Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Keep Moving Forward

What a year it has been!  I have learned a lot.  Had struggles and setbacks.  Had victories and successes.  Been blessed continuously by long time friends and family.  Been blessed to gain new friends.  Overall it has been a very good year.

When I started this blog on New Year's Eve it was for me.  I thought that by writing out my frustrations and successes it might help me through the process of becoming a healthier me.  I also figured if anyone actually read it then I would be kept accountable because someone would be looking to see what I was up to most.  I also wanted to be an encouragement for people like me who are working on getting healthy.  Sometimes it is just nice to know there is someone else out there who is going through what you are going through.  Somehow it makes it feel less like you are going through things alone.

In 2013 I ran in one 3K, one 10K, one 15K, four Half Marathons, one Relay race, three 5Ks, one 3.75 Turkey Trot and one Sprint Triathlon.  I participated in an organized event every month except for March, June and September.

  • Hangover Run-3K-28:30, Average pace: 15'19"
  • Cascade 10K-1:27:41, Average pace: 14'07"
  • Shamrock Run 15K-2:11:06, Average pace 14'07"
  • Corvallis Half Marathon-2:54:43, Average pace 13'21"
  • Eugene Half Marathon-2:51:22, Average pace 13'05"
  • No Limits Fun Run 5K-33:56, Average pace 10'54"
  • Take Me Out to the Ballpark 5K-41:43, Average pace 13'25"
  • Cascade Lakes Relay
    • Leg 1-7.5 miles, average pace 12'46"
    • Leg 2-5.3 miles, average pace 15'00"
    • Leg 3-2.09 miles, average pace 13'32"
  • Last Chance Sprint Triathlon
    • Swim (750 yards) 27:42
      • Transition 1 6:07
    • Bike (12.5 miles) 57:24
      • Transition 2 3:26
    • Run (5K) 38:28
    • Total Time: 2:13:05
  • Runaway Pumpkin Half Marathon 2:47:31, average pace 12'47"
  • Silver Falls Half Marathon 3:28:42 Average pace 15'55"
  • Turkey Trot-3.75 miles 44:02 Average pace 11'54"
  • Ugliest Christmas Sweater Run/Walk 5K Not a timed event.  :-)  
Wow!  I am looking at that list and I have to say that I'm proud of all I have accomplished this past year.  Not every run was good.  Many training runs were bad and many races were just plain awful.  But I did them.

I was looking through my information on my Nike+ app and decided to look at where I started and see if there was any difference between the beginning year of running and this year.  In 2010 I started running in June (barely running, more like wheezing, pain, life-threatening attempts to round the track). In July of that year I got the Nike+ sensor for my shoes and began tracking the numbers.

Year One-The Beginning 2010

 Year Two-2011

Year Three-2012

Year Four-The Current Year

I was a very happy camper today when I got home from my hike and knew that I had reached my goal for getting 700 miles in one year.  So much fun to do it with a hike with a good friend.  Since I'm usually a solitary runner because of my speed (or lack thereof) I enjoying hiking with friends and getting the social part in.  :-)  That has been something I have enjoyed a great deal this past year as well.

I met a lot of my goals for the year.  I didn't come close to others.  Made progress towards figuring out the tired problem, although not quite in the way I wanted.  I lost 38 pounds in one year.  That is a little over a half a pound a week.  Not the results I was hoping to get considering the amount of miles I put in.  I want the outside to reflect the inside and all the effort I'm putting in.  Everyone from my husband and my doctor to my friends and co-workers assure me that I'm heading in the right direction.  That's fine but I would like to be heading there a little bit faster.  I still feel like I'm on the stupid treadmill and going nowhere fast!  Ugh!  I thought when I started getting active three and a half years ago that I would get into shape and lose weight and get all sorts of energy.  Life was going to be awesome if I could just get past the first few months.  I am no where close to where I thought I would be by now.  Sometimes it's very hard to look in the mirror and still see the fat girl.  And I know that makes my friends and family mad at me but that's what I still see.  Yes, I have changed this past year, yes, I have made progress.  I realize that.  But I'm still obese.  I'm still fat.  I am still a very long way from where I want to be.  There are times when I wonder if I'm ever going to be able to look in mirror and see the healthy person I want to be.  Seems very elusive at times.  At this point I have to keep making goals and moving forward because going back to where I was is not an option.

Goals for 2014:
  1. Run the Hangover Run with an average pace of under 12 minute miles.  
  2. Run 1000 miles during the year.  
  3. Do an Olympic Triathlon.
  4. Ride at least 50 miles in the Tour de Cure.
  5. Do a 5K in 30 minutes.
  6. Do a half marathon with an average pace of under 12 minute miles.  
  7. Lose 50 pounds.
  8. Learn how to eat to accommodate my pre-diabetes and gluten intolerance.
Some of those goals are going to be very doable.  Some of those goals are reaching.  But I figure I have to try, that's what goals are for.

This is my favorite scene from the movie "Meet the Robinsons"  I watched it with my 6th graders last week and it was a good reminder of what I need to do.  Quit focusing on what I see as failures and realize that I learn from the unsuccessful times to get better for the successful times.

2013 was about committing, really committing to becoming a healthier me.  No more wishy washy, half-assed efforts.

2014 is about moving forward.  Even though things haven't gone like I envisioned and I haven't met many of the goals I thought I would by now I am going to keep moving forward.  Now I get to take the foundation I have made this past year and do even better.  I can't wait to see where I'm at at the end of the year.

Before I finish off the year I want to say thank you to a few people that have helped me this past year.
  • Thank you to all my family who have encouraged me this past year.  Brothers and sisters, sisters-in-law (Teresa, you rock!) and all of my parents.  And many other cousins, aunts and uncles and distant relations that have liked posts and said good job along the way.  Every single time it has made me smile.  
  • Thank you to my friends and co-workers.  Aren't I lucky to have co-workers that are friends?  Both from old jobs and current jobs I have a lot of people that I am surrounded by at work who have been super encouraging and supportive as I try to balance out my life and my health.  
  • Thank you to all the people who have patiently read my silly little blog and have been interested in what I am up to.   Seems weird to me that people actually read what I'm up to and are interested.  :-)   
  • Thank you to my kids.  My two older kids just think that it is a given that I will do what I set out to do.  That is an amazing gift to have that unwavering belief directed at me.  You two rock!  Miss Meighan gets a big Thank you as the youngest of the kids because she is the one living with the day to day craziness that is her mother.  And she goes out and does hikes and triathlons with me.  I'm looking forward to many years of events to share with you!  
  • Thank you to the Dwayne and Faylene.  Faylene is my bestie and was the first one to say "You got this" when I started on the running journey three and a half years ago. Never once have you and Dwayne been anything less than super supportive!  Joe and I treasure your friendship!  
  • Thank you to the new friends in my life Josh, Wendie and Betsy.  Wow!  What an amazing addition to my life, right when I needed it.  You are all amazing and you are now stuck with me!  Thanks for all the advice and support this past year.  Betsy, especially this past month as I wrap my head around a new lifestyle.  You guys rock!
  • My biggest thank you is to my amazing husband Joe.  Wow!  Can't do any of this without you.  Thank you honey for being my biggest cheerleader.  Knowing that you believe in me has made all the difference.  Can't quit when I know you are there to help me through!  You never make me feel inadequate or that my accomplishments are less than yours.  That is an amazing gift from anyone, it's extra special when it's from my partner in life!  I love you!!!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Starting Over

I get frustrated with starting over.  I hate it when I don't run for awhile and then when I do it isn't fun.  Everything hurts, I'm sooooo slow and in general I'm not a happy camper.  I know it is my own fault.  I know that if I didn't stop I wouldn't be so miserable.  But life happens.  Sometimes I really am busy with work, family and kids.  Sometimes I'm so tired when I get home that if I sit down then I don't go again.  There are concerts to attend for the kids, Christmas shopping to be done, groceries to pick up, bills to pay and the list goes on and on.

This week I had said I was going to get back to my runs, no excuses.  Then it snowed.  lol

Usually around here when it snows it's a big deal.  That's because it snows a couple of inches (if we are lucky) it's here for a day, school is canceled, everyone plays and has a great time and then by the next day it all melts away.  This time it didn't melt away.  Not only that we had way more than two inches.  We had about five outside our house and other areas nearby had even more.  We had no school on Friday.  Saturday and Sunday were still really cold and the snow didn't melt at all.  Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday we had no school!  It was crazy!  I got a lot done.  Caught up on grading, got ahead on my homework, decorated my house for Christmas and took naps.  :-)

I did not, however, run.  It was slick outside and I just couldn't bring myself to run on the treadmill.  So I made excuses and didn't go.  Partly because I'm just sure that if I had tried to run outside I would have fallen and broken something, that's just things work for me so I didn't want to risk it.

Thursday night the temperatures warmed up and the rain came.  Friday morning the roads were slushy but manageable.  By the time I got home from school there was very little snow left.  A few piles of snow in parking lots or shaded areas and the gravel on the road left from when they sanded the roads.

Since now I really had no excuse I went for my run.  It wasn't fun.  I just did a 5K and my left knee hurt, my right IT band hurt, I was slow and it was a struggle.  My stomach acting up and I felt a bit pukey the whole time. But I went.

That night I was whining to my friend Betsy, who has been a great source of encouragement and support as I wrap my mind around the new life that is coming my way.  We were talking about a biking event that she will be participating in next summer called the Tour de Cure that is a fundraiser for the American Diabetes Association.  Last summer Betsy asked us if we would be willing to ride with her to support her next summer.  Of course we said yes.  Joe was planning to ride 100 miles and I was going to do a minimum of 25 miles and maybe longer depending on my training by then.  Betsy pointed out on Friday that next summer we both would be riding as part of the Tour de Cure.  I said that I don't have diabetes yet and she said pre-diabetes counted and I was on the team.  Shit, I don't want to be on the team.  I want to be on the support team.  I don't want this.  That really made me sit back and really say, wow, this is real and it's not going away.

Saturday I went for my long run.  I decided to keep it between seven and eight miles since I hadn't been running consistently for a month and not at all for two weeks.  It was even uglier than Friday's run.  I was slow!  I haven't run that slow since last winter.  Everything hurt worse than the night before.  And I felt pukey, again.  I think that might be from the Metformin and I'm really hoping that is not my new reality while I run.  Not fun to be taking a medication to help me be healthier in one area of my life and have it make it difficult to keep being healthy in the other parts of my life.

I spent the first two miles being pissed.  I was pissed at having to take medication that makes me feel crummy.  I was pissed that I have to take the medication at all.  I was pissed at myself for not keeping at my running because I HATE starting over and how it makes me feel.  I was pissed that I am qualify to be part of Tour de Cure instead of a supporter for someone else.  I was just pissed.

I'm running along and I'm thinking about all the times this past year I have had to "start over".  Really only twice, the end of June when I had only run about 20ish miles in May and 20ish miles in June.  Then how I've struggled through the end of October and all of November.  Not great but not as bad as I was making it seem in my own head.

Then I had an "Ah Ha" moment.  Every time that I have stopped running or lost my focus I have eventually started over.  Which means that I'm not a quitter.  I may wallow for awhile but at some point I pull on my big girl panties and start over.  And you know what?  That's pretty Baddass.....with sparkle!

I realized that I'm a Badass because every time I start over I'm proving that I won't give up.

Suddenly I wasn't pissed anymore.  I still had about four miles to go on my run.  I wasn't getting any faster, if anything I was slowing down even more.  I just decided to enjoy the run and work on my breathing and my posture.  I managed 7.3 miles.  It wasn't pretty and I hurt all over when I got home but, again, I did it.

Today I was invited to participate in an Ugly Sweater Run/Walk.  It was not timed, I'm not even sure why we were given bib numbers to wear.  :-)  There were four of us that were going together and we all had our ugly sweaters on and blinking Rudolf noses to wear as well.  And we were relatively mild in our outfits.  There were some very entertaining and creative outfits.  Along the route they were supposed to have stations for all of the 12 Days of Christmas.   They were missing a few but we took pictures at all the ones they did have.

Getting Ready to Run!  :-)  I don't think it is possible to stay pissy when you are wearing a blinky nose!
When we first got started I took off and ran for a bit because I had gotten chilled and wanted to warm up faster than I could if I was walking.  I ran for about a mile and it felt good.  Nothing hurt and I had a pace of about 12'30" even though it felt like I wasn't going any faster than I had the day before.  I wasn't trying to go fast either so I was pretty happy at that point.  When the other ladies caught up to me we walked the rest of the way.  It was supposed to be a 5K but was just over 2.5 miles.  That's okay.  We had a lot of fun and I'm really glad I went.

The 12 Days of Christmas (The short version)

Good friend and co-worker!  Another one of the many friend blessings in my life! 
This weekend wasn't about running fast or making huge improvements.  This weekend was about just going.  About being grateful that I can go.  About remembering that I need to have fun along the way.  And being VERY, VERY, VERY grateful that I have it pretty good. :-)

We will see how this next week goes but even if it doesn't goal well......I'm willing to start over....again.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Change is Coming

Change is hard.  Change that comes because I am forced to change is even harder.  I hate being told I have to do something.

My doctor's visit to follow up on my blood tests is bringing change.  Not life threatening change but change.

My doctor ran several blood tests.  Some to see if I had allergies or intolerances and then some were a repeat of tests that he ran last year so that he could see if there had been any changes, good or bad.

Change #1.  It seems that my AIC number has gone up.  This is the number that they look at to determine if someone is diabetic.  The way that they have patients get this number to go down is to lose weight and exercise regularly.  I have done both this past year and the number has gone up.  Not a lot but it shouldn't have gone up at all.  So, my doctor, while very kind was also very blunt, informed me that it isn't a matter of if I get diabetes but when I get diabetes.  Well, shit! Not what I wanted to hear.  Doc wants me to cut all simple sugars.

Change #2. I don't have outdoor allergies, which is a blessing living in Oregon.   I also don't have any major food allergies.  However I did ping for celiac which means that I have a gluetin intolerance.  My doctor didn't feel it was a full blown allergy but thinks it wouldn't hurt to start eating with this in mind and being more aware of what I'm eating that has gluten and reducing it.

The week before Thanksgiving and my doctor is telling me that I need to cut sugar out of my diet and reduce gluten.  Happy holidays to me!  I told him that I was absolutely willing to make these changes but probably wouldn't go hard core on it until after Christmas.  He agreed that that was a reasonable plan.  I just felt that I would be a crabby bitch to my family if I had to make these changes right now.  That is never fun for anyone, especially over the holidays.

To be perfectly honest I have been having a difficult time dealing with this.  I know it's not cancer or anything immediately life-threatening.  But it is life-changing.  And those changes are going to affect my husband and daughter because somethings I just won't be able to have in the house.  I feel badly about this.

Step one right now was to put me on a medication called Metformin.  This is to help with the pre-diabetes.  My doctor is usually not one to prescribe pills so when this was his suggestion I knew he was serious about the diabetes.  I started taking the pills on the day before Thanksgiving, just one a day.  One of the side effects is that my gut isn't doing too great.  (I'll leave it at that)  Which isn't too fun.  I haven't run since Thanksgiving day.  When I get home from work I am tired and feel like I need to puke.  Not very motivating to get out there and exercise.  This weekend I started taking a second pill in the evening.  So far it hasn't made me feel worse than before with only one pill.  Overall I think it's starting to get a little better.

My friend Betsy says that it does get better so that is good to know.  I'm very blessed to have a friend that has been through this and is wiling to share her experiences.  Not that I'm glad that she had to have this experience too, just that she gets what I'm going through and is super encouraging.

I have been spending my time working my mind around this.  On the one hand I know that it isn't the end of the world.  But I really don't like change and I really like food.  I like candy and crackers and things that are yummy and trying to imagine the rest of my life where I have to think about every bite I put in my mouth and how it's going to make me feel or how it will affect my diabetes (to come) is a bit overwhelming.

I plan to get out and run this next week, no matter what.  No excuses.  I needed a bit of time to wallow and feel sorry for myself.  That is over.  Time to do something about it.

I was frustrated that the A1C number had gone up when I have spent the past 11 months working out and losing weight.  But doc pointed out that it had only gone up slightly and that if I hadn't been doing what I did the past year the number would have done up way more and I could be well on my way to being diabetic sooner rather than later.

Also, the Metformin is also good for Poly-Cystic Ovary Syndrome.  Doc thinks that some of my other issues might be that (hormone imbalance, tiredness, etc.)  We are hoping that once things even out a bit the medication could help with my tiredness which would be awesome.

When I started this journey into figuring out why I'm tired all the time and trying to become healthy I asked God to make it something that was an easy fix. "Here's a pill, everything is fine."  Not "Here's a pill and also it will make you feel crappy.  Oh and you have to completely overhaul how you eat."

Now I am pulling on my big girl panties and start acting like a reasonable adult about this.  The world is not ending, I'm not dying, everything is fine.  I just have to change my thinking a bit and I will be healthier than ever.  Right?  Right!

This meme showed up yesterday on the Favorite Run Community Facebook page.  Seemed like it was posted just for me.

Evidently I am strong enough.

I haven't run in over a week.  But I have working out my brain and emotions so I think that I'm okay.  Tomorrow will be the start of a new week and I'll be working at getting back at it.  I never realized how many twists and turns this journey was going to have.  I thought it was going to be a straight line from where I was to the size I wanted to be.  Evidently it needs to be a more interesting journey than that.

Thanks for letting me vent.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Thanksgiving Day Run 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!!!!

A day late but I was too busy enjoying the day with my kids and doing my homework to write about the run.

Today was the Mid-Valley Road Race which my family calls the Turkey Trot.  The race organizers need to come up with a catchier name for their race.  They have three options for Thanksgiving Day runners.  There is a 2.5 mile walk, a 3.75 run which is hilly, and the Scenic Challenge which is 5.2 miles and starts on the same route as the 3.75 but the shorter run is an out and back.  The longer run is a big loop that continues up a big stinker of a hill and then has another hill that is gradual but goes on forever.  I have done that loop on my own several times.  I even talked about it here when I finally managed to run the entire thing without stopping.

I have run this race twice before.  The first time was in 2010 when I had been running about 6 months and then again in 2012.

2010 - 47:49 Average Pace 12'55" placed 267 out of 284 and 18 out of 19 in my age group.
2012 - 52:18 Average Pace 14'08" placed 305 out of 318 and 19 out of 19 in my age group.

Last year at this time I had given up.  I hadn't been running at all and had gained back quite a bit of weight.  I was miserable.  There was only two good things about the race.  One was that I did it and the other was that I ran the whole thing.

I was worried about this years race.  I wanted to do better and I haven't done very well the last month with my workouts (as in not getting them done) so I was not expecting to do fantastically well.  I woke up with a little bit of a headache and my stomach hurt.  I didn't really want to get out of bed at all and considering how cold it was staying in bed and sleeping sounded like a better option.  But I dragged my sorry butt out of bed and got ready.  My husband had to work so it was just the youngest goober and myself.

The race started off and as usual I started towards the back but got passed by a ton of people.  It is really hard not to get caught up in the crowd and start off way too fast.  But I've run this route many times so I know the hills that are coming so I just worked on doing my own thing.  At the first half mile split I was keeping a very low 12 minute average pace and I was feeling pretty good.  I figured I would go a bit slower up the hills and try and make up time going down them.

Then I started passing people.  That is still very weird for me.  I usually am the one trudging along at the end of the group and here I am picking people off.  Roadkill is WAY more fun when you are the person doing the passing.  I was getting close to the turn around and was having fun watching the people who were already heading back.  I saw my daughter and was very surprised by the fact that I wasn't as far behind her as I thought I would be.  :)

It is always interesting to watch other people and the way they run or how we get competitive with people we don't even know.  There was a young woman ahead of me that I was slowly catching up with.  She would walk for awhile and then run for a short distance and then walk again.  She was walking when I caught up to her but as soon as I got by her I could hear her coming up behind me and she was running fast.  I admit, I sped up a bit.  She got next to me but I was pretty sure she would start walking again soon.  Sure enough she had to walk and I never saw her again.

There was another woman that was wearing a yellow jacket.  She had a nice steady pace and I was slowly gaining on her as well.  As we came to the corner to turn back onto the main road I passed her.  Then suddenly she goes flying by and I could tell she was working really hard to get in front of me.  But after she got a ways ahead of me she slowed back to the pace that she had before.  I was gaining on her again and once again I passed her.  For the second time I hear her coming and she sprints about 20 feet ahead of me.  I now can see the parking lot where we finish the race.  We have less than .20 miles to go.  I decided that I would like to have my last mile be under 12  minutes and I want to beat the lady in the yellow jacket so I speed up.  This time she tries to stay ahead of me but I was able to keep up the faster pace and ended up beating her by about 30 seconds. I turned around and gave her a high five and told her thank you for the push at the end.  She smiled and said the same thing.  :)

My results from today:

2013 - 44:02 Average Pace 11'54" placed 233 out of 281 and 9 out of 13 in my age group.

That's an 8 minute 16 second improvement from last year and a 3 minute 47 second improvement from the first time I ran this race.  Woot woot!  So much better!  I was so excited about the average pace being under 12 minutes because I don't usually do well when there are hills involved.

After race smiles!!  Love my girl!

I've got some things to be working on in the next few months.  I'll share in another post.  This one is about celebrating a really good day.  :-)

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving!!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

It Wasn't Pretty...But I Went.

It wasn't pretty.

I didn't go far.

I didn't go fast.

But I went.

And that is what I am measuring my success by this week.  I did all four of my runs.  I did the distance I was supposed to do, even if I had to walk some of it.  I did my cross training as well.  I ran in the dark with my safety vest and flashy lights.  I ran in the dark on the track while my daughter was at swim practice.  I ran in the morning on Saturday in the very cold weather.  Brrr!

This was technically a recovery week on my training plan which was good since I haven't been doing the running that I should so it was nice to have shorter runs.

Monday, Tuesday and Friday were three mile runs.  I ran around the neighborhood on Monday but it was almost 5:00 so I had to watch my feet carefully to make sure I didn't trip on anything.  Tuesday and Friday I ran on the track.  In the past I hated the track but the last few months I have begun to enjoy it more.  It is particularly nice in the dark because I don't have to worry about trying to see uneven sidewalks or things in the road that I might trip on.

Beautiful Sunset was my reward for one of my track runs!
I swam for 30 minutes on Wednesday night.  I had been going during the lap swim in the morning but the last few times I went it was really crowded.  Partly because some people in their lanes were swimming back and forth on one side of the lane.  This works great if there are only two people but not if there are more.  For whatever reason nobody wants to ask people to circle and so at one point there were six people in my lane while all the other lanes had only two people.  This happened the last two or three times I went in the morning.  The lifeguard is supposed to ask people to circle swim but she wouldn't and most people, me included, don't feel comfortable asking.  Going in the evening there are way less people which is awesome.  However, lap swim doesn't start until 6:00 p.m and it's hard to get motivated to go after working all day and being tired.  All that being said, I finally got myself out the door and went for my swim.

Saturday I slept in which was wonderful.  I got up and had breakfast and got ready to go but kept putting off going out the door.  I had to do a six mile run which was the farthest I have done since the Silver Falls Half Marathon.  This is a distance that is totally doable for me now but I wasn't excited about the run.  It was really cold outside!  Low 30's.  It is always hard to dress for the cold.  Layers are good but some things are warmer than others and then I get too hot or too cold.  It's a balancing act.

I finally sucked it up and headed out a little after 8:00 a.m.  It was cold but not to windy so that was a plus.  I started at a low 13 minute mile pace which wasn't too bad.  Unfortunately every mile got slower and slower.  I had 1.5 miles left to go and I just couldn't keep it up.  Everything was hurting, I had no energy and I had to poop.  (I know, too much information but you would not believe how hard that makes it to run.  It's VERY uncomfortable!)  So I walked the last 1.5 miles which made me very frustrated and totally ruined my average pace for the run to over 14 minute miles.

Iced over mud puddle!
My weight is stagnant again.  Not going down but not going up either so I'm trying to focus on the positive.  The title of the blog is Running in Place and Getting Nowhere Fast.   Some days I still feel that.  Other days I feel like I'm on the treadmill and I've lost my footing and have gone flying backwards.  On days (or weeks) like that it is hard to remember that I have come a long way since last Christmas.  I'm just not where I wanted to be or thought I could be considering the amount of work and effort I have put in the last 11 months.  Sigh.

This will be another busy week.  We have a lot going on with Thanksgiving and most of it involves food.  My workouts will be very important if I'm going to not gain holiday pounds.  I'll also be working on drinking lots of water to help with the bloating that I always seem to have during the holidays.

I may not go far.

I may not go fast.

But at least I'm still going.  

Sunday, November 17, 2013


I am such a whiner.  People assure me that I'm not but if they could hear my thoughts they would know that I really am.

I have gone on two runs in the last two weeks since the Silver Falls Half Marathon.  Two.  One was last Tuesday and one was today.  Ugh.

I will admit that it was partly because I was feeling sorry for myself.  I got back into the "Poor Me" and "Why can't I just be skinny?" attitude.  Not a good road for me to go down.  Last fall when I did that it lasted five months and I gained 20 pounds.  Ugh.

I also have been SO tired and with it getting dark sooner in the evening it has been hard to find the motivation to get going.  Ugh.

And I hurt.  Ever since the trail run I have been really tight and have had some muscles in my legs that were protesting after a day of work.  Hard to get motivated to run when you are hurting even before you get going.  Ugh.

Yesterday I went and got a massage.  It was a deep tissue massage.  I think the muscles under my muscles were tight.  And it really hurt but in a good way.  I didn't realize just how bad I was feeling until Wendie got me loosened up.  If you want a fantastic massage therapist who can give a relaxing massage or a deep tissue massage Wendie Gum at Body of Health Chiropractic & Wellness Center in Corvallis, Oregon is the person you need to contact!   http://www.yourbodyofhealth.com She is amazing!!  Just say'n. :)

Today when I went on my run I felt really good.  I went for a three mile run around the neighborhood and the first couple of miles felt great.  Then I felt a little bit of protesting from my legs so I decided I probably should slow down so I didn't end up hurting myself by pushing too fast too soon.  I walked a half mile, then did a slow jog for a half mile and then walked the last 1/4 mile home.  I still ended up with a 12'49" which was much better than my run on Tuesday which as an average pace of 13'29" and I felt like I was dying.  Today I walked twice and felt great when I was running.  The massage definitely helped!  And having a good run certainly didn't hurt the attitude any.  :)

The last few weeks have been frustrating.  I plan to do something about that.

  • I can't control how fast my weight comes off.  But I can control what I eat and how much exercise I get. 
  • I can't control how busy work is this year with extra meetings, new technology to develop curriculum for and a new grade level to teach.  But I can control how overwhelmed I feel.  I will do what I can to the best of my abilities and if something doesn't go quite like I want the world will not end.  (In other words, I don't have to be perfect.)
  • I can't control the fact that in order to keep teaching I must get my Masters degree.  I can control the content, which I am really enjoying, and remember that this is just a short term thing.  It won't be forever, it just feels like it right now.  
  • I can't control the tired feeling.  But I can do everything in my power to keep it in check.  Take my B12 vitamins, work out, eat right and get to bed early.  
I am going to do the best I can and remember that it is probably better than I give myself credit for.  

This is what I have to remember!!
We are nine weeks out from the Tinkerbell Half Marathon.  I have some work to do on figuring out how to fuel my body before and during the race.  Hopefully I can get things adjusted so that I don't bonk out the last few miles.  :-)

Thanks for letting me vent.  :)

Monday, November 4, 2013

Silver Falls Half Marathon 2013


The last couple of weeks since the Runaway Pumpkin Half Marathon have been rough.  I have been extremely tired and have had a really hard time pushing through the tired to do anything beyond work and homework.  It really sucks.  All my motivation has just flown out the window.  Between the Runaway Pumpkin and the Silver Falls Half I only ran one time (a 5K) and I did no cross training at all.  

My friends Josh and Wendie picked me up that way Joe could just head straight to the park after he got off work and wouldn't have to spend time picking me up.  We had a fun time laughing and talking on the way to Silver Falls State Park.  Joe arrived not long after that and we got ready to hit the trail.

The rain had arrived during the night so any thoughts of a cool, dry run were washed away.  Good thing we are Oregon runners and a little rain didn't worry us.  

I felt pretty good to begin with.  The course was beautiful.  I love Silver Falls State Park.  I have so many memories of coming to this park as a kid, as a young couple with my boyfriend (who became my husband) and lots of picnics and hikes with my own growing family.  Every season is different and every season is worth coming to visit.  

I kept up with my friend Wendie for about the first five miles and then she took off when I stopped to get a picture at the lower North Falls.  I ended up taking a picture for a couple and then they took one of me.  
North Falls in the background.
I was feeling good until I got to the stairs.  The stairs are at about mile 10 and the go on and on.  Then it flattens out some again and then you have to go behind the South Falls and then up a switchback trail to the top.  Ugh!  I was so slow!  I made it to the top but still had another 2.5 miles to go.  There was a water station at the top of the South Falls and this very nice woman handed me a water and told me in her most encouraging voice "You're almost done, only one more little hill."  Ha!  I've done this run before and that last "little" hill is a doozy!  My plan was to run the next two miles and then walk up the hill and finish strong.  That did not happen.  I was done, used up, had no energy left.  I felt like I was dragging each step.  I just wanted to quit.  But I kept going.   At this point all thoughts of finishing with a great time or a big improvement over the last time I did this race were gone.  I just was trying to finish.  

It was beautiful!
I trudged up that last hill and then tried to not fall on my ass on the way down the other side.  It was steep and the trail was muck by the time I got there.  I ran the last little bit and finished with a time of 3:28:42.  I only improved my time from two years ago by 3'12".  Not the improvement I was looking for.  I was hoping to be done in the 3:15 range.  Missed that by a long shot.  

On the good side, Joe and my friends were waiting for me at the finish with high fives and cheers.  Hard to be down too much when you have all that support.  

Once I got done I was a bit dizzy so Joe walked me over to the medic tent to have them check my blood sugar and my blood pressure.  Everything was normal so I changed my clothes to get warmed up and then went and got some food.  That helped a ton!  Love having peanut butter after a race.  

Because it was the day before my birthday, my goofy friends made me stand all by myself while they lined up in front of me and sang Happy Birthday. lol  Wendie pointed out that my face was the same color as my shirt.  :)  Then we had a group hug.  

I have great friends and I love getting new ones to add to my life!  :-)
Official consensus is that I'm pooping out at the end of my long runs and races because I'm not fueling up properly before and during the run or race.  So I have some things to figure out before the Tinkerbell Half Marathon.  It's hard because some foods just sit in my gut and feel awful while I run and others make me nauseous.  Also, I need to figure out what to carry with me that will keep me from running out of gas during the run.  Sigh.  I guess this is all part of the process but it was a bummer.  I admit it.  I am terribly disappointed with how my race went and how badly I feel I did.  

I went to the doctor today and we talked more about my energy levels being in the tank daily.  He is running some more blood tests.  This time we are looking at food allergies, insulin intolerance and hormones.  We shall see.  Hoping something pings soon.  Having no energy all the time sucks!  

I have things to work on, attitudes to adjust and things to overcome.  Glad I have such wonderful people around me to lift me up or kick my butt depending on what is needed.  

To all of my friends who lifted me up in prayer today for my doctor's appointment, thank you.  I'll let you know if anything comes from the blood tests.  

I have come a long way since last Christmas but I still have so far to go.  Trying hard to keep my successes in the forefront and not focus on the discouragements.  Some days that is harder than others.  

Next run is the Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving morning.  Hopefully that will be more successful.  Gotta figure out how to get my runs in even with the tiredness.  :(  

Sorry this one wasn't as positive as other posts.  It's been a tough couple of weeks and my performance on the trial run didn't help my attitude much.  I will work on my attitude this week.  :-)

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Runaway Pumpkin Half Marathon 2013

Third Annual Pumpkin Run!
What a difference a year makes!!

Runaway Pumpkin Half Marathon 2012

Last year I did this half marathon and it was ugly on many, many levels.  I had begun my "I give up" stage that lasted from August until Christmas last year.  I gained 20 pounds and was pretty much miserable.  I had signed up for the race earlier in the summer and since I had paid the money I decided to do it anyway.  My husband had to work and none of my friends were doing it or could go.  It was pouring down rain.  I mean it just dumped then entire run.  I ran the first three miles at a slow pace but it was still miserable.  I had only done a two mile run in September and a two mile run in October before race day.  After the first three miles I walked a mile and then ran a mile.  Which wasn't too bad but every time I had to run again I was miserable.  My whole body just hurt.  This was the first time I ever considered not finishing a race.  When I got to mile 10 I was so wet and miserable that I just wanted to quit.  The only reason I kept going was because I couldn't bear the thought of going to school on Monday and telling my students that I had given up.  I finished the race and even that was not fun.  I never really knew how much it means to me have my husband, friends and family waiting for me at the end of my races until they weren't there.  Finishing sucked because I had done horribly, I was wet to the skin, everything hurt and there was nobody there.  I hobbled to my car, stripped off a few layers of wet clothes, put on some dry ones and drove home.  I was miserable and sore for almost a week.  I promised myself that I would NEVER participate in a race like that again without training.  It was not worth the misery during and after the race.  I took so long that I killed the battery on my phone so my Nike+ only had me doing a little over 11 miles.  
Not a time that I'm proud of. 

Runaway Pumpkin Half Marathon 2013

We fast forward to a year later.  Like I said before, what a difference a year makes.  I have been working hard since Christmas on my running and my attitude.  Still have a long way to go with both but I am seeing improvement and that's what is important.  I was determined to keep up with my training this year, no excuses.  I was fine in August when I wasn't working but when school started and my grad classes started it became more of a challenge.  However, I am blessed with an amazing, supportive husband who has stepped up and helped out so that I can get out and run.  Basically he makes sure that I have no excuses.  :-)  Last year I put in a whopping 10.84 miles of training in during September and October.  This year the total for the two months for training was 97.36 miles!!!  I think that I was a bit more committed this year.  

My short runs the past few weeks have been getting faster.  Probably the tapering that comes before the big race helped that but, oh wow, is it fun to feel fast!  This week I ran my fastest mile ever.  I did it at the end of a three mile run.  At the end!  I was so excited.
Woot Woot!
I really didn't feel nervous about the half marathon until Friday night.  Evidently my subconscious was nervous because I had dreams about another terrible run or getting injured and not being able to finish all night long.  When I woke up in the morning I was nervous.  lol  But there were a lot of differences between last year and this year.  Not only had I trained for the race but the weather looked to be much better and my husband was racing too.  My best friend was one of the coordinators for the race and she was going to be there too.  Training, check.  Weather no rainy, check.  Friends and family at race, check.  It was going to be a better day no matter what.  

It was cold before the race and foggy.  But the sun was starting to break through.  

Pre-Race Smiles

We got lined up, Joe towards the front and me towards the back.  The sun was shining at the start line but about a mile in we got back to the fog.  Either way was better than the rain last year so no complaints here.  

I started out too fast and had to reign myself back.  Pretty sure I couldn't do a half marathon at a 10 minute pace!  Yikes.  

I settled into a nice steady 12'30" pace and felt really good.  I started to get tired around mile 10 but kept trucking along.

View during of the South Santiam River
At mile 12 is where I hit the wall.  I always walk through the water stations.  I get a water and a Gatorade and give myself until the last garbage can to finish the drinks and walk.  Usually this gives me just enough of a rest to feel perked up for a little bit again.  There was one last water station about a 1/2 mile before the mile 12 marker.  I walked through and then got going again.  My legs started to tighten up, I started to cramp and at the 12 mile marker I had to start walking.  I was really frustrated because I knew that I had been on track to being really close to my goal of 2:45.  Walking was killing any chance of that.  I had to walk/run for about a 1/2 mile.  Then I just decided that I had to push through or I wouldn't get a PR either and that would be really crappy.  I managed to start running again and kept a pace under 13 minutes and I finished running.  

My husband was waiting for me at the finish line.  My best friend was waiting at the finish line.  I got a hug from one of the cheerleaders that was a student of mine last year.  I told her I was all sweaty and she said she didn't care.  Made my heart happy.  :-)  A running friend that I had watched do the Portland Marathon a few weeks ago came out to cheer Joe and I over the finish line.  That was a fun treat.  And my co-workers were also hanging out for high fives at the finish.  

Overall the entire day was better from start to finish.  While I didn't make my goal for 2 hours 45 minutes, that was a really lofty goal and I really didn't think it was even remotely possible.  Now I know it is possible because I came really, really close to getting it.  

I did, however, PR again my time for a half marathon.  Last April I got a PR at the Eugene Half Marathon of 2:51:22.  This October I got a new PR at the Runaway Pumpkin Half Marathon of 2:47:31.  I beat my last PR by more than 5 minutes!!  I am pretty stinking excited about that!  My goals, other than the time, was to finish with an average pace of under 13 minute miles and to run the whole thing.  Still didn't quite get that second one but nailed the first one!  By a lot!  I dropped my average pace from last years race by 3'34"!  AND I improved by 46 minutes over last years Pumpkin Run!  That's worth the training right there!

I am excited about the things I've accomplished in the last week.

  1. I became a triathlete.
  2. I ran my fastest mile ever.
  3. I got a new PR for a Half Marathon.

I still have a long way to go to get where I want to be but I'm really, really proud of how far I have come! 
After race smiles!
Now I'm going to brag on a friend.  My amazing friend Betsy, the one I want to be just like when I grow up, participated in the Nike Women's Half Marathon in San Francisco today.  She got a Badass (with Sparkle) PR of her own of 2:22:45!  So proud of her and all she has done to get healthy.  I also am glad that we have become friends because she has become, in a very short amount of time, one of my important peeps who keeps me going!  Love you Betsy!  You rock and I can't wait to hear all about your race when you get home!

This is what I have been focusing on lately:  It doesn't matter if you are slow or fast.  What matters is that you are out there kicking ass!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Last Chance Triathlon 2013

I was very, very, very nervous about doing a sprint triathlon.  I don't know why but this race had my stomach doing rolls all week long.  I was super stressed about it and I'm pretty sure my friends were tired of hearing me whine.  I questioned why I thought I could do it, I wondered what I was thinking when I signed up.  I basically was a complete basket case.

This morning I woke up and finished getting my stuff together.  For the first time ever I had the issue with going #2 and having it be disgusting and smelly.  I know, too much information, but all my running friends will totally get what I'm talking about.  I leave it at that. 

Goober #3 was also participating in the triathlon so we had two bikes and all our gear to load up.  Joe made sure that our tires were pumped up and our bikes were good to go.  It was a bit weird having Joe be the camera guy, helper, cheerleader, etc.  That's usually my job.  :-)

We got our bikes set up with all our stuff.  Geez, there was a ton of stuff to have out and ready.  Then we went in to get our numbers put on our legs and arms and then get ready for the swim.  Standing around waiting is just the worst!  The first wave started at 8:00 a.m. but I was in the 8:20 a.m. wave start.  So that meant an additional 20 minutes to be nervous.

There's a lot of gear needed for a Tri!
Meighan and I were the only two people in our lane.  We decided to each take a side of the lane rather than circle swim since it was just the two of us.  She has been on the local club swim team for over three years so she is a really good swimmer.  I knew she was going to kick my butt on the swim part, and she did!  I had some struggles with feeling out of breath and was having a hard time finding my rhythm at the start.  Probably because I was going faster than I had in training.  No matter how hard I try to keep my activity slow during the start of a race I can't seem to do it very well.  It always happens during running races so I guess now I know it happens during other sports as well.  When I started taking a breath every stroke on one side I did better so I did that more than I had during my workouts.  At 8:40 a.m. they had one last wave to start.  So two people joined me in my lane while I was finishing up.  I ended up finishing my swim in about 25 minutes.  Which for me was really good.  That was a nice way to start!
Swim caps are not my best look but I really love this picture.  Mostly because of my swim partner.  :-)

I hustled outside to get ready for the bike portion of the race.  Holy moly, it was cold!  It was a foggy morning and the fog wasn't burning off so it was cold.  I had decided to wear my compression shorts and sports bra under my swim suit so I could take off the swim suit and put on my shirt and bike shorts.  I'm sure it wasn't a pleasant sight for people to see me standing there half naked and dripping water but oh well.  A girl has to do what a girl has to do.  :-)  I got changed, ate part of a banana, drank some water and then headed out.  Did I mention that it was cold?  

I headed out to the main road and the first thought was that I felt pretty good.  So I just decided to move along and try and have a good pace until I wasn't feeling good anymore.  Then I would adjust accordingly.  I had a couple people pass me during the first couple of miles which was no surprise.  But then I passed a few people myself.  Now that was a surprise!  On runs I am used to being roadkill.  I rather enjoyed being able to pass other bikers and have them be roadkill.  I kept waiting for my legs to give out on me but they kept feeling good.  I also kept waiting for my butt to start hurting.  Usually that starts about mile one.  Today it didn't start getting uncomfortable until about mile 10.  My legs started getting tired about then too.  But I knew I was getting close to the finish of the bike portion so I pushed through it.

Getting off the bike was an adventure.  It took a few tries to get my leg to lift high enough to get over the bar of the bike.  lol  I'm sure that was entertaining to watch.  Then I walked the bike over to my spot   and worked at getting ready for the run.  I took off the bike shorts and put on my running capris and headed out again.  Joe shouted to me that I needed to take it slow because I would feel like I was going slow but would be going faster than I thought I was.  I thought I was going slow.  I felt like I was creeping along.  I couldn't feel my legs, they were all tingly.  I couldn't feel my toes, they were numb from the cold.  I got a half mile into the run and my Nike+ app said that I was running at a 11'30" pace. What the heck?  I felt like I was doing a 15' pace or worse! lol  So I tried to slow down.  My goal for the 5K was to just run the whole thing.  I ended up with a 12'12" minute pace.  Wow.  I couldn't believe that I ran that fast after swimming and biking!  I even passed someone!  (Another roadkill!)

The race finishes on the high school track.  I had to run almost an entire lap and it was a long lap!  But I kept going because I knew that my husband and daughter were waiting for me at the finish.  I crossed the finish line and walked right into Joe's arms.  Got a big old hug from my best friend and number one fan.  I absolutely know that I could not do the training or any of these races if he didn't believe in me and support me along the way.  I'm so blessed to have such an amazing man as my partner in life!  I also had to give hugs to my daughter, two fabulous women who I am beyond blessed to have cheering me on and my buddy Matt, who had already finished his first triathlon.  :-)  It was quite the little party at the finish line!

Woot Woot!  What an amazing feeling!
Going home and taking a hot shower was heavenly.  That was followed up with a nice long nap.  Then I had to do homework.  That was a bummer.  But I got it done.

My friend Matthew also participated in the triathlon this weekend.  It was his first race of any kind!  He did awesome!

Triathletes!!!  The smiles say it all!
I also got a new toy this week.  I purchased a Fitbit.  I have been wanting to get some sort of tracker for awhile.  I was leaning toward a Nike Fuelband because I do my runs on Nike+ so they would go together.  I finally decided to get the Fitbit for a couple of reasons.  First, it tracks sleep.  Since I'm having issues with being tired all the time I thought that would be interesting information to have.  Second it syncs up with myfitnesspal.com so I can put my meals and activities into that app and it automatically tells my Fitbit and all that is factored in.  The only thing that I have been disappointed about is that it won't automatically sync wirelessly to my phone or iPad.  Turns out my technology is too old.  The oldest iPhone it will sync to is the 4s, I have a 4.  The oldest iPad it will sync to is the 3rd generation, I have the 2nd.  But I have the little doodad that goes into a USB port on my laptop so it does sync when I am on the computer automatically.  I've only had it up and running for two days so it will be interesting to see what kind of data I get.  

I got the Fitbit Flex.  I decided to get the one that I can wear like a bracelet.  If I bought one of the clip on ones I can guarantee that I would wash it at some point or lose it.  They aren't very big.  The flex is very light weight and can get wet so I can wear it in the shower and the rain (an important factor living in Oregon.)  It comes with two different size bands to put the Fitbit into so there is no worries about getting one that fits.  And eventually....when I lose enough weight.....I can switch to the small band because I already have it.  :-)  (Positive thinking right there, did you see that?)  You can also purchase bands that are other colors because the Fitbit part slides into the band so it is interchangeable.

This next Saturday I run in the Runaway Pumpkin Half Marathon.  Last year I didn't train for it (at all). It poured down rain all morning and since I walked most of it, it was a very long morning!  And none of my running people were there.  That was a long morning of misery without anyone with me to keep things fun.  It was pretty much the most awful race and hurt for days afterwards.  This year the weather forecast looks like we could could get an amazing fall day.  Clear and crisp, perfect running weather for me.  :-) I'm looking forward to this year being a fantastic run.

This picture a friend posted on Facebook and it sums up how I felt this week and how I often feel.

 Via Facebook-Credit unknown-Love this!
I think I love it because I feel week and scared often but push through to be victorious.  But I can be Badass all the time!  

I don't have my official time for the triathlon yet.  I finished in the 2 hour 15 minute range.  I was hoping the results would be up so I could share my finish and my splits.  No such luck.  Maybe later.  But the really, really, really important part isn't my finish time.  It's that I did it.  From start to finish.  I got in trouble today for saying on Facebook that it was "Just a sprint triathlon" and I have promised not to put down my accomplishments by using the word "just" anymore.  Except for this....

Wow....Just Wow!!!!!!  


This is my official results from the triathlon.  The swim was actually about 25 minutes but the tracking pad was outside.  :-)  Hadn't done the bike distance in less than 1:15 before.  :-)  Never thought I could do a swim, then a bike and manage to do a 5K in less than  40 minutes.  I'm pretty happy with my first try at a tri.  :-)

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Out of Gas

Sometimes I can go for weeks managing the tiredness and making it work.  Then suddenly my body rebels and says that I have reached the bottom and the tank is empty.  This week the tank was definitely empty.  Monday I didn't run.  I got home from work and just crashed in my recliner.  (Sigh, that sounds like an old geezer, but that's how I feel.)

Tuesday was a little better.  I had an interval workout on the track and I did the entire workout.  This is my third time going through this particular training program for a half marathon and this is the first time I have been able to do this workout from start to finish.  I was very excited.  I had to do a 1/2 mile warm up easy run.  That was followed by 4 x 1/2 mile intervals at above race pace with 2 minute walks in-between.  Then I had to do 6 x 1/4 mile intervals at above race pace with 2 minute walks in-between.  Followed by another 1/2 mile cool down jog.  I ended up with a total distance of 5.6 miles and an average pace of 12'09".  I can't believe that was my average pace when I walked a total of 20 minutes of this workout.  When I got home and was able to look at the graph of my workout I was amazed.  During the intervals I was running at a pace of about 10'30" every single time!  That was very cool.  
The high points were the intervals, the low was the walking.  
Not too shabby.  Last few were HARD! 
Wednesday I was supposed to get up and swim before work but I was so tired that I just stayed in bed.  It was a long day at work.  I came home and picked up my daughter and took her to church.  Then I went back to the pool and did my workout.  It was hard.  I think that swimming is even harder than running to do when you are out of gas.  I did the entire half hour but it was a struggle.  Then I went home and took a nap, picked up my daughter from church and then went to bed.

Thursday was a rest day and I came home and crashed in my chair again.  I was so tired.  Betsy had let me know she was swimming and I wanted to go but my body just wasn't going to move.  

Friday I was supposed to run four miles.  I was going to leave work right after school so I could get it done before I completely ran out of gas.  That didn't happen.  I had a meeting after school that took almost an hour and then I had to talk to my principal about a situation that had happened earlier in the day with one of my students.  I didn't leave work until almost 5 pm.  I went and picked up the goober at the pool and headed home.  Joe had made dinner, spaghetti!  By the time I ate dinner it was after 6 pm and I was too tired to do anything but head to bed.  Ugh!  

Saturday I slept in until after 7 am.  When I got up I didn't hurry and head out for my run.  I ate breakfast, watched the news and just took my time.  I finally headed out a little after 9 a.m.  The weather was foggy and cold but it felt great. I love the way the fog looks as it is burning off of fields.  It looks like it is running away from the sun.  It was beautiful.  

I felt okay to start with, not great but okay.  About mile 6 I could tell that my body didn't want to keep going and I thought about making the run shorter but I kept going.  Instead of getting negative splits each mile was slower than the last. 

During mile 7 I was running down 3 Lakes Rd.  I heard a car coming behind me but didn't think too much of it.  There was a pickup behind the car.  All I heard up till this point was the sound of the cars.  Right when the pickup got next two me the two big dogs that were in the truck bed started barking.  It scared the crap out of me!  I had to laugh at my own reaction.  I swear those dogs planned it.  "Wait for it....wait for it....wait for it.....NOW!  Bark bark bark bark.  Hahahaha!  That was AWESOME!"  I jumped and then laughed.  If the driver of the truck looked in his mirror he probably got a laugh himself.  

Photo by Ferlinka Borzoi via  http://www.dogguide.net/blog/2009/02/maryland-kills-bill-that-bans-unrestrained-dogs-in-pickup-trucks/  
At mile 8 I got a horrible side ache.   I haven't had a side ache in a really long time but I was able to keep going in spite of it.  I had about 1.5 miles to go and I was out of water.  By this time the fog had burned off and the sun was out.  It was really beautiful but I was really warm.  I stopped by the coffee shop that I go to and they were wonderful and filled up my water container that I run with.  When I headed back out I could tell that I had been stopped too long.  Everything felt tight and not comfortable.  I ran just over a 1/2 mile and then my right hip started cramping really bad.  I slowed down to a walk and then the back of my right leg also started getting really tight.  At this point I had about 3/4 of a mile to get my 11 miles and I decided to walk it because I didn't want to get an injury.  

I know that this can happen during training but it is really hard to feel confident about a race that is only two weeks out when my last two 11 miles runs have had some significant issues right at the end.  During the race I will have to go 2.1 miles farther!  I'm a little concerned that the Runaway Pumpkin  Half is going to suck.

Once I got home I just was wiped out.  I was going to take a shower but I really needed to clean it.  I didn't want to shower and then clean it so I decided to clean it and then take my shower.  In hindsight I think maybe I should have eaten and then cleaned the shower.  I scrubbed it out and then hopped in and finished up anything I missed.  Then I just stood there and stretched out my aching legs in the hot water.  Good gravy!  I hurt all over!  By the time I got out though I was all shaky and didn't feel good.  I decided it was because I hadn't eaten so I grabbed some crackers and a drink as a quick fix with the plan that I would fix more in a bit once I was feeling better.  Then I fell asleep on the couch.  So much for fixing something to eat in just a bit.

 Picture from http://2damnfunny.com/cats-dogs-memes-animals/dog-is-just-so-tired-must-rest-now/
This is how I feel most of the time.  :-)
All week I have been butt dragging.  Saturday was the worst.  Now I understand that running 11 miles will make someone tired.  But I was tired when I woke up, then I was tired on the run.  By the time I got done I was beyond tired.  I never feel not tired, ever.  I don't think I have felt refreshed and rested in almost two years.  The last time I saw my doctor he said maybe I'm tired because I'm busy.  I thought about it a lot this summer and decided that it is not because I'm busy.  During the summer I wasn't working and I could just hang out and read and relax.  I was tired all summer too.  If I'm tired when I'm not really doing anything then that's a problem.  Wish we could figure out why I'm like this. It really is not fun.  I would like to be operating with a full tank again.  I'm always at less than 1/4 tank or running on fumes.

Today I had the privilege of going to Portland and watching some of my amazing friends do the Portland Marathon and the Portland Half Marathon.  After all the yucky weather we had last week today was an absolutely glorious day.  I drove and goober #3 came along as well.  We had a great time pre-race taking pictures and hanging out waiting for the race to start.  Then the goober and I found a spot where we could see the runners go by, we crossed the street and saw them come back down the other side.   We went and warmed up in the car for a bit and then hung out near the finish line to cheer everyone on.  I love races where names are on the bibs because then you can shout out peoples names. Some of the names were funny.  We saw things like Pooh Bear, Grandma, Giant 1 and Dude.  There were several honoring the Boston Marathon that said things like Boston or Boston Strong.   Love it!

As we were waiting for our friends and cheering people on one woman caught my attention.  Her bib said her name was Susan and she was probably in her late 60's.  She was waving her arms up and down to get the crowd to cheer which they obliged in a huge fashion.  She had tears streaming down her face and she smiled at the crowd and shouted "This is my first half marathon!!"  They crowd shouted even louder.  I had tears watching her.  I totally remember my first half marathon.  I totally remember my first 5K!  When you go from someone who can't even run one lap around the track to someone who has finished 13.1 miles it is pretty overwhelming!  Watching Susan made me remember my first half marathon and how far I have come.

So I may be out of gas and I may get frustrated that I only ran 10 miles instead of 11.  But today helped me remember how far I've come and how much I have to be proud of. I'm looking forward to the Runaway Pumpkin Half Marathon.  I may struggle at the end or get cramps or have to walk.  That will frustrate me I'm sure but I will keep in mind that this is my NINTH half marathon!  Holy Moly!!  That puts things in a different perspective.  :-)

Here is a picture my husband took of my after finishing the Eugene Marathon in 2011.  My first Half Marathon.  Not my last and not "just" a half.  :-)  I've come a long way since then and plan to continue working at become a better, healthier me.

First Half Marathon 2011-First of many!!!