Monday, June 28, 2010

Family time

Tonight I ran with Rachael and Bill. That was really nice. I was impressed how far Rachael went! She was using quite a lot of extra energy, but she'll get it figured out and get a nice flowing run to her. She went the first 2.8 miles with us. She really really wanted to go farther, but had never run more than about 1.5 miles so I didn't want her to push it too much. Bill went another 1/2 mile and I finished a total of 5 miles.

It was an awesome run! It was soooo nice to have Bill and Rachael there. The last two miles just flew by by myself. I felt really strong and didn't really hurt or ache anywhere. When I got home I iced my knees hoping they wouldn't be achy later.

I really tried to run on my toes or ball of my foot again. There were a few times I was mentally drifting and realized I was still not running on my heels. YEAH! An old dog can be taught new tricks. I just hope I can maintain this because I think this is what I need to be doing.

The last thing is I need to start doing some cross training and some do some strength training as suggested by vardotrichic. My hamstrings and calves will benefit from some glute strengthening so I will try that first. I am quite saggy in the backside.

5 mile run; .25 mile walk; RPE - 3

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Good morning

Good morning storms. Good morning 16 mph winds. Good morning sunrise. Good morning shoes. Good morning roads. Good morning 10-mile run. I'M BAAAAAAACK!

My 10-day rest is over and I'm back running. It feels great! My knee and foot were bothersome for a little while, but overall it was a great run. About mile 2.5 I started to really feel my foot. It had a sharp pain toward the back of the arch. I thought it was going to be a loooong run. It eventually subsided and I kept going.

I've been thinking about these pains all week. My foot research stated causes as running the gutter of the road, hills, sudden increase in training miles, and overpornation of the foot. The hills could be a culprit. I immediately crossed off sudden increase in training miles, but after further thought I realized I actually increased my miles by 8 during the marathon! Oh, maybe that IS the reason. The gutter of the road. Hmmmm possibly. The 2-3 weeks before the marathon all my running was in town and I always ran to the side of the street rather than in the middle of street where the hump was. This accumulated a few miles over time so that could be a culprit as well.

I examined my shoes and realized they are wearing on the outside edge of the right heel a bit. I found some youtube videos about the biomechanics of running and a pronated foot. I took some mental notes and today I consciously focused on my foot strike during the run. I really tried to run on the mid section and the ball of my foot. This was supposed to make my calves work more and possibly be more sore after the run. I was ready for it! During the run I realized when I started getting tired, I would run on different parts of my foot to alleviate pain in that foot. I was running on all parts of my foot at different times.

Running on the ball of my foot makes me push off better while running and feels like "the ducks". I even ran on my toes for about 1/4 mile or so. I also really felt as if I was leaning forward more. Maybe I should take some video of my running and look at it see exactly what I am doing and then compare it to a "good runner". I could even video different runs, such as running with a heel strike, running with a mid-foot strike and running with a toe strike to see what that looks like.

Ok, back to running... I ran the first mile with Bill. He ran back home for a good 2-mile run this morning. I really like running with him. I'm glad he is starting to run with me. I ran a total of 6 miles with J. It's great to be back with her! When we got back to town, I did another 4 miles to complete the 10-mile run. I wasn't sure if I could finish the last 4 all by myself, but it was a good run. I think I need to start doing more solo runs to get myself good and tired for what it will be like race-day and I have to have the mental fortitude to keep going through the pain and I'm all alone.

I'm going to try to do the Des Moines marathon for my next one. I didn't think I could do the book again so I went online and looked for a different marathon training schedule. I found one that steps up and then back down. It's a 21-week program and I only have like 16 weeks left. The shortest mileage is 5 and the longest is 20 so that should be ok if I don't do the whole thing. I will also have 2 weeks of 20 miles. I may also up one of those to like 22-24 miles just to make the marathon not seem so bad. I hope I can do it! This will give me another good schedule to follow. However, on the other side, I'm a little concerned about time. The beginning of the school year is also very busy and stressful. Training takes a lot away from my family so I hope I have time to do all this! We are also taking a 2 week vacation in the middle of this training schedule so I will be losing a lot of running time.

10 mile run; .25 mile walk; RPE - 3

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Look to the Future

The recovery run went really really well. Bill actually ran with me the whole way last night. We did 2 miles. I was going to do 3, but enjoyed his company so much I just ran with him. I think I could turn him into a marathoner too! Shhh, don't tell him. I think he secretly enjoys it, but won't say.

The back of my left knee and my right foot & lower leg muscles have been quite achy. I don't know if I'm not totally recovered or what. My foot was really hurting on the run, though. I hope I haven't injured it. I think my achy knee will go away, though. I haven't iced anything yet so maybe I should do that. My sunburn is starting to peel so that is getting better, too. I will be running in a T-shirt (rather than a sleeveless shirt) for awhile yet.

The day before the race I thought about doing Okoboji and Des Moines. Then I would go from not being able to run 3 miles to running 3 marathons in one year! Wow, wouldn't that be cool! I'm' still pretty excited about having run one so if I never do any more running that would be an achievement. I have until July 4 for Okoboji registration and July 18 for Des Moines registration, at least before the price increases.

2 mile run; .2 mile walk' RPE - 3

Saturday, June 12, 2010


Marathon to Marathon, Storm Lake to Marathon Iowa, June 12 2010

As my blog description says and I have fulfilled this again today: I'm setting goals I never thought imaginable, achieving goals I always thought others were crazy for setting!

The day began at 3AM for me. I feel asleep at about 8:30 last night and my body was confused about all the sleep so I think I just woke up and felt very rested. I wasn't sure if I was nervous, excited, or truly rested. I heard some distant thunder and knew a storm would be coming through around 5AM. At 3:30 I just got up, went to the bathroom, and then ate a bagel that I brought along. At 4 I got out of bed and started my routine. I was glad I brought my foam roller along because I had that great pain that works out the tight muscles. I stuffed every pocket and crevice with gels and got my garbage bag on. By 4:50 it was raining so hard we could hardly see across the parking lot! At 5:15 we left for Storm Lake High School.

We got there and people were standing around. About 5:30 they announced that they would be delaying the start. They had been watching radar, in communication with Highway Patrol Division and all things looked nasty to be running: thunder, lightening, and wall cloud from the start of the storm that is indicative of tornadic activity! WHAT?!?! They were discussing various options, some of which included canceling and having the marathoners run only 1/2 marathon but give them marathon medals at the end, etc. I felt really bad for all the double marathoners and the 50 staters. There were some really upset people in the cafeteria of that high school! Long story short - we waited about 90 minutes before starting the race.

I was a bit concerned at the start as I had developed a mild GI problem and was unsure how that would play out. I knew there were portapotties at 5, 10, somewhere else along the route so I thought I could always stop if I needed to. The anxious anticipation at the start was like any other race I've had. This was a small event, only about 200 marathoners, some 1/2 marathoners who were bussed out to the 1/2 way mark, and then some marathon relays. I had never been a part of a race with a relay so this was going to be interesting. I felt like I was the only "virgin runner" at the start line, but I was determined nonetheless. "Slow and steady" I kept repeating to myself. "10-min mile is the goal." If I could do that I could finish in 4:20, but knew I would probably slow down toward the end at best. 4:30 was my goal, but I would be ok with 5 hrs. I didn't want to walk, but I would be ok if I did. As long as I don't hit the wall it will be successful. I know the book says to only have a goal of finishing and yes, this was ultimately my goal, but a general time in mind was good. My real goal was definitely to finish.

BANG! The gun went off and Kori and I started running our slow pace. Around the HS block, about .75 miles before heading out of town. I was concerned because my shins starting hurting almost immediately. It was that burning pain that I was worried would stop me dead in my tracks at some point. After a mile or so I didn't feel it anymore. Good! Kori wanted to start a 10:30 pace. I was ok with that, but felt so good I was going to try a 10-min pace. I totally missed the one-mile mark and 17 minutes had gone by. I knew I wasn't THAT slow today. I finally saw the 2-mile mark. Ok, I was a little fast. I slowed a bit. I started running with a guy that seemed to be going my pace. He was an older guy and he told me about running his first marathon at age 50. He shared some other stories with me too. after about 3 miles I realized he was going about a 9:30 min pace and I knew for sure that I couldn't sustain that so hung back a bit and let him go ahead.

About mile 5 or so a group of about 4 people come up. A mother and her boy were running together as well as another couple behind them. I ran with them and their time was dead on 10-min mile. Perfect! I'm going to run with these guys as long as I can. This boy looked young enough to be in cross country. I didn't want to insult him if he wasn't so we just started talking. He mentioned this was his 4th marathon this month!! He was going to do Grandma's next week also to complete 5 marathons in 5 weeks. WOW! His mother then looked at me and said, "Ask him how old he is!" He was 15! Amazing. I have met so many incredible athletes during this experience. I found during this run that I bought their good friend's old house. Small world.

I was able to run with them until somewhere in mile 14. They decided to run a little faster and do the run/walk thing. That was fine; I encouraged them to run ahead. Oh man, that means I have to do this all by myself! OK, I knew J would be coming around mile 15 so all I had to do was make it to the corner where we turned north. There was a water break at mile 15ish. I called Bill and told him to call J and tell her that because I really really needed someone. I had my ipod to distract me, but no headphones. She was bringing them for me. He said she was driving the route looking for me. I'm right here...come and get me! In the meantime I had a LOT of inner voice going on. I was running the race for my Grandma Smith, my godmother. I prayed to her asking for strength to get me through the last half of this thing. I've run 18 miles before. I can do this!

Miles 16-23 were a lot of work! Mile 18 came and I was just exhausted. I crossed the line on the road, thinking this was my record. Anything beyond this point was record-setting for me. J's words from last fall rung in my head, "The first half of the marathon is 18 miles; the last half is 8 miles!" I was alone. I thought J was waiting to meet me at mile 20 so I had 2 more miles to go. I just couldn't. There was a big hill that looked mountainous. I stopped. Dang. I got to the crest of the hill and went again. It was a good break, just what I needed to keep going.

J finally saw me somewhere on mile 20. I was soooo glad to see her I screamed and raised my arms in joy. I knew she would keep me going! I miss her chatter and snot rockets! She has always given me strength I never knew I had. I keep going when I'm with her; it's great running with her. She would help me for sure! She immediately stopped her van and jumped out ran with me! wow! I didn't think it would be so immediate. I thought she'd wait for the end of a mile and park on a side road or something. Nope. Here we go... We ran for about a mile and she turned around went back to the van. She met me a mile or two down the road and we did it again. In between I kept thinking of our shorter runs. Only 6 more miles, ok, that's like running to the end of the school road and then around Ethanol. Only 3 more miles, ok we're at the Ethanol corner and have to run home.

I was so exhausted that I started stopping at the water stations, walking for about 5 min and then running to next station. I did not realize how hard these last 6 miles would be! ugh. I felt bad walking, but it was the needed rest I was looking for to be able to continue on. I was SO! determined not to hit the wall this time. I had 7 gels during the run and stopped at every water station. I didn't take any food except for a jolly rancher that J had to unwrap for me at mile 21 and an icie at mile 24.

That icie was just what I needed! At mile 25 I looked at my watch and I was 4:13. Only 17 min to run ~1.5 miles! I can do it! I rounded the corner and starting sprinting (as much as virgin runner can sprint after 25 miles!) A 10-min mile would put me at the finish line in 15 minutes. I can do it! I have to do it! ugh...a hill... I pushed on. It was like my second wind. I was so determined to finish a marathon by 4:30 I kept going. I started hurting. A lot! This is it. This is the finish. Empty the tank. Hit the wall at the finish line. No regrets. Keep going. Push through the pain. It's almost there. The path had taken an unexpected turn. I didn't realize we were running on this road. I have to run all the way through town now to get to the Community Center. I thought we were running straight and then left into town, not this way! Oh nuts, I'm not going to make it. I stepped it up a bit more. I was passing people like crazy. At the last turn in town there were a couple people watching the runners come in, they were reading bib numbers, "woman, red, number 132". Jackpot! They're going to find my name and announce when I cross! I looked ahead. The finish line! I can do it. I ran as fast I possibly could at that point. I felt I was slowing. I looked at my watch. 4:28. I can do it!! It's right there! J said she would meet me at the finish line. Someone was taking pictures at the finish line. I had to smile as I finished my first marathon! 4:29 time on my watch. Can't wait for the final results to be mailed!

I was spent. That was everything I had in me. I staggered through the shoot as someone pulled off my race ticket and another woman put the medal on me. She was rather short and I had to bend down to get the medal on. ugh. I'm exhausted. Can't she lift it a little higher? Oh what a GREAT feeling! It was so exciting. I finally saw J as I staggered to the end of the shoot. She had her camera going, "So, tell me how it feels to finish a marathon!" "IT FEELS GREAT!" We laughed. It was awesome to have her there. My running buddy helped me through yet another long run. I staggered over to the food and got a banana. I had to hold on to the box so I wouldn't fall over. I just stood there eating. J got me a water and my bag. It kinda felt like Drake. She was taking care of me again. It was over. It was amazing. It was all worth it. I ran a marathon!! Yes, me, a 40-yr-old mother of 4. wow. That was GREAT!

Once I caught my breath and was able to walk again. I thought about Kori, how she was doing, and if she found someone to run with. I felt bad running ahead, but really wanted a 10-min pace. We walked back down a block or two before the finish line to cheer her on. She is a great person and has had great challenges in her running. She needed someone to cheer for her. About 1/2 hr later we finally saw her and I clapped and yelled for her. She did, indeed, find someone to run with. YEAH! She was able to finish! She will be so excited! It was her 6th attempt and her 3rd finish. Good for her! She did it!

26 miles 365 feet run; 40 min walk; RPE - 5.5; cool factor - off the chart! I'll be smiling for a loooooooong time. :)

Official time:
87th/171 runner
age group: 7th/18 runners

Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Last Supper

I went out with J this morning on my last run before the big run. It was reminiscent of the Lord's Supper. He had a light meal; I had a light run. He was to soon face the biggest even of His life here on Earth; yeah, well, enough said. It was the last time He would be with all His closest friends; it was the last J run before the marathon. The list goes on...

I felt so winded this time. I think I am getting anxiety over the weather. They keep changing it so I can't mentally prepare for what it is really going to be like. For the last few days they've said storms and winds 10-15 from the south. Last night it changed to 1 hour of storms and then humid weather, winds from the north 10 mph, gusts up to 20ish. I have been praying for southern winds for the past few weeks. A strong head wind will really get to me. I have overcome hills; they end. I still have not overcome winds; they stay around and beat on me. The winds will tear down my mental game in the run. I have to keep thinking positive. This is where it will be nice to have Kori running with me.

The past couple of weeks with these shorter runs I have just been exhausted, like I can hardly finish the run. I don't know if it's my body trying to conserve for when it really needs it or what is going on, but I feeling unprepared in this regard. I know I have done the training as I need to, but I just hope it all comes together and I can have a strong finish.

3.5 mile run; .25 mile walk; RPE - 4

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

ducks, cows, and trust

Yes, that's right, another recovery run done. I had to call on the ducks to get my feet started and then had to "milk the cows" to pull myself through the end. I saw Spirit of the Marathon awhile back and Deena Kaster was at the end of her marathon. Her legs were spent and you could tell she was using her arm muscles to pull her through. She was hurting, but continued to forge ahead. I thought, huh, what an interesting concept. I imagine two thick ropes on each side of me that I pull myself to the end of the block, to the end of the mile, to the top of the hill, or whatever I am trying to defeat. As I pull on these ropes, I feel like I am milking a cow! My hands literally grab the ropes and pull back with each stride.

It was a difficult run physically. I had a lot of mental talk to do to keep myself going. I feel like I should be running longer and more this week, but am putting my trust in my research and reading. I really had an easy time on Sat running almost a half marathon. I really felt like I could have kept going and run back to Saylorville. It was so much fun to be able to sprint the last quarter or tenth of a mile. I have never felt so much energy the last bit of a run like that. I have to trust and have faith that it will work. Everything has worked so far and I have to keep believing!

Well, my prayers have been answered for Saturday. Vardotrichic's friend will be going to Marathon with me. I hope I can keep up with her. She is about my pace and we have similar goals. Yes, I know, I'm not supposed to have a time goal, just finish the run, but I think I will be able to finish somewhere between 4:30 and 5 hrs. I see her times are usually within that as well so we should make a good team! The email conversations I've had with her seem to reveal that we have similar priorities with this run so I think it will be fun. I am very optimistic despite the weather forecast.

3.5 mile run; .1 mile walk; RPE - 4

Saturday, June 5, 2010


Wow, that was a GREAT run! Only 12 miles, but a great 12 miles. I went slow. I didn't hit the wall. I was ready. There was pretty scenery. Forecasts all mentioned rain and storms, but I went anyway. We were totally drenched before we even got started. There were 7950+ runners. It was packed the whole way running. We were dodging runners left and right, trying to jockey for position and catch up to the ones running at our pace. We never did. We maintained around a 10- min pace. My legs didn't hurt; my muscles didn't hurt; I felt great the whole way through. The last 1/2 mile we were nearly sprinting to the finish. It was a great feeling. When we got done, I still felt great. I didn't ache or anything. I feel so ready for M2M.

12 mile run; 3 mile walk; RPE - 3

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Keep me humble

Conditions are similar to what they will be like Saturday for D2D so I headed south for a 5-mile run today. I got to the lake and came back and through town some more. I was contemplating my "recovery runs" and why they suck so much. I just dread doing that first run. I am convinced this run is what keeps me grounded and humble. I only hope that that is how I feel at mile 20. I know I will hurt and want to quit like all those awful recovery runs, but if it isn't any worse than that, it will be a successful run. I've started having doubts again lately so I need to keep positive.

I got into my flow almost right away on my run tonight. When I am in "flow" I totally lose sight of running. I don't feel anything. I just keep going. Lately I have been thinking about the marathon and what that will be like. It has pretty much consumed my thoughts that I am really not even thinking about D2D. This will just be another Sat run.

My legs and knees have been bothering me a bit lately so I did a lot of stretching tonight and have been trying to stretch more between runs, in the morning and evening. This helped with the run tonight I think. I need to keep doing that! Hindsight I haven't eaten many carbs this week so I will really step this up, too. It has been such a crazy week with the end of the school year that I haven't had time to even sleep! I hit the wall at the end of Drake and don't want to do that again! If I totally empty my tank Sat I don't know if I will be able to replenish it by the marathon. Anxiety is mounting....

Vardotrichic gave the name & number of a friend of hers that is wanting to run M2M. I called her tonight and left a message. Hopefully she doesn't think I'm some weirdo or something. That would be so nice to have someone to run with, keep me paced appropriately, and keep me company.

4.88 mile run; .1 mile walk; RPE - 3

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Resistence is [not] futile

Maybe the Borg say it is, but resistence is necessary in marathon training. I know I have hills coming. I know I have wind coming. I know I have the biggest challenge of my life so far. "Sometimes the moments that challenges us the most define us." Anyway, there were tornado watches out, strong winds and I only had 3 miles to do tonight. I ran the hill on the way to Ellsworth. Once I got to the other side I turned around and came back up the hill. There were like up to 20mph winds tonight and I kept waiting for the rain and hail to come. It didn't come until the last block of my cool-down.

I guess this could be called my reecovery run for the week. My legs hurt and my knee was really achy at the beginning, but I pushed through it. I would love to feel like this at mile 20. If I do, I will have a great! marathon. Part of me wishes vardotrichic would have given a more convincing argument for not do it, but darn I signed up before she did. lol I am so ready for this!

Last weekend I drove the route and saw there were a number of hills. The last 10-12 miles is a slow uphill climb most of the way. It's mostly rolling hills like around here though so I'm keeping positive.

3.5 mile run; .2 mile walk; RPE - 4