Thursday, December 4, 2014

Three Things Thursday

It's not the weekend yet, but we can see it from here! Who has big plans this weekend? I'm running a 5K in Schaumburg on Saturday morning, continuing my quest to break 30 minutes. I thought I would be there by now but oh well. The weather is going to be a little more agreeable -- it should be in the mid-30s when the race goes off -- but they are predicting some wind. Hopefully it will be at our backs the entire time!

* My first item for today is a Throwback Thursday pic from the 2009 Ragnar Great River Relay. This was taken in the last few hundred meters of my first leg. It was a short, quick leg that was just over three miles long.

What I liked about that leg (I ran that one two years in a row) is that it was late in the day, about 7 p.m. or so, and it was starting to really cool down. Late evening is a great time to run in northern Wisconsin! It also had a lot of downhills so it's a pretty fast leg. Of course the next leg, which I ran at about 5 a.m., was really slow and hilly. But on the flip side it was 45 degrees too!

The last leg is about 4.5 miles along the Mississippi River in St. Paul, Minnesota. That one is BRUTAL! It's nice running along the river, but the leg is totally concrete and seriously hot. That's the thing about relays, everything tends to even out.

Unfortunately I no longer have my logs from back then so while I can recall a lot of what went on during those legs I don't have miles or time or anything. Boo. 

The other thing I like about this picture is that I'm about 50 pounds lighter than I am now. I like this photo because it shows that I'm running really tall, have a good stride length and a lot of arm swing. I wasn't running a lot that summer but I was in decent shape. While I don't obsess a lot about getting back to that size again, it's one of my 2015 goals. Make sure to stay on the lookout for my epic 2015 goals post, it's going to be so massive it might have to be in two parts!

* Speaking of goals, I'm pretty happy with a couple of non-related goals that I've reached lately. I have to admit that for the longest time I hadn't taken the best care of myself. Being single and always being on the go has a little to do with that. But I've been having trouble sleeping for as long as I remember and after we got married in July Darcy suggested I see her doctor.

The doctor told me a lot of things I already knew in terms of my health but I like her because she wants to come to long-term solutions with my health instead of just taking care of right now. She traced my poor sleeping to anxiety, and the medication I'm on for that (please don't judge) is helping me sleep better than I have in years. I'm sure my marriage and my life being in order has a little to do with that too!

The other thing she is focusing on is my blood pressure. When I started seeing her in September my BP was in the 150/100 range...not good! With medication and running now fully in the picture, I took mine last night and it was 109/81! So better, much better. I'm feeling so much better as well.

What I like most about Dr. Dhillon is that she is fully in my corner when it comes to my running. In fact, her advice to me in that area was simple: train harder! Yes, she really said that! She wants me running intervals and things like that because she thinks it would be more helpful than just logging miles. Not from a training standpoint but she wants to work my heart harder so that it becomes more efficient that it is now.

The result? Running has helped me lose close to 15 pounds in the last 2 1/2 months, and my resting heart rate has gone from the low 70s to the mid 50s. I have a follow-up appointment next week and am excited to hear what she has to say!

* Finally, I'm going to shill for a minute. I know that many of readers and followers on Twitter are big fans of the Bib Rave website, and I have a profile there myself. Recently through my friend Wally I met a guy named Mike who blogs at Blisters, Cramps & Heaves. Mike's a cool guy and has had some amazing experiences as a runner, having run the Antarctica Marathon as well as recently tackling both Berlin and New York. Mike is a very gifted writer whose race reports are absolutely stellar.

Anyway, Mike, his wife Katie and their partners have been working on a similar site, called Race Raves, and the site launched publicly this past week. Here is a screen grab of my profile page. There are a lot of things similar, and a few different things on both sites, and both sites really rock! 

Like the running community itself, there is always room for blogs and websites of all kinds. I'll probably keep a profile on both sites because information is certainly power. Keeping track on both sites lets you find out even more about races and a chance to meet even more people. I've discovered over the last couple of years that meeting runners from all over the world just makes the sport more enjoyable to me. So give the site a look and see what you like!

Happy Friday!

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