The Mo Cowbell half marathon replaced the Lewis and Clark marathon back in 2011. I ran the last Lewis and Clark half marathon and then the first Cowbell marathon. Four years ago the full marathon was added as an option. That year I had plantar fascia release on my right foot and the next year on my left. The third year it was two weeks before my fifty kilometer race so it was out once again. I decided I was running it in 2017 no matter what. I had originally planned to run the fifty in April but due to the headache from Hell I had to postpone it until August. This meant I had six weeks between races.
I had decided to do the ultimate reset and took three weeks off from exercise. I had a hard time having enough energy to walk much less consider running. And the next three weeks I just kind of ran but not super hard. I have done the half marathon three times so I remembered the course well. The second half was much tougher. I thought it was an out and back on the Katy trail but it wasn’t exactly. We somehow hooked up to a connector trail or something and I ran past one of the cake locations that Allyson and I only found by seeing the bridge in the picture and driving to it. It was close to the Family Arena. I felt great until mile 15 and then not so much. The same thing happened during the fifty mile. By mile twenty I was pretty sick of running. I only got through it by reminding myself I only had six more miles instead of thirty.
Around mile sixteen I started receiving texts from Emily. She was at urgent care with a massive kidney infection. They gave her three shots, one was an antibiotic, one was anti-nausea and the other an anti-inflammatory. They also checked her for strep and felt she most likely had viral strep and put her on an oral antibiotic as well. They were considering sending her to the ER. I think I finished the marathon about the time they decided to send her home and told her to come back the next day for another antibiotic shot.
I could blame my time on texting while running but it’s really because all summer I did not train for speed at all. I trained for endurance to make it through the fifty without dropping dead. I also didn’t want to push it too hard and injure myself and not be able to run the fifty. So this winter I plan to work on running a lot more and walking a lot less. I don’t plan to be super fast or win a race but I would like to beat my very first marathon time which was 5:25:00. We shall see if I can actually not have something else happen to make me start all over with running for the fourth or fifth time.
Mole Moral~ The faster I run, the sooner I’m done!
I can’t believe the race is finally over and I finished it and can still walk. I was up at five in the morning as check in was at five forty-five and the race started right at six. There were around three hundred runners but it was not a chip event so everyone started at the same time. The interesting thing about ultra events is most of the people are not about sprinting and speed but finishing it. Those that come in first are super fast but the majority are just normal people like me.
The first fifteen miles went by pretty fast and I felt great and then the uphill climb started and lasted eight miles. The course was on the Mickelson trail and was an old railroad track so the grade was between 1-4%. I had run hills all summer but not one continuous uphill thing for eight straight miles. So pretty much mile fifteen until twenty-three was awful. When I finally reached the check station before the turn around Brian asked if I wanted him to come down with me and take my picture. I said yes of course.
When the aid station asked if there was anything they could do for me I said “please kill me!” They asked me how I wanted it done and I said quick and fast. At least I knew that in two miles I would be headed downhill for eight miles. I was slowing down a bit as the temperature reached a maximum of 88 degrees with full sun on most of the trail. I realized around mile thirty I would not make the twelve-hour mark I had in my head.
The next difficult section was mile forty to forty-five because it was another straight climb up. I was about ready to off myself and questioning why I ever opened my mouth and said I want to run fifty miles for my fiftieth. I also realized that the cutoff was sixteen hours because this course was tough. The original run I had planned to do back in April was pretty much flat and had a twelve-hour cutoff. I thought I was never going to reach mile forty-five and see Brian but I did and he was drinking beer with a buddy he had gotten to know over the day. His brother was running ahead of me. His new friend said its all down hill and I said again just kill me but I took off for the most mentally challenging section.
I was tired and I wanted to die. I had three huge blisters on my feet. My music died with one mile left but I dug deep. I thought about all the ridiculous things I had done to prepare for this race. Back when I was training for the 50K, I did my 26 mile training run on a cruise ship in the dining area because it was raining. I ran 28 miles at the Arnold Recreation Center because it was going to be over 100 with the heat index. I got up and ran when I didn’t want to. I had made it to twenty-four miles of long runs when I came down with the five-week headache and then picked out a new race and started the training over again. I told myself if you can do all this five miles is just from your house to Imperial main street where you get a drink and use the bathroom.
Finally I saw the track that I was going to finish on and I started crying. This made running impossible, not that I could run even if I tried. I just thought back to how this all started over a year ago on fourth of July weekend when I remembered I said I wanted to run fifty and my birthday was the next year. I found the training plans and wrote it out and didn’t look back. And now I can say I finished the beast in 13:57:38. There were 10 gals in my age group 50-59 and I came in third! I really thought I would be more like second to last so then I start thinking maybe I should do another one. Then I smacked myself upside the head and came back to reality.
Mole Moral ~ When you set a goal and achieve it, it’s the greatest feeling in the world.
Last week on my Time Hop app it reminded me of the time I was texting while running and hit a chunk of concrete and fell and scrapped up my face. I remember exactly who I was texting and what we were talking about. You would have thought I would have taken that as a warning or foreshadowing but I saw it as neither.
Yesterday I was walking to church for the baptism service and texting with my sister. I stepped into this hole in our street and down I went.
My ankle rolled and I slammed it into the concrete. I managed to hit both legs right below the knees and they are bruised. I landed on my left wrist again and aggravated the sprain and bruised it. The entire 19 weeks of training flashed before my eyes in a flash. I got up and could walk so being my true crazy self walked to church.
I started to walk home after the edge which was after the baptism when Brian texted me and asked if I needed a ride. I actually said yes and he came and picked me up. He asked if he should cancel vacation and the hotels. I told him absolutely not.
After I was home and no longer distracted I noticed my left ankle was swelling and really hurting to touch it. I then went into full freak out Freddy mode. Emily called during this time and told me to calm down. That who was I kidding, I would run it on a broken ankle. Sadly, she’s right. I’d load up on pain killers and run and deal with the aftermath later. However I’m pretty sure it isn’t broken. It hurts way more to touch my ankle (like a bad bruise) than to walk. However I think it will be wise to not do my last three training runs and just rest it.
Mole moral ~ When you are a high fall risk you should not text and walk, it’s more dangerous than texting and driving.
For anyone that has formally trained for a race, they know what taper means. Taper usually occurs a couple of weeks before the race and where the amount of miles dramatically decreases. My training for the fifty mile had three weeks of taper and it came in the nick of time, as I was about ready to throw in the towel and say forget the race.
I left for camp on a Saturday at midnight. That friday I ran 28 miles at the indoor track. It took me almost seven hours and something like 330 laps. Around mile 18 I hit the I’m going to die of boredom wall and by mile 26 I seriously wanted to off myself. The next day I was back for another 12 miles. It was so mentally challenging I am not sure how I did it. Sunday I was on the bus until six in the evening. Monday I got up and ran 12 miles, Tuesday 6 and Wednesday 4. That was 62 miles in six days with camp factored in. I saw 55 kids and was woken up at least twice in the middle of the night that week. It is no wonder I had a headache the entire way home on Friday. I blew off my second 28 mile run that saturday because I was exhausted and cut Sunday’s in half. I think I forgot I’m twice as old as twenty-five and may have over did it just a bit. The next week every run was a nightmare, I had to force myself out the door.
This week was much better. I had a six-mile and a four mile during the week and that was it. It was during this time Brian had gotten on the race website and found the course had finally been posted. I discovered that there would be stops every five miles with food, drinks and bathrooms. I had previously thought it would be every ten miles. Also every stop was accessible by vehicle with driving directions so Brian was nominated as my crew person. He seems to be taking it very seriously. I was pretty excited to think I would get to see him every five miles and not have to carry a million things with me. He can bring me drinks and food and anything else I need. Yesterday I got an email from the race with details of what to expect. Sometime in the next couple of days I will know what my bib number is. That was super exciting.
Today was the first ten-mile run I have done in I don’t know how long that I didn’t want to stay in bed. The weather was gorgeous and I didn’t even start until eight. I ran faster than I have in a long time and I’m telling you it’s because of taper. The body needs the rest so it can gear up for the big run. I actually was envisioning myself crossing the finish line and having pictures taken. I’m starting to get just a little excited for next Saturday. This weeks runs are a 4, 3, and then a 2 mile run. It is the only time the entire 20 weeks that I have had a run less than 4 miles. I won’t know what to do with only two miles. But the key is not to go running more and stick to the schedule. This will not be an issue for me! I am looking forward to my mileage being so much less, this has felt like a full-time job and everyone knows I am part-time girl.
Mole Moral ~ Rest, it does a body good!
The morning talk started with the comfort filter which is the best life is an easy life. That’s such an easy way to live, however it causes these issues:
1. Slow is bad (no patience for anything.
2. Hard is bad.
3. Boring is bad.
4. Risk is bad.
5. Work is bad.
By seeing the world through this filter causes you to run from the difficult, the daunting, and the dangerous. Of course I immediately start thinking of my upcoming fifty mile race in just 22 days. It most certainly fits all three categories. Difficult you bet. The training alone has been a nightmare especially in the middle of the heat wave. Running fifty plus miles a week is difficult both mentally and physically. I have to carve out huge chunks of time on the weekend to get them done. Is it daunting, you bet it is. I cannot think of it as fifty miles in twelve hours or less but more in five-mile blocks of time. Otherwise it is extremely overwhelming. Is it dangerous? You better believe it is. Without proper hydration and fuel I could easily end up in the hospital. Just moving non stop for twelve hours can be considered dangerous. Not everyone has been encouraging and I could have easily listened to them and took the comfort filter and said no way. When I had the five-week headache and had to change my race I could have also said forget it. This last month with the heat index and the mega distance, I have had to pull in every encourager into my head to move on and finish this.
So the enemy’s (Satan) goal is to make us complacent. He wants us to settle for the life we have because we become lazy, apathetic, and comfortable which keeps us from fighting. The way to get out of comfortable and into fight mode is to get off your BUT (please note the spelling).
I want to stop drinking at parties BUT all my friends are doing it and it’s fun.
I want to wait until marriage for sex BUT kissing etc feels so good.
I want to lose weight BUT exercise takes too much time and meal planning.
I want to be better mentally BUT counseling is too expensive and too hard.
Gerald concluded with the three ways to fight:
1. Be great
2. Be good (morals, character)
3. Be Godly
Mole moral~I shall run my fifty mile race knowing that God made it possible and may he shine through me.
The past week has been brutal in relation to training for this fifty mile race. The three biggest factors are heat, humidity and distance. As I am now six weeks from race day the long runs on the weekends are getting longer and longer. For example the past two Saturdays have been twenty-six miles, (you know a marathon no big deal) and Sunday was ten miles. Last Saturday I woke up at five-thirty and on the road by six. I did not even think to check the temperature or the humidity. Around mile ten a little bit of intestinal cramping started in and by mile twelve nausea hit as well. Right before the turn around at mile thirteen I realized I could not safely finish the run. So I called Brian and asked him to come get me. He finally got to rescue his damsel in distress. I felt horrible the rest of the day and discovered the humidity was well in the eighties. On Sunday I took one look at the weather and said forget it and went to the Arnold Recreation Center to run. I decided I would rather run in circles for two and a half hours than feel like I did the day before.
This Saturday I got up at five thirty and the humidity was at eight five percent so I did what any normal crazy person would do, I got in my car and drove to the rec center. I then proceeded to run the first twelve and a half miles around Arnold and the last thirteen and a half in circles inside. I don’t think I could have safely ran the entire twenty-six miles outside yesterday either. This morning I got up at five thirty and ran ten outside while it was still “cool”.
I have now ran twice with the camelback. The first run was a true mole disaster. I was up at the crack of dawn on fourth of July for a ten-mile run. No matter how hard I sucked or bit on the mouthpiece I could not get any fluid to come out. I knew it was going to be hotter than blazes and I needed to get on the road so I kept the camel back on and bought a drink at the five-mile mark like always. In the past I tried the running belt with the four water bottles and couldn’t stand it. It would twist and turn while I was running and annoyed me to the point, I took it off during a long run and picked it up on my way back. The camelback was awesome. It didn’t move and it wasn’t annoying. Plus it has a pocket in the back where I can put stuff like gels, phone charger, chapstick, you name it. Although it was awesome running with it, I still had the I can’t drink out of it issue. So I get home and watch you tube videos and I still cannot get anything to suck up the straw. So I text my buddy Liz and she says maybe I have a defective mouthpiece. The next day I finally figured out what I was doing wrong and when I told her she said only you.
So running in this kind of weather has made my pace horrible, to the point I am paranoid I won’t even meet my own personal goal for the run. I have to constantly repeat you are in this to finish it, not in it to win it. I remind myself if it takes fourteen hours, it takes fourteen hours (my goal is under twelve). That regardless of time, I only know one other person who has done fifty miles. Time really is irrelevant. I will get the finisher belt buckle no matter what the time I finish, as long as it is under sixteen hours and I don’t drop dead. In it to finish it, in it to finish it.
Mole Moral~ When drinking from a camelback, always bite on the end closest to your mouth and farthest from where the straw starts.
I’ve been waiting a while to write this blog because honesty it sucks. However, I have known since three days after I came home from the hospital I was going to have to postpone my fifty mile run. Today was my first training run since February first and there is no way after not running for five weeks I could jump back into it and do forty plus miles a week. That would most certainly lead me to an injury and a visit to Dr. Larkin. I have not seen him in over three years and even though he is super easy on the eyes, I still do not want to have to visit him.
I thought I would be a lot more upset about this than I actually am. The first time I said it out loud, I almost broke down into tears but after that it hasn’t been an issue. I guess the main reason is because I had no control over getting a headache. If I had to postpone because I was just lazy and didn’t do the training it would be one thing but a medical condition makes it much easier to cope with.
Last week I started looking up fall races and I was getting highly discouraged. There was one that said the trail was marked with markers on trees. I immedialty eliminated that one because I have zero GPS skills and would be lost out on the trail for hours until a search and rescue team came and found me. A lot of them were like up and down mountains (I’m exaggerating a little) and I am not ready for that kind of craziness ~ yet. So I finally found one in South Dakota at Custard State Park. The park is located right by Mount Rushmore and The Crazy Horse Memorial. About twelve years ago the girls and I visited it with Brian’s parents. It seems as if Brian went fishing in Canada that year and skipped it. So I am totally excited he will get to see it. Devils tower is two hours away so I am already planning the insane road trip. I priced to fly out there and with it being 800 a person I said we are driving. My goal is to find some other places to see on the way back. I am so looking forward to this adventure because if it is half as crazy as our twenty-fifth wedding anniversary we will have a blast.
I fully believe everything happens for a reason. Perhaps had I run in Springfield I would have fallen and broken my ankle. Another thought I would have had a heart attack and drop dead. Or even worse someone coming to watch me would have been in a car accident. This change allows Brian and I to have another vacation alone with just the two of us. We have only taken one by ourselves a couple other times the entire time we have been married. Yes I will admit and say I am really excited about this. Now to stay injury free and start training. The two bad things about starting over is I already did the first eight weeks or so and they were hard. I am not looking forward to that and now I get to run huge long distances in the summer. Due to a lack of winter, I am afraid this summer will be unbearable but whatever doesn’t kill me, makes me stronger. So official training starts the first week of April and until then I will be trying to build my stamina back up. After five weeks my cardio has shot craps and todays four mile walk/run was hard.
Mole moral ~ What you work at, you get better at. What you don’t work at, you get worse at. (Pastor Tom Noblitt on marriage)