“But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.” – Isaiah 40:31.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

My first Marathon Recap

This is a novel. Just warning you.
Let me give you a little pre-race recap first...
Friday I felt great.
Until I had a bowl of chili for lunch.  Who does that the day before a marathon!? I seriously wasn't thinking AT ALL about the marathon the next day.  About an hour after I ate I started to have some stomach issues. I never have stomach issues..ever. eva.   I don't get stomach bugs, food poisoning, and I can literally put ANYTHING in my mouth and I won't get sick. I don't even have a gag reflex. Apparently marathons upset my stomach.  J told me I must be sub-consciously nervous. Whatever. 
Friday night I went to bed a 7pm. I woke up the next morning at 5am and felt great...still had an upset stomach. It stayed upset up until I got to the start line.

I ate my usual prerace b-fast, oatmeal and a banana. Chugged a few glasses of water and got dressed.  The weather was supposed to be mid 50's with rain moving in around 11:30am...I could handle that.
My friend Angie and her daughter Kelsee(babysitter) got to the house at 6am.  I gave Kelsee some instructions for BP and then J, Angie, LP, MP, and I all headed towards Huntsville.
We got there around 7am..I'll spare you the details of my 5 pre-race bathroom breaks.
I met up with my friend Kelly who was running too.  She handed me a little gift box and told me not to open it until I finished. I have such thoughtful friends...I am horrible when it comes to sentimental stuff(maybe a goal for 2011...be more sentimental)
me and Kelly
Her goal was to run 4:15-4:30 so we were going to start out together..she is the one who planted the idea in my head to do a marathon in the first place.  She had more confidence in me than I had in myself. Everyone needs friends like that!
We all headed to the start line at 7:50am
My biggest concern at this point was whether or not to wear an ear warmer.  If you haven't noticed  I have HUGE sticky-outey ears.  When you have ears that stick out, they get cold easily. Even when it's not that cold I wear an ear warmer to keep the wind from catching my ears and slowing me down giving me an ear ache.
I didn't want to get too hot though so I decided against it...a good decision, but I have to warn you ears in pictures may be larger than they appear. ;)
one last pic before starting
I'll spare you the tedious detail of the mile by mile.....mostly because my memory isn't that great when it comes to recalling every mile.  I am amazed at the recall of some marathon runners...for instance Mel at Tall Mom on the Run , she can give an account of a marathon mile by mile in detail...auh-mazing....

Here are my splits:
mile 1-9:18
mile 2-9:08
mile 3-8:53  this is where I passed the 4:15 pacer and was pretty confident I had 4:15 in the bag(looking back it was absolutely premature confidence...mile 3 ...really?..)
mile 4-9:09
mile 6-9:34
This is where I saw my family and friend Angie!  It was so overwhelming to see them cheering. It melted my heart...
I was still feeling really good at this point. I was taking water or Gatorade at every aid station(about every 2.5 miles)
mile 7-9:14
mile 8-9:30
mile 9-9:25- I started to feel like I had to go pee....but my body felt so good that I didn't want to stop..I decided that if I got to mile 13 and still had to I would stop.
mile 10-9:39
mile 11-9:37
mile 12 -9:48
mile 13-9:59- I didn't have to pee anymore, but my groin muscle was starting to cramp up, so I walked through and aid station and stretched for a few seconds.

Ok, this shot is to show you how I was given my new nickname "porkchop"  See my pink socks...they have a cute "little" heart on them.  Only because my calves are so big it looked more like a butterflied porkchop....My running friend now lovingly refer to me as "porkchop"....could be worse...:)

mile 14-9:25
mile 15-9:19
mile 16-9:30
mile 17-9:40-This is where the 4:15 pacer passed me...I caught up to her for a little bit but she was running too fast for me.
mile 18-9:06
mile 19-9:37
mile 20-9:31
mile 21-9:49
mile 22-10:12-  This is when I hit it....the dreaded "W" word.   The WALL....
I could not get my legs to move any faster.  I knew at this point I had 4:15 in the bag but I also knew that if I could maintain a 9:15 I could make a 4:10....I don't know what happened, but this is also where it became a mental race. I had never encountered this on any of my long training runs.  I was on the edge of tears. 
At 22.5 I saw my family again...THANK GOD!!!
ok so I wasn't on the edge of tears...I may have shed a few.  2010 has turned me into a HUGE baby!!!

I wish I could take awesome pictures while I'm running like EMZ does HERE...but instead  I look like this:
I was pretty miserable here...

My friend Angie jumped in here and gave me a bottle of water.  I took another GU and drank half the bottle of water.  I told Angie to run in front of me so maybe it would help pull me along.  She knew I was struggling and kept asking me how I was doing.  I was feeling pretty crabby.....
Angie ran the next 3.5 miles with me.  I remember few details from those miles...my mind felt foggy.  I do remember at mile 25 my friend Lisa, who was calling time at the 25 mile split, yelling "Go April!!" on her megaphone.  That was a nice little boost.

mile 23-10:06
mile 24-10:28
mile 25-10:22
mile 26-10:20
mile .45-4:24

Garmin Distance 26.45   Garmin Time 4:14:26
Official Chip Time : 4:14:16

My first thought when I crossed the finish line was...I would totally do this again...  In fact, I'm planning another one in February!

And a little of this... I didn't throw up but I sure felt like I could....Marathons do a number on my stomach! GEEEZ!  Thanks J for catching it all on camera.

 This was at the awesome post race "snack" room.  They had hot soup and sandwiches and all kinds of goodies.

LP was mad cause we told him to put his moon pie down for a picture....LOL!

So there it is folks.. I'm still processing the whole experience. I can honestly say that I enjoyed the whole process.  I was feeling kind of down the next day.  I need goals to work towards and I didn't have any set.   I have focused the last 4 months on this marathon.  So yesterday I decided to do this:

I have some more thoughts about the marathon that  I have been milling around in my head...but I will share those with you later...
Thank you for your encouragement on my marathon journey!

Grace and peace,

Monday, December 13, 2010

I am a Marathon runner!

That's right! You heard it here first ladies and gentlemen...I am a marathon runner.
Saturday afternoon at 12:14pm I crossed the finish line of the Rocket City Marathon!!

Official Chip time:  4:14:16

I am still over the top!  If you remember my #1 goal was to finish in 4:15......done and done.
I will have a full race recap tomorrow.

For now I leave you with two borderline auh-mazing pictures from race day.

This first one is a picture of the sign my boys made me:
Look closely you can see where MP, my 6 year old wrote: "I lick you" I'm pretty sure he meant "I like you" which even then is a little odd....shouldn't he be writing "I love you"!? What ever! I'll take "I lick you" anytime!

This next picture is right before I crossed the finish line.
J and the boys surprised me at the finish line...I didn't think they had time to make it from their spectators station.
I'll fill you in on the rest later! 
Thanks for all of your support and encouragement!

Grace and peace,

Thursday, December 9, 2010

3 Things- a day in the life...

1. Have I mentioned lately that I love my job? I work at my church....and we have a great staff of wonderful people.  This Christmas we are collecting toys for the local foster care kids.  Someone dropped off a bike today..so I tried it out.
I'm thinking this could kick off my triathlon training season.....or not.....

2. I'm doing everything possible to clear my head before the big M on Saturday.  I feel no anxiety at all. Seriously. *eye twitch*  -Though I do have to say there has been one thing that is consuming a good bit of my time this week.
ROCK'EM & SOCK'EM folks!!  MP got this for his b-day on Saturday and we have played everyday since.  The kids and I (and sometimes the older folk) have the best competitions!  I don't care how old you are....I'm not letting you win.;)      The taper may be affecting me a little more than I thought.

3. 2 days until the big M......and I am reminded how good God is! God does answer prayers....3 days ago the weather was predicted to be 30's with freezing rain.   NOW the weather looks to be in the mid 50's with no rain until Saturday night!!! Thank. You. Lord!

I probably won't post again until after the marathon...tomorrow is the expo, carbo dinner, and all my last minute prep.......

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend the next time you hear from me I will be an "elite" athlete! (again only in my head)

Grace and peace,

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

I'll never do it again..until next time

MP is turning 7 on the 17th of this month. 
Apparently we "forgot" to have a birthday party for him last year.   I'm pretty sure I remember something about cake for him last year...but he swears we forgot. Which, is totally possible. We forgot to celebrate LP's 7th b-day because I was busy giving birth to BP.......LP will never let us forget that. I tell him he had the best gift of all...a baby brother..an eye roll usually follows
Birthday's in December suck. Except for Jesus's Birthday.....but everyone else who has a b-day in December just gets gypped.  Between decorating, shopping, wrapping, Christmas parties for church, work, Christmas plays and pageants...and on and on and on....who has time to have a birthday party or go to a birthday party?

So we had his party last Saturday.....we got 3 invites for other birthday parties on that same day...poor kids.  Since it's so close to Christmas we went with a Christmas theme...that saved me some dough on decorations. We put up the tree and other Christmas decor threw a couple red and green table clothes on the tables and called it decorated!
 Normally if we have a party for the kids I like to do it outside or somewhere....anywhere... away from my house.  15 little boys playing smackdown inside my house is not my idea of fun.  Unfortunately, because I am a last minute planner, having it at home was the only option.  We fed the kids pizza and let them decorate gingerbread houses.

They loved that frosting!
Even the big kids had fun...LP(right) with one of his friends
he couldn't take his eyes off that candy long enough to get a picture.

they weren't sugared up enough from all the candy... so we fed them cake.

this kid LOVES all things sugar....
It turned out to be one of the most fun parties we have ever had!  With exception of BP's sugar induced meltdown when it was time to open presents.....he's the baby...he's spoiled...and he thinks it's all about him....most of the time it is...
Opening presents was mass chaos!! And baby prince was clawing to get to the gifts!
 The party ended without any casualties.....
 Normally, after a B-day party I say "I'm never doing that again" but we all had a really good time, especially MP. He said it was "the best!"..... who knows, I might be working on a mother-of-the-year award......;)

Grace and peace,

Monday, December 6, 2010

Taper week-Shouldn't I be freaking out?

It's probably totally normal for me to be freaking out right now. After all, it's 6 days till my first marathon.  They are also predicting freezing temps and 60% chance of rain.  I should be freaking out....but I'm not.  I feel pretty confident that I have put in the training.  There is very little to do now.  Eat clean, hydrate, rest...and pray, pray, pray.....
Here are a few things that I need your help on... 
1.   J keeps calling me at work to remind me I need to have a game plan in case of rain.  I don't have one.  What kind of game plan should I come up with?! If it's sunny, I'm going to run....if it rains..I'm going to run...that's pretty much my game plan. Though I might add this to my race outfit:
This girl is REALLY into that hat!!!
2.  I have a cute race day outfit...and of course the outfit HAS to be cute because I will most likely NOT resemble anything remotely cute while running.
here it is...

I got the pink socks
 I am super excited about the new plaid skirt! My running partner surprised me with it as an early Christmas/first marathon gift.  Talk about an awesome running partner! Not only did Angie train with me for a marathon she is NOT running, but she also gives me great gifts!
One conflict I'm having.  How cold is too cold to wear the skirt? I know some of you are die hard skirt wears.....what is the coldest weather you have worn a skirt in?

3. I have three finishing goals for my marathon.
      #1Sub 4:15-  I have to say, I will be seriously disappointed if I don't meet this goal.  I feel like it's achievable, but you just never know what your body will do race day.....

      #2Sub 4:30- I will be satisfied with this...and it will give me a goal to beat next time.....

      #3-  Finish- need I say more?

I will be running alone for the first part of the race and then my buds Angie and Erika are going to meet me around mile 17 and run a few with me so hopefully that will energize me a little bit.
I'm so excited to run!

Oh, I almost forgot....I have a bleeding toenail....I lost a toenail on my right foot a month ago...no pain at all, it just fell off.  Then Saturday I did a 9miler and when I was finished my shoe looked like this:
see the area of the toe that looks dirty?....that's blood...

   It doesn't hurt and I can't even figure out where the blood is even coming from. The nail on that toe is totally intact.  Weird huh? I'm praying this doesn't cause a problem Saturday....

I pray you are all having a wonderful Monday!

If you're new to my blog, welcome! If you're not new, thanks for stopping by!  I appreciate your comments and feedback!

Grace and peace, 

Monday, November 22, 2010

STOP! Hammer Time- 24 miler

This is the sign that was at the end of my long run Saturday.  I may have been a bit delirious from running 24 miles, but I laughed until I almost peed myself. 

I ran 24 miles Saturday.  My last long training run before my first full marathon.  19 days and counting....
My friend Kelly and I decided to get a change of scenery for our last official long run and drove 45 minutes to a place called Rails to Trails. It's an old railway dating back to the Civil War that was turned into a running path.  It was gorgeous! It's in the foot hills of the Appalachian Mountains and from one end to the other it is 12 miles. Perfect for a 24 mile out and back!
This is what most of the trail looked like:
there were also several covered bridges that I didn't think to get a picture of. :(
So enough about the scenery.  This is how the run went.
We got to the start of the trail at 7:30am.  I realized that I had forgotten my Garmin...thankfully Kelly had hers.  I think this may have been a hidden blessing. Instead of focusing on the beeps of my Garmin, I focused on my body.
I got the splits off Kelly's watch and here is how they went:

Miles 1-5 I felt were a little faster than what my MP will be but I was running naked so I just went with it.
mile 1: 8:49
mile 2: 8:50
mile 3: 9:03
mile 4: 8:46
mile 5: 10:06- we fueled up here.  A chocolate outrage GU( my new fave it tastes just like brownie batter)
and some gatorade.

Miles 6-11 I felt good, we passed several people on horseback and even a horse and buggy.  Also had to fend off a few dogs.
mile 6: 9:28
mile 7: 9:03
mile 8: 9:20
mile 9: 9:09
mile 10: 10:15- Took a GU
mile 11: 9:59
Restored church from the early 1800's- also the bathroom stop.
 We stopped here to refill our water bottles and use the bathroom.  I went to the bathroom and about 2 drops came out and it was DARK brown... I knew that was a sign of dehydration and it totally freaked me out.   I didn't feel thirsty and I had finished an entire Gatorade between mile 1 and 11... I have never had anything like before.  I downed a full water bottle of water and refilled the bottle again, said a little prayer and we headed back out on the trail.  I still felt fine.

mile 12: 9:25- this was the end of the trail and our turn around point.
mile 13: 9:54
At mile 13 we made it back to the bathrooms and I downed another water bottle, went pee....it was a little lighter....Yippee!! Who knew I would ever be so excited about urine.

Mile 14-20 I was still feeling pretty good. Though our pace slowed more than I would have liked, I hit that runner's high around mile 16 and just felt great!
mile 14: 10:00
mile 15: 9:33
mile 16: 10:19- fueled with GU
mile 17: 10:17
mile 18: 10:16
mile 19: 10:39
mile 20: 10:13- fueled with GU

Mile 21-24 were slow miles though I continued to feel pretty good.  I kept expecting to hit the "wall" but  I'm not sure I ever did. I'm guessing I would have known it.
mile 21: 10:28
mile 22: 10:28
mile 23: 10:38
mile 24: 10:48

Garmin time: 3:55:53  avg pace: 9:50

Now the time looks great.  However, it doesn't factor in the time it took us to stop and use the bathroom and fuel up.
Other than a ravenous hunger the next day, I have felt great!   I stretched real good this weekend and had a great plyo session this morning.
A few concerns I do have:  Am I going to feel this good marathon day?
This training run was on a gravel path- a stark difference from the paved roads I will be running marathon day.  Will my body handle it okay? 
What if I hit the "dreaded" wall during the race? How will I handle it? Obviously I'm getting a little neurotic....any advice and tips are welcome.....puh-lease share!!!!  
I feel kind of like I did before the birth of my first child....I knew there was something that other mothers weren't telling me because they didn't want to scare me....just go ahead and tell me if it's going to hurt like heck!! 
I can take it!:)

Grace and peace,

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Wordless Weds-Turkey with my Turkey

We had Thanksgiving lunch with our Middle Prince at school today

he lost a tooth and won't show his teeth!LOl!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Can you see me now? A Brooks Review.

After my close call last week with a redneck truck, I ordered some new reflective gear.
I ordered the Brooks Nightlife Jacket:

and I also ordered the Brooks Infiniti Running Tights:
 They were a little pricey, $99.99 for the jacket and $ 59.99 for the tights. I think it's a small price to pay thought for my safety...an investment in my life....safety first people!

At least that's what I told J when he asked me how much it cost. ;)

 How they wear:
I tried the jacket and the tights on my run yesterday morning. The same run that I wore dirty socks for. :) It was 48 degrees and froggy out, so I figured it would be best to have maximum visibility.  Personally, I think the colors are a bit obnoxious.  Would love it in black and electric pink. Comfort wise it was top notch.  The jacket kept me warm with just a long sleeve dry-wick shirt underneath, and has an extra soft lining around the neck so that it doesn't rub or chafe.  I haven't worn full length pants on a run in over 2 years, so I really wasn't sure how the tights would feel.  Well, I loved them. They kept me warm without making me hot and the mediums were a perfect fit.  They didn't budge the whole 6 miles.  They didn't bunch or sag or twist, which is the problem I had with previous running pants and why I have only worn skirts or capri's for 2 yrs.  I have to say I was quite impressed.

For comfort  I give these both 5 smiles: ☺☺☺☺☺

How visible was I?
I got a call from my running partner Angie last night.  She told me one of her husbands co-workers(are you following) was getting off his shift yesterday morning and said he almost drove into a herd of ladies running.  He said there were 5 or 6 women running with no lights or reflective gear and he didn't see them until he was almost on top of them.  He said a little while later he saw Angie and I "glowing" down the road. Glowing.  I love it!

For Visibility I give these 5 smiles☺☺☺☺☺

 I am definitely happy with my purchase and recommend that you invest in some good reflective gear....and soon.  The days are growing shorter and if you are anything like me, 99% of your runs will in the dark.  Be Safe!

Thanks for visiting and if you are new to my blog ...welcome!

Grace and peace,

Monday, November 15, 2010

Just another manic Monday...

I had a great weekend! 
I felt great on my long run Saturday morning.  I pounded out 15 miles with a 9:30 min average pace and my legs felt fantastic the whole time. Then, since J and the two older boys were out deer hunting, me and my littlest prince went shopping.  I have been on the hunt for 6 dining room chairs for over a year now.  I had a picture of the perfect chair in my head and have not been able to find it...with in my price range anyway.    On a whim, I popped into a local antique store...and there they were....6 of the most beautiful chairs.  They were even better than the picture in my head...

Whats even better is that they were only $10.00 each! YAHTZEE!!  So, because I was already saving J so much money getting a bargain on these chairs, I bought a buffet too.  I don't have a picture of that yet because I had to wait for J to get home to load it up. It's beautiful though.  
I don't know if it was a high from the 15 miler or from the amazing purchases but when I got home I was in the mood for holiday baking. I'm NEVER in the mood to cook so it had to be happy endorphins.  I spent the rest of the evening making chocolate almond and chocolate cafe almond biscotti(J's favorite).
It was a great weekend.
Monday, Monday
This morning I woke up for my morning run at 4:15am.  I failed to prepare last night and have all of my running gear laid out, and I paid for it this morning.  The batteries in my running light were dead and I couldn't find any working batteries. I even tried the kids Wii remotes and they were ALL dead!  Then I couldn't find my water bottle, I'm pretty sure one of the boys took it with them when they went hunting. All of my dry wick running socks were dirty...I only have 4 pair(I never think to buy socks!) so I put on a pair of dirty socks. Don't judge.;) 
I had a 6 miler this morning and at mile 4.2 my Garmin battery died. Oops, must have forgot to charge it.  Wrong.  I hooked it up to the charger and synced it to my computer and then it died again.  Now, it won't respond at all.  Won't turn on, won't beep, nothing...sniff, sniff. It's dead.  I tried calling the Garmin help line and it was a 35 MINUTE wait!!! WHAT!? Who has time to wait that long?  So I shot them and e-mail and they said someone would be with me in the next 3 days!!! Those people must be doing some SERIOUS business!!!
So I'm going to have to run naked now.  I am already going through Garmin withdrawals and it's only been a few hours.  I have no clue what I am going to do Saturday when I have my longest training run ever! 24 miles with no Garmin.....oh Garmin...I miss you...

 Garmin come back, you can blame it all on me
I was wrong, and I just can't live without you

26 days until the marathon...dun, dun, dun....

Grace and peace,

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Close Call

I normally get my runs in early in the mornings before the kiddos wake up.  However, lately my schedule has been shaken up a bit by hubby's work schedule.  So Tuesday evening I headed out for an easy 4 miler around 5:15pm.  It was still light, but the light was fading fast.  At about mile 2 it started to rain.  Where I live most of my running is done on the roads in my community.  I always follow the rules of the road and I also wear reflective gear and carry a light when it's dark or rainy.
Tuesday night was no different.  I was visible.  At mile 3 I was running on one of the main road in our small town where the posted speed limit is 25.  There also happens to only be about 18" of shoulder on this road and so I was over as far as possible.  I saw a newer model black Chevy Z71 headed my way. (I'm not sure what it is, but from my experience, it seems men driving trucks can't be bothered to slow down or give room to a runner more often than not.)  So because of my past experiences with men driving trucks, I slowed down.  I was already as far over as I could go without diving into a ditch.  I made eye contact with the driver just in time to see him swerve towards me. I ducked, to avoid having my head taken off by the passenger side mirror, and twisted my back toward the truck.  As I twisted I drove my elbow back into the passenger side of the truck.
One thing you should know about me....I don't scare very easily.  When my adrenaline gets going...I want to fight.  In the "Flight or Fight" response...I only have the "Fight"...maybe from being raised with all boys..who knows.
I was hoping he had a nice little indentation of my elbow in his pretty truck. I know not very nice....

Anyway, I turned to see if the truck stopped and it hadn't, but I did see it turn down a road that leads to the local gym.  So I turned around and ran to that gym. Hubby later scolded me for this.  By the time I got to the gym the driver of the truck had already gone in.  So I wrote down the license plate number and went in to see if I could find out the name of the guy.  I told the guy at the front desk what happened and asked him if he knew who the owner of the truck was, he said he didn't know but would find out.  I told him just to let the guy know that he had hit a runner(though technically I hit him) and that I was turning his license plate number over to the police.  I gave all of the info to the local police, one of whom I coached in the Fleet Feet No Boundaries program.  I don't know what they will do with the info, but I hope it's at least enough to scare that road bully.
So, that was Tuesday evening...Wednesday I ordered more reflective gear and will be ordering a Road ID this weekend.  I don't know why I have been putting that off.
In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I am thankful for God's protection and that my head is still attached to my body!

What do you do to make sure you are visible when you run in the rain/dark.

Have you had any close calls?
Grace and peace,

Monday, November 1, 2010

Weekend recap and a PR

This is going to be a short one....we had the fall festival at church yesterday and over 6000 people showed up.  So, we have been cleaning up all day and I am T.I.R.E.D!
I ran the Life Without Limits 1/2 marathon Saturday morning and got my best. time. EVA!! I'm still on cloud nine!!! I came in at 1:54:31.  My goal was 1:55.
I will give a full race report tomorrow.

Yesterday at the church festival we had a blast and we all ingested entirely too much candy!

Mario, SuperBaby, and Ghostbuster

Super baby Fly!!!  BTW, I made that costume.:)

Super baby JUMP!

Me and my Super hero
How was your weekend?

Grace and peace,
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