My son drew this a few months back. It is one of my favorite drawings he has completed in the past few months. He is a wise little boy.
Writing this while it is still fresh in my mind....it is a little raw.
First: a thank you to my friend Brett. At the beginning of the week, my running friend Brett offered his bib to a willing runner, I right away raised my hand and was lucky enough to receive it. Thank you Brett!
This was my 20th marathon. I had different expectations for my 20th, but instead, I received probably the very best experience I could ever hope for my 20th.
What a beautiful course! Perfect time of the year to see the leaves changing color. I was very excited to try out this new, to me, course. I have only heard great things about the race and I wanted to give it a try. The volunteers were awesome and each aid station was well stocked, and every volunteer expressed their concern about the heat and being hydrated. Thank you race event managers for such an awesome event!
The race has a unique start time of 9:00am, I didn't realize this until a couple of days ago. The late start allows one to sleep in, totally thumbs up on sleeping in, however, it does mean that temperature may be a little higher than usual. This time of year, Utah typically has lower temps, but that was not the case today.
The race started and just a few miles in, I knew I was in trouble. It was hot! By 6 miles, it felt like I was cooking inside an oven. Training in the early dawn got me used to running at cooler temps, now I see the value of training at 5pm. At mile 10, I started looking at it as a crossfit chipper. The course had aid stations every two miles, on the odd miles. So I started looking forward to the odd miles to get a drink and to cool off. At mile 14, I started slowing down, it was hot, way too hot and I couldn't cool off with the water, so I slowed down to keep my core temperature low.
Around mile 17, I wanted to quit. All I wanted was to stay out of the heat. There was a little river running down the side and all I wanted was to jump in it and lay my body down in the water. I knew I couldn't keep my pace, I knew I couldn't achieve my desired time, so I had to choose: finish or DNF. I cannot quit, I don't have it in me to quit, not when I can still walk. So, I continued with a new mindset, finish. Finish the race is better than quitting. Walk, walk to keep the body temperature low and stop at every aid station and get water and gatorade. After mile 18, each mile became a chipper, one at a time, walk for about 1/4 of a mile, then make my way to the next mile, then repeat.
At mile 20, I had to reach out to my hubby and to my friend Lizzy. I turned on my phone and started texting them, I needed encouragement. I needed a reason to keep going. Both of them gave me the words I needed to hear. I took a picture or my attempt at taking a picture with shaky hands at a mile marker. I don't know why I was so shaky, but I could barely type or hold my phone.
Did I mention that my ipod died at this point from throwing water on it? Ya, lucky me!
I want to call mile 24 the miracle mile, I was hot, I had done a lot of walking at this point and I wanted to encourage those around me, but I couldn't even talk. Then, to my surprise, there was a little table around the bend and a lovely couple had set up an aid station with the red tall cups full of the coldest water I tasted all day. I grabbed two cups, and thanked them for their service. They literally saved me at this point. I drank and drank, then I poured the rest over me. Thank you. I wish I had gotten your names to thank you properly. Around mile 24.75, a group of girls were handing things out, I couldn't make it out from a distance, I shuffled my way to them, and to my surprise, they were giving away popsicles, yummy, icy popsicles! Thank you to you too darling girls!
Making my way to the finish was all but a struggle. I would walk and run and go back to walking because I just couldn't run. My body was shaking from head to foot, I was hot but yet, I was shaking.
I passed the last aid station, around mile 25, then I crossed a street, my garmin said I was around mile 25.4 but the mile marker said I was at mile 25. A mile has never felt so long, as this one. I wanted to run it, but I couldn't. I walked a little, and then far away (about a block) I saw my little Nyahbelle running toward me. I knew then the end was near, but I couldn't see the Finish Line.
Nyahbelle reached me and she started running with me, then my son, Bryant joined me. I was in the middle, each one by my side. Each one encouraging me. We made the last turn to the Finish Line and I wanted to cry. It seemed so far away. I had to walk. I asked my children to slow down, I couldn't run. I gave myself a few steps, then we picked it up. My kids kept encouraging me and running, right beside me. They slowed their steps down to stay with me. My son, my little coach, kept telling me, over and over "mom, you've got this! "mom, you can do this". I wanted to cry and curl up on the side of the road, under a shady tree, but instead, we kept going. They carried me with their encouragement through the finish line. I got my medal and then I had to lift my foot for the volunteers to take the chip off my shoe, and I was about to fall, both of my children were right next to me, holding me up. Then, a volunteer came and offered me ice, and we found a chair for me to sit on. Having my children run through the Finish Line with me and helping me get there was probably the very best gift ever for my 20th marathon.
They (my children and my hubby) have been with me during this entire journey...and they keep being my number one cheerleaders. Even when I ruin their weekend plans with my races. I love them dearly.
Running a marathon is not easy. It is not supposed to be. It is mean to test our limits, physically and mentally. Today, I was tested. I am pleased to say that I passed (barely). Today's marathon was exactly what I needed for my 20th. I needed to realize and remember the complexities of a marathon. No, it was not perfect however it made me realize that I have the very best support group on my side.
I am grateful for the support from my family and friends. For the love, example, and encouragement.
Time: something around 4:13:xx
This is us! We are small in stature, not the strongest of the bunch, nor the fastest but put us all four together and we can achieve great things! I love these three...they are my life and there is nothing in this world that I wouldn't do for them. Each one of them has qualities that I admire. I am glad that they are all MINE.
Getting back into the swing of things it is not always easy. I have been diligently training since about March. By diligently, I am referring to waking up at 5:55am Mon/Wed/Fri and running 4-6 miles, and then throwing a longish run in there on Saturdays. However, I have slacked off on speed-work and hill-work. Lacking these two components in my training is showing its ugly head.
Obviously, my lack of training has been showing and racing days have not been the same as before. Truth is that I am lacking the "umph" to run when it hurts. I am racing, but when it starts being painful as in painfully hard, I back off. I don't want to hurt. I don't want to push myself pass the pain. Something happen between the knee surgery and the time I took off from running. I would like to say that I got "smarter" but I don't think that is it. I lost my racing mojo...hopefully I'll get it back.
On September 5th, my hubby, my good friend Liz, and I decided to go down to Payson, UT and run the Nebo half marathon. We got down there the night before...with only minutes to spare before packet pick up closed. Thankfully, our good friend Jorge stopped by packet pick up, in case we couldn't make it to pick up our packets! He is awesome like that! By the time we got there, about 7:55pm, he had our packets ready for us! Yay!
Race morning came early, up by 3:45am. Ya! We are so crazy! The worst part--we pay for this!
The course was spectacular, beautiful views for about 11 miles of the course. First 8 miles steep downhill, then the course continues downhill but at a lesser degree. I flew through the first 8 miles, then I hit a wall, my nutrition wasn't kicking in and having been sick for 3 weeks straight beforehand came down hard on me. I try to keep the pace going, but I just couldn't must the energy. By the time mile 11 came, I just wanted to be done. I walked through the aid station, and grabbed gatorade and water, hoping that it would give me the energy to finish. I didn't want to hit any 9 minute miles during this half, so I kept going. I took a mental note of all my aches and realized that it wasn't that I was in pain, my legs were fine, my arms were fine, my lungs felt okay, my gut was hungry but nothing unusual. So, what was going on? I didn't have it in me. Simply put-I didn't want to push myself.
Crossing that finish line, I was grateful for finishing yet I was disgusted in myself for not pushing harder, for giving up. Mentally, I lost it around mile 10. But there is always another race, another day.
My hometown half marathon! One of my favorite races of the year as I get to see a bunch of my running buddies from all over town.
A few of us from our morning group took part on the event.
Like always, the TOU 1/2 didn't disappoint. Great course, excellent aid stations, and despite the nasty air from the fires around the neighboring states, it was a beautiful sunny day.
Race wise: I knew it wasn't going to be my fastest. I was sick for two week straight prior to race day. I had severe sinus and ear infections so I knew that I was going to be out there still a bit under the weather. However, I was there to have fun and I did have fun. Even when it got hard, around mile 11, I was still enjoying myself.
At the end, my friend Adrian met me and he helped me on the last 200 meters. I push hard on that last bit and I crossed the line spent.
After I finished, I waited to see my running friends come in. Each one of them gave their all as they were running through the finishing chute. Awesome gals, so grateful to run with them in the mornings.
I even got to snap a picture with my sweet friend Paige. We used to work together, she was my advising mentor. I sure miss her at the office.
TOU 1/2 2015, another great race day!
It is as if starting from scratch. I have put on about 15-20 lbs since my knee surgery, though I am still fairly active, running has taken the backseat to it all. Truth is: it is hard. It hurts my knee and because of the pain, I am a lot slower. What used to bring me joy now brings me pain so I avoid it. However, I know that if I train and take it slow, I can be back to where I was two years ago. My dream is to one day finish a marathon in 3:25, but right now 3:30 is more feasible. I was only a few seconds away from a 3:30 and maybe if I train really hard, I can be back around the 3:30s again.
I know how to get to that point, the problem is that I have lost my mojo-I have lost the desire to run that fast, or to even run marathons. The idea of running for 26.2 miles although fascinating to my personality type, my body just doesn't want to put in the long hours for the long runs. There are so many other things that I much rather be doing that running for 3+ hours on a Saturday. In addition, waking up in the early mornings on Saturdays surely do not appeal to me.
So with this DREAM: come a few obstacles that I must overcome: 1. My lazyness! I must learn to wake up early again and put in the time necessary. 2. Start off with a base and get back on a training schedule for running. 3. Forget about my "faster" times and learn to be content with what my knee can do.
How will I get to achieve my dream:
Base: I am going to run a minimum of 10 miles a week for 3 months, then I will build up.
Train: I will find a way to train. I'll eventually learn but for now, I'll take my ipod as my partner, unless my hubby or my trusty coach is available. I have always trained solo for my previous 16 marathons, I know I can do it, it is just about getting it done.
Waking up early: There is no option. I must learn to do it. I have til March to sleep in, then I must put in the early mornings on the weekends.
What a gorgeous, scenic marathon! Definitely, this marathon takes the number 1 spot in my list for beautiful marathons.
Have you ever ran on clouds? If you have ever had the experience to run at high elevation and surrounded by mountains, you probably have seen what I experienced this last Saturday. As we descended down the canyon in Azusa, California, the paths were clean, the mountains looked pristine, and then as your eyes looked down the mountain, you could see all the fluffy gray and white clouds. It was a run of dreams! I have never had a chance to go to Peru, but I have seen some of the beautiful pictures of mountains and clouds leaving the top of the mountains exposed, as I was running down the mountain, I was thinking that probably that is what Peru looks like. I loved every moment running down that canyon. If I had had a camera, I would have taken a gazillion pictures.
Running wise--I did AMAZING considering that I did not train for the marathon distance. I actually came into the marathon with 2 training runs, both of them 5 milers. However, I have been attending crossfit religiously and teaching my Zumba class. I finished in 3:46:26, not too shabby for not having trained. However, I did feel my lack of training up every hill. I typically do not walk up the hills when I train, but the lack of training meant walking every single hill.
25 things that went through my head during the race and after:
1. After getting off the bus--It is so pretty up here.
2. As everyone around was complaining of the cold--it is so warm compared to back home.
3. Getting ready to start--crap, I am going to run 26.2 miles. I really should have trained.
4. The first bit of the race--they said it was downhill, this looks like uphill to me.
5. Oh crap! It is downhill. Hold on knee!
6. Hey, I am running on clouds!
7. Wow, 13 miles done! I feel great!
8. 14 miles...I am tired. I should have signed up for the 1/2. I REALLY should have trained.
9. I am hungry. Why don't they have real food on this aid stations--steak, steak sounds really good right now, or a taco. Yes, I could go for a taco!
10. All the hills are coming, I can get a break and walk soon.
11. Gosh, I am getting passed on all these hills. I should have trained more.
12. This water bottle is getting heavy. I am throwing it out at mile 20.
13. Mile 20 marker! I am almost done! 1 more hour of running and I will be done.
14. Ok, if I run a 9 minute pace, I can be done in 54 minutes.
15. Passing the Azusa Crossfit--gosh, I wish I was lifting right now.
16. Mile 25 marker--I only have 10 minutes left, even if I walk a little.
17. I can't walk on the last mile. I must keep running, even if it is at slow pace.
18. Isela pick up the pace, this is not running, you are barely moving.
19. This mile is taking F-O-R-E-V-E-R!
20. I did it! I finished! I finished and I didn't cry and I didn't vomit and I did it!
21. I wish they had chairs for us to sit on. After sitting on the ground for a bit--how in hell am I going to get off the floor?
22. After finding my friend and finding a chair to sit on--I really want to cry now. My legs can't stop shaking, my entire body is in shock and is shaking. I think I am having hypothermia. Thankfully, my friend had already picked up his dropbag and gave me his sweater to wear.
23. Where is my hubby? Oh, wait, there he is! He looks sore just like me.
24. We can go to the hotel now...wait, we must walk like 2 miles to the car...shuffle along.
25. Hey, look! We did it! We ran a marathon today!
Thank you Revel series marathon directors, volunteers, and everyone who took a part in this amazing event. Revel Series puts together some awesome events. They take care of the runners, before the race at the expo, and during the race with their outstanding aid stations, and then after the race with the extras--real food, plenty of food, cool washclothes, massages, shirts that actually fit and little printed cards with the chip times printed. And of course, cool looking medals that you want to display :).
The knee surgery went fairly well. It seemed that I was awake one second then out!!! I don't even remember going back to my "room" after the surgery. I was so groggy and just not feeling well due to the anesthesia.
They did screw up on my IV though. The nurse put the IV on my left arm and she had a hard time getting my vein, thin veins here :/. After a couple of tries, she got it. However, the area where the needle was hurt really bad. I told the other nurse and she said that it was just due to the cold from the IV so they gave me a heat pad and put my arm up to ease the pain. The pain didn't go away but I just endured it. I figure it was probably just me, being a wimp. The anesthisiologist came to get and me and I walked to the surgery room. Once he told me to lay down, I looked down at my arm and the area where the needle was located was all puffy, about the size of a golf ball. I showed the anesthesiologist and he right away stopped the fluids and took the needle out. He asked me if the nurses had seen that, I told him they had checked but they said everything looked ok. He was not very happy. He then proceeded to poke me on my right arm for another spot, he couldn't find it. I could see he was getting frustrated as his job was to just to put me out, but instead now had to find a new spot for my IV. It took him two tries, on two different spots, thin veins are not very cooperative.
Once he put the IV in the correct place, I couldn't even feel it. He then said I was going to start feeling relaxed, then he said "I am going to put this mask...." and then I saw the mask coming down and I was out like a light! It was amazing! Next thing I knew, I was in the recovery room with my hubby.
It seemed that I was in surgery and next thing I was getting dressed and getting ready to go home. I don't even remember getting out of the hospital. I remember being in the car and thinking that I wasn't feeling very good. I felt hot, I felt cold, my head was spinning. As soon as the car got in the garage, I opened the door and emptied everything that was in my tummy.
Our bedroom is in the second floor of our house, somehow, I made it upstairs and in bed. I don't recall how I did it but I was I got in bed. I am thinking hubby hauled my butt up the stairs. I spent the entire afternoon in bed. I would like to say that it was all rest and glory, but it wasn't. I spent the afternoon emptying my tummy. I felt horrible. The meds they gave me made me feel as if I was outside of my body, I couldn't keep my thoughts straight and I couldn't remember anything.
Things got better the second day, I was still feeling icky from the meds but the anesthesia was wearing off and I was in better spirits. I couldn't walk but I could at least watch tv for more than 2 minutes without falling asleep. Yes, I slept a lot. I slept about 14 hours a day and took a nap every hour when I was awake.
I took my meds for 4 days and then I couldn't do it anymore. They were making me feel depressed and wonky happy at the same time. It was weird! It has been 4 days and I feel much better...can't move my knee much but I don't expect to for another 5 weeks.
It appears that my knee is not getting better on its own. Doctor can't see much from the Xrays, other than I have good looking bones, hahaha. I was scheduled for an MRI, so into the noise box I went.
MRI results: I need to have knee surgery. My meniscus is torn and flipped on itself :(. Bummer! There goes my running season and here comes the poundage around my mid-section!
Surgery is scheduled for next Wednesday, March 26th...wish I could see the positive in this situation. I guess, I can always just think that it is just my knee, it could be something worse, like my heart.
I cannot believe that my little boy is 12 years old. Time went by so very fast. I see him and my eyes deceive me. In my heart, I still have this little boy in my arms as a wee 6 lbs baby. I love him so dearly. He is truly a wonderful child. He is not a kid that stays sitting down, in fact, if he is sitting down, we have to make sure he is not sick. He is always active and looking for something to do. He is kind and loving, although outsiders may not see this as he likes to appear tough and uncaring, but if you show him love, he will love you back and will do almost anything for you.
He wanted to go to HuHot for his birthday dinner and we were happy to go, we all love that place. His best friend, Dylan, came along. They have been best buds since we moved into the neighborhood. They love each other like brothers :). What a blessing it is to have a best friend to share your childhood with :).
We just had a very special day, hanging out and playing :). Happy 12th Birthday my awesome Boyito!