Monday, April 10, 2017

Not Quite Down For The Count

I've mentioned my marathon right?
Yeah, I thought so.
They say that you always know when some one is a vegan, running a marathon, or does crossfit, because they don't stop talking about it!

This last Saturday I had my longest training run yet: 18 miles.  Yeesh.

We ran through the Andover back roads.  Hills, gravel roads, trucks barreling toward you without slowing, dogs running free.  Guess what else?  I live in Kansas.  Do you know what the word means?  it means "People of the (south) Wind".  That's no joke.  It's ALWAYS windy here.  There's nothing to block the breeze here in our lovely square (with a bite taken) state.  So, when running up and down hills on gravel roads, it's no surprise that I was pretty covered in dirt afterward.

For the last week or so, I've noticed a pain in my heel that has been getting steadily worse per run.  After a short 4 mile run last friday, I noticed that my pain was just as intense as my 15 miler the week before.  I looked online, and it seems that I've developed Plantar Fasciitis.

I only have three weeks left until my race!  What am I supposed to do???

Well, what can I do?  I'm going to continue training, and I'm going to run my race.  I've been icing and rolling and stretching and wearing the right shoes and doing everything I possibly can to relieve the pain and make sure I don't over do it.  But the simple truth is: I have 20 miles this saturday (4/16).  I need to make sure I get 20 miles in this week.  That's 5 miles a day for 4 days, or 4 miles a day for 5 days.  I would prefer the former, so that I can enjoy my Good Friday off and my 4 day weekend coming up.

We'll see.

If you're reading this, and you're the praying sort, pray that I don't over injure myself.  If I really tear this ligament, I can't afford surgery.  And I really want to run the Yellowstone trails this summer.

Onward and Upward, right?

Friday, April 7, 2017

Milestone After Milestone... Just Like Step By Step

To take a step in the "right" direction: forward, backward, sideways, whatever, means that you are moving.  Sometimes forward is the way to go.  Sometimes you need to go backwards and evaluate decisions.  Sometimes you need to step sideways and change your course completely.

It seems these days, that every step I take is a milestone.  A personal record (PR) if you will.

I've already talked about my Younique business and my summer job at Yellowstone National Park, but one milestone I haven't talked much about on this blog is my first Marathon.

I've run two Half Marathons before.  My first one was November 2014, and my time was simply abysmal.  I finished just short of three HOURS. Two years later, after completing a training course here in Wichita, I finished my second Half Marathon in roughly two hours and eighteen minutes.  Which was under my goal time of two hours and twenty minutes.  Yay me!

After that successful run, I decided to keep the momentum going and sign up to train for a FULL Marathon.  Training has been going well, until the middle of March.  Right when my speed group was getting to the long miles, further than I had ever run before and much needed for my psyche, I went down with some serious seasonal allergies for a full week, and then ANOTHER full week of something else for which I never saw a doctor.  I missed a seventeen mile run, and when I tried to go ten, I felt like I was going to die.  I couldn't believe it!  How could this happen?  How would I ever be able to finish a FULL marathon?  26.2 miles?  YEAH RIGHT.

Well, I got over the crud, started feeling better, and knocked out FIFTEEN miles (and a quarter) on April third.  I still feel great, and am looking forward to seventeen or eighteen this weekend (4/8).

My race is coming up at the end of April.  The twenty-ninth to be exact.  I can tell you that I am nervous, but I've been following the race on Facebook. They have been posting mile by mile videos, so that even though I don't live close enough to preview the course with a run, I can see where I'll be running.

This particular Marathon is special.  If you're not familiar with distance running, or Marathon running, the first one can really get to you.  It's a long way!  If you're not already familiar with the story of the first "marathon" then let me enlighten you.

The legend is that a Greek messenger was sent from the battle of Marathon to Athens to proclaim victory.  He ran the entire distance (supposedly 26.2 miles) without stopping, burst into the Assembly and shouted "WE WON!" before collapsing on the floor, DEAD.

*blink. blink*

Yeah, people use that as a means to tell me that I'm crazy.  But do you know what?  The Marathon has been an Olympic event since 1896.  And people have definitely been running it longer than that.  If they can do it, I can do it.  I DON'T plan to run all out, so I will NOT be dying at the end.  I plan on running my miles around 11:30/12 minutes per mile.  And I plan to have a nice sprint at the finish so I look good for the cameras!

One of the specialties of the OKC Memorial Marathon, is that first timers have a different bib look.  There are a ton of spectators along the route, and when they see the newbies coming they give a special hoot and holler!  The city knows what this run means, and it shows.

I'm excited to be a part of it, and honestly CAN'T WAIT to run it! I need a few more miles under my belt, but I'm certain I'll be just fine come race day.

You can check it out at the links I've shared here, or you can drive to Oklahoma City on April 30th!

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Opportunities Coming Out of My Ears!

Ok, it's no joke that I am not the most consistent with my posting.  And when big things happen, I tend to get really busy and this blog just slides to the backburner for MONTHS on end.


So here's my update.  If you read my last post (two months ago,) I've taken the plunge and become a Younique Independent Presenter.  Younique is a makeup/beauty company that makes quality, nature based products.  I have pretty sensitive skin when it comes to daily wear makeup, and this stuff is amazing.  Not only does it NOT break me out, but it stays put ALL DAY.  I don't have to use a lot, and it looks great!   I'm having a blast playing with all the new colors and products.  And while it is a lot of work, (yes, I do WORK at my business,) I wouldn't change my decision to become a presenter for the world.

Next, I've been accepted with a company that works withing Yellowstone National Park for the summer!  I'll be working at gas stations/convenient stores for a company called Yellowstone Park Service Stations (YPSS) for the ENTIRE summer!  Holy Cow!  I was feeling the wanderlust bug, but knowing I probably couldn't afford to travel if I wasn't able to find another supplemental job to replace the one ending in may (public schools), I decided to see if I could find a job that would take me away for a while.  In January I started to put out feelers.  I asked my friends, I asked facebook, I got the notion to see if I could find a job at a National Park.  While the official US National Park Service jobs were asking some serious questions, I learned of this small company and put in my application.  It's almost like fate.  My phone interview was conducted by a fellow from just north of where my parents live!  He offered me the job.  I'll be living and working IN THE PARK for almost 4 months!  (5/31-9/24).  I cannot express how exciting I am at this opportunity!  And while I know it was my attitude and mental issues that got me kicked off my amazing job on the Mystic Whaler last summer, I've been through almost a year of therapy and have some techniques I can do to calm myself down.  All I ask is prayer that I will be able to make it the full 4 months.  I'm not sure which station I'll be at yet (Upper Old Faithful, Lower Old Faithful, Grant Village, Fishing Bridge, Canyon, Tower/Roosevelt Junction, Mammoth Hot Springs,) I know that if YOU come visit, I'll be able to see you!  I'll have two days off TOGETHER each week.  (This is surprisingly one thing I am over the moon excited about!) I knew that the company highly encourages us to go exploring, but I also just discovered that there are group employee hikes that are already scheduled!  AND there are park employee sports!  Softball, Volleyball, Basketball, Soccer.  Oh my land!

So here's my conclusion:

Buy some makeup and come visit Yellowstone this summer 😉