Running Across America

follow me as I run a marathon in every state

Washington DC March 19, 2018

Filed under: Uncategorized — runningnurse12 @ 3:44 am

Last week I embarked on marathon number 6 in my journey to run across America. THis was probably the most important and personal race I have and maybe ever will run. I partnered with Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation Team for Cures and in exchange for fundraising for them I got a free entry into any endurance event that they are a part of. I chose the Rock and Roll Marathon in Washington DC for two reasons. First, I had never been there before and it was on my bucket list. Secondly, one of my best friends lives there and it was a reason to visit her.

Starting in January I decided to run this race and for two months fundraised and promised I would raise at least $1,000 for the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation, a cause so important to my mother. I raised a total of $1,100 and I want to thank everyone who donated. This cause, as I have mentioned before in my last post was so important to my mother and a huge support system to her during her battle with the disease.

I arrived in DC on Thursday and after a long day of traveling I just went straight to the hotel had some dinner and of course ( if you know me ) did a light small run in the hotel gym. Friday afternoon after exploring on my own in the morning  I met up with my friend who left her husband to take care of the kids and came to spend a couple days with me in the city.

dc My friend and I rode the metro to the race expo to get our race bib and get the final details of the race. She was going to run the 5K and meet me at the finish line of the marathon.

me aj

Saturday morning came and it was about 30 degrees outside. I had my Team for Cures shirt on and wore it proudly.

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The race started at the national mall and we ran past the Lincoln memorial and the Washington monument among other landmarks. I started out strong at about a 9:30 mile and felt great. I was on mile 3 when for some reason my emotions came out and I began crying and running. I was running for my mom, running for other cancer patients and running to one day find a cure for this horrific disease. Everything I do now I always ask myself , will she be proud of me? I told myself I couldn’t cry the whole time so I got my self together and kept going.  Mile 6 was a steep hill and I hated the person that decided that would be a good spot in the race to add a hill. I guess it was better earlier while our legs were still fresh. I was on a roll and in my zone with my music and my thoughts until about mile 16 when another smaller hill came, it was smaller yes but longer. I told myself  “ok every hill you run up theres a down hill” well the last 10 miles were full of these smaller but longer uphills and it seemed the downhills were smaller but shorter. Im sure I just imagined it because my legs were hurting and my pace slowed down. The weather was cold. I don’t think it warmed up at all. I forgot my pair of throw away gloves so the night before the race my friend and I walked to the store next to the hotel to find a pair of gloves. I mean its winter in DC they still have to have winter articles out right? WRONG!! They didn’t have gloves but they had fluffy socks for 50 cents… so I bought some and they became my sock gloves. Honestly, they saved my butt. My hands got sweaty with them on while i was running but when I took them off it didn’t take long for my hands to start getting so cold they began to hurt .

The scenery was awesome but I didn’t stop to get pics when I was running.  Here is one of the sunrise before the race.sunrise

 

I was on a mission and not going to stop til it was done.. or so i thought. The one yucky part of running long distances is when you are at mile 17 and all those cups of water and gatorade that you drink at the water stops catches up to you. For those wondering, most races have a ton of porta potties along the route.

I was on mile 23 and I was starting to hit the wall. I was taking more walk breaks and my muscle in my quad starting getting tight and I could feel it with every movement. I texted my friend that i wanted “coffee and french fries” . She was waiting for me as I got the the last turn heading to the finish line, and I couldnt have been happier to see her.

me aj

My chip time read just under 4:30 but the clock time was just under 5 hours. The clock starts when the first wave of runners crosses the start line and ends when the 6 hour time limit is up. I was wave 4 so I crossed the start line and started running about 20 mins after the first group which is why the two times are different. I was not happy with my time, I really wanted to run it in sub 4 hours but ultimately Im just glad I finished. I ran 26.2 miles in honor of my mom, to make her proud, and to continue her fight.

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After the race, we went to more museums. Anyone who has run long distances knows that once you finish the race, if you sit down you wont get up. So we just kept going and we went on a night time bus tour to see the monuments

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I know that DC is not a state technically, but it still counts to me in my journey to run a marathon in every state, and because this race has a special important meaning to me DC will always now have a special place in my heart.

I know I made her proud. I know I honored her memory. It doesn’t help miss her any less. I miss her so much every day and like i said, everything I do in my life now I ask myself ” will she be proud of me “.. the answer this time was YES!

I don’t know what my next marathon is going to be , probably something in the summer but I will be sure to share it with you all

Oh, and I got my french fries

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A new year a new goal January 13, 2018

Filed under: Uncategorized — runningnurse12 @ 5:20 am

I am writing this in a hotel room in Phoeniz Arizona as I embark on my newest goal. I left 2017 trying to think of a new running goal for myself.  If you have read from the beginning you know that this blog started as a way to document my running. In reality when it started i made the personal goal to myself that I wanted to run a race every month that year, and the only way to keep me accountable was to let everyone else know. That year I actually ran 14 races I believe and I documented them all here, along with my weight loss. The next year I made the goal to run my first marathon and I ran the SF marathon. Two years later in 2015 I had the goal to run a destination marathon for the first time, so I ran the NYC marathon. Jump ahead to the end of 2017, I was running out of goals. Then it hit me, I had already run a marathon in NY and Tennessee so why not keep going and run a marathon in every state. Hence, why I am in a hotel room by myself two days before marathon number 5.

I dont have a time frame finish for the goal. Probably just a few marathons a year, spread out every three to four months. Now this blog is going to document my journey as I run through every state. I am doing the Rock and Roll Phoenix marathon this weekend and in March I am doing the Rock and Roll marathon in DC. For that one, I am raising money for the Mutliple Myeloma Research Foundation for their Team for Cures and running the race in my moms honor. This cause is very important to me, and honestly makes me feel a little closer to her now that she is no longer here.

Stick with me as i document my way through the 50 states!

I was going to make another post about the marathon I did in Arizona but laziness  won and I’m just gonna add it on the end of this one.

The marathon started in downtown Phoenix and we ran through Scottsdale and ended in Tempe. I heard that this was a well liked race from reviews I read which is partly why I signed up for it. My consensus: it was very flat( I mean Arizona is pretty flat) and there were long stretches of just going straight. We ran through downtown area so there were a lot of houses, apartments and businesses so not until we started getting into Tempe did the scenery get better.

My goal was to run it in 4:40 and I finished in 4:36. I started strong and ran the first half at my usual race pace about 8:30 per mile. I run faster when I’m on a treadmill but don’t typically run 26 miles on a treadmill so the distances are shorter. When I run a marathon I start out slower and stick to that pace or speed up a bit at then end so I don’t tire out halfway. That being said I reached mile 15 ahead of the 4:00 pacer then the cramp started. I had run the whole 15 without stopping( only to drink and refuel) I noticed the back of my left thigh start to tighten up around mile 14 and I had a full on cramp by mile 15 causing me to slow my pace and even start some walking by mile 18. I saw the 4:00 pacer pass me and then I saw the 4:15 pacer pass me and about mile 22.

I kept going. I was in pain but I finished! The marathoners were greeted with pizza and massages post race.

My final thoughts on the race: it was flat and easy in terms of elevation. I’m pleased that I finished ahead of my goal but was not the PR I wanted. Would I do this race again? Probably not for two reasons: 1) I’ve crossed Arizona off my list now and 2) it was kind of a boring run scenery wise

next marathon D.C. March 2018

 

I need a new name for my blog September 3, 2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — runningnurse12 @ 10:23 pm

I need a new name for my blog. Any ideas? I started it as a way to blog about my weight loss and running journey, when I was doing one run a month for a year. That goal has long passed and my this needs a new name now as its direction has changed a bit.  I will still blog about my running. I have a marathon coming up at the end of the month… a destination marathon but Im not giving away any secrets yet. I also add more about what is going on with my work life and personal life ( although now with work I have less of a personal life).

In my last post I talked about my mom, selling and buying a new house and how the last almost year has changed me. Ive felt lost without her, and needed to make some changes. It just so happens I made them all in about the first 6 months since she died.

I moved into my new house in Feb and I am all settled in now and I love my place. It feels like “home” and that is more important to me now than it ever was. Stability is good when you feel like the rest of your life was tossed upside down.

Work is another part of my life that I felt that I needed to change. I was finding that I wasn’t enjoying work any more. There was too much sadness there and I was finding it more and more difficult to handle. I used to love going to work and would come in extra and stay late etc and the months after my mom died I found it was the last place I wanted to be. I needed a change, needed to get away from the sadness. I thought long and hard and talked to my family about it and I decided that I would apply for a different nursing job. One that wasn’t as intense but I still wanted to work with kids. I applied and got a job at a pediatric urgent care clinic. I was lucky that it was with the same facility I work in now and just had to transfer, so I didn’t have to start completely over. I gave my notice in the ICU at the end of June and by July 4 I was out of there and working in the clinic.  I was nervous at first and scared that I made the wrong decision. My position in the ICU was already given to someone else so it wasn’t like I could just go back if the clinic didn’t work out. I just had to jump in with my eyes closed. I was kind of used to doing this by now. It turns out that it was the right move. Im so happy there. The stress that I didn’t even know I had was gone. I am smiling more, sleeping better, eating better, and the best part is.. I have more of a real person work schedule. 🙂

In Nov it will be one year since mom died. I miss her and think about her everyday. I still cry and I know that the person I was before she died is not the same person that I am now. My mom gave me my stand mixer a few christmases ago. I named it Martha ( after Martha Stewart). I used to bake all the time, along with running it was my passion. Ive continued to run but Ive stopped baking. Im not sure why, it was something I enjoyed so much before.  I would bake things and give them to mom or take pics and show them to her and she would respond with some corny comment about how good it looked. Im hoping that now that I’m in a better place I’ll get the baking itch back.

Im lucky to have wonderful friends and family who understand and support all the craziness that Ive had this last year. Am I done making big life changes? I hope so. Im ready to settle down and finally feel content.

 

i promise im alive May 5, 2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — runningnurse12 @ 9:58 pm

My first post of 2017 and it will be a long one. My last post had me talking about the NYC marathon so let me fill you in on what has happened since then. Some of it good, some of it not so good. Some has to do with running and some doesnt but ill spill it all.

After the NYC marathon in 2015 .. yes 2015  I was gearing up for my next race which was supposed to take place in july of 2016 and it was going to be the Rock and Roll marathon in Seattle. I went to seattle and met up with a friend who lived there. The morning of the race it was cold and rainy. I got to the start line and just wasnt feeling myself but i was going to run anyways. Well i got a half mile into the run and realized i couldnt do it. I had to walk myself to the first medical station on the route and tell them that i couldnt continue. I had to wait an hour for a van to come and take me back to the start. THey were so nice that they drove me back to the hotel. I was so cold .. shivering down to the bone. I took a long hot shower and climbed into my hotel bed and it took hours for me to warm up. I had a slight fever that day but i didnt know it when i started the race. After rest and relaxing that day in the hotel i woke up the next day feeling better. I knew something was wrong because even when im sick im able to run, but this time i had no energy. When i went home i went to the doctor and we got labs drawn just to make sure things were ok. Well long story short it turned out i was severly anemic and after some blood transfusions, an overnight stay in the hospital and numerous tests it turned out that i had a couple ulcers that were bleeding and causing all the problems. It took me awhile after that to get back into my old running pace and distance but when i was finally feeling better and getting my energy back i decided i was going to take 2016 off of racing and just focus on my health and not so much training.  I still ran but i ran for fun instead of a specific goal.

In OCT of 2016 we got news that my mom only had about 6 months left. She had been battling multiple myeloma for 8 years and her body was not reacting to the treatments anymore. I had signed up to run a marathon in Nashville in April before we got this news and i wasn’t going to go anymore since i wanted to be home to be with her. Three weeks after the prognosis my mother passed away and it threw my life upside down. If you read my first entry on this blog then you will know that i started running because of her. I started running to earn money for LLS. SHe was my inspiration and she fought hard for 8 years. Its only been 6 months and its still like it just happened and these days im just putting one foot in front of the other some days. My sister and I decided that my mom would have wanted me to go and do the race, so i went and my sister came with me ( ill get to the race in a bit). In the 6 months since mom died, I sold my house and bought a new one that is closer to my siblings and my nieces and nephews. It felt right and Im so glad i did it .

Flash forward to last weekend. Nashville Rock and Roll marathon. It was on saturday April 29. My sister came with me as support and a bonding sister trip. We needed to do something together and just be sisters (not moms, nurses, wives etc). It was a great trip.  We did all the touristy things, Grand Ole Opry, Country music hall of fame, walking food tours, bars, bus tours. The night before the race they informed us that it was supposed to be hot so they changed the start times so that we would be starting earlier than the 730 start time. I got to the start line at 530 in the morning for the 645am start. It was already 83 degrees and 80 percent humid at 0530 am. The race directors were encouraging the marathon runners to consider downgrading and running the half. It wasnt even a consideration for me. I trained hard and I was going to do the full marathon. It started out great. I was on about a 9 min mile pace ( which is slow for me but in marathons you always start slow and then speed up).

It was very hilly and hot and humid. By mile 2 i was dripping in sweat but i kept going. It got hot and more humid as the day went on. People were standing in their front yards spraying us with garden hoses and sprinklers. At mile 15 my quads were sore from all the uphill in the first half. It was the first time i had to stop and walk. By mile 20 i knew i wasnt going to make my 4 hour goal but since it was soo hot and humid i was ok with that. I passed so many people that were in the medic tents because of the conditions of the weather, people collasping on lawns, being taken away by paramedics. I finised the race in 5 hours and 3 mins and just as i crossed the finish line they informed us that they were calling the race early because of the heat.

Im happy that i was able to finish the race and that i was not hurt or that nothing happened because of the heat. Im so glad that i was able to experience this weekend with my sister. My mom is usually the one that i would call or text after the race and i got emotional as i crossed the finish line and realized that I wouldnt get to talk to her. As soon as I crossed the finish line i was barraged with texts from my sister who was waiting back at the hotel and my brother and sis in law and step dad who were all cheering me on from home, and I knew I would be ok. It will take some time but I will be ok.. we will be ok.

 

Its been a year October 18, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — runningnurse12 @ 6:47 pm

wow. where have i been? its been almost a year since I have last posted. I dont have any excuses except that I have just been lame. To recap the last year or so ill be brief. In Nov of 2015 I ran the NYC marathon. It was an experience I will never forget … and NEVER do again. 🙂 Its not because it was horrible .. in fact it wasnt. I had a good time. I was able to spend time with my bestie and her adorable family that lives there.  I also now have the esteemed honor of saying that I ran in the five burroughs of NYC. How many people can say that?

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It was not my best or fastest marathon. In fact i completed in just over 5:30. My goal was 4:30. It starts out with the first mile uphill over a bridge in staten Island…. then there are five more bridges along the race.. they were the worst. The crowds cheering us on were probably the best I have seen in any race ever. We ran by a church in one of the burroughs and the church choir was on the steps singing . it was very cool to see. All in all it was a great race, but it was hard. I dont feel the need to do it again but im glad I did do it.

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Ive stayed off the races for the most part since then. I did go to seattle in june to run the Rock and Roll Seattle Marathon but i got sick and couldnt run.. but Seattle was great!. Its one of my favorite cities by far ( and i have a friend there too).

whats in store for me this year? This year is not going to have a lot of major running commitments and life requires me to be a bit more flexible for a bit. I did sign up to run a Rock and Roll Marathon in Tennessee in April, and so far that is the only race I have planned.

I also am proud to announce that i am an ambassador for the Mermaid Series runs. They are an amazing group that encourages and empowers woment to make changes in their health and fitness, set goals and help women achieve them. They put on very well organized races, and they are by far one of the best series of races i have ever done. You even get a necklace at the end of the races. I am honored to have this responsibility. So, look forward to more from me in the next year as I bring you along in my journey to be a mermaid.

 

NYC marathon October 21, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — runningnurse12 @ 4:44 am

wow i haven’t updated here in awhile. I don’t have an excuse, just work and life getting in the way.

2014 was not the best year for me and 2015 started out rough but is gonna end on the upside since my new adorable nephew was born on the 15th. what can i say… I’m in love and i love being an aunt. If this was a blog about babies i would continue but it is a running blog so i will talk about running…

when i started my running journey i decided i was going to make a running goal for myself every year. At first it was to run 12 races in a year, which i did. Then it was to run a marathon, which i have done twice. in 2015 I u going to run any races but that changed when i remember the goal I set for myself for this year was to run a destination marathon. So i bit the bullet and registered for the New york marathon. I didn’t make the time cut off for automatic entrance, and i missed the deadline for the lottery but was still able to get in by fundraising for one of the charities that the NY marathon sponsors.

I raised 2,620 for TEAM for kids. Its a NY based program that helps provide outdoor sports and activities for kids who would otherwise be able to participate due to money issues. Being that I am a pediatric nurse I thought this was the one that was closest to my heart. I hope to help make one of these kids obtain a passion for running much like I have.

Ive been to NY many times, my best friend lives there, so that was another reason i chose the NYC marathon. Plus, I heard it was an amazing race to run. So, this weekend i pack my bags and prepare to travel to NY to run through all five boroughs on nov 1.  Im excited, a man at the gym i train at asked me one day why i run so long. I told him i was training for the NY marathon. As it gets closer and closer he asks me everyday if I’m nervous. My answer is always no, not yet. Ive run 26.2 miles twice before.  Im more nervous about what the weather is going to be like. The running thing Ive gotten down. Im aiming to do this in 3;2o mins.

Next time you hear from me on here will be the post marathon update with pics of course. Now if you excuse me I have to continue looking at pics of my adorably cute 5 day old nephew.

 

its been awhile May 24, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — runningnurse12 @ 9:23 pm

I know I know its been awhile, I can’t say that I have been too busy to update things here, i just haven’t had much running wise to update about. I haven’t been training for anything (up til now) but I am still running.

After I ran the SF marathon in July of 2014 ( see previous post) I told myself i was not going to run any races in 2015. Training is hard on the body and I felt after this marathon that I had lost the fun of running. I told myself that in 2015 I was going to find the fun again and run just for “me”.  Ive been going to the gym and running on the treadmill lately. I also after this marathon didn’t really want to run outside for some reason ( I’m not sure why). I know the treadmill and running outside are different as there are no real obstacles to get through on a treadmill, but to me its tougher.

Despite telling myself that I was not going to run any races in 2015, the nagging feeling of wanting to do a destination marathon was still there so i spontaneously decided to run the NYC marathon in Nov of 2015. I didn’t time qualify for an automatic entry and missed the lottery timeframe so i decided I was going to raise money for one of the charities that the NYC marathon sponsors. I am running and raising money for TEAM FOR KIDS. If i raise my goal I get to run the NYC marathon.
Please check out my page below for TEAM FOR KIDS and find out why i chose this organization and more about why i wanted for run the NYC marathon. Any donations to help me reach my goal will be greatly appreciated. Thank you

http://runwithtfk.org/Profile/PublicPage/26445