Training pays off

Training. You train and train and then you run. Do you do as well as you want- you hope too but one can’t predict how conditions will be, body will feel, or how mentally prepared you really are. 

I bring these things up because recently my husband and I did 19.3 miles over two days. It was part of a RunDisney even in FL but the training and drive we put ourselves through to get there was more than we’d done for any 1/2 marathon we’d done previously. Already having a bad knee it was even more painful and grueling for me as I had to engage in wearing my knee brace once again- something I haven’t had to do for about three years now. 

Everything started well, which was good because the 10k was a good race. I improved my time since my last 10k by two minutes and I get good after. A bit of swelling but we were still able to walk around at least one park in the afternoon. The next day for the half, I was a little more reluctant. My time was 12 minutes over my best 1/2 and I know that at least some of that time is chalked up to standing in line for the women’s restroom or a port-a-let because they did not have enough open on the course but I was dragging by mile eight. A ring on my right hand also was beginning to feel very tight and I had to take it off and string it through my necklace. Thank goodness that I didn’t lose it on the course! My knee, well- it felt like it was about the size of a grapefruit and that the screws were screaming to come out. I kept plugging along though to finish. 

Why am I saying all this?

I trained. I had blisters, sweat, tears, and a swollen knee- I trained and I wasn’t going to let anything stop me from finishing. In fact the only thing that would was going to be balloon ladies if I ever saw them come up behind me. So if you are determined enough to continue moving forward toward your goal you can do anything.

In fact, on Thanksgiving, we ran another 10k to help feed the hungry. My knee has still been bothering me and I haven’t been out there running a whole lot- but it was my best 10k yet! I shaved 3 minutes off my time I ran earlier in the month and didn’t even try. What it boils down too is that all my training and hard work paid off and I wasn’t even stressed about it. I didn’t focus on conditions, how I really felt, or how mentally prepared I was. I just went out and did my best. 

Sometimes in life that is what we all need to do. Do our best and be the best possible person we all can be. 

Last run of 2015

Today I took my last run of 2015. It felt good. 3.70 miles later and I logged over 410 miles this year alone. I feel pretty good about that considering I took a little bit of time there the last couple weeks to try and heal the calf strain and get through a hectic work schedule. All in all, I am proud of my accomplishments. Over the last couple years I’ve done well and will continue to push myself to do better, eat better, and go the distance. Who knows maybe 2016 will be another PR year for me or maybe I will run more half marathons than present. Whatever 2016 brings I will continue to say my mantras as I run. Here are some to share with all of you (if you need them):

You got this

Just one more mile

Make it to the stop sign

Breathe

Get’er done 

Pain is progress

There’s beer at the end

Happy New Year everyone. May 2016 bring you more miles and happiness all around. 

Do shoes make a difference or experiences?

When you go on a long run you have plenty of time to process what life throws at you. I like it because I am on the road quite a bit and this is my time to regain my composure and breathe a little before heading into another hectic week of travel. 

The other day as I was trodding down the road, I was at peace not having to think about anything except for where my foot was going to fall and if I needed to walk for a little while. Still struggling with a calf pull. Then coming towards me was another runner. All looked well and good from afar, until they got closer and I could see that they were running in vans. Vans! How does one run in vans? But wait it gets better, she was flailing her arms all over the place like a fish flops its tail fresh out of water. Now I may not be a world class runner, or an elite runner for that matter, but I know that I shouldn’t run very far in vans and the flail- no way. I wanted to say something but the look on her face was less than kind (maybe her feet hurt), and she seemed determined to get finished. Yikes!

As she passed I had to stop and just take a deep breath in for a minute and walk. It was just too bizarre for me after having such a good long decompressing run. Maybe this was a sign of how my week was going to be-odd; or maybe it was just a strange moment in time. Either way I continued on my last mile that I had to complete and finished out my run. 

Interesting how some things just strike us as bizarre, interesting, or weird but to others it is just everyday routine. Maybe that is how she runs each day, it may not bother her feet. I don’t know if I would have even noticed if I weren’t in such a decompressed mode. I think if I were in work mode it would have passed right by me. I guess I’m saying stop your world sometimes and take a look around. You never know what might make you think about things a little differently. 

A run to remember and then some

I would have to say that this has been a very interesting week of mishaps, screaming children, and full size dogs tucked under airplane seats. Yes, you heard me right… But let me get on with the post to fill you in.

My husband and I traveled to Florida for what should have been our fourth 1/2 marathon and our security nod of the year to receive our RunDisney Coast-to-Coast. We were looking forward to it and come race week watched the weather reports, watched what we ate, drank plenty of water, even took heed to the weather advisory (high) for that evenings race. 

The first signs that something wasn’t going right was the transportation from the hotel was over full with passengers. I think more spectators were hopping on buses and driving in with their family than need be and it caused an issue. Another issue was the transportation wasn’t flowing as smoothly out of the parking lots as years past. We got there with time to spare but barely as bag check was minutes away. 

We checked our bags and the wind started to pick up. Wind out of nowhere and raindrops that made some runners freak out. They are raindrops people and if you ran last years race it was nothing compared to the dumping we got then. The wind though was crazy and chilly. It went from 80+ degrees and 90% humidity to somewhere in the 70s and windy. Then there was the lightening. Great. Nothing like a little lightening to spook people. The announcer started ushering us to our corrals, or we thought that is where we were headed, but in fact we were being evacuated from the area and needed to get to the ESPN buildings. Ok, yea 14,000+ people all at once trying to get there was madness. Where did they put us? A stadium. Some apparently made it to the field house but I was ushered into the stadium. My husband found me but he was outside under an awning because he was in a different corral and we had said good luck already earlier. Crazy. So we sat. And we sat, and we sat for up to an hour. We couldn’t hear the announcers, we met new families, and we watched some really dating people run the bases, go in the dugouts, and go out on the mound of the field.  

 The natives were getting restless. At that point I was beginning to think that we weren’t going to race but it was to start at 10pm and t was just then 10, so there was still hope. If only the weather would cooperate.

Finally we got word to go back to our corrals and that we would start at 10:45. We were also told that it would be a shortened course and no longer a full 1/2 marathon. I was disappointed and upset because I had trained for this run, my times were getting better and I felt confident that I would improve, but with all the setbacks so far in the day it was probably better that the course was shortened. The race started at 11:00pm. My group wouldn’t go for another 22 minutes. I was beginning to feel tired and no longer as excited as I was 2 hours prior even if we had transportation issues. 

   
When the gun and fireworks went off everyone was slow to start but once people got moving there was so much pushing and shoving. People were not as courteous as they were 2 months prior at Disneyland. When you slow to walk get over and let others pass. At this one people just came to full stops, or three elbows as they ran past, or even cut you off so you couldn’t get past them because you didn’t want to slow your pace. You could say excuse me until you were blue and people just didn’t want to budge. I think part of it was they were upset, and the other part was that they need to hold an etiquette course for all runners prior to packet pickup. If you don’t go through it-no packet. People got hurt out there because of others and that isn’t fair to them. What if they can’t run again? What if this was this first experience and it is now ruined? I just think people need to show more consideration. 

The course ended up being somewhere around 6.72-7.23 miles. No one has officially said yet what the race distance was but we got our medals out of it. I guess we need to put Wine and Dine 1/2 half marathon on the medal. My time wasn’t improved either. After everything, it stayed the same as a 10k time would have been. I’m not disappointed though because my knee was swelling, I’ve been having calf issues, shin issues, and it was muggy out there. It’s all good- I’ll take it.

  

My second notation at the beginning was creaming children. Ya know when you are at a theme park for a couple days and your child has grown and off to college or your children are well behaved, well we experienced some children this week who ruled the parents. The best one by far was in front of us on the plane to Atlanta. This child, we will call him “the little monster”, screamed and screamed and then would be good and then screamed. Now this was not an infant, nor was it a child of two or three. The little monster was  at least four or five. He was horrible. No filter at all, wouldn’t sit down in the seat, wouldn’t be quiet, wouldn’t listen and slapped his mother or the woman who appeared to be his mother. The only thing she did when he did that was say ,’hey’. Um… Excuse me but no. You need to nip that in the bud right away sweetheart. She had no control. He continued his screams and they weren’t even about anything. He wasn’t in pain, he wasn’t crying, he wasn’t being restrained, he just screamed. Now I had my headphones in with music on and could still hear the child. My husband who has noise cancelling headphones could still hear the little monster. So the children in the theme parks were annoying at times but this- the little monster was the devil.

The third thing I mentioned was a full size dog tucked under the seats of a plane. You read the correctly- full size. On our second leg back we didn’t see the dog at first until the girl in front of us got up to move and the guy needed to move and all of a sudden there is a big black lab tail wagging. Now small dogs are always on the plane in their little carriers but a full size dog? I know there are seeing eye dogs, comfort dogs etc but none of those badges are on this dog- just a leash. My question for airlines is what if a person paying full fare around them is allergic to a dog? I mean really allergic what happens? I don’t think it is right to have animals in the main cabin area. I love my dog but that is what traveling by car is for so you can make appropriate ‘pit stops’. I don’t know what is happening to the air industry but there is something new everyday.

Ok that is all I have for a weeks excitement. Evacuation, shortened run, little monsters, and dogs on planes. Have a nice day.

Listening

When we share information and intimate details there is the expectation that the other person is listening, showing empathy, genuinely caring about what is being shared. However, that doesn’t always happen. We are sometimes mistaken and find they aren’t really paying attention to what we are saying at all. It is disconcerting  to find that a conversation important to us is nothing to them. It makes us shutdown, turn away, close them out. It shouldn’t but their reactions speak louder than words. 

There is a bit of hope and solitude that comes with these days and these feelings. We run. We find our inner peace and bear down. Yes it hurts that they don’t share the same world with us and we will have to figure out a way to help them see the light, but for moments in time where we need to just find some peace in the world from their lack of reality- we run. 

It is better to have peace and calm within yourself than to have worry and angst over their reactions. 

Clear Your Mind

Clear your mind.

That was my run motto this morning.  As I kept telling this to myself I could actually feel my breathing begin to relax; I could hear the music more clearly and with each foot fall, my body become one with my run. It was a completely different experience today resulting in faster miles and a clearer head at the end.

So much has been going on and so many thoughts have been going through my head that I needed to have a clear slate today. Traveling for work a lot doesn’t give you much down time and every now and then you just need to put everything aside and hope for the best. Today was one of those days. I needed to just put it all aside and clear my mind of everything. No deadlines, no extra thoughts, no worries, no phone calls, texts, emails, meetings, nothing. I just needed to have my own time for me.

Clear your mind. The best advice I can give for a Wednesday.