Posts Tagged ‘racing’

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.


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.


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.

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!!!


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?!!!


These girls bless me!!!
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


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.



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.


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!!!


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 broke my foot on May 10, 2012 – one year ago.¬† I remember the deep feelings of despair as I realized I wouldn’t be able to run the first half marathon I had ever signed up for.

Much has transpired in this past year – a complete recovery of my foot and I ran my first half marathon – Urban Cow – the first weekend in October.

I continued to run after the half marathon wanting to keep up my mileage.  I started with 20 miles a week, to 25 miles a week, and the last couple of months 30ish miles a week.  I feel stronger as a runner and signed up for another half marathon РParkway Half Marathon on May 4th of this year and plan on running the  РFour Bridges Half Marathon  Рin October.

Finally, yes I did it – I signed up for my first marathon – CIM – in December!!!!

Now that’s a way to celebrate recovery and running and life!!!

I celebrated¬†my year anniversary by getting these –


My new Brooks PureCadence running shoes.  I am over-the-top excited about these. 

I want to just run, run, run in them, but they are¬†designed differently than¬†my Brooks Adrenaline’s and I have been advised to start with shorter runs and gradually build up my mileage with them.

I love the color.¬† I love the feel – almost like slippers on my feet.¬† I’m looking forward to many runs with them.



Spring is in the air!! Everywhere I look I see flowers blooming, new leaves leafing out . . . it feels kind of weird because as beautiful as it is, I have found I really enjoy running in the cooler temps of winter and find myself mourning a bit for winter to leave and spring/summer to come.

Different seasons, as they begin, always seem to take time for me to adjust to.¬† Isn’t that the same with life . . . we walk through so many different seasons, some harder than others, taking time to adjust to each one.¬† But . . . there is a reason/need for each season and I’ve learned or am continually learning just to trust and rest in it with God’s help, to stop fighting and wishing for something different.

So . . .  it will be with the seasons of the year РSpring, Summer, Fall, and Winter РI will learn to enjoy the season for what it is and stop fighting against it in my running adventures. 

Enjoy the seasons . . .

Patty ūüôā

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Take 2: I don’t think I’m quite done sharing my half marathon experience. ūüôā

(Actually, I was just looking through my notes app and found this note I had written, but never put into a blog)

In my last post about it, I shared some¬†logistics and¬†some feelings, but I want to share more – maybe physically how it went. It’s probably more for me documenting my run . . . and maybe you really are curious about it.

My plan was to start out at a 10:30 to 11 min/mile¬†pace to¬†conserve energy for later, obviously that didn’t happen. ¬†Looking at my times posted¬†below, I started out ok, but got caught up in the energy of the race and, most likely, some adrenalin too!! I must confess I am a numbers person.¬† I like to know how far I run and how fast I run.¬† What can I say . . . it is just the way I run . . .
Mile 1: 10:21
Mile 2: 9:35
Mile 3: 9:46
Mile 4: 9:56
Mile 5: 10:00
Mile 6: 9:54
Mile 7: 10:02
Mile 8: 10:07
Mile 9: 10:02
Mile 10:10:17
Mile 11: 10:06
Mile 12: 9:36
Mile 13: 10:13
I felt I was running at a comfortable pace, not pushing too hard.

I had two water bottles – one in each hand.¬† I was drinking water with Nuun, electrolyte enhancer, and also water with Fluid, which is a carb/electrolyte enhancer.¬† Around mile 6 I took a hammer gel slowly for about a mile or two. I’ve found for my digestive system I have to swallow the gel slowly and not too much at one time. As the miles ticked on I relied on the Fluid drink with carbs for my energy.

My legs felt strong, but my hip flexors were screaming, especially going uphill. I just had to push through.¬†There was enough going on with people and new surroundings to keep me interested and not bored. I didn’t listen to music, but there were between 5-6 different bands playing along the way and that was a great energy booster. High five to all the band members cheering us on. Almost stopped to dance, but well ‚Ķ I’m racing ‚Ķ my first race ‚Ķ I didn’t want to stop for anything.

I think around mile 10 I was really counting down the miles and they seemed farther and farther apart. My legs were being pushed way beyond their comfort Рkinda back-talking to me. I kept on keeping on … after all I was racing!!

Yay, we were back in the neighborhood we passed¬†so many miles ago. Yay, we were back in the park. Could I make it? It really is amazing how our minds can take over and just tell our tired achy¬†legs to go on and actually push a little harder. I think once I knew it was only¬†a half¬†mile more, ¬†I just pushed harder knowing this torment would come to an end. Then I heard my name being announced for the world to hear – Patty Vander Dussen. It was surreal. I’ve been to marathons and half marathons where my kids ran and I cheered them on and heard their names announced. But wait this was me – all 58 years of me¬†– this was my race, my dream.

The cool thing was, yes, I was tired and achy, but all the struggles I had as I was¬†becoming a runner with cramps, nausea, low iron – none happened this race day.¬† I had trained. I had learned what I could do and what not to do. How to eat. How to hydrate. How to sleep. How to strengthen. I trained for the race. I ran the race. I won the race – well ‚Ķ for me, I won. ūüôā

Such a parallel with our spiritual lives. It’s a training, a discipline, overcoming struggles. Getting stronger. One day we will win this race. We will cross the finish line. I want to have run my best, my hardest both with my body and with my God.

If you got this far, thanks for reading just one more time about my FIRST EVER HALF MARATHON!!!

Patty ūüôā

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Here is my recap of my very first ever half-marathon!! Woohoo!!! ūüôā

Here we are before the race: Amanda, Debora, Pam, Julie, Teri, Kim, Patty, and Emmi!! Brrrrr . . .

It’s funny how I seem to have no problem getting up early for a run.¬† I know to make my run go smoother I have a little routine of a cup of coffee, bathroom time (TMI), and then my scrambled eggs and a bowl of oatmeal.¬† Then I’m ready to head out the door.¬† It was early on Sunday morning, 4:25 to be exact when I exited my house, met up with everyone and headed to Sacramento, as we live in the foothills.

I tend to get really anxious before a long run, usually thinking of everything that could go wrong Рstomach issues, bathroom issues, cramping, hydration, falling, what type of carbs to use, etc.  This day, I must admit I was pretty calm, for me.  I knew I had plenty of training runs under my belt.  I had learned what worked for me and what was a digestive disaster.

My plan was to run the race in 2 hours and 15 minutes.  I thought this might be possible with my times from my training runs, but I would be happy with 2 hours and 30 minutes.  Actually, I would be happy just finishing my first race with a smile on my face.

Pam, Debora, and I got in our places at the 2:15 marker.  It was pretty amazing starting a race, starting to run with thousands of people surrounding me Рfront, back, sides.  I must admit it was almost overwhelming to me.  I believe there were 5,400 people racing that day.  Wow!!!! I stayed with Pam and Debora for a while, but it was hard to run together, the three of us, with all the people surrounding us.  I ended up just squeezing here and there around this person or that person.  I realized it was going to be hard to keep together so I just ran my race.  Everyone else ran their race.

I tried to take in everything I could –¬† the people,¬†¬†the scenery, the energy surrounding me.

The race started in a park, went through neighborhoods, through parts of downtown Sacramento to Old Town Sacramento, on bicycle trails by the river, back through neighborhoods, back to the park . . .

Loved these signs – especially as the numbers got bigger!!!

It was interesting running with so many people at one time Рnever done that before.  I talked out loud once in a while, just trying to make conversation, not many responded.  I just smiled.  It was beautiful seeing all these people moving, doing good things for their bodies.  I loved running through neighborhoods and seeing families out in front of their houses sipping their warm coffee and cheering us on with their kids.  Made me smile BIG!!! I loved running by the river, through the park, through downtown . . .

I also loved seeing only 1/2 mile to go!! Woohoo!!

I had planned my water/electrolyte mix and gels so that I wouldn’t have to stop at any of the water/drink stations.¬† I felt energized throughout the run.¬† The only thing that seemed to bother me were my hip flexors, they were screaming.¬† That’s when I really had to dig deep mentally – “I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.”

As I was running that last 1/2 mile, I became very emotional . . .

РI was so thankful to have a healed foot and the strength to run 13.1 miles.

–¬†I was thankful Pam, who had recently been diagnosed with cancer, went through chemo and radiation and is cancer free now, had regained her strength and was running this race.

–¬†I had run the race praying for¬†the¬†Davis family,¬†whose husband/father¬†is fighting the¬†battle of his life right now with cancer.¬† Praying for complete healing and strength for this family and trusting a good and faithful God, who can do all things.

– I became overwhelmed with God’s goodness and His faithfulness in my life . . . so thankful!!!¬†

I crossed the finish line in 2:15:43 . . . I made my goal.  I cried with tears of joy, thankfulness, gratitude . . .

We all finished!! We all have our race stories!! We are all grateful!!

It was a good day – a good run!! I’m sure just the first of many to come!!

I am forever thankful and grateful to know and be known by such a great, gracious and faithful God!!!

Patty ūüôā

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