Saturday, August 31, 2013

My Layton Half-Marathon was Today... What a Learning Experience it was!

I will begin with last night.  I knew that I was going to have to get up early this morning...4:30 AM to be exact.  I got everything I needed together.  I put all my clothes out: compression shorts (to prevent the chafing, mostly), running shorts with pockets, sports bra, running socks, running shoes and technical t-shirt.  I got my water bottles for my FuelBelt filled up, my daughter put those in the refrigerator after screwing on the lids.  I was set for the early wake-up!

I didn't fall to sleep until after midnight.  NERVES!  I always suffer from them the night before.  It is too bad I can't bank sleep for nights like that!  The alarm went off much sooner than I would have liked it to.  My husband alerted me and I jumped out of bed.

I came downstairs and put on all the clothes that I had ready.  I went back upstairs and found some deodorant to put on.  I had thought I put that with everything else I would need in the morning.  It is one thing I never want to forget on a normal day, let alone on a day when I would be doing a crazy amount of exercise.

I poured myself a bowl of Golden Grahams.  I ate those.  I grabbed my water out of the refrigerator, put it in the FuelBelt.  Got my license and $20 and put it in my FuelBelt just in case I might need either of them.  I grabbed the car keys and out the door I went.  It was about 5 AM.

By the time I got to where the buses were to be loading it was 5:15 AM.  We had received notice that the buses would be loading between 5 and 6 AM.  The last bus would leave promptly at 6 AM, not 6:01 AM, so don't be late!  I didn't want to be late, so I got there in plenty of time.  Then I waited, and waited, and waited.  Along with many other people.  The buses arrived about 6:15 AM.  I was lucky enough to get on the first two buses so I didn't have to wait any longer.

We arrived at the starting point around 6:45 AM, our race was supposed to start at 7 AM.  Due to the fact that the other two buses got lost on their way back to the pickup point for everyone else, the race was delayed until 7:20 AM.  By this point, the sun was over the mountains and directly in front of us.  It was already warm.  The low for today was 70 and the high was in the 90s.  I think it was in the high 70s by the time we started.  By the time I finished, I would say it was near, if not in, the 90s.

I had planned to break my previous half-marathon time.  That time was in October 2009.  It was 2:33:55.  A few things I learned today... a forty degree difference is huge!  When I started the half-marathon in 2009, there were a few snowflakes falling.  I was in a pair of running capris and two long-sleeved running shirts, just to stay warm.  I took one of them off and wrapped it around my waist on that run.

Today, I was in as little clothing as possible and it still wasn't cool enough!  I would not ever run in just my sports bra, but I seriously wished that I would today.  It would have been really nice if I had a great sports bra in my swimsuit, because I think I would have worn that today to run in (just kidding, kind of!).  Forty degrees is huge, I think it i was the difference between cramping up and not cramping up.  I didn't cramp at all during the race in 2009, I was cramping by the time I got to mile marker 6 today.

I have run marathons in the past, and never started cramping up until mile marker 16 and 18.  Those were in Sept 2010 and Nov 2010.  I learned today that I will never attempt anything longer than a 10K between the months of May and August.  I can't begin to tell you how hot it was.  High 80s, low 90s is hot enough when I am not doing anything, but when I add running to the mix, it is a whole new beast.

I knew I had to listen to my body today.  As much as I wanted to run the whole way, there was just no way I could do it.  I think that I might have been found passed out or dead next to the road if I had tried to.  The walking began when the cramping began.  I would run and walk after that, as necessary.  It was more walking than running.  Last week, after the 10 mile run, I was sure I had this without any problem.  I am a novice when it comes to the heat.  I always tried to beat the heat for the long runs.  Perhaps I should have done the runs at the hottest time available?

I finished in around three hours.  I am not sure of the official time yet.  I guess that will be posted as late as Monday.  Although I came nowhere close to breaking my PR for the half-marathon, I am happy that I finished on my own two legs.  When I crossed the finish line, I heard the director discussing that they were waiting for an ambulance.  A woman, who looked like she is in her 20s, was wheeled off on a gurney by the ambulance.  She looked very pale and not to be doing very well, her eyes were closed.  I said a prayer for her and hope that everything ends up okay for her.

I am always thankful for the volunteers who take time out of their day to come out and give us fuel and encouragement.  I try to let them know how much it is appreciated, because without them, I don't know that this would be possible.

I am thankful for a body that I am able to get out and run with.  I know that it is a blessing, although it doesn't always feel like it, to be able to exercise.  There are many people that physically cannot run, be it a short or a long distance.  I never take my privilege to run for granted.  There are many times that I wish I could run faster, but I am thankful that I am able to exercise.  I hope to be able to continue to run and get better at it.

August 31, 2013... Layton Half Marathon

 My husband got lost on his way to the finish line.  I am glad I didn't!  He was in a car, so I don't feel horribly bad for him :)  My husband and children were not there when I crossed the finish line.  I think this is the first longer race I have finished where I didn't have a family member there to cheer me on at the end.  It was kind of sad to not see them there, but it is understandable.  I drank some Powerade and water and had an orange slice and a Fatboy ice cream sandwich while I waited.

Fatboy Ice Cream Sandwiches

When they got there, we took some pictures and then went to the Hibachi Buffet for lunch. I had some sushi, salad and sweet and sour chicken.  I then came home, took a cold bath, and then took a nap.  I look forward to another half-marathon, but it will not be done in the heat of the summer!

My children and I at the finish line

Monday, August 26, 2013

The Family Before a Training Run

Last Monday, when we arrived at the local park to get in a run, I wanted to get a picture of my children and I.  They were going to be training for their 5K run and I had to get in my three mile run.  I was going to be running the circles around the park with my daughter in her jogger.  My husband took the picture.

I am getting used to wearing my hat while I run.  The half-marathon I am running in will start at 6:30 AM and I will be running east.  I figure it will be good to have something to keep the sun out of my face.  I get awfully hot running with that hat on, but I think it will do me good!  It also keeps the sweat out of my eyes.

We will all be running a 5K or a two-miler on September 7th.  I am not sure what the distance of the race is yet.  It will be a church activity, so it will be free, and they will feed us breakfast!  I was looking at other races that would end up costing us $125 if we were all going to run together.  I prefer free!

I have been looking forward to running with my children since I started running in 2010.  We will do a practice two mile run on Friday, and then we will all go out to eat at a Chinese buffet after my half-marathon on August 31.  When I completed my other half-marathon in October 2010, we all went to a Chinese buffet with sushi.  That is what we will do this time. 

My children have been making good progress with running.  I look forward to many years of being able to run with my children and my husband.  For me, running is relaxing.  I am excited to have this time to work toward teaching my children to enjoy running and not look at it as something they HAVE to do, but rather something they look FORWARD to doing.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

5 x 2 = 10

This morning I got up and knew I had to get in a run.  Although I would have rather stayed here and slept, I went upstairs and started hunting down my running clothes.  I had to decide what I was going to wear.   I found my compression shorts and a pair of shorts to wear over those.  The compression shorts are nice because it covers my legs where the rub together so it prevents chafing.  I never experienced chafing until two weeks ago, and then I realized that I never want to experience it again.  I guess that running 8-10 miles in shorts can cause that problem if your thighs rub together, and mine do.

I got myself ready, gathered up my Grape Powerade Zero, filled my FuelBelt water bottles, put them in the FuelBelt, grabbed a cell phone and off I went.  I drove to Steed Park and on the way there, I had a feeling that I shouldn't run passed the one mile mark, which is where the first road is that I would have to cross.   I had originally left the house planning to run five miles one way, and then the five miles back, for a total of ten miles.  It is much less tempting for me to stop and go home if I am five miles away from my car.

When I got to the park, I walked to my starting point, then called my husband to tell him what my plan was.  I was going to run back and forth between 300 N and 1300 N five times, which would total ten miles.  I thought it would seem to go a lot faster.  I don't know why I thought that, because it didn't seem to go fast at all.  The nice thing was that this area has the most amount of shade.  The further away I get from the park, the less shade there is.

At the beginning of my run, within the first 300 yards, there was a dog fight.  I couldn't tell what the dog was attacking, I thought it could be a child so I ran faster toward it to see what I could do.  The dog was attacking another dog, thankfully.  Not that I want a dog to be attacked, but I surely don't want to see a child attacked.  The attacking dog had slipped its leash and went after a dog that was on a leash.  The leashed dog was quickly checked over by one of its owners and I'm guessing her teenage daughter was told to take the dog and go.  The owner of the attacking dog was apologizing profusely.  They said everything was okay when I asked, they were just trying to get the dog back on its leash.

I continued my run.  I was glad that there was no more attacks.  I have to say that running back and forth does tend to get quite monotonous.  I saw a couple older gentlemen riding their bicycles.  One commented to me, "How much water do you need?"

 By this time I had a little more than 6 miles to go, so I replied, "Six miles worth."  They veered off the trail into the park for some reason and then came back on the trail.

The same man said to me, "You have six more miles to go."

I replied, "Yes."

He said, "Wow!"

His friend said to me, "Need some water..."

I said, "You need some water, I have some."

He smiled and said, "No, I'm fine."

We were just kidding back and forth at this point.  I enjoy the interactions.  They rode on as I turned around to start on my fifth mile.  I saw them again at about 7.5 miles.  The first one that had spoke to me said, "There is the water bottle girl."

The other man said, "I need some water."

I said, "I have some," as they continued riding on.

At about the seven mile mark another older gentleman on a bicycle passed me and told me I was doing a good job and to keep it up.  I said thanks.  It is wonderful to get some positive feedback on a training run, especially when you feel like you could fall over at any given second.  I still had three miles to go!

I had passed a couple on a walk a few times, when I was getting near the seven mile mark, the man asked me how many times I was running back and forth.  I told him five.  He gave an uplifting statement, but I forget exactly what he said.  On my way back passed them, I said, "One more time."

They both said, "Great job!"

By the time I got to the eight mile mark, I just wanted to quit.  I had to give myself a pep talk.  Mostly just saying that I have to do 13.1 next week, so I can do ten miles this week.  It must have worked because I finished the ten miles. I was sooooo happy when it was done.  It took me a little over 2 hours and 16 minutes, but I finished it, and that is what matters.

One week until my half marathon.  I think I am going to be ready!  I am excited to get it done, and I have to start looking for another one! :)

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Waited Too Long

Today was a ten mile run.  Well, it was supposed to be a ten mile run.  Today was a two mile run.  I waited until way too late to start my run.  10:00 AM shouldn't be way too late, but with how hot it is around here, it was. 

I had decided to run around my block 16 times.  By the time I had finished 3 times around, which is 2 miles, I was a sweaty mess.  There is very little shade around my block.  It was horrible.  On my third time around, one of my fellow church members, who is an older gentleman, told me to not overdo it.  I took that to heart.  As the sweat was dripping, I imagined that one of my parents would have said the same thing to me.  My parents aren't here to tell me to be careful, so I need to listen to the advice of others around me. 

I would love to get in the other eight miles later this evening, when it has cooled down.  I figure if I start by 6:30 I should be okay to get it in.  We shall see.

I had my baby at the ER last night and didn't get home until 1 AM, which made it nearly impossible for me to get up at a decent time.  I didn't fall to sleep until well after 2 AM.  I would have been ill-advised, I believe, to wake up and run being exhausted.

The ER doctor couldn't pinpoint exactly what was wrong with her.  She spiked a fever of 101 degrees, she has a cough, and a runny nose, she was in apparent pain when she was trying to go to sleep.  She could just be teething, I suppose.  She is still missing four teeth.  My brother called her the "anti-vampire."  It is those teeth that she still hasn't gotten.

I didn't want to run the trail today, because I wanted to be close to home in case my husband needed me.  It makes it way too easy for me to stop running when I pass my house each time around. 

I hope to be able to state that later that I did eight more miles, we shall see! 

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Five Miles with My Toddler Last Night, Two Miles Alone Today

Yesterday was my five mile run for the week.  I waited until evening, when it had cooled off a bit.  I made my announcement that I was going for my run.  My husband asked if I was bringing the little one.  I decided that I better get used to running with her again.  My children start school soon, so I am hoping to get my runs in earlier in the day.

I got her ready to go and put her in the van.  I checked and made sure that the jogger tires were inflated.  I have gotten to the park too many times and had them flat.  I didn't want to get there again and have to turn around because my husband wasn't there to watch her while I ran.

We got to the park, I got her strapped in and we walked over to the trail.  At the trail, the run started.  She was okay for a little while.  I think she was enjoying it actually.  She always enjoys seeing the birds.  The first time we had to stop at a light was when it started to get bad.  She wanted out of the jogger, in the worst way.  I took a swig of my water and gave it to her.  She drank some of it, while I ran across the street since we had the walk sign.  When I got to the other side of the street, I stopped so she could finish drinking.  Then I took the water bottle.

I think she expected that she could get out of the jogger when I stopped.  The bad news was, we were only 1.5 miles into a 5 mile run.  She stiffened her little body right out.  She thought that maybe that could get her out.  I know my children well enough that if I let her out, I would never get her back in.  So, she objected for quite a while.  For about a mile, to be exact.

She loves to see the moon.  The moon was behind us on the run, so she couldn't see it when we were running north.  When it was time to turn around at 2.5 miles, there it was.  She started saying "moon, moon" in her own way.  I know that it is moon. 

At about the three mile mark, I saw some cows, in someone's backyard.  Where I grew up, you couldn't keep cows in your backyard.  I said to my daughter, "Look at the cows."  She was looking around, but really had no clue where she should be looking.  I stopped the run and turned the jogger in the direction of the cows.  I then said, "Moo, moo."  She said "Moo, moo."  She wasn't amused when I started the run again.

A little further down the trail, when we got pretty close to 3.5 miles, my daughter took out her earrings.  I stopped and took them away from her, so they wouldn't get lost.  I started running again.  She was not happy at all by my decision to take them back.  I told her I'd put them back in, but she had to leave them there.  She turned her head, I put it in, then she turned to the other side and I got that one in to.  She did leave them there.

The daylight was turning to dusk and I still had 1.5 miles to go.  I was trying to decide if I should get off the trail and run on the road by the time I got to 1 mile.  I saw other people on the trail ahead of me, so I decided I could continue on the trail.  We made it the last mile and still had daylight to spare.  When we got back to the park, I saw my husband and children.  My two sons ran the rest of the way with me, about .2 mile.  I love running with my children.

I really enjoyed the run with my little one.  It is nice to take little breaks to let her see things that I know she would enjoy.   On my run last weekend, at close to 4 miles, I saw a pig, some sheep and some rams.  I think the children would really enjoy that, but I think I would have to drive there and show them.  I can't imagine that any of them would want to go that far right now.

I ran two miles this afternoon.  It was blazing hot... in the 90s.  I just wanted to get it done.  I think next time I will wait til it cools down!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Preparing For and Completing a Nine Mile Run

This morning I woke up at a little after 8 am, knowing I had a nine mile run ahead of me.  I couldn't fall to sleep until after 1 am, because I knew I had a nine mile run ahead of me.  This would be the furthest I had run since November 2010.  Nerves, yes.... I had never been nervous before a long run, I don't know why I was last night, but I was.

I had thought about doing the run last evening, just so I could stop thinking about it.  I had been thinking about it all day.  I knew I would think about it most of the night.  The only thing, to be honest, that kept me from doing the nine miles last night, is that I had run five miles the night before.  I needed to give my body some rest.  After all, I am still recovering from the bronchitis.

Before I left the house, I remembered to use my inhaler.  I was proud of myself for that.  I grabbed my Orange Powerade Zero out of the refrigerator.  I grabbed a Snickers with Almonds from the food storage.  Then it was time to get the FuelBelt.  I grabbed my fuel belt that still had the three bottles in it.  None of the lids were with it.  I haven't used the FuelBelt since at least Feb 2011.  I was glad I could find the bottles.  I was really hoping I could find the lids.  It took me a few minutes and then I located the lids in the silverware drawer, toward the back.  I was set.

When I bought my FuelBelt, I bought a little pouch that goes on it as well.  I bought this to keep my car key and some cash when I thought I might need it.  I bought it when I still lived in New York.  Enough people knew me back in my hometown that I knew I didn't need to carry identification.  Not so here.  I wrote my name, phone number, address and that I have asthma and put it in my pouch.  I filled up my bottles with water and put them back in the FuelBelt.  Then I headed out the door.  As I walked out the door, I told my husband where I would be running.

I drove to my starting point.  I took some sips of my Powerade, strapped on my FuelBelt, put the cell phone in my pocket, and then walked to the trail.  I turned on my stopwatch, hit start, and started running.  It was a beautiful morning.  A little overcast, temperature in the mid 70s.  I always have some anxiety about running outside.  I worry about wild animals, not-so-wild animals (dogs and cats), and people that might be thinking about committing a felony.

My fear of cats is that they will pounce and start clawing me.  My fear of dogs is that they will chase me and bite/maul me.  My fear of a pack of dogs is they will eat me.  My fear of wild animals is that I have no chance if they get me, if it is a large one, like a cougar, wolf or coyote.  My fear of smaller wild animals is that they have rabies or they are poisonous.  I think the fear of people wanting to commit a felony is quite self-explanatory.  I don't want to be the object of their felonious desires.

I ran and ran and ran.  There were the crossroads as mentioned in previous posts.  I get to stop sometimes and catch my breath for a little while.  I had never run past the four mile mark, until today.  Today I discovered that there isn't a crossroad at 4.5 miles.  Which made things interesting.  I ended up running 9.25 to 9.5 miles.  Today's run took 1:56:00. 

I have started to recognize some fellow Saturday trail users.  We say hello or wave and share a quick smile.  Some people give me a thumbs up.  Others tell me I'm doing a great job.  It is nice to get encouragement.  I have started to practice positive self-talk.  When I start thinking that I should just start walking, I tell myself that it is psychological.  That my legs are good and they can do this.  I tell myself that I have run much further in the past and this is really nothing compared to that.  I keep on going. 

I sprint the last quarter-mile.  I like to finish as strong as I can.  I like to leave it all out there.  I am mostly excited to get back to my car and go home! 

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Switching It Up

I was supposed to run five miles last night and two miles tonight.  Instead, I went and visited some good friends with my family.  I enjoyed my visit with them a lot.  It had been too long since we had seen them. 

I decided, since it was getting dark, that I would do the two mile run last night and the five mile run tonight.  My kids, my husband and I, went to the Park.  They were doing their training for the 5K, along with my brother-in-law.  I had planned to run five miles, even after arriving at the park.  As the winds picked up, and it got darker by the minute, I decided that two miles would do.

When I finished my run and caught up with everyone else, my brother-in-law asked me, I'm sure sarcastically, if I had finished my five miles.  It made me laugh.  I told him I would do my five miles tomorrow.  If I had finished five miles in 22 minutes, it would mean I was dead, and it was my spirit cruising around the park.

I decided that I would run today as soon as my husband got home from work.  I have developed insomnia (self-diagnosed) since I have been waiting to run until it cools off.  I think my body needs a nice long time to wind down after a run.  I figured that I would get it done early and see how I sleep tonight.  It is kind of important to get a good night sleep with four little ones running around the house.

I jumped on the trail and off I went.  The crossroads are every 1/2 mile.  It makes it easy to know how far I have run.  The bad part is needing to cross the roads.  Sometimes people are really nice and stop their car so you can run. let you go.  Other times, not so much.  It just depends on the person.  I am always one of the people that will stop so a runner can go, probably because I know how it is to just stand there wondering when it will be my turn.

Tonight's run was quite profitable.  While I was running, I found a five dollar bill.  Since it was pretty much in the middle of nowhere, there wasn't anyone to ask if it was theirs.  I always try to find the person that lost it, if in a store, I turn it in to customer service, if in a school, I turn it into the office.  There is just nowhere to turn it into, so I kept it. 

I saw a hawk grab a little rodent.  It was a gray rodent.  Since I never see squirrels around here, I assume it was a rat, because it was bigger than a mouse.  It landed in a tree about 30 miles ahead of me.  I was not amused.  I have a vivid imagination, such as, what if it thinks I will try to grab its food and decides to attack me with its massive claws?  What if it drops the thing on me?  Neither one sounded horribly appealing.   When I got pretty close, the hawk did drop the food.  I ran even faster.  I didn't know if the rodent was still alive or dead, but I didn't want to get chased by an injured rodent.

My run tonight was just seconds over an hour, including all the stops, needing to wait for my turn to cross the street.  My next run is Saturday.  I will have to get to it early, since my sisters will be arriving in early afternoon :)  I am really excited to see them!

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Sidelined No More

I decided that I should try to sweat whatever of the bronchitis out that I have left.  I found that it doesn't really work that way.  Running just added some to the cough, but I managed to survive. 

Yesterday was a four mile run.  I thought that I could do this.  I actually knew I could.  I told my husband I had to do it regardless of how I felt.  That is what I did.  I felt like doggie doo, but I wasn't feeling too good sitting around gaining weight either.  Of the two alternatives, I would rather run and feel like doggie doo, than to sit around and feel like doggie doo.

I laced up my running shoes at around 7:30 pm, gathered my family together, and off we went.  I pushed the toddler in the jogger for 2/3 mile, then handed her off to my husband, jumped on the trail after running a mile, and did the next three miles.  Those four miles took me 46.5 minutes, but I did them.  This was really the first exercise I had done all week.  I felt it almost every step I took.  Lungs burning, sweat pouring, the coughing, but it was done. 

At the end of the run, as I coughed up what might be a complete lung, I felt good.  I felt satisfied that I got out there and ran.  I felt good that my children got to play at the playground again while I ran.  I felt good that my toddler finally got out of the house to play.  I felt bad for her that she had been pretty much locked up in the house.  She loves getting outside. 

This next week is going to be a hard one.  The long run on Saturday is ten miles.  I will be able to get it done.  I just need to remember to use my inhaler before I leave the house.  I think that might have helped a lot yesterday!

My fitbit friends that follow my progress, you will actually see some decent numbers :)  I am ready to log those steps again!  Those who are not following me on fitbit yet and want to be my friend, here is my info

Hopefully I never have the joy misfortune of ever having bronchitis again.  Here is to getting back on track for the Layton Syracuse Half Marathon on August 31, 2013!