“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, 
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