Wednesday, October 22, 2014

2 Days 2 More States and Lots of New Beers


 This was the weekend to knock off States 45 and 46. I flew into Kansas City Mo on friday and headed to the expo for my packet and my friend Larry's as he wasn't going to make it in time. I also was doing the I-35 Challenge so I had to check into that booth. The I-35 Challenge was simply a challenge they created for those running both events whether it be half's or full's and you got an extra shirt and another metal. I usually and in and out of expos fast as I have so much stuff that I really don't need anything but here they had a booth set up to make screen printed shirts on the spot. You picked your style then you picked what you wanted to have printed on the front back or both. I picked out this shirt
 they called game day which is oversized and super comfy.  I was up early to fly out so I grabbed a sandwich for an early super and was in bed by 8:30 which was 9:30 my time zone.  I slept pretty good and woke up the next morning and brought my bag down to the front desk to check as they only had late check out at noon....I tried to turn my gar garmin and it was dead so I took it back to my bag. I heard the cut off was a strict 6 hour cut off and I really thought i would be close to 6 hours, I had only ran a couple times in the past 3 weeks and was running Iowa the next day so all I wanted to do was finish in time. The event was much larger then I expected and thought there is no way Im gonna find Larry for our Pre Race Photo but sure enough there he was! Always a pleasure. We chatted for a bit and the race started and off I went. I actually felt really good and had no watch and no way to watch pace but in reality it didn't matter as long as I got in within 6 hours.  Larry and another friend said the trick they heard was to be at the 13.1 mile mark in 3 hours and they will let you finish within reason...I knew that wouldn't be an issue as I usually am faster the first half then the last.  The town was so gorgeous....so many fountains and they were all colored blue for the Royals since they were heading to the World Series. We ran through one area of the
town with some amazing homes!
 One section overlooked a waterway and the changing colors of the trees along this route added to the stunning landscape. There was one huge house with mostly glass windows for the front and the pillsbury doughboy was staring out the window....on up the road across the street was another house with a giant clown peaking at you....I co couldn't et a good shot of the clown being across the roadway but it was actually kinda creepy.  Around mile 13 there was a couple men sitting along the course watching the boring parade going by and their cooler was opened with about 8 Bud lights on ice....so I said thank you and grabbed one and headed down the road. It was tough drinking it with the foam spewing from the spout but I drank it fast and just enjoyed the journey. Folks running and watching got a great kick out of as I heard over and over I like your style! Or from runners How can you drink that? My stomach has learned to handle it plus I do go out super hard I just go out to have fun. I notice everything!  I finished that beer in about a mile and continued on. It caught me by surprise how hilly the course was...I guess thinking of Kansas City Mo with tornados you think flatlands. I don't mind the hills at all...I actually like the change of elevation to use different muscles during the course of the day. Arriving at mile 19 was a Second Presbyterian church handing out water and gatorade - at the end of the table was 2 men drinking some Samuel Adams and I said oh thats what I need a beer....they said here ya go and poured a cup about half full, they asked if I was doing Des Moines the next day, they noticed my umstead necklace and asked about it and we just had a great little visit.  I got to around the mile 23 mark and noticed a new sign I had not seen at any other events and loved it!! "Mortuary ahead....look alive!" I tried to take my own photo in front of it but was not successful and a spectator noticed and came over and snapped one for me. Believe it or not I finished this race in 4:59??? All that goofing around and still a sun 5? I headed back to the hotel and changed clothes in the lobby restroom and headed to Des Moines. It was about 180 mile drive not real exciting but wasnt bad either. The weather was absolutely perfect, clear skies, light winds and around 60 degrees. When I arrived in Des Moines I checked into the hotel first, took a shower then headed to grab my packet and check in again at the I35 booth. Tanner was messaging me about different places to go eat and I chose Fongs Pizza. It was a good choice! I was looking forward to Sunday morning run because Cheri and Jeff Linwood were going to be here and I havent seen them since New England series. We found each other at the start a
 and ran together for the first 4 or so miles. At mile 4 was the first alcohol I spotted.....2 older ladies making mimosas- heck yeah...so I stopped and grabbed one....met another runner here and we ran together telling some stories while we drank our drink....it was kinda bad placement for this as it was on a long downhill, so when we were trying to run downhill with our mimosas the beverage was spilling out and getting our hands sticky...we decided to walk down the hill and drink it up. I got to around mile 9 and there was a

couple of guys at a turn cheering us on and drinking some beers..what else do you do on a sunday when you are stuck because your neighborhood streets are closed down for most of the morning and day. I asked them if I could have one and they looked at me funny and said sure but it's glass...so I said yes and it's a beer...I won't be dropping a beer! They opened it and off I ran.  The trick is you have to drink it pretty quick to keep the head from foaming out the top of the bottle. This beer was called All Day Pale Ale - first time I have had that and I

 really liked it. Actually I don't drink often because I usually do things to the extreme and that included drinking if I'm out on the town. I finished this one and was on a part of the course that was split by landscape in the center. On the opposite side of the road I saw and heard some guys pouring beer and stating this is the only Sam Adams on the course...they didnt see me with my bottle in hand. Just past them I was finished and I left the empty on the ground where some musicians were playing, I couldnt find and garbage containers.  I was calculating in my head how far I had to go till I got back to the guys with the beer and figured it was at least 3 miles...so I had something to look forward to. I wasn't at all worried about my time for the event as I knew there was a 7 hour cut off- It was around mile 14 and there was no more Sam Adams but they had a Pale Ale called
 Boulevard, another beer I had not had since I really don't just have a beer with dinner or at home sitting around in the evening. They had some smaller cups full and I took one and thanked them and said oh just a baby beer and they asked if I wanted a full and of course I said yes...but I also said with hesitation - lets pour a quarter of it in this cup (after I drank that) because the last bottle a couple miles ago kept foaming so bad and I found myself having to keep blowing the head off...then i went on to say I dont recall ever running a marathon and blowing so much head. Yes I thought that was the funniest thing ever and they also got a giggle. So off I go...beer 2 for the day and 1 mimosa - after I finished this one I was going down a hill searching for a place to throw the bottle away and now I come across 3 couples in their front yard at the edge of the street...I asked if I could leave
 the empty with them and they all laughed and one said here...you want a refill and handed me one called a caraboo....it was about half full...perfect but boy was it strong. I drank it pretty quick because it was so strong and by now I am starting to have a buzz...I put my headset on one ear and started singing and just checking out the town. The course moved onto a trail system through a park and ahead of me I noticed a couple with some ruk sacs on and I wanted to catch up to them and see what they were training for.  As I approached I noticed they gal reaching in her pack and then taking her hand and kinda covering her face and she was lighting a cigarette! Awesome...this gal is running with a backpack smoking a cigarette and I am really buzzed!! I had to get a photo of this! I run up to her and said I've had a couple beverages and have a buzz but always
 post play by plays on my FB page of my running adventures...can I take your photo with you smoking and she said sure! Do you need another beer? What do you think we carry in our sacs? We carry our own! My new bestfriend! Her husband took our photo and we chatted for a few and I took off. This was probably around mile 18 or 19 because when we left the park it was mile 20.
 I don't remember which mile but it was before the half way mark we got to run the 400 meter track at Drake University and there was a camera set up and we could see ourself right before we exited on the big screen..I thought that was a nice little touch.
I finished day 2 in 5:25 which completely surprised me as well- 1 mimosa, 4 beers, 2 strands of beads collected on the course and one leigh!  I had a blast out there this weekend. The hotel had a 2pm check out and the run started at 8 so my goal was to get done in around 6 hours so that I didnt hold the hotel house keepers up too long. Got my shower and went to another place my son told me about called zombie burger...the burger was pretty good but the unicorn zombie milkshake was amazing!!! Vanilla ice cream, marshmallow cream topped with fruity pebbles!!!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

That Weekend didn't turn out as planned

Last weekend I was scheduled to run the Run Like a Girl Half marathon on Saturday in Columbus Ohio then a couple hour drive to Findlay for the Red White and Blue Marathon on Sunday then 4 hour drive home after.  My friend Heather had planned to do this with  me and we also persuaded another friend to sign up for both 10K's. The day before Heather let me know that she could not do Findlay due to some family issues and we have always said Family comes before a run.....Our friend Louvina signed up 2 nights before. So now we were figuring out logistics and I drove up and stayed at my brothers the night before and they were going to drive up the day of the Run Like a Girl, meet me for their packets my sis in law picked up and Heather would drive back and Louvina would go on with me to Findlay.  Several months ago my friend who also works at my gym agreed on the weekends that Im gone for just a night or two he would come take my dog in and out so I would not have to take her to the kennel....my mother always keeps my little guy but Andi is still too big and wild for her.  Around 8pm I messaged my friend to check on Andi and he informed me that he had some hip issues the day before and had spent the day in Urgent Care and now was unable to take care of Andi due to having crutches and driving a stick shift. I hate that he was hurt but it was soooo frustrating that I didnt leave town till almost 4pm on Friday and all this started on Thursday so there was plenty of time to let me know to take her to the kennel. UGGGGG So.....now I am trying to figure out what to do....do I leave now and skip Saturdays run also or just cancel Findlay and Run like a FAST girl Saturday to get home asap. This is the decision I made...I decided to run cancel Findlay...I wouldnt have time and it would be stupid to drive home after the half take Andi to the Kennel then drive 4 hours to Findlay to run it Sunday and 4 hours back after and then get home in time to pick her up at the kennel. I went to bed still stressed and just upset that this could have been brought to my attention so much sooner and I wouldnt have to worry but who knows..maybe I just wasnt suppose to run Findlay?
I woke up Saturday am to a message from Louvina with a photo of her foot in a ACE bandage saying I will find out monday if it's broken....
I got there early because I just couldn't sleep and wanted to get a decent parking spot on the street instead of the garages and I succeeded! It was FREEZING!!!! Yes I checked the weather and the weekend was going to be sunny and high of 57 degrees - perfect running conditions. I only packed short sleeve shirts cause once I get moving I get hot pretty fast. It was cloudy, windy and in the upper 30's????  Around 7:15 I got a message from Heather that said her bed felt too good so she was not driving up.
I decided to run this run naked - no garmin- no watch - I don't typically run half marathons and just decided I would just run and not stress by having a watch on and thinking about getting home to Andi. As soon as the race started it began to sprinkle some. The winds were bitter cold and we were about at mile 5 and it began to SLEET!!! Big time SLEET! Crazy crazy for a sunny high of 57 degrees day.  My hamstring and hip area was hurting that morning but once I start running the hip stops.....my hamstring did not and it traveled all the way into my calf. I did stop and stretch the calf at one water station and then told myself just keep going and get this done and you can stretch it later. It really felt like a huge knot was on it.
With about 4 miles left to go the SLEET came back again with a headwind that almost brought you to a complete stop. I was freezing!!! Even though I was hot and I did get really sweaty now with the bitter cold wind trying to blow me down I thought I would become a block of ice. I saw mile marker 12 and I thought ok...just kick it in and be done....I was feeling like I was running a decent pace but my calf was sooo damn sore that I just didnt have that finish kick in me. When I got to the finish line I couldnt tell what my time was because the Halfers started about 12 minutes after the 5 and 10K runners but it looked very close to what my half PR was.....ofcourse I wasnt even sure what my Half PR was but knew it was just over 2 hours because I always think if I do more Half's I bet I could break 2 hours.  When I got home I looked up my half PR time and it was 2:02:14 from the Cap City Half in May 4th of 2013 which was 4 weeks after Umstead 100. Results went online for this half and I came in at 2:03:29.....see if I would have worn a watch maybe I would have PRed....I doubt that though cause I never can remember what my PR times are without looking.  My calf continued to hurt for days!! I tried foam rolling and stretching and still 5 days later it is tender but not like it was...I think it could have been from taking a new pair of Newtons straight out of the box....I have done this with lots of other shoes for even longer distance but then again Newtons do make you run more on the forefront causing the calf to work more

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Medical things creating some blahs

I wanted to post about the latest MRI results since I finally had my hip, hamstring area checked out a couple weeks ago.  This is the same area that I worried would bother me back in April of 2013 during umstead 100, the same area that had me purchase a Tempur-Pedic mattress on 3 years same as cash and just paid it off about 4months ago- but I purchased the mattress because the hip pain when sleeping was so intense. Massage, deep deep massage and even a couple trip against my judgement to the chiro quaker but nothing has helped.  The past 6 months though the pain has extended into the front of where the hip meets and it just throbs when I sit, stand, lay or walk.  It extend to the back of the hip into the hamstring and up to the lower back and feels like there is also a pinched nerve. My foot will go to sleep on many occasions . Now rewind to 2011 when I was still dealing with all the Doctors telling me I would never run again due to my left knee and then being diagnosed with Tarsel Tunnel in this right foot (the same side of the hip opposite of the knee) I do not have the major discomforts or the crawling to the bathroom each night like I did for so long with the Tarsel Tunnel and after I refused that surgery due to the success rate and recovery time and process I lost about 25 or pounds and I truly believe the excess weight and pressure off that pinch nerve in the tarsel tunnel helped that.  Sorry if this report jumps around everywhere but Im trying to grasp it all in my head at the same time and I believe I have a few answers and conclusions of my own.
So 2 weeks ago I finally had the MRI done on the hip....this was brought up to the Doctor during my last shoulder visit when I made the decision to NOT have the rotator cuff that tore during the recovery of having the bicep tendon re attached fixed. I was having sooo much pain from the hip and was taking the pain medication I had for my elbow just to try to function and it barely takes the edge off the hip!
So here we go with all the medical wording and MRI results readings

PROCEDURE:
MRI RT HIP WITHOUT - 73721

CLINICAL:
CONTRACTURE OF JOINT OF PELVIC REGION/THIGH 

COMPARISON:
There are no recent comparison exams available at the time of dictation.

FINDINGS:
There is no evidence of acute osseous injury or avascular necrosis. There is mottled marrow signal. There is a sclerotic lesion in the posterior aspect of the intertrochanteric region and 1 in the left femoral head, which may represent bone islands. A 4 mm cartilage defect is seen on the lateral aspect of the right femoral head (sagittal image 21), near the margin of the articular surface. A small bubble is seen at the anterior aspect of the right femoral neck, not in the usual location at the head that is usually seen in femoral acetabular impingement. The femoral heads articulate with the acetabuli in a normal relationship. There is a physiologic amount of fluid in the joint. A small amount of fluid is also seen in the right iliopsoas bursa. There is mild inflammation in the greater trochanteric bursa bilaterally.

No acute soft tissue injury. There is chronic bilateral hamstring tendinopathy. The tendons about the hip are otherwise intact. 

The fat planes surrounding the sciatic nerves are intact. Mild increased signal is seen in the sciatic nerves bilaterally.

There is tear of the anterior aspect of the right acetabular labrum. The lateral aspect the labrum is degenerated and frayed.

There is no sizable inguinal hernia. There is no deep pelvic mass identified. A small amount of free fluid is seen in the pelvis. There is a 2.1 cm cyst in the left ovary. There is a 1.3 cm fibroid in the uterus which protrudes into the endometrium.

IMPRESSION:
1. Tear of the anterior and lateral aspects of the right acetabular labrum.
2. Bilateral mild greater trochanteric bursitis.
3. Mild chondromalacia of the lateral aspect the right femoral head.
4. Small amount of free fluid in the pelvis.
5. Submucosal uterine fibroid. Correlation for history of abnormal bleeding is recommended.
6. Sclerotic lesion in the right intertrochanteric region and left femoral head may be bone islands. Correlation with radiographs is recommended.

___________________________
Electronically signed by: Settonni, Loretta M.D.
Date/time: 09-16-2014, 08:53 AM

I had a follow up appointment with my doctor and we discussed the anterior and acetabular labrum tears and he suggested we could have a scope done, however there are not a lot of Doctors that preform the scope and I had already told him no surgery no matter what the findings were. Let me stress before anyone starts to judge THIS IS NOT A RESULT OF RUNNING!!!!! PEOPLE JUST HAVE SHIT HAPPEN TO THEM!!!!!
His other suggestion was to have a intravenous hip injection, again nobody around here does that so they would have to bring someone in from KDMC out of Kentucky.
I will not find out what needs done with the ovarian cyst until October 14th....but maybe the old tale is true about women who run......"You're uterus is going to fall out" sorry couldnt resist that one!
I now know the hamstring does have some issues and they just called it bilateral tendinopathy- this could explain the tightness in the hamstring and that pain I have had for the past couple years but neither of the Doctors that I have gone to with these results have touched that area yet.......Since my local Doc didnt bring up anything to me about the cyst the hamstring the recommendation of a radiograph and when I asked about some of the other stuff this report listed ( I could pull it up on the patient portal before going in ) but when I asked the response I received was oh..I dont know - I didnt read it all just the top part. Oppps. So I decided to wait and go see the folks in New Albany, the Doctor that was number 4 when I was having all the opinions with my knee from the end of 2009 to middle of 2011, he is the only one that said "I wont tell you not to run, but I would suggest just a couple days a week and build up to a couple miles during these runs" He also did NOT see a new knee in my near future like the other 3. After hearing that I signed up for my first 50 miler!!! So off I head with my Hip test to New Albany. He felt the tears in the labrum were being caused because i have some hip degeneration and going into scope them in reality they would prolly tear again due to the degeneration ( arthur starting)  He did go ahead and do an injection in the bursa sac on the right side of the hip and that has now been a week, this has not helped so now we are in the process of setting up an appointment to do the intravenous injection into the joint. Uggg not looking forward to that. Once we find out the actual source of the pain then we can see how to treat things. The injection will not fix things but will hopefully help take some of the imflamation and reduce the fluids that are present.
So my thinking also is this.....since my hip DOES NOT HURT WHILE I AM RUNNING.....yes you read that correct - it only hurts when i sit, stand, lay or walk. I dont know if it is due to my mind blocking pain so well but I have another analogy. I think there is an impingement either on the hip, sciatica or some area that is causing the pounding pain, the shooting pains down the entire back of the leg and putting the foot to sleep. I believe it DOES NOT HURT while I am running due to the fact that there is a quick step turn over so my weight it not on the ground or sitting in a chair or laying in a bed in the same position with the same amount of weight. So now I have to tell myself that in order to find out if possibly I take off 15 pounds that that excess weight that is hitting the nerve it could possibly help as well?
The hard part is I have not been motivated during the week for my short runs, instead just doing my marathons etc that I travel too. Once I get moving outside I feel better but I just get tired of seeing the same folks driving by me and the trashy men honking and wolf whistling at me. Then that creates the self pities and I sit here and eat crap food and lots of crap food. I was never really a candy eater and have no idea why I have been on a candy kick. I think since November of last year I have said ok....tomorrow I will start watching what im eating and keep track.....I do start that and do great all day until evening comes around...then I go get crap.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Columbia River Marathon Oregon/Beat the Blerch Marathon Washington 2014

 Double state weekend and getting closer to finishing my 50 States. Had no intentions on finishing them this soon and actually it wasn't really ever a goal until I started doing so many marathons out of town during the winter when I was training for my first 50 miler in April of 2012. I was traveling to run marathons for training because it gets so boring to run all those miles by yourself and when I realized I had like 10 states I thought ok...I'll try to do all 50 states before I turn 50....sounded like a challenging enough goal and that would give me 6 years to do 40 more states! Fast forward to now and not only will I finish all 50 states if all goes as planned at the end of the year the Beat the Blerch marathon marked my 75th lifetime marathon/ultra - number 70 since 3 of the 4 orthopedic doctors told me if I continued to run I would need a new knee in the next 2 years. I love proving people wrong! This was going to be a quick trip since it was just me going, my son is back at college so no travel companion. I landed in Seattle and went ahead and stopped at the packet pickup for Beat The Blerch....it was a 4 hour drive from Seattle to Umatilla Oregon and I had plenty of time to get to that packet pickup. I also didnt want to have to hurry to get back the 4 hour drive after running Oregon on Saturday to make it to packet pick up saturday night. The lines were huge already! It took about 45 min or so and I was already worn out. My flight left columbus ohio at 6am so I was up at 3:45 to get to the airport and get through security. Nothing open for breakfast and the layover in atlanta was only 25 minutes - by the time I got off the plane and had to get the train and get to the other gate I barely had time to grab a bag of chex mix. On the plane I got a package of cookies but I wasnt in the mood for a 700 calorie airplane bagel so I hadnt eaten. Once I got through packet pickup and found they oversold parking so I didnt have a parking pass anymore I was frustrated. I met a lady in line who was doing her first half and she also had her parking pass taken away. They couldnt tell if I had one and the emails went out the night before but my phone wont pull up attachments so there was no way to read if I had one or not and they had no way of knowing...was a little bit of a mess and being so tired and hungry wasn't fun. This lady was great....she was frustrated too but walked me a couple blocks and made me get a sandwich before I headed down the road for a 4 hour drive. I was so thankful for that!! The drive was pretty, I could see Mt Rainier before heading toward Oregon and wow was it gorgeous!! There is just something about the mountains and me.
When I arrived in Oregon I got my packet and headed to the hotel and got checked in, I was 3 hours earlier in time with the time zone change but had been up since 3:45 so I was tired!!! I decided to just drive through taco bell since there really wasnt much at all in this town. The run didnt start until 8am and the weather forecast was suppose to be a hot one.
 I arrived at the start and met a couple marathon maniacs, the race started near the dam in Oregon crossed over and into Washington then back across into Oregon. The first 8-9 miles were mostly road and not a whole lot to look at. When the halfers got off that course we headed on to the Lewis and Clark Commemorative trail which ran along the Columbia River, the view was prettier but the sun was getting super hot and the surface we were now running on was sand!! Ankle sucking sand and almost 90 degrees. It was probably almost till we got to mile 23 that we were on this trail...it was an out and back but also switch into a single track larger gravel trail for a couple of miles. Here is where we saw what was called Top Hat Rock....that was cool looking!!!
 I was super glad to finish and met Jamila, I know we had run other events together but we just talked in the passing of each other some on Saturday. When I finish being such a late start race my hotel didn't have any sort of late check out especially that late. The thing was we were in the middle of nowhere....even driving over the 4 hours the day before there were barely any gas station pull offs so I was not looking forward to smelling myself for 4 hours. I decided what the heck, I run into the race host hotel and just ask if there was anyway I could pay them to take a shower, she called someone and they had a room for those that were staying there to shower if they chose, AHHHH that was awesome and when I left I thanked her and gave her a $5.00 tip. Sure there are YMCA's that let you shower but there was no YMCA anywhere around, I have showered at truck stops - but again there was hardly any gas stations on the drive over the day before.
Got into Seattle around 8pm on Saturday night, checked into the hotel and got all my stuff layed out for the next morning run. This event didnt start till 9am. I didnt mind the extra sleep but knew it was suppose to be another hot day.
The event was held in Carnation Washington which is located about 35 miles outside of Seattle. I got to the event and met up with a group of maniacs for a pre race photo and Jamile was there.  We then got talking and remembering several races we had run together and comparing out remaining events for the year so we will be seeing each other quite a bit the rest of
the year.  It was on the Snoqualmie Valley Trail system  and was one of the most beauty course I have ran with lush greenery, nice and shaded for the most part. This run was a blast!!! If you have never read the comic from The Oatmeal you must...this is what the event was created off of. http://theoatmeal.com/comics/running

During the run we had nutella sandwiches, magical grape drink, the Blerch literally chasing you telling you how you really need to take a rest,,,,running is bad for you knees, come sit on the couch over here. Yes there were 2 couches out on the course!!!! Sasquatch was even in the woods!!!
around mile 14 or so Jamile and I would play leap from and at that point I met a younger girl from LA doing her first marathon, she was struggling and was in a walk pace and got listening to Jamile and I talking about what event we had left and discussing how that sand sucked the day before and this girl then became amazed and wanted to hang around and here about our stories and know what she really is capable of doing if she wanted to. Jamile would go on there and there and the younger girl would stay with me....I set my watch to a 3 to 1 run walk ratio and we did that for awhile and then switched on down to a 2 to 1 ....she hung in there and kept thanking me that she would have walked if it wasnt for running into me helping encourage her....this is what it's all about!!! We finally dropped it down to 1:30 to1 and that actually became a perfect pace. I dont recall how many miles were left and I hadnt ordered any HTFU wristbands in forever but I had mine on and at this point I knew she needed this so much more then I did so I took off my Road ID and I told her the story about how I give these out and I can always order more but I felt she really needed this at this time...she was thrilled and yes she totally needed that!!! We got to the finish and I said....im hanging back you run on because this is your first marathon and you dont want me in your finish photo!!! We got to the finish and I grabbed a blueberry muffin and water and she grabbed some cake. She introduced me to her mother and I was just to thrilled for her!!!


I headed back to my hotel room and it was about 4:30pm.....my room had not even been touched??? So I went ahead and showered, grabbed my AX card, room key and $40 cash out of my clutch and headed to the Jaks for an amazing dinner then to the space needle. When I got back to the room I started packing  as I wasnt sure if I was going to drive to Rainier or just check out the market and hang around Seattle, my flight wasnt leaving till 11:55pm but I didnt know if I wanted to drive 2:45 min to the mountain drive around there then drive back 2:45 then sit on the place all night and tomorrow morning and drive home 2 hours after that!!! I got up and the maid service now is knocking on my door at 7:30am?? seriously yesterday you hadnt even been here until sometime after 4:30pm now you are knocking at 7:30am!! I ignored it and headed out around 9ish. I went the to market first and had some great pastries at LaPanier and cheese at Beechers, then watched the fish throwers, saw gum alley and just checked it all out. The flowers were absolutely beautiful but I had nowhere to keep them or enjoy them  After hanging out there for awhile I head to Alki Beach and just walked around the loop there and on the beach for a couple hours, had pizza for lunch and then decided to head back to the market and grab some clam chowder for dinner before heading taking my rental car back and then sit and wait in the airport.
A typical weekend marathon excursion always has some sort of adventure and this one did too!! After finishing a bowl of clam chowder I watched the beautiful sunset from the pier! I sat for over an hour just watching each step.
I think this was my favorite shot when the sailboat was dead center as the sun was getting closer go down.  I headed towards my car but went up the wrong street so decided I still had plenty of time and just walked around some....I had to go to the bathroom and stopped into a restaurant, I totally forgot my phone was in my back pocket and bent over to put the seat cover on pulled down my pants and in the toilet my phone dropped....I grabbed it as fast as possible and it already was down to 20% battery life so I was really nervous...sometimes when you plug in a wet phone it fries them immediately. I dried it off as best I could with my shirt and toilet paper and the hand blower and when I got to the car I went ahead and plugged it in. If would charge some them kick off, I could pull up data. When I arrived at the rental return I turned in my car and got on the shuttle to the airport...once I got inside the airport I got my clutch out of my backpack to get my ID and my ID is not there!! Im in a panic but trying to stay calm....The last time I had it was when I checked into the hotel because I didnt bring it with me to run nor did I have my clutch with me for any other time.  I looked up the phone number and tried to call the hotel - I couldnt hear it ring and it kept saying connecting. I tried several times and once it showed like someone was on the other end but I couldnt hear them. It is 9pm MT and midnight at home and I had to call my mother. I called and of course could not hear her but it looked like she had picked up so I was explaining that I had a little issue and I dropped my phone in the toilet so I cant hear her...if she can hear me I can get data service and to please message me on FB. After telling her on the phone where I stayed and what time I checked in on Saturday night and the details I called back one more time to be sure she answered and I wasnt talking to a machine. Seconds later she was on FB messaging me and getting all the details. The hotel claimed they gave it back to me and they did not have it but their is nowhere that I could have put it? I had a blue dress on without pockets and all I have is a very small clutch that I carry and didnt even have it with me until I left the hotel on Monday morning. I didnt need my ID for anything after I checked into the hotel so therefore I never checked to see if it was there.  At this point I decided it was time to go to security and see what could be done. They said hello how are you and I said actually not too good....then proceeded to explain what had happened. I said I could have my mother go get my passport and fax it to them but they said that wouldnt work. After waiting a little while and speaking with the supervisor letting me know of other types of identification that they could use - turned out if I had prescription medication on me and then my credit cards, insurance cards etc then that would work. I still can't understand why someone making a copy of my passport and faxing it is less creditable then the forms of ID they accepted with no photo? I mean if I was a terrorist wouldn't I most likely knock someone out and steal there bags rather then have someone take the time to put a fake photo on my passport and fax it in? Or create fake photos on my smart phone and different social medial outlets that have my actual name and photo? I'm glad I got through security but it still baffles me what was acceptable.








Sunday, September 28, 2014

Mellow Marathon and Canton Marathon Double Weekend Sept 6-7 2014

 Another last minute decision to make this a double weekend.  I found out about Canton a month or so ago and thought the medal was pretty cool since it had a spinner on it....I kept sending Heather pictures of the medal and different FB updates when they would talk about the price increase and such to help entice her.....she is so much like me it really d doesn't take much. We had been signed up for Canton now for a month or so and about a week before I realized that Woodstock running weekend was that same weekend and we could easily do a double. Camp out in the tent in Michigan on Friday night, run just the marathon so we could shower at the campground, pack up tent and still get to Canton at a decent hour on Saturday evening and run that marathon on Sunday. We also realized if we did Michigan then that would be state number 10 for Heather so she would now qualify for the 50 State Marathon Club!!! We didn't think we were going to be able to leave until after her labs on Friday which was a little concern because then we would have to set up tent in the dark and it was calling for rain. Since classes just started she ended up not having to have a lab that friday so we headed out earlier. Worked out perfect!!! Not only did we get to set up tent before dark and the storm!!! But we got to surprise my friend Sandy who was going to be starting the 100K at 4:00pm. Found her only 10 minutes before the start which was awesome!!! After seeing her off we drove to town and got some bottled water, ice for the cooler, and some food to bring back for dinner. Upon arriving back we went to the picnic area ate our dinner and decided to hang out, listen to the bands and watch people coming in for their first loop. The 100 milers and 100K runners both started on Friday at 4pm. Temps were so hot!! It was in the mid 90's and very humid. You could tell a nasty storm was brewing as the winds started picking up and the sky was turning black. Looking at the radar there were 2 different strong cells heading our way. Lightening was in the distance but still pretty close. The winds roared as tents were flying everywhere and even the awards tent started blowing over as the wood came so close to hitting us and others. Heather grabbed the chairs so they wouldn't blow and I said no...there is metal on those! So we just let them lie for awhile. Nobody really took shelter as there wasnt really anyplace to take shelter....many did run off to try to secure their tents or find them since they blew away. Ours was a couple rows over and we didnt bother going to check on it but were not super positive that it would be in place since we forgot a hammer to get our stakes deep in the ground! I got to see Keith Straw come through looking good, then saw Shawn come through....many were talking about the trees being blow over in front of them on the course. There was rain but not the pouring rains like the radar was showing so everyone was fortunate for that.  Heather headed back to the tent and I waited to in hopes to see Sandy come through. I could tell something was wrong cause it was taking her much longer then normal and I decided I needed to get back to the tent and get ready for bed so I could be ready to run in the morning. I later found out Sandy got done with the first lap and decided to drop, the heat had totally zapped her then the storm and the mud just brought her spirits down too much.
 During the night I could hear the rain hitting the tent and our tent neighbors were partying up a storm...poor Heather was right next to them and they were so loud and obnoxious all night her earplugs didn't even help. I slept decent but had some dreams about the rain and other things I dont remember. When we got up neither one of us were feeling it but this was state 10 and we pitched a tent and all this so there was NO WAY we were bailing on this one. We met up with Larry Macon at the start as well as some other friends so Heather met some more of her extended running family.  Larry and I started taking selfies before each run we did together a couple months ago....I sure wish we started this earlier! The run was a 2 loop course and the first loop was mostly on the gravel trail with a few sections on single track, the one large hill that the other events have and I remember it from last years 50K...and then a section of MUD and I mean MUD that stretched for what seemed like 1/4 mile. I took a video of it and am sure many shoes were eaten. We kinda just hung to the side trying to get through without losing our shoes or slipping in. We met a maniac on the course Jess Kurti from Texas and she also was running Canton the next day. The second loop was actually like the 50K loop I did last year....it headed up the single track trail and was pretty much all on the trail trail except for a small section on the gravel section.  Heather and I stayed together and both of us were just trying to get through.....I found blue flag markers and made the suggestion to run from flag to flag then walk a flag and run a flag....this kept our brains occupied for awhile...once you get back on the trail your mind is so busy watching where you are running that keeps your mind off the distance. I didn't even wear my garmin for this event as I didn't want to keep looking down and thinking to myself shit we only have gone 4 miles or shit we still have 12 miles to go!  After we finished we packed up the tent and loaded it in the car and waited in line at the shower truck. This was the best even though my shower wouldn't stay on and I had to keep trying to hold the knob down with a shoulder that still doesn't have complete range of motion.  We were so muddy and dirty!! Heathers foot started bothering her again after this run so I made sure she kept it elevated and some ice on it. We headed to Canton got checked into the hotel and crashed.
When we got up for Canton it was only a couple blocks walk to the start. I was hoping to find my
friend Joe but never did see him before the start, however Larry and I got our pre race selfie and I decided that would be a good Guinness's World Record for me to attempt....the MOST PRE RACE SELFIES WITH A GUINNESS'S WORLD RECORD HOLDER- Heather's foot was still bothering her so she decided instead of not doing something and the spinning medal was so cool she would just do the half. I hated that she would have to then wait for me but I gave her the keys so if she wanted to go anywhere or nap in the car she was welcome.
Another 2 loop course. It went through most of Canton and had quite a few hills. I saw Jess out there and a couple other maniacs and on my second loop the sun was getting super hot and I was starting to not care and was walking a little more and along came this guy that said I know you you're Jennifer!! I said yes and it was Chase!! Chase was pacing this marathon at the 5:30 pace and we had been FB friends for awhile but never physically met. We kept each other company for quite awhile and he was dying for a coke but there was no carry outs in site!! I kept thinking in my mind I wanted a photo with a police car like I was being arrested for going to fast...yes the things our mind thinks are so hysterical while we are out there. When we finally found an officer that wasnt on a busy road and just sitting in their car I asked if she would act like she was arresting me....she wouldnt get out of the car caWe were running so many cones and walking so many then I got ahead of him as he had to be in at 5:30 no more no less due to being a pacer and I just was ready to get done...so I stayed with my run/walk and finished it up. I headed straight to the beer tent and got 2 free beers and then all maniacs joined in and we just started visiting at the picnic table. I messaged Heather and told her where we were and to come on over. It was too funny, there were 5 of us all telling different stories at the same time and we were following them all. We decided to wait for Larry to get finished and cheer him in. As Heather and I headed back to the car we saw a guy with watermelon and it looked delish!! We said ohhhh watermelon and he told us the area there in the middle is a food distribution that they have every sunday during the summer for anyone that is hungry...we decided to ask if we could buy a plate of food but they would not accept any money from us and let us eat whatever we wanted. That was perfect, we filled our bellies got to the car and headed on home. Another super fun weekend!!



Tupelo Marathon 8-31-2014

This marathon was kinda another accidental one like so many of mine.  I had seen a picture of the shirt for this year about a week before Heather and I drove to Kansas and it looked to be purple and purple is my favorite color so I thought - cool I may have to do this race! I also had always loved the design they use for this shirt over the years. When Heather and I were driving back from Kansas I recall telling her about the Tupelo Race and even though I already had done the state of Mississippi she had not....so I had told her to pull up the site and check out how cool the shirt was! (Yes the purple one on their page) and then I proceeded to say if we take you're car I'll drive!! I dont mind the driving just hate always putting the mileage on mine so we decided at that time we would start letting our cars take turns to each event. Of course all it took was for Heather to pull up the site and my suggestion and we were both in! I just love her- we think so much alike!
We head to tupelo and get our packets and find the damn shirt is hot pink NOT purple....a little bummed but it still is a cool shirt. After packet pick up we checked out the town and drove to Elvis's birthplace.  The time zone was an hour earlier for us which was awesome due to the run having a 5am start time!! They hold it that early due to the heat and humidity at that time of the year.  The forecast had been calling for rain all week so we were not looking forward to that.
We did get lucky and the rains didnt come and the heat was not as bad as the previous years but boy it was still hot and humid. I was completely wet within the first mile. It was a 2 looped course and went through some of the areas that had been hit hard by the tornado in April of this year. It really was devastating to see so much damage!  It was also strange to see one house totally destroyed and another beside it with not even a roof shingle blown off.  Heather and I talked about how strange it would be to wake up and walk outside after the storm and your home be the only one not touched?
 Our friend Diane was running as well and there were quite a few marathon maniacs. I also got to see Bre and Andrew from Texas which was great because I hadn't seen them since the New England Challenge Series. During the second loop I had to stop and play the Elvis guitar! This section of downtown had about a half dozen guitars and they were all so cool! The only drawbacks of this course was not enough water stops and only porta potty was at the turn around and maybe a mile or so into the run. I really had to go too when I was on the second loop and was grateful for the woods that were off to the side of this one road, I was also grateful I was running with a handkerchief but I didnt return with one. As I was getting ready to exit the woods I heard Bre and Andrew holler my name...opps am sure a couple folks got a nice full moon before they came by.
With about 4 or so miles left Diane was coming up on us and was running with a couple friends I had not met yet who were in the Run It Fast Group....it was a pleasure to be able to meet some of them! We are not a large group like the Maniacs or 50 staters.
Not to far up the road I could here someone scream and Diane and George were checking out this snake....I kept trying to persuade Diane to just get a little closer for a really cool photo op but then as I got closer I realized shit its a copperhead!!!! HA We all headed on up the road and a motorcycle cop came by and I told him there was a snake ahead...he really got excited and decided to run over it 3-4 times and then kicked it off the road.
For the finish they had us run into a indoor facility and this was awesome...you could feel the air conditioning pouring out of it as you approached!! They had a band playing and pulled pork, coleslaw and potato salad. We grabbed some food and the RIFers took a photo together. The nice thing about the race starting so early is we had time to get back to our rooms to take a shower before driving home 450 miles!!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Pike Peak Marathon 8-17-2014

What a super fun week this was! When I accidentally registered for this event I remember a friend from school Karen Brandenburg who moved to Denver about 8 years ago had done this also many times as well as her friend and my FB friend (also from Portsmouth) Debbie Workman so the first thing I had to do was check with them to see if they were in again this year and they both were signed up! This was gonna be fun!! 3 girls from Portsmouth Ohio taking on Pikes Peak....we were now going to be the Portsmouth Pikes Peakers PPP's. Its the small stuff in life that keeps me smiling! So Karen invited me to stay with her since she had spare bedroom and this was perfect! I also had several other friends in the area- Holly and her husband Bill as well as Wendy who I went to school with and the one that surprised me at Zion in April!!
Before I can start to try to write something about the event and weekend this one needs to begin with the stuff you just can't make up and how the trip began.
I was flying out of Columbus and just wore a sundress. When I went through security and did the picture machine with my arms above my head and stepped out the lady informed me that the machine had a light that lit up on my right breast and they needed to check my breast! Yes....seriously my boob was suspicious of having enough power to take over an airline, I had no bra on mind you either and have never had work done on my breast but as most middle age women I would love to perk these girls up! I already felt violated and as she directed me over to wait on someone to come feel my breast the gal came over and I just whipped the girls out at her and said have at it. She was a little shocked and I was very vocal. As I picked the girls up from my knees and back into my dress she then had to feel under each one and then I was free to go. As I looked for my bags now they are holding them hostage for an inspection. The man says "Is this your bag" yes..." I need to go through it" I said whatever you need honey, I just had my boobs felt up over here and if we need to go to another room and you do a strip search and go through all my bags and stuff lets get going. So he opens that bag and pulls out my Sports Slick cream and asked what is it? I was still so pissed my first response was that is my Pussy Ass cream....he looked at me like what? I said that is my cream that goes on my pussy and my ass so when I run it helps relieve chaffing......so he calls over a supervisor to see if that would be covered under medical. The lady then asked me the same thing, I said Look, I just had my boobs felt up, now Im being questioned on my lubricants - I travel to running events ALL the time and never have had this kind of experience, have you ever caught anyone with harmful stuff at a security check point because what I hear on the news is how the employees at the airports are arrested for stealing our stuff? I made it on through with my PA cream and I went to call my mother and tell her what I had just gone through.....now this is comical - my phone had another call coming through with a Kentucky number so I told my mom I better grab it in case it was work related, well it was Kings Daughter Medical Center calling to schedule me for my mammogram,,,,,see somethings you just cant make up!! I explained I was out of town and pretty much just got one but would call when I returned to reschedule.


 I arrived on Thursday and Karen's work had given her tickets to the REDS verses ROCKIES game  that night but she could not go due to work so she gave them to Debbie and I, Debbie picked me up  at the airport and was outside holding a sign that read PPP BADASS.  We stopped for lunch and stopped and I got to meet her kids. This is the first time I met Debbie in person, even though we went to school kinda together, she was a little bit younger - somehow we never knew each other. After we visited with her kids we decided we had plenty of time before the ballgame to stop and see Holly and Bill who only lived about 15 minutes away. Debbie had never met them and I was so excited for them to meet since Holly and her husband had only lived out there for about a year and she would be a great running pal for both Debbie and Karen!
After the ballgame Debbie brought me to Karens and she had to work part of the day Friday and then we were heading to Breckenridge to stay the night at her Ski Club before driving to Glenwood Springs on Saturday morning where she was going to run a half marathon that day and I volunteered as time keeper! She did a great job at the half, she had signed up for a series with this group so she hated to miss it and her doing Pikes Peak Marathon was an annual event now. I believe this was her 7th year in a row and usually she does the Ascent the day before so this other half marathon is a breeze!! After her half we took the long way to Manitou Springs where we were staying with some friends of hers. The Leadville 100 had started that morning and we were both so excited to be going right by the start and finish line!!! I got out and it was 9 hour and 10 minutes into the race and I came running up the finish shoot acting like I was the course record holder going side to side high fiving imaginary people, (maybe the swedish fish and cinnamon candies I bought the night before in Brek had something to do with that?)
My friend Jorge was also running the marathon and his girlfriend Paula had done the Ascent that day and they also had a couple friends all doing the event.  We had been in contact and they invited us all to their cabin for a spaghetti diner.  Debbie, her son and brother and Karen and I all went and and had a great visti. I got to meet some of their other friends that I hadnt met before and heard some stories from that days Ascent. We hi the bed at a decent time- I dont remember what I dreamed but do remember I had some strange ones.
 When we arrived to the start I ran into my friend Scott Sunday and his wife Emme. Scott is the reason I accidentally signed up for this race! It was one evening that the registration had opened up, around 10:30 EST and I had just gone to bed. I decided being the FB addict that I am to check in one last time before laying down and saw a post from Scott that read - "I can't believe Pikes Peak Marathon is still open" Shit!!! This is one of those events I had always dreamed of doing, even before I was a runner, walker hiker or what ever you wanna call it. There is something about the mountains that get to me! My cousin and her husband lived in Colorado Springs when he was in the Special Services and had a view of Pikes Peak and i would see some photos and just imagine what it would be like to climb it or just go to the top! This was even back when I was smoking 3 packs a day and wearing a size 24! I didnt think think about it it was just something that was a "bucket list" of sorts kinda thing. So down the stairs I go and I pull up the registration and the event is 98% full....It had opened at noon Colorado time so had been open for about 8 hours. I was in! WOW I then saw Shawn and Alex and a couple other marathon maniacs before the start.
Debbie and Karen had said they were going to stick with me for the run but I made sure to tell them do not let me hold you back...if you gotta go ahead please please do. I had made a pace chart to get up the mountain in 5:30 hours, that would give 4:30 to get back down and the cut off was 6:30 - I honestly didnt think it would be possible to do that but I also didnt think it would be impossible so it was a good tool. I had written each of the hard cut off times on the card as well.  I was warned going up is like a congo line and it was. You could see the top of the peak way in the distance thinking I cant believe that still 6 or 7 miles away or what ever it was at that time!
The altitude got to me and got to me good.  It was prolly at around 10,000 feet where I was really getting sick, I was dizzy, had a terrible headache and my stomach hurt so bad! I still have to go another 6 miles to the top! I had a hard time even drinking water, the gels were way to sweet for me and the goldfish too dry. I would try to drink water but found myself just swishing it around in my mouth then spitting it out.  We got to the the first cut off with about 15 minutes to spare- Debbie and Karen shortly went ahead and I kept insisting, I dont wanna hold you back and be responsible for either of you not finishing, I'll be ok!! I tried to turn on the music on my phone, I had it in the top pocket of my vest and had the speaker on, headsets were strictly NOT allowed. After awhile of this and trying to pick up my attitude  - and I wont say it was bad it was just confused. It was so confused that I didnt even wanna hear any music!!! With one mile left to the top I had some phone service, even though I could barely breathe I knew my mom would be worried about me especially since I told her an expected time that I would be at the top and it was an hour different because I told her the wrong time zone. So I call her and have her on speaker and heavily breathing I spit out a word here and there to let her know I was ok and still had a mile to the top. She was awesome, she has never heard me like that before and was super super supportive and encouraging and keeping me relaxed telling me just take it easy, breathe and speak when you can.
video
 I really needed that at that time. My mom is supportive but where she can't and doesn't relate to my running goals and desires it is hard for her to communicate with me about things like that.  With one mile to the top and an hour to get there I was doing a death march to the top. It still seemed like a long long way away - people were puking, falling, blood vomit everywhere - I dont recall any other event with so much carnage as this one. Soon I saw Shawn coming towards me and we gave each other some encouragement, then I saw Jorge (unless it was the other order?) I could see a bit of blood on Jorge's eye and I could tell he was having some issues but I could also tell he was just as excited to see me as I was to see him and we embraced with a giant hug, I said I was so sick, he told me he stumbled and off I went as I was fighting the clock. I had all these thoughts that maybe if i just sat down for a few minutes I would miss the cut off on purpose and be done, but then I had to remind myself this was the COLORADO state for my 50 States finish in December and how was I going to afford to come back and also which event could I do still this year? So I had to HTFU and keep trucking. I got a little closer and saw Karen and Debbie, they were both totally thrilled to see me and said "OMG!! You made it!!!" LOL we are going to wait on you right here, I said please dont I need yall to finish!!!  I got to the top and they went to refill my water and I said I just need to sit for a second and down I went, the lady barely had a chance herself to get up! I tried to make it quick as it took 6 hours and 15 minutes to get up which meant I now only had 3 hours and 45 minutes to get back down. I worried about the down with my knees and the technical sections would be slowing me down. As I started down and got to where Karen and Debbie were they did wait, we stayed together for awhile and a couple times went ahead and then would be there again. We had a couple miles till one aid station with a restroom and they went ahead to go and said they would wait there...a couple times I remember Karen talking about how they were playing with cut offs and had to make it in a certain time and I thought yes ME TOO!!! Plus this is my COLORADO STATE and I HAVE to finish. hahaha I think one time I either said or just thought Now you're fucking with my head....please please go on cause I can't start thinking negative and worrying if Im gonna cause either of you a DNF. I was with a couple other ladies for awhile and the one insisted if she kept a 15 min mile walk pace she could finish in the time cut off, I didnt wanna take the chance and I was jogging down that hill in the areas that were runable as fast as I could. I know with 5 miles left to go a storm was coming through and you could see lightening in the distance, it drizzled a tad bit but that also helped get me going. With 5 miles left I also had exactly one hour and 15 minutes left on the clock, this still was a 15min mile pace but I had been jogging a lot when I could leading up to this so I knew I had to get my shit together. I reset my garmin so that I could see exactly what my pace per mile was for the next 5 miles. They had to be under 15 min miles or I was not going to make it. The first mile was nice smooth trail and I average around 11:20 or so, next there was some roots and rocks, still under a 13 min mile.... my quads were working hard and taking a pounding and when i had just about a mile or so left and we got on the road road with a steep downhill I just kept pounding away passing people. I wasnt going to slow down now and I was going to finish strong! I finished with 11 minutes to spare!!! My name and city and town was announced before I came around the corner to the finish so Karen and Debbie knew I was coming....they were both sooooo excited yet I remember Karen being in disbelief for quite awhile. She said I can't believe you finished!! OMG if I knew you were so close to me I woulda waited,,,how in the world did you pull that off? I know how bad my legs and knees felt and you with your bad knees...omg omg. It was really funny and I loved it!! I dont quit unless I get pulled from a course and made to quit or something so physical would cause me to.  This was so fun and so hard! It was hard in a way that I have not seen hard, not like the Umstead 100 hard - it is difficult to explain and i've thought for a long time how to explain it and cant. I am soooo glad to have been able to do this with my friend Karen and Debbie!!!

The next morning my friend Wendy came and picked me up at Karens. We stopped for lunch and she took me around the Boulder area. We stopped at one area that had a lot of rock climbers and it had been damaged by the flooding last year but was a gorgeous area.  Later we met Holly for a nice hike with Wendys dog Scout. I dont remember the name of it but it was another amazing view at the summit.  I stayed that night with Wendy and her husband Jorge. This was one GREAT weekend! I really have some amazing friends!!! Thank you Karen, Debbie, Wendy and Holly for making this one to remember!!