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Postponing the fifty mile ultra marathon

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)

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My First Ultra Marathon

I committed to doing a 50K back in August and at that time the race was going to be held in Derby Kansas on a flat 5 mile loop. I remember thinking great six times around and I am finished and flat is awesome since I run on the side of a highway up and down hills. About two weeks before the race, I got a notification it had been moved to Wichita which was actually about twenty minutes closer which was fine. It was only right before I left that I was told it was a small race with a 0.86 mile loop to run around. WOW!

Emily got help up in clinical’s so I put where we were going into the phone to discover we would make it right on time. At exactly one minute to seven we arrived at our destination which was not the park, but the hotel we were staying at. Of course I put the hotel address in and not the park. The park was eight minutes away so I said lets run over there just in case they are still there. Yes, the girl coordinating it was still there and informed me there were exactly nine runners participating and I looked at the course. Emily started laughing and I was thinking, only me.

The shirt was really super nice so I figured the belt buckle would be too. Apparently ultramarathon’s you get a belt buckle instead of a medal. I can work with that. So we went and checked into the hotel, went out to eat and then went to bed. We arrived the next day and met all eight other runners. There was a father and his eleven year old son doing the full-marathon, three of us doing the 50K, two doing the 50 mile and two doing the 100 mile. I was talking to the girl who was doing the 50K with me, she had just done an iron-man and ran the entire marathon portion. She was all nervous about the 50K and I was thinking girl you have this in the bag. The girl in charge asked me if I wanted to switch out my bib for an ankle one. I said heck yes and felt that would be less annoying. I then felt like I was on house arrest.

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Because of the short loop, everyone started at a different starting point and I was informed I would be doing 36 loops. Ultra’s are run totally different from regular races. First of all, it is not about speed and how fast you can go. It’s not about running through the drinking stops and getting mad about the people who stop and drink. They had an entire spread at the shelter with food and drinks. The race supporters said if we needed anything they didn’t have they would go and get it for us. So when it’s time to eat, people stopped in and spent a few minutes, it wasn’t shove the food in your mouth while running as fast as you can.

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At the beginning everyone was passing me and I had to remind myself this is not a competition and run/walk the way you have trained for the past three months. So off I went and I was faster than I thought i would be but then again I was running on flat and I hadn’t really run much the entire summer because I didn’t want to get injured and get knocked out of this event. It was super windy and after the race people were complaining about it. I wish you could have seen the look on everyone’s face when I told them I did my 26 mile run on the cruise ship in the middle of the storm. See everything works out for a reason.  I eat and drink every five miles so that was one reward to keep me going, I told myself at mile 10, 21 and 26 I would text people to tell them where I was at. I actually did not hit the 20 mile wall like I did in both training runs. I remember when my Nike guy said 13 miles left thinking oh that’s a half marathon, a piece of cake, you got this. Now the father and the son running the marathon passed me at least three or four times. However, they made the rookie mistake and started out way too fast and I ended up finishing 26 miles before them. The kid was cute as heck and when they were driving off he yelled at me out the window, good job, keep it up. It was when I had five miles left that i texted Emily and told her if she didn’t arrive soon with Gatorade I was going to die. They had a drink called Heed which in my delusional state I swore said Hemp. It was electrolyte based (I think) but no sugar. Emily and Allyson finally arrived with four laps left and I inhaled the Gatorade and it gave me just enough of a sugar rush to finish the race! It was glorious crossing the finish line, still standing and feeling good. Less than a minute behind me came the guy running the fifty mile race and he broke the Kansas record. That was super exciting!

I received the belt buckle and they gave me two extra for my crew. Allyson was really excited because she wanted mine to start with. I did make those two run and get me different head phones and bring me Gatorade before I died so they earned their medals. I did learn a few things for the fifty mile. I need to carry a bottle with water to fill up at the water stops, especially since that race is 25 out and back. I need someone with me that can bring me stuff I may need while I am running. So I am going to have to recruit the family as my crew. I am also going to have to find other things to eat besides GU. By mile 30, I was ready to puke from the sugar rush and if I never see that stuff again, it won’t be too soon. I also received a trophy for second place!

We went for ice-cream after the race. They have Brahms which is Emily’s favorite from Oklahoma. I had peppermint and it was really good. We then drove back home and I finally got to shower. I have never felt so gross in my entire life. Emily and I went out to eat but Allyson stayed in because she is a home body and said we had been out too much. Allyson and I drove home on Sunday which about killed me. My legs would tighten up to the point i had a really hard time walking. But we made it back in time for teenage church so it was all good. I have about an eight week “break” before training starts for the fifty mile. I’ve looked at it and it is super intense and will keep me busy.

Everyone finished their races except for the guy doing the 100 mile. It was his first attempt and he dropped out after 63 miles. The girl who finished her 100 mile, it was her fourth in less than a year so she qualified for the gram slam from Kansas I think. She told me she would crawl to the finish if she had too. She finished in 27 hours which is completely crazy if one thinks about it logically. But I was so happy to see she finished. The race was awesome, the runners were awesome, and the course support people were phenomenal. This was one of the best experiences of my life!

 

Mole Moral~Brian finally has a trophy wife!

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Deck Chair Guy

I arrived on the ship on a Wednesday and the very next day was a sea day. Since I am still training for the 50k, I decided to waste no time and do my ten-mile run. I was happy to discover the ship track was a quarter-mile so four laps was a mile. That was the day I used GPS and the crazy thing said I did 38 miles with a 3:45 pace. No worries as I adjusted that. It was that first run that I noticed a guy stacking up the deck chairs for the night. He was easy on the eyes as well so it made the time pass nicely.
I didn’t do all the runs I was supposed to because there were days when it was so windy the track was closed. But every time I ran I would see deck chair guy. The day I did the marathon after the second mile it was raining and so windy the deck was closed so I ran on deck twelve under cover around the tables. I actually walked because the deck was wet and I wasn’t falling. Deck chair guy did not disappoint as he was in the towel exchange booth for an hour or so. Every time I rounded the corner there he was. I swear every time I looked over he was looking at me. He was probably thinking what is wrong with this woman running around in circles and in all orange.
So today I decided to be brave and go up and talk to him. His English wasn’t the best and I don’t think many crazy ladies talk to him. I asked if his only job was the chairs and he said no he can serve drinks, and he was a deck server. This cruise was not warm at all so there was not a lot of people out by the pool. So I am sure he didn’t have a lot to do. Plus I swear I’m one of the youngest people on the cruise. I asked to take his picture and I got his name tag because I want to mention him in the email survey about the cruise. His job is one that is not front and center but important and he probably never gets recognition. (It’s kind of like being the nurse that takes care of patients right after surgery, they are too drugged up to remember that nurse.) I did thank him for helping me pass the time while running and told him I was training for a 50k.
I will post his picture but keep in mind two things. One he had a hat on which hid his awesome hair and two he is probably 6/6 and weighed 150 pounds. His pants were always high waters.

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And those of you that know me, know how I like tall and super thin. Hee hee.

Mole moral ~ Take the time to recognize and appreciate the people behind the scenes who are often overlooked.

 

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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!

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Breaking one of the ten commandments

I am not sure if I actually broke Exodus 20:17 “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.” However I can say that I have wanted this medal

for four years but in my defense I don’t know anyone personally who has one.

I am pretty sure I first saw the Lincoln Presidential Half Marathon race on Facebook four years ago. It is ran in Springfield IL through the town, including the cemetery where he is buried. The first year I had just had Dr. Veronikis surgery and all that left-sided pain so it wasn’t happening. The next year I had taken the spring off to heal my patellar tendonitis from falling the previous August and recover from plantar wart surgery. The next year I was battling plantar fasciitis in my right foot and the next my left. So finally today I got to run it and receive the most awesome medal. It’s almost better than my Disney medals. It’s a really close second.

This will most likely be the one and only time I run this even if next year the medal is a five dollar bill because we ran on cobblestone, loose gravel and gum balls from trees. It was a tripping hazard that high fall risk girl should probably not attempt again. It was freezing this am and I of course only packed a short-sleeved shirt but by mile 3 I was fairly warm. It was cool seeing the capitol building and then running through the cemetery. It’s hard to take pictures with the brightness turned down but here they are anyway.

I made sure I put in my phone where I parked so I could find my car afterwards. Of course I had no clue and had to ask a cop. Then I picked the wrong direction to find the cross street. By this time it was so windy, I thought I was going to be blown into the middle of an intersection and ran over. I finally found my car fifteen minutes later and probably another thousand steps. It’s so hard having zero GPS skills.

 

Mole Moral~Good things come to those who wait, even if it is a coveted medal that will probably send them straight to hell! Hahahahah

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Goldilocks Half Marathon

 


image  How many people plan a 25th wedding anniversary trip and look for a run to do while on it. At least one person, because that’s exactly what I did. I found this run and it was awesome. First of all, it was girls only so instead of getting another giant medal to add to my medal rack, I received a necklace. The course support on this run was even better than Disney runs. There were water stops and bathrooms every two miles. The bathrooms were pink and sadly I had a phone malfunction and did not get a picture. At mile 10 they handed out ice pops and I being the juvenile delinquent that I am, took a blue one. It was a yummy surprise. We boarded buses at 05:45 and they took us 13.1 miles away and dropped us off and we ran back.

The run was through red rock canyon and it was gorgeous. However unless you love running hills, I can’t recommend it. It was tough. I run around my neighborhood and since I live at the top of a giant hill, I end every run up the hill. Last week I ran 4 miles straight including my hill and the hill on Vogel that goes up to Simpson school. I’m glad I did, made this more tolerable.

This was a smaller run and they had pacer’s so I started out with the 2:45 group which I didn’t last a 1/4 mile. I realized they were running way too fast. I am a negative split runner which means I start slow and end fast. Normal people start off fast and end slower. Before mile 1 the three-hour pace group was ahead of me and then the mind games started. My goal was three hours or less. I quickly realized they were running faster than the pace. When I pointed this out, the girl said yes planning to do the first six faster because of hills and then coast the last six. That plan was the exact opposite of how I run. So they were in front of me until the major hill around 5-6. I finally got ahead of them and never looked back. That’s a lie, I kept making sure they weren’t catching me.

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Not too long after the hill it started raining and drizzled for about three miles. It was my first race that it actually rained. This time I was smart and did not wear white. I was really hot so I was fine with it. All the time we were running, guys on bicycles were cycling back and forth making sure we runners were doing ok. It was nice.

So I rounded the corner to the finish and there was Brian waiting for me. I almost started crying right there. However I kept it together and finished under the goal and ahead of the pacer. I attempted to have my picture taken with the bear but my phone jammed up and got stuck on Siri asking what I needed. I wanted to choke that computer person out.

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Mole moral~ Set a goal and achieve it! I had foot surgery five months ago and decided if I take it slow I could do a half this fall. I’m an over achiever, I’ve done two. Or maybe I really am a functioning psycho!