Training Update {and a wee bit of MIA}

Oh golly, Ms. Molly, I have been BUSY! And not running much. And no stretching that really matters and no strength training that I can report. Just a sore back from working way too hard and lifting way too many boxes and being stubborn and not asking for, or insisting on, help. Any tips on easing an aching lower back?

How is that for a week of training in a nutshell? But because I do believe honesty is the best policy and that this week can show making something happen with the hopes of dusting yourself off and getting to better running days as soon as possible, here is what I did:
  • Monday: 1 mile outside, average pace 8'39"
  • Tuesday: 3 miles outside, average pace 9'22"
  • Wednesday: 1.6 miles outside, average pace 8'49" and 1.1 miles outside, average pace 8'59"
  • Thursday: 1.15 miles outside, average pace 10'11" and my stress level is through the roof
  • Friday: 1.5 miles outside, average pace 9'50" and I am not sleeping well
  • Saturday: 1.0 mile on the treadmill, average pace 10'00" and today is race director day
  • Sunday: 1.0 mile on the treadmill, average pace 10'00" and it is my standard rest day mile for God day but I was beat
My hope was to build up miles post Maui Oceanfront Marathon and to run happy and strong to balance the building stress of directing the Run & Walk for the Whales. Some may see the mileage run and see failure as miles are pretty non-existent but if I am honest with myself I can see the success too (as long as I let go of that shameful pride and ego thing).

Prior to December 30, 2011 (day 1 of my running streak), this time of year would result in days...even weeks...of NO running. So that little running up there...it is better than none even if I wish that my January miles were a whole lot more.

We cannot always get what we hope for but I did get something truly unexpected. I got to meet this guy....Guy. He has run 7 consecutive Run & Walk for the Whales but last year life got the best of him....or should I say....dehydration. He collapsed and my volunteer on the course, who happened to be a nurse, caught him. I got to hug and talk to this guy and introduce him to his angel and made a new life-long friend. God bless Guy!

And who can not cherish this photo of him placing third behind Wild Bill (may he rest in peace) and dear hubby two years ago.

So in a nutshell, life doesn't always toss you what you want. In all reality, what you think you want may not even be what you really want. But life will toss you things that are so much better if you are willing to let go of your preconceived notions and ideals and follow the path God has set for you. I knew I was meant to run for years. I knew it was something my spirit was meant to do. I never knew I would be directing races and touching lives...and more importantly/accurately...that their lives and stories would touch mine.
Coming in with the final half marathoner Saturday - she has been battling plantar fasciatis

Running with Roosevelt and his 50th half marathon in memory of his brother
Daily Gratitude: I am thankful that today is day 1497 of my running streak and even if it is just a mile, it means so much more.

Daily Bible Verse: But I will sing of your strength, in the morning I will sing of your love; for you are my fortress, my refuge in times of trouble. ~ Psalm 59:16

P.S. I do promise to get to blogging more beyond the weekly updates as soon as work calms down and my world stops spinning. Love and hugs!


Training Report and #irun4toby Mission Update

I can't believe it has been just 8 days since I ran my 9th marathon! How exciting is that?! And things get even better as I feel my recovery from race day has been awesome and I attribute that to two things: I have been running daily since December 30, 2011 and I run by feel post marathon and do not start pushing distance or pace until I naturally fall back into my normal pace.

Let me show you what I mean. I ran my marathon at an overall 10'26" pace. Not quite where I want to be in that game but I am happy since I stayed mentally strong and I have Operation Get Stronger in 2016 set and ready to roll.

Here are my post-marathon runs and race day was on Sunday so this is perfect!

  • Monday: 1 mile at a 11'36" pace outside
  • Tuesday: 1.15 miles at a 10'26" pace outside
  • Wednesday: 1.25 miles at a 9'43" pace outside and legs pretty much back to normal
  • Thursday: 1.0 mile at a 9'00" pace outside
  • Friday: 1.0 mile at a 10'00" pace on my treadmill
  • Saturday: 4.0 miles at an overall pace of 9'07" with speed and hill work on my treadmill
  • Sunday: 1.0 mile at a 10'00" pace on my treadmill (my normal rest day mile for God)

On Saturday I also started some weights and push up's and will get that structured ASAP but this Saturday is the Run & Walk for the Whales (the race I direct) and on the 13th, it is World Whale Day (another HUGE work day for me) so work is beyond crazy and right now just making it to the next day is a huge accomplishment.

And for some fun, here is my #irun4toby Mission Update stats:

And for more fun, some cool tidbits of stats from Daily Mile for my training since August 3, 2015.

That's a lot of beer and donuts! And nope, I didn't consume that much of neither of them.

But I like my overall pace but would love to see that move down.

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for the cool stats from Daily Mile PRO.

Daily Bible Verse: In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. ~ Proverbs 3:6


Maui Oceanfront Marathon Race Recap

Sunday I completed my 9th marathon. My first was in September 2011 and I am very happy that in less than 5 years, I made it to #9. This wasn't my fastest marathon. I set my marathon PR in December 2013. Falling short of a PR may bring some people down and trust me, some races were emotional roller coasters for me. My marathon in September 2013 is a prime example of that but I think the more marathons I run and/or the closer I come to God perspective changes. My September 2014 marathon is a great example of my perspective changing thanks to God. And Sunday's race, it was perfection minus a PR. Yep, even though I didn't place or PR I think it was the best marathon ever with a time of 4:33:40 (official). My GPS said 4:33:38. No crying over 2 seconds. It makes no difference. Time makes no difference. At least, not for me.

Race prep
Going into this race dear hubby said what he always says, you are going to PR or come close. I wasn't selling myself short when I said, nope, I am going to run and have fun. I knew my training was thrown off kilter by life and wasn't going to set myself up for emotional failure. I knew I was going to run this race well and be proud of myself. I just didn't realize how awesome I would do mentally and that, my friend, is HUGE in a marathon.

Many marathons I have said, NEVER AGAIN! I QUIT! And yet I keep coming back because those are just moments of weakness but still, when running 26.2 miles you need to keep those moments away.

Dear hubby dropped me off at the start and after spending almost 30 minutes in the porta potty line, I made it to the start just in time. This is a large race series but in the marathon, there were only about 500 or so runners. Small playing field but after looking at the finish times, it draws the speedsters! And a lot of marathon maniacs! They were everywhere easily identified by their running shirts. 

My goal was to not run with music the whole time so when I discovered my "broken" yurbud I wasn't concerned too much. Bummed since it was brand new but knew I could run with one ear bud in and discovered the other would still fit in but would be missing the wrap around ear part. I later discovered this piece comes on and off. Oh if I only knew then! I may have searched in the pitch black for it for a nanosecond.

And yes, it was dark for the first hour and a half or so. I had a little light on me but mainly one so people can see me. Not one that lights my path but there were runners with headlights around me for most of the start that guided me. There was only one guardrail I almost ran into while progressing from South Kihei Road to North Kihei Road. I knew this stretch was tricky and slowed down and wished there was someone with a headlight. I was a-okay and made it to the road and kept on running.

My pace was solid and perhaps a bit too fast but hard to tell since it did have some downhill running. I knew hills were coming so ran by feel and kept my rate of perceived exertion where I felt it should be. When we approached the hills I put in my music and ran happy, in more ways then one. The second song to come on was Open the Eyes of my Heart and I was in bliss. Darling daughter and the other kiddo's had this song at their First Reconciliation so I knew all the hand moments and ran along singing by hand. Yep, people may have thought I was crazy but I was praising God, thinking of darling daughter, running up hills along the ocean, and seeing whales! Don't mess with a happy running {Catholic} mom.

This course runs along some of the same course of the Maui Marathon and I was getting to that part again. The part that gets to me every. single. time. My pace slowed more than I wanted so I stopped the music thinking the slower, yet inspirational, tunes may be impacting my pace. Eventually I realized that wasn't the case and yes, I did listen to music later on.

Around mile 17 my mind was getting more focused but yet a bit weak and it was great seeing a running friend, Trish (may her plantar fasciatas heal up quickly!). I thought about offering my suffering up to God but wondered, can I offer up suffering I chose to endure? As I reflected on this I did make the instant decision to stop all negative thoughts and related them to the devil trying to convince me I am weak and incapable. I imagined stomping on him and turning to God and then it hit me. I have ALWAYS said my spirit was meant to run. I am running because God gave me running legs and this marathon, and every other run, is meant to do His work and glorify Him and I would. I promised God that in my write-up I would honestly tell my story.

You see, I prayed throughout that race. Not continuously but I did keep going back to prayer. I prayed for my family, I prayed for persecuted Christians, I prayed for those who died, I prayed for those in purgatory, I prayed for post-abortive moms and that they find healing in God, I prayed for the end of abortion, I prayed for Toby and his family, and I prayed prayers of thanksgiving for being able to run, for mountains, for the ocean, for humpback whales, for seeing three humpback whales, and I prayed for the ambulance going by. I prayed as I do for every emergency responder rushing by with lights. I am talking the sign of the cross and my prayer to God that He is with the emergency responders and those in need. And for some reason, that ambulance got two prayers from me that day. I have grown confident enough in my faith that I don't think twice about doing the sign of the cross while running and praying.

I was thankful only one ambulance rushed by but after learning later that a runner did go down and was revived by CPR by other runners that one ambulance could have been one too many. If I am getting this right, he was doing the half marathon out and back but the details don't matter. What matters is, he is recovering. Dear God, bless those runners and all the emergency responders that aided this man. May he continue to grow stronger and recovery. Bring peace to him and his wife. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen.

But back to running....

I stayed mentally strong and yes, I did walk but when I did, I was in complete control and this was the first time this happened. Often once I walk, the walking gets longer and longer and out of my control. At mile 20 the walk thought entered as many were walking around me. I knew I didn't need to walk yet and told myself, go a mile and think about it then. At mile 21 I said, go one more mile and think about it then. By this time the want was greater as my hip was getting tighter.

As I approached mile 22 I knew a walk was needed and I set my plan. Okay, you can walk at the mile marker but only for 0.2 miles, then run 0.8 miles. That was my plan until the end. And I stuck to it, kinda sorta, at mile 25 I walked 0.15 miles and ran to the finish line. Total walking distance: 0.75 miles. All under my control and yes, it helped the hip tightness.

Unofficial time
And as I approached the finish I saw dear hubby who cheered me on and told me just a couple hundred more yards or so. I have no idea how long that is but I do know I had another 0.25 miles to go. I couldn't speak to thank him but gave a shaka and thumbs up. I was focused and from pictures, not smiling on the outside but I was inside. I was happy. I was in control even if my pace was slower than I hoped. I was completing my 9th marathon!

My marathon was fueled by SOS Rehydrate (a citrus berry mix - I put two berry stix and one citrus stix in my CamelBak) and by four Huma gels taken at miles 6, 11, 16, and 21. After I finished, I drank a small bottle of water with mango SOS Rehydrate and wiped down with my ShowerPill athletic wipe. And guess what? They had Oreos at the food table and Oreos are dairy free! I ate two and some orange slices.

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for my running legs.

Daily Bible Verse: Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. ~ James 1:2-3


Training Report and Mission Update

Aloha and Happy Monday!

I still can't finish a cup of coffee without having to heat it up again as it gets cold. Does anyone else have this problem or is it just me?

I ran 35 miles last week with 26.2 miles yesterday at the Maui Oceanfront Marathon. Stay tuned for that race report but I will tell you this, I am happy with my run and nope, I did not PR.

It was a great week and I did awesome eating a hard boiled egg and banana for breakfast and a salad every day for lunch (except for one day where I broke down and bought a turkey and avocado sandwich). I am still doing my hot lemon water daily and trying to focus more and more on hydration, hydration, hydration. I am so busy at work I forget to drink (hence the cold coffee).

Plus I decided I really don't like alcohol. I informally gave it up at the start of the year with the idea drink rarely so when dear hubby offered me a Corona light on taco night and it tasted nice but I had the worst time sleeping that night. My alcohol side effect and why I gave it up. I really can't tolerate any! And yesterday he offered me some wine to congratulate our marathon finishing and I took the tiniest sip and gave it back saying, "No, thank you." He looked a bit bummed but I need to help him see it is nothing against him. I didn't like it. I just wanted my warm ginger green tea (warm because it was no longer hot as it sat waiting for me). Maybe I am getting.....old. eek!

But onto happier things, even though I am not doing yoga per se, I spent time each day stretching and moving into those yoga poses that truly help open my hips and stretch out my legs. 

And here is my current position on my misison to run to Toby in Nebraska. He is my buddy that I was matched with through I Run for Michael. He has Down syndrome and I run for him and to raise awareness about Down syndrome and one day, I will wrap my arms and hug this little boy who I have fallen in love with. He is a trooper and his mom is REMARKABLE!

My goal this week: To blog at least twice! I would love to get back to three posts a week. I will get there. Did I mention work being busy?

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful I finished my 9th marathon.

Daily Bible Verse: No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it. ~ 1 Corinthians 10:13