Sunday, October 26, 2008

16 miles!

Welcome back everyone! Thanks for stopping in and reading about my running journey again. Yesterday was a big day, and a very very hard run at that. I ran a full 16 miles...well 15 2/3, but I'll explain why in a second!

So we started off, bright and early at 8:00am, it was a pretty cool morning but perfect for a long run. I ran with Don, a friend of Kyle and mine, for the first mile and a half. He is a much faster runner than I am so I told him to go on ahead, I didn't want to slow him down.

After that, I was on my own for another 3 miles. It was nice, I was just chugging along at a comfortable pace, no pain, no problems. Then at about mile 4.5, one of my coaches caught up to me from the other direction and ran with me until mile marker 6. It was nice to have company for a little bit because we talked about a lot of stuff and it helped to take running off my mind. Before I knew it, we were at the second water stop (at mile marker 6). Plus, our trail for the day took us through some pretty nice neighborhoods and Coach and I talked about how nice it would be to live in those houses we can't afford. Although, most of them had McCain/Palin signs out in front of them, so I probably wouldn't fit in anyway.

When we got to that water stop, Don had hurt his knee pretty bad, so Coach stayed behind with him, and luckily, the other 3 girls running were still refueling. So I was able ran with Sara (my friend and Don's girlfriend) for awhile. We had 4 more miles to go before we got back to our starting place, but then we still had to run out 3 more miles and come back 3 miles to get our full 16 in. It was a pretty run, running by the local wineries and their grape vines were turning fire red and golden yellow. We did have to walk up a few hills but for the most part, we did pretty well.

We made it back to the starting point in just over 2 hours. Did I forget to mention my blister? At about mile 5, I started feeling some pain in my left arch, and before I knew it, I had a pretty good size blister formed and stinging me every step of the way. When I made it back to the starting point, I stopped and taped it up, had a glass of juice, and I was on my way again. Other than the blister, I felt pretty good about the first 10 miles, however, the next 6 miles, well, those are a different story.

So Sara and I took off to finish the last 6 miles of our run. We kept telling ourselves it was no big deal and normally, 6 miles wouldn't be hard but after 10 miles, holy cow, 6 miles feels like forever! We were running, slowly, but steady, and stopping just for a little bit every mile to walk some. Our legs were starting to feel about 20 lbs heavier every step at this point. We knew the water stop to turn around was pretty close so we walked about a quarter of a mile until we found it. We filled up on water and Gatorade before heading back for the last 3 miles.

At this point, my legs were in some serious pain. It hurt to lift them every time I took a step. We tried to jog but Sara and I laughed, saying we felt like we were giving it our all but if people looked at us, they would think we were walking kind of funny. At about 2.25 miles to go, I told Sara to go ahead because it seemed she could at least jog. I on the other, I was in pain and my body didn't want to go another step. The next two miles were pretty hard- I would jog for a minute or two, walk for a minute or two and then stop and stretch, hoping to stretch out some of the pain I was feeling. It was a long process and by the last mile, I thought I was going to collapse. I started seeing spots and my knee was in some serious trouble...I thought I might have to crawl back. Luckily for me, Carol, one of my teammates was leaving the park when she saw me and must have noticed my condition when she pulled over and told me to hop in the car. Thank Goodness for Carol, she drove me back the last 1/3 of a mile- I was shaking and trebling, my body was in shock from the distance.

Thanks goodness it was over! I have learned to really love running and it was amazing what my body was able to do yesterday but I've also learned I still have a ways to go before I'm ready for my marathon because this run was seriously one of the hardest things I have ever done.

By the time I got home, I could barely walk and I was hopping around on one leg because my other knee was in so much pain. I stretched some more, took a hot shower and scheduled my very first full body massage! It was wonderful...a little painful, as she was rolling out the knots in my lower back, my thighs and my calves. She asked me if I knew what my IT band was (muscle that runs through your lower back down through your leg to your ankle area)and I said "yes" and she said "it's really tight" and I said, "oh really? my calves are giving me a lot more trouble" and her answer was "yeah, those are even tighter". Oh the glories of becoming a runner!

Well, overall, I'm still very sore from my run yesterday and although I didn't finish that last 1/3 of a mile, I did complete over 15 miles and I couldn't be more amazed! Thanks for your support!

Picture: Sara and I coming up to the 10 mile marker! woo-hoo!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

So, I know it's been a whole week again! Time is hard to come by these days as we spend more and more time training for the marathon, which is less than 8 weeks away at this point. When I'm not training, I'm fundraising because I'm starting to get a little worried about my fundraising pot. I need to have $3,900 raised by Dec. 14th and I only have about 30% so far! Yikes! Otherwise, the funds are coming out of my pocket and we all know I'm not a millionaire. :P

So besides for my fundraising worries, I've been doing my normal weekday runs except I'm still experiencing calf and shin pain whenever I get moving. I try to ignore it while I'm out on a run and I am sure to roll them and stretch them when I have the chance but I hope it heals soon! We are scheduled for a 16 mile run on Saturday and it won't be very much fun if I'm in pain the whole time. Send some healing prayers my way if you can!

Today was another track run and there weren't too many people there because many of my teammates ran the Nike 1/2 marathon this weekend in San Francisco and are recovering still. GO TEAM! WOO-HOO! and they all kicked butt, running up those big SF hills! Good job!

But back to the track workout, Shannon and I ran together today and it was great. I usually help set the pace and this allowed us to finish our workout nice and steady. We did 3 laps (fast!), then walked 1/2 a lap, then we ran 2 laps (fast!), then walked 1/2 a lap, and then ran 1 lap (fast!) and walked 1 full lap before completing the whole "ladder" sequence over. Considering we are both usually around 11-12 minute milers, we did pretty well with our longest lap at 2:45 and our shortest at 2:10. Good job Shannon! Thanks for your help and motivation! I'm so lucky to have such a great team!

Well, to finish out for the night, here is a video that I thought was pretty inspiring. Please take a minute to watch it!

And please take a moment to make a generous donation ( if you haven't already to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society- you can HELP SAVE LIVES!


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

I'm still alive (after another 12 miles!)

Hello everyone!

I'm sorry I haven't written in a whole week! It's been a busy one. Saturday, we had another 12 mile run and it was a tough one. The first couple of miles I felt alright, but my legs were a little sore and my nose kept running- I was stopping practically every mile to blow my nose. It became pretty annoying. With the seasons changing, I find my California allergies acting up. I call them CA allergies because I never had allergies back home in Michigan.

Kyle ran the whole 12 miles with me, which was a special treat because he is usually much faster than me but he was great motivation and kept me going. We did the whole route, in 2 hours 42 minutes- not bad, considering all the water stops we took, the traffic stops, and the darn nose blowing stops. I was exhausted after the run and was looking forward to a hot shower and a nap! Here's a picture of the two of us on mile 9!

We also did a hill workout tonight- it was a great trail....EXCEPT... it was pitch black and we spent most of the time trying not to trip on a rock or fall down a hill. I'm also having some pain in my right leg from this weekend and that made it a tough run today. But it was beautiful...rolling hills, full moon and city lights off in the distance. I would love to run it again before sun down, but maybe not until my legs feel a little better.

I also wanted to take a moment and ask you to make a donation ( if you haven't already) to help fund the research to fund a cure for Leukemia, Lymphoma and other blood cancers. It's a great cause and I'm hoping all these miles I'm logging will actually help make a difference- BUT I NEED YOUR HELP TOO!

Thanks for your help and support (and for reading my blog)


Love, C.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

3.2.1. or wait, was it 2.3.1?

Welcome back to my blog! Tonight we had a track workout down in San Ramon. I haven't quite decided yet if I like track workouts (besides from running on the track by myself on Mondays). We have some pretty fast runners on our team and they leave me in the dust, even when I feel like I'm giving my all, I look at them and feel like I'm not even moving! But then again, God didn't bless me with legs that go on for miles and a lot of my speedy teammates have legs like Heidi Klum. Okay, maybe not like Heidi Klum but they do have some nice height on them.

Today, we were split up into team's of 3 (Runner #1, #2 and #3). Our workout was sort of confusing...let me see if I can explain. So Runner #1 first ran 1 lap, then #2 ran 2 laps and #3 ran 3 laps ( I was #3 on our team). Then, once #3 was done, #1 would start again, but this time, would run 2 laps, #2 runs 3 laps, and #3 runs 1 lap. Then, once #3 finished their 1 lap, #1 would start again, this time running 3 laps, #2 runs 1 lap and #3 runs 2. Confused yet?

So, when we were running our assigned laps, we were to be running at an 85% effort- which means give it your all pretty much! To make it more confusing, when you were waiting for your teammates to finish up their assigned laps, you were to be running the reverse way on the track in a nice easy jog. However, a nice easy jog is much slower than running at an 85% effort, so if you saw your teammate was almost done with their assigned laps and you weren't close to the starting line, you had to sprint across the track or field to get to that starting point.

It was pretty confusing having people running all over the place and trying to keep track of your teammates and what "assignment" you were to be running. Oh, and did I mention Coach Al wanted us to do the whole circuit- twice?!?!!? It was fun but it ended up taking too much time and we cut it a little short. Overall, I ended up doing about 4 miles and 2.75 of it was at full effort.

I was feeling a little slow again today but I am feeling much better overall and very happy to be back outside and running. Kyle, on the other hand, is still fighting off his cold so please send healthy thoughts his way. They will be much appreciated!

Have a wonderful rest of the week...I'll write more on Saturday after my long 12-mile run!


Love, C.

Monday, October 6, 2008

A case of the Mondays...

Happy Tuesday Morning everyone!

It's Monday night and I just finished my 50 minute run. It was a tough one because I haven't hit the pavement and put on my running shoes since last Tuesday. You see, Kyle brought home a cold bug last Wednesday and he had a pretty bad cold all last week and is still fighting off the congestion and cough. I have a pretty weak immune system so of course, the first day he came home sick I started to get a tickle in my throat. Therefore, I've spent the last few days trying my best to keep from getting a full blown cold. Drinking OJ, taking my vitamins, getting plenty of rest and best of all, I made a HUGE pot of homemade chicken noodle soup for the two of us to eat over the weekend. I think it all worked because I feel much better and managed to escape a real cold but I spent all my energy trying to stay healthy and missed out on all my runs.

However, the first day back to running after 5 full days off was pretty hard. I did a total of 4.5 miles but found my shins and calves getting sore and I needed to stop and stretch them every half mile, sometimes walking a lap or two around the track. I'm not sure if it's because I had so much time off or if it's because I ran a pretty quick mile (10 minutes) my first mile on the track. I was really excited to be running again! Seriously, I've gotten to the point where I really look forward to my runs and I missed them these past couple of days. Tomorrow I'll be down in San Ramon for a track workout and then this Saturday we are doing 12 miles again, but don't worry, we'll be up to 16 miles before the end of the month. I'm not sure whether I should be scared (16 miles? yikes!) or ecstatic to have more accomplishments to look forward too?

Anyways, just a few quick reminders, if you are in the area, I'm hosting a fundraiser this Friday at Sports Basement in Walnut Creek from 6-9pm. It will be $10 at the door but that includes dinner, plus there are raffle tickets for sale (good prizes!) and you get 20% off everything in the store. Stock up or buy some Christmas presents!! Lastly, if you haven't yet donated, now is the time! I only have a few more weeks to accept donations!

Thanks for all your support!

Peace, love & a cure!

Love, C.