Monday, September 28, 2009

Retraction

I was remiss in my wording a few posts back and would like to retract a previous statement. Andy will not be hired as a pack mule for the upcoming race as that brings to mind sweaty, not so fresh smelling and certainly not fleet footed beasts, if you will. No, Andy has been hired as the pitt crew. That has a much nicer ring to it, don't you think? It also redefines his responsibility to the two well honed, high performance machines that he will be working with on October 18th. :) So Andy, my new friend, you are the pitt crew chief. Glad to have you on the team.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Getting there!!

I am finally making some progress toward my fundraising goal. Thank you to all who have donated so far and please keep passing along my info to your family and friends who might be feeling philanthropic. Wanted to share a link with some pics of our honored teammate. He is little Alexander. His nickname is Gubben and he is such a cutie. Thanks to all your support he is doing well and heading back to school. And he is getting to play soccer. Shouldn't all little boys get to play soccer? :) SO thanks you guys, your support means a lot.

http://web.me.com/npain/Site_8/Killer_Whales.html#7

Monday, September 21, 2009

Peeping the tats

Speaking of tats. Thanks to my running shorts and a 20 mile run, I am sporting a bar code-esque tramp stamp on my low back. Take a look.



Nice right? Yeah that is one tattoo you will never see on this body.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Cute stuff

Ok seriously? How cute is this stuff? I think these two pieces will have to come home with me as souvenirs of my kick butt marathon experience. Love love love them


20 miles

Steph and I love to take pictures when we are running. Well, I love to take pictures and she always has her iphone so I make her take them. Must document every aspect of this thing. So for our 10 mile run, one of our teammates actually had a crew of shooters out on the course. Steph got some of the pictures and so in honor of our 20 mile run here is our commemorative photo. We had to use all four hands to represent. I hope we looked that happy yesterday. :)



1 Month to Go

I am 4 weeks away from lacing up my Asics and heading out to run my first ever marathon. There have been days in the past two years that I thought I would never be able to do this. I am so excited that it is almost here. I know it is going to be hard and I know it is going to be painful and I am more than likely going to cry more than once in those 5 hours. But I am so ready. I am so excited. I have decided to be extra nice to this body over the next 4 weeks. I am going to eat healthy, drink tons of water, take out the processed junk from my eating, do 100 abs a day to keep my core strong and roll and stretch these muscles each and every day. I am going to give it the fuel it needs to do this thing. And I think the week before the race I am going to get my toes painted.....purple with green polka dots. I am quite sure that will make me run faster.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

September 19 Update

We are on the other side of 20 miles kids. I am still not sure I believe we actually did it. But then again I think my blood sugar is still recovering.  I woke up this morning and got my routine going. Wash face, brush teeth, sunscreen, running clothes on, ponytail. Check. Mind you I almost asphyxiated myself and the cats with the cloud of Nuetrogena Spray sunscreen. Yes, there literally was a cloud. Hey I was going to be in the sun for a long time.  Off to downstairs to get my breakfast on. Made my toast with peanut butter, laced up the new Asics and started getting very nervous. It was weird, I felt like it was race day. My tummy was all nervous and I was very excited. So I rolled out my legs and grabbed all my stuff. Steph texted that they were in the neighborhood so I took off to meet them. I couldn't wait in the house. Steph's boyfriend Andy and her Dad, who is in from Chicago were going to man an aid station for the team today so they were dropping us off and then heading to their station. We had fun chatting in the car and I have heard so much about them both so it was good to finally meet them. Her dad  and I had a good time ribbing each other over our college team hats. He was wearing an OU hat and I was decked out in my Gator blue and orange complete with Gator hat. I was bummed though that my TNT team shirt was still dirty from last week so I couldn't wear it. Instead I took a grease pencil to write on my arms and legs. Steph and I put TNT down both calves and she wrote TNT Go Team down my arm. It was perfect. After a potty stop for us and a coffee stop for the boys at Starbucks, we were off to the start. We warmed up and stretched and away we went. Steph and I made sure to start out slow and keep our pace steady so we could make it the whole 20 feeling good. 
We started at Foxfire restaurant in Anaheim Hills and took off down the river bed. I hadn't seen Steph in 2 weeks so we had lots to chat about for the first hour or two. It's so fun to run with her and chit chat. We found out on the 18 miler that our birthdays are only 1 day apart. Well technically we are 14 years apart but that is just a minor detail. Basically we get along great. Two Cappy's trotting along. Preferably with tiara's.  The miles ticked off pretty quickly and thankfully it was a little overcast to begin. I was also thankful that I didn't seem to be having any issues with my knee that I had last week. All the rolling, stretching, praying and new shoes must have done some good. We made sure to refuel and stretch at the aid stations and we both felt pretty good. I did start to get really hungry at about mile 13 which was weird.  I had some beans and gatorade and kept on pushing. After an aid station we got going again and I felt a sticking in my low back like I had a tag poking me. I tried to move it and realized "That's no tag. That's CHAFING!" Ouch!!! How did that happen? I had bodyglided up the rubby parts before we started. You don't want to know...trust me.  It seems the gathering on my shorts was wreaking havoc on my backside. Greeeeaaat. I had an epiphany and stopped and asked Steph to put chapstick on it. She didn't think it would work well but I figured it would at least get me to the Andy/Dad aid station and I knew they had vaseline. Let me tell you, it takes a special friend to rub chapstick on an area that gives ample view of butt crack. She is that kind of friend and I love her for it. With Steph's help I may actually survive this marathon.
Off we went again. We walked as needed to give our weary legs some different movement. They get real sick of the running motion and they are quick to voice their objections to keep going. Still starving and really ready to be done we finally made it to the Andy/Dad station and I was so excited to see them. We had mentioned an aid station a few weeks back that had Oreos that made the day. Steph guessed that they would stop and pick up cookies to beef up their station and sure enough there on the table were Oreos and Chips ahoy!! Andy handed Steph the Vaseline and me my sunnies and inhaler. Oh he is so hired as the pack mule for race day. :) She applied some Vaseline to my issue and all the sudden I was quite shaky. Oooh thinking  I needed some fuel and here comes Andy with a chewy granola bar. He is a rock star. We stretched, refueled, rewatered and chatted with our teammates til we felt refreshed and away we went, with Steph giving sweaty kisses to Andy and Dad. I am sure they loved it.
Ok only four and a half to go. We got this. The chatting got to be pretty limited and I think we were both in our own heads struggling a little bit but we soldiered on. We walked when we needed to, we stretched when Steph's glutes tightened up and my mid back started to scream. We finally got to the part of the trail where there was ocean water in the river bed so we knew we were close. The talk turned to the reason we were doing this and it helped us to keep putting one foot in front of the other. I find it hard to keep in mind what I am running for because I don't have a close personal connection with these diseases, thankfully. I hope I never do. But I have days when I don't  feel like I am really doing anything special. We shared this with Coach Jen and she told us a story of a woman who might be at the finish for us who was diagnosed and basically given a "death sentence" with the diagnosis she got. But because of LLS and TNT a doctor developed a drug that has helped her. She is survivor. Yep that is what I am doing this for. This is bigger than my little "bucket list goal". This is really big. This will help change people's lives. Ok I can run a little longer. 
We could finally see the ocean. We were so close and after 19 miles it was so hard. So hard. We made it to PCH and turned the corner and could see the end. But not before we saw the signs on either side of the road with our logo and people's names on them. That did both of us in. We didn't say a word but you could hear each of us squeaking out breath with each step trying not to just bawl. Yeah, those people on those signs are who we are doing this for. I am going to be an absolute hot mess on race day. We crossed the finish to cow bell, clapping and high fives and could finally breath again. We did it. We did it. 20 miles. 20.52 if you ask my watch.  Time 3:55. 11:36 average pace. Lots of the team were there and we had food and drinks. Not exactly hungry at that point but I did grab a water, a cold wet towel and a handful of grapes. We walked it off and headed to the water and just kept walking. The only things that came off were the watch, hydration belt and shoes. We walked right into the cool water and it was heaven. My body was so mad and so happy all at the same time. Iced up we headed back up as Andy and Dad came up the beach. Yahoo.....towels, foam roll and sticks. We made our way back to the team and grabbed a sandwich and started recovery. It was beautiful out and it was fun seeing all our teammates come across the finish. Some of them started at 5:30 and 6 am. We finally packed it up and headed home. There was discussion of afternoon activities of which mine would include a shower and the Gator game. I tried to convince Dad that he needed to root for the Gators since he couldn't watch OU on tv today and we weren't in the same conference so he could root for us. I don't think he bit. Besides when he mentioned "peeping the tats" to Steph, (I not only almost fell out of the car laughing) I think he wanted to go check out the Tattoo Expo. Just saying. So here I lay,  showered, writing and really happy that we accomplished a really long run. Oh yeah and the Gators won. It's a good day.

Last one

Big 20 miler tomorrow. This is the farthest we will run before the race. I am excited, nervous, ready, not ready, worried and so pumped it's ridiculous. I really hope it all goes well. But regardless I want to remember to have fun, stay healthy and finish. One foot in front of the other for 20 miles. Let's go team. 

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Houston We have a problem

Why is it that the "low" mileage weeks seem to be my nemesis? 18 was really good and then the next week when I think 14 will be a breeze I turn up with a major issue after 10 miles. All the sudden I noticed my foot was swinging out to the side weird and all wonky. Nothing was hurting so it didn't make sense and then soon after that the back inside of my left knee started killing me. It got so bad I ended up having to walk 2 minutes and attempt to run for 2 minutes. It was a brutal 4 miles. I made sure to stretch really good post run but I was really nervous that something was really wrong because it hurt the whole rest of the day. I iced it and took some aleve and started some heavy praying. It's only now I could bring myself to blog without worrying about crying all over the computer. I can't be this close and then get hurt or not be able to see this thing through. The only good thing at first was that it wasn't a constant pain. It only hurt when I did certain things, mostly lifting my leg toward my body. So I tried to take it easy the rest of the weekend. It was pretty tender when I got up on Sunday so I stayed around the house and laid low. I had a 6 mile recovery run scheduled so I decided to ice it again, foam roll it out, stretch and then I would head out for a walk and try to run a little to see how it felt. So off I went. It felt fine walking so I walked it out for about 15 minutes. Then I stopped to stretch and attempt a very slow, very tender footed jog. NO GO. I took maybe 3 strides and it was KILLING me. This is so not good. I had to talk myself down the whole rest of the way.  "It's going to be ok, just give it a couple days rest, You still have time before the race, It doesn't hurt all the time" Oh yeah "JUST WHEN I AM RUNNING!!" Ok so the conversation in my head wasn't all positive. But i just kept reminding myself, or rather trying to convince myself that everything would be ok. Walking was fine and I decided that even if I have to CRAWL across that finish line I would make it. Although I really hope that is not the case. SO back home to more foam rolling, icing, aleve and self therapy. Can I tell you how NOT fun foam rolling is? It's so not fun. I had a chance to talk it out with my friend Jack at dinner so it didn't seem as huge after that. Monday it felt a little better and I continued my prescription of foam rolling, ice, aleve and stretching. I also decided I would be getting new shoes, sending my coach an email for some pointers and scheduling a massage.  
I hadn't heard back from my coach so on Tuesday morning I went to the gym and decided to do a little elliptical to see how it felt and try to run on the treadmill. Thankfully the elliptical felt fine, so I can always do that to keep my cardio up. I got on the treadmill and asked my trainer to watch my feet to see if I was doing anything weird.  I started a slow jog and although I could feel it, it wasn't hurting. She said my feet were striking pretty normal so I jogged for couple minutes and then shut it down and did more elliptical. No sense pushing it. I went by the running store in the evening after work and spilled my whole story to the poor sales guy. He was great though and reassured me that I was doing everything I could to help it.  He gave me some insight into what could have happened on Saturday, being possible hydration issue, terrain issues and such. And he got me into some snazzy new Asics. He even took video of me running to make sure my stride was normal and sure enough, it looked like it was fine. Yaaay. Off I went my my new shoes and more positive feelings. Maybe it really is going to be ok. I came home to some good feedback from my coach and I did my nightly ritual and headed to bed. 
This morning was the true test. Well no, the true test will be Saturday when I  have to run 20 but today was a good trial. I decided to try to do the 4 miles scheduled in my training with the head space to take it easy and walk if I felt any pain. It is feeling good so I don't want to set it back. I even got up early to foam roll before I took off. So new shoes tied on, off I went. I walked to the corner to warm up and I took off with a slow jog on the dirt path. I watched my feet like hawks, making sure they were striking straight, and low and behold, it wasn't so bad. I could feel it but it wasn't hurting and it wasn't getting worse and it got better as I warmed up. My calves did get pretty tight so I just stopped and stretched them and then kept going. I ended up doing the whole 4 miles with no real pain. I can't tell you how happy I was when I hit stop on the watch. Ok game is back on. I can do this. Praise the Lord for foam rollers, aleve, new shoes and healing. 

Sunday, September 13, 2009

September 5 Update

Again, another first for longest mileage I have never done in my life.  We were scheduled to run 18 mile this week. I was having trouble with my piriformis all week and was worried I wouldn't be able to run at all. But I made sure to stretch, and ice and pray a lot. Thursday night  I got very nervous and started to question this whole thing.  And then Friday I came to my senses. If I have to walk some , so be it. I had to put my goals in perspective once again. I want to have fun, stay healthy and finish. So I decided to just take it easy and get the mileage in however it came. Once the pressure was of I was actually excited to push myself to 18 miles. And I was going to have the best running buddy ever there with me. If you remember STeph wasn't going to be running on Saturday because she was doing the Disney half on Sunday. She sent me and email on Thursday and told me that she would be riding her bike with me so I didn't have to run alone. WHAT? I mean come on? Who does that? Only the best teammate EVER. When I told her she didn't have to get up at the crack of dawn just for me her response was "Are you kidding, I am not leaving you to your own devices." Hmmmm what do you think she meant by that? :) Well whatever I was so grateful for her at 6 am Saturday morning. The run actually turned out to be really awesome. I made sure to warm up and stretch a ton before we got going and I started out at a slower pace to make sure my legs were ready. There was Steph right beside me on her bike. We got to chat and catch up just like if she were running. I felt quite special having my own bike escort. We plodded along and I made sure to stretch at each aide station and everything seemed to be going along just fine. STeph even pulled out her Iphone and started playing music so we wouldn't get bored. It was great. Our route took us up the same trail we usually do and then after Irvine Blvd, we stayed left and went up to Portola which we followed all the way to Peters Canyon. This week we ran into the canyon and all the way to the end before turning around. It was lovely because in the canyon it was still shady so it was cool. And by then the sun had come out so it was starting to warm up. I was grateful for the shade but wow the trail running was tough. Had to be super careful of footing and Steph was still on the bike so she was working hard too. We made it to Noah at the aid station and had been misinformed that we could turn around there. He did not like being the bearer of bad news that we still had  three quarter miles to go before we could turn around, especially when you look and it was straight up. He got on the phone and made sure the other coach rephrased her directions. So we gulped a little water and took off. It was tough but it was fun to do something a little different. Steph went on ahead because it was too hard for her to stay with me and go that slow up the hill. We made it to the top with high fives and renewed energy to head back DOWN. :) 
As we were going down we were passing tons of people on the trail. Teammates, HS cross country teams, friends and families out hiking.  We passed one group of ladies and when we got past them Steph heard them say "I think she got the better end of the deal" meaning Steph on the bike. We got laughing about it later and I said "I beg to differ, I got the  better end of the deal, cause otherwise I would have been out here by myself." Well I know I have tons of teammates to run with but Steph and I really click and most of the time it is just us so it would be tough to find someone to run with as consistently. So we get to the bottom of that hill and Noah sent us up the other hill from our 16 mile run. So Steph jumps off the bike for this one to run with me. The trail is super steep and super narrow. So we head up and she has the iphone in hand and it's playing and she is trying to find a good beat for us cause the uphill is a little tough. She finally settles on Ragdoll by Aersosmith and we are cracking ourselves up singing and trodding up this trail. We get to the top and start dancing in the little field. Yes, Ragdoll dance party at the top, which put us in a fit of giggles. It was so fun. Ok back to work. Away we went back down the hill and back to the barn. The rest of the run was pretty uneventful thankfully. I stayed in the shade for the most part which kept me cool and actually got a little second wind toward the end and got to running at a pretty good clip. There were a few walk breaks to stretch out the legs and in the end it was a great run. I came in with my bike escort to cheers from my teammates at 3 hours and 28 minutes. My average pace was 11:36, which considering all the hills I am quite pleased with.  All in all it was a great day and a huge accomplishment. I couldn't have done it without all the encouragement from my team and the support of family and friends, and of course the best running buddy ever. Who by the way set a PR at the Disney half the next morning. You GO girl!!!