Thinking Out Loud: 20 thoughts I had running 20 miles

Last week I conquered the 20-mile distance for the first time. It was hard and ridiculous, but I finished it. I still have one more 20-miler left before the taper, but at least I know what to expect now. Since it was such an interesting experience, this week for Thinking Out Loud, I am going to list 20 thoughts that went through my mind while I ran. I was having a lot of trouble shutting my brain off and it was going a little wild. I imagine I will have even more fun thoughts while I run Colfax, but for now, here are 20 thoughts I had running my first 20-miler.

  1. Holy crap! 20 miles is so far… I wouldn’t drive that far if I could help it.
  2. I really hope the Hansons are wrong and this 20-miler isn’t going to kill me.
  3. Why did that person just pass me? Clearly they must NOT be running 20 miles.
  4. Oh, I am totally going to own this marathon.
  5. 20 miles isn’t that far.
  6. It’s so nice and wonderful out. I love running.
  7. Why do I do this to myself? I hate running.
  8. Sing it P!nk!! (while listening to So What)
  9. Almost half way!! Not too bad.
  10. Oh no… I’m only half way.
  11. Elly knows where it’s at! I should be sleeping next to her.
  12. Make it to 13.1 and you can eat some really gross Gu.
  13. YEAH!!! EAT THE REALLY GROSS GU!!!
  14. So, this would be the second half of the marathon. I can totally do this!
  15. Why did I route myself to a hill on the 15th mile?
  16. I am circumnavigating Manhattan… I am like Magellan. I bet he couldn’t run 20 miles.
  17. Oh F*ck… Why do I do this to myself? There is no way I can run a marathon.
  18. Tell me I can do this… I can do this. Tell me I can do this… I can do this.
  19. I am the hungriest person in the world.
  20. I just ran 20 miles!!!! Marathon training is the best!!!!

At least I know I can run 20 miles! I think at the end of it, I could have run 6.2 more… if I had to. Seriously, though, I wouldn’t want to.

This is what Elly was doing while I ran:

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That’s one passed out kitty!

Thanks to Amanda at Running with Spoons for hosting the linkup!

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What thoughts go through your head while you run long?

Colfax Week 6: The Sinus Infection From Hell

My training this week was… close to non-existent. Unfortunately, Elly and I both came down with sinus infections (not sure why the cat and I are both sick) and mine seems to be the sinus infection from hell. It has made it hard to do just about anything, no less run. The good news is that Elly and I are both on antibiotics, and she seems to be feeling a lot better. I’m still feeling a little rough. Hopefully this week gets a little better for me.

Monday: Rest Day

Elly started to come down with something, so I was considering taking her to the vet. She would walk around the apartment sneezing, which made me a little worried. I was still pretty sore from A1A, and a rest was well deserved.

Tuesday: 5 miles Progression Run

I went running with one of my friends around town. Despite my legs still feeling a little sore, I felt strong and had no trouble holding 8:20/mi paces. We started around 9:00/mi for the first mile and made it down to 7:50/mi for the last mile. It felt so good to stretch out the legs and push the pace a little. I spent some of the run wishing that I had felt this strong at A1A.

Wednesday: 5 easy miles

It was warm and wonderful outside. I went out for a pretty chill run with no real plan. I tried to incorporate a few hills into the workout, but it was basically just an easy chill run. It was the first run of the year in shorts!!

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Proof that I was wearing shorts in February!

Thursday: Rest

I woke up feeling a little icky, but I was still hoping the feeling would pass. Elly was sneezing a lot, so I took her to the vet. She was not a fan and spent a lot of time whining, crying, and shaking. We got some antibiotics and were sent on out way.

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She was looking very concerned about being in the carrier. She knew where we were headed.

I found her passed out like this soon after we got home:

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I imagine the vet must be very tiring.

Friday: 3 easy miles

I woke up in the morning with the sinus infection from hell. If this is how Elly felt, I just feel awful for her. I went to the doctor, they gave me the ok to run as long as I was not coughing and sent me home with antibiotics. I decided to go out for a quick easy run, and it wasn’t nearly as bad as I expected.

Saturday: Rest

Sinus Infection from Hell (SIFH) got worse. I figured it would be a good idea to chill out and not run. I was starting to lose my appetite, which for me means I must be really really sick.

Sunday: More Rest

SIFH got worse and I started coughing a lot. Coughing was my cue to skip my long run this week even though I really wanted to go out. I rode my bike around town a little to get some fresh air.

What I was supposed to run: 36 miles

What I could actually run given the SIFH: 14 miles

Basically, that was my week. I am really hoping to feel better quick so I can get back to my normal training. If things don’t get better, I’ll be making another trip to see my doctor. I’ll kind of play it by year to see what actually gets done next week. It is supposed to be my first 40-mile week of this training cycle, but that definitely depends on how I am feeling.

Elly and I have been trying to sleep off our illnesses. It’s good to have company when sick. Luckily, Frank has been taking good care of us and has been trying to force me to eat.

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Partners in sickness.

Do you still run if you are sick? Have you ever gotten sick at the same time as your pet?

Made it to south Florida!

I made it to Florida! The way here was certainly not easy! My flight was cancelled and I was forced to change my entire itinerary. I didn’t make it home until about 11:30 pm, but after a good night’s rest, it seemed pretty worth it. It is nice to have some warmer weather AND I get to hang out with my favorite dog.

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I woke up him to take this picture. He has a case of bed head here.

Oh and my parent’s cat too (she doesn’t cuddle like Elly).

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I do miss Elly!

I’ve been doing a bit of a taper heading into A1A. On Tuesday, I went for a run on the dreadmill because it was just way too cold! On Wednesday, before my flight, I managed to get myself out and moving for a marathon paced tempo run, despite the cold. I finally managed to feel comfortable holding my goal pace for Colfax.

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The river was looking super nice!

I am definitely feeling a little nervous heading into A1A. I feel tired and a bit overtrained and I am just not sure if I can hold a PR pace for 13.1 miles. Although the extra mileage that I’ve been putting on my legs during marathon training has certainly improved my fitness, I’m not sure that it has improved my SPEED. I feel like I am ready to run a super long distance… but just not very fast. Maybe I’ll wake up Sunday morning with super legs. It’s just hard to imagine holding under 8:30 paces for over 13 miles. I know that I tend to show up strong at races, but I do tend to feel inadequate during training. Unfortunately, there will be no pacers to help me reach my goal of under 1:50:00.

Whatever happens… happens. Regardless, I plan on having a good time!

I am excited to see both Kristina and Ally on Saturday! It’s going to be great to finally meet and wish them good luck on their races. Also, Lizzy is doing the LA marathon on Sunday, so wish her good luck nabbing that new marathon PR!

Anyone racing this weekend? Do you usually feel unsure of yourself heading into a PR attempt?

Colfax Marathon Week 2: Kickin’ Butt!!

Week two of my Colfax Marathon training cycle is over, and I only have 110 days to get myself ready! I know that sounds like a long time… but it’s not. However, it will be more than enough time if every week goes as well as this week did. Basically, mostly everything went right. I had a few weather snafus that stopped me from hitting my paces, but the effort was there, even if the clock didn’t say so.

Monday: 8 miles LSD – Long run pushed off from week before due to weather

I wrote about this run here. It was a pretty good long run, but was pushed off to this week due to arctic temperatures in Kansas.

Tuesday: 3 miles easy pace on treadmill + Yoga

It was still bitterly cold out on Tuesday, and I had kinda lost feeling in my legs by the end of my 8-mile long run, so I decided to take this one inside. I hate the treadmill, and even though it was an easy paced run, mentally, this run was pretty tough. I have such a hard time keeping my mind occupied while running indoors.

Wednesday: 3 miles in snowstorm + Yoga

I went out for a run during a rather nasty snowstorm. I figured that since the temps weren’t too bad, that I could take the snow. I was hoping to hit close to marathon pace, but couldn’t stop my feet from slipping on the snow, so I just did put a medium amount of effort into the run. I was pretty glad to get home and dry off a bit.

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This is what Elly was up to when I got back from my run. It was apparently too cold to be awake.

Thursday: 3 miles easy pace on treadmill + Yoga

Kansas doesn’t believe in plows and salt… so I ended up taking my run inside… again. By the end of it, I was ready to swear off the treadmill forever. I did some yoga after, and that made me feel better about being cooped up indoors.

Friday: 5 miles Marathon Pace… but not really + Yoga

I intended for this run to be at marathon pace. Frank and two of our friends came out for the run (although Frank only did 3 miles). It was icy and cold, which slowed us down a lot. Dodging the ice and snow made for an interesting run that almost felt like trail running. We kept it about 30 seconds per mile slower than MP, although the effort seemed pretty tough.

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The reads and sidewalks were caked in ice… and it really only got worse as we went along.
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Obligatory post-run selfie. Frank had already run inside to get away from the cold.

Saturday: Rest Day – Went to see the largest ball of twine in the world… and yes, that is in Kansas!

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Artsy shot of the twine. Kansas is a strange place…

Sunday: 10 miles LSD + Yoga

I went to a yoga class in the AM and ran in the afternoon. One of Frank’s co-workers expressed interest in training for a half marathon, so I took him along for 7 miles of the run… and he did great! This was the first long run that has actually felt like a long run in a while. It was a real milestone to hit double digits. I actually don’t think I have done that since my Chicago Marathon training back in October. It was a great run, and I even got to explore a new route. Frank joined me for the last three miles and really pushed the pace. I ran a negative split with the last mile well below marathon pace (Thanks Frank). I had intended to keep this run pretty slow, but with the ice gone and fresh legs, I felt too good to slow down.

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Zeb is learning how fun running can really be!!

Total Mileage: 32.4

Overall, this was a great week. I needed it too! With the A1A Half Marathon coming up, I think I needed a few confident long runs under my belt into order to go for a PR in Fort Lauderdale. Also, the higher mileage felt good on my legs, so I’m pretty glad to be back! This week, Frank and I will be heading to Boulder on Thursday night, so I’ll be doing a few runs at altitude!

This week:

M: Rest

T: 3 miles easy

W: 6 miles MP

Th: 3 miles easy

F: 6 miles

S: Hiking in Colorado!

S: 12 miles LSD through Boulder

How was your week? Anyone hit by bad weather? Also, I know Kristina and Ali are doing the A1A Marathon/Half Marathon. Is anyone else gonna be there?

Gone with the old and in with 2016!

Hey everyone! I hope you all had a fun and safe holiday with your family. I have been gone for quite a while and I missed the running community a lot.

I am back in Kansas again (finally!) after traveling pretty much all over our hemisphere. After Utah I left for Virginia for a week and then I went home to visit family in South Florida. Frank and I then flew from Fort Lauderdale to Cabo San Luca in Mexico and traveled up the length of the Baja peninsula to San Diego before heading home. I have been pretty exhausted from travel, but now I’m back and ready to train (although I should have been training prior to now, but really, that’s water under the bridge).
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Frank and I enjoying Mexico
 

Elly was pretty thrilled to see me after I got back. Honestly I was a little worried she would forget about me.
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Elly burrito-ed herself into my blanket. I guess she was cold. She still remembers and loves me.
I have some crazy stories about our travels, but now I’m just glad to be home and getting back into a rhythm.
I want to take a moment to reflect a little on 2015. I had a crazy year, with a big move, big travels, new friends and jobs, and a whole lot of running. I ran my first half marathon, and then PRed twice on the half (including at Estes Park, CO). I trained for the Chicago Marathon, and even though I turned my ankle and couldn’t run it, I still trained hard and learned a lot about what I am capable of.
So 2016 is here and I have a few goals. I guess it’s easiest if I list them out…
1. Get back to real training again. I haven’t really gotten back to the level of training I was at before I turned my ankle, so first and foremost, that is my goal. I know it’s possible because I already did it. I want to get back to running 35+ miles per week.
2. PR the half marathon either at A1A in February (that’s so freaking soon), or at Rocky Mountain in July (this is where my current PR is).
3. Run the Colfax Marathon in May… and not get injured this time, so no mountain biking for a while. I have no time goals. I just want to finish injury free.
4. Run the Chicago Marathon in October. I need to redeem myself from last year.
5. This may seem like a crazy one… but PR in the Marathon at Chicago (since I’ll have a time from Colfax).
and finally (and most importantly)… go injury free this year. No ankle turns, no knee issues…just some good ole’ injury free running.
I think in 2015, although I did manage a lot, I got too caught up in race times. This year I want to run by feel, and if I run a little slower sometimes, honestly, I don’t care. I don’t want running to stress me out, which it occasionally did last year.
So, there you have it… and I can’t wait to see how it all goes! I’m super glad to be back!
How was your holiday? Any cool new travels? What is your big 2016 goal?

Help Out the Animals with a Virtual Race!

Hey everyone! A fellow blogger that I follow is doing something really cool. Kristina is a soon-to-be two time marathoner who is trying to raise money for Team Paws. She’ll be running the Chicago Marathon in October. This is the link to her donation page. She has put together a virtual 5k and 10k where runners will have until March 20 to run the race, email her the results and be entered to win some medals. All of the entrance money goes to helping out fuzzy animals (can you say no to that?). It’s for a really good cause and I am going to sign up, so sign up with me!

As much as I love running, I love my cat, Elly, even more. She is a shelter cat that without the help of awesome organizations like this, would have had no where to go and wouldn’t be chillin’ on my couch as we speak. Help out cats (and dogs, sorry, I’m biased), like Elly. Thanks everyone!

This is Elly. She is really beautiful, and also I'm pretty sure she'd con you for some cat food, given the opportunity. She has an addiction.
This is Elly. She is really beautiful, and also I’m pretty sure she’d con you for some cat food, given the opportunity. She has an addiction.