Posts Tagged With: running in heat

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

Going Back To Where It All Began

Wow! Last long run was Sunday!  6 miles Saturday and 20 on Sunday.  We are soooo close to the big day… less than two weeks! The closer I get to be able to run in the Boston Marathon, the more I’ve thought about the journey. It’s been a long one.  An amazing one. How it started, all the trials and tribulations since I decided I wanted to try this thing. The sweat.  The tears. The injuries. Everything.  It’s been a long process that didn’t just start 18 weeks ago with this training cycle.  The journey to Boston started on October 17, 2009, the day I ran the Lewis & Clark Marathon (my 3rd full and first after having two kids) in Sioux City, Iowa.

I didn’t qualify for Boston on a lark.  I have failed more than once. It’s been a deliberate thing. I’ve made two 1,000 mile moves with my family since then.  I’ve learned more than I could have ever hoped.  So this marathon has been a long journey for me that culminates in less than two weeks. Here’s how it started.

To train for the Sioux City Marathon, I ran here and there, and honestly, I don’t remember ever really following a plan. I knew I needed long runs and I didn’t know anything about speed work or tempo running at the time. Cross training? Meh. My goal was to finish.  I was thrilled when I crossed the finish line in 4:12.  After I celebrated and got cleaned up, I headed to my mom and dad’s house.  As I sat in their back yard drinking a celebratory Miller Lite, I remember wondering what it would take to qualify for the Boston Marathon.  I didn’t really know much about that race and what it takes to get in.  I found that it would take me running a 3:45 to qualify (the times have since been reduced by five minutes for that age group). Hmmmm….I was still in post-race euphoria, so I figured I could do about anything. Within a few hours, I set my sights on The Lincoln Marathon. May 2010. I was convinced I would qualify for the Boston Marathon.

That December, I started my 18 week Advanced plan from Hal Higdon. I read his books and I was hooked.  I joined the gym that had a 1/10th of a mile indoor track so I could safely train indoors in that cold Iowa winter. I trained five days a week. I ran at the track at 5:00 am. I ran 200 laps at the gym. I ran in the ice, snow, rain, sleet, in 12 degrees, and the 70 degree “heat”. I did what I needed to do to get ready for my race.  I got nasty shin splints a month before the race. I looked up what to do, I took time off, I iced, and I wore my compression sleeve. I was ready.

Before the first Lincoln race.

Before the first Lincoln race.

On that clear marathon day in May, I bonked at mile 6.  What went wrong? Well, nothing except nutrition. I ate carbs and carbs. I was hungry the night before and I just wanted a burger. No, that’s not what the books tell you to eat. So I ate my simple carbs. I ate my complex carbs. I ran my hardest… until mile 6 when I got “the feeling”. You know, the one where you just don’t have the energy to continue at the pace you’re going. I was devastated. It was a torturous decision to end at 13.1 when I was planning all along to come home celebrating my BQ, but I knew to continue would just add more punishment I didn’t need. I already had in my mind that I would try again as soon as possible, and I didn’t want to tire my body out more than it already was.  When I finished the 1/2 in the Cornhusker stadium, I cried. I thought about all that time spent training, the trip to Lincoln, the money, and then to have it end with a huge fail. I threw my medal down and left it. (Husband picked it up and it is now on my medal hanger, a constant reminder that you just have to learn from your mistakes.)

There was a camera at mile 26 so the spectators could see you approaching the stadium.

There was a camera at mile 13 & 26 so the spectators could see you approaching the stadium.

The finish line at the Lincoln Full and Half Marathon

The finish line at the Lincoln Full and Half Marathon

 

BQ Attempt 1: FAIL/EPIC FAIL

I learned a lot from that fail though. Listen to your body. If you are hungry, you’re hungry. What works for one person may not work for the next. I learned that I need a lot more protein than other runners do. I need a lot more food that I thought I would, in general when fueling for a race. I was determined to learn and try again.

That afternoon, with my tail tucked between my legs, I went home and told everyone what happened. I failed. I fu*&ed up. But I learned from it and moved on.  My next quest would be four short weeks later at the Stillwater Marathon (Minnesota) at the very end of May.

I continued my long runs, we made plans to go north to Stillwater, and there I was at my 2nd attempt at a BQ.

The Stillwater Marathon touted itself to be scenic. Well, there’s ONE scenic spot at the end, so I was disappointed in the course. The race itself, well, I started out great and got to the ten mile mark when I knew it was going to be another fail.  This time, however, it was one of those things that was out of my control: The Weather. Yes, it was a beautiful day…. for boating.  Or swimming. It. Was. Hot. I believe the temp got up to the 80’s so I have to say that this was one of the toughest marathons I’ve ever done. I hadn’t trained in heat, I do not like to run in heat, and it got me. Even the pacers were slowing down and the race crew was handing out bags of ice (they feel really good tucked in your bra). I finished in what is still my slowest time ever and over an hour past the time I would need for a Boston Qualification. 4:47:57.  Whew.

THIS was the scenic part but put a fork in me, I was DONE.

THIS was the scenic part but put a fork in me, I was DONE.

BQ Attempt 2: FAIL

I’m not sure if I really learned anything from that besides knowing I can push through some really difficult miles on black pavement in the middle of the Minnesota countryside.

I had to stop a take stock at that point.  Was I being stupid? Was I living a pipe dream? What this realistic for me? Was I wasting my time and the time I could be spending with my kids? I didn’t want to give up, so I set my sights on a “time trial” per se, the Des Moines 1/2 Marathon in October. If I could run that race at an 8 minute mile, I was going to keep trying to achieve that elusive Boston Marathon Qualification.

 

NEXT POST: Des Moines, Lincoln, and a move to Texas

 

 

Categories: Boston Marathon, marathon, running, training for marathon, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

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