The joy of tapering, and one week till the Pig!

Well, it’s almost here! A week from now, I’ll be running the Flying Pig Marathon for the very first time.  The training was both harder, and a lot more fun than I thought it would be. At this point, I still think I’m one and done on full marathons. As much as I’ve enjoyed it, at times it felt almost like having a part-time job, with all the training runs. But then again, in this last week or so, as we’ve started to taper, I remember why I liked running in the first place. The weather has been great, and I’ve had so much fun on the last couple runs. Today, a group of us got together to run at Spring Grove Cemetery. It was colder than we thought, and we got lost, but we had so much fun and laughed so much! That’s why I do this, and even thought I know it will be hard, and even painful, I hope we have as much fun next Sunday.

 

20 miles down

20 miles

So, it’s been ages since I’ve written anything.  When I started this, I intended to chronicle the training for my first marathon. But life got in the way.

In late January, I left my job of seven years for a new one, and ended up getting the flu the very first week. It’s hard enough to make that type of a change to begin with, much less when you’re not feeling well. I recovered, but the cough lingered for weeks. Eventually, I started settling in at work, and now I really enjoy it. But those first few weeks I didn’t have any extra energy for anything, not even writing.

I also started to have doubts about whether or not I’d actually be able to finish the marathon. I was almost afraid to write about it, for fear that I’d then have to come back and write about how I didn’t make it. The last couple weeks have changed that. Last week we did an 18 mile run in the snow. And I mean, with snow and ice hitting us in the face. It was miserable, and I could never have gotten through it without my Tri-State Running family, especially my running bud, Beth, who lent me her gloves when my hands were freezing and I was about to hit the wall. It was rough, but we did it.

Yesterday, we did 20 miles. It started out chilly and foggy, but ended up being a really nice day. I noticed as the miles ticked by, that I felt good, and it didn’t seem that far. My knee gave me a little trouble on a downhill, but I walked 3 miles today and it’s feeling better. So, yeah, I finally believe I can really make it through those 26.2 miles.  We’ve got 5 weeks to go, and I’m ready. Let’s do this!

 

16.2 miles to go

So, it’s been a while since I’ve posted but things have been really crazy in my life lately. I took some time off from running in November and December and started taking classes at Empower Fitness to work on cross-training and rest my knee a little.

Now Pig training is in full swing again.  We’re a few weeks in and it’s been interesting. Here in the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky area where I live we were hit with some snow and ice. I did an 8 mile run with my running buds Debbie and Mary Jane in the ice that was one of the toughest runs I’ve ever done, but I got through it. I could never  have done it without them. It was the longest run of my life. Luckily, the weather improved and the rest of our runs have been less eventful. Yesterday, we hit 10 miles. I still get scared thinking I have 16.2 more to go. But with the support of my running group, I think I’ll make it. My next steps are to work on my diet and get back to my cross training!

Running Group Jan

Great Pumpkin Run aka Great Pumpkin Mud Run

I’ve been taking a break from running from the last few weeks after the Queen Bee so I was looking forward to the Great Pumpkin Run.  I was running with Lisa, from my running group, and her team, the Duncan Pumpkins, and my husband Brent. I’ve run this race before, and had a great time.

Last year I wore shorts to the race. This year, it was snowing!! We got there early, and were so cold, we sat in the car for almost an hour until our wave started. You can do the regular 5k, or the “Tough Pumpkin” where you carry a pumpkin. I decided not to carry the pumpkin, and I’m glad I opted out. In the past, they’ve had all sizes of pumpkins, but this year, they were pretty big. I was even more glad I’d decided against it, when I got on the course! Lisa and I met at the start, and set off. We started out running, but just a few strides in, we could barely keep from falling. It was so muddy and slippery. At that point, we decided to play it safe and take it at a brisk walk. We had a good time, but it was tough, even at a walk.  I was really glad I wore my trail shoes.

This morning I attended a yoga class at Tri-State Running.  I’ve been lazy since getting back from Gatlinburg in general, but my yoga practice has really suffered. Nikki Taylor, from Evolation Yoga 43 taught the class and it was great. It was just the stretches I needed. Cold Feet, the next running group session I’m signed up for, starts in a few weeks. Till then, I’m revowing to work on my strength training and get back to a regular yoga practice.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Two race Saturday (Don’t try this at home people!)

It’s been a while since I’ve written but I’ve been really busy. Last Saturday, I did something really stupid. I ran two races in one day. Here’s what happened. I had been training with my running group for the Queen Bee Half Marathon. It turned out that the Running Scared, a Halloween 5k that Brent and I run every year was scheduled for the same day. I love the Running Scared and it’s one of my favorite 5ks. It’s in Reading and you run through a cemetery and the race ends in a party at the Community Rec Center. There’s a band and a chili cook off and it’s really fun. No biggie, I thought, I can do both races.

The morning of the Queen Bee we parked in Newport. Brent was meeting Paul, one of our running buddies to run in Newport before coming to meet me at the finish line. I headed over to meet my training group at the tent. I’m an idiot, and got totally confused as to where the tent was and ended up wandering aimlessly around downtown. I ran into two of my running buds, Kat and Rocio, who were lost too. Long story short, by the time we made it to the start, I had already walked 3.5 miles.

To make matters worse, I had forgotten to put the KT tape on my knee. I’ve wondered for a while if the tape actually helps or if it’s all in my head. This proved once and for all that I need the tape. My knee started to hurt at mile 9, but I soldiered through. I ended up walking the 5k that night. I had originally planned to do another 5k the next day with my friend Libby, but I was worried about my knee so I texted her and told her I couldn’t make it. I felt really bad, but I needed the rest. By the time the day was over, I had gone 24 miles!! If I hadn’t been so tired I would have done 2.2 more miles just to say I did a marathon.

Then it was off to the mountains! I spent the last week in Gatlinburg. I didn’t run but walked at least 7 miles per day. I ran for the first time in a week yesterday. I’m feeling good and ready to get back on track! My next goal is to concentrate on cleaning up my diet and working on doing more cross training.

And the world needs another running blog because?

Well, it doesn’t of course. But as to the why of this, because I love to run and I love to write. I’m not what people think of as a typical runner. I am supremely unathletic. As Mindy Kaling said, “I fluctuate between chubby and curvy.”

When I was a kid, I played soccer and basketball on my grade school teams, but I was never very good at it, and truth be told, I’d rather be curled up with a good book. I dreaded gym class. I went to a high school where sports were very important, but I was on the Academic Team. In college, the only exercise I ever got was walking to and from class and twirling around the dance floor at the Warehouse and Vertigo. (I’m really dating myself now!) I didn’t start exercising until I was out of college, and then I’d half heartedly go to the gym a few times a week.

I started running about 5 years ago, when I was in my late 30s. My husband was a runner, and he got me interested. I started by walking and jogging around our neighborhood, and did a few 5ks and 10ks. In 2014, we joined the training groups at Tri-State Running Company.  That year I ran my first half marathon, The Queen Bee, and I was hooked. It’s funny though, I always tell people that I hate running when I’m actually doing it, but I love the way I feel when I’m done.

Last year, I injured my knee and had surgery for a torn meniscus. I learned the hard way that I need to cross train, even though it bores me to tears. I’m back and I ran the Pig 1/2 back in May. I was never fast, and I’m a definite turtle now, but I’m still out there. I signed up to run the full Pig in May, and I’m going to do my best to make it to the finish line. So this is the story of me, and my journey to 26.2.