Monday, April 12, 2010

13.1...been there, run that.

Well, after months of training it's finally over! All of the blood, sweat and tears were put to the test yesterday when I ran the Go! St. Louis 1/2 Marathon. So, where do I start? First of all, running a 1/2 Marathon was the HARDEST thing I've ever done. EVER. Giving birth isn't easy, but at least they give you drugs that take away the pain. Like childbirth, the end result of running a long distance race is worth all of the pain. The feeling I had when I crossed the finish line is indescribable, but it was filled with so much joy, relief and of course a lot of tears. But before the finish, there was a start, and I'll try my best to remember as much as I can from the 13 miles, but I have to admit, much of it is a blur.

The start: absolutely crazy! I couldn't even navigate thru the hoards of people to meet my fellow running friends like we planned. It took me 10 minutes to go about 1/2 block because of all the people participating in the race. So, I started out by myself, which at first I was a little upset about. However, I ran this race for myself, so in the end, it didn't matter if I saw one person that I knew.

The first few miles were easy, but it was warm, and getting warmer by the minute. I did most of my training in the winter, so starting a run at 60 degrees was hard for me. I think I only ran 2 times in temps that were above 45 degrees, and both runs were last week. They were only short runs, too each being 4 and 2 miles respectively. Needless to say, 13.1 miles was going to be difficult based on temps alone. I could tell it was going to effect me before the end of mile 1. I was already thirsty. Usually I don't need any water for the first 3 miles of a run. Not the case this time! I decided to run with my water belt and I am so glad I did, many of the water stations were out when I got to them!

The next few miles are a blur, I can't tell you what songs were playing on my ipod or the thoughts going thru my mind. We ran thru the A-B Brewery, and thru Soulard and then I remember running over this over pass and thinking, "wow, this is really all about the experience." Many people told me to "have fun" and "take it all in." Well, I'm sorry but nothing about running is fun. However, the experience was just awesome, and there were times when I think I actually was having fun!

At about mile 6.5 is when it got hard. I started getting this weird shooting pain in the 3 middle toes of my right foot. It felt like someone was poking my toes with a thousand needles. I tried to run with it as long as I could until I had to stop and take off my shoe. Getting the shoe off helped so much, but obviously I couldn't run like that. So I loosened my laces, re-tied my shoe and continued on. After a couple miles the pain came back. So, I stopped again. I ended up having to do that a total of 3 times throughout the race, and by the time I crossed the finish line my shoe was so loose on my foot that I have no idea how it stayed on. What was so bizarre about it is, I didn't have this throughout the training. It just happened during the race. Believe it or not, my shins didn't bother me at all yesterday, which was such a blessing. I was troubled with shin splint pain all throughout the training, but on the most important day, it was fine! I couldn't be more thrilled about that.

It was quite discouraging to run for 6.5 miles with such pain, but, I did it. The only reason I was able to do it was because I knew that I had so many loved ones cheering me on. I didn't want to disappoint anyone, and I wanted to make all of you proud. Plus, I started to see my girls on the course. Talk about motivation! First at about mile 7 or 8 I saw Mandy, and she was doing awesome which kept me going, then Gina at mile 10 and finally Carrie was right behind her, and she was rockin, too! At one point on the course, there were priests blessing us all with Holy Water when we passed St. Louis University. That was pretty cool, as I really needed it then!

I remember mile 12 being the hardest. The pain was so bad in my foot that I had to walk a lot. I just wanted to stop, but I powered thru. There was an awesome guy on the route who yelled "Come on Trish, you can walk when you're finished!" He was right, so it got me running again.
Once I got up Jefferson and turned the corner on Chestnut, I turned my ipod off. I wanted to take it all in and here all those people cheering. This was the finish I had been working for since January. It's one thing to say "I am going to run a 1/2 marathon, " and quite another to say " I RAN a half marathon." I have to say, the finish was just awesome! The announcer was yelling all of the names of the runners as they crossed the finish and it was so great to hear him yell my name! I'm pretty sure the tears hit as soon as I could see the finish line, but I bawled like a baby when I crossed it!

Almost immediately after the finish I saw my friend Crissi, who has been such an inspiration to me with running. She has been running a few years now and has become my "go-to-girl" with running questions. She had been waiting at the finish line for all of us "first-timers" for almost a half-hour, as she is super fast and finished the race in under 2 hours. Then one right after another I started seeing the rest of our crew. Mandy and Karen finished right before me, so I saw them next. They were already enjoying the post-race food and beverage. Then Candace was right after me, followed by Gina and Carrie. When I saw Carrie so soon it made me cry all over again. She has been dealing with various issues for the past few weeks of training and I wasn't sure she was going to be able to run any of the race. I thought for sure she was going to end up walking it, but she is one of the most determined people I know! She finished strong in just over 2:30 minutes, which is such an accomplishment considering all of the pain she endured. Susie finished next and finished strong, too. She had some major shin issues thru the training like myself, so I knew how much finishing the race meant to her. My time was 2:22, which was just 8 minutes under my goal of 2:30. Honestly, during the race I abandoned my time goal as I didn't care what time I finished, but just that I DID finish. After we all got our pictures taken and enjoyed a post-race snack, we headed over to the post-race reunion area to wait for Renee and Carrie Brengarth to finish. The two of them trained together and ran the entire race together which I think was really special.

Words can't describe how I feel. Yes, I'm having some after race pain right now, but the whole experience was life changing. I set a goal, put my mind to it, worked hard for it, and got it. There were many times over the past 12 weeks that I questioned my sanity, but now that's over I know that it was all worth it, and that I'm only a little crazy. People who run full marathons are the ones who are crazy! The sense of pride I feel is wonderful because I did this all on my own. No one carried me across the finish, I ran across it, and that is an accomplishment that no one can take away from me.

So the big question is, will I run another one? Well, the jury is still out on that one. I'd like to first find out what made my foot have that pain. Once that problem is solved, I'll see if I ever want to run 13.1 again. I do have to say, I'd like to see if I would have a better race time if I didn't have to stop to take off my shoe 3 times and if I would have been more prepared for warmer weather. So, something tells me that I will run another Half again. After all, if childbirth was so bad women would have stopped having babies a long time ago, right?

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The 1/2 Marathon Course

Here is the course I'll be running on Sunday....

Check out the video of the GO! St. Louis half-marathon course

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Only a Few Days Left!

Well, today was my last run of the 1/2 marathon training. Since I started training, I have logged 187 miles and burned 18,940 calories. That in itself is so amazing to me. I still can't believe how far I've come and that the race day is upon us. I've done the training, and it looks like God is going to give me a beautiful day to run on Sunday. So, getting across the finish line is all up to me. I know it's going to be hard, but I feel pretty confident right now. My body is feeling pretty good, or at least as good as one can expect at the end of training!

Before the 1/2 Marathon on Sunday, Joey and Andrew are running the Read, Right and Run Marathon on Saturday. The boys have been running 1 mile every week for the past 25 weeks. They have also done one good deed and read at least one book every week. They will run the 1.2 miles of the marathon on Saturday with the other kids from the entire Metro Area that have been participating in the program. It really is a fun time for them, and the Go! St. Louis organization makes the final mile really special for the kids. I am so thrilled that the boys wanted to do this program, and so very proud of them for sticking with it. I know I shouldn't make predications, but I'm betting that Andrew will finish before Joey, that boy is FAST!

I'll be sure to post pictures from both races early next week, hopefully on Monday. I've included another post with a fun little video of the 1/2 Marathon course for you to watch, just in case you were wondering just how far 13.1 miles really is!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Love Does Come in Small Packages!

Upon returning from an afternoon of running errands, the boys noticed a package at the front door. "IT'S AN EASTER PRESENT FROM GRANDMA!!!!!" That is meant to be in caps because the boys were literally yelling it. Then began the mad dash out of the car and up to the porch to get the package. "It's heavy!" says Andrew, who made it to the porch first. Once inside the boys started to assess the box and make guesses to what was inside. Andrew made first dibbs on the sparkly stickers that decorated the box. He wants to add them to his collection. Andrew collects everything, but stickers, rocks and money top his list. More on that later... Once I was able to cut thru the 10 layers of packaging tape, we discovered 3 presents. One for Joey, another for Andrew and even one for Chris and me! The boys each got awesome clothes and chocolate bunnies. Joey immediately started trying on the clothes. Of course, he loved the outfit. Andrew started looking at his outfit and said, "Mom, it's a size 6. Just my size. How does Grandma know my size, she lives all the way in Colorado!?" Well, the easy answer would be, duh, I told her your size. But I didn't! See, that's one of the benefits of having a 9 year old sister. It hasn't been that long since my mom had to buy clothes for a young kid, so she always knows the right size to get. It works out great, because I never have to return stuff! Plus, Mom always knows what is in style, so they usually get something pretty cool. Today they got Addidas warm-ups, and for 2 boys who play soccer, they are "SO COOL!"

Just in case you are wondering what was in my package, Chris and I got a beautiful ceramic Easter salt, pepper and bowl set. As well as a Magnolia scented candle that is currently burning in my kitchen. Thanks Mom~ we love our Easter "baskets!"

Once we got done enjoying the excitement of our little package of love from Colorado, we had another little package of love in the mailbox from my Grandpa and Grandma Bruckmeier, Joey and Andrew's Great-Grandparents. They sent the boys cards and money, which as mentioned earlier is another of Andrew's most collected items. While Joey likes to save, Andrew likes to spend. He is already deciding what he is going to buy with his money. I told him that if he spends the money he won't have it for his collection anymore. It didn't seem to phase him, but I wasn't surprised! The excitement just never ends around here! As Andrew said "We sure are lucky to have people send us presents and money." I don't think I could say it any better myself.

Thank You so much everyone, your thoughtfulness brightened our day and made us feel special and loved. Happy Easter!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

It's Almost Race Day!

I can't believe it, the Go! St. Louis 1/2 Marathon is only 11 days away. I started training for this race back in November and I remember thinking that April 11th seemed like this date that didn't even really exist. Well, it's almost here. This training has been like a roller coaster ride to say the least. I started out barely being able to run an entire mile without stopping to walk. Now, I can run continuously for 9 miles without stopping to walk. I've taken my pace from 11 minute miles to 9:35 minute/miles. Those are some of the high points. The low points are my injuries. I've struggled off and on with shin splints throughout the entire training. First it was my right leg. Now that I am almost healed on my right leg, my left leg has decided to act up. The pain in my left leg is pretty severe right now. It's definitely testing my patience and strength. Since I'm a first time 1/2 marathon runner, I am very fearful of missing a run. I'm worried that I won't have what it takes to make it all 13.1 miles next Sunday. So, having to rest right now is down right depressing. I'm not the only one dealing with injuries, which does make me feel a little better. Misery loves company, right? My friends Carrie and Candace are both dealing with knee and foot problems, respectively. The kicker of this is, we were all in pretty good shape before starting the training. I honestly thought that this would be difficult, but I never thought I'd deal with so much injury along the way. It's been great however, and I am so glad that I did decide to take on this challenge. I've learned to overcome weakness and pain, and those are life lessons that are valuable beyond words.

So, I must keep my eyes on the prize. While I haven't set out to break any world records at this race, I have set some goals for myself.

1. Finish the Race! (Most Important Goal!)
2. Have fun.
3. Enjoy the moment for what it is worth. Who knows, this could be the only 1/2 marathon I ever run (doubtful, but I need to see if my body can recover from this first!)

Monday, March 22, 2010

New Moon Party!

After months of waiting, New Moon finally was released on DVD. Of course I had to celebrate the occasion with a party! This year's party was appropriately themed "Bella's 18th Birthday Party."I co-hosted the party with Carrie Bischof and Lisa Kim. We are what some might call "Twi-Sistas!" Carrie was gracious enough to open her home for the festivities this year. Thank God, because I think Chris would have killed me if I had to have it 2 years in a row. I think he is still recovering from last year. I'm pretty sure that 20+ adult women squealing over a teenage vampire is enough to scare a man for the rest of his life, ha ha! We really love the books and the movies. This year we had about 20 women join us for the party. We out-did ourselves, if I say so myself! I thought the Twilight party from last March was amazing, but the New Moon party was even better! Here are some pictures of our fabulous night!

Wow, it's been a while!

First of all, I must apologize for neglecting the blog. It has been a busy few months at the Feldt house! To catch everyone up, 2010 started off pretty quiet for us. We had a wonderful Christmas with family, spent New Year's with friends and then fell right back into our normal routine. Here's a little update on everyone:

Joey just finished his 10 week indoor soccer season. I am so proud to report that they finished as the CHAMPIONS of their division. This is a HUGE accomplishment, considering that last year they finished 4th place in the same division. Chris was the team coach again, and I'm pretty sure he is more excited about the championship than Joey! He is getting all the players trophies to show them how proud he is of them! Joey is still enjoying 1st grade, and he is doing fantastic. The only thing he still needs are his 2 front teeth!
Andrew is still enjoying Pre-K. I am happy to report that he has been "officially" accepted into Immaculate Conception school for kindergarten this fall. Since Joey already attends, we had a pretty good chance of getting a spot, but there are never any guarantees. Andrew is growing up so fast. We spent the afternoon discussing all of the "big boy things" that he can do. They include, cleaning his room, taking a shower, brushing his teeth and folding towels. He also just learned to ride his bike without training wheels! I swear, this child is the most mature 5 year old I've ever known. There is a part of me that is really going to miss him this fall when he is in school all day!

Chris is doing great! He is still enjoying work at Certainteed. When not working he spends most of his time as coach of Joey's soccer and baseball teams. He received some bad news when he was told that he couldn't be the "head coach" of Andrew's baseball team this summer since he is the head coach of Joey's team. He still thinks he can pull it off, but I am the reasonable one and know that the games will over lap and that it will be impossible for him to coach both teams. On a personal front, Chris is getting ready to attend the Christ Renews His Parish retreat at our church this weekend (March 27/28). This is a wonderful experience at our church that I am so excited for him to participate in. After the 2 day retreat, he will attend weekly meetings, called "formation" to deepen the experience. I have been praying for almost 2 years that Chris would feel God calling him to this experience. God is Good and my prayers are answered!

Well, and to update on myself. I am running. I feel like all I do is RUN. I do love it, but it hasn't been easy. I only have 3 weeks left of training before the big race on April 11. I feel pretty confident to say that I am ready! I am also ready to be done training! I have been plagued with so much injury throughout this training. First it started with a horrible shin splint in my right leg. That has gotten better (not healed) but now I've developed an irritated tendon in my right ankle. The tendon itself doesn't hurt, but it has aggravated a nerve that DOES hurt. Luckily for me, my neighbor, Ann Wilson, is a podiatrist. She has helped me tremendously with my recent injury. I am currently running in an ankle brace, and it is helping so much. You should see me when I run, I have a compression sleeve and an ankle brace. It's hilarious! Once the race is over, I am going to take some time off and let my body heal. The idea of taking time off makes me nervous, but I know my body needs it. Heck, my liver and stomach need a break from all the advil I am taking, lol! I also need a break from training. Although I only run 3 or 4 days a week, I am working out at least 6 days a week right now for this 1/2 marathon training. It is quite a commitment. My house is suffering the most, and for those of you who know me well, you know how much I despise my house being dirty.

One thing I can say is that I have completely surprised myself with how much I have come to love running. I am averaging 15-20 miles a week, and it makes me feel so good! If my body is able to heal properly, I am hoping to run the Lewis and Clark 1/2 Marathon in October. But, I need to get thru this 1/2 marathon on April 11th first!

Well, I think this post is long enough. I'm hoping that I can make blogging more of a priority now that I'm nearly finished training for the race! Until next time.....Peace!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

I haven't forgotten about the blog!

Wow, it's been a while since I've updated the blog, and I know I need to get to it. I have so much to update on and will try to get to it this weekend. I promise I haven't forgotten about everyone!