September 5, 2012

Poison ivy, I hate you. Plus some running.

Yesterday was double run day. I haven't pulled one of those in a while, but I was racing the Mommy Run Fast 5 mile virtual run in the morning and wanted to hit up Red Mountain again since yesterday was one of those rare occasions when my husband can make it home before everyone's snoozing. He's a work maniac. Plus Tuesday's are Alabama Outdoors Red Mountain runs, so there would be water and friendly people on the trails.

For the morning race, I geared up and hit the gym with the twinners. I warmed up for a mile on the track and then mosied over to the treadmill to try and work out the 5 miler. Before starting, I had looked up on McMillan how fast a 3:34 marathoner (wishful thinking) should be able to run a 5 mile race. Thanks to McMillan, my new goal was 7:17 miles. I started off slower so I could work my way up. 8.0 mph on the first mile, then 8.2 on the second, then 8.5 on the third and fourth. On the last mile, I just went crazy to see how fast I could push it. I got up all the way to 10.1 because I wanted to see if I could run the last .25 at sub-6 pace.


I beat my goal by 9 seconds per mile. There was no inclining or any extra work of the sort, but I did have to waste energy telling 15 people that the treadmills beside me didn't work. They are the most popular treadmills, and only one (the one I was on, obvi) out of the three worked that morning. That's the way Gold's Gym rolls. 

Super excited post run. 

After the morning run, my left knee was kind of feeling wonky, so I knew that I was going to take it easy on the trail run. I got there just as everyone was heading onto the trails, so I decided to use that as my opportunity to truly take it slow and easy. It was really nice to just think (sans headphones) and relax on the trails.

Even though I was taking it easy, I had some great realizations out on the trail. Thinking back to the first time I ran these trails, I remember one particular hill totally kicking my butt. Yesterday, I kept thinking, OK, that hill is right up ahead so get ready. And then it never came. Then I realized that was the hill back there, but it just didn't kick my rear as much. Moral of the story: slowly, slowly over time, there is progress with this running business.

Unfortunately, I had another realization when I woke up this morning: poison ivy. Is it possible to contract a poison ivy allergy? I swear that I have never been allergic to poison ivy my whole life, but since we moved to Alabama, my daughter and husband have been getting it like crazy whenever they look at it. My husband has always been allergic, but I guess we never lived in a place (since we've been married) with lots of it surrounding our house. So (even though I grew up surrounded by poison ivy) suddenly I am allergic to poison ivy too. Dumb. I swear the same thing happened with car sickness. I never got car sick before I got married, but my husband has it always. Now I get car sick. Impossible to contract, but somehow I did.


Because the trails still had lots of puddles and some trees down, I probably spent more time in the brush to the side of the trail, which is probably where I rubbed up against the poison ivy. This is my best guess. So don't stray from the trails if you are running Red Mountain and are allergic to poison ivy. Winter, you cannot come fast enough to kill all of these mosquitoes and rash-giving plants. 

The start of my poison ivy.

Last, here's a little motivation to eat more iron-rich foods, from Shape magazine (an old issue that I just found in a disorganized mail stack). You run faster when your body has enough iron! I also started taking a multivitamin after I figured out that I was iron deficient earlier this year. 


What do you eat to make sure you get enough iron in your diet?

Have you ever gotten poison ivy on a trail run? Are you allergic to it?

Do you have any virtual races coming up? I like to do them as replacement for my speed work.

32 comments:

  1. Good to know about the poison ivy on Red Mtn...my legs are already destroyed from all the mosquito bites I have gotten this summer (and I am apparently fairly "allergic" to those too)...I am *extremely* allergic to poison ivy and scar pretty badly...not a great combination and I still have scars fading from last year(!) when I got it really badly on my arms. I ran the Ruffner Festival of Trails in April and a lot of the single track was not cleared well and I thought I would be super screwed with PI but thankfully I was spared that time around!

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    1. I've run up there so many times without getting it, but I think I just pushed it a little far onto the sides of the trail because of the damage from the storms. I wasn't even thinking about poison ivy at all, but I did see a sprig and think, oh I'll have to watch out for that. Ha, too late.:) As I type, my legs are on fire with itchiness. Ew.

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  2. I love virtual runs as a replacement for speed work, too. You did awesome- I'm so impressed you held that pace on a treadmill! Thanks for participating!
    I haven't gotten poison ivy in years, but I used to be allergic as a kid... not sure if I've outgrown it, or if I'm just no longer exposed to it.

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  3. You are super speedy! We don't have poison ivy here in California but we do have poison oak. I'm not affected by it but my husband is. You can develop an allergy to something at any age. Looking forward to the day when hills don't kick my butt :)

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    1. I'm gonna put allergies in time out for that. They should at least be consistent!

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  4. Busted! You are soooo busted! I lost my favorite water bottle, the one sporting the Avia logo, a few weeks ago at an event where YOU were also present. See pic of goofy looking chick above. Hmmmm. So I had to go begging among friends for more bottles. Fortunately, someone came through and sold me a used bottle. Wonder if she felt guilty? On to poison ivy. Like "Mommy Run Fast", I got it frequently as a child, but not in many years despite lots of exposure. Must come and go, huh?

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    1. What???!!! You don't remember when I won that fancy water bottle at Xterra? http://yomommaruns.blogspot.com/2012/05/xterra-oak-mountain-21k.html
      It is a really good one though, so I can understand why you are sad. But luckily you have awesome friends who give you water bottles and whom you would never accuse of stealing.:)

      I hope my poison ivy allergy leaves soon!

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    2. Indeed I remember. You were a bit off form that day, finishing 2d in age group. 1st was Lesley Paterson, reigning Cross Triathlon Women's World Champion. Keep training, kiddo, we'll get there.

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    3. Phew, I'm pardoned. :) And if you happen to see this again, ride with me to Rocket City if you don't end up staying the night before. I think we can make it in time. Fingers crossed anyway.

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  5. Nice job getting in both runs! Super speedy on the treadmill!! I don't know if I am allergic to poison ivy, not even sure what it looks like:0 I love virtual races and did Laura's one too:) I take a multi vitamin with iron since I am always low on iron. It helps a lot! Hope your rash heals soon:)

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  6. Two runs? That's fantastic. I ran trails today too. Poison ivy? Let's just say now I double check before taking any trailside pit stops. I've gotten poison ivy in places that should never see the light of day.

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  7. Damn good 5 miler girl!! I used to get poison ivy allllll the time growing up...I played in the Woods a lot lol...building forts, playing army, exploring, etc

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    1. My daughter doesn't want to play in the yard anymore because of it. So sad because I have the best memories of exploring the woods from my childhood. Maybe I should tell her it will be fine.

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  8. I love 2-a-days! I'm impressed that you squeezed one in after a "race", too! No one in my household has ever come in contact with poison ivy. (jinx alert!!) My nephew developed a sudden allergy to it, though, so it may not be terribly uncommon.

    I also like that you use running in lieu of hair care. My beauty secret (shh) is Pool Instead of Shower. Nothing like the smell of Stranger Sweat and Chlorine to glam a girl up.

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    1. Our kids only take around three actual showers in the summer. The rest of the time it's pool bath.

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  9. Poison ivy allergy and carsickness becoming contagious?! Yikes. Hang in there girl!

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  10. Awesome time on the 5 miler...maybe one day I can be as fast as you :p

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  11. Can we be running buddies already?

    9 seconds per mile is huge!! That's awesome....now lets meet and kick a 3:34 marathons Bootay!

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    1. Yes! Let's pick a spot, but I'm counting on you to pull me to the end.:)

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    2. I mean, I am in northeast PA but for a BQ, I would be willing to be a little nuts….

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  12. I've never done a virtual race...do you rely on people giving honest info to gauge the winner?

    No poison ivy here, but poison oak as someone's already mentioned. Not been affected yet, I wonder if my British blood is immune??

    Def going to try the iron thing...i eat spinach etc but could easily eat more!!

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    1. If British blood is immune, I'm going to hire some British vampires to collect some for me. Transfusion, please! And, yes, the virtual races just hope that you are honest. That's why I like to do it on a treadmill so that I can take a picture when I'm done.

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  13. Can you believe I've lived a long, happy life without suffering poison ivy/oak? Well, I just put that out there into the universe, no doubt karma will come to correct that situation for me!
    Ran Laura's virtual race with some friends - had such a blast!

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    1. I think I got it because I didn't have enough empathy for my husband and daughter when they had it. I'm no scientist, but I'm pretty sure that's how these things work.:)

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  14. I was not allergic to poison ivy for the first 30 years of my life. I could roll around in the stuff and never get the first blister. Seriously, spent all of my childhood and young adult years in the woods.
    Once I became pregnant with my first and ever since, I get it ridiculously easy. Someone told me (I have no idea if there’s any truth to this) that your body changes every 7 years and things that you were not allergic to previously, you can all of a sudden develop and allergy to.
    Sarah

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    1. I hope mine goes away as quickly as suddenly as it showed up. Poison ivy is not invited to any of my parties.

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  15. I've not come up against poison ivy or poison oak yet but I reckon I have no antibodies and I'd be a quick victim!!

    I do need to eat more iron though. I don't think I'm deficient but if it makes me faster...

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  16. Oh my goodness, if I push to an even 8:00 when healthy I feel like I am going to fly off. A sub six pace is great.
    You all totally inspire me to try and go faster!
    I've never done a virtual race, but sounds kind of cool.

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  17. It's really a bummer you're not out here in socal. We don't really have poison ivy (or poison oak as far as I know). Sure, it sometimes get hot and things like to light themselves on fire. Oh and the quakes part. And black widows and rattlesnakes.

    I hope that shiz is getting better. It's probably itchy as crap.

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