Monday, October 31, 2016

race report: St. Peter Halloween 5k

On Saturday I ran my first 5k in 2-1/2 years. In a costume. And I stuck to my race plan. And it wasn't my slowest 5k. In fact, it was faster than the last 5k I ran, pre-baby! Nevermind that my average pace (7:22) was my half marathon PR pace from 2011- any my 10k PR pace in 2013. Ironic.

The race is known as the "largest and fastest parade of costumes in southern Minnesota" so I felt it only appropriate to dress up. I Googled costume ideas and settled on the Cookie Monster which seemed easy enough to make at home. I procrastinated on making it until the night before the race, when I discovered that the fabric glue I bought wasn't holding. Enter my savior husband and his suggestion of the construction adhesive Liquid Nails. Worked like a charm.


I woke up early on Saturday and snuck out of bed to get ready while Ulla slept. I woke her up at the last minute and loaded her into the car for the trip to my mom's. She never fell back asleep and was happy to be at Oma's.

I got to packet pick up early, wanting to beat the crowds, and grabbed my race number and t-shirt, then went to my favorite coffee shop for a little pre-race snack. I ran a 2 mile warm up and did a few drills, got costumed up, and lined up in the corral about five minutes before the race started.

My race plan was to stay slow my first mile, then hammer the next two. I kept checking my watch the first mile because it's so easy to get caught up with everyone and have a fast effort seem easy, and sure enough, I was a running a sub-7 pace when I first checked my watch. I immediately backed off and went through the first mile in 7:27, right where I wanted to be.

Then we hit hills. And not just a few. There were a lot. I concentrated on maintaining my effort and not my pace as we rolled through a neighborhood. Every time I thought we were to the top, I would see another hill in front of us. My second mile was 7:44.

What goes up must come down and while my legs were tired from climbing, I focused on staying relaxed and loose, trying to use each downhill for a rest. Mile 3 was 7:06, significantly faster than my first mile and the first time EVER that my first mile was not my fastest in a 5k. I finished with a little left in the tank and felt great.

My Garmin said 22:42 but my official results (gun time) were 22:50. I'm happy with it. The race served its purpose of honing in training paces for the next few weeks, before I race another 5k in November. Honestly, when I think about the shape I used to be in and how much work it will take to get back there, everything feels way too overwhelming. But all I can do is take it a day at a time and just do what I can. Constant forward progress and all that.

Friday, October 14, 2016

14 weeks to run a PR?

I've been neglecting this space, mostly for lack of time but more so I just forget how good it feels to write until I do. So here I am, while Ulla unloads four containers of Playdoh on the floor at my feet.

Let's talk running!

Running has been happening on a weekly basis but that's the extent of it's consistency. I haven't hit double digit miles for the week since running Grandma's Half in June. I've been happy to get out for 30 minutes a couple times a week and haven't worried about it if I can't. It was summer in Minnesota, after all. I don't do hot weather running very well, especially when early morning runs aren't an option (read: a husband that leaves for work by 6:20 a.m. and a baby that still isn't sleeping through the night).

But now it's Fall, a season made specifically for runners thankyouJesus. It's made me all kinds of motivated and tonight has consisted of a cross-training session at the gym, dinner, my favorite beer, and registering for this 5k

Yes, a 5k. I haven't run one since my second slowest 5k a few years ago, but I need to figure out what the heck my training paces should be, ergo, I need to race. I'm eyeing a bigger goal of a half marathon in January and would like to run a PR, not just a post-baby PR but an overall PR. Nevermind that my current PR is from 2011, when I was single, childless and TWENTY SIX years old. I think it's a crazy goal, probably too crazy for being just 14 weeks out but why not?

Go big or go home.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

a revival

I ran Grandma's Half last week, after roughly a dozen training runs spread over two months. That's not a typo, or an understatement. My training was minimal. Going into the race, I thought I'd run around a 9:30 pace, so I was shocked when miles ticked by in the mid 8's. I was even more shocked when it stayed that way, and that I finished feeling (relatively) good in 1:51:24, an 8:31 average pace. If someone would have offered me $100k to run an 8:30 pace for 13.1 miles, I literally don't think I would've been able to do it. And yet I did.

I keep thinking about this little corner of the internet, one that I've occupied for nearly six years, and how much life has changed in that period. Moves. Jobs. Marriage. Baby. Carl. But one thing hasn't changed: my love for running.

Is it odd to say that I come here often and read my own posts, and that reading them feels like the greatest motivator?

Is it odd to say that I feel like I have a better shot at being a better runner now as a 31 year old mom than I did when I was single and in my 20's?

There is an urgency to my running now that I didn't have before. Like I know my biological clock is ticking, but with a baby under my belt, it's a different clock. It's the one that keeps rhythm with my feet on the road, the familiar tick tick tick tick that I hear with every footfall. And the thought that chases me is if not now then when?

I will never be the best runner in the world, but I also very strongly feel that I have yet to hit my limit of being the best runner I can be. So I'm back here at Feet Move Forward, reviving this little running blog and my running life. 

Thursday, October 1, 2015

thoughts on running

I'm back! But not really.  I'm posting here because this post is basically about running and doesn't seem to fit on Geyens Gone Wild. Before you get too excited, this is NOT a revival of the blog. But for the moment, I have a sleeping baby and a lot of thoughts running (pun intended) through my head so let's get started.

This whole thing started when Athlinks decided to email me about running results they found for me. (I didn't even know I had an Athlinks account. Is it even called Athlinks?) But a quick click led to me my race history. And a reminder that I used to be above average at running (I mean that in the most literal sense of the word average). And that I was working toward becoming good at running.

And then a broken rib happened.
And then a PE happened.
And then I felt overwhelmed by the amount of work it would take to get back, so I let my dreams of being a good runner go.

And now I'm married and have a 5 month old daughter, and it's been about FOUR YEARS since I've run anything resembling a decent finish time, so it certainly is an ironic time for thoughts like running the men's BQ time to be popping in my head. It's ridiculous because I've fallen so far from anything even remotely close to fitness that the amount of work it would take to get back to better than my best would be... impossible?

And then I think of the women who have run their PRs after their babies.
And I think about TCM this weekend, being run in near-perfect weather, and feel something that can only be described as longing.
And I think about how good my body felt on the two "runs" I've done this week. Like with each step my body is saying Where the heck have you been? This is what I am supposed to be doing. even though I was running 10:20 miles and taking walk breaks.

I haven't gotten new running shoes since April 2014.
I can't find a sports bra that will support my giant nursing boobs.
I can't even do a push-up from my toes.
I haven't gotten a solid night's sleep since Ulla was born.
We're coming into a MINNESOTA WINTER.
I don't even remember what a good run feels like.

But my legs remember- muscle memory or something. And I have a husband that didn't laugh when I said It used be my dream to qualify for the Olympic Trials Marathon. Instead, he said something along the lines of Well, you still should! 

So all these thoughts are in my head. I don't know where they will go- probably nowhere- but I thought a good first step would be to write them down here. 

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

life updates

Life updates for interested parties:

My Cat Lady Hand
My hand is still not healed. The week before last, the skin on my finger literally shed like a snake in one long, thick sheath. So gross and awesome at the same time. However, it revealed some very pink, sensitive skin, and that bothers me more than not being able to bend my fingers. Yes, fingers. I can't make a fist with my right hand, and therefore have trouble gripping, opening, pulling, or essentially fully using my right hand. Time will heal it, allegedly. 

I haven't run since my disappointing 5k in May, and I haven't really wanted to. Unfortunately, my legs are the only part of my body that I can effectively exercise at this point in time.

Work & Marriage
Work is nutso, because we're experiencing a ton of growth, and along with it, growing pains. It's great but uncomfortable, as change has a tendency to be. Also, while I've probably alluded to it in previous posts, John also works here, which means we spend almost every waking minute within 30 feet of each other. This adds an interesting dynamic to our relationship. Not bad, just different than what the average couple experiences. 

In other "working with your spouse" perks, John and I are off to Boston next week to call on a customer. I'm mostly going along for the ride. I've never been to Boston and I'm really excited! 

Also, we've been married for six months already! How crazy is that?

Carl the Cat
Carl got locked in our linen closest (accidentally) last night and peed in there. Poor guy. He usually spends most of his time in our backyard, hunting for things (usually bugs and grass) and then trying to bring his finds inside our house.

G & G
I'm still going over to my grandparents on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings, which are the mornings we don't have a nurse in. I also call every night to make sure the day went okay, and just to talk with my grandpa. They are both slowing down considerably, so I'm cherishing the time I have with them. (Being able to go there three mornings a week is also a perk of working for my dad.)

It's not an exaggeration to say that I feel grateful for my life, all aspects, every day. 

But don't you dare call me an optimist. 


Tuesday, June 24, 2014

getting handsy

I never realized how much I used my hands until I was relegated to using only my non-dominant hand for basically everything. Even now, approaching three weeks post-op, I have limited mobility in my right hand, due in large part to not being able to bend my ring finger, and a deep, still-healing wound in my palm. Brushing my hair and teeth, typing, and cutting food have all required serious adaptations. But I'm single-handedly managing okay. 

Saturday night marked the end of my thrice daily IV treatments, and I finally had my PICC line removed last night, meaning that I can shower without saran-wrapping my arm. Hygiene FTW! Instead of a huge bandage with a long tube hanging out of my body, I just have this little guy. 

see? almost normal

I haven't been given the all-clear to exercise, so I'm mostly limited to this:

Do to the intense concentration these take (I'm actually not kidding; my brain says move and my finger does nothing), and the usual pain associated with them, I manage to break a sweat. Any real cardio will have to wait.

The timeline for healing I was given was 2-3 months before I gain full use of my hand. I'm sure it won't be that long until I can exercise, but I have a feeling there will be a lot of lower body/core as opposed to anything upper body related, at least for the next few weeks.

Here's to killer quads.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

who knew? cat bites are serious

First, if you've Googled your way here via cat bite research, go to the hospital right meow. For real.

Second, if you're a regular reader and have been wondering where I've been for the past two weeks, settle in for another long, so-weird-I-can't-believe-it-happened-to-me injury story.

As I mentioned in my last post, we brought home our new dog that Wednesday (the 4th). If you follow me on IG, you saw that her meeting with Carl was not very smooth, but Carl settled onto our countertop out of her reach and seemed content enough. We figured they'd both get over it.

Fast forward to 6 P.M.: Carl had just finished eating in our pantry, and I opened the door, thinking that he'd saunter out and up and on to our counter before the dog noticed. Wrong. Before I knew what was happening, there was a tangle of fur and fangs at my feet. Without thinking, I pulled them apart and threw Carl into the pantry and the puppy into the bathroom. My hand and legs were bleeding, and Carl was bleeding from his paw. The puppy was fine but was angry to be locked in the bathroom, and let me know by peeing on the floor.

My worst wound seemed to be on my right ring finger, where I had to puncture wounds on either side of my knuckle. I washed it twice with soapy water and figured I'd be fine.

3 A.M.: I woke up with a very swollen finger, popped some Advil, put an ice pack on it, and started counting down the minutes until Urgent Care opened.

8 A.M: Urgent care. The doctor looked at it, told me a round of oral antibiotics would clear it up, and laughed at me when I asked him about the study that said 1 in 3 cat bite victims ends up in the hospital. Also, I got a tetanus shot.

3 P.M.: My finger was increasing in size and pain.

8:30 P.M.: Same as above, in addition to a call to my nurse mother who told me to go to the hospital. I told her I'd go in the morning.

8:45 P.M.: John tells me he just got off the phone with my doctor uncle, who told him to take me in no matter what. John had already called his sister to pick up the puppy.

9:45 P.M: Urgent care boots us to the ER, where we don't even have to sit down in the waiting room. Within a half hour, a hand surgeon determines SURGERY is needed to flush the infection.

11:30 P.M.: Pre-op room, waiting for a blood test to confirm that I'm not pregnant (so they can give me the good stuff). I get the all clear, kiss John twice, and that's the last thing I remember of pre-op.

1 A.M-ish: Post-op with my mom and John there. I can't stop shaking from the pain (there are a bunch of nerves in your hand or something) but they've given me the max on meds, so much so that I'm not breathing consistenly, prompting everyone to say "Hannah, you need to take a breath right now!" to get the machines to stop beeping.

The next 36 hours were filled with IV meds, assisted bathroom breaks, lots of naps, and several doctor visits. I was finally discharged on Saturday afternoon, after getting a PICC line implanted in my upper left arm so I could continue IV meds at home, every 8 hours, for the next two weeks.

I'm now nearly two weeks post-op, and I get the stitches out tomorrow. I should be done with the IV meds on Saturday, so the PICC line will come out then. I also have to go to hand therapy twice a week for the foreseeable future because they cut through the tendon sheath in my finger.

In puppy news, she's been re-homed to John's sister, who fell in love with her while babysitting and refused to give her back. Carl is still living at home and meowing apologies.

In husband news, I have the best one ever. He's been so, so great with everything, and can even put my hair into a semi-decent ponytail. I'm one lucky lady!

And finally, here's an evolution of my injury from an hour after it happened to what it looks like splinted.