my dilemma . . . z z z

As of late I cannot get enough sleep. I go to bed, before 10, ready to get up and run but when my alarm goes off my body lacks the motivation to move, on a very serious level.

The marathon is three weeks away, the 20 miler is on Saturday, I need to pull it together because not doing the weekday training runs is not good.

Today I’m going to try and do something I mentally have been opposed to from jump, I’m going to try running after work.

I know that for many this is the norm. For me running in the evening seems harder because now I’m taking time away from my family and what if I have to work late, I have no idea what type of lunch to eat and what if I can’t sleep because I just revved my heart for the last hour or more and now it’s ready to GO! I’m naturally a morning person, 4 (or earlier) is just wearing on me, at least that’s my suspicion.


running, running and things related to running – lessons learned:

Last week I got in only a single training run before the long run on Saturday.  I made it through all 18 miles; but I felt the difference of going into a long run well trained vs NOT. Because Chicago Marathon is next month, September is the most important month of training and I plan to do my best to be a “model” trainee and stick to the schedule!

Of course if it were that easy I would have been doing that all along.  I’ve been pretty good but by no stretch have I been perfect when it comes to sticking to the schedule and doing what I should be doing as a non-professional athlete. Some of my lessons learned so far are:

I am not a professional runner, I have a career and I have a life neither of which evolved around running. Tuesday mornings are a mid-week long run (this week 9 and next week 10 miles), I cannot fit that in before work without being late or depriving myself of sleep (I’m already up at 4).  Last week I ran for as long as I could, this week I took advantage of the holiday and ran that run Monday, next week I’ll go back to doing what I can.  I think that taking a sensible approach that does not completely let me off the hook is the right way to go.  I KNOW that I can finish the marathon in under 6.5 hours, my goal is to do so with the ability to move the next day ;)

I have not been working my core the way I should and now that the miles are getting up there I’m kinda feeling it but I’m also a little miffed that I ran 18 miles but don’t have the definition that I want around my mid-section.  Running has toned my arms and my core is stronger but when fatigue sets in form gets sloppy. A strong core and hips will help me to not maintain proper form and not hurt myself.  There really are no valid excuses here “if you have a floor, you must work your core” . . . I hear you Coach Mark.

I am a salty sweater. I read somewhere that people who don’t eat much salt and drink a lot of water tend to be salty sweaters.  go figure.  Because I am loosing so much salt when I run I need to work to get more in.  Typically I don’t care for salty foods, I have a few indulgences but they are not necessarily the healthiest of choices.  My solution will be two-fold:  instead of carrying water with me I will carry a sports drink (nuun) and I may give salt tabs a try.  OR . . . I can just have a delicious cheeseburger and fries from Portillo’s the night before a big run ;) this one might be a definite.

On Monday something terrible happened, chaffing.  I have Body Glide that I use on my feet to prevent blisters (my one true injury to date) and sometimes I put it on my legs when I run in shorts, Monday I did not.  Monday was relatively humid and my run was long.  I suffered the consequences of not being prepared.  I stopped to try and use my lip balm a few miles from the end of the run . . . . . I doubt it made matters worse but I would not jump to the conclusion that it worked.  I give myself credit for the creativity.  Aloe gel burned, A&D ointment seems to have had the most soothing and healing outcome.

The decision has been made to run the marathon in my favorite running capris ;)

A few weeks ago I was having a great run but when I stopped to get water I noticed that I suddenly felt dizzy.  Passing out is a fear of mine, I’ve joked about it long before I started running but it’s still a fear.  I took my drink of water and walked the last mile.  Later that day I started researching what happened, I had been feeling just fine, I was hydrated and fueled, I had a comfortable pace going . . . it turns out that my mistake was rooted in a bad habit.  I ran to the water fountain took my place in line, and stood there.
What I didn’t realize is that my heart alone does not pump blood, all of the muscles in our bodies “pulse” to help our hearts circulate our blood.  When I stopped running those muscles stopped helping, but my heart was still expecting the assistance so in that moment my blood pressure dropped and I became dizzy.  What I SHOULD have done and now do is that I begin walking as I approach the water fountain and as I wait I continue to move around.

If anyone has ever wondered why the chute is so long after the marathon it is in part to keep runners walking and to get their hearts a chance to adjust to not running so that fewer faint.

I also tend to experience a (seemingly) dramatic drop in body temperature after I stop running, I will be donning a silver cape (heat sheet) after my marathon and will probably have warm clothes checked in my bag.  This too is normal . . .

With a month left I am also facing the reality that I need to make a push in fundraising.  I would have a hard time asking a coworker to spot me for lunch because I left my wallet at home but I haven’t had a problem asking my friends to join me in supporting a worthy cause, I just haven’t done it with as much frequency as I would like to (time getting away from me, busy life, yadda yadda, yadda).  It is time for me to be “that guy/chic” who wants to do something good and get everyone else around her to do it too.  I don’t expect you to run, though I would have recruited you if you showed any inkling; but I am asking everyone that will listen to donate to my fundraiser because it means that much to me.  Be “that guy” as often as you can, there is no shame in being passionate about something worth while.  (link below in this post and above on the “donate” page.

This has been a long winded post about a lot of different things that relate to marathon training and I’ll close it out with saying to listen.  Listen to your body when it tells you that you need (not want) something and listen to your soul when it wants to answer to a calling.  There is a reason you are getting that message.



imagine that being yelled from this coffee megaphone . . . okay that’s not really plausible but the fact that you are awesome totally is!  even if you have not felt that reality in a while.

today is saturday, so like all recent saturday’s (with a few exceptions) I headed to the lake for my long run day of training.  this week was a cut-back week; for non-runners that means that we ran less this week than last in an effort to rest our bodies, next week we will increase from where our max left off and will run 18 miles.  but today, we only ran 12.  yes, ONLY 12 miles. . . . oh the many ways that running has changed my life.

the past few nights I have been in bed before 8.  I did not adhere to the training schedule this week.  I did run once but I did little more than rest.  recognizing the problem I tried to eat well and stay hydrated and was very thankful that this was a cut-back week.

so I went to the lake to run.  we have a 7:00 am start.  got there on time, found my group and had (dare I say it) a great run.  the weather was nice and cool, my slightly achy ankle did not bother me, I was hydrated and properly fueled and had no problem maintaining pace.  BONUS: I got two awesome compliments, the first was someone’s observation that I was not winded and the second was being thanked for pacing.  I am notorious for running too fast.  OK, can we just dwell on me not passing out AND keeping pace!  for a short while I ran with the 10:30 group, it felt great!  I’m just not sure how long I could maintain that pace without walking.  I keep telling myself that if I have a good week of training I’ll try to move up a group, worst case scenario it will be too much and I’ll slow down to join the next pace group.

IMG_2916after the run I grabbed a quick and very unsatisfying breakfast then headed to the Recovery Room.
no, I am not hurt.  once the long runs got into double digits I decided to take some precautionary efforts which include an ice bath (50 degrees of lung stopping cold) and the compression boots, which fill with air applying pressure to your legs (I tried hips today too) and help flush out our lymphatic system and are said to reduce swelling and speed up recovery times.
“does it work?” I’ve not had a day where I cannot walk after a long run; but then I started this when the really long runs started so I think so but cannot say with 100% certainty.  I do plan to continue this process through the marathon if for no other reason because they have these awesome lawn chairs that you lay back in that are soooooo relaxing!

on the way back to my car I stopped in a coffee shop that I had been wanting to try and had the most delicious mocha #winning!  all and all today was a great day  :)   I feel motivated to get back into the swing of things and hope to feel this good NEXT saturday after 18 miles.

so about the title: I believe that we are all awesome in some respect or another and sometimes it gets acknowledged, out loud, by someone who stands nothing to gain by said compliment, this happens to feel great.  of course it’s even better when said awesomeness is attributed to something but I can’t see you so that’s hard to do; still I know that in the process of living your life you have done something awesome, so give yourself a little credit for not being nearly as bad as you have made yourself out to be.


halfway point (said in my best NRC+ female voice)

I have reached the halfway point in my marathon training and 77% of my fundraising goal. Today is August 7th and two months from today I'll probably be at the expo and trying to get some sleep because in the morning I'm going to run the marathon.
Yup, just like that ;)

Things have gotten really real.
This Saturday I ran a 6k so that Getahun (Gae-Ta-Hun) could have clean water. I ran what he typically has to walk just to bring water to his family, except I didn't have to carry a heavy Jerry Can. I picked one up (its heavy). I saw half a dozen guys carry one the full 6k and once again I was reminded of how fortunate I am.

I am very fortunate indeed.

The training miles are rapidly increasing, tomorrow morning I'll run 7 miles, and on Saturday 15 :0

I've decided to get a monthly membership is a sports recovery facility. My only injury to date is a large blister and I'd love to keep it that way.
I like running, my biggest hurdle lately is the time commitment. Morning runs equate to not getting to work early and waking up before 5:00 am six days a week. But when I miss a run I feel weird, one day off feels like DAYS.

Most of this post fits into the category of things I never would have expected I would be saying!

FOMO realized

warning: this is going to be one of those venting / whining / personal-resolution blog posts.

The Saturday before last I was driving to and from the south of Illinois to pick up my oldest at the end of her summer session.  (Saturday is the group long run of the training week.)  The original plan was to make up my long run on Sunday; but my running partner was not feeling up to 12 miles back to back.  By the time this was all figured out the sun and humidity had risen to a very undesirable level and I settled for some speed work at a track near by.

The good news is that I noticed a faster pace during my subsequent weekly runs, the bad news is that the speed work and possibly the “give” of the track caused a large blister to develop at the back of my heel.  I noticed the discomfort but the the blister felt deep and fully encapsulated with skin so my internal direction was to wear socks with more cushion and continue with training.  Because I had just missed a long run the previous week and the next long run was a half marathon I was determined to stick to training and all was going well.

BAND-AID BLISTER GEL GUARDTraining went very well but after Tuesday’s run I decided I should add one of these wonderful gel bandages for good measure (these things really are heaven sent when it comes to shoe caused blisters); my blister was larger than the bandage.  I ran anyway on Thursday.  Despite the size of my sub-dermal blister I didn’t feel it much while running so I kept running.  After Thursday’s run I knew that there was a problem; not only was my blister no longer sub-dermal it had also burst.  I also noticed that the interior of my shoes had a tear in the fabric behind my heel.

The good news is that at the end of the day the store where I had purchased the shoes replaced them (I was sold a pair that was too small for running).  The bad news is that I now had a brand new pair of shoes (read NOT BROKEN IN) and a large blister the day before my first 13.1 mile long run.  I did my best to “break in” my new shoes by wearing them the night before the run.  Morning of I got up, got ready and headed to the lake.  Upon my arrival I took a quick and short jog and felt as if my new skin was tearing.  I came to the resolution that I could not run.  :(  Yesterday was an absolutely beautiful day, maybe a tiny bit warm but gorgeous!  Instead of running I volunteered to man the gear check for the team.  The worst part was being there as everyone came back and knowing that unlike all the other newbies, I had not run my first half marathon (in opposed to having a “now infected” patch of skin that would keep me from running, possibly walking, for a few more weeks).

first of many DeAnne, “first of many” I remind myself

Hiccups (injuries) during marathon training are par for the course and if a large blister is the worst thing that I will have to deal with I consider myself to be very blessed.  My current goal is to be ready to run next Saturday and to be back on track for the remainder of my training.

I am a large advocate of listening to my body, I always have been and I always will be.  What really sucks is that I can walk and possible run just fine, so long as I am wearing footwear that does not touch my heel . . . moving forward I will baby my feet a little more:

  • I will keep them moisturized (dry skin is more prone to friction blisters).
  • I will check the inside of my shoes for fabric tears (the fabric rolls up and creates hot spots that even cushioned socks cannot compensate for).
  • I will apply body glide to my feet before every run.

It’s almost funny how much I am missing running.  Two Saturday’s in a row with no long run and I’m experiencing some serious FOMO.  Next Saturday we have a charity “6k for Water” (3.72 miles) followed by a six+ mile training run for a total of ten which means no half for me until the mileage jumps to fifteen miles two weeks from now on August 12th; it sounds like a lot but I know that I’ll be okay even though my current longest run is ten miles.  I will continue to stick to the training schedule, STAY HYDRATED and will eat (fuel) responsibly.

My mind wants to do this and my body can do it!