It’s been a while

It has been too long and I appoligize! It has been a crazy year so far and I can’t believe it is almost May!

So here is an update on what has been going!

– We spent new years in Fowler, Colorado with our awesome friends Ledah and Wes Welch. It was a very different experience for us city folk. We stayed on the Welch’s Ranch and did ranch like things, like spending all day feeding cows. Which I thought was quite fun despite the 17degree temperatures! It was a perfect get-a-way and awesome way to bring in the new year!
– Early January I started planning the Trooper McDonald Memorial Race – 5K and 1 Mile walk in Post in honor and memory of our dear friend Jon McDonald who passed away in November while responding to a wreck in Post. The race was scheduled for March 5th! (This will be a post in itself coming soon!)
– The end of  January I had an amazing opportunity to start working for my mom in commercial real estate full time and began studying for my licensing exam.
– February was crazy as I was jugling planning a race, starting a new job and career and taking 3 courses to get my real estate license. All to say I learned a lot about time management! I could not have made it through February with out the love and support of Stuart and my old and new friends! I was blessed to have wonderful volunteers help tremendously with the race and I could not have done it without them!!!
– I took my licensing exam on March 16th and Passed both tests!!! I am not good at taking tests but I knew I had studied and prepared as much as I could. God gave me an incredible peace that morning and I was so excited to not have to retake it!
– Running wise, until a few weeks ago I was not motivated and was so busy that I was not making time for running.
– My running motivation….. the NEW YORK CITY MARATHON!!!! I received my acceptance into the New york city marathon a few weeks ago and that definately got me motivated to hit the streets again. My parents and sisters will be going to New York with Stuart and myself the begining of November for the marathon. Dad will also be running the Marathon and it will be quite an experience!

Their is a brief update on what has been going on in 2011!

The Tyler Marathon

Well Friends I made it. I managed to finish my second full marathon and what an experience it was!

Early Saturday morning Stuart and I started on the long treck from Lubbock to Tyler. I was very hydrated and continued to stay that way so there were many little stops along the way. We arrived in Tyler and started driving the course so that I would know kind of what to expect. As we drove the first 2 miles, I began to get a little worried. These first 2 miles were very large rolling hills. I am tempted to call them mountains for those of us who live and run in flat Lubbock. The first part of the course I would be running out to the airport, along some beautiful tree lined country roads and then back into down town. Once in downtown most of the streets were brick and there was a lot of little turns through neighborhoods. This is know as the historical Azaela district. Then, after what seemed like 50 miles, you would head back to the finish line. And a little side note, the whole course seemed to be rolling hills. I knew this would be a challanging experience but I was still excited and very ready.

We ate an amazing dinner with the Dixons at Joe’s Italian Cafe. This adorable little restraunt. We had the patio all to ourselves and even a little violin serenade. It was a beautiful evening and we loved getting to hang out with Traci and Ryan. They were both running the half marathon.

I managed to get some sleep and woke up around 5am Sunday morning. I was feeling good though. Of course, I had butterfies and was anxious, excited and nervous all at the same time. Stuart dropped me off at the starting line where I met up with Ryan and Traci for the pre-race devotional and then headed to the starting line. This was a fairly small race (250 finished the full) but it was nice because Stuart met me at the starting line and I was able to see him until the gun went off which helped calm the nerves.

At the Starting line with the finish line behind me.

Those first few miles felt great. Didn’t seem to die on the hills like I thought I would. I tried to hold back my pace but I was so happy to finally be on the road racing that it was difficult. I kept a pretty good 9:30 pace for the first half of the marathon. The country roads were beautiful. I had my music going and I was having a blast!!

My legs started to really feel the hills taking their toll around mile 15-17. I pushed through a little and tried to stay possitive but when I hit mile 17 and knew I still had 9 more miles… I fell apart. I became so discouraged. Not knowing if I would be able to make it. I would walk for a quarter mile or so and then try to jog for the last three quarters of the mile. I knew I needed to continue to drink water and take gels but I was getting side stiches when I would so that was quite frustrating as well. I was doing a lot of weaving through these neighborhoods and at one point, I could not see anyone in front of me or any one behind me. I could not motivate myself to keep pushing. I knew I would not make my time goal at this point and was so frustrated! Stuart was able to see me multiple times during these last  miles and he was so encouraging. I don’t know what I would have done without him! I can’t descibe all that was going through my head at that time but I did feel like I was failing, that the last 4 months of training were for nothing and I was doubting myself. Somehow I was able to get to mile 24 and knew that I could make it 2.2 miles! There were not many people out cheering but the poilice officers who had traffic stopped were so very encouraging!! Definitely the best race police officers I have seen! I hit mile 26, turned the corner and there was a HUGE hill! This just made me angry! I trudged up it and saw Stuart, Ryan and Traci there cheering for me. I was going to finish! I was going to do this! I turned the last corner and kicked it to the finish line. Finishing in 4 hrs 47 minutes and 22 seconds. I’m not going to lie, I am not real happy with that time but I finished. I did not think I could. Stuart, Ryan and Traci all cheered as I crossed the finish line and were so encouraging.

I am still reflecting and learning from the mistakes that I made and am trying to decide what to do next. My legs are feeling tons better today and am looking forward to running tomorrow. I am too stuborn to let that be my last marathon, even though I said multiple times “I will never do this again” throughout the course. I will keep you posted.

It’s Go Time!

After almost 6 months of training, the race is almost here! I can not believe it. The past few weeks of tapering have been great! I could tell my body really needed rest and my muscles needed some healing. Last friday I ran 12 miles under a 10 min pace. It felt great. This week I have only run about 5 miles but I feel good. I started to get nervous about my knee on the 5 mile run so I decided to call it my last run and just rest this week. I have not been sleeping well since I am not running and I admit I have been a little irritable. On weeks like this one 1 realize that I am indeed addicted to endorphins! All I have been thinking about is my next run, which is the race. I have been studying the map and the hills and hydrating like crazy! I feel so ready! I can’t wait to bring you a detailed race report with tons of pictures!!!

Sunday morning between 7:30am and noon, if you think about me say a little prayer that all is going well. 🙂

Thanks friends!

Taper Time

Soooo I thought I already posted this…. but I had not so here is it a little late 🙂

Written on September 23rd.

This past weekend was so full but so good. Beth Moore Simulcast on Saturday, Tech vs Texas game (which was not quite as enjoy able as I would have liked since they lost), and then Sunday was Ledah’s baby shower. It was so much fun! So I decided to run long on Friday morning. This way I could mentally prepare on Thursday and then have the rest of the day Friday to rest and relax.

I got up early and started on the treadmill. After 6 miles inside I headed out. It was a beautiful morning. I wanted to stay between a 10:15 and 10:30 pace and then speed it up a little at the end. I legs started to feel tight and tired around 18 miles. Then at 20 my knees felt really stiff. I still had a good mile plus to go so I pushed my pace. I finished 21.25 miles in 3 hrs 37 minutes. After I finished I felt really good. I iced my knees throughout the day and started to see some signs of tendentious in my left knee (which I first had issues with after my longest run for my first marathon). I got really nervous about it but after taking a few days off, I felt no more pain.

This past week I have felt really tired and tight so I have taken extra rest time so that I don’t hurt myself my pushing too far or too much. I am excited about tapering and getting ready for the race. Less than 3 weeks!!!

20 Miles

First 20 mile run, 8.29

Sunday morning I woke up bright and early to get ready to head out for 20 miles. The longest I have ever gone by myself. A little nervous but mostly excited. I decided to do 5 miles on the treadmill while it was still dark outside, before hitting the road. The weather was beautiful. There was a slight breeze which I ran into the first 5 miles on the road but it made it nice to look forward to turning around and having the wind at my back.

I planned to run out 7.5 miles so that I would not be tempted to cut my run short. When you run out 7.5 miles, you have to run home. I was surprised that I really didn’t get bored. Pandora was playing great music and that definitely helped!

I have been really working on my pace especially on my long runs. Starting off slow and slowly speeding up. This way I train myself not to take off to fast and to save energy for the end. This also helps keep me from getting board. I think about the run in sections of 4-6 miles. It felt great to finish the last 2 miles at a 9:15!

I was so excited after I finished! I felt like I can and will be ready for the full in 6 weeks! I needed that run so badly! I was ready for the next week of pushing my body farther than I had the week before!

My legs were pretty tired for most of this past week. I did a good 6 mile run in Ransom to train on the hills and then a 10 mile tempo run. I was not quite as excited about the second 20 miler because I could tell my legs were not as fresh as I would have liked. I knew it would be good for me though.

Second 20 mile run, 9.5

I ran the exact same route that I did last week, started with 5 miles on the treadmill and then 15 on the road. It worked well last week so I might as well stick to it. I was honestly ready to be done with the run when I started. I just was not really feeling it that morning. It was a cool morning which was very nice, but windy. I could tell after 7 miles on the road (12 total), it was going to be a challenging run home. My legs were quite tired and my left quad was really bothering me with every step. I have a hard time knowing if the pain is just tired, sore muscles or a muscle strain or something like that. I decided to take it a mile at a time. As long as I kept going I was fine, but when I had to stop at intersections it was tough getting going again. I was able to maintain a slow steady pace but I made it. I did not finish at my marathon goal pace but I was happy that I pushed through the pain finished strong.

I know there will be pain during the race and I will have to be mentally tough to push through and not get discouraged. The hardest part of training for me is the mental part! I have good days, where I feel very strong mentally and other days where I get so discouraged.

Getting stronger every day though! 🙂
See you on the road!

Monster Month

First of all I want to apologize for not blogging for so long! Training for the Tyler Marathon has been a little different. I am training alone which took some getting used to. I no longer have someone right there pushing me, I am having to push myself. I was very unmotivated for a while and was struggling through 10-12 mile runs! I got so discouraged! I thought if I cant make it 1o miles… there is no way I am going to be able to complete a full marathon by myself!

Last weekend I was able to run 16 with my dad. It was nice to have someone right there who would not let me stop and rest. I realized that I could push through tired, heavy feeling legs and finish strong. We had a great run together!! It was exactly what I needed to kick my rear back into training mode!

As I prepared for my 10 mile run this morning with 8 miles at marathon goal pace, I read an article on Runners world called The Monster Month. They call the month of training before you start tapering the monster month. That is when you begin pushing your body farther and harder than you have before to get ready for your race. It got me excited about my monster month!

I am not going to lie though, I am scared to death about running a full marathon on my own. I can’t help but think about how hard it was even with my dad there and how much my body hurt. I know my body can do it but I am struggling training my mind. I have to convince my mind that I really can do this. That is what the “monster month” is for. I am looking forward to pushing my body as well as my mind. It will be interesting.

I will head out for my first 20 miler on  Sunday morning! I’ll let you know how it goes!

Dadfest 5K and Wounded warrior half marathon

Last weekend Stuart and I headed to the metroplex with my parents and one of my sisters for 2 races!

On Saturday morning my dad and I raced in the Dadfest 5K. We raced as a team against other father daughter teams. 3 years ago we ran this race together and it was such a neat race that we put it on the calendar early this year! We placed 3rd in our age group 3 years ago and we excited about improving and placing again. It was a hot, humid and windy Saturday morning but we were ready. It was a nice course and we headed out strong. Dad and I knew we had some good competition and were ready for the challenge. Dad finished in 21:33 and I finished in 26:28. Getting us 2nd place in our age group! We were very pleased and excited about the finish!

Dad turning the corner to the finish line!

Me turning the corner to the finish line.

2nd place!!

Sunday was the Wounded warrior half marathon. Neither of us had ever raced back to back before and i knew it would be a different experience. Nothing like a little speed work 24 hours before a half marathon where I wanted to PR and break 2 hours. Waking up with light legs on sunday morning and realizing that it was already 80 degrees outside at 7 am, I realized that this would probably not be a PR morning and definitely not a morning to break 2 hours.

The first 2 miles I felt great! I was flying by people and finding my pace and groove. I was already quite warm and knew that I would not be able to keep up that pace but I tried. My legs really felt good most of the race. I looked forward to the water stations as I would grab one cup of water to drink and one to pour on myself. They also handed out paper towels dipped in ice water… they were Awesome! At the water station around mile 5 or 6 there was a guy with a water hose creating a nice shower! I ran right through it and it was so refreshing. This was an out and back course on a trail through Las Colinas, so i knew that I would be running by this water station again on my way back. It was something to look forward to. Once we got to the turn around point, I realized that now I was running into the wind. I was much cooler from the breeze but it slowed down my pace quite a bit. I became very discouraged because I felt so sluggish and tired. It was so hot and I just wanted to be finished. About this time I realized this was not going to be close to a PR and I just wanted to finish! Finally coming down the final stretch I was able to push my pace and finish strong but this was definitely the most miserable and frustrating race I have run. When I crossed the finish like I just wanted to cry, but didn’t because I could barely breathe.  I was so glad to be finished and sitting in the shade with a cold bottle of water! My dad finished the half in about 1 hr 50 minutes and I finished in 2 hours 9 minutes. My dad placed 2nd in his age group and I actually got 4th in my age group!

Dad finishing!

Me finishing!

Recovering and hydrating.
Stuart was there supporting me and encouraging me all weekend!
He was also our personal race photographer!

It was a fun weekend!