Friday, November 23, 2012

The Forest Gump Experiment

Haha. That's what I'm calling it. I'm taking a little break from coaching and "racing" because just honestly I got too much crap going on to keep up with anything. It's just really weird right now not following a training plan or schedule or having a race on my mind. I do plan to run a few races in the spring, but I just need some time off from racing.  School has just had to be my first priority right now. So with that I've been all thrown off my game and finally came up with a "plan" if you want to call it that on how to work in my running and still keep up with my school and life.  So that's where the Forest Gump plan came in my head. So my plan is really no plan. I just plan to run each and every opportunity I can. My mileage is going to be weird, and there are going to be some strange doubles, but  right now I figure getting in running any way I can is better than no running at all. I know some days 3 and 4 miles may be all I have time for and I know that Friday, Saturday and Sunday I can run more so those are the days I'm going to run more. This week I've been totally sucking since I've barely ran all month, but now that I've freed myself from all these notions of how things should or have be done I feel things coming together for me. I ran 3 on Monday, 4 on Tuesday. That's all I had time for and I finally just got over that. You know 7 miles is better than no miles. Wednesday I had time on my hands so I did two runs 8 at lunch and then 5 in the evening. Thursday no time again 3 miles, but Friday had time for 8. I feel very accomplished today. I turned in a paper and should be able to hit 40+ miles this week without a problem! I plan to do doubles any chance I can and run weekend long doubles as well since that's worked okay for me in the past. That's when I have time to run right now so that's when it's going to have to be. Who knows I may wind up running more than I ever have (or I may wind up running less). I got no plans for speed work really or anything else right now. I will do some speed stuff as I feel like it, but not so much structured stuff. Just trying to keep up with my speedy husband when I can get him to run with me and some of my other speedy friends. I'm just planning to run when I can as much as I can and worry about racing in the summer. I plan to focus my "racing" for the summer as I hate the cold, love the heat, have more free time when my kids are out of school and I just think one big goal race a year right now is what it's going to have to be right now. I have come to terms with I can be Supermom and I can have and do it all - JUST NOT ALL AT THE SAME TIME! Yep, that's reality folks. With that, I'll be curious how this little experiment turns out for me. I'm curious how my spring races will turn out and hoping that this break from structured running will put me in a good mental spot for racing hard again this summer.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Thoughts on maintaining marital bliss and being an obsessed runner

This one's for you honey! This one's kind of important to me because we've had some bumps along the way dealing with my running obsession. I know that other runners have had this problem as well so  I want to encourage you to keep on plugging along with both your running and your partner.

My running friends know I'm yappy, my husband knows I'm yappy, but what he didn't know is that when my newest obsession took over that he'd have to listen to my constant jabbering about running this and running that. He's kind of used to my OCD and I joke around about it, but it can sometimes be really hard on the people around me. Anyhow, the last year has been somewhat trying for us as we work out the bugs with changes, but one of the assets I have is that I'm not a quitter. Most people know that about me. Once I set my mind to something I usually stick with it and this along with my running this includes my marriage. Just like running I reassess when something isn't working and make changes. I can happily say I think we've come out on the other side! Yes, we'll probably still have another running fight or two, but I think we've finally overcome this hurdle. Well, here are the tricks I am learning along the way to make marriage and obsessive running work.

1. Do not force your partner to be interested in your running. Also do not try and turn them into a runner. If they are interested it will come naturally. It's okay if you don't like the same things and it's important to remind them and yourself of that. It is okay to ask them to run with you or try to encourage it, but don't force the issue.

2. Do try to find a mutual hobby or something to do together. For us, this is a big one. What we found is that we felt disconnected some because our interests were different. We are working on something fun that we both like to do together.

3. Try to adjust your running to be not so disruptive to the family's routine. That is not to say there shouldn't be any give and take on this, but if your running is interfering with every single outing that is planned this could cause a problem. My husband is very good about taking over with the kiddos so I can run and this has actually never been an issue.  He knows how much I do all day and has never had a problem picking up the slack. Other spouses though do feel differently on this. For us, the bigger issue has been me missing out on family things versus him having to pick up extra responsibility.

4. Following number 3 another tip is keeping a family calendar. Figure out important dates like vacations and events that your kids or spouse may be participating in.  Use this when you schedule your races. More than once have I managed to schedule a race during a date that was planned for a kiddo's sporting event or a party that we were invited to.  Not all things can be planned ahead, but if you put a little effort there you can avoid this conflict.

5. Races - this is a your partner may vary kind of situation.  Mine does not like going to races. We have found that we get along so much better when I go by myself.  Also, and this is hard for me, I get big time taper madness that can test the patience of every single person in my family.  I try to remind my husband that this too will pass... until the next race anyway.

6. My final tip don't hold in hostility towards each other- keep the lines of communication open. Keep talking. Just like running sometimes you gotta push along through the tough spots and run on the days you just don't flipping feel like it so goes with marriage. Sometimes you gotta just push along talking until you get past that rough spot. Just like with running though you'll often find your second wind.  Sometimes this is easier said than done, but you married them for a reason. Remember that. Just like when you lose your running mojo sometimes you lose your marriage mojo.  Do something to rekindle that.

Love you with all my heart Mr. Wannaberunningmama

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

2012 Chicago Marathon Race Report

Well, thought writing up a race report might give me something to do while I sit and wait not so patiently for the Chicago race people to get my Garmin data and get me an official finish time. I still don’t have that so you’ll only get my word of mouth finish time for now.
I’ll do my best not to be too yappy. This was by far the most fun I have had in probably 10 years. I can’t thank everyone that was there enough for helping me figure out what the hell I was doing because even though this was my 4th marathon I really didn’t have a clue how these big races work. I won’t spend a lot of time on training other than I knew this training cycle was going well and I knew I was going to PR. Not a doubt in my mind going into that. What I didn’t know is how much easier this race would feel for me running it than the others I’ve ran. I feel like I really learned a lot on the course about pacing and this will help me a lot with the next race.
Prerace I realized night before that I somehow managed to grab the extra band for my Garmin instead of my Garmin itself. I was in a bit of a panic, but since I’ve managed to do this to myself before I wasn’t actually too panicked. Thankfully though John (my super fast California coach) is a pretty amazing guy and found me a Garmin I could borrow. Thank you Sandra if you are reading for the loner!! Hurdle one solved. I also packed my blender even though John insisted I didn’t need that either. I’ve been mixing glycomaize with flax milk and a banana and I didn’t want to drink that crap without my banana mixed in. So had that prerace and felt pretty ready to go. Oh, I should add night before I had pasta with just a little bit of clams in it. Big mistake. Lesson learned. I knew seafood made me retain water, but there weren’t very many and I stayed away from a heavy seafood dish so I didn’t really think those tiny bit of clams would matter. Not for sure they were the cause of my problems, but just the same not eating them again.
Leave for race with the friends I met there and we were kind of cutting it close to get there and get gear checked. I knew I really had to pee (sorry tmi). Anyways, they all assure me there’s plenty of toilets and I’d have time to go. We get there with 9 minutes to get to our corral and get gear checked. I hand my friend Brandi my gear bag and ask her to please check it because I really got to go. I start looking at the lines and start freaking. I knew there was no way I’d get to a toilet and to my corral in time. (Yes, promise to get to the race part, but for whatever reason this peeing issue took up a bulk of my energy on race day.) I start looking around like Clark Kent looking for a phone booth and trying to find somewhere to squat because I figure I damn sure was not blowing all this training and PR on a full bladder. Finally find a big old potted planter thing in front of a wall and fixed my problems or so I thought.
Start running and oh my gosh mile 1 not what maybe 10 minutes from the last time I peed I feel like I gotta go again. I’m thinking you gotta be kidding me. This is not gonna be my race. I spent the first 3 miles thinking about nothing but that. Yes, sad. I again kept saying I am not blowing my training on a full bladder and not proud of this, but at that point actually tried to pee on the course. I heard real marathoners do it, but guess I’m not a real runner. No can do. I decided that I was going to push on and I was not stopping. If I still had to go at the half way point then I was going. I figured I could hold it two hours if it killed me. Garmin I found to be useless. The paces didn’t seem to line up with anything so figured I’d just run for now and then thought about my friend’s advice to use the pacers. Yes, that was real helpful – these pacers sucked. Well, maybe not the official ones, but I’m telling you I saw people with anything from 4:00 to 4:30 on their backs. I had no idea what pace I was going at this point. I knew that I saw the official 4:15 guy around mile 6 and knew I had to get ahead of him. I also was proud of myself for not starting out too fast – although honestly wasn’t too worried about that. I am slow to warm up and rarely have that problem. Around mile 6 I think I moved ahead of the official 4:15 pacer and then my next strategy was to try and make sure I was surrounded by mostly people with 4:10 on their back. I saw some with 4:10 and some with 4:00 so I figured I was doing okay. My garmin was off on distance for most of the race. I can’t remember where it started, but I know I was hitting the miles beeping on my garmin about 2 or 3 minutes before I’d hit the official mile marker. I also wasn’t sure what my exact start time was either so I couldn’t even figure out what my times were or paces by that. The clocks were all based off of the 7:30 start and I started after 8:00 according to the chip times that registered. I just figured as long as I was running between the 4:00 and 4:10 group I was okay. I switched Garmin over to average pace and it was showing 9:18 minute miles so I felt pretty good. It read 9:18-9:20 for well actually almost the whole course, but it was below 9:20 from mile 6 to mile 12. I remember that for sure.
At mile 10 I kept thinking this is too easy. I thought about my last race how I was tired at mile 10. I wasn’t the slightest bit tired. Everything felt good and I felt like I was really sandbagging, but Garmin said less than 9:20 pace and I remember the correspondence John and I had prerace and he told me that 9:20 seemed about the right pace to hold for most of the course. I knew from my half times and my training that 9:20s were about right as well so even though I felt really good and wanted really bad to pick it up I kept that advice to heart. He said wait until mile 18 and then if I felt good pick it up. Mile 12 rolls around and I still have to pee. I was annoyed, but I knew I had held it for 11 miles and my watch still said I was averaging below 9:20 pace so I knew I was in good shape. I knew I wasn’t going to make it to the finish if I had already held it for 11 miles and that if I had to go this was the best place to stop. I knew mentally it would be harder for me to stop past the half-way point so I just wanted to go and get it over with. I don’t think I lost a whole lot of time, but obviously this was time that I would have liked to have had and I really had to go. (Which sorry more tmi, but I was grateful that I actually had a full bladder and it wasn’t my usual nervous bladder dribbling crap. I felt 100 times better after.) Get back on the course and avg pace was now showing 9:23 so I was pissed that I lost that much time. I had to work real hard on not picking up the pace too much because that’s a bad habit of mine. I try to play catch up after potty breaks and sometimes wear myself out. The other reason I stopped at mile 12 is I really wanted my second half to be faster than my first. I still felt really good here. No fatigue whatsoever. Keep telling myself to stay steady and not pick it up no matter how easy this felt. Plug along at mile 15 still feeling good. It still felt too easy, but I kept remembering that 11 miles was further than I thought and I knew my last 3 marathons I never ran the entire race. I always walked at least part of the end if not lots at the end. I should add I was psyched that I also had not walked a single water stop. I thought I would need to and nope didn’t need to do that either. I was real focused though. I honestly didn’t even hardly notice the crowds even as loud as they were because I was just so focused on what I was doing. Oh and I also remember looking at my HR around mile 15 because I think I started to pick up the pace a little, but HR was edging up so I backed my pace back down.
Finally get to mile 18, you know the spot where I could pick it up if I felt like it. Well, I still felt good, but I didn’t think I could pick up the pace any more so I decided to just hold where I was at and reassess at mile 20. I picked up the extra gel that was on the course at this point too because I was starting to get a little antsy about my legs staying strong. Get to mile 20 and I decide again to just hold where I’m at and reevaluate whether I thought I could pick up again at mile 23. Mile 22 rolls around and I don’t know what happened, but I literally started tearing up on the course. I picked it up pretty hard there. I was real emotional because I knew I had it in the bag then. My Garmin was still reading 9:20 pace average so I honestly thought I was closer to a 4:05 finish at this point, but I didn’t realize how off the distance was on the Garmin by this point. I only picked up the pace for about a ¼ mile before my legs said uh uh and I backed it back down again. Miles 24 and 25 were really hard. I just kept telling myself I was almost done. I get to mile 25 and I picked up the pace a little there. I get to the sign that said 800 meters and I picked up the pace a lot. Of course then the finish line seems to be so far away and I somehow kept running. I hit stop on my Garmin as I cross the finish and it said 4:10:40. It also said my distance was 26.77. This was a phenomenal experience for me. I am definitely doing it again.
Hopefully soon I will have an official time. Still waiting on that. My 20K, 30K, 40K and finish times apparently did not register. Highly annoyed about that as I know I did not go astray from the course and was in the middle most of the time. As soon as I get my official time I will update for sure.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Finally found something to sweeten my coffee!

I know all my friends were deeply worried about my coffee habit... Ok, not, but I was.  I've been on a mission to ditch Splenda from my diet.  I gave up sugar in my coffee and anything else you add sugar to a long time ago, but I switched the sugar to Splenda.  I was putting a TON of Splenda in my coffee. What I have been discovering is that by switching to Splenda I really haven't fixed my sugar problem.  I've really wanted to move towards more clean eating - less processed foods and healthier options.  I've been on a mission to clean up my diet more. Although I wasn't necessarily eating poorly I was doing a lot of dieter type things and I think it was not helping me in any way.  I have spent the past few weeks though struggling with what to do with my coffee.  You see I really like coffee! I have cut back to a reasonable amount of coffee a day so I feel no guilt about it. Coffee actually has health benefits if you don't abuse it. I'm down to 2 cups a day. Although occasionally I will have 3, but no more than that and most days just 2 or less.  I feel good about that too, but I've tried lots of things in the past few weeks trying to figure out what to put in my darn coffee if I don't use Splenda.  I just couldn't bring myself to go back to sugar. I switched to coconut milk creamer a while ago and I like that, but without sugar or Splenda my coffee just tasted blah.  I tried cinnamon. It helped some. I tried sugar again, but just couldn't do it.  It just seemed counter productive. I went back to Splenda again, but really don't want to use something processed so I tried honey.  Honey was "ok", but it's still got a lot of calories in it without a lot of nutritional value. I am using honey in my oatmeal now, raw local honey, but that is because one of the doctors I saw a while back for the chronic allergies/headaches I had when I was pregnant with Natalie suggested using local honey.  I've read up on it and it's supposed to help so figured what the heck I'd try it and  kill two birds with one stone.

Now, back to my coffee. I found something! Woohoo! All is right in my world now. Raw coconut crystals! Yay! It's still a kind of sugar and I sure as hell wouldn't call it health food, but at least it has some nutritional benefits.  It's a good source of minerals - potassium, magnesium, zinc, and iron as well as B vitamins. Because it's still sugar still not going to overdo it, but now I can have my 1-2 cups of coffee with something that doesn't taste like crap.  It's really a light sweetness so I don't feel like it's feeding sugar cravings, but it's just enough to make my coffee happy again.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Post run recovery drink - my newest creation

Well, since I'm obsessed with nutrition. Although I'm far from perfect, I do try to eat healthy. I've been reading a lot on running nutrition and how important it is to provide a combination of carbohydrates and protein after working out to refeed muscles. I also wanted to get in omega 3 fatty acids mostly for overall general nutrition, but figured this was a great to work it in. I've been drinking flax milk lately and I like it so I thought hmmm... I bet I could put this all together and voila I did.  Women need 1.2g per day of Omega 3 vitamins and men 1.6g per day (- source I also stumbled across another article stating flax oil produced better results in studies than fish oil so that's even better because I like flax milk. I like fish too though and still try and keep that in my diet as well. One cup flax milk has 1200mg (or 1.2g) omega 3. Men if they are wanting to meet the daily requirements may want to add a little more flax milk to the recipe below. So here goes my post run recovery recipe.

Flax Milk Recovery Drink

1 banana
1 cup sliced strawberries
1 scoop whey protein powder (or half a serving) *you can use a full serving if you want more protein, but for my needs 1 scoop was plenty of protein
1 cup flax milk (I use Good Karma Flax Milk)

Nutritional breakdown - Roughly 200 calories, 33g carbohydrates, 11-14 grams of protein depending on what source of protein powder you use, and 4g of fat

Put it in a blender and yum! If you want it to be more ice cream like you can freeze the bananas and the strawberries and it will come out closer to the consistency of soft serve ice cream.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Panda Bear Night Half Marathon

Panda Bear Night Half Marathon

I debated on writing a race report because I was in such a pissy mood about it, but went to my girls Feis (Irish dance contest) on Sunday and found myself listening to myself cheer my youngest daughter up for not place in her age group. I said to her “You had a lot of competition in your age group and you did a great job. You’ll get a medal at your next one.” And with that my mood brightened and here I am with my usual long winded race report... since I like writing them.

This was supposed to be a training run. I had decided a while back that I didn’t want to lose focus on Chicago by fixating on this race too much. I ran hard this week, no taper and planned to run longish again on Sunday. Thursday night was when it hit me that I wanted to race it. I started thinking if I want sub 4 in Chicago I gotta be able to do sub 2 in a half. With that I decided what the heck I was going to race this one. Besides I figured it’d be good practice. Showed up at race. I started getting reservations about doing well when I looked around and there were a lot of young people as this race was at a college. There were a lot of fast looking people too. Not sure why some people look fast to me and others don’t.

Since this was a night race they gave away headlamps as an entry. Race cost $20 with a free headlamp. Also they were giving the winner of each age group free shoes. Can’t beat that. Started out with annoying headlamp on my head. Couldn’t figure out where I wanted to put the thing without it bugging me. Right before the race am chatting with this gal. She’s older than me in the 55+ age group. She asked me what my pace was. I told her my PR was 2:03ish and she said last race she ran was 2:04ish so I figured we’d be running pretty close in pace. It was nice company. I kept with her most of the way. She was good pacing for me. It kept me from slacking off when I wanted to and a few times I wanted to move ahead of her, but just couldn’t. She’s pretty steady. We started a little fast. Kept talking about slowing down, but in my head I was still thinking sub 2 so I wanted to keep the fast pace if it wasn’t hurting and this race I actually flipped to HR to make sure I wasn’t pushing too hard. Get to around 3 miles and go to adjust annoying headlamp and one of the straps slides out of place so it won’t stay on my head. I spent a short time trying to fix it before I decided screw it I will just carry the thing. You really needed one to see on this trail. (It was a paved bike trail so real nice, but you still couldn’t see anything in the dark.) I was tired by 4 miles, but at the same time knew I had plenty in me to keep pushing along. Miles 5 and 6 weren’t too bad. Running gal got ahead of me there for a little bit there, but still within eyesight. Turn around surprised me as I thought I had further to go. Wasn’t looking at my watch or something, but nice surprise anyway. Catch up with running gal I think around 7ish and we chat about maybe making sub 2 if we could pick the pace up a little. We decided we could try to do it together which was cool. I told her since she was in the 55+ age group she stood a much better chance on the shoes and just think about those shoes and we pushed along. Mile 8 and 9 just ticking away. Mile 10 I decide to play Pacman. (Thanks for teaching me that, lol). And you know what nobody did pass me from mile 10 on. I only passed a few because there just wasn’t many people left to pass, but I passed who was left. At 3 miles left I didn’t have the energy to calculate how much time I needed to come in under 2 hours. I’m getting better at my pacing so I knew I would only be able to push so much faster for the last 3. I knew from my lap times that I wasn’t keeping fast enough pace for that likely to happen, but I don’t know was determined to finish as strong as I could. I went back to remembering this was supposed to be a training run and this wasn’t a goal race. I kept thinking about Chicago and how this would be good practice for the last 3 on Chicago and just mentally went there. Get to 2 and did rough math estimates and realized I’d have to do like 8 minute miles on the last 2 to finish sub 2. I knew that wasn’t happening and honestly didn’t think I’d even PR. Couldn’t look at my watch for the last part. Too much work holding the darn headlamp so I could see and just kept pushing hard. When I saw the clock though and realized damn, I’m gonna PR I pushed hard. Quite proud of my little legs for that last mile and especially the finish. I’m getting pretty good at strong finishes at least. Came in at 2:02:15. One and a half minute PR. I should have been happy with that and I feel real bratty whining about it, but when I looked at my time compared to everyone else I felt like a big slow poke. I was also discouraged as to how much damn work it is now to move my PRs one minute now. I got spoiled last year with the huge gains. I also was a little discouraged that I might not be able to get sub 4 in Chicago, but then I got to thinking about what I told my daughter and you know what - so what. I will definitely PR in Chicago, maybe not sub 4. Maybe it takes me one more race or maybe 2. I am making progress and as I’ve realized in life the secret to success is sticking with it. (Found that holds true with lots of things...) Have a great week all and happy running!

Laps - 9:16(170), 9:24(173), 9:17(175), 9:32(174), 9:27(176), 9:25(176), 9:50(173), 9:30(173), 9:20(174), 9:19(176), 9:27(175), 9:29(176), 9:02(177)

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Charlevoix Half Marathon Race Report

The race report you've all been waiting for... and with my usual long windedness because yes I like hearing myself talk.


Coming into this race I had a lot on my mind. I've had a failure with school and I haven't had a PR since September. That's the one thing that sucks about getting faster. You have to work harder for those PRs. I won't lie, I was fighting off anxiety coming into this race and I just couldn't handle coming home with anything less than a PR. I needed to run this. I wanted to face my fears head on. Fear of failure has held me back in the past in life and I was running this with all I had. No matter what happened I knew I'd be a winner. Going forward with racing I am not expecting a PR with every race. I realize I am going to have to get over that and I know I'm going to have to work my butt off to get them. Oh forgot to add my race mantras... Every race now I have a routine. I make a playlist for my race and give it my race mantra name. I usually come up with one during training for the full marathon's but shorter ones I make them up whenever. This playlist named "Get Some". I actually wound up using several mantras during this race.

On to the race

Got to the race and look for a few friends that I knew were supposed to be running it. Said hi, and then figured I'd go find a bathroom. That's my usual prerace routine. Find a potty 10 minutes prior to start. Last time I ran this there was a ton of port-o-potties at this location, but I get down there and there were THREE. There was a line too. When there was 5 minutes left I debated on saying the heck with it and getting to line up, but a couple people ahead of me said don't. They reminded me the race was chip timed and it would start when I crossed the pad. That it was better for me to go now if I needed to than lose time on the course. So I did just that. I started the race then about 5 minutes late. I felt kind of goofy, but it was okay. It actually kept me from starting out too fast or messing up my pacing too much.

Mile 1 I get to running and realize my Garmin satellites didn't connect a couple minutes into the race. I hit the button for training again and thankfully it connects to satellite. I didn't really want to run this one without my Garmin and I was thinking gees this is my luck. (I've had my Garmin not cooperate on race day before.) Garmin connects, but because it was messed up and I had my watch set for lap pace I had no idea what my pace was on the first mile. I figured no biggie. It's just the first mile. (Note to self - fix watch settings so I can flip to actual pace.)

Mile 2 - I knew from running this course before that the first couple miles were fast. I don't usually go out too fast so this race throws me off a little on that and I don't usually worry about it. I knew my watch was saying 17 something at the course marker for mile 2. I start thinking maybe sub 2 could happen.

Mile 3 - I get to a steady pace and somewhere around here my new mantra starts kicking in. I start repeating to myself and sorry excuse my language on this one, but "don't F this up". I kept reminding myself to keep my pace steady and don't go too fast. I didn't want to screw things up and lose my PR chasing sub 2. I made a goal at that point to not run any mile slower than 9:45. I knew as long as I could run every mile at 9:45 or faster I had a guaranteed PR.

Mile 4-5 - You might get a laugh on this one. I put my key to my car in my spi belt with my chews and cell phone(music). Well, I decide to go early for fuel at mile 4. I don't know. I wanted to nail this race and thought why not. Well, dropped my darn car key on the ground, not once, but twice trying to get it out of my spi belt. (Another note to self - Don't put your key in your spi belt. Research better place to put it. Usually hubby drives me so never had this problem before.) Running wise though I kept my pace okay in spite of having to stop and pick up key off the ground twice.

Mile 6 - This was an out an back course. I start feeling good and pick up the pace. From looking at the elevation chart though in my Garmin Connect I realize that there was a slight downhill here which is why I was a little speedier there and yes, I felt the slight uphill on the way back.

Mile 7 - On my way back home. I knew I had PR in the bag now for sure. I knew I could hold this pace for sure for 6 more miles. I've gotten pretty good at knowing what pace I can hold. I have more difficulty telling how fast can I really go.

Mile 8 - All of a sudden I was feeling it. The slight uphill for mile 6s downhill. If I hadn't ran this course 2 times before this mile would have shaken my confidence. I knew though that there was a tough mile I just couldn't remember if it was mile 8 or 9. I looked at my watch at some point and it was saying 10:10 for my pace and I was getting irritated because I wanted to have all my miles below 9:45. I start back with my "Get Some" mantra and just try to get my legs to pick it up a little. This was my slowest mile - 9:50.

Mile 9 - 10- Start feeling good again and start passing people. Keep in mind my 5 minute late start so I think that's why passing people was coming easy at this point. I start wondering if just maybe I could make that sub 2 after all. I knew if I nailed the last 4 then just maybe. I also knew that 4 miles was still further than I like to think it is. I tried to push harder, but was holding back for the last 3.

Mile 11 - This was the highlight of my race. Very emotional and very personal. N.L., yes, this mile was for you my friend. I see a sign on the road. You know the ones people put up to cheer on us racers. I almost started crying and I mean that literally (yes I know I seem to do this a lot on my races). Tears were forming. Racing for those that have never given birth before is a lot like childbirth without the pain (or maybe with some of it). Anyhow, the sign I see says "Go the Distance". My third mantra for this race. This one held me until the end of the race. My legs kicked up in high gear right there. It was an omen for me. And all my fears were washed away. This was my fastest mile - 8:47. At this point I start thinking again sub 2. I might have this.

Mile 12 - Well, legs were no longer keeping up with my mind, but I was still moving my legs as fast as I could make them go. Kept repeating "Go the Distance" and trying hard to finish strong. I knew this PR was mine and all I had to do was hold my pace and push it faster when I felt I could.

Mile 13 - Start looking for the finish line of course. It always seems forever before you see that stupid thing. I see the finish line and I pushed hard as hard as I could. (The last 30 second rolled over to a new lap on my Garmin at a 6:37 pace.)

I didn't get sub 2, but was thrilled with my finish. This was an official PR/CR of almost 10 minutes (previous PR 2:13:25). I also ran this 15 minutes faster than last year. Finished in 2:03:38. Oh also wanted to add this is also faster than my unofficial PR because my marathon PR was faster pace than my HM PR. It was important for me to beat that time too and not just the official PR time. Sub 2 is right around the corner.

Miles/HR info for those interested
1: 10:40 - 170 (not accurate because of satellite issues was closer to 9:25ish)
2: 8:58 - 176
3: 9:33 - 174
4: 9:43 - 174
5: 9:37 - 174
6: 9:03 - 175
7: 9:19 - 177
8: 9:50 - 176
9: 9:29 - 176
10: 9:21 - 176
11: 8:47 - 179
12: 9:36 - 178
13: 9:11 - 179

(And yes, I have a high max HR.)

Monday, May 21, 2012

Supermom fail

.Well, this weekend flat out sucked. I got a 6 mile run in, but that's about all that went right. I ate HORRIBLY. I hate that I am a stress eater. I can seriously pick up 4 or 5 lbs in a weekend if I get really stressed out. I get really frustrated because I constantly tell myself I can do anything I put my mind to. Reality is I am human. I can't do it all - or at least I can't do it all, all the time. I am regrouping today. I know the biggest thing for me that I have figured out is to pick yourself up, brush yourself off, and keep moving. I tripped over the hurdle, but you know what I'll get the next one. I was surrounded by entirely too much negativity this weekend. It really affected my mood. I'm a little stressed out about keeping up with school and running. Ugh and Miss Natalie is back at it again closing the laptop.... See you kids later

Thursday, May 17, 2012

How bad do I want it?

Oh yeah, oh yeah. Trying to keep the motivation high. I really, really, really want a PR this year! I'm tired of spinning my wheels and I refuse to show up in Chicago having been all talk. Tomorrow is going to be one of those days. Actually this whole weekend will be challenging. You see I'm going to nursing school. It's a non-traditional program so the clinicals are scheduled kind of weird, but it is making me really have to juggle to have it all. I've had a few people suggest that I might have to scale back my running to keep up with nursing school. I thought about it. I really did and believe me there are some days, a lot of days, where I feel like saying screw it. I'm tired. I'm not running today. The one thing that sticks in my head and it's something my dad used to say a lot "One excuse is as good as another." Lots of people have lots of excuses why they don't exercise. Shoot, my excuses would sound really good too. I mean hell everyone knows nursing school is challenging and time consuming and stressful. So, the reason I run is simple. One excuse is as good as another. What am I going to do when I'm through school? If I can't figure out how to run and go to school, how will I hold a job and keep running. The way I look at it, life is always going to be juggling for me. Anyhow, today was one of those days that I really was tired and so much of me wanted to skip my run. I got up at 4:15am to do homework and the girls had Girls on the Run. By the time I got back from getting them it was 6pm and I still had dinner to get going and I just wanted to say screw it. I thought about Chicago. I thought about Charlevoix. I thought about another 6 months going by with me spinning my wheels at the same pace and I got my darn shoes on and got out the door. I refuse to show up in Chicago being all talk. I really, really, really want to be sub 4 THIS year! I am not sure how I am going to get there because speed is coming so slow to me lately, but darn it I want it. Anyhow, had a phenomenal run once I got out the door. Tomorrow is going to be just as challenging. I need to figure out how to squeeze in 10 miles before heading to Indianapolis for clinicals. It's a 5 hour drive there and I will be busy all weekend so running it there would be really difficult. I'm thinking that me and my jogging stroller need to make friends. I really hate that stroller! Sorry to all my running friends that run in strollers all the time. Jealous of your stamina. I don't know how you do it. Not sure if I can pull 10 miles in the stroller or not, but one way or another I will be getting in those 10 miles. Chicago! Go, go Chicago!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Speak for yourself!

Okay, this post has been in my head for a while now. Please forgive me if I sound too big headed or self righteous - those are my two biggest character flaws and I am well aware of them. My husband says that's why he never tells me I'm doing a great job because I do enough of it for him. Anywho.. back to the point of this post. I've been reading a lot of posts from back of the pack runners lately. And you know what, good for them! They are getting out there and doing something and I think that's fantastic. Now I figure is time for a post from a former back of the packer, now middle of the packer, future front of the packer (stole that from a friend I know..., but I liked it so going with it.)

For those that don't know me gonna get a little personal here and reach out on some of the things I have accomplished in my life and why I dream big and why I say speak for yourself! First off I'm a Navy veteran. Boot camp was tough! I am a big wuss, girly girl through and through, but I like the challenge and marathon, babies, anything else in my life that has come has spun off of that first accomplishment. The military forever changes a person, develops character, persistence, pride, something you just can't find anywhere else. Second big game changer - this is my sister's biggest pride and she often asks me why I don't rank that first on my list of things I'm proud of. My sister and I started in 2004 with nothing more than 2 computers (one picked up for $45 at a garage sale because she couldn't afford a computer and I love her so much.) Justmommies grew to over 1/2 million visitors before we sold. I am no longer part owner of Justmommies, nor employee, but I will say that JM pushed along my big dreaming! People told us we couldn't do it then and my sister and I said we dream big!

Number 3 changer - don't ask me why this moment sticks out in my head so much, but it does. Sometime when Leo was a baby and I was massively overweight at the time. Some of you all haven't seen my fat pictures and may delude yourself into believing that being thin and in shape just comes easy to me - Before and After Pics Anyhow,I was at this Christmas party and there was a older gal sitting next to me. Then there was this other gal dressed in some skimpy party dress who looked pretty dang good. The older gal sitting next to me says "We'll never look that good again..." and the whole time I thought to myself... "SPEAK FOR YOURSELF".

Now, this brings me full circle back to the start of my post and my wonderful running friends. As a middle of the pack runner now, I hear things like "we'll never be that fast" and the like and all that runs through my head on this one is "SPEAK FOR YOURSELF". I may be slow right now, but I dream big! Just like when I started Justmommies with 4 people, my sister and I KNEW we could do it. Welp, guess what that's how I feel about running right now too. I KNOW I can do this. Now, don't get me wrong I don't mean I'm gonna go out and win the world Olympics. I'm delusional, not stupid. I am after all almost 39 years old. I am going to nursing school so have a pretty good familiarity with physiology. I am not in my prime, but all that being said, I am a pretty determined individual, big headedness or not, oh well. I plan to rock on this summer. I got a big dream right now and that's sub 4 for Chicago! Oh and since I pick a mantra for every marathon I run, I got mine picked for Chicago. First marathon I think was "Stick to the Plan". Second one was "Make it Count". Third marathon was "Never Give Up". Well, guess what my mantra is for Chicago "Heart and Soul". Stay tuned for great things to come from me. I'm gonna try to actually blog my way through training on this one and not be the slacker blogger you know and love that only comes around to toot her own horn.

Monday, May 7, 2012

2012 Kalamazoo Marathon Race Report

Stomach was bugging me night before the race and I woke up at 3am with it still bugging me. I was real nervous about this race, but wanting to have some fun more than anything else. I had a goal in mind, but was very prepared that a PR might not happen on this one as my training wasn’t as good with all the cold weather and school. Plus this course was a lot harder. I should mention I got my hair done with pink hair braided in and had my pink running skirt and bright pink socks along with my supermom shirt. I was all psyched to have some fun with this one since I wasn’t sure that I was going to do well.
Get to start line and line up with the 4:15 pace group. That was fun. I talked with the people there and kept up with them for quite a while. Note to self – Don’t wear a shirt that says Supermom to Seven Cheer Me On unless you are prepared to answer the ages of all your children to every single runner that comes up behind you. By mile 10, I seriously started telling people that was taking too much mental energy and I just couldn’t do it. I had 2 pace tattoos, one on each arm, one for 4:15 pace and one for 4:30. I was just behind the 4:15 pacer at mile 10, but stopped to use the bathroom somewhere around there and got stuck waiting. I should have just kept going, but wasn’t sure where another one would be. By the time I got out the bathroom I saw the 4:30 pacer going by, but got going again. I was feeling tired there and was a little overwhelmed by the idea of having 16 miles left to go. Get to mile 11 and then mile 12 goes really fast and I make up a little time with a nice downhill. I lost track of the uphills. They weren’t awful, but they weren’t easy either and hills were a big area of weakness for me coming into training. I realize at this point that I was doing okay and should be able to finish under 4:30 – a time I could live with on this course. I kept plugging along. The crowds were amazing! We ran through several neighborhoods here and I cannot get over how much cheering and support was out there. I got a little emotional seeing the little kids out there with their “Go Mom” signs and really wished my kids were there. I seriously almost started crying on multiple occasions. Running a marathon in and of itself is emotional, but really these people were just something else. I must have waived at every camera too, haha. I figured I might as well have fun if I couldn’t be fast.
Miles 13, 14, and 15 went pretty smooth. I felt like I was going slower than molasses and I wasn’t going fast by any means, but I wasn’t embarrassingly slow either (well not to me anyway). Mile 16 was a very welcome downhill! I cruised right along there and took every fast mile I could find. By mile 16 I just wanted to get to single digits. Somewhere about there the sun really got warm and I was feeling the effects of the humidity. I just kept telling myself 10 miles, easy peasy, but it wasn’t feeling real easy. I think that’s when I had a little bit of a panic realizing I wasn’t feeling strong and started to freak a little about finishing this one. There wasn’t a lot of crowd support between miles 16-18 and there were a lot of people starting to walk. I know I was walking parts at this point. I was just trying to finish without a horrible time and didn’t care about a PR at this point. I just wanted to be done. I was still having fun, sort of, but just the same I was ready for the finish. Mile 22 was a big hill. I remember saying I wasn’t running this one I was walking it and some young guy next to me says it’ll be faster if you run it and me thinking screw you. He was actually a nice enough guy, but that was my thoughts about running up that hill. Of course, he wound up walking parts of it too, lol. Honestly by mile 20 everybody and I mean that literally, everyone was walking. You’d start running for a bit, they’d start walking, you’d start walking, and they’d start running. I think the hills and the heat were getting to everyone at my pace ability. Mile 23 there was a lot of crowd support again and I know I must have been quite the site having out loud conversations with my legs begging them to cooperate just a little bit longer. I also must have asked at least 3 complete strangers if I could borrow their legs for the last 3 miles. That was no game so I kept pushing along. They had another big hill at mile 24 or 25. Who puts a hill there? Ugh, I can’t say I ran that one. I did run parts of it and that was good enough for me. The last mile I was talking to another guy and his PR was 4:41 and I told him if we could just move along a little we could probably still make it in 4:30something. I finally got to the last .2 and the finish line in site and I am telling you my little legs started moving. I was determined to finish in 4:30something, anything. I was so thrilled to cross the line in 4:39:29. Not anywhere close to a PR, but I had a lot of fun with this race. I think I did my best and that’s all I can hope for. My legs don’t feel like death right now either so that’s a good sign! I am ready to start training for another one.
I finished 29 out of 46 in my age group, 166 out of 282 for women, and 470 out of 702 overall. Happy that I’ve firmly moved up to middle of the pack runner now. Making progress.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Feeling a little discouraged

I have been a little discouraged the past couple weeks. I had a very slow recovery from Sault Saint Marie. It took me forever to get back in a rhythm. A lot of it had to do with my kids returning to school and me returning to school. Learning to rejuggle my time and such, but lately I just am feeling discouraged for different reasons. For the most part I have been able to put the miles in. I have missed a few runs here and there, but doing much better with staying on track with that. I am not sure though if those few missed workouts are the problem or what. I can't seem to keep my heart rate down to save my life and honestly my heart rate is reflective of how I feel so it's not all about the heart rate. I went into training for marathon 3 with a goal of sub 4. That'd be a 20 minute PR which in my head I was thinking if I could get an hour PR last time I surely can do 20 minutes this time. I am finding cracking to the next level to be very difficult. I just keep plugging along. I reminded myself of this post which is funny now rereading it because I didn't realize I was aiming for sub 4 way back then. I remember on that day I was aiming for 4:45 and wasn't sure if I could do 4:30. I thought that would be too hard and even race day wasn't so sure if I could do 4:30. I am trying to keep that thought in my head and not the discouraging "no way am I going to be able to do this" thoughts that have been going through my head lately. I keep feeling the need to lower my goal. (And I may have to, but trying to remember I still have a ways to go until May.) This course is going to be a lot harder than Sault Saint Marie. The hills are seriously kicking my butt and there are a lot of them. I feel like miss go speedy when I run on flats now because the time difference/effort level is so much easier. I just have to remind myself that hard work will pay off and to stay focused. So that's where I am at. Refocusing. I need to surround myself with some positive energy and stick to the plan.