Connect With Us

Like us on Facebook
Follow us on Pinterest
Email us UglyPaxtonSisters (at)

Sunday, October 16, 2016

#CountdownToVegas Week 14: Thriving During the Zombie Uprising

Lots to write about this week!  First off let's start with my left knee.  I'd been running in denial since August.  I would not admit my knee hurt, because saying it would make it real, and if it was real I might have to do something like stop running for a little while.  The only person who knew was Josh, because he'd see me icing it, and I would say something sarcastic like "my knee doesn't hurt, I'm icing it just in case it was to start hurting".  Of course he knows how to translate that, though.

I should say here that I was not actually running through pain. It really didn't hurt while I was running, only afterwards.  And on a scale of 1-10, it was a 1 or 2 at most.  But this past couple of weeks, it started to be more of a 3, and I started worrying maybe something was wrong and I was making it worse and damaging my chances to continue to be active long-term.  And once that worry started in my head, it started to suck the joy and fun out of running.  So I made a doctor's appointment.  My doctor is a runner too, so I knew she would get it.  It turned out she was out of town, but Kevin's doctor is in the same practice and he's also a runner, so I made the appointment with him.

I'm glad I went; especially since it was all good news.  He said my knee pain is just from overtraining, gave me some exercises to do, told me to continue icing it and take naproxen.  But most importantly he said it was fine to keep running.  Whew!  And just like that running is fun again!


I can see the ocean from here
This weekly training is mostly the same as the past few weeks, but consistency is key, right?  #TeamMoHills on Monday, with Sara coaching us since Brandi had just run the Chicago Marathon.  BSRC Canal run on Tuesday, followed by #LFBootcamp with a good "butts & guts" workout by Carmen.  Wednesday was the day I went to the doctor, and I took that as an extra rest day after my appointment.  Thursday I ran with the Flat12 run club, followed by a fun discussion about how women plan their race outfits and men don't, and Friday I got two miles in at lunch, running to and from an offsite staff meeting.  I discovered that running the crumbling sidewalks along some of those Near Eastside streets is just as challenging as any technical trail.  Very rough terrain!

Friday night we went to a Rooftop Yoga Popup Class put on by Metta Yoga on the rooftop hockey court at Englewood Commonwealth.  I've written before about how much I enjoy outdoor yoga.  This rooftop hockey court is a really cool space, and having yoga here was a great idea.  It was a little chilly, but the views as the sun set and the moon rose were just beautiful.

Long Run

Saturday my training plan called for my 20 mile long run.  This will be the longest run I do before the marathon.  And lucky for me - it lined up with the same day Indy Runners was offering their Run the Monon group training run.  They rented buses to take us from downtown Indy up to Carmel, where we took the Hagen-Burke Trail to the Monon Trail, running that all the way down to Connect10n - Monon meets 10th Street meets Cultural Trail - then we ran the Cultural Trail to the Canal Walk, finishing at the ACSM lawn with box lunches waiting for us.  There were water and Gatorade stops set up along the route for us, too.  They also have an 11 mile option for runners training for a fall half.  They have this event every year.  It was a great way to do my long run, and I very much recommend it.

I debated trying to do this long run at my marathon goal pace, but I decided to just run it by feel.  The run went well, and once I got warmed up I got into a groove and just kept going.  I had almost four hours of podcasts loaded on my phone, the weather was perfect (cloudy & breezy, upper 50s to start, low 70s by the finish), and the miles just rolled by.  Right around mile 14 or so, I started to feel really tired, but I pushed through and picked up a second wind.  Looking at my splits shows a consistent pace throughout.  Mile 14 was my slowest at 14:25, not surprisingly since I was feeling tired, but that's also when I stopped and refilled my water bottle.  Miles 19 and 20 were my two fastest: 12:05 and 11:40 respectively.  Both of those miles were on the Canal Walk, where there are no traffic stops.  Plus I had that boost of knowing I was almost done.

I finished in 4:28 according to my watch, with an average pace of 13:02.  And that's with stopping for traffic.  So I feel like my marathon goal time of 5:30 is within reach.  Of course the Rock N Roll Vegas website now says 5:00 is the cutoff, but I swear it said 5:30 when we signed up last year.  That's what I've been training for, so I'm not going to stress about it.  I'm going to go for that, and if I get diverted, well I will still run my best and have an epic good time with my friends.

Zombie Uprising

Still human
A friend (who shall remain nameless since he stood me up) suggested we do the Speedway Zombie Fun Run on Saturday evening.  Initially I thought I wouldn't be able to, but since I felt fine after my 18 mile run two weeks ago, I decided I would probably be okay for this.  If you know me, you know my love for zombie fiction, and post-apocalyptic fiction in general.  But I don't like being scared, so I was a little nervous about this 5K that would take us along wooded trails where "zombies" would try to steal our "lives" (flags on belts, like in flag football).  I don't like things jumping out and scaring me.  It didn't turn out to be like that, though.

The zombies weren't hiding - they were standing right out on the trail in packs.  They could shamble and reach for us, but not actually give chase.  However, in some places there were as many as 10 zombies, and all I could do was try to sprint through the pack dodging them as best as I could.  I made it almost 2.5 miles before a large pack got my last life.  When I look at my splits from this run, I was doing a 6-minute mile at that point.  I joked that I need to train harder so the zombies can't catch me, but if there really was a zombie uprising, I would not sprint right through the middle of a pack.  I'd run the other way, heading off the trail out of the infested area into somewhere safe.  
Infected! But such a cute medal

This run was a lot harder than I thought it would be.  Sprinting and dodging on wooded trails is not part of my normal training routine.  It was also a lot of fun.  And I made a new friend!  Angela, who was running in a tutu hoping it would distract the zombies and they'd miss grabbing her flags.  Chatting with her after the race, we discovered we have several events in common over the next few weeks.  We also noticed that runners who did this race in groups generally had about half their team survive, while runners like us who did it solo all got infected.  So next year we are going to get a group to do this together.

Total miles this week: 38.4

Total training miles to date: 367.65


Friday I was chatting with a friend who lost her husband a few months before I lost Kevin.  We've never met in real life - we connected online because she'd known Cindy when she lived in NC - but her online friendship has been a blessing to me as we travel this unwanted journey of widowhood.  She said that she sees I've been very busy with all my races, etc., but that she hoped I was "thriving and not just surviving".  I thought about it before I answered her, and I really believe that I am.  I miss Kevin and I always will.  My heart is broken, and many nights I still cry myself to sleep.  But my heart still works, and every day brings new joy and sweetness in the midst of the sorrow.

The first few months after Kevin died, I did feel like I was just surviving, but somewhere that changed.  I continue to live, and have new experiences, make new memories, and find things to enjoy about this life that, while I would never choose it, is the life I was given to live.  For me, the key has been to just choose to trust God daily, not in a "sit back and wait to see what happens" kind of way, but stepping out with the expectation that God will go with me, bringing good to my life and continuing to heal me as we go.  It's not easy, but it is the way that works for me.

Up Next

Run (317) Fountain Square this Thursday!  The Fountain Square location is the original one for this fun race series, and this will be the final event this year.  I've enjoyed being an Run(317) Ambassador, and I know this race will be fun.  And, this year the S'More Mobile is going to be there!  Seriously - a food truck that sells s'mores on a stick.  Where has this been all my life?


  1. Whew, whew, whew. Back up. S'more Mobile Thursday? Score!

    Ok, seriously... you are thriving, girl! You killed your 20 miler, are in a really good place for RnR, and are finding lots of joy. If the zombies ever do come, I want to be on your team.

    1. Thank you Trena! We can definitely team up in the Zombie Uprising!