12/24/13

Twas the Night Before Christmas (Run the Edge Style)

Go Santa!!!!

Twas the night before Christmas, all the shopping was done.
My insides were stirring, I needed a run.
My Newtons were placed by the front door with care,
In hopes that I’d take them out in the night air.

The children were nestled, tucked in for the night,
So I laced up my shoes both the left and the right.
I put on my mittens, and put on my cap,
I settled my brain for a long 10K lap.

I got my foam roller, the stretch felt so good.
I sprang from the door and run as fast as I could.
Away from my house I flew like a flash,
And tore up the street like I was running a dash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Lit up my path showing the way I should go.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a dude with a beard, dressed in red running gear.

He wasn’t too chubby, rather lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St Nick.
More rapid than eagles he flew to my side,
And ran right next to me matching my stride!

“I’ll race you! I’ll pace you! But just let me run!
I’m all done with work and it’s time for some fun!
To the top of that hill, until we hit the wall!
We’ll just keep on running and give it our all!”

Without another word we ran through the streets.
The only sounds those of our breath and heart beats.
He had a runner’s build but still a round belly,
That shook when he ran, like a bowlful of jelly!

We finished the loop ending back at in my yard,
I’d never ran so fast. I’d never breathed so hard!
He gave me a wink and a nod of his head,
We were bonded as runners with nothing more said.

From walkers and joggers to runners and racers,
From marathon finishers to age-group placers!
We all know the joy and the pain of a run,
and that wonderful feeling you get when your done!

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ‘ere he drove out of sight,
“Thanks for the run, it was indeed a good-night!”

By 

 Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! — Marathon Mama Christie 🙂

Merry Christmas

12/18/13

Winter Doldrums Workout Blues

I know I've been there!

Does this sound familiar?

It has been a snowy, foggy, chill-to-the bone past few weeks here in Boise. And on more mornings than I’d like to admit to, I’ve turned off the alarm and chosen to stay warm and cozy in bed for a little more sleep rather than dragging my tired self out into the pre-dawn cold where I normally log most of my miles.    And, it’s no wonder – as we try to juggle everything this time of year throws at us — holiday shopping and baking,  less daylight to get a run in, the children going wild from being cooped up in the house more than not – it’s understandable that we end up missing more workouts than we would like.

I was lamenting to a good friend (who just happens to also be a runner) just a couple of days ago that I’d spent more time devouring holiday goodies than I had running miles lately so I was feeling discouraged and lacking motivation. Luckily for me, I complained to just the right person – a friend who’s pretty good at not only motivating himself, but also everyone else. He invited me on a run. A 5:30 (headlamp required) mountain trail run.  I accepted, though I will admit that the chubby, whiny new me kind of was tempted to complain to him but not really do anything useful about my current state of affairs.  Luckily for me, though, my integrity is as such that if I promise I will be somewhere at such-and-such a time — I always show up.

And, so yesterday, I found myself in a snowy parking lot, in 21 degree weather waiting for the others to arrive.  And, it turned out, I wasn’t the only one looking for some early morning social miles. I counted as car-after-car arrived and bundled runners climbed out, ready to tackle the trails. There were 8 of us all together by the time the last vehicle arrived. I was totally amazed. Normally, on a good day, 3 or 4 will show up to run early, but this was a whole new record!

We had a wonderful run and just after everyone had said their good-byes, my friend, with one hand already on his pickup door, yelled out, “Hey! I’m running again tomorrow if any of you want to join me!” Several (including me) agreed to do it all again. And, this morning — 5 of the gang was back at it again, breathing hard in the foggy early morning air, climbing up some beautiful snow-covered trails, knocking out nearly 10 tough, but satisfying miles.

Gratitude.  That is the best word for what I’m feeling for my friend right now for getting me and a few others out of our winter workout funks. And, I’m reminded that what he did is something the rest of us need to do more often — motivate others — invite others on a run or to a yoga class (I’m going to one on Friday with the same friend after months of not attending) or to do something healthy.  The beautiful thing is that when we motivate others – we are also helping ourselves since we often get a workout buddy for the day, which is a pretty fantastic thing!

So, I encourage you — if you’re looking at several empty pages in your log book from the last week or so — invite a friend to join you for a workout tomorrow or the next day! My guess is, you’ll be glad you did and you’ll both be better off!

Happy Holidays!

P.S. Thanks Ryan for all the positive peer pressure this week! 😀

 

12/17/13

50 Best Running Blogs Nominated by a Reader’s Choice

Oh, thank you, thank you very much!

Oh, thank you, thank you very much!

Have you ever had a wonderful, unexpected honor bestowed upon you? I just did tonight when I found my blog mentioned as one of the 50 Best Running Blogs!

Check out who’s #42  Marathon Mama!!  Wooo hoooo!  Thank you, On Top of the World Mommy for nominating me! I feel so honored and happy that you enjoy my blog!

It’s always my hope that opening myself up and transparently sharing my ups and downs as a running Mom of five will amuse, inspire and hopefully encourage even one other person out there.

http://runningbloggers.com/50-best-running-blogs-nominated-by-a-readers-choice/

06/4/13

Did You Take the Time to Stop and Smile at the Lizards Today?

Polecat

Polecat

This morning I went running alone. I went to a place I’ve been many times before – a trail called Polecat that’s a 6 mile loop of undulating, perfectly manicured single-track trail through the sagebrush-covered Boise Foothills.  When I run by myself outdoors, on trails, all of my senses are reawakened, it seems. I’m more aware of the breeze (which was heavenly today in the 75 degree temperature.) I notice the sweet scent and colors of the wildflowers along the trail (today I saw clumps of tiny violet colored blossoms and lacy, white yarrow and vibrant, tiny yellow flowers dotting the landscape as I ran.)  I’m more aware of the steady, rhythmic sound my Pure Grits make as they thump thump along in the dirt, propelling me forward.

Show Daisies

Show Daisies

I also notice things I might not have if I’d gone with someone else.  I saw the cutest little lizard and his lizard buddy racing across the trail just as I rounded a corner at a blazing 11 min mile! They couldn’t have been more than 5 inches long each and I just busted out laughing when I saw them scurrying off into the brush to hide from the crazy runner lady invading their territory!  A hummingbird flew so close to me that I could have nearly reached out and touched it’s delicate, furiously flapping wings, it seemed.  A grasshopper stopped momentarily before me on the sandy trail and then bounced off into the sagebrush and I couldn’t help but wonder how totally awesome it must feel to be able to jump that HIGH! I decided grasshoppers remind me of my friend, Cory Reece since he can jump so very high, even after running 100 miles!

Being on my own, also meant I had time to let that private, inner world of my thoughts open up and I could think about some things going on in my own life that I can’t really share with anyone. It was a release to let some stresses out and to let the funny little creatures I saw and the natural beauty IN instead!

Some say running is cheaper than therapy. I couldn’t agree more! I hope that you’ll take the time to stop and notice the lizards (or whatever unique and interesting things might await) on your next run!  Go on now! Get out there and turn on your senses FULL BLAST and live a little!! 🙂

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh

05/21/13

I Qualified for Boston!

My friend, Ryan shared this with me this week  and reminded me of how appropriate this quote was for my journey to qualifying for Boston! I couldn’t agree more!

set a goal so big

 

I ran my first marathon – The City of Trees Marathon on October 4th, 2009.  It was 40 degrees and raining the entire race. It was wonderful and hard and definitely one of the most difficult things I’d ever done to that point (and that’s saying something from a woman who’s given birth without an epidural 5 times!)  I had set a goal of running the race in 4:45, but crossed the finish line in 4:57:33. It was such an emotional and glorious moment to suddenly become a “marathoner!”  I could not imagine running any faster than the 11:21 pace I maintained for that 26.2 miles!

Here I am running my first marathon in 2009!

Here I am running my first marathon in 2009! My finish time that day: 4:57

But, that is one of the things that really seems to drive our kind — the “runners” in the world. We love to challenge ourselves, push hard to achieve our goals and once those are mastered, we make new goals and go after them, too! One of the first thoughts that went through my mind as I soaked in my ice bath after the race was, “I bet I could do the next one FASTER!” And once I got on that path, it wasn’t long before I started daydreaming about pie-in-the sky goals — especially the biggest one of all for most marathoners — to one day qualify for Boston – the Holy Grail of running achievements!

I've loved Boston so much, we went there on vacation and I ran the entire marathon course just for fun, dreaming of one day running it officially back in 2010.

I’ve loved Boston so much, we went there on vacation in 2010 and I ran the entire marathon course just for fun, dreaming of one day running it officially.

At that point, I’d already bought several books about the Boston Marathon, about it’s rich history, about Kathrine Switzer and her first run there in 1967 (where she was the first female ever to run it with a race bib) and how the race director, Jock Semple tried to attack her and remove her race bib and kick her out of the race partway through.

The infamous photos of the 1967 struggle between Kathrine Switzer and Boston Race Director Jock Semple.

The infamous photos of the 1967 struggle between Kathrine Switzer and Boston Race Director Jock Semple.   Her boyfriend knocked him out of the way and she finished the race in 4:20!  Go Kathrine!

It angered me and surprised me to think that women had been unable to freely race in a marathon just a little over four decades ago. And, women weren’t openly welcomed into Boston until 1972, which coincidentally was the year I was born!

Here's a picture of Kathrine and Jock in 1972 at the start of the Boston Marathon - the first year women were officially allowed to enter the race. He had apologized for his bad behavior in 1967. This photo shows progress in the mindset of those who thought women could not and should not run marathons!

Here’s a picture of Kathrine and Jock in 1972 at the start of the Boston Marathon – the first year women were officially allowed to enter the race. He had apologized for his bad behavior in 1967. This photo shows progress in the mindset of those who thought women could not and should not run marathons! Kathrine’s first Boston marathon time was 4:20. Her PR was Boston in 1975 when she ran a 2:51! She was truly talented!

From the moment I learned that little fact, I felt a connection to Boston and the history of women runners. I felt it was my destiny to one day run the race myself — one of the benefactors of women like Kathrine Switzer (and my own Mom who started running in the 1980’s and was the first woman I knew who ran a marathon the year she was 40!)  They blazed the trail! They showed me the way and I knew it would be an honor to have things come full circle and freely come to race in Boston one day.

I think I'm looking at my Dad and thinking, "Dad and Mom, would you come cheer me on when I'm 40? I know it will help me qualify for BOSTON!"

I think I’m looking at my Dad and thinking, “Dad and Mom, would you come cheer me on at a marathon when I’m 40? I know it will help me qualify for BOSTON!” P.S.  Bring a cool sign! I’ll like that little touch!

But, there was the qualifying problem.  Boston, unlike most other marathons, won’t allow you to just sign up and show up on race day to run. Instead, you must run a marathon on a  USA Track and Field certified course in a qualifying time (based on your gender and age!)  At the time I was dreaming about Boston, my qualifying time would have been 3:45:59 since I was 36. That was a difference of about an hour and 12 minutes FASTER! Talk about a pipe dream!  But, it was already engraved on my heart as my destiny — so I kept training, kept running, even when others stopped joining me for training runs or gave up on their running visions for awhile. I spent many years running alone along the roads in Nampa, Idaho, dodging sugar beet trucks in the summer and heavy traffic. I wasn’t close to a greenbelt so I made do with what I had.  And, little by little, I started to improve.

I can't tell you how many times I've nearly been hit by a falling beet from an over-full truck going 50 miles per hour down Cherry Lane in Nampa on a training run! It made for some quick foot action, that's for sure!

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve nearly been hit by a falling  sugar beet from an over-full truck going 50 miles per hour down Cherry Lane in Nampa on a training run! It made for some quick foot action, that’s for sure!

About 6 months later I ran my second marathon. I’d been training for and ran my first ultra marathon just a few weeks before, so I wasn’t expecting a very fast time when I signed up for the Famous Potato Marathon – and that’s good – because I actually ran slower with a time of 5:14:13, but I wasn’t discouraged! I’d done a difficult half marathon (with 8+ hard miles of uphill) and my ultra within the same month as this race, so I was seeing myself accomplish several races in a short period of time, which was cool, too and it was helping me develop my strength and endurance (even if my speed wasn’t improving much yet.)

This finish photo always cracks me up! This was my 2nd marathon and my kids were chasing me as I final kicked it home!

This finish photo always cracks me up! This was my 2nd marathon and my kids were chasing me as I final kicked it home! Though the final kick was sweet, my final time was my slowest of all 7 of my marathons: 5:14!

By my 3rd marathon, I got more focused. I printed out a Smart Coach plan from Runner’s World and I started training more seriously for speed.  When I ran the City of Trees in October of 2010 (one year after my first marathon) I shaved off 36 1/2 minutes off my time when I crossed the line in 4:20:59! That was a huge improvement and gave me hope that Boston could someday happen for me – if I kept working hard!  But, I still had a long way’s to go. I needed to shave another 35 minutes to “BQ” (runner lingo for Boston Qualify!)

I was more focused for the City of Trees Marathon in 2010 finishing with a time of 4:20:59 - a huge PR!

I was more focused for the City of Trees Marathon in 2010 finishing with a time of 4:20:59 – a huge PR!

My focus was averted temporarily as I sought to run longer and longer distances in ultra marathons on the trails I’d fallen in love with.  I didn’t run another marathon until the Famous Potato Marathon one year ago — just two months after my first 100 mile race! I had no idea what I could do and had not trained on the roads hardly at all during my ultra prep, so I was amazed when I crossed the finish line comfortably in 3:48:41! A PR by more than 32 minutes!  That’s when my quest for Boston became more than a dream. It started to seem so much more likely!

A huge PR at Famous Potato Marathon in 2012! 1st in my age group and 10th woman overall with a time of 3:48!

A huge PR at Famous Potato Marathon in 2012! 1st in my age group and 10th woman overall with a time of 3:48!

There was just one catch.  Though I was about to turn 40 and the standards would have allowed me to run a 3:50:59 to qualify, new standards had been put into place that required me to run faster than ever!!! They shaved off the 59 second grace window that had applied for so many years and then took another 5 minutes off the time, basically requiring everyone in all age groups to run nearly 6 min faster to qualify!  My job just got harder! I needed to run a 3:45:00 or better to BQ! If the standards had not changed, that would have been the day I qualified for Boston! But, with the new standards in place, I needed to run 3 min and 41 seconds faster! I was NOT discouraged! I was pumped!!! I was so determined to go into laser mode and just focus as hard as I needed to to reach my dream goal!

I had moved to Boise late in 2011 and had the amazing luck of having a good friend who is much faster than me ask me to start running with him more in the early mornings. This benefited me in a couple of ways. Being able to run in the dark, before the kids woke up meant I was able to get in more miles (my weekly average went from about 30 miles a week to closer to 45-50) and I was having to push my pace more to keep up with my fast friend (even on his easy days!) I also suddenly had access to the Boise Greenbelt for safe running on long stretches of asphalt without a beet truck (or any traffic) in sight and I could hit the trails and run in the mountains almost from my front door, so I was gaining strength in my legs from climbing a lot more mountains – several times a week!  I had been noticing an improvement in my endurance and my strength and my speed over several months when I ran the 3:48 race!

Me and the "Fast boys" - Ryan and Derek  who've helped to get me in BQ shape in the last year and a half!

Me and the “Fast boys” – Ryan and Derek who’ve helped to get me in BQ shape in the last year and a half!

I set my sights on a fall marathon with a lot of elevation loss (something I thought would play to my strength of running fast downhill.)  That race was the Pocatello Marathon and it didn’t go as planned. I was on pace for a BQ until mile 18, when the wheels just fell off and I started to walk – and pretty much walked the rest of the race until I crossed the finish line in a disappointing time of 4:27:01.  I had not trained specifically for a downhill road race. I had hoped my good luck at the previous marathon with very little road training or any speedwork would mean I could just “wing it” and do well at this race while still training for ultras in the mountains. I was wrong! It was a lesson learned! But, I did not give up!

My buddy April and I both were seeking Boston times when the wheels fell off for each of us. This is us coming to the finish realizing just how FAR we'd sunk in pace!

My buddy April and I both were seeking Boston times when the wheels fell off for each of us. This is us coming to the finish realizing just how FAR we’d sunk in pace!

My friends Ryan and Derek continued to push me hard in training and they both knew how much I wanted Boston! Derek said something to me that really spoke to me this past winter. He said, “What is difficult for you must become easy!”  From that point on, when the boys ran roads with me in our midweek runs, we ran my BQ pace – or faster – every single time!!! I started to train at the pace I needed to qualify! It was hard at first and I couldn’t hold it long, but as the weeks went by, I started to find it more comfortable and by the time I showed up at the Redding Marathon in Jan of 2013, I knew I was ready (or close!)  I had even ran a 20 miler at 1 second per mile faster than BQ pace in training!

You know you gave everything you had in a race when you look like THIS at the finish line! A PR - but no Boston - yet! 3:47. Still needing to shave 2 min and 22 seconds off to qualify!

You know you gave everything you had in a race when you look like THIS at the finish line! A PR – but no Boston – yet! 3:47. Still needing to shave 2 min and 22 seconds off to qualify!

That was the most comfortable marathon of my life! It truly did feel like a training run until the final 4 miles or so (when it started to hurt and I could not muster the energy to push it home a bit faster!) I enjoyed the hills, the beautiful bridges we crossed and the route. I crossed the finish line in 3:47:22 – a PR but not a BQ!  I had ran a smart race and my Garmin said I’d done the 8:34 pace I needed for the duration – but – the certified course, being done on a very curvy route turned out to be a 26.5 instead of closer to 26.2, so I just missed it.  Being a race director myself (and someone who has personally helped certify 4 marathon courses) I should have known better! If you don’t cut every single tangent the course will be a bit long and I should have assumed from the start that I needed to run a little bit faster the entire time to reach my goal. It was another lesson!

I ran my second 100 mile race in March of 2013 (about 2 hours faster than the year before), then I set my sights back on qualifying for Boston in May at the Famous Potato. I felt fitter and more focused than ever before! Ryan had gotten the marathon bug and was training hard right along with me (for his own goal of a 3:10 or better) and having that camaraderie was good for me! Even though we run different paces, we would meet together, do the warm up miles as we talked and then each push hard for the speedwork and tempo work, then cool down together. I think we both pushed each other to do better and that was a big help!  For about 6 weeks, we abandoned our beloved trail running and just focused on preparing our bodies to qualify on the asphalt!

Ryan and I (and sneaky Dennis our photobomber friend - who also qualified for Boston) just before the start of the Potato Marathon 2013!

Ryan and I (and sneaky Dennis our photobomber friend – who also qualified for Boston) just before the start of the Potato Marathon 2013!

And, it paid off!! This past weekend, on May 18, 2013, I made history (for ME) by qualifying for Boston!!! I did it!!!!! I can’t believe it!!!  Despite having to stop for potty breaks several times along the course, I ran across the finish line in 3:40:44 — a full 4 minutes and 16 seconds faster than I needed to! My family was there to cheer for me along the route (including my parents, which meant the world to me), so many of my friends were either running the race or were there cheering or pacing, my amazing friend Lucia, who has ran Boston more times than any woman I know, paced me the last 6 miles and kept me steady and I got to high-five Ryan as he grinned at about mile 18 for me and 22 for him as he went on to qualify for Boston with a 3:08, too!

This is me and my wonderful friend, Lucia (in her Lucky Purple gloves that I'm sure gave me Boston qualifying Magic) at about mile 22. I was all smiles and felt strong!

This is me and my wonderful friend, Lucia (in her Lucky Purple gloves that I’m sure gave me Boston qualifying Magic) at about mile 22. I was all smiles and felt strong!

It was an amazing day! When I crossed the finish line, my dear friend Dennis yelled at me, “C. EB” as he likes to call me. I was having a hard time catching my breath and when I looked up and saw him with his arms stretched out I went to him for a congratulatory hug. That’s when it all suddenly hit me like a ton of bricks — the quest was OVER! I’d actually DONE IT!!! I started sobbing, just so overcome with gratitude and emotion and RELIEF and joy! I did it! I really did it! I finally qualified for Boston!!!

I was overcome when I saw my family and lifted my  hands and shouted out, "I'm going to BOSTON!' I couldn't stop crying tears of relief and joy! 7 marathons but I finally got it!

I was overcome when I saw my family and lifted my hands and shouted out, “I’m going to BOSTON!’ I couldn’t stop crying tears of relief and joy! 7 marathons but I finally got it!

My parents were there with the video camera and my Mom said, “Where are you going now?” and through tears, I threw up my arms and yelled out, “BOSTON!!” My five kids gathered around me and hugged me and said they were so proud of me! “You did it, Mom! you finally did it!” My husband hugged me and said, “I knew you could!” which meant the world!  Later, Ryan found me and we posed for a picture. I’d named our little team, “Boston and a Belt Buckle” – meaning I wanted to earn a 100 mile belt buckle and a Boston qualifying time in the same year.  We’d both earned our 100 mile buckles at Antelope Island Buffalo Run in March -and less than two months later, we were standing near the finish line where we’d each BQ’d!!! That couldn’t have gone better!! 😀

"You did it, Mom!' the kids said! I told them, "Big dreams will not come easy! Just keep at it and you can accomplish what you wish for!"

“You did it, Mom!’ the kids said! I told them, “Big dreams will not come easy! Just keep at it and you can accomplish what you wish for!”

 

Thanks for the support, Dad and Mom!

Thanks for the support, Dad and Mom!

So, if you are dreaming of Boston and it seems like an impossible dream, I want to encourage you to never lose hope! I went from a 4:57 marathoner to a 3:40 one. Anything is possible if you are willing to believe in yourself, work really hard and keep on picking yourself up and trying if things don’t go right the first time! It’s worth it to keep after your goals! You can do it!!!!!

04/2/13

I Donated Blood for the First Time Today

I'm so happy that I was able to finally donate blood!

Giving blood = giving life! I will always be indebted to those who gave blood so my little girl could live! It felt wonderful to finally be doing something to return, in some small way, the gift that was given to our family when Savannah’s life was saved in 2007!

I have several items on my “bucket list.”  Some of them are grand adventures like running Rim-to-Rim-to-Rim at the Grand Canyon, taking a ride in a hot air balloon, running the Boston Marathon or meeting a running hero like Kathrine Switzer. Others are a little less glamorous, but very personally meaningful to me. One of those things on my list was to donate blood – something that I think we all know is a good thing to do, but many of us never get around to actually doing.

There is a special reason why this was so very important to me. My beautiful daughter, Savannah, the youngest of my five children was a very sick little baby when she was about 6 months old. Though we never did get a diagnosis for why Savannah became so seriously ill, one of the turning points for her recovery was when she received a blood transfusion at St Luke’s Children’s Hospital on September 22, 2007.

Savannah in the PICU after her blood transfusion in Sept of 2007.

Savannah in the PICU after her blood transfusion in Sept of 2007.

I remember being terrified as they told me that my little girl might not live through the night, but standing by her bedside, stroking the soft tufts of blond hair on her little cherub head and singing softly to her through my tears as she received that life-giving blood. As the hours went by, color started to return to Savannah’s face. It would be nearly a year before Savannah would be fully well again, but that night will forever be etched into my memory as the night she was given hope again.  I told my husband that very day that it was very important to me to one day donate blood as the best way possible I could say, “Thank you” to whoever had given so selflessly to my own baby girl and helped save her life!

Well, a few weeks ago, while on an early morning run with my pal, Ryan, he mentioned feeling a little tired since he’d given blood the day before. That’s when I shared with him my own family’s story and told him I really wanted to give blood too! So, he invited me to join him the next time the American Red Cross came to his office and I happily jumped at the chance!

Thank you, Ryan for being a great example to me and letting me join you so I can do my part too!

Thank you, Ryan for being a great example to me and letting me join you today!

So, today was that day. The day I was able to pay it forward. As I was lying back in the chair, I thought about how frightened and hopeless I’d felt the day Savannah needed blood and how utterly grateful I was when there was blood available to give to her. I wondered about where my own blood would go. Would it be another little baby like my own who would need it? A mother? A grandpa? It really doesn’t matter. It just feels amazing to know that there is a very simple way to do some good, to provide some help to those who really need it!

So, if you are like I was – thinking that giving blood is a good thing to do and something you’d always intended to do, I encourage you to take the steps to find a local donation location so that you, too, can share the gift of life! And for those of you, like Ryan who have been giving for years, please know from the bottom of my heart how truly grateful I am for your kindness! Thank you!!

 

Savannah (who's a healthy 6 year old and the light of my life) and I.

Savannah (who’s a healthy 6 year old and the light of my life) and I.

03/13/13

9 Days Until The Buffalo Run

woo hoo

Good news! The injured soleus muscle seems to be fairly healed up – and just in the nick of time! The Antelope Island Buffalo Run 100 miler is only 9 days away! I was really sweating weather or not the calf strain would heal up in time to even attempt it. I took two weeks off when the injury hit, then eased very gently back into using it — doing 31 miles of mostly slow walking in week three, a little cross training – some yoga, a spin class, lots of stretching and a few visits to my chiropractor for ART and Graston therapies and then slowly beginning to run again last week.  I also went to see my sports massage gal who does an amazing job of working thoroughly into the muscles, breaking up the scar tissue and loosening up my tight-as-can-be runner muscles to get me into a good position to heal in time for the race!

It seems to have worked! I have now been running some of my regular routes at paces that aren’t horribly different from before the injury. I’m taking more walk breaks and wearing compression calf sleeves and remembering to stretch after the runs — but I’m getting there!

This morning I ran with a group of friends, including my pal, Derek who will be my pacer at Antelope Island! It was exciting to be thinking ahead to race strategy and nutrition needs instead of holding my breath wondering if I would even be able to make the trip! I’m pretty pumped! The best part is that this year there are about 20 local pals from the Boise area heading down to Utah for the race! It’s going to be a party!!!!

My change in mindset from fearful injured runner to eager racer took a little bit of soul reflection and a big leap of faith, honestly.  Sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in the worry of “what ifs” when you’re facing the idea of testing the injury in a race. It’s a risk to move forward and trust that you’re healed enough to begin running again – it’s a whole other kind of leap of faith to go from barely running for 4 weeks to racing a 100 miler! I’ve decided to take the leap!

Here are some words of wisdom I ran across as I was making my decision that bolstered my resolve and gave me the courage I needed to move forward with my plans!

what could go right

It is better by noble boldness to run the risk of being subject to half the evils we anticipate than to remain in cowardly listlessness for fear of what might happen. – Herodotus

The time to take counsel of your fears is before you make an important battle decision. That’s the time to listen to every fear you can imagine! When you have collected all the facts and fears and made your decision, turn off all your fears and go ahead! – General George S. Patton

 

 

02/21/13

An Attitude of Gratitude

Be happy with the life you have!

I had a lovely start to my day today! I haven’t been able to run for almost two weeks. Last night I got a text from Ryan saying he and our buddy Christine were going to run in the morning and then get breakfast after. He was inviting me to join in for breakfast since I’ve been missing out on all the socializing I get while running usually. I thought that was really thoughtful. As a stay-at-home Mom, it’s true that a big part of my social life is now tied to my running community and it was fun to catch up with two of my pals over breakfast today!

When I woke up this morning, I was immediately aware of how wonderful my leg was feeling after my visit to the chiropractor yesterday. I really think the combination of ART and ultrasound on the calf made a huge difference!! He also used ART on my shoulders/neck area. I was involved in a head-on car crash that totaled my car when I was 20 years old. I’ve struggled with pain and soreness in my neck every since. Yesterday was the first time my doctor used the active release therapy on me and I swear I could tell instantly it would be beneficial! Normally I have soreness/pain in my neck/shoulders all the time. It makes it hard to fall asleep at night. Last night I slept like a baby and this morning I am about 75% better! My IT band and calf feel better too!!! Yay!!

So, after breakfast, I headed home and got the kids started on school and decided to head out for a really gentle, short walk. I had NO pain in my calf during the 3 miles and made sure not to push the pace at all. Recovery is more important than speed.

While I was walking in the beautiful sunshine, under a clear blue, cloudless sky, I started counting my blessings. I have so much to be grateful for! An amazing husband, loving children, my sweet friends, a roof over my head in a neighborhood I love (where I can see the mountains from my front porch!!), plenty of food and my good health! Even though I’m injured right now, I have been able to use my body in ways I never imagined possible — running races so much faster than I ever dreamed I could and distances that seem impossible to most people. I have a wonderful life!!!!!

So, injury or no injury — I am happy. I am grateful! I am full of JOY!

Enjoy your day!

Ave HR: 106

Be Thankful!!