Friday, November 30, 2012

Lots of Good Stuff

I received this a couple weeks back and it has been hanging on my refrigerator smiling at me everyday. I was making some decisions about my marathon plans and realized everything is centered on this one marathon. Do I keep training through this leg thing or give it a rest and allow it to heal so that I can do a complete new training cycle for Boston? Do I rest and let the iron store come back up more quickly? And Boston is still for fun so what after that? Lots of things running through my head but I am happy to have made a few decisions that make me happy and that I feel content tot let my intuition guide me.

Tomorrow I will be registering for a marathon that I have wanted to run for years but it fills up as quickly as Boston or Chicago does so I have always missed out it. It is the Bayshore Marathon in Traverse City, MI. A beautiful resort town in upper Michigan that is very sought after course due to temps, course and scenery. It is 6 weeks after Boston. My intention for Boston has always been - I want to run this race for fun and in celebration. I want to take it all in without regard to having to run XYZ time. I want to be able to stop and hug family and take a quick photo and slap high fives with the crowd! Just absorb the day in all its glory which is sometimes hard to do when you are focused on PRing.

On another note, I ran into a running friend this evening at a neighborhood event and she said sorry for my struggles. I always think it both sweet for someone to be sympathetic but always uncomfortable for me. My response was that I am not at all sorry about all this stuff. I am feel so so so blessed to be on this path. These tests are simply to make me stronger and for that there is no need for sympathy. I need everyone of these experiences to make into the runner I need to be to reach my goals. I frickin get to run and do what I love day in and day out!!!!! You simply can not have the good without the bad. I really love every single day that I am on this path. Yes, tears have been shed while on this journey but I am human and the tears are always my way of surrendering my will to the God. I am learning so much both running-wise and in my walk with God. I am learning to stretch my faith and trust in something bigger than my own will. 

I have actually had a shift in how I view the obstacles that has really made all the difference. I truly believe that every obstacle is just a test of faith and there is something that I am suppose to learn from the obstacles so I work hard to see what is I am suppose to learn patience, compassion, love, gratitude, obedience. I am learning to have grace with myself and the process. I have been enjoying the process of finding God's miracles wrapped up in all this wonderment of the journey. 

In the end and to be cliche, it is not the destination - it truly is the journey  I am enjoying my journey to the fullest! Life is simply not about the achievement of something but for me it the lesson learns, the people you met and the experiences that change you to your core. I am content, I am Happy, I am supported by the best in the business of coaching and healing and I have the faith a 1000 men.  Life is simply beautiful!!! 

And one more thing to note, I had another rockin MP workout today. I think my coach had me lessen the volume of the run but make it a bit quicker. Really trying to get my body use to what marathon pace should feel like. Again I really had to commit to running this pace and not letting off the gas as when my mind was not focused on the effort I would find myself slipping to the 7:40s. There comes a point in both a training run and a race that you have to commit to the discomfort and not back off. Today was another day is helping me to prepare. For whatever reason, my body or mind just didn't feeling like working today but somewhere in the second mile I just committed myself to this run and finished out right on track. 

2 miles easy, 6 miles at 7:27, 7:31, 7:30, 7:33, 7:31, 7:24, 2 easy cool-down 

Here is another VLOG post

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Tuesday's run

I am still smiling about my Tuesday run. I had 14 miles with 8 miles at MP. It was such a satisying run. I did it outside off the treadmill, off the track and off the AlterG. I was so happy to be finding my stride outside on the road again. Although I hit the second mile of my MP miles and I didn't feel that great and struggling at first to find marathon pace and relax into it. There was a thought that said "oh your iron levels are down, you can shut this down" and  I fought that thought with we'll just take this mile by mile and if I can't settle into a pace than I will shut it down but somewhere I settled into the pace. One thing I remind myself is that MP is not easy and I am going to have to work so I have remember how to work and relax. I think you get to a point where you think it should be easy and when it is not easy it can be discouraging but it felt great to push past this place mentally & physically to have a terrific run. While yes I have run 8 miles of MP faster in August & September. I was so happy that I mentally pushed through and feel excited that I was able to run this pace given my iron levels and it makes me excited to think about what is possible with higher iron stores.

6 easy & 8 miles at  - 7:39, 7:33, 7:34, 7:35, 7:33, 7:35, 7:27, 7:10 - 7:31 average

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Back to the Iron

So one of my struggles that has been confirmed is that my iron level is low and suspect for my ups and downs for the past 6 months. Should have know but you think oh I eat meat so I am fine and even when my coach suspected that was cause of my crash & burn in October and inconsistent performances both in racing & training, I still was not sold on the low iron being the root cause.

We suspected it and I went on iron for a week and when I didn't see any difference, yes, I stopped taking it as I just thought that I was fatigued and not fit. How one runs 60-70+ mpw for 6 months is out of shape does not make sense but that is how the low iron made me feel - tired and out of shape. There were days I could not run a 10 minute mile and was bombing work outs. It just got worse and worse till I was so tired that I could not even run at all. I took a week off to recover from this fatigue.

Anyway as of Monday, I am officially on an iron supplement that should help me continue to train while restoring my Iron stores. I am taking in 50-60 mg of liquid iron to help boost the iron stores. Once my iron has come back up, I will than stay on the iron to help maintain my iron stores.

I am hoping to feel the effects of the iron supplementing within the next week. No wonder after my week of rest I felt so fast like I was souped up on EPO, nope just had good iron stores.

Monday, November 26, 2012

When one door closes

We all have heard this saying when one door closes another one opens. I wonder how many of us makea conciuos effort to remember this and have faith when that door we wanted so bad closes on us!

I felt that way yesterday. I was grieving the closing of a door and full well knowing that another door would open but my heart had a hard time letting go of the door I had fought hard to open for myself and to know it was closing my heart was aching. I cried on & off trying to figure out a way to let it go and asking god to help me let it go. Eventually I was able to look at the close door and say good bye and move on from it knowing God would open another sometime soon for me. So I let it be, picked my chin up and reminded myself that my jounrey does not end cause one door closed on me. Knowing God was good and would provide me an answer I was able to let go of the pain and embrace the joy of day and all that is good in my life. And wouldn't you know it that my next door opened in a unexpected and exciting way.

I got to thinking this afternoon that it is so easy to stay sobbing at the door that closes. Thinking of the what ifs, but I wanted and why nots and letting yourself wallow it. It would be so so so so easy to do that! It is the hardest thing to pick yourself up, smile and say that is okay I know there is a better way somewhere out there and I will wait patiently for that door to appear.

I think many never really see the new door open because their heart and mind are stuck so much staring at the closed door thinking of ways it will reopen and why did it have to close. It is simply not going to open again and the sooner you pick yourself up, dust yourself off and smile the sooner you will get to the good stuff that is waiting for you!!

It is a leap of faith to let go of that closed door!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving & Reflection on Wednesday run

Happy Thanksgiving! I have so much to be thankful for and spending a day in deep gratitude is always good for the soul.

So yesterday I woke up feeling so blah and trying to get my self excited to do a big work out. I felt overly tired and yuck plus the kids were home so it was hard to get my head in the game so when the babysitter arrived - I jetted out the door feeling pretty indifferent about my workout. I had hoped I would feel good once I started running but no my easy warm-up and strides were not great but thought about the times when I felt horrible during a warm-up and still had a great workout so I had some hope.

Started my first set of 3X3 @ 7:10-7:20 pace. Felt okay in the first mile at 7:17 and in the second mile I was okay at 7:20 but felt like I was working to hard to maintain 7:20 pace in the second. Felt sluggish and the effort seemed harder than it should finish at 7:25 - yikes and felt wiped out from it. I started the second start with a 7:16 and felt I was going to vomit in that second mile. I knew I something was off - I was overly tired, not taking in a enough carbs and not recover from my 20 miler. Funny after a doing this for a year, I know when my body is not up for the effort and I pull the plug on this work out, no sense in digging myself in a hole at this point. After the last hole I had dug for myself, I will not be making that mistake again. I decide just to run it in easy for a completion of 14 miles with 4 miles averaging 7:20. I feel like this was a good call on my part as my body didn't mind running easy but it definitely did not want to run fast which I believe was due to low glycogen stores from running my easys too fast in the days before and not allowing my body to fully recover my 20 miler & not taking in enough carbs. Lesson learned and happy to complete 14 miles. I will take it!

My leg is starting to really feel good and I am confident that I will be 100% when I toe the line in Jacksonville.

We are excitingly planning our Christmas vacation trip starting my marathon on Dec 16. Immediately following my marathon, we will do a 2 hour drive to get on our 4 day Disney cruise followed by 4 days at the Disney Parks and Legoland arriving home on Dec 23rd. Very excited about this trip!

Now if you are close to me you know that my goals have changed for Jacksonville Marathon. I am using it as a training run and no goals effort in prep for my goal race of Charleston Marathon which is 5 weeks after Jacksonville. After my crazy October and beginning of November, I felt the need to reassess things and this is what feels like the best decision for me.

My goal is to go Jacksonville and fall in love with the marathon again. It has been way too long since I have run a marathon. Go with no exceptions just to run because I fricking love to run the marathon! Than I recover for 10 days and getting some solid training and run hard in Charleston.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Vlog #5 & #6

So my kids are asking em everyday if I made another vlog and a girlfriend told me her son watched all my vlogs.

Here is my thinking, I have been at home and hanging out with kids so much that my silliness is part of my speech and entertaining kids for the last 9 years and this comes across in the videos because the kids are more interested in my antics than what I am actually saying :-)

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Let it Be - Week in Review

When you try to move in every direction - STOP & Let it be and it will come.

I am learning to live in the moment. Expecting only that each day is a gift and letting it be what it is going to be. Ah - Freedom and Peace in letting it be. I think each day of this week was amazing and unfolded beautifully.

Monday 8 AG easy
Tuesday 7.5 with 5 Tempo (AG)
Wednesday 8 Recovery AG
Thursday 4 easy + 4X20 Second strides, 8.5 easy AG
Friday 2 w/u, 6 X 1 mile 2 6:58, 1.5 c/D
Saturday Power Yoga
Sunday 20 easy @8:33

Lots of gratitude for the moment and learning to live more fully in the moment!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Some things just don't Go the Easy way

I saw this and was like yeah that about sums up this past year of training. It has been squiggly in circles and some step backs only to step forward only to go in circles again. I do know that in spite of all the circles & back-forths there has been tremendous progress even though there has been no race time to prove it.

I think some the progress has come from things that are not tangible like my spirit to Never Give Up has been put to the test like a million times over. My faith is being stretched and I am becoming more at peace in a spiritual way.

I have given up the need to control the how outcome and just knowing is has to be sometime in my future is enough to help relax and let go to enjoy the ride and the people that are making this journey so so so special. I have been blessed with many amazing people to help me along in this journey.

All the hearts and hands that have taken such care to keep me going.

Just yesterday while at PT office, I told him we have 4 weeks of training left to my marathon. He response gave me so much peace and gratitude. He had basically comment so much effort to keep me healthy! I am so thankful for all the love, support and encouragment I get at that office from my PT, to all the PT assistants, the front desk gal all cheer me on while grind out endless miles on the AlterG. So much gratitude to them for letting me abuse their AlterG! What a gift!!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Letting Go is a process

I was speaking with my sister about the recent bumps in my road and my leg and she said something that was so powerful and struck a cord in my heart. God is just getting your attention!

That really opened up my heart to know that by staying in faith and relying more on God and less on myself than I am going to be okay.

When you leave things up to that higher power you are just more free to enjoy the process and live life to the fullest. No worrying about the hows and whys, jus tknowing it is going to be is such a powerful feeling.

This unplanned area of uncertaintly is actually forcing me to take everything day by day and live more in the moment which is such a beautiful thing that I am thankful for. Just being okay with whatever God lets unfold in my life on any given as I know his plans are to ultimately elevate me not harm me.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Giddy Up

I have been so at peace with my training and just thankful to be training.

Yesterday I hit the AG treadmill for a tempo run. It went so well and nice to be running so fast again without much effort. It feels so nice to know that the fitness was there just still there underneath all that phyiscal and mental fatigue of late October.

I ran 2 easy, 5 Tempo @ 7:19, 7:13, 7:08, 7:03, 7:00 and only was able to squeeze in a half miles cool-down. All in all I was so pleased as I never felt stressed and even in my last miles I was relaxed enough to be singing to my ipod.

While running, I noticed a older lady watching me, I took out my ipod and smiled at her. She said to me I do not know how you have all that will power and I smiled at her and said it is not will power it is want power.

Giddy up :-)

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

What is meant to be will always find a way

This quote is heavy on my heart today. I had added to my last post and it has just stuck with me. I keep have having all these insights and memories of how what is meant to be in your life will always find a way.

The one thought that keeps sticking with me is a recent experience in Detroit. My closet friend in High School was going to running the Detroit Half and we had tried to makes plans to meet up before the race. Due to me being there with my family and husband, it was difficult to find time to meet up with her. We didn't end making final plans.

Well this is how crazy and beautiful life is when something is meant to happen it will and you do not have to control it but just let it be. So we were at the expo for the race. Thousands of people jammed packed like fish trying swim upstream against a rise of fish trying to get downstream. My husband, my sister, my dad and myself all trying to get through without losing sight of each other. In a moment, my dad seem to break from the pack. Him being a bit shorter was not easy to spot in the crowd. My eyes were searching and landed directly on my best friend from high school. I haven't seen her in 13 yrs but I immediately recognized her. I took quick note of her location and made the split second decision that I could not lose my Dad in this crowd. Him being 65 and not use to crowds, I knew if I lost him the outcome would not be so happy. So I made the decision to find my Dad and come back to that area and look for Rachel (HS BFF). No such luck after reuniting with Dad. I had a moment where I thought Oh well I hope to see her tomorrow at the race somewhere.

Than after we left the Expo, we headed out into the city via the People Mover. As we were on the People Mover, we made a last decision to get off at the finishline stop to see the finishline staging area. This being my Dads and husbands first half marathon, I thought it would be fun for them to see and take the event in to its fullest. The streets around this part of Detroit were vacant. Hardly a soul or car in the area with the exception of some race personal doing some course management stuff. Anyway we goofed around in the clean and unused port-a-potties and chatted with the race personal when I just happen to turn and see a car. In that car was Rachel, I yelled Rachel and she was just as shocked as I was to find me in the middle of empty Detroit. She parked and we had our reunion of hugs and happiness to see each other again.

What is crazy about this reunion was had I not turned at the exact moment, she would have driven by and not seen us and had she not had her window down, she would not have heard me yell and or I may not seen in her car. It was a chilly day and she said that she had no idea why she her window down and kind of got lost trying to figure out how to get back to the highway from the expo. Seriously, this was fate at play.

When the first fate-induced meeting was missed than fate found a way to for us to meet again.

For me my heart is big and full knowing that what is meant to be will always find a way to be even when you think your opportunity has passed, it will find another way to come to you.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Vlog #3 & #4 are up

A day late and a dollar richer - Week In Review

So I didn't get to blog yesterday about my great weekend and friends I got to spend time with this week.

We are still nursing this leg back to health and being careful with it while returning to volume that I was at before. I am at a place of being okay with it not running miles in the 60-70s. Yes, there is part me that is screaming to be 100% but there is part of me that knows that I am here for a reason and being content with where I am instead wishing the circumstances where different. I only have 2 choices to be happy & content with where I am or be frustrated with where I had hoped to be. I think being happy is paramount so I have let go of the needing for it to be the way I had pictured my fall training to play out. I guess God has a different plan which is probably better than mine anyway. If God brought me to it, he will bring me through.

Very happy that I have been able to maintain my fitness through this speed bump.

Monday 8 miles AG
Tuesday 9 miles - 3 easy, 4 @ 7:25, 2 c/d
Wednesday 8 easy
Thursday 8 easy
Friday Core & Acupunture
Saturday Power Yoga
Sunday 18 easy

What is meant to be will always find a way to be :-) Namaste!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Moving away from Fear

I was chatting with a dear friend about moving away from fear and not letting fear drive your decisions.

There are only 2 emotions you can feel and everything emotions stems from one of these core feelings -


Fear is

I know that I am working on moving away from fear-based emotions that crop up every now again and keeps me stuck. When I catch my mind trying to dwell in one of those fear-based emotions I work quickly to counter it with a love-based emotion. Yes, it hard work and it is work that requires a constant nurturing and daily attention and focus.

When things appear in our lives that we didn't ask for nor want, it is very easy to let your heart feel one of those emotions but it also very easy to chose LOVE. Love is much more freeing and it leads to more Love-based emotions.

I chose LOVE! It takes courage to chose Love. It forces you not believe what others would have you believe! It takes you believing in yourself and your unique energy.

Jesus is Love and you are love! You have a choice!!! Try it when you want to respond to a situation that maybe provoke a fearful thought and emotion immediately shift that feeling into Love and feel the peace that will fill your heart!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Being Comfortable Being Alone

Today while running an 8 miler I had this thought about why I will succeed as a distance runner and on this path that I have chosen.

First being a distance runner and training mostly on your own requires you to spend a lot of time alone. You have be very comfortable being with alone for long periods of time with no one to distract your thoughts. You have to almost need that peace.

I realized today that since I am training for a marathon through the winter I will be doing most of the running alone. I did it last year and it was just a theraputic experience. The torture of running in the summer made seek out more companionship to distract from the demands of pushing my body around in heat & humidity while suffering Much easier when you have a friend to chat with and who is also feeling the pain. They say misery likes company so that about sums up my summer and early fall running.

Now I am completely comfortable putting in the miles alone in these temps. Just my thing but that brings me back to being able to be alone with yourself for hours.

I was thinking about how my mom told me that as a child that I would often be found alone away from others doing my own thing being alone in my own world. I did not need to have company and didn't seek out the comfort that my sisters and brothers needed. This is so much me and this personality trait followed with me throughout my life and still holds true. I very much need long periods of time alone to be in my own head without distractions. I know that this was something my husband has struggled with me since the beginning of our relationship. I would always seek alone time when he would seek out time together. He almost never requires time alone so we are almost on the opposite ends of the spectrum on this. We have found a balance and he definitely knows when I am needing alone time and is very respectful when I am seeking solice away from the family, him included. Even being a part of a sorotity in college, I was apart of the group but very much a lone wolf doing my own thing and being in my own world away from the business and socialiness of the soroty house.

Anyway I realized today that this very personality trait is required as a distance runner and one that needs to put in a lot work to reach their potential. Solitude to me is like coming home and is such a peace place for my spirit and soul to rest.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Vlogging is a fun way to share

So I tested out this vlog thing and it is getting good feedback from family & friends. Especially with the next couple months of cranking up the intensity and duration of running which may make me a bit more tired and less available from chats or hanging out unless of course you want to run with me but chances are our schedules are going to clash.

Here is Vlog#2

<--------- Check out this sidebar Hope you enjoy keeping up with me via video content and yes I do plan to continue to write as I find that very therapeutic and it helps me get things out of my head. Just good food for thought -

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Vlogging it

I totally got this niffy idea to vlog for some of my posts -

I think it is way more fun. It gives some of my family & friends far and away a look into my life that we don't otherwise get to see. I know reading can be boring sometimes or it time comsuming to sit down and read a few paragraphs. That is why I rarely get to read other blogs except for 2-3 favorites.

So a quick VLOG post every now and again will spice things up!

Here is my first try at it -

I am sure that I will figure the camera angle thing and best lighting some time but for now this should work to introduce my Finishing Full of Awesome VLOG!! YAY!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Its been weeks - Week in Review

WOW - All the topsy turvey of my life and training and finally back to regular training.

Had a great week back in training where most of the miles were put in on the AlterG treadmill to keep impact stress off of the medial part of shin while we were trying to figure out what was the cause of the pain. By Friday, I had therapy done on it several times and seen lots of progress and so decided to try out the AlterG for the long run. It wasn't so bad as I had lots of company at the PT clinic and the time seem to go by quickly especially when they put on Tosh Comedy Central show on the TV.

Anyway I finally tested out the leg today. I decide to head to the track for the soft surface and easy to pull the plug on the run if the leg wasn't good. I felt great and the run itself made me think "did someone slip some EPO in my dinner last night?" or is this what fresh legs feel like seriuosly without realizing it I was running easy between 8:15-8:30 with the first mile a bit slower. Than I had strides at the end the totally blew me out of the water. I went into them thinking I just wanted run them gently as I didn't want to force the legs to run fast. I did the first one pretty effortlessly and fluidly and shocked to see I hit 5:15 pace, than 4:49, 4:40, 4:34 pace. Okay yes these are just strides but the crazy thing is I was not pressing them and I felt they were effortless and mind you I have never done strides in the sub-5 range. So this is what fresh legs feel like - you can actually run fast!!! I must remember this because Jeff is not going to let me stay fresh for very long.

Monday (AM)8.5 easy AG (PM)4 easy AG
Tuesday (AM) 6 easy AG
Wednesday (AM) 8 easy AG
Thursday Core
Friday 16 easy AG
Saturday Power Yoga
Sunday 8 easy + Strides

Total - 50ish miles - Pretty please with my comeback week

Pinnacle Pose

Yesterday while at yoga, I had this epihany as my favorite yoga instructor made a comment during our practice that the pose we were currently in was preparing for the pinnacle final pose towards the end of class.

If you practice yoga than you understand that every pose builds into the next one. You first work at warming up muscles slowly to allow them to go deeper. You do less intense poses as you open up more and more muscle groups so that by the end of class you are prepared for that one pinnacle pose.

Yesterday we were moving towards the beautiful & graceful cross-legged dancer. Early poses like half moon, warrior III and standing splits were all preparing the body and mind for balance, length and strength so that when you moved into this amazing pose that you did it fluidly without resistance.

I was thinking about this as this is how life works. Our entire life is moving us towards our pinnacle pose so that we will rise up fluidly and with grace for that point where we going into our pose with calm strength. We will not stumble and fall as our entire life has been building up the strength and balance needed to reach our potential. You can look at each experience as a lesson that has strengthen you and allowed you to move into the next lesson. Be thankful for all the experiences that allow you to move into your next lesson/pose.

Trust that each part of your life is building you towards your pinnacle pose.

"I am thankful for all my experiences and people that have come into my life that have taught me different lessons, have allowed or even forced me to go deeper and have played a part in moving me closer to my pinncale pose."

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Love & Support

Another very personal post coming on here -

This AM I was having a little heart to heart with my hubby after kids left for school and he was getting ready to leave for work. I think I had been over-thinking some things in my head and it was causing me some doubts about moving forward & in which direction. My husband asked me how long I was going to be doing this for because me being upset and discouraged sometimes does not make him that happy. We would love to see me smiling 24/7. My answer was I have no idea but know that I am suppose to be here going through all this and have no idea where it will take us. Yes, I have hopes and goals but I am also wise enough to know that goals are just destinations that came sometimes get detoured along the way to get a life lesson to strengthen the journey.

After his departed to work, I couldn't but help but over-think his comments. Do all women do this or just me? HA! Anyway I sent him a message basically telling him I needed him to believe in me. I have no idea how long we will be on this journey for but need him 100% in my court.

His response - Simple & Sweet

I love you. Never doubt you. Keep on being awesome and getting after it!!

Sometimes all you need is one person to believe in you to renew your heart and spirit! Wherever this journey takes me and my family and whatever I accomplish it was not the force of one person but the heart and voice of my family that constantly are nourishing my spirit with their love and belief and of the friends that send notes of encouragement and belief.