More races completed — 57.9 miles down, 62.1 to go! PLUS, marathon training has started!

Sorry for not posting much the last couple of months.  It’s been a busy few weeks — lots of traveling, work & running!

Bright Night 5K (3.1 miles) was on the evening of Saturday May 18th, in the pouring rain.  It was delayed a few minutes, but the rain kept coming so they finally went ahead.  I wasn’t expecting a great race; was there with friends to support 2 great causes:  Ovarian cancer research (the benefit of the race) & Parkinson’s research (as part of my 120 miles).  The whole family came out to support me!Image

I started out a little faster than I should have, especially with the heavy rain.  My first mile was my fastest (low 8’s) & I fought hard the other 2 miles to maintain that pace.  I kept it under 9 though & finished with some VERY heavy, rain-soaked shoes in 26:53.  You can’t see it in the picture above, but the back of my Diva’s shirt says “12 months ~ 120 miles ~ $12,000 for Parkinson’s ~ IN HONOR OF MY MOM.”  I have 2 shirts with this printed on the back (paid for out of my own pocket, not with your donations) that I try to wear to each race.  I want people to know what I’m running for!

My next race was Lookout Capital half marathon (13.1 miles) on a very sunny, warm & dreadfully humid Saturday, June 1st with my running friend Heather.  I went into this race prepared & hoping for a new PR under 2:10.  The humidity worried me though — strike one to my psyche.  Start was at North Hills in Raleigh — great area for a race, plenty of parking.  The first couple of miles were a lot of downhills in a nice residential area, which meant the finish would be a torturous uphill battle — strike two to my psyche.  We turned onto paved trails shortly after mile 2, I believe, & had a very flat out & back for a few miles.  Heather started to struggle a bit into mile 5 & told me to go on ahead.  I was feeling great & was keeping a great pace to meet my goal, low 9s.

Then the “ut-oh, I might have to pee” urge hit me.  This was during mile 8.  I didn’t want to stop, but worried about what might happen if I didn’t.  So I stopped at the mile 8 water station.  At a portapotty.  Sitting out the blazing sun.  With temps in the 80s & humidity so high I looked like I had taken a shower.  Not to mention I had just run over 7 miles, so my body was very hot.  I step in the portapotty & have never felt so hot in my life.  Seriously — like EVER!  The longer I squatted there, the hotter I got.  What felt like 10 minutes was really less than 1, but the damage had already been done.  I was VERY hot & never could get my pace under 10:00 after that.  Curse you portapotty!  I will take my chances next time.  😉

Back into the neighborhood for mile 10, then onto another paved trail for 2.5 miles.  Shortly after turning onto this trail, I felt the first twinge of calf cramping.  Oh no — not again!  Then I started thinking about the uphill climb to the finish line I have yet to face & the fact that to still meet my goal I could NOT stop & walk.  But I had to.  Sometime into mile 12 I walked & ate a mustard pack.  Yes, you read that right.  I ate a pack of mustard.  It’s rumored to help stop cramping & you know what — it actually worked!  I walked for maybe 4-5 minutes after that but was then able to start running again without cramping.  Woo hoo!  Made a mental note: always run 13.1 miles or longer with mustard packs BUT try to figure out how to keep the cramps from happening in the first place (I am working on it).

Kept running into mile 13 & the final half mile, 123′ climb to the finish line.  It was brutal.  After all I had been through during the race, I HAD to run the entire uphill to even come close to meeting my goal.  But I just couldn’t.  I didn’t have it in me mentally.  I walked most of the hill, but ran the last couple hundred yards to the finish line in 2:13:29.  3 minutes & 30 seconds past my goal, but all things considered I was pretty proud of myself.  Wish I had kicked my mental butt into gear that last mile, but proud anyway.  It was smoking hot by this time — whew!

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Next race was the Flat Out 5K (3.1 miles) on Saturday, June 22nd.  This race also served 2 purposes for me: wrapped up the Run for God class I lead (this was their 1st 5K) & as part of my 120 miles for Parkinson’s research.  Had planned to take it easy, but started out fast — too fast again & finished in 26:39.

Monday of this week, June 24th, was the beginning of my 18 week marathon training to get me across the finish line after 26.2 miles at the Marine Corps Marathon on October 27th in Washington, DC.  I am so very excited to finally begin my training.  I hope to have updates often so stay tuned!

Please don’t forget donations are greatly needed.  All funds go directly to The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, where eighty-eight cents of every dollar are spent on research for a cure!  I receive absolutely none of your donated funds & all race expenses are paid out of my pocket.  You can donate online here.

Thank you for your support & your prayers!

3.1 miles down, 116.9 to go

January 1, 2013 started off slow since the kids decided to sleep in past 8am.  YIPPEE!  It was a peaceful, playful morning with the kids & hubby; but once noon rolled around I was feeling a little anxious.  My 1st 5k of this journey, the Resolution Run, was to begin at 2pm in Rocky Mount, about a 45 minute drive away.  It was overcast, cold & misty at the house, so we decided it would be best for me to go to the race alone.  I was bummed about this.  There is something about having those you love there at the finish line & since this was the kick-off to 12 months ~ 120 miles ~ $12,000 for Parkinson’s research I kinda wanted them there.  Oh well — 12:30 popped up & out the door I went headed to Stith Park in Rocky Mount on my own.  The drive gave me plenty of time for reflection, as I tried to not to think about the possibility of my ITBs acting up again.  This race would set the tone for the next few races.

I get to Stith Park & there are my parents to watch me.  Very happy!  🙂  I get checked in, bib #41.  The race began on the grass, about 50 yards worth.  I like to start near the back.  This one race I started near the front & all these people passed me.  I was like “gosh, I suck” & it sucked the mental life right out of my run.  From then on I vowed NEVER AGAIN — I now start near the back.  I’d rather pass a few than be passed by many!

After the short run through the grass, the route picked up the greenway.  Next up a really cool wooden bridge over the Tar River, that bounced up & down with all those runners on it (uh, slight yikes here).  The greenway continued adjacent to the river — under a main road, under railroad tracks, & under another main road up to the Battle Park area where we ran on a regular road, this was at about the end of mile 1.  This is where I started to kick it, started to realize I was feeling pretty darn good.  Maybe it helped that Taylor Swift’s “we^eeeeeeeeeeee are never, ever, ever….getting back together…” came on & I started to jam out.  I even caught myself singing out loud & I’m pretty sure the 2 or 3 I passed during this song heard me as well.  hee hee  Once we got to the other end of Battle Park we picked the greenway back up & headed back to the start/finish area using the same route.

By the end of mile 2 I was still feeling pretty good, but could tell that maybe I kicked it a little too hard back there at the end of mile 1.  So I slowed myself down a little & decided to just enjoy the last 1.2 miles.  There were 2 ladies in front of me & I was terrified they were in my age group.  I wanted desperately to pass them, but they knew I was on their heels & picked up the pace.  I just couldn’t.  Bummer, because 1 of those 2 ladies placed 1st in my age group.  UGH!  Anyway, we get back to Stith Park — finish line is in sight.  Oh, I forgot to tell you guys about my Garmin.  This was the 3rd time I’d used it (got it for Christmas from the parents — oh yeah) & almost forgot to get it ready at the starting line!  I somehow managed to get it going right before I crossed the starting line but then it got stuck on some funky screen that I had NO idea what it was telling me.  I just kept hoping it was recording my run!  So by the time I can see the finish line I really want to know how in the world I’m doing, but my stupid (due to human error) Garmin is still stuck in that funky display.  Frustrating!  About 200 yards away from the finish I kick it into another gear, but get passed by 2 guys & I can’t catch those 2 ladies in front of me. Total bum fest!  Until the timer comes into view & I see 28 minutes.  Forget the seconds — 28 minutes?  My PR is 28:00 flat, from Bright Night 5k in May 2012.  After 2 injuries & recently taking 30 days off to rehab my ITBs, how on earth was I finishing with the clock saying 28:something?  28:40 I think it said when I crossed.  Wow.  I was in disbelief!  I went to find my parents, some water & view the results.

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Me & my Mom after I finished the race.

My name came up & I read my chip time was 28:29 & I finished 2nd in my age group.  Double wow!  I’ll take that as confirmation that God is blessing what I’m doing.  This is about raising awareness of & funds for Parkinson’s Disease, not about me & how fast or far I can run; running faster &/or further is just gravy!  I still have a long way to go on this journey & I plan to send out letters this month to obtain corporate/business sponsors.  Please continue to pray for me, they are most important!

If you’d like to donate, please visit my Team Fox fundraising page.

Posted in 5Ks