Thursday, September 26, 2013

Not Worried....Nope, Not At All

Training from Blister In The Sun Marathon (8/04) until Honest Abe Marathon (9/22)

   I admit it.  I was nervous.  I had just started running on Monday and the race was Sunday.  Sunday was my last day to take my antibiotics.  I was worried that the weather would be warm and I haven’t done well with warm weather on antibiotics.  I wasn’t sure if the UTI was cleared up.  I wasn’t sure if I would start bleeding again since the surgery was a little over a week out.  We put on our trail race on Saturday morning and then a wedding that evening.  I had a horrible headache at the wedding and reception and left early Saturday night.  I felt sick on the way home and told Pat I didn’t thing I could do the race.  I wasn’t sure if I could even get out of bed.  I was worried.  
He told me to see how I felt in the morning and if I could get up, just go run one lap and come home.  I had my answer.  I had my reassurance from him.  I would try.  I would see how I would do.  I would test myself.  I would see how badly deterioted my fitness had gotten since the Blister In the Sun Marathon 6 weeks ago and the subsequent events that followed.  I knew that if no bleeding or effects from the antibiotics cropped up, that I would push myself to finish the race.  I wanted to finish.  I needed to finish.  The race cut off was 7 hours, with a 5 hour cut off at loop 2.  Three loops.  I told myself try to get each loop at two hours and then I had an hour for disaster to happen.  I was nervous.  I was worried.  BUT if I could get out of bed Sunday morning, I would try.
  I didn’t sleep well and I woke up 10 minutes before my alarm was to go off.  I hurried and got myself together and headed out into the crisp morning.  I arrived at the race an hour early, picked up my bib, and promptly laid back down in the bus to rest. 
      Before long I went to line up and saw Brian.  I met Brian during LBL.  He was doing his first 60K (and first trail run) and was having a tough day.  He said I encouraged him to finish.  Today I would use close to the same words I gave him that day to encourage myself, “I have 7 hours to get it done.  Don’t stop unless you get timed out.”  I saw Craig B. and got to meet Debbie, who I only know from Facebook until now  Shortly, we were off.  The marathoners had to do a lap around the parking lot, while the 14K’ers got to start immediately on the trail.  I watched as everyone pulled on away from me.  I tried to level my pace and my breathing, but I felt so uncomfortable and couldn’t catch my breath around the parking lot.  I finally made it to the trail and still even saw a few people ahead of me.  I knew it would take me about 20-30 minutes to feel comfortable.  And it did.
There was an aid station midways through the loop and another one at the start/finish line of the loop.  I wore my hydration pack to make sure I stayed hydrated since I was still on antibiotics and I wasn’t sure how slow I would be going.  Before long I had passed 7 people.  I didn’t care that they were probably 14K runners.  I was passing people and it felt good.  One did pass me back but I caught him at the aid station.  He was a marathoner and I would play leap frog with him the rest of the race. 
After we left the AS and I was ahead of him, running next to a creek I heard some rustling and looked to my left just in time to see two deer.  I stopped to watch them and they stopped.  The other runner caught up and I pointed them out to him.  I was sad because I didn’t have my camera to take a pic and my phone was tucked in my pack.  Oh well, I headed off hoping for a port o pot in the near future.  I had to go really bad, although I was nervous about it.  When I did BITS marathon, the wheels starting coming off more and more after each potty break as the UTI raged.  I don’t know if I am finally over it or not, but I finally came upon an outhouse and was about to find out.  I quickly ran in, set down, and just felt hot pee coming out (sorry so graphic).  No pain, no blood, and best of all, no burning crying my insides are falling out sensation.  Victory!  
There was a ton of wooden bridge crossings and I made sure to walk across them everytime because they were slick.  Even walking, I slid a couple of times.  The rest of the loop was uneventful and I was looking forward to seeing the so called “zig zag” bridge.  Apparently, the RD has some complaints about the bridge and people have asked him to re route the course.  I came upon a long wooden bridge that went on 
forever and then turned and went on some more.  I thought maybe that was the zig zag bridge.  It was cool, but why would people complain about it.  It was slick but so were the others.  I came upon an old home site and a fenced in well.  That is also when I came upon the “zig zag’ bridge.  It was so cool and I made sure to tell the RD that he should never re route the course (if people don’t like it, they can find another
race to run- it was unique!).  It was basically a hillside with a ramp bridge, then it would turn and angle down the other way, then turn again, and it went on for several levels until it dumped you out at the bottom.  My pics do not do it justice.  Right after it, I came to the end of the first loop and stopped at the aid station.  Since I had forgotten my watch, I had no idea how long it had taken me, but I felt really good and
headed out onto the second loop.  As I got away from the AS, I texted Pat to let him know I was starting my second loop.  I had promised him I would.  (Although he had given his blessing for me to go, I know he was concerned also.)  I checked my phone and it was roughly two hours, 9:30ish.  I wasn’t sure if we had started on time either, but I felt good about that.
The second loop I had some doubts, which are normal for me.  I always struggle in the middle of a race and today was no different.  What was different was the way my legs felt.  They felt heavy and like they were not connected to my body.  A couple of times, it felt like they were going to crumble underneath of me.  A very uncool giving out sensation.  It was just such a strange sensation.  I finally made it to the AS and was at a mental low.  I even told the guys thanks a ton, in case I wouldn’t be
 back around the third time.  They were very nice and encouraging.  I grabbed some more pretzels and headed out.  I was trying to push myself and keep jogging along with walking the uphills only but as I left the AS, I was pushing myself just to walk.  I started to feel a little better but then I really realized what was wrong when my belly started growling.  It’s probably lunchtime at home!  (the race was in central time
zone) Let me tell you, I don’t like to miss a meal and you can probably tell it!  I was hungry!  I finally got to the next AS at the end of loop two and grabbed me a gel to suck down and another handful of pretzels.  I figured the caffeine would help and it did.  I felt so much better!  I texted Pat again and let him know I was starting my third loop.  Roughly about 4 hours into it.  I was still on par with my game plan of two hours and
I had a three hour cushion to finish this last lap.  I finally let myself breathe easy.  I knew I would finish and I knew the last lap wouldn’t be too bad because I can usually finish strong.  As a treat, and because I thought I was in last place since the leap frog runner had passed me again in the middle of the second loop, I put my headphones on and pushed on.  I was so happy.  I also tucked my phone in sports bra so
that I could take pics.  I knew it was my bell lap and I had time to savor the lap and get some pics of this beautiful course.
  I made it to the middle AS for the final time and joked about being the “sweep”, but they informed me that there was two more runners behind me!  Well, that put a fire under me as I hurried and ate another gel, 

orange, and handful of pretzels.  I hurried out of there hoping to keep from being last after all.  I still took my pics though and after taking one of the beautiful lake is when I had my toe catch on a root or something and I went sailing through the air.  I am not very graceful, but I managed to stay upright and probably gave the people in the paddle boat a good laugh if they saw me.  Man, my big toe smarted after that!
  Right when I got to the zig zag bridge, another runner caught me.  Darn it!  But she was very nice and offered to take a pic of me as I was putting my headphones away.  Tamara from Cincinnatti was running her 95th marathon and we happily chatted as we ran in together, stopping to grab her drop bag and my jacket/arm sleeves that I had discarded after loop one.  We were chatting so much, that I did not see the time when 
we crossed the finish line.  After I had changed, I asked the RD my time and they accidentally gave me the girl before me –so I thought I finished in 6:03:04, but when the results came out I see that Tamara and I finished in last place together at 6:07:22 (even though I tried to get her to go ahead of me in honor of her 95th finish).  I guess the other person must have dropped.  So I finished in last place just like my very first trail 
marathon but this time it was actually a better time.
  I am thrilled to see that I haven’t lost that much fitness and mentally I was able to keep pushing.  I also know that I had some help out there.  I felt Him blessing my every step.  LBL last year was my first race after my dad had passed and I was worried that I might be a blubbering mess at this race, but I only had one time that I teared up.  On the third loop 
going up the last big hill, a Christian song called “What Are You Waiting For” started playing and I teared up as I climbed.  Fighting over 2 months to clear up a UTI, the loss of our baby, the no training due to all of it.  I thought of it all and then I also thought, just like the song was saying, I’m not waiting for tomorrow.  I am able to get out here.  I may be slow, but I can get out here and enjoy his creation.  
I am glad I got out of bed.  I needed to see if I could do it. And I needed to see if I could do it on my own and alone.  And I did and I am still excited that I was able to pull it off.
  If you ever have a chance to head to Lincoln Park, Indiana, put this race on your list.  The RD and his merry band of volunteers were awesome and encouraging.  The course is beautiful and the price is right!  I loved every bit of the race and look forward to doing it again.  Especially with the fond memories it has now been given.  I was worried, but I found victory!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

To Be or Not To Be

  For the first time ever, I feel my age.  All of my life I have always been told that I don't look my age.  Therefore, I really don't act my age because apparently I missed the manual on "How to Act Your Age."  Yesterday at the OB's office, I felt my age.  No matter how healthy I am, I can not get around the fact that I am 38 years old.  I am over 35 and that puts me at high risk.  I also learned that 40 gives me a 50/50 chance (that is less than two years away).
  Pat and I went to the appointment excited only to quickly have it stomped out during the ultrasound.  The US tech was very nice as she explained that the embryo was very tiny and had stopped developing for a while.  She also could not find a heartbeat.  We then got to speak with the nurse practitioner that explained that I will miscarry more than likely, but if not, they will perform a D&C (suck & scrape apparently).  So now I am walking around waiting to miscarry.  Half hoping I do so I don't have to go through the procedure, but also not knowing when it will happen, and if it starts at work, can I keep it together or will the cramps be more than I can cover.
    Being a Christian, it would be really easy to get mad at God over this.  Especially since I still feel that he spoke those words to me (see previous blog post).  Thankfully, I am a little stronger in my faith than I was several years ago when we lost one of her dogs very traumatically (I quit speaking to Him for about 6 months because after having to put so many pets down in a 1.5 year span, I had begged Him not to let us have to do that with Clay.  We had to put Clay down.).  Honestly though, I am really ticked off at Him, but that's what happens.  You get ticked off at family.  Ticked off at friends.  Why should getting ticked off at God be any different.  Besides, I figure He is big enough to handle my anger.
  I've wondered if Sarah had a miscarriage before she had Isaac.  I felt like Hannah at times yesterday especially sitting there waiting to go back to see the NP and looking at all of the round bellies around us.  Instead, I told Pat I needed some alone time and headed into the woods behind our house with my Ipod and did my best to praise Him.  I went through all of the questions with Him.  Why?  How come you let this happen?  What is the purpose of us going through this?  Why again?  It took about an hour but I was able to finally praise Him.
  I don't know what is going to happen.  Did I hear Him or was it a figment of my imagination?  I guess in the spring if I am without a baby, then you could say it was me or I can choose to believe that His plan has changed for Pat and me.  (And I know for non believers, that statement makes you feel that believers are wishy washy.  All I can say is sorry.  If you are right, then we all die and that is it.  Nothing, nada, zilch.  But if I am right, then it saddens me more than our loss yesterday and more than you know.  ~off my soap box now)   Although, I am sad and we are grieving just like anyone would during a loss, I am still choosing to believe.  I am also choosing to go back to the way it was before.  (Although, before I thought I couldn't get pregnant- not sure knowing now that I can is easier or harder.)  If it happens, awesome.  If it doesn't, awesome.  I told my mom this morning that my life is already pretty dang complete.  A kid would just be icing on the cake in our lives.  But I also love cheesecake and it doesn't have icing.  At least I can run a mile with Pat (at least until the bleeding starts).  And I have been married to my best friend for almost 14 years now and he is my rock and I know that the two of us together are stronger than apart.
  He never said it would be easy but I am so blessed that I can't complain.  Also, knowing that my age makes it more normal to miscarry the first time, makes it somewhat easier to accept.  Somewhat....
  I can't speak for Pat, but I feel like I am back running Vol State with all of the highs and lows lately and now the really low.  Not a very nice DNF if you ask me.  But as one of my mentors stated in a post last year, "What goes down, must come up."
  So that is where we are, in a holding pattern.  Waiting for the miscarriage to happen so that we can get a little bit of normalcy back into our lives.  I have several races lines up still for the fall and I am taking them as we get to them (I already had to DNS at the Bloody 11W).  I have another visit at the OB next week to determine if they will need to do a D&C instead.   We still have our four legged family.  Pat and I are both looking forward to getting back to practicing.  I mean really, isn't the old saying, "Practice makes Perfect."  And we are laughing.  We will still grieve, but we will be fine.  We love each other and we have the best family and friends around.  What is not blessed about that???

Friday, August 23, 2013

Faith of a Mustard Seed 8/23/13

     I feel a little like Sarah and Abraham right now.  You see, the Lord also spoke to me in the spring.  I'm not as close to Him as I should be and I seem to never be quiet enough to hear Him.  It is really no wonder that he had to wait until I sitting on the toilet doing the deed to whisper to me, "You will be with child this time next year."  Did I just say that?  Where did that come from?  Really Lord?  I am training for the barkley right now and you want me to think about a kid?  I kind of like my life right now.  I have found a nice little hobby and met some great friends.  I have so many goals set for me this year.  And, um, in case you haven't noticed Lord, Pat and I are not really spring chickens.   And did I mention I am training for barkley?
     And so that is how it started.  I put that out of my mind and the months have flown by and I only thought of it a couple of times, but not really seriously.  That was not until I got the UTI.  It was almost 3 weeks and not getting any better.  I thought that if I started, then it would change the pH or something down there and help me out.  I went to the doctor and they started me on antibiotics.  A seven day course and over a week later and still no relief.  I went to my family doctor for relief and with one other question.  As the weeks began to pass, I would tell Pat, "one week- that's no big deal."  "Two weeks- well, the UTI may be the cause."  "Three weeks late- um, I'll ask the doc when I go on Tuesday."
     Tuesday came and the doc come in, "Well kiddo (this cracks me up because he is probably not even 10 years older than me and calls me kiddo, but I adore him and so does Pat).....well kiddo, are you ready to expand your family."  And like that, the words I didn't think I'd ever hear was spoken.  I had to bite my cheek to keep from busting out in a big cheesy smile.  I tried to listen to him explain about how best to treat the UTI and then questioned him about my meds I take and my running.  No more Advair or Ibuprofen or Claritin for me.  The meds approved, I can't take Tylenol or Sudafed.  He did say I could take my emergency inhaler- so that is good.  And he also said I could run, even with the UTI.  Just to go with how I feel (some days are better than others I am finding.)
     I called Pat and broke the news to him.  We were both were already thinking we were, but now it was confirmed.  We called and texted the many family members.  Then when I started getting a headache and he started getting tired, we posted it on Facebook (welcome to the 21st century I guess).
     It wasn't expected.  We had already settled that our family would be made up of four legs.  We had found a great running circle and met some terrific friends.  Something we could see ourselves doing into our golden years.  Not that we still won't be able too, but life is about to change around Quarry Line Road.  (I woke up the other night chastising myself for taking the lights down off of the roof.  What if I can't get up there to hang them for our Christmas party in December?  A girl has her priorities at 3 in the morning on the toilet peeing.)  We also had put it out of our heads because we are slowly creeping up in age.  Of course, Pat more so than I.  I have had all the talks with my mother and friends of why we weren't having kids.  Pat should be retiring.  He'll be 75 when the kid graduates.  (I've already teased him that I will have to take his license away as the kid is getting his.)  It is not fair to him.  We have had all of the practical discussions of why having a kid at our age is not the smart thing to do.  Or probably the right thing to do for the kid.  But apparently, the Lord knows more than us and He thinks it is exactly the right time.
     Now as we have had to change our way of thinking, we couldn't agree with Him more.  It is the right time for us and both of us could not be more excited, even if it seems we are not (we aren't the gushy type and I am not even a baby person!).  I use to worry about our ages and the kid losing a parent at an early age and how unfair it would be for the kid.  I am 38 and my dad is gone.  My step mom lost her mom at 16.  Life is not fair and parents or children pass on before they are suppose too.  All we can do is love the child while God has gifted him to us, for however long that should be.  I am sure it will also be strange for Pat's kids to have a new younger sibling, but my sister was born the year I graduated.  Twenty years ago.  Such as life....
     My blog is usually about my adventures that Pat lets me take.  So forgive me, but I felt I should post about the little adventure Pat and I are getting ready to go on.  We will not be finding out the sex of the baby.  All we care about is having a healthy baby- that is our prayer.  If that should not be the case, we will still enjoy the wonderful journey we are embarking on.
     I re read the story of Abraham and Sarah the other night when I awoke and could not go back to sleep.  The Lord told her she would become pregnant and she laughed at him because of their age.  And along came Isaac.  I feel a lot like Sarah and Abraham right now.  I praise Him for His blessings upon us and for allowing us to have one of his children for however long that will be.

Thursday, July 18, 2013


  I had said that I wanted to break 7 days.  That was my goal.  I had said that if I wasn't trained, then I wouldn't even attempt it.........
  Back in January when I was chatting with Dusty it all sounded good.  And it was good until I decided to throw a hundred into my race calendar a month out from Vol State.  It should have been good training for Vol State, and for anyone else, it probably would have been.  But I am a candy arse.  I have to actually recover from races.  It took me almost a week to recover from Strolling Jim.  (I'm talking can't sleep because I have fluid built up in my ears and it hurts to lie my head on a pillow recovery.)  I don't regret one bit running the Little 100.  My regret is that I let my ego get the better of me and I boarded the ferry.
  I finished my half day at work on Wednesday, packed my stuff, and Pat and I had a nice trip down to Union City.  The last supper was great and got to hear the reading of Dewayne Satterfield's poem "Band of Brothers".  After going to Applebee's with Dusty and meeting Jeff S, Jeff K, and Tim P, we headed to the room to get some rest.  I was pooped- long day.  I didn't sleep well.  I was still trying to decide which shoes to wear when I woke up on Thursday.  As much as I would've loved to wear my Hokas, I hadn't trained in them since last year when I feel they may have given me PF.  I also was concerned that they would give me shin splints with all of the walking I knew I would be doing.  I settled on my Brooks that I wore last year.  I had put a double cushion from Dollar Store in them (I ran the Derby marathon with a single cushion and they did fine).  I put them on for the first time with the new cushion and they felt okay, and with that we were off to the ferry.
  I had brought the box of extra orange hats for a pic and we got a quick pic of the OHC before the race started.  I got to meet a few new people and felt pretty relaxed.  I honestly hadn't thought much about the race other than wavering from even doing about a week and a half out.  I didn't have any goal beside under 7 days and to reach McKenzie (57 miles) on day one.  That was it.  It actually dawned on me Thursday morning in the hotel that I would need 45 miles a day to meet my goal.  See.....just did not think about vs.
  We exited the ferry, lined up, laz lit the cigarette, and the race had begun.  We boarded the ferry, almost leaving Ray K in the process.  Dusty and I headed out of Hickman and hit the overlook as first females.
I so dislike the road heading out of Hickman.  It is narrow.  We leave during morning when people are going to work.  There are a lot of big trucks and they don't share the road very easily.  (Although I will say, we did have quite a few share the road.)  A couple of miles out there is a store on the corner, I told Dusty I had to stop to get gum.  I had forgotten to pack any and I had to have it to keep my mouth from feeling like the Sahara throughout the day.  I went on and took advantage of the bathroom while we there.  Right after we crossed the TN line, I thought I better put some sunblock on.  To minimize time loss, I tried to shove the can up out of the pocket so I could pull it out.  I shoved, heard a spraying sound, and then smelled not sunblock, but pepper spray. wouldn't be vol state without me playing with my pepper spray.  Luckily, Dusty took pity and I stopped and got my sunblock out and we were off again. 
  I was never so glad to start to see the city line of Union City.  It was starting to get warm, close to lunch, and I was pooped.  We made it to the Subway and I filled up on Dr. Pepper and ate my chicken out of my sandwich (which they forgot to put my bacon on).  :(
It was close to noon and Dusty wanted to be out in 15 minutes, but I can't eat that fast.  I ate as quick as I could and we were back on the road.  Before we got too far out of town, I stopped for some Gatorade and ice for my buff.  Jeff V. caught up to us for a little bit and we had a nice chat before pulling away from him.  Up ahead we saw Carl and laz sitting under the overpass.  We came in at 5:19 (18th and 19th place) and still first females.  ;)
I stopped us again to get ice for my buff at the western shop out of Union City.  The heat poured on us and we slowed some.  We stopped and shared some shade with Roy T. and his crew/wife.  I checked my feet and I was getting some heel blisters that I taped up.  While I was, I noticed that I was getting some serious chafing in the nether regions.  I hadn't felt any pain but it was bad and whelps were forming.  I reapplied Glide and shortly after, we were on our way.  We made it to Martin and I was going to stop at the Pizza Hut and get a Dew and pizza.  Dusty said she'd wait at the gas station for me.  I decided it would take too long for the pizza and I just went with her and got a couple of drinks at the store.  (mistake for me)   We used the facilities and I re lubed again with Glide.  We passed Ray K as we headed out of Martin but he passed us again I believe when we stopped at the last store outside of Martin.  I went in for some ice and there sat Charlie T, Sal C., and I forgot who else was in there with them.  I was shocked to see them in there and I should have thought about how hard we were pushing if we were getting ready to pass them.  (another mistake)  Instead, I left and told Dusty outside and we headed out of Martin like two giddy girls.  We did have to stop a little ways down the road.  My chest was tight and I told her I needed my inhaler and to lie down for a minute.  Jeff V. passed us while we were resting.
We stopped at the turn into Dresden under some shade to check our feet and rest for a few minutes.  Dusty was good at timing our breaks.  Kept us moving.  We made it into Dresden and debated our food choices.  As good as Subway sounded, neither one of us wanted that extra mileage off course.  The country store restaurant store scared me a little (found out later it would have been better choice).  We chose the Pizza place, although once seated I thought about going to the Chinese buffet.  I figured I could eat some steamed rice.  Instead, pizza it was (HUGE mistake).  We finally got our order in- customer service was not on the menu in this place.  Sal C and John A. came in while we were in there, but John decided to leave for the Subway and hotel.  (smart decision, at least food wise).   We finally got our food and I have to say I have never seen a pizza bowl.  I ordered just a cheese pizza because I figured you could not go wrong with that.  How wrong could I be.  I pulled a piece apart and all of the cheese just slid off into a puddle onto the plate.  It was so salty I could not stomach it.  I tried to eat some of the crust but was making myself sick.  I barely got one piece down.  I headed outside to work on my feet and get ready for the last long stretch before the motel (about 15 miles or so).
  Dusty and Sal came out and we headed off down the road.  We caught and passed Jim B and Wayne M.  Jim eventually caught up to us and we headed on.  It was getting dark and I was getting tired but we trudged on.  I almost fell once when I misjudged the edge of the road.  We eventually made it to Gleason and the coke machine was working.  We drank and rested, but I was so hungry.  I also wondered if I could actually just stay outside and sleep.  I was so tired.  About 9 miles to go and I didn't know if I could make it.  Sigh.....
 As we were heading out of town a young guy in a pick up truck stopped and asked if we needed anything.  I thanked him for the PB crackers.  They were awful but I managed to get one down.  (Some kind of funny wafer, not a cracker.)  
As tired as I was though, it was a beautiful night.  At times, no one said a word and we just trudged on lost in our thoughts.  It was great.  At one point though, Dusty felt like she needed to stop, so the fellars went on ahead.  I decided to go ahead and go to the potty while she was doing her thing.  Then we laid in a drive that led to a barn staring up at all the stars in the sky.  Gorgeous.  We probably could have stayed there but we were both ready for a real bed and I really needed to shower and clean all of the Glide and get some Neosporin on to start the healing.  So we dragged ourselves up and got moving.
We finally got into town and should have stopped at the 24 hour pizza place where Jim and Sal was. (mistake)  Instead we trudged off to our motel where we had a reservation.  It was 1:30.  We got into our room, showered, and hit the sack.
Around 4:30 I woke up to go potty and Dusty was already up.  She was heading out, so I thought I better try to get going too (mistake).  I had a sore throat from sleeping in the cold room with wet hair and from being out in the night air, but I figured it would get better if I got some food in me.  She headed to the pizza place while I finished getting ready.  I decided McDonald's sounded good, plus I wouldn't have to back track.  I called and checked in with Pat and he was shocked we were taking off again.  I just felt like I had to get going.  I needed to get into the motel early so that I could get a really early start for the long day.  I got my food to go and texted Dusty that I was leaving McDonald's.  I ate a little over half before I couldn't get any more down me, but the orange juice tasted good.  I hoped that I would feel better after getting some calories.  Dusty passed me shortly before the turn onto the 4 lane.  She looked good and strong and I let that beat me down some.  I called Pat and cried a little.  He was super supportive.  I got out on the four lane hoping to try to catch her, but I had no get up and go in me.  Then I cried some more.  I thought about everyone's support and prayers.  I thought about my lack of training.  I thought about all of the mistakes I had made in day one.  I thought about all of the things I could be doing at home.  I thought about my husband.  I thought about my dogs.  Then I thought about my ego and sending an email out at work and how embarrassed I now was going to be.  Cause all I could think about was dropping.  (I thought all of the thoughts you shouldn't think AND on the second morning!!!  So wrong and sooo bad!)  
I talked to Pat again and I told him I would just go the best I could until he could come and get me on Sunday.  That was as soon as he could come (he had carpet jobs on Friday and our trail race on Saturday, not to mention his routes).  I would just lollygag around until he could get there.  Then I thought of my mom-maybe she could get me.  I want to drop and I can't.  lol  I texted Carl and told him I was dropping.  I put it on facebook that I dropped because I knew that they would try to talk me into continuing.  I was done though.  I should have never got on the ferry in the first place.  My buddy Tim D.called and I cried to him.  Joel G. caught up to me, and I tried to get him away from me.  I was in a bad head space and I didn't want to bring him down to.  Mike called and I walked off the side of the road away from Joel cause I started blubbering on the phone.  I have never blubbered in front of so many people in my life- not even at funerals!  That just made me cry more.  It is day 2 and I am already a blubbering mess!
I finally made it into Huntingdon and called Mike to see where he was (Corner Cafe).  So I headed there.  He was in there with Joel, Jeff S, Jeff K, and Tim P.  I had breakfast with them but did not change my mind.  I was still done.  I climbed into the seat of shame.
Below is my (dismal) training from my hundred until Vol State:
This is partly why I said I never should have gotten on the ferry.  I got so far behind in my training.  My longest was 12.7 miles and the little streak of 4 days flared my PF and sciatica.  I went out of town on June 28 and 29 for a work seminar and used it to heal up.  Then just trying to get stuff ready for vol state put me behind.  That and storms.  I have no one to blame, but myself for my lack of training.  I should have not gotten on the ferry.  I am glad that I did because it was nice to see that with a little friendly pushing, I could make it to McKenzie that first night (thank you Dusty!).  And yes, I could have went on and just finished the race, to heck with my goal.  I didn't want to just finish though.  Did that last year.  I also didn't think I could hit my goal, so I didn't want to put all of those expenses on my credit card and then not meet my goal.  
I let a lot of external factors like (especially) money, needing to help at our race, and some home sickness play a big part of stopping.  The biggest part was I was not mentally prepared to continue.  I didn't want it as bad as I did last year.  I knew the second time around would be hard and I didn't get my head on straight for the attempt.  I was wavering a week out from the race and I wasn't looking forward to it.  You have to be 100% committed to run vol state.  I was just along for the ferry ride and socializing.  This race deserves better than that from me.  It is one thing to quit if injured, but sad to quit just because it sounds better.  I should have taken the DNS- for once, much better than a DNF.
Yes, I am disappointed in myself, but I think I made the right decision for me.  I have no regrets like I did the first attempt.  Just disappointment.  Disappointed in my attempt and that I disappointed others faith in my abilities (apologies to those that believe in me- I will resurrect myself)  I need to re group and get my training back on track.  I have several races in the fall that I would like to improve upon and if I had went on and finished vol sate, I would be even more behind.  (this race takes a lot out of you)
I promised my husband that I would not run vol state next year (this was my third year).  On the way home, he told me if I am trained, then I can do it next year, but we'll see.  There are a few other races I'd like to run, but the main thing is for me to re group and get back on track.  I am just thrilled I have a super supportive husband.  Especially one that rearranges his day to come get me.  (sorry about that) 
Thanks to Mike M. for getting me off the road and driving to Nashville where Pat met us and took me home.  Mike went above and beyond with his hearse.  Thank you Mikey Mike!!!!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Biggest little run ever....

  For a couple of years now I have been wanting to run Ancient Oaks as my first 100 miler.  It was originally Stu Gleman's race and I adore Stu and it was a way to honor him to run it.  After speaking with Mike Melton at the Jim, I learned that the date for it had been changed this year and it didn't look like it would be doable again.  I was little bummed, but oh well, there was always next year.
  The day after the Jim I was chatting with Ray and after discussing my Jim efforts, he brought up a 100 miler that he and Stu was running.  Stu had already mentioned it to me a week or so earlier, but I put it out of my head.  It was in June.  I was not trained for a 100 miler and could not get trained in one month!
I ran hard through 20, then jogged it in. I was the weenie. I think I'll run Shane Sampsons little 100 in ohio next month (with stu)
He tried to get me to do that one. Don't think I am ready for it. I was shooting for Ancient Oaks, but after talking to Mike this weekend, not sure now. Someone said you were thinking of vol state?? I figured you were joshing them, or did you change your mind?
You get 34 hours at the 100. I never change my mind, I just make it up slowly
When and where in Ohio?
June 15-16 Shane farm sw ohio
How close (or far) from Cincinnati?
I don't know exactly, but fairly close going north.
Wait...don;t tell me. I am nowhere near prepared for that.
Shoot...done spoke. Get thee out of my head!

  I discussed it with Pat, and even though he always thinks I get in over my head with some of my ideas, he is super supportive.  He knows that I will be smart and wont injure myself (hopefully), especially with several races on my calendar for the rest of the year that are important to me.  I also reasoned that after Mother's Day (and I don't mean to be selfish) but I didn't want to be at church/family stuff for Father's Day.  Not being a mother, it was a hard day for me- even though I adore my mother to no end (she even understood it was a tough day).  I lost my dad last January and I decided there was no better place to be for that weekend than spending time with Ray and Stu (2 of my self appointed mentors).  Besides Pat was ecstatic to be able to spend Father's Day weekend watching the Open.  Win win for us both.  After a few more days of back and forth with Ray and asking Stu and Shane (RD for the little 100) some questions, I sent in my entry form for the Little 100 on May 12th.  Gulp....  I did not tell anyone other than Pat, Ray, Stu, and eventually Dusty of my intentions to run until RUTS weekend.  At Ruts I told a few of my buds and Naresh.  I did not tell any of my co workers or family.  I did not want the pressure or any negativity for my weekend.  I also did not want my mom to be worried all weekend.  Your welcome mother!  
  I had intended to increase my training by ten miles each week to top out at 70, but it is always easier on paper.  I made it to a 50 mile training week, then our trail marathon came up and I had to deal with getting ready for it.  The following week I spent trying to tie up the loose ends after our race was over and preparing for RUTS.  
6/3/2013 – 6/9/2013:56.3 mi13:58:47
5/27/2013 – 6/2/2013:38.3 mi8:15:50
5/20/2013 – 5/26/2013:50.0 mi10:01:40
5/13/2013 – 5/19/2013:40.6 mi8:18:36
 I was a little disheartened, but I was going to just do the best I could do and use it as a really good training run for vol state (even though I was worried about recovering from the race if I did indeed finish it). Other than being disappointed that I did not get more training in, I was super excited. I didn't know what to expect. Stu had said yes to trail shoes and I knew it was on Shane's farm. It was a 2.97 mile loop that you repeated for 34 loops. I really had no idea what to expect. I packed the  bus and headed toward Greenville, Ohio on Friday afternoon. I stopped at Crack and had dinner before heading on to the farm. 
The start of the little
texting Pat & Dusty

I arrived and Robin, a college friend of Shane's, was setting up. She helped me get the bus parked to leave room for others and we chatted while waiting for Shane to come in from marking the course. I tried to help with setting up some tables and before long Ray, Stu, and Scott Maxwell arrived. Shane fixed a spaghetti dinner, and although I had already had a nice pot roast dinner, it looked to good not to have a small plate. It was de-lish....
I eventually said night nite and headed out to the bus for some shut eye. I set my alarm for 5, called Pat, and fell fast asleep. The alarm came too quickly and I almost re set it, but I decided to get up and get ready. I tried to eat some mini chocolate chip muffins I had but I managed to get only 2 or 3 down. I carried my chair, cooler, and bin over to the set up area.
All to soon, I heard Shane say something to the effect of, well it's 6:00 so the race has started. And like that, we were off. I did not see Ray but I chatted with Stu
for a few minutes before I headed on. I was running by myself for a while, but Ray eventually caught up to me (he started late).
I broke the loop down into three sections. You passed thru the Aid Station/Start/Finish area twice. We ran a small loop of about 1 mile, then through the Aid Station into the second loop. I broke the second loop into two parts (wood section and field section). I was mostly always happy when I got to the field section- it meant you were close to finishing a loop.
Ray and I ran 7 or 8 loops before I stopped to change my socks. I had brought several pairs and planned to change them every 25 miles. I was feeling a slight hot spot on my heel, so I was glad when I reached that point. Ray went on while I stopped and taped my heel that was blistering and changed my socks. The dew from the morning on the grassy sections had soaked my socks. It felt like heaven to have dry socks on again. I tried to be efficient and not loose time in the time suck station and did well early on, but later on that would become futile. I also texted Pat and Dusty (a group text to save time) to let them know I had made it to 25 miles. One fourth of the way done.
I headed back out before Ray made it around again. I felt pretty good and only had a few down spots but felt like I was moving pretty good. I grabbed a small piece of PB&J, but the bread was pretty crusty and it was hard to swallow. Just as I was getting ready to head out though, one of the guys helping out brought out some grilled cheese sandwiches. I grabbed a small corner of one and took off.
It would take Ray several loops before he caught up to me again. It was nice to run along with Ray and listen to him. I didn't have time to think of how bad I felt or if I was going to make it or not. I just listened to him...thankfully, not much of his singing though (sorry Ray). At one point Ray told me I was in third place and he had moved up to first. We weren't sure what Chris was planning but he had been leading earlier in the day. It was pretty cool to know that I would have a top 5 finish and first female (even if by default). We saw Stu and Scott several times and before long we reached the 50 mile mark. I stopped again to change my socks, re tape, and text Pat and Dusty of where I was.
When I went to text them, I noticed there were a flurry of texts between the two. Apparently, they were virtual beer drinking together. Nice! That brought a huge smile as I read quickly through the texts. I texted as I was at the 50 mile mark and headed out. I came in at 6:09 at lap 17 (50.27 miles). I was pretty pleased with that. the longest I have ever done in one stint is 42 miles. I have 3 50 miles DNF's. So it was nice to know that I could actually do the distance. Everything after 42 miles was kind of unknown for me.
*Sidebar- Yes I have finished vol state, but I slept in a hotel for 7-9 hours each night. I took a shower, had a nice meal, and then slept in a bed. I don't know of many 50 or 100 milers that you do that and still finish within the time allotment. So I just haven't counted it that way for me. Personal preference. :)
Looking at my times from lap 17-20, I stayed fairly consistent. Even making it past my bedtime, but at laps 21 and 22 I really began to slow. I was told that Stu was going to lie down and I assured him that I would be fine. Then we came through at lap 21 and Robin said that Stu was out there looking for us. After discussing with Ray my fatigue and also feeling like Stu needed to get some rest, I decided also to get some rest. Ray suggested to get some food in me and then lay down for two hours. Sounded good to me. I came in from the 22nd lap and Ray continued on. Robin fixed me a bowl of ramen noodles and Stu came in while I was eating. He headed in for bed and after eating I did the same. I set my alarm and before my head hit the pillow I think I was out. I slept lightly and awoke a few times at first, but then I fell asleep really good. Then my dang alarm went off! head was foggy and I felt like I was in quicksand. I re set my alarm for another hour and turned over and went back to sleep.
Right before 3:00am and before my alarm went off, I woke up. I laid there debating whether to get up or not. Then my phone rang. I looked at the number but did not recognize it, so I turned it off. I continue to lay there and tried to decide whether I was going to get up or not. The thought of putting my trail shoes back on made me physically ill. There was no way I could put those shoes back on. So I went through my options. I had my road shoes but they are tight in the toe box and are not my favorite. I did not bring my favorite worn road shoes. I brought my Hokas to wear home because they are so cushiony but I quit running in them because I felt like they had given me PF last year. I just wore them around casually. Shoot....what to do???
I finally decided that if I was going to be able to finish the race then I was going to have to get my clean, pretty Hokas muddy. I sat up and noticed Ray's light coming through the trail. He would be passing the bus shortly. I turned my flashlight on so he would see that I was stirring. I started grabbing my stuff and looked at my phone. There was a message on it. I listened to the voice mail as I was putting my clothes on. It was Robin wanting to know if I was coming back out. Ray was concerned if I didn't get up, then I wouldn't finish. I deleted the message and grabbed my stuff and practically fell out of the bus.
I hobbled over to the start/finish/AS area and Robin was sitting out wrapped in a blanket. I told her to tell Ray I had died. She laughed and whooped and hollered. I went and sat down and starting taping my feet and trying to get together. I texted Pat and Dusty again to let them know the dead had arose. I was in the port o pot when Ray passed through and he yelled that he would go slow so that I would catch up. Dag nab em dumb biscuits! I didn't even have my shoes on yet. So I tried to hurry and I grabbed my ipod out to block out the sounds of the night. The wind was really kicking up and it made it more eerie for me. Everyone knows I am afraid of things that go bump in the night. Hence, the reason Stu was staying up for me I believe.
I headed out with my ipod and Hokas on and amazingly enough, felt pretty good. I was moving very fast because I was having trouble seeing and at times the wind was blowing all the little petals off the tree and it looked like snow. I don't remember if it took me a lap or two before I finally caught Ray, but he scared the crap out of me when I did. I was singing and heading up the gravel road on the field section when all of a sudden I come upon him laying in the middle of the gravel road. I yelped and I am sure he got a good laugh out of spooking me. Darn him!
I was feeling pretty good and although I felt bad, I knew I needed to run my race. I think I apologized to Ray later on, but I knew he would understand and if anything he would have choked me if I didn't run my own race. Thank you Ray!
I came in after lap 25 and Robin told me that Ray was down for a nap. I wrote my time down and then counted the squares. 8 laps to go! I told Robin that I must have been doing better than I thought. I only had 8 not 9 laps to go! I texted Dusty and Pat that I had less than a marathon. I was ecstatic! My text said, "Less than a marathon. 8 laps to go. Ray is down for his nap. Just me singing in the rain. TTYL." Yep, the rain had finally came and I was feeling great when I headed out after getting 73.93 miles.
Did you do the math? 8 laps...2.97 miles...73.93 miles finished. Math doesn't quite add up does it? I started thinking the same thing while I was on lap 26. I started calculating in my head trying to figure out what I had done. I knew for sure that I must have wrote my time down when I passed through the first loop of the AS. I was so embarrassed. Surely, I didn't do that, did I. I kept running it all through my head trying to hurry and get back in and check and have Robin fix whatever I screwed up if she could. dumb of me!
I finally made it around and checked the time sheet. Nope my times looked right. I counted the empty squares again. Then I looked up at the top of the poster board at the mileages and that is when I noticed it. The last square had loops 33 and 34 in it. So I had 9 laps not 8 on the last loop. Now I really did have 8 laps left. I just went from a high flying balloon to being popped with a pin. I headed back out on the loop utterly defeated. I was so upset with myself for miscalculating. I also had told Pat and Dusty incorrectly. I felt horrible. I then started thinking of my dad. Then the tears fell. I let them fall briefly and then knew I had to get over it. I still only had a marathon left. I still was going to finish. You screwed up, but now you've had your cry get over it and get on with it. I came in off that loop and told Robin I had screwed up. She offered to have some noodles for me when I came back in. So I headed out with the promise of noodles dancing in my head.
I came in from loop 27 and ate my noodles sitting under the tent while it sprinkled around us. I re taped my feet and changed my socks. I felt much better after getting some food in me. I was wishing for waffles but noodles hit the spot! Thank you Robin!!!
I finally caught up to Ray while he was doing his bell lap and I walked in with him. It was a honor to watch him finish and win the race. Then Stu chased me out onto the course. I was glad to see Chris and Sarah out on the course getting some more miles this morning. It made me not feel too bad for keeping everyone waiting on me, but it was still hard to keep going when I was the one holding everyone up. The other thing I noticed was becoming hard on the last 2-3 laps, bending over to get something out of my shoe/sock. I was getting dizzy. I would bend over, get grass or whatever out of my shoe/sock, stand up, and weeble wobble from dizziness. What is worse than that, I kept bending over instead of stopping next to a tree or something and lift my foot up to clean whatever out. Duh!
I was having ups and downs and everyone was giving advice on nutrition. Nothing sounded good to me. I had the same problem at vol state- food does not sound good. I knew I had PB cookies in my truck and they were soft so I told them that I would grab some of those out of the bus when I came around on the first section past the bus. I was getting some cookies out when Shane came over and suggested that I take several with me and just munch on them. Don't eat them all at once, just nibble. So I stuck them in my coat pocket and headed off. I tried to nibble at times, but it was tough. I also asked Robin to please get in the bus and have me a yoo hoo cooling. Thanks again Robin!
walking & talking on the phone to Pat
I finally made it through lap 33. I grabbed my phone and a ziplock bag out of my bin and told them my bell lap would be a little slow. I wanted to take some pics of the trail (and I wanted to savor the finish). I took plenty of pics and when I reached the field section, I called Pat and let him know I was almost done. I could see Stu and Scott across the field while I finished talking to Pat. I got up to the Mulberry tree at the top edge of the field and I stopped and pulled out the ziplock bag that I tucked in my sports bra. I thanked the Lord for my finish and spoke to my dad for a moment as a scattered a little of his ashes under the mulberry tree. I had picked some berries throughout the race and it reminded me of being young because that is what I did when I was growing up. I picked a couple more and then I ran. I ran down the field and turned the corner. I turned again and headed to the finish line. I saw that they had a finish line tape and several thoughts went through my head- "what do I do? Do I run through it? Will it break or will I bounce off it? Will it snap and hit them while holding it? Will it tear if I just grab it and rip?" Thankfully, I believe they let it go and took the decision out of my hands. I had finished in 32:38!

I am soooooo glad that Ray and Stu talked me in to attempting this race. It was the best first hundred experience I believe I could have ever have had. I'm sure when I sent my entry to Shane and it didn't have a finished 50 or 100 mile race completed checked off of it, that he was wondering who in the heck he had just let in. Thank you Shane for allowing me to run your race. I hope the invite is there for next year and I will try to better my time and not have you guys out there so long!

 Robin was an absolute angel the entire event and makes the best ramen noodles eva. I don't believe I could have finished the race without her help and fixing of said noodles. I was starving and nothing else sounded good. Thank you Robin for taking such good care of me and all others.

Ray and Stu, I adore you guys and thank you again for encouraging me to run the little. Thank you also for your kindness, wisdom sharing, and kicking me out of the aid station on Sunday!

I feel so very blessed to have had this experience and it made for one heck of a weekend and a Father's Day I will treasure always.
Jumping jacks because I was going to get my ice cold Yoo-hoo finally

When jumping jacks weren't enough
Special love and hugs to Robin- could not have done it without your time and help  the entire race!!!
Robin~ultra volunteer extraordinaire

Finally get to crack open my ice cold yoo-hoo

I believe this pic says it all!

Shane, RD exceptional, giving me my first 100 mile buckle
I don't wear belt, but I'm gonna learn how now!
time sheet
woo hoo

My self appointed mentors- totally adore them!!!!
Thank you Ray K and Stu!!!!!

Robin- still taking care of me after  the race had finished and she had left!
After I took my shower (thank you again Shane), I drove the four hours home with a short 25 minute nap at a truck stop. Then I was able to sleep in on Monday, since I had taken the day off because I thought I would have to get a room on Sunday night. woo hoo