Thursday, May 31, 2012

Running in the Rain

I was really debating on getting up this morning. The alarm went off and I heard the rain. I peaked outside to see the rain. I shut off the alarm and cuddled with the blankets and didn’t care about going out.

Then I remembered that last night I made this goal for running today.  I remembered that each time I run it brings me closer to the big goal and that I just needed to go out. I knew I needed 2-3 times of 5 miles or more and this was my chance today. So I uncovered myself and got dressed in my running clothes. I wasn’t happy about still hearing the rain. I got on the computer and clicked on and saw that it said rain for the next hour and that tonight it would be cold, but no rain. I thought about going tonight, but then knew that I needed to spend time with the children and get this run over with while everyone was sleeping. I put on a long sleeve shirt over my other running clothes and left. It was cold, it was wet, and I was not happy at first, but what I found was a way to be happy through this unhappy circumstance.

I envisioned myself running in the best of conditions in total happiness with no pains with the biggest smile on my face. I imagined that the rain I felt was just sprinklers getting me when I was hot.

Soon I felt warm inside and could concentrate on putting one foot in front of the other and finishing.

I thought about doing only a couple miles, I thought about only doing 3.1 (a 5K), then I thought 4 would be good and better than doing nothing. Then I remembered the 2nd part of my goal to go out and do at least 5 miles twice a week and that this was my 2nd opportunity and there wouldn’t be another until Saturday and that day it had to be 16 miles, so I plugged on and when cars went by, I smiled and even waved to a bus and I’m not sure why. I made myself happy amidst the puddles I was running through. I even ran through a park field to get a little muddy just for fun because I really felt that great.

It honestly felt like one of the best runs I have ever experienced. It’s funny how me choosing to be happy made all the difference in the situation.

I’m glad it’s over now, but would gladly go through that again to feel that incredible happiness.

I feel very blessed to be able to run.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

2012 Marion Arts Festival Half Marathon & 5K races--Marion, Iowa

Since I'm training for a marathon in September, I was scheduled to do 15 miles today. So I decided to get it out of the way before the race. I got up at 4:30a.m. and ran almost 2 miles this way when I was finished the the half marathon I'd be done with my 15!

 Then showered and dressed for the race, ate a piece of bread with peanut butter on it, drank a ton more water and at 5:30a.m. left for the race with Jason, Alyssa and my friend Marianne. We met Stephany in North Liberty and continued on to Marion to do the race. We found a parking spot behind the library and that was AWESOME, so far we get that spot every year. Pays to show up early to this race.

 Packet pickup went super fast. I expected lines however there were none. After this I body glided every part of my body that I thought might rub, like each toe and the inside of my arms and inside of my legs, put on my compression sleeves for my legs, fancy running socks and favorite Brooks Trance 9 shoes. We all got our running bibs on and had a couple pictures.

We then looked for Rhoni Jo and Tracy to get pictures with them. I never did see my friends Lisa, Brian, Kris, Meretta or Bill so that was a bummer and would have been great to get pictures with them. At 7a.m. on the dot the race began. It was great until a 1/4th mile into it we came to this SKINNY bridge and we were at a dead stop to move across it. I considered going through the creek at this point, but it was too far down. Anyway other than that the race course was nice. I had wished for more shaded areas since it turned out to be the hottest day of the entire week, however time passed quickly and I was able to finish.

My favorite things about this race are these: Chip timed so you get an accurate starting, middle and ending time. The chip was a disposable chip this year in your bib so you didn't have to give it back. Tons of food at the end of all kinds. Cookies, bagels, watermelon, bananas, oranges, candy, pop, water and then they added spaghetti. So nice of them to not only have a huge variety of food, but to have plenty of it for those of us who finish later. Great shirt that I will wear again. Massive amounts of volunteers, so many that there were sometimes two volunteers at every turn. Water stops every 2 miles. I personally would have liked them every 1.3-1.5 miles, so I brought a water bottle that I could carry on my hip and I'm so glad I did that now since I ended up sharing my water with other race participants that needed it. Low cost for this race. Most Half Marathons are $40 and above and this race started at $25 so I was impressed by that.

 Things to improve for next year: Maybe switch the race course so that we run in the shade at the end of the course and so that the skinny bridge is at the end and we don't get stopped. More water stops, NO HEED because that stuff is nasty, just stick with the good old Gatorade. Have a separate medical tent so that the massage therapists don't have to share their tables with the people needing IV's at the end. Hand out baggies of crushed ice or cold wet sponges.

 Alyssa had a great time on her 5K and she beat her personal best time by almost 4 minutes. Jason beat his time from last year by almost 3 minutes. Here are the full RESULTS if you want to check out all our times!

Below are many pictures to enjoy!
From Left to Right:  Stephany, Tracy, Rhoni Jo, me, Jason
and in front Alyssa.

Marianne and I before the race.

Right before the race.

Running in for the strong finish.  I felt really
good for as hot as it was (80's).  See running
form, I'm still upright, not bent over, toeing
off correctly!
Rhoni Jo, Tracy, Marianne, Stephany and Me.

My group of friends being silly.

My daughter Alyssa and I right our
races were done.

Looking great in our race shirts after the race.

Jason's bib is the top one and he pointed out
to me that his bib adds up to 13.  Then my bib
starts out with a 13!  Too cool.

2012 Bear Stampede--West Branch, Iowa

This was a race I hadn't planned on doing. I was going to take a week off from racing and so I purposely didn't register. I registered my daughter Alyssa for the 5K, my son Brenden for the 1 mile race and then Scott for the 1k kids race. About 3 days before the race Alyssa mentioned to me that she had a Youth trip for the same morning at church and couldn't go. I wrote the race director and asked if Alyssa's registration could be transferred to mine for a fee so I could race instead of her and switch the information to my age group. The race director was awesome about it and said, sure I'll transfer you without a fee.

 I am training for a marathon and had an 8 mile run to do, so I got up at 5:30a.m. that morning and ran 5.19 of it since I knew the other 3.1 would be at the race. At 6:30a.m. I was home made a quad batch of waffles for everyone, showered and dressed for the race. My friend Stephany came over around 7:45 and we left. We arrived at West Branch plenty early and they were so organized that packets were made up and ready to hand out. We each got a shirt, even Stephany who registered that day. The boys each received a water bottle that they were thrilled about and Scott uses his every day. The day started out with the 5k/10K race. I did okay, not my best time see here for 5K results.  I felt like Stephany did great then as a result she placed 3rd in her age group of 20-29.  I placed 4th in my age group so at first I was a little bummed out until I realized that 3rd place was 3 whole minutes ahead of me, AND she probably didn't run 5 miles that morning.  I was just glad to finish.  I was a very hilly course near the end.

Brenden rocked the races and placed 1st in his age group, see that here for 1 mile results.  He was running super fast.

Then Scott pulled out a super great kid's race and placed 1st in the 1K kids run.  Here is a link for a video about the races:  Video.  They did spell Brenden's name wrong, however they didn't spell it wrong for the picture.  I just wish either Scott or Brenden were in the picture.  I think the newpaper man was bummed out that none of us were from West Branch.

Here are some pictures from the day:
Before the race.  Scott and Brenden with me.  It was bright
and sunny.

Stephany and I before the race.

All our feet with timing chips on. A traditional picture.

Lots and Lots and LOTS of prizes for every 5 and 10K racer.
I won an all day pass to the University Rec Center (which is
brand new and super nice) see link to see how awesome
Rec Center


Brenden right before the 1 mile race.
Check out the girls on both sides of him
checking him out.  Too funny.

Scott about to race his 1K kids race.  He was taller than
almost everyone and there were other 10 year olds.

Scott blew out his shoes at the race.
He got a new pair that day.

Scott won first place in the 1K kids race!

Brenden won 1st place in the 1 mile race.
He is proudly showing off his Running
Wild Gift  certificate.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The upcoming Marathon and Dedications

The Marathon training is well underway now. Since I was halfway there I only have halfway to go right? Well this last half is the hardest I think.

I researched many different training programs and then in addition to that talked to many people that have run multiple marathons for advice. Most of them said to follow Hal Higdon and his training plans and if I had more weeks than his plans to do more long runs of 20 or more. After reading a bunch and realizing I had 19 weeks left until the big day and from advice I received about how far to run here is my schedule of my long runs:

May 5th I had a half marathon   DONE
May 12th 8 miles COMPLETED
May 19th 15 miles  Finished
May 26th 8 miles  Concluded
June 2nd 16 miles   Rocked it and actually did 18.02 (16 running miles 2.02 walking miles)
June 9th 8 miles  Did a triathlon and figured as hard as it was, that was enough for the day.
June 16th 17-18 miles  Ran 17.08 miles on June 14th, walked a bunch later on in the day.
June 23rd  11-12 miles   Finished 11.13 miles on June 21st.
June 30th 19-20 miles  Did 20.01 with style !  Rhoni Jo ran the last 10 with me.
July 7th 12 miles  Completed all 12 miles 1 day early on 7-6-12.  I am awesome.
July 14th 20 miles Didn't quite make it,  did it split in the day 11.5 in the morning and another 7 that night, but was too tired to get to 20.  Will have another chance 3 more times to make the distance.
July 21st 14 miles Half marathon race in Hoffman Estates, plus 1 more mile to make 14!
July 28th 22 miles  Ran this on the 25th, it was hard, but I did it!  Walked a lot in the last 4 miles, but it was 98 degrees out in the last 4 miles.  Basically I ran the first 18.
August 4th 14 miles    Completed on Aug. 6th, and felt great, just a sore hamstring.
August 11th 20-21 miles
August 18th 13 miles
August 25th 20 miles
September 1st 10 miles
September 8th 13.1 miles ( I have a half marathon already scheduled that day)

Big Day September 15th 26.2 miles in Dayton Ohio.  Air Force Marathon!

In between all these days you are to run 2-3 times of 5 miles or more each. In addition a lot of cross training which could include weight lifting, biking, swimming, or anything, but those things were mentioned most.

So there you have it the training schedule.   Now as I’ve thought about my race and how I’ll get through it I decided to dedicate each mile to family and friends and here is how that will go:

Mile 1 is for Jason
Mile 2 is for my son Caleb
Mile 3 is for my son Daniel
Mile 4 is for my son Jared
Mile 5 is for my son Brenden
Mile 6 is for my daughter Alyssa
Mile 7 is for my son Scott
Mile 8 is for Chris and Jim Clark (Jason’s parents)
Mile 9 is for Jason’s brother Adam and his family
Mile 10 is for Jason’s sister Chelsey and her family
Mile 11 is for Jason’s brother Jess and his family
Mile 12 is for Jason’s sister Lindsey and her family
Mile 13 is for Jason’s sister Adrianne and her family
Mile 14 is for Jason’s brother Lance and his family
Mile 15 is for Jason’s brother David and his family
Mile 16 is for Jason’s sister Gillian and her family
Mile 17 is for Jason’s sister Kaitlin
Mile 18 is for Jason’s brother Ammon
Mile 19 is for my brother Matt and his family
Mile 20 is for my sister Jan and her family
Mile 21 is for my friend Christy who I’ve known since I was 7 years old
Mile 22 is for my friend Rodona
Mile 23 is for my friend Stephany
Mile 24 is for my friend Tracy
Mile 25 is for my friend Rhoni Jo
Mile 26 is for My Mom and Dad

The last .2 of a mile is for me!

Friday, May 11, 2012

2012 Columbus Distance Classic Half Marathon--Columbus, Ohio

This race has such a special meaning to me. It was the first race I ever did. That happened back in 2005 and I ran the 5K race. Then I took a 5 year break because running didn't seem to be my thing. Story is HERE.
Last year I ran the Columbus Half marathon and was injured so I shouldn't have run, but did anyway.  This year I am injury free and since going to this race gives me an extra opportunity to see my parents.  My friend Stephany who got me into running again was able to go with me. Race day was perfect weather and I had a very enjoyable race.  Full results are here.   You just type in my race number #1250 if you want to see how I did.  Pictures that the race people took are here.   Here are a bunch of pictures from our trip.

Stephany and I taking a picture of ourselves at the beginning of the trip.

My parents.  I made them pose this way.  I think they look cute.

My Mom and I having lunch

The awesome peanut butter pie I selected for dessert.  It was even better than it looked.

Our race tags

Our before picture taken around 6:30a.m. day of race.

Right after we finished our races showing off our finishing medals.

My parents and I post race.  I was so glad to see them.

The first thing I ordered as soon as I got to the hotel.

This is how amazing it looked!

My finishing medal.  It is huge by the way and super beautiful.

After returning to our hotel, showering, napping and eating pizza we were ready for post race pictures!

Monday, May 7, 2012

I signed up for a Marathon

I can't believe I did it.  I'm probably going to wish I wasn't signed up during all those long 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22 mile long and longer runs, but I did.

Here is the website  Air Force Marathon.

I'm nervous, scared, excited, and totally freaked out.  What have I done?

I will update occasionally with how my long runs have gone.  There will be a post for each Long Run.  In addition to the long runs I need to do 2-3 other runs a week of 4-6 miles each.  This will be more running in 1 month than I usually do in 6 months.

I decided that I'm finally ready for this because I've now completed 6 half marathons (one just this past weekend) which I will blog about very soon.  And after this last Half marathon (13.1) miles I felt amazing.  I didn't have to visit the med tent, I didn't hurt severely after.  I didn't pull anything out of place.  I didn't walk funny the next day.  So I felt ready to do longer races.  While in Columbus, Ohio at the Columbus Distance Classic running expo there was a booth set up for this Marathon and the lady was telling me all about it and how awesome it was.  I looked it up on the website and thought about it.  Then doubt set it and I got scared and thought I couldn't do it.  After arriving home to Iowa I discussed this race with my husband, he encouraged me to sign up. So here is the first part of my marathon journey.

Wish me luck!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

2012 Dam to Downtown 10K--Iowa City, Iowa

The race was at 8a.m. and it was called Dam to Downtown. So you had to go to downtown Iowa City and catch a bus to the Dam. The race provided the busses. The packet pickup was the day before at Scheels (a sports store) over in Coralridge Mall. Packet pickup was super organized. At first I couldn't find a place to park downtown. You would have thought I was late, but I was early enough to catch the first bus, just no where to park. I think finding a place to park on a side street took me longer than my bus ride to the dam.

I arrived at the Dam around 7 a.m. and the race started at 8a.m. and since it was freezing out, around 39 degrees, I thought I should warm up a bit by running. I wanted to get in 8 miles for the day anway so off I went. I ran out about .6 miles and then back to the start, then across the dam and then back to the start, total before race was 2.20 miles. Then the race of 6.2 miles so I had 8.40 miles for Saturday.

The race went well, it was massively hard with big hills, when I say big hills I mean going from 500 feet of elevation to over 700 feet and then back down, so we were climbing and desending. However even with 4 big hills that I remember I was able to finish this race with a new 10K personal best time of 1:01:28 which beats my time on this course 2 years ago by 4:30 minutes. I almost beat Jason’s personal best which was 1:01:06. Here are the full results if you care: RESULTS  and here are pictures if you want to see what they took: PICTURES   If you want to see me, I'm picture #270 of 334 pictures.  I'm in others, but that one is of just me.

Front of shirt

My number.

My friend Bill and I just after finishing the race.

All the fabulous sponsors listed on
the back of the shirt.