Tuesday, September 3, 2013

You're Never Too Far Gone

Hey, hey everybody!  Yes, I am still alive and kicking.  Well, just now really getting back into the kicking part.  I kinda took a lazy summer off from training and wowza does it show.  My endurance lacks in a serious way.  My body, mind and overall spirit thrives on routine.  I believe my son does better as well settled in a routine. So glad school is back up!
So what have I been up to? Not too much running!  Which I can tell really messes with my mind...
I suppose my point in this blog post is this: there comes a time in life when you have to simply live LIFE. Not counting miles or missed miles, not fretting over time, speed or distance but counting "I love yous", hugs, laughter and time spent together. I've hiked and walked and played.  Still, having said that, life is no excuse to quit or give up. Am I in great shape? No. But that'll come back. The kid is back in school and I'll get my routine back on. My little bit of lost endurance and muscle will come back when I get to work on it. I don't regret my lost miles. I don't regret missing this next marathon.... Back that up. And I'm lying to myself. Um, of course I'd regret not running this marathon I've paid for! 
Why was I even considering not running it? Life got a little off balance. I still can't believe I let myself go for a period of time. I won't go into great detail but I will say this,
No matter what, make sure you always stay true to who you are. Never allow someone or something to take away something that makes you, you. A great relationship is one that builds each other up and pushes you to be the best you can be.  Not one that distracts, takes away or brings you down. It's a slow fade they say... Keep your eyes and heart open. 

On the other hand why I decided to stick with it and press onward:

1. Marathoning has taught myself many things including how to manage time wisely, how to endure through challenging circumstances, that I am a strong woman inside and out.
2. My son has gained valuable knowledge from our adventures. Including learning field trips. 
3. It's taken me to the ocean, mountains and plains back home in Okc!
4. I've made more friends in two years than I have in my whole life. 
5. Running makes me a better person. An encourager. A solid employee. A go getter. 
6. As crazy as it sounds, I get more done when I spend time running. I just feel more efficient. I even started a garden! 
7. Running makes me confident and also humbles me all at the same time. 
8. The list here is endless. I could go on and on...
9. I get to eat more food. Enough said. 

I'm no fool to say I can run this marathon well. It will in no way be a glorious moment. It will be slower than four hours. I will probably cry like a baby and need ibuprofen and alcohol.  I've lost two months of training. Dumb. 
But the important part here is the fact that I decided not to give up.  

"But those who hope in The Lord will renew their strength.  They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." 
Isaiah 40:31

I was reminded of who I was, thanks to those in my life who truly love me.  And in a weak moment I almost let it all go.  I started this blog a while back to encourage others. And how dare I quit. How dare I almost revert to where I started. God created me to be so much more than just average. 
I can not settle for average. And neither should you. 

"She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come." Proverbs 31:25

So here's my apology to those I've let down. I'm sorry. I'm sorry I lost my balance for a period of time.  But what I can say is take everything as a valuable learning experience. I learned what's truly important and just in fact how strong God is in me. He strengthened my faith. You not only build physical muscle while training, but also mental and spiritual muscle. 

"Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize." 1 Corinthians 9:24-27

So I'm going to run this marathon. I may die doing it, but I'll be darned if I'm going to quit. 

And when it's time, I will find another race and push myself again.
Be encouraged. If you've ever been through a period of time where you thought all is lost, it's not! Shake the dust off and get up! You got this! And if not, you know God always has this!


***What are your thoughts?  Have there been months or years where you felt "life" got in the way of training or training in the way of life? Have you ever trained for a marathon in as little as two months?! Tips??***

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

OKC Memorial Marathon Recap April 26, 2013

My sincere apologies for a SERIOUSLY delinquent post! Still no home computer. Still a crazy work schedule. Still pressing on and running the race.
If I had one word to sum up this marathon experience: surreal.
The expo was awesome!  Well organized and I even picked up a BoniBand which I am now a HUGE fan of!  Perfect no sweat, no slip,  no headache kinda band.  Perfection!   I know you're not supposed to try anything new during race time but I had forgotten my headband so this was an emergency.  Now I feel like I can use no other BUT BoniBands!
Also at the expo I had the privilege of meeting Bill Rogers! Sweet!  First running "celebrity" I've met and I gotta tell ya he's a cool guy.  But aren't all runners?

Little dude and I

They had packet pick up seperate from the expo which I thought was a great idea

Little dude and I going to grab the bib! 

The kids got to meet their own cool celebrity!
From beginning to the very end everything flowed near perfectly. And this may sound silly, but now I feel as though I can call myself a true marathoner.  Because this time I ran the whole way.  No walking.  The air in Oklahoma made breathing so much easier, the crowds were everywhere lining the streets, the gorilla and banana suits people really cracked me up at Gorilla Hill.  Which by the way, wasn't too terribly bad.  But let it be known that Oklahma is not flat.  Well not OKC anyway!  The hills seemed to be long and gradually climbing over miles with not much down hill to make up for it.  But compared to Western NC they were definently managable.  I kept a steady pace throughout.  Which I also couldn't say of the OBX 26.2. 
The true highlight of this whole event was having my son and whole family at mile 20 to give me high fives and cheer me on!

Only two complaints:
1.) starting with 25,000+ runners made it a challenge to get up to pace.
2.) I need new running undies. I had to er.. re-adjust a few times...but nevertheless...

Support before, during and after the event was abundant. There were plenty of aid stations! I drank at every water stop (because I'm a thirsty girl like that) except one.  I kept to the lemon-lime Poweraid and chose to forgo gels, pretzels or any kind of food and this worked out really well for my stomach.  And compared to my last marathon this is exactly what I needed! Stay hydrated=strong running throughout. Except, can anyone tell me how NOT to pee myself during a marathon? I don't stop to use porta potties. I've not have #2 issues (knock on wood) so I never stop.  I chalk this up to having a kid... but geez I feel like I gotta tinkle 24/7.  Even when I'm not running!  Sorry for the TMI but maybe someone out there can help a girl out with some tinkle advice?!
4:04:13 sooo close to a sub-4! I was thrilled with this! I took 20 minutes off my time. Next 26.2 is mine.




After all is said and done...I just wanna go back home. Oklahoma was by far the best thing that could've happened this year. 

Saturday, April 20, 2013

7 Days 17 Hours Till OKC

Photo from OKC Memorial Marathon e-mail I received


This 16 weeks of marathon training has stunk, pretty bad.  Lots of rough patches and low's with only a handful of hi's.  But this is why I am running.  To remember.  To celebrate life.  Runners are resilient folks.

I could list all the excuses I have for why this marathon training has gone awry.  Sickness, treadmill death, work schedule gone wack, kid...etc etc

But, at the end of the day, I am blessed to run.  Blessed to have life.  Blessed to have family.  And that my friends, is what this whole trip is about anyway.  We head out next Wednesday for the trip of lifetime.  I may run slow and not achieve my time goals.  But that's okay.  My goal now has changed.  Goals change.  People change.  And hopefully all for the better.  Keep in mind what counts today.  What's most important.  I have learned more in 16 weeks than I have in 16 years.  Marathons have a way of doing that to you...

Happy (&Blessed) Running! 


Friday, March 22, 2013

Oskar Blues 4-Miler Race and Other Funzies

I've been in a bit of a blog funk.  I've been running and working and all the other joys of life ya know.
By far the best shirt I've gotten at a race! NorthFace brand too.
Well last Sunday I had a BLAST at the Oskar Blues 4-miler race.  I didn't place or anything but I did run my fastest. The competition was steep because of the prizes up for grabs I believe.  Uh, hello $100 gift card to FootRx!  Which I didn't win.  I would have had to race with a 5:10 min/mile pace.  CRAZY!  That dude was friggin fast.  But what I really enjoyed about this race was that it had a great atmosphere.  It was the inaugural event so I wasn't expecting too much but it way exceeded my expectations.  The race director, a local coach from Pisgah Running, did a fantastic job.  Well organized, easy to locate and park, plenty of volunteers on the road giving directions and cheering us on and plenty of post race food from a local bakery--which was so so good. And the weather really worked out for us.  For once...here lately it's been stupid windy, cold, rainy and yuk.  I'm like helllooo where is spring?!
Anyways, so the kid's Fun Run was FREE which was awesome! All proceeds went to benefit our Brevard High school's track and field program.  Since I went to school there I thought that was cool. Except back then I was a total nerd.  Not even into track.  Oh if we could turn back time...
Got a super cool beaded bear can necklace.  word.

Our local news did a segment on the event and look who they caught on camera! My little dude!
After all is said and done, I don't have a negative thing to say about this event.  Overall an enjoyable event for all ages and levels of runners.  Well done Bill Baldwin!  And a huge THANK YOU for putting this on.

So how's the marathon training going?  Eh, I'm not getting the mileage in I'd like.. it's tanked some.  But with the help of my sister I've been able to get some good runs in here and there.  I am trying to be THANKFUL for what I can get in. I think I'm getting better at the sweat fest sessions in the gym...no...no I'm  not.  It sucks.  And the weather has been terrible most days.  So I either sweat my face off in the gym or freeze my assets off in the cold and stupid wind. And doing some runs at night ----which my tummy does NOT like most nights--- while the kid enjoys CrossFit with the sister.  Ha!  Who knew my kid would be into that?   I have had no other option but to do my long runs every other weekend --while getting a kinda long run the other weeks-- due to the fact that my work schedule sucks, and we've lost yet another fab associate, and work SEVEN day straight shifts... I have got to find another way to make a living...any tips on this are welcomed!
At any rate, I've had one great 18 miler and another superb 20 miler.  So hopefully I can crank out a few more before the taper begins...which isn't too far off! 
But I tell ya, I've been dealing with some major head games.  I guess the stress levels at work have really been getting to me.  Like why am I even trying?  I'm a single mom.  Single moms don't have time to train for and run marathons.  What a selfish parent I am.  But I have to remind myself that I have seen new strength and determination in my child since all my running crazy.  He's already done two fun runs this year! And with most challenges he faces he reminds himself and others, "That with God's help we can do anything! Just keep pushing and keep going."  I pray that he stays this way.  That what ever he does in life that he does it with all of his heart and soul like he does now.  I am BLESSED to have this little guy in my life.  And so far I've only had to miss him for one hour a week and every other weekend I get a long run in.  You know, I could be one of those parents that miss out on hours away from their kids because they choose to party their lives away or other terrible things... no.  I'm a good momma.  And I think that maybe there's another mother out there who needs to hear this, running is a beautiful thing and your child-ren will see that in you.  Teaching isn't always out of a book or by words but by our actions.  They are always watching.  Don't give up.  Teach your child-ren how to truly LIVE LIFE.  Running in itself is a life lesson.  A lesson in strength, peace, balance, determination...the list is endless.
And it has been said, If it wasn't hard, everyone would do it.  I have to remind myself that when I'm dying on the treadmill doing speedwork sessions or running tempos out on hills with wind in my face.  Free resistance training I guess. ha. And somehow, I'm already planning up my next marathon in my mind...

**Your turn to share!!  How do you cope with running, training and children oh-my?!  Have you had success with a plan running long runs every other weekend?**

"9.But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong." ~ 2 Corinthians 12:9-10

Happy & Blessed Running!!


Wednesday, March 6, 2013

LOSER!

That's what's up.  I have felt like a total loser as of late.  It happens to the very best of us.  Sometimes I sit back and wonder just who the heck do I think I am?  I'm not some elite athlete on a mission to conquer the marathon.  That's just in my dreams.  And I daydream way too much!
Marathon training?  Well it's going.. sorta.  I've had one flawless 18 miler and a few decent training runs.  The treadmill quit.  I revived it.  Then it quit again.  For good.  Then I had a cold, then another cold...sinus...upper respiratory infection or whatever you call it and had another lousy mileage week.
So...for the good news!
I've got my first race of the season coming up! Yay!  It's a 4 miler which is a distance I've never raced before so automatic PR right? It's local here in town, The Oskar Blues 4 Miler.  I am officially registered for this baby.  I got news for my sinus issues: YOU BETTER CLEAR THAT MESS UP FOOL! My speed hasn't been too up to par due to the issues I've had this go-round during training but I'm hoping to make this a fun run with cool green and white stockings and shamrock tattoos. woo.
Back in February my sister, her kid and my kid all ran the Frostbite Fun Run again this year!  It was windy and super cold but the sun was out and beautiful.  They all did awesome, beating their times from last year.  They were all right around 9 minutes this year!
Little D, the Sis and little K :)
And after much deliberation and thought about the whole "OMGOSH I don't have a treadmill and can't afford one, I'll never be able to run again" drama I finally decided on a local gym membership here in town, the Fitness Factory.  The people seem super cool.  The treadmill was so nice! And 99 days for $99 isn't bad...it will get me through the rest of my marathon training plan.  And it's right close to my sister's CrossFit maddness awesomenss. The sister and I came up with a running plan so she can help with little dude while I get my sweat on in the gym.  Seriously...nasty sweat. It is HAWWT up in there!  HOORAY!  But maybe this will help me acclimate to heat for OKC? I don't really know what I'm doing.  All I know is I've been scraping by basically to get this training done.  It's been terrible for the most part.  But I'm getting done what I can.  I can only wonder how this next 26.2 will end up... I've had to really rethink my goals.  Plan A-Do NOT die! Plan B-Score PR by running under 4:24.  Plan C-Rock it like originally planned and score a sub-4!  More than likely I foresee Plan A being accomplished at the very least.  HA! Oh and I think that spring marathons are no longer for me.  Training through winter sucks!  Sickness...crap weather...retarded treadmill issues...bah.

Also going through this lousy season, I've been reminded of a few things that I've forgotten.. There's more to me than just running!  I sing, play guitar, have family and a J-O-B.  And as I've mentioned before, my first priority is here:
Love of my life.
My little guy is getting not so little every day.  It's vital to spend as much time with him as I can. I've had to relax a little and loosen up a lot in regards to training.  I had get my friggin panties out of a wad so to speak.  I realize I am not some world class athlete, I am a single mother who runs.  I do not have time nor the resources to training like a pro.  Running should bring joy to my life.  Not stress.  Do I want to run my best? Of course! Do I still want to run Boston? Um, heck yes! But if that doesn't happen I shouldn't be all poor me, I suck, I'm a total loser.  Because I'm not!  And I don't want any other mother runner to ever feel that way either.  Being a mommy is a high calling.  You are RAISING A HUMAN BEING!  That is no easy task my friends. 

My second priority is here:
Getting fat.  Ha! But seriously, I've gained a few pounds that have not gone away...troublesome. hmm.  So I bought a scale that supposedly measures body fat, muscle mass, water content ect...do these things really work? Who knows.  Guess I will find out tomorrow morning.  People keep saying I've gained muscle but I think I've just gained ice-cream..err..fluff pounds.  I know I'm not the only runner out there with weight issues.  Come on, spill the beans folks.  Help me out! 
Now it's time for me to get my ice-cream butt to the gym and work it out.

**Your turn, please share: 1.) Have you had super, ridiculous, crappy training months? How did your race end up? 2.) Have you lost sight of your true priorities during training? 3.) How's your weight going?**
ha!

Happy (&Blessed) Running!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

What It Takes To NOT Give Up.

Hi!! I have a weekend off.  When I do get weekends off I cherish them with all my heart.  I love getting up early and just sitting on my couch with a cup of coffee and a blanket cozied up. Just thinking. Praying. Reading. Just time to reflect.  And now I have access to the library so I can keep you all up to date.  (I can not wait to get a laptop!  C'mon income taxes baby...) So what the heck have I been up to?  Running. A lot. Well that is until my treadmill broke down.  I guess you get what you pay for.  At first I was pissed.  Then sad.  Then depressed.  Then pissed again.  I tried in vain to fix the dang thing.  I kept thinking HOW in this universe am I going to train for the OKC Memorial marathon?  I thought about giving up...only for a split second.  But then I decided I would bust my butt in my living room; I'm sure looking like a total weirdo.   I've been doing high-knees, squats, planks, push-ups, yoga, anything and everything that will help me run my best.  Just because I can't run as much doesn't mean I can't do anything.  In the meantime I just do what I can.  It's not about what I can't do, but what I can.
 Whatever you can do, do your best.

So I've been having to get super crazy creative.  I run on my days off when the kid is in school and beg my sister to keep little dude on the rare occasion I have a weekend off (given this is a weekend off...oh sister J...).  And in place of my easy runs I've been strength training at  home along with some hill repeats up and down my driveway. 
Perfect analogy for my thought process after the mill's death.  I was stuck on "I can't do it" for about a week.

So, 10 times up and down this 10000% grade hill (my math may be a wee bit off here...ha)  makes one painful mile. Hill work + kid safe and sound at home =success. No treadmill no problem. Focusing on what I CAN do. Where there's a will there's a way. Let me encourage YOU!

Don't ever give up on a dream. Sometimes we just have to get creative to achieve it. ~ Jess
Photo: #fitfluential #getafterit #dontgiveup 10x up&down this 10000% grade hill makes 1 mile. Hill work + kid safe&sound at home =success. No treadmill no problemo. Focusing on what I CAN do. Where there's a will there's a way. Let me encourage YOU! Don't ever give up on a dream. Sometimes we just have to get creative.
Part of the hill.
Fitness Peeps Shoutout!
I've also been following some awesome challenges like:

Staci Bereyni on Facebook and Twitter.  She's a motivational coach and I really encourage you to follow her!  Her challenges have kept me pumped!  Thanks Staci!!

And the One Tough Mother Runner, Wendy,  has been a great source of daily encouragement and I started doing her #Planksalot challenge which has kept me focused on a strong core.  STRONG CORE=STRONG RUNNER! I would definitely encourage you to follow her on Facebook and Twitter as well!  She has some other awesome challenges going on as well.  Go check her out!
I'll leave you with this piece of advice:
You can not stop a determined woman.

 
**When life throws a wrench in your plans how do you cope?  What are some creative ways you've had to train for a marathon (or any fitness event)??**
Happy (&Blessed) Running!

ps-the kid's fun run is next Sunday! Woot! Frostbite Fun Run one miler!
If you're in the area I'd love to see you there! It's always a blast. 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Running and Jumping for Kids' Hearts!

2013 MAA Jump - Personal Donation

Would you consider helping kids' hearts and our school's team?  My son will jump rope for every dollar and I will run one mile for every $10!
We will post a video up of little D jumping!
Thanks in advance!!!

PS- I'm still alive.
Pps-still running strong and training for OKC ...
Ppps-got a surprise entry to the Asheville Biltmore Marathon March 3rd! More on that later..when I find time!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

The OKC 26.2 Plan: Rock It Like A Rocket!

Hey Errrrbody! So here's the dealio...I  meant to publish this blog yesterday.  BUT I ran out of time to hit the library due to life.  So it's Tuesday and I've completed day 2 of marathon training and feeling great!  I guess I should be.  If I was hurting by day 2 I suppose I would be in some big trouble.  But I am definitely due for a new pair of shoes.  My knees, feet and my general entire body told me so!  So here they are:
 
20130108112747.jpg
Mizuno Wave Precision 12
You can read Runner's World shoe review here.  They say, "We recommend it as a marathon-training shoe that handles miles just as well as it does speed workouts." Just what I've been looking for!  I love my Brooks Cadences for sure, especially for racing in.  But I've been needed something with a little more 'meat' to carry me through the training portion. As soon as I've had em for a while I will offer my thoughts. 
winter run .jpg
It's also been REALLY chilly!  I found an awesome ColdGear shirt at Marshalls for $15 compared to $50!!
As I mentioned before, this marathon training will slightly differ in that I will be ramping up the mileage a bit.  I've been reading through Runner's World Big Book of Marathon Training and let me say it is a complete resource! So glad I went with it. There's some great training plans in the back and I decided to go with one of those.

Runner's World Big Book Training Plan
A few things that differ from RLRF:
  • Yasso 800s
  • longest run tops out at 23, not 20
  • some long runs have a fast finish
  • scheduled 'hill' work vs soley speedwork
  • more easy running!
  • if needed swap out an easy run day for rest or light cross training
  • there's only one scheduled rest day
Now before, I really did like the Run Less, Run Faster idea. I stayed injury free and felt it was the best option for me at the time. The downfall?  I never swam or biked or did any serious cross training. Which is part of the 3 plus 2 idea. So I wasn't able to complete the plan as intended. But with this its all about running. I will be routine about my yoga and/or pilates along with core work to help keep me balanced.  I won't be running as scheduled in the book though. Sometimes my long runs will have to fall on a Wednesday or Monday. It really depends on my crazy work schedule, in which my hours are never the same from week to week. Some nights I work late, some days I work early.  Some weekends I might have off and other weekends I work.  That's a bit of the pain but it's always been a pain.  Might as well throw some marathon training into the mix of my crazy schedule! I'm living on the edge. Ha! Yeah buddy.  I know there's plenty of people out there who do way more than I.  But for me, this plenty. 

"You can do anything but you can not do everything." ~ Someone very wise.

Where there's a will there's a way. Especially when you have the good Lord on your side. I pray that somehow through all this I am able to encourage someone and that I honor God in all I do.
I. Am. On. A. Mission. To ROCK IT like a ROCKET!  Cheesy? Yes. Awesome?  Heck yes.
Geez I have so much more to say... that's what I get for not blogging for a week!  But I will stop here.

Let the marathon training games begin.


**Happy (&Blessed) Running!**