A Workout for you…

Hello!

I know it has been a while since I posted. I am working on race recaps from the Columbus Half Marathon (a PR for me!), the OSU 4-Miler (another PR!) and the Hot Chocolate 15k and will hopefully have those up soon…though in perfect honesty, they probably won’t get posted until after finals.

This weekend will be my LAST WEEKEND COLLEGE of Occupational Therapy school!! Then, I will be going out on fieldwork for 6 months, so you will get all kinds of lovely (HIPPA approved, of course) posts about the insanity that is clinical rotations. The placement process has been quite the debacle at my school. Since our program is a weekend-based program geared towards professional adults, many of my classmates have lives and children and families to consider when choosing a site to complete their clinical experience (which is essentially an unpaid residency for all of my non-OT friends out there). In order place a student at a clinical fieldwork location, there are a number of things that must be considered:

  1. Each student needs to have experience in several major practice areas including mental health, pediatrics, and adult
  2. Each student has unique learning needs in order to be successful in fieldwork and on boards after graduation
  3. Fieldwork sites must meet AOTA (American Occupational Therapy Association) requirements in order to accept a student
  4. Sites must also be able to take a student on the timetable that aligns with our school schedule — and must agree to do so
  5. Most schools have contracts with certain sites to whom they give preferential treatment ie, they will always take a student (maybe because they need the extra hands at limited cost- particularly if they are a community-based entity) so the University agrees to attempt to always place a student at the site. My school has multiple sites like this with which they have very strong relationships. It is my understanding that most schools have arrangements similar to this, but not quite to the same degree as my school does.

Since our program is unique in that it is weekend-based, nearly every student is a commuter, and some from pretty long distances. As such, there has been a shortage of placements in locations close to home for many of my classmates, which has become quite the ordeal. I feel for them! The program itself is astronomically expensive, but to also have to go 6 months without a paycheck and THEN pay for housing somewhere away from your husband/wife/kids/house etc? I am feeling very fortunate that I can pretty much go wherever I need to for the 6 months necessary to finish out this program. I know that those who love and support me aren’t going anywhere and support my decision to pack up and go to whatever location I need to in order to get the best education and experience. I am excited (and anxious!) to see where I’ll end up!

In other news, I put together a timed work out that I will be completing after work today that I thought would share with you guys! It will be a tough one! As always, be sure to check with your doctor before changing your fitness routine.

Workout 11.17

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Almost race time…

Yesterday’s run was very crappy. Since my half marathon is only a few days away I only had 3-4 pace miles on the docket, which I chose to run on the treadmill to make sure I kept pretty close to that pace. I didn’t want to push it, but wanted to make sure I committed the feeling of my goal pace to my legs. And this is how it went….

My right shoe lace it tied tighter than my left. — Stops to fix shoe laces — Now the left one’s tighter. — Fumbles with shoe laces again. Gets annoyed. Screw it.

My headphones sound like my heart was pumping from the headphone covers…thump thump thumping in my ears.

My shins hurt…do I have shin splints again???

Why can’t I breathe right…I’m still running my warm-up mile!

I am PMSing. I am grumpy. I don’t want to do this.

Just one more mile. You have to push it one more mile. At least do 3 miles. BUT don’t ACTUALLY push it…steady. You don’t want to burn out your legs this close to a race.

It was uncomfortable. I didn’t enjoy any of it, really. I have been eating perfectly. The run I had planned is usually easy for me. I couldn’t understand why I couldn’t get comfortable. Then I started reading this article from Runner’s World and this blog post about women’s running and menstruation cycles (sorry, guys). I’ve always noticed that my work outs (not just runs) lack the energy and intensity towards the end of my cycle as compared the beginning. I’m tired. I’m sluggish. My joints just don’t feel right. I’m bloated and my stomach is even more sensitive than usual.

I haven’t changed my goals for race day — I am still hoping to clock a time somewhere in the 2:00-2:05 range. But at the same time, I am allowing for this race to just “go as it will.” I know that I will be able to run it faster than I did last year. (My goal last year was just to finish. I ran slowly, stopped often, and clocked in at about 2:27. Not fast, but respectable for someone who had just started running less than a year earlier!) I really just wanted to run again with James. He hasn’t been training much on the running front, so he’s not sure at all how the race is going to go for him. Regardless of how it goes, I have learned a LOT this training season. I have learn more about fueling for long runs. I have learned what foods and fuels my body likes and what it HATES. I have learned about recovery runs and speed works and have accelerated my pace so that I have a range between the two (Last year all my runs were pretty much at an identical pace, regardless of the purpose of the run). I ran a sub-8:00 mile for the first time since I was a kid. I fell in love with running instead of it just being something I forced myself to do to prove something.

Cheers to another race — however it goes!

Anyone else running a race this weekend?

Other big fitness plans on the horizon?

What is your biggest frustration or technical difficulty when starting a run? I hate when my shoelaces don’t feel even or the bottom of my shirt rides up and bounces on my hips. I have a great lulu tank that stays put and a North Face jacket planned for race day!

Welcome Fall!

Hello! How are you doing today? Has the weather started to resemble fall in your neck of the woods yet? I had a very fall-like 12-mile run on Saturday. It was my last long run prior to the half marathon on the 18th and my longest run of this training cycle. The weather was exactly what I’d expect from an Ohio fall day… cold, windy, and a bit wet. I drizzled the entire time. While that is definitely not my ideal version of running conditions, I was actually thankful for the bit of yuck. Most of my runs have been in warm, relatively perfect conditions and it is highly unlikely that race day will be warm and sunny. It was good to have an opportunity to test my legs and clothes in cooler weather.

Hooray for taper time!

IMG_2832[1]The run went pretty well, all things considered. My legs felt a little stiff, but I was able to make it through all 12 miles with only a couple little stops to re-tie/ adjust my shoes. One of the “joys” of new shoes is that breaking them in requires a lot of adjusting the laces until they feel just right – especially when you are as OCD about it as me. At the end of the run my average pace was 9:21, so about 11 seconds slower than the 9:10 average I’ll need to hit my goal on race day, but when you account for the shoe-tying stops, I think I am pretty close to on target. Bring on the race day adrenaline!

Hello, Blog World

How do you begin a letter, a diary to the world?! There’s so many things I want to plug into these pages, but I have no idea where to start! Over the past several months (ok, really a year…about as long as it’s been since my last watercoolerwellness post) I have had so many adventures, trials, and triumphs. My life has been changing, and doing so quickly. I am running as fast as I can just trying to keep up.

Speaking of running! I am a little less than 4 weeks away from running my second half marathon! For my first race, I didn’t set a goal time and focused solely on just finishing the race with James and having fun. This year it’s goal time. I’ve got my sights set on a 2-hour race. Now, I know I won’t be breaking any records at that pace, but I am still a pretty “new” runner. Heck, until I finished that 1st half marathon last year I didn’t even really consider myself a runner! This training cycle I feel more like a runner. Maybe it’s the notable progress. Maybe it’s that I am starting to figure out things like recovery runs, nutrition and hydration during runs, and cross-training. Maybe it’s that there is actually a DIFFERENCE in my pace on my pace run, speed runs, and recovery runs.

Regardless…I am getting super-duper nervous about this race! What if I haven’t trained enough? What if I don’t hit my pace? What if I get injured in the next 4 weeks? What’s that pain in my shins…do I have shin splints again? What if I can’t race? I also tried a new type of running shoes and completely hated them. I felt like I was running in clown shoes. I couldn’t get my stride right and they rubbed and pinched in all the wrong places. I wasn’t feeling well on the first run I did in them, so I kept trying to “give them another chance” and dreading the run every time. I finally decided to go trade them in for another pair of my trusty Saucony Guides. Those shoes feel like coming home.

Now, I know that I am going to be fine. I know that I have put in the work. From reading other running blog, I know that it is normal to have pre-race jitters. I am hitting my paces, even in my long runs (or within just a few seconds of them). Maybe I haven’t trained as much as I could have, but I’ve put in the work. I know that I will be able to *finish* this race. Maybe I won’t hit my goal time – but that’s ok. I am balancing work, school (my last semester of classes in OT school!!! wahooo!), and I’ve been through a lot in my personal life over the past year. Besides, if I don’t hit my goal time, its a pretty good reason to keep working on it and plan another race in the spring. And when I remember those things, I am ok. I am lucky to be running in the first place. I am lucky that I will have a wonderful man by my side, supporting me throughout the race. If I don’t meet my goal that day, so what?! It just gives me something to work towards next time.