The Sole Sisters are a group of friends, business women, and mothers who are training with the Clarksville Area YMCA for their first half marathon, the Go Commando Half Marathon on Saturday, October 20, 2012. Below they share their experiences in training, what they’ve learned and how they’re growing through this endeavor.
When this running journey began I didn’t know if I could do it. As you may have read, I teamed up with some wonderful ladies to train for our first half marathon. At the time I didn’t know if I was capable of running 13.1 miles. Now I know that I am not only capable of doing it, but I have more confidence in my ability to log those miles than ever before.
At the beginning of this journey, my family was hit with some news. My grandmother was going to have to begin chemotherapy again. My grandmother was diagnosed with Stage IIIC Ovarian Cancer in August 2004. She’s been battling this disease for over 8 years. She had been on chemo for several months, and then decided it was time to take a break because the treatment was becoming a little too much for her. Even though she was taking the break, the nurses at her doctor’s office contacted her about getting on the waiting list for a type of chemotherapy called Doxil. She tolerated Doxil better than she had tolerated any other treatment, and they wanted her to have this medicine available to her if she needed to start treatment again. After one month off from the chemo, her CA-125 levels dropped and we were so grateful.
Unfortunately the next month they went up to 39.9. It was at this time that her oncologist recommended that she begin the Doxil. Our hopes were high as she’d never tolerated a chemotherapy treatment as well as Doxil. This round of treatments was going to be much different. She struggled to eat, keep food down and she had terrible heartburn. The following month when it was time for her CA-125, the numbers went up again. She was now at 70.5. Another month came and another dose of Doxil was administered. She went through the same problems she had the month prior and was losing a lot of weight. When she went in for her blood test after a month her numbers had almost completely doubled to 138.2.
My grandmother is by far the most beautiful, wonderful person I will ever know. Every time she has to start treatment again I find myself crippled with sadness, fear and anxiety. She’s my person, and I love her more than there will ever be words adequate enough to express it.
There have been times when she’s gone through her treatment that I’ve been able to “deal,” and there have been times when I have shut down altogether. This time was one of those shut down altogether times. I couldn’t talk about it. I couldn’t talk about cancer. I couldn’t watch that Happy Birthday commercial that the American Cancer Society puts out without breaking down. Most importantly, I couldn’t talk to her. It’s a strange thing when your loved one is going through cancer treatment. Everyone deals and copes with it differently. I wasn’t dealing at all this time.
It was just before she started chemo this time that I’d picked up running. As you may have read, I was running a lot, sometimes four or five times a week. The truth is running had turned into my escape. I was literally running from the cancer. I was running to get out of my head. I was running from my fear. It’s the kind of fear that sinks deep into your bones and doesn’t want to let go. It’s the kind of fear that wreaks havoc on your soul.
It wasn’t long after my grandmother had to start chemo again that I was met with an injury. Yes, going from 0 to 20 plus miles in one week will do that to you. I could barely walk up and down the stairs in my house without wincing in pain. I couldn’t even do a short one mile run. I was out of commission, and you know what? I was so mad I could hardly stand it. Running is addictive. Ask anyone who runs. But when you’re injured and you’re forced to face your problems you’ve been running from head on, you wish you could run that much more. At least that was the situation for me. However it seemed there was this billboard that followed me around saying, “This is your opportunity to change things.”
I spent the past couple weeks in prayer about it, wondering what that thought meant. What facets of my life would need to change in order to work on myself emotionally, be more present to my grandmother, etc.?
The first step I took was stepping out and sharing where I was at emotionally on my grandmother’s birthday, which you can read here. That was huge. I hadn’t talked about what was going on with me and that was tremendous progress. I felt like after 8 years, people get tired of hearing about it, but that’s not true. Well, maybe some people get sick of it, but I’ve noticed that those people aren’t true friends.
It was through the revelations in prayer and stepping out in faith and saying, “Hey, I’m hurting and I need help,” that I came to realize that I needed to do something to grow and heal in this journey. I’m not just talking about my running story, but in my story as a family member of an ovarian cancer patient. I know that there is a community of people like me out there that need someone to talk to, have fellowship with, etc. I just needed to find it.
I also needed to find out how I could raise awareness about ovarian cancer. You may or may not know that September is National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month in the United States. However, you don’t see teal wrapped candies, teal pencils, teal ribbons, or NFL players wearing teal shoes. It’s just not widely known. If I, in any small way, can contribute to the awareness this silent killer of women, it’s more than worth it.
The answer as to what route I was turned up much quicker than I had anticipated. You may not now, but comedienne Gilda Radner died in 1989 of Ovarian Cancer. Even though I was young when repeats of her on Saturday Night Live aired in the 80′s, I remember watching her and thinking she was absolutely hilarious. I also remembered the night Steve Martin was hosting SNL and they played a clip from a previous show of him and Gilda dancing and goofing around. After that piece aired, they went back to Steve and he was fighting back tears. He said, “Gilda, we miss you.” I looked over at my former stepdad Bob and said, “What happened to her?” He told me she had cancer and died from it. It was the first time I’d ever realized cancer and what it did. It was hard. This woman who was so funny and uplifting was now gone. Little did I know that my grandmother would fight the same kind of cancer about 15 years later.
When Gilda was going through treatment she said that cancer gave her, “membership to an elite club I’d rather not belong to.” She was right. Whether you’re a patient, survivor, family member or friend, cancer touches us all differently. None of us asked to be in this “club,” but we’re a part of it. It was out of this “membership” that Gilda’s husband, Gene Wilder, founded Gilda’s Club during the time she had cancer.
In my quest to learn more about Gilda’s Club I was met with a couple surprises. Not only does Gilda’s Club offer support groups for patients, survivors, friends and family, but they offer social events as well. You can go to Gilda’s Club and do yoga, take a ballroom dancing class, learn tai chi and much more. Another thing I learned as I navigated the website was that they have a gang. Yep, Gilda’s Club has a gang of runners who run the Country Music Half Marathon in Nashville, Tennessee. Guess which girl had already planned on running that half…THIS GIRL RIGHT HERE! So, yes, I’ve joined a gang…Gilda’s Gang. I couldn’t be more excited!
My goal is to raise funds and awareness about Gilda’s Club of Nashville and all they offer, while continuing to honor my grandmother by raising awareness about ovarian cancer. I also plan to become a member of Gilda’s Club. My hope is that through all of this I will grow and heal emotionally and physically. I cannot allow my fear of cancer to stop me from making another phone call to my grandmother. I cannot allow it to stop me from making the turn into her driveway for a visit. I cannot allow it to cripple me. It doesn’t have that right.
Monday, September 24, I set up my fundraising page. The following day I contacted Deb at Gilda’s Club for information about the race training group. That afternoon she called me and I spent almost 45 minutes on the phone with her. We talked about the race, Gilda’s Club and even delved a little into my story. I won’t lie, that part was hard and I did tear up a little, but the thing was Deb understood. She got where I was. That made me feel so much better. I am so encouraged about this journey!
Here is my plan. I am going to blog about this experience and I would love to share it with you. I think blogging about my training for the Go Commando Half Marathon has pushed me to want to share these stories with others, and I think that by sharing my experiences with Gilda’s Club and Gilda’s Gang and my grandmother’s progress others may be encouraged and maybe even motivated to begin their journey. I may reach someone who needs the encouragement to get out and run, make a visit to the Clubhouse, or make that call to their doctor. Maybe somewhere along the line I will learn that it’s ok to feel the things I feel, but not let them take over my life. Maybe there will be healing and growth for a lot of people. I’m not sure. Whatever the case may be, I know this is going to be a great experience.
Thank you for allowing me to share my heart about all of this with you. If you wouldn’t mind, I would love it if you would share this story with people you know. If we say nothing, we don’t reach anyone. If we speak up, we may be able to help others in their place of need. Also, if you would like to contribute to my run, you can do so here. You can also follow my other blog at www.ibelieveinteal.com.
Here’s to kicking off another journey of healing, growing and all that lies in between.
I LOVE music. There aren’t many things I seem to enjoy doing without listening to it, and when I run I have to have my iPod. Here are a few of my favorite songs to listen to:
1) Sure Shot by the Beastie Boys – I have ALWAYS loved this song, but it was in our first YMCA Training Group Run that I realized that it was my favorite running song. It’s not too fast or slow, which helps to keep me at a nice even pace.
2) Crazy by Alanis Morissette – I am a huge Alanis fan, so of course there is one of her songs in my running playlist. This, like Sure Shot, keeps me at a really even pace, but it’s REALLY hard for me to not sing along. :)
3) Titanium by David Guetta and Sia – When I first started running, I would run 4 miles listening to just this song. I absolutely love it. It starts out slow and then picks up to a faster beat, but not so fast that I end up running to fast.
I don't know where the month of September went. It seems like yesterday we were celebrating Labor Day in the sun and today I have on a long sleeve sweater and tights.
I have not blogged in so long it's embarrassing. We are a little over two weeks from our big race and the anxiety is beginning to set it. I excited and nervous, but I guess that is normal.
Several things have happened since my last blog. On September 8, our YMCA running group ran 10 miles. We ran the Beachaven Winery route. I don't know if you remember what the weather was like that day but I do. It was windy and wet. At some times, the rain was blowing sideways. It was tough and there was not a dry thread within one minute of starting. I was using my phone to listen to my music and keep track of my time so I had to have it with me. It was a challenge to keep it dry. All I could do was swap it from one pocket to the other depending on which way the wind was blowing. It survived and so did I. For the first time my right knee really hurt at about mile 8. Donna told me it could be the slant of the side of the road so I moved off the side and it really helped. Starbucks was my reward and it never tasted so good.
September 15 was a resting week. Katie, Valerie, Yolanda and I ran the first six miles of the Go Commando race route. We wanted to learn the route to develop a strategy for race day. We kept pace at our 7 minute run and 1 minute walk and it was tough. We ran the hills and stayed true to the 7:1 ratio. That was a mistake. Our friend, Andrea who is a veteran half marathon runner advised us to walk the hills...no matter what…walk the hills. Since then we have ran this route a couple of time and walked the hills and it really makes a difference.
September 22 was our day to run 11 miles. Katie, Yolanda and I could not run that morning so we met at 12:30 p.m. We started at Kenwood High School and ran both legs of the Greenway. We paced ourselves very carefully...stayed with the 7 minute run: 1 minute walk and walked the hills on the 5.2 mile side. It was a lot warmer than we had been accustomed to running the longer distances, and I think that made a big difference. My legs really hurt after that run. After running several errands to include grocery shopping, I made myself rest most of the evening.
On Saturday, the 29th, I ran alone and I used that week as my drop down week. Katie was out of town and we decided to run our long run on October 6. It really helps to have a partner on those long runs. Katie and I stay very close in our time even when we run separately so we thought this would work for us.
It is hard to believe that we have been working on this for four months. I'm confident we are prepared and I cannot wait to cross the finish line.
I've blogged a lot about what we do during our group run but I think it is also important for you to know that we train hard during the week. Donna Pittman form the Y has set out a pretty strict workout regimen all through the week. I work out most days during the week. If I don't run, I work out on a Cybex cross training machine and/or lift weights. I have not lost a lot of weight but I have gone down a couple sizes in my pants and my medium tops are now too big. I really like the results of working out. I like knowing I've burned an extra 400 - 500 or more calories. My body seems tighter and pulled together...but most importantly, I feel fit. Yes, I feel fit and healthy for the first time in years. I look forward to my workouts...most of the time and when I don't, I remind myself of what a friend of mine said who is an avid runner said, "I don't always want to run, but I never wish I hadn't run (or worked out) when I get finished." When my alarm goes off and I'm tempted to hit the snooze button, I can hear Bill say those words and he is right.
Saturday was our first 11 mile run. I won’t lie, I was nervous! I had been sick with allergies or sinus funk earlier this week, and with the antibiotics and steroids I have been on I have been under the weather and feeling weak. I tried to eat well in the days leading up to the run, but the medicine made that difficult. Friday evening I called out to my friends to pray or send positive thoughts my way, and asked for any suggestions they could make. Everyone was so supportive, and that really helped my anxiety.
Saturday morning I was getting ready and I heard that my son was awake. I wanted to say goodbye to him before I left, so I went upstairs. He asked me if I was still nervous, and I admitted that I was. He then asked if we could pray about it. Absolutely! Well, my little guy put his hands on mine and prayed for me. He prayed that God would help me feel better, make me strong and my legs swift and that I would complete my 11 miler. I was so thankful to him. His willingness to pray over me really lifted my spirits and I was ready to go.
I arrived at Kenwood ready to tackle the Greenway. This would be the first time I’d run the entire trail. We started by running a small lap in the parking lot before heading to the Greenways so that we could make sure we could get our 11 miles in. Valerie and I ran together the entire time. We started with a brisk walk and then went to running. Valerie has a little different method than I’ve tried in the past. Instead of running 5 minutes and walking for 1 minute, she runs for 4-5 songs and walks for 1. I kept that pace with her and before I knew it we had completed a mile and we were still running! I’ve never run that long and consistently in my life! I was so excited!
At the end of our run, I felt amazing! I was in complete disbelief that I had actually been able to run 11 miles feeling as bad as I did! I was so thankful I was able to complete it.
When I arrived at home some serious cramping kicked into high gear. I walked into my house and thought I was going to collapse. For those of you who have never experienced post run/biking/workout running cramping, I hope you never do. It is some of the worst pain I’ve ever felt in my life. It almost instantly brought tears to my eyes. My husband asked me, “Didn’t you use your salt tabs?” I’d only used one because I wasn’t sweating much, and therefore I didn’t think I needed to take many. He said, “Oh no. Kelli, you have to take more than that to keep this from happening.” He told me how many to take on a cooler day, and I can guarantee you that is a mistake I will NEVER make again.
That night my husband and I went out to celebrate our third wedding anniversary. I was feeling ok until it came time to walk back to the car. My calves, feet, and hips were cramping and sore. As soon as we got home I tried to go to sleep, but the pain kept me up for a while. Finally I managed to fall asleep.
At about 4:30 Sunday morning, the pain in my hips was so intense it woke me from a deep sleep. I’ve never experienced anything like it in my life. I got up and took some ibuprofen, drank some water and got out my heating pad. I could not get comfortable enough to sleep for over two hours. The sun was beginning to come up and I started to wonder if falling asleep at this point was even worth it, but finally I got enough relief to catch a quick 45 minutes of sleep before my son knocked on the door to let us know he was up. Isn’t that the way it goes?
Sunday was not as bad as Saturday, but I was still quite sore. Ibuprofen was my new best friend. I also made sure to sleep on my heating pad because that really seemed to help with the pain. I was so exhausted Sunday night that I actually fell asleep on the floor of my bonus room waiting for the highlights of the Titans game to come on (because I knew they were going to be good!). Thankfully my husband woke me up and put me to bed so I wouldn’t be in pain today.
Today I have a little soreness, but nothing near what I experienced this weekend, and for that I am so grateful! I am really looking forward to our run this Saturday. Twelve miles! We are so close! I cannot wait for race day!
I haven't blogged in a while . . . sorry! Today was so exciting I couldn't help myself but blog about it. I guess it's the double digit thing, but we did 10 miles. That's right, 10 miles ladies and gentlemen! Now, I know some of you runner are laughing because you do 20 miles a day, but for a girl who thought 2 miles was a long run three months ago, 10 miles is major.
I was really nervous going into this run and I suppose it was because I really felt unprepared. I've had a really bad sinus infection this week. I'm on steroids (maybe this is why the run felt good), antibiotics, decongestants and I simply didn't know how all that would affect me.
Kelli and I didn't run with the rest of the pack today because I had mommy duties this morning. I had to to take my sons to ride Thomas the train. My youngest son Noah is addicted to Thomas, so Kelli and I ran this afternoon. We ran in Ashland City at their trails, which are beautiful. We both rocked it!
I'm not sure if it was the steroids, the beautiful weather, or the great running partner but today was a wonderful day. We're only 3 miles from a half marathon. All I can say is WOW!
Today I celebrate another year…it is a celebration. I love birthdays. Yes, I have more wrinkles and some spooly gray hair (I refer to them as my natural highlights), but I love being the age and the person I am today. I love my job, I have a husband who I adore and who treats me like gold, we have two responsible adult men who frequently tell me and their dad that they love us, the best parents and family in the world, and a Heavenly Father who I can count on leading me each and every day. I am blessed!
I received a huge amount of well wishes and Happy Birthday messages today. They all mean so much to me. These messages came through Facebook, text messages, phone calls and birthday cards. They actually started coming in last week. Some people are so organized – I admire them for that.
One e-mail really stood out to me…it came from a longtime friend and colleague who I once worked with. Several close friends met for a casual lunch last week; my Sole Sister Katie was also present. My friends e-mail message said, “Happy Birthday! Hope you have a great day. YOU MUST HAVE INSPIRED ME LAST WEEK WITH YOUR ENTHUSIASM TOWARD EXERCISE…I GOT A BIKE THIS WEEKEND AND I AM READY TO ROLL!!!”
YES! That is icing on the birthday cake for me. You see, if you looked up the word “Classy” in Wikipedia, this chick’s picture would come up. She looks very fit, thin and always put together. She has an extremely important career and is a busy wife and mother. Katie and I didn’t talk a lot about training for the “Go Commando,” but we did share a little bit and talked about how much Donna has helped us take on this project and makes us feel like we can do it. I love the fact that someone else has taken the challenge to make herself a priority. Was it easy getting up at 4:30 a.m. this morning to make it to the gym so I would be ready for a 7:30 a.m. conference call...NO. But at 5:45 when it was over, I felt great.
A good friend of mine told me something a while back that a running coach told her when she was training for a 5K. He is a long distance runner and has been for years. When you see him you think that he must LOVE to run. He told her that he never wanted to run, exercise, bike, whatever it is but when he is finished he never regrets doing it and is always glad he did. I repeat this to myself every day. It’s not easy but it is worth it.
Today I celebrate my 55th birthday but I can honestly say that I feel better physically than I did at 50…maybe even 45. Don’t wait any longer. Find an activity that you enjoy doing – something that fits with your schedule and something you will do on your own. After you get in that groove, find someone who likes to do the same thing and then become each other’s accountability partner. It may be water aerobics or another class at the Y, biking, running, walking or yoga…just find something and then take the next step and do it. You will be amazed at how quickly you see results and how much better you will feel. In my next blog, I will tell you about my new favorite thing. Have a blessed week.
I’ve been really busy catching up after vacation and have been “out of blog mode” but I’m back…In my last blog I told you that I learned something about shoes. The bottom line…if the new shoes fit…you had better wear them. I’ve been saving the new shoes that I purchased from Runner’s Hub for the long runs on Saturdays.
The frugal side of me made me think this was a great idea so they would last longer - BIG MISTAKE…Do not do that. My hips were achy and my arches were achy after my short runs but not after my long runs. I wasn’t sure what caused this pain but after a process of elimination, I knew the only thing different (other than distance) was that I was wearing my two year old shoes during the week and my new shoes during the long run. That changed quickly and those aches are gone. I still wear my old shoes for weight training but if I’m going to run any more than a brisk walk warm up, I wear the new shoes. The investment of a good pair of shoes is worth every penny. Katie told me that a long time friend and triathlete told her that a good pair of shoes and good sports bra made all the difference in the world and she was right.
I haven't run in two weeks. Why does it feel like two years...or an eternity? For someone who has never really been active in her life, I cannot believe that I am so hooked on running.
As I mentioned in my previous blogs, I have been injured. When we first started running it was my shins. Then after running in brand new, never broken in stabilizing shoes and compression sleeves it was my knees. I honestly felt like I just couldn't win. Then I had to make the very tough decision to skip our 8 mile group run. I think what made me most nervous about that was that it was such a big milestone that I would be missing. Would I be behind? Would I have to start over? I wasn't sure. Whatever the case was I knew I was going to continue running, but first I had to give myself some time off. I took almost two whole weeks off. I didn't do any training runs during the week, not because I didn't want to, but because I was still hurting and I didn't want to make it worse. To give you an idea of how bad the pain was, I had difficulty going up and down the stairs, and even just walking without a limp was a challenge.
Needless to say I was very nervous Friday night. I'd planned to run in Savannah with my Sole Sisters. They had all run 8 miles the week before, and I won't lie, I felt like I was behind the 8 ball in my training. Everything was getting me down and I really just had a bad attitude. I was very cranky...ask anyone. I had a really hard time sleeping Friday night because my thoughts kept getting the best of me. I woke up a lot, and just didn't get a good night's sleep.
Saturday morning we met at Katie's house, and I was surprised to learn that my Sole Sisters were all pretty anxious about our 9 mile run we had planned for the morning. I thought it was just me, but I couldn't have been more wrong! We were all unsure and nervous. We headed into Savannah, and when we were done with our 5 minute walk warm up we began to run, and there was my knee pain again. Almost instantly I started doubting whether or not I could do this, and really began to feel defeated. As we were running, Katie said that it looked like I was speed walking. I just couldn't open my stride because my leg hurt so much. After about a mile the pain began to subside, and I was able to run easier. After mile two my knee pain was completely gone. I did have a little pain in my inner calves, but I think that was part of getting used to the shoes because that is where they stabilize me.
Before long we were at 4 miles. I couldn't believe that I had even made it this far. It was now time for a gel and a salt tab. I could tell that I needed the sugar and electrolytes. It was getting hot, and I didn't carb load well enough in the days leading up to the run. It's amazing once the gel hits your system it's like you're so much more awake! My personal favorite gels are Honey Stinger. They're made of honey and fortified with electrolytes and some even have caffeine if you want that. I also think they taste better than the others, and they don't tend to upset my stomach the way other gels do.
I was feeling great and then as we completed mile 7 I started feeling really tired. I downed another gel, a salt tab and some water. I got a small boost of energy, but my body was just plain tired. Mile 8 was the worst. As I was running I could hear my feet pounding onto the ground. I no longer felt like I had running shoes on. I seriously felt like I had cinderblocks for feet! My legs and feet have never felt so heavy in my life! I had to laugh because I kept thinking about what my coworker Ryan said, "Be a ninja, Kelli. Don't let people hear you when you're running. Don't pound your feet onto the road." There was NO ninja Kelli in mile 9. I may as well have been Godzilla I was making so much noise! Just as I thought that Katie said, "I feel like I have blocks for feet!" Again, I was not alone! We were all tired, cinderblock footed Godzillas at that point. :)
Shortly after that, my MapMyRun+ app went off in my ear, "Distance, 9 miles." I was so thrilled. 9 miles! I did it and I didn't have to stop! I threw my arms up and started dancing. I was so happy.
When we got back to Katie's house and began stretching I felt like my legs were radiating and on fire. It wasn't bad, but I knew I had to do something to help my recovery.
When I got home, I followed instructions our coach had given us about taking an ice bath. Never in my life did I ever think that such a thing was a good idea, but after my 9 miler I knew I had to.
I put a couple inches of lukewarm water in the tub and hopped in, running clothes and all. Then I turned the water completely cold and threw in the ice. Sheer relief I tell you! I sat there sipping some hot tea, almost instantly feeling better and wondering why I hadn't done this before. It was nowhere near as brutal as I thought it would be. Honestly though, I think you just have to be mentally prepared for it, oh and a cup of hot tea or coffee sure does help.
I did learn something from all the silly mistakes I've made over the past couple weeks, which is why I decided against doing the Pub Run 5K in downtown Clarksville on Sunday, as much as I might have liked to. I knew that I really just needed to give myself time to recover, and I am so glad I did. Today is Monday, and while I am still a little stiff, I haven't experienced any pain post run this time. NONE! The shoes are amazing. I didn't have any shin splints at all. They're really doing the trick. I am so thrilled about that I cannot even begin to tell you. Huge thanks to Dustin and everyone at The Runner's Hub who got me on the right track with the shoes. They've made a world of difference for me!
This week I am going to continue to take it easy. I may only run once or twice during the work week, and then once this weekend. If I continue to feel better I will continue my training runs throughout the following week leading up to our next group run after the holiday. I need to ease back into this so I don't suffer another injury. I am so excited about the next step in this journey. 10 miles. 13.1 doesn't seem out of reach any more.
by Valerie Hunter-Kelly,posted Aug 28 2012 11:05AM
I wanted to touch on in this blog some of the different products I have found help me in my training.
Our running coach, Donna Pittman, has really encouraged us to use carbohydrates on our long runs. I have purchased these mainly at Kroger in the health food section. Snacks I usually purchase gluten free, and I don't do lots of sugar so I watch that. Last week I used dried banana chips and they were good energy boosters but too much sweetness for me. This week I found and will use extreme fruit and nut granola. It has some sweetness from dried fruit but also some salt so good mixture for me.
I also use Shot Bloks and will start taking one before run starts and keep one in my mouth while running. Last week I used the liquid gels. It was sweet but helped with energy as my legs were tiring. The Bicycle Center on Madison had a great selection at great price
When I started the long runs I would take Advil before long runs to keep my legs from hurting. I talked to Dr. Hasse, my doctor about it and he put me on Omega Clean which is a high potency fish oil. It can be purchased at their health store attached to his office on Fire Station Road. I take those twice per day and have not had to use Advil for my legs or knees since then.
I have started using my hot tub more. Last week before our 8 mile run I just sat on the edge and let the jets hit the back and front of my legs. My legs were a lot less stiff the next morning so I now have another Friday night ritual before my Saturday run.
I am still loving my Motown music! Sometime I am singing along. I am always tempted to stop and dance. The music keeps me motivated and running when I want to quit. I think I will add some Michael Jackson and Prince this week.
I recently purchased a mini Camelbak from Dicks. I really like it, and surprisingly it’s not too heavy. Before my runs I put ice with some water in it so when I want a cold drink I have that handy. I also use a hydration belt which has two small bottles. One I put water and the other PowerAde Zero drink for the electrolytes. The belt has extra storage so I can add my Shot Blocks and I keep my iPod in it. Everyone laughs at my “mobile office” but that is me. Always a great girl scout; I am always prepared.
My socks and running shoes from The Runners Hub in Downtown Clarksville have made a big difference. They are the most comfortable shoes I have had for exercising. I encourage anyone walking or running to head to their store for a gait analysis so you can start with the perfect shoes.
I purchased most of my clothing from Target and the other store on Binks Outfitters. Binks is just down from the runners Hub and have great selection of athletic clothing.
It's 10:00 p.m. on Friday night. Tomorrow my Sole Sisters meet at 6:20 to run the big 9 miles. I should be in bed but I'm not tired and wide awake...especially since I've been up since 4:30 this morning. Any other night I would be fighting to stay awake. I've read a friend’s blog that she just started, e-mailed my cousin, read the news on ClarksvilleNow.com and read my e-mails and I'm still wide awake. It feels almost like Christmas Eve. :) Or at least the anxiety you have before a big day.
Katie has our route mapped out in Savannah I know we can do this. Thanks to our training coach, I know we are well informed and prepared. Donna (our coach) reminded us in an email earlier today that the KEYS to running 9 miles are PACING and FUELING. She told us that running 9 miles really means you can run a half-marathon. The information she has shared with us has helped so much. I'd better follow her directions and get to sleep-no hitting the snooze button tomorrow.
by Valerie Hunter-Kelly,posted Aug 28 2012 10:46AM
It has been a while since I have blogged on my training to run my first half marathon. Please excuse my typing was requiring breathing an energy which I had to save to be able to keep up with the training. It has not been that bad. One think I learned from the beginning was to listen to what my body was comfortable doing. I put aside my competitive nature, and did not worry if I was one of the last ones to make it in. The point was I made it in and in good condition. I knew when I started this adventure that as long as I did not develop any health issues I would complete the task of running my first half marathon. My goal is to complete it and enjoy the process of getting there. When I started this I hated running, now I like running. Not sure if I will ever get to loving running but I am starting to enjoy the process.
Some of the benefits of running: I have not lost any weight but am developing muscle and have dropped a size in the process. I am much stronger in my other non-running exercise programs than I was before I started running. I now consider 3 to 4 miles my short running days. I go to bed earlier because I am actually tired. I had to make an effort to be in bed by 11 now I am ready by 10 therefore I am usually awake naturally at 4:30 a.m. and I am up by 5 a.m. every day.
Two weeks. Two very long weeks and absolutely no running. Not because I didn't want to run. I honestly just couldn't do it.
On Saturday I ran 7 miles for the first time ever! I was so thrilled. Seven miles! The distance at one point seemed unobtainable, but now I'd reached that goal.
As we were completing our run, one of my Sole Sisters Katie said, "Kelli, do you realize how badly you're over pronating?" I had no idea.
After our run I went home, got cleaned up and headed down to The Runners Hub. I was the only one of the Sole Sisters who hadn't had her gait analyzed. When I got to The Hub, Dustin helped me out. He asked me what I liked about the shoes I had, and what I wanted out of a new pair of shoes. Then he asked me to hop on the treadmill with my running shoes so they could analyze my gait. Sure enough, I was over pronating. When I got off the treadmill, Dustin showed me the video of me running on the treadmill and I could not believe how much my foot and ankle turned out when I ran! After that I tried two other pairs of shoes with different levels of stability before landing on a pair of Brooks Adrenaline GTS 12s. They seemed to really help keep me from over pronating. The difference between the first video in my Nikes and the final video in the Brooks was unbelievable. I had no idea that, one, a person could turn her foot out that far without falling over, and two, that there were shoes that could correct such a problem. I am constantly learning in this journey!
My next question for Dustin was about compression gear. I've been having trouble with excruciating shin splints for weeks, and I'd heard that compression sleeves may just be the key to helping that problem. Dustin showed me the 110% compression sleeves. The sleeves are awesome because they come with icepacks that you can put in them post run to help recovery. Even the packaging they came in was insulated so you can keep the ice sheets cold when you're out on your run, and then slide them in the sleeves when you're done and fast track your recovery time. I really like them.
The following day I made a BIG mistake. That seems to be my new mantra, eh? I ran the Week of the Eagles 10K...in brand new shoes. Yeah, I know. Not my smartest move. I hadn't even really walked around in them. I'd barely spent a few minutes in them at The Runner's Hub. Not only did I do that, but I wore my compression sleeves while I ran. While they stabilized my calves, my knees seemed to be taking a lot of the impact, and I was very uncomfortable. I was really excited about this 10K. It was my first official race, and I did everything wrong. New shoes, new gear, I started too fast, raced after a long run, etc. My time was terrible, although I didn't finish last, which toward the end of my run was my only goal...after finishing of course.
When I got back to the car, I put the ice packs in my compression sleeves and I instantly got some relief in my shins, but my knees were in so much pain. I was stiff and had a hard time getting around. I hoped that the soreness and stiffness would only last a couple days. I was wrong.
The following Friday I was getting antsy. I hadn't run in almost a week, and it was really starting to get to me. I was walking around outside my house when I decided I would see if I could run around my cull de sac. In my first couple steps, pain shot up from my left knee and into my thigh. I instantly started crying, partly from the pain, but mainly because I was MAD! I wanted to run so bad, and because I overdid it I couldn't. I had to make the tough decision to skip Saturday morning's 8 mile run and give myself more time to rest.
It's now been almost two full weeks since my last run, and I am really anxious. I cannot wait to get out and run, but I am so nervous. We are running 9 miles Saturday. I've never run that far before, and I'm worried that my body won't be ready to run after all this time off. Will I be able to complete my training? Will I have to start all over again? My plan of attack for Saturday's run is to take it slow and easy. I am going to run with my new shoes, but not the compression sleeves. I think I will keep those for recovery, because they were really great for that, and hopefully as I get used to my new shoes, I won't need the compression sleeves much. I think it's just going to take some time for my body to get used to running correctly. I know that the next time I get some new gear, I will give myself a little time to get used to it. I certainly won't race in it right off the bat! That's for sure!
I've heard all my life that you can have what you say. All things are possible if you believe them to be. Through my anxiety I believe this; I will run Saturday. (It is uplifting just to say it.) I will run Saturday. I will recover from my injuries, and I will complete my first half marathon on October 20, because there are few things in my life I've wanted to accomplish more and I WILL DO THIS!
I feel like an accomplished runner now. . .I had to buy my second pair of running shoes. I was so excited to see that I had actually worn the soles of my old ones. I’ve never done that before.
I absolutely love the service at the Runner Hub. I took my old shoes in, showed them to Dustin and he helped fit me with a new pair of shoes. I got the Brooks Ghost 5. My last shoes were the Brooks Ghost 4. These shoes worked so well for me that I figured, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Dustin went through an explanation of what the tread on the soles were for,and what they did for your feet and I have to tell you, I had no idea that the tread on running shoes were so scientific. Seriously, there is tread for everything!
If you are in need of any running gear, support a local business and shop at The Runner Hub. It’s a great shop to have in downtown Clarksville.
Friday was my 42nd birthday and I was really hoping to get to eat cake. When you’re on a gluten free diet, being able to eat cake is rare. Thanks to Kelli, one of our "Sole Sisters," I got to eat the yummiest yellow cupcakes with my very favorite lemon frosting. She's amazing and they were wonderful!
Betty Crocker makes a good gluten free yellow cake mix. It's a tad dryer than normal cake and not as sweet but I really like it. I'm not really big on overly sweet desserts anyway. Kelli made the frosting homemade. I can't even begin to tell you how good it was. I could have just eaten the frosting. It was so yummy.
I am so blessed to have these fabulous women in my life. We are running up to six miles now. Two months ago the idea of that was crazy. I feel like I am growing more and more physically fit, and I also feel like the bond between this group of ladies is growing stronger. I suppose it's because we are all growing through this experience together. These ladies are special to me and Kelli, thank you for the yummy cupcakes.
This past weekend we had our second group run. This week we ran 6 miles in the Savannah neighborhood. In the first few minutes of my run I knew something was wrong. My right leg was in a lot of pain, but I kept going. I kept telling myself, “I’m going to go a little further and if it’s still hurting I’ll turn back.” At about the 1.5 mile point in the run, Donna turned back to see how I was doing. I told her about my leg pain and she recommended that I really take it easy this week and give my leg some time to rest. After finishing the second mile I was warmed up, and my leg didn’t really seem to bother me much at all anymore. I was able to finish my run feeling pretty good. So good that Cym and I went back to help Donna run in the last of the runners on the route. I ended up running a total of 7 miles on Saturday.
When I got home I decided to work my leg out a little differently, so my son and I rode our bikes around the neighborhood for a little over 5 miles. When we were done we stretched and went on with our day.
Sunday I was a little sore, but it was nothing out of the norm for the day after my long run. A little before two o’clock I went outside to get something, and I realized that the temperature had gone down a little, enough to actually be comfortable enough to run in. I ran inside and got in my running clothes and headed downtown. I was going to run my first 5k with the Clarksville Running Club. The last Sunday of every month is the Blackhorse 5K in downtown Clarksville. The run is free unless you’d like a beer from the Blackhorse, and then I believe it’s $5. I met up with the group across the street from the parking garage on Franklin Street just in time to start. When I started I went too fast, and from the get go my leg was hurting. Our route took us through downtown Clarksville, across the Riverside Drive pedestrian bridge, all the way down the Riverwalk and back ending at City Hall. Let me tell you it was hilly, but it was a great challenge. The only part of the run I didn’t care for were the stairs. On my way back from the Riverwalk, I stopped in front of the stairs, grabbed both rails and started up them. My legs felt like Jell-O and it was all I could do to stay upright. Once I was up the stairs my leg was throbbing in pain but I finished in front of City hall in just over 33 minutes. As I cooled down I was proud of myself. I’d completed my first race! While I wasn’t even close to being one of the first to finish, I was happy to have pulled through even though I was hurting. I didn’t quit, and that was a huge deal for me.
The next day my leg was still in a lot of pain and I began to get really concerned. I’d never had pain that lasted this long. Was it because of the hills? Did I run too much? That week I had logged over 20 miles, so this was a real concern for me. I decided it was time to see the doctor.
On Tuesday I met with my doctor and he knew right away that I had a bad case of shin splints. He explained to me that I needed to do more stretching post run. He explained to me that shin splints could lead to stress fractures, which could eventually lead to a true fracture if I didn’t cool it and take a break. He recommended that I use the elliptical and the spin bike for exercise because they’re low impact and wouldn’t bother my leg the way running does. I was to keep my running to a minimum. He also showed me some great stretches. On the way out of his office he reviewed everything, gave me a prescription for Motrin and said, “You are officially injured. Please take it easy and take care of yourself.”
I was devastated. Did he really just say that I was injured? I couldn’t believe it.
When I got back to work Katie asked about my appointment and I literally broke down in tears. I felt kind of silly about it, too. I have never been athletic. I have never been passionate about sports, but now I am absolutely in love with running, and my doctor just told me I should take it easy. Who is this person I’ve turned into? I had to laugh at myself, because this was a position I never thought I would see myself in.
So this week I am taking it easy. I haven’t run at all, and don’t plan to until Saturday when we will only run about 5 miles (did I just say ONLY 5 miles?!). If this had to happen, at least it happened on a drop down week when we are taking the training a little easier. I’ll let you know about how it goes and any progress I make. Hopefully I’m able to relax a little without getting too antsy and further injuring myself.
A week at the beach is just what the doctor ordered. I can actually relax when I sit on the balcony, drink my coffee and thoroughly enjoy a part of God's creation that I only get to see maybe once a year.
One thing on the forefront of my mind was to not fall behind my Sole Sisters in training while I was away. I discussed this with our trainer Donna from the Y, and she told me to enjoy my vacation and not to worry about missing our two first long runs. She encouraged me and helped me with a strategy. I've never been much of a "vacationing exerciser," especially when I'm not vacationing with my exercise buddy. You see, I need accountability. I know I said that before but I can't tell you how much it helps to have an accountability partner(s). I must say that this year's vacation was different for me. We travelled on Saturday so I planned to do my long run on Sunday. Thanks to the app on my I-phone called "Map My Run" I had my run planned. It was mid-day and I really paced myself and felt amazing. My warm-up for each of my runs was to walk down the stairs and I topped each run off with climbing the stairs to our condo, and we were on the eleventh floor. I ran four miles on Sunday, Monday and Wednesday on the street. I walked barefoot on the beach for one mile on Tuesday. I stayed in the soft sand and oh my goodness I felt the pain in my legs and glutes. I also ended up with blisters on both of my big toes.
I don't know what caused it, but I had a stomach bug on Thursday and didn't feel like running. I felt better on Friday but did not feel strong enough to run. Looking back, I think I would have felt better if I had walked a mile on Friday, but because I didn't feel like running four miles, I didn't do anything. I need to ask Donna about this. We travelled Saturday so I didn't do anything. I did my 2nd long run on Sunday. Details of that will be in my next blog. I really learned something about shoes and can't wait to share that with you.
I must say that other than the stomach bug, my vacation was wonderful. I want to share this picture of my family. On the far right is our youngest son Bradley. Our oldest, Cole is next to me with his girlfriend Courtney and my honey of 36 year is on the far left..
Looking for a place to run or walk this weekend? We really like to change up our running routes because there is nothing worse than running at the same place over and over again. Here are a few places in the Clarksville area that we really enjoy.
Liberty Park – One of the great things about the new marina is that there is a trail to run on! YAY! It’s a great view of the marina and the Cumberland River. The trail flat and is 2.5 miles long.
The Clarksville Greenway – We fell in love with The Clarksville Greenway almost immediately! It’s located at the end of Pollard Road which is off of Peachers Mill Road and it offers two routes.
The route to the left is the shorter, flatter route and is 2 miles out and 2 miles back. It has a great canopy for the majority of the trail, but also features the Raymond C. Hand Pass which gives you a great view!
The route to the right is longer and much hillier with some of the hills at a 15% grade. This route is 2.75 miles out and 2.75 miles back. This route definitely challenged us! We recommend walking up the hills for sure. This part of The Greenway is also very beautiful with the view overlooking the waterway below.
International Boulevard – This was the site of our first group training run with our YMCA Running Coach, Donna Pittman. If you start at the intersection of International Boulevard and Dunlop Lane and head toward Rossview Road, it’s 2.5 miles out and 2.5 miles back. It’s a pretty flat route with wide shoulders on the sides of the road as well as sidewalks when you get closer to Rossview Road. If you chose to park at Beachaven make sure that you do not park in their lot closest to their building, but instead park down the hill in the grassy area that they use for Jazz on the Lawn parking.
Here are some tips that our coach gave us:
• Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! It’s going to be hot this weekend and it is SO important that you drink plenty of water as well as sports drinks to regain electrolytes.
• Wear bright colored clothing. You don’t want to be dressed from head to toe in black. One, it’s going to be hot, and black isn’t the best color to wear in the heat. More importantly, you want people to see you! You don’t want to be the color of pavement.
• Run so that you’re facing traffic. Again, you want people to see you and you need to be able to see them!
• If you listen to music while running, be sure to only wear one ear bud so that you can hear what is going on around you.
This morning I got a late start on my run---8:38 a.m. I should have hydrated a bit better before. I carried 16 oz with me though. I was running an easy pace in my neighborhood (no shade though) and felt ok until about 2.65 in and I became dizzy, lightheaded, and just didn't feel right. I could feel my pulse in my ears. I walked for a few minutes, drank more water, and was able to finish out the last half mile back to the house feeling a bit better. I had planned to run around 4 or 4.5, but I listened to my body and stopped. My hands werre shaking afterwards, however. I probably should have stopped even sooner and just walked home. I immediately drank some sports drink and ice water and walked around a little inside the air conditioning before sitting down.
In this extreme heat, don't worry if you have to cut your run short if you exhibit any of these symptoms.
Tonight we had our first of three training classes at the Y. Our trainer, Donna Pittman, is not only a good trainer, she is a great teacher. She thoroughly explains the details of why you must do certain things to succeed. Proper stretching is such an important part of our training, and that's one item we covered in tonight's meeting. We went through the stretching exercises and Donna helped all of us with proper form and technique. We also discussed our upcoming long runs that we do on Saturday mornings and also our assignments for our own training during the week.
This is a big commitment for me. I'm busy with my work and my family but I'm feeling very empowered. For so long I thought "maybe someday" I'll run a half marathon, but now I'm determined to do it. The support of Donna, my friends at the Y, my family and my Sole Sisters means so much to me. It is great having a support system who wants to see you succeed and that is what I feel I have with this group. Something else happened tonight...Donna had us complete an informational form and it referred to me as an "ATHLETE". Me an ATHLETE? Not yet but maybe someday soon.
We met as a group at the Clarksville YMCA last night so that Donna Pittman, our race trainer, could give us the training schedule, learn some stretches and basic nutrition. She is so talented at what she does, I could sit with her and soak up all kinds of race knowledge. She has a way of making it not seem so daunting. When you think of running a half marathon for the first time, all you can see is 13.1 miles. Donna does a great job of breaking it down and making it feel doable.
Last night one of the things she shared was that you should be able to recite the Pledge of Allegiance while running. Well lately, I can’t. I have felt so winded after our runs. I blamed it on the humidity, which I believe is still partly to blame. As a group we aren’t running really fast, about 12 minute miles, but that’s too fast for me. When I’m with the Sole Sisters we all run at different speeds so I tend to push myself to go faster and get very tired and winded. This morning, I ran 3 miles by myself at a slow pace of 13 minutes per mile and it felt wonderful. I could have gone further because I felt energized.
Donna told us to push ourselves during the week and I realize slowing down isn’t pushing ourselves, but I needed to see if it made a difference and boy did it ever. I think I’ve found my groove. When I’m with the Sole Sisters, I know I’ll speed up again but I’m going to try and be conscience of my speed. I want to love running and feeling worn out won’t make you love it.
A few weeks ago I decided to try a new pair of shoes on a four mile run. Big mistake! I made sure they were right for my neutral stride, but I ordered them off the internet so I didn’t get to try them on for comfort. Not a smart move for this beginning runner who has fat feet. Ever since then I have had a stone bruise on the sole of my foot. I think my fat feet got squished.
It will start feel better, then I’ll run and it will hurt. I visited The Runners Hub in downtown Clarksville with the intentions of getting a new pair of shoes with more cushion. I got my original shoes here, which I loved so I shouldn’t have gotten new ones to begin with. When I purchased my original shoes at The Runners Hub they analyzed my gait and determined that I had a neutral gait. They do this for free, by the way. When I went this day, I asked them if I needed a pair of shoes with more cushion and told the gentleman about my stone bruise. They pulled up the video of my stride (wow, they saved it) and told me that the original shoes I have would be fine and I didn’t need new ones. I needed to rest my foot if I could and it should heal.
Big lesson learned here . . . one, I need to be able to see and try on shoes. I’m a beginner so I need to expertise of a professional. Two, I will be loyal to The Runners Hub for now on. They could have sold me a new pair of shoes that day, but were completely honest with me and told me what I had was fine. That’s good, honest service and I will continue to give them my business and tell everyone else how fabulous they are.
Yesterday was our first group run with our YMCA running coach Donna Pitman. We met at Beachaven Winery so that we could run on International Boulevard. I will admit that I was a little nervous about this run. This would be the longest distance I'd run to date...5 miles. Logically I knew I could do it, but something was making me second guess myself. We had been running every Saturday for the past month for at least four miles, adding one more mile shouldn't be that much.
We started off with some good stretching, followed by Donna going over some post run nutrition. Then we were off. I've ridden my bike up and down International Boulevard several times while biking the CRAM and the Sunrise Century, and let me tell you when you're finishing up a 33 mile bike ride, this road never seems to end. I carried that thought in my head as I began my run, which wasn't good. In just over 10 minutes my GPS told me that I'd completed my first mile. Not too shabby! Then a little over 10 minutes later it told me I'd completed my second mile, and I could see the point where we were supposed to turn around and head back. That was the easy part. The third and fourth mile were a breeze because the negative thoughts I had in my head were gone, and the end of the run was in sight. We were supposed to go a quarter mile past Beachaven and turn around to get our full route. When I approached Beachaven I was averaging 10.50 per mile. A lady named Cym told me that she wanted to finish my run with me (she was already done with her run), so we kicked it into high gear. I don't think I have ever run that fast in my life! It was a blast! In that half mile our pace was an unbelievable 6.34 min/mile!
After the run I stretched with the other people in the group and then went to my car to mix up my protein shake. I kept thinking to myself, "I just ran over 5 1/2 miles, and I feel wonderful! I cannot believe it!"
Here are a few things I learned from this run:
First, take it nice and easy during my run. I don't have to run the same pace as the people ahead of me. I need to run MY pace.
Second, I cannot drink HEED during a run. There is something about drinking a sports drink during my run that upsets my stomach a bit and gives me heartburn. From this point on it'll be H2O only for me.
Third, bring food with you! As I mentioned in my previous posts I would get terrible headaches post run. This was caused my a lack of electrolytes and low blood sugar. For this run I drank HEED while I was cooling down to regain some electrolytes, followed by my Advocare Meal Replacement Shake (these are great because they have 24 grams of protein and a 1:1 ratio of carbs to protein), ate a banana and drank a lot of water. I didn't wait to get home to eat and I think that made a big difference for me. I have to replenish quickly, and because I did this week I felt wonderful the rest of the day. I also didn't need to take a 3-4 hour nap once I got home like I did in previous weeks. It took me a month of running to really figure out what works for me nutrition wise, but I am so glad I finally did get it right.
Fourth, having a preset running playlist on my iPhone to listen to while running is super helpful. I like this because I don't have to change the songs during my run because they aren't upbeat enough for me. I can just go and not worry about it. I threw in a new song this week just to see how it would go, and it ended up being my favorite out of the whole list! The Beastie Boys song Sure Shot was definitely my power song this run! That song helped me really get moving in that last half mile.
I am so relieved that the run wasn't anywhere near as difficult as I thought it would be. I cannot wait to tackle 6 miles next week!
After a great lunch with Katie, Kelli and Katie's youngest son, Noah, we went to The Runners Hub on Franklin Street and I purchased a new pair of running shoes. The staff was a huge help. A couple days before, they recorded me walking on a treadmill and from that, analyzed my gait. They told me I had a "neutral" gait. Dustin waited on me; he asked me my fitness level, what my goals were and my preferences I had in a shoe. I told him that I have been very active for several months and that I was training for the Go Commando Half Marathon. I explained that I wanted a shoe with good support, light weight, a roomy toe box and I did want to break the bank...oh and they had to be cute.
Dustin showed me several shoes. I chose two styles to try on and I wanted to try on a 7.5 and an 8 in each. Donna, our YMCA trainer told us to buy shoes 1/2 to a full size larger than what you normally wear. She explained that our feet would swell during the long runs and that if we didn't have plenty of room, we could damage our toes and possibly lose toenails. She put the fear in me. I love to wear sandals and I like pedicures and pretty, freshly polished toes so the visual of losing toe nails scared me to pieces. Dustin made sure I had plenty of room. He was a very knowledgeable runner himself and was able to answer all my questions I decided on the Brooks Ghost 5. The price $109.95. One week later, I'm very happy with my new shoes-Thanks to my new friends at The Runners Hub!
The Sole Sisters have been running the Clarksville Greenway. It's beautiful out there and in this hot weather the shade that the trees provide is really nice. The trail we have been running is about two miles out and two miles back. The other day as Beverly and I were running out, I told her that I thought the first two miles were harder and that we must be going uphill. Now, when you're running it really doesn't look up hill, it's a slow grade but you sure can feel it in your legs. The last two miles on the way back are always easier.
I now have proof that my suspicions were correct! This is a picture from my MapMyRun+ app from the last run at the Greenway. The app allows you to get specific info on your run, including incline. This is what the incline looked like on our last run. I feel so much better knowing I wasn't losing my mind, we were running up hill. Now, to be honest, the incline on the app looks bigger than what it really was but I'm going to go with it.