My Race to 3 Bridges Marathon 2017

I feel like I need a little redemption from November 2016. It was a pretty tough year battling constant infections in my kidney that landed me in the hospital just six weeks before my race. I stubbornly refused to just throw in the towel and not make the trip. I finished because I wasn’t going to let anyone see me quit, but man it was a bad race. It started off good, I blacked out at mile 12, convinced people to NOT make me end the race right there with a DNF (I have a really good talent at that apparently) and then proceeded to WALK 14 miles to finish the race in 6:35. Yeah, that took forever. I cried a lot.

I wasn’t certain I would run another marathon in 2017. I mean, I did kind of promise my kidney doctor I would take a break. But then I got on this new medication and it’s been really dangerous because it makes me feel like I am normal again. In a moment of weakness, I pulled the trigger for a small marathon in Little Rock, Arkansas. The course is pretty and all run along the river there. And yeah, over three bridges of that river. LOL

I will keep my training log on this page to keep it together.

img_5781Week 1: The week included an OCR run, a short base run, a 26 mile bike ride, a masters swim, and an 8.5 mile long run in this ungodly Dallas heat and humidity. So far everything feels good.

 

img_5920Week 2: I decided to double-up and do a Sunday 5 miler on tired legs to kick off my training. I got in a recovery swim, two masters swims, Tuesday and Thursday easy runs and my 10 mile long run. I’m definitely tired and need to get my legs back under me. But I’m ready to go!

 

img_5973Week 3: This weeks was amazing! I bit back the anxiety of not really knowing anyone and went to a Triple Threat Tough open water swim on Sunday. I swam about a mile and felt so so good! I did another mile pool swim on my own Monday and two masters swims this week. My Tuesday easy run was with my group and I ran with one of my athletes that needed a progression run. I pushed the pace and shouldn’t have because Garmin decided to tell me that I needed four recovery days and I was unproductive. Hahaha!!! But yeah, Thursday, I was so beat still, I couldn’t run. I just went straight to bed. I took Friday as a rest day and got my 12 mile long run in. It was super tough because of the ridiculous humidity. Please tell me the temperatures will drop soon?

img_6086Week 4: What a crazy week! Linda and I went to Waxahachie to check out the lake that next week’s triathlon will be at. We got about 1,000 yards in before the outer bands of Hurricane Harvey came in, so we called it a day. Two more really awesome masters swims this week too! My pace is really starting to drop. Woo hoo! Another easy Tuesday night run and a Thursday walk with my princess at the DRC Social Run and almost 13 miles for the long run. It was such a disaster because the map we were all using was wrong and missed a turn. We got more than a mile off course and had to do a lot of creative running. By the time I finished the run, I was ready to strangle people. The humidity is really starting to mess with me. The weather man promised it would be cooler next week.

img_6213Week 5: Wow, this has been a disaster. That long run last Saturday about destroyed me. I missed my swim with Andy at SMU on Sunday and missed the triathlon in Waxahachie on Labor Day because I was stuck in bed with a bad fever and another infection. I’m trying to stay positive. Tuesday’s masters swim was lower in volume and I felt like I couldn’t get it together. I elected to just coach my runners at the track Tuesday night, but I did get a mile in around the track after the sun went down. I got 200 yards in on Thursday at swimming before I threw in the towel as well. This week is a complete step back for me…

img_6344Week 6: This week has been a bunch of highs and lows. The long run was 14 miles and it felt really good because the weather finally relented and gave us lower humidity. Crushed it with some really solid fast miles while we were at it. Sunday I raced a sprint tri and it was so amazing. I was racing it for fun and just reminded myself to smile, despite some looming stuff going on in the background. I took Monday off as a gift to my body after two hard days. No apologies at all. I am so glad I took it. I had a solid swim on Tuesday followed up by a phenomenal fast run. My swim Thursday was the longest ever and I am still on a high from that. I’ve got my eyes on some great stuff in 2018, so I spent a lot of time really planning that out this week.

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Week 7: Hooray for cutback weeks! We knocked it back to a ten mile long run this week. Funny, we all spent the week saying “meh, it’s ONLY ten miles, that’s just cake.” In reality, not so much. Mother Nature decided it might be fun to kick our hineys another week. Thanks, hon. :\  Oh, and I *might* have bought a new tri bike. More later on that. HAHAHA. But on the running front, I totally killed my hill workout despite the fact that it was a million degrees with the sun beating down on me. NEVER. AGAIN.

img_6468Week 8: Holy Toledo! Is the heat EVER going to relent down here? Fourteen ugly, nasty, sticky, disgusting miles. Seriously, I should have chosen a goal race in February so I could start my training later in the fall. Slay the summer, rule the fall, right? Track night, some easy running, a little swimming, a little biking and maybe even a little yoga will round out this week.

 

img_6619img_6624Week 9: This is apparently going to be a lesson in how little training I can get before this race. I’ve dialed back any expectations and will enjoy the heck out of it. My long run was 16 miles, but when I woke up, my tummy was laughing quite a bit. I had water stop duty as a coach, so rather than set out the water and then run with the group, I took the morning off. I mean, seriously, it would have just been an exercise in running from porto to porto for sixteen grueling miles until I dehydrated myself and died. LOL I felt a bit better the next morning, but totally overslept, so I went out to see how far I could go. I managed to get a long lake loop in, about 11 miles and so I kept going. Emma called looking for breakfast, and it was really lunch time, so I cut it to an additional 30 minutes and ran just under 13 miles. It’s not ideal, not what was on the plan, and kind of messy, but I did what I was able to and gave myself some grace to be alright with it. The swims were way harder this week than I would like to admit. I figured if I was going to suck it up and be really slow, I would give the whole bilateral breathing a go again. Ironically, it started to finally come together. It was less of a lesson in waterboarding, so yay! The highlight of the training week, though, was heading up to McKinney (it’s SOOOO far away!) and riding bikes on the computrainer with Linda. We were riding the Austin course, but it was so so hard. It was comical by the time we finished. I ended up only riding for like an hour, while she rode for four. I seriously just spun and laughed and Instagrammed. Is that a word? It is now. We topped it off with some amazing smoothies from a bubble tea place up there. Oh! Tuesday night’s run totally got cancelled ten minutes in. We made it past the warm-up just in time for a big bolt of lightning to give a great show. We high tailed it right back to the cars and called it a night. My run training load was completely pathetic this week because I ALSO skipped my Thursday night run, but my calf was killing me, so maybe it all happens for a reason.

Week 10: Hooray! The long run is actually replaced by a 15K race for a time img_6639trial this weekend. Of course, I got pressed into duty to volunteer because the club was short handed. Lemons= lemoncello. I ended up doing my long run again Sunday and I got a little redemption from last Sunday’s debacle. It was as if the heavens chose to give me a darn break. When I began the run, it was in the 60s!!! Hallelujah! I used my time wisely and started playing around with intervals. Some miles were the usual 30:30’s. Some I went a little longer on the run, a little shorter on the walk. Then other miles I chose to extend out and do 60:30 or 90:30. img_6663What I finally finished the run with was a 30:30:60:30:30:30 sort of arrangement. I purposely didn’t watch my pace and just ran according to how I was feeling. I wanted to push just a little, but I wanted to still be able to speak. Only a few hours later when I had time to sit and see my splits did I find that I had hit some paces I hadn’t hit in more than 18 months. That could be super dangerous. I mean, I may think that I could actually not suck at my race this year. Yikes! Swimming has pretty much been a rinse and repeat every Tuesday and Thursday morning. I’m in total off-season mode, but love to swim, so this is how it will go. Cycling? Linda totally dropped me. She convinced me to bring out my new tri bike and ride on Wednesday – we haven’t become friends yet and I am super nervous to ride her. I did get into aero a couple of time on some straightaways for about 30 seconds. LOL

Week 11: Sweet mercy! 18 big ones this weekend. I jumped right in and img_6737figured we would see how it went. I cried, but not for a bad reason. We made it probably six miles in and Anabel and Linda start scheming to drive to Little Rock right after Linda’s daughter graduates with a crazy post-graduate degree the night before the race. They decide to drive late that night and come run my final marathon with me and I literally stop right in the middle of the run and start bawling. These girls are the most amazing out there. When you find your tribe, you damn well better love them hard. This is officially my tribe. ❤ The rest of the run was pretty uneventful, just like the rest of the week. I’m heading to New Orleans next weekend to see my baby boy crush Ironman 70.3 New Orleans and I couldn’t be more proud!

img_6866Week 12: What a whirlwind of a weekend. Sean and I flew to New Orleans on Friday, picked up a rental car big enough to transport baby boy’s bike, and made the drive to Baton Rouge. It was so good to see him and take him to dinner. We agreed to see each other in the morning after Sean and I raced at the Cane Field Classic. (I wrote a race recap on this!) As soon as the race was over, we raced back to the hotel to take showers, grab the kiddo and drive back to New Orleans. We got the bike checked in. The race site seemed a little disorganized, but I figured it was because it was NOLA and sometimes the alcohol wins out over organization. I went crazy in the merch tent and bought all kinds of goodies for Alex. The weekend pretty much went to shit after that. It rained so stinking hard that the race was cancelled. Everything was soaked. We were soaked. All that money, all that training, down the drain. The only thing we could do was load up and get him back to Baton Rouge and salvage a solid birthday lunch and maybe buy him something nice. Another drive back to NOLA to drop off the car and catch a flight home, and the weekend was done. I ran all of 7 miles this weekend and I’m totally cool with it. The rest of the week I kept my mileage low, but kept the intensity up. With it being my birthday week, I’m just trying to keep it all together.

Week 13: So, the big weekend is HERE! Linda’s 70.3. In a crazy mad dash, Ironman offered all the NOLA athletes $50 entry to Austin. I was already going to be there and the hotel was already booked, so Alex begged to make it happen. We sorted out how to make the 7 hour drive, and he set off. I spent the ENTIRE weekend being sherpa queen. We will just leave it at that. I’ll probably do a recap of the weekend later when I can fully digest what the hell happened. Exhausted doesn’t even begin to describe this week and I didn’t compete. I didn’t run a lick the whole week because of the DRC Half coming up, either. This could get ugly. My marathon is looking like it may end up pretty sad.

Week 14: Hallelujah! The DRC Half was this weekend and it’s finally over. There was so much awesome this weekend. I’m tired, but ready to now focus img_7313on my own goals. Even though I didn’t run the race (I RAN the race…), I did log something like 14 miles on my feet that day. It was pretty crazy. My run made an unexpected appearance on Monday and I busted out some great splits for almost 5 miles. Sean ran with me and we just decompressed from the weekend, talking about what we wanted to accomplish. I think he img_7244has decided that he will run with me and the girls in Little Rock and just make it a celebration of the end of my marathon chapter. The Tuesday night run was flipping COLD! OK, let’s back up a bit. It was like 94 degrees on Sunday and runners were dropping like flies out there! How is it now in the 40’s?!?! Come on Mother Nature, this is stupid. I’m pretty sure my bike misses me. I have the best of intentions of riding, but it just doesn’t happen. I NEED to fix this… At least I can swim???

 

Week 15: This was a big benchmark week of running – 18 miles with my best running buds! The run felt good and our paces were spot on. I went a little crazy and doubled up with a 5K race with my daughter the very next evening. It was so much fun and we pretty much walked a lot of it. For as good as it all started, the week quickly went downhill with my kidney. I spent the rest of the week skipping all of my other workouts just trying to get back to normal.

 

Week 16: Ahh, the kidney kept acting up this week. I had twenty planned, but at seven img_0108miles in, I started feeling queasy and dizzy. A few more minutes into the run and down I went. I saw the sky and then it all went black. I collapsed and my running buddies caught me. I wanted to keep going and made it another three miles before they kicked me to the curb and made me catch a ride back to the car. I’m starting to get a little nervous about this marathon. My highest mileage run will only be 18 miles. And now I’m starting to fall apart. I just need to hold on a little longer and hope that 18 is enough.

Week 17: A little post-turkey long run and I am finally feeling like I’m back. I dialed back img_0131the run and we did 13 instead of 17. At this point, it just doesn’t matter. I need to conserve what my body has and believe it will all be enough. The weather was perfect and I crushed the entire run. It felt so good to attack the hills like I used to. It’s been so phenomenally hot, that most of the hills were walked. It’s always fun to have Linda and Anabel grumble when I’m strong because I can be a little scary. I’m sad they haven’t seen much of that all season. On the other end of it, I have started trying to do some short straight runs through the week to see what I am able to do. Since I’m transitioning over to shorter distance races in 2018, I want to get that speed up! More on my big dreams for 2018 later!

img_0190Week 18: We crushed the twelve miler this weekend! The weather was cooler and we had promises of a pot-luck breakfast with the rest of the training groups. We pushed the pace and ended up running race pace all but the first and last miles. It should be ok since we are now two weeks out from the big day. I’ve kept up with consistently getting out there and trying to run a couple of miles. The runs are super short, but I’m really proud of them. Some are so fantastic; some not so much. But I know that I am getting better every day I try. We have the Dallas Marathon weekend coming up next weekend, so I will be super busy with the Expo and volunteering. Maybe I’ll do a race recap, volunteer-style.

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