Follow my journey from being overweight and addicted to ice cream, to running marathon's!

Monday, April 28, 2014

Indiana Trail 100 Recap

This is not the recap I was planning on writing, but here it is. You might want to grab a drink and get comfy, cause it's a long one.

 Friday night my friend Dan and I drove 5 hours to Indiana, to run the IT100 on Saturday. The first 100 miler for both of us. We stopped and picked up our packets, took pics and then went to my friend Lydia's house for the night. She and her hubby cooked us a delicious meal, and we went to bed early, 3:45 would come quickly.

 To back up just a little, Thursday morning I woke up with all the symptoms of bronchitis and a sinus infection again. The same thing that had forced me to back out my half marathon just a few weeks ago. I knew that wasn't good, but NOTHING was going to stop me from this race, no matter what. I worked too hard to quit now.
 I was hoping by Saturday I would be feeling better, but I wasn't. Friday night I didn't sleep well because I was feeling so sick.

The race started at 6 am, so we wanted to be there by 5:15. I was still coughing and blowing my nose a lot, but it didn't even enter my head that I would DNF. I was determined to do 100. I would just push through it.

The gun goes off at 6, and we begin! We ran in the dark for the first hour, with our headlamps lighting the way. I decided not to wear a hydration pack, instead just using my Lululemon handheld water bottle. I was able to put 3 GU's in it, so I knew I would be fine between aide stations, and I was.

 I think it was around mile 10 when I started feeling really bad. I was having a very hard time breathing. My legs and feet felt great, but my lungs were hurting and I couldn't take full breaths. It just kept getting worse until it started to hurt to even drink water, just swallowing hurt.
Each loop was around 16 miles, and coming to the end of the first loop, I realized this might become a 50 miler instead.

 Dan was doing excellent, except his shoes were really hurting his feet. After changing them out at the main tent, we started out on lap 2. Just a few miles into it, I told him to go on without me and run his own race. I knew I was slowing him down and that just killed me. It took a little convincing, but I finally talked him into going and he finally ran off. So now it was just me and the trail, alone. Every once in awhile someone would run by me, and they would wave or say hi, or say looking good- or something. Everyone was SO nice and encouraging. They would tell me I'm doing good, and I'd say thanks, but I was thinking "oh, if you only knew!"
 By mile 20 I knew this would be my last lap. I went through so many emotions. I would tear up thinking how in the world am I going to tell everyone I quit at 33?? How can I fall so very short of this huge goal I set for myself? Where's the Katie who said NOTHING will stop her? Where's the tough Katie who people say inspire them? At the moment all I could see was a weak girl who couldn't follow through. I was telling myself I would delete my blog and my facebook, and just disappear. I could hardly bear the thought of letting everyone down. I thought I was strong, but I wasn't. Strong is these fast runners on their 3rd and 4th lap, while I'm walking on my 2nd.
 I know it might make some of you mad that I entertained those thoughts, but it's just my truth at the moment.

 My awesome friend Ray, came down from Virgina just to pace Dan and I on the last 50. He's an awesome runner, who has ran 13 1/2's and 1 full. He's working on running a half in every state. He got there before it was time for him to start running, so he was a HUGE help to us. He was at every aide station, cheering us on, encouraging us. At one point he went and got me some medicine and a diet coke. That diet coke tasted like heaven!!

Walking through the finishing chute, knowing this was it.
After 33 miles, (the 2nd loop) I walked through the finish line. I knew this was it. Ray was doing his best to get me back out there, but my mind was set. Every breath hurt and I knew I couldn't go on anymore.

 I turn in my timing chip to this really sweet lady. She gives me a long hug and lets me bawl on her shoulder. Then Mike, the RD gives me a hug. These people were incredibly kind.
 I call my husband and he encourages me and tells me how proud he is of me. Then I call my Dad. Sometimes a girl just needs her daddy!

 Other than having trouble breathing, I felt great!! My legs felt great, my feet were starting to hurt, but I knew trading out my shoes would've been all I needed. I know without a doubt, I could've done a lot more if I wasn't sick.

  Dan did absolutely awesome. He ran 68 miles in 20 hours. He had started falling asleep while he was running, and after the 4th loop (which he ran with Ray), he just had nothing left. I'm so incredibly proud of him!!

 The past couple days have been hard for me emotionally. This was such a huge goal for me and to not finish it just devastated me. I know people can't understand how I can be disappointed with 33 miles. But 33 out of the 100 that it was supposed to be, is what makes it hard for me!

I'm in a much better place today. I've had time to process and think about everything, and here's what I've learned. I can't attach my self worth to running. Seems simple, right? It's not for me.
 I know it's ok to be disappointed. But I AM strong. I still got out there and ran. I could've stopped at 16 miles, but I didn't. I gave it my ALL. I did my best. For that, I am happy!!

At this point, I have no desire to ever attempt another 100 miler, but that could always change. But I absolutely want to do a 50. On a FLAT course!! I swear, Indiana is an incredibly flat state (I used to live there), but I realized that every single hill is at Chain O Lakes. I don't remember ever running on a hillier course. Wow.

 I want to thank all of you guys here, on Instagram, my personal FB and my FICTM FB page for your support and encouragement. At one point Ray showed me my FB page on his phone and I got to read a lot of yall's comments. I can't tell you how reading them kept me going. Thank you with all of my heart. In the past couple of days, I have read every single comment over and over again. You all are amazing.

 I got this precious message from my 14 year old stepson. More tears!
And then when I got home Sunday night, this was waiting for me on the table. Thank you Jeremy, for always supporting and loving me. And buying me ice cream.

Well, this journey is over. I'm a little sore today, but not too bad. I'm still fighting this sinus infection though. I can't wait to get back out there and run again. That is what I absolutely love to do.
 This may have gotten me down for a little bit, but not for long. I will absolutely be back. And I cannot wait.

 If you have any questions, feel free to ask them. In another post I'll share the things I learned and what I would do different next time.

 Thank you all for sharing in this journey with me!


Thursday, April 24, 2014

100 miles, here I come!


 If you're just joining me, 6 months ago I signed up to run the Indiana Trail 100 ultra marathon. I didn't even know anyone who had run an ultra before, but it just sounded like a crazy adventure, and something I would love to do. My counselor says I have an adrenaline addictive personality...I guess I might agree with him. ;)
  I mentioned to my friend Dan that I was running it, and he said he wanted to run it with me. I didn't even have to talk him into it. I can't tell you what a sense of relief that gave me. I know having him out there with me will help me so much!

  I honestly do feel ready for this. There have been times when I've doubted myself. I'm not an excellent runner, I'm not fast, I'm not on a run streak, I haven't even ran as many miles as has been on my plan. But since signing up I have ran 2 more marathons (for a total of 4), I ran 20 miles on the high school track, I ran 35 miles on the trail where this race will be held, in horrible, snowy, muddy conditions.
 I've pushed myself. I've ran when I was sick. I kept going when I didn't think I could possibly run one more step. I've ran through pain and through tears.
 But I haven't been perfect. I have quit at times. Sometimes I would stop short of my goal. Sometimes I wouldn't finish a run. Now I know what it feels like to quit. And I don't like it.

I will remember this on Saturday!

Julie and I went out for margarita's one last time. Wait, not as in the last time EVER. I'm sure there will be more times. It's not like I'm going to die, right??
Yesterday I did my last run. A nice, easy 3 miles. I get a runners high after only 3 miles, I can't imagine what I'll feel like after 100! 

Tomorrow Dan and I will load up the car and head to Indiana for packet pick up. Albion is about a 5 hour drive for us. We'll be staying Friday night with some friends of mine, and get to the race Saturday morning at 5:30, and start running at 6. 
 We'll have 30 hours to complete it, but hopefully it won't take that long. I'm really not worried about my time though, I'm just going to enjoy it and keep putting one foot in front of the other until I've completed 100 miles. 

 I plan on checking in every 32 miles. (We will run around the 16 mile trail 6 times.) I'll be updating Instagram and/or Facebook

Just in case I can't say it again (sorry, trying not to be morbid!), I love you guys!! The running community is absolutely the best and I am so thankful for you all. You guys have encouraged me so much on this journey, thank you with all of my heart.
 See ya on the other side!!

If you're interested in tracking my race, just send me a msg, and I'll send you the link.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Keep calm and countdown

I finally got to sit down today, and I log on to watch the Boston Marathon finish line. I missed seeing Meb win, but I'm SO happy that he did! It's been over 30 years since an American won! This was definitely a good year for that to happen. 

 My twinnie knew I needed to fuel up for my race this weekend, so she brought me one of her lemon drop cupcakes. This was seriously amazing.

 I remember before I ever ran my first marathon, I found finish line videos on youtube, and got tears in my eyes watching the runners! It was then I knew I wanted to run a marathon.

 This weekend was the Ky Derby mini and marathon. I had so many friends running it, but I was a spectator this time and got to hang out with Amanda's kiddo's. It was incredible watching everyone running to the finish line. But it did feel strange not running with them!

In other news... 

5 MORE DAYS until I run 100 miles. I am terrified, but excited. All at the same time.
I understand if y'all want to quit reading for the next few days because I will probably be a basket case!! 

For so long this day seemed like it was forever away. And now it's almost here. 
I can't wait! I will run (or walk) every single mile. Nothing will stop me. The pain of quitting would be worse than the pain I will be going through, so I will not stop. 

 Have you ever been a spectator at a race, instead of a runner?
 What did you do this weekend?


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Marathon Tidbits

I wanted to share some more details about my marathon on Saturday. I didn't want to make that post too long, so decided to do a separate one. 

  I'm sure you've heard how you're not supposed to try anything new at a race, right? Well, I broke that rule on Saturday.
 I always wear Brooks Pure Flo shoes. They're minimalist, and I adore them.
I had recently gotten some Skechers Go Run shoes. They are great for my short runs, but give me blisters on my long runs. So Friday I decided I needed some new shoes for the race. I went to Shoe Carnival, saw some that I liked, and bought them. They were not Brooks, and they are not minimalist. They are New Balance 1850. But they worked! I did get a small blister on the bottom of my foot, but my feet didn't hurt at all. But I would NOT recommend getting brand new shoes the day before a race.

One reason my Chicago marathon was so bad last year was because I didn't fuel properly. And I drank lots of Gatorade. This time I made sure to stay away from Gatorade, and to eat right!
Before the race started I had a banana and a Honey Stinger waffle, and then during the race, every 5 miles I had either a GU or Huma gels. The Huma company sent me their 2 new gels, Blueberry and Mango. They were SO good, and personally I liked them better than the GU's. They were easier to get down, and not as thick and gooey as GU. I also loved that they're 100% natural too. I'll definitely be buying more of these!

I got to see my race pictures. Here's a few of them. These perfectly describe the emotional turbulence I was going through. Happy, determined, wanting to cry, and then relief at the finish line.
One question though. Why do photog's have to take pics from the worst possible angle?? I mean who wants a pic of themselves from the ground- up, where you look as large as possible? At least if they took it from above, I might look a little thinner! But, they didn't ask my opinion.
 Well, it is what it is. My journey is not over!

One more thing, you know how my electronics always either die right away, or are already dead at the starting line? I am happy to say, my ipod, phone and Garmin lasted through the WHOLE race. I was a very happy camper.

What do you use to fuel with during your races?
What kind of shoes do you wear?

Monday, April 14, 2014

Carmel Marathon recap

Saturday I ran marathon #4,  the Carmel Marathon!
 This was my very first marathon a year ago, so I was really excited about running it again. To make things even better I got to run with Amanda, from Too Tall Fritz again (we ran Chicago together). 
 We went to bed early Friday night, although neither of us slept very well, and woke up before 6 Saturday morning. Last year the temps were in the 30's, so I was very happy that Saturday was in the 50's.

  We got to the race and found Mike, from Run Nerds Rock. It was nice to finally meet him!
Now about the race. My time last year was 5:31. My fastest marathon was 5:21. So I was hoping for anything under that. Was 5:15 too much to ask for? I didn't think so. This was a pretty flat course, with only a few small inclines. 
I finished the first half in 2:34. I was so happy about that, because I was going slower than I knew I could, since that's what you're supposed to do. I might just get a PR!
Well, after mile 16 it all went down from there. I don't know what was wrong with me. I honestly have no clue. My body felt great. I wasn't hurting anywhere, no aches or pains, I felt good!
But as you can see, I walked a lot the second half.

My official finishing time was actually 5:40, I forgot to stop my Garmin.
Mile 20 was when I started feeling DONE. The sun was blazing and there was no shade, it was pretty hot.
Around that time someone came running up to me and asked if he could give me a compliment. Umm, yes please! I need something!! He said I had the longest, leanest legs he'd ever seen and how nice they were, and that I looked great. He said they gave him incentive to catch up to me. He wasn't being creepy, just being nice and encouraging me. It felt like I'd been given a shot of energy after hearing that! 

  The remaining 6.2 miles were hot and slow. It was very, very tough. I would never quit, but I was definitely thinking I'm never doing this again. (Although I have 3 more fulls already scheduled this year, AND my 100 miler) I was thinking I'm only doing half's from now on. Maybe 1 full a year. But no more than that. Ever!!

 But then I started thinking how good this was for me. If I always do things that are easy, I'll never know how tough I am. I NEED to do things that challenge me and push me to my limits. This is what I live for, this is what I love!
 Isn't it crazy the things we think about and tell ourselves at that point of desperation?

Finally I saw the finish line ahead, and I gave it my all. I saw my friend Andrew on the sidelines, cheering me on. Then I saw Amanda and Julie. And it was all worth it. That feeling of finishing. When you have no more to give, yet you keep on going. It's all worth it. 
 And you know what? I'll do it all again. I'll do over three times that many miles in 2 weeks. And I will love (with a little bit of hate) every single minute.

 After the race I stayed the night with some friends in Indy. They cooked a delicious dinner for me, and then we went here. They know me well!

We ended the night with wine and the hot tub. I cannot tell you how good it felt on these sore legs!
Even though I am incredibly disappointed with my time, it was still an excellent race. One I will definitely do every year. All I can do is keep trying. I am determined to get faster! After my 100, I am going to start working on my speed. I'm going to keep trying for a sub 30 5k, which I wasn't able to achieve last year, but I'm GOING to do it this year. My next full is the Air Force marathon in September, I WILL get that 5:15 then.


Friday, April 11, 2014

Answers to your questions!

It's Friday, which means tomorrow is marathon day!! Woohoo! More on that later...

In my last post, I asked you guys to ask me questions. Anything at all, and I would answer them. So here's your questions, and my answers. 

Diana asked:
What 100 mile race are you doing? The Indiana Trail 100
Is there a time cutoff? Yes, 30 hours

What if you have to pee? =) There are bathrooms at every aid station, which are every 4 miles. If I can't wait that long, there are plenty of trees to hide in!

Carie asked:
Personal: What is your faith or religion? Do you go by a certain denomination? I am a Christian, not part of any denomination.
Random: What is your favorite ice cream flavor?! Cookies and Cream!
Odd/Creepy: What would be worse: Missing a PR on a race because you had to stop and pee OR getting a PR because you skipped the port-a-potty and crossed the finish line having peed your pants?! Oh Carie, you crack me up! Probably missing a PR because I had to stop and pee. That would be awful!

Jojo asked:
What's your favorite distance to race? Half marathon's are my favorite.

How much do you think you spend on running (gear, races, etc)?
I have never kept track of it. Just guessing, maybe $800-$1000 a year, including everything.

What's the thing you most hate about running? I hate getting blisters! I will be using blister pads for tomorrows marathon, I hope that will prevent them.

Julann asked:
How do you find the time to run as much as you do? I don't have children (just 2 teenage stepsons), so I have plenty of free time for my long runs on Saturdays. During the week I either run outside in the evenings after dinner or during the day on my treadmill, when daycare kids are napping.
How many calories are you consuming to keep up with the running? I've never counted my calories, but I probably average 1500 a day. (Which is probably too low)
What are your three favorite items in relation to running / working out? #1 My shuffle ipod (HAVE to have music), #2 Garmin watch, #3 Compression socks. (I can tell such a difference when I wear them during long runs.)

Teresa asked:
 I tend to have tummy issues when I run farther then 15 or so miles. When doing a training run I have to make sure that I am near a restroom for when I get "that feeling." With so many marathons and now your 100 miler coming up, have you ever had to deal with this problem before?? I've only dealt with this once, and that was at my Chicago marathon. I figured out the reason for that was the Gatorade, which I hadn't used during a run before. I know a of of runners who deal with this a lot, so I'm very thankful I don't!

Christa asked:
What's your favorite kind of ice cream? Cookies and cream

Abby asked:
 How will you stay fueled for a 100 miler? The aid stations, which are set up every 4 miles, will be stocked with water, electrolyte drinks, sodas and a large assortment of food. I will bring GU's, peanut m&m's, honey stinger waffles and maybe some energy bars. I will wear a hydration pack with water as well.

Sarah asked:
I was wondering if you can have babies..I have only been following for maybe 6 months or so (I think) and from what you express you love kids and have been married for quite some time: As far as I know I can, but my husband doesn't want any. 

Rebecca Jo asked:
Running: Funniest Race moment? This really got me thinking...I don't even remember one!
What is your one dream race you hope to do one day? I would love to do a race in another country sometime. Preferably Italy or Rome.
Creepy? Shower or bath kinda gal? :) Shower. Although bath's are quite lovely too!

Michelle asked:
Fav place to travel to? Hilton Head, South Carolina. :)
Fav "bling" that you received at a race? My Nashville Women's half marathons are my favorite bling's. 2 years ago was a guitar medal, and last year was cowboy boots medal!
Best post race meal? As long as ice cream is involved, I'm good with anything!

Maggie asked:
How did you meet your husband? We met at church 9 years ago.

Ruud asked:
Food: worst thing you have ever eaten.... Mussels!
Who or what was your biggest inspiration for signing up for a 100 miler? Nothing and no one. I didn't even know anyone who had ever done a 100 before. I just thought it sounded like fun and I wanted to do it!

In just a little while, I'll be headed to Carmel, IN, to run marathon #4, the Carmel Marathon! 

 Are you running or racing this weekend?


Wednesday, April 9, 2014

What's your question??

As I was reading my friends the 3 Cheap Runners  blog the other day, they said if we had any questions, to ask them anything. And that made the light bulb in my head start blinking. What a brilliant thing to do!

 So, being inspired by them, I will say the same thing.
Do you guys have a question for me? It can be about anything at all. My 100 mile training, my marathons, why I love ice cream so much, my weight (Ok, totally kidding about that one). Or if you just have a personal question, ask away!

 I will answer all your questions on my next post.


Monday, April 7, 2014

Seen on my run in Hilton Head

Well, I'm back home from Hilton Head. I had such an amazing time. I feel refreshed and renewed...and ready to go back.
 One thing I loved about it was all of the bike trails that were there. They were everywhere. It was so nice to just walk out the door and start running. It was absolutely beautiful!

I would never get tired of this!
I was so happy to see this water fountain! I didn't bring any water with me, so this was a beautiful sight.

I knew this would be my last run here, so it was slow and easy. I wanted to just take it all in. And of course take lots of pics too.

Charity took this photo during our beach run. She is a professional photographer and does excellent work. Check out her website!

Thursday night we got all dressed up and went out on the town.

I had such an amazing week. I can't wait to go back.

Now I'm preparing for my marathon on Saturday! I'll be running the Carmel Marathon again, which was my very first marathon ever. So it'll be really special to do it again!

How was your weekend? Did you run or race?


Friday, April 4, 2014

Mussels and tattoos in Savannah

My vacation is almost over. It has been amazing!
On Wednesday Charity and I went to Savannah, GA. I booked a tour on the trolley for us. Amazing. (My word for the day) I love taking tours and learning about the history of towns. It's so interesting.
I didn't get as many pictures as I would've liked to. My phone never lasts long enough. But I did get a few!
Riding the trolley
 There were so many beautiful gardens and parks.

 We went to a really good Shrimp cafe/restaurant on the river. Charity forced me to try mussels. I knew I would hate them, but told her I would try them. I thought I was going to gag! They're slimy and a little chewy. The texture is awful. It just tasted like how dead fish smell. Not a fan.
 My shrimp sandwich and shrimp bisque was amazing though.

We stopped in this beautiful church. Absolutely breathtaking.

After spending the day in Savannah, we decided to make another stop. Here. For this.
 Trying to take my mind off the pain, I was dreaming about my 100 mile race. That won't hurt nearly as bad as this tattoo!

Beauty from ashes. It's from Isaiah 61:3. That verse is the promise from God that I hold onto. 

One last pic from my morning beach run. This place takes my breath away. I think I could live here and be very happy.

Do you like mussels?

Have you been to Savannah?

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