Sunday, April 30, 2006

One week to go!!

Seven days from now i'll put my body and mind to the ultimate test. The marathon is just days away! My foot is feeling better. it no longer hurts when i walk on it. if i flex it different ways it hurts though. hopefully it will continue to heal over the coming week. Probably around Wednesday i'll go to the chiropractor and get an adjustment. my back has been hurting some, but it also can't hurt to get "alligned" before i put my back and hips through 5+ hours of running.

I've been going to the gym and using the seated bicycle. Saturday (yesterday) the marathon class ran 9 miles - the last of the long runs. So i went and rode the bike for the number of minutes it'd take me to run 9 miles. i planned for 12 minute miles so i ran about an hour and 50 minutes. However the bike is very low impact and to get my heart rate up, i had to pedal faster - so i ended up "running" 14 miles in the time i planned for. it felt pretty good. I'll go to the gym this next Tuesday and Thursday and that's it!!! Then rest, rest , rest!

I will try an email everyone Friday night. We leave for Lincoln Saturday morning. The race begins at 7:00 AM Sunday. I plan to run no slower than a 12 minute mile. Therefore, i should complete the marathon within approximately 5 hours and 20 minutes; finishing at 12:20PM. Hopefully my pace will be a little quicker, like around an 11:30 minute mile. this will get me close to the 5 hour mark.

As far as the fundraiser.... $1256 is all that's needed over the next 7 days. $1256 and we will have met the goal i set out with. That would be soooo awesome... $5000 towards Josie's ongoing medical bills. Nothing would make me happier than to cross that finish line and know that i have also raised the money i set out to for Josie.

Keep the prayers coming!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Taking The Bad With The Good

I went to the doctor today to have my foot looked at.

the good news is there is no fracture. He believes i most likely strained a ligament. The not so good news is that i can't run any more until the marathon - none. I can only do things like swimming and stationary bike riding. As long as i can excercise and keep my heart rate up, he said i should have no problem remaining fit for the race. My strain may not be healed by then, but i will have given it the best opportunity to heal. It may still hurt by race day, but i'll just have to deal with it at that point and take some Tylenol.

i could use some prayers for a speedy recovery and fast healing in my foot. I also need prayers for a commitment to crosstrain. it will be much easier for me to sit around and do nothing than to get out and find other ways to excercise. Although we are in 'recovery mode'; getting our bodies fully rested and recovered for the marathon, i still need to be excercising. the class will still be running every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday until May 7. i need to be commited to getting my excercise in as well.

i probably won't have much at all to "post" now that i won't be running, so i may just post a message a day or two before the race.

Monday, April 24, 2006

recovery update

I came to realize that the reason i probably felt so good after the 20 mile run was that i loaded up on ibuprofin before and after the run. since yesterday i have had the normal progression of soreness. so right now my thighs are pretty sore. but STILL, i avoided, not only the pain while running, i avoided the significant knee pain i normally experienced for days after the run. walking up and down the stairs has become uncomfortable. but being 48 hours after the run, the pain/soreness is at it's peak and will now begin to die out.

there was one 'injury' i did not tell you about from Saturday. no specific reason. i guess i was just so excited about how good i felt. but, halfway through the run i started experiencing a great deal of pain on the top left foot. it was a pin-pointed spot. i am pretty sure it was my orthotic. i had it adjusted cause it didn't have enough lift in the arch, but it must of had too much now. it was probably putting too much pressure on the bottom of my arch which was causing the bone pain as it was essentially being 'bent' over the support.

i ended up taking the insert out for fear of causing a stress fracture and just put in the normal shoe insole. that reduced the pain somewhat. it is still very tender today, but it doesn't quite effect my walking. part of me wants to be safe and get it xrayed. but then i would be so discouraged that finding a fracture would end my race with less than two weeks to go. i don't know if i could handle that. so most likely i will just see how it feels the rest of the week. we are now "tapering" our workouts so they will be getting less and less as we near race day. i will have the orthotic adjusted again. if it still hurts the same next week, i'll get it xrayed. now i know that i'm going to get some emails telling me to get it looked at.... i know, i know. and i promise i will... if it gets worse (or no better).

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Romans 15:30

Thank you, thank you thank you!! Today was an amazing day and it was ONLY made possible by the hand of God and through your prayers for me.

Today was the 20 mile run. THE longest run of the year, prior to the marathon in two weeks. As you read from my previous post, I was quite worried about today. not running much, being sick..
Today was THE best long run i have ever had. i began getting tired at 17 miles. i ran with the same girl from last week. it was great. the pace was great. i finally found my running partner for the marathon - but NO - halfway into the run she says she's NOT running the Lincoln marathon, but doing a marathon the following week in another sate. just GREAT! there is no one left except maybe one possiblility.

Back to my story. some people started running a little earlier in the morning so when my partner finished her 17 miles she was done (she had run 3 miles of warm up). So i had to run the last three miles by myself - mean, no one around. and it was tough. i walked way more than i should cause i was tired and no one was there to motivate me. i walked all the hills/slopes.

i had some groin pain but very tolerable..... and that was IT!! no feet pain, no leg pain...that is the best i've ever felt running. by the time i got back to the finish spot i was exhausted though. i felt like i either was starving or wanted to throw up. the reason was: i was so sick of the gels i was eating that i ate nothing the last four miles. i'm so sick of gatorade too. so anyway, when finished i was dead tired - but not real sore mind you. but i felt miserabley tired. but then after a few cups of cold water i sat down and began to stretch. when i got up, i felt much better. i slammed down the thick peanut butter sandwish i made and was still hungry so i stopped at McDonald's on the way home and grabbed a Quarter Pounder Value Meal too.

As of right now i am experiencing minimal outer knee pain and that is virtually it! i can walk normal. i can go up and down the stairs with no problem. no limping. no pain after sitting for a period of time. i mean, i just cannot describe to you how good i feel compared to any other Satruday run. i honestly feel like i could go out and run another mile or two. my muscles barely feel sore right now. i AM tired though, real tired. but i'm trying to stay on my feet as much as possible to keep out the soreness and lactic acid in my muscles.

i did take my ice bath again, which is getting easier and easier to "take". now, having said all that, i don't know what i'm going to feel like tomorrow, but i cannot imagine it feeling anything like the past. this has SO boosted my spirits about the marathon. now i KNOW i can go out there and do this!

i cannot thank you enough for the prayers at this most important time of the training when i was feeling pretty discouraged.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Matthew 6:34

I can't help it, i'm worried.

this bronchitis isn't getting better yet - in fact it's worse (especially overnight). I went to the doctor Monday and got medicine, and yes, it often takes several days to see an improvement. But time is not a luxury i have. it is definitely crunch time. completing the 20 mile run this Saturday is vital to being ready for the marathon. if i can't do 20 - i can't do 26.2. the problem is that i probably shouldn't be running with the repiratory issue i have right now. but if i don't run Saturday with the group, i can't fathom running 20 miles on my own a few days later (if i'm even better by them). not running it could spell disaster.

i also have a wedding i am supposed to be singing in next weekend (29th). But at this point, i can't sing the songs well at all because i have no singing voice. i believe there is still time to get better for that - provided i am getting "better". i don't want to think about the possibility of having to bail out of the wedding because i don't even know that couple (i was referred to them by someone). I would feel utterly terrible.

anyway, just on the heels of having a renewed drive doing this marathon, i get thrown this wild card. and here's how i've been over-anylizing it: i believe there are no coincidences so either this is just a trial God is wanting me to go through, or it's God trying to tell me i shouldn't be doing this, or it's Satan trying to keep me from doing it. If my "walk" was better with Him than it's been lately, i might be able to discern His direction. But i've been letting just about everything else take priority in my life and i am leaving Him outside the door. Maybe he's just trying to get my attention; Telling me this is way to big of a task to go at alone (without His help).

Monday, April 17, 2006

Posting a Comment

For those of you who have wanted to post a comment and don't know how or have tried and can't figure it out:

at the bottom of each post, you'll see this: "0 comments"
(or there will be a number in ploace of the zero, if comments have been posted)

click on that underlined link. a new window opens with a box for you to type your comment. below the place you write the comment you have three options to sign as: Blogger, other, or anonymous. choose either "other" or "anonymous". choosing "other" allows you to type in a name (you don't need to put in a website). that way i know who the comment is from. if you choose "anonymous" and you want me to know who posted it, just end your comment with your name. otherwise it just says, "Anonymous said..."

hope this helps.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Fundraiser Update

Hey everyone!

ONLY THREE WEEKS TO GO!

So far Josie's received just over $2000. That is awesome! Just $3000 more - or $1000 per week and we will have done it!! I started this fundraiser with a goal of raising $5000 for Josie. I am still hopeful i can make it. But because i've been so focused on the marathon - mentally i haven't been checking in on how the fundraising is going.

Thank you so much for those of you who have already pledged in support of Josie. It means more than you know. afterall, it is you who make this possible for us to continue giving Josie the hope given through the Titanium Rib Project. Those of you who have not pledged, please consider doing so. Share Josie's story with a friend. Allow her story to touch their lives.

Please continue to pray for me in the coming weeks. As you'll read in the following post, i have really been struggling mentally lately. i really could use your support.

Three Weeks To Go

I promised you guys in the beginning that i would be very real with my progress and emotions and everything. And i think over the last three months i've limited that to how i feel about my pain. so i'll try to go a little deeper tonight and tell you guys how i'm really feeling inside about all this.

I didn't run all last week after the half marathon. i was so sore and my knees hurt, everything below my hips hurt - plus i started getting sick. i even stayed home from work Thursday. So i was fairly aprehensive about running for three hours yesterday (saturday). By thursday night i was really in a funk. i was wondering if i could do this; fearful that i couldn't; fearful of what you all would think if i couldn't. i was down. i want to be able to run it faster. but the bottom line is that i was questioning whether i could even make it the full 26 miles. as bad as i felt physically, i coudn't imagine running another 13 miles. As fast as i ran the half a week ago... to me was nothing because i 'hit the wall' at 12 miles. my legs were so full of lactic acid; i was dead physically. and that was only HALF way through a full marathon.

After talking with a friend and my professor i had new hope; at least a little; that i could do this. the bottom line is that i have to make this "MY" marathon. i've got to run it in a way that will get ME across the finish line. if that means going back to 12 minute miles and walking after every mile... so be it. see, i made the mistake of setting a "time" goal for the marathon. granted, that is good to set such goals, but i'm the kind of guy who focuses on my failures and not my successes. like the half marathon last week. i should be ecstatic that i beat my last half marathon time by 20 mintues - that is amazing - but no, i'm focused on that last mile and a half that i 'lost it'. all week i focused on how miserable i felt physically, how i've beaten myself up mentally and talked myself out of thinking i could do this. my second goal after "finishing" the marathon was to do it in 5 hours.... well, a 12 minute mile isn't going to cut it. so now i've got to try and be happy with just finishing. "just" funishing. there i go again. less than 1% of the population has ran a marathon - and i won't be satisified with finishing cause it wasn't as fast as i'd like. aren't i pathetic.

Well, let's get on to yesterday's run. i was aprehensive cause i hadn't run all week, as i said before. I had decided to run at the back of the pack.. with the "slow" ones. we maintained a 11 1/2 minute per mile pace. we were able to run 2 miles out in 23 minutes. then we turned around and ran back which totals four miles. we did this in all four directions (N-E-W-S). So even at a "slower" pace, i still ran 16 miles yesterday. After 12 miles i was still feeling pretty good - but getting tired. but considering after 12 miles the week before i could have collapsed on the ground... i was doing much better this time around. the last mile though... mile 16... i was tired. my legs were filling with lactic acid again. i wanted to stop running. then, with only 400 yards to go i decided i was going to stop and walk the rest. luckily my running partner had different ideas. as i started walking she said, no! you can do this! we're almost there!..... darn her!!!!!! so i began to run again, and i ran the rest of the way back. i was exhausted. i felt pretty close to how i felt last week. instead of praising myself for running another 16 miles... i thought of my physical misery. and again thinking.... i've got to run another TEN miles to complete marathon. again i began to contemplate how i was possibly going to make it... surely i can't do this. my body is just not made for this....

i went home and took an ice bath - a real ice bath this time. but then i did something different. i stayed on my feet the rest of the day. i didn't crash on the bed like usual. i was up and working around the house. i still had the usual "after run" knee pain... but yesterday it wasn't as bad! i could actually walk without limping! although it was in slow motion. i woke up this morning and my knees weren't screaming. i could walk down the stairs without support my weight on the railing and wall. tonight... my knees don't even hurt at all! all i am feeling is sorenees in my thighs and hamstrings. belive me, it hurts.... but it's like a "7" compared to a usual "15" (on a scale of 1 - 10).

so tonight i sit here and i can't recall the pain i felt yesterday morning. in the back of my head i still am apprehensive that the marathon is ONLY three weeks away, and i've barely run 3/5 of it. and in 7 days i'm gonna run TWENTY miles. but as miserable as i'm feeling on these long runs.. everyone says, if you can do 20, you can do 26.2! so all i've got to do is make it 20 miles next saturday.

so anyway, i am amazed at how well i feel compared to the usual after run recovery. i have hope that i can push through those 20 miles next week. by i'm still not confident. i guess more than ever (and even more in three weeks) i need prayer. prayer for staying healthy (i'm currently sursing a cold that is turning into bronchitis) and prayer for strength to see it through. thanks guys!!!

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Raintree Half Marathon

good evening everyone,
This morning was the half marathon in Lawrence, Kansas. I was feeling pretty good about it since i've already run 16 miles. but i was a little concerned cause i didn't run much last week and i've had an upset stomach since Friday.

Then my friend told me last night he wasn't running today (that's who i was gong to run with) - so i was a little worried about who i was going to run with. the other guy i run with sometimes - who is a tad slower than my pace wasn't going to be here either! So i decided to run with the girl a ran most the way to Auburn with. I had heard she was improving and running faster - but i didn't want to run by myself so i decided to keep up with her..... i'm an idiot. i don't know that i'd say the pace was too fast. she was running approximately 10 minute miles.

the problem was she only walked during the water stations every three miles, roughly. and even then i swear she only walked for about 15-30 seconds. so i'm used to walking for one minute every mile (or every 10 minutes), not 30 seconds after THREE miles. but i managed to keep up with her (or at least within 5-10 yards). she was running with another friend, so technically i was still running by myself - but i could focus on keeping up with them and not just running "alone".

well, i was starting to "feel it" about mile 7. it got a little harder to keep up. then by mile 11 i was starting to lose gas, and by mile 12... i was spent. much like the 16 mile run a couple weeks ago, it took everything i had to keep going. my legs ached so badly. but the difference was, on the 16 miler i WANTED to quit (i wanted to die really), it took everything i had not to walk the last mile in. But this morning i WANTED to keep going, but my legs were telling me they couldn't go on. the last mile i could probably walk as fast as i was running (on a day i hadn't run 12 miles already).

the good news is i beat last year's half marathon time by over 20 mintues! My time this morning was 2 hours and 14 minutes (compared to last years 2:36). But had i been able to keep up with the girl, i would have ran a 2:09!!!!! I lost FIVE minutes of time in the last mile. I ran it in 134 minutes which comes out to be 10 minute 30 second miles (even though until mile 12 i was running them in 10 minutes)The girl i ran with finished in 129 minutes or just UNDER 10 minute miles. i blew my mile average out of the water in just the last mile.

but hey, it was still fast for me - faster than i've ever run. but i'm paying for it. my knees are SCREAMING at me right now, and my groin muscles are a close second. another way i knew i was running too fast was my stomach started to feel a little upset during the last 3 water stations. which means i was running too fast for my stomach to digest easily. i coud barely walk when it was over. i can barely walk now! i had the next best thing to an ice bath - just a straight cold bath that sure felt like ice to me. my legs were numb within a couple minutes and then the tub felt fine. maybe i'll try ice next time. but the numbness has long since worn off and i'm hobbling around trying not to flex my hips or bend my knees when i walk - ya - try that.

i am even more certain that my running "career" will stop after May 7. there is just no way i can continue to run with pain just for the heck of it. i will try running again, once i've fully recovered from the marathon. but if i continue to have pain within the first mile... it's just not worth it.

i wish i got a participatory medal to show you (picture) like my half marathon, but they didn't give them out. oh well. i have rambled way too long but thanks for listening. i'll post you next week - if i can get out of bed! heck, even my professor was laughing at me as i was trying to get out of his Suburban today! i'm sure i was quite a sight.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

aches and pains

i felt really good during this morning's run. my feet didn't hurt at all. my knee hurt just a little. but man, by midday both my knees ached like they did the day after my 16 mile run. it's not the deep inner joint pain - i think taking last week off took care of that "injury". today my whole knees hurt, but it's that outer surface type pain - like the surrounding ligaments/muscles all around the knee. and it hurts more when i lift my foot off the ground after each stride. but man they ache, ache, ache. i may have said this before but i'm resigned to the fact that i'll likely be running the marathon with some sort of pain. at least the knee pain goes away as i run. it's the in between/rest days that they hurt.

anyway. i wans't even looking forward to running this AM when i woke up. especially after taking a week off and and "quitting" my 10 mile run sunday. but by the time i got to school i felt good and was looking forward to it. and as i said, the workout itself went well. my body is just getting old. i think it's aging faster than human years. maybe i'm growing in dog years. that's the way my body feels alot of times. becoming an avid "runner" after this marathon is not looking too good.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Make A Wish Trip

Hey everyone.
i don't even know what to say without writing tons and tons that would take forever to read. but i figure i need to get something out there for you guys who are waiting for a report.

we got back late Saturday night. it was great. the Give Kids The World Village we stayed at was awesome. i could have just stayed there all week. it was fantastic meeting up with our friends and spending the week with them. Josie was done with it all after about three days. she just wanted to go back to the "hotel". i think it was due to the crowds and the frustration of not being able to play or ride rides the whole time - we found it very difficult to effectively split the attractions up so everyone could do what they wanted (josie couldn't ride the rides Taylor and Cami could and they didn't want to sit around while Josie played in the kiddie areas). i would say that was the hardest part of the trip - pleasing everyone.

On the flight to Orlando, we rode the plane with a bunch of the workers and skaters with Disney On Ice - how ironic was that? no, we didn't get to talk with any skaters. Josie and Taylor did excellent on the plane ride. they loved it. it was their first time.

we hung out at the Village the first night. Day two was spent at the Magic Kingdom. it was MEGA crowded. too crowded. one person said they come every year and they have never seen it like this. even though we got to go to the front of the line on all the rides, just trying to navigate through the crowds to get to the rides was rediculous.

Day three we went to Universal Studios and Islands Of Adventure. it was the best. much better than Magic Kingdom. much less crowded. we had a great time.

Day four, our friends went to the beach. we went back to Magic Kingdom for the soul purpose of getting the princess's autographs and then we left and went to Universal Studios to get some Nickelodeon autographs (namely Spongebob). on one ride, we were the ONLY riders!! it was called Earthquate and it simulates a subway caught in an earthquake. the ride seats at least 150 people, but when the led us the back way to the loading zone... we were the only ones there! and we thought, surely they'll start letting others come in to fill the rest of the seat.... but they never came, then the ride started.... it was crazy, but cool at the same time, to have our own private riding experience.

Day five we went to Animal Kingdom and went of the Safari ride and others with our friends. Then we shot over to MGM to catch the car stunt show. we actually planned to see others and ride the Tower OF Terror - but we discovered the park closed a whole lot sooner than we expected. both Josie and her friend, Jessica (our friends) wanted to go back to the village and we were beat as well so we headed back.

Day six was just to sleep in and pack up. we had to be out of our Villa (house) by 11:00. then we went to eat and off to the airport.

We had more tickets than we could use = more tickets than we had days there. we didn't use our Seaworld tickets. we have free passes to all the major themeparks in the US and around the world (seriously, like canada and Thialand) that we can use over the next 12 months. they gave us a complimentary CD with photos they'd taken of Josie over the week and photos of the Village itself. we received other "parting gifts" as well. the kids received a small gift every day we were there. the icecream parlor was open from 7:30 AM to 9:30 PM. you could have pizza delivered to your villa up until 10:30 PM. our Villa was actually a HOUSE; a duplex - two bedroom two bath... house.

i know that i am leaving out TONS of things that i'll just keep periodically adding to this blog site.

i didn't run at all while down there. we walked at least 7 miles every day and i was just worn out. we didn't sleep much all week. getting to bed late, getting up early. our friends played it smart and just got up when they got up for the most part. but anyway, i knew i HAD to get in a 10 mile run, so i decided to do it Sunday afternoon while tracy took the kids grocery shopping. i was dead tired. i didn't get a chance to "plant" my food and drinks along the route so i carried them with me; pockets full of gel and two bottles ful of gatorade.

well, about two miles down the road i mentally talked myself out of it and i quit and walked the two miles back home. then i ran 10 miles on the elliptical machine. so i either made a wise decision or a poor run by not doing the run outside. because the elliptical is such a low impact run and i can run so much faster that i ran 10 miles in 41 minutes instead of the 110+ minutes it would have taken me on the road and my legs don't really get a full workout. but on the other hand - my body was so shot that i wouldn't have been able to endure the run anyway - so it may have been smart to take it easier. we'll see.

The Raintree Half Marathon is in Lawrence this next weekend. Rest needs to be a premium this week as i am STILL so tired and run down from the trip. after running 16 miles just a week ago, i'm not even fazed about running the half marathon.

It was nice to come home to some letters containing pledge money. there is only a month left and i have received somewhere in the neighborhood of $500. that's $4500 short of my goal. i do know there are some out there raising money still, but race time is getting closer and closer. please continue to get pledges and help us take care of Josie's medical bills for the next year or two! thank you SO MUCH to those who have pledged or gotten pledges. it means the world to us. you make it possible for Josie to keep going on this journey of hope.

sidenote - we've got about 300 photographs that we developed Sunday. i'll sift through them and post some on line soon.