Wednesday, December 23, 2009

St. Jude- Memphis 1/2 Marathon

The St. Jude 1/2 marathon is special to me for various reasons but number 1 is the fact it was my very first half marathon!! That first race was so scary and exhilirating all at the same time and I was hooked after that! The second year I ran it with friends Cheryl and Kim. Cheryl had a miserable first 1/2 marathon in Little Rock so Kim and I wanted to run St. Jude with her so she would hopefully have a good experience and want to keep racing!
The third year at St. Jude I did the full marathon and it is still my marathon PR. The first 20 miles of that race were awesome, I ran the first 20 miles without ever taking a walk break....but then at mile 20 a car pulled out in front of me and when I had to "put on the brakes" my calves and quads started seizing and the last 6.2 miles were a very painful walk/run/survive!! I still had a huge PR but when I think of what it could have been it still makes me sad!

So on to this year......
Towards the end of the Women Can Run clinic in the spring a couple of the girls from my group decided they wanted to do the St. Jude-Memphis 1/2 Marathon as their first race. During one of our group runs they were discussing the race and Missie said to me that she didn't know if she could really do it, and I told her I knew she could do it because I was going to run with her. I think we all know how important having a big race planned is in keeping you motivated and the girls ran all summer to keep up their base mileage and then towards late summer we started increasing the mileage. I was so proud of Missie, running is not easy for her but she kept running and it was starting to get a little better. We had 3 good 10 mile runs, two of them were with me and then her last one was on the same day as the Wynne/Midsouth Marathon. Missie and Kristi ran it together and it was a great run for both of them.... and then her foot started hurting, not just hurting but swollen, red and intense pain. She tried the standard ice, elevate, rest but it wasn't getting better so she went to the Dr. for an x-ray. Nothing showed up but the dr. gave her some high dosage nsaids and told her to rest, it didnt get better, next she went in for an MRI and got the diagnosis of torn tendon and put in a boot. So no Memphis 1/2 Marathon for Missie. We were both really sad!!! but have already started making plans for her first half.....
So no Missie but Kristi had also been training very hard for Memphis and was very nervous. Kristi is a natural runner and is naturally fast but when Missie told me how nervous Kristi was I told her I would love to run with her if she wanted me to.

The trip to Memphis was fun. Jackie and Brenda rode with us and I don't think a road trip to Memphis has every flown by so fast!!!!! We were all at the same hotel so we checked in and headed over to the Expo. It was actually much better this year and I found a few goodies.
Our friend Rock was Brenda's roomate for the weekend, she and her mom drove up from Georgia. I hadn't seen her since Memphis last year so it was great to get to see her again!!!! The Marriott downtown has a special buffett pasta dinner for the runners so we all met in the lobby and headed over I think we had about 15 people. I love, love, love when we all do races together!

Kristi and her husband Philip got into Memphis a little late so they didn't eat dinner with us but we did get to harass them a little bit while they had their dinner in the hotel bar. Missie and I had put together a little goodie bag for Kristi's first 1/2 Marathon so she came up to our room later and I gave it to her. We shed a few tears and a few laughs and thenit was time to get ready for bed.

The next morning bright and early I get a text from Kristi... she said do I really want to get up out of this warm bed and go run???? such a silly girl!! I think my response was a simple YES you do!
It was freezing cold race morning and i had already suggested to Kristi that she dress in layers that she wouldn't mind throwing away and boy did she take my advice!! She looked like a big ol football player it was hilarious!
We all gathered in the Lobby and said our good-byes to Jackie, Arland and Brenda. Jackie and Arland did not get signed up in time before the race filled up and Brenda was tapering for the Rocket City Marathon.
We all walked to the start together and then everyone kind of scattered. First stop was bag check and then we were lucky enough to find a restroom that was not filled up so we were able to use real bathrooms before the race!
Heather S. was also doing the race, it would be her first half since having baby Avery in July.. I think it was July. I had forgetten to put my phone in my dry bag and at first was pretty upset since I have ruined too many phones during marathons!! BUT it turned out to be a blessing because Heather texted me wanting to know where we were.... of course I was in the port-a-pottie at the time!!! LOL
We were able to meet up with her and start the race with her!
I threw off my big fuzzy purple sweater while we were still in the Corrall but kept my foil blanket from a previous race. Have you ever run with one of those on??? they make a lot of noise! I was running along thinking sheesh this thing is loud when a guy runs by and tell me I'm making a lot of nosie! LOL
The first few miles were great, it was awesome to be running with Kristi and Phillip. I really felt good the whole run, it didn't take long until I lost the loud foil thingy and then next came my homemade arm warners and then my gloves. We got to see Brenda and Arland about mile3.5 and I gave Brenda my phone, something I would regret later!
About mile 5 the long sleeve tech shirt came off, it is super light so it was not a problem running with it tied around my waist. Kristi, Philip and I were carring small bottles of water so we were able to avoid a lot of the aid stations. I was so thankful to have that little bottle of water! Those aid stations were dangerous! One of the aid stations was on a highway bridge and it was icing up from all the water being spilled, a volunteer was warning runners about the ice so I made sure to steer us away from the worst of it!
Somewhere around 6.5 I lost Kristi and Philip, we were coming up on a long curved incline and I told Kristi was going to slow down. I really wanted to keep running with them but I also had to keep in mind that I would be running a marathon the next weekend and I didn't want to do anything foolish. It was pretty lonely after I said goodbye to my running partners. I had my i-pod with me but I never turned even turned it on. Rocket City has a very strict no i-pod rule so I decided to do withoutit for Memphis as well.
I never had to use the port a pottie during the race!!! I was so happy about that but the last mile I was starting to get that feeling and was just praying that it would hold off until I finished..and it did!!! When we ran by the Wonder bread bakery my stomach was really rolling!!!!
I never looked at my Garmin the whole time I was running so I really had no idea what my time was going to be, I knew it wasn't fast and when I looked down just before runing into Auto zone and saw 2:2x I wasn't surprised. Definately not a great time but I was happy with it and happy to be done and thinking good grief how am I going to run a marathon next week!!! I really didn't do a great job with nutrition and hydration, it was so cold I would forget to drink and the one gel I consumed took me so long to finish that I didn't want to do another one and I definately think that was a bad decision!

Once I crossed the finish line I started feeling a bit off... it was so crowded and I had no idea where anyone was and it was cold and .................I was LONELY!!! I retrieved my warm clothes from the bag check and went into the restroom to put them on. When I went back out it was so crowded but as I was wandering around I heard my name. It was Kevin, Heather's husband. He called Arland for me and I so wish I would have stayed with him and waited for Arland to call back because I ended up spending the next 30 minutes wandering aimlessy around. I did find Joan and her group but no Arland. After a little while I finally saw Krisi and Philip and gave her a big hug.. they did great!!!!!! It turns out that Arland was in that area all along but I just never saw him :(
I knew we all wanted to see Rock finish her marathon so I decided to head over to the Marathon finish line and lucky for me a very nice lady let me use her phone and I finally got to talk to Arland and we finally found each other! I was so relieved and for the first time since i finished the race i was able to relax a little bit! Brenda was sitting right by the finish with Rock's mom so we found her and we all waited anxiously for Rock. In the meantime we got to see some great finish's!! It was so amazing to me to see people sprinting in and in some cases racing each other to the finish! We also saw some people who were obviously in a lot of pain. One man was walking and it was a slow but steady walk, it was obvious it was all he could do but the amazing thing is he still finished under 3:30 hours!!! just amazing. It didn't take long until we saw Rock come into the Stadium and she looked so great!! she had on her serious running face....until she looked up at the time clock and saw the time... she got the biggest grin on her face and you could see her say "YES" and do the little arm pump!! It was priceless!!!! Her offical time was 3:37..... a PR and of course a BQ!!
We wanted to stay until everyone we knew was finished but we had to get back to the Hotel and get checked out.
We met up once again and headed out to find the Mexican restaurant we had eaten at the year before. We had a great lunch but soon it was time to say good-bye. We all really miss Rock so much and it was so hard to say good-bye :(
So once again St. Jude-Memphis was special and I look forward to next year!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Marathon # 8 - The Midsouth Marathon

Once again I am late getting this race report done. Oh well better late than never.... maybe.

Once again we were headed to Wynne Arkansas during the first weekend of November to run a marathon. It was a different cast of characters this time. Several of my running friends from last year didn't make it. Kelly who has taken a bit of a running hiatus. Michele, last year was miserable enough for her she did not need to do it twice. Bailey who sadly left us to live in Japan. I really missed my girls but this year I had Arland and Jane :) as well as Jackie C, Gabby and a few others.

We had opted to drive up race morning, I guess it's about 1.5 hours from Cabot?? Arland and I met Jane and Jackie at Team 1 and we were off to Wynne.
We had all decided on the early start, it was supposed to get really warm and even the early start didn't help much but THANK GOODNESS we did it!

There were probably about 20-25 people doing the early start so pretty much an anticlimatic start, but it was kind of a relief to not have to weave in and around a huge pack of people!!
I knew I had to run my own pace and not get caught up trying to stay with Arland and Jane. The first 8 miles they were never too far ahead of me and a couple of times I sort of caught up with them at the aid stations. Speaking of aid stations because we opted for the early start we had no course support or aid stations for the first 4 miles. I had planned to take a throw away water bottle but forgot it at the last minute, and believe me I was really wishing I had it. I started to panic a little bit, worried that we wouldn't have water until mile 6. I started speeding up a little bit to catch up with Arland so I could have some of his water when I could see an aid station up ahead. One of the positives about this race is the great aid stations and the port-a-potties at every mile!!!
So mile 1-8 were really good, I was probably running a little too fast but I felt good and just went with it. Mile 9 I started feeling a little tired and was bummed because I knew it was way too early to be feeling like this!!!
It was here in mile 9 that I started to lose sight of Jane and Arland. The course is rolling hills and lots of curves so it was easy to lose sight of the other runners.
One of the really cool things about doing the early start is that the race leaders end up zooming past you, of course you are hoping it's later than sooner but it was mile 12.67 when Ethan went flying by me. Ethan is a fellow Cabot Cruiser so I was really excited to see he was leading the race!!! But not too far behind him was Leah and she would eventually overtake him to win the Marathon.

The turnaround... one of the negatives about this race is it is an out and back which is also positive since it makes it easier for them to have all of those aid stations and port a potties every mile, but this year it was mostly a negative!!
Mile 13.?? finally the turn around I had so been looking forward to it. I had saw Jane shortly after she made the turn around and she was looking good. Arland was a bit behind her and he wasn't looking so good, he said he was hot and tired, which was pretty much exactly how I felt!! The first thing you notice after the turn around is the wind! At first if felt kind of good and refreshing but then once you were on the open road it became painful to run into it! Several people who ran the race looked up the wind speeds and had graphs showing 20mph winds with gusts up to 45 mph. It was miserable, and the sun was beating down, and the road was slanty, and there was traffic and I was just beat.
About mile 16 was when the calf cramps hit... I have had calf cramps in several races but never anything like this, I seriously thought my legs were going to break the cramps were so intense.
Mile 20 was when the wheels finally fell off and the rest of the race was pretty much run to that sign, or that tree or that driveway and then walk and then try to make myself run again. The only consolation was that the majority of other people were going through the exact same thing!!! I saw much stronger runners than I am walking and some even stopped on the side of the road. I felt like I was doing a good job with my nutrition and drinking but i think not having any water until mile 4 and then the intense sun just was too much and I never could catch up.
Finally I am in the home stretch and I take one last walk break so that I can run through the finish line. It was slow and it was painful but I was able to run the last .5 mile. I saw Arland, Jane and Jackie at the car and they cheered for me really hard and I really needed it!! I was just praying that no one would tell me to speed up! LOL

Finally I make it onto the track which was kind of tricky cause it is a big step up and the way my legs were feeling I was afraid they might seize up but although it hurt I didn't have to stop or walk. One neat thing about a small race is you almost always get to hear your name being called and that is always fun!!

As I was getting my chip removed I heard a lady wailing and as i looked over I saw a man laid out on the ground. They were starting CPR and the lady was just inconsolable. I was in shock and couldn't move. I knew everyone was waiting for me but I just couldn't leave. I was so sad, that last mile I just kept thinking about how much this race sucked!! It was awful, it was hot it was windy etc. but as soon as I saw that man laying on the ground it all went out the window and all I could think was how grateful I was that I was still standing!!
I was convinced the man was dead, he had been down for several minutes before I finished and it seemed like an eternity before the paramedics loaded him up into the ambulance. I am happy to be able to report that he did indeed survive. He had a 95% blockage to his heart and it really was a miracle he survived the news report said he had no pulse for 40 minutes!!

After he was taken away I finally let myself head towards my husband and friends. The finish line was on the High School track and we were able to use the showers in the gym which is so great when you have a long ride home!!

Next up Rocket City Marathon!!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Counting down to Wynne

I will be running Marathon number 8 on Saturday. The Mid South Marathon in Wynne, Arkansas. Last year a group of us did this race as a trainnig run for the St. Jude/Memphis Marathon. With aid stations and port a potties every mile it was the perfect training run. The course is not wonderful, lot's of "slanty" roads and some traffic but I guesss it wasn't too miserable because here I am a year later ready to run it again.
Since it was a training run last year Kelly, Michele, Bailey and I all stayed together the whole race, this year I will be on my own. There are quite a few of us from Cabot running including Jane and Arland but they all have specific goals they want to meet so this is not a "for fun" marathon.
I also have goals but they are not as specific and I have not really been training for a PR. I am really just hoping to be able to run a steady pace and maybe for once stay out of the port-a-potties!!!
I'm feeling a twinge in my left butt cheek, I know that pain very well and I am just praying that it is nothing and won't flare up during the race.
Congrats to Cheryl and Tammy for 'kicking Bass" in Springfield Missouri last weekend!!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Soaring Wings 1/2 Marathon

Saturday Oct-25th was the second annual Soaring Wings 1/2 Marathon. I ran this last year and LOVED it!
This year the race fell exactly two weeks after the Long Beach Marathon and two weeks before the Mid South Marathon, so I went into it just wanting to have a nice steady paced race.
Arland was also running this year, I think he was injured last year otherwise I can't imagine him missing out on a 1/2 marathon especially one so close to home.

We left home about 6:15, the weather called for a cool morning but turning sunny and a bit warmer later in the day. I dressed in a skirt and sleevless tech shirt with a long sleeve tech shirt. The long sleeve shirt is very light, I knew I wouldn't be able to wear it the whole race but it is light enough that it wouldn't bother me too much to have it tied around my waist.
When we got to Conway we ended up having to park about .5 a mile from the Mc Gee center. This actually worked out for warming up but I was a little bit stressed worrying about picking up our packet and then having to take everything back to the car and then back to the start line. We had plenty of time but with my need to use the bathroom at least twice before a race I was a bit worried.
As we were walking/jogging to the Mc Gee center I ran into Voula from Pine Bluff. Missie and I met her at the Noah's Ark 10K at the beginning of October. I need to blog about that race sometime!

So Voula and I chatted and ran together for a bit and then as we turned into the parking lot at the Mc Gee center I saw Cheryl and Tammy. They were Volunteering at the race since they have the Bass Pro Marathon next weekend. I ran up and gave Cheryl a scare as I gave her a bear hug... I really don't get to see her very often anymore and I miss her.
Packet pick-up was pretty quick but the line for the bathroom was already very long, luckily I remembered there was one on the upstairs runnign track. So I ran up there and luckily had no line. I took my time and put my chip on while waiting for things to move along.
When I got back downstairs the gym was PACKED! I ran into Curtis D. who I haven't seen in ages, got a big hug from him and then set out to find Arland and James.
We all headed back to the cars got our bibs pinned on, I had to put Arland's chip on for him and then we were headed back to the start. As we were heading to the start line I realized I probably needed to use the bathroom one more time, luckily they had a row of port a potties about 100 feet or so from the start.
I got to see so many friends at this race!! I swear every couple of feet I was hugging someone and really is there a better way to start a race????

We lined up in the 2:00+ hour corral, I think the third one back. This was really actually a good corral to start in since I spent the rest of the race passing people.
My plan for the race was to start off slow and steady and if I felt good the second half I would pick it up. I watched James and Arland pull away from me immediately at the start and I mentally sent them off hoping that this race would give Arland his 1/2 PR. I had already taken off my long sleeve tech shirt and tied it around my waist, but just after we crossed the start line I saw Cheryl and asked if she would take it for me and of course she did :) I probably would have been ok, but it was such a relief not to have it anymore!! Thank you Cheryl!!!!
I had my i-pod and had it ready for whenever I felt the need for some music. I was kind of lonely, I didn't know any of the people around me so I turned it on within the first mile.
About 1.5 miles into the race I started getting the weirdest foot cramp, it hurt to bend my foot and I was MAD!! LOL I mean really a foot cramp?? I tried to run on it for a little while but finally pulled off the road and took my shoe off stretched, and when I put it back on I tied it a little looser. It took about a mile but by mile 3 I didn't feel anymore pain, but what I did feel was the need to use the bathroom. I had really hoped that my successful trip before the race would be good enough. The sensation kind of came and went but by mile 4 I knew I had to find a bathroom soon. Just before it was about to be an emergency I was relieved to see we were running back past the start and the row of port-a-potties from before. I was really bummed about having to stop and unfortunately had to spend a few minutes inside. When I came out a little bit ahead I saw Caitlyn C. on the sideline cheering everyone and taking pictures and I put on a big smile but on the inside I was sad! BUT this happens to me all of the time so I just had to shake it off and keep running.
The great thing was that other than those two problems early in the race everything else felt good.
I had my raspberry cream accel-gel at mile 5 I took it while running knowing that there had to be a water stop soon. Luckily I was right and soon after I finished my gel I had some water to wash it down. Last year at the Memphis Marathon I finally learned out to grab water at the aid stations and drink while running and I used this method the whole race. Other than the shoe thing and the bathroom break I never walked.
This race has a great course, we run through a lot of really pretty neighborhoods, and while there weren't any really big crowds there were lot's of family's outside to cheer us on. It also has quite a few hills, most of them were just rollers but there were 2 maybe 3 pretty good size ones as well.
Mile 8 I started to feel just a bit tired and was thinking still 5 miles to go, but then I thought to myself at least I dont' still have 18 miles left and that gave me a little bit of extra energy!
The whole race I was passing people and even if I wasn't really running that fast when you are passing people you feel fast!! LOL
Just past mile 10 I saw James up ahead of me walking. His stomach had really been bothering him before the race and he almost didn't start. When I caught up to him I gave him a smack on the butt and he started running with me. He told me he had to make several bathroom stops!! :( he said now he knows what it feels like to be Annette! :( poor baby, believe me it's no fun!!!
He asked me if I thought we would finish in 2 and half hours, I told him that I had calculated a 2:20 finish time. A minute or so later he asked if I knew i was running a 9:40 pace, I looked down at my Garmin and oh yeah I guess I was. I lost James soon after that, I think he had to find the bushes again :(
Mile 11 had another good size hill but once you make it up that one it is a nice long downhill and then flat back to the finish.
I wasn't exactly flying but I was so happy to be feeling so good!!! At about 12.5 I saw Jackie C. and a friend of her's heading back out on the course to find some of their group to cheer/run in with.
Jackie told me later that I looked so happy and I really was!!
Once I got to the last bit I turned on the speed a little bit and could hear my name being announced and I could hear it being screamed on the sidelines. Turns out my friend Missie and her daughter had come to cheer us all in!!
After the race was great, again so many good friends were there and it was just so nice to catch up with a bunch of them and get even more hugs!!!!
My offical finishing time was 2:19xx... not my fastest but with the obstacles I had in the first couple of miles I thought that was pretty respectable!!
One really important thing I came away with in this race was that several times I felt my energy levels drop and had moments when I thought this is going to get hard I need to slow down but each time it happened I would try to just hang on and those feelings would soon pass. Of course a marathon is a whole different animal but I need to learn to not give up so easily! especially mentally!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Long Beach Marathon - Race Day

We did not get to bed quite as early as I would have liked on Saturday night. I think it was almost 10:00 by the time we settled down and with a 4:00am wake-up time that did not give me as much sleep as I would have liked.
I set my Blackberry for 4:00am, thinking I could get up a little bit before everyone else and hopefully be able to "take care of business" before time for everyone else to get up.
I couldn't believe when the alarm went off, it really didnt feel like we had been in bed for very long!
I woke Michele up about 15 minutes later and then Bailey. Bailey is funny in the morning, well not funny but it is funny because she is such a grouch!!
James was planning on running the 1/2 marathon but he wasn't feeling well and had also been stressed out trying to figure out how he could run the 1/2 and make his way back to Anaheim in time to not miss too much of his conference, so he decided not to go. We were running a few minutes behind, well behind my desired time of departure, but I had given us a little bit of a cushion so I wasn't stressing too much.
We made our way to the car and Bailey was syncing up the tom-tom/Garmin thingy that was in the car. I looked at the clock and it said 2:53...Whaaaat oh OMG it was only 2:53 am. I really thought Bailey and Michele were going to kill me, especially Bailey!!! After we stopped laughing we decided we might as well go ahead on to the Race. For one it was a long walk to the parking garage, and two we didn't want James to know what we had done!!
So we had NO traffic on the way to the race and we had our choice of parking spots. We all got comfy and took a 3 hour nap in the car. Although it really wasn't that comfortable it really worked out great!
I think we woke up about 6 and headed to the port-a-potties it was early enough that the lines werent too long and I was able to have a successful visit.

It was cool temps at the start but not nearly as cold as it had been during Surf city, which was kind of stressing me a little bit.
I was worried about it getting too warm later in the marathon, but all that worry was unnecessary we really lucked out, it did warm up but it stayed cloudy the whole race, well until about mile 24.5 so I never felt too hot. Don't get me wrong I was sweaty but never felt uncomfortable.

The first 5 miles were pretty awful! The roads were very slanty, I know that's not a word but I can't think of the right word, whatever the roads sucked, and there was quite a bit of concrete and the course was so crowded!! I have run enough big races now to expect to have to dodge walkers in the first miles but it never fails to annoy me! Seriously some of these people had to have started in the Corrals ahead of us and it just doesn't make sense to me. Also if you are going to walk don't do it in the middle of the road!!!
I lost Michele and Bailey at the first aid station we had all stopped to get water but about 20 people surged in front of me and I never say Michele again.
Although I didn't love the first 5-6 miles of the course I was happy, I was running in So. California and that just makes me happy!!
I took my first Accel-gel about mile 4.5, I walked while I took it and drank water. It was about this time that I passed a row of port-a-potties and out comes Bailey. I called out to her and she slowed down and ran with me for a little while. I know in her heart she really wanted to run with me but it was so crowded and I was running at such a conservative pace it really was just impossible. She turned back for me once and I told her to go on, I didn't want to worry about her and I didn't want her to worry about me. It was bittersweet to watch her run off without me but it was also a relief.
I think we turned onto the beach path around mile 6, the next 3 miles were my favorite of the whole race, we had a great breeze and duh we were running on the beach!! I wish I could say it was perfect but the path was narrow and concrete and I was constantly dodging people.
The miles in between mile 9 and 18 are kind of a blur.
Oh I do remember one very important detail from mile 10, I had to take a bathroom break, I had been feeling the need for about a mile but was hoping it would pass, finally soon after the 10mile marker I knew I couldn't wait and luckily there was a row of port-a-potties ahead. It was a short line, and I did have to spend a few minutes inside. I was ok after the potty break and was still keeping a steady pace and feeling strong.
I was taking my accel-gels and also had a few almonds. This was the first marathon that I walked whenever I took my gels, normally I just take them while running and sometimes it takes me a mile or more to finish one.
Mile 15 was one more bathroom break, this time took a little longer and I didnt feel very good when I came out I never really regained my former pace, before that bathroom break I only walked to take a gel but after that I had to take a few more walk breaks, luckily since nothing was hurting it was easy to start running again after a short walk break.

this section was an out and back and we could see the faster runners heading back, I think it was about mile 21.5 for them, and I was about mile 16. It was here that I saw Danica from
I have been following her blog for close to a year. She is hilarous and a talented runner!
Anyway I saw her and I really wanted to yell out to her but you never know what kind of run someone else is having it was great to see her doing so well and I didnt' want to disturb her rythmn.

My second favorite part of the course was around mile 18 when we ran into the Cal State Long Beach campus and it was a big party!! Lot's of music, dancing and high fives! I loved this section and it gave me a surge of much needed energy.
I really wish I would have written this earlier when I still remembered more details. I remember running along and thinking I have to blog about this.. now I don't remember what "this" was :(
I do remember when I passed mile 20 thinking I had never felt this good this late in a marathon before. Oh I was tired and I had started taking walk breaks but nothing really hurt, no big toe pain no hip pain, I was pretty happy.
I also remember being disappointed in my pace but also telling myself that I had not really trained for a sub-5 marathon, I had trained for endurance and at that point was feeling like my training had been successful.
Bailey had finished her 1/2 and now had Michele's phone and she started sending me encouraging texts's. She reminded me that mile 18 was for Uncle Charlie, unfortunately I was already at 20 so I made that one for Uncle Charlie. I asked her who 21 was for, I was feeling in need of some extra encouragement. Her response... Mile 21 is for Brett and all those who serve with him. Of course I instantly started crying but I also ran that whole mile for Brett and all of service men and women serving overseas!!!

Mile 23 was when things really turned south. I started getting that weird pulsing/cramping thing just above my knee..kind of where the quad muscle connects to the knee, this creates some kind of chain reaction and all of a sudden my left calf was really cramping to the point I had to start walking. I would walk until the pulsing/cramping subsided and then I would run until it got to painful. I was thankful it didn't start until mile 23 but really would have been much happier if it had never happened!!
Around mile 24 or 25 as we are running along a group of people are on a balcony heckling the runners. It was kind of funny but annoying at the same time, I was running so they were actually cheering for me telling me I was doing great but they were giving this one guy a hard time he, was wearing a gray shirt and they were yelling hey grey shirt RUN, quit walking you wuss, RUN... on and on, they only took a break to cheer for me.. the guy in grey did start running and I said to him as I was passing I would like to see them try to run a marathon! That gave him a laugh and seemed to help a little.

The rest really is a blur, I do remember thinking I know Bailey is going to be somewhere near the finish line so I need to finish strong. I picked it up and everything was cramping but I could see the finish line and I really just wanted to be done!!!!!!
Sweet sweet finish line, Bailey was indeed there and I saw her right after I crossed the finish mat, and once I got through the maze of people there were cupcakes provided by a local bakery!! YUM!!
I was anxious to get my California Dreamin medal, and was searching all the tents to find it, finally I saw someone else with the medal and asked where they got it they showed me where the tent was and away I went. I also looking for Bailey and Michele but my priority was that medal!!
The guys at the tent were great they were very enthuastic in their praise on finishing the series!!
I found Bailey and we headed to Michele. I was feeling pretty good, I think it was the cupcake!!

We made our way back to the stop was In-n-Out Burger :)
I can't even thank Bailey enough for being our driver the whole weekend!!
We headed back to Anaheim for much needed showers, I was covered in salt!!! Michele, and Bailey were first and when I came out I could see Bailey was packing up to leave. I was SO sad to see her go, but she really needed to get on the road, she had a long drive back to San Jose ahead of her!!!!!!
After Bailey left it was just me and Michele, we were both exhausted so decided a nap would be a good thing. I put on my compression socks and crawled into bed. We probably slept close to 2 hours, and then James got back from his conference and it was time to go to dinner. He had made reservations at Roys Hawaiin Fusion restaurant. It was very yummy! Afterwards Michele and I walked over to Disney Land. We didn't realize how far the Entrance was, good thing or we probably wouldn't have gone. I was really wishing I had my Garmin on but I would guess it was about a 2 mile walk. We went to the ticket counter only to find out they didn't have any kind of evening/twilight rates and neither one of us wanted to pay $72.00 for just an hour or so. We did some shopping at the gift store outside of the entrance and then headed home. Good thing I had that nap earlier in the day!!
Total miles for the day at least 30! Of course walking is so good for recovery and we had our recovery socks on!

Another great trip to California and Marathon # 7 completed. Next marathon will be the Mid South Marathon in Wynne Arkansas on November 7th. Next trip to California will be in February for the Surf City Marathon, this time Arland is going too!!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Long Beach Marathon - Pre Race

Sunday October 11ths was the Long Beach Marathon and my third marathon in the California Dreamin race series.
Friday Michele, James and I met at the airport for our flight to LA. James had a Conference to attend in Anaheim on the exact days we were going to be in California for the Marathon, the timing could not have been better!! It saved us the hassle and expense of a rental car and Hotel.
I had even more luck along the way. We had a layover in Las Vegas and so I put $10.00 in the slots for fun and I walked away with $120.00. What a great way to start our trip!!

It was early afternoon when we arrived in California so we had plenty of time to head over to the Expo in Long Beach before heading to our Hotel in Anaheim. It was a nice Expo, not the biggest or best I've been to but big enough!
Since this was my third race in the California Dreamin series I got my jacket at the expo. It is a very nice jacket and I was very excited to get it... I love anything free, well I don't think free is the right word considering the cost of travelling to California for 3 marathons!! LOL
We picked up our packets and walked around for a little bit, James isn't much of an expo person and was ready to go pretty quick. I did get to stop by Dane Rauschenberg's booth and say hello before we left. I planned to buy his book and have him autograph it but James ushered us out before I got the chance. I am FB friends with Dane and I think I am doing a couple of the same races he is in the near future so maybe I will get my autograph copy afterall.

One more stop at Cold Stone Creamery and we were off to Anaheim. The last place I lived in California before moving to Arkansas as a teenager was Santa Ana, so it kind of felt like going home. Of course that was many years ago and everything has changed so much!! It didn't matter, I was just happy being in So. Calif!!

Once we checked into the room Michele headed straight for the bed! James was pretty hungry and I was starting to feel some hunger pangs myself. We tried to get her to go with us but she was too tired. Our plan was to walk over to Cheese Cake Factory but on the way we passed right by Morton's Steakhouse, we couldnt' resist and decided to eat there instead. Of course it was wonderful!!! but my goodness, the prices were a bit steep!!! Oh well when you hang with James you eat, sleep and travel in style :)
Bailey arrived while we were still at dinner, but between the order James placed for Michele and the leftovers there was plenty of food for both of them!!
It was so AWESOME to see Bailey!! She looks great and seems happy! Last spring she seperated from the Air Force and after a summer spent visting family moved to Okinawa Japan to help her brother take care of his little boy. They are lucky to have her!

We were staying at the Marriott and had a huge room, it had a queen size bed and a pull out couch, and seriously that was the most comfortable pull out bed I have ever slept in! actually more comfortable than some regular beds I have slept in!
Bailey and I shared the pull out bed and of course James and Michele shared the queen bed. It was kind of funny to all be in the same room, but it worked out fine. Bailey and I laid in bed and chatted for a while and then it was sleepy time.

Saturday morning we headed back to the Expo, Bailey got her jacket and it was a different style that I liked much better, I asked if I could trade even though I was wearing mine, and she said yes :)
After the Expo we headed to Oceanside to visit my Dad, stepmon, Aunt Leni, and Uncle Charlie. It was a long drive but luckily not too much traffic.
My dad grilled for us and Vanda had fresh salsa's, salad and fruit for us. Everything was yummy but i had to be careful about what I ate because of the Marathon the next day!!
I wish we would of had an extra day just to spend in Oceanside but when we go back in February I plan on staying at least 2 extra days! Arland will also be going and it will be his first trip ever to California! I can't wait!

We had to make a quick stop at Target before heading back to our room, by now James had finished a long day at the conference and was hungry so he and Michele went out in search of food. We were right across from Disneyland so the restaurants were packed! Bailey and I headed back to the room and started getting everything ready for the race. It really makes race morning go so much smoother when you have everything ready the night before!

I have to confess now that I did not exactly follow a "day before a marathon" nutrition plan. I tried a couple of new things at the Expo, we had In N Out Burger for lunch and then at my dad's I had fruit, a couple of slices of bratwurst, salsa etc. I really didn't go into this Marathon looking for a PR. My training runs were all geared towards endurance and not speed...................

Friday, July 3, 2009

Weekly Activities Part 1

Lower humidity and temps this week has made running so much more pleasant!! Before I get to that I wanted to just talk a little bit about last weekend. Saturday morning I met Brenda early 5:30am to run a couple of miles before the rest of the gang were meeting at South Side for the early Saturday morning run. The run started off great, it was hot and humid but I was enjoying my run with Brenda when all of a sudden the stomach thing hit. Luckily there was a short cut back to the hwy through a church parking lot. I was pretty miserable and not sure if I was going to make it when I look up and there is the big red truck riding up to my rescue!! Arland had been on his way to the school to meet for the 6:00am run. He scooped me up and dropped me off at the gas station while Brenda finished the run. Talk about perfect timing!!!
We had a pretty good size group waiting for us at the school and soon we were all headed out to do the "Cherry Loop" it is a hilly route but I like it. I wish I could say the rest of the run was great but while the bathroom break took care of one problem it left me with another.. concrete legs. I dont' know what it is but sometimes if I have to have a potty break in the middle of the run it seems to give me energy and others it completely takes away my energy. I still ended up with 8 miles for the morning so I was happy.
A frozen chi tea helped make me feel better afterwards.

Saturday afternoon Kelly. Cheryl and I met at the movies in North Little Rock to see "My Sisters Keeper" It was nice to spend some time with the girls, even if it was at a sad movie!

Sunday morning Arland and I met Brenda, Sarah, Lisa and Gabby at the water dept. for the regular Sunday morning Brick. It has been great to be back on the bike and on the way out (we ride out for 30 minutes and then turn around) it was awesome we were really flying, we were so proud of ourselves... well then we turned around and had a pretty stiff head wind to condend with!! I have to say it was tough and we had to work much harder!!
I had planned to run 5 miles but ended up with 3 and there was quite a bit of walking! I haven't had to walk that much in ages especially during a 3 mile run but that head wind really did my legs in!! The good thing about the run was getting to run with Gabby :) I haven't seen her in ages so we got to catch up a little bit.

Arland has chicken on the grill and I need to prepare some pasta... part 2 later :)

Friday, June 26, 2009

Life and Running

Well good grief I never thought I would be one of "those" bloggers who just stops blogging. I guess sometimes life just gets in the way.
Something else that got in the way... FACEBOOK... yes I am addicted to Facebook! BUT that is no excuse to stop blogging so I am going to try to get back to updating at least once a week or so.

What have I been up to in the past 2 months???
Well in April I ran the Nashville/Country Music 1/2 Marathon. We had a fairly large group and it was a fun weekend. Michele kept us out "honky tonking" till the wee hours of the morning on the Thursday before the Marathon and then on Friday we did ton's of walking at the Expo etc. Needless to say this was not one of our best races, but I got to run the whole thing with Michele and that was great!!

In May our Women Can Run Clinic ended with a graduation 5K the Saturday before Mothers Day. As a Leader I didnt' run the race but Michele and I stationed ourselves about a mile out and ran portions of the end of the race with all of our girls. We had such a great group of beginner runners and in our "C" group we really bonded and a group of us are all still running together at least once a week.
I'm really sad that I didn't blog more about this while it was happening (the clinic) because it really was just the most wonderful experience!!!

Livia and Kylie left for Brazil In May and will not be back until mid August so I've been very sad and missing them a lot!!

Work is VERY STRESSFUL.. somedays on the drive to work I feel nauseous. It has gotten somewhat better, mostly because I have reminded myself over and over to try not take every thing so personally!!

Ok this was just a start... I promise to update more this weekend.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Brett - Pictures

Brett graduated from Basic Combat Training at Fort Jackson South Carolina on Friday. I will hopefully write a proper post about it when we get home. Right now we are passing through Nashville on our way home.
In the mean time here are some pictures of my new Solider.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Little Rocker's Marathon/ Little Rock 1/2 Marathon

Saturday March 14th was the big Little Rocker's Race. I'm pretty sure i mentioned in a previous post that I was asked to run with the kids during the race. I had been looking forward to this race since day one and to be out there with the kids was just the best!!
It was nice to get to sleep in a little bit, the race wasn't until 11:00. Arland and I went to Magness to pick up Kylie and he dropped us both off at the school. We were riding the school bus to the race and then would ride home with family.
You could really feel the excitement in the air.. the kids were just buzzing about!! We all boarded the bus and were soon on our way with a long caravan of cars behind us. I have not been on a school bus in many years, and had forgotten about that school bus smell!! LOL
We parked right in front of the State Capitol, first stop... port-a-potty's!! LOL Hey it wasn't just me! When Michele texted me to see where we were and i told her in a port a potty, Alex sent me a text saying "Of Course"!!
Poor Kylie, I was trying to help her with something and elbowed her in the eye!! OUCH!! she only cried a little bit but it definately put a damper on her pre race spirits. She was worried she would have a black eye.. but luckily that didnt' happen.
We did a lot of picture taking and finally it was time to take our place at the Start line. The older kids went to the front and we (kindergarten) went towards the back. I had a big yellow Cabot sign and we all chanted Cabot.. CAbot.. the kids loved it!!
I was wearing black tights, zebra skirt, bright yellow race shirt, multicolored/pink arm warmers and pink gloves. I was quite the sight but very visible!!!!
They had a wave start and it was a couple of minutes before it was our turn... we started off at a nice little jog but Kylie soon was ready to walk. I was carrying a sign in my right hand and Kylie was tugging on my left so I was jogging/walkign lopsided.
The first part of the race we mostly walked but I was able to talk the girls into at least running on the downhills and we weren't last so it was ok. I told Kylie we would walk and jog easy but when we got closer to the finish we were going to run hard. As soon as I saw the crowd I said ok lets run, and Kylie took off and ran the last .1 like a pro!! After we crossed the finish line she was huffing and puffing but very proud of herself. We got our medals just like at the big marathons and headed to find the rest of the group.
Tracy, Livia and Jeff all came out to the race and Kylie was so proud to show them what a great runner girl she is!!
After the race we all met the Martin's at Crazy Hibachi... Kylie's choice :)

It was a GREAT GREAT GREAT experience and absolutely my favorite race experience of all time!!! I will always cherish the time I had with the Running club and Kylie.

Little Rock 1/2 Marathon.

With all the exctiment of the kid's race the 1/2 Maraton was kind of an after thought... until Saturday night when I really started thinking about my race plan.
I really didn't have any high expectations for this race, after we did the practice run a couple of weeks ago I had decided to just take this one easy and maybe concentrate on Nashville. I did have some goals, my PR for a 1/2 Marathon is 2:13xx.. I set it at Soaring Wings back in October. I really didn't think I could come close to that so I was concentrating on a Little Rock 1/2 Marathon PR... The first year I did LR it was my second 1/2 marathon and I had only been running for 6 1/2 months finish time was 2:24.... last year I had high hopes but started out way too fast and crashed and burned finish time was 2:20ish. I can't remember exactly.
So my goal was to finish in at least 2:20, well that was one of my goals. First goal is always to finish, second goal was 2:30, 3rd. goal was 2:20 and my if I have a really good day 2:15.

We had been in touch with several other Cruisers and everyone was parking in the President Clinton Library parking lot. Luckily we were all able to park in the same area and had a chance to gather up away from the crowds. Michele had met us at Team1, Karen was also supposed to meet us but unfortunately she overselpt and didnt' even wake up until about 5 minutes before our meet time. We never did get to see her before the race. One of the nice things about the race location is access to nice public restrooms! I was able to "relax" and take care of business which is always great!!!
Michele, Jane, Arland and myself were all lining up together... the plan was to start together but each person was going to run their own race. On the way to our Corral we saw Cheryl and Tammy... I had been keeping my eyes peeled for Tammy, this was her first Marathon and I really wanted to see her before the race. After a hug and picture we all went our seperate ways.
We had kind of lined up towards the back of the C corral but then we saw Brenda and Lisa after hugs were exchanged we followed them and moved a little further up.
I felt good pretty much from the start, I was running an easy pace and enjoying the energy of the people around me. It didn't take long for everyone to leave me behind. I kept Jane and Arland in sight but after a few minutes Michele was long gone. As we were going up the Broadway Bridge I caught back up with Arland and Jane and ran along side Jane for a minute or so. I thought about staying with her but I knew she wouldnt' want me to so I just kept going at my "easy" pace. I'm not exactly sure where I lost Arland and honestly I wasn't sure if he was in front of or behind me the rest of the race, I also wasn't sure if Jane passed me so I spent most of the race thinking they were in front of me.
I turned my i-pod on with one ear bud and settled in... I was passing a lot of people but at the same time I was also getting passed a lot!! The big dilema Saturday night had been what to wear, it was in the low 40's at the start and the high temp was supposed to be in the low 60's. After several text messages and reminders by my wonderful friends I decided to wear a skirt (of course) and a short sleeve tech shirt. I had on an old long sleeve t-shirt for the pre race and I tossed it around mile 2. Anway the point of this is I really really wish I would have worn a sleeveless running shirt. Luckily it was cloudy but kind of muggy and I was getting warm!
I saw Cheryl around mile 3.5 she was waiting to see Tammy and Kim.. I yelled at her and she turned around just as I was running by... it was great to see her!! I also saw some of our Conway running friends a couple of times on the course. It really is nice to run close to home and see so many friendly faces!!!
I felt like even though I was comfortable the first couple of miles were a little fast and after last years disaster I was really worried about burning out!! I took my Raspberry Cream Acel-gel at mile 4.5, I can't take one of those things all at once, it takes me pretty close to a mile to finish. I am really loving these gels!!!
When we got to the long incline leading up to the Capitol I kind of just tucked in and told myself you can make it just chop the hill down and swing em and breath... those are both things Coach Dennis used to tell us. As I was running up the hill I was passing a man and he turned to me and asked if I was on steroids?? LOL... I just laughed and said Uh I don't think so!! LOL but it made me feel good, made me think I looked strong. I really don't remember a lot... I did think of Jane and our rainy run from a few weeks before when we got to the Governor's Mansion.. I was also remembering that last year I was walking so I was thankful to still be feeling good.
Mile 11.5 I am keeping pace but starting to feel a little tired when all of a sudden someone crashes into me.. I could tell it was purposeful and when I looked over there was Michele. I was SHOCKED.. where did she come from??? Well turns out she had been lolly gagging the last few miles, I think we had just passed a water stop and although I didn't see her I must have passed her while she was getting water. She fell in beside me and said so do I guess you aren't going to take a walk break.. LOL.. NOPE!!! I had made it that far I wasnt' going to walk now!
It was nice to have her with me for the last part of the race... she let me lead the way until just before the finish line, she still had some kick in her but I wasn't able to speed up as much as her so she led the way across the finish line. When I got close enough to see the time clock it was 2:09xx.. I really wanted to finish under 2:10 since I was so close and really tried to pick up the speed, but just didn't have enough and I crossed in 2:10:02.. I was thrilled!!! that was a 3 minute PR!!! After I got my chip cut off and Medal I found Michele... she asked me what my finish time was and I told her what the time clock had said... she looked at me funny and said well what does your Garmin say. I just shrugged and said 2:08:43 (it took me a couple seconds after the finish to turn it off) and for some reason it didn't even dawn on me that the time on my Garmin was my actual finish time!! LOL I guess it was about 30 minutes later when it hit me!! So you can imagine if I was thrilled at 2:10 how happy I was with 2:08:45. My official chip time was 2:08:39. Honestly I was not expecting that, even though I felt good the whole race. I never looked at the time and only occasionally glanced at my pace so I had no idea it was going to be that fast.
After getting our "goodie" bag full of junk food Michele and I headed straight to the chocolate milk!! Coleman Dairy always gives away chocolate milk after the race and I always look foward to it!!
We both knew we needed to keep moving but we were waiting for everyone else to come in.
Once we had all gathered up we headed to the River Market to find some coffee. Boulevard Bread was closed, they are always closed on Sundays's but in my opinion I think it was crazy of them to be closed on Marathon Sunday, I can only imagine how much money they lost out on by not being open. After much wandering around we finally got some coffee at Andina's. Brenda, Lisa, Vic and the others had already eaten and were getting ready to head back out to the finish line to cheer in our Marathon runners.
I had already been planning on going back out to meet Tammy, but we also had Jackie and Gary. I called Gary and found out he was really struggling, he shouldn't have been running at all but he is a stubborn mule, and he paid for it!!
Jane stayed with Vic and the others and Michele, Arland, Karen and I headed back down the Marathon route. Arland was comfortable with the whole thing so he stopped and too up post at a bridge closer to the fnish line. When we first headed out I saw Bailey and she looked so good and happy!! She finished in 4:24 which is awesome but later I found out that she too had been lolly gagging through out the race. Stopping to visit with the Clinton family etc. she definately has a sub 4 hour marathon in her if she wanted it.
I think it was right around Dillards Hill when I saw Jackie... I had been on the look out for her but she was dressed all in black and I almost didn't see her! She called out my name and I fell in beside her and ran back to the 26 mile marker with her. She was cramping and had some pain but you wouldn't know it by looking at her, she looked strong!! Jackie is the Angel who got me through the last 1.5 - 2 miles of the Memphis marathon so I was so happy to be able to run beside her for the last .75 of her Marathon!! After I let her go, I turned around and headed back to find Gary, on the way Brett called me... could my day get any better??? I was running and I was talking to my son. He sounded so good!! He is doing really well in Basic Training and I could not be prouder!! He didnt' get to talk for very long but just hearing his voice made me so happy!!!
I had caught up with Gary and Michele while talking to Brett and was sad when he had to hang up but the timing worked out perfect.
Poor Gary he was hurting!! He and Michele were walking but I gave his butt a little squeeze and that pepped him up!! We ran him to just past the 26 mile mark and turned around to go back to find Tammy. I had talked to Cheryl a couple of times and knew about where they should be. It was probably right around 25.5 when we saw them coming up the road. Tammy looked GREAT!! very strong and a big smile on her face! I was so happy and relieved to see her looking so good! She was having some pain but just like Jackie you couldn't tell. We ran with her until just before the finish line chutes and we split off. It was an awesome day!! I had an unexpected PR, felt good and I got to run the last bit of the Marathon with some of my friends.
AND we topped it off with pizza and beer at Gusano's!! :)

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Weekly recap

I drove to Michele's house after work and we ran to the WCR clinic together. We got started a bit later than planned so we ran the most direct route to the clinic. It was cold and windy but we felt good on our run. Once we got to the clinic it was a different story! Michele and I got together and we have been buying a few things to give out to our beginner group at door prizes. We had a couple pairs of gloves and some socks that we threw out to the the group. Michele yelled out you can use the socks as gloves! LOL now I totally would have used them if I didn't have gloves but I bet those ladies thought it was a crazy idea!! The workout for Monday night was 30 second run 3 minute walk. With the cold and wind it was a bit challenging to walk for 3 minutes!!
After the Clinic Michele and I ran back to her house... it seemed everyone wanted to give us a ride! It was cold but once we started running we were very comfortable and had a GREAT run!! We took a different route home and ended up with a 3 mile run and over half a mile walk. I don't count the mileage from the WCR in my weekly total. Maybe when we start running longer I will but for now I am counting it in my walking milage.
Totals for Monday
Run 5 miles
Walk 3 miles

Again no lunch run... I think I wimped out because of the cold.
Jane came over Tuesday night and we ran our "zig zag" route through a nearby neighborhood, we also ran around the Soccer fields. It was chilly but the wind had died down so very comfortable. My evening runs with Jane have just been flying by, my mouth is usually going as fast as my legs and the next thing you know our run is over! Jane on the other hand is having quite a bit of problems with her hip/SI joint so I don't think these runs are quite as easy breezy for her as they have been for me.
Tuesday 5 mile run
.5 mile walk

Arland had to go to Memphis for work and it wasn't looking good for a lunch run. I had the time but did I have the desire... yes I had the desire but I was cold and it was windy. It actually was in the 50's but I had been chilled all day and the way the wind was whipping everything around outside it was hard to think of running.... but I started thinking of how great I would feet when it was over! I told myself you are alone you don't have to run fast, you don't have to keep up with anyone just go and have a nice easy run. I just ran on feel and I was feeling pretty good, I knew I wasn't running slow but it felt very comfortable. I glanced down at my Garmin when I got to where I knew the first mile should be, when I saw the time I thought hmmm a little fast I should slow down, but instead I just kept up the same comfortable pace. I had thoughts of making it 4 miles instead of 3 but when I got to 2 miles and realized I was running close to Lactate threshold and knowing I was running again in the evening with Michele I decided to keep it as 3 miles and pick up the pace for the last mile.
Wednesday evening I met Michele at the Community Center for Buns -N- Abs class. It was a great class, our regular instructor had been out for a few weeks but she was back and making up for lost time!!
Karen met us afterwards to run with us. Michele and I had come up with a route we thought would get us 4 or 5 miles. Poor Karen she has really been upping her mileage and intensity and thought she had signed on for a quick 3 miler, instead we took her on a 6 mile romp through Cabot. I did try to get Michele to shorten our planned route but she was feeling good for the first time in ages and wanted to run!
Total miles for Wed. 9 miles

No lunch run, I was feeling a bit tired from my 2 runs on Wednesday. Michele ran to my house and we ran to the Clinic together. We had company this time, Arland needed to run so I talked him into running to the clinic with us and then he ran home on his own. It was very warm on Thursday and sweet Heather who lives around the corner from us said it would be no problem when I asked if she would mind taking taking some stuff to the clinic for us. Namely our reflective vests and some water.
The workout for the beginner group was once again 30 second run, 3 minute walk. Everyone enjoyed the workout much more with the warmer weather!!! The cold and dark have made the first couple of clinic sessions a bit challenging but with the time change and warmer weather around the corner it is going to be easier!! Well actually I like the cool temps but I will be happy for less darkness!!
Jane, Michele and I ran to my house after the Clinic.
Thursday Total
Running 4.5
Walking 3

REST DAY... woo hoo!! I was definately ready for a break. On the run home Thursday night I was feeling a few little twinges and pains in some new places that were a bit bothersome. I'm used to certain pains but when they pop up in new places I get worried. Luckily a day of rest took care of them.

Chase Race 2 miler race and Paws 1 mile run. The 2 mile race was part of the Grand Prix series but I had decided I wasn't racing, instead I was just going to do the 1 mile fun run. Orginally I thought Kylie was going to go with me but those plans changed.
Saturday morning Arland and I picked Jane up at her house and we headed over to James and Michele's house. Arland, James and Russ planned to bike back to Cabot after the race, so we were all riding together to Conway.
Alex my young racing partner and I discussed running the 2 mile race together but on Saturday morning he wasn't feeling well so we nixed those plans. Once we got to Conway Alex changed his mind and wanted to do the race. I told me that I wasn't going to run with him and he got a little upset.. I felt bad and decided to go ahead and register for the 2 miler, just as I was headed that way they announced registration was closed. Bummer :( BUT then I noticed that Abbie had a red (2 mile) bib so she gave me her bib and I lined up to run with Alex. Normally I wouldn't do something like that but I did pay my $20.00 so I didn't feel too bad. Alex's goal for the race was to break 20 minutes. I didn't think he could do it but I told him we would try. I started us off right around a 10:00 minute pace and he seemed pretty comfortable with it... at the 1/2 mile mark I sped us up just a little. This time we were only running a few minutes when Alex started with the "how far what is our time" stream. We ran with Victoria C. for a little while and then we had a bit of excitement when we got to see the leaders and our fellow Cabot Cruiser Josh was in 3rd place. The course is an out and back with a loop around a residential neighborhood, after we saw Josh we also got to see Gary, Melisha, and Ginny, maybe a couple of others. We yelled for everyone and in the excitement picked up a little speed. They had a water stop and although it was a warm morning Alex decided he didn't need any water so we passed it by. The whole race Alex was constantly asking what is our time how far have we gone!! I think it annoyed some of the people around us, but we were passing them anyway so they didn't have to listen to if more than once!
Once we had about a quarter of a mile left I sped us up even more and then in the last tenth or so of a mile I told Alex to quit thinking and just run as fast as he could!! I didn't run through the finish line. Not only did Alex break 20 minutes he broke it by a lot!! His official finish time was 19:18 :)
Everyone had great races and there were a lot of PR's all around!!
This race always has great food after the race and I decided to be bad and had a Chic-filet chicken biscuit... mmmm that thing was yummy!!!
Aunt Tamera ran the 2 mile race and did a great job!! She hasn't been able to run as much this winter and didn't have as good a time as last year but I am so proud of her!!!!

The bikers changed into their bike clothes and got the bikes ready to ride. Phil C. Arland, Russ and James were soon headed off to ride home. Michele, Jane, the kids and I were planning on going to Sporty Runner before heading home....
Unfortunately James and Russ had a really bad accident on hwy 107 and we were soon rushing off to get them. James was on his new Tri-bike, he's not sure exactly what caused it but his left foot clipped out while he was going about 23 mph in the aero position.. he couldn't get control and crashed, he landed really hard on his chest and head. Russ was right behind him and ended up running over him and crashing. Arland and Phil were somehow able to avoid crashing into them. Arland called 911 right away and they were able to get the guys and the bikes onto the side of the road. By the time we got to the scene the EMT's already had James Wrapped up, and a cardboard sling on Russ.
We loaded Russ and James into the Suburban and headed to the Hospital while Arland and Phil continued on their bikes. They made it to HWY 5 and then Jackie and Bailey scooped them up.

When I first saw James laying on the side of the road the first thing I noticed was the red marks on his head. Scared the crap out of me!! Luckily he had a new helmet that protected his head!!
Both also had quite a bit of road road rash and Russ had a big hole in the hip area of his bike shorts.
Once we got to the hospital Jane stayed out in the Suburban with the kids so they wouldn't have to go in. The ER was packed and unfortunately the guys had quite a wait before they were seen by the doctors.
Jane and I took the kids to Stoby's for lunch, it was a couple of blocks away and the walk was good for all of us!!
Once Arland got home he quickly changed and headed to Conway to pick us up.
We took the kids home with us and their grand parents came to pick them up later on.
James had a broken collar bone and rib. Russ has a broken arm and had to have surgery last night.
Thankfully although they are both in a lot of pain they are OK!!

This morning I met Michlele at 6:00am well it was supposed to be 6:00am but we didn't start runing until almost 6:15. We met Jane at the Community Center, after her very traumatic and tiring day yesterday Michele decided she was not up to a long run and we made the decision to run back to her house. I think she ended up with 7 miles... Jane and I continued on, she was having a lot of hip/SI joint pain so we took a few walk breaks but we were both happy with our run. My total this morning was 12 miles... 4 with Michele and 8 with Jane and Michele for part of it. It started raining as soon as we finished... this made us very happy!! The wind was wicked again this morning and we were very lucky to finish before the rain!! It was a good morning!
This afternoon I am heading to the Track, Vicki and Joan sent out an e-mail to the WCR participants and hopefully some of my Beginners will be there.

Total miles for the week
Running 37.5
Walking 7.5

Monday, March 2, 2009

February Wrap Up

Ok I know February is a couple days short of a normal month but seriously I feel like I blinked and it was over!
Here are a few highlights.

Surf City
I already blogged about the race but I can't have a February wrap up without mentioning it. It was such a wonderful trip and I can't wait to go back next year!!

I took a full week off after Surf City, it was the first time I have taken such a long rest without being injured. I really think it was the best thing I could have done for myself. After Memphis I felt so broken and I had no real down time and my last few weeks of training for Surf City really suffered.

Runners High
Arland and I started running together at lunch a couple of days a week. It has really been great! We have had some really great runs. We only have time for 3 miles so we have made these runs our speed work and we have been running Lactate Threshold pace during almost every run. Some of the runs have been pretty tough but I feel SO GOOD and the runners high helps make the rest of the day so much better. Work has been really stressful and I swear the lunch running has really helped me deal with it.

Running With My Girls
We are still running together and I have had some great runs! Jane has come to my house a few times and we have been running a variation of the route Arland and I run at lunch. A couple of these runs have been perfection! One night as I was saying good bye to Jane after she had come inside to stretch and chat for a few minutes I realized I felt so good I didnt' even feel like I had run. I had the runners high but no fatigue or aches or pains... like I said perfection.
I have also had some good runs with Michele, Karen and Brenda. It has been a little while since we have all been able to run together and I have to admit I miss those runs!!!

Kylie/Kid's Running Club
We are nearing the end of the kid's running club, the Little Rocker's race is in two weeks and after than only a couple more weeks until the end.
Kylie has been struggling a bit with the running. I have been having to use a lot of persuasion to keep her going. Last week she told me she wanted to quit... I told her she really didn't but she was quite emphatic that yes she wanted to "be a quitter".
Week before last we did a "timed mile" for the kids. One of the mom's had made cute foam medals for the kids and their finishing times were recorded on the backside. It was a chilly rainy day but I was really proud of the kids they did a bit of complaining but no more than some adults I know!! LOL It was a struggle to keep Kylie going but she persevered and finished her mile in 15:36. I am really going to miss these kids!!!

River Trail 15K
The first year we did this race in 2007 we had to battle extreme cold and 40 mph winds. This year we just had to deal with rain and lot's of it. It was around 44 degrees and rain the whole time. I didn't really have any great expectations for this race, it was going to be the longest I had run since the Marathon and I still considered myself in recovery so I wasn't pushing it. I had my ipod and I started off at an easy pace and pretty much maintaned that the whole race. I started in the back of the pack so I ended up passing a lot of people, it's kind of nice to be the one passing instead of being passed. One person I never passed was Arland, he had a really good race!
Michele wasn't feeling great and I did eventually catch up with her and we ran together the last few miles.
When Michele and I finished our race we went back out on the course to find some friends. Karen was the first one we saw and we ran in with her. I just about froze to death after we stopped running but it was worth it to see Karen, Judi, and Susan C. finish their races.

Women Run Arkansas/Women Can Run.
This year Michele and I are Leaders in the Beginning Runners group. We have 100 women in the beginners group alone and that doens't include the intermediate/advanced and Walker groups.
I am very excited about the next 10 weeks. I really hope that I can help at least one person discover the love of running! Tonight was our 3rd meeting. The first night was pretty just an introduction and we didn't run/walk. Jane and Vicki are the Co-directors of the Cabot WCR clinic and they asked me to speak the first night. I was very honored but also very nervous!! There were at least 150 women all gathered in a big circle and I stood in the middle and gave my little speech. I looked down at one point and i could see my pant legs moving I was shaking so hard!! LOL
Tonight was our second workout and it was a little tough. It was very cold and windy which made the walk/run program we do very challenging. I really just wanted to run the whole time to stay warm!!
Michele and I ran back to her house after the clinic. It was a great run we ran a comfortable pace and I felt comfortable the whole run. On the way home it my car the chill caught up with me and by the time I got home I was frozen!! Luckily Arland had run on the treadmill here at home so I was able to cuddle up with him to warm up.

I have received one letter from Brett, it was a great letter and it sounds like Basic Training is making quite the impact on him. He graduates from Basic on April 3rd and Arland and I will be travelling to Columbia South Carolina to celebrate with him. I am very proud of him!!

Farewell to February, it was a good month but I'm looking forward to March and Springtime!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Running Outside of my comfort zone

I have a race report to write and a recap of some great runs last week but right now I want to write about my run this afternoon.

Brenda had mentioned at the awards ceremony on Saturday that they were planning on running at 1:30 on Sunday. I knew my regular running partners wouldn't be running on Sunday so I told Brenda I would meet them. We discussed a meeting spot and possible routes. I was kind of nervous about meeting them, but Brenda also posted it on the Forum and sent an e-mail so I thought maybe someone else my pace might show up.
When I pulled into a parking spot at the Community Center I see quite a few runners gathered around the front. Holy crap... there is Ginny, her friend Danielle, Natalie, Mark, Cindy, Andrea. Sheesh it was all fast people!! Oh well I had my i-pod in my pocket and I had already decided that I was probably going to be running alone anyway.
While discussing possible routes teh prevailing consensus seemed to be we wanted to run on roads with less traffic. Hmph!
So Mark pipes up with an idea to run to and over a new bypass that hasn't opened yet.... sure no traffic on a closed road. I had my reservations from the beginning but started off with them anyway. We ended up running across a field that led to a stream that had a fallen tree for us to cross over it. As soon as I saw it I said NOPE... I'm running to Michele's house and started to turn around but Lisa wouldn't have it and she grabbed my arm and coaxed me into crossing over the stream. Robert and Mark gave me there hands and I made it across but I wasn't too happy about it!! LOL actually that was probably the funnest part of the run. We end up on a residential street for just a short bit and then we turned onto HWY 38, a VERY busy road. I was still with the group for a little while on this road but with Mark in the lead I knew I wasn't going to be able to hang on. Mark's wife had also joined us and this was just her 4th run.. ever I guess.
As we approached the new bypass all I could think was @#$%..%$#@..!##%#.... It was my least favorite kind of hill... long and curved with a slant in the road. I just trudged along watching the group get farther away. I was a little panicked at that point, I had not idea where the bypass was going to end. I was afraid I was going to be lost! Mark's wife was a little behind so I circled back for her, she is from Cabot so I was hoping she would know where we were going. I also don't like leaving people behind, especially new runners! Once we got over the bypass I was very relieved because I knew where I was. I wasn't thrilled that we were now on one of the busier roads in Cabot, but hey at least I knew where I was! I circled back again for Rachel a couple of times and then soon enough we were turning onto the road that would take us back to the Community Center. I got a rock or something in my shoe normally I probably would have just left it but were had run through quite a bit of glass and I didn't want to take the chance that it was glass! I stopped to take my shoe off and get it out.. Rachel kept running but it didn't take long for me to catch backup with her. Once we got close to the Community center I could see the main pack running down the side walk in front of the High School. Rachel was done once we got to the Community Center, we had 3 miles but I wanted 5 so I decided to run to Michele's house. I didn't walk but I slowed down quite a bit so I could call Michele to make sure she was going to be home. After I talked to her briefly I plugged in my i-pod and enjoyed the rest of the run. I saw Cindy running in the opposite direction I think her foot was bothering her. I also saw Danielle, her stomach was bothering her.
I really did enjoy my last couple of miles, having the ipod really made a difference I think!!
I had 5.25 miles when I got to Michele's... I walked the cul-d-sac to cool off, the last mile there was no wind and full sunshine so I got a bit hot. It was a beautiful day.. sunny about 46 degrees and pretty breezy.

This was not a comfortable run for me but I am so proud of myself that I stepped out of my comfort zone and met up and ran with (sort of) a different group of people. I rarely ever run alone and it was really good for me...I really did enjoy it.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Valentines Day 5K recap

I had been dreading this 5K for a couple of weeks. I haven't really done speed work in months and I have been pretty slow since Memphis! That was until last week when Arland and I used our lunch runs as tempo runs. I was feeling a little more confident and ready to take on the 5K. Friday morning as I was having coffee with Michele I found out that her son Alex (7) was going to be running the 5K too. He was going with his dad, Michele and Abby had a birthday party to go to so were not going to be going to the race with us. I thought about Alex all day and in the afternoon decided to call him and see if he would like me to run with him in the race. He seemed pretty excited about it and we discussed what his goals were and what our stragegy would be. I WAS very excited! The pressure was off for me to run a certain time and I could just go and have fun. Russellville is about an hour and a half drive from Cabot but since the race wasn't starting until 9:00 we didn't have to get up at 4:00am! I made myself a bowl of oatmeal but only ate maybe a quarter of it. Jane came over about 6:30 and after one last trip to the bathroom we were off. Having Jane with us made the time just fly by and before I knew it we were in Russellville. It was chilly and pretty windy, I was wearing a skirt and a long sleeve tech shirt with my Cabot Cruiser singlet on top. As we were walking to the packet pick up table I hear a young voice call out "miss Annette" I turned and there was my buddy Harry C. actually it was the whole C. family. We chatted for a few minutes and I got some hugs and then we were off to get our race numbers. There was quite a big turnout for this race and a lot of people were doing race day registration, so many in fact they had to move the race start to 9:15. Normally that wouldn't be a big deal but it was pretty chilly so an extra 15 minutes of standing around kind of sucked!
Alex and I headed towards the back of the pack but realized we were with a group of walkers so we moved up a bit.
Alex had a very ambitious goal in mind for this race, his fastest 5K was a 32:59 and he wanted 29 minutes. His dad told him that probably wasn't realistic and I also talked to him about it a bit.
I had to really hold him back the first mile but I have run with Alex before and I know he goes out really fast and then when he gets tired he gets cranky and can sometimes shut down so my goal was just to keep him going.
First mile was an 11:06... perfect right where I wanted us to be. There was a group of people running with us most of the race, it looked like a mom and three or four kids, they were older than Alex but he made them his competition. They would run fast and then have to stop and walk, so we did the leap frog thing but eventually we passed them and they never caught up.
Second mile was 10:39. We were passing lots of people and I know that made Alex feel good, he was holding up really well, I would check on him, how are you feeling etc. Every now and then I would have to make him slow down a little bit.
Alex was constantly asking "how far-how long" so I was constantly looking at my Garmin. When we were at 17 minutes he said Josh is fnished now, and then at 18:30 he said Gary is finished now. When we were around 25 minutes he said my dad should be finished now. He knew everyone's goal times... he is a numbers kid!
We had steadily been picking up the pace, not pushing too hard but just a gradual build up. I could tell Alex was getting tired but he never complained. He had started asking about time and distance every few seconds... finally just before we hit the three mile mark I said lets just run. I was really pushing him but he was tired, he kept running and was running a good pace but just didn't have that last sprint to the finish I was hoping for. We finished in 32:56 a PR and a good race. He seemed pretty happy with it. I was very proud of him, he ran every step no walk breaks. The third mile was 10:04, I don't know what the last .1 was because I forgot to turn my Garmin off until we were out of the shute.
I really really really loved every minute of this race. It was such a joy to run with Alex and help him run a good steady pace.
They also had a kids 1 mile race so it was quite a bit before they got to the awards ceremony and then they had some glitches with placement. I was VERY dissapointed because instead of having the 5-9 age group they lumped 1-14 all together so Alex did win an award. On the online results listing they have it broken out and he should have gotten a third place trophy. Alex and James didn't get to stay for the awrds ceremony, Alex had a basketball game at 12:00 so they had to rush back to Cabot.
Quite a few of our Cruiser's won trophys :) Jane 2nd place grandmasters, Gary 1st place grandmasters, Bailey 2nd 25-29, there was a problem with the 35-39 female results, Gabby was announced as the second place but might actually have been third or fourth and Jackie was right behind her. Josh won his age group and Russ was third in his age group. I don't think I left anyone out???
It was a great race and I think everyone was really happy with their results. Oh I almost left out Caitlyn C. she won 1st in her age group! All the C. kids won trophys in the the one mile run.

After the race We met Jackie, Phil and the kids at I-hop, Judy and Steve also joined us. Breakfast afterwards is always my favorite part of any race!!!!

Arland and I spent a quite day at home yesterday... it was nice not to have to fight the Valentines day crowds!!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Back in the Groove

I promised myself before Surf City that I would take a week off of running after the Marathon. It was really hard but I stayed true to my promise and I did not run for an entire week. The first few days it was easy not to run but by Thursday I was starting to feel the itch and by Saturday it was almost killing me!
Although I didn't run I still worked out... Run club with the kids, Buns n Abs and Jane's class. I did do a little bit of jogging with the kids but Kylie fell and scraped her hands within the first few minutes and it was almost all I could do to keep her walking for the alloted time. It was a struggle but we did manage to get our mile completed.

Friday night Kylie spent the night and on Saturday morning she went with us to meet the runners at the Diner for Breakfast. It was good to see everyone and Kylie showed off my super cool surf board medal.
Saturday afternoon Michele and I went to the Sporty Runner in Conway and I finally got a new pair of running shoes. Well actually I just bought a pair a couple of weeks ago, but those didn't work for me. I got the new Asics Kenyano 15's... I LOVED the 13's but can no longer find them in my size. I tried the 14's but did not like them, they actually really hurt the top of my foot.
I have heard good things about the 15's and they felt good when I ran in them at the running store.

Finally Monday rolled around and it was time to run! Arland and I had decided to run at lunch.
The weathermen were calling for rain later in the day but at lunch it was perfect. It was actually very warm but I am not going to complain about warmth in the middle of February!!!
I was so excited to put on my running clothes and new running shoes. It was a good run, my left leg calf/ankle area felt pretty tight and at first I thought oh great these shoes suck, but then I remembered this was my first run in a week and my last run had been a marathon. By mile 2 everything started loosening up and I was enjoing the run and then... my stomach :( the last mile ended up being a combination of stopping, walking, and running. It didn't matter I was just so happy to be running and I was kind of expecting stomach problems, especially since I was still drinking coffee at 10:00am.

Monday evening I went to Pilates at the Community Center, the instructor is great and I am so glad I have included it in my workout schedule. In just a few weeks of going back to buns and abs and adding the Pilates I can feel myself getting stronger, especially my core!

Tuesday the weathermen were calling for rain through out the day and storms in the evening. Jane and I were texting Monday night and she said she was going to run on the treadmill the next morning or at least she was hoping to. Jane and I are a lot alike and I knew the chances of her going were probably slim, so I offered to meet her. As usual the treadmill was torture and I only managed 2.25 miles. Still it felt good to be working out and jane and I always manage to make the best out of any situation. Running on the treadmill wouldn't be so unbearable if it weren't so stinking hot and they only have one fan for five treadmills. We usually walk on the indoor running track afterwards so we can cool off enough to put or jackets on and go outside into the cold.
The kids running club was moved inside because of the rain. The kids were split up into 3 seperate groups, one group would walk through the halls, one group played Wii, and another group was in the cafeteria where Jackie was giving a nutrition seminar. My group the kindergartners and first graders were walking the hallway first. It is quite the challenge to keep the kids motivated, they start off gung ho but after about five minutes they were getting very whiney... when can we stop, I'm hot, I'm tired, my side hurts, when can we stop, I'm tired, when can we stop, when can we stop!!!!!!!! Kylie was whining just as loud as the others and then you add in the fact that several of the kids were fighting over who got to hold hands with me well let me just say she was not a happy camper!! They were all very happy when they "finally" got to go to the cafeteria. Jackie asked the kids "where do you get most of your vitamins" one little boy quickly blurted out Wal-mart. I thought that was pretty funny but I bet a lot of adults might have answered the same way! The right answer was of course bright/dark color veggies and fruits.
By the time the time my group got back to the gym parents were there ready to pick kids up so they didn't get to play with the Wii. The rain had stopped by the time we finished run club and the sun was actually breaking through a little bit, so I called Jane and we decided to try to get a run in around 6:30. Karen also met us and we ran a very easy 3 miles, it felt so great to be running outside, actually I think Jane and I ended up with 3.25 miles. As we were stretching it started sprinkling, it almost felt like we were meant to run since the rain held off until we were done.

Wednesday the rain finally cleared out but the wind, oh the wind! Arland and I wanted to run at lunch but the wind was pretty intimidating, a couple of times at work the wind would blow open the front door and cause all the ceiling tiles to do a little dance! We had almost talked ourselves out of running but I knew I would be sorry if we didn't so I said, let's just do it, if it is awful we will just cut it short.
I think it was in the mid 60's but with the wind it felt cooler. I suggested a zig zag route so that we wouldn't be running into the wind for 1.5 miles. One of the advantages of this route is very little traffic, but it is kind of tedious running up and down lot's of dead end streets, it is also pretty "incliny". I guess we were both feeling pretty good because we ended up with a pretty speedy run and it felt especially good since we had to deal with the heavy wind! 3 miles 9:25 avg. pace.
Wednesday evening was Bun's and Ab's and Jane's cardio/strength interval class. Kelly our regular insructor was not there and I guess they had to scramble to find a substitue instructor, one girl started the class and about five minutes later someone else came in, well you could tell she wasn't too happy about having to teach the class... it was so bad that Michele left in the middle of class to run home. I stuck it out and it did get better but by the end I was in a bad mood and almost didn't stay for Jane's class. As soon as I saw Jane I knew i would stay and by the end of her class I felt ton's better!

Thursday... although I had plans to run with the girls Thursday evening when Arland mentioned running at lunch I was all in!! It was another beautiful day, 64 mostly sunny and breezy but not too windy. I didn't think I could run as fast as I had the day before but decided to just run however I felt and not worry about pace. We started off fast right away I didn't think I would be able to maintain that pace for the whole 3 miles but decided to just run it as long as I could. The last .75 of the run was the hardest, it is a long incline and the breeze was at our back so it got hot!! I really thought any second now I'm going to fall apart but I held it together and we ran 3.1 miles with a 9:19 avg. pace. I was very happy!! We have a 5K on Saturday and I had been thinking I would be happy if I could finish in 30 minutes. After two days in a row of speedy (for me) runs I knew I wouldn't be setting any PR's but at least I could probably finish under 30 minutes. Thursday evening I met Jane and Karen at Michele's house, I was wearing a skirt and short sleeve shirt but had thrown on a jacket before I left the house. When I got out of my car at Michele's it felt pretty chilly so I decided to leave the jacket on. It didn't take too long for me to warm up and I was starting to get uncomfortable, luckily we were running back by Michele's house so I threw my jacket off... not a moment too soon!! It had been decided early on that we were only going to run 3 or 4 miles, I had orginally wanted 5 miles but since I got to run at lunch I was fine with the shorter distance. When I was leaving the house Arland told me not to run as fast as I had at lunch, my response... ha ha don't worry, I don't think I could even if I wanted to. Well I was running with Jane and Michele and those girls are fast and next thing you know we were speeding along. I did slow down a couple of times and whined about them trying to kill me! but it was great and we finished 3 miles with a 9:28 avg. pace. I don't remember the splits exactly but the first mile was a 9:40 and the third was 9:14... the middle mile was a 9:20 something but I don't remember the exact number and I'm too lazy to go get the Garmin to check!! LOL
We ran one more mile at a cool down pace and ended up with 4 miles. It was great to run with the girls, and I was very happy that Michele was able to run with us!!

My legs were very happy to have a rest day today!!
Tomorrow we are headed to Russellville for the Valentine's day 5K. Although my runs this week gave me more confidence about the 5K I have decided that I am going to run with my young buddy Alex (Michele's son) I called him today and asked what his goal was for the race. He said 29 minutes but I think his fastest 5K was 34 minutes. I told him I didn't know if we could do 29 minutes but I would help him get as close as possible. His main challenge is pacing himself so I'm going to try to reign him in the first half so he will have the energy to run the whole thing. I'm pretty excited to be running with Alex hopefully we will have fun.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Surf City Marathon - Race Report

This time last week I was running the Surf City Marathon.......

We had no clock in our hotel room so Bailey and I both set the alarms on our cell phones. I set my to give me a 5 min snooze. I slept a little better Saturday night with my new pillow but still now as well as I would have liked. I kept waking up wondering what time it was, does anyone else think it is weird there was no clock in our room?? The alarm finally went off and I just hit the button, fell asleep and woke up about 15 mins later in a bit of a panic. I jumped out of bed and put my contact in and brushed my teeth. I was starting to get my breakfast together when Bailey started making waking up noises. I asked her if she knew what time it was and then informed her it was 4:35 and time to GET UP!! Bailey is not a mornning person and she was grumbling and moaning a bit but she was getting up. As we were talking about why my snooze didn't work she said well i wonder why my alarm didn't go off. I plugged in the coffee maker and had just poured the water in when Bailey said to me IT IS 2:48am. At first it didn't register in my brain what she was saying, and then I was like ummm no my phone says it is 4:whateveram. WELL.... For some reason Blackberry's don't change time when you change time zones so all weekend I would just subtract 2 hours whenever I looked at the time on my phone, but when I set my alarm on Sat. night I completely forgot about the time difference. We both started cracking up and I immediately turned off the lights and got back in bed. I laid there and laughing for a long time before I finally was able to fall back asleep.

It was just as hard waking up at 4:30 as it was at 2:30 but we got up and started the pre race preparations. I had brought oatmeal with me to have for breakfast but with all the shopping at Target and Trader Joe's that we did on Saturday I never thought about the fact that a bowl and spoon might come in handy for preparing and consuming my oatmeal. Bailey suggested using the coffee carafe so that solved one problem... now what to eat it with. We had bought some kind of corn chips for after the marathon. So I used the coffee stirstiks to mix up my oatmeal and I used a tortilla chip as my spoon.

I haven't had oatmeal as pre run nutrition in a very long time. I ate about 1/2 of it and I can happily report that it didn't cause me any stomach distress and I really think it helped with my energy levels during the race.

We gave ourselves plenty of time to get to the race and it was a good thing too because we had to make a few u-turns, but we made it in plenty of time. We parked in the Beach parking lot and had about a mile walk to the start. I actually didn't realize we were that far away until after the Marathon! I like walking at least a mile before a race, it seems to help things loosen up and I'm usually able to have a successful port a potty trip.
It was pretty chilly at the start, luckily I had accidentally brought a pair of throw away gloves and I bought a throw away shirt at Target on Saturday. We wandered around and then went into the expo tent for a few minutes to stay warm.
When we got back to the start it was packed!! We headed towards the back of the lineup we were right next to the tape dividing the full and half marathoners so we thought we were at the back but turns out they didn't give us enough room and there were still a ton of people behind us.
The announcer kept saying if you don't have a bib on get off my course and yes if you didn't have a big/tag you shouldn't be on the course but he kept looking out in the crowd and saying he saw people with no bibs... well I don't think he realized that a lot of people had warm up clothes on and there bibs were underneath.. like me!!

Finally the race starts, and within the first 100 yards or so there is a very large lady with walking sticks and a friend. I was tryng to get around her and on the ground is a large water bottle so I'm trying to dodge the lady and the water bottle when this young guy just about tackles me trying to get around all of us! Not the best way to start a race, but we settled down and into a comfortable pace pretty quick. The first miles were on the Pacific Coast Highway and although it was cloudy and grey I could see the beach and smell the ocean air so I was happy!!
The first 6 miles really passed pretty quickly, I think it took that long for Bailey to warm up, she had brought a short sleeve t-shirt as a warm up and it wasn't doing a very good job of keeping her warm. I warmed up within the first 3 miles and had thrown my gloves away about mile 2. I felt terrible that I threw them away instead of giving them to Bailey but I wasn't thinking luckily I was using my brain and when it was time to take off my shirt I gave it to Bailey.
After the PCH we ran through some park and around a lake. This section was FULL of kids cheering us on! It was great having them out there! We also had a little bit of trail running while in this section, it was just a short stretch but the hard dirt felt good, not so much the sandy section on the little uphill.
When we got back out on the PCH the sun had come out in full force and I was very thankful I had bought my new sunglasses on Saturday!! and very very glad I had brought along a visor!
The miles on the PCH are kind of a blur, Bailey took pictures every mile and most of them had me in them.

You can see I was feeling pretty sassy at mile 3
And what is up with that guy still wearing his trashbag at mile 5?? LOL

Oh and I was right not to trust the course description. This was not a hilly race at all BUT there were more than the one hill that was mentioned in the race course description!!

We did a good job with our nutrition, we did get started on our gels a little later than planned. We were going to start at mile 4 or 5 but next thing you know it it mile 6. I brought 5 gels 4 Accel-gels and 1 orange vanilla Roctane GU. The first time I had the Roctane I hated it so I'm not sure why I brought it but I liked it better this time so I will keep it in the lineup. I had a new flavor of AccelGel, Raspberry Cream, I took half of one early in the morning right after my oatmeal just to see if I could handle the flavor. It wasn't bad, but of course none of the gels taste good to me, it is more a matter of what isn't just flat out disgusting! I really like the Accel-Gels because they have the 4 to 1 ration of protein to carbs and I can tell the difference.

So I never did get new shoes before the marathon, I think I might have blogged about they New Balance 1224's that I bought a few weeks ago? They suck!! They are probably great shoes but they just don't work for me. I ended up wearing my Kenyano 13's, they have been through a lot of miles, 2 marthons and a big part of the training for 3 marathons. I put in my new Berry Super Feet insoles and hoped for the best. Well I know the insolses probably helped a lot but by mile 13 my feet were hurting, specifically my big toe on my right foot. I get that pain a lot during longer runs but usually it doesn't start that early and the pain was worse than I have ever felt before!

The Marathoner's started about an hour earlier than the 1/2 marathoners and at about mile 9 we all met up we came from opposite directions and turned onto another road, well at first I was kind of excited to see them, but once we turned it was awful... there were thousands of them and they were at mile 3 of their 1/2 marathon so they were all running a lot faster than we were and they just overtook us and were coming at me from all sides and I actually had a little bit of a panic attack!! I couldn't breath and just felt really out of sorts! I also was running faster than I needed to be trying to stay out of there way. I can imagine it must have pretty frustrating for them having to dodge the slower marathoners!!

Eventually it calmed down and I was able to get back into a rythmn for a while, but the pain in my toe and the little panic attack were taking their toll and I was having to take some walk breaks. I really just wanted to get on the beach!! and then finally we are turning onto the beach path and it is just the Marathoners again. This race course was full of out and back loops so we were constantly seeing other runners and it was the same on the beach path.
We had taken a Gel just before turning onto the beach and within the first little bit there was an aid station and they had "uncrustables" PB&J sandwiches. We were thrilled... we were on the beach and we had PB&J sandwiches!!!! We walked we ate our sandwiches, we giggled we were just in runners heaven! BUT Hell was waiting for us a little ways down the path. My calves had been cramping for several miles already but it was really starting to slow us down and I was having to take more walk breaks which actually made it worse i think.
Bailey was GREAT!! we lauged and talked the whole time and As much pain as I was in it never erased the good feelings I had. Heck we were together, we were in California and we were running on the Beach!!!
We saw lot's of interesting people in the race!! The barefoot runner, Forrest Gump, the lady hacking up a lung! The lady in the interesting leopard print outfit!
During one of the out and backs we got to see the Marathon Leaders... that was pretty exciting especially seeing the Female leader. She had the biggest smile on her face!!! I hope she won!

Finally we were getting down to the last few miles... but I swear mile 17 lasted forever and had to have been at least 5 miles long! Mile 18 I finally had to use the port a potty, I think it was the combination of the GU and PB&J.

Bathroom Break
Bailey took so many pictures!!

We finally get back to where we first entered the beach path and are now headed in the opposite direction, DAMN it is another out and back and a guy running beside us, or maybe walking at that point just lets loose with a few angry cuss words!! Of course I start laughing because I am feeling the same way on the inside, but then I feel back because maybe he is hurting or something.
We talked to a girl in this section who had run the Barcelona Marathon and she said it was very hard because you passed the finish line several times before you really got to finish! plus it was really hot... it definately made me want to NEVER run that marathon!!
Finally the last miles....

I had called Brenda at about 19.5 miles. I was really in pain and was starting to hit the wall and needed to hear a Brenda pep talk and she didn't dissapoint!! After a few minutes with her I felt much better...still hurting physically but uplifted mentally! I also called Jane a little later, she didn't answer so I left a voice messge and she called me back.

Although it was just Bailey and I who made the trip to Huntington Beach we were not out there alone!! We got so many text messages and phone calls the whole weekend!! When you are a Cabot Cruiser you are never alone!!!

Finally we are back on The Pacific Coast Highway with about a mile left. I was still in pain but I was getting excited! My Dad, Stepmom Vonda and Aunt Leni were are going to be at the finish line and I couldn't wait!! I also couldn't wait to get that cool surfboard medal around my neck!!!

Bailey and I crossed the finish line together with hands held high above our heads!! We both got to hear our names announced, that was cool!!

I love the D-tag system they use in the California they don't have to be turned back in so no having the hassle of getting your chip cut off!! I hope everyone starts using them soon!

I called my dad and unfortunately they were just arriving so they didn't get to see us finish. My Aunt Leni was somewhere around the finish line but I don't think she saw us either. Oh well they were there and all had traveled at least an hour just to see us!!!
We chatted a bit and then made plans to go to my Aunt's house in Menifee to watch the Superbowl.

The mile walk back to the car felt like 10!! I honestly didn't know if we were going to make it! Once we got back to the car we headed to the beach for our Pacific ocean ice bath!! The walk across the parking lot barefoot was excruiating but once I got to the sand it was great!!! The water was soooo cold and we were squealing like little girls the whole time!! At first it was just the feet but little by little we went further and further out until our legs were also in the water. It hurt but we knew it was going to make us feel better later so we endured!!
We saw a few other people doing the same thing but they were a lot quieter about it than we were!! LOL

After we left the beach we headed to find an In-N-Out burger... it took a little while, a few u-turns a little frustration but it was SO worth it! We took our burgers back to our room, somehow made it up the 2 flights of stairs and then devoured our food!!

More about the rest of the day later....this post has taken me over an hour to write!!