Things that are Huntsville Marathon Race Recap

Tuesday, September 29

For the past 2 weeks, since starting the taper, I realized how soon it would be for me to run my first full marathon. I've done 5 half marathons, which don't scare me anymore. But I have been terrified to run 26 miles. I was SO worried that my body would just fail me, and I would get injured. Because I have injured myself SO much in the past.

The things that I did differently for this race that I haven't done for previous races...
1. Go to my chiropractor at least every month if not more (depending on how my body was feeling). I knew that this was a must to make sure that I would not injure myself. I wanted to stay injury free.

2. Swim, Bike, and Barre. I did a lot of swimming and barre before I did my first triathlon in August. Then after that race, I focused more on strengthening, by going to barre, and doing more squats and reverse lunges.

I can't believe what a difference doing those things made in my training, and knowing that I can run a full marathon without an injury.
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Okay before I begin (well actually it is the beginning of the story - but it was funny and awkward and thought I had to share)... So I was hoping I would be able to pick up my race packet at 8:30pm the night before the race - I knew I was cutting it close, but thought I would at least give it a try (wasn't able to btw). As I was in this big building looking for the Gold's Gym I noticed it was upstairs. Well I get to the stairs, and there is this cute little girl (like 12) sitting on one side of the stairs, and her friend of course standing on a step above this boy, giving him a hickey! Seriously right!? So as I'm walking up the stairs I say out loud "uh, that's not awkward," I turn and look (as I'm walking up the stairs) and she stops, and gives me this look with her eyes that says "uh, like what are you talking about" (in one of those tween voices). I laugh and keep walking up the stairs, but seriously, a little young don't you think?! Or maybe that's just me..


Going on...

The marathon start time was 9am. I needed to pick up my packet before they started loading the buses.

It was a fairly cold morning. I had on my sweatshirt and some sweats to ride up to the start. I say goodbye to Chase and I hop on a bus and sit next to someone I don't know. That's usually how things go. I'm open to meeting new people, and it's fun to talk to others about their training, and previous races.


We drive 20 miles up the canyon - though it's not really a canyon per say. I'm pretty warm in my sweats by the time we get off the bus, and the temperature feels pretty warm. I'm a little worried because I know it's going to take me 5+ hours to run. Thankfully, I had my little hand held water bottle, and carried that with me the entire time.

We walk to the start, I met some other ladies, who made their very own cute shirts, and their shirts were pretty funny. At this point, I'm seriously dreading running 26 miles. I am not in this run mentally. If I'm feeling dread, this is bad. The temps scared me, the distance scared me, and I just wanted to be back in bed. What a great way to start a marathon off right?! Wrong!

The police sirens go off, and we're all off. I'm trying to take it slow, because I need to save my energy for that last 6 miles - that I never did in training. But I feel like I'm one of the last people to run. My pace stayed pretty consistent with 9:39-9:45 for the first half of the race. I ended up using the bathroom at the first aid station, and couldn't believe I was ONLY at mile 3!
 The sign showed that we still had 16 miles to Huntsville


I run with this girl named Morgan for a while, cause she's got a pretty consistent pace. I told her how I was feeling, and somehow my mindset changed, and I felt like I could keep going. I ended up saying bye to her before mile 13, and then caught up with another runner I wanted to meet from instagram who was also running it. She had been sick, and she was feeling very nauseous, and ended up getting a "did not finish" (DNF). She made it to mile 15, which is still pretty good with her not feeling well. I kept on running, and it seemed like there were more hills getting out of the canyon. It definitely didn't feel downhill (or was it my mind playing tricks on me?!)


Once I got out of the canyon, it felt at least 10˚ hotter than it was, at this point it was about 1pm. It was also this point where I had lost my appetite (I had gotten hungry around mile 16-18) due to the heat, and I stopped ingesting my gus. I kept drinking lots of water and Gatorade did not sound appealing either. Chase met up with me at mile 22, and it was nice getting a hug from him. He said he was worried that he wasn't going to get to the finish line before me. Shortly after I met up with him, I was pretty much walking. I was so hot and not feeling 100%.


At mile 25ish (last aid station), I felt sick - I felt I was going to pass out. I asked to sit down for a minute, and it happened that one of the girls from the start line was there and she wasn't feeling good either. I asked for Gatorade, and the sugar from that helped me feel a little better. I figured I was pretty darn close to the finish, so I just kept going, walking, but that's moving. At this point, my hips were a little sore, my legs were sore, and something with my foot was bugging me. I get to the final corner and I see the finish line. It was pretty much the happiest day of my racing life. Chase and my friends were there to cheer me on for the final stretch, and I knew I could run in. As soon as I crossed the finish line, there were tons of people asking me if I was okay. I said yes, I just needed to cool off.

It was one of the hardest things I have ever done. I can't believe I did it. I can say I'm a marathoner. That's pretty cool for me.

Oh, I finished the race in 5:43:29 minutes (I think on social media I posted that I finished in 5:45, oops). I ended up with positive splits rather than a negative one. My pace for the first half of the race was 11:50/M, and total was 13:07/M.

There are lots of things that I could have done differently to make this race experience better, and to get a better time. But I did my best and stuck with it and I finished it. So now that is my PR for a marathon.

Will I run another marathon - probably, I honestly feel great after having run 26 miles. Yes I'm sore, and its hard for me to walk down the stairs, but I was also like that when I first started running half marathons too.

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Pros: They are mailing me an actual women's shirt (there was a screw up with the shirts), there was SO MUCH support! (aid every 2 miles), I really enjoyed the course, there was enough water and gu and Gatorade.
Cons: The late start (9am), the heat due to the late start, I felt like I was running a relay race in that there were hardly any runners behind me or in front of me and at times I was the only one on the road - which I did not like.
Will I run this race again? Though I loved the course - I did not love the start time. If they don't change the start time then I will probably not run it again.
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Things that are Week 24 of Marathon Training

Sunday, September 27



Monday: Went to Barre. Nothing too special there.

Tuesday: I was going to go running, but I ended up not being able to.

Wednesday: Ran 4.82 at the gym in 1:05. I started getting this weird foot pain and I was really worried about Saturday, and the foot pain.


Thursday: Rest day + went to a place called Sushi Burrito. Its basically a burrito sized sushi roll.



Friday: Rest day

Saturday: Ran 26.4 miles in 5:45 in the Huntsville Marathon. A lot slower than I was expecting, but it was hot outside, and that always makes it a hot and crappy run. A full detail of the recap to come.


Total Miles for the Week: 31.22

What's next you might ask? Well after a few weeks off of running I will start my Dopey Challenge training. So don't think that training is done! It's never done in my book!
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Things that are 5 Favorite Fall Activites

Friday, September 25

I'm linking up with Mar on the Run, Eat Pray Run DC, and You Signed Up For What?! for Friday Five again.

Oh my goodness! Can I just say I am NOT ready for Fall to be here. I still want my summer warm weather. Plus do you know what comes after fall?? The dreaded winter! ick! It's funny, I have a January birthday, and I hate the cold and wished I was born in the summer. You can do more fun things in the summer than in the winter. Plus the only two winter sports I really enjoy are sledding/tubing, and snow shoeing.

When I do finally admit that fall is coming (as I look out my window and see all the mountain's leaves changing colors), here are a few of my favorite fall activities...

Corn Mazes - I haven't done some for quite a while, but I have always like puzzles, and remember the first one I ever went to when I was younger (getting lost and finally finding our way through).

Carving Pumpkins - I haven't done any crazy cool ones, but I would like to. Maybe this year will be my favorite and I'll actually do something fun. :)


 Going on Hikes - I did this last year, and took our dogs up to Stewart Falls (cause I had never been). I remember not having a flashlight with me on the way back. It was nice and cool and not hot, so it was perfect weather. I'm hoping to do a few more of these before winter rolls around.

Running - of course! Fall means nicer temps to run in, not too hot and not too cold. It's always fun to do a fall race too. I did the Halloween Half last year with some friends, and Chase and it was a lot of fun planning and creating the costumes.

Starbucks Hot Chocolate - This is the only time of year that I get the Salted Caramel flavor from Starbucks. It's always so delicious  and fills the spot! It's just smooth and creamy.

What are your fall favorite activities? 
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Things that are Addicts II Athletes 5k/10k Race Recap

Monday, September 21

I signed up for this race a little over a month ago. This is an amazing organization, and I have seen them participating at a lot of the races I have run in. This race was a "free" race - you had the option of donating money and buying a shirt.

Their soul purpose is:

I got my friend Alli, and my sister Carolin to sign up for the 10k (and I created a training plan for my sister). I tried convincing Chase - but he didn't have it, he chooses not to run anymore - insert frowny face here. Both Alli and Carolin had additional friends sign up for it. We had a pretty good sized crowd of people.
 Not sure why I look so cold and Alli doesn't...

I had decided that I was going to run and stay with my sister. I know how much support she needs during these races (and lets get real - I felt SUPER bad for not staying with her running the Haunted Half last year). She injured her foot when she ran the half marathon last year, and I'm not sure it has fully recovered.

We started out running WAY faster than we should, I had to keep telling her we're running too fast. We started walking and running, then her foot started hurting to the point where she just had to walk. Because the race was a loop and the 10kers ran the loop twice, I told her that maybe she should just finish with the 5k, (not sure if that was okay or not, they weren't really timing the race and I don't think they'll have results either...), so she didn't injure herself any more. I felt bad, and I had been doing everything I could (massaging, giving her strengthening exercises, taping on race day) to help heal her.

Sister and I got to the turn around spot, and she finished with the 5k and I got a drink from the aid station and then upped my pace and had a goal in mind = to finish strong and to pass a lot of people (its only bad if you count out loud, right?!). I had forgotten my headphones, so I was running without music. Usually music distracts me from the pain or breathing issues I get sometimes when I run. There were a lot of volunteer's on the road and it was always nice to get a "you're doing awesome" from them, and that seemed to help keep me motivated. I walked through the other water station, got a drink, and started running again.

I knew I was running faster than my normal pace because I had a constant nauseous feeling in my stomach. I only get those when I'm pushing myself harder than normal. I kept looked down at my watch and the pace was at a constant 9:55. I was happy with myself, but I could feel my knee and it just didn't feel right (like it would give out on me at any moment). I know it was from my knee injury in May, and it hasn't felt normal since before then. I pushed through it knowing that it wasn't going to knock me out the rest of the day.


I finished 6.3 miles in 1:22:58, far from my fastest 10k, but that's okay with me. Later, I noticed that I had PR'd my 5k time, of 31:16 down to 30:49!

Overall this was a fun race, and I will most likely run it again. I really like it when the money I donate or spend on a race goes to a good cause. I know someone personally who is involved with them, and though I don't know his addiction I know that he now runs ultras and is trying to get me to run more trail runs.

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Pros: Flat course = PRing able to happen, Awesome swag, Got a cool dog tag for finishing, Race shirts were cool colors (non tech though...), packet pickup was a breeze (and a little breezy cause it was held outside).
Cons: No one taking times down (which made me wonder how they kept track of those that took first in the 10k and 5k?), 10k looped twice so 5kers and 10kers were running into each other at the turn around point.

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Things that are Marathon Training Week 23 Recap

Sunday, September 20

I'm getting down to the last week of marathon training! I've got one week left! It's crazy! A few things that I have noticed this week as I haven't been running as much, is that I have a pain on my right side in my lower back when I walk occasionally. I haven't had it before so I'm not really sure what's going on. I thought it was my si joint giving me problems, but this feels different than what I normally experience with that.

Monday: Went to yoga, thought I needed a little extra stretching, but I'm thinking it did a little more harm than good.

Tuesday: I was going to go for a run at the gym, but then decided against it because I wasn't feeling the best physically (thinking that it had something to do with Monday nights yoga). Instead, I decided to roll out, and I ended up using a tennis ball on my hips. It was painful, but it felt pretty good afterwards.


Wednesday: Planned on going to barre class at the gym, but I also got astym/scraping done. The gal I got it done by told me not to run or do anything strenuous for a day or two because of the bruising that comes with the scraping. I am definitely sore from the bruising. The first day wasn't too bad, Chase had commented and said "what the?!" when I walked in the door looking like this:



Thursday: I wasn't supposed to run (because of the astym), but I went on a little walk with the dog. You can see the bruising got worse:



Friday: I ended up working late and not being able to go on a shake out run. I was pretty bummed about that.

Saturday: Ran the Addicts 2 Athletes 10k Race. I will give a full race recap on Monday. It ended up being 6.3 miles instead of 6.2, and they said the course would be about a 6.4. I finished it in 1:22:58. I was not going for time, but when my sister decided that she was only going to do the 5k and not finish the 10k, I decided I wanted to see how my training was paying off the last half of the race, I really tried to push it, and ended up running the second 5k in 30:49 (my fastest 5k). I love running with friends and family, I'm still trying to get more people to do distance racing with me. :)





Sunday: Rest with lots of stretching! The big week is upon us! :S

As of today:

Total Miles for the week: 6.3 miles
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Five Favorite Songs that Pump Up my Run

Friday, September 18

 

Normally for my long runs, I will either listen to podcasts, or audio books. The library, and online library work wonderfully for that, as well as iTunes podcasts. I've listened to many books I'm unable to read physically, and it helps that I can listen to this stuff at work and have others not really care what I'm listening to. For my shorter runs, I like songs that give me a good upbeat, and sometimes I will listen to them on repeat. I'm sure you have songs that are like that. Here's a few that I could listen to over and over to help get me through a tough workout.

-LMFAO's  "Sexy and I Know It"

-Fall Out Boy's  "Uma Thurman" 

-Walk off the Earth's  "Rule the World"

-Kelis "Milkshake"

-Taylor Swift's "Shake It Off"

These are only 5 of what my favorite songs look like. I have sped up a few of my songs through garage band, if I want them to be a little bit faster.

I'm linking up with Eat Pray Run DC, Mar on the Run, and You Signed up for What?! for the Friday Five this week.

What are some of your favorite songs that pump you up?
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Things that are Marathon Training Week 22 Recap

Monday, September 14

I'm posting this a little later than my normal Sunday ritual - due to yesterday's post. This past week turned out to be a little more relaxing as a taper than I was expecting it to be.


 
Monday: Went for a run with Alli, and her son and we ran 2.94 miles. He's definitely a little trooper and lets his mom run without too much of a fuss.



Tuesday: Nada = Rest Day

Wednesday: The gym is back open after some renovations, so I was able to attend Barre. It was a lot of fun, and I was pretty sore from it.

Thursday: Ended up only having time to go walk the dog.

Friday: Rest Day

Saturday: Slept in (because I had to stay up late to give myself a shot), and plus lets be real honest here - I needed that extra sleep. So I didn't start till about 9:30am, and by that point in the day it was definitely getting hot. So I ended up cutting my run shorter than I had planned, running 7.56 miles instead of the 11 that I had on the schedule. But I made up for it by going on a little hike later that day with Chase and the dogs.
Crazy hair after a shower - but it was a much needed shower (and who doesn't stink after running 7.5 miles?!)
 We hiked up a little ways of Rock Canyon in Provo. Didn't go very far, no one (except for me) was very happy about the hike.

Sunday: Lots of resting today - Had our second IUI done, so a lot of resting for me. :)

Total Miles for the week: 10.5 miles
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Things learned from my first IUI

Sunday, September 13

If you haven't already heard...

I got a negative beta test (pregnancy blood test) when I went in to the fertility clinic. My hCG level was a 1.82 (anything below a 5 is negative). I knew it was going to be negative because that same day, I started bleeding, and the cramps were really bad. I know they say that you can get cramping and bleeding, but this just didn't seem like I could be pregnant.

I thought I was okay the day I got the beta test done, but then it hit me the following day, and I was pretty upset and extremely emotional. I guess I was just in shock!

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Source
For our next IUI I decided that I want to be more ready, by remembering a few things I learned from my first IUI:

**Being Mentally Prepared - An IUI is pretty crampy, and if you aren't prepared or know how to breath through them, they can be pretty painful. This also helped with the nervousness I was feeling all the way to the clinic.

**The pain from injecting myself with the hCG shot was actually from the medicine and not that I injected myself incorrectly. And it's okay to massage the injection site to help ease the pain - and it may help the pain go away faster.

**To have a full/semi full bladder upon getting the IUI done. The nurse that did our IUI said that it would help with finding the cervix, and elongating it so its easier for the catheter to go in. 

**That each IUI cycle is going to be different - one month it may not be as painful and the next may be extremely crampy.

**Needing to think more positive thoughts (having hope), visualize implantation, eat pineapple every day for a week (can't hurt can it?! It's been told that it helps with implantation), and just go about my daily activities and incorporate more stress reducing exercises into my routine.


Now onto IUI #2:

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Things that are Friday Five: 5 Things I'm going to do this weekend!

Saturday, September 12

I'm linking up again for the weekly Friday Five with Mar on the Run, Eat Pray Run DC, and You Signed up for what?!. This week on Friday Five I'm talking about the stuff that is going on this weekend.



1. Sister is staying the weekend with us.
2. Running 11 miles.
3. Being extra lazy - and maybe swim at the pool for one of the last times.
4. Give myself an hCG shot.
5. Get our second IUI done.
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Things that are Marathon Training Week 21 Recap!

Sunday, September 6

I realized this week that I am tired, exhausted, and worn out. I did not realize how much sleep I would want/need when I started out training for this marathon. It's sad to say that this week I got to the point in this training that I was done with running. I didn't want to run another run - I am that tired. So I'm glad that I'm at tapering time for marathon training.

Monday: I had an appointment with my chiropractor. I was a little worried about running 20 miles this week with my hips being so tight from my long run last week. He wanted me to work on stretching this week.

Tuesday: I ended up not having enough time to run. I know that's not the best excuse, but time and daylight was not on my side.

Wednesday: I did a leg workout. Felt pretty good.

Thursday: 3.18 miles - Track speed workout. I ran the straights fast and recovered with the curves. I did a half mile warm up and cool down. I was surprised at my endurance. When I've done that same speed work before I wasn't able to run that far and that fast before. So I was really happy for the improvement.


Friday: Rest Day - made sure to really stretch and roll out for the 20 miles I was doing the next day.

Saturday: Ran 21 miles in 4:19:33. I started the run at 5:50am - Chase was a sweetheart and supported me the whole way. Since the first few miles were going to be on a trail I didn't feel entirely comfortable with (let me just say I hate running alone in the dark) I made sure he met up with me every mile or so for the first 3-5 miles so I felt a little bit safer, and the first few miles were a little faster than I was hoping because of my fear of running along the trail. I think next time I think I'll choose to run on a street rather than a trail, so Chase can drive by my side. Anyways - the rest of the run was pretty good, I met up with my friend Alli at mile 15 and she ran/walked with me the rest of the way. By the end of the run my hips were tight, and my foot was giving me some issues. Aside from the hip and the foot, I had a great attitude and I felt pretty good.
 My watch lost GPS at 18 miles. So I ended up recalculating my run, and the 20 miles turned into 21 miles.
 This was one of the rewards I gave myself for running 20 miles (the others were a Dr Pepper and another donut). :)

Sunday: Rest day - Definitely needed!

Total Miles for the week: 24.18
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