Monday, October 26, 2009

More info from marathon

It has been a week and I am ready to start getting ready for another marathon. Luckily for my knees, there's none close to here until I shall be patient, rest up, then begin my training just as the holiday season arrives. That will keep me out of the eggnog!
There were a few things from the marathon that I had wanted to write about but had forgotten, plus I didn't want to make the thing about 25 pages too long. So here goes...
During the first few miles while running in South Sioux, a man ran past me on the right side. He was running in the grass, which I found to be easier on the body, but slower than the pavement. Then I caught a glimpse of...what? TOES? Could that be?? No..... so after the half point, after Stone Park, I saw a bare foot print in the mud. Goodness, it IS someone running with bare feet! Mark Mechaley was inspired by "Born to Run" that talks about the Tarahumara people of northern Mexico. He said that shoes can give people a false sense of stability, so he ran without. For 26.2 30-some degree weather. I prefer shoes any day! But I give him a ton of credit for this. He finished in 50th place by the way, which was a time of 3 hrs and 42 min. Wow.
Another point of interest is that after I was done running and trying to figure out why my time wasn't registering, my mom and I saw a man finish who was dressed exactly like Forrest Gump. With the beard, sweatshirt, 80's shorts, tennies, and the hat, he looked the part and I really wish I could have gotten a picture of him. Now I want to enter a marathon where there's a theme and I can act as KraZy as I want without looking strange. During this run, when I was at mile 1, I wanted to yell very loudly "WE ONLY HAVE 25.2 TO GO!!!!!". There were some crickets and maybe a runner who would have heard me, so I will save this outburst for when others can hear. Hopefully they don't try and trip me.
So I started back to running this morning and it was good. Going for a 10 miler in the morning so better get some sleep, which I've just had way too little of over the weekend.
Oh, and I got six kittens last week...three boys, three girls. So Cindy, Greg, Bobbey, Marsha, and Peter were adopted. Poor little Jan is left. She's great so we expect her to be adopted by the weekend as well.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Ready, Set, RUN!

Picture: Beth and me and some random kids :)
Preparation: Mentally and physically preparing to run a marathon. Step one, be sure to be hydrated. I quit drinking caffeinated coffee a few weeks ago and started drinking more water and milk. The day before the race, I was sure to drink several bottles of water, but I didn’t force myself to drink. My nerves kicked in Thursday and were bothering me so much on Friday I had to force myself to eat. Not unusual for me, but was annoying.
Step two: Be sure to have good music for the run. There’s nothing worse than running by yourself on a boring course. Sorry Siouxland Marathon, it’s pretty, but not interesting. Large crowds are fun to run in and there's just not a lot of people around. I need tunes. Because my MP3 player beeps between each song every few weeks and I could NOT figure out how to get it stopped, I was given a very generous gift from a friend of mine…a pink iPod. We spent a few hours downloading (or is it uploading?) music to it for the run. If I had to run with the thing beeping between each song for 4 ½ hours, it would have been smashed to bits on Highway 12. There’s only so much I can handle.
Step three: Get up early before the race to eat and stretch. I was up at 4:45 Saturday morning and had a banana with peanut butter, water and some granola bar. I felt very good and was optimistic for the outcome of the run. My mom picked me up at 6 and I sat in her warm truck until about 10 minutes before the race started. Thanks, mom, it was great to chat with you and be distracted from what I was about to do!

We gathered to hear a very nice prayer and National Anthem. I thought there was construction in the distance, but it was just the chattering of everyone’s teeth. Boy was it cold!! It started at 7am with a beep (they didn’t use a gun for this one). There were two waves of starters, one at 7 and one at 8. The “over 5 hour” finishers were to start at 7. I went ahead with this group because I like to run early and I wanted to get it over with! There weren’t too many people who started at 7 and it was extremely peaceful. We wound around South Sioux City and along the river. A bike was in the front of the tiny pack, thank goodness, since it was very dark! After the first mile, I checked the time and found that it was at 8 min 50 sec. I thought to myself, “Whoa Nelly, you gotta slow the heck down, you can't keep up at this pace!” So I tried. After the 2nd mile, I checked again and found myself at 18 minutes. Well ok, SLOW DOWN. After four miles of “trying” to slow down, I decided that I had found my pace and was going to keep it. I am used to running on hills, so I figured that because this course was flat, just take advantage of it, stay at a comfortable pace, and GO FOR IT! During this time, I was thinking silly thoughts and decided to write a poem in my head (of course it would be in my head as who brings paper on a marathon?). It would be made from the titles on my iPod and others that fit. I won't share it here because it's long and strange but here's a line or two: "It's a beatiful day but I need a new drug because I got bad medicine for this cat scratch fever. I won't ever say that I'm not running anymore because it's like a river of love and it only makes me stronger. I did it!" At the time, it was really funny and entertained me for a few miles.

I digress. Before we crossed the bridge into Sioux City, I saw the port-a-jons and decided to utilize one while I could. When we ran over the bridge, the sun was coming up and it was so beautiful. I took a video with my iPod and will post this week. We ran on the riverfront trail from mile 6 for about three miles. There were people with water and fruit and power ade. One stop by Riverside ballfields had signs urging us to keep going and had a Maragaritaville theme. It was fun to see although thinking of drinking anything but water or power ade was nauseating. I do remember them having cut up bananas for the runners, which was unexpected and very generous.

I was counting down until the half way since Andy and the boys were going to meet me. Before the half way, we wound around the riverside neighborhood and met one very steep yet short hill. Then we were thanked with a very long downhill stretch. I like to lengthen my strides going downhill to use gravity for my advantage.
At mile 13 and 13.1 I looked and looked for Andy and/or our truck. Nope, wasn’t there. I was hoping that the boys weren’t sick (Tyler had flu last week and Ryan was on the verge) or they didn’t get lost or something. I was upset as I wanted to see their faces and needed some food-gu (basically discusting but much needed carbs for energy), some granola, and new gum! After I topped the hill after the exact half point, I saw them and was so relieved! I got some medicine for my silly headache (silly wasn’t what I was thinking but that’s what I’ll say here) and took off my ear things and gloves, which I found out later was a huge mistake, and had some food. I got energized and told Andy that my strategy was to tackle the hills and try to keep at my 9 minute mile pace. I thought that after the race, if I looked back and thought I could have done better, I would be upset. So my thing was to do the absolute best I could instead of taking it slow at the beginning and go faster, if I could, at the end.
Kudos to Great West for a really fun water stop. Music was blaring and they were cheering loudly although I was the only one near at the time. It helps and is appreciated! We ran along Highway 12 for about 3 miles (this is where my patience would have run out and I would have smashed my beeping MP3 player into bits) and at mile 16, we headed into Stone State Park. Yikes. There was a water and gu stop before “the hill” and someone handing out water said “Have fun on the hills!”. Grrrrrr. I saw the first stretch and tackled it with all my energy. I went to a 10 minute mile pace for the next mile, which had a few steep hills and some flat parts. Then one more steep climb met us with the top, probably around mile 17.5. Whew! Not as bad as what I thought it would be. It wasn't easy by any means though. We were then rewarded with a very nice loooong downhill run for a few miles. I went for it and picked up the pace. Why not, I knew I had less than 10 miles left!? Go for it became my mantra. I had to retie my shoes along here and since I took my gloves off earlier, my fingers were like ice cubes. It doesn’t work well when you need to tie shoes quickly. Just put your hands under freezing water for about 10 minutes, try and tie your shoes and you’ll understand what I mean. They did soon warm up though. I zoned into running so don’t have any fun or quirky thoughts to write about for pretty much the rest of the run. I was hurting a little, of course, was tired, and was wondering where all the walkers came from. Was I was going the right way (of course I was, it was well marked) or miss something? I couldn’t do the math and figure out that the half marathon started 30 minutes before I got to that point so they were just that far ahead of me. I didn’t pick that up until after we were done. It did give me something to think about though.

Around Mile 21, it got really confusing. I was running on the sidewalk going one way, others were on the road, going the other way. Did I miss something again? There weren’t other runners there so I was just wondering if I had gone the wrong way. Nope, saw the 21 mile marker, so kept going. It was confusing at one point and I know one runner took the wrong way. He ran the same distance but just went the opposite direction on the circle part of the route.
Andy and the boys were there again at the 21 mile marker and between 22 and 23 along with my friend Anne and her 3 kids. It was so energizing to see them there cheering me on. One of them even yelled “Good luck Kelli!” to me. So sweet and appreciated so much!

Thankfully, I never hit the “wall” that is most dreaded in marathon running. Let’s just say that at mile 23, I knew I couldn’t go faster, but I wasn’t going to slow down either. My legs hurt and I was just plain tired, but I knew we were almost there. This part of the route was on the Perry Creek Trail, which is actually very nice! There was a water stop along this way decorated in pink, which I totally loved. (I had pink finernails, toenails, hair thingy, shirt, and gloves. I love pink. It was for the Race for Life next year. They were handing out pink beads, which I declined, then regretted that I declined. BUT another mile down the way I found two sets of beads by the trail, so I picked them up and wrapped them in my hands. I will keep at least one set forever, just to remember that moment and for all the women who couldn't run. Connie Prince Houlihan, the best female runner I have ever seen, ran by somewhere along this trail. She won the entire race in 3 hours 4 minutes! WOW! Remember that I had been running an hour longer than she had. And she's 52.
When I saw the mile 25 marker, I turned to my favorite inspirational song, Stronger, by Kanye West. I don’t think it really has anything to do with sports, but the words are true “N-n-not that that don’t kill me, can only make me stronger…” I love running hard to this song and it really helped me think about what I was accomplishing and what I was blessed enough to be able to do. So went for it, picked it up a little, and ran to the finish. The 26 mile marker was right before a turn, so at that point, I was exhausted and couldn’t “KICK IT” like I usually do. I ran for the finish, heard my friends and family cheering for me, and crossed the line in 4 hours, 12 minutes 39 seconds.
Mission: Accomplished.

Thank you to Andy, Tyler, Ryan, Mom, Beth and Larry, and Anne, Paul, Drew, and Kia. You gave me inspiration and I thank you so much for being there for me at a very important time in my life!

I got a cool medal, 93rd of 170 overall, 26th of 67 women, and 9th of 14 in my age group. Not too shabby!

How do I feel the day after? Ouch. My 2nd toe hurts and I expect I will lose my nail. My legs are tired but especially on the side joint and knees. Other wise I'm doing well. I got lots of sleep and hydration yesterday, thank you mom!
I am very proud and lucky to be able to do this and to have the support of my friends and family, especially you, Andy. I am amazed at the limits that I can push my body and how well it responds. I am thankful to Beth and Paw Prints for giving me the inspiration to set this goal of Running for a Paws and for supporting me in it. Thanks to my sister for her words of encouragement on Friday as well. You'll blog about your marathon some day too!
It doesn’t stop here. There’s so much more I can do. And I will!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Day after Tomorrow; Lovie was adopted!

No, it's not a movie title, just a very important day in my life. Yes, I keep going on and on about it, but it's consuming almost all of my thoughts. I guess it's a good thing to get mentally prepared, yet another to get mental about it! I just need to calm a little and focus. It's hard to when I'm running my arsk around doing other things, but tomrrow will have to be the day to really get down to mentally preparing myself for this race. It's more of a run than a race.

Great news is that Lovie was adopted today. Beth took her to Petsmart and a few hours later, she went home with her new family with a playmate, Murphy.

I'm so happy that she has a loving home!! What a darling and my family and I will sure miss her so much!
I also learned something today that will change Paw Prints and the animals of Siouxland forever, for the good. I can't say anything, but good things are coming. Keep posted.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Welcome to any new readers!

The purpose of this blog is to detail my experiences being an active volunteer for Siouxland Paw Prints Rescue in Sioux City, Iowa. I was introduced to this organization, run by Beth Storm and Kris Kava, just about a year ago and began fostering a pregnant cat, then a dog with 9 newborn puppies. I wanted to do something "bigger" this spring and since I love to run, I decided to start my "Running for a Paws" campaign. I have asked all my friends and family for donations along with those I have done business with. I haven't gotten the best response from those that I don't know, but I am not done yet! I have run over 50 miles in races, trained for 700 miles since March 1st, and have fostered over 50 cats since I started this thing. And I love it. The purpose is to raise awareness along with the funds. I was very hesitant about getting involved since I knew I would learn things that happened to animals that I didn't really want to know. But it has been good for me and has "fired me up" to keep making a difference and to try to make a bigger one next year.

On Saturday, October 17th, I will complete the 2009 campaign by running the Siouxland Lewis & Clark Marathon.....26.2 miles. I have run two marathons before, but they were before my two children were born, so it's a different ballgame now! My goal is to finish around 4.5 hours, but with me being sick the past few weeks and my son having the flu currently, I'm just shooting for less than 5 hours!

I have received almost $2000 in donations and have pledges, most being $1 per mile run in races, totaling about $1000. I just cannot wait to present this pledge money to Beth and Kris, hopefully the very beginning of November!

I am a foster to 10 cats/kittens now, one being more permanent than the others. He is Tycoony, or Grandpa, that I blogged about the other day. He is 14 so I assume that there's not a lot of people who would want to take him on, given that he could have medical issues any day. Then again, I have an 18 month old cat with health issues now too, so you just never know!

I have a lot of stories to tell in the coming months. I am sure I will have a lot of complaining to do with running outside in the ccccold too! I get sooo tired of the treadmill so I make a go of it outside as long as it's safe. My youngest is now in preschool a few times a week so I'm hoping to get outside in the real winter months since I can get out when it's light out. Then I won't have to worry about sliding on my backside down a hill!

Enjoy the blog and please do email me with any comments or really, anything! If you are looking to adopt or want to volunteer or donate, again, please email me! I check my email every day now that I missed a month and missed some really important issues.
Thanks for reading!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Running for a Paws

This is what Siouxland Paw Prints Rescue is all about. These cats would most likely not be alive today if they hadn't cared enough to start Paw Prints and to take in these cats when they have so many to take care of already. Two were left in a cardboard box at Petsmart. Can't remember where the others were from, but it sure wasn't a nice home with lots of food and love! It's expensive, stressful, but oh so rewarding. My marathon is in just a few days and I'm hoping to bring more awareness to what Paw Prints is all about. If you happen to be at the race this Saturday in downtown Sioux City, look for my tired face and body with my Running for a Paws shirt on!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Tycoony & Freaking...a little

Picture: Lovey loving on Tycoon Kitty, Cooney wondering why I'm flashing this thing at him and won't let him go back to sleep.
This is the final week of prep for the marathon. I have my menu all planned out and groceries purchased, except for fresh fruit of course. I'm starting to freak a little...will it rain, SNOW? How will my legs be since I have been sick the past few weeks? Will I hit the wall at 20? 21? At all? Will the whole race be like the wall? Will I meet my goal time? Will I throw up at the end? Will anyone be there to see me finish? How steep are the hills? Will I need to walk up them? What if I trip? What if I need a short sleeved shirt part way through? What if my shoes get wet? See what I mean? Yup, I'm freakin.

Anyway, I've been doing some things for Paw Prints to prepare for the craft fair in November. It's going to be really cool...we have some neat things so come's all for the cats we have- nothing is taken for overhead.
I wanted to write the story of Tycoon Kitty, Tycoony, or Grandpa as we call him. My friend, a high school classmate, works for a dog rescue in Des Moines, so she totally gets the animal loving thing. Her brother is going through a divorce and took his 14 year old cat to live in an insulated shed at his parent's house. My friend saw him looking out the shed window meowing to himself, so she called me. That's no way for a cat to live. No matter what. I couldn't really do anything at the time, but just couldn't stop thinking about him and how he must have been thinking "what did I do wrong?". A few weeks ago, we brought him HOME. He lives with the other fosters in our basement (it's finished) and seems to be pretty happy. I did mistake his emotions and thought he was playing and found out the painful way that no, he wasn't, and he didn't appreciate my hand on his head. He walks around a lot but when I come downstairs several times a day, he comes walking over. He also needed some help with the litter box situation. After I put it where he was going, he decided to just go in it. Hopefully that continues when I move the thing back. I pick him up a lot and he curls up in my arms and he purrrs and kneeds his clawless paws. That reminds me, Goldie is now declawed. I couldn't take the shredded carpet....I digress.

So our new family member is getting along just ok. That's a LOT of adjustment for an old cat to make...home to shed to other home to other home to other home with tons of kittens wanting to play with tail. He's relatively grumpy if he gets upstairs, but I think it's almost just desserts for Goldie, who spent months chasing other cats.

My lecture of the day is...if you take the responsibility to adopt a pet, you don't try and fit them into you do it. It's like having children. Your new landlord doesn't take pets? Find a new landlord. What would you do if they said no kids, just let Grandma take the kids for your convenience? It's not right, not fair, and extremely selfish. So here is Paw Prints, taking care of the animals that YOU committed to but just decided that something else came along. And by the way, Grandpa cat hadn't been to the vet in 10 years, and had ear mites so bad that his ears were full and all misshapen, as you can see in the picture. End of lecture.

Tycoony is happy, healthy, well fed, loved, and warm. Thanks Paw Prints, I couldn't have done this without you! (My friend wouldn't have known I was into rescue so he would still be living in a glorified shed.) Thanks Court, for loving him enough to know what's best for him and for asking for help!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

In one week from right now, I will have completed something that I never thought I would...another marathon. At least that's the way it's supposed to be! I am getting nervous about it, especially with this horrible cough I have had for the past week. I was up for about 3 hours last night coughing. I'm guessing that my abs are getting a nice workout! My back hurts from it though.
I have the entire week's meals planned out. They are mild yet rich in carbs and protein. I won't be having much caffeine at all and absolutely no wine or beer. I am hoping beyond all hopes that it will not be rainy next Saturday morning. It can be cold and windy (preferably not) but just not rainy! I'm getting all the songs I want downloaded to my MP3 player for running entertainment, and I will be doing several short runs this week, plus stretching. After the run, I'm very excited to start taking up yoga. I tried it once this summer and am looking forward to strengthening my muscles and getting more flexible.
I am still taking pledges for my run....I'm asking for $35 donations, all tax deductible. And I have a sneaking feeling that my "Running for a Paws" cause will continue into 2010.....

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Some of My Kittens to Petsmart

Kitties: Lovey- Orange Tabby
Flower (we renamed him T-Bone)- Black with white
Edith- Calico
I admit today that it is extremely hard to be a kitty foster parent. They come to you so scared and hungry and tired. You take care of them and they learn to trust you and love you. They are happy. Then you take them to Petsmart in good faith so they can find a loving forever home so you can help more kitties like them. They don't understand.
Edith and Flower came from a pretty bad situation. They were literally shaking like leaves on an Iowa October day. Now they wag their tails like puppies and purr so loudly and just love to be hugged and loved on. I need to take them to Petsmart so they can find new's just very hard for these babies I grow to love so much.

In some instances, life would be so much easier if I didn't care....but it sure would be empty.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

11 Days and Counting

Eleven days until the Siouxland Marathon. I'm getting nervous...will the weather be ok, will I feel ok, what do I wear, will my stomach hurt, will I lose the route and end up in LeMars, will my legs fall off in bits as I finish the last 10k? All these things run through my mind. I'm getting into mental race mode though...nothing that I know of can stop me. Pains, aches, all those are arriving this week with my cold, but I am determined to finish this race, hopefully running across the finish line!
I got a nasty cold last week. Ryan had pink eye on Wednesday, then was up practially all night Friday night with croup cough and high fever. Then Friday I started to feel bad, but felt better Saturday, thank goodness, as it was my 36th birthday. Then of all things, after flapping my yapper all day Saturday, I lost my voice on Saturday night and am still trying to find it. It's Tuesdsay. I did run 10 miles, 6 in the rain, on Monday. It felt good, although I could tell it had been a week since my last run. With the weather and sick kids, I just couldn't get one in! Ok, I could on the treadmill, but I'm not going there yet. No.
So I plan to run 10 again in the morning. The coughing hasn't affected the running, although I do lose about 90 minutes of really important sleep every night because of it. It's a dry hacking gagging cough that I can't control. I am really hoping that it doesn't come back tonite. I really dislike those zombie days when all I want to do is sleep. Pretty much nothing has been done in my house except for the litter boxes being cleaned out and my kids getting cared for and fed. Grrr. I don't like being so tired all the time.
I was so proud of my hubby, Andy, for running the Broken Toe run at Stone State Park on Saturday morning in the cold wet weather. He ran about 8 minute miles in the hills, and he hasn't run since JUNE. We are an athletic family, but JUNE? I don't understand that man's leg power. Anyway, we went to cheer him on and I will post pictures when I can figure out how to do it from that silly camera.
That is all for now. Kittens are to Petsmart this weekend, which hurts my heart, but I know I can't keep them all. I just have to trust that they will find loving forever homes.
Think of them today and wish them the best!