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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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I finished the fifty mile run

20987664_1368040853314506_579149930_nI 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.

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High Fall Risk Again

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.

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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.

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Taper: A runners best friend

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!

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Session 3 The Fight filter

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.

 

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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!