Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Back in the game - Rested & Gearing up for Boston. And a little look back at Portland....

Boston........I feel like it is still sinking in, even after a few months to register, find hotels, find a training plan  -I am still digesting it all.  It is hard for me to even claim it - not sure why.  I have so many incredible family & friends that have bragged on me and have told me I should be doing the same - but I just haven't been able to.  When people have asked how Portland went - I generally tell them - "it went well".  But I haven't been able to say to many people and "I QUALIFIED FOR BOSTON".  It truly is so exciting in my own little world.  I guess there is a part of me that doesn't want to brag, and a part of me that is intimidated by the fact that I am going to actually have to show up and run a race among many incredible runners.  Scared knowing that my first attempt at a marathon landed me in a medic tent at mile 25 - I think that reality will always linger with me.  But Portland - oh sweet Portland - was a different story........
          I never did my official race re-cap for the Portland marathon because I had spent a few hours on an exciting play by play and I lost it on my computer.  Thinking I would come back to it - I took a little blogging and training break for some time with my family - but now I am back - training and otherwise.
So, just because I cannot completely avoid a race that left me with such great memories and an incredible challenge to face   - here is a quick re-cap of the highlights of Portland for me:
 - Waking up at home - knowing I was running a race on my own turf.
-  My dad and Andrew facing the early morning and the rain before the race with me.
-   Getting to show up at another start line with my best friend Julie (even though she was deciding to race injured) - it did a lot for me knowing she was on that course as we had been through some pretty tough training together.

Julie and I at Portland start line

-  Random moments but some of my favorites with my favorite running writer , who I have had the privilege to get to know - Sarah Bowen Shea - co-author of Run Like a Mother.  I love her on pre-race energy - she cracked me up & kept my pre-race jitters to a minimum.  I will remember that start line with her forever & I hope to start others with her.
-  The Portland course - LOVED IT, LOVED IT, LOVED IT.  Partly because I grew up here & there is just something about your own stomping ground.
-  My incredible friends and family that showing up to cheer me on - you all know who you are and all have no idea how your sweet faces and support will stay with me forever.
-  The worship band at mile 8 - it was awesome!! I was singing & crying (one of the many points on that course that I got teary)
-  Sweet mile 25!!!!  As many of you know - mile 25 is where the race ended for me at the Seattle Rock n' Roll Marathon - this point in the race as I looked at the 25 mile marker, feeling strong & ran past it.......it was the most emotional part of the race for me.
-  The FINISH - it was so great to see my families face there.  Andrew, my dad and my sister Jen sprinted from the mile 21 marker where they cheered me on so they could maneuver through the crowds and be there where I crossed that line this time.   For a little history on how much this meant to them as well as me -  Andrew has been the most amazing, encouraging support through all my training for 2 marathons in the last 6 months & my dad has been so encouraging and excited for me(sometimes more excited than me) - he was the one that was running beside me in Seattle, planning to run me in my last 5 miles, when I had to go back with the medics.  The two of them (and Julie) were the only ones that knew how truly heartbreaking Seattle was and what an incredible victory Portland was for me.  Back to that finish line.......I could see their amazing smiles and hear them saying, "You did it!"  - "You qualified for Boston!"  I crossed that finish line with such a huge smile, for so many reasons!!  I just have to say that my sweet little sister Andrea, her husband Ryan and and their very new baby girl braved the truly ridiculous, traffic, weather and roadblocks.
-  Coming home to phone, e-mail & facebook messages of congrats from people who helped help encourage me through this journey was certainly a highlight.
-  Overall the race felt good.  Even though I had trained HARD, was pretty confident I had figured out the issues I had in the Seattle race - I still had doubt, that evil fear monster was still there.  But I conquered it this time......It wasn't easy - I certainly had to lock into my mental toughness and rely on song son my playlist and the faces of my family and friends to really get it done, but I never truly hit a wall, never felt like I had to stop.  Leaves me with a new evil mental game......what was I REALLY capable of, I should have pushed harder & so the new mental games begin.....

My Dad & I at the start line - such a great cheerleader!!
My sweet husband!!!

There were a few things that were less than ideal:  the pouring rain (though it wasn't that bad), my Garmin shorting out at the start line and the hardest for me was knowing that Julie wasn't able to run like she was capable of, that our dream of qualifying for Boston together wasn't going to happen this time around.  So proud of her that she ran a stinkin' marathon - injured - that would go on my list of accomplishments for sure and why she able to claim to be a "Badass Motherrunner" (click here to see the awesome shirts from run like a runner that we love!!)  I was so excited to finish a marathon with her - finally whether it was how we pictured it - we have many adventures running and otherwise that we will get to do together.

So, The Boston Marathon is what lies before me.  Yesterday was my first official training run.  I am excited and nervous to take on this next challenge, but so blessed to have the support and encouragement that I have.  More about my training plan (which I am still tweaking), my goals and oh yes, my fears.
Thanks for coming along for another chapter of these Inspired Miles of a Mom!!!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

I own 26.2 & a new perspective!!

11-10-2010 - Has it really been a month since I crossed that finish line in Portland on 10-10-10???  I decided to wait a month to post. 2 reasons - my first attempt right after the marathon was a great play by play of the Portland Marathon that took me an hour and a half to write........and I lost it on my computer.  It was gone and I was irritated - all my details, emotion, thank you's - probably too much info anyway.  But it made even more evident that there was a message that God had been putting on my heart.  Don't forget about what REALLY matters!  I was upset that I wasn't able to share my details of the race, my feelings of victory - my friends and family were waiting for an update...........my kiddos were sitting there wanting mommy's attention.  I needed a break - I needed to take in the last four intense months of training, take in my race and mostly, most importantly - take in my family.
As much as I love to share my thoughts in writing and get so inspired by reading other peoples blogs, I needed to figure out a better balance.  It all hit me when we were at the beach for my taper week, taking in some much needed family time with my husband's travel schedule, my running schedule and the beginning of school, soccer ect..  While I was there - I realized how easy it was for me NOT to be there.  I had a marathon in two weeks - one that I had trained hard for and had so much emotion into finishing this time - not ending up in the medic tent.  I had hydration to figure out, the right fuel, the right socks, what was I going to wear (yes, I think about that), what head band would stay put, pace group or no pace group, would Julie's injury be better and I had running blogs to catch up on - they might have answers, inspiration.......they have the same passion as me.  I had good reason to be distracted & not totally present - RIGHT!!??
THE GREAT BALANCING ACT.  We were so blessed to have AMAZING weather while were there - which is rare in October at the Oregon Coast (except for my long run day of course!!).  I found my mind filled that week with mostly thoughts of the upcoming race. When I was on a hike with my two beautiful children and my sweet husband and I kept thinking about how the timing was going to work out so I could get back and RUN.  I looked down at my sweet little girl holding my hand, stopping to pick every leaf and telling all about each one and I looked ahead as my warrior son was conquering the trail with my husband telling us to "hurry up",  and I felt in my heart God saying - "THIS is what is in front of you - take it in!!!"  Now as much as I LOVE running, love having something of my own and have found so many positive outcomes from running - I can see how dangerously close I am coming to it being too much of my own thing.  Another moment of clarity for me at the coast was while I was enjoying a beautiful run on the beach (oh- one of my very favorite things!!!) - and I naturally found myself thinking of my mom, as the beach was her very favorite place to be. Many of you know that running has been a great therapy after losing my mom 2 years ago and it has been such a positive  release!! But as I was running that day and as I thought of her and was starting to feel sad, my first instinct was - "Run through it Ashley, run harder - push through."  This is what I do A LOT when I start to feel emotion over losing my mom - I just push through it .....push it aside. I am not suppose to push my sweet, beautiful mom's memory aside - sad or happy.  So - I stopped in the middle of my run - right there on the beach and looked at the beautiful ocean where my mom's ashes are and I CRIED.  I remembered her, I honored her, I SLOWED DOWN and spent a moment with her ........a much needed moment with my grief.  I am not saying that I feel like I should always do that  (or I would probably be a mess), but I need there to be more of a time and a place for those moments - embrace them...... and that WAS certainly the time and the place.  It felt good.  It felt better than knowing I put a check mark on my training log that day - that I actually faced a greater challenge that day.

My sweet family during our hike. My run can wait!!

So, I am still in LOVE with running and will continue to be passionate about it.  And yes, I still love catching up on my friends blogs and the others out there that inspire me, but I needed a reminder that when those things become more interesting than or a distraction from the people that are right in front of me ........I need to re-balance.  I am certainly not preaching - this is totally my own conviction.  Many of you out there are able to balance better than I am.  I just know that it is healthy for us all to think about that when it is all said and done (as much as running can send some great messages to our kiddos, husbands, friends, family)  -  I don't believe many of us will be wishing we had logged more miles over taking in unforgettable moments with loved ones.
It's a challenge being a mom, being a wife, a friend, a sister, a daughter.........and a RUNNER.  But I am up for the challenge.

Oh yeah....I need to do a re-cap on Portland.  Seriously, God is so great with timing and re-affirming the lessons He is teaching us....my daughter JUST woke up and walked down stairs. So, more on that later - I need my morning snuggles.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Inspiration, Great Tunes & Marathon Memories

Last week my family and I took a much needed break at the beach and it happened to fall right into place with tapering in my running schedule.  Time to SLOW down a bit was the theme of the week.... (more about that whole week of reflection when my mind is not consumed with 10-10-10)!!!

So - randomness - that is what you get for this post, because that is what my mind is filled with right now with 2 days to go until the start line is saying, "Ok - show me what you got Shaddy!

Inspiration - oh we could be here forever - but I will give you a few that have kept me moving when I hit a little burn out mode the last few weeks.
These beautiful faces of my sweet, handsome, supportive (with a huge dose of smart aleck) husband & my beautiful kiddos

Picture of us after a beautiful hike during our REST week at the beach.

I am certainly one of those runners that LOVES music to keep me motivated - so here a re a few that have kept me moving the last few weeks:  disclaimer - please do not hold me accountable for any potential offensive lyrics - just beats and certain lyrics that keep me going (no f-bombs ......that I can remember)!

The High Road - by Broken Bells
Perfect Warm up Song!  Love his voice.

She's Long Gone - BlackKeys  - "She's Gone, Long Gone!!!" Oh yes I am!!!
If you do not have this on your playlist – PLEASE ADD IT – it gets me so pumped!! Fun jazzy/rock sound - a little something different for your playlist, but OH SO GOOD.

Move Along - All American Rejects
This is one of my favorite running songs - Love when it says - ” Ah – You gotta Keep it Strong – Move along, move along like I know you do. Even when you r HOPE is gone, move along, move along just to make it through” 
Seriously How perfect is that??? 

California by 2Pac
Tribute to Julie - would think of her being back in Cali for a visit

I've got soul, but I'm not a Soldier by The Killers
Great song for running & this link will take you to one of my FAVORITE nike commercials that says

"Everything You Need Is Already Inside"!! 


The Ghost Inside by Broken Bells
Love the Beat to this song!!

What is It??
Ok - I have to do it - a Hip hop tribute to my brother in law who downloaded this on my running tracks and I actually loves that it says - "Let me see you go mama - go mama!"  I like to think they are talking to me - haha!  I am pretty good at turning any song into something to do with running...

As much as I rely on music while I run, during my hill workouts this time around - I have been turning off my i-pod for my last hill, my kick my rear end workout...... and dedicating it to my sweet friend Meredith's brother, Chris.  I spend that hill praying for his battle with cancer & thinking about how his challenge is far greater than the one I have in front of me.  I swear every time I have done this - Chris's hill- is always my best pace!!!  Thank you Meredith & Chris for being with me on those hills!!

I have brought along with me so many pieces of people and experiences that have inspired my training......my family, my friends (running and non-running!!!), blogs of other runners that make me feel like I can do this!!, articles, RLAM, memories of my sweet mom, verses, nike commercials - haha, .................
Pieces of this journey that remind me that I am not in this alone - thank you to all of you that have shared your piece with me these last 4 challenging months!!! I will certainly be taking you with me on the Portland Marathon course.

As we enter the next chapter of our marathon experiences - I had to share a few of my favorite pictures from our last - a few more images that inspire me:

My Sweet Mom - Always in my heart & out there with me on the course!!

Look at his cute face - how couldn't it inspire you!  Oh & yes he DID hold up a sign asking me if I pee'd myself!

This is one of my favorites!!  My husband said that everyone had pain on their face, but not Julie - she had a smile- of course!!!

Portland Marathon - 10-10-10 - Here I come!!!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

What is your One Liner?

Taper, taper, taper!!!  I love to taper. Well, so I thought.  It is actually making me a little antsy.  Maybe it has something to do with that my family and I are spending a much needed family time and a rest week at the beautiful Oregon Coast (well, Julie who is a California girl may not call it beautiful or a real beach) - but we Northwesterners embrace our stormy beach - though we are actually having GREAT weather this week besides my stormy 16 mile stormy run (more about that).  I feel like I am wrestling the race mind games that are creeping in, with wanting to be lazy with my family and the other side of me that wants to feel like I do after a GOOD run.
As you know - I am following SBS of Run Like a Mother's Advanced Marathon Plan & I have really loved it.  It was a great challenge & I ended up loving the specifics of it with just coming off training for the Seattle Rock n' Roll.  I also loved the fact that my running buddy Julie was following the same plan & SBS was keeping us accountable by checking in and have been inspired by her commitment.
 Back to Sunday, 16 miles on the agenda (well, actually training plan says 15-16 - how can they do that to me??? I can't run 15 and be ok with it when the 16 is sitting there staring at me, letting me know I didn't take on the greater challenge.  Taper or not - my will won't let me.) - the only stormy, rainy day we have had thus far and sun in the forecast for the rest of the week - of course.  I thought "suck it up - this IS the Northwest, where you have lived all your life - just go get it done!"  Knowing my family would be nestled in our warm beach condo, eating waffles and sipping on warm drinks......I set out to get er' done (ode to Ryan D.).  I was soaking wet and I mean SOAKING just minutes into my run - I was laughing at myself trying to jump over puddles initially as if it were going to save my feet from getting wet.  So - I just embraced it - I always think,  "well, I have started so I have to finish - hence the shirt I bought and love that it reminds me to finish strong..

There was a point in the run when the rain was storming sideways against my face and it HURT - I had to laugh.  The looks I got from a few people as I ran downtown as they enter a restaurant for their hot breakfast or for their frothy morning latte (what I dreamed of) like - "is she crazy or why would she be running now???" - it motivated me!!  It made me feel stronger - maybe because I actually think I AM a little crazy......I think any individual that pushes this hard to attain a goal that most people never attempt - whether marathon or not is indeed a little crazy.  

So, now the question - What is Your One Liner?? There are many things that motivate/inspire me (read earlier entry of what really drives me) in the big picture, but what are the words that journey through your head as your body wants to stop or at least take it down a few notches??  What gives your mind the override on your body and pushes you through to your goal?? Mine this time around has been..."this is for a bigger goal!!!" - knowing that it isn't just about the workout in front of me but the marathon I am convinced to conquer.
I am interested to hear what words come through for your needed inspiration - I may need borrow a few on race day - I have a feeling that I will need more than one!  Happy Training!!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Peacocks can be Warriors too!

On Sunday some of my family and friends participated in the Warrior Dash - such a fun event!! Take a look at the course map and click on all the obstacles. May not have been the safest chose of an event in the middle of marathon training (I did a LOT of praying to come out with no injuries), but was a great change of pace and a day of FUN! One of the highlights was doing it with my husband who has been sidelined for a while due to an ankle injury and surgery this last year that left him with some permanent accessories of plates and screws! He has slowly been running again and it was so fun to do something that we weren't all that worried about time or pace (well, I can never completely forget about my time or pace - I think it is ingrained in me) - but it was more about the obstacles & just enjoying a challenge with family & friends. Any event that reminds you to leave REAL firearms and weapons at home has to be a GOOD TIME!!

So- before I share pictures - an explanation of our costumes....we decided to go against the grain a little & thought it would be entertaining to look nothing like warriors (costumes were encouraged)

Ok - my dad was suppose to be hunting the peacocks but i think he looks like a character from a horror film- I think the kiddos were scared!
Warrior peacocks!!  We look like we are at a dance recital - haha!

Julie and I before the Dash!
Her, Ryan and his cousin Scott were in the leg an hour before us - so we got to see them finish and got the advantage of hearing all about it.  We all tried to get in the same wave time but I am so glad that we got to watch them - it was hilarious!
Look at Julie go - smiles as usual

Even smiling when she is down!!

Still smiling!!

Nice slide Ryan!!

Scott, Ryan & Julie survived the dash - Connor loved watching!!
Now time to wash up in the communal soak area - see below.  Had to do it quick & not think about how dirty it was in there!

Nothing like a big mud bath with a whole bunch of people you don't know!

Go Heidi!!

My sweet husband gets to race with me again!!  Well, he says 10k or less but I am working on him.
Peacocks love to play in the mud!
Love the faces!

We did it!  Good times.
Our sweet kiddos came to cheer us on!  Not so excited to touch mommy and daddy.

My dad with a beer for him and Andrew.  Have to enjoy a beer after something like this!!
Turkey legs were available too.

Have so many fun pictures - will put an album on Face book.  Such a fun day with a great group of people.  It was fun to have all of our kids a part of it to.  Can't wait for the next time it is in town.  We will have to see if we can get more of you to join!!????  Now back to training for 10-10-10 (Portland Marathon)......almost there.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

A New PR, girlfriend time, good laughs, shopping, good food, hometown celebrity & a potty accident (no - there were no children there)!!

Inaugural Eugene Women's half marathon, girl time, shopping, laughs, tears, reading from one of my favorite mom running authors SBS of Run Like a Mother, good food.......what more could a mom, wife, friend, runner ask for?

So, first - I am a week late on this post that I have been so excited about. Partly because of the crazy start of school, but mostly because I have been dealing with a nasty virus on my computer for a couple months now and it finally took over my computer. The hijacking of my husbands computer only keeps me up on e-mail and an occasional facebook message. I am now the proud owner of a new Mac book & I am in love!!! So - I am back to posting about my running and otherwise happenings in my life.

Now onto the the Eugene Women's Half......What a great event for several reasons but mostly because of these beautiful faces....

As I posted before Julie and I are following the same Advanced Training as Sarah of Run Like a Mother & this race was written perfectly into it. I was excited to see where I was at in my training, as a half marathon finishing time can be a good indicator of what you canplan to do for your marathon. Well, I set a new PR!! The plan that has been kicking my rear end is working. Thank you to SBS for sharing her plan with other runner mom's and thank you to Andrew Kastor, coach of High Sierra Striders in Mammoth Lakes, CA. for writing the plan for her. My previous time at Race for the Roses was 1:46:42 and here are my Eugene stats:

Ashley Shaddy
bib number: 1397
age: 35
gender: F
location: Vancouver, WA
overall place: 54 out of 1558
division place: 12 out of 265
gender place: 54 out of 1558
time: 1:42:45
pace: 7:51

I pushed hard for that time, but felt good...... except for finishing with wet shorts. Yes, I had a potty accident. Not the run down your leg and fill your shoes kind of accident, but I certainly finished with wet shorts. I was fine until mile 11 - when I had already passed all the opportunities to empty my bladder. I suddenly HAD TO GO - but told myself -"You only have 2 miles, you can make it." I always like to try and pick it up a little the last mile and FINISH STRONG.....so at mile 12 as my legs and arms went into a faster gear my bladder began to remind me that I have carried 2 babies in this body. As I could hear & see the finish nearing, I could also feel the evidence of my weak bladder in my shorts. All I can say is NEVER say NEVER - because I can remember having a conversation with Julie about marathon running and whether I could pee myself & I told her I didn't think I ever could. So, I guess I can & I did....should have brought the Go Girl that Julie bought me as a joke. The funnest part was telling Julie right after she crossed the finish line - she folded over laughing so hard that I am surprised a medic didn't come check on her. So, if my pants look a little padded for Portland Marathon - then I sporting a depends....hmmmm.....actually I may have to consider that. Isn't it in to have a Kardashian looking booty anyway?

Julie (see her report here) also set a PR, Meredith had a run with an incredible story, Amy had a great run, Lindsay finished her first race EVER - way to go, & my sweet friend Lisa who planned to run but was injured - was the most unselfish & motivating cheerleader!!!

Other than a great event with a beautiful course, great volunteers and spectators (THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!!), I had an amazing weekend with some incredible women that I have already been blessed enough to call friends and a few that I was blessed enough to know better. It can do so much for a mom to get away with her girlfriends to relax, to finish a conversation, to laugh, sit and drink a cup of coffee (I mean sit there and drink ALL of it - how often do we do that!!), shop without kiddos, eat good food.......it is just refreshing to get a moment to breathe & spend time with people who are willing to share themselves - the good and the bad.

A few highlights and a few of my favorite things from the weekend:

When we got into town we went to Cafe Yumm & that name fits it perfectly. It is a perfect combination of a asian & mexican rice and bean bowl. Hard to explain, but SO good. I loved it so much that Elsie & I drove to the location in Beaverton last week for a Yum Bowl and I left with a craving fulfilled, a big bottle of Yum sauce so I can duplicate at home & a new fan as Elsie said "I like Yum bowls with enthusiasm!" She hears enthusiasm in her mommy's voice often when I speak of food.

If you are a mom and run or want to run ...you need to own Run Like a Mother -

It is a fun read & very motivating. We attended a reading that Sarah was doing when we went to pick up our race packets - it is always great to hear from a seasoned runner who has little kiddos running around as well & knows the obstacles of fitting a run or a training schedule into our mommy worlds. We took a picture with our local celebrity (at least in our little world- haha).

We did some shopping at the packet pick up area in the Fifth Street Market - super cute! Great kitchen store called Hartwick's - attached to a great little shop that makes YUMMY coffee.

We had a GREAT carb loading dinner at a newer restaurant called Osteria Sfizio. Super great girl's night or date night spot if you are in the area. They had homemade Ginger Soda that was so delicious!!

After the race - we not only got mimosas but we got to have a free mini spa treatment from the Aveda spa nearby and I found my favorite product that I have found in a while. I know this has nothing to do with running, but as much as I love running gear - I love other fun product to:

My hair has seriously never felt softer. Put it on when wet, dry hair and have your hubbie run his fingers through your beautiful soft hair or just enjoy it your self (the only area we mom's like to celebrate being SOFT).

Last, but not least - found a super cute pair of Mommy flats at a super cute shoe boutique Miss Meers.

So, great friends, good times and great run......thank you God for keeping me moving and giving me beautiful experiences and people to take on my journey.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Training plan & Toes

I have finally decided on the training plan that I am going to follow for the upcoming Portland Marathon. I wanted to step it up a bit since my leg held up well to my last training plan. I am a huge fan of any Hal Higdon plan, but Julie sent me a great plan that Sarah Bowen Shea of Run Like a Mother is doing. I was drawn to it because it is challenging, it fits my upcoming race schedule (she is doing the Eugene Women's half & has it written into the plan) & there is something fun about knowing that another local mom is out there pounding the pavement too. That said, I am going to follow it as closely as I can with my training happening during my husbands busiest travel time of the year. I am sure I will even have to do several runs on a treadmill. I am determined to get babysitters for my long runs and take my kids to the track with me for sprints. So, I followed it loosely last week and started today with a 90 minute hill run at Rocky Butte (suggestion courtesy of Sarah!) with Julie.

Julie & I at the top of Rocky Butte (thank you for our sweet hubbies who got up with the kiddos!)

So so far this week:
Tuesday: 5 miles on treadmill 43:06 - need to get the foot pod for my Garmin so I can know my ACTUAL pace on the treadmill.
Wednesday: 90 minutes = 10 miles about 3 being uphill at Rocky Butte - nice change of scenery!!

On to the TOES!! Oh my word - if you don't like yucky feet pictures then skip this part. I keep promising Julie that I will post pictures of my nasty blister after the Seattle Rock n' Roll Marathon. Here it is....

I knew something was a little sore on my foot when I was running - but I was in the zone and just forgot about it & then later is was a much less worry than my medic tent visit. By the time we got back to the hotel and my sweet husband had me lay down and he took off my shoes and socks - I told him to be careful because my toe was sore. The look on his face was pure fear and disgust, he said " I am not sure what it is but you have SOMETHING on your toe." It was so funny. It ended up getting bigger so we popped it later - so Gross and kind of fun if you are someone who kind of gets a thrill out of that sort of thing - I know - I am disturbed.

I also found that I have acquired lovely black toenail over the course of my training....

Oh the joys of running! I know, I know - I certainly do not have the cutest feet to start with - but this certainly doesn't help in the middle of summer! Was already in a half size bigger shoe - jumped up another half size to see if that helps. I will just have to keep getting pedicures - if I don't lose them as well. And black nails are SO last year - haha!!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Recovery & Reflection

It has been a bit since I have posted but I think I needed to let sort through everything about my marathon experience before I committed to how I was truly feeling. And I have had SO MANY thoughts about my marathon experience and have been so up & down about it that I figured I would spare you all - what my husband would call "Cybil" moments (remember the old movie about the woman with all the different personalities??). Anyway, to sound ridiculously cliche - ONWARD & UPWARD - LIVE & LEARN!!

The Seattle Rock n Roll may not be what I hoped to claim as my first marathon - but non-the-less - IT WAS! My focus has turned from the what went wrong to what went right. (Even though I think I am going to go to a sports medicine clinic to get some testing done on my sodium levels when I run so I can be better prepared - more about that another time).
I count myself blessed that I was able to complete 4 months of marathon training while shuttling my two kiddos to two different schools, being room mom, wife, sister, friend, daughter, - still managed to play with my kids, see some of my friends (though they were a little neglected - LOVE YOU), have time with my hubby (even if it was TIRED time) try a few new recipes, deliver a few meals for our church, be a part of a mom's group, go to family gatherings, wish I could claim keeping my house in stellar condition - but that would never be the case and so on.....
And most of all, through the training and through my not so dreamy finish (in the medic tent) - I was able to be an example to my kids. That you do your best and even when things do not turn out as we hoped - we don't give up. It is ok to shed some tears but we move on and look for the GOOD God has given us. My husband always says "that when things get hard is when we see who people really are". My sweet girl was walking behind me the other day with her friend and she said - "everyone has been talking about my mom's run - yeah - she runs a marathon!" She said it with such excitement and didn't add the "Well, I only got through 25 that I have been explaining to most".....in her mind - I did it & she is proud of what mommy did and so am I.
I do have to say that the first time I put my Garmin watch on after the race to go on a run and it said I still had 1.2 miles to complete my goal (it still being set for the marathon) - I had to cry a little ......a then I RAN!!
So ......
I have officially registered for the Portland Marathon 10-10-10 - here we come. It will be so fun to have a race in my home town & see my sweet kiddos faces at the finish line & even more family & friends than Seattle.
Hope to see some of you there - or even better - run with you there. Thank you to everyone for all of your support the last few weeks - I have felt truly loved and encouraged.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

My First Marathon......well almost.

So, Seattle Rock n' Roll Marathon - my first? Well, it depends if completing 25 miles well and then getting taken in by the medics counts. Oh, the tears that roll down my cheeks as I write this entry....
I ran over the first half of the race with my friend Michelle (who ended up qualifying for Boston!! - way to go friend!), she has a few Marathons under her belt and she helped to pace me and not go out to strong & certainly encouraged me. Our pace felt good - I felt strong. Around mile 16 - I remember starting to feel like I couldn't wait for the drink stops - I was SO thirsty. I had hydrating the day before, the morning of and drank at EVERY hydration table along the race - switching between water and electrolytes at each stop. By mile 19 or 20 - something was wrong - I was feeling right. It wasn't just an endurance issue, my legs felt strong - I was starting to feel a little dizzy. I knew I had my dad coming to join me soon to finish with me - so I kept my mind on that. By mile 22 or 23 - it was getting worse - I started to sway on the course - I was feeling weird! It wasn't pain - because I know myself - I can push through pain. I finally let my dad in on how bad I was feeling around mile 24 and he offered to take a walk break but in my stubbornness - I wanted to keep running - I was SO CLOSE, it was taking so much focus to stay upright - I was dizzy, my sight was getting blurry and my head kept flopping back - it felt like my head weighed 100 pounds. At mile 24 I was at 3:37 - on pace to finish under 4 hours! At mile 25 my body said this was the end of the race - I almost passed out, my dad helped me to the side and my dad and I sat staring at the 25 mile marker sign , listening to the cheers from the finish line, as the medics checked me out. The excitement of the finish so near is enough to keep anyone going - but my body wasn't listening. I thought if I sat there for a few minutes - i could at least slowly finish - forget about the under 4 hour finish at this point - I just wanted to cross that finish line. I tried to stand a few times and kept almost falling over. It wasn't my legs or muscles not being able to do it - this wasn't any ting that had to do with my training, my determination, my strength - I wasn't getting better - I was getting worse - it was hard to even talk without complete focus. They decided to take me to the medic tent. My heart broke as they drove me behind the finish line - I heard all the cheering, knowing my family and Friends were waiting there for me and I laid there with a million tough ts swirling through my mind and it was so disheartening. They let me know that I was very dehydrated and that my sodium levels were low. How?? What happened?? I was diligent in my liquid intake. I know that once your sodium levels drop you are unable to retain fluids - but why would mine have dropped so low??
I didn't get to celebrate with my family that had drove 3 hours to cheer me on, my friends, my best friend who had gone through all the training and excitement with me. As I was laying in the medic tent trying not to throw up, looking at the spinning tent roof, having salt packets poured under my tongue, realizing my time had passed me by to cross that finish line...I was thinking, Is this REALLY happening??, only one mile left!!! I was sad, mad & a little scared of how my body felt.

My sweet friend Julie showed up to check on me - when she should have been celebrating her victory of finishing her first marathon! She handed me my medal.....still haven't decided if I can hang it. Having a loyal best friend is a huge blessing, but I have guilt knowing that because she feels my joy and pain right along with me - that this is taking away from her experience a bit. We planned this whole "first marathon" together & I couldn't have gotten through it together. It is her time to be selfish and say "I did it!" I am so proud of her. My sister got pictures of her coming through that finish line in typical Julie style - with a HUGE smile on her face!

Julie & I before the race.

So, let's talk of the victories of the experience. So, yes I completed my 4 month training and ran a pretty good 25 miles of the race (even if I was staggering the last few!). I know that these accomplishments are something to be celebrated and I will. I have a feeling my sore muscles will heal a little sooner than my disappointment though. It may sound a little dramatic, but I truly did not know how much my heart was into this until now. The biggest celebrating is in reality of the amazing circle of people around me that have encouraged me through my training, ran beside me on long runs, have cried along with me and encouraged & celebrated me in the last few days, & that are here in my everyday life. To have family and friends in your life that cheer you on through your up and downs in life is truly a far greater victory than crossing any finish line!

Julie & I with our hubbies. Couldn't have done it without them!

My Dad & I - carb loading the night before. So glad he was there at the end to hold me up both emotionally & physically!

My Family that traveled to cheer me on & still are! Thank you guys - I love you.

Cards, Flowers & This sign is what I came home to - I have amazing friends!!

This may not have been my plan for this race, but when in life do things truly go according to OUR plan. God is teaching is & will teach me something through this as He does in all things. As my amazing husband wrote to me.."Life/Running is a Journey, and we have to learn to adjust and be open to adversity." Certainly many others have faced far more devastating adversity than this. I will use and take it to the next start line with me!

And so my Inspired Miles continue. Portland Marathon Bound - hmmmmm.???

Saturday, June 19, 2010

The POWER of the mind

Today I had my last long run of my Marathon training - which should have ended with a feeling of victory & confidence. First, I thought, probably naively, that it would be easy compared to all the miles that I have put in lately. It was not!! It was hard from beginning to end and my mind started to mess with me. To give a little history on one of my biggest mental blocks during this training. Last October during a half marathon that I trained VERY hard for and felt really good going into -I tore my anterior tibialis.

This was my trophy from the race!!

It took me out for a good few months and the beginning of my marathon training was very slow due to the advice of my doctor. I wanted it to heal right - so I laid off on hard sprint and hill training this go around and put the miles in and to take it easy when it hurt. No cross training - just running when it felt right. Needless, to say I am going into this Marathon in good ENDURANCE shape, but not the shape I wanted to be for this marathon. I have done all my long runs and only had to cut a few mid-week runs short due to pain and tightness. Anyway, my mind was going crazy this morning with fears and worries. About my injury, about choosing the right pace, the right gels (which have been giving me a little issues lately), hydrating enough, is this the time for me?, should I have trained harder? ect. ect.!!
So, I am going to be thankful that I CAN run, focus on what I HAVE accomplished and pray that my body and mostly my mind are friends with me this Saturday.

Thursday, June 17, 2010


in•spi•ra•tion (nsp-rshn)
a. Stimulation of the mind or emotions to a high level of feeling or activity.
b. The condition of being so stimulated.
2. An agency, such as a person or work of art, that moves the intellect or emotions or prompts action or invention.
3. Something, such as a sudden creative act or idea, that is inspired.
4. The quality of inspiring or exalting: a painting full of inspiration.
5. Divine guidance or influence exerted directly on the mind and soul of humankind.
6. The act of drawing in, especially the inhalation of air into the lungs.
It seems as though I am beginning this whole blogging- running log quite late in the game of my marathon training, but hopefully not late in the game in perspective of the miles I have ahead of me in my running journey. My best friend and I are running the Seattle Rock n' Roll marathon in a week and a half (June 26th) - our first! Where better to start than on my taper weeks and during a week at the beach with my family. The beach…a truly perfect setting to be inspired, to have to time to be inspired and to actually sit down and write about it. I have to say that so many others running blogs have become encouragement to me that I thought I may as well join the fun! I do have to make a disclaimer that I am not as gifted with time management as the rest of you with posting or let's be honest - even checking my e-mail. I usually take care of whatever is right in front of me and my computer never ends in front of me some days. So, I am going to do my best to keep up with this and share thoughts on running and everything else that comes along with it.

Ok -I just have to say that in the definition that I included at the beginning - look at #6 - how perfect is that??!! Love it!

What inspires me to run??............ Probably the same things that inspire me through most things in life - but these are the things that swarm through my mind as I am pushing the pavement (or treadmill).
As anyone who knows me is aware of the fact that I am quite the daddy's girl - so that is where my first memories of running began...in junior high going out for runs with my dad. So, how appropriate that my dad will be running the last 6 miles of my first marathon with me!

My incredible Dad who first sparked my love of running!

I have always enjoyed running, but have picked it up again in the last few years. My two beautiful children put a little hold on my running for a little while. My best friend and decided to run a half marathon together about 3 years ago (my husband ended up running as well - but vows to only do 10k or less from now on) - knowing that with little ones at home we needed to have a goal on the calendar. And so the journey began. At that time I was inspired by the challenge of running, the idea of having something of my own, the freedom of a break from the joys and challenges of being a stay at home mom. Julie & I chose The Surf City Half Marathon - knowing that a guarantee of a little time away with our hubbies and some sun would keep us motivated. Through my training it was so encouraging to feel like I successfully completed something that day –as I found that motherhood also came along with a never disappearing to do list. Even if a shower was not in the cards that day - it felt great to finish a run.

The day before my first half marathon my mom (my best friend) - was diagnosed with cancer. That day my whole perspective changed. I had to make a decision to be driven by fear and anger or hope – I chose HOPE (a little fear certainly crept in there at times). My sweet mom wouldn't let me miss my race. So I ran - I ran for her and found a whole new meaning to inspiration. As much as I remember that race being fun – I was in such a fog that I don’t even remember my finish time – somewhere under 2 hours. While I walked beside, sat beside, & lay beside my sweet mom during her battle with cancer - I would find time for a run & running became a needed escape from my reality and an on-call therapist. I ran hard (partly because if I was really sweaty then my tears wouldn't show!)...I had no PR's in mind, no goals in mind, no race on the calendar - I had HOPE in mind and was inspired by the thought of what my mom's body was not capable of. My sweet mom lost her battle with cancer 9 months later. Her beautiful face gives me inspiration! Every time I want to stop, slow down or think I can't do it - I keep going knowing that she is cheering me on and if she can fight the battle that she did...then I can do this. During this chapter of my life I drew from the strength of my little sister (affectionately called Sissy), my other family and friends that held me up during those days and still continue to as I heal from an incredible loss. I learned that my best friend and running buddy is not only the best support and encourager in running but even more so in the downhills of life. In truth, I know my real strength – the kind that cannot be explained, came from God - He gave me more strength than I ever thought I embodied. That is one reason I run today - I am inspired and encouraged by the strength that I have been gifted when it seems impossible to run or even stand strong. What strength does God reserved for me that I haven't tapped into so far? I am still strengthening - remain to heal. I will always be inspired by the life of and the battle my mother fought.. I take a part of her on every run. I look forward to the miles ahead of my life - good and bad whether the journey is in running shoes or not.

So, this marathon is in honor of her. The strongest, funniest, most generous, honoriest and most loving woman I have ever known. How appropriate that the Seattle Rock n' Roll Marathon benefits the American Cancer Society. Hopefully one day we will find the answers to this horrible disease.

My Incredible husband, my beautiful kids, my sisters, my best friend, my health, my other sweet friends, shared stories of successes and struggles from other runner's/women, a good runners high, fun running gear.....heck, even a good Justin Timberlake song( I know, I hate to admit it), some days just to get a break……… all inspire me to run. There is meaning behind our miles. What inspires you??

So, as I have been encouraged and inspired my so many others (even many of you out there I have never met) - now my cyber running journey begins. My miles ahead may not always be taken on with running shoes (I do like to wear a great pair of wedges too!), but they will remain inspired. Here are my thoughts whether compelling or random. I come with my sore muscles (remember I am in week and a half away from my FIRST MARATHON), my triumphs and failures, my goals, my fears and my thoughts on this mom's inspired miles.