All About Angela

Friday, October 31, 2014

Broken Vag Muscle + Tunes

I laced up the new kicks and ran last night. I needed this run....I withdrew from my graduate program (a decision that I had been stressing over for a year) and pounding the pavement always helps clear my mind and keeps crippling anxiety at bay. The resistance of the wind coupled with light rain made for a perfect Fall adventure. My lungs burned for the first two miles but I was grateful for each step....I love how running can make me truly feel alive. I did not want to stop, I kept extending the run. It was perfect until mile 4.

For about three weeks, I have been dealing with random soreness in my glutes; this occurs especially on hilly routes. It's not incapacitating or painful but rather annoying because it does slow me down. I haven't really fixated upon it but last night the soreness moved into my groin. At first it was just irritating but then started to border on painful. I had to run on a patch of grass and for some reason the change in terrain caused my groin muscles to feel like they were lit on fire (wow that sounds kind of dirty).

After research, I believe that I might either have something called pirformis syndrome OR a grade one groin strain. The good news is that I can run through this. The bad news is that I may have to actually stretch occasionally and subject myself to the torture that is deep tissue massage. Furthermore, the aggressive mileage goal for November might need to be reevaluated depending upon recovery.

I decided to post a few of my favorite running tunes. I have a fairly eclectic taste in music and some of these are not the standard recommendations that you come across time and time again. I have to rotate music regularly out of my shuffle so please....share your favorites! 

Happy Halloween! 

Wednesday, October 29, 2014


I'm on day four of the week o' rest. Last night, I joined my husband for happy hour. We had a great time - we ate an obscene amount of cheese + grease, drank beer and watched the Royals whoop the Giants. Driven by guilt, I declared that I would run after work; this would cancel our second World Series happy hour date. Before leaving for work, I ensured that I had all my running gear packed.

I just got done having a heart-to-heart discussion with my boss (and friend) and realized that I should continue to rest (as planned). This leads me to my confession....

I have some disordered eating tendencies. I love to eat....but sometimes hate myself when I do. I'll never decline a cupcake (unless under extreme duress) and I am proud that I have a healthy amount of curves (thank you hooligans). However, I often exercise as punishment for indulging. I used to be 50 pounds heavier. I wore "mom jeans" to hide my love handles. Someone once solicited fashion advice from me stating, "You're a bigger girl and dress well." A doctor once told me that I should stay away from ice cream and start counting calories.

The closest thing that I have to a "before and after". 
People look at me now and think that I am ridiculous (and superficial) for having food / weight issues. Losing weight was a long journey. I'm still on the journey to become healthier, I could always improve upon that. I've never subscribed to radical diets or exercise regiments. I went my own pace and made gradual changes. I just cannot shake this irrational fear that indulging will lead to years of progress being reversed. It's not something that I panic about on a conscious level know, the fear is lurking there when I analyze my naked body in the mirror.

This past couple weeks I've been eating A LOT and I've been allowing myself more treats than usual. My boss brought in a pan of these caramel cookie bars and I could not stop shoving them in my face. Yes...I did just run 3 marathons + 1 half marathon in just over a month but still....I feel like I should be running. I would feel better about that giant breakfast burrito that I inhaled for lunch if I could rush out and bang out ten miles.

But what would those ten miles do? 

Yes, those ten miles might negate the burrito on a caloric level.

Yes, those ten miles might make me feel better (even on an unhealthy level).

But what would rest do? 

I could join my husband for happy hour. I've missed so many during the last few months of training. I'll miss countless more now that my training is going to get more aggressive.

Give my muscles a bit more rest - I know they need it.

I have a high mileage goal for November (250). Even if I do gain weight, I know that will become fuel for some of these intense training weeks. And I know that weight will fall off. Realistically, I know that the scale is climbing due to water retention more than anything (carbs are the love of my life).

I never want to be that person that cannot let exercise take a backseat to having fun EVER. I don't want to be that person who turns down the cupcake....I mean cupcakes are freaking delicious. And I've worked hard to have this break. So yes....I'm going to happy hour. I'm going to drink a couple beers and probably indulge in delightful goodies. And maybe tomorrow, I will try some easy miles....but because I want to and not because I feel that I have to.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Trail of Terror 1/2 Marathon Recap

Honestly, I was less than thrilled about this race. Obviously, I had some reason to fork out the dough for registration but the closer the event came....the less and less that I wanted to run. A week prior, I completed the Hayden Lake Marathon (third marathon in less than four weeks). I had given that race all that I had - it was a challenging course that left my muscles screaming in defeat. Every short run that I completed between the two events was like torture - slow and bordering on painful.

This was the first race that I've ever participated in that began in the afternoon (2 PM). Since I'm accustomed to a limited breakfast diet prior to racing, that is what I stuck to....I started my morning with a giant bowl of coco pebbles (I have the food desires of a toddler). Two hours before start,  I had a toasted waffle almond butter + jam sandwich. 

I was irritated by the fact that all participants were informed packets had to be picked up by 1 PM. It was clearly stated there would be no exceptions. You have to understand...this race began on someone's farm located in rural Idaho....there was absolutely nothing to do for an hour. To make matters worse, they had 2 bathrooms for the entire crowd. I spent almost 30 minutes lined up to use one.

Camera Face. 

Not sure what is happening here....

Now onto the race.... 

I had no goals coming into this race other than to finish (preferably with a smile). I started out strong but the wheels starting coming off around six miles. The adrenalin rush of racing wore off rather quickly. My entire body began to ache. I would not call this race "challenging" but it had some decent rolling hills. The course consisted of three out-and-back sections along country roads. Much to my delight, the most difficult section was repeated twice. 

I would never say that running a half marathon is easy BUT I am becoming quite comfortable with this distance; I have ran beyond it more times than I can remember. Therefore, I don't really have a special fueling strategy. Absent any unique circumstances, I just rely on whatever the aid stations have. The amount of aid stations on this course were perfect - about every two miles. I would have preferred Gatorade over Heed but no reason to get picky.

As always, the volunteers were amazing. How can you bitch about someone that is telling you how awesome you look and how great you're doing when you're hobbling by with an appearance that would cause nightmares in young children. 

The highlight of my race was a woman yelling, "I see you running around all the time. You are AWESOME!" That provided me the second wind that I needed to get through this race. I ended up finishing in 2 hours and 9 seconds. I was 29th overall and 10th female. I'm fairly proud of those numbers considering how I felt in the last half of the race. The amount of swag that participants received was impressive - a shirt + beer grunt + hoo rag + medal. I did not stick around for the post race festivities, I was anxious to get home and watch the World Series. I do not plan on doing this race next year unless the course is dramatically changed.

Still smiling 

My husband has mandated that I take a week off from running in order to recover from an intense year. I won't be resigning myself to couch potato status but I won't be taking any 30 mile bike rides either. I plan on gaining a couple pounds from inhaling every baked good that comes within my line of vision and drinking my weight in beer. Towards the end of this week, I'll begin the next cycle of training and this one I am quite excited about!