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Posts Tagged ‘half marathon’

Sunday, November 10th . . . . a fantastic day for a half-marathon!!

The temps had been running cooler in the mornings, but this day was a bit warmer, actually warm enough to toss the arm sleeves aside and run in my short sleeve top and skirt.  Loved it!!

This was a nice FLAT course.  I don’t believe I have run on anything this flat for 13.1 miles.  Debora and I had a great start, middle, and end to this run – not getting a PR but close, we were only 4 seconds behind our best time.  We were happy with that.  This is definitely a race I will run again.  It was  a smaller race.  It was flat, I think I’ve mentioned that :).  It was beautiful.  People were very friendly.  The only thing I would change is the starting time.  The race didn’t start until 9:00, hence, it was a warmer start.  I like to just get up in the morning and get to it, as I don’t eat before my runs/races.

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We got to run through many vineyards . . . fall colors . . . and flat 🙂

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Kaylie wearing purple dress, black blouse.

Debora and I crossing the finish line – together!!!

This picture means so much to me!! So many thoughts cross my mind when I remember that moment and what it meant. More on that in a future blog.

At the end of every race I have run with Debora, when she sees that finish line she takes off in a sprint.  Of course, this means I have to start sprinting to the end, too, right?!!! It amazes me how Debora can just take off with such energy at the end of a race . . . I tried to keep up with her, but I am just not as fast as she is in this whole sprinting thing . . . so, as we are sprinting in and I’m falling behind, she refuses to cross the finish line without me . . . she turns . . .  slows . . .  grabs my hand  . . . and we cross the finish line together . . . holding hands!!!! That, my friends, is a true running friend.  Thank you, Debora!!!

The half-marathon was a nice little break between my long runs in prep for the CIM.  On Saturday, November 16th, I ran 17 miles with Jenna, Emily was sick.  It was a great run.  Then my final long run was on Saturday, November 23, I ran 20 miles with Emily, Jenna was sick.  I missed my girls when they were sick, but it was also a nice time to just catch up with each individually.  I love that we can run together and share together – what a gift it has been to share running with them.  I’m thankful that I can run and we can do this together.  It is a gift.  I am blessed beyond my dreams with these girls.

These past two weeks I have been tapering my runs.  This is not easy for me, as I love long runs!! This final week, before the CIM, I ran 4 miles today, and I will run 3 on Wednesday, and 2 on Friday.  I will rest as much as possible on Saturday and run 26.2 miles on Sunday!!!

I am excited.

I am scared.

I am thankful.

I am anxious.

I am . . . . . trusting a great God, who has brought me to this point in my life, has given me the strength to train, to endure, to love the long run . . . He will never leave me or forsake me . . . When I am weak, He is strong . . . the joy of the Lord is my strength . . . I can do all things through Christ . . . 

If you’ve been reading my previous blogs, you will know that I chose the CIM as my way of celebrating a new season in my life . . . because new seasons are to be celebrated and what better way to celebrate than to run a marathon . . . right?!!!! Well . . . it sounded good at the time . . . and actually, still does!!!

Here’s to . . .  taper weeks . . . and running friends . . . and beautiful daughters who bless me beyond words . . . and a patient husband who rides his bike on cold cold mornings as I run my long runs . . . and a faithful God who has been with me every step of the way!! 

Patty 🙂

PS . . . My goals for the CIM are . . . 1) Finish the race . . . 2) Enjoy the race . . . 3) Smile – a lot!!!

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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!! 🙂

 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!! 🙂  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. 🙂

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!! 🙂

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 – get a run in . . . you know you want to. 

Patty 🙂

 

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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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The days are beginning to cool off, not quite enough for my running, but it is better.  I LOVE summer!!!!

This is the first summer I have been consistent in my running – not so good in the heat, hence my desire for fall and cooler temps.  I can’t believe I am actually looking forward to cold weather running!!! Please remind me of this statement in February, please!!

I try to run one longer weekly run usually between 10 and 14 miles.  These past couple of weeks my long runs were not under normal conditions for this time of year.  On Labor Day, I ran with my friend, Kari, around Lake Natoma in Folsom.  It was cloudy up where we lived and had been raining, but the weather reports looked promising for a great run.  Well . . . we got rained on, drenched actually.  It was such a refreshing run after so many warm sweaty runs this summer.  The temp was perfect for running in the rain!! Mike, my husband, not such a happy camper on his bike ride around the lake.  Biking in the rain does not equal the same amount of joy as running in the rain does!!! Sorry Mike . . . 😦

My run last weekend was around my favorite neighborhood lake – Sly Park Lake.  I feel so blessed that it is only 3 miles from my home.  Running that day wasn’t the best decision I have made, but at the moment it seemed like a good idea (maybe because Debora and I really wanted to run!!).  After running a couple of miles we could taste smoke in our mouths.  We ran slower and could feel the lack of oxygen in our bodies due to the smoke, although it really didn’t look as bad as the pictures while we were running.  We felt like we were running at a higher elevation, our legs felt heavy and it just took more exertion to move.

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The first picture shows the side of the lake we ran first, taking a picture of the other side.  It really didn’t seem that bad, but when we got back to our starting point and looked back up the lake this is what we saw!! Yikes!! The smoke was just settling in.  No wonder we felt like we had no energy.  Hopefully . . . lesson learned. 🙂

Tomorrow, Saturday, I am looking forward to an early nice long run with no rain and no smoke!!

I know I have mentioned in earlier posts that I have been MAF training.  Training using my maximum aerobic heart rate and not going above that.  It has been slow going this summer in the heat, but I believe my pace has increased as my body as become more aerobically fit.  I am really looking forward to cooler weather to see how that affects my heart rate and pace.

I have also stopped eating anything before my early morning runs and only drinking water with NUUN (electrolytes) during my runs and feeling great.  Before a run, I  always  had to get up extra early to eat my eggs and oatmeal.  I had been reading about running without nutrition as I was doing my MAF training and decided to give it a try.  I am loving it.  I always take along  sport beans or a gel, something just in case I feel the need.  This shows me that my body is/has learned to use fat efficiently as a fuel.

My one question right now, I have 2 half-marathons and a marathon coming up and I will be running them faster and will need to fuel my body – I’m just not sure how.  As my long runs get longer I will be experimenting with fuel.  Do I eat before my run? Do I start without food? At what point do I use a fuel during my run? This is all very new to me and exciting.  I would love to hear from anyone who has done this before and what has worked for them.

I am thankful that I have been gifted with this amazing body that can run, that can be trained to be aerobically fit, that can fuel itself for a couple of hours all on its own!!!

Our bodies are a miracle!!! Thank you God for this gift!!

Patty 🙂

 

 

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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. 😉

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!!! 🙂

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

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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