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Thursday, March 20, 2014

Uberthons Luckython 5k and Shamrock 15k Weekend Event!

This is my first blog this year.  I've had a harder time getting myself mentally "there" since my last marathon in 2013, The Oregon Marathon!   I trained very hard from January '13 to the end of October '13.  I think I just needed a little mental break from full training.  I just have been running for the enjoyment lately!

Things are also changing in my household soon, so my mind is struggling some. But that's okay! One thing is for sure, I have a super support team around me so, a slump, set-back, break, whatever you want to call it...I have hung in there and feel myself coming out of it.

This last weekend sure helped.  My husband and I like to spend our "weekends away" planned around a race(s).  This years pick was Uberthons Luckython 5k and Shamrock Run 15k.

Shamrock bib and expo goodies
Luckython running bib

We left on Friday March 14th, and started at the new Road Runner Sports located in Portland.  We meet Uberthons there, and picked up our race packets. They asked us for a short interview update from a challenge we did with them last year.  They always make me feel important!  Then we were off to the Shamrock Sports Expo.  We had plenty of time to walk through the whole Expo and just enjoy the afternoon.

Saturday came and I was nervous for the Luckython 5k.   The race didn't start until 4:00pm.  I was worried it would be too hot. I don't like running 5k's because I want to run them fast and I know it will hurt my insides, ugh!  I couldn't eat too much for breakfast or lunch but had to eat something.  I did a good job, but my nerves just got worse as the day went on.  I became crabby.  Poor Jerry had to listen to me grip and complain for the hours leading up to the race.  He said, "you always do this and then are fine!"  My friend Tonya who was also running the 5k got there about 3:15 and I started telling her my woos.  She said, "you always do this and are fine!"   Hah...what can I say?  I ended up being fine!

I did a slow warm up on the back end of the course.  I learned there was a small hill in the last mile, so I prepared for that in my mind.  As I walked to the starting line, a man said, "Julie."  I said, "do you know me from facebook" (Dallas, OR Run the Open Road)?  He said, no Daily Mile!  Then I realized he was Rob from Daily Mile.  An area runner who is also tracking workouts on the same page.  BTW, Daily Mile is a great way to keep track of your running/walking/biking.  It's free with lots of support from others doing the same thing!  He told me he will be doing Newport Marathon in 2015 because my blog inspired him.  Wow, that's really cool! 
  People really do read my blog!

It was time to get in the starting line.  Tonya and I needed to be up closer to the front.  There were several walkers and it's not too fun trying to weave around them.  I wasn't expecting a PR (personal record), but I was expecting to run the best I could run on that day!

Tonya and I running  the 5k and after the race

I must of felt pretty good because I started to weave through people right away and when I looked at my Garmin,  I was running in the 6's.  Yikes!  I knew one thing, if I continue this pace much longer I will feel very sick the last mile.  I slowed down into the 7's and off Tonya went ahead.  I could see her the whole time.  I was hoping to get closer or catch up to her during the last half mile.  It was good to have her as a visual to keep me going.

We were running on a golf course.  We ran on the paved path through beautiful green grass.  Occasionally having to run off the path, into the wet grass to pass people.  It was a little muddy in some spots but soon thinned out enough to not have to go off the path anymore.  It was a beautiful day!

About half way I found myself wanting to walk.  This is about mile 1 1/2.   This is sad for me because I am a distant runner.  I am just past mile one and I want to walk???  Oh poor Julie!  I remembered something Tonya said about hanging in for 3 fast miles and I kept going, feeling slightly sorry for myself.  I really don't like 5k's...never have, but somehow find myself running them!  As I went into the last mile I knew there was going to be a downhill and then an uphill before the finish.  I was feeling better now and climbing out of that hill! Then I started to feel nauseated.  It took all the energy I had to run up that hill, but I was still running, knowing the end was very near!
My husband Jerry and me!
I soon saw Tonya on the sideline doubled over in the grass. I knew she was trowing up!  Poor girl, but that means she was going super fast!  I passed her and then she caught right back up and passed me back.  We only had about a quarter mile left till the finish line and Tonya stopped again and doubled over!  I felt bad for her, but knew she wouldn't want me to stop, so I passed by her and finished up with a time of 24:54.  :54 sec short of a PR.  I placed 2nd in my age-group/gender, 3rd in my age-group including men! Hah!!!!   Well, one thing is for sure....  I ran this race the best I could and had a blast doing it...once the nerves settled down!  Not doing speed work comes with a price.  Right now, I'm not doing a lot of speed work and that's okay for now.  Come summer, I will be doing lots of speed work for my Fall Marathon!  Big goals there!!!!

My friends and I took photos, laughed and went to get potatoes...I was so happy to eat!  Uberthons does such a great job with their races...I love them!

Sunday was Shamrock day!  Jerry and I had a 7:40am start time for the 15k (9.3 miles) in Downtown Portland.  We got there and parked in a parking garage with no problems.  I do like early starts to races.  I don't have all day to think about it and get worked up.   The temperature was perfect but it was a little windy.  I had to use the restroom one last time and we had about 20 minutes, so I got in line.  About 20 minutes later, it was finally my turn!  I took my turn and Jerry and I took off to the starting line.  I knew there were 1000's of runner/walkers (35,000), it was chipped timed and a staggered start.  I wasn't too concerned about being a minute or two late but we didn't make it to our pace group, bummer! In fact, we didn't have any idea what pace group we were in when we took off.  Jerry had told me ahead of time he was running with me and just going to enjoy the race this year instead of running it super hard.  As our group started, I quickly realized we started too far back.  Starting at a 10:00-10:15 pace wasn't what I wanted for the first few miles.  Shamrock is so packed, that passing people gets difficult.   It's possible, but you have to be very careful and take turns and do lots and lots of weaving.  It's just packed!

I do think, part of the fun of Shamrock is all the people!  I enjoy small races and I enjoy large "pack the house" races too!  I soon realized, I needed to just calm down and just enjoy it...pass when I could, and enjoy the road!  I loved the sea of green that covered the streets of Portland.  I saw green covered men, superheros, a man that carried the American Flag the whole 9.3 miles.  I saw friends running together, people really struggling to run, ladies in in tutus!  My husband running with me!  It was great!  We almost had to stop for a train but made it just across before the bars came down to stop us.

I couldn't believe it when I saw my friend Debbie C. running in that crowd of people!  I had lots of friends running this race, but she is the only one I ended up crowed! 

The finish line
A light mist started coming down.  That was really nice, because I heated up fast.  We hit the hill and up up up we went.  I love the downhill parts of the Shamrock.  Going down, I can just fly away.  It's an amazing feeling to fly like that.  I flew for the last couple miles into the finish line with a time of 1:24:06 placing 3045th! That sounds so funny to me.....3045th place!!!  Huge race alright!  Last year I ran this race 2 minutes faster!  My goodness, its a hard race with all the hills and I really needed to be closer to the front of the start...if only runners didn't have to go to the restroom!!!

I had a blast and walked away wanting food!!!!!
My next race is May 3rd.  The Oregon Spring Half Marathon by Uberthons.  I have plans to do well for this race.  Hopeful for a PR.

My next full Marathon will be October 5th, Portland Marathon.  I have big PR dreams for this one.  My summer will be packed full of intense training to prepare for this one!

I'm sure I will run a few more races here and there!  Let me know what your running on my running page Dallas, OR Run the Open Road.  I love hearing from other runners!  Tell me your running dreams and goals!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Silver Falls Half Marathon 2013, Birthday Fun Run!

Saturday came quickly. 7:00 am sharp my friend Tonya came to pick me up!  We were off to Silver Falls State Park to run a Half Marathon.  Last year we ran Silver Falls Full Marathon as a fundraiser for our little Superhero Lincoln Jones.  Lincoln is in a battle with cancer so we used the marathon to raised funds for his family and helped raise awareness.  It was an amazing experience.  After it was all over I said I would never run Silver Falls Full for myself.  It was the hardest most terrible marathon I have ever run, but worth it for Lincoln.

I did want to come back and run the half.  I liked the half course. Tonya knew this, and on August 1st, registration opened at 8:00 am. I was already at work, but Tonya registered herself and I for my birthday in November.  This would be a birthday fun run.  The half filled up within ten minutes.  The full, only 3 days!

We got to Silver Falls, picked up our packets and t-shirt.  Used the bathroom and went to say hi to our friend Kelleigh who was volunteering over in the food area.  There was a nice fire going but we went to sit in Tonya's car with the heater going.  With about 5 minutes to start, we headed over to the wet soggy grass to join the other runners.  It felt cold, but not too cold.  Our plan was to stay together and have fun!  That's just what we did!!!!!

The gun went off and we ran across the wet soggy grass.  We started in the back since we weren't really running for time.  I don't think that was the best idea.  As we made our way through the parking lot, we passed several people.  Soon we came to the narrow path.  Now we were pretty much stuck where we were in the pack.
It's time to start!

Every once in a while we could pass a person or two, but on this narrow trail, that didn't happen much.  Every once in awhile a runner would come up behind us and try to pass.  For the most part, we just ran single file for a mile or so.  

Last year we had to cross a creek, it was very cold and I was really not happy about having to do this again. I kept telling Tonya, the creek is coming, I know it!  I was getting a little worked up about this.

We did some sort of loop and came back into the park (South Falls day use area).  I told Tonya to remember all the people are there to cheer for US!  I tossed my gloves at the first aid station.  I was now good and warmed up.  We were about three miles in.  

We had gone through the campground and were now on the bike path heading to the rim trail.  As we came to aid station #2 we took a sharp turn onto the narrow canyon trail. I realized we didn't have to cross that creek this year! I guess that's only for the full marathon! I was really happy. 
One of the falls we ran behind

We ran behind our first waterfall.  It was so beautiful.  We ran down a few stairs. Lots of mud, gravel and many bridges. The path was really rocky.  My foot began to hurt about mile ten from large rocks poking my foot.  I even had trail shoes on with a rock plate built in! We ran under a couple more large waterfalls.  One was so large and loud.  I yelled, Tonya..listen!"  I loved the sound of the waterfall.  It was slick.  We had to slow down so we didn't fall down the cliff.  As I looked in front of us and back behind us, I realized everyone was slowing down.  

We ran by many more waterfalls.  Tonya and I would get tired and then remember how we felt at this point last year for the full and then laughed. We didn't feel so bad after all! When we realized we were more than half way done already, we just enjoyed the run! We talked about how beautiful it was, how we were glad we weren't running the full and how good pizza sounded. 

We started to climb out of the canyon about mile 9.  The stair climb is brutal.  We ran right up the first three sets of three stairs, then said forget this!  We walked and walked and walked up the endless flight.  Everyone around us was also walking.  It was just awesome!  

We got to the top and knew the climb wasn't over.  We still had a trail up before we came out on the top.  We made it and started down the bike path back to South Falls.  We still had about 2.5 miles left with the hardest climb left for just before the finish line (at least that's how it feels at the end like that).  We headed up that last mountain in the mud and again, had to walk along with everyone else around us.  We said, hummm, this seemed steeper last year!  Hah, it's only because we had ran an extra 13.1 does make a difference.   We hit the cross-back and went up the 2nd half.  As we came to the top, I was so excited.  We ran as fast as we could down the muddy mountain without falling or taking someone out.   
After the race!  Still smiling 

We had about a half mile left, if that!  I could see a few people in front of us that were going slow.  I told, Tonya, okay...lets do this! She knew exactly what I meant.  We passed person number one!  I said, okay, again!  We passed person number two and crossed the bridge.  The finish line was only about 60 meters in front of us.  Tonya, then said, okay and we went into a sprint to pass the last guy!  As we came up on him, he could hear us and took off himself!  All three of us crossed the finish line laughing.  I think the people standing around got a good laugh too.  I was handed a medal and pushed over into a narrow finishing shoot. I was still laughing.  

We walked over to get some food and say hi to Kelleigh.  There was chili, great harvest bread, hot chocolate and apples.  The bread was really good.  Hot chocolate sounded gross!

We both won a prize.  I caught a cheap water bottle and Tonya got a new pair of New Balance gloves in the drawing.  

We went to the car and realized there was a women in a tutu changing in the parking lot. I guess she thought if she kept the tutu on, it was wasn't!  I tried to get a photo but Tonya was having a fit.  She was sure I would get kicked off of facebook for having such a photo! The park bathroom was right there! This lady was really silly!

It started hailing and it seemed to be getting colder.  We were glad to be done.  It was the best birthday run ever!  Thanks Tonya!!!!
Another half, in the books!  2:17.12
Be sure and check out my running page! 

Friday, October 4, 2013

The Inaugural Oregon Marathon '13

Marathon running for me, has so much meaning. I have learned so much about myself and grown as a person by training and running these races.  Three days before I ran The Oregon Marathon, I found out my dear friend who taught me to love the marathon, has cancer!  This 26.2 miles was ran for her!  Love you friend! You will beat this!
As soon as I found out Uberthons was having their first Marathon, I decided this one was for me! The Marathon started in Vernonia, and finished in Banks on September 28th 2013.
The 28th came.  Several of my friends were doing the half marathon, so we we rode together.  We left Dallas at 4:00 am and drove in the dark and the rain to the finish line.  We parked, then walked in the dark, rain and wind to the shuttle buses.  I rode a separate shuttle than my friends since we would be starting in different locations. The half marathon started at a park while the full marathon started at a school in Vernonia.
The bus ride felt like it was taking forever!  I guess 26.2 miles is kind of a long ways...ha! I talked to a few people to help the time pass and calm my nerves.  I was feeling great!

We arrived in Vernonia at the school.  I jumped off the bus and headed into the school to stay warm and use the bathroom.  As I walked to the school someone said, "Hi Julie."  It was Darwin, the owner of Uberthons.  It was really nice to see someone I knew.  There were people standing everywhere.  I decided to walk around and find a quiet spot upstairs to stretch and start my warm up.  I really didn't want to talk to anyone at all right now.  I needed to be alone. With ten minutes to go, I headed outside to start my jog warm up.  It was raining so I put on a poncho to keep as dry and warm as possible before I started.
As we got in line to start, Darwin announced my name like I was someone important.  Was funny to me, but was kinda nice!  I found my friend Tonya's brother (Justin) who was there doing his very first marathon.  We took off together with the others.  Just as we started it felt like the wind and rain started up again.
Around mile 11 
We ran around the parking lot and up the road, turned and went around a lake.  After a few miles we headed onto the trail head.   It was a wide paved trail.  Very nice and very pretty.  Lots of trees and bridges.  I felt like I was pretty settled into my race pace and was paying attention to the runners close to me.  I used the other runners to help keep me on track.

I was feeling pretty good for the most part.  It was very wet, but the rain doesn't really bother me when it's warmer out.  It was high 50's/low 60's so I was fine.  We were under trees now, so I didn't really feel the wind too much at this point.  Around mile 8 my stomach started to hurt and my pace started to slowly slip.  I knew it would start slipping when I started up the hill.  As you can see in the elevation chart I was starting to climb at mile 8.  It was a gradual climb so I didn't really feel like I was moving up, but I was.  A gradual climb like that really messes with your mind.

I began to get a little tired and discouraged.  I knew my pace would start to slip but reminded myself, all that will be made up on the backside, going downhill on the 2nd half.
My stomach still ached, and it was making me mad.  I have ran through aches like this before, but it's not the funnest thing to do.  The best way I can describe it is, the inside of my right rib cage felt like someone had scraped it with a spatula.  Not a side stitch, just an ache.  I remembered my friend Chris had given me some ginger candies to chew if something like this happened.  I had tried one on a training run and thought they would be worth a try.  If not, my stomach already hurt anyway, so why not give it a try?!
The candy helped and I continued to run the rain!
About mile 12 or so the runner about 50 feet in front of me let out a happy yell!!!!  Oh, we must be at the top!!!!!  As I came to where he was, I could hear yells/cheers down below.  I was at the switchbacks.  I was planning on making up some time here, but as I started down the steep hill, I realized it was harder than I thought it would be.  Because of the steepness, I had to brace myself from falling.  My legs were tried from running uphill so my legs were stiff.  As I came to the bottom,  I crossed a road and there were people and an aid station.
Then we headed up another hill.  This was a steep hill.  My legs felt like jello now.  It was annoying.  
I realized I was getting really close to the halfway point where my friends would of started their half marathon.  It was fun to think the rest of the way is where they had ran too, but I couldn't help but think, they were either done, or close to done and I wasn't even halfway done!!!  They were probably saying, sure glad I didn't do the full...ha ha ha!!!!
I was looking forward to the 2nd half because it was mostly either flat, or downhill.  My plan was to bring back up my pace (on the downhill) and race out the last five mile, into the finish for a really nice PR and qualify for Boston.  Sounded like such a good idea and so doable before I started!
As I ran on, I realized getting back on pace wasn't working like planned.  My right leg was aching really bad. The switchbacks had aggravated an injury I thought was going to be fine.  My stomach continued to hurt off and on (I took 2 more candies).  I soon realized that a PR simply wasn't going to happen today, but I could still break 4 hours.  I tried to stay positive.  It got hard to stay positive when someone would pass me or my leg would hurt and I would want to cry and give up.  There were times I could of just walked of the course.  I could of asked a volunteer or spectator to take me back....but I just couldn't do that.  I still had hope.
The trail I ran on for The Oregon Marathon
There were other times when I would pass people who had cramped up and had to walk.    Passing people is fun!
As a lady and myself came to another aid station we crossed a road together then back onto the trail.  Only the trail was completely covered in a huge puddle.  People were standing on both sides of the
 trail, so our only option was to go right into the small  We stepped into it right at the same time, didn't even slow down.  We made a huge splash and were both like, "it doesn't really matter" and ran on.  It was so wet and rainy.  We were heading into a headwind as well.  Such fun...grrrr!  It was so bad, all you can really do is laugh and go with it!
I had started to slow down a lot, my leg was still aching really bad and I just couldn't get my speed back up so I just held on.  I thought about my friends and husband at the finish line.  I knew they were probably all dry and full with food by know.  
I played some mental games to count the miles off the trail.  I knew once I was off the trail, it was just 1.5 miles to the finish!
As I came off the trail head and into Banks, all I could smell was car exhaust.  It was very nasty and made me feel sick.  There seemed to be lots of people all over and all the people were annoying to me.  All I could think of, was getting to the finish.  There were lots of twists and turns this last bit.  We ran by a little league football game and people were walking all over the path and in my way!  This was annoying but the volunteers were there to tell me where to turn. Nobody cared I was running a the rain, wind and wet...they just wanted to watch their kid play football...go figure...hahaha!
Alan from Uberthons was out there at one of the turns filling in for a no-show volunteer.  When he saw me, he asked are you wet?  I yelled, "YES, I"m soaked!!!!"   I somehow found this hilarious.  I think I was beginning to loose my mind.  The wind was also blowing so hard right at my face.  I was so tired and wet and so done!!!!  I knew I only had about a half mile to go.  I rounded that corner and saw the park.  We had to run half way around the park before we went into the
Keeping up with the!
finish shoot.  I knew ahead of time I would have to run around the park and thought I would enjoy this part.  Now, reality had set in and I really wanted to cut through the park and end it with a small cheat!!!  In other words, I wanted to be done!
I heard my name and looked up, there was Raelee.  I handed her my water bottle and it felt like I took off ten pounds.  It was such a relief.  I had to keep going...there was Kelleigh...I had to keep going!  I followed the orange flags all the way around and finally got to turn into the paved path to the finish line! There was Jerry and Tonya!  My time was 4:08.38.  I didn't PR, or even break 4 hours.  I was 15 minutes off my PR (personal record) and about 30 minutes off my goal time.  All I have to say is, that was really hard!  
Almost to the finish!!!
I was handed a huge medal.  Uberthons is cool like that!!!!  I was greeted by my friends and family and I was in search for food! Raelee handed me a Big Town Hero sandwich provided by Uberthons and I started to eat it standing there all soaked in shorts and a tank top with the wind blowing all around me.  The back of my mouth hurt when I ate from breathing so hard and for so long (this often happens to me in a longer race).  I got about 1/4 sandwich done and suddenly felt very ill and very cold!  I handed Raelee the rest of the food and said, "I need to go to the van."  I went through an area I wasn't even supposed to be and made a straight shot to my van.  I needed to just sit alone for awhile.  My wonderful husband could tell what was going on and told everyone to let me be.  Thanks Jerry!!!!

A marathon isn't just a physical race.  It is more mental than you know, unless you experience one for yourself.  When you run that far, for that long, your mind does some pretty crazy things.  Your body is pushed to the limit (if you allow it too).  You feel great pain and you feel great happiness. You want it to be over, yet you want to do it again.
I have already started a plan/goals for next year!

My awesome sponsor for The Oregon Marathon!
Thank you Tony Nunes Construction, Inc.for being my sponsor for The Inaugural Oregon Marathon 2013!  Rain, wind, hills and typhoon pabuk, it was a great experience and I continue to learn from each marathon I run.  I learned a lot from this one!  Thank you Jerry Mullins, for running so many long runs with me, even though you were only training for a half marathon and only did them, to support me.  Thank you Chris Owens for all the time you spent working on getting my workouts right, down to the last detail.  Thank you Jeanne Burbank and Raelee Mullins for being road crew on long runs and meeting me for post long run meals! You guys are the best!

I have been in heavy training since January.  I am taking the next three months (rest of 2013) off from training.  I will be doing a half for fun with my friend Tonya.  A trail mud run for fun with my husband, and whatever else I can find to do, just to enjoy the run!  It's time for a mental break.  Come January, I will be ready to get back to some hard training!

Still a goal and dream! 

Less than a year ago, my friend Tonya and I joked about "qualifying for Boston!" Seemed so far off, it was a funny joke!  Now, 9 months later...after some hard work that has paid off, I can taste it!  I know I could qualify.  It will take some hard work in 2014, but it's not a joke's something exciting that could become my reality! Looking forward to what the new year will bring!
This short video tells it all! 

Monday, August 26, 2013

Hood to Coast 2013~My Van 2, Leg 9, Lactose Intolerant Adventure!

My first experience with HTC was in 2011.  Runner five, in van one.  I was so excited to get the opportunity and said, it would be fun to do that again someday. I was also okay just knowing I got to do it once. 
A month or so, Jerry (my husband) and I were asked by our friend Chris if we would be interested in filling in two spots on his team this year.  Jerry had been talking about how cool it would be to get to be on a team and I was happy to do it again.  This time in the other van (van two). So we said, sure...lets do it!
We loaded up Friday about 1:15 pm and headed to Sandy, OR.  Our first six runners (van 1) was already up on Mt. Hood ready to run at our start time, 2:00pm.  It felt strange to just be leaving town at 1:15 seeing posts all over facebook that morning of other teams starting.  HTC has a staggered start.  Teams go out all day Friday because there are so many runners and vans.
Van 1 and van 2....Manic "8" Balls!

We got to Safeway parking lot (the first van exchange), decorated our van and waited and waited and waited for van 1 to come in. All of us were dragging so we went into Safeway's Starbucks and got some coffee.  We got good and caffeinated and now we're ready to run.  We grabbed last minute things like chocolate milk, coffee and water for the cooler and went out to make the big first exchange! 
Ernesto (black and green) just handed off to Mindy (pink)
We talked to our friends in van 1 and waited for runner 6 to come in (Ernesto).  He would be handing off to Mindy, the first runner in van 2.  Then the fun began!  We drove to our next exchange and waited for Mindy, then it was Dave's turn. It was just getting dark and it was my turn. Leg 9.  
My first leg went into Boring, OR.  It was going to be 7.73 miles and was ranked hard. I wasn't worried about this leg.  It was my first leg, I was fresh and ready to go.  I don't mind the dark. It would be cooler and that's good with me! I ran along Hwy 174 (Hwy 212) for a while.  Went from Clackamas to Boring, then turned off onto Springwater Trail for several miles.  It was nice.  I had a few runners ahead of me and a few behind me, but for the most part I was alone in the dark with just my headlamp and water.   The van would not be able to check on me half way since I was on a trail.  I passed a couple runners and saw two volunteers on bikes riding by.  Out of nowhere two runners came up behind me and passed me like I was standing still.  It was the Adidas team! I crossed a few intersections and did a couple switchbacks down back onto the trail and before I knew it, I was at my first exchange.  I handed off to Jerry and I was done with my first leg!  I finished leg 9 with a 7:43 pace per mile and felt really good!  I couldn't wait to eat.  I had a turkey sandwich and knew I had some time to sit back for a bit! 
I had bought chocolate milk at Safeway.  Three of them.  One for after each leg.  I drank one about an hour after I had ran and got back in the van for our next exchange. Then I began for feel very ill.  My runners high turned into a flu like feeling.  I was not doing well and I was stuck in the back of a minivan with six other people in the middle of the night somewhere in the Portland area, but really not sure.  I didn't say anything, just put my head down.  I was sure this 
Jerry being awesome! (runner 10)
would help.  Nope, it actually made me feel worse. Did I have to flu??? What was going on?  I asked for someone to hand me the Safeway bag that was up front.  Someone did, but everyone suddenly realized this could be really bad!  They said, you aren't doing that in here! Our awesome driver/navigator Jeanne drove into a parking lot so I could do my business.  I have never been able to force myself to throw up and so I just kind of stood there realizing I had to do more than throw up.  I walked back over to my van and told them I needed a bathroom now! Jeanne quickly got us a few blocks down to McDonald's.  They wouldn't let me in, just the drive thru was open!  We had to drive a little, but soon came to a gas station/mini mart in Portland.  My van was busy discussing if we should get gas or not and I ran inside and sat in the bathroom for a very long time.  
Mindy, Jeanne, Chris, Jerry and Me
I knew there were people out waiting in line, but I didn't really care. The bathroom was MINE!  I was starting to feel better and went back out to my van and realized I'm still sick!  Over to the bushes I went and threw up over and over again. Nobody came to check on me, they just sat in the van and watched.  That was ok with me, please don't come watch closely!  Finally, after what seemed like hours. I composed myself, walked back over to my team and told them I was ready to move on!  It was that chocolate milk!  It messed my whole system up and we still had two more legs to run!  My body now had nothing in it, and I was scared to eat much of anything.  

It was now time to drive to "HTC van 2 rest stop" I am not sure where that was, but I didn't really care!  There were lots of people and vans in a large open field.  Three of my team members stayed in the van to rest.  Four of us got our sleeping bags and walked over the the grassy area we were suppose to sleep in.  As I got over to the grass, I
Jeanne sharing with us some of our options for rest vs. showers.  She was our glue!
realized it was raining.  Well, it is what it is and I was too tired to care.  We had to get up at 3:45 (1:45 minutes from right then) so I crawled into my sleeping bag expecting to fall fast asleep.   The rain really wasn't bad, I just put the sleeping bag up over my head and it ended up stopping.  It wasn't very cold out. I was surprised at how good it felt to stretch out on the ground
 but, I didn't sleep much.  I slept about 1/2 hour then had to go stand in line at the port-a-potties again. I slept maybe another 20-30 minutes and it was time to get up!  
We got Mindy off and drove to Dave's exchange. We were having a blast and we're going to be at the finish line by the end of the day.
2nd leg (leg 21), the dusty road!
My 2nd leg was Saturday morning.  I think I started around 6:30am or so.  As we drove to my exchange, we looked for our runner Dave.  I was so glad I wasn't running his leg, it was a brutal uphill and gravel run. We passed what we thought was Dave.  Gave out some hoots and hollers then realized it wasn't Dave.  We later passed the real Dave....hahaha! 
After we parked, I headed over to the port-a-potties and Chris yells...there he is! I didn't get to use the port-a-potty...I had to run, now!  I was glad this was just a five miler, but was worried about this one a little.  It was on gravel and I knew it would be very dusty, plus now I had to run knowing I may mess my pants.  I took off and it was raining a little.  It felt great and was keeping the dust down a little.  I had a bandana over my nose and face but I started to feel overheated with it on and had to keep pulling it off.  About half way, my van went by and cheered for me.  I just love them for that! 

We do a lot of this for HTC!
I was doing pretty good.  Just kept reminding myself I get to use the port-a-potty soon. The rain stopped about half-way and the gravel got thicker. I was glad I had taken my contacts out for this leg with the thick dust every time a van went by.  I soon realized I was at the exchange, handed off to Jerry and boom...leg 2 was done! 7:53 pace!  I thought it would be really cool to break 8 for all three legs but I also knew my next leg, would be hardest of all!!!! I used the port-a-potty and grabbed a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and passed on the chocolate milk!!!   My body was low on fuel and I was feeling it!  
Everyone in my van was coming in above projected times, we were all getting along and having a great time.  It was soon time for our second "van 2 rest stop."  It was now the middle of the afternoon on Saturday.  Nobody really wanted to sleep.  We pulled our mini van in the grass parking lot, put out a tarp and sat around whining about wanting to get on with leg 3 and get to the beach.  We started plotting out a way to cheat our way to the beach and beat van one to the beach house.  Seems silly? Well when you haven't slept in 24 hours and you still aren't done, there seems to be some logic to this!  But, we decided to make it count and "earn" our medals!  Jerry got Jeanne's trusty binder out and we plotted ways to "beat" our own times and honestly make our way to the beach faster!  We now had a plan! Time passed and Mindy was up to run very soon now!  We went up to the leg shoot to wait for our exchange from van one.  It was now hot in the afternoon. 
Dave handing off to me.
I was up against what I knew would be my biggest challenge for Hood to Coast this year. Leg 33. Ranked hard. 7.72  miles on rollings hills on narrow country the heat to add to it!
I took the baton from Dave and started off up a hill. My hold an even slow pace up and glide down, over and over and over again.  The first four miles this worked really good.  I even passed a few people.  My van passed me about this time.  I was getting hot and tired but was ok.  Very soon the sadness hit me.  I felt like my nine year old jumped on my back.  From head to toe my body was done.  I felt so weighted down and hot I wanted to quit.  My pace began slipping and I no longer cared about my plan.  All I wanted was to finish and be done with this already!!!!  I was thirsty but water was
Waiting at an exchange, Jerry and I
no longer good. I was hungry but couldn't eat until I was done.  I was hot and had no shower.  (BTW, my buddies in my van were playing in the creek around this time..I was SOOO happy for them!)  I was lonely, so I started talking to people.  A guy I had passed came up behind me and I told him I was going to run with him for awhile.  I have no idea if he cared or not, but I wanted company.  Later I talked to a lady around my age.  Then it got so hard, I decided to take some walk breaks.  This is something I rarely do anymore, but at this point, my friends were just going to have to wait for me longer. 

A few kids were out spaying runners with water, I was happy to have a spray down.  A girl gave me an orange gatorade about 1.5 miles from my finish. Even though I knew I better not drink it now, I took it so I could drink it after.  It got to be such a bother to carry, but all I could think about was the end!  I finally made a turn and started up another stupid hill, knowing I only had about .5 miles to go.  
Chris and Shannon (runners 11 and 12)
There it was...up ahead.  My exchange!  I could cry, but why?  I was freaking DONE! I was able to pull off a 9:45 pace.  Not at all what I had in mind for that leg, but it didn't matter.  I handed off to Jerry and drank my gatorade then went to the port-a-potty again! We drove on and finished all our legs.  After we dropped off Shannon (our closer, leg 12) we drove on to the beach to meet up with our other van and run in together for the finish. 

The sunset after the big finish
The beach was awesome.  Nice sunny day with music playing and good food (again, I was soooo hungry).   We went through the finish shoot as a team, was handed our finish medals and got our team photo taken.  I was really excited to run into my friend Jerrilynn who had run HTC with an Elvis team!  Yeah Jerrilynn!  I was looking for my friend Kelleigh, but I knew her team came in earlier and was most likely gone by now.  
My team rented a beach house only four blocks from the finish line so we had easy access to showers! 
It was fun telling stories that night between both vans.  We laughed and laughed.  The next morning Paul made us breakfast.  Some of us ran, and some walked the beach before packing up and heading home.  
Walking the beach the morning after HTC!
The whole team
Jerry and I were new to this team of friends, but they welcomed us and treated us as if we had been part of the team for years.  They are a great group of people and I was so happy to run with them.  Thank you Manic "8" balls! 
Van 1 and van 2 next to the beach house

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Newport Marathon 2013

Sub 4 on the mind!!!!!!!!

At the start!!!! So exciting, 7:00am Saturday June 1, 2013 Newport OR
Yesterday I ran Newport Marathon.  It was my 5th marathon, 3rd time doing Newport.  Last year, I was pretty sure I was running at my fastest.  I was fine with being a 4.5 hour marathon runner and didn't expect much more than that in 2013...maybe a 4:15, but knew I would never be faster than that....and again, I was ok with that. 

 The marathon is 26.2 miles.  They say the first half of a marathon is miles 1-20.  The second half is miles 21-26.2.  If you have ever run this distance, you know this is true.  It is a mental game after mile 20.

As I started into Newport training 4-5 months ago I realized (while out running with my running buddy Tonya one day)...I need to change my long runs for Newport.  I wasn't exactly sure how, but I just felt I needed too.

Around this time in training, a local ultra runner found my running group on facebook (Dallas, OR Run the Open Road) and started running with Jerry, and me on weekends...and who-ever else we could get to join...Tonya, Jenny, Brian, Raelee.  Chris, the ultra was doing Newport too and seemed happy just to have people to run with.  As we got to know him a little better I found out he worked with a running coach, has been running for 10+ years and really seemed to know what he was talking about.  I began to ask lots of questions and decided, what do I have to loose?  I want to change some things...why not give his advice a try.  
I just had to have Faith: 

“belief plus unbelief and acting on the belief part.” Every
 blessing is available to those who put their faith to work by “acting on the belief part,” moment by moment, day by day, one little step at a time.

So, I did just that....took my training moment by moment, day by 
day, one little step at a time and acted on the belief part.  Chris and 
Jerry kept me positive and kept giving me reason's why I could do 
this. After awhile, I started to believe it myself...then things 
started getting good.  
I had to be willing to take some constructive criticism. 
I was told some things I was doing wrong and some things I
needed to work on.
I also, started a challenge with my Running group and Uberthons 
Running.  It was an "eating healthy for a month" challenge. It 
showed me how to get my eating under control, even during 
marathon training when you can be hungry all the time.  It was 
I really started to believe I could do a sub-four marathon.  Chris and 
Jerry had faith in me but it took me a little longer to have faith in 
myself.  I am sure glad I took the constructive criticism and ran 
with paid off!!!!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Newport Marathon Goals and Stuff

Newport is only 7 short days away.  I have never blogged about my goals but I think I will this time around.  It can be scary to tell the world your goals.  Last year I did it! My goal was sub 4:30 and I ran a 4:29:18.  Talk about close.  I also really struggled the last several miles, but none-the-less...I did it!

As I started into training for this year I realized, If I want the same results..fine, train the same way!  But, am I really capable of more? After last year I thought I had reached my potential.  I had ran my perfect marathon time and I was completely satisfied with that.  

But this year is a NEW year!  

After I realized I needed to change things in my training and diet I went with it.  I met Ultra Runner Chris and started picking his brain.  Jerry (my husband) had also decided to run Newport this year (for the first time) and was doing all kinds of running research.  I was getting all kinds of good training tips.  It was like I was a new runner again learning how to train different.  I decided, "what do I have to lose?" and went with a new training plan.  Chris works with a coach and gave me some tips, lots of tips and constructive criticism.  Over the next month or so I started to see a difference.  I enjoyed all the different types of running workouts I had to do.  I had very hard running days, and very enjoyable running training days.  But, I never burnt out...I typically have a burn out sometime in training....interesting!

I also changed my eating and fueling for the first time in marathon training.  The change in food made a huge difference in the stomach issues I have dealt with over the last two years.  I also lost six
pounds the right way and am going to run Newport at my goal weight.  This is something I've wanted since I started running 4.5 years ago.  I have more energy and feel so much better with just simple changes.  

As I embraced the changes and had a couple guys (Jerry and Chris) saying, you CAN do this...I started to believe I could indeed do it. I realized it was really working when I ran The Biggest Loser 15k in April with a nice PR.  Then I ran the Hippie Chick Half with a  pretty PR only two weeks ago.  

I set my Newport Goal at sub 4:00:00.  I know I can do this.  It won't be easy, but I have done the work.  All I need to do now is simmer for one more week and then give it my all for a pretty payday at the finish line.  I realize I may not make my goal, but I also realize I AM capable.  I will give it my best next week...can't what to see what happens!  

DCE Electric, Inc. PO Box 1146 Dallas, OR sponsor for Newport