Saturday, March 27, 2010
Monday, March 8, 2010
We slept in on Saturday. Then, decided to go back to the Expo for a little while. The Expo was a zoo!!! It was incredibly crowded. I picked up a 13.1 magnet for Renee’s car. I didn’t tell her about it, of course. I didn’t want to jinx her!
After a sleepless night, the alarm went off at 2AM. Insane hour to be getting up! But, get up we did. At 2:30, Renee headed over to the Food Court of the hotel to heat up coffee from the night before. Amazingly, there was fresh coffee available in the Food Court! YAY! The only problem now was the temperature. It was 41 degrees out with a wind chill of 37. Too cold.
Sunday, February 21, 2010
Thursday, November 26, 2009
Being that I am in training for bigger and better things - specifically the 26.2 with Donna, I was not inclined to blow it out on a half marathon this morning. Many of the peeps from my running group were there and were planning on running together. After a brief discussion with my co-pace group leader, Monica, we decided to go for 13 min/miles. That is a comfortable pace that we both run on our own; although, neither of us had ever done more than 6 miles at that pace. Two other friends, Andi and Alinka, decided to join us.
The start was cold. It was 51 degrees and 96% humidity. I had decided to wear my running gloves, but that was it for cold weather gear. Monica, who is from Wisconsin (and, who was wearing a singlet, BTW), declared me a wimp. The start was also VERY crowded. The 6K race started with us, and ran with us for the 1st mile before we ran our separate ways. So we were stuck behind strollers and walkers and race shirt (long sleeve heavy cotton crew neck shirt) wearers for the first mile. Even so, we managed the 1st mile in 12:53.
It stayed cold and I could not feel my feet. I was finding it tough to run and my legs felt heavy. I just wanted to warm up, already. We saw other people we knew, chatted a bit, then went on. Miles 2 and 3 - 13:11 and 12:59.
Between miles 3 and 4, Alinka was having trouble with her left shoe and stopped to re-tie. While we stopped, I got rid of the gloves. 13:26
By this point, we were playing leap-frog with some guy who looked like he was missing his skate-board. He would get in front of us, then we would pass him, repeat, repeat, repeat. And, the times he would fall behind us, we could hear him loudly hacking up a loogie. Gross! Later, between miles 11 and 12, we would pass him and not see him again. Mile 5 - 13:15.
At mile 5.5, we all took a port-a-potty stop. 2 potties. 4 runners. 2.5 minutes. Uuugghh. Mile 6 - 15:48.
Feeling much better, we all picked up the pace a little. Miles 7 and 8 - 13:04 and 12:27.
The sun was fully up by now, clear blue sky, light breeze. The course got sunny ... and warm.
Mile 9 - 13:19.
Between miles 9 and 10, my right quads started cramping, and I was feeling fatigued. I was still a bit under the weather from an upper respiratory infection. If I had been running on my own, I might have said "screw it", and slowed way down. But, with everyone else around, I kept going forward. Mile 10 - 13:06.
At this point, all of us noticed that the race mile markers and our Garmins were no longer in sync. It seemed that the race markers were about 1/10 of a mile off - against us. The course turned onto streets with rolling hills in direct sunlight. Great. Mile 11 - 12:59.
Alinka's hip started hurting, and she dropped back, telling us all to go on. Andi requested to slow down a little. Miles 12 and 13 - 13:09 and 13:01.
What was left was 0.25 miles. It should have been 0.1, but it was off. Annoying. Monica and I went for it. Finishing the last 0.25 in 2:22 (9:28 pace).
Final time - 2:55:21 for a pace of 13:14 (for 13.25 miles) or 13:22 (for 13.1 miles).
Even with the potty stop, it was a PR by 2:30 for me!!! Just imagine if we hadn't stopped. HA!
Anyway, the whole run was a blast; and here is the best thing of all:
This race is the first race (of ANY distance) that I did not slow down at the end. In fact, I sped up!!! I am really pleased with that!
Sunday, September 27, 2009
It was a hot and humid morning. Our group had 37 runners, and the run was fine. In fact, all of the runs have been fine.
So far during training, we have run across an extremely busy highway in the dark, and all survived. We have seen humidity so high that the trees were dripping. We have seen dolphin playing in the river as we crossed a bridge above them. And, we have ended up in the middle of a 5K race as our training route collided with a race course. We met them head-on with each group accusing the other of running the wrong way.
And, we have shared stories of our past runs and future goals.
So far ... the running has been good.
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
I am hoping to break this cycle somehow. The most recent injury I am recovering from is not really a running injury, per se. OK, I got injured while running but not FROM running. Simply, I fell down while attempting to outrun a sudden thunderstorm.
This resulted in a fractured wrist, a busted knee, and some minor abrasions. Which all resulted in 2 more weeks of not running or cross-training. *Insert big dramatic sigh*
But, I am back running again. Slower (if that is possible) and more carefully than before. I need to have all of these injuries become a thing of the past. I just don't have the patience for it anymore.
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
This is the first 10 mile race I have ever run. And, I was going to race this one coming off of an injury. In the days leading up to the race, I was very nervous. It has a strict cutoff time and I really considering backing out and running the 5K instead.
The Metro on the way to the Expo on Saturday, April 4, was unbelievably crowded. I was concerned with getting to the race start on Sunday.
I arrived at the race site very early and before dawn. it was 48 degrees and I was freezing! I only had on a short sleeve top and a race skirt. As I waited, I became increasingly colder. When we finally lined up in our designated corrals, I was shaking from cold. Then, I started to wonder just how much energy I had already expended through shivering. That concerned me greatly; so, I ate a Swedish fish to replenish.
FINALLY, the race started just as the sun came up. I was so nervous about not being able to finish that I ran the 1st mile a minute and a half faster than I had intended to. I reasoned that I had just bought some extra time if I needed it, and made myself slow down a little.
The crowd was huge, and the course was tight. Fortunately, there were no strollers in this race; and, I did not come across any walkers until mile 3. Every time the course looped back on itself I saw thousands of runners both ahead of and behind me. As I passed the mile 5 timing mats and checkpoint, I noted that my time was fine for finishing under the limit.
I had one moment of panic when I came up to the mile 7 marker. My time had really slowed down! A quick check of my Garmin showed that the mile 7 marker was really at mile 7.2. I was afraid mile 8 might land at mile 8.2, so I sped up a little. But, mile 8 was where it should be. As I passed that, I realized I was going to finish with time to spare, and I calmed down and slowed down a little.
Crossing that finish line was great!!! I really believed that I would not do it. But, I did. And, I even ran the entire race at a pace of 1:10 min/mile faster than I ran a 15K this time last year.
AND, I had no pain at all the entire race.
My friend Ken ran this, too. He was up in the first (fast) corral and had an excellent time.
This race was a good one all around.
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Last night I ran 3 miles without pain. My intention was to run them easy, but, it ended up being pretty much at my race pace. It felt so good to be out there again!
I did notice that fatigue came on quicker than it used to. I do need to build up my endurance again. And, I am happy to do just that.
Sunday, March 8, 2009
This was also a "first" event for me in many ways. I was traveling to this race alone. My family would not be going with me. Also, I was supposed to walk, not run the race as I am still recovering from an injury I had BEFORE the marathon 3 weeks ago. There were other firsts, too that happened along the way.
The Fit for a Princess Expo began on Friday, March 6. This was for packet pick-up and shopping as there were vendors from all over. It was a blast! I ended up buying a tiara to run in and a few new shirts. I also picked up my Snow White running skirt which I had pre-ordered from RunningSkirts.com. Wearing brand new clothes at a race is something I never do; but, for this race, I did. Both the tech top and the skirt were new.
The Caribbean Beach Resort
TJ and I before the run in the Race Retreat
After that, when I started running again I had a cramp in my right quad (the inner most one). This was really strange. I have NEVER had quad trouble even when I take the downside of bridges too fast. I slowed down to walk it out; but, my quad was not having it. So I had to fully stop and stretch and massage it. It loosened up a bit, and I could walk on it. So mile 9-10 was around 20 min (yikes!). I did some run/walking for the next mile.
Mile 11 started up a hill - an interstate overpass, actually. I came up on a young woman (early 20s) who was crying and talking to herself saying, "Come on. You have to keep going". I stopped and walked next to her and asked if she was OK. All she could say was, "the hill .. I can't". So I told her she could, and I would walk it with her. So I stayed with her up the hill and down the other side until mile 12. By then, I didn't care about time anymore. I knew I would finish, so no big deal.
But, I realized something else today. For me, it's really not about the finish line. It's about the road there. And, this weekend the road was excellent!
Thursday, March 5, 2009
I am not recovered from the marathon 3 weeks ago.
I have been advised to skip this half marathon, or walk it.
So, I consulted the I Ching. The answer, I must say, surprised me.
Hexagram: 46 - Shêng
Thursday, February 19, 2009
This is a photo of my family taken on Thanksgiving Day 2007.
This photo is important because at this time, we were all together and had finally made big strides towards healing and feeling like a complete family once again.
To explain, in August of 2001, my oldest son died. The unexpected tragedy and trauma scarred all of us in the family.
For me, I lost myself in work and gained weight for the first time in my life. My husband and I felt guilt over the uncontrollable and were at odds for some time. Our daughter, who was 2 years younger than her brother, lost herself in schoolwork, overachieving and losing weight.
Our middle son was 8 at the time and had idolized his older brother. He began to experience severe panic attacks whenever any of us were out of his sight. Our youngest was a only 4 at the time, and had the least immediate reaction.
It took us years to take our lives back one step at a time. I finally decided to make big strides in that regard in June of 2006. I left a job that was killing me and returned to my old lower-paying job, which I loved. I joined WW and lost 40 pounds. And, I began a running program. In this photo, I am about 2 weeks away from running my first 5K.
My daughter was home from college for a break and had learned to ease up on herself a bit. Our now oldest son, had worked very hard to overcome separation anxiety, and had made it to a point of not needing medication anymore. Our youngest son was a normal kid again. My husband and I had forgiven ourselves for things we could not begin to foresee or control, and were more solid than ever in our marriage.
This photo is so important to me because it shows an entire family that worked hard to become a family again.
Sunday, February 15, 2009
But, to the marathon….
I was up at 3AM after not sleeping well at all. This turned out to give me plenty of time to eat a light breakfast, get ready, and get out of the house by 4:45. I was able to drive to the designated shuttle stop and catch a 5AM shuttle over to the starting area of the marathon.
The Runner’s Village was very nice. There were plenty of Port-a-potties and even port-a-sinks! There were tents with fruit, bagels, and water as well. And many bag check areas and First Aid areas. I could have just stayed there all day!
Anyway, at 6:45 they lined us up by color group and escorted us out to line up at the start. Jesse (who had decided yesterday to run the marathon) and I went back to the last group. The 6 and 7 hour pacers were there, along with many of my friends.
Weather this morning was overcast with misting rain. 62 degrees and 96% humidity. Waiting for the start
After a nice vocal rendition of our National Anthem, the cannon shot, and we were off. Well, sort of. It actually took us 4 min to get up to the Start Line. Even before we got that far, Pam already had led the Moonrunners out in front of the 6 hour pacers! She was up with the 5:30 pacer. I mentioned to her that the 6 hour pacer was far behind us. She said, “Oh, they’ll catch up”.
I turned to Jesse and said, “I can see where this is going; slow down.” Jayne was also there with us. TJ decided to stay with Pam. The 1st three miles were up and over the Intercostal bridge. This is a non-pedestrian bridge. So, I had never attempted to run it before. It is not a drawbridge, so it is quite high and steep. And, long. I ran these three miles at my ½ marathon pace of 13:30. By mile 3, I was tired. 4 weeks of not running had left me with a big loss of stamina. This was my first moment of the day wondering if I would be able to make the whole distance.
By mile 4, the rain stopped and the wind picked up. I could start to see blue sky through the breaks in the clouds. Ordinarily, I welcome any and all sunshine. Today, not so much.
At mile 5, we turned onto the beach and headed North for the next 3 miles. By then the wind had really picked up and was coming directly out of the North. So, we were running into the wind. It was a strong wind that was ferociously attacking us with sand. This felt like needles hitting us on all exposed skin. At mile 6, the half-marathoners turned off the Beach and headed back. Jayne had fallen behind us and decided to just do the half. Many others did the same. For those of us who pressed on, those three beach miles were tough.
At mile 8, we were back up on dry land, thankfully, and made the 1st port-a-potty stop of the day. I had at this point stopped caring about time. My only goal was to finish. By now all clouds were gone, and we were running in brilliant sunlight. And, it was getting warm.
At mile 11, the outside of my left knee began to hurt. ITB? Meniscus tear? Who knows? It was hurting. The knee brace helped some, as did slowing down even more. By the time I crossed the half-marathon timing pads, I was really wishing I had opted to run the half. My knee was yelling at me by this time.
At mile 15, my knee gave out. Really. It locked up as I ran, and almost took me down. But, I was not going to give up. I tightened the brace to numb my whole knee, and did a combination of running/walking/limping for the next 11.2 miles.
I had a meltdown from miles 18 to 21 where I wanted to quit with every fiber of my being. Also, by mile 21, my hands had swollen twice their normal size and my lower back was really hurting. I was afraid of possible kidney failure, so made another Port-a-potty stop. Everything was OK, but it took a while. More time lost.
At mile 22, I was heading for the bridge. Jesse had fallen back a bit; but, I had to keep going. They were already picking up people who were behind us and driving them over the bridge. I refused to become one of those people.
I started up the bridge and was on it for the next three miles. It was rough. I ran it anyway, and passed everyone who was still on the bridge at that time.
FINALLY, I rounded the corner and made it in. A little over 7 hours. And, honestly, considering injury, time off running, and illness, I am perfectly fine with that time.
Now, I have a cool medal and bragging rights. And, a really bad sunburn. Oh, and everything hurts. Overall, I am happy I did it. The jury’s out on whether I will ever do it again.
Saturday, February 14, 2009
This is a version of a famous questionnaire once asked of Marcel Proust, and is posted on La Moretta's blog.
1. What is your idea of perfect happiness?
I can't answer this. Many things make me happy.
2. What is your greatest fear?
3. What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
4. What is the trait you most deplore in others?
5. Which living person do you most admire?
Donna Deegan (the 26.2 with Donna, Donna)
6. What is your greatest extravagance?
New running shoes, tech shirts, running skirts, Garmin...
I'll just call it "Running Paraphernalia".
7. What is your current state of mind?
OK ... just OK.
8. What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
I don't think any of the Virtues (and there are many lists of Virtues) are overrated. Most are underrated.
9. On what occasion do you lie?
In bed? Like lying down? Seriously, I make every attempt not to. I do not want to have to keep track of everything I've said.
10. What do you most dislike about your appearance?
I don't know.
11. Which living person do you most despise?
That's a tough one. I don't think I really despise anyone. I do, however, dislike the actions of a few people I know.
12. What is the quality you most like in a man?
13. What is the quality you most like in a woman?
14. Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
15. What or who is the greatest love of your life?
16. When and where were you happiest?
I can't say. Not that I won't; I can't. There have been many happy occasions in my life.
17. Which talent would you most like to have?
To play the violin.
18. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
19. What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Getting through another day. Just kidding. I really don't know.
20. If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be?
A sea creature.
21. Where would you most like to live?
At the beach ... so close to the Ocean to be misted with sea spray.
22. What is your most treasured possession?
My wedding ring. It's just a very simple gold band, but it means so much.
23. What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
24. What is your favorite occupation?
Does this mean "pastime"? If so, I have many: reading, running, playing with my children, laughing with my friends, etc.
25. What is your most marked characteristic?
Sarcasm laced with humor.
26. What do you most value in your friends?
27. Who are your favorite writers?
Sylvia Plath, William Faulkner, Jane Austen, Bronte sisters, Pat Conroy, Louisa May Alcott, L. Frank Baum, Philip K Dick, etc.
28. Who is your hero of fiction?
How about Science Fiction? Then it would be Spock.
29. Which historical figure do you most identify with?
This is something I have never thought about.
30. Who are your heroes in real life?
There are many. They give without thought of reciprocity.
I am continually humbled by them.
31. What are your favorite names?
Julia and Michael
32. What is it that you most dislike?
Cheating and lying.
33. What is your greatest regret?
That I said, "OK" to one trip to Atlanta.
34. How would you like to die?
In my sleep.
35. What is your motto?
I'm glad I got out before the roof fell in!