Monday, March 31, 2008

Soggy, Hilly 20-miler

Yesterday was our scheduled 20-miler, we have been doing most of our long runs on Saturday but with the Spring Fling we changed it to Sunday. The route and time was chosen by Vicki, apparently this particular route is a popular one when you are training for a hilly marathon. Unfortunately Vicki was not able to make it yesterday.

We knew it was going to be rainy, the weatherman had been warning us for days and he didn't dissapoint us. I woke up several times in the wee hours of the morning and would hear it rain, I would think good maybe it will rain now and then be over with by the time we start. So much for wishful thinking!!!

We met Bailey at Team 1 and then we all headed to the "old Austin meat packing plant" located right off of the Austin Exit. I have heard stories about this route and I was nervous, but I did do a lot of hilly runs with Cheryl while we were training for the LR Marathon.

On the way over Brenda called me, she said that Curtis had driven up twice and kept leaving, the first time he drove right up to her Honda but then backed out and left, the second time Cindy was standing outside and he still left. I didnt' have Curtis's # but Brenda had a Cruiser list and was going to call him.
Turns out it wasn't Curtis (poor thing couldn't come he was sick) it was Gary and he say's that he thought there were people in the Honda CRV making out.. he thought maybe the meat plant parking lot was some sort of Lover's Lane. It was hilarious to hear him describe it!!!! LOL

Originally Bailey and Jackie were going to trade off running and driving the support van... well with the rain neither one of them ended up running and I don't blame them one bit!!!! I can't even tell you how much of a difference it made to us yesterday having them "support"/"crew" for us.

As we were all standing out in the drizzling rain getting ready to get started we heard Thunder... oh great... but no lightening so that was good.
We all started out together but it didn't take long for Cindy and Brenda to dissapear from sight. The first couple of hills were fine but they were just one after another, I actually slowed down and started to walk on one of them but Michele and Gary pulled/pushed me up that hill!! It was nice having Gary with us for the first 4 miles, he is always so funny.
I had talked to Michele the day before and our plan was to try to run 10:30 - 10:45 miles, our thinking was that if we ran that pace and then had water breaks we would have an 11:15 pace more or less. We were both very adamant about the fact that we were going to run slow!!! I have made the mistake so many times of going out to fast and then ending up walking a lot at the end and I didn't want that. Of course it NEVER works out the way I plan....I didn't have my new Garmin set up properly so I didn't get mile splits but I know the first 10 were all under 11:00 miles.

The rain and the hills on this run were just relentless, everynow and then the rain would slow down to a drizzle and we would think oh yes maybe it's going to end and then a few minutes later it would just pourdown. We were soaked within a couple of miles, but we had on our dri-fit stuff so it wasn't too miserable. There were lot's of low spots on the road that would be flooded at first we would try to jump across or go slow through them but eventually it just didnt' matter.
About 5 miles into the run my stomach started acting up, I had been worried this might happen and thankfully I had followed Vicki's advice and I had put some toilet paper in a plastic baggie and brought it along. The shirt I was wearing had a nice big zippered pocket in the back. It had gotten to the point where I was having to stop in the middle of the road and cross my legs, much longer and I was going to have an accident. We were out in the middle of nowhere, no gas stations, fast food or anyplace that would have a bathrrom. I started scoping out the side of the road there were plenty of woods but with all of the mudd how as I going to get to them???? I could see just ahead a road and was thinking maybe I could get to the woods from there, I also saw a tractor and thought about going behind it but I would have been visible to passing cars. I found a tree squatted behind it and took care of business. It was my first experience of having to use the woods/side of the road as a runner. It was embarassing but having an accident in my shorts would have been worse. Once that was taken care of I felt great and thought that would be the end of it. Soon after that it started thundering again and this time there was lightening as well. Jackie had just driven past us when the lightening flashed, we jumped in the van for about .5 of a mile and then decided it would be safe to continue on. This caught us back up with Arland and we ran with him until we crossed over HWY 5.
Just as we were getting ready to cross over HWY 5 we say Robert drop Kelly off. A scheduling problem with Church caused her to miss the first 7.5 miles of the run. It was great to see her, but I also cautioned Michele that we needed to be careful, she had fresh legs and it would be easy for us to run too fast... not that we hadn't already been doing that anyway!! LOL
When we finally got to Indian Head Lake we passed Brenda and Cindy as they were finishing the loop around the lake. It was really great to see them, although we were jealous they were running prety fast and they looked like it was just a nice easy stroll!!! LOL
I had to take my second poop break at the lake, luckily the bathrooms were open, they were really gross and nasty but at least I had privacy!!
It was really pouring on us at the Lake and there was lot's of flooding, we had to wade through some pretty deep water a couple of times.
As we were leaving the lake a women popped her head out of her door and started yelling at us that we were CRAZY!!! But she was laughing and seemed to be getting a big kick out of seeing all these crazy people running in the rain. I loved Michele's retort she said "I've burned 1,000 calories I'll have a side of fries with my crazy" so then of course we all started talking about food!!!
That lady wasn't the only one who thought we were crazy, so did all the donkey's, horses, and cows that we passed along the way. It was hilarious the way they would look at us with their heads cocked to the side like what are these humans doing!

Bailey and Jackie did such a great job of taking care of us, we never went too long without seeing them, sometimes they would just drive by hand us our water bottles and then take off, other times they stopped and we would eat peanut butter crackers, pretzels, GU's whatever we needed they had it. It was so nice to not have to wear our hydration belts!!!!!!!!! It was hard enough with our clothes soaking wet weighing a ton, the hydrantion belt would have been unbearable! They were also great cheer- leaders, they would tell us how great we looked etc. Even if you don't believe it at the time it is great to hear and really helps to keep you going mentally.

Speaking of wet clothes... I was wearing my pink Nike skirt with compression shorts on underneath, well the skirt is too big, add the rain and I spent most of the second half of the run connstantly pulling my skirt up... eventually Kelly also had the same problem. Kelly and I had it easy compared to Michele, she had worn running pants and by the end of the run they were completely soaked... Jackie kept trying to get her to wear her running shorts but Michele was afraid she would get too cold so she kept her pants on, I know those things had to have added 10 pounds, not to mention the chaffing issues.

Just before we got back to HWY 5 my stomach thing hit again this time it was very sudden and I really thought i was going to embarass myself in front of everyone.. instead it calmed down and I thought everything was ok, that is until I saw the van head across HWY 5, it was then that it kicked in again and I knew I was in trouble. We were about .3 of a mile from a gas station, but it meant running on HWY 5 which is very scary, it's kind of like running along a major interstate the way people fly when they are driving... but I didn't have any choice. Michele went with me and Arland and Kelly went on to find the van and ask them to go pick me up. It was very embarassing to walk into that gas station, I was soaked and water was just pouring off of me but I didn't have any choice. My shoes were squeaking when I walked and I was leaving huge puddles behind, but oh my thank goodness for that bathroom!!! Luckily that was the last time!

The hills on the way back were just as big and relentless as on the way out, after each one you would think ok I think that's it and then nope there is another one. We did have one really nice long downhill, I yelled out to Michele and asked if it reminded her of when we ran Kavanaugh. This route was definately as hilly probably even more so than the Rahling Rd. route and the Kavanaugh route that we ran during the Little Rock Marathon training runs.

Poor Arland had been running by himself for a good part of the run and I was starting to feel bad that he was alone so I decided somewhere around the last 5 miles that I was going to finish with him. I circled back and we ran the rest of the way together... he would sing cadence and other silly things to keep us going. The hills had really knocked the stuffing out of him but he kept pushing and I was really proud of him.
We had some really killer hills the last few miles and one was so steep I couldn't even think of running up it, heck just walking it took my breath away!

We caught up with Michele during the last 2 miles and we pretty much stayed together for the last part. Each hill each turn I would think are we there yet??? Finally Arland saw the Trucks and we were all hooping and hollering when we got back to the parking lot. Jackie and Bailey drove in at the same time and they were honking, it was awesome!!!!
Brenda had waited to make sure we all made it... I don't know how long she had to wait on us, but I know it was over 30 minutes maybe even longer.. but I'm so glad she did, I was so happy when I saw her little white CRV was still there.
Ginny had also driven by us during that last mile and was cheering us on... it was great to see her!!!

Kelly's car was parked at her Church about 3.5 miles away and she decided to run to her car to try to make up some mileage. I offered to run with her, but I knew I would slow her down and she said NO. I really hated seeing her running on 367 all alone so we kept circling back to check on her. Hwy 367 has no shoulder and is pretty busy, but she was ok and manged to get in 16.5 miles which was great.

It really was an awesome run, I know that sounds crazy considering the conditions and the course but I wouldn't change a thing. I know if I can run in that I can run anywhere!! It also gave me a little confidence that I can have a good Marathon.

I am so thankful to all of my running friends for making it such a great day!!! I am very blessed!!!

After we got home I took a hot bath.. I know that is supposed to be a big No No, but let me tell you I have felt so good ever since, I am a little sore but nothing like I usually am so I think I did the right thing.
Arland took me to Colton's and I had Steak and Broccoli and then we shared a yummy dessert. It was an awesome day!!!!!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Spring Fling 08

I think we are going to have to re-name this race, for the second year in a row it rained. Today though, unfortunately it didn't just rain it poured and there was thunder and lightning. The race was pushed back to 8:30 and by some miracle the rain had slowed to just a drizzle, or really you could say it was "condensating". It was also pretty cold! Brett was signed up for the race and Kylie was signed up for the Rabbit Run, a 1K for kids. There might be a few people who lost some money at Team 1. I think people were taking bets on Brett actually showing up this morning. I know it was really hard for him, but he did make it and he had Kylie with him.

We were very lucky this year that the school opened up the Field House for us, we were able to have packet pick up and race day registration in a nice warm facility and the runners who didn't want to warm up out in the cold rain were able to run and warm up inside.

I wasn't racing today, I had volunteered and had been assigned the Finish Line. I bundled Kylie up and we went out to brave the cold, let me tell you she wasn't very happy at all. The Race was being timed electronically timed, Gary Ballard does a lot of the races here in Arkansas. Brenda had already told me I would be a "clicker" I was kind of nervous, when I worked the finish line at the Magness Creek 5K we did the "ring" method, but I think they also had a clicker and some kind of electronic tracking.

Brenda introduced Sonja and I to Gary and he informed us it was our lucky day because we were going to be sitting in his warm, dry SUV. This was great for Kylie but I was kind of bummed because I really wanted to be able to cheer everyone in. OH well it did have it's perks!! I learned a lot about timing races today and I'm really glad for the experience. It was kind of stressful but Gary said Sonja and I did a great job... he called us proffesionals and said he should take us on the road with him.
Arland had a HUGE PR today!!! So proud of you baby!! Oh and so did Aunt Tamara!!! She finished in 39:56, last year the finish line was shutting down and I think she squeaked in in 55:00. She has been training hard and it really shows. Brett might not have broken any time records today but he did finish and he even won 2nd place in his age group.. 20-24 male

After I completed my timing duties it was time to go back to the Field House for the Rabbit Run. Jackie did an awesome job setting this race up for the kids, they had their own t-shirts and of course race numbers. The first thing Kylie said to me when she got to the field house was she wanted a number! LOL
Madison, Brenda's grand-daughter and Kylie ran the race together, they were so cute, at one point Kylie got a little behind and Madison stopped and waited for her so they could stay together. I was very proud of both of them!! Kylie did a great job, she actually was able to run all 4 laps with just a very short walk break.

The Cruisers did an awesome job with this race... the volunteers were great and even with the bad weather everything came together for a great race!!

Friday, March 28, 2008

How Chipper Nettie got her groove back

Latin Dance Class!!

I should start from the beginning. Wednesday is my normal workout with Andrea day, sometimes is varies depending on my schedule but this week it was Monday and Wednesday. Livia is working out with me now and I just LOVE having her there!!! Andrea had a circuit set up for us that concentrated on legs, especially quads. I have been running a lot of hills for months now and my hamstrings are getting very strong, so I thought it would be a good idea to concentrate on my quads. I thought Wednesday would be a good day for it so that my legs will hopefully be recovered before our long run on Sunday.
As always it is a tough workout and I left feeling very quivery! LOL
Wednesday evening the plan was to meet at Michele's house run to the Community Center, take Jane's Latin Dance class, swim and then run back to her house.

The Dance class was AWESOME!!! It was so fun!! Jane is such a fun person and it really shows in this class. It doesn't hurt that she has great natural rythmn. It was a big class probably 20 people and Jane told me afterwards there were a few regulars who weren't there. I really like the fact that it is a great workout but it is low impact which is great for runners since it doesn't hurt your knees or feet. There is a lot of hip shaking going on and that helps loosen the hip flexors which is especially great for me since I always have pain in that area after a run, plus the hip shaking is just plain fun!!! Michele and I laughed a lot and I just felt like a new person when the class was over.

After the dance class we went downstairs changed, got some paddle boards and did laps in the pool, after that we got in the "Arthritis Pool" and hung out and relaxed for a little while. It was getting late and we still had to run back to Michele's house so we had to force ourselves out of the warm water.

As I was putting my running clothes back on I told Michele next time we needed to remember to bring a fresh pair of socks and sports bra. It was pretty warm Wednesday night and my sports bra was soaking wet so you can imagine how gross it was putting it back on!! LOL same goes with the socks.
It had cooled off a little bit while we at the Community Center and the wind was really strong, but otherwise it was a nice run back to Michele's. We took it easy and just tried to enjoy the run... and we did. It was almost 9:00 by the time I got home.. and let me tell you I slept great Wednesday night!

When I woke up Thursday morning my legs were VERY sore!! It was a challenge sitting on the toilet, and my left knee was kind of tender. I e-mailed Brenda to tell her about the Dance class and told her about all of the other activities. She wrote me back that "Coach Brenda" said no speedwork for Annette. She said I should just run a couple of easy miles. I thought that sounded great, especially since at the time I didn't know if I would even be able to run at all! LOL
It was HOT here in Arkansas yesterday and again VERY windy!
Brenda leads the warm-up for the entire Clinic and then we all split into our individual groups. We had a small group last night, Kelly couldn't run because of her knee and I guess others are travelling while the kids are on Spring Break.
We were doing a 1.5 mile warm up, Brenda tried to find out a course that didn't have any hills, so we just did laps around the tennis courts... after about the third one I said to her I think this is uphill... it was just a small incline but it's kind of funny that it is hard to find a flat area to run around here.
My legs felt really heavy during the warm up but better than I had expected. I was still thinking that I was just going to jog around the track while the others did their speed work, but after we did our strides I decided to at least try.... and before you know it I had done the whole thing. It really helped having Michele to run with. Her LT pace is actually a little faster than mine and we ran her paces but that's ok it was good.
The Workout plan was
1.5 mile warm up
4 strides
1x200 at LT pace
3x400 at LT pace
2x200 at LT pace
2 strides
.5 mile cool down
We did a full lap recovery between the 400's and a .5 lap recovery jog between the 200's.
The wind was just killer and definately added a lot of resistance!!! Michele and I did a good job of hitting all of our pace's. We did interval pace on Tuesday so the LT pace felt kind of good.
I was just thrilled that I was able to do the whole workout and I felt a little bit like my old self.
We ended up with 5 miles which was perfect.

Today is a much needed rest day!!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

I should quit running.....

That was what was in my head Tuesday night after our speedwork. It kind of scared me that I actually thought it much less said it outloud. I was really not happy Tuesday night I felt slow and everything felt hard. I think part of the problem is I'm doing too much speed work. Between WCR and the Tuesday Flyer's I am doing speed work 3 nights a week. Someone else suggested to me I was over training, and then someone else reminded me that I had just been sick.
I talked to Cheryl about it for a little bit in the parking lot afterwards, and I also talked to Bailey about how I was feeling.

It also didn't help that I lost my Garmin... yes.. poof it has just disappeared. The last time I remember having it was after the run on Sunday. I know I looked at my splits while I was in my car waiting for Brenda and I think I remember it being in my jacket pocket when we went to Starbuck's but after that, it's all a blank.
I didn't realize it was lost until Tuesday, I didn't have it on Monday but I also didn't look for it. I have looked all through my car, and the obvious places at home and I just can't find it.

Shoes have also become an issue, I have been running in Asic's Gel Kenyano 13's for over a year, and I really like them. Well now they are discontinued and they have the 14's. I bought a pair a couple of weeks ago, and at first I liked them. I did feel a little discomfort across the top of my foot but didn't think too much of it until last week when the discomfort changed to outright pain.
Tuesday night Andrea brought her newish pair of Nike Volmero's.. not sure of the spelling on that. Anyway I put them on and wore them for our 1.5 mile warm up. They felt GREAT, but had no support, I could feel my feet kind of turning in and Cheryl watched me run in them and said my ankles were collapsing in when I landed. So I took them off and put my Asic Kenyano 13's back on for the rest of the workout.

My mood has improved... can't keep Chipper Nettie down for too long. When I got home Tuesday night I realized that I had pretty much hit all my times for the 400's and 200 that Cheryl timed for Kelly and I. Our first 2x200 we didn't have a watch or anything to time us and I know we were faster on those than on the last one that was timed. That helped a little bit.... and then Wednesday morning my super sweet and supportive husband ordered me a new Garmin 305. It should be here today.
Also yesterday afternoon Bailey dropped by some Gu's she was donating to the Spring Fling and in side the bag was a card for me with some princess stickers... hey Bailey I know you said those were for Kylie, but I might have to keep them for myself!! ;)
Anyway the card was full of wonderful quotes about running and she also wrote me a sweet note and that really lifted my spirits!!

Life is good... I'm still a runner.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Monday 10-miler

Dennis/Brenda sent out an e-mail over the weekend that we would be doing a 5 mile social run with fartleks for our WCR clinic on Monday. After being dissapointed by my short mileage on Sunday I realized that Monday could easily turn into 10 miles if I ran from Michele's house before and afer the clinic. Luckily everything worked in our favor and we were able to run to the clinic, James got home about 30 seconds after we arrived so it was perfect timing.
Arland had a clever idea, it is harder for him to get his weekday runs in now that we have the WCR clinic twice a week, so he rode with me to Michele's house and then ran over to the High School with us and then the rest of the way home on his own. It was a great way to make sure he got his run in, since the only way home was to run.
I stopped at the port-a-pottie when we got to the High School and then Michele and I ran the rest of the way over to the meeting spot behind the Community Center.
We were running a little behind and just as we ran up Vicki cranked up La Bamba on her car stereo and Jane led us in a Latin Dance warm-up. It was so fun!!!

I didn't see Terri... were you there on Monday???? I missed getting to chat with you before the run.

As usual we all split into our seperate groups, the advanced group headed out for our 5 mile route. I have to say that I am really getting tired of this route. It really is a great route, it has some hills some smaller inclines etc., but part of it is the same route to and from Michele's house. I did enjoy it on Monday though, we had a nice group and I got to run with Gina for a little while, she is really sweet and very interesting.

Dennis spoke to us in the beginning but then he had to leave, he went to Portland this week to visit family. Brenda was in charge... she takes her responsibility as our Leader seriously and she made sure we did the workout that Dennis had planned. We all kind of stuck together and would occasionally circle back so that we could all be together. For a little person Brenda has a voice that carries and when she would yell out that it was time to start a new fartlek we all acted like we had been shot out of a cannon... well most, I was kind of sluggish.
On one of the Fartleks we were on a downhill and Michele and Kelly got a little competitive, Kelly ended up over striding and hurt her knee. On the way back we walked with her a little bit until she was able to run again.

The run had started out warm, I had worn a long sleeve tech shirt but before we even got to the clinic I had to take it off, I left it in Brenda's car while we did the WCR workout, but on the way back we were running into a cold head wind and I was wishing I had it.
After we finished the run we regrouped, Kelly of course couldnt' run back with us becasue of her knee, but being the sweety she is, she offered to take sunglasses etc. back to Michele's house for me. She also went back along the route and found Michele's water bottle that she had thrown on the side of the road on the way out and forgot to pick up on the way back.

It was just me, Michele and Brenda running back, I of course had to stop at the port a pottie one more time.

It was a good run back, I was starting to feel a little fatigued but nothing too major, I did have to take two walk breaks. One was right after a biggish hill and close to where i had stashed my water bottle.
Neither Michele nor I had on Garmin's... I forgot mine and Michele's died during our first mile. We know that it is 2.25 from her house to the Community Center and we ran almost 6 during the clinic run so me know we at least got 10 miles. Towards the end of the run back Brenda said you guys are almost at 10 and Michele said that's all we want... it came out kind of funny she made it sound like once we hit 10 we were going to quit. Brenda said do I need to run back to the car and come get you????????
Michele is so hysterical she always has us laughing and Brenda is pretty darn funny too! those two have really helped me get through some tough runs!

I wish I knew what our splits were... I know we probably had some speedy miles especially for a 10 miler. It's amazing how dependent I have become on my Garmin!! I have been lost without it.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Sunday Long Run... well sort of

Sunday was supposed to be 15 miler.. Arland, Brenda, Kelly etc had all run 20 + miles the weekend before during the Inspiration Run so it was a back down week for them. For me it was a build back up run after not running at all the weekend before. I did get some good runs in during the week but nothing very long.

Kelly needed to start early so that she could get home for Church, we met at 6:20 and planned to run 3 miles before meeting the rest of the group. We chose the Candlewood loop, we started off fine, it was kind of cold and windy but we were dressed for it. After about 2.5 miles my stomach started giving me problems pretty much the same spot where they had started the morning before. We both were frustrated why did running feel so hard??? We were averaging 10:15 pace which is good but not super speedy so what was the problem????? We were starting to run a little behind and I knew I was going to have to stop at the gas station and Kelly was having problems with her blister. I was worried about the group waiting for us, right now cue Arland called me wanting to know where we were. I told him I can see you guys we will be there soon. Luckily it was a laid back group waiting on us so they didn't give us a hard time for putting them behind. I barely made it to the bathroom, but once I did felt much better. Arland, Brenda, Heather, Joan and Toni were waiting for us at the school. I had planned to run with Joan but as we were running single file along 321 I got too far ahead. It was a nice run at first, we were all chatting, once we got off of 321 onto a safer road. Somewhere around mile 3 of this part of the run my stomach started up again, of course it was just as were approaching the big hill on Campground. For the first time in a long time I had to walk up a hill... I would try to run a few steps but my stomach wasn't going to allow that. Luckily I knew we weren't too terribly far from my favorite port a potty. Normally everyone teases that I must eat a bowl of wheaties while in the port a potty becasue I almost always speed up afterwards LOL It didn't work this time, I was actually starting to feel nauseous as well as the other problem. I was having serious doubts that I would be able to finish the run. Kelly, Arland and Heather had waited for me, while Brenda went on to run her last 10 miles at race pace. On the way back to the school we had all prety much decided we were done. Kelly's blisters were bothering her, Heather had to get home and Arland was just feeling crappy. Luckily Joan still wanted more mileage so Arland and I decided to run with her. We kept a nice easy pace and it is always fun to run with Joan and hear her stories. We did manage to get in another 3.5 so I ended up with a total of 12 miles, a couple miles why of my original plan but considering how I had felt the whole run I was HAPPY!!
After we all said good-bye I waited for Brenda... I knew I had a little time so I decided to go to Mountain Mudd and get coffee and a Chai Tea for her, but it was Easter and Mountain Mudd wasn't open yet.
Once Brenda made it back we were chatting and she said do you want to go get coffee, I told her about Mountain Mudd so we decided to go to Starbuck's. It was really windy and chilly so it felt good to go inside sit by the window and having our hot drinks... we also had a little coffee cake for breakfast. I am waiting for Starbuck's to start charging me rent, as much time as I spend there!! LOL

Sunday afternoon I went to Magness Creek to see Kylie and take her over to play with Madison, Brenda's grand daughter. We were there for a couple of hours while the kids played we chatted and then all went for a nice long walk. It was a great afternoon!!!
When I got home Arland was starving so we went out to eat and by the time we got home it was after 7:00. I watched the end of Extreme Home Makeover and was planning on watching the new show on TLC "I can make you Thin" but instead I closed my eyes for a second and then passed out!! About nine Arland came into the room and suggested I go to bed, but like I told him I couldn't move!!! I guess the weekend completely wiped me out!!

Running & Stuff

Speed work at the Women Can run Clinic last Thursday did turn out well. We did a 1.5 mile warm up and then headed to the track to do strides, 400's and 800's and more strides. It went well and Kelly, Michele and I were very concious about trying to hit our pace's. As Dennis always tell us there is a reason for each workout and if we run them too slow or too fast we aren't getting the full benefit. With the warm up, speed work and run back to Michele's house we ended up with 6 miles for the night. We had a nice big group running back to Michele's... Kelly, Brenda, Jackie, Bailey, Michele and myself, it was fun!

Friday is always a rest day for me... this Friday I had Kylie with me at work all day, and although that doesn't technically count as a workout it is!! LOL I LOVE every moment of it though, she definately keeps you on your toes!

The Cabot Country Cruisers sponsor a stretch of highway 89 in Cabot, once a quarter we go out and pick up trash on the "Cruiser Mile". It is usually a lot of fun because we are all doing it together. This Saturday was our day to pick up trash. We met at 7:00 for a 5 or 6 mile run and then trash pick up was at 8:00. I started off with Brenda and then Debbie B. joined us and Arland and Rick P. were right behind us. It really felt good at first but the first 2 miles were a little fast for me and I started fading soon after 2 miles. It didn't help that my stomach starting acting crazy and I was soon in the need of a bathroom! Sheesssh will this poop thing ever end????
Arland hung back with me we started to follow the same route as the others but I knew I shouldn't get too far away from a bathroom so we ran over to the gas station... just in time. After that we headed down 89 and then over to Bradley to meet back up with Brenda, Debbie and Rick. We ended up with 4.5 miles.
After everyone made it back to the school we all donned our orange vests, boot's etc and headed out to beautify our stretch of hwy 89.
It was really a good workout, especially for my hamstrings, I didn't have a grabber or poker so I just bent over to pick up trash.
After trash pick up several of us headed to Daily Grind for breakfast/coffee. The conversations were lively and as usual we had a great time!

After the fun of the morning it was time to head home and do some sprucing up and spring cleaning. First I had Arland go with me to Wal-Mart (which is a miracle) to buy some closet organizer stuff. I needed his strong arms!
He really hates wal-mart but he was a good sport and I tried not to torture him too much so we made it a pretty quick trip.
After our trip to Wal-Mart we grabbed lunch and then headed out side to trim our jungle of bushes in the front of the house. It was quite an undertaking and once again my hamstrings got a workout!

Once we were finished outside I went in to tackle our Master Bedroom closet.... by the end of the day I was beat but it felt really good to get so much accomplished!!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Burning Lungs

Monday night was my first run after being sick for 4.5 days. I had been itching to run for a couple of days but I was also nervous, would I be able to breathe, would my legs fall off...

I drove over to Michele's to run from her house to the Community Center, I got there before she did and with one thing after another we soon realized we wouldnt' have time to run to the clinic we would have to drive. I headed over, I like to get there a little early so I can hang out with Terri for a little while.
We did our warm up and then it was time to head out for our warm up run. We have quite a few fasties in our group and we were running at a pretty good clip... especially for warming up. My legs felt really good but man oh man were my lungs/chest burning. I don't think I have ever felt anything quite like that, it was very uncomfortable to say the least. After the warm up Dennis had a speed work plan for us, I decided based on how my lungs were feeling to just run and not do the speed work. I ran with one of our clinic girls who is a little slower, my lungs felt better but still pretty tight. I really like the girl I was running with, she is really sweet and let's me chat away. LOL
Michele asked me if we were going to run back to her house.. I was a little hesitant but she assured me we would run SLOW and even walk if we needed to.
It was going to be a lot of shuttling cars around after but we decided to do it anyway... Brenda heard us talking and she wanted to add on too.
I was SO glad I ran back with them, I felt pretty good the whole time and I needed that boost of confidence. We didn't even have to take any walk breaks and we were NOT running slow! LOL We lie to each other like that all the time!
We ended up having to do a lot of shutting to get our cars... Michele drove us back to the Community center and then I followed her back to her house and then drove us back to the community center for her car. Brenda said it best... that was a lot of work to run 2 extra miles. LOL

Tuesday night is our Flyer's Clinic but bad weather kept me away.... well it was the fear of bad weather which didnt' materialize until much later in the evening. Instead Kelly and I headed to Starbucks... I mean she came to get me how could I say no???
I will admit that the whole time, well the first hour anyway I was feeling very guilty about missing the Clinic!!! After about an hour my phone rings and it is Brenda. She say's wow it's really loud where are you, I had to tell her the truth and she of course had to give me a little bit of a hard time for being at Starbucks instead of running... but that didn't stop her from joining us :) of course she got to do it guilt free!

Wednesday nights during the Clinic are kind of a free choice night. We can run or we might go to a dance class or whatever we feel like. This Wednesday we decided to run.
Brenda, Kelly and I met at Michele's at 6:00, when I had talked to Michele earlier in the day she didn't think she would be able to run with us. James was out on a bike ride and wasn't expected home until 6:45. Just as Brenda and I were getting out of our cars here comes James and Heather. We asked if they were done, they were so Michele was able to join us.
It was a beautiful afternoon the day had started off rainy and gloomy but by about 3:00 the sun came out and the winds died down a little was still pretty windy but at least it didn't blow you over.
I was nervous again about my lungs and they did burn but not as much as on Monday but my legs were really sluggish. No one was feeling their best, poor Kelly had it the worst but Brenda, Michele and myself were also struggling. We did end up with 6 miles which was at least 1 or 2 more than we thought we would do. I also had to visit my friendly port-a-pottie. Luckily the need didnt' arise until we were in that neighborhood so no problems.
We did end up having to take a couple of walk breaks but we still managed to end up with a 10:01 avg pace.
The last mile has our big hill I seem to run faster on hills, and then Michele made us sprint to the end... well she and Brenda sprinted I just tried to not die.
I'm not sure how much longer I have to deal with the burning lungs and the flem but I hope it is over soon!!
Tonight is the Women Can Run clinic.... we will do speedwork on the track. I hope it goes well!!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


Friday March 14th was the 2nd annual 26.2 Inspiration Run. Arland and I were a part of the first one last year and I had planned to be a part of it again this year.

Jackie Clinton a Cruiser and friend came up with the idea last year to run to each school in Cabot to promote awareness of the Childhood obesity epidemic. It is a great cause and we had a great time. Last year we did it in late May and it was HOT HOT HOT! but it was so worth it, the kids really seemed to get a big kick out of it and hopefully we made a least one see how fun running can be.

As I said in my last post I started getting sick on Wednesday night and I fought it really hard but I was just still too sick to run on Friday. When Arland left to meet the others I was just devestated, I could not believe how upset I was. Just as he was leaving Livia and Kylie drove up. Kylie has also been sick and might be where I caught my bug from.
I guess around 9:30 I looked at the run schedule to see what time they would be at the school down the street from us. I had decided that Kylie and I would go and see them. We got dressed and drove over... it brought new tears to my eyes to see all those kids lined up waiting for the runners. We parked and I saw Phil, Jackie's husband. He was really sweet to me, and commiserated with me for a minute about being sick. He told me which direction they were coming in so I was able to position us for the best view. This year they had police escorts.. how cool!!! First we saw the police and then Dennis in his van honking and then there they were... wow how thrilling!!

Here comes Joan and Kylie is just beside herself, as soon as Joan saw Kylie she ran over and gave her a big hug. Talk about making a little girl happy! Kylie was thrilled, we walked over and mingled with the runners while Jackie gave her speech to the school kids and then it was time for them to leave. Orginally I had only planned to go to this school and then be at Magness Creek at the end. Instead we ended up following them around for several more schools. At each school whenever Joan would see Kylie she would run over and hug her.

I finally started feeling really tired so we went home for a couple of hours to rest before going to Magness Creek.

When we got there the kids were all waiting outside, they had a finish line set up, it was just awesome. Coach O had taken a group of kids up to Hwy 5 to cheer on the runners and then run in the last little bit with them. Kylie and I walked up there as well and I just can't describe what it was like watching them crest the hill and run towards us. Once they reached us we all fell in and started running with them. We saw Arland but he didnt' see us, Kylie kept calling his name but I think the blood was rushing through his head too much from all of the excitement and he didn't hear us. And then Kylie saw Joan and she grabbed Kylie's hand and they ran in together. That touched my heart so much, Kylie wasn't the only happy little girl at that moment my heart was just so full!

I started the day broken hearted and I ended it with a full heart. I didnt' get to run but I was a part of it... Kylie and I both were, today was about inspiring kids and that's exactly what I did... what we all did.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

A few good runs and then....... BAM the Flu

I finally felt like I got my running legs back when the Flu bug that has been surrounding me for weeks finally decided to attack.
Monday night was the WCR clinic and I met Bailey and Debbie B. at Michele's house to run to the Clinic. We had to wait for James to get home so we were running a little behind so Debbie pretty much had to take off without us. Bailey was with her for a little while but then she circled back for us. We were running pretty fast for a while but I didn't want to push it too much. I told Michele I wanted to enjoy these runs and didn't want to start dreading them.
Once we got to the Community Center we mingled for a few minutes until time to seperate into groups. Dennis had a meeting out of town on Monday so Brenda was our Coach. She and Dennis had agreed ahead of time that we would have a 5+ mile social run with "pick ups" we did three on the way out and I believe they did 3 on the way back. Pick ups are pretty much the same thing as Fartleks or Strides. We did the first one for 30 seconds then 45 seconds and then a minute.
I had put a bandaid on my blister but it came off and was roaming around rubbing all my toes the wrong way. I finally just had to stop and take my shoe and sock off to get rid of the darn thing.

We were almost to our turn around point when my stomach decided that it was tired of playing nice and started giving me problems. Michele's house was maybe a .5 mile away so we decided to go to her house and then hopefully meet back up with the group. Bailey went with us, her hip flexors had been giving her problems. Thank goodness Michele's house was so close!! I almost didn't make it and I don't know what I would have done otherwise.

Bailey decided that she would be able to finish the run but after just a few strides she turned back. The problem was her key's were back at the Community Center. No problem I told her to just take my car and get them. She came back around and asked if I was going to run back to Michele's house or did I want her to wait for me at the Community Center. I really couldn't face the thought of running back to Michele's we had basically been running back and forth the whole time so Bailey drove back to the Community Center. Towards the end of the run I started feeling good so I was able to finish strong. Once we got back to the car I still had .25 left to hit 8 miles, Kelly said she would run with me so we circled the Tennis courts a few times.

Tuesday night was our clinic and we had Time Trials. I have been nervous about this for weeks. We had done two of these during the clinic, one back in May or June and then another in early November. The first time it was pretty hot and the second time it was freezing and dark. I had almost exactly the same time both times. I was really dissapointed by the one in November and so I have been worried that I would be dissapointed again.
We had great weather for Tuesday night, it was a little humid but really pretty pleasant. Although we were all soaked after our run!!
May/June 2007 1 mile 8:37
November 2007 1 mile 8:36
March 2007 1 mile 8:20

Wednesday night was a rest night since we had the big Inspiration run on Friday. I had to go to Wal-Mart to get a few things for work and while there I swear I felt the germ jump in my throat. Cheryl say's I'm crazy, which I am, but it was just the weirdest thing. So by the end of the night I knew it had hit me, but I was praying I would wake up Thursday and be fine. Instead I woke up Thursday feeling rotten. I stayed home hoping to be able to fight it off and still be able to run on Friday.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Sunday Fun Run

After discussing when and where we would do our long run this past weekend Arland informed me he wanted to go to the River Trail. He said he was sick of hills and sick of Cabot. That was fine with me as everyone seemed to be kind of scattered about last weekend. I talked to Bailey and the Davis Brothers about it on Saturday and they all thought it sounded like a great plan.
Bailey just moved here in Sept. so she is still discovering all that central Arkansas has to offer. The first and only time she ran on the River Trail was during the 15K race a couple of weeks ago. This would be an opportunity for her to have a chance to enjoy the River Trail and we were doing the big loop so she pretty much got to run the whole trail including the "Big Dam Bridge". Arland has some great pictures and a good write up on his blog.

We have been wanting to run with the Davis brothers forever so I was really excited that they were going to join us. They are very speedy so I let them know up front this was going to be a long slow run.

Michele was also going to go with us but the time change nixed those plans. She was awake had been for hours but she hadn't changed her clock so she was just relaxing and reading her book. I called her but by the time she saw the missed call adn James has told her what time it was it was too late.

The Davis brothers were waiting for us at the Dog Park. It was a beautiful morning, kind of chilly but sunny and just very very nice. We were all very excited to have such a beautiful morning.

We were planning on running 11:00 minute miles but you know how that goes with me! LOL We did keep a very comfortable pace but I would find myself running and talking with Gary and the next thing you know we have picked up the pace.
With all of the rain and snow a portion of the Trail was flooded, but luckily there was a alternate route. The only dissapointing thing about going that was you don't get the view of the Big Dam Bridge. Oh well I have a feeling we will be at the River Trail a lot this spring and summer and Bailey will soon be sick of the Bridge!!

I mentioned earlier we were doing the "big loop" we did this route during one of the Little Rock Marathon Training group runs and I LOVED it. It is the best of both worlds, you get the River Trail and you also get to run through the River Market. Something about running in Little Rock that just energizes me. We really picked up the pace in this area. I did not have any tummy issues the whole run and passed each port a pottie stop with confidence that I didn't need it. However when we got to the River Market where I know there is a good bathroom I suggested we take a pit stop. I was still feeling good but thought I shouldn't take the chance. It turned out to be a good decision, but I do wonder if I would have been able to finish the whole run without a stop. We were almost at 10 miles when we made the pit stop.. which was kind of amazing because those miles just flew by to me. After our pit stop we headed back to the Main street Bridge and then back onto the River Trail.
As we were running back towards the Bridge we passed an elderly lady, we had been walking because of the crowds and she asked us "is this the door" I looked and no it wasn't a door. She was trying to get into a restaurant I had started going in the opposite direction to see if I could find the entrance for her when car drove up and started talking to her. I guess it was her son and he said it was around the corner, the others went on but I stayed with her until she got to the entrance. I looked up and the others had already crossed over Cantrell, this is kind of a dangerous intersection because there is a big curve and you can't always see the cars coming. Normally I would wait for the light but since they had gone on and I didn't see any cars I started running, all of a sudden I see a car coming so I started sprinting... there was a nice little family at the corner waiting for the light and here I come barreling at them saying shit shit shit shit all the way across the street. Talk about an adrenline rush!!
After we went over the bridge and were back on the River Trail it started to really warm up and we all started shedding clothes..
Curtis was like a pack mule, he carried all of Gary's extra clothes for him. I wish I would have taken a picture, he even offered to carry mine jacket but I told him no.
It was soon afer we got on the River Trail that Gary and I picked up the pace and got ahead of the others. It wasn't intentional we just started talking and the next thing you know we were off. Gary was awesome, he is so encouraging and really makes you feel like a fast runner! He kept telling me how great I was doing, and if I needed to slow down a bit he would slow down with me and then a few seconds later we would pick it back up.

I had been feeling a blister developing on my left baby toe for a good part of the run but by the last 2.5 miles or so it was really starting to hurt. Curtis had caught up with us when we got to the Skate Park and Bailey was right behind him. We decided to walk a bit so that we could all be together. My toe was really starting to hurt but once again Gary and I picked it up and got a little big ahead of the others. It didn't take long though before Bailey got tired of running at a slower pace and she caught up with and passed us. Bailey makes running fast look easy, it doesn't look like she is even trying. When she was a little ahead of us she jumped up and gave a playful little swat at a tree branch... wellllll That was just too much, she was taunting us ;) Gary was like wow she is just a ball of energy. I had started to fade a little and I told Gary "go get her" so they took off running together. As we were leaving the wooded area and approaching the wooden bridge Bailey, Gary, Curtis and Arland decided to race each other. I declined to race and I had the best view, I really really wish I had a video of Bailey leading that pack.
Specialized Bikes had a demo tent set up at the boat ramp so we had to make a stop there for Gary. While he looked at the bikes we kind of ran around in the parking lot. Gary talked to the guy and he needed his credit card to be able to test ride a bike so he told him he would be back. We had about a mile left and Gary and Bailey decided to run/race the last mile. Bailey have me her jacket, which by the way felt like it weighed 50 pounds. I tied it aound the upper part of my stomach... BIG mistake, I didnt' get very far before I started feeling really naseous! I don't know how Bailey ran 14 miles with it on! Curtis, Arland and I were together at this point but up ahead it looked like Bailey had slowed down and Curtis said no way and took off to make sure she kept with Gary. It didn't take us long to see why she had slowed down, laying on the ground in front of us was her hydration belt, and a few inches from that were her shot bloks. Arland picked up her belt for her and we slow jogged it in. I had to take several walk breaks during the last mile but was able to run it in at the end.

We had exactly 15 miles. 11:36 avg pace which considering the pit stop, photo stops, and the walking during the last mile I thought was really good. The best part was other than my little toe I felt great. Oh and although the course was mostly flat it did have some little rolling hills and of course Dillard's hill. This was the first time that Arland had run in downtown Little Rock other than a race and he really liked it. I think we will be doing this route more often on future runs.

Gary had banana's for us all and then we headed to Starbucks for chocolate mile and lattes. It was just an awesome day, wonerful weather, great running partners and a beautiful course.

Later that day Gary sent me an e-mail and said that Sunday morning was the most fun he had ever had while running. I think it was good for him to have a nice easy long run. He trains so hard and is such a maniac I'm glad he took the time to enjoy himself!

Chase Race Pictures

Aunt Tamara won in the Senior Master's division
Me with a box full of awards

Aunt Tamara and her new WCR running buddy

Joan imparting some after race nutrition advice to Victoria

Curtis, Gary, Karen and Melody

Me and Arland
Robert and Annette

Bailey Joan and I with the Clinton girls Jackie, Caitlyn, Grace and Victoria

Harrison um I mean Monkey boy, this is him coming into the final stretch. Doesn't he look happy?

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Chase Race & Paws 2 Mile Race

With the snowfall on Friday actually making it to this race was in doubt. I spoke to Joan Friday evening and texted with Rock and Bailey. It was going to be really, really cold in the morning so a few people were having second thoughts. So was I!! LOL Arland on the other hand was pretty confident that the roads would be fine and he was right.
We went to South Side at 6:15 and met up with Joan, Bailey and Cindy C. It looked like this was going to be it. The girls piled into the truck with us except Cindy she was driving since she planned to come straight back and run 15 miles with Brenda, Rock and Lisa.
Just as we were getting ready to leave I got a phone call from Robert saying he was on his way so we waited for him. We were in the big red truck so we had lot's of room and Robert joined the girls in the back seat. I would have given him the front seat but there was no leg room so he was better off in the back.

As is usual Cruiser fashion we arrived in Conway at the race location an hour early. It was really really cold so we decided to pick up our packets and then get back in the truck until time for our warm-up.
We ended up having a great Cruiser turn out. The Davis Brothers, The Clinton family, Aunt Tamara, Karen & Melody it was great to see such a big turn out on such a cold day!!
The Chase race is an excellent race very well organized and they have great goodie bags!

Last year at this race I finished in 18:54 and although I thought it would be great if I could break 18:00 I was really just shooting for 18:00 even. I had Dennis in my head and when the gun went off I started off conservative. I watched everyone surge ahead of me but didn't let it get to me. As I mentioned in my last post I had a rough running week and I was really just hoping to feel good during this race. About a 1/2 mile in I started picking up the pace a little bit and I started passing a bunch of people... that felt great!!! After we hit the 1 mile mark I picked it up a little more and tried to just maintain. I was breathing hard and it wasn't easy but I didn't feel like it was killing me. As we rounded the corner towards the finish line I felt a little fatigued and I thought I was going to slow down, but I found a little bit of something left over and I was able to stretch it out a little at the end. I felt so great when I was finished, I felt like I had run a good race and didn't have any regrets.
Finishing time 17:25
Second place in my age group.

Now was the fun part, going back for Aunt Tamara. Bailey and I headed out to get her and we really didn't have to go that far. She was just ahead of Karen and it looked like they were going to have a foot race. I've seen Karen run before and she has a wicked final kick so I told Tamara she was going to have to pick it up. Well wouldn't you know but Tamara also has a wicked final pick and she was able to stay ahead of Karen and finish just before her.

After the 2 mile race they have a 1 mile race that you can run with your pets. Most people dress their dogs up and it is really just so cute and a lot of fun. Well Mr. Harrison Clinton decided that he wanted to dress up and being the cool mom that she is Jackie made his wish come true. Harry was dressed up in a Monkey costume with a leash. I can not even tell you how precious he was!!
He and Jackie ran the 1 mile race together and Harry had the biggest smile imaginable during at the finsih of the race.
They have a costume contest for the pet's and Harry won fifth place :)

Caitlyn Clinton little speedy gonzales she was 7th femal overall and broke the state record for her age group with a 14:54 finishing time.

After the Costume contest we all gathered together and had some cookies, coffee and snuggle time while waiting for the awards ceremony. The sun was going in and out of the clouds and it would get really cold so we all snuggled together to stay warm.

The Cruisers won lot's of awards!! Josh H. was 7th overall and also won his age group, Bailey won 3rd in her age group, Cindy C. was 2nd place Female Masters, Gary, Joan, Curtis, Marianne, Grace C. Aunt Tamara and myself all also won some kind of award.

I'll post pictures later, now I'm off to go pick up Kylie for a sleep over :)

Friday, March 7, 2008

Up's & Down's

This has been a weird week! The weather has been crazy and so have my emotions. I guess I was having the "after the marathon blues" even though I didn't run a marathon myself. The excitement of Cheryl's first marathon was awesome, but it was also mixed with dissapointment over my own dismal race. Just crazy stuff going through my head. A nice long chat with Coach Dennis on Monday and a theraputic run with some friends on Wednesday night have helped.
I have run every day since Sunday...until today, Friday's are always a rest day.

Monday - Women Can Run Clinic
It was pouring down rain and cold and I didn't want to go, but I did anyway and I am so glad I did. While we were standing outside in the rain and wind a man drove up and asked if we were the women's running group and then offered us the use of the Field House. Of course Vic said yes!! It was nice to still be able to run and not get wet. Dennis had us run for 15 minutes at easy recovery pace and then we did about 5 strides and then we ran for another 15 minutes at recovery pace. It was really great.. the astro turf felt nice and soft but not too soft and it was nice to run at such an easy pace.

Tuesday - Flyer's
It had snowed earlier in the day but by 6:00 the snow was gone so off to Magness Creek we went for our Tuesday night Flyer's clinic. Dennis had anyone who raced on Sunday just do a 4 or 5 mile easy run. Sounded good to me, but it wasn't easy. There were times when I felt good, but for the most part this was a hard run. My legs were still sore from the race?? or Dancing with the Stars?? I don't know by the top's of my thighs were sore until Wednesday. I think the run on Tuesday night helped.

Wednesday - Krooked Kreek Gang
Wednesday was actually a decent day weather wise, it made it up into the upper 50's and although it had cooled off by 6:00 it was still way better than Monday or Tuesday had been. It was Arland, Michele, Brenda and myself running. We ran over to the High School to see Rock, she was doing Hill Repeats. We ran around the track a few times and then headed back towards Michele's house. I struggled almost the whole run. Michele was smart as usual and chose a route that added on all of our miles before we got back to her house. I was glad because the whole time I was ready to quit.

Thursday- Women Can Run Clinic
Another bitterly cold windy night. Sheesh I am sick of this!!!
I stayed in my car until I spotted Terri and I wanted to say hi to her so I forced myself out of my warm car. Terri was bundled up but didn't have anything for her ears... luckily I always have a spare so I was able to hook her up and she was able to at least keep her ears nice and toasty for her run.
We were all huddled together. One thing about cold weather it brings us all closer together! LOL
At first it was just me, Bailey, Michele (who had run over from her house) and Jackie. Dennis told us to do a 2 mile warm up and then meet him at the track. We were all very whiny! Jackie hasn't felt good in weeks, and the rest of us were just plain cold and miserable. We had gotten about half way through the loop when we could hear Brenda calling us.. she had been chasing us. I was very relieved to see her! We decided to run over to the elementary school so that we wouldn't have to keep doing loops around the tennis courts. We had almost exactly 2 miles when we got back to the Track. Dennis gathered us all together and by then several more had shown up and we ended up with nine altogether.
First thing Dennis did was make us take off our Garmin's and Watches. He wanted us to just "run by feel". I don't stare at my Garmin while running or anything and mostly use it to keep up with mileage, but when Dennis speaks we listen... and obey!
He had us do a mile with 4 strides and then he had us do "touch and go's" where we ran one full lap at 75% effort and then one lap easy jog or walk. We did this twice and then he had us run 1/2 a lap at 85% effort and 1/2 a lap recovery. We did that twice or was it four times. I think it was twice, and then he had us do another mile with 4 strides... we would stride the straights and jog the curves.
He had called it "speed play" but it didn't feel much like playing to me!!
Again pretty much the whole run felt hard... even the recovery jogs.

I had a massage on Thursday... it was both heaven and hell! My hamstrings were sore, who knows why, I didn't even realize how sore they were until she started working on them, and my right one was way worse than the left. I actually cried a little bit. My back and shoulders were also a mess, she had to spend a lot of time there. I did feel much better when she was done.
I have decided though not to get a massage on the same day as speedwork. I could really feel my hamstrings while doing our strides and the 85% runs.

I have been pretty good with my nutrition this week and the one good thing I can say about all of my runs this week... I didn't have any stomach issues!! woo hoo!!

I have a 2 mile race tomorrow in Conway the Chase Race. We had a lot of fun doing it last year and that is where we really met Gary and Curtis so this is kind of our Anniversary :)
Of course it snowed most of the day and it is supposed to get really cold so who knows if we will even get to go, but as of right now we are planning on it. Guess I better get ready for bed.

Hopefully I will go back to being "Chipper Annette" soon!

Monday, March 3, 2008

Little Rock Marathon - Cheryl

The best part of the day came after our 1/2 marathon race was over. We went back to our vehicles changed clothes or in my case just got a jacket since it had cooled off and headed to Boulevard Bread Co. Most everyone was having coffee and eating, but I knew I was going to be running with Cheryl soon so I just had some toast. I have to admit while we were at the Bread Co. I thought how am I going to do it!! I had been trying to call Cheryl for quite awhile. I had my phone on vibrate and I had it in the pocket of my skirt. You would think I would be able to feel it but NO! So Cheryl would call me I would miss the call and then I would call her over and over. We finally connected and she told me she was at mile 16 and had just seen her family, she also said she was with Melissa. I can not even tell you how relieved I was to know she had been running with Melissa for most of the race. It was after that that I let myself have the toast. Oh but don't feel sorry for me, I had two chocolate milks before I remembered I still had some running to do!! YIKES

So we all start heading towards the finish line so we can watch for more Cabot people to cross the finish line. Around this time Cheryl called me again and said she was at or around mile 20 and she was alone, Melissa wasn't feeling well and Cheryl had to go on without her. I told her we would start heading in her direction. First we had to stop for a couple of pictures, we had run into Curtis who after getting hurt at work on Friday and suffering a serious injury to his leg still completed the marathon!!

Kelly,Michele and Bailey were going with me to run in Cheryl. Along the way we got to see Lisa Feldt running through the chute to the finish line. We also saw the very last 1/2 marathoner come in she was escorted by a police car.

As we were walking along we were whooping and hollering at the Marathoner's trying to give them as much encouragment as possible. When we were still close to the finishing line we would yell almost there, but the further away we got we had to stop doing that. I really hate it when people tell you, you are almost there when you really aren't!! As we were nearing the end of the 1/2 a lady was yelling out almost there and it's all down hill from here. I asked her if she was lying to us and she said no it's the truth and it was!
It was amazing to see the looks of determination on the faces of these people. Some looked great but a lot looked like they were in pain. We called out as many names as we could and Bailey would give them nick names like Slick Rick or Roscoe P. PoopHead. That girl was her own traveling comedy show! LOL

Although a few people looked at us like we were crazy and a few even seemed to be mad at us, it was the smiles we got from the people who needed us that made it so great!!! We also got a few people telling us we were going the wrong way and what's wrong you didn't get enough yet. Just as we were headed down Dillards hill I could see Jane.... oh my gosh I was SO excited!! She looked so great and so strong, I got a quick hug and we all cheered her on.

She told me tonight that it really helped her seeing us. A little way behind her was Coach O she was struggling a little bit but I think we helped her as well. I saw quite a few people I know from races and stuff and it was fun to cheer for them and to see the smile on their faces when they would recognize me. I also got to see Wanda one of our girls from Jazzercise. She walked 26.2 miles I can't even imagine that!! I walked with her a little bit about half way back up Dillards hill and then I let her go and I ran back to the girls. I wish I could of had 1/2 the energy I was experiencing at that time during my race!!

It was such a weird weather day yesterday. It started off warm and sunny and then the clouds came and the wind really picked up and cooled us off. After we had finished our race we were all cold so I had on a t-shirt and a jacket and Bailey and Kelly had their foil blankets. About 1/2 way to Cheryl the sun came back out and we got hot so Kelly and Bailey tied their blankets around their necks and wore them like capes.

We had just passed Cajuns Warf and we were on Titus Trail, during the walk down we were very careful to be respectful of the Marathoners and not actually walk on their course. It was starting to get a bit tricky to keep heading in the opposite direction and stay out of their way. By this time the majority of them were walking a lot. One guy that we were cheering for asked if one of us had a phone, I said yes do you need it. He said dial this # and tell my brother I'll be there in about 30 minutes. I said are you serious??? He said yep so I jogged along beside him to make sure I got the number right and the name of his brother. That was a fun phone call to make!! His brother was funny he said is he actually still moving. I got to say hi to them at the end after Cheryl finished.

After that I got a hold of Cheryl and asked her where she was, she was almost at mile 24... perfect because we are at mile 24. To stay out of the way we waited at the intersection for her and suddenly we could see her coming. Wearing that Green skirt was a great idea it was so easy to pick her out!!!! She was running and looking great!! Bailey started sprinting towards her with her "cape" flying behind her. We all started screaming Cheryl's name and jumping up and down we were so excited!!!

When she got up to us we all just fell in beside her and we were her cheering squad/entourage. We were still cheering on other people but our main focus was Cheryl, she looked great but she was starting to hurt and get tired. We just kept chatting away at her, I'm sure she doesn't remember most of it but that's ok, we were just trying to keep her going. I think it was right after we topped Dillards Hill they were giving out beer. Cool, sure I'll have one... since we were almost at the end I thought why not. It was really not that great, kind of bitter and not very cold. I took a few sips and then tossed it, I think the idea of drinking a beer while running was better than the reality!

Soon after the beer we came upon the Lipstick stop and of course we all had to stop and get some lipstick. That was a lot of fun!!!
We knew we wouldn't be able to run Cheryl all the way to the finish... or I guess we thought we couldn't but now that I think about it I remember seeing a lady with a kid running someone else in...hmmmm. Oh well it doesn't matter because that was Cheryl's moment!!!

So we had to split off when we got to the finishing chute... I was so determined to see Cheryl cross the finish line that I started sprinting around the bleachers and the whole time I'm still screaming her name. I know that people thought we were crazy pretty much that whole journey but I didn't care I loved every single moment of it!!!!!!!!

We weren't the only one's cheering for Cheryl.. the Cruisers were out in force cheering her on. When we talked about it later she thought they just happened to be there, but NO they were there for her!!! She also had quite a few family members cheering her on.

Cheryl it was thrilling to be a part of your marathon I will never ever forget it!! This journey might be over, but I hope we have many more ahead of us!!

Love you girl!!!! You ROCK!!! Cheryl.. Cheryl.. Cheryl!!!

Little Rock 1/2 Marathon Recap

I just want to get this out of the way so I can talk about Cheryl and the rest of the Cruisers.

Yesterday was not my day. I had high hopes for the 1/2, I have been training with Cheryl for a marathon and I really thought that would parlay into a great 1/2 marathon time for me. Unfortunately that did not turn out to be the case.

I had a couple of rough runs last week, Thursday night was especially rough and I actually started feeling a little nauseous just before we got back to Michele's house. I can't remember if I already blogged about it or not.
I had also felt nauseous while working out with Andrea earlier in the day on Thursday but really didn't think too much of it even after the run. I knew I had two days of rest so I put it out of my head. Friday was a rest day, or as restful as it can be when you are entertaining a very active almost 5 year old. I picked her up around 3:00 and she kept me on my toes the rest of the day. We spent the evening dancing with "Dancing with the Stars" (I have last season still on DVR). We got to bed late and then she had me up early. I finally got to sleep in a little on a Saturday and miss doesn't usually get up until 11:00 decides this is the morning she is waking up early! But let me tell you there is nothing sweeter than waking up to that sweet little voice. She was very excited to go to the Little Rockers race and watch the kids. We did a LOT of walking on Saturday between the Race, and the Expo. After a full day on Saturday I took Kylie home about 6:00. I had to stop at Kroger on the way home and pick up a few last minute things. I was really feeling fatigued by then and thought I would be in bed by 8:30. Nope that didn't happen. It was probably about 10:00 by the time we made it to bed.

Sunday morning up at 5:00 took a quick shower had 1/2 of a Strawberry pop tart. That was probably my first mistake. Breakfast before a race is hard for me, I am always so worried about my stomach and I'm afraid to eat. For short races it is ok but I have got to figure something out for longer races.

We met the Cabot group at the school and we all caravaned to the Race. It was very exciting, all I could think of was Cheryl. Her big day was here and I was so excited and nervous for her all at the same time. We spoke on the phone several times, she had called to let us know where to park.
Once we all got parked and had our stuff ready we headed towards the start line. Either I called Cheryl or she called me and we met and she showed us where some real bathrooms were. I had taken one of the anti you know what pills on Saturday night and then I took a second one at 7:00am. They worked like a charm! I was able to take care of business at home and never had another issue with it.
There was so much excitment in the air... we had a ton of Cruisers! Jane and Coach O were running the full Marathon too.
Pretty soon the gun went off and the race began, it took us a little over 3 minutes to cross the start. I felt ok during the first part of the race... never good but O.K. Kelly, Bailey, Michele and I were running together. Arland had pulled out ahead of us from the start but we eventually caught up and passed him. Kelly poor thing had to make a pit stop in the first mile actually probably first 1/2 mile. It didn't hold her back for long by mile 3 she had caught back up with us. Kelly has really become quite the runner she is very fast and strong!!! I have to say that I believe that Walkers have as much right at the marathon as anyone else, but I DON"T think they should line up at the front. We were having to weave around Walkers for probably close to 3 miles. I'm not blaming them for my miserable race but we did have to use a lot of extra energy weaving in and out of them.

Bailey kept us entertained the first 5 miles... she was so full of energy just chatting away! I think it was soon after the Broadway bridge that she broke away from us, which had been her plan.
Michele was sticking with me and Kelly was kind of hop scotching us, she would pull ahead and then we would get slightly ahead of her and at times we were all together.
By about mile 7.8 I was starting to fatigue, and had to take a walk break. It was a quick one and I caught up with Michele pretty quick. I was really mad at myself for giving in. A little later maybe around mile 9 I can't remember I let Michele go, it was an uphill portion but I got a little second wind and I was able to catch back up with her for a little while. Finally around the end of the 9th mile I had to let her go. I had let my brain take over and I was taking walk breaks. It wasn't all mental, although I think if I could have kept my head on straight I might have been able to make my legs keep going even though they were really getting heavy!

Right at mile 10 Arland caught up with me.. I was SO happy to see him. We walked together for a second and then starting running, but I just couldn't keep going so I sent him on his way.
Around mile 11 I saw Vicki coming out of a port a pottie I knew right away something was wrong. I passed her and said hello but I know she prefers to race alone so I kept on going. It was run walk run walk over and over. A couple of minutes later Vicki caught up with me and said come on Annette we can do this. She told me she was having cramps and had to spend quite a bit of time in the port a pottie. We ran together for a couple of minutes and then I had to let her go too. I was really just falling apart. I struck up a conversation with one lady or I should say she struck up a conversation with me. She had a full marathon bib on and when we had split off from the full marathoners earlier I was a little worried about her, but she told me she wanted to do the 1/2 but they were sold out so she signed up for the full so she could run. I wonder if she got a medal at the end. At the meeting a couple of weeks ago Geneva Hampton made it very clear that anyone signing up for the full but only running the 1/2 would NOT get a medal. I didn't say anything to the lady, mostly I just didn't have the energy for it!
Oh and let me just saying having two 12 mile markers was just cruel. I knew when i saw the first 12 mile marker it didn't seem right, my Garmin had been showing almost a .5 mile difference for several miles so when I finally looked and it showed 11.82 I was just mentally screwed up. I wanted to believe it really was mile 12, but then we finally really got to 12 I was so relieved I just didn't care anymore.
The finish was great, you went under the Peabody Hotel and there was a huge crowd there, they were so loud and i was feeling great.... and then I looked over and realized they were cheering for the Marathon leader!! LOL

After I crossed the finish line I saw Vicki getting her chip taken off and I got in line to have mine removed. And then there was beautiful Sonja handing out medals. It was so awesome to get my medal from her. Michele, Kelly, Bailey and Arland were grouped together waiting for me. That was nice!! A few steps later I got my bag of junk food and then we were ushered out of the finishing area. Several of the Cruisers were waiting for us. Jackie told me she had been looking for me during the race. Poor thing was sick and had an even worse race than I did, although she still finished ahead of me! We got her to a place where she could sit down before she passed out. I found us some chocolate milk and brought some back for her. She really never did feel any better.

So this is the conclusion of my race report... next post will be much better!!!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Marathon Weekend Pictures Part 2

Here are just a few the first two were before the race and the last one after. I have more pictures I will post tomorrow.

Marathon Weekend - In Pictures

Coach Dennis, Andrea, Conner and Kennedy

Magness Creek "Little Rockers"

Passed out! Kylie at Carino's