Sunday, September 28, 2014

Leg Update and Marathon Goals!

It's been 3 weeks since I wrote about my stress fracture. There have been a few bumps, but as of right now it's feeling good and I'm getting excited for the St. George Marathon next week! Here's what has happened:

After running 6 miles on the 6th and feeling good, I did another 6 mile on the 10th and still felt good so I got the go ahead to try 12 that Saturday (the 13th). I was super nervous about this run!

But I was also excited to get out because it had been a long time since I'd done a long run! I just took it super easy and made my way up my favorite route, City Creek Canyon. I turned around at mile 5, which is one mile up the canyon. I felt really good at this point! Yay!

It was a beautiful day and the weather was so perfectly cool. I wore my long sleeves for the entire run, but didn't feel too cold either. Since I was feeling good when I turned around at mile 5, I added a couple miles on by running up to The Avenues and I got to have this beautiful view of the city as the sun was coming up. I love my town. :)

When I started back down the canyon, my knee started hurting. I really think this is because of the slant in that road because it seems like every time I run up there lately, my knee and hip start to bother me. I don't know, but I hope that's the problem, and I hope that doesn't happen in the race!

The good news was that my stress fracture didn't really even bother me at all! It felt really good! I really took my time on this run, and it actually ended up taking me like 3 hours! Yikes! But I was happy that my leg was feeling good! On the way home I had to stop and wait for a train that had stopped on the tracks.

Two other women caught up to me while I was waiting so I ran and chatted with them the last mile. It turned out that they are also training for the St. George Marathon and they asked me if I was running my 20 miler like they were. Unfortunately, I was not, but I tried not to let that stress me out. They were at mile 11, the same as me, but they had 9 more miles to go. I hope it went well for them, and maybe I'll see them at the race!

My leg felt really good even after my run and the next day so I was feeling really good and happy! Then I went out for 6 miles Wednesday (the 17th, this is 4 days after the 12 miles). I went after I dropped George off at preschool so it was later in the day than I usually run, and it was HOT! I felt really good for the first few miles, but by the time I got home my leg was feeling really sore and I was totally worn out because of the heat! This is how many steps I took for that run... (Still loving my new toy!)

My leg was sore for the next WEEK after that 6 miles! I was feeling really discouraged. I called my doctor because I didn't feel like I should do the 17 miles I had planned on Saturday. He told me to wait until Monday or Tuesday. It was probably better that way because we had Elle's birthday party on Saturday anyway, and I had a cake to make.

Well, I was still a tiny bit sore Monday and Tuesday, plus I just didn't have time to do a long run until Thursday. So, even though that's a lot closer to the race then I would have liked, that's when I tried it out.

It's hard to believe, but I didn't take a single picture on that 17 miles! Haha. It was really nice because I started at 5am and got to run in the dark for the first couple hours. I was nervous about this, but it ended up being so nice and cool and I even wished I had started sooner when the sun started shining on me and it started getting hot. I did 3 out and backs to my house, just in case. The first two I ran up to Memory Grove, then I stopped at home to give the kids hugs before they left for school, then went out onto the parkway trail for 5 more (since that's all I had time for before Pete had to get to work) which gave me a total of 17.

I felt really good and was even able to push the pace a little bit on the last half mile! I am so happy that my leg didn't hurt and that it was just a tiny bit sore afterwards. Again, it was my knee and hip that bothered me the most and my hip was the most sore the next day. Hmmm, don't know if I can do anything about that in the next week. I'm not supposed to run at all until the race now. Scary, hu!?

St. George is in less than a week. A week from now, I will be sitting here writing the race report and hopefully it's a good one! :)

I have a list of goals that goes something like this:

a) FINISH and have a good experience
b) RUN those last 6 miles that I had to walk last time
c) Get a PR by at least beating 5:20
d) Come in under 5 hours (This is if I have a really good day, but I'm not going to stress about this!)

Stay tuned for the results next week!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

North Carolina Days 8 & 9 - Saying Goodbye

Saturday morning Katie and Brandon headed out and we headed down to the beach for one more day. This is when we saw some sting rays in the shallow water so we spent a lot of the day looking for more of them and the little fish that we saw a lot of. The girls also tried to show Ethan how to catch the crabs, but I don't think the water was at the right level to catch quite as many as the day before. But we did build some sand castles.

Played in the water, though the waves were pretty small this day.

And the kids turned me into a mermaid, which is a dream come true for me (almost)!  :)

We tried to eat up all the food we had in the house during the day, and picked up some more fried seafood and hush puppies for dinner at the drive in we at at the first night.

The next morning I went out for a walk on the beach, by myself this time, and was so happy that my leg was feeling so much better! I ended up walking 3 miles and I just didn't want to go back, it was so beautiful out there and who knows when I'm going to see the ocean again!

The wind was pushing me along on the way back and my leg was feeling really good so I ran just a tiny bit in the nice soft sand. That felt really good! But I was good and didn't run too much!

When I got back we got everything packed up and said goodbye to our house for the week. (When George talks about it he calls it "Grandpa's house by the beach." I don't think 3 year olds quite understand rental houses.)

We stopped by my grandparents' house for one more quick visit before we started the drive back to Raleigh for the flight home.

It was so great to see them!

Aren't they so cute, watching us drive away?

We stopped for lunch on the way, then got some snacks at the airport while we waited for our flight.

This time we had a lay-over so it took a lot longer to get home. It was dark by the time we left Atlanta and Elle asked me to take a picture because she thought it was so beautiful!

By the time we got home it was about 1am and we were all very glad to be back in our own city! It seemed like fall had arrived while we were gone and it felt so good to have it be nice and cool and NOT humid!

North Carolina Day 7 - Sunrise On The Beach

I finally got myself out of bed early enough to go for a walk on the beach to see the sunrise and look for signs of turtles with my dad. I think he went every morning while we were there, but you had to be up at like 4am our time (6am there) to see the sunrise and I just wasn't up for that most the time!

It was just starting to get light and the moon was still out when we started.

 We walked about a mile down and didn't see any turles, but the sunrise was beautiful!

And we did see a turtle nest site which is pretty cool even though you couldn't even tell other than by the sign and it being roped off.

Ah, it was so beautiful! I'm so glad I went!

This was Katie and Brandon's last day so we spent it at the beach again and had so much fun! I took a walk with Katie, Mindy and Elle to show them the turltle site and we also figured out how to tell where the little sand crab nests were at the edge of the water. It was kind of creepy how many we would find once we knoew where to dig! The girls filled a bucket full of them and counted 136 as they let them go!

My grandma also came down to visit us and played in the waves with us for a little while. She made a comment about how she thinks she's 15, and I just love it! She's such a great example to me of how to live your life to the fullest and stay active. I wish I had a picture of her catching waves on the boogie board!

For dinner we went to Crab Claw, which is another tradition when we go out there, and we had some delicous seafood! Of course, George was done before everyone else so I took him out for a walk on the boardwalk on the beach just outside and we found this little tiny playground at the public beach. There were just these cement turles, some bricks and a few swings, but that was good enough for George!

North Carolina Day 6 - There Be Pirates!

This was our Pirate day! We met my Grandma at the pirate museum in Beaufort.

Ok, it's actually called the Maratime Museum, but everyone was mostly excited to see all the pirate stuff. There is a big Blackbeard exhibit here because his ship, Queen Ann's Revenge, is sunk just off the coast.

I bought a really intersting book at the gift shop about The Great Age of Piracy, and come to find out a lot of the things we think about pirates are not true. Just like a lot of history, I'm coming to find out! It has been interesting reading this book, along with a book about Columbus I picked up at the library and a book about Lewis and Clark that I got for signing up for summer reading at the library.  Maybe I'm a bit of a history nerd, but it is facinating stuff to me!

After the museum, our group broke up and Pete and I took the kids to The Ruddy Duck at the Morehead City waterfront for lunch. I had been wanting to eat there again ever since our last trip when I got the most amazing fish tacos! I got them again this time, and they were still really good, but maybe didn't live up to the memory! Haha! Plus the kids were being quite crazy and we got way too much food! Oh well, maybe we'll learn someday.

After lunch, we met back up with everyone at the Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores. It's kind of a tradition to go here every time we come.

Taking a picture on this turtle is becoming a new tradition too. Here's this year:

Here's the photo (OH MY GOODNESS!) from 2 years ago:

The touch tank is really cool here. We got to feel some sting rays and a little shark. We saw 2 sting rays just like these, maybe just a little smaller, at the beach in the little tide pool on our last day out!

To tie the aquarium in with our pirate theme, here's an exhibit with a replica of the remains of Queen Ann's Revenge. It would be pretty cool to go diving and see it in person.

In the evening, Katie, the girls and I all went and got pedicures! It was a first time for my girls so that was really fun, and felt really good on my poor leg after all the walking around that day.

North Carolina Day 5 - Cape Lookout

This was probably our favorite day! We headed out nice and early and rode a ferry from Harker's Island to Cape Lookout which is on one of the barrier islands off the coast.

Here's Elle on the ferry when we stopped to look at the wild horses at the Shackleford Banks island on our way out. These horses are left behind from shipwrecks and early settlers of the area. Horses are not native to the Americas, and did not live here until the Spanish came over. You can't see them very well in this picture, but Elle loves horses so she was excited to see them. Unfortunatly we didn't get to see the dolphins I was hoping to see.

Here's our veiw of the lighthouse as we were getting off the ferry. It was such a beautiful day out there too!

The dock our ferry dropped us off and picked us up on.

Closer view of the lighthouse.

The keepers house, which is a museum now.

George was not tall enough to climb the lighthouse, but Elle was very excited to see that she was! She was the only one of the kids who decided to go up with my dad, Pete and Brandon. I stayed behind and went to the beach with Katie and the kids because of my hurt leg. Elle was also given a little booklet to fill out to become a junior ranger. When she turned it in at the end, she got to pick a nice big, pretty conch shell out of the bucket they had collected and a patch so it was a pretty exciting day for her!

George and I were both sad to not get to climb the lighthouse, but we did check out the museum a little bit. This area has quite an intersting history.

And we did enjoy the beautiful views of the beach and the lighthouse.

Beach selfie!

My dad found this shell (skin?) of a horseshoe crab on the beach as soon as he joined after climbing the lighthouse.

Here's my whole lovely group.

We spent the afternoon playing in the clear water and soft sand, and looking for shells (wishing we had brought goggles!). It was so nice and so much fun!

Just me, my kids and the lighthouse.

My awesome family.

We didn't want to leave, but we had to go catch our ferry back after 3 hours on this beautiful island! (It was probably about time to get out of the sun anyway) On the way back we got a little bit of a closer view of the horses. It was so beautiful out there.

North Carolina Day 4

Tuesday morning we woke up to a beautiful morning and the water was all dried up. You would never have known what a big storm we had the night before! This is our view from the deck of our rental house. Pretty nice.

We went to a nearby shopping center with my Grandma and had a fancy lunch at Rucker Johns. Here are the girls with the cool fountain outside.

Ethan is always happy to get to eat crab!

 I love my grandma! You can see George and Grandma with me and Ethan in the mirror.

Elle and Katie

Georgie's very nice kids meal: fried shrimp with mac and cheese. Yum!

I also got shrimp and noodles. It was all really good.

We spent the rest of the day at the beach. I didn't take any pictures this time since we got so many the day before!