Saturday, September 12, 2015

Throw Baby Out With the Bath Water (arfta Labor Day Weekend 2015)

eating at Crack

Carb loading night before start
  It wasn't until Thursday night that I decided to head to Manchester, TN, for 'A Race for the Ages' (arfta).  Plaxico had been sick on Monday and I had a sinus infection that I couldn't shake.  After talking it over with Pat, we were good to go...although I did start to have some misgivings on Saturday when nothing seemed to go right and we left an hour later than I was hoping.  I was a little nervous traveling alone with the baby again.  The last time was in May when we headed to Strolling Jim and he was 7 months old.  I had some concerns and none were really pertaining to the race too much.  When you travel with a baby, if you have to stop to pee, you have to get him out of the car seat and then try to go to the bathroom without him fussing too much, or setting him down on the dirty bathroom floors.  In May, I just pulled him and the car seat out, and it wasn't too big of a deal.
  We left on Saturday afternoon around 4 with the plan to stop halfway or so for dinner.  At 6 we pulled into Crack and filled our bellies and everything seemed well.  We only had 90 minutes left to drive and I thought we would go by the race site to set up our stuff and then
we could return ready to run Sunday morning.  With 40 minutes to go, Plaxico decided he had enough riding.  I sang our song for a bit and that helped some.  Finally after tears on both sides, we pulled into the parking lot and I rescued him from the car seat.  I finally caught up to John Price and he pointed out the shady spot he reserved for us (thank you JP!!) and Sandra helped me quickly throw our
lap 4 break

visit to Camp Warden
Pic by John Price

stuff out.  It was too dark to really see well enough to set up and I knew I needed to get to the hotel to get someone in a little better mood.  My only really bad decision of the weekend; should have just went straight to the hotel.
  My start time was Sunday at 2a.m. (that was not happening).  In an ideal world, it would have been great to start in the cool morning hours and Plaxico would have been fine riding in his pack sleeping.  The problem with that scenario is that mom has to be alert to take care of him during the daylight hours.  So the early morning start was out.  We slept in some and managed to make it to the race site by about 9 (I forget if that was central or eastern time now though.)  Aimee graciously came and helped me set up our canopy and I got the rest of our stuff put out and then we were off to the start.  I knew I needed to get as many miles in as I could while it was still cool.  I also knew that I would need to stop every 3-4 miles and make sure Plaxico was good as far as diapers, food, and temperment.  :)
mile 11 break
  We did a 12 hour race last month and I managed to get in 15 miles before the heat sent us home.  That was the most I had ever carried him.  I had told laz that unless I got 50K in then I wouldn't even entertain the idea of ordering a jacket.  (how I wish I could eat those words)  Anyhow, I had my goal and I thought that was pretty doable by splitting it up between the two days.  However, I wasn't sure how tiring it would be to get ready for the trip and the trip down itself.  I had told my hubby that we would go visit some friends in the area or go back to the hotel pool during the heat of the day if we needed too.  So I had some loose contingency plans.
  We had made it around 3 times and I decided that we would stop during our 4th mile.  Plaxico ate and I checked his diaper.  We enjoyed our little shady spot under the tree.  There was a nice breeze there and we were close to the bus if I needed anything out of it.  After about a half hour or so, we headed back out for some more loops.  We reached mile 7 and it was beginning to heat up so I let Mike know that we would be stopping for a while.  I decided to go visit some friends who were about 30 minutes away and get out of the heat.  I kind of thought that we might get the chance to come back that evening and grab a few more miles, but someone got a little over stimulated meeting new friends and petting horses.  It was close to dinnertime back home so I called in our order on the way to the hotel and swung by the Crack for dinner.  It was a good call.  After we had dinner and a bath, Plaxico was asleep by 7.
(Sidenote:  I have to say getting a shower or bath was one of the things that I was concerned about.  I did not want to be a sweaty pig all weekend unable to get cleaned up but I had tried taking a shower before while he was in the tub with dice.  So we took a bath together.  Quite frankly, it reminded me of my childhood.  We had a cistern and occasionally would run out of water and I would have to go up the road to mamaw's to take a bath.  I can still here her yelling "That's enough" when I tried to fill up the tub and I would have only an inch of water.  At least I had a little more than that with us, but not much more.  I also remember my mom talking about when they grew up, they had to share their bath water.  There were 6 girls and 1 boy in her family.  I wondered if any of them had to take a bath with pee in it.  Thankfully, that was at the end and I was already finished "washing" us both off.)
Day one Sunday: 7 miles total
  Plaxico slept for 12 hours so we were good to go again.  I tried to get us there a little bit earlier to get some miles in before the heat returned.  We arrived and I checked us back in to start.  I was really focused on trying to get 3-4 more miles in before our first break.  In hindsite, I wish I would've tried to visit more with people that was there instead of being so focused on my measly goals but on the other hand, I felt by just being there I needed to push myself some.  (Plus there was the carrot of the jacket hanging in my site.)  The great thing with having Plaxico with me was that he was an easy conversation started.  As shy as I am, it was great when people spoke to me about him becasue then I could work on my conversational skills.  I would ask their names and where they were from.  most had grandchildren around the same ages or somewhat older.  It was funny I was coming around the end of the lap and was chatting with one of the ladies about being there and when i asked her name, she said Ann.  It wasn't until after we passed the timing tent that I saw that it was "the Ann Trason" that I was chatting with.  Most introduced themselves by just their first names, so it left me wondering who i may really be chatting with but I didn't care.  I was having fun.  I know I had a couple of people that came across concerned about Plaxico and getting sunburn.  I am happy to report that I was very diligent in his sunblock and he did not get any sunburn.  As far as I could discern, he was pretty happy.  The only time he was displeased was when I had to change his diaper on Monday (which he is displeased with that little task 78% of the time) and when I wouldn't let him eat things falling out of the trees (I wasn't sure if hickory nuts were poisonous but a little tree bark in itself probably would've been alright).  ;)  We stayed out there for most of the day Monday, but stayed in our shady spot and then went in at lunchtime to eat.  (I bought the meal plan for my age and Monday's lunch was the only meal we partook in.)  I got to visit with Bill, Sue, and others while we ate.  It was close to 2 when we headed back out on the course.  I figured 10-2  is the hottest part of the day, so we were on the down slope.  When we stopped for our break during the 19th mile, I checked the standings.  We could move up a couple of spots if we could get 5 more miles in.  Two people had stopped at 23 miles.  At this time there was 2.5 hours left.  Plenty of time to get the miles in but the sun was relentlessly beating down on the course.  No worries though.  There were some huge fluffy clouds behind us.  Surely they would come across the course.  After an hour of waiting for the clouds to come over the course and packing up most of our stuff, we decided our day was done.  I was sad to be leaving before the end of the race and the awards but Plaxico was showing hunger signs but wouldn't eat anything I had with me.  We went and turned in our chip and said bye to Amiee and Case when I went in to use the restroom.  It was only 90 minutes to go but a momma has to do what is right by her baby.  I called us in an order for Crack and picked it up on the way to the room.  We ate, another bath (pee free this time), and Plaxico was asleep by 7:15.  I was bummed also because I didn't really get to say goodbye to many people before we left.  I had a great time and I think Plaxico did also.  I tried to stay more relaxed about our trip and I think that really helped as far as keeping an 11 month old little boy happy away from home.  I was way short of my goal (no mas on the jacket) but fairly happy with the 19 miles we finished up with.  I was also happy to be able to enjoy my weekend away from home getting a little bit of exercise, a handful of miles, and seeing a bunch of new smiles.  It was great fun being in Fred Deadman Park.
Total miles for "40" hours:  19 miles
Weight of pack & Plaxico:  28 pounds
lap 19, waiting for the clouds to cover the course

the course leaving the starting gate




the bus and break camp

*Forgive the formatting and editing that may be needed...someone is needing my attention.  Sigh....back to the real world.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Losing, Then Gaining It At the Little 2014

  After my dismal performance at RUTS, I was hoping for the Little to go a little better.  I saw my doctor on Tuesday after RUTS and talked to her about a few things; mainly how much walking could I do and if a support belt would help.  She told me I could walk as much as I wanted and a support belt may help.  So I bought a cheap one that would lift my expanding belly up some, hopefully up off of my bladder.  I was hoping I could complete one loop without having to stop midways at the little (one loop is 2.95 miles) but it was reassuring that the loop was like a figure 8, so that if I needed to stop, I could.
  Although I hadn't been training, I had a secret mileage goal.  I always have some sort of goal at my races, whether time or distance, and this one was no different.  I shared my goal with one of my mentors via email.  His response was,
“i wish you luck.
the exercise is good for you and the young one....
maybe as little more regular activity would help!”
That last line really ticked me off, which was probably his goal in the first place, but it wasn't like I had been sitting around eating bon bons.  I had been working in the yard a lot for the past month putting out over 80 bags of mulch and clearing a fence line.  (Why I feel so compelled to get the yard right before the baby comes is beyond me, but it is what it is).  So there I was, fired up and heading to Ohio.
  I stopped at Crack and ate dinner and also ordered 2 side salads for during the race before heading to Shane’s house.  I was looking forward to seeing everyone, and especially looking forward to watching my friend Amber go for her first 50 miler.  Stu, Brad, and Scott (all vol state alumni) were already there and getting stuff set up.  I settled in helping anyway I could.  We headed out with the wheelbarrow marking the course.  I was surprised how much I remembered of the course, but there were a few sticky spots that I didn't remember, but Scott cleared us up on it.  Shane and Karen arrived and he checked the course markings and we were good to go for tomorrow.  I retired to the bus for some much needed sleep.
  I quickly found out that I don’t maneuver as well 5.5 months pregnant in the back of the bus, let alone sleep well.  I am a belly sleeper and I quickly found out that sleeping on my sides in the bus was very uncomfortable.  I had to keep turning sides throughout the night because my hips were going straight thru my mattress.  It got quite chilly that night also, so when I had to pee, I wouldn't let myself get up because it was too cold.  Not to mention when I finally got up, I had a hard time getting my shoes.  Literally reaching for my shoes in the floor board was hard.  I practically fell out of the bus when I climbed out, accidentally hitting Amber’s vehicle with the door (sorry again Amber!).  It was pretty comical if I wasn't so tired, but oh well, get up and do your best.
  I got my number from Stu and got everything together.  I already put most of my stuff out last night at my table.  I also told Amber that I had way more stuff than you should ever need for a race.  I didn't want her to pick up any bad habits since I had brought so much stuff.  The main thing my doctor cautioned me on was not to get overheated and not to get dehydrated.  Also, to keep food in me for the baby.  So I came prepared mainly for those guidelines.

  It wasn’t long and Stu started the race and we were off.  I tried jogging a little and felt fine.  I caught up to Karen Riddle, who is doing vol state this year, and we chatted about that race.  It wasn’t long before we went through the halfway point and I stopped and used the port o potty before heading out again.  That was a tiny bit discouraging, but I quickly headed back out and soon was coming in from the first lap.  It took me 48 minutes.  I was super happy about that.  I headed back out again still jogging a little but about a third of the way I realized I didn't have the fitness to keep jogging and switched to walking.  I was okay with that though.  I knew I hadn't been training and I knew going in that I would be walking the majority of the race.  No big deal.  I also decided that I would try to get 3 laps in before I sat down to rest my legs.  I was a little concerned about swelling and knew that if I was going to be walking and on my feet that long, then I probably should get off of them for a few minutes.  Plus, it was a great motivator to get done with laps.  Second lap only took 49 minutes.  I was still feeling great when I came into the AS but my stomach had started to grumble a little.  So I grabbed one of the side salads out of the cooler and put dressing on it and headed back out.  The first section is shorter, so I figured I could eat while I walked along and then dump it when I passed thru.  I chuckled to myself wondering at how many other races you see someone walking along on the course carrying a salad and happily munching along.  I knew I couldn't afford the time to sit and eat it and with my stomach growling so loud, I needed something in it.  It worked…not to mention, I was just happy to be there.  No one was competing against me and I surely wasn't competing against anyone.  It took me 55 minutes to finish my third lap.  I walked all of it, so I knew this would be closer to my pace that I needed to stay on top of my goal. 
  Since this was my third lap, I did sit down and prop my feet up.  I figured I had done almost 9 miles, so I gave myself 8 minutes of rest.  Then I got up and headed back out.  With that rest break added in, my fourth lap took me 62 minutes.  The fifth lap, I was able to get my time back to where it should be without the rest break and stopping to grab a handful of trail mix.  Fifth lap was 54 minutes with the thought of grilled cheese sandwiches propelling me onward.  I was excited to head out on the sixth lap because it was getting close to lunch and my belly was letting me know it again.  I had been thinking about grilled cheese for over an hour now and I finished the sixth lap in 57 minutes. 
  I had brought my camp stove and quickly got it going and dug out my bread and butter for my sandwiches.  When I grabbed the cheese out though, it had water all in the package, and not just plain water but one of the ranch dressing cups had leaked into the cooler so everything was a milky white.  I drained out the water and pulled chunks of cheese apart to try to get some cheese for my sandwich.  About that time, Amber came through and I asked her if she wanted a sandwich and she agreed.  I sent her out on the loop with thoughts of grilled cheese upon her return.  I quickly got her sandwich finished and then worked to get enough cheese pulled apart to make mine.  I hoped they would be edible.  Apparently they were, Amber and I both ate ours, but I wanted one more.  At that time, Shane came in and I showed him the cheese debacle and he offered some cheese in the house.  He said his mom was in there working on some and asked if I could help her.  So I headed in to see what I could do.  Shane had a Panini maker and neither one of quite knew how to work it and it was taking so long, I eventually headed outside with a plate full of bread and cheese and restarted my stove and got sandwiches made.  I didn't mind helping out for the return of some cheese, but I knew I was losing some time trying to get the sandwiches cooked.  We eventually got a loaf of sandwiches made for the runners and I ate one more and then headed back out.  I am not sure what time I started back out, but my 7th lap shows me taking 2 hours and 4 minutes to complete.  So I was an hour behind where I wanted to be, but I did get my belly full, other runners got their bellies full, and I was still moving.  I have to say, at this point, I was feeling pretty good about things.  Although it was getting hotter and I was having a love/hate relationship with the field of dreams.  I loved the field because it meant you were at the end of your lap.  Yeah another lap completed!  But there was about zero shade cover and it was just hot out there.  I had brought an umbrella for that specific section, but for some reason I never remembered to get it out.  Baby brain I guess?  I was happy that the support belt did seem to help.  After my short stint volunteering, I had forgotten to put it on.  I did actually notice a difference and was glad to get back to the AS and put it back on.  So it was nice to know that it was money well spent.  I wish I would've had it at RUTS.

  The seventh lap took me 63 minutes.  I was starting to slow down some and starting to look forward to the ninth lap where I could sit and take a load off.  I was also worrying that I was beginning to dehydrate.  I wasn’t peeing as much.  Don’t get me wrong, I still had to go pee, but not as much flow coming out.  I thought a couple of times about asking Shane to use the indoor bathroom so I could check my pee’s color since the port o pot was useless for that, but that idea didn't sit well with me.  At this race, I kind of pride myself on being self-sufficient.  So even using the indoor plumbing didn't jive with me.  At least I worked for my cheese.  J   I came in from lap 8 completing 23.66 miles and finished lap 8 in 63 minutes.   The thought of getting closer to sitting down for a break, propelled me a little faster to get lap 9 done.  I finished in 58 minutes and I promptly took my sitting rest break.  I took about 20 minutes sitting and eating cantaloupe, which I also offered to anyone that came through.  I wished I hadn't of ate all of my strawberries on the drive up to the race.  I already had doubled my efforts from RUTS but I knew I was having a harder time moving forward.  I gave the rest of the cantaloupe to Stu and headed out on my 10th lap.  I didn't think I could keep going to get 50 miles in.  That would be 8 laps to go, counting the lap I was starting.  It was already after 3:30 in the afternoon.  Without any rest breaks at all, that would have me finishing at 12:30. Plus, I knew I wanted to stop to see Amber finish her 50 miler.  I was having difficulty working out the time in my head to do that.   Then the thought of sleeping in the bus just about had me in tears.  I was caving.  Mentally, I was giving in and I was bringing home all of the reasons to stop.  Not even my friend’s goad in his email could fire me up to continue.  Somewhere along the 10th lap I decided to chuck 50 miles and go for 50K.  I came in from the 10th lap in 82 minutes, with sitting rest break before start of lap.

  I had 29.5 miles in with one more lap to go to complete 50K.  I headed out trying to keep moving forward.  I felt that I was still moving well but that I was starting to trip here and there.  When I came to the muddy areas, which were way less than last year thankfully, I made sure to take my time.  No reason to be stupid and fall on Plaxico.  I was a little discouraged even though I hadn't been training and I had tripled my RUTS mileage.  By the time I reached the field of dreams I was getting kind of teary eyed because even though I was disappointed I didn't reach some secret goal I had set, I looked back over the past year since I finished the 100 miler last year here.  I quit vol state after one day.  Then battled a severe UTI that took three rounds of antibiotics and almost 4 months to clear up.  I had a miscarriage and the surgery for it.  I was pregnant again.  I know the UTI and miscarriage has given me additional mental anxieties for when I run that I will have to overcome, but I also knew that at 5.5 months pregnant I was pretty happy to be back out there even attempting the race.  I had just finished putting some perspective on my year and my race when Chris S. came up from behind me and spooked me.  I didn't even hear him come up on me I was so lost in my thoughts, but I was glad to see him out there.  It reminded me that I am not finished yet, I just may have to adjust my goals for now.  I happily headed in for my slowest 50K ever.  Finishing the 11th and last lap in 65 minutes for 32.53 miles at 5:59pm.  (Secretly thrilled that I got it under 12 hours.)  lol  I didn't wear a watch, so I had no idea all day how long I was taking or what time it was until I finished my laps.

  I got to see Amber finish her 50 miler in spectacular fashion.  I regret not hanging out much after the race as I normally would do but I was tired, hungry, and ready for a nice shower.  Amber headed to Taco Bell for us and I got us checked into a room.  I was glad I stopped when I did because I was getting dehydrated and I was not getting as many calories in at the end of the day with the heat.  Not to mention, I was getting too hot out there.  No race is worth compromising Plaxico’s well-being, even though the little bugger must have enjoyed the walking cause when we laid down for bed, he kicked me like crazy.  He must have been bummed that he didn't get his first 50 miler.  Next time, Plaxico, next time.
One lap left

Two of my favorite people
Bagged her buckle!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Rout at RUTS

I had a goal of 27-30 miles for RUTS.  I had no idea if that was even possible.  I hadn't been training at all.  In 5 weeks, I walked/jogged 2.5 miles one day.  Too busy trying to get things done before Plaxico arrives and while I still comfortably could do them.  I had been goading my good friend laz leading up to the race (which I shouldn't have because I put un-needed pressure on myself, but it was fun leading up to the race…race day another thing).
  Pat and I left on time and arrived at the horse park about 15 minutes before packet pick up began.  We hurriedly set up our changing tent before the rains came and was safely seated inside while it rained briefly.  At 4, I headed up to pick up our packets and Steve was there.  He asked if I was helping or packet pick up.  Looking at the line that had formed, I jumped in and helped, handing out the women’s shirts and caps.  Once the line thinned out, I got our packets and headed back to the bus.  Pat and I packed up and left for the hotel.  Normally, I would get a couple hours of sleep before we went out to eat and the start of the race, but with the Belmont running…no sleep was too be had.  At 6:45, we headed to Applebee’s for dinner and quickly ate and headed back to the track to the start.  We worried about getting there late and not being able to get to the infield once the race started….we just made it. 
  We headed to the start line and met up with Stu, laz, and Carol Westerman (and got our pic together).  I was tired but ready to get going.  Although I told Pat I was going to have to stop at the restroom on the first lap since I didn't have a chance before we left the restaurant.  And that was just a sign of how things were going to go….
  After coming out of the restroom, I caught up to Pat.  My original plan was walk the curves and jog the straights until I couldn't.  I wanted to bank some miles in as early as I could because I wasn't sure how the night would go as far as sleep deprivation and restroom breaks.  We came to the straight and began jogging.  It was uncomfortable.  All of the ligaments were screaming as they were stretching in my belly and Plaxico was bouncing on my bladder.  We walked the curve and tried to jog the straight again, but I had to exit to use the restroom again.  Not even a mile in yet and already two potty breaks.  I told Pat I was going to have to ditch the jogging.  I tried to increase my walking pace but the bouncing of everything made my bladder say “no, I gotta go”.  I remember telling Terri Durbin that I was no longer counting my laps but counting my potty breaks.  And so it went.  A couple of times I was a able to make it around two laps before ducking in the restroom, but most the time it was every lap.  I was very thankful that there was soft toilet paper though.  (Do to other pregnancy related issues, as in constipation causing hemorrhoids; my butt was already tender before the race started.)  I was slowly getting defeated by the stops and the tenderness in the nether regions.  A couple of times when I had to stop, Pat would go ahead and run on.  I was happy for him, but that is when I felt like I shouldn't be there.  Big whale in everyone’s way.  Although I stayed 6-8 feet from the inside of the track, I still felt people brushing by me like I was in the way.  Pat and I sat down for about 20-25 minutes and I just propped my legs up and rested.  Trying to get my spirits up, but watching everyone else go by was even more discouraging.  I sat myself a time and when it arrived, I told Pat I was heading back out.  (He was done.  His knee had been bothering him and he also hadn't been doing any training.  Working two jobs is hard enough.  Plus, he knew I needed the race more than he did this year.  Thank you sweetie…)
  I hobbled out and got the feet numb again and was able to walk around and made it to the restroom.  At one point, Matt Hoyes caught up to me and we walked together.  He was having some hip troubles, which I felt bad for him and reminded him about the massage person at the track.  We chatted and he pointed out the leader to me.  I had heard of Scott Breeden but couldn't have picked out myself without the hint.  It was nice to chat with Matt.  Very nice guy and great runner that Pat and I love to watch.   His epic battle two years ago with Chris Estes is still talked about in our home in revered tones.  I was bummed he was having a hard time.  He did stop at the massage tent and I later saw him again cranking out miles.  Yeah!!!  Meanwhile, I hit 20 laps after another short rest break and decided maybe to take a nap.  I was feeling wobbly and tired and thought maybe I should try to sleep an hour or two and then try again.  Went I got to the bus and went to climb in, Pat was already there and asked why we didn't go to the hotel if we could get out.  There it was…my out.  I quit right then and there.  If I could get him to the hotel and he could get a nice night’s sleep instead of the 2-4 hour naps he normally takes everyday, then the weekend might not be lost after all.  I went and asked Steve about leaving and was able to catch Stu to say my goodbyes.  I watched for Laz to pass while packing up the tent, but missed him somehow.  I felt bad for leaving a race early, but I was done. 
10 miles in 4 hours 21 minutes and 7 restroom breaks. 

  Defeated we headed to the hotel but took a detour when seeing the IHop was open.  I didn't realize how hungry I was until the food was placed in front of me.  We went to our room with our bellies full and retired for the night.  We got up the next morning, not having to rush out like usual before check out time and had a leisurely breakfast at Crack and then headed home.  The only other adventure we had was right before exit 53 on Western Kentucky Pkwy we ran out of gas.  We were so leisurely in leaving that we both completely forgot to get gas before leaving Paducah.  Thank goodness for AAA, but parked on the side of the road with my door open, Pat standing at the back of the bus with the hatch open.  We had a bed.  We had food.  And we had laughter.  Not many people would be laughing in that situation, but we were, and although we both had miserable races (the worst in our six years of RUTS), we still had a great weekend and not even running out of gas could dampen that.  We saw our wonderful running family.  We got time together just to chat and laugh.  We ate good food.  And we attempted to meet our goals (and failed).  We had fun….what more could you want out of a race or a weekend?

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Mish Mash Thoughts Driving Home From Wartrace

  I'm not a "baby" person.  Never have been.  Don't think they are cute.  Don't want to hold them.  I love it when they turn 2 years old.  Then the fun begins.  Now with that being said....I am excited about having our own baby, even if I don't think its cute.  ;)  It was something we had pushed out of our minds until last year.  Now it continues to push more towards reality and I am excited to begin that adventure.  However, I am definitely not one of the women that like being pregnant.  Don't get me wrong.  Once I get past the pressure of "Oh God, what if I screw this little human up and he is havoc on the world", I am truly amazed at what is taking place in my body.
  I am now 18 weeks along and happy to be out of the first trimester.  Which I was blessed, I never got sick, just nausea (that is still with me at times), but the fatigue was overwhelming.  I was so bummed because I was so lethargic and lazy.  I was so excited when energy began returning and I felt like running again, let alone rolling off of the couch!  I made a goal to REDFAM at least a mile during April (Run Every Day For A Month) and also started a 30 day challenge of exercises with coworkers mid-way thru April.  It has been wonderful.  The only nagging thing now is watching races being run and not entering them.
  I missed running in the Kentucky Derby and was going to go watch friends but became ill Friday night.  Thankfully, the Backside Trail Marathon needed volunteers and I offered to help.  The next best thing to running a race, is volunteering at one.  Being able to cheer runners on, offer them support, and chat with friends is such a fun way to spend a race and without the pressure of all the training needed to run the race.  (Okay, not that I am really that good at staying on the training wagon.  I have been more motivated being away from the sport.)  I was also super stoked that the RD, Troy Shellhammer, gave the volunteers free entry into next year's race and a shirt from this year's race.  That is huge to me.
  I hate to be that person that expects something when I volunteer, because I really don't.  If you volunteer, then you shouldn't expect anything but a "thanks for helping out".  Besides if you get paid, is it really volunteering?  BUT when someone, like an RD does give you something back, like free entry to a race it is such a nice gesture.  Especially to someone that is on a budget.  Its really nice for them to do that because to me it is saying that they recognize the my time is valuable and they appreciate the help.
     {Side story:  When I first started running and entering races, I signed up for a ton of races.  When the fall races rolled around, I realized I didn't have the gas money to drive to the races and I had to back out of two of them.  So now when I sign up for races, I keep in mind not just the cost of the race, but gas, food, and if I will need hotel money.  Gas money also plays a part when I offer to volunteer.}
  On the same hand, I hate to volunteer and not really being needed.  Nothing worse than giving up your time and sitting around feeling like it is being wasted.  I haven't had that happen very often, but it occasionally does.  I usually don't return to help.
  I was thrilled though this weekend to be able to go and "help" out at Strolling Jim.  I say "help" laughingly because at times I was incoherent from lack of sleep and also unable to multi-task.  Thankfully there was no timing issues and we did not need a back-up system {sheepishly- sorry Steve}.  I am really good at doing stuff in the background.  Put me behind the registration or aid station table and I'll work as hard as anyone.  Give me a bullhorn and I am going to look at you like a deer in the headlights.  Just do not like being in the spot light.   Thankfully, behind the registration and timing table is where I was put (and I handed the bullhorn to others when needed- sorry Steve).   I did have to leave my post and use the restroom more than I normally do (I can normally hike 7-8 hours in FHSP without stopping to potty- well, being with 3 guys and being too modest helps).  I did feel horrible because I had to bail before everything got put up.  I had been up since 1 am and dusk was approaching.  I knew I needed some food and a bed and I wanted to get on the road before the darkness enveloped (sorry again Steve and laz).  I hated bailing on them....
  I had such a wonderful time though and even got a shirt and a souvenir 10k medal for Pat (that's a whole other story).  I have always ran Steve & laz's races, but getting to help out with one of them was awesome.  Laz is just his usual fun self and Steve is just on top of everything.  Such a professional and always putting the runners getting their money;s worth first.  It was great to be a part of the race in that capacity.
  I hate using 'being pregnant' as an excuse of why I am not running, or mainly not entering races.  Being untrained has never deterred me before from entering (although it probably should says the 3 50 mile DNF's laughing back at me).  Now though, I have someone else to think about.  As I sat watching runners come in on Saturday, and even joked with Amiee that this would've been the year we could have beaten our nemesis's Carl and Case, I knew I was doing the right thing.  Watching the runners come in, some struggling from the heat.  I would've been one of them and I would hate to think that I was an unfit mother-to-be.  I know I made a good decision and I am really looking forward to June.  I have two races that I am signed up for in June:  Run Under the Stars 10 Hour and the Little 100.  Those races are 1/2 mile and 3 miles loop races.  Plenty of opportunity to bail out.  Nice safe races for me and Plaxico to participate in and enjoy the fun with others.  I also plan to volunteer at a night trail race at Otter Creek later this month and hopefully get to ride the course the first weekend of vol state to see my buds.
  So although I think being pregnant is for the birds and the bees, and especially don't look forward to people thinking they can rub my belly (and then doing so!!!), I'm excited that it is not keeping me from having different little adventures this year.  Just as when Plaxico is born...we will adjust, adapt, and adventure on.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

February RED FAM

  Due to being such a lazy bones, I decided to try to RED FAM the month of February.
RED FAM = Run Every Day For A Month
I figured 1, it is a short month, surely I could do that, and 2, I needed to kick start my training for this year.
  I started off really good for the first few days.  I woke up early and got my mile in, sometimes 2 or 2.5.  Then I was rushing to get ready for work.  Then on the 4th, I started to have some cramps and pain in the last part of my 3 mile run on the TM.  I only had 3 minutes left to finish, but I didn't sleep that well that night and it worried me.  I had just been to the doctor that day and found out that I was pregnant.  Again.  And although the doctor cleared me, after last fall, I was a little gun shy.
  No sweat though.  I just decided to do WED FAM and I would walk instead of run.  I was happy with that decision and for the next few days, I got up and barely got my walk in before rushing off to work again.  (What can I say, bed is my favorite place to hide in the cold winter time.)  However, on the 6th, I started having the bladder spasms that I was left with from the 2 month UTI I had in the fall.  Those things hurt like the dickens and I couldn't take my medicine for them due to the baby.  
  This is one time that I wish I was a guy.  Guys can walk around and hold onto their crotch and no one really thinks a thing about it.  You see a lady do that, and well, I'm not sure what people think.....but I really wanted to do that.  So on my birthday, the 7th, I caved and stopped.  The worst thing with the spasms was I decided I should cancel my hiking trip in Tennessee that weekend.  That crushed me more than quitting R/WED FAM.  
  I actually packed the bus and started down the road to go, but my pp hurt and I didn't see it getting any better the farther I drove or hiking in the mountains all weekend long.  So I turned around after a few tears and headed back home to sulk.
  By Saturday afternoon, the spasms had stopped, the back pain quit, and no nausea.  By Monday morning, I broke the news to Pat.  I didn't think the visit to the doctor on Tuesday was going to be good.  Everything had stopped hurting just like in the fall.  I spent the whole weekend waiting for Tuesday to arrive and for them to give us the bad news and to get it over with.  It really was a great birthday weekend!  Pffftttttttt....
  Tuesday finally arrived and we were seated in the US room and the tech was doing her thing, and I wishing she would hurry up so we can get out of there.  Then she tells us there it is.  Huh?  She even showed us the heartbeat.  Really?  Are you sure? guys were not expecting that were you?  Nope....
  So here I am, R/Wed FAM a failure, but so far the baby is fine.  Looking back I wonder if He was testing me to trust Him and the more I think about my relationship with God.  Well, I don't entirely trust Him.  I don't trust people easily, let alone a God I can't see or even prove He is there.  He knows that though and we are working on it.  Well, I am working harder at trusting Him and also believing that He knows what he is doing.  What can I say...I have my faults too.  
  I am 39 and Pat will be 59 in June.  We know what people are thinking about that part because we have thought it ourselves.  Pat should be retiring, not getting ready to raise a baby.  And I feel responsible for the burden that has now been placed in our laps and we have discussed it honestly and frankly.  We both have decided though that we either believe that I heard Him speak to me last March or I hear voices in my head with random thoughts that make no sense (which does happen, but that one was really, really random).  If it is true, then who are we to go against His will?
  I may not have many running adventures planned for this year, but I am looking forward to watching Pat complete some of his own.  He already finished the first leg of the Triple Crown and will run the second leg on March 8th.  His first 10K! And I am so excited to be able to have a reason to just stand at the finish line and support him.  It's gonna be a good year!

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!