Category Archives: Running

I’ve Lost that Loving Feeling

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This is hard for me to write and yet it is almost cathartic at the same time.

I don’t think I want to run marathons. I don’t think I want to run ultramarathons. It almost hurts to admit this, especially when I see the “Ultra” magnet on my refrigerator begging to be earned. I love running, truly I do, but the time it takes from my family doesn’t seem to be worth it some days. This isn’t something that just popped into my head this morning, it’s been on my heart for the past couple days. I’ve thought about it every time I’ve stepped into my gym room. Maybe it’s because I am enjoying weight lifting so much, I’m not sure, but I do know that I need to figure this out real quick. I have to register for the Skidaway Marathon tomorrow. I am going to run it, I just need to figure out if I’m running the full or the half. Half marathons are so much easier to train for, the mileage is much easier to tackle while keeping up with my life. The hardest part is that last year I prided myself on being a long distance runner and I was so excited to venture into the Ultra world. Now I don’t really know where I stand except that I don’t want to step foot on my treadmill. Running helped me lose so much weight but is no longer yielding the fat loss results that I am searching for and that may be playing a part in my mind. I am not going to give up running, I want to continue to maintain at least 20 miles a week, but that is so much easier than 35+ miles and a lot less time consuming.  blogYou never know, I may do marathons again, I’m still really young. Then again I may change my mind next week. Haha. There is a timed ultra event (6,12, and 24 hour) in June that I was really looking forward to that I may still do. The one thing many people don’t get is just how much time I have to spend running to get ready for those distances. 5 hours is just a training run while getting ready for a 50k. That’s 5 hours on a Saturday that could be spent with my family. 5 hours of running around the crappy streets of our city getting honked and yelled at. Oh, location may also be playing a part in this mental game. My options are treadmill or sidewalks next to busy streets, there aren’t any trails that are close enough for a week day run. The draw of Ultra marathons on beautiful trails is still so sweet to me and I want to do them, I’m just unsure of being able to train for them. Maybe I just need a week or two without running to show me how much I really need it in my life. Maybe I should just be a half marathon runner instead of fulls and ultras. I’ll just have to wait and see I guess.

Now what to do about Skidaway? 😦

Keep running y’all!

Marine Corps Marathon Weekend

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The night before before the marathon when all the runners lay out their stuff and pray that the training will pay off. Well if you follow me, then you know I have been in a slump since my first marathon in September. My training was solid before Chase the Sun but between then and the MCM I had run ONCE! Obviously not ideal. So I knew my only true goal for the Marine Corps Marathon was to finish.

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A huge thanks to Team RWB for this opportunity!

I wore my C9 capris and sports bra from Target, Team RWB shirt, Skora Form shoes, and Marine Corps Marathon training hat!

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All 26.2 miles dedicated to my IRUN4 buddy, Hunter!

My morning started out with waking up at 0430. I had 4 alarms set, the one on the hotel clock and three on my phone. The hotel alarm went off first and that was all I needed to get up, after going to bed at 2000 the night before I actually felt very well rested. I almost had a horrible morning when the coffee maker in the room wasn’t working, turns out the outlet it was plugged into was bad. I changed the outlet and the brewing light came on, crisis averted. Whew. I got out the peanut butter and spread it on the whole wheat bread that I brought. Sat down and tried to enjoy my breakfast and mentally prepare myself. The whole weekend was a pretty last minute thing, so a few details were fuzzy, like how exactly I was going to get to the start line. After a few minutes of scouring the Marine Corps Marathon website I found the station on 23rd and Crystal Ave. where the free start line shuttles were departing from. The hubby dropped me off with the hundreds of other runners who were waiting. Saying the line was long would be an understatement, though I am so thankful I arrived when I did. By the time I got close to the front the line had serpentined through the parking garage we were in, it was ridiculous.

The bus ride!! It was finally here, the moment that I got to sit down, relax, and enjoy the ride to the start line. Or so I thought. Me and the 47 other runners on the bus were about to be taken on a ride and it wasn’t the one we wanted. No one had really been paying too much attention, trusting that our driver knew where to go. Well, some realized that we had already passed certain landmarks twice. Turns out our bus driver had been following some school buses thinking they were going to the same place. They weren’t. He had no idea where he was supposed to go but we had some locals who were able to get him back on track! Once we got to the correct exit ramp we ran into another problem, the police officers had closed the road prematurely so we had to walk from the bus on the interstate to the starting area. Thank God it wasn’t very far.

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Finally in the starting corrals!!

Kyle Carpenter was a huge part of the opening ceremony, he sky dived in to the starting area and then proceeded to run the marathon! It was amazing watching him and the others jump but it truly pulled on my heartstrings when I saw the American flag.
wpid-20141026_074703.jpgwpid-20141026_074934.jpgHere we go! Finally close enough to see the start line! I was elated and nervous. I knew I was under trained but I also knew I could do it. I knew if I utilized the aid stations for water and gatorade I would have enough water in my hydration to get me through. I also had plenty of gels and salt tabs, along with aleve and imodium. Haha. So my strategy was solid, I just needed to beat the bridge and I would be golden! I had a great first half, I stuck with the 5:30 pace group for most of it. I really feel like I could have stuck it out with them too but I kept getting pushed back by other runners. There is always next time!wpid-20141026_081406.jpg

I didn’t want to take walk breaks but I figured if my body was calling for it then it would be better to break than get injured. I was able to take in the sights a little bit during my walking time 😉 During the parts with fewer spectators the course was actually quite peaceful. I was able to fully take in everything and enjoy the entire experience.

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Just enjoying the Potomac River!

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There were times that I even had to fight back tears. The Mile of Remembrance is lined with photos of some of the military members killed in action. Several of the photos had men with their children and those were the ones that really got me. After living through a deployment and facing all the fears it really hit me hard knowing just what was sacrificed. All I could think about was these children never getting to grow up with Daddy around, the moms having to take it all on and just how horrible a reality it is. So many of the kids in the pictures were the same age as my son. It just…when the mister was deployed the fear of him not returning was always looming, the fear of little man not having Daddy come home was crushing. It isn’t something easily put into words. I have so much respect for our military, the spouses, the children and those who support them like Team RWB and Wear Blue.

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My fueling was good all throughout the race, I was on top of my hydration and nutrition. Speaking of nutrition, I need to thank the spectators for some awesome treats! Around mile 12 there was a lady with M&Ms, the best ever. Haha. I also had the best cookie in my life right before I went to go beat the bridge. There were so many other sweets that I didn’t grab, the spectators were the absolute best. The cheers, music, motivation, and random candy was seriously the best. Hands down, awesome crowd support. There were also two aid station workers that were handing out vaseline around miles 5 and 15. I’ve never been happier to have vaseline, my lips were so freaking chapped that it hurt to smile. The climate change and the wind on race day did my lips in, the vaseline was just what I needed. Now I also know to keep some in my pack!! Fortunately chapped lips were my biggest problem of the day, I never hit the wall nor did I experience G.I. issues like I have previously (thank you Imodium!). It really was a perfect day for running, minus the crazy wind, and though my time wasn’t what I wanted I still PR’d!! At first I said I would never go back to the city just because of how hectic it was but I definitely lied. I want so badly to go back next year for the 40th running of it!

It was truly an honor to raise money and run for Team RWB. This wouldn’t have been possible without them. I also owe a huge thanks and lots of hugs to everyone who donated! Those that donated to my Team RWB page and also those who helped fund our trip to DC. You are all blessings!wpid-20141026_142035.jpg wpid-img_20141028_114519.jpgThe beautiful medal and finishers shirt!!

wpid-20141026_155841.jpgThey gave out a buy one get one coupon for Chipotle and we don’t have any around us, so we went there for my post race meal. It was good but I still prefer Moe’s 😉
wpid-img_20141025_203844.jpgThe official race jacket and pint glass are an early birthday present! Hahah.wpid-img_20141024_224357.jpg

I fully plan on returning to DC to run this race again. I will be better trained and I will be faster. Gunning for 5 hours or so! 😉 It is an excellent race and if you plan on ever running a marathon, make it this one!

Do you have any questions about my Marine Corps Marathon experience?

Keep on running y’all!!

Running Slump

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I haven’t been on a run since my marathon. I haven’t felt up to it or I haven’t had time and it is really getting old. I have stepped on the treadmill a few times but once I’m on there I can’t seem to get the will power to run. I want to run, heck, I need to run! I have a 50k in 43 days and I have to keep my mileage base up. I’ve been looking at local races to get in my long runs but have something exciting to look forward to, so far none of them will work with our schedules. The shorter amount of day light has also been hindering my runs. I have a headlamp but I still have my fears of running in the dark by myself. I was so excited for Fall running until I realized that while other runners have beautiful trails, I am stuck with busy streets and cracked sidewalks. I’m going to try and get my long runs done at a near by park but even then it is 30 minutes away. I will get my mojo back, but even then I have the same qualm that I always have; time. I am a slow runner, so driving somewhere to get my run done just adds time and I feel bad for monopolizing even more of our weekend time.

Do you have problems fitting your runs in with a busy family schedule?

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       Fall for most runners!!

VS.

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Fall for this runner.

Keep running y’all!

Becoming My Own Coach

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Finishing a marathon was no small feat and I couldn’t have done it without my friends and family. I also had the help of my run coach,  Kyle. We started working together in May to get me up to Ultra mileage. Using his training helped get me to a marathon. Now I feel confident that I can run a 50k and beyond. I had planned on keeping him on as my coach till I had completed my 50k. Though after redoing our budget and accounting for Christmas expenses and holiday travel, having a run coach just wasn’t feasible anymore. Don’t get me wrong, I loved having a coach, it is so much better than a paper plan. You can read my thoughts on coaches vs. regular plans here! Kyle has awesome prices and is really great at working with your skill level and goals. I definitely recommend contacting him if you’re in the market for a run coach. So I emailed him the other day to let him know and since then I’ve been on my own in my training. Though I’ve just been resting my body after Saturday, my mind has been going crazy with writing out my own schedule. The thing I loved most about having a coach was the accountability. There are days, we all have them, when I would rather do anything but run. Those are the days when I remembered that I had someone who had taken the time to make are schedule specifically for me. Normally that got me up and running. Now I am the one who wrote the schedule and I am the one holding me accountable. See, the thing is, I’m awful at letting myself down. Luckily,  I am less than 2 months away from my 50k and I realize how important this time is to my training. Definitely important enough to not be a slacker!

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I sat down the other night with Excel and got to work. Every day is scheduled out till race day, all I have to do is follow it and I’ll be as ready as possible. Haha. I may make some changes here and there, but I think it is a pretty solid plan. I also have Shantele to help keep me on track, she will yell at me till I do my run. She may even drag me out of the house. And of course,  I have my wonderful husband,  he knows how important my running is to me and will help me stick to my plan. 52 days till my 50k!!

Keep running y’all!

Race Recap: Chase the Sun 6 Hour Event

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Getting up at 0445 isn’t something I like to do, but as soon as my alarm went off my feet hit the floor. I had one goal for the day, and that was to run a marathon!! I put my stuff out the night before, like any sane runner would do, so getting dressed was definitely the easiest part of my day.

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After getting dressed I made some coffee and waited for Shantele and her hubby. We were riding together so little man didn’t have to wake up ridiculously early. I knew he would be in a horrible mood all morning if he had to wake up that early. On the way to Whitemarsh Island the weather forecast proved it’s validity when it began to rain and continued, off and on, throughout the morning. We made it to the race area, went to the bathroom, pinned our bibs on, got nutrition ready and started waiting. After the National Anthem at 0700, we got started at 0705 with an end time of 1305. The trail was a 1.87 mile loop that was super flat but had lots of protruding roots. Since it was a small loop there was only one aid station at the start/finish area. As the morning went on the rain kept coming and going, soaking all the runners.

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Running in rain soaked clothes resulted in some pretty awful chafing for me! For the first time ever, my shoulder got chaffed from my vest.

Starting out I had a great attitude and felt great. Around mile 7 or so my digestive system decided to rebel against me. Slowing to a walk several times and having to make port a potty stops every lap made for a very unhappy runner. I persevered until my hubby showed up with some Imodium. Haha. Once I got that into my system I was feeling so much better. It also became a lot easier to make myself eat. If you get the chance to eat a pb&j from an aid station, do it! Seriously the best pb&j I have ever had. 😉

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Shantele was amazing through the entire run! She helped me stay on track, made me eat when I didn’t want to, and was the best friend that I needed. We talked a lot but we both get into our own grooves when not talking is just as good, which is one of the things I love about running with her. 🙂 One of the greatest parts about this run was accomplishing my goal with her by my side. She has run a marathon before and was only doing this to get her training done and help me get to my  26.2! At the end of the 6 hours I had done 13 laps, putting me just over 24 miles. Even though my time was over I continued to run, I was too close to 26.2 to quit. As I came around on my very last lap I knew that I would have to run past my supporter group and then come back to get my mileage. Shantele’s hubby jumped in and ran with me for the last little bit and “ran me in” to my finish. No huge cheering crowd, no medal immediately around my neck, just my some amazing friends and my wonderful family! I am so blessed and now I’m a marathoner!!!

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Preparing for Saturday

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Preparing for Saturday

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Yum! I found these cute little panda cookies filled with chocolate while we were in Savannah yesterday. Target had them for $1 each so I grabbed a bunch, along with some gummy snacks. Bite sized and won’t get gross in the heat, score! We will probably keep the gummies in a cooler that our husbands will have at our personal aid station, just in case. Shantele and I are also going to hit up Game Changers this week to get some Nuun and any other little things we may need. If you are in the Savannah/Hinesville/Richmond Hill area you should definitely check them out, they have some of the best employees ever! Packet pick up for Chase the Sun is on Friday and Saturday morning, we aren’t sure when we are going to go yet.

I do however, have a game plan for the run itself! Coach Kyle and I have talked a good bit about it and he thinks that a walk break every lap would be greatly beneficial. My goal is to get to at least a marathon and I think a 2-3 minute walk break through the aid station will be good at preserving enough fuel in my tank to finish! cts

How cool would it be to get more than a marathon though? The medal says Ultra because it is completely doable to run a 50k or more in 6 hours. I hope I get there one day! Maybe even in January at the next super flat 50k that I am doing because I know it will probably take me 7-8 hours at the Tortoise and the Hare 50k in Blue Ridge. Haha! Anyway, the run should be great with my family and friends by my side. We will be under the shade of the trees for the majority of the course (I hope) because the heat nearly killed me on my 14 miler this two days ago! Which, by the way, was my longest run to date! I updated about it on facebook but long story short, it sucked. I cried, I wanted to puke and I had to stop at a gas station to refill my hydration pack. As horrible as it was during the run, I felt very accomplished after and not even sore the next day!

Today I am getting in 5 miles on the mill and dreaming of the trails I will get to run on Saturday!

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Keep running y’all!

High Mileage & Training Plans vs. Run Coach

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This year I have run 276 miles, 174 of that was done in the last two months (May and June). I don’t think I have ever felt more accomplished, well maybe after giving birth, haha. Seriously though, I ran 100 miles in June! I never thought a triple digit month would be possible for me but marathon/ultra training has really started to show me what I am made of. My training has definitely had it’s ups and downs, I’ve even had some breakdowns.

The past two months I have been coached by a friend that I met through SKORA. Since I was almost starting over and didn’t have a good running base I knew that would need help to get to Ultra marathon distances. There are tons of running plans out there that are great for so many people, I used one for my half and there is absolutely nothing wrong with those training plans. The problem I have with an online plan is that I am the only person holding myself accountable and in the past I haven’t been so great with getting all my runs in. Too many times I have let life get in the way and used that as a way out. Kyle, my coach, actually sits down and makes my weekly schedules for me, runs, strength training and rest days. I love the personal touch of a coach, I get emails when I have a great week, “good job” and “nice run” comments and when life does get in the way I can just send him and email and he will work with me to make sure I get my miles done! I really try to stick to my schedule as much as possible because I don’t want to make Coach mad. Haha. It sounds funny but when someone actually takes the time to write out a personalized training plan for you. It is also motivating know that they put the work in and now you need to follow through with the runs! 

 

If you are interested in getting a run coach check out Kyle!