Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Silver Maple Gift Certificate Winner!

I went out to Random.org to pick the winner of The Silver Maple $40 gift certificate and it generated number 46, which means that Candice at I Have Run is the winner!

Candice-Congratulations! E-mail me and we will work out the details.

Thanks to all who entered and don't forget about The Silver Maple the next time you are looking for something special for the runner in your life!

True Random Number Generator 46Powered by RANDOM.ORG

Today, I am in a Nutella coma. Anyone ever tried this tasty goodness? I really must stop it with the sweets, it is two weeks past my marathon and it is time to put away the crap and junk food and get back to training!!

Have a great week everyone!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Colorado Marathon - Finally That Darn Race Report.

After the race with my medal and compression tights.

So, it's been almost two weeks since my marathon. What can I say; I've been in a sugar and beer coma and just haven't had time to write about my marathon. I would really just rather wallow in my beer, but people have been asking about my race report. Soooo, here we go.

Ok….this is long, so for some of you, here’s the short version: I had really bad stomach issues, but it was one of the best freaking days of my life!!

Or, for those of you who are really bored:

Marathon morning, I got up at the most lovely hour of 3:30 a.m., so I could be on the bus that would take us up the canyon by 4:15. My nerves were already screaming and I struggled to take in a banana and some dry cereal.

At 4:15, my husband dropped me off at the bus depot and I walked around until I saw Beth and we loaded the bus. She was a bundle of nerves too and I am so thankful that we were able to ride up to the canyon together, I would have probably been much worse off had she not been there. We sat there talking quietly until the girl in the seat behind us barfed up her breakfast. I was totally done after that. I sat there in my seat trying to hold in my Wheaties Fuel for the remainder of the ride.

We were dropped off in the middle of nowhere in this totally gorgeous canyon; we looked around in awe and then made a beeline for the potties. I dropped a load that could have competed with an elephant and felt really bad for the sorry sucker who went in after me. I should have known right then that my tummy was not going to cooperate. We heard the words “Five minutes to start!” and we lined up. Beth and I hugged, cried, and wished each other well in our races. I knew she would do well, hell the girl was in a cheetah skirt!!

“Runners on your mark! Get set! GO!”

It was a beautiful morning and I really just tried to relax and take it all in. At the mile two aide station, I tried to take a gel and a little water since I wasn’t able to before the race and my stomach rejected it and I threw up on the side of the road. Don’t worry; I managed to save my shoes. I felt pretty defeated, how in the hell was I going to run a race when my stomach was in knots at MILE TWO!

I managed to smile for a lot of my photos, but the camera caught a couple moments of pain when I wasn't looking. Check out those chicken wangs. Don't tell anyone that I stole these photos.

I told myself to calm down. I had the normal pre race jitters and fear over whether I would be able to complete that daunting 26.2 distance and make my time goal, but I was more nervous about the fact that my 6 months treatment on blood thinners was complete. My hematologist had taken me off of my blood thinners just two weeks before the race and I had been freaking out all week. I was scared to death that I would have clotting issues again and while I knew that running would not cause a clot, running would release it a clot if I had one. Then, three days before the marathon I had tight painful calves and they did an ultrasound on my legs. Nothing.

I think I might puke.

Sometimes the mind plays horrible tricks on you.

After the puke, I sort of gave myself permission to let my time goal go and just run and yet by mile 13.1, I was still on track to come in at 4 hours, but I knew that I had to eat something to keep my energy up. I tried to take in some HEED energy replacement at the next aide station and I walked a little to keep it down. It did!! However, I was in the shitter again by mile 15. Bummer.

Miles kept flying by and I was now hopeful that I would finish. I had been trying to take a little bit of HEED in at every aide station and I also knew that Jill was meeting me at mile 19!!! The thought of a friendly face kept me going!

Then came that long hill at mile 19. I mean, where the hell, did this thing come from?!?!! At the top of the hill was Jill! She had her camera, so I smiled for a picture and then I started to cry. She gave me a huge hug and I told her how bad my stomach felt. She did her best to console me and told me that my husband was waiting at mile 20 and he had some oranges that she had cut up for me that morning.

Climbing up that damn hill at mile 19!

I came across mile 20 at 3:08:27. Slightly off my goal time, but at this point, I DIDN”T CARE, I was ready to be done. I stopped and posed for a picture with Rick and Jill started shoving oranges in my mouth. They tasted sweet and good and they stayed down, so I had more.

Not sure why I am running like that. Delirium?

The next six miles were hard. I was getting really dehydrated and Jill was forcing me to stop at every aide station to take in some water and HEED. I would walk until I knew it would stay down and then start going again. Bless that woman.

At one point, she started talking about some Tuesday night interval training that she had just started and asked me if I wanted to join her. WHAT? I told her I didn’t even want to think about speedwork at that point! What’s wrong with you woman!!

This is my "screw it, I'm walking photo"

By mile 24, I was still horribly nauseous, but I was starting to feel the exhilaration of the fact that there were only two more miles and I was about to finish my first marathon (and I hadn’t killed myself with a blood clot!)!!

At mile 26, we rounded the corner and left the trail and came out into the town of Fort Collins. My husband was standing there with a huge sign that read “Way to go Tara” (thanks Jill, for making me those signs) and I could see the finish line. I handed Jill a few things and I ran up to the finish.

The crowd was cheering and I was so overcome with emotion that I broke down and I started crying. What an awesome feeling; I had almost finished my first marathon!

Like I said, I have never before experienced such raw emotion as I did running up to that finish line. I had been stripped away that day and at one point had serious doubts about whether I would have to quit. It was so nice to push back all of those nasty negative thoughts and say “I DID IT!”

I crossed the finish line and threw my hands in the air with a HUGE smile on my face. The announcer said: “You aren’t supposed to look that good after crossing the finish line of a marathon! Can you give me a push up?” I of course dropped and gave him a push up.

Tara and Jill. Jill Thank you from the bottom of my heart!

Tara and Rick

I collected my medal and hugged Jill and Rick. Chip time was 4:15:27. I had officially become a marathoner that day!!

Don't forget to enter my Silver Maple gift certificate giveaway here!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Silver Maple Jewelry Giveaway!

Hi all! A few weeks ago, I featured a necklace on my website that was sent to me by a friend of mine named Jacquelyn. The necklace was sent to me while I was training for my very first marathon and was a HUGE inspiration to me as I battled all of the physical and mental aspects that goes into training for a marathon. I completed my first marathon last weekend (yea...I know, I still owe ya a race report!) and now that same necklace has become a sense of pride and accomplishment. I have worn it almost every single day since the marathon.

My friend Jacque not only sent me this necklace, but she has recently started up her own business called The Silver Maple. Jacque, like a lot, of us is a mother and a runner, and I am so proud of her for turning a passion of hers into a business.

All of her pieces are hand cut from sterling silver and copper and are distressed to give them a very unique look. I am truely honored to host a giveaway for her not only because I find her jewelry to be incredibly inspirational and unique, but because Jacque is one of the sweetest and most genuine people that you will ever meet.

Take a look at some of her other art:

Ok, so one lucky reader will receive a $40 gift certificate to purchase a piece of jewelry from her website The Silver Maple.

The giveaway ends on Tuesday, May 25th 2010 at 12:00 MST.

To win:

1.) Go to her website The Silver Maple and tell me the piece of jewerly that you like the most by leaving me a comment.

2.) Become a Facebook fan of The Silver Maple by clicking here. Don't forget to leave me a comment!

3.) Go to her blog and leave her a comment. Let her know how much you like her art and creativity, by clicking here. Don't forget to leave me a comment!

4.) Don't forget to become a follower of my blog and then let me know what you would order from The Silver Maple if you were to win.

5.) Spread the word about The Silver Maple on your Facebook page or twitter account. Link my blog and leave me a comment!

Ok, friends, I know that I have been blog slacking. I took a MUCH needed week off from blogging, facebook, running (gasp!) and all things internet after my marathon. But I'll be coming around very soon to check out all of your posts and do a catchup!!!

Have a great week!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

I Am a Marathoner!

That's me rounding out mile 26 heading up to the finish. Number 772 (in all black), I'm still waiting on race pics. I'll talk more about who is in front of me in my Race Recap. Can you guess who that is in the pink hat?

Running this marathon has been one of the best experiences of my life. I've never experienced such raw emotion like I did when I crossed that finish line. That sense of accomplishment is something that I will always cherish and I seriously could never find the words to describe it.

My final chip time was 4:15:27. Yes, I missed my goal time of 4:00, but I don't care, I am just so happy to call myself a marathoner finally!

Race Report to follow, although it's a bit on the yucky side.

Friday, May 7, 2010

My First Marathon is Sunday!

Did you ever play that game “Truth or Dare” as a kid? You know the one where you either have to tell a truth about yourself or take a dare. I always chose the dare. I loved the challenge and I couldn’t stand it when someone told me I couldn’t do something. I hate the words “I can’t”.

Six months ago, I was cleared to start marathon training again about a month after my pulmonary embolism. My first run was only one mile and it took me 13 minutes. What the heck; I had just completed my first 20 miler a little over a month before, what is going on? My lung capacity was shot due to tissue damage. Only 10% of PE patients experience lung damage because there is a dual supply of blood to the lungs, unfortunately I was one of the 10%. So while I was ok to start running and training again, my doctor and everyone around me thought that signing up for a spring marathon was too optimistic. I wouldn’t be ready and I certainly wouldn’t get the results that I wanted. It sounded like a dare to me.

So, I signed up for a May marathon and started training and forcing the non damaged parts of my lungs to compensate for the damaged part.

This Sunday, I will run in my first marathon. It has been a long time coming folks and I am ready. I AM READY.

I am nervous and I am scared, but I am so ready. Do I regret what happened? No, this experience has taught me a lot about myself, perseverance, humility, and gratitude. Most important, it has taught me about the kindness of other people. I have such a wonderful support group from my family, friends, and YOU.

Live each day to the fullest and learn something from each and every experience that you encounter, whether it is a good experience or a bad experience. Never pass up the opportunity to learn and grow. I DARE YOU.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Last Long Run and a Cheribundi Review!

A few weeks ago Samantha, a representative from CherryPharm Inc, contacted me to see if I would like to try their product know as Cheribundi. Cheribundi is a tart cherry juice and is packed full of antioxidants and vitamins. I specialize in mooching and conning people into giving me free stuff, so I quickly agreed to try their product.

Cheribundi means “an abundance of cherries” and I looked forward to trying the drink because I love cherry flavored anything. I was that kid on the block that you would see running around with a cherry kool-aid mustache and sticky cherry flavored popsicle hands. I can even tie a knot in a cherry stem with my tongue. Don’t be jealous of my skills. I wasn’t able to do this overnight; it takes practice.

I was pleasantly surprised with the drink. I was expecting it to be tart since it claimed to be a tart cherry drink, but I didn’t find it that way at all. It had a hint of sweetness to it, but not overbearing.

Friday, I ran 8 miles and when I got back to the house, I reached for the Cheribundi and it was a surprisingly great thirst quencher and I plan on packing one with me for after my marathon this weekend. I would also like to pick up some more, I seriously didn’t expect to like it that much, but I do!
Anyway, I’ve been sick this week, so I have truly embraced my taper. In fact, I’ve enjoyed lying around so much, I’m not sure that I really want to run anymore. Now put your eyeballs back in your sockets, you know I’ll get tired of being lazy and want to start running again (I’ve got a marathon to run this weekend anyway). In the meantime, I’ve enjoyed catching up on my People and Runners World Magazines. I’ve pondered deep thoughts such as:

“Why is Spencer Pratt such a jerk?”


"Why don’t we have cool hats like this in the United States, I mean, what woman wouldn't want that look?”


“If Valerie Bertinelli can finish a marathon, certainly I can do it too!! How did she get into Boston anyway?”

Ok guys, I’ve been blog slacking again, so I have TONS of posts to catch up on. See you soon and I hope you are having a great week!