Friday, October 18, 2013

48 Hours!!


I've trained for 12 weeks for this and now it is just 48 hours away!!  YIKES!!

I have been fighting a cruddy cold that is trying to creep in and I think I may be winning the battle.  I've been taking Vitamin C, drinking lots of chamomile tea, lounging in long hot baths and downing ibuprofen and acetaminophen like they are M&Ms.  I've been running outside the last couple of runs to get my lungs used to the colder weather.  I am doing all I can to be in tip top shape for Sunday.

I have been stressing over clothes a little.  It's supposed to be chilly, but not terribly so.  I did buy a pair of Nike long running pants and tried them out last night.  I like them.  They have a pouch in the back that hold my phone so I tried it and it only bothered me minimally.  I am pretty sure I'll wear an old sweater to the start line and then discard and donate at the start line or in the first couple miles on the sidelines.  I also bought some Nike running gloves.  I've liked them so far.  My hands get so cold when I run.  Even if I don't have sleeves I'm sure I'll still want those gloves.  I have one more 3 mile run in my schedule which I'll do tomorrow morning in the cold and make sure I'm comfortable with all of my choices.  

Mostly I'm just trying to keep my head in the game.  I'm trying to stay focused.  I get stressed out when I think of the race day too much so I just focus on today's goals and try not to look ahead.  I'm scared to jinx myself at this point!

My sweet, sweet husband has used his hotel points and gotten us a hotel just 3 blocks from the starting line on Sunday morning.  I'm so happy that I'll be so close and not have to worry about getting the kids up extra early, traffic or parking problems.  I'm also super happy that the whole family wants to be there to support me.  Because the run means nothing if I don't have them in the end!

So, it will start tomorrow when we go to the convention center for the Expo and pick up my race packet.  We'll hang out in Denver and enjoy a nice relaxing family day.  My next post probably won't be until after the race.  If you think about it, pray for me.  My goal is to finish.  I would like to do it in under 2:40 but that is secondary to just getting across the finish line.

Now I'm off to start hydrating!  My least favorite part of the prerace routines...but it must be done!

Happy Running!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Get Yer Head in the Game!

Week 9 of training was the worst week of training I had.  I was just over it.  I couldn't get motivated.  Once I started to run I just wanted to stop and go home.  It culminated with an 8 mile run on Sunday that turned into a 4.3 mile run/walk and a 4 mile hilly bike ride.  I was done!

Then I decided to sit down and really look over the last couple of weeks of training.  I had stopped doing the cross training on Monday nights.  The gym was closed for 3 weeks so I just cleaned my house instead on those days.  One time I just completely skipped and ate half of a pizza and watched Monday Night Football instead.  I had also stopped running on the treadmill and started running outside.  It was good practice to be out all the time but I wasn't doing any intervals or fartleks for strength training.  I had stopped drinking water as much I had been through the beginning of training.  So...maybe my body wasn't tiring out.  Maybe it was because I wasn't following the training plan anymore.

So, last Monday I decided it was going to be a week of following the plan.  Week 10 of training was on!  I did a chisel class at the gym Monday night that left me feeling like jello.  I jumped on the treadmill on Tuesday and did 6 miles of fartleks.  I rested on Wednesday, thank the good Lord, because my legs were like spaghetti after the first two days!  Thursday it was 5 miles of hills and they were awesome.  I conquered a hilly loop that terrifies me, and my wonderful husband cheered me on the whole way riding his bike alongside me!  Friday it was back to resting.  Saturday was an easy 4 miles so I did it on the treadmill at a nice slow pace.  And then Sunday was the peak of the whole training schedule...11 MILES!!  I did it on the treadmill.  It took 2 hours.  8 minutes.  32 seconds.  CRAZY!!!

And now it is Monday again and surprisingly I didn't even wake up sore.  And I headed back to the gym for some more chisel tonight. 

Turns out sticking to the plan works.

It's all downhill in training from here.  The runs are shorter and not so intense.  I have a 7 miler left this Sunday but nothing longer than that.  It's all about staying healthy and strong right now.  And in 13 days I'll get to reap the rewards. 

Getting super excited!

And did I mention that my birthday is in 9 days?  We are going to wait until after the race to go to my favorite cupcake place in Denver called The Shoppe to celebrate.  If nothing else motivates me come October 20th, knowing there will be cupcakes when it is all over will get me across that finish line!!

I appreciate all the love and support you guys have poured on me through this journey.  We're almost there!

Keep Running!  And be blessed!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Scattered Thoughts of a Runner

Shit!  The treadmill isn't working.  Well I'm adding that .2 to my run.  I didn't do that 30 seconds for nothing!

Why do I always start my runs uphill?

Oh ya, because that downhill, even 2 minutes in, feels oh. so. good.

Don't check the watch.  Just run.  For fun.  Look around and enjoy yourself.

Where did this wind come from?

Look at me.  I'm running.  Carefree.  Who cares if I have to run 6 miles.  I'm not thinking about that.  Just keep running.  Just keep running.

Oh my knees hurt.

Look at the blue sky.  Oh ya, I'm supposed to spend 15 minutes thinking of my sister.  I love my sister.  Is that a snake?!!  Jennifer if you can read my thoughts you have to know I can NOT think of you when I run outside.  I have to watch for snakes!!

I'm sooo tired of uphills!

I cannot believe James is having eye problems.  God you have such a sense of humor to give me my James, my adopted child, and he is the only one of my children to have eye problems.  I could find better things to bond over.

Got my breath back.  OK let's go up this street.

I hate uphill!

Love downhill.  I feel great.  Oh look another hill!



This is my favorite part of the run.  Downhill for the next mile baby.  Ahhh look at me just running.  Oh Jennifer I'm just running.  Not caring what the watch says.  Just running.  Hey...I thought about my sister again.

Ohhhh I know what I can do for a post before my half.  I should take different pictures of what I want to look like when I cross the finish line.  Then I can be ready for the big day.  Big smile?  Arms up?  Victory?  Sprayed with sweat...will have to use a hose.  It's October, it might snow.  I should do one with mittens and a hat too.

Wow...that took up a like 3 minutes of thinking time.  YAY!

Ugh my knees.

Seriously, when I was standing still there wasn't any wind!!

I need to tell Nick that the yummy free donut makes running easier.  Maybe I should see if he'll give me a free cookie on Thursday and we can see if that makes me run easy too??

OK this is a busy road...make it look easy!

What did I just kick??  Did a snake just slither between my legs??  I'm sure it was just a rock.  We're going to say it's a rock.  And we are going to pretend that I didn't just do a funny dancing run because of a rock.

Just a few more blocks.  You got this.

I think a lot when I'm running.  I should totally record these thoughts.  People will think I'm schizo though.  Oh well.

I could call it Scattered Thoughts of a Runner.  That implies I'm a runner.  What makes a runner?  I think if you are running then you are a runner.  If you wake up tomorrow and decide not to run then you are no longer a runner.  You can only call yourself a runner on a no run day if it is a day specifically designated to rest your body so you can run more.  I'm a runner right now.  I don't know if I'll be a runner tomorrow.  

Teenagers.  Like 20 of them.  Back straight.  Make it look like you do this all the time.  You're a rockstar.

They didn't even cheer.  There's a bazillion of them.  They were practicing some kind of dance routine or something with music blaring.  The least they could have done was cheered when I ran by.  Then maybe I could run more.  Idiots.

Just make it home. 

Where the BLEEP did this wind come from??

I've only ran 4.97?? 

I wasn't supposed to look at the watch!!

Just race home.  Cross that line.

5.15.  You didn't do 6.  You kinda suck. 

It's still 5.15.  I'll take it.

(And my favorite part of the run was after the run.  A text from my sister who I told that I absolutely didn't want to run tonight.  It said  "so, how did you do rockstar?"  Jennifer I love that you have that much faith in me.  You are such a blessing in my life!)

(Oh...and a confession.  I did NOT cross train last night. I played LIFE with my kids.  Then I ate half a large pizza (thin crust...does it even matter when you've eaten half??), 2 rice krispie squares and a bowl of popcorn with M&Ms in it while the kids and I watched the Broncos kill the Raiders.  Judge not!)

Friday, September 20, 2013

Tuesday, Thursday and Wandering All Over

Tuesday afternoon I started my 6 miles of fartleks and I was bored before I even began.  I knew I needed to change it up.  So here's what happened.

5 minute walk at 3.5
5 minute run at 5.5
13 minute fast run at 6.0
5 minute walk at 4.0
5 minute walk at 5.5
15 minute fast run at 6.0!!
5 minute walk at 4.0
4 minute walk at 5.5
9:35 fast run at 6.0 to finish 6 miles at 66:35.

The end time wasn't my best but those long runs were the farthest I've ever gone that fast.  It felt great!

On Thursday afternoon I just had to do a 5 mile AYF (As You Feel) run and I decided to head back outside with the Garmin.  I ran the first mile in 10:30!  Outside!  I did my fastest ever outdoor 5K at 33:09!  And I did the entire 5 miles in 54 minutes.  I was very proud of that run!  And apparently changing the fartlek routine helped me gain some ground this week!

Now for the wandering all around.  Yes, I'm trying all kinds of new routes and having fun wandering around Brighton.  But I was talking about my eye. 

For those of you that don't know, I am blind in my right eye.  I had 5 surgeries on my eye from the ages of 5 to 12 that left my eye wandering all the way up and to the right.  I had my last eye surgery at 12 to correct the position of the eyeball.  It was a huge success.  It was centered and I had full mobility.  I was a happy girl.

24 years later my eye has become unaligned.  I'm confident that this was caused from running and the constant strain and pounding that I've put on the muscles.  I have spoken to a local eye doctor that told me this was completely out of his realm and that I needed to be in touch with a pediatric ophthalmologist that does surgeries on strabismus.  Well, James just had strabismus surgery in May!  And I happened to have the doctor's cell number!  So I texted him, he texted back and told me he was in Hawaii and so we decided that email was the best way to communicate.  After sending pictures and information I now have an appointment on October 1st which will most likely lead to surgery to correct the position again.

I am telling you this for a few reasons. 

1. So you will pray for me.  I HATE!!, no..LOATHE!! surgeries. 

2. I am incredibly insecure right now.  I have been told that it is not nearly as obvious as I feel it is...but to me it feels like that is all people can see.  I feel like if I just let it all out there then you will know everything and you won't feel awkward for asking and I won't feel like there is a big elephant in the room that we are all ignoring. 

3.  And last, it's prayers again.  I have a huge big fat feeling that I'm going to be told not to run anymore.  It may be stop running until surgery.  It may be stop running after surgery so this doesn't happen again.  Either way...I'm getting in a half!  If I have to find one in the next few weeks and run it and then quit..I'll do it.  And then I'll take up swimming.  Or cycling.  Or whatever.  But I'm going to ask for prayers that surgery has come far enough in the last 24 years that they will fix this and I will be able to live a normal life again.  Please pray for that!

I cried like a baby when I finally realized what was going on.  I had a big ol' pity party and sobbed and snotted and acted like a big ol' baby.  And my sweet, sweet sister Jennifer sat on the other end of the phone telling me that she loves me, that I'm beautiful and that I would find my way through this.

And I will!

Let's just put this in perspective.  I haven't lost a child.  Or a husband.  Or a limb.  We are talking about an eye that was already blind and has moved out of position.  Other than a little confidence and vanity...I'm not losing a whole lot here.  And I would take my situation over millions of others.

God is good!  Whether His plans are for me to come out getting what I want or if they entail something completely different...He knows best!  And I will thank Him for constantly for holding me and taking care of me even when I don't know what His plans are.

I started blogging again to be able to keep the memories of my road to a half marathon.  I never, ever, saw this as being one of the curves.  Who knew?!  Anyways, I will always be proud of what I've done so far and I will pray that I will get to do so much more in the future.

I know that was long.  I'm sorry. 

It's a big weekend...I have another PR to set...10 miles on Sunday.  Yikes!  I'll try the Guu this time and let you know what I think. 

Be Blessed!  And be a blessing! 

Keep Running!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Getting Social, Eating Jelly Bellies and Cleaning House

I got a Garmin!!

So. Darn. Excited!!

I've been wanting one for forever.  I asked for one for Mother's Day and didn't get it.  I wanted one for the Bolder Boulder and didn't get it.  Then I ran twice and had my husband map them for me on  Apparently that did the trick...I had a Garmin after the second run!  WOO HOOOOO

I wore my fancy new watch on my run on Sunday.  It was great because I had to do 8 miles and didn't have a clue where that was going to take me.  This way I was able to just go run and check my watch to know if I had to go further or start heading closer to home.  It worked so well that I finished the 8 miles just three doors down from my house!

And the results are instant.  I knew right away that I had run 8 miles, that I ran for 1:33, my average pace was 11:44 and that I burned 949 calories! 

I came home and plugged it into my computer and it gave me even more information such as elevation change, the weather while I was running and a few other cool things that I can't remember right now but just made me love my toy even more. 

And now I can be one of the cool people and share the info on Facebook.  My sister has been using a Nike app which is way cool and I love that I can see when she is running and it even lets me cheer her along the way.  If I have a day that I want to skip a run and I see that she has done hers, it pushes me.  Now I get to share too!  Happy, happy, happy!

I have also been experimenting with gels.  I told you about trying the honey and that seemed to work well.  This weekend I picked up two new types: Jelly Belly gels and Guu.  I was already leaning a little more towards the Jelly Bellies just because I can dump them in my fanny pack and then eat one or a handful as I feel I need them.  The Guu is a whole pack similar to a mayonnaise pack and once it's open then it's open.  I get an upset tummy when I run with too much food in my belly so I'm a little leery of taking it all in one shot but don't relish the idea of leaving it open in my pack either.

So on Sunday I tried my first choice: TriBerry (I think) Jelly Bellies.  I ate one right before I left and HOLY SWEET!  I wasn't so sure.  Then after a couple of miles I popped another one and loved how the sweetness made my mouth instantly fill up with saliva.  It was like a free drink along with the candy!  Gross right?!  But it was sooooo good!  I ate most of them throughout the run and felt great.  At some points I was really able to sit back mentally on the run and my legs were just doing their thing.  It was a great feeling.  Part of it is the training for sure.  But I do think the gels helped too.  I wasn't exhausted when I got home and could have put in a couple of extra miles for sure.

Next weekend I'll try the Guu. 

I want to get all the experimenting out before the half.

Tonight is cross training.  My stupid gym is still closed for maintenance so tonight I just did house cleaning again.  Trust's a workout!  I can't wait to get back to the gym next Monday.  I have a friend that wants to try spin with me so I think that is what we will do.  I'm missing the core workouts!  But I also know my body is enjoying the breaks.  I've got some aches and pains going on (including a lovely friction rash from my running bra!) but I don't want this to end on a negative note.  If they don't go away I'll share another time.

Right now I will stay focused on my fancy new Garmin!  Happy!!

Hope you have had a lovely Monday.  My favorite beginning of the week quote on Facebook today was "Don't look back, you're not going that way!"

Keep Running!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Crap In, Crap Out

Today's run just hurt! 

A lot! 

My feet. 

My knees. 

My legs.

It was supposed to be 6 miles of fartleks.  I did 5.  And then I walked for a half a mile and called it a day.


I think I know what part of the problem is.  Well, the big part is that my body is still recovering from that huge 9 miler on Sunday.  But the other part I think is my doing.

I've started eating crap again.

I feel like I have been a running beast and when I'm hungry I just haven't cared what's gone into my mouth the last 3 days. I ate cake for dessert 3 nights in a row!  And today I had hashbrowns.  HASHBROWNS!! 

I get it now.  I'm running a lot so I can eat more.  But it has to be more of the good stuff.  I need foods that will help fuel my body and then help my body heal.  I will do my best to not make that mistake again during training.  A treat every once in a while is great but moderation has to be the key.

Tomorrow is rest day.  YIPPEEEE!!  I'm hoping Thursday's 5 miles of hills goes much better.  It is getting cooler outside and I think it will be a great day for an outside run.  Wooohooo!  I don't normally run outside but I have a 3 mile loop I do and I have a 2 mile loop...I'm just going to put them together to make 5.  And they consist of enough hills that I'm slightly nervous.  Should be fun.

The moral of today's blog: when you put crap into your body, your body will be crappy at what it does.

Hope the beginning of your week has been great! 

Keep Running!

Monday, September 9, 2013

A Week's Worth

WOW!  It's been a week since I last wrote.  Bet you (all 3 or 4 of you that read this!) thought I was fizzing out eh?  Not me!  I've stuck to the plan without missing anything since the big 8 miler I skipped in WY.

I will say that keeping up is getting harder.  Now that my runs are no longer 30 and 40 minutes long I am feeling guilty taking as long as I do to run and then sitting down to blog afterwards.  I will try to be more diligent though!


I did the cross-train Monday that I told you about last week.  Then I did 6 miles (SIX MILES!!) of fartleks on Tuesday.  That was a PR for me because up until then I had only done 4 miles of fartleks.  I kept to the same rhythm as usual: 10 minute mile for 5 minutes then 11 minute mile for 5 minutes x 6.  It was awesome!  Wednesday was rest day.  YAY!  Thursday I ran 4 miles.  Friday was rest again.  YAY again!  Saturday I ran 5 miles and it was nice and easy.  Then Sunday was the big whopper...NINE MILES!!  I did the first 3 miles at 11 minute miles and then slowed down to 12 minute miles for the last 6 in the hopes that I could sustain it for the full ride.  And I did it!  1 hr and 47 mins of running!  THAT'S NUTS!!  After mile 3 I would dribble a bit of honey on my finger and suck it off at the beginning of each mile.  I think that really helped.  I think I will start trying some gels on my Sunday runs. 

I seriously cannot even explain how cool it is to say that I ran 9 miles.  And that even though I did it, it so doesn't feel possible.  Up until yesterday I had never run farther than 7 miles and I had only done that twice.  Again...I'm amazed at what God is allowing this body to accomplish.  I feel blessed to be discovering this side of myself.

I also feel sore!  Tonight is cross train.  They gym is still closed for 2 more weeks for maintenance so no swimming or classes.  It's raining outside so no bike rides.  I guess I'm just going to do some weight lifting at home.  I don't think it will be too much because I feel tired and I know I have to do the 6 miles of fartleks again tomorrow.  I will do my best to lift and stretch for at least 30 minutes tonight though.

I picked up a book that caught my eye at the library.  It's called You are an Ironman.  I'm loving it!!  It's about 6 people and their journeys to the Ironman competition.  Can I just say that these people amaze me!!  They also inspire me!  I've been thinking about trying out a triathlon in the Spring of next year.  I've even gone so far as to tell you all about it and now probably be held accountable.  If you know of any please share!

I'll leave you with the link to a video that just blew my mind.  Julie Ross crossing the finish line at Ironman in 1982.  Keep in mind she was just a student doing a research paper on Ironman and she ended up being in 1st place the whole way.  No go watch!

Have a blessed week!  And Keep Running!