Running Medal Christmas Tree 2016

This week, I put up a running themed Christmas tree. I used medals as ornaments, a heat sheet for a tree skirt, and a race bib for a tree topper. Instead of presents under the tree, I have awards from placing in some of this year’s races.

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As I recover from a season-ending knee injury, I realize the leap of faith it takes to go for a run, let alone toe the starting line of a race. So many people will never run. Of course who do run, many will never train for a race. Of those who train, many will not start the race, and some will not finish. Finishing a race is an accomplishment.

Whether you’re an elite athlete or a Couch-to-5Ker, running takes you out of your comfort zone. You have to be brave to toe the start line of a race- brave enough to run what you hope will be your fastest race at a distance, longest distance, or first race post-injury.

A running Christmas tree is more than a Pinterest Project. Each medal tells a story far more complex than the finish time. One story involves setting goals and finishing a half marathon #CharlestonStrong, one second under your goal time. One story involves sloshing through a muddy trail in memory of a friend’s 9-year-old son who passed away but inspired a community. One story is about running in memory of a cousin who committed suicide and in honor of a new friend who received an organ transplant.

So many Christmas trees are “corporate”, with matching store-bought ornaments or fancy décor. Those trees are beautiful, but don’t represent me. I’m sweaty, smelly, scrappy, muddy, messy, and mismatched. I’m hard working, tenacious, and brave. I’m a runner.

Merry Christmas, and here’s to a 2017 filled with running fast, taking chances, and dreaming big.

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I’m grateful that so many local races, including the Charleston Marathon, Race the Landing Series, and James Island Connector Run recognize ALL runners by giving out finisher’s medals. All three of those races are some of my favorites, and I recommend them to anyone in the area (or outside of the area but willing to travel to Charleston).

Posted in Charleston Marathon, Cooper River Bridge Run, Holidays, James Island Connector Run, Race the Landing, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Weekly Rundown: November 21-27

It’s Thanksgiving week, college football rivalry week, and time for the Weekly Rundown!

In honor of the South Carolina vs. Clemson rivalry, I’ll start with four words every Gamecock fan knows well:

It’s a rebuilding season.

My training has shut down for 2016. My focus has shifted to recovery from ITBS and (eventually) rebuilding my mileage rather than any race or goal. Running wise, I took this week conservatively- because you can be a conservative runner and liberal in other areas…

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Monday 3.1 mile run + 60 min. Vin to Yin yoga
Tuesday 60 min. cycle + ITB Rehab Routine
Wednesday 4.1 mile run + ITB Rehab Routine
Thursday ITB Rehab Routine + Carb loading for my comeback race
Friday 30 min. yoga + 1 mile hike + 3.1 mile run
Saturday ITB Rehab Routine
Sunday 5.3 miles + ITB Rehab Routine + 60 min.BodyFlow

I tested the knee out with a run on Monday, all taped up from my chiro visit last Friday. I only ran 3 miles, which didn’t feel great but I covered up my watch and ran a surprisingly fast pace. I guess that’s how people who only run 3 miles at a time and take a lot of days off ran so quickly at group runs when I was riding the struggle bus of 50 miles per week and half marathon training.

Tuesday night, I stuck with my every-other-day plan and cross trained on the bike at Planet Fitness. I watched Netflix on my phone, then headed to Maybank Public House for a Charleston Running Club social. Members are big on staying OFF social media, so I have no pictures to show from the social. 

Wednesday’s run was a funny one. Clay and I were leaving town to visit his parents, so I had to get my run in earlier in the day. Since the KT tape worked on Monday, I watched a YouTube tutorial, taped up my knee, waited 30 minutes, and headed out.

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About halfway in, I felt the KT tape slipping off my skin. I stopped and tried to smooth it down, but as I was running back into my neighborhood, the tape completely fell off. It was like that scene in Forrest Gump where Forrest’s braces fall off.

This would be the *only* time it’s ever acceptable to yell “Run Forrest Run” from a car.

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We spent Thanksgiving with Clay’s parents, where I ate like I was carb-loading for a marathon. When all your friends on social media are runners, you see more Turkey Trot pictures than food pictures and it was hard to look at. I hated to miss the local Turkey Trot there (I won it last year, although that’s not saying much since it’s so small), but knew it would be stupid to run two days straight.

In the end, I feel good about my decision to rest and save the money for a future race when I’m injury-free and actually training. I can’t show up on the day of a race, pay $30, and not push myself more, even if it’s not a goal race. We headed to NC that evening to visit Clay’s grandparents, too.

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On Friday, all of us went out for breakfast then visited Stone Mountain State Park, where Clay and I went on a 1 mile hike and I ran a short run that evening before dinner. I don’t prioritize running when we visit family because running will always be there but family may not be.

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Saturday was a travel day and with driving home, all I had time for was my PT Routine- but that’s what is important right now so I’m glad I did that much.

Sunday, I ran and did PT exercises. My knee hurt that evening, but I made it to BodyFlow, which helps my knee a LOT. Plus, I can finally get my heels to touch the ground in downward facing dog position- even at the very beginning of class. I’ve been doing yoga since 2012 but my mobility now is better than ever in yoga classes.

Sometimes the little things can be victories, right?

I’m linking up with Holly at Hohoruns and Tricia at MississippiPiddlin‘ for their weekly wrap link. Check it out and read the other posts here.

Posted in Family, Holidays, Injury, Training Log | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments