Monday, October 20, 2014

Perseverance Pays Off!

Traveled to Columbus, Ohio this weekend to run the Columbus Marathon/Half Marathon.  I have been having problems with my calves cramping during the last miles, so the last few weeks have been spent trying to figure out a cure for this problem.  Of course, if you look it up on Google , runner's world etc. you get all kinds of reasons that this may be happening.  I decided to do 2 things, roll my calves several times a day with my "stick" and up my potassium consumption.  I had no idea that the  daily amount of potassium was 4700mg!  Yikes!  I was no where close to that!  Thought it was worth a I have been eating sweet potatoes , white potatoes all baked and making sure to eat the skins.  Upped my yogurt consumption, bananas, apples.  I still wasn't getting the whole amount, but certainly was better than before.  The stick is no treat either, man thats hurts!  I found a couple of places on my calves that were really knotted and worked on these, again, figured it couldn't hurt.  I've been drinking my water, cutting down on the Diet Coke...And, bought a pair of compression sleeves , I read they might help also, something has got to help, right? Unfortunately, I haven't been running as much as I should have been though, a couple of short runs during the week and maximum 8 mile long runs on weekends, since my last half almost a month ago, some weeks I only ran once during the week and the long run.  Was not feeling real confident.  The race started at 7:30 in downtown Columbus.  We were staying with friends, about a half hour drive away from downtown, left about 5:30 and they dropped my husband and I off around 6.  It was chilly, about 48 at 6.  Not too many people there yet,  I love early starts for races, but in these bigger ones, where you have to get there so early to find parking etc, kind of a pain killing all that time, especially when it is kinda cold.  However, no lines at the porta-pottys!!   We walked around and around and around.....sat on the curb for awhile, I checked out the corrals, had our pictures taken a few times.  Finally I decided I might as well get to my corral.  They would not let anyone, besides runners in the corrals so my husband and I parted ways.  There were 4 corrals, I was in the last one of course.  All I kept saying in my head was, Please don't let me get cramps, please don't let me get cramps.  I had been standing for so long that my hips started aching and then it seemed like everything was aching!  Squatting seemed to relieve the aching, so I kept doing squats periodically.  Still dark out and cold, but wait, I think they are starting the National Anthem, thank goodness!  They also had was cool!!!!!   However, that was for the first wave of corrals A and B...darn!   About 20 minutes later they sang the anthem again and more fireworks and we were on our way.  I felt really stiff and the backs of my legs were aching, but that happens frequently when I start off, unfortunately this would be my state for the whole race!  Bright spot...... , I would say between miles one and two I kept thinking I heard my name being called.  I thought I was hallucinating because I didn't know anyone in Columbus.  Looked to my right and there was one of my best friends in the world holding a sign and yelling my name!  Her daughter was also running the half.  I knew her daughter was running, but we don't live close anymore and I had no idea that she was going to the race to watch her daughter.  Almost made me cry.  I have never had a sign held for me!   I have to admit that I did not notice too much of the scenery.  I was really feeling rotten, my back hurt, my legs ached, I had the wooden feet feeling and I was maybe at mile 5, a long way to go! All I kept thinking is that I cannot walk this whole darn thing, it will take me forever!  I tried to look around and take in the surroundings, but my mind was really playing games with me today, things like just sit down and call your friends to come get you, you are such a loser, your legs are gonna cramp up any second now! the next aid station I took a salted caramel GU, which are wonderful by the way, and decided to suck it up!  Started running more, walking less, I could not seem to increase my speed though.  Did start to notice where I was running, ran past Capital University, some really beautiful neighborhoods, parks.  I have to say the crowd support was phenomenal.  I have run In Cleveland and Detroit and although I enjoy both of those, Columbus had the best crowd support!  It was constant throughout the whole 13.1.  A couple of signs that caught my eye were "  You are running better than our government"   " My mother made me sit out here with this stupid sign and where are you going anyway?"  " You feeling lousy?  you PAID to do this!" I was still struggling, but all of sudden is was mile 8 and I started to think I was going to finish after all.  I had been trying to stick with the 3 hour pace people, but by this time they were way ahead of me.  That is how slow I was going.  Right foot started cramping and I am thinking oh no, here we go.  I just kept on doing what I was doing, run a minute, walk a minute and then Mile 9, 10, 11, 12 and finally approaching the end.  There was a mile marker for 13, but I have never run such a long .1 before!  I thought the finish line was never  be in sight, but suddenly there it was and I had done it and did not get calf cramps!  I don't know if it was because I was going slower than usual or my pre race routine the weeks before, all I know is that I did not get the terrible cramps.  Finished in 3:13 something, which considering how bad I felt, I was kind of happy with that.  I really thought it was going to be worse than that.  Actually out of the 4 Halfs I have done since June, this was my best time.  Has not been a great year for time this year.  Came in 61 out of 96 in my age group.    I hope this doesn't sound like boasting, but I learned a lot about myself, I can do more than I think I can and I am not a quitter!!!!!!  The statement on the shirt and medal was quite appropos for me this year!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Running over 60 and with a broken wing!

I have not blogged again in a few months.   I think about it a lot and then I just don't blog.  If I were better at expressing myself, it would be much easier.

I have run two half marathons since my last posting and I also broke my wrist!  Out running early one morning in August, it was really dark, I tripped over absolutely nothing!  In fact, I fell twice that morning.  The first time I just brushed myself off and started running again, the second time I wasn't quite that fortunate.  As I was going down , I am thinking to myself  "okay this is my second fall this morning, I am going to call it quits"  Trying to stop myself, I, Of course, put my hands out, landed on my hands, scraped up a knee, nothing really unusual for a runner, right?  As I was walking home, I kind of figured I may have done something a little more serious this time.  Arrived home, my husband was still sleeping, woke him up and told him that I was going to walk over to the ER as I thought I may have done something to my wrist ( we live a few blocks from the hospital).  As luck would have it 6:00 a.m. must be a good time to go the ER as no one was ahead of me..  x-rays taken, and sure enough I had broken the wrist.  They just wrapped it well and told me to call an orthopedic doctor when I got home.  This was a Thursday, so I called and they wanted to see me right away, husband drove me, Dr. looked at x-ray and wrist and suggested surgery!  I was quite surprised by this, figured they would put on a cast and I would be on my way.  Had surgery the next day, put in a plate to hold everything together.  A week later I go back and they remove wrapping and just give me a brace, no cast at all.  First question I ask is if I can still run....the Dr. kind of shrugs and says " I guess, as long as you aren't doing a marathon or something"....I didn't say "No, not a marathon, just a half"  So, I started walking at first, at a very brisk pace and when that didn't seem to bother me I started running again, albeit very cautiously!  I am still timid about running in the dark.  My training certainly did take a hit, but I had already registered for 2 half marathons in September and I wanted to give it a try.

Run Woodstock Half marathon in Hell, Mi.  Sept. 5

My friend lives in Detroit and has been after me to try a trail.  I have never run on trails and having just broken my wrist I was a little apprehensive, but she assured me that we would go really slow and I would be fine.  I am so glad that I did it!  What an experience, I absolutely loved it!  It stormed like crazy the night before and we were afraid that the trail may be really slippery with mud, but for some unknown reason the course seemed to not have as much rain as we had thought.  The first few miles were rail trail, so it wasn't paved really, but it wasn't trail either.  I didn't feel too good at first, had trouble breathing right and getting a rhythm, but started to get into it.  After a few miles we veered off into the woods and this is where the fun began!   It was quiet and peaceful.  My friend ran ahead and warned me of roots and rocks that I may trip over.  Running the trail is so different.  I just didn't care how fast I was going or how many miles I had run.  There were trees to be jumped or climbed over, hills to ascend, mud that wanted to suck my shoes off and so serene and quiet and breathtaking at times.  At one point we were in this forest of pines, it felt like I were in a cathedral, pine needles muffling are steps, sun filtering through, it was breathtaking!  At one point I question my friend on whether we would be going back out on the trail, when she said No, I was so happy, I could have stayed in there for a long time.  We were starting to hear music and voices, so knew it was coming to an end.  I think this is the first time that I was not begging for the finish line.  It was amazing.  It did take a long time, 4 hours, but that was what my friend had predicted, because of my wrist, and never having had run trails before, there was a lot of walking going on.  You know, even with the 4 hours time I was not last in my age group!  I would say , it was almost a life-altering experience and I am sold on trails!  Now all I have to do is find trails!

This is this pic!

Mighty Niagara Half  Marathon , Lewiston, N.Y.  Sept. 20

A few weeks later I am on the half marathon trail again, only this time it isn't a trail, darn!  I ran this half last year also and it poured rain the entire time.  This time it was a beautiful day.  I really didn't go into this half with any expectations because I just have not been training as I should.  Partly because of my fear of running in the dark still and I am definitely a morning runner and part laziness.  This is a really nice race, very flat and beautiful scenery again.  The half follows the Niagara River below the Falls.  Beautiful , huge homes, the leaves were just beginning to turn.  Ran through a couple small , quaint towns and I was feeling okay, not great, but okay.  Ran very slowly and used a walk/run.... I felt pretty good though, up until mile 10 and my foot started to cramp and then the calves again!  Just like my Cedar Point Half!  As soon as I would start to run I could feel the calves starting to cramp up, so I just walked the last 3 miles.  I came as close as I ever have to DNF, but I talked myself out of it and just kept going, but I was disappointed.  I don't know what to do about these calves.  Now, the trail race did not bother me at all, probably because we walked so much, not sure.  It was still fun, but feeling a bit discouraged.

Okay, I am doing another Half this coming weekend in Columbus Oh.  Yes, I am a glutton for punishment!  Just hoping the calf problem doesn't rear it's ugly head this time.  Just not sure what I am doing or not doing that I am being plagued by this, so it makes it hard to predict.

Wish me luck!

Okay, I feel like an idiot!  Just realized that I had already posted a RR about my trail run.  The memory is the first to go, right?

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Running to Hell and back! Michigan that is! Running Woodstock

I had the most awesome experience this weekend!  Ran my first ever trail and it was a Half Marathon.

Been quite lax in blogging.  I fell, which running, almost a month ago now and broke my left wrist.  Not fun, but it is healing nicely.  Surgery to put in a plate to hold everything together, so I have no cast, which is great, all I wear is a brace that I can remove when I want.  The last Dr's appointment I had, I asked the Dr. if I could run and he said " I guess so, as long as you aren't running a marathon or something!"  He didn't say Half Marathon!  Broken wrist has slowed me down even more and threw me off my training schedule, but about a week after the incident I started running/walking, more walking than running, but I am improving again.  Still a little fearful of falling again, hopefully I will get over that.
Anyway, I was registered for this trail race before and I really wanted to do it, as I have never run a trail before.  My running friend in Detroit loves trails and she has been after me to run a race with her.  So I packed my bags and traveled to Detroit on Friday.  We drove to near Hell, Mi to pick up our packets.  The race is Run Woodstock and including a 100K, 100 miler, 50 miler, marathon, half marathon and a 5k ( I think I got that right).  It really was a big field, people camp for the entire weekend if they want.  Families are there for their 100k, 100 and 50 mile runners ( I can't even imagine).  60's music being played by live bands, it was great.  Headed back to Detroit and kept hearing dire messages of really bad weather rolling in.  It started raining some before were arrived back to the house.  It did storm, but not too badly where we were, but power was out in a lot of Detroit that night.  Went to bed early, but kept waking up and hearing rain, ugh!  Got up for good about 4:30 a.m. and it was still raining,although not too badly.  Left for the race at 5:30, race start was 7:30.  Arrived and it had stopped raining and it didn't seem like they had been hit too badly by the storm, temps were probably in the upper 50's and overcast..  As usual, I was getting apprehensive as I always do before a race, thinkng this is going to be the race that I DNF.  I don't have trail shoes and I was a little afraid of falling.  The atmosphere was much different that that of a big city race, everyone seemed so laid back and friendly.  Not that runners aren't friendly at all races, this was just different.  I began to relax, feeling absolutely no pressure to run for a PR , just to have a good time and experience the trail.  We started
right on time and Lisa predicted our time to be 4 hours ( I told you we were going to go slow)  The first 5 1/2 miles were on like crushed stone and like a road, but no traffic and out in the country, not woods yet, but definitely not city, no mile markers, I didn't wear my garmin to check time or anything.  Did a lot of walking in the early stages, I wasn't "feelin it"  just felt draggy and had trouble getting my breathing right, no idea why.  So glad that I was running with a friend, nice to have someone to talk with and she is a seasoned trail runner.  Lisa was convinced that I have not been fueling or hydrating correctly, so she was going to remind me when to take a drink and when to have a snack!  GU every hour, other snack on the half hour and sips of gatorade whenever.  I admit that I am not consistent during my long runs with the fueling. It really didn't seem to be too long before we came to the turn around.

On the trail they just trust that you will obey the rules, to to the turn around and turn around!  There is not one there to surpervise.  Not too long after we turned around we were directed to the right, not by a human, but by a blue flag, and into the woods.  At first, it was just so different for me, single file, dirt path, so quiet, there really was no one around us running, just Lisa and me.  Out there all you can really hear is your breathing and the sound of your feet hitting the path.  I was a little leery, trying not to think about falling again, but Lisa was running ahead of me and warning me of rocks or roots that might trip me up.  I think we really started running more on the path then we were out on the "road", You could hear if a runner was coming up behind you so you could move and let them pass....every single person who passed yelled out " good job" or something similar, even though they had probably been out running for hours before we were.  Eventually we came to my first fallen tree across the path, one of many to follow.
 Not difficult to get over, just something else I was not used to doing.  Hills followed, walked all the hills and sometimes going down was more difficult than going up!  It felt like I was going to topple over on the way down some of the hills, besides being a little slippery.  The hills did not tire me as much as I thought that they would though. Then came the mud:
Now this was a  little more difficult to maneuver!  So afraid of slipping and falling.  Pretty much we tried to skirt the edges.  One time I had to grab onto a tree trunk and kind of swing myself over.  At time it felt like the mud was going to suck the shoes right off your feet!  We made it though.  All the while though you just had to take in how beautiful and quiet it was out there..  I noticed a runner ahead of us on the path and though it looked so neat, that I had Lisa take this picture of me
.  A lot more trees to get over.  At one point, I guess I was getting tired, we came to another tree to climb over and I just stopped and started laughing, like I just can't go over another tree!  I wasn't discouraged or anything, it just struck me funny.  I have to add here that Lisa has been making me take my GU and snacks on schedule and , I have to admit, I believe it helped.  You know what else was great for me?  Having no idea how fast I was going or how many miles I had run!

We did come to a small clearing and it was a shock to see the sunshine and realize how really bright it was out after being in the woods for so long.  I asked Lisa if we would ever get back on the road during the race and she said No.  I was so glad, loved being in there!  We were getting closer to the end at this point and entered an area of tall pines!  It was breathtaking!  These huge, pines all together.  Lisa kept mentioning the pines and I didn't understand her fascination until that point.  Now I know.  It was like being in Church, but better, much better.  The floor of the woods was just covered in pine needles and it was so soft.  We ran there for quite a while and kind of circled around to come back through.  We could hear music now so we were getting near the end and, I have to say, until that point I wasn't really anxious for it to come to an end.  Once I heard the music it was like my body said, ok you are getting tired.  We came out of the pine woods and there was a volunteer there and said we had less than a mile to go!  Finally we came out of the woods and approached the finish line.
Started running a little fast, so fast that our friend waiting at the finish took this picture
Lisa said we were going so fast the picture is blurred!  Yeah, right!  But notice I have a smile on my face.  We finished in 4:01!  Almost exactly what Lisa predicted!  I have to say that I have never felt so good throughout a full race and at the end.  Of course it is because I did a lot of walking, but I still felt like I had accomplished another feat....a trail!    In fact, now I feel pretty badass, or as a friend of mine posted on facebook, you are a tough old bird!  I think that it is a compliment!


Tuesday, July 29, 2014

In praise of my running friends!

Feel the need to give tribute to my wonderful running sisters, half of whom I have not ever met face to face!  First and foremost, I have to mention Kelly.  Kelly was the person who introduced me to this madness called running.  It was back in the 70's, she was a runner, I was not.   I was an aerobic dancer at the time, taking classes at a Health Spa, said Spa went bankrupt.  Kelly had been trying to get me into running, so I thought "what the heck".  I had no running shoes, no nothing, so I pulled on my reeboks and tried this running thing.  It was awful!  I couldn't even make it around the darn block.  Kelly kept me going, telling me that's ok, that is how everyone starts.  I only worked until noon those days, I had 2 small children, so every day , after work, I would lace up those reeboks and try to run.  Sure enough, little by little I was able to go further and further.  The first time that I thought I went about a mile without stopping I called Kelly at work, I was so excited.  Mind you, I had no watch or anything, just was guesstimating how far I had gone.  So...that was it, I was hooked.  Kelly talked me into the St. Patricks Day 10K run in Kansas City a few months later, she kept telling me "if you can run 3 miles, you can run 6!"  Yeah, right!  But you know what?  I did!  Ran that 10K in 1 hour flat...10 minute miles.  I owe all this to Kelly!  We have since lost touch, but I did track her down , 30 years later, after I ran my one and only marathon (so far).  I had to let her know what she had done to me!  Kelly isn't running anymore, due to knee issues, which is too bad.

Jumping ahead, quite a few years, another Friend of mine, Cathy, has a daughter who runs.  Cathy invited me to go to Florida to run with her daughter in a 15K race at Disney.  The furthest I had ever run is that 10K, I mean that wasn't the last time I ran 6 miles, but 6 or 7 miles was my limit, I never pushed myself to go any further.  But who passes up a trip to Disney?  Not me!  So............posted on a blog at the Runners World website, women runners over 40.  Posting the question," Can I run a 15K in a few weeks, if the furthest I have ever run is 7 miles?"  The resounding response was " of course you can!"  And , of course, I did!  In the years since, these ladies from this forum, have encouraged me to push myself even more...first the half marathon and then the marathon.  We have been together through, death of parents, spouses, and numerous more joyous occasions and the thread that binds us and keeps us sane is this crazy thing called running.  We are there  for one another.  Some of these wonderful ladies I have not even met, but it doesn't matter, we have formed a bond now that , I don't believe, will be know who you are ladies, let's keep on running!  My non-running friends also, encourage me make me accountable!  When I say I have registered for a Half Marathon, you better believe I am going to run it, barring any disaster .  I have even inspired a couple of them to become runners themselves, which is all the better.   I don't know where I would be without all those wonderful people!  Thank you!


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Good runs, Bad runs!

This is a subject that I think every runner has pondered at least once during his or her running career.  What in the world causes these spectacular runs and these terrible runs?  I had the most spectacular 4 mile run this morning.  It was an easy run day ( I am trying to stay in training for another Half marathon in September) so I started out at what I thought was a leisurely pace, which for me is about 13min or more per mile.  I am feeling great, just running, not doing my walk/run.  I wore my watch, but didn't really pay much attention to it, just wanted to make sure I did the 4 miles.  I never slowed or felt like I needed to slow down....the whole run was absolutely effortless!  When I was done I did look at my watch and I ran the whole 4 miles in 50 minutes!  That is a little over a 12 min. per mile pace, which for me is fantastic!  I have not run 4 miles without any walking in a long time.  I had a 3 mile run like this a few days ago also.  Problem is, I had the most awful run I can remember just a week or so before.  So what causes this phenomenon?  I don't change anything.  I get the same amount of sleep, eating habits are the same, work is the same.  Some days I go out the door and the minute I take one step, I know it is going to be a bad day, then there are those days like today.  What the heck?  Why don't I ever have days like that when I am doing a 5K or a Half?  I have never felt that good during a race, never!  I have noticed that the really good runs usually take place when I don't feel like going, but force myself out the door, probably to make me realize that I should be running!

Anyway, I just wish there was a way to bottle whatever it is that causes these great runs, because I could sure use it!  I have had some pretty miserable moments during my Half marathon career.  I realize running 4 miles and running 13.1 miles is a lot different, but you know what I mean.  If I could figure this out, I would probably become famous!  There just seems to be no rhyme or reason, just go with the good runs and be thankful!!!!


Sunday, June 29, 2014

Cedar Point Run and Ride!

Well I have another half marathon under my belt, but it wasn't pretty!  The race started at 6:45 this morning.  Was up around 4:30, had my cliff bar and Diet Coke and awaited my DH to get up.  Left the house around 6 and were there around 6:15.  Parking was is the Cedar Point parking lot and employees were  directing everyone to their parking spot.  Very well organized and stress free.  That is what is nice about a race at a Park like that....parking is pretty much unlimited and no hassle.  The race started in the same lot, so not a lot of walking involved.  The race was delayed about 10 minutes, I guess they were having problems getting the streets blocked off in our downtown, where we would also run.  Race got started at 6:55.  The National Anthem was sung by a woman with a beautiful voice, our anthem is tough to get right and she nailed it!  I got choked up like I always do before a race, the atmosphere, music, national anthem and the calling of us "athletes"!  I still don't consider myself an athlete.  Anyway we got started.  The first 4 miles were to run inside the amusement park so we headed out of the parking lot, rounded another neighboring parking lot and entered the park.  They had music blasting and some of the rides were running, athough the only people in the park were we runners.  The Carousel was running.  I love the carousel and it is about the only ride my stomach can take anymore.  A few of the coasters were going also, made it very festive!   I didn't not start out too fast today, a mistake I frequently make!  So I felt pretty good in the park.  I did not check my Garmin too much today because I become obsessed with it sometimes and start getting upset if I don't feel I am running like I should .  It was hot and humid, but at this point there was a pretty good breeze coming off the Bay, not too bad.  Headed out of the park, around the parking lot again and down the road that leads to or way from Cedar Point.  Now it is getting HOT.  No shade at all, the only saving grace was the breeze was still pretty brisk.  I tried to pick up my pace some and did pass some runners that had passed me earlier, that is always a good feeling isn't it?  Ran into town, again not much shaded , started seeing the leaders heading back, this was about mile 6 I believe.  I was still feeling really good at this point.  Running further into town, through residential, so a l ittle more shade.  Since my son is a policeman, I knew a few of the officers who were directing us and holding up the traffic, so that was cool.  Unfortunatley, I was already starting to drag a bit and getting a cramp in my right foot.  I had water and GU with me, I had already had one GU earlier.  There were frequent water/gatorade stops, but Ionly ever take water.  At this point I was pouring the water down my shirt!  Made a left turn to circle the downtown area, and on the way back through, my son was directing traffic!  So good to see him, I love that boy......Just about through the town and headed back to Cedar Point and now my right calf is starting to get into the picture.  I just kept hoping that it wouldn't cramp up on me!  I was just getting those little twinges that let you know you may cramp, know what I mean, so I started getting nervous.  My legs were getting really tired and I know I slowed way down, eventually, I had to start walking.  Darn, I do run with a walk/run when I am doing longer distances, but now I was walking more than running.  When I did start running I could really feel it in my calves, there were starting to tighten up a lot.  At mile 12 I almost through in the towel!  All I wanted to do was STOP!  That is when the thought of "why do I do this?"  Why do I purposely put myself through this?"  LOL.  The last mile was a killer, but finally I enter back into the parking lot and see my DH waiting for me...of course he says I am doing great, only 1/4 mile to go!  I hadn't looked at my watch in ages, I just figured I was doing terrible time wise, but approaching the chute they are announcing my name, and sure enough the calf cramps, but not enough to stop me in my tracks, as I cross the finish line they say "ginny Bess and she will be on the podium"  I could not believe it!  Even though I was not having the greatest run, I still placed in my Age group.  I was so excited.  The awards were pretty quick after I finished, but my legs were getting worse and worse.  I never stopped walking and my DH was rubbing my calves with ice.  They would be okay for a minute or so, but then start cramping right back up.  They announced my name finally ( I think they should work backwards and do the older people first, LOL especially today.  You guessed it!  As soon as I went to stop onto the podium, both calves just seized up and I could not make it!  Of course everyone is asking if I am okay.  Do I look okay?  It was just cramps, but I missed getting my pic taken and everything!  Gosh darn it, but I did do it!  We had to stick round for almost an hour until I could get the cramping under control.

So now I am sipping my Diet Coke, sitting on the front porch.  Already too a nap!  My calves are still twitching, but much better, and as crazy as it sounds, I will do this again in a few months and hope for a better run.  My time was 3:06, which I know, to many of you is super slow, but considering how I felt the last few miles, I was happy with it.


Friday, June 27, 2014

The pre-race jitters!

Every time I register for a race as the time creeps closer I start to question my ability to finish said race.  I am in that stage now.  Since I am so slow I start to worry that I will be the last one.  You know the one followed by the police car?  I have been that person a few times and I hate it.  In my heart I  know that I shouldn't give a darn, I am out there running and I am not a spring chicken anymore, there are usually only a handful in my age group!  But my darn head!  Thoughts of " you know you are going to be last," " No matter how hard you run, you are still slow"  I have tried all I know to try and think positive thoughts and they just don't come.  So why do I keep doing this?   Good question.  Wish I had the answer.  Up until 2008 I had never run further than a 10K.  Then some enabling friends of mine ( you know who you are), started egging me to try a half.  So I did.  After the race I thought never again...yeah right!  2 weeks later I was signing up to run the Detroit Free Press Half ( a great race by the way), then the following year my one and only marathon.  So here I am 6 years later still registering for these darn Halfs!  No ones cares, except myself, how slow I am or that I bringing up the rear, but you know you hear those thoughts in your head  " why is she even running, she might as well walk"  I don't think people think this, but in my head they are thinking just that.  I need these races though to keep myself motivated to keep on running.  If I sign up you can be sure I will run that race, unless I am sick of course, and no matter how slow or how terrible I feel that day I will finish!

Okay, I am thinking way too negative here and I do not need that 2 days before my race.  I use the word, race, loosely, since in my case it usually is not.  There I go again, being negative.  I need professional help!  LOL!  I have met wonderful friends during this journey.  Friends, that I believe, I will have for a long time, because they are nuttier that I am!

So wish me luck Sunday as I run , I think, my 21st Half Marathon!  That is an accomplishment, right?????


Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Summertime.....and the runnin' is easy...

Well not really easy, but a heck of a lot better than the winter!

Sorry that I have not posted in a few months.  I get into a real funk in the wintertime and ours lasted forever this year.  I did manage to train for and registered for the Cleveland Half Marathon in May.  However.....the night before the race I was up all night with the stomach flu.  No way was I going to make it to Cleveland, about an hour's drive, let alone run a Half Marathon.  I was so disappointed, I have never registered for a race and then not been able to run it.  Monday following the scheduled half I decided to run my own private Half just in my hometown.  Strapped on my Garmin, loaded up with water and away I went.  I didn't do as well as I hoped, but am thinking I probably would have done better had it been a race environment, at least I told myself that!

Since my running has gone pretty well.  Did do a 5K in our downtown later in May, that was interesting also. At one point we were supposed to turn right, run around a marina and then get back on the main road.  The woman ahead of me , either did not see the pointing sign, or chose to ignore it, I am not sure which, anyway she did not make the turn or run around the marina, but just kept going straight, I tried to yell at her that she missed the turn, but again, she either didn't hear me or chose to ignore me.  Imagine my chagrin when as age group awards were announced she was in my age group and came in first!  I was second!  I was kind of ticked off because I knew she did not run the whole course.  Did not say anything though, cause she really may have just missed the turn off.  However, I did mention it to a friend, who told the race director.  The next week as I was coming home there was a 1st place medal hanging on my back door...neat!  Apparently I was not the only person who complained.  I still don't know if she thinks she ran the whole thing or not.  I have heard through the grapevine that she also did this in a neighboring town's 5K a few weeks later, but she was caught this time.  So maybe she did know what she was doing after all.

I seem to have an awful lot of aches and pains these days, but they never seem to get any worse and do not prevent me from running, so I just keep going.  My speed is still atrociously ( is that a word?) slow, but I think I have come to grips with it ( not really, I still try to improve)  I am running a Half this Sunday in Cedar Point, the roller coaster capital of the world!  I better not get sick!  I so want to come in under 3 hours!  See I told you I am slow!  The weather conditions are supposed to be hot and humid, but the race starts at 6:45, so hopefully it will not be too bad.  If you have read any of my other blog posts you will know that I really got sick in Cleveland a couple of years ago when it was hot and humid, so I do not want to repeat that experience!

Wish me luck and I promise I will post a race report.

Right now I feel like I can keep running indefinitely!


Saturday, March 8, 2014

The winter that won't die!

I am beginning to believe that it will never stop snowing!   Been snowing all day here again today.  Not much accumulation, but I just don't even want to look at it anymore.

I have been forced to exercise indoors again all this week.  Been doing the 5-mile walk/jog DVD's with Leslie Sansone.  They are good and I feel I get a workout, but I have to build up my mileage.  I am going to have to resort to the gym and the treadmill if the weather doesn't improve and it sure does not look like that is going to happen anytime soon.  I know I shouldn't be, but I am embarrassed at the gym.  I am so slow and I feel like people are thinking "for heaven's sake, why doesn't she just walk?"  Anyway, I try to go super early in the morning when no one is there.  I realize that this is probably all in my own stupid head, but that's how I feel.  Silly, huh?  I wish I could get over this speed thing and just be happy to be moving at all, but it really bugs me.  It's like my legs just will not go any faster, I try.  Maybe when the weather warms up.

On a brighter note, I have entered a few contests on FB this season and I have won 2 paid entries into races of my choice!  So that means I am now registered for 3 half marathons, 2 of which are of no cost to me.  So I am running Cleveland in May, Lake Erie in August, and Mighty Niagara in September.  I should probably stop with those three, since I have been having all these darn aches and pains.  Think I will just play it by ear and see how I feel once I start to get my mileage built up.

Well, I am going to run 6 miles in the morning, hopefully outside, but I have a feeling it may be the treadmill.
I will let you know how I do.


Wednesday, February 26, 2014

It's been a long, long winter!

I am so sorry that I have not posted in months!  My running has been so sporadic since October.  Back in November I started working with a personal trainer, which was great, but somehow I did something to my lower back which put me out of commission for over a month!  My back still isn't right.  Needless to say, between the weather and my back my running has suffered considerably.  Just over the past month I have been trying to get there more.

Our winter has been brutal.  If it isn't snowing and blowing , the temperature has been near or below zero with the chill factor.  Heading into March and I think the temperature might reach 15 today if we are lucky and we had a little more snow last night!  Winter is not a good time of year for me, I think I may have a touch of depression in winter.  I am definitely a warm weather, sunshine kind of lady.

I ran outside this past Sunday with no snow on the street!  It was wonderful.  The past few Sundays I have gone out it has been with my Yaktrax plowing through 3 to 6 inches of snow.

Aches and pains galore this year too.  Not sure if it is just because of my age or what.  But up until this year I have almost never had any pain anywhere.  Now it seems like something always hurts, my hip, my back, hamstring...always something.  Maybe the extra mileage that I have been doing the past 5 years?  Just not sure what is going on, but I don't like it.  I won't stop running, but just wondering if maybe I should not do so many Half marathons this year.  I am already registered for two.  The Cleveland Half in May and The Mighty Niagara in September.

Anyway, I hope this hasn't been a downer, because I will not give up my running and I so enjoy the half marathons, so I will just keep running and hope my little aches and pains disappear with the winter.

If anyone does read this blog and has been experiencing any thing that I have, I would love for you to comment. Like I said, just not sure if it just my age and my years of running catching up with me or what.