12/27/08

Marathon legs

There has been no running this week. Some long walks with campy and short walks on the treadmill but that is it. I felt a little twinge in my right hip and I want to be a smart athlete rather than a stubborn athlete. 1-2 weeks of no running is much better than 1-2 months of no training.
So, in order to keep myself sane, I have been spending plenty of time in the water and on my bike. The legs are still tired but my heart feels good. On Monday morning I did nothing and even though I was exhausted, I didn't sleep very well. I ended up on the couch because I was tossing and turning all night.
On Tuesday I joined a few people in the pool for a quick 4000 yard workout. There was just a few of us in the pool because our coach was out of town but the workout went by really fast.
On wed. I joined Karel for a nice 30 mile ride and ot was a bit obvious that I was tired. Karel kept asking me how my marathon legs were feeling and I just gave him a quick answer "ouch". But, it was good to get on my bike and spin my legs.
After cooking and baking all day, Karel and I had a great x-mas dinner. After we lit the menorah for hannukah, we opened a few gifts for x-mas. Karel and I prepare a great dinner of all his families traditional foods and I even challenge myself in the kitchen with some homemade bread (vanochka = european christmas bread).
On Thursday Karel went mountain biking at hannah park and I went on my road bike for a 40 mile ride. Then on Friday I went for a swim (4000) and I was impressed I stayed in the water for so long, even though I was alone in my lane.
On Friday evening KArel, Campy and I headed to my parents to stay for a few days. MY aunt, uncle, cousin and brother are visiting so it is great to be with family.
As for this morning, my marathon legs are pooped. Karel and I joined the Gearlinkers for a 16 mile time trial. I ended up last, even though I started 3rd out of about 25 people. I really pushed hard but the wind and my marathon legs made for a suffer fest out there. Karel and I ended up with 50 miles and the last 10 (warm down home) were just brutal. Annoyed at the wind and super hungry, it seemed as if my parents house was 100 miles away.
Well, time to head to the International Mall for lunch. I am actually looking forward to not cooking and ordering some good food at a great deli :)

12/24/08

Happy holidays!!


I hope everyone has a safe, healthy and happy holiday!!

From: Marni, Karel, Campy and Smudla....and the fishies

12/23/08

Campy, Campy, Campy

What a little booger.
After the marathon on Sunday, I had the day to enjoy my 26.2 mile finish. It was only 10:30 when I wobbled my way to my car so I had a good chunk of the day to recover. As I was driving home, I thought about the perfect concoction of ingredients for a great smoothie to help me recover. Then I would crash on the couch with campy in my lap and we would watch TV all afternoon. By early afternoon I would probably be ready for some pancakes and then I would have the rest of the day with Karel to relax. Karel did a 92 mile ride and headed straight to work (12-4) because the Trek store has been busy, busy, busy.
When I got home I immediatly let Campy outside to pee. As if walking up 3 flights of stairs was hard enough, it was agonizing walking down the stairs with an excited dog that wanted to go for a walk. Sadly, there was no walk that morning for Campy. I told him to do his 5-10 squirts so I could get out of my gross clothes and take a cold bath.
After I slowly made my way back up 3 flights of stairs (Campy met me upstairs, too fast for me) I went straight to the bedroom to start the shower. When I walked into my room I couldn't believe what I saw.
The bag of Karel's christmas gifts was torn to shreds. A few of his gifts were untouched but the 6 ounce, king size dark chocolate Hershey bar was gone. All that was left was the wrapper. Also, there were gingerbread cookies scattered all over the ground. I have learned two things. Both Campy and Karel love chcolate and just because you hide christmas gifts from your husband in the back of the closet, it doesn't mean that the dog won't find it.
I was so upset at Campy that I pointed my finger at home and told him NO! He started shaking and the poor little thing starts crying. Real tears, laying on his back, sad as can be. I tried to stay firm so I just went into the shower, rinsed off and then took a cold bath. I kept looking at Campy, curled in a ball on my bed, giving me the puppy dog eyes. He knew I was mad at him.
I had a little talk with Campy and then everything was ok.
I went to the kitchen, made my smoothie and stuck it in the freezer for a few minutes so that it would be nice and cold. As I waited for my smoothie to chill, I went on the internet to learn a little more about how lethal chocolate can be for dogs.
Apparently, 6 ounces of chocolate for a 11 lb dog is not a good thing. Campy seemed ok, no tremors, seizures, vomiting or diarrhea but as I did a little googling, I started to get really freaked out. If the word lethal is associated with my dog eating chocolate, I need to do something. So, I called the Emergency Vet just a few blocks down the road and they suggested that I bring him in, get him checked out and induce vomiting.
I called Karel and told him I needed to take him to the Vet even though Campy didn't have any symptoms. I am a "what if" person so I do not take very many chances, especially when it comes to my life, Karel's life, my families life and the life of each of my pets (even the fishies).
So, I told Campy we had to go back outside and I prepared myself for 3 more flights of stairs. Ouch, ouch ouch.
Into the car, hair still wet, a few spoonfuls of my smoothie in my tummy and my happy puppy.
Although I don't recommend animals getting sick on the weekends because it costs a lot more than a weekday, we were lucky to have no wait and the vet (and assistants) were really nice. Campy weighed 11.5 lbs, his temperature was good (he didn't appreciate the thermometer being put there) and after the check-up, the vet gave Campy something to make him vomit. I stayed in the room with Campy and the assistant and we just waited for Campy to get rid of the chocolate. It wasn't too long before Campy threw up a good amount of chocolate. Then, a few minutes later, an even bigger pile of throw up. Atleast it was all out of his system but it was then time for the liquid charcol. This substance is suppose to bind to the chemical in choclate, to prevent it from getting in the bloodstream. Campy wanted none of the charcol and I don't blame him. It was yucky! They had to force it in his mouth (in the other room) but he finally ate it. The doctor also put some cream on Campy's eyes because he appeared to scratch his eye as he was eating his breakfast of chocolate.
After a big bill and an hour in the vet, we were able to go back home. The vet gave me strict rules to avoid any loud noises and walks and to prevent him from getting excited. I wasn't sure if that was possible with Campy but I needed to keep him calm so he wouldn't get a seizure. Of course Campy was a bit anxious to get in the car, get outside at our apartment and take a walk but I carried him upstairs (once again, up three flights of stairs on tired marathon legs) and finally I was able to rest.
Campy was really overwhelemed at his point and you could see in his eyes that he was so tired and exhausted. I watched over him very carefully as I made my pancakes. My smoothie was too frozen to eat and I was so ready for some real food.
After I had my whole wheat pancakes, with raisins and banana and a few scrambled egg whites I finally crashed on the couch. I never complained once or felt bad for my morning because I wanted to be sure that Campy was ok. He was my only concern and I was happy that I finished the marathon.
After about 15 minutes on the couch, Campy finally took a nap on my lap. We both laid there for about 45 minutes and when I went up to go to the bathroom Campy got up with me. When I got out of the bathroom, I found throw up all over the white carpet floor. This was the dark charcol that Campy last ate and I said good-bye to our deposit for our apartment. I first cleaned up the piles of throw up and then called the vet.
They wanted us to come back so that they could give Campy more charcol in a syringe and then give me 3 tubes for me to give him later on during the night. They said he may have not been able to tolerate the amount of charcol so they wanted him to have smaller dosages. However, it was very important that he have the charcol in his system.
So, at 3:20, we went back to the vet. I wanted to be sellfish and just rest on the couch and wait until Karel came home at 4 but I knew I had to be there for Campy.
Back down 3 flights of stairs (it didn't feel any better as the day went on) and I limped my way to the car. My legs were just so tired and Campy wasn't sure if he wanted another ride.
After 10 min. at the Vet, we came back home and finally we could rest. My poor Campy was so tired and all he wanted to do was rest. Lucky for me, so did I!
I grabbed a quick snack and headed for my bed. Campy joined me until Karel came home. Of course Campy got excited when Karel came and it wasn't too much later that Campy threw up again. We ran out of carpet cleaner so Karel went right to the grocery store to get more.
Then Campy threw up again and again. Once on the fllor and then on the bed.
I called the vet again and they suggested that I bring him in to see if they could give him the charcol and for him to stay the night incase he threw up again.
Karel and I decided that Campy just needed a break and I told the Vet that I would bring him in if Campy had any seizures or threw up anymore. We stopped the charcol and finally, Campy stopped throwing up. It was 8pm and Campy was out.
It was around 7pm when the day kind of got to me and I just started crying. I felt so bad for Campy, I hadn't had much food all day, my legs were tired and I was exhausted. Karel said he would take care of everything and by 8pm I finally crashed on my bed with Campy.
I kind of took a nap around 8pm but I woke up at 10pm when Campy was running around the house like a crazy dog. The vet warned us of the caffeine and an already excited dog was now a super crazy dog.
So, after an eventful Sunday, Campy is just fine.
We are still giving him his prescription food and watching him. After a full Monday of napping, I think campy is back to his happy self.
No more chocolate!!!!

12/22/08

26.2 miles and so much more

Although I was stuck on the couch for most of Friday and Saturday, I kept an open mind about the marathon. In the midst of sniffling, coughing and trying to clear my stuffed up head with green tea and probiotics, I kept telling myself that I don't have to run 26.2 miles, I get to run for 3 1/2 hours.
So, with my positive attitude and very little sleep for 2 days straight, I woke up at 515 on Sunday morning and started my morning with tea and after my coffee was ready I got dressed and ate my oatmeal, banana and raisins in the car, on the way to the race. The race venue was just 4 miles down the road so I didn't need to rush to the race but I was a bit nervous about finding a parking space at Bolles High School.
After I arrived to the race I headed straight to the restrooms. I knew my nutrition wasn't the best over the past few days because my head cold made me feel a bit nauseous when I thought about food. I did manage to get in eggs, toast, veggies and fruit on Saturday but I felt a little carb-depleted going into the race.
As I stood on the starting line I only saw a few familiar races. I saw my good friend Kellie who is suffering from a hip fracture. Nonetheless, she always brightens my spirit.
At 7am the gun went off and off 2000+ people went. The half marathon and marathon started together and I stuck to my plan to run at a 8 min pace, rather than trying to keep up with all the fast runners.
The first few miles seemed to go by really slowly. Even though my pace was fine and I felt ok, it was just really really boring. I had ran parts of the course tons of times so perhaps I knew exactly where I was and each and every turn reminded me how much more I had to go until the next mile.
By the time I got to mile 5, I used the next 2 miles to create an excuse to quit the race. I was just so besides myself of how I could finish the race. I kept thinking, WOW-A marathon is a LONG race and I am not enjoying this. I hoped that I would see Karel on his bike and I could hop on and get a ride home. However, I knew that Karel was on a 90mile ride, far far away from me. Then I wished that i had my radio. Although I never run a race with a radio, this was the first time I actually wanted my music that I always use when I train. Although I was contemplating quiting, I felt the endorphins around mile 7. So, I changed my perspective and decided I would just try to hang in there. If anything, I was still on pace for a 3:35 finish and I had built in about 2 min of cushion time in case I needed to slow down in the end.
Then, the worst happened. At mile 8 my brain and legs stopped working together. I felt great, just had a gel (at mile 7) and I was getting powerade after every aid station. But, my legs were not cooperating. My hip flexers just stopped working and I couldn't get my legs to move right. It is hard to explain but I just thought of all the Ironman DVD's I have seen and seeing people falling to the ground right before the finish line. I have ran 8 miles on an empty stomach and no fluids during the run and felt great but why now!?! I didn't want to be forced to stop so rather than just trying to hang on until I couldn't go anymore, I decided I would need to walk a little. So, I ran to the aid station and walked for about 30 sec. I decided to start running again and decided to hit the grass rather than the concrete. I love running on trails and the grass and I felt a lot better. Still at mile 9, I wished I would have just done the half marathon. I hadn't even gotten to half way and I was just filled with all sorts of emotions. The negative thoughts were hard to ignore and although my nose was running a bit, that was the least of my concerns. MY nutrition was going fine and when I convinced myself that I only had 3 more miles until half way, I decided to add in 20 sec walk breaks at the aid stations. So, I walked for 20 sec at each aid station and that really helped break up the miles and to keep my body going. I forgot about my goal time and by mile 11 I was at my goal pace and I had no more cushion. Bummer.
Mile 12 was in Mandarin park and I was starting to feel much better. I picked up the pace and then the worst happened. As I was passing a group of people on the left, I tripped. Yep, right on my knees and I was frozen on the ground. Some people asked if I was ok and luckily, my sunglasses hid my tears as I toughed it up and tried to run again. So with blood running down my legs and my hands burning from the fall, the running didn't come so naturally after my knees took a big hit on the ground. After another break to walk I was just so mad at everything that had happened for the first 12 miles that I just started running. I ran and ran and ran. There was lots of spectators around so I had to wipe the blood off my legs at an aid station so I wouldn't be the talk of the crowd but after the 13 mile aid station, it was time to finish the race just like I had intended to do before I signed up for the race.
By mile 14 I was heading back and I just look forward to each mile. I would run, walk for 20 sec and run again. Sometimes I would need to walk twice but I tried to keep it around 10-20 sec. of walking. I was passing lots of people and I was pleased with my pace.
As the miles came, 15, 16, 17 I thought about all the people who may not be able to run right now. Kellie with a stress fracture, marathon virgin friends who are amazed how a person can run 26.2 miles (I asked myself the same thing as I was running this race). Then I thought about Kate and all my northerner friends who are stuck on treadmills, inside their homes and who would love the warm weather we had for the Jacksonville marathon (it was a bit hot for a marathon in Dec.). I then thought about Karel, Campy and Smudla (my fan club) who could care less how I finish, so long as I am there to give love to them all. I've learned that a race is a good race when you finish it. It is great to have goal times and to train hard for a race but in the end, somewhere between pain and wanting to quit, there is an inner strength that you have to find to finish a race. For me, however, it took me 13 miles to find this strength.
The best part of the race happened at mile 20. I was looking at my watch and I thought that I was at mile 19. I kept running and I just hoped, so badly, that I was at mile 20 rather than 19. However, I was pretty sure that I would see mile 19...and when I saw 20 I think I yelled out loud...THANK YOU!!!
I knew I could make it 6 more miles but I knew it wouldn't be easy. I just started to break down the miles and kept with my walking strategy. It began to get hot when I got to 2 1/2 hours but at 3 hours and 6 more miles to go, it was a long morning.
There was little excitment in the last few miles, except for the last 2 miles when I really wasn't sure if I could make it 2 more miles. As I continued to pass people and reach mile 25, I told myself, 10 more minutes...that is it and I will be finished!
When I made it to the track of the HS and finished my last .2 miles, I did it. I finished my first solo marathon since Jan 2006. There was nothing easy about this race and my 3:45 finish time was a great time for all that I went through. If I saw 3:59 I would have been fine with that as well. I finished, I got my medal and now I can wear my t-shirt for the Jacksonville marathon.
I was 9th in my age group, 180th overall and 23rd female.
Here are the splits:
8:01
7:45
7:52
8:07
7:50
8:06
7:45
8:48
8:41
8:30
8:40
8:52
8:24
9:30
8:22
8:40
8:31
8:29
8:53
8:54
9:05
9:02
8:50
9:23
9:29
9:07
2:09
Finish:3:45.48

And..my day didn't end after the marathon. Please stay tuned for my horrible afternoon with a dog who ate 6 ounces of chocolate when I was gone. Campy is fine but it was a tough day for us both yesterday.