Monday, December 27, 2010

Fun with Meb in Vegas.

Meb and I "completed the heart" together. Awwwww. He's a good sport. 

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Vegas, Baby. (Race Report)

Oh, Vegas. I had been planning months in advance for this day. Not only was it the final event in meeting my goal of running my first 6 marathons in 6 months (and earning a second star in the Marathon Maniacs), I was also aiming to crush my previous PR of 4:36:something. Forget a little PR, I wanted a 4:15.

The week leading up to Vegas, I panicked about having to use a port-a-potty during the run. I decided that Coach Scott (my pacer) needed to know I couldn't run a 4:15 pace. I needed some padding. He suggested 4:10 pace. Then I was silly and decided that I wanted in the single-digits, and that I wouldn't be happy with a PR unless it was below 4:10. I plugged in a 4:07:30 on the McMillan Running Calculator, and it showed a 9:27 pace. I knew it was a sign, as Coach Scott had just killed his 100 miler at a 9:27 pace. He disagreed, and told me I was stupid. (This is normal behavior. No harm done.)

The morning was beautiful. We stayed at Mandalay Bay, which was totally awesome. So nice to be right where the race started and finished. Good call on our part.

My Scott, myself, Coach Scott, and Jenn
Because I was actually trying to run at a faster pace than normal, I was not allowed to take pictures during the race. So sad. However, my friend Nickki was along and running the 1/2 with My Scott, and she was able to get some good pictures.

Having fun! 

We got in trouble for running and holding hands.
Apparently our pacer doesn't find that behavior
 to be conducive to running a PR.
Everything was great the first 1/2. Running in Vegas is very fun! I couldn't believe how quickly you can get down the strip when you're not in a cab and/or walking on a sidewalk full of people. There was, however, a lot of dodging in and out of people. We definitely needed to be in a different corral. It was exhausting.

The 1/2 marathon spilt at around 12 miles, and Coach Scott, Jenn and I continued on in our journey. Coach Scott was happy to hear that I wasn't as thrilled with marathoning as usual given my quicker pace. I stuck with Coach Scott and Jenn until around mile 14. I was having a hard time keeping pace, and I was getting concerned about needing to pee, so I went ahead. It was depressing. After I left them, I regretted it. I was lonely! Also, Coach Scott was less like a pacer and more like a butler. He was so nice (for once) and told us he'd get whatever we needed at water stops*, etc. It was very nice. I was missing that service he provided, too. He was totally awesome.

*Side note - I did not have my water bottle. I always carry my water bottle. I made a last minute decision that I did not need the bottle, given the number of water stops along the way. Stupid. At three water stops in a row, I did not get nearly enough fluid. Not good. Another difference this time around was not having my electrolyte tabs taped onto my gels. In fact, I didn't even plan to take any. I think I got two down, and gave up because it was too much of a pain to take them. Also not good. 

My spirits lifted when I saw Tall Mom and Amanda on one of the out-and-back sections. (The entire second half of the race was pretty much nothing but a series of out-and-back sections. It felt like it, anyway.) Just seeing familiar faces was just what I needed. So happy! Then I got sad again because I knew I'd never catch up with them. So lonely. I never ever thought I'd feel lonely in a marathon. Ever. For some reason, I really did in Vegas.

I can't remember what mile it was, but an angel came into my life in the form of a runner. She was keeping right with me, so I decided I'd make a new friend. Her name was Ann, from Portland. She was in town doing her very first marathon with several friends. She was coming back from an injury - she broke her back! She told me it was nearly the 1 year anniversary. We connected over how cool this marathon was for both of us - big goals on both ends. And, I looooooove first time marathoners. Love. It takes me back to my first, and that was such a special day.

At one point, I have no idea where, we did end up catching up to Tall Mom and Amanda. Seeing them again was fabulous. I remember Tall Mom saying "Nice ass!" to me. In response, I spanked myself for her. As if I could go an entire marathon without doing something silly.

We were keeping a pretty good clip. Around mile 22, I remember looking down at my legs...thought it through, and didn't know how on earth I could keep running for another 40 minutes. Or 45 if the wheels really started falling off the bus. Then I looked at Ann, and got myself together, and just kept going. I wasn't happy about it. My legs were tired. The out-and-back sections were getting to me, as everyone I saw were miles ahead. I believe it was my first time "hitting the wall" - sort of awesome experience, as I thought it was a big fallacy that people were over-dramatic about. Now I know it exists, and I get it, and can appreciate it.

I made a decision to take another gel at mile 24 (I had been taking them every 5 miles). Best idea ever. 20 minutes of running didn't seem so bad. My spirits lifted. I knew I was going to finish this bad boy, and meet all of my goals. The rest of the run was great! Finishing felt amazing.

Myself, and my Angel. Finished! 
And, I made that PR goal. My finishing time was 4:07:13. Sweet!

Coach Scott and Jenn were not far behind, and I met up with them for our official finishing picture. Jenn also crushed her previous PR. Way to go, Jenn!

I love running buddies.
My husband finished his first 1/2 Marathon - and is already signed up for another in March! I'm so glad he had Nickki to run with.

Way to go, My Scott and Nickki! 
All in all, it was a very fun day. Sadly, things went downhill afterward, and I started throwing up. So sick. Not fun. I felt bad enough that I wasn't sure how I'd ever do another marathon, as the thought of sucking down a gel ever again in my life wasn't anything I wanted to do. I'll spare you all the details, but I was hurting. Might have had something to do with my heart rate average for the marathon being 190. Or that I caught something. Or that I wasn't hydrated. Or not enough salt. Regardless, it wasn't fun. It took several days for me to feel better.

I am, however, better! And I have my entire next year + planned out. I'll spare you having to read any more...and I'll actually post a non-race report very soon. Thank you all for your support and kindness and love and encouragement. I DID IT!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

RNR Denver Marathon (Recap)

Yes...Rock 'n Roll Denver was forever ago.

I've had a difficult time figuring out what exactly to say about Denver. My friends Michele, Eric #2 and I left late Friday night and drove overnight to get to Denver. Eric #2 needed to puke in Denver. Not cool.

We finally made it out of Denver once Eric #2 was feeling better. Our hotel was generously given to us, compliments of my awesome friends Desi and Ross - on account of Ross being a frequent gambler. The drive was an hour out of Denver, in Blackhawk, and it was absolutely gorgeous. Once we made it there, Michele and I showered (we arrived around 6am) and got ready for the day (note: no sleep whatsoever). Eric #2 opted to stay and sleep at the hotel, while Michele and I were determined to make the most of our time in Denver.

Nothing says "road trip" like a side of the road self-portrait!
We met up with a college buddy of mine for breakfast at a really awesome breakfast place. I cannot, for the life of me, remember the name...but I highly recommend whatever it was.

Double latte to make up for no sleep? Yes, please!
We made our way to the expo and fell in love with the area. We picked up our packets, checked out the gear, and walked around like zombies. The lack of sleep was starting to set in. However, we had a famous blogger sighting that perked us up for a bit! I believe her husband was tipsy while taking our photo...

Me,  Mrs. Shut Up and Run, and Michele

I don't really remember the rest of the afternoon. Eventually, we made our way back to Blackhawk, where we met up with Ross, Desi, Nickki, and Eric #2. Thankfully, Ross was afraid of me driving anymore (yay!) so we were able to ride back into Denver for dinner with everyone else. Of course finding a restaurant was chaos, but we eventually enjoyed our pre-marathon dinner. 

Eric #2, Me, Michele, Nickki, Desi

Race morning was so fun and exciting. Denver was marathon #5 for me, #2 for Michele, and Nickki, Desi, and Eric #2 were all first-timers. I had butterflies for them! That first one is special.

Nickki's sister lived 3 blocks from the start (score!) so we had awesome parking, and a nice warm place to hang out before making our way to the start. And a clean bathroom! 

We had a billion "Go Green Team" and heard "Go Kansas!" over and over. The spectators in Denver were incredible. The course was very beautiful. I loved it. 

Here's where things get difficult to recap. Michele went from ok, to not ok at all. It ended with her in an ambulance around mile 15. We were all so worried, and it absolutely broke my heart to see my best running buddy not ok. Just awful. Still tough to think about. 

We were stopped around 20 minutes, and once we knew she was in good hands, we continued on our journey. The rest of the race was bittersweet, truly. There were good and wonderful moments. Absolutely. The first timers held it together so well. Desi and Nickki were both in pain, but carrying on. Eric #2 was doing great until about mile 21, where he started to get dehydrated, and to not look good. At once point we all agreed he would finish the marathon, but would go to the medic tent immediately afterward. 

Running, Running, Running
Sometimes, when you're have to jump.

Happy to be near the end!
Group hug. 
Of course we held hands. Why wouldn't we? 

We wondered what happened with mile took forever. Turns out it was actually long, and everyone had their times adjusted a few days later. Official finishing time: 5:15:54

Such a bittersweet day. Still tough to think about. Awesome and awful, is all I can come up with. 

As an update, Michele met us at the end - and it was a huge relief to see her. Eric #2 wasn't ok at all, but  he has since recovered. Nickki and Desi are both doing well, and while they have some lingering pain, they're happy to be in the "marathon" club. 

Marathon #6 for me is in Las Vegas on Sunday. I'm very excited, and admittedly nervous, as well. I plan to get a big PR, and to enjoy the final race in my big goal of doing my first six marathons within six months. There's a blogger meet-up in the works, and I guarantee there will be pictures. Coach Scott will hopefully be up for pacing me, but something about running 100 miles in 15:46 a few weeks prior might cause an issue. My awesome friend Jennifer will be along as well, and she's aiming for a PR as well. My husband is running his first half-marathon, just a few months after his back surgery. Should be a fun weekend!

Have a great week! 

Friday, October 15, 2010

Prairie Fire Marathon (Race Report)

What a fun weekend! The Prairie Fire Wichita Marathon was a definite success, and I highly recommend it. Not terrible at all for its inaugural year - they did a great job. Even more fun was running it on 10/10/10.

The most important thing, first.  How cute is this picture? I was so thrilled to give Clayton my medal post-marathon. He deserved it!

Clayton and I.
He's done with treatment and Cancer-free! Awesome!

Saturday evening was the Team in Training Inspiration Dinner. It was a very fun evening, and nice time to bond with my fellow teammates.

My husband and I pre-Inspiration Dinner.

Sunday morning I met up with my friends. Most of them were doing the 1/2 marathon, in preparation for our full marathon in Denver. We chatted, took pictures, and generally enjoyed the excitement of the event. We were all able to run together for the first 5 miles, before the 1/2 marathoners split. They continued on and kicked butt on their training run (with a medal at the end).

Here is where the race recaps get difficult for me. So many fun things happened.

* I received a phone call at mile 5 from my awesome friend, the Fair Weather Runner. She was busting a move in Chicago, and we enjoyed running "together" for a little bit. (Congrats on your run, my darling!)

* A little boy rode up to us on his bike, stared us down, and said, "I could beat you like this." We all agreed that yes, he could beat us.

* Lacy said hello to me, even though she was booking it on for a sub-3:20 marathon! She's awesome.

* I got to see my husband and our three daughters three times during the race. He is super-Dad!

* My friend Jennifer almost ran through the biggest road kill I've ever seen. Nasty.

* Running through Cowtown. What an awesome place!

* "Officially" meeting a Facebook friend/local runner. During the race. It was awesome and hilarious - I'm so happy she had people cheering with a sign that had her name on it, or I totally would have missed out on making the connection.

* "The Guy With the Cowbell"  He was everywhere. We saw him no less than 8 times, and he was so encouraging and great every time. Even more awesome, I found out that he is the husband of my Facebook friend that I met on the course. Love it!

* Jumping. Lots and lots of jumping.

Why? I don't know. 

What can I say? Running gives me wings...

The course was awesome. The spectators were awesome. I genuinely felt great the entire time. I felt like I completed the marathon wisely, given that Denver was on the horizon one week later. Official time was 4:36:32 -  a PR by over 11 minutes. Not terrible. Average heart rate was still high (179 - down from 184 in Colorado Springs), but I'm just accepting that as part of my fate.

Post-race was a blast.

So thankful for Michele.
Best running buddy in the universe!

Nickki, Dane Rauschenberg and I.
We all enjoyed getting to know him - great guy.

Group shot.
(And, I am extremely short.)
The victory celebration with Team in Training was a good time, too. It was such a fun ending to a fun weekend. Even better, with all of the Facebook pictures floating around the celebration continued all week long. Just in time to get me ready to leave for Denver tonight for marathon #5!

About that race in Denver...I'm dedicating it to Rick. I was so saddened to hear of his death. He had been such a wonderful running blogger buddy, a constant source of support, and he was so excited for me and the training for my first marathons. I'm thankful to have connected with him, and I am wishing his family peace. He was such a great guy and friend to many.

Looking forward to bringing back lots of pictures and a great race report from Denver. Michele is running her second marathon, and my friends Eric, Desi, and Nickki are all on their very first. I have no doubts this weekend will be amazing.

Have a great weekend! Make sure to smile and be thankful for life.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Running Firsts (and Elite Runners)

What a weekend of multiple running firsts for me!

#1 - First Toenail Loss. Buh-bye sweet little baby toenail, left foot. I thought you'd get beat to the punch by your buddies that are chunking off next to the big toe, on both feet. But, alas, you are the big winner. Bonus: I did not pass out!

#2 - First Blisters. Yes, it has been a very lucky many months of running (since February!) for me without blisters. However, this was my weekend to acquire a few. Not bad ones, because I didn't pass out from those, either. Bonus: I'm feeling pretty badass.

#3 - First 50+ mile week, thanks to the mileage PR this weekend! I finished 20 miles on Saturday, and another 15 miles today, which is 3 miles further than I've gone on a previous back-to-back long run weekend. I'm so pumped! Even better, I'm feeling pretty awesome, physically. Bonus: My heart rate wasn't sky high, for once. Thank you, 50-degree temps this morning! 

#4 - I never shared this picture before (I am a total slacker), but it is from 2 nights before the Rock 'n Roll San Diego Marathon. I was invited to a Team in Training Top Fundraiser Reception at SeaWorld. Afterward, SeaWorld was closed for a private party for Rock 'n Rollers...and look who I happened to run into...

Oh Snap.

Happy Sunday! Wishing you a wonderful week of running.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Oops! I did it again. (Marathon #3)

I traveled to Colorado Springs last weekend with some fantastic friends, and their families, for the American Discovery Trail Marathon. I hadn't planned to run it until a few months ago, when I got that brilliant idea to do my first 6 marathons in 6 months. I invited myself along on their trip, and ended up having a great time as an adopted member of the family.

Many people told me the altitude would be awful, and that I'd die a terrible, lung-bursting death. Thankfully, that didn't happen. After lots of discussion with Coach Scott, we agreed that any running difficulty on marathon day were due to the sun, more so than the altitude. 

The race was set to start at 6:30am. And, it did. However, there was a porta-potty issue, and there were still people in line to go after the gun went off. Coach Scott made the start by 30 seconds. I ran with my friends Jenn and Amanda, and we think we probably started 4-5 minutes late. Not chipped timed, but we weren't concerned. Just out to enjoy a run in the mountains. 

Amanda and Jenn, all smiles early on.
We chatted away and enjoyed the gorgeous sunrise. Jenn yelled at Amanda and I about 27 times to slow down. I'm so glad she did. I typically don't have any issues at all slowing down. For some reason Colorado made me more zippy than normal. At the half-marathon mark, I knew that setting a PR wasn't going to happen that day. It wasn't a big deal to me, as I went ahead and planned on finishing in around 5 hours.

We went back and forth with the 5 hour pacer for most of the run. He'd pass us uphill and during water stops. We'd pass him not long after. He was fabulous. He'd yell and encourage and was generally a great guy. And, he had no one running with him. Jenn said she doesn't like pacers who talk. However, this guy changed her mind. 

Hannah (me!) and Jenn at mile 11+ 
Despite losing over 1,200 feet during the race, there were hills on the trail. I walked some that were too steep for my wimpy self. The hills were an interesting thing - I am just not used to them, at all. Going down was brutal on the knees, so I finally gave up trying to take them slowly. It felt much better to let my body go.

Around mile 18, Jenn said "Peace Out" to Amanda and I. She was dehydrated and knew she wasn't going to keep our pace. Despite how craptastic she was feeling, she really had a fantastic run. Congrats to her on her first (and only, she says) trail marathon! 

Amanda and I hung together the next 4 miles or so. We had picked up our pace a bit. I suddenly started calculating and thought about that PR. We kept pulling away from the 5 hour pacer. I wasn't at all confident that it would happen, but at the same time, I felt like if I was going to abandon one of my lovely ladies (Jenn) then I better make it count. 

Around mile 22, Amanda sent me on. She told me I looked good, and to go get that PR. Still wasn't sure it would happen. I figured I'd miss it by at least 5 minutes. That, and with our start being late, I knew I had even less time to work with. Again, I knew if I was abandoning a friend (a second friend. I feel like a total jerk, for the record) then I better make it count. 

The lovely moutains.
The last 4.2 miles went by quickly. I knew my heartrate was sky high (the one time I checked it during the run, my heart rate monitor showed me a sucktastic 184. Ouch.) and I'm still not confident enough in "how" to run a race, that I was conservative. Still felt great, and very excited to finish. 
Mile 24+  Almost there. Whoohoo!
With a mile or so left, I caught up to Amanda's husband, Steve. Poor guy. I didn't realize how upset he'd be by me catching him, so I say, "Steve! How fun! We can totally cross the finish line holding hands!" Ha.  He was feeling terrible. Poor guy. At one point he said, "I feel like I'm going to $#!@ myself and throw up at the same time." Ouch. 

Finishing strong.
He and I kicked it in as best we could (with me feeling about 110% better than he did), and I finished with a PR by 59 seconds. Whoooot! (4:47:48) Sure, it was probably 4 minutes faster based on our late start, but I'm going by "official" time. I'm such a rule follower...

One of my best friends from high school lives in CO Springs.
Here we are after the Finish! 
My heart rate average was 181 for the run. Not awesome. But, I had a truly fantastic time running. And, how awesome that my PR is so slow, I can walk multiple times and still beat it. Bam! (Coach Scott did say his Grandma could have beat my PR that day. Sadly, I cannot refute that fact. Slow is sexy. Right?!) 

Next up: Prairie Fire Wichita Marathon on 10/10/10, Rock 'n Roll Denver Marathon 10/17/10, and Rock 'n Roll Las Vegas Marathon 12/5/10. 

The weekend was incredible. Especially when we (Jenn, myself, and Scott and Jenn's nephews) convinced Coach Scott to stop on the way down Pike's Peak for a little photo shoot. Why? I don't know. But I think the pictures were amazing. Bam.

Coach Scott.
For more shirtless pics of this beast, visit his blog.

Monday, July 19, 2010

I am alive (and well)!

What a blur the last 2 months has been! 

First and foremost, I want to share that Clayton is so close to being done with Chemo! My cousin, Michelle, shared this on Clayton's Caring Bridge website: 

"Four weeks.  Four weeks of chemo is all that is left! Four more shots to give.  20 more pills at bedtime.  That's it! In four weeks I'll give Clayton his last shot of chemo.  Then he will take his bedtime pills for one more week.  After that, he is off everything and we give his bone marrow about 3 weeks to get back to normal.  At that point we go to Wichita for a bone marrow biopsy for a final check to see if the leukemia cells have stayed gone. If all is well for the next 2-3 months he'll have surgery to get his port removed."

Awesome! I also hear there is a big party in the works to celebrate that this nearly three year journey is FINISHED. Yes! 

The best running news is that I completed (and loved) my first two marathons. San Diego (June 6) was awesome. The entire weekend was awesome. The Team in Training experience was incredible. 20 days later, I ran my second marathon (also with Team in Training, June 26) in Seattle. It was incredible, too! 

I wish I could put into words what it all meant to me. Obviously I'm having a tough time with that, hence the lack of race reports. The cool part was that I knew that I'd have a PR and a PW no matter what. So, no pressure. (I know you are curious, so here's the stats: San Diego - 4:48:44 and Seattle - 5:08:something) I ran both very smart, and I even smiled 98% of the time. I just loved it. And in Seattle I ran with my best running buddies, so of course that was awesome. No Ipod either race, just truly connecting with how awesome the entire experience is. I'm hooked. 

Pictures aren't uploading today so I will come back (soon, I swear!) with another post full of awesomeness. I met several blogger friends, met some incredible people (Kara Goucher? Dena Kastor? At the same time?!) and loved it. Just loved it. 

Here's where I'm at now, and what I have planned....and all Full Marathons: 

Sept. 6: American Discovery Trail Marathon (Colorado Springs, CO)
Oct. 10: Prairie Fire Marathon (Wichita, KS - and with Team in Training!) 
Oct. 17: Rock 'n Roll Denver (Duh.)
Dec. 5: Rock 'n Roll Vegas (Duh, again.) 

After loving those first two, and already knowing I was doing Denver and Vegas, I decided to go big and set a plan of "First 6 Marathons in 6 months". Whoot!

Thanks for hanging in there with me the past several months. I'm happy to be back to the world of blogging, and thrilled to have been bitten (and bitten hard!) by the Marathon Bug. I missed you all very much, and I am so thankful for your help and support and love. Runners Rock...especially Running Bloggers. 

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

The Final Countdown! (Rock 'n Roll San Diego this weekend!)


I cannot believe how close I am to the big day! My team and I fly out on Friday morning, and I'll be in California by noon. I think I'm in shock that it is actually time. 

Here's a picture of the back of my race jersey. So far. I think it turned out so perfect!

My very special friends that I've run with every single day from the get-go will not be in San Diego, and this is making me so sad. They'll be in Seattle with me in a few weeks...but my goodness. I feel a little empty going into this without them. A lot empty. I have to channel my inner Miley Cyrus in the song "Party in the USA". Don't pretend that you don't love that song. I know they're with me in spirit. 

In totally awesome marathon news, Katye and I are in the same corral, and get to run together for as long as we can! I am so excited to meet her, and to run with her. She is an awesome woman, and has been so sweet and supportive all along. I'm also excited to meet Rachel - another fabulous woman. How awesome that both of these lovely ladies are fellow Team in Training teammates? I love that we're everywhere! 

All is going well. I'm feeling great, mentally. Trying to keep my brain on other things, because I'm such an intense feeler, if I did nothing but think about how incredible this is, I'd cry all day long. (Case in point, one of my clients told me on Tuesday how excited he is for the runner tracking, and that he can't wait to get the updates on where I'm at in the marathon. That he's so proud of me, and of how much effort I've put into this. I cried.) Needless to say, this experience has already been perfect. I can't believe I to get to experience it twice within 3 weeks! 

While in San Diego, I'll also be meeting up with my awesome friend, Jen, and her daughter. She alleges that she's taking me to the beach, and to show me why it is she chooses to spend an outrageous amount on rent to live in San Diego. I'm very excited to see and experience why she loves it so much. 

Last but not least I get to see my brother, sister-in-law, niece and nephew. I am beyond thrilled! They came home for my Mom's surprise birthday party in March, but that has been much too long. I'm so thankful they're moving back to Kansas in a few months. 

I wish I could put into words what I'm feeling! I am a changed woman. Thankfully, since almost everyone reading this has experienced these feelings, I don't have to. You just know. And, at the time of my next blog entry, I will be a MARATHONER. I can't wait to join the club! 

Thank you all so much for your kind comments and support during this training cycle. You helped me to embrace the experience and to enjoy it even more than I would have otherwise. Love it! 

Monday, May 24, 2010

Update (the "Upbeats and Beatdowns" Edition)

Beatdown: My wisdom tooth is shifting, and causing some issues. Mostly affecting my sleep/eating habits.

Upbeat: With all of this extra time on my hands not sleeping, I will have extra time to blog.


Beatdown: Our 20-miler Saturday was sunny and 80+ degrees. And humid.

Upbeat: While I am typically a back of the packer, I became a front of the packer. It was harder than 60's, yes. But now I'm mentally prepared for heat/humidity. Just in case.


Beatdown: I had my final fundraiser. (Signaling that the Team in Training experience is nearing the end.)

Upbeat: The $10,000 goal I had in mind was officially met (and exceeded). Whooohoo!


Beatdown: I bet the original goal of $4,000 feels awfully lonely right now.

Upbeat: I can't think of one. Sorry, original goal. You were great while you lasted, and you were a terrific starting goal.


Beatdown: My friend and running buddy, Yvette, had some knee issues happening Saturday, and had to cut her run short.

Upbeat: I am so very proud of her for facing that big mental hurdle and calling it quits. I know she was so disappointed, but she tackled the situation with wisdom and it will pay off. I just know it.


Beatdown: It is 3:30am and I am blogging, thanks to that darn tooth.

Upbeat: Tylenol is kicking in, and sleep just might be in my future.


Upbeat: Less than 2 weeks before marathon day #1!

Upbeat: Taper, schmaper. I'm not as psycho as I had planned for. So far...

Upbeat: Drugs are kicking in, so sleep may be in my future. Whooohoo!

Upbeat: The pain in my tooth makes the soreness in my legs seem like nothing. (Three yoga classes for my fundraiser on my rest day before the 20-miler. Tired legs.)


All things running-related have me so excited! I cannot believe how quickly the big days are approaching. Pretty awesome to look back on all that I've accomplished. I remember the first mileage PR of 8 miles. And 10. And the ankle injury (or whatever that was). And that I have met my goal of finishing long runs feeling great, happy, and smiling.

And after all of this, when people ask if I'm a runner...I'm having a hard time coming up with reasons that I'm not a runner. I love it.

Happy Monday! Have a great week.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Mentally Prepared for Rain.

15 miles on schedule for Saturday - and 15 miles done. It rained. And rained. And rained. Bonus, I'm going to be fine if it rains in San Diego and/or Seattle. It kept us cool, and wasn't too much of a pain beyond my hair being one giant knot afterward and random droplets falling from the trees and hitting me in the face. Ouch! Yes, I'm sensitive, as Michele would say.  

I cannot believe how close I am. I don't even know what to say! Just one 20-miler, and one 13-miler (with my regular runs in between) and I'll be heading to San Diego. Sweet! 

My dear running buddy and friend, Yvette, purchased a copy of Run Like a Mother for me. It was such a kind gesture, and she wrote the sweetest note on the cover. I didn't even know Yvette (or Michele, or Madison) before our running journey started. And now, they're my friends for life. Warm fuzzies. 

Now I know why everyone loves that book so much! It really is awesome. I'm not too far in, though have throughly enjoyed it. 

Yvette and I are heading out for 6-miles on the "hills" this evening. "Hills". All of the locals know why I use quotes. Pretty flat, here. 

In fundraising news, I am now less than $500 away from the $10,000 mark this season. Yay! (If you click the link, it isn't all showing up yet. But most of it should sometime this week. Score!) Thank you to all of my blogging buddies who have donated. You are all awesome. And so are all of my blogging buddies who haven't donated. Just showing your support has meant the world to me. Tight-knit group, these runners are! 

Oh, and side note. I'm running Rock 'n Roll Denver on October 17. And Rock 'n Roll Vegas on December 5. My switch has officially been flipped. I'll officially add them to my "list" as soon as register. Whoohoo!

Monday, May 10, 2010


Saturday was awesome. Just awesome! 

I ended up with 22.2 miles. I never questioned whether or not I would survive it. I knew I would. And I did. My first 10.2 miles started at 5am with Yvette, Michele, and Madison. I love these women. They keep me going, and I completely spoiled by them. I'm so thankful for their friendship, and their company while we run. 

We were running late, so picked up our pace and juuuuuuust made it to the Team Run at 7am. Michele and Madison left to finish up their final 10k at the River Run (way to get a medal at the end of your training run, ladies!). Yvette finished her long run with 3 miles out, 3 miles back, and I logged my final 12 miles as well. 

I smiled almost nonstop. Time was flying by. I felt mentally strong. I didn't drink much at all my first 10 miles, and I that mistake showed itself in the form of a major calf cramp around 14 miles in. Ouch! It wasn't bad enough that I couldn't run, and it didn't jack with my mental state of awesome. It did, however, show me just how much a little mistake early on can affect me so greatly. Lesson learned. 

I thought I was excited before. Now, that excitement has bubbled up and oozed over. (That sounds really nasty. But, I mean it in a good way...)  

Less than four weeks before the first day comes along that I've been looking forward to for so many weeks. Less than four weeks before I reach a huge goal. Less than four weeks before I represent a little boy who has been fighting much longer than I have been training. Less than four weeks before I run just four miles more than I did on Saturday. Less than four weeks before I experience a marathon weekend with Team in Training. 

Fundraising update: I'm currently at over $9,300 raised for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. And I have three weeks of Sunday Shout Outs to catch up on. 

It moves me. It really does. This process has changed me, forever. A wise woman told me to savor every minute of the first marathon. That it would change me. And that those moments can't be relived as a first-timer ever again. I'm all over it - thank you, Jennifer! I'm so thankful. 

This is a random tidbit - but I haven't used an Ipod at all! Ok, not entirely true - when I did my 13.1 on the treadmill I did...but outside, nope. I've always needed music. And now, who needs it? Not me! Believe me, I'm as shocked as all of you music-lovers are. Hey, at least I won't have to worry about battery-life on Marathon Day. 

I'm excited. Did I mention that? 

Monday, May 3, 2010

Alive and Well!

I'm here! I'm here!

Behind on blogging, but only because I am trying to keep up with life in general. All is well, though.

April 25 was our 20-miler. We woke up for 7 miles and then ran the Wichita Half-Marathon to finish up. Nothing like receiving a medal for a long training run. Whoohoo! Our time was 2:18:something. Not too shabby for the tail end of 20.15 miles.

Had a fundraiser afterward that was. Can't win 'em all. At least I got to enjoy an adult beverage as it was at a bar. Yay!

Last weekend we had an 18-miler. All was well. Not sore at all, so that is nice. I was quite sore after my first time at that distance. Had some ankle pain (not the same spot that caused my time off before) that disappeared within a day.

Gearing up for another fundraiser - "Get Bendy for a Cure" on May 21. It is a day of Yoga to benefit the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. We have a Yoga studio that has been donated to us for a day, and my darling friend Nickki volunteered her time to teach the classes. There will be a sunrise class at 6am, nooner at 12pm, Evening at 6:30pm, and Candlelight at 8:30pm. I have a great feeling. Who doesn't love Yoga? (Ok, lots of people. But Yoga is awesome. Don't be a hater.)

That is what is going on with me! I feel terribly far behind. Less than 5 weeks until Marathon #1! So excited!

Upcoming weekend mileage:

May 8 - 22miles
May 15 - 15 miles
May 22 - 20 miles
May 29 - 13 miles
June 6 - Marathon #1
June 12 - 10 miles
June 19 - 15 miles
June 26 - Marathon #2

Is it sick and wrong that I am looking forward to all of it? A big thanks to Team in Training for "flipping my switch". What a fabulous experience!

Have a great week!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Less is More (and Boston News!)

I wasn't entirely truthful when I came back from my ankle injury and said it felt great. It did feel awesome for the first week or two. Then it came back with a vengence. Hobbling around the gym while I worked, limping all over at home. Not a pretty sight. It always felt pretty great while running, thankfully. I didn't want to mention it on here because, frankly, I just wanted to not think about it any more than I was already. Which happened to be every single step I would take.

Fast forward to the past two or three weeks of going from running five days a week to three days a week. Ankle pain - gone. Vanished. Buh-bye.

It wasn't an intentional switch-up to my schedule. Life just got in the way. Thank goodness! For me, less is more. Running 6 miles Monday, 8 miles Wednesday and my long run on Saturday has allowed me to run and walk and live pain free. Pretty awesome. I'm thrilled beyond belief! Because, as you know, I don't "do" pain. I was doing it, but I wasn't a fan of it. This is much better. Booyah!

Post-18 mile News:

Wow. I sucked air for the first 2.5 miles of my run last night. I mean, I love Yvette and enjoy her so much that every run is fun and filled with talking and laughing and fun. I couldn't talk. I could barely breathe. Instead of laughter, I was closer to tears. Or walking. Legs were tired. I'm thrilled to report that after mile 2.5 of the 6 miles, we were back to our old selves. And I'm so thankful it wasn't just me!

Boston News:

Not only is My Coach superhuman and amazing, he's also freaking fast. This is the guy who runs his long runs four minutes slower per mile than his marathon pace. The guy who tells us our long runs cannot be too slow. Ever. (And I love him for that.)  My incredible Coach kicked butt and ran the Boston marathon in 2:59:22.  It was his 50th "official" marathon - so a very special day all around. I am so proud of him, and so proud to learn from him. He's a great guy with a great wife and precious son and a marathoning dog...and while he sucks at softball, he obviously makes up for it with his running talent. Amazing. And inspiring.

Way to go, Coach Scott! (And all other Boston runners!)

In other News:

Oooooh! Getting excited for Sunday! I cannot wait to get a 7-miler in with my Team, followed by our first "official" Half Marathon together. Yay! Oh, and someone asked why we couldn't do the 7 miles after the Half rather than before. There are a few things stopping me:

1. This Half-Marathon is being used a training run. For the experience of a long race, and to get my 20 miles in for that day. As my coach reminded me, this is not the race I am training for. The ones that are incredibly important to me are the marathons June 6 and June 26. 

2. One of our major fundraisers as a Team starts at 12:30pm. No way will I have time to run afterward.

3. Running the 7 miles ahead of time will allow me to be a bit worn out so that I won't get over-excited and run too fast during the race. Which is really funny, considering I don't run fast even when I do run fast. Did you catch all of that?

I'm off to enjoy a quiet Tuesday evening. We close on our old house on Friday (a week early - whoohoo!) and the husband is away taking down the playset in the backyard. Time to catch up on DVR'd show that he dislikes! Yay!

Happy Mid-Week!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Sunday Shout Out: Week Thirteen

The weeks are still flying by, in case you wondered...

In all honestly, I truly cannot believe that at the begining of this training cycle, I hadn't ever run more than 7 miles in my life. And now, 8 miles is the distance of my midweek run. Crazy!

Donations this week:

Jen is my blogging buddy from Utah. Her blog is called: Why I Run. She posts the most amazing pictures from her runs. I think Kansas is beautiful. I get through my runs here and enjoy them. That said, I think you couldn't run in Utah and not believe in a higher power. I mean, wow. It is gorgeous there. Jen is a Mom and a runner and has the most gorgeous eyes ever. She's truly a beautiful woman!  Jen, your donation was so unexpected - and also so appreciated. You rock. Thank you so much!

Also, this week was the garage sale that my friend and team mate, Stephanie, and I had together. We have so many people to thank (Samantha, Yvette, Erica, Meg, Faith, Sarah - among others!), as we truly wouldn't have had such a successful fundraiser without so many kind and generous people donating items for the sale, donating food for the bake sale, and our friends who just came and made very generous donations and who definitely weren't paying garage sale prices.

The long and short of the sale was this. We had hoped that, after three days total, we would raise $600 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. That was the amount we felt would make all of our hard work (mostly Steph's hard work!) ahead of time worth it. $300 for each of us in our fundraising efforts. Let's just say, we sure underestimated...

We made $2,000 total!

Wow. I have no other words.

We saved ourselves hours of work by not pricing anything. We did have suggested donation amounts in our heads for the big items, but beyond that we let people name their prices. Some people took beyond their fair advantage of that. But, as the numbers showed, we also had many fair and generous donors, too.

A really awesome thing was when a woman showed up on Thursday. I felt like I knew her. I kept staring at her, trying to figure it out. While she was talking to us, I turned my head away for a few seconds while she was talking, and it hit me. It was Kathy Deane - the producer of my favorite local morning radio show! The lightbulb went off in my head and I was like, "Hey! I know you!" Hilarious I couldn't figure out how I knew her by looking at her, but that her voice gave it away once I stopped looking at her. Kathy was kind enough to read a facebook message on air the next day advertising our garage sale. Thank you, Kathy!

Another neat experience was when a girl (maybe 19 or 20 years old) came, looked around, bought some cookies, and then made a donation without buying anything. I thanked her for being so generous, and she shared with me that she had Leukemia when she was 5-years-old...she's a survivor! She then thanked us for what we're doing, which was just...inspiring. It just was.

The person I have to thank the most is Stephanie. Her world was turned upside down having this sale at her house. The extra work she put in was insane. Stephanie rocks. She says it isn't a big deal, but it is. Stephanie, you rock.

In Other News:

Slow is Sexy Saturday was a smashing success this week! At 4am, five women met together to embark on the journey. Michele, Madison, Yvette, Sonya and I. At 5am, we added two more women (Jennifer and Krystle) and a dog (Pavlov, the marathoning dog). At 7am, we met the Team for our last few miles. Let's just say, doing 14 miles and stopping for 10 minutes before running again was painful. The four of us continuing on with the Team (Michele, Madison, Yvette and I) all groaned and moaned for a little bit. Then something funny happened, and we had a good laugh with our Team, and that laughter just took away all of that pain. Ok, it didn't take away all of the pain, but it sure helped.

Michele and Madison headed back at the mile mark (for 16 total, those little rockstars!!!) and Yvette and I turned around at the two mile mark for 18 total miles.

I'm glad I'm not the only one who felt this way...but the run was totally perfect. We talked and laughed and bonded and I can honestly say I enjoyed the entire run. What a fabulous feeling to go out at 4am, do high mileage, and afterward feel like I just had a girls night out with great friends. Yesterday I felt confident. I mean, if I can do 18, surely I can do another 8. Right? Right. Just say yes...

I'm just so thrilled at the entire weekend. Successful fundraiser, successful 18 miler, mileage PR, and fabulous company through it all. Lovin' every minute of it.

Have a great week!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

A Change of Plans

My husband is out of town for work, and my childcare for this morning's 8-miler fell through last night. I've been feeling all beat down about it, and bummed, and sad. But I keep reminding myself that things tend to work themselves out. I may have missed my scheduled 8-miles for today. (The chances of getting it in today are zero.) But, perhaps I missed out on a car accident, or a wipe out while running, or something else. I won't know what it was, but it makes me feel better to think there's a reason for it beyond just to make me want to cry. I didn't cry...but I was feeling defeated.

This morning I received an email from my high school cross country coach, Dan. He sends a daily "Thought for the Day" and today it said,

"Opportunity often comes disguised in the form of misfortune or temporary defeat." 
   --Napoleon Hill

I needed that.

As I started typing this, I received a message from my friend, Sarah. She has been such an incredible support to me in my fundraising efforts, as her Uncle is battling Leukemia. In her message, she shared that her Uncle lost his battle with Leukemia late last night.

This fight is so important. The mileage, the occasional family stress, the long hours, the fundraising, etc. This is for those losing their lives to blood cancer. For those battling. For their families. Worth every minute of it.

Keeping Sarah and her family in my thoughts today.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Sunday Shout Out: Week 12 (The Monday Edition)

I wasn't feeling a huge need to post this yesterday, as there were no donations this week. ACK!!!

However, I've got two big fundraisers coming up over the next two weeks, so not all is lost. Or it better not be. I'm still $2,000 away from my goal!

Last week was a great week for the most part...

Monday - 6 miles in 30mph winds with my friend and teammate, Yvette. Then lifted at the gym afterward.

Tuesday - nada

Wednesday - 8 miles with Yvette, Michele, Madison and my darling Fair Weather Runner. I love these ladies. It was a great time! (My Coach didn't show up, as he's a total slacker. I mean, he was preparing for a marathon on the weekend - and did so in 3:30, and is planning to sub-3 hour Boston. What a drama queen.)

Thursday - Mental health day. I needed a break from running. Or a break from fundraising. Not sure which, but as of 9pm Wednesday night, I decided I was "never running again". Maybe I'm the drama queen. Just one of those days.

Friday - Scheduled day off. (Yep, that made 3 days off last week.)

"Slow is Sexy" Saturday - 16 miles. I was feeling it afterward. And yesterday. I feel great today, however. Enjoying nearly every weekend being a mileage PR!

Today I've got 6 miles on tap with Yvette, again.

My husband and I had it out on the weekend with regard to the time the training, the fundraising, etc. takes. I get what he's saying. But I warned him the times will keep getting longer, which didn't thrill him. After the fundraising finishes up, I am going to start running at least an hour or two before the Team starts. That way I can still run with my Team, but can also keep the peace at home. Cutting long run days short isn't an option, so I will work with it however I can. He's quite supportive of what I'm doing, but April has just been tough. Fundraiser after Fundraiser. Long mileage. And maybe it was just one of those times in a marriage where you need to fight it out, make sure everyone is on the same page, and then come out of it stronger. As we have. All is well, now. But I'm still going to start running earlier on long run days.

Oh, and remember when I mentioned that my first Half Marathon is coming up April 25? Well...I neglected to mention is that my training schedule calls for 20 miles that day. Which means that yes, I'll be getting a PR since I've never done an "official" Half Marathon. But it also means I'll be running 7 miles right before the race. Then doing the 13.1 miles. Don't hate on me too much for my slowness. I'm using "Slow is Sexy" Saturday (well, Sunday that week) as my excuse.

Happy Monday!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Sunday Shout Out: Week Eleven

Incredible that I am 11 weeks into this adventure. For those new to the blog, Hello! My "Sunday Shout Out" is what I've done each week since the beginning and I just show some love to all the people who made donations during the week.

Donations this week:

Mark and Kim are my Uncle and Aunt on my step-Dad's side of the family. Allie and Marcus are their children, and I used to babysit those two! Now Allie is a college girl, and Marcus is a highschooler! When did that happen?! Their family is a fabulous family to call my own. Like the rest of the family, they welcomed my brother, sister and I with open arms, for which I will be forever grateful. Allie is so great with my girls, and they really love her, as do I. And Marcus is so cute, my girls just get all shy around him! Such a nice guy. Gives me hope that when my girls are in high school, there will be nice guys like him around. Thank you all so much for your love and support. I truly appreciate it!

Wayne and Claudia are a truly amazing couple - the link when you click Wayne's name is an amazon listing with the books he has authored. I need to tell a story to explain how I know them. It is a great running story. Actually, this couple had a huge impact on my love for running back in the day. I met them as a 14-year-old at Jim Ryun's Running Camp. (Not familiar with Jim Ryun? Grew up in Wichita. Olympian. Only highschooler for many years to run a sub-4 minute mile. Awesome man. Incredible family...) Anyway, Wayne and Claudia attended the camp the same year I did - Wayne taught me everything I know about fast-twitch vs. slow-twitch muscle fibers. It was Wayne who suggested perhaps a shorter race would be my race (vs. the 2 mile) based on my fast vs. slow twitch muscle fibers! And Claudia is an amaizngly kind and generous woman. I can safely say they are one of the most Godly and honestly good couples I have ever met. And I've been in touch with them for nearly 15 years. They had a huge impact on my life. My running life, my personal life, etc. I'll never forget them. I am so touched they were moved to donate. They probably have no idea just how much of an impact they had on me. Needless to say, I'll never forget them. Thank you both so much. All these years after JRRC, I still admire and adore you. Thank you for everything.

Boot Block Volunteers:

Paige is my sister. Of course I love her! I've known her...well...all of her life. She's a dreamer, and she's a creative soul, and she's got a whole lot of awesome to offer the world. I can't wait to see where she ends up. I know once she's completely plugged in where she wants to be, she'll be incredibly successful. I adore you, Paige, and I love you so much. Thank you for standing on a corner for five hours with me. I truly appreciate you.

Nickki is a friend I've known for...maybe 8 years? And, thankfully, we've become even more close the past two years. She's awesome. And gorgeous. When you look past her outer beauty, you get to see the inner beauty...quite an amazing package she offers! Nickki is just amazing. Those who know her won't argue with that statement a bit. I'm so thankful to know her and to call her my friend. Thank you, Nickki, for taking your ENTIRE Saturday to be with me. She ran the race with me, and stayed the entire five hours of the boot block as well. What a trooper! I hope your back is feeling better, Nickki! You rock. Don't forget it. I love you! Thank you.

Kelli is a friend I met in college. We've always stayed in touch. She's a keeper! I was with Kelli as a "fan" at her first marathon. At that race, I swore I would *never* run a marathon. Ever. (Side story, the girl who watched Kelli's marathon with me also said the same thing - no marathon, no way, no how. We're both doing RnR San Diego through TNT. Crazy how life works out.) Kelli has one of the most amazing hearts ever. She's a world-changer, this woman. Kelli will be in my life forever. I love her. Thank you, Kelli, for showing me that marathons are doable...and that I'm as crazy as you are for wanting to do one. Or two. Or three. You rock, and I love you. Thank you so much for your help yesterday!

People in Wichita who donated at the boot block: You're all awesome. Period. Thank you for teaching me the lessons you taught me.

In Other News:

This entire weekend was awesome. One thing after another. Had a great day today. However, the Easter Bunny broke his leg and couldn't get to our house (bad Mommy and Daddy!) until after we arrived back home from my parent's house. And we all rejoiced that he was all better.

I'm just so grateful today. So many great things happening. If you haven't considered doing a marathon through Team in Training, I would highly suggest it. And I'm not just being crazy because it is important to me, based on my family history with blood cancer. (Though of course it makes it special and important to me...) The people I have met are friends for life - you know who you are! The Team aspect reaches so much further than just running together. I just think coming together for a good cause opens you up in big ways. Just throwing it out there, because it really has been awesome! Consider it.

Have a fabulous week. My first half-marathon is three weeks from today in Wichita. Many of my buddies will be running in OKC at the same time. Oklahoma City would be fun, given the company I would share, and the meaning behind the race. So excited for my "race", though I wish I could be two places at once...

Happy Easter!