Monday, April 29, 2013

The Last Hurrah....Maybe

Yep it's been a while.....but the good news, I'm still running.....Alot!

A long while back I signed up for the Biltmore 15k on May 19th.  I love the race and haven't run it for a while.  I also knew it would be a good race to put on the calendar to keep me running through winter.  But then along cam a very enticing trail race....The Cradle to the Grave 30k with promising views and a fairly flat course other than the 900 foot climb to take in the views, but mild for Western NC.  Problem, race day May 18th!   After some thought I decided what the heck, not running for time, I've always wanted to comp,tee a longer distance trail run.  So I'm in, for both!  27 plus miles in two days... I'm training as if running a marathon.

I'm excited for this challenge, and I'm looking at it as a possible last hurrah.  We are hoping to add to our family soon and it is always unsure with my syndrome as to what running will look like after another pregnancy.  So why not:-)

A couple things: I have gotten faster, I cam climb hills and mountains (although fast no linger applies on these), and I'm enjoying the push to accomplish something I've never done before.  Here we go, it's taper time.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

From 0 to 26.2

I FINISHED, or should I say WE finished!  

It's been a week since I crossed the finish line and I finally have some time to sit and put it into words.  This will be a no picture post, I am working on putting the pictures into a video to share which I already titled: A Journey from 0 to 26.2!

A week ago Friday we packed up and headed out on our way to Chattanooga.  Before we left I grabbed my Lovenox shot and debated for a moment why I didn't pick a marathon less than four hours away, but that faded, I jabbed the shot in my stomach and got in the car.  One thing that scared me is that the Lovenox shots make me dizzy and give me a horrible headache for anywhere from 12 to 24 hours, it was 2:00 pm on Friday.

We arrived in Ft. Oglethorpe, Georgia to an amazing house 600 feet from the start line of the race.  The entire family was staying in this historic house that used to be the band barracks in the war.  It was awesome.  After dinner and some chatting I headed to bed.  Not a lot of sleep to be had but enough.  At about 2:30 am I was awakened by my niece yelling for her mom and realized my headache was gone, Praise the Lord!

6:30 am Saturday morning, I was up and getting ready.  It was awesome because we would usually be headed to the parking lot, but this time we were taking our time since we were walking to the race!  I kissed the hubs and Will and headed that way with enough GU for the trip!

The cannon went off and off we went.  I ran with my mom for about 6 miles until the half marathoners took a turn and went on my way.  Mile 6 to 13 were horrible, I wanted to quit but figured it was fear and kept running.  At 14 my legs found themselves and I felt great.  I passed the 15.5 mile mark where I DNF'd in 2008 and thanked God for strength to press on.  Miles came and went and it was awesome.  

22.5 miles, where did that wall come from? I hit it and kept plugging!  God blessed me with the peace to find my groove, I got into the music and ran ahead.  At 25.5 I saw my dad waiting, I was literally dancing to Lady Gaga I was so excited I was almost there!  

Right at about 26 miles you round the turn to head down the hill to the finish line.  That is when I saw him, Will came running up the road to dad and I.  He jumped in my arms and ran the rest of the way with me.  I was holding back the tears only because I still needed to breathe!

We ran by my family and my sister's great friends and through the finish line!  26.2 miles done!  On March 22nd, 2010 I couldn't run 2 feet, on November 10th, 2012 I ran 26.2 miles.  I am not embarrassed by my time, it took me 5 hours and 15 minutes, by far my slowest but more importantly my most meaningful 26.2 miles ever.  God is good!

Hebrews 12:1 "....let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross..."

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

2 Miles. Really?

Tonight my training plan called for a 2 mile run, yep two! And yes in third grade I nervously misspelled the word two in the spelling bee, and I cried! So tonight, being a good follower of the plan, I set out to run two miles, four loops around the neighborhood, BORING!

I will confess, as I got dressed I was debating the worth of this run. In fact it took me longer to get all my clothes on than it did to run, four boring circles around the neighborhood with the dog!  But as I ran it came to me, this was huge, yep this two mile run was huge!  

As I rounded the last corner tears came to my eyes.  Not because i was crying from boredom or crying from fatigue, but because I realized that a couple years ago I was longing to run two miles and I couldn't run two feet.  I was terrified that I may never run again.P

So tonight, I ran two miles, it started out dull but ended in a wave of emotions.  18 weeks of training has gone by and this two mile run was my shortest but one of my most meaningful runs.  I would have done anything to run those two miles years ago, and tonight they wrap up training to run 26.2 miles on Saturday, God is good!

Saturday, November 3, 2012


This morning it was a chilly 30 something in Asheville!  I got up a little later thanks to the darkness and the cold (and the hubs being home for the morning) and headed to my last Saturday run before the race.  I was alone, one of those weekends everyone had some different Saturday schedules.
This week has been a bit tough, my mind has played some games along with the weather!  All week my leg has hurt, its been a little swollen, breathing hasn't been the best, a cold came around, and my right abdominal region started to hurt.  These are things I never used to worry about, but now I am no longer the healthy 31 year old that runs marathons, I am the healthy 31 year old that runs marathons but has a history of a massive blood clot.  I have learned to take it easy though and see how it goes, nothing has gotten worse so I keep on going. 
This morning was my last Saturday taper before race week, 8 miles, and it felt amazing!  I love running in the cold once I get started, my leg loves it too!  And I got to look at this sunrise for about 4 miles!
So now I sit and look ahead, I am a week away from the day I have been training for since 18 weeks ago, the day I have longed for since 2.5 years ago, and the day that I thought may never come again. 
I am thankful, I am so nervous, I am so excited, I am so blessed!
A couple prayer requests (small ones at that):
That my leg holds up
That the weather stays cool (preferably nothing above 55:-)
That my mind not get the best of me
And that I NEVER forget to say thank you for each step I take!
All the way my Savior leads me, cheers each winding path I tread!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Ah the Taper!

Well, I have officially made it, to the taper!  I'm not usually good about the taper, I get stir crazy, but this time, I am thrilled!  My leg is ready for a break before the big day in 2 weeks!  I can't believe it!
I have now run two 18 mile runs.  The first one rocked, the second one was tough but I had great company!  I decided against 20 miles due to the recovery time of my leg.  Its all about heart at that point anyway!
So here I am 2 weeks from the day I have longed for.  And here are some thoughts:
1. I am at the point where 3 mile runs are harder than 12!
2. I have now run farther than I ever dreamed since having Will
3. I have enjoyed friends and family during many runs
4. My leg is making it, swollen but getting it done
5. Asheville decided to get hot this week and scared me until I saw the cold for next week!  I need cold on race day!
6. God is good, all the time!
I am so excited and nervous all the same, but I know that it will be mostly a mind game, and that no matter what, I have accomplished more than I ever imagined with this leg!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

A Long Way Down the Road

Its been a while since I posted, but that doesn't mean I haven't been running!  It means I have been juggling a full time job, mommyhood, and the increasing miles of marathon training.  I am loving every minute!
Just a review of the last few weeks, I have hit almost every run except one weekend, a light weekend, that my leg wasn't feeling it.  So I went a few miles short.  I ran my longest run since December of 2008, 16 miles, and it felt awesome.  I actually cried a couple of times it was so amazing.
So...present day....this was a big week, lots of miles, long midweek run, and a big run today.  But first I want to set the stage, to try and give you a sense of why this marathon training and hopefully marathon on November 10th is such a big deal and what it feels like to me.
2.5 years ago I cried at the thought of having to get up and walk across our house (small house too) because it hurt so bad to move my leg.  2.5 years ago, I screamed in anger because I didn't even have a desire to take the BOB out, I put Will in the tiny Graco frame and cried at the pain of walking 20 feet around the cul-d-sac.  A week later I had surgery, my leg was stiff and it hurt to walk.  I cried some more.  At that point I was in a daze of anger and hurt, I wasn't even thinking about not running again, running seemed like such a crazy thing to even have a desire to do.
But then I began to wonder, would I ever run again, would I be able to run a 5K.  A marathon was not a consideration.  I had given up on trying.  Then I gradually checked off some miles, some small races, some short distances, still not thinking long because it was hard enough to move my numb leg 3 miles. 
Then February of 2012 came, yep 2 years later almost, and I signed up for a full marathon in November.  That same month I ran a half, it was great but I thought to myself, I still never foresee running that full, I will probably end up doing the half.
Training came in July, I started checking off the weeks one at a time.  Things were going well.  Today was going to be the big deal, 18 miles!  I knew if I could do it, I had great chances to attempt 26.2 in November.  So here is how today went down:
I rolled out of bed at 5:30 to meet my dad downtown Asheville at 6:30.  He took me through the hills of downtown and then we headed to the Asheville flat lands.  Weather was great, things were good.  At about mile 12 my mind began to get the best of me, I was having a hard time breathing, my leg hurt, it was huge, but I wasn't ready to quit.  By the grace of God I kept going.  I began to cry, my dream was coming closer.
I had a hill to climb at 16 to about the 18 mile mark.  It was rough, but every time I thought about what I was working for, I teared up.  The last 20 feet I began to cry again until I realized I couldn't cry and breath at one time:-)  I made it and there were mom and dad at the finish.  I am on my way to November 10th with one more long run!
Overall this was my thought today, I told myself this many times, "It isn't supposed to be easy anymore, because if it was easy, I would give myself the credit.  Since it is hard, I can only credit one person, and that is the Lord himself who has allowed me to make it so far from 2.5 years ago."
And a HUGE side note: my mom ran the longest run of her life today: 9 MILES GO MOM!
A scene from my midweek run:

Saturday, September 15, 2012

By Grace.....

Today, by grace, I ran farther than I have since December 2008.  Now, let me back track a bit....
The last couple weeks have been a little rough on the marathon training.  Most of my runs have been completed but here is a brief re-cap of the last couple of weeks: Sick child, tired momma, husband working on long run days, rain, bear fears and more. 
But we pressed on and completed the big stuff and plodded through the little!  Then yesterday hit, I made my medium and medium long runs this week (missed the 3 miler) and had high hopes to run the weekend long run.  Friday came, looking pretty good.  Then Friday went like this: stop by CVS to get some stuff to help Will with some toileting stuff, go help Will, call the doctor due to his cold and running ear, told to go to the doctor, go to the doctor to hear: Pneumonia and a tube falling out, go to Walgreens to get the meds, car starts smelling in the Walgreens parking lot and is on HOT!  Mom comes to get us, we get home with meds and onward. 
So now I am tired and all I want to do is sleep in with my sick little guy, but the weather is great and I want to run.  Knowing I needed a little help to stick to it, I met my dad downtown to get started.
6:45 am, 50's outside, PERFECT!  We left the college street parking garage and headed to the start of his race, The Asheville Half!  My dad rocks and so does every other runner who did that, man its hilly!  I opted out with my leg and headed for flat land to do my run.  I was knocking off miles with ease, faster than the entire training that started in July!  I felt great!  When I got to the turn around I thought to myself, "I am going to make it walking, running, or crawling!"  I still felt good and tears came to my eyes at the thought of what this run meant! I was going to finish a 15 MILE RUN!
As I made the turn up Broadway with 3 miles left, I joined some of the runners from the race, wished them well and turned up through Montford.  I cruised back to the parking garage, tears in my eyes, and thanked the Lord that I was able to run again, and that by his grace I ran farther than I had in four years.  Man it feels good.  It is also awesome to know that I am still on track to run a marathon, again, something I never thought would be back in my life after the clot.  Praise the Lord, he is good!
Just some updates: the leg swells and still falls asleep around 4 miles, 6 miles is easier now, my medium runs are great, and my knee is starting to bother me some due to the swelling of my leg I guess. all recovers much faster than it did a month ago and no damage is being done, so I press on!
Dear Asheville Half: Thank you for letting me hi-jack a porta pot before my run:-)