Thursday, April 30, 2009

my 'm' day, the great leaping finale...

Phase 3 | Miles 21 - 26.2

After seeing the cheering crowds at mile 20, it was a bit lonely to keep slugging along on our own. Especially considering miles 20 - 23.5 were all up hill and into the south wind (do i sound like your grandpa yet?). Miles 20 - 22 were again a bit of a blur of Kristen and I just jogging for awhile, then walking for awhile. It was uninteresting scenery and there weren't a lot of spectators around.
However Ed was waiting for us at mile 22 with Milo (we had to bring him with us last minute, long story i'll explain in the post & pre-race-other-news-blog-post). I saw him and lost it, I was so tired, my legs were aching, we were running head into the hardcore evil wind, I was so over it. Ed had some sport beans and he and Milo jumped in the race and ran along with me for awhile. I was a slobbering, snot bubbled mess, literally, snot bubbles. Awesome Robinson, good work. I'm not a crier.... until I run... clearly. Kristen came up on the other side and said "we have this" and Ed told me I could do it and to keep going. He handed off my 'fuel' and slapped my a$$ (he is still male after all, he never passes up an opportunity to do this) and went back to the curb.

Honestly running those miles up hill and into the wind had to be one of the most difficult physical tasks I have ever faced. It was pure brutality. But we did it, and as we passed the mile 23 aid station (the aid stations were getting fancy at this point, really nice lounge chairs, lots of people, seemed very well stocked... i really wanted to go lay down in their oasis!) and finally headed out of the wind and into a neighborhood, I felt total and utter relief. So we kept running.

The only thing I remember about this was handing some guy in a race v
est my sport beans because I was tired of holding them and I knew I wouldn't eat them, I was feeling too full from PowerAide. Around mile 24 I became ecstatic or delirious, and my energy and drive returned. However Kristen's knee was cramping up badly, she was hurting. So now it was my turn to return the favor, to encourage her to keep going. So I stuck with her, letting her know she needed to take it easy if her knee was hurting. We walked it out for awhile and before I knew it we were heading toward mile 25. At this point we started jogging again, and all the neighborhood residents were still out in full force cheering us on, more little kids hands to slap, I couldn't get enough of that. So sweet and adorable!

At mile 25 I saw the timer, 4:51:00. I turned to Kristen, slapped her and started yelling. MILE TWENTY-FIVE, WE DID THIS, WE HAVE IT. COME ON, WE CAN MAKE A FIVE HOUR MARATHON! Then I started whopping in the annoying knat-like fashion Kristen hearts so much..... chirp..... chirp..... I was getting stares
from other runners. I didn't care. We only had to stop and walk one little stretch that last mile. Then we ran up a hill and someone yelled to us that it was the last hill and it was all downhill to the finish line. We kept going and before I knew it we were turning the corner, we could see the line... and the crowd. That my friends, had to be one of the highlights of my LIFE... don't judge, I have a lame life.

*coming into the finish corral*

I knew Kristen was good, so I started to run as hard as I could, I never looked at my Garmin but I'm sure that was still a pretty slow pace, but I didn't care. I ripped my earbuds out to hear the cheering. Then I saw my family and it was my turn to go nutso. Interwebs, this is where the true inner uber dork on the run comes out.

I started leaping and waving at my family, the announcer called my name and he was so amped that I was amped he joined me in jumping all around, yelling and being all ridiculous with me, so I ran over to him and we jumped around together, high fiving. It
was awesomeness on a stick. Then I composed myself and crossed the finish line like a proper runner, looking nice and calm and NORMAL. It was amazing to pass that line where there were still tons of volunteers saying congrats and cheering. They even used my name! The first volunteer at the finish was handing out medals, he said congrats and I said, that was number one... he told me I was an official marathoner. It took a few days for me to believe and accept that, but I suppose he was right.

And ThAt... was the BEST part of the race.

Post race euphoria and photos, plus pre-race photos and fun to come tomorrow. My mom has most of the pictures, and she is an amazing photographer, so I'm waiting for her to send them my way. Once I have them, I'll be posting more of me at the finish line and during the race!

For now I'll leave you with a photo of me post-race, Ed has excellent timing, and I have no shame, so I'll share...

Monday, April 27, 2009

my 'm' day, part two...

Phase 2 | Miles 11 - 20
I was starting to feel tired as the course headed out of the sheltered neighborhoods and onto some main streets. This is the stretch I ran last year in the marathon relay, so it was familiar, which almost made it more brutal because I knew what was ahead. It wasn't as hilly, but it's where we started to really feel the humidity. It is all still a bit of a blur, seriously miles 6 - 16 are ones I can barely distinguish. I did see Ed around mile 11, we were running down a main street and my legs were starting to ache, something that had never happened so early on during any long run before.

*around mile 12, ed was there took this picture of me walking through the water stop. I was still doing more running than walking at this point. but I was starting to feel the fade*

Miles 12 - 13 were just straight down a public street. I think I did a slow run down most of this stretch, the wind was hitting us from the side, but it was still the humidity that was hurting me, mile 13 is when the course was heading toward Lake Hefner, we had to run up a highway ramp and then the view of the runners going around the lake was clear. It look
ed like a conveyor belt of runners, and I could see when people were turning the corner to run south along the lake, that conveyor belt slowed down and I could tell people were walking quite a bit.

As I made my way to mile 14, the point when we turned to run around the Lake, I was hopeful it wouldn't be too brutal. Then it was my turn to do the turn, I was taken aback at how strong the wind was. I maintained a run for awhile, but this is where the walking really geared up. The stretch south along the Lake was about a mile and a half, I walked most of that stretch. And this is when I started losing hope that I would finish. Along these miles I saw quite a few runners stopped to stretch or just sitting on the grass or at the aid station. There was an ambulance that I watched all the way from the highway make its way over to the lake to take a runner out.

After I saw the ambulance I rounded the corner of the lake to head back west and north out of the wind. I was so relieved that I had the drive to keep going. Plus there was a relay and water/aid stop at mile 16 where I suspected I would see my family, and I was right!

*mile 16, my hair looks awesome, i have a puff ball! my sunglasses are on my head too because it was so muggy they kept fogging up, so obnoxious*

I hit mile 16 where I saw some more Wichita people doing the relay, I was thrilled to see them. Then I saw the WALL of my family! I saw my Dad first, there taking a picture and I smiled but started crying, I ran by him and gave him a high five, then I saw the rest of them. My mom, my sisters, my cousin Brian and our family friends Kris and Brad, all of them going nutso for me, holding signs and screaming. I ran past but turned around and went back to them to slap their hands. That was one of the best moments ever!

*the fam with their signs. can you see the trees bent sideways in the background? my dad's sign is my favorite, makes me giggle.*

Seeing my family kept me going for a few more miles. I stopped a little past mile 16 to stretch and rest near a tree. A guy in his 60's saw me, he was wearing an OKC Finisher shirt from a previous year, he told me I could do it and to keep going. So I got back in and ran next to him for quite awhile, up some pretty big hills. From then on it was a blur of running and walking until mile 18. This is the point where I was ready to throw in the towel. I was headed toward an aid station just to sit for a minute and think about whether I should keep going or not, I was so exhausted and defeated mentally that I started walking toward the aid station, then the tears began again.

Right then I felt a tap on my shoulder and heard a familiar voice say "do you know how fast I had to run to catch up to you?" It was Kristen the Running Lawyer. I had been suspecting and hoping she would catch up soon. I told her I wanted to quit and she told me I wasn't quitting. We walked through the water stop talking about the race so far, me in tears, her encouraging me to keep going. I think THIS was the second best moment of this race. There I am, beat down, the one who Kristen expected to blow her away in the race (her words, not mine) ready to quit, needing to be scraped up off the road, and she picks me up and we go. We run/walk the next two miles together. In fact, to give you a preview, we finished the race together.

The only thing at that point that kept me going was Kristen. She walked with me, told me when to jog again and got me going once more. What an amazing friend. The mile 19 point was when we turned to head straight back into the wind. We kept our heads down, together, and kept going. Kristen is much taller than me (who isn't?) but one thing is for sure, that girl can WALK faster than anyone I've ever seen. Every time we stopped to walk I would putter along and she was CHUGGING, I would get pretty far back from her, she would turn around to look for me, so I would start jogging to meet her. Or she could see I couldn't do it, and she would just slow down or stop to wait for me. I asked her not to leave me at mile 18, like a pathetic kid crying to their mother, and even though she could have, she never did. I think I'll keep her forever.

We hit mile 20 and took a break to walk through the water stop. We saw Kristen's parents and then my family. It boosted my spirits like none other! My family was going nutso for us again, that will pick any runner up! I knew at that point, we would finish that marathon.

More pictures and the last 6.2 tomorrow!!

my 'm' day, part one...

My first 'm' day started at 4:45a, after very fitful sleep where I'm sure I had no more than two hours total. I woke up thinking, "I don't think I can do this, I'm so exhausted, if I do this I'm going to end up dropping out." But I got up, put the thoughts aside, told myself I wouldn't know unless I tried, and took a hot shower and started to get ready.

I shoved a few handfuls of granola into my belly while tying my shoes, chugged a small cup of coffee (thanks to ed), grabbed a banana (i hate eating bananas plain by the way) and headed downstairs to meet the other girls. In all, two of us ran the full marathon, and there were seven girls who ended up running the half. We didn't all meet at my hotel though, and sadly Katie and Jenn were injured and had to bow out of the race, but they were still there to cheer everyone on.

We made it to the race start where we met up with Liz and I saw my mom, my sister Kris and her friend Kris (who is a PT and worked on me the night before the race, more on that later), and yes, they are both named Kris. My sister did a 5K portion of the relay. I said hello and started crying, I know it sounds lame, but I was so scared thanks to exhaustion and the whole calf issue. I got over that quickly and those of us running headed to the start area.

It was packed so tight we were worried we weren't going to get in because so many spectators were there. We made it into the corral just as they started the 168 seconds of silence. Those 168 seconds were incredible, total silence in honor of all the victims, we were there to run for them. It was awe inspiring. This race was massive, 19,000 total signed up. There were 2,800 running the marathon, only 2,107 finished. The rest of the runners were doing the half, a 5K or the marathon relay.

*the starting line, this is an official OKC marathon photo from their facebook page*

After 168 seconds of silence the national anthem was sung and the gun shot off. It took a good few minutes to get to the timing mat, but Kristen and I hit the mat at the same time and we were off.

To break the race down for you, I'm doing the first, second and third phase. The race was such a blur it is hard to remember all the miles clearly, but I will do the best I can.

Phase 1 Miles 1 - 10
It was an amazing thrill to start off on my first marathon, no matter how sccceerrrd I was, it was exciting. I grabbed Kristen and yelled HERE WE GO as we crossed the mat, I had a huge smile on my face! I didn't know what the race held, but I knew I made it to the start. I also knew I wanted to start conservative (little did I know I would never surpass that conservative pace) and tried to keep my pace around 9:45 - 10:00.

*another official OKC marathon photo of the race start, i simply liked it so had to post it*

I stopped and stretched for a moment at mile two, I felt good. I don't think we could tell how windy and humid it was at this point, all the downtown buildings were shielding us. I kept my pace around 9:45 for the first three miles, then the humidity started to get to me. I simply can't handle humid matched with hills (in case you don't know, when we say Wichita is flat, you have no idea, it is literally totally 100% flat). I have never been able to handle the humidity, it destroys my pace. However that is about the time we ran by the Capital and it was so amazing to see a gigantic sea of runners running up the hill in front of me. It was the coolest thing!

I was sticking to my run four miles, walk one minute plan at first. So at mile four I stopped to stretch and walk, and I just ended up walking up the hill in front of me and taking much longer than the minute I had planned. This is where the race turns into a bit of a blur of maintaining a walk / run to the best of my ability. The most exciting thing that happened during this point was that while wiping my sunglasses off, I popped out a lens, NICE, I spent the next half mile trying to get it back in the frame while running, and I did.

I hit the 10K mark around 1:02 and saw Ed. I was feeling my calf a little bit at this point, but still positive I could finish in about 4:30. Plus we were running through a neighborhood and all these kids were out there cheering us on with their parents. Some little girls had bacon, another house had chocolates. That was pure entertainment. One guy running next to me grabbed some bacon, I told him you just made that little girl's day, I'm sure not many runners took them up on their food offerings. I also loved the little kids with their tiny little hands outstretched on the curb waiting for a runner to give them a five, every time I saw a kid doing this, I made a point to run over, give them a five and yell THANKS! What a great support these people offer in their 'hoods!

Around mile seven I saw some other Wichita people doing the relay and stopped at the Port-a-Potties... so exciting eh? That was a great water stop though, lots of cheering and fun, it really lifted my spirits, and after my potty stop I was feeling better than before, hopeful I would FINALLY hit my stride. Yeah, that lasted until about mile eight. Miles eight through 10 are a bit of a blur, I think they were mostly through neighborhoods with rolling hills. My stomach started to cramp up around mile eight, that didn't go away until about mile 14 or 15, it wasn't horrible, but I could feel it. Those first 10 miles were run mostly toward the north, so the wind wasn't beating into us. At this point it still wasn't too bad, but I did walk up some of the hills, and I was feeling tired, no I was feeling exhausted already, the lack of sleep was catching up fast.

*a picture of amanda, kris, kris, brian and brad, showing their support with team robinson shirts, how awesome are they!!*

The race seemed so fast, yet took five hours, how is that possible? Those first 10 miles taught me a lot, like coming to terms with the realization of not hitting anywhere near my goal time, yet still determined to finish, that I wouldn't quit. I also learned I can push through humidity and hills, and that I have the utmost respect for anyone who ran that race in under 4:30, they are my heroes.

That's all I have for today, I will post some pictures later tonight, still waiting to pilfer from the fam! I really don't want to make my posts super long, but there is so much to say! I'll post phase two tomorrow with the promise of lots of pictures.

i did it...

I have an 'm' day post coming, but thought I would throw it out there quickly that I finished the marathon. And no, I can't say I 'ran' a marathon, because I didn't. However, considering all the obstacles including three weeks of injury, two hours of sleep the night before the race, 90% humidity, wall-like wind and heat race morning that I wasn't used to training in... I will take my injury and pain free, run/walk first marathon time of 5:03:17.

All in all, it wasn't what I expected or the time I wanted (in fact i've been hesitant to post because i've been ashamed of how long it took me, honestly, but i'm over that today), but it was still one of the most memorable and amazing experiences of my life. More to come! Tons of pictures and lots of stories. I'll spread it out over the entire week so I don't bog you down with enormously long posts, I'll spare you!

And not that I was keeping track, but I DID beat Katie Holmes... insert smile here.

Shout out's and congrats in the blahgesphere to Oz Runner and Adam for running their first half-marathon, and to Kristen the Running Lawyer who finished her first marathon as well.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

the calf-tastic girl on a mission...

I realize I haven't offered any updates, partly because I have been in a worried funk, and partly because I didn't decide and find out from my PT Doug whether I would be running or not. But I appreciate that you are all out there concerned about this situation. So here it is kids, I will be running the OKC marathon on sunday!

I have a nice long post coming, either later today or tomorrow. For today though, I'll just offer you a quick update. First know that I had a very bad stress fracture in my right foot metatarsal last September, it left me on crutches for five weeks and in a cam walker (i.e. heat on a stick) for two weeks. That had left my right leg much weaker than my left. I didn't rehab properly and only did weights a few times a week, and that was only until I started teaching full swing, clearly that wasn't enough. My right leg is just weaker. Second, I had hip problems in the past which caused me to focus on stretching my hips, leaving me to neglect my calves, which got me to where I am today. Interwebs, I barely EVER stretched my calves.... stupid, stupid, stupid.

I went to PT yesterday really bummed out, as I was getting deep tissue from Doug it was all I could do not to cry out of frustration, not pain, just frustration. I started talking to him about how I was feeling and he has a way of making me feel 100% better about everything. Explaining things well, telling me to take it easy and I will finish, which is exactly what I need to hear. I asked him how my knot was, and the good news, no the amazing news is that it has gotten much, much smaller. It started out the size (and please keep in mind i have very scrawny little calves and legs) of... well make an "OK" sign with your thumb and forefinger. That is massive for the size of my calves my friends. Oh and I'll take a picture of the bruise tonight, because it is the size of the original knot. It is now down to the size of two of Doug's fingertips. AMAZING! I am bruised up from therapy, but as of today I can walk down steps almost pain free. I even got up and did the elliptical this morning for 30 easy minutes and my leg is feeling fabulous.

That said, it doesn't seem there is a stress fracture, and since I went through multiple x-rays and bone scans last fall, I don't want to expose my body to that again so soon. Therefore I won't get a bone scan or x-ray, but Doug hasn't even mentioned thinking it is necessary. My shin doesn't hurt an ounce anymore, and my calf is only tender from the deep tissue bruising. My plan for the marathon is to stretch every two miles and follow the Jeff Galloway 9 minute per mile pace plan, run 4 miles, walk one minute. This will affect my time, but I'm at peace with it now. After a lot of crying and frustration, I'm at peace and honestly just plain thrilled I get to run the marathon!

I'm excited and nervous and can't wait for Sunday! It's going to be an amazing day. And you my fellow bloggers, are amazing as well! Thanks SO much for putting up with my whiny pouting. I'm done with that. I can't wait to get back on Sunday night and share the victory with all of you.

Okay this wasn't such a short update. But more on the marathon to come later today. I can't believe it's only a few days away! IEIEIEIEIEIAAIIIEIEAAAAAKKKKKK!! (that's my excitement)

Saturday, April 18, 2009

one week to 'm' day...

Dear Interwebs, I have procrastinated in writing this post. I started it Saturday and now I feel like there is so much to say I don't know where to start. Maybe I'll just bullet point and if anyone cares to hear more, I'll wait for comments and questions and share more. I'm sure by now you are all tired of my whining, but this isn't a whiny post, just a factual one.

I am just one week from running my first marathon. I'm pretty nervous seeing how I've only actually run three times in the past two and a half weeks because of my calf issue. So speaking of my calf issue...

1) The strain of my horrid calf may have caused a slight stress fracture in my shin

2) Note to other runners, don't let your aversion to calves, or a focus to take care of one part of your body (for me my hips) let you neglect another part of your body. Lesson learned.

3) I have an amazing PT who works on all the Wichita State runners (GO SHOCKS, one of my alma mater's and the University I teach for). He was appalled at how tight my calf was, and at the enormous knot I failed to find. He said "your calf is smokin' tight, it's ridiculous." Funny enough that knot is in the exact spot I have felt both sharp and dull achy constant pain since I hit 16 miles.... two months ago. Yeah, I let this go far to long.

4) Should not have run that 10K race a week ago. But can't go back now.

5) I am not allowed to run, elliptical, bike or even go on a walk. The marathon is in six days.

6) I am pool jogging and swimming an hour per day, I feel physically strong and mentally ready. I'm not letting this set me back.

7) My PT Doug is confident I will finish the marathon as long as he allows me to run it, this depends on if my shin does in fact have a stress fracture. I go to PT almost every day this week, my shin is REALLY tender in just one spot. He is worried about the possible stress fracture more than the calf knots. Those seem to be working themselves out. This is all on my right leg, the same side where I had my really bad metatarsal stress fracture last September. I didn't rehab that leg properly and I think it's all related. Doug said my right leg is far weaker than my left. I've neglected weights during the past four months just due to time. It was all I could do to train, teach and work.

8) The good news is that after seeing him Friday, getting a massively painful but KILLER deep tissue massage, some ultrasound and infrared treatments, I left PT feeling like I was walking on clouds and confident I will finish the race (barring shin issue). My attitude improved 100% after talking to Doug and after having him tell me to focus on finishing and not my time... I have now decided to do just that. Friends and family can tell me this all they want, but being the person I am, I won't listen until a professional tells me. So despite my competitive nature, I'm listening to Doug (the sent from God PT.) Ed commented on how my mood improved a bazziilllkkaazzillion times on Friday when I got home. This is true, I was honestly preparing myself to be told I need to drop the race... I was braced for it. My 'goal' is to finish the marathon, hopefully beat Katie Holmes time of around a 5:30 marathon. I already know I will be adding 26 minutes onto my marathon no matter what because I will have to stop and stretch every two miles according to my PT, to prevent having to drop out of the race all together at the half way point with searing pain.

9) I refuse to get down and depressed about this issue. I'm just plugging along in the pool, doing tons of stretching and icing according to Doug's plan. Since this may be my one and only marathon, I'm going to eat it up, enjoy and savor every living moment of the weekend and the race.

10) My calf is bruised up, this makes me feel totally hardcore! Hey I'm looking on the bright side of ALL of it. I'm buying black nail polish tonight, I will be even more hardcore, Goucher style.

There is a a lot more I could say, but so much that I don't want to even start. Maybe I'll add on to this post later. I'm just staying focused and keeping my eye on the 'm' day prize. I plan to post tomorrow about why this marathon is such a big deal in my world, because it is about far more than just running this race for me, for those closest to me, they understand why. I'll explain more tomorrow. Today, just needed to get the calf issue out there.

Cheers to a good running week my friends!

Friday, April 17, 2009

friday photo, cousin lineup version 2.0...

Flash forward, from my last Friday photo, 20 years and here you have a new Gibson cousin lineup. This was taken in 2007, the first time all of us had been together in years. So clearly the aunts and uncles took advantage. They can't get enough of our precious faces.
We were all together again was because it for my Grandma's funeral. It was a sad occasion, but fun to have everyone there. Cousins came from far and wide, and what a moment to finally capture, who knows when this will happen again! There are 10 Gibson cousins total, eight girls, two (very spoiled by my grandma) boys.

I leave you with a picture of my sisters and I. Gibsons angels if you will. Being a total dork runs deep in this family... I'm the one in the middle, I'm also the youngest, just in case you were wondering. If you haven't noticed yet, I clearly have youngest child syndrome...

Thursday, April 16, 2009

best part of my day...

There are several, so in no particular order, drumroll pleeeaasse:

1) The fact that it is sunny and warm for the third day in a row. GET OUT! Awesome.

2) My sister Kris, who is a certified athletic trainer (although that isn't her career) has been walking me through this calf thing and been a life saver. I am so grateful for both my sisters.

3) My calf is tight in the morning, but is loosening up during the day. I'm hopeful and convinced I will run the marathon, despite the lack of training (which I woke up at 3a this morning in a panic over, thinking I should drop out). I have lots of people pulling for and praying for me about his issue, feel free to join in on that!

4) Just found out U2 is coming to OKC in October and managed to get a group of people together to buy tickets tomorrow for a trip to the concert. GET OUT! Awesome. (yes i know i've used this expression already).

5) Mel at Tall Mom on the Run has a FUN and pretty giveaway going on, so goes and checks its outs.

6) I go to an amazing PT tomorrow who specilizes in runners. They shoved some things around just to get me in. I am amazed and so thankful for this. Stay tuned on the calf issue.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

tag city...

I was tagged by Ashely!

The Rules Are:
Fill it out
Change One Question with one of your own
Add an additional question
Send to Three People

1. What are your current obsessions?
Running a marathon in two weeks, photoshop, taking pictures, email, smoothies and my dog.


2. Which item from your closet are you wearing most often?
Work Wear: My favorite pair of Seven Jeans and my softest long sleeve/t-shirt combo from Banana (which I heart… a little too much.)
Running: All my new Nike Running gear I collected for my birthday thanks to my awesome Fam
Comfy: Nike grey sweats, sexy I know, but so comfortable I could roll around on the floor in them screaming in joy ALL DAY LONG.

3. Last thing you bought for yourself?
In the literal sense, Gas for my SUV. Something special, Deep Tissue Massage.

4. What’s for dinner?
Probably home-made spicy stir-fry with sweet potato, chicken and veg, and brown rice. We don’t eat desert.

5. Say something to the person who tagged you:
Ashley at Journey to a Better Me cracks my sniz UP and can’t wait to run a race or do a tri with her someday, plus we nearly share a birthday, just a day apart, and are sharing similar calf problems, and we are both native Kansans, it's like we are the same person!

6. What is one item you could not live without?

7. Vacation spots you must visit before you die?
Europe, New Zealand, South America
8. Three things to do before you die:
Have a human that is mine all mine! I will name it, and hug it and love it.
Run a marathon (hey that’ll be in two weeks, SWEET)
Visit said travel destinations

9. What are you reading right now?
Eat, Pray, Love and my Bible Study.

10. What is the last movie you saw and enjoyed?
Twilight on video (when Ed was out of town) and Slumdog Millionaire in the Theatre.

11. What’s your guilty pleasure?
Neil Diamond. Highly Refined Sugar (i.e. sprees and any sour candy I can get my hands on). Dirty Martinis. Wine.

12. What’s your favorite smell?
Ed’s neck and shirts. Kansas after or right before a thunderstorm. Milo’s ears and paws (don’t judge, they smell delightful). Summer at Beaver or TableRock Lakes.
*milo miles, he is a border/aussie mix, don't tell me you can't tell he smells scrumptious!*

*beaver lake, arkansas, sunrise in the summer. can't you smell how delicious it is?*

13. If cost wasn't an issue and you could run any race in the world what would it be?
Aukland Marathon

14. Do you have a goal that you are trying accomplish before 2009 is over?
Run OKC and Chicago Marathons, hit up Europe Robinson style, finish some house projects.
15. Describe one of your happiest moments.
Graduating from Graduate school the day before I watched Ed graduate from Law School. In all the races I’ve run, all the great moments my life has held, I will NEVER forget the feeling of that weekend. The relief of having made it through, the excitement of finally feeling like we could start our life, it was overwhelming in a good way. Plus, the fact that we accomplished something so huge and daunting at the same time, together and survived!

16. What was your best Halloween costume?
I worked at a beauty retail and salon place and all the girls dressed up as a hair product, this was the time before digital cameras and I don’t’ have a scanner right now so can’t show the pictures. But I was TiGi Spiker, and IT ROCKED! It took three days to get all the gunk out of my spiked up hair (and it was long then).

17. What do you have an addiction to?

18. What do you do that you would be embarrassed for others to know about?
I am hands down, the worst singer EVER, but I still love to sing. Sometimes I fantasize about being on American idol and that if I WERE a good singer, I would SOOO rock it out and blow the worlds socks off.

19. What is one totally irrational fear you have?
Tumors and Calves (as in the leg muscle calves).

20. Do you have a favorite training tip?
Invest in Physical Therapy if needed, and get a deep tissue massage every few months.

21. What's your most embarrassing moment?
Accidentally ordering 12 POUNDS of sausage (de-cased and re-wrapped for me) at a local butcher shop instead of 12 ounces, paying well over $50 for it, getting in my car and turning around to take it back. IDIOT ALERT. I will NEVER live that one down in my family… please note I did that at age 26. Yeahhhh……

22. (my question addition) What is a little known fact about you?
I never really crave chocolate, but I do crave beef. Seriously.

Those I'm tagging, keeping it in the Kansas Family:
Kristen at The Running Briefs
Oz at Oz Runner
Meaghan at Am I Who I Want To Be

Sunday, April 12, 2009

two weeks to 'm' day and proper race reports (with pictures)...

Dear Interwebs. In less than two weeks I will be on my way to OKC for a fabulous weekend with friends and family. The weekend will be a blast thanks to all the other excitement going on, to be explained at later date! Although I get butterflies lately every time I think of running the marathon, I'm ready to get it over with and look to the next challenge, which I'll tell you about after said race. All in all my calf is doing just okay, hopefully some more massage and PT will help with that. I plan to play my training by ear the next two weeks depending on the whole calf thing. That said, I'm still scared enough to poo my pants that I have only gotten in one 20 miler and it was weeks ago.
*Liz and I before the race, and yes that is a gigantic old school Garmin*

On to the proper race report. It was the Easter Sun Run 10K and it was a beautiful day here in Wichita, FINALLY, after a horrid spring so far we couldn't have asked for a better day. Sunny, low wind, I think it put everyone out there in a good mood. This race was at the Sedgwick County Zoo park, the park I often run at, so it was comfy territory for us. So I met up with Liz and Kristen the running lawyer and we did our thing!

*Liz and I around the 5k mark, I clearly need to work on my arm positioning... and I notice my stride looks really long, is that good or bad? FYI I am the one in the blue shirt ;)*

Overall it was a good race. I intended to go out and just have a good time, and I have to say I had a blast. I forgot my
iPod but I didn't care, and actually I found running without it wasn't too bad. I even talked to a few people, got to enjoy the live band and the Derby High School marching band (that was a HUGE pick me up, a lot of fun), it was killer! Like I mentioned no predatory rabbits for me, but I did get a much faster time than I thought, considering I was planning to run it around 9:15 minute miles.

My Splits:
Mile 1 8:46
Mile 2 8:24
Mile 3 8:34
Mile 4 8:37
Mile 5 8:17
Mile 6 8:06
Mile 6.2 2:01
(as you might notice, it takes me awhile to hit my stride, this is the frustrating case in every single run, I don't hit stride until about mile 4 or 5!)

This wasn't a chip timed race so I'm not able to check that and they didn't have stats up on the website yet. But my Garmin said 52:47 and the race clock said 52:59, either way I'm happy with it.

Race Highlights:
  • Running the 2-miler with Ed (who I should explain is actually my husband, although I do consider him a friend as well, I think I've confused the interwebs). And running the 10K with Liz and Kristen.
  • I was mortified by some HORRIBLE woman in front of me who literally yelled and threw her hands up in the air and continued screaming at the poor kid at the 6K mark whose timer watch was messed up so he couldn't offer splits. This woman was an embarrassment to all runners, I wanted to punch her in her saggy gross pantyline showing stupid gray tights... or maybe just give her a straight shot to her ovary, how horrid!Instead I just shot past her, I know this didn't really prove any point to her, but it made me feel better to get away from her.
  • Getting my second fastest 10K time, which I know isn't all that fast, but I never really trained for a 10K (that will change this summer).
  • Finishing the race with some random kid who didn't want to get chicked (but I edged him out at the last second) I think that was hands down the most fun I've ever had at a race finish. We did the last .2 together and kept each other going faster and faster. Ed said I looked like Phoebe in the episode when she taught Rachel to run in the park, flailing all over the place. He said I looked like a big dork. Newsflash interwebs, I am, point of fact, an enormous dork. It was FUN!
*Last sprint to the finish with the random guy, flailing like Pheobe*

*Me beating the guy! It was really fun having him at the end, he kept yelling, COME ON, COME ON. Hilarious, yet VERY motivational*

*Liz bringing it home*

*Liz, myself and Kristen the Running Lawyer, post race*

*Ed and I after the 10K, but before the 2-mile. He is warm, but he was pissed. I sort of lost track of time between the two races and we didn't have much time to get to the start line. I felt ReaLLY bad about that. But he still took a picture with me!*

Rachel's Marathon Number Two True Rockstar!
Like I said my cousin Rachel did the Illinois Marathon. She raced it with her dad (I should state Rachel actually married my cousin, so we aren't actually related, although she is every bit my cousin as any other cousin I have, but just want to clarify that I don't really know her Dad) who is a veteran 18-time marathoner. And she beat him! AWESOME. Rocksta
r status right there. Not to mention she moved from Atlanta to Chicago mid-training and had to go on a work trip to the Caribbean (yeah, rough life indeed) last week and got back the day before the marathon. She still managed to beat her dad and beat her last marathon time by 10 minutes.

Here is a photo of her dad and her at the finish. Awesome job to both. I quite enjoyed the race report, including the person who apparently ran the half as a banana (nice) and all the people out cheering them on, and it sounds like an amazing finish down into the stadium. Her Dad's alma mater is Illinois, so I can imagine how great it felt for him to run into that stadium. It sounded like a great race. Hopefully Rachel and I will be doing Chicago together... I am actually more excited about tapping my cousins kegerator during my stint there, than the actual race... what does this say about our family? We rock? You are correct, we do!

Oh and I should mention only 500 women finished the Illinois Marathon and she was 84th. YAY!

This was another long post, but hopefully the fun pictures made it worth it, especially the one of me flailing all about.

Cheers to a great running week my friends!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

race report with predatory rabbits...

I ran the Easter Sun Run 10K this morning, and although I'm sure it's highly inappropriate, I also ran the 2-mile race with Ed, but I ducked out of the race before the finish line, I was in it to spend some time with Ed and support him! He went and polished off two miles like a champ, especially after not running for nearly two months. That would be a total of 8 miles for me today. I didn't get my predatory rabbit, but I did get my second fastest 10K time. My Garmin said 6.30 miles at 52:47. The race clock said 52:59--boo.

I have pictures to post, but wanted to get this out there until I have a chance to load my pictures and pilfer Liz's pictures as well. Liz, Kristen the running lawyer and I all met to run the 10K. The two-miler wasn't until 10:15a so Ed showed up later. We started the race and I was fully expecting to have a nice easy run, at a typical 6 mile pace, around 55 or 56 minutes. Then we took off and I was feeling good, Liz and I stayed together until about the 6K mark and that's when my legs were all... hey, I heart you, thanks for doing the elliptical for the past 10 days, now lets kick some ass. Duly noted legs. So the second half of the race for me was quite a bit faster. I also have my Garmin splits, but again, I'll post those soon. Just wanted to give a short report.

In other news, both Liz and Kristen hit predatory rabbits as did my cousin Rachel who ran her second marathon today, at the Illinois Marathon. She beat her last marathon time by 10 minutes! AWESOME. Since she doesn't have a blog I am going to force her to send me pictures so I can post them (DO YOU HEAR THAT GIBSON?) It was a good race day overall. Pics and Garmin splits will be added soon. I promise. I am a little miffed at myself I didn't get all 12 miles in, so it looks like I'll be running 12 tomorrow instead.

Friday, April 10, 2009

ummmm, that was awwwwkkkwaarrrd...

The running Jessica, the running lawyers and myself all met for a sushi lunch the other day. Somehow we landed on the topic of awkward massage moments. We have all had them right? You know you go in looking forward to a nice relaxing hour or so and then a bomb drops, like a male massage therapist gets a bit to close to certain areas, or the therapist sneezes and you hope to God they did that into their arm not the hand they are rubbing your body with.

Or you have some therapist who manages to bring you to tears during a deep tissue and simultaneously telling you that you should probably give up running and just swim. And then tells you to buy lots of supplements, bath soaks and soothing shoulder/foot wraps from the spa. Fabulous, exactly what I want to hear when someone is ripping my IT band away from my bone (or whatever it's connected to, I'm a graphic designer, I can never even remember the difference between my quad and hamstring).

However, that deep tissue doesn't begin to compare to my most recent experience. Upon recommendation I went to have a $25 'student massage.' Which wasn't all bad. A girl about half my size comes out to get me. This poor 80-pound massage student looked a little confused when I told her my piriformis had been hurting and I would like her to work on it (please note during deep tissue massage, therapist at least knew what she was doing). She starts the massage and all is well and fine. UNTIL. She pulls back the sheet to work on my piriformis... ummmm every other time I've had that done, the sheet stays over me. It was all I could do as I felt this poor girl start 'working' (i am using this term loosely) on said muscle using all of two fingers to awkwardly make circular motions on that area. I just tried to keep from laughing from the thought that kept going through my mind, her looking away at the ceiling with a grimace on her face as she uncomfortably 'works' on me.


In other awkward news, after said VERY breif thunderstorm last evening (it ended right after I posted about it), it ended up snowing over night. Yep, there was snow on my front lawn this morning. Ridiculous.

More awkward news you ask? You get it then. So you know this whole "calf issue" thing I've been dealing with? Ummmm, yeahhhh. Well, you see the thing is I have a slight aversion to "calves" in general. I hate touching or having mine touched. You know some people hate feet? I hate calves. I don't know why. Ed is more than aware, he learned quickly to NEVER mess with my calves. I have since been able to handle having them massaged, but that is about it. If I even think about it later, I get creeped out. Oh don't judge, everyone has their "weird thing" mine just happens to be calves.

That said, since having this little calf issue, I haven't once touched my calf, unless you count washing or shaving it, in which they are never actually really touched by my hands. I put lotion on every morning, and even that is done very carefully. However, this morning I was sitting on the couch and happened to accidentally apply a little pressure while applying lotion to my calves and I felt a HUGE knot in my calf. See where getting creeped out by calves gets you? Yeah, not realizing you have a gigantic KNOT in it for three weeks. Nice Robinson. I even let Ed touch it, I was all... FEEL THIS. I think the fact that I shoved my calf at him stunned him into silence, he didn't really know what to do. But when he finally realized I was BEGGING him to check it out and he wouldn't get back-handed, he could feel it as well.

Luckily my preferred massage place could get me in for a quick 30 minute deep tissue after work. SWEET. I have a busy night and a 10K to run tomorrow morning (with a 6 miler to get in before the race). EEK! So hopefully this will do the trick.

And no Friday photo, I know. I do have a good one for you next week though, yes you asked for it, another AT&T style cousin line-up! Wow this was a long post. Happy Easter interwebs!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

best part of my (yester)day...

I taught my final class for the semester. I am a FREE woman until June. You have no idea how awesome this is!

Side note. My calf still feels really, really tight, but a bit better. But I'm going to split some mileage on the elliptical and outside (if the mega-world-ending-thunderstorm doesn't hit that the media whore weather men are predicting doesn't hit).

I'm off for some lunch-time circuit training with some girls from work, haven't done this in ages, should be interesting...


Said media-whore weather man mega storm has arrived... HOLY goodness, it is ORANGE outside, hail, thunder, rain, creepy... hmmm, they were right for once. That said, I wouldn't have been able to do my run outside tonight anyway (despite storm) because during Circuit over lunch I ran ONE lap around the track and the evil calf demon reared it's ugly head. Going to Dr. tomorrow. Hope this is resolved before 'M' day. EIEEIEK! Eight miles of elliptical goodness tonight.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

best part of my day...

Hogging down on a Chipotle Veg Burrito Bowl after duking out 16 miles on mr. elliptical (that sounds scandalous... and since my life is boring, i'm leaving it)! I may have also indulged in some Ben and Jerrys Colbert American Dream ice cream (it is a darn fine ice cream my friends, every good American eats it).

So I didn't make it said 20 or 22 miles on mr. elliptical, although we did become quite close, I think I made a new bff in the process. I spent a quality 2:20:00 with my new bff, by the time I finished he knew all my crazy AND all my fantastic! We talked, we laughed, it was a good time... I went until my legs ached like they did on my 20-miler a few weeks back, and then went another mile. Ed kept me company for about 30 minutes, I read a chapter in my book (reading eat, pray, love... yes i know i'm waaayyyyy behind on finally reading it, but i've been busy), and then turned the iPod on for the last stretch where I really tried to go as hard as possible. I ellipticaled the CRAP out of that thing! So after I hit 16 miles, I called it good because I. WAS. STARVING. Hungry little marathon trainer. I have never been so hungry during a workout before.

I'm calling it good at the 16, but plan to put in more quality time with mr. elliptical tomorrow and Thursday. Then try to run the hill (more on that later) on Thursday night after work with the girls. I'm having faith in my little body that she will carry me across the finish line with only one 20-miler under my belt!

Monday, April 6, 2009

three weeks to 'm' day...

Thanks to those of you who left me advice, you have NO idea how much I appreciated it! So just in case you cared or are out there DYING to know what's going on with me... (clearly you are), so here is an update.

First I have determined the issue is definitely with my calf muscle. I think the other tweaky ankle, shin pain was from limping around for three weeks off and on. Because yes, my calf was hurting for about three weeks before I finally broke down and decided to take care of myself... lesson learned. Today it doesn't hurt like it did before, the muscle just feels really tight and very sore. I am taking this as a good sign, the pain isn't there any more, just that muscle strain feeling.

Second, I decided to opt out of running for a week total. I ran four on Saturday and iced and stretched, but I decided not to push it and try and do 22. It hurt with each step. So on Sunday I went to the Y and only was able to sneak in one hour on the elliptical, very busy day. So all my usual runs for this week will be replaced with the elliptical until my calf no longer hurts.

I do have a 10K race to do on Saturday, the Easter Sun Run. I won't be setting a predatory rabbit (PR) and I will only race (i use the term race lightly, i should say run it) it if my calf doesn't hurt one OUNCE. I am supposed to do 12 on Saturday, so if feels okay I plan to run six miles before the race and count the race as my last six.

Three, I'm doing my "22-miler" on the elliptical tomorrow... that will be me and three hours of quality time on the elliptical. WOW. It's the soonest night I could fit it in since I'm teaching tonight (don't judge, it's finals week, I'm just sitting in class helping with questions on the final). So to help the time fly by on the elliptical I'm planning to take a book, read some magazines and maybe just plain zone out to the iPod. I've already informed Ed he has to do at least a 30 minute stint next to me, so that leaves me 2.5 hours to entertain myself. Sigh. But I am assuming it is better to do this, than to putz out and do nothing at all. The elliptical doesn't hurt my legs one bit, so I'm safe with this plan.

Four, I've decided freaking out is getting me nowhere. And thanks to some people over at Run to Finish (which I just joined) I'm realize I need to just think positive, ice, stretch and do what I can. So no more freaking out, I will make it through the marathon. My new goal is to beat Oprahs time, should be do-able!

Thank you again for all your advice, it was greatly appreciated! It really did help me make my final decisions. Oh and I'm calling my doctor tomorrow about the calf thing to see about getting into PT for some massage or ultrasound on it to loosen it up. I guess I'll have to wait and hope and see.

Cheers to an excellent running week my friends!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

desperate plea for running advice...

Okay cyberspace, I'm desperate and totally freaking out. For about a week now I have had pain in my calf/inside of my shin/ankle area off and on. Even just walking around doing daily things, it has been 'tweaky.' I chose to ignore this hoping it would go away. But after trying to run both last night and this morning, I was supposed to do my 22, my lower right leg in general just hurts. The pain switches from being in my calf muscle to feeling a little painful in my inner shin area and then moving down to the top bend of my ankle. I decided to stop after four miles this morning (the 40 mph wind gusts weren't really helping anyway, that was brutal in and of itself). I figure right now it's better safe than sorry. But I am totally freaking out. I don't know what to do.

Here are some options I'm thinking about. First off, I have already done one 20-miler, so I know I'm capable. But I'm freaking out that I will have missed my peak by marathon day on April 26, I was supposed to do a 22-miler today. Am I going to be okay if I take it easy for the next week? I'm so worried about this right now. I'm concerned I'll just totally flop during the full because of this.

I am considering the following options as I sit here icing my leg (going on about an hour now, I've been stretching it all morning as well).

1) Go out tomorrow morning and attempt to run, see how it feels and if it's okay do the 22 or as far as I can
2) Don't risk hurting it further, go to the gym and do the elliptical for two hours and pool jog for 45 minutes after that.
3) Call doctor on Monday for PT referral to see what they think.

The problem is that I can't tell if it's bone or muscle or both. I am seriously concerned, only because the marathon is so close, and I feel like I've come so far, and considering that if something happens it will be my third time having to drop a marathon. Any running thoughts out there on what I should do tomorrow? Try and run, do just the elliptical.... I just don't know what to do. I'm so scared of losing everything I've worked for over the past four months. I'm at a loss really.

On a slightly different note, I opted not to run the Olathe 1/2 marathon this weekend after all (clearly). I think that was a good decision, I would have been miserable and in pain anyway! But I opted out of doing it because I have so much else going on right now, I need to give myself some rest and down time. I'm mostly bummed that I didn't go because I would have stayed with my friend Indika, she is fabulous and fun, and I was looking forward to seeing her and going out. Clearly staying home was for the best though... Indi I'll have to find another excuse to visit!

So please offer up any thoughts and suggestions you might have, even thoughts on what might be going on with my darn leg, or if you have had a similar problem (like might it be shin splints, strained calf muscle, stress fracture)... ANYTHING! I need words!

Friday, April 3, 2009

rockin' my friday photo, 80's style...

Time for Friday Foto with Nikemom. My contribution is a continuation from last week's photo of Kristen and I after the River Run. If you read my entire post, which I'm sure you did, savoring each and every delectible text nugget like a hungry racoon, you would have noticed that I mentioned running the River Run with a gaggle of family members back in the late 80s. But I couldnt' find the picture in time to post it. Well you are in luck cyberspace. I found said photo.

Please enjoy it, in all of it's mauvy-late-80s-hot-socks-glory. I'm the second kid to the end (right), the skinny little blonde nerd with glasses. But don't you worry, you see how I'm rockin' it with my hand on my hip... it's how I rolled, even as a kid... sassy-pants indeed.
So, say hello to my family, the Gibsons! Included in the picture are my three siblings (you have to guess which ones are my sibs), three cousins, and an aunt and uncle. We were standing in front of my grandma's house. The older generation still love to line all the Gibson cousins (there are 10 of us total, not including significant others) up in a 'height' line to this day for excellent photo ops.

After the race that morning, we went to my dad's office, which was right next to the finish line at the time, and had a picnic lunch in the conference room. I distinctly remember all of us fighting over the proper name of chocolate chip cookies, gangly limbs flying over the table and all (an entirely different post). Maybe next week I will post THAT picture and offer the explanation (or pictures of the Gibson cousin line-ups)... you eagerly await I'm sure!

Side note: Meggers, please let KrSh of beeftown know that you have now seen a picture of her in her tweens and she can no longer keep it a secret that as a kid she had creepy yet fluffy man hair, and man shorts for that matter.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

best part of my day...

Yes, point of fact, I have already had a morning great enough to make it post worthy. The best part of my morning was driving into my neighborhood coffee shop for a morning mocha and seeing Emily, one of the running lawyers, getting in her car. We live quite close to each other (it's why we are morning running buddies) and both have an addiction to our local coffee shop called Cafe Posto.

Side note: Posto has the most unbeatable gelato and coffee, PLUS they are dog friendly, they keep water on the patio just for neighborhood pups! In the summer, after dinner, Ed and I will often hop on our bikes and take Milo to Posto where we sit on the patio to eat our gelato while Milo lays next to us and we watch the world go by, it is quite fabulous.

Today is stupid cold again, in fact there is threat of SNOW. And we are out of coffee (a heinous offense in our house, when this happens Ed and I agree not to speak to each other in the morning, we know there is no good that can come from our mouths if neither of us have had our morning coffee, and by "we" I obviously mean me, Ed is one of those annoying bright chipper morning people, one of those who shoots sunshine out his butt at 7a) so I had no choice but to stop for some delicious goodness with the bonus of getting to see Emily. We managed, through our shivering and clenched teeth, to plan on running together Saturday. And discuss the fact that this weather is stupid and clearly no one realizes it is April and it's supposed to be 80 degrees.

On top of that since it is so stupid cold I whipped out my favorite puffer vest (it's L.L. Bean) and while I wasn't too impressed with the way I looked today, I got compliments on how cute it was from both Emily AND the Barista. It's such an unexpected happy part of a day, when a girl isn't feeling to cute, to get two compliments in a row. So yes, it's absolutely shallow, but getting those compliments totally made my morning! I never said I wasn't shallow.

Another great part is that all my morning meetings have been canceled thanks to the pilgrimage half the staff here at the station have made to Kansas City to see the queen of pop live and in CONCERT (that was said in my radio voice) or to Vegas for the ACMs. So I have a quiet morning free to sip my mocha, eat my smoothie and granola, and be entirely useless.... sweet. What's that? Work? Ohhhhh, you're hilarious. This is radio.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

best part of my day...

Not throwing up all over Kristen's mat during Yoga. I'm pretty sure this was a total success since my little sugar demons took hold of my body and inhaled and entire--YES, ENTIRE--package of Sprees between the gas station and the gym (note: that is about a two minute drive) right before our Yoga class.

You see, I have a little problem with highly refined sugar. I only indulge in this problem once every few months, but when I do, look out.... it gets ugly. I would steal candy from a puppy, a kitten, a baby, a blind guy... you name it. I don't care. When the overwhelming need for that highly refined, purely horrid goodness takes over, I can't help myself. And it hits when I least expect it, all I did was run into the gas station for a bottle of "G" (horrid marketing tactic Gatorade) to drink before Yoga because my allergy medication drys me out like nothing else, so I was beyond parched all day. When I was walking toward the checkout I was faced with that beautiful, light shining down, angels singing over it wall of candy. It was over, the sugar demon took over, mumbling under it's breath, pushing some dude out of the way, and started grabbing and hoarding any highly refined candy it saw like there was no tomorrow. Sprees. SweeTarts. ShockTarts. Sour Patch Kids. Quik Trip made a killing on me.

I really was quite impressed and surprised that during standing triangle revolved I didn't splat regurgitated Sprees all over Kristen's mat. I warned her, and she knows me well. Her clever little lawyer response you ask? "Nice Robinson. You vomit on my mat, I sue your small annoying ass." That's what yoga buddies are for.

Please pay no mind to the fact that I went grocery shopping after said class and proceeded to buy Chocolate Mint Milano's, beer cheese, Pringles, and some wine and beer. That's a good little marathon trainer....