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


Training Update

Happy Monday.....errr...Wednesday!

I am running a couple of days behind on my training update because the Run & Walk for the Whales is taking over my life! Stay tuned for more on that but here is a post related to it from last year.

But let's talk training!

How did this week go? Slowly but good. I ran a whole whopping 15 miles! Cringe....taper can really get to me when I see those weekly miles coming in but all in all, I am happy that I am cutting back and resting my body so that I can garden AND hurt my back trying to pull out a huge grassy weed half my size. I am happy to say within 48 hours my back was feeling better but the tight muscles around my tailbone are complaining again. I just need to stretch, stretch, stretch, and stay calm.

Mentally I am ready for race day on Sunday (yes, just 4 more sleeps until the Maui Oceanfront Marathon!) and even though I am not convinced I will PR or break 4 hours I got to say...I am okay with that. With how life has tossed things my way time doesn't really matter. I just want to run happy for Toby and to glorify God through all I do and I want to show darling daughter that no matter what, never give up. It isn't about winning. It is about doing your best and some days that best is better than other days.

A lesson we touched upon just yesterday when she wasn't feeling into going to horse lessons. We all have those days, don't we? The days when we just don't want to run, lift weights, swim, cycle, or whatever your sport of choice may be. I firmly told her, get ready and let's go. I went on to explain how it was day 1,475 of my running streak and I had days when I didn't feel like running but I NEVER regretted running. I never finished my run and said, man, I wish I didn't do that. PLUS, many times the days that were harder to pull myself up and get started ended up being the BEST run days ever! Not always but many times.

And once she was at the stables and with the pony she had no more "I don't wanna's" and got to work and guess what? She had one of her BEST lessons ever and was beaming with joy and chattering away like crazy after her lesson. Well done darling daughter, well done. And thank you God for backing up my teaching moment. Phew!

But back to my training...I have done some dietary adjustments this past week too to fine tune my nutrition and to get back on track after perhaps a few too many holiday cookies and no, I am not saying treats are forbidden. No way can I do that to myself but I do have less around (since we ate them all!).

But here is what I have incorporated:
  1. Hello hot lemon water - I start my day with a mug and often end my day with a mug. I am liking the extra vitamin C boost and the warm drink. My skin is looking better and I feel this is one reason why. Plus it is good hydration!
  2. Bye-bye Belvita - I had been eating a pack of Belvita bars pre-run with my morning coffee. I now drink the hot lemon water at home and my protein drink on my way down the mountain so I have something of value in me prior to running and work. I used to drink the protein drink post run. I do still make my morning coffee but I only take a couple of sips pre-run and save it for post run with my breakfast.
  3. Breakfast switch - I was doing steel cut oats and a banana (and sometimes berries) and I have swapped that with a hard boiled egg and still eat my banana if I have some that are still firm. Mushy bananas in oatmeal are okay but I can't eat a mushy banana. Yuck!
The hot lemon water is daily but the other two are mainly Monday-Friday on my work days with weekends being a bit different but I am thinking more protein and less carb. I just feared I wasn't getting enough protein. Plus my lunches are back to awesome salads (again Monday-Friday on most days). Weekends are my fun times! Okay, my just go with the flow days since I am tossing in family time, errands, chores, and so much more....like pulling weeds so big I hurt my back!

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful my back is feeling better.

Daily Bible Verse: That God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people's sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ's behalf: Be reconciled to God. ~ 2 Corinthians 5:19-20

P.S. For those following, here is my #run4toby mission stats for this week.


Aurorae Sport & Swim Towel Product Review

Please note: This is a sponsored post. I received product free of charge to review. I did not promise a positive review. All opinions are expressed are my own. This review does contain affiliate links.

Have you ever received something and fell instantly in love? This is my relationship for this towel. It is almost too good to use. Definitely too good to use at work and leave hanging by my desk just in case it walks away in an emergency situation in which a flood requires a towel. Okay, that emergency doesn't happen much but it has and yes, my towel has been the one to use. Why not? It is the only towel around and electronics are more important than a towel. And this Aurorae Sport & Swim Towel -- I love. As much as you can love a towel. And yes, it is available on Amazon and is Amazon Prime eligible --- even in Hawaii! Yes, it is true...not all Amazon Prime FREE shipping is eligible in Hawaii. The cost of living in paradise.

But back to the towel, it is HUGE! 32" x 68" and that is fantastic! Huge, plush, and very absorbent! The best towel ever! So I used it, loved it, and then the real test....washed it. Have you ever noticed how washing can change a towel in more ways than one? This towel came out feeling lovely and not covered with stuff from other towels. Win-Win! I love this towel so much that I am dreaming of the day that I can add two more to my collection and make them our bathroom towels - one for me, dear hubby, and darling daughter!

The color pictured above is Sanibel Sunrise and will look great in my bathroom against the pale blue walls. Bummer, I should have made this my Christmas wish! Better yet! I think I may start giving the gift of a plush towel for all gift giving occasions. Stop by Amazon and check them out today and tell me your favorite color.

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for the opportunity to try out this AWESOME towel!

Daily Bible Verse: Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming. ~ 1 PETER 1:13


Weekly Mission Update

It is the start of another new week and last week wrapped up with 28 miles. This is up from 26 miles the week before and I am happy/sad about it. Happy that I was able to run more and I got in a good 10  mile run but sad that I didn't get that final 20 miler in before the Maui Oceanfront Marathon but happy I didn't push it. I usually don't run 20 miles two weeks out and know I shouldn't push things just because. It could do more damage than good and Christmas weekend and a long run just wasn't in the cards physically due to monthly issues that were really tough this go around.

What I have learned...tapering for a marathon, not running said marathon, signing up for another marathon, and getting back into the final weeks of training is a tough act to balance just right. In all reality, I had 1-2 weeks to build back up before coming back down. But I must have faith in my training.

I ran well last week and felt good until the end but after 10 hours of sleep last night I realized something...I was just plain tired. All the holiday fun and festivities, late nights, extra baking, and perhaps a few too many cookies took its toll on me. I am ready to clean up my diet, get some good sleep each night, and hydrate better!

Here's to two great weeks of taper and a wonderful race day on January 17th!

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for the extra horse lessons (one-on-one) for darling daughter.

Daily Bible Verse: Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Doesn't she light a lamp, sweep the hose, and search carefully until she finds it? And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, "Rejoice with me, I have found my lost coin/" In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.