Tuesday, December 28, 2010


Now Christmas is over and there is one more hurdle…New Year’s.

I love the holidays but man, fudge, cookies, other good food and lots of sitting around are making me feel ICKY!  You know, like I am weighed down, kind of like this:



Good thing my friend KATIE is in town from WA to visit ME (ok, not really me. There may be a boyfriend with family in this town involved but I am going to pretend she came here to visit me). We have plans for a nice mid-distance run tomorrow-her birthday! I am so excited!

I am ready to settle in to my non-holiday schedule and lose 10 pounds get back to a routine of running and working out. I have been researching Bike Trainers so I can bring my bike inside and ride to my hearts content. So far I have narrowed it down to a CycleOps Fluid 2 Trainer or Kurt Kenetic. If you have any advice or suggestions I am all ears! I just need to get some riding in if I want to do a Half Ironman this summer, and I DO want to…

How was your Christmas? LB had “the best Christmas ever”! I hope you all did too!



I will be working on my New Year’s Goals this week! Are you working on yours?

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Faster than a speeding bullet…

For as long as I can remember Christmas on the farm has involved guns. This Christmas is no different. LB even got to shoot his first real gun.



I got to shoot my new revolver (hope you guys aren’t put out by guns. But I think the 2nd Amendment  is pretty awesome and important). 



Even my dad got in on the fun:


And on a running note, my old High School finally got a real track! I had to go check it out!

All through my HS years we ran around the football field on the grass.  The grass was long and thick, green or brown. We dodged holes and made due with it. Going to track meets was a big deal because we actually got to run on a real track! Our times were always way better at meets.  And now seeing the new track made me want to be in high school again. Made me want a second chance. It actually made me wish I had track practice…I hope the kids realize how lucky they are to have such an awesome track!

Isn’t it a beaute!?



LB took it for a spin and gave it a thumbs up! Maybe I’ll get to get in a good speed workout before we head back East.

Well, back to enjoying some QT with the fam!!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

It’s not you, it’s me…

I know, I know…we’ve all heard it before, from our high school sweetheart, our college love…but it’s true.

Dearest Running,

I still, er…love you. I just need a break. It’s not you, it’s me.  We have spent so much time together over the last year. And I cherish that time. Actually you have done so much to shape me, you have allowed me to change me. But right now, I need a break. I mean, I still want you to be a part of my life, but Christmas is here. I have family to spend time with and lets not ignore that fact that is is stinking FREEZING outside. For crying out loud! You just don’t get it do you?! It is cold! I don’t like it when my snot freezes to my upper lip and my slobber flies out and makes tiny icecicles that if the wind catches them just right, they WILL poke my eye out!

Last weekend during our 5k I had a blast! It was awesome! Then on Monday my calves were like, on fire! So I know I need you. I don’t intend for this break to last more than a week, really. Honestly, I brought my running shoes and my winter running gear to Oklahoma . I just don’t want to have to explain myself to you when I chose to hang inside with the fam, by the fire, in my PJ’s instead of running those red dirt roads. AH! And my high school finally got a brand new track! I would love to give that a spin!  I’m not gonna lie, that sounds really nice. Maybe just one run…ok, I’m sorry. I am being wishy washy. That’s not fair.

Well, maybe we aren’t taking a break after all. I’m sorry. I could never leave you. I just started feeling guilty and sometimes breaking up is easier than dealing with the guilt.  So, let’s make up.


5 Miles 2 Empty


And if you need some info about Treadmill Running and Cold Weather Running I got these articles this morning from Active.com. Good reads!!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

On the toad again…

…oops. Did I say toad? I meant road! Really, we are on the road, heading to see the fam in OK! 

So this is a good time to answer a few questions! Marlene, my favorite Canadian, over at Mission to A(nother) Marathon tagged me!  Thanks Marlene!!! I needed something positive to blog about since I have been so grumpy and grinchy lately. Did I mention all of our Christmas decorations got lost in the move? Yeah, it did. Bah Humbug…So, see? I needed a holiday pick-me-up!

What are you most proud of accomplishing in 2010?

Wow, what a good question. I have accomplished A LOT in 2010. For starters, I survived. This was one tough year…I managed to find strength to get out of bed through a lot of rough times from losing a pregnancy in Dec/Jan (yeah, never blogged about that one, I wasn’t ready until this exact moment), the hub’s deployment on Jan.2, 2010…ups and downs with that, my dad’s Pancreatic cancer diagnosis…all of it TOUGH. And I held it together and ran my FIRST marathon in April 2010!!! And then TWO more!!

What are your running goals for 2011?

Keep running. Ok, aside from that I plan to increase speed and set new PR’s in whatever distance I want. I want to do a half Ironman in FL this summer and roll into a sub 4 in the OBX marathon in November. That’s it, no biggie…nothing too ambitious.

What was your favorite race?

Hands down OKC Memorial Marathon. Having my family there was so special! And Jessica made the trek from WA to OK just for ME!!! And the crowd was more than amazing! It was a magical first marathon and I felt like I was floating the entire time! It was a dream!

IMG_8203Ok Trip April 2010 024Ok Trip April 2010 025

What is your favorite holiday guilty pleasure?

FUDGE and a close second is Egg Nog Bread. If you are interested in the recipe I’ll be more than happy to share. It is DELISH.

What is your most embarrassing running moment?

Hm,I can’t think of anything. Actually, I remember this one time, in the Green River Marathon I did with Tall Mom and RED and and AN the RB. I was running it as a half relay. Anyway, around mile 4 I had to go poop. Yep. It happens. Not fun, not cool, not ideal. But it is natural and it happens. I was running with Tall Mom and told her I had stop make a pit stop. She said she would wait. I knew it would not be a good idea on her part. I told her to go ahead because I had to poop. So she ran on and I jumped in the ONE and ONLY Honey Bucket. A line developed and I was not finished. I did what any considerate runner would do. I came out and ran to the back of the line that was now about 4 people long. Everyone new I had a hung jumper, a dingle berry.  When The Hubs later asked me why I came out I told him “I couldn’t just sit there for 5 minutes while their race clock is ticking on.”

And now I am supposed to tag five people. I tag:

Breaking Pace

The Hungry Runner Girl

The Running Diva

Silly Kristal Runs a Marathon

 Blonde Ponytail

Well, back to the road…

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Today I Ran Short and Fast….

…and it was weird.

Weird because I am used to running long and slow.

I woke up and got ready for  Ryan’s Reindeer 5k and it was so fun!

Getting ready for a 5k is so different than getting ready for a long run. I felt like I was forgetting something, like Gu or a handheld water bottle! It was nice to just get up, get dressed, eat and head to a 5k! 

B fam

The race was small, maybe 700 people. But it was great! My first race in NC!! And I am happy with how it went! I can’t wait to do more with my friend Breaking Pace and her hubs! Read her race report HERE! 

I got there and scoped out the competish. I saw two girls in Runningskirts…I knew they had to be runners. I would say only runners know about running skirts through 1) race expos, large race expos or 2) blogging, running blogging. There were other girls who looked like they could burn some rubber, to include my friend Jessica (who is a speedy devil too) and her friend Niki.

When we finally got to start it was a mess! Strollers and dogs on leashes, the little ones you really have to look out for! As soon as I figured out it was a gun start and not chip start I ran a little faster.  Our friend Hizzo ran with me the whole time! The Hubs hung back with LB, who was doing his first 5k (he did great BTW, aside from a cramp with about .3 left Poor kiddo….what a trooper though, I told him to cross that finish line and he took off!)

The first half mile was up hill. That’s nice. But, on a good note I was certainly warm by the time it leveled out. It was maybe 30 degrees this morning with a wicked wind chill.

The course was an out and back. When the leaders began to come back I saw a Runningskirt run by. Yep. I called it, she was fast.  Then I kept counting the girls. In all there were only 23 girls ahead of me…I was motivated. I picked up my pace and decided I would not get passed by anymore girls.

I may have gotten passed once but I passed two more.  It was a downhill finish and I was hauling it to the finish when a girl in a pink fleece tried to put the move on…Oh no she’s not! There was no way I was going to let this chick chick me. I ran faster. She put up a good fight but couldn’t hang.

I beat her.

I finished with a new 5k PR (at least a PR in my adult life): 25:16 (8:11 pace) by my Garmin.  My best pace was a 5:21 min/mile pace coming to the finish.


They had the results taped to a truck and I counted the female finishers in my age group (30-39! Biggest age group ever! What ev!) and I may have gotten 4th or 5th or 8th, I’m not sure. It was freezing and we were starving so we headed to breakfast. Overall I got 99th place, Hizzo got 98th. I’m happy with that.

So, today  I scouted out the running field here in  Fay-Town. The reigning champ better watch out. I am here now. Apparently she wins all the local races. I feel sorry for her…she has no idea that I am coming for her. I am coming to dethrone her. Fay-town will be mine….

*Ok, that was creepy. Sorry. If you read this I am nice, honest. Not creepy. Actually, can we be friends? Need a new running partner? I’m not really coming for you, in real life….just on the pavement.

So, with a little bit of training and speed work I know I can bring my time down and put up a good fight for these small local races.

Here are some pics!

Here we are freezing our booties off waiting to start! LB was thrilled to see Santa, can’t you tell?

Dec 12-18 2010 021

Breaking Pace, ME, Speedy Devil and Lazy Dog (who isn’t so lazy anymore with our big back yard and back neighbors who have a yard full of chickens to keep him busy)

Dec 12-18 2010 001

Me, LB and Hizzo…

Dec 12-18 2010 012

ME of course…this pic makes my legs look long.


Lazy Dog’s rump, Me, LB, Breaking Pace and her Hubby, Speedy Devil, and Niki

gang 2

Me and the Hubs

me and JB

Me, Jess, Christina and tongues…of course.

say ahhhh

I can’t wait for the next race!!!

Friday, December 17, 2010

I Feel Trapped…

…in my little neighborhood. I can only get 3.64 miles if I run the streets and cul-de-sacs.


*pic taken from HERE

Sure, I could double that by running it, then running it again but I can’t help but feel like a rat in a stupid maze. Stuck. Trapped. No free will to run. In T-Town I could change my route a million different ways. I could go to the water on three sides. I could go LONG or short. Whatever I wanted. I was king queen of my domain! The world was MINE! I could run out my front door and take any number of streets going North, South, East or West…I could run miles and miles…

Not here. I am confined to my small neighborhood and it is no bueano my chingoos (like that combination of Spanish and Korean?) or not good my friends. Not good.

I am bored with my neighborhood. Frustrated and nearly defeated. I don’t like having to get in my car and drive 20 min just to go for a good, decent run. Am I completely spoiled? Being too demanding? Finding excuses? Presenting as only the baby of the family would? It is so wrong to want the perfect running set up?!

I don’t think so.

I knew I had it good in T-Town but I thought it could would be good here too! Don’t get me wrong, there are streets. Even the perfect 14 mile route that is a loop I could do. But NO…..It’s not safe. Our neighbor who thinks I am hilarious (and the one who asked how far the Las Vegas marathon was, bless his heart) told me a scary story around Halloween time. It went like this:

“A few years ago my buddy, the old track and cross county coach at the High School, was running out there on Elliot Bridge like he had been doing for years, when this crazy guy just swerved and hit him. On purpose! It was the third  pedestrian he had hit that day. He was just driving around hitting people who were out running. He’s in jail now so he probably wont hit you. But coach is in a wheelchair now.”

Wow. What the heck?! Seriously?

I really can’t explain to you what the road outside my neighborhood is like but I have tried. It is a two-lane, curvy and tree lined, desolate  road and oh yeah, the freaking autobahn. People just drive at their whim. And no one cares that I am addicted to running  (first step is to admit you have a problem) and want to run on that street. No one cares that they have to share the space with other people. Everyone else has somewhere to be, something to do that  is WAY more important than what you or I have to do.

Anyway, I am a rat trapped in my maze….Now, where is that stupid cheese.

Bored? Here, play the game of Amanda Wants to Go For a Run HERE.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Today is brought to you by…

Mrs. Grumpy Whiney Pants.

Oh yeah, this is going to a fun post.

*So in reference to yesterday’s post…I’ll be holding an online, live intervention via skype soon. Let me know if you are interested.

So I woke up this morning super early. No. Not for a run. I’m not much of a get-up-super-early-and-run in the freezing cold darkness kind of girl, although I wish I were. Maybe I can work on that. It never really worked out for me with the Hubs being either gone for months on end or with him needing to be at work by 6:30 AM. I just don’t get up to run that early. There is no need…

Anyway, I got up early to drive to Raleigh so I could take my licensure exam, finally. Get it done and out of the way. Of course, of all days, today LB had a 2 hour delay start for school due to snow and ice. Good thing the Hubs was able to take him later. I headed out and our driveway and neighborhood street were fine. The other roads, not-so-much. It was icy and slicker than snot as my dad would say. I saw a couple of cars slide into the ditch. I pulled into the gas station. Called the Hubs and made a decision to not go to Raleigh. I headed home. You know that feeling? When you are prepared to do something and then last minute you don’t? Kind of a weird feeling of relief because who wants to take a 4 hour proctored exam that holds your whole entire career in the balance? No biggie. Ha! But now I just have to take it in January. I am postponing the misery…Ugh.

Now, I am home with LB. The call came in that school was cancelled for the day. I probably wont head to the gym, it’s too far away and they don’t have childcare. I miss T-Town and my trusty YMCA with a family center where I could run while LB played, or even the childcare they had. I miss my routine and my support system I had there, I miss the familiarity of my everyday routine. I miss everything about it.

On a brighter note, Merry Christmas to ME!! While I was in Vegas the hubs was shopping! We needed new appliances really bad and here they are! All we need now is a new fridge to hold the groceries I need to buy today!

image           image

Well, now off to do some laundry and house stuff and maybe a home workout of jumping rope and weights.

Oh yeah and I have my 5K coming up on Saturday!!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Are You Addicted?

….and don’t go all True Confessions on me here. I’m talking about being addicted to running/exercising. Duh…

I know we all talk about being addicted to running and/or working out. And I would say this is good, for the most part. But it can get to the point where it is not longer a positive addiction. Negative addictions like alcoholism and drug abuse are bad BUT we can also become addicted to positive behaviors and this helps to instill self-confidence. But recently I was doing some research looking for info helpful in working with a client and I found this:

A positive addiction must be a noncompetitive activity  (uh oh…) which can be performed alone for about one hour each day (um, yeah so where does a 20 mile run fit into this???).  The activity to which you/me/we are addicted will lead to personal improvement and, the kicker…the person (you/me/we/I) needs to be able to perform the activity without becoming self-critical.

So, what do you think? Is your addiction to running a healthy addiction? 

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Q and A Post

So I have gotten a few questions lately and I have failed to answer them, SORRY FOLKS! I’m terrible about answering questions and I will work on it. But for now, here it goes:

-Fancy Nancy writes:

Seriously reading yours and Mel's race reports I have been playing that back and forth about training for another marathon! I want to run another one BAD but am struggling with the time it takes for long runs. How did you squeeze it in?

Good question Fancy Nancy! It is hard, the hardest part I think. Which is what makes it all the more rewarding to actually accomplish it! During OKC and Portland training I was pretty much a single mom while Hubs was playing Army in lands unknown. So juggling being a mom and getting my ME time in is pretty hard. I am lucky enough to have an independent contract job where my hours are very VERY flexible. I don’t work the traditional 8-5 job. During OKC and Portland training I did all my long runs either on a Friday morning or a Monday morning. I actually did my first 20 miler on a Monday starting at 10 AM and finished around 1 PM. I loaded all my clients up on Tues-Fri for that week. I also used the local college track that was fenced and and took LB with me to do my speed work and/or shorter runs (5 miles or less). He was contained and enjoyed playing outside. I was never more than 400 yards away. I also had a wonderful group of friends who understood my need to run and they were there for me. My Official Race Crew (Jessica) would come over on Saturday mornings to hang with LB so I could run or she would come along to races so she could hang with him. I could not have done it without her or my other friends supporting me! You can read my post about leaving them HERE. Also, I have to say I only have one child. I hear that with every additional child the degree of difficulty is multiplied. So two kids is 200 x’s harder, 3 kids is 300 x’s harder and so on and so forth…But in my Vegas training The Hubs was around and he was more than supportive. I would get up early on the weekend and get it done. It is hard and it is a commitment. But you can do it! Just get friends and family on board and let them know you need their support to help  you become a better YOU!

-Julie writes:

Have you ever done a trail race? Changing it up and doing a 25K would be a fun challenge for you! If you want to run some trails next time you are in OK, then I'd love to run with you. :) And there are some fun trail races in OK.

I have done some trail running, per se! I participated in the Rainier to Ruston  Ultra Rails to Trails relay twice and Mt. Si Ultra Relay twice. Each of these puts runners on some pretty gnarly trails! Once I did the first leg of the R2R race, it was 7 miles of trial only about 6  inches wide! At one point we were pretty much looking straight down on one side to a roaring river on the side of Mt. Rainier! Absolutely gorgeous, breathtaking and awesome (I ran sans headphones so I could enjoy the nature and hear if a bear is coming to eat me). I do like trail running but it is completely different than road racing. I would need to adjust my gear and get over my desire to keep my shoes white and sparkly. =)

-Curlyred writes:

Let's find one we can both get to and set our training plans for quality runs only! When is OBX? This post makes me want to try for #7 and I thought I was done after Portland. I'm serious. Let's do this thing!!

OBX is when YOU are coming HERE! Let’s do it!! See you November 13, 2011!

-I Run Like A Girl  asks about my hat in this post HERE:

GOOD LUCK!! You are going to rock the run! PS - are you wearing an Army 10 Miler hat in the picture with Tall Mom?

Nope, not an Army 10 Miler but an Army 1/2 Marathon held at Ft. Lewis WA , or now called JBLM in WA. Pretty cool though, huh? Maybe I will do THE Army 10 Miler next year now that I am on this side of the country!

-Jess @ Blonde Ponytail writes (but I am super jealous of her Maui, HI ponytail right now…):

The photo finish is absolutely a framer!
I think you need to give your self some major props for your recap--I felt like I could picture the trek and feel your battle!
So, no Vegas again? I have to ask...what's the next one? I have not decided on my next full, but I surely want to do one--in an arid climate (no Portland experience again!).
Great work beating your Portland time!!!!
And, does Mel get friend of the year/decide/life or what?!

NO VEGAS AGAIN. Sorry to burst any bubbles here but it just didn’t live up to the Vegas expectation. The half would be good though. The next one? Hard to say but I think I will only do one in 2011 and shoot for OBX here in North Carolina. I have a 5k next Saturday and a half on 3/20/11. My big goal for this summer is a Half Iron, if I can find one reasonably close by! And YES! Mel gets friend of the century! I could NOT have finished Vegas without her. If I would have been there alone I most likely would have either done the half only, quit, or not even shown up to the start. It would have been heartbreaking. So yes, Mel is awesome and I owe her BIG TIME!

-Pam writes about the Vegas Marathon Expo HERE:

It was CRAZY, right??? It's funny reading this. We were all the same places but never at the same times! I tried to keep a watch out for you guys on the course but I never saw anyone I thought even MIGHT be y'all.
So did you not just want to go into the crowd and bitch slap everyone standing at the half/full split that was yelling, "Woohoo, you're almost there!!!"?

YES! The expo was ridiculous! I think it was because of the bar they had there, everyone was drinking…just kidding, not everyone…ALMOST everyone. And YES! I hate it when people yell “You’re almost there!” SO not the thing to say to a runner when there still have double digits left on the Garmin. I really think they are just clueless and have no idea, kind of like the guy who told me he was “training for the Sound to Narrows Marathon” Um yeah buddy, that race? IT’S A 12K! Marathon, 12k…same thing, right. Um, NO. What ev..People just aren’t educated about the sport. They have no idea that a full marathon is 26.2 miles. My husband told a guy I was going to run the Vegas Marathon. His reply was, “How far is that one?” That’s like telling someone “I am running the 100 yard dash in Abu Dhabi.” And they say, “Oh how far is that race”. Yeah, 100 yards is 100 yards, no matter where you are. I guess we just need to educate people about our sport…

Ok, well that is all I have for now! This was fun!!! Any more questions? Ask away and I will try to do another question and answer post soon!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Just Say “NO!” to Frostbite!

But before we discuss frostbite…

Let the cross training commence!

Oh what fun!!

I have begun my lifting and cross training this past week. Yesterday I rowed 4000 m! My back and neck are SORE. I also jumped rope, for 5 min, which is a great workout and helps build speed! I am hoping to jump rope about 15 min at least 3 times a week. I did some squats, but my legs are still a little tired and I think I will be going easy on them for a few more days.  So I have left no muscle un touched over the past 3 days and it feels great!

Today I rest…then I begin my short runs (3 miles with up to 5 or 6 long run). I have a 5k Saturday and I am pretty pumped. I haven’t done a 5k since 2007! Whoa! And my time was 27:24. I feel a PR coming on, hopefully. Then I guess I am getting peer pressured into a half marathon on 3/20 with Breaking Pace! The training plan for that looks like a breeze compared to the marathon plans I have been using. I am excited to go for another PR (break 1:55 folks!) And there is a November marathon in the works with RED!!! That’s right folks, a destination marathon with my old running buddy! This is going to be awesome! I looked into Big Sur in May 2011 and it is already sold out (big fat super bummer. It’s in the books for 2012).

And, on to the frostbite (or lack thereof) portion of this post:

So a while back Shelley from Arctic Ease sent me a cold-therapy wrap that helps treat soft tissue aches and injuries. She told me it is an alternative to icing (so it’s awesome for using when you don’t have access to a bathtub full of ice or the patience to fill a tub with ice water –like in Vegas). So it is similar to an elastic bandage and get this, you don’t even have to put it in the fridge or freezer! It comes in a small, handy, sealable package. I put 5 packs in my suitcase to take to Vegas!

Hey, that’s right…just call me Vanna or Ms. White!

arctic ease

So, Arctic Ease say’s about their  Cryotherapy Wraps:

  • No refrigeration needed
  • Stays cold, lasts for hours
  • Odorless
  • Cut to fit
  • Cools without the discomfort of ice therapy
  • Conforms to injury, stays in place
  • Convenient to use right out of the resealable pouch

Click HERE for more…

There you have it! I agree with all of those statements. After the Vegas Marathon Mel and I headed back to the room. I put these on my calves and left them there for about three hours maybe (during our room service lunch and a nap). If you leave a bag of ice on there that long it will turn to water, get leaky and be a pain. It could even freeze you, literally, cause frost bite and tissue damage. But these wraps stay at a safe temperature above 59 degrees Fahrenheit  to avoid vasodilation (like that big word?)  and fatal tissue damage (um, frost bite…yeah would not be cool!). They were easy to use, not messy, and stayed cool. I was under the blankets and even had wind pants on. When I thought maybe they were getting warmed up I just brought my leg out, moved it around a little bit and the cold was activated again! To read more about the directions and some of the details click HERE

So I am going to include these in my post-race bag from now on! The only thing that I was torn about was whether or not I needed to ice or compress. Since I was focusing on my calves I couldn’t really do both, or maybe I could have. But I think immediately after a run, for me, cold is the key. Later I go for compression.  Of course we all are different and you know what works best for you. I am not a professional and have no educational background regarding ice or compression or even exercise for that matter…so I’m pretty much a learn as I go kind of girl. So if you have an injury of course talk with your Dr. but I do think it is safe to say you can’t go wrong with some cold-therapy to reduce swelling.

So here are some pics from post Vegas marathon:



Oh so dramatic!


I would say the cold-therapy then the compression was a leg-saver! I was walking around the airport just fine the next day. Sitting down was another story, my hips and hammies were screaming. Guess I should have wrapped my thighs too…

Friday, December 10, 2010

I’m a Lazy Lima Bean…

…and I don’t care.

Ok, I DO care…just not enough to lace up just yet. I’m on vacation. A hiatus. A running sabbatical if you will. Don’t worry, it wont last long since I’m running a local 5k next Saturday. I just have nothing big on the schedge. Breaking Pace is doing a half on 3/20 and I know me, I will do it. I’m just not ready to jump into a training plan just yet. I am enjoying the calm. I don’t HAVE to go for a run right now. I have no nagging chart with a glaring 5 Miles written in on Wednesday. And I am liking it for now. A couple of times I have wanted to go for a jog but really I am just recovering and taking it easy. I am searching the net for my next 26.2.  A week ago I thought I was probably done with the full marathon for a loooong while. But now, 5 days post Vegas, I am ready to put one on the calendar. Not right away though. I’m thinking Marine Corp next 10/11. I REALLY want to do OKC again…that was the best marathon EVER. But I am not sure I can commit to traveling right now. And the training would begin like, NOW.  I am sure there are some others around, like OBX, and I just have to put the feelers out.

So, I have been thinking about my training for Portland AND Vegas. Where did I succeed? Where did I go wrong? both of those marathons were completely different from my first marathon experience, which was awesome (read about it HERE)! It is funny how I can tell I am searching to have that first time feeling all over again…sadly I know I will only have one first marathon (this is starting to sound strangely like a talk I got in high school…you know, about  your first time. I would say the two are comparable. No? Ok, I’m just weird I guess.). Anyway, during Portland I kept thinking, “This is awful. I wish it was like OKC. That was amazing! What an awesome first marathon!”  Then I realized how lucky I was to have had such a great first marathon, to make me want to do more! Portland was awful. Enough to make me want to hang up my shoes and start curling or  something. If I hadn’t been signed up for Vegas I am sure Portland could have been the death of my running. I needed Vegas to put the love back into running. I needed Vegas to show myself that it wasn’t that bad, Portland was just a bad run/race day.  It is kind of like when you fall down you have to get back up right away, or else you will never get back up. I had a choice, be defeated or fight back. Vegas was my fight back.

So I tried to mentally prepare for Vegas. I had positive thoughts and good expectations. I was not going for time, per say. I wanted to do better than Portland, but I really just wanted to have a better experience. And I did, thanks to Mel.

My training for each marathon was completely different.

OKC- My plan was rigid and to the T. I hardly any missed runs. I stuck to the plan with intervals, tempo runs, hill work and track/speed work.  I did cross training, weights, and core strengthening. I focused on nutrition pre and post runs. I was also 10-12 pounds lighter (HUGE DIFFERENCE). And the strangest thing? My weekly mileage was not that high. Once I started training my lowest was10 miles and my highest was 33.5.  I averaged about 20 miles a week probably. It was the QUALITY of each run, not the distance….FOR SURE! Time: 4:09.50

Portland- I slacked a little bit throughout.  I stopped the weights and cross training (only kept water aerobics in the mix). I didn’t do my intervals or tempo runs. Nutrition flew out the window. I gained about 10 pounds. My weekly mileage was much higher than for OKC (maybe I was fatigued?).  I only had 2 weeks under 21 miles (OKC had 7 weeks under 20 miles)! So higher mileage and lower quality runs….I was in good physical condition but my mental game was OFF. I had quit three jobs, packed up my house, dealt with all sorts of tough emotional things, left my friends and made a pit stop to run a marathon while moving across the country. Tough mental marathon. Time: 4:32.47

Vegas-This was new…I had 8 weeks between Portland and Vegas. That was part of the challenge. I did absolutely  no weights, core exercises, and no cross training (other than one small hike and one cross fit session and one trip to the gym for weights). Nutrition again was not great but there was no weight gain and maybe three pounds loss. Score! My weekly mileage was good; of the 8 weeks I had 4 weeks under 23 miles. But the miles that I did run were pretty much just out and run, no tempo, intervals, speed work or hill work. My mental game was much better for the run. I was excited, less stressed and ready to tackle the 26.2. I needed to punch it in the face and say “TAKE THAT JERK! THAT IS FOR SUCKING IN PORTLAND, MEANIE.” Time: 4:30.56

*(TWO minutes faster than Portland! Not just one!)

So, from this I have learned these valuable lessons:

  • It is not how many miles you run but the quality of the runs you do.
  • Cross training, weights and core are a huge and important part of training for a marathon (or running for that matter).
  • Carrying extra weight slows you down…
  • Focus on nutrition as fuel.
  • Marathon running is as much mental as it is physical. Our minds can play mean, nasty tricks on us! Be strong mentally and you will be able to go the distance!
  • Recovery is key. Take rest days to recover after long runs, because like I already said, it is not the miles so much as the quality of runs. Junk runs and junk miles do NOT equal quality.

Now, who has decided to train for a marathon!? I would not trade my experiences for anything! With each finish line came growth, self-confidence, self-awareness, perseverance and accomplishment. These are things that many people search for over a life-time! And I have found it three times in 8 months! What are you waiting for? Pick a race and get out there!!!!







Wednesday, December 8, 2010

I Rocked Vegas.

I am a terrible race recapper. So much is a blur.

Let me start by saying that I am so proud of myself! Yep, tootn’ my own horn here and I don’t care! Three marathons in 8 months! A year ago I was thinking about doing Vegas and I hadn’t even finished my first one yet! So this was so cool, such a You Did It! moment for me! Kind of like Take That inner doubter! What now? Hmmm? I will say that the training and dedication alone is a huge accomplishment. Deciding to do something and sticking to it, staying  motivated and reaching a goal is such a high! I am still on cloud NINE. I wont lie though, I am also very relieved to be done, to have a blank calendar and no training schedule to adhere to. I am officially on a break (and that break includes a 5k on the 18th but what ev).

So the consensus is I probably wont evver do Vegas again. It was a zoo. A mess. A mad house. A pain in the behind. Inconvenient. I guess there are a few things that could have made it better but I will get to that.

Our hotel was about 2 miles from the start (Mistake 1). So we got up and around and out the door by 5:30. The night before I had told Mel we could just follow the crowd to the start…funny enough-there was no crowd at first. Eventually WE had a small following of people who were headed to the start. This is why (among other reasons) irresponsible and nonchalant people need to be friends with responsible and detail oriented people (ie ME needs MEL). Our morning commute was only about 35 minutes. SCORE!  And we got to see a beautiful Nevada sunrise from the tram.

We had asked at the expo about VIP Potty Passes. SO NOT NECESSARY IN VEGAS. This was probably one of the biggest POSITIVES about the race, we used the restrooms in style, VEGAS STYLE! It was great! Only Vegas could support 30,000 people using beautiful, lavish bathrooms. I have never seen empty Porta Potty lines at a race this big before, it was awesome. After the race I got to wash my face and hands and arms in the beautiful marble sinks!

We headed to our coral and got situated, ready to get the show on the road. I took a jillion pics because I knew you all would want to see EVERYTHING!





The helicopter would hover above the entire race, filming us! We were on a jumbo tron along the strip! Famous!

We were squished in the coral among all the other excited and anxious people, over 3/4 of them doing the half. Finally the time came and we heard the loud blow horn. It was time. We slowly moved forward and 10 min after the start it was our turn to run!  We watched ourselves cross the start on a huge screen and tried not to weave too much. It was pretty congested and we figured it wouldn’t open up for a while, if at all.

About two miles in we saw an awesome run through wedding shoot! We laughed and gawked for a minute and the guy behind us said, “that must be the woman's idea.” What? Why? I would say it would be the guys idea, what woman wants to get married while running a marathon? And as Mel said, what kind of wedding night does THAT make for? A sleepy, chaffed one. And to see a couple of people who took advantage of the wedding shoot click HERE to see Jason and Molly from the Bachelor!!! SO bummed I missed them! I loved Jason…sigh…..(And so being nosey I entered Jason’s name and he finished in 3:08.33, for a half marathon. And Molly had no finishing time…strange). And HERE to see a Dr. who ran dressed as Elvis, got married and then revived a runner at a restaurant after the run. Totally awesome!

We continued on the route down the strip and I was mesmerized by all the sights. See the strip while jogging running, in the daylight was cool. You truly do see a city differently while running. The water stops were plentiful for the first 6 miles but as we turned to head back toward the start (the end for the halfers) there were some issues with water. The tables were nearly empty and the volunteers couldn’t fill the cups fast enough. Mel and I started to worry. This was not a good omen for the rest of the marathon at mile 7 or 8. We mentioned ducking off into a casino to buy a bottle of water if we had to.

We held a pretty decent pace. Mel had mentioned wanting to keep the pace just under 10 min. This made me kind of nervous when she said it but during the run every time I looked at my trusty G. Money we were right on target, just under 10. I felt good, exhilarated, and 100% better/different than I felt running Portland. I was not mentally prepared for Portland. I was finished before I started that one. But not this one, it was my redemption. I had secretly hoped to beat my Portland time, that was my goal. I figured I would, I hoped I would, but my ultimate goal was (as always) to finish.

As we neared the 12.5 mile mark we could see ahead where the halfer were veering off to the left. Mel said something along the lines of finishing the half and going on to enjoy our day. I knew she was right. We could be done in about 5 minutes if we just took that left. SO MANY PEOPLE WERE FINISHING. We joked about being able to get out and enjoy Vegas, see more things, do more things…not be toasted for the rest of the day. My brain was reeling. I was tempted. I wanted to be done BUT I felt good. I felt like I had another half left in me. I had come here to do 26.2. I have been getting up early every.single. weekend. and going out in hot/humidity then the freezing cold, training for THIS, this moment, this race, this accomplishment. I had put so much into it. Blood (yes), sweat, tears, skin (in the form of chaffing). I could not cut corners now. I could not quit, after all that is what it seemed to me, quitting on a goal I had set for myself. Mel and I were in two completely different situations. I was prepared for this, have been preparing for it since 10/10/10. I knew I was coming to Vegas to run a marathon. But not Mel. She made a last minute decision (and I cannot tell you how awesome that is and how grateful I am that she did). She did not have the luxury of time to prepare for this. She did some last minute long runs to make sure she could handle it, and she could, but her game was different, her marathon was different. I am quite sure we will have very different marathon stories, yet we ran stride for stride, side by side the entire way.

We committed to the full marathon, veered to the right and saw ahead a hill. My cousin told us Vegas wasn’t all flat. I regretting the right turn for a second or two but new I had to get that out of my mind. The half was done, not an option… Now it was a mental battle and I had to fight to survive. Mel and I carried on, invited the hill and joked about how it was allowing us to use different muscles. It was eerie how the crowd has thinned. There were not very many people running the full marathon. Actually, there were only 5,154 people who ran the full and about 21,000+++ in the half. There were points where the course was dead silent. The runners were lost in their own thoughts, inside their heads and willing their feet to carry them just a little bit further. The bands were sparse, the water stops sparse, the crowds-non existent. It was lonely and boring. It was industrial Las Vegas. It was lame. I was SO thankful to have Mel by my side. Without here I would have been hurting, crying or crawling for sure.  I just kept thinking, “Thank goodness I am not doing this by myself.”

Mel was a Marathon Saver and I realize what she did for me, the sacrifice she gave to run with me, to go the full 26.2 when I know inside she was begging me to say yes to 13.1, I know the fight she fought just to stay by my side. A true friend…it really blows my mind that she was willing to put herself through marathon hell to run with me, ME. Humbling. Not many people would do what she did for me. So, Mel-THANK YOU!

Ok, back to race. Around mile 17 we made the turn to head back toward the strip. Little did we know there would be more twists and turns ahead. Just when we thought we were running toward the Mandalay Bay we would turn and run away from it. Ugh. I was still feeling good and this is around the time that I realized I had not walked yet! Not once! I normally walk through the water stops but not this time, I drank and ran. I could not believe it! it was a record for me! But it also messed with my head. I started thinking, “Man, I haven’t walked. I’m going to need to soon. I can’t believe I haven’t walked. Usually I have already walked by now. Wow, aren’t I tired?” That sort of thing was going through my head. I tried to put a positive spin on it but no matter what I was psyching myself out. I’m not sure what point I actually walked through a water stop but it wasn’t much after that, maybe mile 18 or so. I remember the first time I ran an entire half marathon, without walking once: 3/21/10-Mercer Island and a PR! So I know one of these days I will run an entire marathon, start to finish without walking.

Around mile 18 or 19 a small rock flipped up and landed in the top of my shoe, under the tongue and on the top of my ankle. I had to get it out. Stopping and bending over was hard but it had to be done. We carried on and talked about how lousy the support for the race was. The cheer leaders were great and spectators were good when they were there but as far as support it was lousy. I only saw two GU’s the whole time (I may have just missed it but…) There was one time where someone handed out Vaseline. Only one lady on the side of the road holding a tray with three small ( I mean like 1/5 piece) pieces of banana. She yelled “Bananas! Orange Slices!” I was SO excited to get an orange slice! This is what saved me in OKC! Having some simple sugar that makes for quick energy! YES! My mouth watered! I was thirsty but not for water and I was hungry. My tummy was growling. I ran by her, looked at her try with three tiny banana pieces and looked for oranges. There was none. I was defeated.

I started drinking the Cytomax, I was desperate for something other than water and GU Chomps. I had a cup of the stuff and followed it with water. It went down fine and I could tell my body was needing something. I had once cup at all the remaining water stations. I hoped it would not come back to haunt me later but the here and now was a concern.

Mel was having a hard time and around mile 17 or so (her recap may be different, I’m telling you, I’m a terrible recaper and details all start to run together) she had somewhat of an emotional breakdown. I could tell she was struggling mentally. We walked for a bit and she was apologizing for “ruining my race” but what she did not realize is that I would not have even made it to mile 15 even without her. That is what running buddies do, they push and pull…she pulled me that far and it was my turn to push her. It caused me to snap my mental game up a few notches because we both couldn’t be in a bad way, it was my turn to be strong. It was my turn to let her lean on me. I’m not sure if I did a good job or not, I’m certainly not used to being the one who is doing ok (not great or good mind you, but ok). We made it over the first hurdle and searched for our running groove. G. Money had us at a 9:15 pace around mile 18. Wow! Guess we found out pace…not really, we needed to slow down. That was too fast. There were a few more mental battles fought with every turn we made that led us away from the finish. Miles 21-25 was like a never ending pretzel where we had no idea if we were coming or going. All we knew is that we kept seeing stupid Elvi running around us and a girl in a strange blue dress, maybe she was Minnie Mouse or something, kept leap frogging with us. Our tolerance level was dropping with every step. It was time to be done. With three miles left I kept thinking it was just a jaunt around the neighborhood. No biggie, right? Around this time I plugged my iPod in for the first time. It was time to zone out. My  mind was starving. I have only felt that way once, after my first 20 miler, where I could feel my brain fogging up, the clarity was gone. I could not think, I could tell my brain was hungry, it needed carbs to function.  I told Mel I was sorry and had to zone out, “I’m going to zone out but if you need me I am right here.”  This is the part of the race for me where it is do or die, survival mode. I have to dig deep and focus on my Why? Focus on what it is that brings me to run 26.2 miles. I have to remember my motivation and dig deep below it so that I can finish.

We were on the home stretch and I could see where we would turn right and head to the finish. I thanked God for bringing me this far and prayed he would carry me the rest of the way…the last .50 of a mile. The sides of the strip were packed! People everywhere! Signs waving here to there! Half marathoner were still coming in! We were beating halfers! Wow, that is weird. Mel was about two steps ahead of me…it was her turn to pull me. I yelled her name but above the crowd she didn’t hear me. Good thing because I didn’t have anything to say other than “I CAN’T”. I was wanting to give her the speech I gave RED in Portland, “I can’t! I’ve got nothing.I’ve got nothing left to give. I can’t…..” But thankfully Mel kept ahead of me by a couple of steps and I pushed to get in stride with her. We saw the 26 mile marker…so close! I wanted to have this accomplishment so bad! I wanted to put my arms in the air and wallow in self-achievement! Mel grabbed my hand and we crossed the finish line!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

4:30.56 (one minute faster than Portland)!


I stumbled to the girl handing out medals. I wonder how many people she saw who were in tears. I wonder if she knows the feeling of crossing the finishing line after 26.2 (26.43 according to Garmin). I think everyone should experience that feeling, the feeling of being invincible, untouchable! ALIVE! She should get to know what it is like to cross that finish line. YOU should get to know that feeling too!  I had finished marathon #3 and my eyes were full of tears, tears of pain, joy, pride and just an overwhelming rush of 1000 different emotions. I did it! Once again I am a marathoner even when I wanted to quit, when I wanted to curl up and disappear, I kept going. What a feeling!

We walked through the lame recovery area where we got water. They had some strange foods like Gogurt and then some pretzels. It was the worst recovery zone I have ever experienced. I have seen better after a 5k! Seriously people. We got our picture taken:



And we sat down to recover before beginning our journey back to the hotel, and that my friends is another long story.

Here I am after the race, you knew this was coming. Right?


And once we got back to the hotel we ordered room service. I could not eat fast enough!

chowing down after the marathon

So there you have! Rock n Roll Las Vegas Marathon #3! 


I couldn’t have done it without Mel that is for sure! So Tall Mom, thank you! Thank you for coming to see me! Coming to run with me! For being a part of this experience! Thank you for pushing and pulling me through! Thanks for everything!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Pre Race Report and a sneak preview…

Like Vegas, my mind is BUSY!!! I am so terrible at race recaps and pre race recaps! So much happened it is impossible to fill you all in without writing a stinking book! I’ll give it  a try but for a  good, succinct and  thorough version of our pre race activities head over to Tall Mom’s blog!

Friday was a mess. I was super busy trying to finish up last minute files and case notes but I finally finished up, got dressed and headed to our TINY airport. Off to VEGAS! It was a long day of travel and once I arrived, finally in Vegas I realized it was on Pacific time zone. Boooo. I thought it would be mountain or something. So three hour change is rough. It was 7 o’clock  PM Vegas time, 10 o’clock my time. I was tired. I came to baggage claim where Mel and I had planned to meet and saw my Tall Friend with my Awesome Aunt! I love my aunt (and friend too for that matter!), she approached Mel out of the crowd and asked her if she was waiting for me! How random and cool is that!?

It was great to connect with Mel and my family (aunt, uncle and cousin). We headed to dinner at THE best boofey (or buffet) in the world, the Bellagio! The food was out of this world. Too bad I was having a stomach pain. I wasn’t sick, just hurting. This happens occasionally when I fly. I get a very awful pain in my stomach and eventually it leads to me getting dizzy, pale, clammy, light headed, and on one occasion I actually passed out. So I knew the drill. After dinner we headed through the casino and we stopped at some slot machines. I got sweaty and light headed and had to sit down. I think it is just nerves and anxiety. It passed while my Uncle and Cousin tried to win millions…with no luck. We headed to the car and I relaxed while we drove to their house, my stomach still hurting like someone was ripping it out of my body and twisting in into knots. But once we got to their house I sat on the floor, petted their dog and visited with my peeps.  Within 15 min of being there my stomach felt better. By this time it was LATE, probably near 11 PM (2 AM for me). Ugh. We hit the hay.

We got a good nights rest and more visiting with my Aunt, breakfast, coffee and pictures with the Christmas tree:

Me and my Aunt Janet


Me and Mel!


We were off to the expo to get out packets and wander the vendors. The expo was at our hotel, or at least connected, I guess I figured if I couldn’t stay at the start line might as well stay at the expo. Right? Um, NO. Bad choice…but that is for the race recap. Any way, we were headed to the expo when I got a text from Pam telling us the expo was a “Cattle Call”. Oh great! And she was right.  We didn’t get to meet up with her, I’m not really sure what happened, SORRY PAM!! In the mess of everything I didn’t return her text and that was the last we communicated. I feel awful about not meeting up with her.

We got out packets and I made the switch from coral 13 to 9. Not a bad idea and it was super easy to do. We wandered around a bit more and finally sat down to listen to the pro runner dudes speak: Mel had a better view of the stage. The only one of these I have heard of was Meb but Scott Jurek was mighty fine to look at is a great ultra runner originally from Seattle.

imageHere are a few more pics from the expo and beyond:

Dec 2010 Vegas 003

And of course, Rock n Roll Las Vegas MUST  have a hosted bar at the expo…Duh. So do you see me in line?

Dec 2010 Vegas 005

NO. I did not partake of any beverages…I just thought it was quite strange to have a bar at an expo.

Ready to Rock

We were pretty excited to have our packets and headed back to the hotel to make a plan for dinner. Cheese Cake Factory it was! Unanimously we decided that was the best!  We had dinner and then headed back to the Venetian for The Phantom of the Opera. Awesome show!!! By the time that was done it was about 8:45. We still needed to do a practice run to the start line, so we were off…I said something along the lines of “think we can be back by 10?” Sure, no prob….yeah right. What a mess Vegas is. They intentionally get you all turned around inside the casinos, I swear! They hope you just give up trying to get out and plop yourself down and give your  money away. Not us, no sir- ree…


WAIT a MINUTE! THAT’S NOT ME! Oops, busted.

Anyway, we finally made our way to the Mandalay Bay after getting out of MGM Grand and back. Total time was over two hours. We hoped for a smoother trip in the morning. I was done. My brain was no longer functioning. I couldn’t think or remember landmarks. I was useless to Mel as a navigator. It was ALL up to her. So by 11 PM (or 2 AM my time) it was off to bed with a 5 AM wakeup call.

I will leave you all with a teaser for the actual race recap:

My traditional Race Pile pic


And our feet at the start of Rock n Roll Las Vegas FULL Marathon (Mel thinks we should have done the half. =) But I am still happy we did the full! It was what I went there to do, it was my battle and I could not back down…so you’ll have to read about the 15 seconds leading up to the left to finish 13.1 or right to finish 26.2.  You all know we went right… But let me tell you, 13 miles into a marathon is not a good time to give someone an out. It was tempting.)



Maybe I will do the race report tonight but for now I better get back to work and get caught up on everything that got swept under the rug this past weekend.


Related Posts with Thumbnails