Back to training & sad news in Atlanta

This past week, my focus was to ease myself back into a fitness routine.  I am pleased with what I was able to do and after just a week, I am starting to see my fitness come back.

Monday morning, I went out for an easy couple of miles, and ended up doing 3.5.  It was my first run in over 2 weeks, and also my first run coming off a really terrible head-cold/sinus thing.  I knew after I finished that I probably wasn’t recovered enough to be running, and I definitely shouldn’t have pushed it so hard.  My legs were super fatigued which to be honest, was really discouraging.  I woke up Tuesday morning sore and decided to take a couple of rest days and fully recover from my illness.

Wednesday was a VERY exciting day….closing day on my new house! We spent the afternoon meeting with contractors and getting some stuff lined up.  Before we move in, we are having all the floors on the main floor replaced and the entire house painted.  I’m anxious to get this stuff done so we can get out of the apartment!  Brian and I went out to dinner to celebrate the new house.

Thursday was a very quiet day at work, so I took a long lunch break and went to the gym.   I did a one mile warm-up run on the treadmill, then 20 minutes of strength training.  I went back to my logs and realized that I hadn’t done strength training since the week before my marathon…nearly 8 weeks ago! As such, I kept the session short and hit a bunch of muscle groups as to not to overdo it.

New year’s eve was uneventful – Brian and I packed, ordered wings in, and watched a movie.  I sadly didn’t make it to midnight before crashing!

New year’s day brought the first run of 2016.  I met Carrie and MARC out at the river for a short and easy run.   Carrie and I did 3 miles and it was great to catch up with her! It was the first cold run in a while and it felt good, though I was REALLY sore from my strength training.  After the run, we had food and hot chocolate with the group.  The rest of the day was spent running errands and packing.

The MARC Group!

The MARC Group!

Saturday I took another rest day, I was still very sore and we had a lot to do that morning.  We picked up a used rowing machine which I’m so excited about! It’ll be great to have a cross-training option right at the house.  We also picked up paint samples and put some swatches up on the wall…AKA the beginning of the great grey paint debate of 2016.  Seriously…why are there SO MANY shades of grey paint?!

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We are at odds over these colors, specifically #1 and #4…

We also finalized the flooring which I am really excited about! We ended up going with a laminate for durability (especially with a dog) and economics, and I’m so excited with how fantastic it looks.  It was actually laid in the back showroom, so we got to see it in a full room! It gets installed later this week!

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Flooring in the showroom

We also took Skipper to the new house.  We wanted to wait until the backyard dried out a bit (we’ve had a lot of rain here recently).  I was a little concerned that he would be anxious, but he seemed to really enjoy exploring the house! He ran around sniffing EVERYTHING and then had a fun time playing in his new backyard.  We threw the ball around for a while and he rolled around in the grass as much as he could with a big grin on his face.  I’m so glad he liked it so much, and I can’t wait for him to be able to play back there every day.

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Skipper enjoying the space!

Sunday was another short & chilly run, just an easy 3 miles.  We went to the Falcons game and did MORE packing that evening (noticing a trend?)  I’ll be glad when this part is over!

For my first week back, I did 3 runs and one strength session.  I would have liked to have done more, but I’m glad I took the extra rest days to really get myself recovered from the crud.

Half marathon training starts this week and I’m excited to have a structured schedule again.  The next couple of weeks will be challenging on my energy levels as we continue to get things ready to move…and nutrition will also be a challenge as we are finding ourselves eating out a lot because we are out and about meeting with people.  I’m going to do the best I can and just not beat myself up over it.  The first few weeks of my plan are all easy running to build a good base up before I start with some harder workouts.  I should be settled in the new place by then!

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Also, I could not end this post without mentioning something that is weighing heavy on my heart.

This past weekend, on New Year’s Day, a local Atlanta runner was struck by a drunk driver and killed.  I did not know Karen Ray, but I could have.  She was very active in the running community and trained for many long distance races.  There is a tribute that Julie Wolfe, a local news personality, posted on her Facebook page that is circling the interwebs.  You can see the full post here. As I scrolled through the photos, I got chills.  How many sweaty selfies do I have with running friends, after a good run or standing in a starting corral, just like the ones shared? There are also pictures of Karen at the same races I’ve done.  She ran the Atlanta Half Marathon, and there’s a chance I put the medal around her neck. But this line really struck me: “There is a strange intimacy that comes between two people who log a lot of miles together”.

Karen Ray (left) and Julie Wolfe (right). Image Via 11alive

Karen Ray (left) and Julie Wolfe (right). Image Via 11alive

It’s true, and it hits close to home.  It could have been any one of my running friends, and I totally understand the connection these two women shared. There have been a couple of times where I have almost (within a couple of steps) been hit by a car, and there was one time not too long ago that my screaming saved Carrie from getting hit by a car.  This kind of incident is sadly not uncommon.

There are a few things I ask of you in light of this tragedy.  If you are a runner, follow the rules of the road.  Run against traffic, one headphone turned down lowly (if at all), and wear reflective gear.  Be alert and pay attention! Do not assume that because you have the right of way in a crosswalk that cars will stop for you — if they are not paying attention, you will lose.  Also, get a Road ID if you do not have one.  It took over a day to identify Karen as she was not wearing any ID.  The ID contains emergency info as well as known allergies and blood type, so it could literally save your life.

As a driver: Make a decision before you go out on how you are going to get home, and do not drink and drive! Even something under the legal limit can change your life, or someone else’s, forever.  Many TV advertisements focus on the jail time/fines associated with a DUI (which are no joke), but think about having to live every day knowing you took someone’s family member and friend away from them.  Or, think about how your own life could be changed or ended by a silly decision that typically stems from pride or convenience.  When I was in college, I lost a friend in a drunk driving accident.  Sadly, he was the drunk driver – and he was under the legal limit.  Know that “legal” and “safe” are two different things.

I’ll be dedicating my miles this week to Karen Ray, and encouraging all my running friends to get a Road ID if they do not have one yet.  They are inexpensive, and it could save your life! Please join me in spreading the word to be alert & wear a Road ID, and NOT to drink and drive.

I'm dedicating my miles to Karen Ray: Don't drink & drive, and wear a @RoadID! Click To Tweet

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Jess

6 Comments

  1. Such a sad story about Karen. Every time I hear about another runner hit by a car, it reminds me that I always have to be smart when I’m out running. I religiously listen to music, usually too loudly, and really need to amend that habit.
    On a happier note, congrats on the house!! Such a fun milestone. The floors look awesome and paint colors make me crazy. Good luck with selecting one! 😉

    • I listen to music as well, but just use the left ear bud (I tuck the right one into the right strap of my sports bra).
      And yes…paint colors…ugh! We put two more up on the wall and I think we decided on one of those. Now we have to decide on a color for our cabinets!

  2. Jes it is so nice to connect with you, actually found you through Smitha from Faux Runner’s twitter page. Yea that’s how this linking thing works, one links you to another then another, then. Oh speaking of linking you so should join us each week for the Weekly Wrap Link Up. We’d love to have you, see this post would be perfect! 🙂 We spent Christmas in Stone Mountain very near you and had a ball!!! I so want to do the Hot Chocolate but it was too close after my marathon, 🙁 This is so very sad about the runner. I hope something good comes out of this tragic event. Kudos to you for raising awareness! Have a super week!

    • Thanks for stopping by Tricia, I will check out your linkup for sure! Any other ATL races on your radar?

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