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She’s Back!

It seems as though I start a lot of my blog entries the same way…….it’s been a while since I’ve written. Yes, it has been a while. Too long actually, but we all know, LIFE gets in the way and sometimes things that we love to do take a back seat.

But—–could it really be that my last blog entry was December 22 of 2014?? Nearly a year ago? Did I really NOT write a recap for my last marathon? Apparently that is the case and I’m sitting here thinking….this has got to change. Writing is something I’ve always loved. Why don’t I take more time to write? I know the answer to that. Too busy.

So here we go, a quick “catch-up” of the last year. January 2015 brought the beginning of training for my third marathon, Minneapolis Marathon on May 31st. Training started out well. I spent a lot of time on the treadmill unfortunately, and not enough time outside.   It’s not so much the cold and Minnesota winters, it’s that by the time that school is done and I get my piano lessons done, most nights it’s already 6pm or later and it’s way too dark to run outside. Same with the mornings. To get up at 4am to run is fine, but again, too dark to get in a fairly decent run. I would like to see the road, especially in winter to see slick spots. Treadmill running is not optimal for marathon training, but sure better than not running at all.

I don’t really remember at what point I realized this, but I realized that I had gotten off a week or two in the training plan and suddenly, I was behind in mileage. Couple that with the fact that my left foot was hurting….at times terrible pain…and I considered between my foot and the mishap in training, that I run the half instead. After careful thought (or maybe not so much) I decided to go ahead with the full. I wasn’t out for time and so I was going to run and finish.

Knowing that I was undertrained, knowing that at any moment I could really be struggling with my foot, I was extremely nervous on race day. The course was really hilly, my legs were killing me way before I had planned, my foot started to hurt at about mile 18, my husband came out and ran the last mile with me, and I FINISHED. And given all that, I was already thinking…….which marathon can I do next?

I had a few more races in the summer and fall of 2015. My favorite was the Park to Park Half Marathon in Cedar Falls, Iowa. Absolutely beautiful course, super well organized. My foot was still hurting in this race as well as a couple others. I couldn’t even finish the Quad Cities Half. I had to stop at the 10K mark and just be done. The foot pain was more than I could take.

I did go to my podiatrist after that race in September and was diagnosed with Morton’s Neuroma, and inflammation in the nerve between my 3rd and 4th toes from wearing narrow shoes at the toe box. He gave a shot of cortisone, I found new, non-traditional running shoes, still on the lookout for dress shoes, and I’m back running. The shot has helped about 90% of the time and even in that 10% where it hurts, it’s not NEAR what it was.

Where am I at now? I’m thinking ahead to 2016 and what I’m able to do and want I want to do. I am running with my husband a lot. We go from 1-3 miles a day and the best part of it isn’t even the running. It’s the time we have together when we run. Our lives are so busy that when we go running together, there are no distractions, just us. It’s a great time to talk and do something together that we both love to do. I can’t say that all the time we are anxious to get out and run as our days are usually 12 hour days, but once we get going, the times is really nice.

I started this blog on April 3, 2011 and as I was looking back on my entries, I realized that on April 19 2011, I started ending a lot of my writings in the same way…..”I’ll keep putting one foot in front of the other”. Well, it’s been nearly five years later and I’m doing the same thing. Some days better than others, but the point is that I haven’t given up and I’m still here.

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The Insanity Diaries~Chapter 1

This is my Insanity diary. I am starting this on Monday, December 8th, 2014 with the intentions of FINALLY completing the entire program….60 days. I have started this several times, then backed off to allow more running. Marathon training doesn’t officially start for a while so I am going to devote my time to Insanity. However, I do have a half marathon scheduled in March and will need to begin to add miles to my weeks. I am hoping that I can balance the demand of Insanity and a safe increase of weekly mileage.

My friend Sami is going to start with me. She is at her parents’ home right now because her husband is deployed overseas right now. She will be able to do the first month with me and then she has to go back to their home in California and we’ll have to finish alone. The plan right now is that she will come over to my house early in the morning and we’ll do the workouts in my basement.

Today, December 22, marks the start of our third week and here is the recap thus far. We’ve certainly had our ups and downs. It’s been tough getting up early. I am a teacher, so I have to be at school fairly early, which means to get the workout done, get showered and ready to go, we have to start early. Both of us, at one time or another during these three weeks, have been sick, including the dreaded stomach flu. We have laughed, we have sworn at the TV, we have wondered why on earth we are doing this, we have hugged, we have sweated buckets, we have encouraged each other.

Two of the BEST days, for me anyway and I think Sami will agree with this, were Sunday (yesterday) and today. Sunday Sami came over early. You would think since it was a weekend and there was no going to work for either of us that we would sleep in a little. But we had my inlaws coming to our house to celebrate Christmas, so I needed to get the workout done earlier rather than later. We did, however, have time to sit and relax in front of our fireplace and drink coffee. It was SO NICE to talk. My hubby joined us a little later and we turned on some Christmas music, drank coffee, and talked.

The other day that was the BEST was today. The workout today was the Fit Test again. If you are not familiar with the program, you are supposed to do the Fit Test on the first day, and then every two weeks, and then again on the last day. You keep track of how many of each exercise you can do and compare it to the last time. Today was the first progress check. Both Sami and I improved in every move! We felt so proud of ourselves. It’s really nice to see some progress!

The next Fit Test date, Sami will be back in California. I am NOT looking forward to her going back, but I know she has to and continue her life there. Until then, we are going to keep on DIGGING DEEP with Shaun T, and once in a while our yellow lab Max who keeps tabs on us, and we’ll get through it together!

Shaun T Bananas

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IMT Des Moines Marathon Recap

The IMT Des Moines Marathon. Finished. I don’t know if I am able to even put into words how this went, but I’m going to try.

As many of you know, I was supposed to run the Minneapolis Marathon on June 1, 2014. That was to be my second marathon. However, Mother Nature didn’t agree as she scheduled heavy thunderstorms and severe lightning for that day. The race was cancelled and no marathon that day.

I was so disappointed and soon registered for the Des Moines Marathon. I knew that I could take a little time off from training and start again and that would be plenty of time. However, training didn’t go so well.

My training for Minneapolis went super. There were really no glitches at all. But training for Des Moines….did not go well. I would say I had some great runs. Women Rock Half went super for me. Quad Cities Half did not go well at all. My 20 miler was AWFUL. Even smaller mileage runs were going horribly. Not only that, but I skipped some runs because I just didn’t want to run at that point. Needless to say, I was really scared and nervous for Des Moines, and at times, I was dreading it.

Based on my past runs, I couldn’t even decide how fast or slow to run. I had no idea which pace group to stay with. Why? Because a lot of my runs were so inconsistent. One day I would have a great run and pace. The next would be horrible and I would feel like I could hardly get through it. So what was going to happen on race day?? Which pace group do I stay with? What if the one I choose is too fast? What if it’s too slow?

Race day came….my alarm went off and I said out loud, “Oh God help me.” Nerves were high. My hubby and I were staying with my best friend and her husband and we took off for the downtown. Hubby dropped me off at the spot and we said our goodbyes. It was a cold morning, very cold, but it was supposed to warm up as the day went on. I stood inside the entrance of a business until it was time to line up. I visited with people at the start line, which is always fun. And then….the gun went off. No turning back now.

It took us 10 minutes to actually cross the start line and then there is REALLY no turning back! We were running toward the capital building, as Des Moines is the capital city of Iowa. It was beautiful.

capital

We ran around the downtown for about two miles and then we headed to some residential neighborhoods. And then….HILLS. Oh my goodness HILLS. I have been to Des Moines many, many times, but I had no idea that these neighborhoods were so hilly.

We ran through the campus of Des Moines University and the water stations were manned by college students….very fun. Beautiful homes with people outside having bloody marys, mimosas, breakfast, coffee and cheering us on. There were so many spectators and music…at this point, about mile 8…I realized that I had been smiling the entire time.
I think it was about mile 10 when we entered the campus of Drake University. I was especially excited for this as my sister attended Drake and played in the marching band! And the best part was that soon after entering the campus, we were allowed on the track of the football stadium! We were to run a lap and before leaving, we were filmed up on the jumbotron! I slowed down and got a picture of myself!

jumbotron

After the rest of Drake campus, we went back the way we came for a few miles. At mile 13, I saw something that I thought I would NEVER see. I was coming up behind this gal with a huge backpack on. She was walking. I knew that this particular group were wearing these backpacks in honor of cancer patients. As I was coming up to her, I could smell cigarette smoke. I looked down and she was smoking. I immediately thought that maybe she was a spectator and I looked back at her and she had on a marathon bib. Soon she started running again! I have never seen a person participating in a marathon and smoking. I saw her later on and she was drinking a beer! To each his or her own I guess!

I don’t remember exactly which mile we entered a wooded area and ran on a trail. I want to say it was around mile 15 or 16. It was beautiful, but of course secluded which really is tough mentally. When we came out of that, we were still in a wooded type area, but it was much more open and they had more entertainment in this area. This part was mile 18-20. My phone had died at this point and I knew hubby would be wondering where I was and if I was okay. I asked a volunteer if I could use her phone and gave him a quick call….at this point I was at mile 20.

I was dreading mile 20. I know that this is the typical “wall hitting” mile and/or BONK, but so far I was feeling really good still. I really hit the BONK at mile 22 in my first marathon, so was really nervous that was going to happen. At mile 21.5, I saw Trish and Rick. It was SUCH A BOOST! Trish came and ran with me for a little while. She had me stop so she could get my picture at mile 22!

runnergal:jess 22

We ran around a lake and then she left me at mile 24. This was it. I was alone until the end. One last hill at 24.5 and at mile 25 I started to cry. I realized that not only was I going to finish, but I was going to finish on MY terms…..MY race…the way I had started out I kept going in MY OWN WAY and I had enough left in my tank to finish the way I had run the previous 25 miles. I had to walk about 10 steps to get myself together and stop crying and just finish. There was this awesome drum and dance group at about 25.5 that was in the right place at the right time. Their music was spectacular and energy was just what I needed to keep going.

We had to take a left turn to start heading to mile 26. And then I saw my hubby waving his arms. He was standing by the bleachers at mile 26. Shocker…I started to cry. He ran came out on the course and ran a little bit with me telling me how proud he was of me and kept saying….”You did it!” He then said that he was going to get to the finish and he would meet me there.

The start and finish were in the same place, so we had to cross this bridge to get to the finish line. The bridge was lined with people and at that time, I think I was about the only one running. As soon as people started cheering, I started crying….and when people saw me start to cry, they cheered even louder. I could hear the announcer saying something and I have no idea what he was saying. He could have said my name or he could have read the most boring thing….I have no idea. I crossed the line and was just so emotional. A lady with the race grabbed me and she told me what a huge accomplishment I had just completed and that she was so proud of me. I was muttering thank you and tears rolling and then she said….”Now let’s get you a medal!”

finish line dm 14

She stepped out of the way and there were several men and women in Army uniforms handing out the medals. They were all congratulating me. I hear Trish screaming my name for a picture. I went over to hug my hubby and Trish and Rick. Trish got his great shot of hubby and me.

IMG_9532

As I made my way around to meet them, I was still emotional. Suddenly, what seemed out of nowhere, a solder came in front of me, stuck out his hand for a high fine and said in a very determined, serious, firm voice…..”Great job. Congratulations” That sent me into another fit of tears!!!! I couldn’t even mumble a word!

I met up with Lane, Trish and Rick and we headed back to our cars. We had to get on the road to our 4 hour trip home. I had a couple of pieces of pizza from the athlete village which were YUMMY at that point.

As I reflect….the Des Moines Marathon, Half, and 5K was an incredible event. The organization was top notch, spectators were fantastic, music was placed perfectly and very inspiring, the course was although HILLY, absolutely beautiful. I still can’t get over all the stunning spots. As runners and walkers, we were able to see all of Des Moines….urban and the quite wooded/lake area, as well as two college campuses. And no kidding or exaggerating, I really, really did smile the entire race…..well until I cried. 😉

I had decided as soon as I crossed the start line to forget staying with a pace group and just run the race alone. I am so glad I did. I ran my way, my pace that felt good on that day. I kept myself steady the entire time. I ran a very smart race and I can’t explain how good that feels, especially when my training was so inconsistent.

It was an absolutely fabulous day!
marathon pic

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Starting Over

It’s been a while since I’ve blogged, so I figured on this Monday morning while having coffee and watching the Today Show I would write as well.

As many of you know via my Runnergal22 Facebook page, I have registered for another marathon. Saying ‘another marathon’ has a couple of meanings to me. First, I’ve only completed one marathon, so hopefully this will be my second completed. Secondly, I have actually registered for four marathons. As I said, I completed the first marathon in June of 2011, the Minneapolis Marathon. I registered for my second which was the Women Rock Marathon, but I hurt my hip and the doctor said NO. So I cut back and did the half that year. The third was this past June 2014 the Minneapolis Marathon again. However, it was cancelled due to severe weather…lightning and flash flooding. Which leaves me to the present. I have registered for the IMT Des Moines Marathon on October 19th and I couldn’t be more excited.

I am excited for many reasons. Of course, I want to run. After not being able to run the Minneapolis Marathon, I have to admit, there was a void. After all the training and not being able to actually run it the desire to run has intensified. And again, I completely agree with and understand the decision to cancel due to severe weather. But it just makes me want to get back out there.

I am originally from Iowa, so this marathon is in the capital city, Des Moines. After looking at the course map, I noticed we will be running through the campus of Drake University. My sister Jackie attended Drake, so that will be neat. My best friend Trish and her family live in Des Moines so my hubby and I will stay with them. It’s always fun to be with them and we don’t get to see each other very often.

des moines

Currently, I am in week 6 of training. I wouldn’t have had to start all over after completing the training for the Minneapolis Marathon, but I did. We took a trip to Florida and while I did run one day down there, a pair of dress shoes that I had to wear cut into my feet so badly that I could not wear regular shoes for about two weeks. It was awful. It was then that I decided to just start over.

So here I am again, marathon training and looking ahead for some fun times. My main goal this week is to NOT have a Dairy Queen Blizzard. I don’t think I’ve had so many blizzards in my whole life as I’ve had this summer. I honestly will feel like it’s a big accomplishment if I don’t have one this week.

Thank you for tuning in and until next time, have a great week and take care!

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The Jacket

Well….I haven’t been blogging these last few weeks like I thought I would/wanted. The last few weeks of training didn’t really go as planned, but I kept plugging away. Our son’s graduation day and party came and went, and suddenly, here was marathon day. Today.

I went up to Minneapolis to my sister’s place. We had lunch, went to the Expo and saw our cousin, met up with our other sister and had supper. I was so excited, and yet so nervous. What if the last few weeks affected me negatively? But then again, I know that I was properly trained. I knew I trained better than last time.

I could hardly sleep Saturday night. I knew it was coming, the rain, as it had been raining a lot of Saturday afternoon and evening. But when I woke up at 2:40am Sunday morning, it wasn’t raining. I was so thankful that it wasn’t raining. My sister and I left, she was volunteering at the finish line, and it didn’t rain at all on the way to the race. I parked, found the shuttle bus to the start and pretty much as soon as I got on, it started to rain. I did not care about the rain, to be honest, it was all the lightning that I didn’t like. It was the lightning that scared me. I can run in rain. Even a marathon….I would deal with it for 26.2 miles, I was just praying for the lightning to stop.

We got to the start and were told that the race was delayed an hour. I was fine with that because of course we were all hoping it would pass through. There was going to be a meeting at 7am with race officials, police, sheriff, public safety, and weather officials to make a determination on the race. When it got to be about 7:10 and I hadn’t heard anything, I decided to walk up to the start just in case. If it was still going to go on, then I needed to get mentally prepared again.

I found the pace group I wanted to run with and we were all talking about what was going to happen….wondering if we’d be able to have the race. I was getting really nervous….nervous that we wouldn’t be able to run the full, and also nervous if we did because I felt a little out of sorts at that point. However, I wanted to run so badly that I didn’t care if I felt out of sorts, so I focused in on my task at hand. Running and finishing my marathon.

Suddenly, we saw a bunch of people from the front walking toward the back. A man ahead of me said he thought the race was canceled. I looked to my right and there was a girl standing off to the side and she looked at her friend who was standing in front of me and she told her a guy ran by her and said it was cancelled. I walked up to her and asked her to repeat that. She did and I walked around in a daze. And I started to cry.

I wasn’t mad at the team that made the decision. I actually respected the decision and appreciated the fact that they were putting safety first for all involved. But I was sad that I wasn’t able to complete the race. I was sad that after all the training, I wasn’t able to put it all to the test. Even though I was nervous about the race, I was so very excited to get out there and run this marathon. And suddenly, it was all over.

I’m doing better tonight. Again, I agree with the decision….there are worse things in the world than a race being cancelled…I’m not the only one who trained and didn’t get to run…I’m not the only one disappointed. And yes, there will be other races.

All in all, I felt my training went well, with the exception of the last month, but even then when it was tough, I didn’t give up or quit. I am proud of myself for completing the training. I am proud of myself for sticking to it, even modified at times, when the going got tough.

And one thing that got me crying agin tonight, was when I held up my MARATHON FINISHER jacket to my son. Here is the conversation that followed:

Me: (holding up the jacket) I can’t wear this.

Nick: Why not?

Me: Because I didn’t finish!

Nick: That doesn’t matter.

Me: Ummm…yes it does.

Nick: Well you would have finished if you had gotten to run it.

Me: Yeah, but it’s not the same.

Nick: Mom, finishing isn’t always just one day. It’s all the days you trained, all the days you worked hard. You earned the jacket.

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Still Hanging On~Training Update

Hello friends!  My weekly recap is late, but here it is.

Last week was rough.  It was SO busy and I was more than exhausted.  My weekly training runs went well and I had 16 miles on tap for last weekend.  My original plan was to get up and run the 16 on Saturday morning, but I decided to sleep in.  I knew that I needed to get some rest/sleep, but if you’ve followed me for any length of time, you know that I am pretty much guilt-ridden when I don’t follow my plan.  I chose to sleep in and woke up on my own at 8am….I couldn’t believe it!  That is MAJOR sleeping in for me!  I felt so much better, and decided that it was what I needed rather than get up and run.  

The plan at this point was to go through our busy weekend, and run Sunday afternoon.  I was good with that.  As Saturday got going however, I quickly began to feel more and more sleepy.  I took a short nap in the afternoon and went for a 2 mile run.  My tiredness continued into our evening and night, which were busy, and I dropped into bed late.  Sunday morning brought Mass early and working at our annual church dinner.  Before I knew it, it was afternoon and those 16 miles were still waiting for me.  I decided to try a short nap and then head out.  

Well, I never did head out.  I simply could not.  I was beyond the point of exhaustion….mentally and physically.  I debated and debated, and debated some more.  I chose to stay home and rest.  No 16 miler for me.

Monday came along….same feeling only this time, add a sore throat in there.  I didn’t think I could get anymore tired than Sunday.  Monday was worse.  As it ended up, I took Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday OFF from running and rested my body.  I must say, I was guilt-ridden like I said earlier, and yet I was glad that I did take a break.  I could tell that my body needed the rest.  

While I was glad that I rested, the usual mind games are still present.  ‘I took THREE DAYS OFF…I’ve wrecked all the training I’ve done for the marathon!’  I have said that to myself over and over these past couple of days.  I have trust issues with my training!  

Next up….doctor appointment tomorrow.  All I’m going to say is it’s a foot problem and I am hoping beyond hope that this will not affect the marathon.

Finally, THE MARATHON!  I received my packet in the mail today and it suddenly became so real.  TWENTY FOUR DAYS!  Aaaaahhhh!

Image

Depending on my doctor’s appointment, I have 20 miles on tap for Saturday morning.  And yes, this weekend it will get done Saturday morning!  

Stay tuned to my Facebook page for the doctor update on Friday!  

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Sometimes

Sometimes it’s difficult to get through difficult days.

Sometimes it’s tiring to push through when you are tired.

Sometimes it’s frustrating to deal with frustration.

Sometimes it’s random thoughts that rustle around in your swirling mind.

Sometimes you feel like your thoughts and your words don’t make any sense at all.

And then you remember…..

Sometimes it’s okay to feel frazzled.  It’s okay to feel random.  It’s okay to feel hurt.  It’s okay to feel giddy.  It’s okay to feel frustrated.  

It’s okay to take a deep breath and begin again.

 

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Exhausted, But Good

Wow….what a week.  It was crazy busy and this upcoming week is going to be even worse.  There are a lot of great things going on, but the schedule is completely packed.  Stress level high, hours of sleep low….but this too shall pass.

As far as last week’s training….went well.  I was happy with my mid week runs and workouts.  But mostly, I was elated with my long run.   I had a 20 miler on tap for the long run this week.  Honestly, I had no idea how it would go.  Because of our intensely busy schedule, I had to juggle my long runs quite a bit.  The 20 miler HAD to happen this weekend.  There was no juggling allowed.  And because of the juggling, I was quite nervous.  I knew I would finish the 20, or at least I figured I would finish.  However, I had no idea how I would actually feel.  

Looking ahead to the weekend, I knew that I had to get out and run Saturday morning, and here’s why.  Saturday was our son’s senior prom and pictures were to start with his group at 1pm.  My husband is the junior class advisor at school and so that means we chaperone the dance.  We had to be at school for last minute stuff at 5pm and be ready for parents by 7, grand march at 8, and then the dance.  Sunday morning was Mass, then drive an hour to return the tux, drive an hour back, have about an hour to relax, then back to school for prom tear down and set up the gym for our spring band concert tomorrow.  I had a window of Saturday morning to run 20 miles.  So that’s what I did.

I got started a little later than I had wanted.  I headed out on a local highway that I run on quite a bit.  I had a plan to go out 10 miles, turn around and come back.  Perfect.  But here’s an odd thing about me….I am sometimes very fickle mentally.  What I mean by that is sometimes it’s difficult for me to think of runs in certain ways.  For example, sometimes I really CANNOT approach a run thinking I have to turn around and run back.  I literally NEED to have a “point A to point B” route.  Sometimes it’s the other way around.  I can’t wrap my mind around a “point A to point B” and I NEED to have a turnaround route.  There doesn’t seem to be a rhyme or reason to my thinking.  It seems to very random.  Case in point, Saturday.

I had planned to run 10 miles out, turn around and run back home…..I had planned that all week.  Mentally I was prepared for that and I told my husband about my plans.  I started out and everything was feeling great.  I got to the 5 mile mark and I was under the time it usually takes me.  I felt extremely happy.  And then, everything changed mentally.  I could no longer do what I had planned.  I could NOT get to 10 miles and turn around.  I have no idea what really switched in my brain, but there was no way I was going to turn around after 10 miles.  So my plan changed.

I decided at 5 miles that I was going to run the length of this highway.  The highway I was on ends after about 18 miles at a T intersection of another highway.  Actually, it has been a goal of mine for quite some time to run from my driveway to that other highway T intersection.  In that instant at the 5 mile mark, I made the decision I was going to keep going.  I sent a text message to my husband telling him my plans.  I would text him when I got there and he could leave and come pick me up.  Since that route is 18 miles, I had no problem turning around then and running back a couple of miles until he got there.  

The route is hilly, but the sun was shining and everything felt so good.  As I got closer to the next highway and could see the signs for it, I started to feel emotional.  I don’t know how long it has been a goal of mine to run the entire highway, but here I was nearly done and I didn’t even set out to do it that day.  I got there, and looked to make sure no cars were coming as it’s a very busy highway, and then ran out onto it to actually STEP on it.  Probably silly, but it was meaningful to me.  My husband was on his way, and I turned around and started running back.  That turnaround didn’t bother me at all, because I knew I was so close to being done and that my husband would be there soon.  

I got in the 20 and felt so great.  As my husband was approaching me on the highway, he started honking the horn as he knew how long I have wanted to run the whole highway.  I was so happy with how I felt the entire run.  It gave me a lot of confidence and made me feel happy with how I am coming along in training. I did a 3.5 mile recovery run today and legs are in good shape.

When we got home Saturday, I got out the foam roller again.  I haven’t talked a lot about foam rolling, but I love and hate it, but I did put in a good session of it and then ice.  And for that matter, I feel the same way about ice baths.  Love and hate ’em. But they both are essential parts of my training.

Coming up this week, as I said, it’s crazy busy.  Probably the busiest week of our year at school for my husband, our son, and me.  My main goal, other than getting in my miles, is trying to keep my head clear.  

One thing that made me smile about my Saturday run….this morning after Mass, I started running to the car as it was cold and starting to rain.  I passed a woman who has a daughter in our son’s grade.  I said “good morning” as I was running past her and I heard my husband say the same thing.  When he got in the car he told me of their brief conversation:

Woman:  Was she out running yesterday? (They live on a farm along the highway I was running on)

Hubby:  Yes, she ran 20 miles yesterday.

Woman:  Wow!  Well we saw her and our daughter said, ‘There goes Mrs. Powell again’.  We see her running a lot out there!

I couldn’t help but smile.  Have a great week everybody!

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Happy Monday morning!  I hope everybody had a great week and a wonderful Easter!  

Here is my week in review:  My training went great this week.  The mid-week runs went super.  One I did on the treadmill very early one morning.  One I went on a gravel road that I like to run on but decided to take a different route half way through.  At one point on this route, I come to a point in which I have to either turn left, right, or go straight.  The “main” gravel road go either left or right.  The straight ahead road is more narrow and almost looks like more of a path than a road.  I always choose left or right, but have wanted to try straight. AND…straight ahead is HILLY.  So this week I chose that route and it was hillier than it looks!  The third mid week run was on our local bike trail and I had a super run that day as well.

My long run I planned for Easter Sunday because we were going to be out of town on Saturday.  I did some shifting so that my rest day was Saturday too.  I didn’t want to disrupt my family’s Easter plans so I headed out very early.  I was going to run part of it with my friend Ashleigh who is running the Minneapolis Marathon with me!  My hubby took us out to where we wanted to start and we headed out at 6am.  The weather was great at the beginning.  Temperature was 57, sun was just coming up even though it was cloudy, it provided some light.  There was a threat of rain, however it looked like on the radar it was going to stay north of us.  

At about halfway through the run, Ashleigh headed back to her parents house for Easter.  I was so glad she was home for the holiday and we were able to run a little while together!   I kept going and it seemed like just minutes after she left, the temperature dropped.  As soon as I felt that chill, I looked behind me and man oh man what the sky dark.  I saw a vehicle approaching me and it was some friends of mine and their family asking if I was okay.  They said it was going to rain soon and asked if I really wanted to run in the rain. I did want to keep going and I was so appreciative that they stopped to check on me! 

Sure enough, it started to rain. I can deal with rain, but I was nervous about lightening.  Not hard at first and actually, I didn’t even feel wet.  My hubby text me and asked how I was doing and if it was raining because he said at our house it was pouring.  I sent a text back that I was doing okay and it wasn’t raining that hard, which it wasn’t right then, and sure enough as soon as I sent it……the sky opened up and it poured!  It seemed like within seconds I was soaked.  My shoes were suddenly so wet it seemed as though I was running in puddles.   The highway I was running on had a couple of curves and after the last curve, the direction of the rain was hitting me on the right and sort of coming diagonally.  And it was coming down hard.  My iPhone started shorting out as I had nothing to put it in except my sleeve and my sleeves were dripping!  Rain was running off the bill of my hat….can you say SOAKED?! 

I was approaching the spot that I wanted to get to and I sent a text to my hubby to meet me there and pick me up.  It was raining so hard at this point that it was almost difficult to see.  I was feeling great though….but worried about my phone.  My hubby got there, had a hot cup of coffee in the car for me, and we headed home.  

All in all I was very happy with the long run.  Total miles was 13.1….it was a virtual half for Runners Unite for Boston.  Aside from the cold, pouring rain, I felt really great.  The highway was quite hilly in some spots and like my hubby said, some of the hills seemed long, which they were.  

Comparing my training now to the last time I ran the Minneapolis Marathon in 2011, I have had more runs outside this time than last.  In 2011, we had snow for a lot longer than we do now.  In 2011, I wasn’t able to get outside to run safely until nearly May, and had only ONE long run outside.   This year, I have had several long runs outside.

Here is what’s on deck for Week 13 of Marathon Training:  Monday-cross training; Tuesday-8 miles; Wednesday- 4 miles; Thursday- 7 miles; Friday-REST; Saturday-20 miles; Sunday- 3 to 4 miles.

I hope you all have a GREAT week!   

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3845

Odd title?  Maybe.  But those are important numbers to me.  

It’s my bib number for the Minneapolis Marathon on June 1, 2014.  

I am starting week 12 of training and I have a lot of thoughts racing through my head.  Reflecting back on the past 11 weeks, I am not that happy with my training.  I haven’t been keeping my weekly mileage up where it really should be.  I’ve been close enough I guess, but not really where I would want to be.  Which then begs the question, why isn’t my weekly mileage where it should be at this point?  

It’s my own fault.  It’s been tough for me to get the miles in, for one reason and another, and another, and another.  There are days where it’s very difficult for me to get in all the mileage between family, teaching, coaching.  Sound like excuses?  To some it sure does and sometimes it does to me as well.  I’m not making excuses, it’s the reality of my life.

Then I ask myself, ‘Why did I sign up for a June marathon knowing full well what my spring schedule is like?  I’ve done this before and had the same issues!’  Well, the answer to that is I wanted to run another marathon, and June 1st is the only one right now that fits into my schedule.  

It’s very tough right now, especially mentally, and that is having an effect on my running.  I’m not running very well.  Outside stress is taking a toll on my running.  All those posters on Facebook about running being a stress relief, I have to go run off my day, running is cheaper than therapy, etc., (you know the ones) are not ringing true for me right now.  Running isn’t relieving my stress.  Running isn’t taking my mind off of things.  Running isn’t therapy right now.  Running right now doesn’t feel good.  

Which leads me to my next point, will I be ready for June 1st?  Mentally, physically?  If I am not at the weekly mileage, if my running isn’t going very well and hasn’t been, then am I going to be ready??

I don’t know if I’ll be ready.  All I can do at this point is to keep working….keep trying to maintain focus on what’s right ahead of me.  I have to really try to allow running to help me let go of the outside stress and maybe that will help the actual running part. 

Until I check in again, I hope you all have a great week.

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