All posts by Runder

25 THINGS ABOUT TWENTY-FIVE

Twenty-five was a wonderful year.  It is mind blowing that another year has passed already but I can proudly say I accomplished a lot this year, got to travel often, and continue to have amazing friends and family in my life.  Before I head into my first birthday that is closer to thirty than it is twenty…here are 25 things that happened during my 25th year.

1. I brought in the new year in a different time zone, visiting one of my best friends in San Diego.

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2. I started running again.  I temporarily quit out of frustration and lack of motivation but quickly found my way back to my first true passion.  And then I blogged about it.

hitting the pavement

3. I planned my first bachelorette party in Atlantic City for my best friend, Kristen.  From boardwalk runs, to scavenger hunts, and late nights dancing, it was a SUCCESS.

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4. KRISTEN GOT MARRIED. Wonderful ceremony, beautiful couple, and EPIC NIGHT.  Wedding=success. This needs to be a yearly occurrence.

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5. I got my first pedicure (in preparation for #4)!  I’ve always been nervous about what the nail technicians would do to my feet as a runner but I have to say that I actually loved it.  If they weren’t so expensive, I would definitely be addicted.

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6. I went to West Virginia for the first time. It wasn’t as bad as I thought…

 

7. I went to Nashville for the first time and it was better than I thought.  Honkytonks, live music, and Broadway need to be a thing in every city.  Free The Band Perry concert on the 4th of July was icing on the cake!

 

8. I fell in love with mason jars.  These are the big trend on pinterest these days and I am a SUCKER for them.  Favorite mason jar use? Lamplighter Coffee in Richmond serving iced coffee in mason jars.

 

9. I ran every day for an entire month straight.  No days off, plenty of workouts, and even raced twice!

july project preview

10. New England vacation.  We spent the dog days in New Hampshire in a lake house on Lake Winnipesaukee.  New England is wonderful.  Never did find a Moose, though…

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11.  Then we drove west to Vermont for our good RVA friends’ wedding.  #greenmountainwedding lived up to expectation and this roadtrip reinforced my new affinity for the North.

 

12. Celebrated our 6 year dating anniversary.  It was a beautiful day for hiking, wine, and Charlottesville exploring.

king family vineyard insta

13. I began the last leg of my teaching licensure program and began student-teaching! Sixth graders for the first half, ninth graders for the second.  This led to the completion of my program and a long term subbing job in the spring!

 

14. Traveled to Disney World for the third year in a row with my high school cross country team!

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15. I went on a quest to find the best brunch in Richmond (by brunch I mean Eggs Benedict because, really, what other brunch item compares to that deliciousness).  Can Can wins hands down, followed by Selba.

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16. I got Bean the most wonderful Halloween/any day costume in the world.

 

17. Finished my second half-marathon in the wonderful RVA.  Not the time I wanted but excited for the chance to compete.  Kristen also came down to run it which makes this race that much more meaningful!

18. I discovered that Church Hill is really, really cool.  I’ve lived in Richmond for almost six years if you include college and I avoided Church Hill like the plague.  It has a bad wrap for being dangerous but is quickly growing into a trendy neighborhood that I plan on exploring more this summer.

 

19. I joined a training team to gear up for the Monument Avenue 10k in Richmond.  There were about 150 members, divided into a handful of groups by pace.  Although I didn’t get to complete the program because of my surgery, it was reinvigorating to train with new people and actually do workouts with others.

Last week, everyone wore blue for #megsmiles.

Last week, everyone wore blue for #megsmiles.

20. We moved! After two years in a wonderful apartment, we moved to a bigger, more rustic apartment which we LOVE.  Exposed brick walls and long hallways—a new must-have in future apartments.

 

21. I ran five races.  I ran three races last summer, the Cul-de-Sac 5k, the Pony Pasture 5k, and the Moonlight 4 Miler, and ended the year with the Richmond Half-Marathon.  Going into 2014, I only got in one race before my surgery but you can bet I’ll be back on the roads this summer.

22. The high indoor track team I coach won their first ever conference championshipsIN SCHOOL HISTORY. What an exciting feat and it was a typical came-down-to-the-winning-4×400 story and we won by TWO points.

CONFERENCE CHAMPS

23. I recovered/am recovering from surgery.  The bed rest is over and I am back working, happy to be back.  I missed a lot of my indoor track team’s championship season and my own running/racing but I am just happy everything went well and I am healthy!

 

24. I, or should I say WE, survived the SNOWPOCALYPSE.  Richmond/the south does not get SNOW and when we do it melts by the end of the day.  This year, we’ve had four pretty sizable storms that lasted for multiple days.  The schools had eleven snow days which we are trying feverishly to make up now and Jeff even got in a little car accident because Richmond/the south also does not have snow plows/salt/shovels.

Major snow storm in Virginia...

Major snow storm in Virginia…

25. Most importantly…… WE GOT ENGAGED!! After six years and living together for two, Jeff and I are finally planning on tying the knot!  We are actually now in the process of planning our engagement party, registering for goodies, and just picked a venue. Going to be an exciting year!!

MY MIND IS BLOWN.

When I was in high school, we did most of our runs pretty fast (some runs under 7:00 pace).  We were a pretty low mileage program so all of our runs were quality…and we were also really competitive and pushed the pace all.the.time.

Before races, I always liked to run fast to get my legs ready to run the next day.  We never did more than 20 minutes so we were always pretty rested.  Even if I felt bad, I felt like I should be running fast.  Slow running just resulted in slow racing.

When I went to college my freshman year at North Carolina State (a much higher mileage program), I remember overhearing the coaches saying that you don’t necessarily need to cut back on mileage before a race but rather the intensity.

NC State’s program was much higher mileage than what I was used and my pre-race runs became just as long (or longer!)  as what my “regular” runs in high school used to be.  How did that make sense?  How could I be rested if I was still running far  the day before a race?  Clearly NC State didn’t know what they were talking about (totally kidding – NC State is home to the most reputable coaches in the NCAA, countless all-Americans, and many conference team titles).  When I transferred to Richmond, our pre-race was more similar to my high school pre-race.  We usually just ran the course and threw in a few strides and called it a day.  I was content with that and no longer debated how long / fast pre-race runs should be.

IMG_0505It wasn’t until years later that I started thinking about this again.  Before racing the Sweetheart 8k this year, I did a pre-race much longer than I am used to (35 minutes–seriously that’s a lot considering I usually just do 20) BUT I ran slower than I typically do.  The run felt really nice and for once I wasn’t freaking out about distance or speed or feeling tired the next day.  I left the run feeling happy and relaxed.  The next day at the race, I felt great.  35 minutesdidn’t killed me after all.  I felt like my life changed (yes, I know I am dramatic)  and was looking forward to testing out if this “higher” mileage/slower pace pre-race routine could work for me (before I couldn’t run for awhile, ha).  It was reassuring to know that I could slow it down and still feel good (not sluggish) the next day. I know additional factors go into pre-race tapering but the day before the race is what I always focus on.

 

I CAN WALK!

Sort of.

I decided to test out walking the other day since I have been feeling pretty good. Aside from the occasional nausea, recovery has been going smoothly.  The R&R has been great but I feel like walking around would begin to help strengthen the incision area and speed up recovery.

We decided to walk to a local ice cream shop because they had my favorite ice cream flavor as the special.  Halfway there, the incision spot started getting really sore and Jeff told me that we either had to turn back then or commit to going the whole way.

Ice cream outweighed the pain and we decided to make the whole trek (I can hear my mother dialing the phone now to yell).  We had to walk pretty slow and I needed to sit by the time we reached the ice cream shop.

…but it was all worth it.

I got my ice cream.

Well worth spending the rest of the night with the ice pack.

I probably won’t test out walking again for awhile but this forced me to be realistic in how quickly I can come back to running.  I didn’t expect to feel that bad from walking so little so I know I won’t be running anytime soon.  It’s discouraging but looking at the long-term picture, I need to take it slow.

HEY – YOU ALL ARE AWESOME.

Wow – I am incredibly overwhelmed by the amount of encouragement and positive vibes sent my way yesterday.  I am happy to announce the surgery went well and I was discharged after just one night in the hospital!

I am SO grateful for all the wonderful people I have in my life.  Last time I had surgery (wisdom teeth) during my high school, my entire cross country team came over to my house with a wide range of junk food and just hung out while I was on bed rest.  To all my friends and family that reached out this past week – I appreciate it more than you know.

Here are a few thoughts on hospital life and recovery:

1) Hearing doctors and nurses gossip about how poor a hospital is run is not comforting for patients.  Just saying.

2) They kept me at the hospital overnight for observation and to help prevent infection.  Please explain to me how I can fight off infection when the only things I am fed are jello, italian ice, and grape juice.  Sugar, sugar, and more sugar. I think I had a chance of developing diabetes with a side of infection.  Hospitals really need to understand the importance of nutrition and health.

3) OK-enough with the negative. My nurses were awesome.  What a stressful, tough job to have.  My doctor also did an amazing job and has been extremely helpful throughout this whole process.  Can’t thank them enough.

4) I can’t believe I have lived this long without experiencing hospital beds.  I had the kind that can recline and/or lift your legs with controls on the side of the bed. Where can I purchase one of these???

5) I also got to wear these compression socks that alternated compressing each leg to help prevent blood clots.  I basically got a 24 hours massage and it was awesome.

compression

6) Best pre-surgery gift to myself ever.  There are the New Balance 890’s designed by Heidi Klum. They are a great lightweight training shoe, great for tempo runs and interval workouts!  Click HERE for other shoes and accessories from the New Balance Heidi Klum collection!

New Balance 890, designed by Heidi Klum. Awesome lightweight running shoe. Get your own pair HERE.

7) My bed-rest read — teenage lit is the best.

divergent

8) Thanks Dr. Suess 🙂

get well

THIS WAS NOT IN MY PLAN.

It was just going to be a normal day, a routine check-up and I would back at the daily grind.

Except that it wasn’t a normal check-up and I was unprepared for the news.

My appointment was at 8 a.m., a mistake in hindsight.  I wish my appointment was at 7 pm, so I could just lay in bed the rest of the night and wallow, because that is how I felt after all was said and done.  But instead, I had to bottle up everything, wipe off my face, stop at CVS to fix my makeup, and work the rest of the day.  The past week has been a whirlwind of doctor visits, phone calls, and mental preparation for surgery.

As a young, active person, you never think anything serious is wrong with you. You push off going to the doctor.  You get away with eating poorly or not sleeping enough. Everything is always fine.

I’m filled with anger, regret, sadness, fear… Angry at my body for failing me, regret that I hadn’t gone to the doctor sooner, sadness because the timing could not have been more terrible (not that there is ever a good time?), and fear..fear of the uncertainty.  How much will this hurt? Will they find something else? Are there going to be complications? Is the recovery time REALLY going to be SIX weeks?  Grey’s Anatomy—you have scarred me for life.  I have never had a big surgery—it was not in my plan. Not now. Not ever.

Everything just seemed to be going so right lately.  I am about to embark on a long-term substitute teaching job with the students I student-taught in the fall.  I just started getting into racing shape, joined a training team, and signed up for the two largest races in the area.  March was going to be my month, when everything I have been working towards would come together.

Life — I don’t like you sometimes.

But the universe did throw me a bone.  The day I found out about my surgery, my high school team I coach won its first ever conference championships in school history.  I could not have been more proud of them.

So, I’ll be out of commission for a little bit. Keep me in your thoughts.  Without going into much detail, this surgery seems relatively routine and there are people out there with much worse and far more severe conditions.  My goal is to be completely healed in half the time the doctor recommends… just because I can’t run for now doesn’t mean I lost my competitiveness.