Monday, December 30, 2013

2013...miles that is

Yes. It's true.  2013 miles for the year.  In 2012 I actually managed 2136, but this year held 3 marathons which include at least a week of rest after each one.  It averages out to 5.5 miles per day, for 365 days.  I can't complain. I have minor aches and pains and nags but nothing serious; and I'm grateful.  2013 has been a good year.  Thanks JB for capturing my love of running in this photo.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Santa Clarita RR - I found my limit

I found my limit.

I did a lot of evaluating of my last two marathons before this one.  January was a 3:28 and May was 3:28. They were very different courses at different altitudes and I ran very different races but the overall time was nearly identical. In January I was somewhat injured and ran as tough as I could.  In May I ran to negative split and enjoy the run (which I did) but the whole race was too slow.  So for this weekend my plan was to go with it in the first half and see how long I could hang on and hoped it would be enough to break 3:25. It wasn’t.
I’m not sure what to write about this race. It didn’t go by fast. It didn’t go by slow (except the last 8 miles). Nothing really monumental happened (except I went my best Half Marathon time in the first half of the race). I was happy. I felt good. Weather was perfect. Course was busy with too many turns and little foot bridges and underpasses but it kept things interesting.  I started out cruising in the 7:30s so I went with it.
The last 8 miles brought a mental struggle of fatigue combined with about 6 women all racing within a few minutes of each other.  Who had enough left? Could I tail this ponytail and then pass her with a mile left? Or will she pass me back and will the other ponytail behind me pass me also? So hard to know and there is no way to tell. I did what I could. I passed 3 ponytails and I got passed by 2 different ponytails that crept up from the back. 

Highlights from the race:
-Seeing JB at the start…a virtual friend who I met for the first time on Friday night.  It was so encouraging to have a supporter at the race.
-Seeing JB at 3ish, 6ish and just before the Half.  I was ecstatic when I saw him at the Half because I knew I was completing my best Half Marathon time (it’s been well over a 1 ½ years since I ran a Half so it’s expected to be faster but I was still really happy).  1:39. Yay!
-Seeing DH (GutterRunner) at 20ish.  There was a little out-and-back from 19.5-23.5ish and we estimated before the race that if all went as planned we would just catch a glimpse of each other here. We were right. I entered the stretch of out-and-back and hadn’t run 1/10 of a mile by the time I saw him.  We gave a low five.  I cheered him on. He said nothing. He looked like crap. Breathing hard. Sweating like a pig.  I felt as bad as he looked. But I also knew that we were both pretty close to being on target at that point.  From my estimation, he was going to BQ and that was what I wanted more than anything for this race.
-Every aid station where I took a drink, I tried to take the cup from the smallest and youngest volunteer. Their cheers and encouragement made my day.  I thanked them and always gave them my best smile.

As I closed in on the finish, it hurt. I never like to remember this part because there is nothing like it. The fight is over. The pounding subsides. I see DH and he can barely walk. He cheers me on and says the finish is just around the corner. “Go” he says. I turn the corner and finish (I think there was a Bangle Pump in there but it’s all a blur now). I congratulate the other girls that I raced with and they were all so nice.  I love this sport because of this. We are just all out there for ourselves and we are all so proud of each other for our individual accomplishments. The finish line is full of kind words and wonderful goal-oriented people.  I grabbed some chocolate milk and water.  I hobbled to the side of the recovery area to watch for DH coming back from the course where he cheered me on.  As I watched for him and looked down, the ugly sweats I wore to the start were laying in front of me. Someone had gathered up all the ditched clothing and brought them in a heap to the finish. Dang. Turquoise fleece with paint on it and ugly green sweatpants came home with me AGAIN (this is the 2nd time now that they have been returned to me without a go-bag). 
Final result was 3:26:46.  I was 32nd place overall.  I was 5th place woman. I got 2nd in my age group.
Crazy part was, DH went 3:01. He was 5th place man. He got 2nd in his age group.
We placed identically.  Couldn’t have planned that one!
I love running. At mile 13 a woman hollered to me that I was in 7th place and that I looked great. I smiled and waved and told her thank you. Then she hollered back that I was the first woman so far that was smiling. I smiled even bigger.  I had a wonderful race and I did smile most of the time. I run because I can. I run 26.2 because it’s fun for a good 20 miles and a good fight with yourself after that.

Thank you JB for the wonderful photos that captured our race: 

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Taper Tantrum

Here we go.  TEN DAYS TIL SANTA CLARITA MARATHON!!!  Marathon #5 for just under 2 years.  Before that if someone said the word "marathon" I couldn't have told you how far it answer would have been "a long way...20ish miles."  

Hansons training program complete (every single run in the entire program for 16 1/2 weeks...haven't missed a single mile or a single run). For the next 10 days I can run easy and slow.

The last two weeks of Thursday tempo runs have been fantastic. They are 12 miles. One mile warmup, 10 miles at goal marathon pace, one mile cool down.
7:38 is my goal marathon pace.
Last week:

This week:

Eek. So excited. 

Bad news. Got another blood test and my iron is still stupid low so I'm going to have to keep working on it.  I feel tons better already after 6 weeks of changing my diet to be more iron rich and taking some iron supplements but I still have a long way to go.  

Starting tomorrow I will be able to see race day in the forecast, I can start packing and I plan on trying really hard to stay off my feet so I can recover.  Maybe I will blog some more. 

And a few photos:

A pile of Newtons...mine and the husband's.  Love.

 A pretty new winter wool coat I sewed for my wonderful boy.

My nephew practicing for me (he is one of my violin students).  The apples and eggs help him play the sections of the violin piece in the correct order.  He is 5 years old.  Love my job!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

24 days to go

24 days until Marathon #5.  Got this anemia thing taken care. Got the shoes picked out. Got the hundreds of miles logged. Got EVERY single stinking run in the Hansons Marathon Method in the books for an entire 18 weeks.....not a single miss.  Got the hotel booked for the night before. Got the dog sitter. Got my sights set on a combo race....what does that mean?  Well the last 2 marathons have been all over the map.  In January at Arizona Rock n Roll, I had a very upset foot/stabalizer ankle thing (peroneus brevis) so I spent the race crying inside. I managed a best time but much of the race is a blur as I was in so much pain.  In May I ran Shiprock Marathon in my backyard. I focused on negative splitting (which I'd never done before) and enjoying the race....all 26.2 of it, and I really did.  I raced and had a great time.  Santa Clarita on November 3 is going to be a combo. I'm going to love it, live it and race it.  I'm going to LOVE every step because for the first time I feel so ready (this will definitely change when I get taper brain a week from now and start freaking out). I'm going to LIVE it because I have trained hard and I know how my pace feels and I believe that I can get done what I've been aiming for (this will also change with taper brain because I will question everything and doubt all).  I will RACE it because I can and I'm a competitor.  I'm not afraid of those big numbers anymore. I know I can run a marathon. I know it's going to hurt so so so so stinkin bad even if I go slow so I'm going to push and hope for the best.

Seriously, I know this will all change after Sunday's last long run. I am confident right now though....for real.  My little brother (also a marathoner) told me today "Seriously...the work and pace you were done with a month ago will determine what happens in Santa Clarita. Just chill and let it happen. Don't obsess about these last training runs. Don't over-analyze. Just rest up and run."  I'm going to try so very hard to take those words to heart.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Time Flies

August 25
Oh how summer flies by…
After Shiprock Marathon in May and then my Memorial Day Riverfest 10k, I participated in the One Run for Boston Relay across the country.  I was very humbled by the entire experience. I don’t really know what to write about it since it encompasses so much; signing up for it, planning it, running the actual leg, the aftermath, tracking the progress for 3 weeks, reflecting on it, etc.  It’s just so much.
Summer Violin camp students wore yellow and blue to support Boston on the day we participated in the One Run for Boston relay. Great supporters!

I have been running quite a bit since Shiprock. 30-40 miles per week.  My husband (GutterRunner) ran a fantastic Half Marathon at Steamworks in Durango, CO in June and decided that he is done baby-ing his Plantar Fasciitis and decided we should train for another marathon. I honestly wasn’t sure that I was ready since I did PF Changs in Arizona in January and had 13 weeks to get ready for Shiprock. I was a little burnt out on following a training program (I’m a die-hard when it comes to training programs….if it says run, then I do, come hell or high water). He convinced me I could do it so we put in for New York Marathon and didn’t get in. So during the first week of July, we did a lot of “race shopping” online and decided on Santa Clarita, California Marathon on November 3.  We also decided to use the Hansons Marathon Training Method that I’d used for my previous two races.  As we made this decision, we looked at the training program and counted back the weeks and days from the race and it worked out that the first day of the training program was the very next day, July 4.  So I put my happy face on and got to work.
My husband (Ryan) and I both read Dean Karnazes’ book this summer…Ultra-Marathon Man and it was an eye-opening read.  It taught me not just about running ridiculous amounts of miles, but rather that you have to live your life to live it…not to work your life away in an office somewhere.  So many occupations are monotonous and really don’t have an impact on your life and how it’s lived. They’re mundane activities that we do to pay the bills so we can live but I think if we spent more time living and less time working that we’d be happier. 75 years ago most people didn’t go to “work”, they stayed home and raised a garden to eat and did crafts or forms of art or performed services for others that were in need of that service and would barter or be paid for it.  Life was simpler. Now, people go to work for endless hours…sometimes never really actually getting anything done…and rarely doing anything that really impacts their LIFE.  I saw a commercial before a documentary that began with “Americans love to work.”  I felt abused by the commercial.  We shouldn’t love to work. We should love to live.
 A few days later, we were at a get together with some friends and someone asked “So, what do you do?” Ryan responded “I run and grow a garden and collect koi. And I like to read.” They seemed put-off that he didn’t answer with what his “occupation” was. I realized that his work is not his life…it’s not living to him…it’s just his job that pays the bills that he performs in order to do what he wants but he doesn’t let it run his life and he doesn’t see himself as a zombie going to work and performing mundane tasks on a daily basis. Love him.
September 18
All the sudden it’s September and I have less than 7 weeks until race day.  Hansons Marathon Method has been moving along at 50-60 miles per week. I have felt utterly exhausted since May and have worked to push through. I would randomly fall asleep on the sofa in under a few minutes (not typical for me). I kept telling myself it was burn-out or just getting older and less tolerant.  It continued…persistently. I realized my pace runs were slower than a year ago!!!! What the @$&???? So discouraging!!!! I started to evaluate and realized the exhaustion came before May. There were days in April and even March that I just seemed overly tired and in a non-training way….a more internal way.  I started to get worried. My mom began having thyroid problems at 35 and was finally diagnosed with thyroid cancer two years ago. Her mother and aunt had it years ago also.  I’m a firm believer that my body is designed well to heal itself. I rarely take medications and I have been to the doctor twice in the last 10 years. I buckled down and decided to get some bloodwork done.  Results came back and my thyroid is functioning beautifully (for now). Oh, but the Iron….and the B12….super super super anemic. Uh-oh. Started reading more about runners and iron. Oh gees. This is a serious epidemic. I will now take a blood test for iron at least twice a year. I have changed my diet over the last few weeks and have been taking some small iron supplements on the side and am feeling much better.  

Last week was redemption time. I had been suffering from the anemic exhaustion and was feeling very defeated (didn’t miss any runs though even on the bad days). Last week started out with a tough hilly and sandy trail run for 9.6 miles with a friend. The next day was the first day of Hansons Strength workouts (Speed work (5k  pace) is for the first 10 weeks then it switches to Strength work (half marathon pace-ish)). 6 x 1 mile @ 7:19-7:28 pace. Nailed it. Felt great. Wednesday is rest. Thursday Marathon Pace run (7:38-7:49). Best run I have had in a long time. Right on pace for the entire run. So happy. Finally! Friday and Saturday were easy. Sunday long run 16 miles at “long run” pace 8:19-:8:28. My average ended up 8:15. Yes!!!!!! Oh how I have missed the Runner’s High for the last 6 months!  Tears of joy.

Friday, May 31, 2013

OneRunForBoston...we are in! (and a 10kRR)

Ryan and I signed up for a 10-mile leg each in the-middle-of-nowhere New Mexico on the night of June 12. Excited to be part of such a cool huge thing.  Legs 71 and 72.  Woohoo!  There are still legs available so sign up if there is one near you and be part of this:

I ran a 10k last weekend at the big Riverfest that happens every Memorial Day here.  I ran it last year too.  I took 10 days off after the Shiprock Marathon and then had 10 days to prepare for the race. I did one speed-ish workout and then one long-ish run (8 miles) at a moderate pace.  Felt good during the race...more pop in the legs than I expected as the previous 10 days of running felt slow and exhausting and very-post-marathon. Ended up negative splitting the race (is this my new thing???? I did it in the marathon too!).  Managed 2nd place woman overall.  Won my age group. AND dropped 1:20 off my best time from last year.  Wooohoooo!.  45:03 chip time.  GarminGirl said 7:15 average.  
7:30 (90 foot elevation rise)
6:55 (nice)
1:34 for the last .2

Very encouraging.  

I put in for the lottery to NYC.  So did Ry.  We both got rejected. Lame. the hunt for the fall marathon begins.  We have to be able to drive there (to bring DearDog). We are thinking Santa Clarita, California.  Looks lovely.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Shiprock Marathon RR

I planned to run smart. To hold back for the first 10 miles to save some for the end so I could negative split. That's what everyone says makes a great race....and every world record marathon has been a negative split so I figure most PRs happen that way too.  So I planned to chill for 10. Then be right on pace for 11-18, then see what I had left for the last 8.

Things started out great. I was holding back...kept going too fast and slowing myself down.  Rolling hills. Amazing scenery of the high desert right on the edge of the Arizona and New Mexico border running east into New Mexico. When it was time to step up the pace, I was on a hill....a 1.5 mile long hill....not ideal. So I   cruised...thinking I'd pick it up on the downhill afterward, which I did.  Then another hill...slower again.  I was enjoying the race. I wasn't calculating time. I was running across my beautiful New Mexico desert and was comfortable. Finally at 14 the uphills were over for a bit and it was time to pick it up.  I began running into very very slow half-marathoners. We are talking 23 minute per mile pace walkers.  At 16 I passed a girl marathoner. I could see another female marathoner ahead.  I kept her in sight while working to stay on goal pace up another hill through mile 17.  At 18 I had reeled her in and passed her.  Did I mention the crosswind we had the first 20 miles...not headwind and not totally sidewind, but X wind just into the front corner of my right shoulder....for TWENTY miles.

At 20 we reached the intersecting highway where we would turn north. I saw my dad and nephew E.  Turned the corner and saw my nephew A and my mom holding big signs for me and screaming.  Then on the other side of the highway was nephew O on top of my sister's car holding a sign for me and my sister on the ground next to him.  So encouraging.  I forged ahead so happy after seeing my big cheering section.

Best cheerleader ever!!!!  Nephew O.

A great pic my sister snapped of me with giant Shiprock right behind me!

At 23 there was another hill. Ugh. Just as I crested the hill around mile 24 and began heading down, an older guy passed me and said "It's all done hill from here babe. Keep it up."  I loved that he called me babe at this moment...feeling like I had been hit by a truck, looking lovely I'm sure...all sweaty and sticky and snotty and covered in the fine dirt of Shiprock, NM.  He called me babe.  I ran and worked to stay with him.  The plan was for my nephew E to meet me at 25 to run the last mile with me.  He's 13 and this was his first year of track where he ran the mile, the 800 and the 400.  He could easily run me in at a 7:30 or better. I have never run the last mile of a marathon under 8 minutes even though my average pace for my last 2 races have been 8:01 and 7:55.  I just never had enough left in the I asked him to run with me because I knew he could help me through, and I knew it would give us a special bond.  I could see an aid station ahead and E's yellow shirt...he was ready and waiting. I smiled and held back tears. I was so happy to see him and know that it was almost over.  I believe that no matter how you run the first 20 miles that the last 6 miles of a marathon are just stupid hard and hurt really bad.  E was amazing. I told him to talk. That I couldn't. He said I looked great and was doing great.  He asked what our pace was so he could make sure he pulled me along fast enough. I could hear him breathing hard. The watch said 7:23. I was glad to know I had enough in me to make him have to work to run with me.  It felt like we were going 10:30s. It was like my legs were in perfect stride with his....we trotted along.  I asked him about the girl I had passed at 18...if he could see her behind us.  He could.  He said she was back there but he didn't think she could catch us.  I said that we couldn't let her. He warned me that when we turned off the highway towards the finish line that we were going to have to run through sand. Seriously. Sand. No kidding. At mile 25.7 of a marathon. Sand. They're moving a fence or something and doing construction so there is currently sand and then REALLY REALLY rough asphalt.  Ok. Whatever.  25.7-26.2 hurts either way so why not run through sand and gravely asphalt?  He said "See that group ahead? Let's get them."  And we did.  It was so amazing.  At 26, he said "I'm dropping out. You got this." He yelled and yelled for me all the way to the finish. I could hear my mom and dad and sister and other nephews yelling too.  I crossed the line and there was E to give me a huge hug. I thanked him so much for bringing me in.  It was so fantastic to have him there...stride for stride. I got my medal and some water. Then chocolate milk.  Then more water. Then I sat, and then walked and then sat and then walked. That 30 minutes is kind of a crap-show of pain and undecided behavior cause nothing feels good.

Finish time was 3:28 and change.  I was 3:28 in Arizona in I knew I had basically matched my PR.

Awards began.
In the middle of awards, my friend K finished her FIRST marathon in 4:24.  She battled stomach issues and had 4 or 5 portapotty stops along the way but her splits were great for a first marathon and with the stomach cooperating I imagine her next one will be great.
I got my award for 1st in my age group (out of 19).
And I got 2nd overall for women. (out of 75).

Wordquota's family wasn't coming to the finish, or to the race.  Neither were any of her other friends.  I knew it'd be a while to wait but K and I decided we should.  K signed up for a massage and I ate some more and went to move the car and get my phone to check Endomondo to see where Wordquota was on the course.  She was at mile 23. We knew we could wait for that.  So when we saw she was reaching 25.5, I went out on the course at the end of the lovely sand portion and K waited at the finish line to scream her in.  And scream we did. I yelled and hollered and jumped and she cried when she saw me.  We hugged and I jogged with her for a hundred yards or so then dropped off to cheer her in. She finished strong and happy. Then we posed for a picture, got some food and headed home.

Got home. Checked out my splits and even though my overall race time was just equal to my personal best, I negative split and ran smart.  I'm proud of that.

Went out for french fries and a root beer float (I wanted salty and sweet).

Nephews E and A had run the kids 1 mile race during my race and got medals. So proud!
E is in the yellow (who ran me in).  A is in blue.  Great kiddos!

Now for rest and relaxation!  
Thank you to the Loop for all the great support and encouragement through this training cycle!  I look forward to all your race reviews and bloops.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Been too long. Just too much.

So much going on.  So long since I've posted.

I can't update on everything that's happened in the last month. It's been busy in every way possible.
Planting the garden.
Playing violin concerts.
Preparing violin students for concerts.
Playing at funerals.
Taking on 4 more laying hens (to add to our flock of 22)...refereeing the pecking order takes alot of time.
Trying to refinance our house (ugh....the paperwork).
On and on.

I have managed 50-60 miles per week and am now just under 3 weeks away from Shiprock Marathon.  I've been following the Hansons plan and the taper is more like 10 days so I still have a bit to go until official taper, but I am feeling very trashed and ready to rest. Tempo runs, speedwork, long runs, easy runs....all just chugging along.  Getting it done.

One of my favorite runs was in Durango with my friend K (also doing'll be her first!)  I was in Durango to play a concert and had a 3 hour break between rehearsal and concert so we met up.  I had 10 on my plan and she had 18 so I did 13.5 with her.  We chatted and cruised along the river trail and the miles clicked by quickly.  Near the end of my run with her, I realized we were actually going to break her best time for her half-marathon.  Totally cool.  She did it so easily.  I am so excited for Shiprock to see how fast she can go.  She is super fit and so dedicated. It's going to be a great day!

K and I play in the San Juan Symphony together and all the local musicians were asked to go to a photo shoot for next year's promo material.  Here's one of the shots of us. I'll make sure and get one of us after Shiprock Marathon too!

Run Happy!

Friday, March 15, 2013

A Post About Nothing

I ran 46 miles last week.

This week will be around 54.

I have 7 weeks until the next marathon (will be #4).  

Tempo runs are going great.  They are on Thursdays. For the last 3 weeks I have done 8 miles at marathon pace.  Goal pace: 7:38

2 weeks ago splits:
7:34, 7:47, 7:48, 7:40, 7:42, 7:41, 7:42, 7:26 (not bad but some were a little slow)

1 week ago splits:
7:35, 7:37, 7:35, 7:35, 7:36, 7:33, 7:28, 7:31 (pretty nice....but all were too fast...I don't want to bonk)

Yesterday's splits:
7:39, 7:40, 7:38, 7:37, 7:39, 7:40, 7:39, 7:39 (YES....that's more like it)

I dropped a 5 gallon jug of water on my foot on Wednesday.  Hurt like crazy. Ryan informed me it hurt because they weigh 40 pounds.  I was balancing it on my bumper to close the hatch and it slipped...onto my foot.  It's ok though...luckily.

On Tuesday, Ryan and I ran at the track with my 3 nephews. I had to do speedwork. The 4-year old "O" (who is the cutest thing on Earth with giant blue eyes and has eyelashes like a camel) ran 2 laps with Ryan. One of them was completely without stopping.  Ryan and O were both wearing bright yellow.  Ryan helped O with his stride and they ran side-by-side. Cutest thing ever....this tiny runner with beautiful natural form looking up at Ryan in the beautiful NM sunshine chatting as they ran together.  A moment I will remember. SOOOOO wish I'd had my camera.

Run Happy Everyone!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

The birds chirp like it's spring.....

but it is definitely NOT spring.

I've been so tough this year. The final weeks of training for a January marathon were chilling and snowy but I was out there getting it done.  And then, getting back on the horse after a little week of rest in the cold and wind has been less than motivating.  Thank goodness I signed up for a May marathon back in December so I wouldn't have a choice but get back to training. I in and day out...the birds the sun is warm or something (maybe because we are closer to the sun at 5500 feet above sea level).

This weekend is a "lesser" weekend with two 10-milers back to back but they are Easy.  The moderate longer runs are every-other-weekend so luckily that happens next week. I did my 10 today but tomorrow's forecast is stupid.  Seriously. Stupid.  It's 29 degrees and snowing right now with 20mph wind...the snow is actually horizontal.  Tomorrow at 7am is supposed to be 19 degrees with 20-26mph wind so it will "feel like 4".  Great.  I'm super excited.  Cloudy. Cold. Windy. And snowing.  I can't even think about a treadmill (nor do I have a gym membership) but Wordquota and I had some hilarious discussion about the possibility today.  It ended with the vision of me on a treadmill at the gym with a bucket to snot-rocket in, while burping and passing gas.....with a sign on my back that reads "Treadmill Newbie.  I usually run outside....ALONE."
I'm sure either way it will turn into great Blooping material....outside or treadmilling.

On a brighter note, Thursday's Tempo was great.  It was 28 degrees with 10mph wind. So, chilly but at least the sun was partially out.  Warm-up and then 7 miles at marathon pace (goal is 7:40s).
1- 7:40
2- 7:38
3- 7:37
4- 7:42
5- 7:50 (not sure what happened on this one....zoned out I guess)
6- 7:40
7- 7:39

Chin up kids!  Spring will come eventually!!!!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013


I've been busy so here's the quick and condensed version:

My upset foot is cooperating and getting better daily.  I rested 10 days after the marathon, then did 4 miles.  Then I started running every-other-day for a week, then everyday for a week (did 40 miles last week), and now I'm back into the workouts for the next marathon in 12 weeks.  Still have a little soreness on the top of my foot, but it's definitely going to dwindle away into nothingness any day now.

I did my first day of speedwork yesterday....and whew! Enough said.  Better luck next week I guess.

Took Sentry to the vet last week.  He has a freckle on his belly. Doc didn't like it so took a biopsy and said we should be aware that fawn dobermans are very prone to melanoma.  Boy, did I cry and cuddle with him and pray the next few days. I did alot of research and spoiled him with dog park visits too. Husband and I decided that if it was cancer we would not do chemo after all the reading...instead we'd let him be happy-go-lucky and his life would end when it's meant to. Test came back negative so it looks like my running buddy gets to stick around for a while longer. Super refreshed with that news.

On Sunday afternoon it was snowing a little, but we all wanted to get a run in.  So the 3 of us headed out.  Turned into a crazy blizzard!!!  Hail-type snow pelting us in the face stinging with every hit. And the wind was making this snowy mess come from the side instead of above.  Whatever.  Trudge on.  Two different cars stopped asking us if we'd like a ride.  "Nah. This is what we train for."  This was husband's first run in baconator conditions so he was having a great time.  We both laughed and after 15 minutes or so it had settle back to actual snowflakes with not such brutal wind.  Sentry kept pulling me under trees and would try to stop there.  Super funny.  He's kind of a wimp when it comes to stuff falling from the sky (he's been known to hold his bladder for over 12 hours for that sort of thing). Once we got home, we barely had snow in our yard so the storm must have been all north of us. Lame!

 Symphony weekend is upon me. So this week is crazy to schedule runs, rehearsals and concert (which all include an hour of driving each way). I've been doing a lot of practicing in preparation for a small ensemble piece.  Even though the piece itself is really not pretty at all, Sentry enjoys sleeping while I practice.

Happy Running!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

It's a big don't tell

I ran today.

4 miles.

My right foot and peroneus brevis tendon that has been so angry doesn't know it.

I kept it a secret.

I wore beautiful brand new Newton Gravitys.  Squishy. Mushy. Lovely in every way.
DH's new Gravitys and my new Gravitys.  Yes I have one laced green and one turquoise.
That's a tribute to my nephew who used to wear different colored shoes.

It was a whopping 30 degrees outside....with 30 mph wind.

It was cold.

My eyes kept tearing from the wind.

I ran with DH and Sentry.  It's been a very long time since the 3 of us ran together.

It was great.

I'm not telling my foot though and I'm not letting it tell me anything.

We are just going on about our day as if nothing extraordinary happened.

It's been 9 days since my last run.  Since the Marathon.

I know most people with an ouchie take a lot more time off than that. But I truly believe my body can figure this out.

It doesn't hurt any worse than it did before.

Just had to run. It was only 35 minutes!

But it's a secret. So don't tell my foot.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Arizona Rock n Roll RR

Ran 1 mile the week before the marathon because of the weird foot/tendon stuff going on.  Decided against the new red Connects since the issue came up with the shoes (I'm not accusing them, but mentally I just couldn't do it).  Decided to go with my old Connects.  My foot/peroneus brevis tendon was hurting all week. I did everything I could to stay off of it which was killing me.  Mentally I need those runs.

Left to Arizona with DH(not running races yet because of Plantar Fasciitis) and training buddy Doberman (Sentry) on Friday.  My sister and her 3 boys also headed to Arizona to spend the MLK weekend and watch the race.

Picked up Little Brother Thomas at the airport Saturday morning (he would be running also).

My first LOOPMEET at the EXPO....JennyRae.  So happy to meet her.  She has great energy and I loved being able to chat with her after reading all her Bloops.

Worried about the foot.  The shoes just didn't feel good. Standing didn't feel good.  Walking didn't feel good. Can't imagine how running would feel....not to mention, 26.2 miles. Had MANY MANY texting conversations with Wordquota (my biggest fan and mental coach) about how the foot knows it's Go-Time and that it's not like I sprung this on him.  He needs to get his act together and do his job.  Why? Why? At taper? Come on. 

All day Saturday I was crazy nervous. I was so prepared to go fast. To go a best time. But the foot was not cooperating. It was tolerable, but was definitely aching.

Sunday morning. Up at 5:15. Bagel down. Water down. Banana down. In and out of the bathroom a million times. Head to the race. Met up with JennyRae.  A great way to pass the time before the race chatting about her kiddos and future race plans. Headed to Corral 1 with my little brother.

National Anthem always makes me cry. This time it's cause I'm scared of what the next 26.2 will bring.

Race begins. Mile 1. Foot already is achy. Can I make it a 5k? I do. Feeling great otherwise. Legs. Breathing. All great.  Right on pace.

10k is gone already.  I start running with a couple of nice guys around mile 7. I was in some need of distraction. I always race alone, but today was different. I was struggling. I was fighting with myself so early in the race about what to do. Vern was from Canada. Age 39. His wife was running back behind us somewhere working to break 4 hours.  Tim was from Tucson. Age 33.  Mentioned I had gone to school at ASU (where we were headed on this marathon trek) and that I had been a swimmer there.  Tim was a swimmer at Michigan State during the same time period. What are the chances?  These two guys were amazing. Super encouraging. I told them about my foot. They helped me stay positive and strong. They also distracted me for nearly 10 miles. At mile 8, I saw DH and Sentry.  I held out my hand for a high five from my husband and got a quick kiss on the hand from Sentry, the best dog ever.

I'm in yellow, Vern in blue and Tim in orange

At mile 11, I was ready to quit. I could not put my right heel down at all. I was completely running on my toes. The pain was intense. I'm not a quitter. I'm a determined, self-driven competitor. But I was thinking about quitting. 15 miles to go and I couldn't put my heel down. My midfoot strike is pretty good but I knew I'd be toast without being able to push off with my heel. After about 3/4 of a mile it all the sudden went back to the persistent pain that proceeded the intense one. I let the pace slow.  As long as I stayed under 8:00m/m pace then I would post a PR. 

We headed past Camelback mountain and then had a little out and back that was about 3 miles each way on Indian School into Scottsdale.  So it ended up miles 13-19 that we could see those ahead of us headed back and those behind us when we were headed out.  Around 15 I saw my brother Thomas on his 17.  He was killing it. Definitely holding his 6:30s as planned. This was a huge boost for me.  He was having a great race. On his way to break that 3:00 barrier (his previous best was 3:06 missing Boston by 66 seconds).  Around mile 16 we went through an aid station and Vern surged ahead of Tim and me. Then I saw JennyRae coming from the other way. Her headphones out, hollering and waving. Such a pick-me-up.  I pushed on.  Tim hung with me another mile or so and then he surged ahead.  I started working to pass people.  Sometimes it worked. Sometimes it didn't. My pace was slowing but I was hanging under 8s.  At mile 22.5 my sister and nephews were cheering. A huge boost.  My 3 favorite little guys ever and my big sister. Cheering and holding a big New Mexico flag sign.  Totally cool.  I cried a little. Miles 22, 23, 24, 25 were all too slow (between 8:20-8:32). They were also hard.  Mentally. Physically.  Why am I doing this?  I am never doing this again. It feels terrible. If I walk it will just take longer to finish and you've made it this far. So darn it, keep running. Many people were stopping, cramping in the hamstrings, dehydrated. More people then I've ever seen like this.  Strong, abled, fit men...succumbing to dehydration in this dry Valley of the Sun. I pressed on. I could see Arizona State. I could picture the finish line. As long as I went under 9:00 on the last mile, I would PR.  It hurt so bad.  I managed an 8:05.  I crossed the finish line in 3:28 (previous best was 3:30) and my brother was there waiting in the secure zone.  He had posted a 2:59.  I was so happy for him.  I was happy for us. 

I couldn't walk...very well. I got my finisher medal and chugged a water. Then I leaned on a huge trashcan full of water was a great site I'm sure. Probably looked like I was going to puke in it. I grabbed two more waters and we walked about 10 feet. I wanted to sit for a minute. There was a curb...looked great. It was right in front of the medical tent. They were so nice. "Can we get you anything? Ice? Gatorade?" She helped me sit on the curb and got me a drink. They were also very calm and quiet. Not all bubbly and annoying and excited.  I needed calm. I needed gentle.  We sat a minute then got a finisher photo together. Me and my little did we get to this point as adults? A marathon is a special thing. To share each one with my little brother (and husband up to this point) is powerful.  I got a Jamba Juice and laid my head on a big recycling bin (another wonderful photo opportunity could've been here).  It felt good. That recycling bin was my friend for a minute or two. We kept going. This secure zone was really long...felt like a mile. Got out and looked to the stadium where we were supposed to meet DH.  He had seen me at the finish but I didn't see him....WAY too many people so we had set up a meeting place. But the stadium was way too far. I looked around and every other person was on a cell phone. I asked someone to use theirs and called DH to meet us where we were.  He came. We started the long, slow walk back to the car. I knew I had blisters from running funny.  We got to the car, and back to the hotel.  DH left with Sentry to the dogpark.  Little brother headed to the hot tub.  I laid on the bed and cried.  My foot hurt. My whole body hurt.  I took my shoes and socks off.  Bruising. Discoloration. Swelling. All settling in. This wasn't good. I needed a shower and a nap and then I'd be all better. In the shower I wasn't feeling so good. After the shower, I was sitting in the bathroom and DH and Little Brother both returned.  DH asked if he could use the bathroom and I stood up (as much as I could on my one good foot) and told him he'd probably have to wait....right at the end of the sentence I puked.

Guess I'd pushed pretty hard.  Guess I needed more food. Guess I might be in a little shock.  No idea.
I ate a banana. And had a bunch of water. I bypassed the nap, we hopped in the car and headed to Smash Burger where I ate a big Bacon Burger with Avocado and a pile of sweet potato fries.  My sister and nephews met up with us.  2 hours after the race, my foot looked like this:
4 hours this:

The next day:
Went to the doctor today.  After poking and prodding, he though it might be a stress fracture so he took some X-rays.  He got 3 really great photos (it was cool to see my own foot bones on the screen).  No breaks.  But what the X-ray did show was a lot of inflammation...a darker color...very thick across that whole area.  He said lots of ice, stretching and rest and I should be good to go.  I just stressed out that attachment big time which stressed out the fascia bands underneath (that eventually hook up with the Plantar Fascia).  He said I could swim or bike or do other stuff to stay active but that I should take a week or so off running (I planned on doing that anyway).  So I will see how I feel in a week but I'm tentatively planning to take 2 weeks off to be safe. Either way, I'm going to wait until the pain is completely gone from that area.  The funny part is that my entire foot is VERY VERY chubby.  Looking at my foot, you'd think I weighed about 250. I can't see my toe tendons at all so hopefully that swelling goes down soon as I can't really wear shoes (and it's freezing outside).
So now I can actually post this as good news knowing that I didn't completely ruin myself by running this race.
A few race photos:

Me and Little Brother
I was going to title this Bloop: "Hardcore or just plain stupid?"  Now that I know nothing is broken or torn or ruined, I don't think I was stupid or hardcore.  Just another runner out there doing what she loves....even if it truly hurts like hell. I certainly proved to myself that I can tolerate and work through pain for 3.5 hours. I'm already focusing on getting better and gearing up for the next race.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Say it isn't so

The last 3 days have been long.

After Thursdays wonderful tempo run, I started feeling like something was a little out of place in my something was too tight or too loose or just something not quite right.

Friday I got out to do my 7 2.5 I was hurting so bad. The push-off of my heel was killing me.  I tried to walk but that was a million times worse.  It was also 17 degrees and I had my dog with me and he was cold too so walking wasn't going to help either of us.  So, I ran home on my toes (which didn't hurt).  By the time I got home, I couldn't walk.  

Did some research, it my peroneus brevis....the little muscle/tendon that runs down the outside of my lower leg next to my calf, then wraps behind the ankle bone and hooks onto that funny metatarsal bump on the outside edge of the midfoot. It hurt right behind that bump on the bottom of my foot, outside edge. Did a lot of icing and self massage on the muscle. I also did the KT tape on it. I have also done a lot of soul-searching as 18 weeks (or 17 since this week doesn't really count) of really hard training is up in the air for a marathon in 7 days. I spent Sunday afternoon at some friends' house playing string quartets.  One of them is a doctor. I asked him about the foot. He said it's extremely difficult to rupture and pretty much the only way is to sprain an ankle or at least roll the ankle.  I didn't do any of that so it's got to just be angry for the running on packed snow (very uneven and it's a stabilizer muscle) mixed with the frozen ground and sidewalk approaches.  Good news is I can run the race on it if I can deal with the pain (so he says) cause as long as I don't roll the ankle, it won't tear, it'll just be inflamed and hurt real bad.  The ice and rest is definitely helping. I can put weight on it today but all the rest is killing me.  I haven't had 2 days off in a row for MONTHS! And today will be the 3rd day off (even though I can walk my instincts and logic tell me to wait another day to jog).  Seriously, does running during taper week really do anything but ease the mind? The fitness is done right? I was reading in Runner's World new marathon book last night and it actually said to only run 4 days the week of the marathon (which is NOT what my Hansons program says but I'm just looking for piece of mind here). 

I'm so ready to go fast...

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Shoe Porn....and Final Tempo

I have burned through my Newton Gravitys (750-800 miles), my 3rd pair of Brooks Pure Connects, my Merrell Bare Access 2s, and my Merrell Dash Gloves.

Race in 9 I wear my favorite GO-TO shoes? The Brooks Pure Connects? They have a little life in them surely....and they are BRIGHT ORANGE (that means they're fast right??)

Heck no.
I need new shoes...after all I won a free pair at the Turkey Trot (that I have NOT redeemed yet)
And I won a free pair at the Reindeer Romp (that I have NOT redeemed yet).
Time for new shoes.

Love the new Brooks Pure's all my loves wrapped into one.  Huge toebox, snug heel cup for my scrawny little ankles, nice fit through the lacing, not too high on the ankle bones.  Too bad Local Running Store only had a 9.5.....just didn't think that would do come race day with swollen feet.  (So I put in an order for a 10).

What to do?
NEW Brooks Pure Connect 2s.  oh yes.  In Red.  I have never had red shoes before.
The progression of Connects for me looks like this:
Green ones...wore them for my second marathon Colorado Colfax (May 2012)
Blue ones...wore them for my PR Half in Ouray, CO (August 2012)
Orange ones...have worn them in training since September
Red ones...what will their story be????

Last Tempo Run tomorrow. Then 9 days of EASY RUNS (I LOVE LOVE LOVE the sound of that right now).  I'm going to wear the red shoes tomorrow.  If there are any issues, BrightOrange could step-up and do the job right.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

2 weeks til Rock n Roll

Monday 5.5 miles easy
Tuesday 8.5 miles (speedwork: 4x1.5miles @ 7:28 pace)
Thursday 11 miles (10 miles @ marathon pace 7:38s)
Friday 5 miles easy
Saturday 10 miles easy
Sunday 10 miles easy

This week has proven fruitful.  The nasty headcold is finally subsiding although the snot-rockets have been non-stop on all runs....but at least I'm back to feeling about 90%.

Thursday was the Run Of The Week.  I woke up fully aware that I only had 2 Tempo runs left before the marathon (Jan 20).  I always feel pressure near the end of training to make sure that I push as much as I can through these last few quality workouts to ensure that I am MENTALLY and PHYSICALLY ready for race day.  I set out on the regular river route (it was a whopping 14 degrees outside even though I had waited until 10:30am to run).  One mile warm-up, then the pacework began.  (7:38 is the goal pace).
As mile 7 began, I realized I had a blind flash-spot in my vision....this is a pre-cursor symptom of a migraine for me (I have only had 4 or 5 in my life but they always start with this weird vision thing).  I can't see in my focal's like I have just looked at a camera flash that is in a crescent moon shape.  I couldn't see where I was stepping...over ice, over snow.  I couldn't make out people's faces as I ran past them. It then progresses to weird tunnel vision.
I speed up worried I'm not going to make it home. I'm also confused about what to do. "Just get home."
Do I stop?  It's so cold (still less than 20 degrees out with 8mph wind so it feels like about 10 degrees). If the migraine hits I will be stuck 3 miles from home in wettish clothes incapacitated and possibly vomiting....alone.  I keep saying "Just get home".
I don't have my phone.  Should I borrow one and call home? I just keep running.  I keep telling myself (I'm saying it out loud now) "Just Get Home".

I make it home....somehow....running at VERY encouraging tempo pace.  Vision is a mess.  I get in the door and ask husband to get me Coca-Cola, Aleve and water. I sit down, hoping that won't trigger anything.  I chug the coke (the whole thing...weird....they are usually such a special treat....the Mexican ones made with real sugar).  I chase that with 2 Aleve and water.  I wait. Nothing.  I lay down and close my eyes.  "Please no headache. Please no headache."  I try to relax. I'm still breathing hard and heart is pounding from the run. I wait.  I feel a dull headache creeping in. Maybe I caught it soon enough. I rest for 40 minutes. I feel exhausted.  I have a dull headache and feel super tired but I managed to stay ahead of the complete breakdown migraine (which usually ends with vomiting and fetal position in the dark for a few hours).

Once I was able to evaluate, I realized that if I can run through the beginning symptoms of a migraine, in freezing temps, at faster than marathon pace, at the end of weeks and weeks and weeks of hard training.....then I can rock that RocknRoll marathon in 2 weeks.  I hope.

"Just Get Home"