Sunday, December 21, 2008

to make a long story longer . . .

okay so since i have posted  just 3 weeks ago, i have two more marathons, well one ultra and one marathon, under my belt. i guess you can say i have some experience. i still feel new to the game. just lots of activity in a short period of time and a few lessons learned.  

sunmart was just awesome but i didnt really realize it until it was over. jason and i could not get to huntsville texas until late friday since i had to work. so we missed the pasta dinner and our dear friends trail zombie and his wife dana were gracious enough to register me and pick up our packets. hats off to you both and we owe you dinner. without you i would not have run this race and had this memorable experience. breakfast was awesome and i was a little scared to eat so much before a race. i ate a pastry, scrambled eggs, bacon and two small cups of orange juice. they had a lot more food to select from. it was very impressive. the weather was cold but i decided to run in shorts, a long sleeve tech shirt with a short sleeve tech shirt underneath. the cool thing about sunmart is after the first 6 miles or so, you pass by tent city where your drop bag is so you can change, stash your crap, re-body glide up and keep on goin'. jenni was with me for the first 24 miles or so. we talked during the beginning which helped keep my mind of the mild pain i had but this was difficult due to the need to concentrate on my steps and the need to conserve on breath. so i switch to my ipod and this helped me as it did on the marathon. another aspect i really enjoyed was that we were running opposite others in both the same race(50k) and the other race running certain parts of the course after the turn arounds. so you get to see both those in front of you and those behind you if timing is right. this was a lot of fun and very encouraging.  the terrain varied along the course as far as sand, rocks, lots of tree roots, dirt, hills. i think the sand was the most difficult especially uphill. at all the aid stations i ate a lot. there was a fabulous selection of food as noted in trail zombie's pics about 10 posts back. while i did do my gu packs just as i have done in all long races, i chose to also eat mostly sweets instead of the salts and this proved taxing later on in the race.  my hands begin to swell about mile 25/26. i have never had this happen before and was a bit scared. at an aid station i could see jason 'almost up ahead' and my goal was to catch him. i think i did about mile 28/29 or so and we ran/walked the rest of the way together. we walked mostly bcuz i was worried about the way i felt and the swelling of my hands. i later learned this was lack of salt and found a way to prevent this revealed later on in this post.  the comradarie of all the TATURs at the race was awesome. even those i had never met before were cheering for jas and i at the end. i love when people bond together. hanging out waiting for bobby, ken, dana, kathy and others to come in was a great time. the food after was awesome. (see ken's blog for his turkey leg pic). this is one race i would HIGHLY recommend and will do again and again. sunmart gets an A+ !  

so the thursday before sunmart i dropped by the store (runnersworld) and ran into marvin and chris. marvin mentioned that the two of them were going to baton rouge so chris could ful
fill his marathon maniac requirements. so i had to ask what that was about. they told me to go to and check it out. so i did. then i told jas. then he was determined to do this. we looked at the list of races coming up. we did not want to travel outside of driving distance so what was left? white rock one week after sunmart. what the hell are we thinking? ok, no problem, registration is closed until the expo. i work when the expo opens so by that time the full marathon will fill up right? jas' mom happens to live in plano and his step dad was available to register us right when the expo opened. no excuses. we are going to get this craziness done. 

white rock was a marathon i really don't care to do again. if a group goes i will go. 
usually sunmart and white rock are the same weekend so i will chose sunmart. and i am not really up for the double challenge so i will support those that are next year if it falls on the same weekend. it was windy and 70 degrees. unseasonably warm and we had not run in these temperatures for some time. jas and i started off good for having so many recent miles on our legs. it took about 9 minutes to cross the start line. it was so packed i thought it was never going to thin out. i decided to use this race to experiment with my new idea to keep my salts up since my hands swelled at sunmart: soy sauce packets. i LOVE soy sauce so at about mile 9 and 16 i downed a packet of soy sauce with some water and wow it was yummy. i will use this trick again so i dont have my water retention problem again. we finished the first 13.1 time in  about 2:35 or so. after that it fell apart. jas got a sharp pain on the top of his left foot that made his shoe really uncomfortable. being that we had 4 hours to finish and two goals to accomplish (finishing and marathon maniac status) we decided to keep going. the next 3 miles or so were run/walk miles. he was holding up but still in pain. he kept telling me to go on but i wanted to stay with him. we had to finish this race. we felt dumb at this point for even starting this race but since we did we were going to finish and i wanted to do so together. he is a lot faster then me so i wanted to actually run a race with him. i am finding when i start to get fatigued i need to run. walking just draws it out and i actually feel worse when i walk. but i did not want to leave him. i felt worse as i went on just because i felt like i was freezing up. his pain was getting worse and we were walking slower. just the look on his face was agonizing. time was closing in on us. at mile 22 he said that he did not pay for us to both not finish this race. so i decided to go on. i ran the entire rest of the way but was already very tense from all the walking. i probably ran no faster then 11 maybe even 11:30 miles. being disappointd with my time i havent tried to calculate my pace from my splits. i finished with a chip time of 6:06:41. i stood at the finish line blankly just hoping jas would cross before the deadline.  since i am not that experienced i wasnt sure if they were gonna pull the plug at 630 chip or gun time. 630 gun time passed and no jas. now when i crossed the finish line i was told there was water and food on the left. but i was not suprised to find a few bottles of water and NO FOOD. i guess this is going to be what i need to get use to since there was crap for food at the end of route 66. who are the people that are in charge of these races? do they not realize that the people that come in at the end need food and drink just like those who finish first? then i went back to the finish line. i was talking to a volunteer and then i saw jas. i got so excited i started crying. they were still announcing names even though the clock was over 6:30. the volunteer handed me the medal and told me that i could out it over jas' neck. i was crying harder. he was going to finish even though he was in so much pain. i was so proud of him!  some how he found the strength to run the last mile. we were finished with this race and completed our requirements for mm club. 

we can be found on the Marathon Maniacs Insane AsyLum as members # 1242 and #1243. 

our next race is 'race into the new year' in tulsa followed by the TATUR 'polar bear plunge' on january 1. our next race maybe psycho wyco in kc in february.  for right now
 i need a break!   

Monday, December 1, 2008

lists of stuff (the 8 post, kinda)

attempt at being tagged (bobby, i will do your picture post next)
all are in no particular order

some shows i sometimes catch
1. the office
2. law and order
3. cops
4. amw
5. conan o'brian
6. reading rainbow

places i can get sick on
1. in the raw (tulsa)
2. miss addie's (muskogee)
3. the canebrake (btwn wagoner and tahlequah)
4. pomodoro's (nyc)
5. the burger joint (nyc)
6. ron's hamburger's (tulsa)
7. jamba juice (better cities)

stuff i did yesterday
1. woke up after a good nights sleep on nyquill
2. took the dogs to the vet, they estimated my total at $165
3. worked, nothing to exciting, day before at work was very eventful with one patient leaving in ambulance, another with retinal detachment, another almost leaving in ambulance, another that got hit in the eye with a closing binder?!?
4. picked dogs up at vet, daughter had UTI so total $170 for antibiotics
5. went to run group, ran to fast then to slow with jas
6. went to eat with friends from run group yaah! but felt sick right after eating. could not even finish my tea!
7. fell asleep on the way home - jas was driving
8. took nyquill, went to bed

things i look forward to
1. crossing the finish line at sunmart as an ultramarathoner
2. erin running with us again
3. chrissy running with us again
4. losing weight
5. having permanent help at work
6. my own goofy challenge medals
7. wearing my new shoes that i bought in september to the TATUR christmas party
8. someday earning the bunny slippers

things i love about fall
1. leaves changing colors
2. different wardrobe
3. fireplace
4. jason's frito chilli pie (to die for)
5. not running in 100+ degree weather
6. taking my dogs places in the car without it being to hot
7. cuddling with jas

things on my wish list
1. for my dogs to never age
2. to own a betsey johnson store
3. to not have to wear a heavy coat at work all day
4. patience
5. free time
6. liposuction
7. wisdom
8. mets to go to the world series
9. jas and i to be happy forever
10. a sasoon t-shirt

Saturday, November 22, 2008

my first poll (please vote!) and more misc marathon ramblings

please vote in my poll above.

i know it is a little late to add thoughts on the marathon. it seems so long ago. but now i am using this as kind of a diary so these are a few things i dont want to forget. not sure if i made it clear in my last post but this race was the first time i ever ran with an ipod. the first song i heard was 'die another day' by madonna. at the time this was very inspirational for me. i knew at that time although my shin was hurting i would make it to the end. this song title now seems sad because of the young boy that died on the course. moment of silence and reflection.

i also forgot to add my comments about the balloons. when i first heard of these pace objects at the expo, the thought of them started getting into my head. i only recently bought a garmin which i had planned on running with because i felt bad asking others - namely linda and coach bean 'how fast are we going?' for the last 5 months. i was frustrated to learn during one of our training runs that brian thought that the instant pace was garbage since if you just moved your arm to fast you could get an artificially fast reading. the average pace was ticking me off because
i want to know what my pace is NOW! my first phrase as a child was 'have it now!' which still rings true today. well to a point. it did take me awhile to buy this garmin. so i am finally content with the lap pace - average over the last mile. to make a long story short - TOO LATE, i left my garmin in the car the day of the marathon. i was so worried about getting my trash bag on (see slide show) to stay warm. once i realized that i forgot it, (at starting line, with about 2 minutes til gun time), i had to rely on what else - the balloons. for some reason what i pictured was a big red helium filled object with a large white typed print that read 5:00. this image reminded me of that party favor you get as a kid with a large red balloon with the yellow string that you punch repeatedly. just asked jason and he called it a 'knucklepuncher' if that helps anyone follow. in my imagination they would float high like it was the Macy's parade on but on a much smaller scale. so when i saw these small yellow things on a stick of all things (things 'on a stick' bother me) with hand written black marker i was disappointed. this was going to take concentration just to find them. all that registration money for the race and sign up fees they charge their runners for training and this was all the globo gymers could come up with! maybe my expectations were to high. so the anxiety that these dumb balloons had caused me had temorarily gone away. i became more upset that i forgot my garmin but it was time to go. for the first half of the race i appreciated the 'balloons on a stick'. after i lost the 430 and kept looking back for the 445 and after that group past me i was hating these yellow things. but the fact they were there at the end and i was racing them i appreciate yet hated them at the same time. so i am glad that my RunnersWorld Tulsa trainers do not concentrate on pace. i like running based on how i feel although i am still working on saving more for the end. i plan to work more on negative splits in the future. maybe the sticks cost so much and since we dont have them kathy can give us free training? no. i think she just has a good heart.

in my last post i also forgot to mention some of the other things marvin said to me. during the short time i ran with him i learned what a great coach he is. he told me 'keep your head up. drop your shoulders.' and other pointers i cant remember now. this was really encouraging, helped me relax, and probably allowed me to finish my race sub 5 even though the help was so late in the race. i was looking at him out of my side vision and he wasnt even looking at me. he said ' i am looking at your shadow'. i didnt even see my shadow. if i remember correctly, if i started at 8, and this was almost 5 hours later, it was almost 1 pm. we were running west on 18th just before the boston turn. our shadows would have been behind us. either marvin has eyes behind his head or maybe he really is an angel. regardless i would love to hire him as my personal trainer bcuz somehow he knew what i was doing wrong and how to correct it.

i did really miss my fellow team bean members during the race because i have never run a long run without at least one of them. i did want to ask if anyone wanted to try to run together but this was to touchy of a subject. i didnt want anyone to feel obligated to stop when i stopped, whether to walk or use the restroom. what if i needed to stop for good or one of the others did? i wouldnt want anyone else to feel like they had to take care of me but i wouldnt want to leave one of them. so this is why i bought the ipod and by no means did this replace my friends. i think i could have done even better (faster) if one of them was by my side. when jenni was right next to me for the first several miles i felt strong. we barely talked as we were both listening to our music just knowing that she was right there helped so much. i am a little scared to do another run of this length without my friends around me. and i dont just mean beaners but any of my friends.

my sadness or post race depression has worn off now and i am excited and proud of my marathon. i have been told several times by various people that i should be proud of my sub 5 time for my first time. i am finally starting to glow. i feel so much closer to my running friends now then before and plan to hang out with them for as long as they will let me.

photo courtesy of, well stolen from, marathonfoto

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

there will be a day that you can no longer do this . . today is not that day

wow! i did it. i ran my first marathon and now that it is over i almost feel empty. almost the same feeling i use to get after finishing the longest run in my life at the time 12 miles, 14 miles, all with my dear running friends. sometimes afterword we would go out to eat, BBD, Queenies, or sometimes we would just go home. either way i would think to myself 'i just endured so much pain yet had so much fun talking, joking while running with these people and now i am just going to go home'. even those days i knew the journey wasn't over. i knew we would all do it again just as i know that now. dont get me wrong. i am not a negative person. maybe i just default to sentiment rather then accomplishment? i am very proud of all of you! months and even weeks ago it seemed like such a amazing feat. now it is a memory.

i started off strong. even keeping up (but just behind) with my husband jason until the dreaded jenks loop. for the first two miles my left shin hurt so bad but other then that i felt strong. i was warmer then i had hoped to be with the disposable hand warmers in my gloves helping more then anything else. as the first 10-12 miles went by i was happy and even impressed with my pace. my half time was 2:16:55 but was jenks ever going to end? by the time we were done with this loop i was in a different mindset and had totally lost sight of the 4:30 balloons not that i expected to keep just behind them, more on the balloons and their sponsors later. up until now running with my ipod (for the first time ever, sorry kathy i tried something new) had really motivated me. the music really helped keep my mind off of what i was actually doing. i dont think i could tell you more then two songs i heard after the jenks loop. it was great to see bobby and ken as i was leaving jenks and this keep me going for a little while. coach bean passed me about mile 17 but i was stopped for water and he ran on by with his water. he was in the zone and didnt notice me. he looked very strong. after that my goal was just run to the next water stop and then you could walk again but i didnt make it. i walked about every 100 yards for awhile. not sure why. didnt hurt. just wasnt into it. then i saw the 4:45 balloons grrr. patty was with them and i was so glad to see her. she has always been an inspiration. i really wanted to stay with them and did for about one and a half minutes. their pace felt like a sprint. had to walk again. about mile 19 is when the spaghetti warehouse pains hit. the pains that are still with me today and that is why i am home from work and finally posting a blog. (jas ate the same thing, was also sick, but i have been sick longer due to my slow gi system and also the raw hamberger i ate right after the race). at this point i hurt pretty bad but not enough to stop. i actually ran more from mile 19-22 then 17-19. i was looking for a portapotty but when i saw one was at one of the moments the pain wasnt as strong. just keep going. thank you candance for moving from place to place to cheer us on. i appreciate you more then you know. i walked every hill thru the neighborhoods and was glad that they were integrated into our training runs (kathy says 'told ya so'). i knew they were there and when they would end. i just wish i woulda ran or at least drove that jenks loop. talked with a guy from ft. smith, ar that wasnt feeling much better then me. havent checked yet but i think he beat me. about mile 25.5 i saw the 5:00 balloons about 50-100 yards back and then marvin appeared like an angel. i was walking even though i didnt have much left to go. my tummy hurt so bad. started running with him and told him of my pain. he said that if i walked he walked. i said 'no. go on' and started walking again. he stopped so i started running again. i then said 'please go, i think i am going to crap my pants'. he said that it was 'worth it to crap your pants to beat 5 hours' i agreed but after a few more steps told him to 'go on please' which he did. the balloons were getting closer. i ran the last 0.2 miles and beat the 5 hour mark :) i was happy and for some reason i didnt feel as much pain. maybe this was my small version of a runners high. i feel jipped and want the real one! jason was at the finish to hug me and this also made me forget the pain.

it was so good to see so many of the runnersworld group after the race. being around people that actually appreciated what you just did was awesome. one of the best moments was watching bobby cross the finish line. a job well done! i was especially glad to see chrissy who i had not seen since before she got sick. i have really missed her. i am excited to have her back soon!

i have so much more to write about but am getting tired. hubby is asking me to come to bed. . . just to talk. i am sick remember.

i am so thankful for the friends i have made for life.

thank you to everyone who helped me achieve my goal. there is no way i can repay any of you. i especially want to thank coach kathy. somehow she made a runner out of me.

so when jenni text me today and asked me 'how far we are suppose to run today?' i felt kinda lost. where is that paper, ya know, the schedule with my blood, sweat and tears all over it? oh nevermind. it doesn't tell me anymore. another reason i felt like 'wow, this is over. now what?' (read kathy's email). but that does mean maybe we are suppose to be experienced to know by now? this is a journey, not a destination. i figured not to far. i just replied to jenni, 'i dont know. the furthest i will be running today is to the bathroom'