Life as we know it

Our family adventures

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Itching to run again

Its not like its been that long since the last time I ran, but I’m ready to get back out there. I’ve had to some great cross training workouts, but I want to get back on the road!

I’m surprised my legs still don’t feel completely recovered though. But they are recovered enough that I’ll go for a short run tomorrow and avoid a zero-mileage week. It will be a short run, probably 3 miles of intervals. I do want to work on running without intervals, but not my first run back.

All day today I wished that I was back in Appleton and that I could relive that incredible race! But if I were to relive it I would have run more effectively at the end to avoid my mini-meltdown from mile 12 to 12.5!

Last week I was thrilled to find that the weekend Turbo Kick class at the Y had been moved from Sunday evenings to Saturday mornings. Thats something I’ll get up early for! I had been nervous about doing a workout like that with my neuroma and achilles tendonitis, but I don’t need to worry quite so much now that the race is over.

I see myself running three days a week, spinning two and then going to Turbo Kick for that sixth workout of the week. I would probably rest on Fridays or Saturdays, depending on what’s going on.

I do still feel a little lost without a big race to train for. I’m not sure what my focus should be now. I do still have races coming up. One thing I would like is to build my mileage up for when I do start training for the full marathon. Maybe if I build my mileage well enough I’ll be doing the full instead of the half at Madison in May!

Right now my goal is to enjoy my remaining outdoor runs. I know they are numbered, despite the fantastic weather we’ve had this week. Hopefully we don’t go straight to winter this year.

If the weather is holding toward the end of October I may go ahead and sign up for the Berbee Derby. I’ve wanted to run that race even before I was training. Not really sure why, maybe its because of the commercials or the fact that its called the Berbee Derby.

But first I have to get that first run down!

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Tired legs

Well, my soreness has completely gone away, but my legs are still pretty tired. I was able to do everything in spin class this morning, which was nice. But I think I’ll take a rest day tomorrow and go to Turbo Kick at the Y on Saturday. I would still like to run on Sunday, but right now I doubt it will happen. I might have that 0-mileage week after all. That can change though!

I am feeling a little strange though having a week without running. I really want to get back out there! I want to see how I can run without walking.

I’m also feeling kind of strange not having a big race to train for. I’m starting to think I could train through the winter, but there aren’t any big races in Wisconsin in the winter, obviously. And we can’t afford to travel unless we end up going somewhere on vacation that also has a race. That could be a very faint possibility, but really my next half, or maybe full marathon, will be in May.

Thats kind of a bummer. I will have to work on the motivation part of running, especially once there are no more races. The big races motivate me. I’m not even sure the small races will motivate me as well as my two big ones have.

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Not quite back on the road

But I’m anxious to get there! I have already signed up for my next race, the first ever Gilda’s Run to benefit the new Gilda’s Club here in Madison. They have a 2-mile race and a 5-mile race, and I’m signed up for the 5 miler.

I find that I’m more partial to races that benefit something that has affected me, which is why I find myself entering all these small first-time races! The Fight for Life run was in memory of a woman who died of pulmonary fibrosis, which I don’t know the specifics on, but I know it affects breathing. And I like to breathe and its difficult for me sometimes.

Gilda’s Club is a place for cancer patients and their families to get support. I don’t have cancer, but I know I could have cancer one day. And I raised money for blood cancer through TNT, so this is a cause close to my heart as well.

Since I’m starting to think I can run in cooler temps than I used to, I thought I’d be OK to sign up for this race. I also picked out two others, the MATC Turkey Trot on Nov. 1 and Berbee Derby on Nov. 27. Those might be a little more dicey.

The Berbee Derby is a really popular local race, so I’d like to sign up early, but I just don’t know. I ran a couple days recently where it was a bit more chilly and I felt fine. Really I think I could run in temps as low as 40. I’ll see what I can really do and that’s something that will help me proceed with my future training.

I hope to train in the next three weeks to more running like I did in the half marathon. I wonder what my times will be like if I run without walking! Its an interesting question.

I went to spin class yesterday and then I swam today. Tomorrow is spin class again and I’m trying to decide what to do after that. I’m wondering if I’ve been a little too agressive in cross training this week. I’ll probably take Friday off and then do turbo kick or swimming Saturday and hopefully a run on Sunday, but I’m not going to push it. I keep saying that but I bet I probably will push it. It would just be weird to have a 0-mileage week!

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The long-awaited race report

Wow. I am still amazed by what I can do. Because I did way more than I thought I could.

I was worried last week that I had set my expectations too high and that I might disappoint myself. That is definitely not what happened.

It was a fun weekend all around. My friend who I met on the runner’s world forum traveled with us and my other friend from TNT ran the race too. My parents and three of my sisters made the trip and my aunt Janet and uncle Chuck came out too. It was great just getting together with everyone. We all went out to dinner Saturday night to this fantastic Italian restaurant and it was just cool to be together.

I went to bed plenty early Saturday night, something that didn’t happen the night before San Diego. I had a hard time falling asleep and woke up every hour, except the hour I had to get up. I overslept!!

I was going to get up at 5 and have a leisurely breakfast and get ready. Instead I woke up at 5:51, later discovering I had turned off my cell phone alarm when I was trying to set it. This time I didn’t set back up alarms because my cell phone alarm always works! Ha!

Luckily I had followed TNT advice and laid out all my race stuff before I went to bed. I had 19 minutes from when I woke up to get on the shuttle to the start. I was able to get dressed fast while Doug made my oatmeal, luckily for us we had a microwave in our room! Too bad the microwave didn’t really come in handy, my stomach was queasy from my rude awakening and I didn’t have time anyway. Four bites later, I packed an extra nutrition bar and ran for the hotel lobby.

Oversleeping was the only problem though, thankfully. We got to the start and hung out inside for a bit since it was still pretty chilly outside. We also got to use the indoor bathroom before the line got super long. Jessica, my other TNT friend, along with her posse, and my family arrived between 7 and 7:15, we took a few pictures and stretched, and then it was the start!

I started with Jessica and Chelsea started way up ahead of us (and finished a half hour sooner, she’s really fast). We walked the first walk interval, but I was feeling really good so I decided to ignore my intervals and just run. I admit this was a really stupid thing to do in a race since I hadn’t done it before. Or I guess I sort of have, but not for longer than 10K.

I ran about the first 4.5 miles without taking a walk break. I felt great too. After that first 4.5 miles, I walked through every other water stop, or maybe every third. I don’t know. I took a gel around mile 5 and sped up a bit and got to this zone I’ve never really been in before. I felt great and I wasn’t really paying much attention to things around me. Around mile 9 I was starting to struggle a bit but I took another gel and slowed down, felt better and sped up again.

As I progressed between miles 5 and 11 I passed a bunch of people. It was a great feeling. I don’t remember a lot of people passing me during this time, but I wasn’t really paying attention either. I was starting to get a bit tired and I was feeling my hamstrings tightening, but overall I was good.

Mile 10 and 11 each had one walk break and then I slowed down for mile 11. I planned one more walk break at 12 and then speeding to the finish. Jessica caught up with me and I decided I could do without that walk break, after all it would only be another 12 minutes or so. Well, I didn’t have enough left in the tank so Jessica ran ahead and I walked… about four times in half a mile before I finally mustered the energy. I started running again and then I got into my sprint as the finish line came into view.

As I got to the finish, Doug was on one side, my family on the other. There were two or three different mats and I didn’t know for sure where the race photographer was, so I was just cheering, screaming and raising my arms through the whole finish chute. When I stopped I must have looked faint, I certainly felt faint… enough that two volunteers walked with me a bit until I assured them I was fine.

I was more than fine, I just PRd by almost 20 minutes!

My clock time was 2:23:06, but my chip time, the one that really counts, was 2:21:45!! My previous time was 2:40:58. Wow.

I enjoyed wearing my medal all day and eating like a champ all day too. I had as much as I could at the finish and then we had culvers for lunch… and I had a double bacon deluxe, cheese curds and a pumpkin shake… completed the day with Glass Nickel pizza for dinner. Yes I admit it, I look forward to eating after a race!

The soreness set in gradually. I was fooled into thinking it wouldn’t be that bad on Sunday night. My achilles was tight and tender immediately after the race, as were both my IT bands, but that went away pretty fast. My hamstrings and glutes were a little sore, nothing I couldn’t handle.

Ummmm, yeah, then I woke up Monday morning and the quad soreness had settled in. WOW! I keep comparing this experience to San Diego, which is silly. Two different races, different circumstances. I ran faster in this race. I also didn’t get quite as sore in San Diego because we were walking all day, versus not moving much at all on Monday.

The soreness has started to dissipate and I was able to go to spin class this morning, not quite doing everything though! Tomorrow I hope to swim and I hope to get out for a run this weekend, but I’m not going to push it. Swimming and spinning are my friends this week.

Such a great experience. I’m already thinking about next time and re-evaluating my goals. I discovered I can indeed run more than six minutes at a time. Granted, the big race isn’t the time to discover that, but it all worked out. This was such a great time, and not just because of the great race. It was so wonderful being there with two good friends and part of my family. It was wonderful! I don’t know if future races will compare. I’m grateful to everyone who had a part in making this amazing weekend happen!

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So I totally met and then blew away my expectations

Ummmm, yeah. This was the most amazing race. I was predicting between 2:30 and 2:35. My “optimistic” prediction was 2:25. I finished this race in 2:21:45!!!

I’m sore, though not as bad as I thought for how I ran today. Its such a bummer that I can’t train through the winter because I could keep training to a full marathon, but I won’t do that kind of mileage on the treadmill. Oh well.

I’ll post a more full report tomorrow, but I just wanted to pop in and say thanks to everyone for reading and offering your support and thanks especially to my family members who came out for the race. It was awesome!

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Great expectations

I have been excited for this half marathon for a long time. I hope I can make it live up to my expectations. But what are my expectations?

I expect another PR. Based on how I’ve been running lately, I expect a time of 2:30 to 2:35.

I expect to not have to stop for a bathroom break on the course!

I expect to have a good time with my friends who are running the race along with me and my family who is coming to cheer for me!

I expect good food at the finish, a cool medal and a cool tshirt. Those three things will determine if I run the race again.

This race feels more real than my first half marathon in San Diego. It means a lot to me. I feel a lot more prepared, and this is the race I trained for. Its a real half marathon course instead of just running the first 13.1 miles and stopping like San Diego.

The fatigue I felt at the beginning of the week is pretty well gone. I’m beefing up my carbs a bit and now just relaxing. My training is over. We’ll see in a couple days what my results are.

Its a little bittersweet. I’ve trained for this since mid-June. After this half marathon I can’t train for a big race until next spring. I’ll keep running but I am sure I will end up inside soon. I want to make this race count.

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Long week

I’ve been doing a bunch of stuff not on normal days so my perception of the week is all screwed up. I worked Monday when I’m usually off and I went grocery shopping today (ran out of food a day early!) when I usually go Thursday. I am being extra careful to make sure the right date is on all my pages.

The soreness I’ve had this week has gone away. And I’m going to do spin class tomorrow and then most likely take two full rest days, unless I decide to swim on Friday. If I do swim, it won’t be a mile because that will bring the soreness right back.

I had my last run before the half marathon today and it was way better than Monday’s because I was better rested and I ate better before going out. I had planned on 3 but then decided on 4. Only problem? The tunnel on my trail that has been flooded all summer isn’t flooded anymore, in spite of all the rain we got last weekend. I approached it and decided to run another half mile through it, thus logging 5 miles today instead of 4. But I feel really good.

My achilles feels a little tender so I’m going to watch that and ice in addition to my stretches. I haven’t done my leg exercises all week, but I think I’ll skip those too. I’m not even sure that I really need to do them anymore anyway.

I wore my new running clothes today and came to the conclusion that the pants are great, but the shirt isn’t so great. Its tight on me and has seams in all the wrong places, which equals chafing! So I’ll be wearing a different shirt than the one I bought. That doesn’t bother me though. I’m just glad I tried them before the race. You should never do anything new on race day.

Its getting to that time where we need to finalize plans. I need to finish my laundry and clean out my car. Doug and I need to go over the course and places for him to cheer instead of just at the finish line as well as the route to get to Appleton. I need to try home remedies to take the yucky old sweat smell out of my hat!

All the hard stuff is finished. Now I’m just having fun! I work one more night and then I’m taking a vacation day. Friday night we’re going to have dinner with Chelsea, my friend who’s traveling with us, and her husband. Saturday I might help out with the TNT run again and then its the race! I just want to be there now.

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New race clothes!

Today I bought a new pair of capris for Sunday’s race. I have a new pair that I bought a few weeks ago, but they don’t have pockets. I’d rather have pockets to carry my gels during the race, instead of cramming them in my water belt pouch.

Looking through the activewear section of Kohl’s again, I decided to get a new technical shirt too! Its purple, and my pants are black with teal-y green… TNT colors, though I didn’t plan it that way. I may change my mind about what to wear Sunday though, especially if its chilly.

I need to quit looking at the weather forecast. The chance of showers is back in, though it is a small chance.

I felt really strong in spin class this morning. It was just what I needed after overdoing the running on Sunday and Monday. I’d like to get another run in before the race, but if I continue feeling sore I really need to just cross train or rest. I know missing my last run isn’t going to kill me. I keep telling myself that. But its going to be tough to stop myself if I decide I shouldn’t do it.

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What to wear?

The temps are cooler here in Wisconsin and I’m finding that I am more comfortable running when its cooler. I’m faster too. I can see myself running farther into the fall than I have in the past.

The weather forecast for Sunday in Appleton is sunny with a low of 55 and a high of 70. The temp at race start will be pretty close to the low, but the sun will be shining.

So I’m not sure what to wear. Yesterday I ran when it was about 55 degrees and it was cloudy and breezy. I wore a long sleeve shirt and capris and I was quite comfortable. Once I got warm I pulled the sleeves up a bit and I was fine.

Today I ran 4 miles in just about the same conditions wearing a short sleeve shirt and full pants. Even once I was warm my upper arms were cold, especially during my walk breaks, though my arms did get warm toward the end.

I was running for just about an hour today and just over an hour and a half yesterday. The half marathon will be about two and a half hours, something to consider when getting dressed for it.

The temp will be about the same on Sunday as it was the last two days – at least at the start. But over the two and a half hours I run, the sun will come up and the temp will warm up.

I’ve heard all the advice, bring a range of clothes to be prepared for any weather. I will do that, but I don’t know how I will decide what to ultimately race in.

The cold has affected me before. When I ran the Shamrock Shuffle 5K in March, the temperature was about 45. That was OK once I was running, except that my legs got pretty cold while waiting to start, which made the entire run difficult. The pants I wore that day were too thin. Pants won’t be a problem Sunday though. I know I will wear capris because thats what I’m most comfortable racing in.

One option that may end up being what I go with is that they actually sell throw away jackets at race expos. Something you can wear and just throw off when you don’t need it anymore. Not sure how much those cost though. I certainly don’t want to spend a lot of money on something I’m going to throw away.

Another option is to start out with a shirt I already have and throw it away. They will actually collect these items on the course and donate them to goodwill or some other agency like that.

I’ve never been in this situation before, so I’m not sure what to do. At least it looks like I don’t have to deal with the possibility of rain, which would add a whole lot to the mess of deciding what to wear.