4 Years Later…

So I actually wrote this blog up a couple weeks ago, but managed to get distracted. Still, it had some solid thoughts I still want to convey and as such, I decided to go ahead & post it with minimal edits.

Just so we’re all on the same page beforehand though: 5 weeks to BOSTON!!! *ahem* Moving on…

Things have been kind of crazy recently. I never quite imagined these past 6 months would include getting into the Boston Marathon (which it did), getting essentially my dream job to kick-start my career (yet it did), and finally to move across the country to start building this life (it did!).

It’s been interesting, and I’ve only succeeded moderately, at balancing work and training. And mentally agonizing about it to an extent as well – I want to do well at Boston (maybe not PR or re-qualify, but I want to try).  So those days that work or sleep (or both!) compete with getting a run in has left me feeling guilty more than once.

What I really needed, and finally got, was some perspective.

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New Year, New Garmin & Boston Training

So much happening. First off, welcome to 2015! It’s a new year & that means less than 4 months to the Boston Marathon.

As a gift to myself for getting in, I bought a new Garmin! The Forerunner 220 & I love it already. Excited to go on runs just so I can use it.
Training for Boston is officially under way. That said, this training will be an adventure due to traveling for work. So I also get to figure out how to properly get workouts in when I’m on the road. First test will be next week at CES (Vegas) and then PAX South (San Antonio) 2 weeks later.

A new year also means new goals. Since I’m in the SF area now, I’ve a few I want to tackle. In no particular order:

  • Find a running group
  • Blog more
  • Explore! Lake Tahoe (skiing) and Yosemite (hiking) are just hours away.
  • Survive Boston training (coworker was a sprinter in college and previously a personal trainer, so she’s been giving tips)
  • Sign up for a couple races in the 5K to half marathon range (I did a 10K last month with some coworkers)

As a side note, the crazily cold weather (it was 28 when I woke up this morning! What?!) has made my adjustment to the up in mileage a little harder than I anticipated. The muscles feel solid, but the lungs haven’t liked the icy air quite as much.

I expect 2015 to be quite the adventure!

The Boston Marathon & A New Job

Things have been a bit of madness around here the last two months.

To begin with, a company reached out to me about a job and over a couple of weeks I did several interviews. It’s been pretty amazing because it’s a step into the industry (video games) and work I want to do. The crazy part is that the job is in San Francisco!

As you can imagine, that made it even crazier because accepting the job meant moving across the country. But the opportunity was something I couldn’t pass up, so decision made I packed up my life and trekked 3,000 miles to the other side of the country.

Not only that, but my last week of work at my old job in Florida is when I finally heard back about the Boston Marathon. And guess what?

I got in! I am super excited to confirm my entry for the 2015 Boston Marathon!!!

As you can guess, I’ve been holding my breathe since the Marine Corps Marathon with the hope that I would get into Boston. I set an alarm and registered when the day opened up. Then it was the waiting game. Of course, all my running friends kept saying they’re pretty fast getting responses out and yet it felt like it was so long.

All of that aside, I am beyond stoked. There was yelling and dancing and jumping up and down with maybe just a couple tears.

An awesome bright side of this (though I’ve yet to see it that way) is that California is much hillier than Florida, so my training for Boston will have that one more advantage than before. Even if I don’t quite like the hills yet.

While my life has turned in a completely different direction the past few months, I’m having an absolute blast with my new job & learning a new city. With all the changes, I hope to write about my adventures of running here. Of course, I’ll also be logging my training for Boston as the days lead up.

Have an awesome day & I look forward to seeing friends at Boston in April! I’ll just leave this here…

Getting Into Shape & Races

Recovering from an injury or taking some time off is always interesting because eventually, you have to get back to it. Finally you are recovered or your time frees up again and suddenly, surprise! Back to the grind of working out. Yet it’s not always that easy, so let’s be straight.

Getting back into shape sucks.

For a few reasons really, and not even ones that are necessarily easy to overcome. Or rather, they’re more often than not about mind over matter and being the master of yourself. You know, that sort of stuff.

Time to re-establish the routine.

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Setting Reminders: Boston Registration

In case you missed it, the Boston Athletics Association announced the dates registration for the 2015 Boston Marathon will begin. Set your reminders for September 8th and keep an eye on their website. That will be the first day of a rolling registration, where runners who beat their qualifying time by 20 minutes or more can sign up.

For the slower individuals like myself, registration isn’t likely to start until the next week on September 15th. My fingers are definitely crossed that I’ll make it in, as I have a 90+ second cushion.

The nice part about the timing is I’m just getting back to it again. That means not quite 3 months to get back into running shape. Then, the running gods working in my favor, I’ll have 3 months to get into training shape before I jump into full on marathon training.

As a complete side note, hotels for the Boston Marathon weekend are crazy!! Super glad some friends recommended going ahead and reserving rooms, just in case. For all of you who are holding your breaths with me to get into Boston, we don’t have too much longer to wait. Good luck!

Anxiety & Needles: The Trials of Early Arthritis

Some of you may remember my trip to physical therapy a couple years ago and since then, a continuous mention of knee issues. It’s been an on-going thing and unfortunately, isn’t an “injury” that will go away. Joint pain from little to no cartilage runs in the family (on both sides) and starts early. Sure, the running doesn’t help but it’s not the root cause.

Options are pretty limited when you’re not talking about a torn something or a broken other thing. Also working against me is my age.

Per my orthopedic doctor’s recommendation, I can transition to other sports (cycling, swimming, etc) that are not high impact. However, that will only reduce the pain and cartilage erosion over time, not stop it. And frankly, I love running to much to give it up. So there’s more cross training in my future, but definitely not a lack of running.

Basically, having early arthritis before I turn 25 sucks.

Due to the knee pain getting worse, I switched to just cycling and swimming for a few weeks. It didn’t get better, so I took a few weeks off. Still a progressive decline to where it was affecting my ability to function normally (and no, driving a manual car with bad knees is not fun). Even keeping up with my exercises from physical therapy was having little impact. So I broke down and did it.

I made an appointment with my orthopedic doctor to get injections of a cartilage substitute into my knees.

For those of you who don’t know, I’m kind of afraid of needles. Like, cowardly and terrified sort of afraid. But at this point I had to take the chance, because I had little other alternatives. Wanting to get back to doing something you love can do that.

Long story slightly shorter, I received injections of Synvisc into both of my knee joints. It hurt. A LOT. I pretty much compare it to when I broke my wrist a few years ago. It’s something like a gel that they flood your joint with to spread and help ease the joint pain. I refused to see the needles or watch the injections. Yeah…I’m not a doctor, so please don’t take my word as law—this is just how I interpreted the explanation.

That was a few weeks ago. The first few days were a bit awkward and admittedly, a little difficult. The pressure from the gel as it slowly evens out into the joint made it feel like my knee cap was going to pop off. My doctor had advised me that it may take a couple weeks before I really felt results and even then, it’s hit and miss with this type of injection. Absolute helps some people and does nothing for others (there’s also a required 6 month wait time between them).

I’m slowly getting myself started all over again. During exercise I have to be careful about how I pivot the joints, but the injections appear to have helped. As exercise increases over the next few weeks, we’ll see if that holds up.

But still, I have hope! This runner is gonna make her comeback. Or comically fail trying.

Joint Pain & Being MIA

I don’t know if I’d call it a mini-hiatus considering I’ve already been MIA for a bit. But still, I’ll lay out the current on-goings.

Joint pain sucks.

As some of you may remember, I can blame my family for not so great genetics. Bad joints, especially the knees, is pretty common for us. And mine are already in a bad way. Normally it’s not too much of a problem. I do exercises from my physical therapist and am not afraid to apply ice.

For whatever reason, my knee joints have been exceptionally painful the past 2 weeks. Even with low mileage and a bit of cross training. So may just take time completely off and lounge out in the pool (that’s not at all good for swimming laps).

No races on the calendar.

Still, I guess it works out since I don’t actually have any races on my calendar yet. The plan is pretty much to take it easy this year. Depending on how well I can ease back into more moderate mileage (30-40 miles per week), I may pick up a few fall/winter half marathons.

At the moment, the only real “racing” I’m considering is picking up my first triathlon. There’s a very popular sprint that’s known for first time racers at the end of July. Since the training necessary to complete a sprint isn’t too much, may just try it.

The point is…

What I’m not really hinting at is that unless I do sign up for that triathlon, there’s not much happening to blog about. Madness with the family aside, I’m not racing myself and I’ve even been slacking at spectating.

That said, I may make a list of worthwhile topics that aren’t racing or training related (at least directly) and space them out across the next few months. If you don’t see any posts, don’t be surprised. I’m still around, just not doing anything worth writing about.

Except maybe scuba diving.