Marathon Fright – 3 days

It seems impossible and I know that on race day, which is only 3 DAYS AWAY, it will be totally different, but I just don’t see how I will be able to finish 26.2 miles of running….

Kim and I ran yesterday morning and it was a good run, nice easy pace around the beautiful lake and “hood” which is Lakewood.  The temperature was pretty much perfect, around 55, wishing it would be that on Marathon day, but when I checked yesterday, ummm 36 for the low, 58 for the high, BUT no chance of rain.  SUNNY.

It’s raining this morning or I would be out running, I’m in all my running gear and was anxious to run off some of the carrot cake that Tammy’s mother sent home, oh my gosh, it’s hard not to eat it all at one sitting!  It’s so delish I don’t even miss my nightly Skinny Cow treat.

I haven’t even begun to pack for our trip, I’ve thought about it, but it won’t take me long once I decide what to wear on race day, I will check the forecast again and again and again, 36 is a temperature we have not run in yet this season, so not sure how to dress.  I definitely don’t want to be too warm, but I don’t want to freeze my butt off either.  I was wanting to wear a skirt, but may opt for capri’s.  At least my wardrobe decisions keep my mind off the pain I will be in around mile 2o and after!

Tuesday night was our last running clinic for the season, I really will miss it.  It MAKES me do speedwork which I probably wouldn’t do on my own, plus I love a little encouragement and an ATTA boy every once in a while!  Coach Dennis wants me to email him after the Marathon with my new PR, I am hopeful, very hopeful that it will be under 5 hours which would blow my last Marathon out of the water!

Well, I need coffee and must get ready for work, not sure if I will post again before the big day, so keep good thoughts and prayers for the three of us running on Sunday!  Race report to follow soon afterwards!

7 days to Marathon number 3!

I really cannot believe we will be running our Marathon next Sunday, by this time next Sunday we will probably be all tuckered out and ready for bed.

Third time is the charm, I’m hoping that this Marathon will get me under 5 hours.  I’ve trained and trained, I don’t feel like my nutrition is up to par, but I’m not sure if it ever will be.  I’m a slow runner, I will never qualify for Boston which is fine by me, well I guess I shouldn’t say never, maybe when I’m 70!  I just don’t have the umph to run 8 minute miles for 26.2 miles, I’m old, my bones hurt and I have only been running about 2 1/2 years, so there.

Yesterday was the Soaring Wings Half Marathon, all three of us, (Kim, Tammy and I) ran it last year and we loved it, but this year only Kim ran it.  Tammy and I thought it was too close to the Marathon, but Kim is a machine and can pretty much run anything.  Tammy and I were volunteers instead and I must say I think we were probably the best ones there, except for the part where we just stood around and drank coffee.

It was an interesting and tiring day.  We started a little after 6am, after the worst coffee ever at Starbucks in Conway, I will not be stopping there again.  It was a chilly morning, Tammy and I both had plenty of layers, but I was wishing for a PARKA!  We were assigned to food prep, we thought it would be inside, nope.  We were very instrumental in opening boxes of Snickes, M&Ms and Granola bars and then dumping said boxes into larger boxes, amazing and a site to behold.

Me and Tambo

Me and Tambo

We left Kim in the vehicle where she had hoped to get a little shut-eye prior to the race.  As the sun started coming up more and more runners were coming in, we saw several people we knew and the ones we didn’t we admired their attire.  Close to race time we headed to the truck to make sure Kim was up, Melissa, my former realtor was tagging along so she could drop her stuff in my vehicle instead of the 1/2 mile back to hers.

Kimbo ready to run!

Kimbo ready to run!

Kim was up and putting her bib on they headed toward the start.  Tammy and I abandoned our food prep position and headed to watch the start, still cold, but at least the sun was now out and feeling warm on our backs.

Race Start

Race Start

After the runners went by we headed back to the finish area to see what needed to be done.  We ended up helping at the grill area, we wrapped hot dogs, I have no idea how many hot dogs we wrapped, but hundreds, I bet we wrapped hot dogs for more than an hour.

Once the runners started coming in we tried to get away from the hot dog area, I ended up over by the water area, putting water bottles in ice or handing them out, lots better than hot dogs.

We found Kim once she came in and we were soon ready to go, but Melissa’s stuff was in my truck so we had to wait, so I went back to the water bottles for a while until we heard Melissa’s name announced.  We watched her come in and then immediately head back out toward the course, we knew she was probably waiting on her Mother.  When we caught up to her she was not feeling good, we got her some water and she headed for the bathroom.  She was in there forever and Tammy and I went in to check on her.  We found her sitting on the nasty floor with a wet paper towel on her head, she did not look good.  We got her out of there into the fresh air, that bathroom was RANK!

I grabbed some Gatorade for her, but she was still not feeling well, we got her over to a chair and Tammy thought we should get the medics, when we were walking her over to the chair I thought she was going to pass out.  The medics came over, checked her blood pressure, asked her questions and put her feet up.  They checked her BP again in about 5 minutes and it was looking better.

It was really quite scary, she was nauseated, light headed, just sick.  We found her nephew who had come with her and he was able to take over.  We finally headed home somewhere close to noon.  LONG DAY.

Today Kim came over and we headed out on an early morning run, Tammy ran yesterday so she begged off today.  It was a good run once I got warmed up, no stomach issues, a little sore from yesterdays lifting of cases of water, but a good last long run before the marathon.

Worked in the yard this afternoon, HOLY HELL!  The leaves are insane already.  I worked for 4 hours and wanted to quit about 2 hours in.  Raked and raked and raked some more, then mowed what I didn’t want to rake and the leaves are still on the stinking trees!  I hate fall.  I’m sore, tired and my back hurts.

It will be a short week, a few runs and then off to Springfield, MO for the Bass Pro Shops Marathon, I can’t wait, on wait, yes I can, it’s the running I’m scared of!  the weekend will be fun regardless!

Marathon Countdown – 10 days

HOLY HELL – 10 days until the MARATHON!!!  What was I thinking?  I don’t think I have it in me to run 26.2 miles, I was just sitting here thinking about the last 20 mile run Tammy and I ran, OMG, OMG, OMG!!!!

It’s taper madness time, and it just hit me this morning as my alarm went off at 4:30am to get up and run, well it was pouring rain so I sent Kim a text – Raining back to sleep, well back to sleep never happened because I laid there and obsessed over the impending 26.2 miles.

This will be Marathon number 3 for me, but it’s been over a year since I have run a marathon and you really do forget the pain, well almost.  I do have my blog to remind me of the misery of those last 6.2 miles, oh wait, those last 10 miles, oh wait, no just kidding.

Every day I wake up with a new problem that will prevent me from running the marathon.  Monday I had a sore throat, must be swine flu, Tuesday raging headache, must be an aneurysm, Wednesday another raging headache ANOTHER aneurysm?  Today just plain old nerves!

Oh and to top it off my heart rate seems to be high, what’s up with that?  Another symptom of taper madness?  It’s true though, not a figment of my imagination, it’s about 10 beats a minute higher than normal, maybe I’ve been pumping in way too much caffeine?

Running has been sparse, we ran our last “long” run on Saturday, 12 miles.  Rest day Sunday, ran 6 miles Monday, clinic on Tuesday where I only got in 4.5 miles because of stupid work, tried to leave early because Tammy and I had a meeting in Conway for the Soaring Wings Half Marathon which is coming up this Saturday where we have volunteered instead of running this great race.  I ran with Kim yesterday around the hood, but had some stomach issues right at the end of our run, but still got in 5.5 miles.  Today, pouring rain, which is fine, need to taper, taper, taper!

Tomorrow we will do our traditional Friday run, around 6 miles.  Saturday Kim is running the Soaring Wings Half while Tammy and I work the food prep tent, yeah we know which area to work in!!

Sunday we will run 6 miles and I have no idea what next week will bring, the weather has been colder and rainier than normal, just hoping it’s dry on Marathon day!

Gotta finish getting ready for work, yippee 😦

2 weeks and counting

2 weeks from tomorrow Tammy, Kim and I will be running the Bass Pro Marathon in Springfield, MO.  I’m excited and very tentative all at the same time.  We ran our last “long” run today in the fridgidness that should not be, 12 miles out and back on the Murray Park side of the River Trail, boring, but flat as a pancake!

I think all and all we had a very good run, except for the cold, no encounters with wild critters or crazed motorist.  It’s been a tough running week for all of us, seems as though the rain would not go away, it rained and rained and rained some more, I only ran 4 days this week and even though it is taper week I felt sluggish on my Thursday and Friday runs.

I had to do my running clinic workout on the stupid dreadmill at the community center, that was definitely a bore and then Kim and I ran in the off again on again rain on Thursday along with my stomach issues, crappy running week.

I heard the weatherman say the weather we are having is normally what we could expect in December, UGH, it’s going to be a long, long fall and winter.  I have my heat on already, but only about 64-65 degrees, which keeps me bundled up instead of up doing stuff around the house.

On a lighter note, Tammy and I were happy to have a seat in the only Panera Bread in North Little Rock that just opened, we have been super excited about it opening, it’s on our running route and we have been watching the progress of the Cafe go from a clothing store to the now perfect Bakery.  Yummers, Pink Ribbon Bagel and Hazelnut Coffee was excellent after our run today.

That’s all I’ve got peeps!

Last 20 miler and general BS

Well yesterday was our last 20 miler before the Bass Pro Marathon on November 1st and I have to say, it was better than the last 20 miler we did.  Still tough and today I’m a little sore, not too bad, but my feet hurt some and my right quad/hip flexor knows it was put through a big workout yesterday.

Tammy came to my house early yesterday morning and we met Kim at the Surgery Center next door to the ADEQ building where the Little Rock Marathon Training Group were meeting, just easier for us to meet at the Surgery Center.  Last time we met there we had the skunk encounter and then the deer encounters.

The weather has really cooled off, I think it was in the upper 40’s not sure and it really is difficult for all of us in the beginning to know what to wear.  I talked Tammy out of wearing her vest, but she did wear her gaiter and was glad she did.  Kim had on 3 layers, but that is nothing new, she is the layer queen!  We all had on skirts, gloves, headbands and goosebumps!  It took us a mile or two to warm up, there was a wind that kept us cool and the sun never came out as the weatherman was wrong again.

Nothing much happened until about mile 3 when I saw something to the left of the River Trail, it was still pretty dark and I used my LED light to try and see what it was, it was a black figure close to the ground, we couldn’t tell what it was, but it stopped us from going forward, I followed it with my light as it headed toward the trail, then we lost sight of it, vanished… Tammy moved forward and I shined my light again to the right and there it was, SKUNK!!  We all started back pedalling on the trail until we were about 10-15 feet from it.  Apparently there is a culvert underneath the trail and it had crawled through it to the other side, that’s why we lost sight of the little creature.  I guess we scared it a bit and it went back under the road and we sprinted ahead.  Whew, another skunk mishap avoided.

Luckily it was the only wild animal encounter of the day, we were in the dark what seemed like an extraordinarily long time, with the cloud cover and lack of other people out it was very ominous.  Kim had to break off around mile 4, her parents are in town and they had a huge day planned.  We hated sending her off in the dark by herself, but she took a more traveled path back to our start point.  It was now just me and Tammy for the duration.

I had to make a bathroom stop in Funland and that’s where we also did our first fuel stop, it was just getting a little lighter outside, probably mile 5ish.  We finally started seeing people around mile 6, still not fully light out, but at least we weren’t alone any longer.  As we made our way back to the River Trail we kept seeing this weirdo in a white car, driving slow, looking for something, I would say looking for no good, we saw the car 4 or 5 times in different spots, weird or weirdo, too early for people to be just cruising.

Our first 10 miles were pretty decent, no troubles, I think when we were about mile 11 or so I started feeling tired and HUNGRY!  I ate all of my Honey Stingers and that helped stave off my hunger pangs for a while.  We turned around at mile 13.5 which was right under the Main Street Bridge in NLR, it’s always a good feeling to make that turnaround, but geez, we had 6.5 miles to go, that seemed like way too far.

To pass the time a bit Tammy and I started singing, we altered the 99 bottles of beer song by putting in other drinks, I would do one then Tammy would do one, 99 bottles of Diet Coke and the Tammy would pick the next one, 98 bottles of Orange Juice.  We only did that until we got to about 88 bottles and we were sick of it.

Once you are at mile 15 or so you run out of things to talk about, just random shit goes through your head, I had that new Mylie Cyrus song in my head “party in the usa” and sang a couple of bars, which at that point it was all I could remember.  I would say 1 mile at a time, we can do this, we were both tired.  I had to stop and eat something around mile 17, starving!! Again!  I had some nut clusters, they were so yummy, thank goodness I had packed something extra.

When we were about a mile out it seemed impossible that in the Marathon we will still have 7 miles to go, what the hell?  Could I run 7 more miles in the marathon?  My lower back was hurting, my feet hurt, butt hurt, everything hurt!  I know it will be “different” come race day, but it’s hard to imagine when you are that tired and exhausted.  I started saying, 1/4 mile at a time, Tammy said how about tenth at a time, hey, that sounded good.  That last mile was the hardest and LONGEST!  Will we ever be finished?  It seemed like we wouldn’t.

We made a couple of jokes and I started singing “We are the Champions” Kim hates that song and makes me stop singing it when she is with us, it’s pretty funny actually, we just do it to aggravate her!  So me singing gave us a couple of laughs to get us up that little incline toward the ADEQ building and into the Surgery Center parking lot, YIPPEE, we made it!!  Holy Cow it hurts, all over, but it’s done, now for the best part, stretching and then we can warm up inside the truck and head to Starbucks for our treat!

20 miles – 3:33:09, average pace 10:39, way too fast, I had my Garmin set for 20 miles at an 11:00 minute mile pace, blew that away.  We were 5 minutes faster than our last 20-miler, not our plan at all, if anything we want to take it a little easier.

Missed our run on Friday, we had torrential downpours early on Friday and it lasted ALL day, also missed my Thursday morning run and ended up running when I got home from work, UGH, I headed out at 6:30 on Thursday night with the temperature in the 80s!  It was super humid, but I was not complaining a bit, it felt good to throw the shorts and tank on and head out the door, what sucked was it getting dark about 30 minutes later.  I got back home around 7:30pm, dripping wet, but loving it!

Tuesday night Coach Dennis was back!  There is a huge difference in my running when he is there, yes I can do the workout on my own, but it’s like you are more aware of your form, your pace, everything.  I like it that way and hate this is our last 4 weeks until next year.  Had a very good speed workout and I can really tell a difference in my running.

On to the general BS of the week, my former employer whom I have been working temp for since the last of July made me an offer for a permanent position.  Well, that sounds great, permanent job and all, here’s the D & L, a) I don’t like the job that much b) the offer was $3 an hour less than I am making as a temp.  I struggled with this all week, sleeplessness, headaches, etc.  What I finally decided was, take the job, it’s a paycheck and it may lead to something else, HA!  Well, I’m trying to be positive.  I did get my seniority back, so those 8 years are not completely gone and my benefits will start back up on November 1st.  So there I have a job, like it or not.

It’s fall and I already hate it, HATE IT!  Where is my summer heat and humidity?  well I can do without the humidity, but not the warmth.  Here are some things I hate about cold weather, and mind you, it’s not that cold yet.

  • when you have to get out of your warm pj’s
  • you’re cold when you get out of the shower
  • your vehicle is cold and the shivering is uncontrollable
  • my back hurts from shivering
  • my feet are always cold (they are never this cold in the summer)
  • you can be both hot and cold when you are running, in the summer you are only hot
  • it’s dreary and blah
  • I gain weight because I don’t want to move from my cozy blanket on the couch
  • Leaves, I hate raking leaves, futile
  • chapped lips
  • runny nose, constantly

I’m sure I can come up with more, those just are the first ones to pop into my head!

Marathon is 3 weeks away!!

Running Dreams

Do you ever have dreams about running? I used to have them ALL the time, especially when I was doing a lot of races, one constant in all my dreams was not being able to find the start, wonder why?

Well, I had a bizarre running dream last night. Before I went to bed I was looking on the Bass Pro Marathon website, scoping out what the medal looked like last year, looking at what people were wearing, just in general getting excited about the marathon. So, I guess that’s why I had my first running dream in a while!  Here is the medal from last year

2008 Bass Pro Marathon Medal

2008 Bass Pro Marathon Medal

I dreamed I was trying to find the start (once again!) and some how I just jumped in, people were already running and I couldn’t run, my feet wouldn’t move at all (this happens a lot in my normal running!). One of the girls was trying to help me and some guy said it’s the way she has her feet turned and then I turned them a different way and started running, in full gear, a light blue puffy down jacket with wooden spoons in each pocket. HA!!

It was obviously too warm for the jacket so I kept trying to tie it around my waist and then it started pouring, my hair was all in my face, I looked like a wet dog. Then there were these cyclists on the same course, they were separated from the runners by these clear cones, but I was on the cyclist side because no one would let me on the runner side. Then someone said something about the finish and don’t worry they would be there for 8 hours, OMG!! It was so weird, lots more stuff, but I’ve forgotten most of it now. Except for those stupid wooden spoons in my pockets, what was up with that??

When Kim and Tammy came over I was telling them about it and they agreed, all running dreams have you not being able to find the start. I’m late, I’m late, I’m very, very late!!

Just got finished with a yummy dinner, Salmon on the George Foreman, a sweet potato and Sugar snap peas. That’s about the extent of my cooking these days, me and my George, hey, it’s quick!

It’s been a nasty couple of days here in the great state of Arkansas, rain and way too cold for me. I’m already bitching and complaining about it. Can we just rewind a month and do a Groundhog Day for a couple of more months? I miss warm.

We lucked out on our run this morning, got in 6 miles without any rain, it was misting on and off, but nothing we couldn’t handle! Especially after that dream running with a down jacket in the pouring rain with wooden spoons in my pocket!! HA!

4 week Marathon Countdown

Already counting down to my Marathon on November 1, 4 weeks away! I can’t believe it’s right around the corner, it’s been over a year since I have run a marathon, yikes!

Bass Pro Marathon

Bass Pro Marathon

I guess this week was the start of the fall weather, which is nice, BUT it only lasts a few weeks and then BAM, winter, which I hate. I’m already hating my dilemma as to what to wear running every day, long sleeves, short sleeves, headband, no headband, gloves? Summer is so much easier, no decisions, tank, shorts, go.

Running was good this week until Thursday, thank goodness Kim was with me. We started out as usual, it was cool out, about 60 degrees, light wind, chilly just walking, but once we got to the lake we had warmed up. We were on our usual loop and had just crossed North Hills Blvd, about mile 4, still dark 5:45ish, the trees on this street keep the sidewalk mostly dark, I think all of us have almost fallen or tripped on this same section. As we got across the street and were running on the sidewalk I brought up my wrist to glance at my watch and BAM, I tripped over an uneven section of the sidewalk and went sliding forward, I could hear Kim ” C-H-E-R-Y-LLLL” it was in slow mo, it felt like I slid for 10 feet and it hurt like hell! When I finally quit sliding I had a torn up elbow, knee, knuckles on my left hand and palm on my right hand. Kim had some Kleenex so I was able to stop most of the gushing blood. She retrieved her water bottle which ended up way down the sidewalk, don’t know how that happened, mine was right there.

It took a few minutes for me to gather myself and when I stood up I felt all nauseated, my weak stomach! I had to sit down for a few seconds and everytime I would try and walk I would get dizzy. I guess we wasted a good 10 minutes or so. We finally walked up to the next street and we were starting to get chilled and I felt I could start running again, luckily I didn’t turn my ankle or break anything! We made it back in one piece, I jumped in the shower and Holy Cow! I made some horrible noises when the water hit all the scraped places, it was not pretty.

Friday the only soreness was really my elbow and wrist, my elbow is swollen and palm/wrist is pretty bruised. It was just me and Tammy on Friday, it was a little cooler yet again and we really should have had on long sleeves, it took almost 3 miles for me to get half way warmed up and yet my ears were still cold.

When I got home from work on Friday I had a nice little package waiting on me, NEW SHOES!!! I had ordered them last weekend and was really hoping to get them before the weekend but had doubts, I was stoked!! Happy Feet once again.

Kim couldn’t run with us on our long run this morning she had the early shift at work. I picked up Tammy and we headed to the River Market, our meet spot for this weeks Little Rock Marathon Training Group. There were lots, LOTS of people there this week. We had a 14 miler set for today, the weather last night called for it to be 49 at 6am, I had no idea if that was the case, but wore long sleeves, skirt, headband and gloves. I think I made the right choice today.

Our route today was mostly same ole, same ole, over the river and back and through a big part of the Marathon course, Governor’s Mansion, Central High, the Hood and back to the River Market. I think we had a decent run, Tammy was having some hip pain at the end, but we ended with an average pace of 10:30 per mile. No we can’t do that for the Marathon, I wish I could, but maybe some day when we are trained super duper athletes.

We had one funny today, we took a break close to mile 5 at a gas station in NLR, it’s not a super nice gas station and when we walked out this guy says “excuse me Miss, oh hell, you don’t have a cigarette you’re running!!” It was some homeless dude with no shoes, poor guy, no shoes and all he wanted was a smoke, we thought it was funny.

Nothing much else happened today, quit run really, we did run with a lot of the group today, where normally we start early or go a different direction. Oh, I totally forgot, I made us this signs to go on our backs “14 miles follow at your own risk” We got quite a few comments about the signs.

Oh and if you see Tammy ask her about her smiley face she was wearing for most of the run today. That was a hoot.

Next week is our last 20 miler, I think it will be on the River Trail which is pretty flat, but UGH, really another 20? When I start questioning myself again as to how the hell will I finish 26.2 miles? Race day magic as someone commented last week. Race day magic.