New goal and focus on the horizon

Running has been my stress relief, saving grace, way to meet people and my alone time. It’s pushed me way beyond physical and mental limits. But right now, it’s just plain hard.

Over the past year, I’ve been in a slump and feel like I’m back at square one- those days that I just started running. I started training for Grandma’s Marathon and while it’s been tough, my only goal has been to finish each long run and get as many weekly training runs in as possible with a busy work schedule.

This weekend, I set out to run 20 miles, the pivotal run of any marathon training program. At mile 5, I knew I couldn’t go much further. I felt like I was literally dragging my left leg. I called it a day and decided that I’d try again on Sunday. I hurt.

Saturday afternoon I went to visit my massage therapist, Carrie. Her advice was to not run. I know that if I plan to race on June 17, not running is not an option. The muscles in my butt are hard and over stretched- no knots this time. Carrie said she’s only seen this one other time in another client. I left physically feeling a bit better but mentally, I was wrecked. I feel like I’m going to have to make a decision on whether or not I’m going to continue to try to run Grandma’s Marathon, and I’m dreading that decision, so I’m putting it off for now.

Sunday I knew that once again that I wasn’t going to be able to get 20 miles in, but thought I’d venture out for an easy 6 and see how I felt. Long story short, the pain got the best of me and I called my husband after 4 miles and asked him to come pick me up.

I rested Monday and Tuesday and today I went back to my new chiropractor. He confirmed that the muscles in my butt are super inflamed and adjusted my pelvis, back, neck, and ankles. He gave me the go ahead to run, but suggested I wait on strength training until after the race.

When I got home tonight, I hit the treadmill and struggled through 3 miles. Three, very rough, miles. My butt feels a lot better after the chiro appointment, but still pretty sore. I’m currently sitting on an ice pack.

If I only had one word to describe this training cycle, I would say “discouraging.” I almost gave up on training several weeks ago. My mom asked me to stick it out for a few more weeks and to get a few more long runs in and then decide. It’s not quite what I was hoping her to say, but I appreciate her extra push. Especially when I reached my 16 and 18 mile runs. She had another piece of advice that I took seriously.

She told me that she could tell that I was really getting down on myself and instead of focusing on my own goals, maybe I should consider helping others reach theirs. It’s been in the back of my mind to start a running club in my small town, but it wasn’t until she said this that I really took it to heart and knew it was time.

I’m currently laying the ground work to start the Ottawa Running Club in July. The group will meet at the local Rec Center on Wednesday nights and Sunday mornings. I’m really excited to help others run their first 5K or their 100th marathon. I see lots of runners out and about in Ottawa, but no running group currently exists. I miss running with friends and think this might just be something that re-ignites my love for running. I believe in doing things that energizes and not drains you. I believe that with my career, volunteer opportunities, relationships and hobbies. Right now, running for myself is draining, but thinking about the future of the Ottawa Running Club excites and energizes me! If you’re in the Ottawa, Kansas area, please come join me!
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In the meantime, I’ll keep alternating heat and ice on my buttocks and try to figure out what I’m going to do about the marathon… Stay tuned!

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One Month Until I Run with the Marines

I’m only ONE MONTH away from flying to Washington, D.C. to run my 8th marathon. One month!

Today, I dropped down to 12 miles for my weekend long run. I didn’t have anyone to run with today so I hit Sunday Runday. Sunday Runday North is a great group of runners in KC that I don’t usually run with but there’s great water stations along the 8-mile out and back marked course. The first 7 miles flew by. I felt great my pace was great and I was confident this was going to be an awesome run overall.

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Then, all of a sudden, I realized nothing looked familiar. CRAP. So, I began to back track. I never did find the corner I missed, but I run into another runner, who directed me to the closest water stop. GREAT. Nope, I was at the 8-mile stop. By this point, I had ran 9 miles and wasn’t prepared to run 8 miles home. I needed 12. My heart was set on 12 miles. I only wanted 12. 17 miles wasn’t in the cards. Not today.

I was chaffing. I was over it and I just wanted to get back to my car. So, I went off course to look for the most direct route home. One problem- I hadn’t the slightest clue where I was and my GPS wouldn’t pick-up. I called my mom… surely she could tell me which way to go by pulling it up on her computer even though she’s 180 miles away. No answer.

Next, my boyfriend…. No answer.

Enter meltdown here.

I quickly started to think of everyone I knew. Surely, SOMEONE could just come pick me up, right?! The few people I know around here were out of town. The meltdown continues…

I got a hold of my mom who was able to direct me towards home and I walked/run back in severe pain, without water. BUT I made it and I enjoyed the rest of the afternoon at the Royals game with a friend (even though I locked my keys in the car AND lost my car in the parking lot—yep, it’s been a day!).

Next weekend, I’ll run my 23-miler and then begin to taper. Tapering is the most difficult part of training for me. During taper I prepare mentally for what’s ahead. I didn’t taper enough for my last marathon and it didn’t end well. I started the race tired and begged my parents to let me in the car at mile 13. It was by far, not an enjoyable race for me. I’m determined to taper as I should this go around.

Lots of foam rolling lately

Lots of foam rolling lately

I’ve been to D.C. a few times, but my mom and 17 year-old brother are going with me and my brother has never been. So, we’ll do the usual monuments and museums, but if you have any recommendations of things to do, please leave them in the comments!

Speedwork on the track this week

Speedwork on the track this week