Monday, December 26, 2011


OK, so I was looking back at my old blogs from the past couple of years and realized that I am just in a time of year when I get depressed. I need to be conscious of this so get myself over it! I have only run 6 miles this month and it's Christmas time! I wouldn't have run the first run 3 weeks ago if it weren't for Bill saying, "Get your clothes on; we're going running!" Then, yesterday Santa came and the kids were up at 4:30 so we had some extra time. I took Rachael out for a 3-mile run. Noelle came with us too. She said she wanted some running clothes to go with us so she came along for a couple miles. Rachael and I were really struggling to get through that small run. I guess we should, having not run for about 3 weeks.

I feel like this is really pathetic that I'm at the end of the month and haven't even reached the double digits in mileage yet. Bill mentioned toward the end of his graduate class this month that he would like to run a half marathon with me this year so we should be good motivation for each other to get out and run.

The first 3 1/2 weeks of December: 6 miles

Monday, November 28, 2011

it's a slump

ok I only ran 5 miles this week. Once I realized my calculating error, I lost all interest and motivation. This has taken a downward spiral to other areas as well. I need to get out now and get some confidence and excitement back to my life.

weekly training mileage: 5 miles
monthly mileage: 28 miles

Saturday, November 12, 2011

goal realization

This past week I counted up the mileage for the year and realized if I ran an average of 14 miles per week through the end of the year I could log 1000 miles this year. Hmmm, that is very doable. So I now have a new goal, something to work towards. It's not so insurmountable that it can't be done. In my "off" season I can easily run 14 miles each week.

So, this didn't start off so great this week, but it definitely gives me a goal. It gives me the motivation I need start a run. Thursday I finally got in my first run of the week. Rachael and I went out for a few miles. I really wanted to do 5-8 miles so I didn't have to do so much Saturday or at least get a head start on the mileage. The run was so difficult that I stopped to walk around mile .75!! We did an Ethanol Loop and I stopped at that. It got better the longer we ran, but it was definitely not my best run ever. If Rachael wasn't with me, I probably wouldn't have finished the run.

This morning I knew she would be gone to an Honor Band performance so I contacted some of my friends and wanted to take Bill with me too. I ended up only having one partner on the run. My shins have reappeared as a problem, but after a couple miles my heart, breathing, and pain settled down and I started to feel strong! At the end, we split up and she went home. I was one block from home with .25 miles into the next mile. I felt good so I finished off the mile for a total of 10 miles. I don't think I was strong enough to finish a marathon today, but it was a good 10 miles.

Total weekly training mileage: 15
Monthly training mileage: 23

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Short and sweet

How can my life be so incredibly busy? I only ran once - today.

I love to run to wake up the sun. I love to run through dry crunchy red, brown, orange, and yellow leaves. I love to run with good friends. I love to run with my family! I love to treat them to doughnuts at the end of the run. I just love to run.

Weekly training run: 7 miles with friends, 1 mile alone, 1 mile with family = 9 miles

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Trial and Error

Wow, this week was full of great accomplishments, through a little trial and error. Yes, I've been messing with the laces and making changes. The best thing I did was remove the bungie laces and replace them with the old original laces. This made a world of difference!

I tried a shorter, 5 mile run to start off the week and it was so much fun to run without my toe or foot falling asleep and becoming tingly. I was so glad I had changed the laces. Thursday Rachael and I went out for a fast 7 miles. OKOK, it wasn't fast, but it went by rather quickly. I was ready to be done. I got another nasty blood blister on a different toe. It wasn't as bad as the one from Quad Cities, but definitely owie! We surprisingly ran all seven within Jewell.

This morning Bill, Rachael and I went out. My goal was 10 miles. I really really wanted to be in the double digits. I should be after the marathon by now. I have been so discouraged with my progress this fall. Today's run was really really hard; it was like the last 5-8 of a marathon. I was exhausted and just wanted to quit so many times. If I didn't have 2 other people with me I'm sure I wouldn't have finished this run. My watch battery almost died before we finished, too. I met my goal of 10 miles today so it was a success.

Weekly training mileage: 22 miles
October mileage: 32 miles

Saturday, October 22, 2011

October recovery

Well, since the marathon I haven't run much as my toe has really been bothering me. Every time I go out for a run, I get to just under 3 miles and it starts throbbing. I have to try something different. I'm going to try to lace them backwards, put 2 "stoppers" at different places on the laces so that I can have 2 different tensions on the top and bottom of the shoe, and if all else fails, put the original laces back on. I completed 3, 3, and 4 mile runs. Each time it caused great discomfort. One Friday I even wore them to school and by the end of the day it was just as bad as if I had run 4 miles in them. :(

Something has to change!!

Weekly training mileage: 10

Friday, September 30, 2011

Quad Cities Marathon

Got my new shoes and went outside for a short 3 mile run. I really wanted to save some energy and rest my muscles for next weekend. They still felt great outside, but I think I will tighten up the laces a little more, just so I don't slide too much in them.

The QC Marathon...
Yeah, that was rough! I thought it was quite miserable, but then looked at my time splits and it wasn't awful. I had an amazing start to the run! The first half I averaged probably 9:10 pace. Overall, I had like 18 miles that were less than 9:30 pace, two of which were less than 9:00. I was feeling so great that I really didn't feel like I was running. At mile 12 I thought I could seriously keep up that pace through the end! I was even having thoughts of perhaps Boston. That will still be off in the distance. I really had to consciously slow myself down, but that was the most I could do. I just wanted to go faster and faster!

At mile 13ish we crossed over to the island and things started to break down from there. About mile 14 it started to sprinkle. OK, this isn't bad; it's always nice to have a cooling rain come in. By mile 15 it was a full downpour! I had rain running off the bill of my cap. It was awful. My blistered toes that started about mile 6 had now become full blown blisters and very painful. I thought I was going end up with a broken toe by the end it hurt so much. My body was screaming stop. My mind keep talking to it to keep going. I knew if I stopped I would not keep going. Yep, that's what happened. I was so upset with myself and it was everything I could do to keep going. I called Bill around 19 to let him know I was coming back over the bridge and nearing mile 20. I really needed and was longing for someone to run with me. Rachael ran 2 blocks with me and that was amazing (she gives me energy I didn't know I had), but I still ended up with 3 miles that were around 12 minutes. Mile 24 was the worst. I finished strong, however, with a 9:37 pace. Every step was pain, but I kept pushing through it to the end. While my time wasn't great (4:24:27), I did finish. I think I need to go back and conquer that course!

The weirdest thing was that no one talked on the run. I felt like I was all alone on a training run. I stuck with the 4:10 pace group and everyone was VERY chatty at the start line. I thought, this will be great! Bob, the pacer was amazing! He was an older guy in his 60s and did not look like your typical runner, but he was the most consistent pacer I've ever run with. He had completed a few ultramarathons in recent years as well. Anyway, I tried to strike up some conversation with people along the route, but they just looked at me like I was highly annoying and what was I thinking talking to them?! sheez. I finally just kept to myself and continued running. Even at the end when things were tough and lots of people were walking, no one talked. There was one man from TX who I kept passing and I suggested we keep each other going and again tried to strike up a conversation, but nope. He decided to walk and fall behind to avoid me. I just couldn't believe it.

By the finish line I had never been more happy to be done with a run!! I grabbed some fruit, met my curb crew and left for the van. I was defeated and just wanted to go home. When I got to the van, I immediately removed my shoes and socks. YIKES!!! I have never had blisters as bad as this. There were so many different variables this time. I was alone, no distractions, new shoes, bungie laces, rain, pouring rain!, fast pace, foot discomfort that I hadn't known.

While I was quite discouraged with this run, it was really a great run for the first 19ish miles.
I wasn't able to wear regular shoes all week to allow my blisters to heal a bit. Here are some more pictures:

Weekly mileage: 29.2 miles
September total mileage: 100 miles

Monday, September 19, 2011

Ghost 4

That's it! I NEED new shoes. 700 miles is just too many miles for my shoes. I went up to Runner's Flat to get some new ones, but they didn't carry my shoe anymore. They suggested another shoe that would be similar. It was one on my list so I tried it on, walked around, got on their treadmill a bit and it wasn't awful. I brought them home, walked around a little more, and then got on the dreadmill for 3 miles. It was like running on pillows! OK it might work. I'll run outside tomorrow.

This week I was going to go 8-10 miles, but ended up going more like 11. The next day, I did an Ethanol Loop. I might be pushing it for the week before a marathon. My ankle really hurt so that prompted me to go to Cedar Falls.

Total weekly training mileage: 16 miles

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Strong finish

Wow, this has been a GREAT! week. I feel like I am back to a strong, working body. I ended 20 miles last weekend and this weekend. I was disappointed that I read my watch wrong and only had like 19.25 miles rather than 20 miles last weekend so I felt obligated to get a full 20 in this week.

I struggled finding someone to run with me so I was a little concerned that I couldn't really do it all by myself. I started by going to Ellsworth and back. I was visualizing the "big hill" at the beginning of Quad Cities and knew I had to do some hill work so I thought a big run with a hill at the beginning and then a few along the way would be a good practice for that. The hill didn't seem to big on that run. I know it's all a mental game we play on ourselves. Again, Bill ran the last 12 miles with me. It's nice to be able to talk to him and spend some time together. I think he is getting excited about how much he can really run.

Friday night I sat at my computer at 10:30 at night still contemplating the marathon. I finally bit the bullet and and pushed "register". I am ready; I am strong; I am a marathoner! This race has been calling me for quite some time now. I have really been intrigued by it and am excited to run it. I thought about signing up both Bill and I for the 1/2 marathon because I really think he can do it and would like the thrill of a race. Maybe next year we can do that or we can find one later this fall even. After Grandma's I seemed to recover much more quickly than last time so I am hoping the same will be true this time.

Last Monday and also this morning I got a 5 mile run completed. So, I technically had a 50-mile week if you calculate Sunday to Sunday. It feels great to be able to say that! If I had completed all my runs for the week however, it would have been more like 68 miles, but I'll take a 50 miler. That would be like running to Des Moines from home. Wow.

Some commentary on my shoes... I have run 675 miles so far this year, all in the same shoes. I really need to get new shoes. Running this past week, my ankle has started to hurt from it rubbing on the top of the shoe. I think the cushioning is just out of it. The problem: I am running a marathon in 2 weeks. How can I possibly think getting a new pair of shoes right now is a good thing? Darn it. Another variable: I'm thinking of getting a different brand of shoes that will probably throw things off as well. ergh, what to do.

Weekly training mileage: 30 miles

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Am I ready for a marathon?

There was intense heat again this week so I didn't get any of my runs in during the week, just the long run on the weekend. As usual, I was scheduled for a 20 mile run on Saturday. I woke up at 3:30ish and heard thunder is near distance. I knew if I had started, sometime within the 3 hrs I would have been hit by a storm. :( I went back to sleep. About 6:30 I woke up to more thunder coupled with lightening. Nope, guess I'll just have to wait for tomorrow. I checked the weather and realized it was going to rain all day long. Darn it.

That afternoon I started texting people to go run with me in the morning and found 3 people! I was so excited. When I started, it was a high of 52! That's about 40 degrees cooler than yesterday! yeah!! It was perfect running weather. About 90 min later we picked up Bill and then picked up Jill. The 4 of us headed out and J dropped off about mile 9. Jill dropped off about 14. Bill kept going and ran 12 miles - a record for him! I was so excited for him. It was a good run.

My watch was a little weird. When I picked up I had only run like 1/4 mile and I had to wait for her to be ready. I thought phooosha, what's 1/4 mile so I stopped it and then restarted the timer. I thought it cleared it out, but I think I just confused it because at the end when it noted "lap 20" it was really only 19.25 I didn't really get my 20 in as planned. I figure however that with the walking back to the house we got the full 20 in so I'm saying it was a 20 mile run. So, this means next weekend I'll have to RUN 20 again.

Tonight Bill and I went out on a bike ride we covered 4.5 miles. That was nice cross training and a good way to work out some stiffness from the run. I am having problems again with the groin muscle. It just doesn't like me on long runs. It takes about 2-3 days to work that out to normal. I feel like I really walk funny too, leaning to one side. ugh, it will get better.

The marathon deadline is this Friday. I am seriously considering this one. I had some good runs the past couple weeks and feel like I can do this. My confidence is back and I feel great. I just fear that there will be a heat wave and it will be all over that day. I am sticking to the 80 degree rule. The average high that day is in the upper 70s so it could very well be in the 80s. That would come at the end of run, the hardest part.

Weekly training mileage: 20 miles
Total weekly training mileage: 25 miles.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Ahhhhh, that's better

I took about a week off to give my body a rest and reassess "what the heck am I thinking running a marathon?!"

My goal was to run about 18 miles. I went through a thorough prerun routine to get me phsyched up for the run, arranged to have a friend meet me part way through to hold me accountable to get out there and run, and started on the road around 5 AM. I ran 6 miles, met with my friend for another 6 miles, and then finished the remaining mileage with Bill. It was perhaps one of the best runs I've had in a loooong time. It felt great to be out running again. The body finally worked!

The next day I did a 4-mile walk with Bill. It felt good to get the kinks and stiffness worked out.

I have decided that 80 degrees was the maximum temperature that I will run in. Above that and I have heat issues.

Weekly training mileage: 22 miles
Total monthly mileage for August: 81 miles

Sunday, August 21, 2011

hard week

This was perhaps my worst attempt at running this week. :(

I was hurting from the 15.5 mile run last Sunday and I think it really took a toll on me and ripped up my body. Tuesday I went out for 5 miles. I didn't think I was going to finish, but just kept pushing through all the pain and discomfort. I finally made it to the end. I was hoping for 8 miles, but just couldn't do it. The first mile was a good pace, but then I dropped another minute or more thereafter.

The second run of the week was worse! I was so achy all week and hadn't been getting enough sleep because school started again. Friday after school I got home and wanted to get at least 8 miles in before the weekend. I wanted to take a day off before my big run so I had to get out Friday. The temp didn't seem too bad and I was determined to get this run done! The first mile wasn't awful, but I was really hurting. I think I saw every 1/10 mile go by on the watch. :( By 2 miles I was miserable. I dropped about 90 second from the pace and kept getting slower. I knew I could do so I just kept pushing through. I kept negotiating with myself and the route I would take. By about mile 2.7 I just couldn't do it anymore. I walked the rest of the way home and completed just under 4 miles.

I determined that no matter how high the humidity, 78-80 was my threshold for running. When I got home, I had sweat running down every inch of my body and hurt so incredibly much. I iced my shins and had a shower. ack. It was such a difficult week that I didn't even do my big run. I will try this later or even wait until next weekend. This whole thing had given me a discouraged feeling for a fall marathon. The body just isn't working lately.

Total weekly training mileage: 9 miles

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Garmin & Night Fright

The Garmin watch arrived this week! I had to play with it and change some settings. I then walked around the block to see how it reacted. I think I got it. Tuesday night I tried it on an actual run. Rachael took me on her cross country practice courses. We did about 3 miles and then headed out for another 3. It was a tough run and I confirmed the idea that I am NOT a trail runner! I just don't have that running style/form to be able to be efficient with it. The grass just zaps all energy out of me.

Wednesday morning I got up and wanted to work on speed so I did a fast Ethanol Loop. I started with a 9:07 pace and ended with a 8:25 mile. This was an average 8:59 pace! I was working hard, but in a different way than the previous run. It was a great run and I felt like I could have done the marathon today. I was strong the whole way through!

This morning I got up early and ran to Ellsworth and then caught up with J and did a couple more miles and then picked up another runner and finished the Ethanol Loop. My goal was 14, but I actually did about 15.5 miles. It seemed like a tough run all the way through! About mile 11 the watch beeped saying it was a low battery! WHAT?! Dang! Everything I read said that if the battery dies, you lose all your information and settings. Shoot! We ran home and I stopped the run to plug it in. As soon as I plugged it in, it said I had 20% left. Really?! I think I could have finished the Ethanol Loop without it dying. Oh well, at least I had the first 10.63 miles documented.

OK, now for the Fright Night. I started out about 5:15 AM so it was pitched black out. About mile 1 I saw something move in the ditch. I looked in that direction and saw a deer running. My heart stopped. I saw another deer; I thought they were going to jump up on the road where I was running. Animals are so unpredictable.
When I got to Ellsworth, I turned around and started heading back to Jewell. On my way out of town, I was under the last street light before leaving town back into the black of night. A car zoomed passed me and then slammed on his breaks and pulled off on the shoulder on the other side. He sat there for awhile. I wasn't sure what he was doing because no one got out of the car or anything; it just sat there. Eventually he turned around and started driving slowly back in my direction on the shoulder on the opposite side of the road! When he finally passed me again, he turned around and back on the highway, but going slowly. I was ready to reach for my phone, but he kept going. I don't think I've ever been more concerned that this morning. Glad to have this one done!

Total weekly training mileage: 26 miles

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Pounding the pavement again

After a 10-day hiatus, I'm back to running again. We were on vacation and I decided I would take a break from running so as not to get burned out and set myself up for unrealistic expectations only to get discouraged. So, I told myself it was ok to not run for the 10 days.

During the week I did a 5 and 7 mile run for a total of 12 miles. These were rather difficult runs, but I think it was the heat more than anything else. While it was a tad cooler for the shorter run, I was still really sweaty and hot; it makes me sleep great at night!

If I want to be ready for a fall marathon, I needed to do at least a 12 mile run this weekend. Tonight I got 12 miles in. It was a great run, but really hot and humid again. I did an Ethanol Loop and then joined Bill for the last 7. We were both running strong the whole way, averaging 9-min mile! That is really fast for him and quite fast for me. I felt like I could have done the marathon today; it was a good run. I really needed that confidence booster.

Rachael is still recovering from the marathon with hamstring issues, but is stretching and doing exercises so hopefully she will be back strong this fall. Cross Country starts in a couple days! She's going to the orthopedic doctor on Monday so we should know something then.

While on vacation, Bill saw a great one-day deal on a Garmin and ordered one! It should be here this next week. I can't wait to try it out. It should be nice to get some detail about my run and how my body works on a run. Everyone tells me it's like having a trainer with you the whole time. I hope I feel that way with it because I need someone to keep me going sometimes.

Weekly training mileage: 24 miles

Saturday, July 23, 2011

A triple week

This was another HOT week! I was able to get some running in, however, and tripled my mileage. While tripling is great, the total mileage is not so impressive. It has been oppressive heat in July.

My goal was to get a 16-18 mile run in before I left for vacation, but that didn't happen. However, I was able to get an 11 mile run in at the beginning of the week so that was much better than last week and one mile more than my last longest run since the marathon. So, at minimum I am moving forward.

The average high for my next planned marathon is 75 so I have to get used to this if I am going to run that race. On the other hand, 120+ heat index is a little unacceptable! My 11 mile run was in the upper 70s/lower 80s so I figure that was a good race-day trainer. I think since I had such a break from running that I was fired up to get out there again. It was a really great run! I woke up and it was really foggy so I did the entire run in town. City limits to city limits is less than 2 miles so that's pretty good. 11 miles was a good distance that day; I was strong, it was a great run, but I don't think I could have finished the marathon that day.

The end of the week was rather stormy so I couldn't run either. When it finally had a break, I got out for a quick 4-mile run. I didn't realize how quick it was until I got home and mapped it out - 7:56 pace! I was mentally rushing to be done before my scheduled errands for the day, but didn't realize I was THAT fast. Sheez.

Due to vacation the next couple of weeks I won't be running so I'll have a big break again. I hope to hit it hard after this vacation to reach my goal of at least one 20-mile run before September. If I can do that, I just might sign up for that marathon!

Total weekly training mileage: 15 miles
Total miles for July: 41 miles :(

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

It's hotHotHOT!

The temps have been nasty lately - 90s, and heat indices in 120s. Check out this pix at 5:00 PM! The heat index is 121. YUCK!

So, this is my excuse for not getting out running this week. I only did a 5-mile Ethanol Loop. I was planning to finish another 3 miles when I got back to town, but never did. :(

Total weekly training mileage: 5
Weather conditions: unbearable!

Monday, July 11, 2011


Phew! I'm exhausted after this week! I actually did 3, 6, 3, 9 this week. The first 3-miler I did with Bill. The second one I did with Rachael to see how her recovery was coming. I think she has an injury so we'll be talking to the dr about this at her physical this week!

For the 6 mile run I really had no intentions of doing 6 miles. I was really only going to do 5, an Ethanol Loop, but it was sooooo foggy out I didn't think it would be safe and I have been a little gun shy from the skunk last week. So, I ran what I thought was a little shy of 5 miles, got back and thought hmmm, that was a little fast. I mapped it out on mapmyrun because I wanted to know how short of 5 I was and discovered it was really 6.33!! It was at least an 8-min mile. Yes I maintained that for a good 6 miles. sheez. I never would have guessed. I'm also assuming the other runs have been rather fast as well because I was always surprised when I got home, how quickly it went.

It has been so incredibly hot and humid lately, but I've been out running. Saturday I wanted to do a 10-12 mile run, but it was just so darn hot so I waited until Sunday morning. I ran and Rachael biked, just to see if biking bothered her at all. Again, it was so incredibly humid that I drank 40 oz in an hour and a half. I felt so run down by heat that I just quit. This is the second time ever that I didn't finish a planned run. The difference? This time it didn't bother me. I ran my heart out again. I didn't feel like I was going that fast, but finished the 9 miles in about 90 minutes. While that alone doesn't seem like a fast run, it includes about 10-15 minutes of walking.

My shins have been feeling pretty good so I think I am getting healed well. I am very excited to be 3 weeks post-marathon and have a 21-mile week. My motivation has been next to zero, but once I get out, it is great to be out. I've had some really tough runs this week, but the speed and heat are probably culprits of that.

Total training mileage: 21 miles

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Stinky scare

This was a weird week of running. I only got 2 runs in this week, but they were weird. The first one was with J, 7 miles. I felt like I was really working to complete the run and that we were going really fast. When we got done, she said it was a 9:45 pace. I was sure it was 9:20-9:30.

The second run was about 10 miles. Bill got up early and ran with me. I was planning to do 2 Ethanol Loops, but we met a "friend" about 2 miles into the run. I was daydreaming and lost in my run when Bill said, "SKUNK!" I heard what he said. I knew what he said. For some reason, "raccoon" registered in my mind so I didn't think much of it. He repeated, "Skunk! Coming at us!" OMG!! We both stopped looking at this skunk walk toward us, tail up. I immediately became petrified and turned and started running the other way. He kept coming after us! Great, that's just what I need: a tomato bath that will still leave me smelling like skunk! We probably only ran about 1/10 mile when Bill said, "He's gone. He went in the ditch." We turned around and went back the way we came, both of us keeping a close eye on the ditch where he went in. phew! I've seen skunk in fields and ditches next to me, but never one that came after me, tail raised! Yikes, that was a bit scary.

I felt like I was really working on this run, pushing every step. I am at zero confidence about a fall marathon. If I do it, I will be all alone I think. Rachael and J probably won't be there. I get so motivated and mentally and physically pushed when I'm with them. I don't think there would be any PR set if I go alone.

Weekly training mileage: 17 miles
Total June mileage: 105 miles

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Recovery and Reflection

This week brought some recovery time from the marathon. I did 3 miles early in the week to loosen up from the marathon. It was a good run. Later in the week I went out for 6 miles with Rachael, J, and another friend. I think 6 was the perfect distance. I was able to keep pushing forward, but was getting tired and achy at the end. Rachael had some aches in her knee so she stopped early. She will need some more time.

I have been so excited about my training season and the positive results I earned that I am looking, casually, at a fall marathon. The Quad Cities Marathon seems like one that will be fun. I'll see how training goes this summer and then make a decision later. The next increase in registration fees isn't until 2 weeks before the marathon so I have some time.

In reflecting on this season's training, it is boasting with success. The time I got to spend with my daughter was immeasurable. Personally, I had a PR in all of my races. Like most of my life, I set a goal and pursued it. I am very driven to success and very competitive. Last I was just trying to complete each run. This year I had loftier goals. By the end of the marathon, I cut about 17 1/2 minutes from my time. My average pace this spring was around 9:30-9:35. Mile 19 on the marathon was a 9-minute pace. That is just amazing to me. It felt great. I still had energy at the end, too. I was exhausted, but felt I could have kept going if I had to. I am within 20 min from qualifying for Boston. I think I can make a 4-hr marathon and that is just 10 min from qualifying time for my age. In 3 years it will qualify! Hmmm...what does the future hold for me???

Weekly training mileage: 9 miles

Sunday, June 19, 2011


This week started with an easy 3 mile run. My shins still hurt so I wanted a sloooow run. Bill and Rachael went out with me and Bill was ready to go. I had to keep slowing him down. I knew fast runs hurt my shins and I was still recovering from Dam to Dam's fast run. I figured if I took it easy I might be good by Saturday. It was a full week of carb loading. Boy, do I love to eat!

We were scheduled to run another 3 miles and then walk 3 miles. I consciously chose to skip the 3 mile run to rest my shins, but definitely put in a random 3+ mile walk as we wandered around Duluth and around Jewell.

Grandma's will be my first run that I will be running completely blind as I will not be driving the route first. That is part of my mental preparation; I have to know every twist and turn, hill, terrain, every minor detail. I did so much research and talked to so many people that I was comfortable knowing I could do this. This became part of my nervousness, however.

We left Friday for Duluth. It was a rainy yucky day and very hot, but the forecast was predicting 50 degrees and storms for Saturday's race so I was eagerly looking forward to it. We found the DECC for packet pick up and the University of Wisconsin dorms. Pick up and check in went very smoothly and everyone was so welcoming to us. The nervous excitement was definitely growing! We went to a mom and pop restaurant for supper and we had pancakes and cinnamon roll french toast. mmmmmmmm
I got all my stuff set out and my timing chip on my shoe - that was a huge pain. I can't remember the last time I laced shoes. We gave the kids their surprise Team Huegerich shirts. Rachael and the kids were soo excited. I loved the idea we had a big curb crew that was a part of the "team".

I went to bed around 8:15 and slept great...until about 10:30. I shot straight up hearing noise in the hallway. I thought I overslept and everyone was leaving to get to the bus! I looked at my phone and it said 10:30. I was cursing to myself that I slept right through the alarm and completely missed the bus and the start line! I looked at the phone again and it was 10:30 PM. phew! Unfortunately I didn't sleep much after that. :( I think I dozed off a bit, but saw about every 1/2 hour from 12:30 on. I was so wide awake at 2:00AM that got up to go the bathroom. Rachael was awake also, thinking it was time to get up and was starting to get out of bed. I told her she had another 2 hrs before we had to leave. I still didn't sleep, but I suppose the horizontal resting was at least good for me.

My routine GI track was in full swing - ACK! I dug out some garbage bags that we could use to keep dry and warm. The wind chill was 38 - YIKES! I wasn't prepared for cold! I was wishing I brought my tights. Last night I was thinking I would wear my jacket until I got to the start line and then put it in my sweat bag at the last minute. Looking at the forecast at 2 AM however I knew I should probably have a long sleeve shirt. Rachael said she only had a tank and shorts! She didn't pack any cold weather running clothes. uh oh. I dug through my bag and found TWO long sleeve shirts. phew - another hurdle jumped.

We loaded the bus and got to the start line. We had a little warm up jog to the start line and back - about 1/2 mile. My shins felt G.R.E.A.T!! A couple more potty breaks and more walking to keep warm before the crowds started forming. My plan was a 4:15 finish pace, but I was hoping for at least a PR (4:29:02). About 2 minutes before the gun, I heard someone shouting, "GO TEAM HUEGERICH!!" What?! Nobody knows that; who is it? I turned around and saw J there! YEAH! I was so excited. I get so much energy from her and thought maybe she was going to be farther ahead and want to finish around 4 hours. The day just kept getting better and better. :) I knew if we ran with her, we would make at least 4:15.

I never heard the gun, but we crossed the start line at about 3:17 after the gun. I thought that was pretty good. Overall, the run went greeeeeat! About 23 of the 26 miles I ran with a smile on my face, Chrissy Wellington style! If I started to feel tired or like I wanted to stop, I just slapped that smile on my face and my whole body was energized: smile on the outside and you smile on the inside. It was so much fun, yes truly fun. All the little towns along the route had so many spectators that were cheering the entire time. I really felt like a celebrity. The spectators really made the run fun, I just couldn't believe all the cheering along the route!
Running with Rachael has been a great journey and I loved spending so much time with her. We solved lots of tween problems and did some great bonding during all those miles and hours of training.
The first 10-11 miles just flew by. I kept waiting for the half-way mark, but it just sloooowly approached us. When we crossed the mat I looked at Rachael and said, "That was so much fun, let's do it again! We're just getting warmed up!" There were more hills that I imagined, which started to wear on me mentally - keep smiling! Miles 13-18 dragged along. The balloons came by quickly, but yet it seemed forever to get to the next water station.

By mile 20 I could tell Rachael was slowing down and started to look tired. At the 20-mile aid station J kept going as usual and Rachael was slowly getting through the water. We started running again and she said, "This is the farthest I've ever run!" This told me her mental game was waning. J was ahead of us and pulling away. I asked if she wanted to walk. Yes. We walked. I had to go potty for the past 20 miles and we were about 20 min ahead of my plan, on pace for a 4 hr finish, so we ran past a couple portapotties and they were both "green" so I said, "pee and don't wipe - go fast!" We were in and out in about 30 seconds!

I knew we wouldn't catch up to J at this point so we were on our own. That's ok. I was excited to have stayed with J for 20 miles. I was confident we could finish the last 6. I had my cards - notes to think about for each of the last 6 miles. I figured this would give us a distraction and something to think about and talk about. The first one - mile 20 - was reflect on the reasons you started training for a marathon. We talked about that. Each mile we eagerly waited for the next card. We didn't always talk, sometimes we walked, we always kept moving forward!

Mile 22 Lemon Drop Hill. Yep, that was a big one. Bigger than I imagined it. We can do it. There's a top and we're going to reach it! Here we go! OK, my thighs are massive. It should all be downhill from here. We made up THE hill. I imagine J was at least 5-10 minutes ahead of us. We walked a bit and then ran the last few miles. Rachael finally said "It's 415!!" I was confused and she kept repeating it. I finally realized that the 4:15 flag and pacer passed us! ACK! My goal was leaving us! We took off FAST! About mile 23 I looked at Rachael after the card she was not talking and I said, "It's just a quick cemetery loop, to the golf course and home again. Give it all you've got, we won't stop, this is it, this is the end, we can do this!"

I was soooo excited I was almost in tears the last mile. I was also very hungry for the finish line. It seemed like we just kept running and running and turning and no finish line. I knew it was right there. We finally saw it. A few feet before the finish I grabbed Rachael's hand, raised it and said, "Left foot, ready? STOMP!" We finished together: 4:12:22; 9:37 min/mile average pace AWESOME. Completely, 100% awesome! I grabbed her, gave her a big hug - we almost fell over! - and said, "You can stop running now." lol What a proud mama I am!

Total weekly mileage: 32 miles
Total monthly mileage: 79 miles
Total training mileage: 398 miles
Cool factor: off the chart!!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

A week of extremes

Other than snow, I think I ran in about every weather possible this week: wind, rain, heat, cold. We had record heat at the beginning of the week, around 100 degrees. By the end of the week we had lows in the 40s. Overnight the temperatures dropped 30 degrees! One week to the marathon.

Because of the heat, we woke up early Monday and did a quick Ethanol Loop. I stayed out of the heat through Wednesday. Thursday evening, Bill came in the living room with running attire on so I put on my shoes and did 3 miles with him.

Friday night was the Jewell Jubilee 5K race. I ran with the babies. They have not been doing any training at all so I was prepared to walk a lot of it. Earlier this year at the Red Flannel Run a 5K took us almost an hour to complete. This was small town Iowa so I wasn't terribly concerned about them. Rachael and Bill ran ahead, Noelle just ran her pace or with whomever she wanted to talk to, I started running with the babies. After about 1/2 mile, Matt took off running and mostly didn't stop! Later I heard was a pacer for some people. He finished in around 35 minutes. I think I have a new runner in the family! Claire and I finished in about 42 minutes.

Sat was busy so Sunday Rachael and I ran with J. I have been having terrible shin pain so was trying to put off this "big" run. Anytime I run fast I have shin problems. I have been icing them and using Biofreeze. That helps minimally. The best remedy is rest. :( So, today we started slowly and then by the end were really booking along. I felt pretty good so we just kept getting faster and faster. I am hoping by Saturday I will have strong legs and a great run!

Total mileage: 20 miles

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Anxiety & Excitement

This week I consciously only ran 2 runs - 5 miles on Monday and 10 miles on Wednesday. I wanted to have fresh legs and be well-rested for Saturday's Dam to Dam with Rachael.

My shins have still been bothering me, but have also been working on some speed. Wednesday's run began at 4:00 AM! My running partners wanted to run and be back before their spouses had to leave for work. We started with J for 6 miles. The 2-block run to her house was a good warm-up. It was just what I needed to get going. We went rather fast. I seem to have an untapped energy from her. It's great running with her! The miles fly by and the time is short. We met up with another friend and finished 4 miles. It was a FAST run. Love it!

I have not been looking forward to D2D this year. I don't know why, just not excited about it. Anxiety has been setting in for the marathon as well. Can I do it? Will I have a bad running day? Will I be trained enough? Can I keep going the whole time? So much worry.

So, Friday came and I took Rachael to packet pick up. We had a good time and it was just the excitement we needed to get fired up for the run! We were really hoping to break 2 hrs, or at a bare minimum, the 2:06 time from last year. J ended up not being able to run due to tendonitis in her knee. Dang! We'll have to do this ourselves. I also forgot my watch so we won't really know our pace. Double dang!

We lined up at the 9:30 pace. Oh man, there were tons of people there that really should have been behind the 10:00 min pace. I think we passed about 200 people in the first couple miles. I don't think Rachael was having a good run as she wasn't her usual chatty self. She wouldn't stop and wouldn't slow down, however, so we kept going. About mile 5 we caught up to Vardotrichic and hubby. It was nice to see them and meet some friends who will also be running at Grandma's in a couple weeks. We kept trucking along hoping to beat the 2 hour mark. Rachael had to stop so we walked a bit at mile 6. The half-way clock marked 1:02 so I knew a PR was in jeopardy. That's ok. By mile 7 she was back at it and got her second wind so we took off again. She was really going strong and pulling me along at times. At mile 12 water stop I felt "stuck" like I couldn't run anymore. I told myself, just 1/2 mile more! I took off running and we were going like crazy. When we got to the finish line, I continuously scanned the sidelines for my family, but couldn't find them. I looked at the clock as we finished - 2:01!! YEAH. I never thought we would have ever come that close. I really thought our official time would have been 2:10-2:15.

In the end, I dropped 39 seconds off my mile pace and 9 minutes off my time! I am sooo very excited, especially knowing how much we walked.
854   10 JrW  Rachael Huegerich, 12*  58:47  1:57:35    9:28   
855   82 W40  Kimberly Huegerich, 41* 58:47  1:57:35    9:28

Here's a link to Bill's blog that has some of the pictures.

The official pictures came in and I felt like I looked much better in these photos than in the Drake photos. There might be hope for me after all!

Weekly training mileage: 27 miles
WOW factor: priceless

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Chasing the wall

Great stuff going on this week. It was the last week of school. Kids were done and I put in a 12-hr day to not have to go in on Friday! I started the week with a 5-mile run hoping that I would really be able to make all my runs again, or at least the mileage. I am still having an rough start so the 5 mile was work, but an easy, quick run.

J called inviting me to run a couple days this week. Both days I overslept and didn't get out. Darn it! Friday finally came. I overslept a little, but since I didn't have to go in to school I could go whenever. Rachael and I ran 10 miles. It was another good, solid run after I got warmed up. We finished in less than 90 mins.

Saturday I wanted to do 18-20. I was feeling a 20-miler, but if things got tough I would do 18. We did a quick Ethanol Loop, came back and did a mile in town, and then caught up with J and Dede. We did another Ethanol Loop with them and then a couple more miles. We finished with 4 miles west and Bill joined us to complete the 3rd Ethanol Loop of the morning. It was a beautiful morning with a light breeze. I commented to Rachael that with all the wind this year we don't know how to run in a breeze! The humidity was high, but it was a cool breeze to keep us going. The last 3 miles were really hard for some reason. I felt like I could have completed the marathon today, but I really felt myself slowing down. By the time I got to the last 1/2 mile I felt like I was really having to push myself to cross that imaginary finish line. I think I was very near the wall!

One week to Dam to Dam; three weeks to Grandma's. I am so much more prepared this year than last year. I am so excited for the run. I just hope the body is working that day...

Weekly training mileage: 35 miles
Total May mileage: 137 miles

Saturday, May 21, 2011

A little cheating

I did. I finally did it! I ran ALL the miles this week. This is the first time since I started training again that I completed the full week! OK, now for the confession... I was supposed to do a 5, 8, 5, 18 week. With graduation and all the other festivities this week I knew I wouldn't get 3 runs in so I combined two of the days and did 10, 8, 18.

The 10 mile run was good. Rachael and I were a bit achy, but we finished. Lately it has taken me about 7 miles or so to get warmed up and in a running groove. After that I can just run run run. So, I was just getting into it and it was over.
Last week I had battled some quite straining groin pain that made it really difficult to walk. I thought I would do at least 5 miles and see if that would make it flare up again. At 5 miles I was fine so I kept going. I have not been able to recreate that pain all week so I think I'm out of danger on that. Still not sure what that was...

The 8-mile run was a hurry-up run. I had to get home from school, change clothes, run, shower and be ready to head out the door by 5:30! I didn't cool-down properly because I was rushing and my legs really hurt for the next few days. I definitely paid for that one.

J called again and wanted to do 16 miles with us on Saturday. We were doing 18 so it worked out well. She wore her phone that tracks her miles, tells her how far she ran and average running pace. Below are the mile splits. Yep, definitely took a bit to get warmed up! It's fun to see how our pace picked up, especially at the end. We had rain, medium wind (10-15 mph) from the SSE. The first few miles were in town and the last mile was in town, but the others were out on the highway. I'm not sure what happened on mile 6. It could have started raining on us again. It was a nice rain this morning; it felt like I was running in a fan mister. Great morning!

Here are our splits -
1 - 10:13
2 - 10:03
3 - 9.54
4 - 9:51
5 - 9:51
6 - 10:04
7 - 9:59
8 - 9:53
9 - 9:55
10 - 9:58
11 - 9:30
12 - 9:31
13 - 9:35
14 - 9:37
15 - 9:36
16 - 9:34

Weekly training mileage: 36 miles

Saturday, May 14, 2011

New Pain

I didn't run so much last week so I really needed to get out pounding the pavement this week. I had to get back on the training schedule. My goal was a minimum of 30 miles. I only missed one training run so it was a good week. I ran 5, 9, 20 miles this week. YEAH!

After school Monday Rachael and I did a quick Ethanol Loop. It seemed to be a bit hard, but it was a good run to recover from Saturday's run.

Tuesday was so very hot and I took a personal day Wednesday so I waited until early Wednesday morning to run. J called asking if I wanted to run in the morning so I would get up early and go out. She was going to run 9 miles so that was perfect! I thought, what's another mile this week? I couldn't get Rachael out of bed, but figured she needed the rest so I let her sleep. We met up with a couple running buddies so we started as a group of 4. After 4 miles, one person left the group as we sped up a bit. I ran on grass for the first time since I've been training. I think I'll stick to the gripping pavement. However, running through the sprinklers on the golf course was a welcome surprise in the heat and humidity. lol I started feeling rough, but finished 9 miles at an average 9:35 pace. That felt great to be able to cut 25 seconds/mile off my time, at least for one run. They remaining two finished one more mile at sub 9 minutes.

I didn't get the last short run in due to schedule and then thought it would be too close to the big run and I really wanted to get one more 20 miler in before the marathon. Only 34 more days until the start gun! So I opted out of the shorter 5 mile run.

Saturday morning came and I knew it would be about 3 1/2 hr run so I got up at 4:00 because we had a busy schedule today. We were out the door within 30 minutes and it was about 40 degrees cooler. J called and said she wanted to go out in 1/2 hr!! Dang we didn't get the start time we wanted and were running late. I wanted to do an Ethanol Loop before picking her up. We did about 3 miles and came back for her. She wanted to do 10 miles with us so that went really fast! It took me about 9-10 miles to get in a groove and my legs felt like lead. I just couldn't get it going the first half. Finally I settled into a groove and I was off! The longer I ran, the better I felt. After 13 we stopped back to refill beverages. We finished the 20 miles and it felt great.

About 2 hrs after the run I got a nasty groin pain. It was a shooting, sharp pain under the scar where I had a hernia when I was about 5 years old. I usually get pain in my outside hip; I'm guessing it's IT Band. Today it was like the pain had shifted to my groin. Hope I didn't pull something. I feel like I can go up/down stairs just fine, but after about the first 3-4 steps, there's a pain that about makes me crumble to my knees. Good news: I didn't have much shin pain this week. Yeah!

I am still battling the scale, too. I got the pictures from Drake and was discouraged by what I saw! I knew the Battle of the Bulge was on, but woah! I look awful. My legs are really huge and the waistline is robust and I need to do something. I wonder how I can run long distances and eat lots of fruits and vegetables, and yet still not lose weight. I know the math of burn calories > consuming calories = weight loss, but this is crazy. My speed is increasing and my distance is increasing, but the pounds and inches are not decreasing. Stress and hectic schedules just might be winning this battle. :(

Weekly training mileage: 34 miles

Monday, May 9, 2011

Triumphant Break

This week was the end of the track season. Rachael had 3 track meets and a concert this week. Needless to say, training took a backseat. She finished up with a bang, however: Conference Champ in the 4x800 and the 1500. I think the speed work during the track season has been good for her. I didn't push her much during the week, but we did get all our long runs in on the weekends.

This week I only got in the 18 mile long run on Saturday. She was hurting a bit so we decided not to go the extra 2 miles to complete 20 miles. It was a good run. We ran an Ethanol Loop, met up with J for 9 miles, and then finished 4 miles in town. We were strong the whole way, making about 9:40 average mile. We finished the 18 miles in about 2:47. We felt good about that.

We also tried some shotbloks for the first time. They were good, but I can't see storing them compared to the gels. Also it's hard to chew something when you're exhausted and trying to breathe. I am also wondering about them melting in the heat this summer before you get a chance to eat them.

Weekly mileage: 18 miles
Goal: 30+ miles next week!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Drake Half

Last week I didn't run at all. :( I was rather sore and achy from the long run and then I was insanely busy again. I am anticipating this coming week to be very busy as well. My schedule is really starting to interfere with my training, darn it.

This past week wasn't awful. I was able to get a 10-mile run in on Tuesday with Rachael. I was even getting some good sleep through the week. The last couples days were not good, however, so I chose to sleep rather than run. This is probably one factor contributing to my fight with the scale this time around.

This week finished up with Drake Relays and the half marathon. It was a great run! I did this one last year with J and this year with Rachael. Last year I really really struggled with it and the hills really got to me. I hit the wall about mile 11.5 and just couldn't go anymore, but finished it running! This year I was smarter and had more experience so it went so much better. My goal was 2:05:xx We averaged a 9:21 pace and finished at 2:02:37. We had a strong finish and ran well. The body worked that day. :) Rachael finished 4th in her age group. I was one proud mama!

Today, Sunday, J contacted me after her 16 mile run and wanted to do a brick for her duathlon training. She came over when I was mowing and wanted me to run with her. She did a quick 10-15 min ride and then was ready for the run. We did 3 miles and then I did another 3 on my own after that.

Weekly training mileage: 19 miles
April mileage: 99 miles

Monday, April 18, 2011

I am a Marathoner!

This was an exciting, stressful, and busy week. I only got in one regular 8-mile weekday run. I was hoping to get another 5-10 miles, but it just didn't happen. I averaged about 4 hrs sleep each night. I figured sleep was more important than running this week.

The week ended with an awesome 20-mile run to Stanhope and back. This was the first time I had ever done this. I always had a fear that I wouldn't make it, or have a bad running day, or something would happen and I would be stuck out in the middle of nowhere. Rachael had a great run, too, so it was nice to not have to worry about motivating her while I was "working" hard on my own. So, this was a great run on many levels.

We arranged to have Bill meet us in Stanhope and refill our fluids. Good thing because I was really hot and thirsty when we got there. It was a good time to refill and have a brief break. The babies got to play at the park, too. :) We had 3 gels on the run so that was good practice. Rachael is finally starting to tolerate them. yeah!

OK, now for the negatives - I have been getting a tightness in my chest around mile 11-13. This is worrysome, but not enough to stop running. When I got home, I had some really nasty blisters on my toes. I think I'll take a break for a few days.

I have been battling the scale this year as well. :( This week I feel like I finally am starting to conquer the scale. Well, ok the waistline. Looks like I need nearly 30 mile weeks to make all this happen. That's the magic number.

Total weekly training mileage: 28
9 weeks to the startline

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Going down

I had a really rough week running. School has been quite stressful and I haven't been taking care of myself. I feel like I am strong and full of energy, but can't get through the fatigue on a run.
Rachael and I were scheduled to do our first 18 mile run last weekend. There were wind advisories and it was crazy 24+mph winds from the ESE. We started out on the Puppy Loop and did 2 mile west and then back home for 9 miles. I was so exhausted and whipped like someone ran over me with a truck. I just gave up. I have never given up on a run. I always finish my run! I was so mentally defeated I just couldn't go. I came home, sat on the couch and relaxed with a glass of wine. Rachael finished the last 9 miles. I was proud of her.

Monday I went out to try it again. I had to go at least 10 miles to regain my confidence. I did a 5-mile Puppy Loop and then Bill joined me on a 5-mile Ethanol Loop. That was exactly what I needed! I feel like I can keep going through this marathon training now. It was still windy, but I finished strong!

I had another 9 mile run later in the week to finish the week. I also have tried to incorporate some hip strengthening and glute strengthening this week.

I think I am messed up with my blog because I swear I was blogging Sunday to Saturday, finishing the post on my long run. So, I am posting yesterday's big run here too so it may seem like a long week of mileage.

There were thunderstorms and tornados forecast for this weekend so I wasn't sure how it would go. Like I said I also haven't been taking care of myself and very stressed. This is reaching an all-time high the past couple weeks so I am truly pushing my physical, emotional, and mental limits of this training. Again, there were wind advisories with 20+mph wind gusts. I ran to Ellsworth and back for 8 miles and then I thought if I did the south and north loop that would be the last 10 miles. By the time I got back to town I was quite beat. I did an extra mile in town for 9 miles and then stopped at home for a refill of fluids. Bill finished the last 9 miles with me. I about another 2-3 miles and had to stop. I was just so exhausted, but I. was. going. to. finish. this. run!! We walked a lot and I was getting some pain in my chest, but I'm sure it was just anxiety, stress, and fatigue setting in. I did finish the 18 miles, but wished I was able to run the whole thing. I still haven't run a complete 18 miles. That is really getting me down and I feel like I am spiraling downward and won't be able to do Grandma's this summer. I need to get out of my slump. I am hoping for calmer weather to give me a boost of confidence this next week.

Weekly training mileage: 42 miles
Here's to trying again this week...

Friday, April 1, 2011


We were scheduled to run 16 miles on Saturday. Bill was on call so he couldn't be far from home, but wanted to do at least 8 miles. Rachael and I started out and he met us in Ellsworth so he wouldn't be more than 20 min away from the pager. This was all a great idea, until we got outside. I knew the wind was blowing, but wow that was crazy wind. We got to Ellsworth, turned around and it was at our back - great! We got our strength back and went for the return to trip. I knew it would strong, but again we were not prepared for what we encountered...25+mph winds! On the hill just outside Jewell, I had to stop because I just couldn't make it up the hill. About 50 feet before the top I was spent. This was perhaps one of the hardest runs I have ever done, but we did finish all 16 miles. That felt great...after I iced my shins. :)

Monday Rachael started track. She obviously is a distance runner so I will not be pushing her so much during the week. I'll wait and see how this first week goes.
Tuesday I did a 5 mile Ethanol Loop solo. I wasn't going to do the loop, but I started running and I just kept going. It was a great run. I finished in about 45 min so it was a smidge faster than 10min/mi.

Rachael and "easy" week and she had been running "extra" after practice, consisting of another mile or so. So, Thursday I took Rachael on an 8 mile run. We had fun chatting and running together again. I was so glad she had a good run. She told me that she was encouraging to the other track girls. Many don't like to run, but she wanted to let them know what a great job they were doing. Glad to see her taking on this leadership role!

Although I'm still having shin pain at the beginning of each run, within a mile or so it starts to improve and I have a good run.When I added up the mileage for the week I realized how close I was to 30 and started kicking myself for not going another mile just to make the round number. It was still a successful week of running.

Total weekly training mileage: 29 miles
March total mileage: 82 miles

Saturday, March 26, 2011

A New Role

This week commenced with a 14 mile run and picked up a dog...again. Bill had stayed up most of the night with his job so he stayed in bed and didn't join us. It was extremely cold and windy, straight out of the north. We did an extended Ethanol Loop with an extra mile west and an extra 3 miles north. Rachael was having yet another bad run. Later that day Bill wanted to get out for 8 miles so I took the bike out and road alongside him. The winds were sooo strong I didn't think I could do it. It was a lot of work to keep the bike moving forward, especially going north back into town. My thighs were really getting a workout, not to mention I was on Rachael's bike with low tires and a bad seat.

I have found myself catapulted into the role of not only parent, but also mentor and coach. Rachael has had some really difficult runs lately that she just wants to quit. I find myself encouraging her and giving her strategies to use during the runs to feel better and get through the mental game of the endurance. This becomes challenging for me as a parent because I see her hurting and wanting more than anything to stop. I question her about her pain to be sure she isn't getting an injury rather than just endurance pain from the long run. She always feels awesome at the end of the runs and can get herself together again for the last half or so of the run. Side aches have been her biggest physical obstacle.

Her mental obstacles are the normal ones that the book is helping her get through and reinforced with what I have been telling her. She has reached the point where she is in awe over how far she can really run and I think that keeps her going. She is so proud at the end of the run to say, "I ran FOURTEEN miles today!" She even mentioned toward the beginning of the run that she is only 4 miles from her longest training run. This is exciting to her!

During the week I completed another 4 and 7 miles. Rachael ran with me for the 4 miles, but school work got her too busy to do the last run. I always told her that school comes first! My shins have really been getting to me lately so I start out going really slow and then get into my "groove" to complete it. I always figure if I can't get my groove and am hurting too much, I'll just stop and take a few days off. So far, I have been able to keep my minimum 2 weekly runs and the long weekend run. That was my goal from the start so I'm feeling pretty good about that. My other goal was not to drug myself before a run. I only did this once because I was getting a nasty cold and didn't want to come home with a snotty shirt. I also had a nasty headache so took some Tylenol for that. The 7 mile run I actually thought I had 8 miles, as originally planned, but when I mapped it out, it was only 7. Dang! Oh well, it was probably better in the end.

I mapped out the calendar through the marathon the other day. It's a week later than I originally thought it would be and I intentionally started earlier in case I had to take some time off. Our training will be "done", including the taper, and we'll have about a month left before the marathon. I'm thinking about doing a couple 20 mile runs. Seems like I was mentally devastated when I reached 18 miles. I crossed that line in the road and mentally shut down. I knew that was the longest I had ever run and I still had about 50% more to complete. Last summer I ran a 20 mile run a week before I got hurt and somehow being able to get into the 20s was a big mental jump for me. So, even if Rachael doesn't go that far, I may do it anyway just for the mental hurdle.

This week we watched "The Long Green Line". Vardotrichic, this is another good, inspirational movie to watch!

Total weekly training mileage: 25 miles + 8 miles cross training :)

Friday, March 18, 2011

Spirit of the Marathon

The train is moving again. We did 13 miles last Sunday and then a 6 mile and a 4 mile run. I feel like I am finally moving forward with training and not being stalled out because of pain or injury.

The big run was in strong winds (15-20 mph) and cold with wind chills in the single digits. Rachael really wanted to give up, but I got her to plow through it. She was glad she finished her run. As Vardotrichic says, "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger!" We did the puppy loop first with Bill, dropped him off, ran the Ethanol loop, and then finished 3 miles in town. Bill drove some mittens out to us on the Ethanol loop because we didn't realize how cold it was out there. Our fingers were going numb! The headwinds going north made our eyes water and our face freeze. I felt great all the way, other than really having to push into the headwinds.

The medium and short runs went ok. I never seem to enjoy the shorter, mid-week runs like I do the longer ones. I just get warmed up and have to quit. My shin bone ached a bit after the short run this week so when I got home I iced them and had a good day. I didn't feel too achy through the day so that was good.

This afternoon Rachael and I watched, "The Spirit of the Marathon". It is such a great movie to get some inspiration and end our Spring Break.

Total weekly training mileage: 23 miles

Saturday, March 12, 2011

On the road again

Monday I went to the doctor for weird bumps on my foot. They didn't hurt, were hard like bone, but didn't match the other foot. This one even looked very slightly bruised just under the skin for a few days, too. I had never noticed them before this past week. Once he looked at my foot he said I had a hyperextended foot bone, probably caused from childbirth. Hmm, ok, well I have had a few babies. I am glad there is nothing wrong with my foot, however!

After the doctor appt I took Rachael on an Ethanol Loop. It felt great! There was no pain, lots of energy, and great conversation. :) After talking to J this week, she sent me her schedule and we ran a couple mornings. Thursday I got up at 4:00 and we ran another 5 miles. Friday I got up at 4:30 and we ran 4 miles. It was a great week! My calf muscles are killing me and the foam roller doesn't seem to be working out the hard, achy areas. I'm going to try to run a bigger run with Rachael in the morning. Overall I do feel strong.

Total weekly mileage: 14 miles

Friday, March 4, 2011

2-week hiatus

Well, I haven't run 2 full weeks now. I am going to the doctor on Monday to see what's happening. :(
15 weeks to the start gun...

Total mileage for February = 42 miles

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Depressing Week

This was not a good week. :( How could I have the best week backed up by the worst week ever? I started with the long run this week and it was perhaps the second worst run I have ever had! We went 12 miles and it was about 9 miles of misery. I just couldn't shake the pain and difficulties. There were 17 mph winds, but the temps were ideal. I thought the winds were getting me down so I kept plowing through the run. It took 4 days before I could walk without feeling achy in my shins. The week got extremely busy and I didn't get a chance to run again until Friday (7 days out). I did a little jog for a few feet and realized I wasn't ready to run yet. Sat I woke up and went to an event for Rachael and ran from the van to the building and I really think my shins are are on the leading edge of a stress fracture. I am really getting down and feeling like I can't do the marathon. I am still thinking "bones of steel", but my belief in that statement is waining quickly. I just keep thinking if I rest a few more days I can get back at it again. However I also can't afford to take 2 weeks off after every long run.

Training mileage: 12 miles

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Six-months out

Wow, what a great week I've had! Saturday commenced the Red Flannel Run. It was so much fun to run the 3miler with the babies and Noelle. Bill and Rachael ran the 5 miler. We all finished within 5 minutes of each other. It was a most beautiful day! It started off a little chilly, but then warmed up to the mid 30s. I couldn't believe how many people were shirtless and wearing shorts. eeeks, too chilly for that. That was my first 3 miles of the week.

Monday night I got home and ran 10 miles. This was a big run for me. It's the longest run I've done since my injury exactly 6 months ago. This was a mental hurdle that I have jumped. Up to this point I was unsure if I would be able to do this marathon. The completion of this run gave me the confidence I needed to keep pushing forward. I set out to do at least 9 miles and if I felt good I was going to keep going through 10. There was something about 10 that seemed appealing.
It was not my easiest run ever, but it was good. I had no ipod, no running partner, no drugs. It was just me and the road. I did it! I just kept repeating, "Bones of steal bones of steal bones of steal", especially when I was starting to feel achy. I was getting really tired the last half of the run and I probably should have stopped at least a mile sooner, but just kept going. I thought I would pay for it later this week, but everything seemed to go well. I was stiff and achy, but no bone pain like I had the past few weeks. I never thought I would be running 10 miles at 6 months.

Rachael wanted to keep up her mileage as well to the day after I ran my 10 miles, she wanted to run her 10 miles for the week. So, she ran and I rode her bike. ugh. UGH! My butt is sooo sore. Even 2 days later I am still achy on the back side. That bike definitely doesn't fit me. I figure it was good cross training for me though.

This week ended with a "quick" 5 miler. There was about a 15-20mph wind from the W/NW, but I was determined to go out and complete the run no matter what. I really thought it was going to be raining. The weather was so beautiful today that I wore shorts and a tank top. At the end of the run, Rachael had to pee sooo badly she said, "We better either speed up or stop at the library or something." We all but sprinted the last 1/2-3/4 mile. It was great. I didn't wear my watch, but I'm guessing we finished 5 miles in about 43 min.

I have a new approach to running. Last year I would medicate myself, especially before long runs --> 1 Sudafed and 2-3 Tylenol. This year I have yet to take anything. I discovered I can run through anything and that resulted in injury. So, this year I'm not doing that so that I can feel my pain and stop sooner if I need to. This is another reason I really wanted to finish my 10 mile run.

Total weekly mileage: 19

Friday, February 11, 2011

End of a busy week

I made it through this crazy busy week, now for a crazy weekend. Tomorrow is Red Flannel Run so I'm looking forward to that.

Reflecting on this week, I did 4 miles on Saturday and then continued to lay low again for awhile. The frigid temps pushed me to the basement on Tuesday night for another 4 mile run and then Friday finished with a 5 mile Ethanol Loop. The mid week run was great but I was a little sore after. By Friday, I was by myself outside - yeah!! The start was a little rocky, but it was overall a great run. I missed having anyone with me. I couldn't find my ipod to listen to music so I was truly alone. It was good to have just me and the road; it was a good time to reflect and let my mind wander. I was either burning off some steam from the week or totally lost in the run as I averaged between 9:00 and 9:30 on the mileage. That was a good feeling at the end. When I got home I sat down for a bit and iced my shins. They didn't hurt and weren't achy, but I thought that would help.

While I didn't reach my training plan of 3-5-3-9, I still feel like it was a successful training week. I was able to get in 3 medium runs and felt great afterwards. I think my shin bone is getting better. I may still do a 9 miler on Sunday. We'll see. I just kept thinking "bones of steel" today on the run. Positive thinking is a powerful thing.

When I was adding up my mileage on the way back into town, I thought about going an extra mile just so it wouldn't be so unlucky. :)
Total training mileage for the week: 13 miles

Sunday, February 6, 2011

A week of rest

Well, I didn't go into this week intending to rest, but I think it's for the best. My shins have been really sore, a sign of overuse. I thought a week off would do them good. By Saturday I was feeling a lot better so I took Rachael and Bill on a 4-mile run. I could feel it by the end of the run, but it was still a good run. My muscular and cardiovascular systems feel like I could run a marathon now, but my skeletal system is speaking otherwise. My fear is another injury so I'm still laying low. I started 4-6 weeks earlier than I did last year for almost the same date marathon. I figured this would give me time to take a break if I needed it. If something happened I could take a week or two off and still not lose on the training schedule. Next week the plan is 3-5-3-9. We'll see how much I really get done; it's a crazy busy week!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

You're outta here - with a new marathoner!

What a beautiful week for running! I did all my runs OUTSIDE this week! YEAH! It was great. We even took the WHOLE family out on a run. The schedule was and I went out running four days. Yes, that's right four days. I didn't complete every run, but I was out four days this week...all outside!

My shin has been a little achy , but after a little into the run it seems to relax and be ok. After the advice of Vardotrichic, I have not been doing faster spurts in each run. My long run was just a normal 10 min/mile rate. Because of the achiness in my shin bone, I have been taking it easy. Haven't been icing or anything like that, just taking it easy.

OK, so I ran 4 days, but didn't complete all the runs. Let me explain. We still need to register for the Red Flannel Run, but we are preparing nonetheless. We took Noelle and the "babies" out for a run. We did 1 mile. They all ran about 1/2 mile before we had to stop and walk. They only walked about 1/2 block and then wanted to run again. I let them determine when they were running and when they were walking. If we walk the whole time during the run, that's fine, but I will let them set that. It was fun and Matt has been asking to go running again.

Rachael and I did the "long" 8-mile run today. She was kinda dragging her feet to go out. She decided this week that she may want to do a marathon so I urged her to go out with me. Bill came along for the first few miles and then broke off and went home. Rachael and I continued. We did lots of talking and she got excited for the marathon. I think we'll sign up this week for Grandma's. That will be fun to take her along and run a marathon together. Grandma's should be a good one for her to do. She is sooo excited. Eight miles is her record so far. She was dragging to go out because her 7 mile run was a little hard for her. By the time we were done she felt so great that she said she could have kept going. Bill even took a picture of her for his photo-a-day project when we were done!.

When we got home, I looked at my shoes to see the wear on them. Dang! I see that the outside heel is wearing. I have been very conscious of running more on my toes. However, when I start getting tired or lose focus, I find myself running on, what feels like, the outside of my foot and roll to the toes. It's not that I think I need supported shoes, but frustrated that I have tried to change my running style to be more effective/efficient and I'm still getting similar wear patterns on my shoes.

Total training mileage for the week: 16 miles = January total 56 miles

Sunday, January 23, 2011

A chilly week

This week was veeeerrrrrryyyyy chilly. Wind chills were consistently in the negative temps. The initial motivation to get out and start a run was really hard! I spent every run on the dreadmill. My schedule was 3-4-3-7. I repeated last week's schedule. Again, I missed the second 3 miler. I think I may just have to settle for 3 runs/week rather than 4. I will still feel like I am training and getting somewhere if I get at least 3 runs in, including the long run. I still feel very strong and full of energy with each run.

Monday's run was a quick 3 miles. I watched an episode of something online and that is great to get me through the treadmill. I ran 4 miles on Friday night, knowing that a Saturday run would probably be out of the question with our family schedule and the biter cold. If I ran Sunday afternoon (chance of warmer temps) outside, that would boost my motivation. Sunday I really really wanted to run outside, but the wind chills never got above -5. I just can't do that. That's my limit. OK, maybe I can if I talk myself into it, but I see no reason to.

All week since I am running on my own (not with Rachael or Bill) I can run any speed. So, I looked at the mileage go by and for each mile that I ran at 6mph, I ran 1/4 mile at 7mph. It was great. I have not been doing the cross training, but the speed work I love! I really like how my muscles are starting to take shape. The muscle on/next to the Achilles Tendon is really getting in good shape, perhaps the best it's ever been! I am very excited about this, hoping that this will make hill work easier for me later when I start to incorporate more inclines. It's also a good sign that my ankle is in good shape, too. This is still in the back of my mind as I run. So, anyway, tonight for the last run of the week I had 7 miles, 1.5 miles at 7mph. The first two miles just flew by that I completely missed them. I feel so strong and full of energy that I felt like I could have run another 3 miles. The last 7mph spurt was a little difficult, but it felt great.

We decided that we would enter the Red Flannel Run this year as a family so we have been looking for red flannel at Goodwill, clearance racks, etc. Everyone is getting excited for this. So glad the fam is getting into this, too. I'm sure Rachael and Bill will complete the quicker, longer 5 mile run.

Training mileage for the week: 14 miles

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Convenient Excuses

Well, I didn't do too well this week. It was a looooong exhausting week. One of my New Years' Resolution is to be in bed by 10:00. I haven't been doing terribly well with that either and I think I'm coming down with a cold. OK enough complaining! I mention this only because I didn't get all my runs in this week. It was getting late and I was nearing my 10:00 deadline. My ankle has been achy so I thought I would take it easy and not push it until I can get over 10 miles for one run. Being tired and having an achy heel was a convenient excuse for me this week. It was also rather cold out! Monday we got a bunch of snow so I shoveled out the driveway by hand. That was good arm work for me.

My schedule was 3, 4, 3, 6. I got the 4 mile run in, but missed the two 3 mile runs. I also finished the 6 mile run with Rachael since Bill has had a respiratory yuck. It has been bitter cold out so I ran the 4 miles on the treadmill. Today completed the 6 miles. Rachael didn't want to go around the Ethanol Loop so we just ran laps in town. I didn't know exactly how far we went, but I'm guessing it was about 6 miles.

Again, both runs were great once I got out there. I feel strong, like I could keep going forever, but have to consciously keep myself back. I think I am gaining speed, too. I am not super fast, but I think I am faster than I was last year. I have consciously been doing spurts of faster running in the middle of a run. On the 4 mile run, I sped up during the commercials and then ran at least a min longer. On the "big" run today I ran faster the last mile and pushed a sprint the last block. The problem with the run today was it was outside and the streets were full of snow and slush so it was like running through soupy sand; it was just hard to get a grip on the road. That made a good workout.

When I got done today I took my hat off and there were icicles hanging from my hair! I think it was cold out there. My gatorade was also getting slushy.

Total mileage this week: 11

Sunday, January 9, 2011

New Beginnings

Well, I thought I would create a new blog for my runs this year. I liked my chiconarun blog from last year, but needed to separate it from new goals. Mainly I want to improve my PRs and get more streamlined and effective in my form. I got a stress fracture the first day back to school last year and that took a mental toll on me. Since I am starting over with training anyway, I thought it would be best to start a new blog, too - fresh start all around.

This year I will blog weekly rather than daily. This may help free up some of my time as well for other resolutions I have. I am not completely sure which marathon(s) I will do, but late spring/early summer will be the first one. So, here are my thoughts on this week's training sessions.

My year started my training from pretty much ground zero, but it was great to get started in a training program again. Right before I got injured last year I had tried to change my form, but not my mileage, resulting in a stress fracture. Sometimes I can still feel some achiness a bit, but the dr assures me these type of injuries come back stronger than they were before. Starting over has forced me to slow down and do it right. Runner's World published an article on the Hanson-Brooks training program. I was very inspired by that and want to incorporate, at least some, of the ideas into my training as well. I am trying to increase speed and strength. I think my membership to Fuller Hall for swimming will be a good cross-training and will help the core and strength as well.

My mileage was 3-3-4-5 this week. It was supposed to be 3-4-3-5, but I messed up so I switched them when I realized I wasn't running the correct mileage this week. All my runs were GREAT! I think I am just so excited to be out pounding the pavement again. I got up at 5AM one day and ran 3 miles with J. It was good to be back running with her again. I miss that. This year Bill and Rachael are running with me so they are pushing the limits of themselves. There are some issues arising with that, however. I want to vary my speed as per the Hanson-Brooks Method, but they just want to go run for 30 min. I have been trying to start out slowly and towards the end speed up for a few blocks, then push it as hard as I can the last block to the "finish line". It is amazing how fast Rachael can really run at the end of a 4-5 mile run. Bill has also been messing with various running clothes because he has issues running in really cold temps, which has been another challenge this week. Temps have been in the 10s at the end of this week and into the weekend, wind chills in the 0s and -0s. I don't think the wind chill got over 0 yesterday! I did my long run Sunday morning on the "dreadmill" because the wind chill was -14! I'd like to think I can take a lot, but that just seems extreme, especially if I will never compete in those conditions.

The injury and lack of running has allowed *ahem* a few pounds to sneak back on. I am happy to be back to my pre-Christmas weight, but am still waiting for the post-marathon shape to come back. I know it will, I just have to keep working at it. I am excited that I don't have the strong chocolate cravings like I do when I'm not running. My appetite has changed to compliment the scale also. It will all fall into place in a few weeks I'm sure. I also liked how my complexion was better, I felt better mentally and physically, I know my physical body was in much better shape than it ever had been! I finished my week with my 41st birthday. I can honestly say that I feel better at 41 than 31, or do I dare say 21?! It has truly been a great year and I am really looking forward to this year.

Total week's training: 15 miles.