Monday, March 31, 2008

Always be prepared

I am preparing for my first marathon this coming saturday and I am trying to keep my nerves in check. I ran 19.8 miles two weekends ago with a steady 14 min. pace (it's maybe slow, but it's steady, even at the end). I finished with a blister on the arch of my foot, which has healed and should not return thanks to some 'remodeling' to my insole. My goal was to get in a long run with all of my gear and see how it went - I passed, I think I am ready.
Now, I am trying to get everything coordinated, packed, purchased, etc. for Friday, which is coming quicker than I thought it would. I have neighborhood meetings tonight and tomorrow night, a short, easy workout on the eliptical on Wednesday and then it is laundry, packing and list making..... If I find the energy and the time I will try to get another post in before the weekend - thanks again to all of my loyal family and friends who have been out on the trail supporting me and who are making the trip to see me finish - I love and need your support.
Oh yeah, I have to download a few more songs into the i-pod - guess I know where my free moments went. I should start a list, no I should start laundry, no I should go to bed...... aaahahhhhh!, deep breaths, look how far I have come. I'll get a good nights sleep and start my lists tomorrow.
If only I had this to drink:

Some of my support crew (Brian, his mom Sherri and Darby):

And if I could only get the smell of the blossoms to go through the computer... (it won't be long i'm sure).

Thank you everyone for your support - I will carry it with me on my 26.2 mile adventure.
G O M A C H A!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Ready to Run

It has been an emotional week. On Sunday March 9th I finished 16 miles with my friends and family being my 'aid stations' along the Orting Trail. I finished the 16 miles with a 13:30/mile pace, which is about 30 seconds to 1min. faster than normal. I finished strong, with energy and a smile. My support crews were wonderful - Thank you!

The photo is at the half-way point.
I didn't cramp up too bad and I finished out my Sunday. At step aerobics class on Tuesday night, my calves were giving me trouble, it hurt to step down, so I slowed down and took it easy. By Thursday I was hurting (only when I walked) and I did some ill fated internet searching. I was convinced that I had stress fractures. After going to the doctor on Friday and getting x-rays I was feeling a little better. Keep doing R.I.C.E (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevate).
Saturday I walked while the Couch to 5k group did 25min. of running, I just wasn't feeling that I could do it. I walked with one of the groups little girls, Gracie, she sang Hanna Montana and told me all about how she was going to sign up for t-ball soon. She kept my mind off of the fact that I wanted to run, but it hurt.
Saturday afternoon Wendy and I drove down to Longview where Michelle and Jenny were running the Pac Rim 24 hr run (they were doing 50 miles) and Steve was going the full 24 hrs. Rob and Jamal were already done when we arrived. Wendy and I started running with them around 7 and I finished with them completing 13 miles and feeling great. The energy that Michelle and Jenny had was contagious. They were happy, smiling, and having a great time that I just had to finish with them. I did not have any pain and when Wendy and I finally got back to the hotel after 11pm I stretch and felt fine. Sunday I was walking like nothing was ever bothering me. Today I went to my orthopedic doc. with my x-rays, just to be sure and he said I did what my body told me, I rested and started moving when I was ready. He is a runner also, so he listed to my 'training' plan and suggested that I go cross-training that is non-impact, such as the eliptical machine, biking and swimming - no step aerobics during the week (icing and heat afterwards) and running on the weekends should be fine. He also said that my body will start to adapt to the mileage and this may not be an issue after awhile. Oh yeah, the best news, no stress fractures - now I understand how mental this sport really is.
I'm back on the road again. - More on my run last weekend (and if any of my aid crew is available this Saturday, I could use some help again).
Here is to listening - even if you don't want to hear it.
Oh yeah, Congrats to my crazy running friends, Michelle and Jenny for finishing 50 miles in 14 hours and Steve for finishing 105 miles in 23.5 hours - you guys are amazing. Rob and Jamal will get 106 next year =)

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Hydration Test #02, #03 and new sock test.

Last week I tried the camel back – it passed, but need refinement. Last Thursday at the track I tried carrying a water bottle that had a strap on it (designed for running), but between the water condensation, my sweaty hand and the sound of the water it was not working. So Hydration Test #02 failed as a long run solution.

Last night I tried out the Nathan Hydration vest built for women. Michelle was gracious enough to loan me hers to try it out. It fit well, adjusts easily and has pockets in the front to store snacks, phone, ipod, etc. So I ordered mine at REI using my 20% off coupon and it should be here before the big race. Hydration Test #03 worked great.

While browsing at REI I finally found the Smartwool running socks – I have been looking around for them, but I was unsuccessful at finding the ‘running’ version. So I tried them out last night on my run. They felt like I was wearing cozy slippers while running. I had been having blister issues on the insides of my heels and with new SuperFeet insoles the problem had gone away. Now, with the new socks, my feet have never felt better (ok maybe when I was getting a pedicure or when they were buried in the sand in Maui, but you know what I mean). So all in all, I am finally getting my equipment refined.

Last night Darby and I did 4.75 miles around the Sunrise neighborhood. We started out just before sunset (I can’t wait for daylight savings time) and turned our headlamps on and had a great evening run. We even sped up and ran like we were kids going down the hill, I’m sure we are a sight to see! One equipment item that I will work on for this weekend is a tank top or a sports bra top that goes to my waist. The feeling of my tummy is not great when wearing the hydration pack and a tech shirt, so hopefully that will help without making me too warm.
Today is supposed to get to the 60’s and I am planning on running at the track tonight. I can feel spring coming!

Sunday, I have planned a 16 mile journey on the Orting trail and I have recruited friends and family to be at ‘aid stations’ for me and to provide moral support. Everyone has been very supportive and I am glad that I asked for help. I’ll try to take some photos of my ‘support crew’ for the next post. In the meantime, smile, get outside and enjoy the journey!