Sunday, March 1, 2015

Dusting off the "time capsule."


Has it really been almost five years since the last time I updated here?

There has been so much life that has happened in the last five years. Looking over the posts here is like going through a memory box or time capsule.  The season of life, and the story recorded here, is one of the highest and proudest moments of my life.  I've just started reading through them with a sense of pride and nostalgia.

The last four and a half years have held some more highs, and some lows.  There is MUCH to catch up on.  I'll have to catch up on this blog and then provide some insight/updates regarding where I've been.

I look back now and I hardly recognize that girl.  She was so brave and bold and stubbornly strong.  I don't feel like the same person anymore.  I miss it.  I know she's still in there somewhere.  I just have to find her again.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Change of Plans...

After several weeks of silence regarding my running journey, I'm sure you've all been sitting on the edge of your seat wondering what in the world I'm doing... all two of you that read my blog. ;)

Well, there is good news and bad news.

The bad news?

It looks like my Portland Marathon 2010 dreams are officially going to be put to rest.

The good news?

I've got a new running partner...

That's right.  The Congdon family is adding a new little addition sometime spring 2011.

After "starting over" with my mileage twice due to back injuries, it seems logical to me to put my marathon dreams in the "not yet, but someday" category and put my focus on having a fit and healthy pregnancy.  I'm sure it's possible for people to train and race during pregnancy - and I hope to get in a few 5ks & 10ks along the way - but I don't need the pressure of completing a marathon riding on my shoulders while I'm growing a new person.

So there you have it.

My marathon journey is taking a little detour.

Stay tuned for future discussions regarding pregnancy fitness!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Clawing my way back from the beginning.

I successfully completed my 7 mile run this morning!  No back pain, no tired legs, no cardio-wimpiness.  It's safe to say my body is back in business and I'm seriously training for a marathon.

I mean... I have been for the last 3+ months... right?

Seriously though, for the last month or so I actually had given up in my mind and heart.  I've already "quit" training... yet here I am back at it again.  My body seems to be cooperating, and now I just have to wait for my mind and heart to catch up again.

For some reason, during my run, I kept dealing with this tape in my head that was saying "this is hard! I want to quit! Please stop!"  But when I assessed how I was doing physically - all systems were a "go!"

Legs - not burning, actually comfortable, no cramps
Back - feeling strong and loose (but not too loose)
Breathing - feeling strong, right on track and comfortable

I chalked it up to that whole "mental game" thing.  I guess when you "quit" in your head, it takes your head a little while to "un-quit."

It probably also has something to do with the fact that all week I've been running "tiny" miles... way less than where I was when I had to take my break a few weeks ago.  There's something a little discouraging about going from 11 & 12 mile long runs back to FIVE mile "long" runs.  Especially when you were doing 5-milers on your "easy" days.

I guess I'm just going to have to get over myself and keep training in order to get back to where I was before the break.  Although - perhaps instead of trying to "catch up" to where I was... I should just focus on where I currently am and where I am going.  There is definitely still enough time for me to train for the marathon - so I'll just have to let go of those first 3 months and focus on one run at a time.

If you'll excuse me, I need to go email the coach and find out what my marching orders (running orders?) are for Monday.


Sunday, July 11, 2010

Great News!!

I visited that Physical Therapist this week and was given clearance to keep running and prepare for the marathon.  It turns out my lower back issues don't have anything to do with my abdominal separation, and that my issues stem from a couple other things. The "short-story" version of the deal is this;
My right leg twists to the right at the hip and has since I was a kid...
I've always had a habit of leaning my body-weight on my left leg...
My left psoas muscle (that connects your legs to your core and is responsible for lifting your leg when you run) is tighter than the right...
My right hip was significantly "higher" than my left hip at the beginning of the appointment...
Which means my right half of my pelvis is twisted posteriorly (to the back)... (what?)...

Verdict = My right leg *might* be slightly longer than my left leg + I sleep like a twisty pretzel when Ethan crawls in bed with us for the last few hours in the morning = I got myself all jacked up on my long miles.

The Physical Therapist explained that since my right side is twisted to the back, it makes my whole pelvis want to arch back, which means puts a lot of pressure on my lower back.  I haven't noticed it on other runs because apparently my core is strong enough to hold things in the "right" place until about 10 miles. 

The great news is that with some simple stretches and a commitment to strengthening my core with a simple 10-15 minute pilates routine - I should be in top shape and still have time to train up to comfortably finish the marathon.

It was such a relief to find out I'm not broken beyond repair.  Wee!

Now I've just got to dig my spirits out of their "Ican'tdothisit'stoohard" dark-place and hit the road again!

The PT gave me a modified training schedule for the next two weeks that looks like this;

Saturday - Long Run of 5 miles
M: 2 miles
T: 3 miles
W: 2 miles
Th: 4 miles
Saturday - Long Run of 7 miles

It's reassuring to have a plan in place and to know that the coach believes that I can complete this challenge of training for a marathon.  I can't really figure out in my head how exactly I'm going to get from these measely (haha... measely!!) 5 miles up to 16-20 miles like I need to before the race... but she knows!  All I can do now is trust her, do what she's told me to do, and keep communicating about how I'm doing and what I need.

I guess things are like that with the Lord, too.  Most of the time I look at where I am now (selfish, whiney, weak) and where He promises I'm going to end up eventually (showing Christ's character in complete maturity) and I cannot for the life of me figure out how I'm going to get there from here.  But He knows!  And in His word He has given me some clear action-steps and the truth I need to get my heart in the right place to have strength for the journey.

So here's to trusting our Coach.


Friday, July 2, 2010


I think I can...

I think I can...




I wish that I were writing to tell you all how wonderful I feel and how well training is going now that I'm back on my feet.

But, alas, that is not what I'm writing about.  :(

Since my last post I've run two miles.

2 miles...

I've got an appointment schedule for the 8th with a Physical Therapist.  She did have some encouraging things to say in her email, as she believes that my diastasis shouldn't prevent me from being able to train for this marathon.  Our meeting on the 8th will give her a chance to assess things "hands on" and give me a better answer.

My back has finally calmed down for the most part, but for some reason I've just been feeling really fatigued and weak.  My wonderful husband reassured me today that it's probably because we've just come through what could he described as "the hardest season of our lives" in the relational department.  I have to laugh on the inside a little, because I've definitely been through things of equal -if not worse - caliber than these last few relationally confusing and hurtful months.

I'm currently recovering from a sore throat.  I don't know if having a sore throat means that you *can't* run, but I have a feeling that my body giving in to germies means it's crying out for some sort of break.

The truth is - I haven't been that nice to it.  Because of all the stress we've been experiencing, I must confess that I've done more than my fair share of emotional eating.  No one eats lots and lots of veggies when they are emotionally eating.  I'm completely ashamed at the amount of Taco Bell I've consumed in the last month, and feel like what my body REALLY needs is a "reset" button.  I'm honestly considering doing some sort of dietary cleanse to start things over - but don't know exactly what that would look like.

I realized tonight - as I was sitting down to write this - that I'm definitely in the "ohwowwhydidIdecidetodothisIdon'tthinkthisisgoingtowork" stage of marathon training.  Literally.  I honestly don't think my body is capable of training for and completing a marathon this time around.  Which has me feeling rather depressed and down about myself.

Perhaps this is one of those things I need to push through and overcome and triumph through...
Or is this one of those things where I need to accept my limits, re-evaluate my goals, and choose a different marathon...

Who knows.

I know I'd love your prayers.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Taking a little break

After my somber post, I figured I should keep you guys in the loop about what I'm doing instead of leaving you hanging. 

Good news:

Last week I got ALL my miles in!
The week before that I only missed a couple.
Both weeks I did 12 miles on the long-run - that's definitely the farthest I've actually "run."  At the Princess Half-Marathon I walked a good portion of mile 9/10.

Bad news:

The reason I walked those parts of my half marathon was because my back was freaking out on me.
Which it is starting to do now.

I've actually been noticing lingering lower-back pain for about the last three weeks - ever since our mileage passed the 10 mile mark.  I start noticing fatigue in my core and lower-back around/after mile 8 or 9. 

My 12 mile runs were a big of a wake-up call, as I spent the last four miles dealing with very real lower-back pain.  This past Saturday, I had to stop every 100 yards or so during the last two miles to stretch out my back.  It felt like it was one wrong move away from spasming and laying me out on the pavement. 

I've emailed the coaches and team physical therapist with the Marathon Training Clinic to get their input.  For now, I've decided that taking a few days off definitely couldn't hurt.

I assume this all has something to do with the abdominal diastasis (or separation) leftover from my cesarean delivery back in 2008.  My lower-abs are still about two finger-widths apart in the center - which has me wondering if I've got the basic core strength one would need to train properly for a marathon.

I could spend all kinds of time worrying about worst-case scenarios and freaking out that this could ruin my hopes of doing a marathon on 10.10.10.  But I won't.

I started this whole journey to do something postive for my body, heart and mind.  Facing the truth about where my body is really at and doing the best at my "next step" is part of that journey.  Whether that means a few days of rest and then back into the training with some tips for developing my core strength, or whether that means readjusting my marathon timeline, I'm still learning and growing through this process.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Hanging in there...

That's how I've been responding to people when they ask that customary greeting, "how are you?"  The Congdon family has had quite a lot on our plates in the last several months.

Our church family is embarking on a new season of refocus and purpose after a very rough transition.
I've embarked on the fun adventure of starting my own business working as a consultant for Arbonne.
Ethan is in the prime stages of being ready to transition to the "big potty."
One of husband's jobs informed him they'd be cutting his hours in half starting in the fall.
Marathon training is kicking into "no really - are you really going to do this" mode.

On top of those things we've got our son's 2nd birthday, our 3rd wedding anniversary, and two trips home in June - and things get pretty dicey in the whole sleeping/eating/resting rhythm.  Daniel and I are both hardcore perfectionists and work horses.  So the last few weeks have been full of junk food on the run, late nights finishing projects and WAY messed up sleep schedules for all three of us.  No bueno.

Especially no bueno for my running.  Last week my schedule called for 14 mid-week miles (over four days) + my third 10 mile long run.  What did I accomplish?  ONE two mile run.  ONE.  The coaching team of the marathon clinic recommends cutting your long run short when you miss your mid-week miles, and then repeating that week's assigned miles over again.  I actually ended up running a water station for our group run and skipped the long run all together.  Somewhere over the course of the weekend I tweaked my back, and getting back into the groove yesterday was a bit of a challenge. 

I had another full day planned (Arbonne party, Life Work Coaching sessions, naps/lunch in there somewhere... oh dear!) but was able to squeeze my run in "before dinner" at 8pm.  Ethan fell asleep while I was out running and was done for the night.  So Daddy and I stayed up with a campfire until midnight catching up and trying to nail down a realistic schedule to help us keep our sanity.

We're going to have to make some important decisions about what's got to "give" in our current system so that we can stay focused on the most important things, take good care of each other, and not lose our minds - or our hearts!

I'm really, REALLY, hoping that marathon training isn't one of the things that has to "give" - as we've already invested over $200 in my commitment to it (sign-up fee + clinic fee).  But I've had some lingering pelvic pain and am just enough behind in the schedule that I could talk myself into quitting.  Uh oh...

I'll definitely keep you all posted.