Monday, September 30, 2013

tendons & ankles & running... oh my!

thankfully yesterday was a "rest day" because man... my left ankle is KILLING me

after hobbling around after the run on saturday as well as most of yesterday it occured to me (yes i'm a bit dense sometimes) that i probably am just experiencing tendinitis.  DUH!  it makes perfect sense since in the month of september i bumped up my weekly mileage by almost double in order to better train for saturday's half because i was disappointed in my time from the striders half.  too much too soon it seems.

now i'm probably going to not be running all week in preparation for this coming saturday's 5K... not expecting a very fast time considering i won't be running all week.  bummer.  over use is over use tho' so it is best for me to rest my ankles instead of working them again and becoming more seriously injured.  i am alternately incredibly annoyed and relieved by this.  annoyed because i'm starting october off with low/no mileage this week and relieved because for once i can come home from work and just BE.

 i'll be the first to tell you that i'm AWFUL at taking time off.  i get antsy, and quite frankly, my brain needs the calming outlet.  i mentally need the physical exertion... if that makes sense.  i find it calming to push my body to extremes.  i mean... i don't really consider the running i do to be extreme but i guess it might be considered that by some people. 

pain is a bummer... it's always a bummer.  hopefully the time off will allow my tendons to heal and i'll still be good to go on saturday for the lapham peak colorama run i'm doing. 

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Brewers Mini Marathon (13.1mi)

Brewers Mini Marathon (13.1) - September 28, 2013
time = 1:48:42 (1:48:40 official results)
pace = 8:14 (8:18 official results)
placed  15th in my age group (40-44) out of 288
placed 171th in women out of 2440
placed 532 overall out of 4043

why do they call it a "mini marathon" when it's really a HALF marathon?  i've been wondering this for awhile now.  still... no one can tell me the answer so if you know please let ME know.  k? thanks...

the sunrise was set for 6:48am today so needless to say (but i'm gonna say it anyway) it was dark out when we left the house at 5:30am.

i'm not really nervous when i have races.  i was for my first few 5Ks and then for my first half but not really anymore.  i'm more worried about not pooping myself as well as pacing myself.  there were so many people and the energy was great!

lots of fun already.  as the sun came up i ran into my friend jeni and shortly after that megan arrived.  we decided to do one last bathroom break before we began and apparently EVERYONE AND THEIR MOM had the same idea.  we were in the bathroom line when the national anthem played.  we got to our corral just in time and then they announced that they were going to start 10 minutes late.  we were crammed like sardines!  i really intended to PR at today's race and i'm sad to report that i did no such thing.  as you can clearly see from my splits:
we were running really strong for the first few miles but it was long incline after long incline and i lost megan on the 27th street bridge at about mile 5.3 because she needed to sit down.  after that it was all downhill from there (and i don't mean logistically).  *sigh*

we started to lose the 1:45 pacers near mile 5 because of the long incline on clybourn st. (all the inclines were long... did i mention that?  let me say it a couple more times... REALLY LONG.  only 1 REAL hill but LOTS of gradual inclines).  so by the time we got to 27th both of us were losing momentum.  right after we parted ways tho'... i really just slowed down more each mile.  lame...

national ave. and 35th street were pretty flat so i spent that time trying to move my ass to no avail.  thankfully state street is a beautiful and welcome downhill right past miller brewery.  i stretched out my legs with longer strides, and tried to gain some lost speed/time there.  i managed to maintain the momentum for awhile after it leveled out, but still i knew that i wasn't going to finish in the time i was hoping for.  my legs were really tired although my foot felt pretty good with very little pain.  it was more just an annoying ache than actual pain.

next came hawley road which was the only incline that i'd consider an actual hill.  i actually walked a few steps here.  once i got up to the top tho' i started running again and felt pretty good.  another downhill came just before we got back to the stadium area.  it was wonderful to get a chance to stretch my legs again.  

when there's only one mile left we all got to run on the outer edge of the baseball diamond in miller park.  that was pretty cool because they put everyone's image on the jumbotron and there were so many people cheering us on from in there.

this was a really great race.  the sun was shining the whole time and the temperature was perfect!  there was a bit of a headwind but i'm thinking i wouldn't have even noticed it if i had been running a training run instead of a race.  

as i sit here with really fatigued legs i am really happy with this race.  i'd probably do it again next year. it was well planned and wonderfully organized.  the food at the end was awesome and it just seemed to go on and on... table after table of goodies.  the police were awesome blocking off all the streets and the volunteers were supportive and positive.  i had a really great time today.

all photos by therd

Thursday, September 26, 2013

just go ahead and linger why don'tcha!

i ran yesterday on the trails and (OF COURSE!) my foot was hurting from the get go... i ignored it and ran on.  eventually the soreness subsided a bit and i could focus on the run instead of my foot.

later last night i talked to a friend of mine and fellow runner who recommended i do an ice bath on the offending extremity.  we talked about it and he shared with me that a distance runner friend of his does ice baths often and has had much success with them.

so today i've been perusing the internets looking for proof of that before i go submerging my parts in frigid ice water.  if you recall i did not particularly enjoy my "ice bath" during the tough mudder earlier this month so (as can be expected) i'm a bit reluctant to try this method of healing.

i found this article which basically says that being in an ice bath has no significant healing properties.  then there was this article which says the exact opposite!  what's a runner girl to do?!?

i guess i'm going to test it out for myself and see what happens.  anyone have any thoughts on that?  if so... please comment.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

pain in the tuckus


remember this?  well, that wasn't the only injury i gave myself while trail running that particular week.  i also stepped squarely on a big enough rock with my left foot to hurt something fierce...

i've been nursing both of these injuries ever since.  i haven't been too concerned about either injury until yesterday.  the foot doesn't hurt when i poke and prod it so i figured that maybe it was just an internal bruise.  i did my long run on saturday (12mi) and then went to chicago for the day.  it was my birthday and we decided to spend the day walking around parts of chicago.  we parked by millennium park and then walked to the water tower.  in between we went to navy pier for an art festival thing that was going on and also to a restaurant for some food.  it was a wonderful day overall but i'm sure contributed to the way my foot has been feeling.

yesterday, however, my run was brutal.

from the very first running step both of my lower extremities were giving me hell... the right, because of the pulled muscle, felt tight and uncomfortable but did not actually hurt.  the left, because of the (possibly) bruised foot, felt weak and overall painful with each delicately pounding step.  this was compounded since i was on uneven terrain.  ultimately the pain subsided some as i got deeper into the run. 

i cannot tell you how beautiful it is running in lapham!

i completed the black route in just over an hour... slower than the last couple of times but man... that foot!  my time was 1:02:17 for the 6.5 miles. i tried not to walk the hills but walked a minute on the south hill and maybe a minute or less on another hill further in.  not too bad.

when i got home my foot was awful to step on.  did i take any ibuprofen?  oh no... of course not!  i just got in bed and watched a little tv instead. 

this morning it was so painful to walk on that i was limping.  3 ibuprofen later and it doesn't hurt at all... must be some sort of inflammation.  what a pain in the tuckus!  geez... 

this weekend i have the brewers mini marathon and i'm supposed to do 2 more training runs before my off days.  i always take the 2 days before a race off as rest days. 

when i got up this morning i decided i wasn't going to run my last 2 training runs, but now that my foot doesn't hurt i think i might just do an easy 5-6mi road run after work instead of running the trails.  give my foot a break and all that jazz.  i guess i'll decide for certain after work and see how i feel then.  i guess that's the problem with being a bit obsessive... i feel awful not getting my runs in.

my mileage for this month has been awesome compared to april - august... i haven't made my goal mileage any of those months.  then i did the striders 1/2 and was thoroughly disappointed in my time.  i decided that i needed to kick it up a few notches so that the brewers 1/2 goes better.  i was really hoping to PR in the striders so now that's my goal for the brewers.  time will tell. 

Saturday, September 14, 2013

glacial drumlin state trail

this morning i ran on the glacial drumlin state trail.

i run here when i want to get significant mileage in because i can do an out and back straight from my house.  it's about 2ish miles to the trail from my front door and then pick the trail up in wales and proceed to run west towards dousman and back.  it is a beautiful stretch of trail but the section in delafield is pavement so if you prefer softer terrain picking the trail up in downtown dousman is key because that's where it turns from pavement to crushed limestone.

today was low 60's when i left for the run.  it felt great to run in the crisp morning air.  i was cold at first but i knew i'd warm up in a matter of miles.  the neighborhoods were empty of life so it was just me and the birds until i got into what is considered "downtown" wales.  i stopped in the (cute as a button) cafĂ© to use their bathroom before there would not be another opportunity and then i was on my way.

as soon as i hopped on the trail i encountered several cyclists... they are always plentiful on this trail and i say hello & good morning to each and every one of them.

i ran at a comfortable pace for awhile and then checked my garmin for speed.  turns out i was running a pretty good clip and it didn't even feel like it!  about 7-8 miles in i started to lose some steam and stretched out my stride.  turns out when i stretch my stride i don't feel as tho' i'm putting in any extra effort but my speed picks up considerably.  i'm guessing that my short strides are not a good use of my energy so that was a nice thing to learn on today's run.  now i just have to remember to run with longer strides all the time on roads... easier said than done considering i had to keep adjusting my stride throughout the remainder of the run.

i stopped to have my gels at miles 4 and 8.  additionally i walked a few times for .5 of a mile which didn't seem to do any harm.  it seemed to allow me to run faster for the majority of the run.

in fact, this training run was faster than both of the 1/2 marathons i ran in so far this summer.

summerfest rock 'n sole = 1:48:17

badgerland striders = 1:51:02

today's training run = 1:47:26

this is exciting because i've got another 1/2 marathon coming up in 2 weeks.  i'm hoping for a PR at this one.  i was hoping to beat the summerfest time with the badgerland but obviously that didn't happen.

i've been running a lot in lapham peak and i really believe that running all those hills on the moraine ridge trail is making me faster.  they are super challenging!

the pain in my leg from last tuesday was truly awful on the second 1/2 of today's run.  it was a challenge to run through it but i managed to do so.  took some ibuprofen when i got home and stretched and it feels pretty good now.  i just hope it heals up for my upcoming races.  i hate running on an injury.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

injuries and whatnot

monday, tuesday, and wednesday of this and last week i ran trails instead of road.  i did this because by the time i get off work i only have so much daylight left and i really just didn't want to have to plan out a route to get my mileage in.  when i do trail runs there are only so many routes to take and my mileage is figured for me so i don't have any planning to do.  besides all that i have learned to LOVE trail running!  i can't believe that i ever hated it.  i think i hated it because it was so challenging... but if you know me you know that i LOVE a good physical challenge.

so trails it is!  on tuesday i was running a route i really enjoy... trees swaying, birds chirping, mosquitoes buzzing, and 70% humidity so sweat POURING!  i was probably 4 or 5 miles into the 6.5mi route and i stumbled.  i say "stumbled" instead of "tripped" because i didn't actually fall down.  i STUMBLED over a pretty large boulder (read 1/2 buried rock) with my left toes and caught myself with my right foot  ALL WHILE RUNNING DOWNHILL VERY FAST!  as soon as it happened there was a searing and shooting pain running through my right butt cheek (otherwise known as a gluteus maximus) and part of my hip.  what the hell?!? 

so i stopped and yelled "OUCH!" really loudly into the woods so everything would know i was injured.  then i kept running.  my butt hurt pretty badly for the last few miles and i was really glad that i was done.

yesterday i ran that same route again with my friend megan.  she runs trails slower than i do so it was really good for my body to do that route slower.  i was still in pain and i'm thinking i pulled a muscle when my body heroically burst into action to save me from the imminent threat of falling flat on my face on a downhill... yay body!

today i'm still sore.  thank goodness it's my rest day! friday & saturday i'm running on the road for sure.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Tough Mudder 2013 (11.2 mile obstacle course)

Tough Mudder (11.2 mi) - September 7, 2013
time:  approximately 4 hours (not officially timed)

first, i want to say that this event was not as great in comparison to last year's experience.  who knows... maybe because last year's was so amazing i just expected this year to be the same.  maybe i'm just over the whole mud run experience altogether.  maybe it was a little of both but either way... this experience didn't quite come close to last years.

my family (minus my eldest) and myself left the house at 7:45am because the drive to the event course would be around 1.5 hours.  the drive up was awesome... no traffic and great spirits on the way there.  we arrived with not much fan fair and parking was amazingly simple which was a bonus compared to last year.  we parked within minutes and walked a few yards to the entry point.  it was really crowded already and when i was picking up my packet we heard the shot for a wave so the event had begun!  in and out of packet pickup really swiftly so that was awesome too.  lots of fun costumes that other people were wearing.  many super heros were afoot.

as we took stock of the morning sky we realized that the "scattered showers"  were going to come sooner than the dopler originally said.  like NOW!

we went into the merchandise tent to wait for the rest of the team (mudding rhinos, to be exact.) and the rain started in full force.  pelting, sideways streaming rain with thunderous lightening to boot!  pretty great start for certain!

my little was less than pleased as i had forced him to come under the guise of it being my birthday present and he felt guilted into it.  in fact, his response was "you're going to pull that on me?"  to which i replied a resounding YES!  we waited out the storm while i tried to contact my teammates.

kelly called and via speaker phone i was informed that her and gert (pronounced garret) were about 30 minutes away.  later i got a facebook message from my other teammate saying they were there and in the parking lot.  about a half hour passed and the rain was letting up.  i looked out into the still very overcast sky and scanned the crowd for my people.  i saw kelly and gert by chance!  so now we have THREE!

it was now creeping up on 11am which was our start time.  kelly & gert were anxious to begin but we were waiting for abby & charlie.  i stood and scanned the crowd but didn't see them anywhere.  it was about 10 minutes to 11am at this point so we decided to go ahead and hoped that they would be at the line for the agreed upon start time.

i was sad to see they weren't there.

at this point it was raining again and i was shaking like a washing machine with unevenly positioned clothing.  it was SO COLD!

and then we were off!

the rain was really fun to run in and had warmed up enough that i wasn't shaking anymore.  lots and lots of mud was afoot!  huge puddles for jumping and we were COVERED pretty quickly.  one of the first obstacles was kiss of mud which we hit during a full on THUNDERSTORM!  while it was awesome it was simultaneously terrible because (for whatever ridiculous reason) i lifted my head up just before heading under the barbed wire and I CUT MY FOREHEAD!  blood everywhere because of the rain making my face all wet... lots of blood for such a little cut.

i have to say that the rain was the most fun part about this event and that was only the first 4 miles!

mile 5 and 6 were a lot of running back and forth through huge mud pits and (unfortunately) not very memorable obstacles.  in fact, most of the event's obstacles i don't remember... odd.  we were running pretty slowly with a considerable amount of walking and resting breaks (which accounts for the long time and slow pace) because poor gert got a calf cramp really early on.  it just wouldn't let go and plagued him throughout the entire event.  by the time we got to mile 8 kelly and i accidentally lost gert.  we had been running ahead (and i ran faster because i just wanted to get some real running in) to the next obstacle and for whatever reason... WE LOST HIM!  kel and i waited by the funky monkey for 15 minutes scanning the crowd but since everyone looks the same covered head to toe in mud... it was really challenging to pick him out.  we decided to do the monkey bars and then wait on the other side for gert.  funky monkey was A BREEZE!  i was really intimidated by this obstacle last year as well as deeply pleased when it was closed our first time around.  so we get started at the same time and the guy 3 rungs in front of me when i'm on the 1st rung... FELL OFF!  ugh...  talk about confidence crusher!  so i sucked up some breath, puffed up my chest, and went for it.  one rung at a time up up up and then down down down... I MADE IT!  easy peasy lemon squeezy!

we looked for gert s'more but to no avail.  onto the next obstacle...

too bad the pad on my left hand had ripped open by my ring finger... no desire to do ANOTHER rung obstacle.  this one was pull ups... as many as you can do.

we spent 30 minutes looking for gert and didn't find him.  all the while wondering if he was taken away on a stretcher because of his calf.

we decided to finish and look for him then.  the line for everest was rediculously long and since we had done it last year we decided to skip it.  the tough mudder does not allow people with metal in their bodies to do the 2 electrified obstacles ( electric eel and electroshock therapy ) so i couldn't participate in those... titanium plate in my wrist and all.

yup... that's what happens when you roller skate without wrist guards kids... consider this a PSA.

i digress... so no electricity for me and then we were done.  just like that.

when i think back to what stuck with me for this experience it was very few obstacles.  

most memorable in an "ugh!  that was awful" sort of way was the arctic enema.  most notably because this year (which was different than last year) the wood in the middle was lower making it right at the water line so in order to complete the obstacle you had to be FULLY SUBMERGED underwater.  when i came up on the other side i was shocked into immobility for a moment or two.  it is seriously THAT COLD!  the second half had a lot more ice in it and was so cold coming up.  it was awful!  i mean... just look at my face!

the hay bales (called bale bonds) were memorable because THERE.WERE.SO.MANY.OF.THEM!  seriously... the first 4 were one thing.  i mean... yay!  hay bales... aren't these fun and challenging... but then they used them as fillers 2-3 more times!  i can't remember how many but by then we were over it. they did the same thing with these wooden hurdles.  the first couple were fine but then they had them peppered all over the course.  not nearly enough variations... they also had stretches of 30 lunges and 10 push ups placed all over the course.  i would have much rather just run for a stretch than kept doing the same thing over and over again.

this was my second and will likely be my last tough mudder.

it was fun to spend time with my friends and i wish we would have found the other 2 of our team because i think that would have made it more fun even... but overall that was the best part of the experience.  because i was with amazing people and we laughed and enjoyed each other's company for the 4 hours it took to complete.  there were also a TON of awesome costumes so the people watching was top notch.  i suppose that's what it's all about anyway.

and THAT'S all i've got to say about THAT!

UPDATE:  remember the teammates (abby & charlie) that we couldn't find at the beginning of the race?  well... turns out that they were IN THE SAME WAVE as we were!  so weird because i was looking for them the whole time we were waiting at the start.  i can't believe that they were right behind us throughout the entire course!

additionally, i realized after reading this today that i sound like a complete negative nancy.  i just want to say that in spite of the comparisons i made between my first experience and this experience i truly DID have a good time.  i think that if this course were someone's first experience they would likely love it as much as i loved my first experience.  that being said... here are some pictures to prove i had a great time in spite of what my recap portrays.

lastly, i want to share a picture of what the mud looked like throughout the course... SO.MUCH.MUD!!!


Thursday, September 5, 2013

oh, gluten

for months i've been having GI issues and by issues i mean consistent diarrhea, gas, cramping, and at the worst... accidents when running long distances.  i finally decided enough was enough and i went to the doctor.  he did 8 vials of blood and 4 vials of fecal matter tests and the conclusion is that i have a gluten sensitivity.

do you have any idea how many foods have gluten in them?!?

mostly... ALL OF THEM!  wah!!!!!!

ok... that's an exageration.  not ALL of them but SO.MANY.THINGS!!!

about a week ago i drastically altered my diet to exclude gluten.  after about a week i'm already noticing some things are different.  i have more energy and i feel stronger.  the best part is that i ran an almost 7 mile trail run without needing a bathroom break!  IT.WAS.GLORIOUS!

i suppose you're wondering what i'm eating now... if at all.  hahah!

well... lots of fruits and veggies.  gluten free bread (which is pretty awful actually).  potatoes, rice (lots of rice), meats, chex, gluten free crackers, gluten free pasta, and stuff on corn tortillas.  oh, and beans.

so far so good... i'll venture into more gluten free alternatives as i have the gumption to do so.  right now tho'... i'm still mad that i've got the sensitivity so i'm just eating what i know.

so bringing it back to running.  yesterday i ran in lapham peak for the third day in a row and it felt great!  the food changes have made me better so far...   on saturday i'm doing the tough mudder for the 2nd year in a row.  i'm pretty stoked.  it should be fun.  there will be a race report when i'm done.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

trail running

yesterday i ran in lapham peak as i often do.  my work hours have changed so i didn't arrive until just after 5:30pm.  the temperature had changed and it was a comfortable high 60s or very low 70s... i'm not entirely sure. 

i pulled up to a mostly empty "evergreen grove" parking lot (the first right turn you can make after you enter the park) and parked my car.  this is the lowest point in the park and where i almost always run from.  it ensures that i will get the whole route... whichever i choose to run.  i generally run the black loop... otherwise known as the "moraine ridge trail", and today was no different. 

i began my run at a pretty brisk pace and because it felt good to do so... i continued on at that pace throughout the whole length of the languid meadow (which is just under a mile before the lumbering hills begin).  i felt so free flying along the open planes of the lush green meadow!  as i was running along i decided i was going to try and run up the whole length of the first hill named "south hill".  it is a particularly challenging hill in that it teases you with not one but two seemingly flat spots where you think you've come to the end.  you have not, in fact, come to any such completion until you've passed both of those blissfully almost flat respites from the hell you're quads are in.

i arrived at the hill feeling elated and strong and started powering up it.  my garmin read near an 11m mile on the hill which is pretty good.  while trucking up the hill i just kept reminding myself of the deliciously sweet downhill that comes next.  then... i made it!

i took a sip of my beverage (water mixed with orange gatorade) and sped down the next hill with wild abandon!  it was so fun.  i still felt strong and ran on.  i was maintaining at a pretty decent clip and enjoying cool air washing over me as i went down into the valley.  it looked like the edges of the trail were trimmed back which littered the trail with green and gold clippings (very "GO PACK GO").  there were many more hills to climb so i slowed my pace some and just really reveled in the movement of my body.

it was such an amazing run.  i felt so strong and free.  trail running is nothing less than magical... i promise you.  if you've never run trails i encourage you to do so. 

i finished my run in just over an hour (1:03:19 to be exact), and averaged out at a 9:37min/mi pace.  the trail says it's 7mi but only once has it measured out to that distance for me.  all in all i ran 6.57 miles and am going to do it all over again today.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

18 miles! a first!

on saturday i ran the longest distance i've ever run!  friday night i started getting myself psyched up for the run on saturday.  i was mentally mapping out the route and hadn't quite decided on the distance except that i was scheduled to run 8 miles on friday and i skipped it to go see the butler with my youngest and my mother-in-law.  totally worth it but then i was feeling guilty that i didn't get my 8mi run in.  so i was thinking i'd add it onto my saturday run.  so that is where the 18mi came from.

saturday morning i woke up and was ready for my run.  i got dressed and checked the weather.  it was 65 degrees but i knew that once i began running that wouldn't matter.  it was also supposed to warm up over the next couple of hours so there's that.  i drank some juice with my vitamins, brushed my teeth, ate a banana, ate a couple of shot bloks, started my music, used the bathroom, and was almost ready to go.  there were 3 more things i had to get ready before i ran out the door:  start the garmin, fill my water bottle, and slather on some gold bond friction defense.  

NOW i was ready.

i stepped out into the beautiful overcast morning and appreciated my good fortune of a cool and sunless morning.  i find that it is considerably more pleasant to run without direct sunlight beaming down on me.  i generally run away from my house because i am fortunate enough to live in a mostly rural area where there are no sidewalks and there are tons of trails.  i ran to the glacial drumlin state trail and headed west towards dousman.  the run was going swell up until my bowels decided to hate on me about 3 miles in!  this is not a new problem... it is a problem that i thought i had thwarted by taking some imodium at 4am... no such luck.  as my poor luck would have it i was no where near any formal bathrooms.  therefore i pushed on in the hopes that it would crawl back up and i could have a run minus so much excitement.  about a mile later... the need was what i can only describe as absolutely desperate!  i looked both ways down the trail... i was alone.  i headed into the woods to take care of said business.

when that was finished i ran on.  i was maintaining a pretty good pace and saying hello to everyone in my path cuz that's how i do.  glancing at my garmin every few minutes and adjusting my pace.  before i bought the garmin i had the most difficult time trying to maintain my pace.  i tend to run as fast as my body will allow and then i have nothing left to give at the end of my runs.  it is truly my downfall.

i was maintaining a 8:45 - 9:00 minute per mile pace.  i wanted to go slow enough that it didn't feel challenging because i knew i was running farther than i ever had and i wanted to be sure i would have enough in me to complete the run.  it is so beautiful on the trail that i really get into running there.  it is mostly flat and straight paved trail... truly beautiful with woods on both sides and for miles in either direction.  the sun was coming in and out from behind the clouds and i realized in the midst of all that beauty... i needed to go to the bathroom again.  yes, AGAIN!  *sigh*

off into the woods i went once people were out of sight... it is seriously embarrassing but a runner's gotta do what a runner's got to do.  

i'm sure if you've made it this far you're asking yourself WHY in the world would i share that with the world?  well... 2 reasons.

1.  its funny.
2.  i want others to know that they aren't the only one this happens to.

i have read all the articles i can find on "runners' trots"  (in fact, it reminds me of this) and i just don't think people talk about it enough to make other people not feel like they are a weird anomaly who can't control their bowels.  i learned all sorts of things and most recently had all sorts of blood and fecal tests at my doc's office only to learn that my issues might be caused by a "weak positive" gluten intolerance.  now... don't get me wrong.  most people don't have a gluten intolerance (or maybe they do) and changing one's diet to be gluten free is proving a very difficult challenge for me (that's a story for another post).  

i digress... 2 times in the woods and i feel much better.  i figure i can hold anything else until i get to the gas station on hwy 67 and i go on my merry way.  the weather is warming up and the run is going smoothly.  i've eaten my shot bloks at the beginning of my run and again at mile 4.  i intend to have one every 4 miles as that seems to work the best for me.  i arrive at the gas station after the trail winds around a corn field, along hwy 18 and then around the corner onto hwy 67.  

i enter the gas station and ask to use the bathroom (the bathroom that says "for paying customer's only" right on it's door) and the crochety, rotting in her flesh, old woman at the counter doesn't even look at me as she points a gnarled finger at the key on the counter.  i grab it, say a gracious thank you, and dart to the bathroom.

on my way out i again tell her a very sincere thank you and she doesn't even look at me.  sheesh!

back on my way!

i cross the street back to the trail and step my right foot in a culvert submerging it in water!  awesome...

no matter... i'm RUNNING and i am IN LOVE with running so a wet foot isn't going to dampen my spirits!  besides, i'm just over 7mi in which means only 2 more to go before i'm half way!  the day is going great!  harley riders are all over the place as well as in the gas station i was at so that was a highlight too!  

i'm flying now!  running much too fast for the distance i'm at so i slow back down to an 8:20.  slower still to an 8:45 and settle in for the next 2 miles.  

i'm passing dogs and people and a huge stream of cyclists saying hello to everyone!  i love the way my body feels when i'm pushing it.  i love knowing that i can do things i never thought possible!  

at 9mi i make a u-turn and head back the way i came.  in no time at all i'm back at the gas station and hwy 67 is teaming with harley riders out enjoying the freedom of the road... just like me!

i stop and stretch my hamstrings and quads because i'm beginning to feel the tightness building up.  it is a glorious feeling!  then i RUN!

i run all the way back home (walking up the hills) and am so proud of myself and pleased with my performance that i can't wait to do it again.  it is a beautiful thing.