12 – 16 November 2012 .... Last run in Kuwait

13-15 November 2012

This week we trained our replacements and it was a looong week. My runs were short but I was really tired. I wasn’t eating enough this week because I was focusing on the work training. Some of the nights were long and the mornings were early. I had to run early and it is very chilly now since the season has changed. It is in the 50s sometimes and the winds have been picking up. I would say that I was glad I was leaving but the weather where I am going is much colder. So, I will have to get use to that also.

I have been having a new ailment now that my mileage is higher. When I am in the 9-10 mile range my arch on my right foot starts to ache and then it’s like a pain. I’m not sure if it is plantar fasciitis because it only bothers me when I run. If I stop so does the aching. It is an annoying ache right on my arch. What is strange is if I scrunch my toes while I am running the ache goes away. Obviously I can’t run for 10, 12, 15 miles with my toes scrunched but it does feel better! My roommate had it and she said she had to wear a boot for a week and then it went away. As soon as I get home I will get one before it gets worse bad. I didn’t come this far to be sidelined by a minor ache. So besides the aching every other aspect of the run is wonderful. My pace is now dead on and I firmly believe I am reading my body and know what pace I am at. As soon as I start to breathe out of my mouth I am running in the 8s and the Garmin confirms that. In the 9s I am just breathing out of my nose. Once the nasal strips get here I will run a little fast because I can suck more air. I love…love those nasal strips. I might not like them in the 30-40 degree New England temperatures but I am sure I will adjust. My last short run was the 8 mile pace and it was smooth. The sun was behind the clouds and the breeze was minimal. I ran the 7 miles around the airfield and then one extra mile. I was listening to the Beach Boys and I finished the last mile with a smile. Guess not much else to say.

Last run in Kuwait. Friday, 16 November 2012

I have no glorious stories of my last run in Kuwait. It was cold as heck and the breeze was stiff. I ran 13 miles and my foot hurt at mile 10 and for the next 3 miles I had to modify my run. Luckily I have been doing this a while so I was able to have some other muscles take over as I changed my pace and stride. I guess I should comment on how this deployment has enabled me to train for a marathon because I don’t have the responsibilities here that I would have at home. Even though this was a terrible experience because of the job and people I worked with I can truly say that the best part of this was training. I pushed myself farther than I ever have in my life and I do have the feeling that with training I can really accomplish things. I am extremely excited to get home and continue my training and be prepared to run my best in the marathon. I noticed that I have less than 60 days to Disney. I believe I will slow down and really enjoy my experience.

I leave Kuwait tomorrow and will be in Fort Benning, Georgia sometime on Sunday. I plan on running in the evening once all the classes and other stuff is over. I will start to write in this blog Monday night.
This is my last running sunrise. This big beautiful sun greeted me on every morning’s run. It made me mad at times because it is so bright that it can be blinding..but it was beautiful.

10 & 11 November 2012 ....17 miles

Saw a quote today..

America is not at war, the U.S. military is at war, America is at the mall.

I will not have an entry for tomorrow since I am not running. He is my salute to Veteran's Day. Remember to stop and thank a veteran of all ages.

Here is a story I heard about a woman in WWII that won a Bronze Star for her actions to defeat Germany. She launched one of the most successful psychological operations campaigns of World War II which resulted in the surrender of more than 600 Czechoslovakian soldiers fighting for the Germans. Nowadays, some people get this award for sitting on their butt doing 1/4th of the work and think they deserve one. 

Please enjoy a real hero's story.

11 November 2012

Today’s run was pretty amazing. After yesterday’s faster run I had second thoughts about running 17 miles. When I started out I could feel how tired my legs were. I had some minor cramping but it wasn’t anything too bad. Since I started when it was still dark out I had to run in the areas where there were light poles. So I basically I ran back and forth in the lighted areas and made a “U” shape. That was for the first 5 miles. By that time the sun was coming up and it was light out. There wasn’t much of a breeze today either. It seemed so perfect for a good run. So I started my 7 mile trip around the airfield. I stopped where I keep my water and power gels and gave myself about 45 seconds to get it down and then I took off again. There are three small grades around the airfield that I have to run on and today was the toughest yet. My thighs were just too tired to climb it alone and then I felt my hamstrings and butt kick in. It was kind of strange because a whole other set of muscles took over. Is this what Hal Higdons running plan was talking about? In the higher miles and longer time frames my body is using alternate resources…..not just food, but muscles? If so it was the best feeling I had in a while. I noticed on my Garmin that I was running in the low 9s and had to slow down. All I can say is wow…

About 10 miles in I started to realize how tired I was and thought that maybe I should cut this back to 13 miles. But when I got to 13 miles I thought, well….it’s only another 4 miles. I also noticed it was overcast and I might not be as lucky next Saturday when I have another long run. So, I just kept going. I passed my water stash one more time and took a bottle so I could wash down my last power gels. My legs were really tired now but I kept a 10:30-11:00, the pace I want to keep for the marathon. In my mind I couldn’t stop thinking about how I am running my marathon pace at this distance even though I am exhausted. That inspired me to keep going and I while I was daydreaming about how great I am doing, I overshot my turnaround point so I ended up doing about 17.5 miles. I walked the last few 100 feet of my run because I accomplished something pretty amazing to me. It was then that I felt the familiar wobble in my legs when I walked and knew it was going to be a painful day. Now it is 5pm and my legs are very sore and cramped. I am icing and using ibuprofen but my legs are informing me that I pushed them today and they were letting me know it. Tomorrow will be another story.

Finally, the unit that is replacing us arrived last night. We will be training them tomorrow and for the next four days. I have Friday off and then we leave for Ft Benning on Saturday. It really is coming to an end. I just want to be home with my husband, my family, and my dog. I even miss my job! ...... I say that now….. ;-)

10 November 2012

So I changed up my run this weekend to incorporate the Veterans Day 5k on post (decided to run it last minute) I did well and I felt great which seems to be getting better as I train more. This time I actually wanted to run hard because of the long run tomorrow. According the the training program I am supposed to run a pace the day before to basically tire me out so I am forced to slow down for the long run. Well, that’s what happened today and I am sure tomorrows run will be slow and long. Since I am leaving here next Saturday and I’m not sure what is in store for that day I switched the 13 and the 17 mile run because I will have more time tomorrow to run 17 miles and running the 13miles next Saturday will be easier. After my run tomorrow I can sleep for a while whereas next week I will be carrying my bags everywhere on buses and planes. Don’t want my legs to be worn out. So, back to my run today.

I started at the middle again just because I like it there. I made a mistake and started on the inside where everyone was so the first 500 feet were of me trying to get out from the gaggle. It wasn’t moving fast enough so I jumped on the dirt and ran past them. I realized that I was running too fast and wasn’t keeping my pace. I glanced down at my Garmin and it read 6:45! I was sprinting, not running. So I got past a group of people and slowed down to around the 8:00-8:25 mark. I was really full of energy and I didn’t even notice the headwind until about 1 mile in. I decided at that time to slow down to 9:00 as to conserve my energy. (I guess the granola and rice I have been eating these week was built up) I started to pass more and more people and I really thought that I must be running too fast but my Garmin read 9:10 so I knew I was ok… I guess I was just running faster than them. When I got to the turnaround point I decided I didn’t need the water for the 1.5 miles back. When I made the turn it was then when I realized how many people were behind me. What a gratifying feeling to know how many people I had past. I guess I didn’t pay attention to the faster runners who had already made the turnaround but this was just a satisfying. It gave me a renewed boost of energy and with the wind at my back I trotted back the 1.5 miles w/o effort. I saw the finish clock read 26:14 and I couldn’t believe it. When I ran my first 5k make in March my time was over 40 mins. My time at the 4th of July 5k was over 30 mins. In four months I shaved off FOUR MINUTES…wow. I am speechless and really can’t believe it. But I looked back at the time I entered on the 4th of July blog and there it was.

I don’t know what to say.