Monday, October 26, 2015

St. George Marathon Recap…

So it has been three weeks since I traveled to St. George, Utah for the marathon so I figure if I am going to write about it I should probably go ahead and do it.
After taking it easy at the start of the year, my goal was to be in shape and ready to go when training for St. George happened. I had planned on a 12 week plan, but you know what they say about the best laid plans. After straining my quad, a biopsy and minor surgery by the time July 1st rolled around I was wondering if I even wanted to train for St. George.
In the past, I have tended towards just running what everyone else was running when I trained for marathons, and this time I decided that since I was not in shape when I started training and I wanted to find a plan that would work for me I decided on Hal Higdon’s Senior Marathon Training Program. I decided on this plan because you could modify the 8 week plan, it was only running three days a week, and I have had trouble with overtraining in the past. I printed out the program and taped it to my fridge and decided to give it a shot. Even with the way the plan was written I did hills once a week and never ran more than six miles on my second weekday run, I also found a group that ran a pace I could manage so there wouldn’t be a lot of solo miles like there have been in the past.
These girls saved me this summer. I won’t even say how much work it was to get everyone in the same place, with the selfie stick that morning.
So I ran through July, August and September in the heat and the humidity of our Oklahoma summer, and while I wasn’t thinking this would be a PR kind of race for me I was proud of the fact that, unlike last summer, I had actually run every mile instead of walking. I felt confident that I could run the 26.2 miles even if they weren’t super speedy.
Fast forward to October 1st and we were headed to Utah.
Pre flight selfie. We wanted to make sure we got the plane in the background.
So we fly into Vegas, get the rental car and drive to St. George, check into the hotel, get some dinner and then I have the worst night’s sleep ever. After a two mile shake out run on Friday morning where my legs felt completely awful, we headed to the expo to pick up our bibs and grabbed some lunch and decided to drive the course.
I will say that Utah is beautiful, but this course scared the crap out of me. I loved the point to point aspect, but even though it’s billed as a downhill race there were some uphill portions too.
The starting line was pretty cool though.
Action shot:
They had flags from every state/country that had a participant, how cool is that?
First Aid, toilets AND fires? Oh yeah.
We headed back to the hotel, Rochelle and I ended up getting some not very good take-out and by 8:30 I was exhausted. That was about the time I realized that my sunglasses had broken in my suitcase. That was a bummer. Luckily Tim and Christie headed out to get some last minute supplies and picked up a pair for me.
I did get some sleep and then was up somewhere in the 3 o’clock hour. Everything was running smoothly and then I got thrown off a bit by a few panic moments before we left the hotel and managed to leave without a bottle of water. We made it to the buses and didn’t have to wait too long before we were on one headed up to the starting line.
It was pretty chilly up there. We got in line for the port-o-potties and then found a spot by one of the fires to relax before the start. I found a spot near the 4:30 pace group and just planned to go out and enjoy the day. Which I did, for 17 miles.
I chatted with some other runners and walked some of the uphill spots (miles 7-9 were no joke), and managed to keep myself either in front of or right around the 4:30 pace group. It really felt like a good day.
At the water stop around mile 17 I walked for a few minutes and was going to take a picture of the view. A guy that was walking by me offered to take my picture.
This was the last point I felt good for the rest of the race. I turned around and almost immediately I had sharp, shooting pains in my right leg that started above my ankle and would shoot up my leg and down into my foot ever time I stepped on my right foot.
It has been 3.5 years since my tibial stress fracture, but that one started exactly like this. Mid-run, shooting pain that hurt with every step. I knew I was in trouble. In an instant I went from feeling like I was having a great day to feeling like it was the worst day ever.
So what did I do? Well what I should have done was stop. I should have found the next medical tent and called it a day. But that is absolutely not what I did. I walked. I walked for NINE MILES, on what was in fact a tibial stress fracture. A bunch of people told me that I should have stopped, and yes I know that I probably should have, but when you are out there it’s hard to quit.
I walked 9 miles at about a 17 minute pace. It took forever! I cried. I cried a lot. I managed to finish about 8 minutes slower than at Chicago last year, I can’t decide if that is a good thing or a bad thing. I did not get stung by a bee this year, so that’s a good thing, but that happened at mile 17 in Chicago last year. I think next marathon will be all about making it past mile 17 because that mile seems a little unlucky for me. I managed to not be the last person in our group to finish, thanks Tim!
So I finished, got my medal, got back to the hotel for the most frantic post check-out shower ever and then we were on our way back to Vegas. In case you were wondering, Vegas is the absolute worst place in the world to be with a leg injury. Just walking (and I use that term loosely because I was limping) from the valet to the room seemed like miles. I made myself presentable and we headed to Mesa Grill for dinner.
Cremini mushroom quesadilla with fontina and ricotta, topped with a fried egg. I ate ever bit and it was so good.
IMG_7240 (2)
Rochelle, Tim, Kristy, me and Christie.
I did have a good time. I have spent the last three weeks wondering what I could have done different to have had a different outcome. I have been incredibly bummed about the whole thing.
I was back in the boot the Thursday after we got back, had an MRI the following Monday, and then told that I needed to be on crutches the next Thursday. After nine days on crutches I am back in the boot and I go back to the doctor on November 5th. If nothing else, after two less than spectacular marathons last year St. George showed me that I am not done with the marathon. I had a great day for 17 miles, I was feeling good and having fun, and I know that there are more races ahead.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Go Girl Half Marathon…

In March I ran a second half marathon, and it was my first all female race. If there is a Go Girl race in your area, you should definitely do it!

I was still running without my Garmin in March, and I was very excited to lace up without any goals other than going out and having fun.

Pre race in the dark photo! The race was in downtown OKC and parking near the botanical gardens was a breeze. We even found a real restroom to use before the race. It’s nice when things work out like that.


Anne, Carrie, Sarah, me, Rochelle and Britney

I ran this race with Carrie my friend who is now approaching the end of her pregnancy, and just like the half marathon a few weeks before, we just went out and had fun.

The route for this race was very similar to the OKC Memorial, but I suspect that they had a map and tried to make it not overlap unless it had to. What resulted was a not very scenic trek through OKC. It was hilly at times, there were few spectators, and some of the neighborhoods were a little sketchy. It is definitely not a race you would do for the view, although the same could be said for the OKC Memorial.


This guy was all over the route though, and we just had to get a picture with him. In 13 miles I swear we saw him about 50 times. (Okay, my perspective might be a little off since so much time has past, but you get the idea.) I have worked hard in the past as a race stalker, and I have a lot of respect for others that do it so well.

Medal group photo! Seriously, these were the biggest, heaviest medals I’ve ever received. We joked that it made our necks sore wearing them around after the race. Not lying, they could also be used as a weapon.


A few days before the race we received an email asking everyone who could to stick around and wait for the last runner to cross the finish line, so there was plenty of time for more post race photos.


It was a beautiful day so we sat and cheered all the finishers as they came in, and there was a group that even went out to meet the last runner to finish with her..I got chocked up that day, and even as I recall it now it still makes me a little misty-eyed, thinking about the people that remained to cheer on the last runner.

I was a great day, and I definitely look forward to running this one again next year!

Monday, August 24, 2015

It’s Been a While…

Do you have those days, or weeks, or months where you remind yourself of something you need to get done, but then the days seem to fly by and you never get to it?

Well it’s been that way for about four months here! It’s not that there hasn’t been anything going on worth documenting, it’s just that it seems that there is always something going on, or that it’s so nice when there is nothing going on I just don’t seem to get it all done.

So here are the highlights and I plan to start working on all the details. (Can you have a New Year’s Resolution in August?)

  • I ran a second half marathon in March.
  • I baked a lot after that.
  • My kiddos finished their Freshman year of high school.
  • I went to Mexico.
  • My family went to Orlando.
  • I had a little surgery.
  • I started training for Marathon #5!
  • School has started again and after a slow few months on the baking front things are picking up again.

It looks so small when you list it all like that, but it has been a fun, stressful, busy few months.

I will start working on the details!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

A Little Running Shenanigans…

So it’s almost half way through March, so I thought I would update how my return to running has been this year. After the plague, and my almost zero month of running in December, I took it easy and slowly worked my way back into a normal workout routine.

So far this year, my beloved Garmin has spend the entire time in the junk drawer in my kitchen. All of the 148 miles I have logged in 2015 have been done without concern for my pace, and it has been so nice! I used to think that every run needed to be logged in my Garmin, but now it has been very freeing.

I wanted to get back to running because it’s fun, and I think I am getting there.

I even ran my first race without my Garmin.

I can’t decide if I am delaying getting it out and dusting it off because I am afraid to or if I just don’t want it to feel like work again. For now, though, I think I will leave it where it is and stick to the running I’ve been doing.

Next up is the Go Girl Half Marathon. I can’t remember the last time I ran two half marathons in one month. I have been wanting to do an all girl race, and I have lots of friends running it, so it should be a really fun race.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Strides of March Half Marathon…

Last year we ran the Strides of March Half Marathon, it was inexpensive, local and had great volunteers. While I had been pondering the thought of running it again, it wasn’t until Saturday that we got signed up for it.

I have had very low expectations when it has come to my running this year. I have been running without my Garmin all year, and just trying to slowly get back into it. It’s amazing how freeing it has been. I haven’t seen double digits since we ran the Route 66 Half in November, before Thanksgiving so I knew that this half was going to be pretty tough.

I love that it only takes about 15 minutes to get to this race. Rochelle and I got there, found Kristy, Lauren and Carrie, got to hang out in our cars for a little bit and had time to hit up the port-o-potties and got to the starting line.

Carrie and I had been chatting about our race plan. Mine was mostly to not die, and hers was to take it easy. We decided to stick together and just see how it went. We did go out a little fast, but mostly because we were around other runners. We worked on holding back some, stopped at the water stops, and took a short walk break at about mile 4. Before we knew it we saw everyone else heading back and then we were at the half way point.


I convinced Carrie we needed a half way point selfie with the race volunteer.

We headed back and I was definitely feeling the miles, but we chatted away, listened to a little music, chatted with the volunteers and kept at it. The finish has a pretty good sized hill before the downhill to the finish. I made it up the hill and finished just behind Carrie in just over 2:05.

Not as fast as last year, but the fastest half since last year. I was very happy to be done.


Post race with Carrie, Rochelle, Kristy, Lauren and I. Notice the three in the middle with their age group trophies for top 3 finishes. I didn’t even check on my age group until after I got home. Turns out I should have had one of those trophies too! Second in my age group.

Sometimes it’s good to be 40.

Today I am incredibly sore. I feel like I have the body of an 80 year old. The memories are worth it though.

Next up, the Go Girl Half in two weeks. I can’t believe that I am doing two half this month. Here’s hoping I am getting back in shape and I will be less sore the next time.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Baking Shenanigans 2015...

So far, this year has been insanely busy on the baking front. I did have a few weeks in January to recover from the holidays, but I still got to bake up some pretty fun stuff.

  1. First birthday cookies in pink and gold.
  2. 6th birthday bowling themed cookies.
  3. Norman North semi formal invite cookies.
  4. Frozen themed birthday cake.
  5. Frozen themed birthday cookies.
  6. Matilda Jane open house cookies.
  7. German chocolate cake for my fabulous father-in-law.
  8. Birthday cookies for two of my favorite kids' mimi.
  9. 60th birthday golf themed cookies.

  1. Birthday cupcakes cookies with polka dots.
  2. Personalized valentines cookies.
  3. Thank you cookies for nurses.
  4. Burger cupcakes and love cookies for Josh's cousin Jennifer's wedding shower.
  5. More birthday cupcakes with polka dots.
  6. Elephant baby shower cookies.
  7. Valentine cookies!
  8. Wedding shower cookies.
  9. Grey and yellow chevron birthday cupcake cookies.

  1. Fire truck themed 3rd birthday cookies.
  2. 50 Shades of Grey birthday sugar cookies.
  3. Winnie the Pooh birthday sugar cookies.
  4. My favorite Frozen sugar cookies so far.
  5. Ninjago birthday cookies for my nephew Haden, and Japanese cookies that say Paige for my niece's 16th birthday.
  6. Cookies I donated for a local church.
  7. Cookies for my friend Kristy who headed to Arizona for a marathon.
  8. Wedding shower cookies, love the white on white.
  9. My biggest order to date, cookies for the OU College of Arts & Science's gala.
This is not everything that has been happening this year, but it's a lot of it. It hasn't been too easy keeping up with all of it, but it has sure been fun making goodies. I am glad to have a few days to catch my breath and catch up on my DVR and get a little blogging done. I promised my girls that I would make them some chocolate chip cookies this weekend. They have been feeling a little neglected lately.

I am looking forward to what is coming up for March. 

Monday, January 12, 2015

How About Some Goals…

So I don’t believe in New Year’s Resolutions. I think they are silly and people don’t stick to them. I think if you want to do something you should set goals. Small steps in the right direction are more apt to get you where you want to go than a New Year’s Resolution.

I have considered my goals for the year, but I thought I would focus more on monthly goals for now.
Here’s what I have come up with so far, they cover a range of shenanigans.
  • On the running front, how about I start running again? My total of 9 whole miles run in December might seem impressive, but I’m ready to start hitting the streets again. So far, so good. I am focusing on running because it’s fun, not because I have to. Two Saturday’s in a row of 5 miles a piece, a hill workout, and even a not so terrible treadmill workout so far. I’d say I’m off to a pretty good start.
  • Running naked. Yep, for the entire month of January my goal is to run sans Garmin. I do not want to worry about pace AT ALL for at least one month. (I will reassess this goal for February when February gets here.) This is not to say that I am not keeping track of my miles, but I know most of the routes we run so I can keep track of my distance but not care about how fast I get from the start to the finish.
  • As for meal planning, I plan to do it. December was especially hectic with all the baking, and I feel like we were always scrambling for what we were going to have for dinner. Now we talk about it, or we have for the last two weeks, and we have a list of dinner options on the fridge and the girls get to pick.
  • January has been much less busy on the baking front, but my goal for this month is marketing, marketing, marketing. I’ve baked up a couple of batches of cookies to take to my favorite salon for passing out. Valentine’s day is right around the corner!
  • I also plan to get more organized with my business. (Set up my LLC, and open a business account.) There I sais it, so I have to do it. I have the forms for the LLC in my in box, just have to do it.
  • I am so excited that I actually bought a new, to me, fancy camera last week. It’s a Nikon D3000, and my first goal with it is to learn how to use it. I signed up for a photography class, and since I missed the first class last week I am going to night for the make up class. Should be interesting.
  • Finally, my last goal for January is to get more yoga back in my life. When I PR’d the marathon, almost two years ago, I was practicing yoga pretty regularly. In fact, all I was doing at that time was running and yoga. No strength or anything. After the horrible miles of 2014, I realized that the thing that was missing for almost the entire year was yoga. I am working on getting back to my mat. It’s good for me and I really enjoy it. It’s practically a no brainer.