Tuesday, May 01, 2012
After months of training, planning and prepping to meet 3 of my Sheriffs - Marilyn, April and Sarah - in Lake George, NY
for my second HM, let's just say it wasn't at all what I had been hoping for. Thankfully having the three of them there with me helped me get over the disappointment of a less than stellar race experience. We had a wonderful time together which eased the blow of my race experience.
We woke to fabulous race weather. Comfortable temps, sunshine and a light breeze. PERFECT! We all slept well and felt ready to tackle the hilly course.
I was off to a great start (according to Marilyn I was running a 9 minute mile to begin with) but by two miles out I was praying for a porti potti. Marilyn caught up with me just before the 3 mile mark when I was forced to walk til I finally found a porti potti just a bit further down the road. I thought I would be fine cuz usually once the runners trots have hit and been relieved, I'm good to go. I could still see Marilyn when I came out and kept her in view for the next 4 miles, when another wave hit me and I had to stop again. Apparently that's when Sarah passed me cuz when I was a 1/2 mile or so from the turn around, I met first Marilyn and then Sarah, headed back. I was confident I could catch up and finish with them but I was hit two more times, once so bad that I was forced to walk for 4 miles between porti pottis and I was just about to chance stepping off the road and hoping not to be noticed when I finally saw another one. By the time I was 2 miles out and had hit the last porti potti I was so disgusted with my run that I barely ran after that. I finished in 3:07, which was 10 minutes over my runkeeper time from last year. I was shooting for 2:45 and I think I could have done it if it hadn't been for my bowel issues. I was so discouraged!
This is my mile by mile time.
Mile 1 - 11:02
Mile 2 - 12:32
Mile 3 - 14:40 - first pp stop
Mile 4 - 13:15
Mile 5 - 12:57
Mile 6 - 13:00
Mile 7 - 13:57 struggled because I needed the pp
Mile 8 - 14:45 second pp stop
Mile 9 - 14:09 struggled because I needed the pp
Mile 10 - 15:33 forced to walk
Mile 11 - 15:58 forced to walk
Mile 12 - 16:41 forced to walk to final pp stop
Mile 13 - 15:18 At this point I figured I needed better than a 7 minute mile to break 3 hours and I knew that was impossible.
The majority of the second half of the race I fought with cramping and feeling like I was going to lose it. And as if that wasn't bad enough, somewhere around the 10 mile mark, I stepped wrong on the rough road surface and felt a pain shoot through my ankle. Thankfully I was able to walk it off and today it seems just fine. In fact the only real soreness I have is in that shin. At first I thought it might be from the hills but it's only one leg and same one that suffered the ankle issue, so I'm thinking rather than spraining my ankle, I may have just pulled something in that lower leg instead. Most likely because I have been working on strengthening my ankles throughout my training, so it held up and the weaker area took the brunt of the injury.
All was not lost however. I learned a few important lessons from all this, so although I'm still ticked with my run and my resulting time, I was able to take away a few positives from it.
First, I can run faster than I imagined I could and I'm anxious to see what I can do in my next 5K. Judging from my first three miles, it looks as if I could have pulled off a sub 30 5K, esp. without the porti potti stop! Something I NEVER imagined I was capable of, esp on such a hilly course.
Second, I think it's time to stop putting my head in the sand and talk to my doctor about the possibility that I may be suffering from IBS.
Third, I am very anxious to run another HM ASAP just to prove to myself that I can do it and be proud of the resulting time!
Fourth, I know that everyone has a tough run eventually and I guess I'm fortunate to get it out of the way early in my running career and to go forth from here knowing I can conquer even the worst variables.
So although it wasn't the HM I was hoping for as I trained over the past 4 months, I survived and I'm anxious to prove to myself that this was the freak, not the norm.
Friday, February 03, 2012
Sigh.... today has been a bittersweet day. I watched my oldest horse slowly leave our world. This is only the second horse I've ever lost and I lost them both to old age. They were the best of friends when they were together and if he had lived just 5 more days, he would have died on the anniversary of her death.
Now they are together again and I know they are very happy. Ironically they both lived nearly 30 years. I had both of them from the time they were youngsters. Bravado, the one I lost today, was only a year old when I got him and Katrina was 2 months when I got her.
Those of you who I have known a while may remember me talking about my old fella that loved the babies. Well this was him. He had my two weanlings in with him right up until he went down this morning. I had to move them to another paddock because they couldn't understand why he wouldn't get up. They kept nudging him and even grabbing his blanket with their teeth and pulling on it. Heartwrenching!
He will be dearly missed but I've suspected this was coming for a little over a week now so I was ready to say goodbye. He had so many wonderful quirks about him. If anyone forgot to latch the stall door, he would open it. He wouldn't come out but he preferred not to look through the bars. As I mentioned, he absolutely adored the babies! Whenever I weaned one, we would put it in with him to help ease the separation from their mama. He was so gentle but he also demanded respect. He was very good at patiently teaching them manners, while loving them. Very much like a loving grandfather.
He definitely had a soft spot for the girls on the farm. It was not at all unusual to come in the barn and find him in a box stall with 2 or three mares and maybe even a foal or two with him. He would not allow any of the geldings to enter the stall with him but the mares and the babies were always welcome.
Bubba also loved his people and if you asked him for a kiss, he would promptly reach his muzzle to your lips and allow you to give him one. He was more like an oversized dog than a 900 pound horse. On just about any summer day, people driving by would see our big grey lawn ornament. We allowed him to roam free when ever we were home and he would graze peacefully on the front lawn, walking up to say hello any time one of us walked by. When he missed his friends in the paddock, he would casually walk back to the barn, open the stall door and let himself back out to the pasture.
God makes a few horses who are wise beyond their years and Bubba was one of them. Wise and gentle and patient and affectionate and I could go on and on.....
Bubba at his best, babysitting a weanling.
Tuesday, January 03, 2012
I have been toying with what I would resolve to do this year and I kept coming back to the same thing. Resolutions, while great in theory, are, in reality, only temporary. So I did a little "Year in Review" to get a feel for where I am vs where I had resolved to be.
I set my 2011 FM goal at 18000 but I fell short by quite a bit, finishing the year with 10690. I knew it would be a challenge but I wanted to set my sights high.
My mileage goal for 2011 was 25 miles per week, which again was very lofty but I did log 559.05, which really shocked me! And that's just walk/run miles. No bike miles included.
I had considered changing both my goals for 1012 to what would seem to be more reasonable but I've decided to stick with lofty instead.
My all time high for 2011 was 183 last January and my all time low was 168 in April. Unfortunately I'm starting this January right about the same place I started last January and this has got to stop! Yes I had an injury that sidetracked me and some major stressors with the loss of several pets in a short period of time, as well as trouble with my kids but those things are facts of life and I'm going to have to learn to deal with them without allowing them to deal me such blows. I am so sick of setting New Years resolutions and not meeting them or adopting new lifestyles only to let them slip away over time. I know I'm not in my 20s anymore and losing at 50 is definitely a greater challenge than it was in my 20s and even my 30s but that doesn't change the fact that I am the only one who can do this for me and I am the only one who will suffer if I don't. I had such high hopes a year ago and I'm sitting here afraid to admit to them again and then fail to achieve. I've seen Marsha, Mimi, Debbie, Rachel and Marilyn all do it, so I know it is possible. I know I'm the one to blame for allowing life to trip me up and lead me to temptation but it's doesn't make the bitter pill any easier to swallow. I held my ground around 168-169 from April to June but the heat of July stopped me from running and I never replaced my running with another exercise on a consistent basis. So the road map is clear. My recipe for success AND failure is written in my SP history via weigh ins, calorie logs, fitness records and blogs. There is no denying what went wrong and why. I can't hide behind excuses because the facts are clear. Now what I need to do is get going - yet again - and KEEP going no matter what life throws at me. While I will continue to take care of my BLC team to the best of my ability, I know I need to take care of myself with the same determination. Lead by example! That's always been my motto but I haven't always lived by it. And while I know no one else can do it for me, I am humbly asking for your help and support regardless. And as much as it pains me to say it, yes, the occasional whip lashing too. (My Sheriffs will appreciate that comment) I am not immune to the need for accountability. I'm baring my soul and asking my SPfriends for help. I can't do it alone. I need you!
Monday, December 26, 2011
I have a history of getting stressed out and depressed at Christmas time. Not always, but more often than I care for. This Christmas was to be the first Christmas ever that I didn't have my mom and/or my dad to share the day with my family and I. My mother and her DH left for their winter home in NC back in October and my dad and his DW left shortly after Thanksgiving for their place in FL. My oDD, who is living in Boston now, was only planning to spend 24 hours of her 5 day weekend with us, my oDS and mDD leave for a week in FL with my dad and his DW this Saturday, after which mDD goes back to college for J-Term.
All my life, family has been HUGE to me. I moved from NY to FL when I was in my early 20s and ended up moving home just shy of a year because I had my first Christmas without family and hated it! It just made me miss them more. At that time, I still had all 4 of my GPs living, as well as a GGM. My biggest fear at the time was losing one of them while I was 3000 miles away.
My GGM was the first to go, when I was pregnant for my 3rd child. I lost one of my GFs two years later. The other 3 GPs lived to see all 5 of my children born and were able to share more than one Christmas with them. My last GP, a GM, passed away last winter but not til after Christmas was well behind us.
For many years I was very fortunate to be surrounded by so many loving family members for the holidays. For obvious reasons, I was silently dreading this Christmas season, as a season of have nots. I kept trying to think of ways to make the holidays special in a different way. Something that would prevent me from dwelling on the fact that, for the first time since I came home from FL nearly 30 years ago, my parents would not share the day with me, the fact that my oDD would be with us for so little time, the fact that I would be seeing two more of my children off before the New Year and the fact that only one would be coming home for a bit more time before his college resumed. I thought of going to our camp for an old fashioned Christmas. I bought a few new games we could play together. I brainstormed trying to come up with other ideas that would help me enjoy the time and people I did have with me and I just couldn't come up with anything that seemed promising in the least. With my history of depression around the holidays, I was very fearful that I would be so overcome with all I was missing this Christmas, that I wouldn't be able to enjoy what I had.
My children wanted everything to stay the same. I can't say that I was surprised since I have raised them on traditions that we have cherished. So we stayed home, the children exchanged their presents Christmas Eve, we watched them open their presents from us Christmas morning and we had our traditional Christmas brunch, minus both sets of my parents. Instead we had oDD and mDDs BFs join us for brunch and they both stayed for a few hours afterwards. Other than that, the only thing we did differently was rather than going to my dad's for Christmas dinner as a family, my oDD left early afternoon and the six of us remaining, shared our first Christmas dinner at home, alone, in our dining room.
For the first time, I didn't have anyone else bringing a dish to share and my DDs didn't help with the cooking like they have in the past. I didn't have the fruit dish my mother always brings or the ham my stepmom brings. My sticky buns failed because it got so cold Christmas Eve that they didn't rise overnight to be cooked in the morning. My mDD turned off the "empty" oven that I was preheating while we opened presents, which in turn, meant that my egg bake was not ready when everything else was and I had to serve it before it had cooled and set, which made it much runnier than usual. My mulled cider was mulled without cinnamon sticks because my yDD had used the entire jar to stir her cider with the previous week and had neglected to tell me the brand new jar was emptied two days earlier.
So .... how did it go? Did I suffer from depression as I expected? Surprisingly, no! Instead I found myself watching my five children and the the two BFs interact over brunch. I daydreamed about what the future will bring as BFs become husbands, my boys find wives and children are added. I know it's still many years down the road. My oDD still has two years of grad school to complete. My oDS has 3 more years of college. MDD is only a college freshman, yDD is a HS Junior and yDS is in 8th grade. There will be Christmases in our future where we may not all be together as my children continue to grow and become adults with lives, jobs, futures and families of their own that most likely will prevent them from being at our table Christmas morning.
At the end of the day, as I sat with my DH and two of my DDs, watching a Christmas movie, I realized I actually felt ...... peaceful! So many things had gone wrong. So many loved ones were not with us. I had plenty more to be sad about than in previous years but all I felt was peaceful. Why? The only explanation I have is .... God's loving grace filled my heart when I truly needed Him to. Even tonight, 24 hours later, I am still feeling that same peace. Peace and true contentment. After a very difficult six months, God's grace reigns supreme and when I most needed Him, He gave me peace. What a wonderful gift! How fitting that I should receive such a gift on His birthday. I am truly blessed!
Monday, November 21, 2011
In an attempt to measure how far I've come so far in 2011, I took a walk down memory lane through my blogs. What I was looking for was my starting WIN but what I found was more inspiration.
I can still recall the feelings I had while typing that blog. Right now, while I'm returning to running after being away due to an injury, my feelings and confidence are all over the map. I use to run 8 miles 3 times a week as my normal training. Now I'm running 4 miles and watching my times. Today I was very pleased with the first 2 miles, running at a 4.88 average mph pace including my warm up walk but by the end of my four miles, my average time had dropped. Grrr! My goal is to run at a pace of 5mph. While my speed has improved, my endurance has dropped. I think God must have realized where my head was at. Bringing me back to that blog, and I have NEVER returned to a previous blog before, was exactly what I needed to remind me that the impossible IS possible. If this week is a repeat of last week, my Wednesday run will be slower, much slower, with much more walking. Last week that really deflated me. This week, after reading my blog, I know it's just a stepping stone back to where I want to be. It doesn't define my capabilities. It simply shows me where I am TODAY. While I know the fact that I'm working on speed for the first time ever, has alot to do with my stamina, I was still grumbling to myself about what I felt was an inferior performance. Now I am looking at this with clearer vision. After all I'm starting with 4 milers, half of what I had worked my way up to as a regular run before my injury. Sometimes looking back is a GREAT way to look forward.
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