Tuesday Newsday – 5/14 – I’m in Maine!

(I started writing this post on Tuesday, earlier this week…)

Prior to class today, I was really freaking out about my marathon, but after talking to one of the instructors about the marathon she ran recently, I feel I lot better. She had a similar situation that I am about to explain…

Let’s recap the last week of training:

vermont city marathon logoVermont City Marathon Training Week 16:

Monday: Rest/no kicking boxing. Unfortunately I had to study for my test.

Tuesday: Only 2 miles

Wednesday: 3.5 miles

Thursday: Only half a mile, guys! AHHH. It started raining, raining a lot, on my lunch break at work so I was forced to use the treadmill. I CANNOT stand that thing anymore. Plus, I was super stressed and my chest felt super tight and it was hard to breathe….long, complicated story. Sounds worse than it is….I think.

Friday: 3.75 miles.

Saturday: Rest. With Performance Enhancement Specialist elective at school. (I realize this sounds pretty precarious, as if I’m learning about giving athletes steroids. But really, the PES cert from NASM is all about just training athletes. It’s a great course and I’m learning a lot!)

Sunday: Disaster hit. So…… I went out for my last long run. It was supposed to be a 20 miler. Since it was also mother’s day, I had driven up to Longmont the night before to hangout with my mom. There’s a lake near her house and we figure out that I needed to lap the lake 5 times plus the two and from her house; that would be 20 miles. I woke up early, AGAIN, and made my way outside. It was already in the upper 60’s at 6am, so it made for a lovely day. But then I felt the pain. Not sharp, but not comfortable either. My left knee and left hip were hurting. Causing me to limp. My right arch was also hurting. Not sure which happened first or if one stated and then due to a compensation in my stride, the rest of my pains started. After my second lap around the lake, I stopped to walk a little while I forced down a GU (blueberry flavored this time and still disgusting). I chased it with water and started running again. Still painful. I tried to concentrate on my form, but nothing was helping. (In regards to it being Mother’s day, I did take my mommy to the Wild Life Animal Sanctuary..it was wonderful!)

Needless to say, I was freaking out after that; wondering if I could even do my marathon. I ran a total of 12 -13 miles that day and other than the hip and knee and arch issue, I felt great – plenty of energy, felt fine cardiovascularly. Just tight and sore.

(Cut to Saturday, as I sit in my hotel in Maine, resting before the Sugarloaf 15k)

I was freaking out all week, talking to anyone and everyone that knew anything about running. I’m still doing my marathon, there’s no question about that. I’m going to take it easy. My goal is just to finish. And I think I can. Since that attempted long run day, I’ve been taking it easy, to recover as fully as I can. Even easier than a normal taper. I have run a little; short, easy runs just to get my heart rate up and on my feet. They have resulted in me feeling just tight and heavy. I have done cross training like kickboxing and stuff as well. Mind over matter.

I will ask you to reserve any comments this time…unless it’s to tell me I’m doing just fine! It will freak me out way to much to hear anything other than, “you’ll do fine.” I’m confident I’ll do fine, and that’s all I need to know right now.

And also, for the record, I think anyone who says tapering is hard is certifiably nuts. I’m so happy it’s shorter runs!!!!! I mean, it could be my over trained, under slept self that is biased. But bring on the taper!

sugarloaf mountain symbolSo, back to the present. I am laying on my bed at the Spillover Motel in Stratton, Maine which is about a 15 min drive from where I need to be tomorrow at 6:30 am. Tomorrow will be my recovery test run.

I’ve picked up my packet, ate some spaghetti, and laid out my clothes. I’m about to hop in the shower and then tuck myself in. I think this will be one of my most prepared races I’ve run in a loooong while.

Also, there’s still time to get me your favorite workout jams for me to put on my running play list!

Announcing The New Goal Marathon(s?)!

To be honest, I’m still deciding what I want to do the full 100%. I have a few people telling me to do it, and most people telling me to chill out and just do the 15k first and then the marathon after the wedding. I hate to say it, but I’m leaning towards to the doing that latter idea.

I’m kinda sad about it, but I don’t want to kill myself and I want to be able to physically WALK in my friend’s wedding. Also, the 15K race in Maine gets a medal too!!!! So that’s fun! I think for my Racing the States project, I’ll still focus on running any type of race in every state, but for my life project, I think it would be cool to have a half (or even a full) marathon in every state. But I’m young, I’ve got plenty of years to do that!

Although, if I just do the 15K first, the friend that I got into running will complete a marathon a week before me. And it still upsets me. I don’t know why, but it does. Especially considering she didn’t take the step to a half marathon first. Oh well. I’m glad I got someone into running, but running is my life, and that makes me jealous!

sugarloaf mountain symbolSo, as of this second, right now, I’m going to plan on doing the The Sugarloaf Marathon Series 15K at the Sugarloaf Mountain Resort in Maine on May 19th. This race looks really fun and pretty! I’m really excited.

vermont city marathon logoThe following weekend, I will drive a couple hours to Vermont, and run the Key Bank Vermont City Marathon in Burlington, Vermont on May 26th! This will be my FIRST marathon! I’m really excited to be training again!

I’m also just really excited for a vacation in general, and as you can imagine, I’m counting down the days!

In other news, I’m happy to report that I was offered a job as a “Program Advisor” as a Bally’s Total Fitness Gym!!!! Basically that means I will be selling memberships, taking people on tours and stuff like that. The best part is that once I do get my personal training certification….there’s the option that I can move laterally in the company and train there!!! Which is really exciting and just what I need. Bally’s seems like a really good company to work for so far!

I will be keeping my job at Dick’s Sporting Goods for a little while longer to catch up on bills and such, but I’m really excited for this opportunity! Finally – a job at a gym!!!!

Hope everyone else’s weeks are going well!

Tiger Trot 15K – Post Race Recap!

Ok, ok, I know, I didn’t do a Pre Race Review…but, SURPRISE!!! I can now cross Kansas off my list!!!

Racing The States goes all the way to….Kansas!!

The Trip:

It was sort of a last minute decision. I have my calendar on my computer with a BUNCH of different races I could do or want to do…. a couple weeks ago, I saw I had added this one and finally decided: Ok, I’ll make the drive to Kansas. It was an 8ish hour drive to Wichita, one that I was not able to make all at once.

I got off work at 2:30 Saturday afternoon and had originally planned on leaving no later than 3. However, when my “driving buddy” backed out on me, I knew I had to plan a little better. Reason being, if I didn’t make it all the way to my friend’s house that night, I would need a shower pre-drive so that I wouldn’t be SUPER gross on the way home. I also had to account for more coffee in my diet since I had no one to talk to/keep me awake plus a few other logistical things that took me a bit to figure out. I ended up leaving Colorado at 4pm. Not taking into account the time change, I had to text my friend that so graciously offered me to stay at her place, “thanks for the offer to crash, but I will not make it there at any reasonable hour.”

I originally had planned to stay with a girl I met at the Wild West Relay who lives about an hour from the race. Free place to stay? Done! And the hour drive in the morning would have been a good chance to wake up prior to running. Well, besides the fact that I wouldn’t have made it at a reasonable hour to accept her offer, driving safely was becoming a problem as the hours wore on.

As soon at I got off I-70 to head south through Salina, I was not driving safely at all! I was only about an hour and half form Wichita (where the race was) and I would have just stayed at a cheap hotel close to the race site, but smartly, I pulled over into a rest stop and slept. Knowing I would have to complete the drive in the morning, I set my alarm, pulled my car blanket over me, and shut my eyes.

My alarm went off before the sun even rose and all I had to do was put my seat in the upright position and start the car. Luckily for me, I’m really good at changing and eating in the car all while following directions on my phone (this might also be signs I’m a bad driver…but you do whatcha gotta do when you’re driving by yourself). I made it to the race head with 30 minutes to spare; enough time to pick up my race packet, go to the bathroom and stretch.

wichita, ks

Good morning!!!

The Run:

FANTASTIC run!!! I had a great run! I completed the 15K (9.3 miles) in 1:22:29.9, I’m not setting any records here, but I felt accomplished with this time, especially because I was just using it as a training run. I started off the run slowly because I didn’t get a chance to warm up very well, using the first mile or so to loosen up. At mile 3, I was slowly passed by two men with a garmin that was making all sorts of noise.

The starting line.

They first commented on the runners going the other way (by then the first men and women had already hit the turn around and were crossing paths with us). One man made a joke about how they weren’t having any fun running that fast. I chimed in and said, “yeah, it’s us over here having all the fun” and then throwing in…”were not competing, were training.” Since they laughed at my comment, I started to keep pace with them. The chime on his Garmin was signaling that we were under an 8:30 pace! This really excited me, so I decided to stick with them for as long as I could stand it. We chatted about their lives and what they did for a living and I told them I was from Colorado and about my running goals.

I stuck with them until about mile 7, but kept them in site for the remaining of the run as motivation. I finished strong, although I did feel a little alone because no one was there at the finish line for me or running with me…I think this might have been the first race I’ve done without any company.

Proudly wearing my race shirt after the race!

The Event:

Also FANTASTIC! Well put together. The money went to the Tanganyika Wildlife Park…so of course, I was well on board with this race from the beginning!

Super organized from start to finish. The course was well marked. There was enough water stations and people to direct you where every you needed to go. At the end there was booth that you could give them your bib number and they instantly printed your time along with finishing position and pace. Super awesome! The volunteers were awesome, I spent some time chatting with one of them; and the place was easy to find with plenty of parking. Well accommodating for the 700+ participants (there was a 5K as well).

Is that not the cutest thing you’ve ever seen?????

I wandered around the park to “cool down” instead of immediately getting in my car and sitting for 8 hours. It was a small wildlife park, but really interactive. They monkey habits were on islands surrounded by water, but no fences between any of it. You could walk right up and touch the giraffes, tortoises, and kangaroos (which are super soft btw). There was also apparently a place where you could get your picture with some lemurs as well, but either I did not find it (cause you know I would have been all over that) or they didn’t have it set up because of the event. The rest of the exhibits were wonderful as well and the animals all looked very happy.

Pretty cool animal habitats, huh?

By the time I was done meandering, they were giving out the place awards as well as doing the raffle. I did not place (obviously or this would be a very different post) nor did I win any prize (which they gave out for last/first to register, last to finish, most pained expression at the finish line, etc) but they did have a sock throw at the end….and believe me they were clean socks…or you would have seen me sprinting as fast as I could in the opposite direction. I managed to catch a pair of the clean socks that had the Tiger Trot logo printed on them.

I’ve gotten shirts, headbands, medals and water bottles from races, but never a pair of socks. Do I wear them or display with my other race goodies??? Would that be awkward to have socks displayed or a dinner conversation starter (keeping in mind, I HATE feet – and that’s an understatement)???