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One More Bowl of Soup

Sunday, March 30, 2008

It's been 16 weeks since I started on my road to London. I've now completed over 440 training miles, gone through 2 pairs of shoes, consumed gallons of sports drink and gels, run a half marathon, injured my hamstring, had massages, gone through physio treatment and made new friends.

All of the above has been done so in just 2 weeks I can hopefully run my fastest marathon to date. I've been able to stick with my training program for the most part. The hamstring injury put me back some miles, but I've pushed myself to keep to form.

Now I have printed up my race pace braclet, prepared a playlist on my iPod, purchased and broken in my Nike Structure Triax +11. Monday, 31 March begins my taper. I have just one marathon pace run of double digits. The rest of the runs will keep my weekly total to about 40 miles. The hard work has been done and now it's keeping the legs and lungs ready for the 13 April.

One of the differences with this training is I had a running buddy for my long runs. Kelly is my IT instructor and got a place for London in the ballot. This is her first marathon and she asked if she could run with me. It has made the Saturday hours on the road a lot better. This past Saturday we ran a 10 mile route that will be the last double digit long run. We have gotten to know each other better through the hours on the road, and over a bowl of homemade soup for our after run meal. Just one more long run awaits. One more bowl of soup.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    I soooo envy Kelly for the miles she ran with you and the bowls of soup shared!!! Mary you are an amazing kind and gentle woman!!! I know long after I finish my 3 miles you will still be running, making us all proud!!! Love you, Jackie!!!

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2 Red Laces, 20 Miles, 3 weeks

Monday, March 24, 2008

My Marathon Registration form arrived along with the Marathon News as I mentioned in my previous blog entry. Plus, the infamous RED LACES!

Yep, I've put the laces in my newly bought London 2008 Marathon shoes and now I'm set!! The spiffy red ties are a great contrast to my yellow Nike Triax! Ok, they aren't supposed to make your shoes look better or give you that extra bit of confidence on the course or in training, BUT if that happens, FANTASTIC!

What they are for is to wear on Marathon Sunday 13 April and for each runner that crosses the line with them, the Heart Charity UK, gets a donation!! How's that for an easy way to help hearts??!! I think it is fantastic as I had been diagnosed with high blood pressure some years back. My running has brought my blood pressure down (along with mediation) to a very normal range.

This past Saturday 22 March, I laced up my new shoes with the Red Laces and went out for my longest training run of this Marathon preparation....20 Miles! Yes I felt spiffy, felt energetic and had a great run. And wouldn't you know it, the one other runner I saw out there (not counting my running buddy) was wearing his Red Laces!! I think it's catching on!

My taper has begun, as the long hard miles are behind me and all I am looking at is a slow reduction of miles until London. I am so looking forward to this! Bring IT on!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    Can I read red laces too when I run on the 13th???? I wanna be like my Auntie Mary when I grow up!!! LOL!!! Mary you are going to be amazing!!! Jackie!!!

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ANNE7777 3/24/2008 1:17PM

    Great Mary! I am getting excited for you! Peace--Anne

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    I lived in London back in 1993, and remember watching the London Marathon. I hope you have a great race!

Sounds like the red laces is a great way to raise money for a great cause. I'll be walking 40 miles in a few weeks to raise money for Breast Cancer. I keep humming the song, "Keep on Moving."

Have a fantastic race!

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4 in FOUR

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

It's getting to the wire. This marks just FOUR weeks until I run my FOURTH marathon. My training has been a bit sputter and pop these past 2 weeks. I am still undergoing physiotherapy for my hamstring. It is getting better but for most of the time when I am running I feel a dull sensation in my left hip/joint area. I know that it WILL pass and come 13 April I will run with no discomfort..well I think I need to rephrase that. I will run without discomfort from this situation.

This week is to be my highest mileage week AND my longest run. The physio has been very positive in me being able to take on the 20 miles I have scheduled in for Saturday. His instructions these past 2 weeks have been for me to walk up the hills and to get to the gym and do some hamstring strengthening. I have been following his advice. That meant that I spent some time in the gym doing hamstring strengthening exercise and ran on the treadmill. So much different than running outside!! I also had to cut out or cut down some longer runs I had planned. It's all to help get me ready for London.

I'm looking forward to London. To the excitement, the hustle that just IS London. I can re-race last year's marathon in my mind at anytime and I think that is an advantage to me for this year. I know what the course is like, I remember how I felt at certain key places. I also remember how the 2nd 10K distance was a bit of a blur. I want to have every mile of this year clear in my memory.

I am formulating how I plan to run this. I do have a goal in mind and that is a sub6. Oh I know that sounds like a ridiculous goal for some people, but I am raising my own bar and running my own race. My husband can easily finish almost 3 hours faster than me.. but again he is a whippet of a runner and a real speed demon on the distance. I'm pleased and thrilled to have the opportunity to be a part of this race again. To do a sub 6 hour marathon would be a personal best of more than 10 minutes under last year's race. This I feel I can do. I have been training with this in mind.

I've got my copy of Marathon News with my official registration in it and all the final details. It's all coming together and after this Sunday it will be a slow ease into London. Here's to a 50+mile week!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    I just realized you will be running your marathon on the same day I am running my 5k...you are going to be phenomenal, I'm just hoping to finish!!! LOL!!! Jackie!!!

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CEEBEE200 3/18/2008 6:41PM

    Wow, 50 miles in a week, I just can't imagine it! What an a amazing thing the human body is... Cool that you're running the race in your head ahead of time - apparently visualisation is a really powerful technique. It'll be interesting to hear afterwards how you thought that helped in the real thing...

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Just one thing

Monday, March 10, 2008

My assignment for one of my teams is to list, in a blog, one positive thing about me and/or my lifestyle. It has to be positive and can be anything.

I did miss a few days of this because I didn't check in to see what the daily assignments were. Oh me! So turning that around and putting in my TODAY positive thing:

Monday: My entire lifestyle is much more active than I ever could have imagined. I run and that is something that I never ever thought I would do. I'm training again for The London Marathon and am sooooo excited about that, even though I am recovering from that nasty hamstring tear. I'm progressing!!

Tuesday: I am creative. I enjoy making things by hand, be it the counted cross stitch, my granddaughters Easter dresses, or a fab healthy meal. Perhaps it is part of a "creator" gene that brings me fulfillment. I also like to see the joy these things bring to other people. It's giving them a part of me.

Wednesday: I am a good listener. I know I value it when someone takes the time to just listen to me, so I turn my ear to what they have to say. Just being there for someone can really help them with what is going on in their lfe.

Thursday: I'm a positive person. I like to look at the "glass half full" and see the good. It's easy to complain about something but harder to keep positive when you are having a difficult time. Makes life so much better though!

Each day I'll add to this blog to keep it updated for the week.
It's just another day at a time reminder.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TRICOTINE 3/11/2008 11:55PM


Good luck with the Marathon training!

Comment edited on: 3/11/2008 11:54:46 PM

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Long and Winding Roads of Liverpool

Monday, March 03, 2008

The Long and Winding Road, European Capital of Culture 2008, The Ferry Across the Mersey...each of those statements would answer the question; "Tell me one thing about Liverpool, UK?"
Another fact would be that on 2 March 2008 the Liverpool Half Marathon took place.

It was an early rise and a 45 minute motorway drive down to Liverpool. The weather was bright and somewhat clear skies, but windy and briskly cold. Hubby and I had to drive to a city car park and take the bus transport to Sefton Park where the race would start and finish. Prior to getting the bus we changed into our race clothes and took the items we would need immediately following the race in a backpack to check in at the start/finish area.

Sefton Park was slowly filling with the additional 4,000 runners as we made our own final preparations and then joined the others in the start pen, with my husband placing himself much further up than me as his finish time would at least be an hour before me. With the sound of the Army cannon, the race began.

I didn't need to keep my Physio's words in my mind to treat this as a training run, my hamstring gentle pressure throughout the course kept me at a marathon rather than half-marathon pace. That was fine with me as I didn't want to cause any further damage to my mending muscle.

The course was a bit disappointing as we didn't get to see the wonderful sites of the River Mersey, the government buildings or the Albert Docks. Instead we ran from one park, down Parliament Street around an urban area and then back the up the hilly Parliament Street to another park where we did a few loops and then back to Sefton Park and a few more loops there until the route brought us back into the park were we began.

The first downhill mile passed by a bit too quickly and I knew I needed to slow up a bit or my leg might give out on me earlier then the finish line. Shortly after the 3 mile mark I passed my husband coming up the hill and looking strong. He was at least 3 miles ahead of me!! Easing into a nice steady rhythm I continued down to the water station where at 4 miles I walked to take on liquid. I had my sport drink in my camelbak but the water was a nice change, I also took my first isotonic gel.

Realizing that the uphill was approaching I was forced to slow to a walk to ease any tightness in my hamstring. Leveling off I picked up my pace passing some other runners who were having some difficult times. I could see the grimace in their faces as they fought their own physical limitations to push on to reach their goal, some it would be their first half marathon.

The next water station was at 8 miles where I walked again to hydrate and take on another gel. My legs were tired, but my breathing was great. I continued on and chuckled when one of the marshal's encouragingly said I was almost there, and reminded him that I had 5 more miles!

I was passing even more people, some had passed me earlier. I was now looking at my watch and realizing that I could finish in the adjusted time I had hoped for. I was now running along the outside of the park and closing in on the 11th mile. Earlier finishers were walking past adorned with their medals and some with the race T-shirts. They called out encouraging "well done" or "almost there" "great job" and I couldn't help but smile back and tell them thank you.

Approaching the last quarter mile I saw my husband, camera in hand, on the sidewalk telling me how great I was doing. It was the boost that helped me sail into the finishing funnel. I took my final steps, crossed over the timing mat with my arms open wide and a smile of achievement. I had completed my eighth half marathon race since my first in June 2005. This wasn't my fastest half marathon, but it was a good run with a strong finish. My time: 2:50:44 Not bad considering the hamstring tear.

My focus as I said in my previous post has been LONDON, not Liverpool. I am pleased that I was able to run Liverpool a bit faster than Marathon pace. I feel strong, capable, prepared to move on with my training and in six short weeks from today London, I pray will be a record breaking memory.

(my husbands time? a speedy 1:35:34!)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CEEBEE200 3/4/2008 5:43PM

    Wow, congratulations Mary - what a great run! And to complete it having safeguarded your hamstring too, brilliant! Roll on London.... :-)

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FITLIKENIC 3/3/2008 7:48PM

    Mary you have done so well... Looking forward to hearing about your next big adventure!

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TLB513 3/3/2008 6:05PM

    I've been looking forward to this blog! And even more forward to LONDON, as well. I can remember, last year, cheering you on from across the pond...! You know I'm with you... In Mind & Spirit!

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BARBIET65 3/3/2008 4:15PM

    Oh Mary, I'm so proud of you! Did you think of us on your run?LOL!
I may of gotten choked up reading how everyone was cheering you on! They were there shortly before you.
Thank you for the inspiring read. How are you feeling today?

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