Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Turkey (aka KILLER) Trot

Ah...the Turkey Trot. This one I have done each year since I started this insane sport of running. It's not my favorite race because it's a four miler and the route is repeated twice. Oh, and the last mile and a half is up-hill. I always hate it when they do that! I wasn't going to run it this year because I haven't been running as many miles each day lately due to the SWINE FLU I had in October. I am surprised how hard it has been to come back lung wise from that dang flu. So, I have been taking it pretty easy and only running about two-three miles. I have also done a lot of power walking when I didn't feel up to running. Last week when I ran, I thought I was going to kill over on a three miler and so I decided to NOT do the Turkey Trot this year. But on Thursday I got in a really good four mile run and felt good so I decided to go for it. Besides, the prizes are awesome! You win a turkey for 1st place and Pumpkin Pie for placing 2nd to 5th (Ithink) in your age division.

I was disappointed my Ipod's battery was dead but besides that everything was going great for the first two and half miles. That's when a lady in my age group passed me. It wouldn't have been so bad but I was in the lead for my age group as far as I could tell and I knew that was my turkey gobbling right away from me as she ran past. The same thing happened last year! And in the exact same spot! Last year I tried and tried to catch up and pass the thief, but to no avail. My turkey ran away from me right before my eyes. Therefore, I was more determined than ever to not allow that to happen again. The woman passed me when we were on our last downhill patch of the race, just before we turned the corner to run the remaining mile and half UP hill! But that didn't seem to register in my brain at the time. All I was thinking about was taking that turkey home this year. So I pushed it and I pushed it until I pushed my way right past her.

Big mistake.

I even got a pretty good lead on her. The next thing I knew my body was telling me in NO uncertain terms that I was an idiot! Feeling that pain, I knew it was right. This is usually a pretty easy race for me. I was surprised that my body was telling me to STOP running and walk. Walking in a race is something that I have prided myself on never doing. For some silly reason I don't feel like qualify as a real runner if I walk even a few steps in a race. Totally dumb I know. Welp, this time, I really had no choice. I had a killer side ache and my lungs were screaming for me to stop...that is nothing new really and I usually can just run through the pain until it subsides some, but this time I had weakness in my legs and arms and felt really light headed as well. Every part of my body was yelling at me to stop and walk before I collapsed. I was really hurting. I gave it all I had until I finally had to stop and walk or I knew I would be laying on the pavement.

No sooner had I done so when I saw my turkey thief run right past me again. At that point, I didn't care. I was trying to recover but it wasn't happening. The next thing I knew my two good friends Jen and Heather had caught up to me and were by my side asking me if I was okay. They stopped running and walked with me. I explained to them what was going on and to pleeeeeeeeease go on ahead and keep running. They just kept encouraging me and walking with me. Heather told me to run through the pain. I told her that was usually doable, but it wasn't happening today for some reason. Just then another one of my friends, Jody, drove slowly past us with her camera. She yelled out, "What are you walking for? This is a race!" She started taking pictures of us and so for the sake of the photo we knew had to start running again.

We still had about a mile to go - UP hill of course! As I ran I honestly didn't think I would survive that mile. I was still hurting bad, but I kept pushing it and held on to Jen and Heather's pace. I think that mile was one of the hardest things I have done in my life. If it hadn't been for my friends, I know I would have walked most of that mile. But with them by my side, I knew I could do it....maybe ---- somehow. I also knew if I stopped again that they would too and I was not going to allow that.

It was getting progressively harder with each step. I was feeling agony in so many ways. I dug deep and somehow found the strength to keep putting one foot in front of the other. And then... there she was! My turkey thief! Right in front of us. We had caught up to her! I received a burst of strength at that moment. As I ran past her, I was feeling like I might cross that finish line after all!

I kept repeating to myself the mantra, "I can do hard things!" It gave me what I needed to keep going. We were close now. As we turned the final bend we could see the finish line.

What a sight for sore eyes....legs, arms, lungs, head, knees, feet, heart!

Jen's daughter Abby ran up to us and encouraged us to the finish line with her chants of, "Go Mom beat Jodi" over and over. She eventually switched to "Go Jodi beat Mom!". That was exactly what we both needed to hear to get us to sprint to that line. We crossed the finish line together.

I am not sure the last time I felt such a huge relief as I did at that moment. I tried to get my race sticker off so they could write my time down but I was unable to remove it. One of the race volunteers had to remove it for me. As soon as they did, I dropped to the ground. That is a big no-no and I knew I needed to just walk until I had cooled down but I had nothing left to give. I was unable to stand let alone walk. At most races they provide water after the race, but not so this time. I could have used some water. I could have used a stretcher too! I recovered quickly though and was feeling completely normal within a few minutes.

The best part of all was I took FIRST PLACE in my age division and WON that blasted turkey after all! Woot-woot! Or should I say, "gobble- gobble!" Even better was my age division was the largest and so they ended up dividing it into two groups when they gave out the awards. I was, of course, in the older half, but I still took first in both. I still do not know where the strength came from that took me across that finish line. But I know one thing for certain, I will never doubt again that...


Starting to run again for sake of this photo! ↓ That is the biggest fake smile slapped on my face! The last thing I felt like was SMILING!

Me and Jen nearing the finish line. Her daughter Abby and friend Maddy are cheering us on. The near turkey thief is in the rear with the sunglasses. Heather is in front of us.

We are almost there!!! WHAT? I'm smiling again? I think I was SO happy the end was in sight! Or maybe it's that I knew the potential turkey thief was not going to gain on us now! lol There she is in the back still trying to steal MY turkey! Ha-ha

WE did it!!! My TWO good samaritan friends!!! Thank you guys!!!

Accepting my prize! The turkey is mine!!! I worked hard for that sucker!

Our a- "WARD" winning team! The cute kids ran the kid's 2 miler and they did awesome. Those are pumpkin pies they are holding. Cute Maddy got 1st and won a turkey too! Jen and Heather placed 2nd and 3rd in their age division (a much younger one than mine) and won pies! We could have had a ward party with all that food!

Gotta love this butterball! Although McKay was very disappointed I didn't bring home a pumpkin pie like I have every other year from this race. Maybe next year... Nah! I am going for the turkey again if it kills me!

My sweet and very thoughtful husband Dave gave me a bouquet of flowers for winning. He's the man!

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My next race is the SANTA RUN next week! I am sooooooooooooooooooo excited for this one I can hardly stand it! Everyone dresses up like Santa (you receive a Santa hat, shirt, and beard with registration) for the entire run. There are helpers (elves) along the way serving milk and cookies at the aid stations. I can not wait! Jen and Heather are also doing this one with me. We are wearing matching Santa pants and red and white stripped socks. It's all about FUN!!!!! HO HO HO!!!!

This is a photo of last year's Santa Run from their website.↑

Here's a cute idea for Thanksgiving ↓ GOBBLE-GOBBLE!

They are made with Ritz crackers, candy kiss, frosting, candy corn, and a carmel. SO CUTE but SO EASY!!!!

Running Against the Wind...

...and RAIN and SNOW and COLD! Basically MOTHER NATURE in general!

I know I shouldn't complain, and honestly I usually don't, BUT really.... here it is May, (yes MAY!) and I am still wearing my winter clothes to run in. I have actually put them away about six different times so far as Mother Nature and all her bipolar-ness has teased me time and time again with a warm day here and there. Which, of course, gets my hopes up thinking SPRING really is coming only to have them dashed (once again) by 30 degree temps and more snow, hail, or freezing rain. I think she needs some serious meds to help her control her vicious mood swings. I'll be speaking to the doc about that.

It really takes the fun out of running when you keep getting teased like that. Once I have run in warm sun and shorts (even once), it's ten times harder to even want to step out the door if it's not even above 35°! I guess that's why it's good I am in training for something because then I have no choice really. I don't own a treadmill (aka dreadmill to me) because part of the reason I love to run is being outdoors. I can handle winter weather WHEN IT IS WINTER, but not when it is SUPPOSED to be spring! Okay my venting is done... mostly at least.

Since I wrote about last week's not so fun long run, I felt like I needed to write about this week's because it went much better... even though this isn't my running blog.

As I took off, I wasn't sure what kind of mileage I would get. 11 miles was my goal, but I wasn't feeling too great when I left and so I just told myself I would get in as many as I could. In my head I was thinking even five would suffice. The first two miles weren't too bad, but then the wind became out of control and I was fighting every single step. It felt like I wasn't even moving foward even though I kept stepping. It wasn't always a head wind, but even from the side it was very difficult to press on. I don't think I have experienced wind like that before.

As I inched my way forward, I started to feel sick. By this time I was out in the boonies with the cows and horses and they didn't seem too interested in my dilemma so I just kept pressing forward. The wind was becoming almost too much to fight against. My ears were starting to really ache from the force of it and when it became too painful I turned around against it and jogged backwards. I had removed my outer jacket earlier and tied it around my waist, but I soon found a better use for it. ↓

This helped my earache immensely. And I didn't care what I looked like because I was on a barren road. I didn't think much of it until I ran past a horse and a cow and they just starred at me. Normally they just ignore me. The horse looked spooked! He just starred... and then started to back up. When I came right up to the fence near him, he jumped up, and then back, and took off very fast while keeping his eyes on me. It was the funniest thing I've ever seen. He looked like he had seen a ghost!

I am definitely NOT a horse whisperer...a ghost whisperer maybe.

Or maybe the Running Nun?

I finally gave in to my stomach and tried to walk it off. I knew there was a bathroom and a water fountain about a mile away, so I kept going until I arrived. After that pit stop, I felt much better and set off again with a new wind...literally. It had really eased up.

I did make it my 11 miles and the last mile was the complete opposite of last weeks. The song "I'm Alive" by Celine Deon came on my Ipod and so I cranked it up really loud. This song is my first choice for getting me through the worst pain or slump in running. It works every time. It is my favorite song to run to when I am nearing the finish line in my races. It gives me some kind of magical power to forget all the pain and aches and just sail through. My last mile is all uphill, including a pretty hefty one and I breezed right through it (pun intended). I was hurting, but nothing like last week. In fact, I was sure I could have kept going if I needed to.

The best part was I didn't have ANY after effects. No soreness, no pain, no wanting to take a long nap. I didn't even need Advil! I felt great the rest of the day and I have ever since. I needed this good run to keep me motivated to keep training. The Ragnar countdown is on and this run gave me the confidence I am going to need to take the plunge. My time wasn't great due to the forced walking and gail force winds, but I did get the miles in and I am ready for more!

I am just happy I didn't feel like
←THIS again after!

Maybe I'll make it after all...

Wish me luck!