Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Review 2010 and Goals 2011

It's the end of another year and everyone is reviewing the past year and setting goals for the next.

My MIL gave me a gorgeous journal to chronicle my running adventures in.  We will have to see what happens with that.  I'm thinking I should dig up my first marathon bib and put that in there...

I've been debating on doing another Susan G. Komen 3-Day, my biggest obstacle is the fundraising.  The two months leading up to the Twin Cities (the chosen walk for Blister Sisters in 2011) I will not be able to do any fundraising at all.   I am also looking at my other goals and how walking the 3-day would fit in not to mention the extra $$$ to get there.  I know it would be fun, oh if only money grew on trees.

So what did I do in 2010?

Well, I lost 70 pounds, walked the 3-Day, and my running has improved in quality and quantity.  I wasn't great about tracking all my miles but I have around 815 miles running and walking.

So what do I want to do in 2011?

I'm really thinking about running a 30K, 50K, and a 50M.  I want to volunteer for the Javelina Jundred and maybe pace someone.

Obstacles, a really big vacation but I vow to run while on vacation and enjoy the sights.

The beginnings of a plan...

I'm thinking I need to ramp my running up and see first of all if I can handle higher mileage and fit it in with my everyday life.  I've been doing a ton of reading and have settled on a Ultraladies 50 mile schedule.  I wish I lived closer to LA I'd totally join the group!

Basically here's the plan:

Week NumberMTWTFSSTotal

I am modifying the days so that my long runs land on Fri/Sat and this week I did run 6 miles on Sun so no rest that day but I've had plenty of rest the past 2 weeks!  I'm in the middle of week 1 and so far this is a breeze.  I can't remember the last time I went out and just ran 2 miles. :)  We will see how the back to back longer runs go.  

So for now this is the plan.  My next plan is to incorporate some strength training on the easier days and work on leg strength.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Challenging Yourself on a Day of Indulgence

23rd Annual
Arizona Road Racers Thanksgiving Day Classic
10 Miler, 5K and 1-Mile Fun Run
November 25, 2010

Turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, pumpkin pie, a glass of wine... all things most people associate with Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving is a day to enjoy family, friends, and good food.  Most of us watch what we eat through out the year but Thanksgiving gives us permission to forget about calories, indulge, and seems to kick off the eating season.  With shopping, parties, and holiday food there is no end in sight of the calories and delights we get to indulge in.

So what better way to kick off the "silly season" then with a good old fashioned Turkey Trot?  Many cities host them as a way to raise awareness and money for the local food pantry.  Many people participate to help said food pantry and to offset the calories they will later consume.  I thought this was a great idea and a way to challenge myself and kickoff my training for a half marathon only 9 weeks away.

The Arizona Road Racers Thanksgiving Day Classic at the Peoria Sports Complex in Peoria, Arizona seemed like the perfect venue for my "Turkey Trot."  The event is for a good cause, close to my mom-in-law's, and my daughter could get a few hours of volunteer time.  

There are three distances, the 5K, the 10 mile, and a 1-mile fun run.  I had not decided which distance to do until about 2 weeks or so before Thanksgiving.  I was torn between the 5K , which I knew I could do well, and the 10 miler, which I knew I could do but how well I wasn't sure.  I opted for the 10 miles to challenge myself, kick off my training, and to mitigate the calories I knew were to come later in the day.  

4:20 AM, the alarm goes off.  I rolled out of bed and started getting my things together that I had mostly assembled the night before.  My darling, supportive hubby rolled over in bed to cuddle with my dog, Java, and said, "I've done and want to do some pretty crazy things, but getting up at 4:20am on Thanksgiving Day to go run 10 miles, is pretty crazy."  I kissed him on the forehead and said I'd see him later at his mom's.  

4:30 AM, woke my darling daughter up and went downstairs to make breakfast.  Coffee, oatmeal with banana for me, and a smoothie for her.  Assembled my various water containers and stuff for the day.  Hubby did come down to wish me luck and told us to have fun.  

5:10AM, we were on the road.  It takes about an hour to get from our house to the Sports Complex.  It was a nice uneventful ride and we arrived safely.

6:10AM, parked and opened the car door.  Holy WIND! Batman!  What the heck?!  Oh my gosh it was cold and freakishly windy!!!  We made our way over to the registration table where we sat for the next hour and a half handing out race numbers and t-shirts. 

7:45AM, the 15 minute warning for the 10 mile start.  Oops!  I need to get my timing chip, grab some stuff from the car and warm up.  I left the table and could barely walk I was so cold and stiff.  Went over got my timing chip and ran to the car.  Discarded a shirt and grabbed a Gatorade.  As I was walking back I couldn't open my Gatorade and a nice medical person saw my plight and helped.  Thank you! Cold fingers, gloves and a handful of things does not make it conducive to opening a bottle.  Off to the starting line I went!

8:00AM, And we are off!  The sun was shining, the crowds were excited, and I couldn't feel my feet.  They didn't feel cold, they didn't hurt, I just couldn't feel them!  Forgot my watch and I lost an earring.  Oh well, had my tunes and was running with a bunch of other 'crazy' people on a glorious morning.  

1.5 miles in, my feet finally started to warm up and feeling was coming back, thank goodness!  The crowd started to thin out and I could concentrate on my pace.  Take it easy, 10 miles is a long way.  We continued to run straight into the wind, at times it would gust a feel really cold, but mostly it was just a force to be run against.  

The route was along a canal and traversed the bottom, so a few ups and downs away from traffic.  It was nice and the ups were a little of a challenge but nothing to hard and the downs were nice to speed up the leg turn over.  

4 miles, they didn't have very many mile markers and with no watch I had no real idea of where I was, which was probably for the better.  I was forced to keep a controlled and steady pace.  

5 miles, the turn around! Yea! Now I knew what to expect on the way back and had an idea of where to push it.  I still maintained a steady pace, I mean I still had 5 miles to go!  Somewhere around 5.5 miles I came across a lady who was limping.  I asked her if she needed help and she asked if I would have someone come and get her.  Not sure what she did but apparently her knee had seized.  I picked up my pace a bit as I knew there was a water stop up a head.  Another lady had passed me and got to the water stop just before me and was already talking to them about the runner in need.  I stopped to make sure and then went on my way.

8.5-ish miles, decided now was a good time to really pick it.  Now when I say really pick it up, I'm talking about me, my fast is not your fast, nor is your fast mine or say someone like an Olympic athlete's fast.  So fast, slow, picking it up, are all relative.  I kept the next half-mile a little more conservative but faster then before.

9 miles, I thought okay here we go, I was going to really push, and then the wind pushed back!  Hard!  What happened to having a tailwind?  We had a headwind going, shouldn't we have a tailwind coming back?  Okay, no tailwind and the headwind was stronger then before.  Made it back onto the property of the sports complex and knew that I wanted to give it all I had to the finish.  There was teenager and I'm guessing mom, that I had seen through out and two other people that had obviously finished but came back to cheer the boy and mom on.  I passed them as the finishers were telling the boy and mom to get ready to sprint that the finish was just around the corner.  I picked it up and then heard the boy's feet behind me as he surged to the end.  

10 miles, I wasn't sure which clock belonged to the 10 milers as I sprinted across the finish line.  It didn't matter, I felt great, and would find my time out later.  Turns out my chip time was 1:48:02, which is great for me, remember speed is relative.  

All in all it was a great event.  We went on to have a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner prepared by my mom-in-law, wonderful company, and this morning I was down a pound!  Next year I want to run 10 miles on Turkey Day again!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Arizona Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure Day 3

Day 3 - 15.5 miles

The third day started with a bus ride to the start.  We were taken to Scottsdale where we unloaded and walked through some gorgeous neighborhoods and enjoyed the mountain views.  

Our safety crew as always was there to keep us, well safe, and entertain us too.  Here is their early morning briefing and their rides. 
More beautiful mountains at our first pit stop, over the port-o-potties.   

We walked through the Biltmore Estates and some beautiful neighborhoods of the older part of Phoenix.

Along the way I saw people I had seen for the 2 previous days and I was reminded of why we were walking.  

We ended at the Arizona Veterans Memorial Colosseum and walked into a cheering crowd or walkers, crew, family, just everyone was there, it was amazing!

The closing ceremonies were as moving as the opening.  At the end everyone takes a shoe off and lifts it in the air as a salute.  It was amazing to see.  

Then the survivors walked in with flags.  One of ladies I walked with is a survivor and was chosen to walk in with other survivors and go up on the platform in celebration.   I can only imagine how much that meant to her, her sister, and her BFF.  I am honored to have glimpsed that moment in time. 
 I’ve been invited to join the team where ever they do their next walk.  I didn’t think I would consider it, but we will just have to see.  
There is no way I could include everything but I hope it gives an idea of the wonderful event and the worthy cause.  Thank you for reading this long blog.  

Walked in Honor of
Mary Ellen Warner
Wendy Satterly
Gwen Swing
Priscilla Flynn
Gail Wolf
Shirley Tipton
Jean Wright

In Loving Memory of 
Jean Hand 
Jackie Blackmer
Debbie Moore
Grandma Gabel

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Arizona Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure Day 2

Day 2 - 22.5 miles
I finally got warm in my sleeping bag, didn't sleep well, but was ready to get walking!  Breakfast was scrambled eggs, potatoes, fruit, yogurt, oatmeal, and that yummy coffee.  Good fuel for 22.5 miles!  I headed out with my roomie, her sister, and her sister’s BFF.  It was chilly but soon warmed.  
The first day was a bit of a blur, but day 2 I noticed lots of things.  The food!  I had heard that the 3-days were a 60 mile smorgusboard and they didn’t lie.  OMGosh!  Every couple of miles was a pit stop or a grab and go.  They had port-o-potties for inventory out and food and drink for inventory in.  A favorite of the walkers is the peanut butter and jelly on graham cracker sandwiches.  Oh yum!  Then in the middle of all the food there was lunch! 
We only made one little side trip to an Einstein's Bagel Shop to get coffee.  Gotta love their Vanilla and Hazelnut blend, yum!!!!!
We walked through the ASU campus.  I had never been to some of the parts where we walked, it was really nice.  Here's a view of A Mountain from a pedestrian bridge, and the sleepy streets of Tempe from that same bridge.

Another thing that amazed me were the cheerleaders.  So many people lined the designated cheering stations and some just came out on corners or their houses to cheer us on. 
The next three photos are all the same group!  They were at every cheering station, in multiple locations along the route all 3-Days!

The other fixture along the route was crew, medical, and the safety crew.  They were just incredible!  The crew took care of our food, beverage, and anything else.  Medical was always visible and I saw them literally jump-to when there was a need, thankfully I didn’t need them.   The safety crew was equally as awesome and will always have a special place in my heart.  These guys and gals had a sense of humor while keeping us safe as well as hearts as big as Arizona.    

Day 2 was long and at times grueling but then you would pass through a cheering station and read the signs of the people.  Some said things like “thank you for walking for my mommie” or “my grandma was so special God made her an angel.”  It was amazing and moving. I learned to smile and not read the signs!  Some were funny and cute and some were moving and very emotional.  One cheering station I made to the end and almost lost it, thank goodness for sunglasses!

The end finally came in sight and we hobbled into camp.  Semi-trailer showers and port-o-potties never looked so good.  
Dinner that night was steak, potatoes, green beans, and apple pie.  We stayed for some of the entertainment and I was amazed that some people, a lot of people, had enough energy to dance! 
We crawled off to our sleeping bags and wrapped up for the night.  Night 2 was warmer and I slept better.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Arizona Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure Day 1

I don’t even know where to begin.  I will break this down into 3 posts one for each day. 
After months of training and fundraising, the days have finally come and gone.  
I was nervous about the event, not about my ability to perform, I was very confident in my training and preparation.  I was nervous about meeting my tent-mate, the other people, and the emotions that I was sure would be there.  

Day 1 - 20 miles
Hubby and I woke up early.  I shot out of bed with the alarm!  Went into the water closet and on to the shower.  However, before the shower I ended up with the shakes, nausea, and pouring sweat!  That has never happened to me before.  I guess I need to not bolt out of bed.  After a shower and breakfast I was better.  Better so much in fact on the way we stopped at Einstein’s and I got a bagel and a large coffee! 
Hubby dropped me off at the entrance before the parking.  He got my luggage out and gave me a great big hug and told me how proud of me he was.  Told me to remember to have fun, “it’s not a race it’s a walk!”  Yes, dear.  I repeated his words many times that first day.  

A good reminder before the start

Opening ceremonies were fun, moving, sentimental,emotional, and motivational, everything you would think they would be.   
After some music, stretching, and remembrance we were off and walking.First stop the port-o-potties.  There would be a lot of visits here over the course of three days.  
I met up with a lady from New Mexico and we walked together for awhile.  She’s from a very small town so fundraising was limited and difficult but she did it!  We lost each other at a pit stop but the walk must go on.  
Next I kept pace with a lady for awhile and we finally started talking.  She was great and we had a good pace.  We met up with one of her training partners and finished the day together.  

Camp was very organized.  I arrived before my tent-mate so set up the tent and went to shower. 

Dinner was yummy, chicken marsala, rice, salad, veggies, Oreo brownie, and really good coffee.  I even did some studying for my mid-term, that would be the last time I looked at my study guide all weekend.
I returned to my tent and met my tent-mate and her sister.  Chatted with them a bit and then turned it.  That first night was really cold, I tossed and turned and didn’t sleep well.  However, day two I was rearing to go!