Week 17 Training Log for MS

Week 17:  April 27-May 3rd

Miles: 86  Donations: $186

Monday–  I am not as sore this week after the marathon as I was last Monday, so I decided to try going for a run with Sam and our friend Arun when they asked me to go.  It was a rough start, my left leg was super tight and a bit painful and was causing me to change my stride which was causing some pain near my left knee at the beginning.  But we took it really slow and I started to loosen up enough to not be hurting as bad.  We went on the river trails which was a first for me, and a lot of fun.  Reminded me of the trails we ran on in college which I miss a lot.   Taught one yoga class and after work did some strength, abs and plyos before I ran out of energy and had to be done for the day.

Tuesday-  Was going to take today off, but I had some coffee in the afternoon when I met with a nutritionist about proper fueling for all my running at Collectivo.  So I had a burst of energy and needed to move.  So I ended up going 4,5 miles.  I figured it will make it easier later in the week because I can cut one of my long runs down a little.  Felt better than yesterday and was moving at normal speed of a little under 7:30 miles.

Wednesday Got up early to run before work because I have a busy dog walking day and I knew it would be hard to get 8 miles in later.  So I started a little after 5:30 and got my 8 in.  Felt fine until the last mile and a half or so when I started to run low on energy because I had not eaten breakfast yet.  Averaged about 7:40 pace.  Beautiful sunrise this morning!!

After work decided to go on another run with a friend because I had a lot of energy and just needed to put in some more miles.  Ran 4 more for a total of 12 for the day.

april 29

Thursday– Long run day #1!  Ran 15 miles this morning with Sam, Scott and Arun.  The company was GREAT!  The weather was so so.  Only the wind really bothered me.  In the last 4 miles I was starting to get really chilled and the wind picked up even more off of the lake and it felt like winter again for a bit.  But made it 15 miles in just under 2 hours.  Then after walking dogs I went out again for more miles.  This time my friend Erin biked with me to help me through the rest.  I made it another 5.5 to finish the day with 20.5.

Friday– Got up early and met Bryan for a morning run before work.  We did 6 miles.  A little over 8 pace.  My right knee was a little stiff and painful (behind the knee) this morning and it slowed me down a little.  After work and walking dogs I ran the other 9.5 I needed to get 15.5 for the day.  All the rest of the miles for the week will be done tomorrow at the marathon!!

Saturday–  Wisconsin Marathon in Kenosha!  Got to the race about an hour before start time. Sam and I did a little over 2.5 miles for a warm up.  7 a.m. start and it was already close to 60 degrees.  The first half I practiced running a little faster (7:05 or under for as long as I could) than I did the last two marathons to see how it felt.  It was all good until about mile 14 a little after the half marathoners finished and us marathoners were sent out to the most boring 2nd half of a course EVERRRR!  I hated the whole second half.  I was so spread out from other people for a good 6 miles or more before I started to catch some of them again.  It was a painful mental and physical battle and my pace slowed to closer to 7:45’s or slower.  I managed to keep most of my miles under 8 still.  I ended up finishing with a time of 3:14.42, 5th place female and 29th overall.  Not too bad.  I am happy with it considering how much it sucked for a good 13 miles and I just wanted to stop.  But I kept going. 🙂  Good mental practice!!! 28.75 miles for the day!

wi marathon

Sunday– Lifted in the morning for about 45 minutes at the gym.  Went for a short walk to the beach and back in the afternoon.  Was going to take today off from running… but I was bored and restless and it was a very nice weather day and I just couldn’t do it.  So I ran a chill 3.25 miles to make it a even 90 mile week.

Total miles run this week:  90

Catch ya next week!

-Nikki

Check out the fundraising progress!  Or make a donation! 🙂

http://www.firstgiving.com/fundraiser/nikkicahen/run-a-thonforms

Check out the MS Run the US website! http://www.msruntheus.com/

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YAY!! Week 17! Thank you to this week’s amazing sponsors!

Week 17:  April 27th-May 3rd

Total miles this week:  86

Total amount donated by the sponsors:   $186

We are getting close to GO TIME! This is the last really high mileage week, then its two taper weeks before I head to Utah/Colorado for my segment!  Runner number # of the relay just started!  It is going so fast already! I am runner #6!! It will be here before we know it!!  This past week was an 80 mile week.  I had a few days where I wondered if I would make it due to being pretty sore both Monday and Tuesday after the big weekend of races last weekend.  But by Wednesday I was back at it.  I ended the week with a 29 mile day when I ran the West Bend Marathon.  It was another successful marathon, with a time even faster than Oshkosh (3:08.36) and another first place.  I have gone into these races telling myself I will start comfortable and just see how it goes.  But I am feeling really in shape due to all the miles and I have done really well and felt good.  So its been fun to race with no pressure and just have fun! 🙂 I have one more full and one more half to go before I leave for the relay.  Time is going so fast!!

Now I want to introduce the sponsors this week: Nick, Sam and Greg!  Thanks to them we have another $186 for MS Run the US!  Thank you so much for the support!  🙂  I am very excited to share these sponsors because they are all great friends of mine and I could go on and on about them for days!  But I will try to make it manageable for the readers who are not here to read a novel. 😉  So here we goooo!

Sponsor #1: Nick McCall

I have known Nick for over two years now, and he, like many others who have been so supportive to me, is a client from my job at Anytime Fitness.  I train Nick twice a week and I have come to consider him a great friend.  We get together every so often outside of the gym and hang out, have a drink and catch up longer than just the half hour we have together for his sessions.  We have met up out with friends for fun occasions such as New Years, my birthday, St. Patty’s Day, etc.  I still laugh about when I asked Nick if he would be a sponsor of the week and it was in the middle of a workout I was putting him though and at the point where it was getting a bit tough and I was telling him how if I found 2 sponsors for every week it would get me almost where I needed to be fundraising wise by bringing in another $2,500 for MS Run the US.  At the end of his set he stopped, looked at me and said “Are you asking me for $2,500??”  And I just burst out laughing.  My reply was some smart-ass comment like “Yes, Nick, this is how I have gotten almost to $10,000 so far.  By getting my clients to the point of the workout where they are so tired that they will agree to anything, including making a $2,500 donation.”  HA!  You probably had to be there, but it was a funny moment. 🙂  But anyway.  Once Nick was recovered from the workout and learned that I was not asking him to make a several thousand dollar donation, he was totally willing to be one of the sponsors of the week.  Which, being the awesome guy he is, I knew he would be a great sponsor.  Thank you Nick for the support, donation, always asking how my training is going and for your friendship.  I appreciate it so much!

Nick and I at my 31st Bday get together.

Nick and I at my 31st Bday get together.

Sponsor #2: Samantha Kuhagen and Greg Mathews

Oh these two!  Where do I start?!  They are two of my favorite people, and definitely my favorite couple ever.  🙂  Bryan and I do a lot of double dates with them and we always look forward to our time hanging out with these two.  We try to get together at least every couple months, usually something like dinner and game night at Sam’s place.  Recently we have done several pre-race pasta dinners together as a group, and we have it down to an absolute art.  Pretty sure I have raced so well recently due to Sam’s awesome pasta mixed with the chicken and bread that Bryan and I bring.  Greg is one of the most supportive boyfriends you will ever meet.  He is always there cheering for Sam (and me, since we often do the same races) as she competes in half marathons and marathons (or any other distance). He is a great person and perfect for Sam.  And she is perfect for him.  And they both never fail to make me laugh.  🙂

sam greg

Sam is my best friend.  I am so thankful for her every single day.  She is hands down the most giving and sweet friend I have ever had.  She has given so many times to my run, and always gives extra.  She has so far given over $230 for MS Run the US and my segment.  And I may be wrong, it very well could be more than that.  AND on top of all that, she is coming out to run with me during me segment! Weeeeee! I CAN NOT WAIT to have her company!!!  She is arriving on Friday (the end of day #4 of 6) and will be able to do some running with me Saturday and Sunday as I head to Steam Boat Springs.  I owe a lot of this to Sam.  If it weren’t for her re-motivating me to start running again, I may not be where I am today.  And to see her get into running, learn from each and every run, race, and workout, has been an absolute joy to me.  She is a natural distance runner and is not intimidated by going out there and running for hours with me in any type of weather condition.  She was the one with me for 2+ hour runs in the middle of February when is was -15 degrees outside.

sam

The MS Run the US Relay has started!!  Follow the fun here!!     http://www.msruntheus.com/follow/

Want to make a donation?

Please use my fundraising website or email me at: nrcahen@hotmail.com!  Thanks! 🙂

Donate here by copying and pasting the following link!

http://www.firstgiving.com/fundraiser/nikkicahen/run-a-thonforms

Also, feel free to visit the MS Run the US homepage!

http://www.msruntheus.com

Run happy,

Nikki 🙂

My Bobble Head for the MS Run the US website! :)

My Bobble Head for the MS Run the US website!

Why Do I Run?

If you would have asked me why I run several years ago (when I was 25 and as obsessed with running and training for races like I am now… not 3 years ago when I didn’t enjoy running at all and stopped doing it as much…) I would have told you because I liked being fast, I liked kicking butt in races, I liked being sponsored by Saucony, and I liked pushing my body to the max.   Well some of those things are still true, (I still like doing well and I like pushing my body to new limits and learning how it will react!) my focus has grown outside of myself and my more “selfish” goals.

Now I run with a bigger purpose.  Which has changed EVERYTHING! There are very few days now that I am unmotivated to go out there and put in my required miles.  Yes, there are always going to be days that are harder than others, and it feels a bit like a JOB and not a HOBBY, but for the most part, I am driven by PASSION rather than my COMPETITIVE edge.  Yes, I am still way too competitive, but more so against myself than others.  I want to keep improving personally more so than against others.  If that makes sense.  But 90% of the time, it is just who I am.  It is what I do.  I love it and it drives me in every aspect of my life.

So what’s changed?  MS Run the US became a part of the mix.  I became a part of something bigger- an 18 person relay.  Each of us given a bigger mission than most runners.  To raise $10,000 and be a spokesperson for those with MS while training to do something that most of us never dreamed possible- running a crazy amount of miles in 6 days.  In my case:  165.8 miles, which calculates to over a marathon a day- 6 days in a ROW.  Yikes!!  Of course this changes things!!  I am no longer a 5k, 10k, half and full marathon competitor, I am now an MS Ultra-AMBASSADOR!  WHOA!!  How much cooler does that sound?! 😉  But of course it isn’t in the fancy words, it’s in the way it has changed each and every one of us.  I am speaking for the group when I say this, because I feel confident that I am right on this.

front

We now run for a bigger purpose.  All the training miles (which has added up to 880 so far since the start of 2015) are about something beyond myself.  It is dedicated to those who were dealt a very unfair card in life- the MS card.  How unfair!  It could be any of us.  As far as I see it now, I am lucky to have complete control over my body each and every day.  I don’t have to wake up and wonder if my body will respond to me today.  I can put one foot in front of the other with very little effort, in life and in running.  I can cover hundreds of miles a month.  Not everyone can.  Not everyone wants to.  But most importantly, some people can’t and have not CHOICE otherwise, because that was taken from them.  Whether it be MS or some other type of disease or illness that they did not ask for.

So I am thankful for each of those 880 miles.  And today, as I run farther than a marathon, I am thankful for each of those 30 miles that my legs carry me forward.  Despite the pain I will feel in my hips, hamstrings, calves, EVERYWHERE,  it is the least I can do to help those who would do anything to have complete control over their own body and even run ONE mile.  How can that not be life changing?  I will never be the same.  In a good way.  I wonder sometimes how I will feel on May 25th as I leave Colorado with my segment behind me?  Will I be ready for a break?  Will I feel lost and without purpose?  It is likely.  But I guess I will have to look towards the future and continue to find the bigger picture.  I am lucky that my passion is running.  I feel like it is an easy passion to dedicate to those other than myself.

Sometimes I complain that my body hurts, that I am tired, that I am worried I can’t do physically what my mind and heart want me to do.  I apologize for those moments of weakness.  I am in new territory.  Pushing my body to places it has never been.  I want to thank everyone who has believed I can do it, even when I am not so sure.  This includes everyone who has donated or been a sponsor.  Special shout out to Dan Stefanich, my boyfriend Bryan (and his family!), my parents, my co-workers, my best friend and running partner Sam, and anyone who has given me company on a run. 🙂

meeeee

So here we go.  It is time for my second marathon in just over a week.  A week ago I was pumping myself up for the Oshkosh marathon.  Today it is West Bend.  It doesn’t matter the location.  It doesn’t matter if I win, or run a good time.  It doesn’t matter if I have to take walk breaks.  It only matters that I represent those who do not have the choice to do what I can do.  They were robbed of their freedom.  Whoever they are, I run for them.  Now that’s motivation!

Don’t want to run, but want to help make a difference? You can!!  Donate!!    http://www.firstgiving.com/fundraiser/nikkicahen/run-a-thonforms

Keep running friends, and be thankful for EVERY step!

Love,

Nikki

Week 16 Training Log for MS Run the US!

Week 16:  April 20-26

Miles: 80+  Donations: $180

Monday–  Had to take off because I am really sore from the races this weekend.  I am not worried about my quads being sore, I can run through that.  It’s my hip flexor that is really irritated and is making it hard to just do everyday things.  So I am a bit worried about that.  When it flared up in college I was out for two weeks. 😦  So hoping it recovers soon and I don’t have to take more than today off.   Taught two yoga classes which was not fun or easy with how tight and sore I am.  But hopefully stretching out was good…

Tuesday-  Tried to run but I felt the hip flexor on the left side pulling the whole time.  I made it two very very slow miles before deciding I could be doing more harm than good and walking the last mile back home. 😦  Bummed out.

Wednesday–  Tested out the hip flexor early in the morning with a mile and a half warm up before doing some lifting before work.  Felt alright.  I am feeling pretty tired today and this horrible weather is zapping my energy.  No fun.  But I made myself go for a run again after my morning practice (as Bryan put it, good mental training to make myself run when I don’t want to…)  I made it 6 miles and the hip flexor did fine.  7.5 for the day.  Hoping to go longer tomorrow.

Thursday–  Today I went on two runs.  One in the morning with Sam and our new running friend Scott for the first hour.  Then Sam and I kept going after Scott had his miles in because we were trying for a 2 hour or longer run.  We made it 2:08 and 15 miles.  My hips started bothering me pretty bad the last 5 miles.  My pace slowed a lot but I didn’t really care how fast I went, I just wanted to try to get 15 miles in.  Then I ran again at around 3 p.m. and set out hoping to get at least 5 to make it 20 for the day, but if I felt better I would go for longer.  I made it 6.5.  I probably would have gone longer but I started to get a pretty significant pain the the back of my right knee area at around 5 miles.  That is a new pain that I have never had before.  Ultra training will do that to the body I am learning, cause all kinds of new aches and pains that you have never experienced in the past when you were running like a normal person rather than a crazy person… oh well.  21.5 done… 31 miles out of the 80 I need to do this week are done.  Not sure if I will make it… we shall see….

Friday–  Got up early to run with a friend from the gym, Richard.  We have been talking about going on a run for awhile now, it just hasn’t happened yet.  I got about a mile and a half in before I met him at the gym, then we went 5 together and I finished the last two by myself because I needed to get to 8 for the day.  While I was running with Rich I didn’t notice the pain in my upper calf/back of the knee area, but once I was on my own it was harder to ignore.  It, and the fact that I was running out of energy due to not eating enough for dinner last night, started to slow me down a lot during that last two miles.  But I made it and now I can rest for over a day before I have to run again Saturday.  I am going to ice and take care of this pain and hope that it goes away quickly!!

April 24

Saturday– Ran 12 miles with Bryan, Scott and Brian at running club today. Felt pretty pain free until the last 2 or so miles when that pain behind my right knee/upper calf all of sudden came back again.  But got through it and averaged about 7:50 per mile.  Now I can rest until the marathon tomorrow. 🙂

Sunday–   West Bend Full Marathon.  2.8 mile warm up.  Felt decent.  Tried not to worry about the race beforehand.  What happens happens today.  It is all about trying to enjoy the beautiful racing weather and get my miles.  But when I started the race I was able to keep a similar pace at the beginning as last week.  I was talking to another runner for the first 4 or so, so it was easy to just let some miles fly by.  When he went ahead I was on my own for the rest of the time pretty much.  I got to the half way point at 1:35 (3:10 marathon finish pace- I would be pretty happy with that because it would be faster than my finish in Oshkosh last weekend).  I started feeling AMAZING with about 5 miles to go (not common for me, usually I feel like I’m going through bodily torture the last 5 miles) and started to pick it up.  I ended up running fast back than I did out (negative split) for the first time ever in a marathon! I finished with my 2nd best time ever:  3:08.36, first female and 4th overall. 🙂  My last mile was my fastest on of the 26.2 mile race at 6:50!  So exciting!  I feel like today was a HUGE breakthrough race for me!!  So excited!  And no pain in the back of my knee like the last couple days!  Yipee!! 🙂

wes bend

Total miles run this week:  80!

Catch ya next week! -Nikki

Check out the fundraising progress!  Or make a donation! 🙂

http://www.firstgiving.com/fundraiser/nikkicahen/run-a-thonforms

Check out the MS Run the US website! http://www.msruntheus.com/

Thanks SO Much to Week 16’s Sponsors for MS!

Week 16:  April 20th-26th

Total miles this week:  80+

Total amount donated by the sponsors:   $180

Week 15 was a pretty good one.  I had a small taper week and was only required to run 60 miles, but I ended up getting more than that due to having a big race weekend (Half marathon Saturday and full marathon Sunday, which got me most of my mile, 47, in those two days.)  I had a very successful race weekend, winning the Cottage Grove half for females (7th overall finisher) with a time of 1:27.02 and then running the full marathon in Oshkosh the next morning and also winning that one (5th overall) with a time of 3:12.20.  I didn’t go out to win them, and I didn’t go out to run my fastest time.  I just ran what felt comfortable and then at the end of both races when it was starting to get a little tough, I just fought through it because I wanted to practice keeping my pace steady when I was starting to hurt and my body wanted to slow down.  Winning off that was an awesome bonus to the weekend. 🙂  I am excited to run another marathon in West Bent this upcoming Sunday.

Now I want to introduce the sponsors this week: The Holman’s and the Brengel’s!  Thanks to them we have another $160 for MS Run the US!  Thank you so much for the support!  🙂

Sponsor #1: Ken & Amy Brengel

I have known Ken and Amy since I started working at Anytime back in March of 2013.  I have trained Ken twice a week sine I started, and I have trained Amy off and on over the same time, depending on her schedule and what other activities she has going on that time of the year (She is a big tennis player and likes variety in her workouts).  The Brengel’s have been very supportive of both of my big fundraisers so far- giving $150 for my 60 mile Run-a-Thon back in October, and being a sponsor of the week for this week of my training.   I spend the most time with Ken, training him every Wednesday and Friday morning that he is in town (they travel at least every several months so that is the only time I don’t see him on a weekly basis).  He is an awesome person who I enjoy talking to about all sorts of things during the hour we spend together each week.  He always shows interest in how my training, racing and fundraising is going.  Thank you so much Ken and Amy for your awesome sponsorship for this 80 mile training week and donating a dollar a mile for MS Run the US! 🙂  I, as well as those living with MS who will benefit from your donation, appreciate it so much!  

Sponsor #2Dotty & Nate Holman

The Holman’s are friend of my client and great friend Dan Stefanich.   He has been great in reaching out to his friends and contacts and asking them to donate to my cause.  Many of them have over the past 6 or more months and it has helped me reach my ending goal of over $10,000.  Some background info on the Holman’s:  Dotty and Nate Holman are the parents of Andy Holman, one of the sponsors of Training Week 8.  Dotty taught social welfare at UW-M, received her law degree at age 50 (It’s never too late!), and has always been involved in social issues.  An intrepid traveler – even in her 80’s – Dotty makes frequent trips to London to spend the days in galleries, museums, and theatre.  Born in Green Bay WI, Nate watched the early Packers as a kid, chatting with players like Hall of Famer Don Huston.  Nate served in the Navy in WWII, went into accountancy and joined what has become RitzHolman (www.RitzHolman.com) in 1955.  Nate has regularly read to kids at Children’s Hospital, before and after his retirement.

Thank you so much to the Holman’s who donated $100 this week to my segment of the relay even though they do not even know me!  Wow!  Such giving people who are willing to give to a friend of a friend.  I have learned throughout this whole fundraising process that Dan has a lot of great, wonderful and giving friends who are willing to donate to my cause even though they don’t know me personally!  So awesome!! 🙂

 

Thank you Dotty, Nate, Ken and Amy for the support and donating another $180 between you for MS Run the US!  Here’s to another good week of training, racing and running to help others!  What a great feeling!  🙂

The MS Run the US Relay is in full swing with relay runner #2, Larry Kelly running his 3rd day today!  I am runner #6, and will be running ONE MONTH from now!  Yipeee!!  Time is flying by! 🙂   Follow the fun here!!     http://www.msruntheus.com/follow/

Want to make a donation?

Please use my fundraising website or email me at: nrcahen@hotmail.com!  Thanks! 🙂

Donate here by copying and pasting the following link!

http://www.firstgiving.com/fundraiser/nikkicahen/run-a-thonforms

Also, feel free to visit the MS Run the US homepage!

http://www.msruntheus.com

Run happy,

Nikki 🙂

My Bobble Head for the MS Run the US website! :)

My Bobble Head for the MS Run the US website!

A New Purpose for Racing

If you know me well, a few things will always remind you of me, such as running, marathons/racing… and maybe cats. Ha!! 😉  It’s just how it is.  I accept it and it feels like an “identity” to me in a way.  I have come to embrace these words about myself, and without them I feel unwhole in a way.  It has been like that for me since college. That is why when I stopped running and competing for a couple years (ages 27-29-ish) I constantly fretted about my loss of identity and the feeling of not having much purpose to my life.  It was not my best couple of years, you are lucky if you did not have to know me then.  In my opinion I was lost and drifting, making stupid choices in some cases and definitely not the person I had been before or currently.

I learned from the experience that sometimes you need to go adrift in order to find your bigger and better self.  And appreciate it more.  The journey to where I am today has been an important one to me.  I owe it more to the people in my life than anything else.  In fact, I had a moment just this past week at work where my boss was at the gym when I got back from a 10 mile run and he asked me “So why the change? When I met you you didn’t run this much and you were not this fit.”  Without a moment’s hesitation my answer was “Sam.”  I could tell by the look on his face that he did not expect this answer or know what I meant, so I went on to explain that Samantha’s (a then 2x a week client, now 2x a week client, best friend and running partner) interest in running and doing a half marathon sparked my passion for running again.  And after that initial spark it grew stronger with all the other new running friends that became a part of my life- such as Zach, John, Erin, Bryan, Anna, Heidi and other people who run and have come to running club over the past year since I started it.  (So thank you all!!!)  They all made me want that part of myself back.  So I’ve kicked my ass the past year and several months to get to where I am today.

So what are my goals this weekend?  There are always goals, even if I just signed up for these races saying they are “training runs” for the big picture.  The goal may not be time based, or place based like usual (but of course those would be an added bonus if they go well), but maybe they are emotion based, attitude based or life based.  Meaning, maybe I have a bigger purpose this weekend than just winning for myself and getting a PR.  Maybe my entire outlook on running has become bigger than that over the past 4 months.  Maybe I now run for those who can’t.  Such as a person with MS.  Having every mile I run be with $2 or more dollars thanks to my amazing, wonderful, and giving sponsors, brings new perspective to my love of running.  I am so lucky.  Not everyone can say that.

My goals this weekend are to always remember that every mile has a purpose- to help someone who has been unfairly diagnosed with MS.  It’s a gamble, any of us could be told someday that we have this horrible disease- or any other for that matter.  I am thankful that I am healthy, strong, and capable of living my life controlling my own body, rather than having something unwanted controlling me.   Sounds horrible.  Sounds like something I want to kick in the ass.  So I do, through running.  It is the biggest thing I can do to help those who have been dealt these unfair cards.  My goal is to let my heart lead the way- whether it be 8 minutes miles or 6:30 miles.  Doesn’t matter.  My legs will carry me to the finish either way,  No pressure here!  My goal is to have FUN and enjoy every step of every mile, even at the end when pain is inevitable.   And if I am predicting correctly, this mindset will lead me to a pretty decent finish without even setting out to do so.  That’s what happened at South Shore a couple weeks ago.  The heart and mind is a powerful thing, maybe even more so than the physical body in a lot of cases.  So let’s just see where my heart takes me this weekend.

I have not even done my segment for MS Run the US yet (May 19th-24th- Vernal, UT to Steamboat Springs, CO) but it has already changed who I am as a person.  It is that powerful.  In fact, Runner #1’s segment has changed me, from home.  Following Melissa’s trek from L.S. to Barstow has been powerful to me from afar.  Makes me excited how I feel after doing my OWN segment in a little over a month!  But one day at a time, and today I run for those with MS who were robbed of life as they once knew it.  Those who wish they could do what I am able to do.  I will not take this for granted ever again.

wrist

Check out the fun!  Follow along with me!  Maybe it will change your outlook too. 🙂

http://www.msruntheus.com/

Make a difference through donation!  http://www.firstgiving.com/fundraiser/nikkicahen/run-a-thonforms

Well with that said, it is now race time!  Time to hit the road for race #1 in Cottage Grove!  Woot woot!!

Run Happy Friends! 🙂

Love,

Nikki 🙂

Week 15’s (9th of Ultra) Training Log!

Week 15:  April 13th-19th

Miles: 60+  Donations: $159

Monday–  My legs were pretty tired when I went on a quick three mile run between jobs, so I decided that was a sign to take a low mileage day after all the miles I did over the weekend.  So I biked a little to make up for it since the weather was nicer and I taught two yoga classes.

Tuesday-   Got a lift in before I started my morning shift.  Then got 10 miles in after my morning shift.  Felt a lot better than yesterday and averaged 7:40 per mile pace.  Also finally got in for another massage with Michael at Creating Wellness (www.creatingwellness.com)  Much needed, Michael is the best!! I was very tight and it was a pretty painful session.  I am going to take tomorrow off from running because I am already sore in my calves from him massaging out all the knots in them.  So it will be good to have a down day.  It has now been a week since I took a day off from running.

Wednesday–  Today is a down day from running because I will be running a lot of days in a row after this and I needed my muscles to be able to chill out a little after my massage yesterday.  I did do a easy warm up mile on the treadmill before a short lift in the morning and I biked around to walk all the dogs in the afternoon.  In the evening I taught yoga.

Thursday– Went 10 miles- part with Sam and then part with a new runner friend Scott who I started talking to through a Meetup Running group.  Sam went 8 and he went about 4, then I finished up the last two on my own.  Legs felt pretty good after the low mileage days I have taken so far this week.  Getting excited for this weekend!! 🙂

Friday– Got up at 5 am to go for a morning run with Bryan.  We used to run together in the morning once a week last summer,  I am excited to start to do that again, it was something I looked forward to us doing together.  Finally the weather is nice enough to do so again! 🙂  We got an awesome 5.5 mile run in on this perfect temperature morning and beautiful sunrise. 🙂  Now my legs have a full day to rest before race time! 🙂  Woot!

sunrise 417

Saturday–  Cottage Grove Half Marathon.  Did a little over a 2 mile warm-up.  8 am start.  The weather was pretty nice there so I decided to go tank top for the first time this year.  So exciting! 🙂  It was a very flat course and an out and back style, on the Glacial Drumlin Trail (dirt, so a nice break from concrete!!)  I felt really fresh from the lower mileage leading up to today this week.  Was able to run all of my mile splits between a 6:31 and 6:44.  Finishing time of 1:27.02.  First place female (2nd place ran a 1:30.30) and 7th overall. 🙂  Very excited.  Hamstring and glute gave me some trouble off and on- as usual.  Did a little over 2 miles for a cool down.  Had a fun time seeing my friend from the Beaver Dam area, Charlene, because she ran the half too 🙂  The drive home caused a lot of tightness and pain, so hopefully I will be ok for the marathon tomorrow.  Driving is one of the most painful things for me after a long run. 😦

Char and I after the half.

Char and I after the half.

Sunday–   Oshkosh Full Marathon.  Was in a LOT of pain and VERY tight from being in the car so much after my miles yesterday.  Woke up super early and decided to jog a couple miles to see how it felt.  Not good, I was limping and my hamstring was so tight that I couldn’t extend my leg out far enough to match my normal running gait.  So after 2 miles I went back to my friends place where I was staying to put heat on it, take pain meds and stretch and roll it out and hope that it loosened up over the next couple hours before the start of the race.  When I jogged the mile to the start, it was a bit painful still, but not nearly as bad as before.  Race started at 7 am.  It was a bit cloudy and windy, but we started with the wind.  I ended up feeling better than expected and held low to mid 7 minute miles for the first half or so.  Knew I was leading the race for females and found out at one of the out and back points (mile 10) that I was also in 10th overall.  Ended up passing 4 or so men and I think finishing 5th or 6th overall and first female with a time of 3:12.20.  Total miles for the day was 29.75,  but too sore and tired at the end to do any type of cool down.  Close enough to 30, I’m ok with it. 🙂 Good weekend of races that’s for sure. 🙂

Total miles run this week: 76.5!!  Way more than needed. Oh well 🙂

Catch ya next week!

-Nikki

Check out the fundraising progress!  Or make a donation! 🙂

http://www.firstgiving.com/fundraiser/nikkicahen/run-a-thonforms

Check out the MS Run the US website!

http://www.msruntheus.com/