Sometimes Things are Both Physically & Mentally Painful

I tend to eat better and exercise more often/with more intensity when I have an end goal. Sure, being healthy is a great end goal but blah blah blah. I need a ‘tangible’ end goal. When I trained for my bodybuilding competition in 2014, I had an end goal, one that put me up in front of a lot of people in a tiny competition suit. That was all the motivation I needed. I don’t have an end goal right now and my mind doesn’t kick into beast mode without one. I am running the Mercy Health Glass City Marathon in just over two months, but I am confident that I’ll be fine for the race. I am struggling with my weight and with the injuries that are taking their toll on my body. I need an end goal. I need motivation. Most of all, I need my body to cooperate with me.

In 2016 I battled a sixth knee surgery and with my heart condition. I slowly made a return to running over the fall and as of November I felt ready to take on a full running program to train for a half. Then it happened. I was sleeping and woke up with back spasms from the disc I slipped in early 2014. The best part is how I initially slipped the disc…by losing 40 pounds. Yeah, losing weight hurt my back. The short story, my back was used to being ‘hugged’ by my excess weight and when I lost it, my spine wasn’t ready for it.

Three weeks later and I’m still sidelined with this back injury. I ran twice and both times I could feel my disc, but didn’t feel pain from it. I lifted once with light weights and it strained my back as well. I am relatively in shape (but overweight for my height and body type) and I try to take care of myself, but I can’t get around the injuries that are never going away. My knee will always have issues. My heart will always have issues. My back is stupid and will have issues (unless I have surgery). I am not comfortable in my body when I look like this or feel like this. Changes are on the horizon.

I feel like I’m being cheated out of the fun parts of my spare time. Instead of run with my running family or spend time at the gym, I couch. My couch and I are pretty good friends now, but I need this friendship to take a break. I am antsy and I am feeling angry about these constant setbacks. Mentally, I am defeated and I won’t feel much better until I can run and lift again. I feel broken and none of this is fair. But, life isn’t fair so I can’t complain much.

Yes, I can get through this.
Yes, I can overcome anything.
Yes, I am strong-willed.
Yes, I know this will all pass and I’ll be even stronger after it ends.
Even though I stumble, I will not fall, but these damn setbacks are KILLING me.

Dave’s Marathon In Training Program for the 2017 Mercy Health Glass City Marathon

2017-spring-mitI was a solo runner for 5+ years.
My pace was constantly changing due to my heart issue. I was self conscious about how I looked when I ran. To tell you the truth, I liked the solitude.

I had the opportunity to train for the 2016 Mercy Health Glass City Marathon with Dave’s Marathon In Training group this past spring and it was a game-changer in my running life. Never before have I been immediately welcomed to a group and had such a great time running with other people. I still enjoy my solo runs, but now I have a running family that I can run with anytime.

Like it or not, 2017 is right around the corner and it’s time to start planning your spring race season. No matter what your goal is, to qualify for Boston or just to have fun and finish the race, the Marathon In Training program will work for you.
The spring Dave’s Marathon In Training offers nine different pace groups for each the Mercy Health Glass City Marathon and the Owens Corning Half Marathon. The training includes a training plan, three group runs each week (speed, tempo, long run), discounts to Dave’s races, weekly emails with tips and explanations of workouts, coupons to Dave’s Running Shop and some amazing swag. Ohhhh, the swag!

For registering for spring 2017 Dave’s Marathon In Training you’ll receive the following:
A North Face backpack. North Face, people!backpack A Nike 1/4 zip pullover for those long winter training runs.quarter-zip A Dave’s Marathon In Training t-shirt.shirtRegister before December 10 when the price for Marathon In Training increases. The training begins the week of January 2 so it’s time to pick your race and register for 16 weeks of fun!
I’m already signed up and can’t wait to get back to running with the group.

Now You Know & Knowing Is Half The Battle…

I’ve been sick for a few days and couching like a bad ass. This means I haven’t been running or lifting.
This means I feel like I am the laziest person alive. Okay, at least one of the top 10 laziest people alive. I have a friend that kept me company and that made couching a lot easier to handle.
I have no clue what numbers 1-8 are all about, as I just stole this, but number 9 seems to sum up my thoughts.
Even when my effort is sub par, I need to remember that I’m trying and that’s half the battle (G.I. Joe!).
I am bomb at getting to the gym and getting in my runs. I am not as amazing at eating within my macros.
When I plan my food out the night before and when I meal prep for the week, I have SO much success with eating. I’ll tell you that all of these delicious Oreo flavors are really making this rough. Remembering that even small steps are steps in the right direction.
2016-02-12 06.52.48-2
Dave’s Fall Marathon In Training begins next Monday and I was entering all of the training sessions into my planner and I always forget how much training a half marathon/marathon takes. It’s almost like it’s brand new every season.
Long runs are on Saturday’s at 8:00 a.m., which means I have to adult like a boss and go to bed at a respectable time on Friday’s. I have two more long races in the books for the year: Boy Scout Half Marathon and Churchill’s Half Marathon. I am just praying that my knee and heart stay happy for them.
2501e41b-d520-e511-a1f4-68b5996cf49aHow far in advance of a long race do you start training?
Do you train with Dave’s or with a training group in your city?

Register For Dave’s PR 5K Training Program

Many of you know that I took part in Dave’s Marathon In Training program this spring to prepare for the Mercy Health Glass City Marathon (fail).
Not only was this training program incredibly effective in helping prepare me for the GCM, but I made so many new running friends in the process. I plan on taking part in the Marathon In Training program in the fall to prep for Churchill’s Half Marathon on November 12, 2016.

This summer there is another training program available from Dave’s Running, PR5K, running from June 6 to July 30. Are you looking for a new Personal Record for a 5k distance? Want to train with a group for your very first 5K? Then this is the training program for you!


There is no better way to set a new personal record at the 5K distance than one of our four eight week training programs.

With each program you will receive a coupon book full of in store discounts, a Dave’s Running training T-shirt, a comprehensive eight week training plan and group emails filled with training information and motivational articles. That’s in addition to twice weekly organized group workouts (Monday & Wednesday), clinics and guest speakers and the Dave’s team of coaches.

There are pace groups available for every speed of runner.
Here are the groups and the list of coaches:

21 minutes and under: Steve McNamee and Michelle Brooks
23 minutes: Herman Burmeister and Lori Mahoney
25 minutes: Joan Matthews and Kelly Neundorfer
28 minutes: Sam Wygant and Amy Spieth
30 minutes: Allison Staccone and Janet White
35 minutes: Karen Whitting and Chris Peiffer
40+ minutes: Mary Steinhauser and Stacey Dietrich
First Time Runners: Jodi Harding and Casey Gibson

You have 2.5 weeks to register for the training program, but register today so you’re ready to get that PR you’re chasing!

6 DAYS & 7.1 Miles

Hahahahaha!! 7.1 miles.
I had to miss track night for work.
I ran on Thursday and then I ran only 1/3 of my Saturday mileage before my knee gave out on me.GCM-ambassador-750-logo

Am I nervous about 26.2 miles in 6 short days?
No lying about that.

I have given my knee free reign on telling me when I can and can’t run. In 6 days I tell my knee to STFU and I call the shots. I am ready for the Mercy Health Glass City Marathon to get here so I can (hopefully) shock myself with an amazing finish time.
I did alter my goal finish time over the last few weeks. I have a time that I would just die if I hit-it would be epic. A time that I would love to hit and feel like I really earned. And a time that if I hit, I will be happy with because my knee is a whore and I made it through the race in one piece.

I still have 6 more days to completely freak out, let the self induced stress begin!

My Favorite Race Day Signs

If you are a spectator who wants to bring a sign to hold as you watch runners pass I have a fun list for you.
There are SO many signs online if you want to go and search them out, but here are my favorites…

Because…it’s Christopher Walken. You can never go wrong with him.8a7e144dc4470db61503f3c1c60c84cf-300x300These kinds of signs piss me the fuck off, because I’m never ‘almost there.’ I don’t think the non-runners understand what ‘almost there’ means. BUT, following up any sign with ‘that’s what she said’ instantly makes any sign hilarious.funniest-race-signs-at-a-race-01Again, another ‘that’s what she said.’ Instantly funny as hell. funniest-race-signs-at-a-race-05And completely true…funniest-race-signs-at-a-race-08 But he’s still a major bad ass.funniest-race-signs-at-a-race-10funniest-race-signs-at-a-race-24
I really love ‘I trained all week to hold this sign,’ I’ve never seen that one before. And ‘Worst Parade Ever’ is always a fan favorite. gallery-imagesThis one is my favorite by far!!Austin-Marathon-race-sign-300x191
Before the Mercy Health Glass City Marathon and Owens Corning Half Marathon course changes, both races would run through Wildwood Metropark and split when they reached the University Parks Trail. When you got to the trail, there was always a sign that said ‘Oh, Split!’ And I laughed like a fool every single time I saw it. I am really hoping that they have the sign at the new spot where the two races split this year, I can always use a chuckle early on.

2 Weeks & 19.21 Miles

TWO WEEKS! Holy geez, there are only 14 days until we line up at 7:02 a.m. (or 7:15 a.m. for the 5k) for the Mercy Health Glass City Marathon. Wow. Did that sneak up or what?!  GCM-ambassador-750-logo

My week started out fantastically! My knee was happy-ish and my heart hasn’t really been giving me too many problems since the failed Ed Dibble Run on April 2.

Monday – 6 miles
The Great Black Swamp Brewery was tapping their first keg of Glass City Glory, the beer they brew especially for the Mercy Health Glass City Marathon. The beer is served in their bar and also at the post-race party on Sunday, April 24. It is a wheat beer and is crazy delicious in my opinion. A bunch of Dave’s Marathon In Training runners met to get in a few miles and then meet at the brewery to celebrate the tapping. Don’t you meet somewhere to celebrate when a keg is tapped? You’re missing out…
We ran 6 miles from the Perrysburg YMCA, around Levis Commons then back to the Y. We kept a great pace of 10:08. I had a few too many pints, but it was a fabulous evening, I needed to forget parts of life lately. 2016-04-10 20.51.35

Tuesday – 4 miles
This was our first track workout outside, we are no longer meeting at BGSU. Lucky for us it was crazy cold out on Tuesday and were all bundled up in winter running gear. (dramatic eye roll). Our workout for the night was 2-3 2000s with a 4 minute rest in between. My pace was spot on, actually it was faster than we were supposed to be running, but it felt good!

Wednesday – 0 miles

Thursday – 0 miles

Friday – 0 miles

Saturday – 0 miles
It snowed 5″+ on Friday night/Saturday morning and it was a hot mess outside. The group was going to run at 7 a.m. and it was decided to postpone due to the trails probably not being cleared off yet. I was happy with that decision, who doesn’t love going back to bed after getting up before 5 a.m.?

Sunday – 9.21 miles
I LOATHE ending my mileage on some funky ass number like .21, but my knee wasn’t having another step at the end of my run this morning. 18 were on the schedule, and as per my last few long runs, my knee took a shit and I couldn’t finish. I was doing pretty well up until mile 7+. I took a quick walk to get my tibia to quit rubbing and I had a sharp bone pain so intense that I let out an OWWWWWW and maybe a fun swear word after it hehe. After that, the dull pain didn’t go away. I wanted 14 at a minimum, but had to settle with 9.

Am I worried about running the full with my knee giving me such intense issues? Nah, not really. Mostly because race day adrenaline will help, running with a friend or two and having their support will help, a lot of ibuprofen will help, and my intense need to finish this marathon like a bad ass will help. I have new speed that came out of no where, I need to show myself what I’m capable of.

Of course I wish that my knee was treating me better right now, but I think that after I get back to running at the end of June (and hopefully before then), I’ll be stronger than ever before. If nothing else, I won’t have the current knee issues!

14 days people!
Do you have questions about race weekend? Check out my FAQ’s Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3.
Let me know if you have any questions about race weekend!