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I am remiss in writing a post these last couple of weeks, partly due to total frustration with my long run of a little over a week ago.  Thankfully, time has gone by and I have had a chance to get over it and hopefully learn from my mistakes and move on to more enjoyable long runs, as I am training for my first marathon and venturing into the unknown.

As I look back, many things were out of the ordinary for my 18 mile run a couple of Sundays ago.  I started later in the afternoon, around 2:00, which meant it was much warmer.  I was not adequately fueled before my run.  I had actually planned on running by MAF, which I have been doing for all of my long runs.  Today, though, I was thinking and talking with, Cara, about my goals for my marathon pace and what was possible.  The run started downhill and I just ran a natural pace, not fast, but about 10 above MAF.  It felt good and I ended up running the whole 18 miles between 10-20 above MAF.  Under different circumstances and if I was prepared that probably would have been a great idea, but today . . . not so good!! 😦

Things that didn’t go right . . .

1.  I didn’t fuel properly before a faster-paced run.

2.  I didn’t fuel enough during the longer run . . . that was faster than planned.

3.  It was warmer than I thought outside and I wasn’t drinking enough . . . resulting in dehydration.

4.  My heart rate didn’t go back down when I slowed to a very slow pace, indicating dehydration.

5.  When I slowed to walk up the last hill, I was so nauseous I was sure I was going to throw up – another indication of dehydration.

At the end, I ended up having to sit down I felt so faint and eventually lying down for a bit on the ground.  As I was lying there feeling oh so sick, I really wondered what the heck I was doing training for a marathon.  What was I thinking?!!!! I made it home, only to finally throw up.  It was reminiscent of an earlier 11 mile run, a couple of years ago, when I felt the same way and it was from dehydration.  The scary part, to me, is that I had my hydration pack on filled with water and NUUN (electrolyte replacement) and was sipping it along the entire run, but when I looked at what was left, only half was gone.

Things I learned . . . hopefully!!!

1. To fuel correctly for the run.

2.  My long runs are meant to be run at a slower pace for the most part, maybe the last 4 – 6 at a faster pace in preparation for the marathon.

3.  Hydrate – purposefully drinking, even if I don’t want to, while running.

4. Pay attention to my heart rate if I am slowing and my heart rate isn’t dropping there is a problem.

5. Carry salt tablets with me and be aware of the heat.

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Me, Amy(first time rockin’ a half-marathoner), Lhia(my new running friend), and Debora

The good news is that I ran the Urban Cow Half Marathon with friends this past Sunday!!

What a refreshing 13.1 miles with Debora and Amy and my new friend, Lhia (a co-worker of Amy’s).  It was so much fun to run along side Amy, who was running her first half marathon!! The Urban Cow was my first ever half marathon last year, so I knew how she was feeling towards the end and the push to keep going through the pain.  It was a push towards the end, but she pushed through and totally rocked the race.

It was a refreshing and encouraging run for me after my previous run!!   I ran by  MAF  the entire distance and I felt most wonderful. I made sure I was hydrating.  The temps were much cooler!!  I realized how far I had come since running this race last year.  I had continued running and trying to run a few longer runs each month.  I have become a stronger runner through continued training and have come to a point of great enjoyment, for the most part, when I run.  The result of that training, was being able to run a very difficult race last year and feeling relaxed and enjoying every moment of the race this year.  Yay for running!!

I guess all this to say there are bad runs and good runs, but really – they are all GOOD!!! I’m out moving and doing good for my body and learning all the time what my body is telling me.  I’m learning to read it better.

As always, I am thankful to an amazing God, who has made this amazing body that I live in and is capable of so much more than I ever thought it could be.  I’m thankful that He is always with me and is always teaching me and that He loves me more than I will ever be able to grasp.  I’m thankful that He has gifted me with the ability to run and to enjoy the run.  I am thankful for all of the friends He has brought into my life through running.  I’m looking forward to meeting many more.

Enjoy your week – get a run in!!

Patty 🙂

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It was an early start that morning, meeting up with Kelly and Cara for the drive to Tiburon at 4:45am!!!

We could see the fog rolling over the hills, as we were driving down . . . hmmmm . . . how far inland was the fog?!!!

We got down to Tiburon, parked, and waited for the ferry to take us across to Angel Island.  There were 434 people racing – 336 ran the 12k, once around the island and 98 ran the 25k.  We were looking forward to cool temps after so many hot summer runs, but we actually were freezing, teeth-chattering, hands-shaking cold!!! Brrrrr . . .

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Me, Kelly, and Cara . . . freezing!!!

The race started around 9:30 after two loads of people were brought across the bay by ferry.  I was looking forward to my first trail race and getting warm!!!

Off we went up . . . up . . . up . . . a little down . . . up  . . . up . . . . around . . . down . . . down . . . down  . . .  turn around and repeat!!!

The fog was burning off slowly, but surely.  I had decisions to make – was I running by MAF or running a race? With so much steady uphill and my heart rate already over 136, I made the decision to just run and enjoy.  I did keep an eye on my heart rate, but not trying to keep it at my MAF rate, which would be 126.  I ran the race between 136 and 150.  I felt great, the temperature was perfect, and the elevation decrease a bonus.

It was definitely different running single file on a trail.  At times the trail would widen, but mostly single file.  I tried to be aware when others wanted to pass me and I would run as far right as possible or at times I just slowed and moved off the trail.  I found that I just had to run and let others work around me.  What became even more hectic for me was when there were runners behind me and the 25k’s running back up for the second time around passing me, as well as random hikers here and there.

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Golden Gate Bridge

The views were amazing!! I didn’t take pictures the first time around.  The second time around it was pretty much just me and the trail and I loved it!! There were people a ways in front of me and a ways in back of me.  I didn’t feel any pressure.  I could just run my race in God’s amazing creation!!

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Looking toward SF with Alcatraz in-between

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Golden Gate Bridge, again!

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Looking down into the bay and Tiburon

I loved running down the final long hill!!   It’s kind of like being a kid again . . . running free . . . filled with joy!!  At the same time, watching carefully all those rocks in the trail because I’m not a kid again and I didn’t want to fall . . .

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And . . . I finished!!

It was a total climb of about 2000 feet!!! My quads and calves were talking to me when all was said and done.

My time was 2:56, which is a PR for me, as this was my first 25k!!

I came in 2nd for my age group!! Okay . . . I must confess . . . there were only two in my age group!!! 🙂

Would I do this again? Absolutely!!! I loved it!!!!

I wasn’t sore on the days following the race, which helped me to see that I could have given more.  Good information for next time.

What’s next? I have two half marathons coming up in October and tonight I printed out blank calendar sheets for laying out my marathon training!! I’m getting excited, overwhelmed, nervous, excited, ‘what-the-heck-did-I-sign-myself-up-for’ – I will just say, a myriad of feelings flow through me at any moment of my thinking process for the upcoming CIM in December.

When this happens, I just need to sit quietly with a great God, who is the one that gave me this body and the desire to run.  I pray I can learn more and more how to rest in Him and trust Him for all I will need to do in this journey of running and in this journey of life.  There are so many lessons to be learned in both . . . they go hand-in-hand.

Thankful . . .

Patty 🙂

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When one is MAF training, which equals SLOW especially in heat, it is a gift to run at a lower elevation and in a nice overcast 56 degree temp!! A gift!!!

But . . . the biggest gift of going to San Francisco was to celebrate our 38th wedding anniversary!!

We each had a day that we planned what we wanted to do.  Obviously, if you know me, running was a must to be included in my day of choice.  🙂

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It began with a lovely windy walk across the Golden Gate Bridge.  Having come from 101 degree temps it was delightful!!!

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Once across we headed to Crissy Field and I ran and ran!!

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I ran from the Warming Huts to the Marina and back several times

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It was a gift to run in such cool temps, which kept my heart rate lower, which allowed me to run a quicker pace – a pace I missed running!!!

The views were refreshingly beautiful, as I ran my heart out!! There was a bit of a headwind running back in the direction of the bridge, which caused my pace to slow, as my heart rate increased.  I was too happy to care.  I was running in San Francisco, a location I had dreamed of running for quite some time.  I ran four heavenly miles enjoying the people, the scenery, my heart rate, my pace, the fact that God has gifted us with these amazingly made bodies that can run, thankful for the 38 years with Mike and looking forward to many more. 

The next day was Mike’s day.  He picked Point Reyes and a lovely hike out to the ocean.  Perfect choice!!! Again, very nice weather,  overcast, but not foggy!!!

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Ooops!! Yes, this was his day, but it was so beautiful and I just ran for a moment . . . in such lush surroundings, just for a moment . . . 🙂

It was a wonderful relaxing, yet exercising-in-some-way-each-day getaway for Mike and I.  So thankful . . .

Good news to report on my running scene . . .

I ran 4 days this week, done correctly. Are you reading this, Jenna, done correctly!! 🙂 

I ran on Monday, shorter run on Tuesday, rest on Wednesday, run on Thursday, rest on Friday, and long run around Lake Natoma today – all without ‘issue’ (Runner’s Ischemia)!!! That’s worthy of a celebration!!!  It looks like four days of training per week will make running the CIM not only doable, but enjoyable and will result in me having a blast running my first marathon.  Can you see that I’m giving myself a pep talk, as I write here.  🙂

My next race is coming up on August 3rd. 

It is a 25K trail race around Angel Island (run around it twice).  I am looking forward to running down at a lower elevation again in cooler temps with great company.  It’s an adventure!!!

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See Angel Island in the distance . . . do you notice any hills?!!!

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Just one more pic of one of my favorite places.

Again, I end this with a thankful heart to a great God, who has always been with me every step of my life whether I acknowledged Him or not.  He has been faithful, oh so faithful!

Patty 🙂

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This week has been a great week of running . . . although, in very hot temps.

I ran 8 miles on Monday morning with a young friend, who runs track in school.  She is used to shorter – faster runs.  This was a stretch for her running a longer – slower run.  I am still MAF training – using my heart rate, keeping it aerobic, which means slow and even slower in hot weather running.  She did great and was fun company. 

This week, I was going to try 2 runs on consecutive days, a first for me in over a month.  I ran 4 slow miles on Tuesday and felt great with no issue with Runner’s Ischemia.  Yay!!! It was a beyond happiness moment for me.

Don’t judge me on what I am about to tell you, I already received a scolding from Jenna, my daughter!!!

I was supposed to wait and not run until Thursday, but I had an opportunity and the only opportunity to run with my running friend, Cara, on Wednesday.  Due to our schedules, we haven’t been able to run together for a couple of weeks and I really missed running with her and wanted to hear all about her husband’s Western States run.  (BTW – He did amazing!!!) 

Totally logical, right?!!?!!

Well . . . at the moment it was totally worth it.  We ran 6.6 very warm miles with my heart rate monitor not working correctly.  It was reading way too low for the temp and the hills we were running.  I had to go by feel.  I felt great the whole run and thoroughly enjoyed my time with Cara. 

It wasn’t until I got back to the office that I had an issue with Runner’s Ischemia.  😦

I spiraled downward from my euphoria of the previous day.  It had been over a month since this had happened.  I had to work through the emotions of ‘why can’t my body handle running like other’s can?’

I inwardly knew I was pushing it, but went ahead anyway. 

Part of me really felt by lowering my heart rate that would solve my ‘issue’. 

 I could blame it on the heat, or maybe I was running faster since my heart rate monitor was reading incorrectly . . . but bottom-line it was my own doing . . . my plan had been two consecutive days, not three.

I’ve kicked myself around enough . . . it’s time to get up and get over it . . . I made a mistake, but running goes on . . . it is not the end of my running world, it is a lesson learned . . . (hopefully!!)

If I want to be a runner, a happy runner, with enjoyable runs I need to continue steadily moving forward . . . wisely!!!

Just like my walk with God . . . it’s a steady moving forward with many ups and downs, but moving forward . . . always learning . . . failing at times . . . not liking circumstances at times . . . but always moving forward in God’s strength, His love, His grace, His guidance.  I am very thankful that He never gives up on me and enables me to get up and over the next hill in my walk of life.

Sooooo . . . today, Saturday, I just finished a beautiful, cooler temp run (since I went at 6:30am) around my favorite lake trail.

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Me and Debora on Em’s Bench

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Beautiful View from Em’s Bench

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One of my favorite sections of this trail.

Today, I ran in cooler temps, with a dear friend, with no ‘issue’.  I  will NOT run tomorrow.  Next week I am only running on Monday and Tuesday. 

Running is an adventure, much like my walk with God.  I’m thankful He is in the midst of it all!!! He gives me the strength I need to do all things and hang in there.

Very thankful!!

Patty 🙂

 

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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 . . .  🙂

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 🙂

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Here’s a recap of May 4th – a fun, fantastic, fueled-correctly day to run my second half marathon.

I  laid everything out the day before.  Seriously, I am more organized with my running clothes and nutrition than I am when we pack for vacations!!! 🙂

Nourishment for running

I had checked and rechecked the clothes I would be running in, made sure my iPhone was charged, had my heart rate monitor in my bag, along with extra clothes, extra nutrition, extra Nuun (electrolytes), extra gels – after all I am a mom, right?!!! So really all I had to do was get up at 4:00 AM and make breakfast to eat on the road and get dressed and off we went to pick up Debora, Amanda, Emmi, and Kari.  Mike, my husband, was wonderful and was our chauffeur for the day.

We arrived and used the port-a-potties, but there is just something that makes you have to use them again before the race . . . nerves . . .

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Amanda, Kari, Me, Debora, and Emily before the race

The race started at 7:45 . . . and we were off . . . woohoo!!!

This being only my second race ever . . . I freely allowed myself to move along with my adrenaline leading me well . . . meaning probably went out too fast!!

Debora and I had trained together so we ran together.  I started the race very refreshed and ready to run after tapering my runs the past week and allowing my muscles to rest.  Debora, being the wonderful mom that she is, started the run already tired from being on a school trip to Yosemite with her daughter and taking some great long, steep hikes!!! She gets an A-plus for being the best mom!!!!

We had already decided that we were going to run together, stop (if needed) together, cry together, finish together . . . we were in this together!!!

She was amazing for being as tired as she was.  I must admit when she said she felt like she was ‘hitting the wall’ at mile 8, I thought, “No, surely not, this is way too soon,” forgetting that she started the run tired.  But what a trooper – she just kept moving forward.

I had a goal in mind, but my main goal was to PR.  My first half marathon I ran in 2:15 so I knew I wanted to run faster than that.  I knew we could do it.  Debora and I ran together – I enjoyed it and I think Debora would say she endured it!! 🙂

We crossed the finish line together both of us getting a PR!!!

I ran it in 2:13 . . . yay, a 2 minute PR for me . . . 🙂

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Yay, we all finished!!! We are all winners!!!!

This half marathon was a totally different experience from my first one. I struggled during my first one, by mile 10 I was done and just counting the ever so slow miles as they went by, not feeling well when I finished.

This run I felt strong the whole distance and I really needed that boost.  As a runner, there are good, bad, and just downright ugly runs.  When you have too many bad runs it is most discouraging.  I went into this race with a few too many discouraging runs and wondering why I am running.  I am here to tell you it only takes one good, strong, happy, energetic, butt-kicking run to remind one why they run!! 🙂

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After the race . . . ahhhhhhh!!

As I look back at my race, I am thankful –

Thankful to my long run friend, Debora, who got me through some difficult runs.

Thankful that we had the time to put into training, which made all the difference for this race.

Thankful for friends that I run with.

Thankful for the running community – such a great group of folks that are a bit crazy . . . about running!!

Thankful that I can run.

Thankful for this amazing body God has gifted me with!!

I am resting, mostly, this week and trying to be wise with my running, which doesn’t come easily for me.

I am signed up for two more races this year – Folsom Blues Breakout 13.1 and the California International Marathon (CIM)

At this moment, I feel ready and excited to train for them and that they are doable . . . ask me in a couple of months and I might feel different, but for today I bask in a great half marathon and will cling to that for some time.

As always, I’m thankful for a God who is always with me, is ever faithful and always good!!!

Patty 🙂

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I have been very relaxed and thoroughly looking forward to running the Parkway Half Marathon.  I trained with my friend, Debora.  We ran on our own during the week and ran our long runs on either a Friday or Saturday.  We learned so much from them.  One day I would have a bad run and then the next would be Debora.  We had plenty of time to discuss our ‘issues’ and trying different ways to avert the ‘issues’ on our next long run. The issues range from hydrating to fueling to foam rolling our muscles to cadence to pace to breathing to compression socks to digestion issues to TMI issues . . . 🙂

Trust me when you run 15 miles with a friend you can cover a myriad of topics.

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Me and Debora after our 15 miler 🙂

I’ve learned that for less than 10 miles I only need to hydrate – no fuel.  When I run 10 – 15 miles I need to hydrate with fuel added.  I use a product called Fluid Performance, which has electrolytes and carbs in it.  That seems to be enough for me.  I take a gel along just in case, more for security – I haven’t had to use  it.  Things may change once I start doing longer runs for my marathon training.

I learned when I am done with my long run I need to drink something right away. I drink Fluid Recovery, which has protein and carbs for muscle recovery, as I walk around for about 10 minutes.  Then I can stretch.  Debora and I have had many conversations about what’s best for each of us and our guts during this running process.

So I have trained . . . I have done weight work for my legs, my core, and my upper body . . . I have read many running blogs . . . I have worked on my nutrition – upping my carbs when getting ready for a longer run . . .

So . . .

Why, after rereading the race schedule, reviewing the race map (Debora and I already ran the path, mostly), figuring out parking, going to pick up our race bibs today . . . why am I so uptight (nervous, anxious) at this moment??

In my mind I’m thinking . . . “Really, Patty, why did you sign up for this race and the two others you are signed up for? Why can’t you just run your short miles, your longer miles, your really long runs and just be happy with that? Why race?”

I can’t answer that!!!!

I don’t even know if I like running anymore . . . I don’t even know why I run . . .  

I THINK I NEED HELP!!!!

I would go out for a run right now to clear my mind, but this week has been my taper week, lower mileage week, and today most definitely is my rest day before the race tomorrow.

From everything I have read, this is a very normal feeling.  Well . . . honestly . . . I don’t like it!! No, not one bit.  Hence, I am writing today and getting this out, if it can’t be on a run it will have to be here.

This is what I can/will do today –

– Remind myself of all the training I have done. I am ready.

– Remind myself why I am running . . . what it has done for me . . . the closeness I feel with God, as I run

– Remind myself it will be a time to be around others with the same passion for running that I have . . . a time to be encouraged and a time to encourage

– Remind myself that I am running with a good friend, Debora, who has listened to me go on and on about whatever, who has encouraged me, who has waited for me (bathroom stops) patiently with a smile

– Remind myself that it is not all about me . . . it’s an opportunity to celebrate my love for running with a bunch of other runners . . . and run for Him!!!

Okay . . . if you have gotten this far, thank you!!! I feel much better.  I have a little more perspective . . . still shaking a little . . . 🙂

I have a goal time that I would love to hit . . . we will see . . . I’ll keep you posted.

I’m thankful for a God who knows my weaknesses and He loves me in the midst of them. 

I’m thankful that He has given me the ability to run . . .

Tomorrow I run for Him with a smile on my face . . .

Patty 🙂

PS – I just remembered . . . this is my do-over race . . . ’cause I never got to do it last year due to a broken foot while training for it . . . and I get to run it this year with my daughter, Emily, and some other great friends!!! Woohoo!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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