On our way to the Jail Break 5K in our Brooks ID attire.

On our way to the Jail Break 5K in our Brooks ID attire.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

We Thought we were in Shape:

William and Kristin Schmitz
Before--LRAH February 2012
Rochester Half Sept 2012

I walked into the body shop 6 months ago believing I was in pretty good shape only having 2 weeks before completed the Boston Marathon. Fast-forward 6 months and I think back on that day and consider myself, "fit fat!"
We started running in 2008 and have grown to love running and endurance events. We have partaken in events from 5K-50K, charity bike rides and various distance Triathlons. Throughout my marathon training I was running over 200 miles per month. However, my weight and body fat % always stayed the same. I was eager to try something different and find results without hours of endurance exercise each day.
I knew the minute I walked in the door at Bodyshop Athletics, that I found where I wanted to be. It was exactly what I had been looking for. I knew I needed a personal trainer to push myself with weights and shock my system. These results have been tremendous both mentally and physically. I am in the best shape of my life! I have never had better results and times in my endurance events as I currently have. I set a half marathon Personal Record this November. Every time I walk in the door of the Bodyshop to train I am faced with a new exercise and new challenge to overcome and conquer. This gained confidence and faith has transpired into my daily life as well.

Thanks to the Body Shop for believing in us and changing our lives!
                                          Kristin’s – starting weight: 138-22.98% BF
                                                             current weight: 123-13.85% BF

                                         William’s- starting weight 236-20.55% BF
                                                   current weight: 217 and 13.88

                     Chris we love you and the Body Shop, this is because of y'all!!!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Tried something new-Bikram Yoga Columbia SC

It has been a while since I have blogged!  We of course are continuing to have a great time working out and doing events.  I have so much more I want to share but wanted to let y'all know about the first Bikram Yoga class I took and loved.  I wrote up my class experience for a friend as she was eager to hear about the visit.  I thought I would share my experience with everyone since I wrote her so much!
Remember, try something new, shock your system and do something that scares you everyday-it's fun!  You do not know you do not like something if you never try it, now get out of your comfort zone.

BIKRAM was awesome y'all!!! This and Hot yoga is the yoga for me. I love the heat, maybe it is all the cold winters in NY or the fact that I like it hot and sweaty, who knows ; )

I decided to take the 5:30p class because I wanted to have the owner, Lacy as the teacher to get the full experience.
The drive down to Forest Dr at this time from Lex was a nightmare, way too much traffic with really no direct interstate way to get there. I was all signed up via the web page so I was able to walk in and still spare a few minutes. I had chatted some via FB with Lacy before class and then met her quick before class started. The building is beautiful, she did a great job and also she has some fun clothes for sale.

The Studio was warm a 105 degrees and 40% humidity, but so nice! Some thing's I experienced that are different than the flow, vinyasa classes I am use to taking were; there is no music during class. I found this strange for a few minutes then really did not have time to think about it again. The tone is more "harsh" then any yoga I had taken before. It is a lot more straight forward "this will hurt, deeper deeper deeper!!!" I kind of liked that though, sometimes I just need to be pushed a little harder then I am going to push myself and told what to do. The first 13 poses were all standing and the last 13 (I think) were all laying. The laying poses are different because you do the pose then go into Savasana then on to a new pose. All the laying poses followed this pattern which is different because normally Savasana is just at the end of class. Lacy said it designed this way to get your heart rate down then back up again.

At the very end she did Savasana for a few minutes and turned the lights off. It was a little "harsher" per say then the normal Savasana that I am use to. She went through each body part to relax and then put cold lavender towels in our hands, said namaste and left the room. I will admit normally Savasana is my favorite, it is a time I am able to just be still without doing anything but having to relax. (This is so rear for me to ever do) so I love the nurturing aspect of the towel over my eyes and the deep relaxation of the Savasna I am use to. I would not say I like it better because Bikram was awesome just I feel that self care, long Savasana has such a place in my life as I spend a lot of time running all over that I need/crave those 10 mins at the end of a good yoga class some days!
The laying poses focus was on spine strengthening. Gosh, do I need this. I carry my stress between my shoulder blades and with sitting, running and biking ALL the time I feel like I need posture work and a lot of it! I tell ya, Yoga is Medicine. Now if obamacare would just cover it! LOL

Over all, I loved it. I would love to be closer and have Bikram be a part of my weekly training/workout schedule. However, because of the location  I am unsure I will be able to do that. Lacy is offering 1 month unlimited for 99 dollars. I would love to take a month of classes practicing almost daily and this is a great price.   I just am unsure with PT, Boot Camps, Golds and a few more events to race the next few week that I will be able to. I will give it some more thought and review the schedule to see what works best for me.  She has a lot of different packages/class options as well.

She did say if her studio took off she was thinking of going to Irmo with another location. I asked her to come to Lex and go in the old Firm studio! Lacy, was so nice and approachable. I thanked her for bringing her idea/gift to Columbia for all of us to enjoy. I sometimes wonder if the Midlands of SC is where we will stay long term but really after being here 9 years this is my home. I do not really ever see leaving SC and I have to admit Cola is getting more progressive. It warms my heart and gives me hope for our community when I see things coming to the community to help make our community healthier-Bikram, Pure Barre, Yoga, Trader Joe's and Whole Foods! I love it.
Forest Drive is so fun. Gosh, that would be a cool place to live! However, there are a lot of things I would miss in Lexington and in my neighborhood.

I am thankful that I have the willingness to always want to try new workouts however, I always love them and then it is hard to not be able to do them all the time! EXCESSIVE, it's my nature but hey, I could be excessive over a lot worse things!

Bikram along with hot Yoga at Masala are such a treat when I can go, ahhhh the heat I love so much. I am ready to go back now!
Hope to see you there, let me know what you thought! -K

Friday, June 15, 2012

We escaped…

What a difference a year makes. If someone had told me a year ago I was going to jump off a barge on Alcatraz and swim to San Francisco in 55 degree water I would have never believed them. Well that all change one very warm day in July last summer at our neighborhood pool. Wm and I went to lay out but it was just so warm I had to get in the water right at the same time one of my neighbors was getting in. We started chatting because she knew we had a mutual friend and she had just finished Vineman 70.3. We literally stood in the pool for hours chatting away realizing we had so much in common, little did I know I had such a cool triathlete neighbor who literally lives 3 houses up from me. Kimi had mention that she had heard from our mutual friend that we love to race and do events every weekend. She said “Hey, I really want to do Escape from Alcatraz, it’s on my bucket list! I bet I can get you to do it with me, right?” I really had no idea about the tri besides hearing about the swim from Alcatraz to San Francisco. Wm knew right away growing up in the bay area, he was out! We decided after our lips and faces were fried from the sun we should get out of the pool but I told Kimi I would look it up and be in touch. Returning home I googled the race and read the course description while also getting a history of SF weather from Wm and he assured me this would not be a tropical vacation and the water was cold! That day I decided I had to do this! Text message to Kimi sent that afternoon—BRING IT!

We knew the first step was to join the lotto and hope to get our names picked! So we each did the lotto the first weekend in September and waited for the word sometime in October. The next weekend after doing the lotto at the Myrtle Beach Tri I found out that Chris and Christina McCarty had put in too. Kimi and I concluded it would be a lot of fun if we all got in as well as hypothesized what we would do if only one of us got it. The first drawing is in October and you have two weeks to commit by paying for the race, they then see how many people they have out of the initial drawing commit and do a second lotto is January when they have an idea of how many more racers they can have. The field is 2000 but I think they only lotto 1800 spots allowing 200 charity (PAY EVEN MORE) spots. How awful would it be for one of us to get in the October drawing, pay and then hope the other got in the January drawing?
Well luckily us (well I was not sure if we were lucky at this time as I was very fearful!) we both received our confirmation emails in the middle of October and we were in along with Chris and Christina as well! Now began all the preparations to make this race become reality! 400 dollar registration fee completed, we have to do it now! Next up was figuring out what to do about our bikes, we spoke back and forth at length weighing the pros and cons of renting vs. shipping. We decided in early December with price being 250 dollars either way to just rent bikes. So after checking a few shops for my bike, which there were none we agreed on using specialized bikes. A quick fitting at Bike to Nature to confirmed our size and bikes were reserved with Blazing Saddles in SF, another thing off our list!  In January we worked on lodging and decided to go with the host Hilton hotel in Fisherman’s Wharf which was only about 1.5 miles from transition at Marina Green. We then worked on our airfare, getting long sleeve wetsuits and booties. Finally around the beginning of March we felt we had all that we needed together and it was time to start practicing in the colder water while we still had cold water in SC. We did multiple cold water swims in Murray-59 degrees was the coldest we swam in. I noticed each swim right after jumping off the dock I would get shortness of breath having my face in the cold until I warmed up. Leading up to the race I just assumed I would leave my head out of the water the for the first 200m until I got used to the water after I jumped.

   Well finally it was June 7th and time to leave for Ca. We got a 8:15pm flight out of Charlotte to have a direct flight and be able to work a half a day before leaving. The flight was pretty uneventful but needless to say when we finally landed at 11pm then took our shuttle and got to the hotel at 12:30pm (3:30am our time) we were pretty tired out! Friday we had to go get our bikes from the bike shop and we wanted to do a practice swim. We received a text from Christina that they were swimming at noon at the Aquatic Park.  Since we slept until about 10am we decided a quick stop at Starbucks and walk down there would be perfect! The air was cool and it was windy so getting in our wetsuits actually felt nice until we hit the water! We ran from the beach right in the water as we had to get right in to practice with no swim warm up! The water was cold and I did breast stroke for about 100m as I was getting shortness of breath with the initial shock of the cold water. We did about 1000m and our hands and faces were pretty cold when we got out but all agreed it really was not that bad once we got going. Half way through the swim I was so happy thinking “I cannot believe I am swimming in the SF Bay!”

     Then it was off to refuel at In and Out Burgers and time to get our bikes! I really liked the bikes we rented it sat up a lot less aggressive then my road bike, the breaks were great and it had a compact cassette. They fit us briefly and we did a test ride. We decided to do the night Alcatraz tour which was awesome! However, I spent much of the boat trip along with being on Alcatraz telling Kimi “I cannot believe we are going to swim from here to there!” Also, no one had ever successfully escaped leading me to continue to think, "thank goodness for wetsuits!"
     Saturday morning we set the alarm for 7am and were out the door a few minutes later to go for a run. We ran past the marina green where packet pick up would be and down to the base of the Golden Gate Bridge and back to the hotel for a 10K. It was beautiful and there were so many people out being active. Kimi received a FB message from a friend of hers in SF joking that he knew why she was in SF and posted a link the “National Bike Naked Day.” We Googled it and decided we had to go, with packet pick up starting at 11 and this also starting at 11 we decided we would go to packet pick up a little later to go see this ride! We hopped on the bikes went to the start and laughed and laughed. We then came back, dropped the bikes back in the room and walked to packet pick up. The line was horribly long but it did go fast. There were very few vendors and the merchandise tent was awful. We were both a little disappointed in the packet pick up so we went to the mandatory athletes meeting, got marked (one less thing to do in the morning!) then walked to a late lunch. We had a 3am wake-up call so knew we would not have a late night but could not just sit in the room so we went to Pier 39 to see the seals and walked around Ghirardelli square. We went to bed around 9:30 with 2 alarms set and a wake-up call at 3am!
Race day-3am-get ready and were down in the lobby by 3:30 (people were just coming in from their night on the town!!) We road our bikes to the start about 1.5 miles, it was pretty dark but we came upon other people going to the race. We got the Green right at 4am as transition was opening; we racked our bikes and set up our transition and took a few pictures. We got on the bus to Pier 33 where we had to get on the boat. Here we dropped our over clothes and got on the boat with our wetsuits half on and our cap/goggles. (I really did not want to take off my over clothes—it was so cold but I did not bring things I could throw out.) We walked right on the boat to our level. There are 3 levels of the SF Belle, the lower level is for the pros, main level age groups up to age 39 then the higher level is for 40 plus age groups. There were not a lot of people on the boat at all when we got on. We found a little spot where we would be for the next 2 hours. We ate, drank and chatted as we waited then cruised out to Alcatraz. The boat ride was maybe a half hour; they take us around the island then parked. I turned my watch on but could not get a satellite and the singing of the national anthem began. The start was the horn of the boat and the pros were off. All 2K athletes must be off the boat in 6 minutes therefore the minute that horn went off it was mayhem. They open 3 sliding glass doors and you can go out any one of them to jump in. We quick said let’s go to the door to the left, push, shove.. We brought room temperature water and poured it down our wetsuit just to be a little wet with comfortable water. So we pushed shoved, put water down our wet suits and we were at the door!

Swim-Christina, Kimi and I walked through the door and over the mat, boom two guys ran between us and jumped. As soon as you go over the mat you have to jump! I was so mentally prepared for this. I walked to the ledge and looked down I thought “holy crow it is a 4 foot jump off to the water and I did not know they were going to leave the boat on, so there was wake/bubbles right where we jump” then boom I was in. I did not have any shortness of breath I just swam (head out of the water for about 25m as there are people everywhere and jumping everywhere) I wanted out of the way fast! I stopped 2 times on the swim to look around at the city and back at the boat/Alcatraz, it was beautiful. I was never cold on the swim. I cannot believe I was not cold. I hate air temperatures being in the 50’s and Wm often cannot believe that I lived in Buffalo as I claim I am freezing to death when it is in the 70’s! I was worried I was going to lose one of my bootie so I kept pulling it up! I did not spot off the buildings, I just followed the masses. At the meeting they said at an hour they would start pulling swimmers, I feared as I saw 52 mins on my watch and existed at 55 minutes! We learned after they did not pull at an hour as there was no current this year so the swim was a lot slower as years before. My hands were frozen upon getting out of the water, one person pulled my wetsuit down half way then I was off to my special needs bag where I sat again and a volunteer pulled my wetsuit/booties off, got out my water, towel and running shoes. Here was the hard part; trying to tie shoes to run over a half mile to T1 (next time I would bring tri shoes for this!) I ran up to t1 with my shoes undone. and still not warm!
Bike-I thought my computer on the bike was at 0 but it was not so I stopped at the dismount line and reset it and I was off. It is flat up to going under the Golden Gate Bridge then starts the climbing. I was laughing because my hand were still numb until about mile 5 so I had to pound my wrist on the levers to change gears. I got up the first few hills when the pros and cop cars were going down the hill. It is 18 mile out and back course with 2K people on it at one time. The course was very technical and crowded. I had no idea my time on the bike because my watch never got a satellite. My favorite view was looking over my left shoulder when we went by Land’s End—Looking down off the cliff/road to the water with a layer of fog above it. I had one gu and sipped on a little cytomax on the bike.

Run-I was so ready to run mentally as I love the run however, physically nor mentally was I ready for this run. We went out of transition and got on a dirt path to the base of the Golden Gate Bridge. This was all flat but I felt awful, I have no idea my pace as I did not have a watch on. I got up to the aid station and saw a bathroom down a path to the Left.  I never stop on a run but knew I had to. To be honest with you it felt good to just get away for a few minutes and gain my composure plus splash water on myself. All the preparing we did for this event we had no idea it was an xterra trail run! There were a lot of steps and some narrow tunnels.  There are very few places you can pass on. Around mile 4 you go down a path to the ocean and run about a half mile in the sand. ¼ a mile in softer sand, turn around to wet/harder sand then to the sand ladder. The waves were incredible here, at least 7 feet and would burst when they broke. The sand ladder was tough, I walked almost all of it but I loved it! Mile 5-6.5 were back through the tunnel and down some of the stairs we climbed to the flat path by the bridge to the finish.
     Kimi was cheering me in as she rocked it and was done way before me. I was happy to be done but even happier that I had the chance to do that beautiful event. The post race food was awesome and we told race stories with Chris and Christina who both did very well too. Then we walked our bikes 1.5 miles back to the hotel and returned them still in our racing stuff! We took an afternoon nap and had a great dinner on the town to celebrate. I played over the race a number of times alone and with Kimi and Wm both however, I really cannot recall any one reason I was so slow but in the end concluding finishing and doing that event was more than enough!

Monday we went back to the bike shop and rented cruisers. We biked the Golden Gate Bridge and had lunch over in Sausalito. It was beautiful, then biked back and shopped at Sports Warehouse. The whole ride looking at Alcatraz to SF where we exited the water, I kept saying “I cannot believe we swam that!” We then had dinner plans with Kimi’s friend Perrine and went out for Irish Coffees to enjoy our last night in the city. We laughed so hard as the restaurant we were in was across the street from a building they had to evacuate for bombs from a lady that had a psychotic break. We continued dinner and took pictures by the bomb squad truck. We got home around midnight and had a wake-up call for 4:30 as we had a 7am flight. It was a great trip and awesome experience!   We enjoyed an evening shopping and eating in Charlotte to extend our vacation too!

Thanks to Kimi for being our tour guide around the city and for all the hard work with travel plans. Job well done on the Tri sister! Fantastic job to Chris and Christina as well!

  Now what’s next.......?

Till next time-Swim, Bike and Run HAPPY! -K

Sunday, April 8, 2012

And then there were 8…..DAYS


Marathon Training numbers 12/12/11-current 4/8/12

Running Miles 774.37
Swimming Miles-8.36
Biking Miles-67.32
Yoga-24 classes
Weight workouts-10
Spin classes-3
Races-9 (8 running and 1 tri)

                As I sit down to start typing this it is hard to believe 17 weeks have gone by since I started this journey, well I take that back 2 years have almost gone by starting back to picking out my first marathon, training and completing Richmond to qualify to then start training for Boston on 12/12/11.  It was tough for me starting out going to a running only focused training plan as I have said in the past I am used to doing a lot of cross training and having a personal trainer.  I literally was caught with my phone in my hand several times thinking “I am just going to call, I have to go back to cross/strength training!” then the other voice in my head would say “do not do it, you promised yourself 18 weeks of following a running schedule, you will be so mad at yourself if you have a horrible race knowing you did not do what you set your intentions to do.”  This internal conflict along with a little whining to the hubs : ) occurred for most of January and February as I built my mileage, hit my workouts and trained regardless of the weather conditions and time of morning.  Then about the last day of February I had an epiphany, I picked up the phone and called William right away stating “oh my gosh I have 4 weeks of hard build up and 2 back off weeks and Boston will be here, gosh I am going to miss this.”  The moment I hung up the phone I promised myself to not worry about or think about all the “workouts I was missing” but to be so grateful for the workouts I was able to do with all the wonderful help and fellowship of friends that I have been running with.  Sitting here today still since that moment I have been grateful and have not thought nor said what I have not been doing and having fun with what I have been doing.
                I took some time today to go through my running journal and reflect upon my workouts, paces I have run and distances I have ran to build some confidence and be even surer of my training.  I started out planning to run with a friend of mine who is a little faster than me but also going to Boston, however, an injury left her sidelined at the end of January.  She had to run at 5am which I was doing to have her to run with.  When she called to say she was out per MD orders, I said to Wm I would train by myself that way I could go later and not have to be up so early.  Well that week mentally ended up being
awful.  I had a 10 miler on Monday, a 11 mile workout Tuesday followed by a 7 mile run with strides Wednesday then a 5 mile recovery run on Thursday.  Needless to say by Thursday I was sick of myself, sick of running and continued to think I bet it would feel better poking my eyes right now then running this 5 miler.  I was crushed and replayed the week to William and a friend of ours Rick on Saturday’s run of that week as we did the Columbia Marathon preview run course as part of my first 20 miler.  Rick as those of you from Columbia know is an excellent even pace runner and ambassador for the running community.  He had mentioned that he was signed up for his 31st marathon at the end of April and would be happy to do some training runs/workouts together.  Rick has been a godsend to me the last 2 and half months, we have shared many workouts and miles of smiles and I have had a lot of time to pick the marathon pro’s brain.

                Going through my running journal today allowed me to reflect upon just a few of my favorite runs/workouts over the past 17 weeks although honestly, I loved them all.  When I get to the start line in Hopkinson I will think of lyrics from my favorite singer Kenny Chesney as he said it best as to how I will be feeling at that moment. “Yeah, I hit walls and I wanted to quit. I picked myself up but the truth is I didn't get here alone. That road's just too rough and long, I might be the one the spotlight's on but I know I did not get here alone.”

Memorable runs-

12/24/11-13 miles on Erie Canal path in NY with Wm. 8 at MP (we were a little fast as it was cold!)  24 degrees and snow packed trail.

1/4/12-10 miles with Jen from Irmo Dam to Broad River Road and back.  19 degrees, 4:50am only people in sight out that morning. 19 degrees in Columbia is cold.  We ran over the instate to Broad River which the traffic at that point is horrible.  Jen almost tripped, a truck kind of swerved towards us then coming back towards the Dam I fell.  Yes, this is the reason I do not trail run, I fell road running!  I ripped my tights at the knee, ripped 3 layers of tops at the elbow and ripped both my gloves.  Thank goodness for a lot of clothes because I just scuffed up some skin and we had a lot of laughs.

1/20/12-5 mile recovery at 5am at the YMCA with my brother in law in NY.  My family made  sure I got in all my workouts and had a place to run while home for my niece’s birthday.  This gave me the evening after we watch Olivia all day to frost cupcakes with my sister for her party.

2/25/12-22 miler with Rick and using LRAH as tempo run at MP for 6.2 miles of our 22.

3/22-3/26/12-Boat track workouts with the hubs where 11 laps equaled a mile, we still got in 22 miles while gone on our cruise we also explored a State Park when we got back to the terminal for a 9 mile run.

3/27/12-my last 20 miler was scheduled for 3/25/12 however, we were in the Bahamas for the hubs big 4 0 therefore, I was puzzled going into the cruise how/when I was going to get that 20 miler in.  I emailed Rick for guidance and he suggested 3/27 the next morning that we would be back to have my last 20 miler about 3 weeks out.  I wrote back to thank him and also let him know that I would be in contact with him about how/where I was going to do run before work then we could share some miles together.  He wrote back that he would meet me, he had a course, he would do all 20 and to have a good trip.  Who does that?  What a friend!

Well that was just a few of my runs I have had over the past 17 weeks.  I could write about every workout I had and all the memory I created however, this entry would be way too long and I have them all in my running journal.  Looking back, I owe to it myself, my family, my husband, my friends, the guys who have ran 100’s of miles with me over the past 17 weeks to go into this race and do the best I can and to give the course all I have.  I will let me goals be known with of course first and foremost to finish and have appreciation for the ability to run, however, I feel that is a given so A goal, 3:27, B goal sub 3:30 and C goal sub 3:35 to re qualify.  I do not know what will happen nor would I change anything about the past 17 weeks even after I know the outcome next week. “Never let the odds keep you from doing what you know in your heart.  Take risks: if you win, you will be happy; if you lose, you will be wise.”  RUN HAPPY-K

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

New Year, New Month, New Goals-Month Review

Monthly Numbers-
Running Miles 200.54
Swimming Miles-4
Biking Miles-0
Yoga-9 classes
Races-1 Red Noise Run

  Looking back on January it was a great month, strange but great.  It was awesome to complete an entire month of my marathon workouts and miles.  This is the highest running volume month I have ever had, largely because running is all I am really doing.  This has been the strange part er to be honest with you the hard part.  I am a fly by the seat of my pants type girl.  I love to do what I feel like doing that day, swim, bike, run, go to boot camp, ect but then in the same breath my more Type A self  is really enjoying just focusing on one thing at this moment to get my workouts and miles in and do what my plan says to do that day.  I have been changing the font on my schedule to red when the workout or run is completed which brings me great satisfaction.   The number one thing I miss most is personal training however; I know that taking a break to complete this goal at this time will be worth it.  I have thought about going back to lifting heavy and more cross training a number of times however, I owe it to myself, my family and friends to be as rested as I can workout after workout to bring my most well trained self to the start line. I promised myself for 18 weeks I was going to train like a runner and do everything my plan said to a T so far it’s been going pretty well.
  I have been able to run a lot of miles with a lot of friends this month which has been fun.  I have been meeting my training partner at 5am once a week for our middle-long distance run.  The week before last I mentioned to Wm that my legs were tired coming up the hill at the finish (11 miles and we ended on a big ole hill!) We both kind of wrote it off as just being tired and the finish.  Then later that week I had 10 miles, 5 at 1/2 MP pace (7:30.) I noticed at the pace seem tough and my legs were burning after the first mile.  Again, I mustered through it and wrote it off as a hard training week.  About this same time Wm asked when I was going back for blood work to check my Iron level, I asked him why as I stood there chomping on ice! 
*FYI-Craving and chewing ice (pagophagia) is often associated with iron deficiency anemia**
  I went to my follow up appointment on Wednesday 1/25/12 and really thought my levels would be fine.   I was born with anemia and I have been getting blood checks my entire life.  It never really had an effect on me until we started running in 2008.  I have been going through monthly checks since back in 2008 when I experienced my first dec in Ferritin resulting in poor performance and fatigue.   I have my lab records all saved of my hemoglobin and ferritin results since 2008 so I can correlate my levels to how I feel and how my running is going.  After being under the care of a PCP with very little increase in my ferritin and Hemoglobin I was referred to a hematologist in June of 2011.  He recommended Iron infusion to try to inc my ferritin which was chronically low to try to protect my hemoglobin level, per the MD the body always try to protect the hemogloblin so it is the last to drop.  In June my ferritin was a 13 and Hemoglobin  10.1 prior to the infusion.  The infusion went well and I followed up in July Hgb was 13.1 and ferritin was 78!! This is as high as it ever has been but it was a false positive as so much Fe was added to my body with the infusion this was not correct,  needing more time before another draw .  I spent most of the fall shoring up tri season and spending a lot of time with my trainer knowing that my running schedule was about to be where all my winter would be spent.  My running miles were down and I felt great. 
 Follow apt in October-Hgb 13.7 highest to date and Ferritin 40 also highest to date.  Great!  The infusion worked, life is great.  No need to follow up until Jan.  I laughed with the MD as I was leaving his office as I knew marathon training was only 6 weeks away. I asked to be monitored monthly until April starting in Jan so we could be on top of it, if there was any decreases starting to be seen. 
Wednesday 1/25 go in for blood work and the MD comes right in to ask me what  I have been doing for the past 10 weeks as my Hbg was down to a 10.  I reminded her I was marathon training and she said she would call me Friday with my ferritin level.  Friday she called and it was a 5, which is the lowest it has ever been. 
Back to the infusion center I went on Tuesday.  It went okay; it is a little painful at first to get the needle in but then is just a long afternoon of sitting there drip by drip.  I have to go back tomorrow (Thursday) and then again Tuesday for 2 more infusions then I should be done for the time being. 
 On the positive side I hit my paces on just about all my workouts this month and ran 200 miles with a ferritin of 5, I am looking forward to feeling stronger when I am back in a therapeutic range and hopefully will not have such a struggle with some of the hills/speed work!   I still continue to remember how blessed I am to be out on the roads and have the will day after day.

See ya on roads and Run Happy! 

Monday, January 9, 2012

My 2010 Ultra Goal Evolves

In Early 2010 I set a goal to run an Ultra and at that point I had never run a marathon and set my eyes on  the FATS 50K on 10/3/2010. This race is part of the South Carolina Ultra Trail Series a series that I would go on to run a few more events in 2011... When I told Kristin of my goal I asked if she would come support me and either volunteer or just float around the course in support.. Of course she would have none of that and said that she was running it also.. So that Summer I came up with a training plan to get us ready for our Ultra Debut and along came 10/3/2010 and us finishing with Smiles on our face in 7:51.

FATS 50K 10/3/2010

We had so much fun we decided we would do another Ultra together and this was going to be in our own backyard with the Harbison 50K on 1/8/2011. This would be a double loop course that had two 6 mile stretches of pretty technical single track trail called Spider Woman. Kristin and I stayed together for most of the event and once again finished with a smile on our face in 7:12

Harbison 50K 1/8/2011
Since we had accomplished two 50K events we thought we would jump back into the South Carolina Ultra Trail Series and take our talents to a 40 miler.. We chose the Enoree Passage 40M on May 1, 2011 and in the 6 months since our first Ultra we had a whole new set of Ultra - Friends and that made this event even more fun... This was the first of two Ultra Challenges this month and I will get to the second challenge later.. This event was 20 miles out on the Palmetto Trail and then 20 miles back to where we started.. Kristin and I made it to mile 20 and we felt pretty good nutrition wise but Kristin was struggling with a very tight IT that was really limiting her ability to run. So if you can't run then walk and turn your day into a hike with the Wife on a beautiful day on the Palmetto Trail. We made it back and finished in 11:38 but we finished and yes we finished together with a smile.

Enoree Passage 40 Miler 5/1/2011
May 29, 2011 at the Long Cane 50K will go down as one of the toughest day's I ever had running.. First I was running solo I did not have my teammate. She was taking this one off after her IT issues at Enoree and was biking 100 miles with Friends. Today was very warm with a morning low of 66° and the dewpoint in the lower 70°'s most of the day and this my friends is not a good recipe for running 31 miles.. Everything started okay but by about mile 18 my calfs began to get tight and begin to cramp at various motions.. I really thought I took care of my nurition, salt and liquids but the lack of evaporation and copiuos amounts of sweat was just to much and my calfs just shrunk to half their size and I was done.. I sat at Mile 20 Aid Station for 10 minutes pondering if I should try to finish or DNF.. I thought about my teammate and just decided to catch the car ride back and call it a day... I had made it about 20 miles in 4:30 that day.

Lon Cane 50K 5/29/2011
 Our last Ultra in 2011 was the One Epic Run and this was Kristin's Birthday Idea.. Back in the Summer she told me she wanted to run her age on 12/10 and luck have it she was turning a 50K(31)... This course was a 2.98 mile loop in Croft State Park that we would have to do 10 times then figure out how much more for 31 miles flat. This event was actually a 24 hr event so you had folks out there attempting all sorts of distances and we met some really fun people... We finished in 7:22.
One Epic Run 50K 12/10/2011

In November 2010 after we did our 1st Ultra we went up to Richmond, VA to run our first road marathon and as usual Kristin and I ran together and we finished in 3:33 and that yielded Kristin a ticket to the Boston Marathon so she had her own road training to do and was not going to be by my running side for year 2 of the Harbison 50K: Presented by Half-Moon Outfitters on 12/7/2012. This made me a little nervous cause my last solo Ultra pursuit did not go so well.. If you recall from above this course is a double loop and a tad bit different from last year. I got around in loop 1 in 2:50 and loop 2 in 3:10.. I should have not stopped my watch at the aid stations so I would have known that I was only 21 seconds from breaking 6 hours.. I was very pleased with my result and although I am still pretty sore everything feels great and am looking forward to my next Ultra..

Haribsion 50K 1/7/2012 - Me in the Brooks ID Shirt
Since October 2010 I have run in 6 Ultra's, 1 Road Marathon and 1 Course Preview of the Original Columbia, SC Marathon Course... All From setting a Goal in 2010 to Run an Ultra.