Marathon Training: Week 5

Why yes, month one is officially COMPLETE and now it is onto month two/week five. This week will be…a challenge. A good challenge.

Today: 3 miles, easy. I took my dog with me to burn off some of her energy and she has done nothing but lay around all day. I would provide a terribly cute picture but had I interrupted her nap and laziness, I would also be responsible for occupying her until she ran out of energy again. Which would probably include another run. Not gonna happen.

Tuesday: I’m taking tomorrow as a rest day. Weather depending I’ll go on a walk but that will be the extent.
Wednesday: 6 miles, easy. I hope this happens.
Thursday: 4 miles, 2 miles at goal pace
Friday: Rest
Saturday: 16 miles
Sunday: Rest and hopefully not be sore.

Saturday will be a new PDR (personal distance record) and I will be thinking positive thoughts all week in preparation. I haven’t decided where I want this run to take place, and I also MUST buy that Camelbak this week. I’ll model it for you once I get it, you’re welcome.

This week’s long run is where it really amps up, and I’m trying to not think downer thoughts about these big bad miles. My long runs build up from 16 to 18, then 20 this month, then I am running a half marathon in Texas the last weekend of September. I’m actually just not going to think about it at all, just gonna do it.

I was encouraged yesterday when the pastor at my church was talking about dreams. Basically he said something like this:

If you can fathom, understand and make sense of your dreams, then you’re dreaming too small. Small dreams don’t take any faith.

I can’t fathom 26.2, I can’t even fathom 18 at this point, so it must mean that I’m doing something right with these big dreams.

What are you dreaming about?

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Take 10

Yesterday’s long run was a 10 miler that concluded my first month of marathon training! One down, three to go…ok let’s not think of it like that. It’s kind of depressing.

Let me be honest, this past week did a number on me. I think that adjusting to school and having to actually prioritize and manage my time more wisely took it’s toll.

I only wish this was true. I really have spent more time studying this past week than I probably ever did last semester which is TERRIBLE but possibly a positive indicator of a good semester for me ahead…possibly?

Between work, school, work and running come Friday I was feeling much like a zombie. Negative thoughts were already starting to invade my brain and get me unmotivated for my Saturday run of 10 miles, and then it hit me. IT. Something that has been a topic of discussion around a circle of friends for the past couple of weeks is the power of our minds. Undoubtedly I believe that we can convince ourselves of anything; we can talk ourselves in and out of whatever we want, we can think ourselves sick, we can think ourselves happy, we can think whatever we want and we will become those thoughts.

Just as soon as these negative thoughts came into my mind, I turned them around and started speaking positive things. “I AM going to have a great run tomorrow…I AM going to wake up on time for my run tomorrow, I WILL have plenty of energy for my run tomorrow…” this continued on for about 7 or 8 minutes, this positive self talk. Before I knew it, I had convinced myself into a positive state of mind and was very much looking forward to my run on Saturday. It can be hard to get motivated for stuff, especially when you are worn out and exhausted but it just takes a few words that can give you that empowerment you need. Don’t be afraid to inspire yourself when no one is there to do it for you.

What do you know, come 6am on Saturday morning I popped out of bed and was ready to get the morning rolling for my run! I wanted to make sure I fully enjoyed this run and savor it because it’s the shortest long run I’ll have for at least another month. I loved seeing other runners out on the trails; there is something incredibly encouraging when you see someone then see them again two hours later still running, giving each other thumbs up and high fives…knowing that you both are pushing yourselves to a goal, whatever that may be. I took this run to decompress and it was perfect.

On a completely unrelated note, I need to confess my newest problem and that would be self serve frozen yogurt. I would eat it every day if I could. Orange Leaf, Yogurtland or Yogurtini yes please. I dragged my lovely friend Kayla with me for the last excursion and she said she definitely was not going to get any froyo

Until I caught her sheepishly filling up a cup. No shame girl. It’s no shame because my froyo put her froyo to shame. I bet you could never guess which is mine. Neverrrrr.

I am not embarrassed. I am also not embarrassed to admit that I accidentally fell asleep by 10pm more than three times once this week. I feel a confessions post coming on.

Beep Beep!

This morning I experience a first for me as a runner. I had a collision with a car. While I was running. Yes…a car and I collided.

How does this happen? Well although I had a green light I still glanced to make sure the cars were stopped because there are always some crazies out there, but the coast was clear and I continued running, with the right away, across the crosswalk. All of a sudden, up rolls a car right through the crosswalk and HELLO.

I was on the hood of a lady’s car.

You see, she was clearly enjoying her McDonald’s breakfast so much that she was probably driving with her eyes closed and was too busy to pay attention to actually driving

Instead of uttering profanities and cursing at this woman

I was in a state of shock. Like an, “Oh my gosh what the heck just happened, did this really just happen?” and pushed myself up and when she yelled “Sorry!” I mustered out an, “Itsfineitsfine,” and just ran on.

The rest of my run I was mildly shaken but also reminded of how important RUNNER SAFETY is! If you are going to run (or drive) be SAFE! What did we learn today kids?

For the runners:

  • look out for crazy people who can’t drive
  • be aware of your surroundings
  • just because you have a green light doesn’t mean you shouldn’t look before crossing any street
  • anticipate and be prepared for anything!!!
  • make sure your mom is praying for you so that if you happen to have a collision with a vehicle you escape unscathed!
For the drivers:
  • look out for crazy runners
  • STOP when you are supposed to STOP
  • drive with your eyes open please
  • don’t drive past the crosswalk, it is there for a reason
  • don’t eat McDonald’s while driving…or ever for that matter
  • make sure your mom has said lots of prayers for you to be a good driver to avoid any casualties while on the road

What Inspires Me

Lately I have heard a lot in conversation, “I don’t know how you run that much,” or “I don’t know where you get the motivation to do something like that,” in regards to the marathon training. Honestly? Honest honest honest…I have no idea where the motivation comes from either. I don’t know how I have ran three half marathons and my mind hasn’t even began to fathom an entire marathon, but on I trudge run.

While my source of motivation is questionable, I do have inspirations that often come to mind and help keep me going on lonesome long running journeys. Here they are in NO (read: NO) particular order. I bet most of these people don’t even know they have inspired me. SURPRISE!

1. My old self.

Some could say I’m ‘running away’ from who I was but instead, I embrace the changes I have made in my life and will never forget how I lived my first 17 years. I’m inspired by the fat girl who, five years ago, didn’t even know what a marathon was. The girl who thought that running was only for skinny people who didn’t acknowledge her existence in high school. At age 17, I made drastic changes, but continued to see where I could go. I began pushing the envelope and getting out of what I was used to and what was comfortable, and with this marathon, I am pushing the envelope, out of my comfort zone, farther than nice 13.1 jaunts around a race course, mentally, emotionally, physically, spiritually…continuing forward to see where the boundaries exist.

2. My family.

Sorry fam, but we weren’t really equipped with that natural athletic ability gene, in case you weren’t aware. My family inspires me because running isn’t something anyone in my family really does. Unless it was running to beat someone to the bathroom in the mornings. Or running to find out who didn’t empty the lent out of the catcher in the dryer. I want to give my family something to be proud of. I want to set an example to my younger siblings, that you can, indeed do anything you set your mind, heart and soul to. That your future isn’t determined by this, that or the drop of a hat, that you have the ability to decide where you want to go and what you want to do with your life. As my dad always tells me, “You can do anything you want to do and you can go wherever you want to go, don’t let anything stop you,” and I have taken him up on his advice. I only hope that my family gets half of the thrill that I do from going to races and traveling, wherever the roads may lead us.

3. Food. Yep, there, I said it. I had to break up the sappiness. Food inspires me to run. Because running 12 miles makes it much easier to justify fro-yo

versus…not running 12 miles

It’s all about balance, people.

4. Bridget.

Bridget and I met just over a year ago because we were both in a friend’s wedding; she was in town from Nebraska and I had heard nothing but fabulous and hilarious things of her. When we met, she was carrying her second little bun in the oven and I was a novice runner. I can’t remember exactly where down the road but we found that running was a common ground between us. The rest is history? Despite living in different states we have managed to do one training run and one race together…that’s more than I can say for most people. This woman inspires me because she is amazing and awe-inspiring.¬†She is an Air Force wife of a husband who is currently away, mother of two little nuggets, one of the funniest people I have ever met, and still manages to fit running into her schedule. Even when things get tough, she perseveres. Her story keeps me going, and I’m also glad that I have someone who can relate to the ups and downs of being a less than super fast runner.

5. Jennifer.

Some of you may or may not know Jen. Growing up, she was the assistant to the youth pastor at my church and someone I looked up to immensely. She was always a huge role model for me from age 12 and on; she invested so much time, energy and prayers into me growing up and I’m not sure she even knows how much that still means to me today, nearly ten years later. Jen was also the first person I had ever heard of running these long races, half marathons and marathons, if it wasn’t for her I wouldn’t have the slightest idea that races even existed! An inspiration, Jen is someone I still admire to this day and have committed to heart every encouraging word she has spoken to me. I’ll never forget the, “I’m running 16 miles, what are YOU doing today?!”

6. My future. I run for my future and what all it potentially has in store. There is so much that I want to do with running and ideally it will be a part of my life for the rest of my life. I have dreams so big that I can’t even begin to tell people, because someone who is very smart once told me, “Be careful who you tell your dreams to.” Though I may not voice them to everyone, they are there.

7. To be an influence. I want people who don’t think they can to be inspired that they CAN run and they can do all the set their minds to. I coach with a local Girls on the Run team because I love being an influence to young girls and giving them a positive self image, knowledge of a healthy lifestyle and letting them know that running is so fun. Our talents are no good if they are just wasted on ourselves; I believe that we are given our gifts, talents and abilities to give back. What good would they be otherwise?

What inspires you to do what you do?

 

 

Marathon Training: Week 4

Wow! I can’t believe I’m coming up on the end of the first month of marathon training! Though the early mornings are sometimes hard to get through, it has been much more enjoyable than I anticipated!

The first few weeks have been pretty kind to me, helping build my mileage and laying a solid base. I really enjoy the consistency that comes along with a training plan, which is part of the reason I think I’m able to get through this, some mornings more sore than others.

This past long run was a nice reminder that my training plan will not go as perfectly in real life as it does on paper (read: fatigue, frustration and rain) but I can’t consistently get down on myself if I’m not following training to a ‘T.’

Here is the plan for week 4:

Monday: 3 miles, done!
Tuesday: Zumba, my favorite workout of the week!
Wednesday: 4 miles, easy
Thursday: 4 miles, with 2 miles at goal marathon pace
Friday: Rest
Saturday: 10 miles
Sunday: Rest
Total: 21

This week is a recovery week which I will enjoy, and then next week we will be stepping it up a notch increasing my overall mileage and long run distance (16 miles!).

Things I am looking to improve upon during training:

  • Do more cross training and strength training. I know that I need this. My form has been suffering when I get fatigued during long runs and know that extra training will help. I’m thinking this will be incorporated on shorter run days
  • Invest in a Camelbak. This will be much needed on long runs and will help me out a ton. This past week I lost 5.5lbs in sweat during my run at 7 the week before which is NOT SAFE. This is more than 3% of my body weight which means I’m at a higher risk for dehydration.
  • Do a better job at pacing. My pace on this last long run was too fast which left me sore after 11 miles, basically I need to slow down. And we thought I was slow before.
  • Spend more time stretching and foam rolling. I have been super slacking on this lately. Why stretch before bed when you can just curl up and go to sleep? Oh that’s right because it helps your muscles.

If you haven’t had enough posts about running, I will be writing more posts about running this week. Don’t worry. For those of you who don’t run, I will be posting photos of things I am baking this weekend because someone has the baking bug.

Where I Have Been

Not blogging, obviously. This is what’s up:

  1. Working…a lot. Booooo.
  2. Not being lame on Friday night blogging from home. This Friday night was spent at a favorite local hangout loading up on salad and watching the Chiefs lose. Hopefully this isn’t a preview of the season to come, they better just be getting all the bad games out of the way now.
  3. Only running 11 miles on Saturday instead of 14**
  4. Eating all of my vegetables.

and everyone else’s

This is the best problem I’ve had in a long time. My latest obsession would be one of those salads you see me about to mow down in the above photo. I call them my ‘everything but the kitchen sink’ salads and that one contains: romaine lettuce, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, hard boiled egg, chicken, onion, roasted mushrooms and cottage cheese on top. Popcorn is also my current #2 favorite food. I may need to be checked into rehab.

Now it is time to explain the ***. And here it goes.

Saturday I had a nice 14 mile escapade on the training plan. This week I didn’t follow my mileage exactly and plugged in a few extra miles here and there a couple of days. I had also been unusually tired and was building a close relationship with allergies this past week. Come Saturday morning when I wake up to go running, I hear thunder and rain which is an immediate justification to go back to bed. Especially when it is still dark outside. I reset my alarm and my body enjoyed a much needed extra hour and a half or so of sleep. When I woke up the second time, the rain was gone but clouds were still lingering, but there was NO WAY ON EARTH I was about to/wanting to/entertaining the idea of plugging away 14 miles on a treadmill. would go insane. So up I went, out to the trails to run and be done.

Conveniently, the road I take to get to said trails was closed. I thought it was surely a sign from God that I should postpone my long run until Sunday when there was going to be no rain. But who was I kidding. I just needed to get the run out of the way. I didn’t feel good, I was tired, grumpy, and most certainly not in the mindset I needed. When I finally started running, I didn’t have the rhythm and pace I did last week. I couldn’t seem to slow down which I figured might have been a good thing because I was trying to avoid rain. Eventually I got out of my mind, stopped thinking, and was just running. 6 miles flew by until I heard a couple of big booms followed by police sirens and then I really started to fly. The run was slightly eerie because there were hardly any people out running/walking/riding and I wanted to be done.

My first loop was 8 miles then I stopped to refill my water supply. I checked the map on my phone because I really just wanted to be done running and call it a morning. It looked as though the rain would hold out a little bit longer and I asked myself one of my favorite running quotes, “Ask yourself, can i give more? The answer is: always.” So I took a minute to regroup and knew I had it in my legs to get this run into the double digits. My mind just had to come along for the ride, and become stronger because of it. I promised myself a solid 3 miles and that I would not get down on myself.

I’m so glad I went out for those three miles. I needed to be mentally pushed, and after the first mile I hear someone coming up behind me and it’s a petite lady probably in her late 40’s telling me that I had great legs. I laughed and complimented her on her form; she is training for her first half marathon in October and enjoys running alone much like I do. Her pace was slightly faster than mine which was a nice little boost to rocket me through the end, and we eventually parted ways. This runner camaraderie always brings a smile to my face, and as I was closing in on the end of my run, it started to rain. It was perfect. It was like God saying, “Good job Kelsey, now go rest.” And thus I had peace with shortening my long run this week.

I hope you enjoyed your weekend friends and I cannot go this long without blogging again! Thank you for listening to my crazy running rants and raves.

 

A Father’s Love

Happy birthday to my awesome as ever daddy-o!

Let me open up my heart and talk to you for a minute about something that isn’t running. There are certain times of the year that touch my heart a little more than others, such as my dad’s birthday, my birthday, Valentine’s day and parent’s recent anniversary. Why these dates/holidays? They all obviously have to do with love and celebrations and I can honestly say that no man/guy in this world could love me like my dad does.

Many of you know me and/or my family personally, and some of you know our story but most don’t. According to doctors, my mom wasn’t even supposed to be able to have children when she became pregnant with me, as a single mom she had love and support from close friends and family which helped her get through (what sounded like a less that enjoyable) pregnancy with me. She raised me with the help of my aunt, mema and granny (Mother as we called her) for the first year and a half of my life. Introduced by friends, she met and fell in love with my dad, a cowboy man’s man born and bred in the heart of Texas who had a passion for disco, Dr. Pepper and my mom. They wed twenty years ago, just five months after meeting.

Their marriage means more to me than just two parents who got married. My dad married my mom knowing that I came as part of the package deal; a two-fer-one, peanut butter and jelly, double stuffed oreo package. It is something so special to me and something I cherish because the guy whose DNA I have didn’t want to stick around. It hurt my mom’s heart, but then waltzed in a burly Texan with a bolo tie and snake skin boots who scooped both of us up and wanted to love us for life. His love and dedication to our family is something that isn’t common it seems in our world today and as tears roll down my face as I write this, I can’t even begin to describe how blessed I am to have a dad with a heart so full of love. It’s a love that never ends.

The love my dad has for my family serves as a little glimpse of the love that our heavenly Dad has for each and every one of us. No matter what you have done, who you are, where you are from or what your future holds…He loves you as far as the east is from the west times a thousand.