"Winning has nothing to do with racing. Most days don't have races anyway. Winning is about struggle and effort and optimism, and never, ever, ever giving up."

Saturday, July 31, 2010

My Husband Really is the Best

So the title of this blog really does hold true. I don't know many men who would wake up on a Saturday morning at 5:45AM, to help their wives accomplish a 17 mile run! But mine did!

I knew the poison that was in store for today.....17 miles. 17 miles of road, rolling hills, humidity, and sweat pouring down, well, everywhere. I always get apprehensive about my long runs. I start to question myself: What if I can't do it? Do I have a enough water? What if I pass out on the side of the road? What if I don't have enough to fuel my body?

So this morning, Jeremy biked alongside me, as I pounded the pavement. He got up and started his coffee, while I ran my first 5 miles. The first 5 miles were no big deal. By the time I made it back to the house, Jeremy was waiting in the street with his bike, ready to go. He had green powerade zero in my fuel belt, on his back. And he had orange powerade zero in his fuel belt on the handle bars of his bike. And off we went! The next 5 miles still weren't too bad.

I had my helper passing me powerade, and jolly ranchers! I didn't have any sport beans, or chews to keep me going. We didn't really have much of anything-other than the jolly ranchers, and boy did those help! The run didn't feel too tough until about 12-13 miles into it. Then it started feeling like work. But I knew I'd make it.

I am very thankful for my husband, who puts up with my crazy tactics, and even joins in! That run would not have been nearly as enjoyable without him by my side. I don't think there's anyone else I'd rather spend over two hours running with!

Thanks Jeremy!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Long Road

On Friday morning I rolled out of bed at 5:00AM to prepare for my 16 mile run. This is my longest run so far this season. Prior to stumbling out the door, I chowed down on some food, just to get some carbs in me. I fastened my fuel belt full of Lemon Lime Powerade, and hit the road.

The first 8 miles of the run felt good. Even at mile 10, I was still feeling comfortable. Around mile 13, the humidity and heat started bothering me. At mile 14, I finally decided to make a quick stop at the local Byerly's to refill my belt with water. It was hot, and my body was craving fluids. After the water stop, my body felt a lot better, and I knew this run was going to be manageable.

My husband had a very important day on Friday, and I was determined to get home to pray with him before he had to leave the house. I knew what time he had to leave, and I knew I was within a five minute window, before he hopped in his car. Let me tell you, my last two miles of the run were my fastest miles! At a time when my body should be most tired, and ferocious energy swept over me--I had to get home.

I threw myself through the doors, to find my husband standing and waiting in the living room--he was literally waiting for me to walk in the door.

I was so happy I got to pray for him before he left!

After he left, I had a thought: If only I could have that kind of motivation on all my other long runs! I'd have a great finish every time! Next weekend holds a 17 miler in store for me, along with a VERY VERY busy weekend. Update to follow.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Racking Up the Mileage

It looks like I won't be doing another race in the near future, due to the fact that all my long runs on the weekends will now be over 13 miles!

This past weekend I had my last low mileage "long run" of 10 miles. Next weekend I do a 15 miler, and then it fluctuates between 12-20 miles over the next couple months. I am very pleased with how this season is panning out (minus the Red White and Boom Half Marathon). I have my eye on the prize, and the prize is a BQ (Boston Qualifier). So far, everything is lining up to run a great race at the Chicago Marathon! I am injury-free and feeling strong! I'm running 6 days a week, and gaining speed again.

Saturday morning I got up at 5:30AM to hammer my 10 miler, but was unpleasantly greeted with 90% humidity. So I decided on a 5 miler, and promised myself to do the 10 miler on Sunday morning, hoping Saturday night's storm would squash the humidity. Unfortunately, Sunday morning at 5:30AM, the humidity was up to 93%. However, I pounded it out, and it felt good! This morning (Monday), I ran an 8 miler at a 7:34 average pace. I felt extremely good about being able to run an 8 miler at that pace, after doing a 10 miler the day before!

Things are shaping up very nicely for me! I have conserved energy, run smart, and stayed focused! Ready for Chicago on 10/10/10!!!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Kombucha Tea

It's been a while since I wrote blog. But I'm back! I just finished my first batch of Kombucha Tea! One of my great girlfriends, Suzie, has been drinking Kombucha Tea since her aunt introduced her to it. She told me about it when she first got her mushroom. Then a few months ago, the Celiac Disease Foundation mentioned the benefits of Kombucha Tea for individuals with Celiac because it helps with digestion, and keeping the digestive track healthy! Kombucha mushrooms reproduce every week, so I finally got one of Suzie's baby mushrooms.

What a process it is to prepare Kombucha Tea!!! I had great instruction from Suzie, and her sister, Stephanee. I went to Target to buy a large glass container, and cheese cloth from Home Depot. To make the tea, you boil a large pot of water, then add a bunch of tea bags and let steep. After allowing the tea to brew and steep, sugar is added, and then you wait. The tea has to cool down, and become room temperature before adding the mushroom. Once the tea has cooled down, the mushroom can be added, the cheese cloth put over the top, and then it has to sit for 7 days.

The tea begins to ferment over the 7 days. I watched the many phases of the mushroom over the 7 days. It was so interesting to see it gradually produce a baby mushroom on the top. After the 7 days, which was today, I poured the drink into glass pitchers, and they are now stored in my fridge, and I have a new batch starting. My new batch is a Vanilla Caramel Black Tea :)

I am still learning about Kombucha and all the benefits associated from the tea. What I do understand so far is the mushroom is a probiotic "living organism" which creates a healthy bacteria that aids in intestinal health.

Here are some of the reported benefits:
# Acts as a gentle laxative, helping avoid constipation.
# Aids in the relief of arthritis.
# Cleanses the colon and gall bladder.
# Aids in healthy digestion
# Relieves colitis and stomach cramps.
# Helps stop non-infectious diarrhea.
# Relieves bronchitis and asthma.
# Clears up Candida yeast infections.
# Regulates the appetite and reduces fat.
# Aids with stress and insomnia.
# Improves eyesight, cataracts and floaters.
# Relieves headaches including migraines.
# Helps reduces the alcoholic's craving for alcohol.
# Clears acne, psoriasis and other skin problems.
# Thickens hair and strengthens fingernails.

I am giving the tea a try, and will report the health benefits as I experience them! As it stands now...it sure tastes good :)

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Red White and Boom Bombed.

After my third half marathon this season (Minneapolis, June 6, Grandmas, June 19, and now this one, July 4), I learned some valuable life lessons. One of them being this: Don't fall asleep on a boat in 92 degree weather...it leads to heat exhaustion.

Jeremy and I had a wonderful trip in Lake City with my parents! We spent Friday and Saturday on Lake Pepin, enjoying the sun and the water. Saturday was a scorcher of a day. I had downed two bottles of water before hitting the boat. We got on the lake around 9AM, and did some waterskiing and tubing, which was so much fun! After my arms felt like noodles, I happily peeled my wetsuit off, lathered the sunscreen, and fell asleep in the sun. After about 5 hours on the boat we got off to start making an early dinner before the drive home, in preparation for race day. As we were walking up to the car I started feeling extremely light-headed. I chugged some water once we got back to my parents condo, but it was too late. Heat exhaustion had set in. I didn't think it was a big deal, I thought I would be fine once I got more water in me. We had a nice dinner, and we were soon on the road home. My head was pounding and I slept more on the car ride home. We got home around 7pm, and I showered and crawled into bed, hoping the morning would bring the strength I needed to complete the task.

I woke up at 4:30AM, to a swoldering 79 degrees, with 80% humidity. I cringed as I checked the hour by hour forecast. My faithful husband and I took off for the start around 5:10. We met up with Trey, and made it towards the start line! I was very happy to see my friend Grace, prior to the start. Trey and I made it close to the front. I was still shaky, and told Jeremy, who stood by on his bike, that I may not finish the race.

About 1.5 miles into the race it started raining. This was a welcomed addition to the race; however, about 3.5 miles into the race the downpour began. I could hear peoples shoes squeaking with water as they trampled the pothole-invested course. The inaugural Red White and Boom Half Marathon took an unfamiliar path through the NE Minneapolis neighborhood. Many steps were deceiving as puddles filled potholes, and you never knew whether your foot was hitting the pavement or a hole. The course had large puddles most of the way. From the start of the race I knew I did not feel strong, and I wondered if I would finish. But I found a quote in my mom's magazine that lingered in my heart:

"The pain of discipline is far less than the pain of regret."

That thought wouldn't go away.

I made it to the hilly neighborhood, prior to the Demming Heights Hill. At the bottom of the hill I saw Cal, an old friend from school, and Steele Fitness. As I approached Demming Heights, I wasn't sure what was left. I started making my way up, and knew I needed help. Towards the top of the hill, my good friends Andrea and Mary were there....cheering me on. I couldn't believe that they came to cheer in the pouring rain! I was uncomfortable, feeling light-headed, and questioning my previous races. But then I saw them, and knew I had to tough it out. At the top of the hill, Austin called out my name from behind, and then kept going. He looked so strong, and it made me so excited for his XC season in the fall.

The tail end of the course made its way along Boom Island, and along the muddy path leading back to St. Anthony Main. The last mile went by quick. It was my training territory, the place the Runnin Rams mark as their 6 mile loop. I knew I was home.

I finished:
Time: 1:45:11
Overall Place: 229/2375
Gender Place: 56/1321
Age Group Place: 7/168

Looks like I wasn't the only one who had a bad race.....

A tough time to cope with after a 1:41:23 finish at Grandma's Half two weeks ago. However, even after a disappointing finish the quote still rings true: "The pain of discipline is far less than the pain of regret."

This was a tough training run, and there will be more to come, and redemption will be received.