Sunday, July 1, 2018

Let's RALLY!


This week was all about the Rally.

Have you ever had to rally before? I have spent the past 12 months in a rally of sorts, assuming the title role in the Runner Who Rallied Back saga. A few days ago, June 29th, marked the 1-year anniversary of my emergency surgery (full details of  that adventure are HERE), so this past week has been sort of a lengthy and introspective walk-down-memory-lane.


There was plenty of rallying happening, as the week unfolded, in keeping my fitness in check. Here's what took place:

Monday morning took me a bit by surprise with its mid-60's temps. It has been so hot, that when the temps have a brief plummet, I'm a bit confused how to dress (especially when the air is so humid). Since I wasn't planning on running far, I slid on some arm sleeves, and all felt fine. I got a solid 5K knocked out in the early morning hours. Another #nevermissaMonday run done.
Trivia tidbit - this tank is actually pink, but doesn't it look coral in comparison to the bright pink arm warmers?
Tuesdays are rest days for me, but I seldom ever sit completely idle. The early morning temps were still feeling a bit chilly for my morning walk, but by lunch time, the "seasonal" temps were back. No running, but I did manage five total walking miles for the day as well as some upper body strength work in the evening.

Wednesday had me up early and out the door at 5:00 to meet Barb for our weekly #5at5 (five miles at 5:00 a.m.).Similar morning temps (again), but when you're running a longer distance (with even more humidity), no arm sleeves were even considered. There also was some extra walking later (three bonus miles) and some strength work in the evening as well.
Isn't it great when your mani matches your outfit?
Thursday. My legs were feeling a bit tired from the prior evening's workout, so I took Max for his morning walk (1.5 miles) and called it good.  I had speed training on my agenda, so I opted to push that to later, after work. Ironically, that Thursday afternoon time slot has been a perfect alternative for doing my speed training. My legs get a little extra rest/recovery before the late afternoon workout, and I can "haul buttocks" knowing I won't have to do anything major until my long run on Saturday.

I had planned on doing hill repeats on a steep, grassy hill near my house, but we had some early afternoon rain. Knowing my abilities (and ever-present klutz-like coordination), I elected to stay away from the wet grass and headed over to the outdoor stairway on the golf course instead. I ran an easy-paced mile for my warm-up, then got busy on the stairs. I brought my Garmin along so I could track how long it would take me to get one mile in distance...how does 70 flights sound? Yes, up and down 70 times! The air was warm (88F with a 98F feels like), but my energy was totally on-point. I was able to run all the steps with only two brief water breaks. My Garmin apparently thought I was running a very slow mile, because it only gave me credit for burning 83 calories for all that work! But I had a major endorphin buzz when I finished.
All of that work for 83 calories LOL 
Friday was a major rest/recovery day. The temps were in the 90's, and flirting with a 100F+ feels-like heat index. Surprisingly, there weren't any post-stair-workout DOMS to entertain, but I kept things very easy. A brief early morning walk before work, and some planks, leg lifts, and push-ups in the evening. Zero guilt and a good night's sleep as well. Onward!

Saturday also brought us warm temps, as well as that ever-present humidity. Barb suggested we do a #6at6 (six miles at 6:00), so I was out the door at 6:00 a.m. to meet her at our usual rally spot (halfway between our houses). My weather app didn't show a higher feels-like temp, but it did indicate we had 66% humidity when we finished (I ran an extra two miles after we had finished our six miles, giving me 8 total miles). I have never been so sweaty (other than after Thursday's stair workout), I even joked that it was a new PB (#PerspirationBath). My clothing pieces made a very loud "splashing" sound when I discarded them on the floor. We also headed to our town's outdoor water complex and did an hour of pool walking to "cool down" and give our muscles some water therapy.
That was a hot one!
Sunday morning had pleasant temps in the high-60's (following some overnight rain), but the air still was pretty heavy with humidity. I have not been doing recovery runs (the day after my long runs) in recent weeks, but I wanted to get outside and take advantage of the morning. Within the first few steps, I knew it was going to be a great run! Even my right hamstring felt pretty good. I love those recovery runs that feel effortless, but I have learned to respect them as such and let them serve their purpose as recovery runs. Although the temptation is there to run faster and/or farther, I keep them short (usually 1-3 miles at an easy pace). 
Image may contain: one or more people, people standing, sky, cloud, tree, mountain, outdoor and nature
two recovery miles in the early morning hours 
Overall, it was a pretty busy week. My running mileage came in at 20 and my walking miles were 15 (but there will probably be another 3-4 miles tacked on to that by the end of Sunday). As mentioned last week, we have a summer challenge going on at my place of work...we're on teams of three, and we're tracking our total miles (running/walking/biking) as well as activity minutes (for other "non-mileage" exercises/activities). Since I have an incentive to up my mileage for my team, I'm tracking my walking miles as well. Last summer was my first summer ever tracking "walking" miles (since I was not able to run), so it will be interesting to see how many miles I cover this summer doing both.

My right hamstring has been a bit wonky for the past couple months. It doesn't hurt, but it has felt especially tight at times. Amazingly, it has felt pretty good and almost back to normal since Thursday's hot & humid stair workout. I have been stretching and foam rolling as well, so (fingers crossed) hopefully this mini saga is approaching the finish line.

In case you missed them, here's my posts from last week:
Outrunning the rain
My 2018 Assessment (thus far)
Runfessions - Stronger Tougher Fierce Grateful

In other news:
Did you see my #FridayFashionFlair post on Instagram? With the hotter than hot outside temps, it's been colder than cold inside the building where I work. Admittedly, I'm a wimp in any setting where there's a chill in the air (which is why I love summer so much).  Anyways, it was over 100F with the heat index on Friday, so I wore a "cool" cami but added a cardi to keep my arms and shoulders warm. Turquoise has been a favorite color of mine forever, and pairing it with chocolate brown makes it really stand out. Oh, and that funky and chunky necklace is actually a belt (that has never been worn as a belt LOL). As always, you're welcome to join me on Fridays...post a pic of a featured outfit, grab the hashtag, and drop me a tag (@runningonthefly).

There's a first time for everything. I have had this fuchsia headband for several years (featured in my Saturday picture, above), and it's been worn and washed numerous times. After Saturday's hot and humid run, I noticed the ends of  my hair looked pink, apparently from rubbing against the headband during my run. I also noticed pink smudges all along my hairline as well, not only on my forehead, but also in my hair! Fortunately most of the pink washed out, but a subtle pink "glow" still remains. I suspect it will all be but a memory in a couple days...but what is up with that?
Can you see the pink?
The runner who rallied back. Finally, I spent the greater part of the week and weekend experiencing numerous flashbacks to what was happening a year ago. Remember my reality a year ago? I was camping in a hospital room, hooked up to a wound vac (for my new 6-inch suture seam). I had an IV dispensing meds (to fight a rampant staph infection that I didn't even know had invaded my body). And I had an unpredictable journey ahead of me.

My leg looked pretty scary those first few days in the hospital
It's had to believe it's been an entire year since that drama unfolded! Sitting in church this morning, I was overcome with all kinds of emotions. Knowing that I had been in the hospital on this very day a year ago was surreal. Feeling so humble and grateful for all that has happened since then was pretty powerful. I've said it before, but it bears repeating....I could not have rallied back from this experience on my own. I think I had a pretty solid & optimistic attitude through it all, but I also had a huge network of support from family and friends (many of whom I have not even met in person). To all of you who were a part of my rally back, a huge THANK YOU



(Above left) My scar...mid-July 2017 (after the stitches were removed) and today 
As you can see, the scar (named Voldy, short for Voldemort) has gotten smaller and has faded, but is still a pretty prominent "feature" on my knee. I pretty much have full range of motion, but a patch of skin, towards the outside of my knee, has no feeling. Some of the skin along the scar is "tingly" and hurts if I try to kneel on it...so I don't. Other than that, things are good! It's been an interesting journey, but I'm more grateful than bitter for the experience. Onward!

Anyways, that's a wrap on the past week. How was your week...any training runs? Any races? Hot weather? Have you ever had a "rally-back" experience?

I'm linking up with Holly and Wendy for the Weekly Wrap. This weekly check-in is such a great place to connect with fellow fitness-minded peeps. Please join us!

53 comments:

  1. wow you did log in a lot of miles for such a hot week. I'm impressed that you have energy to do your speed work in the afternoons given that you wake up so early!

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    1. ha! I have been compared to the Energizer Bunny LOL There's just something about stair work that gets me energized, though. Not sure I would have had that same kind of mojo if I was doing speed drills on the track.

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  2. Nice mileage this week! I'm so jealous it was still cool enough for arm sleeves! I have a white pair of shorts with a red boy shorts under layer. When I was at the beach in April, that red bled so bad the shorts turned pink. It wasn't the first time I'd worn them. But it is the last. You rallied back well, my dear. Thanks for linking!

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    1. Wow, too bad about those white/red shorts. This headband ordeal really was strange because it had never happened before, not even with any other headbands or with this particular one the first time I wore it.

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  3. It feels so good to have a few cooler days thrown in when it's been so hot! Looks like you had a good week. Glad you were able to get in that stair workout!

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    1. Our mornings have been pretty mild in comparison to our daytime temps...well, except for Saturday morning!

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  4. I hate when our Garmins do not reflect our hard workout we thought we did.

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    1. Seriously! I don't have a HRM, or otherwise that might give me a better indication of my effort. I'm poetty sure I burned more than 83 calories, though! I did sweat off about four pounds of water LOL

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  5. As always another stellar week for you.

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    1. Thanks! I'm happy with how it played out.

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  6. You've rallied well! I name my injuries too - I'm a Harry Potter nerd and like your name Voldy. I'm currently dealing with Arnold my whining hamstring/hip.

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    1. Ha ha! I also named my IV pole when I was hospitalized (his name was Guido), and I had a PICC Line (for at-home IV infusions)...I named him Linus ;-)

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  7. You've done such a great job rallying back from last year.

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    1. It feels great to have last year all behind me!

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  8. Great job getting in so many miles during a crazy hot week in the Midwest!

    WOW- the story of your emergency surgery is wild...Look how far you've come in a year! You're an inspiration to people like me coming back from an injury. :)

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    1. Well, you're certainly rallying back at record speed! Keep up the great work ;-)

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  9. Nice mileage! It's amazing how far you have come since your surgery last year.

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    1. It's weird to think it's been an entire year...seems like it was just last week.

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  10. You are definitely the epitome of rally back. You made your recovery look so easy and now look at you! I also have to add that your weather seems to be bipolar to me ;) But you are dealing with it in stride like you always do!

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    1. ha!! Bipolar is pretty accurate! It's supposed to be in the low 60's tomorrow morning, so I'm at a loss as to what to wear for my morning run....(?). That's practically a 40-degree drop in temps!

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  11. A great week and wow, what a recovery. I had surgery on 2 May last year (completely non-running related, but for an ovarian cyst, so you can imagine how that messed with my running) and I felt really weird on the same day a year later (and obviously went for a run, right?). It does make you grateful, doesn't it!

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    1. It certainly makes me very grateful ;-) Every run is a gift ;-)

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  12. I am so proud of your rally back to running this year. You're proof that a positive attitude and determination will always get you to your goal in the end.

    Great week of workouts! I also can't believe that the headband turned some of your hair pink!

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    1. My hair! I have never had that happen...but it did look kind of cool ;-)

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  13. I'm so glad you're feeling better and not in the hospital this year!

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    1. Thanks! I'm glad to NOT be in the hospital, too ;-)

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  14. You have come a long way from last year, so happy your recovery has gone so well. You did a lot of running with this heat and humidity this week, way to go girl!!!!

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    1. The heat and humidity is there. It is what it is, so I just face it head-on LOL

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  15. You definitely rallied this week! Sounds like some great runs in spite of the heat. And you've come so far from last year! The scar seems barely visible in the photo with the floral skirt.

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    1. Our heat has been crazy...but, oddly, we have had some cool mornings....

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  16. Arm sleeves??? 100 degrees again and not ending until Thurs. I may be on a running break until then. Me and the mill don't get along LOL

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    1. Obviously, Milly and I don't get along either LOL I'm choosing the great outdoors over her ;-)

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  17. what is UP with your weather Kim? NOT NORMAL!! I keep thinking I'm going to do stairs too when I read about your stair workouts and then I never do them (ok, that's the next step!) I do love a recovery run that just feels amazing - it IS tempting to go faster and farther though, isn't it?? Good for you for sticking to your instincts.

    I have been rallying back for a long time now. Since my operation (2 years in May) training has been awful, I've gained weight and have been sort of kicking and screaming along the way. But I think I *finally* get it - less running (more quality), more cross-training (training everything not just runs), more rest. Seems to be working. Who says you need high mileage to run a marathon? Am I right?

    I really can't believe it's been a year since your emergency surgery. CRAZY just thinking about it!

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    1. I know...CRAZY to think about the past year. I totally agree....I seriously think less is more when it comes to running. Excess miles do not guarantee success in running.

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  18. Great week despite the heat - and wowza on the 70 flights of stairs! You've done an amazing job rallying back! That hairband turning your hair pink is just crazy!!

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    1. Should I bring the headband to Chicago?

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  19. You must be in such good shape to not have DOMS after that stair workout! I think we are a few days behind you in the weather - it is oppressive here today. I hope it breaks before the weekend.

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    1. It's gonna be hot here this week as well....oh well. I'm ready!

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  20. I'm currently in rally mode myself. At this time last year I was in the middle of a four surgery summer to diagnose and repair a fistula. I'll save you the details... My comeback has been anything but smooth. I look forward to following yours!

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    1. Ugh...four surgeries? That sounds miserable. Glad you're rallying back as well ;-)

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  21. You have really rallied back since this time last year!

    I would be so annoyed with my Garmin for cheating me out of all that work. LOL

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    1. Ha! I know...I am pretty sure I worked harder than 83 calories, even if it took me almost half an hour LOL

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  22. You amaze me every week! I can't believe how good you are at getting out there and getting it done!

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    1. I just do what needs to be done ;-) I have too much guilt if I procrastinate too much

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  23. Wow, what an impressive mileage total! I'm a tad jealous of your brief break from the heat early in the week. Kudos to you for getting it all in!

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    1. We've had oddly cool temps in the early morning hours...but they warm up to "normal" by noon LOL

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  24. Love your color scheme in the is it coral or pink photo. Wow, your knee recovery is amazing. Congrats on that

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    1. As I was running that morning, I glanced down at my "pink" top and almost stopped, dead in my tracks, when I saw how "coral" it looked. Weird!!

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  25. Your weather (well, your mornings at least) sounds pleasant compared to what a lot of people are dealing with! We haven't had a heat wave yet, but it's supposed to be coming this weekend.

    Crazy about your headband! Maybe the dye eventually becomes less colorfast after lots of washes? I hear mermaid hair is "in" though...maybe you can do the same thing with some other headband colors and have a free dye job ;)

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    1. That headband ordeal was so strange! I'm just thankful it was a pink headband and not a green one LOL

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  26. It's really hot and humid here in NC this week, too. But that's summer in the south. So glad you had a full recovery and are back to doing everything you want to! That looks like it was such a scary experience.

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    1. Things were pretty scary a year ago at this time...hard to believe that was my reality!

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  27. You have rallied back amazingly well :) You are crushing it week after week.
    I can't believe your headband died your hair LOL so funny, but hey, pink it is!!

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