Sydney Goes to the Vet

I was considering writing a recap today about my race last week… or writing a post about how I signed up for the St. George Marathon in October. But that’s not the most important thing going on right now. Instead, I’m going tell you about my really really bad day and it is not at all running related.

Last night after work, Frank and I went over to the climbing gym. We met up with some friends for a night of top-roping, bouldering, and yoga. We were only there for about 2-3 hours and then we came home. As I was fixing myself dinner, I noticed that Sydney (my brown tabby cat) kept attacking Elly (my calico cat). Sydney was being so relentless that I eventually picked Elly up and carried her to get her away from Sydney’s constant attacks. It was really upsetting me and I was confused by the strange behavior.

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Sydney on the windowsill

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Elly in her usual sleeping position.

As I was watching Sydney, I noticed she was doing some weird stuff. She kept walking sideways, as if she were very drunk, and falling over. She couldn’t make the jump to the couch, which is typically very easy. She seemed dizzy and was having trouble even sitting up right. As you would assume, this was very upsetting. When I had seen her just several hours earlier, she was fine, so whatever this was, it came on fast.

All night long, Sydney paced. She kept walking over my back and waking me up. I barely slept at all. Obviously, the next morning she went straight to the vet. However, by the time I got her there, the symptoms had mostly cleared up. She still seemed a little agitated, but nothing like the night before.

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Very nervous at the vet’s office

The vet didn’t have a ton of answers, but did think that Sydney had a seizure. Likely, I came in on the aftermath of that seizure and that was what caused the drunken and agitated behavior. We are monitoring her for now, but if she continues having seizures, she’s going to have to have some extensive (and expensive) tests done.

Those of you with pets probably know how upsetting an experience like this can be. Cats are especially difficult because they really don’t let on that they are sick until they are very sick. Although Sydney is not nearly as friendly to me as Elly is (who follows me everywhere, including into the bathroom), she is still my furry child. Send Sydney some good vibes! I think she needs them.

The “C word” (cancer) was spoken to me as a potential explanation, which of course has me very bothered. Sydney is no spring chicken, so a seizure disorder is not the likely cause. I’m hoping that maybe her electrolytes were off and that we can avoid this again in the future.

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Post-vet nap time

Have you ever had a cat act like this? Honestly, any thoughts on what might be wrong would be greatly appreciated.

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Running, Goals, and Some Unknowns

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Hey Everyone!

It’s been a long time since I’ve been running hard and training for anything specific. My last race, the Route 66 Marathon, was a bit of a flop largely because I walked to the starting line severely undertrained and a bit burnt out from my ultra. I am once again back on my feet and I am determined to get to a May marathon with some better training under my belt.

You may notice that I have not really committed to a specific marathon yet. Unfortunately, I will likely be unable to for a while. Frank and I are looking to move from Kansas and we are not really sure where we will be come May, but I am training to run a race on May 21, the day of the Colfax marathon. I will plan to run Colfax if I am still in Kansas, or if I am driving distance from Denver. I want to run a half marathon some time in March, but unfortunately, I am unable to say where or when it will be yet. It’s hard training without specifics, and it’s very hard living with so many unknowns in my future. I feel like I cannot commit to anything beyond about two weeks since we could hear back from somewhere at any time and we would have to be ready to go.

One thing is for sure, we are looking to move out west. I have spent my entire life in the flatlands of the US, and we have been looking to get to the mountains. The western half of the US is huge, so I feel confident (and hopeful) that something will turn up soon.

Looking ahead into the unknown of 2017, I do have a few goals that I believe are attainable.

  • PR my marathon

I honestly don’t care if it’s by 2 freaking seconds, I just want a PR. I will train for a 3:50 time, but come race day, I will be happy with anything that is a PR.

  • Run a sub 1:45 half marathon

Ok, this one is a little more specific. My last half was 1:47 and it was very comfortable. I was in one of my favorite places in the world, Estes Park, and I hope to go back there for that sub-1:45 in August. I definitely think this is within my abilities, but I will need to work for it.

  • Run a 50-miler

Last year I ran a 50K, and I can honestly tell you that it was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. However, those last few miles made everything worth it. I ran through the trails of Omaha with a giant smile of my face, so excited to be an ultra runner. Well, my new goal is to run a 50-miler, which I am hoping to do in the fall.

This week I will be getting back to my usual training updates, yoga posts, and random other things that make there way on to my blog. Thanks for being patient and waiting for me to be ready to train hard again.

And of course, here’s a picture of my favorite fur-ball.

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How do you deal with unknowns? Does change stress you out (it stresses me out)?

 

Getting Ready to go Ultra

Thanks everyone for all of the supportive comments last week after my update. I am in the final week before my race, and to say that I am nervous is an understatement. Running 31.5 miles wont be easy or pretty, but I think I can get it done. I still have some last minute details to get through, and I am not entirely sure what I am going to eat on the course (I know, a little late, right?). Most things I’ve tried, besides GU packets, bother my stomach and I really don’t see myself being able to down GU for 6+ hours.

Last week, my iPod shuffle kicked the bucket on a run. It’s been my running partner for some time now and I was quite devastated when I realized that my sweat had killed it. Fortunately for me, AudioFlood makes an awesome waterproof version of the shuffle. It came in yesterday, just in time to have some music during my race! I’ve been downloading music from the library and itunes to make sure that I have plenty to listen to for the many hours that I will be running in Omaha this weekend.

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So, now I’m pretty feeling ready! At least as ready as one feels before they take on their first ultra marathon…

And since you haven’t seen how Elly is doing for a while, here’s a beautiful pic of her from yesterday.

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Do you run with music? What player do you use? Any song suggestions for my race?

Life After Colfax

My race photos are in!!!!

This one is pretty good. I look unbelievably tired, but I think this was taken at like Mile 21 or 22.

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Not the best running form, but still holding up!

Oh, and they caught the high-5 between Dan and I at the end.

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Dan and I at the bottom of the screen high-fiving!

Colfax is done… so what now?

Well, I don’t really have the post-race blues. I didn’t really give myself the chance to. On Saturday I am pacing the Bill Snyder Half Marathon and helping the 2:25 group reach their goals. It’s always fun to pick up your next race packet while you are still sore from your previous race.

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My pacer stick and shirt!! Bringing people to their PR’s!

I am leaving for London with my mom next week and I’ll be pacing her for a 5K in Liverpool and the next day I’ll be running the Rock and Roll Half Marathon. I don’t really know what my goals are for this race, but more than anything, I am just excited to race internationally.

I am kind of taking running not too seriously until I begin training for Chicago in a few weeks. Luckily, the soreness is mostly gone from my legs and I actually feel pretty good. I’ve been sleeping A LOT and trying to stay very hydrated. I’m hoping that I can get back to some relaxed running either today or tomorrow. Elly has also been keeping me company during recovery.

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Elly only lays on her back when she is REALLY passed out. So cute. 

I am likely going to be using the Hanson’s plan for Chicago, which will begin the 2nd week of June. I am going to dedicate an entire post to goals, but I’ll warn you that they are pretty big. Colfax went really well and I never felt like I was pushing myself or reaching my edge. In Chicago, I might push things a little harder. I learned a ton and one thing that I am going to take into racing from now on is to eat a lot more during races. I was always very stingy about gel use, but not anymore. I really believe having a gel every 45 minutes basically saved me from hitting the infamous marathon wall. I’m hoping that I can have a repeat performance at Chicago.

I’m pretty excited about my several weeks of “run whenever I damn well please” instead of running because I have to. It won’t last too long, but I’ll enjoy it while it does.

Do you have a goal race coming up soon? What do you do between training cycles?

Colfax Marathon Week 15: Peak Week

Yesterday I posted our crazy weekend of climbing, hiking, backpacking, and tornados (yay, Kansas). In addition to our awesome trip, I was in the peak of my marathon training. Peak week could not have gone better. I really feel like I had bounced off the confidence gained from my race and that sent me into last week with a good head and a lot of excitement. I can honestly say that I have tried my very hardest and have done everything that I can to be ready heading into my first marathon.

Elly is also trying her very hardest training for the sleep-a-thon.

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This cat sleeps like 20 hours per day.

This was my week

Monday: 8 miles – easy pace + Yoga

Tuesday: 8 miles w/ 3 x 2 mile repeats + Yoga

Wednesday: 3 miles – recovery pace + Yoga

Thursday: 20 miles LSD + Yoga

Friday: REST DAY! Lots of climbing though

Saturday: 6 miles – recovery pace + Climbing

Sunday: 10 miles at Goal MP + Hiking

Total Miles: 55.1 YEAH!

This was my highest mileage ever! I wasn’t sure during the beginning of the week if I would actually hit 55 miles, but I took it day by day and kept warm up, recovery, and cool down miles REALLY REALLY SLOW! It worked and I made it to the other side with no pain and no injuries. I also made my yoga practice a serious priority and stepped it up a notch. For a few weeks, I’ve been keeping yoga very chill and easy. I decided to go to a few more advanced level classes. Honestly, it kind of helped. I didn’t do any inversions or crazy arm balances, but moving a lot and breaking a sweat definitely helped keep my muscles limber.

I definitely struggled with the 3 x 2 mile repeats. I took them a little too fast and suffered because of it. But all three were EXACTLY 16:30, so not bad. I was proud of the consistency but not so proud of the amount of suffering that I did during the workout. I was still a little sore from the race, so I’ll blame it on that.

The 20-miler definitely weighed heavy on my mind all week, but once I finally did it, honestly, it was not so bad. It was a little slower than my first 20-miler, but mentally, I was a lot more ready. I took the last 5 miles at race pace, but had a moment where I crashed a little and had to stop to drink water. It was pretty warm out, and I may have been a little dehydrated.

My goal MP tempo run was done in Springfield, Mo on the way home from Arkansas. I went along the Greenline trail that runs north-south straight through town. The wind was blowing and it was 85 degrees out, but I still managed to hold on to race pace (with a water break in the middle). There were definitely some difficulties running this, but I was pretty happy to be done. Honestly, the last mile almost brought me to tears, knowing that I made it to the taper, healthy and strong.

So… I did it. I made it to the taper and I did it without injury. This has not been easy, but regardless of how Colfax goes, I am proud of this training cycle. I am so happy and thankful that my body held up. So, during miles 20-26.2, when I want to quit, I am going to remind myself of the hard work I put into this cycle and I am going to be thankful for what my body is capable of right now.

The countdown is on… 19 days until Colfax.

Thinking Out Loud: 20 thoughts I had running 20 miles

Last week I conquered the 20-mile distance for the first time. It was hard and ridiculous, but I finished it. I still have one more 20-miler left before the taper, but at least I know what to expect now. Since it was such an interesting experience, this week for Thinking Out Loud, I am going to list 20 thoughts that went through my mind while I ran. I was having a lot of trouble shutting my brain off and it was going a little wild. I imagine I will have even more fun thoughts while I run Colfax, but for now, here are 20 thoughts I had running my first 20-miler.

  1. Holy crap! 20 miles is so far… I wouldn’t drive that far if I could help it.
  2. I really hope the Hansons are wrong and this 20-miler isn’t going to kill me.
  3. Why did that person just pass me? Clearly they must NOT be running 20 miles.
  4. Oh, I am totally going to own this marathon.
  5. 20 miles isn’t that far.
  6. It’s so nice and wonderful out. I love running.
  7. Why do I do this to myself? I hate running.
  8. Sing it P!nk!! (while listening to So What)
  9. Almost half way!! Not too bad.
  10. Oh no… I’m only half way.
  11. Elly knows where it’s at! I should be sleeping next to her.
  12. Make it to 13.1 and you can eat some really gross Gu.
  13. YEAH!!! EAT THE REALLY GROSS GU!!!
  14. So, this would be the second half of the marathon. I can totally do this!
  15. Why did I route myself to a hill on the 15th mile?
  16. I am circumnavigating Manhattan… I am like Magellan. I bet he couldn’t run 20 miles.
  17. Oh F*ck… Why do I do this to myself? There is no way I can run a marathon.
  18. Tell me I can do this… I can do this. Tell me I can do this… I can do this.
  19. I am the hungriest person in the world.
  20. I just ran 20 miles!!!! Marathon training is the best!!!!

At least I know I can run 20 miles! I think at the end of it, I could have run 6.2 more… if I had to. Seriously, though, I wouldn’t want to.

This is what Elly was doing while I ran:

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That’s one passed out kitty!

Thanks to Amanda at Running with Spoons for hosting the linkup!

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What thoughts go through your head while you run long?

Colfax Week 6: The Sinus Infection From Hell

My training this week was… close to non-existent. Unfortunately, Elly and I both came down with sinus infections (not sure why the cat and I are both sick) and mine seems to be the sinus infection from hell. It has made it hard to do just about anything, no less run. The good news is that Elly and I are both on antibiotics, and she seems to be feeling a lot better. I’m still feeling a little rough. Hopefully this week gets a little better for me.

Monday: Rest Day

Elly started to come down with something, so I was considering taking her to the vet. She would walk around the apartment sneezing, which made me a little worried. I was still pretty sore from A1A, and a rest was well deserved.

Tuesday: 5 miles Progression Run

I went running with one of my friends around town. Despite my legs still feeling a little sore, I felt strong and had no trouble holding 8:20/mi paces. We started around 9:00/mi for the first mile and made it down to 7:50/mi for the last mile. It felt so good to stretch out the legs and push the pace a little. I spent some of the run wishing that I had felt this strong at A1A.

Wednesday: 5 easy miles

It was warm and wonderful outside. I went out for a pretty chill run with no real plan. I tried to incorporate a few hills into the workout, but it was basically just an easy chill run. It was the first run of the year in shorts!!

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Proof that I was wearing shorts in February!

Thursday: Rest

I woke up feeling a little icky, but I was still hoping the feeling would pass. Elly was sneezing a lot, so I took her to the vet. She was not a fan and spent a lot of time whining, crying, and shaking. We got some antibiotics and were sent on out way.

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She was looking very concerned about being in the carrier. She knew where we were headed.

I found her passed out like this soon after we got home:

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I imagine the vet must be very tiring.

Friday: 3 easy miles

I woke up in the morning with the sinus infection from hell. If this is how Elly felt, I just feel awful for her. I went to the doctor, they gave me the ok to run as long as I was not coughing and sent me home with antibiotics. I decided to go out for a quick easy run, and it wasn’t nearly as bad as I expected.

Saturday: Rest

Sinus Infection from Hell (SIFH) got worse. I figured it would be a good idea to chill out and not run. I was starting to lose my appetite, which for me means I must be really really sick.

Sunday: More Rest

SIFH got worse and I started coughing a lot. Coughing was my cue to skip my long run this week even though I really wanted to go out. I rode my bike around town a little to get some fresh air.

What I was supposed to run: 36 miles

What I could actually run given the SIFH: 14 miles

Basically, that was my week. I am really hoping to feel better quick so I can get back to my normal training. If things don’t get better, I’ll be making another trip to see my doctor. I’ll kind of play it by year to see what actually gets done next week. It is supposed to be my first 40-mile week of this training cycle, but that definitely depends on how I am feeling.

Elly and I have been trying to sleep off our illnesses. It’s good to have company when sick. Luckily, Frank has been taking good care of us and has been trying to force me to eat.

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Partners in sickness.

Do you still run if you are sick? Have you ever gotten sick at the same time as your pet?