Monday, September 27, 2010

"Hey you're not limping!"

Many people at my work knew I was running 20 miles on Saturday. I got an e-mail from a co-worker today:

"Your 20 miler must have gone well Saturday. You're not limping today."

I didn't realized people noticed me limping on the other days! LOL!

But I must say, I am pleased with how my body recovered so quickly! Yeah body!!!

The heat wave continues this week.....

Sunday, September 26, 2010

20 MIler with TNT - Route

Untitled by anjil1206 at Garmin Connect - Details

Our longest training run. Temperature got up to 104! The heat slowed my time. But we finished! Click the link to see the route and check out the stats.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

20 Miler Down!

I was pretty worried about the 20 miler since my 18 miler was painful and the forecast for San Luis Obispo was for 90 degree weather. I thought it was likely we were going to be pulled off the course early and if we weren't I'd experience the same pain as I did on the 18 miler and have to endure it for two additional miles.

Well I ran pretty comfortable the whole time. My new shoes seemed to do the trick and my muscle didn't fatigue like they did on the 18 miler. I'm still having issues with "chub rub" I reapplied lube twice and still ended up with the worse case yet! However, it didn't hurt too bad during the run. It's afterwards that the pain sets in, which is actually fortunate.

And I have the best running partner ever! Cindy can run a lot faster than me. But she always runs with me anyway and she not only fun to chat with on the runs but she has a solid 'partner' mentality. It's like we're 'team running'. I hope to blog more details about that in a separate post.

I had a special treat mid-run. Kris took Heather on a hike up Madonna Mountain while I was running. When they were done he went to look for me on the course. This was a feat because he had no map and had no idea where they were going to run us except they were going to run us to Avila Beach and back. So by some clever deduction, he found a string of TNT runners and since he knows my pace and where I started, he was able to make a good guess I was on the Bob Jones trail at the time. And I was!

Cindy and I were on our way back from the turn around point heading back on the trail and I see way ahead this guy who sort of looks like Kris. I see he has a dog with him that looks like Heather. No way. What are the chances he knew where I'd be???

But sure enough as we move toward each other on the trail I realized it was them!! I called to Heather and she perked up her ears and ran straight for me. I was yelling my usual, "How's Mama's girl? How's my baby girl!?" I was so excited I was yelling loud and the trail was very busy at this time. Everyone was looking and it was so cute as Heather ran straight into my arms to get hugs and kisses from Mom.

Another TNT athlete that was headed in the opposite direction smiled as said as she passed, "You are a lucky girl!" I said, "I know!!" I think she saw that Kris was there and she was referring more to me having a supportive husband than just a great dog. But, whatever, she was right!

Then a little later, I saw the Tailwinds Bike Club from Santa Maria come down the trail. Kris and I biked much of the running route with the bike club several times in the past. So I knew there was a good chance of seeing them and I had been watching for them all day. So I had fun cheering "Go Tailwinds!!!" as they zoomed past us!

Cindy and I said goodbye to Kris and Heather once we reached the end of the Bob Jones trail. Then we headed up Ontario Rd and to the SAG wagon at mile 14. 

As I feared, the temperature soared and by mile 16 we were feeing it. We didn't know what the temperature was but I decided I needed to walk it in the rest of the way. I knew I could finish the distance. I wasn't even disappointed about walking the last 4 miles. In that kind of heat it was a great feat to simply finish.

We were 3 miles away from the end. Coach April pulled up in her truck and our manager Barb jumped out. She said, "It jumped from 95 to 104 in the last 20 minutes. We're pulling all the runners off the course."

I was with my running buddy Cindy and two other ladies. We all exclaimed in unison, "But we're only 3 miles out! We're doing good."

So the manager and coach did a quick assessment of all of us and gave 3 of us clearance to finish. The forth gal was gently convinced to get on the truck and call it a day.

I was THRILLED!!!!!!!!!! THEY LET ME FINISH!!!!!!!!! I did a HOT 20 miles!!! I am READY!!!!!

Kris was waiting for me back at the park. My phone died around mile 15. So the last he heard from me was that we were really hot and would be slower coming in than expected. But I worried that he would see the team trucks pulling in with all these runners getting out and wonder where the heck I was. 

When we arrived at the park, he did have a concerned look on his face until I threw up my arms, gave him a big smile and yelled "We did it!" Then he knew I was fine. He said I looked really good! I felt pretty good! And my time was only 17 minutes slower than I predicted. Not bad in 104 degrees. 

This run has really helped me mentally. I really feel that I can go the distance in the marathon. It shouldn't be that hot. I stayed pretty comfortable. So if I stick to the final weeks of training, I should do just fine!

Thanks for all of you who were praying for me today and sending me positive energy! It worked!!

Friday, September 24, 2010

The 20 Miler May Not Go ... the distance that is

Word on the street is that it's going to be unusually hot tomorrow. I believe TNT has a rule that they pull the athletes off the course if the temp reaches 80. According to the forecast, SLO is going to reach 80 degrees at 10am.

So I am fully expecting to be pulled off the course three and a half hours into my run which would only put me at about 14 miles. A bit short from the 20 miler goal.

Perhaps they'll be a miracle and we'll have cool weather all day. Maybe I'm wrong about the rule and we won't be pulled. Hhhhmmmm. We'll have to see.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

9 During Hell Week - I did it!!!! by anjil1206 at Garmin Connect - Details

9 During Hell Week - I did it!!!! (Though I had to fight hell and high water) - Details

So this week is "Hell Week" in marathon training. It's the week with the highest mileage. It includes a day with a 9-10 mile run. I had a couple vacation days to burn so I scheduled the vacation days on the two days during the week that I had the longest run. This way I didn't have to get up insanely early to run long before work or stay out insanely late trying to get in a long run after work. What a brilliant plan!

The first vacation day was terrific and went off without a hitch. Then I went to work for one day and came home looking forward to my next day off when I would sleep in late, get up to leisurely coffee, take my long run when I felt like it, come home, clean up and do crafts until it was time to get my hair done. Then come home and make Kris a nice dinner. Perfect day.

Not to be. I was woken up that morning by a bad head ache! I tried to go back to sleep and 'sleep it off'. But I couldn't fall back to sleep. I thought maybe it was a caffein headache like I get sometimes if I miss my morning cup. So I got up to have coffee. But my head hurt worse if I sat up. So I laid down. It's hard drinking coffee while you are horizontal.

I was calculating what time I could start my run and still make it back in time to be ready for my hair appt. I had to be hitting the pavement by 1pm. I had a few hours. So I tried to drink water in case it was a dehydration headache which I am prone to. I couldn't take my usual IB Profin because our coaches tell us not to take that on our long run days because they fear kidney damage. So I hoped the headache would go away.

I fell back asleep and when I woke up, the headache was almost gone. So I sat up. The headache came back immediately and with a vengeance! So I laid back down and thought of ways I could still make the run. By 1:30 I decided, I would try running after my hair appt. I would still be running after dark. But not for that long.

The time for the appt was approaching and I still couldn't sit up without my head hurting again. I had fallen asleep again too. I think my body was just beyond tired. Finally, with only an hour before my appt time, I declared defeat and canceled the hair appt.

I thought my body must be fighting something. So I told it, "Look body, I really appreciate all you have done to get me here. You amaze me! But the fact is, we're in hell week and we will complete hell week because there is no way I am doing a 20 mile run on Saturday without my weekly mileage under our feet. So I don't know what you are dealing with today but you have to straighten it out before tomorrow because we are running our 9 miler come hell or high water! Get it? We are running long tomorrow wether you feel good or not. And you know I'm serious too!"

Sometimes you just need to give yourself a little tough love.

So the next day my alarm went off at 5am to do a morning run. My body (my hand specifically) grabbed the clock and threw it across the room where it promptly exploded into a million tiny pieces. I don't remember doing that. But when I woke up to shards of alarm clock on my side of the room, I put two and two together.

So it was going to be a long run after work eh?

I am always exhausted after work. So my plan was to try to take it easy. Not to bust my head on anything that wasn't an absolute priority. And to try to not stress any more than possible. I was doing pretty good until late in the day when an irate call was escalated to me. The caller was so abusive, the worst I have ever had. I had to basically hang up on him. I hated that. But the worse thing was, I'm sure I could have gotten him straightened out if he'd give me the chance. Then he called back and threatened one of my employees. That didn't make me look forward to running in the dark by myself that night. Oh well. One strike against running after work.

I meant to take a break to change my clothes about 20 minutes before my shift was done so I could start running as soon as possible. But I got a last minute phone call and besides, the last few minutes of the shift is the best time for my lead to touch base with me. So by the time we were done handling what we needed to it was more than half an hour past my target start time. I was going to get home very late! Strike two against running after work.

So I swung by the gym and changed, locked up my bag and headed out. I was an hour past my target start time. I was definitely going to be running after dark, but I purposely brought my best flasher so the cars could see me on the road. (There's a couple spots without sidewalks).

So I headed straight for the McCoy trail so that I could run past that skunk (I have ran into him  a couple times) in the day light so I could see him coming unlike the first time I saw him. On the way to the trail I ran into a really nice guy with two super sweet dogs. Great right? Usually, but this guy was a talker! I am partial to talkers 1) because I usually am one and 2) many talkers are just lonely. I have been lonely in my time and I know how much a little nice conversation even with a stranger can be a big deal. So I stopped to spend a little conversation with him. Making me later on on my run. But I did end the conversation after a few minutes and got under way.

With not even enough time to warm up after I left the nice man, my mother-in-law calls me. I had already had missed about three calls from her the past week and I knew this was our best chance to touch base. Strike number three? No, I can run and talk on the phone. That's why they made handsfree sets. :)

Had a lovely chat with my MIL. She is such a sweetheart! But when I hung up, it was dark. So I grabbed my favorite flasher which I have only had occasion to use once before and promptly dropped it on the sidewalk.....and broke it! No flasher. I would now be invisible on the dark stretches of road with no sidewalks. [Insert explicative here]. Maybe I should loop it back to the gym and call it. I had only gone 2-3 miles. No. I'm pressing on.

I plotted out a plan to run on streets that I was familiar with and trails without cars as much as I could. When I made it back to the gym, I would finish any left over distance on the treadmill (or 'deadmill' as I refer to it). I was hoping I could cover more than half the miles by the time I get back to the gym because dead mill time sucks.

So I ran out this multi-purpose trail which has no lights, but it also has no cars and at that time of night no other people. It ended up being my favorite part of the run. There's something neat about running in the dark. The sky was clear and the air crisp. It was lovely.

I called Kris to let him know where I was and we chatting for quite awhile. By this time I had decided to run for two hours. That would get me really close to my goal and still get me home at a decent time. So I shared that with Kris. I decided to run on the road that parallels the airport. That was a good long stretch and I could probably finish my remaining time going back and forth on that. (Anything to avoid the deadmill!) And I wouldn't have to worry about cars. That road is barely used at night.

Wrapping up the long story, at the two hour mark I was only one mile away from goal. How could I not finish the final mile?? So I did. I made it back to the gym and had a solid 9 on my Garmin. I was thrilled!!!!!

My awesome husband went out to get me my favorite ice cream to celebrate my achievement and he had also made me a lovely dinner. Sadly, I didn't have an appetite! With two miles to go I was really hungry and realized I didn't eat enough calories that day. So I had an energy bar. I think that killed my appetite. But the good news is, I have a whole pint of Chunky Monkey waiting for me for when I finish my 20 miler on Saturday.......

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Hell Week Starts Tomorrow

I was dead tired after this work week and slept 12 hours straight! So needless to say I didn't get up at 5 to get to Atascadero to run with the team.

So I ran in town. I did pretty good (for me). I made sure I hit some hills. Though there was nothing like Ratcliff or Bishop streets. :) I SAGged myself the whole way too. (Stopped in a market at mile ten to get a fresh bottle of water. The patrons kept asking "What's that weird smell?" as I walked by. But oh well). 

Saw a couple cute guys at a bus stop who smiled and said "How you doing?" as I ran by. I think my time would've been better if I didn't stop to get their phone numbers. (Just kidding! Just kidding!)

So now, we're ready for "Hell Week". It's the week in the marathon training with the highest mileage and the long run is 20 miles!

Mentally, I am ready. Physically? I think so. So bring it on. The 20 miler next week. Yeah, that seems pretty scary. But we'll all make it in and we'll be so excited! So it'll be worth it. 

Did an ice bath, and got a massage. So today it's about continuous cycles of ice packs on the hammies and I should be ready for the big mileage starting tomorrow. :) I'll let you know how it goes!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

14 miler.

Untitled by anjil1206 at Garmin Connect - Details

Slept 12 hours straight and missed running with the team. Did my own run and did pretty good. I'm happy with the time for this length run. Click the link to see the stats. :)

Friday, September 17, 2010

Update on Maddi! :)

I heard from Maddi's aunt today that she is doing well. She had a check up and a preventative shot of antibiotic. She's not back to school yet. But everyone is hopeful she'll be back after Christmas break. Yeah!!!!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Running in the Cornfields - The Final Chapter

Disclaimer: This is the last part of a three part story. If you haven't read the first two installments, I recommend you read them first (Part 1 and Part 2). This is the story of when my awesome run went bad. I'd hate for that to be your only reference to an otherwise great run!

Dad and I returned to the house and to my great delight my sister and two of my nephews were there visiting. 
My nephew Mike (I still like to call him Mikey even though he’s all grown up) is a tri-athlete. He is just a super-fit superman. I love hanging out with him because he can talk endurance sports for hours and not get bored. (Unless he is just being nice to his old aunt). 
Something I have noticed about athletes is they just don’t make big deals about big athletic feats. For instance, athletes may say, “Yeah, sorry I’m late. I climbed Mt. Everest this morning and my flight back to the US left late.”
“OMG! You climbed Mt. Everest???!!!! How do you do that??”
“Oh you could do it,” they say, “You just have to train for it.”
So when I walked in the house and Mike exclaimed, “Oh my God you WERE running in this heat? Geez, when they told me I was really worried about you.”
Did I mention Mike lives in Arizona?  He knows heat. So I was a little surprised he was concerned. 
I drank some electrolyte and took a shower. I heated up a microwave lunch and was pooped! So I laid down on the couch to rest.
Soon I felt a headache creeping up on me and all of a sudden everyone’s voices were getting so loud! My parents are hard of hearing so the family is used to talking loud. But it sounded like everyone was shouting and it was growing louder by the minute. 
So I dragged my body off the couch and laid down on my parents bed. I wanted to fall asleep so bad. But I couldn’t. I hate that! I couldn’t get comfortable and I couldn’t fall asleep. 
My sister came in to tell me goodbye and I could barely see her. She was fuzzy and my head was in a full-fledged ache-mode. I hope I was making sense when I was responding to my sister but to be honest, I don’t remember much about it. 
When she left, I laid back down and I’m pretty sure I finally fell to sleep because I woke up to a SPLITTING head ache. It hurt so bad! I kept trying to get comfortable but I just couldn’t. 
I got up and I was so hot! I sat down in front of the air conditioning vent. Then I was too cold. Grabbed a blanket off the couch and had to arrange it just so until the temperature right. Then I could only focus on my head pain. I was writhing! 
Dad and Mom was starting to get worried. Dad asked if Advil would help. IB Profin is the only thing that works for my regular head aches. So Dad went out to get me some. I kept writhing on the floor. Mom was talking about taking me to the emergi-clinic. Then she mentioned, “They’ll send you to the hospital.” 
That freaked me out. I was in a lot of pain and on the one hand, would like to do anything to get the pain to stop. But the thought of going to the hospital upset me. 
“I don’t wanna go to the hospital!!!!!” I whined like a two year old. 
My head ache was unbearable so I grabbed an ice pack from the freezer and put it on my head. It made it hurt more! Dad came back with the IB Profin and immediate scolded me. 
“Honey! Don’t do that! That’s very bad for you!!”
I had forgotten that’s how my grandmother died. She had a headache, put an ice pack on her head and a blood vessel burst. Oops. 
Dad would only give me two tablets!!! I usually take three just for a regular headache! Why wouldn’t he give me six today??!!! 
We were debating going to the emergency clinic. (Which I equated to going to the hospital). They would close in about 20 minutes so we had to decide fast. I was getting more and more upset and agitated. I can’t remember who decided to call Kris. But I remember my dad talking to Kris for a minute and then handing me the phone. 
I remember crying and trying to tell Kris what was happening. He just asked one question: “What have you eaten today?”
Diiiiinnnnnggg Dooooong! The bell went off. 
I had had less than 750 calories all day and ran long distance in the heat and humidity. 
“Love, you’re bonking.”
I was bonking.
That explained everything. The head ache, agitation, not being able to regulate my body temp, befuddled thinking and being emotional. I HATE bonking!
I got off the phone and looked at my parents. 
“I need carbs and salt.”
“I have no glycogen in my blood. I need carbs and salt.”
“What do you want?”
“An apple and the salt shaker.”
While I ate my salted apple slices, my dad mixed another bottle of electrolytes. Ironically, it was apple-flavored. 
My parents watched me eat like they were watching an exhibit
at Ripley’s Believe It or Not museum. I don’t think they believed an apple was going to make me better. 
I spent the next couple hours eating fruit and drinking fluids. An hour or two after that we were playing games at the kitchen table. 
Dad noted, “We were about to send you to the hospital. Now just a few hours later you’re back to normal.”
That’s when I gave my parents a brief lesson in endurance fueling and the dangers of massive calorie deficits. Before the lecture, my mom would exclaim, “You’re eating again???!!!” (And this was four hours after we ate breakfast).
I’d think, “I’m training for a marathon and I haven’t eaten for hours. Yea, I’m eating again!”
So after my little ‘lecture‘ she had a greater understanding and she started asking me, “Have you eaten everything you need to so far today??”
I can honestly say I didn’t take advantage and say things like, “Why now that you mention it, I haven’t reached  my ice cream or french fry quota Mom. Drive me to Dairy Queen. Stat!”   

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Running in Mammoth

Terrible wind. But kinda of funny the way I am trying so hard to be heard. Watch if you'd like a laugh!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Running in the Cornfields Part 2

My dad was walking toward me from the end of butterfly alley. He had a fresh sweat towel for me. Boy did I need it! My original one was weighing me down! It was soaking! 
I felt like a pro runner, I mean I had my own personal towel guy to meet me on the trail! Dad handed me the towel and walked next to me (I was still ‘running’ but much slower now). 
When we made it to the car, I handed all my empty bottles to dad and tried to do a stretch break. I drank every last bit of water he had. I finally had to get back on the trail. Dad asked me if I needed anything else. I just said, “More water.”
“Just plain water?” 
“Yeah, just water.”
I took off down the trail. Dad was going to meet me at the next cross street which was only about the length of three large city blocks. I wasn’t sure how he was going to get all the way to the nearest store and back in time. Then I realized how slow I was moving. He’d be back with time to spare!
I couldn’t believe how slow I was now moving. I thought, “I can’t believe how bad this heat is effecting me!” 
I reflected back on other times I was cycling or hiking in the heat. I felt different this time. It wasn’t the same. What was different today? Humidity? Yeah. But it wasn’t the usual heat sickness I was feeling. 
I thought back to fuel. FUEL!!!! I didn’t fuel!! OMG!!! I was so worried about getting out as early as possible, I didn’t have my usual pre-run breakfast of 300 - 400 calories. I just grabbed my electrolyte mix which is great to counteract the heat. But it will not give your body enough calories to go far. I didn’t bring bars or gels either. What was I thinking??!!?? 
“Why did I tell Dad I only wanted water?” I thought, “I am an idiot!”
I saw his car come down the road back from the store. I was still several yards from the trail head. I saw Dad jump out of the car and run like a bat out of hell across the four lane road. Two bottles in his hands. He dropped them at the foot of the post at the end of the trail and high tailed it back to his car. 
“Why isn’t he waiting?” I thought. 
He turned back to me waved and yelled, “Can’t park! Can’t Park!! Meet you later!!”
(My dad and I are spooky like that. We can read each other’s thoughts. I’m not kidding. It’s freaky.)
He jumped in his car and sped off. Damn! I was going to politely ask (and beg if I had to) for him to go back to the store to get me some carb loaded drink. Too late now. 
I made it (barely) to the post and bent down to grab the bottles. Holy holy holy!! My dad had left one bottle of water .....and a bottle of carb loaded drink!!
Thank God my dad doesn’t listen to me. 
I told you we were freaky!
I didn’t stop because I was worried about getting started again. So I grabbed both bottles and chugged the carbs down in almost one slug! AHHHHHH........I could feel my body just absorbing the carbs like a sponge! Oh thank goodness!
I kept running. I knew I was only about two miles out and I always say, “You can suffer through two miles of anything.” But I was ready to be done! 
Dad met me one more time on the trail. He didn’t have any more carb drink. But he had more water. I handed him my empty bottles and kept plugging away. 
I was running past landmarks now that I knew was leading up to the last piece. Finally I saw the traffic wizzing by on First St which marked the end of the trail and my run for the day. 
I saw my dad walking from his car toward the end of the trail. I was still at least a quarter mile out and I knew dad had always walked down the trail  to meet me at our past meeting places. I was so wore out (mentally and physically) that I knew I would stop running where ever I was when he met me. Regardless of if I was at the end or not. I know I was only a quarter mile out. But I always finish the distance to the last foot. It’s a ‘thing’ with me. 
I started chanting in my head, “Stay up there. Stay up there.”
Dad stepped onto the trail and walked over to the stop sign on the right side. He turned and faced me from afar, took off his hat, waved it at me and then plopped it on top of the stop sign and waited patiently.
I told you, we hear each other’s thoughts. 
I managed to tap the stop sign as the official end to my long run in Iowa. I was spent! Dad held another water bottle out to me and said, “Need some more water Jill?”
“No, thanks. I think I’ll have some later.”
“You look like you need more now!” And with that he squeezed the chilled water bottle and just doused me from head to toe!!! Yeowwwww!!!!
Boy it felt good! What a happy ending to quite an adventure. 
However, I didn’t realize at the time, another adventure was brewing and this one was not so happy....

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Burning up the route

Untitled by anjil1206 at Garmin Connect - Details

Great pace tonight! And I ran about 2 miles with a bag of poop! Heather decided she had to leave a deposit a long way from a public trash can!!