Monday, June 26, 2017

Summer Updates

Hello, friends! I know I've been a bit of a ghost around here the past few weeks; real life has been busy and has kept me from writing as much as I'd like.

First, a few positive updates:

A few posts back, I talked about launching a new look for the blog by mid-June. Well, obviously that hasn't happened. I'm having a little trouble getting the new layout to look the way I want it to so it will be delayed for a bit longer. You may notice some small changes I made this weekend (mainly to the header and the sidebar) in the interim until I can implement the new layout.

I'm still struggling with my weight. Each week seems to slip away from me and I haven't followed my plan as much as I need to. But I'm still tracking and still trying so that has to count for something, right? And I've been able to run and do a few strength-training workouts each week- again, not where I'd like to be, but definitely better than where I used to be.

In the last five weeks, I've been to three professional conferences, all requiring travel- just this past week I was in beautiful Niagara Falls, NY. Check out my scenic 4.5 mile run below!

Now, a pretty negative update:

I have pneumonia. After spending some long (but awesome) days at the conference in Niagara Falls last week, I started to have chest pains and shortness of breath on Friday night. The pain was bad enough that I decided to seek emergency treatment. My amazing co-worker Kim took me to the ER and seven hours- and x-rays, fluids, blood tests, pain killers, and a CT scan- later I walked out with a diagnosis of pneumonia and a mass (most likely mucus) in my right lung.

I will follow up with my doctor this week and will get another CT scan in the near future to make sure the mass in my lung is breaking up. My chest pain has subdued a lot since Friday night though it's still tough for me to breathe deep or lay on my right side.


So, how exactly did this happen? I have a strong suspicion that this is left over from the upper respiratory infection I had in late February/March. The last few weeks, I haven't felt like myself; fatigued after a basic workout, constant back and rib cage pain, horrid headaches, a few days of a low-grade fever and nausea, and a stubborn, persistent cough. Looking back, it's easy to see that I should have gotten medical attention sooner- I chalked it up to allergies and figured it would go away on it's own. I've taken a few sick days here or there since March but definitely didn't rest the way I should have.

Long days at work, tons of travel, and not enough rest finally pushed me over the edge last Friday night. While it was a pretty shitty experience being in the hospital all night, I am infinitely glad I went and all the tests were done. Pneumonia is one of those things that can be deadly without timely medical treatment- even in healthy people with strong immune systems.

So, for the foreseeable future, I'll be resting, drinking plenty of fluids, and not doing any activities that require exertion, i.e. running. In fact, the doctors, the nurses, Matthew, my mom, and everyone else immediately told me "no running!" as soon as they found out I had pneumonia. I guess they don't trust that I won't run for the next few weeks! 😂 Though I will say, the nurse was impressed that I had just run 4.5 miles the day before I was in the hospital. 

I have to give a huge shout out to Kim- she stayed with me all night in the hospital and then after being discharged at 6 am, she drove us the six hours home by herself (after getting ZERO sleep the night before), just so I could get home to my own bed, get my prescriptions filled, and see my husband and pup. She is the literal BEST co-worker and friend on the planet. Thank you so much, Kim!

Kim and me on the American side of the falls. She is so wonderful ❤

So while you might not see any new running or workout related content shared here in the next few weeks, I've got lots of race recaps to post and I've been experimenting with some new muffin recipes- exciting, right? Ha! As always, thank you for your continued support- y'all rock!

Have a great week!

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Race Recap & Review: St. Patrick's Day Run Fest

On a bitter cold March morning, I traveled about a half hour from my home to run an 8k during the St. Patrick's Day Run Fest in Hagerstown, MD. Matthew and I planned on running this race together but he was under the weather on race day so I went solo.

This event offered multiple race distances: 5k, 8k, half marathon, one mile walk, and kid's races. Because the 8k distance is one I've only ever raced twice (both times during Shamrock Marathon Weekend in VA Beach), I decided to run the 4.97 mile race.

Arriving in Hagerstown, MD, I quickly found free street parking about a quarter mile from the race start/packet pick-up and then registered for my race inside a beautiful theater. For $30 I got entry to the race, a super cute cotton unisex t-shirt, and a free beer after the race. Sweet! This was easily one of the most simple, well-organized race registrations I've ever seen. After walking my shirt back to the car, and using the indoor bathrooms in the theater (another bonus!) I headed out to the race start and ended up bumping into a friend, Steph. We chatted in the "corral" (based on mile/minute times) until the race started. Fun fact, Steph actually was the officiant at our wedding!

We cute.

The 8k, 5k, and one mile walk started at the same time, 10 am. The half marathon had started an hour earlier. All along the course, there was great signage and volunteers letting you know which way to go for each race. The first two-ish miles were in a cemetery which was kinda cool, kinda creepy.

Seed yourselves appropriately, kids. 

Speedy Steph headed towards the cemetery and a smiley volunteer with a directional sign.


After the first few miles in the cemetery, we ran through a bit of downtown Hagerstown and then into a hilly little park. While the morning had started cold, I was overheating a lot by the middle of the race- I'd worn pants, shamrock compression socks, a long-sleeved shirt, a short-sleeved shirt, a hat, and gloves. Yeah, way too much. I ended up taking off the hat, gloves, and long-sleeve and felt much better. That's the one thing I hate about spring running- it's hard to judge how quickly the temperature will rise as the day goes on.

In the last mile of the course, we exited the park and enjoyed an awesome downhill towards the finish. I had been watching my paces on my Garmin so I knew that I could PR this distance if I held onto the sub-11 minute miles. I rounded the corner to the finish line (it was in the same place as the start so I knew where it was) and completed the race in 53:15 (official time from the website), a 4:14 minute PR for the 8k distance! Instead of medals, they gave out green beads with shamrock baubles on them. Super cute.

After the race, I switched to spectator mode and cheered for Steph as she finished the 8k and for another friend, Sara, as she finished the half. Then the three of us headed down to a bar near the finish line, 28 South, to enjoy our free green beer.

Beer is always better after a run.

Overall, this race was really organized, super fun, and affordable. This one will absolutely go on the calendar for 2018. Y'all know I love a themed-race so the opportunity to wear fun socks AND get complimentary beer?! Sounds like my kind of race.

Do you have a favorite holiday-themed race? Share it in the comments!

Monday, June 5, 2017

Accountability Monday: 6/5/17

Welcome to June! Today is my first day back to work after an amazing 11 days off celebrating my birthday and a week at the beach- I don't even remember what I do for a living anymore! 😃

One of my favorite things about vacation is that we have lots of time to workout; we don't have to squeeze in a run into the end of a busy work day. Matthew and I were very active this week and I have to say, I'm feeling the best I have in a few weeks. 

Tuesday: 3.1 miles, 38:44
Wednesday: OBX Running Company Lighthouse 5k, 32:19; 45 minutes of walking after dinner
Thursday: 50 minutes biking around the outer banks
Friday: 2.51 miles, 30:25
Sunday: Bel Air Town Run 5k, 32:22

Total: 11.9 miles

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Best Run
This is a tie this week between the Lighthouse 5k and the Bel Air Town Run 5k. These are the fastest 5ks I have run in almost 18 months. I don't know how I averaged 10:20/10:25 pace for each of these races but I hope I can keep it up! My current 5k PR is 31:28. I'd love to shatter that and get a sub-30 minute 5k by the end of the year. 

Does this skirt make me look fast?

Bravo Moment
Matthew and I went parasailing at the beach (thanks to my awesome in-laws for the amazing 1st anniversary gift!) and you have to say your weight, out loud, to the boat captain and the guy putting you in the harness for the parachute. It's all about safety so you pretty much have to tell the truth, unlike when you're getting your driver's license/ID where you can fib a little. :-) Anyway, I'm super proud of not having any second thoughts about publicly telling a stranger my weight- I honestly didn't think about how incredible this was until later. Years ago, I never would have said my weight out loud. Never. Even though I weigh more than I want to currently, I have come to a point where I'm getting more comfortable with my body, no matter what the scale says. And that's huge progress for me.

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Quote of The Week
I saw this on one of my social media feeds a few weeks ago and it feels really relevant to me this week-

Yup. Got a few excuses I need to get rid of.

Have a great first week of June!