Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Do spider webs have calories??

This is a question I jokingly asked myself many times yesterday. I decided to tackle the trail that the race I'm doing is on. I had read something in the description about spider webs and since I run into them all the time I wasn't really worried. Why do I keep underestimating this whole trail running thing? I kept running into them during my run. I had them in my mouth, hair, ears, everywhere! I'm hiking crazy trails running along wondering if this counts as breakfast. I just told myself over and over (and over) that surely real spiders don't live in these webs. I know they do, but let me have my illusions, mmmkay? During the couple of times I had to stop and gasp for breath before dying rest I carefully picked them off of me. I'm sure those weren't real spiders. Some mean person had clearly placed toy spiders along my route to tease me.

I was doing an out and back and smugly thought to myself, "well, at least I'm knocking them down now and won't have to deal with them on the way back." Ha! Spiders are efficient little suckers. By the time I came back they had rebuilt their mansions.

Unfortunately, I came back earlier than I wanted to. It had rained the night before and silly me thought it was still a good idea to run on the trail. I am a stickler for a schedule. Or I'm completely anal and have to do what I planned. You can decide which one it is. By the time I had a solid inch of mud all over my shoes and was facing a long muddy trail that it looked like Big Foot had been traveling on I decided to call it a day. I ended up running 2 miles instead of 3, but had run bleachers at the football stadium the night before, so I tried to tell myself I wasn't a lazy slacker.

Some good news: A friend of mine found out I was doing the race (not sure how. It's not like I talk about it here and on facebook a lot) and she knew a couple of people who ran it last year. She suggested I contact one of them so I did. He gave me some advice and assured me I'm not totally crazy for taking this on. Now that I've actually been in contact with a survivor I'm feeling even better.

On a side note, my son Ryan has a great future as a drill sergeant. Last night while doing the ab workout on boot camp he decided he would help keep me going. He yelled at me through a hollowed out bat stuck right in my ear and hit me in the head with it when I stopped. Needless to say, I didn't stop very much.

Happy Running!


Sunday, June 19, 2011

I think I may have lost my mind....

On Friday I was searching for running courses in my area and stumbled across a local race. It is a trail run at the Elk City State Park.  Sounds good, right? It's 15 miles, which I think I can handle. I mean, I've run 14, what's one more? Did I mention it is a trail run? I've never run on trails. In fact, I've always thought it looked a little crazy. Well, the more I looked at the website for the FlatRock 25 and 50k the more excited I got. I've really been struggling to get back into a routine since my half and just couldn't get excited. I had found a race in Hutchinson that looked promising, but wasn't terribly excited. I just needed a new challenge.

I mentioned it to Rick and he said it looked like fun. I asked opinions for a few other people and they thought it looked fun. I also asked on the C25K forum I read and post on and the general consensus was to go for it. Friday night Rick took the boys and I out to the trail so we could walk a little bit of it. Oh my. That's all I can say. They all ended up with ticks. Also, it is scary. Really scary. I came home and obsessively looked at all of the pictures, results and race reports on their website. Even scarier. Then I read about snakes, possibly copperheads on the trail. Anyone who knows me at all knows how terrified I am of snakes. Did any of that deter me? Nope. I decided I AM going to do a trail run.

Saturday morning I got up early for my 8 mile run. I finished and woke Ryan up to go hit the trail with me. No, I don't force my kid to run with me. He wanted to. Well, this time. Sometimes I force him. It's fun. Anyway, we planned to do a quick 2/3 mile trail and maybe a small portion of our favorite hiking trail. We just wanted to test if I really wanted to do this. Unfortunately, the gates that block the road leading to the trailhead were closed. We went to a nearby bike trail instead. It said "Bikes Only" so I had to force my son who refuses to break rules to go. Oh my. It was hard. I learned some things though that will help me in the future.

1. Bug spray is a must. Ryan had ticks on him at the end of the run.

2. I need to eat more if I'm going to do trail running. I ran 8 miles this morning. I had a mini clif bar (100 calories) and a clif shot blok (not sure, maybe 100 calories?). I was weak and had no energy by the time I got to the trail.

3. I'm going to get dirty. Yuck. I hate dirt. I only ran .67 miles and my ankles and socks were filthy at the end.

For some reason, even though it was hard, I was tired and gross and miserable, I still wanted to do this. When I got home I was on Facebook and saw this picture:
It seemed like a sign. Rick owes me a present, so I decided to buy some trail shoes. Oh my goodness. Who knew this would end up being an excuse to buy some totally awesome new gear? Here are my new shoes:
And thanks to the super awesome salesperson (Rachel) at Fleet Feet Tulsa for helping me find some

This morning I decided to try again on the trail I wanted to run yesterday so I headed out to the lake. I talked to my dad on the way and complained about snakes, because he feels the same way. He offered to come shoot them for me if I needed him to. Unfortunately, he's 1000 miles away so I don't think he'd make it in time. But thanks Dad!

Anyway, I think I've found a new love. Trail running is fabulous. I felt so great running. Yeah, it was hard. Really hard. And I didn't even run that far. It convinced me that I really want to do this though. Here are a couple of pictures I took with my cell phone from my run.

If you're interested in seeing exactly what I've gotten myself into, look at some of the pictures on the race website. They're scary. When I run some more I'll post pictures of the trail.

Happy Fathers Day everyone!!


Wednesday, June 8, 2011


I haven't updated for a while, and in case anyone actually reads this I thought I would let you know I'm still alive. Still running too! I can't seem to settle into a routine since my half marathon. Since my running is all over the place my mind has been too. I haven't been able to settle on any kind of topic for my blog, so you get random information today.

1. I actually ran with someone this week! It was great. I ran with Brittany, who originally did C25K with me. She has run off and on since then and I think I've talked her into doing the Route 66 Marathon Relay with me. By the way, anyone else want to join? The longest leg is 7.something miles. I will happily run that. We need more runners! I would make you cookies or something. That's about all I've got to talk you into it. Anyway, the run was great. We did four 9 minute runs with 2 minutes of walking in between. Brittany is a rock star and finished even though she hasn't run that far in a really long time. Hopefully we have many more runs together in the future.

2. Hills/Speedwork-
I'm trying to add some of both of these to my routine. I did hills one day and speedwork one day. Monday I was supposed to do hills again but ran with Brittany instead. I mostly talked her into it so I wouldn't have to run hills. I'm doing intervals of fast/slow one day per week also. Well, I did it once. I should do it again tomorrow, but we are going out of town and leaving at 6. Needless to say, I will not be getting up at 4:00 to run. I know some people are that hard core but I am not. Perhaps I will do it on the treadmill at the hotel. Hmmm.....kinda liking this idea.

3. Do you know what is the worst thing about running? When you can't complete a run because you have to go to the bathroom. This morning I drug my lazy butt out of bed at 5:30, got dressed, ate, got my water, etc. I started running and all was basically well. About half a mile into the run my stomach started to cramp. Then other things started happening. I ran another block trying to decide how bad I really needed to go. It turns out is was pretty darn bad. I ended up coming home. Oh well, guess I will get out there late tonight after Ryan's baseball game.

4. Bootcamp is hard. No, not real boot camp. I'm obviously not joining the armed forces. I have a boot camp app on my ipod and husbands ipad. Since my ipod is MIA, I'm using the ipad. The app is made by bluefin software, the same makers of the totally awesome C25K app and B210K app I used. They also have a half marathon app, but it costs $14.99 which I think is beyond ridiculous. Anyway, boot camp. It is a series of exercises (circuit training) designed to torture your body and make you think death sounds like a fabulous option. The first night I did it Brittany joined me and we did cardio/core. I'm not sure if we even made it half way. It was so miserably hard. Tuesday I did a different set of exercises that focused on arms. So much easier! Ryan joined me and we had fun. Someone walked by while we were out in the front yard doing it. I assume she has called everyone she knows and made fun of it, but that's alright. We probably looked ridiculous. Last night I did the cardio/core again and finished! I knew how hard it was so I dialed it back a little at the beginning. That helped a ton. It's kind of like when you start running you get out there and give it all you've got and can't go very far. You learn to run slower and conserve energy. Then you get faster at some point. I guess. That's what people tell me. I've yet to see that happen.

So, that is the randomness going on in my brain. We are in the middle of a very busy baseball schedule. We have games or practices pretty much every day. This is making it hard to find the time or energy to run, but I'm working on it. On Sunday, my baby boy Adam turns 8. I can't believe it. Where does the time go? Oh, and my running-versary is coming up!!

Happy Running!!!