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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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Friday, February 29, 2008

The last day of another month, a leap out of this one, a bridge to what awaits. Where I am today is preparing myself for a Half Marathon on Sunday. I'm a bit nervous as I want to do well. But now some of that worry has been removed.

About a month ago, I did a speed/sprint hill session with my Women's Running Group. Before finishing I realized that my hamstring area hurt and wasn't getting any better over the following weeks. I tried to stretch it out, ease up on the running keeping to more level areas and a bit slower paces. This worked for a bit until Tuesday and more speed and inclines, then I pushed it again yesterday with a speed session and yep, it HURT. I had to do something. Stretching, ice, heat, etc was not going to fix this, I needed to go to a physio.

The short of today's visit is, I can run the Half on Sunday (glad about that) but I can't run it as a race, it can be a training run. So there goes my hope of doing a Personal Best. I am fine with that! I wanted to be able to run and was fully prepared to NOT run it if that is what the Physio told me. My focus is not on Liverpool, it's on London, the marathon that is just a short 6 weeks away.

So now I look ahead, I will do an easy 2 mile run in the morning, pack and prepare my race bag and kit. I will keep my mind positive and run and even walk if that is what my body tells me on Sunday. This will be a good race, this will be an enjoyable race, this will be a race shared with my husband as it will be the first one he will run since his back injury a year ago.

I'm taking a leap of faith here with my hamstring. I am trusting that what the physio did today will enable me to do what I want to do on Sunday. Here's to the Long and Winding Roads of Liverpool!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    Mary you are going to be great!!! You know and respect your body too much to do more than you know it right!!! I was thinking about you as I was watching the LA Marathon this morning!!! Did you heard...a woman WON it today!!! WooooHoooo!!! Jackie!!!

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CEEBEE200 2/29/2008 6:38PM

    Good luck with your run on Sunday, Mary! It sounds like you are being very wise in your approach and I'm sure that will pay dividends when it comes to London. Your positive frame of mind in your other recent posts is very inspirational - it won't be long until you're closing in on Buckingham Palace, after rounding the corner off the Embankment... Exciting stuff!!!!

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Run through......

Monday, February 25, 2008

Another week...another way point in my journey towards London and beyond.

However, before London, there is Liverpool! I've been training hard with the Half on 2 March in mind. I was able to keep to my training program by getting out each planned day and running the necessary miles. I hit a high of 51.17 miles for the week! OUCH! Yes, that IS a lot of miles and I have been attempting to balance that all with rest, massage, and hot bath soaks.

I had some down miles during the long run of 16 miles on Saturday. I was sore, tired, hurting a bit on my periformis and L hamstring niggle and my mind wanted to stop. I so wished at that moment I could have been teleported back home. That is when after adjusting my sock, and retieing my shoe, I came up with a new mantra. (run through......the pain) What ever that "pain" is for that moment...run through it. It might be physical pain, emotional pain, disappointment type pain, whatever that pain is..keep going. Look beyond it, to what is waiting.....
for me in Liverpool, I am looking beyond to see the best half marathon time yet, a new venue to run, a great medal and race T shirt.
for life...I will run through each moment I am given to make it the best possible. To see the sunshine amongst the storm clouds. To keep going, to re-evaluate and learn what it is I need to do for me to be a healthier me.

...so I will run through today, just like in a run/race I have read that you "run through the finish line". You don't slow up because you see the finish line waiting, but you keep on pace, on target and see the course... you finish strong, to be able to run through the next course.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ANNE7777 2/25/2008 8:07AM

    Mary--wow that is a lot of miles. Sorry you are in pain...be careful, further injury with set you further back. Take care of you--you have an amazing ability of "mind over matter," but I know you will listen to your body, and rest/heal up properly when you need to! Peace--Anne

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