Monday, May 31, 2010

May in Review

Today's 3 mile run brought my May training to a close. It was quite hot and humid out there today but I was pleased to find my legs again. I was finally able to run under a 9 minute mile pace today (which I hadn't been able to do since the marathon attempt)!

May Stats

88.62-- running miles
0-- elliptical miles
0-- bike miles
88.62-- total miles
2-- shortest distance covered in May (end of marathon training schedule)
25-- longest distance covered in May (Cleveland Marathon DNF)
148-- weight as of May 31, 2010 (total weight loss to date...46 pounds)

Current 2010 Stats

503-- running miles
50.9-- elliptical miles
5.1-- bike miles
559-- total miles

Overall, I am pleased with my May training. I didn't plan on a DNF in the marathon but everything happens for a reason and I have to believe there was a reason I didn't conquer the marathon this time. I will in fact attempt 26.2 again.

As for now, I am completing the 4 week post marathon training program. I will end it with the "Girls With Sole 5K" on June 20.

Keep running, you're simply the best, and you inspire me!!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Eagle Run 5K with my daughter Race Report

Today I ran a 5K for fun with my daughter, Kaelynn! I pretty much let her lead the way. We walked and ran but we got it done and had a great time doing it. I even took some action photos while we were out there! Since I took them on my blackberry, I just uploaded them to Facebook so stop on over and check them out! When she decided she wanted to run she would pretty much sprint from one mailbox to the next. I decided it would count as interval training for me since I really had to move to keep up with her during those mailbox repeats! She was thrilled when she got to run through a hose that a spectator had on during the race. She got to do that twice since it was an out and back course! I also let her dump one of the water stop cups of water on her head and she thought that was really cool. It was hot so I wasn't going to tell her no! When we got near the finish line she took off sprinting and of course she beat me. Truth be told, I asked her if she wanted to finish before me and she said yes so I let her outsprint me. Overall, it was a fun experience and we finished in 41:16. Not too bad for a 7 year old. I must mention that I actually didn't mind the running skirt Kaelynn insisted I wear. It was actually quite comfortable and looked good in pictures!! I leave you with pictures from today's "fun run".
Kaelynn before the race

The moms and their girls (and Grant)

Kaelynn, Grant, and I before the race

Kaelynn and I sprinting to the finish line

Kaelynn's "air" race photo

Keep running, you're simply the best, and you inspire me!!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Gearing up for a fun run with my daughter tomorrow!!

Well, the cruise was wonderful and a much needed break from life. It was great to be able to sit by the pool and just read a book. I did run two times on vacation. On Tuesday, I ran when we were docked at Key West as evidenced by my pre-run photo in front of our ship.

Key West was a beautiful place to run. I really enjoyed looking at the scenery of this beautiful area and now I can say that I ran in Florida and it was HOT as can be seen in my post-run photo.
On Wednesday I actually ran on the ship's track. It wasn't too bad except for the crazy wind at one turn but I managed to get through it. When I wasn't running, I was lounging by the pool reading a book about....running, of course! I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of "Run Like A Mother" as evidenced by the picture below. It was a very entertaining book and an easy read with lots of great information about running, cross-training, and many other life lessons. I highly recommend it to all the mother's, and non-mother's for that matter, out there. You will be glad you read it!
We got back home today and all my daughter can talk about is the "race" tomorrow. Yes, she is calling it a race. To me, it is a "fun run". A few other moms are planning to run the 5K with their kids tomorrow as well. I plan to let my daughter lead the way. If she needs to walk, we walk. If she wants to speed up, we speed up. In the end, all that matters is that we have fun doing something together. In fact, I am so determined to make this a fun run that I will be leaving my garmin at home and carrying my camera to capture it all in photos. I think part of my daughter's excitement stems from her "race outfit" for tomorrow. She picked out a really cute running skirt and tank top at Target last week. She then insisted I wear a running skirt and tank top as well. Now, I am well seasoned in the tank top wearing but the running skirt is a new experience for me. I will let you know how it goes. If nothing else, it will make for some cute race photos!
Keep running, you're simply the best, and you inspire me!!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

First Run Back

And there you have first run after last week's DNF.

Headed out this morning for my first run in a week. My legs felt like brick weights but it felt great to get out there again and confirm that I am in fact still a runner! I may have been painfully slow, but what matters is I did it! 3.13 miles in 32:12 and I am thrilled with every last second of that time! Of course that 1.2 miles is going to haunt me until I conquer it. Sure enough, the first time I looked down at my watch today...1.2 miles exactly...seriously, I couldn't even make that up!!
My husband won a cruise through work so we will be heading out tomorrow morning. The kids will be in the very capable hands of grandma. I'm looking forward to running on the cruise ship. I figure I will try and get up early before it's too hot to even consider running.
This afternoon I signed myself and my daughter up for a local 5K next Saturday. My plan is to run the race for fun with my daughter and some of her friends. Of course, I am assuming that they will be running ten minute miles or slower and that there will be some walking involved. Then again, they may just school just never know with kids! Either way, I am going to thoroughly enjoy all 3.1 miles with a great group of kiddos!
Keep running, you're simply the best, and you inspire me!!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

My Cleveland Marathon DNF

Warning: This is going to be long and I don't know if I will get all the details in there. You might want to pull up a chair and grab a bag of popcorn!

Saturday night we had our pre-race carb loading dinner with 21 friends and family. Seven of us in attendance at the dinner would be running on Sunday morning. We would be representing for Deb in the 10K, half marathon, and marathon. After we enjoyed dinner, we took a quick photo and then everyone headed out to get some rest.

I cleaned up the kitchen and then started getting everything organized for Sunday morning. I wanted to have everything out and ready for my 4:30 AM alarm. Once I felt I had taken care of everything, I tried to get some sleep. At first, I tossed and turned for awhile. Once I finally fell asleep I actually dreamed that Cuz and I missed the race and decided to go have brunch instead. I woke up at 2:30 in the morning and realized it was just a dream and I fell back asleep and slept soundly until the alarm went off two hours later. I was incredibly nervous when I woke up but I was able to get ready and eat my usual pre-race breakfast without any problems. My step sister-in-law and I headed out around 5:15 and stopped by and picked up Marilyn and headed to Deb's house since we were all riding together as Deb's husband works downtown and was going to be able to park in his lot without any problems. Once we got downtown we met up with Cuz at the PNC building. We all used the restrooms and then had some pictures taken.

Shortly after finishing pictures we headed to the start line where we ran into my friend Danielle. I was so happy to see her since she had helped me train for the marathon and it was very comforting to get a hug from her.

After we talked for a few minutes Marilyn, Cuz, and I decided we wanted to head to the porta potties one last time. We headed that way and the lines were really long so we decided to walk back to the PNC building and use their restrooms (no lines!!). With the last bathroom stop taken care of we headed back to the start line. On the way to the 3:50 pace group, Cuz and I ran into two of my friends Wendy and Keri. I exchanged hugs with both of them and wished them luck. Around 6:50 Cuz and I had made our way to the 3:50 pace group. Right before the race started Cuz and I exchanged a hug and an excited cheer..squeal almost and we were off. First mile felt like we were flying. We completed mile 1 under 8:40. At some point before mile one or after mile one I mentioned to Cuz that my Boston Qualifying time was a 3:45 and she said let's go for it. We were a little ahead of our 3:50 pace band. Cuz mentioned it felt fast but we went for it. Everything was going well. We got to the 10K in 53:47. Certainly on pace for a Boston Qualifying for me. I believe sometime right before or right after the 10K point, my friend Danielle yelled my name and we talked for a minute and I said we were right on pace and she said we were looking good. She mentioned she was feeling tired but was okay and she said I'll see you at the finish line. Shortly before mile 13, I asked Cuz how she was feeling and she said she was pretty tired and if I felt good to go for it and try and get Boston. I did run ahead for a little bit. I crossed the half marathon in 1:55:23. Shortly after crossing I had to stop in the porta potty but was thrilled when I came out and Cuz was right there. I resumed running with her and we talked about how we were tired and we just wanted to finish. We just kept running and checking on each other once in awhile and sometimes stopped to stretch if our muscles were fighting against us (her knee was bothering her and my calf was giving me grief). Around mile 17.5 or so I saw Connie. I was feeling pretty good, just tired and I smiled at her and Cuz and I kept going. Our split at 30K was 2:56:29. Around mile 20 Cuz mentioned that she was really liking the mile marker flags. I asked her if she was being sarcastic and she said no seriously I am so glad they are there. The last thing I remember is seeing the mile 22 flag and a guy saying "looking good girls, you can run 4.2 miles in your sleep". I thought we sure can and we moved on and that is the last thing I remember and the next thing I knew I was waking up in an ambulance. The following is part of the conversation that took place between the paramedic and myself:
Paramedic: "Do you know where you are?"
Me: "Yes, I'm at the Cleveland Marathon, did I finish?"
Paramedic: "Not quite."
Me: "Where's my family, they're here with me?"
Paramedic: "No one is here with you but us."
Paramedic: "When's your birthday?"
Me: "Tomorrow, ironically."
I was asked several more questions which I promptly knew every answer to. In the meantime I got the most painful charlie horse in my calf that I was screaming and in tears at the same time. I was yelling at the paramedics to fix it. Lovely sight I am sure. Once they got that calmed down I asked them to call my husband and let him know what had happened because I knew everyone was at the finish line waiting for me. While on the subject of my husband I need to thank him for being there for me on Sunday as well as for being there to watch our kids when I was out doing my long runs during my training. The long runs wouldn't have gotten done without him. Once they had me stabilized and had me started on IV fluids, I was transported, with sirens on, to the ER. My first time in an ambulance. Might I point out that ambulance rides are awful. I felt like I was going to get thrown from the stretcher every time we hit a bump. The paramedics left me in the hands of the ER and told me to take care of myself. The first nurse, Mark, came in. We talked a little bit and he put another IV in my other arm for more fluids. He was very nice and mentioned that he had run two marathons and said not that you believe me since I'm a fat guy (his words not mine). After this, my husband and Deb arrived at the hospital and I promptly began crying hysterically. Deb told me not to cry and being the awesome friend she is she started cracking jokes. She said so you went down at mile 22, huh. Okay let's get these IV fluids in you and we will go finish that 4.2 miles and we can get your medal tomorrow. Gotta love her. In the meantime, Deb called everybody and their brother for me to let them know I was okay and what was going on. Once she finally got in touch with my cousin, it was determined that I didn't go down until mile 25. Bring in nurse number two, can't remember his name, and he says he is training for a triathlon and asks if we have ever done one. Well, Deb takes this opportunity to say you know Jodi I can talk to you about a trialthon now because we had a date on May 16 at noon to discuss it and it's 1:30 now. I pretty much told her where to go in not so many words although I did get a good laugh out of it. She did also mention to the "triathlon" nurse that we needed to hurry up and get the IV fluids in me so I could go back and finish the last 1.2 miles and he said "she can just carry her IV bags and finish it". Would that be considered cheating? HAHA!! At this point Deb grabbed my phone and thought it would be a good idea to take my picture. At that point, I didn't really care anymore and said sure why not. So I do in fact have a finish picture. Just not the finish picture I had in my mind during my 18 weeks of training.

After three IV bags of fluids, I was cleared to go home. I went to Deb's and had some food and then went home and shared my story with several friends and everyone was incredibly kind and told me I should be proud that I ran 25 miles. While I am proud of myself for that, I do feel like I have unfinished business with that last 1.2 miles and I am still dissapointed that I didn't get to run all 26.2 as I had intended to. I was feeling worse on Monday so I went to my family doctor and he ordered bloodwork. Thanks to Deb I was in and out of the lab yesterday in less than 10 minutes. Guess it pays to know people! I also need to thank Deb and her husband for taking care of my kids and picking them up from school this week while I have been at home trying to recover from this ordeal both mentally and physically. Last night I talked to my Cuz and I found out the details of miles 22-25. I guess we carried on a conversation from miles 22-24 and we were both pretty tired but we were doing okay. At mile 24, Cuz broke down and started crying hysterically because she realized we were going to finish at which point I guess I looked at her and said I needed to slow down and reduced my pace to almost a walk. Right around mile 25 she said I bent down and she thought I was stretching my calf again and she looked back again and said come on Jodi and I put my hand up in the air and said go. I have absolutely no memory of any of this which is incredibly scary to me. My Cuz crossed the finish line in 4: 21 and my family and friends started to wonder what had happened to me. Ironically, the last thing I said to my husband was if I don't cross in 4:30 something happened to me. I got the pictures of the race today in an email and oddly enough I was smiling in every last one of them. It just goes to show you that you can look fine on the outside but be shutting down on the inside as I had no indication that I was going down. When I shared my story with my friend Joe, he did a very honorable thing for me. He went out on Monday morning and finished off that last 1.2 miles for me and for Deb. He sent me an email with a picture of the information on his Garmin. To Joe I say thank you for having my back and giving Deb all 26.2 miles that I wasn't able to! The 25 I gave her isn't too shabby but she deserved all 26.2 because she is our survivor. In fact both my neighbor Brenda and Deb told me I was a rock star for running 25 miles. I just need to remember that. I love you both! And Deb thank you once again for being there for me so much this week and all the time for that matter. You truly are my best friend and I don't know what I would do without you! I did experience a few firsts on Sunday:
First time I passed out
First time in an ambulance
First time I ran 25 miles
First time I DNF (did not finish) a race
In the end, it was a very scary experience that fortunately had a very happy ending. Will I try another marathon? Right now I can't answer that but what I do know is if I do I won't be going for a goal time. I will just be out there to finish. I also know that I will be running it with someone again because there is safety in numbers. In the meantime, Deb has come up with this crazy idea of running a half marathon in every state. Believe it or not, I am kind of liking the idea. Yes, perhaps the lack of oxygen and hydration to my brain has made me crazy but then again I like a challenge so I say bring it on. And Deb, if you can get me past my incessant fear of drowning, I will do a triathlon with you!
Keep running, you're simply the best, and you inspire me!!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Made it to mile 25 of the Cleveland Marathon and woke up in an ambulance

Three bags of IV fluids later, and I am exhausted. I will post a full race report soon. Thank you for all of the support.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Cleveland Marathon Expo

Friday afternoon I headed to the expo. Upon arriving at the expo, I texted Wendy to let her know I had arrived. I was at the packet pickup and she came over to meet me. She patiently waited while I gathered all 5 packets that I needed to pick up. Fortunately, I got a really nice guy and he didn't make me wait in each event line. He just got all of the packets for me. To that wonderful guy I must say thank you! Once I had everyone's bib number in hand Wendy and I headed over to the shirt area of the expo so I could get everyone's shirts and goody bags. While walking over to collect the shirts and bags, I came across Katie Lufkin. Her daughter Stephanie passed away two years ago from complications associated with ITP (a rare blood disorder). I shared a hug with her. Afterall, Team Stephanie is the reason I started running again over a year ago. In fact, I ran on Team Stephanie last year at the Cleveland 1/2 Marathon. Katie asked who I running for this year and I told her that I was running for one of my best friends, Deb, as this weekend is the ten year anniversary of her brain tumor removal. Once I had everything picked up, Wendy and I went over to the speaker area where we got to meet Amby Burfoot (1968 Boston Marathon Champion). In fact, he took this picture of us! Yes folks, Amby Burfoot touched my camera!

There were only six of us in the speaker area so Amby sat right down and just talked to us about the race and how a very large percentage of it is mental. You don't have to have long legs or a small frame, but what you do have to have is mental toughness. It was wonderful to listen to his advice. Of course Wendy and I got our picture taken with Amby. John "the penguin" actually took the picture for us. So not one but two running greats touched my camera yesterday! Looking back, I can't believe I didn't pull something out of my bag for them to autograph. Darn it! Oh well, a picture is worth a thousand words, right?

After this, Wendy and I said our goodbyes and I headed home to make some buffalo chicken dip to take to a Scentsy candle party at my neighbors. It was nice to have the party last night. I got to spend some time chatting with great friends and relaxing. I headed home shortly before 9 and started organizing the Team Curing Chordoma shirts. The shirts came out great! I couldn't be happier and will give a shout out to Madison Graphics of Lakewood, Ohio. Outstanding job Ron! Thank you so much for everything!

The last thing I did before heading to bed was organize everyone's packets! My house looks a little bit like a mini expo! Look at all those great numbers! Two marathon bibs, two half marathon bibs, and a 10K bib!
It is now Saturday morning and I am resting as much as I possibly can, while stirring the homemade pasta sauce for tonight's dinner! Tonight we will celebrate Deb while we carbo load! There is no other way I would rather spend my weekend! The icing on the cake, quite literally, is that Monday is my birthday! I couldn't ask for a better gift than the friendship of the 21 people that will be at my house tonight! To all of you wonderful, amazing people, I say thank you for the love, friendship, and support you show me every single day.
Curing Chordoma...
One mile at a time
Deb's our survivor
10 years tumor free
Keep running, you're simply the best, and you inspire me!!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

The Final Countdown!!

7 days and counting until I toe the start line at the Cleveland Marathon! Today was my last long run prior to next Sunday's race. Aside from the wind, I felt pretty good today and managed to maintain a 9:03/mile pace during my run today. I am officially in taper mode. I will be running minimal mileage the rest of the week. It is my goal to go into the marathon next weekend with a fresh pair of legs, a clear mind, and a rested body. Seven months ago, while driving home from a PR performance at the Columbus 1/2 Marathon (1:54:14) with my running buddies Deb and Marilyn, I toyed with the idea of running a full marathon. By the time we got home from Columbus, Deb and Marilyn had almost convinced me to go for it. Prior to this conversation, Deb had decided she wanted to form a team for the Cleveland Marathon in honor of her ten year tumor free milestone. I do remember saying that maybe I would just try and improve on my 1/2 marathon time at Cleveland. I am pretty sure Deb shot back with an if I can run 13.1 miles, you can certainly 26.2. And so the challenge was on the table and the training began! I have to thank Deb for the countless times she took care of my children so I could get my training runs in! I also need to thank Deb and Marilyn for joining me at several different races during my 18 weeks of training. And a special thanks to "cuz" Michele for running two 1/2 marathons and a 22.2 mile training run with me!

On Sunday, May 16th I will be running for Deb. No matter what the clock says when I come to the end of my 26.2 mile journey, I will have won the greatest gift of all....the continued friendship of an amazing woman. Thank you Deb for your friendship, love, and support. I love you Deb and I am so proud of you!!

The motto for next week:
Curing Chordoma...
one mile at a time
Deb's our survivor
10 years tumor free

Deb and Marilyn

Deb and I
Keep running, you're simply the best, and you inspire me!!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Pittsburgh Half Marathon Race Report

Once again the kids and I headed to PA for the weekend. We spent Friday with family and friends enjoying the beautiful weather and having some pizza. Saturday afternoon I left the kiddos with my mom and stepdad and I headed to Cuz Michele's in Pittsburgh. After I got to her place we headed to the Convention Center to pick up our race packets. The expo was packed. Since I was running for a charity my packet pickup was in a different location than Michele's and I didn't have to wait in line at all. After I got my packet I went over to where Michele was standing and got in line with her. A few minutes later I realized I knew the girl in the line next to us. We grew up in the same area and we ran cross country together and against each other. After we collected all of our goodies we headed back to Michele's and watched some of the Kentucky Derby and made dinner. This time Michele made the same lemon caper chicken dish we had before our 22.2 miler and I made asparagus linguine. We also enjoyed salad with our dinner. After our delicious dinner we went and rented a movie. We watched Julie and Julia. It was a really cute movie. We headed to bed around 10:00 and hoped that we would wake up to dry weather. It wasn't raining when we woke up but the forecast was predicting rain between 8 and 9 AM. Michele and I ate our breakfast, got ready, and headed to the race. Michele had planned to park in a certain parking garage and we were shocked when we got there and the lot was closed. We spent the next 40 minutes trying to figure out where we were going to park...all of the roads were closing. Michele got out of the car and did a great job of negotiating (I think she may have even cried or at least pretended to cry) with the local city worker and he escorted us to Station Square where we finally parked around 7:15. The race started at 7:30 and we still had to get across the bridge to the starting area. Can you say stressed out much? We ended up running most of it and we literally got to the start line as the announcer said runners set, go. The start line was absolutely crowded and we had to do A LOT of zig zagging to get going. After about a half a mile or a mile it started pouring and it continued to rain the rest of the race. Cuz and I were running well together. Around mile 5 Cuz asked how I was doing and I mentioned that I was feeling a little tired. At this point we made a plan in regards to where we were going to meet if we go separated from each other. Shortly after this, I was no longer able to keep up with Cuz. I was experiencing awful stomach cramps. I think they were a result of drinking Gatorade on the course. I never drink sports drinks in training, only water. Yes, I know...never try something new on race day. Unfortunately, I was really in need of a drink and Gatorade was the first thing that was handed to me over the first several miles of the race. Around mile 8 I had to succumb to the stomach cramps and visit the porta potty. Without going into detail, my pace for that mile was 12 minutes. I continued to deal with the stomach pains for the remainder of the race. All things considered my time wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be. I crossed the line in 2:06:41. I did learn a valuable lesson today...steer clear of the sports drinks on marathon day. At least it happened to me today and not two weeks from today during my first full marathon.

Cuz and I had agreed to meet at the St. Jude's tent since I was running for them. While on the subject of St. Jude's I wanted to mention that I did raise $150.00 in memory of Sophie Quayle. I went to the tent at the finish line and realized that she was probably at the start line tent and tried to make my way over to that intersection however I was redirected by the police because a bomb had been found on the marathon course and the runners were being re-routed to the finish. At this point, I think I had been looking for Michele for over an hour. Once we finally reconnected I felt horrible because she was sure I had gotten injured. In fact she even asked at the medical tent. I felt so bad and I apologized to her several times and I will apologize again as I know she will read this blog...SORRY CUZ, I LOVE YOU!! Once we reconnected we walked back to the car and headed back to Michele's to pay a visit to our friend, the ice bath.
My post race medal photo
Me wrapped up shivering
Post race medal picture of Michele

Michele chilling in the ice bath

The awesome race shirts

The Bling

After the ice bath we had some lunch and then we exchanged our standard goodbye hug and said see you in two weeks when we toe the line at the Cleveland Marathon.
Keep running, you're simply the best, and you inspire me!!