Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Flight of the Vampire 10k PR! Recap

Little dude and I post race victory pose!

 Strong. Happy. Elated.

Stats:49:511st female in age division 8/33 female19/56 overall

My Garmin read different time but we go with the officials.

This is how this race went: 100000x better than July's.  A whole different racing experience than the last 10k. Fall may be the perfect racing season for me.  It was a small local race. There were 200+ participants in the 5k race and only 56 in the 10k. So nabbing 1st in my age division was kinda on my side with the smallness of the race. Plus there were other big races that weekend going on elsewhere.

1st in age division

Turns out this route was the same as the Firecracker 10k race so I felt this was an advantage. I knew where to conserve energy on hills and where I could push it faster. I knew where the turns were at and this was a big advantage at one point because I was able to pass a girl through a turn. 
I decided to pace myself and not focus on anyone faster than me.  As I passed the EMS crew I yelled, "I'm not going to die today! And I won't need you!" Ha! Oh it was fun. Started out the first mile a bit faster than conserved through the middle and banged out the last 2 miles fast. What helped was just remembering to run happy.  I passed a few kids on the sidelines with pom poms and signs for their moms or friends. So cute! I focused on staying strong and positive and really paying attention to everything around me. I thanked every volunteer as I passed by. Which makes everything more meaningful.  All the volunteers were super friendly and helpful. During mile two I passed a girl and another during mile three and they never caught back up. That was a good feeling since last 10k I was passed ... by several. Only one older man passed me this time. Man he was cooking for an old guy. Those old folks will totally rock out at these races. And then had a man trying to catch me. It was hilarious. He hollered (in good spirit) to the water station aid volunteers, "Slow that girl down!"  He caught up with me mile 5 and we pushed each other. As I crossed the finish line I saw my son, which was a surprise because originally he wasn't going to be there so I sprinted and jumped in the air and screamed like a maniac.  People probably thought I was nuts.  I am okay with this.  This was a huge comeback for me personally from the awful July race.  It meant the world to me to have my son, my sister, my niece and aunt there all cheering. And I didn't even realize one older gentleman was behind me close to the end and he thanked me after crossing the finish line for helping him push harder.  I didn't even realize it. That was kind of cool. Ambition is contagious. He told me he was thinking that girl wants this bad. And he ran fast after me. That in itself is rewarding!

OMGoodness! I did it! My freakout face. Pretty isn't it?
There were tons of people dressed up for this race in the Vampire and Halloween spirit.  I was dressed up as the serious runner. Ha! 
Now the klutz that I am I just couldn't leave this race uninjured. I guess I had my watch strapped on too tight...oops. at least no iv's were needed.
Battle wound
Overall this race was well executed. From the volunteers to the post race snacks. They even had bigger water cups this time. Thank the Lord. The only bummer....the goodie bags weren't so good. Just had pencils, emery boards and papers...nah. I didn't even bother grabbing one up. I got my t-shirt and medal. It was all good.
Yup. It was all good!
For more info on this race and what the Brevard Rotary supports check them out HERE.

Happy (&Blessed) Running!

Wisdom Wednesday: Perseverance


"Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance;"

Dictionary dot com defines it well here. "Steady persistence in a course of action, a purpose, a state, etc., especially in spite of difficulties..."

Perseverance in part comes through suffering. Suffering in the hard run, the total garbage run, the incredibly long run.
Keep with it. Keep on.  Because through these trials and weak spots, your strength and endurance grow and you will begin to see the fruit of perseverance carry you on in other aspects of life. 

"If one can stick to the training throughout the many long years, then will power is no longer a problem. It's raining? That doesn't matter. I am tired? That's besides the point. It's simply that I just have to." -Emil Zatopek

Everything you do should have purpose. Even through the difficult training sessions, the hard mind games, the doubts and frustrations. Learn to take lessons out of those moments and use them to your advantage. Let each obstacle be a learning and driving force that propels you forward. Part of perseverance is not stopping. Rather, keep on through the trials and let them shape you and mold you into a stronger character.
”If you're going through hell, keep going.”
“Never, never, never give in!” ―Winston Churchill

Happy (&Blessed) Running!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Wisdom Wednesday: Don't Stop Running the Good Race!

http://bible.us/Gal5.7.NIV 7

"You were running a good race. Who cut in on you to keep you from obeying the truth?"

I came across this verse today and thought, a.) I haven't posted on wisdom in a very long time b.) What a cool verse that is relateable in more than one aspect of life.

When you're training and running races it can be all too easy to become distracted. Like being distracted from TRUTH.


*That you are awesome and God created you for awesome things.

*That YES you are more than able to accomplish the tasks set before you.

*That NO, others are not better or more "real" runners because they're faster or can run longer.

There are so many distracting thoughts that can kill your "race" if you allow it. Take a step back for a moment and think on this.

What keeps you from "obeying" truth?

Like those everyday distractions: TV. Social media. Relationships. Family.  Jobs. Housework. Not all distractions are a bad thing. Some good in fact!  It's only when one area of your life becomes unbalanced that things start to go haywire.  Set limits and boundaries for all areas of life. You'll be glad you did. And each one of us has unique life situations. So no one's way is more better for another.

And then sometimes its the destructive things like: the naysayers, a negative friendship. Job stress. Comparing yourself. Being too involved with activities that could harm your health. (This is personal. I'm not asking for anyone to list out loud what they struggle with but rather just think on it)
Find what has been keeping you from keeping with truth and running the good race and vow to never let it set you back again.

I hope someone finds this as useful as I did this morning.  This hit home for me. Especially since I struggled so much last week with that nasty cold and terrible long run (that really wasn't a long run). I almost let that set me back and forget everything I had worked hard for. I began to doubt myself and if in fact I truly was a runner. A distance runner at that. But sometimes you just have to stop. And think. And then move forward. Cross that bridge in your life and keep on going.

Just keep running. Just keep running.

**Happy (&Blessed) Running!**

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Crap Runs Are Good For You

So I've heard anyway. You need to have crappy runs to truly appreciate the good runs. But not when I am this close to the marathon!  First of all, it has been such a challenge to find the time for the long runs.
{I came across a pretty awesome runner/blogger. She's ran 20 marathons!  Here's her take on a bad long run HERE!}
Anyway, I think this run in part was so awful because I was starting out a little emotional. Had some things on my mind and my heart was hurting a little. It is so hard to leave emotions at bay. Usually a good run will help clear the matter and I guess other times it completely breaks you down. I've got to learn how to get my emotions in check.  I really think this was the biggest culprit.  Also had a terrible head cold this past week that I couldn't shake. Couldn't breathe. Cold air didn't help matters. Felt like my lungs were on fire.  And somehow I believe I was a touch dehydrated. Probably from the cold fighting my body....
So the first 6 miles I was okay to go.  Kept my pace steady.  Hit an easy trail along the way.  There will be 3 miles of trail on the OBX marathon.  Which I'm pretty certain I will be able to manage well given the DuPont Trail race experience.  Anyway, my snotty nose and congested head got the better of me and suddenly found myself ill like I was going to toss all my cookies.  Blame it on the drainage..  I know, ew, gross.  Sorry, but that's just how it was yesterday folks.  So there I was 6 miles away from my car...away from my warm, warm car... I had to walk...slow jog...crawl back to it.  BUT!  There was a happy ending as I was crawling my sorry booty back home.  I came across a running buddy of mine who I met through our local running club and she was on her FIRST run back from recovery.  And she looked like she was so happy.  This  made me stop and think.  I'm not injured.  Haven't been. (knock on wood) And here is this amazing woman just enjoying her run.  While I pouted and fumed all the way home. I came across these wise words on a running board and found them to be comforting:

"Someone once told me that it was the continuity of the shorter and mid distance training runs that really prepared you physically for the marathon and that the long runs only prepared you mentally. So don't worry about that "bad" long run.
I have only trained and run in one full marathon but based on that experience I can tell you that all of my training runs became nothing more than a barometer on race day. My longest run prior to race day was 20 miles. I ran it but really struggled to finish it. On race day it was a different ballgame. When I reached 20 miles I picked up my pace and never looked back!! It is amazing how much the "race" and the experience will help you finish the marathon. Good Luck."

So I finally made it to my vehicle and drove home and found this sitting at my doorstep:

Check em out HERE
Yay!  I was recently a winner from Premier Protein on Twitter.  Follow them HERE and 'LIKE' them on Facebook.  You won't be disappointed.  I can tell you I drank the chocolate milk right away and it was so good.  Definitely will be a recovery protein drink/food for me in the future. 

**Have you ever let your emotions get the better of you on a run?  And felt like total garbage?**

Monday, October 15, 2012

4 Weeks Till OBX 26.2!

Only FOUR weeks left!!!
Here I am on the last intense training week of the marathon training then I'm on to the home stretch of the taper (yay after this week will be done with 20 mile long runs!)...I'm getting so excited, nervous, excited, terrified, thrilled, antsy, excited .... have I mentioned excited?? Ha! This has been my "baby" so to speak. I've given almost all of my life over to this training process.  And I'm sure driven every one else around me completely mad.  I signed up for this race 8 months ago and Nov 11th will be the ninth month and birth!  See my little fortune I opened months ago...hopefull it bears truth!

Coincidence this race is next to the ocean?? I think not.
A few things I will be striving for during the next 27 days will be good diet.  No more garbage in.  This will be the hardest part of all my training I believe.  No more diet soda.  No more cookies or cakes or refined sugars... Someone help me.  But I want to be in the best shape inside and out for this baby.  Rest will be a priority.  Bed before 11:00 pm.  Before 10:00 pm would be even better.  I need to get in one more 20 miler this week and truly hoping maybe a 22 miler.  My plan only calls for 20 max but how in the world will I be prepped for 26.2?  Anyone have thoughts on this?? 
Last week I did a 5k speed test and found myself to be much faster than a few months ago.  This made me very happy.  I recognized that my speed sessions were starting to become a little too manageable.  Don't mistake me for easy, but rather that I just kept feeling like I could push myself a little harder.  So by testing my 5k time I had a new set of times to go by for my speed, tempo and long runs.  This is going to sound nuts but since I've made progress, it gets me excited about thinking about my next marathon already...and that maybe,  just maybe, I could qualify for Boston...I know, I know let's see if I can just cross the first marathon finish line with a smile and not be dead!  ha.  I dream big.  And sometimes get carried away before I'm capable.  But dreams and goals are what keep us motivated I believe.
I just want to have a moment of silence in honor of all those poor soles in my life who have had to deal with me the past 3 months...I will be even crazier this last month! God bless of all your sweet soles...

Is it too early to pack??

**Any tips on the last few weeks during marathon training??**

Happy (& Blessed) Running!!!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Dupont State Forest 50k Relay Done!!

WARNING: THIS MAY BE A BIT SCATTERED AS I HAVEN'T BLOGGED IN LIKE...TOO LONG AND I HAVE TOO  MUCH TO SAY AND NOT SURE WHERE TO START...Okay.. Now if you'd like to continue reading and try to follow my scatter brain thoughts read on.
WOWZA!  I don't even know where to begin...
First of all I've been MIA due to a few little factors of life...like not owning a computer, having limited time to get anything done (like getting to the library on a computer), living life with my son, running and training for this OBX Marathon coming up and finding the man of my dreams...okay let's be honest...that last bit may be the biggest culprit of it all ;-) but guess what? He RUNS!  And I guess he technically found me. Anyways....that's another little story for another day. :-)

This is me pre-race=TERRIFIED.
I woke up around 5 am to lightening and thunder and serious rain.  Crap. But about an hour before race start all subsided. Thank You Lord!  But in the back of my mind I'm thinking...creeks will be full and trail will be mud. Nice. But let me say...
This trail race was a BLAST!!!  I had so much fun and can't thank my friend Rebecca enough for asking *me* to run with her. I felt like the luckiest woman in the world. Especially given that I wasn't able to afford the Asheville Half. I was just so grateful that God provided this opportunity. Even though I was terrified.  I rarely get to run trails, if ever, so this was new. My partner, she's pretty awesome have I mentioned that yet, and I each ran a 25k, 15.5 mile leg, for a total of a 50k, 31 miles.  We ran it together in just under 6 hours!   I seriously hope she will keep me as a future trail running partner. She opened my eyes to a new running love.  You can never have too many running friends.  I don't think.
For never running trails...let me tell you, that was the hardest 15.5 miles I've ran. I tried to take it easy as like a 15 mile training run. So I focused on staying well fueled, happy and strong. Made a few new friends who were also running this as a training run, including one woman who's ran a full trail marathon (um wow!), and chatted a good bit of the way through (okay, so obviously if I was talking I wasn't working hard enough...but I didn't want to risk twisting an ankle or something right before my marathon!  Plus it helped time go by.) Tried something new too called HEED.  Worked wonders. YES, I broke a rule and tried something new on race day. I was desperate. And thank God it worked!  If you've tried HEED or have any thoughts let me know!  I will need to research this product more.  I did bring my own water bottle but was needing a little more fluid.   And I can not brag on the aid stations and volunteers enough.  Everyone was so nice and helpful. I prayed a lot that day...and God answered. No tummy issues, I am proud to announce I DID NOT pee myself!!!
And muddy... I swear I am a hazard on the trails!  How did I get mud there?

Okay let me back up... I took a CLIF Shot Energy Gel (Cherry Chocolate with 2 shots of caffeine...mmm) about five minutes to start, got the Garmin up only to realize it didn't charge properly and only had one bar ... barely one bar.  Then the bell thingy went off and we went. I started out slow and easy. First mile and a half were pretty flat and easy.  Decided to speed walk some of the first grueling hills because the terrain was rocky and rough and I listened to the advice of an ultra runner on the way up.  She was pretty smart.  I attribute that to my being able to finish strong.  The miles in the middle were more rolling and manageable with some nice downhills where I was able to bank some good time. If memory serves me correctly there was about four creek crossings two of which I was able to walk across rocks and well...the other two I had to wade through which left me with nice wet shoes...which in turn left a nice big fat blister on my big toe. Yeeouch!
One tiny battle wound...maybe I should invest in proper trail runner socks and shoes...
We had to sidestep several piles of horse manure. Yeehaw.  Took another Gel around mile 8 and so glad I had it!  I highly recommend CLIFBar Energy Shots!  Taste good, no tummy issues and gets in the system quickly.  I about twisted my ankle going downhill on some seriously rocky terrain. But managed well. Then they throw in this nice like a mile long (okay, my Garmin died around mile 11 so I really have no idea how long it truly was) hill about mile 13 (or 14?) that was straight up and very rough terrain. Yes I walked that. Straight up. I was thinking really? Really? I didn't think I was going to make it. Just kept praying and praying. Then the last bit was downhill once I reached the crest of that "mountain" and there was a photographer and that smile let me tell ya was all genuine!  I was SO happy that I was almost done and that I did it!  I didn't die! 
Check out my happy photo! --> this photographer did a great job...now if only I could afford to purchase:
I just love how the photographer captured just how thrilled I truly was!  I got past the finish line and teared up a little...one woman said, "Aw, you're emotional!"  And I was like, "Uh, I think I'm in pain." haha!  But I really was elated.  I have to say that trail running is much more rewarding than road racing.  Even though my overall pace was around 11:39 which I'm totally okay with given the tough trail!  But trails offer so much more than just PRs...it was beautiful, adventurous and met so many cool people.
And I truly look forward to running this again next year!  I feel like I'm leaving out so much information and details on this awesome run... but just know if you are looking for a good challenge, be here next year!
For more info on the race and what it supports check out the website HERE!

Now...31 days till OBX marathon!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Happy (& Blessed) Running!