Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Best Damn Race, Cape Coral Recap

Sitting down to write this recap I am a big bag of emotions.

As I posted the other day, my goals are here:

Sunday I completed my 4th marathon.  Behn and I ran this race together.  It was wonderful :)  I seriously had no idea how it was going to go.  I may have gone off on him before during a long run!  I am so happy we were able to do it together.  He was there for me when I needed him the most!

I ran a 5:03:32

It was a PR of about 38:50 but no, I am not happy about that.  I will blog about that later.

Race Day:

My alarm went off at 5:10 and we were up and getting ready!  We both slept really well.  I Vaselined and glided up, we ate our bananas, packed our bags and we were out of the hotel by 5:45 and on our way to our MARATHON!

Once we arrived we had no problems parking, we walked around a bit, went to the bathroom, and saw Tori.  Once we walked over to the start line things got real!  I saw a bunch of running friends, said our good lucks, got rid of my beautiful throw away gear (Thank you Jamie for the sweatshirt), sang the national anthem and we were off!  The race started right on time!  I was a little nervous actually about starting on time because in races past, and especially an inaugural event things CAN and DO go wrong!  We had no issues at all!.

My goal was to start off a little slower and to stay between the 4:45 and 5:00 pace group.  Should that have been the first sign this race wouldn’t go well?  When we started the 5:00 pace group started out fast!  I wasn’t willing to let my legs go that fast.  I was hoping they were using the going out fast to bank time just in case for later in the race.  We never caught up to them.  I looekd up the pacers finish time and it was 4:50:xx.  In hindsite, should I have started with them?  Would I have burned out even quicker?  I rememebr when we were approaching the mile 4 the second time, we saw the 5 hour pace group and all I wanted was to run with people!

After emailing with my Coach we decided on trying to maintain even splits this race, each mile between 10:55-11:05 not including my warm up miles and my push to the end.

Miles 1-13 were so much fun!  It was great to be on a course with great aid stations and seeing and cheering other runners on!  I loved listening in to other runners chatting with their friends.  During the first mile we saw Chelsea and Jessica, I got rid of my last long sleeve and we said our goodbyes! (They kicked butt by the way).

Mile 12.5 we saw Diana and Jamie with signs and cheering!  I said to Behn, “are those my friends?” and I was so happy to see their faces!  They ran with us and we were telling them about the course. At that point we (I) were feeling strong and confident.  We are about an 11:07 pace or so, according to my watch, 11:12 pace according to the tracker.  EIther way, we were on tack to a sub 5.  I was so happy at that point!  I knew a PR was in reach.

Come mile 17 is where it got hard.  I was able to keep that pace for about the first 17 minutes and then I crashed and burned. The weather got warm, real warm, real quickly!  I started taking salt/electrolyte tabs at the 1:40, 2:40, and about 4 hourish marks.  I took a huma gel avery 4-5 miles.  I took water at every water stop.  After mile 18 I started taking 2 waters at each stop.  I do not think nutrition or hydration was an issue for this race.

I started to see the numbers on my watch get higher (pace) and I started to lose hope.  I tried as much as I could to keep going.  Mile 18 is the first time we took an extended water walk break.  I thought about quitting that early.  At 19 I knew I could still hit my sub 5 goal even if my A goal was out the door at this point.  

20-25 was just a blur.  I remember running, walking, crying.  I wanted to be done but couldn’t push myself to go any faster.  I don’t know if it was my legs, breathing, heat heart rate. I don’t know what caused it.  

Mile 25 we saw Jamie and Diana again with their signs.  They ran us in to mile 26 and then we said our goodbyes and Behn and I finished up.  

We ran in holding hands and laughing, it was simply wonderful!  Beth called something out about us.  Tori and Beth gave us our medals.  (Sorry I didn't stop and chat, I just realized I just kept walking, everything was a blur) Thank you Tori for chasing us down and congratulating us!

Random Thoughts:
I don’t even remember at what mile we saw Misty but I remember what a smile it brought to my face! 
We saw Emily and her family on our first half of the run! 
The water stops were so energetic!  The half marathon course was great, but to have to do that again, it was mentally challenging!  Behn and I were running by our selves for the second half, no one in site. 
Stephanie yelled for us on her way back to an AMAZING  Half marathon PR! 
The race was very well marked.  The volunteers were amazing! 
I hate how the people trying to get by in their cars gave some of them such trouble.  

I know I am supposed to be so happy and bubbly that I just ran my 4th marathon, but I am not.  I am disappointed in myself that I couldn’t keep pushing to hit my goal that I wanted to bad and know I have in me.  Behn kept asking if we were on pace because he knew how much it meant to me and how much I have trained for this race.  We were certainly on track till about mile 23.  At that point as long as we maintaned 12 min miles we would have come in sub 5.  I couldn't.  I don't know if I mentally gave up and threw in the towel or what happened.

Now it is time for a few week recovery then it is half marathon time, maybe If I am up for it I will even throw in a little triathlon or something this year.

The day ended with ice cream and us being in bed before 8!  

How do you get over a “bad” race or not hitting your goal?
What is your favorite recovery or reward for a hard race?

Monday, December 15, 2014

Best Damn Race: Pre Race Day!

18 weeks of training is over and I finished my 4th marathon, The Best Damn Race, Cape Coral.

I brought my computer to the hotel on Saturday hoping to get a post about goals but that did not happen.  Here is what they were:

A: sub 4:50
B: Sub 5
C: PR  (Sub 5:42:20) Disney Marathon, 2013 (I did Goofy) <- this goal was a given..Unless something very, very strange occurred

For 2 years I had one goal in mind when it came to the marathon and that was to go sub 5.  The New York city marathon left me mentally and physically exhausted and I said it would be a long time before I would do another marathon and when I do decide to do one, I would know I have a sub 5 in me.

Many moons ago I signed myself and Behn up for the BDR Marathon during their special pricing.  I was able to secure my entry for $1.00 and Behn’s for $40.00 so if something came up I wouldn’t be upset.  Behn and I would run this together and I would get my sub 5!

My Training:

I worked with Coach Steve this time around after many recommendation from friends and I think he gave me a great plan.  This was the first time I used a high mileage (for me) plan.  Only once before this year had I ever hit 100 miles in a month.  That was over summer vacation training for the NY Marathon.  Living about 15 minutes from work gave me the luxury to have more time to train.  It gave me the ability to train before and after work.  I was so lucky to have met Kristen as she would wake up at 4 am with me and run “our loop”.  She didn’t have to be ready for work till 8 and I had to be home by 6 to be out of the door at 6:30.  We would do our track practice around our development Thursday mornings because it can be scary out there.  I ran almost every run each week.  For some of you that is obvious, but if you ever followed my past training plans I am notorious for missing some because of work, traffic, etc.  My long runs were done with my Brandon running group or with a few girlfriends and Behn.  We had lots of fun, chatted, and got through the hot summer months together.  Sometimes runs were cut short or not as fast as they were supposed to be, but I think I had my best training season ever.  I went into this race confident.  Maybe too confident?

The Day Before the Race:

Behn and I made our way down to Cape Coral Saturday morning.  Once we arrived we made a quick pit stop at Publux for a bathroom and lunch then made our way to the expo.  The expo opened at 12 and we got there around 12:15 and couldn’t quite find where to pick up the packets and at that point, the crazy was about to take over until we saw some nice people walking with green bags and we knew were to go.  We picked up our bag of goodies, said “Hello” to Nick, the CEO, and Patrick, the Race director and made our way to the hotel.  We stuffed our face then went on out 2 mile shake out run.  The run was not fun!  At one point I stopped and thought I was going to pass out, puke, or something.  I was dizzy and almost had to sit down.  I wasn’t too nervous about Sunday just yet.  The rest of saturday we just laid in bed, watched TV, ate the other half of our Publix subs, hydrated and we were in bed before 9.  Our alarm was set for 5:10 and it was race day!

*Pictures will be updated once my computer wants to work :)

Monday, October 6, 2014

An Ironman decision...

If you remember many moons ago I signed up for Ironman Arizona.  Signing up for an Ironman was not a lighthearted decision, it was something I wanted to do for a while and things fell into place for me to register.  I may not have been as prepared as I wanted to be when I signed up for it but I knew I could get to the start line if I really wanted to, and I was ready to put in the needed training.  I contacted a coach, I was ready to get started.  I knew there were many sacrifices I was going to have to make, I thought I was going t have people to train with.  When I signed up I thought I was going to vomit everywhere.  I couldn’t even sleep for a few nights afterwards.

Unfortunately, I will not be toeing that start line in November like I planned to almost a year ago.  Life happens!  Ironman Arizona is just not in the books for me this year and all for good reasons!

Just a few weeks after signing up for IMAZ, Behn proposed and shortly after that we put a deposit on a house.

Apparently wedding planning and building a house are expensive, just sayin’!  

I knew once we got engaged the right decision was to not complete the race.  I felt it was selfish for me to put all my time and money into a race when it should be put towards our future.  Many times I would say bike vs. fridge, somehow the fridge won.  

We have been engaged almost 11 months and there are still NO wedding plans.  Wedding planning has been stressful, and unfortunately it is stressful because of our limited budget.  I am hoping some day...preferably soon I can report back with a wedding date.  At this point, elopement sounds wonderful.  I just know I will regret the decision.  Most girls dream about our wedding days.  I have always wanted an outside beach ceremony with all my friends and family.  I dreamt of the day my dad gets to walk me down the aisle, the first dance, the daughter dance, and a candy bar with all our favorite treats (because that is necessary).
Just a cute little Coon and myself

Now that it is all out there that I am not doing Arizona my goal is a sub 5 marathon.  Truth be told, there is no reason I should not be able to pull it off.  This is the second time I am gunning for this time.  I am training the best that I can be.  Some weeks are better than others that is for sure.  This past weekend I did a 16 miler and it was AMAZING at an 11:35 pace.  A sub 5 marathon is right under 11:30 I believe.  The weather and the company was perfect.  I surely hope it stays around.

Now you know why there has been a lack of running and swimming on dailymile, facebook, instagram, and any other social media site there is!

What is up next for you?  Thanks for sticking around and reading

Have you ever had to step back from a race?  Why?

And lastly, why won't my iphoto upload my phone pictures? HELP!!!

Friday, August 8, 2014

Fundraising 101

Fundraising 101

Training for an event such as a race is extremely rewarding but I always find it even more rewarding if I fundraise for a cause.  I have fundraised multiple times for the leukemia and lymphoma society.  I have raised over $6,000.00 over the course of a few years.

The first time I went to a Team in Training meeting I didn’t know what to think.  I went into it thinking, Oh I am just going to train with them and then drop out if I can’t make the fundraising minimum.  Come to find out, the fundraising wasn’t so much the difficult part, it was the training.  Never before have I “ran” more than three miles before I stepped foot at the first practice.  

This blog post came to mind after Denise posted asking for ideas.  Unfortunately I never get phone service in my house to call her and if I am going to send an email, I may as well give a guide to other people.  I hope my tips help!

Tip 1.
Include your link everywhere!  
Simple as that.  On the bottom on your email signature, websites, send out letters with it, facebook, twitter.  The more people see it, the more money you can get.  People may start to get annoyed but hey, they are seeing it!

Tip 2.
Write letters and send them out.  
You can email them or actually mail them.  My first two years I mailed letters with a personal story.  With those mailed letters I added a self addressed envelop so it was easy to be mailed back.  I gave recipients the option to check the amount they wanted to donated.  I included the website on it incase they wanted to go back.  You can now add QR codes too.

Dear Friends and Family,

I have once again signed up with The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Team In Training.  This time I am running a marathon!!  In case you were wondering, a marathon consists of 26.2 miles. In under 5 months, on November 5, 2011, I will run for all those who cannot.   Training is going to take a lot out of me and I can use all the support I can get.  

As many of you know, Team in Training is a program that trains ordinary people (and you can’t get more ordinary fitness-wise, than me) to participate in events such as marathons, while raising money to battle against blood cancers.  Leukemia is the number one disease killer of children, and it strikes ten times as many adults each year.

That’s why I do this.  Before I began running with Team in Training, I never thought I can run more than a 5k (3.1 miles)… and I’m sure that my friends and family never believed I could either.  But more importantly, I never realized how many of my friends and coworkers had been touched by these diseases.  I have met so many great people who are all working towards a common goal.  You can’t help but become passionate about it.  It is the passion that keeps us going.

I’d like to invite you to assist me in supporting The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Team In 
Training Program by making a donation to this worthy cause.  By accepting this invitation, you’ll be reinforcing our commitment to our community and its citizens.  It’s more important than ever for families like ours to demonstrate caring and responsibility in our communities.   

Please take a moment now to fill out the donor card below and return it to me at ADDRESS XXXX.  Please make your checks payable to The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.  Please return your donor card and tax-deductible donation by Friday August 12, 2011.  Or if you prefer, you can donate right online at my Team In Training Website.  

You can also visit my website for more information and the latest news on my progress. 

Much Love and Thanks,


Yes, I/we would like to support the vital work of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.  Enclosed is My Donation of:  __$200   __$150   __$100   __$75  __$50   ___Other 
(Please make checks payable to The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society) 



City:  State:  Zip: 


Tip 3:
QR Code is a scannable code that phones can scan and donors are directed to your fundraising page.  There is no need to worry about typing in anything wrong.

Tip 3.
Sell Stuff.
If there are items you no longer need or use; sell them.
Put them on Amazon, Ebay, etc.  Put a note that all money received will go towards a cause and sometimes buyers spend a little more.  
Host a garage sale

Tip 4.
Have a donation box.  
If you’re able to, keep a little tin on your desk and put your spare change there.  Have coworkers put their spare change there.
I used to carry a donation box to the bars

Tip 5.
Create a Product
Create a product in which you can make a profit off of.  One of my training buddies purchased Team in Training towels from another chapter.  After the all the costs are paid for, you keep proceeds.  My cousin actually is a distributer so if you need ideas, here is her info.
Here are some ideas..Tumblers, shirts, swim caps, flip flops, charms for jewelry, cozies.

Tip 6.
Host an event
Many places host fundraising events for a minimal fee, if that.  I have been to many at the Melting pot.  You can charge what you would like for your guests to pay and all you need to do is tip the servers.  ALL proceeds are yours.
Splitsville bowling will donate a late or two and you get to charge what you think is an acceptable amount to charge.
A gym class for a cause
Splittsville, bowling for a cause
Other ideas: (many of these can be done in the comfort of your own home)
Wine tasting, painting parties, Drag Queen Bingo
People are more inclined to fork over a few extra dollars knowing it is going to a good cause.

Tip 7.
Babysit and have the money you would have made go towards your charity.

Tip 8.
Go and get some items, hopefully you can find donated items and include a 50/50 raffle.  

Lyle winning some free bowling passes

Tip 9.
Jello Shots
This is somewhat a controversial topic.  I haven’t done this one.  You purchase the condiment containers and make jello shots.  You can ask for donations in exchange for jello shots.  (I think that is how it works since you can’t just sell alcohol) - *I think that is how it is*

Additional ideas:
bake sale, book sale, Jamberry nails, stella and dot, car wash, bingo, game night, contests (superbowl, march madness), cook offs

Always write a thank you note.  This is something I do, for everything.  I handwrite a thank you note to show my appreciation.  Its a simple gesture but goes a long way.

Here are a few links of friends who are currently fundraising.  Please go check out a site.  $5.00 goes a long way :)

Steph from Orangespoken for Susan G. Komen 
Michelle for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society
Ashlee for Ronald McDonald House
John from Fat Slow triathlete for the Leukemia and Lymphoma society

What fundraising ideas have you participated in or hosted?