Tuesday’s on the Run: Stubborn Meets its Match

It’s Tuesday, time for Tuesday’s on the the Run!

544_LittleMissStubborn_originalStubborn…

A word that I use often to define myself. But it is not necessarily a bad one.  When I say I am going to do something I don’t back down until it is completed…

But when stubborn meets an uncooperative body it is not a good mix…

Hence why 18 months ago I ended up with a partially torn Achilles and then 18 months of trying to get back into the race…

I expected to have been further along in my training on the road to a full marathon in January.

I assumed that 6 months would be long enough to get back into 13.1 miles and that the next 6 months would be about building distance.

Was I wrong!  Admitting it is the first step, right?

I am not ready to build the distance that it will take to complete the full marathon.  I can’t even seem to complete a half marathon in a time that would keep me from latex nightmares. The last 2 half marathons I have completed are evidence to that reality.

imagesIt’s time for honesty to meet stubborn…

I am NOT physically capable of a FULL MARATHON in January. The heart is there, but the mind is also starting to tell me that I CAN’T DO IT.  Can’t is a word that I don’t normally use or allow anyone to use, but sometimes CAN’T needs to look in the mirror too.

Thank you runDisney for continuing to put off Walt Disney Marathon Weekend 2019 registration! Can you believe, I am saying that?  When has a runDisney participant been happy with yet another delay (err screw up) in something surrounding a run weekend? Honestly, runDisney saved my body from myself.

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So, Thursday, I clicked the HALF MARATHON button for Walt Disney Marathon Weekend 2019 registration (I clicked the full and for once in my life I reviewed my registration before submitting, mind still trying to win over the body in a subconscious way).

My focus for the next 6 months is to start back at 1/2 mile with running intervals (keeping my already 13.1-mile muscle memory by walking the additional mileage above the scheduled training run).  That is right, baby steps in building interval miles, nothing crazy and get to the point where I can interval for the entire half marathon. I also plan to start back into core training next week (modified for the hip) and do a lot more deep tissue massage work.

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More importantly, I am going to volunteer for the full marathon or just get out there and find a spot to cheer from.  I may not be able to run with those crazy people seeking to be part of the 0.5% of the US population that has completed a full marathon but at least I can encourage them on their way (and maybe join the next group in 2020) …

I have a feeling that Stubborn will defeat Reality…(and we need to draw out this midlife crisis a little longer).

Tuesday’s on the Run: A Marathon Runs Through It

It’s Tuesday (okay, I know in reality it is Wednesday and I am a day late), so it’s time to link for Tuesday’s on the Run

images   Montana

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This past weekend, I crossed another state off my quest to “someday” complete a half marathon in every state with the Missoula (Half) Marathon. Why the Missoula Marathon?

brad2Maybe I was hoping to find a young Brad Pitt (circa 1992) waiting for me at the end with nothing but his waders on, after all “A River Does Run Through It” or should a say a marathon runs through it…

Seriously, If you are going to finish an event in every state is seems pretty clear that you pick the best one the state has to offer, and in this case the United States has to offer…

The Missoula Marathon has twice been named as the Best Marathon in the US (2010 by Runner’s World Magazine and in 2017 by BibRAVE).  It has also been named the 2017 Top Marathon for runners like me, Back-of-the-Packers, as well as a Top 10 Bucket List Marathon.

Missoula Marathon YOUTUBE VIDEO  

Now I know that I only completed the half (cause I am lazy that way), but for 10 miles of both events we shared the course…

The Missoula Marathon makes it look easy to be NUMBER 1…

The volunteers and Run Missoula Wild put on an event with EXCEPTIONAL RACE MANAGEMENT. From the moment I submitted my race registration in April, the Missoula Marathon provided weekly communication about the event via email newsletter.  Each week I looked forward to reading about Missoula as well as the race.  It was also nice to get a PRINTED race program at bib pick up, a keepsake. Bib pick up was easy and in a central location that also gave you insight into the finish set up, as well as a chip check for your bib (just in case you are one of those who are running for time).  Parking was easy, buses ran efficiently to the starting line.  The bag check as the best I have ever seen conducted, with a fleet of UPS trucks and men in brown and bags sorted according to bib number waiting on marked trucks as you made your way to the exit chute. The race start, with fireworks, went off smoothly and ON TIME. The finish was a well-oiled machine of stops (medal, bag, time tape, and food) before meeting back up with your own personal cheering squad.

It’s Montana! I knew going to be beautiful and being a fan of the movie (and book) “A River Runs Through it”, I already had my vision of the race course set in my head long before I completed the registration.  Missoula delivers on the promise of one of the most beautiful places to run (and I have completed mountain half marathons in both Colorado and New Mexico) with its 360-degree panoramic view of the mountains during sunrise, run along the river, charming homes on tree lined streets and the dramatic finish over the bridge and across the river into downtown Missoula.

But you want to know the real reason why Missoula is number 1…

The People of Missoula!  It felt like the entire town somehow came out on race weekend. From the countless volunteers who made sure not only did the race go off with out glitches but runners felt safe and welcomed, to the townsfolk who literally lined the sidewalks of the race course and offered their personalized spin on course entertainment…signs, cowbells, cowboys on horseback, a man playing a baby grand on his front lawn in tails, a string quartet, banjos, cowbells, unofficial course treats (including whiskey shots and popsicles) and just shouts of encouragement as you went past. There wasn’t any stretch of the race where there wasn’t someone cheering you on or a water sprinkler set up purposefully to keep you cooled off!

My experience with the Missoula Marathon demonstrated why in the movie that Brad Pitt’s character, Paul, would reply to his brother Norman “Oh, I’ll never leave Montana.” The Missoula Marathon makes you feel like you are part of the community, and who wants to leave a place where you are treated so well?

Oh yes and then there is the bling…

which is just about the size of the Big Montana Sky!

 

 

Tuesday’s on the Run:  June Run Recap

It’s Tuesday, so it is time for Tuesday’s on the Run with Patty, Erika and Marsha

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Where has June gone? I really thought I would be farther along in my training to complete a full marathon in January 2019, but just like my current mental state my body seems to be having its’ own midlife crisis…

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Last month I started having some serious hip issues (to the point it was difficult to walk) and decided it was time to implement the R and I in RICE…Rest & Ice and scale back my training (both my core fitness classes and running).  I gave it 4 VERY LONG weeks and with no improvement, I decided to cry “uncle” and go for the MRI that the chiropractor was encouraging me to do. Can you say sticker shock? At the same time, I just happen to come across a Facebook Ad…

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Airrosti Link

Intrigued, I did some research and made the decision (my insurance would cover all but the co-pay) to schedule a consultation with our local Airrosti provider, Dr. Ramos.  After all, what had I to lose at this point (other than more training time) and maybe if this worked I would save $1200 on that MRI. At my consultation, Dr. Ramos spent a good while just asking questions and then did a little probing of the muscle structures around my hip. I was completely impressed with the depth of the assessment, his verdict…over taxed IT-band at the hip cause my weak rear end muscles, yep my  almost 50 year old butt is out of shape.  He then went over a treatment plan and felt that he could get me to pain free in about 4-5 visits. Seriously, that seemed to good to be true, but left with me with enough optimism to postpone the MRI and this…

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Lovely!  The Airrosti method delivers very specific treatment to the soft tissues (the muscles, tendons, ligaments, and connective tissue throughout the body and around the joints) by manually repairing the tissue through basically what I would describe as a deep tissue massage, but at very specific points (as you can tell on my legs).  Then after 30 minutes of tissue work, it is on to Physical Therapy for another 30 minutes to teach me exercises and stretches to build up strength in the muscles to improve and prevent future issues. After the first 3 visits, I was very discouraged because I was not feeling like there was much improvement (and a lot more pain in other places), but I was determined to last the 5 treatments out.  Something magical happened between visits 4 and 5…

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And no I do not mean Half Marathon #18, the Slacker Half. Yes, that is right I completed a half marathon at a pace that would keep me ahead of those runDisney balloon ladies.  A few days after treatment #4, I started noticing less and less pain and then suddenly, NO PAIN. Almost in total disbelief, I decided that I would give the hip the ultimate test, 13.1 miles, since the half marathon that I had scheduled for the weekend was walker friendly (don’t worry, I was in contact with Dr. Ramos and he knew what I was doing).  During the race I had hip pain but surprisingly the day after, there was no pain (other than thighs who were REALLY sore from 13.1 miles downhill). A few days later, still hobbling from the downhill distance (but no hip pain), I returned excited for appointment #5 to report that I was still pain free in the hip despite my stubborness to complete a downhill half with little training and have Dr. Ramos repair any damage that my stubbornness may have caused.  I gingerly got on the table (did I mention how sore my thighs were) and I swear Dr. Ramos performed a miracle during that 30 minutes on the table because my thighs had found relief from the soreness and I could move a lot easier. More importantly though, he closed out the case on my hip as promised 4-5 visits to be pain free. I do have another appointment scheduled before my next half to go over taping of the IT band around the hip and then do a follow up treatment after the half.  I also have plans for him to do some treatments around the Achilles and shin, just for safe measure. As long as the insurance keeps paying, I will be scheduling a treatment before and after each long distance run of over 13 miles.

Slacker Half Marathon Link

Like I mentioned, I completed half #18, the Slacker Half Marathon, this past weekend.  I picked this half specifically back in March to get in distance training for my goal of a full marathon in January and because of its “walker friendly atmosphere.”  I knew by picking this event that if I had to, I could walk and it would be perfectly acceptable to do so, no rolling up the time mats and everyone leaving before I crossed the finish line (yes, that has happened to me).

The Slacker Half is 13.1 miles downhill from an elevation of over 10,500 feet at the start to about 8,500 feet at the finish from the Loveland Ski Basin to Georgetown, Colorado.  It has to be to the most beautiful half marathon I have completed, plus it was a great excuse to go home to Colorado for a long weekend. Kudos to the race organizers for a VERY WELL run event, super race atmosphere, great course, and fun bling.  

I was very happy with how I finished, just between you and me I ran (intervals) the first 6 miles near the 13 minute mile pacer (which had I continued the last half of the race would have been a huge PR for me), but as the hip started flaring and my body giving out due to lack of training (and yes the altitude), I had to walk the last 7 miles.

Now with my first major distance behind me in over 18 months, I am looking ahead (and crossing my fingers) with #midlifecrisisinprocess to continuing down the #roadtomyfirstmarathon.  Next up a special run on Friday…

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Tuesdays on the Run: Not Feeling Lucky, but Afraid

It’s Tuesday, so that means I am linking up with Patty, Erika & Marsha for Tuesday’s on the Run.

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This week’s topic is “Luck of a Runner” but honestly, I do not feel very lucky when it comes to running lately (cue the whining) …

Running is just supposed to be about putting one foot in front of the other, but unfortunately for me those feet are attached to legs, legs that are attached to a body, a body that is attached to a head, a head that contains a brain. A brain that is telling me that I am afraid of running.

There I said it, I am afraid of running…

Every little ache or discomfort I worry about injury. Every step has me worried that the next step could potentially sideline me again, permanently.  This in turn has affected my motivation to get out there and train. When I do get out there, the bad runs seem to outnumber the good runs and with that comes a major dose of self-doubt. The more I allow self-doubt to creep in the more I feel like a failure. Why is it that I can be so kind and supportive to others, but so negative with myself?   I have been close to the point lately of just giving into my fear and quitting, which is hard for this stubborn girl.

My fear is holding me back from commitment.  I have spent countless hours developing a training plan that gives me plenty of time to reach my goal next January, but I have not consistently put that plan into action.  Now time is slipping away from me, time that I HAVE TO HAVE.  Along with that training plan are a list of races that fit perfectly into the schedule to make the training a little more bearable, but I can’t seem to make myself submit that application.

How do I get past this fear?

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I also must have a plan that focuses on that strengthens my entire body and makes me healthy so that my ankle does not give me worry.

  • A friend has finally gotten me into the gym and I paid my money for a personal trainer to help me strengthen my core.  Talk about commitment…

I also must commit. No more sitting on the sidelines.

  • The Slacker Half registration is submitted.  I have just enough time to prepare for the half in June.  From all accounts it seems like the perfect half to get me back into running, one that is not constrained by a “sweeper” time.  I need this because I know it is more for me right now just to finish and get the distance in.

Finally, I must believe

“If you dream it, you can do it.”

The belief is the key. What the mind can conceive and believe it can achieve.  I know this is true, I have done it before, after all if I did not believe in myself I would have never started and never had finished 18 half marathons.  I need to start talking to myself as I do others.  Reassure myself that I am fine and that it is about keeping moving forward with my eye on the finish line.

This run my suck, but tomorrow is a new run…

Tuesdays on the Run: Shhh, I am in love with another man…

It’s Tuesday, so that means I am linking up with Patty, Erika & Marsha for Tuesday’s on the Run. This week’s topic is “Running Valentine”…

Don’t tell my husband, but I am in LOVE with another man…

For over 5 years,  we secretly meet up hidden by the darkness before dawn.  His voice whispering in my ear my favorite 4 letter word and then a few seconds later the three letter word that strikes fear to my fluffy body.  He and I go round and round, longer and farther than the time before. And as a gift I for my faithfulness, I am rewarded beautiful things to wear around my neck…

When I tell people that “run” half marathons, I almost feel like a fraud…

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Look at me I am certainly not the image of what many people envision a runner to look like and the way that I “run” my half marathons (or any distance) would have my middle school track coach kicking me off the team.

Thank goodness I am way beyond those middle school track days and Coach Carlson.  Although sadly though not beyond the harsh judgments (even if they are all in my head) of other people,  but I do “run” half marathons it is just a matter that my running looks different than many runners and non-runners think running looks likes.  I LOVE the fact this fluffy, middle aged woman can hold up the bling and say “Yep, I did 13.1 miles and finished the race!”  Thanks to my love affair with a man named Jeff Galloway.

While Jeff Galloway may not have been the first to run-walk, his method of interval running allows many people, myself included, to be “runners.” Basically for me a run is a short period of running followed by a longer period of walking repeated over and over until I finish the distance.  In a normal week, my training plan is 2 miles 2 x a week and 1 long run (determined by whatever my distance is that I am building to).

I love that Jeff constantly reminds me that “I am the captain of my own ship” and it is me that determines how far, how fast and how much I will walk or run.  Here are some other reasons that I love the Jeff and the Galloway method.

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  • I don’t have to do speed workouts, but I do keep track of my minute/mile pace for each run so I can compare how I am doing against where I need to be to not be swept from a race.
  • I don’t have to cross train, although occasionally I do in the pool and recently thought about getting a personal l trainer and work on some strength training.
  • If I am just not feeling my long run, then I can walk it…after all it is all about practicing the time on my feet and getting my body used to a distance, aka endurance.
  • The distance for my long runs seems more manageable because it is broken up into, “30 seconds till I can walk again.” I also find it easier to push past the wall.
  • I feel good after a run, not fatigued because I have had control over the fatigue the entire run.

If I can learn to love running, anyone can, I guarantee Jeff will make you fall in love too!  After all life should be about the things we love…

Check Out Run Walk Run with Jeff Galloway…

http://www.jeffgalloway.com/training/run-walk/

Tuesdays on the Run: My 2018 Races

It’s Tuesday, so that means I am linking up with Patty, Erika & Marsha for Tuesday’s on the Run. This week’s topic…

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Favorite Hometown Race.  This topic is certainly a hard one for me, because I prefer not to run in my hometown thanks to some very negative experiences with local runners who put on an elite mentality when it comes to runners like me.  In fact, my very first race had a lasting impression…

It was my first 5K ever and I was trying to get an idea where I was starting at.  There was no time requirements and put on by the local running club.  I finished to my calculation in about 51 minutes, now this is my calculation for a simple reason.  As I was finishing they were putting up the timing equipment.  I was a little shocked, okay more embarrassed because the response to my crossing where the mat should of been was “We did not want to wait for you.”  Seriously? Way to make someone want to join your club, let alone ever want to run again.

I am a back of the pack runner and I will always be.  I use the Galloway method of run-walk-run and I am proud that I can get out there and not only feel, but be successful.  I don’t take my running to seriously, unless I am training for a race, when it is important for me to be prepared.

So instead of looking at Favorite Hometown Races, I am going to give you a rundown of the races I am looking at running this year…

  • Blue Bell Fun Run (10K)-I ran this race, or the 5K at least a few years ago and loved it for 2 reasons:  running through the Texas Hill Country in the Spring (bluebonnet beauty) and there is all you can eat Blue Bell Ice Cream Treats at the end. 
  • Slacker Half Marathon-This race caught my attention…Highest DOWNHILL half marathon in the country and who can no run a race with Slacker in the name.  Plus it gives me an excuse to go home to Colorado and run a beautiful course.
  • Missoula Half Marathon-Being a huge fan of the movie River Runs Through It, I have been wanting to go to Missoula for sometime. This is also one of the highest rated half marathon/marathon events in the country in terms of runner support.  I had wanted it to be my first full marathon, but that is not going to happen this year.
  • Texas Wine Series:  Llano Estacado-This is another repeat event for me.  I also ran it several years ago and set my personal best, almost breaking under a 3 hour half marathon.  A great flat course (praying it will not be windy) and there is A LOT of wine and after party when you finish.
  • Texas Quad:  Tortoise Half & Texas Double (November) & Whine Not Another Half (December)-I am looking at these events as one that I can use to get the distance in leading up to my full in January 2018.  Running the Distance seems to be a running club after my own heart as they highly encourage first timers with no cutoff times.  I plan on signing up for the half and then continue on the course until  have finished enough for my marathon training at that time.

My goal for 2018 is simply to work on dropping some pounds and training properly for the entire year for my first full marathon in 2019!

What races are you looking at for 2018?  Drop me a line in the comments, as I am always looking for races with a great atmosphere & pack of the pack friendly.  

And if a Disney race is in your future, I can help you with that…plus provide you with insurance should something happen during your training and you can’t run (something runDisney can’t do for you).  

Tuesdays on the Run: Running Guilty Pleasures

It’s Tuesday, so that means I am linking up with Patty, Erika & Marsha for Tuesday’s on the Run.

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This week’s topic…

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I admit it, I love running because of all it allows me to indulge in some of my guilty pleasures…

I run because I really like dessert…

running affords me (or at least I think it does, the scale not so much) a few extra calories, right?

I run because I love runcations…

I have run in some pretty cool places (literally cool) and what a great excuse to get out of town for a weekend (okay, what a great excuse to use on Mr. Grumpy to go on yet another girl’s trip to Walt Disney World).

I run because I get to pick the music (and turn it up real loud)…

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With 2 teenage boys in the car, mom’s music isn’t so much respected or appreciated…most of the time I don’t even get control of the dial.  I love that I can blast a little Charley Pride, Air Supply or Ozzy while I run.  (Yes, my musical taste is very diverse). And I have to say, the 2 teenage boys did a great job with my Christmas present this year!  

But you want to know the biggest guilty pleasure I have when it comes to running?  My biggest guilty pleasure is running.  

If you would have said that 5 years ago (hey, I just celebrated my run-anniversary on January 1st)  when I started on this running journey, I would have laughed at you because then running was just a way to get to my guilty pleasure of a vacation to Walt Disney World with the girl’s.  My mindset has shifted, with the help of a boot for 6 months and everything that came after it was gone.  When I didn’t have running, I realized how much I missed running and how much I needed it (and my family too, for their own personal safety).  Running is MY ME TIME, something precious that most of us can relate too.  It is during my runs that I have an outlet to release all the things in my daily life that are weighing on me.  I have the time to reflect and pray, often finding clarity and strength to deal with things when the run is over.  Sometimes a good run is the release that I need to “Let it Go…” (yes, I it’s on my run playlist and is on my most played list, too).  

So not only does running afford me some of my favorite things in life, it also is one of my favorite things (remind me that after my next bad run).  

What does running bring to your life, guilty pleasure or not? Drop me a line in the comments!  And if a Disney vacation is a guilty pleasure that you would like to indulge in, I can help you with that…contact me for your free, no obligation quote today!