Friday, December 20, 2013

Friday Five

one.  Christmas is 5 days away! I am hoping I don't have to run to the stores for anything else before the big day. I do have a few things to check off my list but since we won't be seeing some folks until after Christmas I'm thinking I can hit up a few places post holiday. I have Santa wrapping to do and that seems to be my only real issue. And honestly it's not much of an issue except I have to figure out when/where I will wrap stuff because I have one kid (7) that still believes and the other kid (10) doesn't. So while I can lock myself in the bedroom there is still the whole, "What are you doing?????"

two. I am super excited that each year I get so much time off work to spend with my family for the holidays. We close Friday at 5pm and reopen on Jan. 2nd. Woohoo. Normally this would mean lots of sleeping in and not really answering to an alarm clock. This yr will be a little different though. I'll answer to an alarm clock to get my runs in but then I get to go home and enjoy family time instead of rushing off to work. My kiddos (I think) are kinda excited about having us all home for a while as a family.

three. Running related here - I fell and ate some major sidewalk on yesterday morning's 5 miler. We were roughly .15 miles in when the sidewalk just reached right up and grabbed my foot. haha I hit hard and kinda just laid there a minute until the stinging went away. I'm still trying to figure out just how in the world I fell the way I did. Left knee banged, scraped and bruised. Right shoulder bruised and tender. When I got up I even told my friend that my jaw (right side) hurt. Weird weird fall. I used my achy body and restless night of sleep as an excuse to skip out on my 5am hill repeat session. Those bad boys will be getting done at 5pm instead.

four. I'm trying hard to get real again in the fitness/weight loss department. I can run and run and run and stick to that schedule pretty well, but the whole eat well/lift weights/cross train thing seems to be the hardest for me these days. I think it's because for so long it wasn't a real issue. It just came naturally (the healthy diet) and even when I did splurge I was in tune with what I was doing and marathon training provided me with a way to maintain my weight, so I didn't worry a lot. Now that the marathon is over and I'm back to base running phase I keep trying to work on adding my weights and a little cross training but my schedule still feels so tight. However, I really am going to try to get it all in. It's just hard, yo!

five. In regards to the above post - I just registered for a New Year's Day race and accepted a mileage challenge for winter. That should keep things in check!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Rocket City Marathon - from the other side

This past weekend my awesome husband ran his first (and according to him, Only!) marathon. The first thing I will say is that I am so incredibly proud of him. You guys KNOW,  know that a marathon is not easy. But let me tell you what the last month or so has been like for my guy.

First of all, he is a former football player at the University of Tennessee. He's suffered foot/ankle injuries that he's never fully overcome. Yet, with that he still trained hard for his marathon. There days/nights where his feet/ankles and toe joints made him too miserable to sleep and the week of his marathon the man was drinking baking soda and wearing the wooden shoe of shame to help ease the pain.  To say he is a determined human being is putting it lightly.

Secondly, he lost his one true hero on 11/11 this year.. his dad passed away very unexpectedly. There were times towards the end of his training he fought the mental battle between moving forward and getting it done or calling it quits and putting the marathon behind him. He knew it would be hard physically and even emotionally but with this the emotional battle was bigger. He still persevered.

We made the trip to Huntsville, AL for the Rocket City Marathon alone. We arrived at the very small expo to pick up his packet, ate dinner, checked into our room and were in bed at a decent hour. The forecast all week called for 100% chance of rain. We awoke Saturday morning to pouring rain but it was to move out by the race start. That was a plus. Belly full and dressed to go we headed to the race start line.




Once all the runners were off I really had no clue what to do. I was in a city I didn't know, alone. The first thing on my mind was coffee at that point and I knew I could plug Starbucks into my GPS. So, I did that. I figured if I was able to find the Starbucks and then plug the intersection of the 15 mile point, which is where I was meeting hubby I would be good to go. It was rough finding the Starbucks but only because I kept getting to one road and the lady saying, "You have reached your destination." That Starbucks must have been hiding in a building! Anyway, I had plenty of time before I had to be at mile 15 but was stressing over the direction and all this extra time I had. Nerves were getting me already.

Once I found my beloved latte I was on my way. I got to the 15 mile mark with so much time to spare that I was able to see the leaders of the race and cheer everyone on from home while waiting on my hubby. So many strong runners and it was fun talking to other people who were there spectating as well. While waiting I got a text from my hubby and immediately felt panicked. He asked where I was, I told him. Thankfully he only needed blister pads and a change of socks. We were fully prepared for the rain and I had an entire change of clothes and shoes ready for him should he need it.

He looked so strong coming into mile 15. It only took about a minute for him to fix his feet up, steal a kiss and be on his way. Then the waiting for me began again. 11 more miles of running for him meant a couple hours or so of pacing at the finish line for me. When I got to the finish line there were some local friends who had ran that I wanted to see finish so I waited around for that before running inside for another cup of coffee (haha). The finish line of this race was small (as was the race itself) but there was quite a bit of action.

My phone was buzzing with with calls and texts from home asking for results of this one or that one and how'd my hubby do, etc. I don't know if it was that, the anticipation or the extra cup of coffee I had but I was a nervous wreck. I kept looking at my watching, the finish line clock and pacing, trying to add up the time to see when specifically I should expect my husband. I knew what he was wearing but it seemed like every person that rounded the corner and headed down the hill to the finish was dressed exactly the same.

Finally, I saw what I knew was my husband and couldn't stand it anymore. I jogged the little uphill towards him in my rainboots, backpack strapped to me and camera flinging across my chest to get a good picture. Snapped one and realized my camera battery had died. Oops. Thankfully my phone had enough charge for me to get a few.

I can't tell you how proud I am. He's a marathoner. He's in the club!

It's such a different part of racing being on the spectating end especially as a runner myself. I now know what he has gone through when he's been awaiting my arrival at a finish line. I won't say it's as hard as running a marathon (or any other distance) but it is quite exhausting.

Congrats, babe! I'm so so proud of you. Hang your medal and wear that marathon shirt with pride. You earned it!!!




Tuesday, December 3, 2013

November recap

I feel like I need to recap the month of November for the sole purpose of telling myself that it's going to be ok. We had a rough November. Sure, I ran and PR'd my marathon but then things got nuts.

I took a complete week of total rest post marathon. I suggest everyone do this the week post marathon. Best thing I did for not only myself but my family. Was I a crazy person? Did I want to run? Truthfully - nope! I enjoyed extra family time and my body was thankful for the break.

The week after my marathon we lost my father in law unexpectedly. You can imagine what that week was like. I did manage two short, easy runs for my sanity. But as you can imagine things got busy so that was all I squeezed out.

Thanksgiving week started out well and I managed to hit up BodyPump on Monday (skipping my easy run in hopes to make up the miles on my other cross train day). I ran Tuesday and Wednesday, both easy/lower miles. Then I got sick. Not just a little sick apparently. Thanksgiving day I was fine but skipped my run to volunteer at a race and prep food, then hang with friends/family for the day. I had every intention of getting my Friday run/cross train or something in BUT I couldn't lift my body out of the bed. So, I coaxed my kids into leaving me be a while by giving them a Black Friday find I scored. Gotta love cheap entertainment and a few hours peace!

Saturday morning there was no way I was doing much. Off to the dr's I went where I learned I had a sinus infection, bronchitis and laryngitis. So fun to go big and get it all done at once, right!? I've been taking my daily doses of cough meds, mucinex and antibiotics; feeling lots better.

I ran a total of 10.75 miles last week. Daily Mile said, "Fantastic training!" Wrong, DM, wrong.
I ended November with a total of 72 miles logged with 26.46 of those being my marathon. You can say November was NOT my best month of the year as far as mileage logged BUT I'm not going to beat myself up over life happening. Instead I'm going to let November be a success based solely on my 23 minute marathon PR. :)

So, what's on tap for December?
Good question. So far, my only December goal is to run and keep going to BodyPump. I'm repeating a week in training but taking things slow, which hasn't been hard (first run was today) and pace is suffering still because my lungs are still achy. I know it will take time to fully recover and get back to where I was. I'm being patient and moving forward with a positive attitude.


Sunday, November 10, 2013

Indy Monumental Marathon

26.2 #2 is - D.O.N.E!!!

I had such an amazing weekend. We headed out to Indy Friday morning around 9:00. A little bit of a girl's road trip!!

We stopped for a quick bite to eat midway through our trip. I scarfed down Momma's Pancake breakfast like it was my last meal. We arrived in Indy around 4pm (give or take) and headed right over to the Expo. We weren't overly impressed with many of the booths. Packet pickup was easy, breezy. We hung out with some friends and our coach at the Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon booth before going to dinner and checking into our room.

Posing with my girls and our race bibs!! So excited!!

We hit up dinner at a local brewery. I had a turkey burger and sweet potato fries which is not my normal pre-race meal but I took a chance. It was delicious and I didn't feel like dying after I ate it. We headed back to the room post dinner to get our race gear all laid out and an early bedtime.

Flat Kimert!

I think we were all settled in our respective beds by 9 pm with alarms set for 5am. The hotel was having breakfast for runners beginning at 6am. I woke up in the night at least 3 times. I think I was worried about my husband's arrival more than anything. He's a sweet soul and was driving through the night after his football game Friday night.
I think we all woke up race morning before any alarms went off. Race day anxiety!!

We headed down to the buffet line to beat the rush. I had originally planned to eat the food I brought with me but ended up eating a few things from the hotel's breakfast. I made sure to go light but get in my cals and visited the bathroom plenty of times just in case.

We had a large group in Indy all doing anything from the 5k to the marathon. There were lots of pre-race pics before heading out to the finish line. The nice thing about the race is that the start line was just a block from the hotel. This gave us time to sleep in, take our time doing our morning routine and enough time out in the cool temps before the start.



Shortly after pre-race pictures there was a prayer (which was awesome, by the way) and the gun went off. I had gone over my race plan for about a week. I had it nicely written on a brown paper sack and then again with a sharpie on my hand. After discussing my plan with a friend on the ride to Indy we decided we would try to run the race together. I loved this idea. Three of us started together. Here we are early in the race..

All smiles and running strong. We were sticking well with the race plan which was a 10:10 min/mile to start for the first 13 miles. This would have me running slower than my training runs for the most part but picking up the pace slightly after the half and then again at mile 20. The goal was 10:10 for the first 13miles, 9:50s for the next 7 and at mile 20 9:30s-9:40s.

Things were going mostly well but I ended up feeling the urge to stop for the bathroom just before the 10k mark. I wanted badly to hold on and keep running but my body was telling me to not wait. I waved my friends on and hoped I could catch up to them. Instead I had to make yet another stop just before the half way point. I was frustrated!! Frustrated with my body but also frustrated with the race for only having TWO (2) porta potties set up at each stop. In my opinion, that's just not enough for the first half of a race that big. But oh well. I ended up losing 10-12 minutes between the two stops.

Splits for the first half (not including the stops because my Garmin is set to autopause):
9:01/  10:10/  9:40/  10:12/  10:12/  10:07/  9:40/  10:04/  9:58/  9:56/  10:01/  10:02/  9:42

After the 2nd stop I felt really great but knew I was behind. I wanted to make up for the lost time so I sped up bit and decided to run based on how I was feeling. I remember just feeling good, enjoying the run and my surroundings. The streets were still pretty crowded with both runners and spectators. I would get tickled when spectators would say, "You're almost up this hill then it's downhill from there." There were no uphills which meant it was most definitely not downhill. This was a fast, flat course. There was some incline but it made no impact on me other than giving me the chance to pass more people who thought there were really hills. ;)

Splits until mile 20:

9:46/  9:49/ 9:50/  9:52/  10:18/  9:42/  9:50

My goal at this point was to speed up like my race plan called for. I have no idea really what my mindset was or how my body really felt. I was happy that I was closer to being done with my 2nd marathon.  However, I started slowing down. I know that between mile 22-23 the sun was out and I was already warm, but then I saw a girl out cold on the ground with medics all around her. Somehow that got in my head. I started telling myself that I was going to pass out because I was tired and hot, but something snapped in me and I said no, keep going. I may have been going slow but I was finishing.

At mile 24.5 I stopped to walk a minute because the ground was uneven and chunky. I hated that. Some girl ran up behind me and said, " I wanna know your race strategy because you're killing it." Ugh. I didn't know whether I liked that or hated it. I wanted to yell, "I'm 10 minutes behind my goal that is NOT a good race strategy and I am NOT killing it." BUT, I kept running that minute and ran until the very finish.

Splits:
10:07/ 10:46/10:42/  10:14/  10:34/ 10:29/  4:41

As I was coming into the finish some guy was yelling race stats about how "You're xx% of people who ever finish a marathon, Kimberly, how does that make you feel today?" The tears began welling up. Sure, I had done this before but this time was different. Then as I rounded the corner and saw the finish line, the clock, heard all the cheers, then heard my hubby, coach and friends at the finish cheering for me I couldn't help but cry. My awesome hubby caught it on camera to make for some of the ugliest race memories ever. ;)





Garmin stats:
26.46 miles - 4:25:35

Official finish time - 4:35:40

That was good enough for a 23 minute marathon PR. I was happy with that. I'll have more pictures and marathon thoughts later. It was such an emotional race and fun weekend! I'm already thinking about marathon #3. Yes, I am THAT crazy!!



Thursday, November 7, 2013

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Taper Crazy

Ooh my gosh. This tapering thing is like a roller coaster ride. One day I'm up and the next I'm not so up.

On Saturday I had my last long run before the marathon. I ran an easy 10 miler with another friend that is also running the Indy Monumental marathon (it will be her first). We kept it to a pretty easy pace and finishing overall with a pace slightly faster than my marathon goal. That made me feel good especially since it was 30 degrees out the morning we ran. Brrr. So not ready for winter, but looks like we might have winter temps on race morning.

I haven't had a ton of spare time to really think a lot about how the taper. Saturday my son broke his arm while riding a scooter at a friend's house, so that evening was spent at the Children's Hospital ER. Sunday I volunteered at a local race then spent the day taking care of the house and kids because my super awesome hubby had a case of food poisoning and remained in bed until Monday morning. The fun does not end there though. We had to take my son to the orthopedic office to have a cast put on. That turned into an almost all day ordeal since they had to reset the bone, x-ray (twice) and do the casting. So for a few days I had so much to keep me busy the taper before this marathon was almost the last thing on my mind.

Yesterday though was my last speed workout before the race. I had a 3x1 mi track workout. Marathon pace/half marathon pace/5k pace. It went like this:

9:44/9:06/8:44 

Which is a bit faster than marathon pace, faster than current half marathon pr pace and slower than current 5k pr pace. Overall though I was pleased with my workout.

Today has been somewhat different. I'm crazy today. I cried at Starbucks when the barista told me they were sold out of soy milk. Weird. So, no latte like I had hoped for. Yes, I cried and asked if this was some sort of sick joke the guy was playing on me. I drank two cups of mediocre coffee when I got to work and have been grumpy about it ever since.

I'm to run an easy 4 miler this afternoon. I have plans for that one. Hopefully it calms the crazies I'm feeling today and I can go into tomorrow rested or fresh or something. Tomorrow Halloween and ToT with the kids will keep my mind occupied for a while. And I'm thinking I may not be completely on Friday morning since I'll start the day with an easy run. We shall see though.

I got my race plan and had a meeting with my coach yesterday. I feel really confident about the goal and am just going to trust my training. My long runs have all gone really well. I just need to remember that and not let this crazy taper thing take over my mental state.




Wednesday, October 23, 2013

22 Monumental miles on the VA Creeper Trail

Time has flown by since I first mentioned I was running marathon #2.
And my lack of blogging shows how far behind I am on my original goal of weekly marathon recaps. oopsie!

Almost 2 weeks ago we traveled with my Knoxville Endurance family to the beautiful Virginia Creeper trail to get in our last 20+ mile training run before Indy Monumental (Nov 2nd). We started our run in Abingdon and ran to Damascus. It was so beautiful. The weather was perfect and the company was great (even if I was running my 22 miles solo). I didn't run with my phone/camera but really wish I had though I'd probably have gone way slower than I should have if I'd stopped to take pictures. Seriously my words can't even describe the beauty of this run. It's an old rail bed, so we ran mostly on tightly packed pea gravel and wooden bridges. Overall the run went well for me.

We got a run plan Friday night (we all stayed in a cabin w/our coach) and went over how our run would go. This was to be our real last chance to get things right for race day as far as fueling/water, etc. So, that said I wanted it to go so so well. Here are my actual splits:

9:59/ 9:55/ 10:05/ 10:13/ 9:55/ 10:14
10:05/ 10:01/ 9:59/ 9:57/ 9:52/ 10:15
9:50/ 9:55/ 10:21
The first 15 miles (above) were to be at easy pace so around a 10mm according to my coach (though I want to be 9:45, but marathon pacing and all.... blah). Anyway, the last 7 miles were a pick up which would be at marathon pace (9:55-) or faster. They are as follows:

9:28/ 9:28/ 9:36/ 9:38/ 9:38/ 9:39

Like I said, overall this was a good run for me. Pre run breakfast was good, fueling/water during the run was good. I took a gel every 4 miles and did Enduralytes every other gel. I chose to not carry my Cambelbak this time as I think I've decided to leave it home for the marathon, so I opted for a small handheld and refilled at the water stops coach laid out for us. This worked well. 
Overall time - 3:38:43 for an overall pace of 9:56 which is within my marathon goal range.


The weekend was more than just the last long run but a great time spent with awesome friends! Stay tuned for how I've been coping with the taper. The countdown to Indy is on... T minus 9 days. 

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Marathon Training - How it's going!

Wow, 20 whole days since I've blogged. Yikes. I have logged a whole pile of miles since my race and haven't even recapped a single mile.

This weekend I did my 21 miler and have one more 20+ mile run before the taper madness begins. How did time fly so quickly!?!?

Here's how the 18, 20 and 21 mile runs all went.

18 miler -
This run was tough for me. We started early and the weather was crazy. We had cool temps, we had torrential rain and we had mega humidity and heat. The goal was 15 miles easy with a 3 mile pickup at the end. I mostly felt alright until mile 15 when I had to do my pickup. I was over my soaked clothes and shoes. I had taken my final gel in prep to kick up the pace for my last 3 to be done at marathon pace or faster.
Miles 16 and 17 were a 9:40 pace (marathon pace is around 9:55) but then I got sick and don't recall what that final mile was done in.


20 miler-
The weather was perfect. We did this one as a destination run in Townsend, TN. We started at the Tremont Institute and ran the bike trail out through Townsend. It was relatively flat, which was really nice.
The goal was easy for 16 and pick up the last 4 at marathon pace or faster.
The start was a slight downhill and my pace was a bit faster than I needed it to be but I felt good so I kept trucking along. I was amazed by how I felt this whole run and even more happy that I ran alone, without music. That is such a mental test and I am hoping it will prove to be helpful come marathon day.
I had two miles out of the entire 20 miler that were above marathon pace (10:00/10:04). My pick up miles at the end were (9:22/9:32/9:29/9:34).
Overall pace for the run 9:41 - 20 miles in 3:14.


21 miler-
We got up at 4am yesterday to meet our friends for a 5:30 am start. The goal was 16 miles easy w/5 mile pick up at marathon pace or faster.
This run was mostly great but I only had one issue around mile 8 where my GI was bothering me and I need a bathroom NOW. I had to make the most of my surroundings. I tried to be conservative w/pacing this time so that I could have energy in the tank for the pick up. I won't lie. I was not looking forward to the pickup alone because of our route. However, I made my way back to my car to drop my Camelbak and a friend was just getting started. She paced/ran with me for my pickup and I couldn't be happier with the results.
(9:09/9:13/9:22/9:22/9:48)
21 miles in 3:28 - 9:54 pace
I'm still hopeful I can add 5.2 miles and reach my marathon goal.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Parkside Realty Townsend 15k - race recap

Start time - 8:00am
Weather - 66 degrees 94% humidity

Let me start by saying that due to my terrible GI issues lately I was ready to throw the towel in on running altogether. Thursday (after a terrible run) I text my coach that I was thinking about bailing on this race. Pep talk via text changed my mind and I said, "Fine. I'll go w/tp in hand just in case." haha So, I did.

My dr now has me on a dairy free diet as we suspect I have developed an intolerance to lactose. Fun times. So, that started officially on Friday. I already felt better by mid-day Friday but was still concerned about my race and what my gut would decide to do. I was careful all weekend long leading up to Sunday morning.

Pre-race dinner fuel - filet and baked potato topped w/guacamole
Pre-race breakfast - saltines and peanut butter
Race fuel - 2 PowerGels (3 mi, 6 mi)

I got up extra early Sunday morning to allow myself even more time to allow my body to digest my food, hydrate and tend to things in the bathroom. I got dressed and was ready to leave the house by 6:10am. No pre-race packet pickup meant I'd need to be there early to get that as well as to get my warm up, flex and striders in and to the line before the start. No problems there.

There was no timing chip this year so we were to rely on a 1,2 gun start. I had already told myself I was not going to worry about that. I didn't line up quite as close as I have in other races. I was basically still hoping at this point to stay as close to my race plan as possible with the biggest goal being to finish unscathed from my recent GI issues. So, I got it in my mind that I would run by feel as close to my goal pace according to the breakdown of my plan and still treat this as my long training run for the week because in the end that is what this race was about.

I carried my own water/handheld but mostly because I wanted to have some tp for that just in case moment my gut decided to rebel against me. It was good enough that I had the water and my handheld because it had enough room for my two gels and really isn't all that annoying to carry. I did still take water at most of the stops except the first one. I wanted to conserve what I had for the end of the race should I need it. I didn't realize at the time that it was so humid though post race a lot of people were complaining about it. I guess the fact that it didn't seem to be an issue for me means my training IN the humidity has really paid off. Score!

I split the race up (as per my race plan) and decided to tackle it 4 miles at a time and treat the last little bit as a bit of tempo work, if possible. So, without really going into a ton of details on "I felt this way here or that way at this point," here are my splits.

9:16/10:07/9:15/10:04
9:41/9:20/9:42/9:03
8:52/2:30

Total time based on Garmin : 1:27:54

Overall I felt great during the race. I didn't have any issues taking my gels at miles 3 and 6 other than my pace slowed while I was taking them. My stomach felt fine and I never worried about the urge to run off course. Positive! I did feel a kick shortly after taking each of my gels, so if there is any question about them working.. YES!  I maintained my goal race pace (for marathon) the entire race so that too is a plus. Now if I can just do that for many many many (16.9 miles) more miles this marathon will be great.

I didn't struggle physically with any of the hills and the only reason I even walked in the first one was because I looked down to see i was ahead of pace. If I had that to do over I definitely would have given myself a mental pep talk to keep pushing upward!

Friends and my family were waiting on me at the finish line and got some great pics.




Official results :
1:28:05 (from the gun)
89th/146
2nd/6 in Athena

Really pleased overall with my run and a 2:55 PR over last year. It was a great morning and this really is a great race/course. It was also great to see so many friends and to have my little family cheering for me at the finish.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Three Things Thursday

1. I didn't write a weekly marathon training post because I have lost count of what week I am in. I *think* it's week 10 but honestly I'm too lazy (for an active person) to go back and look through my schedule. BUT my 18 miler was over the weekend (last weekend) and went ok. Ok meaning I had my typical stomach issues and we ran through humidity, a downpour for about 2 miles and I had a marathon paced pickup the last 3 miles in which I puked after 2. Fun times! I LOVE marathon training, for real. This week is a race week for me but kind of a cut back too since it's lower mileage. My 20 miler is NEXT WEEK! Holy moly. That snuck up quickly. Marathon training flies by when you're having so much fun. My workouts have been going well too (minus the stomach/GI stuff) and rather than bore you with this we will just move on to #2.

2. And yep, that #2. It's happening a LOT. I finally went to my dr and he put me on some probiotics and acid reducers. I was suppose to give that two weeks and if no change call him back to schedule some scoping. Eh. No thank you right now. The "meds" are and aren't working, I think. I'm still having issues and even before the dr put me on that stuff he said what I am describing isn't necessarily what he would call your typical "runners trots." It's always fun to talk about that kind of stuff. Ugh. So, the scoop is this med thing doesn't feel like it's working. Wanna know why I say that??? Omg, y'all.. I had to take the ride of shame from my coach at practice yesterday. That was NOT fun and missed 4x200 repeats before my cool down. Bummer. Also, I'm having issues daily not just when I run. I've decided to change some things up a little in the food department. We'll see if it works.

3. Speaking of food. Well, sort of. I have been staying off the scale because that thing is EVIL with a capital E. I actually weighed this morning expecting the absolute worst. Imagine my surprise when I was down 3+ lbs from the last time I got on the bad boy a few weeks ago. Nice. I've also shut down my cupcake addiction and haven't had one in almost a month or maybe longer now. Anyway, if I could just give up the weekly trips for Froyo (cake batter w/sprinkles and a cherry on top!) that would be great!


Monday, August 26, 2013

Motivational Monday

This is the start of a new training week for me. It's also a much tougher week than I have had on my schedule for marathon training. I'm excited and nervous all at the same time. After a few workouts that were less than stellar or where I failed to reach the goal it makes staying motivated slightly tougher. BUT I am up for the challenge that faces me this week, both on the track and the mileage. I can do it.






So, to help keep me motivated I am going to remember my goal. The big goal, big picture as well as the small goals.
Big picture - marathon
The inset -  track workout

I know where I am going. I am going after that goal. I will succeed.

Do you have a goal for the week? Month? Year?
Share it with me so I can cheer you on!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The Road to Indy - wks 7 & 8

Time is flying or at least in marathon training. In the last 2 weeks I've already done my 15 and 16 milers! Crazy but I am enjoying it and really look forward to race day. So, how exactly did the last 2 weeks go???

 Week 7 
Monday - 4.07 easy (38:42) w/striders. Had a sick kid at home so this was done solo in the middle of the day.
Tuesday - track day. 8 mile progression run. Goal was to start at 9:50 and get 10 seconds faster per mile.
9:44/9:41/9:17/9:26/9:11/9:13/9:00/9:14  Missed the goal but still a decent workout (in a downpour!).
Wednesday - 4.01 easy run (38:59) soupy outside even at 6am for this one! Went back to BeautyHunters bootcamp with the girls in the evening.
Thursday - rest
Friday - track day. 2up/8x200 hill repeats/2 down. Learning to LOVE hills!
 Saturday - 15 miles. 2:36 This run was painful. It was hot, it was slow and I never wanted to be done with a run so soon. Stomach issues arose (more on that soon) and I struggled from mile 4 to the finish.

Week 8 
Monday - 4 easy (actual 4.10/39:57) met the girls at 5am!
Tiesday - 1up/5 mi tempo/1 down - disaster morning! Stomach issues in mile 1 of warmup. Goal for tempo was 8:40-8:30 BUT I only managed 4 miles tempo around 8:53 overall pace.
Wednesday - 5 mi easy (46:38) went to WNRs Elite Chocolate Run! Fun run w/Angie and Kelly.
Thursday - Rest
Friday - track day - 2up/6x200 hill repeats/2 down Still LOVING hills!!
Saturday - 16 mi easy long run. (2:37) This run could not have gone better. Goal pace for long runs changed after some issues last week w/my stomach. So, coach said not to go faster than about a 10 min/mile.
9:58/9:48/9:55/10:03/9:52/9:57/9:37/9:48/10:00/9:53/9:42/9:44/9:49/9:43/9:36/9:34

First, let me go over the stomach stuff. Y'all know (if you've been here a while) that I have serious issues sometimes w/my gut. I FINALLY went to the dr. Hopefully things will be straightened out asap. I had some bad issues last week. Once last week (during my tempo run) I got sick and had gut rot in the 1 mile warmup. That has never happened but I dealt with things and moved on. My run wasn't stellar but I had a decent workout and logged all my miles for the day. After having issues again during my long run the same week I finally made a dr appointment. We have determined a plan of action.

When my coach put hills on my workouts for a few weeks in a row and told me that would be the case for a while I was first dreading those workouts BUT I love them now. Seriously, I was (probably am a little still) so weak at hills but these repeat workouts are helping me become stronger in that area.

I still want to tackle both my progression run and tempo again and meet those goals, but for now I am happy enough with how those two workouts went. I've had a chance to look back on them and while the goal wasn't met and situations happened I still managed to hit some great paces and log miles.

Long runs - that 15 miler was brutal. There is so much I could say but it was bad and I'm just thankful for great running friends. My 16 miler this past weekend was the opposite and I have never been happier to run 16 miles. From start to finish it was everything I could have hoped for. I know not every run will be bad, I know they won't all be great but I know that I am thankful for every time I am able to lace up and make my legs move.

37 miles logged week 7
38 miles logged week 8

Week 9 is so far going great! It's a down week for me as far as mileage goes. I will have a recap of that hopefully on Sunday, if not look for another 2 week recap next week.

How is YOUR training going??









Tuesday, August 6, 2013

The Road to Indy - weeks 5&6

I pretty much think that week 5 of marathon training is a blur. It may be because week 6 was awesome for me. I am really enjoying each training day. When I get my training schedule from my coach via email I get super excited but sometimes even nervous. Week 5 was a normal week and I had a few hiccups but when I opened the email with week 6 and 7 training in it I was giddy with excitement. I had new workouts on the schedule and while intimidating as first I grew excited to get the new workouts done.

Week 5 - total mileage 26 mi
Mon - easy 4 mi - I did 1 mi on the TM before going to BodyPump and the other 3 outside after.
Tues - track day! 6.31 mi - 2mi warm up /2x200s (:53/:48)/1x1 mi (7:55)/2x200s(:55/:52) Goal for this workout was :55 for 200s and 8-8:10 for the mile. I hit it. :) 2 mi cooldown
Weds - 4 mi easy
Thurs - rest
Fri - 4 mi easy
Sat - race day, total mileage was to be 10
5k didn't go as planned as per my recap. I only managed a total of 7 miles making me short for my total on the week but still had a good workout.



Week 6 - total mileage 36 mi
Mon - met the girls for my 4 easy mi early
Tues - track day! 7.5 mi total - 2 mi warmup/3x1 mi repeats (8:02/8:00/8:00)/2 mi cool down; goal was to hit repeats at 8:05-7:55. I had hoped to hit the lower end but since I was consistent I felt good about it.
Weds - 5 mi - met the girls early for a partially rainy easy 5 where I was almost hit by an SUV!
Thurs - rest
Fri- hill repeats! 2 mi warmup/6x200 hills/2 mi cool down (total mileage 5.6)
Sat - 14 miles! I love long run Saturday. Got 14 miles done in 2:14 and felt great.

I was so excited on Sunday when I looked back at the last two weeks. Even though I missed mileage and had a bad race in week 5 I was super excited about how all my runs went for week 6. I know I will have good/bad but my goal is to grow through the bad and still remain proud because of all the progress that  leads to the good. Makes sense!? 36 miles may seem like a lot to some but not much to others. For me it's a great number. It's my longest mileage week in a long time but won't be for long! I'm really happy with how much progress is being made and still really excited about being 6 weeks into marathon training.

This was after my long run on Saturday. I enjoyed a delicious breakfast with friends post run (cinnamon raisin french toast and bacon..yum!!!) and it almost made me forget about the nasty chaffing on my side! Ouch. Guess I forgot the BodyGlide there. It's crazy how happy one can be about getting up at 5am on a Saturday (and 4 a couple times through the week) to get training done!

Are you training for any big races? How's training going?

Monday, July 29, 2013

Etowah River Run 5k - race recap

This race is a special one for me. It marks my running anniversary or runningversary (if you will). Five years ago was the first time I laced up a pair of running shoes. Five years ago was my first race - the Etowah River Run 5k. With my best pal by my side we made the 3.1 mile trek from the road, to the trail and finally the finish line in 48:32 in July 2009.

This was then...
The next year I came back with my hubby to run it. Finishing then in 43 minutes and some change.

Deciding we had not had enough we came back again the next year where I finished in 35:02.




I have improved a  ton in terms of not only weight loss (-90lbs) but running since that first time and even the other 2 times running this race. I had high hopes for this year. My goal was of course to beat my current 5k pr (25:51) but I knew either way this would be a course PR for me.

I got my race plan on Thursday and was excited. I knew it was doable based on the course and my training. I was rady mentally and physically to go get it.
This year the race was chip timed, which was a huge plus. In past years they relied on runners to stop after the finish and record their time on a piece of paper!

We got our race packets race morning, did our warm up and hit the port-o-potties before doing a few striders and lining up. At the start line there was an announcement made that due to some recent storm/tornado damage the back part of the course on the trail there might be holes. I was not worried at all. I figured it would be like one of the trails here where there would be a few ruts in the trail but nothing we couldn't dodge.

I held my pace as close to my race plan during the first mile as best as I could.
Goal - 8:00-8:10  Actual - 8:12

Around mile 1.5 my stomach began to talk. I'm kinda over the GI issues actually. I begged w/my body to relax.
Goal - 8:00 - 7:50  Actual - 8:44 (boo hiss boo)

Then it got tricky. We were basically single file on the trail/cross country portion of the race. When I saw an opening and I was able to pass people I did. The grass in the infield towards the finish was mega high. Not something i recall before in this race and definitely not what I expected this time. It made it difficult for me to really pick up my pace despite my best effort.

Goal - all out  Actual - 9:08

I finished though.

Garmin - 27:32
Actual - 27:34.03 (.08 away from 3rd place in my age group...mega pisser)

I am still very very very happy with how this race went despite how bummed I was to not hit my race goal. A course PR is still something to celebrate and the big picture is even more important for celebrating. 21 minutes faster than when I ran this the first time 5 yrs ago and 7:30 faster than when I ran it last 2 years ago.

This race also told me that road racing is quite different than trail/cross country courses. And that my friends in Knoxville are so much faster than those folks down south. ;)

More stats on where I finished:
154/364 overall
36/150 women
4/15 in my age group

I'll be back next year, hopefully. It was a fun weekend with my hubby (and family).


Sunday, July 28, 2013

Crazy 8s 8k race report

This is going to be short and sweet. I ran this race  wks ago and just never got around to a recap, oops!

What: Crazy 8's 8k
Where: Kingsport, TN
When: July 13, 9:58 p.m.

We took a road trip w/some of our fabulous running friends to run this awesomely CrAzY race! It was a total blast. I had not ran it before so it was a PR race for me. I was looking to do better than I actually did but given the time of day (and what now seems to be a recurring race day GI issue) I was happy with my finish.



I executed my race plan as best I could but between the extremely crowded race, time of day and my GI issues I gave what I had for the race/day.

Finish time: 44:51
Current 8k PR:  43:49 (from the fall)



In the end I KNEW I could have given more. I think I will always think that even on my best race/day. I think that's just the competitive runner in me. We had a great weekend away with friends. And this is definitely a race I will consider running again. Lots of support and very well organized.




Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Road to Indy - wks 2 and 3

Week 2 total mileage - 32
Mon - 5 mi easy - Done!
Tues - 7 mi total -
Track day/speed work - 2 mi warmup/3x1 mi repeats (goal 8:30/20- 8:00/8:18/8:20) 2 mi cool down
We also went to BeautyHunters bootcamp. It's free and amazing!
Weds - scheduled 5 mi, skipped to sleep in!
Thurs -  rest day, ran 5 mi to make up for Weds miles
Fri - 11 mi - did this before work. Automatic Rock Star status earned for that!
Sat - 4 mi easy

Week 3 total miles 28 (I logged 26)
Mon - 4 mi easy
Tues - 2 mi warmup/20 min tempo @8:40 pace/2 mi cool down (total mi 6.34)
Weds - 4 mi easy
Thurs - rest
Fri - 30 min core class/3 mi run (should've been 4 mi but I screwed my hubby's schedule up...oops)
Sat - 8.5 mi (part of this was a race, recap soon!)

Some of you do follow me on Instagram and Twitter but if you want to follow my photographic journey to Indy Monumental Marathon you can find me here and here.

Since it's been a while I obviously forget all the details of my training weeks. I'm in week 4 now and came down w/laryngitis. Crazy. I feel fine but wasn't feeling great on Monday. This has caused my schedule and mileage to be a little off this week, which is a major bummer to me but I needed the extra rest to strengthen my immune system!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Say Hello to the #WaveSayonara

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by FitFluential LLC on behalf of  Mizuno. All thoughts and opinions are mine. 

Meet the new Mizuno Wave Sayonara.



 I am really excited to be able to share my review of these shoes you with all. I am equally excited that I was given such a fabulous opportunity as testing them before they become available.  I recently started running in Mizuno brand shoes (Wave Riders) for my long and easy runs but wasn't aware that Mizuno had a light weight shoe for speed type workouts until presented with the #WaveSayonara. I have previously worn a light weight shoe for speed work and racing and since wearing the Wave Riders I was thrilled when the #WaveSayonara showed up on my doorstep. I just started training for my 2nd marathon so I was happy to have another shoe to add to my rotation for my easy runs and speed work. You can also see that Mizuno continued with their fabulous design... these shoes are cute and colorful. Mizuno never disappoints there!



Here is what Mizuno says about the #WaveSayonara:


Our lightest everyday training shoe yet.

Speed is now more accessible than ever

and something that can obtain on a daily

basis.

Sayonara is light, low-to-the-ground, and

versatile so any run can be as fast as ever.

The euphoric foam midsole ensures the

proper cushioning without added weight

and bulk so runners experience a light,

smooth, comfortable, and responsive ‘ride.’

Now, running enthusiasts can wave

goodbye to slow and say hello to more

energized, mezamashii running.



These shoes are indeed light. Weighing 7.1 ounces and  8.1 for men (depending on size) they felt as though I had next to nothing on my feet. Since I am an endurance athlete/distance runner I have been use to sizing a half size up in my running shoes the last year. I did the same for the #WaveSayonara. At first, I was concerned about this because they felt a bit long BUT once I had my sock on and began running in them I was happy to have sized a half size up. I like the wiggle room for my toes and find that my toenails are less bruised with the distance I run. That being said, always always go to a running shoe store to be properly fit for YOU/your foot.

I am a neutral shoe runner (or at least since losing 90lbs and changing my gait/form) so I was extra happy that the Wave Sayonara is a neutral shoe. This shoe provided me with the cushioning, support and weight that is important for a great run. I've also been an injured runner. This was another point that made me a bit nervous about adding a new shoe to  my rotation, so I took the shoes to my coach to look over before trying them on my first run. He has a friend that works w/Mizuno and sent him a picture of my shoe asking for info. He got nothing but a great review. Coach approved! So the next day I set out for my first run.

4 miles was on tap. Immediately I LOVED the #WaveSayonara which I had a feeling I would given my love for the Wave Rider. The #WaveSayonara is light, flexible and super comfy. I felt like I was just gliding along the road. I was hardly aware that I had on a new to me shoe. Typically I would have to break in a shoe when they're new but not this time. This shoe moved with my foot with so much ease. When my first run in them was over I was excited to be able to spread the word but looked so much more forward to my next run in them!

Despite the smug look on my face I had a great run, it's just flippin' hot in E. TN!

So far I have logged 20 miles in my #WaveSayonara and have a feeling that these are going to be a staple shoe in my running wardrobe and a huge part of my marathon training. I'm looking forward to more "brilliant" runs with my #WaveSayonara.

The best part for YOU is that fast is quickly approaching. If you are looking for a light shoe for speed work and racing get ready. Beginning July 5th YOU too can get your own pair of Mizuno Wave Sayonara. They retail at $119.99. 

 Learn more about the Mezamashii Run Project here.



Monday, July 1, 2013

Road to Indy - week 1

I mentioned on Friday's post that I just started training for marathon #2. I will be running the Indy Monumental Marathon in November. My training started last week. Here is how my week looked:

I was to run a total of 28 miles for the week.

Mon - 4 mi easy w/core workout and 6x100 striders
Tues - 2 mi warm up, 2 x1 mi repeat, 2 mile cool down plus D-flex/core
Weds - 4 mi easy w/core workout and 6x100 striders
Thurs - rest
Fri - 4 mi easy
Sat - 10 miles easy

This is what I actually did.

Mon - 4 mi (38:26) w/core workout and striders

Tues - dflex/core 2 mi up (19:27) 2x1 mi on track (8:12, 8:13) 1.75 mi down (16:38)
Goal for repeats was not to PR but to get back in a comfortable rhythm after a week off. Goal met.
Weds - 4 mi (37:14) w/core and striders
Thurs - off
Fri - Bootcamp then 3 easy (28:46) Had to cut a mile short due to stomach issues.
Sat - 10 easy (1:39)

Overall I felt great getting back to the swing of things this week. I only added one extra workout this week and that was Bootcamp before my run on Friday. I probably will not do that again and will stick with BodyPump on Wednesday morning. Bootcamp, while I love it, was just a bit too intense for a pre-run workout and since it changes weekly I never know what to expect or how my body might respond. So, I think it is safe to get my total body weights workout in through BodyPump on Wednesday mornings.

Our long run Saturday went well. We started early (6:30am!) to beat the heat. While it was a bit cooler it was super humid and I was soaked by the end of the first mile. I was glad by 8am that we decided to get the early start.

Today kicks off week 2 of marathon training! My easy runs now jump from 4 miles to 5 and I'm excited to see how that goes.Week one on the road to Indy done. Bring it on week two!

Friday, June 28, 2013

Friday Five

1. It's been over a week since my last post. Insert slacker status on the blog.. ONCE AGAIN!! I know you're shocked. I took my rest week seriously y'all and this week I am BUSY. Marathon training is in full force as of Monday this week and so far going well. I'm excited about my little road to Indy. I'll have more on that later. I do think I am going to do weekly training reports (starting Sunday) where I recap the week. I wanna keep a nice little log of my 2nd marathon journey.

2. I am not kicking my Diet Bet's butt yet. I was doing well the first week plus even with being on the road but again my body is at a standstill. I've limited my cupcake intake, been eating more fruits/veggies and of course running like a crazy person but the scale won't budge. I've decided I'm ok with that but dang... I still want to lose 3 more lbs to at least win back my $10. If I don't, fine. But I do think I will start another challenge or join one at least. Surely with marathon training gearing back up I can get back to last yr's marathon weight!? I mean, I'm not totally concerned w/the number on the scale because my clothes fit well BUT it would be nice to shed a few lbs instead of hanging steady at the same number for so so so long.

3. So, Tuesday my oldest hit double digits. Y'all I have a 10 year old daughter! It is hard to believe that time has gone by so fast. I keep thinking about how much SHE has changed over the last 10 years but at the same time I have reflected on how much I have changed as well.


4. I took Bootcamp before my run this morning. It's been a while since I had gone to that class. It was decent but definitely not a favorite. It's only a 30 minute bootcamp so it's very fast paced. I just did not care for the specific "routine" today. And I swear I did something to my dang shoulder, must've been that dumb 25lb kettlebell I used for tricep extensions. Yeah, probably shoulda used a lighter weight at least for today.

5. I left the windows down in my car on Wednesday after a sweaty run. I wanted to air the sweat out. Guess who woke up at 4am during a thunderstorm on Thursday morning and remembered the windows in her car where still down!? Yep, moi. Oops. I'm still trying to get the nasty stench from the rain out.My hubby has worked hard this week to vacuum, shampoo and Febreeze the heck out of it to help me out. Just a word of advice, those Febreeze commercials are way way wrong!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Making it through a rest week

Y'all my schedule this week is all about actively resting or something. Actually my schedule for this week says -"REST WEEK Run when you want, no more than 3 miles and no more than 4 runs."

I worried about how I would handle this week with trying to shed a few lbs and a chance to win my DietBet game since I wouldn't be logging all those miles this week. So, last week when my DietBet started I really focused on getting back to cleaner eating and smaller meals. I normally don't struggle too bad w/that but have been a bit more relaxed since I log 30+ miles a week. I know how that crap sounds - just.like.crap. It's baloney to think that I'd ever be able to outrun my diet and NO I don't think I can. In fact, y'all I KNOW I cannot. And if you have been here long enough you know that I know. :)

My point is this- I am still a few lbs heavier than I was on April 1, 2012 when I ran my first marathon. I don't love that. I want to be either at the same weight or lighter on November 2, 2013 when I run my second marathon. So, I am trying hard hard hard to get these lbs off. This week has been hard though without all the extra miles.

I raced Saturday (you can read about that here) and since then have been on rest days. I thought I would get up Monday and do a light, easy few miles just for the sake of the calorie burn. Not.so.much. I even packed a gym bag and planned to hit the trail with my hubby that evening. What did we do? Hit up the local Panera for a quiet dinner (I had salad) while the kids were at VBS. Total rest day.

Tuesday - same thing. I had hubby pack a bag and we had planned to hit the gym for a couple cardio miles and weights after we dropped our kids off at VBS. What did we do? Dinner out (I had salad, again).  Totally rested again.

Now, wait. I say I totally rested. I've been participating in a "squat challenge" with some gals online and have been doing that. 70 and 80 squats Mon/Tues. So not complete rest, right?! 

I cannot recall a time I have rested from running for more than a couple of days in the last 8 months when I began training with Knoxville Endurance and my awesome coach, Bobby. (you can read my little testimonial about KE and my coach here). Anyway, this week was (or is?) suppose to be about rest from the sport because next week I begin training for marathon #2 (more about that soon). So, I took 3 solid days in a row of rest. I hardly know who I am but I do know that rest is good.

Last night I decided that Wednesday would be a double header. Ok, fine.. this isn't baseball but whatever. I got up this morning and went to BodyPump for only the 2nd time in the last 8 months. Four hours post Pump and my arms still feel a bit like jelly. That means I did the work. And that feels good! This evening is a fun social run that I am looking forward to as well.

I am only slightly concerned about tonight's run because  in the back of my mind I have worried about what 3 days off may have done for my fitness. Has my pace suffered? Will my breathing be off? Those sort of things weigh on my mind more than they should. I know how crazy that sounds. I also know that rest is vital. A break in training is a good thing. It is what I need mentally and physically so that next week when I hit the track for speed work again or when I lace up for my easy runs and my weekend long run that I am 100% focused and my body is fresh to tackle the next 16 weeks of marathon training.

I'm half way through this week of rest and I already feel like it has served me well.
So tell me, how often do you take a break from the sport? Do you feel re-energized and focused? Do you worry about how it will effect your training?

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Summer Solstice 8k - race recap

Because I am such a dedicated runner completely crazy I signed up for yet another race for the month of June. That means I raced 4 weeks in a row. Nuts. The race I ran this weekend ranks up there with the most challenging races I have done. Not only was it hot and humid, it was hilly!

Race time was 6pm and there was no early/day before race packet pickup. We arrived around 4:45-5pm because I knew I needed to grab my packet and do a warm up before the race. I grabbed my bag, set up camp chairs (there's bbq, a band and beer post race!) and gabbed with friends before doing my warmup.






Since it was so hot/humid out I was give the ok to only do a mile warm up instead of 2 miles. I changed into my racing shoes and had more water before lining up. This race starts on a downhill and runs mostly downhill flat the first mile before hitting a decent uphill. It's an out and back so what you hit down going out you hit up coming back. And believe me I knew at the first decent downhill what kind of beast I'd meet between mile 3 and 4. I was not looking forward to it.

My race plan had me starting at a 9:20 pace the first mile or and like always I went out too fast. I knew this before I hit mile 1 and the first real uphill so I took a walk break to try and reason with my head and get in control so that I wouldn't be too taxed to hold a decent pace the remainder of the race.

I did not carry water but knew I'd hit a water stop 3 times. The first water stop I took water and drank a few sips. The second water stop I took a water and took a sip but dumped the rest on my head. I was starting to feel a bit chilled and that worried me. I knew I'd began to get a bit warm so dumping the water on my head seemed to be a good choice. I took what I was hoping was sports drink at the final stop but ended up being water. Again, sip and dump seemed to be a good method for me.

Going into this race I knew it was not going to be a distance PR. This is a challenging course as the race description states. Add the heat and humidity and for a mediocre runner/racer like me you just don't get PR conditions. So, my expectations were relatively low though I did secretly hope there weren't many fast Athena's running this race. I wanted to keep my little, local Athena winning streak alive. When did I become so competitive?


                                                              coming up the hill in the first mile


The only thing I told myself this entire race was Just Finish.
Splits-

9:02  9:24  9:20  9:48  8:18
Obviously mile 3 got me, big time. I had hoped to hit a solid 9:10 pace overall but with the walk break in the first mile to pep talk myself into slowing down and the major walk break up puke hill I just could not maintain it.


                                                        relieved as I come down puke hill


My Garmin read 46:14. Official time 46:22 which is not a PR nor was it good enough for a win. I've tried hard all weekend to not beat myself up over missing #1 Athena by only 23 seconds but it is what it is. I keep telling myself if I had ran more up the first hill and up puke hill I'd have hit this one just right but I didn't have it. It's ok though.

2nd place Athena
78 out of 176 overall isn't too shabby either!



Overall I am very happy with how this race went because I am coming to the end of a training cycle and have raced 4 weeks in a row. I ended an 8 month training cycle with a challenging course and that feels great.  I happily chugged a brew or two and enjoyed the post race bbq. Now I look forward to a week of easy running and/or rest before marathon training starts.




Friday, June 14, 2013

Run Under the Stars - recap

Saturday morning (a week ago, I'm such a slow blogger) we loaded our running stuff into an RV with friends and hit the road for Paducah, KY. It was a 5-6 hr drive for us so we left pretty early in the day allowing for us to take our time (and a few pit stops since we were hydrating well!). The ride was loads of fun. How can it not be with 5 adults, 2 teens, 2 8 yr olds and a puppy!? To entertain ourselves on the ride up my friend and I mocked the teenagers by attempting the duck face (is it duck face or kissy face??)....

And I got desperate for carbs/sweets at one point so I paid $1 for these Skittles from one of the girls...
carb loading for later in the day!?

We arrived safely in Paducah around 4 or 5. I get so confused when the time changes or we lose/gain an hour due to time zones. We waited on the rest of our crew to arrive (we had 2 teams of 5 and a crew of support). Anyway, race start wasn't until 8pm. We had plenty of time to nap, eat, set up camp and rest. Once everyone was there we grabbed our swag bags and hung out a while.


This race is run on a horse track. The infield is where runners set up camp.
Not long after we were set up a couple with a Semi pulled in near us. Now, if you know me and my Winey running friends you will know that we dominate some planking! We're always looking for creative places to get our #PlankADay on!  Check us out....



And no one should head out to an all night endurance run without proper hydration and calf tattoos...



After planking, getting our hydration station set up, locating bathrooms and getting geared up to run we decided we should devise a race plan. My team was a team of 5 (Winey Does RUTS II). It was me, my hubby, Phil, Cait and Ted. We were not planning to be competitive but to just have a good time and run what we could in the 10 hours of the run. I'm not sure that any of has a true distance goal for the night but I knew that my coach said he would be fine with me running anything between 15-20 miles, but no more than that.

I've done relays before (hey, Ragnar!) and they're a lot of fun. I do speed work on a track. However, I had never ran miles and miles and miles around a horse track as part of a relay. I wasn't exactly sure what to expect. So, I set my goal to running 5 miles each 45 minute "leg" I was to be out on the track. I figured I could run 5 miles in that amount of time and I'd hit the goal of 15 miles but also thought maybe if I was up to it I'd go out and run some w/one of my team mates to get closer to the 20 mile goal.

At 8pm we all (both teams) decided to line up together and run one lap together. The track was a 1/2 mile around so it would be a good warmup for everyone. There were a few announcements and the National Anthem, bam we were off. However, when we rounded the last turn to the stretch and the start we were stopped. Timing issues would actually have us stopped 3 different times before the race got under way just after 9pm. So, instead of a 10 hour endurance run RUTS became a 9 hour endurance run. So much for the plan we worked out before the start. We were now just going to wing it and run what we could collectively as a team.

My first leg started right around 10pm. The goal was 5 miles in 45 minutes but since we were a bit off on time my hubby (who would run the next leg) showed up to take over the team bib a few minutes before my 45 minutes was up.

1st leg stats:
4.53 miles (9:21/9:15/8:51/9:04/4:53)
The goal was to run my legs at half marathon pace. I went out a bit fast my first leg but felt good. I chatted with friends, ate a snack, changed out of my sweat drenched clothes and napped a bit before my next leg.

2nd leg stats:
5.00 miles (9:23/9:09/9:03/9:12/8:58)
My hubby woke me from my nap just a little before 1am and my leg started around 1:30am. I felt refreshed but knew this one would be a bit more of a struggle because I only "napped" for about an hour. Overall based on splits this one looks good but I felt worn out and when my hubby was there to take over I was ready. I had a slice of pizza, changed clothes and hung out until my next leg. Again, this one was fast and I side stitched pretty weird almost the whole time.

3rd leg stats:
4.18 miles (9:47/9:41/9:35/10:56)
I was done before I started this time I think. Our legs were closer together this time around because we had one team mate only logging 10 miles so she ran twice. This was not an issue other than I was more tired than I thought and the pizza came back to bite me. I also side stitched so the last mile was a lot of walking.

Notes: I lost about a mile during the timing snaffu. It was later counted. I have the stats on my Garmin but didn't figure they were really worth sharing here since they weren't part of my actual legs.


Overall my team ran a total of 58 miles which was good enough to come in 5th overall for teams.
I am SO proud of my team mates!
Ted logged more miles/ran farther than he ever has. Gotta love a distance PR.
My hubby logged 21 miles for his mileage PR.
Phil and Cait both also ran awesome too. I'd be happy to have any of these awesome people on my team again!

What I loved about RUTS:
- race director Steve is awesome. I could go into more detail but awesome sums it up.
- laid back atmosphere. I love that this was basically a run at your own pace even if you're crawling type event. No pressure!
- Food! The aide station was awesome. We were well taken care of.
- Medals- You know I love some bling.
- Tech tee- enough said!
and finally running and watching this sunrise...



I really enjoyed this trip with friends, the people that were at RUTS and the overall experience of such a laid back event. I hope to get back next year and log more miles!

Monday, June 10, 2013

This is my #What'sBeautiful story

*This post is sponsored by Under Armour through FitFluential.


I have the hardest time writing my version of What's Beautiful.
I've had plenty of time to think about it since this campaign started but I've put it off because so many things have gone through my head.  Am I being the best version of What's Beautiful that I can be? Am I truly redefining the female athlete in my sport?

The answer is YES.

I started a little journey 5 years ago and even though I didn't think I was an athlete or even beautiful at 248 lbs, I was both. I just didn't know it at the time.




I did not come in first or even in the middle of the pack at this race that day (my first 5k in 2008) but I was not any less of an athlete or beautiful person as those folks that did. I didn't come in dead last that day either. My placement that day didn't matter really. What mattered was finishing.

What matters even more is that I have never since that day given up. I've ran through pain, injury, tears. I've ran through snow, rain, heat. I've ran on good days and bad days. I've had great races and bad races. I've Prd and I haven't. The most beautiful thing is that since then I have kept pushing forward through it all.

What matters is that all those in betweens are what has gotten me here.

I had someone recently ask me how I lost all the weight. I answered simply, "watching my diet and running..a lot." The reply I got from her, "Ugh, I thought maybe it was something easy that I could do."

If you're reading this and ask the same question. My answer to you is this.. it may not always be easy but YOU CAN do it. You can write your own beautiful story even when it is hard.

What do I hope to accomplish through this campaign?
Here is what I wrote for my goal to be (you can find my page here)...

To finally whole heartedly accept myself as an athlete, accepting the challenges before me and knowing that I'm not the girl I was when I started my fitness/running journey 5 yrs ago. Run, race, train my way to marathon #2 with more determination than I did the first time!! #I WILL.

So, that's my beautiful story and my goal. Be sure to check out my page or join my team here