Tuesday, April 28, 2009

More of the normal stuff and a race report

Long Long post (although most of 'em are...I am rather wordy...)

Workouts for the week of the 20th were pretty status quo, this was my 2nd week of workouts without Trainer-Steve due to his vacation time in Florida.

4/20 - Monday - I started out the week with running another 13.1 miles. The miles went by easy enough but was really bored by time the first two hours had passed and was REALLY wishing I could run faster just to get it all over with, but I refused to give in to the temptation to increase my speed.

4/21 - Tuesday - scheduled rest day, that I actually took and actually did nothing other than a few stretches and some use of the foam roller on the legs.

4/22 - Wednesday - run 5 miles

4/23 - Thursday - weight training, lower body. Didn't do a killer session like I had last week, followed up with some walking on the treadmill to help stretch out the legs after the weights.

4/24 - Friday - weight training, upper body. Run for two miles.

4/25 - Saturday - Hermes 10 miler.

4/26 - Sunday - scheduled rest day.

Saturday I ran my first race longer than a 5k and for some crazy reason I decided a 10-miler would be appropriate...

Seriously don't know what I was thinking...

But anywho... Had a rough time falling asleep the night before, definitely a case of pre-race, "what were you thinking when you registered for 10 miles" jitters. Somewhere around 11:30'ish I finally fell asleep, only to wake up about 3 times during the night thinking I'd overslept! The alarm finally went off sometime around 6:15 or so and was shortly followed by a text from Trainer-Steve telling me to get my ass in gear cause he was sure I was laying in bed doubting myself and that it was a great day for a race, that I'd do great and he had confidence in me and reassured me that I'd trained correctly (scary how well he knows me sometimes, lol). I texted him back saying thanks and that I was just getting moving and I'd let him know how it went once it was over. Got up took a shower to help ease the nerves, got dressed and grabbed something to eat.

I got to Edgewater way early, especially since I'd picked up my race packet the day before but I wanted to be sure to get a good parking spot. I called my Mom's house to see if she and my **sister** were still there, but they'd already left. I walked up to the top of where the race was to start and it was crazy, the lines for the port-o's was nuts so I walked back down the hill where the lines were basically only two people deep, then walked back up the hill to the the starting area. The 5-K had already taken off and we had about 15 minutes before we'd start. Suddenly I heard my name and looked around and there was my sister and my Mom! (I was SO happy to see them before the race). They'd come prepared with their homemade cowbells (stones inside soda cans closed up with duct tape) - thanks to my niece Miranda for telling them about the noisemakers! So chatted with them for a few minutes and then got in line with the mass of people waiting to start, I could hear my family off to the side and it just made me smile...I was ready!, and then we were off.

**side note** - My sister Linda, from Michigan came in for the weekend JUST to bring my Mom to the race so that they could cheer for me. I'd mentioned it to her a couple weeks ago that I was really excited doing this race and how it was a really big deal to me. I hadn't really expected her to come down, but earlier in the week my Mom had mentioned that my sister was coming in for the race. Very Very Cool!

People were passing me alot on the little downhill out of the park, but I just kept repeating to myself to take it slow, run my race, don't start fast cause there is LOTS of miles ahead! Mile one came up, 10:31...hmmm, ok, not so bad, faster than I had really expected or wanted since I've only just started running at 11:30 on the treadmill. Before I knew it we'd crossed over into Lakewood and were coming up on the first water stop and runners were stopped everywhere so I moved to the left of the cones and just kept on moving...my new focus was to get to Lakewood Park and then the turn-around at Webb. My friend Esther would be at Webb...get to Lakewood Park, get to Webb, see Esther...my mantra began... Before the race I'd written down a few mantra's to help get me through the race, I'm used to running on the treadmill with my music and wasn't running the race with any so figured the repetition of mantra's would help get me through. As I approached the 3-mile marker I briefly wished I'd signed up for only the 5-k, lol (I realize now I had similar thoughts later in the race after passing the 5 and 6 mile posts - I mean seriously shouldn't I had tried a 5 miler or a 10-k before advancing to a 10-miler!!! - lol - just like me though to leap before looking).

As I approached Webb and the turn-around there was no sight of Esther. The turnaround was congested with the water stop right there and the road was actually slick from runners tossing their water, I actually slipped a little and ran into two other runners who'd decided to start walking suddenly. The turnaround wasn't exactly the halfway point and a few of the relay folks were a little confused. I continued to look for my friend but alas, she'd either not been able to make it or I had somehow missed her - bummer. The 5 mile mark was just before passing Lakewood Park on the way back and from there until the Cleveland line things were uneventful and not really sure what went through my mind. The temp was starting to rise and some folks had a sprinkler set up on their tree lawn that most of us took advantage of running through... It was nice to feel like a little kid again, apart of me wanted to turn around and go through again but figured I'd better just keep moving forward, lol.

Once we passed the entrance to Edgewater Park, we continued into Cleveland. Now this area I was a little less familiar with but was really happy I'd decided to drive it on Friday just so I knew what was to be expected. And I knew once I hit this section I was almost there...8 miles done! There was a water stop at 8, and I'd only grabbed one cup of water that immediately went down my back to help cool me down...I wished I'd grabbed a second to pour down the front of me. It's not that it was THAT hot, but between the temp rising and my internal temp increasing realizing that with each step I was ACTUALLY getting closer and closer to pulling this thing off!!!

Once we passed the mile 9 marker I knew I'd had this thing completed and actually wondering in one second if I could pull off running another 3 miles for a half-marathon distance and in the next thought thinking that I just needed to get to the finish line and I'd NEVER have to do this again, and in the next thought I laughed at myself -- "yeah, at least not until the next race"... As we came out from a little tunnel and a couple of turns I could hear it in the distance...not exactly a cowbell, but that wonderful sound of stones in a couple of cans!!! My Mom!! My Sister!! There they were shaking those cans like crazy and cheering for me and all the other runners!

Within the last quarter-mile of the race, there was a somber moment...an ambulance was off to the side and lots of folks were tending to a runner that was down. I then could hear the huffs and puffs of some runners breathing hard and passing me literally on my left and right. Now this is usually where I try to find that extra kick, but I knew I was tired and hot and I'd come way to far to fail now so I let them pass without giving chase. It was ok. This was my race to finish, on my terms, in my own comfort level. A couple of people who work out at the gym I do were near the finish and gave me a cheer (they also gave me a cheer during the race when we crossed paths, they were on their way back towards 5 miles, I was just getting to 3 or 4 -- again, thanks to them and to Trainer-Steve for texting them while on vaca to tell them I was running my first 10-miler).

Found my Mom and Sister after the race and walked a bit and sat a bit. They told me that after seeing me off at the start of the race they'd hopped into the car and tried tracking me down on the course. They ran into my friend Esther around Webb, but I was no where in sight... I was running faster than I'd anticipated so they'd just missed me. The family tried to catch me at a couple other points and finally decided to head back to the Park so as to not miss me at the end of the race.

The final results - well aside from the numbers, I was reminded that I have some VERY AWESOME people in my life!!

As for the numbers -

1st Leg - 49/59 AG; time - 52:13.84; pace - 10:27
2nd Leg - 45/59 AG; time - 54:23.50; pace - 10:53
Finish - 46/59 AG; 792 Overall; time - 1:46:37.34; pace - 10:40

My personal goals for this race
1) expect to finish in over 2 hours, 2 hours if lucky
2) finish the race
3) try to finish the race running

Goal 1, accomplished by more than 14 minutes. Goal 2, check. Goal 3, check - I ran the entire race, other than a very brief moment at a water stop when another runner and myself both reached for the same cup and I had to pause for a moment for the volunteer to grab another.

Just a few more brief comments...
I've questioned whether I'd ever run this distance or longer and then I questioned if I'd ever run again a few hours after this race. It was a very sad and confusing time. I was happy and I completely awful! I hadn't drank enough water leading into this race and apparently didn't keep hydrated enough during...I was apparently suffering some pretty intense heat exhaustion. I hadn't felt so lost or confused before. Within 4 hours of the race I wasn't able to keep anything down, my head was pounding and all I could do was sleep. I felt awful, my sister had come from Michigan and more family was over at my Mom's and I couldn't be there, I wanted to share my joy of completing this race and I could barely do anything but move between my bed and the bathroom. Trainer-Steve was back in town on Saturday evening and had called to see how my legs were doing and to congratulate me and instead was greeted with a sobby, disoriented person. Thankfully, he guided me through and even came by to check on me on Sunday and called several times to make sure I was doing better. Yesterday, Monday, I had a training session with Steve and after the thought of running made my stomach turn, but with some gentle guidance I got on the treadmill to just run a mile, which turned into 2 and I was suddenly feeling better about running in general. Today I managed to squeak out 5 and am already planning on 10 for Thursday, maybe...

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Decisions made

My bank account is $35 less. On a whim while sitting at my Mom's watching the awesome Cavs and Indians games, I did it, I registered for the Hermes 10-miler next weekend. There's some mixed feelings towards this, but mostly amazement since just 4 months ago I was just barely starting to run again and now I'm looking at a 10-miler and have thoughts of running a half marathon possibly much sooner that my December goal.

The rest of my week following Mondays 13.1 mile run was good. I took my scheduled rest days and ran according to plan. Trainer-Steve is on vacation for two weeks so am on my own...

4/13 - run 13.1
4/14 - rest day
4/15 - run 5 miles
4/16 - lower body workout
4/17 - run 5 miles, legs sore from workout
4/18 - upper body workout
4/19 - rest day, stretching back and foam rolling legs - really over did that lower body workout on Thursday!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


Well the countdown of "days left of employment" has begun in these here parts (55 business-days including today), and that is just sort of depressing. What once may have held a vague interest and excitement of changes has turned to basically political mud-slinging...and unfortunately we/I am on the receiving end. Some of us that are trying to remain light and up-beat (I mean you can either laugh or cry about this...and laughing is so much better for the soul) about the situation have envisioned an 'American Idol' sort of first day at the new job...as we file into the office we are separated into two groups and sent into two different conference rooms; suddenly the "man" walks in and says you are dismissed, while simultaneously the other group of staffers is being told they have been accepted. But there is always hope that our soon to be new "boss" will select me and/or a few others from these parts to move forward for at least a couple more months. I suppose only time will tell, in 55 business-days to be exact.

On to other stuff now -- I am continuing to follow the plan that trainer-Steve has laid out for me with my running (even though I still protest rest days). So my schedule for the past two weeks went something like this:

3/30 - scheduled rest day - walked for 15 minutes on treadmill, lots of stretching, little bit of ab work.
3/31 - run 5 miles
4/01 - training session with Steve, elliptical for 4.68 miles
4/02 - run 6 miles
4/03 - elliptical for 7.36 miles
4/04 - elliptical, bike, walking on treadmill for a combined half hour and 4.5 miles then training session with Steve followed up by walking 4.62 miles on the treadmill.
4/05 - run 10 miles

4/06 - scheduled rest day - walked for 1.5 miles on treadmill, stretching and ab work
4/07 - training session with Steve followed by 4.25 miles walking on treadmill
4/08 - run 5 miles
4/09 - training session with Steve followed by 3.47 miles walking on treadmill
4/10 - run 5 miles
4/11 - training session with Steve followed by 4.66 miles walking on treadmill
4/12 - scheduled day off -- and I actually stayed away from the gym and rested, I suppose being Easter helped!

With the upcoming work merger I have lots of time off coming that I need to take so am hoping to work in my days off work with scheduling my longer runs. I am basically taking off Monday's and Friday's from now until the end of June and then scheduling a bunch of other days off as well. Anyhow, I was off work yesterday, April 13th. I slept in some (not on purpose really) and headed off to the gym and got there about 9am. Did my normal stretching and assessing of how my back was feeling and then found a treadmill in the front row directly in front of the only tv now scheduled to show ESPN. I did a little more stretching, a little walking warm-up and then set the treadmill up for my slow 12 minute mile pace for 60 minutes...when that time was up, I stretched just a little bit, grabbed some water and some gum and re-set the machine for another 60 minutes...things were going well until about halfway through when ESPN was now repeating headlines and the gym was pretty empty so there was no one to really watch and my music was also repeating; for a brief moment I thought of giving up, I began to imagine that my legs and feet were hurting. I took my headphones off for a bit and tried to just focus on running. My thoughts turned to all I have come through in the past year to be in this moment right here and now! I wished trainer-Steve wasn't on vacation, I could use his butt-kicking right about now, but just thinking about him for a moment and I could hear his voice "U CAN DO IT...U WILL DO IT". Meanwhile while all this was going on in my head, the last 30 minutes had ticked by and it was time to re-set the treadmill one last time, and this time for 38 minutes. I was refreshed, I was re-energized, a new batch of people had come into the gym and this was it...I was just 3.1 miles away from completing my first 13.1 half-marathon distance run! With just a mile and a half to go I'd received a text from trainer-Steve asking how it was going, I responded saying I was almost done and that I'd text him when it was complete. 12:01pm - text message was sent - I had just completed by first half-marathon distance run *. Yeah Me!!

Now, comes the decision making time...the Hermes 10-Miler. It is just 11 days away, I need to decide if I should sign up and attempt it or not. I am still leery about running on pavement, even though my foot did not bother me after the 5k, I'm pretty sure the fear is all psychological... Ugh, a decision needs to be made...

*note, yes I did just say that it was my first, meaning there will be more to follow...