Thursday, February 2, 2017

Goals check in!

So at the beginning of January I made some goals and I wanted to check in at the end of the month to update how things went and reevaluate.

Goal 1 - Blog once a month.  Done! That was pretty easy and I really enjoyed it. I have had this blog for a few years now and  I really keep it more for my accountability and so I can remember how the races go.

Goal 2- Foam roll/lacrosse ball every day I work out.  I did really well on this one too. There were a few days I didn't get it done, but for the two weeks going in to the marathon I was diligent and good about it.  The week and a half after the marathon I didn't do any exercise just trying to shake the sinus infection that would not go away so there was no foam rolling or lacrosse balling, but I started running again a few days again and I could tell I probably should have kept up with it because my body is super tight.

Goal 3 - Drop one CG and add in a Bikram yoga.  I did for the first two weeks and after that I switched to a runner's yoga on the internet site DoYogaWithMe. I used the video for runner's IT Band because mine was so tight. I love that website.

Goal 4 - Hit 200 check in's at CG.  Done!  My sweet friend, Sheryl, even came and let EJ kick her butt that day too.
EJ enjoys kicking our butts way too much...Look at that smile of his after basically killing me...
So not too bad on goals for January.  Now on to February!

Goal 1 - Continue with the blog at least once a month! ( I really enjoyed this last month.)

Goal 2 - Track my food every day on MyFitnessPal app. 

Goal 3 - 2 CG's a week with one yoga session via DoYogaWithMe website.

Goal 4 - Finish knitting the ponytail hats for people!  AGH! 

Do you have any goals for February?

Monday, January 23, 2017

Miracle Match Marathon Madness

3 days before race day...

I'm not going to lie....I'm excited about this race because of who I will be with - Tracy, Kim, DK, Lynnette, Elaine, Elizabeth, and probably more friends that I don't even know are running yet.

I'm going in to this knowing it probably is not going to feel good at all. My IT bands are super tight and everything from my butt down to my  knees is sore and tight.  My left knee that has been giving me problems since this summer has decided to flare up this week....Awesome...Dr. Chad told me to foam roll at least twice a day until race day. So I am following his orders hoping it's not too late!

Man, after reading what I just wrote I sound super negative about this race! Ugh - I am not in a negative mindset - I am just trying to make realistic goals and go in to it with a mindset that will help me not get crazy in my head when I realize I am not running my fastest marathon. I am actually expecting this to be my slowest but who knows. If I can just keep up with Tracy and Kim, I will be in good shape.

Marathon chicks. Love these girls!
Now just gotta keep up with them for 26 miles.
If I can do that, I'm sure to get an ab workout from
laughing the whole time!

2 days before race day...

Well, I couldn't sleep last night - the culprit...sinus congestion...Ugh..Seriously...Luckily my 14 year old who has been sick all week with strep and bronchitis finally woke up feeling fine!  Went to CVS Minute Clinic this afternoon running a slight fever and got the confirmation of sinus infection.  Hopefully amoxicillin will kick in quick - I've got a marathon to run!

1 day before race day...

Wound up not going to Stuart's double header football games this morning, because he wasn't feeling well. Thank goodness. It gave me more time to sleep. Went back to bed after my alarm and woke up at 9:30.  I finished packing and went to Kroger and grabbed some snacks. I have to take these antibiotics with food so I don't want to be without something to eat.(That's my excuse at least.)

Tracy and Kim picked me up at 1:00 and we headed down to packet pick up and the hotel in Waco.

I got shot gun.  I started calling that seat on Wednesday!
Had to visit the horse statues near the finish line.

Dinner with Dk, Elaine, and Lynnette the night before!

Once we got all checked in, we walked over and checked out the start/finish and the bridge where we would run across at the end.  We got our packets and came back and rested a bit before heading to dinner with Elaine, DK, and Lynnette.  We hit up Buzzard Billy's or Swampy's as DK called it...same/same...It was great. I had a great burger because...duh, Team Beef...I was starving.

Afterwards, we all headed home wishing each other good luck. Elaine was running the ultra - yes, 31 miles of that nonsense, Dk was running the half (she's the smartest of the group), and the rest of us were doing the full for some unknown reason...oh yeh, because Tracy wanted to do a marathon...that's right...hee hee...I'm totally blaming this one on Tracy...and Lynnette for that matter...Lynnette and Elaine were doing the early 5:30 start so we knew we wouldn't see them until the finish line the next day.

We got back to the hotel and went to bed...after laying everything out for in the morning. 
Flat Tracy, Flat Alicia, Flat Kim ready to race...
I didn't get much sleep because I couldn't breathe with my sinus infection and if I was able to breathe I apparently had had plenty to hydrate with because I was in the bathroom about 150 times...stupid...

Race Day!!!

The weather forecast was 50's and super high 25 mph winds and 50 mph gusts was what we saw on the news app.  The wind was insane...This was one day I wish I had long enough hair to pull back in to a ponytail instead of fighting with it the whole trip.

So up we got - ready and packed up to leave in the car (since we couldn't get a late check out). We walked over to the race start and found DK.
Race start!
So off we go! Dk ran with us for the first 5.5 miles until the marathon course turned off from the half.  We ran through the Baylor campus and all around the football stadium. Man, what a nice venue Baylor has! No wonder it's expensive, but I digress... 
On one of the ramps coming back from the stadium.

Hey hottie...pic courtesy of DK
This was about mile 6 right after we left DK. This was my view until about mile 15....
I was already feeling crappy before we even left DK. I just felt like I was working so much harder than I should have been.  We weren't going fast, my body should not be this tired by mile 3.  I'm assuming that was from being sick.  I tried to keep a positive outlook.  Tracy and Kim were so strong and I was really struggling.  I kept trying to fall back enough where they would forget about me and I could disappear and catch a ride back...but they wouldn't...I might have even gotten a little grouchy a few times and told them to go on, that I would be fine. ( I so wanted them to leave me so I could stop. I did NOT want to go 20 more miles feeling like that - the worst part was knowing that I was the reason Tracy was having to slow down on her first marathon when she was so ready for it.)   I promptly got yelled at by Kim. Those of you that know Kim know that she yells at you when she loves you.  She told me to shut up and stop being stupid...This is why I love sugar coating...just stop your whining...stop the BS and let's go...I kind of wanted to punch her at the same time...bwahahahahaha...but she scares me...

So on we behind these two just doing my thing.  I thought of what my friend Corina told me many years mile at a time...don't think of it as anything bigger...So I just kept telling myself...get to mile 9...mile 10....mile was working....

By mile 14, the wind was insane and it was about this time Tracy started complaining of her stomach hurting.  After that, I was finally able to keep up.  We hit a stretch of the road around mile 16 that I remember from the last time I ran this race. That was the stretch of road where it got hard...and it was flat, but there was nothing really to look at and it was was just running through a city street. Tracy started struggling a little more there and we just ran together and talked and took one mile at a time.  
Mile 16 on the stupid road...

It was also about this time that Tracy started complaining of swelling...her hands and her feet were bothering her.  None of the aid stations had any salt or endurolytes.  She was a trooper though and kept on trucking.

Kim and I had just said how it wasn't that hilly and I even mentioned they must have changed the course because the hills were gone...That was mile 20...and I should have been struck by lightening for saying that...because instead of a route was a memory fail...we just hadn't gotten to the steep hills yet...there was no change of route...holy moly...
Yeh miles 18-20...spoke WAY too soon...

A little after mile 20...I knew then I was wrong...
and more hills...
So we power walked a lot...We had to...We were spent.  Around mile 22, before we hit the aid station, Tracy broke out her CG pigeon stretch pose....

Hey sexy...
So after that, they came and checked on us about every 5 minutes to make sure Tracy was okay. Which she totally was, she was just stretching...but it was pretty funny.  We tried to come up with some scenarios where we would switch bibs, so the next time they came back they would be looking for me or Kim and we could complain of a different malady...hee hee...

Diva and her kettle corn...

The mile 22 aid station were so happy to see us that when Kim commented on their kettle corn, they gave her the whole rest of the bag...which she carried at least another mile to the next aid station...and ate the whole thing...It was also about this time we facetimed our friend Sheryl, I figured she could provide us with a few laughs as we were suffering...she was perfect!

We finally got to mile 24...Jacob's ladder...

Eating a jalapeno at the bottom 
100 stairs to the top...

Up we go...
The stairs actually make my legs feel better after we had done them.  At the top, they had beer, sweet tea, and endurolytes. So we made Tracy take a couple of those and then we were off.  2.2 miles left...

We ran more the last two miles than we had in a long time. It was flat and we were ready to be done. We were able to stick with our intervals and everything. Those steps really helped.

Mile 25
I totally missed this sign.  It was comment a few years back on Facebook to the Miracle Match RD when she asked why people signed up for the race...and the "friend" I am referring to is my pal DK.  This is all her fault. I would have never come down here 3 years ago to do this race if it weren't for her...and now I'm back...
Finish Line! Done!

I didn't die!

Love the medal...especially the ladder add on for doing Jacob's ladder!

My new favorite shirt!
So all in all a great weekend spent with wonderful friends.  I wish I could have had more time with Elaine and Lynnette and DK. Hopefully soon!

A few things I have learned (been reminded of) from this race -

1) I can do things way harder than I think I can. I would have quit if Tracy and Kim would have left me, I didn't think I could finish. 

2) Never give up on yourself.

3) Push through - it will be worth it.

4) Laugh a lot.

5) I have the best friends (except when they turn the light off on me when I am in the shower and put their starburst trash in my bed at night) other than that, they are pretty cool

Friday, December 30, 2016

2017 - Let it begin...January Goals

My Goal Chicks
Some friends and I have been meeting over the last year and working on goals throughout 2016. We have all gone through set backs at some time or another over the year, and goals have been tweaked and modified, but we made it through.

Goals tend to stress me out - they will tell you - they have seen it first hand.  So this past month, when we sat down and talked about our goals - I refined mine a bit.  I focused less on
numbers and more on sanity. Instead of 3
and 6 month goals, I am doing one month at at time.

So here are my January goals -

1) Blog once a month minimum.

2) Foam roll/Lacrosse ball every day I work out.

3) Drop one Camp Gladiator a week and put in a Bikram Yoga class in its place. (I'm hoping this will help with the arthritis in my knee.)

4) Hit 200 CG check in's. I just need 6 more!

I'll update at the end of the month and reevaluate how I did and what my goals for February will be.

Do you have any goals for the new year? What are they?

Monday, December 26, 2016

Thoughts of 2016...

Thoughts in no particular order....

1) Can it just be over already?
2) Cancer sucks.
3) I'm getting more gizzardy as the years go on.
4) Knees are overrated.
5) Delegate, delegate, delegate - it will save you lots of stress.
6) Most things are made better by a run with your friends.
7) I want to move to Colorado.
8) 15 pound weights aren't as heavy as I thought they were.
9) Rats are still super cool pets.
10) I still don't have a goat.

Here's to a fresh start in 2017 -

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Thoughts of a Pacer...

So my friend Faith asked me to be her pacer on her 50 miler back in December.  She tried really hard to get me to run the whole thing, but lucky for me I am a wise old goat and knew what would be more fun...17 miles with Faith after she has run 34 already or 50 miles on my own...hmmmmm...not a hard decision...especially having already done my own 50 miler - so I jumped at the chance to do 17...that was of course until she told me there were alligators at the park...Nice Faith...way to look out for your pacer...

Pretty sure these things eat goats - just sayin'...
A bunch of the ladies from our MRTT group and other friends of ours went down to Houston for the race, we had people running all distances from the half marathon, full marathon, and the 50 miler.  

So we set up camp at the start finish line and waited for the race to start.  Half marathoners would do one loop, full marathoners would complete two loops, and the 50 mile crazies would do three loops. 

MRTT ladies!

Fiona, Royce, and Faith ready to tackle their first 50 miler!
Marathoners and Half Marathoners

Jolene off on the 50 miles~

These guys are too much to handle...

So then DK (who would be Fiona's pacer on her 3rd loop) and I decided to chill out and rest up as we waited for our turn to get out there with them.  We had about 7 hours to prepare...surely we could be ready in 7 hours, right? 
Turtle and Goat
Trying to rest
The weather was warm and humid at the beginning of the race. I can't imagine running in it but soon it rained a bit - just enough to bring the humidity down and muddy the course up pretty good.

Runners started coming in on their first laps...They would stop at the tent, sit down for a bit and rest their feet, and grab something to eat. Not too long because they  needed to keep moving and not stiffen up, but just long enough to raise their feet up and rest a bit.  Then they were off on loop two.  Fiona and Faith had both opted for pacers so they had to finish the second loop and then Dk and I could go out with them on the last loop.
Jolene coming in off loop 1 making it look easy...
Hooking Faith up with some gummy worms after loop 1.
Royce comes in off loop one looking strong!
Fiona - beautiful as always after 16 miles.

Everyone headed back out and I started getting ready...I still had a few hours but I was so excited I couldn't stand it.  So I changed clothes, got in to my compression shorts, and started       packing and checking the weather. It had been raining off and on all day and there was a huge storm headed our way. I packed everything Faith had asked for...I had pringles, Skor, pickle juice, gummy bears and worms, Swedish Fish, Hot Tamales, water, S-caps, BASE salts, two rain jackets, hats, 2 head lamps and a flashlight, name it...I had it...
Finally she came in and I was ready to go with all that stuff in my pack.  I felt like I was carrying a grocery store! She changed her socks and ate a bit and we were off - hoping to skirt the storm.  Here is where I should mention that I won the shoe taking off and putting on contest with her husband Jay.  It could have been he was tired with exhaustion from just smoking his first marathon, but I choose to believe I have mad sock changing skills...Winner winner chicken dinner...
Me winning on the right, Jay losing on the left...
Ready to go...
And we are off...
So off we go. Faith tells me she wants to run some intervals so I set up my watch and we run/walk about 3/4 of a mile until we hit just massive amounts of mud. No one was running at this point.  It was a straight up mud fest.
AGHHH mud!!!
Notice how Faith was walking on the outside of the trail, that's because that was the safest part if you wanted your shoes to not be sucked off your feet.

So we continue on, the intervals have been turned off at this point because there was no point in trying to run. 

It was on this loop that Faith saw a snake, thank goodness I didn't.  I might have turned back and headed back to base camp.

We continue on talking and giggling - me because I was funny, her because she was exhausted.  We hit the first aid station and I took her pack from her so she could relax a bit. ( I remembered that was one of the best things Greg had done for me when I did my 50 miler. He would take my pack off and run ahead and fill it up with water or whatever I needed. It felt so good to take it off.)  So we continued on...

Eventually we got out of the mud and were promptly swallowed by swamps...all around us...I asked Faith if she had seen any gators at which point she grabs my arm and stops me and points...and there was a gator...NIIIICE...just what I wanted to see...I knew we had about an hour of daylight left and I didn't really want to see any gators...because who knows what would happen in the dark!  

Faith had told me not to shine our flashlights in the water after dark or we would see lots of eyes...GREAT...

Too much swamp for this goat
It was pretty if you just looked straight ahead...and not in the water

Greg and Julie found us on their mountain bikes while we were out on the trail at about mile 7. It was good to see a friendly face...
Greg, Julie, and Faith...and my hat :-)
We head back out on to the back loop which was about 10 miles.  (Also notice, it's December and we are all in shorts and tanks...It was 75 degrees that day!)

So we head out on the back loop and I am a little nervous because I don't know what this loop looks like trail wise. Faith has already done it twice so she has an idea...I didn't know if we were in forest, swamp, or what. We had already traveled through both types in the first 6 miles.  And then it gets dark...really dark...and the fun begins...
This is what Faith and I saw for a good 3 hours
It got so dark...and by that time the only people running were 50 milers and 100 milers - so on a 16.5 mile loop you didn't see many runners at all. We would see another person about every 30-45 minutes unless we hit an aid station.  Faith's feet REALLY started to hurt at this point. I loosened up her laces a little bit and we just kept moving.  I knew if she stopped or sat down it would be very difficult to get her moving again.  My alarms were beeping every 15 minutes to make her eat and drink.  She ate nothing but hot tamales and pickle juice for 16 miles! GAG! We just kept going...forward progress.  The mud got worse on the back loop and sucked my shoes off a couple of times.  I would follow Faith and then she would follow me and we would just take turns.  It was the longest 3 hours.  I enjoyed it because I was with Faith, but when you are walking a quarter of a mile goes by  much slower than when you are running.  The important thing was Faith was moving and even though she was in pain, she was looking good and strong.  We discussed all kinds of things, made all kinds of plans, half of which she probably doesn't remember...and even if she didn't I could say we made race plans and that she was delirious...maybe she would still do them. I'll have to try that on her!  Anyway, I digress..

We knew if we could just get to this one section of the trail where it wasn't muddy, we would be close to the finish...close being 2 miles left...which still meant about 40 we would walk and talk and wonder how people were running in this mud...and how Greg was stupid for making her do this...and how proud she was of Jay for finishing his marathon...and how great a pacer I was ( okay, maybe I made that part up but still..)  We giggled..we almost cried...(Faith wouldn't budge...she was so strong - I cried like a baby on my 50 miler so I told her unless she sat down and threw a fit she wouldn't have to worry about embarrassing herself....) Every muscle in my body hurt, but you can't exactly voice that when you are with a beast girl that is at mile 40 and you are at mile 6.  Around mile 47 she informed me her leg could only apparently go 47 miles, that it had decided to quit on her. So she dragged it for 3 more miles. We heard all kinds of noises off to the sides of the trail. I had no idea what they were, so we decided they were fairies dancing among the pixie dust and flowers that we couldn't see. (It wasn't until the next morning at breakfast that Faith decided to enlighten me on the fact that last year at this race a 100 mile racer was treed by a wild hog...OMG...what would we have done...can you play possum when one comes around because there is no way I could have climbed a tree on broken goat legs at that point...) Eventually, we finally hit the part of the trail that we knew would take us back to the finish line. 
This sums up exactly what Faith is...a beast...

After a while Greg came riding his bike out of the darkness and rode with us a bit and said that Jay was up there waiting for her just a ways ahead.  Then he took off to go let everyone know we were coming in.  We just kept trucking. Faith was exhausted at this point and I knew if we could just get to Jay it would give her the pick me up that she needed to finish.  Greg had said he was about a quarter mile from the finish line.  Eventually we get to where Jay was supposed to be and I saw a headlamp and called out for him...I was afraid he may have gone up to the finish line and I knew Faith would kill me because I kept telling her "We are almost to Jay. Just get to Jay."  I have never been so relieved when he called back that is was him! WHEW!  So we got to Jay and minutes later Faith was crossing the finish line for her FIRST 50 miler! (yes first - because there will be another - no doubt in my mind) 
Fiona and Faith 50 milers!
Faith finishing like the beast she is!

That day was so awesome. To watch Faith, Fiona, Royce, and Jolene all finish something that they had worked so hard on was so fun and inspiring.  To see Jay and Cathy complete their first marathon was amazing.  I was so proud of everyone and had such a blast. A day I will never forget! Thanks Faith for letting be your pacer. I was honored and had a blast! I can't wait to see what your next adventure is - whatever you choose I know you will kick it's butt in true UltraGator style!