Monday, July 6, 2015

I'm Back in the Saddle!



Hey oh, oh eh Guys!

I just had my leg examined by my orthopedist. My X-ray's are negative. My leg is not broken!

Basically, I have a huge amount of scar tissue over the old fracture site. This is the area that has been giving me trouble. I knew I had scar tissue there because I can feel it. It has not bothered me during marathon training and running easy. 

However, over the past few weeks I have increased my paces. My leg was happily plodding along at 7 pace. However, at 6 pace and faster my leg was getting cranky. That's because I'm really stretching that area on toe off. 

So, I need to suck it up and keep going! I need to run harder and break up the scar tissue. Pile on the massage. Poke it with an ice pick! 

I can't tell you the peace of mind this gives me. It has been so stressful to run knowing that I was possibly breaking my leg again.

So onward!!

Thank you for all your kind messages of support. You guys rock! Hopefully I will too!!!

Laura

Saturday, July 4, 2015

My 1st DNF




Hey Guys!!

I have regretfully let my blog slip this summer. I'm so sorry! And now I have a big fat fail to report.  You know I love reading about your fails and successes. I like to learn what works and what doesn't work for you guys. So, here's what happened on my trip into downtown FAIL-VILLE.

I wish I could say, ah-ha! That's it! But it's never so easy. First,  I hate summer running. Every year I swear I won't train through the summer. But I usually do. And I usually wreck myself. However, I am not sure if or how wrecked I am, yet.

I had a few tough weeks adjusting to the heat and humidity in NC. Fine. So did everyone else. Then last week I felt like I was finally able to run without bitching, crying, reporting the weather on all my Strava links. I did it! I kept plugging away. I felt good.

BUT

I'm a liar. I will deny any pain to myself and others until blood is pouring out of my eyeballs.  And then I will tell you it's a nosebleed smearing around because I ate too much gluten for dinner. I will grimace until my teeth break before acknowledging pain. Unless there is bone showing, keep going. But it's not to be a tough guy. It's because I'm willing the pain away. If I don't acknowledge it, it doesn't exist! The pain to me is because:

*I ran too fast on my way out of Umstead yesterday.
*I switched to a 0 drop too aggressively.
*just too many cul de sac turns too fast.
*too much mileage. Not enough mileage.
*too many rocks on the trails.
*dehydration. I just need to drink more.

I can't say that when I run I'm in pain. I'm not. But afterwards I sometimes feel like shit. But by the next run I'm okay. That's normal, right? Historically, I run a lot. I run hard. So that's the price I pay. I'm good with that. I've said it a million times: I rather run hard and injure ~once a year then run safe and stay healthy. I LOVE the fine line. I love the edge. I love the success that comes with pushing myself at the risk of wrecking myself.

So it's all very vague for me in the summer. I can't tell when to back off. And quite frankly, I don't think I would back off. Only a few of you will nod your head to that one.

KERNERSVILLLE 4TH OF JULY 5K

So, this morning I had a 5k scheduled. I hate 5k's. But I looked at it as though it was a matter of minutes until I could claim my reward for all my hard work. Just a few crappy miles to solidify that summer can't touch me. I planned on doing the motions and collecting an 18:35-18:45. Taking my dinky trophy home and moving on.

Contrar Mu Frar.

Let me back up to my strides yesterday. They always predict my fitness. My strides were strong, almost obnoxious for parking lot running. I did 4x200 getting the pace just under 5 pace. I was sure my 5k would be tit.

I did my 2 mile warm up. I switched shoes.  Then, I went to go do strides before the start and I couldn't. My body was saying no. I tried to push and I was getting zapped in my ankle. I thought that was weird. But still, I lined up because I drove almost 2 hours and I'm fucking fit!

So the gun goes off and I feel paralyzed. Partly out of fear that I'm about to break my leg on the next step. I told myself to shut up and suck it up. I closed my eyes and went hard again. It wasn't working. My leg was acting weird. It was getting a warm burning feeling like it was torn. My range of motion was stolen. I figured I was being a wimp because I don't like 5k's. I kept trying to go. But it was like my legs were on backwards. I was so focused on figuring out what was going on that I was running like shit. Or was I making this up? Don't know. See above section on lying.

So, after about .50 I decided I would DNF. I made that scrunchy face trying to hide my dissappointment. I have never quit a race. Then, the logistics came into play. I was running on a parade route and there was no escape! What a nightmare. I scanned feverishly and found a space between some people and ran into a parking lot. I stopped. I thought, now what? It's over? I failed. My kids had secretly made all these "I'm proud of you" signs and I have to say I stopped running? I tapered all week for this?

I was shocked. I figured I overreacted and this was some horrible dream. My leg didn't hurt standing there. I decided to do a long cool down. That lasted maybe another 3 miles before I was almost crying again. Now, I'm really upset. I'm mope-running, avoiding the finish line...circling a bank parking a zillion times just for mileage. Ridiculous.

So, after talking to a few friends and feeling cheered up a little, I left. I sat in my car and mutilated my leg trying to self diagnosis. I need to know NOW if this is broken or strained, torn...I can't take uncertainty. Well, I don't know. I'm going to have to wait until Monday to see my Ortho.

So that sums up my 8:30 hour this morning. I'll probably swim until my rotator cuffs fall off tomorrow.

On a side note. The part of my leg that hurts is the exact area of my fibula I fractured into 2 pieces last August. The odds of breaking a fibula are less than 10%. The odds of rebreaking a fibula are NILL according to my Ortho. He said it would be impossible to break it in the same area again.  So I will relax knowing that is MUST be soft tissue. I just stepped on something, ya....until Monday, that's my story!

I promise to update you. Thanks for caring and reading. : )


Laura












Tuesday, May 19, 2015

A Month Post Boston

Hey Guys!

Sorry I have been MIA. It's never so easy to move on after a crappy race. Especially, a marathon. It's not like a 5k that can be repeated the following weekend. So, I went through the usual range of emotions:

1. I'm always proud after I marathon. I was proud of this Boston.

2. Then, disappointed. I worked so hard. The grieving for that probably took 2 weeks.

3. Then, I really wanted to race another marathon. Badly!

4. Then, I didn't want to run 20 miles ever again.

5. Then, I let it go. Live and learn. I moved on.

I mean c'mon. It was a 3:02. The self whining was ridiculous. Yes, I failed to reach my goal. But hell, at least I wasn't injured.  I left the finish line with a bruised ego but also with a shit ton of fitness that I would build off of. Then, shop around to other shorter races.

I bought new running shoes. I bought 2 pairs of booty shorts and said ONWARD!

Now, I'm back to 5k/10k/15k training. I'm not stalking any fall marathons YET, but when I feel fit I'm going for it. Last summer most of my long runs could have been pushed into marathons with great PR's. But I waited too long and eventually injured. Lesson learned.

My mileage is around 80/week now. I'm in the gym about 5 days a week doing core, stretching, arms. It's almost like a vacation. But the humidity is surely starting to destroy that fantasy!

I'm in a good spot now. I am happy with my training. I'm up at 4:30am 7 days a week and usually have shoes on ground by 5:30ish. I get to watch the sunrise and do what I love to do. But don't take that fluff for defeat or complacency. I am hungry! I want a better summer than last year. I want a 5k, 10k and 15k PR. Then I want to march my ass 26.2 miles to my fastest marathon yet. I won't concede. I won't give up.

That is why I love this sport. Sure, you can have fails, but as long as you learn from them then you'll just be that much stronger. If someone said, Laura: HERE is the recipe for a 2:50 marathon. Do this, eat that and you'll get there guaranteed. I would say, get that needle out of my arm! Haha. Joke. I would say no, training is an adventure. It's life, it's living. I don't want the easy way out. I love the daily grind, becoming stronger. Give it here!

Again, thank you for all your support and kind words!  I'm really just a physical token of all the cheers, love, support and encouragement I get from you guys. Without that I may as well just treadmill in the dark. LOL.

Cheers to happy summer running guys! I promise to update more!!


Laura




Wednesday, April 22, 2015

My Boston Marathon 2015 Race Report

Hey Guys!

I feel weird saying this. But, I'm not as upset as you may think. Clearly, that is not the race I had trained for. While I am bummed I didn't go sub 2:55, I'm more bummed that we had horrible race conditions. That, I can't control. If we had 40 degrees and a tailwind and I ran the same time I would be sick to my stomach!

I can't say thank you enough for your support. Every mat I crossed I thought of all of you. I knew Pete in Japan had set his alarm clock to see my finish. I knew my Mom was my social media director. I knew Joey was biting his lip after my 15k split and crossing his fingers. I knew the teachers at my kid's school had the tracking projected on the board. My sister did the same in her own classroom. I am and was beyond honored that you care.

But SHIT it was miserable. It came down to logical reasoning for me. The rain, wind and cold took me out mentally before they did physically. I knew when it was pouring sideways at 9am with a 20+mph headwind it was going to be tough.  I have never even tempo'd 6 miles with any degree of success in wind half as strong. So, I approached the start with a slightly defeated but optimistic attitude. I would will the conditions away. Draft. Focus.

That technique lasted about 10 miles. I was screwing my head into the wind at times. Trying to fight it. I took other measures to conserve energy. I kept my arm swing minimal and tight. I didn't hammer any of the uphills. When the wind would break I tried to stride my split time down. This wasn't working. At the half I knew I was done. I couldn't push any harder. I'm 100 pounds. The wind was strong. My clothes and shoes were soaked. I couldn't even see at times because the rain was so blinding.

I tried to run the rest of the race as best I could. I wanted to stay strong and kept hope that the conditions would change. That is a tough agenda when you know every footstep is off goal. Then, on top of that the weather became worse as I approached Boston. I was laughing at times in disbelief. Was this really happening?!

The pace felt moderate. But the effort was sub marathon pace. It was a messed up feeling. How could I be running so slow but giving so much?

I stopped looking at my watch after 2 hours. It was depressing. But it's BOSTON! I mean, there was no boohoo'ing. The fans were out in full force. I was running the race most runner's dream about. I wasn't going to be a little bitch because I was wrecking my Sub-3 streak. I really enjoyed the race despite not running as fast as I wanted. I finished with a smile on my face in 3:02. I'm not defeated. Success is not always linear. I'm probably a little too eager to redeem myself but that's ok.

My plan is to babysit my fitness for a few weeks and do it again! I worked hard for the shape I'm in. I'm not shutting it down and waking up in 5k land in a month. I'm going to recover and try again. I know I can do it.

The Good:

*I feel fine. Not even a blister.
*I'm confident in my training and fitness level.
*Brooks T7 Racers are great marathon shoes.
*I didn't get the hypothermic shakes until the finish line.
* I had loving family standing at the finish line.
*I found the best hairstyle for marathoning! See below.
*I will never stop doing this marathon!

The Bad:

*I'm sitting here and I can't think of anything. I refuse to feel sorry for myself. I'm still healthy, alive and happy! There is no bad. I ran the Boston Marathon for a 3rd time. I am elated to have the privilege.

The Immediate Plan:
Recover this week. Do some easy runs. I'll KNOW what I have. Considering I feel nearly flawless I am planning on another marathon soon. Within the next month. I'm still in the planning stage.

Here are some pics from the weekend. Thanks again guys!! I love you all! XO

A joke. I was lost again in Boston...


Pre race wind...


A Boston Sunrise

I saw this in a running magazine. I highly recommend! 

The light was right. The kids, not so much!

Every race, forever...

Kathy!

Pre race 5am. 

Post race lunch with my finish line dream team

My BFF at the hotel. She helped with train tickets and hair stylists.

10 seconds post race.10 seconds pre hypothermia

My babies tracking me in school.

Joey and stretching on Tuesday morning. 

Can you tell what I did on Monday? If not, I'll tell YOU!


Heading down to the start.

My ONE race photo is sucking air on Heartbreak Hill. The bib is starting to fold...

Finish

Finish

Thanks for reading! I will keep you posted on plan B. You know I'm not done yet!

Laura




Sunday, April 19, 2015

Marathon Eve!

Hey Guys!

A quick check in on the night before Boston 2015. I am ready for a fight tomorrow! I want to see blood! I am tapered, healthy and ready to roll. I want to work, suffer and feel victory. I want to give every fiber of my being to this race. I want to see how tough I am. I want to feel proud.

I am probably more excited than I have ever been pre race. I know we are going to have deplorable conditions. Rain turning to pouring rain, 40 degrees, feeling like 35, and a 20-30mph head wind the entire race.

But I don't give a shit! I've trained in this. My goal is to give my best regardless of conditions. The cold is fine. The humidity will be okay. The wind...I'll follow a big dude. I still have fight, strength and great hair!

It's on!!!

Here are some random pics from the weekend!

Thank you again for your support!! You guys are going down to Boston with me. Hang the F- on!


Honey, I'm home!






Race hair!

They better move tomorrow!


Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Marathon pics over the years!

Hey Guys!

It's me again! Bored out of my mind and up late. It's 8 freaking 30pm on a Wednesday! Woohoo!

So check these photos out. These are photos of me in each of my previous 3 marathons. And 1 of me last week. RUN MORE YO!

THE SHIT'S GOING DOWN!!
 
P.S. I can't believe I'm posting these. But it's a testament to my ever increasing dedication and mileage over the years. I'm proud of all my races and training. I wouldn't change it for the world!

 

My 1st Marathon Eugene 2012. 3:02


My 2nd Marathon. Boston 2013 2:58



My 3rd Marathon Boston 2014 2:58


BoilerMaker 15k When I  started getting really serious 58:52 I had to throw this one in : )

  
Last week. Ready for Boston 2015!

More Later Guys!!XO

P.S. No earbuds this year. I'm a big girl now!

Sunday, April 12, 2015

A Quick Check In!

Hey guys!!

Finally an 83 mile week! Taper is here! I either going to be really FAST in a week or freaking fat, haha.

It's so weird going from 5 doubles a week to nearly none this week. I look forward to singles in the morning but then when evening comes around I think my body revolts. Not only do I miss my evening shake out run, but that also means HOUSEWORK.  Um, ya. At 5pm in my house it's either homework, dishes or dinner. HATED IT!


But forget the crusty cookie sheets, dog crap in the living room and piles of laundry. Let's celebrate that I haven't busted my ass in the most epic build up of my marathoning career! 100-126 miles a week since January 1st. (14 weeks) For the last month I've felt run down. Now I feel like this. Awe YEAHHHHH!


Today,  I ran my last double digit run. 14 miles. I was podding along running easy pace. Then I saw my most favorite nameless greenway runner. I see him enough in passing to recognize him but I'm not sure who he is. I know he reads my blog. So I shouted out: 1 MORE WEEK! Then, he goes TOP 100 with a high 5 so hard that I almost ricocheted into the woods!!! Like, a kid in a candy store. I got all excited! I'm like ya, you're right! Sometimes I lose sight of the big picture and whine about blisters and small stuff. But he's right!
As you can tell I saw the Greenway Runner right when I went from easy to moderate pace. Mile 10ish. The power of the high 5!


I'm training to run the fastest marathon of my life. My 3rd consecutive Sub 3 Boston Marathon. I want to break into the top 100 females and top 10 age group. I'm a few peeps away from that goal.

I'm just putting it out there. I'm not afraid of failure. Hell, I push my limits every single day. We all know I could injure, burn out, or something on the highly probable list. But I haven't! I've been smart. I have excellent coaching that has been superbly designed for me and my strengths. (That's next blog) Nothing has been left to chance. The game is ON!

Now, I'm picking out shoes, outfits and nail color. Wooohoooo! Here are some potentials!







So, I'll check back in soon! I love you guys and all your support! Have a great night!

Laura

Friday, March 27, 2015

Marathoning is way more than Running

It's me again guys! I figure if I can run twice a day I should be able to blog twice. I have so many things to say but the fatigue monster keeps throwing me on the couch. haha

So, as I continue my training for my 3rd Boston Marathon I have tried to pull out what works for me and hopefully it will help you too.  We all know that eating well, hydrating, sleep etc are important. But let me analyze things a little further.

Diet:

Sugar: I'm on my 3rd year of no refined sugar. I'll never look back. Sugar is inflammation. Runners typically avoid that at all costs. Easy. Done. Next!

Protein: Quest Bars and Quest Bars. 20g of protein. 180 calories. No sugar. I eat 3 a day minimum. Or whatever it takes to keep my daily protein at 80-100 grams. Lots of chicken, beans, almonds...Protein repairs your muscles. When you destroy them like I do it's almost a guilt trip if I don't feed them. I think of my muscles as a 3rd person helping me do what I love. Good job guys!

Carbohydrates: Yes please. Pasta, sweet potatoes, rice..repeat....

Water: Hate it! I've been adding Herbal Life Mango flavored Aloe to my water. It's really good and makes hydration bearable. Otherwise I could exist on espresso.

Nutrition on the Run:

Last year was about the gels. This year I've bonked twice upon taking a cafinated gel. I got dizzy and had a bad reaction. So my super talented friend Diluca told me to try Generation UCAN. I did and haven't hit the wall yet! I mix one drink 30 minutes before I run long or any run that I think is worth $3.50 for the single serve packet. lol. It is sustained energy. Even keel. And can I say yummy? I like the raspberry one.

Sport Legs have always been in my bag. They keep the burn away. I take 2 before every run with effort.

I don't hydrate while running. Carrying a water bottle wears me out. And I seem to do ok without. This only applies to winter running.

Sleep: For weeks 1-4 of my build up I didn't need naps. For weeks 5-8 I needed 2 1-hour naps a week. Now, if I don't get a daily 30-60 minute nap I will cut you! Napping in the car while waiting for my child to finish their 75th extracurricular activity is okay! I have tints.

I'm trying to think of what else. It's very important to get a good 20 grams of protein in immediately post run. I don't care if it's 8 miles. Eat a Quest Bar. I say this emphatically because I'm turning out big weeks and every run has the potential to nick at me. I need to protect myself from injury.
Keeping the niggles away


I guess it's not rocket science. But I can guarantee that if I ate doughnuts and drank Pepsi I would not feel the same and most likely I would be nursing some injury. #not20anymore

I hope this helps. These products work for me. My next blog will be on the people that are getting me to the start HEALTHY! Again, I don't just wing it for 100+ miles a week. I'm giving gray hairs to someone. haha.

Continued happy running guys!

Laura









Why I Probably Run More Than You

Hey Everyone!!

I am so sorry I have been slacking on my updates! This Boston build up is deliciously exhausting. When I have 30 minutes to spare I'm using telling Siri to wake me up in a few.  But seriously, I've never trained so hard or so much in my life.

They say you really learn about yourself in a marathon. I will extend that to marathon training. Because there are all sorts of fun things you get to deal with along the way! Such as:

The usual suspects:

*Fatigue
*Excitement
*An out of control ego
*Quickly beat down by the epic fail training run
*Insatiable appetite
*Irritability

Then the less obvious suspects:

*Friction burns, turned into permanent scabs
*2 to 3 showers a day from doubling and sometimes X-training
*Accepting that life for 12 weeks will be in a pony tail
*Doing a double and farting the whole way while waving to your neighbors
*Bloody noses from freezing temps
*Explaining to non runners that running 2-3 hours a day is epic and rewarding!
*Explaining to your child that you can't sit in a folding chair and watch them practice. It hurts!
*No, I'm not trying to lose weight!

SO WHY?! What is the point? I love to ponder this question and have a million different answers.

Why have I run 1254 miles since January 1st? My weekly totals are:

95, 95, 100, 104, 114, 120, 100, 71, 109, 125, 108, 103 (this week) That includes 6 long runs that were 20-24 miles.

That's more than a lot of men will run and go sub 2:30. Some people will run 40% of that and kick my ass. I'm aware. But it's not my goal to beat them. It's my goal to beat me. It's my goal to push myself till I want to give up and then learn to make that my comfort zone. I'm not training for complacency.

It's about grinding and pushing the envelope. Sucking it up. Wiping the tears. And doing it again and again.

Mentally, this kind of training is probably harder than the physical act of moving your body. One day you feel invincible and the next, trashed. Over and over. It's a mental beat down. So you have to believe in yourself and your training. Because odds are you will need to get your shoes back on and run within the next 5 hours.

I know what I can do. I don't want to train for a 3rd 2:58. I'd like to give a little more this time. I'm no different from the 4 or 5 hour marathoner. I think most of us throw down our best. We don't roll up to a track for 800's and run easy pace. We all try. That's all you can ask for. And at the end of the day or week it puts a smile on our faces.

It teaches my kids and yours that giving up is not an option. That this is what commitment looks like. That somedays your best will be last weeks worst. And in the end you can check the DONE box feeling accomplished.

I'm going to cut this off here. But I have some dietary tips, tricks and hopefully not placebos to share on the next post. I don't have a double today so I'll work on that now : )

As always you guys rock! I couldn't do it without you! Thanks again for your support. T-3w2d to turn this mutha out! See you at Hopkinton!

Later Taters!!

Here are some random pics:

Running out of poses nowadays

A great 10 miler!

Props to my LMBT for being 75% of the reason I'm still on the roads

Fashion "situations"

35 degrees in the am. 80 degrees in the pm. Sure!

This has become acceptable...somehow...

Seeing this on my run!

That's a happy dance right there!

What else does one do betw parked cars while celebrating a great day?!

I would like to thanks my family and pets for supporting me

And my training partner who I will always look up to

And the pendulum swings...a good day...