Posts Tagged With: houston marathon

Learnin’ To Fly

Well, hello there, strangers. It’s been several months since my fingertips have hit the ole keyboard. Excuse the coughing, it’s dusty in here. The last time I wrote, I was dealing with some pretty serious post-Boston depression and questioning the meaning of life what I was going to do next. A few weeks later, when the urge to sign up for all the races had passed, I settled down, and really thought about what I wanted to do with my running and/or triathlon’ing.

It came down to this: After my BQ/PR marathon in March of 2016, where I finished in 3:36, I felt like I could have done a little better. I trained for a 3:40, and achieved a faster time. I felt I have more to give, I felt like I had the urge and will to push harder. I also feel that dumb clock ticking away, and because I can’t bash it in with a sledgehammer, I figured, I have only so many years left where I can get faster in long races. This may not be true, but face it, the older you get, the harder things are, the more “fragile” (for full effect, pronounce this like the dad does in Christmas Story – FRA-GEEEELLLLAAAAYYYY) your body gets, and typically, you top out, or peak. I hope I’m the exception to this rule, but I also hope to win the lottery, too. You just never know.

fragile

FRA-GEEEE-LAY

I settled on doing a marathon. No triathlons. I thought for a few weeks about what race I wanted to run, and when I wanted to run it. It didn’t take very long for me to decide that I wanted to go for a big PR and another BQ in Houston, in January. I’ve run this race before, where I got my first BQ, and it’s a big race, lots of support, on a flat course. Perfect. And by the way, I did qualify for Boston at Boston, but only by 28 seconds. This year, you had to qualify by 3 minutes, 23 seconds UNDER your qualifying time to get in. Needless to say, I didn’t get in, but that’s ok.

Then it was time to repair my body. Over the course of Boston training, I had foot issues (metatarsalgia), knee issues, and shin splints. My training wasn’t smooth, and I was still able to pull out a 3:44. Racing and training smart (HUGE thanks to my coach) was a big part of my success.

Over the summer, I ran, I lifted weights, I biked, I didn’t swim. I slept in once a weekend, and when it was 85 at 5 am with a dew point of 85, I stayed inside, on my bike, with my cold water, cold air, and remote. I got my personal trainer certification. In August, I started doing speed work again, so I could slowly build up to avoid shin splints. I started back on my Base Performance regiment. I did a 70.3 triathlon relay and ran a half marathon in September, in 1:51. I did a 5k time trial in early October in 22:53, and it was 9,000,000 degrees out that morning. I’m not exaggerating, it really was that warm. Seriously, it was. My body stayed healthy, and I was getting my speed back.

Fast forward. Tom Petty passed away on October 2nd, and I turned 44 on October 3rd. At track practice on my birthday, my coach, a HUGE Petty fan, played his music as we chased each other around the big oval. It was a gorgeous morning, and my workout was exhilarating. I heard “Learning to Fly”, and I teared up, because here I was, all fixed up, running with my friends, and learning how to fly again. I don’t think this is what Tom was singing about, but sometimes, you hear a lyric, and it coincides so much with something in your life, it attaches itself and has its own meaning. This is what that song did for me that day.

Because my goal is so big, at least for me, I had to trust myself to be vulnerable to failure again. It’s a scary thing, as I’ve failed at more marathon goals than I’ve succeeded. BUT, along the road to success, those failures provided the most opportunity for learning. The marathon is a beast, and it can tear you up. Respect the distance. I think that is why I wanted to go for this goal, because it’s so big, it’s so scary, I needed the challenge. I need the challenge. It feels like the one thing I can cling to right now, with the craziness of life, the career path that took a sharp turn down a road that I didn’t really want to take. But I have this, this big thing ahead of me. I need it. I want it. Dream big, work hard.

Today, at track practice, Coach went “old school”. His words, not mine. 20 minute tempo run followed by six 200’s at 95%. My tempo pace is 7:20, but today, I ran it a little faster. Each lap ticked by at 1:45-1:47, and I pushed for it, I fought to keep it, and I did it. Then I knocked out the 200’s. I love 200’s – they were my “thing” when I was in school 100 million years ago.

My husband loves Thursdays. 99.9% of the time, I come home from track practice with a huge smile on my face, a story to tell, and I say, “I LOVE RUNNING”. Track is my happy place – my friends, music, and an awesome, difficult workout. Today was no exception, but today was better. I feel it. I feel like I’m progressing towards my goal. I feel like I can actually do this thing. Something so big, so scary, intimidating…and yet, now it feels achievable. I believe in it. Granted, I have a TON of work to do, but I’m ready to dig in and do the work. I’ve been ready. As Tom Petty says, I’m learnin’ to fly. But maybe, just maybe, I do have wings.

wings

Learnin’ to Fly

Categories: anything is possible, being epic, Boston Marathon, follow your dreams, fueled by base, go for your dreams, learning from failure, marathon, marathon training, no fear, qualifying for boston marathon, running, training for marathon, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Being a Patient Patient

patience2

First of all, you are now reading the ramblings of a USATF Level I Certified Coach. I took the 200 question test on Monday, and 7 hours later, I pushed the “submit” button and received a 98% passing grade. I didn’t realize it was going to take so long and I wasn’t planning to take it until Tuesday, but I decided to just start on Monday. I figured I’d put a few hours in and go back to it the next day. Hour turned into hours, and honestly, I was afraid all my answers would have been erased had I logged out and that my computer would decide to reset itself and delete everything that night, so I just finished the darned thing. My head almost exploded all over the table.

I want to pole vault now.

I want to pole vault.

I learned A LOT, got A LOT of ideas, and am now crafting a plan to approach the USATF decision makers to see if what I want to do in my son’s middle school will be considered enough to be able to take Level II. You see, the requirements state that you have to have three years/seasons coaching experience for track and field and/or cross country. What my plan is, is to turn the current Stride program into a pre-high school track/cross country program since there is no middle school running program AT ALL. Eye roll and fists balled up.  I’m not sure if this fits their criteria, but I’m chomping at the bit to take Level II. I mean, I’ll seriously do whatever I need to do to get that experience so I can take Level II concentrating in Endurance.

Anyway, how was y’alls Thanksgiving? Besides being cold for three days in a row (me, not the outside temperatures) and having an….. uncomfortable “bed” to sleep on (if that’s what you want to call it, but raking up some leaves and sleeping on them would have been comparable), it was nice to catch up on my sleep, hang out with the family, watch the kids play with their cousins, and eat.

No running that morning.

No running that morning.

When we got up and until we left town on Wednesday, it was raining, so when we got to Charlotte, both my husband and I wanted to go run. Run? “Gee, Kelli, I thought you were not running right now because of your leg issues…” Well, I didn’t have any other option, and I can’t just NOT do anything, so I ran. And that run was perfect. If I could have canned that run and sold it, I would make millions. It was perfect. I felt like Flo Jo. I would have run a marathon that night and I probably would have qualified for the Olympic Trials. Ok, maybe not so much, but it was one of “those” runs.  Then the next day happened. Flip. Oh, it hurt. My leg hurt on impact. I got three miles in, and I had to call it quits. The best way I can describe my thoughts is WTF. And *($%#@. I wasn’t expecting to just be magically healed all of a sudden, but I wasn’t expecting THAT. So I was worried. And took the next day off.

Back at it on Saturday to burn off the mashed potatoes and mint oreos. Pain wasn’t too bad. Form felt better. Strides seemed more even than they had for several weeks before. Could my PT be working? Six miles Saturday, six miles Sunday. I could tell on Sunday that I had run Saturday, so I knew I had to just knock it off. We were heading home where I have alternative exercise options, so I decided to take TWO weeks off running. It’s literally like torture. All of a sudden, my house is on the Wilmington Road Runners Raceway. EVERYONE is running. Except me. And I hate all of them. Not really, I’m just jealous.

patience1

So what is a runner to do when she can’t run? She bikes. She bikes hard. I have several good workouts from tri training that I pulled out, one a 90 minute heart rate workout and one a 60 minute cadence workout. My legs feel good, strong, and really, they feel like I did my running workouts, which is exactly what I wanted.  Today, I’m off to the pool to reacquaint myself with the water. Once I do that, I’ll start working on drills and improvement, probably next week. I really do hate swimming. I mean I love the concept of it, but I hate actually doing it. I hate swallowing water when I try to breathe from the left side. I hate looking like a fish out of water. But I’m determined to work on it to meet my 2015 goals and to allow my leg to fully heal. I’m REALLY trying to be patient. REALLY. And it’s hard.

patience

I was supposed to be building up miles to the Houston Marathon. Instead, I cancelled my flight and deferred entry. I was supposed to be going for a sub-21 minute 5k next weekend, a PR I’ve been wanting since last winter. Instead, I’m going to have to sit by the sidelines with my camera so I don’t blow all the progress I hope I’ll make by then.

I’m going to be patient. It’s hard, I’m frustrated, very frustrated, but I’m going to be patient.  Meeting my goal will be worth it. I’ll look back and be glad that I had the patience to do the right thing at the right time. Maybe me saying the word “patient” over and over will allow it to absorb into my body and mind? Hey, whatever works, so patient patient patience.

In any case, assuming things get healed up, my goal marathon is the Wrightsville Beach Marathon in March. No travel and I’m already signed up, so this will be my last chance to BQ for the 2016 race. I’ll be busy doing other things next summer and fall to marathon train. More on that in my 2014 wrap-up in a few weeks.

I know I’ve written a lot about PATIENCE and the “woe is me” from having to give up this marathon AGAIN this year, but honestly, I am truly thankful. I’ve never lost sight on what I’ve been able to do, the fact that I’m healthy, strong, and loved. And as annoying as it is to NOT be able to do what I want to do, I know that I WILL some day. I’m good with that.

Categories: coaching, half iron distance, marathon, running, swimming, training for marathon, training for triathlon, triathlon, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Turning A Bad Situation Into An Adventure, Plus Clarity

The last time I wrote, I was in the Atlanta airport trying to waste time until my flight to Charlotte, oblivious to the adventure I was about to have. I decided to head to the gate and hang out, thankfully finding the bathroom and gift shop right next to the gate. Bonus. I wouldn’t have to leave until I was on the plane. Those little things, you know.

I was so tired from not sleeping much, and as much as I wanted to, I couldn’t doze. I’ve never been able to do that, but I sure wanted to. I read some from my magazines, made a few lists, and mostly played games on my phone. I listened to a family several gates down have THE BEST time playing charades or gestures as loud as they possibly could (I had a gesture for them that I kept to myself). Time quickly passed (mostly after The Charade Family got on their flight), and soon, it was time to board. But the plane wasn’t there yet. I only had an hour in Charlotte until my next flight and since it was the last flight into Wilmington, I REALLY needed to get to Charlotte. Finally, the plane got in and started unloading. A hundred years later, it was time for all of us to board. The pilot said it would only take us 40 minutes to get to Charlotte, so it looked like I would have time to make my connection, barring any other issues.

Then the other issues started. As we were going down the tarmac, it sounded like someone was taking a hacksaw to the plane’s legs. I figured if this was an issue, the flight attendants would say something, right? No one said anything, and all I imagined was us landing in Charlotte only to have the legs collapse and we would all die a fiery death. Remember, I did say I was afraid to fly. And when I face fear, I normally exaggerate things. Especially when tired. The plane was just fine.

Then it stopped stopped and the dingy dongy thing came on and the pilot said, “Well, folks….”, which is never a good sign. Ever. Turns out, those storms I was watching were now over Charlotte, and the airport was shut down. We would have to wait 45 minutes for the next update.

Bad weather pretty much everywhere I needed to be.

Bad weather pretty much everywhere I needed to be.

I figured that if my plane was delayed, my connector plane would be delayed, plus, what the hell am I gonna do from there, so I just relaxed and closed my eyes. I was too tired to read and was bored of my games. About 30 minutes after that, Mr. Pilot came back on and said we were still delayed and would have to wait an additional 20 minutes for the update. They started serving drinks (water and juice only) and people went about their business. I imagined us being stuck there for hours and hours like those horror stories, toilets overflowing, screaming children, people going insane…..

Soon, Pilot Guy came back, said we were to leave, and we were on our way. I texted hubby the good news, and was just hoping to make my connection. We were soon in Charlotte. Thank GOD, because it was one of the most annoying flights I’ve been on. One guy smelled like moth balls, one guy had his game so loud, all I could hear was what I figured was Call of Duty (who wants to hear war-like action when flying??? I sure do NOT.), one lady was on her laptop and it looked like all she was doing was highlighting things over and over and then not actually doing anything with them, the people behind me kept grabbing the top of my seat so it was shaking me. I was annoyed the guy next to me never said one word to me. It felt like we went into a holding pattern above Charlotte, so I figured we would get in late. Finally, after I about drove myself insane, I put my earphones in and listened to some good old Dave Matthews Band to calm the heck down. Breathe.

We finally made it to the gate in Charlotte after what felt like the pilot, upon landing, was doing what Nascar drivers do before the race, you know, taking the wheel back and forth to “warm up” the tires. THAT’S what it felt like once we hit the ground. Breathe.

I found the gate for my departing flight and saw it was delayed enough to where I could run the hundred billion miles there to make the connection. At least I got in some cardio, right? I made it to the gate, had time to pee, and then it was time to board. Whew!

THE BAD SITUATION PART

We all boarded and headed out. “Ding Dong”. “Uh, folks, Wilmington is under severe storms…blah blah…can’t handle the weather AND planes… flight is cancelled.” Um, what?

shins3

We are all in the plane, and you cancel the flight? Can’t you just wait 15 minutes for it to blow over and we can be on our way? Holy hell, what am I going to do now? DELTA got their flights in that were coming in at the same time, why can’t YOU, stupid USAirways????? *&$^%&*

THE ADVENTURE PART

We all de-boarded, which is a first for me, and walked towards the customer service line, which was long when I ran past it on the way to my now-cancelled flight. The line was looooonnnng, even after they added more agents.

Stupid long ass line.

Stupid long ass line.

We were all given vouchers for a discounted rate for a hotel, and sent on our merry way. This cancelling a flight thing was new to me, and I honestly didn’t realize that when they cancel a flight, there is no “make-up” flight. You just have to absorb into the other flights that were overbooked. As the people around me muttered to each other, we were realizing that the few seats available in the morning were quickly being taken by the people in front of us and on the phone. In just a few minutes since the flight was cancelled, the earliest available flight out of Charlotte was mid/late afternoon. REALLY? (Within an hour, it was 6:30 pm)  It was close to 11:45 pm at this point. We were all tired. One guy looked like his head was going to explode. I don’t remember exactly how this came about, but the lady standing next to me in line, Barbara, and I decided to rent a car and drive to Charlotte. It was a 4 hour drive, and we didn’t want to wait another day to see if we could get home. Barbara had talked to another girl, Sachi, and we three took off to the rental car area.

We ended up getting a one-way car rental (can you say RIPOFF?!) and decided to go ahead and drive home without spending the money on a hotel.  $320 later, we found ourselves in the Avis lot getting into a nice Ford Mustang.

Niiice car.

Niiice car.

We made one stop to get some sugar energy and of course, had to get a picture. What a crew.

 

Barbara, Sachi, and Me

Barbara, Sachi, and Me

I drove for a while, even after being so exhausted, and when the speed limit turned to 70 about 90 minutes later, I didn’t feel like I could actually drive at 70 without putting us at risk. I pulled off at an exit, peed in the grass, and Barbara took over until we got to Wilmington.

What do you do when you’re driving with strangers and need to keep each other awake? You talk. You get to know one another. So that’s what we did. Sachi is from California visiting her parents who just moved from the Midwest. Barbara lives basically across the road from me and was on her way home from a conference. She has a very interesting career so we talked a lot about that. Check out her website here, especially if you like diving. Or history. Or fish. Or travel vacations. Very cool. We talked and gabbed and I found it very interesting how you can turn from strangers to almost friends. We are all so different and came together with one goal: getting to Wilmington. We all have very different lives, but I found the two ladies very interesting, have cool jobs, very friendly, and I felt lucky in chance to be standing in line by them. Those small chances made the night different than had I been standing in line next to grumpy mad guy or anyone else.

Drop offs were linear, thank goodness, and since the car was rented in my name, I pulled it into my driveway close to 4:45 am. The same time I’d be getting up for my track workout. I hugged my husband, went in to kiss and hug my kids, and I fell into a fast sleep until my son scared the SHIT out of me giving me a hug before he went to school. I woke up around 9:30, went about my business, returned the car (which is when I realized that I had ZERO patience and needed to just not do anything for the rest of the day), and sat on the couch until my kids got home from school. My mind was mush, for the most part. I texted Barbara and we decided to get together some Sunday for NFL. You just never know where a friendship can begin, can you? Sachi has a busy weekend with family but I figured I’d touch base with her next week.

I LOVED driving this car.

I LOVED driving this car.

THE CLARITY PART

During all of this, I’ve had a LOT of time to think. I have been pushing myself to make it to the Houston Marathon. My goal is to re-qualify for Boston so I can have my re-do. My leg hasn’t healed and from the little bit of walking I did between classes and the run I had Friday, it wasn’t healing well enough for me to do speed work and REALLY make the efforts to crush the race, which is something I know I can do. I’ve been getting physical therapy and we haven’t 100% nailed down why my leg keeps getting hurt. Why is it always the left side? Every time it feels better, I attack training without truly considering the repercussions or if it’s actually healed or just rested.

This is me every time my leg starts to feel better.

This is me every time my leg starts to feel better.

I remember sitting on the plane, thinking about making myself run 14 miles the next day, and I said, “Why am I doing this?” Why am I being so stupid? It IS pretty stupid.  Why would I short-change my physical health to half-ass train for a marathon? Because I have a ticket? Because I want to see my friends? Because I’ve signed up twice and not done the race? Because I want to prove it to myself that I CAN but I really CAN’T train right so just do it anyway? Because I WANT it so badly? Yes, I think that’s what it is. I want this so badly, I need it for myself, and I love doing it. But at what expense?

Suddenly, as I sat on one of those planes, I realized that I needed to stop. I realized that I wasn’t doing the right thing, that my leg wasn’t getting better, and I needed to fix it before I could move on and train the RIGHT way. And as hard as this is for me, I know that it’s what I should do. I know that I tried, it didn’t work, so I need to re-group, fix it, and then go. I have HUGE goals for 2015. HUGE. And I must go into the year healthy, happy, and ready to train. Not 2 for 3, but all 3 for 3. So that’s what I’m going to do. And by the way, this doesn’t mean I don’t have other goals in mind. Oh, we are all like that, right? Can’t do one goal, so what’s the next? Yup, it’s there, but I need to get through this injury thing before I can go full force ahead.

Clarity. It’s a good thing to have.

 

 

Categories: coaching, marathon, running, running with friends, training for marathon, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Time To Rock ‘N’ Roll!!

For eighteen weeks, my husband, Andy, has been training for his first marathon using the Hal Higdon intermediate training plan. I think training has gone very well for him, minus a little calf glitch in there a few weeks ago that seems to be fine now. I’ve been able to see training from the flipside, and it’s been fun for me. Not as in a “haha, it’s funny watching you sweat” kind of fun, it’s just been fun to see him do something that I truly love to do. He “gets” things more than he did before, like how tired you can be, how hungry you can be, what taper madness is, what pre-race nerves are like, all the aches and pains, chafing, carb loading, and wow, about a billion more things. He’s met running friends, he’s not slept in on a weekend (except for this past Sunday) for months, and I think he’s had a lot of fun. You’ll have to check HIS blog out that he started during this adventure, called Salt Life & Clemson. He talks about life, being a dad, husband to a crazy wife, a Clemson fan, a Red Sox fan, and of course, running. Check it out!

Savannah, here we come!

Savannah, here we come!

So on Thursday, we are going to pack up the Ford and head south. His race is Saturday and honestly, I’m nervous!!! I’ve never been a Sherpa for anyone, and because he is the BEST Sherpa in the continental US and probably the entire world, I don’t want to fail him.  I’ll have two mini-Sherpas with me, which always adds an element of, um, entertainment, but it is extremely important to us all that they see their dad cross that finish line. The hay is in the barn for hubby, so getting packed and carb loaded is all we can do now. Wish him luck!! All I can say is that I’m so proud of him for all the hard work he’s put into this!

As for me, I’ve had a roller coaster of a week. On Monday, I felt like I could conquer the world in a single bound. Today, I feel like I couldn’t finish a 5k if my life depended on it. What’s up with that?? Maybe it’s coming off a big race. Maybe it’s because I didn’t sleep much last night. I am worried that my shin splints have migrated into my calf, so at this point, I don’t even know if I will be able to train for my marathon in January. It’s all I’ve been thinking about since Boston, so it’s been emotional to try and think about an injury and the possibility I may have to pull the plug on my big race. I don’t understand what is going on, but after my run tomorrow, if my gait feels “off”, I’m going to make an appointment with a physical therapist who can assess my stride and see if there’s something firing wrong in there somewhere. I think I’m ok with whatever happens, there’s local marathons, but I already spent the money on a plane ticket to Houston and don’t want to go all that way to run a half marathon or not at all. How will this all play out? I’m guessing I’ll have some sort of answer by the end of next week. Can’t I just skip the pages and get there already???!!!!  Ahh, I remember now, it’s all about the journey! In the meantime, I’m going to have a BLAST with my family in Savannah and watch my husband finish his marathon.

What about YOU? Have you any Sherpa tips for me? Been to Savannah to run?

 

Categories: Boston Marathon, boston red sox, half iron distance, marathon, running, running buddies, running with friends, training for marathon, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Taking A Look Back Before I Go Forward

A year ago, I couldn’t imagine sitting at my kitchen table, writing my first half iron race report. Sometimes, when things are that far away and you don’t have the skills or equipment to do something, it seems impossible. But it was always my goal, to finish the B2B 70.3 with a smile on my face.

Off the subject, but speaking of smiles, I got my race pictures back this weekend. Oy. Can you say GOOBER?

Ok, back to it. I remember last year, when I ran the half marathon for the B2B relay, and I knew I wanted to do the 70.3. I knew I wasn’t interested in doing sprint triathlons, but endurance events. I didn’t want to make a “thing” of it and do them all the time, and I still don’t, but I knew I wanted to give it a try. If it all went well, I was planning to do a full iron distance, and I still am. But as I did do the race report, I thought back to events over the year that led me to a pretty good finish for my race.

I made my goal and I focused on it. I started swimming as marathon cross-training. I figured out what bike I could piece together, got it adjusted, greased up, and started riding it. My time at the pool was long and tedious. I swallowed a lot of old-lady aerobics water. I became friends with Endurolytes the hard way at the Boston Marathon. I ran the BOSTON MARATHON. I learned how to change a tire on my bike. I drew a cat on my PT bruise. I got a half marathon PR. I figured out how to unclip my shoes so I wouldn’t fall over at a stop light. I learned how to hydrate with EFS. I ate while riding my bike. I got a trainer so I could do bike workouts inside. I cried. I deferred a marathon. I ran. I ran more. I got a wetsuit. I swam in open water to practice. I got a swimming lesson. I met a lot of people along the way. I worked pretty hard along the way. I did the 10×10 challenge. I laughed a lot. I sweated a lot. I swore a lot. I ate a lot. But I had fun. It was an adventure. It was something new and an experience I was enjoying, beyond my expectations.

Here’s two pictures. The top one is of me running the B2B relay last year.  The bottom one is of me running B2B this year. I’ve come a long way. But I’ve got a long way yet to travel on this journey of mine!

Running the relay October 2013

Running the relay October 2013

Doing the full 70.3

Doing the full 70.3

During the year between those two pictures, I ran 1,339 miles. I biked 1,025 miles. I swam 55 miles. That’s freakin’ 2,419 miles!!! Not every mile was good (i.e. the last 6 of the Boston Marathon and most of them in August). But they all add up and provide a block in the foundation of meeting a goal.

If I could go back and tell my 2013 self something, it would be to just give it a go. Don’t be afraid. Read the tattoo on your foot, for crying out loud! Just do your work, trust your training, and have fun. Maybe that’s a little unrealistic, to have no fear? Well, ok, we all have some fear.  The key is to face it and don’t let it stop you from following your heart and going for your goals. Never stop dreaming. Never stop GOING AFTER your dreams. Chase ’em down with a baseball bat if you have to! Just go get ’em!

I can tell my current day self the same thing, as I gear up to train for the Houston Marathon that’s only 11 weeks away. I need to focus on my goal and stop overthinking everything, stop worrying so much about things I cannot control.  (It’s best to email coach when not high on caffeine too considering I have ALL THE FEELINGS.) My husband is rolling his eyes at this right now. You are, aren’t you, Andy??? Yeah, I can dream big, right? I know I’ll worry, I know there’ll be hard days, but I won’t give up. Hmmm, I wonder where I will travel in the next 12 months. How many miles will I run, bike and swim? Chances are, it’s going to be a lot, but most of all, I’m looking forward to the journey.

 

This is the tattoo I have on my foot as a constant reminder.

This is the tattoo I have on my foot as a constant reminder.

 

 

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

Turning Fear Into Determination

It’s taper time, bitches, and do you know what that means? It means I’ll have more time to get the shit done that I neglected because I was too busy doing my workouts until noon, showering and stuffing my face until 1:00, then staring at the wall going “buh buh buh” until my first kid gets home at 2:45, then spending the rest of the night stuffing THEIR faces and making them do their homework and go to practice and get ready for the next day while also reminding them that no, they cannot spend an hour in the jon as to avoid emptying the dishwasher because conveniently, it’s time to go to practice/school.

For instance, take today. I got up, got my kids to school at 7:45, hopped on my bike and rode 40 minutes, messed around with my dumb cadence sensor who just wants to be free but will not because I’m going to zip tie that MFer until it cannot breathe and fall off my bike. I then did strength, showered, ate, drank coffee, cancelled my NatureBox subscription, emailed all my Stride parents, picked up more crap from Saturday’s event that I just left laying around, posted a few things on Facebook, researched how to tighten my shoe cleat on my bike pedal, put on makeup AND curled my hair (this is a big one), worked on my new “About” page that I’ve been “working on” for months now but can’t seem to finish, packed up and took a load of crap to Goodwill, picked up my book on hold at the library, came home and it’s not even noon. Can you say “hollah”? I mean, really. It’s not like every day had a huge long workout, but when they shorten up, I can certainly feel it.

Anyway, while I taper down for my first triathlon on the 25th, I MUST reflect on the last year and smile. Hell, I need to do a little dance!  I swam the “Mott’s Channel Swim”, which is almost the same course as my triathlon course at exactly the same tide as my triathlon tide, so it was picture perfect practice for my triathlon.  Saturday was my first swim race, and a year ago, I had only been “swimming” for a few weeks. It’s crazy to think that a year later, I was swimming  over a mile in the channel, without a current push, with about 100 other people, and I would really enjoy myself. And I mark Saturday as the day that my fear of swimming, my fear of not making my cutoff for the swim in the tri, my fear of failing at the tri would turn into determination.  It’s about time.

My view on the way to my run/swim.

My view on the way to my run/swim.

Saturday morning started off like Friday – it was absolutely gorgeous. I had six miles to run, so I decided to get a good parking space at the swim race start, and I took off for my run from there. I was hesitant to get my pace miles in because of my *(^% shin splints, but I got two miles in at 7:40 and the others at 8:15-8:30.  I would have done three at pick up pace, but I misread my workout and only did the two. It was probably good for my splints. I saw some people I knew along the way, saw the ocean, and knew it would be a good day for a swim – sunny, warm, slight breeze, NOT windy. I wasn’t nervous at this point, so I was hopeful that I would remain calm.

After my run, I went to wish my coach and swim race director a happy birthday, got my timing chip, and chatted with some of my buddies. I was doing the “Mott’s Channel Swim” which was a mere 1.3 miles, but there were others doing the “Swim the Loop” which was a 3.5 mile swim that ended against the current.  Yikes.  No nerves yet. I got my post-race bag ready, dropped it off, made sure I had my swim cap and goggles, and ate my two pieces of bread with peanut butter as I waited for the trolley to come take us to the start.  I ended up sitting by someone I knew and a few I didn’t know but got to know as we waited to head out. It was fun! Some of us were concerned the warm weather (in the upper 70’s or lower 80’s at finish) would make us too warm for wetsuits but I wanted to practice my “real” tri experience as close to what the tri actually will be, so I had mine on.  When we got to the start, music was playing, and I wondered how it would be to swim with about 100 other people, which is something I’ve never done. Obviously the crowd would thin out significantly, but I just didn’t know what to expect. Gulp. Then the nerves hit. Big ones. Big raging ones with nausea.

The only thing that went through my mind to do was go to the person with whom I’ve done the most open water swimming with, the person who has ALWAYS told me that I could do it, to not worry, and that it’ll be ok – my friend Stacey.  I only met her on July 4th, but I’m so glad that I did!! I have complained and moaned and groaned about my swimming ability, and she has always been so positive to me, and it all came around on Saturday. I found her and was met with a hug and a “You’ll rock this race”. That’s all I really needed, and then we talked course strategy. Thanks, Stacey! I knew I needed to veer to the left to catch any current that would take me right, and I knew that I needed to try and hug the marsh to the left. The part that I DIDN’T do was REALLY study the details of the course. Sure, you look at it and seems easy and like a straight shot until you get out there and realize you can’t see the finish because there’s docks and buildings and boats and water weeds. More on that later.  The National Anthem was played, and we were about to head into the water for the mass start at 10:00 am.

Swim course for the Mott's Channel Swim. Looks simple and easy right? Yeah, that's because you're waaaaay up high and can see everything.

Swim course for the Mott’s Channel Swim. Looks simple and easy right? Yeah, that’s because you’re waaaaay up high and can see everything.

When we crossed the mat to get into the water, I was still a little nervous, and I honestly couldn’t believe I was about to embark on my first swim race. Me?! Swimming?! Crazy!!! The water was pretty cool, not yet COLD, but cool, so I was glad I had my wetsuit on. Picture it: 100 swimmers happily chatting, sun shining, beautiful view, and pretty calm waters. It was go time. I started close behind Stacey so I could keep an eye on where she was going, and the horn sounded. We were off.

There’s really nothing like the sound of 100 swimmers all in the water at the same time. I have always enjoyed the sound, and here it was again. And this time I was one of them. I usually get songs in my head or count strokes or just watch the docks pass by when I swim. This time, I was concentrating on sighting and knowing where I was and where I wanted to be. It seemed pretty easy in the beginning, probably because I’m familiar with the course. I waited until I reached the first buoy to check my Garmin, just to see where I was. Hmmm, not too bad! I didn’t look at the time, because it was really irrelevant at that point. I remember thinking, “Hey, I’m crossing the channel. I’m almost across the channel. I crossed the fricken channel!”. I did check a few times to see if there were other swimmers behind me, and I was actually glad there were. Just a few lingered, but I wasn’t last.

The water got slightly more choppy as we progressed, and my goggles fogged up. I had to stop to check my bearings and clear my sight, then I started back again. Since I hadn’t had a day off in eight days, my body was pretty tired, but I felt good and strong. My coach even said “let’s have you swim on some tired legs”, which they were. In a good way. I watched my distance progress, and at .6, I was happy to be half way. Then it dawned on me that the race was, in fact, 1.3 miles, not 1.2. Dur dee dur.  Oh well, just keep on swimming!  I’m not sure how far into the course we were, but I remember passing a buoy and thinking we needed to head right to the finish. I swam that way for a bit, was confused because there wasn’t another bright orange buoy to sight to, so I stopped to verify I was going in the right direction.  Good thing I did, because I was NOT going in the right direction. Oopsy! I corrected myself and headed towards the other swimmers.

 

Oops! This still cracks me up. Lesson learned to REALLY check the race course before you swim because it's not like a running race!!

Oops! My Garmin map. This still cracks me up. Lesson learned to REALLY check the race course before you swim because it’s not like a running race where you’re following people!!

I was still feeling good, staying focused, and I made sure I knew where I was from this point on. And the funniest and most ironic part for me was that I was having FUN!  I didn’t care how fast I was going, I didn’t care that I made a mistake, and I honestly didn’t care if I was last as long as the support people didn’t harass me, which I knew they wouldn’t. THIS is why I wanted to do triathlons! THIS feeling – the FUN, the excitement, the thought of doing something new.  And I liked it. (Did I just hear my husband groan and hide the credit card?)

I knew I was getting closer to the finish when I could hear the announcer. I checked my Garmin and knew that I would end up swimming farther than 1.3, but again, I didn’t care (and what was I going to do, stop, hold my Garmin up and say “Hey, I’ve done 1.3, so hellooooo, I’m DONE!”? No, just like any distance, Garmins are Garmins and with my little “detour” I very well probably did swim some extra. I was trying to find the finish line as I was pretty damn confused, and finally it became clear AFTER the stupid boat moved away from blocking my view of it.

When the finish line came into sight and I had just a little left to go, things changed. I saw some swimmers behind me, and my competitiveness came out. No way in hells bells was I going to let someone pass me now, so for the first time probably EVER in the history of me open water swimming EVER, I tried to swim fast. I lengthened my stroke, pulled harder, kicked harder, and I made it to the finish as fast as I could. In front of the other swimmers.

We had to climb a ladder onto the dock to well, get out of the water, but to also cross the timing mat. I stopped my Garmin on just over 47 minutes.  47 freaking minutes! Can you say insta-tears?????? Holy hell, Gary was so right, I had been freaking out about this half iron swim for NOTHIN’!!!! I F*****G DID IT!!!!!!! And I swam a bonus .09 miles with a total of 1.39. If I can do THAT, then what the hell have I been whining about making the cutoff in the swim in 90 minutes with less swim to finish?  Yes, Gary, you were so right!!! Cue the “told you so” dance!

THAT is when it happened. THAT is when my fear disappeared, and determination slowly took over. It probably started happening the minute the swim started, but when I was done, I had such a feeling of……of…..happiness. I set my mind to it, I did the work, and I did it.

I  was wobbly right out of the water, not vertigo as some swimmers have, but I think it was simply “tired body syndrome”, which became “I want a damn beer syndrome”, which became “this was awesome syndrome”. I recommend that one for anyone 🙂

After the Mott's Channel Swim.

After the Mott’s Channel Swim.

I found the results and saw that, with my 2:00 wetsuit penalty, I finished 82nd of 98 swimmers. If I took out my penalty, I would gain 5-10 spots, but still, I finished, so my place is irrelevant.  It simply didn’t and doesn’t matter to me. We hung out for quite a while, drank some beers, ate lunch, and watched as the 3.5 mile swimmers came in, many of them against a very strong current. They were inspiring, that’s for sure!

So now, as I taper, as I get my race plan in place, make my lists, get my race head on straight, I know that I’m determined to tackle any obstacles that come my way come race day. I know that I can do it, that I can overcome, and that I can finish my race strong and smart on October 25th. Saturday was the day my fear turned into determination.

My Garmin's path of the race. Pretty close to my race plan minus the teeny little oopsie in there.

My Garmin’s path of the race. Pretty close to my race plan minus the teeny little oopsie in there.

 

View of the finish overlooking the course.

View of the finish overlooking the course.

 

Categories: beach 2 battleship triathlon, half iron distance, iron distance, marathon, open water swimming, swimming, training for half iron distance, training for marathon, training for triathlon, triathlon, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Why I LOVE Mammograms!

On Wednesday, September 25th, 2013, I had a physical therapy appointment in the morning. I was dealing with shin splints (how ironic that I’ve sidelined myself for the exact same thing a year later) and was desperately trying to fix them so I could carry on training for the Houston Marathon. I knew I was to be notified that day about whether or not I got in to the Boston Marathon. I was a mess, a total basket case, and I probably needed a little psycho therapy (not the wine kind). I’d crunched all the numbers and I was right on the edge of being able to run that race that I spent years trying to qualify for.

After my PT appointment, I had some lunch and went to my next appointment, my lovely mammogram.  I was turning 40 a few weeks later, so they were to become part of my annual health screening for the rest of my life. Yea.

My appointment was on time and for some reason, I always get a little nervous about these things. I guess being half naked in front of a stranger will do that to you, but really, the ladies who do these are normally just wonderful. It was short and sweet and twenty minutes later, I was on my way. I was OBSESSIVELY checking my email for any sign of a notification from the BAA on my acceptance, or lack thereof, and I was beginning to feel like I wasn’t going to get the news that I wanted to get. I quickly ran into the Food Lion that was right down the street, got some wine and a few other things that we always need. I started on my way home. Now I don’t normally do this and have vowed to my kids that I WON’T do this again, but at a stop light, I checked my email again. Bing. It was there. I read it and found this:

 

THE Email

THE Email (that I will never delete)

Yes, I got in to the amazing Boston Marathon. I freaked out.  To read the whole story of how close I was and what I did (does not include driving into a ditch or another car), click HERE.  Really, it’s a good story. Do it.

For weeks, as I drove by that stop light where I read THE email, I got the warm and fuzzies. I was still in disbelief, but I was just so happy about it. I needed it.  A lot.

And as much as I dislike having my boob touched by a stranger then squished and photographed, since that day, I’ve had a fondness for my mammogram appointment. I always remember it as a good experience, a happy day, and I want to go back. I’m going to tell them that I love mammograms because I found out that I got into the Boston Marathon on my way home from getting one. The power of association, right?!

The other reason why I love mammograms is that my mom’s breast cancer was caught extremely early because of one. The cancer was removed with surgery and she had a few months of radiation after that.  It wasn’t a piece of cake for her at all, but it could have been so much worse. I LOVE mammograms because I have my mom and if we didn’t have mammograms, I may not have my mom.

So to anyone and everyone, if you’re a woman, get your boobies squished and photographed. Maybe you’ll get some good news when you get home. Maybe it will save your life. But just do it.  Men, urge the women in your life get theirs photographed too. Go turn and cough for your doctor. Just do it. It could save a life.

 

 

 

Categories: Boston Marathon, half iron distance, running, training for half iron distance, training for marathon, training for triathlon, triathlon, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

I Don’t Even Know Where To Start So I’ll Just Start

Ok, yes I do know where to start. I have to give a HUGE congratulations to Kecia from Push My Limits on her completion of Ironman Wisconsin. Is it cyber stalking if you yell at your computer because it won’t refresh and update the “live” status of the athlete you are following?! Because I didn’t do that.  You are an inspiration, lady!!!! You truly are!

As for me, I really do not know where to start. I’ve been trying to get some sort of routine in order for my days as a “stay at home” mom. Yeah, I’m certainly not home as much as I would think I would be, and if I wasn’t biking on the trainer, I would be home much less than I am now. I have so many projects to complete (one of which is getting my photo albums updated since I haven’t done that in over THREE YEARS), ones I couldn’t muster up the mental strength for last year.  I feel so much better about being settled here, and getting to my projects with a fresh attitude is a welcome feeling for me. I really didn’t think it would take over a year to get settled and let that crazy-stressed feeling diminish. Enough about that, let’s get to the goods, so I’ll start with my training.

Biking – I “biked” when I was in high school and college and enjoy it now. I didn’t think I would like the cadence/heart rate workouts that I’m doing now, but I really do. It’s a challenge for me, which is one reason why I like it, but I feel a difference in how I’m running, so I’m pretty pumped about how all the biking will improve my running. I’m really focused on one goal: The Houston Marathon. I think I’m biking at least three times per week, and none of them are marked as “just go ride your bike”. They are “you’re so gonna sweat on this ride” sort of workouts. I’m loving it. But shhhhhhh, don’t tell my coach!

Ahhh, coach. I’m back with my coach at Without Limits, who will melt away that summer feeling of “I can do whatever I want whenever I want” sort of laissez faire attitude. Sure, I’ve run and biked A LOT this summer, but it wasn’t the actual training that I’m needing right now. I have more accountability, which helps too, since my schedule is a lot different than it was with two kids in elementary.  Some days, I work out right after my oldest son goes to school and I’m just getting done and showered at 11 am. It’s kind of ridiculous.

Swimming – I didn’t go on the one swim where it was super wavy and I would have felt like I was in the washing machine on the “jeans” setting. On Labor Day, I went for an open water swim with a friend while my sister supported in her kayak. As we dropped vehicles and got all situated to start, my sister swatted at some bugs and totally dumped her kayak over. Did you know that some kayak paddles do not float? Yeah, epic design fail, eh? At least they could have had a warning on them that said DO NOT BUY AS THEY WILL SINK AS FAST AS YOU SAY PADDLE  Warning: “This paddle does not float”. Really, how ridiculous. My sister said she was fine and was going to get to the finish point to meet us, so my friend and I took off, but not before we saw some dolphins in the waterway. It was glassy perfect for a swim. Ahhhh….

week3

Perfect!

I thought the swim would be about 1.2 miles or something like that, but when I got to the usual starting point, I was already at .8. I knew I had .9 or a little more to go. Ugh.  I was tired from finishing the 5k challenge from the 10×10 challenge peeps and putting in some good runs before, so I told my compadre that I didn’t know if I could make it all the way to the finish. She simply said, “You can do it.”  I was on my way to complete the longest swim EVER, let alone an open water swim without stopping (except to talk and avoid the trolls as we crossed under the bridge), something that I could’ve never imagined doing. An hour and twelve minutes later, I had swam 1.72 miles. I was tired, but I felt great about it.  The comment from my friend was priceless. It always pays to be positive!!!

I freaking did it.

I freaking did it.

The swim this week was cancelled due to weather, plus there’s usually a bacteria warning after heavy rain, so I’ll get one in once or twice this week. If anything, I’ll head to the pool.

Running – Ahhhh, my one true love. I started back with a tempo run and speed work at the track last week. I tried not to go crazy, as it was super hot and humid, and I do NOT want to end up injured like I was last year. I’m trying to keep my paces that are given to me, but sometimes, it’s hard when you know you can go faster. I just have to keep in mind that yes, this is a marathon, not a sprint, so just take it easy. I have 17 weeks until the marathon.  That means I’ll have plenty of time for speedy speed work in the future. That’s what I keep telling myself anyway.

With the extreme high humidity and the fact I wasn’t able to go run early (because I was on the bike), I tried not to look at my pace. Last week, I didn’t look at distance or pace ONE TIME during the run, just the elapsed time. For any of you out there like me, and I know there’s a LOT of us out there, I am still slightly annoyed at what my watch read after my run.

Raise your hand if this is annoying.

Raise your hand if this is annoying.

I didn’t even look at distance (and I don’t know why pace said 6:19, maybe because I moved my arm fast or something, but I certainly wasn’t going at that pace!) until I got inside and cooled off. D’oh!!!!

So for my training, I’m getting in some good miles, speed work, tough bike rides, and long swims. I’m still not concerned with my pace for the half iron  triathlon that is in less than six weeks! I’ve got my eye on the prize, what will hopefully be my second BQ, my marathon.  I’m almost giddy thinking about training for it, getting into the harder workouts, the strength, more biking, and everything else. Call me crazy, but I just love training!

I’m also going to be training a bunch of 6th graders for their first 5k.  It’s the Stride program, which to anyone who is familiar with Girls on the Run, it’s that but for boys. I’m super excited and just hope we get enough registrants to have the program at all! So if ANYONE has any advice on dealing with middle school kids (boys in particular), I’d love to hear it. I have my own 6th grader, but we all know dealing with your own kid is different than multiple kids who aren’t yours! Ha!

That’s it for now, as it’s back-to-the-fridge day. I cannot eat enough!!!!!

 

 

Categories: beach 2 battleship triathlon, Boston Marathon, half iron distance, marathon, open water swimming, running, running challenge, swimming, training for half iron distance, training for marathon, training for triathlon, triathlon, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Flicking The Stupid Little Monkey Off My Back

A few notes before I start talking about monkeys…. First, the dog that we fostered got adopted on Saturday. He was awesome and was so happy to hear the news. My son is already badgering me about the next foster.

Second, my entire workout schedule has been totally messed up because of the weather. It rained from Friday morning until, well, I’m not sure if it’s quite done yet.  I’m suffering from depression from the lack of sunshine and outdoor activity. Sure, I can run in the rain, which I did on Friday and this morning. I can swim in the rain, but I won’t because I have enough issues breathing when it’s not watering from the sky. I can bike in the rain, but I won’t do that either.  I did get my 50 mile bike ride, if you can call it a ride when you’re not actually going anywhere, done on Sunday, here, in my living room, on the trainer. I hated 95% of it and almost quit at mile 20. Seriously, the trainer is a really cool and convenient thing, but it’s also torture!!!! You don’t go anywhere so you just watch a movie that you love but suddenly hate because you’re stuck there RPM’ing away and forced to watch something. I watched Elf. Then I watched part of The First Wives Club. Then I watched some of Property Brothers. Thankfully, I got done in the time I planned, but my cadence was a little slow. I’m ok with that because I just needed to get the miles in. I’m actually proud that I finished and didn’t quit. I really wanted to quit. So the weekend was a buzz kill when it came to working out beyond the bike ride, but I’m enjoying the last few weeks of flexibility and the freedom to say “I’m just not going to work out today”, when full on, heavy duty, 100% training starts September 1st. The only thing I must do, because my coach told me to, is get two 60-mile rides in before that. Game on. Now, back to monkey business.

 

50 miles. Done.

50 miles. Done.

Last week, I got some stuff from the Boston Athletic Association in the mail. I still think it’s cool when I get emails and actual mail from them. I’m like a kid. THEY KNOW ME???? THEY SENT SOMETHING TO ME???!!! They. Know. Me.

This time it evoked an emotion that I’m getting tired of. It’s not an emotion that I can easily explain nor easily get over.  As many of you know, I ran the Boston Marathon this past April.  Here’s the post I wrote about it that day.  It took me many years of blood, sweat, and tears and many failed attempts to finally break the time barrier and qualify. After that, it took months of waiting to see if I would actually get in since my time didn’t give me much margin, and I knew pretty much anyone who qualified this last year would go and celebrate after the devastation of 2013. I qualified by 1 minute and 43 seconds, but I only made it in by four seconds. But I made it in.

That race was the best of the best AND the worst of the worst. My feelings after the race were so torn on feeling awesome and how great the entire experience was and that I was there and I got to be a part of something that so many only dream of.  Added to all that awesomeness was a feeling of emptiness. Of sadness. Of anger. Disappointment. I haven’t been fully able to shake those feelings. So many people have told me, “Hey, you were there, you FINISHED the Boston Marathon! Just be happy for that!”.  Well, they’re right and I am. I mean, it was AMAZING  to be on THE course, to be a part of the entire thing.  But I’m also a competitive athlete who was thisclose to re-qualifying and getting a good marathon PR. I was so close. But yet, it was so far away. Actually, it’s not even about the PR or re-qualifying. It is about running the Boston Marathon, which in the technical sense, I didn’t get to do. Sure I ran most of it at a rockin’ pace, but I didn’t run the whole thing. It feels very, VERY incomplete. The journey feels unfinished.

After running six prior marathons and after training my ass off for months and months, the Boston Marathon was my slowest marathon finish time EVER.  In fact, I can’t even actually say, “I ran the Boston Marathon.” Those words don’t/can’t come out of my mouth.  I ran the first 20 miles and I walked the rest. I DIDN’T run the Boston Marathon.  The finish was very unexpected.  The time that I crossed the finish line doesn’t even really matter, it was the way in which it ended.  It wasn’t what I set out to do, it wasn’t what I was capable of doing, and I was extremely shocked at what happened during that race. I can’t get over it. I look at my medal and I’m so proud of all the work I did to get it, but it also brings up so many bad feelings in me. Then I get my finisher’s certificate and it shows my time, and I I’m reminded of gripping the crowd barrier so I could throw up. It reminds me of watching my foot go in front of the other one and wondering if I could make it six miles. It makes me think of the feeling that my neck was on a spring and that I couldn’t see straight. It reminds me of having cramps so bad that I gasped for air, scaring a guy running past me. It reminds me that I didn’t want to make eye contact with the medical crew so they wouldn’t pull me from the course (they wouldn’t, but at the time, my mind wasn’t right so I wouldn’t take the chance). It reminds me that I walked.  It makes me angry.  Then there’s that struggle. Many people would be happy with that time. Many would be so grateful to just be there. Well, it’s not as simple as that.  The Boston Marathon is the stupid little monkey on my back.

This is a monkey my son drew. Too bad the one that's sitting on me isn't cute like this one.

This is a monkey my son drew because we live in an area of town called “Monkey Junction”. THIS is the monkey. Too bad the one that’s sitting on me isn’t cute like this one, giving me a nice shoulder massage.

I need redemption. I need to do it again. I need to go back and RUN to the finish. Whether or not it’s a PR, it re-qualifies me, or is done during a thunderstorm/hurricane/blizzard, I NEED to go and do this race again.  I need that feeling of seeing the Citgo sign, of coming onto Boylston Street, of the crowds. Of finishing HAPPY.  Of finishing HEALTHY. I need to be able to look at my medal and know that was the best race. Ever. I want it to be a good story. Not of one that includes: “It was good until….” “Yeah, I had to stop so I wouldn’t throw up.”

Good.

Good feelings.

 

This is how it ended.

Bad feelings.

So as I train for my half iron distance at the end of October, my sights will be set on the Houston Marathon.  And instead of being a whiney little putz like I am being now, I’m going to concentrate on all the GOOD that happened on April 21st, 2014.  Or I’m going to try. It gave me a huge boost of confidence. I KNOW I can run the race of my life in Houston. I RAN WAS AT THE FRIGGIN BOSTON MARATHON. Heller!!!!  It reminded me that a marathon is just that, a marathon. Anything can happen.  The good, the bad, the ugly. You can prepare all you want and can have a terrible race. You can have minimal expectations going in and can be surprised at the awesome outcome (my BQ race in 2013). Marathons are their own organism with so many factors that can effect the outcome. The best thing I can do NOW is to start getting ready. I need this goal. I need to move on.  Get off my back, you silly little monkey, there’s no room for you here.

 

**Update before this is even published…. I feel better just writing this. I struggle since I don’t want to come across as ungrateful for being a part of the Boston Marathon field. But I’m sure many of you can relate after having a “bad” race. Thanks for reading. The little monkey is a lot smaller than he was just last week. I’m sure he’ll always be there in some sense, but at least he’s smaller.

Haha, I was looking through pictures and knew this was there but overlooked it…. THIS is the epitome of how I was feeling. Sense the sarcasm in my “thumbs up”?

761540_1257_0011

Categories: beach 2 battleship triathlon, Boston Marathon, half iron distance, iron distance, marathon, running, swimming, training for half iron distance, training for marathon, training for triathlon, triathlon, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

Redemption In Two Ways

Guess what I’m doing tomorrow morning? Yes, I’m going for a run, but I’m also going to register for the Houston Marathon that will take place on January 18th, 2015.  Is 2015 less than a year away??? Cripes. It’s my redemption race and my plan is to crush it.

houston marathon

Why am I signing up for THIS race when there’s a bajillion other marathons right around the corner from me? Well, I’m running THIS one for a few particular reasons

1) It’s large (13,000 for the marathon and 12,000 for the half marathon). The more people around me while running, the faster I seem to run with less effort. I like the hoopla, the crowds, the other runners going along with me. It distracts me from what I’m actually doing to myself 🙂

2) It’s flat.  People talk about the “hills” somewhere in there, but it’s flat, plain and simple.

3) The race is in January so it shouldn’t be hot.  It’s Texas so anything goes in January, but typically, it’s nice and cold and the start and cool at the finish.

4) I have a lot of friends in the Houston area and will get to visit them.

5) I got my BQ there in January of 2013. Bad weather that day, but good memories.  I want another one.

The timing of this race was interesting, because it’s 11 weeks after the Beach 2 Battleship 1/2 Iron Distance Triathlon I’m doing at the end of October. I wasn’t sure if it would work to do both, but after looking back at Training Peaks, the timing for the 1/2 marathon run and training for the full  marathon look pretty close. I thought the biking for the tri will only strengthen my legs and hopefully help keep me injury free – cross training is awesome. For a while, I was ready to ding dong ditch the triathlon and just do the relay again, but I really want to do it all. I don’t see why I can’t.  So I am.

The quote that I have on my fridge so I can always remember it when I get hesitant to do something is this:

“What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?” 

I'm looking forward to doing this for "fun", not for time.

As for running recently, I started feeling better last week. I took Thursday off so I could go to my son’s Battle of the Books competition, so I felt I needed some miles on Friday. I am SICK of running in my hood so I headed to the track at UNCW to park and ended up going 7 miles on the cross city trail. It felt awesome and I finished in 58 minutes.

I had a wonderful and fulfilling 3.4 mile run with my son on Saturday. We just chat and gab the entire time, so we plan to run more often. What a wonderful way to bond with your kid! Then over Saturday and Sunday, I hauled almost 8 TONS of mulch into my yard while my husband was doing all the other things that needed to be done in the yard. Needless to say, my back and arms are a “little” tired, and I refused to do any more yard work today. Mulch makes me cringe.

Mulch, anyone?

Mulch, anyone?

I was so shocked and pleasantly surprised at what having energy was like on Sunday evening, even with all the yard work. It’s been weeks since I haven’t been either traveling or doing long runs, so it was refreshing to feel really good. My husband ran his 3rd 1/2 marathon after only running 5 miles to train (sorry for hogging every weekend morning for MY training, honey!), and I was so proud of him to finish in 2:05.  I looked up a few full marathons for him to do, and it’s only a matter of time before he hits that “REGISTER” button. (As I rub my hands together and give him a maniacal laugh..). HE was the one who was knocked out last night, poor guy.

Hubby after his 1/2.

Hubby after his 1/2.

And redemption was mine.

Today was my redemption run. It didn’t start out to be one, but as I was running from the UNCW track again, I felt some fatigue from the weekend and probably from a few glasses of wine I had last night. Hey, they were in a pink flamingo glass so I blame that for going through them so quickly 🙂

I’m still relatively upset about what happened in Boston. I know, it’s just a race, it happens all the time. But still. I’m competitive so it’s really difficult not to separate the marathon from Boston.  I pulled through my fatigue this morning like I was finishing the last 7 miles of the Boston Marathon. I kept going. I went faster. I imagined the cheering crowds, being able to cross that finish line with gusto, not with guts-o ( I was extremely nauseated when I crossed the finish line in Boston). I wanted to beat my “fresh” time from Friday.  So I pushed it. I didn’t go all out as I am still in recovery mode, but I wanted a pace like I was imagining I would have run in Boston. I finished that 7 miles in 56:48, a minute and 12 seconds faster than Friday.  And an 8:07 pace. I’m good with that. I got my redemption. There weren’t any crowds, there wasn’t a finish line, but I got to push through fatigue and the desire to cut the run short so I could finish. Now it’s time to put the bad feelings away and only remember the best part of Boston.  I got redemption.

This is all I need to remember from the Boston Marathon.

This is all I need to remember from the Boston Marathon.

Categories: Boston Marathon, half iron distance, marathon, running, swimming, training for marathon, triathlon, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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