Wednesday, September 2, 2015

... Running Recap Week 13 ...

Week 13 was an important week in my Marathon Training. The dreaded 20 miler was on the agenda.

I planned to meet my friend Molly on Sunday for my first 20 miler ever after a very emotionally/trying/wonderful week with my brother. He is doing awesome and I am grateful and thankful.

My brother started running after he saw me running, and running is responsible for him going forward with further testing. You see, my brother's heart is strong and healthy, thankfully, so when his running was labored he decided to do a stress test, which with a healthy heart did not indicate any problem.

He continued to run and feel tired very early during his runs, he continued to feel the weird sensation in his arm and therefore insisted on further testing. Which he did, and this is where they found 3 arteries blocked.

He was under the best care, in the best facility and with the best doctor. He was a star patient and everything went beautifully. Again, I am thankful.

I managed to keep up with my training despite spending my days at the hospital and the altitude of Bogota.

I arrived back to Charlotte almost at midnight and almost didn't make it to my 5K race. I was tired and sleepy, fortunately I did arrive and ran the race, AND loved it! I missed being 3rd in Age Group for 20 seconds. I was upset! (Not really, but it would have been nice to have won).

I was busy all afternoon and headed to a surprise party. So basically I did everything I wasn't supposed to do the day before a 20 miler.

Went to bed late. Check.

Ate late. Check.

Ate wrong things. Check.

Had fun. Double Check.

Sunday came sooner than expected. But as coordinated, I headed over to Molly's house and ran 4 by myself and finished the final 16 with Molly.

I felt strong throughout my run. We did walk some due to some challenging hills. I ended my run happy. I actually had a glimpse of what a marathon distance feels like.

Running Recap -

Tuesday - 5 miles

Wednesday - 8 miles. 8 hilly miles.

Thursday - 5 slow miles.

Saturday - Greekfest 5K

Sunday - My first 20 miler!!!

Thankful for the support of my friends and the running community.

Happy running!

... a dopo ... J

... Running Recap Week 12 ...

Well here I am two thirds of the training are now complete.

Thoughts on training for a marathon.

  1. It's hard.
  2. It's hard.
  3. It's rewarding.
  4. It's tough.

At this point even with my good runs it seems impossible. There are times that even my not,al pace seems unobtainable.


I keep asking others around me and they seems to be coping better and training stronger than I am. I am very good at looking only at my race and my pace, but marathon training has taken me for a loop. Always one to be inspired by others, now makes me feel defeated.


Thankfully I've had a few good runs and that for a while manages to give me strength and hope and even elation.


I have always been one to push through. Now at times my mind takes the best of me.


But I am keeping at it. No matter what the days and my mind bring.


This week was a three race weeks so there were only two days of running


Tuesday - 4 miles


Wednesday - 6 miles


Saturday - 10K in the morning. OrthoCarolina 10K - very hilly and very enjoyable course. I didn't feel strong, which is always hard for me to take. I had nothing to give at the finish line. Actually it seemed to get further and further. 30 second PR. Missed placing by three seconds.


Alien 13.1 - night race. Very hard and hilly course. Aside from a downhill at mile 8, it was always either a constant low grade uphill that your quads and gluteus felt every step or a steep hill. Loved the course, after running with tired legs I was happy of my result! Third in age group. Too bad they didn't give awards 3 deep because the mugs were great!!!


Hotlanta - I skipped this one so my three race challenge was not completed. I am on a plane as I write this weekly recap. I am on my way to see my brother and be with him as he faces triple bypass surgery.


Though I didn't get to test my endurance I could feel any happier or relieved that I'm on my way to see him. Family is everything to me and my siblings are unreal. They have ALWAYS been there for me and I hope that my presence can help relieve some pressure on this very stressful week.


All through my half last night I kept thinking of my brother, even though this surgery has a 98% success rate I am nervous and scared and can't imagine what my brother is feeling.


Treasure your family always ... a dopo ... J




Monday, August 17, 2015

... Running Recap Weeks 8, 9, 10, 11 ...

I cannot believe I am 4 weeks behind in my recap … training for a Marathon is serious stuff ...

I will only take you through the highlights and lowlights of these weeks so that we can get all caught up.

Week 8 –

Low very lowlight – My first 15 miler. I was feeling excited about this run as it was going to be my longest distance to date. I decided I was going to go at it solo for in my heart I know it could either be great or it could be horrible. As my luck would have it … it was the latter.

I set out much later than I thought. The humidity was at 97%. My Tailwind was hot a minute into my run. I was ready to give up. I tried going to the annual Booty Loop ride, (event that raises money for Cancer research), to see if I could get my mind into it. I decided to run my last mile in laps around the soccer field near my house. It was unbearable. I just thought I would not be able to finish my first 15 miler, let alone 26.2 miles.

Total miles – 33.26

Week 9 –

Lowlight - I was pretty much defeated for many days after my 15 miler, why were all the first timers like me, nervous but loving it. I actually continued to feel defeated. I even did a fun no pressure half on Saturday and still my feelings persisted. There was no pace to be conquered, no placings to obtain, and yet I just could not handle that race. (Side note - There was donut eating at the half way point – oh … note – first time having glazed donuts, first time trying Krispy Kreme! – yes, last time for both!)

I spoke to a few of my close running friends and expressed my frustration.

They were all very supportive and after nitpicking that run and the week that followed, came to the following list of mistakes –

1. Had a horrible dinner the night before

2. Went to bed late the night before

3. Set out on this run alone – for first time distances should be run with friends

4. Set out to late – humidity and heat – key factors

5. Did not fuel – my body needed calories

6. Felt anemic – low energy – KEY FACTOR

Total mileage – 27.11

Week 10 -

I planned to run the 17 miler with my friend Stephen. I really enjoy running with Stephen, he is very fast, however always happy to oblige to how others are feeling that day or what they are wanting or willing to do.

My Achilles pain still lingers here and there, however at least now I have good days here and there.

Stephen and I met at Davidson. I just could not run in familiar streets as the memory of the route made me anxious.

Stephen was already waiting for me, I on the other had arrived 10 minutes late.

We started and ran through a beautiful hilly Davidson, at a great pace for a long run. This run was so important for me as I pushed myself and succeeded. It restored my faith that maybe I can do this whole marathon thing.

I really owe a lot to Stephen’s patience. How wonderful it is to have this network of friends that are there to support you and help you get out the games the mind plays while your body is trying to move.

Total Mileage – 46.15 (Highest week ever!)

Week 11 –

The elation continued through the following days, and I actually was surprised that my body acted so well. I still have lingering Achilles problems and that always makes my training interesting.

This was my daughter’s last week of summer and Friday she headed back as a sophomore in college.

I stayed home and cleaned until 2:30 AM, the thought of a dirty messy house is too much for my existence. Sounds melodramatic, but it is true!

Saturday I was supposed to run 8 miles, but skipped all but one and headed to Wilmington. Straight from the 4 hour drive to sign the lease, to clean, to organize. We had dinner at 9ish and went to bed at midnight. I could hardly move.

I was supposed to get up and run at 7AM on Sunday, but that didn’t happen. Perhaps my text to Stephen will describe my run better.

Here it is -

OK .. brace yourself … here is the long recap of my run today.

Went to bed as you know around midnight … exhausted … alarm is set for 6:30 as my plan is to leave by 7.

At 5:00 AM I am woken up by a sharp pain in my calf, otherwise known as cramp, otherwise known as Charley Horse. I thought I would wake up the building with my scream.

Pain subsides, somewhat, I try to go back to sleep without success. At this point I really think about skipping the long run. I’m glad I didn’t even though it feels like I had valid reasons.

At 7 – I start getting ready thinking to myself I’ll start at 7:30, not too bad… suddenly my daughter wakes up and asks me to wait for her so that we can run at least her 6 together.

We are going really slow … exhausted from the day before and she is pretty sore from her stadium stair workout.

At mile two I have to call upon her abilities as future Athletic Trainer, my calf is sooo sore, not tight, sore as if it were bruised from the cramp. I felt my calf all through the 18 miles. Not fun.

And here it begins … thoughts of the run as narrated by J’s mind.

Mile 1 – I’m so glad Tittina is sore, I’ll blame our pace on her pain.

Mile 2 – My calf is H U R T I N G – thank Gd for my own personal massage therapist. A runner looks at us funny as my daughter continues to massage me in the middle of the road.

Mile 3 – Why to the first 3 miles always feel so hard? I think.

Mile 4 – almost 6 miles

Mile 5 – this is taking so long ...

Mile 6 – Tittina is done … can I come with you, 6 is better than nothing, right. Oh. Stop.

Mile 7 – 1/3 done

Mile 8 – so pretty to run here

Mile 9 – oh look trails

Mile 9ish – running on sand to get to the trails – what!

Mile 10 – it feels so nice under these trees, why is the trail so short!

Mile 11 – Oh hello, sir, again … who says … how long are you running? He asks, 18 I reply … Wow!, he answered … Big smile I feel proud

Mile 11ish – shoot I told the guy I was running 18 so now I really have to … I don’t want to be a liar!

Mile 12 – only 6 more to go

Mile 12ish – Mile on the track! Why is it so hot!!! I am feeling my hydration pack … chafing in process as we speak! Stop and adjust the straps. Naahhh... Too much energy to do so. Think to myself. You are going to regret it!

Mile 13 – If I run 3 miles to the left and then come back … I would be almost at the apartment.

Mile 14 – No more sidewalks!!! Go back. New plan.

Mile 15 – I’m running so slow, but this feels so much better than my first 15!

Mile 16 – I’m going to have to tell Stephen that I ran about 1 minute slower than when we ran … sigh …. My calf! Only 2 miles to all the water I can handle! I’m so thirsty! My calf!

Mile 17 – Oh NOOO ... she did not pass me! Show off. Well, she is 18! If I was running my normal pace I would be ahead of her. She is probably just running 3 miles. My calf. Almost done.

Mile 18 – It’s over! I mean I’m done!

So happy, even if I was really slow! I'm worried. And oh, so chafed ..


I swear I should run write a book with all the crazy thoughts that go through my mind during a run.

I am trying to be kinder – in pain and with little sleep I took the run as it came, with its pace and all. I was thankful and felt strong amidst my problems and pains.

Total Mileage - 35.95

We are all caught up now … hope week number 12 is one to remember … a dopo … J