Monday, April 30, 2012

Marathon Report

So I know some people are wanting to hear the nitty gritty on the Full...

Well, it's done!!!

Ok, that's not all! Here's my experience. Training for this beast became a headache, it sorta took the fun out of my running because I felt so pressured to "do" just the right things. I actually ended up tired of running. My body was worn down and in the end I rested more beforehand than my "plan" said to. Truthfully (for me) I think that paid off big time!

Training for a marathon is mental. Honestly, your body CAN do it, but your mind will jack with you CONSTANTLY! Did I train enough? Could I do more? Did I over train? Am I eating enough (note to self: I was NOT!!!)? Am I sleeping enough? When can I do this run or that run? Can I find someone to run with me? Do I even want someone to run with me? What if I get injured? What do I do now that I'm injured? And for mommies, who will watch my kid/kids (because past like 8 miles pushing a stroller is TOUGH)?

The list goes on and on and on and on!!!! But the basic truth is this... It's not a matter of can you, but Will you? It takes more mental determination than anything else. Having a serious support system helps, honestly, that made a ton of difference for me! People were constantly encouraging me and my husband never let me try to quit!

As for the actual race, well, it was NOT ideal! My half in NOLA in March was (in my opinion) pure perfection! Started out at like 49 degrees, ended around 60, slightly overcast, low humidity, just perfect!

Yesterday, was a completely different story! We started at about 68 degrees (ending closer to 90), completely overcast, literally like 80% humidity (that continually got worse), then it started raining! Soggy feet around mile 11, then hills that weren't predicted really made it less than perfect. Honestly I think miles 8-15 were uphill, yes it was gradual, but just when you thought you reached the top of a hill and would get a reprieve going down, nope, just a plateau and then up some more! Luckily I had found a new gel to take that didn't upset my stomach, so no issues there (2nd Surge for those curious). The hydration stations were awesome! Crowd support was amazing, our shirts made it even better (Big Thanks to Cayenne Marketing for getting those fine things done for us!!!). Honestly, the reviews for this marathon were spot on!! Oklahoma City provided a stellar race, well organized, more than adequately prepared, great crowd support, fun atmosphere, and a great cause to race for!

But the rain and hills were a lot to deal with, however, we kept a pace we were happy with for way longer than we had hoped.

Tummy troubles plagued Julie and we had to take a potty break, but that still didn't slow us down too bad. My right shoe was tied too tight initially and apparently bruised a tendon on the front of my ankle, so loosening it up multiple times did not help. Still we plugged on.

A friend of mine ran his first full the Sunday before and said to remember that mile 20 was halfway. Truer words have never been spoken because that is honestly where the wind went out of our sails and that last 10K felt like an ETERNITY!!!!!!

We walked at water stations because we both choke if we don't (I still did, even walking)! But had not walked other than that before mile 20. Around mile 22, which is the point where you're sure you are dead we walked longer after the hydration stations. Miles 22-24 were tough tough tough!! We felt dead, those last 2.2 miles felt like they would NEVER end!!! I am happy to report we did not walk up a single hill, we ran them all, even at mile 25 (albeit slower I'm sure!)! The last .1 I think we sprinted, well, it felt like sprinting anyhow, and Julie's mom said we went so fast she almost missed us! I'll take it! ;)

Crossing that finish line was surreal, so surreal in fact, that it almost seems like it didn't happen. It feels kinda like a dream, but the good kind where you wake up feeling like a total bad ass!!

So, my assessment yesterday...I told Julie at mile 24 I'd never make her do this again. She promised she would never do it again. Back at the hotel Foxy said he knew I'd do another, Sus texted and said she's said never again 4 times now (so far #4 has stuck), and I said I couldn't imagine why anyone would do it more than once.

Today I woke up with really no more pain than I've had with previous races. I'm not miserable (aside from how gross my feet are with the missing toenails, did I mention how much I hate that?!?) and I know why people do them again. To see if you can do it better, faster, more efficiently. So, I'll never say never. Lacey says with her in January--she's too fast! And I'm not ready to train again, but never is a strong word, so we'll see. (Pretty sure Julie is sticking with NEVER!!)!

I want to thank everyone who encouraged me along the way, especially Foxy, my sister, Sugar (with just her smiles and love of the stroller), Julie, Lacey, Skinner, and the Stinsons. Thanks to the people who watched my baby so I could run, Shawn, Emily & Johnny, our awesome sitters (in Shreveport and Tyler)! Thanks to my husband for the treadmill so that I could run inside while Sugar napped! Without support it would not have been possible, especially with a baby.

I am not suggesting doing this to anyone, but if you ever decide you want to run a marathon, I'll encourage you the whole way! After 7 halves and this full, I can say halves are WAAAAY more fun and I plan on doing a LOT more of them! I'm looking forward to finding a few fun 5Ks and 10Ks in the near future though! ;)

(If you have any questions, comment below or email us!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Pre-Marathon jitters

I'm a pretty open person so I am gonna share how terrified I am right now! In thinking about this endeavor I'm getting a bit sick to my stomach and am having headaches! I'm pretty sure my husband is ready for this to be over since I snapped his head off the other day basically out of inner turmoil! He's being very supportive and I appreciate that very much.

Under no circumstances do I think I won't finish, nor do I feel unprepared, it's just a daunting task of something I've never tackled. I felt the same way for my first half and now they feel old hat to me. I don't get super stressed, I know how it goes and there's very little to worry about (unless you're 100s of miles away from home and left your running shoes--at home!!! Yep I've done it! Had to buy new shoes and run in them unbroken in--gasp!! It was fine!).

This is different because people talk about how different it is! A runner I know told me running a full is not like doing a half twice, it's like doing it four times. Um, WHAT?!? Then he proceeded to assure me that I was ready and just not to go out of the gate too fast! Even with that first comment I left feeling much better about the race to come.

My friend, we'll call him truck, was of absolutely no help while we were at the half. I'm pretty sure he said after a full you want to die! Awesome, looking forward to it! His wife, Runner supreme, on the other hand has repeatedly said "you got this!!" and she's done more fulls than him, I think it's because she's more hard core!

So, I text Julie and tell her it's packing day and her response "I think I just threw up in my mouth a little!". She also reminded me yesterday that this was all my idea and she was just being supportive (your bling will not say--just being supportive, it will just confirm your hard coreness!!!). She said some other things too but I won't share them on the blog! ;)

I keep obsessively checking the weather report, I should stop, but I'm still praying for some milder temps and low humidity!!!

In short, preparing for a marathon is hell, but I knew it would be. In Marathoning for Mortals, John Bingham talks about the week before a race and all the crazy things people have been known to do, buy cars, buy every running gadget known to man, hyperventilate (maybe I just thought that one), basically he said pre-race hysteria is normal and to be expected. Good to know I'm normal--hahaha!!!

For all the people who read and have started running... Lacey and I are SO FREAKING EXCITED we can't put it into words! Leave us a comment and let us know how it's going, send us questions, tell us how we can support you!

Happy running everybody!!!!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Mommy got some new shoes!!

Today I bought Toms for the first time! I've never seen a big need for them, as I am a flip flop almost year round kinda girl!

HOWEVER... This summer won't be a flip flop summer. Why you ask?!? Because I HAVE NO BIG TOENAILS!!! Gross! I'm a pedicure every couple of weeks kind of gal. I like keeping my feet pretty and using great colors, coordinating my toes with the season (i.e. purple and gold for football, green for St. Pat's, etc). I haven't been going to get them done because I was worried about messing with my calluses and causing more foot issues. Then, the big toenails started acting crazy and I knew they were going to fall off, so then I couldn't go and let the ladies talk about my gross feet! So now, it Toms for me for the summe!! Don't worry, Sugar has some ordered too, they didn't carry tiny2 in the store here!

And for now, I'll be keeping my fingers pretty to make me feel better! Right now, they're painted to match my marathon day shirt!!!

Just so you know, I'm not a fan of losing toenails, but apparently I'm a real marathoner now ;)

Thursday, April 12, 2012


Sometimes I have to remind myself of that.  It's very hard not to get competitive with yourself (which I do more than with anyone else).  And today I had a crappy run, well let's be real, I've had 3 crappy runs this week.  But crappy runs are better than no runs, so I continue to try and tell myself to count it as victory.

Tuesday I just never hit a stride, my asthma was acting up and I couldn't stay at a good pace.  I wanted to PR on my 10K time and instead I ended up way over, which is always frustrating.  Yesterday I decided to hop on that treadmill (which I love way more than my old one, but it's still a machine inside) and made it two miles.  I rarely lace up for 2 miles anymore, but it was more than no miles and helped to add to my total for the week.  I was just tired of staring at that same old screen and seeing the seconds SLOWLY tick away!  I decided that I was going to run outside today if it killed me and I did.  I put Sugar in her fancy BOB and we took it to the street behind our house, which has lots of pretty houses and I generally love it and I did love being with Sugar and hearing her "talking" as we bounced along.  Still, I never hit a stride today either.  I couldn't seem to really punch it in there.  I didn't pay attention to my training schedule and ended up doing the wrong tempo run, which isn't a big deal, but annoyed me.  It was the slowest I've run in a while, but again, it was miles and I need to be putting them in.

I will say this, I'm not in love with the distances for a marathon and the amount of miles you have to rack up to get there.  It is making this seem more like work than fun at this point, and I'm not sure it's something I'll do again.  That's not to say that I don't fully intend on finishing this bad boy on April 29th with my head held high regardless of time.  I'm just not sure I'll ever have it in me to commit to something so big again.  It makes me sad to spend 3-4 hours running when I could be with Sugar.  Running is still my passion, something that I really love.  I just think from now on I'll probably focus on increasing my speed for shorter distances!

Any encouragement is welcome at this point, as I think these last few weeks are when your mind goes the most crazy and it doesn't help that my big toenail is about to fall off right in time for flip flop season--gross!!  I guess that makes me a real marathon runner!??!  I've seen the shirts that say "Toenails are for Sissies".  I'm not gonna lie people--I like pretty toenails and I'm kinda sad about this!

However, when I saw on Pinterest today "Whether it's a 14 minute mile or a 7 minute mile, it's still a mile", I had to smile and know that that is the truth!  Running=Running!  So run on my friends!!!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

30 mile week

I met with my freshman small group last night and we had some great discussion, including the fact that the devil will try to get you down any chance he gets. I believe this is true with any positive goal that you have. So, I've been fighting this knee issue, that seems to be a bit of an anomaly, in that it has aspects of multiple knee issues according to my PT. It has really tried to mess with my mind, mostly because I haven't been able to keep up with my weekday mileage and log the number of miles I would like. All the while Julie has been racking up the miles and I know it's helping build her endurance and I don't want to slow her down come race day!!

Last week I was able to log 30 miles throughout the week, this was HUGE for me, as I've never run that many miles in a week. It gave me a huge boost of confidence and had I not had to be home Saturday morning I surely could've logged a few more, but such is the life of a mommy and daddy who are busy bees!!!

If you had asked me 5 years ago if I dreamed I'd run 30 miles in one week, I would've laughed hysterically!!! And this week I just did it! I wanted to run 33 this week to start my 33rd year, but was advised that we are supposed to be decreasing mileage, so I'll listen and do what's best for training :/.

Victories, don't let your head get in the way of your heart, or your legs for that matter!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Reading about Running

I just finished reading a few chapters in "Marathoning for Mortals". I have to say again and again how much I LOVE this book!

Training for a half marathon, marathon, well, any race period is psychologically taxing. We've said and will continue to say that running is all in your head!!! But when you have a goal in mind your mind starts to lose it!

My marathon is 4 weeks from today! FOUR WEEKS!!! Holy cow! And the thing is your mind starts to torment you, so I decided to fall back on old faithful, which is this book.

It's written for average people like you and me, who decided we wanted to run with no real goals in mind and found that running could be cathartic! I promised myself I wouldn't read too much (because it can cause more stress) but this book is so encouraging! It tells you that you CAN succeed at something that seems impossible.

Four weeks from today I plan to be holding a shiny new medal that has a 26.2 on it. Please remember that a marathon is 26.2 miles, that .2 can be the hardest that you run!

Knee pain and missed runs will not keep me down, they will now psyche me out, they will not discourage me from my goal, which is to finish!!!! And you know what?!? My medal and the person who crosses first's medal will be the same! :)

Run strong, like you stole something, like you've got nothing and everything to lose. Run because it feel good! Run because that ache afterward means you did something good for your body. Run to show your children that being in shape is good and fun and healthy! Just run!!!!!

If you don't think you're cut out to be a runner, go buy this book NOW! You'll feel differently afterwards!