Saturday, October 18, 2014

possible 2015 races

so... yes... i've been looking at races.  i did, however, go run even tho' i was dragging my feet earlier today waiting for the rain to stop.  below are the races i've got my eye on for next year.

ice age 50K - 31.06mi - may 9, 2015 (already signed up for this one)

summerfest rock 'n sole - 1/2 marathon - june 13, 2015 (signed up)

ragnar chicago - madison to chicago - june 12-13, 2015

dances with dirt - 1/2 marathon - july 11, 2015 (signed up)

ragnar great river - winona to minneapolis, mn - august 14-15, 2015

striders 1/2 marathon - august 29, 2015

instep trail races - 1/2 marathon - september 5, 2015

lakefront marathon - october 4, 2015 (signed up)

i'm really liking this line up.  i might go with it.

it's raining

this week's weather and work schedule has really put a damper on my running.  although, to be honest i've not much felt like running so i guess i'm not that bothered by it all.  the work schedule through to the end of october allows for me to get 3 week day runs (2 morning and 1 evening group) and then my long saturday.  unfortunately, today it is raining so i have to wait until it stops raining to get my long run in.

i am not a fan of the late day saturday run so i'm losing momentum as the hours tick by.  i got up at 7am with the intent to throw on my running clothes and GO... only to take the dogs out to rain.  *le sigh*

i skipped my morning run on thursday due to being so tired from this new schedule that i opted for going back to bed instead.  let me tell you... those extra 2 hours were heaven.

maybe my body needs this?  maybe i'm just lazy now that i've got no big runs coming up... i guess i don't really care.

i feel apathetic about it all.  i feel really good when i run but the getting there is the hard part it seems.  life is making me tired and unmotivated.  maybe it's just the weather... fall has arrived and what that means in wisconsin is cold, dreary, dark, and right now... rain.  all the makings of staying inside in bed.

i just want to watch all the tv.  all of it.  no matter how bad.  hopefully the rain will stop soon and i can go out and get my run on.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Milwaukee Lakefront Marathon - 26.2

Milwaukee Lakefront Marathon - October 5, 2014
time = 3:51:13
pace = 8:50
7mi = 59:58
13.1mi = 1:54:36
20mi = 2:51:54
placed 28 in my age group (40-44) out of 185
placed 175 in women out of 1028
placed 580 overall out of 2086

i don't even know where to begin.  i wasn't nervous to run this race.  i was nervous about my stomach cooperating.  i believe in my ability and since i've already run 20 miles at the 8:40 pace i figured how much more challenging can an additional 6 be?  barring complication i mean.
quick recap: i've been having serious issues with my left hip since north face, saw the chiropractor twice the week of the race, and then saw my PCP on the friday prior to the race to try and get the GI and pain management issues straight.  saturday morning before the race i took 2 imodium, saturday evening i took another one, and then race morning i took a fourth.
i slept terribly saturday night.  went to bed around 8:30-9pm but didn't actually fall asleep until somewhere around 10pm.  then i was up basically every hour after that.  i finally just got up at 4am since i was awake anyway.  probably for the best.  got the rest of my family up at 5am and we left to pick jim up at 5:30am.  after we got jim we headed to get sree and off we went to grafton.

spirits were high and positive.  sree was super chatty which kept the nerves down i suppose.  i never really felt nervous about the race per se... i guess because i wasn't really looking at it as a race.  i know i could never WIN the marathon itself so i'm really just running against my goal.  that helps me not to be nervous.  we got to grafton and parked in a lot that turned out to be super far from the high school.  i forgot my headphones so my husband was kind enough to run back and get them while the rest of us continued on to the school.

there were a lot of people there which was really exciting.  i love the energy of my people!  i feel like i belong.  so we got inside and sree headed right to the bathrooms, jim headed out to do a little warm up, i went out to the port-o-pottys, and max waited for brian to get back.

once we all reconvened we just did a little stretching and a little more waiting.  then it was time to head to the start.

just like that.

sree was running with casey who was pacing the 5:00 hour group so he left us straight away.  jim and i found the 3:45 pace group and lined up there with brad.  the national anthem played, a horn went off, and then we ran.  it was beautiful!

at about a mile in we ran past my dad's old house on falls road which was cool.  the weather was about 36 degrees and beautifully sunny.  i was wearing shorts, a tank, and a thin quarter zip tech long sleeve.  i wore gloves too because my hands tend to get cold.  it was the perfect outfit.  i was cold at the start but after about a mile i warmed up just fine.  i have to say that this was a pretty amazing experience from the get go.  a guy named dan fell in with jim and i right away.  jim's shirt had a donkey on the front and a carrot on the back which is pretty distinguishing.  easy to pick out of the crowd.  there were a bunch of women who were very very chatty at the start.  they simmered down after a few miles which was nice.  there were also some younger girls in what looked to be the most uncomfortable booty shorts.  i can only imagine that the chafing must be horrendous today.  the one girl kept pulling said shorts out of her ass the entire run... why you would wear that to run a marathon is beyond me but i'm in my 40's and not my 20's so there's that...

i felt really great up until mile 7 when my hip started to give me some trouble.  we were coming into concordia college and it was really just beginning to hurt.  i was hoping that it wouldn't get worse, but i feared that the pain i was feeling at this point was just foreshadowing for what was to come.  we saw jim's family cheering as well which was pretty great.  it was just what he needed i think.  at mile 10 brian and max were waiting for me!  that was fantastic.  i wasn't expecting to see them until the end so it was really nice to see friendly faces that were there just for me.

by mile 13 things got a bit messy.  i realized that my stomach was not going to cooperate with my plan and that i needed to find a port-o-potty pronto.  jim and i had lost dan at some point so i told him i was going to hit the bathroom and catch up.  the first one i saw was occupied and then... i pooped my pants.  yup... you read that correctly.  now, don't get me wrong... i didn't full on POOP my pants.  just leaked a little but that's more than enough to qualify when you have to wear those suckers for another 13.2 miles.  (the worst part about this is that my shorts were neon yellow so i spent the next several miles wondering if it could be seen such a bummer.)  i made it to the next potty and took care of business but lost around 2 minutes (to the tune of a 10:23 min mile at mile 13) in the process.  i spent the next 3 miles (see splits) successfully catching up to jim only to leave him behind because he wasn't feeling well enough to keep on our originally decided pace and then up to my pace group.  i felt pretty bad leaving jim behind at mile 15 but i had a goal and i was dead set on achieving it.

at mile 18 another leak caused me to stop for a 30 second potty break which is barely noticeable on my splits, but it was noticeable in the miles after when i had to again catch up to my pace group.  i'm almost certain that those 2 sprints were what killed me in the end.  shorts were fine on the outside by the way... and i felt great at that point!  that's all that matters anyway, right?  how things look on the outside?  haha!  when i hit the 20 mile split i felt so good that i picked up the pace a little.... ok i picked up the pace A LOT.  it was a huge mistake.  i should have known that it was the calm before the storm.

i ran a sub-8 mile at 20 and then still a really good mile 21... 22 my stomach started talking to me again and then at 23 i stopped dead in my tracks.  if i hadn't i would have lost my stomach all over everything right there on the road.  after a moment i began walking it off and telling myself that i could get to the next potty with some deep breaths and positive thinking.

i had passed my friend sun in one of those miles just before the dead stop when i was feeling deceptively fantastic.  her words of encouragement as she passed me in my painful walking moment was a godsend!  thank you sun!  it was at this moment that i saw a potty in front of a house across the street that was being worked on.  i have never been so happy to see a port-o-potty in all my life!  i sprinted (probably looked closer to a hobble) over and let it go.  everything that was in my body fell out at that moment and it was such a relief.  the only problem is that i'm quite certain that it was at that moment that all my electrolytes also fell out of my body and i lost everything i had been running with and now i was running on empty.  my gas light was on and the needle was below empty... i was the walking dead!

i pulled it out for mile 24 because it was downhill... but miles 25 and 26 were torture.  i alternately walked/cried and ran.  it hurt more to walk and when i would i began hyperventilating and crying so i'd begin running again just so that no one would see me crying.  those last 2 miles were the hardest miles of my entire life.  everything on my body hurt.  my right foot started hurting at some point after mile 15 or 16, i was hungry so my stomach was hurting because of that, my left hip was alternately throbbing and experiencing a sharping shooting pain, and the front of both of my hips were hurting simply from the distance at that pace.  my knees hurt and my toes hurt and i was a little worried that the bottom of my right big toe would be a huge blood blister (turned out not).  i couldn't wait to finish.

it was at that moment that i heard my friend james scream my name!  i know he was with amanda but i didn't see her...

you guys... i cannot tell you how invaluable you are as spectators.  your support is so important.  there were three times when someone yelled my name right when i needed it, and i moved my ass a little bit faster with a little more joy in spite of all the agony i was in at the end.  so thank you megan, rachel, and amanda & james for helping me through some of those super tough spots.  you will never know how much that meant to me.  this is one of the most challenging things i've even done, as well as one of the most beautiful!  i cannot believe what an amazing experience i had and that i actually accomplished what i accomplished!

when i finally made it those final tortuous miles i was so happy to see the finish shoot.  i would like to say that i picked up the pace and sprinted to the end but my splits tell a different story. hahaha!  all i can say is that i finished and i finished as strong as was physically possible.  i ran it in.  i didn't walk.  i made it.  i finished my very FIRST marathon!

the story (unfortunately) doesn't end there.  my stomach freaked out.  i'm sure it was a combination of all the things.  i began cramping pretty quickly after i finished.  i managed to eat the bowl of pasta they provided but little else.  i did drink some water and i tried to eat some of the other things, but i felt so dang awful that i just really wanted to go home.  i was in the potty when i heard jim's name as he finished!  i texted him a "great job" from the port-o-potty cuz that's how i roll.  we left pretty shortly after that.  as we were walking to the yacht club where the car was parked we saw sree and casey so we cheered for them.  sree was having so much fun he didn't hear us until about the 5-6th time we yelled his name.  by the time we got to the car my stomach was cramping so badly that all i wanted to do was lay down.

i got home, took a bath, a shower, and then got in bed.  i tried to eat something a couple hours later but promptly threw it up.  i managed to keep gatorade and water down until the evening when i ate a piece of pizza.  i was up every hour or so until monday morning and by then i was eliminating no more waste... only blood.  i work in a doctor's office but i called my primary doc to update him on how our plan of attack didn't work.  they wanted me to go to the er.  um, no thank you.

after getting a second opinion from one of the docs i work with we determined that i didn't need to go to the er and that i could wait it out a bit longer and see what happens after i got some more food into my body.

today my body is still not right but it is better.  my stomach is tender to the touch but there is no more blood.  everyone thinks i should get a colonoscopy to figure out what's going on in my GI tract so we'll see how that pans out.  that will hinge on my insurance and whether or not it is covered.  while i don't want to screw around with my health i also just got back on the re-employment train and after having been unemployed for about 6 months... well, i've got a hole to dig out of and i can't be paying a big 'ol medical bill right about now.

i'm going to chalk this up to some crazy crap with my body (no pun intended)...  there are several factors that go into what happened.  lack of proper fueling, dehydration, the side effects of my migraine medication, mixing imodium and all of the above... who knows?  the body is an amazing, beautiful, and mysterious organism... it must be respected and cared for.  what i just did to it certainly wasn't caring for it so i need to find a better way to do what i want to do and still respect and care for it effectively.

as for the marathon... it was AWESOME!  well managed, beautiful course, the volunteers were top notch, the whole experience was nothing but positive.  i will run it again.  i want to thank jim for getting me through the first 15 miles full of laughs and smiles (dan too).  their support and encouragement was instrumental to me ignoring my hip pain and pushing through when i might have walked or doubted myself if i were on my own.  thanks guys!

i realized that i never even talked about missing my goal.  my goal for this race was to boston qualify.  in order to do that i would have had to run a 3:45.  i missed it by SIX MINUTES.  today (2 days later) i am not as upset about missing it.  i am, however, still trying to figure out where i could have shaved those minutes even with all the bathroom breaks.  i mean... 6 minutes is simply ridiculous!  only 6 measly minutes!  next year... i'm really proud of my time, but i missed my goal and i'm very disappointed about that.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

oh the possibilities

one more sleep... less than 12 hours from now and i'll be at the start of my first marathon.  i don't really feel nervous.  i am concerned about my hip more than anything else.  mostly worried about hitting a time where the pain is so bad that i can't push through.

 i saw my magical chiropractor (magical as in unicorns and baby ewoks) on tuesday and thursday and he determined that there's something up with my si joint.  a few adjustments both days and some kt tape later and he said he feels i'm about 50% better so that's as good as i can get right now.

i can run through pain with very little fan fair... what concerns me is when it gets to a point of such severe pain that it causes limping and tears.  if i'm 50% better than i was the last time i ran 20 miles then i should be GREAT!  i should be able to finish the marathon with no problem.

on friday (yesterday) i saw my PCP to discuss pain/poop management.  because of my GI issues with NSAIDs i was concerned about what i can take and how to manage the whole issue.  we discussed and pretty much the plan of attack is that i doubled up on the imodium this morning, took another imodium around 4pm today and will take another one (or two depending on how things are working or not working out) tomorrow morning before i leave for the race.  in addition to that i will take an aleve to mitigate any pain i might have from the hip.  hopefully, this cocktail will not backfire on me. only time will tell.

the weather is not going to be that awesome.  it is forecast to be around 36 degrees at the start, but sunny which is nice.  the problem is that i'm unsure about what to wear.  i don't want to be too warm because that will be the kiss of death.  however, if i am dressed in too little that will be bad too.  i've settled on shorts, a tank, and a thin long sleeve with a zip neck so that at least i can open that if i get too hot.  i can also push up the sleeves if i need to.  i'm hoping that i'm warm enough in that and i'm also hoping that i'm not TOO warm.  36 is not warm... but with the sun out it might be perfectly fine.  it depends on so many factors.  if it's windy that will feel colder... i don't know if i should wear a hat... sheesh... i just don't know.   i guess i'd rather be too cool than too warm when running.  it has been my experience that when i've over dressed i've been much more uncomfortable than when i've under dressed so i'm going to go that route.

i just really want everything to go smoothly and take off without a hitch.  if you had told me 2 years ago that i'd be running a marathon i'd have likely laughed in your face and yet... here i am.  i'm so proud of how far i've come.  let's see how tomorrow shakes out...