Friday, September 11, 2009
The practice runs are done, bags are almost packed, the new play list has been downloaded to the ipod, the PaceTAT arrived yesterday, and lots of carbs are on the menu. Now I just have to give it my all and have a great time. I’m a bit concerned about my hip—it really hurt during Thursday’s run and this morning I was limping to accommodate the sharp pain. I sat with an ice pack wrapped around it most of the day. It’s not much better. And the hams are really, really tight. Hopefully another good night’s rest and some massaging will help. NO stretching—that seems to make it worse, but it’s hard to break old habits. Regardless, I’m running on Sunday.
The weather will be ideal—cool and partly sunny—and the route is mostly flat and scenic. I’ll try out my new Nathan water bottle holder that slips over the palm so that it doesn’t have to be gripped. It has a pocket to hold keys and maybe some sports beans. It should be less cumbersome than the Camelbak. There are water stops about every 3 miles, so the Gatorade I’m carrying will just be an insurance policy. I bought wrist sweat bands, too. They seem so 80s, but many times I’ve wished I had them to wipe sweat from my eyes.
I’ve been thinking about this race a lot—Will it be as much fun as my first half marathon? Can I run it faster? Will I be disappointed when there’s no one I know to celebrate with when I cross the finish line? Will the 90-minute drive home be torture?
Despite the questions and the hip problem, I’m excited and ready to go. The plan: Saturday night—load up on carbs at Romano’s Macaroni Grill, return to the hotel and lay out my clothes and gear, set the alarm for 5:30 a.m., go to bed early and dream of crossing the finish line with a new PR. No nightmares this time. (Before my last HM, I dreamt that I arrived at the race site the morning AFTER the race .)
Sunday--Get up at 5:30, eat breakfast, and arrive by 7 a.m., do some warm up runs, make 3-4 trips to the bathroom, start out slow, and run my own race paying attention to how the hip and hams feel. With good planning and some good luck, I can kick a$$ the last several miles.
There’s a field of about 25 in my age group (50-54). This HM will be different than the first. There was the excitement of it being a “first.” I was meeting a Spark Friend, Brian36, for the first time. DH and Daisy were waiting for me at the finish line. And DH provided chauffeur service for the long ride home. I will especially miss having DH there.
Thursday, September 10, 2009
On Labor Day, a group of friends tested their mettle in canoe races on the Susquehanna River in Harrisburg. Registration was just five bucks and we could enter as many races as we wanted as long as we met the qualifications (i.e., age, gender). We got cool Tshirts, too.
There was a good turnout and we had a great time. I know nothing about paddling technique other than put it in the water and pull, so I took the power position in front and my friend took the steering position back.
Our first entry was into the 2-woman canoe class. We came in 5th and that was our best showing for the day. The next two races were for novices and "never placed" at the Kipona Races. There were several heats in each race and 8 canoes abreast. We got penned in by other canoes--we looked like "bumper" canoes. Then, in the "never placed" race we missed the buoy turnaround and had to backtrack to keep from disqualifying.
The last race was the "war canoe." War Canoe!!! That sounded like my kind of race--anything goes. A canoe is in your way??? Just give them a shove, tip them over, cut them off, whatever it takes!! It's a good thing my friends set me straight--it just means a full boat--4 paddlers. We were the only all female team and had a good time with that.
The races were great fun--women are competing against men, mixed teams, teenagers, young adults, so there isn't much parity. We'll be back!!
Wednesday, September 09, 2009
A friend sent this to me and it's so true, I'd thought I'd share. Sorry I don't know who the author is. No doubt a very wise woman.
GIRLS IN MY CIRCLE
When I was little,
I used to believe in the concept of one best friend,
And then I started to become a woman.
And then I found out that if you allow your heart to open up,
God would show you the best in many friends.
One friend is needed when you're going through things with your man.
Another friend is needed when you're going through things with your mom.
Another will sit beside you in the bleachers as you delight in your children and their activities.
Another when you want to shop, share, heal, hurt, joke, or just be.
One friend will say, 'Let's cry together,'
Another , 'Let's fight together,'
Another , 'Let's walk away together.'
One friend will meet your spiritual need,
Another your shoe fetish,
Another your love for movies,
Another will be with you in your season of confusion,
Another will be your clarifier,
Another the wind beneath your wings.
But whatever their assignment in your life,
On whatever the occasion,
On whatever the day,
Or wherever you need them to meet you with their gym shoes on and hair pulled back,
Or to hold you back from making a complete fool of yourself ..
Those are your best friends.
It may all be wrapped up in one woman, But for many, it's wrapped up in several..
One from 7th grade,
One from high school,
Several from the college years,
A couple from old jobs,
On some days your mother,
On some days your neighbor,
On others, your sisters,
And on some days, your daughters.
To all my friends, thanks for being in my circle.
Monday, August 24, 2009
Yes, it's me again. You're probably getting tired of this. I know there are times when I am.
Last week was one of my better weeks. Tuesday's running group put in 4 miles; that's a bit more than usual. It was an easy run, all women, and the thunderstorm went by us without causing any trouble. There were huge ominous black clouds hanging above us when we started out.
Thursday's run was 6.2 miles--up a mountain. This was a training run for the Mountainback Ultra Marathon--50 miles. I'm on a team and only running 5.something. It wasn't near as steep as the Made in the Shade race earlier this summer, so I have no complaints. It took me about 75 minutes to reach the top.
And then came Sunday, a day that has become so large in my world that I sometimes can't see anything else. Mondays and Tuesdays I spend recovering from Sunday and Wednesday through Saturday I start thinking about the upcoming Sunday.
Recovery from this Sunday was short--by evening I was feeling good, but tired. I got up at 6:30 a.m. and was on the rails-to-trails at 8:30. It was still cool and the humidity was gone. I was eager to try out my new Nathan running vest. It's supposed to hold a "small" bladder, but it didn't state whether small was the 30 oz. or the 50 oz. So, I tried using my 70 oz. bladder from my Camelbak. About 15 steps into my running I feel this slap, slap, slap on my back. The overhang from the bladder that I stuffed into the vest was working itself loose. I had to turn around and put the bladder into the Cambelbak vest. This week I'll take the Nathan vest to the running shop and find the right-sized bladder for it. The vest is cool--very light weight and it has 2 pockets in the front to stash, keys, phone, food, etc. One pocket zippers, the other has a pull cord to close the top. On the Camelbak, all of the pockets are in the back, so I have to take the vest off to get to the goodies. Not very efficient, but very entertaining to anyone who is watching me flail my arms while I'm running to try to take it off so I don't lose any time--I'm a pro at multi-tasking, you know. It's just as funny watching me try to get it back on while running.
So, the run was feeling a bit sluggish. I wasn't really hurting, just not feeling real peppy. At mile 10 I considered bagging it, but remembered that Galloway says when you're feeling like you can't make it you need to distract yourself. So I visualized myself running toward the marathon finish line and DH was there waiting for me with Daisy, our dog.
He was down on one knee, pointing toward me, asking Daisy--where's Janice? Go find Janice. Then he let go of her leash and she comes bounding toward me, a big grin on her face, and her tongue hanging out. And then I burst into tears--only the tears weren't part of the visualization. I was really crying--I became completely unglued. It was the strangest thing.
After composing myself, the rest of the run went well. I used 8:2 run/walk ratio again. At mile 16, my 2nd wind arrived, and I ran the last 2 miles. I wrapped up the last mile in 10:48. And, darn, if I didn't start to cry again. I'm not talking about a few tears slipping down my face, it was all-out sobs. I was so embarrassed. I looked around to make sure no one was nearby; I didn't want anyone to think I was injured or crazy. I think I was overwhelmed that I ran 18 miles. I'm full of confidence and feel like I can take on the world when I finish, but deep down, I'm always questioning if I can accomplish each new goal. Guess that's why I'm running--I love feeling empowered, even if the feeling is fleeting.
I wrapped up the 18 miles in 3:46:48 for a pace of 12:55. I'm getting slower--what's up with that!!
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