Thursday, May 5, 2011

Eugene Marathon

I finished is all I can say. This was not the race I hoped it would be.  I was doing great in my training and even though I had just run the Salt Lake City Marathon 15 days before, I felt strong to finish this.  Best laid plans...

I was excited about this race because if I finished, I would become an official Marathon Maniac.  I also was going to be able to share a room with runner chicks Melissa and Andleeb so I knew I was going to have fun. I arrived in Eugene about 2 pm and was able to check into our room early. Then I went downstairs to the expo since we were staying in the host hotel.  I got my packet and then got my "not so great" race shirt.  I was disappointed, but I really wasn't there for the shirt anyway.  It's just too bad that Eugene couldn't have picked a better shirt to represent them. I won't wear mine, that's for sure.

Such a lovely shirt, NOT!

Melissa and Andleeb arrived later and they got situated in the room and then picked up their stuff at the expo. They also did a bit of shopping there, but I'm the one who spent all the money. lol  I bought a magnet for my car and a really cute running skirt.

That evening we went to dinner with Nancy, Emily and her hubby and another runner.  It was a great evening!  Only Andleeb and I were running the marathon, the rest of the group was running the half.  We got back to our hotel and finally got to bed around 10, I think. :)  Alarms were set to go off at 5 so we needed an early night.

Of course, I woke up before my alarm went off, as usual,  so I just got up and got ready early.  We had our breakfasts and then went downstairs to catch the shuttle at 6:15.  It seemed like everyone was waiting until then to get the shuttle, so we had to wait for a second one to get there.  We were supposed to meet more chicks for a photo at 6:40 by the baggage drop off so we were pushing it for time.

The shuttle dropped us off a bit from the baggage claim so it was a walk to there.  We met up with some of the chicks, Aleta, Jodi, Anna, and Amy and got a photo with them before high tailing it to drop our bags.  Melissa was in Corral A and Andleeb and I were B, but we all three just went into corral A about halfway down. They weren't checking corral numbers and we wanted to stay together.  For some reason, the start was delayed by 10 minutes so we got to stand in the cold longer. What fun!  It was about 39 degrees but was supposed to warm up to over 60 by noon.  I used my space blanket from WDW to keep warm until the start and then just tossed it.

Me, Melissa & Andleeb, bottom middle of photo. You can see my back tattoo! :)

We all started running together but then each went our own pace after a very short time.  I started very fast, which was kind of necessary since everyone else was going fast too and I didn't want to get trampled.  I managed to keep running without a walk break for 2 miles so my pace for mile 1 was 9:48 and mile 2 was 9:25, really too fast. :)  I did really well until about mile 6 when my foot started hurting for no reason.  I felt it "pop", but the pain didn't get any worse so I just thought it had cracked like it does sometimes.  Still, I had a lot of pain so I ended up speed walking the rest of the marathon. I was SO disappointed, because I really wanted to get a PR in this race. I couldn't figure out what was wrong with my foot since I'd had great training and no pain ever.  I managed to keep on persevering and finished the race, but it was hard. Still, from the pictures, you'd never know I was in pain. haha!

I crossed the finish line in 5:49:02, not even close to what I wanted, but still my 3rd best time AND it was done speed walking. Also, I had just run Salt Lake City Marathon 15 days before. I was an official Marathon Maniac!

I had to drive home to Salem and then went to volunteer at a homeless shelter that night. The next morning I went grocery shopping, but came home early because of exhaustion and pain.  Finally on Tuesday, since my foot was still horribly swollen, I went to the podiatrist and found out I had broken it. :( :( :(  No running for me for 2 months. How depressing!  The fracture was a sudden, unexplained one, but the doctor thinks it's probably because I took Fosamax, which has been know to cause this.  So bummed!  Oh well, it's back to cross training for a while.

My race "Souvenir"

This was a wonderful course and would have been a great marathon to actually RUN, but it was not to be for me this year.  I can see why everyone says you NEED to run Eugene. Maybe someday I can go back and run it like it was meant to be.

I think the photographer was tired, this photo is off center and part of me is cut off. :(

In the meantime, I'm going to try to keep my fitness level up as much as possible. I ordered a bike trainer for my bicycle so I can at least do SOME cardio while I wait for my foot to heal. I can also still do my strength, core and stretching routine so that's a plus.

I know that prayers kept me going through the race. My favorite scripture kept going through my head: "I can do all things through Him who gives me strength" ~~Philippians 4:13  God is SO good.

SO happy, I'm finished!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Salt Lake City Marathon

I'm happy to report that I did MUCH better at this race than last year.  As a matter of fact, I PR'd this, running 15:06 faster than my best time (CIM 2009) and 34:31 faster than last year's Salt Lake City Marathon!

I arrived in Salt Lake City on April 7, intending on vacationing with my daughter in law and granddaughters in Kanab, Utah for a few days, coming back to Salt Lake City on the Wednesday before the marathon.  However, my daughter in law's mother, who was also going on the trip with us, fell and broke her knee cap and had to have surgery.  That nixed our plans and we ended up staying in Salt Lake City.  Because of that, I was able to run for 8 days before the marathon in the higher elevation.  This helped to acclimate me much better.  

I knew I was in better shape physically, but was a bit concerned about the elevation difference since I live and train in about 500 feet and the marathon starts at 4900 and goes down to 4200.  My son and his wife live at about 5200 feet so I was able to train in a bit higher elevation than the marathon was.
My son was nice enough to get up and take me to the trax station in downtown Salt Lake City at the very early hour of 5:30am.  He lives about 45 minutes from the start so we needed to leave early.  I was able to get on the trax train that got us to the start at 6:50am, for a 7:00 marathon. It was perfect timing.

The weather was great, 50 degrees and partly cloudy.  We had a few brief periods of rain, but not much.  The sun came out at the end for a beautiful finish.

The course starts downhill so my first few miles were faster than I would normally run, but there was no way I was going to walk downhill. lol  Last year, I ended up speed walking from mile 11 on, so once I reached that point, I knew I'd be ok.  I knew I was ahead of schedule, but didn't realize how much faster I was until closer to the end of the marathon.

Because of my fast start, I ended up speed walking from mile 22-25, then running the last mile.  This is a good course, with a net downhill, but from mile 24-25 it is a gradual uphill which can be a killer. I didn't even try to run it, but just speed walked it.  I remember keeping up with a man who was "running" and he commented on the fact that I was just as fast as he was, but I was "walking". haha!  I DO speed walk pretty fast.

It was such a great feeling to finish strong, running!  Unfortunately, my daughter in law and granddaughters missed the finish because they hadn't arrived yet; that's how early I was.  
I came away from this race feeling SO much better about my running.  I am encouraged that I CAN do this running thing without injury.  I know my VFFs have made a big difference in me being injury free.

My next race is May1, the Eugene Marathon. I will become an official Marathon Maniac when I finish this race. I'm excited!

Friday, January 21, 2011

WDW Marathon - I'm Goofy!!

Just me and a few friends running this race. lol I'm happy to say I am definitely Goofy now! I was able to complete the marathon in 5:53:57, AFTER running the half the day before. I am SO happy that I was able to do this without injury and with just a little bit of soreness in my legs.

This was another awesome race, just as the day before was. I stayed at my hotel after the half marathon and just chilled for the rest of the day. I really wanted to go to one of the parks, but was a good girl and stayed put. I knew I'd regret it if I didn't do that.

The night before the race, a fellow DM/Twitter friend, Albert, contacted me about meeting up and riding to the start together. We were both staying at the same hotel so it was easy to do. I had realized that I really didn't need to be the first one on the bus OR at the start line so we left about 3:20 AM. He wasn't in the race retreat so we parted at the start area. It was nice to meet him. He was also running the Goofy Challenge. I had planned to meet some other friends before the race, but a communication problem led me to miss them. I waited for about 10 minutes and then headed to the start line at 5:15 AM. Note: Disney says you need to be in your corral at 5, but it's not enforced. I got to my corral (G) at about 5:20 and managed to squeeze my way to the rope again. I just didn't want to try to weave my way through people at the start.

I love the way Disney sets off fireworks before each corral start, not just at the beginning. It made me feel a part of the race even though my corral was second to last. I started off at a 2 min run/walk just like the day before, but took it a little easier. I walked quite a bit of the middle portion of the race because I wanted to make sure I finished strong, running. At about mile 20, I began my run/walk again and was able to finish running!

We got to run through all 4 parks for the marathon and it was great! The only downside to this marathon is the section of parkway we have to run for a large portion of the race. It can be a bit boring, but Disney is good about adding lots of entertainment along the way. I made sure I ran through the park sections no matter how I felt. lol Vanity, you know.

I love that there is a choir just before the finish line. They were singing a great chorus, "God is Good, All the Time" and it was very motivating.

ASI photography is all along the course taking pictures and video and they did a great job of getting lots of shots of me. I'm impressed for sure.

I was able to finish this race and still walk after. hahaha! I had SOME soreness in my legs, but really not much at all considering I had run 39.3 miles in two days. After my first marathon, I couldn't even walk. I've improved!!

The day after the marathon, I was able to meet up with my DM/Twitter friends, @Maddyhubba, @CrazyRunner, @Runs4Coffee, @jmsenger, and @EvaTEsq, at EPCOT for #DATW. I had a blast and best of all, I could walk. Unfortunately, I lost my RoadID wrist band along the way. Good thing I have another one at home. Can't leave home without one. :)

I have already decided I am running this again next year. It should be interesting since I am also running a marathon each month for the 3 months preceeding it. No worries, it's all for fun.

WDW Half Marathon

Wow, what a great race! I had no idea what fun I would have running this. I admit I entered the race with some trepidation, not knowing what was going to happen, but I was very pleasantly surprised. Since I was running the marathon the next day, I knew I needed to take it easy on this race, but it was difficult to do because of the crowding in some areas. I kept getting ran into so I ended up going faster than I had planned. Still, I felt great at the finish, not sore or tired. I had wanted to run this at about 3 hrs, but finished in 2:46:48.

I arrived in Orlando on Thursday evening and didn't make it to the expo until Friday morning. I got there when it first opened, and the lines were long, but moving quickly. I was able to get in and out of there, with a bit of shopping, in less than an hour. Disney does a good job of organizing.

The night before the race, I went to bed at 7:30, knowing I had to get up at 1:30 to catch the shuttle to the start line before 3:00. Unfortunately, I only slept for 2 hours and then woke up and couldn't go back to sleep until about midnight. I was still on Pacific time. The race info said you needed to be in your corral at 5 or you wouldn't be able to race. I found out that really wasn't true at all, but who knew? I was the first one on the shuttle and made it to the start at just a little after 3:15 AM. I had purchased the race retreat package and was SO glad I did since it was pretty cold. The tent was climate controlled, there were chairs, tables and a padded area for stretching, food, and a private bag check. We had a brunch after. I will definitely purchase this again.

I had met up with a couple of ladies from my hotel so we headed over to the start line at 4:30 since we were told it would take 20 minutes to get there. It was VERY crowded and DID take about that long to get to the start. I was one of the first ones in my corral (D) so I ended up starting the race at the rope.

I started out at a 2 min run/2 min walk and did that for the majority of the race. The race is said to be flat, but there are a lot of on-ramps which are uphill and have an extreme camber on them. I walked those and ran the decline portions. It was SO much fun running through Magic Kingdom and through the castle. I usually run alone or I'm at the end of race (I'm slow), and didn't realize how motivated I stayed, just because of the support of other runners and spectators. The cast members in Disney were also there to cheer us on. It was fantastic.

I managed to finish this race running strong, got to high five Mickey at the end, and left feeling great and ready for the race the next day. I DID spend the remainder of the day in the hotel and didn't give in and go to one of the parks.

I'll say it again, it was a fantastic race! I'm doing it again next year.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Remembering Mel

I just attended a memorial service for a dear friend, Mel Titchener. I've known Mel for about 24 years, since my daughter was 5 years old. Mel and his wife Norma have been a wonderful influence in my life over the years. I am SO glad to have known Mel and will miss him SO much, but I know he is with the Lord now and I would never ask him to come back.

During his memorial service, the pastor mentioned something that really stuck with me. When Mel was told that he had a terminal disease, he didn't change the way he lived. He didn't have to because he was already living as the Lord would want him to. He didn't have to go make amends with anyone, apologizing for things he'd said or done, give more to his family or community or do more for God. He was already doing all that so he just kept on doing what God called him to do. What an inspiration!

We all need to be like that, living our lives to the fullest doing what we are called to do. I don't want to have to scramble at the end of my life, trying to make up for things I didn't do or trying to fix things I DID do that were wrong. I want to just keep on doing what I'm doing, knowing that the best is yet to come.

I love 1 Timothy 1:12: "I thank him who has given me strength, Christ Jesus our Lord, because he judged me faithful, appointing me to his service,".

That's what I want from my life, for the Lord to judge me faithful.

Another great scripture is 1 Timothy 6:12: "Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses."

I know Mel did this and his confession WAS good. Thank you, Mel for being such a great example for me to follow.

The following was on the program for his memorial:

Don't grieve for me, for now I'm free.
I'm following the path God laid for me.
I took His hand when I heard Him call,
I turned to Him and left it all

Sunday, July 25, 2010

My Bad!

I can't believe I've been such a slacker and haven't posted to my blog for 4.5 months! I very rarely get down (depressed, or whatever), but I really felt myself slipping toward that a lot of times since my last marathon. I really wanted a better time and was tired of being almost the last person to finish a race. See, poor me, poor me! :( Good grief, talk about being self absorbed, where is my mind?

I've run races since then with good results, I'm just not sure what is going on in my mind, but I have determined to get over it and knock it off. :)

On May 16, I ran the Inaugural Tualatin River 10 miler, put on by a good Twitter, Facebook, DailyMile friend, Christine (Solorunner). I did very well on that one, 11:06 pace.

On May 31, I did the Up the Lazy River Master's Run 10k and did even better, 10:49 pace; there's a very nice (NOT) hill in that one.

June 5, the following Saturday, I ran another hilly race, the Santiam Hospital 8k. My time wasn't as good, 11:01 pace, but still in the ballpark. I had no idea there were so many hills. I'm not sure I want to run this one again. Chicken, I know.

June 21, I ran the inaugural Salem Summer Solstice 6.21k, held at 6:21pm (see a theme here?). I did really well, 10:33 pace, but of course, I wanted better. Some hills in that one too. I'm beginning to think I'd better work on hills! :)

June 25, the following Saturday, I ran the WVRR Summer Solstice 10k, with a pace of 11:00. It was HOT that day, the race is held in the evening, which made it worse. Still, I PR'd for that particular race.

See, there's no reason for me to be down on myself. However, I DID make a big mistake and run the next race when I probably shouldn't have. THAT ended me having to take 3 weeks off running with a strained Achilles tendon in my left foot. I might as well do something to that one since I just recovered from PF in my right foot. It was the Stayton Old Time Runs 10k on July 4th. I didn't do so well on that one because I had to walk a lot of it, 11:56 pace. :(

Now, you'd think THAT would have depressed me, but for some reason, it didn't, go figure!

I am now on the eve of starting back running. Tomorrow's the day, the doctor has said I can run 3 miles Mon & Wed & then 5 on Saturday! If all goes well, I will sign up for Homer's Classic 8k on August 7. I've always wanted to run it so I'm hoping I can this year.

I've come to realize that so much of running is mental and I can really sabotage myself by the wrong thinking. When I have the right attitude, everything goes well.

I have been too self absorbed and need to focus on others, not myself. When I do that, I feel SO much better and know I am doing what God wants me to do. I know He has guided me in this healthier, active lifestyle for a reason. My body is a temple of the Holy Spirit and I need to treat it as such. God has been SO good to me to help me in my journey. I need to quit focusing on the fact that I am one of the last people to finish, and just realize that I DID finish, and that's what matters. I need to think on this verse from Hebrews 12:1

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,"

and verse 2 goes on to see what we need to keep our focus on:

"looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God."

When I do that, I am a winner in God's eyes and that is all that really matters.

Now, I know I'm a crazy person, so you shouldn't be too surprised to learn that I have decided to run the following 2 adventure marathons in 2012: The Great Wall Marathon in May, 2012; and the Solar Eclipse Marathon in November, 2012. Why don't you join me? It will be a once in a lifetime adventure. :)

Gee, I don't write for 4.5 months, and then I write a book. Sorry about that. I pray you have a great day!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Salt Lake City Marathon

This was my 4th marathon in 11 months; just a little too much, I think. :) I was hoping for a much better time, but it was not to be.

I arrived in Salt Lake City on Thursday night and spent Friday afternoon walking to the mall and shopping with my granddaughter. We probably walked at least 2 miles. I'm not sure this was a good thing the day before my marathon, but...

Saturday morning, I got up at 4:30 (SO hard to do) and at 5:30 my daughter in law took me to the Arena trax station to ride to the start line. I arrived about 6:10 AM which gave me plenty of time to use the porta potties, etc. The weather was too warm, already 53 at 6 am, clear and sunny.

I was putting my gear bag in the truck when I noticed a dailymile friend, Drew (aka Utah C). The odds of us running into each other were huge considering the thousands of people at the start line. It was nice to meet him and his wife. He was shooting for a 4:30 marathon and ran it in 4:33. Congratulations, Drew!

We went to the starting line just before 7. It wasn't organized at all, everyone just lined up wherever they could. We ended up about halfway in the crowd, too close to the start for me. The crowd was so dense it took 3 minutes to cross the starting line. The first part of the course is downhill so I ran for 7 minutes before walking my 1 min. It was hard to negotiate through all the people. The half marathoners started with us so that made for a crowd of well over 6000 people.

I did pretty well for the first 9 miles, but I started feeling the altitude and knew I was in trouble. I realized that when I ran here last month, I had run where there were stop lights so I was getting breaks fairly often. Not so during the marathon, of course.

Thankfully, neither my ankle nor my hip bothered me, but my toes and the soles of my forefoot started hurting pretty bad. The two toes from the end of my left foot always hurt really bad when I run long, not sure why. It's probably a nerve issue, because they stop hurting as soon as I quit running.

At mile 11 or so, I pretty much had to stop my running and just speed walked. I reached the halfway point at 2 hrs 40 minutes, but knew I wouldn't PR this race. I was SO disappointed and for the first time in a marathon, I wanted to quit. However, I knew that I wouldn't; I just don't give up easily. LOL

The course was a good one, with plenty of spectators. I was amazed at how much support from the community there is for this marathon. People were out sitting on the sidewalks cheering us on. Some even had snacks & drinks. At about mile 20 or so there was even a group that was handing out shots of booze. :) I passed on that. I figured I needed all my faculties to finish the race.

The only drawback to this race is from about mile 24.5 or so we start up State street, which is an uphill climb for about a mile, the last part being a stiffer climb. The last part of the race is slightly downhill, but I was SO tired from the State Street climb that I just walked it. I tried to run a few times, but my right calf went into a horrible cramp. I've never had that happen in a run, never.

When I approached the finish line, my daughter in law, Val and granddaughter, Alexis were there to cheer me on. They hopped the barrier and Val grabbed my hand hand and helped me run across the finish line. She kept telling everyone my age and the fact that this was my 4th marathon. It was great, everyone was clapping and cheering me on. What a wonderful encouragement! I've only had family at one other marathon so this was great.

I'm not sure if I'll do this marathon again, simply because of the elevation, but since my son and his family live here, you never know. I am really burned out right now and am not scheduled for another marathon until January. I definitely need a break from such intense training.

It took me 2:40 to finish the first half and 3:10 to finish the second half. My official time was 5:50:17; 13 out of 17 in AG, 1050 out of 1112 total finishers.