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,



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