Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Running Poem

My shoes are on
My watch is set
I'm out the door
What a rush I get.

The air is cool
And the wind, it bites
But my heart is pumping
And my soul takes flight.

My thoughts will roam
My mind set free.
It's just my lungs, my legs
And me.

I push it hard
Come towards the end.
My muscles burn
But my will won't bend.

I finish strong
I finish fast.
Oh how I wish
This feeling would last.

Amanda Earles 2015

Marathon #1.... and 2 and 3

This is overdue I know. Since the marathon I have been busy recovering and signing up for more marathons and running. LOTS AND LOTS of running.  Running is my  favorite.

 The morning of my first marathon I was scared. REALLY scared. I woke up before the butt crack of dawn and taped my legs and back up, ate my carby breakfast and gave my children a kiss for good luck.  My coach looked at me that morning as we waited to go to the corals and told me to calm down, go out slow and relax. I wanted to cry, hug her and I'm pretty sure my lip was quivering as she talked to me. I know my whole body was shaking with nerves.   We peed a thousand times before heading out to the corals and then we peed again for good measure lol.  We did NOT want to stop. We had an under 5 hour goal and we needed ever second we could get.

At the start they played ACDC Thunderstruck to get you nice and pumped.  I barely heard it but it did register.  As we creeped up to the starting line slowly from the back of the pack my excitement grew. I needed to run. I hadn't run in 3 days. I NEEDED IT.

We started out good and paced ourselves safely throughout the race. We were trying to keep it around 11 minute miles.

The first 13 miles went fairly quickly. There was lots of crowd support which helped the time pass without you really noticing it. I think I gave a few strangers a sweaty hug and lots of high fives.  I had friend around mile 13 waiting with orange slices, crazy signs and tshirts made with #beatjared on them. I cant tell you how much it means to see familiar faces when you are out there running for that long.

 After mile 13 it was a lonely road. There aren't as many crazy people out there willing to run 26.2 miles apparently.  By mile 14 and 15 things were starting to hurt. The hardest stretch was ahead of us too. I felt like miles 17-22 were the worst. There was some incline and a lot of reaching deep to get through these miles. At one point a poor man asked me if we had passed the 20 mile marker yet. I didn't have the heart to tell him we still had half a mile to go.   I was just like almost buddy!

Jill and I ran together nearly the entire race, which I didn't really expect to happen. I thought she'd run off and leave me (heart your face Jill). Around mile 24 I thought we'd finish together but then she started to fall back.  I kind of sorta, not really, felt bad, but I ended up running ahead. One of my coaches, Meg found me around this time and ran the rest of the way in with me. I pushed hard those last 2.2 miles. Meg kept telling me, this is the last hill, I promise.  LIES MEG, ALL LIES! lol  I saw my family as I sprinted in to the finish and I stopped to give them hugs before going in. I finishing at 4:56. I had completely lost all creativity with my finish pose so they got me throwing my hands up giving the peace sign. I have no idea what I was thinking. I wasn't. That's all I have.

 When I stopped moving..... OMG! The pain. The pain was horrible.   I made it around to give hugs to my friends and family before hobbling off to the car and cleaning up a bit before going to the Columbus Running Company's after marathon party.

So.... what does one do after running their first marathon?  They go and sign up for 2 more  immediately after. That and set in a tub of epsom salt for 3 days straight.   I will be running The Shamrock Marathon in Virginia Beach on my 36th birthday. (March 20th) and then 5 weeks later running The Flying Pig Marathon in Cincinnati.   I may die.  Please send help after marathon #3.  I will need carried around for a week.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

It's The Final Countdown...

Let me start by saying the people above are some the greatest, most caring and supportive individuals I have ever met. Ever since I started running with CRC and now with CRC's charity group, L2R, I have felt welcome, and supported ever step of the way.  I am so glad I made the decision to start running with CRC  last January when I was looking for a training program for my first marathon.  The coaches at L2R are funny, knowledgeable and a fun loving bunch and I feel like they have my back when it comes right down to it. I know they will be there cheering me on in the end when I need it. 
 Jill... we got this. We may hurt and think we are dying at some point during this race but  we got this. We've trained hard and maybe not always smart but we have put in the time and I feel like we will finish strong. I know you'll be there in the end to shove food and alcohol in my face and maybe pick me up off the ground.

 This past Sunday we had our end of the year party where award were given out for top fund raiser, most practices attended. It was also an opportunity for me to shove my face full of carbs. I walked away with the prize for top fundraiser and being the first to reach $500 so I have a lovely 80 minute massage and wine tasting for 4 to enjoy! Thanks to everyone who helped me to raise over $1400 for Habitat for Humanity Mid Ohio.

Let's talk about tapering................ It's killing me. I feel like I can't set still and I want to eat everything. EVERYTHING!  Yes, I have extra time now that I'm not running 30 + miles a week. I've been trying to fill that time with doing some fun things with the kids. We've went to pumpkin patches, carnivals, movies.... doctors appts.  Ok that last one's not fun,but a string of different plagues have hit my  house in the past few weeks and we have spend a lot of time in the doctors office as well. I'm really REALLY hoping that it ends soon though. I'm tired of seeing my babies sick.
I tried taking these two clowns out with me to slow me down on one run. It worked. Pushing close to 80 extra lbs plus having to listen to the Frozen and Lego Movie soundtrack blaring from the speakers in your stroller will really slow a person down. A lot. 

We are down to the week before my race and I am excited, nervous and scared all in one. I have worked on getting to this point for over a year. I expect I will get a bit emotional when it comes right down to it. I look forward to crossing that finish line. Picturing that finish line has gotten me through some really tough runs. I can't wait to come back here and tell the story of my first marathon. Yes my first... I'm already looking at my second and possibly 3rd  next year.  I'm excited I have my new friend, Emma, who I get to run for now.  I'm happy that I am able to run this for her since she is not able. Know that you will be in my thoughts along those 26.2 miles, Emma, along with all those people that have help me get where I am.  You are all my heroes. 

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Happy Runniversary...

This Saturday was my 1 year runniversary with my friend Jill. Last year we ran our first 5k together (and thought we were dying in the process.) This year we ran the half marathon that was part of the same race. It fell in with our taper so it worked out good for us.  As you can tell from the above picture, we've changed a lot in a year.

It was a rather chilly morning to start. I may look a tad under dressed here but let me tell you, I did not regret this wardrobe decision once I started running. The temp was in the low 40's, it was rainy and windy. FANTASTIC weather for a run...... NOT! 

I put my game face on though (yes, that's my game face) and we celebrated this runniversary properly with a PR!   Let me start by saying that we did not go out to PR.  We were going to run a nice easy pace and throw in some faster miles to spice it up a bit but once we started running, we started out pretty fast and we stayed pretty fast. We had about a 10:12 average pace and we stayed pretty consistent the entire time. This was a hilly course and we powered through those hills like champs. We ran fast up the hills and took it easy on the down side.  When I looked down at my watch at mile 11 and saw that we were at 1:51 I knew we were on target to finish under 2:15.  THIS was highly motivating to keep going those last couple miles and to really push it coming in to the home stretch. When we were about a quarter mile away I started to cry. We were doing it!  We saw the clock and we sprinted for the finish line.  Jill and I ran into the finish hand in hand, even though there were no photographers there to catch it.  We finished together for the first time ever. My official time was 2:13:45, her's 2:13:44 (her winning streak continues) Side note to Jill....... You're going down some day.  Down I tell you!  
Anyways, I cried at the finish line, in between dry heaves, I sobbed. I PR'd by 8 minutes!  I'm fairly certain this record will stand for a while. 

 I ran this race for my brand new IRun4 running buddy, Emma!  I wore a yellow ribbon with her name on it to remind me of her while I was running. Emma has spina bifida so since she can not run, I will be her legs and I will run those miles for her! She kept me going strong when I felt like I wanted to quit.   October is Spina Bifida awareness month so stop over by http://spinabifidaassociation.org/ to learn more about spina bifida and what you can do to help prevent it.

 After we were done with the race we stopped by one of my favorite burger joints, The Pint Room, to grab a celebratory drink and meal. It was a good day. Thanks for everyone's support through this journey. The BIG day is just 2 weeks away. I'm getting excited and nervous about the full marathon but I'm looking forward to the challenge!

P.S.   I am told that I need to make amends as my friend Jill feels she has been portrayed as a horrible person in my first blog post. Jill is a a wonderful, amazing, supportive, up for anything kind of friend.  She may kick my but about 90% of the time but she's there when it counts lol.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

A Bump In The Road...

This past week was a hard week. My middle child, Jackson come down with a stomach bug last Sunday and he couldn't shake it.  He ended up in the hospital on IV's and them doing tons of testing on him trying to figure out what was wrong.  There were some other things we need to still follow up on but I am hopeful that those will all work out in the end. We still don't know what it was he had but I can tell you that was the scariest thing I've ever been through as a parent. I always knew Jackson would be the one to do me in. 

 Jackson spend 4 days in the hospital trying to recover from this virus that he had. Needless to say we got little sleep. On Saturday I decided to go ahead and do my long run for the week. Since I am tapering now, it was only 14 miles. I didn't plan on doing the whole 14 since I was dehydrated, exhausted and hadn't eaten well in days. I figured the run would help clear my head and make me feel normal for a little bit. It did. I felt weightless for the first 10 miles. I felt blissful and peaceful until the week started to catch up to me.
 By mile 11 I was dragging and had to stop and walk some. I pushed through it though and ended up feeling more positive about things after that. I thought about my poor sick kid  laying in the hospital and with every step I was wishing him healthier. I know he didn't care that I was running for him but it helped push me further than I felt that I could go.
Running therapy is a wonderful thing. You may not always feel like running but once you start, you'll never regret going out for a run.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Miles and Miles and Miles....

 Soooooooooooooooooooooo....... It's been a while since I've wrote.  Let me explain.  I'M TRAINING FOR A FLIPPING MARATHON!!!!  My life has been insanely busy lately with all the running, fund raising, kids and school and did I mention running? It's been crazy. So let me play catch up.

I ran my  second official half marathon this August. I was so nervous before this as I had visions of reliving Cap City all over again. The whole week before I couldn't sleep and I was having nightmares over this race. It's in August, it's hot and it's 13.1 miles!
I had trouble deciding if I was just going to run a slow training pace or really push myself and try to PR. Thankfully it was a cool morning so I decided to go for it. I paced myself behind a couple for about 8 miles and  after they left me I was left to my own devices to finish. I felt AMAZING until mile 11 and then I got the goose bumps of doom and started to feel the energy drain happen.  I was able to maintain though and did not stop to walk. I crossed the finish line at 2 hours 22 minutes and 28 seconds. I blew my Cap City time out of the water!  I cried when I saw my official finish time and I road the high from that race for days.  It was so good to see all the hard work I've put in this summer come into fruition.

Fundraising has kept me quite busy lately. I offered up photo sessions for charity and that helped raise money pretty quickly but it also gave me a lot of extra work to do! It's worth it though. We also got a chance to go work on the house that we are raising money for! I can safely say that I should not count manual labor as one of my talents nor is looking good in a hard hat. I looked like Steve Erkel.
If you are interested in donating to me via an online donation you can click the link below.

So lets talk about the all the running. Below is a picture from my second ever 20 mile run. It was rough. It was so hot and at about mile 14 I started to fade fast. By mile 16 I was over it and I had taken to a run/walk just to finish.


The following week we did 18 miles and we mixed it up a little with some faster miles thrown in between the slow ones. It was nice to break up the monotony of  the long run and it made me feel pretty good knowing I could pull out a 10 minute pace after 15-16 miles. This run was a good one and I'd like to credit the large amount of cookies I ate the night before at a wedding for the awesome time. 

So that brings us to today. Today I ran the furthest distance to date. Let me start by saying I ate enough carbs to kill a person before this run but I have to say.... it worked. I did not hit a wall at any point. I felt strong and I ran faster than I had set out to, especially since it was a warmer day.  I had some good running buddies to get me through the miles and some awesome signs posted along the way from my running group to put a smile on my face.  Today made me feel like I can do this now. I felt like I could have ran it today. I only hope I feel this good on the actual day.

So we are all caught up. I will try to do better about posting. I have my 1  year runniversary coming up on October 3rd.  I am running a half marathon that day and last year it was my first 5k.  Here's to progress!
 P.S.  Please go donate to my charity!  https://www.razoo.com/story/Amanda-E

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

I Like Big Socks and I Can Not Lie!

Socks! Socks! Socks! Socks! Socks!  Everybody!

Ok, ok..... But Seriously.  As some may know, I'm an ambassador for a company called Crazy Compression. As an ambassador I get to do awesome things like GIVE AWAY A FREE PAIR OF AWESOME CRAZY COMPRESSION SOCKS!  Yep! Fun stuff.  So I thought it was high time I had my first giveaway.  The winner will get to pick a pair of Crazy Compression  compression socks or sleeves from their website. www.crazycompression.com !

 Here's what you need to do:

1. Subscribe to my blog! Easy

2. Go to Crazy Compression's Facebook page and like them!

3. Comment that you have subscribed to aforementioned blog on this post.

***Extra credit for anyone who shares this blog on Facebook!***

I will be picking a winner next Tuesday the 18th around 9:00 PM.

Be Crazy... Be Cool!