Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Shifting the focus a bit

Still here!
Still alive. Running. Livin' life.

There's not been much to post in the way of running. I've been running 3 times a week since the week after my marathon. Runs have been great and I've had no issue getting back into it.

I actually ran my fastest run today since, well, I don't even know when! At least March I'm thinking. 4.1 miles, avg pace of 8:47!! The last .1 was an 8:00 avg and that was partly uphill. Felt HARD the whole time but it also felt great to put it into a higher gear. Haven't done that in a coon's age.
I really have nothing I'm training for right now so I'm just running to run. No pressure on my runs right now is great for my mind.

After I had my 'baby' in May (aka marathon), I've realized I need to shift the focus of my life back to my family. They've always been my #1 top priority but I'm ready to make my actions reflect that. No more 'sorry mommy cant play with you, I just ran 16 miles and I am BEAT.'  =)

I've got a lot of fun things planned for my kiddos and I this summer so hopefully I'll make a bit of time to pop on and tell you about those things as well.

As far as running goes, I have a 5K in mind in June that benefits my friend and her husband. They run a camp a few hours away from here for foster children in the summer. Looking forward to that. I may do the Siena/Francis House 10K again this year (I've done it  the last 2 years) and then of course my Ted E Bear Hollow 5K in August (my first 5K ever). After that I only have a few things in the back of my mind: a few 5Ks, possibly the Omaha 1/2 marathon and I MIGHT try to run a trail race at some point this year. 

I'm also toying with a Duathlon next month. Though I'm TERRIFIED of falling off my bike and having 50 other people pile on top of me. Of course I can probably avoid that by riding behind everyone. My Raleigh and I aren't speedy by any means, so if I start back there and fall, there will be no on behind me to leave tire tracks across my face =)

Here are some pics from the last 2 weeks or so...

Sir Raleigh and I out for a morning ride

Part of the gorgeous trail we traveled down...

Some of what I've been eating lately:



Gorgeous sky captured by Photographer-Girl last week

Rode my first horse last week. I officially want one. I don't think  my neighbor's will mind, do you? Its just like a REALLY big dog.

We also visited a 'western' store here for the first time where we found some VERY expensive cowboy and cow girls hats. Cute! But they didn't come home with us. (the hats that is. Some how those kids snuck in my van again)

Have you ever ridden a horse?

What and when is your next race?

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Running free!

Ok, I have to say that running under NO training-plan pressure has been BLISSFUL

Now that's not to say that I'm not looking forward and planning out my next few races, but I love this 'in between time' where I can run when I want and as little/much as I want (within reason. Not going to go out and run 15 tomorrow though the thought DOES appeal to me. I'm a long run gal at heart)  =)

I did my first post-marathon run on Sunday
3.1 miles on the treadmill 1% incline 32:50 (plus 20 x 4 sets of push ups)
My legs felt good and ready for an outdoor run but I thought I should give them (and my feet) a softer surface to start out on. 
I was able to run without my callus protectors! For the first time in MONTHS!!!! SUPER excited about that.  The run felt good. My legs felt fresh the whole time but my lungs were like that of a chain smoker. This run sucked the ever-lovin' breath right out of me! Felt WAY faster than 10ish minute miles effort-wise.  But I loved every minute of it.

After that in honor of Mother's Day. I took my mom (and dad) out to lunch at a buffet. 
I'll spare you any pictures.
I was hurting for hours and even by dinner time I STILL wasn't hungry.
Its a tradition that my hubby buys me a Village Inn pie for Mother's Day and I am NOT one to mess with traditions. So home he came that night with a beautiful Banana Cream Pie.  AND even though I wasn't hungry, I ate 1/4 of the pie that night!
The other 3/4 was consumed by me through out the day yesterday. (So basically that was 4,000+ calories of PIE in 24 hours).
Yeah, I didn't sleep so well last night. 
Thankfully I was still able to get up this morning and meet my friends at 5:30 for a 4 mile run

60* at 5:30 am!  Love that. Didn't love the 99* that it rose to later in the day. Nebraska's weather is bi-polar.

I'm the textbook example of a sugar hangover here.

The run felt GREAT. It was already light out at 5:30 a.m.! Love it.
 The run ushered the globs of sugar right out of my pores and I felt great the rest of the day.

I tried to eat wisely today to make up for my sugar abuse yesterday.
I love those Flatout wraps!
Which went well except for the 2.5 granola bars I ate today....actually I think it was 3.5. Forgot I ate one at breakfast.  ADDICTIVE, they are.

Do you have a favorite kind of pie?

What's your favorite temp to run in?

Any special Mother's Day traditions?

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Three strikes!

Whew! I am BEAT! And I didn't even go running today!
I had planned to try a few easy miles yesterday morning but Wed/Thurs my right knee and bottom of my left foot were still squeakin' at me so I thought I should rest them a bit longer.
I WOULD have ran this morning but today was my annual

Now normally I come home with GOBS of stuff but today, not so much. The local second-hand shops just weren't jellin' with me today.  Boo.
I did get a few things though, including some sweet Nike running pants. I'll have to take a picture and post them.

Anyway, the reason I'm so tired?
Strike 1: One of my young'uns got me up just before 5 am with a tummy ache and I was never able to go back to sleep.
Strike 2: I ate a WHOLE pack of Keebler fudge sticks today (not very good fuel for walking around shopping all day!
Strike 3: I walked around ALL day!!! I left at 8:30, came back at 5 with pizza and McD's for my crew and then went back out to Target after dinner.

Lord willing, I'm going to run a few easy miles tomorrow. I cant decide if it will be on the 'mill or outside. I was really looking forward to running in shorts/ tank top but  checked the weather and it will be 36* at 7 a.m.!!! Really, Nebraska?  Come on.

Soooo, if I feel well, I WILL be running tomorrow, but where remains to be seen. Its going to be SO hard to keep the run short, not only because I MIIIIISSSSSS the long run, but I will be eating my weight in either Dairy Queen ice cream cake or Village Inn pie tomorrow (I haven't decided which of the two evils I will choose yet)..

Stay tuned...

On a completely random note: Have you switched shoes (make/model) since you started running? I'm looking to move away from my Nike Air Max's but I need shoes with GOOD support/cushioning/stability. (If they could make me go faster, that'd be a plus).   ;)

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Like a Greyhound at the starting block...

or a snail. Either way, this momma is ITCHIN' to run! I know that my body is no where near ready, but my mind is RARIN' to go. 
My body is feeling even better today. Back feels pretty much back to normal and my upstairs-downstairs walking is 90% back to normal! No more strategizing the stairs. Awesome.

My right hip flexor still feels tight and a wee bit sore, but I can now pick up my leg to put my shoes and socks on without the help of my arms!  SCORE!
My calves, shins and right ankle are still a bit sore but nothing bad at all. My feet are a bit tender as well but wearing shoes today has helped that

BUT if you look closely....yep, still have on my red fuzzy socks.   Comfy.

I did an elliptical workout today, kept the pace easy, but not recovery. Worked up the tiniest glisten of sweat.  Yay.
Elliptical 20 minutes, 4.2 miles.  Watching the Honey Boo Boo episode of Toddlers and Tiaras made the time FLY by.

I didn't do much in the way of my eating today. Still tried to keep the calories on the lighter side. I was amazed to see that I was only down 1/2# on Monday morning after running TWENTY SIX miles on Sunday! I didn't go nuts with the food at ALL on Sunday so that surprised me.
Then yesterday I kept the calories low-ish and I was up a full pound this morning! WHAT GIVES!
I did remember later that I had a small hamburger patty at dinner with a 1/2 c of baked beans and a little quinoa and for some reason, whenever I eat red meat at night, I always weigh a little more in the morning, so we'll see what tomorrow morning on the scale brings us....

Do you weigh yourself daily?
What is your favorite piece of exercise machinery?


It's that time again!

Three Random facts about me:

1.  Re-occurring dreams: am I the only one that has these? I've not had this one in a good year or two but had them SUPER frequently for YEARS and it was always the same 'plot' though the dreams were different. But the plot was ALWAYS that I was late for class and could not remember the combination to my school locker!! Weird, right??

2.  I might be the most inflexible person in the world (think wooden pencil).  I remember taking dance lessons as a little girl and EVERYONE else could touch their toes except me.  So no yoga/pilates in my future!  =)

3.  I am a big sugar-holic. Seriously. Like 'need-a-support-group' type -aholic. I joke about it a lot but it really is like a drug!  I get shaky sometimes when I think about it and when I'm eating it. Its like I have no 'off' button sometimes! (case in point: I am snarfling down a chocolate chip granola bar as I type this and am contemplating getting another one)...


Do you have re-occurring dreams?
Are you flexible?
Any foods you just cant stay away from?

Monday, May 6, 2013

The Shuffle Shuffle Drag Tango!

Post Marathon: Day 1-Where Anna walks like a cross between Frankenstein and a 104 yr old grandma...
Hee Hee

Ok, its really not that bad. Yesterday I did a lot of stretching, massaged my legs a few times, did a little rolling-pin rolling and made sure to drink a LOT of water. Oh, and I tried to make sure I got a good amount of protein in.
Got a good nights sleep and I woke up feeling better than I thought I would!

I did an easy 25 min walk on the treadmill at a 3% incline for a whopping .82 miles. Got my HR up to a whopping 80 bpm! 
If a pregnant, two-legged, over weight bear tried to chase me down for a meal today, you might as well slap some jelly on me, cuz I'd be TOAST!

Anyway, I've been doing a lot of stretching today, trying to elevate my legs every now and then, being sure to drink a lot of water, and trying, again, to get a good amount of protein in. I'm still walking wonky (wow try to say that 5 times fast and it ends up sounding like 'wonky wonky'!  HAHA!)  but no where NEAR as bad as yesterday and stairs aren't as loathsome as I thought they'd be!

I spent all day in comfy socks, slouchy old pants and a few comfy shirts (I so dislike being cold and being cold AND sore, would not a party make..

Just found out today that a local guy took this at the race! This is me in the last mile. I was slightly disoriented, dehydrated and thought I smelled bacon somewhere (the hope of that was the only thing that carried my legs along)

Does anyone else save all their race bibs?  Sort of a weird obsession of mine...
So excited to add this one to the pile

And this BY FAR is my favorite medal....

Tomorrow will entail me trying to get a little bit hard of a workout in, maybe a 90 bpm?

Sunday, May 5, 2013


WOW!  After a feat like that I feel like something with magnitude should be changed to show the world is not the same. Anna. Has run. A Marathon.
I just ran 26.2 miles (actually probably more like 26.4-so an ULTRA marathon!).  It doesn't seem like there is enough weight to those words.  Not enough to show the depth of foot power, will power and gumption that went into running for almost FIVE hours.
**Pictures first, details next....

Hubby and I before the start. It was SO cold.

Friends and I before the start

The crowd in front of us (well) before we crossed the start line

The crowd behind us...

A drum group around mile 1. I really liked these guys!

The trash was atrocious! I've never run a race this big (or long!) so I never knew the 'road mess' a crowd of runners this big can make!

HAHA 'Sweat like a pig to look like a fox'  Or in my case sweat like a pig to look like a sweaty pig.  ;)

This was on a crowded, narrow path so I couldn't stop to get a picture, but this guy was holding a real, live water fowl (duck? goose?) while he was cheering for us!

DONE!  4:43:23....1141 out of 1455 overall, 426 out of 606 females, 86 of 125 females in my age group...It also says I passed 86 runners in the overall category and 0 runners passed me in the overall category, whatever THAT means. My brain is a bit chewed up right now...

Ok, so here's the run down...
Went to bed at 9:30 the night before and just as I knew would happen, I had SUCH trouble falling asleep. When I did finally fall asleep, I kept waking up and it was one of those weird nights where you're never quite sure when you're actually awake and when you're asleep...

Woke up a bit before 4:30 and woke up the hubs so we could get ready. Wanted to get out the door by 5 but it ended up being closer to 5:10. I had SO much stuff I was taking with me:

-A checked bag (Which I didn't even check-sort of wish I had taken the time as I was SO hungry at the finishline!!)
-A bag of clothes to leave in the car incase I wanted to change (I didn't)
-A bag of a bunch of different food choices (crackers, pretzels, M&Ms, choc covered pretzels, tortilla chips, tuna salad in a pouch, PB & J) so I could have a variety to much on on the way home (only nibbled on a few things)
-All the normal race do-dads (Garmin, music, bibs/pins, PB and J and banana to eat on the way down, water, hydration belt, camera  and so on and so on-I felt like I was packing for trip instead of a race!)

We got there in fine time (so glad hubby was with me or I think I may have ended up in Seward or something) and found a parking spot that was relatively close.
Tried to find my group before time and only managed to locate a few of them.
Around 6:50 or so we started to walk to our pace group (we planned to line up around the 4:50 pace group). One the way we passed the port a potties and the lines were ridiculous!  Thankfully I was able to drink water accordingly this morning and thru the race and never needed a potty break. Yay me!
They were sending out the pace groups in waves. Gun time was 7 a.m., but we didn't cross the mat until 7:40!
We kept the pace slow and comfortable for quite sometime. It was nice to just chat and enjoy the sites.  Lots of spectators brought their dogs and I enjoyed trying to name all the different breeds (I think I got most all of them right! Except for the mutts. No tellin' there)
This is a pretty flat race and the hills are very slight, so that was nice.  I got a stitch in my side around mile 6 and then again around mile 17. Thankfully neither one lasted long.
Also, my foot bone started to bug me around mile 7 or so off and on.  By around mile 10 I didn't notice it any more (Hallelujah!)

It felt SO good and finally 'real' when we hit the stadium at the 13 mile mark and the 1/2 marathoners turned in for their finish and us CRAZY full marathoners kept on for an easy 7 out and 7 back.  We got to mile 16 and hubby decided that he should probably turn back. I gave him my jacket to carry with him. (I had gotten it yesterday at Goodwill to 'throw away' but it was still chilly and I thought I might need it at the end-so glad I did) so he jogged/walked back to the stadium where he waited for a SWEET FOREVER for me to finish. It was COLD. Poor guy.
I picked up the pace a bit after he turned around. Saw lots of friends during the next 4 miles and that was a real boost.
At mile 20, I was tired and my legs were tired, but NOTHING like what I was feeling in my only 20 mile training run so I was so thankful for that. 20-22ish wasn't too bad but from 22 to the finish was SO hard. I had to take little 15-20 seconds walk breaks here and there (probably 5 or so of them). My lower back was also really bugging me during this time frame and the wind from this point on was like Mach 9. UNREAL how hard it was blowing. I kept trying to draft off people but then I would pass them, so that wasnt' working so well =)
There were several times during the last 2 miles where I SERIOUSLY considered just walking the rest of the way, but running almost felt better than walking. Such a quandary.

Finally the stadium came in sight and I was able to slowly increase my speed knowing that my hubby (and food!) would be there when I finished. When I came to the entrance of the stadium I lit the fire in my feet and booked it to the 50 yard line. It felt INCREDIBLE to finish!!!

I got a medal, a rose, a delicious hug from hubby (I was SOOO glad to see him) and a dry chunk of bagel (I think they need to keep those things covered!)  =)  Oh and some salsa Sun Chips (bleh). Thankfully I had packed a teeny bit of trail mix in my hydration belt so I munched on that.

I was walking SO funny when I got done, TOTALLY could not keep my balance. If I wasn't amidst that group of people, one would TOTALLY have thoughtt I'd had one to many Zima's.
We started to walk back to the car (SLOWLY) and right after we got out of the stadium, my right knee hurt so bad I thought I wasn't going to make it! I had to try to walk without bending it and that seemed to help a bit. Walking backwards helped the most.  We got over to the rec center as it was SO cold out and I knew I needed to stretch but I didn't want to stretch out in the cold.

Thankfully they sold chocolate milk in there so I had hubby buy me some while I stretched. It didn't hit the spot like I thought it would. I was starting to feel unwell. I knew I needed to eat but nothing sounded good. I stretched for a while and that made my knee feel better, and drank more water. Then hubby went to bring the van around to me.

Once I got in the car, I munched on a few crackers and a few pretzels but everything was just turning my stomach. We got on the road and after about 30 minutes my stomach started to calm down so I was able to drink the rest of the chocolate milk.

Once we got back to town, we stopped at Pepperjax to pick up some sandwiches to take home. To watch me walk was to laugh til your belly hurt. I was quite a sight.

It was so good to see my kiddos when we got home. THEY thought my new walkin' style was quite funny too, especially when I tried to walk up the stairs.
Was able to eat most of the Pepperjax but it took awhile before my tummy felt totally normal again.
Luckily my Poppa is coming up tomorrow to help out incase I need a grown up pair of legs around here =)

All in all, I can say I am super pleased that I did it. For ME to complete a marathon is just way out of character for me. RUNNING is out of character for me!  But by God's grace, I do/did both.  I did a lot of praying during this race (didn't listen to music once the whole time) and I really felt that helped me get thru a lot of rough spots.
Will I do it again?
Does a cow touch its nose against an electric fence more than once?
Yeah. We'll see.... ;)