All posts by Runder

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.

MOTIVATION MONDAY: OUR NATION’S FINEST!

Think you don’t have time for a run?

Even the busiest men in our nation’s history make time for a jog.

As a social studies teacher, I couldn’t help myself—>in honor of President’s Day, here’s a presidential Motivation Monday!

jimmy carter

Jimmy Carter enjoying a nice stroll on a seemingly beautiful day.  Remember when we used to be able to see the ground and it wasn’t covered in snow??? Carter supposedly also ran track for the Naval Academy back in the day.

bush sr

George Bush Sr. making an appearance on the roads.

Here’s a two-for-one—Al Gore and Bill Clinton refueling with some McDonald’s after working out. Too much to say about this one…so I’ll leave it at that. 🙂

obama

And our incumbent, Barack Obama, with admittedly better athletic apparel choices than Clinton.

Running, therefore, is an act of patriotism. Do your part today and get in a run!

flag

Richmond Half Marathon: Race Recap

Last year, I had a really positive experience running a half marathon in Philly.  Although my thoughts immediately following that race were anything but running another half marathon, I really, really enjoyed the distance and the event and wanted to come back to Philly to run it again.

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Upon further thinking, I opted to run the Richmond Half Marathon instead.  I love this city and wasn’t sure when I would ever get a chance to run it.  State championships for high school typically falls on the same weekend but this year it was on a Friday!

The weather... Yes, it poured for 20 minutes before our race.

The weather… Yes, it poured for 20 minutes before our race. Yes, I wore mascara today.

Training the past few months has been non-existent. If I thought I was under prepared last year for last year’s race, this half was going to be a shock.  I have started student-teaching for the entire semester and have struggled finding a balance between teaching, coaching, planning, grading, and remaining sick-free and not completely sleep deprived.  I thought about backing out of the race but instead lowered my expectations and decided to focus on the experience and having fun running in the RVA.

My new uniform for Team NBRVA (site needs to be updated).

My new uniform for Team NBRVA (site needs to be updated).

Per usual, the pre-race excitement got me motivated.  I love watching other runners warm-up and race and do strides. I love pre-race chatter.  I love meeting new people, particularly for a larger race like this that brings in many new faces.

The race went off. It had rained earlier but thankfully stopped right before our race started. I felt good the first few miles and tried to focus on clicking off the miles steadily, as opposed to thinking about what specific mile I was at.  The first time I realized how dead I was was at mile 6 where I saw the 10k marker and realized how much longer I had but already felt dead (these miles were also hilly..).  The next hardest mile was mile 8, where I felt completely spent and actually thought about stopping.  It wasn’t until I engaged the crowds and got them to really cheer while I passed or smiled as I read their signs that I began feeling a little better (or at least I distracted myself from the pain)…

My best friend Kristen came down from CT to run her first half!!

THE START: My best friend Kristen came down from CT to run her first half!!

Crowd support is really important to me.  Although Richmond is nicknamed the “Friendliest Marathon” I certainly felt more love at Philly. The rainy, cold weather may have contributed to how spread out the fans were but those bare stretches certainly made the run lonely.  I DO applaud everyone who came out though. The signs were indeed hilarious and the tents with music got me pumped up! Philly is just a whole different animal of race and it is unfair to compare the two.

We made it! Kristen and I at the finish. Party didn't last too long. Rain+cold=sprint to car and skip cooldown.

We made it! Kristen and I at the finish. Party didn’t last too long. Rain+cold=sprint to car and skip cooldown.

The last hardest mile was the 12th mile.  I hit a wall, just like I did in Philly.  Thankfully, the last few miles are downhill so that at least allowed me to feel my legs back under me. Finished in 1:03:03…Was hoping to go sub 1:30 so it was close.

SPLITS: 6:30, 6:41, 6:45, 6:46, 6:43, 6:56 (41:59 at 10k), 6:54, 7:07, 6:58. 6:59, 7:03, 7:02, 6:48

Generally, I can’t complain. I averaged less than 13.1 miles a week and somehow expected to race all 13.1 miles in one day.  I certainly wasn’t competitive but embraced a more relaxed attitude about running. Unlike last year where I burnt myself out after forcing myself to train when I was struggling, I still enjoy running and training and don’t plan on quitting. I think it is important to cut yourself some slack sometimes.  This race got me motivated to train hard for next year and look for some more big races to schedule!  There may even be a new project for 2014…but you’ll have to wait and see to find out more. ;-)

Team NB RVA post half marathon.

Team NB RVA post half marathon.

Spiders after the half!

Spiders after the half!

My Favorite Place

I feel very blessed to have a job doing what I love.   Although it means I sacrifice many of my weekends, there is no place I would rather be than watching my athletes compete.  My weekends, for as long as I can remember, have been taken up by track meets and road races and so it would make sense that weekends in my professional life would look no different.

One of my favorite places to be is at the finish line of a cross country meet.

9-28 maymont finish line

I love watching parents and teammates cheering on their athlete, screaming at them to run faster, running along the sidelines with them, and watching the seconds tick off the clock as they run by.

I love watching the finishers, eyes focused on the clock, determination evident in every facial expression, giving every last ounce of energy they have before reaching the finish line.

I love that sudden burst of energy runners get when their is a competitor suddenly in their reach or if they realize they are about to get passed.

I love watching interactions with fans immediately following a race: the ecstatic hug and squeeze if the athlete ran well or the silent embrace to recognize they did their best for that day.

I love watching runners interact with their coach, the frantic search if they haven’t found them at the finish, the dissecting every aspect of the race.  I love the notes jotted down on the quintessential clipboard.

I love the honesty.  No matter what the preparation looked like beforehand, I truly believe every runner that toes line has intentions of giving it their all and testing their limits, even if it is just down the final 100 meters.

I love the energy.  When you are standing down the final finishing shoot, there is no one there that does not want to be there. You take a look around and everyone is eager. People clap for athletes that aren’t theirs.  There are flags; there are team banners. Everyone is excited.  Everyone is there to support one another.

Runners understand each other and we can relate to the pain of the race, to the constant desire to better ourselves, and to the addiction we have to the sport.  I don’t know where I am supposed to be right now or what I am supposed to be doing but I do know that I am supposed to be doing this but it means a lot to me to able to give back to the community in an area that I am passionate about.

hkrs coach