I have a dream – a dream to run 100 miles and qualify for the Boston Marathon before my 40th birthday on November 2nd. So far this year, I’ve achieved half of my dream by running the Buffalo Run 100 miler on March 23rd. This Saturday, I have a chance to achieve the second part of my goal – to qualify for the Boston Marathon. It won’t be easy. I need to run a 3:45:00 or faster to “BQ.” My last marathon in May was a 3:48:33. Close, but not close enough.
Today I ran from my house down towards Lucky Peak Lake. The first mile is fairly flat and I took it easy, warming up, relaxing my muscles and allowing them to warm up good (which I believe will be key on race day as well – either by walking or gently jogging a mile before the race or by taking it a bit easier on the first mile in the marathon. I haven’t decided which yet.) The second mile is a crazy steep downhill with about 230 feet of loss! It’s a rush!!! I’m a good downhiller and practicing one more time, nice and easy on this hill is excellent practice for what awaits me on the Pocatello Marathon course where there is a loss of elevation in the first half of the race of 1,400 feet!!!! I’m nervous and excited to see how I race on such a course since I’ve only done fairly flat marathons in the past. I’ve read plenty of race reports about Pocatello and some say they ran out so fast and hard in the first half that their quads were thrashed by the second half. In the mountains, when running trails, I’ve often heard others say similar things when they run long stretches of downhill. In my experience, I usually have felt really strong even after running miles downhill at a pretty quick clip, but…. this is a marathon. It’s different! Can I do a fast pace downhill for several miles and still have what it takes to bring home a Boston Qualifying time in the last half? That’s the big question!
I ran that second mile today in 7:37, feeling like I was gently gliding downhill, taking it easy, letting gravity pull me along and never fighting it. (This, I have often believed is the secret to successful downhill running – relaxing and leaning slightly forward, staying fairly perpendicular to the road, never braking or locking the quads, not pushing the pace at all – just riding the “wave” down, letting gravity do the work, while you catch your breath and enjoy the breeze blowing past while the Garmin rewards you with a faster pace than you can normally comfortably hold on the flat!)
Once I was off the highway and onto the Boise Greenbelt, I turned towards Lucky Peak Dam and found a strong headwind. I settled into a pace I felt I could manage until the turnaround and just enjoyed the views of the black, jagged canyons jutting high into the air on either side of me, high atop hills of golden grasses and sagebrush and scree – the crazy piles of broken rock fragments at the bases of these mighty hillsides – a trail runner’s Russian Roulette for a sprained ankle (or bragging rights!)
The jagged canyons on my right reflected in the Boise River, which is fairly still past the dam – like a pool of dark amber glass -still, motionless, lovely. The day was warm, nearing 80 degrees, sunny, not a cloud in the sky, though the sight and smell of burning forest fires hung like a wet blanket over the city of Boise, preventing fresh air from coming or going. The stagnant air was oppressive, heavy. I longed for a breath of crisp, clean, fresh air but it was not to be. I was sweating more than usual and regretted not bringing any water.
I ran the two miles out to Sandy Pointe Park, stopped the Garmin for a few seconds and turned on the water faucet in the picnic section and drank a few gulps of lukewarm water. As I turned on the Garmin again, I swallowed and the taste of licking an old metal pipe was strong in my mouth. Ugh! Next time I bring my own water!
I turned at 4 miles and headed back, the wind still in my face. This happens every time I run down in the canyons. It seems coming or going the wind is in my face! It had a slightly cooling effect, but made getting my pace up more difficult. At about this point the song, “Top Of the World” by the Carpenters came on my Ipod. It made me smile and these two lines stood out to me:
Something in the wind has learned my name
And it’s telling me that things are not the same
In the leaves on the trees and the touch of the breeze
There’s a pleasing sense of happiness for me
As I stand on the cusp of my race with some solid training under my belt, I hope I can carry that sense of happiness and joy into my race on Saturday. Sometimes when I have a big goal, I can get carried away with the “whatifs” and worry myself silly – so much so that I’ve sabotaged my own races at times by not being able to sleep for days before or having my inner critic at the ready whispering, “You can’t do this!” over and over during the race. I’m committed to NOT allowing that to happen this time! I’m going to eat well, rest, stretch and mentally get into my “happy place” before the race this time. When the gun goes off, I’m going to run by feel – not by fanatically obsessing over my Garmin’s pace or distance. I believe that if my body is ready and trained well enough that it will all work out on race day.
My last marathon wasn’t supposed to go so well. It was a benchmark marathon. I had been to the chiropractor three times that week with IT band problems and I had 2 fifty milers on the horizon that were my “key races.” In fact, the first mile I ran with friends and chatted and told them all, “I feel like I’m showing up to a final exam on a class I didn’t attend even by BEING at this marathon!” since I’d been running trails and racing ultras for the previous year and a half and assumed I would have lost what little road speed I had previously — when my best marathon had been a 4:20:59. My only long-shot hope was to break 4 hours and I’d written in my log book that morning, “Breaking 4 is unlikely since I’m not trained for this. I’m expecting a 4:10 or so.” I ran by feel, racing smart, holding back, eating more frequently and drinking more often than I had done in my previous 3 marathons. And, it worked! Relaxing, running steady, eating, drinking, staying mentally happy brought me a 32 minute PR! I was stunned! I felt like I hadn’t even “tried” and yet – maybe that’s the point! Running long distances in the mountains seems to have strengthened my legs and my resolve. I can go for hours and hours and suffer many discomforts and never, ever want to quit. And, by contrast, not having to worry so much about spraining an ankle or doing a face-plant on a sweet, technical downhill meant I could relax in a new way, and the pace was much faster than I can manage on mountainous, rocky terrain, so it felt good. Maybe it was a fluke!!! Maybe that 3:48:33 was the best race I’ll ever run! I don’t know yet. I’ll find out soon if I have it in me to earn that sub 3:45 and the coveted BQ to reach my dreams before that 40th birthday sneaks up on me in a couple of months.
Wish me luck!!!!
My splits today:
Mile 1: (warm up) 9:20
Mile 2: (downhill) 7:37
Mile 3: (greenbelt) 8:15
Mile 4: (greenbelt) 8:42
Mile 5: (greenbelt) 8:38
Mile 6: (greenbelt) 8:44
Mile 7: (uphill – 233 feet gain against heavy traffic) – 10:24
Mile 8: (hooray – flat reached the top) 8:50
Total: 8.01 miles. Time: 1;10:40. Pace: 8:49. Elevation Gain: 315 feet. Felt: Controlled, Good. Ready to BQ on Saturday or die trying!!!!!!!!!!!!!
“Why do you run trails?” “Is it worth it to run in the mountains versus running on the roads?” “What’s it like to run for hours?” “Is it fun to run with others?” These are some of the questions I frequently hear from others and my answers are usually along the lines of “I really just need to take you along and let you experience for yourself how the whole world looks different from a mountain top, how much pride you can feel in yourself when you’ve pushed so hard to climb steep sections at elevation to reach that lovely summit, how spotting a bunny or a herd of deer or a snake or a chipmunk or a hawk can remind you that this world is full of more life than you ever imagined and had forgotten about while sitting at home in front of your computer or on your couch, how awe and reverence can overwhelm you as you watch the sun rise or set (or both!) while you’ve been running, how coming around a bend and seeing a meadow of wildflowers can make your soul sing, how the smell of pine forests or sagebrush and rain and earth can make you breathe more deeply than you have in a long time, how splashing through a creek or a river can make you feel like a five year old again, how stopping to sit on a log and share a sandwich with a friend can make you feel like you’ve never been happier in your life before.”
Well, now I can also “show” those who ask by sharing these little YouTube videos! I am thrilled that a local runner has taken the time to make videos of a few trail runs on some of my favorite trails to run in the Boise Foothills and at Bogus Basin and I wanted to share them with you since it’s as close as I can come to taking all of you running with me in beautiful Boise, Idaho (and it doesn’t hurt that they used two of my favorite songs in the world as background music!) Just a word of warning, though… you will likely feel inspired to lace up your own shoes and head out to find some trails to run! Happy running!!!!
Do you ever feel the need for reassurance that you’re good enough? It’s certainly an area that I struggle with! They say that running is 90% mental and only 10% physical. So, no matter how many repeats you do, how many uber miles you rack up on your long runs, how often you hit the trails or the roads — ultimately, it’s what’s going on inside your mind that will determine your success or failure!
This past weekend, I was faced with a couple of questions I had about myself. #1 – Could I run fifty miles without a pacer (since both times I’ve done fifty miles this year, my good friend, Ryan was by my side to get me across the finish line.) And, #2 – Did I have it in me to run a fifty faster than 11 hours (the time that the Western States 100 Miler requires to qualify for an entry into their lottery.) Now, the first one was important to me since I’m training for my first 100 mile race that’s coming up in about 12 weeks. At this point, I have not asked anyone to help pace me and even if I’m lucky enough to sweet talk someone into that role, I’d still need to run the first 50 miles solo, so this question was a valid one. The second one was just something I was curious about. I have no plans to try and enter the Western States Lottery next year even if I was running a 100 mile race that was considered a qualifier (the Buffalo Run 100 miler is NOT one.) But, since this elusive sub 11 hour time limit is sort of the equivalent of earning a Boston Qualifying time in a marathon — it intrigued me and I wanted to know how close I could get to it.
So, being the sort of determined, do-or-die girl I am, I up and decided that I was going to run 50 miles solo on the trails on December 30th to answer both of those questions about myself. Could I do it? I figured the 50 solo had a high probability of success since my training has been going well and I had finished two 50 mile distances earlier in the year. The second goal I knew was a long-shot since the weather forecast predicted rain and possible high winds (and I knew the trails were already muddy from the rains earlier in the week) and I wouldn’t have any other runners or the push of a time cut off to make me really run a race-pace effort on my own. Still, I figured, it would be kind of fun to see how close I could get.
So, with these two goals in mind, I headed out from my home at 5:20 am on Friday, December 30th to the nearby Pole Cat trail – a nice little 6 miler in the hills with about 782 feet of elevation gain per loop (for a total of 6,253 feet of gain for the entire 50 miles.) My plan was to run it 8 x, then do 2 more miles in the parking lot for a total of 50 miles. I’d loaded up my car with everything I would need to self-support my effort. I had a full Nathan pack with 60 oz of water, a few peanut butter sandwiches, Cheetos, Ruffles, trail mix, a ham, turkey and cheddar and swiss Lunchable, peanut butter-filled pretzels, a Sour Apple Power Aid, several Mint Chocolate GUs, some bananas and some Cherry Coke and Mountain Dew as well as a few S Caps and Ibuprofin. I had also packed a duffle bag with several clothing options after studying the weather that was expected for the day. I had a windbreaker, two long sleeved shirts, a short sleeved shirt, two pairs of gloves, an extra pair of tights and underwear (you can never be too prepared), a knit hat, a ball cap, and an extra pair of shoes and socks. I also had Body Glide, sports tape and my Mp3 player and a head lamp and a Nathan Quickdraw 22 oz handheld water bottle. I was ready!
On my hand, I had written “Do or not do. There is no try.” – a Yoda quote my pal, Dennis shared with me last year that I felt would keep me in a good mental place if I got discouraged out there. I gave that message one last long look and then was ready to get going.
I drove to the trail head in the dark, enjoying the solitude of the early morning hour under the stars and the velvety black sky. I climbed out of my car, put on the Nathan pack, the headlamp, started the Garmin and headed out for my first loop! It was lightly raining, a bit windy and sort of chilly out. The city lights twinkled and glowed against the pitch-black darkness below me as I ran in the dark. Though, my legs had felt rested and ready before I started, once I began my epic journey, I started to feel rather fatigued. Very quickly, I realized it was due to the fact I had not trained with such a full Nathan vest in several weeks. I’d gotten in the habit of using my handheld bottle and my back and shoulders were no longer used to packing so much weight.
I kept a sharp eye on my heart rate the first loop, feeling confident that reining it in on the first loop would benefit me later on since I’d have been conserving my energy for the long journey ahead. I walked quite a lot of this loop, especially on the uphills to keep my heart rate under the 168 max I’d determined (my heart rate often hits over 200 on the climbs even when I’m just power hiking them if I do so forcefully.) Though, it was a new experience to be totally alone in the dark on this particular trail, I did not feel any fear whatsoever. I felt at peace, purposeful and excited!
After the first loop, I traded the Nathan for my handheld and dropped off my jacket, gloves and headlamp and picked up my mp3 player. I had quite a selection of songs on there. A whole range of genres from country bluegrass, to rock and roll and pop! Lady Gaga, The Beach Boys, Taylor Swift, Queen, Alabama and Shania Twain got me through many miles and kept me feeling positive and relaxed for the journey.
For some of the run, I did turn off the music and just tuned into the sounds of nature all around me. I loved the twitter of little birds, the soft pitter patter of the raindrops as they gently fell from the sky, the whoosh of the wind as it blew past my face, and the smacking sound of the sticky mud as it sucked on my shoes as the trails got muddier and muddier throughout the day.
When my friend, Frank, showed up about mile 32 or so, right in the middle of our conversation as we ran along, we spotted several deer on the ridge not more than 30 feet from us! They moved, gracefully, quietly away from us and we both just grinned at the perfect trail moment! That’s one of the things I never stop falling in love with! Seeing wild animals in their natural habitat, running freely, makes every run that much sweeter!
It was fun when my friend, April, also showed up to run just a bit with us. The conversation was great and I could hardly believe I’d gone over 42 miles by the time they’d both said goodbye and headed on their ways. Having my husband and five kids waiting in the parking lot after that loop also meant a lot to me! Having the encouragement and support of your family when you’re on a personal mission really does make you feel pretty loved and looked after! The yummy chicken noodle soup they gave to me made it even better!
In the final solo loop, I encountered a storm unlike any other I’ve experienced in the last 3 1/2 years as a runner! As I was making my way up the mountain, I stared in awe at the beautiful pink and gray skies as night was falling. I noticed some thick, dark clouds in the distance and as I made my way along the ridgeline, was mesmerized by the lightening flashes I started to see in the distance. It was breathtaking! Then, just moments later, the storm was right on top of me! Winds at least 50 mph knocking me to the ground as I tried to keep moving forward, a fierce, relentless hailstorm, pounding at my face and body, covering me in an instant in white, lightening all around. It was so harsh, I was forced to get down by a bush and cover my hands over my face to keep it from being beat up by the sharp, icy hail, that cut into my skin like a thousand tiny knives. I stayed in that protective position for several minutes, knowing the worst of the storm wouldn’t last very long. As soon as I was able to, I got up from the ground and started pushing forward, through the winds, the torrential rain and repeating to myself over and over, “Keep moving forward! Get OFF this mountain!” Knowing my five young children and husband were down below, likely worried sick, helped me dig deeper than I’ve ever dug before and find strength and speed that I didn’t even realize I had as I splashed through the trail that had suddenly become a moving river and just splosh sploshed my way back towards the final miles that would reunite me with my loved ones. Every footfall was like stepping into an icy, river and the water went up to my ankles, but I pressed on! I was shivering and cold but determined and never wavered! When I got to the last mile, I picked up the pace and when at last, I could make out the parking lot in the dark, I started to sprint straight towards my husband’s dark figure, waiting there to hold me and comfort me.
The worst of the storm had passed by the time I reached my family. My children surrounded me with hugs and praises, then joined me as I made the final loops around the parking lot to reach my fifty mile destination! It couldn’t have been any more perfect than to have those who love me the most in this life join me for this special moment! When the Garmin showed it was nearly time to finish, we all sprinted together until the Garmin beeped the good news that the final mile had been completed! Whew! It was such a sweet relief to hit that stop button and feel the pride wash over me for accomplishing another huge goal in my training! I couldn’t stop smiling and my husband said, “Looks like someone is ready to run her first 100 mile race to me!” I couldn’t agree more! I’m READY!
For the Geek in me, who loves to play with the data I get from the Garmin after one of these types of runs, basically, here’s how it went:
Loop 1 (including a 5-7 min stop at the car for aid after the loop, plus two bathroom breaks) – 1:35
Loop 2 (including the 5-7 min aid station stop for mp3 and to drop off head lamp and jacket/gloves and fill up a hand bottle and one bathroom stop) – 1:27
Loop 3 (including aid station stop and one clothing change- and a change of the right sock since the wool one was rubbing funny on my right foot and starting a blister.) – 1:24
Loop 4 (including aid station stop that was also my lunch break so it was a bit longer.) – 1:28
Loop 5 (including aid station stop) – 1:17
Loop 6 (including aid station stop and finding my friend, Frank on the trail to run a half loop with. We also bumped into my friend, April along here, so I had two friends along. Forgot to eat/drink as much here and picked up the running pace with the chatter. Aid station stop was also longer since two friends had stopped by – one had left a little snack to perk me up (Thank you, Randy!) and my good friend, Ryan had left a note of encouragement on my car (Thank you, Ryan!) – 1:18
Loop 7 – Said goodbye to Frank who had to head back to work and ended up walking nearly the entire loop with my buddy, April as we talked. I don’t think either of us realized the conversation was so enthralling we forgot to run nearly the entire time! My husband and five kids were also here by the end of this loop, so we stopped to enjoy soup, snacks and hugs and take a couple photos. – 2:05
Loop 8 – (Starting to get dark, winds picking up, grabbed headlamp and windbreaker and headed back alone into the hills. Insane storm with blinding, sharp, hail, lightening, downpours of rain came as I was on this loop. So bad, I had to crouch down and cover my head for the worst of it since I could not see and the winds were knocking me back to my knees each time I’d try to stand up. Crouched for somewhere between 5-9 minutes, then ran like a crazy lady through the mud, puddles, dark and stormy night to get back to my family worrying and waiting in the parking lot.) 1:32
Last mile and a half (turned out each earlier loop had a little bit more than 6 miles, so it added up over the course of the 8 loops and left just 1 1/2 miles at the end.) – 30 min.
Finished the 50 miles with my three older kids (ages 12, 11 and 9) and my husband, as they walked loops with me in the freezing, cold, gravel parking lot, over and over. Sprinted to the final “finish!” — Total time: 12:50 (definitely not the 11 hours I had hoped, though the Garmin says my “moving time” was in fact 11:20, so, on less muddy trails, with less locking/unlocking my car and more help with aid and a bit of urgency of a race, I think it’s a possibility I could hit the elusive sub 11 hour 50 miler on the right course. In my first 50 miler, my time was 13:57 with less than 5,000 of gain. In my second one, my IT band went to heck and I was forced to limp the last 36 miles with a total of 10,000 of gain and that was completed in 22:47, so this new time of 12:50 with an elevation gain of 6,256 feet was really a huge PR for me by over an hour on my best time!!! And, I did this one without a designated pacer! I didn’t even bump into my first pal until after 32 miles and when asked how I was doing I had replied, “I’m still in the happy zone!” And had felt really great!
I feel like I practiced my hydration, electrolyte intake and fueling and did pretty well on that (other than the two loops with my pals where I got distracted and had a slight loss of energy, which was easily remedied once I got some food/drink into me at the next aid stop.) I found that holding back the first mile was a smart strategy and I felt strong right up until the final mile (and said to my husband, “I feel like I could still run another 50 miles!”) I found that I ran my best when listening to my mp3 player and will use that in my 100 as a way to keep me moving forward with a positive mental attitude. The song that spoke to me most that day was Natasha Bedingfield’s song “Wild Horses” I felt like a wild, stallion, free and happy, as I ran in the mud and the rain, the whole trail to myself and my thoughts.
Back in June, when I ran my first 50 miler, my husband took a little video of my buddy (and pacer) Ryan and I, asking how we felt after doing 50. This was Ryan’s 3rd 50 in only a few short weeks and it was my first. Our answers are pretty amusing!
When I finished up the run, got the kids loaded back into the Suburban and started to drive us all home, I had one resounding thought in my head “Yes! I AM good enough!!” Sometimes I think we need to put ourselves to the test and see what we’re made of. The praise from friends and loved ones is meaningful and important – but what is paramount is how you see yourself! The only opinion of you that really matters at the end of the day is your own! So, be your biggest fan! Believe in yourself! Hold that head up high and get out there and give it all you’ve got in the quest for your big dreams! You can do it! I believe in you!!!!!
I will leave you with one of my all-time favorite quotes for those days when you start to wonder if you’re “good enough.”
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who are we to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so other people won’t feel insecure around you… And as we let our light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
(This was shared again with me by my very good friend, Ryan today when I expressed some of my self-doubts to him on our morning trail run and I really felt it was exactly what I needed to hear and thought it was worth sharing with all of you as well!) Thank you, Ryan for reminding me to hold my head up high, to dream big and to never doubt myself!
Chaz, the yoga dude never lets me down. I wish I could find a grown-up version of this on DVD. I’m feeling a bit tired and sore in the quads from yesterday’s run. I knew some yoga would help loosen things up and make me feel better. Now, this particular DVD is set up for a parent and a child to do together (or in my case, for siblings to pair up while Mom pairs up with one child normally.) It’s a lot of fun and a great way to introduce your children to yoga in a fun way! I will admit, that Chaz takes several “breaks” in the workout to do silly skits and such to make the kids laugh. My kids adore that part though I prefer to skip through it when doing it solo, since seeing him dressed as Elvis or having his toes talk to one another CAN get old (hehe.)
I did 3/4 of today’s yoga solo. The stretching felt like what my body was seeking. Towards the end, my 6 year old joined me. I love how in child’s pose, they have the grownup do the regular pose, while the child lays across the back of Mom or Dad cuddling. It’s sweet and my children all adore taking turns doing this one. During tree pose, you hold hands and “sway in the breeze” – things like that to create poses that require two instead of one.
Of course, my 4 year old saw the fun-fest we were having, and she joined in too and they took turns being my little yoga buddies. During pigeon pose, I had my eyes closed and was enjoying the stretch along the back of my legs and hips. My wide-eyed, blond baby girl, laid next to me on her tummy and whispered loudly, “Mom, why are you being QUIET?!” (I’m a bit animated normally.) I giggled and whispered back, “It’s yoga. We’re supposed to be quiet.” She decided to take that to a new level and started pretending to snore really loudly. It was definitely hard to keep my focus, but the smile on my face said having her and her silliness be part of my workout was just what my soul must have needed.
The final pose is Corpse, but thank heavens that Chaz renamed it Resting Pose. So much nicer sounding! He pulls out his guitar and sings this peaceful tune called “Sleepy Town” while the girls laid their little heads on my tummy and we rested together, me holding their hands and all of us enjoying the moment… Ahhh.. Namaste!
I was hoping to do 8-10 miles today in the countryside. Wayne and I’ve given our 30 day notice on our current home and I wanted to savor the routes I’ve grown to love a few more times before I move to Boise later this month. Things didn’t go quite as planned, however.
About a mile and a half in, my cell phone started ringing. My first thought was, “The kids!”, so I stopped to see who it was. It turns out, my kids were just fine. It was my buddy, Billie, sending me a photo of her adorable new chihuahua, Fiona! The only pets I’ve ever owned were chihuahuas. I got my first when I was about 10 years old. His name was Chico Rodrico Diablo Combso (we added an “O” to our last name at the end to keep it nice and smooth!) He was my first (and last) childhood pet and we were very close. When I moved out on my own and finally settled into a great house for a dog, I again chose a chihuahua – this time a long-haired, pure white pure breed teacup one that I named Zacchaeus (Zach for short!) He was my little buddy and while I was student teaching, I even brought him along into the classroom for the day once to share with my students. I used to sneak him into the movies, church – all kinds of places! We had fun together! When I married Wayne, he asked me to give Zach away, since we were moving to an apartment and he wouldn’t be allowed there. It broke my heart to pieces, but I placed him into a home with one of my 5th grade students who was going through a tough time, who I knew would benefit from the love of a special animal friend. We don’t have any pets these days (just the five crazy kids who make enough messes that I’m not sure I have the energy to add “clean up after the dog” to my to-do list), but my pals know I’m a total sucker for tiny dogs still, so it was a lot of fun to see Billie’s new little pal during my run today.
From the start, my IT band wasn’t feeling great. It was sore and when I tried to find my “pre-injury” comfy pace, it would hurt worse. That made me sad. I finally settled into a Galloway scenario – run for a mile, walk for a minute or so, then repeat. That seemed to work ok, though I probably should have walked a little more.
The bigger problem today was the realization about a mile in that I really, really, really needed a bathroom! Now, when running out on the trails, this type of situation isn’t that big of a deal. You find a bush or a big tree, duck behind it, take care of business (and thank you lucky stars that you remembered to bring toilet paper) and then you go on with the run. Not so when running near civilization. For some odd reason, regular, non-trail-running types consider it illegal for a grown woman to pull down her pants and engage in that type of natural behavior in a public setting! Sheesh! (hehe) So, I had to slow down the pace, as not to aggrevate the stomach and I kept thinking of that hilarious you tube video during it all and most especially the line, “Don’t poop your pants” which by the end of the clip has become “Don’t pants your poop!” It made me laugh – and helped me get through those last few miles until I was safely home near my OWN BATHROOM!! Woo hoo!!!!!!!
I took it easy on the legs today and biked to Star and back. It was a relaxing, wonderful ride. Riding by the wheat fields, the cornfields and my favorite – the delicious aroma of the peppermint fields made me smile. The one killer hill (who from this day forward shall be known as Quad-Buster) was a blast to ride down, but a total killer to ride back UP on the way back. But, I did NOT stand on the pedals! I pushed through! Take that Quad-Buster!
Stats: 13.22 miles 12.1 mph 1:05 total time 133 – ave heart rate. Felt: Happy
Relaxed with a 15 min DVD yoga workout from a Grown Up Happy Meal I bought years ago. Very relaxing. Did it with my 4 and 6 year old daughters, who’s hair I kept ruffling as we laid on the mats. They took turns giggling and ruffling mine back. Good fun!
Was having so much fun I went 5. :) The ankle’s still pretty sore, so I actually walked the first 1/2 mile to warm it up, then gently increased my pace until it felt fine again. Ran along the canal path near my home, taking in the rows of arching weeping willow trees that bend towards the water and softly touch the surface, through the golf course where a remote control air plane vrrrrrrrrrrrred over my head as I ran, through a gaggle of at least 30 geese who went honking and squawking away as I came near, up Nemesis and down again and then past the cornfields, pastures of horses and back home again.
The splits look progressive, though I had no idea what they were like as I was running with just the heart rate details showing.
Mile 1: 13:35
Mile 2: 11:03
Mile 3: 10:29
Mile 4: 9:58
Mile 5: 8:52
Final Kick best pace: 4:21 :) Yeahh babbyyy!!!
Finished with Billy Blanks 35 min DVD for Ab Bootcamp – felt the burn!
Good news! All this hard work is starting to pay off! I saw 129 on the scale today! Just 4 more lbs to go in the next 11 weeks and I’ll be at my racing weight again!
I took a rest day yesterday and caught up on the yard work and scanned a zillion photos from my school days for my 20 year class reunion this weekend. It was a day well spent.
I’m back on the horse today and decided to do my Billy Blanks AB Bootcamp DVD. I’m starting to see definition in the mirror especially along the obliques. It’s crazy! Even at my thinnest in college, I never had any definition there. I certainly wouldn’t have thought I could find it after having five kids- but slowly and surely the hard work is paying off! Sweet!
I sweated hard, felt the burn and took to heart when Billy said, “You have to lose yourself to find what you’re looking for” or something similar to that. So, when it hurts, I let it and try not to back off. Working on my mind this way really reminds me of going through natural childbirth five times. The first time I was scared to death and even though I’d read all the books and practiced the breathing techniques, the pain was frightening, overwhelming and I struggled to keep my calm through the storm. That was the only birth I cried at from the pain. 16 hours later, I saw the beautiful fruit of my labor and realized that each and every contraction had brought me to that point – the happy ending.
With each subsequent birth, my confidence in my body and my mind grew. The labors got easier since I no longer fought the pain, but learned to allow it to wash over me like a waterfall. I knew the agony was my ally. It was helping me to reach my goal – a beautiful new baby. By the time I had my fifth baby, I didn’t even need my husband to hold my hand or rub my back. I just walked quietly or laid still relaxing into the waves of pain, melting like butter in a hot frying pan and letting the tension just go, despite the gripping pains. That labor was barely 2 hours long and when I held my 9 lb 10 oz baby girl in my arms I felt that I’d achieved a new level of inner peace and calm no matter what is going on around me.
When I run long distances or really fast short distances, I think back to those labors. They hurt more than any other pain I’d ever experienced in my life, but I got through it and remembering that helps me to tap into the same mindset for running.
We can do so much more than we give ourselves credit for. Learn to “lose yourself” to find what you seek in your workouts. The payoff really is worth it!