Wednesday, October 31, 2007

A Frightful Run

This morning Kim and I met at my house to run. Arland decided to sleep in, his calf/achilles is still bothering him. I thought Jane was coming too, we waited for a little while and then started off.
It was pretty chilly this morning, low 40's. I decided to wear capri tights, and a short sleeve tech shirt and a long sleeve tech shirt. I thought the long sleeve shirt would come off sometime during the run and although I did warm up quite a bit I was never too hot. Gloves and a running hat finished off the ensemble. I wore the hat so I could attach a light to it, I also had a blinky light on the back of my shirt. Kim had on a reflective belt and her shoes had a lot of reflective stuff. I thought we would be pretty visible to any cars that might be out that early. We used to walk a bit before running to warm up, but it was too cold for walking so we started running almost immediately. We had just left my neighborhood when all of a sudden I got a really strange feeling in my left hip/upperthigh area it kind of just gave out on me and I found my self reaching for Kim's arm for support. It was just for a split second, but it really threw me off. We kept on running... Kim was filling me in on stuff going on with her. One of the great things about running with Kim is that alhtough she is a faster runner she doesn't mind running my pace, and since she is running slower than normal for her she can talk. It really helps pass the time. We were running our normal route with just one small change, and as we were running near the high school we had our first or maybe for me second mishap.
A trash truck was coming out of a side street, across from us, it appeared that he was going to turn onto the main road but instead he was coming straight across the road straight for us. YIKES.... luckily he did see us and stopped. We still kept on running, so far nothing had made us stop. We had to slow down at a couple of intersections oh and the train, that slowed us down, but we kept running or at least jogging in place until it passed. Soon we were back on 1st street which leads straight to my neighbrhood. We had about 1.5 miles left. My left hip/rear was bothering me a little bit but not enough to stop or have to walk. As we were getting furthur down 1st street I was pretty excited I knew we were going to get our 5 miles and we were going to do it with no walk breaks.

We were about 2 blocks from my neighborhood and that section of the road didn't have a shoulder just a ditch, I see a large SUV coming towards us, but I know we are pretty well illuminated so I wasn't too worried... I should have been! He/she kept coming towards us and I kept thinking surely they are going to move over, I glanced down to see what options I had, just for a split second and the next thing you know the SUV is right on top of us forcing us down into the ditch. OH it was ON... I was so mad,I started yelling at the SUV ASSHOLE!!!! the next thing you know I'm running down the street yelling Mother F***kr... A-HOle. I just couldn't stop screaming. Of course now I'm really embarassed but at the time I was out of control!!! Of course once the SUV was gone if anyone had been outside or looking out their window or door all they would have seen was some crazy woman running down the middle of the street shouting obsenities. People think we are crazy as it is so I can imagine that wouldn't have improved our image!
I had planned to finish the run with some strides but after the near miss with the SUV I was just happy to be able to finish.
Even with all our scary experiences we ended up with a good run.

5.01 miles
10:25 avg pace
Avg heart rate 156
Max heart rate 166.. I thought it would have been higher.
1- 10:13
2- 10:27
3- 10:28
4- 10:37
5- 10:24
Not bad considering I had spinning class yesterday morning and speed work last night, and we were almost killed not once but twice!
I felt comfortable the whole run, other than once or twice on a couple of inclines I never felt like I was pushing it.

Spinning & Flying

Tuesday is always a great workout day for me, I start at 5:00am with an hour spinning class and then end at 6pm with our Tuesday Flyers running clinic.

Kim and I are usually the only two in spinning class.. I know someplaces wouldn't keep having class for just two people so we are lucky to have Stacy. The last 5 minutes of class we do Ab's, so not only do I get a great cardio workout I also get a great ab workout.

The Tuesday night Flyers group is growing, we had a couple new people last night and Cheryl was back... YAY Cheryl. Dennis had a meeting last night so he gave us our work out and then he had to leave... bummer!
We have three groups, beginners, intermediate and advanced. Arland, Cheryl, Kelly, Sonia, Jen and I are in the intermediate group. Our workout last night after the .7 mile warm up was 4 strides and then one 800 with three minues rest, one 1,000 with three minutes rest and then another 800 finishing off with 4 strides. 800's and 1,000 were to be done at our Lactate Threshold pace.

It was really chilly last night and I was anxious to get started just to warm up, oh and I also needed to use the bathroom, Andrea's house near where we do our workouts so she told me I could use their restroom. Well it was so cold I didn't think I was going to make it!! The cold does that to me, I remember when I was in the restaurant business, anytime I had to go into the big walk in coolers or freezers I would immediately have to go pee.

After our little break Cheryl and I caught up with the group and started our workout. We ended up doing 1 800 and 2 1,000's. While we were running I told Cheryl I had a Turkey Freschetta sandwich from Wendy's, when she told me she had looked them up before and they are really high in calories I was bummed so I said let's do 1,000 instead of 800. I told her she was being punished because of my poor food choices.
During the strides Cheryl decided she wanted to show me up, and damn that girl can run fast when she wants to!! At one point me, Cheryl, Sonia and Jen were racing each other. Or maybe I was just racing them, all I knew was that when I heard those footsteps coming I knew I couldn't let them pass me. Sprinting is NOT my strenghth, I really do much better starting off slow and then graudually building speed, but it was fun "racing" them last night.

After the workout we came home had an Amy's organic spinach and tomato pizza and watched the Marathon Challenge on PBS.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Part 2 of Sunday on the River Trail

After the 12 mile run Michele and I became Arland and Jane's support crew. I did this a couple of weeks ago and really enjoyed it. It was even more fun this time having Michele with me.
We sent Jane and Arland on while we said good-bye to Heather and had some snacks. I didn't want them to stop too long and get stiff and not want to finish. I know that feeling all too well!!
After saying good bye to Heather,Michele and I got on our bikes and started off, OUCH it was freezing, neither one of us had anything warm on our heads. Michele had been running with an earband on but she took it off after the run. We hadn't gotten too far and I knew we would be miserable if we didn't do something about keeping our ears warm. We turned around and Michele put on her earband and some sunglasses... I looked everywhere but I didnt' have anything. I was wearing a jacket that had a hood so I just put the hood on over my running hat and hoped it would stay up.
I really wish I would have thought to take pictures of us... Michele looked like one of the cops on Reno 911 and as I would find out later I looked like the Unabomber.

Michele and I soon caught up with Arland and Jane, but not before we were just completely cracking up at ourselves... Michele hasn't ridden her bike in years and her gears were a little rusty, and me if I try to turn my head I run off the side of the road. Needless to say we probably looked ridiclous!!!

Arland and Jane seemed happy to see us, our "crew" duties mostly consisted of keeping them entertained and carrying anything they didn't have room for or didn't want anymore.
I filled up my water bottles with acclerade and would remind them to drink every now and then.
Arland and Jane didnt' want to go back to the bridge so decided to run around the soccer fields at Burns Park which is across from the River Trail. Well normally there isn't much traffic on Sunday mornings, but this Sunday was a big Soccer tournament, so Michele and I novice bike riders that we are had to dodge a lot of cars. No offense to anyone, but here in Arkansas I have noticed that "Soccer parents" are not always the best drivers. I don't know if it's because they are always late trying to get all the kids ready or what but they always seem to drive really fast and they don't pay attention to other cars or people on bikes, or foot. We have a soccer Softball field not far from our house and I see this every weekend. Well It was the same in Burns Park so Michele and i were lucky to esape unharmed. I was sooo happy to get back on the River Trail and only have to dodge other bikers and runners!
Part of my job as support crew also is to keep Jane out of the other biker's path. Last time she was nearly taken out by a female biker... she looked nice enough decked out in pink, but she had a heart of steel because although it was obvious Jane was delirious she aimed right for her. Ok maybe that wasnt' exactly how it happend, but Jane did almost get taken out by the "pink biker chick" and after that incident it became my mission to protect her from herself. Turns out this week I also had to protect Michele!! LOL They have a bad habit of running, or riding in the middle of the trail and not moving over when bikes are coming in the opposite direction. I was constantly having to remind them in a firm yet loving voice to MOVE OVER!!!
Of course they were calling me mean etc.
While we were still at the soccer fields we stopped at the restroom, it was then that I realized what I looked like. I came out of the tbe bathroom and said to the group thanks a lot for telling me I look like the Unabomber!! If I would have traded sunglasses with Michele it would have really looked like him!
For me and Michele the time really flew by on the bikes... not so much for Jane and Arland but before I knew it they were on the home stretch. Arland's calf started cramping up around mile 12 but by mile 18 it was getting worse and at one point the pain just stopped him in his tracks. I didnt' know this at the time as I was chatting with Jane. Michele was back with Arland and I was with Jane, a little bit later Michele joined us...she said she was worried she was driving him nuts with her chatter. He told me later she really helped him not think of the pain. Michele and I escorted Jane back to the Skate Park and then turned back for Arland.
I'm so proud of both them, they both finished strong, even Arland with his calf pain.

We had a little tail gate party with fruit and Almond thins with humus.

I wish I could remember all the funny things Michele said during our ride, that girl is seriously funny!! Most people probably don't know that about her because she is usually pretty quiet but once you get to know her she is a riot!!!!

It was great morning of running & riding and now Jane and Arland are ready for Tulsa!!!

Jane & Arland celebrating the completion of their 20 miler

Arland taking a spin on my bike after finishing his run.

Me Jane and Michele

Monday, October 29, 2007

Sunday on the River Trail

Yesterday was Arland and Jane's last 20 miler before the Tulsa Route 66 marathon.
Orginally I didnt' have a specific mileage in mind for myself since I knew I was running 12 with Susan on Saturday. One of my friends Heather needed 12 so I told her I would do 12 with her. We ran from the skate park to Murray Park with the Big Dam Bridge in between. Michelle also came out to run with us she didn't have any mileage goals just wanted to run. Michelle is so funny, she let me know as soon as we got to the skate park she was not happy to be there!!! It was cold and dark and she wanted to be home in bed, which was a sentiment shared by us all I think.
Once we got started though she started feeling better and let me know she was glad she came.
We probably started out a little fast considering that Arland and Jane had to do 20 miles. We tried to slow it down a bit, but we were all feeling pretty good so it was hard.
Considering I had run 15 miles the day before I felt great, but that feeling wasn't going to last the whole run.
Just about a mile before the bridge we ran into Gary and Curtis... LOVE those guys!!! Curtis starting running with Arland and Jane, and Gary was running with me Heather and Michelle. He is FAST so I told him don't push us!! LOL I think he knew I was kiddding. Of course he did push us, but it wasnt' his fault we were just enjoying running with him. Once we got to the Bridge I had to make a pit stop and got left behind :( Oh well I knew that worst case scenerio I would just catch everyone on the way back and have a little shorter mileage for the day. As it turns out Michelle walked the bridge I think partly to wait on me, and partly becasue the bridge has done a number on her IT band before and she didn't want to chance it. I was able to catch up to her at the bottom of the bridge. I am proud to say that after all those hills on Saturday I did run the entire way up the bridge and over.
Once I caught up with Michelle it didn't take us long to catch up with the others and when we got to Murray park we all took a walk break. Michelle needed to use the restroom so Gary, Curtis, Heather and I walked a loop around the restrooms. We regrouped and all ran to the bridge together, but by now fatigue was starting to set in and I gave myself permission to walk up the bridge. I did manage a few jogs but mostly walked. Once again I was alone!!! Michele was feeling good and she powered up the bridge and I think she might have even ran down it, it's the downhills that bother her the most.
When I got to the bottom everyone had stopped for a break, I think maybe some needed to use the port-a-potties. Gary and Curtis had done hill repeats on their bikes before they met up with us for the run and they were just about done. We stopped to take pictures.

Gary and Curtis walked with us for a bit and once we started running again they said good-bye. Did I already say I LOVE those guys??? well I do.
We also met up with Marianne she was on her bike and she rode beside the others while they went up the bridge. I didnt' really get to talk to her much since I was always behind at that point. She's the one on the bike in the pictures. Marianne has done Ironman KY. and Ironman FL. she really is an inspiration!!

So we said our good byes and headed back to the skate park... The 15 miles from the day before and the Bridge were starting to take there toll. I was really starting to lose steam. I managed to hold it together until about mile 10 and then as the splits will show I just gave up!! I even told Michele don't worry about me I am going to just walk/run as much as I can for the rest. Heather went on, but Michele stayed with me, she said she was really only had wanted 8 miles so she was fine.

So I ended up with
12 miles
11:34 avg pace

1- 10:35
2- 11:07
3- 10:38
4- 10:15 (hooked up with Gary)
5- 11:28 bridge potty break
6- 10:27
7- 12:41 Long walk at Murray park
8- 14:34 Bridge and stopping to take pictures
9- 11:18
10- 11:07
11- 12:25
12- 12:03
Miles 7 and 8 look slow, but really I think I was still running at a good pace we just had some breaks in there. Miles 11 and 12 are where I really slowed down.

After the run we had a little snack and said our good byes to Heather and then Michele and I got our bikes out and started our crewing duties.

To Be continuted.........

More thoughts from Saturday's run

When I composed my post about the run with Susan I was so excited to be adding pictures that I forgot some of what I wanted to say about the run.

I forgot to mention the dogs... thankfully we did not encounter any problems with animals. We did see a couple on the side of the road at one point, of course I immediately froze but Susan said don't worry I'm the dog whisperer. I guess she was right because they just stayed where they were.
A little later we were running along and I was saying how I thought this run qualifed as cross country because of all the dirt and grass were running in along the side of the road when suddenly a dog started barking and ran towards us... again I panicked but luckily the owners were right there and the dog didn't get close to us.

Another thing I wanted to mention and mabye I did, was how friendly a lot of people were along our course. We got a lot of waves and thumbs up from people, mostly older men and women, and when we were running through town in Malvern one man in his drive way called out Run girls run.. or something along those lines. It was GREAT!! Much friendlier than we usually get in Cabot. Well except that one time when we were running and a man drove by and asked if we wanted a ride!! LOL

I also wanted to mention how proud I am of Susan. She does almost all of her running alone. I can't even begin to imagine what that would be like, I am blessed with so many wonderful running partners. I honestly don't know how I would have made it through my marathon training without Brenda, Michelle, Kim, Cheryl and so many other running friends. So Big props to Susan for getting out there and getting in all of her training runs alone!!! I admire you more than you know!

Also a big shout out to Elijah... we thought of and talked about you a lot during our run!!! You were also in my thoughts on Sunday when I was starting to fatigue during the last miles of my run. You are a strong boy and if you can go through all that you have in your short life I can finish a 12 mile run!!! Thanks for the Inspiration!!!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

From Benton to Malvern

Back in September I told Susan I would to go Benton to run the last 1/2 of her 22 miler. Susan had come to the River Trail for the last 20 miler of our Chicago Marathon training I know how great it was for me to have her there that day so I was returning the favor. I recruited my friend Kelly to go along so we met in Cabot at 7:00am on Saturday to make the drive to Benton. Kelly is a member of our Tuesday Flyer's running clinic and I just love her she is such a sweetheart. Kelly is also going to Tulsa to run the 1/2 marathon and then in December she will be running the 1/2 in Memphis.
Susan had e-mailed directions the day before, and I printed them off, but forgot them. As we were approaching Benton I noticed the exit #'s were in the 120's and she had said exit 106, I started to get a little nervous Susan hadn't mentioned we were actually starting in the boonies! I had Kelly trying to find the e-mail with her directions just to be safe, but then I remembered Susan had mentioned something about Malvern in her previous e-mails. As we made the exit we noticed a truck stop, but we proceeded on to the Moose Lodge where we were to meet Susan. We were actually early so we decided to go back to the truck stop to use the facilities. As I got out of the truck I realized how I was dressed. I had put warm up capri's on over my skirt, it was kind of bunchy so I pulled the skirt part of my running skirt over the pants. Kelly and I were both laughing pretty hard at how funny I looked!
Of course we had to get a picture.

We returned to the Lodge and just a few minutes later Susan came running up. It was good to see her, and she looked strong. We put on our Garmin's and water belts, and Susan had her peanut butter sandwich and then we were off.

I knew there were going to be some hills on this run but wasn't quite prepared for how many! I don't remember exactly what I said to Susan but I made some sort of disparaging remark about the hills... LOL I HATE HILLS!!!
We hadn't been on the road for too long when I thought a bathroom break might be a good idea, it wasn't an emergency but we saw a gas station and thought we should take advantage of it while we could. I had no idea what other opportunities we might have later on. Unfortunately this gas station had a sign that said no public restrooms. We did get some nice remarks from some of the customers at the gas station, I'm not sure if they were impressed with us or just thought we were crazy but they were friendly. Of course once we realized we weren't going to be able to use the facilities I really did need to use the bathroom. There was a high school across the street and there were quite a few cars parked outside so we thought we would at least try. They were having ACT exams and there was a teacher posted at the door, I saw a moments hesitation in her eyes when we first asked if we could use the restroom, but I guess we looked pretty harmless so she let us in.

The road we were running on was pretty busy and people were FLYING!! We had to run on the shoulder a lot, which wasn't too bad, luckily it was mostly dirt and small rocks. Susan pretty much stuck to the edge of the road but Kelly and I mostly ran on the shoulder. At one point Susan had gotten a rock in her shoe so we stopped for a moment. Another photo op :O

I told Susan at the very beginning that this run was all about her and that Kelly and I were just along to support her. We let her set the pace, call walk breaks etc. In the beginning we started out a little fast but then we settled into a comfortable pace.
Susan had asked me to tell her about Chicago, the first few miles we just chit chatted about other stuff, I couldn't even tell you what we talked about, I was just trying to keep Susan's mind busy. I did tell stories from Chicago and you know how it is when you are talking one thing reminds you of something else so our conversations would go off in different directions.
Here are Susan and Kelly in front of the Brick factor.. an imortant milestone in our run.

Susan and I showing off our "Run for Elijah bands"

Once we reached Malvern we knew we were home free, I had accidently stopped my Garmin for about a 1/2 mile at 10.25. I try not to look at my Garmin too much when I'm running so it took me a little while to notice. My guess is that when I was reaching into the pouch on my hydration belt to get my phone/camera I accidentaly turned it off. I wasn't sure how long it had been off so I wasn't sure how long we had left for sure. Susan said she had a suprise for us, and just before we got to it she said let's "Pre" it until we get to that sign... so I'm thinking we are just about done and I took off and sprinted. It felt GREAT, but I was a little alarmed when I realized that wasn't the end of the run, we still had about 1.5 miles left.
The suprise was an old house being restored by the firm that Susan works for, it really was beautiful, and had some beautiful old stain glass windows. It was a nice break and helped my legs recover from the sprint.

Chasen Susan's husband had driven by a couple of times to check on us... he really is a SWEET guy!!!! He was going to meet us at the end of our run and take us back to my car and then we would follow them back to Susan's house for lunch. Towards the end of the run I tried to get far enough ahead of Susan to take a picture of her when she hit 22, but since I didn't really know exactly how much distance we had left I didn't get the picture exactly at the 22 mile but close.
Here are Susan and Kelly pretty close to the end... Susan looks great considering she was at the end of a very hilly 22-miler!

Susan has a great picture of the three of us at the end of the run that her husband Chasen took for us.
We stretched a little bit and then Chasen being the sweetheart that he is, drove over to walgreen's and bought us bottles of water.

Our after run celebration was great Susan made her wonderful potato salad and Kelly had brought fruit and cheese. Susan has a really cute house, and we fell in love with her backyard. It has a lot of privacy and you almost feel like you are out in the country. We didn't get to stay and chat as long as I would have liked, but Kelly and I had to rush off to NLR to get in another run with my friend's Cheryl and Kim.

This was going to be Cheryl's first outside run since spraining her ankle over a month ago. Lakewood is also hilly, Kelly and I were pretty fatigued and had gotten pretty stiff and sore on the drive from Benton, so we took it pretty easy and walked the hills. We didn't really get to run with Cheryl and Kim much, but it was good to see them anyway.

Here are a few more pictures from the "Susan Run"


Susan.. Mission accomplished

Thanks Susan and Kelly for a great run!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Beware of Dog

Yesterday afternoon I met Brenda and Michelle in NLR to run out by the Old Mill. Michelle came to Team 1 and we rode together. I haven't seen her since the marathon so it was great to see her and catch up on life and discuss some of our favorite t.v. shows.
I missed the turn into Lakewood because we almost witnessed an accident and it kind of freaked me out a little. Luckily no accident but it was very close. We had to turn around at Starbucks and with rush hour traffic I didn't think we were ever going to get out of there, Michelle kept telling me I was bigger than eveyrone else so just go for it!! LOL A nice lady in a cadillac finally let us out and we ended only being a few minutes late.
It was pretty chilly and windy at the start of our run, but it didnt' take long to warm up, especially since we had a nice little hill within the first few minutes of the run. I was really struggling with my breathing at first. It was kind of embarassing, I felt like I was so loud. I was determined though to keep up with Brenda and Michele and I did, except going up the hill at the Old Mill. We did a 2.5 mile loop twice so that meant going up that hill twice. I am proud to say although it really slowed me down I ran the whole time and even after cresting the top kept running, I had to so I could catch up with the girls.
One of the really nice things about running around Lakewood is the bathrooms so nice not to have to use a port-a-pottie, although there is one of those by the Old Mill just in case.
The first run up the Old Mill hill did something funky to my stomach so I needed to make a pit stop at those nice bathrooms. This is also where we were parked and had stashed our water bottles. After our pitstop we started off again, I was feeling pretty good, and we were just chatting away. One of our conversations centered around all the bad things we've been eating lately. It felt good to get it off my chest and to know I wasn't the only one!!

On our first loop we had encountered a very friendly dog, Brenda tried to scare him off, but he followed us for quite a while, finally he found another dog to play with. As we were getting closer to the area we had seen the little fella the first time I knew we would probably see him again... well I was right, he saw us coming and he was so HAPPY to see us he was just barreling towards us, I had a bad feeling.... we were running pretty fast at the time and I started slowing down, I knew what was going to happen next. The little bugger ran right for me and got tangled up in my feet, which resulted in me going down. I fell a couple of weeks before the marathon and really did a number on my knee, shin and hands... this time I tried not to put so much pressure on my hands and I did some kind of roll. I actually layed there for a second, last time I fell I popped right up, this time it took a few seconds. I'm fine, my knee is banged up again and i scrapped my palms a bit. It was more embarassing than anything, and of course I had a few tears. I think the tears embrassed me more than anything!! LOL poor Brenda and Michelle they are starting to get used to my tears!!

After the fall we walked for a little bit so I could get my composure back, but not for too long I knew the longer I walked the harder it would be to run.
I really like running in Lakewood, the cars are used to people running in that area and we got lot's of waves and people were very considerate of us, there were other runners out and about too and that is always nice. Towards the end of the run we were chugging up an incline when a very nice looking young guy passed us.. As soon as he was out of earshot I said that sucks or something along those lines, here we were running pretty hard and he just passes us so smooth and easy!!! LOL He passed us again later and Brenda made a comment about it as he was running by, he gave us a big smile :)
My Garmin lost satelite at 4.19 miles and although the time kept ticking away the mileage stayed at 4.19. I know we did at least 6 miles. Brenda and Michelle got a little more than me, they ran up and down in front of the restrooms when I had to make my pit stop.

Great run with great friends :)

This morning was spinning class and tonight swim lessons.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

I wimped out

Well bummer... I didn't go to the Tuesday Night Flyer's running clinic tonight. It has been COLD and rainy all day, while I was out and about earlier in the day I got chilled and never could seem to warm up after that. I still thought I would go to run, but when I left work it was cold, rainy and then my low fuel light came on in my truck... running in the rain no problem, getting gas in the rain NO WAY!! LOL I know I'm crazy.
Soooo I get home call Brenda and hope she says she's not going either, but of course I knew better than that. Brenda is tough and a little bit of cold rain isn't going to stop her. I also called Andrea and she almost guilted me into going, but as soon as I hung up the guilt trip was over.
Brenda called me on her way home, they did have several people show up and she had a great run. Next time I need to just suck it up and go.. and I will!!

I did get a workout in this morning.. I went to my 5:00am spinning class. Boy does spinning kick my butt!! I love it ... when it's over! Seriously within the first couple of seconds my heart was racing and I was already breaking into a sweat. Of course it didnt' help that the tension thingy isn't working correctly and it would either tighten or loosen up all by itself, which can be dangerous ! ! especially if you are in the middle of a standing hill climb when the tension loosens. NOT GOOD!!!
Anyway I was tough this morning but a wimp tonight. I have a fun run scheduled for tomorrow and I'm really looking forward to it.. come rain or sunshine!

Beating the Rain

Kim and I made plans to run Monday morning at 5:30, the weather forcast called for possible rain. I woke up at 4:50 and listened for rain, nope pretty quiet so I got up and checked outside, no rain. At 5:30 I went outside to turn my garmin on and wait for Kim, as soon as I stepped outside I thought hmmmm they must have really been way off on the forcast. It was beautiful the stars were shining so bright and not a sign of clouds. Kim arrived and we took off, we were doing our normal 4 mile route. As we were running along I thought I saw flashes of light in the sky but just shrugged it off. This was mine and Kim's first run together in ages well except for the Marathon and that was completely different!!!
We made it to our turn around point I was feeling really good, I had decided the night before I needed to try to push myself on this run. Although techinically this was supposed to be a recovery run after the 14 on Sunday. Anyway we were just cruising along talking and enjoying the cool weather when suddenly I saw a huge flash of light and realized that I could no longer see any stars the clouds had rolled in. I guess it was about 1/4 mile from home when the rain started, at first it was just a sprinkle but then it started coming down pretty hard. I really didn't mind the rain it was the lightening that was making me nervous. We picked up our pace and flew home. Usually we do a cool down lap around the neighbrhood but that wasn't happening!!!! We stretched a little bit in the garage and then it was time for Kim to go home. We lucked out and got in a really great run with only a little bit of rain. It's Tuesday afternoon now and it feels like it has been raining off and on ever since.

Monday 5:30 am 4 miles
9:58 average pace 39:12
1- 9:43
2-10:34 we had to slow down for traffic a couple of times.
4-9:26 trying to beat the rain

Monday, October 22, 2007

Sunday at the River Trail

Arland had 15 on the schedule for his Sunday long run, I wanted 12. Most of the people we normally run with had done their long runs after the Race for the Cure on Saturday, but luckily Jackie was up for a run at the River Trail. She was parking in a different area with another friend Jamie and they were going to run towards us. When we arrived at our usual location they were already there taking a little pit stop. We all ran together for a little while, Jackie and Jamie are fast but I was keeping up with them, actually I think it was a combination of me speeding up a little and them slowing down a little. Arland was having a hard time finding his rythym. I chatted with the girls for a bit and realizing I wasn't going to be able to keep up with them the whole time and also not wanted Arland to run alone the whole time I slowed down. Arland's foot was really bothering him. I think all the walking we did on Saturday at the Inner Harbor and then the airport hurt him more than a run does.
I was feeling really good so I stayed close to Arland but we mostly ran our own paces. When we got to the Big Dam Bridge I had to stop to use the port-a-pottie. Arland waited for me and we headed up the bridge.... the bridge is usually my nemesis, I usually have to walk it more often than I can run it, but yesterday was a good day!! I ran all the way up, across and down never stopping, somewhere in here Arland got ahead of me... he really is very strong on hill's much like my running pal Susan :) We were just about at Murray Park when Arland said 6 miles and he turned around or so I thought. I turned around and started running thinking he was right behind me, I knew I was a little ahead but I knew he would kick my butt on the bridge so I was kind of trying to get a head start. Well I get to the bridge turn around and no Arland I was little concerned since I knew his foot was bothering him but I proceeded up the bridge anyway. Once again I thought I was going to have to walk, but I ran the whole way not stopping until I got to the bottom. Still no Arland, I used the port-a-pottie again and still no Arland I was really getting worried. Luckily I had my cell phone so I called him he was just on the other side of Murray Park, instead of turning around he was just getting water and then kept going towards Little Rock. Hmmmm well I didn't want to keep running bymyself, so I made the decision to go back up the bridge and once again I ran the whole thing!!! I had thought I might run into him at the top but no, so I continued on and met him near the bottom. By this time I was really getting tired of running up and down that damn bridge!!! but once again I ran the whole thing never walking. I really felt like I had conquered my enemy and it really gave me a lot of confidence.

The rest of the run back was good I never felt tired or had any problems, it was really pretty great. All in all a great run, I got 13.5 and Arland got his 15, although he did pay for it the rest of the day.
Average pace for my run was 11:05 for 13.5 miles that includes 3 bathroom breaks so I thought that was really good!

After we got home I made us a really good breakfast omeletes made with low fat cheese and vegtables. It was yummy and after several days of being bad it felt really good to eat something healthy!!

My neighbor and very good friend Terri took care of our mail for us while we were gone, so I went over yesterday to pick it up, I don't get to see her very often and it's always a treat when I do so I really enjoyed catching up with her. The really funny thing was that when I got home and I was looking through the mail I saw a card for me, I got a giggle when I saw that it was one she had mailed to me. The really nice thing was there was a gift certificate for a hour long massage!!! How cool is that :)

Later in the day I met Cheryl at Barnes and Noble for Coffee and then we walked over to Target. It was a lot of fun, we sat at B&N for a long time chatting and then we started looking at running books. I bought two one for me and one for Arland. The one I bought for myself is "The non Runners guide to Running for Women". I'll let you know how it is, if I ever get the chance to read it.
I really enjoy hanging out with Cheryl she is always a lot of fun Ialways end up laughing a lot when I am around her!

So to summarize my Sunday I got in a great run and I got to spend time with my best friends... who could ask for a better day :)

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Catching Up

Wow.. I can't believe it has been over a week since I posted on the blog. I wanted to tell you all about our run's last Saturday and Sunday, but I guess with a combination of busyness and laziness it didn't happen. I won't go into all the details but both runs were great. Saturday we ran 3 miles with Jane, & Rick and then hung out and cheered for the runners racing the Cabot Fest 5k. It was a lot of fun, it was so nice NOT to be racing!!! Dennis our running coach did race as well as Andrea, Jackie, Caitlyn and Rick, Lisa and Bob.
After hanging out with everyone during the awards Arland and I ran home, altogether we got 7 miles and I felt great.
Sunday we went to the River Trail for Arland's 20 miler. Again lot's of other Cruisers were running and it was great, especially since I didn't have to run 20 miles!!! LOL I took my bike along and after I ran 9 miles with Kelly H. I jumped on the bike and "crewed" for Arland, Jackie and Jane. It was really a lot of fun!!! The only weird part for me was not having Brenda with us, I have done all of my long runs with her every Sunday since May.

I took Monday as a rest day, Tuesday was 5am spinning class and then our Tuesday Flyer's running clinic at 6pm (we did hill repeats) Wednesday morning Arland and I ran 4.5 at 5:30 am, and then Wednesday afternoon we flew to Baltimore for Business. I used to live in Maryland so I jumped at the opportunity to go on this trip. We stayed in a really nice hotel on the Inner Harbor. Wednesday night Arland and I went to The Cheescake Factory for dinner, I won't tell you everything we had.. it's too embarassing, but I will say we were both pretty miserable the rest of the night. Thursday was spent in meetings and then Thursday night the whole group went to Fogo da Chao, a Brazillian steakhouse, It was WONDERFUL!!!! Along with consuming lot's of meat I also had a few drinks, it was the first alchohol I've had in probably 6 months. It was fun!! LOL After dinner a few of us stopped off at the bar in the hotel where we were staying and I had a couple more drinks... raspberry mojoito's, wow they were yummy!!! A couple of the guys we had been hanging out with during lunch and dinner are also runners. During dinner I said NO way am I running tomorrow morning... well I guess those mojoto's went to my head because at about 11:00 I found myself agreeing to go running with the guys in the morning. LOL
5:15 came awfully fast, but I was really glad I did it, running along the inner harbor was so cool!!!! and it really helped get rid of the fog of the dinner and drinks from the night before. We only ran a coule of miles, but we ran fast, I didn't want to get left behind in unfamiliar territory! It was really warm and humid but the breezes coming off the water helped a little bit. As we were running Arland and I saw a running store and made plans to go back to check it out on Saturday.
Friday was more meetings and then dinner out again with some of the people from the meetins who like us were staying an extra night.
Anyway enough of all that.. it was great, we ate a lot, drank a bit and made some new running friends!!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

What a relief

I was worried... I hadn't run since the marathon because of the blisters. I was afraid my legs might have forgotten how to run, or my lungs would forget how to take in enough oxygen. BUT it was an awesome run, everything worked the way it was supposed to. I did have one major problem about 2 miles in my stomach started betraying me, but I knew it would I have felt bloated for a couple of days. Luckily we were less than a mile from my house so I knew I could make a pit stop. Unfortunately a mile is a long way when you have to poop...I would walk, jog a little, the group got ahead of me, I didn't mind, I did not want them around if I had an accident. Luckily I made it home, I actually had to completely stop twice in the neighborhood but no accidents!! LOL

So the first 2 miles awesome the third well you know... the next 2 miles awesome again. I ended up with a total of 7
I have a lot more to tell but Arland and I are on our way to Sporty Runner in Conway, my FAVORITE running store!!!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Swim Lessons

I've been playing with the idea of some kind of swim lesson's for a while now. I've been swimming my whole life, but never really had any kind of form and didn't know proper breathing. I'm interested in maybe trying some Tri's next year. I have a comfort bike, not meant for racing but I do ok with it and am planning on getting a new road bike very soon. That leaves swimming... well fellow cruiser Jackie worked out a special rate for the cruisers with the head of aquatics at the Jacksonville CC. So Thursday nights at 7:00 we are taking swim lessons... the first one was last week, the night before we were leaving for Chicago. It was very interesting, we worked mostly on breathing, because Brenda and I didn't want to do anything too taxing before our marathon. Last night was the second lesson. We had a different instructor, I didn't think I was going to like her at first. Something about her was off putting to me for some reason, but even after she tried to drown me I grew to like her, and actually hope we have her more often. I hope we will be able to continue these lessons all winter. They have us broken up into diffrent groups, I'm with Brenda and Maddy, it's nice to have Brenda there and Maddy is such a sweet heart. We kind of fell into the middle, there was the can swim a mile group, hmm don't remember the other one, but it had something to do with completing shorter distance tri's... then there was our group the know how to swim but can't swim really far group. The next group were the one's who didn't really know how to swim and some of them were afraid to put there heads under the waterand some were afraid of the deep end. It was really to cool to see how quickly Cheryl and Kim were dunking their heads under the water and actually gliding up and the lane a little bit. Their group was split up between two instructors because there were more of them. Vic, Jane and Sarah are also doing great... they were really tearing up the lane's last night!!
Cheryl and Kim had to miss, Kim is sick and Cheryl was out of town.

I also take spinning class twice a week.. Tuesday and Thursday at 5:00am, I havent been in two weeks and look forward to getting back to it. One thing I'm not looking forward to...... a sore rear end!!! I had gotten to where the bike seat didn't hurt anymore and now I have to start all over.

Tomorrow morning will be my first run since the Marathon... I hope my legs remember how to run!!!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

More Chicago Thoughts

I have kind of been in a bit of a fog since the Marathon. It's been hard to focus at work, and the blisters on the bottom of me feet have made trying to get things done at home almost impossible. I don't know if part of the fog is because I haven't been able to run??? Whatever is was I have finally started to emerge slowly but surely.

I have been reading a lot of blog reports about Chicago, and all I can say is WOW... I had heard reports that the Marathon officials were blaming the runners I have even heard that reoprters have called us stupid for even showing up at the start line. I am truly just flabbergasted... I mean WOW I can't believe how narrow minded, mean spirited and totally ignorant they are to make such comments.

My heart breaks for everyone who was sick, injured or not able to finish the race for whatever reason. I did not realize at the time how incrediably lucky I was. I sure didn't feel lucky, I was pretty miserable the last 6 miles, but we were always surrounded by people so I had no idea how many were not allowed to finish.

I truly believe that my training in the heat really helped me survive the marathon on Sunday, but you know what thousands of others also trained in similiar or worse conditions and many of them were not able to finish. I came away from this experience even stronger mentally and physcially.. it in no way diminished my love of running or my desire to run marathons, I just hope that all of those who got sick or were stopped by race officials can find that love and desire again. Don't let the poor planning and name calling by the Race Director take that away from you!!!!!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

The rest of the story.....

Around mile 25 we called Brenda... Michele had her phone with her, and I knew Brenda would be so worried. She was SO HAPPY when she realized that not only were we going to finish but that we were together!!! Just hearing her voice combined with that ice cream bar I was so energized..... anyway you know how it ended.

After we got our gear, I saw I had messages, well one of them was from my cousing Jamie... he didnt' finish, he quit at mile 20, not because they called the race, he would have finished before they called it, but because the heat just caused him to have a sucky race from the beginning so he bagged it at 20.

Next I called Brenda, Michele and I were trying to head to the arranged meeting place, but luckily it turned out that Brenda was close, I told her I could see the big energizer bunny and we met there instead. It turns out that Kim finished 2 minutes before me and Michele... if not for my feel we probably would have passed her, or at least caught up with her. Poor thing she had a pretty miserable second 1/2 too, but she finished!!!! :)

I had some shirts made for us to wear in the race, but when we saw how hot it was going to be we decided to put them in our gear bags and put them on afterwards... they were so cute, too bad no one really got to see them!!

Jamie had long since gone home, so I called him and he had us walk to Lake Shore drive, pretty much the same spot where we had been dropped off that morning Lake Shore and Jackson I think.
Again Jamie was so awesome here we are 3 very sweaty very excited girls... we were jabbering away a mile a minute the whole way home. Traffic was pretty bad what had been a 15 minute trip that morning turned into almost an hour going home.

When we got home after we manuvered our way up the stairs Jen had fresh veggies and Hummus waiting for us... it was perfect!!!!
We had already decided the day before we wanted to have guacamole from the mexican restaurant around the corner from their apt. Adobo's... we had walked by on Saturday and saw it on several tables and oh it looked so good, of course we knew we couldn't have it then... so Sunday afternoon Jamie ordered us a Chicago style pizza and then he and Jen went to the restaurant and brought us back guacamole. We were in HEAVEN!!!
Other than the blisters on the balls of my feet and some shoulder soreness I felt great.. I guess all that training in 90 + % humidity and heat really helped!! It was about a week before the marathon when Brenda and I really started freaking out about the weather... ok maybe longer than that... but everyone said calm down you've been running in the heat all summer you will be fine. What they didnt' understand was that during all those hot 20 mile training runs we would be just dripping in sweat and miserable but the whole time we kept saying just think about how nice it will be when we get to Chicago!!!!! LOL So although yes the heat did bother me, it didn't make me sick so I am very thankful for that.

Orginally Jamie wanted us to go downtown after the race, I cant' remember the name of the place, and it would have been a lot of fun, but honestly we were so beat down that pizza and guac at home was perfect!!! Kim has an Aunt who lives in the suburbs and a cousin in the city so they came and got her to take her out to dinner. Brenda and I showered and then just hung out and rehashed the race. We wanted to go to Starbucks, but were waiting for Kim.. but Jen and Jamie had left to go to the grocery store and we were getting bored so we went to starbucks... I knew she would call when she got home and it really was just right around the corner, ok maybe two corners. Kim did call us after we had been there for about 30 minutes.. Jamie walked her over and then the three of us went to wal-greens to pick out a card for Jamie & Jen. I was also looking for some miracle cure for my blisters but I didn't find anything.

Jamie has some awesome friends!!!!!!!! Brian the guy who was running with him ended up finishing in 3:12... he is an ironman and is used to running in the heat. Two or was it Tube?? anyway super guy, he had been with Jen on the bicycles trying to keep up with Jamie. Mike & Steve also really nice guys. They would ask us questions and listened to all of our ramblings... I guess i'm not used to that, other than my husband and a few others, most of the guys I know can only stand to listen to girls talke for a couple of minutes and then they tune out.

Jamie had borrowed the movie Knocked Up for us...he popped it in and then he went to bed while we watched the movie. I had heard how hilarious this movie was everyone had raved about it... I don't know, maybe if I hadn't kept dozing off I might have thought it was funny too... but I didn't really care for it at all.

It was midnight when we finally went to bed.... 5:00am was really going to come quick.

Chicago The Marathon

Sunday morning we were up at 4:45 we wanted to get up early so that we would all have time to use the facilities etc. Jamie was making fun of us the night before for having to get up so early, but we knew three girls sharing one bathroom would take some time!! LOL

Jamie's friend Brian who is an Ironman was going to run with Jamie came to the apartment ot ride with us, what a sweetheart and quite the hottie too!! LOL

I think we arrived at Grant park around 6:20 it wasn't a long drive.. Jen dropped us off and then she headed home to get ready to ride her bike to meet Jamie at certain check points.

We took some pictures, I soaked in all of the sights and sounds, I was loving every minute of it, although I was very nervous!!!

Michele and I had decided that we would call each other in the morning so that we could try to meet up and run the race together... as soon as I checked my bag and walked about 20 feet away I remembered I forgot to call her, I was SO upset!!!
After we checked our gear we said our good bye's to Jamie and Brian... Jamie was in the A corral, he is quite the fast runner, and we headed to the open Corral. It's true what they say about the early bird gets the worm, we were able to position ourselves right at the front of the 4 hour pacers, actually maybe even a little ahead of them just behind the 3:50. I guess it was about 6:40 when we first staked our positions, I did have to go to the port a potties one time... and thank goodness because i was able to "use the bathroom" and felt so relieved. We talked to quite a few people in the start area, everyone was was nervous about the heat!!! Looking around I saw 4 guys with hog hats so I had to go over and say hi.. I said woo pig sooie and Brenda came over and said Go Hog's.. it felt good to see people from home.

Eventually it started getting really crowded so we stood up and took our places... we stayed to the left since we knew the first two turns were left turns and they would be the most crowded. JoDee Messina sang the National Anthem, which of couse made me cry. The excitement was really building and I was just about to burst out of my skin when the horn went off signaling the start of the race. I yell to Brenda to have a great race and Kim and I started off together. The start was awesome for me, I was running a little too fast, but it was hard not too, I was feeling good and the crowds were great.. I think I had chill bumps for the first 3 miles. We were running with the 4:00 hour pace group and I was freaking out... too fast I knew I wasn't going to be able to hold that kind of pace, and I knew it would tire me out to fast. I slowed down but I could still see the 4:00 pacer ahead of us. I really tried to relax and just enjoy the experience, poor Kim she tried to talk to me, but I just couldnt' talk, I wasn't struggling or anything but I just didn't feel like I could talk, I was afraid to expend any extra energy.

Kim, Brenda and I had all taken water bottles with us to the start of the race, I had only been sipping on mine so still had almost a full bottle when we started the race. Kim and I skipped the first aid station, it was so crowded and we both had water so we just passed right by it. We did stop at the 2nd one, it was a mess, the first table they didn't have cups set up, they had everything but you had to wait for them to pour it for you, I got water and then at the next table got a gatorade. Although the aid stations were always just a mess I always was able to get water and gatorade.

We didn't take our first walk break until right around the 3 mile mark... not necessarily a good idea for me, but oh well. Around mile 5 I had to stop for the port a potties, I had been thinking they would be all along the course like in Memphis and Little Rock, but that was the first time I saw them, and I didn't actually see them right away, there was a big sign that said toilets with an arrow... The lines were not long so that was great. Kim waited for me and we were off again... the pace felt good, if maybe a little fast... not really fast, but gee I still have 20 miles left to run kind of fast. It was right after the 15K checkpoint that I lost Kim, I told her I needed to take a little walk break and she said she was going to trot along side me... it didn't take long and she had gotten too far ahead and it was too crowded. I was ok with it though, I didn't want to hold her back and I knew I couldn't hold her pace for the whle race.

Right around the 1/2 way point I started fatiguing... my left outer quad was killing me and my right calf was cramping. The pain in my left quad was freaking me out a little bit, I've never had pain there before, and then I realized I had run about 9 miles on the left side of the road and there was quite a slant... I spent the rest of the race in the middle of the road, even if it meant being in the direct sun.
I honestly can't remember what mile I was at when I first heard they were "cutting it short'. I was running along, when a lady said slow it down folks they are cutting it short, I didn't know what she was talking about so I just kept going. I think it was around mile 18 when I heard the official word. The policeman said WALK.. they have stopped the race you HAVE TO WALK... so being little miss rule follower I started walking. I actually even cried a littel bit, I could not believe it... I do believe it was the right thing to do, I passed so many people on the side of the roads, who were either passed out or getting sick, or just moaning in pain. A bit later we heard that they had run out of ambulances and supplies. I guess I was one of the lucky ones because i don't think I ever came to an aid table where I couldnt' get one or the other, the only really bad one for was at one aid station they didnt' have any water and the gatorade mixtue was hot and very strong, I basically had to throw it down it was so disgusting.
I did try to always keep my water cup as long as I could... there were tons of people with jugs of water to fill you up.
The fire Dept bless there hearts opened a lot of hydrants to cool people off and I got SOAKED, the force of they hydrant also propelled me a few feet, it also soaked my feet which would prove to be my undoing!!
I think it was right after the first hydrant that Michele found me... OH MY GOD I was so happy, we were at an aid table and I heard and felt her ( she punched my arm) as soon as i realized who it was I just threw my arms around her I was SO happy!!!!
It was so great to be with her, we had wanted to do the whole race together, so this was just such a blessing. It turned out to be a blessing in many ways. Around the 20 mile mark they were trying to divert us to a shortcut, well I was just following the crowd when Michele looked at me and said do we really want to do this... Ummm no of course not, I was just following the rules. Thank goodness for Michele because I really didnt' want to quit.
There were helicopters flying overhead telling us to WALK the race is over... they tried to get us to go to the busses, but agin that wasn't even an option to us at the time. At first they told us the clocks had shut down and there would be no more times.... I didn't get a chip time for the 30K but I did for the rest of the markers.

I will admit once the blisters started developing on the balls of my feet, there were times when I secretly wished that maybe I had taken that shortcut after all... but I am so glad I didn't. the last miles were truly awful.. Michele asked me several times if I wanted to stop and wring out my socks, but I knew I couldn't sit down on the curb, for one thing I don't think I could have done it without falling and I'm pretty sure I would have been hard to get back up. At one point though I saw a bench a really nice high bench so we walked over and I had the bright idea I would take my socks off and put my shoes back on without socks... I think I made it a few steps before I realized that was just about the stupidest idea I have ever had!!! So we had to walk back to the bench and I put my socks back on.... I really wish I had never stopped because it was even more painful after that. A little while afer that I started feeling light headed and kind of woozy... I thought oh great, this sucks. Michele who was constantly asking if I was ok, made me take her last GU, it helped, but not much, so I took my last honey stinger, it also helped but not for long. I was actually starting to get a little scared at this point althought I didn't tell Michele that!!! She had already told me if I passed out she was going to be mad at me... only because she had been trying to get me to take her gu for quite awhile before I did.. and she also suggested we stop and rest a few times.
Luckily I saw a table with bananas ahead... I had passed banana's once but I wasnt' going to make that mistake again. The banana also helped, but I still just didn't feel quite right. I think it was around mile 24.5 that we saw an ice cream cart... of course we had no money, but there was a young guy who had bought a whole bag of ice cream bars and I guess he saw the longing in our eyes because he asked us if we wanted one... no way were we turning that down!!! Michele and i decided he gaved us the ice cream because we were so cute...LOL yeah you can just imagine what we looked like at mile 25!!!! But Michele is Very pretty and I did have on my zebra skirt!!! LOL Whatever the reason that icecream saved my life, after just a few small bites I felt 100% better.

I cannot put into words my happiness and excitment when I turned the corner to the finish line... Michele and I had been staying positive the whole time, even with the pain in my feet and the light headedness, we kept joking and staying positive. When I saw the finish line I grabbed her hand and i said we are crossing that finish line jogging with our hand over our heads... and we did!!!!!!!!

Was it miserable YES
Was it wonderful YES
Was it worth it YES
Will I do it again YES

It was probably both the worst and best experience of my life.... I have never thought of myself as a strong person, and the fact that I did it, that I pulled through the pain and never quit.... it's just amazing.

Chicago Part 1

First I have to say I LOVE the city of Chicago!!!! My cousin Jamie and his wife live in Old Town, or maybe it's the edge of Old Town, I'm not sure I just remember when we were walking back from Treasure Island on Saturday I saw the Old Town signs.
We arrived Friday morning at 10:30ish, Cheryl had warned us ahead of time to expect to wait at least 45 minutes for our bags, I don't know if it took a long time for us to get to baggage claim with a potty break and such or if we were just lucky but I don't think we even waited 5 minues... and even luckier Jamie was right there waiting for us.
From the very beginning Jamie was WONDERFUL he has always been such a sweetheart and he sure proved it again and again over the weekend.
We headed to his Apt. first and then over to "Stella's" for breakfast/lunch. I had pancakes with strawberries very yummy!!!!!

After breakfast we headed to the Expo... wow all I can say is WOW that was cool, although almost too big, there were a lot of times I felt like I was walking around in circles. LOL
I made a few purchases.. the biggies was the official marathon jacket, it was the same price as online, but no shipping costs.
The expo was fun, we ran into friends Michele and James so happy to see them!! the ladies from the Little Rock Marathon had a booth set up, and Brenda knows them so we stopped for a minute to talk to them, well one of them anyway ;) we also ran into Kim Howard who we see at all of the local 5k's... he is also the president of our state RRCA or whatever the intitials are. I asked Jamie several times if he was ok... can you imagine if you are a guy going shopping with three girls... and then add to that it was the expo for the Chicago Marathon!!!
Jamie said he was loving every minute of it. He was just happy to have us there :)

After spending close to 3 hours at the expo we headed back to the apartment to relax until time for dinner. Jamie and Jen took us to an Italian restaurant I'm sure I'll spell it wrong but here goes... Francisca Forno?? It was delicious we even had dessert, Jamie and Jen insisted we had to have dessert so they ordered two and Brenda and I each had a couple of bites of the second one. It was so good, but we were too full and a little afraid to eat too much of it.

By the time we got home it was late so we pretty much got ready to go to bed. We slept in Saturday morning until about 7:30 and then we headed out for our 2 mile easy run along the Lakeshore trail we were running towards downtown and I was so mad I didn't take my cell phone with me because it was just an awesome view!!
I forgot to mention at the expo Brenda, and I got these cool new Gel belts... they look tiny but they expand to hold 5 or 6 gels, I use honey stingers and hammer gels and the packaging is bigger than Gu's..anyway I was able to fit six of them in there... we know, your not supposed to try anything new for the marathon, but neither one of us were happy with the belts we had brought along... so anyway we loaded them up for the 2 mile run so that we could give them a test run. With all the gels there was no room for my cell phone :(

The 2 miles were not easy... it was around 10:30 and already pretty hot, I was ready to cry, I just kept thinking if this is so hard how am I going to run 26.2 miles tomorrow.
I will say that Toby was a trooper and did great, kept up with us the whole time, but when we were done he was pooped!!

When we got back to the apt after the run Jen had breakfast almost ready for us... French toast, "Egg Bake", bacon, fresh fruit... oh my it was WONDERFUL!!!!!!!! She is an exellent cook and host, she took great care of us the whole trip.

Afer breakfast Jame & Jen needed to run some errands so the girls and i decided to do a little exploring around their neighborhood. We went to Fleet Feet and got a few goodies, and a really cool technical shirt I'l post pictures later. After Fleet Feet we headed to Star Bucks and sat and people watched for a long time.
When we were at the expo on Friday I forgot to look for a shirt for Arland so when we went to Fleet Feet on Saturday I asked if they had any running shirts that refrenced Chicago but without the 26.2 or marathon. No they said try the expo so I had to explain that I was a selfish and bad wife because I was selfish and only bought stuff for myself at the expo :( They just shook their heads and walked away from me as quickly as they could!!

Later on Saturday Jamie wanted to go to his FAVORITE running store Universal Sole, so I tagged along but still no luck with finding a shirt for Arland... sorry baby!!!

The rest of the day we spent relaxing, and drinking as much water with "Nuun" as we could hold... Jen made us a fabulous dinner that night and then we got all of our running stuff prepared and tried to go to bed at a decent time.

Monday, October 8, 2007

I'm Home

Thank you everyone for cheering me on, I felt all the positive vibes from everyone.
I'm exhausted right now so the full report will have to come later. But.. I did finish it wasn't pretty and I have some painful blisters on the balls of my feet, but I didn't let them make me get on a bus or take a short cut, I gutted it out and I'm proud of myself because it was miserable and it would have been easy to just get on one of the busses!!

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Cranky Wednesday

Yesterday just sucked... I don't know why but by mid afternoon I slipped into some kind of funk and was just feeling like crap the rest of the day.
There were a couple of things that contributed to it.
1. I didnt' get to run with Jane and Kim, we were rained out.
2. My friend Cheryl found out she can't run for at least 3 weeks due to her ankle sprain :(
3. .................
4. I miss Kylie & Livia big time!!!
5.The weather reports for Chicago

I don't know... with all the excitement about the marathon, A great Tuesday night, I really dont' know why this happened.
Arland and I did get in a really good run last night and for a little while I felt better but just like a caffeine high, once the endorphins wore off I was back in that funk.
I got absolutely nothing done last night :( After our run I sat my butt on the couch and watched t.v. the rest of the night.
Oh well here's hoping today gets better!!
Speaking of t.v.... anyone watch Private Practice last night??? What did you think???

Tuesday Flyers

Sometimes I think I am the luckiest girl in the world. Not only am I a member of the best running club in Arkansas the Cabot Country Cruisers and have the best running friends in the world... but I also have a 1st class running coach. Last winter when I found the Cruisers Brenda and Vicki encouraged me to join the 12 week Women can Run clinic. WOW what a great experience that was and I made even more friends, through the WCR clinic we met Andrea, as the clinic was winding down we were all sad and wanted to continue... well lucky for us Andrea's dad is a runner not just any runner, he used to run for Nike, and she talked him into creating a clnic for us. Dennis is AWESOME I honestly can't think of enough good things to say about him. Dennis has made me a stronger runner both mentally and physically!!

This past Tuesday night Dennis had a tough speed work assignment planned... lucky for me and Brenda we were exempt because of the Marathon this weekend. Woo HOO!!! lol

After we finished running Andrea said everyone to my house.... well when we got there they had a suprise waiting for us. Cindy C had a cake made for us... it was beautiful and delicious!!!! After eating cake I ran back to the school with Sonia and Jennifer it hadn't gotten pretty dark by then, Jennifer and I were stood around chatting about Memphis for a bit, I turned to unlock my car and there was a gift bag hanging on the door. I guess because it was so dark I didnt' notice it before. WOW I was thinking someone left me a present. It was a book of Marathon Quotes from Brenda... so sweet and the perfect gift.


Tuesday, October 2, 2007


My very good friend Cheryl was shopping at Dillards this weekend when she came upon a sale rack with running clothes. She saw all kinds of great bargains but sadly none in her size... BUT fortunatey for me she found some in mysize and she got me a couple of GREAT running shirts. Two of them are Danskin, they are perfect, very light and have reflective stuff on the back so cars won't run over me. I haven't worn them running yet, I am going to wear the white one tonight at the clinic, but when I tried them on last night they felt WONDERFUL!!! and fit perfect.
THANK YOU Cheryl for thinking of me!!

Manic Monday

OK I know this is Tuesday... but I was pretty busy yesterday and after catching up with my weekend posts I thought maybe I should spend a little time working. LOL yeah right! Actually after lunch Arland and I went to the Cingular store and he bought me a new phone as my Marathon present :) pretty cool.... I'm hoping my Yeah you finished a marathon present will be a new Ford Edge or Honda CRV... hint hint ;)

So yesterday morning I had to go to the bank. I walked in the door and a lady who walked in just ahead of me started coughing and hacking/ I immediately went into a little panic, oh no this place is going to be swimming with germs. etc. There were 4 people in line and I tried to stay as far away from that lady as I could, poor thing she probably thought I was crazy!! After a few minutes another lady walks in looking a little untidy and stands right behind me so I move up a little, but now I'm trapped between two suspect looking women who are probably harboring millions of germs... well then I look at the other people in line and they all look like germ harborers as well. Sheeessshhhh I started to get a little manic, my heart started racing, I felt a little light headed and inside my brain I was screaming get me out of here, I didn't realized it at first but I was tapping my foot like crazy and trying to figure out how to get out of there without being attacked by the million germs surrounding me. I was finally able to take care of my banking and leave before I went nutso in public!!

I've been reading about taper madness for months and now I know how it feels!!! LOL

Monday, October 1, 2007

Cruiser trash pick up and Mexican food

Sunday was a great day, I got to run with Kim and Susan in the morning hang out with Cheryl for a little while at Starbucks and then got to spend the afternoon with some more of my favorite people!

The Cabot Cruisers have a stretch of HWY 89 where we pick up trash. They always start off with a run and then everyone gathers at the school and to prepare for the trash pick-up. Vicki is VERY organized, she has orange vests, gloves and tools for picking up trash. I started off with a stick or poker or whatevery you call it, it looks like a broom handle with a spike at the end of it. It was too long for me and very cumbersome, luckily the very chilvirous David H. offered to trade his "grabber" for my "poker"... hmmm that looks kind of obscene LOL
Brenda counted 20 people, it's so cool to see so many Cruisers with their orange vests on attacking the roadside. I started off with Shalynn, Waylon and David H. but soon I saw that Shalynn had gone over to the other side of the road and it was Waylon David and I. I was talking to Waylon a lot and pretty much just had my head down the whole time looking for trash... next thing you know I look up and everyone was WAY ahead of us. I didn't mind at all because I really enjoyed talking to Waylon. Waylon is Shalynns's boyfriend and I first met him a few months ago at the Big Damn Bridge 5k. He is such a sweetheart, when I'm running a race I tend to be a little goofy... ok well I guess I"m goofy all the time, but worse when I'm running. Anyway he wasn't put off by my silliness at all. Shaylynn is leaving us, she is moving to Fayetville to start a new Internship and although we really hate to see her go, I'm excited for her as she begins this next chapter in her life.

The walk back after picking up trash was very hot!!! but knowing that as soon as we got back we were goin to eat Mexican made it easier to get through.

Another one of our running friends Paulette is also moving to Fayetville so this lunch was a way to spend time with and say good-bye to Paulette and Shaylynn. Any time that I get to spend with my cruiser friends is awesome but throw in some mexcican food on top and I'm in heaven!!! LOL

So Sunday was a great day for running and friends!! I am very blessed :)


Sunday morning Kim and I met Susan from Benton at the River Trail for an 8 mile run for us and 12 for Susan.

I have been reading blogs since soon after I started running. I think I found the first one while visiting the Runner's World forum, and from there I discovered the world of blogging. I have quite a few blogs I follow faithfully but pretty much every day I find a new one. The reason I mention this is because that is how I met Susan, one of the nicest people in the world. I think I found her through a comment she left on Marathon Chris's blog... when I clicked on her link and saw she was from Arkansas I was SO excited. She was training for the Little Rock marathon and I started following her training. In June she posted that she was doing the BRICKFEST 5K, I told myself then that if I saw her and recognized her I would say hello. I'm actually kind of shy so I didnt' know if I would follow through or not, but after the race when I was all hot and sweaty I spotted her in the line for the ladies room. I was standing right behind her so I had to say hi. The look on her face was priceless when I said are you Susan and then told her I read her blog. Luckily she didnt' think I was some kind of stalker and we had a great conversation. Her husband was with her and he took some pictures of us and he is just a great guy, he is very supportive of her running!!!

A couple of weeks ago Susan met us at the River Trail for our last 20 miler, she ran the last 15 with us. It was aswesome having her along and really added to making my last 20 successful!! Oh and she also brought along this WONDERFUL potato salad!!

We made plans to run together again this past Sunday. Orginally Susan was going to run 16 and I had 8 on my schedule.
Kim, and I met her at 6:30 well actually a little earlier than that... but it was perfect timing she had run her first 4, she had to change her run to 12 instead of 16 due to some hamstring issues. It was a nice run, the weather was nice a little warm towards the end and the sun was relentless!! Thank goodness for all the shady spots along the trail. This was Kim's first run in 2 weeks, she has been wearing a boot to try to heal the stress fractures in her feet. We just ran a very easy 8 miles, we took a few extended walk breaks, but that was fine, I was really just wanting to have a nice easy enjoyable run... and I did :)
Susan is running the Memphis Marathon on December 1st. She is a St. Jude's hero and is running for her friend Elijah who is fighting Cancer for the second time. Eventually I will figure out how to put links and stuff in here.
Cheryl, Kim and a whole bunch of Cruisers are running the 1/2 in Memphis and I'm looking forward to being at the finish line cheering Susan on when she finishes her second marathon.

After the run Kim and I met Cheryl at Starbucks on JFK... do you see a trend here??? LOL Running and starbucks go hand in hand :)
Cheryl brought Kim and I little gifts for our marathon :) Such a sweet thoughtful thing to do... but that's our Cheryl!!! I wish she was going to chicago with us, she is a fun person to travel with!! Kim Cheryl and I wen to Palm Springs together last Summer and we had a great time!!


Saturday morning I met the Cruisers for the Saturday morning run. This was my first Saturday morning run with the group in quite a while. Cheryl and I usually run with the LR Marathon training group, and I love it, but she twisted her ankle while running in Seattle last week :( Not only is Cheryl my best friend she is a great running partner so I really miss running with her!!

So back to Saturday morning, I think all together we had 15 or more people. We split off into two groups and Brenda, Kelly & husband, and a new girl Marlena and I headed one way to run our 3 miles, while the rest went in the opposite direction for their long runs. It was really weird for me and Brenda to only be running 3 miles. It was a beautiful morning, and a very enjoyable run. It was nice to be able to just go for a run.. no watter bottle, gels, felt very light and free. It was a great run, but when we were finished it just felt strange, like we had left something undone. Brenda and I decided to go to Star Bucks so we could chat and obsess about Chicago! LOL
We had Chi Tea lattes.. very good!! Thanks Cindy C for telling us about them. As we were sitting outside we saw several running friends. First Shaylnn and her boyfriend showed up, Shalynn is moving away so it was nice to get to see her... we are really going to miss her!!!
A few minutes later there is Heather and her husband Kevin. They came out and chatted with us for a little bit. I also saw a friend from Jazzercise Janet C.
I think we were probably there for at least 2 hours.. it was great and I really enjoyed it!

My husband Arland was riding in his first "century" It was the Big Dam Bridge 100 miler. There were also several others from the Cruisers riding. You can read all about it on his blog.