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Marathon Finisher!

I made it!

Wildwood Trail Marathon complete! …and I am still alive 😉

(Pre-race, trying to stay warm)

The race was a rough one. The elevation gains and loses, gains and loses…more gains and loses really gave it to me. I trucked up that first thousand feet gain pretty good (thank you adrenaline). I drank some sports drink at the first station around 6 miles in and started the down hill to the uphill to the halfway point (with all the ups and downs between the uphill and downhill, you get the point). Along that second quarter of the race I was running in time with two other women -both of whom had ties to New Mexico. Both of them took a fall and I had a strong feeling with all the rocks, roots, holes and bumps in the trail that my own fall was bound to happen sooner or later. One of the women was also doing her very first marathon, like me. The other woman was on her 19th…yes, 19th marathon!!!What a glutton for punishment! Though, she thought us first timers were the gluttons, doing what she dubbed as the most difficult marathon she had done to date as our first one. I had caught up to them on the downhill section and was thinking I should go on around when we got into the main part of the uphill to the halfway point and they began to pull away again. I really should have done more hill training, I knew that though.

When I got to the halfway point, everyone at the aid station was cheering my name…I was half delirious from pushing up the hill and was thinking “how do they know my name”… when I spotted E, somehow volunteering (no big surprise there) and making several new friends. It was so nice to see a familiar face at the halfway, putting smiles on everyone else’s faces too.

The third leg was the hardest for me. Fatigue setting in a bit and another long climb back to the first station. I set off down from that aid station at a good pace and caught back up to everyone who had pulled away on the way up to the station. Then a few miles later the uphills started getting more frequent again until they were fairly steady and some of the runners kept on pace while I began to falter. Everything started hurting and it was getting harder and harder to tell myself to just keep moving. For once, my strong mind could no longer will my body past the pain and fatigue. The last mile or so before the third (and last) aid station my run up the steepest stretches began to get so slow that it was actually faster and less effort to speed walk it. I felt a bit like a failure for doing this, as I had wanted to complete the race without walking any of it, but since it was actually faster and gave some of my pain spots a rest I let myself. Getting to that last aid station was like seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.

It was nearly literally all down hill from there. With just over six miles to go, when most people hit “the wall” in a marathon, I was looking forward to the last quarter of the race. The well intentioned aid station volunteer asked if I would like my camelbak refilled as I ran over to the rent-a-john and I said that would be sweet of her. I took it off, handed it over while apologizing for its soaked-in-sweat state and continued on, half listening as she offered ICE water. I muttered “sure” over my shoulder, walking into the relief station. When I came out, I put on the cold camelbak pack and started off. It hit me… ICE WATER and a hot body do not mix well when still trying to perform. Your body has to warm it up to use it. I was getting thirsty though and didn’t want to finish feeling dehydrated so I drank some anyways. Immediately my abdominal muscles were cramping and stayed that way for the next three miles or so. THAT was painful and I soon forgot about anything else that had been hurting. It also made breathing more difficult, as things did not want to expand correctly below my ribs. Never will I make that mistake again!

The last mile was really fun, knowing I was so close and somehow finding those reserves that you never knew you had- that always come at the end of a race somehow- and kicking my way past a few guys. I never did catch up the those two women from earlier in the race, though at the end I discovered the one that was also doing her first marathon was only 2 minutes ahead of me! She was also in my age group.

(Post-race with my finishers metal)

After finishing, I ate some oranges and collapsed in the grass to stretch. After that I walked up to see my final time and placement. As I was walking up they called my name for third place in my age group!!! What a surprise! And then I saw I was two minutes from taking 2nd place. A good race overall. I loved how absolutely secluded and beautiful the Forest Hills Park felt in the middle of big ol’ Portland, OR. A highly recommended race to all.

Overall:

38

Amy Jones Albuquerque NM

1436

28

3 F 20-29

4:55:26

11:14/M

And to dissect this, since not everyone speaks runner, this bar taken from the Wildwood Trail Run site states…

  • I came in 38 out of 81 runners.
  • My bib number was 1436.
  • Age 28.
  • I finished third female in the 20-29 group.
  • My overall time was 4 hours, 55 minutes, and 26 seconds.
  • My average pace was 11 minute 14 seconds per mile.

So I definitely missed the four hour mark that I had wanted to meet originally but I am pleased with how well I did over all after seeing the course first hand. The fastest it has ever been ran by a woman was 3:59:42 in 2010. That’s only an hour faster than my finish time and most marathon first placers are well over an hour faster than that usually. It really shows the difficulty of this course. All in all, I FINISHED it and that fall I had expected never came. I would love to do it again… but maybe the, ummm, HALF marathon next time on this course.

🙂

“Running is real and relatively simple…but it ain’t easy.” – Mark Will-Weber


Sweet accomplishment!

20 miles run under my belt!

20.8 mi to be more exact. And though it took me four hours due to various reasons, I am feeling MUCH better about being ready for my marathon now.

It was in the nineties by the middle of my run and I also ran out of water at around mile 14 but I still (deliriously) made it through and back to my house with a few short stints of walking it the hottest areas. Talk about extreme training.  With that in mind and a steady four hour training run accomplished and the elevation in Portland being four thou lower than here at the highest point of the marathon I am not as worried about that mystery 5.2 miles I will be doing in 11 days.

Not that I am not nervous still… cause my stomach tightens every time I visit my marathon’s page!

BUT, yay I accomplished a 20 miler non the less!

21 Miles later...

Now I am super stoked for some shorter and hopefully faster runs over the next few weeks as well as the upcoming road trip home.

I will be doing more training runs in:

  • Las Vegas (or perhaps at a stop somewhere in So Cal on way to SF)
  • Bay area in San Fran
  • North Umpqua National Forest (right near my birth city)
  • Along the Oregon coast in Coos Bay

And then recovery (post race to prevent muscle ache) runs in:

  • Portland area
  • Seattle area
  • Bend, OR area
  • Moab/Arches area

Much to look forward to!!


Quiet for a reason…

Obviously, I have not been including much of anything for posts on training for my marathon.

(Which is only 17 days away…17!!!)

There are several reasons for this quiet…

  1. I have severe lack of motivation to train right now. Its like my running shoes have been dried into some kind of invisible cement so that whenever I tie them on it becomes SO difficult to take that first step (even toward the front door!). If fact my aversion lately is like my hands are anti-magnets to my shoes when its time to pick them up. My poor shoes… I have just gotten so far behind during field school that I already feel a failure.
  2. It is hard to post about my downturn in my training because then its like holding myself accountable. Like if I don’t talk about how hard of a time I have been having then it won’t really be true.
  3. I have been so busy in the last month that I have not had sufficient enough time to properly train, let alone post about it. I checked when I signed up for doing my field school last month if I would have time to still train, logged everything we would be doing into a schedule so I could plan my training into the schedule to make sure even, and then there were days where we were going from breakfast to tours to hotel check-ins and dinner and talks after that til our schedule was ending up being 14 and even 16 hour days. It was so frustrating that I double checked and planned for everything and still did not get sufficient personal time for training(This could turn into a rant needing its own full posting so we will stop here).
  4. The Bosque has been closed due to fire danger so my in-city trail running options have dwindled, are mostly paved options, and I am too uninspired by my surroundings to talk much about them lately.
  5. I no longer have access to a nice running program, any running program in fact, to keep good track of my running stats to have anything to talk about there. I can map out later to get approximate mileage but I have not been getting PRs in that regard either without sufficient time to complete long runs.
  6. I have been so exhausted from being run ragged last month that I am still training to catch upon rest and sleep. This makes it difficult to train in the mornings when I am still SOOOO tired, to get up and head out for a run at the only cool part of the day. So I have tried evening runs (in 90+ degree weather) and this is very hard to do well at, though it does feel better than running at zombie hour for me.
  7. I have not even completed a 20 miler yet! I have gotten close… 18.2 but I should have done three 20 milers last month according to my training schedule. Last month should have been my highest mileage month and it actually dropped! It went from over 110 miles in May to 86 in June and nearly 40 of those were before my field school started.

Ugh!! I was so excited and doing so well.

My dad even said he might come up to Portland to watch me(he lives in southern OR where I was born and he used to run marathons too) and I was going to invite several friends to cheer me on. Now I don’t really want anyone there if I fail. I will still finish this marathon hopefully but I will not likely do well and would not be suprised if I have to walk some of the large elevation gains I could have conquered well before last month’s field school.

I feel like someone popped my pretty red balloon and all I have is a sad dangling string…


Happy 100 blog posts and other news!

I just realized that I have reached the 100 posts mark!

I cannot believe I have written that much in the months since I began this blog!

Thanks to all of you that keep on reading!

 

I also wanted to share a couple of exciting links regarding my field school:

I will be showing my own 5 minute media piece on Mutual Aid Societies with some of my peers. I will share it on here eventually no doubt, as well. Speaking of… I better get back to work! 🙂


Celebrating 17 miles.

I made it to that elusive seventeen miles mark that I just missed when I was sick at my last attempt.

17.2 miles to be exact 😉

And to celebrate the PR (personal record) and getting over being sick and my training going really well I cooked myself some lamb from a local farm that I bought on Saturday morning.

image

Roasted veggies in truffle oil with the lamb dripping down as it cooked sitting on top of the potatoes…

image

YUM!!!!!

It was a SLOW 17.2 miles but I was just happy to finish it. The weather was nearing the 90’s by the time I finished so taking that into account, my time wasn’t too terrible. Parker came along and we found LOTS of new trails in all that mileage, this time heading north along the Bosque instead of south.

I sure am blessed to be so near such beautiful trails right in the downtown of a city.

Love this desert.

Love my life.


The purpose of life is to enjoy every moment.

Slow it down a notch. What’s important to you? Do you live each day? I mean REALLY live every day.

Do you go to bed at night feeling satisfied?

There are so many simple small things that each and every one of of can do to accomplish this, and not only for ourselves but also aid each other in accomplishing this. That feeling at the end of the day of satisfaction is different for everyone and the path is as well. Do you check in with yourself and make sure that you are living fulfilling days? Do you check in with others to make sure they are as well?

I am pretty good at providing this feeling for myself and get better and better every year as I grow in age but perhaps I could be better at checking in with others.

I am notorious for being that long distance friend and relative that only phones every three months to a year! My father likes to leave messages reminding me of his phone number and to let him know I am still alive from time to time. My friends back home can count on a yearly contact near the time that I am about to roll into town for my yearly visit but rarely hear from me the rest of the time. I should check in more often to see how others are doing!

(Well, now I am making myself feel like a terrible friend, daughter, sister, etc. And that wasn’t the point of this blog. I will have to resolve to call upon a loved one on the reg so I can feel better about that.)

For now, lets go back to what works.

What I do that makes me feel fulfilled at the end of the day:

    • Smiling, laughter, humor. Every day. Several times a day. It’s a must. I have mastered the art of laughing at myself. And I smile at strangers…usually they smile back and then smile at the next person they pass too!
    • Good food, whole food, cooking, and growing food. My garden makes me happy. Eating healthy and clean foods makes me feel good, tastes good, and makes me feel more connected to my community.
    • Running, training for races. Feeling the wind, sun, and other weather first hand. Feeling my body work and feeling strong. Having a release from daily stress. And of course, that great runner’s high lasting through my run days.
    • Getting outside! Hiking, biking, swimming, camping, backpacking. All of this allows me to connect with my surrounding environment and rewards me in countless ways.
    • Learning new things. Expanding my knowledge. School. Fun books, films, conversations, community events, art.
    • Caring and sharing with those I love. Doing things with friends and for friends. Writing my grandpa and sisters. Texting my nephew. Talking on the phone with my brother. Cooking dinner for friends.
    • Enjoying Parker Jade. She makes me smile and laugh every day. Cray cray mutt. So much energy and attitude. It’s my karma for being such a spitfire myself, and I am enjoying every moment with her.
    • Looking ahead to future goals, travels, endeavors, concerts, plans, career paths, places to live. I love a good ol’ daydream and planning session. I spend ridiculous amounts of time playing with my Google calender.
    • Networking in my field of choice. Volunteering on farms. Going to films, meetings and gatherings food related. Participating in Farmer’s markets. Starting conversations about food and community planning. Learning as much as I can about foodsheds in any fashion.
    • Enjoying my community. Shoping the co-op. Supporting local shops, restaurants, artists and food systems. Creating new networks. And getting involved in Big Brother Big Sister.
    • Music! My banjo(which I need to play more often). New music, local music. Old favorites. Sharing music with others. Going to shows and concerts. Listening to Bluegrass on NPR on the weekends.

That is my list and I could probably add more to it. I thought about this topic on my lovely run this morning after a great night with a friend and a lil’ reminder on my evening Kava tea pictured below. And I wanted to share it with you and to hear from you too!

Laughter makes everything better!

Arugula and leek dumplings with a mushroom cream sauce that I made last night for my friend, E.

Delicious recipe if you have the leisurely time to hang out and chat while you prepare. It's a great one for an evening of entertaining.

These photos are from my early morning run. I got up at just after five am today, while the moon was still high and the mountains were silhouettes.

Negative splits on the run, improving my overall time each half mile for all but one half mile of my eight mile run. Also covered a trail I haven’t for nearly a year.

To the moon!!!!!!!

AND….

New PR: 89 miles so far for the month of May!

So what makes to tick? What makes you sleep well at night and gets you up in the mornings?