Friday, May 27, 2011


The word alone strikes fear in the heart of runners. If this is something you’ve never heard of or experienced, let me offer you some information. I found this at
Symptoms of Chafing:
The most common symptom of chafing is a painful stinging or burning sensation. The area is usually red and raw.
Cause of Chafing:
Chafing is caused by repeated motion -- specifically, skin rubbing against loose fabric or other skin. Chafing most often occurs around the bra line (women), nipples (men), inner thighs, and under the arms. Moisture, either from sweat or rain, can worsen chafing. It can also be caused by a poorly fitted bra.
If you are still confused as to what I am talking about, let me provide a visual for you. Alert: This is a picture of my inner thigh. If this bothers you, don’t look. If you are a co-worker of mine who has a link to this blog, PLEASE don’t look. And if you are my husband and are horrified because I am posting this on the internet, let me ask you. Are you really surprised?

That picture was taken after a 4 mile run I did without Body Glide. Big mistake! Feeling I had learned a lesson, I wore shorts to my half marathon. I liberally applied the body glide. Unfortunately, I didn’t apply it far enough to the back of my thighs. Plus, running 13.1 miles, along with 90% humidity and lots of sweat means it will rub off. I started feeling pain at around 4 miles. By mile 6 I must have been numb because it stopped burning. Silly me, I assumed it stopped rubbing. I’m not sure why I thought that. Did I think my legs were shrinking? HA! I wish.
At mile 9 I started feeling burning under my arms. I had worn a tank top and since I’ve n ever worn one for that kind of distance it didn’t occur to me to put body glide there. Ouch.
After the race, the first thing I did was make everyone that had come with me look at my chafing. I’m sure they loved it.  When I went to the bathroom a little later I realized I was bleeding. That’s right. My chubby inner thighs had rubbed together so much I was bleeding.
This begs a question. Why do I keep doing this? Why do I run? It is causing me all kinds of pain and I just keep going back for more. Maybe I can answer that question some day. Right now I have to go put more medication on my broken alligator skinned thighs.


Sunday, May 22, 2011

Oklahoma Aquarium Run

I did it!! I ran a half marathon! It is so hard for me to believe. Also, be warned. This will be long! I have so much to say I barely know where to start.

Friday afternoon we headed to Tulsa to pick up my packet. I was so nervous all day that I seriously thought I would puke. I got my packet and we headed to Zio's. I could eat all the pasta I wanted and didn't have to feel guilty. Woohoo! After dinner we went to Sports Authority because I wanted a new outfit. I couldn't find anything I really liked so I bought a couple of tank tops, one of which was pink (my favorite runningwear color) that I planned to wear in the race. As soon as we got to the hotel I tried it on and then spent the whole night miserable because I was pretty sure I looked fat and gross and everyone was going to make fun of me. Why do I do this to myself?

Saturday morning we got up at 5:15 so we could leave at 6:00. We got ready, had breakfast and finally left at 6:10. Now might be a good time to mention the weather. It was a beautiful 66 degrees. The good part ends there. It was windy and the humidity was 90%. Yuck. We got to the race, I picked up my chip, put it on then went to the car to finish getting ready. I put on my Buff and drank/ate a nasty gel. Those things are just disgusting. Also drank some gatorade. Then I went to stand in the long port-a-potty line where I put on my number. By the time I got through the line it was time to line up.

Some before pics:
Me and Adam (ignore my hair in all of these. It was windy)
Me with Mom, Alan, Ryan and Adam

Starting to line up

On your mark, get set, GO!
We're off! The first part of the race was spent with me adjusting everything. I decided to get a waist pack to carry my ipod and gels. I hate my armband, so this seemed great. Also, the pocket in my shorts only holds one gel and I wanted to bring two. It took me a while to get everything comfy but when I did everthing was great. Miles 1-6 were just fantastic. My goal was to walk for about a minute every 2 miles. That plan was working nicely for me. In fact, I kept wondering why it was so easy. On the map there was a huge hill and it seemed to be early on in the race. I couldn't figure out what the map was talking about because we had only run over some little bumps. I was feeling pretty darn smug! Then we passed someone (the race was a bunch of out and backs) that said, "there's a water stop at the top of the hill." I'm thinking, "what hill?" Oh.My.Goodness. I found the hill. It was long and steep! I got to the top (walking mostly, it was at mile six, yay!) I drank some water and kept running. Unfortunately, the hill went up and up. Eventually we came back down but it took me a very long time to recover from that. The worst part off the entire race? Chafing. I cannot even describe the pain. In fact, I will be writing a future blog just about that. Teaser? There was blood involved. Ouch.

About mile 10 is when I seem to hit a wall every time. I did again yesterday. From 10 to 11 all I could think about was the pain under my arms from chafing which I hadn't anticipated because I don't usually wear a tank top. By the time I hit 11 I was just done. I walked way more often than I wanted to the last 2 miles but I finished!

The finish line. I wasn't going to show this because it shows the clock and you can all see just how slow I am, but oh well. Please don't make fun. I will cry.

After the race I drank water and was talking to my family. I kept mentioning how I had sand all over me from running past the river and having the wind blow it on me. At some point Rick said, "Uh, Melissa? That isn't sand. It's salt." Yeah, I had sweat(ed?) so much that it dried on me and I was covered with salt. Can we say gross? The grossest part might have been when my mom licked my arm because she didn't believe me. Yeah, we're close like that. Don't judge. Ok, maybe it isn't closeness so much as being gross and weird. Oh well, it was funny.

This is my favorite picture because I was so happy with myself

And last, here is a picture of me and Rick after the race. Sorry it is far away. My mom took it and she might not be the handiest with a camera. She couldn't figure out why she couldn't get it to work and it was turned off :) Love you Mom!!!

All in all, it was a pretty great race. I can't wait to do it again.

I really want to sincerely thank everyone who has been so encouraging and supportive of me and my running. I really couldn't do it without Rick and the boys being so supportive and having all of my other friends, may they be online or real life friends always encouraging me. Some of those online friends are so supportive they send me body glide when I lose mine!


Sunday, May 15, 2011

Less than 1 week!

It is less than a week to my half marathon. How did that happen? When I started training for this in November it seemed very very far away. Now all of the sudden the time has arrived! I get sick every time I think about it. Actually, I was doing great until I went to the event website and saw they had posted a map. The hill on it looks downright scary and it is the most confusing map I've ever seen. Since it is highly likely I will be in last place and well behind other runners I feel certain I am going to get lost. If you are interested in the crazy map click here.

Pretty much all I can think about right now is my race. Well, and being completely and totally exhausted after running 87 miles last month. If you are an experienced runner reading this, I realize 87 miles in a month isn't a lot for most runners. For me it is huge! Every run has been getting worse and worse lately to the point where I was walking way too much. I messaged someone on a forum I'm on that has run a couple of half marathons and has one the day after mine. I told her what was going on and she helped me come up with a plan to taper the last two weeks and have my body ready to run on race day. I was so thankful as I seem to be doing much better. Today was my long run of the week and was supposed to be 6 miles (originally I wanted to do 8 but it just wasn't happening). When we  took Ryan to baseball practice I ran to the park and ran around and through it. I ended up only running 5 miles, but it was a really great 5 miles. It was a confidence building run. I had no problems and it was very windy and very hilly. The fact that I did it proved to me that I can still run!

The only bad part of my run was stomache cramps the first couple of miles. I keep reading about energy gels and people keep telling me I should try them. I've also heard they can cause some GI issues, so I knew race day was NOT the time to try them out. Today was the day. I drank(ate?) it about 15 minutes before my run as the directions instructed me. The texture was not great but the taste was fine. I had run about a quarter of a mile when cramps started. All I could think was that I was going to have to make an emergency stop in the bathroom but I perservered! The cramps stopped after a while. I think I really did have more energy. The cramps weren't bad enough to make me not use it again, so it looks like I'll be using some on race day.

This coming week I only have two 3 mile runs scheduled before Saturday. I should be nice and rested.

Friday afternoon I will be heading to Tulsa with Rick and the boys to pick up my race packet. I can't wait! Then we are eating at Zio's (my favorite restaraunt) and staying overnight somewhere. Perharps I should get on that. My Mom and Alan will be joining us and watching my race. I'm really happy they are coming. I have worked so hard and I love that I get to share this experience with a bunch of people who love me.

I probably won't post again before the race. Be thinking about me!! And if you have any spare happy thoughts on Saturday the race starts at 7:30 am. That's right Mom. I may have neglected to mention you will have to get up really early if you want to be there at the start. As slow as I am though you could probably sleep until noon and still catch the end!


Monday, May 9, 2011


I hit two very big milestones last week. The first is that I managed a 14 mile run! Well, more of a run/hobble, but I'll get to that later. The 2nd milestone is that I've run 500 miles since I started tracking in August. My goal was to get to that point by Mothers Day, and I did it on Friday!! Go me!! (Do you love how I constantly brag about my accomplishments on here?)

A little detail about my run:
The night before (thursday) Rick drove me out to my turnaround point so I could stash water bottles. I put one at 4 miles and one at 7 miles. My plan was to drink half at 4 miles, a whole bottle at 7 miles, and then the other half at 10 miles. My plan was perfect! I did joke to Rick that it was kind of like hiding easter eggs only to have to wait 12 hours to find them. My 4 mile one was a little challenging to find.

When I got up to leave it was only 41 degrees, but I knew it would be around 60 by the time I finished. What to wear? I decided on pants, short sleeve shirt and long sleeve shirt. That way I could take off the long sleeve shirt when I got hot. Again, my plan worked perfectly! Well, sort of, but we'll get to that in a minute.

The first 9 miles of my run were beautiful. It was just a fantastic run. For some reason at mile 9 my left leg kept collapsing. I was stumbling along like (insert mean joke about someone I know here. People I went to high school with: I have a feeling you will know). Anyway, I stopped to walk and stretch and that took care of it. The only problem is that I couldn't get back going. The next couple of miles were pretty rough, but I was making it. I hit mile 11 and smacked into a wall. It was awful. I had to drag myself the last 3 miles.

With 2 miles to go Rick's dad drove by. I was so tempted to flag him down and beg for a ride. I didn't though, and I'm glad. With about 3/4 of a mile I seriously stopped my ipod and just sat down on the road. I wanted nothing more than to cry. I finally got up and drug myself home. When I walked past the post office on my cool down and old man was outside. He said "good to see you getting some exercise!" Really dude? Clearly you don't know me or you would realize I do this every day. I said, "yeah. I ran 14 miles." He says, "huh" and gets in his car. He's lucky I didn't break out my ninja moves and kick his butt.

Anyway, I got home, showered and drove to Independence for Adam's field trip. It was at the park/zoo, which meant walking for hours. Maybe better planning on my part would have helped. I had planned to go pick up my shirt on the way and forgot due to blinding pain. Friday evening Rick and I drove out to pick up my water bottles and shirt. See how good I am? I littered, but picked up after myself later. The water bottles were no problem. We found them quickly. The shirt is another story. I knew it was by the river against a tree. Problem: There are hundreds of trees along the river. I told Rick, "it's right after that sign." Ok, it may not have been right after the sign, but it was within 1/4 of a mile. I'm pretty sure I frustrate the heck out of my husband.

This weekend was Mothers Day, so I hope all of you had a great one. I know I did! I have the best kids in the whole world :)


Monday, May 2, 2011

K9K Race Report

The big huge exciting news? I got 2nd place in my age group!!! Before you get too excited, maybe I should tell you how many people were in my age group. You guessed it. Two. It was a very small race. Very small. Like 25 people. I won't tell you what place I got overall, but I will tell you it was in the teens :).

Ok, the real report:
The boys and I left at 6:30 am. We stopped at QT (our favorite place in the world) for gas and a snack. I had a Clif Bar with me to eat before breakfast, but didn't want to eat it until 9ish, so I got a rice krispy treat to hold me over. This turned out to be a very smart move. The boys got stuff and we were on the way. With a quick detour to McDonalds that is. Ryan's breakfast smelled nasty and we were about to barf, so we stopped, threw it in the trash and got him something else.

So we got to where the race would be, with trusty ol Garminda (yep, our gps has a name). Except, we couldn't find anything. This was my 1st clue the race would be disorganized. We finally found it and got out to pick up our stuff. When they gave me my race number, they gave me 1 safety pin. Umm, what the heck am I supposed to do with 1? I asked for more and the lady begrudgingly gave me 1 more. Ok, 4 holes, 2 safety pins. Alrighty.

9:00 came and it was time for Ryan's 1 mile run. I am in awe of him. He's awesome. He got 1st place overall! Even ahead of the adults. His time? 6 minutes 3 seconds!! Here he is finishing:
On to my race:
Like I said, only a few people, and I'm slow. That means I ran at the back of the pack. The markings weren't very good. They also didn't have anyone at the turnaround point. If someone hadn't been in front of me I would have missed it. They had a mark painted on the road and that's it. They had a few water stations, which was great, but nowhere to throw your cups. I ended up carrying mine to the next water station b/c I didn't want to throw them on the ground. It was about mile 2 when I realized I was really hungry and had no energy. Wanna know why? I forgot to eat my clif bar! Who does that? Who doesn't eat before a 5.5 mile race? Apparently me. I spent the whole race with my stomache growling. My pace during the race was really good and I'm very happy with my time. I have no pictures to show you b/c I was at the race alone. I do have a picture of my race number though:
Notice the 4 safety pins? I went and begged for more. They finally gave them to me. I did notice several runners with dangling numbers. Let that be a lesson to me about bringing my own pins.

After the race I downed a bottle of water college drinking game style and ate a banana really quick. Then I hopped in my car and went to get my kids, who had been picked up by my awesome friend Jessica. I went to her house to shower and have lunch then met a bunch of friends at the Tulsa Zoo. It was a great day but we were very very tired by the time we got home.

A fun picture of Adam who sometimes feels left out at these things since he doesn't run:

This week I have 3 short runs and a 14 mile run scheduled! I'm going to be tired....