Little False Advertising Here

As we all know I haven’t been running. However, I decided to be a spectator tomorrow at the Air Force Marathon in Dayton, Ohio and cheer on my friends. I decided to take a half day at work today and a friend invited me to go with him to the Expo to see if that would help put me in a better “running mood”. Well, one of my other friends running the race said I needed to look at the back of the Kentucky Derby Festival Marathon sheet because he thought I would find it funny. I walked round the Expo (found $10 arm warmers!!) but I didn’t see their booth until the end. I looked at the back and I didn’t get what my friend found funny. It just seemed normal to me. (He is a guy so I had in my mind it was some stupid joke that usually guys enjoy but usually us ladies don’t care for, you know the ones.) I texted my friend and he told me what he found funny.

Flyer For The Kentucky Derby Festival Marathon

Flyer For The Kentucky Derby Festival Marathon

For those of you who don’t remember or are just recent readers, I ran the Kentucky Derby Festival Marathon in the spring of 2012. I started out great but the hills at the end of the course killed me. Majority of the race is flat but where there are hills…there are hills. I thought the elevation chart was pretty misleading or not detailed enough. So, knowing this he thought I would find their first line fairly funny (or at least he did). I looked at their website and the course is still the same but it looks like the elevation chart is a little better. A little better. What do you think?

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It’s Been Rough…

Hello, remember me? It’s been a while so wasn’t so sure you would remember me. The past few months have definitely been a roller coster which is mainly due to my lovely frenemy, MS. This winter was pretty rough. It seemed like I basically crashed after my Europe trip and struggled to recover for a very long time. I even had a day with the family at the Air Force Museum and I spent the entire day in a wheelchair due to issues walking. It was a fun day but a hard day for me emotionally. I actually cried shortly after I sat down in the wheelchair for the first time that day.

There were a lot of times I thought “I need to sit down and write about this” but I think the depression and exhaustion won over. Now I feel there is so much I could have written about and now I forget most of it. I guess in a way you could look at that as a good thing, but you always want to remember what you have survived so you know in the future what you can conquer.

This spring I was finally able to pull myself out of the depression, get my MS back on track and start running again. Running does wonders for my state of mind but right now I am struggling with what it has done to me physically. I was originally planning on running the Capital City Quarter Marathon on May 4th, a leg of the Flying Pig Marathon Relay on May 5th, and Grandma’s Marathon on June 22nd. Well, the first two happened but I will have to pull out of Grandma’s Marathon this year because I developed a knee injury the last mile or so of my leg at the marathon relay. Not what I wanted to have happen on my come back from one of the worst winters of my life but that’s life. My knee isn’t horrible, I can still run shorter distances however my knee is not happy with me afterwards. I am going to take about a month to work on this injury and hopefully come back strong for the Air Force Half Marathon and possibly the Columbus Marathon in the fall.

Europe…that has been a hard looming subject of things I need to write about. This winter I was in a fairly dark place so I decided I wanted to write about that when I felt more like myself and could have fun with it. I felt if I wrote about it in the winter I would just want to rush it because I was in pain or I wanted to go to sleep…not what I wanted to do on something big like that. I hope in the next month or so I will be able to write about my trip to Europe in my normal voice.

Well, that is enough typing on the back porch for once evening. I think even my three huskies are starting to get a little bored. Guess there isn’t much going on in backyard here tonight.

My Flying Pig Marathon Relay team below. (As you can see I am rocking the ice on my knee already. 🙂 )

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I Made It Back In One Piece…

My trip to Europe (well Paris, Dresden, Berlin and London) was awesome! I think at times I still can’t believe all the things I saw and experienced. I am not even going to try to fit it all in one post so I am going to try to break it up over the next few posts for you guys (also means more pictures 🙂 ). Here is the abridged version of the trip itinerary so you have an idea of what lies ahead in future posts:

Friday, October 12th – Leave for Paris

Saturday, October 13th – Arrive in Paris at 9:45am (3:45am EST – my normal time)

Thursday, October 18th – Train ride from Paris to Dresden

Sunday, October 21st – Dresden Marathon

Tuesday, October 23rd – Train ride from Dresden to Berlin

Thursday, October 25th – Flight from Berlin to London

Monday, October 29th – Head home – Arrive in Montreal, Canada but last two flights canceled, have to spend the night in Montreal. :-/

Tuesday, October 30th – Finally Home 🙂

As you can see it was a fairly long and crazy trip especially for my first trip to Europe. Not sure what I was thinking with this one but my sister seemed to be ok with this craziness. My sister, Sara (an experienced traveler), helped guide me through my first, and hopefully not last, trip to Europe with her guide books and travel knowhow. I guess for some reason I didn’t put together what her Bachelors in History and her over ten years of work experience in history museums would really mean for me in Europe: a lot of museums. The girl is crazy about museums but we did see some other things too. I also believe she passed the love for international travel on to me too since before we even got back home we were having discussions on where I would run my next international marathon. 🙂

Well, I think with this post I will leave the crowd wanting more…mainly because I think if I keep typing I will start talking too much about the trip and not know where to stop but also the hips are not happy from the 5k I ran on Sunday so i need to stop to do some stretching and icing before bed. Next post, Paris. 🙂

Eiffel Tower

#3…not the greatest

Little over a week late but still wanted to write a quick post on what I decided to do last Saturday (September 15th). Since I was struggling with the injured hips off and on and still had not been as consistent in my training as I would have liked I had told myself I would not run the Air Force Marathon even though I already paid for it. Well, after I finally ran 18 miles the weekend before the marathon I started throwing around the idea of still running the marathon. The week leading up to the marathon I really wanted to run it but was still nervous I hadn’t trained enough and that I might hurt my hips even more for The Dresden Marathon. Well, once I went to go pick up my bib and tech shirt two days before I think that sealed the deal, I was definitely going to run it.

I probably slept about 8 hours Friday night which was the most I have ever slept the night before a marathon. I felt relaxed and just in a good mood. Well, parking took a little longer then it had in past years so by the time I got to the start line I had enough time to quickly go the bathroom then run to the start area with just a few minutes to spare.  (Which meant I didn’t stretch at all before this marathon, luckily I had spent a good amount of time the night before stretching). I realized after the cannon (yes, they started us off with a cannon this year) that I had forgotten my watch to keep track of my pace.  (Insert minor freak out moment, and probably some cursing under my breath) I quickly brought up the stopwatch feature on my iPhone to at least keep track of my time and decided to try to run with the 4:10 pace group just to have a better idea how I was pacing.

We started out on the course and about a mile into the race (as we are starting up our first hill) I did think to myself “Why did I think this was a good idea again?”. Luckily I stopped those thoughts very quickly and just started to focus on the climb ahead. The first 10-12 miles felt pretty good and the pace felt great. I stayed with the pace team until about 17 miles when my right hip started acting up. I slowed down to try to maintain my right hip without stopping or walking but eventually the slow jog wasn’t working anymore. For most people (including myself) walking or stopping to stretch can be one of the worst things because it is hard to get the body going again. Eventually i gave in and started to walked off and on, it was the only way to decrease the pain. However I didn’t dare to stop completely and stretch, knowing my body would tighten up. I was doing ok with running for a while then walking for a little bit if needed for the hips as I passed the 20 mile marker.

There are a few sizable hills at the end of the race so I decided that I would try to walk/slowly run up these hills to try to save my hips for Dresden. (For some reason it really decreased the pain in the hips when I walked up the hills rather than ran.) Well, when I hit around 22.5-23 miles I got a cramp just to the right of my belly button. I started walking but it just wasn’t going away. I tried “speed” walking but even that was too painful to deal with for very long. Even though it killed my pride I ended up walking the rest of the marathon except about the last half mile. I wasn’t going to finish walking so I slowly jogged to finish.  It was a little painful but there was the pride thing and also I just wanted to finish the race already. It was great getting my marathon medal (guess it always is) and getting something to eat. The cramp started going away fairly quickly after I finished and was gone by the time I started walking back to the car. And luckily for me my hips felt back to normal within a day or two.

Quick photo opt after The Air Force Marathon

Well, I finished and that is what my goal was for the day since I definitely wasn’t fully back from being injured to run a marathon yet. It obviously ended up being my worst time out of the three marathons I have ran but I am still glad I did it. I learned that I might be walking some in the Dresden Marathon due to the hips but that is ok. The Dresden Marathon is all for the experience, I cannot wait!

Want To Run A Marathon In Germany? I Do!

Last night I put in my application to be considered to represent Columbus, Ohio in an athlete exchange program being put on by The Columbus Marathon and The Dresden Marathon in Germany. If I would be chosen I would run The Dresden Marathon on October 21st instead of the Columbus Marathon. When I heard about it I thought it would be an awesome opportunity that I just couldn’t let slip by so I applied. I won’t know anything for probably a month so trying not to get excited about it but just think it would be such a great experience. Keeping the fingers crossed.

Just 5 More Days!

Wow, I can’t believe I am finally just 5 days away from the marathon! It feels like it has been such a long journey since I wasn’t able to do any full marathons last year.  The mixture of my MS issues and running injuries just kicked my butt in 2011. Pretty excited for Saturday. I will admit there is a small part of me that is saying “And why did I want to run 26.2 miles again?”. I do remember some pain from the first marathon but overall I really enjoyed the experience.

Speaking of that pain…I never got to tell the story of my first marathon last year since I was saving it for the next time I ran a full marathon. Well, the first marathon I ran was the 2010 Columbus Marathon which was on a Sunday in mid October. I had trained throughout the summer and was pumped for the marathon. Then came Friday morning just two days before the marathon. I wasn’t feeling well as I was getting ready for work and all of a sudden threw up in a trash can. I was a little worried at this point but thought it was probably just food poisoning. I stayed home from work in the morning and just tried eating the basic things like crackers, toast, and chicken soup. Was feeling a little better so headed to work in the afternoon and then had a basic dinner Friday night.

I woke up the day before the marathon and now things were going right through me. Not really helpful when you need to build up nutrients for your 26.2 mile run the next morning. I was pretty upset this time and called my Mom to discuss things since they were planning to drive me the next morning. We decided to go to the store to get some Pediasure (suggested by a running friend) and few other things packed full of nutrients that we thought I would be able to handle. So my lunch before my big marathon was Pediasure and I believe I also drank some juices in the afternoon. By dinner time I was feeling a little more normal and attempted some pasta which seemed to do just fine. Looks like I was back in the race!

The morning of the race came and I didn’t really get much sleep (not uncommon for most people) but I was ready to go. I had my cereal and yogurt and felt great.  We live about a hour away from Columbus so we had to get up pretty early and made it to the starting line a little later then I had planned but we made it. The first 13 miles were a little frustrating because there were just so many people but then when the half marathon turned off and the full route kept going straight you all a sudden felt very lonely. I felt pretty good until about the 19thmile where I stopped and stretched for a few minutes. I was starting to hit that infamous “wall”. It was hard but I was able to push myself through the remaining seven miles and finish in a time of 4:23:43. I was really hoping to take no longer then 4:30 and I made it with little over six minutes to spare!

Relaxing after the race in my sweats trying to warm up.

Right now it looks like I shouldn’t have any issues this week but who knew I would be sick with food poisoning or something just two days before my first marathon! Just hoping that I don’t have any issues leading up to the marathon and definitely hoping to beat my time of 4:23:43!