KC Runner Girl Adventures

Finding a balance with motherhood, running, and everything in between...

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I apologize for not posting this sooner, but with the last week of training, trying to prepare for the trip to San Diego, it's been quite busy and a little overwhelming.

The only way I can explain the last week of our training was a lot of fun. With the last week of tapering, we ran 4 on Tuesday, 6 miles on Thursday, and 8 miles on Saturday. Still feeling pretty broken from all the training and miles over this journey, we took it slow and just focused on getting the miles in before the marathon. I can't really explain how I felt that last week other than just super excited to have made it through the training healthy. Dealing with the Piriformis, my right Achilles tendon, and the ever so often runners knee, I was bound and determine to finish this marathon even if I had to cross the finish line crawling! :)

This week started our tapering process, which I feel we've been waiting for for quite some time now... I know my body was more than ready for this week to start! Every morning when I woke up during this week, I would feel pretty broken and worn out..but I knew this was normal and expected during the last few weeks of marathon training.

Our pace times were a bit slower this week, and during the runs, my legs felt pretty heavy the entire time. Our long run for Saturday was 12 miles. It was weird waking up early Saturday morning and being relieve to only be running 12 miles.. ONLY 12 MILES?!?!? I know, crazy! Even though I was excited to only be running 12 miles, the run itself was pretty brutal. The sun came out pretty early, humidity was pretty high, and by the time we were done running, it was already 80 degrees (@ 9am).

My main goal for the next few weeks is to just stay healthy and keep eating and training right. Although I feel pretty worn down right now, I know come race day, I will feel like a new person! This training has flown by! I can't believe we are down to the last few weeks and then it's GO TIME!!!

When I first got the crazy notion of running a full marathon, I knew that running 20 miles for the longest run during training was going to ultimately happen at some point. I jokingly called this week "Hell Week" because it was the most miles I had ever ran in one week in my entire running experience. 5 miles on Tuesday, 10 miles on Thursday, and the dreaded 20 miles on Saturday. 35 miles in one week. Most people don't run 35 miles in their entire life! I knew going into this week, I had to remain focused and mentally ready to take on the miles and gain the confidence I needed to know I could finish a full marathon in less than 4 weeks.

Jeremy and I joked all week and and asked each other over and over "Why are we doing this again?" I think humor and laughing is the approach we've always used to get through the tough weeks. If we can't laugh about going out and spending our Saturday running for more than 3 hours, then what can you laugh at right? The week of course flew by, and Saturday was here before we knew it. We had planned to meet at 6 am so we could get an early start. The weather had other plans for us unfortunately. I had coursed out a run from Belton all the way through Peculiar and into Harrisonville- totaling 20 miles of almost all black-top. We decided to do something a little different this time, and instead of looping around or going out 10 miles and coming back, we decided to park his Truck in Harrisonville and drive back to our starting location in Belton where my car was parked. Since Saturday's cold wind and rain caused us to cancel, we knew that we had to rely on Sunday's break in weather to get the run in.

Woke up Sunday morning to rain, and by about 11 am, I texted Jeremy and told him that we just needed to get the run over with despite the rain. He agreed. Somehow we ended up having the rain completely stop during our entire run! I couldn't believe it. The weather we've had to deal with for our training has been less than ideal. The course was pretty flat with some gradual hills. We kept under a 9 minute mile pace until about mile 14-17 where we both agreed we kinda hit a wall and our shoulders were heavy, our form was getting sloppy, and of course we were getting pretty tired. We ended up finishing our 20 mile run in 3:09- about a 9:20 minute mile pace. I was more than happy with this time and felt that if we could go out on a whim and run 20 miles, just think how well we are going to do come race day. Running and finishing the 20 mile run gave us both a sense of real confidence that while we knew would still have 6.2 miles to go in San Diego, by making it this far, another 6.2 miles, while mentally tough, will be achievable.

Due to the weekend weather, I think we both thought that our sand vb games would be canceled for that evening, but with the rain stopping early on Sunday, volleyball was still on! We got back to Belton around 4:00 and had to each rush home, eat, shower, and change, and turn around to go play vb. At first, I wasn't ideal on playing, but after getting out there and stretching and constantly moving, I think it was the best thing we could've done. While our legs felt heavy, we played really well!

Now that HELL WEEK is over, I am looking forward to the tapering process and continuing to mentally prepare to finish my first marathon. I am looking forward to the day, the afternoon of June 6th, where I can officially be called a true "marathon runner."

Something I thought I would never do in my life would be to get a tattoo anywhere on my body. I thought this for my entire 29 years, until I wondered about what would be a better way to permanently brand my marathon training experience, than to get some INK!? This was something I thought long and hard about, and decided that I wanted to choose a tattoo that of course had "26.2" somewhere on it, was colorful, feminine, and small. After going back and forth on where to have the tattoo placed, I decided that what better place to get a running tattoo than on my foot right? So, I've been looking through a lot of different designs that I can make my own. At this point I am still debating, but think I'll have it figured out before I get it done after my marathon on June 6th. That's right, the day of my marathon! Crazy! I figure I'll probably be numb from the neck down anyways after running 26.2 miles, so no better time than on the actual day!

For this week's running I felt a little broken at times... I think my body is ready for tapering...and unfortunately, I haven't even ran the longest run of this training yet! The dreaded 20 mile run will be next weekend. This week, our long run went back down to 14 miles....and it was pretty brutal. The wind was pretty strong and I was just not feeling it physically...UGH! WE still managed to finish in a 9:04 pace, which I'm always happy with! The days are just flying by now...I'm getting so excited for June 6th to be here!!

Next week is what I will call the HELL WEEK of marathon training. We will run 5 miles on Tuesday, 10 miles on Thursday, and 20 miles on Saturday. The most miles I will ever ran in one week in my entire time as a runner. Just trying to stay healthy these last few weeks is my main goal. NO rushing the pace if I'm just not feeling it. It's not worth it at this point. We've come too far during this training to risk injury. Looking forward to another week and starting the tapering process!

I can remember when I use to go out for a 3 or 4 mile run and think "Geez, this is going to be rough"... and now, 13 weeks into marathon training, and it's like I think to myself, it's only 8 or 9 miles for a Thursday morning run, no biggie. It's so weird how my body has adapted to the longer mileage and how going out for a 9 mile run at 5:30 am before work feels like just another run!

It's that strong feeling that makes me confident that I can finish 26.2 miles. It's going to be the biggest mental challenge of my entire life so far...but I have come too far and put in way too much time to not finish, so mentally, I think that determination will get me through! :)

This week we bumped the mileage on Thursdays to 9 miles. 4 miles for Tuesday, 9 for Thursday, and 18 for Saturday... going into this week, it was hard to wrap my mind around 18 miles...and how much ground that would cover. Jeremy and I decided that we wanted to go somewhere new or just out of Belton/Raymore to run our 18 miles. I put him in charge of charting out a course for us down by the Ward Parkway/State Line area. We started at the same place we did for the "Rock the Parkway" half marathon and headed out! The course was a very scenic one! Lots of gorgeous flowers in the perfectly manicured lawns off the mansions off of Ward Parkway. We did a loop around the gorgeous Loose Park on the soft running trail, and then headed towards State Line. The last 5 miles or so were a little hilly, but not bad at all. The course was beautiful and while 18 miles is A LOT of ground to cover, I am so glad we did it in a different area! We ended up finishing in 2 hours 43 minutes, a 9:05 minute mile pace. We were VERY happy with that!

I knew going into this week that the 18 mile run would be my last in these running shoes. My usual time in shoes are about 3 months- but with the mileage we'd been doing, I knew it was way past time. Around mile 2 of the run, I started feeling my Achilles tendon pretty good on my right side and after the run, it was SO SORE! Luckily, with the great advice from my running partner, :) I iced it really good and wore my new running shoes for support and later that night felt good as new!

Can't wait to break in the new shoes next week and look forward to that last 4 weeks of training!

Week 12

With only 6 more weeks of training left, the weekly mileage is getting higher and higher, but also getting more comfortable and easier to recover. I remember when I use to get ready for a 4 mile run and think that was a long time to run... and now, getting up at 4:45 am to run 8 miles before work seems like just another run.

It's been a great journey so far to see how much I can push myself in order to achieve a goal I've been wanting so badly. I feel that I've accomplished a lot already through this training. I've been successful in balancing everything in my life that I thought would be a big challenge. I've proved to myself that even though I am a married, full time working mother of 2 children, both participating in 2 sports each, I CAN balance marathon training, my normal gym and cross training routine and spend quality time with my children. Now, that may mean waking up at 4:45 to get my running or workout finished in order for my kids to get to gymnastics, soccer, baseball, or whatever activity...but I promised myself when I started this training that it would not take away time from my kids or their activities that are important to them and me. I'm definitely not saying it's been easy at all...but I can say that so far, it's been more than worth it.

I don't think there is a day that goes by that either one of my kids do not ask about how long we have until we go to San Diego. It always make me smile knowing that they are just as excited to go as I am. The weeks are flying by and June 6th will be here before we know it!

This weeks runs were pretty good. We've now been running exclusively in the early mornings because it's been warmer and just getting the runs out of the way makes for a better day! This is our last 8 mile Thursday, next week we will bump up to 9. We decided to go out to Indian Creek Trails where we had our half marathon last weekend and run a 16 mile course. While the trails were a bit challenging, it made for a good run. We finished in about 2hrs and 30 minutes, averaging a 9:24 minute mile over all. We decided to try the GU Chomps this time, and I think I've found something I can stick with! The Chomps were not hard to chew, and the flavor and texture were really good! Hydration was not an issue, as I was able to still have some Cytomax left over after 16 miles. For our 15 mile run we stashed a bag of grapes along the course, and decided to do the same for this run. The grapes are a nice change, easy to eat, and pretty refreshing, so I think we'll stick with those as a mid run snack!

Next week we will go to 18 miles for our long run, and then only a few more weeks until the longest run of 20 miles...and then TAPERING!! :)


The warmer weather has really been a nice change for training! Since it's been much warmer in the mornings, Jeremy and I have been getting up early to run before work instead of in the dark afterward. Believe me, I do not love the sound of the alarm going off at 5 am, but I sure am glad I got the run out of the way, and it's a great way to start the day off right!

Tuesday morning was our normal 4 miler, which was surprisingly fine! I say surprisingly because usually Tuesdays are the roughest days body wise for me. I'm not sure if it's because it's the first run after running so long over the weekend, or if it's the fact that it's only 4 miles, and usually when I'm running, I just start to feel loose and relaxed after the first 30 minutes or so... Who knows. On Thursday, according to our schedule, we were due to bump up the miles from 7 to 8. We woke up early and ran 8 miles in about 1 hr and 9 minutes...not bad! Still got to work on time and was able to bring my little girl to gymnastics and not have to worry about running 8 miles in the dark after!

This weekend we were scheduled to run in the First Annual Indian Creek Half Marathon in Overland Park. The weather was perfect running conditions---something that we NEVER have got in any of our previous half marathons. This run was a trail type run with lots of twists, turns, up and down short hills, which made it tough at times. We also tried the "GU" Jet Blackberry flavored energy gel. I thought the flavor was not bad at all, but the texture I will never get used to! UGH! Overall, I thought the run went great, I felt great and finished first in my age group with a time of 1:52:26 according to my Garmin watch. My parents came out to watch me finish in another half marathon, which is always a huge motivator to run fast when you know you have people waiting on you at the finish line! I was so happy they came out to watch! Made my whole weekend! Another medal to add to the collection!

Still hard to believe that we are only about 6 weeks away from walking up to the start line in San Diego. I get butterflies and smiles just thinking about it! Can't wait!!

Countdown!

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