Flying Pig 2015

Flying Pig 2015

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Ending and Starting with a BANG! [My Running Year in Pictures]

I remember this run vividly. It was so windy but a "warm" day for January. We took our boys on a 14 mile stroller run!

I'm so excited to begin my 2016 running adventure. If I thought 2015 was a great year, I can only imagine what 2016 has in store. I'm most excited to see what I can accomplish while pregnant. The great thing is that I will have no pressure at all to perform a certain way! It's going to be awesome!!!
February frosty lashes! I never knew this was a thing until I lived in Ohio.
The planner in me is anxiously awaiting my first OB appointment (January 12th). I'm dying to know how far along I am with Baby Boo Deux. When I was pregnant with JD3 a.k.a. Baby Boo, I was in the middle of a "one race per month goal." Because I wasn't running very much when I got pregnant with him, I never really progressed to running more than 6 miles and only raced 5k's. This time around, things are VERY different. Most of you guys know how much I ran this year. I ran a grand total of:
2,072.49 miles!!!

A rare run with Kimberly. This was also a random afternoon stroller run with our boys. I didn't know the little stinker was pregnant at the time!! [March]
April long run. I think this might have been Marion's first 20 miler EVER!
As of now, I have no time or mileage goals for next year. Once I get through this horrible first trimester, I'm sure I'll enjoy running again. Right now, I'm just trying to survive! Despite feeling like crap, I'm still able to run in the 7' just depends on the day. Not having a training program is driving me slightly crazy but I can't follow one right now. I just never know how I will feel. My only plan is to run when I can, run fast when I can, run slow when I have to, run far when I can, run 'not far' if I have to. Sounds pretty simple to me!

May, Flying Pig. Jackie's first marathon and my 3rd.
I am currently planning one race per month through June. Anything else is questionable based on my due date:
  • January: Broke Man's Winter Warm Up- Half Marathon
  • February: Warm Up for Boston- Half Marathon 2-Person Relay
  • March: St. Patrick's Day 4 Miler at Kinsale
  • April: Ann Arbor Half Marathon
  • May: Flying Pig Half Marathon
  • June: Columbus 10k
That time I convinced Marion to do a half marathon with me. VICTORY! [June]

A rare run with the always sweet Debbie! [July]

I'm so excited to begin 2016 with Baby Boo Deux and friends!

Emerald City Half in August. The first time I ever yacked after a race!

My birthday run. Theresa knows how to make a birthday girl smile! [September]

October 10 miler in Westerville. The day I had an overdue 3.1 mile solo date with Jackie.

November stretching shenanigans.

That time in December when the weather was perfect and we all decided to kill ourselves by doing a 5k.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

I Haven't Had Coffee in Three Days

I've only known for two weeks, and what I know isn't much:
  1. I've taken three positive pregnancy tests.
  2. I've been nauseous for 7 weeks.
  3. I've been extremely fatigued for 2 weeks or so.
  4. I have an appointment on January 12th to make sure all is well and when Baby Boo Deux was conceived.
  5. Finally, I haven't been able to drink coffee the past three days (my biggest nightmare when I was pregnant with James).
What I don't know:
  1. When I conceived. I thought I had my period on November 8th and that's what the doctor is going by as far as scheduling me for my first appointment. Based on my horrible nausea and when it began, I suspect I got pregnant in October and that my November "period" was something else. (side note: In the beginning stages of nausea, I seriously thought it was my GERD symptoms because I was convinced I wasn't pregnant based on my November "period.")
My days have been very rough lately. The nausea has controlled me. I was not this bad with James. I'm sick all day long with some relief in the early afternoon. Then it all comes back in the late afternoon and evening. Fun stuff. I'm having the worst time sleeping so that has affected me a lot. Fortunately, work has been extra slow which has allowed me to run during the day when I feel a lot better. With my running, I'm just listening to my body. That's why I've decided not to fully commit to any runs because I will likely back out at the last minute if I feel like crap.
At this time, Jimmy and I are planning to do like we did with James and NOT find out the sex of the baby. Therefore, it will be referred to as "Baby Boo Deux." We are very excited since I was at my wit's end with trying to get pregnant. I also feel this huge weight lifted off my shoulders because I have an answer for the way I have been feeling.
I understand we are still in the unsafe zone of potential miscarriage but I want to put this out there so you can all be praying for us through this time. I am anxiously awaiting January 12th so that we can hear a heart beat! I'm also anxiously awaiting to hear our conception date. Wouldn't it be awesome if I ran a marathon pregnant?! Even if that little booger was only 3+ weeks old.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

A Quote I Stumbled Upon [and Your Best Workout This Week]

Yesterday, I was inspired to google the following:
  • there's no whining in running
  • no whining quotes
  • no whining, no complaining, no excuses
Through this, I stumbled upon this quote and posted it to my FB running group:

Fortunately, my friends loved it, and it hit home for many. I've felt like complete crap most days the past 6 weeks. Honestly, there's nothing I can do about it right now so I just have to deal with it. I'm moving on with my plan and taking things day by day. I've learned recently that I can still have a successful workout even with my symptoms. Although I do believe that what is going on in my body is affecting the way I feel and the way I run, I'm not using it as an excuse to whine about my performance. My symptoms may be the reason I feel the way I do on any given day, but it won't steal the joy of running. I am in a phase and phases don't last forever!
I've seen a lot of happy people sharing their successful runs this week. After a really tough track workout last week, I wondered if my body would allow me to do speed work. Today, I was able to complete my speed challenge! (I'm committing to posting a speed challenge each week to my running group) I did a 3 mile warm up, 4 miles @7:35 pace, and a 1.07 mile cool down (overall average of 8:02/mile)! This "0.07" was to make my yearly mileage even! LOL. I now have only 14 miles to complete my 2015 in 2015!!!

This is the face I make after every workout lately. It says "OMG. I can't believe I just survived that."
Tell me, what has been your best workout in the past week?!

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Your First Run in the History of All Runs...

So many running firsts with these two! [Amanda, Jackie, Me]

I was thinking about how I got started on my running journey. I was a freshman in high school and my friend, Amanda S., was an AMAZING cross country runner at my high school. Our sisters played softball together for a few years so our families became very close. We were on a camping vacation of sorts during the summer and Amanda kept begging me to run with her. She wanted to see if I liked it so that I would join the cross country team with her. At the time, I thought to myself "The only thing I have going for me right now is playing the clarinet in band." I thought if I was a decent runner, I would be an athlete and get a boyfriend! (in case you were wondering, this thought process was WAY OFF).
So, on one of our camping trips, I decided to go for a little jog with my friend. I don't remember hating it, but I wasn't totally in love with it. I mean, have any of you been in love with running after the first one?! Sometime the following week, I told my friend I was going to our local track to run some laps. Unbeknownst to me, Amanda S. told her coach when I would be there. I arrived to the track, scared as all get out, and decided to kick my legs around and stretch because I was stalling the inevitable. As I was doing all of this mess, I saw a strange man come into the track area and sit on the bleachers. It was weird. I kept stretching until I ran out of muscles to stretch. This man would not leave. At that point, I was like WTH...JUST RUN!
I ran 6 laps around the track when I decided to stop. I have no idea how fast I ran...I just ran. When I sat down afterwards, the creepy man came up to me (side note: he's not really a creepy man...he was one of my biggest inspirations at that time in my life). It was the cross country coach. He told me that Amanda talked about me and he wondered if I was interested in joining the cross country team. It was this day that my running adventure officially began! I went from running 6 laps around the local track to running 2 mile cross country races and eventually 5ks then running my first full marathon 8 years later (can someone tell me why my crazy a$$ ran a full before a half?).

My longest run since The Veteran's Marathon! Thankful for these ladies and thankful for legs that run...even if they were about to fall off during this run. [Back: Kim, Marion, Megan, Dani; Front: Karen, Amanda, Theresa, Me]
Quick update on me: No change in my symptoms. Despite the nausea/GERD crap, I'm enjoying my runs lately! I ran my longest run since my full a month ago (13.5 miles) and I'm only 34.49 miles away from meeting my goal of 2015 miles in 2015!!! What a blessing this year has been despite a tough ending!

Friends supporting friends. It's a beautiful thing. [Trevor, Me, Amanda, Theresa "the machine" M-S]
Tell me about your VERY FIRST running experience!!!

Monday, December 7, 2015

Changing the Way I Think Lately

My friends and family are getting an earful. Nine months of trying to get pregnant and NOTHING. I talk it out with everyone because it keeps my mind off of it for at least a couple of days at a time. I was struggling a lot today because tomorrow is my "period day." I was freaking out about if I was going to start. If I do, I'm sad because I'm not pregnant. If I don't, I'm freaking out because I may start the next day or the next. It's a vicious mental cycle.
I have friends and family who reassure me that my freaking out is justified...that they understand why I'm feeling this way. I just feel lately that I have to post-pone everything I want to do until I know I'm pregnant. I can't plan vacations, races, etc. until I know the baby plan. It's AWFUL possessing the planning personality trait.
One of the things that is guaranteed to make me happy and keep my mind positive is running/working out. Post marathon training, I told myself I was going to significantly decrease my mileage because I thought it would help me get pregnant. I had my doubts about that being a factor but my doc put it in my head earlier in the year that it MIGHT have an effect.
I was discussing the whole training less thing with another friend and determined it might be rubbish. Yes, everyone is different, but she brought up a point I never thought of before: if my cycles have been regular (and they have since March or April), is running really affecting me getting pregnant? Isn't getting pregnant about our cycle?! The thought blew my mind. I've been struggling, wondering if my training has been the reason for me not getting pregnant, and I'm beginning to think it's not. That is such a huge weight lifted off of my shoulders.
No, my friends and I aren't medical doctors...but we are educated women. With this epiphany, I will likely research this and go about my life as normal until I get word that there's a baby. I can't continue with this thought process of not planning because I "MIGHT" be pregnant. It's driving me nuts.
To my runner friends: How has running affected your cycle or affected you getting pregnant?

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Westerville Sertoma Rudolph Run 5k

[Theresa, Me, Amanda] Everyone else was taking a whiz.

We all know that 5k's suck. The suck is minimized when you invite all of your friends to be tortured with you. I was motivated to do this particular race mainly because of the cheap registration fee...only $20 if you signed up in groups of four! Since I have a lot of friends who are easily peer pressured, I knew I could snatch at least three more people.

It has been gorgeous so far this December and today was no exception. Low to mid 40s, minimal wind...the sun even decided to make an appearance (Thank you, Dani, for the sunglasses!!!). We met up early and went for a 2 mile warm up. My only concern about today, of course, was keeping my GERD symptoms at bay. I felt alright-ish this morning but decided to take a Zantac in hopes it would prevent any symptoms during the race. I felt ok during the warm up as far as the nausea, but I was burping a lot.
Part of The A Team pre-race! Highlight of the photo: Marion's stance. [Amanda, me, Theresa, Amber, Debbie, Dani, Marion]

At the start, my runner friend, Tamara, noticed there was no timing pad which lead us to believe the start was gun timed rather than chip timed. What did these serious b!t*he$ do? GET UP FRONT, of course! Seconds mean a lot during a 5k!!

The first mile was mostly around the Chase building. We did a little loop around the area before heading up (literally up) Heatherdown Drive to State Street. The rest of the race went up (yes, up some more) State Street to County Line. There were definitely some flat sections mixed in there. I can't say the course was hilly...not at all. It was just a gradual incline with two tiny hills (the one in mile one and the one at the finish). I probably would have PR'd if we went the opposite direction!

Mile one [6:44]. I knew I just needed to keep my other miles in the low 7s to get sub 22 minutes. Despite that, I wanted to try to keep my miles just under 7 minutes. The first mile felt ok regarding my GERD symptoms but when we hit that hill and my breathing increased, I noticed it was becoming harder to breathe (did anyone else just sing Maroon 5?!). I tried to block out what I was feeling because I knew I had something special coming up. Jimmy and James were going to be cheering me on just after the mile mark!!! I was so excited to see them. It meant so much to have them there. When they saw me, I heard Jimmy tell him "There's mommy!" When James saw me, he had the biggest smile on his face an started clapping. OMG, so precious!!! It brought temporary tears to my eyes.

At this point, my legs felt amazing but my chest and throat were in so much pain (at least I wasn't nauseous). I kept looking at my watch and couldn't seem to get my pace faster than 7:25. Even the parade crowd didn't seem to give me that extra boost I needed to go faster (in case you are lost, there was a Christmas parade that followed the was definitely a plus to have the crowd there). Mile 2 [7:21]. Mile three was the same story. Fresh legs that just couldn't make themselves go because my chest was hurting so bad. UGH. It's very frustrating that I can't seem to control these symptoms. Mile 3 [7:20].

The race was spot on for the distance. My Garmin read 3.11 miles. My last 0.11 was at an average 6:09 pace (this is where we had that final incline/hill). As I was approaching the finish, I noticed the clock read 21:46. I thought I had a chance to make it under 22 minutes. If it weren't for the hill, I'm sure I would have beat the clock. BOOO! My official time:


A strong finish! [Pic courtesy of Theresa]

I'm still extremely proud of my time. My second fastest 5k finish!! Although I'm incredibly excited about how I'm able to tolerate racing with these awful symptoms, it is very frustrating that I can't run to my fullest potential. It's frustrating to run a race and have your legs feel good but not be able to go faster because you feel like you are going to die of chest pain. BLAH! Until this crap subsides, I will continue running happy because it's a blessing to have legs that run. At least this is all going down in the winter when it sucks to run, anyway!!
Great group of successful ladies...and where is Tamara?! [Front: Amanda, Marion, Me, Theresa; Back: Debbie, Dani, Emily, Megan, Amber]

Shout out to all of my friends who ran today. Everyone put on a great performance! We need to torture ourselves [together] more often.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Disconnecting + Update + Random Pictures

My silly boys.

What have I been up to since my Thanksgiving 5k? I'm sure all 40 of you are dying to know, and, well, 20 of you probably already know. I'm still running only 26-30 miles per week and on track to meet my 2015 in 2015 goal!
My mommy.
Since the race:
  • Friday 11/27- 5 miles on my parents' mill, 8:35 average pace. Progressed from 8:57 to 8:20 min/mile. I needed this easy run to loosen up all the tightness from that race. That trail and those hills had my muscles confused!
  • Saturday 11/28- 11.14 miles in Winchester, VA, 9:11 average pace. I met the sweet Karen earlier this year when I was visiting my parents. I didn't want to do my long run alone. I decided to hit her up again for this trip. I LOVED running in Winchester again!! It's a beautiful city with unavoidable hills.
  • Monday 11/30- 5 miles, 8:40 average pace. Easy treadmill run at the Y. I had a break in the middle of my work day so I'm sure my afternoon patients appreciated my aroma.

James and Grandma making funny faced selfies!
This brought me to the end of November with a total of 124.08 miles. My lowest of the year! Yay! To celebrate my month of taper/recovery/rest, I did my first speed workout today. 6 miles, 8:00 average pace: 2 mile progressive warm up, 1.5 miles @7:30, 3 min recovery, 1 mile @6:57, 3 min recovery, 0.5 miles @6:39, recover to 6 miles. My legs handled it well considering I did Body Pump this morning. I thought for sure my legs would fall off.
"Donut Worry, Be Happy."
My health...mental and physical. It's been a mess. As I've mentioned in recent posts, my GERD has exacerbated in full force. My nausea has gotten worse the past week and has not subsided. If I hadn't had my period the day after Indy, I would think I was pregnant. The nausea is unbearable and lasts all day long. At least it's intermittent but I can't identify if anything is helping it to go away.
Dressing up for the occasion?
Nausea, pregnancy...this leads me to my mental health. I'm beside myself with this trying to get pregnant thing. It's driving me absolutely crazy. I think about it daily. I analyze everything I feel in my body and wonder if I could be pregnant. I've taken a bazillion tests just to be disappointed a bazillion times. I knew it might take longer the second time around. I mean, we got pregnant with James in the second month of trying. It's been 9 months and I'm mentally done. I want to forget about it and just let it happen when it happens, but my personality doesn't allow for that.
I'm a planner. In my mind, I can't plan anything until I know when I'll be pregnant. I can't plan family vacations, races, etc., until I know when a little one will be arriving. I also remember how miserable I was having James in the winter. Sure, I had 10 weeks off of work, but that 10 weeks sucked butt because it was in the middle of an often single digit winter. In my world, I am not allowing that to happen again.
As you can assume, my head starts doing math. OK...I have to get pregnant by December which means I'll find out in January and that will give me a baby before October hits. PERFECT! Except that I'm not pregnant yet. Now, in my mind, I have a deadline which, of course, increases the pressure and stress. UGH.
As I told my close friends when I shared my struggle, I'm not looking for advice. I know I need to chill out, enjoy it, not care when I get pregnant, God's timing not mine...BLAH, BLAH, BLAH. That all may be true but it's not how my brain works and it doesn't make me feel better.

OBSESSED with lights. I can't wait to take him to Wildlights at the zoo!
Because I'm going nuts with this crap, I've been trying to disconnect myself slightly from Facebook. My goal has always been to put myself out there, be completely honest, and let others know that they aren't alone in their struggles...whether big or small. I don't know if this disconnection will last days, weeks...I'm shocked that I've made it two days with minimal Facebook contact. LOL.
I'll certainly continue to share my joys and struggles with y'all through this baby making process and through my health issues. I did get a phone call from my PCP yesterday stating that they approved a referral to see a specialist for my GERD. I'm expecting to hear from the specialist this week about an appointment! As of know, I'm struggling with nausea and chest pain. It sucks. It hurts. I would love relief but I know others struggle more than me so I'll deal with it and try not to whine too much about it.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

FCPRD Thanksgiving 5k- Stephens City, VA

SO MUCH FUN! I wasn't sure about registering for this race after my marathon. I felt so awful running over the weekend that I wasn't sure I could make it through a race. I ran 10 miles with Jackie on Sunday and she basically had to be my mental support. I wanted to barf so bad and my legs felt horribly fatigued after 6 or so miles. I took a rest day on Monday and felt so much better when I ran on Tuesday.
I knew I'd be visiting my parents over the holiday so I had to do a little research to find a race. This one was about 30 minutes or so from where they live. I had no idea what to expect with regards to the course. The website for this race didn't reveal too much. It did mention that there would be a mix of terrains but, being the road racer that I am, assumed that a majority of that would be road. Because of this, I made the goal of running sub 22 minutes (my PR is 21:38, set in July). I figured that was a reasonable goal considering I'm a better runner than I was in July and I just ran a full marathon 1 1/2 weeks ago. I was a little concerned about my nausea but that is what it is.
My sweet step-sis agreed to be my running caddy. Fortunately it was insanely gorgeous outside so I didn't feel so bad for dragging her along.

Me and my caddy! [Katelyn]
We got there just in time for me to get a 2 mile warm up [8:30 pace] and head to the start to put on my timing chip. I saw a ton of high school cross country chicks so I knew I wasn't winning anything today! LOL. In true Lisa fashion, I made some friends at the start line, found a guy planning to run 21 minutes, and told him I'd keep him in my visual field. I wondered what people were thinking because I was one of only a handful of people wearing shorts and a short sleeve shirt.

Rep'n Cbus! I was annoyed that they put "Winchester, VA" for my home city.

The race started on a high school track. We ran almost a full lap around and exited the stadium. We ran through the parking lots around the school [approx. 0.70 miles] before we entered the trail. I was under the impression, for whatever reason, that this was mostly a road race. I had no idea it would include as much trail as it did. That probably would have changed my goal slightly. The mile 1 split was great for my sub 22 goal so I was feeling pretty confident at that point [6:52].
As mile one was coming to a close, I noticed that the trail was not. So much for less than a quarter mile of trail! As we approached the end of mile two, I had experienced slippery mud, gravel, grass, lots of tree roots and big ole rocks! AND THE HILLS! I had to remind myself that this was just like Hocking Hills or Highbanks. I should have worn my "Hills? What Hills?" headband! When I saw the mile two split [7:48], I was actually encouraged rather than discouraged. I couldn't believe I was able to stay sub 8 on the trail!

At some point around mile two, we hit a small section of road, maybe a tenth of a mile. I could tell that mud was caked on my shoes, rocks stuck in the mud, etc. I didn't even care that the section of road was an incline! As we approached the end of the road section, I saw that we were about to run on grass. I just remember thinking "Damn! No one told me this was a cross country race!" It took me back to my high school days. The last mile was pretty much all grass. There were some sections of hard ground where I tried to increase my pace to make up for the grassy sections. Mile three ended up being 7:46.
As we were approaching the end of mile 3, I saw the track again. The grass wore me out a bit but I knew I had to have a good finishing kick the final 200 meters on the track. I passed at least three people...ALL MEN! Bam! When I crossed the finish line and looked at my Garmin, I was surprised to see the result:

Although I saw my first two mile splits, I didn't realize how fast I was really running because the terrain made it feel so much harder! Considering it was just over a minute more than my PR AND it was mostly a trail race, I was THRILLED with the result!! A small part of me was annoyed at what could have been had it been all road.

Post race photo session.
Out of 480 runners, I placed 56th overall. I was the 13th of 254 females (damn cross country team!) and the 2nd in my age group (of 19 for ages 30-34). I call that success 1 1/2 weeks after my marathon. NO HIP PAIN!! I was nauseous as all get out, but dealt with it.

Despite the trail surprise, I LOVED this race! It was beautiful, the weather was perfect, and I didn't barf. I wish Columbus had the hills that they have in this area.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Running Breaks are Weird

I understand the purpose of rest. I actually welcome rest when I know I need it. Despite knowing that, I think it's weird...and sometimes scary when you do it because of injury or pain. After the Veterans Marathon, I was in so much pain that I feared a long break might be necessary.  Selfishly, I wanted to meet my 2015 miles in 2015 goal and thought this was going to mess that up.

The halfway point at the Veterans Marathon. Amanda and I befriended Mark and we were named "Team Blue Shirt." Mark has run 45 marathons!!!

I ended up taking five days off. By that, I mean I did absolutely nothing outside of my normal daily activity. No cross training, no lifting...NO NOTHIN'!! (double negative) I wish I could say I slept more, but I had many sleepless nights because jd3 was very sick.
I limped for about 2 1/2 days. Stairs were particularly difficult. It was also hard finding a decent sleep position that wouldn't bother my hip. My last uncomfortable night was probably Monday. I'm not sure if was my hip or the incredible pull out bed in James' hospital room. I just remember waking up on Tuesday and being able to walk and do stairs without any pain. It was slightly tender with stairs but at least I could do them reciprocally. After that, I knew that two more days of complete rest would be a good thing for my healing.

Those two days were actually hard to get through. I had to convince myself that I wasn't ok to run just because I felt great walking. I was honestly scared to test it out. I ended up running after work on Friday. I told my self that I wouldn't run more than 4-5 miles if I felt good. I just didn't want to push it too hard.
It was very windy out that afternoon and I felt like a snail. I didn't want to pay too much attention to my pace but, rather, go by feel. I ended up doing very well! [8:44, 8:21, 8:23, 8:02, 3:55 for half mile] It was exciting to get out there and feel good running that pace.

Fortunately, I was not feeling any fatigue the following morning and was able to tolerate an 8 miler, on the rolling hills of Dublin, averaging 8:31.
[Theresa, Karen, Me, Jackie] Best part of this run: Theresa checked the weather and it said 56 and rain. She showed up with shorts, tank, and a visor. She realized she was wrong when she saw us. She then realized she saw the weather for MEMPHIS, TN!!!

I started taking a different medication for my GERD (Prevacid). I definitely think it's better than the Zantac but I'm still getting these crappy symptoms in the morning. I didn't eat anything before this run yet felt like I had food stuck in my throat. I kept burping a lot when I would drink water. I felt very nauseous the last four miles of this run. I honestly don't know if it's a symptom of my GERD or something else. I felt fine when I finished and for the rest of the day. I really need to get this crap under control. I may go in for a follow up with my doc in the near future if it continues.

Where do I start? Jackie asked me to stretch her hip. Theresa was turned on by it so she took a pic. Once again, I'm being very professional and she's being a perv!!! Ha! I'd be lying if I denied sticking my butt out for her pic. ;)

Tomorrow, I shall attempt 10 miles on the flattest land I can find! If all goes well, I'm hoping for an easy 6 miler on Tuesday and a Thanksgiving 5k on Thursday. Gotta keep this body in baby making shape!!!

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Veterans Marathon 2015

You guys read about my secret in the last post. I knew I had to give myself another chance to go for that 2017 BQ after not finishing the Indy Monumental last weekend. Because the thought makes me want to barf, I'll just put my finishing time out there now:
Sure, it's my second fastest time (only four marathons under my belt) but very unimpressive for my current ability. My Boston qualifying time is 3:35 so I trained for 3:30 to ensure that I'd actually get accepted into the race (for 2016, you had to beat your qualifying time by 2 minutes and 28 seconds!). I was going to allow myself 3:32 at the slowest. A 3:30 marathon is an 8 minute pace but all of my race pace training was around 7:45. I just wanted my body to be ready...AND IT IS/WAS!
Amanda and me at the "expo."
Just like in Indy, I felt great that morning (except for my GERD symptoms which have been rough for 2-3 weeks). No aches or nerves. It was in the high 20s, approaching 30 degrees, at the start. The wind was very light ranging 5-10 mph the entire race. It was pretty dang cold but tolerable. [I can't forget to mention that Amanda was there to pace me. If you need a good friend, she's a good one to pursue. I am officially encouraging you not to pursue her because I am selfish and want to keep her for myself.]

Flat Lisa. I was looking sharp and representin' Cbus!
After the cannon sounded...yes, a cannon...we set off towards the cow fields. Oddly enough, I never saw a cow, but I knew they were there because I smelled them. It took maybe 3ish miles to warm up to the point that I wasn't numb anymore. It took my running body about 10 miles to warm up before I felt ready to conquer this challenge.
If you are one who requires spectators, this is not the race for you. There is basically no one out there except those at the water stations (which were irregularly and oddly placed). The volunteers were very nice, though. This race was a half marathon loop which we ran twice. The second loop was tough because the few spectators that were present had gone on there way to the only sit down restaurant in town (Bob Evans). Also, if anyone tries to tell you this is a hilly course, they tell LIES. I would call it rolling inclines. All you have to do is run in Dublin, OH and you could handle this with ease.
 Let's break down the miles. I'll organize it into my four marathon phases:
  1. The Warm Up Phase [Miles 1-7]: It took me longer than seven miles to warm up which actually made me nervous. Nothing significant happened in this phase. We were just trying to keep our pace under control and around 7:55/mile. I took a gel around 4 miles and a salt packet around mile 7. Splits: 7:45, 7:56, 7:40, 7:55, 7:55, 7:48, 7:54. Not too shabby.
  2. The Fun Phase [8-13.1]: I finally warmed up and knew in my heart that I would BQ today! I took another gel around 9 miles. It was kind of annoying to run through the finish line and not be finished! Our half split was 1:43:19! PERFECT! Splits: 7:46, 7:47, 7:45, 7:55, 7:47, 7:56.
  3. The Relaxation Phase [13.1-20]. Sometime during the Fun Phase, one of the few spectators was yelling, "Relax and make it fun!" I'm not sure what it was about that phrase, but it really worked for me. I used it a lot during this phase because it seemed to instantly relax me. Sometime shortly after the halfway point, I commented to Amanda that my hip was starting to bother me. I didn't make a big deal about it because it felt like a pain that I could easily push through...something that would probably go away soon. Despite this sensation I was feeling, miles 14-17 were very strong: 7:47, 7:58, 7:55, 7:53. It was mile 18 that I knew things weren't looking good. The pain was not subsiding and actually getting worse. I could feel my gait changing. Mile 18, 8:18...YIKES. My first 8-something mile of the race. It wasn't a mental blow to see that number because Amanda taught me that "one mile does not define your race." Miles 19 and 20 just got worse (8:49, 9:41). The pain kept increasing and reality set in: I WAS NOT GOING TO BQ.  I do remember, after mile 19, Amanda told me that I could still get 3:30 if I could average 8:20/mile (I didn't do the math in my own head because I was in so much pain, but I trusted her math skills). For a split second, I had some hope...I can easily run 7 more miles at 8:20! Except that I was in EXCRUCIATING PAIN. You guys, this pain was worse than child birth without meds. It was in mile 20 that I let Amanda leave me. Staying with me at that point would have been marathon hell for her. Looking back, I'm slightly annoyed for her because she would have won overall female! The winner ran a 3:15!
  4. The All or Nothing Phase [21-26.2]: The last 10k. For this race, I will have to rename this "the walking phase" because that's pretty much what I did the entire time! UGH. So frustrating. I was in so much pain that I couldn't get my legs to run. It was the weirdest feeling. My legs have been moving perfectly fine ALL YEAR LONG! Why was this happening to me now?!!! I have a history of hip issues but haven't dealt with it since the Columbus full in 2012. I had a slight issue last year but I was convinced I was over-training/over-racing for my fitness level at the time. Splits: 17:01, 13:41, 12:42, 14:51, 12:43, 12:30, 4:06 (0.41miles). Amanda ran the last 1 1/2-ish miles with me. Have I mentioned how great of a friend she is? Takeaway from this phase? Lots and lots of pain and legs wouldn't run...they just wouldn't. I cried when I saw Amanda, told her this was "the stupidest shit I've ever done," and just wanted to finish so that I could take a shower. When I crossed the finish line, the lady who handed me my medal said "You look like you are disappointed." Ha! I couldn't hide my frustration.

Final thoughts...where do I begin. With all of my success this year, my goal was to be inspiring to my fellow runners and even my fellow non-runners. I wanted to show what hard work can accomplish. Literally every race this year was a great one...until last weekend. My training this summer and fall couldn't have been more perfect. What I didn't know is that God intended me to spread another form of inspiration. He smashed me in the freaking face with this question: HOW ARE YOU GOING TO REACT TO FAILURE WHEN YOU'VE PUT YOUR ALL INTO SOMETHING? I know failure is relative. You all think I haven't failed, but, in my eyes, I've failed miserably.

Only Amanda got to witness my initial reaction. I was devastated, pissed off, crying, feeling sorry for myself...all in a matter of 10 minutes. I then realized, as I was hobbling to the car, WHO AM I TO THINK I DESERVE THIS RIGHT NOW? I reflected on my year and realized how much I have gained through running this year. Historically, I've lacked so much confidence in many areas of my life. I have grown so much this year in that area and it's all because of my running friends (and the hubs, of course). I have gained so much through my training and all of it has been SO MUCH FUN!

Thanks again to my secret keepers for keeping this under wraps. Many thanks to all of you who have been a part of my 2015 training. You guys can't begin to comprehend how much you all mean to me! I am ready to take as many days as I need to make my hip feel better so that I can get my 2015 miles in 2015!
This one was mainly for Dani because she likes me with my shirt off ;) LOL!! Seriously, though, I sent a message to my secret keepers after the race and told them "I might have had a shitty race but at least my abs look good today!"

Side note: The GERD crap was an issue the entire race but not one that was going to cost me my BQ. I started different meds on Friday. I'm giving it two weeks to improve my symptoms or I'm seeking a second opinion about my situation.


A Little Story About a Girl Who Didn't Care and Her Friends That Did...

After the race mishap last Saturday, I was very lackadaisical about the whole thing. Although I felt confident and firm in my decision to QUIT, earning my first DNF, my emotions were all over the place. I was bummed about no BQ, happy about potential pregnancy, sad that it happened that way....the list goes on. Part of me wanted to run 16 miles when I got home to complete my mileage for the day, but part of me wanted to crawl up into a ball and do nothing. Maybe I just wanted to forget the whole thing all together.
On my way home, crazy Amanda texted me a screen shot of the Memphis Marathon (I've done this half before and it was a neat race). She talked about how we should do it to give me another shot. I reminded her that, if I'm not pregnant, it would be my period weekend again. We all know that the period hasn't treated me well the past 3 months or so. I refused to put myself through that again. It was almost like I'd be setting myself up for failure on purpose.
A few minutes later, she sent me a screen shot of another race...The Veterans Marathon in Columbia City, IN. Columbia City?! Where the crap is that?! She pleaded her case:
  • It's only 3 hours away!
  • You won't have to take off work!
  • Hotels are CHEAP!
  • I will pace you so it will feel like a training run!
  • It's a USATF certified course and a Boston qualifier!
I'm sure she knew what I was thinking and the emotions I was feeling. She told me to think about it and pray about it. "You don't have to make a decision until Nov 12th at noon!"  I knew I wouldn't make a decision that day...or even the next day. It just wouldn't be a fair decision. It would be a decision based on emotion. Plus, I wanted to get my feet on the road to see how my body felt before making that decision.
Of course, I presented this information to the hubs because he heard me laughing out loud about it when Amanda would text me occasionally. We didn't discuss it in detail but he knew of the conversation.
Sunday rolled around and the topic came up on our way to church. My husband asked if I wanted his honest opinion. I don't remember saying "Yes," but he told me anyway. He encouraged me to do it, saying that he would not be satisfied if this happened to him. I took his words into consideration and decided later that day that I was 90% there but that other 10% was very strong and I needed one more day to decide. I spent the evening researching the details of the race to help shape my decision.
Amanda texted me that evening and said "I've booked our hotel! Let me know when you decide what you want to do!" Ha!!!!
Monday morning, I received a text from Theresa that says her and Dani need to have a conference call with me and gave me two time slots. I told her I had a busy day and asked what it was concerning. She said, and I quote, "It is very important. No bullshit. I have meetings today too but pulling out. I can do now if you can. Please advise." So professional...yet, not professional at the same time!!!
When I got on the phone with them, T explained that her and Dani spent Sunday's run (and some time afterwards) talking about and researching possible marathons for me to run. She told me they found one for me to do (Veterans Marathon) in Indiana and it was a BQ course. She explained their plan to pay for the hotel, the registration fee...they were even going to babysit James so Jimmy didn't have to change his plans. I kept letting her talk but was laughing the whole time!

After she finished her spiel, all I could think to say was "So...I have a secret to tell you." I told them about the Amanda situation above. We all had a laugh, they gave me a pep talk, and I only had one thing left to do: finish contacting my immediate friend circle to include them on the secret. There were many people I wanted to tell but six people I knew I had to tell. People that have been with me directly through the past year and then some. I didn't even tell my family! I just didn't want the world to know. I wanted this to be as low key as possible.


And so my week went on...another taper...another attempt at a BQ.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

The Indianapolis Monumental "10.57"

Fueling the night before!

My 2015 season started the last week of December 2014. I was preparing for Flying Pig in May. I did so well that my husband challenged me to qualify for Boston. That's when I decided to register for Indy. From that first week of training until now, it has been about 45 weeks. Let's do some math:
45 weeks x 5 days of training per week = 225 runs (this is an estimate, of course)
Of those 225 runs, very few of them were run in the afternoon or evening. We'll say, at the VERY MINIMUM, 200 early wake up calls ranging from 3:30 a.m. to 5:30 a.m. That includes just over 1800 miles and, I'm guessing, at least 15 races.
I don't think it's arrogant to say I was dedicated.
All of this lead to ONE RACE. This is the life of a runner. So many miles, early mornings, mommy guilt, wife guilt...all of that sacrificing for ONE RACE. My training after Pig was as perfect as it could be. I was going to get a 3:30-3:32 at Indy. That is, unless something happened that was out of my control...and it did.
We decided to caption this: Mad, Heifer, Thrilled (we chose our own words...Jackie called herself a heifer, folks!)
It's no secret that I've been trying to get pregnant since April. I was taking a risk by registering for Indy because I could potentially get pregnant at any moment. As race day approached, and pregnancy didn't happen, I was slightly relieved because I felt I could run my heart out like I thought I was intended to do.
It's also no secret (to my closest friends, anyway) that I've been on my period for EVERY IMPORTANT RACE this year. I am not joking. The Winter Run, Flying Pig, Johnstown to Granville Half, Hilliard 10k...the list goes freaking on. So, it wasn't a shocker to me when I counted the weeks leading up to Indy and noticed that I'd be on my period again. Since having James, my periods have been quite awful but I manage. They've worsened in the most recent months but have always been regular. Period day came and went...NOTHING. Of course, I suspected pregnancy but didn't want to believe I would find out the day of my race. WTF. I had been feeling weird all week but decided it was all in my head because of nerves. I decided to bring a pregnancy test with me to Indy but not take it until after the race. I was afraid if I took it before, I would totally freak myself out. So I tried to ignore my instinct and move on.

What I sent Dani and Marion so they'd know what to look for...too bad they only saw me once! Dani responded "Send one of your know you're gonna take your shirt off!"

I felt completely fine that morning. I was ready to go! Jackie and I lined up with the measly 3:30 pace group while Amanda went up with the cool people (insert kiss face because I love you, Amanda). My only regret at this point was the fact that I wore throwaway pants that I actually loved. As I said in my last post, I wanted to give myself at least 7 miles to warm up before I decided how I really felt. The first two miles were fine other than the fact that I got hot very fast. It was low 40s at the start and I was sweating in mile 1 (I wore a tank, shorts, and arm warmers which I pulled down a few miles in). I was talking with Jackie, goofing off with my fellow runners, all was good.
After two miles, my legs were a little fatigued but I just assumed it was because I was still warming up. I took a gel at mile 4 and noticed it was hard to get down. I drank water and that was hard to get down as well. At mile 6, I was still feeling the same. I remember I planned to take a salt tab at that point. After swallowing it, I felt like it just stayed in my throat. I couldn't make myself drink water. It just wouldn't go down. WATER WOULDN'T GO DOWN?! You guys may remember my recent chest pain/swallowing trouble that ended up being GERD. I've had some bad GERD days this week and today was no exception.
When 8 miles rolled around, I started getting stabbing pain in my lower abdomen. They were intermittent and painful but at least I had moments of relief. I was also feeling more fatigued. I took another gel at 8.75 miles and, again, had trouble getting it down. Same story with all the other water stops. I decided to give myself 2 more miles before I would decide to take action. At mile 10, it was only getting worse...more fatigue, more lower abdominal pain, more GERD symptoms, and more hip tightness. It wasn't the worst pain but it wasn't going to get me a BQ. There was a medical tent at 10.5 miles, so I decided to stop there. I said to myself. "If I go to the bathroom and I've started my period, I'll keep going. If the panties and toilet paper are clear, I'm stopping."

All was clear and so was my desire to continue. Here were the thoughts spiraling through my brain:
  1. If, in fact, I was pregnant, stabbing pain in my lower abdomen isn't a good thing. Mommy instincts kicked in and I felt like I would be hurting my potential baby.
  2. My one and only goal for this race was to BQ (whether it be 3:30 or 3:32). It wasn't to run my 4th marathon and finish. It wasn't to experience the Indy Monumental. It was to BQ. I felt that 10.5 miles was enough time to determine that this goal was not going to be achieved on this day. I would not have been able to run 16 more miles feeling the way I felt and thinking I might be pregnant. Why put myself through that misery if I knew 3:30 wasn't happening?!
Obviously this was a tough situation for me. I have the best, most supportive friends. All I could think at the time was "I really don't want to get to my phone and have 20 bazillion Facebook posts to respond to!" I first saw Amanda then Jackie, Marion and Dani were there shortly after. They embraced me like best friends would. I talked to the hubs and Theresa and that's about all I could handle at the moment (until I was able to get some Starbucks).
I had a 3 hour drive home...alone. I didn't turn on the radio the whole time. I talked to a few more people, shed a few tears but not many...and really felt ok with what just happened. Of course, when I got home to the hubs, I cried for 2 hours!
I want to take this opportunity to share my faith and testimony. I think the reason I felt so good about my decision to stop is because I felt such peace when it happened. I wasn't crying; I didn't feel overwhelmed; I simply felt peace. At mile 8, I asked the Lord to tell me what to do. I heard VERY LOUD AND CLEAR. He told me to swallow my pride. He told me to stop feeling as if I needed this race on this day to prove myself. He told me to think of my body and what it was communicating to me. His peace crashed into me like a wave. I know (and HE knows) that I have trained my body to run a BQ. It just wasn't my day.
Am I completely bummed that I put in that work with nothing to show for it? ABSOLUTELY. Am I bummed that I won't be running Boston in 2017? ABSOLUTELY. I knew that this was my last opportunity for a couple of years since I was planning to get pregnant. Yes, I'm upset...BUT that connection I felt with God at 10.57 miles outweighs every other feeling I felt today (minus that amazing Razorback win...OMG did y'all see that?!).
I am sorry if some of you felt in the dark. I just needed to process it all. I still don't know if I am pregnant so you can skip that question. I will say that I haven't started my period but a woman's body is weird so who the hell knows what is going on?! I do know that I am looking forward to reaching 2015 miles in 2015 and enjoying my off season!

Friday, November 6, 2015

Lisa's Four Marathon Phases


Earlier this week, I had a solo 4 miler. The day was freaking gorgeous...a sports bra and shorts kind of day. If I had shaved my pits, the shirt would have been off.  That morning, I was trying to think of a way to pass the time during my run in order to get my mind in race mode. I decided that 4 miles would equal 4 phases of my race. I grabbed a scrap sheet of paper and wrote down my plan!
As I was running, I dedicated a mile to each phase. While running that mile, I memorized my plan for that phase and gave it a name. I knew that if I felt completely comfortable with my plan, it would make it easier to adjust if something went wrong during the race.
Lisa's Marathon Phases:
  1. The Warm Up Phase [miles 1-7]. I figured out through training this year that it takes me a few miles to feel good...usually 6ish miles. I decided to give myself an extra warm up mile in this phase just in case I needed it. I will take a pre-race gel in addition to taking one at mile 4. I'm following the same gel plan as Flying Pig since it seemed to work for me. My only change is adding salt tabs (taking my first at mile 6). I'm hoping to prevent some of that crazy cramping that I started getting during my last full.
  2. The Fun Phase [miles 8-half marathon]. This is the phase in which I should feel REALLY good. I'm warmed up and my pace should feel easy. If it doesn't, my mental needs to kick in a bit more! Indy offers a gel at 8.5 miles. I'll take 1-2 salt tabs at the halfway point.
  3. The Relaxation Phase [half marathon-20]. This is when things may start to get tight and race pace might start to become a reality. I'll be reminding myself that I just need to relax my body and run. The course offers another gel at mile 15. Then I'll probably take my last one around mile 19 in addition to tabs around 20. I should know by the end of this phase how much gas I have left in the tank. This will determine my plan for the last phase.
  4. The All or Nothing Phase [miles 20-26.2]. If I feel decent at 20 miles (WHO FEELS DECENT AT 20 MILES?! LOL.), I will try my best to rock out the last 10k...the hardest part of the race. Hardest mentally and physically. This is where the heart takes over. Your head is telling you that you want to give up/die/barf/etc., but your heart must be stronger. It will remind you of all the hard months of training, of all the people who are cheering you on. It will remind you of your goals. It will punch you in the gut and remind you what you are made of...the last 10k is all heart. I have no plans to take a gel during this phase unless I feel like total crap. I will take salt tabs as needed based on cramping and tightening of my muscles. I will envision the finish line and (based on Amanda's advice) take this phase 2 miles at a time. Two miles is nothing, right?!
Do you guys put your races into phases/sections?

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Highs and Lows- Week 17

I sent this to my girl, Dani, this morning. It's something I'll be repeating on Saturday!

If I thought this week was lacking in mileage, I'm in for a shocker the next few days. I know a lot of people freak out about taper week. I tend to embrace it more than let it bother me. As I was approaching taper phase, I did question if I had enough mileage planned for this week. When I saw that I had ONLY 30 miles, it felt really weird! I texted a few of my girlfriends who were also training for full marathons to find out what their training was like for this week.

When taper arrives, it's not usually the training I freak out about, it's all the little details that tend to come up at the last minute that I didn't think about during the other weeks of training. Here are some of the things I "freaked out" about:
  1. Where will I put my Endurolyte tabs?! During Pig, my pace group leader had tabs on him so he shared with us as needed. For Indy, I knew I'd have to carry them myself. I'm not a belt person so that was never an option for me. After polling others, I still had no clue what I was going to do. When I went to Front Runner to buy my tabs, I made a spontaneous purchase in the form of a Spibelt. I wore it for every run this week (in addition to my runs last weekend) to make sure it wouldn't bother me. So far, so good!
  2. What if it rains?! I know we are still a few days away from race day and ANYTHING can happen with the weather in those days. All week, I've been checking the projected weather. Mid to high 40s for the low the night before (PERFECT!)...50-60% chance of showers (BOOOOOOO!!!!). The forecast was screaming "DC Half!" I will never forget how freaking cold and wet I was the entire race. I did not dress well and was cranky about my wet feet! I will take 30 degrees over 40s and rainy any race day! Fortunately, as the weekend approached, the rain chance decreased to 10%. Hopefully it stays that way!
  3. Phantom pain/inuries. This week, I diagnosed myself with a stress fracture in my foot (solely based on the fact that my foot was throbbing one day..nothing since that day). Then I had shin splints, high ankle sprain, a knee that felt like it could burst at any moment. It's kinda funny how I felt none of this during all those weeks of training!
This week was super laid back. Here are my highs and lows:
  • I did not get to see a coyote at Sharon Woods. Huge disappointment. Amber promised it wouldn't eat me so I was determined to spot one.
  • Marion's return. I had the pleasure of sharing 6 miles with my awesome friend. We must have been feeling good after a few warm up miles because we ended with an 8:29 average! Go us!
  • Last Race Pace Run. I was supposed to run this outside with Amanda but we had some crazy rain. I decided to hit up The Y for a little treadmill action. I can't remember the last time I had to run on the mill. I ran 6 total (average 7:55) including 1 mile warm up around 8:30 min/mile and 5 miles progressing from 7:53 to 7:30.
  • Sweat's Birthday Run. Only 4 miles this day (9:20 average)! Weird, huh?! We took some time to celebrate Christine with a run, a boa, a party hat, and some goodies!
    It's the birthday girl!
  • Saturday "Long Run." When you're one week from race day, the long run is more like a normal weekday run...THANK GOODNESS! My body needs the rest. I ventured to Sharon Woods with Amber and Karen. I can't remember all the details of the conversations, but I know I laughed a lot and that's what counts. 8 miles and 8:40 average!
    Selfie sans coyote. Amber runs are rare for me nowadays so it's always good to see her! [Amber, Karen, me]
  • Sunday Funday. We took it to the streets of Dublin (when I re-read this sentence, it sounded hard core). 6 miles, 8:37 average. Lots of talk about our friends running NYC, the end of race season, goals accomplished and not accomplished, and simply being ready for a break! This will be the most miles I run until my race on Saturday!
    I love all of the happy faces! [Marion, Jackie, me, Karen, Christine]

I doubt I will post for week 18. It's pretty boring anyway! I'll run 4 miles Monday, 5 on Tuesday, rest or run 3 on Wednesday, rest Thursday, 2 miles on Friday, and RACE ON SATURDAY!!
What I will be saying pre-race!