"Whenever you think you are giving it all you have, give just a little bit more"

Thursday, December 20, 2012

It's been a while

In the last couple of days I have been asked a few times why there hasnt been a new blog in so long. In every case my response was "Well I haven't done anything worth blogging about". Today as I was out Christmas shopping I realized that my statement just wasn't true. In my mind I only think it's important to blog when I have had a great race but truth is maybe it's just as important to blog when I haven't had a great race or in this case any race at all.

These two just make my world complete.

One of my favorites this year....Chase as an immigrant heading to the US

The boys in NYC

Halloween......Ultimate Warrior and AJ

Our babies....Molly and Layla


Charity event for abused children

2012 ugly sweater party

Let's recap the year.
My first six months were amazing! The Olympic marathon trials, USA 1/2 champs and my first season on the track ending with the Track trials. The runner in me will tell you after that.........well I had a lot of great training and crappy racing. Seems like 2012 came in promising and left with no marathon to show. But here is the thing. I am a mom, a wife, a sister, a neice, a cousin, a friend, a school volunteer all before I get to become the runner. So while running left me frustrated, sad and alot of times angry the last six months the rest of my life hasn't.

Chase has given me many things to be proud of. My little man is an amazing football player. The whole family (ok maybe not Tripp) enjoyed watching him play on two football teams all fall. He was scoring touchdowns left and right and we had to try and fit his head in the door. In July he turned 8, yeah I am old enough to have an 8 year old......CRAZY! For Chase's birthday the whole family went to a WWE event in Denver which isn't exctly my thing, but seeing Chase and Tripp light up was well worth the headache I had later. As parents we dealt with our first travel team tryouts. Kevin and myself were a complete wreck. Luckily all of our worries were put to rest when he made the team.

Tripp, my little fire ball, is nothing like his brother also gave us a lot of joy. Tripp is my little comedian, my little trouble maker, my little brawler and mommies little boy. After dealing with t-ball last year Tripp made us put him in "real" baseball. Poor little guy was way smaller than anyone else out there, but did a great job of holding his own. Even though he is a little munchkin he insisted on also playing flag football. Well as he isn't old enough I had to stretch the truth a bit and he ended up on a team. Unlike his mom Tripp has some wheels. It was fun to watch him run up and down the field. A huge milestone this year was Tripp starting kindergarten. It was so hard to let him go, my babies aren't babies anymore!

 Every week I spend my Wednesday in school with the boys and really enjoy seeing what amazing kids they are. Which as all parents know makes me breath a little easier.....if only I could get them to act like little angels at home too!

We had a very exciting summer as Molly, our English mastiff, gave birth to 11 little pups. Sadly only 8 survived, but it was an amazing adventure for me. Luckily we found homes for every pup and even kept one for our own. Little Layla has fit nicely in to the family! And yes if you are counting....that makes 4 dogs in our house :)

Even though the marathon got canceled the whole family was still able to make the trip out to NYC. The boys absolutely loved it! Time Square, Statue of Liberty, Central park, room service, Central Park Zoo, Rockefeller and street meat ended up being the highlights.

Since I was suppose to be recovering from my best marathon we planned an adult only trip to Mexico with a lot of our friends. When things didn't go the way they were suppose to we decided that going to Mexico was still going to happen. There aren't many times I get to spend time with my friends without being the odd one. You know....I am off to bed (at 10) I have a workout tomorrow. No beer for me tonight....I have a long run. The list goes on and on. I was excited to hang out with Kevin for 6 days of nothing. We laid on the beach, went snorkling, I got on a boat for the first time, went zip lining, 4 wheeling, played some beach volleyball, pet a shark and most important just good guality time with my husband. The kids, his company and running seem to keep that from happening too often and it was nice to be able to get some time alone.

The year was capped off by our "Annual Thomas ugly sweater party".  I invited a lot of people that I have been introcuded to throughout the year as well as our go to group. The turn out was amazing. The sweaters were hilarious on both the adults as well as the kids. Our house was filled with laughter, cheer, kids, adults, dogs and good times. It was something as parents I think we all needed after the tragedy in CT the day before. Just to see the kids really enjoying themselves was a blessing. Of course I went over board and made the boys sweaters as well as my dress just to be out done by my Uncle's dog. Yes Lacy won the womens ugly sweater division.

So yeah this blog is boring. No exciting news to talk about with running. No new PR's, no new races, but I am not going to allow myself to say that nothing exciting happened in 2012. A lot of exciting life things have happened. The rest of my life roles just seemed to over shadow the runner role and honestly after the time I put in to running in the first half maybe it was time. I'll keep training away and shooting for goals but for the rest of the night.........I'm going to be a freaked out mom who hasn't wrapped the rest of the Christmas presents yet, dinner still needs to be made, dishes need to be done, house needs to be cleaned and I should probably have a beer at the table with my husband while we discuss all the funny things the kids have said in the day.

Monday, October 8, 2012

What the?!?!?!?

It's so easy when something goes wrong to immediately start questioning yourself and lowering your expectations. The hardest thing to do is remembering to believe in yourself. Yesterday I ran the usa 10 mile champs and came away feeling really upset and discouraged. I got a lot of support from people and while it made me feel loved the excuses frustrated me. "You just had the flu", "you have been worried about your ankle" on and on. I think it's natural to want to blame it on something...at this point ANYTHING. I mean I've run a faster 10 mile in route to a half, I've run almost as fast at altitude, even in workouts. All this left me feeling like wow what is going on with me.

Last year was an amazing progression for me I was rocking and rolling. Running PR's left and right. It was amazing! Now I'm left with feeling like every race needs to be a PR or earth shattering. Sadly that's just not running and sadly running is 90% mental. What does this mean? It means I go in to every race thinking oh crap that last race was a real sh** show this will be the same. Trust me I do everything I can to stop thinking about it, to try and put the last race out of my head, but it never fails to still haunt me. It's also really hard to not compare yourself to people you race a lot. For example usually I'm ahead of so and so, or just behind this person. In running anything can happen on any given day so comparing yourself is not ideal. Yet again it's the nature of the beast.

After 3 races in this marathon build up and 3 disappointments I'm left to feel "what is going on". Do I need to do more? Do I need to do something different? I've been training hard but I'm the first to admit this build up has not been perfect. I've had some hiccups and some set backs. This is hard for me as I feel like the marathon is more "my" thing. Granted I've only done one but it was the most I've ever enjoyed training as well as racing.

True to our schedule the ADP group set out yesterday afternoon to do our second workout of the day. We hit Fort Schnelling in MN for a nice 10+ mile workout. This is when my spirits were lifted. I felt just as good if not better than the race. I was hitting the same paces or faster than I was during the race. It felt smooth and controlled and I felt indestructible. While this does little to make me feel better about not being able to get my turnover going during the race it gave me 100% more confidence for NYC! Like I said I don't want an excuse I want an answer so I can change it but maybe just maybe for me to be FAST like I was during the summer I need to focus on it. Lets be honest my stride is not exactly made for speed. So take a couple months of doing marathon pace and I think my body just settles in and has a hard time adjusting back down to the speed. It's not good of me but maybe something I can work on for down the road. It could be just being so "young" in running my body just hasn't learned to jump up and down. So while I'm super frustrated and worried I also remember YES I am the same runner that ran 32:48 for 10k and 72:56 for the half not that long ago. I'm going to try to learn to shut that little voice up that keeps saying "that whole thing must have been luck because now holding sub 5:30 pace would take a miracle"  the fact remains I'm in great shape just not for anything other than the marathon. It still stinks to have raced these other races so slow yes.......but at the same point in my build up to Houston when I ran a half I ran two minutes slower than I did when I ran rock n roll Denver a couple weeks ago. So maybe just maybe I'm better off than I thought?!?!?

I'll see you with my two crazy kids and hubby in NYC!!!!!!! I'll be ready to rock! Until than I have 3 solid weeks of kicking my own butt in preparation!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Trying to figure it out

It's been forever since I've blogged. Mostly because I haven't really felt like what I've been doing is anywhere near "blog worthy". Just to catch up.......

The biggest highlight was the USA half champs. The half is by far my favorite distance. I had no idea what to expect from it as it was at the end of my season which was full of 10k training and a lot of racing! I was racing back to back weekends and traveling a lot to try and get my trials time of 32:45. It turns out not having any expectations of myself was the best thing ever! My goal was to run smart and try to pace myself with the Hanson girls. Having raced them in longer distances before I know they are by far the smartest racers I've ever seen. They go out controlled and end up kickin butt every time. I figured I'd just try to hang with them as long as possible. Long story short they ran smart like always so with them and the other few girls in my group I was able to pull of a new PR of 1:12:56. With the exception of the Marathon I've never been more happy with a race outcome before. This race was when the seed was planted and I started to believe that maybe just maybe with some good quality long runs and longer progressions I could possibly have a chance at the World Half team by running well at the 20k champs.

A couple days later I found out I was number 24 for the Olympic track and field trials. The trials were a great experience for me. I was seriously so excited to be there not so much for my race but because I wanted to be there so see my teammate Alisha rock it! The race itself was just blah......I tried to help set the pace for Ali to have an honest shot at the Olympic "A" standard but knew from half a mile in my legs were dead. Probably a result of the half a few days before or more than likely just a long haul of a season full of hard training and PR racing. But I do have to admit it was pretty cool to look up on the screen and see myself next to Shalanne. Not to mention of all the things I've done my boys will still tell people "My mom was winning the Olympic trials.........for a little bit" :)

Back to the seed that was planted. Together with Scott we decided I would take a week off (hello Las Vegas!) and than just put in a good stint of training before I raced again. This was hard for me as I REALLY like to race and I do feel better and better if I race a lot, but on the flip side when I do that I tend to race myself out of shape. This stint was going to be 9 weeks of solid efforts, I knew this would mean I was going to have an amazing race at the 20k's. Workouts were going so well. I even had a 10 mile progression that was just a tad slower than my ten mile race PR for altitude. WOOHOO! If only people would come and time my workouts.........

What I had been ignoring was this little stupid thing I had going on with my ankle, or at this point my kankle.
We've all done this, come on admit it runners, I fought with myself thinking this is no big deal. Running ALWAYS hurts something. Just keep training it will go away. SO for 6 weeks I did, for 6 weeks I'd hobble around the day after my good solid eforts, but to me it wasn't a big deal because my hard efforts were going great! I think as runners it's a non stop battle of toeing that injury line. I've been so so blessed not having had any problems yet, but I guess it's the nature of what we do. At some point more than likely we will all deal with it. I unfortunately am not good at dealing with it because I have this little voice in my head that tells me if I do I am WEAK! So I just kept plugging away.

The 20ks came and I was not excited. This is a weird feeling for me because racing is so much fun. However I knew my ankle was pissed off. Well I ran the 20k's, I fell apart, I had an awful race, got stuck in New haven an extra night, didn't even come close to making the world half team, I came home I let myself have a good cry and than I started training. My next long run resulted in a very fat ankle and I realized I needed to do something about this now. So I sadly pulled out of Philly did a lot of pool running, Alter G running and went to the doc. X-ray came back ok, I now have a normal size ankle and was determined to get in the half marathon I missed. Sadly Philly had come and gone so I had my amazing agent get me in to the Denver half a couple days before and moved on.

Welp I'd love to say I ran the half today, it was awesome and I rocked it. Instead I'll tell you I ran the half today, I ran a lot slower than I know I am capable of 1:17:11 and I'm disappointed. But I will also tell you I will shed no tears over my frustration, I mean hey I made it through the half and I have a normal sized ankle. Thats a victory! So I'll just (as Kevin says) "put my nose to the grind stone" and focus on what is important the New York City Marathon. I have time for some good training and I want to kick some butt there.

I have a hard time when I don't race like I should. I start telling myself I'm out of shape, I don't deserve to do this or that, so and so is going to kick my butt. In reality I know that non of it is true, but sadly running is 90% mental. The next couple weeks I'm going to spend my time trying to train the thing between my shoulders and cross my fingers that the 10 mile champs goes better than the last two!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

I didn't get the purple pants!

The last few weeks have been a bit of a roller coaster. After dropping out of Peyton Jordan my head was just not working in my favor.

First up was Bolder Boulder. I've already explained how it was a dream come true just to be in the race, but sadly the race was anything but a dream. It did little to help my confidence as I ran TERRIBLE! The whole race I just kept telling myself how much I wanted this and getting to run the whole race with Magda kept me plugging along. It was pretty cool just to hang out with Magda, Deena, Janet, Adriana and Sara. They are all ladies I really admire. Deena even has an awesome Mastiff just like we do! After the race I had my awesome support system of family and friends to help remind me this one race wasn't the end of the world. They even gave me a hard time for not being able to push harder and finish in front of Magda which would have made me a LOT of money.
 First thing my kids said after the race was "Mom your hair is CRAZY! and can we take a picture with your friends now who were in the Olympics"
 Not going to lie I have never been so happy to finish a race. Getting into the stadium is something I will forever cherish
Oh yeah that space there cost me a hell of a lot of money!

After Boulder I was pretty mentally down on myself. I think there are some time for all runners when they just feel like the work just doesn't seem to be paying off the way you hope. Luckily for me I have the worlds greatest coach and support system that keep me plugging away. So just 5 days after Boulder I talked Scott into letting me do my 3 mile uptempo at one of my favorite local races, Sierra's race in Loveland. For me it is so important to remember everyone who has supported me from the start and the family and friends of Sierra are very encouraging. This was my third time racing there and I will continue to do it as long as possible. Typically I run my 3 mile uptempo at 5:30's as it's a workout that is put in between races to keep the legs moving but not pushing to hard. Having run Sierra's before I knew mile 1 would be fast as it is downhill and than the last mile and a quarter or so are uphill. Since it was only a workout I wore my garmin so I could focus on paces. Doing this showed me why I NEVER race with a garmin. I was looking at it way too much slowing down speeding up, it would make me crazy. I ended up winning the race, setting a new course record and having a great time. Even the boys raced. It was just an all around great morning.  This was the best choice I could make. It taught me that I need to stop getting so worked up before races. It taught me I need to stop worying about anything outside of myself and what my legs need to do. The result will usually be a great race.

 Beautiful morning for a race!
 That's Chase in the black doing a great job of kicking to the finish
And Tripp on the left with a giant smile coming in strong!

I wanted to take the lessons I learned from Sierra's race and carry it over to Portland which happened to be just 6 days later. In the last month I have learned a lot of lessons mentally. Going in to Portland I was scared. I'm not going to lie, after Peyton Jordan I wasn't ready to get back on the track so I did my workouts at a local park that has a dirt trail. We have everything marked out there from 400 up to a 2 mile. It is for sure slower than the track as it has some hills in it, but mentally I could take hills more than the track. Not to mention ever since the 25k champs I have had a nagging groin thing going on. So as I was heading out to race my final shot at the Olympic trials I had little confidence in my ability. My mental state was not helped when I arrived at the airport to find out the hail storm the previous night meant that our plane got downgraded. After a long wait I ended up giving my seat up to a nice grand mother who needed to get to Portland for her Granddaughters gradutaion that night. I only neededto make sure I got there sometime before my race the following day so it seemed like the right thing to do. The result was a connecting flight and arriving 6 hours later. Normally this would send me in to a freaking panic but I was reminded by Scott "what would Pooh do?" So I just rolled with it.

Once I finally made it I found out I had great roommates, Adrianna Nelson and Kelly Callway. These two ladies were a ton of fun. We just hung out the day of the race not really stressing. Portland did it's best to try and freak me out by pouring rain on and off all day.
Are you kidding me? I didn't even know it could rain like that! Luckily though Craig ordered perfect conditions for the race and by some small miracle the skies cleared as the meet started. My pre race ritual was a lot different this time. I didn't stress over eating exactly what I had at Stanford I just went with whatever was available. I even (and hold on to your chairs when you read this) did my hair and nails different! I threw the damn superstitous thoughts out of my head. I wasn't nervous or excited or dreading I was just ready to get on the track. During the warm up I felt pretty crappy even running to the bathroom to throw up. Pretty sure I just had too much coffee during the day. Like most races before I knew it the gun was going off.

The start of the race was a bit nerve racking. All of us were ready to run 32:45 so it was crowded. I found myself in lane 2 so I decided to sprint up to the front so I could at least be in the outside of lane 1. I sat just behind Kim (our amazing pacer!) and Dani from Iowa state. The next two miles flew by but again with the field being so close in ability I was getting clipped like crazy. I decided to slow up a bit to sit on the back of the pack so I could not be clipped and I could be on the inside of lane one. This seemed to be fine as miles 3 and 4 really flew by. I felt amazing! For the first time I was able to do what Scott wanted. I literally turned my engine off and was along for the ride. Sadly I was a little too zoned out. I looked up to notice that Kim was in lane 4 which could only mean one thing, we were coming on mile 4. Since I have done this before I knew this was when the pack was going to make a move. Sure enough as I glanced to the front I could see that the first 4 of about 8-9 of us were breaking away. This time I was determined to not settle. I slowly ran around the girls in front of me, but by the time I got to the front the pack of four had gotten away from us. This is when it was going to get tough. I spent the next 9 laps on my own just focusing on them. I needed to catch them and I just couldn't do it. Looking back maybe I should have made a bit of a surge to force myself, but after races there are always things you know you should have done. The next mile was ok I slowed up a bit but was still on pace, than I lost it mentally. For some reason I though I had 4 laps to go when I heard the announcer say 5. I know it is ony 400 more but it really took me out of my zone. When I finally came around with one lap to go the announcer said 31:32 she needs a 73 for the final lap. At this point I knew I couldn't do it, but I pushed as much as I could and finished with a 32:48.45.

                                                           After the race with Adrianna

Luckily this time when I crossed I pushed Eeyore out of my head! Sure I was bummed I JUST missed it and it was my last mile that cost me, but I had just run a PR! Given the month I have had and the thoughts I had pre race I was honestly excited. I mean I gave my dream one last shot. Now I really have mixed emotions. When the season started I was really against running on the track. Mostly I think it was just going to prove to myself I wasn't good enough and I didn't want to deal with the disappointment. Now I am very glad I did. I gave it a go, I put myself out there and this time it wasn't enough. Does it mean all of the work I have put in the last 6 months was for nothing? Heck no! This new speed is going to transfer over to a kick ass fall marathon. I'm excited for what the future races holds. I am coming up on my first year of training with Scott and the ADP and look how far I have come. I can't keep comparing myself to any other runners. I'm on my own path and it is unique from others. Sadly my whole motivation to push myself toward the trials was getting the awesome Elite Adidas kit. The super cute purple pants have been on my mind since January! I won't get them this year but just the motivation to get them got me to a new PR. Now what? Well I entered myself into the trials and I will just have to wait until everyone declares on June 18th to see. The chance of me making the trials aren't very good but I am going to keep my fingers crossed that maybe just maybe some other girls decided to not run.

 I do want to give it up to the crew at Portland Track Festival! This was my kind of enviroment. There was music playing as we ran which was awesome! The laid back atmosphere is much more my style! Most of all I want to give a big, huge, gigantic thank you to my awesome teammate Loren! BRC is the absolute best team to be on! Loren was out in Portland to run the steeple and helped me more than he can know. He was encouraging as he was cheering my name. I had absolutly no idea who was cheering me on as I ran around but he kept me from falling apart!

It feels a little weird to not have the Olympic Trials on my schedule. I'm actually not too sure what I will do next. It feels a tad empty. In the short term I am going to head out to MN this weekend and run the USA half champs. It will be a really great time. I truly enjoy the distance and I will get to see a lot of friends!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Sometimes dreams really do come true!

My dream of running started back in May of 2009. I jumped into my first Bolder Boulder after not training all winter and only a few runs in the Spring. Oh yeah and  the two days before the race were spent with the stomach flu. Not exactly the ideal situation, but probably the most "fun" I have ever had in a race. I crossed the finish line completyly spent, I had no idea how tough the course was or even what a 10k felt like. My time was ok, I ran a 37:55 for 11th place female but man did it hurt! It wasn't so much what had happened in the last 38 minutes that changed me but more what was about to happen in a couple hours.

After I crossed the finish line I found Kevin and the boys so we could get a good seat to watch the Memorial ceremony after the races were over. We both thought our kids would love watching the jets, parachuting men and all of the festivities. As we sat in the stadium we ended up seeing the elite race come through. I remember hearing the crowd cheer these runners on as I watched Tera Moody and Alisha Williams run for team USA into the stadium. With goose bumps on my arms and tears in my eyes I looked at Kevin and said "I want to do that!" At the time I'm sure Kevin thought I was nuts. These women were running considerably faster than I had just run. Not to mention THEY were real runners I was just a mom who ran on the treadmill. The next day I went in to Doug Bell and told him I want to be in that race someday, I want to give running what I can and train. I had no idea at the time how this was about to change my life!

Fast forward to now. This weekend I will be running in the Bolder Boulder International team challenge! I am going to get to finish in that stadium with my family and friends cheering me on. I can't tell you how much this means to me! I know to a lot of people it sounds cheesy and goofy, but it's the whole reason I am who I am today. That one race changed my life!  There have been races in the past 3 years that I have had the honor of being a part of. Many USA championship races and most important the USA Olympic Marathon trials. All of which have been amazing and a dream! But for me Bolder Boulder is the race I feel the most excited and honored to be a part of! It is the place I started, it's always been the thing I have strived to have the honor to be in, not to mention it's a local race! I know it's a little nuts. I mean who would choose to run at 11 in the heat verses at 7 am in the cool weather? Who would prefer to run with 20 or so women instead of a huge field that you can tuck into men to help you out? Chances are you could end up alone. Chances are you could end up at the back for a bit. The thing is is this. Running is full of ups and downs. I have had a year of so many amazing ups. Joining the American Distance Project has turned out to be the best decision I have ever made. No it wasn't easy! I had to disappoint some people and leave what I was comfortable with behind. But it has brought me to the place I stand in today. The last few weeks I have struggled with myself on a physical and mental level but once again God knew how to help me. On Monday I will run my little heart out and give 110%  to finish in the stadium with all my loved ones around! This is the biggest "up" I could have!  I feel like I have really given a lot to running in the last year. Lots of sweat, pain, tears and sacrifice from both me and my loved ones. Plus lots of work from my teammates, my training partner and coach. So in a weird way I feel like yes it is all worth it. It's the little victories in running and life in general that keep us plugging away!

 I have so many people to be thankful to for all the joys and gifts I have been given in life! God has really blessed me with so much more than I ever dreamed of. I have an amazing supportive husband, two beautiful children, a brother who probably thinks I am 100% insane for doing this but still comes along to cheer me on,  family who supports me, amazing training partner and friends, awesome sponsors in the Boulder Running Company, Adidas, and Powerbar, and freaking awesome teammates!!!! I do look back now and find it funny how it worked out. That day I looked at Alisha and Tera and idolized them! That hasn't changed a bit they are two of the most amazing runners, but now I have had the honor of being their teammmates. They have given me advice, encouragment and support. I'll still always look up to them as runners but now I look up to them as women and friends. It's funny how God will put you in the right place to help you make the decision to change your life forever!

Can't wait to see you all out there on Monday! You better believe I will be out there drinking my coffee cheering you all on to a great race! Than as I run no matter how the race turns out for me I will listen for all of my friends encouraging words and remember just how blessed I am to be in this race!!!!!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mother's day

Since my mom died in a car crash nine years ago Mother's day has been painful. This weekend wasn't any different but it came at a perfect time for me to reflect. The day my mom died was the worst day of my life. No matter what people tell you time doesn't ease the pain and it doesn't get easier. Having a lot of extra time on Friday to think I reflected on how it changed my life. Yes I lost my best friend, the one person I had known for 22 years that was there for me no matter what. It seemed like nothing would ever be ok again. Truth is as hard as it is to deal with. There was at least some good that came from it. First and most important my 12 year old brother moved in with me and Kevin. At the time we were in way over our heads. We were newleyweds with a pre teen, but neither one of us had a second thought. Travis was meant to be with us. He was the first of three amazing boys I was given my three gifts from God. I was forced to grow up faster than I had planned but it made me who I am. It made me a fighter. All of you that were lucky enough to know my mom know she was a serious hard headed tough woman. She handed some of that down to me..........ok maybe a lot of the stubborn hard headed stuff comes from her :)

 I could go on and on about my mom but I'll get to the point. Friday as I was thinking back to my DNF just two weeks before and forward to the race about to take place I decided to make a promise to myself. I was worried the 25k was too long for me right now. I had been focusing on speed in the 10k and the trials this was kind of in the opposite direction. I decided to do what my mom would want, go for it. No I wasn't going to run with Janet, but I was going to push 5:30's or whatever the chase pack was at and see what I could do. Was there a chance I could fall apart? Sure. Was there a chance I could pull something out and have a great one? Sure. The thing was my mom would have gone for it. That's just how she lived her life. My mom was amazing! She went for everything and didn't stop until she had it. I needed something to wash the nasty taste out of my mouth from the DNF. So when the gun went off Saturday morning I went for it. I hit mile one in 5:24 I believe. It felt super easy but mile one usually does. There was a bit of a headwind the first half of the race so my only thought was find a pack of guys and just sit on them. This made me surge a bit before mile 1 to catch the guys which in turn made me go ahead of some girls I know better than to run in front of. They always run smart and catch you. I thought they would go with me and when they didn't I was committed no looking back now. The pack of guys said they were going to run 5:30 sounded perfect to me. During mile 2 it felt very easy like I was going to trip over their feet. When we got to mile two at 5:43 I knew why......it was an easy pace. Here is where I thought again. What would mom do? Hmmm.....she wouldn't settle. So I got out of the pack and focused on the two guys ahead of me. I pushed the pace. Before I broke off Allie and Emily had joined our pack. Luckily when I decided to go they came with me. We pushed the next couple miles in 5:30. Felt good but it was still early. Shortly after four Both girls started to pull away. At first I freaked but when I realized I was still hitting 5:30's I relaxed. There was a lot of race left. I'll spare you all the details but during the rest of the race I got myself into 5th, was a couple seconds from 4th and making ground, got passed by a pack of 3 (yes these we're the girls I knew better than to not run with early), and got picked off around 13 by another girl. As the girls passed me I just remembered my promise to myself. Just give it your all who cares if some girls beat you and you fall apart. I kept focused on the positive. I was still running a pretty good pace, I came through the half marathon at my exact half PR, and while I was slowing down I wasn't completely falling apart. When doubts settled in I just had to remember this was not a planned race, all you can do is give all of you. I ended the race in 1:27:47 and 8th place. I crossed the finish line disappointed but washed it awayMADD made myself be happy with it. Eighth place doesn't sound great and sure I could have run a faster time if I had run smart and conservative. I executed the race as I had planned and just pushed myself. On Saturday it didn't work in my favor, but sometimes you have to take a risk. Greatness never comes from playing it safe.

Today I am just happy I ran the race the best that Wendy could on that day. After dropping out at Stanford I had a lot of doubts about myself and my running. Maybe I wasn't tough enough mentally to do this whole competitive running thing. What I realized today is I could never give it up. Not for a reason anyone would guess. Yes I love being competitive, finding out how hard I can push myself. Truth is also that I run to show my kids that giving up is NEVER an option. I also run because of my friends I get to,spend time with while we pound out hundreds of miles together. But the one reason I do it that will never let me stop and the reason I started even though I didn't know it at the time? It's the one time I feel close to my mom. No she wasn't a runner. In fact she would probably tell me I am out of my mind for doing it. For whatever reason when I lace up my shoes and hit the roads i am 100% with my mom. I feel at ease running in this beautiful state thinking and talking with her. Bad days I'll run and cry to her, good days I'll run and thank her. Even when I am out running with my friends I am always thinking of her. Ever since I have started running I've just felt her with me always pushing me to give just a little more of myself. When I was very little my older sister was sick. I can remember sitting next to her window while she laid in her crib. Birds would always come up to the window and make her smile. When my sister passed my mom would always tell me the birds out flying and chirping at me were my sisters way of telling me she loved me. I'll never forget that. Anytime I am out running and negative thoughts come in my head it never fails there will be a bird chirping at me. It puts me at ease because I know it's my moms way of telling me she loves me. Knowing my mom it's also her way sometimes of telling me to pull my head out of my butt and get those negative thoughts out.

So while mothers day seems almost impossible to deal with I know I have my mom here to help me every step of the way. I guess my long winded point of the story is that there is always something good that comes from the bad stuff. I lost my mom but in return gained more of my brother. Got even closer to my aunt, uncle and cousins who are now more like my parents and sisters. Plus I became the tougher version of myself. Oh and I got to skip that whole doing a lot of dumb stuff in your 20's that most people now regret :). Stanford was bad but it made me stop and evaluate why I do this. Why it's important to me. Plus I'm sure somewhere down the road I will realize I've learned a lot more from that one awful race. Until next time everyone tell your mom how much you love them and remember running is FUN!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Who would have thought that silly old bear was so smart

"How can you get very far, If you don't know Who you are? How can you do what you ought, If you don't know What you've got? And if you don't know Which to do Of all the things in front of you, Than what you'll have when you are through Is just a mess without a clue Of all the best that can come true If you know What and Which and Who"

 As you all know I have two kids and have read Winnie the Pooh I don't know how many times. What is even more ironic is my whole life my dad has called me Winnie the Pooh.

From my last blog you all know I had one of the hardest weeks ever last week when I had an awesome DNF at Peyton Jordan. After being crushed on Sunday I told myself I could have 24 hours to be sad and that was all. So it was perfect Monday morning when Scott took us down to the bay to run that he was having me do an 18 mile progression. My first thought was great I was so pissed off last night I didn't eat dinner, followed by no sleep followed by coffee and just a few bites of breakfast......this is going to be a sh** show. As most runs go for me when I am upset I ran way too fast in the beginning which was only made worse by the fact that I was at sea level, clipping off all miles under 6:30 and a few close to 6 flat. This was in the first half of my rn which is never a good idea. But all I was doing was thinking, thinking how the night before went so wrong. I didn't go out crazy fast I went to the back of the pack like I planned and was just hanging on. First mile was 5:11 thats close to what I thought it would be, second mile 5:15 but I just couldn't get clicking. I spent the first hour of my 18 trying to figure out how this could happen. How could I hit 6xmile at home at altitude all under 5:19 and this could feel so bad. I knew there was one explanation that was out of my control but even that shouldn't stop me. I finished the run which ended up being very painful and hot at the end. Got in the car and was struggling to talk to anyone without crying. Scott asked me what I wanted to do next how I was feeling and I felt so bad I couldn't really respond. Just the thought of how much I had let myself down sent me into tears. I did the best I could the rest of the day but just wanted to get home to my husband and kids so I could get a big hug cry it out and move on.

The thing about a DNF is it tears you up. As a runner we train ourselves to do the opposite of what I had just done. WE train to stick it out. put our bodies in pain and just push on. This is the whole reason we do workouts. Luckily I have good friends. On Tuesday I didn't even feel like running but Michael shot me a text.."Lunch run?" Ok sure...that night Corey "I'm gonna run at gymnastics." This is pretty much how my whole week played out. Which is good because I would have preferred to just sit on my butt and do nothing. Than I had a workout last week. 12x800......GREAT! Just what I want to do put myself in pain and prove I am out of shape. Than the opposite happened. I ran my fastest 800 meter workout yet. Which should have made me happy right? Nope... it just made me more pissed. If I had had a bad race because I was out of shape THAT would have made sense. Instead I am running 2:29-2:35 at altitude fairly easily. Now I am even more mad!!!!!

 My way of coping last week with the anger was to go golfing a LOT! Turns out when I am a bad runner I am a pretty darn good golfer. As we are out golfing one night Kevin said maybe there is something to be learned from this. Usually you are so wound up about golfing and make mistakes, but now you are so pissed off about running you are a relaxed golfer and doing really well. HMMMMMM........the next day Scott asks me how I am doing, I explain I am fine taking up golfing to relax me. His response was Maybe there is a lesson to be learned here. Really? Do these two call one another up to gang up on me? After our discussion Scott told me I needed to go get the book "the Tao of Pooh". Sure why not I love to read maybe it will distract me. When I show up at the book store and pull the book out my first thought was SERIOUSLY? Is my head really shoved so far up my bum that I am given a reading assignment about Winnie the Pooh? Clearly I am not as patient as this darn bear. I would have chocked Eeyore a long time ago with his sad pathetic attitude. Than there is piglet really just leave me alone for five minutes. So this reading assignement should be interesting.

Funny enough I only get a few pages in when I come across my first EUREKA moment..... "Well" said Pooh "we keep looking for home and not finding it, so I thought that if we looked for this pit, we'd be sure not to find it, which would be a good thing, because then we might find something that we weren't looking for, which might be just what we were looking for really"

Yes I had something that may have slowed me down at PJ, but I think the bigger thing could have been my head. Immediatly when I found out what heat I got into I thought "I don't belong in this race I need to be in the second heat" "I can't run with these women" I need to hit 32:45 at least to guarantee my spot" "what pace is that, what do I need to hit a lap" Before the race had even gotten on the track I had already defeated myself. I need to be more like that silly old bear. Why did I do so good in the marathon? In my first crack at the 10,0000 on the track? Because I just ran with no expectations I just wanted to see what WENDY could do. Not how I could stack up with the others. I went out to those races thinking of finding my time. Just like Pooh is saying. I can't toe the line searching to prove I belong. I need to toe the line every time knowing I am in great shape. Who cares about pace or place lets just see what WENDY can do and the result will end up being a great time. The mental aspect of a race has always been my down fall. I am not going to sit here and tell you I have come to the relization that I belong with these women. I do feel like having started so late in life and feeling a little like I am out of my league is usually a strong thing for me. It means I go to practice and work that much harder feeling like I have a lot to do to catch up. In that aspect its a great thing BUT when it comes to race time it kills me. Maybe the physical thing slowing me down at PJ was there and when I knew it I just let myself give up. I just let myself say you are right you don't belong in this race. Now it's time to start believing in myself and going out looking for that "pit" instead of my time.

Moving forward I wasn't fully sure what to do. At first I thought I didn't want to try again and be crushed. But talking to my friend Dan helped me figure itout. Maybe I just didn't want to try again because I was too afraid of the pain if I didn't hit my time. In reality that time should not be a problem to hit. I am in the shape to do it. So Scott and I decided this week I will head out to Grand Rapid and run the USA 25k champs. In my head I am a little scared. I mean I ahve been training for a 10k this is more than double that. But Scott has never sent me to a race I am not prepared for so I am going in with an open mind. No time goal no place goal. What I want out of this race is to have fun. I need to have a road race to remember why I love this so much. Track races are a fun place to get a fast time and maybe a lot of people find them really fun because they are great at it. I just don't. I love to run fast but I love the roads. AFter a road race it's a big party with all these people that are just as crazy as you. A fun time to get to know one another and just relax. I am really looking forward to that. If I can come away with a little prize money that would be awesome but mostly I just want to have a good race experienceto erase the thoughts and doubts i my head right now. That being said I havent given up my dream. I want more than anything to be on the start line in Eugene so I will go to Portland the first week of June and give the 10,000 one more shot. Sounds like there will be a lot of wmen with the same goal in mind. Plus I hear Kim Conley will be there pacing us through 4 miles so it should be a good situation.

Until next time I am going to be working on getting the Eeyore out of me

"Nothing, Pooh Bear, nothing. We can't all, and some of us dont. That's all there is to it"

I'll start telling myself that I can!

Monday, April 30, 2012


So many words to describe what I'm feeling. Non of them positive. Disappointed, heartbroken, angry and sad. I promised myself I would NEVER dnf again! Sadly last night at I don't even know what lap I struggled with myself and pulled off the track. It's a horrible feeling to know I just quit. Should I have fought through and run a bad 10k? Maybe but maybe I also did the right thing. The funny thing about running is not everyday can be a good day. Since I ran 32:57 three weeks ago training has been going amazing! I've had some of the best workouts that I have ever had. I was juiced to take 12 seconds off and guarantee my spot in the trials. I had little doubt I couldn't do it until about three laps in last night. So now what do I do? My time will not get me in to the trials. It's going to take the A standard this year which is so great for distance running in the US. For me however it's not good. As soon as I pulled myself off the track I called Levin and just started crying. I knew I didn't have another shot at it and felt like I let so many down. My family, training partners, teammates, friends, coach and probably more than anyone myself. I gave myself some time to just cry than I talked to Scott. I guess there is one more shot at the OR track meet in June. Now the question is, can I put my heart in it for another shot. I have 5 weeks to train hard and try. BUT I could also just hit the roads. I mean I ran a 32:57 that's a pretty solid effort. Maybe it's just best to move back to the roads. Hit the 25k and half champs. Try to make some money and just have fun. I'm in the best shape I have ever been in I need to take advantage of it. I'm just not sure what my heart really wants. I know I have the fitness to hit the standard but that doesn't mean I'll have a good day come time for OR. We are never guaranteed that. It's a tough decision especially when after the disappointment of last night I just want to sit in my bed and say to hell with running! This has been a great string of races in the last year. I have pR'd in everything I tried. I shouldn't be so mad or upset but this one race will be what lingers in my head until I have another good one. I promised myself that no matter the outcome I would realize how blessed I am. That hasn't changed I know the sun still came up. I still have amazing friends and family! But I'm a perfectionist and having failed is hard! I'll take a day to think and decide what is best. If any of you have suggestions or know what you would do I would love to hear it! You know how it is right now I'm not thinking the positive of what could come :-) On a much brighter note, I had a lot of friends run awesome last night! Alisha Williams ran over a minute PR with a low 32 to stamp her ticket. Nicole Aish has made a statement in her "comeback" race on the track last night to get the A for the 5k in under 15:35! Allie Keiffer (who I have never met in person but is now a CO girl ran under 32:30 to get her A and Alvina Begay had an awesome performance getting the A with a 32:34!!! Joseph Chirlee who is also a part of the ADP ran 28:16 just one second off of the A. So many amazing performances and I am so proud of them all!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012


The last couple of days I have done my best to avoid all talk related to this weekends race. Since I saw the entry list last week I have kindof been freaking out! There are a LOT of impressive scary names on there. It seems every time I get on twitter or Facebook someone is talking about how stacked the 10,000 and 5,000 are this weekend. Athletes are talking about trying for their A standards and press is talking about who they think will and who won't. I freak out before pretty much every race so all of this has only contributed. I want to hit the A standard, I want to get to the trials, I want to learn to compete with these women not just buy a ticket and watch the show! All of these thoughts and social media have made me think a lot this week about my blessings and why I started this sport. First I strapped my babies into this crazy big jogging stroller to lose the pounds I had packed on eating cheetos during pregnancy. I'd go maybe a mile or two or jump on the treadmill at the gym for a bit while I was reading a magazine. Than one day I thought why not jump into the race for the Cure on July 4th? It was a good workout to do before the parade and before I knew it I was joining a weekly running group on Wednesdays. This group urged me to run the Bolder Boulder for the first time and I thought why not it looks fun. THIS is when I decided I wanted to be a runner! I promised to myself I would work as hard as I had to to see if I could ever get in that elite race! Lots of running, workouts, friends and races later here I am. I ran in the Olympic marathon trials and finished 12th and am shooting to make the trials in the 10,000 this summer. It seems pretty sureal! When I get nervous and start to doubt myself I try to remember one thing. I have so many BLESSINGS!!!! As a runner it's so easy for us to get down on life when we have a bad workout, run or race. Than on the flip side its so easy for us to get so amped up when we have a great run, workout or race! It's a funny thing like that! So as a preview to my race I just want to remember how blessed I am. God has really treated me better than I could ever imagine! I have an amazing family! My husband supports me 110% which is sometimes a lot of work. I have these two amazing, perfect children! Yes they drive me crazy on occasion and sometimes all day long, but they are my life! I am able to do what I always wanted to do stay home and be a mom! It's the most rewarding job I could ever have! I have a great extended family who supports me like crazy even if they don't understand running and they think I am slighlty nuts! My in laws will watch my kids every day if I need them to so I can get a run or workout in. My aunt, uncle, dad step mom, cousins, sister, brothers are all here to push me along. I have some amazing sponsers who were here for me when I could barely break 18 for the 5k and are just as happy for me now that I am running Olympics trials times. Boulder Running Company (colorado Springs), Cody Hill and Adidas have made it possible for this girl to keep chasing a dream. Now I also have PowerBar who keeps me (and sometimes my kids) fueled for good performance. I often think about how my mom is up there pulling some strings and helping me out pushing me to keep plugging away. Than of course I have all of my friends who would do anything to help me reach my dreams. Poor Tyler even does some extreme workouts when I know he would prefer to be hanging out and relaxing. There is also my coach, Scott Simmons, who puts a lot of time and effort into my running. So what I want to say and hope everyone remembers when they are having a bad race, bad day or just think life is not going their way. Even if I don't run 32:45 on Sunday I know I am the luckiest girl alive! I really am living the life of my dreams! Running is very important to me but I know that any day I could end up injured or not able to run. IF that were to happen I would still have this amazing life that God has blessed me with! To end this kind of random blog our team is also doing our first fundraiser. I would really appreciate any support!!!!! Check it out! https://charitybets.com/users/148-wendy-thomas Here is to a 32:45 :)

Sunday, April 8, 2012

So I qualified?!?!!

So as you know from my previous blog going into this weekend I was not at all sure what to expect. I'm not much for putting my goals out for others to see but I can fess up now. The goal for the race was to hit 33:20. I'm not going to lie I kind of thought there was no way I was going to hit that. All day long poor Ali had to listen to me say how crazy this was, how I really didn't want to run on the track, on and on. My plan (Scott was not informed of this yet) was to run this stupid track thing, hope i hit 33:20 which would give me the Olympic Trials B standard and hope that was good enough to get me in the race. Lucky for me I got to go after my friends. Earlier in the day Janelle Martinez ran a great PR in the 5k 16:58 in her first track 5k for Oklahoma State. Than just before my race Ali got on the track to run a seriously inspiring 5k. She ran a PR of 15:24and finished 4th in a stacked field. Watching as much of her race as I could fit into my warm up and preparation was just what I needed! I got to see a bit of how it works on the track how she tucked into the inside and went along for the ride. I dont get to work out with Ali too mich since we live a couple hours apart but i do get to go down on occasion and hit some hard days with her. Just a week before the race i had the pleasure of doing our 400 workout together. So seeing Ali do so well helped calm me, the workout i did with her went great so i knew i was just as ready as she was. (Lets make it clear though i was ready for my pace no way in hell i can do her pace ;)) But most importantly as I was walking onto the track Ali grabbed me and said "you've got this, you are more prepared than you think." I didn't ask her later but I assume that comment came from the fact that neither one of us thought we were going to be able to go as fast as we wanted. This calmed me down and made me put my game face on!

I had asked Scott on my way to the track if I should aim for a certain pace. His response was just to get in the pack and not to worry about it just run the race. There were a lot of things I was nervous about, my ankle, running in spikes, being in a large group of girls, being able to handle the pace the list is pretty long. But as soon as the gun went off I zoned in. I did my typical get to the front (oops) and ran behind one girl the first couple laps. We ran 75 not exactly what I was expecting. It felt easy but in my head I was thinking oh man this could end up being a long night! Luckily we settled in and started hitting 78-80 for the next 19 laps. The whole time I thought I was at the end just keeping contact but after watching the video i see i was some place in the middle of about 20 girls. My only focus was to not look at the lap counter and keep contact for as long as I could. There was a lot of jostling so I made mistakes of slowing down and speeding up to avoid being involved. Next time I know I need to just hold my position to avoid wasting energy of speeding up and slowing down. I was feeling pretty comfortable the first 19 laps and promised myself I wouldn't count over all laps. I only allowed myself to count to a mile 1, 2, 3 look at watch at 4 to get mile split. First mile 5:14.....yikes, second mile, 5:16, oh man....3rd mile 5:16 5k 16:25 WHAT?!?!? This was a new 5k PR. I had to tell myself it was ok. You feel comfortable so the numbers don't matter! Just keep running.
With 6 laps to go the pack had dwindled down to about 14 (and I know this because the announcer said "the pack is picking it up with 6 to go" Ah thanks?!?!). It was insane to me! People started pushing and moving all around and than they started to pull away. In my head I thought ok you are starting to work now and you are about to lose them try to just focus. I did good holding my original plan pace of 80's for the next four and than a girl caught up to me so I glued to her and ran a 79 for lap 24. This is where 10,000 is fun! I allowed myself to look at the clock as I passed to start lap 25. I tried to do the math and just couldn't get my brain to work. At first I thought I was going to run a 33:10 so I picked it up thinking what? I ran all 5 first miles under 5:20 how In the world. But when I hit 200 I realized what I can get under 33? GO, Go, Go! My legs were tired and my body wanted to just hold pace but I finished with a 76 and a 32:57!!!! At the time I was pumped! I had just run 23 seconds faster than I thought was possible and I got the B standard almost the A!
This only lasted until I realized I was 13th. Place in the race really didn't matter to me what mattered to me was this......the 10k is not like the marathon. Hitting the B standard is only provisional, they allow24 women into the race on June 22nd and sadly 12 women just ran faster than me TONIGHT. There will be faster girls on April 29th on the same track, some women have already run faster than that last year :( So my mind set changed. I will be back for the meet on April 29th I want to run the A! Will it be easy? No way! Sure 12 seconds is only 1/2 a second a lap but honestly I think I gave all I had this weekend. Can two solid weeks of training mean 12 seconds? There are for sure things I can do to be a smarter track runner like not letting up, no surging when it's not necessary, and can I make that move next time? Watching the video I think why didn't you? Part of it was being scared, part of it was that maybe I wasn't ready. But for the first couple laps they only picked it up a bit. So maybe I should have pushed through the pain, but myself in that scary hurt locker and held on maybe a couple more before they started really hammering the pace down. I know for sure I was not ready to make the moves to the end but maybe if I could have held on a couple more laps someone else would have fallen off with me and helped keep me on pace. Don't get me wrong I am so pleased with my race! It was a 1:06 10k PR in my first ever attempt on the track I am only thinking of ways I can improve when I try again. And believe me I will be trying again! It's so funny what one race can do. I went in thinking I had no speed, I wasn't ready and had a bad attitude toward the track. Now I am hungry for those 12 seconds and my auto birth into the trials. Until than I'll train my little ass off and cross my fingers that my current time will be enough.

Before I cut out of this long blog I do have to give huge props to my coach Scott Simmons! I can not say enough for how far he has brought me and my teammates! I still have no idea why he took the chance that I could be good at this but I am so grateful! I don't know why not everyone is knocking down his door to coach them, I don't know that there is any secret ingredient to making a runner good other than really hard work, but I'm pretty sure Scott's play book has to belretry darn close to the best! Just some examples of my improvement since I started with him at the end of June 2011
5k- 16:52 down to 16:25 and that was just on my way to a 10k
10k-34:25 down to 32:57
Half marathon- 1:17:?? Down to 1:13:46
Marathon debut 2:34:25
Numbers don't lie he is doing something right :) and that's just my times. Ali has been getting great PR's Joseph Chirlee got a new 10k PR this weekend and I can not wait to see what Adrian, Shannon and Tommy do at Penn and Mt Sac. I have a feeling we are about to see a lot of new PR's in the American Distance Project!!!!

Friday, April 6, 2012

It's time to learn something about myself

"when you put yourself on the line in a race and expose yourself to the unknown you learn things about yourself that are very exciting"

I just read this as I nervously sit around reading twitter. It scares me and excites me all at the same time. Tonight I will jump on the track in CA for the Stanford Invite and attempt to run 25 laps. I have run a lot of 10k's I have even run a marathon but for some reason THIS race scares me like never before. I'm not sure if it's because it's a lot of laps on a track, the unknown of how to race on a track or the fact that I want to run it fast? Post marathon I haven't had a ton of confidence in my speed. Workouts seem to be getting pretty quick but for some reason I can't wrap my head around going that fast!

This track thing is so different. For one normally my race would already be over! Sitting around all day with nothing but time to think is making me crazy! Should I eat more? Is that going to sit well if I do eat it? Should I nap? Why does my ankle hurt so much? This is the worst scenario for me :) I should not be left alone with my thoughts for this long. I'm trying to focus on the positive. All my workouts on the track are a 10k I complete those as fast or faster than I want to race tonight. The track isn't my thing so if it goes well that's icing on the cake for all the hard work I put in on the track. If not? Well it's not the end of the world! I am so much more comfortable on the roads but running is a lot like life. If we all did only the things we are comfortable with it would be so boring! So tonight I will get on the track, I will try to zone out for four miles, if I'm off pace on one lap I will try not to let it freak me out, I'll try to fall in to the pack and enjoy the magic of Stanford I've heard so much about, I'll think of my boys and know that I'm always making them do things they hate and I'll smile at the pain, I'll try to follow in my friend Janelle Martinez foot steps (she got a kick ass PR today in the 5k), I'll race right after Ali who I know will tear it up!, I'll listen for Scott to try and focus on staying relaxed and most of all I'm going to try to have as much fun as possible! Sure I want that OTQ but either way I was reminded this will result in a track PR no matter what I run!

Back to the beginning.....
This quote is very true. I can learn a lot about myself tonight. It can be good, it can be bad but no matter the outcome it will get me a step closer to what I want to do in the half and marathon this year.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Funny how a year can change so much

This last weekend was both a blast and a let down. I headed out to NYC knowing it was my first race back post marathon and not really expecting anything from myself maybe just top 25. It was just a good rust buster to see where I was and what kind of work needed to be done. So thats what I told myself, BUT the little voice in the back of my head was wanting to PR wanting to have a great showing and maybe sneak in top 20. Scott had given me a plan to just hang with a couple girls and feel comfortable. SO no pressure from him at all.

Race morning I felt ok not really nervous just ready to go. The crowd support in NYC is incredible and the start was full of people! It was very exciting. Once we all got lined up it seemed like seconds before the gun went off. At this point I had no idea where the girls I wanted to run with were at. All I knew was holy crap these girls are going out fast. I knew central Park was the toughest part of the course so I was trying to just stay comfortable and not get carried away in the early pace which I thought I would surely pay for later. Mile one came by quick and I was on pace for what I wanted to hit, but I got a little worried. This is never how I race! Usually the first two miles are way too fast and than I settle in. If I was on pace now did that mean I wasn't ready to race? Would I drop far off of pace and run a horrible time? At this point I found myself alone with no girls to run with. There were a few guys I could catch up to but than they would fall off having gone out to fast. I did manage to run a couple miles in Central Park with a girl from BAA and NYAC we kind of just leap frogged each other back and forth until we left the park. During Central Park I tried really hard not to look at my watch. IT's so hilly that splits were all over the place. 5:30 followed by a 5:40's I kept telling myself just keep the effort the same in the park and when you get out of here the race will start and you can really get rolling. This would have been a great idea however once we made the trun out of the park we were dealt with a nasty head wind. I spent most of the next half of the race catching up to guys and trying to use them for a wind block. Sadly the last 7 miles I ran mostly solo into the wind. My paces were ok but I was not making up the time I needed to from the slow hilly miles in the beginning. I knew I wasn't going to PR so I tried to just keep my pace up and at least make it into the low 74's. I do have to admit that once I realized it wasn't my day I wanted to focus on something to avoid putting myself down. At this point I realized I was running through Time square it was so cool! The morning was foggy so it felt like we were in the twilight zone. The rest of the race went by just ok my splits stayed kind of where I wanted them but I did fiish with a 5:35 the last mile and am even happy to say when i saw the sign for 800 to go I was actually able to pick it up and "sprint"! In the last 800 I passed 5 guys. I don't really ever sprint so this was the best thing I can take away from the race, I was strong!

I ended up finishing the race in a 74:19 not bad for a off day on a tough course, but not a great race either. After the race I went for a run with one of the nicest runners I have ever gotten to know Diane Nukuri-Johnson who had a great race finishing 11th. I wasn't really down or upset but as we were talking about our races I think she could tell I was frustrated. All weekend long Diane and her friend from S. Africa Irvette had been so amazingly nice to me but it was what she told me after the race that made me feel better. She told me a story about her and Kim Smith. Just a year or two before she had run a 74 on the same day Kim had blazed to a 67 something. Kim had asked her about her race and told her great job. Diane responded with a are you cray you were 7 minutes ahead of me. Kim reassured her it would get easier and she would get faster. Now fast forward to this year Diane ran a 70:55 pretty damn fast! We talked about how it will get better and faster which put it all into perspective for me. Had I run a 74 last year it would have been good enough to qualify me for the trials and I would have ended the race in tears of joy. Sunday I finished the race in 74 and had small tears of frustration. This race is only my first race back after the marathon, a couple weeks off and a short turn around. There is no need to be upset. My first half last year was 76 than I ran a 73 so I am already ahead of the game my first half was 74. Now I just need to bust my butt and get the season rolling. I'm hoping to jump into a 5k before I head out to Standford for the 10k on the track. I feel like I need a race that is blazing as to not shock me on the pace in the 10k. The 5:20 sure feels a lot different than my 5:50 pace for the marathon!

Some other things were pretty amazing this weekend.
First I have to give it to the NYRR they treat athletes so amazing! Everything they did was really top notch. Even though as I ran through Central Park my mind was thinking I must be crazy to want to run a marathon here and FINISH in this park I actually would LOVE to have the opportunity to go back and tackle the park again!

I also have to let you all know that if you are looking for an American runner to support and cheer for it has to be Janet Cheberon-Bawcom! Number one she is amazingly talented and on a roll. She finished as the second American this weekend, 5th female in a cray fast 69:55!! Pretty amazing! But you should really be behind her because she is simply the sweetest person I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. Her and her husband are just so nice and caring. After she finishes a race like that she still asks me how it went and is supportive. Keep an eye out for her because she is on a roll!

Also its no big deal but I did a run with Kim Smith. :)Friday morning Diane and Irvette were nice enough to take me to Central Park for a run. I had to run longer than they did and when our run was winding down Kim jumped in with us. I was so nervous as the two I had been running with were leaving and I was going to be running with Kim. What would I say? She is a complete and total badass! I was immediatly the little girl who just ran into one of her idols. Luckily Kim is a super personable lady and we just had a normal conversation. It was so cool! For a woman who has no idea why I am lucky enough to be put in these situations I was smiling ear to ear the rest of the day.

I also had a few firsts. I bought a purse from a guys trunk. Figured I should do it since I was in NY :) I walked around and saw a lot of amaing sights in NYC. Saturday being St Patrick's day the city was crazy hopping with the parade just a block from my hotelSo on my run Saturday Central Park was packed! I have to say I have never been chased down by a drunk college kid on my morning run as he yelled "hey baby I love the way you run wait up." I guess only in NYC.

Overall I had a great experience and am so grateful to David Monti, the NYRR, Caroline (my agent) for getting me in the race, Scott for telling me to go as it would be a great experience and Mary Wittenberg for being so supportive of distance runners and our goals! For a girl who just started this journey of running a few years ago I am feeling very blessed!!!

Now off to run......lots of work to do to reach my goals!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

It's great to be a part of a team!

It's been a while since I've blogged mostly because I haven't felt super excited about what I was accomplishing. Anyone who knows me knows that I am really hard on myself. So this is how the last couple of months have gone........

I came off of the trials on cloud 9, I was so excited for what I had just accomplished, what this meant for what I could do in the future and I was pumped to get back to training. The week following the marathon I was on vacation with the family which was a great way to keep me from jumping the gun and getting back out there too fast. I took the week pretty easy followed by a week of a gradual mileage build up. The legs felt fine I though it was all roses UNTIL.......week three when I jumped back into workouts. My first workout was mile repeats on the track. It was so depressing I threw a nice little temper tantrum that could rival any my kids have ever thrown. My legs felt fine but hitting 5:20 was pushing with ALL I had. All I could think was crap! Before I had started marathon training hitting 5:20 was effortless. I started to feel like I had taken one step forward with the marathon to take three steps back with speed. My mind started to freak out. If I can't hit 5:20 effortlessly anymore how in the he** did I think I was going to hit 33:?? on the track to qualify for the trials. Had I lost my mind? In whose world did running 25 laps around a track even sound good when I was struggling to hit 4 laps?? I'll be honest I love the 10k on the roads, the track well thats a different story. I am so afraid of the track that I was having a hard time just visualizing getting on it.

Needless to say the following five weeks of workouts were not exactly what I would call pretty 800's, 400's, miles, predator runs and long runs all seemed to get in my head. But just like Scott said each week got better, each week got "easier" but i still just couldn't get my head on straight. How could I be in the best shape of my life and still feel like the out of shape girl who was breathing so hard I thought I would die :) Part of my problem also was reading other girls blogs who said they were feeling great and running faster than ever and already racing.

Ok let me get to the point (I ramble a lot don't I) Here is where having a team has helped me. This past weekend I went down to Pueblo to do the Spring Runoff 10 mile which also happend to be the Usatf CO 10 mile champs. Since I am racing in NYC next weekend I wasn't going to use the race as a race but as a workout. Luckily Scott also sent Ali down to do the same. Saturday I did my ten miles with Ali and just got to talk to her about it all. Ali is someone I really look up to. She is an amazing runner and a very bright lady! We talked a lot about how I was feeling and how frustrated I was. When we left the run I felt a lot better. The next morning we had a great workout at the 10 mile. The first five miles were very rough as there was a nasty head wind and nothing to block it as we were running in the open along the river. We worked together very well and stayed together until around 8.5 miles. (Ali has a nasty little kick! I guess thats what you get when you are as speedy as she is.) WE crossed the line first and second in 59 and 59:14 I believe. No the times were not anything to get excited about, but I had just hung in a workout with Ali! I was pretty excited. I had a high mileage week and a pretty good effort given the circumstances.Plus our ADP teammate Adrian came in 3rd for her workout as well! IT was so nice at the awards to see the BRC orange/purple shirts dominating the mens and womens top ten!

The race and talking to Ali was exactly what I needed! Running can be a tricky thing, if you get it in your head that you are doing awful you will probably start doing awful. I'm trying to remember that I hated marathon training in the beginning but by the end I was thriving off of it. So now I hate speed training, but it's early in the season and come summer time I am going to love it! Not to mention the weather is getting nicer which just puts me in a better mood to get out the door and kick some butt!

Next up is the NYC half on March 18th. I am so excited! I've never been to NYC! The field is very loaded so there is no pressure. Just go out, race and see what I've got. I really don't know anything about the course other than that its a new one this year. But anytime you get to go to NYC not to mention toe the line with Kara and Desi it can't be too bad!!!!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Good articles

Here are a couple good articles done after the trials

Awesome pictures

Olympic Trials

Wow I don't even know where to begin.
Going to the trials was a dream of mine and when I woke up Thursday I couldn't believe it was time to head out. I was happy to be joined by my brother Travis who did a good job keeping my mind off of the race and the poor guy even endured a lot of Real Housewives of ....... shows to keep my mind busy :)
I had been a slacker booking my hotel so Thursday early afternoon me and Travis flew in and drove to get to the Best Western and shortly after were heading over to the Hilton (the host hotel) to pick up my packet. At first I was bummed I didn't get into the host hotel but right after walking in the door and seeing how nervous being around everyone else made me I was so glad to just keep away from the madness. After getting my packet and so much information I thought my head was going to pop off I hit the treadmill for a quick and easy 6 mile run and than we were off to dinner with Scott. At dinner Scott had given me my race plan (a 5:50 pace) and I was scared to death! I did not think it was possible to keep that pace for 26 miles. The next 24 hours went by in a blur, my aunt and uncle arrived, Kevin and the boys arrived and before I knew it Kevin was driving me to the start.......

It was all really weird I actually got 7 hours of great sleep the night before the race. I woke up so calm, I had finally told myself to just do what Scott said. He wouldn't send me on a death march. He knew what I had done to prepare and he knew what I was capable of. Kevin dropped me off at the hotel and told me that at mile 20 or mile 22 when it starts to hurt and I want to give in to just remember my mom. Remember how much of a fighter she was and remember I get that from her. It brought tears to my eyes and than I was off. I spent the next couple hours having coffee and eating my bagel with peanut butter. There was a short 10 minute warm up and than we were off.

The first mile of the race was insane!!! We were going so slow that there was a gigantic pack. We all spent the whole first mile bumping and tripping on one another trying to find a safe spot to just stay on our feet. When we crossed mile 1 you could tell everyone was slower than expected 6:15!!! Good news is we all started to string out a little bit and by the time I took the turn into the first 8 mile loop I had found Ali and our little pack. Miles 3-6 were a little faster than we had expected 5:40-5:45 but we wanted to stay in our pack. Scott had warned us with the wind in the city it was vital to stay in a pack and not get stuck all alone. It scared me a little in the marathon to be putting time in the bank even though it really felt easy. I was worried it would come back to hurt me in the end of the race. Looking around in our pack though I knew I was in a good group it was Ali, Meghan Peyton, Kathy Newberry, Emily Harris, Ziola Gomez, myself and three other girls I didn't know. From racing these girls through out the year I knew they were all really good at pacing so if I could just hang in there with them until the pace settled in I knew we would be in good position. The group made it through the first 8 mile loop pretty much all together. As we went past our first water stations I decided the best thing for me to do was take a few sips at every station as well as a small bit of my GU. I figured with my touchy stomach not taking too much at once and staying ahead of dehydration was a good idea. Believe it or not getting the bottles, drinking and taking my gel proved to be a lot easier than I had expected it to be.

The wind was kind of a pain as we were heading out on the beginning of every loop so with the pack so big me and Ali tried to just tuck in behind and hold on as long as we could. Little did we know that half way through the second 8 mile loop we started losing people on the pack. By about 13-14 miles our pack had fallen down to three of us. Ali, Clara Peterson (also a mother of two little ones!!!) and myself. The weird thing about the marathon is you can just hold conversations as you are racing, I'm not too sure about this! When we realized it was just the three of us we talked about how we needed to stay together and we would slowly start picking people off. At mile 17 we started to pick off some really good runners and got a little out of control with a 5:37, it was such a rush! Luckily we settled back in and when we came to the end of our 2nd 8 mile loop passing my family we were in 25-27th place.

The next lap was the most exciting of the race. I was still feeling really good but all I could think was of the three of us in this pack I am probably going to be the one to get dropped. I just need to hold on as long as possible so I don't have to run too much of this by myself. Our pace was steady as we started the lap and than mile 19, 20, 21 started to slow close to or just at a 6 minute pace. It was just after we crossed mile 21 that I started to think to myself. I could see some women ahead and I was still feeling really good. Could I make a push and pick it up a little? I wanted to hit a 2:35! My next move scared me to death. I decided it was now or never. I still had some in the tank so I picked it up I picked off a couple more girls and just kept focusing on the next one in front of me. Than I noticed the girl right in front of me was Magda!!! Are you kidding me? What the heck am I doing up here? This can not be good, I must have gotten carried away! All the girls I just passed and ran away from were for sure going to catch back up to me. At some point I was going to hit a wall and start to die. What a rookie I was! I noticed Magda didn't stop for her 2nd to last water station so I figured ok I probably don't need it I'm just going to keep going, than I skipped my last one thinking I am too close to the finish for it to help anyway. I just kept going, I had my eyes focused on Magda's back she is one of my biggest idols! Just the fact that I was even close to her at this point was so exciting! I knew any minute my body was going to shut down but until than I have to keep pushing. But before I knew it I was at mile 25 and I felt GREAT! Sure I was tired but i wasn't hurting I had complete control of myself. Sadly Magda had more control as she went from being maybe 10-15 seconds ahead of me to 40 by the finish and from 12th to 10th place putting her in the money. I was so amazed just watching her hit her next gear and go. That's when Scott took me out of my trance and said come on if you are feeling good pick it up go get that girl in front of you. I really didn't think there was anyway for me to catch up to her but to my surprise I did! Just before the turn to the finish I passed my last competitor putting myself into 12th place. Than I heard the announcer say and here comes Katie McGregor.....yikes I was so excited I was racing close to some of the women I really look up to. When I crossed the finish line I had no idea what place I had just finished in all I knew was that I ran a 2:34:25!!!!! I really thought on my best day I would run a 2:35 and that was really stretching it! All I wanted was to run sub 2:38 and I would be happy. So a 2:34!!!! Woohoo!!! I turned around to see Ali coming across the line. We were both hugging one another jumping up and down. WE had done it! WE are now marathoners and it wasn't even that bad!

Scott called me over and he told me I was 12th, how exciting?!?!?! Than the little crazy competitor in me was disappointed I was so close to top ten, what could I have done different. Yeah I know I am crazy :)

The rest of the day was kind of crazy. I had such an amazing support group there and I wanted to try and spend time with everyone but I was also tired! At lunch with everyone I heard that my two training partners had made the trip out to Houston to cheer me on and didn't even tell me. I was moved to tears. These two guys have gotten me to this point. Had it not been for Corey and Tyler I don't know if I would have been able to do all of the training I had gone through in the last 13 weeks. There were times marathon training was really really tough. So to have them there to see what I went through......I can't even describe how grateful I am to them!

I spent the rest of the day hanging out with family. I hit the hot tub, went to the after party that Richard Fanning put on and back to the hotel to have some beers with my brother, Aunt, Uncle and Kevin. It was such an amazing day! Than.........I woke up Sunday and felt like a little old lady walking around. The only thing that hurt were my quads, which is odd for me I am not sure I've ever really had just my quads hurt. It did make for an interesting day walking to the aquarium.

The best part about the trip was that we were all heading to Galveston for the next 7 days to just unwind and enjoy some family time. My nieces live in Ohio, my brother works a lot so we don't get to see him as much as we would like to, my aunt and uncle are always there to support and help me with the kids, and getting to spend a week of just family time with Kevin and my kids was just what I needed! I'm not going to say it was easy I WANTED to go out and run so badly every single day but I did a very good job just relaxing and recovering! We spent the week going to Moody gardens, playing on the beach, hanging out on the Strand, going to the space museum, the zoo and on my birthday I got my first facial during my morning at the spa. What a great week!

Now its time to be back home and get back in the swing of things. I'm very optimistic for 2012! As long as I can stay healthy and continue to train I think good things will come.


**going into the third 8 mile lap I hear my brother in law on the mega phone that he took from a race volunteer cheering for me. Telling me I looked good, keep it up we will see you at the finish! I was cracking up!!!!

**Colleen making the Team Wendy shirts. I came around at mile 9 and could just see my kids, Travis, Kevin, Aunt Machelle, Uncle James, Chris, Colleen, Addison and Samantha all in matching blue. It put a smile on my face when I girl in the pack said well there is your family!

**Not ever hitting the wall! The marathon really is a great race if you are prepared right! It's a testament to Scott and Renato's training. I could see people hitting the wall and fading but I was kicking along.

**Houston did an amazing job with the race! They really did show us great southern hospitality!

**Having my dad, Sandy, Sister, brothers, all of their spouses and kids there cheering me on. All the family kept me going!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

What did I sign up for?!?!?!?!

I just spent the weekend down in Colorado Springs with my awesome family which was a great distraction from the little voice in my head telling me I am insane! While I was down there I got to see my cute as a button cousin who is 8 months pregnant and it made me realize that even though we are both in very different places in our lives we are also in the same spot.
Here is why.....

Being pregnant/ giving birth
For you ladies do you remember when you first found out you were pregnant? I was so happy I was in tears! It was so amazing you have this little life in you that you love before you have even met. For nine months all these amazing, and sometimes awful, things happen to you. Going to the doctor and hearing the heart beat or seeing your little munchkin on the TV for the first time. It's this great feeling AND THAN before you know it you are 8,9 months pregnant and you realize I have to do what? I mean you know it's coming you knew when this whole journey started but now it's real! Now you realize you have to push this little life out of you and it is not going to be fun. Are you ready for this? Are you mature enough to be a parent? Can you handle this financially? But you realize the end reward will be so sweet and the answer is if you are ready or not you are going to do the best you possibly can because this little life depends on you and that will be enough!

Marathon training/ Marathon racing
When I qualified in Philly I was SO happy that I could hardly control myself the last two miles I was all chocked up. After I crossed the line I was jumping up and down you would have thought I had just won the Olympics. Than a month later marathon training started. There were days I had such amazing runs and workouts and than there were the days I felt like crap. Some times I thought I was indestructible and than I ended up with the flu. So many ups and downs but through it all I was so happy to be a part of the Olympic trials. What an honor I couldn't wait AND THAN it was 2 weeks away and I realized I have to do what? Again I knew this whole journey I was going to run 26.2 miles and be able to call myself a marathoner. Now I realize I am going to run 26.2 miles! All these questions cross my mind. Did I do enough to prepare? Did I train hard enough? Am I cutting back enough? Am I eating enough? Am I going to be able to finish this race? Than I look back on training and remember there were days I would just stumble in to my bed after a 30 mile day with pure exhaustion. I gave it everything I had for the last 12 weeks I had no more to give. Plus I have complete faith in Scott he got me this far there is no way he would give me a training plan that didn't prepare me.

I haven't felt like this since I was pregnant with Chase. The unknown, being completely freaked out knowing what you have to do but also knowing there is so much you can't control. A lot of people have been asking me if I am nervous and the answer is yes and no. I am not really nervous because I am in the Olympic Trials, that is just an awesome added bonus! I am however nervous because this is my first marathon. Just like when I was pregnant people told me so many times how painful and horrible it is. I have heard stories of your body shutting down at 20 or points that you just have to drop out because you have no choice. I am super worried about taking my fluids and gels because I have such a touchy stomach. I guess I am scared because I have never put so much training into just one day. I have trained hard before but when I was training it was for multiple races. This time I feel like there are so many eggs in this one basket. I don't want to let my coach down, I don't want to disappoint my family who is coming or the ones who will be following me. I think when I do my second marathon (yeah I know I haven't even finished my first and I already know I'll want to do another one)I will feel a lot better.

All that being said I'm getting super excited to go to Texas and toe the line with so many amazing runners. Even more excited to be able to call myself a marathoner (so long as everything goes right.