THERE ARE LIMITS TO WHAT THE HUMAN BODY CAN ENDURE.... GO FIND THEM! (NB adv)

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Looking Back, Looking Forward

Like everyone, I'm finding it hard to believe another year has come and gone.  2013 was much different for me, but the good news is that even with the June injury, and training adjustment, the year was fun and successful.

Even though my training volume was much lower, I still like to look at the numbers.   For me, it's interesting, it's relevant, it's a teaching tool.
 (I know, I know, most of you "don't do numbers" so feel free to skip ahead)

2013
Running mileage - 1240 miles
Walking mileage - 227 miles
Biking mileage - 222.5 miles
Total mileage 1689.5 miles

as a comparsion

 2012          
Run - 2012 miles
Walk - 314 miles
Bike - 125 miles
Total - 2451 miles

2011
Run - 2001.5 miles
Walk - 250 miles
Bike - 300 miles
Total - 2551.5

2010
Run - 1660 miles
Walk - 300 miles
Bike - 60 miles
Total - 2020

so you can see that my run mileage was down this year, and my total mileage was down.  Did I meet all of my 2013 goals - nope, sure didn't,  but here's the thing, I'm totally cool with my year.  This is what I managed to accomplish.

March was the highlight of the year:
* my highest mileage in a week at age 45 - 80 miles  - March  (makes me smile)
*highest monthly mileage -  280 miles - March (another smile)
*5k PR - March - (22:49 at age 44)
* "found my limit" (see below) and with that,  * "found satisfaction"
*1/2 marathon PR @ the Mercedes half marathon, Birmingham, AL on hills :) :)  (1:43:55)

I also had a few other non-running related achievements in 2013
*I've been "processed sugar free" for several months (yes, including the holidays,  & yes including long run - gel free)
*with the lower run mileage, I'm not "starving" all of the time and have found that I have been able to improve my diet again.    Because of some family history, and concerns with some lab work earlier this year, I'm doing a low grain diet.  I've already seen improvement in the lab results so I think I'm on the right track,  but I'm not totally convinced about all of the "wheat-free - no grains hoopla", so the jury is still out on this part of the equation, for me.
The good news is,  I don't have to question the "sugar" part.  I know without a doubt, it's toxic and HIGHLY addictive.  I'm proud that I've been able to get this part under control.  Success ! 

continuing looking back.........
In April,  I ran my 2nd, and possibly my last (never say never) Boston marathon.
Before Boston 2013, and now months after it, I think 2 Boston marathons will be enough for me.  I improved my Boston course time,  2013 I finished Boston at 3:57.  In 2010, I ran 4:08. 

After Boston, I took 3 weeks off from running. 
May 6th was my first run, post-Boston
June 6th - injured.  I've been calling it "my first run injury", but in looking back, I'm not sure if it was running related or not.  I had one leg that was 1 1/2 inches longer than the other, which eventually caused hip and back issues.  
Is this caused by running?
Was it the high mileage in 2012, and peak mileage in March 2013?
or was it from a non-running fall that happened back in the fall of 2009?
I have no idea......


If you look at the top of my blog, you see this:

"THERE ARE LIMITS TO WHAT THE HUMAN BODY CAN ENDURE.... GO FIND THEM! " (NB adv)

Whether the injury was "run related" or not, I think I've found my limit.  It's actually weird, in that, prior to the injury, for YEARS, I had a tremendous passion for intense training.  You can see it in my yearly run mileage above.  Each year, I wanted to do more,  to go faster.  I wanted to see how far I could go, and what I could do.    For years, I was injury free, and continued to test my limits.  It was FUN, it was my passion!   During the time of my injury, not realizing it at the time, I began to find satisfaction with my running.  I started back running and have come back REALLY, really slowly.  I've used the Maffetone heart rate as a guide, but haven't fully implemented it to do the testing etc.  My goal with doing MAF was to come back in a healthy,  reserved way.

I've been back at it for months now, but my drive and desire to train at that level have not returned.    I've lost most of the speed that I worked so hard to build over the past 2 years.  Did I gain anything ?  I would say yes !
 I think I've found peace and satisfaction with my running.   

 Now,  I would say I'm more of a "free runner".  Please do not misunderstand.  I loved the intensity that I maintained for years, but I'm thrilled that I've found low key running fun too.  I truly didn't think I would EVER enjoy low key running, but I do, "so far."  Tomorrow this may change,  and I may find a renewed passion for training hard, but for now, I'm chilling.  I thought I would quickly get bored with the "free, low-key, no plan running", but so far I haven't. 

A Look AHead - 

tomorrow I leave to go on a girls trip to South Carolina to run a half marathon.
 will I be racing ?  - ha ha ha - 
am I in shape to race?  ha ha ha
am I in shape to cover the distance and enjoy the day and road trip - oh yeah !

I'm taking this year as it comes......
if I want to continue easy running, I will
if I decide I miss "really training" - I will train
until then,
 I'm living in the moment, and enjoying where I'm at today.
I wish the same for you!
Happy Running 2014 - whatever that is for you.  









Saturday, December 7, 2013

this will shock you

As a recovering marathon addict/junkie, I think my new favorite distance is the 15k.  WHAT????
If you know me, you know I have been addicted to the Marathon since my first one in Dec. 2003.    I've been chasing PRs at that distance since that very first one and FAR exceeded my expectations of what I would ever achieve.  Makes me smile even today.

Fast forward to 2013 - ran my 2nd Boston 26.2 in April, an injury in June, and a SUPER SLOW come back .

I've been on a new training plan recently.
**run if I want to, don't if I don't = about 3-4 days of running per wk, about 20-25 miles per wk
**zero speed work up until the last 2 wks, which was 1 day both weeks
**get the long run up to 11-14 range to be able to jump into some half marathons whenever I want,  during the winter
**not "all out racing" at any race - more like tempo pace and focusing on keeping my heart rate down

It's been FUN !  It's been different, for sure,  but I'm learning to love the relaxed state of my racing, or my "NOT racing" racing.

Racing Updates
Nov 30th -  Keeping my tradition of the "post-Thanksgiving burn", I headed to the MS Coast Marathon at the Stennis Space Center.    This year the weather was PERFECT for racing.  Not sure what the temp was at the start, but as I was traveling to the race, the car thermometer read low 30s.

My last half was a couple of weeks ago at the Houma, LA race.  The conditions that day were somewhat on the warm side and typical South LA humid air.  Needless to say, I was HAPPY to see the 30 degree reading on the car.

With both courses being flat and fast, I expected to pick up a few minutes, not based on any quality training, but solely based on the better weather conditions.  Like most people, I run much better in the cold air.  Oddly, I ended up running the exact same time, 1:55.  I did pick up a few seconds per mile "pace wise" because I ran the Houma course a little short (13.0 for 8:52 avg) and at Stennis, I ended the day with 13.15 for 8:46 avg.  I wasn't disappointed with the result, but it was just an odd thing for me, considering the much improved running weather at Stennis.

Back to my new favorite:
Dec. 7th - Missions in Motion 15k - today I headed over to Petal, MS to run a 15k.  Petal is known for some challenging hills.  I wanted to go and run it because I will be running a half marathon in Jan that will be hilly.  It's in Travelers Rest, SC.  I'm totally excited about it because I will be traveling with some local friends AND.....wait for it.....     wait for it........

if it works out, I think I will finally get to me my friend Lindsay, over at "Chasing the Kenyans"
Super Excited about THAT !  In addition to that, one of my local friends who moved to NC may end up running it too.  I haven't seen him since he moved away.

Good things ahead in Jan 2014

back to today -
with the temps in the low 40s this morning, I was expecting a good day of running.  I wasn't sure "how" hilly the course would be, or how it would impact my time.  With little, or no experience at the 15k distance, I wasn't sure what kind of pace I could expect.    I used my 1:55 half marathon time and plugged it into the McMillan Calculator and came up with a lofty goal of 8:35 avg pace.  Remember, the calculator works based on similar course conditions.  Remember,  both of the 1:55 finish times were  on FLAT and FAST courses.   The course today was hilly, but prior to the race I mentioned to my friend, Nikki, that I would like to run 8:35.  I entered the race hoping for the best on the run through the hills.   I ended the day at a comfortable 8:36 avg pace.    I'll take that !  I ended up winning a $15 I-Tunes gift card for overall female (only because of ridiculously low turn-out, but I'll take that card ANY way I can get it).  The course meandered through some scenic country roads.  I enjoyed the 15k distance because of how easily manageable it is.  A 10k is basically like running a 5k X 2 - too fast, the half marathon is good, but the 15k distance was a perfect distance for today.  I liked being 3 miles into the race and thinking I only have 6 miles to go.  Nice ! 

My next race will be the Jan. 11th half.  In the mean time, I think I will throw in one speed day OR one tempo day per wk, until the race.

Simple Plan (or no plan), Small Goals - it's FUN !
I'm thankful that I am adaptable to whatever type of running that I'm doing.
One way,  or the other,  I learn to make it enjoyable.   
 I like that about ME ! 


Sunday, November 17, 2013

. . . . . because I can



thoughts of Terrod


Yesterday I ran a half marathon in South Louisiana.    As I was driving to South LA Fri afternoon, I stopped in Slidell to visit Nikki and Terrod.  On May 2, 2013, our local running club was hosting a fundraiser for the Boston bombing victims.  Terrod was participating in the run when he collapsed on the course.   



"Terrod Jackson was participating in a memorial run for the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing on May 2, 2013 in Hattiesburg, MS. He collapsed about 2.5 miles into the run. Fellow runners initiated CPR and Terrod was quickly transported to Forrest General Hospital. He spent 4 weeks in ICU at Forrest General and another 5 weeks at Regency, a long term acute care facility in Hattiesburg.
On June 11, 2013 Terrod was transferred to Touro Infirmary in New Orleans, LA. During his 13 weeks at Touro, Terrod participated in intense therapy which allowed great progress to be made. The family was informed in the earlier weeks that Terrod would never be able to breathe on his own (trach removed July15), talk (July 24), or walk (September 20).
On October 16, Terrod had a Baclofen pump implanted to help with his tone, pain, and muscle spasticity. The next day he moved to Trinity Neurological Rehab Center in Slidell, LA. Since arriving at Trinity, Terrod continues to make progress both physically and cognitively. He is able to communicate, but has impairment to his memories and often becomes frustrated because he can not adequately express himself.
There has been research conducted in hyperbaric therapy among brain injury patients to help improve cognitive and physical abilities. The idea behind hyperbaric therapy is that anoxic brain injuries are caused by a lack of oxygen to the brain. They hyperbaric chamber is designed to increase the standard oxygen pressure which would cause over-oxygenate the brain and help revive the brain tissue. Hyperbaric therapy for brain injury patients is still in the research phase and there is no documented research showing that it does or does not improve cognitive functioning. Trinity has a hyperbaric chamber and the staff reports great improvement in brain injury patients who undergo hyperbaric therapy.
Since there is no documented data with brain injuries, insurance will not cover the costs of therapy unless it is used for wound care. Hyperbaric therapy includes 20-40 "dives" costing approximately $200 per dive. The family wishes for Terrod to participate in hyperbaric therapy, but is unable to afford it without the assistance of insurance. This fundraiser is to assist the family in paying for the therapy.
Terrod is a Computer Technician at Oak Grove Middle School in Hattiesburg and is also a Technical Sergeant in the Mississippi Air National Guard serving in the 255th Air Control Squadron out of Gulfport."



Not knowing Nikki or Terrod, it was hard to make that first step to go and visit.  From the door of his room, as I awkwardly call out Nikki's name with a ? mark, I'm immediately at ease.   Nikki is simply amazing.  She is a sweet, supportive, and optimistic wife.  She misses her "normal" life with Terrod.  I'm amazed at her calm spirit and her faith.    There are good days and bad days, but she is staying optimistic and focusing on the future.  

I hope that you will consider making a donation to help another runner.
If you are interested in helping, please go to this page and donate
 https://www.fundraise.com/32-ten/prayers-for-terrod#donate


As I ran the race on Sat. I had no intentions of "racing" it.  I'm not in shape for that, and haven't done speed work, tempos, or much of anything more than cover 12 miles slowly, and 2-4 days a wk of slow running.  This run wasn't about racing.  I signed up with the intention of covering the distance.  Even with low expectations for "a finish time", I did hope to be able to run it under 2 hours.
As the race begins in Houma, very early on, the thought crossed my mind, "what are you doing here?"  immediately as that thought finished, my next thought was of Nikki and Terrod.  I thought about my visit with Terrod and how he would LOVE to be out on this course, just simply covering the miles.   
What are you doing here? this is the answer in my head -  "you are here "because you can" and MANY others would love to be able to do what you are doing at this moment."
From this point on, I turned my thoughts to "running happy".   A very sweet friend of mine gave me a "Run Happy" visor for my birthday this year.  I was wearing it during this race, and several times during the run, thoughts turned to the words on my visor ....  
"Run Happy"  
I did that !    My thoughts turned to being happy for great running friends, my thoughts turned Terrod and Nikki several times during the race, my thoughts turned to being grateful for my health body, my thoughts turned to enjoying the beauty of South LA,  my thoughts turned to being grateful for "showing up" today.   From that early ? in my head, the rest of the day was uplifting, motivational, and fun.  

I'll be honest, it is a "process" to let the "numbers" go.  After all,  most of my years of running have been focused on running faster, or simply "chasing PRs."  Maybe I'm done with "chasing PRs", maybe I'm not, but I'm happy that , yesterday was a breakthrough.  Yes, I can be happy, out on the course, "just running", not chasing a number.
the "red carpet" finish line.....

I finished the race at 1:55
8:52 avg pace
 I wasn't running by heart rate today, I was "just running".  I would say somewhere in between a fast "jog" and a tempo effort.  In looking at the data,  (y'all know I can't help myself - fast or slow, I'm "gonna analyze.")  I was pleased to see that I ended the day with an average heart rate of 141 which is my MAF heart rate.  (or the 180-Formula)

I haven't followed the exact Maffetone heart rate running protocol, but post-injury, most of my runs have been at my MAF zone of 140.  (since starting back in July).   In July, while running very short distances, I would need to walk to keep my heart rate in this zone.  My average paces would sometimes be as slow as 11-12 min miles.  Again, during this run, I wasn't monitoring my heart rate, but I found it interesting that I covered 13 miles at my MAF zone,  with a pace of 8:52.   Definitely, not  blazing speed, but it does reflect that I am getting in better shape, and to date, I'm improving with no quality runs, other than a couple of 5ks recently. 

I'm excited that the weather is good for running and racing now.  I'm excited that it's "race season."   I will not be "racing" as I'm accustomed to, but I'm excited to be "racing" as I'm racing now. 

Please consider making a small,  or large donation for Terrod.
Happy Running Y'all ! 

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Beautiful Sunday Run/Walk


beautiful weeds !

11 miles today,  after a 5k last night, led me to a run/walk approach.  I would say mostly running the first half, and mostly walking the 2nd half.  I'm cool with that......the most important part was that I was out enjoying an absolutely beautiful day here in the South.  Growing up, spring was my favorite season, but now, as I've aged a little, and have long ago given up my "sun goddess" ways of hours and hours of tanning at the beach, fall is my new favorite season.  

If your curious about the 5k - my slowest time in years (25:07).   So this year, I had my faster 5k ever,  and my slowest 5k in years.   1 month of injury healing(= zero fitness), followed by 3.5 months of easy running, a little yoga,  and a little gym,  and what cha get is a slow 5k.
It's the new me !   :) :) 

To get you up to date, in June, I found out that I had one leg that was 1 1/2 inches longer than the other, which created hip and back issues.  I think that has been resolved through chiropractic care,  and muscle strengthening exercises.   Soon after the injury, I had routine labs to find out I had/have low iron,  and some thyroid issues (hypothyroidism).  I have implemented some major diet changes, and the obvious low volume, low intensity training,  and my recent labs showed some improvement.   I'm working on a strict diet with hopes of avoiding meds.  It may be that I need meds eventually for the thyroid, but I want to be sure that I have tried all avenues before that step.    This will take several months, possibly 1-2 years time. 

It has occurred to me that my years of intense training have not been kind to my body.   So currently my focus in on my health.  no chasing PRs for a while.......  In "some ways", I'm enjoying the laziness of "low key" running.

this week we are predicted to have nice weather all week.  lows in the upper 40s or low 50s and highs in the low to mid 70s.  Perfect !  Happy Me !

today's photos

In my yard today - 10-21-13

Friday, August 2, 2013

30% Discount on BTB Sunglasses and a 2 ingredient recipe

Hello Friends !

do you like a bargain?
are you looking for durable running glasses with good optics?

You may have read about these before.  I bought my first pair of BTB sunglasses a couple of years ago, and then followed it up with 2 additional pair last summer.    Prior to these sunglasses, I was purchasing running sunglasses every few months.  At the time,  my preferred brand was not durable at all.  Because of the comfort, I stayed with them for many years.   I was skeptical when trying the first pair of BTB sunglasses, but,  as it turns out, they quickly became my new favorite AND they are durable.  In addition, this company has great customer service, an added plus.

If you want to give them a try, use code "Ginny" at checkout to receive the 30% discount.
this offer is good until Sept. 29th

http://www.btbsunglasses.com/




I'm not running much these days.  If you've followed my blog, you will laugh when I tell you, this week, my long run is 2 miles.  In fact, so far this week my mileage is at 2 miles.  Not to worry, I plan to run 2 more on Sat to complete a 4 mile run week.  Go ME!

I am doing some walking, a little bike,  yoga 20 minutes per day, and my regular yoga class,  and I go to the gym 1-2 times per week.  

With little running this summer, and extra time to focus on something other than running, I decided to go wheat free.  Yes, I said wheat free.  In addition, I'm also doing "low sugar".  I won't bore you with all of the details, but "my" low sugar version means no sugar/flour desserts, really, very few desserts at all.   most of my "sugar" comes from fruits, and I'm trying not to go overboard with fruits with my current low cardio situation.   I do still use a little honey, but that's very limited.  Yes, this IS low sugar for me.

Something that has been tough for me to give up is pancakes.  I'm not sure where I got this recipe.  If I had the resource, I would love to give it credit (so sorry).  Check this out.....


one banana,  mashed
one egg
Stir and cook like a pancake
that's it !

unless you are like me -
**I added cinnamon to mine because I add cinnamon and nutmeg to EVERYTHING

**another time I added walnuts and blueberries
**another time, I used my magic bullet to liquify blueberries,  and I used it like a topping for the pancakes.
**while pancake is still raw on top (before flipping the 1st time) you can sprinkle with hemp seeds

I realize this will not be for everyone, but if you have been wheat free and sugar free for a while, these will be like a super awesome treat when you are craving pancakes - trust me!
Even the hubby likes them - success !  

Saturday, June 15, 2013

SI Joint Issues

So I went to the Chiropractor this week about the pain in my hip and back.  The issue is on the right side and I would say that I'm experiencing my first injury.  I've been EXTREMELY fortunate through the years.  Fortunate, but I've also been cautious and worked hard to prevent injuries.  (weights focused on injury prevention and run strength, yoga, ice, hard days/easy days, rotating & replacing shoes often, etc)

In Nov. 2009, I fell down on some concrete that I thought was dry, but it was slippery wet.  I did a seat-drop.  It was a hard fall, but the next day, I thought I was ok.  I continued with my training.  A couple of weeks later, I had a half marathon.  I raced for,  and achieved a PR that day, but as soon as I stopped running that day,  I could barely walk.  Oh, and by the way, this was the same year I BQ'ed the first time, so the goal became to proceed cautiously and make it to the start-line at Boston.   I went to the chiropractor a few times, iced, iced, iced and proceeded with much caution.    I did make it to the start line of Boston 2010 and ended up running a good race.   After Boston 2010, I took a month off to be SURE the hip nag was totally healed.    I haven't had any more issues with my hip until 10 days ago.

I'm not sure what has caused the hip issue this time.   I've been on low mileage and low intensity since Boston 2013 earlier this spring.  I've been slowly building my mileage back leading up to the start of my training for the Huntsville, UT marathon, Sept 2013.    Leading up to the injury, I had Tues. off, Wed was an hour long bike ride, and Thurs was a 12 mile run (had worked up from 6, 8, 10, several weeks prior).   At this point, I have no idea if it was the biking, the shoes, or what?????  I decided to go to the chiropractor because that seemed to help when I had the hip nag in 2010.

This time,  the pain is different than 2009/2010, but it is the same hip.  The chiropractor thinks I have a SI joint issue going on.  Through the years,  I've heard about ALL types of run injuries that friends have endured, but I've never heard of the SI joint injury.   Of course I google SI joint injury as soon as I make it home.   I was surprised when Meggan's blog came up in my search.   I've followed Meggan's blog for a couple of years, and have read about her ongoing hip issue, but I missed the blogs specifically about the SI joint.   You can read some great info about it here.  ( If you enjoy following hard working, highly talented,  and passionate runners,  be sure to check out her blog.)

This week the hip has not improved, in fact, it's worse than initially.  The last 2 days, I've had pain when walking.  I'm not sure my path going forward,  other than REST, which is the common recommendation from my quick SI Joint research.  I'm not sure if I should continue with  chiropractor care because I'm not sure if the SI joint issue is something that a chiropractor commonly deals with. ??? (Meggan also mentions chiropractic care has not helped her SI issue when she tried it in the past)    I'm on a limited budget so unfortunately, doctors, MRIs, physical therapists, massages, etc.  will not be my first plan of action.    So, rest and Ibuprofen will be my immediate plan of action.  This plan may change at any time with additional input, thought, time, etc.

In the mean time, I've been surprisingly relaxed with this issue.  Looking back, I know I did everything possible to avoid injuries, and there is comfort in knowing I didn't do something careless to cause this issue.  Looking forward,  I'm staying positive and taking the hip issue day by day.  I've been doing what I can with arm weights and core work, but even those things are somewhat limited in trying to make sure I'm not adding additional stress to my hip.  Currently, walking, running, elliptical, and biking are all off the table.  Next I will try rowing, but I'm not sure if that will work either.  I went to the gym yesterday, but I had taken Ibuprofen, so I didn't try the rowing.  I'm extra cautious when taking Ibuprofen because of the numbing effect of the drug.  I do not want to do further damage to the hip/back issue.  I will try the rowing on Monday and I will skip the Ibuprofen before going to the gym.  Water running may be another avenue, but again, I'm on a limited budget so that's not my first choice.  As time goes on, I will be more willing to look at the expensive options, but for now I'm opting for time and rest.  On the positive side, I went to my regular yoga class this week and I didn't feel the hip or back at all, so for now, yoga is a yes. 

Running has been such a HUGE part of my life.  You probably thought, as did I, that I would be crushed if running was taken out of my life?  I'm shocked and amazed that I've quickly realized that I will be FINE.  No matter what my new path holds, I'm ready for it !  Yes, I will have emotional ups and downs as I move through this issue, but I realize, I'm STRONG, and I will be ok,  no matter what.  That's a comforting feeling !   In the mean time, I will continue to read your blogs about your run adventures.   Happy Running !      


Saturday, June 8, 2013

Breaking a 12-year streak and "the writing on the wall"

On Tuesday of this week, I decided this would be the day that I ended my 12 year exercise streak.  Yes, 12 years !  For 12 years, I have "moved" my body for 30 minutes each day.  Initially, it was 30 minutes of "exercise" a day, but after many years, and some days,  little desire, I changed it to "30 minutes of movement."  The majority of the days were legit exercise, however, some days were just a slow walk, picking up pine cones in the yard, doing chores around the house with non-stop movement, or even site-seeing on vacation.

Early this spring,  I contemplated letting the streak go.  I decided to make it to the 12 year mark and then decide.  I made it to the anniversary date, and beyond, but on Tues., for no particular reason, I decided I would not do the 30 minutes that day.   

Through the years, I've exercised at CRAZY hours to "get it done."  One time while in Gulf Shores with my Mom and sister, we had just settled into bed.  As soon as I started to relax, I sat straight up in bed and said "we didn't exercise!"   Through the years, my sister (Linde) has been so supportive and willing to join me anytime we were together.   Her only requirement was that we walk or bike, no running for her, and that was always fine with me.  Even this night, the 11:20 PM hour, she climbed out of bed and we headed out for a walk.  Other times, we went walking before early, early fishing trips.  Uh,  the 3:30 - 4:00AM alarm to go walk for 30 minutes before heading out to fish all day, YES, WACKY,  but I did it! 

Many times over the years I didn't want to, but I did it anyway (a good life lesson). Obviously, over 12 years, I walked while being sick - not "exercise", but 30 minutes of "movement".  When sick, it was a slow stroll down the road, or on the treadmill, or even from end to end of my house.  I called it "front to back", anything to get it done, and keep the streak alive. 

Tuesday I deliberated over the day, wondering if I would really let the streak go.  Surprised,   I was with little emotion about it.  Later that evening, for a brief moment, I did think, I still have plenty of time to get it done.  My mind went back to the 11:30PM start in Gulf Shores many years ago.  I laugh and say no, I'm going to let it go.

Tuesday came and went and I was FINE with ending the streak.  Wed. I biked for 14-15 miles, went to the gym for a quick weight workout, and made it to my regular yoga class.  On Thurs., I had a 12 mile run with friends (Terri and Kelly).  I was excited to run.  Tues. was no exercise at all, REMEMBER the first day totally off in 12 years.  On Thurs.,  in the later miles, my back started hurting,  and continued through the final miles.  When we finished the run, I stretched my back and legs for a couple of minutes, and then drove home.  By the time I made it home, I could barely walk.  It was weird - as I finished the run is was my back, but by the time I made it home, it was my right hip hurting.  I took an ice bath, and iced the hip and back later in the day.  

It's Sat now!  I'm taking it easy,  and HOPING this is just a nag, and not an injury.  I'm being extra cautious.  It's bazarre that through 12 years, I never had an injury that came close to sidelining me from at least walking, and then I miss 1 day, ONE DAY of exercise and my body falls apart, lol.   Yesterday, I felt it more in the hip, today, I feel very little in the hip and more in the lower back again.  WEIRD !    I know i've been very fortunate through the years to run, and be so healthy.   Just this spring, before Boston, I hit a new record weekly mileage high of 80 miles - no injuries, no problems....... After Boston, I took 3 weeks off of running.  I've been slowing adding some miles back, but I'm still at low mileage,  for me.   Even this week, I ran 8 miles on Monday, remember Tues. was OFF, and Wed. I biked. Training wise, I've done everything right.  I even do runner focused exercises at the gym.  I lift weights.   I follow the 10% rule in building mileage.  I do yoga.  I follow hard days, with easy days.  etc. 

so what gives?    It's either "the shoes" or "the bike"?  At this point i'm not sure which.   I'm just a recreational biker.  I get on the bike when my run mileage is low.  I enjoy the variety that the biking offers when my run mileage allows time for biking.  I've never been injured on the bike.  

The shoes......
Yes, I'm still in a shoe crisis.  Currently, I'm experimenting with  the Mizuno Wave Riders.  Over the past 6-7 weeks, I've SLOWLY introduced these to my shoe rotation.  I started with short runs - 3-4 miles.  Eventually, I worked up to an 8 and a 10 miler,  with no issues.   After the successful 10 miler, I started thinking MAYBE i've found a shoe to replace the Adidas Cushion Response shoes.   I've been nervous because I'm running out of mileage on the Adidas shoes that I have left,  and I only have 1 more pair still in the box.  So I've been on an EXPENSIVE search to find "my new shoe".  I have several brands that are good for 6-8 miles, but I can't seem to find a distance show that I like.  one is too soft/ spongy and unstructured (nike pegasus), one gave me shin splints (Nimbus), 2 pair are just too hard and not enough cushion (Brooks and an older Mizuno).  etc. 


Is this a sign?  Maybe all of this means when I run out Adidas mileage , maybe it's time to retire?  I have enough mileage, and the last new pair that will get me through the Huntsville marathon in Sept.  
Maybe that means at marathon number 26, with no good shoe options,  
maybe it's time to retire from the marathon?   
After all, 26 is a good number, right? 
maybe "the writing on the wall" is saying.....
 "Retire Ginny!" - 
ya think?