Sunday, December 28, 2008

More blogging from work

Well I have been bad at blogging...and running- I suppose since I blog about running, the two are related. I have been non-stop for the past bunch of days, worked nights for three days, went home for christmas, and am back on nights for three more days. I ran 3 miles the day I went home (the 19th) and 3 miles again on Christmas in my snazy new Asics GT2140's which are AMAZING! So much cushion, a great shoe, and great improvements on the 2130- in my opinion.

Then today, or yesterday to be technical, I RAN 5 MILES!... My dad and I didn't get our acts together to run together at home, so sad. But he called me up to make sure I got home safe yesterday and told me had had run 5 miles, the longest since the 1/2 marathon. I got jealous, because I hadn't run that far...just a couple of 3 milers... So I bit the bullet and ran a fiver to the art musuem and back. It felt great. I think I'm back in the groove. I've been on my feet most of the night and everything feels good. I got a little bit of this creaky-rusty-door-opening-like feelingin my right achelies, but not pain!

Not really making progress with the push ups... I'll get there.

My week home was great, I got to catch up with some old lifetime friends, make some good memories with my family and enjoy Boston in the SNOW- lots of SNOW. I went sledding made hot cocoa from scratch and had my first holiday with my family in a full year! I introduced my parents to Buddy the Elf... what a great movie.

What amazed me was how everyone still wanted to talk to me about the marathon. Since none of this side of my family had seen me since, they all wanted to hear about it. I couldn't believe how proud and inspired they were. It made me feel so good to know that I was an inspiration to them, not necissarily to run, but to strive to meet goals of their own. Part of the reason I started to train was because a co-worker of mine did a 1/2 Ironman and is training for a full. I was inspired by her. There is something pretty powerful in this running stuff! It was special to see how such a personal achievement positively effected so many people in my life.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Blogging from Rhoads 7

So I am blogging from work. This is a first. Got three days of night shift ahead of me then home for the holidays. How I manged to get a whole week off around Christmas... I don't know. But I am not complaining. So I woke up after 12 hours of quasi-sleep at 3pm today and ran 3 miles without stopping outside in 67 degree weather. Philly is having a heat wave I guess? So the three miles felt really good, I made the mistake of not eating before running and not having eaten anything for 18 hours before... so that was DUMB. But other than that it was so exciting because I hadn't had a run that felt AWESOME since the marathon. I had been craving that feeling for sometime now!

I am definitely going to take it slow. I ran 6 miles all together last week. Ha. That is quite low from 40mpw. But I'm still beat up from 26.2. This week I want to do 3- 3mile runs. As for pushups, I did Day 1 today which was a set of 6, 6, 4, 4, and 6. We'll see if I stick it out. And I'm keeping track of my Bootie Buster points on my side panel. Im at 16.5 now. Its definitely keeping me motivated to get my butt out of bed in the morning! I think I'll settle for middle of the pack!!

Thats all for now. Registering for the Cherry Blossom 10 miler the 1st thing I get home tomorrow! 8am!! I can't wait to be home in Boston and go on some runs with my dad hopefully get a run or two with snow! Happy Holidays everyone!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Working for the week & 100 Pushups!

So I just got back from my first 12 hour shift of 3 in a row. I don't know if I'll make it to the gym after work... any of these days... its just too hard after being on my feet all day and then I'm cutting into my sleep time! I did manage to workout/run after work when training, but that was some serious motivation, and only worked when I got off at 7am because it was sunny and happy out.

I was all sore at work today from doing a whole lifting circuit at the gym on Tuesday. At the same time it felt really good. I kinda love the "I-just-worked-my-muscles-so-hard-they-are-going-to-get-stronger-feeling!" So I think I'm doing well with that.

 At first I saw Denise's blog saying she is going to do this 100 push up challenge thing.. I literally laughed and thought, "ha THATS funny, I can squeak out 10 at best." But then I saw the link to it on Janice's blog and the icon looked kinda cool. THIS LOOKS TOTALLY DOABLE!! The line is in the picture on my page... Im getting better at high tec blogging. Maybe these pushups can fit in after work for sure... anyone got a good ab routine? Mine's starting to get very dull. So 100 pushes up... here I come.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


I did it! I got my but out of my warm bed on my day off. I have to admit the Holiday Booty Buster Challange helped get me out of bed- can't be a slacker on the first day. It was 23 degrees out. Ouch! Got my sneakers....yes they still had the timing chip from the marathon on them... So I didn't really plan a loop or a distance I just went out the front door to run! First mile felt great I was so happy to be out there... I have literally been going crazy from not being active. But then after what I estimated to be mile two my achilies tendon and left knee (the spots of me most sore after the marathon) started SCREAMING so I walked the mile I had left back to my apartment. Not too bummed out. Just glad to get out there. I'll go to the gym today and do the elliptical or cross trainer.

GOALS: I want to become a better runner. And I think going into a marathon with NO running base at all. I did take 15 weeks to train, but even that is skimping it. So chatting with my dad we decided leg strengthening (on weight machines) and getting up to a solid 15-20 mile per week base is one of the ways to do this. (other suggestions???) So right now that is my goal... to get up to that base, taking it slow, and letting my body learn to run without getting injured... because I came too close too many times training!

That said...I did have my snazy new heart rate monitor on a Timex Ironman Road Trainer! I debated getting a gps thing, but I dont want to be slave to the numbers-  yet.... (I tend to get obsessed with numbers if i have access to them) It was my present to myself at the expo. I think I'm a bit de-conditioned... my HR was 180 for the running part! I recovered real quick, but normally when I test it myself I'm a bit more 160-170s! So thats a good fitness goal!

So I'm dreaming of when my body is done being beat up by the marathon and I can get up my speed and have an ache/pain free run... That high is amazing...I'll be chasing after it for a little while i think! 

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Boredom, Runner's Toe and Finals!

So I was all ready to go running on Monday after I picked up my snazzy new orthotics from my foot doc. I have NO ARCHES, NONE, COMPLETELY FLAT- thanks Dad. I find orthotics to be glorious. (I find a lot of things to be glorious). And the ones I just used for my marathon were the kind you are supposed to replace every 400 miles... well I have had them for 6 years. I don't think they were doing much- regardless I got through Philadelphia!

Anyhow, the doc saw my toe... which I did a "procedure" on Wednesday after the marathon. I took a 22 gauge (really really small) needle home and sterilized my toe, and bore that little sucker through and decompressed it- lots of gu came out! He said that my doing that probably saved the toe, but the key is... he said to go down with the needle PARALLEL with the nail bed instead of perpendicular- for any of you out there self treating your runners toe! (my needle was sterile... he didn't like the heated paper clip trend either) As it is still tender, he said to give it another 3 days before I run, or I'll just "induce more trauma." 

As disappointing as not running is, I still have work full time and two finals this week, well one down and one to go. So I suppose Monday is my new d-day for running again! Until then, back to the books. The Neuro, Endocrine, Liver, and Gastro-Intestinal System are MINE!

Sunday, November 30, 2008


Im walking again!! The last week would have been great if I didn't work the last 4 days in a row. I think I will go running tomorrow, I can't wait. I need to burn off some major emotional steam. I think I would be walking with no pain if I didn't spend 12 hours on my feet running around the floor on Wednesday,Thursday, Friday and Saturday. 

So it wasn't a typical Thanksgiving, but there was something bittersweet about sharing the turkey feast that the HEADstrong foundation put on for all our patients and staff. A nurse who doesn't work on our floor usually said he had never seen anything so wonderful in the hospital before. Picture every patient and their family crowded into our conference room chowing down on turkey in an amid wheelchairs and IV poles. It was a pretty overwhelming sight. 

I suppose I should have mentioned this before, but one of the reasons behind my running is my patients. I work on a Bone Marrow Transplant unit that has people in every stage of leukemia/lymphoma/multiple myeloma treatment. I also take care of people with breast, colon, lung, and pancreatic cancer from time to time. I treat people from initial diagnosis all the way through end-of-life care. Working 4, 12-hour shifts in a row has never been so physically and emotionally draining. Walking everywhere was so painful. The first two shifts it was my achilles, the last two I felt like I had osteoarthritis in both knees. I just needed some time off my legs. But my leg pain compared to the 46 year old women who is fighting the incredibly nauseous affects of total body irradiation and high dose chemo, the 30 year old man who is missing his 10 month old son and 2 year old daughter (who are the CUTEST kids I have EVER seen) grow up, and the 21 year old who has relapsed disease and is in over the holidays with a massive pneumonia. I mean I just ran a MARATHON. I have so much health to be thankful for. 

I found myself overwhelmed again when I popped in on one of my favorite patients in for a month or more for induction chemo (this is the 30 year old). His first question was, "did you make it?!" I told him I did!! and we looked up my official time and he gave me a high five. Over the next three days, and on Thanksgiving he introduced me to his whole family, all 30+ of them, who he "hosted" for thanksgiving on his hospital floor, as the girl who just ran 26 miles. He wants to run a marathon when he beats his leukemia. He had just started to run 5K's. I really hope that I can run a marathon with this guy someday.

I take so much pride in who I am as a nurse. I rarely have days like I am right now where I feel the burden of caring so much about my patients. I think it was working over the holiday, coming home alone to my apartment each night, and then going back to work and helping people to cope with the suckiness of their situation. One of my guys, he's 21 and hopefully getting a transplant in the next month, came in with a really bad pneumonia. He got better over the past four days, and yesterday I brought him in a big carton of Chocolate ice cream... because ours sucks. I asked if he would do a few laps in the hall later and he said, "I don't do laps." Later, after having some really good chocolate ice cream together in his room, who do I see coming around the corner... my guy!! That was my big reward for the stretch of work. We did a few laps together chatting about stuff, but just him having to be here, over thanksgiving, and having leukemia period, just kept pulling on my heart strings.

So I have so much to be thankful: Running is number one right now for me, it is going to keep me sane! my patients daughter who brought me a cup of coffee yesterday morning is up there on the list too! my co-workers. my patients. my friends. my family. and my health. 

Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 24, 2008

2008 Philadelphia Marathon: Kicked Asphalt!

ITS DONE!! My first marathon. Everytime I say that I get a little emotional! I feel such a sense of accomplishment.

The short story:
I felt amazing the whole time. The 1st half with my dad is one of my best memories with him ever! We felt great, he clocked in at 2:24!! I kept that pace the rest of the race and finished at 4:55! Good thing I left lots of room for improvement! I'm a little sore today but I'm already thinking about what comes next!

The long story:
I woke up at 5am and my dad walked over to my place from his hotel. We made breakfast and did some gentle stretching. 
My Breakfast of Champions!

The beginning: The cab arrived at 6am and we were off with all out extra layers and gear bags. The cab took us as far up 22nd street as possible, and then we hit the sea of red lights! It was beautiful, runners were walking EVERYWHERE towards the art museum. My dad and I were kinda clueless as far as runners go. We weren't sure exactly what to do. We figured out where the port-o-potties were, where the gear check buses were. It took as quite a while to figure out the starting line/corral system. We took a few moments to take in the city skyline with the moon overhead, the yellow clock above city hall. It was so peaceful and boiling over with excitement at the same time! I knew they'd be letting us go in waves and when the wave ahead of us went we lost our winter coats. Then we were off. My dad wanted to sprint off, and there actually was room to go off fast, but I reeled him in and kept him at a good pace. My grandparents and cousins were cheering right before city hall! I lost my $10 fleece and shortly after my hat. 

Separation Anxiety:My dad was looking for a spot to pee and there were some great bushes right before the 3mile. So I said I'd wait on the sidewalk and jog slow. He must have been so pumped up he ran right by me. I stayed there for 7 minutes waiting yelling into the bushes, searching the bushes, and freaking out to the max! Eventually almost about to sob, I took off running thinking hed have the sense to wait at a water station when he realized I wasn't ahead of him. 

So I ran a  fuming 8:10 mile, a pissed off- 9:10 mile, then slowed down realizing I wasn't going to have a running buddy for the hills in fairmount park. I was so sad. I called my grandmother at chestnut and begged her to find my dad and stop him! It was kinda ironic, because right before we got separated we talked about how this was going to be so much easier with eachother. I started to feel my legs and realized I'd been running for 50 min and should take a gel. I was taking water at every stop half and half with gatorade. I'm glad I planned to walk through the stations because man were they slippery! And about 30 seconds after leaving a station your feet would get all sticky with ice to the ground for a few feet. I knew my grandmother was at 16th and Chestnut and I was hoping for a miracle...and there he was... we hugged...I screamed...and we took off running! 

Mooning the Schuylkill &The Nostalgic Hills:We cruised over the bridge and got ready for the ascent up 34th street and the hilly part. When my dad was at UPenn he trained to be on the crew team one semester and ran this part of the course everyday down to the river for training. So that was special for him 40 something years later... At the zoo I saw some girls duck under a bridge to pee, and decided to follow, turns out it was a guy and a girl and I didn't want to intrude, so I dropped my pants behind some bushes, and MOONED the schukyll expressway! woot woot! No way was I waiting in lines... real runners pee in the bushes! Up the hill to the park my dad settled into a jog/walk and I kept running along side him cheering him and others up the hill.  Down we went to the river keeping our stride short and low. I started to get SO EXCITED for him, he was so close. I wouldn't let him slow down kept cheering and then it was on us mile 13 (he'd never gone past 12). I whooped him on gave him a HUGE HUG thanked him for coming this far and said I couldn't wait to see him at the Queen's mile where he'd run the last 1.2 with me. 
13.1 to go:I left the divide with a HUGE smile so proud of my dad and feeling blessed for my family. Over the loud speaker I heard that the 1st girl just finished and I let out a whoop for her. There was so much excitement at the art museum, it was hard to leave it! Off I went to manyunk! Umm... where did that hill come from... I thought we just had the river drive out and back? That was very very sneaky of the race course! The uphill was fine, but I wasn't so into the steep down hill, I started to feel my knees.
At mile 17 my friend Sarah met up with me and stayed with me until mile 23! That was amazing. It helped to have someone there with me for that stretch. The crowd support in manyunk was so party-like. I cruised into the town to "eye of a tiger" the beat was awesome! I took a beer cup by accident and fortunately looked down before I sipped! First time I've ever turned down a free beer! All I wanted to do at this point was get to the east falls bridge and run the stretch I'd run a million times (in pain a lot of them) and feel that mental edge! At mile 23 right before sarah left me I realized, in shock, that I was about to finish a marathon?! When she left I whipped out one ear bud of my ipod and listened to my favortite songs with a beat- paula abdul "dance like theres no tomorrow," miley cyrus "see you again," and styx "mr. Roboto" 
The Queen's Mile: At Mile 25 under the bridge I saw my best friend and her boyfriend and took off the ipod and let them jog along side for a minute when my dad jumped in. We snapped a photo and went to finish the queens mile. My best bud snapped a video of my explaining why I wasnt done but had 1.2 miles left. In the olympics way back the queen wanted the finish in front of her palace... which extended the finish line 1.2 miles. Some guy behind me screamed out "The B*$%^!!" Everyone laughed! So my dad only made it to the middle of the boat houses when his IT band started screaming at him, so we separated (again) and I went on up the hill, almost in tears because I was so excited about what I was about to accomplish. The tunnel of people was great and I was smiling, saw my cousins, and crossed the finish line! 
I think it was one of my happiest moments ever. I'm tearing up writing about it. The sense of physical accomplishment was amazing. I thought it was cool that they announced peoples names as you crossed over. 4:55 was my chip time. I felt like I could have run faster since I wasn't really in any specific pain, not even that tired... but I'm glad I didn't push myself to that brink for this one... Next Time! I took my medal, my mylar blanket, got my picture taken and booked it for the chicken broth and rice which my dad had called and told me about for inspiration! Whew!!

My mom and dad, grandparents and cousins! 

My dad and I stretched started to ice. Showered and collapsed in our "chouch" to watch some good movies. 

I'm so excited and thankful:So thanks if you read my marathon recap! The support of everyone meant so much. But the big thanks goes out to my dad who endured countless training phone calls the past few months, ran alone all around our hilly hometown back near Boston and made the trip down here to run with me! I am so lucky to have such a wonderful family! We had breakfast with a guy who ran the marathon this morning (my dad had on his medal so the guy new what why I was walking around so funny). He has run 5 marathons and gave us all kinda of good recovery tips, including what to expect with my toe which I'm sure I'll loose...I am amazed through all of this how friendly runners are, and am proud to count myself as one. I can't wait to see whats next! A lot of rest and ice and advil for right now : )

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Oh. My. Gosh.

well.... Its here... I am to be a colorful lady tomorrow, and my picture is my base layer... not the stuff ill be flinging (safely) into the streets. My dad decided on the 1st half. We picked up our bibs friday night and had a glorious feast with family and friends. 

Today we drove the course... umm those hills... ya... okay... let you know tomorrow. I ran one mile along boathouse row, it was really nice. My dad said if he has learned anything training it is to REST when it says REST on his training schedule, so no run for him.

My dad got a kick out of the timing chip "toe tag" and figured that this was to make it easier for the people scooping all the runners off the streets of philly and throwing them in the wagon.

Anyways.  I was jittery all day. Am jittery now. I can't believe this is here... and its this cold. Tomorrow is going to be a very exciting day! Since I just got off night shift for the last 6 weeks, I've been waking up at 4am pretty consistently, so tomorrow should be nothing. Got breakfast all laid out.  I am going to try to sleep. Cab's coming at 6am! Thanks to all for your support!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

So I walked all over the city today to get "supplies" for the marathon. Cheap throw away hat. check. Cheap fleece (10 bucks!). check. Gu's (expresso Love mmmmmm). check. and I got the brightest blue under armor top. I know you're not suppose to do anything new on race day. But I think this brilliant blue shirt will be a good thing. And K-mart has the coolest gloves ever. 1.99 for  "3 in 1" gloves. They have two gloves, the typical cheap stretchy cotton stuff, except one is fingerless. I figure I'll be cold milling around in corrals for maybe 30-40 minutes so this way I can peel one of the layers off pretty soon, and keep the fingerless ones as long as a like! I got my dad a pair too. So its looking like I'll be wearing  glorious spandex running tights, my brilliant blue top, a fleece vest, and then the "throw away" fleece, hat and gloves. Oh I got a purple ear band to. I hate cold ears from wind blowing by. If I want to get particularly colorful I might throw on a pair of running shorts. I think I am thinking about clothes too much. Good displacement of nerves!

Went on my first road run in 2 1/2 weeks yesterday- 3 miles. It felt great to be on the road again. I felt a little sluggish, but this tapering thing must really do something because I ran much faster than I felt! But it was so cold! When my dad rolls in tomorrow we are planning a brisk walk and then a short boathouse row run /walk on Sat. From the sounds of it he, and my mother, cannot wait until this "running thing of Kristin's" is done. Although I think he is beginning to love the shorter runs. 

In other news: I started to decorate for the holidays as my roommate and I (long time friends) are hosting a little family pre-marathon shin dig. I don't have to cook!- just clean,  decorate and keep procrastinating from school and work responsibilities.

Thanks for the well wishes from my new blog friends Laurel, Denise and Lil Runner! This new blog following definitely adds to the excitement and is inspiring! eeeeeeeeeee 3 days!!!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

All Clear!

Behold my beautiful, stress fracture free leg! The MRI came back negative, this is the x-ray. I've been doing everything on the elliptical for the past 2 1/2 weeks and am pain free! Hopefully all that shooting-I-cant-walk-oh-no!-pain, was just some serious shin splints acting up after my 20-miler! 

Got my bib number 7759! My dad and I haven't decided if he'll do the 1st 1/2 with me or the 2nd? If he does the 1st he is an "official finisher" He's a little nervous about standing around in the cold for so long. Definitely need to figure out what I'm wearing. The weather keeps changing (and I keep checking like a mad-woman!) Definitely spandex! lots of spandex! So.... lots of sleep, I worked my last night shift last night and should have time to equalize, lots of water, lots of good food and a short run tomorrow and Friday! I'm starting to build up a lot of nervous excitement!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

So I'm running a marathon in 8 days...

I'm not sure it makes sense to start this blog 8 days before the marathon.... This will be my first marathon and I have never run this much in my life!! Previously I had a few 3 milers here and there, I ride my bike to work every day... but the last 14 weeks have been a roller coaster of pain and exhilaration in equal amounts! I got so tangled up in this running that I encouraged my dad to join me! He's 51, amazing and planning on running the 2nd half of Philly with me because he doesn't care about the official finish (even though he's registered for the half!) My mother who is equally amazing is coming down with my dad from Boston this friday with her contribution to training... FOOD!  I don't have much running scheduled this week, just 3 days of work, 2 runs, 2 days of class and 1 big family dinner before 26.2!