Saturday, November 30, 2013

Last Long Run on the way to Kiawah Island Marathon

Take it all one day at a time and enjoy the journey | quote

I was a ball of nerves last night preparing for my last long run. Both kids had kids sleeping over and I was getting to bed a bit later. All I could think about was how tired I had been this past week. How was I going to hang for long run with these 2 fast guys? I thought maybe I would sleep in and go on my own later. But than my alarm started going off at 6AM and I was wide awake. A bit weary and scared but up so I rolled out of bed trying to not think about the run. The guys were waiting for me when I arrived as they ran a few miles before getting me. Shaun was cracking jokes with me my about my lack of texting abilities and had me laughing with allowed me to jump in with ease next to him. Before I knew it we were 2 miles in and watching 2 whitetail deers cross our paths. It was a cold but beautiful morning and I was falling in love with the run. We were still a bit slower due to it being like 25 degrees out but by mile 4 we were rolling and I was hanging with them fine. They helped out with the chit chat early on but I realized they weren't going to be much help in that department so I told them if they weren't going to talk then they would just have to listen to me. That they did until we hit a mile long climb and I shut up. We dropped Shaun sometime between mile 11-12 and Craig and I went at the rest of the miles alone. Mostly in a comfortable silence. I realized a few miles back that the guys preferred the silence so I obliged and drifted into my own head. So Craig and I clicking off the final miles which made me think of when we first moved to Baxter Village. Craig is my neighbor and his wife, Angela, who is a close friend use to send Craig to run with me. Lets just get this straight, Craig is like Lance Armstrong fit. He does not run as much as he is a avid cyclist that is totally fierce. I was always huffing and buffing trying to act like oh yeah this is easy for me when he would run with me. I was afraid when Angela would try to send for Craig to run with me. Anyway flash forward about 5 years later, I am hammering out a long run with Craig. We are training for a marathon together. Surreal thought for me, for sure! Finish out my long run and very pleased by the last 4 months of training.

I actually have been a ball of emotional all day. Crying lots not out of sadness but out of total gratitude in how far I have come. Thinking back to the trials of last year and all that has pasted and coming back to health. The journey back has been very sweet and filled with lots of emotional highs and lows. But those emotions have been beautiful and the journey has been sweetened by my dear friends that have held the belief in me and encouraged me every step of the way.

Be grateful for obstacles in your journey quote via

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Week In Review

Take it day by day (:

I haven't done one of these in awhile but realized that is good to take a moment to reflect backon  the week.

It has been a good week back in training after a down week and race. I jumped right back into training but midweek I was feeling way tired so I took an unscheduled day off. It is always so hard to do this but my mistake last year was not listening to my body and running when I was feeling that heavy fatigue. I listened this week, took the day off and was able to bounce back well from fatigue and put in some good work.

Monday 6 Recovery @ 8:59
Tuesday 11 miles - 10 X 2 minute Hard/2 minute Easy @ 5:41-5:59 pace
Wednesday 10 Easy @ 8;29
Thursday Yoga
Friday 10 with Short Tempo @ 6:38 pace
Saturday 20 @ 8:16
Sunday 7 Recovery @ 9:17

Mile Total = 64

I am pretty pleased with this week. I didn't think I would pop back so quickly after the race. And to be honest really in the week I let myself get overwhelmed with what was on my schedule. I kept thinking can I keep going at this rate and for how long. I still have 8 weeks till my marathon, can I keep it going this strong for 8 weeks.

Than a great friend reminded to take it day by day. It was the perfect advice and since than I have been just concentrating on each day and trying to not look too far down the road.

Taking it day by day

Friday, November 22, 2013

In search of Confidence

"You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face.  Do the thing you think you cannot do."  --Eleanor Roosevelt

Here is the thing I have come a long way from last year. Last year humbled me and torn my confidence to shreds. I bombed one race after another and limped back to race after race for more of that kind of ass whipping more times than I care to remember.

Slowly and surely I have started to rebuild my confidence with the help my coach. I can see it being restored. I am not all the way there but am I confident (:-)) it will return. I am confidently executing very intense works speed workouts and tempos. I am running long runs hard and fast. Next step it is carry this confidence over to a race setting. I need to be patience with myself though. Rome was built in a day. Trying to enjoy each step of the process and it will come.

My coach dropped a bomb on me this week by telling he believes I can run a very fast half based off my current fitness. I was stunned and speechless. Lost for words cause I had not entertained that I was that fit. I knew things had changed in my fitness but those numbers never entered my head.

I know I am going to have to be very confident in my next race to execute those paces. I need to be aggressive and confident and ready to push when I am tired and hurting. I need to learn how to race a half marathon. Yes I have run a ton of half marathons but I have yet to race one.

Honestly this is a lot to come to terms with and I know I am my biggest obstacle at this point. My goal over the next 3 weeks in route to Kiawah Half marathon is to gain the confidence to run hard, really hard.

I work with my clients on setting short-term reasonable goals. The key is setting a goal that you believe to be achievable, BUT not too easy. You want to challenge yourself--that way you will have a confidence boost when you meet your goal!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Richmond Half Marathon Race Report

The morning began as usual waking up and getting in all the usual pre-race food and routine stuff. I woke Nick and Christian when I was ready to go down to the hotel lobby. When I got down to the lobby it was full to the brim with runners taking refuge from the down pouring rain outside. Runners where covered in garbage bags to protect their clothes from getting wet while walking to the start line. I was anxious to get one myself. Lucky that the concierge desk had a roll sitting at the desk. I put on one and decide to brave the downpour because I had to get to bag check and try to get in a mini-warm up.

We were super lucky because the downpouring let up for about 15 minutes before the race so we able to get to the corral semi-dry. It would stay mostly misty rain from that point but what was left was the humidity and my lungs did not take to it kindly. I wheezed hard pretty much from mile 1. I was hoping it would settle the future I went in but I was really struggling in miles 6-9. Those miles were tough for me and I pretty sure I slowed quick a bit especially since my darn shoe kept untieing. I stopped 3 times to fix it. I remember talking to a girl around mile 9 and we exchanged goals. She wanted to sub 1:40 and I wanted to survive with my lungs in tact. I at that point was fighting not to stop but than she said something that perked up my ears. She said "we are almost there and pointed to mile 10". I was like okay I just need to not dip any slower in pace and I can savage this race. I worked to stay relax and moving forward at a little bit faster clip than I was managing in miles 6-9. I was so happy when I saw Nick and Christian at mile 12. That helped me to keep it rolling and we had a nice downhill finish which help me slip under 1:38.

Here are my splits -

7:09 (last mile)
last .20 (1.09) 1:37:47

Small PR! But a PR is a PR and I am finally moving in the right direction which is something to celebrate.


Friday, November 15, 2013

What is Courage?

courage quotes | Courage Quotes and Sayings - MotivationalWellBeing

One definition I found was the ability to do something that frightens one.

I am running a half marathon tomorrow. Part of me is very scared. I own that. I have worked very hard over the past year to rebuild my health and get my fitness back. One thing that has eluded me has having predictable TSH (thyroid hormone) levels. During training I can deal with the uncertainty of not feeling well, if a workout does not go as well as hoped or a run is more difficult than it should be than no big deal there is always another day but dealing with in a race setting is another beast. 

I am hoping that I feel great and can run a time that reflects my training efforts and all that I have put into it physically, mentally and emotionally. 

I know that if I am given the opportunity on race day to run hard, I am going to seize it and savor it. 

I am SCARED - you bet! I am scared that it won't work out and that I will be forced to pick up the pieces from another thyroid jamming race. Looks at the faces that love and support me and say that's okay I will keep trying. 

But with the fear, I also play with the possibility that my day may come where I am able to run true to my abilities. I know with a certainty that when the conditions are right everything I have done will come through. Will it be tomorrow?

I have no idea but I will have the courage to face this fear so that I may succeed.  Cause what I have learned you have to risk a certain amount of yourself and put yourself out there to truly succeed. 

be yourself and let your light shine

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Just Plain Happy

Life is 10% of what happens to you and 90% of how you react to it.

Really I had some bumps in the road last week but made it over them quickly. My TSH had become elevated again and we didn't know why but I was suspect it was a hard long run and being sick both putting extra stress on my thyroid.  But by end of the week and having a unscheduled rest day I felt the so much peppier and my zippiness returned.

I ran 2 real quality runs on Friday and Saturday. Friday I ran a 3 mile tempo @ 6:40 average pace (6:29, 6:48, 6:46) and than hard long run of 16 miles on Saturday averaging 8:05 pace. I felt pretty peppy and smooth in runs. Pretty stoked about that after my lab results. I proved to myself that I can still run hard when my labs aren't perfect.

Today I ran mile reps @ 6:09, 6:09, 6:11, 6:11 :-) And they came easily and wasn't having to press hard or struggle to get there. I even thought back on the workout if I was pressing hard enough but part of me was holding some back knowing I am racing a half in 4 days.

Goal for the rest of the week! Stay positive and relaxed. I am excited about this Half mostly because I ready to test out these legs over a longer distance. I am excited to see how hard I can press and how to hold on when I am tired.  I also really interested to see where all the hard work of the past couple of months has taken my fitness level.

Stay positive <3...I believe in the power of positive thinking @LunaKrick

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Midweek Pep Talk

The beauty of this image and that word together, sum up what I feel like when I have an entire morning free to run and explore and think and just be.

A lot of times I write in this blog for me. I find it therapeutic and help me to get out feelings and give myself direction when I am feeling a bit lost.

I have been working really hard these past 4 weeks. I have average 63 miles plus lots of intense workouts. I am starting to feel the fatigue a bit. Past few days I have lacked that excited mojo that gets me out the door singing. I always feel befuddled when the motivation isn't high. I know it is part of the process sometimes the motivation wanes a little and you to keep doing work even when the motivation is low. The Happy MoJo comes back when it does and I am always happy that I hung on when it went away.

I am setting out to run an easy 10-12 miles AM after having a hard work out yesterday. I am hoping the energy is high and I can clipping away nicely this AM but always be sure not to push the pace too much as I have a HARD tempo tomorrow on tap. I love Tempos so maybe that will bring back the Woo hoos :-) I also need to have this be a one more solid week hitting 60 miles and than next week is a down week a mini taper for the Richmond Half Marathon.

I also need to get more sleep in the next. I have sleep pretty crap in the last few nights which may be adding to my fatigue and befuddlement.

I think I have 2 days off before the Half that will help put some bounce in my step for the race.

Brenda Della Casa is the Managing Editor of I Am Staggered USA, LLC, The Director of Online Content for Preston Bailey and the Author of Cinderella Was a Liar and Walking Barefoot

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Rough Waters Clearing

A smooth sea never made a skilled sailer

Today I ran another strong long run in preparation for marathon in January. I actually felt horrible in the beginning and knew it was just going to be one of those runs you grind through. Not sure why I didn't feel great but I suspect a little bit of allergies as my breathing was taking a hit in the final miles. What was great about this long run wasn't necessary the pace but the fact that I lead 2 other very strong runners through this 20 miler. I kept the pace and pushed the pace when we started to get too comfortable and slowing too much. I kept them on their toes and kept up the chatting. About mile 15, I dropped back behind the others to slow for some slippy wet leaves and they were concerned that I was dropping and no longer leading. I jumped back in front and lead them to a 7:43 mile. I kept it rolling until mile 18 where I started feel my lungs way more than my legs. My legs felt feisty and were ready to keep the pace but by mile 18 my tummy was not feeling the last gel and lungs were hurting so I back off the led and let my running partners drag me in to mile 20.

I feel like this is a sign that I am really strong right now. I have averaged 63 miles for the last 4 weeks.

Overall I have way more good days than bad days. I feel way more energy both in my running and my everyday life. I wake up refreshed and most days I feel pretty chirpier the whole day through. I still have days where running seems daunting but I always feel better having doing it. I feel the my thyroid and adrenals are in a very good place.

I have a half in 2 weeks, another half in 6 weeks and 12 weeks to my marathon.

I am not sure where I am going time wise but I have a feeling it is going to be beautiful.

Praying that God's light shines down on my hard work, perseverance and most of my faith.

My Rough Waters are becoming calm and clear.