Wednesday, December 2, 2009

I'm back!

It's been a while, but I'm back!  For various reasons, I have taken a break from running for a month or so.  But now I'm back and training for the Mercedes Half  in February.  It's going to be a stretch to get back up to that distance, but I think I can do it.

I met with my friend Jill last night and did an easy three miles.  It was my first cold run of the year and I forgot my inhaler so there were a few more walk breaks than I intended.  I learned my lesson though.  My inhaler is back in my purse.  We're meeting again Friday morning to run again. 

Tuesday, August 4, 2009


I slept through my alarm this morning. I was supposed to meet some friends to go running. I was super tired though seeing as I slept through my alarm and was a walking zombie until about ten minutes after I got out of the shower.

I'll probably run on the treadmill tonight to make up for it. I really hate the treadmill, but I wasn't able to exercise all weekend (was out of town at a baby shower) and I start to go a little stir-crazy when I don't exercise more than three days in a row.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Perfect day last Saturday, perfect run. The temperature was a perfect 65 degrees when we started. Previously, the longest run I'd done in a long time was 5 miles. But I was able to run the whole 7 miles and still felt great at the end. I'm sure it was because of the low humidity. It makes all the difference in the world.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

I got sick a few weeks ago and and still not 100% better. I don't know what it was, but I had a lot of sinus drainage and even had a fever for a few days. I didn't run at all that week. The next week, I was feeling better so I tried running one morning before work. I felt like crap afterwards and went home to sleep instead of going into work. I tried to run again last night. It ended being more of a 3 mile run/walk because it was so hot outside.

The group run this Saturday is 7 miles. A friend of mine and I are altering the route so that we only run 5 miles. We're going to take it very slowly. It's supposed to cool off on Saturday, so that should help matters.

No race plans on the horizon, just running when I feel like it.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Cahaba River Ramble 5k

Here are some pics from my most recent 5k. It was a gorgeous day, before the heat wave hit.

It's officially summer. The temperature has been well into the 90s for the past week at least so now running in the morning has become a necessity. Time to break out the sunvisor and sunscreen!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

I was finally able to go on my first run after the marathon yesterday. The weather was gorgeous. Sunny and around 70 degrees. I met Carmen and Jill, two of my good running buddies, at the Lakeshore trail and we ran an easy three miles. I can definitely tell I've been sick. My legs felt like jelly afterwards and I was way too tired for only having run 3 miles. But it was great to be running again and to catch up with friends. I'll probably go to the Trak Shak run Wednesday night after work. Hopefully the weather will cooperate.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Pic from Country Music Marathon

Once I manage to get more I'll post them here. But here's the one I have.
It was very windy and the background was blowing over on us, that's why I look so awkward.

Monday, May 11, 2009

My 7 day break from running after the marathon has turned into 16 days of no running. Right as I was feeling recovered and ready to run I got sick. I got some kind of virus, which combined with my allergies and left me feeling pretty crummy for well over a week.

I missed two days of work because of it, and the other days I've just been able to drag myself out of bed to get done what needs to get done and then fall back into it, only to not be able to sleep because of massive coughing fits.

I've tried everything under the sun to get rid of this cough. I drank a nasty concoction of ginger, cayenne pepper, apple cider vinegar and honey. Amazingly it worked. Burned like hell going down, but it calmed down the cough enough for me to get to sleep.

I went out with my cousin for her birthday this weekend and I'm sure the smoky bar environment did not do anything to help the cough. But I ordered a hot toddy, which was disgusting, but it also helped the cough somewhat.

Last night, I did a nebulizer treatment at home and then took a hot bath. For the first time since I've been sick, I went 15 minutes without coughing. As soon as I got out of the bath it came back of course, but those 15 minutes were bliss.

I think I've been through 4 or 5 bags of cough drops and need to buy more today. I called my doctor and asked if they could call me in some prescription strength cough suppressant.

I'm hoping to finally be able to run this weekend. Fingers crossed.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Marathon Recap

This is going to be long, but I want to write everything down about my first marathon.

I got off work Friday and went to meet Ira, my running buddy who was running the marathon with me. We met at her office and after she got her stuff squared away we got on the road to Nashville. The drive was a lot quicker than I expected it to be. We drove straight to the Expo so we could pick up our packets. I was number 21457. I picked up my bib, got my shirt and then we walked around the Expo. We randomly ran into Danny, our running coach. We also saw Catherine, a girl who was in our Couch to 5K group. Danny told us about plans to meet up at a bar (of course, if you know Danny) later. We shopped some more after that. I got a new running skirt and top from Brooks that was 20% off.

Then we went to the bar and met with Danny, his wife, and some of the other people who were in Nashville for the race. After that, it was on to dinner. We had dinner with the group and after visiting awhile eventually headed to the hotel. We spent a little while getting all of our stuff together for the next morning since we were going to have to get up super early (4:00). Ira gave me a necklace with a 26.2 pendant on it. I'll have to take a picture of it, it's really cute.
Then we went to bed. Up until then I had been super tired and was looking forward to going to bed. But once I actually laid down, it hit me. Holy crap, I'm going to run a marathon! So I was wide awake and tossed and turned for over an hour before I fell asleep. It seemed like 10 minutes passed and it was time to get up. We showered, got all of our stuff packed up, reloaded the car and drove to LP Field where the finish line is. There were shuttles from our hotel, but they cost $20. We decided to drive to save money, and because we wanted to have immediate access to the car when we were done.

There were port-a-potties there and I thought about using one, but decided against it. That would come back to haunt me in the race. We stood in line for the shuttle to take us to the Start line. We probably waited 45 minutes before we got on a bus.

After a short drive to the start, it was time to line up. There were more port-a-potties at the start, but we decided to wait and just use one during the race since there was a pretty big line. Again, bad idea.

I was put in corral 21, but because it was going to be such a hot day, we maneuvered ourselves into corral 18. I was wearing a long-sleeve throw-away shirt because we thought it would be cooler at the beginning and I didn't want to waste any energy shivering. But it was 73 degrees already when we got there so I took the shirt off and put it on the gate that kept the racers in line. There was a lady standing there and I told her free shirt if she wanted it. I actually saw her later on in the race on the sidelines and she was carrying the shirt!

So then the race started. They start the corrals in waves so that everyone gets spaced out. We didn't cross the start line until about 40 minutes after the first gun went off. I started off feeling good. It was hot, but we were running for 5 minutes, walking for 1. At mile 3 I saw the first person go down. There was a girl lying on the sidewalk. Someone was with her and I heard an ambulance coming to pick her up. The first of many. Around mile 5 my stomach started grumbling. This will be tmi for a lot of you, so I apologize in advance. All of the shaking from running seems to shake up my stomach and I get some rather uncomfortable side effects, i.e. diarrhea. If I can go before I run it's normally ok, but like I said earlier, I decided against using the port-a-potty. Every set of port-a-potties we came across had long lines, so we decided to try to stick it out until mile 11, when the marathoners broke off from the people doing the half. My stomach was warning me, but it wasn't too bad. So around mile 9 my stomach said no more and I told Ira that I needed to go, line or not. Just then, we came across some and there was no line!!! I ran straight to it, and hallelujah there was toilet paper!!! I felt much better after that.
It didn't last for long though. The heat was getting to me. Around mile 8 I had started to get tired, which worried me. From all that I've been told, the first 10 miles of a marathon should be easy. The second ten, you should be pushing yourself and the last 6.2 are done on adrenaline. Being tired at mile 8 isn't a good sign. We got to the mile 11 turn off (where there was an Elvis impersonator directing people). Ira took my picture with him and we moved on to the rest of the course. By mile 13 I had changed to a run 3 minutes, walk 1 minute because I just couldn't run for 5 minutes straight. None of my training runs have been in the heat so I just wasn't acclimated to it. I started getting nauseated and dizzy. Ira had some ginger chews that helped with the nausea. I HATE the taste of ginger, but had about five of them over the course of the marathon because it was either that or yak on the side of the road.

Miles 13 to 18 are kind of a blur to me. I remember going by a river. I remember one of the water stops where a group of cheerleaders was handing out ice cold wet paper towels. Lots of people had hoses and were spraying people down. It was that hot out. Towards the end I started taking two cups of water at each stop. I would drink one and pour the other over my head. With the way I was feeling, I probably should have stopped. I was close to passing out more than once. But I wanted to finish. If Ira hadn't been there with me I wouldn't have finished. But she really helped encourage me. I was feeling so bad that she ran ahead into a gas station and bought a cold bottle of gatorade. That seemed to help me. I also ate a salt packet at one of the water stops to try to replenish my electrolytes.

At mile 18 a blister that had formed on my little toe popped. It was the most disgusting feeling. I felt it squish in my sock. And it hurt a lot. I had to limp two miles before we found a medical tent. I stopped there so they could bandage up the popped blister and they saw that I had another on my big toe so they drained that one and bandaged it up too. This was at mile 20, so 6.2 more to go.

The last 6 miles or so are an out and back loop, which is really insanity-inducing after you've been that far. I felt like crap so we were walking at that point. Any time I tried to pick up the pace and run I would feel like passing out. So we stuck to walking even though it meant we would go over the official time limit. I didn't care at that point, I just wanted to finish the damn thing.

At two miles left to go we saw Ira's friend Marcy. She just ran the Boston marathon last week so she wasn't running this race. She walked with us for a while and gave us some Powerade. It was a nice distraction to talk to her. She left us right as we were getting to the finish line. Ira ran ahead so she could get a picture of me finishing. I mustered up all the strength I had left so that I could run across the finish line. My official time was 7:21:40. I was expecting to finish in 5 1/2 hours so this was way over that. I just wasn't ready for the conditions. A lot of other people weren't either. I saw at least 8 ambulances pass me to go pick up people. One guy actually died. He collapsed after finishing the half. After hearing that, I was glad we slowed down. I'd rather have a slow marathon time and still be alive to tell about it. I'm pretty sure I was suffering from heat exhaustion. I couldn't stop shaking after the race. That lasted all day even on the drive home. I took an electrolyte pill, drank a lot of gatorade and made sure to eat some salty food for dinner that night. I wasn't hungry at all. The thought of food made my stomach turn. I even turned down a candy bar, which is just unheard of for me.

In addition to the heat exhaustion and blisters, I got really sunburned. I had on spf 75 sunscreen, but it either sweat off or wore off, we were out there so long. I also got some unfortunate chafing. Think, inner thigh, as far up as you can go. When I took a shower is when I first felt it. I almost passed out in the shower it hurt so bad! I had to sit down and just wait for the pain to go away.

So that's my first marathon story. Even with all the crappy stuff, I'm glad I did it and will definitely do another. I'll wait until cooler weather comes though. And sadly, all of the pictures that Ira took during the race got deleted. :( Her husband loaded them to the computer (or so he thought) and then deleted them from the camera. But they weren't on the computer. So I'm kind of sad about that. But there will be the official pictures that I can get. They should be online soon, so when I get those I'll post them.

I really don't believe that anyone will read this far. This is a long post, but I wanted to remember everything about the marathon.

I can honestly say that was the HARDEST thing I have ever done.

Monday, March 9, 2009

I don't know why the pictures in my last post are coming out so big. If you click on them you can see the whole picture.

Snickers Marathon 2009 - Albany, Georgia

This was a last-minute race for me. Ira, one of my running buddies, called me and asked if I would like to go with her. She was running the full, and the person going with her got sick. I checked with work and was able to get a half day off so I told her I would go.

Albany is about a four hour drive from Birmingham so we left around 1:00. The drive was pretty uneventful. We went straight to the expo so Ira could pick up her packet and I could register for the half marathon. Then, we went to the hotel to check in, then to dinner and then back to the hotel to get some good sleep before the run.

The weather the morning of the race was very foggy. The temperature was very comfortable, not cold at all. As soon as the race started, the half and full marathoners were separated so I pretty much ran by myself the whole time. There were three runners right by me that were walk/running the whole thing. Every time they walked I passed them. Every time they ran they passed me. It got old quickly, especially since they were almost blocking the whole road while they walked. So around mile 6 I kicked it up and got ahead and stayed ahead of them. I felt it at the end though. I was dead tired by mile 11. But I finished and felt pretty good when I was done.

Ira improved her marathon time by 12 minutes which is awesome! After the race we walked around the Mardi Gras celebration that was going on a few blocks away. Then it was time to pack up and come home.

All in all, I had a really good time with Ira. Albany is a very flat course and I think I might go back next year and do the full marathon!

Mercedes pictures

Kind of late, but better late than never!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Mercedes Marathon 2009

The Mercedes Marathon was this weekend. I only ran the half since my training has been so crazy lately. The weather was gorgeous. A little chilly at first, but it warmed up pretty quickly. I was able to wear shorts and short sleeves. The course changed this year and was much better than last year. I ended up doing the whole thing by myself. Two of the girls that I trained with to do the full were ahead of me and one was behind me because she was walk/running the whole thing. I’m kind of glad now that I ran the whole way by myself. It gives me confidence that I can run a full by myself if I need to.

I originally said that I didn’t like that the course was a double loop. I’m still not a big fan, but it was so cool to see the winner race by on his way to the finish (at that point I was around mile 9). There was a huge caravan of police and news vehicles surrounding him. That was pretty cool.

There was the traditional beer and donut “water” stop near the end of the race. I didn’t take any. I did have a fig newton and part of an orange during the race. I don’t even like oranges. Orange juice yes, but I don’t eat oranges. Well I ate this one and it was the best orange I’ve ever had. I had another one when I finished.

My friend Andrea was there at the finish line to greet me when I got done even though she wasn’t having the best day. I’m so glad she was there, otherwise no one would have cheered for me. (Eric was home sick, he’s still sick). She got to see the results of not using Body Glide on my inner thighs. They were bloody. It was yummy. My time was 2:40:44. Last year’s time was 2:44:48 so I improved my time by 4 minutes! Woot.

After the race I went to the Expo and got some food. Then I went back to the finish line to wait on the marathoners. Meg came in first looking strong. She and Ira started the race together. Ira showed up about 20 minutes later I think. She had some stomach problems throughout the course but she made it to the end. Linsday came in right before the six hour time limit. Her whole family was there to see her finish. She’s 60 years old and ran her first marathon. That’s awesome. Her son ran the marathon too. His first ever. And his longest training run was 8-10 miles. He finished in 4 ½ hours. Loser. He didn’t think he would finish that soon so none of his family was there.

That night we met up with the group at Sweet Bones Alabama for dinner. We had the back room of the restaurant and the service was horrible! It took 30 minutes to get our drink order . Finally we just paid for our drinks and drive down the road to Johnny Rockets. I ate way too much. A milkshake, fries and a cheeseburger. Obviously I wasn’t vegan or vegetarian that night. I need to get back on the bandwagon. I’m thinking of doing 30 days vegan again. Just need to pick a date.

I still want to run a full marathon. Right now I'm thinking of the Country Music Marathon which is in Nashville on April 25th. Still not decided about it though.

Pictures will come in the next post when I get them off of my camera and steal some that Andrea took!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

My running partner didn't show up this morning (got an email from her that she had a bad headache) so I ran by myself.

If you know me, you know that I HATE running by myself. If I had to do this on my own, I would have never started running. But I was up, it was 5:30 in the morning, I was 35 minutes from home so I sucked it up and did it. Five miles. It was warm outside so I actually broke a sweat. That hasn't happened in a while. We've had some very cold weather here lately. The sky was overcast, so while it wasn't very pretty, the warm temps and the chirping birds made up for it.

The first two miles were kind of rough for me. I was mentally psyching myself out the whole time. Once I got past the halfway point it was easier. I had some unpleasantness about midway through the run. A guy was coming up behind me and it was obvious that he was faster than me. But it seemed like he slowed down as he got closer to me. He sounded like a freaking clydesdale behind me. His footsteps were very heavy and he was panting very loudly. Then, when he was about five feet behind me it sounded like he hacked up part of his lung and spit it out on the sidewalk. Gross. At that point I slowed down so that he would finally pass me. Thankfully he did.

The rest of the run was uneventful. My left hamstring is still a little tight. It's not really sore anymore, but I can feel it, especially when I'm getting out of the car. It's making me feel old.

My schedule for this week is: spin tomorrow morning, pilates Thursday morning, maybe running Friday morning (or rest day), 5k Saturday morning and then the half marathon on Sunday!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Again I’m bad at updating. It’s been over a month. There’s been a lot going on in that month.

I came down with strep throat which knocked me out for a while. I wasn’t able to run for about nine days. Missed my first 20 mile run. It took me awhile to recover from that.

I’ve also had some stress at wrok. My company let go 1200 people so I was super stressed out about that. Thankfully I still have a job.

The final straw came this past weekend. I ran 13 miles on Saturday. I was supposed to do 21 miles to keep up with the marathon training, but my left hip was hurting. The next day I could barely move. I did something to my hamstring. I haven’t run all week because of it. I finally took a spin class this morning and am planning on running tomorrow morning. But this means I’ll only be running the half marathon next weekend instead of the full. I’m sad, because I’ve been training for four months to do this. And it was going so well until I got sick. But there will always be other marathons. I’m going to run the half, confident that I can do it and I;ll be at the finish line to cheer my fellow runners on who are running the full.

Monday, January 5, 2009

17 miles!

Wow, long time no post! I haven't really felt like there was a lot to post about. But this weekend was another milestone. My first 17 mile run. And like my other long runs I felt great until about mile 13 and then I started to go downhill. But I'll start from the beginning.

I met my marathon partners at 5:45 so we could run 5 miles before the big group was running 12. About halfway there it started pouring down rain. But I kept driving and amazingly everyone showed up even though it was pouring. It didn't let up so we decided to wait it out and do the extra five miles after the 12 instead of before. I'll never do that again! I think I would rather run in the rain and get it over with!

Like I said, the first 12 miles were great. I was feeling good. Even though I need new shoes and it was a grey, misty, dreary day it was a good run. Then we started our last five miles. My legs started to feel heavy and my feet started to drag. But we all finished. And I could still stand and walk around which is always a bonus.

I've ordered some new shoes and should have them by tomorrow which means I'll get to break them in a bit before the long run of 19 miles this Saturday.

I kind of feel like I'm getting sick though, which is not good. I've had a stuffy nose and a tickle in my throat since yesterday. I might stop by the drug store on the way home and stock up on Vitamin C and Zycam to hold it at bay. I really don't need to get sick right now!