Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Veteran's Marathon: October recap, and the final countdown!

Is that song stuck in your head now, too? :)

It seems like I finally figured out how to get all my long runs done- schedule 3 races in a row! While I would never advise this exact "training plan," I sit here feeling strong and marathon ready (let's hope I still say that in 10 days).

October was a good running month. With 2 weeks of reverse taper after the AF marathon, it started out slow, but the weekends have all been stellar:

October 5- Cole Porter 15K- new PR 1:20:40
October 12- Highway Half Marathon- new PR 1:57:04
October 19- St. Pat's 6 hour run- new distance record 27.5 miles in 5:45

Running my first ultra with no taper and doing as well as I did makes me PR hungry again. I'm also shocked how little soreness I had the day after the 6 hour run. I managed to keep all my miles under 10:30 (on trails, too) for the first half of St. Pat's, and some were under 10 minutes. It all makes me wonder how the chips will fall after a solid taper.

I barely ran the week after St. Pat's, mostly because we put our house up for sale and the whole cleaning/organizing/showing process has been a wee bit chaotic. It also caused my back to seize for three days- and I only got it to let go after using the kitchen counter edge to dig in for some myofascial release. Hey, whatever works!

This week has brought about more consistent running, all nice and easy. Sunday's run with these two
which seems to have helped ease their stress over the whole house-selling process, Tuesday's run with the group on base, followed by tomorrow's Halloween 5k on base where some of us are dressing up as our coach!!

And then there's this:
My current cross stitch project. Also known as how I keep the taper crazies at bay. Keeping my fingers busy helps me keep from getting stressed out.

It's hard to believe that this will be marathon #4. Harder still that once it's completed, I'll qualify for marathon maniacs, thanks to that last minute ultra! It just goes to show that when someone tells me I can't, I go out of my way to prove just how much I CAN. Not only have I become the long-distance runner many doctors said I'd never be, but I've completed enough marathons in a short enough time frame to join the Marathon Maniac Asylum! 

My whole point, in fact my whole lifestyle is geared around this: only you know your own limitations. Never let someone else dictate the way you live and celebrate your own life.

A phrase my fitness classes often hear from me puts it even simpler: 

Whether you think you can, or you think you can't, you are right.

Choose your own destiny, my friends! I can't wait to run and have fun during marathon #4! It's going to be the best birthday party ever!!!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

The non-traditional training plan... Or something

Most people running the Veteran's marathon in 2 weeks probably got in a long run today. Most of them also didn't run their first ultra last weekend.

So instead of doing a double-digit run, I did a double-dog run. 

First, 2.5 miles with Prudence. Then 1.5 miles with Matty. They needed it-yesterday, I would have sworn their names were Piss and Vinegar. Seems they are not coping with the hassle of showing the house and kennels being packed very well.

Which all means I only ran 4 miles today. But it's all with it when the evening looks like this:

Saturday, October 19, 2013

The most delicious cheetos in the world!

I ran my first ultra today! YAY! It was the 6 hour option at St. Pat's 24 Hour.
9 times up this hill sucked. 
 I finished 9 laps, which got me 27.5 miles in 5:45.
 I could have ran a .25 mile out-and-back for those last 15 minutes, but I said screw it. After 27.5 miles, I just wanted to be done.

In most of these photos, I"m clutching a bag of half- eaten cheetos. Let me just say cheetos taste AMAZING when you're near the end of an ultra. Like, I was groaning as I munched. SO. FREAKING. GOOD.

 My husband was awesome- he paced me my last mile, and got all these "actions shots" (and in some, you can see despite the smile how badly I wanted to be done!!!).

Being a small race, I was one of only 2 females in the 6 hour run (most of the participants did the 24!). Which meant I got 2nd place by defualt. HA! 
Tomorrow, I'll be helping install new flooring in our kitchen. I might get stuck on the ground. It will be interesting to see how sore I am after that many miles on trails.

(That's one way to make sure I get my last long run in before the Veteran's Marathon, isn't it?)

How was your weekend? Any brags? Fun stuff? 

Saturday, October 12, 2013


This morning, I headed down to Kokomo to run the Highway Half marathon. It was billed as One and Done because it was being held on the new bypass before the highway opened, and was therefore a one-time event. Pretty cool to have a chance to run on the highway before it opens to traffic!

The run itself, being on a highway, was exactly what you'd expect: no shade, very little "scenery," and looooong overpasses for hills. Boring for the eyes, yes, but being mostly straight like that, it made the miles fly by. Or maybe that was just my perception...

Because I nailed my time goal!!!!! I finally busted the two hour mark. My official time was 1:57:04. As you can tell, I was pretty damn happy. And then I saw the results (as I was about to leave) and found out I won my age group. What?! Just goes to show, you don't have to be the fastest, just the fastest to show up!
Final results: 
1/24 in age group
26th female
82/394 overall.

I am proud of how I ran today. And it never hurts to bring home some hardware!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

3 things Thursday

1. This whole shutdown thing is killing me. I'm glad the gym is open again, but I still haven't returned to work because my position is paid from an area that hasn't been cleared yet to resume spending money. Which means I'm still jobless. I talked to my supervisor today about it (I think he was afraid I'd be mad), and while it stinks, it could always be worse, so I'm trying to stay positive about things.

2. On a happier note, I LOVE MY BICYCLE! 2 rides so far, and it is awesome. I love it. I want to ride tomorrow, but given that I kind of over-did things already yesterday, I probably need at least one rest day before Saturday's half marathon.

3. I've been cross-stitching my heart out as I try to stay calm/de-stress during this shutdown business. Unfortunately, that means I actually irritated my shoulder! Crafting is dangerous, folks.

Anything random to share? Races this weekend, silly ways you've gotten hurt?

On a completely unrelated note: If you're the praying kind, please keep a newborn baby in your prayers. My friend's cousin gave birth to a baby boy yesterday, but he has a heart problem that will be requiring surgery as soon as possible, and then he'll face 3 more surgeries in his first year before going on to require a heart transplant. I don't ask for prayers ever, but this newborn baby could use all the help he can get. His name is Bennett. Thanks.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Happy early birthday to me!

The best Husbeast in the world have me my present over a month early so I could enjoy it before Indiana weather returns to craptastic fall (normal).

I took it out for a short 6 mule rise in the wind yesterday. And I love it.

(I find it funny, too, that it's a Giant... Since I'm only 5'3")

Now, whenever the govt gets their crap together and I return to work, I can start saving for some new pedals and shoes. And maybe register for a duathalon! (Is that spelled right?)

And sometime in the future, maybe I'll learn to swim efficiently.... Maybe.

To name the bike, or not? I know a lot of people name their bikes. I named my car (Angie, she's a brat. No clue where the name came from but we argue a lot). 

Does your car or bicycle have a name? What is it?

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Worst PR ever!

Also known as "the race that finally sucked." 

I've had a string of great races. Sure, some hurt, but I had fun the whole time.

Not today. It was 72 degrees and a 100% humidity at the start. I brought my handheld, and still ran out of water (they had 2 aid stations... At mile 1 and mile 2. Which meant on the out and back course, from mile 2 until mile 7 there was NO water. Terrible planning given this hot spell!). I felt like I was still recovering from a marathon....

Wait. I am! Perhaps that's half the problem. Last year, there were three weeks between, and this year only had two. That might explain why I felt like I was fighting sooooooo hard for this race.
There were waaaay more people than last year, too, thanks to the shutdown.

Yeah. Because of the shut down, the race had more participates (yay for more $ for local charities), but this meant several age groups, including mine, were way more competitive than normal in our tiny town.

I have never been this unhappy about a PR. But factor in a crowded race feel, not enough water and terrible humidity, and I'm just not excited. I have never been this glad a race was over!

Finish time was 1:20:4x.
Place: ???/???
Who cares. I'm just glad it's over. And I never thought I'd say this, but I hope it cools down before next weekend!!!!!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Three Things Thursday

1. This government shutdown SUCKS. Since I work at a gym on an air reserve base, I am out of work until this crap is resolved. And I hate feeling so powerless about it.

The only thing I can control is my attitude. I've been trying to put on my happy pants, and most of the time I can. But yesterday they wouldn't zip until I let out a couple grumpy tweets.

The other way our small running group on base is "fighting back" is by continuing to meet up at 3:15 outside the sad, locked gym. Tuesday we ran two mile repeats (7:08 and 7:07- still so happy about that). Today might get rained out, but we'll see.

2. I've been catching up with some cross stitch projects. I love crafts like this that force me to slow down. Sometimes it does get tedious, but for the most part, it is nice to be able to be calm and present, one tiny x at a time.
 I plan on framing it with some green fabric and hanging it... somewhere. I wanted to turn it into a decorative pillow, but I asked the Husbeast if he would remember to NEVER put his head on it, and he answered honestly and said no. Pillows will be used as pillows. Wallhanging it is, then.

3. And then there's this:
Twice in the past week, I joined the Husbeast at an outdoor shooting range and got to play with some of his toys. What can I say, I had a blast (haha, bad pun). Don't ask me to tell you the specs, though, because about 30 seconds after I'm told, I forget. Even though I don't remember the name/model/number stuff, I'm still a pretty good shot- good enough my husband praises the tight groupings I get with both rifles and hand guns.

YOUR TURN: tell me something random. an unexpected hobby, favorite food you've eaten today, anything!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Veteran's Marathon- September training recap and October goals

WHOA! Where did September go?

Training went well! How can I be disappointed when I ran a new 5K PR, and then a new marathon PR the next Saturday? I can't. In fact, this is how I still feel:

I'll keep coming back to this photo every time I feel unstoppable. You've been warned!
I logged only 64 miles, but I feel like they were quality miles. I'm seeing improvements in time over both short and long distance, so I'm ok with low mileage.

October brings some big goals of its own. This Saturday, I've got a 15K, followed by the Highway Half in Kokomo the next week, and then I might have signed up for another run on the 19th. I'll tell you about that one later... :)

But this does mean that by my race schedule alone, I will get all three remaining long runs done! And then it will be taper time again. Call me crazy, but I love tapering. I can throw my hands in the air and trust my training, and relax knowing that the hay is in the barn.

I'll be honest here: Since I PR'd at the Air Force marathon, I'll be happy just to run well at the Veteran's Marathon. Sure, I'd love to get another PR, but the pressure is off. And, since Vet's is a week before my birthday, and I hear there's  a beer station along the course, this very well could turn into the most glorious 5 hour birthday party taking place along 26.2 miles of awesome!

You've been warned. I'll be wearing something sparkly and in a party mentality. PRs are optional. Fun is NOT.

Will I see you at my birthday party the Veteran's marathon?

Tuesday, October 1, 2013


Let's ignore the government (since they ignore us!) for today and focus on something AWESOME:

Registration for TEAM TOUGH CHIK opens today!!!!!!!!!

Ladies, this is practically a national holiday. Seriously. If you've ever wanted to be part of a team that will support you through your athletic endeavors (no matter if it's Couch to 5K or tackling Ironman Kona!), THIS IS THE TEAM FOR YOU.

From the website:

Tough Chik is not just a clothing line, it is an outlook on life. All women have a personal story that makes them tough and our goal is to celebrate Tough Chik triumphs in a creative way. We want to revolutionize women's performance apparel by linking it to something more profound than just pretty designs.
As Team Tough Chik, we are designers, marketers, runners and cyclists that feed on creative expression. We are proud of our shin splints, scars and pedicures. We strive to support women of all shapes, sizes and backgrounds who celebrate life and seek to conquer its challenges and adventures.

From my own experience:

These ladies have helped me when I had training questions about my first marathon. They helped me know what to look for when I went to go pick out my first bicycle. They helped me through two surgeries in the past year and were with me when I was frustrated, and still with me when I reveled in the victory of being healthy and running again.

These ladies are my sisters, aunts, mothers, even grandmothers. No matter your age, all active women are welcome. Together, we are a family. It's the kind of support network that all women should be for each other and is sadly lacking in the world. But not on TEAM TOUGH CHIK!!!!

I don't know what else to call these women except friends and family. It's simply amazing. 

Registration is easy, and affordable (even for those of us affected by the shutdown): running singlets (which work great for other sports, too!) start at $27. That's less than most 5Ks cost, and gives you a whole year of membership to this wonderful team!

I don't get anything if you join, either. Wait, that's a lie- I GET MORE SISTERS/FRIENDS/TEAMMATES?FELLOW TOUGH CHIKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So what are you waiting for? Come join the team!!

Seriously. I am not being sponsored, coerced, or bribed by Team Tough Chik for this post. All the gushing is my own. I love these ladies more than they know. Shannon and Angela have created a true team for active women. Thank you to our Fearless Leaders!