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Can we say cold? It had been dropping in temps all week. Cara, my running friend, and I ran a few times trying to figure out what we were going to wear for the CIM, as we were running in 27 degree temps and heard the morning of the CIM was going to be bone-chilling cold!! I’m glad I was able to practice in those temps and come up with the least amount, but enough clothing to keep me warm, but not too warm!!!

We left our home at 4:15 to pick up the girls and their husbands and my sweet little Allie, in Placerville. Praying that we would not slide off the road.

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We didn’t . . . but not exactly the before-the-race-calm moments that I needed!!

We picked up the shuttle bus in Folsom to take us to the start and actually timed it perfect to get on the last bus group going and we only waited about 10 minutes in the brrrrrr . . . cold before the race started!! Didn’t have a chance to visit my fav spot, those special porta-potties, but I knew I would see them again on the run.
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I took this picture right before the start of the race . . . and can we say – emotional moment!!! Amazing moment!! I was about to run my first marathon with my girls . . . doesn’t get much better than this . . . hence, the tears began . . .

To our surprise it was actually warmer at the start a nice warm 33 degrees, 8 degrees higher than expected!! Yay!!! Little did we know at that moment that the temps would drop as we ran, down into the 20’s. But . . . ignorance is bliss, right?!!! ūüôā

We lined up with the 4:55 pacer and after my (few-miles-in-and-the-lines-don’t-look-too-long) porta-potty stop, we ended up tracking right along with the 5:25 pacer. It was cold, but not unbearable. I tossed an old sweatshirt I was wearing about mile 6. The girls ended up passing some of their outer layers to their husbands along the way. It seemed like it warmed up a bit in the sun before the half-way point and then got colder with a bit of a north-wind the second half.
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Seeing my little Allie made me smile even bigger than I already was. We had a great cheering crew. Mike (my husband), Matt (Jenna’s husband) with sweetie Allie, Joey (Emmi’s husband), and Teri (Steve’s wife – Steve was running his first marathon ever with his two kids. They rocked their marathon). They should receive a medal of honor for standing in the cold to see us, take pics, cheer us on . . . they are the best!! Thank you!!! Thank you!!!

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The picture of all three of us was at the 20 mile point. I think a few of the smiles may be fake, not sure . . . ūüôā

It was always easier to smile when we saw our cheering team there for us.

For fueling, I have been using a product called UCAN – I love it!!! It is made from cornstarch and no sugar. It kept me at an even energy level with no highs and lows, which I experience with too much sugar. It surprised me that I needed to take it sooner than I expected. Not having run in such cold temps for that length of time before, I learned that my body needs more of everything . . . I must have been burning calories just trying to stay warm. At mile 22, I believe, I took a V-fuel, which is a gel, for that added boost I so desperately needed and at mile 23 I sucked on a strawberry-banana gel they were handing out . . . can’t recommend that flavor, but the effect was great!!!

Two very cool things: Deborah, who you have seen in previous blogs of mine, wasn’t running, but was CHP on duty at mile 11 or 12. It was so cool seeing her in uniform and hugging her. She even ran a few steps with me in all her heavy gear!!! I love you, Deb!! Thanks for working in the cold that day to keep us safe and give us hugs!!!

The next was Kari, another dear running friend, who showed up at mile 23. I knew she said to watch for the yellow sign, but honestly at that point I think I was in a daze of some sort . . . I remember looking to my left and seeing yellow and Vander Dussen on a sign and wondering who else was there with that name, when Kari came running up to me with the sign. I started crying . . . smiling . . . laughing . . . she ran with us for a mile!!! What a treat . . . what a gift . . . she was at the perfect place at the perfect time. Thank you, Kari, Alex, and Max for braving the cold to cheer us on!! You made a difference!! You kept my smile going!!!

We did lose sight of the 5:25 pacer, but Kari assured me he was just about a minute ahead. I looked at the girls with that look of ‘lets catch up’ and they gave me that look of . . . are you crazy?!!!!

I’m just amazed at how long and straight L Street is. It seemed like it just went on forever. I kept asking Jenna, who is familiar with downtown Sacramento, “Do we turn here, do we turn here?” and she patiently would respond, “No, mom, but soon”. . . she said that for what seemed forever!!! Jenna reminded me that as soon as we round the corner the finish line will be right there . . . it was . . . yep, the tears flowed again . . . we ran the last .2 side-by-side wearing shirts that said “Persevere” and we held hands and raised them as we crossed the finish line together. 5 hours, 25 minutes, and 54 seconds after we crossed the starting line we crossed the finish line. Okay, now I have tears again remembering that amazing moment!!

I received my CIM 26.2 medal around my neck and joined the wonderful group of marathon runners at that moment!!! I AM A MARATHONER!!

After any long run, I have to keep walking for at least 10 minutes. Mike had my UCAN recovery drink for me and walked with me, trying to find the sun to warm up. They also had a nicely spiced tomato soup with bread at the end. How perfect was that?!!!

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These girls bless me!!!
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What a beautiful spot to run to!!!
As you can see by the coats it is still pretty nippy outside . . . I think I am still thawing from that race. ūüôā

This was the perfect celebration for this season in my life, which God has given me. He has proven Himself faithful. He has gifted me with good times and bad times, but He has been with me every moment of every day in the midst of it all. God gave me this verse back in July 1981 and I have held it closely –

“Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy, to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen. ” Jude 24-25

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I love this pic . . . it says it all . . . It’s all for you, God!!

He has kept me from stumbling and He has kept me standing!!!

Through my race, I held close in my heart so many . . . remembering them . . . praying for them . . . trusting God’s plan for them . . .

I have many more thoughts and things to share about this amazing experience, which will wait, as I process that I have just run 26.2 miles and am a Marathoner!! Woohoo!!!

Patty ūüôā

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I’m very happy to report that I think I really did learn some lessons from my last, long, dehydrating run.¬†Miracles do still happen!! ūüôā

¬†On October 12th, I ran 20 miles!!! I not only ran 20 miles, but I felt great before, during, and after my run!! I was hydrating the days before with water and NUUN.¬†The day of the run I stuck to my MAF¬†for the first half – my daughters, Jenna and Emily, made sure of that!! ūüôā¬† They are training for the CIM also and were running 14 miles with me and then I would carry on for another 6 miles with the promise that I would stick to MAF until the last two miles then I could run as fast as my little heart desired.¬† I also made sure that I was drinking water every time I heard my running program notify me of another mile.¬† I fueled as necessary with gels and¬† drank my recovery drink after the run.¬†This, followed by a nice relaxing breakfast out with my girls, made a perfect Saturday morning.

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Emily, Me, Jenna – I love running with these girls!!!

Last Saturday, October 19th, I ran the Folsom Blues Half Marathon in Folsom.  It was the same basic course around Lake Natoma that I have been training on.  I ran with my friend, Debora, who I believe is still my friend even after I ran the race higher than my MAF, which meant higher than her MAF.

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Me and Debora (I’m holding Emily’s¬†coffee so she could take a pic – hmmm . . . a sip might have helped!!)

The temperature¬†began in the 50’s.¬†The sun was just peaking it’s head up over the skyline when the race started.¬† It was a perfect day for racing.

The race started out on roads, which were nice and wide and eventually funneled down to the bike trail, which was not nice and wide.¬† The weaving in and around others became like a puzzle of sorts.¬† In time it thinned out.¬†ūüôā

I knew I wasn’t going to run by MAF and tried to keep my heart rate 10-15 above MAF, which was doable most of the time.¬† It never fails at the end of the race, yards before the finish line, even if we are going uphill, Debora sprints to the end and, of course, I need to join her in that – huffing and puffing!! It wasn’t a PR for me, but it was a great indication that training by MAF has given me a good aerobic foundation to support my faster running and not feel like¬†I’m dying.¬† I’m glad that I have been adding one or two faster paced runs in each week.¬† I can see that I need to add more race pace runs to my training, as my hip flexor the last two miles was screaming at me, a new pain,¬†which¬†I don’t have with my slower running.¬† Foam rolling, after the run,¬†took care of that.

I am fascinated by my body and how it is learning to adapt to longer, slower, running and yet, also learning how to run shorter faster runs.  Am I weird?!!!

I love to hear how others fuel before, during, and after a run and how that affects them.  I love to try different ways of fueling for myself and then tweak when needed.

I am learning, although I think I already knew this, that I am very competitive . . . with myself!!! When I reach one goal, I set a new goal.¬† When I reach that goal, I set another¬†. . . why do I feel so compelled to strive for faster . . . why can’t I just be content¬†to run and enjoy?!!!

It is a battle of my mind – scary place to¬†be, trust me!! ūüôā

I am working on being content in my running . . . enjoying my running . . . being thankful that I have been gifted with the desire to run and to run for God . . . His glory . . . ultimately it is all for Him!!!

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Steve, Me, Debora

Finishing = Winning

My new motto – because it’s true!!!

Have a great week Рget a run in . . . you know you want to. 

Patty ūüôā

 

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I have been running using my heart rate as my guide for about a month now.  One word . . . SLOW!!!!!

After my diagnosis of Runner’s Ischemia I started running two days a week on non-consecutive days –¬† two weeks being¬†free of any ‘issue.’¬† I then upped the running to three days a week on non-consecutive days¬†with no problems.¬† My mileage was usually 8 – 10 miles a ¬†run.¬† I figured if I couldn’t run everyday I was going to get the most out of each run. ūüėČ

I ride my bicycle¬†and lift weights¬†on non-running days.¬† I’m loving the cross training!! It brings about a great balance to running, a much-needed balance.¬† I’m glad to get that balance back.

Along with running on non-consecutive days I started¬† MAF training¬†– essentially figuring out my aerobic heart rate using Phil Maffetone’s¬†formula of 18o minus your age, plus or minus¬†5-10 depending on your health and fitness level, the goal being that as one trains with their aerobic heart rate their body will learn to use fat as fuel and their pace will increase as their body becomes more efficient.¬† I started this training after reading this article on Miss Zippy’s Blog.¬† I read it after my diagnosis and I was ready to try anything to keep running – even running slower!!!

I took 180 minus 59 (I’m not there yet!!! But . . . almost!!) and added 5 extra for my fitness level.¬† This gave me an approximate aerobic heart rate of 126 bpm.¬† I was used to running between 134-145ish and sometimes higher.¬†My first run using 126 was agonizingly slow . . . . I had to walk at times to keep my heart rate at 126 or lower . . . so SLOW.¬† My first run was 2 minutes per mile slower.¬† Mentally, I had to let that go.¬† I had to let my ‘natural to me’ running pace¬†go – the pace I was comfortable with.¬† I learned that on warmer days my heart rate was higher just from the temperature and I had to go even SLOWER . . . On cooler days it has been amazing how much faster I can run at the same heart rate.

SUMMER = SLOW (for the moment, right?!?!)

It has been a month since I have been running according to my heart rate.  I have grown to appreciate it.  I can actually go farther on my runs and still feel great without as much fuel and without feeling exhausted after my run.  On June 6th, I ran 10 miles and my average pace was 11:48 min/mile, where before MAF training my average on the same run was 10 min/mile.  I was going to check how my training was going yesterday by running the same run, but it was so much warmer in the morning and my average pace was 12:17 min/mile with more walking involved just to keep my heart rate down.  I will have to wait until it is cooler or I go earlier in the morning to get a true test.

Once I got over myself and running slower, I have really come to appreciate it.¬† I have had¬†NO¬†issues with Runner’s Ischemia and I credit¬† running by heart rate and not running on consecutive days for that.¬†I have also been hydrating¬†better¬†the days before a run and after. I am so thankful!!

I am also thankful that I run with friends who are willing to continue to run with me in my slowness and sometimes even walking.

Since this has been working so well, next week I plan on adding one more run on a consecutive day . . . yikes!!! It will be a shorter run between 3-4 miles, but at my aerobic heart rate.¬† I plan on running long on Monday, shorter on Tuesday, rest on Wednesday, long on Thursday, rest on Friday, and long on Saturday.¬† If this works without ‘issue’ I will do the happy dance.¬† I will feel like the training for my first marathon in December will be possible and be fun!!!

With the warmer weather this is becoming my go to trail, being it is a bit higher in elevation and has great tree coverage providing much needed shade.

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Sly Park Lake – 3 miles from my house – blessed!!!!

I hope you are enjoying your summer and moving in any form that you choose.¬† Make sure to get out there and do something!!!¬†In the heat, that means earlier or later, but worth it!!! ūüôā

Thankful to a great God for His faithfulness in all areas of my life!!

Patty ūüôā

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Today is National Running Day and I wanted to run, of course!!! I’m a runner and I needed to celebrate today by running, of course!!¬† But . . . I chose to ride my bike trainer and lift weights in honor of the day, because¬† bottom-line – ¬†it’s all about moving in some form or another . . . and being thankful that I can.¬† Below is the story of my frustration with running at the moment.

I haven’t really been in the mood to blog about running much these days.¬† I am dealing with¬†an issue called Runner’s Ischemia of which¬†I will spare you the details.¬† I am listening to my doctor, not always easy for me, and not running on consecutive days.¬† Last week I ran on Monday around Sly Park Lake, a beautiful trail run of 8 miles and I ran around Lake Natoma, another favorite run of mine for 11 miles without incident.¬† Yay!!!!

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Sly Park Lake

After I got over my pouting and frustration with not running everyday and listening to a wise daughter, who helped me see the bright side and God’s side, I am much more at peace.

These past two weeks I have enjoyed cross training.¬† I’m riding my bike more and lifting weights again, something I haven’t taken the time to do for some time.¬† I’m relaxing about the fear of losing my gains in running pace and mileage.¬† I’ve had to question why I run? Why I still want to run? Why not just go back to my cardio workouts,¬†my bike riding, and my weight workouts?

The answer –

I love to run!!!

I love to be out in God’s creation.¬†

I love to smile at people on the trail, as I run. 

I love to run with others. 

I love to talk about running, about shoes, about cadence, about technique, about hydration and fuel, etc.

It makes me smile!!!!

There are a few things I will be working on to enable myself to continue to run and train for a 25k on Angel Island in August,  another half-marathon in October, and a marathon, my first, in December.

I will continue to run twice a week through next week.¬† I plan to then up my days to three times a week – 2 longer runs with one short run and see how it goes.¬† I am also planning on being more diligent in using my heart rate to monitor my running, especially as it is getting warmer for the summer, and not being as concerned about my pace.¬† On my off days, I will continue to ride my bike and lift heavier weights, which is a more balanced approached to my fitness (God has a way of getting me where I need to be cause He knows I won’t get there on my own!!). ¬†I’m hoping these changes will make me a stronger runner and my ‘issue’ will be no longer!!!

I am thankful for very supportive friends, who get the running thing . . .¬† ūüôā

I am thankful for a God, who is there with me each moment of each day and reminds me of what is really important and He knows my heart, He knows my passions, He knows I love to run . . .

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I will keep on moving forward in my running and with a great God, learning flexibility, which is NOT easy for me . . .  

Patty ūüôā

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It’s been such lovely weather here in the foothills of Northern California – perfect running weather, not too hot and not to cold – happy for me!!!

Today it is a rainy day.

I had a choice to make – to run or not to run . . .

I still have my goal of 30 miles a week . . .¬† I had planned every run and knew I needed to get my 5 miles in today or, heaven forbid, I run under the allotted mileage.¬† Do I have a problem . . . possibly.¬† ūüôā

It stopped raining and I thought I had my opportunity, got all dressed in long tights, a couple of layers just in case it started raining and looked outside and, yes, it was raining again.¬† I made the choice to run anyway.¬†¬†Put my windbreaker on, which will keep me a bit dryer,¬†put my hat on and out the door I went.¬† It was just sprinkling and I actually enjoyed the freshness of the cool air.¬† It started raining much harder as I ran . . . but I didn’t care . . . I was already wet and I was outside and I was running!!

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Rain does create obstacles to run around through!!

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oops!!

God just seems to lighten my heart when I get out in His creation and exert myself . . . whether it be running or biking or hiking . . . just plain moving is all it takes.

I was reminded of the different seasons in my life that have been difficult to walk through, yet God was always there.

I was reminded of how my view in the midst of the difficult season was clouded,  with emotions running wild, not seeing clearly . . .  

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. . . kind of like this . . .

The rain blocks us from seeing clearly . . . can you tell what I’m looking at in the above picture?

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But look . . . I can see clearly!!!

The cool thing is that God sees the whole picture of our lives clearly!!

He knows the beginning, the middle, and the end . . . He is always right there with me in the midst of my unclearness, my rain, my difficulty . . .

I realized I can run in the rain (through difficulties) much easier when I remember . . .

. . . the faithfulness of God in my life in the midst of the rain 

. . .¬†the times He held me up when I couldn’t stand

. . . when He surrounded me with friends that loved me in the midst of the rain 

In remembering . . . I have strength to go forward and ‘run in the rain’ with a great God who never leaves me and has never forsaken me.

As I write this, my heart is heavy for those who are in the midst of rainy – difficult, impossible, heart-wrenching –¬†times.¬†

My prayer is that they, as well as all of us, have  grace for this moment in time that God has given each one of us.  Grace to take the next step, trusting in the One who knows it all.  Grace to remember all that God has done in their/our past and is doing and will do.

Philippians 4:14 “I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.”

I’m learning to run in the rain . . . and enjoying the journey

Patty ūüôā

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I loved this definition of a runner, so true – You Just Run . . .

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This post is different than originally planned. I didn’t have time to post yesterday what was on my mind. It had to do with a new running skirt and running faster . .¬† but life, with great sorrow at one end and great joy at¬†the other,¬†now take precedence in my mind.

Yesterday – I was reminiscing about what helped make me run faster (the fastest ever in my entire life).

Was it the new running skirt?

Was it the fresh air and the bright blue sky?

Was it the variety of people out doing good things for their bodies?

Was it being lost in prayer for those losing loved ones?

Was it praying for those needing a miraculous healing from cancer?

Was it praying for families to stay strong and stay together?

Was it praying that I can live this day and every day for you, Lord?

 

Whatever the cause of my running  faster was . . .

 I am thankful to a Great God who knows the beginning , the middle, and the end

–¬† I am thankful for¬†a God who is always good and always faithful.

Р I am thankful that He never leaves me or forsakes me.

 I am thankful that He has given me a fighting spirit to pray!!

That was yesterday.

Early this morning – one of my prayers was answered – a loved one was privileged to go home and be with the Lord, such a reunion, such a peace – praying for his dear wife, family, and friends left behind.

Early this same morning – a new life was brought into this world, a beautiful healthy baby boy to a loving, caring family. Such joy, such excitement.

Two events; ordained by a loving, caring, always good and faithful God.

He knows the plans that He has for each one of us and He knows the time of birth and the time of death. There are no surprises to Him, after all, He is the creator of the universe and His ways are not our ways. He can be trusted. I am so thankful that He has it  He is in control of all.

As to running . . . I’m thankful for this¬†gift of running God has given me.¬† I love the time spent running with Him in His creation, praying – fighting on behalf of others and myself, and learning to listen and hear the heart of God.

One more 3 mile run on Wednesday and a 2 mile walk on Thursday then the big half-marathon on Sunday of 13.1 miles!!!

Filled with sadness and yet a joy that is only found in the Lord,

Patty ūüôā

 

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