Tuesday, December 31, 2013
I am not going to let Cancer turn me into a whiner so I am posting my top 5 moments/memories of 2013 so I can end 2013 on a positive note. Here’s my best of 2013:
1. Fontana Days Run 5K - I didn't PR but now that I know I was dealing with Cancer win I did this, I am VERY happy with being just 20 seconds off my PR. Especially with not real speed work prior to it. I am proud of myself for running so hard it hurt and I thought I'd puke! And getting 3rd in my Age Group was icing on the cake!
2. Bataan Memorial Death March - The memories from that weekend in New Mexico still give me chills. It was an amazing experience made even better by sharing it with my friends Cliff and Jeff. This is definitely one of my top 3 marathons. I was slow but it didn't matter.
3. Horseshoe Lake Trail Marathon - I celebrated my 45th birthday with a trail marathon in San Jose. I had a fun running adventure that weekend. And even though that marathon was SO slow that my friends Josh and Naresh were afraid I'd died, it was a beautiful place to run and I enjoyed it. Getting to have dinner with Naresh (who bought me a birthday cake) was a great birthday present too.
4. Run Under The Stars 10 Hour - What happens in Kentucky, stays in Kentucky! ;) LOL, seriously, I know most people would think I'm crazy to include a race where you run in circles around a half mile track for 10 Hours but...I did this race with 70ish of my Run It Fast friends. I loved seeing everyone and running with them throughout the night. It was my first trip to Kentucky too.
5. Thanksgiving Run - This wasn't a race but it was my first day back running after not running for 11 weeks! It felt so good! This is me on that day. Do I look satisfied or what? Woo!
Let's see...I got a lot of cool medals in 2013 but these 2 are my favorites:
The RUN medal for my 3rd AG at Fontana Days Run for the reasons specified above.
There were a lot of other great memories, too many to count or recap here. But one of the best things to come out of 2013 was all the great support I received from my friends and family. I definitely felt all the love and prayers and it was a great comfort to me during the scariest and hardest moments.
This year, I learned that running gave me the strength and knowledge to tackle life's problems head on. At each stage of my journey through Cancer, I've felt overwhelmed and scared. But running taught me to take things one step at a time. To worry about and take care of what you can and deal with the rest as it comes up. I treated Ovarian Cancer as an ultra and instead of running away when I didn't want to know what was wrong, I took the first step towards health. And then the next. And then the next. Now I'm halfway through chemo and I'm doing the same thing. One chemo round at a time. Don't think about what's to come. Run when I can. Rest when I need to. Just keep going.
The biggest lesson I learned about myself in 2013 was that I am stronger than I thought. I am also more stubborn than I thought. Okay, that's a lie. I knew I was VERY stubborn. :) But the next time I toe the line for a race, I won't be as scared or nervous as I was before. I will do my best and have fun but racing is not something to be afraid of. It's something to celebrate.
I plan to celebrate a lot in 2014.
Happy New Year! See you on the roads and trails!
Thursday, October 24, 2013
I can eat normal food again. It was an issue for a while. Some things are still not good for my stomach. I found out the hard way that pizza is still a no go and so is salad. I haven't had a burrito since before the surgery and I'm having MAJOR withdrawals but I'm afraid to try it yet. Soon. Hopefully.
The staples are all out and the scar is healing up. It still hurts to laugh and cough and sneeze. Who knew you used your stomach muscles for SO much. It even hurts to blow my nose! My doctor said I could try running and riding again in another 3 weeks or so. But no weights, sit-ups, push ups, etc. for 3 months. I see the oncologist next Tuesday and will find out what my chemo treatments will be.
*Warning - emotional dump ahead - proceed at your own risk!*
So, like I said...physically I'm doing pretty well. Emotionally...that is another story. And that is where I really miss running. Right now, I don't have an out for everything I'm feeling and I find myself crying at the weirdest times. I'm frustrated easily and I get so mad sometimes. I need to talk to someone but I'm not sure if I should talk to someone I don't know or one of my friends. I need to look for a support group, I think.
I feel sad, mad, frustrated, scared, ugly, jealous, hurt, and nervous.
I feel like I've been there for other people thru this but I haven't really let anyone be there for me. Like I have to protect them. Or that I wasn't sick enough to ask for help. I don't know.
Maybe I'm just tired.
I still feel nauseous on most days still. That makes me afraid the cancer is still there or that it is coming back. Because of that, I'm looking forward to getting the chemo over with. I'm dreading it but I want to make sure the cancer is gone! But then in my reading, I see that this type of cancer can be recurring. But if they took everything...wouldn't that mean it couldn't come back? I also apparently have to watch out for breast cancer now. Will I ever get over this fear? How do you get over the fear?
Speaking of taking everything...I don't know if my emotions are out of whack because of being thrown into instant menopause. I still have all that to figure out. Apparently, it's unlikely I'll get hormones to help with it because of the possibility of breast cancer. Besides the cancer, this is the thing that makes me most sad and angry. People keep telling me how lucky I am that I won't have to deal with a period anymore and I want to scream at them. I have ZERO chance of having a child now. NONE. Why would I be happy about that? I never in a million years imagined I wouldn't have children. It's just not fair. I know I'm 45 and for the most part I'd accepted it wouldn't happen but it hurts. It really hurts.I feel like a complete failure.
On top of everything else, I'm losing my hair already. My stupid body has always betrayed me like this when I'm stressed. When I as 12 and my parents divorced, my hair fell out. Yeah, not fun for a 12 year old girl. And then when I was hit by a car, I got two bald spots. I feel so old and ugly right now. I hate the way my body feels and how out of shape I am. I feel like I aged 10 years in the past 3 months.
I want this to have never happened. I want to not have cancer. I want to not have to worry about doctor visits and treatments and if my insurance will cover it. I want my body back the way it was. I just want to be strong and whole again.
Fucking cancer! I hate it.
Thursday, October 3, 2013
So I had the surgery to remove the cyst.
There was bad news but also good news.
I had/have ovarian cancer.
They took all of my female organs and my appendix and took a sampling of my lymph nodes. They thought they got it all and that it was Stage 1 but we had to wait for labs to come back to be sure. We got the labs back this morning and they were negative! So it was very early and contained to the one ovary. My case will go before a tumor board and they will decide on the best course of action but I will have to have chemo.
He said actually that it was considered Stage 1c because the cyst had burst and there was some fluid but he was very positive and happy with the results.
So am I! I really had hoped there wasn't cancer there. When I woke up from surgery, I asked what time it was and they said 1pm so I knew right away they had had to do all he anticipated. When he came to tell me that it was cancer and they had removed everything, I felt calm. I don't know why but I wasn't scared or angry. Ha, maybe it was the drugs still. ;)
I am still in the hospital but hope to go home this afternoon or tomorrow. Mostly it's because I just started eating last night. I feel pretty good though. The pain is minimal and I am walking around. I actually feel kind of peppy. Which is probably because I'm so relieved right now.
The plan now is to recover quickly and smart. And move past this so I can get back to being me.
Thank you for all of your thoughts and prayers! Your support has been awesome. :)
Saturday, September 21, 2013
It's scheduled for September 30th at 9 am. The doctor, who I saw yesterday, said it could take an hour or 3 depending on what they find. The order for surgery has a lot of long words on it but mostly it says exploratory.
I still don't think it's the C word. One good thing is that the blood test I took for ovarian cancer came back 31 which is slightly above the negative line but he said it really depended on the lab and their tolerance levels. That he would be worried if it was 300 or 400 but 31 is nothing.
But I guess that doesn't rule out the possibility that it's a different type. Which is why it's exploratory and why they will be doing a biopsy during it. But he told me that even if that is negative, it is just preliminary and we have to wait for the full test to come back so more surgery could happen. But if it comes back positive, then they will take everything and see if it has spread to other areas.
I know he has to tell me all the possibilities before and that they probably won't happen. It's just...there's just too many IFs right now. While I know generally what's going to happen, I just don't know what they are going to find or have to do. I really am trying not to think worst case scenario but I did cry last night. Nights are the worst. I wake up and my mind starts racing and I can't go back to sleep.
I don't want to be a grown up!
Being a grown up sucks. While I really want to just curl up in a ball and let someone else deal with the appointments for CT scans, blood, pre-op, asking for leave from work, filing for disability, getting things ready for the hospital and after, etc., I put my big girl panties on and am getting it done. It would be nice to have someone to help me with it though. Sometimes being single sucks too.
It's Saturday and while all my peeps are out racing and doing long runs, I'm at work prepping like crazy for my staff so things won't be too bad for them while I'm out for 6 to 8 weeks. The doctor said I should plan for 8 weeks. Sigh. There goes my PTO.
It's going to be a long 8 weeks. He said no driving for the first 2 weeks. And that I could do short walks but not to tire myself out. And that I will get tired. Will it be more tired than I am right now? I hope not.
I think we have the plan set for after. I'm going to stay at my mom's after the surgery for a while. And my sister, dad, and stepmom are coming for the surgery. One other good thing is that I am having it at the hospital where my cousin is the Director of Nursing so I know that she will help me through it and my family too. She's been a big help to my mom who was really worried. We are pretty lucky to have her for this.
So yes, I'm nervous and I'm dreading 8 long weeks of being inactive and trying to fill my time with things so I don't go crazy. But...I can't wait to get this out of me so I don't feel like an alien is trying to make it's way out of my stomach anymore. I can't wait to not be tired and nauseous and not have an achy back and stomach and have to pee all the time. I can't wait to feel normal again. I can't wait to start my way back to running.
I hope this wasn't too much of a pity party. I just needed to get some of these thoughts out. So thank you for listening. And for all of your prayers.
Thursday, September 12, 2013
I had kind of rough day on Sunday so I called the doctor on Monday to see if there were any cancellations I could take to move my appointment up. His office people said no so I resigned myself to waiting until October 10th to see him. But then I got lucky. They called me back and said they had done some research and could I come in at 4:50 on Wednesday? I said YES!
So I had my appointment yesterday and I found out I will have to have surgery. Sadly, it won't be laparoscopic like I'd hoped. I guess the mass/cyst is a little bit bigger than we'd thought. He said "It's this big." and held his hands out. Much farther out than I would have preferred. He said "It's as big as a basketball."
But also...oh, this explains so much! The being tired, the aches and pains, having to go all the time, the feeling like an alien being is trying to make it's way out of my stomach.
Anyway, he said I would have to have surgery and it would be a 3 day hospital stay and then a 6-8 week recovery. I don't know the exact date for the surgery yet but he said in a couple of weeks. First I have to have more blood work done and also get a CT scan. Neither him nor I are thinking the C word but that's what the blood work and CT scan are for, I think. And he also said they would be doing a biopsy during the procedure and that would determine how much they take out.
So, I'm relieved to know exactly what's going to happen and what I need to plan for. I'm freaked out a little that there's something so big growing inside me. When I told Josh he said "basketball is like a baby". I said "yeah, but there's no prize at the end". It's hard to wrap my mind around it.
I would be lying if I said I wasn't scared about the surgery. And a little nervous about what they will find/how much they will take. I don't want to go into menopause already. Not that I was planning on having kids but there may have still been a teeny, tiny hope it could accidentally happen. I would not have been sad if I "accidentally" became a mom at 45. My friend Cliff, surprisingly, was the one who brought it up and helped me with those thoughts/worries. Like I said, I wasn't planning on becoming a mom but with the possibility that definitely is not in the cards, it makes me sad. But we will cross the bridge when we get to it.
That's how long my runstreak was. I had to stop. I asked him if I could continue until the surgery and he said "Well, maybe if you go really, really slow...no, I have to say no. If it bursts, you will be in a lot of pain and it will be an emergency situation. It's better to stop now and call it". I said okay. And then asked him if walking was okay and he said yes. So at least I have that.
Sadly, it looks like my plans for fall racing are out the window. No Long Beach Marathon (which means I won't get to finish the Beach Cities Challenge either). No R&R LA (and did you see how cool that medal is?). No Flying Monkey (sob). But on the plus side, I should be on my way back to run Tinkerbell in January and, if I don't go too in debt with PTO and money, hopefully Princess in February.
I know that my health is more important than running and that I will feel much better after. I just am sad that some of the fun I'd planned this fall won't be happening. And I'm having race bling withdrawals!
But seriously, I want to thank all of you for your thoughts and prayers and offers of help. The best part of running is the community I found and I am thankful for all of you.
Tuesday, September 3, 2013
So this is what happened since I last blogged...
I had an ultrasound on Sunday, Aug 18th and then had to wait until that Friday to find out the results. The ultrasound wasn’t enough t tell them what was wrong so they scheduled an MRI for me on the 24th and the doctor called me to make sure I didn’t miss it. She said there were multiple masses on in my stomach but they couldn’t see exactly which organs they were in so they could refer me to the proper surgeon. I’d had blood work and a urine test and she said the blood work came back fine but she was worried about the urine test. Oh, and she told me I had gallstones which she said was the least of my worries. Sigh.
The MRI was not fun. I’m not really claustrophobic but I don’t like not being able to move. Plus, it was loud and hot and my back was hurting. It took over an hour. I ALMOST pushed the panic button a couple of times. :( So then I had to wait a week to hear the results for that test. I had been hoping it was fibroids in my uterus because that would have been the “easy” fix so I was disappointed it wasn’t that. And I was a little scared.
My grandmother had polycystic disease and the cysts were in her uterus, liver, and kidneys. Her kidneys stopped functioning because of that and she spent the last years of her life on dialysis. I used to take her to her Saturday treatments and saw how much it took out of her. Of all the things the masses could be, I was praying most it wasn’t that.
It wasn’t that. Thank god. It turns out I have multiple masses on/around my ovaries; the largest is the size of a lemon. My doc wouldn’t say “cysts” and she wouldn’t say “not cancer” and she referred me to an ob/gyn to take it from there. I couldn’t get an appointment until Oct 10th. Sigh. But I am going to call back often to see if there were any cancellations.
Even though she wouldn’t say “not cancer”, I’m going with they are “just” ovarian cysts like my mom had. I still don’t know what that will mean surgery wise. I don’t know if they are just going to take the cysts out or if they’ll have to take other things along with it. I’m still hoping it will be like a 2 week recovery period and not 6 to 8 weeks. A girl can dream.
Running wise…I’m not really running anymore. I am still doing my 1 mile streaksavers but that doesn’t feel like the true spirit of a runstreak? Sometimes I want to do more but I just don’t know if I should. Most days it’s uncomfortable to run because of the swelling in my stomach (which also has been causing back pain). It looks like I’m 6+ months pregnant and at times, it feels like a really bad case of PMS. I still have the nausea and sometimes I feel lightheaded. And of course, I’m tired all the time. Some of that is because I can’t get comfortable at night. I can tell that my body is working to fight what’s wrong with it and I don’t want to do too much and tire my body out while it’s doing this. I have been supplementing the not running with walking and doing a lot of spring cleaning. I’ve also been trying to stay away from Twitter and Facebook because while I’m happy for all of you and your running/racing…I’m also jealous!
And sad. I miss running. I miss the endorphins. I miss being out on the trail. I’m nervous to go out by myself right now (because of the lightheadedness) and I’m too slow to go with anyone so I put that on hold. A friend asked me if I would rather be running or alive. I said both!
I thought it was really kind of ironic that I couldn’t get an appointment until Oct 10th…the day after I will reach my 1 year runstreak anniversary. I just hope I can at least get my 1 mile a day in until them. Though some days I don’t care, I know that I will be pissed at myself if I give up. And a part of me hopes that I will miraculously get better every day.
A runner girl can dream.
Monday, August 5, 2013
My first runstreak only got a little past 100 days so I wasn't sure how this one would go but so far, so good. There have been days where I've had to do a one mile "streak saver" when I was sick or body parts were hurting but for the most part, I've done at least 5K a day for my streak. :)
There were a couple of times that I thought about giving it up...like when I had the flu back in April. Sometimes it feels like a burden but mostly it is incentive to get out the door. There were days when I just didn't feel like running and the streak was the only thing that got me to put my shoes on.
I'm not sure how long it will go. Josh was asking me if I was going to continue past a year and I hadn't really thought about it. Sometimes I think I'll just keep going and then sometimes I think that I'll stop at a year. A year is a good stopping point. But I really do like running every day.
I'm just hoping that what ever is going on with me won't kill my streak before the year is up. Some days are a struggle right now but at least I'm running.
I haven't been writing in this blog much because I felt like all I could do was whine. I just couldn't get why I was having crappy runs and races all the time. I was VERY frustrated with myself and my running. It seemed no matter how many steps forward I took, I'd take 2 steps back. I would watch everyone else continue to PR and go farther and I would be jealous. Why wasn't that happening with me?
Looking back, I can see that I was feeling some of these symptoms for more than a few months. And now that I think about it, when I fell during the R&R San Diego Half that my back and stomach were hurting...it must have been this. I thought I'd landed on my arm or something but I realize now I didn't. Also, how I wasn't having fun running downhill because it would bother my stomach...same thing. Feeling out of breath when I'm not running that hard...ditto. Taken individually, they didn't seem like that much but I did know something was wrong for quite a while. Mostly, I just thought I was tired. Or some people suggested I was overtrained. But I didn't feel like I'd been doing enough to be overtrained!
So I talked to my coach last week and we decided I would take the month of August off from training. I'm still going to keep up my streak and try to maintain but nothing hard or too long. The funny thing is that now that I know there IS something wrong and that I'm not trying to hit the hard workouts, I feel more relaxed about my running and a lot less frustrated. It still makes me a little sad that sometimes I run 12 min miles. I miss running hard. But at least I enjoy them again and don't dread putting on my running shoes.
Personally, I've felt calmer this past week too. I still don't know what it is but suddenly the stress of work and other obligations I have doesn't feel so important anymore. I feel...relieved I think. Hopeful. That I'll finally figure out what's going on, fix it, and get back to feeling strong and healthy again. :)
I know it's vain but other than the aches, the only thing that's bothering me is my stomach. I feel puffy. I keep waiting for someone to ask me if I'm pregnant. :( Sigh. It's probably not that big. It just feels like it.
Cross your fingers I get to run 65 more days to hit a year! And then we'll see what happens next. :)
Thursday, August 1, 2013
For the past few months, I have been feeling nauseous. Mostly in the morning but sometimes throughout the day. It wasn’t terrible so I didn’t do anything about it.
About a month ago, I started feeling like I had a hamster bladder. I felt like I had to go all the time, even if I just went.
And then last week, my stomach started hurting. And there was a bump there. It felt like I’d eaten a really, really big meal and was very, very full. I like to sleep on my stomach and suddenly, that was painful. I kept thinking “but I didn’t eat that much”. I didn’t know what was going on but it bothered me enough that even Spike lying on my stomach was an issue. Poor kid has been shooed away since and doesn’t know why.
I kinda thought maybe it was an ulcer or maybe IBS. I thought it was stress that was making me feel nauseous and tired.
I started noticing that I didn’t have that extra speed gear when I ran. Pretty much the entire month of July I didn’t have that gear and it was really frustrating. I wasn’t coming close to the times my training called for with speedwork. The pace that I ran a 5K back in June suddenly felt impossible to hit for an 800. What the heck was going on?
But it wasn’t until it became uncomfortable to run that I decided to go see a doctor.
I was nervous about it. Especially at night in the dark. Sometimes I would think I was overreacting and that it was nothing but then I would feel my stomach and get a little scared.
So I went to the doctor yesterday. She asked me all the usual questions. She said had I been on any trips lately. I said only to Kentucky and Tennessee. She said she should have said trips out of the country and I said for a SoCal girl, it did feel like another country. ;) (I’m kidding! I totally love TN and KY and all the people I’ve met there but it IS very different from SoCal!).
She asked me my family history and I think with the symptoms she was thinking it was my gallbladder. Then she had me lie down so she could feel my stomach and the conversation went like this:
Doctor (with a small smile): “Could you be pregnant?”
Doctor: “You’re still having your period…are you sure?”
Me: “Not unless it was an immaculate conception.”
Doctor (no longer smiling): “Well, you’re uterus is enlarged so I’m going to have to send you for an ultrasound to figure out what’s going on.”
But really inside I’m thinking “NOT FAIR, NOT FAIR!” The only real regret I have in my life is that I did not have a child. And here I am having crap go wrong inside me that’s simulating a pregnancy (nausea, having to go all the time, a round belly) but it’s not something joyful and happy like that. :( It pisses me off! Why Fate, why?
So we talked possibilities of what it could be based on my family history (fibroids or maybe cysts) but she said she really couldn’t say until she saw the ultrasound and I had some blood tests. I’m having the blood tests today but couldn’t get in for an ultrasound until the 18th.
I guess fibroids would be the best case scenario. I don’t really know. My mom and grandma had cysts and had an ovary removed (mom) and a hysterectomy (grandma – who also had cysts on her liver and kidneys which ended up with her on dialysis). But there's no use wondering until I know for sure. Except I am. How do I stop that?
The thing that bums me out is that I have to wait so long to find out what it is. And will my stomach continue to grow? Will it get worse? Will it get to the point where it hurts to run instead of just being really, really uncomfortable? At this point, I don’t even want to eat anymore except I am eating to fuel my running. I hope that gets better because you all know how much I love burritos! And pancakes! And ice cream!
I can’t see it getting better miraculously on its own. Though I suppose that could happen. But probably not.
I don’t know what I to do about my running at this point. I was supposed to be training to BQ at the Big Cottonwood Marathon on Sept 14th. And then I have Long Beach Marathon and R&R LA Half Marathon in October. And the Flying Monkey Marathon is having their lottery this week. But this is how bad it is that I was supposed to do a 16 miler on Saturday and I was thrilled when my coach said to do just 10. Of all the types of runs, I love long runs the most but have no desire to do them right now.
I offered my entry into Big Cottonwood to Josh and he’s going to take it and I decided not to enter the lottery for the Monkey. I am also thinking of dropping to the half at Long Beach too. I don’t want to miss that one because I need it to finish my Beach Cities challenge and I don’t want to miss R&R LA because…have you seen the medal? But right now the thought of running a marathon just exhausts me.
I feel like I’m in limbo right now. Do I continue to try to train hard or do I go into maintenance mode? Honestly, sometimes in the morning I don’t feel like running but the only thing getting me out the door is my runstreak (day 296 today!) and my coach. But should I continue with my coach if I’m not in a place to train hard for anything?
What should I do?
I keep telling myself to suck it up and just run and quit whining. But is that the right thing to do?
Tuesday, July 16, 2013
5 Run It Fast Club Members are currently running 314 miles across Tennessee:
RIF #1 Joshua Holmes (@bayou)
RIF #79 Dallas Smith (@smithbend)
RIF #101 David Wingard
RIF #159 Diane Bolton
RIF #276 Diane Taylor
They have been on the road for 5 solid days now and have covered from 164 to 270 miles so far! They are doing great and just keep pushing forward and it is really inspiring to watch...from afar. :)
I have been posting daily live blogs on Run It Fast and you can check them out to see what running across TN in July looks like. Josh has been trying to get me to run this for two years now. I always think no way! But then I start following along and I think...maybe...Who knows? Maybe one year I WILL do it. It sounds like crazy fun. :)
How crazy does it get out there? Check out this email from the conclusion of Day 3 from the race director Lazarus Lake that includes a funny section abour RIFers Diane B and Dallas. The runners must check in every 12 hours and let the RD where they are. It seems simple enough...
clear thinking after 3 days on the road
this morning's check-ins are off to a flying start.
i am groggy when the phone rings,
after having been up most of the night waiting on the stinky feet
to finally choose the correct roads into alabama and georgia.
the connection seems to be no clearer on the opposite end.
shaking out cobwebs, i answer;
"good morning! 3-day check-in"
"this is marcia"
(ah, this one remembered to tell me who was calling!)
"so how was your night?"
"yes, yes it was."
then she hangs up.
i have all the critical information,
except where she is.
i don't have long to think about this,
because the phone rings again.
"good morning! 3-day check-in"
"do you have any coffee?"
"no, i don't have any coffee here."
"i thought you might bring some coffee."
"no, i won't be bringing any coffee."
"oh well; i am at the church of latter day saints."
"who is i?"
"i don't know the distance for that church."
"between parsons and linden."
(that would be between 103 and 125)
"which side of the tennessee river are you on?"
"you haven't reached the tennessee river yet?"
"oh no, we crossed that a long time ago...
but we haven't got to linden yet."
i am trying to think of a way to narrow this down some, and she volunteers a clue.
"dallas is right behind us."
"dallas smith. poor dallas."
"i have a crew, and he doesn't.
i think i have lost my humanity.
i should feel guilty, up here eating ice chips....
and there is poor dallas.
he doesn't have a crew.
he doesn't have anything."
then she laughs again and hangs up.
so far i know that marcia had a night,
and diane has ice chips, but would like coffee.
(also dallas still has no crew, but that is only hear-say)
the phone rings again.
"good morning! 3-day check-in."
"this is (garbled) bruce's crew"
"and how are yall doing this morning?"
"we are doing good. bruce is at 102."
"102? it seems more likely he is at 202?"
"oh, yes. it is probably 202. not that it makes any difference....
well, it might make a difference to bruce."
(i am sure it makes a difference to bruce.)
"i have you down, ya'll have a fun day out there."
she hangs up.
i am not sure the vol-state is good for brain function.
but the important thing is,
everyone seemed to be in very good spirits.
i better get these results to carl,
so we can start figuring out where people are
(within a planet)
Saturday, June 29, 2013
Friday, June 28, 2013
AND SO IT BEGINS
BAD. Very bad!
Holy cow, it was hot and humid and I was soaked within the first mile. Granted, it was about 5 in the afternoon and there was no shade but I was seriously reconsidering the idea of running on Monday. I took it easy and checked out the area. I needed to do 6 on Saturday and 3 on Sunday so was hoping to run near the hotel before I left to help at the races. This test run didn't seem like it was such a good idea to be running there so early in the morning though.
I finished my run and then showered and got ready for the first pre-race dinner at Fazoli's. There were 7 of us there and it was fun.
I relaxed in the hot tub for a while, just watching the fireflies (the first I've seen in 16 years!) and looking at the stars and then I went back to the hotel and got ready for the next day.
THE JACKAL TRAIL MARATHON
Clark and I were going to do the timing and race support for this race and I'd told Josh I would be there about 6:30 and he said they would be there about 6 so I skipped breakfast (not my best idea) and met them there about 6:15 to help set up. It is a lot easier to get ready when you aren't racing! I wore the race shirt I'd gotten from Josh the night before and was ready to be Ms. Race Support for the day. Here is the back of our shirt for the weekend. It's a new favorite!
I also got to meet Monique on Saturday. She designed the shirts and medals and Josh introduced us. She is going thru some of the same things I did in that she's losing weight and just starting out running so I've been trying to help ease the pain of beginning running. Guess what? She brought me presents to thank me!
About lunch time, I was starving and so was Clark so I went and got burgers for us. Also not my best idea because I needed to get a 6 mile run in. With the heat and then the burger, I wasn't feeling a run. :( There also wouldn't be time between race clean-up and meeting the Donnas (RIF #181 Donna Pittman and RIF #277 Donna England) at the hotel (they were staying with me) and I for sure didn't want to run after the race dinner in the dark so I decided on a 1 mile streaksaver.
There were only a few runners left on the course so Josh told me to go ahead and run during the race. I decided to run 1 mile in the reverse direction on the course so I could meet up with RIF #45 Leanne who was running her first trail marathon and on her last lap and then I could walk back with her. I timed it perfectly and got to keep her company for the last mile. :)
Once everyone was back, we cleaned up the site and took everything back to the cars and then I headed to the hotel to shower and meet the Donnas. After they got there and rested a bit, we drove over to Rafferty's to meet the others for the race dinner.
After dinner, we went back to the hotel so they could get ready for their races on Sunday and I could get the shirts and bibs ready for the morning. I slept like a baby for 6 hours. Even when I remembered that I had left Josh's watch hooked on a tree at the trail. Oops. I prayed it would be there or I knew I would never hear the end of it.
THE BACKASS JACKAL MARATHON
Sunday was pretty much a repeat of Saturday except I had been smart enough to pick up some protein bars for breakfast so I wouldn't be starving all day. First thing I did when I got to the trail was check to see if Josh's watch was there and it was! Score! :)
We had the routine down better for the second day so it felt more relaxed. I handed out shirts and bibs and checked people in and pretty soon it was time for the pre-race photo and prayer and they were off!
Clark and I had more help on Sunday from some of the other club members throughout the day and time just flew by. I got to take more pics and do a lot of cheering and crewing for everyone.
For dinner that night, we went to Coyote Blues which is a Cajun-Mex place. Good food and some great conversation. I love, love, love hanging out with runners because you learn so much about where they've run and what they've done and it inspires me to do more. I didn't want to eat anything too crazy since I was running a hot marathon the next day so just had 2 tacos and rice. But I did stop at Baskin Robbins on the way back to the hotel. I tried to go to bed early and not freak out to much about the race the next morning but I was pretty nervous. I did sleep okay though. After 2 days of helping out other runners, now it was my turn. I was as ready as I'd ever be for what was to come. Or so I thought....
I have volunteered at one race before but only manned an early aid station so didn't really do much. I'd also crewed Josh at YT100 and did a mini crewing for him at a couple of other races. But that was the extent of it. I wanted to do more and give back to the running community and that's why I flew to TN for these races. Not to mention the bonus that it would mostly be friends and Run It Fast Club members running so it would be a lot of fun.
The other reason I wanted to go was to support and help Josh. I have been on the receiving end of a lot of the good he's done - from encouraging me at the beginning of my journey to ultras to offering help when I ended up in the ER to driving me to races and waiting for me many times. I've seen him do that for others too and I wanted to make sure he had all the help he needed for the weekend. He still did a lot but hopefully Clark and I were able to take some of the burden from him.
Helping out felt good. I was happy to be a part of so many great runs on both days and spend time with friends and make new ones. :) The first 2 days were a blast and I would do that every weekend if I could. Except that I would want to run too so not sure how that would work out. ;)
Part 2 will be coming this weekend. I hope you'll check back! Thanks for reading!
Wednesday, June 19, 2013
Sunday night, my layover was in Vegas and I mentioned to one of the RIFers how I don't gamble anymore because I am not lucky. PJ (@runnerinlv) replied : "You are lucky. You get to go run how many races?". Dallas (@smithbend) has said something similar to me many times. They are right!
I am very lucky that I get to travel and race as much as I do!
So, my weekend of fun started on Friday with a flight to Denver at 6:25 in the morning and then another one to Nashville. In Nashville, I picked up my rental car and drove the 140 miles to Paducah, KY. It was a beautiful drive...except for the 2 torrential downpours I drove thru! Sheesh. But I made it safely and checked into my hotel and then headed out to make our reservations for dinner the next night at Olive Garden. Then I headed to the Riverfront to check it out and get something to eat.
The Riverfront was very cool and it was a nice evening to stroll along the river to walk off the meal I ate:
bridge was pretty darn cool to cross.
I eventually found my way back to the hotel and tried to stay up as late as possible so I would sleep in the next morning. But darn if I didn't wake up at 6am. I did stay and bed until 10:30ish though to rest. Then I showered and got ready and walked over to get a sandwich at Arby's. I spent the rest of the afternoon reading and trying to nap. The napping never happened but for sure I got plenty of rest! About 4, I got dressed and gathered up all my gear and then went over to the Olive Garden to wait for the RIFers to arrive.
IT'S A CLICHE BUT...
I had pasta to carbo load for RUTS. :)
There were 24 RIF Club Members and family that came to the pre-race dinner. It was a lot of fun and I got to meet a lot of them for the first time. It's funny because after following them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram I felt like I know them already and had to remind myself that we hadn't met before.It was great to get to know everyone.
Dinner was good. Salad, bread, and spaghetti. It was over too fast! And then it was time to head to the race which was held at Carson Park and is a .5 mile horse track. It only took a few minutes to get there and I'd already packed my stuff up in the car for it. At the race site, I found where RIF #1 Josh (@bayou) was and got my stuff sorted out and shoes on. Luckily, Josh had brought a chair for me to sit on so my stuff...and my butt...wouldn't be on the ground. All around the track, runners had set up chairs and/or tents for themselves, family, and friends. It was a festive atmosphere.
Josh had ordered shirts to celebrate the big crowd of RIFers at RUTs and I helped hand them out so it gave me a chance to meet even more RIFers before the race. Here's Josh modeling the shirt. It has all our names on the back.
Anyway...then we got together for the big group picture. The top photo is from the dinner and the bottom was before RUTs:
AND THEY'RE OFF...
The race director sent us off promptly at 8. I was toodling along and when I got back to the start line everyone was just milling about. It turns out there was a problem with the timing system so they asked to wait a few minutes while they ironed it out.
So...then we were off again! This time I got 4 laps in before they stopped us again. Still timing issues. So they had us wait again while they reloaded the old software and tried again. This time though they said that if it didn't work, they would let us keep going and we would be on the honor system to tell them what lap we were on/finished.
So we started up again about 9:15. One thing I'm happy to say is that I didn't hear any grumbling from the runners. Everyone took it in stride and took the extra time to talk and meet people. The race would now end at 6:!5 so it would be a shortened race and I just adjusted my goals. I'd planned/hoped on running 40 miles but when I thought it was going to be 9 hours instead of 10, I just said whatever I did would be fine.
In the end, I think the mix up with the timing worked in my favor because I didn't have a good night. I was fine for the first 13 miles but then my ITB and foot started getting really unhappy. I think they didn't like going in the same .5 mile circle the entire time and my right foot didn't like the banking on the one side of the track. I ended up walking for most of the rest of the night. I'd actually battled with myself throughout the night. First, I thought of stopping at 13 miles, then at 20, then at 26. Then they said our laps from the first 2 false starts would count so I figured I would go to 31 miles and call it a day. And that's what I did.
I finished in time to grab my camera and get some pics of the RIFers who were still running and see them finish strong and with new PRs and new PLs. It was very cool to see!
THE COMPANY YOU KEEP
Really, the thing that kept me going all night even though I wasn't running anymore (and I really hate walking) was getting to see and talk to the other RIFers. I spent the majority of my laps talking to and catching up with various members. Those that weren't running, were always good for an encouraging word as I went by. One of the best moments of the night was getting to see RIF #4 Marj (@marathonmarj) racing by me on her way to finishing her first ultra! Another favorite was getting to hear the stories and the jokes from RIF #27 Anthony, RIF #169 Billy, and RIF #179 Arthur. They were hilarious! Here are Anthony and Billy running at the end:
IT'S ALL ABOUT THE BLING
And of course, here's the most important part...my bling:
After I packed up my stuff and helped Josh with his, I went back to the hotel and showered and then rested for a little while. After I checked out, I met Josh and RIF #181 Donna (@RunslikePhoebe) for lunch for my first ever Taco Johns lunch. It was pretty good but more it was fun to rehash the night with the two of them. Who both did AMAZING there, by the way.
And then I drove back to Nashville and flew home. And one of the best weekends EVER was over. :(
I can't wait to do it again!
Thanks for reading! And by the way, if you would like to do a timed race, check out this post I did on Run It Fast - Running Loopy - Why you should run a timed race: http://runitfast.com/2013/06/17/running-loopy-why-you-should-run-a-timed-race/
Thursday, June 6, 2013
So, after the Fontana Days 5K, I went home and showered and packed and headed down to San Diego for the Rock n' Roll San Diego Half on Sunday. I had to pick up my bib, etc. and I wanted to check out the expo. Although I swore I was not going to buy ANY running gear! Ha!
OH MY GOD, IT'S MEB
I got to the expo around 2 and picked up my bib and shirt:
One not so good thing about them is that there are a LOT of vendors at the expo! I made it past all the skirt and shoe places. Though I must admit, I did stop at a couple. But my wallet was safe in my bag. As I was leaving though, I made the mistake of wandering by the Sprigs booth...and going in. I tried so hard to resist...no, I'm lying...I saw their headbands and fell in love and walked out with not one but TWO headbands! They are reversible though so it's like getting 4 for the price of 2! This is me in my favorite one:
I can't believe I've already done 2 dozen half marathons. The Rock n' Roll was a fun way to celebrate my 24th half marathon. I wish it had gone better but I would do it again. I would just make sure I got to the start much earlier! And didn't fall.
The weekend started out with a bang and ended with a whimper but I think that's okay. It's better that I didn't tire myself out too much there because I have 10 hours of running to do at RUTs on Saturday night! I hope to get in 40 miles there...while I party with 70 Run It Fast Club members. :)
Thanks for reading! Wish me luck because it's going to be another Wild Racing Weekend!.
And I can't wait.
Tuesday, June 4, 2013
I wasn't really nervous about the double weekend because frankly, I didn't think I had it in me to run a hard 5K right now. My 5K PR is 24:59 and that felt so far off from where I am at. I'm not even really hitting those times in training except during 400s. I had kind of resigned myself to running between 27-30 minutes with it probably being closer to 30 minutes.
I started lecturing myself the night before the 5K though. I told myself to quit whining and go after my goals. I started thinking about what it would take to PR and how fast I would have to run. Instead of telling myself I couldn't do it, I told myself I could.
SUCK IT UP BUTTERCUP
On Saturday morning, I woke up at 4 and got ready to go down to the race. It's only about 10 minutes from me but I needed to pick up my shirt and bib first and then board a bus to the start. I got there after 5 and made my way over to registration. I got my bib and then went over and got my shirt. And we had a bonus pin in our goody bag! My shirt and pin:
Then I hung around while I waited for the bus and drank water and ate a banana.
I was able to get on the first bus and it got us to the start line in plenty of time for a warm up. I ran 2 miles to get my legs nice and warm. I find that my legs don't feel peppy until after they have 2 miles in them and I wanted to start out as peppy as possible. The view was pretty nice up there. I had been hoping for some June Gloom to keep things cool but it was clear as a bell. And warm.
I was nervous before the start because I wanted to do really well and I was afraid I would give up or slow down because it was too hard. So all while I warmed up, I lectured myself over and over again...You can do this. You gotta try. You know you'll be mad at yourself if you don't. You know how to hurt. Embrace the sufferfest. Suck it up buttercup!...and I was ready to run.
Fontana's Mayor said a few words to us about the 100 years celebration and this being the 58th running of the Fontana Days Run and then she sent us off!
I should have gotten closer to the front because I had to do a lot of weaving in the beginning but it eventually thinned out and I was flying. I looked down at my Garmin and it said I was doing a 7:48 pace and thought about slowing it down but it never actually happened. Oops. So the first mile was maybe a little too fast especially with the dodging the walkers slower runners but it was fine.
The second mile, I did slow down a little and go with the planned 8:00 min mile and that one went by in 7:59. Somewhere in the 2nd mile, I think it was, I saw Richard Maya from Instagram and he gave me a huge cheer when he saw me in my Run It Fast shirt and that helped a lot. I was starting to hurt but felt I could keep up the pace for another mile. What's another mile, right?
The third mile was hard. And it hurt. I gotta tell you, I thought briefly about slowing it down and settling for 27 minutes but I knocked that thought right out of my head. I did slow a little though and that mile was 8:10.
Then I saw the finish and I ran my little heart out because I was going to finish as strong as possible! There was lots of encouragement from the crowd and I ran and ran and then I was done! 3.16 miles and 25:08 per my Garmin. 7:36 pace for the last bit! I thought I was gonna puke!
But I didn't. :) I got my medal and then got some water and fruit and laid down in the shade in the grass to cool down. After a little while, I went to cheer at the finish until the times were posted. I was curious to see what my official time was. And then it was posted:
GOALS ARE SCARY
So many times in the past 6 months I've set a goal for a race and it hasn't panned out. There have been just 2 races since the DNF at Death Valley that I have been satisfied with my time (Snoopy Coaster Run 10K and the Hollywood Half). I have been afraid to set true goals because I didn't want to be disappointed when I failed. I have not been running races as races but more as fun runs and I've forgotten how to hurt.But this time I was satisfied with how I ran it. I gave it everything I had and while I didn't PR, I think I did pretty well. I was a happy runner girl on Saturday!
Thanks for reading!
Thursday, May 23, 2013
THE BIRTHDAY ADVENTURE BEGINS
- I had a quick weekend getaway to the Bay Area.
- I got to visit a strange and mysterious mansion (totally right up my alley)!
- Got new trail shoes that I love!
- Ran some stunning trails and finished my 12th marathon!
- Had dinner with Naresh!
- Who bought me a delicious, chocolate cake.
- I got to meet a cool RIFer (Dennis who finished his first 50K).
- And got some heartwarming affirmation that I am blessed to have such good, supportive, and caring friends.