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Onward Bound

Sometimes life is tough. Sometimes life is awesome. Sometimes it a little bit of both. Either way, you have to keep going. I'll be running, laughing, crying and sharing it all here.

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    Wednesday, August 31, 2005


    Instead of blogging about MY marathon and MY running and ME. I'm leaving Tuesday and today blank in honor of those who are suffering in the wake of hurricane Katrina. God bless them all.

    Sunday, August 28, 2005

    I am not a jogger...

    What makes a real runner? It's a question many of us have asked ourselves in recent months as we train for our upcoming races. The concept is artisticly tied into many of your blog titles. (runner wanna be; i am not a runner; not born to run etc...) And the answer is so individual that only the runner herself (or himself) can find the answer.

    For me, the answer became clear in the shower after my 8 mile run this morning. I have a black toe nail. There it is. That first physical sign that I have taken the step from "jogger" to hard core I'm-training-for-a-26.2-mile-run runner. I don't even know what a black toe nail is, or what causes it or if it's even something that needs medical attention. The truth is, I've never really paid attention to runners who talk about these types of things because I thought I would never reach that level. But it happened.

    If I am really honest with you, and I have no reason not to be, the toenail is actually a dark gray color, so not yet officially black. But it's definately not your every day jogger's toenail. Oh no. It's something more.

    And it kind of makes me want to go back to that guy who was mowing his lawn today, and who said to me, "Nice day for a jog," and tell him, "I, sir, am not a jogger. I ran 8 miles, albeit slowly, at a pace most would consider a jog, but I am not a jogger at all. I have a black toe nail."

    Thursday, August 25, 2005

    Afterthoughts to Wednesday's run

    Jeanne said she couldn't imagine running 6 on a treadmill. Well I want to tell her, I couldn't have done it without my little i-pod friend. (Memo to Matt:I'm completely and totally spoiled now, thanks, hunny!)

    I was in a huge hurry when I wrote yesterday's post because Chinese food was on its way. (I know, priorities.) But I left out a funny part regarding my run. I kept feeling like I was working slightly harder than I expected to. It was in my legs. I shrugged it off as "treadmill running must feel different to me now." Around mile 5.5, I was flipping around on the controls to keep my mind off the clock and the distance and lo and behold I realized, I had been running on an incline THE WHOLE TIME. I had to laugh at myself. (And turn it down.)

    So I got a little more than I bargained for, but it's probably a good thing. There. I'm done now.

    Wednesday, August 24, 2005

    Is 6 the new 3?

    Call me a chicken, but I ran on the treadmill again tonight. Why? Because I freaked out and thought a thunderstorm was coming. It turns out the storm was actually moving AWAY from me, but whatever.

    I completed my dreaded 6 miles on the treadmill. Six miles. Let's see, that used to be the longest distance I had ever run. Now, it's just an ordinary weekday run, no different than say, a 3? Crazy how this training thing works.

    72 minutes
    12 minute miles 1-3
    11:32 minute miles 3-6
    3 brief walk breaks

    Sunday, August 21, 2005

    I did it!

    People, it looks like this marathon is possible afterall. Ok, I never had any doubts. (lielielie) But seriously I ran 16 miles (actually more like 16.5-17 because I got lost and had to retrack) this morning. I'm just out of the ice bath and shower and smell a lot better. Matt rode 16 miles as well. He did the first 8 kind of with me (he'd ride up a bit and wait) but after I showed him the way, he rode the rest of the ride full speed ahead and called me 30 minutes later to say he was finished. (Meanwhile, I still had 5 miles left!!!) Oh yes, I should add that we are huge dorks and had cell phones with us. And I loved running to the tunes. There were a couple of songs that seemed to play at just the right time to keep me motivated.

    It was a MUD PIT out there on the trails. My shoes are trashed (appearance-wise as obviously, they still work.) and Matt's bike tires are covered in mud. All of the recent rain in KC left the trails, wet and muddy. I have to admit that 10 more miles seems a bit daunting. That 16 took it out of me. Hopefully with one more long training run to go, I'll be able to find the energy to finish strong (or at least finish). I may jump up to 20 in two weeks so that I can feel a little more confident at the marathon. We'll see.

    Here is my question, how do I clean my shoes without ruining them? Washing machine= bad?

    Saturday, August 20, 2005

    Matt bought me a new toy for tomorrow's 16 mile run. Isn't it the cutest thing? It's all loaded up and ready to go. And now the question is, am I? Posted by Picasa

    Thursday, August 18, 2005

    Not exactly the morning I had in mind...

    Last night I had the best intentions of waking up at 5 a.m., icing for 20, stretching for 10 and running by 5:30. I have an after-work event tonight to attend so I wanted to flip my running schedule. I was psyched. Sure enough, alarm went off at 4:30, snoozed twice and I was up and at 'em by 5. I was feeling pretty darned proud of myself. My plan was to take Tally for safety (I don't like the thought of running alone in the dark.) I got her all leashed up and headed outside.

    We started jogging and after about oh, 10 steps I saw it. A flash. Then I heard it. Boom. DAMN IT!!!! I thought, maybe I'm still a little hazy. So I kept going. Then another flash. BOOM. Ok, not happening. It wasn't raining, but I am TERRIFIED of lightening. I bolted back inside, Tally was so confused.

    Once inside, (now Matt was confused because I had woken him up with all my rattling around and getting Tally on the leash, excited puppy and all that...) I was pissed. I looked at the time: 5:33. I had to wait 27 minutes until the fitness center opened at my apartment.

    So I sat and read some of your blogs and stretched some more. Then I went to the fitness center where I only had time to run 3 miles as opposed to 4.

    As I ran on the treadmill (ew.) I saw the flashes of lightening and watched the local news talk about the thunderstorms. I was certainly content to be running inside as opposed to outside in the mess. But it really shook my plans, and I got up a half-hour earlier than I needed to.

    Oh well, I'm still pretty happy to be running, even if it didn't go as planned. I'll probably be late to work too.

    Tuesday, August 16, 2005

    Back on schedule

    It seems I am back on schedule. My mileage is behind where I need to be right now, but at least I'm running. Ran 4 miles tonight. Eliptical machined yesterday morning...

    I'm happy.

    Sunday, August 14, 2005

    Family Fitness

    Yesterday, Matt purchased a new Gary Fisher Mountain Bike. Because he can't run (severe knee injury in army...6 knee surgeries.), he decided (partly inspired by his obsessed-with-running wife?) to get into cycling. Motivated by his new purchase and celebrating a shared day off during the weekend, we hit the road this morning for my 8-mile run together. Matt on bike and me on new insoles, we conquered a 4-mile loop twice. Everything for me went well. Of course it hurt. I'm used to that these days. But I made sure to take walking breaks when the pain peeked and kept it nice and steady/slow.

    I'm currently icing it and feeling pretty positive about the prospects of doubling the mileage for next week's long run. Everything other than my foot/ankle feels GREAT when I run. I'm taking it as a good sign.

    Meanwhile, I have to say the family fitness was fun this morning. It was so nice outside, as I'm sure A.Maria will note when she reports about the Susan Komen Breast Cancer Run this morning.

    I was thinking a lot about what "real" runners would say about my walking breaks, (see Jeanne's post) and then I decided, screw them. It is all about personal achievement, not what anyone else thinks about your performance.

    Saturday, August 13, 2005

    My trip to the doctor, or how I need to pour more money into running my marathon

    Who says money can't fix anything? It turns out all I now need to fix my problem is custom-made orthotics for my shoes?

    The good news is: still no bone injury. And now the bad news: "I can't promise you a pain-free run on September 24."

    Basically it boils down to my fallen arches are so severe they caused spraining of my ankle and pain in my arch. The doctor prescribed me custom-made orthotics. While I would love to have custom-made inserts, I opted for the more affordable option of buying inserts that were already made, but custom "built" to fit in my shoes. (Built as in the physical therapist at the running medicine store put a stiff support under my arch after he really examined my feet.) Trust me, they were still costly, but way more reasonable for my budget. I actually feel taller in my shoes than I did before. It feels pretty good. Tomorrow, I'm going out for an 8-10 mile "recovery" run. (Recovery from what? Not running?) But that is what my schedule said. Then if all goes well, I'll return to longer runs next week with a 16 mile run. Under my newly modified schedule, the most I'll run before my marathon will probably only be 18 miles. But that's better than nothing.

    So, in summary, the doctor said I could still run. He said it would still hurt. He said putting expensive inserts in my shoes would help my arches, but not necessarily the existing pain. He prescribed more Naproxen for the inflamation. He gave me stretching excersises to do at home with these rubber tubes, and he wants to see me on September 2.

    I'll end this rambling with one moment that convinced me the doctor was A-OK. As he was leaving, I was still feeling a little uncertain that putting inserts in my shoe and doing stretches was really the answer so I said, "Dr. Cupp, I really want to run this marathon. It's really important to me." He said, "I know. I can see it in your eyes."

    Thursday, August 11, 2005

    The night before the doctor's appointment

    I decided to run a bit tonight. I figured it would be good luck for my big sports doctor appointment tomorrow? The pain was still there but it felt REALLY good to run. I ran 3 miles and walked one. I could have run the last mile, but I brought Tally (my dog) and she was so hot we had to stop. Seriously, I thought I may have killed her for a second there.... Don't worry, we're both home, safe and sound. And now I'm just hoping that the doctor will say it's ok to hit the trails again this weekend!

    Monday, August 08, 2005

    From the City of Love to the City of Penguins, it's been an exciting week for the Carnival

    I begin this post by thanking Derek Rose with The Carnival of Runners for allowing me to host this week.

    And what a week it's been.

    Simbas Mom just completed a half-marathon and she now owns her very own Penguin Medal, which she hasn't taken off yet (except to shower.) And while Simbas Mom had an excellent race to report, we can't say the same about A.Maria who ran her first 5K on Friday night. Her time and running went well despite a disorganized race with two conflicting start times and the Asthma victim who selected her to run beside. Between hunting down safety pins for her bib and feeling compelled to cheer on the girl next to her, this race report is not one to miss.

    Speaking of first races, Sasha has another great first 5K story to tell. In other races, Lara ran up a giant hill in a 10K and Dawn reported on the a run with a funny name! (Who wouldn't run downhill for donut?)

    And, this week, our friend,Running Chick , shared some great photos of her recent tri event!

    Meanwhile, after attending a marathon to watch his sister, Jonathan made some changes to his blog and announced he will not be running in the New York Marathon. He's taking on a more personal challenge of sticking with a regular running schedule while attending law school in California. We wish Jonathan the best at law school and commend him on making an exciting new career change in addition to his new running goals.

    Speaking of changes to blogs, one exciting change is that after a brief hiatus from her blog, Naomes at 26.2 miles vs. Naomi is Out of Africa! Be sure to visit her blog for an adorable photo, recaps of her trips and of course, the running reports.

    In other travels, my colleague just returned from Paris where he was able to experience running in the City of Love.

    A new member of the RBF family launched her blog this week and is looking forward to her travels to Vegas to scope out the route for her upcoming marathon.

    Jeanne may have missed the group picture, but she fell in love with long runs this week on her first 18-mile run! Go Jeanne!

    Riona may be injured right now, but she's still inspiring us with great testimonials. With her attitude, she'll be back in no time.

    Speaking of injuries, if you are brave and want to look, Brent shared a photo of his toenail but I confess, I can't look. Also, Flatman's been having some troubles with his knees, but they didn't stop him from having a magical ride on Saturday.

    Mark's not injured. He's not even close. In fact, he has officially declared himself a barefoot runner.

    And that, my friends, wraps up my week at the Carnival. Please feel free to e-mail me if I have left you out. I'll get you right in! Have a wonderful week of training/raceing to all!

    Overheard Sunday Evening out to Dinner at India Palace

    Me: Matt, do you think it's realistic for me to even think about running this marathon with the painful run I just had?

    Matt: Yes.

    Me: So, I'm calling a doctor in the morning. I just want to be sure it's a doctor who is going to be a good sports doctor who will work with me, not against me.

    Matt: What do you mean?

    Me: Well, I basically want a doctor who will tell me it's ok to run the marathon.

    Matt: What if the doctor tells you no?

    Me: I'll beg.

    (P.S. An appointment has been made with a sports medicine doctor in Lawrence, KS. Incidentally, this is the same group that performed my husband (Matt's) most recent knee surgery and he had a good experience. The appointment is set for Friday at 3:30. I'm not running between now and then, so I'm returning to the dreaded eliptical machine until further notice. I told the receptionist about my marathon and she seemed to think it was important enough to squeeze me in this week. Thanks for all the advice. Fingers crossed.)

    Sunday, August 07, 2005

    11 miles and it HURT

    First the good news: I ran. And I ran 11 miles.
    Now the bad: It hurt. A lot. Of course I'm the world's biggest whiner, but I'm pretty sure that was the maximum of my threshold of pain. Also, I ran 5 miles less than where I should have been at in order to be on schedule for my Sept. 24 marathon.

    The first few miles were ok. In fact my lungs, legs and heart rate were not even a factor. Had my ankle not been hurting, I felt like I could have made it. By the time I reached the 5 mile marker, I was almost in tears and thinking to myself, Jeanne would be mad at me for running through the pain. So, I turned around. Three times I had to STOP walking/running and just be still to get the pain under control. Then I would trot along for a while. I'm sure I had a look on my face like, get me out of here! I was having visions of my ice pack. Then I got to this big half mile circle about a half mile from my finish and for some reason I decided to roun two laps around it just to make it at least 11 miles.

    So in summary, it felt really good to get back out there again. But I will be calling the doctor on Monday morning. Does anyone out there other than myself think it's realistic that I will make this marathon? Am I delusional or what?

    Saturday, August 06, 2005

    An update on my status by popular demand

    Ok, only one demand, but Jeanne wanted to know how I was doing. Well, here's the scoop. I'm still really hurting/ankle/foot. I did one eliptical work out this week and then I just laid low with tons of icing and rest. I'm gearing up to try to run 16 miles on Sunday. (Wanted ONE more day to ice and rest) I will report back then. However, in the mean time, I would like to announce I will be hosting the carnival of runners on Monday, so if you have a race report, let me know. Thanks again for all support and thoughts.