The Summit Challenge


So I ran my first 10 mile last October. Ok, I finished my first 10 mile last year. I was disappointed in missing my goal by 6 minutes. I pondered why this happened and I know it was due to lack of training. I didn’t get in a minimum of 3 runs a week and my mileage never was above 6 miles. So why did I fail, training.

This year I vowed to train harder go farther. But, how?

By really challenging myself. I signed up for the Twin Cities marathon Summit Challenge. It consists of the Valentine’s 5K in February, 100% Irish for a day 5K, Red White and Boom Half in July, and the Twin Cities Marathon in October.

Did I mention I live in Minnesota and I had never ran outside past October before? I do not like the cold and I am a freeze baby. So for Christmas I loaded my Christmas list with the essentials, gortex running shoes (Brooks Adrenaline GTX), a wind breaker jacket, running gloves, yaktrax, running tights, and a few base layers.

I have been running outside and really enjoying it. I have made it for a run at a minimum of 3 days a week. I added a few core challenges (more on that in another post) as well as a squat challenge. I just recently added strength training at a minimum of once a week.

My worry, fueling and injury. I have noticed my feet are getting really sore. I have been using a golf ball recently to massage my feet post run and in the evenings. But the tops of my feet are also sore. I rotate between several pairs of shoes for each workout. Still trying to find the cause.

I am trying incorporate eating before my runs to find foods that work well with my guy while running. So far, whole wheat toast with a light spread of peanut butter and honey has gotten me through my 6 mile distance. Again a work in progress.

So besides the challenge, I have a 5K on April 19, 2014, The Hot Chocolate 5K/ 15K in Minneapolis. Are you in MN and want to register you can use my code MINNMUG1. Followed by the Electric run on June 6th in St Paul at the State Fair grounds.

I am on track this year to finish the TC 10 mile stronger than last year and I am starting to really enjoy being out on the road running.

I will have my 2 post race recaps from this year some time later this week. For now, know you can accomplish whatever you want if you set goals and keep at it!

Run to the Rhythm 2011 recap


That was the scariest run I have ever been on! With that said, let me back up and say I am so glad I hydrated as much as I did the week leading up to the race. We knew it was going to be hot and muggy. I knew I hadn’t prepared as much as I should have, but planned on taking it slow it and steady. What I didn’t plan on was a side effect from a medication that I recently was restarted on a few weeks ago.

I get migraine headaches. I have struggled with migraines for years. But I also get tension headaches that have been triggering more migraine headaches recently. So I was started on a preventative over a year ago. I have never been very good at taking medication, (bad example for being an ER nurse, I know) I would rather change my habits first then resort to medications second. I have tried almost everything and now I am back to medications. We choose the least harmless to me, at least we thought, until yesterday during the the 5k.

I felt good that morning, nice and stretched, my pre-race jitters right on schedule but I was ready to go. There was a nice crowd ~500 registered from 27 states, not bad for a first annual race. Temp was upper 70s but very humid and full sun for 9am. The course started out very shady. But after our first up hill, it was full sun and hot! That’s when I started to feel my head spin, my legs got weak, and I stopped sweating. Not a single bead. Normally I would be thankful but for how hot I felt and knowing we were only a mile and a half in I was worried. My lips were cracked, I had no saliva, I was in trouble of quickly becoming into heat exhaustion. At the water station I tried to drink but threw it up, so took another glass over the top of my head and a third to the front of my shirt. I had several internal arguments in my head about laying down in the grass and stopping but my stubborn self/runner self was yelling “keeping going those feet moving!” I had a big hill coming up that had parts of sun shade mix. I made myself jog in the sunny spots to the shaded areas.

My little guys were at the end of the run and helped run me in. The gave me cold water they were drinking and told mommy not to give up and to keep running! My husband waited and gave up his time wait for me as well coming in just a second before me.

I don’t think I have struggled with anything in my life. I felt like such a wimp. But at the same time I accomplished a challenge. I ended up with a nasty headache for the rest of the day but it was worth it. I’ll keep running. What surprised me the most is my time. I thought for sure it was way worse than my 1st race in May. It wasn’t, I came in at 36:59. Not even a minute more than my May time. Makes me wonder what my time would have been if I had not run into trouble. I guess I will have to keep training to see!

Mother’s Day at Susan G Komen Race for the Cure recap


The big race day came fast! My only regret was that I got more sleep. The night before I had a hard time sleeping. I’m not sure if it was my nerves or another battle with my insomnia. No big deal. Brian and I got up at 6am Sunday morning, no breakfast in bed for me this Mother’s Day, he had scrambled eggs, me I went for the hard-boiled egg and mixed nut combo (not such a good choice I later learned). We left our house about 6:30 am and made it to the Mall of America in Bloomington, MN at 7:00am. Parking was not as bad as I expected. We walked around for a bit before heading out to the starting line. I think the powers that be heard my plead for nice weather. It was sunny and 57. Perfect for our early morning run!

At the starting line I was amazed at the number of people. Our announcer, for lack of better titles, had mentioned that 8,000 runners were expected this morning and 50,000 walkers for the next wave at 9:30am. This event is one of the Largest Race for the Cures in the U.S. No wonder I felt like a sardine at the start. Here I thought I was in the back, only to turn around and see nothing but a sea of people waiting. That got the nerves a pumping! It took awhile for that many people to get moving. We were bottle necked for about the first mile but after that it opened up a bit. All winter long I ran on the treadmill, not brave enough to battle a Minnesota winter run. It was different running outside again. It was nice to have the distractions of the scenery to look at since I chose not to run with my iPod so Brian and I could talk.

My favorite part of the run? All the cheering sections! They were placed at locations that I definitely felt I needed that extra support and encouragement. My favorite was the rock band that played at a local Fire Department along the route! I really wish I knew the name of the band and the Fire Department. It was such a great treat and really helped me pick up my pace.

Towards the end of the run I was starting to get tired. Not sure if I ran out of fuel due to the small breakfast or if it was lack of sleep that finally caught up to me. This is where Brian really helped me out. He kept pushing me forward and telling me we could do it. My lungs were on fire, long story I don’t want to bore people with, but we managed. The final stretch of the run was directly into the sun but we could hear the cheering crowd at the finish line. I started to get choked up when I realized the guy at the line was announcing people to remember. I know I picked up the pace at this point and crossed the line gusto. It was exhilarating! I couldn’t breathe, but I didn’t care. I only wish I had enough in me to have basked in it for long, but my belly was feeling sour and I needed to get out of the crowd fast and find some water and walk around to allow my lungs to catch up. So thankful for the beautiful water station slightly down the way, were I ran into someone I knew from the gym! Huh? Small world.

After some time and good cleansing breaths, I could turn to Brian and congratulate him on his longest run to date. As well as get my own celebration hug.

So our time? 36:23  (11 minute 32 second pace) not what I had hoped for but I’ll take it as a starting point. Also since I hadn’t had a good quality 5k run since mid-March, I’ll take what I can get.

So my next race will be this Thursday. Yep, Thursday. My legs should be nice and limber by then. It will be a quick (hopefully) 1 mile run in downtown Minneapolis for the 2011 Medtronic Twin Cities 1 Mile, part of the Twin Cities Marathon. This is the 2nd Largest mile road race in the U.S.  I will be in the “Friends and Family Wave” not the more competitive waves. Looks like a few of my husband’s co-workers will be joining us for this race. I better bring my A game so I don’t look like a wimp. The pressure is on! At the end of the race, coordinators  will be selecting 1,000 random finishers entry into the Twin Cities 10 mile in October. If selected, I will have my work cut out for me. That is, if I have the guts to actually do the 10 mile.

So our question this week from Jillian MoriarityDo you know when to back off of your efforts? When is the last time you took a step back in the name of gentle kindness to yourself?

I have learned over the years to listen to my body as to when I have pushed too hard or too far. I had surgery on my right lung over 10 years ago (for a spontaneous pneumothorax) and I have been working at getting in shape and improving my lung function since. That is my biggest road block. I know when I have gone too far, can’t catch my breath easily, chest starts to hurt, hands go numb, etc. I keep an eye on my heart rate and how it co-relates to my breathing. I hope that running will help strengthen my lungs better than other cardio exercises thus far. I have also been working on breathing exercises with yoga and pilates on my easier days to help my body and mind work together. Yoga is my kindness to my body. It helps my breathing and it helps my body stretch and recover after hard cardio days.

“I wrote the last part of this blog post while participating in the Mamavation Blogging Carnival for a chance to win a Jillian Moriarity workout  DVD from Jillian Moriarity” The Race for the Cure recap is completely of my own accord!