Farewell…Kind Of…

As you may have noticed, I sort of dropped off the side of the earth the last few months. And lets just face it, my posts have kinda sucked for the past year as well. I’m sorry for that. My heart isn’t in it anymore. I tried to force it, but similar to a guy who looks good on paper only, it is kinda hard to act like you like him if there is no chemistry. I have chosen to hang out with family and friends instead of blogging. For me, blogging started as a way to journal about my athletic journey starting in Germany over the “interwebs.” It was also a way of chronicling my travels through Europe as a military spouse. Since then, my husband and I have moved back to the states. I have so many things going on in my life that have nothing to do with blogging.

I’m not saying that in a “I’m so much more important than you” kind of way. All I’m saying is that after working the night shift at the hospital full time, working on PA application stuff, volunteering, going to school, training for my first race of the year (a half marathon), strength training (I’m determined to get a butt you can bounce a quarter off of, but really it is so I can stay injury free while running), hanging out with my husband, friends, and dogs, there isn’t much left of me to go around. If I do have extra time, I would rather just sit outside with a glass of wine and enjoy the peace and quiet (of my dogs barking at squirrels) or cuddling with my family on the couch watching an episode of Supernatural or Being Human. After 30 years in existence, I’m finally honing the art of saying “no” and setting priorities that are important to me. I’m sad to say blogging just isn’t a priority for me anymore.

Thank you for the emails and comments asking if I’m still alive or okay. I’m doing really well actually. My IBS and other issues are slowly healing. The hubs and I are more in love than ever, and the dogs are still spoiled. I’m inching closer to my goal of becoming a physician assistant. It is moving a little slower than I would prefer, but I’m moving forward, and that is what is important.

I may feel the urge to blog every once in a while and that is why I haven’t gotten rid of my website for good. In the meantime, if you don’t hate me for my crappy posts and for the nonexistent posts lately, you can catch me on Instagram. I post some of my meals, recipes, quotes, workout selfies, weim selfies, lame stuff like that, if you are interested. :)

In case you decide to delete my website out of your feedly, please take this message with you:

Do what you love. Life is too short to keep doing something (or someone — ha) that you hate. This goes for everything like careers, spouses, or working out. For instance, if you hate running, find something that you do like doing to workout. There is NO “best” activity. Just keep moving.

Also, you, yes YOU, are stronger than you think you are.  You are capable of achieving so much in this world.  Never forget that.  Don’t let negativity bring you down whether it is coming from yourself or others.  It is wasted energy.

Thank you for reading!!!!!!  Thank you for inspiring me to follow my dreams.  All of your encouragement over the years has made a huge difference in my life.

Happy Running!!! (or whatever you are into)

The puppies send their cuddles to you!

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Enjoy the Journey

Sorry about the delay in posting. My triathlon coach passed away unexpectedly from a heart condition at the age of 38 two and a half weeks ago, and I’m still trying to deal with it. Plus, I’ve been avoiding having to type out this post because it would make it more real somehow.

Coach Scott was one of those people that literally just changes your life the second you meet them. He and his wife were NEVER negative. When I had a bad workout, he would have a smile on his face either saying that it benefited me more than I could appreciate at the time or that the next time, it would be better. Coach Scott was more than just a coach. He was my mentor and friend. You guys may remember seeing him in my Ironman Arizona posts:

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He hung out all day with my mom, sister (who was 8 months pregnant), her two toddlers, and my husband ALL day long. He deserves sainthood for that, trust me.

His motto was “Enjoy the Journey.” He drilled that into my head the day before my race. He knew that it was up to me if I was going to have a good race day or a bad one. “You are only going to have ONE first Ironman. Enjoy it. Don’t get worked up over things that don’t matter. Enjoy the journey.” And that is what I did. I had a great day. And he was cheering me on along with my family that day. He believed in you more than you did if that makes any sense. He knew your abilities more than you did. I remember talking with him two months before the race literally having a nervous breakdown about how I wasn’t ready, how I was going to fail, and how I was so stupid that I thought that I could actually accomplish such a thing with my hectic work schedule. He looked me straight in the eyes and told me that I was perfectly capable of completing a Ironman that day if I wanted to. It was so believable. And a few months later on the marathon portion of my Ironman, I remembered what Coach Scott had told me on that day. I needed to have more faith in myself. I did put in my time training, and I could do this.

He never once doubted that I could do anything that I put my mind to. That was how he treated everyone on (and off) our team. He would preach about how “consistency was key” and he was VERY consistent with his workouts. He not only talked the talk, but he walked (or ran) the walk. :) He was an amazing athlete completing Ironman Coeur d’Alene a little more than 6 months after having open heart surgery in 2010. He didn’t want to hear excuses, and he didn’t let a “little” heart operation keep him down!!

He was part of a team called Ironheart Racing.  This is a brief video that a news station did of him.  It is very well made.  It will inspire you.  Watch it.

When I found out that he had passed away, I didn’t believe it was true. He was young, VERY active, and ate healthily. Plus, he was such a GOOD person. It wasn’t fair. I had just cycled with him the previous weekend, and he was healthy and strong. We talked about my training plan and what we needed to tweak about it to get me through Ironman Lake Placid alive.

My team has been trying to deal with the gigantic hole in our hearts. The day after he passed away, we didn’t cancel swim practice. Instead, we got together, swam for 5 minutes trying to work on things that Coach Scott had told us to fix. I struggled to breathe since I was crying and trying to swim at the same time. It was the longest 5 minute swim that I had ever swam before. Then, we all went around and shared stories about Coach Scott. I shared the story of when he came up behind me on a bike during the run of the Troika Half Ironman course, and told me to to start picking people off. I told him I needed to poop. At least everyone laughed! We laughed, cried, and almost drowned that day, but it was so therapeutic.

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The following weekend was the big Bloomsday race. You may have heard me talk about it last year since I ran it. Every year, Coach Scott would hand out Jolly Ranchers to some of the 55 to 56,000 runners. His wife didn’t want to give up the tradition, so a bunch of Team Blazers decided to hand some out with her. We put up the Team Blaze tent in the normal spot except Coach Scott was there in spirit.  I cheered people on for 4 hours that day and nearly lost my voice!  It was so much fun.

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We asked Team Blaze people and runners all over the community to write this on their legs to remind people to enjoy the journey.

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There was such an outpouring of support that weekend for Tristin, Coach Scott’s wife. The entire community was mourning her loss. People were coming up to her right and left hugging her as they ran by, and people were telling other Team Blaze members that they were sorry for our loss. He was even mentioned on the news several times. That is how great of an impact he made here in Spokane.

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About a week after he passed away, our local bike sponsor held a memorial bike ride to raise money for Tristin and their 6 year old son. Hundreds of cyclists showed up. It was amazing. He was truly loved. Tristin even spoke to the crowd about enjoying the journey that we were all on in life. She is SO strong. I can’t even fathom what she is going through right now.

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The memorial service was a week ago. That seemed to make Coach Scott’s passing a little more real. It was one of the hardest memorial services that I have ever been to. People from all over the community showed up in Team Blaze shirts and shorts. Coach Scott would not have wanted anyone to dress up.  It is crazy to think that back in 2004 when he and his wife started the club, it only had a handful of members.  Team Blaze has grown to over 200 members since then.  Many were able to make it to the memorial services. It is amazing to me that we have all come together like a family during this ordeal. Or maybe it is just more apparent how much we love and support each other on this team from this ordeal.

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After the service, we released balloons in Team Blaze colors and ran one mile.

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They had a banner that was given to Tristin that you could write your final words to Coach Scott on.

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I can’t remember exactly what I wrote since that day was blur, but this was the gist:

“Coach Scott, thank you for seeing the light in me and in others when we can’t see it ourselves at times. You changed my life for the better the second I met you! We love and miss you!!”

My message to all of you reading this:

Don’t WASTE your life. You never know when it can be taken away from you. If you want to do something or you feel you need to prove something something to yourself, quit JUST talking about it. DO it. Life is TOO short to sit there and just be merely content with your life. If you don’t like something in your life, change it. You deserve to be HAPPY. And most of all, Enjoy the Journey.

I will always remember you, Coach Scott.  I hope I can inspire others like you have inspired me!  I will do my very best to stay consistent with my training from here on out for Ironman Lake Placid  in July.  I will remember to sit back, have fun, and enjoy the journey…

No More Excuses

I loved your comments from my last post. Some of you made great running partners with your significant others, and some, not so much just like me. I think the hubs and I are fine if we are running on the road, but on a trail, forget it! haha. Plus, my husband can go 6 months without running and still bang out a sub 6 min/mile. I go 2 weeks sans running and wanna puke on the 1st run back. I’m a weakling, I’ll admit it!

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This weekend was super motivating for me. On Sunday, I ran with one of my friends from spin class. I’ve been nagging her for weeks to join my tri club, and she finally did this past week. I convinced her to come on a run with some members and myself, and she reluctantly agreed. She showed up to do a 6 miler scared and intimidated to do anything with a tri group, and she totally rocked it out. I’m so proud of her. ;)

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The first 3 miles, we ran with two other guys (the other one showed up after picture time), and it was at a pretty fast pace for her, but she hung on for dear life. When we turned around at the 3 mile mark, the other 2 guys kept going, and we were left to take it a little slower. She kept apologizing for how slow we were going, and I told her not to worry. Most of your runs should be slow!! I explained to her that I ran most of my long runs at a 9:20-9:45 min/mile pace before my 1st marathon and still managed a time of 3:48 on race day. If you don’t believe me, read this from a SUPER fast blogger.

We still finished in under an hour, and not to be too redundant, I’m so proud of her!

Since Lauren was so fearless this weekend, it inspired me to get back on track with my swimming. I’ve been avoiding it like the plague. The thing is, I don’t mind swimming and sometimes I even like it. However, it has been weeks, literally, since I’ve been in the pool. The longer I go without the pool, the harder it is go back. Also, I’ve been avoiding going to masters class b/c my tri team switched gyms very recently, and I have been using that excuse that I work out at another gym. Other excuses: I need to get waxed, I need a new swimsuit, I blah blah blah…

Not anymore. NO MORE EXCUSES!! I actually HATE my gym pool. It is dirty all the time, the management doesn’t know what is going on EVER, and the lifeguards are mean and “sheepish.” I used to lifeguard. There is no reason to be a jerk, and if you are able to save someone’s life, you should be able to think on your own. Today, I put in a cancellation request for my membership, and when it runs out, I’m switching to my tri club’s gym. I don’t know why I was clinging onto a gym that I dislike so much! There will be no excuses as to not show up to masters swim now!!

My coach is gone this week in Hawaii to train with some other athletes so this week I’m on my own. I plan to hit up the pool 4 times this week to get me back into it. This is where your help is needed. If you happen to notice me slacking on the pool time this week via my dailymile, feel free to tweet me, comment, whatever!! I’m giving you permission to nag me this week if I slip up!

The good news: I swam today!! That is 1. Got 3 more pool sessions to go!!

Do you make up excuses to get out of doing things you know you should? How do you “cut the crap” and get on with it?

So Delicious 7 Ways in 7 Days Giveaway-Now CLOSED**

This is a compensated review from BlogHer and So Delicious®.

I was compensated for this review, but all the opinions reflected on this blog are my own. You know how honest I am about EVERYTHING on this blog! Read my race recaps, and you will find that out if you haven’t noticed already.

As you all know, I try to stay away from dairy most of the time since it does a number on my stomach. I’m always trying to figure out how to make my meals sans dairy.

The hubs and I are big proponents of non-GMOs. We try to buy the least amount of genetically modified foods as possible, and that can be very difficult sometimes.

I’m also gluten intolerant. I sound high maintenance, don’t I? haha. I am. I admit it. ;)

You can imagine that I was quite delighted when I was chosen to be part of the So Delicious Program through Blogher. Visit thir Official site!  I don’t promote things on my blog very often unless I believe in the product AND it fits my lifestyle.

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As part of their program, I was sent a coupon for a free half gallon of their coconut milk and an 8-pack of their vanilla milk singles.

This is their product information:

Life should be a delicious adventure. So at So Delicious ® Dairy Free, we’re committed to making dairy-free natural foods that celebrate great taste.

Like our So Delicious Coconut Milk. Smooth and creamy, with a light, refreshing taste, it’s rich in MCFAs. Medium-chain fatty acids are a good fat and provide the energy you need to live life to the fullest.

  • Dairy-Free
  • Soy-Free
  • Cholesterol-Free
  • Gluten-Free
  • Made from Organic Coconut
  • Kosher
  • Vegan
  • Certified Non-Gmo
  • Naturally Energizing
  • Tastes Just Like Milk—Only Better!

That is a long list of good things especially for people with “high maintenance” intolerances and/or preferences. And what other dairy-free milk can you say all those things about?? Keep reading, this giveaway is GOOD!!

So, for the past week, I have been trying out the So Delicious Coconut Milk in different ways. So far I have:

1.Poured it in my cereal (less slimy than my normal almond milk)

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2. Combined the Vanilla coconut milk and a scoop of my protein powder as a post workout recovery drink

3. Made my oatmeal with it!! Really creamy, and when I topped it with coconut butter I felt like I was off in the Caribbean somewhere rather than in 20 degree weather in Spokane.

4. Substituted the milk that was called for my peanut butter chocolate chip cookies for the So Delicious Coconut Milk. I could not tell the difference, and they tasted great like they always do. I paired them with a glass of the coconut milk as well. Great for cookie dipping!

5. Hot Chocolate!!!!! My husband, a long time organic whole “cow” milk drinker, drank some too, and he ACTUALLY LIKED it!! Victory!

6. Combined 1 Vanilla Coconut Milk Single and 1 cup of regular coconut milk with 2 cups of mixed frozen berries and 1 scoop of protein powder in the blender for my post “butt kicking” track workout recovery drink / dinner. It was late. I was tired. A shake was easy, and the good fats from the Coconut Milk and the protein I added filled me up. And it actually tasted good. That’s always a plus.

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7. Added a splash to my Chai Tea the other day with my afternoon snack. It added just enough creaminess to the tea without making me heavy after drinking it.

So Delicious is also doing a So Delicious Sweepstakes…

So Delicious® 100 Days of Change

“Raise a glass to all of life’s delicious possibilities by entering to win our surprise-a-day giveaway called100 Days of Change.

What is it? A fantastic, surprise-a-day sweepstakes you can enter on Facebook. One change-for-the-better prize each day, FOR 100 DAYS – all ending with the Grand Prize – a 14-day trip for two to Kamalaya Wellness Sanctuary & Holistic Spa on the island of Koh Samui in Thailand.

We chose 100 great prizes for you to win to help you change your life for the better. All you have to do is enter. The fun starts Thursday, February 22 and ends Friday, May 20, 2011. Enter daily to increase your chances of winning the Grand Prize trip to the Kamalaya Wellness Sanctuary & Holistic Spa.”

Entering is simple – just visit the “Giveaway” tab at http://goo.gl/DiTyJ.

You can also be picked to win a $100 Visa Gift Card. I personally would spend it on more races fees, but that is just me!  The Sweepstakes is open between 2/22/11 and 3/20/11!!!  The sweepstakes is NOW CLOSED!!!

Rules:

No duplicate comments.

You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:

a)      Leave a comment telling me how you would use So Delicious Coconut Milk!!

b)      Tweet about this promotion and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post– make sure you include @GeekTurnAthlete (my twitter handle) in your tweet!!

c)      Blog about this promotion and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post

d)      For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.

This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older.

Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail.

You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.

Visit the Official Rules!!!

 

Visit the Exclusive Offers section
So Delicious Facebook Page

Oh, and can I just say that Kai liked it too. He kept trying to lick the cap during the little “photo shoot.”

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Robbing a Bank

This was originally posted two days ago, but justhost.com had problems with my server all night, and when the blog finally went back up, this post was missing along with all of your comments!  Sorry!!

(I’m totally reusing this pic, but it still looked like this yesterday!!)

This past Monday, I started my official Ironman training. Even in 16 degrees, or in 6 degrees. I was out twice yesterday with the puppy. I looked like I was going to rob a bank!

Sexy, no? I’m all nose, I guess. :) Usually I’m okay with wearing some ear warmers while running, but lately the cold here has been so biting that it feels like my face is going to fall off. About 10 minutes into the run, it also feels like I have really bad “brain freeze.”

Bring in: the gator. It is actually my husband’s (thus the ugly military color), and you are actually supposed to wear it over your nose, but I feel like I am suffocating so I don’t wear it that way. It is quite effective in shielding the wind and protecting the delicate skin of my cheeks. ;)

Do you also notice the dog toys on the floor (one is red, one is green)? Those are all over our house! I pray that no one stops by unannounced because I have shredded paper towels and dog toys sprawled all over my house.

Anyway it took me a while, but I finished my Arizona Ironman Training Plan for the year. It starts off slow, then ramps up to 18 hours for some weeks! Ack! Of course, I will build up to that. :) This plan is subject to change throughout the year. I might change training days for certain sports, etc.

I just joined the Spokane Swifts this week too! It is an all girls running team, and there are some pretty fast chicks on it. Remember how I was nervous about doing that? Well, taking into account my goal for this year, I had to join. It will be good for me to run with some chicks who are at my same level running or better. It’ll be a great way for me to improve! Plus, I still need a running partner. I sort of lost my training mojo after moving back to the states last year. I had a solid training group in Germany that I have still to replicate in Spokane.

It feels so good to be training again!!! It is time to get with it!

How is your new year so far? How are your 2011 Resolutions/Goals coming along so far? Have you used a gator before?

FitBloggin’ Conference Recap

This weekend was a blast! The fitness blogging community is really one of a kind. Almost everyone at the conference was so nice and friendly! I got to meet so many beautiful, intelligent, in-shape women that I immediately clicked with. Of course, there were a few of snobby bloggers, but that is to be expected, and I pretty much stayed away from those “batches” anyway. There were also some people that did not look anything like their blogs! That was funny.

When I first arrived, I met up with my roomie, Jackie. She is the sweetest thing on earth! For real! Then, we headed downstairs for the cocktail reception.

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There were a few people there who were really dressed up, so I didn’t feel quite out of place! Look babe, I’m actually wearing a dress more than once! Just trying to save you money, hun. hehe. I think at first it was a little awkward, but then the POMtini’s were flowing, and everyone started loosening up.
I totally stole this pic from Caitlin, but she said that I could!
After that, we all decided to go out, and ended up at a very nice restaurant that I’m having a brain fart trying to remember right now. This is me (of course), JackieWhit, and Jessica. Whit and Jessica are great people too! Jessica is freakin’ hilarious!
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After a late night out, I headed downstairs to the 5K run at 6:30am. WAY. TOO. EARLY. I’m usually a morning person, but after not getting that much sleep the night before AND having two drinks (yes, I’m a lightweight and an old lady), I was not in the best of moods.
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But.. since New Balance gave all the participants new shirts and shoes (the 759), I felt that I had to drag myself out of bed.
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And I’m sure glad that I did. It was absolutely gorgeous out.
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I started and stayed in the head of the pack, and chatted the entire time with Anne and Caitlin. They are so nice!! I attempted to take some moving pics on this run, and obviously, they didn’t really turn out! We took it easy moving at anywhere from a 7:30-8:15 min/mile pace. It was great to get the blood flowing!
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I was so upset that this came out blurry! Here are some of us at the end!
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Just some more shots while the sun was coming up…
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After that, the day was filled with different discussion panels and presentations with eating in-between.
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During breakfast, these were being passed out! Absolutely hilarious!
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They are, I guess, underwear that you pee in standing up instead of having to sit down when you can’t get to a porta potty? Very interesting, and I do plan on trying these suckers out once I get a chance.
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This made for some pretty interesting breakfast conversation between CaitlinAbby, and I!
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Actually, I just noticed this is a lunch pic! Regardless, we all had a great time!
Bottles of POM were given out all over the place!
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The presentations that I went to were:
  • Blogs, Accessibility, and SEO
  • Getting Noticed: How to Pitch to Traditional Media
  • Beyond the Blog: Getting Published
  • Making Money From Your Blog: Should You? Could You? How?

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The money making one left me a little uneasy for some reason. I want you guys to be able to trust me, but you need to know that I love trying new things (and giving my opinion) too. I might be doing more reviews in the future.

After the presentations, we all headed out to eat and chat with each other! All very interesting, beautiful ladies!!

Let’s just say the beer and wine were flowing, and this pic pretty much sums up our epic night! It was such a good night!

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After taking a while to pull myself from my bed this morning, JulieAbbyCaitlin, me, Jackie,
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(I don’t know why I’m so hyperextended in this pic!)
And JessicaCaitlin (absolutely hilarious as well), GracieKatyAnne, and Ali decided to grab some breakfast at Starbucks and eat out by the docks.
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I’m trying to catch a flight out to Germany tonight, but I’m basically on stand by so we shall see how things go! Thank you FitBloggin‘ for an amazing conference and a great chance to meet great peeps!
Good bye, Baltimore. I will try to remember your beautiful weather when I am freezing my a$$ off in Germany later this week! I’m anxious to get back to my regular schedule, wrap up my marathon training, and start my half Ironman training!!!
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Overcoming My Demons: 18 Miler

Today was extremely hard.  My ego and body are still recovering from the events of this morning.  Let me start from the beginning…

I woke up this morning absolutely exhausted.  I tossed and turned all night.  I think that I have anxiety about long runs for some reason.  I only thought about it once or twice, but I just couldn’t go to sleep.  I lied in my bed for 3 hours before I turned on my light and decided to read.  I was frustrated that I couldn’t get to sleep and read my book for another hour until I managed to drift off asleep.  That is until I woke up and hour before I was supposed to get up and just lied there again for an hour.  I watched my alarm go off, and I hobbled downstairs to the kitchen.  My legs are still sore from weight lifting two days AGO!

I decided to fuel my 18 miles with a bowl of oatmeal with 2 egg whites, a banana, and some peanut butter.  I sipped on some green tea in the hopes that it would wake me up and make me more peppy to hang out with people for the run.  It didn’t.  I sang in the car on the way to meet with a couple friends, and I felt more awake at that point.  I kept thinking to myself, this is going to be a good run.  This is going to be a good run. Little did I know what I was getting myself into…

Miles 1-4:  My legs were so stiff here.  I can’t believe it took almost 5 miles for them to warm up!  Renee and I chatted while Katie ran ahead of us.  Katie is a lot faster than both of us, and it was great to at least see her for a little bit of the run!  My breathing was labored even though we were running at a 9:30 pace.  It was a this point that I realized that I forgot to take a couple puffs of my inhaler.  I keep forgetting!  Dang it! (I don’t have asthma, but I’m still wheezing a little from my pneumonia.)

Miles 5-7: I finally found my rhythm on the trails.  Renee ran right in front of me, and I just focused on her calves guiding me over the uneven sheets of ice.  One foot in front of the other.  Practically dancing.  If the rest of the run feels like this, I am golden!

Miles 8-9: My right foot decided to go numb.  It wasn’t from the cold.  I think it just went to sleep.  I wiggled my toes vigorously to try to get the blood moving.  It didn’t work.  Oh well.  I don’t need toes, do I? Keep running, keep running!

Miles 10-12: The ice was bad here.  I tried to find my rhythm again, but it was very sporadic as I was jumping over large pieces of ice.  Our pace slowed considerably because of it.  I was still taking in my nutrition, and felt a little tired, but I just kept telling myself that we only had less than an hour left.  I could do an hour.  My breathing was still more labored than usual, but no problem.  Katie stopped running here at 12 miles, and our friend, Leah, met up with us on the run.  Only 6 more miles.

Mile 13: Renee and Leah moved in front of me.  I looked down at my Garmin, and I was running a 9:30-9:45 pace.  They were running much faster than this.  They slowly started to pull away, and I let them do their thing.  My body couldn’t move any faster even if I wanted it to.  How am I supposed to run an 8:45 pace for Paris if I can’t even maintain a 9:30?  What is wrong with me?  Don’t think about that.  Just run! The ice that we had encountered at the very beginning of our run was starting to melt and the path turned into mud.

Miles 14-15: I could see the girls up in the distance talking.  I was alone.  This was fine with me because I never want to be the one to slow anyone down.  I looked down at my watch, and I was running a 10 min/mile pace.  Sad.  I tried to pick it up, but I couldn’t.  I said, “Come ON!” out loud.  I was alone anyway so nobody could hear me talking to myself.  I started grunting like the creepy men in the weight room that I was talking about earlier this week.  This is when my demons came out. You are never going to finish this.  What were you thinking training for a marathon?  You are too slow.  You can’t do this.  Look how far up they are compared to you.  You are never going to catch them.  They are probably talking about how slow you are. Then, Break the Chain by Fleetwood Mac came on my ipod.  I got angry.  I was ANGRY that I was so slow.  I was ANGRY that I got pneumonia and had to miss 2 weeks of training.  I was ANGRY that my feet hurt.  I was ANGRY that my legs were aching and were not listening to my commands.  I was just ANGRY.  Tears started streaming down my cheeks.  I looked down at my garmin one last time and realized that I was sprinting and crying at the same time.  SHUT THE F*&K UP!!!!!!!!!!  I CAN do this!

Mile 16: I turned around with the girls and almost started crying again, but they said it wasn’t allowed.  They are great supportive friends.  I’m so glad that I have them in my life.  I commented on how much my feet hurt, and Leah said not to think about that.  My feet feel great!  My big toes don’t feel like they are going to fall off at all! Yes, I was trying reverse psychology on myself.  It didn’t work, but at least I didn’t feel hopeless anymore.

Mile 17: Still in the mud.  I started pulling on all the things that I tell my students in spin class.  Accept the suck!  Accept the pain, and move on!  Once you accept that it is going to hurt, just work through it!  Don’t fight it.  Use it.  Hammer this out, Nicole!  You can do this!  Your mind will give out before your body does. None of them worked, but at least it kept my mind off of how bad my feet were hurting.  I have no idea how fast I was going.  I was sick of looking at my garmin, it mocking me with it’s slow times!

Mile 18: This was all uphill.  Renee likes to sprint the last mile, and usually I do too, but I just let her go.  Leah stayed behind to cheer me on.  I’m guessing I did not look well.  I started trying to talk to her.  “So.  Gasp. How.  Gasp.  Are.  Gasp.  You?”  She retorted, “Stop talking!  Conserve your energy!”  Okay.  Good thinking.  Almost there.  Almost there.  I just want to walk.  It would feel so good to walk for just a little while.  You are not walking!  Focus!  One, two.  One, two. Your mind will give out before your body does…

We finally made it, and I started crying again.  The girls gave me a huge hug, and Renee started laughing at me.  I started laughing at myself.  I have no idea why I was so emotional today.  I’m not on my period (sorry for the honesty, but we all know that could have been a factor :) ).  All I know is that I struggled a lot today.  I read a quote once that said that (paraphrased since I can’t remember exactly) it’s not your good training days that define you as an athlete.  It is the days where you have to struggle to overcome those demons that define you.  I believe it now or at least I hope that is the case (if it isn’t, I’m screwed!).  I fought with myself today, and the positive side won out…barely.  I hope I remember that when it comes to race day.  When I hit my wall at whatever mile, I’m going to think back to today and how much I wanted to give up, and know for sure that I am strong enough to work through the pain and finish what I started.

The Aftermath:

Mud!  The only day I don’t wear my trail shoes, this happens!DSC06017

Compression sleeves to the rescue!  I swear, I have shorts on.  I just have abnormally long legs for how short I am!

Have you ever worked your way through something you didn’t think you were going to finish?  Happy Running!