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!

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Training starts 12/23 — TOMORROW!

The day I’ve been waiting for, for more than a month, is finally here.  Time to lace up the brand new running shoes I won at Rock ‘n Roll Savannah’s Expo from Brooks.  Gonna feel so good!

I haven’t run since Thursday, November 22nd — Thanksgiving Day — when I ran the Turkey Trot for Tots with my boys & suffered through it the entire time with ilitotibial band (ITB) problems.  *sigh*  The last 30 days have consisted of many nights of rehab workouts & stretching, along with some irritability & just down right frustration.  I probably took this out on my husband, Jason, & the kids.  My attitude can really stink when I’m not running.  I think I took it out on the laundry though, because I’ve miraculously stayed caught up with no more than 2 loads to do on any given day during this time.  Really odd way to channel my energy, but I’ll take it!

So why am I starting back running tomorrow?  Two reasons:

  1. I wanted to take a month off to let my ITBs rest & focus on stretching them out.  Today actually makes day 30.
  2. Tobacco Road half marathon training is scheduled to start on 12/23!

Tobacco Road will by my 2nd half marathon & is on Sunday, March 17th.  My 1st half marathon was at the beginning of my ITB issues & by the time the race arrived all I cared about was crossing the finish line.  I did, in 2:33.  Decent time, all things considered.  This time though, I’m shooting for 2:10.  I’m using Hal Higdon’s half marathon novice 2 training program.  The first couple of weeks I’m modifying it slightly so that I do not run back-to-back days.  I will slowly work back into back-to-back runs like I was doing this summer & early fall.

I’m nervous & anxious to hit the pavement tomorrow.  A huge part of me can barely wait, but a small part of me is worried the pain will set in again, that nothing has changed & my 30 days off were a waste.  If that’s the case, I’m really not sure what my next step will be.  I guess I’ll figure that out.  Praying & hoping for a GREAT 3 mile run in the morning!

Don’t forget to visit my fundraising page if you feel led to donate.  Thanks to everyone who’s donated to date.  Many more dollars to go though.  Remember, I receive zero funds from this.  All donations go to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research.