Category Archives: Run Away!

Race Report: Hop Hop 5K

This is my first race report in over two years and my first race since May 2015. I didn’t really train for it the way I ought to have, and have the complete inability to move as a reward!

There was a time in my life when I could’ve raced a 5K with zero notice because I was regularly pounding out long runs of 10+ miles. That is not a place where I’m at right now.

I signed up for this 5K and a race at the end of next month while drinking in an airport waiting for a delayed flight in January. (TBH, most of my race sign-ups are drinking related.)

French 75s almost always lead to questionable decision-making.

I have been running off and on ever since. There was so much snow and moving in January, and then I got really, really sick. And finally I was better! So I started running again. And then I rolled my ankle and then it was 5K time!

I knew that I had to go and I had to finish. I’ve signed up for a lot of races I haven’t done, but I can’t do that anymore. Not only is it fiscally irresponsible, it’s not good for my brains. Every race I don’t do makes it easier to skip the next one.

I know that exercise will lower my stress levels, increase my healthy eating/drinking habits, and help me sleep better. It’s just that the lack of sleep, high stress levels, and poor eating/drinking habits make me not want to run!

But I fucking did it.

Chilly pre-race selfie. I was so pissed at myself for forgetting to leave my prescription sunglasses in the car. They are not comfy running glasses.

I got an early morning pep talk phone call from my friend and erstwhile coach, CC and then I was off.

Waiting at the start line

There were plenty of people in costumes (and there were a lot of kids’ activities – a bounce house, egg decorating, sidewalk chalking) and I felt happy that I wasn’t.

The race ended up starting about 15 minutes later than scheduled because they were waiting for the half marathoners to clear the 5K course before they let us start.

Scary rabbit leading us in warm-up exercises that we couldn’t really do because we were too packed in.

The course itself was fine. It was a flat out and back on asphalt. There was water, jelly beans, and peeps (wtf? no!) at the turn around. I had a plan of 1:1 walk/run intervals and I stuck to my plan pretty closely. I missed one walk interval at the beginning because my sound was wonky and one run interval towards the end because I wanted to, dammit.

It took a good 1.5 miles for my body to say, “hey! this isn’t so bad!” Before that, the connective tissue in the ankles/Achilles/shins hated me. This has been common while running lately. Every time. I’ve taped, I’ve iced, I’ve stretched…nothing seems to be helping.

ANYWAY – I ran across the finish line, hopefully smiling, and got my medal. I saw the line into the food tent and balked, but decided to investigate further. It was only for food. The line for mimosas was super short. I grabbed my mimosa in the commemorative glass and took my post-race selfie.

The mimosa was terrible, so I dumped it out. Then some nice guy gave me his drink ticket, so I went back for the requisite morning beer.

I talked to a stranger while she waited for her sister (who was doing the half marathon and was going to be doing her 100th half-mary the following day!) and a friend.

Then I packed it in and headed home. I’m not sure what distance I’ll do at the race in May, but at least now I know that I can do the 5K!

I was overly sore and extraordinarily exhausted Saturday night. I was weepy and cranky and had zero chill. I slept poorly that night and spent yesterday doing almost nothing. (Although I did go out for a 30 minute walk to keep things limber.)

Tomorrow morning, I’ll hit the trails post preschool drop off. (I tried to run today, but my ankles are still so sore that I was afraid I’d injure myself further by over-correcting my stance.)

I used to run regularly on Tuesdays/Thursdays/Saturdays. I’m planning on getting back to that schedule with a minor tweak: Monday (mornings)/Wednesday (evenings)/Saturdays (early on Alvie weekends/later on kidless weekends). Because of today’s no-go, I’ll do Tuesday/Thursday/Saturday this week and then get on schedule next week.

I will do this, because I am a

(Best .gif ever, courtesy my PSM.)

Three Things Thursday

  1. I have a 5K next weekend. I have sporadically trained for said 5K. Very sporadically. And then I twisted my ankle last week and it’s just now feeling better, as long as no one kicks it or drops heavy things on it or I wear shoes. I’m not going into it with any expectations of PR-ing, but I need to go, to walk/run that bitch, and finish, thus earning my mimosa in my commemorative running glass.

The finishing mimosas in 2015 before Jamie abandoned me for Boston

  1. I have another, longer race in six weeks. I’m hoping the success of crossing the finish line next weekend will spur me into being less sporadic. It’s weird when you get stuck in an endless loop of too stressed to run and have no long-acting stress relief. I know that once I get solidly back in the habit (and for me, that’s four-five weeks of 3x/week), I’ll love it. I’ll feel good (most of the time), sleep better, eat better, and have a significant reduction in stress levels. It’s just easier to stay home and not run or walk. Home is nice. No off-leash dogs, hardly anyone looks like a threat (solo trail running as a woman can be a bit nerve-wracking, regardless of how much I love it), and there’s wine. I have yet to come across a wine kiosk in Forest Park. (WAIT A MINUTE! NEW BUSINESS IDEA!)

I will set up a little wine stand in the middle of forest park. Like a lemonade stand, but for adults.

 

  1. Every time I start running, I get sick or injured. It’s like a curse. Maybe it is a curse! I read this morning that certain household objects invite demons into your home. And, since I have multiple tarot decks, a yoga mat, and–between the Beer Guy and me–two complete copies of the Harry Potter books as well as all the movies on DVD, we’re pretty much doomed. (That’s before we even look at the various religious studies books the two of us have. I’m sure all the non-Bible stuff is inviting all the demons in.)It’s nice having someone to blame. I finally get the Bean’s insistence that the Sugar Ghosts ate all the candy canes off the lower holiday tree branches one morning before I woke up.

    Earlier this week, the Sugar Ghosts struck again! I bought a Cadbury Creme Egg for myself the other day, and when I went to eat it, it was missing! It couldn’t have been the Bean–he was at school–and the Beer Guy swears it wasn’t him…must be Sugar Ghosts. They’re in league with the demons!

(You guys…I just spent way too long trying to find a font that screamed “exorcism” at me but was still legible. It’s way harder than I would’ve thought. I eventually gave up and just chose a font called “Sunday” because it made me laugh.)

Happy Thursday!

 

 

Monday Miscellany

So much stuff stirring around in my brain right now. SO MUCH. That means bullet points for you!

  • Every time I start to exercise regularly–and I mean every fucking time–I get sick. I have head congestion and a runny nose, which makes it impossible to run because I like to breathe. Breathing while running is hard enough when I feel great. JFC, universe!! Do you want me to be fat and lazy? Because that would be easier for me, and if that’s what my destiny is, I can go ahead and give in.
  • I’m going to do some gentle, non-inversiony yoga today. The purpose is to remind my muscles that we do like to move a bit and keep the habit of carving time out of my day to exercise.
  • BUT SERIOUSLY! WTF‽‽‽ This is monumentally unfair.
  • Other important things: I desperately need a job. If you want to pay me money, let me know. I’ll do anything! (Although, I’d prefer to edit or write or proofread. I’ve done a little bit of those things freelance, and would enjoy doing more.) However, if you need someone to do the weird stuff, I can do that, too.

  • After finishing up the edits (and cutting 25,000 words) on The Waning Moon, I decided to reward myself with a little gaming. I’m not much of a gamer (anymore), but there are a few things I like. It’d been a while since I’d played on my PC (I don’t even use the PC for anything–it just sits around getting dusty and storing old photos of the Bean), and it was a PITA to get everything set up. BUT, finally Saturday evening post Bean bedtime, I was in and playing Dragon Age: Inquisition. I’ve killed some stuff, which is a nice break from writing all day where I also have been killing.

  • The Bean and I have been making bread every weekend he’s here. He’s becoming such a great helper (and I’m almost sincere about that now!) and really enjoys kitchen stuff.

 

  • He’ll be five in less than two weeks, and I’m not sure I’m ready. It’s fun watching him grow up and become his own person, but he’s almost too big for me to pick up (I need him to ‘jump’ when I pick him up), and carry, and hold–although we do our best. He’s been extra cuddly lately, and I’m taking advantage of that as much as possible. I know there will come a day when he doesn’t want me to hold him anymore.

  • This week’s focus is getting the crap stuff having to do with The Waning Moon done–synopsis and blurb. It took 130,000 words to tell the story originally–how am I expected to break that down to a couple pages, much less a couple paragraphs? Once I talk about coffee and tacos, I’m out of space!
  • The first newsletter went out last week with an exclusive peek at one of my favorite amusing bits from The Waning Moon, as well as the first chapter of Raj’s story. Sign up now to learn more about our favorite vampire!
  • If you’ve read The Cardinal Gate and are so inclined, I’d be delighted and grateful if you’d review on Amazon and/or Goodreads.
  • Of course, if you haven’t read The Cardinal Gate, I’d be even more delighted and grateful if you did! (It’s available on Amazon in paperback, ebook, and Kindle Unlimited.)

 

That’s about enough miscellany for today. Have a great week!

 

Three Things Thursday-Exercise Edition

  1. I have exercised as much this week as I did in the entirety of February. Just so we’re clear, that is a condemnation of “February Amy” and not an endorsement of “this week Amy.”
  2. It’s Thursday, and I have two trail runs (of 2 & 3.3 miles respectively) and two 45-minute-yoga classes under my belt. My ankles are killing me and I desperately need to gain strength and flexibility if I’m going to keep up with this running gig. Which I am. For as much as the first 1.5 miles hurt (omg-so bad! SO BAD!!!) yesterday, trail running is still the most fun you can have with your clothes on.
  3. Last night, I was so stiff from the running and sudden increase in physical activity that I was desperately worried I wouldn’t be able to get out of bed this morning. I tried to talk The Beer Guy into agreeing to bring me coffee in bed if that turned out to be the case, but he said “no” and something about “enabling.” Turns out, I feel fine today. My ankles and feet are not happy, but the rest of me is only pleasantly sore (which is such a great feeling, honestly).

Post 3.3 muddy, painful miles and I still have a smile on my face.

Hitting the refresh button on my brain

I wrapped up my draft of The Waning Moon last night and sent it to my beta readers. Fortunately for me, one of them was traveling for work today and got through the first five chapters on the plane this morning! (shout out to Nichole!)

Timeline Aside: I finished The Cardinal Gate in December 2013. I finished the second draft in the summer of 2015. I sent it to an editor in September 2016. This is not the ideal turnaround time for a series if I want to keep people interested! (I wrote this book in the summer of 2014, but did the second draft in 2.5 weeks…so progress?)

This week, I’ll write the blurb (ugh) and a synopsis (double ugh) for The Waning Moon and start working with my cover artist.

Newsletter will go out Wednesday with an exclusive excerpt from The Waning Moon as well as the first chapter of Raj’s story.

I’m excited to do some writing again! Raj’s story needs to be finished and I have a new book to outline and write so I can use my Iceland research!

Today, though…today is about recharging my overtaxed brain cells. I headed up to the trails to get a little bit dirty. I ran in the general vicinity of the first gate–Forest Park where Eleanor spent so much of her time!

 

PS – If you haven’t yet, head over to Amazon to see the fantastic reviews The Cardinal Gate has received – and leave one of your own!