Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Back in the Groove

WOW! How good does it feel to be back in the groove of training. Even with the miles so low it is the routine of getting back out there that is soothing to my soul. For the rest of the week, I even got a few miles tacked on by Jeff due to my amazing recovery :-) Well I think anyone would be recovered from 2 relatively down weeks. But hey, I am not complaining, I feel great and mental jazzed about the extra miles this week. He added one more day of running and extended my long run by 2 miles. Yeah baby!!

Today I had amazing 6 miler with strides. The 6 miles felt amazing although a bit sluggish at first I think due to the head cold I have right now which makes breathing sort of difficult. After the first mile trying to get the breathing down and the body relaxed the pace eased down nicely. Wow though the run helped clear my head and sinus. I had enough time to get my warm-up routine down and cool-down with post run stretch got done as well. Back to making sure the little things don't lost in the shuffle.

I registered today for Grandma's!! That felt really good to do. Feels right! Today was the last day before rates got jacked up again so I took the plung. So including this week - it is 20 weeks away!

Here is the journey! Excited to see where these next 20 weeks take me!! I pray that God contiunes to protect my path.

To my friends...

I got to have an awesome morning having coffee with a friend who is pursing her dream...

This message is to her and to you all that are striving to be your best you.

I wish you the courage to be warm when the world
would prefer that you be cool.
I wish you success sufficient to your needs;
I wish you failure to temper that success.
I wish you joy in all your days: I wish you sadness
So that you may better measure that joy.
I wish you gladness to overbalance grief.
I wish you humor and a twinkle in the eye.
I wish you glory and the strength to bear its burdens,
I wish you sunshine on your path and storms to season your Journey.
I wish you peace in the world in which you live and in the smallest
corner of your heart where truth & light is kept.
More I cannot wish you, except perhaps love, to make
All the rest worthwhile.
This poem touched me and I wish you all the best. Keep striving to be the best you!!! Ever single day. It is worth it!!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Motherhood & Dreams

Last evening, my daughter returned my Houston medal to me after her 2 week hold on it. As soon as I crossed the finishline and meet with my family, she took quick possession of it and has carried it with her every since. I asked her at bedtime if I could have it back one day :-) She reached under her pile of pillows on her bed searching for it. It touched my heart that she had been keeping in her bed under pillows. Sometimes as mothers we don't know the things we do have such an impact on our children. Last night I was so smitten that this medal was special enough to her to put in the pile of things she thinks are special which she keeps on her bed & under her pillows.

So sometimes Moms when you think pursing your goals and your dreams whatever they maybe are selfish because they take you away from your children. Remember that your pursuit is not selfish as you are touching your children's hearts . I have questioned my pursuit in the past as I know all moms do. Remember this Moms, by you pursing your dreams and letting your children bear witness to your journey, you are giving them one of the greatest gifts in life - the ability to believe in themselves and courage to chase their dreams. They can't be what they can't see!!

Do your life and let your children see how strong and awesome you are!!!!

This is a quote a friend shared with me a while back and when I wrote this post I went looking for it.

Remember what you love to do. Don't put it in a chest in the attic of your being and leave it for your kids to find long after you are gone. Mom liked to write? Mom was a runner? Mom could swim? Mom did ballet? Mom had a beautiful voice? Mom painted? Mom could act? Mom climbed mountains? Mom liked camping? Mom played guitar? Mom was a good photographer? Mom spoke French? Mom jumped horses? Let your children see you do your thing. Let your friends come watch you. Let your husband fall in love again with that cool, interesting chick he married. Let yourself be you

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Excited for another Push!

I am very much looking forward to getting back into the swing of training this week. Although the mileage is still fairly low I will be returning a regular running pattern. I ran of total of 17 miles since the marathon. This is the least I have ever run in a recovery but I feel 100% awesome. My energy level is super high and my legs feel amazing. I think physically and mentally I am ready to head back into the routine of training. Those 2 recovery weeks left me hungry like a cheetah starving in the desert.

Again the mileage is very low but the regular runs will help me reestablish the routine of training. Than I get to start getting after it in the following weeks.

8 weeks to get after at Tobacco Road Half to see what my fitness which is guide the 3 months of training following Tobacco Road.

I am hoping for 1:36-1:37 at Tobacco Road Half which would set me up nicely for a good run at Grandma's.

I think I am also going to try to run Racefest Half in April for PR but we'll have to wait and see if Jeff wants me to race it all out or use it as a training run. Either way I think it will be fun to run.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

2 Hard Weeks

This has been 2 of the hardest weeks of my training cycle. Who knew taking rest seriously was going to be such a struggle mentally, physically and emotionally. By mid-week this week I felt like I was in the fits of a withdraw. Tough stuff..Poor Nick was taking cover!!! WTF is going on - she isn't even near her period. HA!! That is true love for you to weather my recovery cycle smiling. I am sure he was planning an move to another country until I started training again.

I get to run 6 miles today in this sunny beautiful weather!!! I am very excited to step out the door in a few minutes to enjoy my body and the weather.

My coach truly believes in FULL recovery before you start running again post marathon. It is very tough but I am truly trust him so I go with it. I have been watching another runner post-Houston progress via her blog and she ran 10 miles today and was sore and tired. Last week she did 30 miles..I believe this would have Jeff squirming and highly irritated if I did something like that. He wants me 100% recovered so I handle the high volume and intensity coming in a couple weeks. So sometimes taking the long term view of something is better the gratification of having something right here and now. I keep looking at my training in 2 weeks with excitement to tackle those workouts and mileage. I think in the same way someone would anticpate a planned vacation and looking at their dream location weeks ahead to remind themselves that a vacation is coming that is how I am viewing my weeks ahead.

So Jeff did send me a message mid-week - Reminder to Stay Patient!!! I was starting to plot runs in my head that he would not have to know about :-) HA! It was a good reminder :-) Patience just a hard trait to practice. There were no unplanned sneaky runs after that reminder.

Benjamin Franklin said: "He that can have Patience, can have what he will".

Friday, January 27, 2012

Tummy Troubles Maybe Answered!

OMG! I am so excited to have an answer to my tummy troubles during my races and sometimes on occasion at other times.

Since Houston, I have been feeling this tightness in my admomin. I describe it as though the muscles tighten up during the race which caused the severe cramping sensation but this tightness has dulled since Houston but still remains. Like tight muscles that just won't release. Anyway with the days passing, I did stay to be concern about this constant tightness I had been feeling. I had a dr about this AM to investigate as I was starting to think the worse. Ah! All my worries were put to rest with my dr diagnose. IBS! Ah now this is not the IBS you'all think when someone says IBS because I have never felt those symptoms but rather this tightness across my stomach like a vise-like grib on my stomach that locks down and does not ease up. Yes it will ease up after race to some degree but the muscle stays contracted for a long time. He said that when your body is under stress, physical or mental, your stomach muscles surrounding the intestines become overactive and contract more. OMG! This makes perfect sense. We are going to try an antispasmodic prescription to see it this relieve the muscle tightness and hopefully it will be something I can use when I race.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


OMG! This AM I think it finally hit me "I qualified for BOSTON". This was wall of emotion that I hadn't yet experienced and it has been like 9 days and hadn't had any feeling towards this accomplishment. I had felt relieved but any not overwhelming emotions and I was not sure why. People would congratulate me and I would graciously accept their words but I honesty wasn't feeling it yet. And this AM it dawned on me what I did 9 days ago. I finally did it and qualified for BOSTON. I am not sure what had held me back from feeling this deep sense of satisfaction or happiness wrapped up in gratitude but I didn't have it. I was almost emotionless when it came to something I had worked very hard for.

I think part of was trigger by two conversations I had yesterday, one with my close friend, Steph who has been my biggest cheerleader and supporter! She asked me what I thought and about my time 3:32 cause she was thinking that it was really smokin fast :-) I was feeling very indifference and didn't know why. Than I spoke to my Dad in the late afternoon, he was recapping to me how excited he was on that morning watching my splits. He was like flabbergasted at the pace and he keep saying you were getting faster and faster and he remembered the splits times from each point. Ah! I think it finally home yesterday and into this AM.

I now join the ranks of the 5-6% of marathoners that will ever qualify for Boston. Even with the new and tougher registration standards for 2013, I will have plenty of wiggle room to ensure a place on the starting line. From women 35-over in 2012, the standard was 3:45 and for 2013 it is 3:40. Additionally because I qualified in with a 3:32, I will get to register in the 5 minute or faster window which gives me more security to get it. It is sad that so many that qualified under the old standard did not get to run Boston as it filled up so quickly for Boston 2012.

I will get to go this event that I have watch on TV for the past couple of years, I will get to run with those of runners who dreamed the same dream and worked very hard to get there, I will get to run down some of most famous running roads. WOW!!! BOSTON 2013 WOW!

Last night as I was laying with my daughter putting her to bed, she was wearing a t-shirt from the Houston marathon that I gave her. She asked me when my next race and I said not for awhile but mommy will go alone to and she said but will get to go to Boston with you right :-) Aw,,, they sure will go! I want to them to be apart of why mommy had worked so hard, I want them to feel the energy and excited of that day!! I am blessed with children that are so loving that they would want to stand in the cold for hours for me.

Anyway here is to Boston and getting it done!!!!

Monday, January 23, 2012

It's a plan man

Excited to have nailed down my training plans for the year. Actually for the next 16 months we have a trajectory set.

I know I talked about no June marathon. Well have considering all my options, training limitations & late summer/fall asthma & allergies(summer with kids home) and available races within the training timeframe. With those things in mind, the June marathon was reestablished. Instead of Charlevoix in June, it is the fabulously famous Grandmas were the elites go to hit home runs in terms of PRs. I figure why not go there myself and scoop up another PR and enjoy this beautiful race. I don't have a time goal set as of yet. This is something we'll look to do after the Tobacco Rd Half. It mostly definitely will be sub 3:30 and I am hoping @ 3:25 if TR plans out as it is expected too. I will definitely be willing to work hard for 5 months to get a nice 3:25.

I feel really good about this goal. You know it is a good decision when you don't have the nagging feeling after the decision is made. I feel very comfortable and at ease with it.

After this June Marathon, I will definitely take the Fall and Winter off from marathon training and hit the half marathon hard in December. Than train for BOSTON! At first my intention wasn't to train hard for Boston but seriously I am going to go to BOSTON flying :-)

So this plan appeased Jeff's desire for me to take 8-9 months off from the marathon and but also keeps things rolling this winter. I feel like I really want to keep the momentum and routine from the fall and roll into Duluth in June with confidence and excitement.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Saw this and really liked it :-)

Life is kind of like a party. You invite a lot of people, some leave early, some stay all night, some laugh with you, some laugh at you, and some show up really late. But in the end, after the fun, there are a few who stay to help you clean up the mess. And most of the time, they aren’t even the ones who made the mess. These people are your true friends in life. They are the only ones who matter!


Well recovery weeks are very hard! They are the hardest part of training is honoring a recovery cycle. I finally got to run yesterday with a short & easy run. I felt so good and lots of energy and legs felt better than every. One of my calf muscles were a bit tighter but that is what the run for for to figure what needs some attention so that I give it some TLC and when my 3 weeks of recovery are up, all muscles will be healed and I will be stronger than ever.

Still waffling about my June marathon plans. I just realized that we have 7 day cruise in May that will definitely cause an issue with training. Even if we schedule it a cutback week to correspond with the cruise. I would likely to put in 50+ miles on the cruise treadmill which I think would ultimately take away from the experience. But not ruling out...The other option is to work on the half in the next 6 months and than come back at the marathon training late summer.

Anyway the inspiration title came from spending the even at a Charlotte Running Club social. What I love about this group of runners is that they truly love the sport of running and are as passionate as I am about running. It is so exciting to be in a group of runners that all share this passion. No one is trying one up another run for ego sake. These runners are trying to elevate each other up. Congratulating and supporting each other. We had 2 OT runners there last night whom are just amazing women. One had a great race and one run had the race runners dread (tummy issues). The amazing camdereie displayed for both of these runners was touching. Most runners have experienced both at one point in their running history. And runners that truly love running and understand the highs and lows of this sometimes cruel sport.

I also got to meet another SAHM mom runner within the group. Now I think that makes 2 of us!! It is funny as her and I would often pass each other at McMullen between the hours of 9AM & noon during the week. We'd wave and smile but until last night we didn't realize we were connect by the CRC. She is training for Myrtle Beach Marathon and looking to go sub-3 hrs! She is so inspiring and very excited to see how she does in the coming weeks. It was so neat listening to her running story as she had been running 20 minute 5Ks since college but had no formal training. She would just run a lot and would run hard for fitness. Once she actually started training and added easy running in than she started to blossom and ran a 1:26 Half. And now is looking to a sub-3 hr marathon! Of course she has a great coach and has been running in the 70s for a which is the key to her success. She has been working very hard for this...Anyway I am inspired by her story and neat that our lives are so similar. And now I will get to have some company during the day on my runs sometimes during the week!! Woo Hoo...

Friday, January 20, 2012

Where to go from here...

While some of you may have heard from me or facebook. I ran a 3:32:13 while I am pleased with the 14 minute PR part of me is disappointed that it wasn't the day I dreamed of and I had a few unexpected obstacles that didn't allow for me to get sub-3:30. The goal for Houston was 3:26-3:29 and both my coach and I are confident that my fitness had conditions been ideal I would have achieved those times. Frickin my Garmin had me at 26.56 with 7:58 Average pace - more proof that you can't trust your garmin - hehehehe. Well you can a little but I was running in circles in those first 9 miles so I very well could have picked up the extra .36. Anyway I think am a ready to move-on from it emotionally. My coach pointed out the fact that if this had happen a year ago I would mentally folded and ran another mediocre race and I knew that statement to be true. So I am proud of myself for staying calm through those 9 miles of torture and not giving up :-) I did the best I could on that day and that is something to be proud of as well. That I can honestly look into my heart and know that I didn't give up so I can walk away with pride knowing I will live to fight another day in another race with the emotional confidence that I can come against these obstacles I will not give up! The Jamie of 6 months would not be able to feel this way. Here is to emotional growth - Woo Woo!

Where do I go from here? Well that question has been weighing on me all week. My coach wants me to consider putting off another marathon for 11 months to develop my speed and really move that half marathon time down. Rather than looking at the marathon in 20 week segments - looking at in 38 weeks - first the half marathon build up and than the marathon build which should reap more time improvements rather the traditional 6 months build-up.

One great thing about focusing on the half is I get to keep the mileage up there but I won't have the 20 & 22 miles which for me are tough stuff. Give me 16 to 18 miles but there is just something really tough about a 20-22 miler that takes lots of prep and care.

I think I am going to continue to consider my options over the weekend and hope to make a decision sooner rather than later as indecisiveness makes me uneasy. I like to plot a course and start sailing. It always help with the unstructureness of recovery to know the recovery is going to make you stronger for your next go around with the marathon.

“I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.” -Douglas Adams

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Race Day Morning

I decided I need to write to calm my nerves and mind this AM. So this is more for me to get my thoughts outs but I am happy to share the emotions running through my head as I am sure many of you felt similar or will feel similar emotions as you prepare for your big race or big day in life.

They say success in the preparation. Well sir, I am prepared, this is no doubt that I am fit which I was reminded of just in the past few days from my coach. The taper has me doubting me fitness a bit..you run hard for like 5 months and than are suppose chill the f*** for a few days which totally plays with your mind. Like freaking crazy..so Jeff kindly remind me of my hard works in the past months and his words "crushed them" and I have nailed everyone workout in my build up with the exception of 1 when I had an asthma attack in late summer. My build-up has been near flawless - god has truly protected my path. I have to remember these things today out on the course. Trust Jeff, Trust in God and trust in my Stuff! They say trust the taper. So hard when the taper is a exercise in faith.

So my body is trained and I am preparing this AM by being up a full 3 hours before the race. I have never done that. Eating and drinking my coffee in a relaxed manner not shoveling stuff down looking at the clock for the time I have to skit-skaddle. I plenty of time to relax and reflect this AM. Why did I never try this early up thing? It is very pleasant experience.

I know I write a lot about my husband - St Nick - for he is truly a saint. You see traveling with young kids can leave the most patient person in the world ready to slam a bottle of vodka. hehehe
It was so trying to fly and get settle in Houston. My husabnd did his best to sheild me for the mos tof it.

This just makes me so grateful that his belief in me is so strong that he would subject himself to rigors of 2 young kids for days in an effort to ease my path. Love you so Nick!! He is truly a gift to me from God. Many of you that truly know me and know my life struggles than you know that Ihave overcome so much to be a strong, happy, successful, and loving person. I have always wondered why my path has been so difficult but I always think God gave me Nick to ease my pain of my early life and balance me in my adult life. Many people will tell me how lucky I am to have Nick - I don't feel like it was luck at all but a blessing.

The evening we arrived in Houston was tough. Our hotel room is right outside a busy lobby, so you can hear a lot in this room, our kids were restless but very tired. We tried getting them to sleep around 8ish. It was a tough effort which had me in tears in the bathroom out of pure exhaustion and emotionally depletion. I felt like all this hard work and it is blowing up in my face cause I can't get my kids asleep and was so so so tired. When I came out of the bathroom trying to compose myself, my children rushed to my side. Telling me they loved & believed in me. Ah! My heart broke again at the depth of their caring. Joey is who is so wise beyond her years firimg told me MOM I believe you are going to be in the top 100 women and I cry a bit and looked me in the eyes and said Mommy never give up. Christian told me he was proud of me no matter what and Joey told him Mom is going to do it. Her beleif in me release me to relax and get them to sleep.

So Nick and seized the time to try to go to sleep. I think I may have faded off around 11 because of the noise from the halls it was a hard effort, ah than my Jey wakes me at 1AM to go the bathroom, she is unable to go back to sleep until well pass 2AM, I lay there in frustrated trying everything to relax her, I handed her off to Nick at 2AM and he gets her back to sleep - ah back to sleep to for me and than Christian wakes at 3ish..I start crying cause I am so tired and overwhelmed. I so needed to sleep bu that was not the plan for the night so I worked so hard to calm myself and get Christian back to sleep. I was laying there with him thinking motherhood and marathons do not mix. haha..Anyway it was so close to waking and I had to get myself centered so I got up an did some yoga to relax myself and got dressed and went to the lobby for coffee @ 6AM. It was already a buzz with people so I enjoyed breakfast alone and called Nick to bring the kids down for breakfast before we left to see the race. Anyway it was a trying night that tested me emotionally beyond belief. Anyway tough night but just obtacles that are tests to see if I really want this.

I do! I want this!! If I can stay relaxed and focused on the plan. And God keeps my body and tummy strong than I can do this thing.

"We face our breaking point in an effort to find the powerful voice that emerges
with new sense of determination. We overcome our darkness and recreate our bodies, and mind. We send a new message to the body and our DNA knows now that more is possible"

This has got me through the whole my training and I pray this mantra gets me through today.
I must start getting dressed as I have to leave in about 45 minutes.

May you have a blessed day I pray that I am blessed today so that I can realize my full potential.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

I want to thank all of you!

Lately I have been feeling this immense amount of gratitude for this journey that I am on. Sometimes if I think about it and the people surrounding me in this journey I will feel an overwhelming amount of gratitude that will start an emotional outpouring of tears on my part. I have felt so many times in the last month or two. It is truly good life when you are so happy that you can cry thinking about all the blessings in your life.

Just today on my way to visit my massage gal Katie for my last pre-race massage (tissue realignment session) I started crying thinking I could not have gotten this far without her. She has been with me on this journey for over a year or longer. She has seen me when I was emotionally wrecked with disappointment and frustration. She has been a tremendeous part of this training segment in keeping my body healthy. I see her couple times a month and lately it has been more often due to heavyload of high mileage on my muscles. She promised to stay with me as far as I go on this jounrey. I feel like she is a gift to helping my dreams come true.

Thank you everyone who has listen to me, supported me, sent me notes of support, kindness shown and graciously given me the space to purse my dreams. It truly has helped so thank you for being there!

Whatever happens in Houston I am a much happier & content me for the process! Houston is a celebration of finding the dream. I am not afraid but truly excited and ready for the opportunity to realize my potential.


Today I am really relaxing before the the trip begins. I have the day where I didn't make any commits and I can really take the quiet time which has been so nice and it not even 11AM. I am still in my PJs drinking my coffee.

As I have said before I find solitude for me is a place where I can go to restore myself and gather energy. This time alone remind of the song of my favorite college era singers - Alanis - Thank you! I love the verse when she sings -

Thank you India
Thank you terror
Thank you disillusionment
Thank you frailty
Thank you consequence
Thank you, thank you silence

I have always been sort of loner this way. I was talking to my mom about my enjoyment of being alone lately. She reminded me that when I was a child I was actually very quiet natured not shy but she but she I would go off to be alone away from other children and she would often find me alone in my room. It is neat to see a glimpse into essence of yourself as a child as I think those things do not change but we as adults try to change in order to fit into our world and conform to what others want us to be for their needs.

Anyway it so nice this AM with the rain, quiet and coffee.

I feel like everything is falling into place so I can enjoy every aspect of this trip. It was neat as Nick's schedule this week as allowed him more flexiblity than most weeks and he is super relaxed which allows me to be more relaxed. Rather than having a demanding workload which bring him home a bit frazzeled lately - he was scheduled to been in a training semniar all week. He is relaxed and happy to help me this week which has been a godsend. Yesterday after my sweet Joey had her like 4th crying epidsode, my nerves were starting to fray. Nick says go relax I will finish dinner with them. Tear :-) Just what I needed to be let off the hook.

I think all these relaxed vibes we got going in the Dodge household will allow me to fully enjoy every moment of our Houston adventure.

Goal - Live in the moment and enjoy the journey!!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Finishing Touches put on the Cake

Today at my last workout today. Overall felt solid. Just enough to tire you a tad bit but nothing over the top. Great news to report today was the first run where I had no shin pain :-) Yay!

For the day I had 2 mile w/u, 6 X 3 minutes @ 5K pace with 2 minute recovery jogs and 1.5 mile C/D.

Ah - I freakin almost can't believe it. I made it though all that training. When think back on it - all I can say wow.

Now I am heading out to get my locks highlighted!!

It's a good life! Have a good one ya'all!

Monday, January 9, 2012


This AMs easy run with strides made me want to scream "I am Ready!!!!!" My legs have that magical feel that one hopes will come with a taper. My spirit and mind are ready to work and stay focused. I think all the pieces are starting to fall into place. Tomorrow I have one more real workout before the big day and than it is all very short easy runs with lots of resting to get legs 100% recovered.

Just have to stay calm, relaxed and keep up with all the little things that have got me here in the first place.

Houston - I AM READY!!!!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Reflections on the past 2 years

If you have read this blog for very long you may have picked on my running history. I was reflecting on where I have been to get this moment. I had experienced lots of forward progress in my initial year marathoning going from 3:57 to 3:46 in one training cycle. At that point I was so siked for what to come. I had no idea a year of trails and tribulations would end this forward progression. The first sign of trouble was in the summer of 2010 when I was training for Chicago Marathon in Fall of 2010. I was doing great - hitting the mileage and had in several long runs already. Than I got sick in the beginning of August and was wiped out. This illness would last the entire month of August. The harder I tried to got healthy to more elusive my health become. I went to several doctors over the course of that month. No one had an answer for me - I was experiencing severe headaches, feverish when doing any activity that would elevate my heart rate, heavy chest and had a hard time breathing - all this basically ended my marathon training cycle and I officially pulled out of Chicago. My first DNS :-( I took a 10 rest period at the end up August to see if the rest would help. It did for the most part but the symptoms returned and I finally saw a doctor that was able to diagnose and help me. Allergies and asthma were what was going on....being new to the Carolinas I learned that it is worse area in the country for allergies and asthma. Well now we knew and I have learned since how to deal with them..Anyway I was still not healthy enough or fit enough to run another marathon I had registered for so my second DNS of the Fall. By the end of the October, I was able to start putting in some decent mileage and did a few races to gauge my fitness. Woozers I had lost a bit in these two months of on & off running but not too much so I was excited train and regain by previous fitness level.
In December, I paced the 5 hour marathon group at Thunder Road and in Jan 2011 I paced the 4;15 marathon group at Charleston both of which I was using as training runs for my hoping BQ effort at Myrtle Beach Marathon. I had worked hard to get back to this fitness level and excited to run MB Marathon in Feb 2011. As some of you know, I had GI problems during that race and struggled to get to mile 20 and struggled to walk the remaining 6 miles with my family by side all the while throwing up and having tremendous tummy craps. I was not detered so I planned another marathon one month out which ended with a medicore time due to tummy issues again and another marathon in June that ended with the same results.

Ah what a year! I knew I needed to change something as I knew that I was capable of more. That year was not I year I had dreamed of. I had dreamed of BQ and running Boston this spring. None of these downs were part of the dream but I am sure I am now on course to becoming the great runner I know I can be.

I have learned so much from my failures and near successes, and I know the best is yet to come as long as I have patience and persistence. Not every domino will sit perfectly straight, but as long as it knocks down the subsequent piece the dream will stay on track.

This training cycle has been completely different than any others not only because of the mileage and intensity but because of the journey. For the most part, I have been training alone. I have been enjoying the solitude. I feel that as a distance runner, it is vital to be alone in certain aspects of training. I have been able to fall more deeply in love with running and truly enjoy it. It is nice to know I am not training and racing for the wrong reasons. I race, knowing I truly have a passion for running.

In a weeks time I will run the Houston Marathon, and there is only one certainty, I will cherish every agonizing stride of that 26.2 mile race. I will enjoy the journey and relish in it’s culmination.

I love Ralph Waldo Emerson

To laugh often and much
To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children,
to earn the appreciation of honest critics
and endure the betrayal of false friends;...
to appreciate beauty,
to find the best in others,
to leave the world a bit better whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you lived.
This is to have suceeded.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Dreaming of that Perfect Race & Having Strength

So I was reading a blog of another runner, this one of an elite runner preparing for the Trial this weekend.

"In running, more than any other sport, we train every day dreaming of that perfect race where everything comes together in unison and the hard work finally seems worth it. It's a brutal sport because there is often not much reward for the hard work which nearly every distance runner puts forth."

This is so true especially for the marathon. In other events you can get away with tummy issues, lack of sleep, dehydration, a bit of muscle tightness but the marathon does not let you have a weak stop, you just have to pray and hope that all your hard work comes together in this magical way that is the "perfect race". We runners know these magical days exist as we have experienced them before where everything just falls into place and you are able to do what you set out to do. Oh these are the races that all of our hearts & mind seek. These races make every run in the heat, humidity, wind and rain worth it; every injury and bad workout would be wiped permanently from memory. All in a sweet victory over all the obstacles that were etched in your path.

"Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go
through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength.

I think this quote defines distance runners more than anything! Our strength is in our struggle to be best people and runners we can be! We come through the hard times with a sense of purpose to contiune to fight for our desired path no matter what!

I think some may think this path is easy for me. For many see my life and think it is easy for her and without sacrifice & hardship. It is not easy for me - I have the same obstacles that everyone else's has and I have moments when I want to give up when these obstacles become so heavy on my heart or body. I have sick kids, sleepless night with sick kids, carpooling kids, kids activities, homework, a husband that gets weary from helping or feels ignored, i have to support & love my family and friends, struggles with keeping my household together, struggle with disappointing others because I want to purse my passion, a body that wants to quit because it so tired or is experiencing an injury and a mind that say F*** it sometimes.

I may get weary but at the end of the day my spirit is stronger than my body & mind and I will never give up! So sometimes it is harder in life to press on, be strong and keep your chin up when all seems to be going wrong. I will always pick myself up when I get knocked down, dust of the dirt and become more determined. No mattter what happens I will always succeed if I get up one more time than I fall.

Anyone can give up, it's the easiest thing in the world to do. But to hold it together when everyone else would understand if you fell apart, that's true strength.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Be like Water

Not much new report. I had a great pace run yesterday morning. It was a confidence booster that my pace seemed relatively easy and relaxed. I ran 6 @ 7:48 average with a w/u & c/d. Just dialing into my pace & effort right now so my body and mind know it on race day.

Christian is getting better. Going into the week I had these things planned to catch up on after the holidays. Sometimes life happens and we get sidetracked and put on the right path. I have got to spend lots of time loving and nurturing Christian. If this was a high mileage week, I think I might be stressed but it came at a time when I needed to rest and relax and probably not be running around town trying to accomplished little errands. I was cuddling with Christian for a few hours yesterday reading to him and watching youtube videos with him and it was so nice! He is usually running around playing nerf wars or legos so we don't cuddle as much so it has been nice at the same time. So his illness this week has forced me to rest and relax more than I might have...

Hoping the weekend of resting will bring Christian to 100% so we can get a great start to next week.

Lesson learned this week from the Christian's unplanned illness that was a bit of a hiccup - In order to be content in the moment, is be like water, fluid and going with the flow, rather than a rock which is rigid and has no give. Water moves and becomes more powerful with the current and a rock will always remain the same.

“Be like water making its way through cracks. Do not be assertive, but adjust to the object, and you shall find a way round or through it. If nothing within you stays rigid, outward things will disclose themselves. Empty your mind, be formless. Shapeless, like water. If you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. You put water into a bottle and it becomes the bottle. You put it in a teapot it becomes the teapot. Now, water can flow or it can crash. Be water my friend.” ~ Bruce Lee

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Ball of Nerves

And not due to the marathon. My son Christian has been on & off ill with something in is tummy since Saturday. After going to the drs yesterday, we still do not have a good & clear explanation for his tummy pain. The Dr thinks his stomach lining is irritated from a cold virus that is causing drainage to his tummy. She said he was fine and his stomach pain would pass but after 4 days of not eating I am a ball of nerves worrying over him. I sent him to school this AM but I can't help but think about him there in class with him tummy hurting. I will most likely try to get him after lunch if he if his tummy is still hurting. It just so hard cause you don't want them to get behind in school so we'll take it day by day. Praying his tummy comes around soon.

For all you moms out there, you know when you child is sick you can do nothing but worry over them.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

12 Days

Today I am really starting to have a million and one emotions. I think I move between these emotions very quickly in a moment I float between all to of them - excitement, fear, elation, delight, intent, doubt, peace, gratitude and a very real joy.

The fatigue of last week has pasted and has been replaced with anticipation all the good to come. It is sort of like a kids 12 days of Christmas. It is the 12 days of a taper.

So much can happen in a marathon and so much can happen in the build-up to a marathon. You need to get yourself to the line healthy and ready to go. And from there any can happen! The unknown of it all is what makes it so elusive and exciting. The marathon is a race where you have to make more decisions that will effect your fate more than any other race. Will you be able to run past the hurt & discomfort? Will you be able mentally hold it together? Will I have you be able to kick at mile 20? Will your training prepare you for your goal? The unknown of what can make happen in the course 26 miles it where doubt and fear creep in. You have fight that doubt so hard to make it go away. Replace it with faith, trust in God, trust in Jeff and trust my stuff.

I want to say that I took all the knowledge, trained as smart & hard as I could, raced it as smart & hard as I could and whatever comes of this effort will be mine to own and something I can be proud of.

Let your FAITH be bigger, than your fear! - Unknown

Monday, January 2, 2012

Mileage Journey

I was just pondering how all the mileage of this training cycle is going to help me in 12 days.

This has been the most intense and by far the most miles I have ever logged in my marathon preps. I have run 12 marathons in the past 3 years and I am reflecting on each of those marathon training cycles. My first training cycle in which I really had no idea what I was doing average 25-35 mpw for 6-8 weeks of training I hit my 4:05, ran another 5 weeks later hit 4:01 and than 5 weeks later 3:57. Took a good 5 month break and started up training again and knew a few more things this time I trained for 12 weeks and reached the high of 48 miles averaging 35-40 miles for those weeks. In the Fall of 2009, I ran 3:52 at Marine Corp and than 7 weeks later ran 3:46:19 - 20 seconds shy of my BQ. And those weeks in between were low mileage due to nursing a piriformis issue so I peaked at 30 miles in the weeks between those 2 marathons. The second time I hit 3:46 in April 2010 I was also running lower mileage while trying to come back after a hip flexor injury that came on in Jan 2010. So after reflecting back on my previous training cycles, I am excited to see what running in the 50-70s for 4 months will make the marathon feel like especially in those final miles. I remember feeling very strong when in the Fall 2009 on making the jump to 40s.

Houston Lets Roll!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Slow Your Roll & Week in Reveiw

Well after gettting the green light from Coach Jeff to run on my funky shin. I headed out for my recovery run on a warm afternoon on New Years Day. My first mile was sluggish but it was also up the biggest in hill we got in Baxter. Shin felt good after the first mile so I breathed a sy of relief and picked up the pace a bit and shin was still fine. By mile 3, I was rolling and had to remind myself it was a recovery run and this is where the slow your roll comes in. I just kept having to pull myself back when I got to far away from my recovery pace. I felt a couple twinges in the shin area but I would say my quick TLC of it yesterday after the run has helped it feel 93% better.
My first week of my taper looked like this -
M - 8 Easy
T - 8 Easy & Strides
W - 12 Miles - 2 W/U, 8 Mile Tempo, 2 C/D
T - Rest
F - 7 Easy
S - 15 Easy
S - 6 Recover
Total Miles = 56


I was thinking about my journey in the last few months. This has not been only a physical journey but also one of personal growth. I needed to rebuild myself physically & emotionally after a tough early 2011, start believe I am capable of more, put the fears aside, create an environment in my personal life that would allow me not only to grow but to thrive.
Both physical and emotionally growth come out of researching a point where we are brokedown and must rebuild. Sometimes we reach this breaking point in a run or in life's trial. In the last 6 months, I believe I hit this breaking point several times both physically and emotionally and used them these experiences to rebuild and strengthen my mind, body and spirit. Sometimes what we go through on an emotionally level helps to push past the phyiscal limits so that we can grow. The part of us that wants to be comfortable must faded away and replaced with the part of ourselves that demands growth. There is no growth without change and there is no change without discomfort. I embraced the change as I knew it was they only way I could grow and be happy.
Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom. - Aristotle