a lot of miles, a lot of thoughts…

Posts tagged ‘football’

Day 28. I can do this… I can do this… I can…

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Since last night was sort of a bust, I decided to try the Hillsdale route again. Around and around the middle school I went. This time I got in just a little over 8 miles. Best part? I had a friend stop by and chat with me. He was even willing to run a bit with me but my legs were done. Still, made me feel good when he came out in support. I run a lot of these miles by myself, but I know people are “watching”. 🙂

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An hour or so later… headed to the mill. Felt strong and ran like the wind!

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My youngest had a late afternoon football game so while his team was warming up I did lap after lap around the football field.

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I don’t know if you’ve ever run around and around and around some place. I happen to do it quite a bit. In my many rounds I’ve noticed a few things. The first time around no one really pays attention to you. The second or third round, someone realizes that they have seen you before. The fifth or sixth round, they start looking for you. Some will even look down at their watch (or on their phone) and start timing you. You hit round 8 or 9 and now they are watching you the whole way. You’ve now made eye contact with many of them and you get an occassional nod or smile. About lap 11 and they are now intrigued. Some will even call out to you, “how far?” “how many have you done?” Any more laps than that and people actually stop talking and simply watch in awe. Not because of how far you ran, but because you simply keep going. When its all over and you finally come to a stop, if you are anywhere near them, they say things like, “wow, I could never do that” or “that was crazy” or “you’re a machine”. Regardless, you’ve touched them somehow and they are now a part of your run. Its touching, inspiring and motivating. If only they too would get up and lace up…

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My son’s team won! Yeah Norsemen! But, it was back to the mill for me. Ugh. It seems like all I do is run. We wanted to celebrate the win and take the boys out for pizza but I had to finish the miles. I said, “give me just two hours and I’ll be done.” Yeah, no such luck.

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I simply couldn’t get them done. My legs were tired. I was exhausted. And, I was starving! So, I did as much as I could and out for pizza we went! I’d just have to finish when I got home.

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After beer and pizza, running is about the furthest thing from my mind! But, I still had a mile and a half to go. I can do this. Slowly. I can do this.

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Day 28. Definitely a LONG day. I can do this. I really can.

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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!

14 miles, thought it was going to be an all day adventure!

I’m still a day behind in my posts, but I will catch up… eventually!

Yesterday was the 14th. I needed to get 14 miles in but Friday was a rough day. Physically and emotionally I felt beat up! In the afternoon I went to the high school cross country meet. The kids did great. They’ve made a lot of progress and I think we are ready to get down to some serious training. Next week should be fun. 🙂 Then, my older son had a football game. During the second quarter he was on the kick off team and ran down the field, delivered a mighty hit and then “rung his bell”. He popped up right away but walked over to the sideline. His coach tried to talking to him and immediately sent him to the trainer. From the stands I couldn’t really tell what was going on. It looked like he had spoken with the coach and then wandered over to the trainer, shared something with her and then went and sat down on the bench. So unlike him. The trainer was still talking to him and then he took off his helmet. Bad sign. But, I still couldn’t tell what, if anything, was wrong. Then the team doctor came over and started really talking to him. When he did the “follow my finger” routine, I knew something was up. A few minutes later another coach from the team came over to the stands and I knew they were looking for Mike or I. Mike went down on the field. Spoke with the doctor, the trainer and Cody. After a few minutes he looked up at me and gave me the “we’re leaving” sign. I knew something must have happened. Sure enough, I get down to the gate where my husband was walking him out, and the kid was delirious. Yes, he has a concussion. The next few hours were a bit anxiety ridden but he’s gonna be okay. Just real scary for a while. He’s still not quite 100% but he remembers almost everything and he’s really chatty. Right now you can ask him about anything and he will tell you ALL about it! 🙂 He’s normally very reserved and quiet. So, to have him talk, literally non-stop, well, its quite overwhelming! But, that’s a whole other post. He’s gonna be fine…

Anyway, the Cheetah XC team was going to meet at Lake Murray for a run Saturday morning. I love this run, nice and easy, beautiful scenery, rolling inclines. And, you can make it either a 6 mile run or a 7 mile run depending on where you start. So, my game plan was to get there early, about an hour, and do the run once and then do the run again when every one got there. Don’t you just hate when game plans don’t go according to the plan? UGH!

So, I get there. My ankle is a wreck. Hurts just to walk but I know if I can get it warmed up, I may be able to run a bit. But, after Friday’s run I was willing to walk ALL 14 if I had to. I knew I needed to give the ankle a break.

Its foggy, a bit chilly, basically perfect running weather. I’m even wearing a sweatshirt! A Nebraska one at that. Go HUSKERS! Anyway, I start walking. Its sore, the pain is searing, and when Sheila tells me it took 16+ minutes to go the first mile I knew I was in trouble! I’d be “running” for HOURS to get the 14 in. I didn’t have time for a 4 hour run! Seriously! This was NOT going to work. The second mile clocked at about 15 something. Still not good enough. I picked up the pace, and the third mile was a bit faster. By then, thankfully, my ankle was warmed up and I started jogging a bit. Before the Cheetah team got there I had logged 4 miles. Took me almost an hour, but 4 miles were done.

Once the team was there I headed out and around the lake. This is a 3 mile run out to the bull’s eye and 3 miles back. I was actually able to run most of those 6 miles. I even ran two of them in under 10 minutes a piece. There was still hope! But, and isn’t there always a but?, Sheila’s power was almost gone, so before I could finish the last 4 miles I needed to “charge” her. I was gonna go two more miles out and then turn around and come back. It was taking too long to charge Sheila and it was getting hotter by the minute. The Cheetahs had left. So, I decided to call it a “run” and head for home. I’d finish the last four at home.

Believe it or not, my ankle wasn’t too terribly bad. Don’t get me wrong, it was sore as heck, and I thought I probably wouldn’t even be able to walk. But, prayer is a very powerful thing! During the walk/run I listened to my ankle. I changed up my foot fall to ease the pain and I had a few miles that were seriously pain free. My leg, far from healed, was at least willing to go the distance.

I got home. Had some breakfast. And, headed to the mill. I “charged” Sheila and turned on Netflix. I’m in Season 2 of the West Wing. 🙂 I ran the remaining 4 miles.

Day 14… 2 runs… 14 miles… I got this…

The Lake run…
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after 9 14 1

And, the mill run…
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Thanks for the prayers… they are working and helping. Seriously. Wouldn’t have made it through days 14 OR 15 without them. And that’s another post…

Day 5… had to break it up

Day 5. Should be an easy 5 miler, right? Well, uh, if you run it in the cool morning, yes, an easy 5 miles. But if you wait to run it when its triple digits then its not such an easy 5 miles. And, add cranky, out of shape high schoolers to the mix and your easy peasy 5 miles just became a tortured almost-3 miler.
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Now don’t get me wrong, I love the cross country team. The kids are great (when they aren’t complaining about how hot it is), they are funny (when they aren’t moaning and groaning about some new “injury”), and they are eager (when they don’t know just how far the next run is going to be) but the drive and ambition is just… well… its just not there. It may be the heat, it could be because they’re testing the new coach, it might be the fact that most have never run a day in their life or its possible that they just haven’t experienced that runner’s high yet. Its probably all of those things put together. But… today, today was a tough one.

Yesterday I put them through a mini Team RockStar stair bootcamp… stairs, hopping stairs, two at a time stairs, up and down; some walking lunges with the slosh pipe; jump roping; push ups and some windshield wipers for their abs. First of all, don’t kids jump rope any more? Anyway, they were feeling it today. Some of them were even “toilet sore” for those of you who know what that is. 😉 So, we needed to run to loosen up their legs. We weren’t gonna run far, but come on! Walking after only a mile? They’re killing me! And, not like, “hey we just killed that workout!” No, more like, “if you keep making me come back for you, I may die!” Its triple digits, there’s a hill or two and these kids wanna walk! Which makes me have to come back for them and do some of it twice! What is up with that?

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And then when that painful hour and a half was finally over, I went to the youth cross country practice, San Diego Cheetahs, and these kids… this is like a whole different ball game! These kids WANT to run and they want to run FAST! Yes, some of the newer ones are walking a bit but there isn’t much complaining, no one’s “injured” and as soon as they get a drink of water, they GO! Amazingly different. But because there was a football game going on at their practice I waited till I picked up my youngest son from HIS football practice before I finished my 5 miles.
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The last 2 1/4 miles were painfully slow. My legs were tight and the pace was horrible but I got ‘er done and that’s all that matters.

Before the first run… see how happy I am?
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After the first run… see how… um, see how happy I am?
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Before the second run… the sun is going down… weather is cooling off!
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After the second run… ahh! Its over!
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And tomorrow is another day!