Monday, March 18, 2013

It only took a year..

This weekend something bizarre and strange happened, I FELT like a runner.

Now keep in mind I have been running for a few days over a year now and just NOW on Saturday I FELT like a runner. I couldn't tell you why, however I do know, it wasn't about pace (this weekends 8k wasn't my fastest pace by any means and was only a 10 second better pace than I did the 8 miler back in September. 

On Saturday I participated in the annual Kelly's 8k Running of the Leprechaun's, this was my and Amanda's organized runiversary, so we have been excited about it. (kinda) My running has been so off since the groin muscle pull and the decision to run the OBX half knowing I was injured that I thought I would never get it back again. My pace has been slow, my soleus muscles have hated me, and I just all around felt like a fat blob attempting to do something I had no business doing. I have felt this way for weeks.

Last week, I don't recall the day exactly, I found out there was a possibility of me running a long distance this weekend that I wasn't feeling trained for, I took it for what it was and figured I wouldn't really be running it. I believed I wouldn't be running it until 5:45 pm Saturday night.. it took a full 15 minutes for the "OH Crap.. I am running it" to sink in from when I was told at 5:30 pm. That was about the same time I ordered the wine I might add. Either way you needed to know that for the rest of the story. I was already signed up for the 8K on Saturday and I had run a few evening runs with Bootcamp and went to Tuesday and Thursday bootcamp, the week was back and forth with the soleus pain and I had one really decent run, but the rest of the days the legs didn't like me so much. So I wasn't prepared to do much at the 8k and because of the looming possibility of the long run on Sunday,  I had made up my mind I was going to run a 12 minute pace if I even hit that. I was thinking more of a 12:30 because that had been about all I could manage the last few weeks.

Saturday morning the alarm clock went off and I performed the morning ritual of getting on my feet and seeing what exactly was in pain (happens a lot around here) and oddly enough not much hurt. Ok.. interesting. Walked the pup, had my coffee, ate some kind of Kellogg's protein bar thing, downed some water, and then took my "please don't let me cramp up and die pills" aka 3 advil, 1 Vitamin D and 1 Potassium, and waited on my ride. When I got to the parking lot I thought a lot about the previous year, how it felt to have Doug Meekins recording the beginning of the race (and look at him now.. he came in at an amazing time), how it felt to be running with Amanda and Laura, and how I was missing Laura, how the building we went to last year was no longer there.. lots of emotions and thoughts. There were plenty of hugs all around, Doug, Lindsey, Terry, Elly, Melissa, Todd, Shane, Karen.. that is just to mention the few I can think of off the top of my head, have I mentioned I LOVE hugs. I was a little nervous getting started and told Amanda.. sllllooooowww and easy, that is how this was going to go.. slloooooowwwww and easy.

Lindsey snapped this... what a perfect pic.. me being stupid and Amanda laughing at me LOL typical
Three, Two, One.. LEPRECHAUN and we were off.. up that first hill, then the turn into the woods (woot woot I love the woods) up and down the hills and turn here and turn there and bing bang boom.. DONE! Seriously that is how it seemed, in no time we were done. Amanda and I coughed through the whole run, her due to a cold, me because I am trying really hard to learn how not to spit the whole time I am running. About half way through the run, Amanda says "Wow we are going a lot faster than last year" Pfft.. not really. I was watching the Garmin and at one point I told Amanda we are going to fast.. this wasn't the plan, not even CLOSE to the plan. Ok, we have to slow down a tad because of what may or may not happen on Sunday. (that didn't happen.. every time I tried to slow down it didn't feel right so I just kept on but I didn't push at all, just ran the feel good run). I was incredibly happy with my time in the end, came in with a pace under 11... 10:59 to be exact but it was under 11. After more hugs at the end from Franco, Leslie, Sandy, Sophie, Bertie.. and more and more it was time to grab some food.. off to Jolly's we went! While it is not the place where I would choose to spend for a Saturday night nice dinner, post race breakfast they ROCK! Spent some quality time with good friends and discussed plans for the day with Amy.

After breakfast it was time to throw everything together to head to VA Beach to cheer on Outer Banks Bootcampers in the half and full Shamrock Marathons. Amanda, Amy and I all took off on our little weekend get away. I felt Amy was surprisingly calm,  I think I would have eaten my fingers off if someone told me I was running 26.2 miles, but she had trained hard and well for this event and was ready, that is the key to all, training and being ready. The expo was pretty packed, maybe something else was going on at the Convention center but there were a LOT cars. (this is getting boring.. we did the expo, we checked in the hotel, we went to dinner) This is where things get interesting. I was then informed I was running the half marathon the next day. Oh crap. Ok.. I am not ready.. Wine PLEASE!

I don't know why I felt like I hadn't trained for this thing, I have been training for this thing for over a year non stop, even when injured I wouldn't stop, slow down for a week or two but never stop. I was oddly calm actually, I suppose because I felt like there was no pressure as I hadn't really trained for it, and no one other than a select hand full of people knew I was actually running it. I was a tiny bit concerned as to how my legs were going to act Saturday night and Sunday morning, but there was nothing to be concerned about, they were fine. They didn't even sparkle! (that is how I describe what it feels like.. sparkling electricity like). Yesterday morning I felt great when I got up, I was dressed and out the door to McDonald's for a cup of coffee and my morning don't cramp up and die pills and at the start line by 6:30 am. It was cold VERY VERY COLD. I am so grateful to my friend Vicki for allowing me to borrow her long sleeve tech shirt it was the PERFECT attire, had I not had it I don't think I would have performed as well. Keeping my gloves with me was another plus. I won't bore you with mile to mile detail of my run, but my coaches always preach, start of slow.. if you think you are going slow.. go SLOWER, I took off and glanced at my Garmin.. 11:30 pace.. that's not slow.. slow down. Run run run.. glance.. 11:04 THAT IS DEF NOT SLOW... SLOW DOWN.. run run run 10:47.. screw it just run it will figure it self out. I pretty much attempted to keep myself between 11 and 11:30 after that, mile 3 was odd and apparently I slowed WAY... (OH WAIT I know what happened there I just remembered, that was my shift mile, I had to take off my gloves, adjust my clothes, store the gloves, water station.. now that makes sense, I didn't walk but I was going really really slow.) Either way, my run ended up averaging at right around 11:30 pace and I finished right under the 2:30 time frame!

I have NO IDEA where that performance came from but it did and it felt GREAT. It wasn't a matter of pushing through it or try harder, I just had a feel good run! I am so incredibly happy about my how I did. Some things I noticed over the weekend, my arms don't get tired if I hold the ski poles, it is impossible to slouch your shoulders or stiffen them up to your ears if you swing them correctly, not spitting is really hard for me but I made it all 13 without spitting once, (Matt Costa would be so proud), I have been trained by my coaches, Matt, Adam, Todd and Jay incredibly well, if I glance down while running I instantly feel the difference in my breathing and know I need to look up, I might still be slow but that doesn't mean you don't feel like a runner!

I am sad for my friend who couldn't run but injuries are nothing to play with (hence why 6 months later I am just feeling good while running) and she has some major runs coming up and the decision has been made that we will be running the Shamrock Half together next year and I already can't wait! I love you sweetheart and we have many many more to run together in our future. I hope I honored your Daddy well.

Ok enough.. I finished, I did well, and I can't wait for the next one. Major congratualtions need to be sent to Amy Strader, Mike Slaughter, Miriam Moore, Melissa Mattingly, and Todd Parks for completing the full marathon yesterday in AMAZING time! They all looked strong and happy at the finish (some other poor peopled looked like I would have had I attempted it.. like they wanted to be shot on the spot) I am proud and honored to have been able to see each of you finish yesterday. Also congrats on the half finish to BJ McAvoy, Kathy Wood and her hubby, Franco Mineo, James and Robyn Callis (I hope I didn't forget anyone).


Oh yea and I bought this!

Much Love to All,


Thursday, March 7, 2013

Foster Faulkner's Newest Team Member...

Just kidding! Although it would be a good idea to find some kind of sponsor.

So if any of you want an over weight chick who happens to have decided that running is what she wants to do (don't ask me why I don't have the slightest clue) to wear your business logo on me when I run.. I will gladly do so, I have a large frame I can find somewhere to stick it.

All of this came about in a conversation with my Daddy..

So I told my sweet loving supporting daddy about signing up for 7 half marathons... he said and I quote "You need to find a sponsor so it doesn't cost you so much" My response was to laugh and say "WHO do you think will sponsor ME?" I should not have asked... he says... "Oh I don't know the funeral home maybe?"

Maybe I need to be the poster child of it doesn't matter if you're chubby you can still run and not die.

Who knows, I am cold and tired and don't know what I am talking about at the moment.

PS.. the chest area is reserved for Outer Banks Bootcamps so if you really wanted a spot the best I have left is a thigh or a butt cheek.

Boot Camp Recap.
Last Wednesday the Dunes of Hell aka Jockey's Ridge with the newly crowned Captain Todd Parks. I will say that is a much deserved ranking he did an amazing job with the night campers this winter. Always encouraging you to put your best effort out there. And come on, any man who doesn't completely die laughing at the chick who is close to becoming a homicidal maniac on a mail box deserves a huge reward. Jockey's Ridge is always tough and with the soleus thing going on I took it easy up hill, but just trudged along and made it through. That is what matters to me, finishing I don't care where just as long as I gave it all I had and finished.

This Monday night we were back at the gym, for some running and conditioning exercises. Since I have decide to do these 7 half marathons this year I do need to focus solely on running, while the other things I do for fitness are fun they can't come first, running has to and the exercises that can help me become a better runner. (if these guys can turn this chick into a runner they are miracle workers) Adam gave me some tips on cores exercises, and lunges, and twists and what not. He also gave me the biggest tip of all, don't do it FAST do it RIGHT, the team will wait. I had to do that today on the field doing lunges, I knew I was getting behind and I STAYED behind and I did each of those lunges deep and correctly. I wanted to add in the twist but that wouldn't be fair. We ran the bike path hill and considerable amount of times (ok it was probably only 3 but it felt like more lol) The night ended with the biggest bootcamp log and a series of exercises, the last one being where I was the weakest link (yes I can say that because I was called that) anyway picture this.. 10 foot log.. 6 bodies 1 of which is twice the size as the other 5. I still felt that log doing sit ups this morning.. Sorry team but at sit up 20 I was out of breath! We are supposed to breath in on the down.. well I would and then POFFFFFF! the log would smoosh me and I didn't have anything for the up. It was pathetic. But in case this was confusing I drew you are visual. Everyone needs visuals now and then right?

Anyway the night ended with me huffing and puffing so all in all it was good.

Next up Tuesday morning! You heard right Tuesday morning. Spring training has begun for the Flying Pirate. These are morning camps so I am having to get used to the alarm at 430 am again, but it won't take long. First day, 4 mile run. I was slow but steady. Matt has thrown a curve ball at us and is now offering two a day's in that every night we have a chance to run  3 or 4 or 28904 miles, again I showed up and put in another 4. Slow and Steady. I am striving for Medium and Steady, but also attempting not to over train.

Wednesday was a bust due to Mother Nature thanks a lot you old witch. Graduation from Night Camp is now on Monday. I still think my idea of climbing the monument and the last one blown off being the honor graduate was a good idea, I mean I was a shoo in, nothing is blowing this frame anywhere. Oh well maybe next time.

And finally this morning.. track day, or so I thought. After a sleepless night due to wind, rain and random objects pelting my house the alarm went off and I just laid there. "Nope I am not going... this is crazy, night camp was cancelled, why are we morning camping, it is still blowing, is it still raining?? I pay for this? Why do I do this?? I haven't slept you aren't supposed to train with no sleep!  Nope not going... sigh stop making excuses.. lets go." I got up walked the pup, who by the way was none to happy with my getting up that time of morning and off I went. Turned out to be a fun morning of running all over the school yard, kinda felt like I was 10 again. It is nice being with a group that I can pace with and not feeling like I am holding anyone back, if I need to slow down a bit I can, if I can run ahead I can, its a good feeling. There are still a few things that my right leg HATES me to do, push ups on my toes, burpees (lord help me at the Spartan) anything that really requires my toes to be bent and pushing backwards toward my heal, I get that "cramp" when I do them. It is getting better, it used to be I couldn't even maintain the position, now I can for awhile. I made certain that the exercises I performed I did correctly and while they may have been a bit slower, they were right and that is where the pay off comes from. Track day and not once did we touch the track kinda cool stuff!

It was however the dirtiest I have ever gotten at bootcamp (discounting sand because that isn't dirt that is sand) quite funny. My poor pants...

So there ya have it.. 7 half marathons this year, signed up, locked loaded and must do.
Foster Faulkner here I come!

Much Love to All,