Saturday, December 19, 2009

marathon #3 is just 3 weeks away

Well, I figure it is time for a personal blog update. Life has been quite the whirlwind since my last entry on November 17th. Since that entry I completed marathon #2, the Route 66 Marathon here in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Doing your first 2 marathons 2 weeks apart, well it's a little nuts, but it did qualify me for Marathon Maniacs. I am now indeed an official maniac. I am Marathon Maniac #1996.

But I digress...my "original" pick for my first marathon the Walt Disney World marathon is coming up on January 10th. I signed up for this marathon the day after it was ran in 2009 and made the decision, along with my New Year's Resolution to run at least 500 miles, that I would indeed attempt a marathon and thought why not do it at the "Happiest Place on Earth". Now that it is just 3 weeks away, I am feeling quite nervous about it.

After completing the Greece marathon, I really wasn't sure I ever wanted to do another one, ever.... seriously. I know what you're thinking, everyone says that. However, I really meant it. There are many many many underlying things that occurred on my Greece trip that really doing the marathon 30 minutes slower than I thought I would, well it was just another piece that seemed to fall apart for me. I have taken the last 4-5 weeks and tried to reconcile my own thoughts and feelings about that entire trip and all the aspects of my life that it affected and move forward.

When I got back to the states and regrouped somewhat, the Route 66 marathon was just around the corner. In my mind I kept telling myself that I was trained and could do it. In my mind, I had chalked it up as the possibility to run the marathon I thought I was capable of in Greece. So I semi-coerced Bobby into signing up with me on the day before the marathon, and there we were 2 weeks after Greece, at the starting line of the route 66 marathon. I have left out a few small details...the Wednesday before the Route 66 marathon, I got some horrible sinus crude. I was having to use my inhaler quite a bit, and personally felt like I was keeping Puffs in business. I went to the health clinic at TU and the doctor there kind blew me off. One thing most people know about me, is I am very good at diagnosing my own illnesses. So I did the resourceful thing and called my allergist and he was nice enough to call me in a Z-pack and give me an antibiotic booster (I swear this is the most painful shot ever, except maybe a spinal tap). So, I was really in no condition health wise to run anything, no less the full marathon, but heck that wasn't gonna stop me. So back to the starting line....

It was so incredible to be a part of the Route 66 run, with all of the people from Runners World just everywhere on the course cheering people on, just everywhere. It was just amazing! I have to spend a special shout out to my friends Susan,Candace and Lisa. I saw them at mile 12. I lost Bobby at around mile 8-9, because I had no energy and felt so nauseous I just didn't know how i was gonna go on. At mile 12 when I saw my friends I told them I was getting in the car with them because I was done. Susan reminded me how much money I spent to do the silly run and I needed to keep going, and I did. I walked the entire last 15 miles. I met up with a guy named Jean from Illinois and he kept me company until about mile 24. It was awesome to finish the Route 66 with all my friends at the finish line and just knowing I didn't quit.

So that brings me to today. Today was my last 'recommended' double digit training run for the Walt Disney Marathon. One of my big fears in Disney is that I will be out there by myself. The other 2 marathons I have had Bobby there with me at the start. So all during this past week, I worked on coaching myself that I could go out and run by myself and it would be okay. I had several people offer to put in miles with me on my last long run, but instead decided I needed to figure out if I was going to be able to do it on my own. So I set the alarm for 5:30 AM trying to plan on getting in 5-7 miles before my regular Runners World group met, and then 7 with the group, and then just needing another 2-4 on my own. The alarm went off this morning, and I had almost convinced myself that I would ignore it and figure out a weekday to get in my last long run, then I acknowledged that was ridiculous got up threw on the running clothes and headed to Veteran's park. I started my run this morning feeling nervous and anxious at 6 AM. Within my first couple of miles, I had truly found my "happy place", I was loving focusing on the songs on my ipod. I was loving the fact that I was letting my brain process all the different feelings/emotions I was having about all different people, things, and events. Before I knew it I was already crossing the Pedestrian Bridge for the first go round...this means I had about 3 1/2 miles already done. As I headed out on the Midland Valley Trail, it was still quite dark (I had my headlamp for safety). My head lamp was casting all kinds of interesting shadows so I was playing games with myself about what the different shadows could be and voila before I knew it I was crossing 18th street. I couldn't believe how well the run was going. I looked at my watch at that point and realized I would have time to actually get in 7 miles before the group met. I was feeling so proud of myself for just moving forward and feeling so at ease. I got my 7 done and met up with the group at 7:45. The hardest part of my whole adventure this morning was the waiting around to start running again. The temperatures weren't too bad this morning, but standing around in my own sweat made me quite chilly. I told Bobby to go on without me because I didn't know how much I would slow down, well I really wasn't too far behind him the whole time. It helped me to again feel good about my adventure. After we got back to the starting point, I had just the "short loop" left, Bobby was kind enough to ask if I wanted company, but I declined. I needed to finish what I had started, and I did. I completed 16.25 miles by myself and wasn't too worse for the wear.

So, long story well long...I will pack my bags, running clothes included, and head to Disney on January 5th to complete my 3rd marathon in 3 months. How bad can it be?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Marathon Finisher

I am really a marathon finisher. It still seems pretty surreal. The entire adventure to Greece was quite overwhelming and emotional for me. I am so thankful I went. I really pushed myself out of my comfort zone. I have a hard time with travel anxiety, and of course then there was anxiety about running/completing my first marathon. I was so fortunate to have Bobby around since we had done all of our long training runs together. It was great to have so many friends around in Greece as well.
Marathon morning started very early. There were several of us who decided to take the "Power Walker" start. This meant that start time was 7 AM. Doesn't seem so bad right? Well in order to take the 7 AM start you had to be at the finish line by 5:30 to get on the bus to the start in Marathonas. Since the public transportation system in Athens didn't start until 5 AM we scheduled for taxis to meet us at 4:30 to make sure we had plenty of time. My marathon morning started at about 3:30 AM with the onset of a pretty nasty migraine (I think just stress induced). The bus ride up to the start was a little touch and go as migraines often make me very nauseous.

Once we arrived at Marathonas there was an awesome Olympic torch, some music playing, and of course some damp conditions. There was a chance of rain after all.




At 6:45 AM there was a nice clap of thunder and some lightning off in the distance and then yup...it rained. And rained. And rained. Those of us that took the "Power Walker" start got to run in the rain for about the first 3 hours of the run. Fortunately the outside temperature was about 20 degrees Celsius, so it wasn't too cold of a rain. I started the run using the Galloway 1/1 method. I had Bobby and Chrissy hanging with me so we were laughing at the rain and just taking it all in. At mile 9, Chrissy had to stop for a potty break and Bobby needed to fill up his water bottle. I figured they would both catch back up with me quickly. I didn't see Chrissy again until about the 24 kilometer marking and Bobby reappeared around the 34 kilometer mark. It was an extremely hilly course. I have preferred to use the term "mountainous" to hilly to describe the elevation changes along the route. The finish of the course however made the whole experience worth it. Getting to run into the original Olympic stadium with the Olympic rings and the great stands and the crowd...it was awe inspiring. It was so great to experience everything with Bobby and Chrissy. Our finish time was 6:31:08, but it wasn't about the time...it was about the finish, and the experience of a lifetime.


The day following the marathon, we took an awesome day cruise. It was awesome just to rest, relax, and enjoy the day.


What's next?

Well, I am signed up to do the Disney Marathon on January 10th, 2010. I am looking forward to it. I may attempt the Route 66 run (full or half). Then I think i will venture to Scotland in May for another overseas adventure.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Long Run Trainings are Over...


I can not believe that I completed the last long run of my marathon training for this session today. A whole whopping 22 miles. It was fairly decent going until around mile 18, then I let the mental game win. We had a good plan when the day started. We began at 5:30 despite the fact that the other groups weren't starting until 6:45...we had much further to go than anyone else. So we broke up our 22 miles into a 6 mile out and back, the 8 mile loop that all groups were doing, and an 8 mile kinda out and back and kinda loop. I felt great during the first 6 miles. We had some of our dear friends Jason, Lisa, Ronit, and Tom come out and join us bright and early to get their miles in as well. We made it back to Veteran's park just in time to say hello to the 26Dot2 Marathuners (our group) and head out for our 8 mile jaunt with everyone. The 8 miles didn't go too badly either. We maintained a decent pace for our first 14 miles and stayed in good spirits. When we went to head out for our last 8 mile loop/out-and-back I let the mental game get the best of me. I started to focus on how far I had left to go and could not snap my head out of it. We spent the first 2 miles of the last 8 trying to decide exactly which route would be the most tolerable and enjoyable, so it went fair. When mile 18 showed up, all I could focus on was the fact that I couldn't breathe, and my hip hurt. The last 4 miles were completed at a steady walk, but most importantly at the end of the day all 22 miles were completed.

I hope that 2 weeks from tomorrow, I will be able to update my blog to state that I am a marathon finisher. I am starting to get geared up for the trip and the whole adventure. I am also starting to feel the nerves already, gotta make sure to keep everything balanced and in check. I am fairly certain that TZ snapped some pretty good "thank goodness this is over" pictures, so if he posts them, I will swipe them and add 1 or 2 to the blog entry.

Wish me luck!! What a lifetime adventure story this will be forever and ever....

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Trying a New Strategy

Wow a lot has happened since my last blog entry. I won't try to recap it all. I will just share my new "running technique" that is really helping me to believe that finishing a marathon is truly in my cards. Bobby and I ran the Albuquerque half marathon behind several groups doing the "Galloway" method. They were running 1 minute and walking 1 minute. We played leap frog with them until about mile 9 or so, when our "run" could not keep up with their run/walk pattern. We thought, okay let's try this run/walk thing, but at that point our legs were already spent. So, I purchased a couple of the Galloway books (www.jeffgalloway.com), and felt encouraged by what I read. Then Bobby shared, that he ordered the interval timer so we didn't have to keep checking our watches to try the 1/1 method. Our first Thursday night run when he got his timer, we did 4 miles in a quicker time than I had done 4 miles in a long long time. I am not setting any speed goals, but I was amazed at how good I felt overall...didn't feel like dying or anything along the way. So we decided this would be the new approach. I of course, wanted my own timer, since I plan on taking the early start for the Greece marathon and don't want anyone else feel obligated to go early. So I got the bright pink one. Here's a photo of what my new best friend looks like:
It has really been working well for me. Bobby and I missed our regular Saturday long run, cuz we were in KS crewing for our friends running the 50 mile/100 mile Heartland run. You can read all about that adventure on Trail Zombie's or Bobby's blog. So we went out for a 10-mile weekday run, even though we were both still dragging a little from our 40 some odd hours of awakeness over the weekend. Here were our splits using the 1/1 method the entire way:

Mile 0-1: 13:38 (sometimes it's so hard to get started)
Mile 1-2: 13:13
Mile 2-3: 12:44
Mile 3-4: 13:09
Mile 4-5: 13:23
Mile 5-6: 13:06
Mile 6-7: 13:15
Mile 7-8: 13:26
Mile 8-9: 13:18
Mile 9-10: 13:51 (including walking up part of that darn turkey mountain hill back to the parking lot)
Mile 10-10.15: 2:38

I am so encouraged by the consistency of our miles while doing this technique. It will be interesting to see how it works out for me on the 22 mile run in a couple weeks.

Anyone that wants to try this out is more than welcome to hang out with me and/or Bobby!! We are both big believers...

Thursday, September 3, 2009

An Adventure Awaits

Well, I decided to join the Crazy Train and head to do a double half marathon weekend for Labor Day. My training for the full marathon in Greece in November has been hilly, both figuratively and literally. So far my longest run has been 14 miles. I did well for the first 10 1/2 miles of that run then totally hit the wall with a bang. I have been dealing with some hip and ankle issues. thanks to Dr. Zoellner and his great chiropractic techniques my hip has been feeling great. Even after 14 miles. Now he is working on tweaking my ankle.

I really had no intention of running any big events until Greece, but found out some friends were going to Albuquerque and then Colorado Springs to complete two marathons back to back over Labor Day weekend. Well of course my good buddy Roman hyped it up and talked how there were 1/2 marathons at the events as well. So I thought about it and looked up the runs. Looked like fun. I haven't ever been to New Mexico or Colorado and why not?

I also spent all summer working on my degree and starting the private practice, so I figure I need a break from Oklahoma and all the madness.

I head out on Saturday...I hope that these 1/2's will be a confidence boost for the upcoming full in Greece. This will be my first time to travel just for the purpose of running. I am really looking forward to getting to see another part of the country and hanging out with my running friends.

Monday, August 10, 2009

I have been on a whirlwind of training highs and lows. I have been doing my best to keep a positive attitude and be proud of myself for continuing to get out there and put one foot in front of the other.
A couple of Saturday's ago I did 8 miles in my training for the Greece Marathon in November. I ran with Bobby, or I should say Bobby was nice enough to run with me. Bobby and I have spent a lot of time on the long training runs together. This 8 mile run was my best run in a long long long long time...I felt great...didn't take any walk breaks except for the water stops. I felt strong and in really good spirits. It was really an uplifting run...then comes this past Saturday's attempt at a 12 miler. I have been having some pain in my right hip again. Finally bucked up last week to visit Dr. Z and see if I can't get my hip right...although I think the treatments are helping...he showed me a better running technique to use my hip flexors and glutes to the maximum...I feel sore. I was told to lay off last Tuesday so I walked. On Thursday, I had a decent run. I was feeling pretty good about doing the 12 on Saturday, but at mile 5 my hip really started bothering me. A smart person would have turned around then and cut it to 10 or even had someone come pick them up, but nope...I continued to get all 12. STUPID!!! I have never experienced so much physical pain on or after a run as I did that Saturday. I did have fun hanging with Roman and Bobby. We decided to trek through the new Riverside trail between 56th and 75th.

I also got some new shoes last week, but really am not sure that I like them at all. I am having such a hard time with shoes lately...oh well...will keep on trying...

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Let the Marathon Training Begin

Saturday marked the official beginning of Fall Marathon/Half-Marathon/Tulsa Run/5K training. I feel so honored to have been chosen to be a fellow run leader with Bobby Michaels for a Beginning Marathon training group. Our group name is 26Dot2 Marathuners! We have an awesome group of runners. I personally am a little nervous about being a run leader, because I myself have not completed a marathon, yet. However, I love to cheer for and encourage people that are out there making the attempt and having fun pounding the pavement. So I hope I can take the role of cheerleader and encourager. I also love being paired with Bobby has he has inspired me so much to this point.

After everyone said their name, I asked everyone to say their name again with their favorite color. I can do pretty well at remember attributes about people and can usually learn names by association. I think I have about 1/2 of the group committed to memory, but hope to get the other 1/2 by next week. We all headed out to do a 5 mile loop. I was a little worried about being able to do all 5 miles, but I got them done. It wasn't too awful of a time considering I haven't been running longer than 3 for a month.

After the run, I went and supported my dad's entry at a car show in Sapulpa. Here are some pictures of him with his car that he has put a lot of blood and sweat in to.
For those of you that are really into cars too, here is what it looked like as you approached. In my family, we (primarily my brother and I) refer to this car as the sleigh...



The weather Saturday was great, and it was nice to veg out outside and not have to do a whole lot.

I decided on Thursday once I got the all clear to run from the doctor to sign up for the Estim8ur. I signed up for the 4 mile run. I have to admit that I looked up Bobby's guessed time and added 4 minutes and a little, knowing that Bobby is pretty consistent and I would be slower because we were running 5 miles on Saturday. It was a nice morning for a run. It was great that the Estim8ur started at 7 to beat some of the sun/heat/humidity. The air was a little thick but I relaxed pretty quicklky knowing that i had guessed a relatively slow time (14min/mil). As I climbed up the rocks from part of the trail portion of the route, Roman was nice enough to cheer me to the finish. He provided some humor by commenting that I wanted to look good at the finish, I joked and told him that I didn't look good when I started. He then had a quick reply of "well then you'll have improvement". It made me laugh and gave me the push to run all the way up the hill and around the pavillion. As I turned the corner, I saw the race clock it read 57:10. At first I was a little bummed, I had guessed 56:20. Then I hear Brian make an announcment that the top 10 were all within a minute of their time. I realized that I had indeed guessed within a minute of when I finished. At the end of the day I would up placing 9th female in the 4 mile run. I was so excited. I'm never top 10 in any running event. I still just run events for fun, but it was a nice self-esteem boost to do so well in this event.

Thanks Brian, Ken, Kathy, and the rest of the TATURS for the Estim8ur!!

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Branchin' Out


I have to be honest...all the talk of other people out on bike rides made me feel a little envious. So I got my bike out of the closet and took it to the bike shop to get a once over. Once I got my bike back I decided that days I don't have to drive to Bixby I am going to bike to work. I did this for the first time Thursday morning. It was so much fun. I had gotten an email from the Kansas City Sports Commission about the Tulsa Tough bike weekend about a week and a half earlier. How sad is it I learned about a Tulsa event because I did a run in Kansas City? Anyway...

So I browsed the Tulsa Tough website (www.tulsatough.com) and found that they had a "recreational" 8 mile ride on city streets. I thought that seemed completely doable and thought it would be fun to do something outside of running. So I made the decision I would do the Tulsa Townie Ride. I pitched the idea to some of my Runners World friends who had talked about their previous bike rides. Some were excited and some were hesitant, but I was going to do it regardless.

Sometimes I believe things happen for a reason. I had a doctor's appointment on Wednesday to discuss a lot of things going on with me (nothing major). Well turns out that the doc went to listen to me (which I'm used to with my asthma), and found a heart murmur. He did an EKG and it had some abnormalities to it as well, so he decided to send me for an echocardiogram. He said I was to lay off the running until after he got the results and I saw him again. So Thursday I biked to Runners World and helped with The Big Loser competition and then biked home. Friday evening I ran the Kidney Klassic. I was really pulling for a PR...so much so that Bobby got persuaded to run with me to try to push the pass a little...I just couldn't do it. Sorry again Bobby....I finished the 5K in 37:10. I guess I should be glad I finished and didnt' have any big thing go on with my heart. I had my echo done earlier that day and the tech didn't seem too concerned about what she saw.

Saturday was a fun day. I got up and met with the running group and biked about 8 1/2 miles. Then enjoyed a yummy breakfast at IHOP with the eating club. Although I may need to start boycotting the eating club because I need to be healthy and I just give in to temptation too easily. Then Boca and I walked to the Expo building and watched the AKC Dog Agility trials for a bit. Then I went to the grocery store while Boca rested, and then Boca had a play date with Kiwi Michaels (Bobby and Susan's dog). Then we went to my parents house where Boca played with the cats and I helped relocate my grandmother from the hospital to a new long term care facility.

This morning came along and I was so proud of myself because I got up and headed down to sign myself up for the Tulsa Townie whether anyone else wanted to do it or not. Roman actually texted me on my way there asking if I was going to do it. I told him I was and asked if he wanted me to sign him up...he actually did (which I couldn't cuz he has to sign his own release). But thought cool...Then I of course let Ken and Dana know what was going on hoping they would join. And they did. It was a little warm out (the bike ride was at 1). Once all of us unloaded our bikes (or the one we borrowed) we were off to get Ken, Dana and Roman registered. We got to do an extra 3-4 miles to get the packets take the loot back to the car and head back for the start.

The ride itself was indeed just that a ride. There wasn't any racing going on. It was very leisurely and relaxed. I really enjoyed it. There were about 3-4 good hills. Which wouldn't have been bad, but I swear at the middle of every hill I had some kid under the age of 10 feel the need to stop right in front of me and push their bike up the hill...so I got to do some creative weaving and pedaling. I think the laid back atmosphere was just good for me. I really enjoyed having company along the way. It was about the 3 mile mark that Dana actually told me Ed had come out to bike as well. The 5 of us hung together at the finish. The best part of this whole event in my opinion is not the shirt (although I really like it) or the medal (which they had enough of) but the popsicles!!!

I would highly recommend this event to everyone and anyone...

I posted a few pictures here, but others on my facebook.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Short "life" Update

Well this week was pretty uneventful in terms of running and everything. It was the first full week without students at TU, so I was able to find my desk and make my "to do" list. My running week was pretty uneventful as well. I did a very short run on Tuesday since I brought Boca out with me and it was quite warm so we did 2.68 miles. Thursday was alright, I pushed myself to do more than I have been during the week 4:25 miles. I was pumped for Saturday and got up expecting to go out and do 5 miles, but the air was not in my favor. About a mile and a half out my asthma was giving me fits, I was not only wheezing as I exhaled, but also while I inhaled. So I did 3 miles....rested about 40 minutes and then went out and did another 1.25 miles. I have not been doing very well at turning over the new eating healthy week, but mentally I am getting there...

Sunday, May 17, 2009

The Red Truck

Overall, it has been a really good week of running for me. I went out on Tuesday and did a nice 3 miles at a really easy going rate with Terrie. On Thursday, I went out and did a quicker than usual 3 miles with Roman. At the turn around we ran with Bobby and Tom as well. Saturday morning was a beautiful morning to run. The sun wasn't out, but it was nice and cool with a slight breeze. I decided to do 5 miles and ran with Bobby and Ken. It was a fun run Saturday as we were running part of the course of the Aquarium Run and were able to see some of our fellow Runners World friends running either the 5K or the 1/2 marathon. I was quite proud of the pace I kept during the 5 mile outing. I finished the 5.17 miles in 1:04:01, which I feel really good about. I owe a lot to Bobby, Ken, and Michael as it was so nice to have company will running along. Now comes the interesting part about "The Red Truck".

Where to start with my crazy running adventure...I will go to Thursday night's eating club meeting. Roman brought up that Ken and Kathy were planning a night run for Saturday night. This made some ears perk up. Bobby mentioned he might like to join in on that as did Lisa, Jason, and Ed. Kathy said they wanted to run from 21st & Riverside to Keystone Dam. Ken guessed that it would be about 14-15 miles out, so a total of around 30 miles. I, of course sat in complete silence thinking they are all nuts. Saturday morning rolled around and I showed up at Helmrich Park to do my miles, as did many of my fellow runners. Bobby and Ken were there. I asked Bobby if he was going to head out for the night run, he said he didn't know yet. I just laughed cuz off he was to do 5 miles with me. As stated above I had a really good run Saturday morning. I joined the eating club for breakfast at First Watch, which was very yummy. After I finished eating I headed home to shower and come up with a plan for the day.

About 10:30 my phone rings and it's Susan. Her question "What are you doing tonight?" I laugh and respond "Not running". She then throws out the idea of crewing for the crazies (no offense) who wanted to head out and run. I told her I would be up for it at least for a bit. The plan was to meet around 9 at Veteran's park. I took a nice hour and a half nap and then headed over to visit my grandmother and have dinner with my parents. The plan came together, with a few hitches here and there, I wound up taking my mom's minivan because it would be easier to haul people and stuff. I picked up Roman at his house and off we went to meet up with everyone at Veteran's park.

Everyone was in high spirits and at 9:23 PM off they went. There were 6 runners: Michael, Bobby, Ken, Kathy, Russell, and Roman. Then Susan, Christin and myself were the "crew". We took Christin's car back to her house and then meet up with the runners about 2 miles into their adventure. At the 2 mile mark, Christin thought she saw someone trip so I threw the car in gear and drove quickly up the street, of course it was just the group goofing around on a statute taking pictures. All was well, so they ventured on and we went and found our next point about a mile away. We honked the horn and cheered as the group came climbing up the super steep Gilcrease Road Hill. Everyone was still looking great! After this cheer session, we headed into QuikTrip, I really needed something to drink. We all picked up a few snacks and what nots and ventured onto our next stop off point. This is where the adventure began for the Crew Team.

We exited at 49th W. Ave and found a parking lot for the Dollar General that was very close to the path. As we waited the Crew Team talked about different authors and books and just passed the time. We were sitting about 5 minutes and this man on a bike rides past us, of course he has dark clothes. It wasn't too long before he passed by us again on his bike smoking a cigarette. We had a good laugh about exercising and smoking simultaneously. We saw the headlamps heading our way so we honked the horn, gave the crew some water and snacks. This was about the 4 mile point for the runners. They all seemed settled and then we ventured to our next cheering destination. We went down to 81st street. I found what looked like an abandoned building so we decided to park there. The car was parked in an awkward position, but we thought if a cop comes and asks us what's up we'll just tell them we are waiting for our running friends. As we get the car settled joking about police officers all of the sudden a car pulls out on the other side of the building and yup you guessed it was a police officer. Turned out and went the other way. As we watched the trail we notice a strange looking man dressed in all black walking down the trail in the direction of our running friends. Our friends came out of the path unscathed.

We left 81st street and headed towards 97 Hwy. We knew that at McDonald's at 97th Hwy we would take Michael to his truck. The group made it to the McDonald's and looked to be in great condition. Everyone was doing well and still in good spirits. Michael hopped in the van and we drove him to his truck. We then made a pit stop for the crew at QuikTrip to go potty and get some drink refills. Next thing we know we see a fire truck with its sirens going down the street the runners were on. This freaked us out a bit, but not as much as when we saw the ambulance going that way too. So off we went down the little access road by the highway. Our running friends were just at the point where the firetruck and ambulance were sitting with their lights going. The crew was so relieved when we knew that they it wasn't our running friends that caused the sirens and lights to come out. So we ventured up the little access road to 129th street. There was way more traffic than we thought there would be and there was very little shoulder for our friends to run on so we were feeling a little uncomfortable about their running situation. They made it without incident though, and we noticed that the water jug they had brought was running low. We knew that as we got closer and closer to keystone we would be further away from any stores. So the crew made the executive decision to drive back to WalMart and pick up some more bottles of water. We took the highway back out toward keystone and exited at 177th street. Since we had no idea how far our running members had made it, we decided to drive slowly down the road back towards Sand Springs until we found our friends. Let the story of "red truck" begin.

We met up with our runners on a curved hill in a very dark area. So I turned the van around and kinda pulled over..the road was very very narrow, but we figured it was around midnight and what traffic would there be. As the runners were getting their water and having some snacks a big Red Truck with what looked like the word Fox on the back window went passing by us. I laughed and joked that the Red Truck was already calling 911 about suspicious behavior as we were passing things in and out of the van. Well it got eerie because no more than 3 minutes later the red truck comes passing by from the other direction. We thought hmm maybe they are checking out what we are doing. At this point we were driving and our friends were running. We didn't think too much about the red truck at this point.

Ken had informed us that there was a bridge out ahead so we decided to drive down to see how far the bridge was. As we were driving down the road we noticed a church and decided that would be a good place to park and wait for our friends. No soon after we got the van parked in the church parking lot, the same red truck that had passed us 2 other times passed by where we were parked from the direction of the bridge that was closed. The three crew members found this to be very eerie!!! So the ongoing joke for the night for the crew with every car that passed was "Oh no it's The Red Truck". This joke became even funnier that as we picked up Roman at the dam and deliverd bikes to Bobby and Russell at mile 18.6, we headed down another eerie and narrow road. Well sure enough about 2 miles down this road...we have a Red Truck pass us...no it wasn't the same truck..no Fox on the back window. But it helped a good laugh and helped to keep me focused on having fun and not feeling tired or stressed out.

I am sure that TZ will post a great report for the runners point of view on the impromptu night run. I was thankful for 6:00 AM when I finally walked back through the doors of my home in preparation for an easy Sunday run with Terrie, and my first orientation meeting to begin training for my first 2 maybe 3 marathons...Dude...hanging out with these crazies is turning me into one of them. What fun.!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Thursday Night Run

I just wanted to blog to say thanks to Roman, Bobby and Tom for hanging back with me, and pushing me to move a little quicker during Thursday's run. I really appreciate it. It was nice to have some company.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Full Moon 5K Run Report


I participated in the Full Moon 5K run this past Saturday evening. It's the first evening run I've done since Race Into the New Year (if that counts as an evening run). I participated in TU's graduation Saturday morning. Made the mistake of wearing my dress shoes without hose, so got a little blister on the top of my 4th little piggy (the one that had none if you do the little piggies). I was a little worried about how it would feel in my sneakers, but it wasn't bad at all. I arrived at Veteran's Park around 6:30 with my Arby's Turkey Club sandwich in hand...dinner ya know. The band Zed Lepplin was already playing. It was a nice relaxed atmosphere. I was feeling pretty excited about the possibility of setting a new PR. My friend and fellow Runners World member, Terrie, joined me and we took in all the environment. As Terrie decided to check out the potty facilities Bobby and Susan tried to sneak up on me, but they didn't realize that I have incredible awareness of my surroundings so their attempt failed. We all hung out. It was a very nice evening. Overcast and about 65 degrees...a great evening for a run.

Before I knew it the 1 mile fun run was off. So my anxiety really began to kick in. It is the part of the running events I hate...that feeling of needing to puke because there are so many people around me. It is somewhat like claustrophobia I imagine, but I have such anxiety of being around so many people I don't know. I took my race photo (see above) before we headed off. It was an easy out and back route. I actually heard the gun for this run and I was ready. Once I crossed the starting mat I began trotting along trying not to get sucked in to everyone else's adrenaline. I have to say Terrie did awesome...she got sucked in...but she did her first mile in about 9:30. I just kept looking at the Garmin trying to keep around an 11:30 pace so that I could get a PR...I needed to finish faster than 36:49. I felt pretty good during the entire run. I heard the 2 mile chime on my watch and looked down and it read 23 something so I calculated in my head that even if I ran closer to a 12 I should finish in sub-36. Well that's when it went wrong I guess. I allowed myself to walk for 5 one-hundreths of a mile...why did I need to walk...I have no idea. Guess I'm still in recovery mode...gotta snap out of that and maintain my ability to go out and do 3 miles without a whole lot of difficulty. I mean it is challenging to do 3 miles...but it's a challenge I want to overcome on a regular basis. So here were my splits from the 5K:

Mile 1: 11:34
Mile 2: 11:36
Mile 3: 12:22
.14: 1:28
For a finishing time of 37:04.

I think my favorite part about this run, is for the entire run I was with people. For most runs I feel like I am with people for about the first mile, mile and a half, but then all the speedies take off and I wind up pretty much by myself not in a pack of people. For this run, there were people around me the entire time. I don' t know if I felt this way because of the out and back course or the amount of people running. The free beer and band at the end of the run was fun. Was all in all a great run for me despite not getting a PR.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Recovery Week

It has been a nice laid back "recovery week". I took Monday off of all exercise after the miserable OKC 1/2...see previous post. It was nice to head out with the group on Tuesday. I just did a low key 1.5 mile walk. There was all the buzz in the air though about everyone's perspectives and adventures in the OKC events. I think it is true that misery loves company. You feel so much better about your horrible race when you hear that someone else also had a horrible race. I do have to share my highlight from Monday evening though, that gave me the first step to acceptance of my not-so-hot OKC event. I went to my Weight Watcher meeting, and they were talking about the "Truths and Myths about Carbs" well one of the topics the leader brought up was that carb intake can be different for people who are...get this...extreme adventure exercise enthusiasts...like those that run or bike far distances. Her words, I swear. Here's the odd part for me as an individual...Everyone in the room kinda chuckled. The leader then asked if anyone in the room was an "extreme adventure exercise enthusiast" of course I raised my hand. The crowd got silent..she asked what I did, I told her that I just ran the 1/2 marathon the day before, then the silent crowd turned into a murmured crowd everyone was talking with their buddy about my "AMAZING" accomplishment. I walked out with a new perspective on my running. I am so used to hanging out with very cool people who also enjoy running, and run amazing distances (marathons and ultras) and you lose sight of what the average joe thinks of running. So although I have not been doing well writing down what I am putting in my mouth, I am feeling very excited about starting my training for my first marathon.

I attempted to run Thursday. It was so nice to run with Stacy. We did some more rehashing of the whole OKC thing. My legs felt tired and weak, but it felt good to be back out there running. I decided to forego the Hope Rains 5K, due to the amount of mud I expected would be on the course. So I met with the couch to 5K group at Helmrich at 7. I headed out and did 4 miles in the rain. I actually really enjoyed running in the rain (coulda done without the lightning) but I found it cleansing and therapeutic.

I decided to try to go out today, Sunday, and do another 4 miles to try to get myself into a rhthym. I got 3 done, but then decided to walk the last 1.4. I really need some help and guidance about when to try to push myself to do more and when to let myself rest because the body says so. I won't be able to meet up with the group Tuesday evening because I'm giving a final, which makes me sad. But at the same time, I am so excited to really focus and work on my running this summer. I have no obligations at TU or KU, other than to finish my dissertation and get the Ph.D. thing done, so I really hope to run daily, even if it's just a mile or two...So again I'll take any advice about building up my endurance that anyone wants to give...

Monday, April 27, 2009

2nd one done...OKC 1/2 report

I could hardly believe that the OKC 1/2 marathon weekend was finally upon us. So many months of training...and the "big day" was finally fast approaching. I arranged for some of my graduate students to take care of my dog. Boca was very excited as I explained the hidden curriculum rules about having a dog sitter. You know things like beg for treats, stay up later, play with all the toys without putting them away first, etc. So as I headed out the door to meet up with some friends for breakfast on Saturday morning I took a picture to show how sad Boca was I was leaving.

So it was off to Ollie's in West Tulsa, which has the absolutely most delicious breakfast buffet anywhere. I figured I better eat up, because I didn't know what my dinner plans were for the evening and wanted to make sure I wasn't feeling hungry. It was so nice to meet up with Bobby, Susan, Christin and Russell. We were all so excited to finally be heading to Oklahoma City.
Terrie and I had decided to save gas and the environment by car pooling down there. So we met at Ollie's and then drove to Bobby and Susan's to drop off Terrie's truck while Christin went to go pick up Cara. You can tell by my silly grin, I really belong in the "eating club" that has been eluded to maybe more so than the running group.
We arrived in Oklahoma City around 1:30 or so and made our way through the Expo. I was so excited to find a headband made of wick-it fabric that says "I run so I can eat". So appropriate..see picture above. We decided to eat at the Pasta Dinner at the Memorial. Even though there wasn't a lot of food left and it wasn't so great, I was so glad we did this because it was my only real chance to explore the memorial. I do have to say that I really think Oklahoma City did it right. If you haven't been there, you should go. It is very touching. We got back to the hotel around 8:30 or so and had decided to meet in the hotel lobby at 4:45 to catch a shuttle to the race start. The Runners World group was scheduled to meet at 5:45 for a group photo. We had heard some stories about people really struggling to get to the start line last year, and we had also heard that our hotel was full primarily with people doing one of the running events. Thank goodness Bobby thinks like me, and doesn't like to run late (at least not in this case). So it was off to bed and try to unwind...which was quite difficult, but I think I finally got to sleep around 10:30. Race morning the herd of us from"The Bricktown Hotel and Convention Center" made it to 4th and Robinson, where there happened to be a church providing free pancakes, and had real restrooms. We hung outside, woke up, chatted about the upcoming event, and tried to find our mental happy places. You can see Cara, Susan and Cheryl were all smiles.
Tom arrived shortly after us, grateful that his first marathon day was finally upon him. He was hoping that his leg injuries would hold out and it would be a great day. You can see Russell was also in great spirits (he ran a PR 1/2 at 2:32...AWESOME) and his wife Christin got her shoes on just the right way....this seems so hard on race day. I must have retied my shoes 3-4 times.
As time ticked on, 5:45 came and so did a bunch of the Runners World crew. We all milled around and eventually did get ourselves enough to take a group picture. TATUR Dave has a good one posted on his facebook. It was at this point that the size of the crowd was starting to play with my head. I have big anxiety around large groups of people. I tried to just be by someone I knew so I could try to block out everyone else. However, when there are 19,000 people running, kinda hard to do.
My buddies Janna and Ronit were all smiles in the morning, despite the fact they really hated the "Bricktown Hotel", sorry guys. They did awesome from what I hear. I never saw them again after the group picture.
The national anthem was sung, there were 168 minutes of silence in honor of the victims of the bombing, and then there was the starting gun. I had heard that it took quite a while for some to get to the starting line, this was true this year. I think it took me about 10 minutes to finally "start" the run after the gun went off. I was so thankful to have the crowd finally thinning out. So I attempted to take a picture of the starting banner, hoping that it would be a run to be a great PR for my 1/2 marathon distance.
I have no idea where in Oklahoma City this is, but I know I ran or maybe walked by it. As you can see we aren't curb to curb people so I was glad about that. My first couple of miles weren't too bad. It was so humid and so windy. After I hit the 1 mile marker I really could have used a water stop, but there wasn't one until 1.8 miles or so. At the end of the route there were a ton of water stops, but I really felt that there should have been 1 more between mile 1 and 5 to help adapt and adjust to how much I was sweating because of the humidity. Overall though, I am really impressed with how organized and put together this run was (except for not having enough medals) and for how many people were participating.
I was really starting to not be in a good place around mile 4, but was still on pace to match my average 5 mile time of 1:02. I made it to mile 5 in 1:04, but then just faded from there. At mile 9, I seriously thought about quitting. I didn't have the mental strength, I didn't have the physical strength, and was having a hard time being okay with myself and how hard the whole event was for me. Then this is going to sound a little corny, but this is a true story. The Miley Cyrus song "The Climb" came on my "illegal" ipod. Now I am going to share the lyrics from how it begins.."I could almost see it...that dream I'm dreaming...but there's a voice inside my head sayin' you'll never reach it..every step I'm takin' every move I'm makin' feels lost with no direction...my faith is shaken, but I.....I gotta keep tryin' gotta keep my head held high....'cus there's always gonna be another mountain...I'm always gonna wanna make it move....always gonna be an uphill battle....sometimes i'm gonna have to lose...it ain't about how fast I get there...ain't about how fast I get there...ain't about what's waiting on the other side....it's the climb" These lyrics alone allowed me to be content with the fact that hey I was at mile 9 and even if I walk, it will build character. I will complete the 1/2 marathon, my 3rd, my 2nd in just 2 weeks. That says something about a person. Screw looking at my watch...start cheering on everyone and having fun. I danced through some of the locations where there was music, just to stay positive. I felt frustrated that my body couldn't do more, but really just had to keep it all in perspective. Finally....I could see the finish line. I ran the last .1 miles to get there, my time really stunk (3:10), but I did indeed finish. The weather was awful, winds between 25-40 mph, it was very humid, temp was in the low 70's, and just not a good run day for me. I remember Meg's daughter Hailey making the comment "not everyday can be a great run day" so true...but at least I did run...
I felt completely spent at the end, but had done well at keeping myself hydrated and was just physically tired and nothing else. Again if you go to TATUR Dave's facebook there has to be the worst most unflattering picture of me ever, but it really looks like I felt on the inside. After Susan and Cara and Cheryl finished we hung out on the curb for a bit waiting for our fellow Runners World group who were doing the marathon to finish.
I really wanted to wait for Terrie to finish. She took the early start meaning that she began running at 4:30 in the morning. Can you imagine, someone so dedicated to running her first marathon she was willing to get up and start running at 4:30. She did indeed finish. I am in awe of her and inspired by her accomplishment.
After everyone finished the marathon, we were trying to coordinate where to go eat. I of course had a shower as my top priority. Fortunatley the people at the "Bricktown Hotel" allowed us to use our rooms to shower without charging us, even though they said the were going to charge $20. I decided to take one last pic of our group gathering at the finish line. Roman felt the need to add his personal touch.Overall, the experience was not my best. But it takes these runs that are "eh" to make those runs that are "wow" that much more appreciated. I do think I may attempt the Acquarium 1/2 on May 16th so that I have a better half. I really want to get to the point that I can run the whole 1/2 marathon without feeling the need to walk. Any suggestions to accomplish that? I am feeling nervous about signing up for the full marathon in Greece, but hey it's in November. That's what 6 months away....why not....

Splits from OKC (not pretty)

My full race report with pics will come later...but here are my splits from my worst half. Is it possible to post a new personal worst?

Mile 1: 11:58
Mile 2: 12:41
Mile 3: 12:50
Mile 4: 13:09
Mile 5: 13:09
Mile 6: 13:55
Mile 7: 14:04
Mile 8: 14:33
Mile 9: 14:59
Mile 10: 15:53
Mile 11: 16:18
Mile 12: 16:12
Mile 13: 16:37

I am hoping these times are primarily due to running back-to-back weekends, and the heavy wind conditions..

more to come...

Monday, April 20, 2009

Splits from Sunday's run

Mile 1: 12:12
Mile 2: 13:35
Mile 3: 12:19
Mile 4: 11:45
Mile 5: 12:26
Mile 6: 12:38
Mile 7: 12:54
Mile 8: 14:14
Mile 9: 13:37
Mile 10: 12:16
Mile 11: 14:03
Mile 12: 15:13
Mile 13: 13:44

Can you tell where the uphills were? I should say that the mile 2 time was skewed because of my need to fix my pack so I had my inhaler and sports beans with me instead of it laying in the middle of the road. HA..HA...pretty pathetic, but done.....

Sunday, April 19, 2009

One down.....

I can now say that I have completed the Lawrence 1/2 marathon. Now as my good friend Trail Zombie would say....grab a cup of coffee (or whatever your drink of choice is), sit back, and happy reading. First things first I have to tell the "story" of the Lawrence 1/2 marathon, now known as the Kansas Marathon (because in 2010 they are adding a full to this event).

Back in July of 2005, I was fortunate enough to be selected to participate in a Weight Management study through KU. I was way more overweight than now (hard to believe I know, but....). Well part of the requirements for participation in the study was to exercise a minimum of 30 minutes, 5 times a week. Now take in mind that "exercise" was never really defined, so me being me started walking at a speed that would make me sweat. As, the study progressed I was starting to do the run/walk thing. Well the study ended the last week of March 2007 (I lost 56 pounds and have maintained that loss, and even lost about 10 more since then...). In February I began to panic about the study ending, so I decided to sign up for my first 5K. There was a montessori school called "Rain Tree" literally right next door to my apartment complex. They had a 5K and 1/2 marathon called the Rain Tree Run (pretty clever I know...). I had some of my colleagues doing the 1/2 marathon and I was just in awe. At that time, one of my graduate students at KU was also training for the 1/2. Now you should also know that she competed in swim at University of Texas, and even competed in the olympic trials....so she was asked just casually, what do you hope to finish in....Her response...."I hope to win" she wasn't kidding...she came in 3rd female. I was so pumped when I did indeed finish the 5K (in 56 min...at the time was so excited it was less than an hour).

So, that was Rain Tree Run take 1 for me. Fairly successful I thought. So I kept up with my walk/run routine. Granted not as diligently, but I did. I did a 5K here and there. Well in March 2007, I did the Shamrock Shuffle in Lawrence. At the end of the run, I was handed a pamphlet about EZ8 a running camp for women. I thought...what a great idea. It was then April and time for the Rain Tree Run, but the benefactor of the run changed and so did the name...it became the "Lawrence Half Marathon" (and there was still a 5K). I did the 5K again (different course of course) and thought this is the last "slow" run because I'm going to do this running camp. So I did 2 sessions of the 8 week running camp, and was getting quicker and doing more running and less walking during my outings. I had made some good friends that were doing the Kansas City 1/2 marathon and told me I should train with them and do it. I figured why not, I was at a pretty good running streak. I did the Kansas City 1/2 marathon in October 2007, was not a very positive experience for me for many many reasons, but I won't go into that for this post.

Well, because the Kansas City 1/2 was not a great experience, I decided to go back to 5K's for a bit (actually I stopped running altogether for about 4 months because I was frustrated). Well then the materials started to come out regarding the Lawrence 1/2 marathon & 5K. I figured, well it's been my tradition so why not. Of course the entire time I did the 5K I felt frustrated because that 1/2 marathon had been my goal since the first year I did it.

Well, I moved to Tulsa...and meet the great Runners World crew. Training has been a blast, now there are ups and downs, as can be seen through my previous posts, but what a positive and wonderful crew to be around. I decided in November, after doing the Route 66 quarter marathon, that I really wanted to go to Lawrence and do the 1/2 marathon because that was my goal. Well I looked up information, and found that the main sponsors had pulled funding so the website said that it was canceled for 2009. I felt so sad, but figured oh well, I will just start a new tradition of doing the Oklahoma City 1/2. Well at work, I listen to the Lawrence Radio station Lazer 105.9 (lazer.com) streaming via the web and one day they were talking about how the people that run the IronMan in Lawrence in June were taking over the Lawrence Half marathon and changing the name to the Kansas Marathon and were offering a half, 10K and 5K for 2009 and would be adding a full in 2010. So I hopped right online and signed up.

Well in February as can be read, I messed up the good ol' hip, and well haven't been able to build up the endurance like I had hoped. And Lawrence is a very fast running community, so I was feeling extremely nervous, but knew that I wanted to get this Lawrence run off my "to do" list. So, I headed up to Lawrence, KS on Friday to meet with doctoral advisor, it went alright, Saturday I went to a conference...which was actually loads of fun. Then, the down time started and I started to play the mental game about the run. Then I decided to look at it from the point of view from a training run, just go..take in the sights...say some odd comments to people and get the miles in.

Race Day:
It was a gloomy and damp day.


But I showed up and took in the people and the puddles...

Well, I ran into my old running coach, was a little bit awkward, but I kept it short and sweet and decided to hang out closer to the street and the start line. I wound up chatting with a very nice woman named Donna who had come over from Kansas City to do the 1/2 marathon. She shared that she would be race-walking and hoping to maintain a 15-min mile pace, this made me feel much better about the whole race because i knew if I was hanging toward the end of the group I might not be there alone.

Well before I knew it 7:30 had arrived and off we all went....

During the first mile and a half, I had some pack issues in that hte clip came undone. This actually turned out to be quite a blessing, I was running along retying everything not really thinking about the crowd, my pace, or anything else other than making sure I didn't lose my pack cuz it had everythign in it. Well once I got everything situated, I turned the corner and voila....

Some old brick streets of Lawrence. If you've never been to Lawrence, KS, it really is quite historic and beautiful. But...I have to say I'd rather run trails than this brick again. You want to talk about uneven/unstable surfaces..you're looking at it. Now to also give you an idea of the run atmosphere...This photo was at about 1.25 miles in...notice how many runners are around me...now I know you will be shocked...my first mile was 12:03 and when this picture is taken I was doing an 11:47 pace....From this point the route ventured to campus. Again KU is a very beautiful campus on a hill. I felt pretty good. I was in my happy place throughout the run until about mile 8 then the thoughts about hurting and tired legs and all that came into play. I have to share this though, because I thought it was so funny. I had my "illegal" ipod and there were songs that played that made me think about and reflect on the Runners World crew and so I searched the crowd for look-a-likes. Here are some of the songs and who I thought of (please no one take offense):
Cranberries: Zombie (yup made me think of TZ)
Pink: So What (Rockstar Ed)
Dixie Chicks: Ready to Run (Susan)
Blue Oyster Cult: Don't fear the Reaper (TATUR Dave)
Scorpions: Rock You Like a Hurricane (Michael)
Baha Men: Who Let the Dogs Out (Boca (yeah the dog))
Boston: Peace of Mind (Bobby)
Miley Cyrus: The Climb (Me and my Journey...I know you can make fun if you want, but truly is lyrics of my running life)

Well like I said...I was in a running happy place until about mile 7-8ish, then I lost it. Part of the running path went on a semi-secluded running trail, well there was a giant puddle, me being me thought what would my friends do...so I just ran through it. Got my shoes and socks soaking wet...oh well. At about mile 8 1/2 I saw a woman in a black jacket ahead of me...she seemed to be slowing down, so I kept saying in my head catch black jacket catch black jacket. Well I did...I wound up passing here just after the 9 mile marker. Then I felt like I was going up and down the hills all alone. It was a pretty isolated course with not a lot of crowd and fanfare. Well at about mile 10 I saw a younger girl (college student probably) and she was slowign down...so of course me being me set the goal and mental focus to catch her. Well I did that at about mile 10 1/2 then was on my own. Once I hit mile 11, I decided to walk til I could see the finish. Why....well think I just lack endurance. The ending of the whole thing kind stunk..couldn't see the finsih until you saw the 13 mile marker sign...I would have liked to see it at about mile 12 1/2, but oh well. So as I am climbing the hill (think Denver of the Tulsa run) there is a man in front of me running (although you could tell he was very tired and fatigued much more of a shuffle) and I told myself I would pass him too....well once I saw the finish sign...I sprinted to it, passing the man feeling a little bad about that....finishing with a race clock time of 2:52:10. I was okay with my finishing time. I actually had a much more enjoyable time doing this 1/2 than my last. I am really looking forward to OKC, and having friends there with me to help with the spirit and atmosphere.

I wish I could have taken a few more pictures but the camera charge died. I also just want to send out a thanks for all the well wishes from everyone. If you want to check out the elevation from my run today here is the link:

www.kansasmarathon.com

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Part 2....

I have to thank Tom for tonight's run! I know he's hurting, but his "slower" pace really pushed me and motivated me. I did my 3 miles on the Riverparks trail heading south from 75th...in 33:52!!! WOW! Not only that...we did each and every mile at an 11:17 pace...so extremely consistent...Thanks Tom!! Let's hope this running luck holds up through Sunday!

Monday, April 13, 2009

A Great Run...

That's right. I am blogging about a really great run for me. Tonight I completed my first sub 48 (47:57) 4-mile run. For me, that is quite speedy. I felt so great running tonight. I don't really know why. I was completely in my "happy place." During the first mile I was preoccupied with the fact I had to pee, and completed it in 11:47. Then I was just on a roll I guess. It was a sparse group tonight, but if they weren't there (Bobby, Rachel, Michael, and Ken) I probably wouldn't be consistent in getting in a Monday run.

You will have to excuse me for just a moment while I go on a tangent here. The run started out with comments about taking a break after OKC. I totally get where everyone is coming from. However, when I was training in Lawrence with an all women's running group...paying money to be coached...getting ready for the Kansas City 1/2 in Oct 2007...I would make comments about looking forward to taking a break. All I could think of tonight is the comment my coach sent me in an email..."you seem to have a negative attitude toward running, and should probably take a break". This reflection was in my head during most of the run tonight. How can a coach tell someone on their "team" they have a bad attitude...and should take a break? Then...I began to reflect on my last month of running or so...and I've been in a big time slump. I was doing well, at least I think anyway, then my hip popped out of alignment and taking 2 weeks off of running, well....just messed with me mentally. Then when I was cleared to start running again, it was somewhat tortoruous. However, thanks to the group from Runners World....which by the way is FREE coaching...I kept heading out. Everytime I would run, I would run with someone, or at least by someone different. My hip is still not 100% strong, it bothers me from time to time, but I remember why I run. To have fun...and destress...and meet people...and better my overall health. I don't run to "win" nor do I run to please others. I think Trail Zombie said it best...when running isn't fun anymore, don't do it. But don't quit doing something you enjoy because others don't believe in you, or you have a bad day and have to vent to someone.

Okay, enough of that soap box...

I can't believe the Lawrence 1/2 marathon is THIS Sunday. What on earth was I thinking? Oh yeah...I want to take it off my "to do" list. I am looking forward to spending some quality time with my dear friends in Lawrence Friday evening and Saturday. I hope that Sunday, I remember to take in the great sights of Lawrence, it really is a beautiful (and hilly) city. I was asked what my "goal" is for Lawrence, and I joked (yet seriously) stated that it's to finish. I do hope to beat my KC 1/2 time of 2:56, so we'll see. I thank TATUR Dave for giving us hills to train on, I am hoping it pays off for me on Sunday.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Lake McMurtry and week

Well this has definitely been one of the busiest weeks for me all year. On top of that, I was able to complete 18 miles between Saturday and Tuesday. After the Snake Run, I was all geared up and gung-ho for the Lake McMurtry Trail Run. As the week went along, I began to doubt if I should do the Lake McMurtry run or not. After the training run on Thursday, my spirits were lifted and I figured what the heck. Bobby and Susan were nice enough to meet up with me at McDonald's at 5:30 Saturday morning to head towards Stillwater and the 12K (7.5 miles). About 45 minutes into the drive I finally felt awake and was enjoying the sunrise. Once we made it to the race start we all gathered up our gear.

Once we had all of our "stuff" on (race number, jackets, gloves, water bottles, etc.) we meandered around the start area. Ken and Lisa were busy registering people and passing out race numbers and shirts to everyone who had previously registered. I wandered around and took in some sights.

It was a little chilly and windy, but quite tolearable. The sunrise was pretty and it was fun to see everyone so laid back and excited about their upcoming events.

Race Director Ken (Trail Zombie) Childress attempted to give each group instructions as to where their route went, how long it would be until an aid station would be in sight. At this point for the 12K, I had some serious stomach cramps and felt extremely anxious about the whole situation. I don't know what brought this on, but I felt just horrible.

My first couple of miles were not too bad, but then I hit the wall with a loud "THUD." I have no idea what happened. I had absolutely no mental toughness or physical toughness. I think I ran at least a tenth of every mile, but it was ugly and really no so fun for me.

On the way back, I decided to take a few pictures of the "little" climbs that were along the way. Overall the trail was fun. I just don't think I was in the right mental place to do this run. I really overextended myself this week, and this run for me was just the straw that broke the camel's back. I feel bad for being a little negative about the whole thing....it was the run at all just everything that led up to it.

My next "adventure" will be the Lawrence 1/2 marathon two weeks from today. I don't really think I am ready for it at all. Anyone from Runners World want to go and keep me company? Lawrence has such an elite running community, I am feeling a little nervous about the whole thing. I am trying to keep the whole idea of going just cuz it will be fun and I will no longer regret not doing it....

Monday, March 30, 2009


If this is what is planned for weather, I don't recommend going out and running in the rain before it turns to snow. I learned this lesson the hard way on Saturday, March 28th. All week the meterologists were talking 1-3" of snow expected Friday night into Saturday night. I went to bed Friday night with my mind made up that I was not going to go run if there was even a single flake of snow on the ground. Boca woke me up at 5:30, so I reluctantly took him out all ready to see 1-3 inches of snow. Not a flake...at that time not even a drop of rain! So I changed my plan and decided I would meet up with the group at 7. As I drove to Veteran's park, the lovely drizzle turned to a pretty good down pour. I sat in my car looking around...thinking that I could easily pack it in and go back home. Nope, nope, nope......I got up...I'm dressed...I am going to do this...what's a little rain. Off we went to do a 5 mile loop (I was supposed to do 2). About 2 miles in, the wind picked up and I think I gained 10 pounds in just rain soaking into my clothes and shoes. Thanks to my friend Susan hanging with me, I did complete 1, 5-mile loop, but it is honestly the worst conditions I have ever attempt to run in. Then while trying to warm up...we did indeed get the snow during the day. A total of around 9" of snow fell...just crazy.

Some of the Runners World crew got together on Sunday to try the 5-mile loops again. It was a beautiful day and by 1PM a majority of the 9" of snow had already melted. I completed only 1 loop because I had a very good friend visiting from California and was meeting her for an early dinner. I really appreciated Bobby runnign the 5-mile loop with me. It made it go by so much more quickly than it would have if I was on my own. Thanks Bobby!!!

I meet up with Bobby's Bunch tonight, not really sure how it was going to go after doing 5 miles in the ick rain on Saturday, and then 5 miles again on Sunday, and was able to do 3 miles tonight. Put all that together and I did a 1/2 marathon in 3 days..hope it goes quicker than that on April 19 :).

I think I was meant to run in the horrid weather on Saturday so that I can better appreciate the nice days to run.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

First Trail Run



After completing 13.15 miles at the snake run today...I feel like my profile should be something like this:
However, such is not the case...in truth, I will be quite content sitting on my butt watching basketball for the next 36 hours or so. I need to send thanks to Carmen and Sam who did the 13.15 miles with me. It was so nice just to chit chat on the first loop. The second loop wasn't so much chit chatting but watching some of the amazing people doing loop after loop like it was nothing. Before the run, Brian made the comment "If you look up, you'll go down", I have to say that he was right...I am not real sure what happened but I wound up "going down" at mile 9. Have a couple of great bruises on my left knee and leg...woulda taken a picture but they aren't blue enough to truly capture the owie. Really doesn't hurt that bad...or it could just be that all of my muscles are hurting so I don't even notice one little bruise. I had a great time on this run. I loved the laid back atmoshpere and the great support from all the runners. Thanks TZ for putting on such a fun run! I can't believe I did a 1/2 marathon on a trail today. Took me 3 hours 21 minutes and 55 seconds, but considering I haven't run longer than 7 miles in the past 2 years...I am very proud of myself and feel it was quite an accomplishment. Boo to the snakes I say!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

A new 5K PR and Boca Graduates!

What a fun weekend! and it's only Saturday morning. On Wednesday, Boca took his Beginner Obedience Test. We (Boca and I) were both quite nervous about the sit/stay and down/stay. We have practiced and practiced and practiced. But, if you know anything about me, I don't just sit/stay very well myself, and well down/stay I reserve for sleeping. My dog has taken after my philosophy. But we practiced and practiced and practiced, and well Boca decided that test day would be a good time to do his first 3 minute down/stay at school. Boca wound up receiving the highest score for his class, therefore earning "Top Dog" honors. What does that mean? Well it meant we had to compete against all of the other top dogs from the other beginner obedience classes at graduation Friday night. Not having any idea, how the whole dog graduation thing worked, I did not do well at getting Boca ready for his competition. However, if there was an award for 'playing the crowd' I think Boca would have won that hands down. He smiled and when he had to do his sits he always turned so he was facing the audience. It was rather cute. I was a little embarrassed that I hadn't prepared Boca better, but I think he had a great time and it was so awesome to even be in the position to compete again. Turns out he did get some loot for winning the title of "Top Dog" from his class. He was stoked about that...as you can see in the picture below.

Once the "Top Dog' competition was done, the dogs go to wear motor boards (much to their dismay) and get recognized one at a time. The whole dog graduation was quite cute and was a great opportunity for Boca to be around many other dogs and people.

On to running.....

I decided to enter the St. Pat's 5K run, since the doc wants me to give it one more week before I attempt more than 3-4 miles. I decided it would be a good opportunity to see if I could get a new PR for the 5K. This morning's weather, although a little chilly, was almost a perfect temp for a run, start a little cool and then not get too hot as you went along. The best part of today's run was at first having a group of Marines running and chanting behind me...they eventually caught up with me (I ran with them til the turnaround)...then of course going downhill on the way back they smoked me. It was so great to just listen and try to process what they were chanting...what a great distraction. I wound up finishing the 5K with a clock time of 37:04, and a Garmin time of 36:49. I am so pumped!! I can still remember when I just hoped to do a sub-40 and someday I may do a sub-36. My average pace/mile today was 11:47. This is awesome....first time I have ran 3 consecutive since my hip injury...and to run a sub-12 average...wow!!! Thanks Marines!!! I really needed the good run today to help boost back up my running confidence. I am so looking forward to the 6-hour snake run next week. Will be my first event on trails rather than road....am hoping just to have fun!!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Back in the Saddle (or Running shoes as the case may be)

After a two week hiatus from running thanks to a pesky hip injury, I have been able to get back into running the routes. Thursday I was given the okay from the doc to start some interval running. So I did the 3 miles Thursday running a 1/2 mile then walking 1/2 mile. I made it through the whole 3 miles, as did Boca, and didn't have any excess pain. My muscles were letting me know that they hadn't done that in a while. I woke up Friday morning a little worried that I would have some residual soreness or pain from Thursday's adventure, but nothing. Worked out with the trainer on Friday and it was a high cardio day (rowing and running), and again no incidence. Saturday was "long run" day, but fortunately it was a cut back week, so my group was scheduled to do 4 miles. I did interval running again, this time running a mile then walking 1/2 mile...again Boca and I made it through the 4 miles, running 3 and walking 1, without much incidence. I have been applying the heat/ice every night and it seems to be working. Went to the doc again today. He says I am about 95%. Went out with Bobby's Bunch tonight and ran 2.00 straight then walked 1/4 mile through the grass part and finished with .75 run. I think I am getting back in the groove..Yeah!! It's amazing how quick we lose everything we work so hard to build up..I did it once I can do it again.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

The 20% Physical & Cross Training

As you can see the bunny slipper and I have been getting in some cross training on the row machine. This has been the only cardio-type workout I have been 'cleared' for by my chiropractor while my hip heals. I really wish that I had a better explanation of what happened to my hip. I have been through 4 adjustments, and from the pain I still have just throughout the day I can tell that my hip is still not right. It is so frustrating. The positive news is that the doc says I should be okay to get in my 1/2 marathon in Lawrence, KS on April 19th. Let's just keep praying that it does happen, that run has been like my nemisis..every year I plan on doing it and every year something seems to prevent me from doing it. I do have to say that it has been somewhat fun rowing on a daily basis. I have been doing an average of 4 miles a day at about at 2:20/500 meter average.

I have still been heading out and meeting up with the Runners World group to keep up my motivation and to continue to be inspired by others, so when I am cleared to running, I will still be in my routine. It has been so nice of Susan to walk with me. I have been taking Boca out with me for the walking adventures. He is just loving it. I need to keep taking him out even when I get back to running. I think he could easily do 2-4 miles with me.

My work as a doctoral candidate has gone very well over the last week too! I have all of the DVDs created that I need to begin my study. One DVD is to train students that may help me out, and the second DVD will be used to teach my participants. Now I just need to get all my paperwork approved from both KU and TU and I'm ready to get the party started.

My work as a teacher at TU was a little out of whack this week. I made a big rookie mistake...I had projects due for all 3 of the classes I teach during the same week. So I gave the bunny slipper some lessons on grading...he caught on quite quickly as you can see by the picture below.

Overall, I guess things are okay. I hope that my body heals, but I am thankful that I have been able to avoid catching any of the bugs going around and have been relatively healthy.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Injuries STINK!!!

Well I was lucky enough to get the bunny slippers, I mean slipper on Thursday evening. It has been a rough week. My last post describes the pain I had in my hip. I went to my chiropractor twice last week. Turns out that my hip pain was stemming from the fact that my pelvic boned had rocked out of place (shifted forward). So he did 2 adjustments. On Friday, I felt wonderful and worked out with my trainer. As I was doing my 2nd round of squats, I felt my hip get a little tight, but not sore. So I did as the doctor ordered and did NO running on the weekend. It was very hard not to run. My mind and body are so used to the running routing that without it I feel kinda blah. It's amazing how much running helps the mind. I was so pumped for today to head out with Bobby's Bunch for a short loop around Zink lake. Well I think the 11th street bridge has something against me, as I stepped across it tonight at around the 1.15 mile, one step on my right foot, and I felt my hip just pop out of place. UGHH!!! Here we go again. I am back to the chiropractor tomorrow for another adjustment. I guess the good news is that the hip pain is nearly as painful as it was the first time, so that's improvement right? We'll see if I am back to walking restriction. The bunny slipper has had quite an adventurous time even if there was very little running involved. Pictures to come...