Monday, September 14, 2009

Three more Good Ones - Greenway Challenge Watchout

4 friends and I are doing the Greenway Challenge in two weeks. It is an adventure race.
Meaning, this year there are 7 legs of the race. It is 47 miles long, and combines 3 running legs, 2 paddling legs and 2 biking legs. The purpose is to raise awareness for the BlackStone valley and what it has to offer. I am running the first and last legs. (

They don't release the race route until two weeks before the race. Well, this year, the last leg, 3.7 miles is pretty much all uphill. I decided I need to work on my hills.

I have added the treadmill to the end of my runs/walks - set it on the highest incline and plug away. After three days, I can really tell the difference in my leg muscles. I don't run the whole time, but I try to go fast. H mentioned in a previous post that she feels like a million bucks when she runs up the hills. I feel that way the day after running the hills.

We are a team that will finish, but we won't be first. I know that running for me is the challenge against myself, not competition with others. It is a nice way to replace a workout day with a race.

After I signed up, and we paid our registration, we found out who the charitable organization is... (everyone pays a registration fee, and it is used to support the course, then left over money goes to an organization that supports the BlackStone Valley). The Boy Scouts of America - Mohegan Council. This is my council! We've done a lot of work cleaning up public lands after the ice storm. Also, there is a BSA camp that is maintained.

Ok, here is the run down of the last three runs:
Friday (all treadmill)
45:00, 2.556 miles, most on the highest incline (10)

Saturday (first walked/ran with the dog, then ended with treadmill)
38:02, 2.08 miles w/dog
20:06 1.070 miles treadmill (incline 8-10)

Sunday (slow walk with the dog to warm up, then treadmill)
45:51, 2.501 miles, most on 5.5 incline

Today is REST DAY!!!

Monday, September 7, 2009

3 days of running

Friday - rest day. Yippee. Only a dog walk.
Saturday, Sunday and Monday (holiday) morning - the same 2.5 mile loop mostly. Pretty good runs each day.
And - I can feel it. My IT band is tight at night. I'd forgotten about that. So, back to the funny looking stretches. But, it means I am a runner again. I know the third run day in a row is supposed to be the cross training day. Mostly I walked today, but I like the loop I've been doing. I kinda figure that was what I needed. Tomorrow rest, then Wednesday again to running after work.
These three runs were probably good because of multiple reasons - it was morning, the temps were in the 60's, not 80's like when I first started to train, I have been eating a little better, and being sure to get water the night before. By afternoon, I've had Chinese food for lunch and 8 cups of coffee. Not good to run on. I know that.

I think if I ever write a book about running, I will have to give a 24 week training plan. Last summer, I spent summer getting ready to start the 20 week plan - I did some jogging with the dog. I did weight watchers and lost some weight... I was eating healthier. This year, I am figuring I should have spent a few weeks doing that before the 20 week start.

Here's the rundown:
Current weight: 240lbs
Saturday: 2.5 miles, 39:50 (at 2.1 miles at 32:00)
Sunday: 2.72 miles, 45:50
Monday: 2.51 miles, 42:39

Friday, September 4, 2009


Yesterday's training was MUCH better. I think I just had a sucky day on Wednesday. Thursdays are supposed to be cross training, but since I walked on Wednesday, I figured I had to run on Thursday. Well, I started off getting home from work and playing tag with my son. He loves to be chased. Eventually, he changed the game to zombie tag - where I had to lurch around and drag my foot. I know it wasn't fast moving, but it was moving and giggling. It reminded me of why I want to run. It isn't the glory of the marathon. It's to play and have more fun with him. Did you know that kid zombies are allowed to run, but adult zombies have to lurch. Seems fair.

So, after playing tag, I figured I would just walk the dog and then we'd dance around at home. Instead, I started the dog walk, and ran up the first hill. My sister says to run UP the hills. You can walk anywhere else. So, I ended up doing the same route last night as the night before. But, I ran occasionally (up the hills), and I ended up feeling pretty good.

Here is the Garmin breakdown for both days. You cans ee that I wasn't that much faster yesterday with my occasional running, but the feeling was different.

Wednesday (bad day): 2.42 miles in 45:33 (average 18:49)
Thursday (good day): 2.50 miles in 44:03 (average 17:34)

So, less then 1.5 minutes faster per mile on Thursday, but it felt like a run and Wednesday felt like a whine.

Today is a rest day. So, just zombie tag and dog walk.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

19 and a half weeks to go

Yesterday was the third run day of training. It stunk. I couldn't get myself motivated to run. I started out planning to run for 40 minutes (which is the training plan). I just couldn'g get my feet to move faster. So I did my 45 minutes of "cross training" (walking) instead. I will have to run tonight, since today was supposed to be the cross training day.

I have to get my head into the run. I was reading my posts from last year - and I remember feeling that excited. I just had a bad day yesterday - I know I will get my head back soon. I just need to write about it. Last years blogs don't have any negative ones, but I am pretty sure I had crappy days then, too. I just came home last night feeling fat and stupid and not sweaty enough. Running for me is mental, so I am writing this down to get it out and move past it. I just couldn't make my feet go faster. I didn't want to hear the slapping of tummy fat on thighs, or worry about turning an ankle, or try to run until I couldn't breathe. I did have a touch of loose bowels, so I was fighting that. But, I had that on the marathon day and it didn't stop me. I need to get my mantra back out that I hate running, I hate running, I hate running. That sometimes motivates me to run.

OK, today is another day.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Day three

I got my son off to the first day of school. My hubby started a job at the school today - first paid job in a while, since he is a stay at home dad. (which is the hardest job in the world, and doesn't pay in money)

I wanted to be around to talk to hubby when he got home, so I used the treadmill for my 35 minute work out. Yeah, it isn't as motivating as using the Garmin and going outside. And, hubby made it home as I finished my last 30 seconds of cool down.

I did over two miles, but not as much as the first day of training. I did a preset 30 minute work out, that involved lots of inclines. It was good - I keep hearing my sister say, "run up the hills, run up the hills". So, I tried to run when it got to 8, 9 or 10 incline. I also read on the treadmill.

I forgot that if you hit a button on the treadmill, it resets, so I am pretty sure I did 2+ miles, but I have to add two sets. Oh well. I am going to be happy I fit in a workout. It is a busy day.

Tomorrow is 40 minutes, I will do it with the dog in tow.

Monday, August 31, 2009

20 Weeks to Disney

First official training run done! It was to be 35 minutes. I figured, I wanted to do ~2.18 miles - that would be 35 minutes at the Disney 16 minute/mile pace. I ended up doing 2 miles in 32:45. So, I was a little over. At 38 minutes, I slowed down to finish the rest of the training as a cool down to get home for only 4 minutes. I am feeling the lack of post run real stretching today.
I almost forgot I had quadricepts! They are reminding me they exist today.
Other than that, it was a good first time out in a while. I have been walking the dog, but not really pushing myself. Now, with training, I am going to be pushing myself all the time.

I forgot how mental running is though. Some folks love to run because it gives them time to think. Some folks love to run because they can just run and don't have to think. I hate running. I did my "run" and when I got to the top of the hill near my house, I was at 38 minutes, and started crying. I was exhausted, and felt good that I had done what I needed to do, so of course I had to cry! Stupid running. That happens to me at the end of a good run.

Stupid running.

And now, I am psyched to do the second day of training - REST DAY. Woo hoo!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Beach To Beacon...?

I am excited to see my brother and sisters this weekend. They are going to run the beach to beacon. I have to tell my quick training update. For supper on Friday, my husband baked bacon to have BLTs. My son liked it so much, he had him make more bacon for Sunday morning breakfast. So, for two times this weekend, I ran the Beach to Bacon! (It was good incentive to move faster...)

Also this weekend, I wrote out the training plan in the calendar. I know the 20 weeks from the marathon date, so I can start my official training on August 30th!

It so happens that a friend at work is running a 1/2 marathon the weekend of November 8th, in Maine. That is the weekend of 13 mile run in the marathon training. I am going to sign up for it!

So, this time I will have not JUST 5K races under my belt before starting the marathon.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


OK, I decided it was time to pull out the big guns for motivation - I re-read my blogs from the marathon, and then from last summer. But, i didn't blog in summer - I was too busy with weight watchers, and trying to up my running.
I have been out with the dog and wearing my garmin. I see that the distance and time I did two days ago is the same as I was all excited to be doing last May. So, I am feeling pretty good that I will be marathoning again.
Reading about the maraton day just reminded me of what a unique experience I had at the back of the pack. I think I could do without that experience again, but if I work and work, and still end up dead last, I won't be too terribly upset.
T, A, and H - you guys are incredible. You gave me so much support. I don't think I told you how much it all meant to me. (keep it up, please)
I wrote the meter blog yesterday. I have to think of things to think about when I am running - I remember that was the psychological problem with running last time.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Oh those metrics

I've been wearing the Garmin when I walk the dog, and it really does motivate me to go further.

Now, I should start wearing a thermometer - no I know how hot I feel... A hygrometer - no, I can tell how hydrated (or not) I am... A pedometer! Folks who wear a pedometer walk more steps (a mile or more extra) during the day. I'm getting there...

I was recently reminded how the running reduced my readings on the sphygmomanometer. Also, it reduces the measurement on my heart tachometer. If I keep it up, I will hopefully reduce my diameter. Especially if I increase the readings on my Garmin speedometer.

PS - can you think of a "meter" to measure meters?

Monday, June 15, 2009

Five Months Later...

It's been five months since the marathon. I can't believe how much it took out of me.
I finally strapped on the Garmin for a walk yesterday. I've been walking the dog, but no where near the four miles I was doing this time last year. I did four miles last night with some friends. It took just over an hour. 4mph was my run/walk last year. Last night felt fast, and it was all walking (I never was a fast runner). there were a bunch of hills, and my ankles are a little tender this morning, but I feel great. I was able to do it - I was worried I wouldn't keep up. These gals walk regularly. I was able to carry on conversation and keep the pace (although it felt fast).

I am glad the Garmin still works - I hadn't worn it since the race. I forgot how inspiring that one peice of equipment is! I will wear it when i walk the dog tonight and go. Let's see if it makes me go more...(I did a total of just over six miles yesterday since I walked the dog before I met the girls.)

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Next Marathon or Half

I found a site that tells me races upcoming in my area. There is the Providence, RI race the first Sunday in May. I have to decide if I want the marathon or the half... I kinda want Disney to be my first complete marathon, but I also want to make sure I stay trained. I know it is dumb - but I kinda think of a half marathon as not much - it isn't a challenge. Of course, it is a challenge. I just don't realize it. The time limit for the marathon is 6 hours (not 7 like Disney). The half marathon is 3.5 hours - like Disney. I have to remember that I did the first half of Disney with in the time limit because I was trained for a full marathon. By May, I have to still be trained for at least a half.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Some Last Notes

I am definately doing it again next year.
I will be running other races this year.
I am not a half marathoner - because I can do that without much challenge. I will keep trying the marathon. I am tempted to sign up for the Goofy. But now that I am home, I am remembering that there is a lot of time and energy that goes into racing. I do have to do my job, be a mom, and a wife. But, I want the challenge...!
I checked on the marathon sight, and they do list all my chip times. So, there is proof on line that I made it to mile 20. I know I made it to almost 24. It isn't just DNF.
My cousin, who is a runner, said if she was sick, she wouldn't have run. I did run, and I did 24 miles sick. I didn't slow down so they would take me off.
I like to think that if I knew they would pull me at 24, I would have gone faster. If the medic hadn't been talking, I would have beaten the clock to pass mile 24. If I was paying attention and saw the van, I would have sprinted at 24, like I did at 22. Then I realize, the medic being there probably kept me from fainting. I remember asking her to move to the left of me so I could have the shade - what little there was from the lamp posts on the right. I think it was very smart for them to pull me when they did. I may have made it to after 24, but I could have woken up in the hospital. Or worse.
I am very grateful that I made it all the way through the four parks.
The folks inside MGM that were chearing me have no idea that I didn't finish.
Hopefully my "Cancer Schmancer" inspired someone else.
There were many others that got pulled long before me.
I heard of the Goofy Challenge runner that ran the half marathon and then got pulled at mile five of the marathon.
I met folks that got pulled at mile 16 and mile 18. At 18, the woman said, there were three state trooper cars and barricades across the route. (I just had three orange cones to vault if I had wanted to keep going.) She said there must have been at least 60 people pulled with her - they filled the bus and were going to need another.
I saw the dead last finisher - I was at the finish line walking to the rented van when they crossed. I was able to yell go runner - you made it! Then, a team in training coach sprinted up from the end and was the last to cross. Stupid real runner! Those coaches are amazing. They sprint forward and back. They yell and cheer. They drag their runners along where they have to. I couldn't do that. But, I am still 225 pounds. I am still a mom that works 50 hour workweeks, runs Cub Scouts, has an hour commute, and loves to eat. I did do 24 miles.
I remember at one point, as we were running down an overpass banked turn - I thought, Hey, I outweigh all these folks around me. I should run, becuase this is where on the course my weight helps - Gravity is my friend here. I am glad I didn't have the opposite thought on the run up the overpass hills.
I am so proud of the rest of my family that did finish!
One sister wrote "Why?" on her leg when she ran. She is an athlete, and it was her first (and she says last) marathon. I love that thought.
I think I am made for endurance. Not to rub it in - but I only had some cramps in my calves. I don't have any blisters and no chafing. I could go up and down stairs that day. I had to go back to the hotel and entertain my 6 year old. I was still able to be a mom.

All the Wrong Moves

Note - this gets yucky. Here is my marathon and prep day. Details. Details...
I made all the classic first time marathoner wrong moves for this run. Here is my Saturday (the day before the race):
Woke up with diarrhea and nausea. Ate a half of a blueberry muffin. Took son to kids races. Two hours in the sun and open area of a race track. Direct sun for most of it. Playing and lugging him as well at times. One sip of vitamin water before son decided it was only his. (That was ok, becuase it made me more nauseous.)
Home to hotel for lunch. Half of a turkey sandwich on chibata bread with lettuce. Sips of water.
Nap. Diarrhea. Second half of sandwich. Nausea. Nap. You get the pattern.
Chicken soup - some noodles. Water. Sleep. Water. Sleep. Water. Sleep.

Race Day!
Before race - two slices of turkey. Peice of banana. Nausea.
Start running. Run for the first one and a half miles. It is GREAT! 60 degrees, dark, full moon, Epcot is pretty with the lights. I could go all day.

Mile Five - Diarrhea. Sun is up.

Mile Eight - time to try eating something. (I did take water at EVERY water stop, and PowerAde at roughly every other. Both items made my stomach feel sick for the next ~0.1 miles after taking, but I had to have some.) Peice of banana from my pack.

Mile Ten - Medical Tent has something called BioFreeze. Maybe if I rub it on, it will make the little breeze available feel much cooler. That works!

Mile Twelve - heard Team in Training say to take Caffeine. Took Caffeine Gel. Was GREAT! Make sure next race I have more than one to Try.

Mile Fourteen - Sausage fingers. Do I have to stop at a medical tent to get wedding ring cut off? Run with left hand held higher than heart for a number of miles. See other women doing it as well. Explains the one weirdo I saw doing it at mile Two.

Mile Fifteen - Diarrhea.

Mile Sixteen - Grabbed a Clif Shot, held for another mile, opened and took a lick.

Mile Seventeen - Diarrhea.

Mile Eighteen - Grab another Clif Shot. Hold for a long time.

Mile Nineteen - Family passed a whole water bottle. Drank much more than I thought I would - up to half. Sun HOT.

Mile Twenty - Throw up in mouth. Can't go to the side of the road to throw up - they will kick
me off the course. But, with throw up in mouth - my mouth isn't so dry anymore. Mmm, hydration. Use water stop water to splash face as throw up to rinse it off. People must not notice - I get to keep "running". Someone passes out Free Starburst. Take it and put in mouth. Best candy ever!!! Mile Twenty One - this is the end of the turn around point. Can look back and see that there are few people behind me. There's a bus at the mile marker says, "Parade Bus". Someone says, hey, let's get far away from that bus. So, kick it up a bit to move faster and get away from the bus.

Mile Twenthy One and Something - Sun HOT, nothing in stomach to throw up, no more sausage fingers - wedding ring safe... Left Foot, Right Foot, Left Foot, Right Foot... keep feet on the yellow line. Yellow Line. Yellow Line... Where'd the yellow line go? Over there. I may have blacked out or lost concentration for a second there... Very dizzy, Just slow down and they will pick you up... Someone says, get to MGM (Hollywood) Studios and they won't pull you off the course. MGM just past mile marker 22...

Mile Marker 22 (just before) - BIG Bus at Mile 22. Man with red flag yells, "Five Seconds. You have five seconds to get past this marker." I start to sprint! I can sprint! (Probably didn't look like a sprint.) Woman says, "You have fourty five seconds to get past this point." I am already past it. Bus doesn't get me. Down the hill and turn into MGM.
MGM Entrance - I made it. They won't pull me. I can slow down. SHADE - go through a tunnel and slow more. I should run through the shade, but I need it. If I run, I have less time in the shade.

Somewhere in MGM - (I missed Mile 23) Bicycle pulls up next to me. "How you doing?" She
asks. I start to cry. "I don't care about a medal, I just want to finish." She explains that she is the medic, and won't pull me unless I need medical help. She asks my name and tells me about her. She will go with me all the way to the end if I need it. Another bike comes up and someone says, "Is this it?" She says, "Yes, she's the last." I am happy! I will be Dead Last Finish. My name will have a significant place on the list of finishers. She asks if I am staying at a resort. I tell her, "Pop Century and I take synthroid. It is on my bib." She says she doesn't need to know that unless I am going to faint on her. I say, "No way. But, my dad rented a van." There is a squawk on the radio. Runner down somewhere on the road. I tell her she can go if she has to. I won't be the runner down. She says she is with me to the end. Until I finish. We go past people waiting to cross the running route. People I don't know are yelling, "Go Lois, Go Peanut (my nickname)." You can do it. I am crying and whispering "thank you" to each person. I start to run. Characters are running with me in costume (I wan't running fast.) I make it to the end of MGM. A bike pulls up on the other side of me. He says, "You are 3 and a half minutes off the pace." I say I don't care about a medal, I just want to finish. If you have to pull me, I will go. I probably won't get faster than this." I check the Garmin and I am at 19:30 minutes per mile. It is 6:26, I'm at just under 24 miles on the Garmin, I can't do the math to figure how long after 7:00 hours I will be... I spent the entire race doing the running math. Why can't I figure it out...?
I tell the guy, "please, let me finish. I don't care about a medal." She says something about she won't leave me until they pull me off kicking and screaming. They guys says, "well..."

Just before Mile 24 - marker in sight... Some woman is screaming and crying. Guy puts an orange cone on the path. Biker says, Sorry. That's it. Garmin reads 23.99 miles. There is a small van. The woman ahead of me has been pulled and is screaming that they can't do this. She has time. I hear the click of someone cutting off my chip. The run is really over. I don't know where the medic went - to help the next person in line I hope. I hope they made it. I ask to stand in the shade of the van - since there is a man passed out on the open door to the van, so I can't climb in. I ask for water, and someone gives me one (there is water in the van, but no one is helping me). I text that I am pulled at mile 23.99 but Garmin now says 24.06. A few minutes later, I think to stop the timer. (Could be minutes or seconds. I have no idea.) The woman is still yelling about being pulled. It's not fair to train hard and miss out. The man in the door has moved, so I can climb into the van. I climb over the wheel well to the back of the van. My phone rings. Someone is asking me what it means that I was pulled at 23.99? I say I am in the van. Finally, someone tells the screaming woman that if she doesn't get on the van, they will call security. That explains the state police that were at mile 22... No air conditioning in the van, but no sun either. High for the day: 81 degrees.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

No Proof

Of course, the problem with DNF is there isn't proof how far you went. During the race, my husband, C, was able to print out the chip times. It shows I made it to mile 20. That isn't available anymore.

I took photos at mile marker 17, but got into trouble after mile 22, so didn't have the ability to pull out my camera.

I know there were LOTS of photos taken of me in Hollywood Studios (previously MGM so no point given, H), but I don't know if they will email me the link since I didn't finish... Also, they won't show mileage.

I have my Garmin map. My brother downloaded it to his computer and we could compare maps. His is a complete Mickey head (the two ears and head), where mine looks just like it, but with a small (2.2 mile) portion missing. That is my proof to my family who got to see it. But, I can't print it out.

I have my own knowledge. But, I am still 225 pounds heavy woman who looks like she would never be able to run a marathon (and I was not able to run it). I know I shouldn't have to prove it to anyone, but I'd like to. Most folks will just see DNF and I'll just be another overweight idiot who wasted money doing something she should have known better. I see the DNF and say I went further than I thought I could when I started. I see DNF and know that there were bus loads of people at mile 16 and 18 and even 5 that got pulled out. At mile 24, there was a small van of five that didn't make it. (I was the slowest of the five to get pulled at mile 24.)

I guess that is pretty cool.

It's Not the Medal, It's the Journey

So, I didn't cross the finish line. But, I made it through all four parks. I have experiences that will help shape who I am in the future. And I am ready to go again.

A lot of times we start a journey and forget to enjoy the way there. I enjoyed (or hated) every step of this one. I still can't be too upset that I didn't cross the finish line. I went 24 miles before they had to tell me to leave. I didn't stop. I didn't give up. I may have been able to keep going for 2.5 more miles given an extra 15-20 minutes. (Although, at the time, I was sure it was a good medical desicion for them to take me off the course. I was very sick and may have blacked out...) I did something others haven't.

I started a journey once to get my wisdom teeth removed. The dentist mentioned one little aside thing, and it lead to my cancer being found and treated early. That was not what I thought would happen.

Last year, I took a trip to see my sister run a stupid race. I was true to myself when I told her I thought it was pretty dumb and you would never see me try to run 26.2 miles. Well, here I am having run only 24, but so proud of it, and ready to give it another try soon.

I want to capture all the little thoughts along the journey. I captured a bunch already in the blogs, but there are so many little ones. Often times (like will happen today) - I can chose to run or I can chose to write about running. I hope I get to do a little of both.

Post-Disney Run Summary (Short?)

THE RUN is done and I want to write all about it to remember it for next time. I slept deep the night of the run, then the second night was awake with all the cramps and thoughts to put into the blog. With all the runners there, we talked and talked about the race. Now, I have been home 15 hours, and attended a PTO meeting, walked the dog, helped my husband with chores... and the race seems years away. The real world comes back and the runners high and experiences fade - just with many of life's best things.

In summary: I made it to mile 24. I was on pace at mile 22, by 45 seconds (they count the time down at the mile marker for those of you not used to being at the back of the pack). I slowed down drastically after that - and I estimate that I would have finished at 7:12 to 7:15. The race very clearly states you have to maintain 16 minute/mile pace. So, you have to reach mile 24 by 6:24. It was 6:27:~35 when I got there. I was keeping a 17:30-19:30 pace after I left mile 22+. I wear a Garmin and was watching it very much during the race. (I went past mile 22 @ 5:51:~15.) **Note - those are personal times from Garmin. The official race time would be a few minutes later because I crossed the start time a few minutes after the gun.

I was the last person swept off the race course. I was exhausted, and dizzy from sun exposure. I was very dehydrated, and sick. I have already checked plane fare to OKC for the April 26th marathon there. It is a 6:30 race, but has an early start 1.5 hours earlier for slow pokes like me.

Of course, that was with the runners high. I also know there is a marathon in Lowell, Mass in October that would be fun. It is one of the fastest in New England though... And, there are a ton of half marathons.

I want to give the gory details of the race in a separate blog. Just to get the word out though: I ran 24 miles, and I had the great and unique experience of being at the end of the pack. For a short time, maybe half a mile, I was sure I would be the distinction of Dead Last Finish. And I loved the idea. I took photos during my run, got pics with Minnie and Mickie. I got through all four theme parks. I talked to many people. I wore a sign saying Cancer Schmancer 3 years Cancer-Free and I inspired others. I met a woman who was only two months cancer-free who's hair was just growing back and she left me in her dust! She inspired me.

I still think running is horrible. I hate it. The best part is when you finish a run and you are the longest away from having to run again.

I told the story to my friend - a nurse. She said running on only a turkey sandwich and half a muffin from Saturday, with neusea and diahrea for two days and vomiting a little during the run (but being affraid they would kick you out if they saw you throw up so hiding it by pouring a water over your face so you can keep going another mile) was the dumbest thing I ever did in the world. She doesn't get it. It is dumb and horrible. But, I can't wait to do it again - just 15 minutes faster next year.