Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Running with friends

One of my imaginary/became real life friends, Valorie introduced me to a small group of runners online. A new set of imaginary friends! (Really, that's all I need right? Haha! At least these are local!)

This online group tracks their daily workouts together and I have seen them get together for different races and some fun runs on the weekends but, newsflash, I don't get out of the house much. So I would just watch it all happen every weekend. I want a running buddy!! They go fun places too! On trails! New scenery! Someday I will be able to run with them and it's okay, until I can I am good with my little once a week, outside, weekend run. It's a good little quiet vacation.

But last week they were coming by ME to run! Like, right by me! So I told them I was good to meet them about half way through their run to run my 9 miles... (yes, half way, one of them had to run 14!) They told me they were going about my speed which is about 10:30 min mile or so. (I am new... I am slow, what can I say?). So we were all set but then the one gal that was planning it by me had to drop out... the run was moved but I stuck with it. I planned on meeting the one that was left. Heidi, around 7:00 (Hot! And it's been so humid to boot!) at another place about 10 minutes away. It's all good.

Except the slower runner was the one that dropped out... this didn't really occur to me until after the run though. Haha!

About 3/4 of the way there it dawned on me, I forgot my Garmin watch that tells me how fast we are going. Sucker! Naked! I am naked!

I get there and Heidi and her friend, had already been running for a little while doing speed work. They picked me up and we set off. And I was dying, slowly. Ha! We got about three miles out and turned around... this was about the time that they started asking me about me and my kids... and Dylan. So now, not only am I dying, but I am talking while I am running and I started dying even faster! You know I love talking about Dylan... it's a weakness, or not.

A few times I told them to go ahead and they said they were fine and we would walk for a minute or two. Heidi runs with her son who is like... 10 or 11? Maybe? So she is used to managing her speed for other people which is good, but they really could have gone on even though I liked the company. We walked, we ran, we walked, we ran and we were done. At the end she tells me the first three miles were at about a 9:30 pace (!!!) and that sometimes it is good to forget your watch! I think she was trying to kill me!!

We did those six miles in about 1:02. I did the DOWNHILL 10k race at this same pace, 10:00 (and was dying, if you recall...).

I was done! (Or was I?)

I got in the car and they got in theirs and I  sat for a minute. I only did 6 miles! I was planning on 9! So what that Grey only let me have 4 hours of sleep that night (just say no to caffeine, I may never learn...) and I had some crazy bowel issues (TMI)... that can't stop me! No excuses! If you are going to run you have to RUN!

So I got back out of the car and ran an additional three miles at a bit slower of a pace, the 10:30 I was planning on!) I did it! I did my longest run ever! 9 miles!

It was so SO much fun running with friends, I am sure I will get the chance to do it again. I would like to not be the one that slows everyone down but I am still pretty new at this and it seems my speed picks up every single week so I will get there. Thank goodness they were patient with me. I loved meeting my new non-imaginary friend Heidi, she is a great coach, and it really helped to inspire me to do more/faster/better.

Oh, and you know that trouble area on your hips? Like, the saddle bags? Yea, those muscles still hurt on Monday from that great run.

Alright, alright, the faster pace was good for me! I said it okay? I said it! It was good for me to be challenged!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Dylan's present from her rummer Heather!

Dylan's runner went to Chicago to do the Rock & Roll half and did great! She wanted to send Dylan a little something from their first race "together" so she shipped us off a package that we got on Saturday.

There was a shirt from the race and this adorable TEENY puppy that... appropriately... is wearing a little jogging suit! Look how CUTE!


She shoots...

She scores!!

You would think a photo op would prompt her mother to do her hair or something but... well... no. Good thing she is so cute she can get away with messy hair! 

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Be still my heart

After my Legacy run I decided to send the medal off to Jack. He got it! Fast too, way faster than I expected since it traveled across the country. His mom Bridget posted pictures of him with it this morning and, oh my word, they are so adorable!

I love this program and I love running for Jack! I have a special connection with TWO HPE kiddos now, and that's priceless! 

Dylan's runner, Heather, traveled to run the Rock & Roll Half in Chicago last weekend and she did great! She had an excellent time. During the training process she actually broke a bone in her foot though (yes, she ran a half with a broken bone in her foot...) so she is stuck in one of those silly boots for a little while until it heals. 

Thursday, July 25, 2013

"10k" number 2!

Why is 10k in quotes? Well, let me get to that...

After my last 10k one of my friends told me to find another 10k and she will run it with me. I warned her that I would take her up on that so she better be serious! She was... and I found one. The Midnight Glow Stick Run. We registered and started making sure we were ready.

Mind you, I am working on talking her into running the half with me in September. She has been training but hasn't quite made the commitment yet... Still working on that. Though now I am not so sure it's a good idea. She is fast! She ran the SL half last year and even though she hates it she has been doing it a lot longer than I have!

The night started innocently enough. We met at about 8:30 knowing we had a half hour drive to get to the starting line. We were told to get there 45 minutes to an hour early so that's what we were planning on. We were too early, there was no need to be there 45 minutes early! But she is good company so that's no big deal.

It was 94' when we met. Ughhh, gonna be a hot one folks! More humid than usual too actually. Not terribly humid to other people but I do live in a so called desert, so humid for us anyway.

We parked and got all glow sticked out. We knew the glow sticks were going to annoy us... and they totally did. Not sure what I was thinking with the necklaces but we looked good anyway. Flashy rings, flashy necklaces, glow sticks. Awesomeness.

The race started and we went... and went, and went, and went. It was an out and back course which I wasn't terribly excited about but I was even less thrilled about when I realized they were turning the 5kers around at about the 2 mile mark... whatever. We ran and soon ran past what you would think would be the half way point for 6.2 miles and kept running. Finally the 4 mile water station and the turn around point! Wait... what? 4 miles? we have to run four miles back? Well that is further than 6.2 miles. And not a little further either!

I think we just kept hoping that they moved the finish up while we were out or maybe there was a different route back that was a little bit shorter? Sara is a sprint to finish kind of gal and she kept thinking it was the end and then it wasn't. At one point I told her she was going to have to slow down because according to the start we had 2 miles left and I didn't have a faster pace in me for TWO MORE MILES. She cut me a break and slowed a little. Mind you, she just slowed to our normal pace from a sprint but that was all I really needed to not keel over.

We were wondering what in the world was going on but there were finally musings here and there so we at least knew we weren't alone in thinking something was off. We started passing all the 5k walkers, and there were a lot of them. It was pretty crowded on the way back (5k walkers!) and were working hard to dodge and pass runners.

Finally we hear cheering and we are in the last little stretch. Aaaaannd, it was over. Where are our shiney sparkly necklaces? What? We have to wait for the awards? Newsflash, unless you know someone getting an award you normally don't stick around for the award ceremony, especially if it's midnight! They were holding our sparkly necklaces hostage so they had an audience. Terrible!

We grabbed our banana, orange slice and five cups of water/gatorade, cooled off and waited. We checked FaceBook, Instagram, uploaded a picture or two of me with a bright red face. Okay, that's done, now we are BORED people. It's 12:15, finally the awards are in full force. Enough people have complained about not getting medals that they started handing them out to the people finishing the half at the finish line. Good enough for us. We went over, grabbed two and left.

Not sure if the 10K finishers were supposed to get the light up medals but whatever. Give us SOMETHING and we left. (We weren't but the apology email said they had enough for the 5&10kers and to go pick one up! So we didn't steal! And now we don't have to go pick one up!)

Phew! Long night, never going to do THAT one again!

Our little slip of paper said we ran 13:47 minut miles. But, that was dividing our time for a 6.2 mile run! Thankfully the online results made the proper adjustment! Kind of proper, my Garmin had the run at 8.31 miles (10:19 min miles) but the results have it at 8.2 miles. Not only that but the follow up email said 8.4! Let's go with the Garmin since they obviously have no idea what they are doing anyway. 

We were 29/30 of the women in all groups and 4/5 of women in our age category 35-39.


  • Those people with the clip on hat lights were the smart ones. I could have landed on my knees... or face, a couple of times very easily, especially because the first and last maybe .2 were on an uneven gravel road. There were NO lights. (Even though they said they added lights and mile markers this year...)
  • The midnight race doesn't start at midnight. It was a balmy 77' at midnight, not so much when the race started at 10:00.
  • I am much slower in the evenings/heat/humidity. 
  • Don't eat three corn dogs for dinner right before you race 6(8) miles. Boo to that.
  • People don't much care who is behind them and slower runners/walkers do not stay to the right. Boo to this.
  • Sara is faster than me, and more competitive. Apparently when I run I lose my normal competitiveness. Can't we just stop and smell the roses?
  • Telling tired runners near the finish line to run faster and hurry up sucks. Tell them they can do it and they are almost there. Not to run faster, I was close to dropping dead. Note taken for future reference.
  • Running at night is as boring as the treadmill, maybe worse. You can't see anything! Maybe if it were lit and cooler but this was 8+ miles of borrrrrring.
  • Glow sticks around your neck are annoying, arms, not so bad. 
Awwwe, Sara is cute.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Who do you run for?

I am not sure how I heard of a group called "I Run for Michael" but as soon as I found them, I was in love!

This group pairs runners (and exercisers...) with special needs kids. The runners run in the child's honor. Dedicating their runs to the child, learning more about them and their special needs and posting pictures and notes to their parent.

It. Is. Awesome.

A lot of people have heard of the term "I run for those who can't". Runners who realize that the ability to run is a gift. After all, not everyone can do it, not only is their the typical special needs community like my Dylan but you also have adults with crippling illnesses that prevent them from running and doing things they want to do. Often runners keep them in mind to inspire them to do more, run further, run faster. Those who can't hold you up, and those who can hold up those who can't.

Last year a man named Tim posted on FaceBook that he needs to run for those who can't and an adult man with Down Syndrome who he had friended a while back because of his art said "You can run for me any time!"Meet Michael. And this was the spark that lit a little movement in the running community. A wild fire.

When I joined there were members of around 600, that was a week ago and now the group is pushing 1200!

The group is full of inspirational messages to children, there are pictures of bibs with names on them... personalized "I run for..." t-shirts. The messages get more specific to the children as the friendship goes on, runners congratulating children on recent developments, telling them they saw flowers that were their favorite colors, letting them know that there were many prayers said for them on their morning run.

Members of the special needs community are understandably cautious. As such, there are runners, a lot of them, waiting to be paired with a special needs child. Hopefully parents will see the value of this closed, private group and it will continue to grow. The potential to spread awareness and foster unity is outstanding.

When I joined I joined as a parent and as a runner. Dylan's runner is a great woman named Heather whose adventures make her a bit of an inspiration herself.

I run for Jack, who do you run for?

Monday, July 1, 2013

Rolling Hills!

Well kind of. With some treadmill trickery I am able to start preparing for my down hill run in September. Matthew cut me a couple 2x8s to prop under the end of the treadmill to raises it up. I am able to get a significant downhill going as well as a little bit of uphill.

Nice when you can't leave the house and honestly ideal for preparing for a run that is straight down!

I had a four mile run this morning and I did a bit of rolling hills, up to a 4% incline and down to a 5% decline. You aren't supposed to add more than a mile of down hill at a time so that's about what I did.  It was the easiest four miles I have ever run in my life. Maybe I am getting the hang of this?! I really could have kept going! I think I am just used to me running on an 2 ir 3% incline so level, or even down hill, was crazy easy!

I did four miles in 43 minutes and that included my slower than normal first .25. Not too shabby, especially for me... I stuck it out at about 10:30 miles and just kicked it up to under 10 for my last .25 to finish with a bang.

Downhill running is harder on the quads so we will see if my legs thank me or hate me later!

In the meantime, we drove down the canyon where my race will be and it is going to be AWESOME. So fun to be able to slow down and take in that scenery! I just sat in the passenger seat and envisioned my feet hitting that pavement. I can do this!!

There is still over a three mile run once you get to the mouth of the canyon... not so sure about that part. Haha!