Saturday, June 28, 2008

The Awesome Run That Almost Wasn't

Because of Race's and Bike Rides I have been having to do my long runs on Sundays. It has been fine and I have enjoyed my Saturday activities the last few weeks, but this week I had 18 on the schedule and I really, really wanted to get it done on Saturday so I that I could at least enjoy part of my weekend.
Today was the Brick Fest 5K, it is a Grand Prix Race and it was at this race a year ago that I met "Susan From Benton" of course now she's not Susan from Benton anymore :( I am so glad that I overcame my shyness and introduced myself to her last year :) we had some great runs together last summer and Fall.

So what to do what to do... I had thought about running with Cheryl and the Little Rock group, but they don't start until 6:00am and Michele and I really wanted to start at 5:00. The thought of another long run in Cabot was more than I could bear so we decided on the River Trail. Several others had semi long runs and decided to join us for the first part of our run. Everything was set in place and then.......
Michele calls, he husband has gone out of town and she can't run tomorrow. Actually she left a voice mail, poor Arland the words that came out of my mouth actually scared him... I really don't normally say those words!! well I say them just not very often.
I was SO upset.. of course I wasnt' going to do my long run without Michele, so we decided we would just have to go to the River Trail by ourselves on Sunday. I had just been on the phone with both Kelly and Brenda earlier and I was going on and on about how happy I was to be getting my long run done on Saturday!!!
I immediately thought about my neices Katie and Rachel, they have been coming to Cabot the past couple of weekends so I started calling Tracy.. no answer.. the house answer.. Livia.. no answer. I tried several times and gave up and resigned myself to running on Sunday. I called Brenda and gave her the bad news. Just when I was ok with running on Sunday I finally got ahold of Livia and my neice Rachel said she wouldn't mind babysitting for Michele... woo hoo the Long run was back on for Saturday!
Rachel spent the night and then I took her over to Michele's at 4:15am.

We met Brenda, Andrea, Nick and Heather at the old Huddle House parking lot and headed to Burn's Park when we arrive there is a gate across the road that say's closed.. hmph what's up with that?? Last year we ran most of our long runs at the River Trail and then I remembered we started at the Skate Park so I never realized that you couldn't get into Burns park at 4:55am. Oh well we turn around and head over to the Skate Park, we probably only lost 15 minutes.

It was really humid this morning, but cloudy and not terribly hot, around 75 degrees... but it was humid!
Andrea and Brenda were running 11 and Nick and Heather wanted 4 or 5. We all ran together for the most part, I would occasionally back off but they were always close. It was really nice to have a big group like that for the first part of our run!! Heather and Nick turned around at the Dog Park which should have given them exactly 5 miles. I didn't even have to stop at the port a pottie, a huge victory!! I was good and I knew there was another one about 2 mile down the trail at the Big Damn Bridge.
When we got to the Bridge I did go to the potty, but no stomach issues and no poop. Andrea and Brenda didn't stop with us, they just needed to go over the bridge and up a little bit before it was time for them to turn around.
Michele has had IT band issues in the past pretty much the whole time we trained for Chicago last year, so we decided to take it easy up the bridge and mostly walked it.
It was so nice on top, very nice breeze, I said why can't it be like this the whole way???
There were a few people out this morning but not a ton.. not as many as we usually see.
We were running the River Trail loop this morning but that is only 14ish miles so we added on the trail that goes out to the I-430 bridge, we actually run past it to a boat launch... there is a port a potty there but once again I didn't need it.
This stretch of the run was probably the hottest and is kind of boring, but there were lot's of bikers out so we didn't feel along.

We stopped at the restroom at Murray Park and once again no stomach issues leading up to it and no poop when I got there. Michele had mixed up some Propel water and I took a drink, well this is crazy but we hadn't been running very far, probably only a few steps past the Murray Park bathroom when all of a sudden I had to "use" the bathroom :( luckily there was another one really close. This time there was poop, and this is way too much TMI but at the earlier bathroom break I had to take care of "women" issues.
Finally everything is settled down and we get back on the trail. We notice the sky has been getting darker and darker, but there is a wonderful cool breeze and we are pretty much in heaven!! I did get a little worried when the breeze picked up into a pretty good wind and I noticed the way the leaves were swirling, but we were too far to turn back now. We passed a runner who smiled and said "you are gonna get wet" Oh well we actually were looking forward to a little rain.. and it started out "a little rain" but soon enough it really started raining hard and it was thundering and we saw some lightening... we were on I think it is River Front drive?? the road that goes from Murray Park to Cantrell... We had around 12 mile by this time and I was starting to feel it, my big toe was hurting, kind of underneath the big toe, and there were times when I was tempted to walk but I really just wanted to get off that road. I kept thinking if we can make it to Titus trail then we can take refuge under the overpass if it gets bad.
When we did get to the overpass it was still pouring down but we just kept thinking if we can make it to the River Market then we can take shelter and have some toast!
So we just kept running, it was pouring rain and when we were running up Dillard's hill cars were throwing even more water on us, but we just had to keep going.
Finally we were on Markham and headed to the River Market, by this time we had 16 miles so we felt good about the run, plus we knew we were going to get 18 regardless of how because we had to get back to our car. I always get a little high or thrill whenever we are running down Markham into the River Market, I don't know exactly what it is, but it was even stronger this morning, and I sang a few refrains of "Raindrops keep falling on our Heads" to Michele.
The storm had brought in a cold front, we were soaking wet and once we stopped running we were freezing!!! Not something we are used to feeling in June in Arkansas! LOL
We went into the bathroom I used the hand dryer to dry my phone out and I called Arland and Brenda to let them know we were ok.
I'm still laughing to myself over some of the looks we got when we were in Boulevard Bread! We ordered some toast, filled our water bottles with ice and lemons and headed to the Farmers market to get out of the rain and eat our toast. OMG it was delicious!! we had quite a few people ask where we got it and one guy said we were supposed to wait until we got home to eat it??? I was in such a good mood I didn't care, although that was a weird comment, but he was smiling so.. whatever.
Seriously Michele and I other than being freezing at that point were just so happy, we loved running in the rain, it just felt so refreshing... I was a little bit stressed about the thunder and stuff but in the end it was all ok.
It was still raining but the sky had lightened up so we headed towards the new Pedestrian Bridge and took the elevator up.... we only thought we were cold at the River Market.. it was FREEZING on top of that bridge and so slippery that you really had to walk or end up busting your ass!
Once we got down to the "submarine" we started running again, we only had about 2.5 miles left so we just ran and got it over with.

I was sad to miss the Brick Fest 5K this morning, but what an awesome run!!!

I know i'm leaving something out, but I've been up since 3:15am and I'm starting to get a little weary!!

So glad that everything worked out and we were able to get this over with today!!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Bippity, Bobbity, Boo... I Love You Kylie Poo

She owns a huge piece of my heart and has changed my life in so many ways!! It was because of her that I started exercising and made improvements in my diet. It was because of her I have lost 70+ pounds. I wanted to be the fun NaNa (pronounced Nay Nay) I wanted to be able to go outside and play with her and do fun stuff. If not for my desire to be a better NaNa for her I might still be the couch potato I was. I would have never found Jazzercise which then led to running and now biking. I wouldn't have all the wonderful friends that I do now, mine and Arland's world wouldn't be as rich and full as it is, we are truly blessed! Love you big girl!!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

A Hilly Weekend

It was a great weekend... HARD... but GREAT!!
2 mile race
32 mile Hilly, Hilly bike ride
Swim in Lake Degray
15.5 mile run
20 mile bike ride
1 trip to I-hop
2 trips to Starbucks
Up until midnight watching the Ironman Couer de Alene finishers.

I was Exhausted by Monday morning... seriously the thought of trying to blog was more than my tired brain could comprehend. I am caught up at work right now and I'm feeling good so here we go.

Saturday - Heat in the Street 2 mile Race
This was my first time at this race... I have done the Chase Race 2 miler twice now and both times had a good experience and this year had a big PR. The Chase Race is in March and it is usually pretty cool, if not downright cold. Well I think you can tell by the name of this race that it is NOT cool and can be downright HOT!
Arland and i didn't meet up with the gang at the school... he needed to load up the bikes and it's kind of silly to go to the school and then come back in the same direction.
Bailey, Jane, Joan, Vicki, Anabeth (Vic's grand daughter),Curtis, Gary, Josh, Arland, James B and myself were representing the Cabot Cruisers. Arkadelphia is a long way to drive for a 2 mile race but it was a Grand Prix and we are trying to have a team at as many of the Grand Prix races as we can. Plus we were going to be biking and swimming at Lake Degray afterwards.

Once we arrived we all warmed up... I knew in the warm up it probably wasn't going to be a good race. I just felt sluggish and my boob's hurt... yes my boob's hurt, I have NEVER had that happen before. I have been running for over a year and a half so that was odd.

I lined up kind of in the middle of the pack and I was next to a lady who Bailey and I kind of ran with some during the Mt. Magazine race. So anyway she is a good runner but I have been beating her lately so I didn't expect to be around her for very long.
The race started and I went out very conservatively... what was I thinking?? this was a 2 mile race no a 10K, plus there was a great downhill that I did not take advantage of at all. It was almost like I had forgotten everything that Coach Dennis has taught me over the past year. Finally just before we got to the bottom of the hill I let go a little bit but it was too little too late. The lady I started off with was right there with me and at one time was in front of me I didn't pass her for good until right around the first mile... there was another lady who I always beat too who started off ahead of me, it kind of messed with my head a little to run so long with her but like the other lady I did finally pass her. My first mile was an 8:47 which is not bad but considering the downhill it should have been much better. The second mile had a sharp turn and a weird hump in the middle of an intersection two things that slowed me down a little bit but overall I felt like i was working hard I felt myself slow at one point but I told myself nope gotta keep up the pace. Finally I saw some runners who were done walking back and they said just around the corner... and then there was Gary and James and Gary started running with me and was encouraging me, and honestly I thought I picked up the pace but damn when I saw the clock I was so dissapointed 17:57 32 seconds slower than my PR.
On the bright side Arland and Jane both had huge PR's and I was so proud of them!!!!
They had water, oranges, and banana's at the finish and then we all headed back out to run Anabeth in, well when we caught up with her there was no running her in she was flying!!!!! LOL

We had to walk back to the start which was great I like walking after a race, it helps prevent some stiffness. They were having the awards ceremony in a very nice gym/community center and we all sat around and chatted, but it took a long time and Arland, Gary, Curtis, James and I had to leave, we were meeting Cindy C. at Lake Degray for a bike ride and swim. Even with having a crappy race I still got 2nd in my age group.

Cindy was waiting patiently for us at the boat ramp so we quickly changed and got the bikes ready. I knew this was going to be a hilly route but seriously I had no idea what I was about to face.
First off let me point out that I was riding with Cindy C. Gary, Curtis and Arland. They are all fantastic bikers it just amazes me how strong and fast they are!!
So we get started and first thing we have a hill a very challenging hill even Cindy is breathing hard, but I think that's just because we hadn't had a chance to warm up yet. The hill's never ended just up and up and up, with a few downhills which were nice and helped you catch your breath. The road surface was TERRIBLE, I think they call it "chip seal" and it was very uneven and full of potholes.
Arland told the others at the beginning that he was going to stay back with me... thank you baby!! I hate holding anyone back but the thought of being out there alone terrified me! Curtis said I am going to ride with Annette too... well Curtis is the strongest rider of all!! I already blogged about how he stayed with me and Jane during the Tour De Rock and now he was going to ride with me again.. what a great guy!! I truly love him and Gary so much. We are so blessed to have them as friends!!
Gary is awesome too and you all know how much I love my Gary, but he is very intense, and he didn't say this to me specifically but he said something about no walking the bikes up hills.. I know that Rock has told me he had told her that before too... well you know where this is headed.. yep. This was a big hill and I didn't change gears soon enough or something, all I know is that I started leaning over and so I put my foot down to catch myself and that was it, I had to walk up the rest of the way, I will admit it I had tears in my eyes, I was so dissapointed in myself!!!! but Curtis was so sweet and positive and told me that most people would have to walk up that hill.
It was really hot and I haven't gotten the hang of drinking while riding yet... it just amazes me to think back to when I was a kid and all the stuff we could do on a bike.
Gary, Cindy and James had gone on ahead of us but at our first turn all of a sudden we see them coming from the opposite direction... they had taken a wrong turn, and they had lost James. I guess he didnt' turn around when they did.
We stayed together for a few miles and then took a water break... I really needed that water!! The thing about the bike is you don't realize how much you are sweating until you stop.
After the water break Curtis went on and played with Gary and Cindy for a little while, but Arland stayed with me... good thing too! I threw my chain going up a hill, I know I need to learn how to put it back on and I did watch Arland do it so hopefully if it happens when I'm alone I'll know what to do...not that I plan on riding alone but you never know when you will get dropped on a group ride.
Before that when we were still all together we had a little bit of a flat and I was leading going about 20 mph I felt on top of the world... and then Cindy just breezes by me like I was sitting still!!! LOL We kind of took turns leading and at one point Curtis was in front of me and Cindy rode by him and gave him that come on motion, well he took off after her and they were gone!!!!! I think Cindy might have regretted that later!! LOL
Everytime we had a great downhill I couldn't really enjoy it because I knew I was going to have to go back up it eventually... well there was one that was so awesome it was just down and down and down and curves which scared the crap out of me!!!! I think I let myself get up to about 37mph, and that was probably with the brakes pumping!
We had decided at the beginning we were going to ride an hour and fifteen minutes out and then turn around, orginally it was going to be 1:30, but Cindy said the big hill on the way back would slow us down, so the whole ride I was dreading that hill.
Remember that great downhill, well when it was time to go back up, it was just miserable. I had gone up one steep incline and I was just strugglign but I made it to the top and Arland was there waiting for me and when he saw me ride all the way to the top he was cheering and I was cheering, I was so happy.. until we started going again and I looked up and there was a mountain and you couldn't even see the top... I said a very bad word when I saw that!!!!! but we attacked it and of course Arland was way ahead of me, everyone was... but I kept plugging away and then just at the steepest part, just like before I didnt' change my gears in time and I got out of the seat to peddal but I started leaning and that was it I had to walk again :( again I had tears in my eyes of frustration. Finally we made it to level ground and Curtis came back for me... I had to tell him that I didnt' make it but he didnt' care he was just proud of me for making it as far as I had.
I didn't realize it at the time but that was the hill that Cindy had been talking about at the beginning... so I thought I still had another monster ahead of me. It was still hilly the rest of the way and I was really starting to feel fatigued... Curtis.. this is how strong he is, he would get beside me and put his hand on my back and push me!! That is amazing to me!! Of course I was still working hard when he did that, I was afraid if I didnn't pedal as hard as I could we would crash or something. It was funny at one point Arland had gone on ahead, Curtis had reassured him that he would stay with me, Arland had gotten pretty far ahead but with Curtis helpiing me we caught up, it was hysterical the look on his face when I was on his wheel... but then I backed off and he saw Curtis give me another push so he knew we had cheated!! LOL
We finally leveled off and even had some great downhills, but we were back on that chipseal stuff and it was so rough that my hands were going numb.
FINALLY I could see the turn... I was so happy!!!!!!!
When I got off my bike I could barely walk for a couple of minutes, but it was time to change into bathing suits for the swim. This was a serious swim for them but I was just doing it to be in the water and relax my muscles a little bit.
I gathered all my stuff to change and Cindy and I headed to the restroom, it wasnt' until we were inside that I realized I still had my helmet on! LOL
I'm not much of a Lake swimmer but the water was beautiful and the perfect tempature and it helped cool us down and rinse off all the salt! LOL
C,C & G swam two laps out to the bouey and then it was time to pack up and go. I almost forgot that Arland and Gary rehydrated with a beer! I had a drink of Arlands right when he took it out of the cooler and it was delicious!!!
We were pretty famished by now... I didn't eat anything before the race and I had half of a banana after the race and a half of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on the ride. Definately not enough nutrition!
We decided to go to I-hop in Benton and although it was 2:30 in the afternoon we had breakfast.. strawberry pancakes, I don't think anything has ever tasted that good!!!!

It was after 5:00 when we finally got home, got unloaded and settled down... I got online for a few minutes made a few phone calls and then sat in the recliner... well within minutes I was sound asleep!!!! I guess I slept for about an hour. Now it was time to prepare for my long run Sunday morning.

Sunday - 16 mile long run.

Brenda had helped me come up with a route for the long run, I wanted something with loops to help make it easier for others to join in at different mileage points. I chose to do the Candlewood 3 mile loop and the Cherry 5 mile loop twice. This way I could pass the gas station several times in case of emergency. Brenda and Bailey were doing the first 11 miles with me two candlewood loops and one Cherry loop. We planned to meet at 5:15, I really wanted to get there early but that just doesn't seem to work lately, I pulled up right at 5:15 and lo and behold there was Gary :)
I was feeling ok from the day before, no soreness just maybe a little tired. A hilly 32 mile bike ride is probably not a good way to prepare for a long run.
We were all together at the start but then Gary and Bailey pulled away, I was trying to keep a conservative pace, but we were doing great until about 1.5 miles and yep you guessed it, the poop monster attacked. I would have to walk and then stop and cross my legs and then walk and then eventually would be able to run again... and then repeat walk, stop run. Brenda stuck with me the whole time!!! Finally we got to the gas station and I was able to take care of the problem, but because of the bathroom break and the slower pace due to having to stop we decided to cut a mile out of the next loop. I suggested we do the New Country loop instead which cuts out almost exactly a mile... well I HATE New Country, it is VERY hilly but it is shaded. Bailey and Gary went on ahead but Brenda and I were holding a good pace, I was a little worried about the hills but unlike last week when I ran them at the end of my long run, I was in better shape for them this time. As we were going up the first one Brenda said smaller steps, slow down... I guess I was kind of attacking the hill and was pushing too hard, well those smaller steps worked and we ran every hill no problem. Gary and Bailey would circle back for us occasionally so they would know where to go.. LOL
We made it back to the school at almost exactly 6:40 which is the time we had arranged for others to meet us, including a new guy who was going to be running with the group for the first time.
We saw Kelly pulling up just as we turned into the driveway and there was a whole group of people.. some of them were waiting to meet Vicki for the beginners bike ride including Joan... who by the way really rocks the biker chick look!! seriously she looked amazingin her biking shorts and Jersey!!! She is beautiful now, I can just imagine what a knockout she was when she was younger!!
So for the next loop we had Kelly, Jane, Rock, Cheryl who came all the way from Sherwood (Thank you) Nick the new guy and continuing on were Brenda, Gary and Bailey. This time Gary and Rock pulled out way ahead, and then there was Kelly, Brenda, Nick, Bailey and Jane... and then Cheryl and I, thank you Cheryl for sticking with me. I was just starting the second half of my run so I didn't want to try to keep up with the others. Jane and Bailey also would circle back and then Kelly did too at one point.
This time no stomach issues but I decided to not take any chances and stopped at the gas station anyway... as did Cheryl. Everyone else went on to the we ran over there after our potty break. I didn't want to stop for too long, so we said our good-bye's to Brenda, Kelly and Nick... Gary had already left. Now it was Cheryl, Jane, Rock and myself. When we were on 321 Rock and Jane got a little ahead but waited for us when we got to Woody Lane and we all ended up running together after that. I was really pretty pleased with this run, I did start getting tired and having to take walk breaks but it was mostly in the last couple of miles. Considering what I had done the day before I thought i did ok. Because we had to take off a mile from one of our earlier loops I knew it wasnt' going to be exactly 16 miles... usually I'm pretty fanatical about being exact but I was ok with it this time. Running to the bathroom twice had added on a little bit and then Cheryl reminded me of a little loop we could do off of Bradley that would add on a little so by the time we got back to the school I had 15.5 and I decided that was good enough... there was no way I could run around the parking lot I was just DONE!!!!
It was really great having Rock with us, I know she isn't used to taking walking breaks and such but she stuck with us and we all chatted the whole time... it was great!
When we got back I got my towel out and did a few stretches, Jane and Rock had to get going, so we said bye to them and then Cheryl and I decided we deserved a Starbucks break!! :)
We shared a reducded fat blueberry coffee cake and we both had the "skinny" cinnamon dolce latte... Very yummy!!
Cheryl is moving into a new house soon so we were looking at paint chips etc... I cant' wait to help her decorate!!
For the past couple of months I haven't been having any hip flexor problems... but when I got out of the car at Starbucks and then again at home they were really stiff... still not as bad as they used to be!!
As soon as I got home I got online to start tracking our friends who were doing the Ironman Couer de Alene. Once I knew what was going on with everyone I took a shower and relaxed for a little bit. I had orginally thought that after my long run I might meet up with Vicki and Lisa F. to do a 40 or so mile bike ride.... luckily I came to my senses and realized that just wasn't going to happen and wouldn't be smart!!! During the run Brenda, Bailey and I talked about going on a shorter ride later in the afternoon...when Jane joined us I told her about it and she thought it sounded good too.
It ended up that Bailey went on a Mountain Bike ride with her hubby Ty who just got back from Iraq on Friday, and then Jane couldn't go, but at about 2:30 Arland loaded up the bikes again and we headed to Brenda's house. On Friday Brenda bought a new Specialized Dolce Elite exactly like mine... so now Francesca has a twin sister :)
It was really hot when we were loading up the bikes and for a split second I thought sheesh we are crazy for this.
I am so glad we did it though... it was a great ride!!!! Brenda had a great route picked out and with help from Arland we modified it a little bit and we were able to stay off some of the main roads like Mt. Tabor and 321. It definately wasn't flat but it felt great compared to the previous day's course. We did encounter some crazy dogs... I have never seen a weiny dog run so fast!!! as we were passing this one house he came after us, but after I got over the initial shock I wasn't worried..heck it was a weiny dog how fast can he run... apparently very fast!!! LOL He gave us a run for our money!
Oh that reminds me, when we were on New Conuntry during the long run on Saturday we were approaching one of the hills, Brenda turned to say something to me and then all of a sudden she screams get back and I see this blur of black... there was a chow trying to sneak up on us, but when Brenda yelled at him he threw on the brakes, it was almost comical.. if I hadn't been so terrified!! LOL
So again I have to say what a great ride it was on Sunday... we didnt' lolly gag but we didn't hammer either and it was just a great ride.
Brenda's bike got a piece of glass or something in the brakes, and was making an awful noise... we were worried it was something worse but when we got back to her house Arland took the wheel off and fixed it.
Tony was home so he and Arland chatted for a bit while I went inside and changed clothes... I had chaffed really bad on Saturday's run and I coudldn't bear the thought of having to ride home in my bike shorts!!! LOL

When we got in the truck I saw I had missed a call from Michele... I was so excited, I couldn't wait to hear how things were going in Idaho. We chatted for a while, James was doing awesome, and she and the kids were having a blast.

Kelly had texted me about going to Starbucks just before the bike ride... and when we got home she texted agin to ask if I still wanted to go. I hadn't seen her in over a week so although I was pretty exhausted I said yes and she came to get me. So for my second trip to Starbucks I shared a chocolate chip cookie and had another "skinny" cinnamon Dolce :)
Kelly and I got to catch up a little bit, but Arland was waiting for dinner so I couldn't stay gone for too long. Usually on Sunday evenings we go and have spend a couple of hours chatting!!

I had put one of Andrea's awesome Mexican Lasagna's in the over before I went to Starbucks and when I was at Brenda's she gave me a big beautiful home grown tomato so I made a spinach and tomato salad to go with our Lasagna. It was delicious and much needed.... other than the 1/2 cookie and 1/2 blueberry muffin I hadn't had much to eat.
I watched a little bit of t.v. and then about 9:00 went back to the office to watch the Live feed of the Ironman finish line...I stayed there until midnight. I got to see everyone except Kristina finish.
It was midnight when I finally fell into bed......

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Fun & Flying on the Track

Monday night was the first night of the Cabot Summer Track nights. Jackie Clinton started this program last year as a way to help get the kids off the couch and away from the video games for a little while.
Kylie and I attended almost every week last summer and I am hoping we can do the same thing this year.

Monday afternoon I drove to Magness Creek and picked Kylie up, she had swimming lessons earlier that day and had just woken up from a nap when I arrived. We ran back to my house so we could change, we wore our matching Skirt Sports running skirts and pink tops... well Kylie had on a pink sports bra, she just looks too cute!!! She tried to talk me into just wearing my pink sports bra but no way that is happening!! She said don't worry NaNa I will just tell everyone not to look at your belly! LOL

When we got to the Track Jane and Sara P. were there getting ready to go on a run, when they saw our matching outfits and hair Jane had to take a picture for me :)

It was a small group maybe 8 kids. There were 4 all together in Kylie's age range. After signing in Sara S. led the kids in a little warm up and then it was time for the first 100m. Kylie did great she ran the whole way and finished 3rd, I ran with the kids to help keep them going. Then it was the bigger kids turn, sheesh there were a couple little boys who were just flying!!!
Next was the 200 this is a little more challenging for Kylie but she ran the whole thing. She did complain a little bit.. she said "my hips are killing me" wonder where she heard that before??? LOL
After the 200 she decided she didn't want to run anymore, she went and played in the sand box with a couple other kids and didn't run the next one. I thought she was done for the night but I wanted to stay until it was over to support Jackie. Next thing you know when it was time for the 800 Jackie and Kylie come walking toward me and Jacke said that Kylie said she would run if she could be in the magazine. Last Fall Kylie was involved in the Runner's World photo shoot with Jackie it was very fun and exciting and we were thrilled that Jackie invited Kylie but we were a little dissapointed when the picture they chose didn't include Kylie.
I guess I forgot to mention there was a Reporter/Photographer there on Monday night. I didn't want to get Kylie's hopes up too high that she would be in the paper but there is a small chance she will be included in the picture/pictures they use. Hmmm I don't even know which paper he was from?? LOL
So here comes Kylie she is ready to run, the planned distance is 800 but I know that Kylie is only going to make it around the track once! She started out fine but around the 100m she started complaining about her hips again and started walking... I encouraged her to keep going and in a little bit later she started running again, I told her we would just run slow and steady and she ended up finishing and even sprinted it in at the end.
We had a great time but we forgot to get her ribbons at the end.. OOpp's bad NaNa!!!

Tuesday Night was the "Flyer's Clinic"
Once again Dennis had me doing the Intermediate workout... but this week I didn't have anyone my pace to run with. With Kelly out of town I thought that might happen, I was hoping Jane would be there but she had attended a Motivational Seminar and didn't get out until late.
So I brought along my i-pod, I usually only use it on 5 & 10K races.. I've noticed that Josh, Rock and "tri"Lisa all use their i-pods during speed work and since they are so fast I thought maybe it would help me. I didn't wear it for the warm up because we usually all talk while we are running. I waited until after Dennis spoke and it was time to start.
I LOVED IT!! It was a tough work out and I definately felt it, but something about having music just made me feel like I was flying!!!! One of the things that helps the most is that I can't hear myself breathing. Towards the end I don't know if I was on my last 90second's or my last stride but I was passing Joan and I could tell she was saying something to me so I took my ear pod out, she said you sound like me with your breathing. Well Joan is a heavy breather so I knew I must have really been huffing and puffing... as well I should like I said it was a tough workout and we were running at Interval pace. We did 3 sets of 3x90 seconds at interval pace with a 1 minute jog between each 90 seconds. Basically it kind of ended up being 9x300 because that is usually where I was when my 90 seconds was up.

After I completed the workout I ran my cool down with Livia... I am SO glad she has come back to the Clinic and is running again :) Right now she is still struggling a little bit but once she builds up her endurance she is going to FLY!!!
We did our cool down by running in the opposite direction on the track... all those turns can be hard on your knees!!!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

50 Mile Weekend

35 mile bike ride on Saturday + 15 mile run on Sunday = 50 miles :)

Saturday: Tour de Rock
I woke up Saturday morning around 3 and it was lightening and thundering like crazy, it was still early so I wasn't too worried, but it definately lit up the bedroom for a good while.

I got up at 5:00am which felt like sleeping compared to the 4:15 I was getting up during my early morning runs during the week.

We had everything ready the night before so it was mostly a matter of getting dressed, having a light breakfast and waiting for Bailey.

Bailey picked us up and the bikes were loaded and we were on our way to SSE to meet the others. It was a bit smaller crowd than we were expecting, but with the rain we knew some might drop out.

Bailey was leading the caravan to NLR... Rock was riding with Cindy and sent Arland a text message asking Bailey to slow down!!! Later that afternoon when we got home there was a message from Jane (she thought she had called my cell) she said to tell Bailey she didn't need to drive like a bat out of hell!! LOL

With Bailey as the lead car we made it to Burns Park in record time and we were early as usual.
We picked up our packets, I used the restroom, of course I went to the one that was .5 mile away from the cars, went to it twice before I realized there was one much closer to us. Oh well I ran between the car and the restroom and considered that my warm up.

It had been raining all morning, sometimes it would let up and then it would come down a little bit harder. I was afraid they might cancel the event but they only postponed it for 30 minutes.

On the way to the start line I had been keeping my eyes open for Gabriel and finally I spotted her. I walked over and said hi and introduced myself.. I was wearing my Cabot shirt so I'm pretty sure she knew it was me before I even opened my mouth! LOL

They divided the riders into groups based on the mileage they were planning to ride. Gabriel was doing the 30 mile route, she is still recovering from a pretty bad bike accident a couple of months ago. Since she couldn't ride with her friend she lined up with us. Curtis also lined up with us, I was SO excited. Curtis is an excellent biker and probably would have been pulling Arland, Gary, Rock etc if he had chosen that mileage. He was doing a "time trial" today so he didn't want to do a long hard ride. It was Me, Jane, Curtis, Gabriel, Joan and Lisa Ford. Joan, Joan, Joan what can I say, she is just such an inspiration. She is 65 years old and runs marathons in 4:30, she has mentored so many new runners and is one of my favorite people to run with. She has not been riding very much lately, as a matter of fact she said she rode 6 mile in May and that was the only time she had been on her bike since last year. Oh and I should mention her bike is a hybrid with the big mountain bike tires.

When the Tour started Jane, Curtis and I started off pretty slow, we didn't want to get into a big bunch, the roads were wet, it was still raining and it all just spelled disaster if you weren't careful.
On the first hill it really slowed down and I looked up and saw Joan walking her bike, she said she was ok, she had just messed up her gears but they were fine.

I made it up that hill ok, but I didn't change gears when I should have and it was hard!!
Soon after after that we saw a big jamup just before the wooden bridge, people were walking their bikes up to the bridge and then getting on and riding across. As we were approaching the group Jane and I were talking about how clip in pedals made us nervous etc. Well right on cue a girl didn't get clipped out soon enough and boom landed on the ground. She was fine!

One funny thing about riding in the rain/wet roads is that the water coming off the bike tire hits your rear and it looks like you have a fountain coming out of your butt!! I of course found this hilarious and every person that we passed that I knew I would say hey you have water coming out of your butt. What can I say I am easily amused... but you know what's really funny is I didn't think about the fact that I had the same thing going on.

Curtis stayed with me and Jane the whole time, he was so great about telling us when we were going to turn..... well except that one time when he took us straight instead of turning!! everyone was yelling at us so we didn't get very far.

We did see a scary crash, we had been warned about the railroad tracks at the start and just before we got to them Curtis had been telling us how to cross them, well I just got behind him and followed, as we were going over them a group of girls were on the side of us and one of them crashed, poor thing she really landed hard, we stopped to make sure she was ok, she said she was and I think was embarassed by all the attention so we went on.

We also saw a lot of people on the side of the road with flats, but there was always someone there to help them. We also noticed that anytime one member of a group had a problem the whole group stopped and they worked together to fix whatever it was.
We were riding pretty hard but it felt good!! About mile 12 or so we came upon the first aid station. I can not say enough good things about the volunteers at this event, they definately took great care of us. They had banana's oranges, granola bars, water, gatorade etc. They also had pickles..yummy!!

Oh one of the funniest things....I had noticed it at the restrooms at the socceer field and it was even more noticeable at the rest stop. The line for the men's room was 5 times as long as for the women's room. As a matter of fact at the socceer field there was no line for the ladies room but there had to be at least 12-15 guys waiting for the men's room. At the aid station it was an even longer line for the guy's port-a-pottie. They had a pink one and a blue one.

We met back up with Gabriele at the aid station and she rode the rest of the course with us :)

One thing about riding with Curtis is don't expect a leisurely ride!! He only lead a couple of times, but because I didn't want to hold him back when it was my time to lead I would try to ride as hard as I could. Another thing about riding with Curtis is he makes you feel like a superstar!! He is always telling us how great we are. Who doesn't love that!!

Gabriele and I got a pretty good lead at one time, we were just riding and chatting and it was great. She is a very strong biker and could have just left us in her dust but I'm so glad she rode along with us it was nice getting to know her. She is a sweetheart!!!

At the second aid station we stoped again and had gatorade and pickles. We also waited for Joan and Lisa, had someone take a picture of our backsides etc, It was here that I mentioned to the girls that my shorts were so wet that I could pee in my pants and no one would know. Of course that is gross and I would never do that... on purpose! LOL

Gabriele, Curtis, Me and Jane
Dirty backs...

We were only supposed to have 5 miles left after the aid station but we ended up with 35 instead of 30 so I'm guess we had 10 more... I know it felt like it! Again things were going along fine, the girls would take turns leading. One time I did get on Curtis's wheel and that was cool but it's hard to maintain that pace! Just after we went back across the railroad tracks we had gotten behind a couple of big guys on mountain bikes, Jane and Curtis were able to get around them pretty quick but a car was coming so Gabriele and I hung back and by the time we finally did get around them we had lost Curtis and Jane... oh we could see them up ahead but we or actually I couldn't catch back up. I was also starting to get a little tired and was falling off pace. Gabriele stuck with me the whole time and believe me I really appreciated it!!!

It was pretty cool when we were approaching the finish line I could hear Brenda yelling my name and others too :) that was a great feeling going across the finish line, but it was also a little anticlimatic since there weren't many people around. I was just glad to get my butt off that damn skinny little seat!! Actually I have a great seat and it doesnt' cause me too much discomfort, and truthfully it is more comfortable than that big ol gel cushion seat on my comfort bike!

Gabriel went to find her husband and I went over to Brenda.. she walked with me to Bailey's car and helped me get my bike on the rack.

So now I realize that I am the first one back and I don't have a key... I am soaking wet from head to toe and I can't change clothes :( oh and not just wet but filthy I also have dirt/bugs from head to toe. Oh well nothing to be done so Curtis, Brenda and I headed over to the good... I was squishing the whole time!

It was so cool of Brenda to come and cheer us on!!!! She had done a long run with Lisa and Andrea and it would have been easy for her to stay home and recover.

Jane was able to change clothes but she had to get back so we said good-bye to her. We actually didn't head straight to the food, we were waiting for Joan and Lisa to come in. It took them a little longer than we expected, but we soon saw why. Joan was riding on a flat tire!!! It had happened about 4 miles from the finish, a fellow biker had offered her a tube but she declined.. they aired her's up for her but it didn't last long and so she road the last couple of miles with a flat... not an easy thing to do!!!

We knew it was going to be awhile before the others came in so we headed over to the food tent...along the way we signed up to win a new bike. Of course we didn't :( oh well.

What we did win was the Team spirit trophy!!!!! How cool is that??? It is a travelling trophy they will have our name engraved on it and we get to keep it until next year... we will bring it back and hopefully win it again.

Arland and Bailey did a great job getting a team together, and we can't thank all of you who donated to the cause enough... thank you!!!!

Bailey, Rock, Arland, Gary and Cindy all did the 62 mile route, and they all still had smiles on their faces when they finished. Bailey was a little bit behind the others she was riding with Lisa M. the first thing she said as she was walking towards the car was "I need food and I need a new vagina"!!!!!!!!!!!!! First thing I said to her was I need to get out of these freaking wet clothes!!! Although my shirt had dried but shorts were still soaked and it was probably almost 2 hours since I had finished my ride... ok maybe on 1.5 hours but still that's a long time to sit in wet shorts.. I felt like a baby who needed a diaper change!
It felt SO good to finally be out of those wet clothes!!!

It was almost 1:15 by the time we headed to the Salty Parrot to have celebatory margarita's. We were celebrating the fact that Gary Boston Qualifed "BQ'd" at the San Diego Marathon on June 2.
It was after 3 when we finally got home... talk about a long day, and I still needed to go to the grocery store to buy the ingredients to make enchilada's for Father's day lunch.
Arland has some more pictures on his blog....

Sunday: 15 mile run

Cheryl, Michele and Kelly are all out of town and no one else needed a 15 mile run, but because I have such great running buddies I was able to organize a long run and a group of people to run different distances with me. Bailey and Jackie met me at SSE at 5:15... well I was a little late :* more like 5:25. We ran from SSE to Team 1 and Brenda and Andrea were waiting for us there. It was a great morning, much cooler than it has been, my car said it was 67 degrees. We had a good run to Team 1, although I did feel like I could use the bathroom it was never an emergency situation. Bailey also felt the possible need so we met up with the girls and then we headed over to the Shell station. Once that was taken care of we headed down 1st street... I was feeling good and then once again I felt like I could use the bahtroom, luckily my house was about a mile away at that point. Arland had called and he was going to meet us and run with us from home, well when we got to my house, nothing happened. Oh well a wasted stop and I was bummed because it was already 6:30... my plan had been to hopefully finish the 10.5 mile loop in time to meet up with the 7:00 group. Oh well I knew Arland was stuck with me so I was hoping he would at least run a few more miles with me.
We kept up a really good pace but once again just before the Phillip's 66 station I felt that urge so we stopped... this time it was a successful trip. The sun had come out and it was starting to heat up but I was still feeling pretty good and we were hitting some long shady patches. About mile 9 I was starting to feel a little fatigued, and was worried about my will to finish 15.... well just then I see two runners up ahead heading toward us. It was Joan and Jane, they had seen all the cars at the school and I think they knew or guessed that we had done the 10.5 mile loop so they just headed in that direction to find us :) I was beyond thrilled. Jackie was with me at that point and I could tell she was also happy for me... I let the other girls go and I fell in with Joan and Jane, we discussed what route we wanted to run, Joan suggested New Country...... at first I said NO!! I hate New Country it is hilly and snakey... but it is also shady so I gave in. It really worked out well. We ran that loop and then ran up Panther Trail, to Kerr, back to 321 and I got in exactly 15 miles!! The last 5 miles were really slow, the faster pace of the first 10 and the heat combined to really wear me out but I was very proud of that run. I ended up with an avg pace of 11:19 not bad for 15 miles!
1- 9:52
2- 10:00
3- 10:35
4- 10:33
5- 9:58
6- 10:00
7- 10:58
8- 10:21
9- 11:32
10- 11:55
11- 12:17
12- 12:23
13- 13:33
14- 11:52
15- 13:43
You can definately tell where it started going down hill!!!! LOL

After the run Arland and I made a stop at Mountain Mudd and then jumped in the pool when we got home. AHHHHH that was awesome, the water was nice and cool and it felt like a little slice of heaven!! well it did after I got over the shock of realizing that I had a few chafed spots!!! AWWW the joys of summer running!!
After that it was a quick bowl of cereal and then time to start making enchiladas!!!

We had about 20 people over for Father's day lunch... it was pot luck so that was nice, I only had to make enchilada's. We had a packed house and a lot of people enjoyed the pool. It was a great day!!! Last year on Father's day my dad was hear and we had a huge cook out. That morning I had done my longest run ever.. 11 miles and I was wiped out the rest of the day and couldn't really enjoy the company. Today not only did I run 15 miles but I had done a 35 mile bike ride the day before and yet I was kind of tired but I felt good and I did enjoy having everyone over!!

Friday, June 13, 2008

A Few Good Run's

This week has been filled with good runs, some better than others but overall much better than last week!!

Sunday: This was a recovery run with Joan, Heather, Cheryl, Kelly and Robert. I might have already written about it but oh well. We met at SSE the usual spot, we all agreed we wanted a slow easy run, several of us were recovering from the Mt. Magazine 15K and Cheryl had done a long run on Friday. I felt good the whole run!!!! No bathroom issues and the legs and everything felt good. Saturday afternoon and evening my calf was really killing me but I iced it and took some ibuprofren and it was fine when I woke up Sunday morning.
It was great to have Cheryl with us, although she hasn't officially joined everyone considers her a "Cruiser" and when she hasn't been around for a while they ask me about her.
After the run we went to Sonic and I got my "lemon ice" If you ask for water with lemon's you don't get as much ice so I just order a large ice with lemons and then add my own water. It felt good to sit outside we were in the shade and there was a nice breeze so I was almost dry by the time we left.

Monday: I met Kelly at the Community Center at 5:30... well she was a little late, but that's ok who hasn't overslept, I know I have!!
This was a great run, we stayed close to the community center for the first part but I never had any stomach issues so we went on past the high school etc. I think we only took one or two very short walk breaks and we averaged 10:00 miles for the first 2 miles and then our third mile was a 9:35!! woo hoo and it felt good!

Tuesday: Last week I didn't do the whole workout and pretty much just felt like crap the whole time. I went out too fast during the warm up and then when we got to the track with the sun blazing down on us I just didn't have it in me. Dennis always asks us to come to the Clinic with fresh legs, well I didn't do that either, I had run twice on Monday a.m. & p.m. and done a Pilates class.
THIS week was a whole new ballgame, I ran Monday morning but then didn't do anything else until Tuesday night. I think I was just fresher physically and mentall because I had a GREAT workout!!!! I made it a point to do the warm up run at a relaxed pace and that also helped a lot! Because of my poor showing the week before Dennis made me do the Intermediate workout instead of the Advanced... that was fine by me although I had mentally prepared myself for the advanced. Jane, Cheryl and I did the workout together and it was GREAT!!
Livia has come back to the Tuesday Night Flyer's and it always makes me so happy to see her out there! Tracy and Kylie also came along and Kylie would wave everytime I went by and that always gave me a boost!
Oh and Aunt Tamara did great too, she did the Intermediate workout too!

Wednesday: No running.. but I did do the Bun's & Ab's class and Jane's Latin dance class. I have loved Jane's class from the beginning but I am also loving the Bun's & Ab's!! Kelly is a great instructor and that hour just fly's by! Of course it is painful but I can feel my leg's and glutes getting stronger! Which comes in handy for running and the Bike!

Thursday: Arland, Cheryl, Jane and I met at the CC at 5:30. This was another really good run, very steady but not too slow. We all ran together, except Arland would occasionally get out ahead of us, but then he would walk and let us catch up to him. Cheryl's garmin was beeping at her quite a bit and I think she finally figured out it was her heart rate alarm. We took a few walk breaks but still ended up with a 10:45 avg. pace for 5 miles, and this included several good little hills.
Speaking of hills Arland and I took the bike's to Greystone last night and got in some great hill training. I have to admit though all those hills were starting to wear on me and towards the end I was getting kind of cranky! LOL
I did conquer all the hills and was expecially excited that I made it all the way up the 2 steepest one's without having to walk my bike!! :) WOO HOO!! Of course I was shaking like a leaf by the time I got up the last one and could barely get off my bike when we got back to the Club House! LOL

Friday: This morning I met Jane at the Community Center... I called her last night to tell her I made it up the moster hill and while we were talking we decided to run this morning. Normally Friday's are my rest day but since we are doing the Tour de Rock tomorrow I knew I wouldn't get a run in so we decided to make today a run day. We initially thought we would only get in 3 miles, but we were pretty speedy and managed to get in 4 mile with a 9:58 avg pace... again it was hilly/incliny through the whole route but I felt good the whole time and again no stomach issues. We did take a couple of quick walk breaks, it is taking a little while to acclimate to this heat and humidty but even with the walk breaks we did great and our last mile was our fastest.. you know I love it when my last mile is my fastest mile :)

I've been missing Michele, she is in Oregon visiting her mom and then next weekend her and the kids will go to Idaho to meet James. James is doing his first "Ironman" triathalon at Cor de' Alene... He has trained so hard and I am so proud of him!! I wish I could go too!!!

Tomorrow is the Tour de Rock and then Sunday I will do my long run of 15 miles.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Tour De Rock

I need your help friends... this Saturday we are participating in the 5th annual CARTI Tour de Rock Bike Ride. The Cabot Cruisers have a team and so far we have the most members and have raised over $600.00 I'm so proud of everyone for partcipating and donating and wanted to give my friends and family who read this blog a chance to help in the fight against Cancer.

If you follow this link it will take you to mine and Arland's sponser page, we appreciate any donations large or small!!
This past Sunday Arland and I met Bailey and Curtis at the Dog Park so that we could get in a long ride to prepare for the Tour de Rock. I hadn't been on my bike since the Duathalon and I was pretty nervous about the Tour. We brought along the ice chest and some pretzels etc.since we knew we would be passing back by the dog park somewhere in the middle of our ride.

Bailey and I had our first lesson in chaging a tire/tube... luckily she noticed before we even started that she had a hole in her tube and Curtis changed it for her, he was very good about telling/showing us how to do it and he made it look very easy but I know that I am going to freak out the first time I have to do that on my own!
Finally we were on our way, it must have been almost noon by the time we got started and it was HOT..HOT..HOT and HUMID!!!! It was 95 degrees and the sun was blazing!!! Believe it or not there were a few crazy people out there still running.

The first part of the ride was great it was fairly flat and had some nice shady spots... and then.... The BIG DAM BRIDGE!! I had been dreading this... Curtis was right there behind me and I was barely making it up the incline, finally just before I got to the crest he told me what to change my gears to and it made a huge difference. DAMN why didn't he tell me before????? LOL

So I made it up the bridge and now for the descent, well this scared me as much as going up, there are other bikes, walkers, dogs, runners, skateboards etc sharing a narrow road and it is a pretty steep descent, I pretty much rode my brakes most of the way down.

After the bridge Curtis decided we would play Fox and Hound one rider would go out with a mile or two lead and then the rest were supposed to work together to catch him. Arland was our Fox and after a few minutes Curtis sent Bailey on her way to catch him and then he and I left. Bailey is a very strong biker and she did eventually catch him, Curtis stayed with me for quite a while and then he stopped for some reason, I can't remember what and he told me to go on.... next thing you know I hear what sounds like a car passing me and I look over and it is Curtis, he was FLYING and although he gave Arland a huge lead he also caught up with him before the designated turn around.... and then there is me, the turtle, I have to admit that I do love my bike and I love bike riding but that wasn't much fun for me. I spent the whole time bringing up the rear with Curtis circling back for me a lot. He was great though and gave me lot's of tips and tried to help me with the gearing.
We rode from the Dog Park, back to just past the I-430 bridge, back to the Dog Park. I had gotten a dull headache early on during the ride and thought maybe it was just the heat, when we got back to the truck I took some ibuprofen, we ate a banana some pretzels and drank some gatorade. I felt revived but still had that damn headache. From this point we are going to head out in the opposite direction on the River Trail to the "submarine"/Alltel Arena area. It's a lot hillier this way with a couple of good climbs, again I was bringing up the rear the whole time, my head was killing me and I was feeling discouraged about my lack of speed, but I tried to make the best of it andjust enjoy the fact that it was a beautiful day.
Finally we made it to The Submarine, there is also a River boat docked there that goes out on dinner Cruises... Luckily there is also a bathroom. I decided when I came out of the bathroom to take my helmet off for a minute... WELL.... I don't know how I didn't notice this before, but I had my helmet on so tight that I almost couldn't get it off... I started to panic a little but it came off and I almost instantly felt my headache go away. OMG how dumb am I????? I had these big dents in the side of my head!! I was so mad at myself but so relieved that the pain had gone away!! LOL The ride back to the Dog Park was much better, I was still last but it didn't bother me as much... and then we came to the wooden bridge... there were some mountain bikers coming and i kind of freaked out a little and crashed into the wooden railings, I didn't fall off but I'm shocked my arm isn't full of splinters from the railing. I was very shaky and thankful that I still had a little bit of time to compose myself before catching up to the others.

I ended up with a little over 27 miles at a 13.7 avg pace. Considering the traffic on the River Trail, the hills, the heat and other factors I don't think that was too terrible. I can only get better... right???

It was definately a full weekend... the Mt. Magazine 15K on Saturday, Dinner out with the Harrell's, up early again on Sunday for a 5 mile run with Heather, Joan, Kelly, Cheryl and Robert, and then we capped it off with a 27 mile bike ride and lunch/dinner at Chili's with Bailey. I was pretty much toast by the time we got home on Sunday evening.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Mt. Magazine pictures

T-Shirt & trophy

Me & Bailey

Bailey.... and a beautiful view

This one is for you Cheryl

Arland has even more pictures on his blog.

Mt. Magazine 15K

Cheryl is always calling me Crazy or Insane... well sometimes I think I deserve that title and this Saturday was one of those times.
We drove 250 miles round trip to run 9.3 miles up a mountain... CRAZY?? INSANE?? Probably but I wouldn't trade the experience for anything!!

The other wack-o's along for the ride were Bailey, Joan and Rock..

When we got to the school in Havana there were only a few people there of course in our usual Cruiser fashion we were WAY early pretty good considering we made a pit stop and a wrong turn.
This is a very informal race no numbers and we would get our shirts at the top of the mountain. By the time we all used the restrooms etc. a few more people had arrived.
Bailey has been sidelined with a stress fracture for the past six weeks and this was just her second run back so she decided she would just stick with me... actually I'm not sure if she decided on that or if I did! LOL
So anyway I asked her again at the car if she was sure she wanted to stick with me, I told her it would be slow!!! She said she would so I left my i-pod it the car... I told her she was for sure stuck with me now!!!!

I surveyed the small crowd and I told Bailey that I thought we really might be last... my fear at all races is that I will be last, it hasn't happened yet but I know that day will come.

The starting line was about a 1/2 mile from the school on a gravel road, I didn't realize until we were almost to the start line that we were going back in the direction of the school, which meant we had to run on gravel for the first 1/2 mile.
After we got to the start line a lot more people started showing up and after another survey of the crowd I told Bailey that maybe we wouldn't be last after all.

On the walk to the start line we were walking with a lady who told us she had baked a lot of goodies for the finish. I asked her to tell me what she had made so I would have something to look forward to during the race. When she mentioned chocolate chip cookies I was in heaven!!!! Any kind of home made baked goods are my weakness but especially chocolate chip cookies!!!!

I had used the bathroom several times, at home and at the school and i was able to take care of business but I was a little worried, I knew there wasn't going to be any restrooms along the way. Luckily my stomach never gave me any problems at all. Maybe I need to get up at 3:45 before every run???? Uh no I don't think so!! LOL

The race director yelled start and we were off, Joan took off like a rocket and Arland and Rock were right in front of us, I was setting the pace for Bailey and myself and we were running very conservative. It was already hot and very humid!! I knew the first 3 miles were rolling hills and it would have been easy to run it faster but I didn't want to burn out before we started the climb up the mountain. Our first 2 miles were very steady they both came in at 9:58 and the third mile was a bit slower because of a walk break.
The first water station was right at mile 3 I have to say they did a great job on spacing out the aid stations, mile 3, 5 and 7 were perfect!
Bailey had asked me early in the race what my strategy was for walk breaks and i told her I didn't have one, I just wanted to run until I couldn't anymore.
It was so great having Bailey with me, we really had a good time and even stopped to take pictures and enjoy the scenery.
In the first mile of the race there was a girl with a huge waist pack and when she ran it swished back and forth, O.M.G. it was killing me and I thought I really hope I can pass her soon so I don't have to see that the whole 9.3 miles. I was very relieved when we passed her before the first mile, poor thing I can only imagine how uncomfortable that had to have been!!

I discovered a new alternative to Gu's a few weeks ago... Honey Stinger chews. I used the honey stinger gels last year and by the time we finished training for Chicago I couldn't stand the thought of them anymore. Well when we were at "The Ride" in Conway picking out my bike I saw the chews. Eric the owner of The Ride gave them high marks so I decided to try them.. They are smaller than cliff block, probably about the size of Sharkies or Luna Moon's but they are rounder, softer and don't stick to your teeth!!

After about mile 5 when we had been doing a lot of walking my shoulders started hurting and my fingers were starting to swell, but i started pumping my arms as if I were running and it not only helped alleviate some of the pain it also helped me walk faster. I kept the pace the first couple of miles but then Bailey took over and she would pick out landmarks for us to from to, we would run from the arrow sign to the squiggly sign and so forth. It really helped get me running but let me tell you it was hard. From a distance I would think oh that's not very far it will be easy... HA!!!!

At the aid station at mile 7 they had fig newtons, oranges and bananas... normally I would NEVER eat stuff like that during a race especially one that didn't have any port a potties, but I had an orange wedge and a couple fig newtons. I had been good about taking my Honey Stingers every couple of miles and I think they did help but by the time we got to that aid station I really wanted something different... I was hoping they would have pretzels but no such luck.
I kept reminding myself that when we made it to the top we were going to be rewarded with cookies... chocolate chip cookies, banana nut bread etc.

Finally we rounded a steep curve and I saw the 9 mile marker and you could see the finish line... it was a welcome sight but first you had to get up a very steep incline. We were walking at the time but I have never crossed a finish line walking so we dug deep and ran it in, Bailey grabbed my hand and we ran in together hands clasped high... and then Bailey pushed me so that i would finish before her. Silly girl!! LOL

The finish line was located at an observation point and the view was just breathtaking... all I could think looking down into the valley was that I had run up that mountain. Me Annette Blanton ran up a mouintain... well walked/ran. My first stop after the race was the food table and I grabbed 5 cookies.. yep 5!!! I didn't care, everyone else just had one, but I had 5 and enjoyed every bit of them!!

I almost forgot to mention the "sag wagon" Becky drove up and down that mountain I don't know how many times checking on everyone, she would slow down and ask each person if they needed anything!! It was awesome knowing that help wasn't very far away if we needed it. The Park Ranger also drove the course several times checking on people.

As we were standing at the top waiting I heard Becky tell someone that there were still 10 people on the course and the last one's had just passed mile 6... I thought it would be a long time for the awards ceremony and my calf was hurting so I asked Bailey if she wanted to walk with me for a little while. We headed back down the course and caught up with an older gentleman we had seen at the start. I guess we got just a little over 1/2 a mile down when Arland called and said they were starting the awards ceremony so we turned around and headed back up. It was so funny .. Bailey had run ahead and the people at the finsih line were cheering for her, they thought she was just finishing.

I was the 18th female to cross the finish line... not sure how many females there were, but I wasn't last!! LOL

We were able to get a ride back down in the back of a pick up truck... I felt kind of bad because the awards ceremony was over but there were still people going up the hill... we made sure we cheered for all of them, and the crazy people who decided to run back down.

After we got back to the school we tried to find a place to change clothes... we were all SOAKED and desperately needed to get out of our wet clothes. We walked behind the school and find a little alcove, it wasn't really private but it looked like the only choice. I didnt' think about it until later but I hope there weren't any security camera's back there!! We all just kind of turned our backs and stripped down and got dressed. What a relief to get out of those wet clothes!!!

We stopped in Russellville for breakfast at I-hop and it was 3:00 by the time we made it home... I was beyond exhausted!! But like I said in the beginning I wouldn't trade that day for anything!!!!

Friday, June 6, 2008

Been A Long Time!!!

WOW.. I didn't realize it had been so long since I've "blogged"
It has been a great two weeks with lot's of stuff to write about and I have thought many times I can't wait to write about this on my blog, or I would make the comment to whoever I was with "you know this is going in the blog" but then when I would find myself in front of the computer I wouldn't feel like writing and then the further behind I got the less I wanted to write.

I won't bore you or myself by writing about everything from the past two weeks but there were some good long runs, rides and workouts that I want to talk about and then in the next post I will hopefully put up some pictures.

The Mullberry Tree long run
Saturday May 24

Cheryl, Michele and I met at Academy sports to run at the River Trail with the Little Rock Training group. They were starting at Murray Park and we had high hopes that we would be doing "The Loop" but when we arrived they had different routes mapped out. Our plan was 10 miles so the loop would have been too long anyway. We didn't really like what they had planned so we made our own 10 mile route. We ran from Murray Park to the 430 bridge and then back over the Big Dam Bridge almost to the dog park and then back to Murray Park. It was very warm and VERY HUMID! sheesh we were sweating before we even started running. As with most runs the first couple of miles are the hardest, and with the humidity it was hard to breath. I also had my normal bathroom issue, but luckily we found a port a pottie within a few minutes after I felt the first rumblings. I think it was just past the 430 bridge there was a little boat ramp/park area I was sooo happy to see that little port a pottie!
After that I started feeling a little better and the rest of the run was pretty good for me.... I had been very nervous about the long run especially since I hadn't run anything over 6 miles since the Nashville Marathon. Michele and Cheryl weren't feeling any running love but at about mile 7 or so Michele found a Mulberry tree and the next thing you know those two were like monkeys and had picked all the branches clean!!!! It really was pretty hilarious to watch them and you should have seen the looks from some of the bikers going by! LOL
I finally got them away from the first tree when they spotted another one, I kept running thinking theywould be right behind me, but a few minutes later I looked back and they were NOWHERE to be seen!! I really didn't want to turn around, so I kept going until I got back to the bridge and picked up my water bottle.. Cheryl and I had stashed our hydration belts behind a bench at the foot the the bridge. One of the things I HATE about summer running is having to wear a water belt!!

One of the things that had kept us going during the run was knowing we were going to Boulevard Bread Co. after the run... well that and the Mullberry's!!
So off we go to the River Market... we knew that it was RiverFest weekend and roads would be closed but what we weren't prepared for was the fact that the River Market was behind a chain link fence. There were two guys "guarding" the entrance they told us they couldn't let anybody in until 10:00, it was barely 8:30 at the time, I said you have got to be kidding me we just want some coffee! They were very adamant that no we could not go through... well I don't know what got into me but I said hey look over there and they did so we made a break for it and ran past them over to Boulevard Bread. I heard them say "that was just wrong"!! LOL
To make it up for them Michele bought some cookies to give them when we left. That night we went back to the RiverFest to eat at Gusano's and see Miranda Lambert with Michele and James... those same two guys were still working the gate!!! We asked them if they enjoyed the cookies and one of the guys called out to the other one "hey I caught them"! LOL

May 26

2 mile run 12 mile bike 2 mile run. Sounds easy.... right???
I was very nervous about this race I had only been on my bike a handful of times but the Thursday before the race I met Vicki and Lisa F for a training brick. We started at Vicki's house and we ran 3 miles biked 10 and then ran 2. It was hot which was perfect because we knew it would be hot the day of the race. I barely made it back to Vicki's house after the first run, I really had to use the bathroom so we didn't get to practice the transition the way we wanted and I didnt' get that experience of jumping off the bike and running right away, but that's ok it was good practice and Vicki gave me some good advice and tips. I got into a little bit of trouble for taking the time off of work to do it, but I was glad for the experience!!

So back to the race... Bailey and Michele came to the house and we all rode to Hot Springs with Bailey,she had a great bike rack and was able to fit all 3 bikes on it.
We of course got there way early and had plenty of time to register use the bathroom etc. Sarah P. and her husband Marty were volunteering and it was there job to "tatoo" us, They put our race number on our arms and then our age on our calf... very weird but kind of cool.
After that we got our bikes and set up the transition area.... I had a bright yellow towel that I put on the ground between mine and Arland's bikes so that I would know where to go when I came back from the bike ride.

The first run..... My first thought was it's just 2 miles just run hard... but then I remembered I had a 12 mile bike ride and another 2 mile run. I don't remember know my exact time for the first 2 miles but it was ok, 18:xx ?? I was really nervous about transitioning, I was so afraid I would do something wrong and be disquaified ( I am a worrier) but it was cool, I ran over put on my helmet and ran to the timing mat, once I crossed they said I could get on my bike .. I was so nervous I had a hard time getting on, I was very shaky, but once I did and got going I felt great!! Before we started the first run a guy from USAT gave us all the rules and he kept emphasising the no drafting rule, well I had no plans to draft but when he said you had to stay 3 bike lengths back I kind of freaked out a little, but as slow as I was on the run I didn't have a lot of people around me when I first started on the bike, but about a 1/2 mile later I am coming up on a guy and my first thought is I can't pass him, but he is going kind of slow so I had to and my heart was just pounding the whole time!!! He was really nice and said great job as I went by him. The course was an out and back and very hilly!!! on the way out is wasnt' too bad we gad some good downhill's but then a girl riding by said this is gonna suck on the way back!!!! Well she was right!!!!!
O.M.G. that was hard!!! On the way out during a flat section I had looked at my bike computer and I was showing 20.7 miles an hour on the way back on one of the hills I looked down and I saw 3.7 miles an hour!!!
BUT I was really pleased with my bike ride, I don't have clip in pedals and I had only been on a few rides so I thought I did a great job. I averaged 14.6 miles an hour for the bike section.
The second run... now that just plain SUCKED!!! When I racked my bike I tried to run out of the transition area but I just couldn't. I grabbed a water and once I passed the timing mat I started a slow jog. Gary and Curtis had already finished the whole race by the time I started my second run and they were cheering me on along with Debbie B.and Bailey. Gary offered to run with me but I said NO.. I didn't want the pressure plus I knew it had to be against the rules or something.
At the turn around they had a water station and i took two cups, the girl said do you want me to pour some down your neck, I said sure... big mistake I instantly felt like she had put a 10 pound weight on my back!!! I pretty much would run as much as I could and then take a walk break. It was so hot and the sun was just beating down on us. I really hated that I was having to walk during a 2 mile run but when you add everything together it wasn't just a 2 mile run!!!
I was able to spring it in at the end... I guess I came in faster than Arland expected because he looked suprised but very happy to see me.
As hard as that was I can't wait to do another one!!!!!!
It was a GREAT experience and I was happy to get to share it with Vicki, Jane, Arland, Michele, Bailey, Curtis and Gary... along with our great cheerleaders Sarah P.,Marty P. and Debbie B.
Bailey and Michele were a team and they won first place in the Female division, everyone else won a prize in their age group except Vicki and Gary I think their awards were in Grand Masters category. Arland and I left empty handed but that's ok I wouldn't trade the experience for anything!!
Afterwards we went to I-hop in Benton and had a great breakfast.

12 mile long run
Sun June 1

I had a Beauti Control seminar to attend on Saturday so we had to move our long run to Sunday. The seminar wasn't as bad as I had been expecting. A couple of months ago a fellow cruiser sold me some products and I really like them, well they had a "special" and for the price of $$$$$ you got all kinds of goodies and a huge discount the catch was to get everything you had to go to an all day seminar.... I got the post card the weekend before and I could have reschedules but honestly when would I find the time????? There were no grand prix races that weekend and I was feeling a little bit of Race burnout so I decided to just go. If I didn't really love the products I would have just bagged the whole thing ... but I really love them!!!!
I did miss the Dino Dash 5K at the River Market Cheryl and I did it together last year and I had planned on doing it again this year.... I'm a little bummed I didn't I looked at the results this week and I probably would have won 2nd in my age group.
Cheryl got her long run done on Saturday so on Sunday it was Kelly, Michele and myself. The plan was to meet at Michele's house at 5:30 and we would run from her house to just past my house. This isn't an exciting route and it's an out and back BUT it had lot's of potential potty stops along the way.
Michele was running a little bit late so we probably didn't get started until about 5:50 or so but no biggie. I think my stomach thing hit about 1/4 of a mile before the first port a pottie. I had to stop in the street and cross my legs once but overall it wasn't too bad. The next stop was my house... what a great idea to chose a route that had my house in the middle!!! We all had to use the bathroom there and we were also able to refill our water bottles. We only had 4.75 miles at that time so we ran on to the Soft ball fields and ran around the the little park over there, then we ran to the Big concrete bridge and through one of the new neighborhoods... I just wanted to make srue that we got the full 12 miles in before we got back to Michele's house. I think we might have stopped at my house again on the way back.. yep we did, I remember now that we had left our hydration belts there so that we could get a little break from them.
Overall this was a good run, we lucked out and we had cloud cover for most of the run, actually I think maybe all of the run. It also wasn't quite as humid as it had been the weekend before. Other than the potty stops we were running a good pace, I would forget to turn the Garmin off so I don't really have a true avg pace but it was 11:xx something avg for the 12 miles which I thought was pretty good considering it included two kind of long potty breaks!!

Killer Workouts
For a couple of weeks Michele and I were going to a Water Aerobics class at 5:00 on Monday and Wednesdays, I enjoyed being in the water but didn't really feel like I was getting anything out of the classes... well we knew there was a Bun's & Ab's class at 5:30 on Wednesdays just before Jane's 6:30 Latin Dance class.. last week we decided to give it a try. O.M.G.... that girl (Kelly) kicked our butts!!!!! It had been a couple of weeks since I had done any leg workouts with Andrea, between the Marathon and Calf pain I hadn't wanted to work my legs too hard.
So we did the Bun's & Ab's class and then we stayed and did Jane's Latin Dance class and then we did the Speed workout fromt he Tuesday night clinic. Not really a good idea!!! I was in so much pain for days afterwards, I mean I couldn't even sit down to pee!!!
This past Monday we went to the 5:30 Pilates class, it was pretty good, I didn't get a great vibe from the instructor but I will give it another chance. I do think the stretching helped my legs!
Wednesday night this week we went back to the Bun's & Ab's class again it was an awesome workout but this time we did stay for Jane's class but we didnt' run. I don't know if our legs are just stronger already or if the waiting to run until Thursday morning helped but I am not nearly as sore this week as I was last week!!! THANK GOODNESS!!! LOL
Thursday morning I met Livia at the Community Center and got in about 15-20 minutes of swimming and then I met Michele and Jane for a 5 mile run.
I was SO happy when it was over!! It was HOT and humid and it was 5:45 in the morning!!! Once again we lucked out with the cloud cover and the sun waited until we were just about back to the community center to pop out. We ran to Michele's house and I had another emergency potty break :( poor James had to wake up early so I could use their bathroom. This week has been kind of poopy for me!!! Monday Kelly and I met at the Community Center at 5:30 to run and again the stupid poop emergency.. Monday night after the pilates class Michele and I met Jane and Arland for a run.... yep another emergency :(
Hopefully once I get acclimated to the heat my stomach/bowels will calm down!!!!

I am loving getting my runs done in the early morning!!! It was so nice on Thursday to know that by 7:00am I had gotten in a swim and my run was done.
Kelly on the other hadn couldn't drag her butt out of bed yesterday morning so her and Arland ran together last night. She came to our house and I have to admit it was pretty nice to watch them run off into the heat while I say in my air conditioned living room! ;)

Tomorrow is the Mt. Magazine 15K ... 9.3 miles straight up a mountain... should be fun....right?????