Posts Tagged With: 1/2 marathon

2014: Looking Back Before Looking To 2015

2014 was pretty epic. I accomplished and experienced things that I never thought I would or could. I also failed. More than once. I surprised myself with both the successes and the failures. I had a LOT of fun. I met a LOT of people.  Since this is the time of year that we make our goals for the upcoming year, I felt it was important to FIRST look at what the past year held and remember what I learned from those experiences.

EPIC:

Um, heller….did anyone say, “BOSTON MARATHON”??? The mostest epic-est, awesomer-than-anything and favorite part of my year and running life altogether was being a part of the athlete field in the 2014 Boston Marathon. It took me many years to get there, and to realize that dream was the ultimate epic experience. This got the diamond crown.

I got the medal.

I got the medal.

EPIC BUT NOT AS EPIC AS BOSTON BECAUSE BOSTON IS PRETTY DAMN EPIC ON ITS OWN:

I was able to PR in both the 5k in January (21:13) and the half marathon in February (1:40:15) as a part of marathon training. I was pretty damn happy about those times, too.

I learned how to train my ass off.  During Boston training, I never missed a workout. Ok, I never missed a running workout. Zero. I missed one swimming workout the entire training cycle. ONE. I learned how to be devoted. I learned to not make excuses. I learned that in order to become the runner you want and know you can be, you have to work and work hard. I learned how to go the extra mile. I did that, and I’m really proud of the work I did. I know I was capable of running an amazing race in April, which is almost as good as actually running that amazing race.

Beach 2 Battleship 70.3 – 6:03      I learned about being a triathlete. I looked fear in the face, cuddled with it for a while, let it whisper sweet nothings into my ear, then kicked it’s ass out. I learned how to swim better than I did before, I learned how to open water swim, I learned how to ride my bike in between swimming and running, and I learned how to run after swimming and biking. It was epic. And I’m going to do it again.

Almost to the finish of my first tri, B2B 70.3.

Almost to the finish of my first tri, B2B 70.3. It looks like my knees are stuck together.

I had fun.  Running is really awesome. But it can become competitive for me, and the ability to “just run” a race diminished. So that’s why I decided to do an endurance triathlon. Well, I had one on my radar for a number of years, but I needed to do something different and NOT be competitive. It worked, and I had a total blast training for and competing in the 70.3.

Mott’s Channel Swim – I entered and completed an open water swim race. Pretty proud of that, mostly because I would have laughed until I peed myself had you told me two years ago I would do something like that.

After the Mott's Channel Swim, a 1.3 mile open water race.

After the Mott’s Channel Swim, a 1.3 mile open water race.

The 10×10 Challenge. Ten continuous miles for ten days in a row.  I learned that it’s definitely doable to complete this challenge in July, but not advisable. I can’t wait to do this challenge again. It was an epic feeling and quite the journey in itself. Try it, you just might learn something about yourself.

Post-Challenge

Post-Challenge

Coaching. I found that I really love coaching. I’m learning a lot about it, and I know that I want to keep doing it. Being at the 5k with those boys made me feel like a momma hen watching her chicks fly for the first time. It’s a really cool mix of pride, excitement, and nerves.

Here’s the video I made for my Stride boys.

FAILURES:

I hate to admit this, but there’s usually something good that comes from failure. I think we all know this, especially as athletes. I’ve had a lot of good things come from the hard work and dedication that I’ve put into my running and triathlon training and races. I’ve also had some pretty big fails. But with a little distance, I can see how the failures have done me good. Dammit.

I’ll start with the little one. I got a pretty big PR (4 minutes) in my half marathon in February. So you’d think it’s all good, right? No, I was pissed. I got a 1:40:15, but I could never see the success in THAT because I was too busy being pissed that I was only 15 seconds from getting a sub-1:40.  I wished I had pushed just a second or two faster, that I had put my head down and gunned it into the harsh wind that met us a mile or two from the finish that totally wiped me out. I wish this and I wish that. What I REALLY wish is that I could’ve forgotten about all that garbage and celebrated the huge success that I DID have. I ran a really good race, and I’m now really happy about it. But my finishing moment was ruined by me wishing I had something better. When you start getting that attitude, that nothing is good enough, it’s time to think about things. And that is what led me to decide for sure to do the triathlon. I KNEW that I wouldn’t be competitive with it. I KNEW I would have fun, that I COULD NOT get all ants-in-my-pants about times and stuff. I knew I needed to step out of the bubble, the one that says you’re never good or fast enough. That was stupid, and that race taught me to not be stupid.

So the next one… it was the epitome of good and bad. The Boston Marathon. Yes, I’ve talked a lot about this, but I think, after this, I’m done talking about part of it. I’ll wipe the bad part out of my memory like wiping the marker board clean.

Running Boston was so awesome, so overwhelming, but I had a big fail. I trained and trained and spent hundreds of dollars on a coach and getting there and all the hubbub that comes with seeing your dream marathon come to fruition. My parents came to see me, my sister and her husband came to see me, my husband and my two kids came to see me. I was ready for the race of my life. Oh, I got the race of my life all right. The race recap I wrote that day describes the race perfectly – It was the Best of Times, It was the Worse of Times. You can read it HERE. It really was the strangest combination of good and bad. The bad was something I didn’t see coming. I thought that it was possible for me to run out of strength because I pushed the race. I was worried about how warm it was too, but when racing, I never felt hot. I wasn’t sweaty. I went for my goal, and I was doing it. I was heading for a sub 3:40 and I only had a 10k to go. Part of my race mantra was “I can do anything for X amount of time”. I was counting down. I was doing it. In freakin’ Boston. That was the best of times.

I can’t remember the exact feelings, but around mile 20-21, I knew something was wrong. I knew I had to stop, regroup, and slow down. I knew my PR was shot, but I was having fun.

Heartbreak Hill area, having a brew with one of the college kids. Most of it spilled out the sides of my mouth, but still, this was fun.

Heartbreak Hill area, having a brew with one of the college kids. Most of it spilled out the sides of my mouth, but still, this was fun.

Then the bobble head feeling started. And the nausea. It all went downhill from there. I barely remember the last part of the race. I knew I had to stop several times so I wouldn’t throw up. And I didn’t truly understand what happened until I became the internet doctor later that night.

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Can you see the sarcasm on my face?

Where’s the lesson in this? How can my slowest marathon of seven teach me something? First of all, I’ve never tried harder to finish a race. I could NOT DNF. No. Hell no. So I put on my big girl tights and pulled out every bit of anything I had to finish that race. And it took me almost 5 hours to do it, 75 minutes extra minutes in just the last 5 miles. I had to put one foot in front of the other carefully and consciously. To sum it all up, I had salt depletion dehydration. How did I turn that frown upside down? I acquainted myself with Endurolytes. I thought that taking in salt was just an endurance triathlon thing. Honestly. But I talked to a lot of people, tried them myself, and learned that Endurolytes are pretty damn awesome. I used them throughout the summer, especially during the 10×10 Challenge. I used them during my triathlon. I used them with long runs. And if I learned one thing from the Boston Marathon, it was what salt depletion was and how serious it can be. Oh, and how to help prevent it. Sometimes I wish I didn’t have to learn so many lessons, especially the hard way.

WRAPPING IT UP

You can always learn something when you look back at your experiences. Whether you learn them right then or have some “delayed learning” like I did, chances are, some piece of information can be available to you at almost any given moment. It’s just up to you to grab it.  Where does this leave me as I look back over 2014?

I’m very proud of the work I did. I’m proud of the chances I took. I’m proud of the fact that I let myself learn things along the way. Sure, I have a tiny baby scar from feeling so horrible during one of the best races of my life, but I’ll go back. I’ll do it again, and I’ll get my moment of glory. Some day. I’ll be patient. I know I have things to work on too. Facing fears and not letting them take over. NOT taking the easy road (swimming only on calm days). Balancing life and athletics.

As I took towards 2015, I know that I’ve got a beast mode full of grit and determination that I have not fully used before. I also have a lot more patience than I used to. What EXACTLY does that mean for me in 2015? You’ll just have to wait and see! Plans post to be coming soon. 😉

Do you look back before you look forward?

Categories: 10x10 challenge, beach 2 battleship triathlon, Boston Marathon, coaching, half iron distance, learning from failure, marathon, open water swimming, running, running buddies, running challenge, running streak, running with friends, swimming, training for half iron distance, training for marathon, training for triathlon, triathlon | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Myrtle Beach 1/2 Race Recap

Race weekend started just after noon on Friday.  My sister picked me up and we headed 90 minutes south to Myrtle Beach.  The first thing we did when we got there was go to the convention center to pick up our race packets.  The expo was set up nicely and pickup was easy.  Sis was racing the 5k that evening and I was racing the 1/2 on Saturday morning.

The 5k was pretty awesome. They had glo sticks and glasses, plus glowy alien antennas for the participants to wear. The music was great, the finish line was lit up with neon lights, and my sister rocked her race.  We were off to a good start!  We went to Liberty Steakhouse & Brewery so I could get my pre-race burger and her a post-race meal. Yum.

Having a little fun before the 5k.

Having a little fun before the 5k.

I was watching the weather forecast closely the entire week and just Thursday, all of a sudden, there was a chance of rain. I had been running in the freezing cold rain for the past week, so it’s ok, but I was just tired of it and didn’t want to have to deal with rain for a race.  When I got out of bed at 4:45 am on race morning, I immediately checked the forecast and thought this: “FUUUUUUDDDGGGGGEEEEEE”  when I saw this:

Um, yeah, we were going to get wet.

Um, yeah, we were going to get wet.

I was pissed. Really? Of all the $hitty weather we’ve had the past few weeks and then we get THIS to race in?  I can run and race in the rain. I’ve PR’d in the rain before. But it sucks, makes it less likely/more difficult, and I wasn’t prepared as I totally forgot my poncho. My main concern was to keep my shoes dry and I had no way to do that, PLUS we were running from the hotel to the start. Oy. My head was spinning with swear words but I maintained my calm.  There’s nothing you can do about the weather, so there’s no reason to let it ruin your race.  It is what it is, right?

There were three of us who were going to run from the hotel to the start line together, so we gathered our flimsy little garbage bags and posed for a picture while we all had feelings of dread as we watched the cold rain fall.

Me, Kristen, and Wendy

Me, Kristen, and Wendy

We ran to the shelter of a gas station that was conveniently located right by the start line.  We waited there until just a few minutes before the race started and then headed to get our place at the start. My PLAN was to get to the start line 30 minutes before race time so I could use the bathroom.  You runners know what I mean when nerves get to you and many times, you just have to go. And to those of you (not me) who drink coffee, wow, you go A LOT 🙂  I really don’t know how you do that.  Anyway, I didn’t get a chance to hit the can before the race would start so as I was standing there, all of a sudden, I needed to go. I decided that I would just go with my pre-race mantra, “Never trust a fart”, and suck it up, so to say. Thankfully that didn’t backfire on me, no pun intended.

Evidently there was an elephant at the start, but I couldn’t hear nor see anything that was going on and all of a sudden, they were counting down from 10 for the race to start. I started my music and got ready to go. The 1/2 and full marathons started at the same time but at different lanes of the road, so that decreased the crowding.  I thought it would be a slow start, but I found that I was at the pace I wanted right from the beginning and didn’t have to dodge a lot of traffic.

Thankfully, the rain stopped right before the race started, and I was very careful to avoid stepping in any puddles. My shoes were slightly wet, but I didn’t feel it was going to be an issue.  At about 1.5 miles, we turned into the wind.  And this was no breeze either. I’m guessing at the time, it was a good 15 mph sustained and gusts up to about 30.  After about three miles, I had kept my pace of about 7:45, which was :10 faster than my race plan. I was good with that.  My breathing felt good, legs were strong, and at that point, I knew I was going to PR, it was just a matter of how much.  My mind wouldn’t focus on my music like it normally does, and I found myself distracted.  By what, I don’t really know, but I was irritated. The wind was annoying, the guy who’s spit blew onto my leg was annoying, the ocean wasn’t pretty, the girl who passed me and then went right in front of me to just slow down annoyed me, but the girl who had spare change jingling in her pocket made me the maddest.  Why on EARTH do you need spare change in your pocket while running at least 13.1 miles? I don’t get it. I almost pushed her.

Around mile 6.5, we turned and were gifted with wind at our backs.  It was great. My pace decreased slightly and when a gust of wind blew, I let it take me.  At some points, I was at a 7:10 pace, which made me feel very happy.  As happy as I could be for being unnecessarily grumpy anyway. I was trying to do the math to see about where I would finish, but I didn’t know what a 1:44 half pace was, so I didn’t know how much leeway I had.  I used how many minutes/seconds I was under an 8:00 pace.  That used up some time since still, I just can’t do math well when I run.  It only took me about five minutes to figure out what 8 x 8 was and be comfortable with my answer.  (It’s 64.)  I knew my pace was decreasing since the “leeway” I had for under an 8 minute mile was increasing.  I wondered if I was close to a sub-1:40.  I gave it as much as I felt comfortable giving that race.  My knee was bugging me, my calf was a little tight, and I felt a different kind of hot sensation on the ball of my right foot.  Was that a blister forming?  I’d never had one but I hoped it wouldn’t cause any pain before the race was over.

At mile 9, I was spent.  I was going under my planned race pace, but I knew I needed to keep going or I’d have regrets. I got my Gu with caffeine out and ate most of it.  THAT had to be fun to watch.  I bet I looked like I was either going to gag or barf, or gag THEN barf.  But it got most of it down, just so I could have a little sugar for the remaining four miles.

“Come on, Kelli, you’re doing it, you’re pushing yourself harder than you’ve ever done before, you knew it wouldn’t be easy, you’re strong, you CAN do this, make yourself proud, make all your training worth it.  Right Now.  This is your moment, this is your race, don’t regret your decisions now.”

Somewhere between mile 11 and 12, we had to turn into back into what had to be a 30 mph wind and head to the finish.  I felt the energy just being blown away by the wind.  My pace slowed and I was royally pissed that I saw an 8:15 for my current pace.  I tried, I pushed, I said “shit” about a hundred times as I fought into it.  “Do NOT let this MFing wind beat you now.”

Almost at the finish.

Almost at the finish.

I turned the corner to the finish line and saw the official race clock turning over to 1:40.  I knew I wasn’t going to be making that ultimate goal of a sub 1:40, and it pissed me off. The MFing wind. BUT, I was thrilled though, to accomplish a big PR (about a 4 1/2 minute PR) and race the half in 1:40:15.  I finish 6th of 284 in my age group, 41st of 1623 females, and 180th overall of 2893 runners. The training was working, was worth it, and then I cried, partly in happiness, partly because I missed 1:40 by a sliver.  Competitive, aren’t I?

PR 1:40:15

PR 1:40:15

So a few days post-race, I feel that I would totally do Myrtle Beach again. The route wasn’t really too boring and the weather, well, the weather is just the weather. The race was what I consider to be expensive for a 1/2 marathon, but the swag was good and it appeared the post-race setup was really nice (We left before we could really enjoy it).  They had warm chicken noodle soup for us cold runners, lots of food offerings, sports drink, water, chocolate milk, and some other things that I didn’t pay attention to. I think there was a band and they gave us tickets to the post-race party at the House of Blues for that evening. We were cold and wanted to head back to the hotel, so we finally made it back, and it was just after 9:00 am. Wow, what a day already!

I look back at the race and feel that I did what I came to do. I probably could have pushed a little harder, but I didn’t want to hurt myself.  This is not my “A” race, it’s a prep race for Boston.  I learned to not eat late and not give myself enough time to truly wake up before having to head to the race start.  I also learned that we can give our runner power to the weather if we choose.  It was truly terribly windy (so thankful I didn’t run the full marathon), but I came out and conquered my goal.  I didn’t let it mess with my head.  The owner of my training group, Without Limits, actually won the full marathon with a PR in 2:30:05.  That just goes to show that you can accomplish amazing things when you may not expect it; however, you must still believe in yourself and just go do it.

Today is Monday, and I had an 1850 swim on schedule. I did NOT want to do it.  I woke up with a sore throat, was physically tired, and well, didn’t want to deal with the water aerobics people (sometimes the perfume is gaggingly overwhelming). But I also realized that had I skipped workouts prior to Myrtle Beach, I wouldn’t have been as successful.  So I got my gear and headed to the pool. Performances like Saturday’s don’t happen when you skip your training.  No excuses, no fear.

My Medal

My Medal

View before my 5 mile recovery run on Sunday.

View before my 5 mile recovery run on Sunday.

Categories: Boston Marathon, marathon, running, training for marathon, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

102 Half Marathons…. And Counting

“Every once in a while, every runner needs to slow down to absorb the sport they love so much,

to remember why they started running in the first place.”  ~ Running Boston and Beyond

102 half marathons.  What, ME???!!!  Hell, no.  I haven’t run 102 half marathons.  Not yet anyway.  I ran my tenth half yesterday at the Battleship 1/2 Marathon in Wilmington that begins and ends at the USS North Carolina Battleship. I wasn’t planning to run this race, but a friend of mine, Anthony, Mr. 102-Half-Marathons himself, asked me to run with him.   Yes, he’s run 102 half marathons, and if that wasn’t enough, he’s also run 31 full marathons.   That’s 2,148.4 in race miles alone.  And a mere drop in the bucket compared to what he’s planning to do.

Great race, awesome medal!

Great race, awesome medal!

I met Anthony at one of the first early morning track practices I attended with our training group, Without Limits.  I overheard him talking about the Dave Matthews Band, so immediately I had to chime in.  Anthony knows no strangers.  I mean really, this dude knows friggin everybody.  Well, except for the one person who said “Hi Anthony!” at the race yesterday and he looked at me and said, “I have NO idea who that was.”  He was the first person who asked me to warm up with him at the track, and I felt like I had one friend amongst all the strangers. Thankfully I know more people now, but he has a way of bringing you in and making you feel comfortable.

I haven’t seen Anthony in a while, so when I did see him on race morning, I expected him to look like his Facebook profile picture, including the white suit.

Rick Ross

Anthony Rick Ross.

Of course I hadn’t forgotten what he looked like, and we met up before the race.  I had the chance to ask Anthony some questions about all this running he’d done, and I thought it would be a fun thing to share with y’all.

Now THIS is Anthony.

Now THIS is Anthony in his new Without Limits shirt. I still think he should’ve worn the white suit…..

How it all started….  Looking for a way to lose weight and get his blood pressure and cholesterol under control, Anthony started running in 2006.  To say that he took to it would be an understatement.  He travels a lot for work and loves to travel beyond that, so running races was perfect to combine the love for running and travel.  One unique thing I found when running with Anthony is that he’s not concerned with his finish times.  It’s pretty hard to find that within a high-achieving training group where you always hear about the PR’s and the Ironman PR’s and the age category winners, and all the competitive this and that’s.  Sometimes you feel like you HAVE to do better each time, always looking to be better and faster.  Anthony simply doesn’t buy into it.  What’s really refreshing is that he runs because he loves to run.  I specifically asked him if he’ll ever go for times and is concerned with any of that, to which he replied, “I just run for the love of it and exercising to keep my blood pressure and stuff in check.”  He also quoted Bill Bowerman after being asked why he runs so much, “The real purpose of running isn’t to win a race, it’s to test the limits of the human heart.”  Boom.

After the race

After the race

The funny thing, or shall I say “new thing”, was that when we were done, I didn’t even look at the time on my Garmin.  We started off at a 10:28 mm pace and ended somewhere in the “I really don’t know or care” pace.  We walked, we talked, we were quiet.  About a million people waved “hello” to Anthony.  It was nice for me to enjoy the same race course that I ran my PR on last week, not noticing how beautiful it was while I was whizzing by.  I wonder how many times I’ve done that, how many times I’ve run past the beautiful things in order to see a certain number on my watch.  When we were done running, I didn’t even look past the “stop” button on my watch to see the finish time.  I didn’t care.

I found that Anthony has run races in many countries, Rome being his all-time favorite.  He’s run in Paris, Dublin, Costa Rica, Iceland, and all over the states, including Hawaii, with Chicago marathon being his favorite stateside race.  He said he’s had a few that he wanted to quit, such as the 20 degree Myrtle Beach Half in 2007, and the hot and humid Quintiles full marathon here in Wilmington in 2012, but he’s never given up.  He’s never been injured either.

We can all learn a little something from my friend, Anthony.  It never hurts to enjoy racing as much as you do just running.  While I’ve been off training because of that pesky injury that seems to never ever, ever want to go away, I’ve been able to concentrate on just running (although that PR last week was off the hook), cross-training, and being.  There’s no pressure, it’s all good, just the way it is.  Heck, I might even skip the marathon that I was going to do a month later than the Houston Marathon I was planning on running in January.  Sure, I want to PR when I run Boston in 2014.  I want to do the best I can, but I also realize that every once in a while, it’s good to run a race because you love running races.  Slow it down once.  Turn your Garmin off, run a race with your phone and take a picture here and there.  Run with someone and talk.  Enjoy it, absorb it. Don’t immediately go to the RESULTS area of the race finish and check your “official” time. Just run, because that’s what you love to do.  I’m guessing that, no matter how competitive you may be, you’ll love it.

Greenfield Lake - I actually STOPPED to take this picture.

Greenfield Lake – I actually STOPPED to take this picture.

So what’s on the horizon for Anthony?  First, there’s the Las Vegas half, then the Kiawah Island half, Ocean Isle Beach, a full over in Asia, Myrtle Beach…. well, you get the idea.  Let’s say the schedule is full.  I’ve heard more than one person ask him, “So what is your next goal?”.  You know, we running types always seem to have to have a goal.  And he’s definitely got one.  He now wants to run 100 full marathons and 200 half marathons.  Knowing Anthony the little bit that I do, there’s one thing for sure:  He will meet his goal, this crazy 200/100 goal; he’ll set his mind to it and get it done.  And he’ll have fun the entire way.

A nice "incline" at the beginning of the run.

A nice “incline” at the beginning of the run.

Categories: marathon, running, swimming, training for marathon, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Post-Race Euphoria

“When you’ve had the perfect run, you’ve cleared your soul.”

– Pat Monahan

This was posted on Fit for 365’s Blog and I just had to share it, especially after Saturday’s run.  It was the best description of the run that day that I could ever come up with myself.  I had the perfect run.

This was right when I started running Saturday.  I never lost that good feeling.

This was right when I started running Saturday. I never lost that good feeling. Not even two days later.

So today, I’m “suffering” from a bout of runner’s euphoria.  I loved that run.  I wanted that run.  I needed that run more than anything.  After being out of serious marathon training for a month, after having so much pain when running, after deciding to defer the Houston Marathon, I just needed that perfect run.  And now I have…the affliction…. post-race runner’s euphoria.

Post-Race Euphoria –  The feeling a runner gets after racing, whether the race is considered “successful” or not, that said runner can run all the races he/she wants whenever he/she wants without burnout, injury, excessive fatigue or realizing it was probably not a good idea. This condition is especially serious when said runner has an exceptionally good, fun, or fast race, OR has been a spectator at an iron distance race.  Runners credit cards should be quietly removed from wallet/purse and computer/social media should be removed and a five-seven day moratorium for race entry should be immediately instilled.

Have you ever had post- race euphoria before?  The first time I had it, I had just run a sub-4:00 marathon after being sick at the Lincoln Marathon in May of 2011, my second attempt at a BQ.  The next day, I went looking for other races and immediately signed up for a 1/2 marathon two weeks away.  I thank God  the marathon I really wanted to sign up for was too far away.  I can only chalk it up to post-race euphoria.  I ended up running that 1/2 marathon two weeks later and I HATED it.  I resented every boring stupid step, the dumb volunteers handing me WATER (I know, right? How dare they?!), CHEERING, and the stupid boring course filled with nothing but dead grass and a dumb levy.  So, from then on, I imposed a one-week moratorium – NO SIGNING UP FOR RACES FOR ONE WEEK AFTER RUNNING A RACE. If it’s really a good idea the day after a race, it will still be a good idea one week later.  After that incident, I’ve never made it past a week and still wanted to sign up for a race.  Well done, moratorium, well done.

My thoughts at the time were, "*^&$% race, why the HELL am I doing this?!"  And isn't the scenery just gorgeous??? Not.

My thoughts at the time were, “*^&$% race, why the HELL am I doing this?!” And isn’t the scenery just gorgeous??? Not.

So what’s the purpose of telling you all of this?

1)  Start a one week moratorium after a race.  Do not, I repeat, do NOT sign up for a race in the first week after a race.  Post-race euphoria is very dangerous!!! Especially for your wallet 🙂

2)  Don’t look directly at your medal…. it’s tricky prowess will get to you to ignore #1 above and sign up for ALL THE RACES.

3) Enjoy your races.  Enjoy the good moments.  Learn from the bad moments.  But when you have the perfect run, etch it into your permanent memory and relive it.  Revel in it.  Love it.  Replay that moment when you are having a bad run.  I know that’s what I’ll be doing for years to come.  B2B, I’ll always love you…..

And I have to admit…. I’m running the Battleship 1/2 Marathon in Wilmington on Sunday!!!! .  This was completely unexpected BUT!!!  I am not a hypocrite!!!  No, I am not.  Technically, this is the EIGHTH day after the race, I haven’t signed up yet (I will at the expo on Saturday which is the SEVENTH DAY), and well, I’m not going for a PR on this one.  This is pure enjoyment, all fun.  I was asked to run the 1/2 with a fellow Without Limits runner, a friend Anthony, who has run ONE HUNDRED ONE 1/2 MARATHONS.  Yes, 101!!!  This will be his 102nd.  I’m going to be talking to him while we run and I’m really excited to hear all his stories about the races he has done across the world.  Stay tuned as that story will be coming next week.

Categories: Boston Marathon, half iron distance, iron distance, marathon, running, training for marathon, triathlon, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Workouts: Good vs Bad, or is it?

Since I’m taking as much time off running as possible without ruining my chances at a sub 2:00 1/2 marathon in just two weeks, I’ve been swimming a lot. I’m getting used to it and am getting “better”, but it’s still really difficult for me.  People have always told me that swimming is a great workout and I have to say that I totally get why people have been saying that! While it’s difficult for me to do something at such a beginner stage and admit that, well, I really suck at it, I have to see it as a challenge and a pathway to my next goal of completing a triathlon.

My swim workout last Wednesday was a little over a mile total. It took me a long time to complete it, but I felt pretty strong and that progress had been made from the last session. Then I swam again Friday. Oy. The planned workout was 1500 meters with some drills and speed work. Let’s just say that I got the distance done. It was ugly! After ONE MEASLY 25 meter lap, my heart was pounding and I had to breathe every stroke. Yes, every stroke. I’ve been working on breathing every other, but on Friday, I preferred to not inhale the pool water, so every stroke it was. As I did drills, all I could think about was just getting to the end. Fast laps? That was a joke. My sister and I were sharing a lane and she didn’t feel the most energetic about her swim either, but something shifted in the middle of our hellish workout. We knew we have bad workouts in there, but we knew we had to do it. So we did it. We completed what we needed to do. Was it pretty? Oh, hell no, it was terrible.  But we did it.

So I wondered, was it REALLY a bad workout then, if we actually completed it, was simply not as good as we wanted it or as it should have been?  I figured that no, it wasn’t bad, because we did not quit.  We finished it.  I have had so many “bad” running workouts that were just miserable to complete, especially in the middle of summer humidity. But they were completed. I got my miles in and it strengthened me in some way, whether purely mental or both mental and physical.

I flipped my perspective around and thought that really, we should all be looking at “those” workouts as maybe less-than-stellar, but certainly not bad at all. We need to remember that we’re training, we’re supposed to be tired, we’re working, we’re building, we’re growing. Not every workout is going to be this wonderful feeling of endorphins and happiness, and not every workout is intended to be so. But just stick with it and do it. You’ll be all the better for it.

This brings me to SATURDAY’S workout of 6 easy miles. I have to laugh as I think about it.  I was a little nervous because I didn’t want my leg to hurt but I needed some miles for that pesky 1/2 marathon in a few weeks. So I jogged as slow as I could.  I don’t even know if my heart rate increased enough to call it an aerobic workout, but I’m sure somewhere in there, a little training was done.  People walking their dogs were passing me. Little toddlers on their bikes with training wheels were passing me. The frogs in the water retention areas were keeping pace with me as they easily swam along. I knew it wasn’t what I wanted to do, but I knew I needed to do it.  It’s all for the greater goal and I can’t let one run trip that top domino and ruin the other ones for me. I know I’m going to have to stay slow until the race and I know I’m going to have to take time off after the race too, and that’s ok. Or at least that’s what I’m telling myself! My leg felt ok, minimal discomfort during and especially after, which is more important to me.  Progress?

I got the workout done, so for that, it was good.

Categories: Boston Marathon, marathon, swimming, training for marathon, triathlon, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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