Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Reverse taper, my husband's first marathon, and the Amish Country Fun Run

Last week was spent in reverse taper mode. I wasn't sure how I would feel after the North Coast 24 hour race, but I'm glad to say I was pleasantly surprised! I started running again on Wednesday. I ran with the RHS teachers running group (one awesome group!) We ran from Headlands Beach to the Zimmerman trail and back again, a little over 4 miles. It was a good pace and I was completely pumped to be back on trails again! The rest of the week I ran 10k's - good recovery runs. Saturday's run called for a shorter NERC run for me (again 10k). Again I was pumped because it was kept under an 8 minute pace.

Gain some weight L!

I spoke with Ray and he told me to pack on a few lbs. Not tons mind you, but still - OH GOD! (I do this quite well, so I always cringe a little when I hear him say this!) That being said I followed orders! We headed out to the West Side Market in search for some good eats (translation-the gyro stand). We had over a 30 minute wait at the gyro place - but it's always SO worth it! Afterwards we hit up the Ingenuity Fest for some music and art. It was something different to do - and was a pretty interesting event.

This week holds just a few 5k's for me, and then it's back to business starting Saturday! Back to back trail runs for the weekend, some hard speed work on the schedule for next week as well as a fast trail run Saturday and running with my husband at Towpath Sunday! I can't wait to see him accomplish this amazing task - and I couldn't be more proud of him! He has struggles that only a small few know about, and to see him cross that finish line will be nothing short of phenomenal! LOVE! Good luck to all those running their hearts out at Towpath!

Amish Country Fun Run

Ok so I've planned it. The Amish Country Fun Run will be around 23 miles. It will start at my house and end at Mary Yoder's Amish Restraunt in Middlefield. There will be hills. There will not be trails :-( HOWEVER - there will be plenty of road apples to enjoy. The manager at Mary Yoder's is allowing us to park our cars there overnight Friday. Car pooling is suggested. All you need to do is figure out how to get your car to the restraunt Friday night. We will open our house (and yard if you want to camp out) to anyone who wants to spend the night Friday before the run. The run is completely self supported - I will post info on gas stations that will be available from point a to point b. This is not a competitive event by any means, just a super fun run. Hope to see everyone there! Sign up at:

Monday, September 20, 2010

North Coast 24 Hour Endurance Run Race Report

How much is there really to say about a race that goes around in a .9 mile loop for 24 hours? Well as it turns out - LOTS. It was a day filled with so much raw emotion. The race was well organized, and while I didn't stop at the aid station too many times it was well stocked. (I crammed our car full of everything I could possibly imagine!) The volunteers were the greatest, and many of them my good friends which was a bonus! Even though I didn't make it to the aid station all that often they did call out to me as I was running by, just making sure I was ok. They knew what was up (more on that later). Chaney Events, well they were amazing as always (official results are already posted on http://www.chaneyevents.com/nc24.html) My family and friends were absolutely incredible - I mean, who in the world would want to come watch someone run in circles? Turns out lots of people showed up. Some I knew were coming and some friends shocked me by coming out; I had no idea they were coming and it really lifted my spirits!

First things first

Thanks to all those who donated to Impossible2Possible! I met my fundraising goal of $500. The Amazon expedition is coming up fast and I'm sure they can use that money! It takes alot to run an organization such as I2P! The education resources that are provided to schools that follow along are all free to schools/teachers and tons of kids will be benefiting from this. THANK YOU!

Setting up/the race start
We had good luck as we happened to set our tent up near Shelley and James Viggiano! This time it was Shelley's turn to run, and James turn to crew. I'm glad to run with Shelley and she did great! James was a busy guy as well, and very helpful. He made it clear that he'd help in any way he could. They are really an amazing couple and both very inspiring! Soon after we got everything set up there was a quick meeting. I have to say I really didn't pay attention to the meeting - I was just kind of numb, thinking about what was about to take place. This was really about to begin. All this training I've done, all the work, waking up at 2 a.m., starting long runs at 3 a.m. - it was all for this. 24 hours and it will all be over. I was trying to absorb it all and it was too much!

Finally - the start! I don't think there were too many people in a hurry, except the top dawgs maybe - and I don't know if that was the case even then! We had plenty of time to run and meet our goal! The first person I chatted with at the beginning was Frederick Davis - a running legend and simply put: One great guy. His top goal was the same as mine. Neither of us had the outcome we desired, but in the end we were both happy with what we achieved. More on Fred later!

Right from the get go I was feeling nauseated. Still running, but feeling nauseated. That was horrible, I was just ticked.

Mistake #1 - I used an energy drink that I had not used during training for NC. Yes I've used it for other training/races but I haven't used it for NC training. Needless to say I'll never use it again. It's been a few months since I've used it last. I didn't really need it, I know this - I KNEW this. So why did I take it? I figured it wouldn't hurt. Well it did. All I could think of was Ray saying -"Don't ruin your race because of food L!" Dang. I have to say it didn't really slow me down much, I can deal with being nauseated. But I really wanted to puke. Seriously, I thought it would be the best thing ever. But nada. Relief came later, then a much bigger problem.

Mistake #2 - Or I should say, a much more uncomfortable problem. My old friend UTI. (Or so I was thinking.) It happened the same as before. Feeling the need to pee every second, and nothing. It bothered me more when I ran, so I walked as fast as I could. Every time I thought maybe I should just suck it up I started running. Every time I did the problem just seemed to get worse however. I cannot describe how uncomfortable it is. I can deal with pain. No problemo. But this is so different. I wasn't worried like I was when this happened before. Wasn't scared either. Just pissed. Of all days. SERIOUSLY! At one point I went to the bathroom - and yeppers. Blood in my urine. FANTASTIC. I came out of the bathroom and my husband was waiting for me. I was frustrated and burst into tears. Joe Jurzyck was there too, and all I could do was just cry like a big sissy. I started back up again and that was that. I wasn't about to stop - no way. I hoped for big mileage but that was pretty much out of the question now. I was stopping every loop to try and go to the bathroom. At night I avoided the port a potties because quite a few of them had been, um - "blown up" if you know what I mean. Just stuck with the public bathroom. I wasted a huge amount of time using the bathroom and now it was just about lasting the whole 24 hours and getting at least 100 miles. That was my bare minimum goal for this race. (Max goal was far greater)

Eventually my husband informed the medical staff what was going on. At first they had me downing cranberry juice. Then they had me take cranberry pills, which I had already been taking since my first UTI episode. None of that worked. I thought there was a doctor in the medical area, but apparently he was running the race - so a man on the medical staff tried to help me out (I'm not sure what all the qualifications are.) I spent a good deal of time on the table as he said sometimes nerves are pinched around that area. He tried as best he could but nothing worked. Finally he said there's nothing he could do for me, and I went on my unmerry way. Swell. I ran the rest of the 24 hours feeling this way. One day later I may have found a simple solution thanks to Shelley V though. While I was reading her blog she had the exact same issue. She actually talked to the doctor who was running the race and headed the medical team. Chronic cystitis is what he told her, and per Shelley's blog: "basically, i was dehydrated, my bladder was empty and the empty bladder walls were rubbing against one another, causing irritation and bleeding". WOW!!!!! So this would not be UTI? Even though I had this UTI just a couple weeks ago this is something I'm going to have to look into - this has GOT to be it. I mean, what are the chances that this happened to both of us? Here's this knowledgeable ultra runner doctor - he HAS to know his stuff. I'm so relieved for Shelley's blog and FINALLY a solution to my problems. A simple solution. I THOUGHT I was drinking enough but I guess that just wasn't the case. I wish I was smart and did what she did, ask the doc but I did not. I'm just thankful that I know now. Lessons learned. There are always lessons learned. I'm such a newbie!

Making new friends, loving the old friends, and my wonderful family:

Ray Zahab
I continue to get a great deal of knowledge from Ray, and am constantly grateful! Such a busy guy (seriously, I can't possibly complain about being busy after knowing how busy he is) he's always there to help and is so encouraging. A wee bit bummed about my mileage he had very encouraging words for me - I'm lucky to have his help. He's GREAT friend and coach!

Jaameelah Mujaahid
I ran with an amazing woman for a good portion of the run. Jaameelah came all the way from Atlanta, Georgia to participate in the NC24. This was her first. What's amazing about her is not only the fact that she was out there doing the run, but she was doing so and has SIX kids. AND she has a job. HOW THE HECK! She's amazing! Turns out she starts her runs early in the a.m. like I do, because hey - that's just what needs to happen if we want to do these things. Running is her me time. What a fantastic, inspiring mother. I'm sure her kids are incredibly proud of her!

Frederick Davis, III
I latched onto Fred and I would not let him go! I'm not sure when it was exactly, but at some point we started running together for great lengths of time. We had both ditched our top goals but were still hell bent on making our bare minimum. His being 90, mine 100. We talked SO much, I'm sure the other runners had to be irritated late at night when they were hurting. I'm sorry y'all, but it was great. We were talking, laughing, telling each other our history - family, jobs, etc. Talking about running - all of that! Sometimes though, we ran in silence. We ran just trying to put one foot in front of the other, not needing to say anything. Just knowing. In the end, we crossed the finish line together. Once we crossed Fred said, "Lets make it to the next marking before times up!" We gave the last little bit of energy we had trying to make it to that line, and made it! It wasn't pretty looking, I'm sure - but we were laughing, running (or maybe limping) and feeling so glad it was all over! Jameelah was right behind us, and it was the best ending I could've imagined, the three of us finishing like that. VICTORY!

Debra Horn
Debra is amazing! She has encouraged me and supported me through my training, giving me advice here and there. And what an incredible runner. A SMART runner. She knows her stuff. She was also very encouraging throughout the race, and her crew was no different. Thanks Debra for all your help! Not only a great runner, but a great person!

Leo Lightner
Leo is 82 years old, and was incredibly inspiring. He broke the record for his age group in terms of 12 hour runs. I'm not positive of the exact stats right now, but even without the stats it's completely awe inspiring that he was out there. Leo seemed to be loving every single minute of his run, and you couldn't help but smile when you came across him. WAY TO GO LEO!

Crystal Basich
What can I say about Crystal? I've only known one other person like her my whole life. Doris Johnson. Now I know none of you have no clue who I'm even talking about - but this is Crystal. A great friend. After her morning run she came down to the race and helped my husband crew. The WHOLE time. She stayed all night, all the way through to the end of her race. She's an experienced ultra runner who knows her stuff. I'm really lucky she came, because it's pretty easy to cop an attitude with my husband and not listen to him. My run would've been more disastrous than it was had she not been there. She gave me ginger when my stomach was upset (yeppers, it helped!), made me drink water, eat - everything. Good friends are hard to come by, and she's a great one.


My sis came to the run for a few hours Saturday, and my mom and dad came to witness the last few hours of my run on Sunday. I don't think they knew quite what they were getting into as they've never seen the ending of anything over a 50k before. I'm pretty sure it freaked them out just a little! My dad asked me if I got that out of my system. Ha no - I'm just getting started!

My husband and son were there crewing the entire time. My husband cared me, held me and put up with my b.s. and stubborn ways. He went to the race coming straight off third shift without a complaint, and only slept for a little while during the race. He went on less sleep than I did. How many husbands or wives would do that for their spouse? I'm incredibly lucky. And what's more, is my husband said that being involved completely changed him. He can't describe it, but it did. Somehow, some way, it changed him. He's even considering running the NC24 hr himself next year! I'm excited to repay the "favor" at his first marathon in October and his first Ultra in November. My husband was so exhausted he slept all day when we got home, woke up at 8:00 to eat some dinner and went back to bed and stayed there at 8:30! He deserved that rest!

My son was a trooper and was very encouraging. His constant "Great job mom" and his hugs when I was feeling down were the best thing to me. At one point he hugged me, I did not want to let him go! I did still make him study during the race. Tee hee!!!

I'm incredibly grateful to have wonderful support as far as my family goes and I'll never forget this. Ever.

Northeast Running Club & many other friendsSo I knew a long list of people were coming out to cheer me on for a bit, but some came that I did not expect as well! I'm so grateful for everyone that came out, and wish I could've run better for them. All the support I got from my NERC friends and all my other friends that came out is the greatest thing ever. I saw Andy, Mark, Daniel, Mark G. Ron, Joe, Bill & Bill, Jim Chaney, Glenn (Mark/Daniel/Joe/Mark G/Ron R. volunteered - Jim C. and the two Bills' were working)Eric, Sarah, Rachel, Sandi, Shaun, Tanya, Charlie, Nick, Edie, Mike, Kevin, Beth, Guy and his wife, Jeanette and her boys, Emily (she gave me an awesome gift!). There was also a guy in a blue shirt who was yelling my name from afar, I'm not sure who it was because I couldn't see his face, but thanks!

My god - if I forgot anyone I'm so so sorry. There was just so much happening, and so many people - but please know I appreciate each and every one of you coming out and supporting me. Your friendship means a great deal to me, and you really touched me by showing up at NC! I mean, who the heck wants to see someone run in circles? How boring is that to see! But you were there, and I appreciate every minute of it. THANK YOU EVERYONE!

The run. Minus the issues:
For some reason, at one point during the run I loved them. I couldn't get enough of them, and I do not eat oranges EVER! Maybe it was the fact that I WAS dehydrated? But they tasted SO good. The first time I ran by, I grabbed only one. The next two times I ran by, HANDFULS! Then everything changed, and I got sick of them. Who knows!

Well Edgewater appears to be the kite flying destination! There were many people flying kites during the race. At one point it could've been nasty, but a thoughtful runner turned around to let me know someone crashed their kite, and the string laid stretched out over the sidewalk we were running on. The kite flyer was not concerned about the fact that a runner could trip with potentially nasty results.

At one point I thought that one of the kites was a skydiver. I suppose I wasn't quite with it! I did have skydiving on my mind though, as it was the one year anniversary of one of my skydiving instructors death. Danger Dan will not be forgotten. We miss you Dan...

Running with cell phones?
I saw quite a few runners running and talking on their cell phones! I was floored by this! After awhile I noticed that some of them were using them to relay messages to their crew. At times I admit I wished I would've had mine on me too, but if I do this again I still won't use one.

I didn't use my music all that much, and when I did it really didn't help. At one point my husband gave me my mp3 to lighten my mood. I was thankful for his help, but as I was running, my music was so loud I felt bad as I passed other runners. What if they were talking to me and I couldn't hear them? I hope I didn't pass anyone who tried to talk to me and I gave them no response, if so I'm really sorry. After a few laps, I took one of my headphones out, left one in so I could hear. Problem solved!

I was glad when nightfall came. I've gotten used to running early in the morning, in the dark and it's quite peaceful. Even though I was having issues I loved running in the dark. The midges were not a problem and the temperature was comfortable. The moon was beautiful, the city lights were beautiful, as well as the lights from the boats on the lake.

The aftermath:
Of course I'm sore and my feet are swollen. That being said it's not as bad as I thought it would be. My son lovingly told me he thought my feet looked like they were going to explode, but really they aren't that bad. I feel like I felt after Mohican, and I was fine 2 days later. I'm going to take a couple days of and then start some easy running. ON TRAIL!!! Running and training for NC really made me realize how much I LOVE trail running. I'm pumped to get back on the trails, I was actually quite jumpy today wanting to just get back out there! I miss them! Other than resting the day was spent with my husband, celebrating at PF Chang's in Beachwood.

Neither of us had been there, but were completely excited to go. Maria Walton, girlfriend of Caballo Blanco (Micah True) had sent us many coupons for free meals and appetizers at Chang's awhile back for our anniversary. We couldn't use them at the time since I was on a special diet, but made it a point to get there the day after the race was over! Not only did she give us the coupons, but knowing that we were going there today she did something even more amazing. She called ahead to the Chang's Beachwood owner letting the know we were on our way. After our meal the owner came up to us, and the ENTIRE meal was on the house - drinks included. I am constantly floored by Maria's generosity. The meal was wonderful, and we'll definitely be back! Gracias, La Mariposa!

Monday, September 13, 2010

North Coast 24 Hour Endurance Run - counting down the days!

North Coast 24 Hour Endurance Run for Impossible 2 Possible
My goal is almost met! I have only $52 left to raise! I'm nervous I won't meet my goal in time though. If anyone can help, please do! Impossible 2 Possible is an amazing organization. The team is busy preparing for their adventure to the Amazon now, only one month away! Thanks to all the new donors that have stepped up - I love you guys! I know some of the donors on this list have fallen into hard times, and I really appreciate everything. You all amaze me every day!

I2P Donors to date:
Agnes Jung
Charlie Bolek
Cyrus Taylor
Daniel DeRosha
Gregory Murray
Jeannette Spada
Kelly Matter
Meggie Feran
Nick Zeman
Ronald Kageyama
Stan Hembrough
Tamara Musick
Todd Shannon
Pamela Rickard
Tom Turturice

Donations can be made at:

Reflections on 24 Hour Training and My First Year of Ultras

I can't believe there's only a few more days until my first 24 Hour run. With Ray Zahab's help training has been phenonmenal. I've pushed myself harder than I ever have and learned a lot about myself. There were easy training days, and HARD training days. When I look back now I can't believe I ran my first 50k nearly one year ago - Exactly one year from the start date of the upcoming NC 24 hour. Fast forward to present day and now it's been at times well over 50k's, back to back - week after week for training and it's just craziness! Craziness and I love it! I've learned so much during this time, it's completely different from my 50 mile training. Incredible is all I can think of. That being said, I am ready to relax a little bit after this. I'll still be running, but taking it down a notch for a bit and just having loads of fun. Long runs will be 2 hours here, 4 hours there, as I feel and as time permits while continuing my weekly routine of hill work and speed work. My next big race won't be until July, the Vermont 100 miler, so I have some time to chill and have fun! (Won't be slacking TOO much though!)

Upcoming fun events are:

#1. Towpath Marathon with my hubby (pacer for his first!), Stan Hembrough from Canada, and the great Jean Toth.

#2. Bills' Bad Ass will be in November, and I'll most likely be running alongside/pacing my husband for his first 50k! If he runs this it will be a great milestone for him. November of last year he started running, so to complete a 50k in just a year - amazing!

#3. Possible pacer for Oil Creek :D !!!!!!!!

#4. Fun Run to Mary Yoder's (info below)

During my rest time I'm excited that I'll have a little more time to do some other things I like. I'll be starting a new photo project, going to the West Side Market a TON (one of my son's favorite places - and mine as well!), cooking up some new recipes, and hiking and kayaking more with the family (especially now that the leaves are going to start to change). Since 24 hr training I've slacked off on the meditating, so I'll be starting that up again, too. I think I fell off the band wagon as far as that's concerned because I just figured, well - when you're doing 6 hour and 8 hour training runs you kind of go into a meditative state after awhile!

Fun Run
For some unknown reason I really want to do is a group fun run from my home to Mary Yoder's Amish Kitchen in Middlefield. It's 22 miles if you take 608, a little more if you take the bike path. At first I wanted to make it an out and back but I'm not really sure how many people would be up for that distance (and I want to eat at Mary Yoder's anyway - don't know how pancakes would work out mid-run!) The only drawback to making it a point to point is the fact that people would have to figure out how to get their car to Mary Yoder's so they can get home. My husband and I will drive out there the night before and drop a car off in the parking lot so we can get home. If anyone would want to stay at our home the night before they may. We have one extra room in the house. I'd like to make the run sometime in October after my husband's first marathon. Two weeks after may be a safe bet - we'll keep everyone posted!_

Final training weeks in review

Labor Day weekend was a wild one. One of my hardest weekends of running - and all because of the stinkin' wind! The weekend started out kind of hairy, as I wasn't sure what to do as Saturday would be the only day that could potentially interfere with my son's XC invitational. Miss that? NO WAY! As luck would have it, my husband was on second shift. So that meant he could drive my son to XC, and I could simply run there. I started out early in the morning Saturday, and it was pouring. The rain wasn't so bad actually, it was the WIND. It was horrible. And I was running into it for 90% of my run. There was nothing I could do about that, that was the direction my family was headed later in the morning! A couple times the wind actually pushed me backwards. I was clenching my body and cursing the wind with every step. I had just purchased an mp3 player since we will be allowed to use it during the 24 hr. I wanted to get used to running with headphones again, but it was pouring so I didn't take it out right away. An hour passed and I couldn't stand the sound of the wind anymore. It was still raining, but I took out my mp3 anyway. Only one hour in and I didn't really give damn if the thing broke. I just didn't want to hear that wind anymore! (the mp3 is safe, no damage!) 30 mph winds, Gale warnings on Lake Erie - what a crazy run! My son's XC team gave me a lift though - and it was the most simple, amazing thing. They actually passed me on the bus as I was running to their meet and started waving and smiling to me. That gave me a little surge of energy the last hour of my run. They're the greatest! I thought I would embarrass my son coming to the meet with my reflecto gear on, my spi belt (aka fanny pack, as he calls it), hydration pack, and headlamp - but I guess I didn't do too much damage! I was so relieved when I got to the meet and reached my time goal. I stopped, then had to do it all over again the next day. The winds were reduced by half, but I was feeling the effect of all that muscle clenching the day before. It was slower, and I still hated the wind. My husband joined me for 20 miles of the run and we ran to Fairport Beach.

This past weekend:

I had no more back to backs, just a long run that I took relatively easy. I wanted to enjoy my last training run, and for the first time througout the whole training did not set a mileage goal within my main goal of time. I ran, took pictures, stopped to look at flowers - all that girly stuff.

With all the stopping I was surprised at where my half-way point was-in Geneva! I saw really interesting things. I ran through Unionville (always heard of it, never saw it).

I ran past a strange house that I've named the Conspiracy Theory house. I couldn't really make out what point these people are trying to get across exactly - there are so many complaints thrown up there -all with a peace sign on the front door! I don't get it. Throw in a couple wineries and nurseries, and it was a pretty amazing run. An ice bath marked the end of my North Coast 24 Hour Training. One amazing, worthwhile, fun ride. I'll never forget all the support I received from so many people. You all have been so amazing, and I'll be thinking of everyone during my run. THANK YOU! I'm so excited and nervous, but am ready to give it my all!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

North Coast 24 hour training, Riverside XC, Lactic Acid, and The Greatest People!

I can't believe it's almost here. My biggest event so far, the North Coast 24 Hour Endurance Run! I'm feeling many similar emotions that I felt in regards to my first marathon. Fear, excitement, wonder, doubt. There is a big difference from my first marathon though. All my amazing friends who are supporting me! I've met some excellent people since I've started running this ultra-running business and continue to do so! I keep thinking last year I trained for YUTC all on my own. Solo. Lonely. What a big difference a year makes! It's such an amazing community. A family really. A great big wonderful family that I'm so glad to be a part of!

Many of you have asked what you can do, how you can help, and have told me you'll be there for the North Coast 24! I love you guys! I really am so so lucky! And, not to mention my amazing family! My husband and son, who put up with me making tons of noise and heading out the door at 2, 3 a.m. for long runs. My husband, who has joined me for a 3 a.m. run, and for being my personal mausuesse after mega long runs! Also - they'll be spending the whole entire race with me at Edgewater, sitting, camping out, watching, crewing and supporting. I will certainly be returning the favor when my husband runs his first marathon in October, the Towpath Marathon! I am hoping to be recovered enough from NC that I can run alongside him, supporting him in his first marathon. Stan Hembrough from our great neighbor up north will once again be joining us, a month after his running his first ultra! And - last but not least - JEAN TOTH. She will be coming with us to Towpath and I hope (again if I am recovered from NC)I can run her through to the end after I run with my husband. Seriously, Jean is my idol. How can I describe her? The Energizer Bunny. Wonder Woman. 74 years old and still running marathons. INCREDIBLE! I've never met anyone like her, and just know I'm a better person because I know her! I never get tired of hearing her stories, and grin like a goof every time I'm listening to them. I love Jean!

I wanted to thank everyone who has donated to Impossible2Possible so far! You are all so amazing! It's a wonderful organization that really creates a domino effect of giving to everyone who is involved. I like to think of it as a real life Pay-it-Forward. Thank you! I got many new donations this week and have now reached the half-way point of my goal. My supporters:

Agnes Jung
Cyrus Taylor
Gregory Murray
Kelly Matter
Ronald Kageyama
Stan Hembrough
Tamara Musick
Todd Shannon
Pamela Rickard

Please join my amazing friends and my way cool sister in donating to this great organization!

It's easy, safe, and secure. Just go to the following link-your money goes straight to I2P!


Thank you all! Every dollar helps! Whether you give $1 or $100 it's going to an excellent organization, one that has benefitted and is benfitting people from Ohio!

Guy Gadomski always seems to come around when I need a good kick in the you-know-what. He had heard about my UTI episode the weekend before and called me that night. Sent me an email later in the week, asking to join me on my Saturday run. I definitely needed that! I had been running slow all week. I don't really know why, the weather was good, the meds were working, so I was frustrated. I admit I was pretty scared when I got his email. The last run we did together, 13 miles and clocked a 7:13/mile pace. I almost vomitted just thinking about it, but knew I needed this. While we didn't go out as fast as our last run we did keep it under an 8:00/mile pace (around 7:50-ish), which I was completely thrilled with considering my week. It felt amazing, and I'm glad Guy was there to help me get out of my rut! Charlie Bolek ran with us for a good chunk of time as well, and let me say he is getting SUPER fast! YUTC will be no problemo for my man Charlie! I can't wait to hear about his experience there! Charlie - you better call me at NC with an update!!!!

I knew about lactic acid, but I didn't really KNOW about it, if you get my drift. I don't think I've ever experienced lactic acid build up, as odd as it may sound. But yesterday it happened. I've heard so much about it that instantly I knew what was happening. I ran fast, again, considering last week - kept it at a 7:10/mile average. I was completely fine during the run, but when I stopped it hit like a thunderbolt. I actually said out loud "What the #&^@!!!" It was this immediate surge of pain. Not a nasty pain though (as sick as this may sound). You see I'm an odd bird. I think shin splints feel somewhat good. This was the same way. I'm still feeling the burn today, but managed a quick run with a new running group, teachers from Riverside High School - which I KNOW my son is just thrilled about (tee hee!) Haven't looked at the stats yet but I managed a 7:30/mile something pace. I felt a bit incomplete ending the run though, as I didn't have to run as long as everyone else. It was great to meet a new group of people though, and I'm looking forward to many more runs with this group. They were really friendly, and I'm a bit bummed I had to turn around so soon!

Riverside XC
My son has begun his second cross country season. I'm so proud of him, he's really taking on a lot this year. Drama Club, XC, Honors Classes - SHEESH! He's managing really well so far, but this IS just the start of the school year. Later on will also call for Ski Club and trying out for track. Busy Busy!

Cross Country is going good and he has improved significantly! It's amazing to see! Last year he was more a back of the pack runner.

I'm wondering if his training and running the Cleveland 1/2 marathon had anything to do with his improvement. I'm certain it has. And he did continue his running through summer, so he's pretty good at running in this heat and humidity. Not to mention he's also been skateboarding so much, as I logged endless miles in our local park. My mini me is looking good and feeling strong, and I'm one proud mama! I can't wait to see all the upcoming meets and cheer on the whole XC team. GO RIVERSIDE!

I mentioned above about the great number of friends that told me they were coming down to support me for the North Coast 24. I can't say how much this means to me. To see you all there will be so incredible - how could I possibly do anything but my best! I have goals within goals for this race. Time goals, mileage goals, best case goals, worst case goals - maybe I should just RUN and forget about it! My best races come when I'm having a blast anyway! We'll see what happens. It's a long time to be running, and anything can happen. All I know is that I'll try my best. I've had an excellent friend and coach in Ray Zahab, and completely trust in everything he has told me! I am stronger and wiser because of his training (but still just as stubborn, and still totally type A when it comes to training!). I'm so appreciative of everything, and damn lucky! The next big one has already been decided. July. 2011. VERMONT 100!

Thanks to everyone for all your amazing support. Family, friends - I couldn't do any of this without you guys by my side. Who could ask for more!