Monday, December 21, 2009

Week 6 Marathon Training!!

I'm so busy with the holiday but I managed to get my long run in. I did 13 miles Saturday in 2:12! Very happy about that. It went well despite not fully preparing myself. Obviously I was too busy to plan for this run!

I used "map my run" for the first time. It took me FOREVER to map out 13 miles. I thought it would be cool to do a big loop through town instead of the boring "out 1/2 way and turn around" routes. 1st mistake. The route was a lot longer than what I mapped out and I had to turn around at a point I knew was 3 miles back to my house. So I lost my traveling water station (husband on his bike) and he got worried when I wasn't where I was supposed to be. (Worked out fine though)

2nd mistake...forgot my GU packs. I was sooooo looking forward to those blueberry/pomegranate GUs too!

3rd mistake...should have given my husband water AND gatorade for hydration and maybe some chews for nutrition. I know better. I'm a little disappointed in myself.

4th I came up on mile 3-4, I noticed my left baby toe was starting to hurt. The seam on my sock was rubbing it. I should have stopped to fix it but I did not. Now I have a huge blister on my toe. I whacked it on the corner of a chair and ripped a nice healthy layer of skin off it last night too. Good

5th mistake...and this had nothing to do with my run, but I had my work Christmas party last night. Have you tried walking in a pair of heels the day after a half marathon?? Sigh...I should have gone to the party

Anyway, after the run Bobby and I were headed to the mall to shop. I didn't feel so good. I was nauseaus and I know it was because I didn't properly hydrate and replace nutrition. Pretty dumb. But that's why we have these trial runs. You can bet I won't ever forget these things again.

In closing, I did run 13 miles with one stop. I stopped at my daughter's work and she ran me out some water since I'd basically ditched Bobby by this point. I was there less than a minute and then finished the last 2 miles back.

That's it for now!!
Happy running!!!!!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Week 5 Of Marathon Training

I'm into my 5th week of training. Last Saturday I was due for a 13 miler but I woke up Friday with a slight flu. Saturday morning was worse so I decided to put off the run until Sunday. I'm sure you can see where this is going. You are CORRECT! No long run for moi. Grrr.

Yesterday I tried a 2 miler. It was pretty warm and I had trouble breathing. I also don't like the feel of boogies running down my face. SEXY!!!! I grew concerned that a modeling agency might drive by and want me for the cover of some magazine, so I did the 2 miles in under 18 minutes and went home. I may have saved the career of a struggling model. =P

Last night I stumbled on HULU. It's a video/movie site where you can watch movies for free. I searched "Spirit Of The Marathon" and guess what??? YES!!!! They have it!!! I watched it. I saw it last year at the cinema but it was before I ran one. Watching it last night was wonderful because I could fully understand how everyone was feeling this time. Their hopes, dreams and of course...fears. I just love this movie!! It got me totally fired up!

So this morning I was dead set on doing my 13 miler. You may be thinking to yourself...."Aren't you sick, Kim??" Well, technically, yeah. But mentally...NO WAY! I just watched SPIRIT!! I am WOMAN!!! (Didja hear me roar?????) I headed out with high hopes. That were slowly slipping away as I went along my somewhat merry way. My pace was oh-so-slowwwwww...but I was actually ok with that for once. I just wanted to get the miles in today. But by mile 3 I could barely breathe and my nose was making me crazy. I turned around at 3.5 and trudged back. And I do mean trudged. It took me over an hour to run 6 miles. Surprisingly I am SO okay with that. I think I've matured as a runner. Being unable to run for almost a year taught me a few lessons. One of which is ya can't give up just because you have a couple of tough runs! I can chalk up today's run to a toughie and move on. It's a done deal. Plus...I still ran while sick. This means I have me some endurance...YES!

I have made the decision to just relax and get over this virus. I'll pop out for a few slowbie shorties this week...hopefully do some 800's before Saturday. I'll do the 13 miler this Saturday instead of the 8 that my training plan is calling for. I'll skip the 8 and do the 15 miler the following Saturday to get back on track. (no pun intended) Any advice on this plan will be greatly appreciated my fellow runners!!!!!!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Marathon Training Is ON!!!

I'm training for The Gasparilla Full Marathon on February 28, 2010. Sarasota Grouper Full has been discontinued and this is the last year for Gasparilla to host a full, so I'm happy to get to run it. It's a beautiful course, cool and flat. A perfect run for you-know-what.

I am into my 3rd week of training and feel so good! By slowing down my long run pace, I can go on FOREVER without any walk breaks. Eating better (oatmeal), potassium and B-12s have made a big difference. A month ago I had trouble with 5 miles, having to walk and feeling weak. Last weekend was my longest run since almost a year ago and here are the details...

Friday afternoon my husband and I headed out for our bi-yearly kid-free weekend away. We just drove up to Siesta Key and stayed until Sunday. We talked about my 11 miler and decided Saturday morning would be perfect. Bobby had his bike and would be my traveling water station. But we woke up to rain and cold weather. We went to breakfast, hit the mall for some Christmas shopping and had some lunch. By 1pm it had cleared up and was looking better.

We went back to the resort for a nap about 2pm. I woke up at 3pm and literally threw my running clothes on and was out the door before I could change my mind. It was about 68 degrees and I know you northerners are thinking PERFECT weather, but this Florida chick was C-O-L-D. And I hate being cold.

I had on my new NB running skirt (which kept falling down until I finally had some sweat to keep it up) my new NB visor and a sleeveless running top. I knew I'd be fine by my 2nd mile. My training guide called for 11 miles with a 10:40-11:20 pace. This is the endurance phase for a 4 hour marathon. It's all about getting the miles down, not speed. But you know me. I always go out too fast.

First 2 miles were 9:21 and 9:34. And that's with trying to go slow. Trying to tame the horses...arghhhhh!!!!

Mile 3...9:56
4...10:01 (this is the pace I wanted to hold
5...9:03 (WHAT??? I was warmed up!!!)
6...11:04 (slowed for a water stop w/hubby AND ran headfirst into the wind)
7...10:26 (making my way back to a 10)
8...9:52 (feeling very good)
11...9:32 (gotta love me a neg split!!!!)

I had some blueberry-pomagranate chews and 2 gel packs, same flavor. PURE yumminess!!! It was all I could do to eat them one at a time every 2 miles (or sooner). Oh delish!!!! I'm going to hang a gel pack off the front of my visor like the bunny at the horse races! Yummmmmmmm. My husband rode up beside me and handed me an open bottle of h2o so I didn't have to slow down at all after that 6 mile point. I'm going to string some chews on a nylon thread as a bracelet on my next long run. Bite em off as I go, like a candy jewelry thing. Maybe the cooler weather will keep them from getting messy. I'll let ya know how that goes.

At the end of the 11 miles, I honestly could have kept on running. What an awesome feeling it was stopping at mile 11 and knowing I could have kept going. Bobby was putting his bike in the van as I came down the street and I ran to him, crying. What a baby, huh? It was a pivital moment though. A couple months ago the doctor told me I would not run another marathon. After that 11 miles I know he's wrong. I CAN do it. I am so happy!

I have a friend on my FaceBook that I have known since 4th grade. Ray is a runner who has 8 marathons under his belt and is running Boston for the 4th time! I told him my splits and explained my training guide and asked him if he thought I could do a 3:50:59 instead of a 4:00. He says YES! He advised me to add some weekly mileage and to do some 800s instead of the 400's. That's all I needed to give me a bolt of hope to BQ. I want it. I need it. I will have it.

Regina talked about fear in her last post. I soooo truly understand what she's saying. Fear will hold me back if I allow it. Fear will keep me from my goal if I let it take hold. Fear has icy fingers that will grip the hopes and dreams I have for myself if given half the chance.

Not this time buddy. This girl is going to run Boston WITHOUT fear.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Getting Stronger!

This week has been pretty hectic...the holidays always are! I did get MOST of my training runs/exercises in...

I am extremely bummed that the Sarasota Grouper Full Marathon has been called off. The PR guys decided to work on the half marathon because of lack of registrants. There are usually about 3,000 runners but only about 450 run the full. Total bummer. I'm glad I had the chance to have run it once though!

I have chosen the Gasparilla Full on Feb 28, 2010 instead. This will be the last full for Gasparilla too. Gives me even more incentive to run it. My friend Bill Bonetz is running it also!!! MORE incentive! Bill is running Space Coast tomorrow. His wife Mary is doing the half. I'll be tracking their progress!!!

Turkey Trot 5K was awesome. I was hoping for a 25:55 but I did 26:31. Missed a PR by 2 BUT...I beat my friend Josephine. (With love and respect..haha!) I felt great after that race. Very minimal cramping/pain for the first time in over a year. Very pleased.

I did my 8 mile training run Saturday. It was SO COLD...I had to wait until after 1pm for the sun to warm up. About 1/2 a mile out my boyfriend, Garmy, kicked. Guess he can't keep up with this ole girl...haha! I did my regular 3 mile loop back to my house...ran in and changed his batteries and ran right back out. I ran the 3 miles in just under 28 minutes, a faster pace than I wanted for a long run but I think it helped tame the wild horse inside me because I held a steady 10:10 for the next five miles. Heather was so right about slowing down. I ran the 5 without stopping and I ran an 8:40 on the last half mile. LOVE the strong finishes.

Today I feel fabulous! Changing my nutritional habits, the B-12 and potassium seem to be making a huge difference. I also have embraced the dreaded OATMEAL. UGH. Could there be anything more gross?????? Heather swears by it, so I gave it a shot. I'm sure she doesn't put 3 tablespoons of butter and a half a cup of brown sugar on hers though. The whole time I was eating it, I willed the stuff into my muscles. Instead of wanted to spit it out, I actually got it all down. Feeling so good after the longest run I've had since last March will keep me on track. I'm FIRED UP!

I am going back to the gym next week. I dropped out while I fixed myself. All the exercise classes combined with running was too much. I'm going to work it all back in slowly, starting with spin and yoga. I soooo miss yoga! My husband and I are waiting for the P90X too. That will work in very well with marathon training. It'll get Bobby back in shape after the back and neck surgeries too.

Now I will go check out Celmore...see if he's still on track too! I'm sure he is!!!!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Marathon Training

Yeah...MARATHON training! As in FULL. I have decided to go for it! I finished my 1st week of training and I have gone completely off the guide. I did 6x400's Thursday, (7:35 pace each lap) but after that, I ran to the beat of my own feet. As usual. I don't know why I even attempt to follow a guide! I am going to use it as just that though...A GUIDE. If I learned one thing in the last 2 years of my's LISTEN TO MY BODY...and I am this time. And it's working!

I also got a little advice from a very, VERY respected person in our running community...Heather Butcher. I saw her the other day and told her I did 7 miles in 71 minutes. Which I was (and still am) proud of. Then I told her I walked a few times. She told me if I had to walk, I was going too fast. Hmmm...seriously?? What about the Galloway method????? At the time of our conversation, I thought 2 things...1) Could I really be going too fast??? and...2) I'm gonna just keep on keepin' on.

OH...and Heather also told me she HATES to run distance when training! WHAT??? She's done like...3 IRONMEN and 12 full marathons! She told me she mostly does 400's. And her times are to die for. I know I'd die for them. She also told me to cross train with swimming and bike. But I don't really get into those. I will attempt another spin class Monday night though.....

So Steve came over this afternoon and we decided to do 5 miles. I was scheduled to do 7 yesterday, but the 6x400's I did Thursday kicked my behind. I also had my little grandbaby Collin Saturday from 6am to 5:30pm. By the time he left, I wasn't running anything. Today I was still sore and tired, Steve is just recovering from ankle and knee glitches, so we agreed on 5 miles. He had done one 4 miler a couple weeks ago and was ready to go for 5.

As we started the run, Heather's advice came back to me. I thought...ya won't kill me to slow down about 15-20 seconds a mile. Plus I wanted Steve to finish comfortably without pain...I silently agreed to myself I'd stay at 10:15. Or so. I was surprised to keep finding us at a 9:30 pace. I kept signaling to slow it down. There is a patch of grass at one point on the route that I never run across (balance and neuropathy issues) and I did still walk that. Mighta been 15 seconds. We continued on, by mile 3 or so, we walked again, about 45 seconds, so I could chew a glucose tab. Those don't feel too good when you breathe them into your lungs, it's a good idea to walk when eating those. Unfortunately for Steve, that walk ruined the rest of his run. He had to walk/run the next mile or so then called it quits because of his knee/ankle.

I kept running ahead about 1/2 mile and back tracking to stay close by. I did finish the 5 miles. The average pace was 10:15...and ya know...I did feel fine. Even tonight...the cramping is minimal and I don't feel like I over did it at all. Tomorrow I'm going to just do 2-3 miles. I want to save something for the spin class...

The training schedule I chose from the "4 months To A 4 Hour Marathon" is a very good plan. I will commit to the shorter runs during the week, long runs for a weekend and the 400's. I'll just do them when I feel it's the best time. Even though the 400's totally wore me out, I kinda liked them. =)

Thursday is the Turket Trot 5K. My family is going and I love that!!!! Kirstin is walking it with Collin and her friend Ashlee is going with her with her baby Madison. Bobby is bringing Kerri, Emily and Robby too. Steve is thinking about it. He's being a chicken. Or shall I call him a turkey????? LOL

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Back To Blogging

Training for the Sarasota Half Marathon (3-15-10) begins Saturday, Nov 21st. I have read and reread "4 Hours To A 4 Hour Marathon" at least 4 times. I bought this book when I was attempting to begin to qualify for Boston last year. "Space Coast Marathon" was to be my 4:40, last year's "Sarasota Grouper" was to be my 4:20 and then this year's "Space Coast" I wanted to be REALLY optimistic and go for the 3:50:59 to run Boston 2010.

That never happened and I was so bummed. I've been optimistically hopeful about getting some miles in. I decided that if I could do 8 miles by Nov 21st, I would get back to training. Last Saturday I did the 7 miler and survived it! This Saturday is the 8 mile run that will signify my being back in training. I am thrilled, excited, hopeful and most of all...READY!

This book has training guides for finishing times anywhere from 4 hours up to 5 hours, depending on your level of running and your goals. I've tailored it down for a half marathon with 4 months to train. There's a tiny kernel of hope that when I get to week 6 (15 miler) I may be able to do it. If I can, I am going to continue on with the training and attempt the full. So, yes...I'll be really doing the full marathon training for the first 6 weeks. This gives me the opportunity to pull back and be satisfied with the half if need be. I'm following the 4 hour guide knowing full well I can switch to a slower guide at any time. Have I convinced you? LOL...

The reason I'm training this way is because, truth be told...the problems I'm having with my muscles are not new. I just didn't understand that the pain was not normal when I started running. Nov 2, 2007 was the first time I ever ran, and I got right into training for the full marathon to be run on Mar 2, 2008. I ran one marathon while having these problems...I can do it again, right????

That's right folks!!! 4 months into running and I completed a marathon. I see now what a feat that was. (do I sound all proud of myself???...LOL) At the time I had no clue. To many things. So it took me 5:33:38 to get to the finish line. Not w/o injuries. I ran through pains that I should have seen as a signal that something wasn't quite right, but I didn't know. Now I do know...armed with all these valuable lessons learned, I'm ready to take on my 2nd marathon. I'm wondering if, by ignoring the signals last year, if I damaged my body to the point that I couldn't run at all... Who knows? I'll find out this time by paying closer attention.

I will also be paying closer attention to nutrition this time. My husband and I are discussing the P90X program. So far it looks like the perfect program to go hand in hand with my training. My husband just had 2 back surgeries since May and he's ready to get back to cycling and the gym. He's feeling very unenergetic, tired and a little down. I think doing this program together will benefit both of us.

If any of you have done this P90X let me know how you like(d) it. I know a few people who are doing it and they LOVE it...they look fabulous too!!!

I just peeked at the schedule and I see I'm supposed to do 7 miles this Saturday, not 8. And 9 miles the 2nd week...and the training pace the first couple weeks for the 4 hour marry is 10:40 to 11:10. I think my pace for the 7 miler last Saturday was 10:15. I'm screwing it up already....LOL

So I'll do 7 again this weekend. =P

Sunday, November 15, 2009

7 miles...Did I, Or Did I Not.......

I did!!!

Saturday morning I woke up with my husband around 7-sh. He was leaving for work and I poked my head out of the covers to kiss him goodbye. It was then that I realized it was freakin cold. It was like 65 degrees or something close to that freezing temp! Living in SW Florida is supposed to guarentee WARMness. But it does get chilly now and then during the winter months. You'd think having lived 36 years in Boston would make me "ok" with 65 degrees, but no. I hated to be cold there, I hate to be cold here.

I put a long sleeved t-shirt on under my 2008 Sarasota Grouper Marathon shirt and hit the street. I was hoping that by wearing this shirt, my body would remember that we've run major distances together in the past and maybe trick it into thinking 7 miles wasn't nuthin but a thang.

I had a bagel with peanut butter, orange juice and of course 2 cups of coffee before this run. Figured I'd be waiting for the sun to warm up before I ventured out anyway. I took some Aleve and some B-12. I wound up waiting until 9am. I had 3 glucose tabs in my zipper pocket, already halved and NOT in any protective cover (such as a baggie) so I could grab them easily while running. I had thought it over long and hard about water/gatorade stops and decided against it. I was only planning on running for 80 minutes or so and it wasn't 95 degrees out. I felt comfortable skipping hydration. I pass stores and a field that has a bubbler too, so opportunity would be there if need be.

I got about 1.5 miles out and was wishing I skipped the t-shirt. By the time I hit 2.5 miles I was pretty hot. I slowed to a fast walk, reached up under my top and ripped my t-shirt right down the middle. then I pulled it out through my sleeves. Right on Sumter Blvd....ha! I felt so much better! It felt as freeing as I imagine the bra burning 60's were for my parents' generation!!!

I was feeling pretty good after that. So good in fact, that when I glanced at Garmie I saw that I was at 4 miles. I meant to turn around at 3.5. I also noted I was out 41 minutes, pleased with that pace!! I turned around and continued on. I did some walking breaks...about 30 seconds maybe 3-4 times. By the time I saw the bridge (my visual that I've got 2 miles left to the end) I was really feeling the muscle fatigue. Disappointed, I peeked at Garmie and was SO SURPRISED to see I was actually at 6.32 miles!! By running half a mile further out, it shaved a whole mile off my brain! WOW! I love these kind of mind games I play with myself.

My hips and behind my knees were pestering me a little but if my calculations were correct, I could run into the middle school at the tennis court gate and finish mile 7 right at the bubbler! I tried to kick it up a notch but I could only hold at 9:45 pace. No worries! I got to the bubbler at 6.93 miles...HAHA!!! I ran past it (looking at it longingly) and kept going until I heard the beep signaling 7 miles. Then I turned around, walked to the bubbler and drank for about 5 full minutes. I had a mile and a half walk home from there. Perfect cool down!!

So I did 7 miles in 71:12. I think that was an average pace of 10:15...I'm am happy with that. This is the longest run I've done in 9-10 months!! It gives me such hope to do a half in March. I promised myself if I could get an 8 miler in by Nov 21st, I'd begin serious training for the Sarasota Half. I have been trying a few things with my diet, B-12 and glucose tabs. The muscle cramping/fatigue is still happening, but I can get through these longer runs now! I also do not run until the twitching/cramping slows to a dull roar. If I need a 2-3 day recovery, so be it. If I need to run 2-3 miles instead of 5-6...fine. I see that I need to be flexable if I want to continue running. We may never find out what the muscle problem is, I don't plan on hanging around, wasting away while we figure it out.

My brother-in-law's injuries are healed and we did an easy 2 mile trial run Friday night. It went very well. He felt that his cardio and endurance had slipped a bit by taking 2 weeks off, but I know he'll get that back very easily. He has plenty of time to catch up and get into training for that half. I was worried he'd stop running since he had to take 2 weeks off so early into starting but he's back! YAY!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Made The 6 Mile Run!

Well HEY!! I set out this morning thinking I'd run for 1 hour or 6 miles, whichever came first. I was feeling the weary fairies by 4 miles, but when I checked my Garmin I saw that if I kept my pace I could have BOTH! I really was surprised since I haven't had any decent mileage since last March. I felt pretty confident I could do the hour but I thought I'd be at about 5.5 miles. I'm happy and hopeful about a certain race that comes through Florida every spring, but I'm not making any promises just yet!

I met a blogger on here, Celmore , who is also back in training mode. He happens to be readying himself for an 8 miler the same weekend I am, ( Nov 21st) so we agreed to kinda cheer each other on. I've been trying to read through his blog to see what he's accomplished and it looks like he's an Ironman! I haven't found that post yet, but as soon as I have a free hour I'll try and check it out! By the way guys...he has some free stuff he's giving away so check out his blog!!!!!

My bro-in-law, Steve, has been running since he quit smoking 3 PACKS A DAY. Yes, 3. Yikes. He was really doing well until he hurt his knee and ankle. I'm not sure what's going on, but he took about 10 days off and is feeling better. He tends to begin a run with a sprint. He ran on his high school track team and he was still in track Only he's 39 now. Last time we ran, I didn't hold him back. I let him just fly. He actually did well with an 8:30 pace for about 2 miles. Then he was done. LOL! I figured he needed to do that to realize why we try to stay at a 9:30 pace during a training run. He got that message!

I'm going to get back into yoga. I went last week and it was soooooo awesome! Unfortunately my husband is late getting home tonight so I had to miss it. Maybe I'll catch tomorrow morning's class before my sweet Grandbaby Collin comes!

Happy running everyone!!!!

Monday, November 9, 2009

I'm Running!

I have been quietly chipping away at some mileage. I've actually accomplished my 5 mile goal! Did that in 48 minutes too. I am pleased, but if I want to run a serious half marathon in March, I need to run 8 miles by Nov 21st. I'm following the "4 Months To A 4 Hour Marathon", only I'm hoping to run the half Sarasota Grouper Marathon in March. I want to try to follow this training guide and see how far into it I can get. If my muscles decide to cooperate I may do the full. Pipedream, I know...but I refuse to give up the full marathon just yet! Anyway...the training for that needs to start Nov 21st and the first run is an 8 miler. I will not pay too close attention to the speed part of this training. I'm going for distance instead. That was just written with a little voice in my head saying "yeah, right"....LOL

Making it to 5 miles was a very joyous moment! I also got a race in...5K...and finished that in 27:26. No PR, but the course was pebblestone, dirt, sand and grass. It eventually became concrete by the last mile, thank heaven. Had I known the touraine was not street/sidewalk I would not have run that one. I'm no good on the uneven routes! Between the neuropathy and the balance issues I like to stay on the flat land. I did get a medal for 2nd place age group so I'm glad I did it.

I still do not have any answers as to what my muscular problem is. Ruling out MS was wonderful. McArdle's Disease has also been ruled out. CPK level was 44. That news was VERY good because now I know I'm not damaging anything by pushing myself. I have no idea what is going on, neither does my doctor. I have a few levels that are very slightly elevated, but nothing enough to indicate any reasons for my issues. My blood pressure has gone from 90/60 all my life, to 135/80. I was concerned about that but the nurse said it's in normal range. I thought that could be why I wake up with a headache/nausea everyday since the spinal tap, but I guess not. The doctor wants to see me in Dec for a follow up. I see no point in that.

I have a few alternative things I may try. In the meantime, I'll just keep going!

So I ran 3 miles this morning in 28:13. The wind was blowing like crazy! In Florida, the wind kinda goes in a circular motion, so you never really run WITH the At one point I was at an 8:40 pace but as I ran into the wind it went to a 9:50! It felt like I was running in place!

My husband is feeling better since his cervical fusion and is going to get back into his cycling. I'm excited for him! He has always been into the gym and healthy living, so this time off has kinda left him feeling bummed. He feels so out of shape and blah, but trust me...he's still looking very good (and he's still a major sexy man!) I think mentally he'll feel better getting back to exercising. No weight training yet though. He's still healing! His doctor said ok to the bike. With all the hours he puts into work and family, he needs his own time. I'll be supporting his way back into healthy living!!!!!!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Thriv Sportswear

About a week or so ago I got an email from Jonathan from Thriv sportswear. He said he saw my blog and wanted to know if I'd try out a shirt. I said I'd be delighted! Not even a week later the shirt has arrived....

Here's the cool thing...UPS had just delivered my New Balance "Susan G. Komen" running shoes...HOT pink!!! I was in my running clothes and new sneaks when a package arrived. I ripped it open and pulled out a white t-back top. It's the shirt shown above, only in white....It is sooooo soft! I was surprised at how cottony it felt, I was expecting that nylon wicking material. It's made from bamboo, organic cotton and elastane. It is the softest material...some of you may know I do machine embroidery/sewing...I know a nice fabric when I feel it. I really like this material.

I need batteries for my camera and then I'll post a pic..... question was this...would something so soft, so lightweight be good for running? A lot of the tops I wear feel heavy. Or they're nylon/polyester and they don't fit me well. Most t-backs do not fit me properly, add the t-back sportsbra and I hate them. Most tops are clingy around my waist and I hate that too.

This top is white and t-back. I put it on and it actually fit! I checked the size and it's a medium...(I usually buy large) Very lightweight and soo soft. It fits me in a flattering, feminine way. I headed out for a 4 miler. As I was walking out, hubby was walking in...he pointed out a chocolate smudge on my shirt. HOW??? I had it on for 15 minutes! I got a cloth with cold water and gently rubbed the spot. It came right out.

Ok, nice material, fits me flatteringly and chocolate washed right out of it. So far so good....

Off I went...I did not feel constricted. Not one seam irritation. It was like a second skin. I could feel a breeze through this shirt. I did not need to re-adjust once. No pulling down, up, or even a strap irritation! It moves with me...I L-O-V-E it!!!

My husband walked the dog while I ran, so I wound up walking about a mile back to the house with him. By the time I was in my driveway, my shirt was DRY. No kidding! I don't think I've ever come out of a run with a dry shirt.

I'm going to wash it and try it out again Thurs morning. The weather here in south Florida has been cooler this week. By tomorrow it'll heat back up and I'll give this shirt a SWEATY run!! I have a feeling it'll be FABULOUS!!!!

Here are the Susan G. Komen running shoes from New Balance. I usually wear Asics but these had a style I couldn't turn down. They fit great and feel wonderful! I'm happy to find two brands that work so well with me! The laces are weird...they're shaped so they don't come untied (I'm assuming)...

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Boca Grande 5K

Yuli, Jane, Debi, Kimmi and Louis at Boca Grande

This is my favorite race! It's run twice a year, in Oct and Feb. I have run it 4 times so far. I got my PR in this race last year. 26:30, after partying until midnight and waking up at 4am!!! I think I may have still been "feelin' good"...LOL

My husband had a cervical fusion (that's neck, not 3 weeks ago. He was still on leave from work and he was able to come to this race. I felt good knowing he'd be at the finish line. He feels fabulous, no pain!!!
It felt a little cooler to me, but Betty (fellow Zoomer) told me she thought it was humid while we were at the starting line. I thought nothing of it until at about 1.5 miles out when I ran into a warm cloud that stayed with me to the end. Betty was was humid. I think I felt the cooler air off the ocean at first. Fooled me for the 1st half of the race!!
I've been running with my brother-in-law Steve and my daughter Kerri the last 2 weeks. Steve quit smoking and wanted to add running to his workouts. Of course he thought of ME and my cool running By his 3rd run he was up to 3 miles without stopping. With a 32 minute finish! Very proud of him. My daughter Kerri has been telling me for 2 years she wants to run but never has. She came home with a new pair of Asics the other day and now she's up to 2 miles! Tomorrow is her first 3 miler and she'll do great! The coolest thing is, both of them LOVE running! One of the greatest things my coach taught me was how to love running. This is something that's so important for me to pass along, so seeing these two running and LOVING it warms my heart.
Debi is training for her first half marathon in Feb! She's going to run with us too, since Steve and Kerri are also training for the half in Feb. Well, they don't know that yet...but they I figure I'll slowly and quietly add on the mileage and see how they feel. Right now 13 miles feels unattainable to them. Seeing how quickly they're adapting to the cardio and distance is telling me they can do it. I'm excited for all 3 of them!!!
So with being in on three people's training runs, turns out I ran 15 miles last week. Haven't done that since before that evil spinal tap. My legs are still spasming, as is my back but I can run through it. I was running through it for over a year anyway...LOL
Back to the Boca race (got off the trail....)
This was the 5k/10k run. 100 people ran the 5k and I think 125 ran the 10K. Not too many runners, maybe because of the heat, economy or a bit of both. I felt good by half a mile. I was happy to be holding a 9 minute pace. I could see Mary up ahead and I kept my eye on her. I didn't see Tina until after the turnaround and was SHOCKED to be ahead of her for once!! That gave me the boost I needed at about 2 miles. It was here that I started to pass some people. It SOOOO pays off to start off a little slow. Once you get warmed up you can kick it up a notch and start passing the peeps who go out too fast. Great for the ego...LOL
I started my sprint at the 3 mile marker, slowly picking up speed. I saw Bobby at the finish line and gave it all I had left. Ed, Joan and a few other friends were there and I could hear them yelling my name. That is such a big help! They know I've been having troubles and how happy I am to be back. I finished at 27:32. One minute slower than my PR! I am happy. Thrilled!!! =)
We went and sat down, waiting for the awards. Those tiny black bugs ate us alive! My legs won't stop itching. Anyway...I made first place in my age division!!!! I love this race!!!!

Monday, August 31, 2009

I Pimped Out My Garmin.

Sigh. Garmie and I connected in a positive, loving way about a year or so ago. We have gotten soooo close through our runs together. Through the heat, rain and insects...through the early morning dawn, thunder storms and spider webs. We've loved each other. So many times it was just us. There were times when he'd just conk out on me right in the middle of a fantastic run. I never got too mad, I'd just replace the batteries lovingly, accepting the tear filled apologies. I'd whisper that the little things were easy to let go since he'd never failed me when I really needed him.

Then last summer my running took a nosedive. Garmie was there. I had to cut so many runs in half. Garmie stayed anyway. I lost sight of my goals but Garmie refused to be put away. The guilt of watching Garmie day after day, not able to track my runs anymore were too much.

Then one morning on a shorty run with Elizabeth, I realized her 3 mile run was closer to 3.5 miles. She had measured her loop by driving it, as we all have done. I looked at Garmie. His face lit up. OH the little timer needed to feel needed again! Who was I to hold him back??? Why cause this kind of pain??? With all the love for my Garmie in my heart, I called out to Elizabeth. I told her Garmie let me know her 3 miler was off a bit. She was surprised, but didn't seem to let it bother her. But Garmie and I knew what this could mean on her 14 miler she had planned for that weekend. It could mean a couple extra miles! NO!!!!!!!!!!!

"Take Garmie on your long run this weekend Elizabeth", I said as I removed him from my wrist.
"No, that's ok...I can recheck the route" she answered.
"Please take him, just while I am off the road for awhile." And I proceeded to show Elizabeth how to work him. The entire time I was giving her the instructions, I knew she'd fall for him, just as I had. They needed each other.

That was about 5-6 weeks ago. Elizabeth keeps offering to give him back but I wasn't ready. I couldn't even get out of bed most mornings, never mind trying to meet his needs. But Elizabeth could. Elizabeth has. Garmie must be loving her. She's doing some major mileage on her training for her first marathon. I think of him often, wondering if I'd know when the time would be right to take him back. Would he send me some kind of message???

Oh yes. Garmie loves me still. Elizabeth had a 16 miler about a week ago. She told me she glanced down to check her pace and saw that Garmie's face was blank. Nothing. No emotion, not even a blink! I know what you're thinking...his battery died. Maybe...maybe NOT. Maybe this is the sign I've been waiting for!!! He's calling me back! He knows I've had a couple decent short runs and he wants me back!!!!

The time is right. We will be reunited by this weekend. I know Elizabeth will understand. I plan to let them be friends. There will be times when they'll need each other and I will gladly give them visitations. I'm glad Elizabeth was there to help garmie get through my time off, but when all is said and done, Garmie and I belong together. And together we will be!!!!!

PS. How long before I can erase all their run history from the memory?????....LOL

Posting While Sweating....

That's what I'm doing...sweating!! Made it out for a shorty this morning. There's a 5K this Saturday and I REALLY want to run it. Problem is, my pride is insisting I come in under 30 minutes but my brain keeps reminding me it might be closer to a 33 minute finish. Eh, could be worse I suppose. Take my first race for instance... No really...take it! Ha!! Just's mine and I love it.

My first race was a 4 miler called The Scholarship Run. I had been running for 6 weeks and my coach thought it was time for a race. What I didn't know then was this race was the door to the competitive athlete inside me. Only I wasn't thinking that whilst runnin' it. Noooooo...the thoughts I was thinkin' were closer to..."OMG...what the heck am I doing here??" and..."How can I call a taxi to get me to the finish line??"

But then something funny happened when I saw the finish line up ahead. I felt a chill, I was sweating profusely, my heart was racing....yes! I was dehydrated. HAha...just kidding....I felt the first fluttering of the thrill of the finish line. Then I got 2nd place in my age group. I LOVE that medal still. But most important was the sense of accomplishment that day. I'll never get sick of it.

I write about that race because it popped into my head during my 30 minute, 2.5 mile run this morning. I was starting to feel a little disappointed because I can feel how much I've lost from having to take so much time off. I am very impatient by nature so even though I KNOW I need to build it all back up, I WANT TO PICK RIGHT UP WHERE I LEFT OFF 2 MONTHS AGO. But I was feeling just as I did during that Scholarship Run 2 years ago. Tired, achy and my cardio felt awful. I was thinking it was going to take me forever to get it all back (if it can be done). But here's the thing: I ran and FINISHED an entire marathon after only running for 4 months. I did that. Me. From zero to 26.2 in 4 months. Can you feel my pride??? Can ya now?? How bout now??? Righttttttt NOW??

Anyway...I reminded myself this one important fact: I am a runner. Even if I've had to take time off. Even with having to drop some exercise classes. Even though I feel like I'm starting ALL OVER. I AM A RUNNER. Sometimes we runners have some hills to get over. I've read about it, talked about it, listened to other runners talk about it and have had to get over a few of them myself. It can be done. We, as runners, have a little something called thick skulls (JK) We have persistence. Goals. Calf muscles!!!!!!!! So I am trying to be ok with starting all over. I also understand there will be more times when I'll have to take time off again. Ok. I can do it.

Some people call them mountains.
We call them speed bumps, don't we????

Saturday, August 22, 2009

More Cool News!!

Sherry...I will take you up on that fun run VERY soon sister!! Remember my "Smell The Flowers" blog post?? We're gonna smell us some flowers!!! YAY!

I'll see my regular doc Monday...I trust him to point me in the right direction on this. I will definately try a major diet change though. Not until Monday, BUSCH GARDENS tomorrow!!!!

Here's the exciting news:

Last week a group of coaches came into the restaurant I work at. They told me they have a football team that was looking for a running coach to help build their endurance and speed on the field. Would I be interested! I had to tell them I haven't even been running 2 years yet and I'm having some medical issues. I have no certificates or even classes. They asked me a few questions and said they'd really like me to consider this. I was so flattered!!! (still am!!)

They asked me to stop at the field this morning to meet the team. I was expecting 12-14 year olds but this team is all men! Turns out the team is one step away from being PRO! WOW!!! Everyone was very nice, I decided I'm going to do it! It starts in 2 weeks and I will have some plans all printed out for them! I can't wait!!

This opportunity is just what I needed. It won't require me to run on sprint/dashes...I'll be timing them for that. The longest run we'd probably do is 3-5 miles. Even on a bad day I can be there for that!!! Did I mention I love football?? I'm a die hard Patriots fan! This is gonna be FABULOUS!!!!!!!!!!!!

My sweet little punkin was here tonight. Kirstin and Chris went out for dinner and I got to babysit Collin! He just LOVES his Gramma. We already have a very strong bond, Collin and I. Kirstin was a little emotional the other day...when I picked up the baby he smiled the biggest smile ever! Kirstin said he doesn't smile like that for her. She asked if it meant he loves me more. Oh Kirsty...OF COURSE HE DOES! I'm his Gramma! LOL He's 6 weeks old already. It's going so fast!

Have a wonderful weekend!!!

Friday, August 21, 2009

I Have Some News!

First of all...thank you so much for your kind comments and emails! The support that comes from all of you helps more than I can put into words! Thank you, thank you!! xoxoxoxoxoxo

Ok...Dr K from Tampa called me yesterday to let me know I DO NOT HAVE MS! Oh happiness!!! My EEG stuff all looked great, so the Lyrica is doing it's job. The last 5-6 weeks of headaches/vomiting etc was from the spinal tap. Dr K said that headachy people do not do well with spinal taps. I coulda used that little gem of information, I'll tell ya. I honestly thought I was dying. Even had my funeral music picked out on a playlist in iTunes. No kidding. Ok, I'm kidding. I'm not that gruesome. Hardly.

The MRI showed a past bleed or enlarged artery deep inside my brain. Doc says it's old and healed and there's really no way to tell when it happened or if it's the cause of my seizures. He said he's pretty sure it shouldn't be a problem for the future but it's something to remember if I ever get a blinding headache. Ok...noted!!!

So what's the problem with my muscles??? He's not sure as he's an MS expert, but he did say it could be metabolic. He mentioned I probably won't be running any more marathons. Oh...yes...he...did..say...that!!!! He doesn't know me too well, now does he??? I actually laughed on the phone when he said that! He laughed and said ok, but he didn't reccommend me doing a tri because of the swimming. Which at first I didn't let register, but my husband says he probably thought it wouldn't be good if I was out doing a 2 mile swim and my muscles decided to quit on me. Being out swimming wouldn't be an ideal place for THAT to happen. As I've never had the urge to be shark bait, I won't worry about that.

Me being me and having major access to Google...I perused the buffet of medical problems and found something I could use. (LOL) There's a metabolic "thing" called "McArdle's Disease" that fits my pain-in-the-ass (and legs) symptoms. While I am not convinced of anything until I see my Doc next week, I was surprised to see one thing that really stood out: "What Do Marathon Runners And McArdle's Disease Have In Common?" Turns out that they both have trouble with the glycogen "hitting the wall" thing. Which is how I feel after running a shorty these days! I went ahead and emailed Doc K in Tampa with my slueth-like findings. I will have an answer to this!!!

So anyway...I got the go ahead to start my training back up. I am going to go slow. I want to try a few things that I read about with the glycogen replenish stuff. Elizabeth (LIZ as I fondly call her) has been getting into this subject and I will be gathering info from her. She has her wee little 16 miler planned this weekend. I figure 16 miles might be a tad too much for me right now, so I'm going to meet her there around 8am on my bike and then run the last couple miles with her.

Let the games (re) begin!!!!!

Hugs to all!!!!!!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Time To Take A Break

The last few months have been difficult, I'll admit that. I've tried to keep up with my exercise classes and running but I acknowledge the time has come to take a break. This has NOT been an easy decision to get to but I see that my running has totally taken a dive. It's hard to keep a running blog when ya can't even run. =/

Last week I planned to run a 5k race. I knew it would be a toughie but I wanted to see my friends. This was their chance to really kick my butt (ok, they always kick my butt anyway). The alarm went off, my head was pounding as usual. Laid back down 3 times after the snooze kept going off. The nausea taunted me, I knew I couldn't go. My husband knew I wasn't feeling well if I was skipping a race and he pulled me close, telling me everything would be fine. We don't get too many cuddly mornings, so I nestled in and went back to sleep.

I woke up about 8:30 and decided I'd meet up with Elizabeth for the last couple miles of her 14 miler. By the time I actually found her, she only had about a quarter mile to go. I hopped out of my car thinking a quarter mile would be easy. Wrong. I could not believe how I was feeling. I knew then I probably needed a break, but I pushed the thought from my mind.

Elizabeth did her 14 miles in 2:22! She averaged a pace of 10 minutes and she looked FABULOUS when she was done. We went back to her house to get her dogs and went for a walk as her cool down. I feel so proud of her, training like she is. But I feel sad sometimes because not long ago I could've kept up with her. I've been telling myself I would catch up and run the marathon in December with her, but I know I can't. Just typing those words bring a lot of emotion.

Anyway, by Sunday I was still nauseous, headachey etc. Usually by noon or 2pm I'm feeling much better, but this time it was hanging on. Monday was worse. I couldn't even eat. By Tuesday I couldn't even stand. It was a vicious circle...headache/nausea kept me from eating and drinking and being dehydrated made it all worse. I called my doc, he was concerned the spinal tap last month had something to do with it and told me to go back to Tampa. My husband agreed but I just didn't want to go!

By 9pm I decided to go. It was ugly, I won't go into all of that but I will say this: IV meds are soooooo good! The doc gave me some dilotted (? spell) Ohhhhhh....I loved it. They wanted to do another spinal tap but didn't because if my last one was part of the problem, it wouldn't be wise to do another. As if I'd have let them. I have many tests pending, answers should be coming in soon anyway. Some tests say MS, some do not. The Tampa doc wants all test results before he makes any diagnosis, so he has not told me a thing. I'm still hoping for a vitamin deficiency (HA)

This has all been going on for a year. I could run through muscle pain and cramps. I could run through twitches and muscle weakness. I could get back up when I fell. I honestly tried to keep going, but I can't run through fatigue and nausea. The headaches are worse in the morning/early afternoon, so I was hopeful about running in the evening. It's hard to run with a headache though. The meds I take for that leave me kinda..."high". I'd probably fall and break a leg if I tried to The headaches aren't really going away anymore either. I'm curious to know if I'm having seizures during the night???

All of this means it's break time. I told my husband I feel like I'm giving up! Bobby says it's not giving up, it's focusing on my health instead. He's right. He says I'll get it all back. I'm going to hold him to that! So for now I'll go cheer on my friends at the races. I'll be supportive of my friend Elizabeth, who I KNOW will R-O-C-K that marathon in December!! I'll come in here and read all your blogs. I realized I'd been avoiding your blogs. As much as I love reading them and cheering all of you on during your trainings, it was making me sad. I selfishly avoided reading them and I'm sorry.

I'll be around so keep up with all those training runs!!! I really do care!!! I am on FaceBook and I'd love to be connected to you all. Just search Kim Cusick. Let me know your blog name though, because I don't add people I don't know.

Steve, as much as I REALLY REALLY wanted to run that half up in Boston in Oct with you, I'm going to have to skip it this time. But stay tuned, I will be back! Let me know if you're still running it. I'm hoping to be up there in Oct for my 25th high school reunion, so I can cheer you through the finish line if you run it!!!!!!

They took the couch out of my exercise classes! I used to go in and lay on the couch while everyone exercised. That way I was still maintaining my "being there" even when I wasn't actually doing anything. Lately I've been laying on a yoga mat and doing most of the exercises. I'll probably still do that. The group doesn't seem to

Ok, keep running. Keep blogging, I'll be reading them! Stay in touch because I WILL be back.


Thursday, August 6, 2009

Evening Runs Are Awesome!!

I ran with my girlie Elizabeth last night. It was still light out, as I figured, but it still had an early evening feel to it. We ran from Elizabeth's house, which is a little like farm country. The houses are farther apart and set back from the road, making the route very peaceful and serene. Some families do have horses so I could smell them. Call me a weirdo, but I actually love that It reminds me of the summers when I used to stay with my Aunt Rozanne in New Hampshire.

I went every summer from age 5 to about 11 or so. She had a farm with goats, chickens, cows, dogs, cats and even bees! And of course, she had a horse named Firefly. A great big Morgan. I'd give anything to lay in that pasture again. Picking raspberries and strawberries. Listening to nature. It was pretty cool to leave the city every summer and spend that time with my Aunt. She passed away from cancer in 1987. I still think of her all the time, and miss her.


So Elizabeth....she doesn't like to be called Liz, Lizzy or Beth. I save those names for when she runs ahead of me, only she can't hear me cuz I'm too far behind. Clever, I know. Anyway, Elizabeth and I headed out. Even talking, we were running at a 9 minute pace. She has MUCHO endurance because she'd been training for a half marathon recently. She wound up with the flu and missed it so she changed her plan to do a full in December. I kept up until we hit 2 miles. Then I had to walk. In fact, I had to walk 4 more times in the next 2 miles. I was soooo frustrated! Elizabeth ran up ahead and turned back a few times to let me wallow in my misery alone. I didn't wallow for long. I ran when I could, walked when I couldn't. I'll get it back.

After the run we talked outside until the mosquitos came. They're as big as dragonflies! I thought I got eaten alive but I don't itch at all today. Probably a good thing because we'd still be out there talking!

I went to my exercise classes this morning but left early. I had (have still) a wicked headache. I'm waiting for the drugs to kick in right now. I have to work tonight.

Saturday's plan is a 5K "Run 4 Reason" in Punta Gorda. Steph is running it with me. Elizabeth has her little 14 miler that day so she's skipping the race. Whatever Lizzy. Fine with me Beth. Have fun with that Liz. HA!! Just kiddin'. I'm so jealous. I would love to run 14 miles with her! I need to find out if Maria is racing....she works most weekends. Maria runs a 19-20 minute 5k. So it's not like we'd see her anyway....LOL

Ok, off to do some laundry before work.
Happy running!!!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

I'm Still Kinda Running!

I am averaging one run a week! ARG!! That spinal tap was pretty awful. My back still hurts. I very gently got back into yoga, spin, pilates and on the ball classes. While I am usually known for being happy and positive, I'll admit I've had a few downer moments. Testing is still underway and I go to Tampa once a week for various tortures/tests. The doctor said he won't give me any results to anything until all the tests are finished and he puts it all together.

I did find out from my regular doctor that they're fairly certain it isn't MS. When I asked him what they're thinking he explained it wasn't for him to determine because technically I'm under Tampa's doctor's care. I stared deeply into his eyes trying to read his mind, but he had that physician's wall up. Well fine. See if I care. I don't wanna know anyway.

I ran last Saturday with my girlies, Steph and Elizabeth. I did a 4 miler. They ran on ahead and got lost (HA...that's what they get for deserting They wound up doing 10 miles! They also found one of our other girlies...Maria along the way. I felt so sluggish for that 4 miles, I was afraid to look at my Garmin, but I actually did 4 miles in 41 minutes. That's fine for a training run. With all that's going on these days I'll take it.

I'm going to meet Elizabeth tonight for an evening run! I haven't run at night! Ever!! We're doing 4 miles. Steph can't make it and Maria works nights so it's just us. I guess I should remember it's still broad daylight until 8:30pm, so it won't really be night. It'll still feel weird though...

I'll be back later to blog about my late-in-the-day run!

Grandson news: My little Collin is still absolutely precious! He now weighs 8 lbs 7 oz, 20.5 inches long! He just LOVES his Gramma!!! Poor little guy got his circumcision last week. My daughter cried more than he did! It's all healed up nicely and mommy and baby are fine. Collin will be 1 month old this weekend. We're making cupcakes to celebrate!!!!!!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Misc Updates...

I haven't been out running for almost 2 weeks. Blah. The first three days of neglect were fine because my grandson, Collin was born and he's worth missing some exercise. The other 7 days were not spent in a fun way.

Had a spinal tap gone wrong. That put me in bed for 5 days before I decided the doctor was correct in his assumption that I had a spinal leak and needed to go back to the hospital. After 15 hours in the emergency room, they patched the leak. Let's just say that wasn't a good time. Let's also just say I will never have another spinal tap fer nuthin'.

Today I left my house at 6am for 2 appointments up in Tampa (1.5 hours away) Got there, got lost IN THE HOSPITAL, cried to some unknown woman who was sweet enough to walk me to where I was supposed to be. (1.5 hours LATE). My tears must have scared the women at the desk because they got me in to see the doc anyway. It pays to be overwhelmed.

After that test I had to drive to a different area for the MRI series. Should have been 20 minutes. Took me over an hour. BUT...I made it there 20 minutes early! I hate driving in strange cities! Spent a relaxing 2 hours in the MRI machine. Ooohhh...good times. Even had headphones with music. Too bad the bangs from the machine drowned the ability to hear those songs. I think I fell asleep in there. In the end, I found my way home just fine, even if it did take 2 hours to get home. With no traffic. I found peace, solace if you will, in that car ride home. Just me 'n the tunes.

Doc says no strenuous activities until Wednesday. I might hit yoga tomorrow night. I also might try one other strenuous activity this evening...teehee! =)

Anyway...this could be MS or some other kind of central nervous system disorder. Maybe even an auto-immune disease. I vote for a vitamin deficiency! Sounds way easier to fix if you ask me. No matter what, I plan on continuing with my life just the way it is, only with drugs and alcohol if need be. Just kiddin....mebbeeee. I have a stash of stuff in my drawer for "just-in-case". Kiddin.

I was laying in bed last night thinking about "what on my body does not hurt"...I know, I know...seems like an odd thing to think about. But that's ME...looking for a positive. Guess what doesn't hurt. AT ALL. EVER. My glutes. It's true. I don't have a pain in the ass. Isn't that nice? Speaking of asses....I decided I want a heart shaped ass. Upside down heart shaped. Wouldn't that be cute? Not that you'd ever know. I'd never show anyone. Well...maybe I would if it was that cute, I dunno.

I have a 6 mile run planned for Wednesday morning with Elizabeth. I'm really excited about hooking up with her because we're the same age, same pace and we're both WOMEN!'s true! Only she has more endurance than me right now. That's a good thing as it will keep me on my competitive toes! Elizabeth has a full marathon planned for December. Her first one! I really want to run that one with her. I'd kill to finish in 4:20...LOL...what??? I can dream, can't I?????

Thursday, July 16, 2009

There's A new Man In My Life....

Last November, my daughter Kirstin introduced me to a young man (very young may I add). I'll admit that I was not too impressed. I was surprised and not just a little scared. I didn't feel a huge connection. At first. But then I met him again just a few weeks later.

I felt a bit excited this time. My heart was racing and I felt it do a little jump. This young man was excited to meet me again too. I could hear his heartbeat. It was strong and loud. It sounded like a horse galloping! I looked at my daughter as we both listened to this wonderful sound and we smiled at each other. Both of us loved him at that precise moment. Instantly and unconditionally in love.

As the months went on, each time we got together, I could feel our bond deepening. I'd tell him how much I loved him. I could almost hear him answer me back.

In January I saw him for the first time...on screen. His little spine was perfect, his legs looked long and strong like a runner. He turned his head toward us and raised an arm as if to say "hello!" Kirstin and I cried with happiness to have this sneak peak at him. The image is forever in our minds. (and on youtube under kimmycu search) =)

I got to see him many times as the months came and went. What an active little guy! Every time he came by, I'd tell him I loved him.

Then last Friday morning I got a phone call from my daughter, Kirstin. She told me it was time to meet this little man in person! I woke my other daughter Kerri and we met Kirstin and Chris at the hospital. (we actually beat them there) We went to a special room and helped get Kirstin comfortable. She was so strong and brave! She breathed through some pretty intense pains until she had an epidural to give her a chance to rest.

About 9 hours later, it was time. With Chris, Kerri and I supporting Kirstin, this new life emerged right before our eyes. What a miracle! "Hello Collin Mitchell!" "I love you!!!!" He answered back with a tiny yelp and it was music to our ears! Chris was pretty overwhelmed and asked Kerri to cut the cord. She did and Collin was placed in Kirstin's arms. There was not a dry eye in the room.

Collin weighed 6 lbs 5 oz and is 18.5 in long. His hair is jet black, his eyes are dark. His feet are long and skinny! He is perfect. His cry is sweet music. His little noises are soothing. His scent would bring in millions if it could be bottled. He is wonderful. He is pure. He is my grandson.

Kirstin brought him over to my house today. As we looked at his precious little face, she asked Collin where he's been all her life. She said she feels complete. I told her now she knows how much I love HER. We cried a little, happy tears full of love. For Collin and for each other.

Daddy, Mommy and Collin

Gramma and Collin
Emily, Grampa and Collin

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Firecracker 5K Race Report

I was sweating by 6:15am. It was THAT hot 'n humid today. I was on this race committee and had registration duty which is the only reason I was there so early. Cindy was there with her 3 month old daughter, Emily Grace so what I REALLY did was hold the baby until she fell asleep, then I handed out t-shirts. Ha!! Grandma practice!!!

Kim and Kayla at the Firecracker 5K!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Kayla came in with her husband Josh around 7am and I could tell she was a little nervous/excited. We wore gray tops and black shorts so we could match (it's a girl thing). Deb showed up soaked and out of breath. Seems she decided to "warm up" with a 6 mile bike ride to the race. Gotta love Deb....LOL...and I do!!! Steph and Elizabeth came soon after. All of us were excited for Kayla's 1st race!

We were NOT excited about the heat and humidity. We usually run at 6:30am and yeah, it's still hot but even an hour later it gets BRUTAL. I could only hope some people had their sprinklers on to run through!

One really cool thing that happened...when the national anthem was being sung, someone from the front started singing along. One by one everyone joined in. It was such a touching moment. It gave us pause to think about our men and women over in Iraq. Hopefully they stay safe and come home to their families soon.

The horn went off and away we went. Starting off already hot and sweaty was making us feel like it might be a tough run. It was. We did the "hop-around-the-kids" dance and got through that without a fall. I love seeing the kids there but they tend to run in a zig-zag pattern...haha! We made it to the first mile in 9:15, very nice. I looked over at Kayla and she was going strong! We got to the half way turning point where our friend Ed was monitoring and he gave us the lucky high 5. We made the turn in just over 14 minutes. I was PUMPED! Kayla's goal was to come in under 30 minutes and I sooo wanted to see her make that time.

By the time we got to the 2 mile marker the sun was just beating down on us. Sweat was pouring off all of us. We slowed a bit about here. Kayla wanted to go without a walk break but with the elements being what they were I pulled a coach card and called a 20 second walk. I pointed out that the crowd wasn't really getting very far ahead of us. Everyone was slowing down.

After a quick (silent) evaluation of any health issues (like heat exhaustion) we started back up. We caught up to the crowd we were basically with when we took the shorty walk break. When we saw the 3 mile marker we kicked it up a notch. It looked like a close one to come in under 30 minutes. When we saw the finish line we booked it in to the sounds of Michelle (Kayla's sister) and Josh screaming for Kayla!!!! It was so exciting!!! We made it in in 30:02! Soaked with sweat and looking for water.

I was worried Kayla would be disappointed we missed it by 3 seconds but she was thrilled! I reminded her we actually took at least 7 seconds to get to the starting line, so in REALITY we did finish in 29:54. Josh and Steph agreed. These are the times I wish we had chips. Anyway, Kayla wanted to take off before the parade got started but I talked her into waiting for awards. What she didn't know was I have CONNECTIONS and found out she PLACED IN HER AGE GROUP and had a medal coming to her! And the really cool thing friend Kimmi and I were the award announcers and I was going to be able to call her name! OMG...can I even get my feelings across in this blog???? No, I cannot.

At the women's age 25-29...2nd place in her age group...KAYLA!!! I had tears, I swear! My voice even cracked a little. I am so very HAPPY!!! After all the awards went out I ran over for big sweaty hugs!! She is so thrilled! Kayla had a surprise for me! She gave me a gift certificate for a massage!!! How sweet is that?!? I am looking forward to that, I'll tell ya!

Today was a satisfying finish to a wonderful training with Kayla. We trained hard together, running at the crack of dawn. In the rain. In the heat. Even swimming through the humidity. We had fun, we ached and sweated, we planned for this day with excitement. Our friendship built strong and quickly over such a short period of time. Kayla leaves for Japan next week and I will miss her terribly. She is sweet, fun, intelligent and so full of life! I predict many more medals coming her way. I am genuinely blessed to have her for a friend.

Friday, July 3, 2009

I Think I'm Back Now...

It's been a very busy few months here in my world. My husband had his lumbar fusion. He was home for 6 weeks and just went back to work! He's feeling great and has no pain after 25 years of back problems. Very happy about that!

My daughter, Kirstin is having a baby!! Very soon, in fact. She saw the doc last Tuesday and she's 2 centimeters! (I cried) I can't believe we're going to be grandparents!!! His name is Collin Mitchell and I love him already.

I cut down on my work hours to spend the summer with my 2 youngest kids. They usually go to day camp for the summers but I see them growing up so fast that we decided to take this summer to spend together. It's not as fun/easy as I thought it would be (LOL) but I'm still happy to be able to spend this time with them.

I am still having problems with my legs etc. I'm about to begin a gluten-free diet. I also have 2 days worth of testing up in Tampa coming up which includes the dreaded spinal tap. I hope to have some concrete answers some time in this century.

I have been running with my friend Kayla 3 times a week, legs permitting. She has been a God-send because she keeps me going. Kayla leaves for Japan with her Marine husband next week and I will miss her so much!

We've been training for Kayla's very first 5K race! How exciting is THAT?? She had a goal of completing it in under 30 minutes and guess what? We ran a test 5k at race pace and she came in at 29:25!!!! I'm sooo proud of her!!! I honestly believe she will finish in 27:30. We do long runs every Saturday and have gotten up to 5 miles. I think Kayla is going to be a distance runner. She has all the signs and symptoms of loving the distance Before she leaves on Friday we plan to get a 10K run in. Maybe a little farther, we'll see. Kayla hopes to find some runner friends on base. I know she will, she's a sweetie!!!

We ran an easy 4 miles yesterday. Kayla doesn't usually talk when we run but this time we chatted the entire time. We finished the 4 miles without stopping and we both felt like we could have gone on forever. Proof this girl is a distance chick! She's fired up!!!!!! Mee toooo!!!!!!!

Tomorrow is "race day"...4th Of July 5K. I can't wait to see how Kayla feels about racing. I'm betting she's gonna LOVE it!!! I am also looking forward to seeing my fellow Zoomers Running Group. in case you're curious! I haven't seen some of them in a while.

I will be posting a race report tomorrow night. Hopefully I'll have some pictures too!!
I miss my blogging friends! Hopefully I still have some! =)


Thursday, June 4, 2009

Summer Running In Florida

I cannot believe it's been a month since I've posted! My husband had his successful lumbar fusion May 5th and we've been soooo enjoying our time together. Until now. The kids are out of school for the summer. We are not alone anymore. We have to share each other with the kidlings. Sigh. It was nice while it lasted. Bobby goes back to work a week from Saturday. We are staying on Siesta Key Beach for a few days as our last hurrah! Kids included.

Now for my running news. I am slowly getting back into it. I work with a young lady named Kayla who is a runner! YAY! She mentioned that she hadn't run in a longggg time and wanted to do the Firecracker 5K. I just so happen to be on the committee for that race and I was thrilled to hear her interest. YAHOO!! I also have been in the market for a new runner friend since Reg went back to Canada (I have a little story about him...later)

Kayla and I have worked out a schedule where we can run together 3 times a week. She told me she was slow and hadn't run in quite some time. PPPFFFFTTT!!! Our first run together showed me a little of what this chick is made of! She can run!! I can see she is a natural runner. Her breathing, rhythm and posture are very good. She has such a quiet landing I can barely hear her. I am thrilled she is not in my age group. What??? I am Kayla is only in Florida until the end of July. Then she goes off to Japan with her Marine husband. I won't think about that until the time comes! =(

This Saturday I'll run my 1st 5K race since Easter. Last year we had a young mother from our town get kidnapped, raped and murdered. The story is horrendous. Her husband has completely absorbed himself in keeping her memory alive for their two young boys. This race is for her, Denise Amber Lee.

Kayla is contemplating running this 5K and I hope she does. It'll give her a PR for the 5K in July. She's a little nervous and not sure she's ready, but I know she is. I'm so excited for her!

Medically, things have been really good. The meds the doc gave me are helping immensely. If things continue this way, I'll have new goals!!

Speaking of new goals...remember my Canadian friend, Reg? He jokes that every time I ask him a question about things he's done and he says he hasn't done them, he winds up doing them.

For instance,
I asked if he'd done a half marathon. He said no. Now he has.
Ever fall while running? Never. He fell during the half marathon.
Like to race? No, not competitive. Now he's thinking about speed.
Seen a snake yet? Nope (thanked God under his breath) Found a snake in the house he was renting!

Reg told me not to ask him anymore questions. They're like little omens I guess. So last week, I sent him an email. All I said was: Have you ever run a full marathon? He answered with one sentence: No, I have not run a full marathon.

TeeHee. I just sent him a book. I can't wait for him to get it! It's called "4 Months To A 4 Hour Marathon". Haha!! I'm taking a chance writing it in here, but I can't hold it in any longer! He'll be back in November, which is 4 months to the Sarasota Grouper Marathon. Perfect huh? I think so too. I wonder what Reg will

Monday, May 4, 2009

Busy Week Ahead

Crazy-busy week...Bobby goes in for his surgery at 6am tomorrow. It should take 4-6 hours. He's ready! I told him I'd be the best nurse he ever had because I learned a few good tips from "Misery". I think that'll keep him from getting too

I saw the doctor Friday. He told me my MRI scans look awesome, so I might not have MS! He said the MS Specialists will know what to look for, as there are many diseases of the central nervous system. A lot of them have the same symptoms which makes it complicated to diagnose. Right now I feel awesome so I won't worry about it too much. The meds the doctor put me on help the neuropathy in my feet/legs immensely. I hope to be back to running soon. Right now my #1 priority is Bobby.

I am going to go update myself on my blogger friends right now. I feel so out of the loop!!!!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Feelin' Groovy

Thanks for all the kind comments on my current donut fixation! They are delish, eh???

I am having a glorious week! I feel good and even got in a fab yoga workout with my peeps at the YMCA! It was good to see everyone and get back in the swing.

I ran 1.5 miles right after that class and felt pretty darn wonderful!!! I haven't had a chance to get in any more running this week between my doctor visits and helping my husband get ready for his SPINAL FUSION this coming Tuesday. That's right, surgery for a man who hasn't missed a day of work in about 14 years. And that was one day where he was deathly ill. Still only missed one day, the maniac.

He'll be home with me for 6 weeks. He will be going ape shit within week #2, I just know it. I'm starting the "honey-do" list tonight. All joking aside, he's very healthy and he's soooo ready to have his surgery behind him. I'll just be here to keep him comfy and happy.

Gotta are coming!!!!!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Still On Break

I haven't been able to run since Easter.
I just ate 3 donuts.
That's all I have for today.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Getting My Groove Back

The past week has been busy. Not much running, but I did get a 5K in the day before Easter. It was the "Eggs and Ears" 5K in Fort Myers. I was not feeling well, a little nauseous and had a headache. I think I've had a headache for about 8-10 weeks now. My left eye hurts too but what can ya do????

My friend Josephine has a pulled hamstring but she wanted to run this race. She usually gets the Senior Grand Master Award with an average time of 25 minutes so I've NEVER beat her. I'm usually thrilled to have her in my sights at these races!! We both decided to be happy if we made it across the finish line under 30 minutes.

My iPod really helps me do a little meditating thing when I run. I can almost leave my body, no kidding. I had my Garmin on and I checked it periodically and saw I was hanging in at a 9:45 pace. Fine with that! BUT WAIT!!!! As we made the turn at the halfway point, I saw a woman jump the median! I never saw a cheater before! I got all fired up and actually passed her. I got a good look at her and was prepared to tattle if she attempted to accept an award. Which she didn't, lucky for her.

At about this point I caught up with Josephine. She was struggling and in pain. I was holding my steady pace, about 9:10 by then. I thought I could pass her but it felt so wrong! I knew if I did, I'd only be doing it because she is injured. Seemed unfair. Seemed like a golden opportunity too...LOL. Josephine knows I love her and I figured she wouldn't mind me beating her JUST THIS ONCE. So when I saw the 3 mile marker I kicked it up like I always do at that point. I did beat her, but it will be the last time. After the race we laughed, I love her!

After I got through the finish line I went and sat between 2 cars in the parking lot for about 15 minutes in case I puked. I felt awful, but I ran it. 28:34, 30 seconds ahead of I never did get sick but I'm still nauseous today, 4 days later. UGH.

I actually placed 3rd in my age group! What a surprise. All in all, it was a great day. The medal is on a pink ribbon, my favorite color.

Reg left Monday morning for Canada. We had a great Easter dinner with Reg and his Mom. It was a perfect way to send them off. Reg called this morning to let me know he made it home in one piece. I miss him already! He was my motivator and support system. Now what am I gonna do???????

My last MRI came back fine! YAY for that! I asked my doctor if that meant I didn't need to see the MS Specialist and he said I still need to go. I looked up "normal MRI with MS" and I guess that doesn't rule it out, it only helps for a quicker diagnosis. Spinal tap it is, folks. Fun stuff. From what I understand, you need to lie flat for 24 hours after a spinal tap. Sounds like a little "ME" The "happy medicine" is wonderful. I can deal with this so much better.

Thank you once again for the kind emails and comments. It really makes me feel better!!!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Back To Running

First, thank you all for the tremendous caring and support you've given. It means the world to me. My family and friends, at home and here in blogland, you've helped me get my determination back. Thank you, thank you!

I ran today for the first time in 16 days! It's good to get that over with. Now I can stop worrying if it'll ever happen. I barely had any pain, which is nice. The weird thing was that I kept losing track of my feet/legs. It felt like they were not in sync with the rest of me. I finally did a 30 second walk to get my groove back but I think I'm running like I dance. A little

I did 3.1 in 30:31. No PR, but I will not be complaining today. I saw the doc Monday and he gave me a little something to help me "cope". And it's working BABAYYYYY! I was on the verge of freaking out. Ok, I was deeply into freaking out. Neck deep. It was a mistake to Google "MS". I promised myself not to do that anymore until I have a concrete diagnosis. Or until I think of something I need to check out about it. Which reminds me..............................just kidding!

I go for another MRI in the morning. My husband hates those. I think of them as a little vacation. Doesn't bother me at all.

Easter is Sunday. It's also my 13th wedding anniversary! We're having 14 people over. Reg is coming too! Reg leaves for Canada Monday. I thought it would be a great day for them to come hang out and have a nice visit before they leave. I am going to miss him. Reg and I have become very good friends. He'll be back in November and I'll be waiting with my Asics on!!!!!

Happy Easter everyone!!!!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

April 2, 2009

I haven't posted in a while because I have a few issues that I was (am) not sure anyone would want to read about in a running blog. I think I'm at the point where I am ready to put it out there because I am becoming too sad to hold it all in anymore. I find myself getting very, very angry when the sadness kicks in. I decided that if something this serious was happening to any of you out there, I would want to know. Of course I would want to know. I have posted about some of it, not realizing it was all connected so you may know more than I realize. (Or even remember talking about)

I have friends here (in real life!) who know some of what's going on. I haven't poured it all out since I have not been diagnosed yet. I try to explain why I've been missing my beloved yoga class but the sadness and fear of the words keep me from saying too much. Mary Anne, a friend from yoga, asked me yesterday, point blank why I'm not posting. I told her there is a possibility that I could have MS. After the class I really thought about Mary Anne.

Mary Anne, thank you for caring. I know I haven't seen you too much these days, but I'll miss you when you go back to Michigan.

Last June, during the Endurance Project training runs, I had some serious bladder control issues. Sometimes I would lose total control, most times I could stop it when I realized it was happening and there are times when I feel like I need to go SO BAD and nothing happens at all. That has not gone away. Gyno says it's a keigal issue even though I had complete control during the test. So no changes there.

Same time, I noticed my eyesight had changed overnight. I went from perfect vision to everything being blurry. It kinda came and went over the next few months. I ignored it for the most part, I am a very busy woman ya know! Anyway, by March my husband had been listening to me complain enough to tell me to see a doctor. I went last week or so. My vision is worse in one eye. The letters were moving even though the page was taped to the wall. I could not focus, but the doc said all I need is reading glasses. (I got pink ones with little hearts on cute) Then he dialated my eyes and found glaucoma with 60% cupping. One eye worse than the other. I asked if that's why my eyes hurt. He said no. Glaucoma causes blindness WITH NO SYMPTOMS!!! I urge everyone to go for an eye exam. It's common and can be treated!!!! I have an appointment with an opthamologist Friday morning for the full exam. I will not go blind.

Also in June during training, my quads were feeling very fatigued. After 2 miles, I could barely run. My feet were (are) numb and tingly, shooting pains go from toes to knees. I was in training for that FCA Half marathon and refused to give in to these things. I missed a couple races. We did a trail run that I found to be very painful and also noticed during that trail run that I couldn't feel my foot placement. The pull back on my right leg started becoming weak by then and is still a major problem. I started needing recovery time from a mere 4 mile run. I figured I was over training. I basically ignored it.

I started falling. I even cut my toe pretty bad and never felt it. This is what made me call my doctor in February. (prompt attention, I know) I had been feeling dizzy, disconnected, confused, problems holding pens and writing. My hands and lower arms are numb and tingly now too. I was tired but unable to sleep. When I called my doc, his nurse told me to go to the ER. I asked if I could just come in and see him first, she refused. I was scared, but I didn't feel I needed to go to the hospital. So I called my kids' doctor's office and spoke with HIS nurse. She told the doctor why I was calling and he told me to come in at 8am the next day. I wasn't even his patient. I am now though.

Dr "R" examined me, poked my feet with a needle and then had me walk around. He asked a buncha questions and asked me if I knew what MS was. All I knew was Montel has it and is walking, Annette Funacello has it and is in a wheelchair. Oh!! And I also knew I wanted NOTHING to do with it personally. Dr "R" knows I run. We just looked at each other for a minute, I was shocked and scared, he was concerned. He told me I only felt half of the needle pokes. Numbness in both feet. He set me up with a nuerologist. I posted about him a while back. He did a sensory test, nerve conduction, EEG and an MRI of my spine. He said I have a lesion on the left front lobe in my brain, complex seizures, sensory malfuntions and nueropothy. Then he told me I couldn't run. When I cried, he asked me if I got paid to run and when I said no, he kinda shrugged his shoulders. Like "oh well". As I left that office, I stopped at the desk and canceled my next appointment. I have not been back, but I promised Dr "R" I would go if/when he tells me to. But I'm still mad. The nuerologist never did the MRI of my brain, only spine. Dr "R" found that to be odd, but says we will get one.

So since that appointment in Februray, things have been happening. The pain muscle fatigue and numbness comes and goes. No rhyme or reason. I had been running until about 10 days ago. I tried to run yesterday with Reg (my Canadian friend) but it took me 14 minutes to go one mile, and I had to stop midway. It felt like I had 20 lbs weights attached to my limbs. I was exhausted. Reg and I walked the 3 miles, he didn't leave me. I am still exhausted. Last week I was in bed for 3 days. I had to call out at 2 of my jobs because I just didn't have the energy to move. My left ear started hurting at that time too. Still kills. Dr "R" saw some fluid behind the eardrum and gave me some meds but it hasn't gone away.

The right side of my face went numb and twitched for about 5 hours a few weeks ago. That hasn't happened again. Every muscle in my body twitches, tightens and feels fatigued. I have a headache all the time. It hurts to sit, stand or lie down. My feet constantly go into a cramp. When I walk, I feel like I'm trudging through the snow with a wet blanket on me. I don't recognise people, I forget their names and I worry that people think I'm crazy. I feel crazy. At times, I wish I was crazy.

Yesterday at work, my supervisor asked me to add a person into a program. It did not work, so I tried it 50 times thinking I was screwing it up, afraid to tell her I couldn't do this simple task! After a half hour, I went and got her, telling her I couldn't do it. Trying not to cry. She knows everything and has been wonderful, helping me without ever saying a word. She tried to enter it and there was a glitch in the program! It wasn't me!!! I was so

I waitress 2 nights a week too. I cannot remember a simple drink order. I write down EVERYTHING and still get confused. My manager asked me if I was "for real" one night because I couldn't remember what came with a certain sandwich. I've worked there for over a year. I finally told him what's going on last Saturday. He is being very supportive. The people I work with are too.

So now I will see an MS Specialist up in Tampa. Dr "R" is getting everything together. He told me they'll probably want a PET scan. I looked up some info on diagnosing MS and have learned I'll probably be having a spinal tap too. I am so so so scared. I hate feeling like this. I'm tired of being tired. My family is so wonderful, I am lucky.

I'm going to take a break from running the rest of this week. I'll plan on a run Sunday. See how it goes. Dr "R" says to continue with exercising and running when I am able. It's very important. I don't enjoy yoga anymore. It's too painful and it upsets me when I'm unable to do most positions. I'll try it again next weekend though.

Well that's where I'm at now. I'm sorry this was a complaining post, but thank you for the opportunity to let it all out.

See you all soon.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Venice St Patty's Day 8K

My running habits have become a little erratic. I'm lucky if I get out there twice a week these days. That being said....I ran my 1st 8K last weekend!

I didn't even know there WAS an 8K. It's like 4.96 miles. Weird, but I'm game! A ton of people showed up for this race. I've said it before, I'll say it again....I just L-O-V-E being with these running people! They come out of the woodwork to race! Where are they all when I'm all alone, wishing I could find someone to run with????

Even Chuck showed for this one, I still think it was for the green beer....LOL

Anyway, I decided since this was my 1st 8K and no matter what I'd be PR-ing, that I just wanted to finish it in under 45 minutes.

And I did! My finish time was 44:52....LOL. Reg came in at 40:50 and Ed finished in like 36 minutes!

I was moving along at a steady pace when Tina went by me. I kept her in my sights and finished about 30 seconds behind her! At the end of the race I came side to side with an older man who I basically ran the whole race with. We took turns passing each other. When the finish line came into sight I asked him if he wanted to do a little sprint finish. I told him my coach always told me to finish strong. He said that was funny...his coach told him the same thing, only it was 30 years ago! We laughed and took off. I think he let me win because I did make it over the finish line 1 second before him. What a sweetie!!!

After the race we went and had a little breakfast. And green beer. We went to hear the awards and guess what??? I made 3rd place in my age division! I'm very happy!!

I'm not sure when I'm racing again. I need to check the schedule.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Thursday Run

This week has been busy between work, meetings and a sick little boy. Robby is back to feeling wonderfully full of life, but now I have his sore throat. Better me than him though!

After the Gasparilla 15K last weekend (you remember...the race I ran with RYAN HALL), the first chance I had to run was Thursday. I was still recovering for a few days anyway, but it felt like it had been FOREVA since I ran!

I met Reg at the gym at 9:30 and we picked the residential neighborhood with the nice paved road for our start. While we held a nice 9-9:30 pace we chatted about the race and the week. Both of us are very happy with that race. Reg's race photos came out AWESOME, mine make me look fat...blah!

Reg had a little visitor at the house he's renting for the winter here. It was a 5 foot long Black Racer snake. Yumminess. Reg was NOT pleased....LOL...I can't blame him. Those snakes eat Canadians!!!! HA!! He got it out of the house, but not before the snake whispered "I'll be back while you're sleeping." LOL..just kiddin'

Now Reg has a tv that's turning itself off and on at odd times...niiiiiice! I wonder what the ghost's name is..... It's safe to say Reg's visit to Florida has been eventful. I don't think he'll forget THIS particular visit. Not that I'd let him.

Anyway, we came out of the residential and decided to run the block too. We ran 5 miles in 44 minutes and walked back to the gym for the cool down. Very pleasant run, as usual. Reg is only here for 5 more weeks. I will miss him!! I am going to strive to pull off a 25 minute 5K before he leaves. How's that for being optimistic??

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

After Thoughts Of The Gasparilla 15K

This post is an updated race report. There may be some repeats!!!!

It's been 3 days since the race and I'm still pretty thrilled! I also found out that Ryan Hall ran it too! So I can say I ran a 15K with Olympian Ryan Hall. Ok, so I didn't actually run WITH him, but I saw him fly past when I was at about mile 3-4. He was approaching mile 8....LOL.

The crowd was screaming as he ran past, but I thought they were yelling because the first wheelchairs were coming in. Little did I know, the blue and black blur racing past was Ryan Hall. He finished in 43 minutes, right about when I was hitting the half way point. Very exciting stuff!

Here are the results from the race page. I feel very good about these numbers!

Age: 42 Gender: F
Distance 15K
Clock Time 01:26:54
Chip Time 01:25:08
Overall Place 1671 / 4204
Gender Place 554 / 2055
Division Place 68 / 268
Age Grade 57%
Pace 9:08.0
Half 0:41:12

I had to go into this race with a different state of mind. I trained for distance from the start of my running. That included hitting the water stops with a 30-60 second walk break. The training runs I did with Reg had a few rough spots. I realized that every time I stopped for one of these breaks my legs were so fatigued and crampy that it was very difficult to get going again. Even in a 3 mile run! Reg suggested I try to run through it, not stop for the breaks. It went against EVERYTHING I believed in. Walk breaks were a part of my distance running. But things have changed. My feet and legs needed a new approach.

A few days before the race we had a 3.25 mile easy run. Not even 2 miles out I could feel the usual problems. I told Reg I thought I needed to walk already. He looked over at me and didn't say anything. Normally at this time I would walk. I decided to try to see how far I could get. I started thinking about what I'd be wearing to the race, the size of the expo, Bondi Bands!!! I stopped thinking about my legs and feet. Next thing I knew we were done. Reg was right, I needed to just run straight out, no stops. Could I do that for a 15K???

I stood at the starting line, Reg and I talking to the people around us for awhile. It occurred to me that this might be my last decent distance race, I have accepted I won't be doing any more marathons. This race was the test. I promised myself at that precise moment to try not to stop at all. What did I have to lose? Worse case scenario was that I'd stroll over the finish line at a 17 minute pace. Best case was I'd get a new PR.

Away we went. We dodged fellow runners, walkers and parked cars. We stayed together, our pace changing with the availability of space and finding those spots we could jump into. We found a steady crowd doing our 9 minute pace at about 2-3 miles and stayed with them for a mile or so. At the 4 mile marker I was sweaty and feeling like I was ready for a water/walk break. As I came up on the water table I slowed to take a cup and instantly decided NOT to walk. Try running while sipping water. I almost laughed! I slowed to about 10:30 pace for that but caught back up to Reg, back in the 9 minute pace.

My right foot was cramped up. Can I please catch a break, just for today????? The sharp pains in my quads said no. I said to myself...."Self, is that a favorite song on your iPod"?? Why yes self, it sure is!!!! I put my eyes on the man in front of me, letting my feet keep up with his tempo. Glancing at my Garmin we were at a 9 minute pace. Cool! I let my mind wander back to the man I was following and my music and I felt lighter.

By the time I saw the 7 mile marker, I started to worry about holding this pace. I also realized I had lost the man I was behind and Reg was getting further away from me. Garmin said I was still at the 9 minute pace, so Reg had sped up. I saw him looking for me, I could see him, but he had lost me. Too many people for him to be looking behind. I was kinda glad because I didn't want to hold him back. Being able to keep him in my sights for the mental support was awesome though.

By mile 8 I was hurting. Once again I lost myself in my music and the person in front of me. It was harder to do the meditation-type thing by now. I pictured myself at the end of one of our 3 mile runs. Mind over matter does help! Next thing I knew, I was in sights of the finish line. Relief took over and I felt that shot of adrenaline. I sped up a little, just wanting to be done. I had lost sight of Reg by then, but I knew he'd be at the finish.

I almost knocked someone over getting across that line. I yelled out SORRY!!! But I was sooooo relieved to be done. Relieved and very happy. With a new PR of 1:25:08!!

So here's where I'm at now. The 15K is going to be my marathon. It's a decent distance, it's a chance to compete at a different level than the 5K fun runs and it still requires some training. I love the training part.

Running the Gasparilla 15K taught me something about endurance. Endurance isn't just running a marathon. It's overcoming the obstacles life can throw at you. When life throws you lemons, don't just make lemonade....jump over that lemon tree.

To the lemons, I say....I WIN!!!