Tuesday, December 29, 2009

another shot

christmas is finally over, and sunday will be four weeks since vegas. i was to start training for new orleans last week. after my run last tuesday, i didn't run another step, until yesterday.

christmas break + two weeks off from work = L A Z Y days. this year, however, i wanted to run, needed to run, but oddly enough i couldn't. i'm pretty sure if i felt good, i'd be trying to find an excuse not to, or just saying screw it. so in my predicament, i promised myself i'd walk and do plenty of stretching while taking a few more days completely off in order to get the rest i apparently had not given myself after vegas. i started out great by walking an hour after wednesday's spin class.

thursday, i headed to richton to visit the family for a couple of days. once at the parents, we did our christmas on christmas eve. big dinner, lots of presents, and noise. it's always fun, and now we have a little one around again so there is lots of excitement. no running, or walking.

christmas day is a quiet day for us. everyone is gone, so sleeping in is a must, which i did. leftovers are also a must, but this year, we added a big pot of soup. we spent lots of time watching movies, sports, and of course, napped. this day, i did go walk with mom and molly for 45 minutes. i felt good about myself. of course, the whole time i was thinking, i only burned 300 calories. if i had gone for the run i needed to do, i would have burned 800 or more. ugh....

saturday, time to head back home. slept in, again, packed up, loaded up, and drove home. i promised myself an attempt to run, but instead, i went to do some after christmas shopping with my mom and nephew. run later, right? wrong.

sunday came and went with no run or walk. i flat out didn't want to, and to be honest, was nervous about it. so i didn't go. decided i would just start fresh on monday. so i did. after teaching the early spin class, i went for a 3 mile run to test the waters. no pain. the afternoon class didn't hurt me either. tuesday, my trusty partner vicki was back in town, and we went out for 5. i added two more on afterward, and i felt fine! i did do some stretching in between, and later went for a 2 mile walk with molly. i feel like i ran 7 miles today after not running for a week, but the good news is, i am not having hamstring/hip/glute/knee pain.

tomorrow, gonna run a few more miles after spin. i will continue to run easy this week, and maybe introduce harder runs and tempo runs back into my training in the coming weeks. let's keep the fingers crossed!

9 weeks til new orleans!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


sunday will be three weeks since the vegas marathon. and i'm not feeling a lot better.

for two weeks, i took it pretty easy, not running a lot, and when i did, running easy. i felt a lot of tightness in my right leg, hip area, even moving up into my lower back. i continued to take it easy and not push. i even took the weekend off in preparation to start back with miles this week. yesterday, i went out for 8 miles. i felt 'ok' for the most part, however, my legs didn't feel that good. it was warm and a bit muggy, and i did start tiring out. that is still the fatigue from the marathon, which is normal for me as this point still.

this morning, i woke up with pain in my right knee. i still had the tightness in the same places, but feel it's just spreading further down my leg. it's now on the right side of my knee in the IT band area. i taught spin class and could feel it while cycling. i had planned to run afterward, but i decided on the way home to skip it and just go for a long walk. i took molly with me for about an hour and 10 minute walk, probably about 4 miles. btw, walking is a serious second place to running for her.

after the walk, i spent some time in the yard, and after a nap and some errands, i felt like i had run 15 miles. i'm not sure what's up, or really what to do, except continue taking it easy for another week. i will keep walking and doing some running, but really add in some serious stretching. i do not feel i am injured, but instead just really returning slowly. i'm a slow recoverer as it is, so this is just part of it!

10 weeks until rock n roll new orleans mardi gras marathon. i hope i'll be ready!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

my new runner

molly has become quite the runner. she loves it more than anyone i know. it is now to the point where i can't put my shoes on without her going nuts.

last night, i came home from work and had planned to run about 6 miles and take her for 3. i decided to do the 3 alone first, so i could enjoy the company at the end. she was NOT happy that i didn't take her at first, and let me know by scratching and bumping the door as i left the porch. i worried what i what i find in the house when i came home - torn pillow, chewed christmas ornament, etc. i raced back home and luckily, the house was safe. she thought i was done, and even though i told her i was going back and taking her with me, i don't think she was listening.

so i grabbed her leash, and i could see the delight and surprise in her eyes and she bound off the couch to the door. she's such a good girl, and even though she can barely sit still she's so excited, she does let me clip her leash on before she bursts out the door. i couldn't even get my garmin started back before she started dragging me across the yard!

with her ears flying, her tongue wagging, and running as good as ever, we had a blast. she had her best run last night. no walk breaks, not much slowing down, and she minded a lot better. it's consistent work teaching her to run with me, but we're getting there. and it's a ton of fun in the process.

here's a pic of her post-run, by the tree. she's truly a gift for me this year (until something gets broke).

molly says merry christmas!!!!

Monday, December 14, 2009

8 in the books

i came, i saw, i conquered. sort of.

4:16:24 - my race time at the rock 'n roll las vegas marathon. to me, that was conquering. as my blog up until now has explained, it's been a rocky road. being here, finishing this race, was significant in many ways. so, yeah, i conquered. what did i conquer? a host of demons at mile 14 where i quit my last marathon attempt. the nerves that i fight EVERY time i run a marathon, except they were doubled this go round. i also conquered what every marathon runner conquers - 26.2 miles. so yeah, i conquered.

friday morning, i left gulfport en route. i got in to vegas about an hour late, and was greated by my two great college friends. they whisked me off to the car, down the vegas strip, and into a casino for an amazing mexican dinner. after that, further down the strip to the hard rock for a concert. after that, home, and to bed.

saturday morning, the expo. first, a stop for bagels. yeah, i ate two. the expo was slam packed and difficult for us to get around so i mostly just got the things i needed and got out alive. the mandalay bay was the host for the marathon as well as the national rodeo. runners and cowboys, nice combo. if you weren't in one of those distinct groups, well, then you were out numbered big time. after the big fun at the expo, off for a bite to eat, then back home for rest. it was nice to put my feet up a while and chill. we had some hometown activities that night that included riding a parade float and attending church in my friend's hometown. then it was back home for bed.

super early sunday morning, about 4 a.m., i crawled out of bed, nervous and anxious and ready to get this thing going. showered, dressed, and jumped in the car. my friend was so gracious to drive a half hour into vegas to get me to the start. i hopped out of the car on the offramp of the freeway and followed the masses. did i mention it was COLD? yeah, somewhere in the upper 20's with a nice biting breeze of about 10 mph. i relunctantly took off my warm clothes, stuffed everything into my bag, and handed it over. i shivered my way to the start corrals where i waited longer than i should have. however, the arrival to the start line went very smoothly. shortly before 6, celine dion sang God Bless America...no not really...there were fireworks, and the elite women started. at 6, more fireworks, the blues brothers...no not really...some paratroopers, and then the race start. oh yeah, and there was over 1000 running elvi - people dressed as elvis to run. and one michael jackson.

the official start of the race was 6:15, so by 6:30 i was crossing the start line. we headed out away from the strip and made a turn headed back down the strip. i was feeling good, and moving too quickly. i kept trying to slow down, but each time, my miles were coming in faster than i needed them that early in the race. running down the strip was really fun, and there was plenty to see. at 10.5, we turned off the strip and headed west. and reality set in. i had a long way to go, and i didn't feel so good anymore. for the next several miles, the mental battle was more than the physical, as always. i pushed through, and kept running, and before i knew it, i was making the last loop and heading back for the last 6.2 miles. it was cold, breezy, but beautiful. my choice to wear a long sleeve and capri tights was a smart decision as i never got too warm. i was steadily slowing down, unlike my training runs where i got faster each mile. the only thing to do was survive and finish as strong as i could.

mile 26 is a beautiful site, but those last .2 seem to take FOREVER! luckily the finish wasn't in site until you were upon it. i crossed, and thanked God for helping me make it. i grabbed all the necessities...foil blanket, medal, bananas, water, and a bagel. hit the porta-potty, typical for me. then grabbed a seat on the black top parking lot. ahhhh, finished. i analyzed my race quickly, and i came up with this - i'm back and i did ok. it was not a great day in vegas, but if 4:16 is what i get on a not so great day, i'll take it!
i hobbled into the mandalay bay, changed, and watched the saints while i waited on my friends. they picked me up, and their 5 year old quickly asked me if i won, when i said no, then he wanted to know what place i got. he didn't understand 2 thousand and something. stopped off for quick lunch, then home to nap, shower, and watch lots of tv. it felt good to be finished.

monday was a site seeing day. we hit the hoover dam, and it was a dam good time. we drove down the dam rode, parked in the dam parking lot, and froze in the dam wind. it was a dam good time. did i mention it was raining? yeah, it rains 5 days a year, and one of those days was on my visit. after the dam, we looked around boulder city where my friends live, and garrett chased some sheep, or goats as he calls them, in a little park. we hit lunch in the planet hollywood, and then off for my last souvenir of the trip.

so far about a year, i've toyed with the idea of obtaining some body art, a tattoo. i've always kinda thought having one would be cool, but never thought i'd do it. then i started thinking, well, if i got one, i needed to be convinced what i'd get. then 26.2 filtered into my head, and the more i thought of it, the more i wanted it. once i decided i was going to vegas, well, it became the obvious place to do it. once my friends heard of this, well, it was a plan. so after lunch, we headed back to a place we had scoped out, and it was now or never. i could chicken out, but would i regret it? or would i regret getting it? the answer is yes to the first one, so i did it, and i am so happy i did. it took less than two minutes, and the artist said, this is the world's smallest tattoo. i believe it! 26.2 is a number that means a lot to me. whether or not i run another one ever again, it will always be a huge part of my life. the marathon has been life changing to me, and i never ever want to forget so.

so that's the story of my marathon and experience in vegas. i got up early the next morning and made my way home. i was exhausted but glad to be back in my little house with molly. i have spent the last week recovering, resting, and getting back into the swing of life at work. i'm slowly returning to running, and i have my eyes set on #9, rock 'n roll new orleans. lots of hopes and dreams will be once again centered on that day, but until then, i'm still basking in the high of another one completed.

this is why we run.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

ready or not...

vegas - here i come!

where have the 16 weeks gone? for real! for the longest time i've been so excited about going to vegas and seeing my friends, and it's finally here. and oh yeah, i have to run a marathon while i'm there too! and i think i'm ready!

last week was thankgiving. i ran 3 days, and i taught 3 spin classes. i also went for a couple of walks. my legs, the week before, had been pretty tired, so i really wanted to focus on feeling better. hopefully i will! i will run a few days, some short easy distances, this week in my final days before sunday. this week the taper is no pressure, no stress, rest up!

yes, i'm running a marathon on sunday. i have no idea of what i'll do, and really no expectations. i'm excited about the run. but the best part is i'm going to vegas!!! i'm also staying with some really fun, cool friends from college who will show me all the sites. my friend garrett sent me a list of the top 17 things to see in vegas. i can't, nor do i really want to do them all, but i have a few picked out.

1. buffet - post marathon of course. i mean, i have to refuel, right?

2. bellagio fountains - cause they are super cool! expect some cheesey tourist photos!

3. the stratosphere - i'm horrified of heights, but not when i'm enclosed. i'm super excited about seeing vegas from above!

4. steal mike tyson's tiger

this one is self explanatory. everyone in las vegas steals mike's tiger at least once. not only that, but we all get involved in hilarious hi-jinx while trying to return it. don't be the only person to forgo this ritual. for bonus points, attempt this caper in a stolen police car while high on the fictitious drug known as roofilyn. if you get caught, smile, pop a mentos into your mouth and shout "What Happens Here Stays Here!". the cops will laugh and release you so long as you consent to be electrocuted in the genitals by a 12 year old boy. (no not really... you have to have seen 'the hangover' to appreciate this one.)

of course, there are others, like the vegas sign, red rock canyon (maybe a hike), and the volcano at the mirage. i can't go to vegas without trying my luck in the casinos either. there is also one more thing, but you will have to stay tuned to the blog post-marathon to find out...

what happens in vegas, stays in vegas!