Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Two months!

Or 8 1/2 weeks. Or 61 days. Or 1,464 hours. Or 87,840 minutes...

until my race!

The time is just flying by, and I know it's going to go even faster now. Thanks for all the support so far! Even though it's going to come fast, there's still a lot to do, and I appreciate all the help I've received from everyone. Granted most of you probably just delete my Emails or put the phone down and walk away when I start rambling on, but thanks anyway for letting me get as many of my nerves out now as possible!


Saturday, August 16, 2008

Finally! A great run!

And I'm saying it was a great run despite the fact that we ran out of water on the course. I think it was the fact that I was nervous for this one. With the 12 miler I'd had a good 10 miler and I thought that I'd breeze through 12 (until I was driving up there and OMG the hills were enough to make me want to cry at just the thought). I was convinced the 14 miler was going to be in the Bosque, so despite the knee pain I was having and the nasty 12 miler I'd already had, I thought I'd get through that okay. No way. It was the worst run of my life. It was hot, we ran out of water on that course too and it just sucked overall. So needless to say, I was dreading this 16 miler today. DREADING it. I spent all week with butterflies in my stomach and feeling neauseated just thinking about it.

But I did it! I met up with my friends D and F early - although not as early as planned. All running shoes look the same at 5.30 AM and I tried to get out the door in a very old, very useless Nike on my right foot (and the correct shoe on my left), but luckily I realized before I even got to the car, but of course it made me late. And yes, this was after I took the time to lay out my clothes last night...I just didn't realize I'd grabbed the wrong shoe. I feel like a dork still. Anyway, my times were pretty good, so I think it really is just the heat that's slowing me down. Ok, ok...I'm slow to begin with, but I did really well today (considering). If we hadn't run out of water I would have been under 3 hours at 13 miles, but I walked extra in the 12th mile to try and conserve engery, just because I wasn't sure I'd be able to find the next water stop (and I was totally out by Mile 10). I found it ok at Mile 13 and kept going. I'm super tired now though.

Only 9 more weeks till Denver! Monday will be the 2 month mark!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

An article from Runners World online

One thing that's really worrying me right now is not finishing my marathon in the time allowed...six hours. When I signed up back in March I remember thinking "Six hours?! That's PLENTY of time!" Well, it turns out that I'm slower than I thought I would be. I'm hoping that a lot of it is the heat and that over the next couple of months I'll natrually speed up, but I spend a lot of my free time computing pace times and worrying about this. My finish time doesn't matter a bit to me - I don't care if it takes me days to finish (ok, maybe I care a little because I'll get hungry) but I need a finish line there. I need the cheering crowd, the flashing camera and the finisher's medal...even if it comes with a 6+ hour finish time. So when I saw this article (taken from John Bingham's blog), it put things a little more in perspective and I feel a little bit better.

July 10, 2008
Motivation to Keep Trying

Dear John,

After getting out of the military several years ago I gave up on running. I had never liked it and found it boring. Two children and about 60 extra pounds later I decided I needed to get back in to shape. I mapped out a schedule and set off on my journey.
I should tell you that I am still overweight but very dedicated to my running and cross training. I entered a 10-K race that had a 90-minute time limit and a very small field of runners. When we took off from the starting line I was left going my slow comfortable pace while the rest of the field blazed away. It was discouraging but I continued on to finish in 1 hour 25 minutes, just under the cutoff and third from last.

I had been running well during training, yet when race day came, all the strength and motivation seemed to leave. I don't want to give up on running. Do you have ideas on why this may be happening and any suggestions on how to keep the motivation going? Even though I am slow, I have come to enjoy my time out on the roads. I just want to get better. - Jenny

Hi Jenny,

Thanks for the great e-mail. You have identified one of the most difficult parts of becoming a runner. How do you enjoy the process if the outcome isn’t what you expect? Well, the good news is, you can.

I finished last, or nearly last, in lots of races. One time, at a 10-K in Little Rock, Arkansas, by mile one I couldn’t see anyone in front of me. Luckily, another participant was kind enough to stay with me so that I wouldn’t get lost.

It can be discouraging if you’re comparing yourself to everyone else out there. I don’t. I only compare the “me” that I am now with the “me” that I used to me. As I tell people, if you think I look bad running, you should have seen me drunk.

I also remind myself that I am a work in progress. Even after nearly 17 years of running and walking I’m not what I want to be. Some goals I now realize that I’ll never achieve. Others, like completing a 50-K or 50-mile event, are still out there somewhere.
So, line up proud. You’re out there. You’re giving it your best shot. You’re changing your life with your own two feet. And that is something to celebrate!

Waddle on,


Saturday, August 9, 2008


Today was a pretty easy day, running-wise. Mike and I went down to the Bosque trail and I did my six mile run there. The rest of the group did a fun sounding trail run in the foothills and normally I'd be the first one there (ok, who are we kidding? Duff is late to everything) but my knee really freaked me out a couple of weeks ago and the marathon is 2 months and 10 days away (yeah, I'm counting) so I really don't want to risk it. It's total suckage though because I know the trail runs are fun and I can imagine that the views up there were amazing, but I'm getting to the point where I'm obsessed with getting to the starting line of my race and doing anything that may mess with that is not in the plan. Anyway, I did my 6 miles and to my astonishment I finished 8 minutes faster than I thought I would! Hooray!!

This afternoon we headed over to Mike's friend's parent's house for a matanza (a pig roast for you gringos) which ended up being fun. Well, as fun as a matanza can be when you don't eat pork. It seemed like everything else was pasta salad, but oh well...luckily I LOVE pasta salad so I was happy. :) We were able to see a few friends we hadn't seen in a while, so that in itself is always welcome.

Tonight we're going over to another friend's house and I'm so excited. It's actually a couple-friend and we have so much fun with them. They're getting married in two weeks, which I can't believe. I helped P propose to T in March of 07 (so it's been...what...a year and 5 months) and the time has just flown by. Between my insane work schedule, which has included way more out of town work that I intended when taking this job, my training, Mike's work and school schedules, and their crazy work schedules and wedding planning, we hardly get to see each other anymore.

So that's my Saturday in a nutshell. And in case you were wondering, I was supposed to be installing my CPA exam review software on my computer. Instead, you got to hear about my day. Now I'm going to go clean the house and maybe take a nap and then I'll think about intalling that software.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Seattle Rock n Roll Marathon And NYC Pics

I registered. I feel a little crazy, especially considering I haven't run my first yet but I just couldn't turn it down. I absolutely love Seattle and I've been dying for a chance to take Mike for a couple of years now. It's not until June 27, 2009 so I have a little over 10 months...but in the meantime I also have Denver, the Jay Benson Triathlon (which I'm determined to do in May '09) and the CPA exam...sounds like a good time, no? Oh, and finishing up my busy government audit season and tax season will be starting in February...how could I forget?

So, now that I'm all stressed out thinking about how I have too much going on (did I mention one of my best friends is getting married in 2 weeks, and my sister is getting hitched in about 6 weeks too? AHHH!), here are some NYC pics that I promised a million years ago:

Me, on top of The Rock with the Empire State Building in the background.

Me and Jacque at Battery Park.
An awesome pic of the Statue of Liberty.

The view of the city walking across the Brooklyn Bridge

Tuesday, August 5, 2008



I'm so there!

Friday, August 1, 2008

My life as I know it...

has ended. I knew it would happen at one point or another. In fact, I knew it should have happened a couple of years ago. I've avoided it for a long time, come up with excuse after excuse...but the time has come. I'm going to sit for the CPA exam. In fact I'm on my way out the door right now to go get my application notarized so I can mail it off tomorrow. Or tonight. I know I should mail it off tonight...but the post office closes at 6.00 and I still have to get the money order for the outrageous exam fees and that won't be until at least 5.30. And, to top it off and to add extra pressure on myself, I'm forcing myself to pass this ridiculously hard test on the first try. Oh, and did I mention I'm planning on taking the first section the first week of October? Yeah, the marathon will be two weeks later.

Guess I can run my stress off.

But on a happier note, NYC was fab and I'll try and get some pictures up ASAP. Hopefully tonight! If you have myspace and are impatient you can see them at www.myspace.com/valduff.