Saturday, November 10, 2018

Sander's Saunter 25K 2018



This was not my first time out at Clinton Lake running, but my first time doing this race, Sander's Saunter.  I chose the 25 K distance, because I have lost my damn mind and I can't find it.  It was my last really big distance race of the year and a trail race that Stella could do with me.  It was suppose to be SUPER cold, so layers was the name of the game with my Mizuno base layers, plus a buff, a light wind breaker jacket from Brooks, some lobster gloves, hand warmers, and fleece ear warmers.  I don't mind running in the cold and actually enjoy it, as I have the right gear to make sure I am comfortable. 




Teri and I were planning on getting to the race about an hour early to pick up packets and take care of bathroom breaks.  I figured the race would be at the same start/finish as the other Hawk races and I was right because the theme of the day was get lost! 

stolen off of teri's page because well, I totally forget to take "before" pictures!
I am vaguely familiar with the trail system having done the Hawk birthday run, the Night Hawk (sort of) and The Snake.  I honestly don't remember ever being on the white trails but surely I have been?



When we started, we went out blue and turned up the gravel pathway out to Sander's mound.  While it was very beautiful, there were way too many people to stop and take a picture both going up since other runners were going down and then going down because I didn't want to fall and break my neck.  We settled in with a group of runners and I was kind of excited to have others around me for once.  When we came back from Sander's mound, we headed out on white for a bit.  The white trail is very rocky and technical in my opinion, so no pictures there either.  Overall, I think I tripped/almost fell 7 times total, but never completely fell so WIN!  I have never felt confident running down hill on rocks, so I quickly let the guy behind me pass. I played leap frog with a lady and her off leash dog who ran with stella for a while, once I felt comfortable letting stella off leash.  The 50K started an hour before us, and while I knew super fast 50K runners would lap us at some point, I figured it would be a while before I needed to corral her.



We ran white all the way to Land's end.  This is about the time I thought i was lost.  I knew there was an aid station at Lake Henry that we would pass twice, first time around mile 3ish.  I thought I saw it, but I didn't see the way down to it and then I backtracked to make sure I didn't need to check in/out.  They told me to keep going and keep going I did, but I kept thinking, am I going the right way?  Now a little bit about me, I am a nervous pee person, so I started getting super nervous and that tailwind just kept going straight through me.  This is an advantage to being a back of the packer at trail races, I can just step off the trail and pee and no one will see :) Until I got to Land's End, I was pretty sure I was somehow lost, so Land's End was an amazing sight!  The aid station volunteers checked us in and quickly filled both of my bottles with water and helped me get my tailwind mixed in, and sent me on my way.  They even filled Stella's bowl with water and got her fixed up with lots of love! We did a quick 4 mile jaunt around, in which we picked up blue and headed back to Land's End.  I did get a few pictures from then on, as we were close to the water and the blue trail is a little nicer.  These trails are very very beautiful, but the challenge of leaves on the trail was tough.  When you can't see the rocks, they tend to jump up and bite you!  I seriously don't see how these guys do a 7-8 minute per mile pace!  I want their floating genes!


Being on blue was so much better, and I felt like I kind of knew where I was...till I didn't.  I went to cross a road and didn't see the sign to get on the trail on the other side of the road. I could see a wrong way sign on the other side of the road,and even though the sign on my side of the road  said go straight, I couldn't tell where straight was.  I saw a sign to the side of me turning back into the trail, but just felt in my gut that the trail didn't double back like that.  I walked across the road and found the sign for the right way and continued on.  Whew.  Then I came to another spot that said straight, but when I went straight, I actually saw a wrong way sign pretty quickly.  There was a trail to the right that had pink flags, so once again I trusted that and it was right.  Whew. I was SO glad to see that dang black drainage pipe that meant I had a mile to go!


This next photo is funny only because I had stopped to take a picture of the lake and of Stella and I didn't even see Rick of Mile 90 sitting there.  Look closely as he was head to toe covered in black LOL!


He probably thought I was an idiot stopping and taking pictures of the lake and my dog, but it was SO pretty!

I am happy to say that I was shooting for 5 hours for my finish, since I run about 3mph usually on trails, and I managed to finish in a little under 4.5 hours!!!!!  I was still pretty much at the end (one runner behind me so not DFL this time), but I felt like I did much better this trail race and can't wait to do more!  That time was with a couple of pauses and backtracks and a few minutes at the aid station x 2 to refill bottles and water Stella!


As always, I can't WAIT to see the pictures from Mile 90.  I think Kristi took 100 at the finish line and Stella LOVES Kristi!  While I was hoping they would be at Lake Henry to take some Lake Henry shots, they weren't there, but I do have an amazing shot from John from the Snake 10 miler that I still need to frame with Lake Henry in the background.
  

Afterwards I felt very sore and I had a horrible headache. I actually had the headache most of my run, but it kind of went away once I drank some coke at Land's End the second time.  My neck was also sore, so not sure if I was running all tight or with my jaw clenched or what.  I had my normal coffee pre-run, but i did forget my run gum so maybe my body had gotten use to that extra kick?  I also had horrible tooth pain any time I tried to chew on the left side post race.  I guess it's from the tail wind I drank, but that hasn't bothered me before? I  only drank 4 bottles full.  As i type this several hours later, I still can't chew on that side.  So weird.


While it was SUPER cold, it was beautiful, and even though I thought I was lost several times, I enjoyed Sander's saunter and would come run this race again!   I want to say a HUGE thank you to all of the volunteers.  It was SO cold out there and windy so I know they about froze to death waiting on us!  

Sanders Saunter 25K week!

borrowed from the Sanders Saunter 2018 FB page
Another week another race. Again as I have said previous, I call them "races", but I am not running all out!  I am excited to try a new to me race again and be back on the Clinton trail system.

handing out lap bracelets to the girls
Monday:  GOTR day/rest day.  We are starting to decide on what group we are doing our service project for and it's a tough compromise.  The girls all had great ideas, but it boils down to what we can do with the money we have and the time we have.  The girls decided to do something for veterans in hospital.  Stay tuned to see what we actually do for these veterans!  I ended up doing one lap total, as Andrew was at practice with us, and he wanted to earn a bracelet.   He had had tummy issues earlier in the day and had been sent home from school,  but seemed fine after a bathroom break.  One lap in, his tummy started bothering him again :(  I hope this isn't some sort of virus as he has a very odd tummy that likes to do odd things periodically.


Tuesday:  5 easy miles.  Took Deuce and Stella out for an easy run.  It was our first feels like below freezing days and it was amazing!  I also did a lunch time cross fit session with coach Erin.  We worked on 5 x 5 with dead lifts at 100 lbs, some banded monster walks (side to side, front and back) and some sets of good mornings with just the bar.  For the WOD I did 15 throw overs of the 40 lb sand bag in which I not only had to throw over the boxes you use for step ups, but also had to try and jump over them to throw the bag back over.  Erin said I could get over them anyway I could, except i couldn't put my butt on the boxes.  I am not a fan of banging my shins on those boxes, so Erin took mercy on me and put a pad on the top.  I also had to do 15 wall ball sit ups in addition to those 15 sand bag throws for 10 minutes.  It was a really great work out and I was pouring sweat at the end!

Wednesday:  Rest day.  Life is about to get very, very busy so I am enjoying my slow days and resting like a boss.

Thursday:  hilly 4 miler.  While I prefer to hit the trails on the gravel these days, I needed some hills and the best way to do that and not drive was to find all the hilly streets on the west side of town and go up and back down them.   Not sure if it was because it was cold or  the fact that i am strengthening all the things, but those hills felt GREAT.  Yes, I said it, the hills felt great!!!!!  I felt strong going up, not out of breath and dying, and my heart rate stayed in a great zone the entire race.  I ended up canceling Cross Fit, because of the snow and the possibility of bad roads.  I don't regret it even if the roads were perfectly fine. You just never know.


Friday:  Rest day.   Pre-race pizza and early bed time for stella and I.



Flat Stella and flat Michelle were ready to rock.  Packet pick up was bright and early and we were headed out around 6 am to get there about an hour before our race started at 8.  I will probably write a separate post about the race so stay tuned.


Saturday:  Race day!  Saunders Saunter 25K at Clinton Lake.  Read my recap here!


Sunday:  Rest day.   When we got back from the race, I was real quick to get in a tub bath as hot as I could stand with some salt.  I was pretty sore and felt pretty beat up.  Kudos to those who do big races on that trail because 15 miles seemed like more than enough for me!  My feet in particular felt super sore.  I soaked for at least 30 minutes.....while my son sat on the toilet and pooped while watching people play mario brothers on youtube.  Sigh.  Such is the life of a mom.  The rest of the day I laid around as much as I could and just rested.  I couldn't really eat because my teeth hurt so bad. YEs, for some odd reason the whole left side of my jaw, top and bottom teeth, hurt so badly that I couldn't chew anything.  Not even soft french fries.  I am not sure what is going on, maybe I was running with my jaw clenched or maybe I was keeping the tailwind liquid in my mouth for too long?  Maybe I need the bottles with straws instead so it doesn't sit in my mouth so long before swallowing?   

Andrew and I just took the day to get some errands run and hang out.  Nothing too strenuous or exciting since hubby was at the chief's game and i was in full recovery mode.  I have a couple of weeks of in between so I am going to use them wisely and rest, recover, and do some strength training!

Have a great weekend and stay warm!!!!

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Tails on the Trail week!

I think this was from the first year I did this race and is still part of the brochure

It's Tails on the Trail week!  This is one of my most favorite dog themed races, hands down!  I am even skipping a local race to go do this race since we are the poster children :)  Yes it's only a 5k and yes I will have to do a long run (hopefully on technical trails) the next day, but I can't not do this race!

Monday: Rest day and GOTR day.   Let me back up a minute to Sunday.  Yes, i kind of didn't talk about this in detail, but my legs were SUPER sore Sunday during my long run.  I wore my compression socks because well, I do when I race so why not when I actually train. I  had so much pain in my legs when I started, I almost ran back home to take them off.  I have no clue if this was because of my massage or what.  I know I didn't drink enough water post massage even though I tried.  I kind of have been off of my water kick since it is so cold in our office too and i need to get back on that band wagon.  Anyway, the pain faded after I got about a mile and half in and I have no clue why it hurt so badly.  Now fast forward, I was sore again Monday too, but I ran a bit with the GOTR girls.  There was too much walking and I tried to lead by example that the 45 second run, 15 second walk is doable.  A few of the girls hooked on to me and stayed with me for several laps, so I think it worked.  

Tuesday:  5 easy miles.  I don't know why but 5 miles just feels like the sweet spot, but it does, so that is what i am doing. I did add in some walk breaks since my legs are still slightly sore.  I also ordered some new shoes when I got home because I am pretty sure my Bondi's are done. I have tried so many things to get rid of this PF and I am hoping new shoes will be the solution since I have changed so many other things.  Buying new shoes, especially shoes you can't try on is SO scary!  

Cross fit was pretty tame (or so I thought at the time)  and I am okay with that.  We did lots of weighted lunges, squats, one legged squats, weighted sit ups, and kettle bell dead lifts.  I ended with a 500 meter row for time that I will be doing again at some point to see if I improve.  Erin told me that I would probably be super sore and boy was she right!

Wednesday:  Just survive the soreness day.  Forget DOMS I had immediate soreness!  Those lunges and squats made my butt and quads feel like they wanted to leave my legs.  OUCH!


I will be very honest when I say that Halloween is not my favorite holiday now that I have a 2 legged kiddo.  Trick or treating consists of standing in line while very nice people hand out candy, but what fun is Halloween if you don't actually go to houses? To try and get into the spirit, I decided not only to make Andrew or i should say Mario a mystery box, but also make Boom a costume so he could partake.  All of this was decided about 30 minutes before Andrew's class room parade and party.  Yeah, living on the edge and praying that the yellow marker didn't crap out.


I will have to say that everything turned out much better than I planned.  The mystery box worked great after a little reinforcement via daddy's hand, and Boom left his little costume alone the entire night.  
  
Boom had a turtle on one side and an evil mushroom on the other side!

After going through downtown and then a few houses on the way back, little man opted to hand out candy versus go to another neighborhood and do more trick or treating.  This may change in the future, but I loved hanging out with our neighbors, just letting the boys play and handing out candy.  We don't really know many people on our street, so it's nice to know at least one, even if her kiddos are a bit older than Andrew.  They honestly treat him like a little brother and i love the patience they have with him, teaching him how to throw the baseball in the summer and the football in the winter.  

Thursday:  practice 5K with the GOTR girls.  Okay y'all, I really wasn't sure how this would go.  We have a much better group this year, but still we have some that primarily walk and we had an hour to get our out and back 5K in.  We had four coaches this year, so we split up into groups and let the girls figure out what pace they liked the best.  Y'all, I am OVER the moon about how well our girls did.  They tried SO hard and most if not all finished in under an hour with multiple hills.  We even had a few girls that wanted to continue running, and did 4 miles with me still in under an hour!

Friday:  Cross fit.  Normally I work out Tuesday/Thursday, but this week I had to move it to Friday thanks to my coach having basketball Thursday night.  She works 5 jobs and I wish she didn't have to.  I wish we could have enough people taking privates from her that she could quit a few of her jobs.  I really don't know how she does it and does school.  Anyway, we worked on the push press to find my max and then did some sets at 80% and at 60%.  We also did a WOD that included 10 ring rows, 10 push ups, and 10 band pulls every 2 minutes for 12 minutes. I thought it sounded easy until I did my strength part and my shoulders and arms were TIRED!  Glad i had 2 minutes because I used every bit of that 2 minutes!


Saturday: Tails on the Trail day!  It was a cool, cloudy day and it was perfect for racing.  It seemed that there were less people there than previous years, but I could be wrong.  I think most people did the walk or the 1 mile walk instead of running the 5K.  Stella pulled me to a 3rd place finish in our age group.  

I really do love this trail and wish I could get on it more often.  Its no so rocky rooty, so you can really open up and run, plus it has some challenging, but doable hills.
  

I didn't get a PR, but I felt SUPER strong on the trail and that made me smile!  We would have had an even better time, but Stella needed a drink at the last water stop and probably took 30 seconds or more to drink.  Oh well, it was fun, we pushed and we got another cute little trophy to add to our collection.


Sunday:  Trail run with the girls.  At first I wanted 2 loops or 14ish miles out at Fancy Creek to get ready for my next race, a 25K out on the trails of Clinton Lake.  Then I backed down to 10 after I woke up super sore and the others wanted to do less.  We rode separately, so we could all do what we needed.  Teri, our new trail friend, ran the big loop (which was 5.94 on my watch, but the trail gods that created it say it is 6.6 because switch backs aren't counted correctly) and then headed out.  I was a bit behind them as I am a little slower on trails so got the loop done 20 minutes later. Then Mel and I headed out to do another trail that ended up being a 2.3 loop, again according to the trail gods who had made the trails and were out doing trail maintenance.  They had accurately measured the trails with non GPS means, so I guess I need to trust them.  So almost 9 miles (my watch said 8.45 when we got done), still a little lower than I would have liked, but probably smarter since I was pretty tired and sore from the day before and getting woke up now at 5:30 am instead of 6:30 am (thanks daylight savings time).  


Have a great upcoming week!  I guess I will take it easy again since I have another trail race coming up!  Can't wait to run some Clinton Lake goodness!  Maybe someday I will get my trail hawk name.  Any suggestions?  Pretty sure red hawk is probably taken :) 







Monday, October 29, 2018

The week before race week?

I don't even know what to title this post.  We are kind of in the in between again as i have a 5K November 3rd and another trail 25K November 10th with a final 5K the day of Thanksgiving.  I can't promise I might jump into some smaller stuff this fall/winter, but it looks like my training cycle is going to be a 20 week cycle and will start the week of Thanksgiving for my next trail marathon.

Monday:  Rest day.  GOTR day.  We did a loop course today instead of laps and most of the girls did wonderful!  Unfortunately that meant I did some running to block traffic at a couple of crossing spots and at the top of the few hills we did.  I actually felt pretty good considering how sore I was post race.  I think my new Tart Cherry Juice I am drinking is really, really helping!



Tuesday:  Easy recovery run.  I didn't have an exact mileage in mind, but I figured 4 or 5 would do with some walking breaks.  Since I was feeling good, I decided to go ahead and get my 5. I had Cross fit scheduled that night.  We worked on the clean from a mid and low hang and then we did a tabata of superman and hollow body poses for time.  My WOD was 15 minutes of 1 minute-Assault bike for 10 calories (WAAAAY harder than I thought it would be), 1 minute of picking up a 40 lb sand bag and throwing it over the bar and repeat again and again, and 1 minute of rest.  Doesn't sound like much, but that dang assault bike KILLED me.  The last two reps on the bike, I only got in about 8 calories in that 1 minute, and I was really struggling to get even that.  Then when I would get off, I would be huffing and puffing like i had just run sprints!  Afterwards I felt really, really good and strong!  I know I have just started this journey, but i am already seeing big changes in my body and in my running!

Wednesday:  Rest day.  We had our last soccer practice and his coach forgot that the sun now sets at 6:30 pm, whoops.  We got there early and luckily she had too, so the early kids got in a good hour of practice.  I am ready for this season to be done, but am proud of the progress made by andrew.  He still can't dribble fast, it's either dribble very slow and control it, or fast and kick it half way across the field.  His shooting is getting better as well as his defense, so maybe we will try one more fall season.


Thursday:  5 easy miles and Cross Fit + GOTR.  That is a lot in one day, but I got it done.  We got to run inside for GOTR, which the girls love, but the teachers still in the building don't and most if not all of the girls did well.  I have been battling some weird tummy issues and I almost texted Erin to cancel for cross fit, but I stuck it out and was fine.  We did some front squatting and some dead lifts and then some sand bag carries.  I ended up dead lifting 100 lbs on my last sets!!!!!  Although I felt strong, my dang wrists hated the front squats.  I need to look into taping them or some sort of support to help them get use to it. I ended with the sand bag carry for distance, and started out with the 45 lb bag and ended with the 65 lb.  I just LOVE working with Erin and I think I am going to be able to continue to work with her for at least one more month :)

Friday:  Rest day.  Yes, I know.  I need to get back to cross training, but I just haven't felt like riding my bike.  I will be glad when Robin moves back to Wamego so we can hit our bikes together.



Saturday:  short run....that never happened.  Hubby had to work all day so no run for me.  Instead of being mad about it, I just enjoyed the day.  Yes, I could have gotten on the mill, but it was a gorgeous fall day and I just wanted to be outside.


We started out the day with some soccer.  Last game, which wasn't the bes,t but wasn't horrible either. I really think all of the kids are on the brink of really understanding this game and it's kind of cool to watch.  The other team posted a goalie, which drives me nuts, but I am pretty sure they got around the rules by having the kid stand outside of the box instead of in the goal box.  Kudos to her for having 6 year olds play positions I guess.  


I think this season was an overall success.  No crying, no laying on the field, some pretty good hustle, and some goals attempted/scored.  Some defense was played, and while there is a ton of room for improvement, I am really happy at where we ended (and SO glad we didn't have to play a double header).  As for the future in soccer?  Will probably continue to play fall soccer until football becomes bigger in his life, but probably not spring.  I am just too busy in the spring and would miss a huge number of his games.  I missed quite a few this fall and I HATED IT!


After soccer we headed to Manhattan for Story Time with Drag Queens.  I feel very strongly about my son getting as much diversity in his life as possible and this was a great introduction into meeting Drag queens.  He loved it and loved the craft and thought Medusa was the best!  


And BONUS, when you are around drag queens, they can help you fix wardrobe malfunctions like the fact that our mustache wouldn't stay on.  

Post story time, we headed to get coffee and then to the park to play. The boys had a ton of energy that needed to be expounded and we needed some mom time.  I am so glad Andrew is of the age now where he can make friends at the park and just play without my assistance.  Lindsey and I had some relaxing conversation.  We headed out to have lunch and get back to Wamego for some laundry/house cleaning/massaging.


I begged Trina to find what the heck is bothering my foot.  I feel like we have been battling this long enough and I didn't care how long it took, I wanted her to find what stupid muscle/tendon/whatever was causing my foot to still hurt and make it submit.  She obliged and found a very knotty tendon in  my ankle area and gave it the riot act.  I had her take a pic of the cupping she did because it's kind of cool to have cups all over you, plus it feels SO good after she has used them.  I highly recommend cupping if you haven't had it yet.  I was pretty crunchy in my shoulders/trap area (thanks cross fit) so she had fun being the bringer of the pain.  I am so excited that she is going to be full time in Wamego starting in November!  I know what everyone is getting for Christmas this year!


Sunday:  Hopefully long run.  Hubby had to work again and i was just crossing my fingers that I would get a long run in.  Andrew had his first sleep over at the house with his little friend Oakely and they stayed up till around 11pm talking about poops and farts.  When I reminded them that doughnuts would not be happening in the morning unless they got some sleep, they quickly quieted down and were out in a few seconds.   I ended up sleeping on the couch outside the guest room, which probably wasn't the best idea post super duper massage, but I wanted to be close just in case the boys needed me during the night.  I think the dogs thought it would be fun to wake me up every so many hours just to make sure I was alive and then the dogs woke me fully up at 5:30.  I don't mind getting up that early to run, but that early for no reason, no thank you!  The boys were up an hour later ready for some cartoons and doughnuts of course.  The plan was that Lindsey would come and sit with the boys while I ran and while Tony was at work.  Luck would have it that Tony didn't have to work all day and Lindsey showed up right after he got off!  


I had no clue how far really to run so settled in on the number 10.  I have another race in two weeks that is a 25 K, so figured I could do a 10 this week and then maybe a 12 or 13 next weekend on the trails.   My legs were pretty sore from the massage and even though the weather was so perfect, my heart rate was super high and my pace was SUPER slow.  I figure it was probably 1)the mcdonalds we ate for dinner the night before and b)the poor sleep.  No mind, got it done, enjoyed the beautiful fall weather and scenery, and stella and I got some good mom and me time.  
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Afterwards I just sat on the deck and enjoyed the beauty of the day with the dogs.  The leaves have turned and now are falling in earnest, so I wanted to enjoy it while I could and the boys were asleep anyway so I could be a lazy slug without guilt!  

Have a great week!  I have a dog themed 5K this weekend and then a nice long run coming up hopefully on the trails.   Plus since we are done with soccer, adventures abound on the weekend before winter sets in.  



Sunday, October 28, 2018

Why I started running!

I saw this running prompt and thought I would jump on and tell my readers why I started running because it's kind of a fun journey to talk about. 

I actually started running in 2009 because of this crazy dog.


We were a foster home for ARPH and we got this crazy tailed aussie into our program.  Bella, or hell's bells as I liked to call her was probably the closest I ever got to a foster fail.  She was always on the go and nothing wore her out, but I loved her dearly.  We did tricks, we did agility, we did obedience, and she was still go, go, go.  The problem was at night she would NOT sleep.  This was of course pre kiddo, so I didn't really know what sleep deprivation really was, but it was enough that I needed to do something.  We have a concrete "track" that goes around our recreation complex that is not quite a mile long, and it's only about two blocks away.  I would take my cotton shorts/shirt/socks and my pretty whatever brand was the cheapest and looked the cutest shoes and head out around 9 pm at night.  I didn't have a smart phone, I didn't have a watch, I had no clue how far we were going, but I knew about 3-4 laps of walking/running would wear her out and then we would both sleep.


I even taught her how to run on the treadmill so if we couldn't go to the track, she could still get her run in.  Unfortunately I hurt my quad running and walking with her on the mill, and around that time we also found the perfect forever home for her and adopted her out instead of keeping her so we could foster more (we had 3 dogs already and she would make 4 which was more than enough for us).  I was intrigued with running, but not addicted.  I did the PT to get my quad happy again and then kind of drifted away from running.  


Then in the end of 2010 beginning of 2011 I decided I wanted to try again.  I had heard about the couch to 5 K program from a friend who was doing it that i did agility with.   I didn't have a smartphone still, but she showed me how to download the PDF of the walk run intervals from the website.  I used our treadmill once again and slowly started working towards being able to run a 5K.  I transitioned from mill running to running outside in the KS spring, which was BRUTAL with the wind, so I re did one of the weeks and then ran my first 5K once I was done.  Yes, I was covered in cotton, but at least I had gone an gotten proper shoes at this point :)


I finished in 31:47 and I was HOOKED!  I can still remember how I felt, the smells as we ran through the campground, and hearing someone say that if you can run a 5k in 30 minutes or under that you are a real runner (and no this didn't get me down, just motivated me).  I then found a coach and off I went to try and get faster.  Now I had no fancy smart ways to figure out pace or anything. I had map my run and I would map out my routes and do what my coach told me to do (usually run for time not distance).  This was also before the running boom in our area, so finding more 5Ks to run was hard.  I found another one a month later and an hour away.  


It was a TINY race and I somehow managed to eek out a 2nd place in my age group, thanks to it being so tiny.  I think my time was about 30 minutes, but I am not sure.  If I wasn't hooked before, I was majorly hooked now.  I quickly signed up for more races but again, before the boom had hit our area, so about once a month was all i could find in our area.  Believe me, active.com was my most searched webpage at the time.  Then I found out about a 10k in my own town.  WHAT????  My coach at the time wasn't keen on it, but I figured it wouldn't hurt to try.  


I loved this course and it is part of my regular running route now.  I don't mind running on gravel and did this first 10K in less than an hour.  


Then I found out I was preggers a few weeks later.  My first trimester was filled with all day sickness but my second trimester was much better.  I tried to run/walk with my hubby, as he was going through the couch to 5K at the time.  I did so until my belly got too big and uncomfortable to do so.  I ended up having a C-section with my son, so a much longer recovery time was needed.  As soon as the Dr said it was okay to get back to it, I was back out there.  NOTHING felt right though.  I struggled with injuries and just not feeling great.  I had had the runner's high but now I seemed that i couldn't find it anymore.  Each run was just a struggle-fest.  Then I met Doug at Body First thanks to some friends giving me a gift certificate.  He told me that I should give my body grace and that I needed to do strength training to get it back to where it once was.  I thought he was crazy, but found a boot camp class in my town that met 5 days a week at the gymnastics gym down the road.  Every morning, no matter what, I was there working out, getting everything back strong again. This is where i met Robin.  Robin and I shared the same goals for our fitness.  She wanted to do a 25k and i had decided that I wanted to train for a half.  We quickly decided we were very compatible training wise and that with the help of a coach, we could both train together with her doing her race a month before my race.  


I did my first 13.1 at the St. Louis Rock and Roll half marathon.  I am SO glad my running friends talked me into going out of town for my first half because I will always remember this trip!  It was my first big expo, my first big race, and our first big family vacation with a 1 year old.  I spent waaaay too much money at the Expo, but I still have the jacket in the picture and still wear it every single winter while I run.  I also met Another Mother Runner and Gypsy runner, both of which I still follow and buy products from.   From there I started running the Heartland Series (3 half marathons in 5 weeks) every year and then in 2015 the Chicago Marathon.  Then it was onwards and upwards with 50ks being my favorite new distance.  I can't wait to do more trail and ultra runs this year and hopefully get my first 50 mile buckle! Including the races I hope to do the rest of the year, I will have done 15 five Ks, 13 ten Ks, 22 half marathons, 4 twenty five Ks, 4 full marathons, 3 50Ks and then 1five miler, 1 two miler, and one 6 miler.  That's 64 races since I started in 2013!!!!  Kind of fun to look back!

Always remember it never gets easy but it does get easier so keep plugging at it and make it fun!!!