It’s a long road to Boston

As soon as I crossed the finish line of my first marathon almost 3 years ago, I new I wanted to do another one.  I could hardly walk for days and developed a nagging injury that brought some friends along, and they all stuck around for over a year and a half.  But, the marathon never left my mind.  I knew some day I’d be back, it just took a lot longer than I had hoped for.

At the finish of the Duke City Marathon 2009, 4:13

In 2011 I was slowly able to start running again, overcoming a long bout of Plantar Fasciitis, Achilles, and calf problems.  In the spring I put in for the St. George Lottery.  I’ve heard it’s really hard to get into, so I figured I wouldn’t get in for 2011 and would try again in 2012, and then get guaranteed entry for 2013.  So much for my plan…I received an email saying I got in for 2011 just as I was getting out of a boot for an Achilles injury.  With a little over 4 months to train from zero to 26.2, I set out to finally get to run my second marathon.  On October 1, 2011 I ran the St. George Marathon.  As my luck would have it, race day was one of the hottest on record for St. George.  I remember my husband dropping me off at the bus at 5am and it was already 78 degrees in the pitch dark morning.  While the race starts up the mountain where it is cooler, by the time you are running 4 hours back into town with no shade, it got hotter than I could handle.  My goal for the race was to hopefully qualify for Boston (I needed to hit 3:45).

Mile 7 feeling great!

I was on track to do this through mile 23, but then the heat got the best of me.  It took me about an hour to go the last 3.2 miles.  I still don’t know how I even made it to the finish line, but some how I did and then I got to visit all the nice volunteers in the medical tent while they brought me back from the depths of dehydration.  That was fun.

Getting an IV in the medical tent after the race

Seeing as I really only ran 23 miles that day, once I got home from Utah, I recovered fairly quickly.  I took it easy by doing some cross training and not running for a week, and then I got back out there.  A week after my recovery week I ran a half marathon with my friend who was running her first half.  We ran it in 1:55 and it felt great.

The Run Away Brides (Sherri and I) running the Day of the Tread Half Marathon October 16, 2011

Come back for Part 2 of “It’s a long road to Boston” when I run my next 2 marathons and go sub 4.

Have any of you run Boston or are working to qualify?  If so, what was your journey to get there?  Know anyone else that has a goal of running Boston some day?

Pain in the Butt

Yesterday morning started with a beautiful hike in the Sandia Mountains near our house.  I was on a forced day off from running and biking due to a little piriformis pain, otherwise known as a Pain in the Butt.  So a hike with Rick and Maverick sounded like just what the doctor ordered.

Just as the sun was coming up

Finally got Maverick to sit still long enough for a picture!

It was nice to start the day in such a peaceful way.  We never know what each day before us will hold.  Learning to live in the moment is something I am working on because the past few months have brought such challenges and events that have happened unexpectedly.  God tells us that we will face struggles through our life.  Shocking, I know…isn’t life supposed to be wonderful and go smoothly because I believe in God?  News flash – NO.  “In this world you will have trouble.”  John 16:33

That can be somewhat depressing to think that even God is telling me I will have trouble.  However, it’s also comforting to me when I do face those challenges.  For while He tells us we will have trouble, He also tells us to “Take heart! I have overcome the world.”  John 16:33

“For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.”  Isaiah 41:18

I am trusting in God and leaning on Him to equip me to face these troubles.  I know that I cannot do this on my own and fortunately none of us has to!

Are you facing any troubles right now?  Any favorite verse that you go to during difficult times?

 

Motivation

This month’s Triathlete magazine has an article on motivation written by Chris “Macca” McCormack.  As one of the best triathletes in the world, I imagine he is a very motivated individual.  Macca says that the question he gets asked most frequently is how he stays so motivated to consistently train.  Somewhat surprising to me, he says he is not motivated to train all the time.

I love that he says “we (professional athletes) are just like everyone else – and motivation (or lack of it) is a feeling we confront just like everyone else.”  I admit that when I think of professional athletes, I have never thought about them ever feeling burnt out or unmotivated.  We usually see them at their best performing miraculous feats at races and don’t think of the day to day grind and sacrifices that they may have to make for their training.  Just because it is their job and they perform at levels I cannot even fathom doesn’t mean that it all comes easy to them.  In a way it makes me appreciate these elite athletes even more to know they are human too.

I find that my motivation ebbs and flows.  Overall I have been very motivated and driven with my running this past year because it is the longest period of time I have been able to run consistently without injury.  I fell in love with the marathon distance after I ran my first one in 2009, and right after that I knew I wanted to train for another one.  It took me 2 injury-filled frustrating years after that to finally get to complete my second marathon.

Having experienced long periods of not being able to run, I appreciate my running so much more now and am grateful for every run I get to do.  I have a big goal (to qualify for Boston) that has been motivating me for the past year.  However, it’s still not easy to maintain a high level of motivation all the time.  There are some days (usually when the alarm goes off at 4:30 or 5 for that Long Run) when I feel completely unmotivated and do not want to get out of bed at all.  What pushes me is my ultimate goal as well as knowing that I will feel 100 times better after I go for that run.

What motivates you to run or work out?  Any tips to share on how to stay motivated?

Weekend of fun

This weekend was a bunch of fun.  On Saturday my son had a swim meet.  He was just able to start swimming again last week after getting his cast off (for a broken wrist) and recovering from an emergency appendectomy.  Poor guy has had a rough start to summer.  But all is good now that he is able to get back into the water.

Greyson swimming in the team free style relay

 

Swim team warming up – there is just something about all these kids swimming their hearts out at 7am on a summer morning that I love!

My husband, Rick, was in Lubbock for the Buffalo Springs Half Ironman race this weekend.  He and his triathlete friends made the trip out to the extreme heat for their race on Sunday.  They did a fantastic job and I’m proud of them all, especially Rick who just 8 weeks ago broke his collar bone in a bike wreck while training for this race.  Initially he was not going to run the race and went to Lubbock to cheer on his friends, but at the last minute he decided to go for it, and was able to successfully complete the 70.3 distance.  Congratulations to everyone who finished that tough race!

Sons of Thunder Tri Team
Ryan, Rick U., Rick M., Adrian

I did a spread out mini triathlon of my own on Sunday.  It started bright and early with a magnificent 36 mile bike ride.  What a beautiful morning it was with hot air balloons in the sky and a little crispness to the air before the temps started soaring.  Then I got home and took my puppy for a quick 2 mile run before church.  I wish I had more time because I would have loved to get a few more miles in.  I never run just 2 miles, so it seemed too quick and left me wanting more.

In the afternoon my good friend and training buddy, Sherri and I went to a somewhat nearby lake (if you call about an hour drive nearby) and did an open water swim.  This is officially my second open water swim.  I enjoy being out in the water, although the wind was strong and we had to battle white cap waves.  I just tried to imagine myself swimming in the ocean.  I swallowed my fair share of lake water, but made it through.  Hopefully next time won’t be so windy and choppy, but it was good to get some experience with the waves.

Getting ready to jump in the lake and fight the waves

How was your weekend?  Tell me something fun that you did.

A snake, a rabbit, and a long run

This morning’s run was a bit of an adventure.  I took off at about 5:30am so that I could get 13 miles in before work.  I’ve been doing my long runs on Fridays the past few weeks and, other than having to get up super early (last week I had to get up at 4:30am to fit the 20 Miles in), I am really liking getting the run done before the weekend.  Tomorrow morning I have to be at my son’s swim meet at 7am, so I am choosing to sleep in (sort of) to 6am and don’t want to have to get up earlier to get a run in.

While I was running I came across a snake in the middle of the road.  Luckily I saw it in enough time to hop out of the way and not disturb it.  And then I thought it would make a great picture for the blog, so I went back and got as close as I comfortably could, all for the sake of the blog.

Good morning hopefully friendly snake!

A few miles later a rabbit joined me and was running beside me for about 20 seconds and then proceeded to cut right in front of me to the other side of the road.  Luckily I did not meet the pavement and was able to regain my composure.  A few weeks ago I saw some deer on a morning run in the mountains.  Other than that I, fortunately, have never encountered anything more dangerous on a run.

What are the most interesting animals you have run across?  Any snake stories?