The Worst Bike Ride Ever

Have you ever been doing something so completely dumb and you know it is dumb while you are doing it, but there you are and all you can think of is “how do I get out of this situation as quickly as possibly without doing further injury to myself?”

Now that I read what I just typed, I actually thought of a running related dumb thing I did that brought on my calf injuries of a few months ago.  But, what I was really writing about today is a bike ride that I went on earlier this week.

You know it’s not a good sign when you wake up at 2am hearing the gusting wind outside.  At that point I figured the likelihood of my bike ride was slim, but usually the Albuquerque winds die down by morning, so I was hopeful.  When I woke up at my regular time to get ready for my workout, I still heard the strong wind and figured I would throw in the towel on the bike ride, but then my husband said let’s get up and go anyway.  Still hopeful that the wind had to stop at some point, we took off for our ride.  I told Rick to go ahead since he was testing out his new super fast wheels for the Ironman this weekend, so I was on my own.

About a mile into the ride I realized it was not the smartest idea to be out riding this morning, but maybe once I got up to the road we usually ride the wind wouldn’t be as bad.  Well, that didn’t happen, in fact the wind was even worse.  I figured I would try to go at least 5 miles then turn around, because is it really worth it to get out of bed for anything less than a 10 mile ride?  The next few miles were all about just trying to stay on the bike.  Gusts of wind would come and blow me 2 feet to the side.  I almost went into the traffic lane from the shoulder of the road from one of the gusts.  I gripped the handlebars even tighter and tried to give myself some positive head talk that I wasn’t going to fall and I could get through this.  I was honestly getting scared at this point.   I realized that here I was caught in a really stupid situation, so I decided to turn around and head for home, forget about the 10 miles!

windy-day

What the wind felt like, if you picture me on a bike and not by the ocean!

Why in the world did I think it was a good idea to go for a bike ride with gale force winds?  One final gust came and knocked me close to the guard rail.  I did everything to just will myself to keep going and get through those last few miles, although I did considered getting off my bike and walking the rest of the way, but that was not that appealing to do on a busy road.  Then I thought about calling a friend to pick me up, but I talked myself out of it because I didn’t want her to think how dumb I was for going out on a bike ride in this crazy wind.

Lesson learned – when you are woken up by gale force winds overnight, it’s probably a safe bet to not go out on a bike ride that day.

Wishing my hubby and his friends tons of luck (not that they need it) on their first Ironman this weekend in Coeur d’Alene!  I’ll be there cheering them on as well as Abby.  And hopefully I get to meet Emma who will be cheering her husband on too!

sons of thunder

Ever gotten yourself into a dumb situation that you have regretted while you are in it?

What’s Next?

It was another busy weekend in our household.  A swim meet, musical performances, church, workouts to get in, whew!  While it was crazy, it was also tons of fun.  One of the best parts was a Father’s Day workout that we did with some of our friends.

Goofing around before our run                        (Photo courtesy of Sherri)

Goofing around before our run (Photo courtesy of Sherri)

My hubs is doing his first Ironman this coming weekend in Coeur d’Alene, and these are 2 of the 3 buddies that he will be racing with and their wives.  The guys are in their tapering mode and only had a short workout, so we all went for an hour long run together.  It was one of the best times I’ve ever had running!  The guys have been training very diligently the past 6 months and in less than a week all their work will be put to the ultimate endurance test.  I’m so proud of each of them and can’t wait to cheer them on (and I am also excited to cheer for Abby who will be racing in CdA too).

I can’t believe it has been 3 weeks since the Mountains 2 Beach Marathon.  I guess that means it’s time to make public what is next for me and running.  I didn’t have to wait very long after the race to decide that I wanted to run another marathon.  In fact I knew while I was running the race that I would be doing this next marathon in the fall!  I had heard of this race sometime in the spring and then saw advertisements for it while I was running the Boston Marathon.  I took that as a sign, that it will be my next marathon, and it will also be my qualifying race for Boston 2014 (hopefully!).

Yep, I am still on the quest to qualify for Boston.  Who knew it would be so hard to qualify again.  I mean, I did it last July to qualify for this year’s Boston, so shouldn’t I have been able to qualify in one of the last 2 marathons I just ran?  I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t frustrated by this.  I have run more weekly mileage this year than ever before, and other than a calf injury that took a month out of my Boston training, I’ve been mostly healthy and training hard.  I wish I was one of “those” runners that run a qualifying time every time out with no problem at all, but that just isn’t me and may never be me or what my body can do (no offense to “those” runners, I admire you and your running abilities!).  I have learned that I cannot compare myself to others.  All I can do is put these races in the past and focus on moving forward, doing what I love to do…run.  My training starts on June 24th for the Big Cottonwood Marathon in Utah on September 14th.  There are also a couple of people that are running it with me, more on that later!

Marathon

Can’t wait to run down Big Cottonwood Canyon in the Fall (photo from race website)

What races do you have coming up this year? 

Are you one of “those” runners I mention?  if so, please share some of your speedy tips with me!  :) 

I Love Running

It’s been about 2 weeks since the marathon and I’m feeling good.  I took the entire first week off.  No running, no work outs except for a couple of hikes with Maverick.

IMG_4314

After the first post marathon week, my legs, body and mind were ready to get running again.  So, I guess it is confirmed that I LOVE running!  Do I love getting up at 5 in the morning to get my run in before work and family obligations take up the rest of the day?  NO.  Do I love how tight and stiff my body feels that first mile of every run?  NO.  Do I love that I’m still tired and my eyes are sleepy until my heart starts really pumping part way through the run?  NO…BUT what I do love is the feeling of exhilaration, the freedom, the quiet of a morning run, the time to think if I want to think and not to think about anything if I don’t feel like thinking, the time to be with God and just be out in nature.  I love to watch the sun rise over the mountains and feel the warmth on my face from the first rays of sun.  I love the sense of accomplishment when I have finished a run and am getting ready to start the rest of the day.

Running

What do you love about running, biking, walking, your sport of choice? 

 

 

Mountains 2 Beach Marathon Race Recap

It’s taken me a week to force myself to write up a recap of the race because I have been struggling with what to say about it.  The course was great, however, my race was not.  I’m not sure what happened, I guess some days/races are good and some just aren’t.  But first off, the good stuff:

We left Thursday afternoon and road tripped in our friends RV to a campground in Ventura.  We made it there by Friday afternoon and a few hours later hit the beach for a nice walk and some of the best sushi I have ever had for dinner.

IMG_4195The next day Sherri and I went for a short shake-out run while the guys went on a long bike ride (they are in the midst of some serious Ironman training!).  Then we hit up the small race expo to get our bibs.

I love all the Palm Trees!

I love all the Palm Trees!

The rest of the day we spent resting and relaxing and our husbands made us a terrific dinner of grilled salmon and quinoa.  We got to bed early and I had a decent night’s sleep.  Race morning we were up by 4 and made it out the door and on our way to Ojai for the 6am start of the race.  As usual there were not enough porta potties and we got in the back of the long line where we would be until just minutes before the start of the race.

Sherri and I just before the gun went off

Sherri and I just before the gun went off

The first 10k is a loop around Ojai with some downhill followed by a long slow uphill.  I reminded myself to not go out too fast and stuck to a pace around or just above my goal marathon pace for the day.  These miles flew by quickly and then we were on a nice paved bike path for the next 14 or so miles down to the beach.

IMG_4251This picture is the only time Sherri and I were together throughout the race.  She was having a strong morning, and pulled ahead of me early on, and all morning I kept hoping and praying for her to have a great race and hit her Boston Qualifying time.  I stuck with the 3:45 pacer, holding myself back on the nice gentle downhill, thinking if I conserved enough energy on the downhill I would be able to maintain my pace, if not speed up, once we got to the last 5-6 miles that are flat along the beach and that was my plan to get my BQ time.  However, my great plan ended up flopping, when I started to feel a little off around mile 10.  I still don’t know what happened, my fueling was on track, I felt like I was holding my pace easy and not pushing it at all.  I did start feeling hot, even though it was a gorgeous morning out and a good portion of this bike trail was shaded.  It just seemed like my internal temperature was rising and I felt hot every time I was in the direct sun.  I was drinking an electrolyte drink and took a couple of sodium tablets because I was not used to the humidity and was sweating more than normal.  And then I think I just wasn’t mentally strong enough to fight away the thoughts in my head.

I am in the blue shirt (maybe I'm not the only one struggling by the looks of the girl behind me!)

I am in the blue shirt (maybe I’m not the only one struggling by the looks of the girl behind me!)

Our hubbies were doing a great job of seeing us many times on the course and checking in to see if we needed anything.  By the half way point I was still on pace, but knew I just didn’t have it to go another 13 miles and hit my BQ time.  I even contemplated quitting at one point, which I have NEVER wanted to do during a race.  My mind was definitely working against me.

Around mile 16 my hubbie brought me a neck gaiter that works as a cooling device and I put that on and it was nice to feel something cool and refreshing.  Then I did it…I slowed down and started walking and knew that was it for trying to get my time.  I was able to pick up my pace again and mile 18 I ran at goal pace, but then I had to walk again and the rest of the race became just trying to focus and finish.  By this time my stomach was not happy, possibly from the salt tabs, I’m not sure, and I was very hot.  My husband was sweet enough to run/walk the last 5 miles with me.  This part of the course was not as pretty or exciting as I had hoped for.  For a brief minute we saw the ocean, then we were on a terribly long out and back section through a neighborhood and then finally hit the beach path for the last bit of the race.  I forced myself to run the last mile without walking and I even had a slight kick at the very end, which tells me I wasn’t totally out of gas, just super hot and mentally deflated.  My time was 3:58:23.

Sherri and I after the race

Sherri and I after the race

As I was suffering through the latter portion of my race, I kept thinking of Sherri ahead of me and wondering how she was doing.  Unfortunately, I saw her struggling on the out and back portion towards the finish.  She was dealing was some serious stomach issues and had to slow down and did not meet her BQ time (although she definitely beat me!).

Perhaps the best part of the day was our “ice bath” in the freezing ocean.

IMG_4242All in all, it was an amazing trip with great friends.  Sherri and her husband are so fun to hang out with and travel with and I have not laughed that hard all year!  As for the race, I’m definitely sad to not hit my BQ time because I really feel the need to go back to Boston in 2014 after being at this year’s race.  For some reason it just wasn’t in the cards for me this race.  Even though this wasn’t the race I had hoped for, I think of the many people that cannot run due to MS or other reasons and I am smacked back into reality and truly grateful to have the ability to move my body at all.  I feel so blessed to be able to run, let alone run (and walk!) for 26.2 miles.

Thank you to everyone who has supported me, my family and friends, and to those of you that have left nice comments and sent me Tweets, I appreciate you all so much.