Monday, September 20, 2010

More than I can say....

I ran 11.04 miles in 2 hours and 13 minutes on Saturday!!  It was such a gorgeous day!!  I ran around Centennial Lake again, I just love it there, it is so beautiful!  Seth had played an early game of golf, so I went a little later than I usually do, it was almost 11:00 before I started.  The temp was still pretty cool and there wasn't a cloud in the sky. 

It was a really good run.  Now I don't want to sound to "Pollyanna-ish" or overly dramatic, but I did try to block out my negative thoughts, I tried really hard to stay positive, even with the 2nd mile slump.  I said to myself over and over again "This happens every run, you just need to get through it"  I thought of many of the quotes from Lift Your Sole too (  One quote that stuck out was"Know your limits, not so you can honor them, but so that you can smash them to pieces and reach for magnificence."  (Even if you aren't a runner, you should "like" her on Facebook just so she can send you these wonderful quotes every day).  So this yucky second mile happened, like I knew it would, but it didn't seem quite so awful or last as long.  I'm not sure if it was all the positive thinking, starting out later, the gorgeous day or a combination of all of them, but I felt strong and confident!  Also I didn't keep checking my Ipod for my time, I checked it a few times, but not as often as I usually do.  I just had my good music and the path to keep me company.  I did get tired around mile 9, I took a bite of my Balance bar and I kept going and made it to mile 11!!!  It was glorious! 

One nice thing about Centennial Park is that there is a water fountain on the path.  So with each lap, I would stop quickly and get a drink.  I don't like carrying a bunch of stuff when I'm running so I need to figure out how to stay hydrated and keep my energy up. I was looking at those gels and chews at the store yesterday.  I'm not sure about them.  I need to try them out before I run the marathon, I don't want anything new on the day of the marathon.  I've learned that lesson!  Any suggestions would be helpful!

One cool feature about Blogspot is that it tracks your "stats."  It tracks how many hits you get and from where and the source of the link.  It's very cool but sometimes overwhelming.  People from Russia, Japan, Panama, Brazil and Romania have viewed my blog.  (The person from Romania looked at 13 pages of my blog). I love seeing that someone in France is reading my blog regularly and I hope that it is my sister :)  It all seems crazy and a bit cool!  I have no idea how they have found this little blog.  I do put it up on my Facebook page (most of my family is on FB) and I joined a Mom's Blogger group, but I don't advertise, I don't even tag words in it.  So sometimes when I look at my stats it is overwhelming.  I started this blog to keep my family informed about my progress in training for the Baltimore 1/2 Marathon, nothing more.  I have been completely overwhelmed with the feedback I have gotten and I feel like I have so much support on my journey!  I had no idea that my physical training would have such an emotional component to it.  This blog has been an incredible help to me to process everything along the way!  It's less than a month before the 1/2 Marathon, things could get crazy in these final weeks.  So while I can't tell you how much I appreciate you all reading and commenting on my blog, I can't think who might read it while I'm writing it, especially the people in other countries.  I usually just write about how I am feeling and what is going on at the moment that I write it, which I think is a lot different than other blogs.  My friend Alysia writes this amazing posts about her family, every entry has a title that is a song title too and the lyrics tie into her entry beautifully ( Her blogs usually bring tears to my eyes.  Or my cousin Jeneva's blog ( is written with such thoughtfulness and vivid imagary about her family life that it often brings tears to my eyes too.  Other blogs offer some quirky funny anecdote or a review of some product.  I'm just not that clever, this is just me writing about my life and trying to stay positive and look for the lesson that is before me.

When I signed up to run the 1/2 Marathon, I knew that it would be a huge physical challenge, I just didn't realize it would be such an emotional challenge as well.  I have learned a lot about running, about myself and about life.  I can honestly say that I think that going through this has made me a better person too.  So thank you for taking the time to read this, reading my other posts and being a part of this, it means more than I can ever say.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

I'll be taught how to fly...

Because it's getting so dark out in the morning, I have had to change up my schedule some.  So I dropped both girls off at school and then headed over to Centennial Lake for my run.  I have to admit to my vanity that I really didn't want to drop them off in my workout clothes, but it worked this morning so I will probably do it more often :)

It is another absolutely gorgeous day here!  Not a cloud in the sky and it's that beautiful deep shade of blue.  When I walked up to the lake this morning, it was completely still and it looked like a mirror reflecting back all the trees.   If you didn't know that there was a lake there, you almost couldn't see it.  I wished I had my camera so I could capture it. 

I started out feeling pretty good, I thought since I had been up for a couple of hours and had eaten some that it had really helped.  I was very pleased with how I was doing and then that second mile came upon me and it hit me like a ton of bricks.  I got discouraged and thought what have I gotten myself into, I can't even run 2 miles without any problems.  I was very negative.  Even though this happens just about every run, I still play the same things over and over in my head.  And then I get to 2.7 miles and my endorphins kick in and I'm feeling so much better, by the time I get to 4 miles, I feel like I'm really in a good groove.  And my outlook improves and life is good!  I did 6.18 miles in an hour and fifteen minutes, an average pace of 12'11, I was pleased!  I had to rush home to shower so I could go pick up Emma.  It actually worked out perfect, I was even able to blow dry my hair before I picked her up :)  (Again the vanity is showing)

I need to stop all the negative thoughts at that 2 mile mark.  That is the time when I need to remember all the quotes from the website "Lift Your Sole" ( - which is a website that sells running and inspirational jewelry.  I highly recommend checking them out!  I'm a fan on Facebook so they send me a great quote everyday.  The quote from last night was "Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising ever time we fall."  Confucius  I actually write them down most days in my calendar so I can re-read them when I'm feeling down.  Another one that I really like is "Courage is tiny pieces of fear all glued together."   So this 2 mile mark is really when I need these quotes the most.  I know that I'm not very fast but I ran 11 miles on Saturday and will run another 11 miles this Saturday.  I need to hold my accomplishment close to me and when I start feeling down and discouraged, I need to kick that negative voice out of my head.

This is my favorite quote from that website: "When you come to the edge of all the light you have known and are about to step out into the darkness, Faith is knowing one of two things will happen...there will be something to stand on or you will be taught how to fly." 

Not just in my running, but in life right now, I need to hold on tight to my faith.  I feel enormous love and support from my family, my friends and my new church family.  I'm looking forward to being taught how to fly. 

Saturday, September 11, 2010

So long as you do not stop...

I did make another rookie mistake.  I went to the gym yesterday and I worked out on the elliptical and then I worked out on the weights.  I was trying to be gentle, knowing that I had the 10 mile run today but I kept going probably longer than I should.  But I felt great and I didn't think I was straining or anything.  It felt so good to be back in the gym, I may have over done it.  But it was a scheduled rest day.  But because of my foot, I hadn't run all week so I was trying to make up for that. 

The run this morning was TOUGH!!  I felt so tired and my legs hurt and felt heavy.  My foot kind of hurt. I should  have respected the rest day before a long run.  Another lesson learned!!  I walked a good chunk of the first 5 miles, I just could not find a pace or get in my groove.  It was a gorgeous morning, the temp was like 56 when I left the house.  But I was struggling!  It was probably the toughest run I have done so far. There was a very funny moment when I hit 5 miles, my Nike sensor voice said "You have reached the halfway point, only 5 miles left"  Right after he said that, the Hallelujah Chorus came on my Ipod.  It was fantastic and made me giggle.  I whispered "Thank you Uncle!"  It seemed like a nice sign from him!  That perked me up and I started to run at a better pace.

In the park this morning was a 9/11 Remembrance Service, there was a Honor Guard and many fire fighters and policemen where there.  I ran past them before the service and I thanked a couple of them.  I hope they knew I was thanking them for so much more than letting me pass on the path.  When I got back around they were just finishing up the moment of silence.   One of the bloggers I follow wrote this today "On this day, Run to honor those whose feet no longer touch the earth,  And now run with angels."  I absolutely love it!!   And I hope I did just that this morning! 

One other bummer of the morning, was that my Nike sensor stopped working at some point at 5.28 miles and I'm not sure how long I ran before I noticed it wasn't working.  I'm not sure what's up, that is the second time on a long run, it has stopped.  Kind of a drag, because the Nike website sees them as different workouts so it counts the total mileage, but it doesn't count as my longest run.  It's kind of hard to explain.  Anyway, I need to figure out how to keep that from happening again, it's such a drag.  So I'm not sure what the exact distance I ran this morning, but I think it was at least 11 miles.  I actually hate not knowing exactly.  But I need to get over that too.  The second half of the run was much nicer than the first half. 

It was a yucky run at first but I felt good at the end!  I'm a little more sore tonight than I have been after other runs.  It has been a pretty big learning curve for me.  I like figuring out these things before the marathon though.  It seems like with each run, I learn another do or don't.  And I'm glad!  I did ask my cousin Jessica about running the VT City Marathon in May as a relay and she said that she would run it with me!!  YEAH!!!   As I was on my run/walk this morning, I kept thinking about Uncle's favorite quote and the name of this blog.  "It does not matter how slow you so long as you do not stop"  And I didn't stop!  I hope he is proud!!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

First days.....

Just a quick update about my foot, it's not plantar faciitis.  It started feeling better with ice and Aleve on Monday night.  Tuesday morning when I got up, I was expecting that first step to feel awful but it was fine.  It felt ok until I was walking back from dropping Sarah off at school.  I figured I should call the doctor.  My appointment was at 4:30, Seth came home and watched the girls so I could go.  But by 4:30, it wasn't really bothering me at all, but I thought I should have it looked at anyway.  Long story short, he ordered an x-ray to rule out a stress fracture (I had it done this morning, no results back yet).  But he thinks that there is a tiny joint on the outside edge of my foot that is inflamed.  He said to ice it and keep taking the Aleve, but if it's not bothering me, he doesn't think I need to stop running. So that's good news!  If there is something wrong, then I will hear sooner, if it's all good, I will get a letter.  So we shall see.... I talked to my lovely cousin Jessica, who is a doctor and she said that the best thing ever. She said "You ran 10 miles, of course something is going to hurt!"  I loved that, put it into perspective! 

Today was Emma's first day of preschool!!  She was very excited!!  After we walked Sarah to school, we brought Em to school.  I'm not sure if it's because her new preschool is in our church or what, but I really didn't have a lot of angst about leaving her there.  I'm feeling a bit of Mommy guilt that I didn't feel worse about it.  But one of her best buddies is in her class so I was confident she would be ok.  And of course I was right, she had a fantastic first day.  Her teacher is so nice and I really like her a lot.  She can't wait to go back on Friday! 

After I dropped Emma off, I went to get my x-ray done.  I thought that since they don't take appointments, I would be sitting for a long time.  I did get up early this morning and ride 10 miles on the bike because I was worried I wouldn't get my exercise in because of the x-ray and I thought that was pretty low impact. But they got me right in.  After the x-ray I decided to hit the gym.  It would be my first day at the gym in a really long time!  I had to come home and pack up and get ready to go.  I knew that I wouldn't be able to spend a lot of time there but wanted to go give it a try!!  I tried one eliptical and didn't like it so I tried another one and then another one.   I wanted to do something low impact for my foot.  My Nike sensor didn't seem to be working so I kept trying different ones to see if it would work.  After quite a bit of trial and error, I realized that the sensor doesn't work on the eliptical, apparently you need to actually lift your foot up and hit the ground.  That seems to make a lot of sense now, but at the time, it was very frustrating. 

Even though I wasn't there very long and really didn't make the best use of my time while I was there, it was so great to be back in the gym, I loved every minute of it.  I loved trying out the different machines.  I can't wait to go back on Friday morning so I can try out some of the weights.  My foot did start bothering me a bit so after I picked Em up I did ice it and take some Aleve.  But it was nothing like the pain I felt on Monday.  I'm anxious to see if they find anything on the x-ray.  I am scheduled for a 6 mile run tomorrow, I'm pretty anxious about that too.  I'm hoping that my foot holds up, I'm supposed to run 10 miles again on Saturday. Good thoughts and a prayer or two would be just lovely!   Thanks!! 

Monday, September 6, 2010

My foot hurts....

I did get to 10.2 miles on Saturday morning!  It was such a gorgeous morning, the sky was blue, a wonderful breeze and a beautiful setting.  I got to Centennial Lake, stretched a bit and then hit the trail.  Mile 1 was lovely, but mile 2 was SO yucky.  My left calf hurt, I felt tired and I was thinking that I was just not going to make it at all.  When I had finished one lap around the lake I actually switched directions, I'm not sure if this helped or if all my endorphins had kicked in but from that point on, I felt much better.  Mile 3-8 were great, but after 8 miles I started to get a bit tired. 

I'm not sure if I'm not warming up enough, if it's become a mental block or what, but mile 2 is ALWAYS hard for me, no matter where I run.  Any advice would be greatly appreciated.  Also I'm wondering about any long run rituals, superstitions or advice.  I started to wonder if Uncle had special socks he wore on a long run or something he had to eat before hand.  (I'm looking at you, Dave, Randy, Jessica and Aunt Sue :).  I would love to know if he had any special rituals before a long run or a race.  I was really missing him as I was driving over to the park that morning, I would have given anything to talk to him about it! 

I felt fantastic when it was over, when I got home, I showered and we headed out to the Labor Day festival.  I was a little sore, but not how I thought I would feel.  No blisters, nothing.  We had a great time at the festival, but I do have to say that around 4:00, I hit my wall and I didn't want to ride another ride, eat anything else, I just wanted to get home!  On Sunday morning, I was a little sore when I first got out of bed, but after that I felt fine. We went to church and then to a friend's house for lunch.  No worries.  I had my favorite FitFlops on (which I personally think are the most comfortable shoe EVER!)  and my feet didn't hurt at all.  I am pretty tired but not sure if that is from the run or from staying up until after 11.  I need to get to bed earlier! 

Seth let me sleep in this morning until 8:00!  I so appreciated that although I almost wished that I had gone for my run today.  It was so lovely out this morning, it was only like 60 degrees and tomorrow it's supposed to get hot out again.  But the schedule is for me to 5 miles tomorrow morning. It is a high mileage week for me, 5 miles tomorrow, 6 on Thursday and 10 again on Saturday.  It makes me a little nervous actually.  Seth took the girls shopping this morning, which was so nice.  I got a bunch of things done around here.  He got Sarah her shin guards and her new soccer ball for soccer, that starts on Saturday.  She is SO excited about it.  He went to a U of MD football game this afternoon at M&T Stadium.  Sarah wanted to try out her new ball, so we got in our sneakers and headed over to the school fields to try them out. 

I hadn't worn my running shoes since Saturday morning and when I put them on today, my right foot kind of hurt, but I just figured it was sore from the long run.  The ache would come and go and I wasn't really worried about it, I thought it would go away.  We had fun running and kicking the soccer ball around.  Both my girls are such fast runners!  And Sarah can really kick the ball.  Emma can hold her own against Sarah.  We were all having fun and laughing, laughing, laughing!  But after awhile my foot started hurting more and more. It hurts on the bottom of my foot on the outside edge, not really my heel but not really my arch either.  There were times when I put my foot down that it almost brought me to tears because it hurt so much.  The girls wanted to play on the playground for a bit and then we headed home.  My guess is that it is plantar fasciitis, although in the book it says that is in your heel and this really isn't.  I took some Aleve and I'm icing it now.  And I found some stretches that I should do.  I guess I should call my Dr. in the morning, I'm also thinking about getting one of those nighttime positioning things.  But I guess I should find out what it is exactly before I start buying things.  It feels better out of my sneakers, not sure if that just means I need a different insole or something.  I wish Seth was home so I could talk to him about it. 

So I will wait on my run tomorrow, maybe do the stationary bike instead to give whatever this is some time to heal.  Please send happy thoughts and a prayer or two would be greatly appreciated.  I'm hoping not to have to much downtime, that will make me blue.  I'm glad that I wore my sneakers today and noticed this now instead of when I was out for a run in the morning.  I will listen to what my body is trying to tell me and not push it.  I'm keeping my eyes toward the race in October, I need to figure these things out before then.  It seems like with every run, I'm learning new things.  I am also thinking about doing the VT City Marathon as a relay (hopefully with my cousin Jessica, although I haven't really talked to her about it) in May.  I haven't even finished this one and I'm already dreaming of the next one!