Posts Tagged With: running makes me happy

The Boston Marathon – T Minus 8.5 Weeks

The road to the 2017 Boston Marathon has been covered with blood, sweat, and tears. Literally. In 8 short weeks, my family will be heading north to Beantown. This marathon training cycle has been cut short, but because I was a patient patient, I feel good about where I am. I should get a Patient Patient medal, because this is the first time in a string of injuries that I didn’t sabotage myself along the way, and actually let myself heal. I should probably re-gift that medal to my husband for putting up with me in the process. That poor man.

Let me take you back to November. I had just come off the  NC Ironman 70.3 and had signed up for a few local 5k’s. On one of the first cold mornings on November 12th, I ran a 22:15ish 5k, and even got 2nd in the Old Lady division. I mean Masters Female. I felt great about where my training was and where I was planning to take it. Basically, I was going to pulverize speed in November and December, then add endurance in January, making the perfect storm of speed, strength, and endurance in April. My goal was to PR the race and return in 2018. Yeah….right (said like Bill Lumbergh in Office Space). I should have known there was a different path for me. Later that day, I felt my plantar return, and it was bad.

The 5k that shouldn’t have been.


I reacted very calmly  I freaked out. I was so upset. I kept trying to run, just a little, and it made my foot hurt so bad. Evidently, reading about it on the internets doesn’t make it go away, but I sure deserved a medal for that, too, and BONUS, I learned how to pronounce “metatarsalgia”. I tried to do bike intervals, only to realize it made my foot feel just as bad as running. All I could do was to bike easy and go to Orange Theory (using the GLIDER, of all things *shutter*, because dammit! I’m a runner, not a glider.). All right, I tried swimming, but after one day, my chlorine allergy made it almost impossible. I might have used that as more of an excuse than I really should have, but I hate swimming and I hate my reaction to chlorine (skin rash, yay me!). I don’t know why it was so bad when I swam in the same pool all summer, but it was bad. So I “couldn’t” swim, I couldn’t bike hard, and I couldn’t run. I was a peach to live with. I was like Cinderella, singing to all her animals. Yes, that’s what it was like to live with me during that time. (This is when my husband should’ve gotten the Medal of Patience.)

People, it was cold out, and I couldn’t run. I was missing it and I was missing out. The rest of November. And December. Then I decided, probably due to everyone and their “Countdown to Boston” posts, I needed to start running because I was going to run that damn marathon no matter what. I started with a few miles on Christmas Day, something I have never done before. It was my gift to myself, and wow, I felt God that gorgeous morning.

Merry Christmas

Then I came up with a plan to SAFELY build endurance through January. I was running again. My foot was ok. I alternated run days, I took it easy at Orange Theory. No speed. Then in the last week of January, I decided I needed to return to my coach and start speed again. I felt like I was second guessing all my workouts, I wasn’t pushing myself and didn’t know if I could or should, so coaching would benefit me the most. Coach Kristen has done really well for me, so I was so excited to once again, see those Training Peaks emails come through in the morning.

I don’t know how, but within the first week, I was meeting the pace challenges set before me. I was Maria, singing on the mountaintop.  I was back at track practice, my favorite thing in the freaking world when it comes to training. My foot was behaving.

Then. Then the shin splints started. Ugh. I started speed work too fast. It’s derailed my plans twice in the past. What do I do? Well, I knew my race wasn’t going anywhere and I knew ignoring them wasn’t going to work, so I gave myself a day off speed, gave myself some active release therapy, took a day off, and I was careful. Boom. Shin splints are minimal now. Key point: catch them and do something about it IMMEDIATELY and prevent them from occuring in the first place, i.e. STRETCH (and that damn yoga).

Just this week, I ran a 48:18 in a 10k race, again placing 2nd in the Old Lady division. Then Tuesday, I had 3 x 15 minutes at barf pace, and I seriously questioned if I could do it, mostly because I’d had a long run and an Orange Theory workout between that day and my 10k. I borrowed some of the faith my coach had in me, and I pulled it out. When I was done, I felt like a rock star, like I deserved a participation trophy of sorts, for believing I could do it enough to just try. Sometimes you can surprise yourself.


I don’t feel like I can breathe a sigh of relief, because I know there’s any number of injuries lurking around the corner. This morning, after another great track workout, several of my running buddies asked how I was doing, and I was almost afraid of jinxing myself by saying, “GREAT!”. But you know, when you’re out there getting it done, watching the sun rise, it really was GREAT. I told my coach to put “Do your damn yoga” in my plan after track, so I’ve been good about that. It’s funny that I’m responsible for a hundred thousand other things, but if “yoga” isn’t specifically in my plan, the chances of me actually doing it, even though I know I need to, dwindle down to close to zero. Pretty sad, but I’m sure I’m not the only one. Please tell me I’m not the only one?

So my goal for Boston is a BQ. A 3:44:59. That time won’t get me in for 2018, but that’s ok. At this point, anything is possible (thanks for that, Ironman), and it could be warm, it could be cold, it could be raining, it could be snowing. All I know is that I will do my absolute best with whatever the day gives me. If if one thing is certain, I know I’ll be there, and I’ll be happy.

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Categories: anything is possible, Boston Marathon, follow your dreams, marathon, marathon training, qualifying for boston marathon, running, running buddies, running with friends, training for marathon, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Why Do You Run?

This week, Hal Higdon’s Marathon Facebook page asked a simple question. Why do you run? It took me just a few minutes to figure out what I wanted to say to one of my absolute favorite celebrities, but this was my answer:

“It is something that makes me truly happy and is my own. I think, I vent, I laugh, I cry when I run. I come back home happier, healthier, and refreshed, even after Advanced II training :)”

This is a VERY simplified answer to a question that could take me weeks to answer. My husband nods his head in agreement that I could take weeks to explain/talk about running, how much I love it, and why I do it.  I love to run. It’s a part of me, it’s part of who I am. I do it for so many reasons, but the first and foremost reason is that I love to run and that being so, it makes me happy.

If anyone read my Boston Marathon post about the expo, you’d know that I stalked Hal’s booth for over an hour and never got to see or meet him. What’s so great about Hal? Well, let me tell you. When I first started running for time, I read his books. All of them. Like in the Pixar film Ratatouille, Remy learned from a chef who believed that “everyone can cook”. I believe HaI teaches running to everyone and believes “everyone can run”. His plans are for everyone, the slower runner, the faster runner, the beginner, the experienced. I learned from him (a LOT), I did what he said, I learned more, and I got fast. I tried, I failed, but it wasn’t because of his plan, that’s for sure. I REALLY wanted to meet him in person and thank him for all the advice to me. I took his advice personally, so it was personal to me to thank him. I’m following his Advanced II Marathon plan right now, and it’s a very good, solid training program. I have full confidence I will be able to qualify for Boston again using this plan.

So suffice to say, when I got a message FROM HAL in my Facebook inbox, I freaked out. HAL HIGDON MESSAGED ME.

hal's message

OMG. It was almost like meeting Shalane Flanagan four days after Boston last year. I might have yelled, but I don’t remember. I might have peed a little too. But I was jumping up and down and twirling around like a 2 year old little girl who just met Elsa, so really, can you blame me? Me? In a book??????? Holy crap. More on that below.

ANYWAY.  This week has been pretty good as far as training goes. Monday was 4 easy miles, Tuesday was a tempo workout that would have been ok had I run it with someone else. It was just tough and I actually stopped for about ten seconds in the middle of the hard tempo part. I’m thinking I was still tired from the race, but I tried to suck it up, Buttercup. Wednesday’s easy 5 miler felt A-Mazing and ended up turning into a pace run at 8:13 average, so I was happy about that. It was cold (I know, I know, all you northerners and rolling your eyes when I say cold), but my pup wanted to run when I got home, so I took her out. She was so cute and bouncy as she played with the leash. She just loves the “cold”.

Scarlett and me. What a good girl.

Scarlett and me. What a good girl.

I switched up my workout for Thursday and ended up doing 7 x 800’s.

Pretty good pace, but why am I slightly disappointed?

Pretty good pace, but why am I slightly disappointed?

All of the 800’s were between 3:30 and 3:34.  I honestly don’t know if I should be more tired when I’m done. I was tired, but I wasn’t TIRED. Should I be stepping up? Should I be pushing harder to finish? I know I need to keep them consistent and not slow down as I go, but how hard should I push? Food for thought, time to bring out Hal’s book, isn’t it?

Friday is my day off, and I have to admit that I’m slightly anxious for the thirty miles to run this weekend (nothing new), ten on Saturday and twenty on Sunday, 30-90 seconds slower than race pace. My reward will be eating some good food without guilt on Super Bowl Sunday! Ha! I’m looking forward to the challenge though.

Anyway, I’m going to email the information Hal asked me for 🙂 and if I end up winning an autographed book THAT I’M QUOTED IN (he didn’t say he would send me one or that I would actually be quoted but I’m fantasizing about it), I’ll be sure to aim myself towards the yard, so when I pass out finding it in the mailbox, I will fall into the grass and not the street and get run over. Imagine the headline on that one. Then once I recover and explain to all my retired  neighbors that I wasn’t drinking and then explain WHO Hal Higdon is and that I’m not cheating on my husband, I’ll go inside and see my name printed in a Hal Higdon book and then pass out in the safety of my own home. Wonder if I should cover all the sharp edges?

So in keeping with that theme, tell me, why do YOU run? And should I fall-proof my house?

Categories: Boston Marathon, hal higdon training plan, marathon, qualifying for boston marathon, running, training for marathon | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

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