Friday, April 30, 2010

One more day

Nerves. I cannot believe that the marathon is almost here. It's been 18 weeks and here we go. My goal is to finish within 3 hrs 45 min. I'm actually almost hoping to just finish, considering the shin splint I have. I haven't run much at all the past two weeks so here's to rest, stretching, icing, and shin compression sleeves! I'm looking forward to the atmosphere of a running event, especially one this large. I know there are 8000 marathon runners and who knows how many 1/2 marathon runners. That's an awesome number! Then we will finish on the 50 yard line at the Nebraska Cornhuskers football stadium. I told everyone I would convert to a Nebraska fan if I qualify. I got "the eye" from a few Hawk fans and my hubby, but if I do qualify, I would have good feelings from that field. I couldn't NOT convert! It's not like I would choose Nebraska over Iowa or anything, or even Iowa State, I would just choose Nebraska over the likes of Oklahoma and all those other Big 12 teams (except for State). Anyway, here's also to barfing on the big "N" at the end, to converting to the Big Red, and having fun while at it. WIsh me luck. I will post sometime on Sunday. I think. :)

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Roller coaster ride

The past few weeks have been a roller coaster ride. I would prefer a real one to this, but I get what I get! I have three days until the Lincoln Marathon. I really honestly have no idea if I will be able to complete this race. When I was feeling leg pain a few weeks ago, I had no idea it would turn out to be a very severe shin splint. It's one of those that's absolutely terrible when running, but you can walk around just fine. It's like a sick joke that my leg was pulling on me. I took all last week off from running. I went to the gym on Friday and did the elliptical with no problems. I was in a good mood until about noon, when I got a really bad sore throat. Two days later, I could still barely breathe and didn't care about the leg! Anyway, my cold is better, lots better, and I ran two miles fast this morning. It felt great! It's a few hours later, and it's a tad sore, so I'm taking very good care. I have two more days off, then another slow two miler. Then we head to Lincoln Saturday afternoon!
Anyway, it's been interesting to say the least. I have been very depressed about not being able to run, and now I'm so nervous about actually being able to do it, my stomach is already going crazy!
As for the kitties, I have a foster kitty who will head to a farm in a few weeks. She is soo sweet, so if anyone is reading this and wants a spayed and vaccinated inside cat at little or no cost, PLEASE EMAIL ME!! Her name is Kim and she's a doll.
My kittens went to the adoption center on Monday. They have settled in well and one was preadopted on Monday afternoon by a new Morningside College Graduate. Four more!
We have so many more available there, so come check them out!
More later....of course, by Sunday evening. I could be celebrating or rehabilitating...we shall see! I do thank all my friends and family who have prayed for my leg to heal fast. I still need those prayers of support, so keep 'em coming! I want to qualify for the Boston Marathon and put this 18 week training chapter behind me, once and for all. (At leat I think it will be behind me.) I want to take the summer off and just have fun with my friends and the kids. I want to camp at Mt. Rushmore and along the Missouri. Please, dear Lord, let me qualify!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Two Weeks

Two weeks. It's been sixteen weeks since I started my 18 week advanced marathon training program. It was the week between Christmas and New Years. A lot has changed in those 16 weeks. Some of it has been good, some of it not so good, but that's life. But....two weeks. Within two weeks, fourteen days, I will know if one of my dreams that I never knew I had will come true. In fourteen days I will know if I can accomplish something that I never thought I could. In fourteen days I will be running my heart out for 26.2 miles. I truly believe that I can accomplish my time goal. The questions remaining are things out of my control. I have done the training, the rest is up to nature. God only knows, God only knows.
One thing that has me unnerved and I hesitate to bring it up is that my leg hurts. It started hurting during my "hell" week last week and it hasn't really gotten better with reduced mileage. I took a few more days off this week as to hopefully help whatever it was to heal. It's not really working, so I'm going to just keep on keepin' on. We'll see what happens. I've read the books and I am doing the right thing. I won't risk my entire running life for this event. But it hasn't gotten to that point yet and I hope I won't have to make that decision. I am prepared to make it if it gets there.
I have had a lot of people tell me that I'm crazy. I take it that it's a good crazy. I hope that my boys will someday understand what it is that their mom is doing. Right now, they just know that I'm gone a lot in the morning and tired a lot in the afternoons because of running. They know that I talk a lot about it. I think they like to watch me finish, and maybe some day, I can watch them finish, probably from wwwaaaaayyyyy behind them. I hope they will learn from me. I hope they will see me persevere and work hard and try and try and try. I hope they will see me succeed. And I hope they are filled with a sense that they can do anything as long as they set their minds and do the work, however hard, sweaty, and tiring. Whatever that thing is they want, whether it's a career, a sport, a girl, a nice yard, I just hope they can look at their parents and see us work to get what we want, stop when we have or need to, but see themselves as "doers" and not just "dreamers". I say they can do their it.
I hope my friends and family can see what I have done and maybe look at themselves differently. Maybe they can try something unusual or extreme. Well, it's not like what I'm doing is really that unusual.....I just don't personally know many people who run marathons. I would like to, but I just don't. I hope other moms can step outside of their families and do something for themselves, whatever it may be, if there's something they want to do. I am a wife, a mother, a daughter, a sister, a volunteer. I am also I runner. It's a huge part of my life, it's my out, my therapy. I wouldn't be me if I couldn't run. I don't view it as being selfish to run. I view it as a necessity for my well-being, my health, my sanity. So if there's something that YOU want to accomplish.....I say, GO FOR IT. Of course, be sure it's the right time, but GO FOR IT. Well, it's probably never the right time, but be sure it's an ok time. Then do it. Just do it.
As for me, I just want to run fast in two weeks. I don't know if it will happen this time, but I sure hope it will. I will give it my all, for my family, my friends, and mostly, for myself.
A good friend wrote me today, "Heaven bound but I'd love to run through Boston on the way!". I shall revise that to be, "Heaven bound but I'd really really really really really love to run through Boston on the way!". That pretty much sums up how I feel. And I appreciate friends like her who have supported me along the way, whether it's the marathon or as a mom. It's friends like her that make life so much more interesting and lovely. Thank you!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

A long week!

After 55 miles of running from Monday through Saturday, my dogs are tired. Dog tired! I did a brisk run on Friday, a 10 miler in 1 hour 21 minutes. Saturday was my last 20 mile prep run and was very happy with completing it in 2 hours and 55 minutes. That's an average of 8:48 per mile. Not too shabby when my goal is 8:29. We'll see in three weeks if I'll be weeping or shouting for joy!
The kittens I'm fostering are growing and changing every day! They are so cute and I suspect are trying to use the litter box. One was drinking from the water dish. He or she was not having the easiest time as I think some of the water was going up it's nose. They are very social and I will be posting pictures of them this week. They are a unique color, black with white thrown in. Two look like they dipped their tails in white paint. I really enjoy having them but I know they will have to go to the adoption center soon. I'll love on them while they're here, for sure!
I think there were a few adoptions over the weekend. Sammi, the very vocal and loving kitty wasn't there when I dropped off some stuff for Beth. All she wanted was for someone to pet her, so hopefully that someone came and found her.
Well, time to get some steak grilled. I was hoping to have some last night, but pasta was it, so steak is it tonite!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The cats.....

I have so many stories to tell about the cats. One is that three weeks ago, Lady and her three kittens went to another foster and I got Jazzmine and her five kittens, all of which are black. I have watched them grow (at some points, they were gaining 1 ounce per day!) and change. They are social since I go in their room all the time and talk to them, but their mother has other plans with me. I think if I didn't feed her, she would rather shred me and make bedding out of me. We'll see what happens after the kittens go to the store for adoption. She's a beautiful cat and a great mother so I hope she'll be able to be indoors.

The kittens I had before are at the adoption center. They are so big! Their personalities haven't changed much. The gray one and black one with white feet are very playful and social. The little black one who got sick while she was here is a quiet one who likes to observe. My little boy is a cat person, and he made her a little bed out of a cat toy and his coat. Two little sweethearts!

So many cats have been adopted and surrendered then adopted and more surrenders and adoptions. I can't tell you how many sob stories that Beth hears, some of which are true, some are not. Some people tell you that the cats are vetted and "I'll run and get the records for you", never to be seen again. Mysterious that they no longer answer phone calls either. We are here to help the cats so we can put up with this, but unfortunately, rules come about when people abuse trust. No more surrenders of "vetted cats" unless the records come with. No more lying!

The biggest story that I have is of Wonder- pictured above. He is on our website ( under "Cat Tails". He came on Friday, March 26th. He was a 1 year old pure white male kitty who had a congenital defect which made his eyes very small so he was blind. The woman who found him said she was driving to work one day in January, so there was a lot of snow on the ground. The lump of snow she saw didn't look quite right, so she stopped and saw this kitty laying on the ground. She took him in, took him in for a vet check and rabies shot, and kept him for two months in an extra room. She said he would come and lay on her and purrrr up a storm. I got to witness the purring, but I didn't have a place to let him come out and get comfortable since I have the loud kids and other curious cats. I didn't want to upset him. I contacted Animal Lifeline of Iowa in Des Moines, a no-kill shelter for special needs cats and dogs. They accepted him and had room for him! I made a trip for me and my two kids to drop off Wonder, see my friend Sonia, and visit my 95 year old grandmother. It was just meant to happen! I had such high hopes for this guy and knew that this shelter was the perfect place for him!
I went on Thursday, April 1st and dropped him off at their vet for a once-over. Come to find out when I checked on him Monday, he had an upper respiratory infection, which is pretty normal for cats under stress and exposed to the elements, so they medicated him to get him better. No biggie, right? Well, I just got word today that he had an uncommon form of demedex/mite which is on the skin, plus he injested it. He also had roundworms, which are treatable. Because of the type of lime/sulfer dip used for mite treatment that may not even work, coupled with the fact that he had the respiratory infection that could get very bad with the dip treatment, they decided the most humane thing to do was to let him go to the Rainbow Bridge. Let me just say that this shelter goes above and beyond anyone else I've ever known to save an animal, so when they decide to do that, it's absolute last resort. Check out their website and look at the stories and you will be amazed! ( Some cats have been there for years. I am confident that I did the right thing, they did the right thing, but my heart hurts for this guy because he should have never been out in the elements in the first place. He should have been indoors and cared for in a special way. He was a special cat to me the six days I had him here. I don't know if I've felt that way about a cat that fast so today is a sad day for me. I had a very different outcome worked out in my head. Animal Lifeline is having him cremated and will be returned to the shelter. This isn't what anyone expected or wanted, but it's best for him. That last thing anyone wanted was for him to have to suffer with the treatments.

I give a shout out to them and all they do.

As for my other cats, I have three personal cats left besides the foster mom with babies. I took Sunkist and Oliver to the adoption center. I feel like I am betraying them since they felt that my home was their home. I know they will find a good and loving home together. They are coming out more and are socializing well with the other cats.

Well, when you raise your glass of water, milk, pop, whatever at dinner tonight, please say a little thanks to God for bringing Wonder home. He finally got peace.

This is about the running....

There are going to be two new blogs, one about running, and one about the cats! This is about running....
The Lincoln Marathon is quickly closing in. Almost two weeks ago, I had my 2nd 20 mile long run. I ran it outside on my hilly course so I could get my leg muscles used to doing hills again. I knew it would be a good workout. I guess I underestimated how your body gets used to running without hills as it had been since November when I had been out on my normal course. The gym and treadmill are obviously flat. I was supposed to run this 20 miler in about 9.5 minutes per mile and I just couldn't keep that pace. I totally blame the hills, but as I'm learning, it's a lot about what you put in the tank that keeps you going! I wasn't worried about it because it sure was a good workout and my legs are getting their "hill" memory back!
I have had a problem with my attitude in the past few weeks too. I would say that in running, whether it be speed or distance, a large portion of it is mental. You can't have a good race if you're not mentally fit or physically fit. Let's say that I was pretty burned out last week, so I used the excuse of going out of town to take a few days off! The week was pretty slow as far as running was concerned so I felt it really wouldn't effect my total marathon preparedness. I also decided to run the Spring Thaw 10 mile race this past Saturday, and it just didn't go well. I would say that I was mentally there until my gas tank went on "E" after about mile 3. I knew I was in trouble but felt ok so kept going. I was going at about 8 minute miles or slightly less on average since the first mile was 7.5 min mile pace. After mile 5, I had to actually stop since it felt like someone was stabbing my gut with a very sharp knife. I had not eaten enough the night before (sorry portobello, you're not cutting the mustard as a pre-race dinner) and the morning of. I didn't think it would be a big deal...boy, was I wrong! And by the way, stir fry isn't a good choice either unless at least half is noodles or rice. Yup, learned the hard way on that one too. I was hoping to run the 10 miles in just over 80 minutes but I trucked in at just under 90 minutes. Not shabby at all, although there were SO MANY fast runners out that day! Wow! I gotta hand it to the one who ran at 6-7 min mile pace. I saw her pass when I wasn't even at mile 6...way to go and I wish I could run like that! I was just so upset that day because I knew what I COULD do, which was a lot better than what I actually did do. I even cried.

I am a very competitive person, so I decided on Monday afternoon that I couldn't let a bad run spoil the marathon prep. Tuesday's running schedule had a 10 miler on it, but there was rain in the forecast, so I ran my 10 miler Monday outside on the hills and lo and behold, ran it in less than 9 minute mile. I was so happy and came in to tell my hubby "THAT's how a 10 mile run should go!". The past two days have been 4 and 5 miles on the treadmill and tomorrow starts back with the speedwork that I haven't done in two weeks. I will go to the track so I can get accurate distance times. They're sort of fun when it's light 800 meters at 3.5 minutes, then walk 200 meters. Yes, I said fun. Then Friday will be a 10 mile run at race pace so I will do that at the track too to get accurate mile splits. Saturday is my last 20 mile prep run before the marathon. Nerves are starting.
I'm working on my iPod playlist for the marathon too. I get in such a grumpy mood when it comes to music so I'm shortening my normal running playlist and repeating several of my kick butt songs. I got a good one from a commercial and some from the Genius thing on iTunes. I'll report back after Saturday's run.....just no injuries is all I can really ask for!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Lots and lots and lots

There has been so much going on and I haven't had time to write. I promise that I will write over the weekend and update you on some really fun and interesting events!