Sunday, January 30, 2011

So What Now?

It's been two weeks since the half-marathon. I've been dealing with pains on and off, but overall I've just been feeling lazy. My workouts haven't been as intense, and I haven't run further than 2 or 3 miles when I have run, which has only been 3 or 4 times.

My next event is Pat's Run (yep a year has passed all ready!). The place where my addiction began. It was my very first timed run, and I did it in 50 minutes (11:57 mile average). This year I'm looking at this run very differently. Last year it was "will I run 4.2 miles?" This year it's "how fast can I run it?"

You know you've progressed when you look at a 4 mile run and it's a warm up. ;-)

So I've made a goal to run it in 45 minutes- or less! That's just under an 11 minute mile.

So what's the plan? I really liked having a written plan for training with the half, it kept me focused and accountable. I want to have a written plan for this too, though I'm really not sure I need one. I know how to increase my cardio. I know how to become faster. I just have to do it.

My kids both want to run it. Allison I'm not worried about at all, she can do it. It's Sam I wonder about. 4.2 miles is a long way for a 10 year old. Kimber's son wants to do it as well, so we're going to take them to Tempe one of these days and walk the course. Sam has been running a bit- a mile run a day after school on and off. She certainly has the energy, so maybe I'm just worried about my husband, who has no interest in running but will be the one sticking with the kids should they do it.

My friend Scott is traveling here again and will take part- and he wants to run it this year too! He walked last year and he got a bit of the "can I run it" bug himself. AND- my sister Katie is flying out as well! So I'm very excited for this year's run and having even more people to share such an awesome day with!

She has all ready requested Monti's... ;-)

Monday, January 17, 2011

The newest member of the 13.1 Club

Well, that's done. My first 13.1 miles complete. What a great event, and a great day! I didn't go as fast as I had hoped, however I did keep it under 3 hours (2:52), and that was the big thing I wanted to accomplish. It's really quite different when you first get out there vs. how you play it out in your mind. At least the first time.

The one thing that put a negative on my performance was all the waiting prior. With the curve in my lower back, standing for a long period of time really hurts. As much as I tried to keep it stretched out, by the time our corral was released I was all ready in more pain than I wanted to be. Also, I should have had a throw away bottle of water. After waiting for 30 minutes (plus another 30 minutes before that at the bathroom line) by the time we began running I was thirsty, so we stopped at the first water station rather than skipping it like I had hoped. Next time I need to remember to be more hydrated prior.

The run itself went smoothly once everyone spread out from the starting line. I was hoping not to walk as much as I did, but with my back all ready tight from standing I needed to. My brother was there with me speed walking/jogging, and I am definitely grateful he was there because he kept me entertained. He also had the GPS keeping track of our splits. I have to get those from him, because the Competitor Wireless site that I signed up for was a complete fail to keep track of my time. It worked for the others I tracked, but for me it only told me when I passed the markers, not my split time. It didn't even tell me when I started! Major fail, and I also let the company know. Not all of us have the fancy gear to keep track!

At about mile 8 my entire lower half was in pain. Mile 10 was as far as both Andy and I had run before, so it was a moment to pass that marker (we high-fived it). At mile 11 Andy went off to finish the race on his own. That was cool though, honestly I expected us to just be at the race together, so I'm eternally grateful that he stayed with me through most of it.

When I hit the Mill Ave Bridge I nearly started crying. Home stretch literally. Then the last quarter mile I pushed so I could have a strong finish. I sent Bret a text at mile 12 so he knew to be ready with the camera! My back was so stiff I was hunched over after crossing, and I must have looked really bad because a medic came over to make sure I was ok. Heh, stupid back.

Had a great (and well-earned I think) celebration lunch at Monti's with my family, some of Andy's friends, and my friends Rob, Crystal and Sean, and Debbie. It meant a lot for all of them to make it down and join me in my accomplishment. Thank you all- much love! I also heard Crystal began her Couch to 5k today, so good on her!

Last night I had to keep moving around and stretching or my legs just stiffened up instantly. Today I'm feeling sore, like I did about 100 squats. But moving is easier. Oh, and I could lose a toenail. Do you put those under your pillow for the running fairy? Overall, I'm doing good, and tomorrow I think I'll take a short run to stretch my legs.

So I did it! Now that I've experienced it, I know what I need to do to improve. I do have to say that at this very moment running two of these back-to-back is not the foremost thing on my mind.

Give me a couple of days... ;-)

Waiting for me when I got home
that afternoon- flowers from my sister!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Let's Rock And Roll!

So, that's it then. Training complete. Now I finally get to see what all the running, soreness, whining, complaining, and occasionally crying has done. I should be stepping over that start line around 9am.

I feel good. Confident. I know I have the endurance, I know I have the strength. I drove the course last week so I know what I'm in for and where exactly it goes. It's going to be a great run, and I'm definitely excited and not nervous.

I've said in past posts that my brother Andy is running with me. I figured it was running the race on our own, and he was going to be there at the finish line. Turns out he is literally running it with me. So I'll have company the entire time! Of course, he's 6'2" and his legs are as long as half my body. I imagine he's going to be walking a lot! I'm grateful to him for just wanting to hang out and support me, though just being in the race was enough.

I've got a few more thank yous as well.

First and foremost to my husband. Without him, there is no way I'd be able to take as much time as I did training. He was the first ear to hear me bitch and moan, but also the first one to ask me how my runs went. He's more supportive than I could ever express- I just love that man! I wish I could say that the home life will be getting back to its 1950's stereotype soon, but since it never was that way to begin with... ;-)

Kimber! If it weren't for her, I never would have discovered my love for running in the first place. Training with her is always a lot of fun, and she pushes me to be better and go further with just her presence alone. Even though she really doesn't like running, I know she was looking forward to tomorrow and is bummed she can't run (she cracked her heel just before Christmas). I'm so thankful to have her as a friend, even beyond training.

Tyler! He probably doesn't realize this, but he has also been a big inspiration to me. He contributes to the Almost Barefoot blog, among many other blogs (just go to and see all that he does). Reading his stories and seeing how he pushes himself helped push me, along with the advice here and there via Twitter and Facebook. It meant more than he knows. :-)

And of course to everyone reading- thank you for your comments, messages, and support as you read my progress here and over on Facebook. They say blogging is a lonely medium, but I know it's not.

Ok enough mush and sentiment. I have had my plateful of pasta, now it's time to chillax and hopefully be rested so I can kill it tomorrow!

Friday, January 07, 2011

You are important because...

Yesterday I was having a downer day, and after a little self-reflection I realized something.

I'm not afraid of rejection. I'm afraid of acceptance.

Wrap your mind around that one! Anway, I was reading a post from Be More With Less, and I liked this bit and wanted to share.

* You made someone smile today.
* You chose to love instead of judge.
* You said a bedtime prayer with your child.
* You are perfectly flawed.
* You helped someone that was helpless.
* You left a legacy of love.
* You made soup for your family or just for you.
* You see the mosaic of life’s architecture.
* You took the blame because you knew the solution was more important.
* You have a plan without a plan.
* You didn’t care about being right.
* You asked for love.
* You made a decision based on fact instead of fear.
* You chose to love more deeply.
* You threw caution to the wind and followed your heart.
* You fed someone.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Mixed Emotions

Initially receiving the email made me smile, then I realized I was chewing on my nails as I was reading over the Final Prep email from the Rock-n-Roll marathon. It's like, here. I just read my first post after I took the plunge and began training, and I feel like a completely different person now. If you want to learn a few things about who you are, then I suggest training for something. You have no choice but to face some demons, if you're committed to your goal. The thing that stands out for me is that I haven't been training to run faster, but to slow down. How weird is that? What's more strange is in slowing down, I've become faster, and stronger. There is truth in the saying "don't sweat the small stuff". Though I did plenty of sweating anyway!

Time shouldn't be on my mind, but it is. When I first registered, without knowing how fast I could run 13.1 miles, I estimated my completion time at 3 hours. I can now say with confidence that it will not take me 3 hours to run this. Perhaps close, but I'm really shooting for a 12 min. mile average. All the training leads up to pushing it at the race, right? It's why I've been training for 4 months- to learn to pace myself so I can push through. I have to say I'm excited to see the results of all the work!

Another thing I was nervous about was the weather. I don't run early in the mornings, so I haven't dealt with really cold temps. Running with my sister and brother while in Massachusetts helped with that- 25 degrees! It wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it would be, and gave me a good idea of how to dress on race day. I doubt I will layer any clothes on at all. It might be chilly at the beginning, but by the end I'll be glad I don't have a jacket around my waist.

Speaking of running last week, being on vacation I didn't do any official training. I ran twice with my sister, and hurt my ankle a bit while running up a hill. Not used to hills AT ALL, apparently. It was a little sore the next day, but fine now. So, I'm considering that a tapering week, and will get one more 6-8 mile run in this weekend. Then next week some short runs/repeats, and then it's race day! WooHOO!

On a sad note, my training partner and dear friend Kimber cracked her heel a couple of weeks ago, and will not be running with me. She does promise to be waiting at the finish line- so I'm holding her to that! On a happier note, my brother is coming from SF to run it "with" me. That means he'll be waiting for me at the finish line too. Then we decided that Monti's for lunch was definitely in order to celebrate- so that is where our sweaty butts will be after!

I am now going to encase myself in bubble wrap for the next 11 days- no injuries! ;-)