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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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Mo Cowbell Marathon

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!

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In it to finish it

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.

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How I ended up with purple toes

All good stories start at the beginning and this one starts back in January of 2005. Mercy had just ended their nurses strike and I was waiting to return to work after being off for six weeks. My friend Laura asked me if I wanted to sign up with Team in training to do a half marathon. One could walk, run or a combination of run/walk. I figured I needed something to keep me busy and to keep me from running my mouth at work so I agreed. She would end up becoming pregnant and so sick she had to drop out and I went on to do the thing by myself. And now we fast forward to eleven years later…

Laura asked me if I wanted to do a half marathon in Branson. I agreed if she promised to not become pregnant again. She assured me she was more than finished with that phase of her life and we both signed up. By this time I had already signed up for two other halves and a full marathon so what is one more. She and her husband have a place at table rock lake so we could stay there. I was supposed to work Friday evening until seven so we ended up leaving Saturday morning around nine. It took us about five hours to get down there and we went straight to pick up our packet. After that Laura said let’s go to the outlet mall. She knows I am not a big shopper but I was like this sounds like a good idea. And so we went and I bought quite a bit of stuff. I found myself a really cool pair of orange under armour running pants which I ended up wearing to the race. We finally made it back to her place around seven where we rested for a short time and then went and had dinner with her husbands parents. They were really nice and reminded me of my own in-laws. I told Laura she really had a great set of in-laws and she agreed. We finally got in for the night around ten and I didn’t fall asleep until eleven thirty.

The next day we were up at six thirty as the race started at seven forty-five. I did not get my pre race coffee and then my phone went dark and I couldn’t get it to work. So for this race it didn’t rain but I ended up with no music and no idea what kind of pace I was at. Oh and let me also throw in I had changed my diet to low carb and high fat two weeks ago and am not anywhere close to being able to do thirteen miles on no sugar. But I started out carrying a package of sports beans in case I was dying anytime after mile six. By mile three I had some Gatorade at the water stop and I did end up eating my sports beans. The race had an insane amount of hills, so much so that my Fitbit logged ninety-eight flights of steps. So we finish that and do even more shopping. We walked another five miles after the race. We stopped in some shoe store so she could look at Birkenstocks. I started eyeing up a couple of shoes and this super nice salesman had me try on Chaco’s. I gave him the song and dance about how I couldn’t tolerate anything between my toes and have never been able to tolerate flip-flops. So first he had me put on the style without the toe stabilizer and the feel was amazing. I have never felt that kind of arch support since the original sketcher go run shoe. Although these were even better. So he then has me put on a shoe with a toe and he was right, it didn’t bother me at all. So I walk out of that store with a pair of sandals that I plan to wear all summer. Next we hit up the candy store and I’m so glucose deprived that I go insane and buy about three pounds of candy with plans to have a few pieces and pawn the rest off on my kids. After the spending spree we go back to her place to shower and get ready to leave. On the way out, I decide I’m in a sugar coma anyway I’m drinking a diet Dr. Pepper. By this time Laura starts to feel bad and I said I’m a big kid and I could have not bought anything and not eaten candy and drank soda so don’t worry.

We got back in town around nine-thirty and before I go to bed I decide I must have my toes done so that I can wear these new fancy sandals. Yesterday I could barely get out of bed, so today I drug Emily to the nail place.

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I am sure most of you are shocked that I didn’t pick orange but I wanted them to match the new sandals. They had pink and purple in them and Emily found this fantastic purple color so I stole it from her. And my shoes can also be used for hiking. They have a lifetime guarantee and can be resoled every five years. This would be a Brian Moehlmann dream come true since he thinks my running shoes should last forever. I only wish I could run in them because the arch support is fantastic and much better than my seven hundred-dollar custom orthotics.

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What started out as a run that only cost to entered it, turned into a huge shopping spree, a candy binge, a soda binge, new shoes, new toes, sore legs and a great time. I did realize that although I still think I’m twenty in my head, my body says oh no you are not and two days later, I’m still not fully recovered!

Mole moral~If Laura asks you to do a race with her, work a few extra shifts and get plenty of sleep the week before. And for crying out loud do not decide to go low carb two weeks prior!

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Once again, the word never bites me!

It was exactly 11 years ago today that I did my very first half marathon. At the end of January that year the nurses strike was coming to an end and my friend Laura asked me if I wanted to sign up with her and do it through Team in Training. We had to agree to raise fifteen hundred dollars for leukemia and we were given a coach, training plans, and group long runs. I had never ran a day in my life and was smoking at the time so my goal was to walk the entire thing. I did a lot of my training at Seckman High School track. This was before the days of iPods and iPhones so I would walk with a portable CD player. Often the kids would be out for walking class gym but there never was much fast walking going on. My friend soon became pregnant and had to drop out because of morning sickness. I however stayed in and did my very first race all by myself and smoked a cigarette before and after the race. I will always remember my sisters best friend Laura showing up at the end and taking my picture. That meant more to me than she ever knew.

It would be another four years before I would do another race. By this time I had quit smoking, so when my coworker Erin (who is now my boss) asked Jen and I if we wanted to do the Lewis and Clark half marathon I said sure. Erin ended up not being able to do it because she was heavily involved with computer charting go live and couldn’t train. Jen and I however completed that one together. Erin was able to do the Go run with us the following spring. After this my addiction was in full swing.

The following year I did the Go relay with the girls from work. I ran a section of Forest Park and said I would never do a full. This year they changed the course and said it was flatter. I originally planned to run Christie Clinic at the end of April but that is the same weekend Emily receives her white coat for physical therapy school. I liken it to the old days of when a nurse received her nursing cap. About three weeks ago I decided I would do the full today since it was the eleventh year anniversary of my first half marathon and only with thirteen weeks of official training.

The run started out great. I walked a lot the first thirteen miles so I wouldn’t blow out my legs and drop dead at mile twenty-two. My longest run was twenty-two miles and this made me nervous. It poured rain around mile eighteen till mile twenty. At mile twenty I ran into Rich Simpson. He was the one who blew the lid off of the corruption in the Fox School District as well as had horrible things posted on Topix about him by the former superintendent. His lawsuit over that was recently settled. He’s not allowed to discuss but I did tell him no amount of money could compensate for what was said but at least he had acknowledgement. We finished the marathon together. Somewhere between mile twenty-two and twenty-three my left quad started locking up and his calf was a mess. We managed to gimp across the finish line. One other fun fact, I had a huge crush on him in high school.

At the end of this torture I said I have no intentions of ever doing the Go full again. I know better than to say I’m NEVER doing it again because then next year I’d be right back running if. I now have three full marathons in the book. If I could only get my brain to agree that’s plenty.

 

Mole moral~ If anyone would have told me I would run the last six miles of a marathon with Rich, I would have laughed my head off and ask them what drugs they were on. It’s funny how life turns out!