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Whose Dream Is It?

Today was my very most favorite 5K that I have done almost every year for the past seven. I only missed one because I was on a cruise with my mom in Scandinavia. This run was very emotional at the beginning and the end and this blog really isn’t about running or how I ran because that is irrelevant.

Anyhow before the race started they named off all the survivors that were present. I heard Kimberly Wright’s name, who is a girl I went to high school with. I then started thinking about the special ovarian cancer girls that have touched my life. I thanked God for keeping Cathy cancer free for fourteen years. I prayed for the gal I am going to Christmas Angel this year as she has just finished chemo and will be having the surgery in the next month. This was during The Star Spangled Banner and then I almost started crying. I pulled it together and took off running. My goal was to run the entire thing without taking walk breaks. It’s a mental thing with me.

After I finished mile 2, I had passed the dog, lady and dude I had been pacing off of. I came upon a boy who was between ten and twelve. His parents were up ahead of both of us. They were turning around yelling at him to run. He said he couldn’t run anymore and was walking. They were obviously very annoyed and making comments to each other about how he should not be walking etc. They kept on running and he tried once to catch up to them to no avail. He yelled he couldn’t catch them and they told him yes he could to start running. They would turn around every so often to see he was farther and farther behind. He was getting pretty upset at this point and I was in between him and his parents. I heard a man say kid you are doing good, keep moving. His parents certainly did not slow down AT ALL. The last time I saw them turn around and look for him was about a half a mile from the finish. He was barely in their site. I was furious!

If you want to run a personal best, or run the entire time DO NOT bring younger children with you and then get mad when they cannot keep up. I am not a believer in children that age running three miles to start with. Their legs are half the size of ours so it’s more like they are running ten miles to our three. If you do bring your child, you should do it as enjoyment for a family, not a let’s see how fast we can run and then get mad at your child. Leave your child at home. I have severe anxiety when I don’t know where I am going. (I have zero GPS skills and get lost all the time.) If my parents would have done that to me, I would have NEVER ran again.

I don’t understand the big push to have kids under the age of sixteen doing distance running. They are still growing and I am not sure if this is good on their joints. Maybe because I had zero athletic ability and didn’t start running until my forties I am jaded. If a kid really enjoys it and it is his idea it might be ok. This is not the first race I have witnessed this. I have seen kids crying in the past that they couldn’t go any further and their parents basically telling them to shut up, quit being babies and push on. It makes me wonder whose dream running really is?

As some of you know my youngest daughter is a fantastic artist. This is what people tell me, I try not to be jaded. I always tell her she should work for PIXAR to which she responds “mom that is your dream, not mine”. This is the truth. I would love to be able to draw and make PIXAR movies but I can’t and she’s not interested. It would be a waste of time for me to attempt to push her into it and she could end up hating drawing all together. I did tell Allyson yesterday that she should design my tattoo to commemorate my fifty mile run from last year. She said “it’s about time you asked me”. Ok so I’m a little slow in combing her dream with mine. I know whatever she comes up with, it will be super cool.

 

Mole Moral ~ One of my parenting goals has been to let my kids do what they want to do, not what I think they should do. I pray I have achieved that.

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Running Down Memory Lane

As most people are aware Pokemon Go is still my current obsession and it’s turned out to be one of my better ones if I am really honest. For starters, it really makes walking and running way less boring. Thanks to one of the guys that use to work at U-Gas I found a Facebook group for it that is fantastic. Tony who runs the Raid Bus decided to start a facebook group chat for people to talk smack. I joined it because I am almost childless and it gives me something to do. So this weekend I was home alone and started talking-to the girl who sat by me on the bus twice. Her first time, I think Tony twisted her arm to come and she was afraid it would be weirdos. And so so happened to sit next to me, the biggest weirdo of all. SUCKER. Ha. No actually if I don’t know someone I really am shy and don’t talk a whole bunch. I must have been OK because she sat by me the next bus too. I really liked her and thought maybe she was twenty-four at the oldest.

Anyway we are talking and she asks me if I by chance live in Arnold/Imperial area. I knew exactly where this was headed. Yes, she sees me almost every day running or walking. This debunks my “Im invisible when I run” theory. I wouldn’t be able to run without thinking no one can see me. It’s part of my mental disorder called low self-esteem, not an athlete, and not wanting to be noticed. So she told me where she lived and the next day on the way home from Kimswick (yes playing Pokemon) I decided to see if I had the right street. Oh yes indeed it was the way we always went to Emily’s friends house so I decided to drive out the other way through the subdivision. I then started naming off in my head all the cool people who I went to high school that lived there. Scott Hart, Steve Underhill, Pam Bridges, Mike Hammers and then when BJ Bock got married he and his wife moved into the subdivision. It’s so weird how I can remember this stuff but not be able to keep daily life straight. Anyway, after that I remembered the summer my sister and I raised money for Muscular Dystrophy.

My sister and I went skating almost every Saturday night at Rock Roll-O-Rena. I always wanted my own pair of roller skates like the cool kids but they were a luxury and too expensive. However the skating rink did a fund-raiser for Muscular Dystrophy and if you raised two hundred dollars you got a pair of roller skates. It was game on for my sister and I. It seemed like every night for two months my mom would come home from work and drop us off at different subdivisions and come back a couple of hours later to pick us up. Imagine this is back in the day of no cell phone how did we survive. Anyway I was super shy back in my middle school days so for me to go door to door and ask people if they wanted to donate shows how badly I wanted my own roller skates. As I was driving through the cool kids subdivision I remembered the lady that gave us a couple bucks but also told us that we were probably lying and using the money for candy. My feelings were hurt because I am not that kind of person. When my mom came to pick us up we told her the story. She asked which house it was and drove to it. She got out of the car knocked on the door and made the lady take her money back. It was awesome! I am sure the lady felt like a real piece of work after that! Crazily enough I can still point the house out even though I have maybe driven through that part of the subdivision a handful of times since high school.

We hit our goal and I picked out a pair of white skates with blue wheels. I had them probably until my mom pitched them long after I was married. I can’t remember what my sisters looked like. We also made it into the drawing for a ten speed bike and I ended up winning that as well. I’ve been back to the skating rink a few times in my adult life. I think the last time I actually skated was almost nineteen years ago at Emily’s skating birthday party. As long as it is not in line skates but the old-fashioned four wheels, I am pretty sure I could still skate. The skating rink looks the same. I mean it’s updated but the same people still worked there and owned it and they remembered my sister and I. Heck we probably paid their bills back in the day. My sister was the Pac-Man expert. She was really good at the game and used her extra money for that. I of course hoarded mine or got a drink with it. My girls really never got into skating which is just as well since it was never over until ten. It use to drive my mom crazy because she would get stuck picking up instead of taking and my friends lived all over the school district.

 

Mole Moral ~ It’s amazing how much more your appreciate something when you work hard for it. And yes I really am shy until I know a person and then I don’t shut up!

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Inside my head

I thought I would give you all a view of what it’s like inside my head when I am running. I’ll break todays marathon down into mile by mile. Some of it is quite bizarre, like me.

Mile 1~ Holy crap these people are running fast, I’m going to end up last. No you aren’t, start slow, you will pass them later.

Mile 2~ They are still going too fast. Turn around. Oh good there are a lot of people behind me. I’m not last or close to being picked up by the too slow car and taken to the finish line.

Mile 3~ Ok that’s a five kilometer. You got this. Why are these people still running like this? Oh wait that girl passed me earlier. Rookie mistake going out too fast.

Mile 4~ Flat course my ass, what the hell is this hill doing here anyway.

Mile 5~ Time to eat a GU. I wonder if it will kill my stomach. I need to pee, where is the next Johnny on the Spot.

Mile 6~ There’s Johnny and no wait. Yay! Oh heck my running app auto paused, don’t drop your phone in the toilet trying to un-pause it.

Mile 7~ I feel really good. Maybe the Nike coach app knew what it was doing. My message today, trust your training.

Mile 8~ I am not going to the bathroom again. What the heck is wrong with my bladder. And wait my stomach isn’t too happy either. Glad I’m not running behind me.

Mile 9~ Who is calling me? Of course it’s Emily. I answer yes and she says I forgot. She has a broken toe. I talk to her while running. She says you sound really good. I said I’m at mile nine and feel great. She repeats this to her boyfriend.

Mile 10~ Time to eat again and go to the bathroom. I am never going to make the goal I set out at this rate. At least there isn’t a wait. Damn phone auto paused again. I hate this stupid thing.

Mile 11~ Ok lady running by me if you thank one more volunteer for helping I am either going to trip you or punch you in the face. I mean it’s nice you are thanking people but you are really getting on my nerves.

Mile 12~ Finally got in front of thank you lady so I can have some peace and quiet. Did I miss the turn off for the full marathon and am now running the half. Every single person I am around is wearing a half marathon bib. My pace is too slow to do a half. Oh wait there is the turn off. Thats really mean with only about three fourths of a mile to the finish for the half marathoners.

Mile 13~ Why did I take the full marathon turn? Why did I think this was a good idea? Where is everyone? Am I in last place? Oh wait I see people up ahead, maybe I can pass them. I am going to have to pick up my pace to make my goal.

Mile 14~ Slow down, you can’t run this fast or you will crap out at the end. I have to go to the bathroom again. There are people in both of them. They are taking forever. I am about to bang on the doors and tell the fools to hurry up. I have a goal to meet.

Mile 15~ Time to eat again. I am not stopping to use the bathroom again. This sling better work or else. A guy says to me “wow your hair is really red.” I say thanks even though I am not sure its a compliment. Had I not been so focused on running I would have said “Now you know why my husband calls me Big Red.” Then I start thinking about Bring It On and Married with Children. I think of myself more as the cheerleader than Peggy Bundy.

Mile 16~ A lady looks at my hair and says “I love your hair. Its the best hair of the marathon.” I thank her and make a mental note to make a Facebook status about it and tag Hollie the girl that does my hair.

Mile 17~ I still feel pretty good but I know the wall is coming soon. I tell myself I don’t have the time or the energy for it this year.

Mile 18~ Amazing I don’t feel like I would rather die, than finish. This is how I felt my other four marathons.

Mile 19~ I turn the wrong way and the course volunteers have to yell at me to get me to go the right direction.

Mile 20~ Time to eat again. Wait wheres my other GU. Oh crap it must have fallen out of my pocket. A kid offers jellybeans so I take a handful. I hear him say that girl took a whole handful. I almost turned around and said “there aren’t that many people left, you have plenty.” Instead I shove them all in my mouth and say sugar don’t do me wrong.

Mile 21~ Some girls are handing out GU at the water stand. I snag salted caramel the very best kind. I tell myself at mile 23 I am downing it and then running the last three miles as much as I possibly can.

Mile 22~ I attempt to go the wrong way again. This seems to be a pattern. I finally pass these two girls that I have been playing tag with since mile 13 for good. They are younger than me so I think I am twenty-five.

Mile 23~ My stomach hates me but I chug the GU anyway. I started running. I run about three fourths of a mile straight which is pretty freaking amazing seeing as what mile I am at. I am a run/walk type of girl.

Mile 24~ A group of guys are on the corner with drinks. The one tells me I look like I just started. I said I wished. He asked me if I wanted a beer. I say “no thanks, I would be drunk as a skunk.” They all crack up laughing and I congratulate myself on being funny after being at this for five and a half hours.

Mile 25~ Paranoia sets in about if I will meet my goal or not. A kid is handing out Jolly Ranchers, I take one and its the best decision ever. I envision the sugar coursing through my bloodstream giving me just enough energy to finish this and meet my goal.

Mile 26~ There is no one around and I totally go the wrong way, probably wasted a good thirty seconds of time. I am now convinced the only way I could possibly make goal is to run like a bear is chasing me.

Mile 26.2~ I made it. Cross the finish line at the 50 yard line at U of I stadium. It takes another twenty minutes for my official time to post. Yep beat my goal by an entire 49 seconds but I don’t care because I achieved it and I ran a 5K the night before. Go me!

Post run~ Where is my car? I did manage to pin it on my maps but the directions make no sense. The girl starts yelling in my ear turn around and go the opposite way. I think she’s nuts and then I remember I have ZERO sense of direction so I listen to her. I finally find my car, it was .9 miles away. It makes total sense to run a marathon and then walk another mile to your car.

 

Mole Moral~ Setting a goal and achieving it leads to great satisfaction, no matter how crazy your sound!

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A Different Training Plan

I just realized it’s been a month since I posted anything. I have had four blog posts in my head and yet have not bothered to write any. I think I will start with a running one to be super annoying. I try not to post on Facebook about running too much because I don’t want to be that girl.

After completing the big ultra marathon I decided I wanted to work some on speed. The entire time I trained for the ultra I did not push myself because I didn’t want to get injured and have to delay the race again. Starting training over once because of the headache was more than enough. My goal is not to be the fastest, win a race or even beat my personal best. I have had two major foot surgeries since a personal best. I did decide I would like to finish a full in under six hours so the next step was finding a training plan.

I have used the Nike+ app since I first started running. Almost everyone I know switched to Garmin but I refused to lose the thousand miles I had already logged. I decided to use the coach section on the app for the marathon training plan. I had just come off of running five days a week with the shortest run being four miles. I looked at the schedule and thought how in the world will this work.

For starters it’s only four days a week which turned out to be a blessing in disguise. And sometimes it’s only mileage two of those days with a 15 minute benchmark run and a cross training day. Sometimes I get to do speed workouts where I run as fast as I can for either 200, 400, 800 or 1600 meters and then walk for a set amount of time and repeat. Anyway I was really thinking this was all bull hockey till a couple of weeks ago when my speed workout splits were this.

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My marathon is the end of April and I’m now starting to believe under six hours is totally doable. However I have to quiet the voice in my head that says how about a PR. That would be under 5:25:00 to which I tell that voice to shut the hell up…….for now.

 

Mole moral ~ Following a new plan may allow you to see or do things you never thought you were capable of.

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Time and the Track

Today I went to Seckman High school’s track to do speed work. For this years marathon training I decided to use my Nike plus running app coach. This is a totally free coach and since I’m pretty self motivated it works for me. So today was run 400 meters (one lap) and then walk for two and a half minutes and then repeat ten times. It gave me a projected pace of 10:37 which as usual triggered my anxiety for no reason. My pace for the running portion was 9:35.
When I first arrived I realized it’s been a long time since I was there. When I trained for my first half back in 2005 l did almost all my runs there and counted laps. So as I looked at the football field and admired the AstroTurf I thought about all the changes.

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My very first time at the track I was still smoking. So I would smoke all the way there, do my miles, and smoke all the way home. I listened to a portable CD player and headphones and was there a lot of times when the kids were out for gym.

Another four years passed before I did my next half. By this time I had quit smoking and iPods had been invented and I owned one. Nike invented a chip that went in your shoe and correlated with your iPod to keep track of distance. I would soon ditch the track because it was monotonous running in circles.

The following year I invested in an iPhone and upgraded to Nike+ running app and ditched the chip. I also no longer had to carry my phone and my iPod. I then started running on the road and convinced myself I am invisible and no one can see my running. It was the only way I survived running without having major anxiety that people were laughing at me.

I seriously cannot remember the last time I was at the track. Most likely the summer I was supposed to run a race to benefit Seckman track club and had the start time wrong and missed the race. I thought about the guy that took care of the football field grass and would mark it for football games. I wonder what he is doing now. He would always say hi to me even though I was invisible at the track as well.

Mole moral~No matter how hard one tries, it is impossible to slow down both time and the change that comes with it.

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Treadmill vs Indoor Track

As I begin to type this I want to clarify something first. The best place to run is outside. I would rather be out there any given time. However, when the heat index is over 100 or the wind chill is less than twenty then running outdoors is not a safe option. Saint Louis has been stupid cold for the past two weeks, just in time for me to start full marathon training. The holidays were also factored in so that made me stuck on the treadmill for the past week and a half but today I managed to make it to the Arnold Rec Center.

I love the rec center. I would rather do thirteen laps per mile than run on a treadmill not really moving. Everyone is like just watch TV. No matter what I put on, I am staring at how long I have been on the stupid thing just waiting for it to be over. At the indoor track I can people watch. Usually there are boys playing basketball below me, or girls practicing baton or couples playing pickle ball. Also on the track, I recognize people who I see from time to time. Although I don’t talk to any of them, I have names for them and know if they are there, then they are well. There is a couple that walk together all the time and they are fast walkers. They probably pull a thirteen minute mile. I like to follow them when I am not running but walking. Last year when I was training for the fifty mile a guy asked me what I was training for. So I told him about the race. He lives close to me and told me he saw me on the outer road all the time as well. One day in September he was driving and saw me and pulled over and asked how the race was. So I told him all about it. He was there today and stopped me because he was telling his friend about me and wanted to know how long it took me. I said 13:57. They asked me if I was going to do it again this year. I said hell no, one and done. They both started laughing.

There was a guy named Ron who use to be there all the time. I haven’t seen him in almost a year. I need to ask a couple of the regulars what happened to him. Today a gal was wearing an Oak Bridge Church shirt and I almost said to her, best church ever! She might have thought I was crazy. However running 10 miles there today was totally normal! Although ten miles on a treadmill is total insanity. I would go to the indoor track any time any day when the weather is uncooperative.

Mole Moral~ Find an exercise you enjoy and stick to it. You never know who you might meet or who you might encourage!

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Why I do races

I often get asked why I do so many races and there are two simple reasons. The first one is practical and the second one is just crazy. I have found that if I don’t have a race coming up then I find every excuse not to run and can go three weeks without running at all. However, if I have a distance race in the future I will stick to the training plan and run all of them so I am well prepared. I recently signed up for a full marathon in April so that I will keep on running. It is my me time, my God time and my keep me from killing people time.

The second and real reason I do races is for the medals. Disney by far had the best medals and I have them in a shadow box. The rest of my medals are hanging on a curtain rod in my room. Recently I was thinking that when I die my kids will have to throw them all away because seriously who wants them besides me. Today was the Santa’s North Pole Dash. This is my favorite 5K and you get a medal as well. Todays medal did not disappoint. The shirt choices were either a Santa shirt or this my favorite Christmas movie.

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I have three Santa shirts so I picked the Christmas Story shirt instead. I wasn’t even thinking that the medal might be related to the shirt so I was in for a real treat.

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I was thinking that after I died my kids could use this as a Christmas ornament to remember me by. Then my friend Theresa’s husband told me to put my face in the opening and that was the best idea ever. So after at least twenty minutes of finding a picture, running out of ink, and cutting it wrong twice it is all finished.

Mole Moral ~ I found the way to be immortal, live on as a Christmas ornament so everyone can remember their insane crazy mother, grandmother, great-grandmother etc.