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!