Monday, September 30, 2013

September Summary

I almost titled this post "September Slacking," because, let's be honest, that's what I've been doing with this blog. I didn't write a single post in September (except for this one). My awesome parents came to visit Labor Day weekend, and, when I used that as an excuse to take the weekend off, little did I know that I would lose the blogging-momentum I had built, and that I would then languish in a blogging-slump for the entire month.
But I didn't slack on running. I managed to run about 96 miles (I say "about" because sometimes I run for time and then approximate distance. I don't add up monthly minutes because that would be less meaningful to me than monthly miles).

September Running-Things

1. Two long runs of 18 and 20 miles, both of which felt pretty good. I'm at that point where I have developed enough endurance that I really look forward to long runs. As in, I can't wait for the next one!

2. Ran in the rain. More than once! If you've never lived in the desert, you might not understand how exciting this is. In a rainier part of the country, you might even consider this a nuisance. But here in El Paso, we had an unusual amount of rain--think road-closures, school-and-work-delays, and leaking-roof amounts of rain. And I loved (almost) every minute of it.
The grill got to go wading in the lake which was our backyard.

Howdy: "I don't understand. Why is water coming from the ceiling?" Bruno: "Magic."

3. Ran a 5k ...which ended up being more like a 6k. On September 14, some of my awesome Sunday school class lined up with me for 5k for Life. During pre-race instructions, the race director told us a volunteer would be at every turn, and specifically NOT to turn if there was not a person there telling us to turn. Simple enough, right?
Fast-forward to mid-race. I was (astoundingly) the first woman, but there were several men ahead, so I wasn't worried about getting lost. We passed a random orange cone, the only one I'd seen, in the middle of the road. Not a person in sight, no sign on the cone. So we kept running. And came to a busy street, where we turned around at a stop sign (also with no one present, but I turned because everyone in front of me had done so).
I finally finished in just over 28 minutes, convinced the course had been way too long. And it was. The people in charge had noticed what was happening after over half of the runners and walkers had gone too far, and then started turning people around at the right place: the lonely, unmarked orange cone. The awards got messed up too. But the husband and I still placed in our age groups, and we all had a good time aside from the confusion. We also got breakfast tacos, which is an El Paso running tradition that I think should spread to the ends of the earth.
The Aggies were playing, had to represent!
3. I hurt my foot. During the 5k, I managed to turn what had been a small, nagging foot pain I'd had since, oh, June, into a wow-my-foot-hurts-so-bad-I-don't-think-I'm-using-it-properly-anymore kind of pain. It was the fastest I had run in a while, and I wore flimsy minimalist shoes in which I was not accustomed to running on pavement. And I thought a day or two of rest would heal it, but I was wrong. So wrong. I ran 20 miles on it anyway, in my most cushioned shoes, but it hurt every step of the way and didn't stop the rest of the day, even while resting it. So I paid a visit to my primary care manager (PCM), about whom, I could write an entire ranty blog post, but I won't. Because her helpful advice to me was, (before even looking at my foot!!!), "You need to stop running."

4. I learned am learning how to manage an injury. Armed with advice from my smart, experienced-runner/coach dad, as well as anti-inflammatory drugs from my PCM, I've been working on running as much as I can without doing further harm to my foot. Last week, this meant running about 30 minutes a day and then going to the pool to get in some more cardio. This week I'll probably do the same, and air up my bike tires too, for some variety. I'm hopeful that my foot is going to feel better soon, if I'm careful. If it doesn't, I'll be paying a visit to a sports doctor next time. More about this later...

September Non-Running Things

1. Started a great Bible study. On Sunday nights, I've been attending Beth Moore's Breaking Free with other women from my church, and I have learned SO much already. More to come on this, I'm sure!

2. Finished thirteen books. I think this is a monthly book-reading record for me.
Some running-related book highlights: The First Twenty Minutes by Gretchen Reynolds--a great read, full of helpful exercise-related research. Running With the Kenyans by Adharanand Finn--interesting, but I think I was expecting something a little more exciting.
Non-running-related book highlights: Ken Follett's Fall of Giants and The Help by Kathryn Stockett. Both were recommended by good friends, and both more than lived up to their recommendations.
Side note: If you're on Goodreads, I write more in-depth reviews of some of the books I read there.

I can't believe it's already October tomorrow! A new month, a new leaf for blogging regularly...I hope!