Thursday, February 22, 2018

Feeling these days like TGISundays - Marathon Training Update

The weekends are no longer what they once were. Training for a marathon has taken over! I am still loving it but I do kind of feel like TGISunday these days! Sunday is my day of rest, sort of. 

We are in the pile on the miles stage of marathon training. I am currently running four miles on Mondays, Yoga on Tuesdays, walking three miles on Wednesdays, running four miles on Thursdays, running three miles on Fridays and then Saturdays we run long! Sunday is usually a rest day except that it’s now my only real “weekend” day which means I am cramming all the stuff I need to do into that one day and all the other stuff I need to do just isn’t getting done… 

This past Saturday I ran 19 miles and then Sunday threw a baby shower from my very best friend! 

Yes I did just say that I ran 19 miles!!!! 

I kind of can’t believe we actually ran that far!!! This is the furthest I have run in my entire life! I never even ever imagined that I would ever run that far! These feet and legs amaze me!

We covered these 19 miles in 4 hours and I am pretty darn proud of that! I have not set a pace goal for this marathon. It is better for me to set the goal of finishing. The fact that I am still running at the end of a 19 mile run and the fact that my last mile was as fast as the first mile is pretty darn impressive to me! I have run half marathons before that I couldn’t hardly walk in the last few miles let alone run! I feel like this is the first time that I am really training well!

As with most of our long runs my training partner and I work ahead through the week planning and mapping out our run. We have tried to alternate terrains and elevations so that we are constantly working other muscle groups and ensuring that we are challenging ourselves each week. The Asheville Marathon has varying terrains that we will run on both road, trail and gravel and it has steady uphill climbs, downhill and flat sections. Trying to find safe places to log serious miles in a small town is challenging. 

We decided this week to stay in town and so we planned out our route. After looking at the map I thought it would end up looking like Yoda from Star Wars! 

There were going to be some double loops to get the miles we needed and so we decided to go out a little farther on the greenway than initially planned to be sure we got in a full 19 miles. I love this town we have some really beautiful places to run!

It was rainy but I was in good company and as always we had so much fun! I only annoyed Carly once (I think) when I forgot to start my watch after having stopped for a second to fuel and so I made her turn around with me and go back so I could start my watch in the right spot so I wouldn’t mess up my map! LOL!

When I got home and looked at the map I actually saw Casey from the Snorks and could totally hear her saying ”Yeah, I look like a princess.” LOL!

Carly and I in our post run delirium got artsy lol! Casey and Yoda and another amazing run is in the bank! It is always a fun adventure with #rundandc 

I am so blessed to have Carly inspiring me and encouraging me to do the hard things and doing the hard things with me! If she says I am ready for my first marathon I believe I am ready!! I can only hope for all my runner friends that they find someone like Carly to run with! She's the best!

We are #ashevillebound

Many Happy Miles

Monday, February 12, 2018

Marathon Training Run "Not As Described"

Note to self: “The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry”.

On Saturday's I run long. I have to run long on Saturdays because long runs these days, while marathon training, take four hours of my day or more. I work office hours Monday through Friday and Sundays I have church, grocery shopping and laundry to do. The only day I can carve out those four or more hours are Saturday's. 

My marathon training partner and I have been on a mission to find new and interesting routes and boy have we found them...

We originally were going to travel a bit this past Saturday to get in 19 miles but I had afternoon plans that would have pushed us on time. So instead we decided to stay local. Finding 19 fun and interesting miles however is no easy task. 

I found several trails up by the lake near our houses that all connected and when added up equalled the 19 miles we needed. Luckily Carly was familiar with the first 6 mile loop, Homestead Trail, Paddy’s Creek Trail and Mills Creek Trail, so we decided to do that first and then head on down to pick up the rest which were to be the longer portion of the run. 

As we are running along we see ahead the next turn but when we get closer we see a closed gate and a clear sign that the trail was closed!!! 

It’s also raining and we need to regroup and come up with 13 more miles somewhere...

It felt for a moment very deflating. I was so excited to try out this new route. Luckily I remembered another trail on the map close by and pulled up the Trail Run Project App and found what I was looking for!

We ran out a bit on the Over Mountain Victory Trail, it was gorgeous! Carly taught me about Shinrin-yoku which we totally experienced on that section of trail!! 

We then ran highway for a bit and circled back to the second half of the Over Mountain Victory Trail. We then ran highway for a bit again, circling back and running the previous 6 mile route in reverse and then finished off with a little under a mile on the Discovery Trail.


Considering we spent the bulk of our morning re-routing, re-thinking how to add mileage, in the rain and while running some 1,600 feet of elevation gain, in the mud finishing strong with 16 miles instead of 19 was just fine with me!

I could stress that I missed a long run but I could also argue that 16 miles IS long, very long and I am in great shape within my training plan. I feel good about that!

Quote of the run: “Oh look it’s one of those painted rocks! Oh nope it’s a poop bag!” 💩

We ran with deer and bunnies and enjoyed the music of the birds!! I look forward to forest bathing again soon!!

Monday, February 5, 2018

Yeti or Not 25K ~ Race Recap

Oh boy… Where do I begin… 

As you know I am in the midst of Marathon Training (and yes I think I am crazy too considering I had never run a mile before 2013). 

I love talking to other marathoners for tips. Colleagues of mine, a father son duo, shared with me that they did a 20 mile race as one of their training runs. 

That got me really thinking, 20 miles seems ridiculous to me and so doing that distance as a race might entice me. Having a reward for that kind of mileage like a medal, a t-shirt, food is pretty attractive. LOL! The only 20 milers around though are in the fall, perfect for a fall marathon but not so helpful for a spring marathon. In my search however I found the Yeti or Not 25K and my wheels started turning. It just so happened that I would need a 15 mile run that weekend and a 25K is 15.5 miles! 
A few weeks later I saw a fellow Skirt Sports Ambassador share in her Strava Feed that she had run the course. I reached out to her to ask a little about the course and race and after hearing all she had to say I decided to sign up!!! I asked Carly to join me and she was undecided. The very next week another Skirt Sister offered me a free entry but since I had already registered I asked if I could offer to Carly!! Peer Pressure is sooooo much easier when there is a free race entry as the bargaining tool lol!!

All agreed and Carly was signed up to run it with me and I am soooooo glad she was!!

We decided that we were using this as a training run so we were NOT going to race it.

I as always figure out my race day gear and clothes the night before, see the list of all my gear at the end of this post!!
The forecast showed it was expected to be a low of 20 and high of 40, my absolute favorite temps to run in!

We planned to leave at 6:30 am. The event was about a 2 hour drive away. The race started at 10am and packet pickup would begin at 8:30am. I realized once we got into Hendersonville that I had left my Garmin at home!!! Ugggg.... Thank goodness for Strava!!

We got there and grabbed our packets. We got our bib, a Subaru shopping bag (which is awesome for trips to Aldi), a couple of flyers for upcoming races, a $10 off coupon for a running store and our long sleeve tech t-shirt. I’m not sure how I feel about the shirt it’s pretty thin and super transparent. I would not wear it without something else under it. Other than that it’s fine.

We hung out in the car for the next bit and then got out about 20 minutes before race start.

I did not get the normal pre-race gitters. I think because I had it in my mind that I was not racing. 
We met a few new runners and chatted a bit (trail runners are freaking awesome) and then met up with our fellow Skirt Sister Laura.

We started the race and felt pretty good. The first five miles we kept telling our selves we needed to take it down a notch. Then we would tell ourselves to drop it down a gear. So on and so on. We were certain we did not want to race it. That was kind of tough because we let a lot of folks go on as we held back. I had to remind myself that this race was not a goal. The marathon is my goal. I did not want to risk a twisted ankle or worse that would interfere with me meeting the marathon goal.

The course was extremely hilly and technical for me  I almost wiped out several times and I almost lost Carly down a small waterfall!!

The hills of the mountains are not like the hills of the Foothills/Piedmont. The trails of the mountains are not like the trails of the Foothills/Piedmont either.

The farthest I have run on trail has been the South of the Mountain 5K. So three miles on trail that is pretty cleared, flat and truly rolling compared to fifteen and a half miles of trails that are not cleared at all, rooty, rocky and hilly is a huge difference.

It was without a doubt the hardest thing I have done to date. I really had no idea what to expect. It took us 4 hours to complete. My last long run was 18 miles in less time than that!!

All that to then say: But I loved it!

I’m so glad we didn’t go out to race it. The course was breathtaking and I was able to fully enjoy it! I felt so connected to God and to self being out there in the woods. I felt so much energy from the tress and I could feel my lungs cleansing themselves in the fresh mountain air. There were several creek crossings and I felt a charge from the creeks and then as we ran around Summit Lake I felt a balancing effect and I felt completely refreshed. All around us as we ran we could hear the rushing of the water in the streams and waterfalls. It was incredible. DuPont State Forest has six or more waterfalls and it is this forest that we ran 15.5 miles!

Life is so symbolic, as I think about the roaring majesty of the waterfall I acknowledge that as I began my running journey running only one mile even she began her journey as only a small stream. 

Toward the end of the run there were parts that I would run ahead a bit and both Carly and I would be in our own groove meeting up at intervals. I was running along and stopped a minute to make sure we were still staying close to one another when I saw the biggest most vibrant red cardinal. The cardinal swooped down and perched directly above me on a broken branch of a tree. He peered over to look at me. 

I was too busy being still in his presence to take a photo but, as I sometimes do, this is my doodle of him watching quietly over me.

I stood there in awe at how close he was to me and I felt so immediately thankful to God for that moment. I felt protected, watched over, loved, remembered, and I was completely flooded with emotion. After a few moments the he flew off and immediately I hear this song beautifully in my mind:

For the beauty of the earth,
For the glory of the skies,
For the love which from our birth
Over and around us lies
Lord of all, to Thee we raise,
This our hymn of grateful praise.

I took a few minutes to walk and cry and collect myself before returning to my stride. 

Mother Nature really puts me in touch with all the feels!

This race consisted of gorgeous trail, tons of hills, actually mostly hills and it was certainly a challenge. For anyone looking for a cool 25K I recommend giving it a go!

There is a cool medal at the end and some yummy soup too!

I am not sure if I will do the Yeti again or not. I am not sure we were really Yeti for the Yeti lol! I am so glad we did not race it. I think if we had we probably would have finished in 3:30ish. I know to never say never, who knows what the future holds but for now I am checking the 25K off my list and moving on to the next. I will say however that after completing this event and that course I feel like there isn’t anything I couldn’t do! 

I really am loving this journey to marathon! My journey is not the typical "pile on the miles" journey. In addition to piling on the miles we are seeking adventure making it that much more fun! 

The next journey awaits!! 

My Gear for this race:
Skirt Sports Free Flow Top use Code 37AVER for 15% off
Skirt Sports Lioness Skirt use Code 37AVER for 15% off
Skirt Sports Go the Distance Tights use Code 37AVER for 15% off
Crazy Compression Quartz Mint ask me for a 45% off Coupon Code!!
Brooks Ghost 10 
Nathan Hydration VaporAiress Vest
Asheville Marathon Buff (watch instagram for the Free Buff Wednesdays to secure yours and sign up to run with me in March (tTll them Deanne sent you!)

Read Carly's re-cap of the race on her blog Being a Bumgarner

Friday, February 2, 2018

Adventures in Marathon Training: My First Marathon

Here I am in the midst of marathon training... I honestly had NO idea what to expect when I decided I would train for a marathon. Originally when I began running I had NO intention of EVER running a marathon. Note to self: Never say never!

I am getting very close to my marathon date and so far this has been an interesting and incredible journey!!

When I decided that I indeed WAS going to train for a marathon I was also working on my training plan for the Detroit International Half Marathon. That date just so happened to fall right in line with beginning to train for the Asheville Marathon so my initial plan was a twenty-three week plan beginning in August 2017.

In hind sight this was probably not the best approach. Looking back at that plan it looks a bit overwhelming.

In December I decided to rework the plan. I was already conditioned for a half marathon (training for Kiawah which I ended up not running) so I created an updated twelve week plan for marathon training and this has felt much less daunting.

My training beginning in December has looked like this so far: 

December 3rd I ran a ten mile foggy run through down town at the break of dawn.

December 12th I ran four miles at 5am club girls.

December 16th my marathon training partner and I decided to head out on what will become or first of many adventures. I called this run “The Misadventures and Adventures of Carly and Deanne”. A little car sledding on the sheets of ice “I think were fine”. A decision to maybe not try to go up the ice sheets any further. A mile in and I have to pee #gooutside 😳 miles and miles from civilization. At about the same mile in Carly discovers she forgot her keys to our pick up car #pointtopointrun #nobiggie #turnaround mid run re-route discussions due to the ice to ensure we get our miles #letsgothisway #iwonderwhatisthatway So many laughs, so much fun, such an adventure! #thirteenmilesoffun #wheretonext #wakeupandrun #RunNC #realwomenmove

December 18th I ran four miles with my 5am club runners.

December 21st I ran four miles on a new route with friends. Aside from the near death experience this morning I enjoyed the gorgeous sunrise run! I originally thought the car that almost wiped us out was deliberately trying to run us off the road but turns out he was on his phone 📱 Please don’t drive distracted people!! Everyone’s lives could have taken a tragic turn in literally a split second. Thanks be to God for protecting us and then giving us this beautiful sunrise. #thankfulrunner #sunriserun #wakeupandrun #stayalert #morningmiles #gooutside #realwomenmove #crazyclan

December 23rd was my very first run longer than a half marathon run at 14.2 miles!!! PR’s for me from here until March even if running against the wind #marathontraining #myfirstmarathon #avlmarathon There were so many whimsical and beautiful sights along the run and if you ask me our route looks a bit like “the most famous reindeer of all” that “had a very shiny nose” #rudolph #seenonmyrun #rudolphinascarf #fairygarden #secretdoor #cross #riverrun #run828 #runmorganton I then headed home to replenish lost carbs with Christmas cookies #itstheholidayseason

The holidays were BUSY!! But on December 30th I was back out there getting another new PR, 15 miles!!  #realwomenmove #15miles #28degrees #run828 #runmorganton #tablerock #crazyclan #crazycompression #seenonmyrun #runwinter #runwithaview #runnergirls

I decided pretty last minute to run a Resolution Run 5K on December 31st (link)
It was snowing ... It was 23 degrees... It was windy.... We were possibly under dressed (but well decorated)... We ran 15 miles the day before... I am at this point accepting that I am crazy... But it was such a fun way to wrap up 2017 🎉
#runtheyear2017 #resolutionrun #happynewyear #happynewyear2018 #run828 #nomoremilesthisyear #realwomenmove #crazyclan #nyerun #badassladygang

January 1st Tess and I went out for my Traditional New Year’s Day Run with LeRoy.

On January 6th we turned up the craziness again!! 11 degrees and 15.5 miles!!! One pair of Crazy Compression, one pair of Fitsoks, one pair of running tights, a pair of Hot Chillys over those and a running skirt over that, a running tank, a running long sleeved shirt and a smart wool top over that, a vest, a jacket, two buffs, a balaclava, gloves and hand warmers!! When your marathon is in March you have to log the miles!! Good thing that sign at the frozen pond said no walking on ice; we may have otherwise done a little skating too. Frozen Hydration Tubes, Mega Hills but gorgeous scenery and fun friendship make all the miles merry!!! #crazyclan #realwomenmove #marathontraining #toocoldtomove #runanyway #viewsfordays #dontrunonice #hillsforbreakfast #brfs #crazycompression #fitsok #nikerunningpants #hotchillys #hotchillypeppers #smartwool #balaclava #buffusa #knockaround

January 8th I logged 4 miles with my 5amers.

January 10th I logged 4 miles with my 5amers.

January 13th my crazy marathon training partner and I ran 13 miles through a couple of towns and counties... Lots of rolling... Mostly hills... I called this “The off, then on, then off, then on, then off road experience” 🚗🚙 There were sooooo many cars and there was no shoulder or sidewalk to run on... But hey we are in this for the adventure #runwithaview #RunNC #marathontraining #crazyclan #realwomenmove #lookup

January 14th I could not get out of bed! I felt certain I had the flu!! On Monday the 15th I went into work and went to see our FNP to get tested. Thank goodness I tested negative but I felt miserable. I had this extreme cough and persistent headache (and I do not get headaches). On Tuesday the 16th I lost my sweet Cocoa and I stayed home to tend to her and then tried to sleep off the terrible "cold" or whatever that was the rest of the day. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday I was still feeling terrible. I had not run all week. I was using a neti pot, taking Robitussin and/or Mucinex, doubling up on Vitamin C, living on cough drops and soup but I just knew I HAD to run on Saturday!! We needed to get in 17 miles according to my plan...

On Friday a PT Colleague of mine who is also a marathoner stopped in my office to get and update on a project I am working on and asked about my training. I shared my miserable week and he advised me that he felt certain I would risk more by running than by skipping and so I skipped my scheduled long run. Learning to listen to my body during marathon training is scary business!! I’m such a rule follower and if I have certain miles to get each weekend I feel the strong need to get them! I did however begin to improve that weekend and I knew I had made the right decision. I think it was a God send that I got this advice late in the day on Friday! I know otherwise I would have run and then maybe my journey would have ended here... #trusttheprocess #marathontraining #restandrecover #myfirstmarathon #listentoyourbody  

On January 22nd I was back with my 5am club and ran 4 miles

I ran another 4 miles on January 23rd.

January 24th I was finally able to catch back up with my downtown crew and we walked 3 miles. My original running partner is expecting her first baby in March (the day after my marathon) and so on Wednesday's, for now, we walk!

On January 27th I experienced what may be the best run EVER!!! I called this the Peace, Love and Creekside Run!! What another fun adventure!!! We enjoyed an 18 Mile Run followed by a 2 Mile cool down walk alongside Wilson’s Creek, Carroll Mill Creek, Craig Creek, Phillips Branch, Harpers Creek, Thorps Creek, Estes Mill Creek, Lost Cove Creek and Laurel Creek! Simply breathtaking!! Quite possibly my favorite run ever and another PR! We saw turkeys fly, tons of cardinals, the old Mill site, we got a little wet when we crossed the Creek (those rocks weren’t quite as steady as they looked) and had some pretty great cheerleaders along the course!! We got “you guys are making awesome time” at Mile 8.5 by the mountain bikers we caught up with, “you are crushing it” by the fly fisherman and “you guys are awesome” by a passerby!! Can we run here all the time?? I loved this run!! And no we didn’t run the whole 18 in this hamster wheel lol!!! #runlove #18miler #actually20miles #runnergirls #run828 #trailrunner #marathontraining #firstmarathon #gravelgrinder #realwomenmove #crazyclan #crazycompression

It was truly an incredible run!! I already can't wait to run there again!!

January 29th I was back out at 5am at the lake for 4 miles.

January 30th I logged 2 miles on the treadmill.

December and January I wrapped up having logged 73 miles each month. 

February and March are sure to be epic!! Stay tuned for more on all those upcoming adventures!!

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