May the wind stay at my back and may angels give me wings to fly.

I started avidly running in April of 2007, 8 weeks after my little boy was born. I was only running about 15 miles a week just to lose baby weight but a friend of mine was thinking of running the Honolulu Marathon. I made the bold move of doing it with her with the simple goal of just to finish. I finished my first marathon in 2008 with a time of 5:13. In 2009 I started running more miles, up to 40 a week when my schedule would allow that much. I signed up for my second Honolulu marathon and finished with a time of 4:48. That was with only 6 weeks of training, two of them being taper weeks. I finished with tears of joy and one other thing, the strong desire to run every runner's dream...BOSTON! I have some real good days and some real bad days but I hope someone finds inspiration in my spirit and strength. If you dig deep enough you will find the strength to do whatever your heart desires. "Don't follow your dreams...CHASE THEM!"

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Post move/healing training

So after way too much downtime to move from Hawaii and to allow my PF to heal (of which it is still lingering), I have finally been able to get my body back in motion. I am starting out slowly and building my miles and have finally worked my way up to at least 6 miles on my runs when I am able to run outside without worry of the kids. If I am forced to do TM time then I try to push myself a little more on speed since my mileage won't be as much as I would like it to be. My outdoor runs are beautiful and I enjoy every one of them! I am trying to stick to running 4 days a week, 2 days of cross-training and weights and core as many days as I can get in with one day off for my entire body to recover, rest and prepare for the following week. I am feeling so much better about myself again. Not having the time to exercise for 2 months was really weighing on my mind. My hips got a little wider but I've also cleaned up my nutrition again. A light breakfast of generally half a cup of granola with fruit or half a cup of plain greek yogurt with fruit and skim milk, lunch is generally a nice salad with all the good stuff and sometimes I'll add shrimp or chicken, dinner is usually light as well and is usually tuna or another type of fish, or chicken salad, baked chicken and any of it with raw veggies like carrots, broccoli, snap peas, etc. My snacks are either fruit or almonds and I'm also drinking a lot of water. After two weeks of this focus I already see and feel the difference.

Due to Rick being overseas, my race schedule will be more like last minute choices as I find sitter's for the kids or I have visitors. However, that does not mean I will not always be training to be race ready. I will also start getting long runs in again gradually. I do not want to overload my right foot and have my PF hurt like it was last year. I have been sleeping with a strassburg sock every night and it seems to be my little miracle worker. It seems to have sped up my healing process by quite a bit. I don't even feel the need to ice anymore and walking around shopping or something is also no longer as bothersome as it used to be.

My DM friends have all inspired me to do my best and that means the world to me!

Sunday, December 26, 2010


So the past week has been a week of recovery for me for both body and mind. I had one heck of a semester this fall with college, kids school functions, marathon prep, stress of moving and a bit more. Although we have no moved yet, we will be by the end of January after we hear back about bids on houses.

As for my training, and yes, to me I am always training, I needed to stop for a week to just let my body and mind completely relax and recharge. As much as I wanted to get out, I just couldn't. I was napping every day without choice. I needed it badly. So now that I am recharged, I headed back out today with the intention of doing 5 miles. Instead, I made up my mind to do 6 and get some hillwork worked in. I am taking off from running until March 1st and power-walking instead to keep myself in shape and to keep the hips going. It's killing me not to run so I'm walking as fast as I can without actually running. I must look pretty silly but who cares! It does make me feel good and to pass the time I think about what I need to get back into order with my training. My nutrition has been lacking, or I should say, has been bad with the holidays around. But, I am back on track as of this week. I've cut out my breads and sweets again to get myself lean again like I was in the summer. Eating my protein and veggie packed meals and healthy snacks. This past week I've already lost half an inch in my hips and waist so I'm feeling better about myself already. I only want to lose an inch more in my hips and I will be happy. I don't think it will take me very long to get there either, a month maybe.

I have 3 marathons I want to do next year and the first one is in June. That being said and knowing I have to hold off on running for a bit means I really have to stick to the walking and get miles in as best I can so that once I start running again it won't be hard for me to get my speed or endurance back. I have a great coach. I also think that after what I went through for this year's marathon, my husband has a new found respect for me and what I love to do. I can't count how many times he has told me how proud he was of me for doing what I did with the injury.

So, here's to a new year with hopes and dreams.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Body against spirit

Well, this was not the marathon I was wanting this year at all BUT, I am very grateful to have finished it. After having a great summer of training towards a Boston qual, I ended up with plantar fasciitis and then a nasty lower back muscle spasm. Both of which knocked me out of the streets for about10 weeks leaving me 5 weeks to prepare for my 26.6 mile quest. My mileage was cut down drastically to one run a week then a long run on the weekend. I managed to squeeze in one 20 mile run on Thanksgiving weekend very successfully and with no problems. Two weeks before race day I had mentally come to terms that a finish was what I needed to focus on, not speed, for now. I had my strategy and was hoping for at least a 4:30 finish.

I woke up today at 2am and was at the race site by 4am and took my time making bathroom stops, stretching, and relaxing before line up time. The weather turned out for the best for us today too. The rain cleared and the roads were dry and the sun looked beautiful coming up by Diamond Head. I told myself to just enjoy the race and nothing else. I started running and had absolutely no pain in my heel for the first 11 miles but then it started. I kept pace as long as I could stopping only at aid stations to drink and walk through them. Mile 13 I had Bon Jovi blaring "halfway there..." Ha! Unfortunately the firey pain started to get worse in my foot and I found myself having to walk more frequently but still managing pace. Mile 15-16 it became even worse and my left leg and foot were now taking the slack and they started to feel pain. At that point I just kept telling myself that I will not quit. If I can walk then I can finish. So I had to think of something to ease my pains so I started motivating others and at times that provoked me to run again. My foot collapsed on me about 3 times the last 7 miles so I sat for a minute then got up and continued on. Tears were flowing for a couple reasons, pain, not having a finish that I wanted, and that finish being my worst one. However, it still did not defeat my spirit and the last half mile I literally gimped my way to the finish but tried to cover it up as much as possible, lol!
The marathon spirit was strong with me today as I ran. It is my last marathon here in Hawaii but all three have been an amazing experience.
Now it is time to put my running shoes away for 2-3 months to let my PF heal then it will be time to start working on that Boston qual again. I have my eyes set on 3 marathons next year if time allows for me. They are all part of the Rock n' Roll series, San Diego, LA, and Vegas! This year just was not my time for a BQ and I've accepted that. So with much needed healing time I will come back strong and continue my quest for a shot at Boston.
To my Dailymile friends, thank you for believing in me even when I didn't believe in myself. Mickey, thank you for standing by me and my decision to run and being a great coach all along the way. To my friends here in Hawaii, thank you for supporting me and believing in me as well.

God Bless and here's to recovery!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

11 days, 8 hours, 33 minutes...

It's been a long while since I've made a post but it's also been a tough training season for me this fall. I was doing great in the summer in training to qualify for Boston this December and had even ran a 13 miler faster than I needed to with a 8:28 pace. However, as many of you know, life catches up with you sometimes and for me, it did. I had been running with plantar fasciitis over the summer without realizing what it was but once I was diagnosed I gave it a couple weeks to ease up. So that meant no running but I did cycle and do my strength training in the meantime. Then the mother of all pains hit me a week after I started running again, a lower back muscle spasm that was quite intense in pain level that left me on muscle relaxers for a couple weeks just so that I could function. I ended up not running for several weeks, basically all of September and October. I was fully healed by November 7th and I got to work immediately on running with only 5 weeks to get some long runs in. The PF still present might I add. I had to keep my mileage way down from what it was over the summer so I basically did a small run once during the week, cycled the other days, and did one long run on the weekend. My cardio has not had the time to get back up to par like it was in the summer but I can still run the distance, just not at the pace I wanted to. So this year, no BQ, but still a gift from God to allow me to run at all on December 12th. I refused to back out. It's the one race every year I look forward to running and that's the marathon. As a mother, wife, and college student, I don't have as many chances to run a lot of races like I would like to. So the marathon means a lot to me. Plus, it's my last one here in Hawaii so I'm rather nostalgic about the whole thing this time. I have had some crazy ups and downs but grateful to my coach, Mickey, and to God, my ups have always brought me up to the highest point of confidence in myself.

Boston will be mine one day, God just told me I have to wait a little longer and I accept that.

God's speed

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Fighting against the odds

So this week I attempted some running. 6 miles one day, then 4 on Friday and 10 today. The 6 and 4 were not bad and neither was the 10 but I can feel the pain coming back in my heel. I ran today a little nervous because yesterday I had shooting pain a few times while I was sitting down. Today I went out strictly for endurance and survival purposes. At mile 2.5 I felt the pain and told myself that I would stop if it happened again but it didn't, so I kept on going for my 10. It felt great to run again and it was a comfortable run no pain or stride being off due to my heel. However, I am doing A LOT of icing to control pain. That being said, I will be visiting with the doctor this week to see what he says (not that I'll listen much I'm sure). I'm not one for going to the doctor anyway and if he tells me to not run for a long time I'm debating when to laugh, before or after I leave the office.

My marathon is in December and it is my last one here in Hawaii and I would hate to bow out. So I figure I will be fighting the odds again this year just like I did last year due to dehydration from medicine. I guess if I get sick I'll just avoid the medicine so I'm at least hydrated and just worry about the PF. ;) I will have to focus on cycling to help keep my cardio in check and pray that I can pull off a long run on weekends and ice the foot the whole week. I know it takes a very long time for PF to heal so I'm hoping to push through enough training to carry me 26.2 miles. I can rest afterwards and I'm sure I will need it after this.

Telling a runner not to run is like telling a baby not to crawl, we do it anyway because we love the adventure it brings us.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Rough road

It's been awhile since my last post and much has happened and "not" happened. School is back in session and keeping me busy as usual as it must. Afterall, knowledge is power. In relation to running though, I'm afraid a BQ will not be in my sights this December unless I pull off some crazy training between now and then which is unlikely due to having plantar fasciitis in my right heel. It was bothering me for some time but I did not know that's what it was until a few weeks ago. So running has tapered but i'm slowly getting back into it this week and so far so good. My month of August and September were tough with some added stress at school. That has been eliminated though and worked out for the best. I had 2 weeks of crazy studying to catch up on other classes, so again, training was halted. For me, my education has to come before running and my family comes before all else.

Now that I am back into the swing of things though I feel so much better and after the past 2 days of running, although short mileage, still has my hopes up for maybe at least a sub 4 marathon this year. If not sub 4 I feel confident that I can do 4:30. I had some great training and cross-training over the summer and I have continued to strength train with weights at the gym and I feel my legs getting stronger each week. At the beginning of my weight training I was pressing 135 on the leg press and I am up to 195 now. That hopefully will increase to 215 in a couple weeks. When I have to take time off from running to allow my PF to subside, I cycle. I'm hoping that after a long run this weekend that I will still be pain free the morning after the run. I ice my heel 3-4 times a day for 30-60 minutes at a time. Basically, any chance I get. I also bought inserts for my running shoes and normal walking sneakers. So far so good. There is still discomfort at times but no limping and it never hurts while running (thank goodness).

The trick for me now is to get the time on feet and get some nice long runs in for endurance and get my cardio conditioning built back up. I'm hoping I can do this within the next 8 weeks. I have a lot to focus on these days, family, moving mid-January, starting to study for MCAT's, college, and soon volunteering my time at hospitals to increase my chances of med school acceptance. A lot on my plate and one heck of a balancing act. However, I know with the support of everyone in my life and most of all, God's help, I can do all these things and excel. I have the two most important reasons in my life to succeed in all that I do, my children.

Until next time, keep the feet kicking high and love life on the road/trail, whatever your fancy!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Back from quad healing time

So this week was my first week back from taking some time off to let my right quad have some rest time. I had a pinch that wouldn't quit so I just worked on upper body and core for two weeks. I logged 64 miles this week, 29 of them running, rest cycling. I had to keep the mileage low this week to ease back into the groove of things. After the antsy time off I was happy to get back into a routine. School starts for me the 23rd so my running days are only Tues, Thurs, Sat, and Sundays now with long runs on Sunday. Crosstraining will be Tues and Thurs at the gym after I do my morning run of speedwork on those two days. I'm going to have a hectic schedule this semester so I hold my body and mind hold up.

I've started taking a vitamin to help out, B complex with Vit C and it seems to have helped by keeping me from having the need for a nap. I've also made my own mix of smoothie since the store bought ones tend to turn my stomach. I use 2 bananas, ice, some apple juice, and dumped 1 1/2 scoops of whey and a scoop of my recoverite in it. Tastes great and it makes about 24 oz so I drink the whole thing.

My pace at the beginning of the week was a cautious one hanging around the 9-9:30 range but by Thursday I was off like a prom dress again. Saturday I had my best 5 miles ever with an avg pace of 8:22. My long run though still needs work. The pace is there but I have to get my body used to it so I can stop the breaks. It weighs on my mind for race day but I still have 4 months to go so I'm not getting too mental about it. Instead, I'm trying to figure out how to overcome it. Today's long run was short by 3 miles but still went well, avg pace 8:30, but...with 4 breaks. That's not going to take me to a BQ... not unless I can keep cooking along at that pace. Just something I have to work on. I get to start strength training for my legs again this Thursday so hopefully after a couple weeks I will notice less stopping.

Other than that I'm doing pretty good and staying on top of my core workouts. My planks are just over 3 minutes now and I always hold the position to see how much longer I can handle it. I made it to 3:30 once. Yoga is working nicely for me. I enjoy it and the way it makes my muscles feel after a run or at the end of my day is nice. A nice good stretch for me.

Tomorrow I get a nice med deep tissue massage that my body is in much need of and I cannot wait! I haven't had one since my groin injury last year! My muscles will be thanking me, well, until I have to do Fartleks on Tuesday morning...

Overall, successful week, now on to the next one and hopefully better!

I live. I dream. I run.