Friday, June 1, 2012

Happy JUNE!!!! 

Wow...almost half of this year is gone already.  When did that happen?!?  The first half of the year has been just stellar, and the second half is gearing up to be even better!

I am once again on the great shoe caper.  Road wise, I am set; I am now doing all of my road runs in my Newtons...I mean, look at them!  Are they not dreamy?

And while I have a small love affair with my Newtons, most of my races the rest of the year are going to be mainly trail in nature, I have been on the hunt for some swoon worthy trail shoes. Newton *does* make a trail shoe, however, it is just not the fee I am looking for.  I have been doing my trail runs in my Saucony Peregrines, and while these are a fantastic minimal 4mm trail shoe, my feet have not been thrilled in them as my miles have been increasing.  The Saucony's just don't give me the width in the toe box I am looking for.  Therefore, I was SO excited when these arrived this week

My Altra Lone Peak Zero Drop trail shoes!  woot!  I have been excited ALL week to try these puppies out.  I couldn't wait until today (Friday) to hit the local trails to see how these handled and how they compared to my Peregrines.  Sadly, it seems like the universe had conspired against me. Not only is it pouring rain out (I am in no way adverse to running in the rain and mud.  I am, however, against taking a brand new pair of shoes out in said rain and mud)  Weather aside, one of our kitchen water pipes decided to flood our utility room with rancid water, so I am stuck at home waiting for the plumber to come and *fingers crossed* fix it quickly and relatively inexpensively.  Sorry my little Lone looks like we'll have to schedule our trail date for another time.  *sigh* 

Training has been awesome.  Hubby and I have been getting some runs in before work during the week, with the capstone of our training taking place on the weekend.  We have been heading out to a local metro-parks that has an extensive trail system.  We have one loop that is 7.3 miles in length, with a lot of hilly and technical terrain.  I love it.  We are up to two loops with a little extra thrown in to bring us to around 16 miles.  The park is great as we hardy encounter other people, so we don't have to worry about congestion on the trail, and the wildlife out there is fantastic.  It is everything I love about trail running - beautiful scenery, peacefulness and nature! 

Tomorrow is officially one month out from our race in Leadville Colorado!  *happy dance*  There are no words for how excited I am!! 

What about you?  Do you have any fantastic races or adventures coming up? 

Friday, May 11, 2012

Embracing the Crazy

Yup.  Hubby and I have seriously decided to just embrace the crazy.  What better way to do that?  Why, to register for a spot in the JFK50 race held in November.  Oh, that 50?  It stands for 50 MILES. (!)   Read all about the event here.

Registration opened up on May 1, so I raced down to the post office to mail in our applications.  This race is old school in a few ways: no online registration, and you could not have your application packet postmarked before 1 May.  No cheating!

Taking no chances, I sent our registration overnight.  Fingers were crossed!

There are 3 "qualifying" windows - A, B and C - based on your best marathon, 50k or 50 mile race results.  I was luck enough that my Xenia marathon time qualified me for the "A" group.  Brian, having never attempted a marathon before, qualified for the "A" group based on the fact that he is an active duty military member.    

As it turns out, my crossed fingers worked their magic...because we are IN!  We got our acceptance letters in the mail.  It's official.  On November 17, 2012, Bri and I will be running a 50 mile race.  Woohoo!!  I love that we can be crazy together.  It's a little early yet for us to start serious training, but the excitement is definitely there.  We are going to be working on increasing our trail runs - both in distance and frequency - and working on mastering the art of the long, slow run (LSD).  This is going to be one awesome summer!!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Back From Indy!

 Ahem.  Remind you of anyone's *cough* *cough* blog lately? 

Well, I am BACK!  With so very much to report in on.  In fact, this might just be a two-parter!  

First off, the past month has truly flown by in a blur.  Between work and running and, well, life, I have been kept quite busy.  But it's been all good stuff.  Work has been awesome.  Running has been GREAT.  I have been getting some trail runs in as well as plenty of road miles. Working on continuing to build a strong aerobic engine for the long runs, and getting some technical stuff in so I am ready for Leadville.  Which happens to be next month.  Eeek!  When did that happen?? 

This past weekend Bri and I went down to Indianapolis to run in the 500 Festival Mini Marathon.  It was my first road 1/2 in well over 13 years, and Bri's first ever.  

I can run a race AND balance a beer cup on my back.  Talent.  Real talent.

Some of the amazing folks in my run group

So proud of my hubby!
To say we had an amazing time would be an understatement.  The course was great and the crowd support was fantastic!  The Indy Mini (as it is affectionately called) is the largest 1/2 Marathon in the U.S. with nearly 40,000 people participating.  And this year, we had some tough conditions to deal with.  It was very toasty out there, and the humidity was out of this world. This clip sums it all up pretty well. 

Despite the heat and humidity, we had a great race, and it was a total confidence booster for me.  I ran a fun race, at what felt like a doable pace, and walked away with a lot gas left in my tank and a PR.  Bring on the USAF Half Marathon in Sept!!  I am ready to rock that one!  

Tomorrow, I have some exciting news about a race I will be running this November.  Heeeeeeeeeee!  This is going to be a challenge for sure, and I cannot wait!!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Go...Be Awesome Today!

Need a little Motivation? 

 Now go out and be awesome today!!

Friday, March 30, 2012

Who Doesn't Love a Sale??!!

 It's a sale on top of a sale!!!   I am so excited about this I just have to spread the word!

The amazing ladies at Oiselle are doing it again!  This weekend only - today, March 30 - Sunday April 1, all sale items are an additional 20%!!!

Seriously...if you haven't checked out Oiselle yet...or gasp!...tried on some of their heavenly running threads, you are missing out!  We are talking shorts, tees, jackets, hoodies, vests...there is a little bit of something for every running woman.

What are you waiting for?!  Head on over here and start shopping!  You can thank me later!  ;)

Monday, March 26, 2012

26.2? Heck Yeah!!!!

In running, it doesn’t matter whether you come in first, in the middle of the pack, or last. You can say, ‘I have finished.’ There’s a lot of satisfaction in that.” – Fred Lebow

Yesterday was the big day!  After years of waiting (literally - it has been 12 years since my last marathon) and an injury that left me having been told I would never run again, I did it!  I ran a marathon!  AND FINISHED!!!

Words can not express how wonderful it feels to be able to say that.  It was a goal I always dreamed I would be able to do again, and after years of doubting myself and believing the limitations that had been put on me, I decided to say "the heck with it!" and give it a go.  And 15 weeks and a whole lot of running later - BAM - I am proud to say I ran the 2012 Xenia Marathon.

The past few weeks leading up to race day were pretty rough, though, both physically and emotionally.  Some over-eagerness on my part led to a wee bit of over-reaching and subsequent pain in my legs and knee, which basically left me with an extended 3 week taper.  Seriously, in the 3 weeks leading to marathon day I did not run more than 6 miles on even given run, and I think my total mileage for the last two weeks - combined - didn't top more than 12 miles.  Yikes.  This really gave me a head trip and I found myself doubting both my ability to run - and finish the race - as well as questioning if it was even safe for me to run, considering I was dealing with "The Knee."

My goddess of a Massage therapist has been working on both my leg and my mind (she is amazing in both areas!) and my fabulous coworkers were there to support me every step of the way...comforting me with kind words and lots of sympathy chocolate.  I had a major meltdown on Friday, (and really, what is a meltdown if there aren't lots of witnesses?) and they all were great as they supported me and talked me down from the ledge of panic.  Turns out a meltdown is just fine 48 hours just want to avoid them the actual day of the race!  Glad I had timed that so perfectly!

Race day attire consisted of my Up and Running visor (LOVE!) my Oiselle team singlet and the Oiselle Long Roga short.  These are certainly the best shorts I ever could have worn for this race.  No chaffing, no rubbing, SO comfy, and plenty of pockets for Gu's. Simply awesome!

The plan race day was for hubby to meet me out on the latter half of the course on his bike to offer support should I need it, so I drove to the start on my own.  Brian had intended to run the 1/2 Marathon, but he decided to give his body a rest and support me.  Yeah, he is awesome like that.  I got to the start of the race just in time to get in the predictably long line for the porta-john, and I finished with literally 3 minutes to go before the gun went off.  Whew!

The gun went off and the 1100 people running the Half and Full Marathon were off!  I completely made the rookie mistake of starting out too fast, something I swore to myself  I. Would. Not. Do!!!  Meh.  I guess I got caught up in the moment.  In any case, I kept reminding myself to slow down, but I was feeling pretty good, so I went with it.  Sure, that decision came back to bite me in the ass later, but what can you do?  We learn from our mistakes, right?  Next time (Yes I said it!!) I will have a much better plan of attack...and I will actually follow it!

In any case, some awesome folks that I work with came out and surprised me out on the course to cheer me on.  I can't tell you how much that boosted me and kept me going!

Things were great from about the start to mile 15, when I started developing a blister on my baby toe of my left foot.  Argh!  I think my sock bunched up and was rubbing, and it was all I could do NOT to think of that damn toe and how uncomfortable it/I was.  Thankfully, Brian met up with me around mile 16, offering both moral support as well as a fresh bottle of Nuun (my favorite electrolyte drink) and that helped take my mind off of things.  I am not going to lie, though, by mile 20 everything was going tight - my hips and quads were NOT happy campers - and I hit the milestone of my longest run in 12 years, and that was pretty darn awesome. By mile 23 I couldn't believe I had 3.2 more miles. 

Chugging along at mile 18 or so

Gasp!  I see heel striking!
Still smiling!

Off I go!

Mile 22, or something equally awful! 
By far, the last three miles were the most challenging, mentally.  I was so close, but so far! Around mile 22-23 a members of the run group I run with were there to cheer me on, and words cannot express ho much that helped to give me the burst I needed to keep going.  At mile 24 I told Brian to go ahead and wait for me at the finish line. I needed to do those last miles on my own.

And here I am!!

Yay!!!  Gotta stop my Garmin ;)

I am surprised I could actually get my foot on that bucket for them to cut the chip off!

So, so, sooooo happy!!

For those that care about such things, my official time was 3:39:39; 7th woman overall and 2nd in my age group.

After celebrating at the finish, we headed out to a local dive Mexican place were I chowed down on nachos and a burrito.  Mmmmm!
Yes, it was as good as it looks!

What a great day!  I am so happy that I was able to overcome my self doubts and obstacles and register, train for and complete another Marathon.  I learned quite a few things through this experience, and I think they are lessons that will only serve to make me a better runner and person.  I cannot wait for the rest of the racing season!  Things are just getting started!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Spring is Here...for good?

Folks, I think Spring has truly arrived in Ohio!!  Now, I may be a Cali girl, and not accustomed to all things Mid-West (and the crazy weather that comes with this area of the country)  but it sure feels like Spring is here for good.  I keep getting cautioned by locals that this weather is not normal and that we are really in for it later this year (season, even?) but with our temps in the 80's - 80's!!!!  in OHIO!!  in MARCH!! -  I think we may just have found that Spring is here to stay. least until we get snow in April, right? 

This gorgeous weather sure has helped to lighten my mood a bit.  I have forgotten, after 12 years, just how much I loathe tapering.  UGH.  These past 10 days have been an emotional rollercoaster.  Between fretting over my knee, worrying if the weather will hold for race day, and not running much at all, my nerves are frayed.  I am hungry, weepy and tired.  I am counting down until Sunday.  Only 5 days until marathon day, and mentally, I am ready.  I am so twitchy to run.  I have been easing back and not running much in order to appease the knee gods.  Physically, I am nervous.  Will my knee act up and say "Screw You" at mile 18? Mentally I am just hoping to zone out and chug away as the miles pass by.  In the meantime, between massages, foam rolling, motrin and KT tape, my knee is getting a whole lotta love.

This is how week 14 of Marathon training looks on me...
In other news, I got my new hydration pack!!!  yay!!!  It's a Nathan female specific pack, and I love it.  I wanted a pack for the trail running we plan on doing this summer, and after trying my friend Karyn's Nathan pack, I knew I had found "the one."  It's super light, holds 2L of water, and has pockets for storing stuff. it is on, from the front:

Got Hydration?

Yeah, I know how to have fun at work with various hydration packs and bottles...

Only 5 more days until race day.  I am nervous, excited and anxious.  All normal emotions to feel before a Marathon, but it's just been so long it all feels so new.   Honestly, it feels like my first one.  After 12 years, I have forgotten what this all feels like and what to expect.  I just hope to have a good run, that my body holds up ok, and that I enjoy every mile.  I am a portal of positivity right now, and I am sure I am going to have an amazing time!  This run is going to be a celebration of running.  I am doing something I never, ever thought I would do again.   I am ready to rock and roll!  Knee, don't fail me now!!