Marathon Cleaning: 30 days – 30 items

If you are like me, you started off 2014 with good intentions, that somewhere along the line fell by the wayside. In particular, I am thinking about the state of my house, this damp and dreary fall day. It is a mess! No softening the blow! With training and completing 4 full marathons from October 13, 2013 through October 12, 2014, I have “let things go”. And it shows :( Both inside and outside, I am unorganized and unmotivated.

I started the year with the “2014 in 2014″ decluttering challenge in which as a family, we offload, whether by giving away, tossing or donating, 2014 items throughout the year. I’m not even sure where I ended the counting, which leads me to my current personal challenge of “30 days, 30 items”. .

The rules are simple. Using 15 minute increments (to keep me focused), I will clean and declutter my house, all the while keeping a tally of the decluttered items!! When I hit 30 items for that day, I can quit! Sounds easy, maybe because I have slacked on much of any deep cleaning for so long, that my dust bunnies are mass producing!! But it is day one. And what seems doable at the moment, will eventually overwhelm me and I will need to draw on my marathoning mental toughness to get over the wall!

Should be interesting!
So let’s toe the line and get started!!

Chicago Marathon 2014 recap

Alrighty Striders!! SOME of you asked for it, so here is my Chicago marathon recap.

Met up with Emily from Autism Speaks Team Up! Team who was also dealing with hip discomfort and wanted a 4:25 marathon. We cruised along close to pace until we stopped to use the porta potties. In those 5 minutes my hip stiffened up, making a noticeable difference in my stride. During mile 13 it was difficult to stride more than a few inches, and was obvious that I was slowing Emily down, so I sent her on. During mile 14, my right knee started feeling “sticky”. I have yet to have knee issues in my 26 months of running and it immediately had me on alert! I dealt with my hip fracture last year which took me out of commission for over 4 months, and I am not prepared to (willingly) do that again. So in the next few miles I stopped to briefly talk to a nurse, I again stopped to get stretched out, and I stopped a third time when it felt like my toe nail fell off. (It hasn’t. Yet.)

At this point what felt best when the knee started to “stick” was to do 10 walking strides before trying to tun some more. This continued for miles and miles at approximately 13:30 pace per mile. I just could not extend my stride more than a few inches (it seemed) due to the tightness and soreness of both hips now However, the knee “quieted down” whenever I did those paces, so after the sub 5 was out of reach, I was resolved to “just finishing” and hoping that the discomfort I was feeling didn’t result in excrutiating pain and take me out completely.

My aerobic fitness was there. Fueling was right on, anxiety and nervousness were almost unnoticeable.

In the end, I finished at 5:19:xx – disappointing but not discouraged that I would at some point try for that sub 5 marathon again (MUCH to the disbelief of the Mr.!)

After crossing the finish line, the race officials (who must be masochists) were probably somewhere laughing hysterically at the 45,000 runners who were now made to hobble and limp for an additional mile to get to the spectator area to meet their loved ones. There was even a flight of stairs to go down!!! (That was just mean RD’s, MEAN!!!) Security was so strong this year! There was no corral jumping – making certain of this with gating between the corrals as well as roping off the groups until we reached the starting line once the gating was removed. To enter the spectator area, bags, purses, strollers et al were all checked, making it a nuisance to meet up with my boys, so I just waddled my way back in the direction they were and then immediately (I say immediately, but at the pace I was now moving, there wasn’t anything immediate about it). We FINALLY got to the train station. I will spare you the rest, and keep this recap PG rated.

I posted to Facebook when service was finally reinstated and decided that the 3 days of complete rest would include a break from social media.

Recovery has mainly been spent in my bed with my feet up. Lots of sleep, Epsom salt baths, some “The stick” rolling, and foam rolling. Very little lacrosse ball action! Surprisingly my hips are not the most painful part on me! My calf is SUPER DEE DUPER TIGHT.

Where will I go from here? What’s next?
I am pretty certain that this beat-down I gave myself will not allow for my attempting my first ultra on 11/1, and that is A-OK!! I just don’t think it would be in my best interest to push my sore body right now. I do know that I need to concentrate on becoming stronger physically. I had been treated by my PT earlier in the week, and we discussed how tight I was in the hips and that my glute muscles needed some attention/strengthening. My boys need their Mom, my family needs my attention, and my house – GAH!! But the biggest hurdle??? Convincing the Mr. to support another marathon training session after seeing me in pain, witnessing all the tears, hearing of the heartbreak of being once again neglected of that sub 5 hour marathon after working so hard. But, even he knows it’s just a matter of time…

Buckheart’s Lone Ranger Marathon 9/6/14

Marathon Recap:

The first 9 miles were fairly uneventful. I tried to stay as close to my marathon pace (10:15) as I could, even having to walk some of a few miles to slow things down. Mile 10 was different and the start of the downfall. I started cramping in my legs. I have never experienced cramping before – ever, so it was new to me. I struggled to keep going, At 13.1 I stopped to take a picture of my watch to send to Coach Mike. I think I wrote “out of gas”. At mile 14 I stopped at the house to get some straight Gatorade and change my shirt and headband. Unlike some previous long runs, I vowed to never stopped my watch or Garmin Fit this entire run, so that I could see the results of the real me.

By this time, the congestion meds I took at 430 a.m. had worn off, and the phlegm, runny nose and coughing started. I have been struggling with this summer cold for over a week now, and honestly felt better yesterday, but night time breathing was somewhat labored. However I went to bed at 7 p.m., so I felt like I should have gotten enough sleep.

The weather was beautiful!! I think it got up to 70 in the 5 hours I was out there. Unseasonably cool since the rains came through yesterday afternoon and last night. The sun shown from miles 15-22, so any shade from large trees was welcome, but only exist at the one end of the backroad, as it is mostly cornfields or soybeans.

When I got to mile 20 I stopped to take another picture of the watch and noted that I was “still kicking”. In spite of cramping and a general sore feeling all these miles, I felt good at the time the watch showed. All I wanted was a sub-5 marathon. Well, that’s not exactly true. I REALLY wanted to complete this marathon. Although the Eastern Kentucky marathon had been canceled due to severe flooding, all of the #Runnerds who were supposed to run decided to run anyway, on their own. I was told by many experienced runners that running a marathon alone is “tough”, but I felt ready, I trained hard, and I had friends, family and those who supported me through Autism Speaks that I had behind me. I wasn’t running this race for a medal, but I HAD to do it.

Somewhere during mile 25 I started feeling lightheaded, even dizzy. Again, something I never experienced before but I was less than a mile from my house now – ain’t no way I was quitting now!! Although I had a hydration station at the street, I again ran to the house to get straight Gatorade. I figured I seriously needed salt, but have NO IDEA where that is in all my running stuffs, since I have never had to use it.

So up and back the end of the road I went. A lot of walking and what felt like barely moving, but my kids could see me, so I wasn’t quitting. Lots of crying (maybe that’s where all the salt went. Hmmmm.) Lots of “running in the mile I was in“. Lots of thinking about supporters and Striders who believe in me, lots of Reist in my ear telling me to keep going, and my kids. Did I say that already?!?

So the picture is the splits I ran. The last were 25: 14:36, and 26: 13.29; with a total time of 5 hours, 3 minutes and 29 seconds.

I left it all out there. I can’t be upset with my performance. I have no excuses.

Just a goal of a sub-5 marathon that still has yet to be reached. Thankfully Coach Mike Run Nerds Rock has agreed to keep me on as a client

The Longest Day

Possibly TMI for the squeamish, but just keeping it real-Ladies and Gents.
Started out walking today, not knowing if my body has yet recovered from the hemorrhaging I experienced earlier in the week from complications from my D&C 4 weeks ag I had pledged two hours of running to the Alzheimer’s Association: The Longest Day for Team Beautiful Minds, and although I continue to bleed some (day 11), Dr. G cleared me Friday, and I was set to walk the duration!

Little Isaac had me awake at the 5 o’clock hour, so by 6 I was ready to get moving. The first mile I walked entirely. The second and third miles I sort of did a walk/run ala Jeff Galloway, but I wasn’t feeling any pain so I decided to go for it! I stayed close to the house, just running the 1/2 mile lane, and at the hour came in to fuel and take a picture for prosperity 

I went into this thinking, ‘I have 9 miles scheduled for my marathon training’, ‘I want to go the full 2 hours, “upright” ‘, and ‘I originally intended to run a half’ – so I just played it by ear. And guess what??? My garmin fit app shut off at the hour, my little Isaac reported to me that “I pooped in the floor Mommy” (thankful that he is verbal, but c’mon now!!!), and when I went the duration of the half (I stopped dead in my tracks right at 13.1 where my kids met me on the front lawn!! – I actually fell to the ground and started crying!!) AND I forgot to turn off my watch. d’oh 

But no time for that! The Mr. has time trials (he’s a dragster). Gates open at 11, time trials start at 1, elimination at 5. Thank God for the rain delay we are having right now!! I’ve had this pent up inside me (‘this place about to blow’ – Ke$sha) for hours!!!

So, I did it! I ran a half. When I plugged in my watch the activity stopped (abruptly) at 2:10:29 when I fell down/over. I’m good with that! 

Mr. Run Nerds Rock, Michael Scott, bring on the tough marathon schedule!! I’m ready :)


Looking Ahead

Looking ahead, I have just three (3) planned races on my calendar for the remainder of the year! So training should be a constant!!
On June 21st, I am participating in The Longest Day, running for the Alzheimer’s Association: The Longest Day. I have dedicated two hours to run a half marathon.
On July 20th, I am running the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series in Chicago for Autism Speaks – Chicagoland Chapter
On October 12th, I am running the Bank of America Chicago Marathon for Run For Autism
These are all runs for causes, so if you are inclined to donate, simply message me and I can direct you to the cause of your choice!! 


I am a marathoner!!!!

I wasn’t sure I could do it!  By mile 12, I was struggling.  BAD.  :(   It was HOT!  Much hotter than the 22-38 degrees that I had trained in.  And the wind they had forecasted that might give us a bit of relief, was non-existent.  

The morning started early.  I had everything laid out and was ready.  We got to the starting grounds and the crowds were crazy big.  During my wait in the usual lines for the porta potties, I actually spotted someone I knew (Hi Dianna) and we had a brief conversation before I headed over to the starting line.  I wanted to stop at Corral A to wish my friend Sean my best as he was going for his BQ!  (He got it!!)  Then down to the very last Corral H where I was assigned.  On the way down, someone saw me (Hi Cathy and Annette) and we exchanged well wishes.  I was loving the excitement as I made my way down the rows.  Then I saw the Mr. and son at Corral D.  “This is your pace, why are you way back there?”, they asked.  Another friend saw me standing there in my quandary (Hello Laura!) and I decided to just jump in.  Before they left, I restated to the guys the directions to ‘meet me as close to every 4 miles as they could with my drinks and fuel’. 

The first 10k was quick.  My family waited at a corner and I went right by without them seeing my arrival.  I was running a bit ahead of the 4:20 pace group, who walked through the water stop.  I remember as I passed I heard, “do you need water?”, “Nope!  I’m good”, I answered as I cruised by with my handheld.  I finished mile 4 and my water bottle was empty.  Anticipating my family at any time, I tossed my empty and looked for them,  And looked and looked and looked.  At the 10k, all of the oranges were already gone :(  I crossed at 1:01:17, and took a GU.  At the next water stop I walked through and drank 2 cups and carried one with me.  Finally around mile 8 there they were with my Nuun!!  I was hot already, but still at a 10 mile a minute pace.  I traded my paper cup for my plastic bottle and away I went.

By mile 12 I was struggling.  I had taken my second GU, so I needed more as I went on, but the guys left it in the car.  I learned my lesson that not having fluid and fuel on me was not in my best interest, so I was not going to go on without either.  From mile 8 on, I simply refilled my water bottle at water/Gatorade stations, and was taking no chances.  At future GU stops, I was taking a fuel to go.  Beginner’s lessons ;)  While I was standing there talking to my son, TooTallFritz came by (Hi Amanda)!!  I caught up with her, and we ran a few miles together, commiserating with one another on how tough it was going.  I went ahead as she reunited with her family <3

Thank goodness for second winds, (or catching up on my fluids) because my by mile 20, I rounded the corner like a champ!  My stride was almost non existent, my inner thighs were SO tight, but I still had a smile on my face and waved to the Mr saying “Only 6 miles to go!!”  Yeah.  Only.

Reist caught up to me and he too was, as he said “in it for the pain”.  He won’t know how much that helped me, but I was downing the fluids like an empty sponge, so ahead he went!  I was told about this area being shy of crowd support, but wow!  I prefer to run on my own, but this was not what I needed :(  No way was I going to quit, shoot, I could the last 5+ miles if I had to.  Then this. Isaac Rocks IL Marathon mile 22 Upon seeing that sign, I was redirected in my thoughts.  My goal time was long out of the question.  I watched as the 4:30, 4:45, and even 5 hour paces went by, unable to do anything but keep up my 13 minute mile shuffling.  I just didn’t have the strength.  At mile 25 I willed myself to just keep it up for the last 1.2 miles.  There!  Up ahead!!  I see it!!!  The 26 mile mark and the stadium!!!!  I got to the mile marker and stopped to walk.  A few steps into it a gal said ‘it’s .2 of a mile.  “YOU GOT THIS!” ‘  And I did.  The bit of the incline into the stadium about made my hair stand on end as my quads screamed, but I was in the stadium.  Never mind the over zealous gal that whizzed by me at about 100 mph, I crossed the line and saw myself on the big screen doing so!!

Lastly.  As if they want to get the last laugh, are the flights of stairs up the stadium to the food and exit.  Ha Ha Ha, Race directors.  Not funny ;)

post marathon beer