a lot of miles, a lot of thoughts…

Archive for September, 2013

26… So we’ve finally hit marathon distance!

Wow, can’t believe it’s finally here! Marathon mileage!!! Whoo hoo! Yeah, that’s enough of that. 😉

Since I tortured my mill yesterday I’d thought I’d hit the streets today. Great idea, just pushed too hard on the first run.

I chose another new route that I had just recently discovered. I was going to do at least 6 or 7 miles, well that was the plan anyway. My right knee and right quad have been acting up. Apparently they think they’ve run enough this month and want a break. Unfortunately I can’t run with just one leg so I gotta drag the right one with me. I’m sure I look like something is wrong with me when I’m running. Most would think I have a sore leg, reality is I’m just crazy and I don’t have a stop button. Anyway…
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The first run was actually going pretty well until I started hitting multiple stoplights in a row and top that off with a long steep hill. That’s pretty much a leg-stopper there. I got to 8.57 miles and my right leg convinced my left leg that we were done running. And just like that I was limping along through the Von’s parking lot and then up most of the Avocado hill. If you saw me walking, just know that my mind was running, my legs just weren’t cooperating!

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I ran with the high school or at least tried too! My legs were heavy but we ran a 5 miler!

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I missed the beginning of the Cheetah’s workout so I did the cool down with them.

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And I was trying to avoid the mill. It was sort of still light out when I got home so I did my quick 3 mile route.

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But I ended up on the mill. He wasn’t too mad. 😉 But by this time my feet were so sore that I changed shoes 3 times and socks twice!

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Oh well, day 26… Done.

Ever heard a treadmill groan?

My treadmill and I have a love-hate relationship. I love him cuz he’s always there and I hate him cuz he’s sometimes too boring. It goes the other way too. He loves me cuz I need him but he hates me when I abuse him.

After the 1000 mile challenge that I did last year, I know the poor thing needed a break from me. There were many days that he was abused and even one day that he refused to work! But after several months of sitting neglected in the back room I think he welcomed me when September arrived. I knew I would need to rely on him a bunch and hopefully he’d be willing to hang in there.

At first, he was happy to see me. A couple of quick runs. Nothing fancy and nothing brutal. But then the frequency I was showing up became somewhat of a nuisance to him. He’d be like “weren’t you just here?” “How long you gonna run this time?” And some days I’d turn him on 3 or 4 times. I could tell he was rolling his eyes at me.

But day 25? He wasn’t in the mood for my shenanigans. He saw me coming and he folded his arms and glared at me. I said “look, it’s day 25. I’m behind in my work. I’m gonna need you today. Like ALL day!”

I turned him on for the first run… And every so often, I’d stop, go in the other room only to return about an hour later. Start him up and run a little more. I literally did this ALL day long. The last time I turned him on I KNOW he let out a groan! And maybe a few choice words! 🙂

But, we powered through and finished day 25 like RockStars! Love me some mill!

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24 days of constant running…

And I don’t mean just running every day but literally running ALL the time! (Or so it seems.)

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I started the day with a great run outside. It was early, I was feeling good. I took a route that I had just recently run. A little hilly, yes, but very few stoplights! As I came over the freeway I was thinking “who would have thought that I’d ever run over a freeway? Or up a hill? Or even run period?” I’m still amazed at how much I grow with each decision to try something different and push myself a little farther.

Anyway I took a wrong turn (I know, imagine that!) and as I rounded the corner I look up and there is one gnarly hill! Where did THAT come from?!? I mean, that hill was not part of the gameplan. Ugh! But up it I went. Beautiful views as the sun was rising. Never so happy to see my street, tho!

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Second run was a quickie on the treadmill. Although, I don’t really have “quickies” any more. My pace is downright turtlish. Which is another funny thing. But I’ll get back to that later.

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Runs 3 and 4, both on the mill. Just trying to get it done. My goal was to have only 4 miles left so I could finish with Team RockStar. Every once in a while the plan works!

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So excited to run the Secret Stairs with Team RockStar! These people are one of my rocks. Always uplifting, always glad to see me and always ready to try whatever crazy thing I put out there. I was so glad to see them and so glad to finish the day with them.

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As we were heading up Cinnabar (a monstrous hill) we were talking about pace – this is where we get back to the turtle comment. One of the RockStars said that “if you’re running a 10 minute pace, in most circles, that’s fast.” And on good runs lately, that’s my pace. It’s slower than my old average but apparently, or maybe she’s just trying to make me feel good, I’m still fast. Regardless, she lifted my spirits and I long for those 10 minute miles.

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Day 24. 24 miles…

Day 23… can she make it?

As I said before if there are one or two good days be prepared for a gnarly day ahead. And, although not feet-stopping, day 23 proved to be a challenge.

I started on the treadmill. I think that poor thing might quit on me.

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Did a little work and headed back to the treadmill. When my legs are sore I tend to rehab on the mill.

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And then it was time to hit the mean streets! Headed to XC practice with the high school.

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They are definitely improving. And, well, I’m slowly crashing and burning. 🙂 Walked pretty much the last mile. The head coach gave his bike to one of our runners who is dealing with shin splints. I felt like the coach wasn’t quite up for a run. LOL!

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And then to the Cheetah’s practice. This is where it all fell apart!

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I just needed to go a few miles, about 4. But my legs just wouldn’t go. Everything from my hips down is sore. My quads, hammies, knees, calves, ankles, top of my right foot, middle toe on my left foot. My legs are thrashed! Seriously hating me!

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It gets dark after the Cheetah’s run. See the lights at the track?

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I started walking and after a bit I could run the straights. Then I could run a straight and a curve. Longest four miles ever!

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No matter how bad it was, the day was done and the 23 miles were ran. Only a week left.

Day 22, like a box of chocolates…

September 22 was just a few days ago but it seems almost like a lifetime.

Thankfully I can remember it with video and pics. I hope you take the time to watch, look and enjoy.

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My driveway… where I usually start and most definitely end. 🙂

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2nd run on the treadmill.

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Before the third run.

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Lake Murray.

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And the final treadmill run.

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Day 22, quite the success! This is a crazy challenge. So many ups and downs. Usually when there is a day or two of ups then there’s a gnarly day ahead. And, if there’s a horrible day then a spectacular one is just around the corner. Kind of like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re going to get!

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Running along the beach…

I didn’t get home from the football game until after 1 am Saturday morning. I knew I would be tired in the morning and I had another long day ahead of me. But, as with every run, I learn something about myself and Saturday proved to be no different.

When the alarm first started going off, I was tired, my legs were tired, my body was tired.

I rolled out of bed, slipped into some running gear, pulled my hair back and headed to the mill…

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Seriously, I was barely awake. Bags under my eyes. Legs wishing they were still under the covers.

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I ran just enough to get the blood pumping. And, a little bit of a smile.

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And then I headed to the beach where the Cheetahs were going to practice. I’m not a real beach-goer. I don’t like to be wet, cold or dirty and most times a day at the beach leaves me wet, cold and sandy. Blech.

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We were going to run along the shoreline, out to the pier and back. We would be running in the sand, hopping over seaweed, juking from the incoming waves and maneuvering around surfers, body boarders and fisherman. It was quite the run! I was concerned about my ankles but I ran on the wet sand that was more hard than soft and I found myself listening to the waves crashing, the birds chirping and the laughter of the kids playing in the surf. It was quite the run.

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I’m so very blessed to be able to run where I do…

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I ran the first four miles of the run along the shore and the last 3 miles along the boardwalk. It was a great Saturday morning run. A beautiful change of scenery and literally a breath of fresh air!

And then I headed back home. Had something to eat and you guessed it, back to the mill. 🙂

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We needed to head out to Coronado Island. Cj’s football team was playing the Islanders. I still had a lot of miles to get in but having learned my lesson the day before I knew I just needed to run wherever I was at. So, I ran on Coronado Island. I ran out to the beach, past the Hotel Del, along the golf course and back to the school.

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A funny thing happened. As I was coming back from the golf course I passed a couple on their bikes. They had stopped and were off to the side. It looked like the lady may have been fixing something on her bike. I smiled and nodded and kept on going. A little while later I heard them behind me. She had a little bell that she would ring as we passed by walkers. I reached a stoplight and the couple caught up to me. She said, “wow, you are fast! I couldn’t even catch up with you and I’m on a bike!” I smiled. Then the man said, “we should be running instead of taking the easy way out on a bike!” I had to laugh. If they only knew!

My son’s football team won their game and we went home. And, you know where I went…

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Awesome scenery. Refreshing runs.

Day 21, another success.

The day the tears wouldn’t stop…

I knew Friday, September 20 would be a difficult day. My older son’s football team had an away game and I wanted to go. The team hired a charter bus to take up the cheerleaders, parents, and any other fans that wanted to make the road trip. I wanted to be on that bus. I wanted to go root for the Patriots.

The bus was leaving the school at 12:15. It wasn’t expecting to be back until about 1 am.

It was Friday. It was September 20th. I had to run 20 miles.

All before 11 am?

As soon as I found out about the bus ride I started dreading that day. Originally I figured my husband and I would drive up to watch the varsity game that started at 7. But, then they came up with the chartered bus. My husband couldn’t go because he had to work that day and wouldn’t be done til after 3. I told my son that I probably wouldn’t go cuz I don’t like to do things like that by myself. My husband is like my safety blanket. If we couldn’t go together, then I’d just stay home. But, I could tell that my son didn’t think that was an appropriate response. He wanted me to go. And that’s when the real dread set in. I had to commit. One, I had to go by myself and two, I had to get all my miles in before I left. Ugh.

Then my son got hurt. He wouldn’t be able to play in that away game nor the following week’s game. Should I not go? No. Yes, I wanted to see my son play, but the purpose of the bus was to bring the Patriot fan club to the away game. And, whether my son plays or not, we are fans. My husband couldn’t go so I needed to represent.

I started really dreading that Friday on the 17th. That was a tough day. I knew Friday would be that much tougher.

I made a plan. Get up early, run on the mill. Take the boys to school. Run on the mill. Work for about an hour, run on the mill. Run on the mill. Run FAST on the mill. Have 20 miles done before 11 so that I could get ready and be at the school by noon.

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I got up early and headed to the mill.

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First 6 miles done but it took longer than expected. My legs were heavy.

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I took my oldest son to school and decided to run a few miles before I took my second son to school.

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I ran just under 3 miles. My legs wouldn’t go fast enough.

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I came home from taking him to school, turned on my computer and looked at the time. I started calculating how many miles I had left versus how much time I had. If I couldn’t run a 10 minute or better pace I wouldn’t make it. I wouldn’t have a prayer.

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The pace was too slow. I just couldn’t get my legs to go.

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About 2 miles into this run, realizing that I wasn’t going to be able to get them done, get ready and get to the bus on time my eyes welled up and I started to cry. I felt like a failure. I was trying so hard and I just couldn’t get my legs to go. It was just too much. The tears turned into sobbing. I was crying hard. I couldn’t stop. I couldn’t make my legs go and I couldn’t get the tears to stop. Why was I even trying? This was a dumb challenge anyway. No one in their right mind does something like this. Who do I think I am? People run marathons all the time and they do it in under 3 or 4 hours. Here I am, I can’t even get a measly 20 miles done before 11 am. I started at 5:40. What is wrong with me?

I just kept crying. I sobbed my way through 6 miles. (Which probably didn’t help my pace either.)

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I finally turned off the mill. I took a deep breath. Well?

And that’s when I knew it wasn’t over. I just needed another plan. I was far from giving up, far from quitting. I’d be damned if I wasn’t going to find a way to get the remaining 5 miles in.

Earlier in the day my husband had asked me if I was going to run up in Ontario before the game. I had laughed at him. “Are you kidding? No, I’ll get my miles done before I leave.” He gave me that look, you know the one that says “Yeah, you might want to rethink that.” And, as much as I hate it when he’s right, it was exactly what I had to do. So, I got ready to go. I dressed to run and I brought clothes to change into as soon as I was done.

Up in the stands I told a few parents that I needed to go run. I got that blank look. “What?” “Yeah, I need to run 5 miles. I’m going over to that neighborhood (pointing the direction I was headed) and if I’m not back in about an hour or so could someone come looking for me?” One of the moms (thank you Lord!) pulled out her phone and said “What’s your number?” I gave it to her. They all wished me luck and off I went. I know they probably thought I had lost my mind but when I have a goal… Just try and stop me. Ain’t gonna happen!

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I forgot to take a before photo because I was trying to figure out where I was going to run. I saw a neighborhood that looked safe next to the school and decided to head over there.

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I ran around and through all the culdesacs.

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And, I finished all 20 miles.

When Sheila said I had hit the 5 mile mark my eyes welled up again. Not because I was failing but because I just conquered another day.

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The Patriots went on to win, JV 50-15 and Varsity 35-13. 🙂 I’m so glad I was there!