running challenge

2014: Looking Back Before Looking To 2015

2014 was pretty epic. I accomplished and experienced things that I never thought I would or could. I also failed. More than once. I surprised myself with both the successes and the failures. I had a LOT of fun. I met a LOT of people.  Since this is the time of year that we make our goals for the upcoming year, I felt it was important to FIRST look at what the past year held and remember what I learned from those experiences.

EPIC:

Um, heller….did anyone say, “BOSTON MARATHON”??? The mostest epic-est, awesomer-than-anything and favorite part of my year and running life altogether was being a part of the athlete field in the 2014 Boston Marathon. It took me many years to get there, and to realize that dream was the ultimate epic experience. This got the diamond crown.

I got the medal.

I got the medal.

EPIC BUT NOT AS EPIC AS BOSTON BECAUSE BOSTON IS PRETTY DAMN EPIC ON ITS OWN:

I was able to PR in both the 5k in January (21:13) and the half marathon in February (1:40:15) as a part of marathon training. I was pretty damn happy about those times, too.

I learned how to train my ass off.  During Boston training, I never missed a workout. Ok, I never missed a running workout. Zero. I missed one swimming workout the entire training cycle. ONE. I learned how to be devoted. I learned to not make excuses. I learned that in order to become the runner you want and know you can be, you have to work and work hard. I learned how to go the extra mile. I did that, and I’m really proud of the work I did. I know I was capable of running an amazing race in April, which is almost as good as actually running that amazing race.

Beach 2 Battleship 70.3 – 6:03      I learned about being a triathlete. I looked fear in the face, cuddled with it for a while, let it whisper sweet nothings into my ear, then kicked it’s ass out. I learned how to swim better than I did before, I learned how to open water swim, I learned how to ride my bike in between swimming and running, and I learned how to run after swimming and biking. It was epic. And I’m going to do it again.

Almost to the finish of my first tri, B2B 70.3.

Almost to the finish of my first tri, B2B 70.3. It looks like my knees are stuck together.

I had fun.  Running is really awesome. But it can become competitive for me, and the ability to “just run” a race diminished. So that’s why I decided to do an endurance triathlon. Well, I had one on my radar for a number of years, but I needed to do something different and NOT be competitive. It worked, and I had a total blast training for and competing in the 70.3.

Mott’s Channel Swim – I entered and completed an open water swim race. Pretty proud of that, mostly because I would have laughed until I peed myself had you told me two years ago I would do something like that.

After the Mott's Channel Swim, a 1.3 mile open water race.

After the Mott’s Channel Swim, a 1.3 mile open water race.

The 10×10 Challenge. Ten continuous miles for ten days in a row.  I learned that it’s definitely doable to complete this challenge in July, but not advisable. I can’t wait to do this challenge again. It was an epic feeling and quite the journey in itself. Try it, you just might learn something about yourself.

Post-Challenge

Post-Challenge

Coaching. I found that I really love coaching. I’m learning a lot about it, and I know that I want to keep doing it. Being at the 5k with those boys made me feel like a momma hen watching her chicks fly for the first time. It’s a really cool mix of pride, excitement, and nerves.

Here’s the video I made for my Stride boys.

FAILURES:

I hate to admit this, but there’s usually something good that comes from failure. I think we all know this, especially as athletes. I’ve had a lot of good things come from the hard work and dedication that I’ve put into my running and triathlon training and races. I’ve also had some pretty big fails. But with a little distance, I can see how the failures have done me good. Dammit.

I’ll start with the little one. I got a pretty big PR (4 minutes) in my half marathon in February. So you’d think it’s all good, right? No, I was pissed. I got a 1:40:15, but I could never see the success in THAT because I was too busy being pissed that I was only 15 seconds from getting a sub-1:40.  I wished I had pushed just a second or two faster, that I had put my head down and gunned it into the harsh wind that met us a mile or two from the finish that totally wiped me out. I wish this and I wish that. What I REALLY wish is that I could’ve forgotten about all that garbage and celebrated the huge success that I DID have. I ran a really good race, and I’m now really happy about it. But my finishing moment was ruined by me wishing I had something better. When you start getting that attitude, that nothing is good enough, it’s time to think about things. And that is what led me to decide for sure to do the triathlon. I KNEW that I wouldn’t be competitive with it. I KNEW I would have fun, that I COULD NOT get all ants-in-my-pants about times and stuff. I knew I needed to step out of the bubble, the one that says you’re never good or fast enough. That was stupid, and that race taught me to not be stupid.

So the next one… it was the epitome of good and bad. The Boston Marathon. Yes, I’ve talked a lot about this, but I think, after this, I’m done talking about part of it. I’ll wipe the bad part out of my memory like wiping the marker board clean.

Running Boston was so awesome, so overwhelming, but I had a big fail. I trained and trained and spent hundreds of dollars on a coach and getting there and all the hubbub that comes with seeing your dream marathon come to fruition. My parents came to see me, my sister and her husband came to see me, my husband and my two kids came to see me. I was ready for the race of my life. Oh, I got the race of my life all right. The race recap I wrote that day describes the race perfectly – It was the Best of Times, It was the Worse of Times. You can read it HERE. It really was the strangest combination of good and bad. The bad was something I didn’t see coming. I thought that it was possible for me to run out of strength because I pushed the race. I was worried about how warm it was too, but when racing, I never felt hot. I wasn’t sweaty. I went for my goal, and I was doing it. I was heading for a sub 3:40 and I only had a 10k to go. Part of my race mantra was “I can do anything for X amount of time”. I was counting down. I was doing it. In freakin’ Boston. That was the best of times.

I can’t remember the exact feelings, but around mile 20-21, I knew something was wrong. I knew I had to stop, regroup, and slow down. I knew my PR was shot, but I was having fun.

Heartbreak Hill area, having a brew with one of the college kids. Most of it spilled out the sides of my mouth, but still, this was fun.

Heartbreak Hill area, having a brew with one of the college kids. Most of it spilled out the sides of my mouth, but still, this was fun.

Then the bobble head feeling started. And the nausea. It all went downhill from there. I barely remember the last part of the race. I knew I had to stop several times so I wouldn’t throw up. And I didn’t truly understand what happened until I became the internet doctor later that night.

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Can you see the sarcasm on my face?

Where’s the lesson in this? How can my slowest marathon of seven teach me something? First of all, I’ve never tried harder to finish a race. I could NOT DNF. No. Hell no. So I put on my big girl tights and pulled out every bit of anything I had to finish that race. And it took me almost 5 hours to do it, 75 minutes extra minutes in just the last 5 miles. I had to put one foot in front of the other carefully and consciously. To sum it all up, I had salt depletion dehydration. How did I turn that frown upside down? I acquainted myself with Endurolytes. I thought that taking in salt was just an endurance triathlon thing. Honestly. But I talked to a lot of people, tried them myself, and learned that Endurolytes are pretty damn awesome. I used them throughout the summer, especially during the 10×10 Challenge. I used them during my triathlon. I used them with long runs. And if I learned one thing from the Boston Marathon, it was what salt depletion was and how serious it can be. Oh, and how to help prevent it. Sometimes I wish I didn’t have to learn so many lessons, especially the hard way.

WRAPPING IT UP

You can always learn something when you look back at your experiences. Whether you learn them right then or have some “delayed learning” like I did, chances are, some piece of information can be available to you at almost any given moment. It’s just up to you to grab it.  Where does this leave me as I look back over 2014?

I’m very proud of the work I did. I’m proud of the chances I took. I’m proud of the fact that I let myself learn things along the way. Sure, I have a tiny baby scar from feeling so horrible during one of the best races of my life, but I’ll go back. I’ll do it again, and I’ll get my moment of glory. Some day. I’ll be patient. I know I have things to work on too. Facing fears and not letting them take over. NOT taking the easy road (swimming only on calm days). Balancing life and athletics.

As I took towards 2015, I know that I’ve got a beast mode full of grit and determination that I have not fully used before. I also have a lot more patience than I used to. What EXACTLY does that mean for me in 2015? You’ll just have to wait and see! Plans post to be coming soon. 😉

Do you look back before you look forward?

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Categories: 10x10 challenge, beach 2 battleship triathlon, Boston Marathon, coaching, half iron distance, learning from failure, marathon, open water swimming, running, running buddies, running challenge, running streak, running with friends, swimming, training for half iron distance, training for marathon, training for triathlon, triathlon | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Taking A Look Back Before I Go Forward

A year ago, I couldn’t imagine sitting at my kitchen table, writing my first half iron race report. Sometimes, when things are that far away and you don’t have the skills or equipment to do something, it seems impossible. But it was always my goal, to finish the B2B 70.3 with a smile on my face.

Off the subject, but speaking of smiles, I got my race pictures back this weekend. Oy. Can you say GOOBER?

Ok, back to it. I remember last year, when I ran the half marathon for the B2B relay, and I knew I wanted to do the 70.3. I knew I wasn’t interested in doing sprint triathlons, but endurance events. I didn’t want to make a “thing” of it and do them all the time, and I still don’t, but I knew I wanted to give it a try. If it all went well, I was planning to do a full iron distance, and I still am. But as I did do the race report, I thought back to events over the year that led me to a pretty good finish for my race.

I made my goal and I focused on it. I started swimming as marathon cross-training. I figured out what bike I could piece together, got it adjusted, greased up, and started riding it. My time at the pool was long and tedious. I swallowed a lot of old-lady aerobics water. I became friends with Endurolytes the hard way at the Boston Marathon. I ran the BOSTON MARATHON. I learned how to change a tire on my bike. I drew a cat on my PT bruise. I got a half marathon PR. I figured out how to unclip my shoes so I wouldn’t fall over at a stop light. I learned how to hydrate with EFS. I ate while riding my bike. I got a trainer so I could do bike workouts inside. I cried. I deferred a marathon. I ran. I ran more. I got a wetsuit. I swam in open water to practice. I got a swimming lesson. I met a lot of people along the way. I worked pretty hard along the way. I did the 10×10 challenge. I laughed a lot. I sweated a lot. I swore a lot. I ate a lot. But I had fun. It was an adventure. It was something new and an experience I was enjoying, beyond my expectations.

Here’s two pictures. The top one is of me running the B2B relay last year.  The bottom one is of me running B2B this year. I’ve come a long way. But I’ve got a long way yet to travel on this journey of mine!

Running the relay October 2013

Running the relay October 2013

Doing the full 70.3

Doing the full 70.3

During the year between those two pictures, I ran 1,339 miles. I biked 1,025 miles. I swam 55 miles. That’s freakin’ 2,419 miles!!! Not every mile was good (i.e. the last 6 of the Boston Marathon and most of them in August). But they all add up and provide a block in the foundation of meeting a goal.

If I could go back and tell my 2013 self something, it would be to just give it a go. Don’t be afraid. Read the tattoo on your foot, for crying out loud! Just do your work, trust your training, and have fun. Maybe that’s a little unrealistic, to have no fear? Well, ok, we all have some fear.  The key is to face it and don’t let it stop you from following your heart and going for your goals. Never stop dreaming. Never stop GOING AFTER your dreams. Chase ’em down with a baseball bat if you have to! Just go get ’em!

I can tell my current day self the same thing, as I gear up to train for the Houston Marathon that’s only 11 weeks away. I need to focus on my goal and stop overthinking everything, stop worrying so much about things I cannot control.  (It’s best to email coach when not high on caffeine too considering I have ALL THE FEELINGS.) My husband is rolling his eyes at this right now. You are, aren’t you, Andy??? Yeah, I can dream big, right? I know I’ll worry, I know there’ll be hard days, but I won’t give up. Hmmm, I wonder where I will travel in the next 12 months. How many miles will I run, bike and swim? Chances are, it’s going to be a lot, but most of all, I’m looking forward to the journey.

 

This is the tattoo I have on my foot as a constant reminder.

This is the tattoo I have on my foot as a constant reminder.

 

 

Categories: 10x10 challenge, beach 2 battleship triathlon, Boston Marathon, half iron distance, iron distance, marathon, open water swimming, running, running challenge, running with friends, swimming, training for half iron distance, training for marathon, training for triathlon, triathlon, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

I Don’t Even Know Where To Start So I’ll Just Start

Ok, yes I do know where to start. I have to give a HUGE congratulations to Kecia from Push My Limits on her completion of Ironman Wisconsin. Is it cyber stalking if you yell at your computer because it won’t refresh and update the “live” status of the athlete you are following?! Because I didn’t do that.  You are an inspiration, lady!!!! You truly are!

As for me, I really do not know where to start. I’ve been trying to get some sort of routine in order for my days as a “stay at home” mom. Yeah, I’m certainly not home as much as I would think I would be, and if I wasn’t biking on the trainer, I would be home much less than I am now. I have so many projects to complete (one of which is getting my photo albums updated since I haven’t done that in over THREE YEARS), ones I couldn’t muster up the mental strength for last year.  I feel so much better about being settled here, and getting to my projects with a fresh attitude is a welcome feeling for me. I really didn’t think it would take over a year to get settled and let that crazy-stressed feeling diminish. Enough about that, let’s get to the goods, so I’ll start with my training.

Biking – I “biked” when I was in high school and college and enjoy it now. I didn’t think I would like the cadence/heart rate workouts that I’m doing now, but I really do. It’s a challenge for me, which is one reason why I like it, but I feel a difference in how I’m running, so I’m pretty pumped about how all the biking will improve my running. I’m really focused on one goal: The Houston Marathon. I think I’m biking at least three times per week, and none of them are marked as “just go ride your bike”. They are “you’re so gonna sweat on this ride” sort of workouts. I’m loving it. But shhhhhhh, don’t tell my coach!

Ahhh, coach. I’m back with my coach at Without Limits, who will melt away that summer feeling of “I can do whatever I want whenever I want” sort of laissez faire attitude. Sure, I’ve run and biked A LOT this summer, but it wasn’t the actual training that I’m needing right now. I have more accountability, which helps too, since my schedule is a lot different than it was with two kids in elementary.  Some days, I work out right after my oldest son goes to school and I’m just getting done and showered at 11 am. It’s kind of ridiculous.

Swimming – I didn’t go on the one swim where it was super wavy and I would have felt like I was in the washing machine on the “jeans” setting. On Labor Day, I went for an open water swim with a friend while my sister supported in her kayak. As we dropped vehicles and got all situated to start, my sister swatted at some bugs and totally dumped her kayak over. Did you know that some kayak paddles do not float? Yeah, epic design fail, eh? At least they could have had a warning on them that said DO NOT BUY AS THEY WILL SINK AS FAST AS YOU SAY PADDLE  Warning: “This paddle does not float”. Really, how ridiculous. My sister said she was fine and was going to get to the finish point to meet us, so my friend and I took off, but not before we saw some dolphins in the waterway. It was glassy perfect for a swim. Ahhhh….

week3

Perfect!

I thought the swim would be about 1.2 miles or something like that, but when I got to the usual starting point, I was already at .8. I knew I had .9 or a little more to go. Ugh.  I was tired from finishing the 5k challenge from the 10×10 challenge peeps and putting in some good runs before, so I told my compadre that I didn’t know if I could make it all the way to the finish. She simply said, “You can do it.”  I was on my way to complete the longest swim EVER, let alone an open water swim without stopping (except to talk and avoid the trolls as we crossed under the bridge), something that I could’ve never imagined doing. An hour and twelve minutes later, I had swam 1.72 miles. I was tired, but I felt great about it.  The comment from my friend was priceless. It always pays to be positive!!!

I freaking did it.

I freaking did it.

The swim this week was cancelled due to weather, plus there’s usually a bacteria warning after heavy rain, so I’ll get one in once or twice this week. If anything, I’ll head to the pool.

Running – Ahhhh, my one true love. I started back with a tempo run and speed work at the track last week. I tried not to go crazy, as it was super hot and humid, and I do NOT want to end up injured like I was last year. I’m trying to keep my paces that are given to me, but sometimes, it’s hard when you know you can go faster. I just have to keep in mind that yes, this is a marathon, not a sprint, so just take it easy. I have 17 weeks until the marathon.  That means I’ll have plenty of time for speedy speed work in the future. That’s what I keep telling myself anyway.

With the extreme high humidity and the fact I wasn’t able to go run early (because I was on the bike), I tried not to look at my pace. Last week, I didn’t look at distance or pace ONE TIME during the run, just the elapsed time. For any of you out there like me, and I know there’s a LOT of us out there, I am still slightly annoyed at what my watch read after my run.

Raise your hand if this is annoying.

Raise your hand if this is annoying.

I didn’t even look at distance (and I don’t know why pace said 6:19, maybe because I moved my arm fast or something, but I certainly wasn’t going at that pace!) until I got inside and cooled off. D’oh!!!!

So for my training, I’m getting in some good miles, speed work, tough bike rides, and long swims. I’m still not concerned with my pace for the half iron  triathlon that is in less than six weeks! I’ve got my eye on the prize, what will hopefully be my second BQ, my marathon.  I’m almost giddy thinking about training for it, getting into the harder workouts, the strength, more biking, and everything else. Call me crazy, but I just love training!

I’m also going to be training a bunch of 6th graders for their first 5k.  It’s the Stride program, which to anyone who is familiar with Girls on the Run, it’s that but for boys. I’m super excited and just hope we get enough registrants to have the program at all! So if ANYONE has any advice on dealing with middle school kids (boys in particular), I’d love to hear it. I have my own 6th grader, but we all know dealing with your own kid is different than multiple kids who aren’t yours! Ha!

That’s it for now, as it’s back-to-the-fridge day. I cannot eat enough!!!!!

 

 

Categories: beach 2 battleship triathlon, Boston Marathon, half iron distance, marathon, open water swimming, running, running challenge, swimming, training for half iron distance, training for marathon, training for triathlon, triathlon, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Sixty Miles of Bailando

Today is the last day of real summer break for my kids and me. I’m bittersweet about that. I think we’re all ready for a little more structure though, and really, we are sort of beached out. We tried to absorb as much summer as we could last week, spending over ten hours on or near the beach, playing with friends, reading, getting school supplies, swimming in the pool, and just being together. Every afternoon, it gets a little nutty with me trying to get dinner figured out and served by 4 so my youngest can go to football practice without fear of throwing up said dinner or getting hungry during practice.  I’m really going to miss having my boys around.

Summer

Summer

Since I’ve been off the grid for quite a while, I’ll recap what’s been going on. Last Saturday, I rode 40 miles pretty hard with my friend, Gary. I don’t think we were planning to go at the pace we did, but conditions were good (i.e. it wasn’t windy) and we both felt pretty strong. I made some adjustments to my bike seat which made a world of difference in how I felt. Wish I had done that before! We finished with an average pace of almost 18 mph!!!

The next day, I decided to get some miles in with a new running group that my husband started running with. When we got up that morning, we were met with 77 degrees and 94% humidity. I was naïve enough to think that the conditions wouldn’t matter since I wasn’t going for pace; however, I did want to step it up a little the last two miles. Yeah, that didn’t happen. The girls I followed then joined, simply because I didn’t know the route we were to run and definitely not because they were welcoming, took us on a wild path all over. It wasn’t a good route, the groups got separated from each other, and my husband ended up running two extra miles since he sort of got lost. I was disappointed in how I felt, but really, it was so humid and had to be one of the top five most horribly warm/disgusting runs I’ve had in the past few years. My shoes were sloshing the last two or three miles, which made me just want to stop, not pick up the pace. I wasn’t wearing my music either, since I didn’t want to be rude in a new group, but it sure would’ve come in handy since I was by myself most of the time, and when I was with the other girls, I felt unwelcome in their group.  Maybe they didn’t mean to be that way, but sheesh, they certainly didn’t go out of their way to tell me when they were turning around and just left me on my own route. Whatever.  The point of the day was to get ten miles run, and it was accomplished. I did meet some other very nice runners though, so it was well worth it.

I have missed several of my open water swims the past few weeks, mostly due to the weather and that pesky “bacteria warning”, so I finally made it last week. It was windy, which wind + water = waves. Right in our faces. As soon as we started, I was getting pelted with water in my face, stroke after stroke was met with a smack in the face with a wave. I immediately thought that I now knew what it was like to be in a washing machine. It was horrible. I started to cry because I honestly didn’t know how I could complete the swim in those conditions. I was looking forward to practicing my stroke, and I was just in survival mode at that point. Just get there! I sucked up the tears, put my face back in the water, and continued. A little while later, it seemed to get worse. I had gagged several times since waves were catching me in the mouth while trying to breathe, and I honestly felt like I was getting a continual enema to my face. The waterway was my neti pot.  I started to cry again, mostly out of anger, and my swimmer friend asked if I was ok, to which I answered, “NO!”. There was a really good get-out point right there, but I am NOT A QUITTER, and I knew that conditions could be just like that on race day. I needed to finish. I said the f-word about a hundred more times during my temper tantrum, but again, sucked it up and kept going. Thank goodness there was a strong current. 35 minutes after I started, I was done. Horrible, but I did it.  I was so pissed and planned to run anyway, so put my shoes on and took off. 3.5 fast miles later, I was hot, sweaty, tired, and happy. I love running.

She looks all nice and pretty, right? NO! The waterway was a tricky little bitch who lured me in and then beat me up!

She looks all nice and pretty, right? NO! The waterway was a tricky little bitch who lured me in and then beat me up!

The rest of the week included an hour of biking with intervals, more running, swimming sleeping in, and then I took Friday off in preparation for my second BIG bike ride of the month…. 60 miles. I rode with Gary again, and a new group with one of my friends, Renee, who is training for IMFL. A little ways into the ride, we happened upon this poor little crawdad (actually, he was pretty big) in the middle of our lane, holding his pinchers up like, “It’s MY lane, get OUT of it!!!!”. I wish I would’ve stopped for a picture and put him on the side of the road so he wouldn’t turn into a crawdad pancake.  Then I noticed that the song, “Bailando” was in my head. I couldn’t understand the words in my head, probably because they’re in Spanish and I don’t speak Spanish. A little while later, while we were riding in the middle of nowhere and still to the tune of “Bailando”, waaaaay in the “Bailando” countryside, a guy was just standing in the middle of the “Bailando” highway lane on the opposite side, sort of like the crawdad, but without the pinchers. Instead, he was smokin’ some weed, pot, gonja, dooby, Mary Jane. Hmmm. Maybe he was waiting on the next shipment? Then we all happened upon what I wanted to call the “Alice in Tulle Wonderland” house.

summer8

Maybe it’s “creative” but I don’t understand.

I still don’t really understand it, but I slowed enough to get my phone out and snap a picture. “Bailando” The lions in the front are cleverly adorned in tulle. And so is almost everything else in the “colorful” yard. After 30 miles, Gary and I split off and went out on our own to finish. The ride went well despite the constant barrage of “Bailando” in my head, and I was happy with how I felt – not depleted. Sixty freaking miles of “Bailando”. Oy. That day was the first time I felt confident I could complete the half iron and still be in decent form. It’s a good feeling! I was super hungry and had a strange and first ever craving for Chick-fil-A. On my way home, I grabbed a sandwich and the most delicious Diet Coke ever poured.  Finally, after 60 miles, “Bailando” was out of my head. I couldn’t even think of how it went just a few hours of arriving back home. Weird.

Yesterday, I started a new running challenge (from those who brought me the 10×10) by running a 5k in 24 minutes. Every day, I’m going to run a 5k with one day running a 10k. I’ll post my proof on their Facebook page and be entered to win a pair of shoes. Hello….shoes!!!! Plus it’s fun to have a challenge. And hopefully win shoes! You only have to do one to enter, but each day you do a 5k, you get one more entry, and you get THREE entries with the 10k. Why not do it?!

Today is supposed to be my open water swim, but guess what?! It’s WINDY again. I think I’m going to be the ex-girlfriend and drive by the waterway to see how choppy it is, all stalker-like. It’s set up to be a replay of last week, and I don’t think it will get me anywhere. If I DON’T go, I have already vowed to swim twice in the pool and work on drills. Or find another day for the open water swim.

On September 1st, I’ll be starting back with my coach and training plan.  There will be no more “Oh, I’ll just take today off”. There’s a lot of work to be done, not only for the half iron, but for my marathon that is quickly approaching. This pesky half iron race is seriously cramping my running, but I know for a fact that the biking has strengthened my legs (picture of my Quadzillas ® coming soon), which will only help me get faster.

I’ve been reading so many blogs, but just haven’t taken the time to comment or interact. Same with my Facebook page – hey, I’m on that almost every day, so check it out and “like” my page!!! (See the link in the column to the right.) As much as I’m looking forward to a little cooler air to run in, I’m also dreading the end of summer. I love college football, but it also marks the end of summer, the beginning of cooler weather, then GASP! the holidays.

 

My son, compliments of his parkour class.

Are YOU looking forward to fall? Football season? Cooler weather?

Categories: 10x10 challenge, beach 2 battleship triathlon, half iron distance, iron distance, marathon, open water swimming, running, running buddies, running challenge, running with friends, swimming, training for half iron distance, training for marathon, training for triathlon, triathlon, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

When You Have The Choice To, Do

Random thoughts today.

This morning, I woke up to my alarm at 5:30ish. I went to go change into my swim suit and was planning to go to the Y and work on my swim drills I learned during the lesson on Monday. I was a little nervous, since sometimes I feel like I am a fish flopping around on the sand, gasping for air, but I knew the drills would help me get over that and become a smoother, more efficient swimmer. I don’t like inhaling water, making a fool of myself in front of other swimmers, and not being good at an event that I really want to do. But….I was ready to give it a shot. Besides the nerves, I was feeling excitement. I haven’t felt that way about a new sport in forever! Until I heard the rain. What? I checked the radar. What?

aug1

I thought it wasn’t supposed to start raining until later Friday afternoon. Hmmm. Ok, well, I know many people swim in the heavy down pours, but this girl is not skilled enough to do that. Plus, I saw some flashes of lightning. Plus I didn’t want to swim in the rain. That doesn’t make much sense though, does it? I was a little happy to go back to bed, but I was also a little let down that I wouldn’t get my drills in today. It was supposed to rain all day. Yuck.

I slept in, drank my coffee, caught up on some blogs (FINALLY), and hung out with my boys. I had just commented on a blog that I didn’t feel like running in the rain, when I decided that I DID want to go run in the rain. Power of though? I spent many miles out in the cold rain this winter, so this was supposed to be refreshing.  And I know it would make me feel good.

I got my stuff on, set my boys up with a game, and took off to do my 5 mile route close to the house. It felt great, and I kept my pace close to an 8 minute mile! I knew it was the right decision, and I knew that I would have regretted NOT going and doing something today.

I didn’t have any music on to distract me from my thoughts, so I thought a lot about stuff. Yesterday, we got a foster dog, just because we could help and the local rescue needed help. He’s really super cute, my kids love him, and hopefully, he will find a forever home soon. Yes, there will be a little disruption in my house, more hair all over the place, and I’ll have to transport him to/from adoption events, but why not?

My kids with Foster Chase and our dog Scarlett in the back.

My kids with Foster Chase and our dog Scarlett in the back.

I had the opportunity to go run today, and I took it. I’m so very glad that I did. I had the opportunity to foster a dog, so I did it. Circumstances change and you really have to be pliable with your plans when life gets in the way, but when you have an opportunity to work out, to help, to make a difference, to smile, just do it.  Share with people. Call up a friend. Make cookies for your retired neighbors.  Why? Because you can. When a car drove by and splashed a ginormous puddle all over me, I shared my middle finger with them. Then I laughed and was glad it wasn’t mud. I mean, I WAS getting wet, but still. They shared with me, and I simply shared back.

Anyway, as far as training goes, I was surprised when I did my monthly totals last night.  In July, which I still can’t believe is over, I ran 142 miles, swam 2 miles, and biked 62 miles. That’s pretty good right? Well, out of 31 days, I didn’t do anything for 10 of them. That’s quite a lot of miles packed in to 21 days. I enjoyed most of them, too. As for August, it’s going to be pretty heavy on the bike and swim, and the running will probably be more concentrated on speed. In fact, I have a 50 mile bike ride scheduled for tomorrow, weather permitting. I start back with my running group in September and then it’s serious training time, so I need to grease the wheels, if you know what I mean. I’m looking forward to getting back to the track, doing some intervals, and getting one step closer to my goals. That brings up my next blog….. ugh. The Monkey On My Back. Stay tuned, will be coming soon.

I hope everyone has a good race weekend, a good training, long run, or just a fun weekend in general. I know that for the rest of my day, I won’t be looking longingly out the window, wishing I had gone for a run. Because I did.

 

Categories: beach 2 battleship triathlon, Boston Marathon, half iron distance, marathon, open water swimming, running, running challenge, swimming, training for half iron distance, training for marathon, training for triathlon, triathlon, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Hurts. So. Much.

Saturday morning, I ran the half marathon called The Scream. It’s mostly downhill – I think 2100 ft descent elevation, and boy, were my legs a screamin’ Sunday! They hurt a lot on Monday too. Thankfully, my friend Renee, learned you can go down the stairs backwards to minimize the pain. It’s literally more painful (not as tired of course, but it hurts a lot!!!) than after running Boston.  And that’s bad. Here’s the recap.

On Friday, my family and I took off towards the “mountains” of North Carolina. We were more in the foothills than the mountains, but anything over 50 ft elevation is pretty high compared to where we are here in Wilmington. I could barely breathe in that air up there. No, just kidding, my ears popped a few times, but other than that, I couldn’t tell. I was super excited since we were staying in a cabin with some VERY cool people, and my plans were that I was to become one with nature after the race. We were going to explore. We were going to walk in the woods, let the dog run around and sniff all she wanted to, and we would not shave.  We were to be rebels.

So as we rolled in on Friday, it started raining. We went to bed with the rain tapping on the metal roof. We woke in the night to the rain tapping on the metal roof. We woke up to (bet you can’t tell what’s coming here…..) the rain tapping on the metal roof. Hmmm, yet another race in the rain. We were staying in a cabin with my friend Renee and her family, and three other very cool girls were staying in a cabin on the same property. It was really nice that one of them, Paige, didn’t even swear around the kids. Bonus, I didn’t either. We drove to the location where we were to catch shuttles to the start and then where the after party would be. Rain, rain, and more rain. Yuck. Once we got on the shuttle (a big yellow school bus), we wound up the hills for about 30-40 minutes to the start. We quickly got our bibs and timing chips and headed to the can for one more pit stop.  I’m glad we had gotten to the shuttle early, as we barely had time to get our stuff and go to the bathroom before people were headed to the actual start line around the corner from where we were dropped off.  And it’s not like there were hundreds of runners either – the race was capped at 350 runners and I know there were some who stayed home due to the rain. But we didn’t.

Before the race start.

Before the start, and before Sharon’s dinosaur hands came through her plastic bag/poncho.

 

Looking right at the race start.

Looking right from the race start.

The race got started about seven minutes late, but with all that rain, it wasn’t terrible. I think I would have felt rushed had it not started a little late, and we were where we needed to be in plenty of time. I’m not really sure what would have happened had we not been so early. I guess we would have been late.  Anyway, when the gun went off (or it was just a guy saying, “GO” but I honestly don’t remember), I had in my head that I wanted to do about an 8:30-9:00 minute mile pace. Then something snapped. Yeah, that competitive thing came about. This race was just supposed to be for fun. Ok, so how many of you are nodding your head in understanding right here? Yeah, right. NOT be competitive in running? Fat chance. I didn’t even stop to take a picture of the course because that would have slowed my time by, like, maybe TEN seconds!  I started that way and really, running down a hill is pretty awesome. I knew I was going to be sore and all that and I didn’t care, but it was so fun!!! The first few miles were UP hill, and when we went from the road to the hard-packed gravel trail, it started going down. Don’t you just love that? You can go faster with the same effort!!! It was awesome. It was a SCREAM. Then I started to get passed. I don’t understand, as I was letting the gravity pull me, and I didn’t fight it. But I kept getting passed. It sort of irritated me, you know, because this race was supposed to be FUN. I actually thought I might be last, but I didn’t turn around and check.  So on the up hills, I did what I normally did, which is to keep pace. I didn’t slow down. And that’s where I got my sweet revenge in my FUN race, I passed tons of people on the little bit of up hills we had.

The miles pretty much flew by. When I was out of breath from running up hill, we went back down, and my breathing relaxed. It was fun. The terrain wasn’t bad, even with the very wet conditions.  I didn’t have music and I didn’t run with Renee as I planned to, so I kept myself busy by planning my path around the corners to cut all tangents, not falling, and enjoying myself. I did get pushed once at a water station because I slowed down. Then this RUDE guy just pushed me out of the way. I called him an asshole but evidently, he didn’t hear me or didn’t care. I ended up passing him so he can suck it.

My paces were staying pretty close to 8 minute miles, and I was thrilled. My Garmin was off quite a bit from their mile markers, which I expected, but whatever, it was fine. Then I got to mile 12, the longest mile on the face of the earth. This is what I think happened: The course is certified and they know the beginning and the end. They marked the middle miles using THEIR Garmins, and at the end, they were short, so they just made the last mile twice as long. Seriously, it was a mile and a half long. No joke. I was losing my patience, my shoes were sloppy wet, and I was tired and wanted to be done. That friggin mile just wouldn’t stop. Around the corner? Nothing. Around another corner? Nothing. No one. I almost stopped, but then realized that would be just stupid, so I kept going. Then there it was. Mile 13. Then .25 miles later came the finish line. I seriously don’t get why it was so messed up at the end, but I think the actual total mileage was right on. It just wasn’t nice to make the last mile so long.

I finished in 1:46 and was pretty happy, although I was close to a PR2 if the course would have been marked accurately. Well, in my mind I was headed to a sub 1:44, which wouldn’t make it a PR, just a 2nd place to a PR. (My actual PR is 1:40.)  When I crossed the finish line, I got some water, and stood in the rain. A few of us from the Without Limits group had a picture taken, and I thought it was really cool the faster cats waited for the rest of their friends to finish before they headed to the bus to get back to shelter. Unfortunately, I don’t know most of them yet.  I ended up getting really cold and wished I would have worn different things at the beginning and saved my water proof jacked for my bag at the end. Oh well.

At the finish- Renee, Me, Shelley, Sharon, and Paige

At the finish- Renee, Me, Shelley, Sharon, and Paige. All of them are really cool chicks.

Once everyone finished, we headed to the bus and they trucked us back to the place where my family would be. They had some REALLY good BBQ and other eats there, and once the awards were done (only 5th in my AG), we headed back to the cabin for a HOT SHOWER. It was still raining.

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My hair was a rat’s nest. Big mistake in not packing my de-tangler. Ouch.

Left side was brushed out, the rest, was not.

Left side was brushed out, the rest, was not. Complete rat’s nest.

The rest of the afternoon was spent eating, drinking, resting, relaxing, and then finally, the skies parted and I took my one son and dog outside to explore. It was awesome.

The next day, we went exploring in the river on the property where we stayed, and it was more than awesome. I grew up doing that sort of thing, being one with nature and all, and my dog, kids, and husband were having a great time. We are going back to that place, that’s for sure.  Unfortunately, we had to leave pretty early to get back home in a decent time.

As for the race, I really enjoyed it!!!  I was a little sore while running, and I was concerned when my knee starting bugging me in the same place it started hurting the last few days of my 10×10 Challenge. But then that went away, and I felt good. It was something new, something different, and it was nice to get out and be somewhere hilly for a change.  There’s a full marathon on that same course, and it’s very tempting to try and BQ on that one. I’m not sure if I could run that fast down hill for a full, mostly because I have ZERO hills to train on, but it’s definitely worth considering. I’m hoping I won’t have to worry about that though.  We are planning to go back to The Scream next year!!

The river

The river

As for what I’m doing this week IF IT EVER STOPS RAINING, is to swim, bike, and run. I’ve GOT to get back to tri training since it’s coming down to only three months until the half iron. I was going to blame the rain and my hurtin’ legs on not swimming today, but honestly, I just didn’t want to!  As for me now, I’ll just keep stretching these legs and complaining as I descend down the stairs. Ouch, ouch, ouch, but it was totally worth it!

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: 10x10 challenge, beach 2 battleship triathlon, Boston Marathon, half iron distance, marathon, open water swimming, running, running buddies, running challenge, running with friends, swimming, training for half iron distance, training for triathlon, triathlon, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

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.

challenge20

 

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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