Sunday, December 21, 2008

I ran the Thunder Road Marathon - 12/13/08

On 12/13/08, I ran my 8th marathon. I have really loved the training this time around. Just in case you have never trained for a marathon, I am listing my long runs. This is to show the hours of running that goes into a marathon. 26.2 miles is a long way. I have learned from past experience that this is a daunting distance...not to be taken lightly.

08/22 10 miles - 1:25.48
08/29 11.94 miles - 1:47.00
09/05 10.3 miles - 1:32.46
09/12 12.52 miles - 1:50.31
09/19 10.23 miles - 1:29.55
09/26 14.00 miles - 2:05
10/03 10.20 miles - 1:28
10/9 16 miles - 2:21.29
10/17 13.1 miles - 1:56.05
10/24 18.11 miles - 2:40.00
11/01 DOWD 1/2 - 1:51.28 - PR!
11/07 20.55 miles - 3:04.54
11/14 10 miles - 1:25
11/21 22.82 miles - 3:21.36
11/28 13.5 miles - 1:57
12/05 9.13 miles - 1:15

The day b/4: I have included a post from my BT site, where I post all my workouts: Everyday I start my morning with a time where I get with God and read the Bible and pray. I do this b/4 I get my children up for school. I have come to love this time with the one who saved me from my sins. He always has a word of encouragement for me.
My time alone with God today was on, "Do not worry". If you have been keeping up with my posts, you know how anxious I have been about this upcoming marathon. I normally deal with real stress well, but this has me worried. I enjoy running, but in the big picture, does it really matter to God how I do in this marathon....Well I open up my Bible today and there is a big, "Yes it does matter. I matter to Him".
Matthew 6:33 - 34 says - But seek 1st His kingdom and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of it's own.
Now I do not skip around in the Bible to find what applies to my life for that moment. This was the verse that was planned for me to read TODAY....Do not worry about tomorrow. Tomorrow is my marathon and the God of the universe placed this in front of me. He told me He cares. He told me not to worry.
Now I choose to do as He has asked and not to worry. I choose to trust in Him no matter what happens. Does that mean everything will go my way tomorrow. Maybe, or maybe not. The promise is not that Everything will be perfect. The promise is that He will be there running right beside me, no matter what comes my way.

The Morning of: I love to run! That much is clear. My goal for this marathon was to go sub 4 hours. My training pointed to the fact that this was in my reach. Everything came together perfectly for this run. I woke up at 0500 to spend some time with my savior. He promised me that He would run this race and the race of life with me. This does not always mean that everything will always go my way. This means, He will be with me, no matter what.

Most of my family came to support me for this run. My family has never seen me run a marathon, so this was very exciting for me. My mom, dad, sis, brother-in-law, nephews, girls, and husband came to cheer for me. I also had some surprise friends show up on the course.

My mom and dad walk with me to the start. My mom is giving me last minute instructions b/4 the race.

My sweet girls take one last picture with me b/4 I line up at the start.

The race: I started the race. I was excited, just running in the moment. Miles were going by quickly. Saw MK from Run For Your Life around mile 2ish. I yelled to her and she screamed. I was trying to run slower than normal. I knew I was around 1 minute behind the clock time.
I hit the 10k mark around 54 min clock time....feeling good!
Saw my family around mile 11 and Matt, my husband, snapped this picture. I am the one in the distance with the black tights and white shirt. Still feeling good.....I am on Kings getting ready to turn and go up Morehead. Ahhhh...Morehead.
I hit the 1/2 mary point at 1:55...remember the clock is ahead of me. I saw Ron, who trained me for my 1st marathon. I hold him responsible for this obsession with running. Ha ha! I was OK at this point. Still taking sips of Hammer Gel every other mile with the H2O on the course. Then I drank my G2 at the miles I did not take the Gel. Still, by mile 14 I am so thirsty and feel like my hips are going to fall out of their sockets. This was weird. I am "only" on mile 14...that should be no big deal. I knew I had to press on though.
At mile 16ish, I see my family again. My dad actually gets on the course and runs a bit with me. COOL! He ran track in high school. He broke and held track records for the area he lived in. He ran around a 6 minute mile...FAST!
This is so AWESOME! In this picture, you can see I am going uphill and I am acting like I am holding a gun to my head....they thought it was funny...I really wasn't kidding
I'm not going to lie...this is a hard course. Very uphill. I could tell the hills were taking their toll on me. Pain is fear leaving the what am I so afraid of?
I hit 16.2 at 2:24.
I think this part of the course is very bad for the mind games. I see Jessi somewhere around here. SWEET! After running through the city, I LOVED that, there is nothing until around mile 21. So I tried not to let the mind games take me out.
Hit mile 20 at 3:02. WOW! This is the fastest I have ever hit mile 20....I MAY make it. Saw my buddy Bree at in NoDa. This is right b/4 mile 21. She said she could tell I was hurting. I was.
At mile 21ish, I see Matt's GAP shirt in the distance. I am so tired and thirsty...I wonder if he would carry me the rest of the way. He is such a steady person. A wonderful, supportive husband. I run up to him, throw my H2O belt, hat, and gloves down and stop running. This is the 1st and only time I stopped moving during this race. This was the 1st time I stopped running. I told him I needed a Propel and he got me one. He was with my BIL and Dad. He said he thought I was going to make it sub 4....I chose to believe him, and started running. I saw my mom, sis, nephews, and girls down the road....WOOT!
I run on. I think I get a little 2nd wind at this point. Start feeling OK...not really good...but OK. I hit mile 25 and I see my buddies Amy and Steve...with their children. Then I look up and see the city skyline. I am running over 277 on Central. I realize I won't make sub 4, but will PR. All the hard work and the race and how tired I am hit me and I start to cry. I am not an emotional person..and have never done this....WOW gotta suck it up and finish this thing out!

At mile 26, a guy on a bike rides up to me. It is Jeff.......He just finished an IM not to long ago. He escorts me to the finish line. I feel like a superstar with the escort....oh wait, I am Spot in Big Mama's Attic....I am a star....LOL! I finish at 4:05.17 chip time...HAPPY!
Shiny stuff around my neck!
Hang'n with my sweet girls.
My biggest fan! husband!

My buddy Bree...we ran our 1st marathon together..and several after....
Getting my grub on with the family!

Monday, November 3, 2008

DOWD YMCA 1/2 Mary - 11/1/08

Today I ran the DOWD YMCA 1/2 marathon. Finished with a PR. 1:51.28 was my time. I feel like it was a diamond day. Here is my story.....

I am training for Thunder Road Marathon in December, so I thought this would be a great tune up race. I find that it is hard for me to calculate my true running time while running on the streets of Charlotte. I am always afraid that I have calculated the mileage wrong, or the stopping at the intersections will help in some way. So I thought I would see what 13.1 would hold for me. I have ran this race in 2005 with a time of 2:10. I have also ran the course 2 times for training runs.

Race Morning:
Normally in this section, I am telling about how my tummy is hurting. But not today. I have eaten good and really hydrated. I think this helped me feel good this morning. I got up at 0500 and asked for the Lord's blessings on my race and on all my friends who were doing the B2B 1/2 and full IM. Ate 1/2 of my PB&J bagel and drank G2. Packed up and headed to the DOWD YMCA. Got my chip and waited for the start.

Jessi came out and was my scream team for the day. She was board while waiting for me and did some self portraits.
The Race:
We started by running away from town on Morehead. I remember feeling anxious about trying to pass all the people who lined up too close to the front. I was running with a friend named Debbie. She ended up placing 2nd in her AG....with a time of 1:57...WOOT!
I passed mile 1 at 8:22. I thought, "WOW, this feels easy." I thought I may should slow a bit, but just kept running.
Mile 2 came around 16 something. I was still feeling good. I tried to run in the moment and not think about the miles ahead. I drank a bit of my G2 I was carrying with me.
Mile 3 was around 25 min. I was feeling good and was excited that I was able to feel good despite the "rolling hills".
Jessi met me 1st at mile 4. I am going UP Providence, across Sharon Amity. I was happy to see her. This gave me a boost to know she had made it. I am the one in the white shirt, black pants, and blue hat. Debbie has a blue coat on. I opened and took about 1/4 of my Hammer Gel.

This is me running away from the camera. I must wear the same thing to my races. This is my cool weather clothes. I wore them for the last 1/2 I did...LOL!
I never saw mile 5. I was getting worried at 45 minutes b/c I thought I had slowed. There were several big hills between these miles. We turned on Fairview and i knew that we were near mile 6.
I hit mile 6 at 50 minutes. After passing mile 6, I took some more Hammer Gel and drank a bit.
Mile 7 came at 58 minutes. I saw Jessi again and she took my picture.
After mile 7, we turn on Colony.
Soon after, I get a lovely side stitch...or cramp. Yes, I am not drinking enough. Anyway, I kept saying to myself, "A sidestich never killed anyone". This slowed me to around a 9 MPM. The next 2 miles were a pain...really! So I kept running and tried to drink some more.
Jessi caught me at mile 9. I told here that this was a long race. Ha Ha! She said, "Only 4 more miles". This wasn't much help.
I hit mile 10 at 1:25. I had gotten more fluid in me and was feeling better. I opened my next Gel and started sipping on it.
Turned left on Queens and I knew I would PR today. I turned left on East at mile 11 and started up. The last 2 miles were uphill. I think that is cruel, but ya gotta do what ya gotta do. So I just kept my pace. All these guys started sprinting up East. I knew I would be running uphill for the last 2 miles. I knew I would be passing these boys back...I did.
I dug deep and finished this race.
I have a race video of the finish:
I had 3 goals for this race.
1. My best goal was 1:50! My time was 1:51.28.
2. My doable goal was 1:54.
3. My easy goal was 1:58.
I feel good about this race. I think it showed me that if I run smart and not get overwhelmed, I can do a great job at Thunder Road.
I couldn't have done it w/o my scream teamer Jessi....Thanks girl! It is not easy to be a lone scream team...but you did great!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Race for the Cure - 10/4/08

Today I ran the race for the Cure with my friend who is a survivor. She started training for this race a few months ago and before she knew it, she was standing at the starting line.

This race, for me, is a special race. I love the cause. I have had so many friends and family members touched by breast cancer. My great aunt died when I was a young child...she was the age I am now as I write this this race is for her. My Aunt Birdie just finished this battle...she is a survivor...this race is for her. My Mother-in-law, Peggy survived, this race is for her. My Sister-in-law, Tami, survived, this race is for her. My BFF, Jill, who I set with during all her chemo treatments this race is for her. And all the many women who have battled this cancer...this race is for you.
My mother, Teresa, who did not have breast cancer, but a different kind...I run every race for her. When it gets tough on the race course of life, I remember her courage and will to live. I remember her faith in God never wavering. I hope to be half as strong as her in life.

This is also the race that launched my running story in 2001. I ran this race as my very 1st race. I remember passing the finish line at 33 minutes and thinking how far I had gone. I was very proud. Looking back I see how this race changed my life.

As I stand in the darkness, I am excited for my friend who will finish this race....but 1st I have to wake up.
Jessi (in her pink survivor's shirt) and her sisters pin pink pieces of paper on their backs to celebrate the people in their lives who have beaten breast cancer.
Here is the crew who ran today...Ashley, Candace, Stephenie, Kerin, Jessi, Me. We stand at the starting line waiting for the race to begin. As you can see, I am the only one with a water belt. Normally I do not wear a belt during a 5k...however, today, after the race, I will be running back to my car. It is almost 2 miles I am carrying my phone and keys with me.
The girls showing off their backs!
Ashley and Candace chill'n out ready to run.
Around mile 1ish....Jessi and Stephenie are still looking good.
Mile 2...Strike a pose!
Jessi heading for the finish...The end is in view so we really pick up the pace.
But have to stop to get a pic of mile 3...Hey, it's all about the pictures! LOL!
Kerin finishing strong!
Stephenie finishing strong!
After the finish, Kerin takes a break...
Jessi gets 1 last picture of all "DA Girls". Wonderful race and wonderful friends. What more could you ask for.

ACS 1/2 Mary - 5/08

Oh boy this was a fun 1/2. I ran with my sister Hope and we had a blast. I have been on a quest to make running fun, not just competitive. Now don't get me wrong, I love to compete against myself. To push myself further than I thought I could go. But this race was about sticking with a sister and going through the hard spots together. LOL! I said SPOT!
Hope (my sis) and I trained for the Racefest 1/2 that took place in April. For many crazy reasons, we did not get to do it. So I found this 1/2 on the ASC greenway for $10. WOW what a bargain. We have been running on the trails at Reedy Creek park...dodging snakes, frogs, and serial killers. So we went into this sorta prepared.
Hope and I found the finish line with no problem. Too bad we had not started the race. We were wondering where everyone was...oh, at the starting line. We warmed up by running to the starting line then running for cover when the starting gun went off...DUDE! I live in the city. When I hear a gun, I duck!
B/4 the 1st mile was over, Hope felt like she was really getting her feet wet. HaHa!
I know it looks like I can walk on water, but.....Maybe I am just going so fast...HaHa. As you can see, this is already a true adventure. Running through the creek was just the beginning.
Here is Hope still going strong around mile 2ish.
Oh here is mile 2. We are jumping roots and still splashing through the woods. At this point, there is no one around us so we choose to believe we are winning.
Even though at this point we think we are DLF. We find out later we are not. There were plenty of people behind us. We just never see them.
Here ia the 1st of many swinging bridges.
And as luck would have it, it starts to swing with Hope on it.
Here is Hope around mile 6 reenacting her "almost" fall into a big pile of seen above.
UP...UP...UP! Mile 7ish
...... and rolling around mile 8.
Oh, NO! I am stuck in the mud...and with at lest 4 miles to go....well if we had stayed on course.
Around mile 9 is where a runner can start to lose it....Hope is handling the mind games well. With insanity! At this point...we have somehow gotten off the trail and are trying to find our way back. We ran around 15/20 min longer than we should have!
But we did find our way back and finished with style! Hope later said she had found muscles she did not know she had b/c they were all hurting. This 1/2 was a blast and I hope to do it again next year....
A strong finish for a great race. And I placed 3rd in my AG!