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The Weekly Mile: Week 12 & 13 (Double Double)

Monday, July 09, 2012

In a list of favorite "Canadian-isms" the term "Double Double" is close to the top of the list. It comes from Tim Horton's (our Canadian version of Dunkin' Donuts) and is a way in which you order your coffee - a double double comes with double cream, double sugar. In short - it's really bad for you.

"Double Double" pretty much sums up the last couple of weeks for me. 2 weeks of being away from Spark People after running my half marathon (most of which I was away on vacation), working doubles almost every day between my various jobs right now, and eating about double of what I'm supposed to be every day while using my "vacation from running" to double up on the unhealthy eat lots/exercise little syndrome. This is NOT a good mid-way point for marathon training. So this week, it's time to double-double up on the good habits and good training!

My trip home to celebrate Canada Day with my family was just what the doctor ordered. I was burnt out on a heavy schedule of training, work and more work and just really needed some time by the lake to recoup. But what I ended up getting was even more. I was greeted by a party of 70 people on Canada Day, some of whom haven't seen me in years. Needless to say, the comments were pretty incredible and a huge boost of self esteem. There was one person - I actually don't even remember who it was now because I tried to block the incident from my mind - who greeted me by saying "So how much do you have left to lose?" which I think is the absolute rudest thing you can say to a person and frankly is none of anyone's business - what if I'm perfectly happy where I am? And why would you assume that I'm going to lose anymore? (Even though I know I am). I had no idea what to even say, I was so taken aback by the ridiculous and insensitive question. But besides that, it was a pretty awesome day.

I followed that up by running twice while I was home - a nice, easy, terribly-hot, 4-miler one day and a 6-miler 2 days later - doing a 1K open water swim in record time, and WATER SKIING! Water skiing is a sacred sport in my family. I learned to ski when I was about 5 years old and would have been considered crazy not to venture out on the lake at least twice a day when we were on summer holidays. My father, until a recent skiing injury, was basically a pro, and such a beautiful skier, leaning in to the wake almost horizontally as he sliced the water back and forth behind the boat. My brothers followed suit and even began at one point to take up barefoot skiing. The only reason we couldn't continue in that vein was because we needed a bigger, faster boat to keep up with us! As I slowly started to put on pounds summer after summer, pulling myself up behind the boat got more and more difficult. Until one year, I just couldn't anymore. I remember trying 5 or 6 times, dragging myself in the water until I felt like my arms would fall off. The boat motor was not strong enough to pull my weight, and I was no longer strong enough to hang on through the force of sustained drag that it would take to get me up. I was devastated. And then I went away to school and was working summers and made enough other excuses not to get back in the water. But every time my brothers would go out and ski tandem behind the boat, a piece of me would long for that.

It's been over 10 years since I last pulled myself up out of the water. And after already completing a 6 mile run for the day, I strapped on 2 skis, yelled "Hit It!" and pulled myself effortlessly out of the water on the first shot. I'm crying writing this, it was such an amazing moment of pure accomplishment. Once around the lake on 2 skis and dad pulled the boat by the dock for the moment of truth. Without thinking twice, I dropped my balance ski and set in for another loop around the lake, slalom (skiing on one ski with your drag leg tucked behind you - it takes an IMMENSE amount of quad strength in your ski leg and upper body strength to hang on). And just like that, I was slicing back & forth across the wake like I did when I was 8 years old. A little shaky, but beaming proud none-the-less. My runner's legs doing what they do best - carrying me through the challenges I set out before them. By the dock again and as I let go of the tow rope and came in for a graceful, water-crested slide, I let out a "WHOOP!" that echoed off the whole lake. I did it. And I've said that a lot of times in this journey, but something about THIS "I Did It" is so sentimental and special to me it makes it to the top of the list. I have finally regained something that I thought was lost to me forever. And nothing feels better than that. (There are pictures of this momentous occasion that I don't have yet, but they will be posted as soon as I get them from my brother!)

My vacation concluded too soon, as they all do. And unfortunately both Nikhil and I brought home a nasty case of poison oak/ivy (the likes of which I also have not seen since I was 8). How we got it is another story in and of itself. Involves me trying to be a show-off on the ATV and setting out on an off-roading adventure that ended with my brother having to come rescue us from a ditch with the winch. A ditch full of poison oak & poison ivy. Yeah. I'm awesome. And because my body has been so stressed fighting off such a bad outbreak, the lowered immune system of being on vacation and the insane heat that is nothing but a petrie dish of breeding germs, I now have a terrible summer cold/sinus infection. So I'm quite literally a hot mess. Welcome back, huh?

I've been dealing with my depression about having to return to all the work and regular, non-vacation, life stress by eating. Eating, eating, eating - which started while I was away and just hasn't stopped since. I knew it was BAD when yesterday I consumed a half loaf of jalapeno cheddar bread and kefir for breakfast, a McDonald's grilled chicken and fries for lunch (seriously? I haven't been to McDonald's in over a year), and ordered out Thai food - pineapple cashew fried rice) for dinner. Followed that up with a binge on chocolate & wasabi almonds until I was so full I felt ill. It's been a rough weekend - in so many ways. But it's over now and it's time to re-focus and get back with the program. Vacation is over. Stress is part of life. And I need to get myself back to a good enough routine to be able to deal with it all.

13 weeks until the Marathon! Here I come!

Week 12 & 13 Schedule (Completed):

Mon - Rest
Tue - Rest
Wed - Rest
Thu - Rest
Fri - walking around Toronto - about 5 miles
Sat - 4 miles
Sun - Rest
Mon - 1K lake swim & waterskiing!
Tue - 6 miles & waterskiing
Wed - Rest
Thu - lazy slob :)
Fri - lazy slob :)
Sat - Zumba
Sun - yuck...

Total Weekly Miles: 10 (for both weeks)
Total Weekly Calories Burned: not enough. Ate so many more.
Weekly Weigh-In: the scale has been kind. After weighing in at 192 the day after I got back in town, I am down to 186.2 this morning. Whew.

Week 14 Schedule:

Mon - Rest (like I really need another day of rest, BUT I'm working a double)
Tue - 5 miles
Wed - Swimming
Thu - Rest
Fri - 14 miles...this is gonna hurt...
Sat - Zumba
Sun - Rest

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MANLEYSANDY 7/10/2012 3:00PM

    I always smile reading your blogs! What a triumph!!!

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ALOFA0509 7/10/2012 2:25PM

    Ohh the skiing story was the BEST!!!!! ummm... as for the M-F'er who asked how much weight to you need to lose-- emoticon -- Your amazing girl!!!!

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JENJESS48 7/10/2012 12:24PM

    The person who asked you how much you have left to lose is so rude I can't believe that they're Canadian. They should have their citizenship revoked for that!

Congrats on the water skiing! That is an amazing NSV!!!

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LOTUSFLOWER 7/10/2012 11:59AM

    Jenn, I got the chills reading about your return to skiing, how wonderful that must have been! I hope you get well soon, and your plan for this week is great. Have a double double week!!! I know you will!

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-POOKIE- 7/10/2012 9:09AM

    I really smiled reading about your water ski triumph xx *hugs*

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LAKEGIRL76 7/10/2012 9:05AM

    Your blog made me cry. I loved water skiing when I was younger, but long ago gave it up, because it was just too hard. That may be my new goal for next summer! It is an amazing feeling to be on skis! I am so happy you have been able to do so many things that you weren't able to before. You are once again living life!!! emoticon

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LAURIETAIT 7/9/2012 9:26PM

    That is awesome! The water skiing not the poison oak/ivy. I think we all pay the price at the scale when we are out of our regular routine. But the stress relief aspect is worth it I think. You'll be back in the groove in no time and kill the marathon the same way you killed the half.

Sheesh! Can you believe it? No water skiing emoticon! Use your imagination here. X

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JENNIFER_67 7/9/2012 8:31PM

    Sounds like a great vacation. emoticon

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SLFRISBEY 7/9/2012 5:13PM

    Sounds like a fantastic vacation! I am so glad you got to water ski and enjoy time with the family. Welcome back to Chicago... dispite the poison ivy!

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The Weekly Mile: Week 11 (HALF Naked!)

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Well you guys - I DID IT! I'm half way there and I have the Finisher's Medal to prove it. I ran my first Half Marathon.



Start to finish, this couldn't have been a better race for me. I feel like I did everything right. And what's that you ask? Well - here's the breakdown:

The Inaugural Chicago Women's Half Marathon - June 24, 2012 - Official Race Report

Those of you who have been following my training blogs know that getting to this week hasn't been the easiest task for me. But I knew that I had done as much as I could, I went into my taper week confidently, put in exactly the miles that were prescribed and then behaved myself and stayed on schedule for the rest of my time before the big run.

In a 4-3-2-Rest-Rest pattern, I gave my legs and my energy a run for their money early in the week and actually awoke on Friday night with muscle twitches in my thighs - a good sign actually to say that my quick release fibers are firing rapidly and that my legs are craving the output that they usually get on my long-run weekends. I saw my chiropractor on Wednesday as per usual on my off-weeks and had her do a deep tissue quad stretch for me. Ohhh, so good. Since I had been having back issues of late, I have seen her more than usual, but I didn't want to miss seeing her this week because I wanted to make sure everything was in line for Sunday.

I had less sleep this week than I wanted, and I will say that the other stressors in my life boiled to a head on Friday night and I needed to come home and have a good cry to get it out of my system. Nerves plus stress plus lack of sleep is never a good thing leading up to something this big, but the catharsis helped immensely and my advice to anyone who is feeling that pre-race pressure is to just let it out. Rent a sad movie, talk to a friend, do what you need to do - the stress needs to go so you can focus on the task at hand.

Which for me was clearly eating :) I'd like to step out on a ledge here and say that my food choices for the weekend were pretty near PERFECT for my body's rate of fueling and metabolism and function. Friday I stuck to a lean protein diet - breakfast sandwich with ham, egg & cheese, tuna for lunch with veggies and fruit, and a falafel plate from my favorite Mediterranean restaurant for dinner to bulk up on that fibrous lentil protein. Saturday I focused more on meat and healthy fats with a breakfast of a berry smoothie and pretzel bread and cashew butter, a lunch of a footlong Subway grilled chicken sandwich with added avocado, and a dinner of steak, potatoes and a full bag of steamed spinach with butter (topped off with ONE beer of course for added carb benefit). Sunday's pre-race fuel was my "superstition breakfast" of loaded oatmeal (a mix of steal cut and rolled oats with chocolate almond milk, flax seed, coconut, cinnamon, and trail mix topper), coconut water and a banana. I couldn't eat all of the oatmeal - nervous stomach won over - but I felt confident that I had fueled sufficiently and had enough time to empty what was in me pre-race (haha! always something to consider!)

Nikhil graciously allowed me to stay at his place on Saturday night, and since he lives right beside the start line I was able to get some extra valuable sleep in on Sunday morning. At 6:15am I was out the door and walking up Columbus Drive, arriving at gear check by 6:25am. The one "improvement item" that I will say about running a race with 4000 women is that next year, they need more porta potties! At least double the number please. I ended up waiting in the potty line for about 25 minutes before heading over to check my gear. I know I was only staying 10 minutes away, but it's another superstition thing with me I suppose...or maybe just something mom engrained in me hard as a kid - gotta go pee before you set out to go anywhere. But once that was accomplished, I headed to the start line and immediately found the 2:45 pace group.



As they sang the National Anthem, I took a deep breath and looked around me. 4000 women all grouped together is an amazing site: #1 - because it's a racing event and it doesn't happen that often, and #2 - because we have DAMN CUTE tech gear. I think most of my time standing waiting for the gun to go off was spent chatting with the other girls around me about where we all got our cute clothes!

I had made a decision earlier in the week to do this race "naked". Not that naked - trust me, I had on some pretty cute gear myself, but without my Garmin, my heart monitor or my iPod. Just me and the road and 3999 other females celebrating the 40th anniversary of Title IX - the day that women were officially allowed to participate in "men's" sports. I was worried about whether I would be able to stay in my head that long without distractions, but I will tell you, it's the best decision I ever made. As the first wave of women started to run and the crowd surged forward, instead of listening to my warm-up tracks, I was listening to the whooping and cheering of the women around me and the men who came out to support us. I was listening to calls of "You got this girl!" and "Way to go Mom!" and "You can do it Ladies!" from everywhere around me. I have to admit - I got a little teary-eyed at the level of support I was feeling, even though I was running alone.

Before I knew it we were down the shoot and through the first bottleneck around Shedd Aquarium. I knew the Lakefront Trail well, I've run this section a few times before, and I KNEW where we were all going to slow down. But honestly, besides that one place right off the start, the rest of the path worked really well in both directions and once the crowds thinned out, I had the path to myself for a large part of the race.

Even though I was racing alone I never felt alone. I had no problems making running buddies along the way. A friend team that was running together sidled up beside me to comment on my running top and ended up staying with me for about 5 minutes. We chatted back and forth about my motivation to run a Half and that of them, one was also running her first, but her friend had already run about 6 and that's why they were doing it together. I had another, older friend team behind me who were doing a run/walk interval, and every time they would speed up an get behind me they'd say "there's that bright yellow shirt again that we love so much!" Around mile 5 I ran beside a girl who was labouring hard to breathe. We had just crested one of a number of hills on the trail and she seemed to be having a tough time of it already. I called out to her - "how are you doing girl? You're lookin good!" She replied by pulling out one earphone and saying, "I'm ok - just wish it weren't so hot!" We then exchanged a few pleasantries and she asked me where I was from. It was her first Half too. As I pulled ahead of her about a quarter of a mile later I realized that I was feeling REALLY great going into mile 6, and I had to smile to myself about how far I've come to even be able to run and carry on a conversation at the same time. Kinda blew myself away with that one - it was a proud moment. Meanwhile, I'm watching the clocks at every mile and I know that I have been maintaining a perfect 12/mile pace, which also makes me happy. I knew I didn't need my Garmin as long as I trusted my body - and sure enough, I was right.

One more big hill into the turn-around and at this point we're seeing the faster runners who went on to win the race on their way back. Another really lovely moment of everyone being supportive and cheering each other on. It was like a sound wave to hear those faster runners passing everyone on the way back. I could hear the women in front of me starting to cheer and yell about a minute up ahead and then my group all cheered as they went by and so on down the line behind me until it faded out in the distance. I can only imagine being that girl and having that constant support all the way home. Would make me want to run a 6:30/mile too!

I was happy to see the turn-around point. My knees had just started to tell me that they were getting tired, and I knew that there was a Gatorade stop coming up soon that I had planned to hit. So at mile 7 I got my first fuel boost and was definitely glad for it. At this point, the sun was out in FULL force and the temp had risen from 74 degrees at the start of the race to about 80 degrees with a warm lake breeze. Strategically placed misters along the way were a welcome oasis for sure, as were the shadier parts of the trail. A brief walk break through a particularly hard sun patch saw me into mile 9.3 and the 15K aid station for some more water that I poured most of down my back. I made a deal with myself to run full to mile 10 and then we could talk about more walk breaks.

I made it to mile 10 and another Gatorade station. It wasn't part of the plan to fuel twice, but my body was telling me it needed the push, so I went for it anyway, hoping that too much liquid in my stomach wouldn't bog me down. Between 10-11 miles was at least a .75 mile stretch of full on glaring sun which I paced myself through most of and then had to slow to a walk when I started feeling a little light-headed. Most everyone was walking at this point, so I followed suit and still managed to cross the 11 mile marker on schedule. I made up some ground on mile 12. Not exactly sure how since I ended up walking through the 12 mile marker as well, but at this point it's a bit of a blur. What I do know is that at this point my mantra was "DO NOT push" and every time I felt like my breathing was getting too fast or too laboured, I would slow myself down again to an easy jog. Everything in me just wanted to finish, but I knew I had to keep pacing myself through that last leg of the race, or it might mean having to walk over the finish line.

Despite NOT pushing, at mile 12 I made the deal with myself to run full out to the end. Which I did, for about .75 of a mile. Then "Heartbreak Hill" - an upswing on the path that leads from an underground tunnel up to street bridge level. Yeah. Not gonna happen. There were tons of people on the sidelines at this point cheering us on to "show this hill who's boss" - but I'm gonna be honest - at that point, the hill owned me, and I walked it shamelessly. Cause from that point out it was all downhill to the finish and I turned on the boosters and just DID IT. Aw yeah. I'm sure my Garmin would have clocked at least an 8 minute mile for that last .3 cause I knew I was gunning it home. The finish line was right there. And then - I was over it. And I had done it. And they were handing me an ice-cold towel and water and frozen kefir. Holy crap - I just ran a Half Marathon. And I felt GREAT!!!



I fought some nausea while standing in line for my finisher's photo, newly minted medal hanging around my neck. But the cold towel helped immensely and was definitely a nice touch. Once through the line, I found Nikhil in the crowd. He had been waiting at the finish line for me, but didn't see me cross because I came in faster than he thought I was going to...and faster than I thought I was going to!



My final time was 2:40:48. Perfect. My goal was to finish. My secret goal was to finish in under 2:45 and somewhere around a 12/mile pace. I ran 12:17/mile. I couldn't be happier. I know now that I can do the full. It's going to be hard work, but with that race pace and with continued training at this level, I can assume that I will finish the marathon in 5.5 hours.

After picking up my gear and receiving my souvenir yoga mat (great race packets with all kinds of goodies!) I collapsed for a bit on the grass and called my parents. Obviously they are proud. That makes me happy. My mom actually started to cry. You know - maybe someday I might get her to run a 5K with me...we'll see.





After lounging around on the lawn for a bit and hearing the top 3 winners announced we headed back home for a nice long shower and a nap, followed up by a lunch feast at Lou Malnati's (I never usually eat Chicago Pizza, so this, if anything, was a damn good excuse). And yes, I then had ice cream for dinner. I so earned it.

Next step? Back on the road. I'm taking a bit of a breather this week with a vacation home to Canada for the Canada Day/Independence Day long weekend. But I'll still be running and swimming and water skiing, so the hard work doesn't stop here. We've just passed the start of Chicago Marathon Training - it kicked off officially on June 18th. But I am well within my goal range to continue to take it slow and steady to get to those higher miles. Moving on up!



Week 11 Schedule (Completed):

Mon - Rest
Tue - 4 miles
Wed - 3 miles
Thu - 2 miles
Fri - Rest
Sat - Rest
Sun - HALF Marathon, 13.1 miles, completed in 2:40:48

Total Weekly Miles: 22.1
Total Weekly Calories Burned: over 3500
Weekly Weigh-In: 185.2 (back up again, but today I was down to 182.2 again, so I'm gonna go with that)

Week 12 Schedule:

Mon - Rest
Tue - Rest
Wed - Rest
Thu - 3 miles
Fri - walking around Toronto
Sat - 5 miles & swim
Sun - Rest

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TEENY_BIKINI 7/21/2012 2:25PM

    Amazing, amazing, amazing!!

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NANASAMM 7/1/2012 5:59PM

    Great commentary on your run...I felt like I was there. What a great accomplishment for you! Enjoy your well deserved vacation!
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ALOFA0509 6/28/2012 10:59PM

    High 5 sista!!! emoticon - Congrats on the race, what an amazing finish!!! U rocked it out.. emoticon

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SBHPATRICK 6/28/2012 6:37PM

    What a terrific accomplishment - CONGRATULATIONS!

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LOTUSFLOWER 6/27/2012 5:29PM

    I am SO proud of you!!!!!! Congratulations, I loved hearing all of the details, from the cheers in the crowd to the support along the road. You made me tear up, I know how far you've come and it's an amazing journey. You are so amazing, and I love you!

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MFLYNN8 6/26/2012 6:58PM

    What a ride! I felt like I was there with you and that it wasn't raining here bc I want to train!

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LAURIETAIT 6/26/2012 5:41PM

    emoticon You ran a smart race and looked damn good doin' it! You are getting sooo sleek. I would never guess you weigh 182. Must be all that muscle!

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CALLIKIA 6/26/2012 5:10PM

    First of all, you are looking AMAZING! Second of all WOOOOOOHOOOOOO!!! SO proud of you!

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LUEYGIRL 6/26/2012 4:43PM

    Really encouraging and something to be SO proud of!

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SHELLYBABE2 6/26/2012 3:06PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

So very pleased for you - think the emoticons say it all really :)) Well done!

TFS

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CHICAT63 6/26/2012 2:55PM

    So happy for you !!! Awesome blog, especially when I read the hill part..."Yeah. Not gonna happen.." you listened to your body and achieved AWESOME time for your first half. Congratulations and have a great time with your family for Canada Day.

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LISSOME 6/26/2012 2:51PM

    Such a wonderful blog! Congratulations on what sounds like an absolutely stellar race. I'm so glad the stars lined up for a wonderful experience.
I'm looking forward to reading more updates in the weeks ahead.


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MANLEYSANDY 6/26/2012 2:06PM

    AMAZING!!!!

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SEPPIESUSAN 6/26/2012 12:30PM

    Congratulations! Wonderful accomplishment!

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CBAILEYC 6/26/2012 12:24PM

    Happy congrats! Well done lady!
emoticon emoticon
C~

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JMEPAYNE 6/26/2012 11:17AM

    awesome job!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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JENNIFER_67 6/26/2012 10:37AM

    emoticon That's great!!

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MOCOHOLO 6/26/2012 10:20AM

    Way to go!!! You are amazing and should be so proud of yourself!

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-POOKIE- 6/26/2012 10:11AM

    I love this blog, got a few little happy tears for you x

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SNATCHCARRIE 6/26/2012 10:00AM

    Wow, you have come so far. Congratulations on reaching this goal!!! And you are looking fantastic. So fit and athletic. Compare the pics of you in this race to the ones from your first 5k. What a change!!!

BTW, where are you from in Canada? (I'm in Kitchener and grew up in Oshawa.) How did you end up in Chicago? (Is that where you are now?)

Enjoy your trip home this weekend!

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SARAWALKS 6/26/2012 9:21AM

    Oh, this is just the GREATEST! I enjoyed reading all about it. Great choice to go "naked" and experience the event. I am REALLY impressed by how you prepped for this, you are so incredibly organized. Don't know that I will ever be able to stick to a plan like that but, as always, you inspire me!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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RUNNER12COM 6/26/2012 8:45AM

    Sorry, I wanted to focus on the amazing recap you wrote, but I was distracted by the sound of how awesome you are!!!

*grin*

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JENJESS48 6/26/2012 8:38AM

    Fantastic job, Jenn! I'm so happy and proud of you! You overcame a lot of difficulties to get to the half, and you did better than you'd plan. You're such a rockstar!

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IMOM4GIRLS 6/26/2012 8:23AM

    Soooo Happy for you!!! I'm doing the Chicago 1/2 in September. I hope I can do as well as you - you are a great inspiration. You will Rock the Chicago Marathon!! Congratulations!!

~Kath

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JEREMY723 6/26/2012 6:50AM

    Congrats and great job! Enjoy your upcoming break:)

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KAYATLANTA2010 6/26/2012 6:03AM

    What a wonderful accomplishment! I am SO proud of you, and happy for you!!! Congratulations on your first Half Marathon!
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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STFRENCH 6/26/2012 5:56AM

    Congratulations!! You're a rock- emoticon

xx

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VICKYMARIEC 6/26/2012 5:47AM

    I am so, so proud of you girl! You've had a lot of crazy weeks leading up to this half, but all of your hard work really paid off. You NEVER stopped going and that's amazing! I can't wait for your full marathon...when is it anyways?

Comment edited on: 6/26/2012 5:48:34 AM

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The Weekly Mile: Week 10 (A Confident Taper?)

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

I missed a Monday! Oops. Most of you know that my life is insane right now (I'm working 4 jobs and training for a Half) and this week is no exception even though I should be trying to take it easy before Sunday. No such luck.

But I have found a little zen as far as thinking about how Sunday's race is going to go: Basically, I have no real control over it. I have trained as hard as I can, I have put in the mileage, and I can't do a damn thing about the weather (which has decided this week to climb well into the high 90s with 50-60% humidity). I'm actually glad that I'm tapering this week, because running more than 4 miles in that heat is pretty much the definition of torture. I'm concerned about running the race, but I'm also concerned about my personal safety. And that means that you need to slow down and drink water and do what you need to do to keep cool, sane and functioning.

Last week was a great one for running mileage. I managed to complete a 15K on Tuesday night and was feeling pretty good about how I felt after my run and how I felt about tacking on more mileage to the end of the run. A 5 mile run Friday morning solidified for me that I can easily cover 5-7 miles before it starts to get hard. And then I closed out the week with an 11 mile long run (that I got up at 7am to accomplish before my day show at Blue Man Group). Boom! If that doesn't make you feel like you can do anything, I don't know what does.

I struggled towards the very end of the 11 miler. It had gone from a HUMID 70 degrees when I left the house to 82 degrees by the time I rounded in to the last mile. My plan was to only drink the 10 ounces of water that I brought with me, but I had to stop at a park fountain for a refill at mile 9.5 because the thirst I had was incredible. What I learned though is that I actually only need to DRINK about half of what I did. Dry-mouth can make you feel like you're thirsty, but drink too much mid-run and heavy stomach takes over and makes it harder, physically, to keep pushing. So my method for Sunday will be drink, spit, drink, spit. Keep the mouth flushed with fluids, but only actually consume about half of them. Hopefully that will help keep me hydrated and keep the water stomach cramps at bay.

Thankfully the weather for Sunday looks slightly cooler. We are expecting rain before the big day that should bring in a cold front, but what I don't want is the rain that makes it more humid. I can run in heat. But running in humidity is the energy socker.

On the weight-loss front, lots of running and being good about my caloric intake resulted in another loss on the scale! Woohoo! But here's how precise/wacky my internal calculator is - weighed in yesterday and had dropped again over the weekend (YES!), then worked an event last night at which I ended up skipping dinner and came in well under my calories for the day. Stepped on the scale this morning and I'm up 3 pounds. What gives!? So I retaliated with a piece of lemon cake at Starbucks this morning. Yeah, I know...but I'm human, I was pissed, and I'll run it off tonight.

Alright you guys - 13.1 Miles - here I come! Next time I blog, I'll be wearing a finisher's medal around my neck. Wish me luck!

Week 10 Schedule (Completed):

Mon - Rest
Tue - 15K
Wed - Rest
Thu - Rest
Fri - 5 miles
Sat - Rest
Sun - 11 miles

Total Weekly Miles: 25.3
Total Weekly Calories Burned: 3427
Weekly Weigh-In: 182.2

Week 11 Schedule:

Mon - Rest
Tue - 4 miles
Wed - 3 miles
Thu - 2 miles
Fri - Rest
Sat - Rest
Sun - HALF MARATHON!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHELLYBABE2 6/21/2012 10:33AM

    Good luck! Look forward to seeing the finisher's medal next time!


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MANLEYSANDY 6/20/2012 1:33PM

    Good luck...I know you can do it!

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-POOKIE- 6/20/2012 12:11PM

    Hope it goes well!

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JEREMY723 6/19/2012 6:35PM

    Best of luck for a safe and great time. I'm sure you know to hydrate extra well the few days before!

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LAURIETAIT 6/19/2012 6:14PM

    You have the right idea. Do as well as you are able in the circumstances. Heat exhaustion is no fun. I know you'll be great.

Good Luck and Good Weather!
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STFRENCH 6/19/2012 5:10PM

    Good luck! emoticon

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JENJESS48 6/19/2012 4:31PM

    Best of luck in the race, Jenn! Humidity is the absolute worst, so I'm wishing you a nice dry day! emoticon

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VICKYMARIEC 6/19/2012 4:05PM

    I can't wait to hear all about it! I hope you post some pictures too! On another note...a few blogs ago the boy was edging his way back into your life and then you went silent about him. I hope everything worked out for YOU in that regards.

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The Weekly Mile: Week 9 (Nerves of...)

Monday, June 11, 2012

Pre-race panic has officially set in. I'm two weeks away from my Half and feeling VERY under-trained. How did I get here? I was doing so well!

More challenges this week in my distance training - I was able to bounce back pretty quick from my minor surgery last weekend and was up to running 5 miles again on Friday, but I did something stupid in the process that has ended up costing me a lot of time and physical angst. My back has been bothering me for a bit - understandable given my mileage increases and the amount of (self-inflicted) stress that I've been under. Despite seeing my chiropractor and massage therapist regularly, this particular knot has been an ongoing issue and until Wednesday of this week I was feeling pretty "out". Went in for my Wednesday morning adjustment and she finally found the spot, cracked me good and low and behold I was pain-free for one entire day! Until I went out running that night because I felt so great, tripped a curb and threw my entire body out of alignment again. Oh good grief Charlie Brown. I could barely walk home. My left leg refused to move without searing pain up my entire left side and down my entire left leg - no bueno. I was finally able to make it home and stretch it out a bit, pop SOMETHING back into place enough to deal with the sharpness of the pain, and send off an apology email to my chiropractor for being a clutz, asking if she had any room for me again on Thursday morning. Unfortunately, she couldn't see me Thursday, but she did have a Friday morning appointment, so I gratefully took that and proceeded to ice and heat for the day on Thursday.

Friday morning I felt ok enough to assume that I could run again. Here was my mistake. As stupid as I felt for tripping the curb, throwing myself out again was not the issue. Deciding to run on an "out" back is not a good recommendation. But I was so afraid to have an adjustment and re-damage it again by running later that night or Saturday morning, that I decided the best thing to do would be to run my 5 miles in the morning before my appointment, get my adjustment and then rest for a couple of days to recover. So I ran an uncomfortable 5 miles on Friday morning. By the time I reached the doctors office, the muscles in my back were so tight that I couldn't stand up straight. And try as she might to loosen them, the big crack that I needed to set me right again was out of the question. She ended up working on me for a half hour, using every drop procedure in the book. In short - she basically beat the crap out of me, and it still didn't fix the issue. I left with the instruction to ice, heat, stretch, drink LOTS of water and take Advil if I needed it - but that overall, I was going to be very sore for a couple of days. She also told me she didn't want me to run over the weekend - to which I balked, knowing that a 15K was on my weekend schedule. She gave me a fair warning that said I could do what I wanted to, but that skipping a 15K was not going to kill me in the long run, and that even if I had to run/walk the race, at least I would be able to compete - whereas if I went out and re-injured myself, chances are good that I could put myself out completely and be forced to forfeit the race.

I get it. I do. But now I'm scared. I've skipped so many long runs over the past few weeks that I'm terribly nervous about covering the mileage. I know run/walking the race is ok - but it's not my goal. And in the long run of things, I need a success right now to keep me on track for the Full and to feel like I really can do this. I'm starting to get in my head and my nerves are more like Jello than steel.

You don't mess around with injuries. And I know this is my body's way of telling me that it's under duress and that I need to slow down a bit. But now is NOT the time. I did manage to get a 5 mile run in yesterday on the treadmill, but even after that my back is sore and I'm still not standing straight. I was going to run the other 4 of my scheduled 9.3 tonight, but instead I'm sitting here writing this blog because in all honesty, it just doesn't feel good enough to run.

I'm sure every marathoner experiences this at one time or another. The negative feelings are telling me that I can't do this and that I'm making excuses for my injuries which really aren't that bad and if I REALLY wanted this, I would just power through the pain. The positive feelings are trying to be supportive of my body's needs and talk myself into believing that even though I'm feeling inadequate, that I'm still going to be able to pull it out on race day and meet my goals. This is the mental see-saw of marathon training, and it's only going to get worse from this point on. But I'm determined to beat it down, because really, I have no other choice.

So to end on a positive note, I'm still WAY ahead of the game. Chicago Marathon training officially starts June 18th. That's still a week away. And the first week of training involves running about 10 miles total, split over multiple runs. I'm currently capable of running 28+ miles in a week and I CAN do the 13 mile distance. So, really, I'm already half way there and we haven't even started yet. This too shall pass, but I won't lie and say I'm not looking forward to feeling "normal" again - whatever that means. Rest assured - I'll keep you posted!

Week 9 Schedule (Completed):

Mon - 2.5 mile walk
Tue - Rest
Wed - 3 mile run (on which I tripped the curb and re-injured my back...doh!)
Thu - Rest
Fri - 5 mile run (worked through the pain, and paid for it later)
Sat - Rest
Sun - 5 mile run (not what I aimed for, but better than nothing)

Total Weekly Miles: 13
Total Weekly Calories Burned: 1428 (just below my goal of 1500/week)
Weekly Weigh-In: 184.4 (post-run, but it stuck over the weekend)

Week 10 Schedule:

Mon - Rest
Tue - 15K (I just have to get a distance run in!)
Wed - Rest
Thu - 3 miles
Fri - 2 miles
Sat - Rest
Sun - 11 miles (final long run before race taper)

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LOTUSFLOWER 6/13/2012 11:09AM

    I think you learned a lot fr0m this experience, and like you said, you are way ahead of the game. You go, girl. I know you will reach your goals, and that distance. Love you!

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JEREMY723 6/12/2012 4:41PM

    If you go for the half try to enjoy the experience. Walking breaks can be really good. Even run .8 and walk .2 for each mile. Sorry I don't have been advice, other than to remember there are other halfs in the future whether this one works out or not.

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JENJESS48 6/12/2012 10:51AM

    Oh man, when it rains it pours. I am also a chronic over-doer, so I totally understand why you're pushing yourself. Looks like Mother Nature, in her sublime way, is trying to teach both of us a lesson: slow down and take care of yourself, lady! Like you said, you're ahead of the game. So relax and let yourself heal! emoticon

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-POOKIE- 6/12/2012 8:35AM

    *careful hugs* take care of yourself x

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LAURIETAIT 6/12/2012 12:16AM

    Listen to your Chiropractor! Listen to your body! Rest a little now or a LOT later. Relax. You will do fine in the HM and even if you don't, it's one race. There will be others. Take care of your body and it will take care of you. (and your full marathon aspirations too)
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MOCOHOLO 6/11/2012 11:58PM

    Please be careful and take care of yourself. You'll be grateful you did in the long run. I know these setbacks can be tough, but just look at how far you've come and know that you rock regardless of this one 1/2 marathon. Hugs!

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The Weekly Mile: Week 8 (Doctor's Orders)

Monday, June 04, 2012

I can't run this week. And that sucks. I also can't swim, and that sucks more. I was in for a minor abdominal procedure over the weekend - nothing serious - but when I questioned about the recovery period and when I could start running again, the nurse looked at me like I was nuts and said "I would suggest nothing for this week - we'd prefer you rest for 2 weeks, but if you feel ok, you could start SLOWLY next week." Gah. Bad timing. I have a Half to run in another 3 weeks. Now is NOT the time to be laid up on bed rest.

Well - it's not exactly bed rest - I'm fine. I'm up and about. Nothing really hurts anymore. But I don't want to do any damage, so I'm trying to be supportive and follow orders, when all I really want to do is run. So I'm walking. They didn't tell me I can't walk!

Anyway - this issue that I've been dealing with for a while now, which will now no longer be an issue, thankfully, has really been giving me some grief over the past couple of weeks - so not only is it affecting THIS week, it really affected last week's schedule. I got in my head again about 7 miles not being enough on Thursday night, even though that's what was planned. So I adjusted my thinking and pig-headedly determined that I was going to run a 15K (9.3 miles) instead. But by the time Thursday actually rolled around - freezing cold, pouring rain, and me feeling really crappy - not only did I not run 9.3 miles, I didn't run anything at all. So my grand mileage total for last week? 3 miles. Yuck.

Sometimes training is sidelined due to injury - I just have to look at this as one of those things. You try to complete training runs injury free - and so far, since this issue was unrelated to running, I'm doing pretty good in the health department. But people get sick, colds strike in the middle of summer, and sometimes things happen that are beyond your control and need immediate attention. So you take the time, heal and come back stronger and better when you are given the go-ahead.

Until then...you walk. A lot.

Week 8 Schedule (Completed):

Mon - Rest
Tue - 3 miles
Wed - Rest
Thu - Skipped run
Fri - Skipped run
Sat - Rest (I'm going in for a minor procedure this day, so I'm going to have to put training on hold for a couple of days - hoping I get clearance to resume running by Monday or Tuesday next week)
Sun - Rest

Total Weekly Miles: 3 (ewww!)
Total Weekly Calories Burned: 426 (double ewww!)
Weekly Weigh-In: 183.6 - still going in the right direction!

Week 9 Schedule:

Mon - 2.5 mile walk
Tue - Rest
Wed - 2-3 mile walk/run
Thu - Rest
Fri - 5 mile walk/run
Sat - Rest
Sun - 15K (9.3 mile run) - I don't care - I will be better by this day...hopefully

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LOTUSFLOWER 6/5/2012 4:17PM

    I know it's going to be hard for you to take it easy, but hang in there. Resting right now is the best thing to do, and I love your plan for the next week.

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RUNMELLY 6/5/2012 11:46AM

    I'm sure it's super tough to wait out the healing, but your body will thank you! Walking is a great way to stay in the game. Good luck on your recovery AND your upcoming race!!

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CALLIKIA 6/5/2012 9:32AM

    Just make sure you take the time to heal properly as you don't want this to put you out of being able to run your race. Hope the healing is quick and you feel up to running very soon!

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JENJESS48 6/5/2012 8:15AM

    Injuries and other medical emergencies suck but you're absolutely doing the right thing by giving yourself the time and mental space to heal. Wishing you a speedy and complete recovery! emoticon

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AUTUMNPOTTER 6/4/2012 8:19PM

    I read the blog title and went UH OH! I have been under doctors orders not to swim before and it is miserable. I don't run but I swim laps and do water aerobics and go crazy when I don't get my pool time in. I also do a long stretching session in the pool on Wednesdays and if I skip it my body lets me know that it is not happy. I hope you are better quickly and back on track.

I wonder why the nurse looked at you like you were nuts? Has she never heard of people who like to run for exercise?

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LAURIETAIT 6/4/2012 6:52PM

    You'll do fine. Hang in there. Your hard work will pay off.


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PJH2028 6/4/2012 6:39PM

    Injury SUCKS!!! I can't use my right arm (no tennis, no weight training, not even lots of yoga poses) for minimum six weeks!!!! Tendonitis.

Think LONG TERM is what I keep telling myself.
Do the right thing. GET WELL. And then get back to fun and frolic... bizness... or whatevertocalllit.

Still... the momentum is the thing so tender with me. Superstition is part of it. And... TODAY I say... taking the superstition out of it... is a gift.

I WISH YOU A SWIFT AND RECOGNIZABLE RECOVERY.
I WISH YOU the return to momentum when you are ready for it.
Love,
Paula



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KT-NICHOLS-13 6/4/2012 6:05PM

    Good to hear that you are okay. As hard as it can be, it is good that you are following orders. As you know, it can only aid in the process of healing faster. Plus, you'll be out there running before you know it. Until then, enjoy the time you have to walk.

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