150 Miles of Fun

This weekend I was blessed to ride over 150 miles in the New Mexico MS150 Pedal los Pueblos bike ride to raise funds for the National MS Society.  This is my second year riding in the event and I hope to be able to continue the tradition and ride every year that I am physically able to.

The event takes place in Northern New Mexico and starts each day just outside of Santa Fe, a little over an hour from where I live in Albuquerque.  My sister flew into town Friday afternoon to come with us and watch the kids while Rick and I were riding.  We drove up Friday night, checked in to our hotel and then spent the evening with some of our team members and other friends that were going to be riding.  Saturday morning we were up early and got ourselves and bikes over to the start area where we met the rest of the Miles and Trials team.  We started our 100 mile trek a little after 7am on Saturday.

My sister and huge supporter, Lori

Miles and Trials Team before Saturday's ride

Miles and Trials Team before Saturday’s ride

There were 7 members of our team this year.  I was so humbled and honored to have these friends riding and supporting me and working hard to fundraise to help put a stop to MS.

Heading out for 100 miles

Heading out for 100 miles

I rode all day with Sherri, like we did last year.  We took it easy stopping for breaks at the rest stops, eating and refilling our water bottles.  Part way through the day we met up with Larry, a fellow MS-er whom I got to meet at last year’s ride.  The 3 of us ended up riding together the rest of the day.  Larry even offered to change my flat tire (fortunately the only one all weekend), but Sherri’s husband, Adrian, pulled up in the car just in time and did the fastest flat tire change to get me back on the road quickly.

Sherri and me at the lunch stop

Sherri and me at the lunch stop

 

Sherri, Larry, and me finishing our ride with my kids looking on

Sherri, Larry, and me finishing our ride with my kids looking on

It took us around 8 hours to ride about 102 miles.  Fortunately, I wasn’t too sore after the ride, probably because we took it easy and stopped and got off the bikes a number of times for a break.  And a little massage afterward definitely helped!

The best husbands ever!

The best husbands ever!

The second day was a shorter ride, but it included some extra challenging hills, more like climbing a mountain!  The best part about the second day (other than actually surviving the 8 miles of straight uphill climbing) was that our team crossed the finish line together.  Some of us rode a 56 mile route, while others did a 40 mile route on Sunday.  Both routes finish on the same road and a few miles before the finish, we ended up meeting up with our other team members, and got to ride in together to finish the incredible weekend of riding!

All 7 members of Miles and Trials crossing the finish line together!

All 7 members of Miles and Trials crossing the finish line together!

A huge thank you to the New Mexico MS Society for putting on another amazing event.  I cannot even imagine how challenging it is to coordinate a 2 day event that spans over 150 miles, and yet they do this seamlessly every year.  Thank you to everyone who donated to our team.  It is my hope that in my lifetime we will find a cure for MS so that I never have to worry if my children or their future children will have to battle this disease.  Thank you to my family for being a part of this journey with me everyday. Lastly, thank you to my awesome team members and their families for giving their time and efforts to fundraise and train for this big event.  So many things and people I am grateful for!

 

Grateful

I have been MIA after a difficult past week.  To make a really long story short, my husband, along with 2 of his brothers and one brother’s father-in-law, went camping in the Gila Wilderness of Southwestern New Mexico last weekend.  They were scouting the area for an upcoming elk hunt.  On Saturday evening one of Rick’s brothers, Rudy, went missing in the forest.  Over 36 hours later, after 2 nights by himself enduring rain storms and no food and running out of water, my brother-in-law was found by a search and rescue helicopter.  It was one of the most difficult times in our family’s life, but through much prayer and the grace of God, we all made it through and thankfully Rudy will make a complete recovery.

gila wilderness

Rick and his brothers are very experienced in the wilderness, having grown up camping, hunting and fishing since they were kids.  So this has shown us all that no matter how much time you have spent in the forest, you never know what can happen.  Respect the wilderness.

In a nutshell, I am so grateful for the following:

  • Grateful to all the family and friends that were praying for Rudy and all of us
  • Grateful to the police, game and fish, and all the search and rescue teams that came out to help
  • Grateful to the helicopter pilot and rescuers that spotted Rudy and landed and took him to the hospital
  • Grateful to the workers at the hospital that took care of Rudy (he was released on Wednesday and is home recovering now)
  • Grateful to my friends that stepped up and helped take care of my children when I packed up and started the 5-6 drive to the forest area where Rudy had gone missing (thankfully he was found a few hours into my drive)

It has been a week of the lowest of lows and the highest of highs.  Next up, my MS Bike Ride this weekend.  I am praying that the 150 miles are only filled with good times after the emotional roller coaster we have been on this week!  Last, but not least, I’m grateful for the ability to even be able to attempt to ride 150 miles, grateful that God has allowed my MS to remain in the background and let me continue to participate in the endurance sports that I have grown to love.

If you would like to make a donation to the MS Society and help me raise funds to some day find a cure for this disease, you can view my fundraising page here and see a few pictures of last year’s ride.  And if you want to check in on how the Miles and Trials team is doing this weekend, follow us on Facebook here.

gratefulWhat are you grateful for today?

 

 

Rio Grande Half Marathon Race Recap

I ran the Rio Grande Half Marathon this weekend.  I hadn’t mentioned it because I wasn’t 100% sure I was going to run it until a few days before.  I decided to run the race and use it as a tempo run as part of my training for the marathon I will be running in 5 weeks.  While some people can push themselves all day long in their training, sometimes I need a little extra push to hold me accountable to faster paces when the going gets tough.  And that’s exactly what I got out of the race this weekend.

I did not taper at all leading up to the race, and even did a 27 mile bike ride the day before the race (training for the MS Bike Ride does not stop just because I have a little half marathon to run!).  Luckily the start line was only a 25 minute drive from my house, so I got up around 4:50 Sunday morning and was out the door by 5:20.  Since my training schedule had called for a 3 hour long run this weekend, I was torn about what to do.  I know how important those long runs are for the marathon, so I was hesitant to skip one, but I also knew I’d be running harder for the race and settled on doing a 2 mile warm up before the race to get a little extra mileage and time on my feet.  I NEVER warm up before a half or full marathon, so this was new to me and I wasn’t sure how my pace would be affected during the race, but I’m happy to say I don’t think it had any impact one way or the other during the race.

This was after my 2 mile warm up, right before the race.

This was after my 2 mile warm up, right before the race.

My husband was sweet enough to come with me and we ran the warm up together, made a quick stop at the car and headed to the starting line.  The timing was perfect, and I was just getting to the starting line when they began the countdown.  I LOVE when races start on time.  Before I knew it we were off.  My plan was to take it out around what my marathon pace is (around 8:30) for the first mile and then to slowly speed up from there.  I had to get in the mindset that I was not all out racing this, I just wanted a successful feeling race with good pacing and practicing my fueling for the upcoming marathon.

photo

As usual in a race the first few miles flew by and I had to hold myself back and not get caught up in the excitement.  I picked a few people around me that were running my pace and used them as my guide to not go too fast too soon.  The majority of the race was on a paved biking and running path in Albuquerque, with some tree coverage, but not much.  Fortunately it was a bit of an overcast morning, so while the humidity was very for Albuquerque (80%), the sun stayed hidden most of the morning keeping it from getting too hot.  I am happy with how my pacing turned out, my first mile was the slowest of the race at 8:21 and the last mile was the fastest at 7:57.  It’s great when that happens!  The rest were between 7:59-8:12 pace.  I haven’t run a half marathon in almost a year, and while it is much shorter than the full marathons I have been getting used to running, it is no cake-walk either!  It is still a challenging distance to be respected.

I finished in 1:46:18 which was good enough for 2nd place in my age group and 13th woman overall.  It’s certainly not a PR and I would love to know what I could have run if I had tapered and trained specifically for this race, but overall I’m pleased with the race.  It was a great training run to get my head back into racing mode for my upcoming marathon.  After the past 2 marathons that I have struggled in, it is helpful to get a successful feeling race under my belt.

2nd place in my Age Group!

2nd place in my Age Group!

Have you ever used a race as part of training for another race?

Anyone else race this weekend or do you have a race coming up?

 

Training Update

It’s been a couple of weeks since I last posted.  Time flies when you are having fun, right?  Well, I have been having fun and enjoying the last few moments of summer.  My kids go back to school next week!  So, here we are at the end of summer, and I’m wondering how it went by so fast.  Here is a little bit of what I have been doing the past few weeks:

garmin

My all around training partner, Sherri, and I did a 71 mile bike ride to get ready for the upcoming MS150 Bike Ride that takes place in a few weeks.  I love the time of 4:44.04 that my Garmin captured at the end of our long ride.  I’m a bit of a numbers person, so I thought that was an awesome number to wrap up a grueling, but great ride.  And, we still had smiles on our faces after almost 5 hours on the bike, so that’s a win!

71 miles

run funDon’t worry, my love of running is still going strong.  This picture was taken after a 16 mile run with Sherri and both our husbands last weekend.  Training for my next race, the Big Cottonwood Canyon Marathon, has been going well.  I have been doing more cross training and less weekly mileage than for my past few marathons, but my legs are holding up nicely and I have been having some really good runs.  I’m very hopeful that on September 14th, I will get that Boston Qualifying time so I can be back running the most amazing marathon in the world in 2014.

new shoesLastly, who doesn’t like new running shoes?  This is a new pair of the Brooks PureFlow 2s that I recently bought.  They are my third pair of the PureFlow 2s, so I think I’m hooked.  I was having some Achilles issues after my last marathon in May and had been trying out some other shoes, but ultimately I have returned to the Flows.  I really love these shoes.  I ran my BQ marathon last July with the original PureFlows and ran the Boston Marathon and Mountains2Beach Marathon this spring in the PureFlow 2s.  The Brooks motto is “Run Happy” and these shoes definitely make me do that!

RunHappy_Shoe_BlueHow have your last few weeks been?

Ever run in the Brooks Pure line?