Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Why???? Because I can!

I hate to admit it, but I have been struggling. I’ve gotten the majority of my runs in, but I’ve missed more this time around then my last marathon training stint 11 years ago. In 1999, my first go at this crazy event, I maybe missed 2 runs in the 7 months leading up to the Austin Motorola Marathon. For the record I was 29 and had no kids. Jim and I worked different shifts so my time was my own. If I missed a run there was no good reason for it so I didn’t miss them. For the past month I’ve felt slow and sluggish and found myself wondering why I was doing this. I wasn’t scheduling my time in the best way to ensure I got my run in each day. I told myself I’ve nothing to prove. I’ve run two of these things before. I don’t really have a goal like beating my best time. I don’t care if I set a personal record. But then, in the way the universe tends to work I got a little boost!

Now don’t think I’m nuts, but I’m pretty sure Big Ben was on my last run with me. Why me and not someone else who he was closer to? Who knows and maybe it was just my subconscious kicking me in the pants. I’ll tell you the story and let you decide. It was an 8 miler and I was only two miles in and I began to feel light and happy and then tears starting falling down my cheeks for no reason I could think of. It was an odd mixture of emotion and just like that I knew why. Big Ben was striding with me. I also knew why I was doing this marathon. It was because Ben couldn’t. I was doing it so maybe others wouldn’t have to hear the words you have cancer. The rest my run felt great. I cruised the remaining 6 miles easily and finished the distance averaging 12 minute 12 second miles. Yep, for me that is cruising. I’ve never said I was fast.

So was Ben with me in those miles physically? I don’t know, but I do know that I will carry him every step of the way. I’ll think of him a lot on my 20 mile training run coming up this Sunday. I’ll be struggling to get one foot in front of the other by mile 18 and by mile 20 I’ll be in a lot of pain. Although what I’ll think of most is that this is temporary self inflicted pain that will subside and go away. A little Advil and I’ll be good to go. We haven’t found the “Advil” yet to make all cancer go away. So I’ll run this marathon and raise money so the American Cancer Society can fund cutting edge research that will make all cancer patients good to go! I’m determined to make a difference and this is one of the ways I know how.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Running while running around

Almost every trip for the past 10 years I have packed running gear. Some trips I use it and some trips I don't. But every vacation or business trip that I carve out time to run I am rewarded. Some times that reward comes in the form of an amazing run. One where I feel great or cover a long distance easily or run faster than ever. But more often than not I find a gem. A hidden place known by the locals but seldom seen by those of us just passing through.

I have eaten wild raspberries off a bush in a park in the middle of Atlanta. I have run miles between a river (canal) and a zoo in downtown Indianapolis. I have run off a heard of elk on accident and to everyone's surprise. Too many ocean runs to mention but they were all memorable in one way or another. A runners view of a place is special. You find cute neighborhoods, nice parks and unusual sculptures. This week in Gaylord it was various bears painted and decorated with different themes. One of the best parts of running in a new space is you are still close to your community.

One thing I always encounter when I run no matter if I am at home or on the road is the wave or nod. If you have been running long you know what I mean. Rarely does a fellow runner pass you with out at least throwing you a nod. It is a big community. Runners are connecting in a big way via Facebook and twitter, but the wave, nod or the friendly hello is the best. For some reason it makes me feel like a real runner a sort of validation that we are all out here fighting the good fight together.

So the next time you are planning a trip take some time out to fit in a run or two. You might see something you wouldn't have seen otherwise and you can add a wave or nod to your collection of running accomplishments.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Baby Steps

Days like yesterday are hard. I want to run but, my brain gets in the way. My calendar is full with work and home obligations and on top of that it is super hot and extra humid. If I don't get up early and get out the door before work the chances of getting that run in goes down considerably.

Additional I am not a big fan of waking up early. So the baby steps start the minute the 5:30 am alarm sounds. I am just gonna get up and have a cup of coffee and check out what has been happening on Facebook and twitter. That is what gets the foot on the floor. I just think about the coffee. As I am sipping the coffee and perusing the Internet I start thinking about my running clothes. I lay them out the night before.

All I have to do is get dressed. All I have to do is put on my headphones. All I have to do is get out the door, down the block and oh look...I am running. How did that happen? Usually the first half a mile keeps me tricking myself. Go slow warm up if you don't feel better in 5 minutes you'll turn around. Well the bottom line is that once I'm out the door the run will get done. It

Isn't always pretty and a lot of times it isn't fun, but tricking myself by taking baby steps gets it in the books and I can forget about it again until the alarm sounds again tomorrow.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Commitment Renewed

Wow it has been awhile since I’ve updated you and for that I’m sorry. But rest assured I’ve been putting in the training miles.

What has prompted this return to the page you ask? Well a combination of things really but the forerunner is it has been 1 year since my friend Ben died of Cancer. I can’t believe it has been that long. It seems like yesterday. This last year has gone by in a nightmare for his wife, parents, sisters and his best friend (my brother Jay). I’ve stood by and provided a listening ear and a hug, but otherwise have felt pretty helpless. I suppose that is why I committed to running a marathon and raising money to fight against cancer.

The American Cancer Society’s DetermiNation program gives me a way to fight back. I can never help Ben. But maybe the money I raise can fund lifesaving research and keep other families from having to wade through the grief and loss that Ben’s family and friends has had to.

Additionally running for Ben has helped me drop nearly 30lbs. I’m not mentioning this so you can tell me how great I look the next time you see me (but of course please do if the spirit moves you) It is to point out that physical activity and eating healthy will help protect me from cancer and a whole host of other ailments that genetics has potentially thrown in my way.

So I’m planning to update you more often so you can train with me. I’ll need all the help, motivation and DetermiNation I can get.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Real Runner Second Class

Hello all!

Well it has been a while, but things are starting to come together. The last week or so I've started to feel like a real runner again. I've been slogging through runs for months now, but I've been faking it. But about a month ago or so I started watching my calorie intake and it has made a huge difference. In fact I've lost about 20 lbs. This is significant for anyone, but when you are running it is HUGE. It means for me running 11 to 12 minute miles instead of 13 to 14 minute miles. There is this funny phenomenon with running. The faster you go the more weight you lose and the more weight you lose the faster you go. Now don't get me wrong...I am still a slug in the running community.

Don't try to make me feel better because I have proof. Today I ran an 8K (For those of you not familar with the metric system that is 4.8 miles) in Ann Arbor and the weather was perfect for running, 50 or so and overcast. There were 108 people in the race and I finished 102nd. I suppose I'm to feel pleased that I finished and most of today I have been. But then there is that part of me that wishes I was the thin fast girl pulling ahead of me with her flawless ponytail bopping up and down. Ah well, I finished and my amazing friends (ACS colleagues) were waiting for me at the finish. They saved me a water and a banana and really what else do you need.

Until next time...

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Travel got in the way

Okay I got in my way. But so easy to blame it on a long work week capped off by a business trip to Indianapolis. I only got two runs in last week for a grand total of 7 miles. Very disappointing considering I did 17 the week before and was planning 18 total miles for the week.

Better planning and more discipline would have helped to get at least one more run in, but bottom line is adding runs last week would have added stress to an already stressful week. Running is suppose to relieve stress not create it. So last week I chose differently. I chose to spend the few extra minutes I had away from work with the kids or maybe sleeping. Not throwing on my running clothes to shoe horn a run in between meetings or after the kids went to bed.

That is not always the right decision... but last week it was. I know this because I've gotten right back on track. Both scheduled runs so far this week have been completed. I feel happy and refreshed. I know in the future I will have to run when I don't want to, but once in a while you need to create space to breathe.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Report from the road well... treadmill.

I thought I'd report back on my week. It has been busy with hockey and gymnastics, but I still was able to get all 5 runs in for a total of 17 miles. It has been a few weeks since I've been able to (had the disciple to) stick to the schedule.

All 5 runs were on the treadmill. This bores the brain, but takes a lot of the decision making process out of it. I did some workouts this week that I'll be calling the shredder from now on. I run fairly slow and then do sprints for 30 seconds. According to the experts this is suppose to burn serious fat. We'll see. All I know is that I did 6 sprints, 4 at 7 mph and 2 at 8 mph. I'm not sure I've ever run that fast.

Tomorrow is a rest day and then it all starts over again. I think I have 18 miles scheduled for this week. Wish me luck!