself (well….not much) and I’ve been committed to doing everything in my power to help this fracture heal as quickly as possible.  But being mentally tough takes a lot of energy and effort.  And sometimes, you just have to let your guard down and wallow in self-pity, which is exactly what I did yesterday (even though at the time, I was just reactive and none of it was intentional).

My day long pity party was triggered by doing absolutely nothing this week.  While keeping my foot up has helped the healing process, there is no doubt in my mind that it drug me down into a mental slump.  I mean, I’ve watched the entire first season and half the second season of Game of Thrones….THIS WEEK!  (The ankle is feeling much better, by the way.)

I can still cross train on my bike and went out for a less than stellar ride on Tuesday.  I think I’ve been hanging on to that ride and projecting it onto my entire recovery.  Yesterday, I woke up in a foul mood and proceeded to speculate about how my recovery will affect my training (negatively, of course).  Plano Balloon Half Marathon in September was to be THE race of my fall racing season.  The more I thought about it, the more I became convinced that I would not be able to run Plano under any circumstances.  I don’t want to say I had given up, but I was definitely beginning to give up on the hope that I might make it back in time to train for Plano.

I shared my fears and concern with my partner/coach.  He suggested that I not speculate and just wait and see how things progressed.  Of course, Negative Nelly (ME) continued to counter with all the reasons that I was SURE I wouldn’t be able to run.  Then something he said resonated with me.  He said, “Even though you have given up, I haven’t.  I still think you have a chance.”  So I backtracked and explained that I was just trying to be a realist, trying to avoid complete and utter disappointment in the event I can’t run, yada, yada, yada.  (I was still swimming in the self-pity pool, by the way.)

I held on to the sadness and apprehension all day long, but ended up deciding that I couldn’t roll over and play dead.  I must stay the course and figured it was time for a bike ride.  When I climbed onto my bike and rode out of my driveway, all the stress of the unknown was weighing me down.  As the ride progressed, I realized that my ankle was, indeed, feeling much better.  I left my doubt and fear out on the road and felt like a new person when I hopped off my bike at the end of the ride. IMG_4674

I’m still concerned about Plano.  I still think it is a long-shot.  But whatever happens will happen.  I am pouring my heart and soul into recovery and will do everything in my power to get back out there.  At the same time, I realize that so much of this is out of my control.  Missing one race isn’t going to make or break me, but trying to rush into running a race I’m not ready for could set me back quite some time….I need to keep this in the forefront of my mind.

I’m not sharing this to garner sympathy.  I am sharing because I think it is important for us runners to give ourselves permission to acknowledge the negative feelings every once in a while.  It is important to give voice to our fears, air them and then realize that they aren’t as bad as we thought.

And now the Jen you all know is back, refreshed and renewed, and ready to tackle the next phase of recovery!

At least one of us kicked the boot to the curb

Yesterday was a big day for Alli.  We went for her 2-week follow-up visit on her fractured growth plate in her foot.  All signs point to healing more quickly than our doctor expected, so she is out of the boot!!!  He has advised us to ease back into volleyball activities over the next couple weeks, because she will be at risk for reinjury for a bit.  She was beyond happy that she doesn’t have to sleep in the boot anymore (and I COMPLETELY understand!!  I only have 26 more nights….)  Of course, we celebrated with Bahama Bucks!IMG_4648

A family feud is brewing

Bobby bought a Jeep this week.  Taylor has wanted one FOREVER, and, according to her, we were just waiting for her to go off to college to make this purchase.  (She said the same thing about the pool!)  Alli and I drove it around town and had so much fun!  I think this should be my new summer vehicle! Bobby took Taylor and Logan out this afternoon and gave them the first lesson in driving a standard.  It went…..better than expected.  IMG_4657

I’m suddenly very thankful that my dad refused to purchase any vehicle with an automatic transmission.  I learned to drive a standard when I was in junior high out in the pasture in my Granddaddy’s old truck.  And even though I wasn’t terribly excited about the standard transmission that I drove in high school, I’m now very glad that I know how to drive a stick!

"Old Blue"
“Old Blue”

Great memories!!

Happy weekend!