huntinton’s disease

10 Things I Learned From Running 10 Miles A Day For 10 Days

After I finished the Boston Marathon, I was looking for something to do. I knew another marathon would not be a smart idea, and I ended up finding the 10×10 challenge on Facebook. Hmmm, I can run ten miles a day for ten days, right? Sure! The timing was never right since we had some weekend plans, and I didn’t want to HAVE to run on the holidays, on vacation, blah blah. Fast forward to July and I had one week where I could get the challenge in. I decided to combine the challenge with my cousin’s fundraiser for Huntington’s Disease, and asked my friends and family to donate to the Huntington’s Disease Society if I completed the challenge. I got some pledges and donations  and on July 6th, I started running. I had a lot of time to think, to talk, and to learn a little about myself and running; 16 hours and 22 minutes over 10 days, to be exact. But I finished the challenge and raised about $500 for Huntington’s along the way. Thank you so much to those of you who pledged and donated! It means so much to me to have your support and you made my cousin cry with happiness! By the way, the initial numbers are in, and with her big event last weekend, she has raised upwards of $32,000 for Huntington’s Disease research AND she just announced she is also going to have a big fundraiser in the Phoenix area where she lives!!! Boom.

Since I like to make lists, here’s the newest list of the ten things I learned from running ten miles a day for ten days, in no particular order.

Oh yeah! Oh yeah!

Oh Ptheven.

To learn how I met Ptheven and the pthory behind it, or even if you just want to laugh, please read this post HERE when I was having one of those days when everything made me laugh.

I DID IT, oh yeah oh yeah!

My Pthelfie. I DID IT, oh yeah oh yeah!

1) Endurolytes are the magical pill that I’ve been waiting to discover, I just don’t know what took so long. It never crossed my mind to take them for marathons, summer training, or anything shorter than a half iron. Big mistake. Once I started taking them during this challenge, my recovery time dramatically decreased, and I felt so much better than I normally do when running in swampy conditions. Lesson learned, and they will be part of my regiment from now on. Run out of electrolytes during a marathon again? Not this girl.

2) Ten miles is the perfect distance.  It’s enough to force you to work hard, and to plan, but it doesn’t deplete your energy the way longer runs do. I had relatively no intensity in any of my ten milers either, but I didn’t feel like I HAD to walk.  I certainly wanted to in the last few days, but I didn’t. The day after the challenge was done, my legs feel pretty good. Do I want to go out and run? Hells no, but I could if I needed to. If I did, someone may want to put one of those white coats on me because that’s just KRA-ZY.

3) The 10×10 Challenge ain’t no joke! It becomes more of a mental challenge than a physical one. Ten miles is a great distance, but it becomes about something other than the actual running.  Getting up early day after day, planning the fueling, the hydrating, getting through those long workouts day after day after day. At least 2 hours a day is spent on this – preparing, running, then recovery.  It gets tiring. It was super hot and humid for me here, and if I wasn’t so freaking stubborn, I would not have completed this.  Seven days would have been too easy of a challenge, but eleven days, well, that would have sucked big time.

4) I’m stronger, both physically and mentally, than I gave myself credit for.  My legs are tough.  Running 100 miles in ten days isn’t anything to sneeze at. I’ve NEVER run 70 miles in one week, only 64 when in peak marathon training several years ago. It’s a ton of miles, and I really had to push myself, physically but mostly mentally. I continually second guess whether I can actually do things, to which my awesome husband tells me that I can pretty much do anything, and maybe, just maybe, I need to listen to him. Because it’s true.

5) Sunrises make me happy.  I normally see many sunrises as I train turning the summer, but seeing them day after day during this challenge was a reminder of how beautiful life is.  It made me feel even happier to be alive and have the ability to even think about doing this challenge.

Gorgeous view from the north tip of Wrightsville Beach at sunrise.

Gorgeous view from the north tip of Wrightsville Beach at sunrise.

6) Running buddies ROCK.  I have amazing friends. Out of the ten days of running, I had company for four of them. It really made a difference in getting through those days when I didn’t want to spend 100 minutes by myself doing the same thing I had been doing for several days before. It kept my mind off the actual act of running, and it was good to catch up with each one of them during our workouts.

7) I’m extremely fussy about accurate running times/distances.  When I started the MapMyRun workouts for those ten days, I had to put my phone in it’s little Roo pouch and then start running. I had to stop for water, to stretch, traffic, and walk with my buddies. I never paused my workout, even when I was stopped for several minutes. It bugged the shit out of me. The times recorded showed the time I spent standing, so they weren’t exactly accurate for per mile splits. Why do I care? I have no idea. When my workouts were done, it sometimes took me a while to get the thing to stop the workout because my phone was covered in sweat and my hands were dripping. Boy, that pissed me off. “I finished that damn workout TEN SECONDS AGO!!!”. I don’t get why it matters to me, but it does. It doesn’t to anyone else, but me. Hello, my name is Kelli, and I’m an accurate time addict.

8) Vaseline can fix wonky toes. That’s pretty much all you need to know – I’ll be using this more as I ramp up my miles again this fall.

9) Running challenges are good for you! Sometimes you need to do get out there and do something different. I wrote a little about this earlier in the challenge, but I got a sense of post-race euphoria somewhere half way through. It waned a little near the end when I JUST WANTED IT TO BE OVER and I was tired of sweating out half my body weight, but really, it sort of came back again today. I feel like I can do pretty much anything today.  It gave me a boost of confidence to NOT be afraid to try things and that if I set my mind to something, I can do it. So challenges are good. Very good, and I’m thankful that I took this one on.

10) I can and I will.

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Somewhere along this journey, I realized that I really did, truly want to complete an iron distance.  (I had LOTS of time to think as I ran!) I already figured out that going to an actual Ironman event would be too expensive for my family, so I am going to do the one here in town, the Beach 2 Battleship. I’m doing the half this October, but I’m going to plan to do the full in another year or two or three. It all depends on how my marathons go. I continuously questioned whether I had what it took to do the training involved, and probably mid-way through this challenge, I realized that if I set my mind to it, I can do anything I want to do. Sure, it takes physical ability and all that, but being mentally strong and having the ability to push yourself to not give up is almost more important than the physical part of it. As a marathoner, I know how to push, how to persevere, how to get up every day and train. And I know that I can do more. This challenge taught me to not be afraid, to have no fear in going for my goals. I know that I have what it takes to work towards and achieve my goals.

I can and I will.

scream

Now this weekend I’m off to the mountains for a new challenge, running a half marathon called The Scream, you know, because it’s a screamin’ good time down 2100 ft of elevation. I’m looking forward to getting out of town, spending time with my family in the woods, being unplugged (there’s NO cell service in our cabin – SCORE!), and seeing some of my friends.

Once I get back, it’s totally tri training time. This girl’s gotta get serious!

 

 

 

Categories: 10x10 challenge, beach 2 battleship triathlon, Boston Marathon, half iron distance, huntinton's disease, iron distance, marathon, open water swimming, running, running buddies, running challenge, running streak, running with friends, training for half iron distance, training for triathlon, triathlon, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

10×10 Challenge: Mission Accomplished

On Monday morning, I drug myself out of bed at 4:43. I don’t know why I set my alarm for that time. I stared at the wall a minute, then got my stuff ready, Groundhog Day style. I can get ready in fifteen minutes, including putting a band aid on my toe and eating. Pretty impressive, ey? I decided to trek back to UNCW and run a different route than I’ve done before. I wasn’t feelin’ it, people, I just wasn’t feeling it compared to most of the other days. Was it the beer I had on Sunday? Was it the cumulative effect of sweating buckets every day that caught up with me? I don’t know, but I struggled to keep going. Sure, my pace was pretty good, but I didn’t let myself stop like I had last week, and all I wanted to do was walk. I couldn’t walk this day because I needed to get back home so my husband could go to work earlier for training. Timing.

Once I got to my parking lot, I questioned my route. It was still dark and I was by myself. I decided to let my instincts be my guide so I headed out the way I planned. I have a pretty active imagination so I was thinking of all sorts of things chasing me while I ran.

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I didn’t think he would actually appear and slime me, so I thought of this little guy.

Boo

Boo

I couldn’t help but feel creeped out in the park by myself in the dark. (Sounds like the beginnings of a song, hey?)  I did a gut check at that point, and my gut said to keep going.  So I kept going.  It was going to get light out by the time I would loop back at the end of my 10 miles and the rest was in a residential area, so I knew it would be fine.  The route was pretty good and I’m glad I chose something new, especially since I didn’t have a running buddy. You know that euphoric feeling I discussed having after my run the day before? Yeah, it was gone. Poof. Disappeared. And was replaced by just a little bit of anger.  Why does it have to be so effing humid? Why is the road boring? Why is that frog there so I have to move so I don’t squish it? Oh, cute froggy. Slight case of bi-polar there, yeah. My legs were starting to really feel the fatigue.  And I was bored. Like really bored so my music kept me company. But I got it done. All I wanted to do was walk, but I pushed through, and kept on running.

Day 9 - Almost there!

Day 9 Complete. One. More. Day.

I’m not sure when I started thinking this, whether it was Day 9 or Day 10, but “This challenge ain’t no joke” continuously went through my mind. It’s difficult enough to be, well, difficult, but it’s not impossible. But it’s difficult. When I got home, I took a shower, ate a snack, and went straight to the couch so I could take a power nap. I woke up about 30 minutes later. It. Was. Awesome. Later on and after I ate breakfast, I started feeling really crappy. It didn’t make a whole lot of sense, so I decided to take another Endurolyte pill.  Within 15 minutes, I felt perfectly fine. Interesting.  I spent the rest of the day doing all sorts of stuff with my kids. It really was the perfect day with them. But we didn’t go outside since it was 8 million degrees and 400% humidity. Or that’s how I felt. We had a blast inside though, and later in the evening, we all went out so they could play in the pool.  It ended up being a good day, but I had to mentally prepare for one more ten mile run.

My alarm came early for Day 10. I was really wearing out, but was so thankful it was my last day of the challenge. I honestly didn’t know if I could have made it another day. Ok, I’m sure I could have, but I was pretty much over it! Another day of a hundred percent humidity and a 5:30 start at 82 degrees. YUCK! I decided to run from my house so I could get 15 extra minutes of sleep. I felt pretty decent for the first part. Then the sweat started and just. wouldn’t. stop. Oh my goodness, I don’t know what the difference was, but the air was, well, it just wasn’t there. I got in my own head and started getting pissed. Seems stupid to be getting pissed about a challenge that I signed myself up for and was almost done with, right? Well, I was pissed anyway. I ran around my neighborhood, saw the beautiful sunrise, and went down a road that I haven’t been on in almost a year. The miles ticked by, and so did the boring songs that I have been listening to for the past nine days. I was just over it! Five miles to go, four, three, then two. Once the MapMyRun lady yapped that I had run 8 miles, I figured I would be really happy. So I was for a bit. A minute or two later, knowing that I had just two miles left in my ten day challenge, I had so much sweat in my shoes, it started sloshing between my toes. It make that sound when I stepped “ssshhhhhttttt ssshhhhhhtttt”. Every. Fucking. Step. First it was my left foot. My right foot quickly followed. Are you fucking kidding me? I have to listen to this, over my iPod, for two more fucking miles???? Yeah, I certainly did.

I ran by a guy I normally see out in the morning. He sort of chuckled at me and I said, “I know, you can hear me coming from a mile away!”. My smile was fake. I finished right at my house, and I asked my husband to come out and take a picture of me post-challenge. During that time, I just couldn’t get my hand and phone dry enough to turn my MapMyRun workout off. Ohhhhh, that was the trigger. I delicately asked yelled at my husband to turn the fucking thing off since time is ticking away and I ran hard for a good pace and I didn’t want it to show that I was slower than I already was….. yeah. (Sorry AGAIN, honey.) I went a little nutty. I threw my water thing down, tried to cry, but I couldn’t find the tears. I paced a little, was happy, sad, angry, and well, sweaty. I was so freaking sweaty and hot.  Hubs got a picture of me in the moment. YES, I DID IT!!!!!!

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I went inside and was greeted by some nice, low-humidity, cool air. It was glorious. I completely soaked a towel while cooling off, and I drank my obligatory PowerAde in record time. I was done. I completed the challenge!!! I could SLEEP IN tomorrow!!!!! I don’t have to spend ten minutes trying to de-tangle my hair tomorrow! Yes. I did it.

Day 10

Day 10

 10×10 Running Challenge: Mission Complete

 I’m taking the next three days off, and Saturday, I’m running The Scream 1/2 Marathon in the Carolina mountains. I think I’m trained. 🙂

Categories: 10x10 challenge, half iron distance, huntinton's disease, marathon, running, running buddies, running challenge, running streak, running with friends, training for half iron distance, training for marathon, training for triathlon, triathlon, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Groundhog Day. Again.

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If you haven’t read my blog this week, I’m doing the 10×10 running challenge by running 10 miles a day for 10 days. I started last Sunday. I am also taking donations for http://www.bar2barbara.com fundraiser that my cousin started five years ago to help find a cure for Huntington’s Disease, the disease that took her mother’s life. Her big Bar-2-Barbara event was this weekend, and right now, she has raised over $30,000.  Not all of my donations have been made yet (nor are hers), but I was able to raise nearly $500 to help her cause. Every dollar helps find a cure for this ridiculously terrible disease.

This is how I’ve felt every morning for a week. The only thing missing is Sonny & Cher singing “I Got You Babe” when I wake up. I get up early, run 10 miles, hydrate, eat, hydrate, stretch, hydrate, eat and then go about my daily stuff with my kids while eating, stretching, and hydrating. It’s all good, but I’m kind of tired of it. I don’t have any choices. I HAVE to get up early or running would be like running on the surface of the sun PLUS humidity. It’s gross out there, kids. Really, really gross.  I’m sure you can relate.

Besides being dog tired right around 2:00 and 8:00 pm, I’m feeling really good. On Saturday, I was supposed to run with a group, but we all texted each other at zero:dark:thirty and decided we wanted to sleep in. I got up around 7:30, or something like that, and it was glorious. I felt a lot better and knew I would pay for that by having to run in even warmer conditions. It was worth it though. I decided on starting at a park and finding a trail that has a lot of shade, which I’m very glad I did.  I think it was about 9 when I got going, and the temp was 83 and humidity levels were at 120%. I guess that’s what you get when you live by the ocean. Anyway, I visualized a good strong run. Something came over me and I knew it was going to be good. I started out feeling good, but stayed a little slower, then brought my per mile times down and finished my 7th 10 mile run in 7 days the fastest of all of them at 1:31:19.  It even took me a while to be able to stop my workout since my iPhone doesn’t register when it’s wet, and it was wet, my hand was wet, so I had to convince it to let me slide that little thing over to complete my workout. Seconds were wasted. Sheesh.

Day 7 complete!

Day 7 complete!

 

Summer runnin'

Summer runnin’

I felt energized by that run. I felt almost invincible. I don’t know what it was, but I felt a sense of empowerment when I knew that 1) I was going to complete the challenge and 2) I felt like I could do about anything.  I don’t know what it is, but this challenge has evoked the “post race euphoria” in me. It’s a very dangerous thing. I’ve vowed I would NOT sign up for anything while I feel like this.

We went to the store and I replenished my supply of fruit/veggie drinks. This is the one that I really do like.

challenge18I didn’t mean to pick on Boathouse Farms about their veggie drink the other day, but this one just tastes so much better! Most of the ingredients are the same, but the way they mix them is completely different. I’ll be staying with Naked on this one.

This morning’s run started at 6 and was with a friend who I ran a lot with in training for Boston. She is the one who walked with me at the end and felt equally crappy the last 10k of that race. It was good to run with her and catch up a bit. The air was still and it was a lot cooler than it was yesterday, but the humidity was about 130%!  Funny how 73 degrees can feel like a cool glass of water. Then you take the glass and dump in on your head, and that’s sort of what it feels like.

Anyway, we ran at a nice, conservative pace and it felt good. We stopped to stretch, to walk, to cross a busy road. We went back to the start point at an hour in since she was done with her workout and I headed out on part of the trail I ran on yesterday.  I got those “euphoric” feelings again, and I hauled my last three miles in at about 8 minutes per mile. I was pumped! I was lucky enough to be able to talk with some other lovely ladies from my running group while we stretched and cooled off a bit. They talked a while about nutrition, which is on my short list of things to work on for my upcoming half iron and marathon. Will be interesting since I’m still weird about weighing myself and counting carbs/protein/fat grams.

Day 8 is complete!

Day 8 is complete!

View from the start at UNCW

View from the start at UNCW

I’m actually surprised my legs are feeling as good as what they are. It’s interesting that ten miles is long enough to make you work really hard, but it’s not long enough to deplete your energy stores like long runs do. I have one sore toe right now but it’s not as sore as earlier last week and is a different toe, so that’s good. Chafing is minimal too, thank goodness!

I’ve thought a lot recently about where I want to go and do after my half iron this fall. I think I’ve finally narrowed it down, too. Of course, I’ve got the Houston Marathon to run in January and Wrightsville Beach Marathon in March, one of which I’m expecting to BQ in, and after that? Hmmmm, I just may have an idea.

How did everyone do this weekend? Did you race?

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: 10x10 challenge, beach 2 battleship triathlon, Boston Marathon, half iron distance, huntinton's disease, iron distance, marathon, running, running buddies, running challenge, running streak, running with friends, training for half iron distance, training for marathon, training for triathlon, triathlon, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Challenge zzzzzzzz Days 5 and 6 zzzzzzzz

Boy, am I tired. Not necessarily my legs but my whole entire body.  Getting up before or at 5 am is wearing on this lady here. The good news is that my kids are home and don’t mind if I take a short power nap, which I’ve done once and plan to do here in about an hour. Twenty minutes of sleep can recharge my batteries for the rest of the day.  It’s crazy.

The last time I wrote, I was having issues with my triangle toes.  That night, I popped a small blister on each one, slathered it with Vaseline, and went to bed. The next morning, it already felt better, so I slathered it again and put a band aid around it before the run.  I can officially say that I’m a Vaseline fan and my toes feel great! That ten miles went well, and I felt like I had a lot of energy.  I don’t always get why some runs are better than others when everything else seems to be static, but it was good. Maybe it was the company? I don’t know, but I’ve had running friends the past two days, and just having someone to talk to seems to make a world of difference in how my brain perceives about an hour and forty-five minutes of running. I have friends lined up again for day seven, and I’m working on day eight.

My paces are somewhere in the 9’s for the most part. Some are faster and some are slower. I never turn my app off, even if I’m stopped for a few minutes to drink some water or take pictures, so the average time shows slower than what it really is. Not that it really matters. But it sort of does, but it doesn’t. If you know what I mean.

On Day 5, we headed out from UNCW and ended up on the bridge to Wrightsville Beach before we had to turn around and go back.

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Day 5!!! Half way there.

Day 5!!! Half way there.

Yesterday, I was a bottomless pit and never really felt full. I drank. I ate. I drank more. I ate more. I’m “finicky” when it comes to fruits and veggies, which is a huge pain in the ass and not really by choice (it would be SO much easier to eat if I liked more things). In order to get a lot of my fruits and veggies like a good, healthy athlete should, I drink a lot of them. The store didn’t have my usual veggie mix, so I tried something different. I found out I can actually block my smell sense so I could get this stuff down. Then of course, after you swallow, you have to breathe and get the punch from this stuff. Yeah, I won’t be getting this particular one again.

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This morning, I was lucky to run with my friend who I did many long runs with in preparation for Boston. The time flew by and she made sure we were well hydrated. She even surprised me with a donation for my cause!! (www.bar2barbara.com) It was mostly a new route for me, and I really enjoyed seeing something different! My legs still feel really good!  It’s hard to believe after 60 miles in 6 days, they aren’t feeling like lead. My friend reminded me to ice, which I had literally FORGOTTEN (?!?!) to do until yesterday afternoon. We finished our run in good time and again, I was so thankful to be able to catch up with her and have someone to chat with!  Running buddies ROCK.

Day SIX!!! Over half way to the big goal!

Day SIX!!! Over half way to the big goal!

I normally take a picture of a view along the way, and totally forgot this morning.  When I get home, I am usually met with a neighborhood stray cat who comes over for food and attention. He is adorable and we call him Big Puff. So this is today’s view picture. By the way, he is neutered so he can’t create any Little Puffs.

Big Puff

Big Puff

I’ve been eating an English muffin or toast with two eggs, cheese, and spinach for breakfast every morning, and today was no different except for the spinach. I finished what I had yesterday.

After that, I knew I needed to get these legs cooled down, so I sat and read the paper with my legs under an ice pack or frozen towels. I’m thinking I need to get a few more ice packs.

Tended by Nurse Goldie

Tended by Nurse Goldie

I’m 6/10 in my 10×10 challenge. I feel good. I know I’m doing this for a good cause, but I also know I’m doing it to prove it to myself that I CAN do it. It’s a win/win. It’s not what I thought it would be when I started either. It’s so much more complex than that. I’m already glad I started, and I know I’ll be glad when Tuesday morning rolls around and I can say that I finished this challenge. I’m also ready to get back to triathlon training 🙂

So, some of you know that I’m helping my cousin raise money to find a cure for Huntington’s Disease. Please watch this video and you can see her, her passion, and her nutty friends in person getting interviewed and carrying out dares ON AIR! She also describes what Huntington’s really is…. a terrible combination of Parkinson’s Disease, Alzheimer’s Disease, and Multiple Sclerosis all wrapped into one. So that’s why I’m helping her raise money. But seriously, this is funny, especially her friend who just starts brushing her teeth and uses some “special” tooth paste!! Haha!

Has anyone else done a running challenge before? A streak? What was it and how did it go?

 

Categories: Boston Marathon, half iron distance, huntinton's disease, marathon, running, running challenge, training for half iron distance, training for marathon, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

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