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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Really

It has been a rough few days where running is concerned. Because I missed my run last Thursday, I ran Friday morning. This was the first time I have run the day before a long run since I started my marathon training plan. I won't be doing it again. My legs were sore, and less than a mile in I was ready to change my target from 12 to 6 miles. Three miles into my run, I decided I could do 8. On a 12 mile run, miles 4 thru 6 would be uphill. When I hit 4, I decided another 1/2 mile would be my turnaround point. So my 12 became 9. Better than 6 or 8, but not what I hoped. As my house came into view, I knew I probably could have done it; reminded myself how much of running is mental fitness; and made a goal to make next weekend's long run really count.

Well, Monday's run didn't really help put my running week on track. Because my 3-year-old always gets worried when I put on my running clothes, I waited until she was in bed. It probably shouldn't matter as much as it does, but it is hard to leave when she is crying or whining that she doesn't want me to leave, that she doesn't want me to go running, that she wants me to run on the treadmill so she can watch me (when she should be in bed). With that scene avoided, I started putting my shoes on when my 9-month-old started crying. So I rocked her back to sleep, but she had other things in mind and opened her eyes the moment I put her back in the crib. By this time I was starving, as was my hubby who was waiting to eat with me after my run. So we ate dinner, while finishing the movie we had started the night before. At the end of the movie it was 9 p.m., and there I sat in my running clothes with a sleeping baby in my lap.

So I put the babe in her bed and put me in mine. Not the best start to the week, and yet again I won't get in five running days. But with 87 days until my marathon, I am going to do my best to make the four runs ahead of me really count. Really!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Gotta Have It - My Running Skirts

When I read the topic for this week's Take It and Run Thursday, my running skirts instantly came to mind. I own one pair of running shorts, and my husband would probably say they are the ugliest item in my closet. He is not a fan of the shorts. So of course he is the only lucky person who sees me in them because they are my in-case-everything-else-is-dirty-and-I-am-running-on-the-treadmill shorts. That being said, I have one pair of running pants that were previously yoga pants, and they only come out on really cold winter days. And I mean really cold! Otherwise, you will find me in a running skirt. I have one skirt with compression shorts underneath and the others have briefs; I prefer the briefs. I have my favorite shoes, my favorite brand of socks, and a few shirts that stand out among the others, but the one thing I "Gotta Have" is a running skirt!

Monday, June 15, 2009

When I Get Bigger

My girls are down for naps, the house is quiet, and I should be doing some work that has been hanging over me for a few days. But why work when I have also been itching to write this since the moment I crossed the finish line at Saturday's race, a 10-mile run down a beautiful canyon trail?!

After picking up my bib and finding out we would be able to send some of our personal belongings down from the start in the race director's truck, my fellow runners and I were bused 10 miles up the canyon. After a quick potty stop, I deposited my sweatshirt in the truck and joined the crowd at the starting line. That is when it started to sprinkle and I began shivering. I didn't stop shivering until I was easing into mile two, and my hands didn't warm up until about mile four. Yet I was happy for the cool air and the periodic rain, which was never more than a drizzle. The temperatures were perfect for the run, the setting couldn't have been prettier, and I felt great. I kept an eye on my pace, and resisted the urge to go too fast on the downhills. And with a total elevation drop of almost 2,000 feet, there were quite a few downhills.

My goals going into the race were 1) to pace myself so the last mile wasn't the hardest and 2) to finish close to 1:45. My 10-mile run the week before took 1:46, so I figured that was a safe number. Well my last mile in the race was in fact my strongest and fastest, and I finished in 1:36.13. Ten minutes faster than my run last week! 9:30 minute miles (for those of you like me who typically need a calculator to do the math). The official results have not been posted, so I don't know how I did overall or in my age group, but at least I know what the clock said as I crossed the finish!

It was great to accomplish my goals, but the real highlight was seeing my girls and hubby at the finish line. (Because of the early time of most of the races and the uncertainty of when I will finish, I have always told them to stay home.) As I downed some water, surrounded by my three favorite people, my 3-year-old told me, "You and Daddy and sister will come watch me run when I get bigger."

(Check out the sidebar for "Lessons Learned" from this race!)

Friday, June 12, 2009

Running Blind

As you can see from my Upcoming Races list, I have a 10-mile tomorrow. I am excited after last weekend's long run, but this is the first time I have no idea the exact race route I will be running. I don't know why, but it has been a nagging question in the back of my head all week. I thought about emailing the race director, but this was the email last exchange between us:

My email:
Will there be aid/water stations throughout this run? Also, will there be a place to leave warm-up clothes and pick them up later?
Thanks,
Candice

His email:
yes, 3 mi, then 2 mile then 2

I'm still not sure about the warm-up clothes question, which seems valid since it is supposed to be in the 40s when the race starts. I have sent a few other email questions (the race web site is obviously lacking!) and received similar responses, so I'm just going to wait and get my questions answered for me tomorrow at the race.

And while on the topic of upcoming races, I figure a marathon update is due. I DID sign up for Top of Utah. If my husband happens to be working that day, I will:
  • go up the night before with my girls and someone who can watch them during the race (in the hotel);
  • get up (really) early and have someone come watch my girls at home; or
  • beg my aunt to let us stay at her house (which isn't too far from where the race is) and bribe her and her daughters to entertain my girls.

I have 98 days to figure it out!!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Friend and Foe

Friend


My treadmill and I have become friends. It was a slow process, getting to know each other (in spite of its presence in my life for almost three years). The key to our blossoming friendship? Speedwork + music. Watching TV made the miles drag, and for some reason the commercials made me want to slow down. Sticking to the music I listen to when I run outside and mixing it up with speedwork has made the treadmill more endurable. Mind you, we are not best friends. But at least we finally enjoy getting together now and then.

Foe


Pushing this baby that was carrying my two babies kicked my boot-ay yesterday!! It was bad enough that the wind was not being kind to me, but the rain guard (that I never ended up needing) was making my girls too warm, so I pulled it up and ended up getting an arm workout from holding it down so it wouldn't blow back and hit me in the face. Add that to the fact that pushing over 100 lbs is not as easy as I'm sure I make it look (ha-ha-ha), and I felt like crawling the last 1/2 mile home and making my blog title true.

Monday, June 8, 2009

I Am A Runner

On Saturday, I ran 10 miles. I have never run 10 consecutive miles in my life. And when I say ran, I mean there was no walking or stopping (except for a quick potty break at a gas station). I ran and ran and ran. As I walked through my front door, I felt like I could have kept going. I felt great, and I felt like I could really call myself a runner. To top it off, Saturday marked the three month anniversary of my foot surgery. What better way to celebrate the fact that I no longer experience periods of shooting pain followed by tingly numbness every other mile?

Before



Right after



Today


I included my other foot in this picture so you can see what my "fixed" foot should eventually look like since it is still a little swollen. I had my final follow-up appointment with the podiatrist last week, and he said it can take up to a year for all the swelling to go away.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Disappointment and Decisions

I found out last month that I wasn't selected to run the St. George marathon. I found out today I wasn't selected to run the New York marathon. Darn lotteries!! My fall-back plan was to run the Top of Utah marathon if the lottery failed me for New York, but I found a conflict when I pulled up the registration and looked at my calendar. If New York in November wasn't happening for the marathon, my husband and I were planning a trip there in September for the U2 concert. (I heart Bono!!!!)


(This is our own picture from the concert. We were that close at the last concert!)


The problem: Top of Utah is Saturday, September 19 and the U2 concert is Friday, September 25. With my husband's work schedule the way it is that time of year, it might be hard for him to take off a few days for the marathon and then a week for New York that close together. It might be time to call in reinforcements. I'll keep you posted. No matter what, I am not letting my lack of lottery luck get me down or slow me down.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

My First 10K

I ran my first 10k on the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend. I wasn't too worried about it since I was up to 7 miles on my long runs, but I was a little nervious simply because I wanted to finish in less than an hour. It was a realistic goal since I average just under 10-minute miles. I felt good heading to the race but forgot to grab a bottle of water on my way out the door. I kept a steady pace throughout the race and felt pretty good until mile 6. My stomach began churning, and I was getting more and more nervous my "super food" banana was going to end up on someone's lawn. My pace slowed as my stomach grew more upset; I even went so far as planning which direction I should aim the banana as it made its reappearance. I didn't want it to end up on the girl just behind me. Fortunatley my stomach calmed a little as the finish line came into view, but as I rounded the corner and could see the clock, I knew there was no way I would finish under an hour. The distance between me and that blue line was clearly more than two seconds away. I finished in 1 hour 7 seconds.

I called my husband and told him I don't think I will be able to run a marathon this fall.

"You will."

That was all he said. How lucky am I that he has such unwavering faith in me?

Monday, June 1, 2009

My Latest Running Product Adventures

(sponsored by me and my diminishing dollars)

GU Vanilla Bean Energy Gel
-Taste: Great! Reminded me of frosting. My favorite so far!!
-Texture: Seemed easier to get down because the taste matched the texture (if that makes sense)
-Results: Still no amazing results to report, but I think I am better off with it than without it (especially on a 17 mile run)

Citrus Fruit NUUN
-Taste: Reminded me of chewable baby medicine; not good
-Texture: Pretty much like water
-Results: I couldn't drink enough of it to get any results; I couldn't get over the taste; trying lemon-lime next time...

Clif Shot Chocolate Energy Gel
-Taste: A little salty but tolerable
-Texture: Very thick and sticky; drank a lot of water to wash it down
-Results: Used it at mile 8 of a 15 mile run; had a few chocolate burps as it settled in my stomach; no amazing energy surge but it eased the hunger I was experiencing

GU Chocolate Outrage Energy Gel
-Taste: Very tolerable, especially if you like chocolate
-Texture: A little thick; water is a necessity to wash it down
-Results: Used on my longest run to date and mostly noticedhaving more energy after my run; also felt pretty good coming through the door, so that may have been because of the GU

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