Running in WI!

This weekend was full of wedding festivities! Maddie and Mike had a beautiful wedding on Saturday and I was so lucky to be a part of it!

995837_4869438186091_1780664832_n

Since I was in Wisconsin celebrating the first of two weddings this month, I was excited to be able to run there too! I stayed at Dan’s parents’ house, and they live in a pretty rural area with HILLS! Something we definitely do not have a lot of in Illinois!

Regardless, it is a great place to run. 🙂

20130607_101017

I was excited to run 7 miles on Sunday because Dan ran them with me! It’s great to have a running buddy sometimes. Miles 1 and 7 were the hardest (mostly because those had the largest hills) but I felt great inbetween!

Now I’m back in Illinois getting ready for my second Relay For Life event this month. Busy busy busy!

Advertisements

“Just keep running!”

Great news!

Today I saw a doctor who specializes in sports medicine to talk to her about my issues with the inside of my left knee. I tried to think positively, but as I sat in the waiting room, I only could imagine her telling me that I had to stop running.

When I got into the examination room, I told the doctor about my plans to run the Chicago Marathon. I also told her how important it was to me and how I was raising money for a great cause. We talked about my training schedule and my plans for the next 4 months. After that she did all kinds of tests…which was difficult since my knee didn’t actually hurt while I was there since it really only bothers me after running for a while.

Apparently, that was the good news! Basically, the muscles on the outside of my leg are stronger than the muscles on the inside of my leg, which is pulling my patella to one side when I run. That’s where the pain comes in, obviously! Nothing is torn and while I was thinking the worst and diagnosing myself with WebMD (i.e. “I’m sure my meniscus is torn in half”) it really has to do with muscle imbalance. My doctor set me up to do some physical therepy to help me learn some exercises to strengthen my muscles and balance everything out. Why didn’t I go sooner!? Lessen learned!

At the end of the appointment, my doctor said, “well, just keep running!” Best words I could’ve heard! I am counting my blessings. Today is a short run (only 3 miles) and I am more excited than ever to lace up my shoes!

Uh oh…

So, as I’ve told you all before, I have had a few issues with the inside of my left knee that began in the winter earlier this year. Yesterday, I ran my 6 mile long run and although I made it through, my knee was bothering me enough to get a little bit nervous about it again. During my run, which I took very easy, I stopped probably 4 times to reallllllly stretch. It seemed like that helped a lot and each time I started to notice my knee, I would stop, take my time, and stretch it out.

Despite my slight issue, my run was beautiful.
20130602_162802
Needless to say, I decided it was time to call in the professionals. I made an appointment for Wednesday with a doctor who specializes in sports medicine. I am hoping for some promising news, so keep your fingers crossed for me!

5 Hot Miles

Yesterday was 5 mile day! It was beautiful outside, but it was HOT when I decided to head out at around 2pm. It is officially way too hot to run in the middle of the day anymore this summer. I don’t mind the hot weather any other time, but the blazing sun can make for a tough run!

My run went fairly slow because of the heat, and I felt especially tired during the last half of the mileage. I was running on the roads that wind through the wildlife refuge though, so I kept myself busy enjoying the nature! The sound of my feet even scared off some wild turkeys! After I finished, I spent a lot of time stretching out on a pier that I like to go to at the end of my runs. I’m still nervous about getting injured again, so I’m trying to be proactive and have been really taking my time with stretching during and after my runs.

IMG_20130527_002426

Later that evening, my dad finally arrived and we started up the grill for dinner! I’m a Wisconsin girl through and through. To me, there is nothing like brats and corn on the grill. I could eat it everyday!

We spent much of today hiking, and it felt good to loosen up my legs from yesterday’s run. It was a perfect Memorial Day; sunny and 80 degrees! The light breeze and the shade from the trees kept us cool enough to hike without getting too warm. We had some great photo opportunities!

P1020464

Afterwards, we enjoyed some wine tasting at two local wineries. It has been a great long weekend, which was much needed before another crazy-busy upcoming week!

If you would like to donate to my personal fundraising page for the American Cancer Society’s DetermiNation program, you can do so here. To find out more about why I’m running the Chicago Marathon through ACS DetermiNation, you can read my first post here. Thanks for your support!

“Unstoppable!”

IMG_20130522_073846

Wow, I have a lot to update! Remember on Sunday when I had a rough run? Well, there are bad runs, and there are great runs, and this week has been full of great runs! On Wednesday, I had to run my 3 miles in the morning again before work since my co-workers and I were leaving for training in Chicago overnight. I use the Nike+ Running app on my phone, and when a run ends, you can choose to log where you ran, the shoes you wore, and how you felt. I was able to choose “I felt unstoppable!” to describe how my run felt! It’s not always that I feel amazing after a run, so I was really excited that I was able to log “unstoppable” to describe it!

Screenshot_2013-05-25-16-26-41

My co-workers and I made our way to Chicago on Wednesday for training for our Making Strides Against Breast Cancer event. The Strides season is coming up quickly, and after our Relay For Life events end, we need to be updated on all the new information about the American Cancer Society’s breast cancer walk. Wednesday was a very special day for the American Cancer Society, because it was our organization’s 100th birthday! (You may have seen commercials that have been on TV lately about how ACS is finishing the fight.) In honor of our birthday, businesses in many different cities, including Chicago, showed their support by lighting their buildings in red, white and blue on Wednesday night. We were excited to be in Chicago to see some of these buildings! We had a lot of fun with the photo opportunities. 🙂

IMG_9925

Early on Thursday morning, I did cross-training on the elliptical at the hotel for 30 minutes before our training began. I am not too fond of ellipticals and I always feel like I want to “run” out of them. I just can’t get used to them as much as I try. Next time cross-training comes up on my training schedule, I think I will try a different exercise. Any suggestions are appreciated!

We got home very late on Thursday eventing, so when I woke up on Friday morning, I was feeling groggy decided not to try to continue my morning run streak. Instead, I spent the day rehydrating and gathering up some more energy. I was still feeling sluggish after work, but I knew that I would feel a ton better during my run. I was right! I was able to choose “unstoppable” again! It was the perfect temperature outside, and I love running in the evening right before the sun sets. I have been really working on pacing, and I was able to stay right around the 9:00-9:15 mark the whole 3 miles.

Today is a rest day to prepare for my 5 mile long run tomorrow. I’m excited and looking forward to it! It has been so beautiful today, and since I had to rest from running, I went for a nice long hike with my camera. Here are some favorites:

DSC_0011

DSC_0013

My dad is headed down tomorrow from Wisconsin to spend Memorial Day with me! Have a great Saturday and Sunday!

Power through

Yesterday after my long drive back home from Wisconsin, I set out for my 4 mile long run. Without sugar-coating it, it was a rough one! I think a lack of sleep and the festivities from Saturday night during Maddie’s bachelorette party had a lot to do with that. But despite feeling a bit sluggish, I powered through and made it. Whenever I am training for a race, I keep my goal in mind. In my mind, I have already completed this marathon over and over, so I keep reminding myself of that feeling and how accomplished I will feel when I cross that finish line. It sounds silly, but it works! I am looking forward to some great runs this week to make up for it!

My weekend in Wisconsin was a lot of fun and it was great to celebrate with the bride-to-be!

IMG_0166

Today was the beginning of a crazy-busy week, which is good since it is my first week without Dan here! I’m glad I will be kept busy so I can keep my mind off of missing him.

Rainy Morning Run

Typically, I prefer to run in the evenings. I am not a morning person by any means so to get me out of bed and running before my day starts is a rare occurrence! Today, though, my three miles needed to happen before work since we are leaving right away to head to Wisconsin for the weekend! Dan is moving back to start his new job on Monday, and I am going to my friend Maddie’s bachelorette party!

I was surprised to get out of bed this morning and see rain! It has been so beautiful out lately that I guess I wasn’t expecting anything different for my morning run. Luckily, it tapered off by the time I got going. I felt a little tight this morning so my three miles went a little more slowly than normal, but afterwards I felt a lot better.

Since yesterday was one of our last days of living under the same roof for a while, Dan and I decided it was an occasion worthy of a date night. We went out for dinner at one of our favorite local places for all-you-can-eat barbecue chicken. Since the restaurant is located right in the middle of a state park, there are always some good photo opportunities! IMG_20130517_101701Afterwards, we were craving some dessert, so we headed to our favorite fro-yo shop!

IMG_0162

I was pleasantly full by the time we got home to finish up packing up the cars!