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The Weekly Mile: Week 23 (The 20 Miler!)

Monday, September 17, 2012

You guys. I ran 20 miles. In a row. And I only took about 3/4 of a mile in accumulative walk breaks...

I feel like a Super Hero.

Except I also feel like I've been hit by a Mini Cooper. Preparedness, I'm sure, for the fact that after I run this Marathon, I'm going to feel like I've been hit by a Mac Truck. So for now, I'm good with the Mini Cooper.

This was my last official week of Marathon Training. Welcome to the Taper! The next 3 weeks are going to be about cutting back, and hopefully not freaking out about what's to come, but for now, here's the recap of this last week of long miles.

I have definitely managed to increase my speed with all of this running. It's nice to know that when I hit the pavement now, I actually have to make a concerted effort NOT to run faster than an 11:30 mile. The goal right now is not speed, but I've managed to ace a couple of my shorter runs and come up with amazing PRs which I did AGAIN this Friday, bringing my new 8K (5 mile) time to under 55 minutes. I'm chalking this up to have a lot to do with my massage therapy and the time he is spending on my hamstrings and calves - which before he got to me were increasingly tight and wound up. My bi-weekly therapy treatments are NOT pleasant (I'm like a fish jumping around on the massage table every time he hits a soft spot), but they are well worth the "good pain" to have stretched out major muscle groups that are responding by rebuilding faster and stronger and better than they were before. That's the name of the game here, and although I feel like my body physically looks the same as it did before I started training, I know that under the marshmallow, the walnuts are pretty firm. Aww yeah.

I ran 7 miles without socks. I don't recommend that. It results in small blisters on your baby toes. But the issue was this - I hate running anything longer than 5 miles around my house because a) I'm bored of it, and b) I usually run after dark and the neighbourhood roads making tripping all too real of an issue because they're badly lit - so I had brought (what I thought was) all of my running stuff with me to work so I could run on the trail, but half way through dressing discovered my lack of socks. Thinking my shoes were loose and comfy enough anyway, I laced 'em on and just went for it. Eww. I was fine until my feet really started to sweat at about mile 4.5. Then it just got gross. And sticky. And not that my shoes smelled like roses before this incident, but... you get the picture. I should have gone to CVS and bought a pair of socks. It was an afterthought. Gah.

I made up for it with my record breaking 5 miler on Thursday morning. Take THAT stinky shoes! (Maybe stinky shoes run faster? They're trying to outrun their own stench).

After 2 days of rest and more than long enough to build up any muscle weaknesses and a good case of nerves, the day of my official 20 Miler rolled around. I fueled the days before like it was the big race - after all, when else are you going to get to test out all the proper set-up procedures for race day if not now? So this is it - the last day to make sure that your marathon plans are in check and work the way you want them to.

I awoke at 5am and padded to the kitchen to prep my race-day breakfast of champions:

- Loaded Oatmeal (1/4 cup steal cut oats, 1/4 cup rolled oats, 1 tbsp flax seed, 1 cup vanilla or chocolate almond milk & cinnamon sugar put in the fridge overnight to soak)
- Add to the oatmeal 1 package of trail mix (whatever kind you like, right now I'm partial to the Emerald Breakfast to Go packs, but it should have nuts, chocolate and some other fun goodies in there)
- cut up a banana over top
- 1 light string cheese
- coconut water
- coffee or tea

I had purchased this new coconut water/espresso drink on Saturday that I was going to try, but I decided against it. Even though I always drink both coconut water and a caffeinated beverage for my race breakfast I didn't want to take the risk of something not agreeing with my stomach, so I'm going to try it for one of my shorter runs this week before using it before the marathon. I also picked up a new pair of underwear on Saturday (the MOST wedgie-proof according to the sales clerk), but again, you don't want to risk that on a 20 miler, so I'll try them out on my 8 mile this week.

I had my clothes laid out and my race bag packed the night before and had pre-ordered my cab to get me to the start line. Nikhil messaged me from France where he is currently on vacation to tell me to have a good race :) Sweet boy. I did my stretching routine and was half way through getting into my gear when the cab called. He was early! So thankfully since I had everything already packed, I threw on the rest of my stuff and was out the door. Best to not have to think too much the morning of. This kind of stuff will always happen!

It was a COLD morning, so I wore a running jacket over my tank to keep warm. As soon as I got to the start line location, I found the line for the porta potties and got in it - waiting to pee is always a great place to meet people :) I had a really nice conversation with 2 other girls - one also running her first marathon, and the other had just completed her sixth! So much fun to hear all the different perspectives. By the time I was out of that line, it was time to go get in line for gear check. I didn't want to shed my jacket too early, but I thought we were getting ready to queue up for our Wave # so I decided to hand it over. Oops. The chills set in and I felt like my body was expending additional energy just to keep warm, so I walked back over to the now shorter potty lines and went again. Just to make sure! Haha. Back over to the queue line to find out that our Wave didn't have a leader, so since we were the last wave to go anyway, we were grouped in with the wave before us. All was good except that the wave ended up being SO big, there was no way to keep with the pace leader. Looks like it was going to be my OWN run from the start, so that's exactly what it was.

I thought that this race was going to fairly closely mimic the feeling of the marathon which is a big reason I signed up. In terms of the distance and the aid stations, it absolutely did - but it was a really quiet run. Though people were running together, there was a very hushed seriousness over the pack, and conversations were short at best if they were even there at all. I struck up a brief conversation about Glee with a couple of runners, but they quickly passed me at the first aid station and that was that. I spent some time around mile 4 listening to a couple of older runners (he had just turned 65, she 55) talk about their previous marathon experiences. Wow - now that's inspiring. They didn't know each other, but were running the same pace and had struck up a conversation and I enjoyed eavesdropping on their talk, listening to why each one chose the marathon in the first place and why they continue to come back to the sport. I found a good pace buddy, and for about the first 6 miles we leap-frogged each other, running side by side for a lot of the time. But I lost him as well around mile 7 when we crossed through the narrows at Navy Pier and I was absolutely on my own for the rest of the race, running long stretches of the course where there was literally no one around me. So much for the moral support! I think I was also feeling lonely. This is the first race in which I knew no one else running, and no one was scheduled to meet me at the finish line. With Nikhil away in Europe, I even had to find my own way home. So I am very much looking forward to the marathon where there will be people there to cheer and support me, because though I am doing this race for myself, and am more than capable of getting myself through the mental tough spots completely on my own, it doesn't seem worth it without SOMEONE to celebrate with.

I managed to find a good rhythm, walking through all the aid stops which were about every 3 miles. I started to really tire at mile 15, but made a bargain with myself not to take an official walk break until mile 16 (my distance from last week's long run). At that point I agreed to walk up to a quarter of each mile left and run the remaining distance. This method seemed to work well, but by mile 17.5 I needed something more. Cue the music! Just in case, I had been traveling with my little stick of gum Shuffle in my pocket the entire race, loaded with inspirational songs for when I needed them. So for the last 2.5 miles, I broke out the tunes and low and behold, running got easier. I continued my walk/run mileage until just after I crossed the 19 mile mark and then just decided to go for it. All the way to 20. The finish line looked SO GOOD. I pumped my fist in the air and gave high fives to a bunch of people cheering on the finishers, completing my run in 4 hours, 8 minutes. Pretty much right on schedule factoring in about 1.5 minutes for each rest stop.

I grabbed water, apple slices and found my way to the Muscle Milk tent to get a quick recovery drink into me with a bunch of protein. I then found my gear - which they had bused "Boston Style" to the finish line for us since we started on the North Shore and ended on the South Shore. Yep - Lakefront Trail - finally - start to finish! I queued up for my souvenir t-shirt - a beautiful blue Merrill top, which I peeled off my sweaty tank and replaced with immediately for some dry comfort and a picture.



And then I spent some time relaxing on the grass and refueling a bit with more water. I finally remembered that I had pre-purchased a turkey burger, and there was a beer tent calling my name, so I headed over to check out the fixins. Biggest disappointment of the day - they were OUT of beer! NOOOO!!! Oh well, I got a card for a free Goose Island brew if I go into the brewpub - which I will. I picked up my chicken burger, took one bite and decided it was far too disgusting to ingest (not something I usually EVER say - so you know how bad it was), and ended up tossing it in the nearest garbage. Bummer. Word to the wise - don't pre-order post-race food. #1 - it's usually been sitting out far too long by the time you get there for it to be decent. #2 - there is so much FREE stuff at the race finish that your entry already helped pay for, why spend big bucks on anything else when you can eat for free and then go out to a nice restaurant and get quality food later? I would have been better off to just fuel up on the bananas, bagels, apples, cookies, coconut water, Muscle Milk, Clif Bars and other freebies. No shortage. Not to mention, I always pack emergency snacks in my race bag, just in case I need them. Lesson learned.

Since we were down by the Museum of Science and Industry on the south side of Chicago, one very cool feature was that they had buses waiting for us to be either dropped downtown or taken back to the start line. I chose to get off the bus downtown and walk to the nearest subway station to get home. I hobbled up Columbus Drive at Monroe where they already have the Marathon banners flying and felt my heart start to quicken. In 3 weeks, I'm going to running up that same drive, with those banners in full view, and the finish line in sight. Pitter pat, pitter pat.

Nothing to snap you back to reality though like 3 flights of stairs down to the subway. Burning. Quads. OMG.

Finally home, I soaked in an epsom salt bath for about an hour and spent the rest of the afternoon catching up on Breaking Bad from a horizontal position on my couch, and ordering in enough amazing Thai food to sink a small ship, which I proceeded to eat...all of. Oh yeah. It was damn good.

I'm fairing pretty well today all things considered. Like I said - Mini Cooper. The Mac Truck has yet to come. I feel like I have been through an incredible journey, and yet in some cases, I am only at the beginning. With all that said - Welcome to the Taper!


Week 23 Schedule (Completed):

Mon - 3 miles
Tue - 7 miles
Wed - Rest
Thu - 5 miles
Fri - Rest
Sat - Rest
Sun - 20 Miles!

Total Weekly Miles: 35
Total Weekly Calories Burned: 5164
Weekly Friday Weigh-In: 187

Week 24 Schedule:

Mon - Rest
Tue - Rest
Wed - 8 miles
Thu - 5 miles
Fri - Rest
Sat - 14 miles
Sun - Rest

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JEREMY723 9/24/2012 1:40PM

    Wow. You've done great and should be very proud of yourself--and very prepared for the race!

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ALOFA0509 9/23/2012 2:08PM

    Congrats sista!!! what an amazing journey

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LUEYGIRL 9/21/2012 10:49AM

    You should feel so proud. Awesome job! emoticon

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MARATHONBOUND 9/21/2012 4:26AM

    Woohoo!!! I loved this! You are so freaking inspirational!!!! Awesome job on your 20 miler!! :-) emoticon emoticon

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LOTUSFLOWER 9/20/2012 12:50AM

    I am so proud of you!!! you are a super hero and I just love ya!!!! Can't wait to celebrate with you!!!

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LAURIETAIT 9/18/2012 11:43PM

    I'm pretty sure that I couldn't manage all you've done in the running department but I know I could rock the heck outta the epsom salt bath! We each excel in our own way. lol You look pretty and powerful in blue.
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MANLEYSANDY 9/18/2012 2:38PM

    Awesome and you look gorgeous!

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-POOKIE- 9/18/2012 1:25PM

   
Amazing going!

I love the buzz of excitement in your blog!!

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JENJESS48 9/18/2012 11:14AM

    You're so amazing! Enjoy the taper and best of luck with the big race!!!

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COCOSMOMMA 9/17/2012 11:56PM

    YOU ARE AMAZING!!!!!! AND MY INSPIRATION!!!

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SH9719 9/17/2012 11:46PM

    Congratulations. Quote and accomplishment. Good luck in the Marathon.

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YOBOELI 9/17/2012 11:42PM

    That is great I can relate to the whole no socks thing except I walked with new shoes and the bottom of my feet are killing me.

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The Weekly Mile: Week 22 (The Importance of Step Backs)

Monday, September 10, 2012

Nikhil believes in accumulative training. Even though it's pretty contrary to every book ever published on running, I have to respect that everyone has their own methods for going the distance. He likes running further every time he runs. I follow the method that involves, what I believe, are very important step backs in weekly mileage to give your body time to rest & recuperate, and your brain time to adjust to the fact that the long run you just accomplished was actually "easy". And that's a BIG deal for me.

This week was a series of "longer" weekly runs and one weekend long run of 16 miles. 2 miles LESS that what I already accomplished last week. But I rocked it - hard. I ran fast - completing 16 miles is 3 hours and 12 minutes. 3 minutes faster than my goal pace for the marathon. And my half marathon time came in this week at 2:34!!! That's pretty incredible.

So even though my longer weekly runs were a drag and it took A LOT to get me out there both nights, I'm really starting to see the benefit of those runs in the grand scheme of the full training schedule.

On Wednesday night, I replaced my swim (cause my pool is closed - gah!) with finding out just how far it is from my place to Nikhil's. I live in a neighbourhood north west of the Chicago "loop" of downtown, and he lives in the South Loop, just south of all the big buildings and at the bottom end of Michigan Avenue. I was aiming for 8 miles, which I thought was about right, but found out that from door to door it's exactly 7.5 miles. It was a really humid night, so I called it quits for that night, and added a half mile to my 5 miler the next night. Gotta find ways to switch it up and keep it interesting! And I'm not gonna lie - it's nice to have someone to run to who will meet you at the end with a recovery drink and a calf massage!

Gearing up for the official 20-Miler this weekend. I'm more nervous about getting out of bed and getting to the start line in time than I am about running the distance though. I've done 18. I know I can do 20. And I'm starting to develop this method of thinking about the Marathon as well. My training plan has promised me success. The rest is all in my head. This will be the last weekend of assurances that I'm going to finish the race. From here on out, we taper. And the excitement builds!

Week 22 Schedule (Completed):

Mon - Rest
Tue - Rest (30 minutes on the foam roller & tennis ball - therapy)
Wed - 7.5 miles
Thu - 5.5 miles
Fri - Rest
Sat - 16 miles
Sun - Rest

Total Weekly Miles: 29
Total Weekly Calories Burned: 4375
Weekly Friday Weigh-In: 185 - counting calories again is working. This is a post-run weigh in though, so less that what it is during the week.

Week 23 Schedule:

Mon - 3 miles
Tue - 7 miles
Wed - Rest (or swim if I can find a pool!)
Thu - 5 miles
Fri - Rest
Sat - Rest
Sun - 20 Miles! (Plus 3 post-run miles if I can muster it)

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LAURIETAIT 9/11/2012 5:38PM

    You definitely have more fortitude and stick-to-it-iveness than I. You're doing great I love to hear how your training is going and can't wait to hear how the actual race goes.
emoticon emoticon

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-POOKIE- 9/11/2012 11:43AM

    Well good luck for the weekend!

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KBARRY23 9/11/2012 9:17AM

    Good luck! Glad to see your training is going so well!! Less than 1 month til the big day :) I'll be thinking about you this weekend as I head out for the epic 20 miler on Saturday morning! emoticon

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VICKYMARIEC 9/11/2012 9:08AM

    Not sure if you noticed, but if you sign up now for the 2013 half marathon it's only $32.50 plus handling fees.

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JENJESS48 9/11/2012 7:50AM

    Distance running is truly a mental game. You totally have it! I'm so proud of you!

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The Weekly Mile: Week 21 (Back on Track)

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

I still haven't run the entirety of the Lakefront Trail - but this week I completed 18 miles, and I saw what the other end of the path looks like. So overall, we're calling this week a big win.

After spending some time sulking about what I deemed to be a failure last week, I finally forgave myself for the things I couldn't control and got back out there for another run. I was going to do my shorter 6 mile run on Tuesday night, but felt so good out there, I made it for the full 8 instead - saving the 6 mile for a morning run on Thursday. Back on that Lakefront Trail, I was plagued by memories of how I felt on that long, hot run - but I pushed them aside and ran a solid 11:30/min pace for the whole thing.

On Thursday morning, I PRed my 10K time, running an additional .2 miles over and above the allotted 6 mile plan. 1 hr & 10 minutes! I actually fist pumped at the end of this run because it felt so good (despite the not wanting to get out of bed to do it in the first place).

The big bummer this week came in that I managed to kill ANOTHER iPod shuffle. They just are not withstanding how much I sweat when I'm out there I suppose, even though I wear them on my shoulder strap which would see the same amount of sweat, if not less, than an arm band. I didn't even run through a sprinkler with this one. It just copped out! So I have resorted to running with my first generation shuffle - you remember - the white stick of gum one. That thing is (so far) invincible, and takes a beating but keeps on playing. Different technology. Who says new is better??

But even though I got my music situation figured out before Sunday, I opted to at least START my 18 mile run without it. Low and behold, I made it all the way to mile 16 before deciding to pop in some tunes to really help me bust out the last 2 miles. And my reward for that? I met a friend along the way. A stranger really, but it still put a smile on my face. Around mile 3, a guy running just a hair faster than me passed me by on the trail. Now, I'm a pretty slow runner, so I'm used to this happening, but after a couple more miles with him still right in front of me, I started to use him as a pace bunny, wondering how long we would both stick out this rhythm. Finally, at 7 miles, he slowed and stopped. As I ran past him, I called out "you done?" He responded that he was, and I threw my arms up and said "but you were such a good pace vehicle!" and low and behold he jumped back on the trail and said "well then I guess you're getting a few more out of me today!" We ran side by side for another 1/2 mile, exchanging small talk. I asked him if he was "marathoning-it" and he said no, he was "life-ing it" which I found a most excellent answer. He asked how far I had to go and I told him all the way to the end and back. He let out an exasperated breath and wished me luck, and then told me to finish strong as he turned off at his street exit. I think the best thing about the whole exchange is that for a solid half mile, I wasn't thinking about running. Such a nice reprieve.

But once he was gone, it was nose back to the grindstone and feet on the pavement. I broke my run into 5K chunks, thinking about all the races that I have done at the various distances. Run the Hot Chocolate 5K. OK, now keep going to the Champion's Run 10K. And the next Hot Chocolate 15K. Turn around and do that again. And don't forget about the Women's Half at the 13.1 mile point. By the time I got there, I was within the Shamrock Shuffle 8K to the finish and Nikhil met me on his bike and trailed me home for the last 5 miles. Nothing easy about it at all, each mile was more painful than the last. Put after a couple of short walk breaks, a solid refueling and a splash-down of my face with fountain water, I busted out my stick-of-gum iPod and rode the wave home, clocking an 11 min/mile pace for the last half mile.

I'm still recovering.

But my body feels good. Only 3 more long runs before the final taper week. I'm within ONE MONTH of running this race. But I know I'll be ready.

I'm picking up food tracking again this week. I need something to keep me honest. But I upped my calorie range to something that reflects the real amount I'm burning. If I don't lose anything, so be it. But I need to stop with the sweets and treats and really start zoning in on the whole foods, and healthy snack alternatives. My body will thank me for it on October 7th.

And as a guarantee that I will not stop running after the Marathon, I signed up today for both the Hot Chocolate 15K again this year, and the 2013 Chicago Triathlon. Guess you're all going to be seeing a lot more (and less) of me over the next year, AND could just be in for yet another fun training blog. Back on track indeed. School is back in session, and training is my best education yet.


Week 21 Schedule (Completed):

Mon - Sulk & Rest :(
Tue - 8 miles
Wed - Swim
Thu - 6 miles
Fri - Rest
Sat - Rest
Sun - 18 miles

Total Weekly Miles: 32
Total Weekly Calories Burned: 4817
Weekly Friday Weigh-In: 189 - starting to creep up again. Gah.

Week 22 Schedule:

Mon - Rest
Tue - Rest (30 minutes on the foam roller & tennis ball - therapy)
Wed - 8 miles
Thu - 5 miles
Fri - Rest
Sat - 16 miles
Sun - Rest

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ALOFA0509 9/8/2012 12:07PM

    Amazing!!!!

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SHELLYBABE2 9/6/2012 6:53AM

    So glad you put last week behind you so fast & more than made up for it with a fab week, even if the scales are not playing ball!

Lesson to be learned by us all, to put past disappointing workouts behind us quickly and allow recovery before giving it another go!

TFS you've inspired me enough to make an effort to do some exercise today even though my head is trying very hard to talk me out of it lol!

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AUTUMNPOTTER 9/5/2012 7:55PM

    You are so inspiring.

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LAURIETAIT 9/5/2012 5:00PM

    I know you'll do great. You might get a bit of a surprise when you up your calories. Sometimes you lose. You're working so hard your body may be hanging on tothe extra weight as enery insurance. Crossing y fingers for this to be the case. I wish I could say I had the same problem for the same reason. lol

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BABY_GIRL69 9/5/2012 4:13PM

    WOW!! I have walked from Buckingham Fountain up to almost Irving Park & then back. I thought that was close to at least 18miles in the round trip. Have never went in the other direction though. Interesting?

God bless & continued success!!

Dee

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MANLEYSANDY 9/5/2012 2:33PM

    You are doing awesome!!!

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SNATCHCARRIE 9/5/2012 8:09AM

    I love these weekly updates. :)

You are doing awesome, so hang in there. You are going to rock this marathon!!! emoticon

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MICHSTATE 9/5/2012 6:05AM

    Good job!!!! How is the Hot Chocolate Run? Some of my friends are doing it this year too!!!

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MOCOHOLO 9/5/2012 1:16AM

    I loved that little story about your pace-vehicle friend. Makes me have hope for the male species after a disappointing day on that front. You're doing so awesome and I love reading your weekly recaps. Best of luck with this next week!

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The Weekly Mile: Week 20 (If All You Can Do Is Tri...)

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

I was due for a setback. That's what I keep telling myself anyway. Things were going SO well, and this weekend, I ran headfirst into a wall. I'm bummed. Totally disappointed in myself. And more than just a little bit freaked out. All you need is one minor thing to happen and it can really mess with your head. You start doubting your ability to really do this thing.

So this blog is about putting things in perspective and talking myself back out on the road...

I was looking SO forward to my 18 miler this weekend. So much more than all the other crap I was committed to this weekend. The 18 miler was mine - I was going to run the Lakefront Trail top to bottom - the entire city of Chicago along the lake. An epic feat! But all the other stuff got in the way.

Problem # 1 - This weekend the temperature in the city spiked again to 95 degrees. Bad news. There were air quality warnings, and people were collapsing from heat stroke. A crazy weekend schedule dictated that I had no choice but to do my long run on Saturday - the hottest day of the weekend. And not only that, but due to an 11am meeting that I SHOULD have skipped, I couldn't start my run until 3pm, in the height of the heat warning. But I am committed to my other life activities as much as I am committed to this marathon, so I attended the meeting...in my running clothes, ready to sprint out the door as soon as it was over.

Problem #2 - I was improperly fueled. I had breakfast before I left my house for the meeting, but had only brought a small snack with me to stock up before I took to the trail. Not enough. I estimate that I'd consumed about 700 calories by the time I set out to burn approximately 2400. No good. Despite gels every 5 miles, my stomach was growling by mile 4 and continued to get worse the more I ran.

Problem #3 - The muscles that seem to be having the hardest time adjusting to this training are my lungs. I have never had asthma, but I used to suffer from bronchitis as a kid, and I have noticed that my lungs HURT after my really long runs lately. Add the air quality alert to this issue and it does not bode well for finishing the full 18 miles.

Problem #4 - Inadequate sleep and a propensity for sugar. Last week was pretty terrible for late nights and sugar binges. I seem to have gotten into my head that I really can eat "whatever I want". The scale is holding steady at 187 no matter what I do, and so I seem to think that this is the best excuse to be irresponsible with snacks and to stuff myself full of all things that are NOT good for me. And my body feels it. I feel crappy. So enough of that already. Eat good things, and then you can have lots of them, not crappy things that are going to hurt your performance!

So add all these things together and what happens? You struggle to run 12 miles, bargain with yourself to make it to 13, and then drag every last fiber of energy from your body until you collapse in a heap on a park bench at mile 14, unable to draw in full breaths and just thankful that you decided today to run with your cell phone so you can place an emergency call to a friend to come get you and bring food asap. Yeah - I could have killed myself this weekend. Stupid, stupid, stupid. You can all slap me on the wrist now.

The plan was for Nikhil to come get me at the end of the trail at 6:45pm. By the time I made it to mile 14 it was already 6:15pm - not a chance that I was going to finish in time. Slowing my pace and walking a good portion of those last 3 miles wasn't even helping my case. I was DONE. And yes, I cried about it. Laying on that bench, gasping for breath and waiting for him to come rescue me. By the time he got there I was feeling a bit better, having taken in as much water as I could drink. He brought with him a recovery drink that tasted like heaven and made me feel instantly better. Had it been up to me, I would have finished the last 4 miles, but it was getting late and he had to run the Chicago Triathlon the next morning which meant waking up at 4am. So we opted to call it a night, and dejectedly, I walked back to the car, feeling like a failure.

Consequently, he did really well the next day. Completed his very first Swim, Bike, Run and my spirit was rejuvenated watching him finish and seeing how excited he was by it. I have my work cut out for me to keep up to him in 2013! But for now I still have my own goals to meet.

Luckily, I have had enough of a built-in contingency in my scheduling that this isn't going to set me back too much. But it does mean that this weekend, I need to go out and FINISH the 18 miles, and attempt 19 or 20 if I can make it. For what ever reason, I am still drawn to completing an official "20 Miler", even though I should be replacing this past week with a 19 mile and then a 21 or 22 mile over the next couple of weeks. I guess it's because all of the training books make such a big deal about that 20 Mile Marker. It is still my goal to finish at least 22 or 23 before I start the taper - for my body and my mind, I feel like I need to do at least that. So that means I have my work cut out for me this week.

The good news is that I have officially finished 3 Half Marathon distances in 3 weeks. So I'm still on track for my 7 in 7. And despite the heat, my Half time has stayed fairly consistent - but it was pretty evident how much harder my body was working and how much slower my pace needed to be this past weekend when I added a full 10 minutes to my finishing time.

Lessons learned. And isn't that what this is really all about? So this week we're eating better, sleeping better, fueling like I do for a race, not for a day at the park, paying attention to heat warnings and running earlier in the morning, and continuing to listen to my body. I cannot be angry at myself for stopping. My body needed to stop and it told me so. And deep down, I know it was the right thing to do regardless of my own disappointment. I will get there. And I have another chance to try (not Tri) this weekend.

Week 20 Schedule (Completed):

Mon - REST
Tue - 4 miles
Wed - Pool Closed :(
Thu - 6 miles
Fri - Rest & Stretch
Sat - 14 miles
Sun - Rest

Total Weekly Miles: 24
Total Weekly Calories Burned: 3448
Weekly Friday Weigh-In: 187 - holding steady

Week 21 Schedule:

Mon - Sulk & Rest :(
Tue - 8 miles
Wed - Swim
Thu - 6 miles
Fri - Rest
Sat - Rest
Sun - 20 miles

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LAURIETAIT 8/30/2012 11:24PM

    I'm pretty confident that it will all work out in the end. You have the right idea. Allot time for sulking , put errors behind and move on. You got this!
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MICHSTATE 8/29/2012 4:50PM

    I run with people that do ironman triathalons, and they think the maximum mileage you need before a marathon is 20 miles, so that is as fat as I went before both of my marathons.


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MANLEYSANDY 8/29/2012 2:39PM

    For someone who would not run but to save her life, you are amazing!!! I see only wonderful things, things I would (I had could there) never do!

You should be proud!!!

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-POOKIE- 8/29/2012 9:48AM

    Learning from those mistakes? Thats an important step and you know you are giving yourself feedback on the mistakes and will be able to correct them x

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JENJESS48 8/29/2012 8:07AM

    I agree with Kathy! I stand in awe of your achievements. But do wish you'd be more careful with that heat - it truly can be fatal. I am really glad and relieved that you listened to your body and called it quits when you did! You are right on track to finish your marathon and I know you will do it!

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VICKYMARIEC 8/29/2012 6:05AM

    Girl you're a beast! You are also extremely smart to be listening to your body like that. Be careful in that crazy heat!

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MARATHONBOUND 8/29/2012 4:28AM

    You are amazing! I read your blogs each week and NOTHING motivates me more! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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LOTUSFLOWER 8/29/2012 12:06AM

    You are amazing and I am so proud of you. if all training runs and the preparation leading up to it were perfect, we wouldn't learn anything. You are doing great, keep on truckin! emoticon

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SNATCHCARRIE 8/28/2012 6:37PM

    Today is a new day and it is a new week. Hang in there, you can do this, I know you can!!!! emoticon

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The Weekly Mile: Week 19 (3 hours)

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

A list of things that you can do in 3 hours:

- Roast a 16lb turkey
- Watch Lord of The Rings: Return of the King
- Complete a full show-call for Blue Man Group
- Listen to the American Top 40 Countdown in its entirety
- Drive from my house in Madoc to Toronto
- Fly from Chicago to Toronto (including check-in time)
- Wait in line at Six Flags from the furthest checkpoint to ride the Superman coaster
- Put in the time most people start counting down to the end of their workday

This past weekend I surpassed the 3 hour running mark. I ran 16 miles in 3 hours and 23 minutes. Wait...let me say that again...I RAN FOR OVER 3 HOURS!!! Endurance sports are amazing. You wanna know when you're REALLY amazed by your body? When you realize that you can run for over 3 hours.

I will complete the marathon in just under 5.5 hours. I still have a long way to go, but after this weekend, I have NO doubt that I can do it.

Just need to find time this week to stock up on more gels and that anti-chafing stick (though no more scars from this weekend to add to the lot - which is good).

Sorry this is a late blog - we're already half way through the week and I'm already looking forward to my 18-miler this Saturday! Can't wait for next week's blog!

Week 19 Schedule (Completed):

Mon - 3 miles
Tue - Rest
Wed - 6 mile tempo
Thu - Rest
Fri - 5 miles
Sat - Rest
Sun - 16 miles

Total Weekly Miles: 30!
Total Weekly Calories Burned: 4231
Weekly Friday Weigh-In: 187

Week 20 Schedule:

Mon - REST
Tue - 4 miles
Wed - Swim
Thu - 6 miles
Fri - Rest & Stretch
Sat - 18 miles
Sun - REST

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LOTUSFLOWER 8/27/2012 11:27PM

    I am so proud of you!

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MANLEYSANDY 8/27/2012 12:30PM

    Amazing! I never doubted that you will be finishing that Marathon for one minute!!

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JENJESS48 8/23/2012 5:20PM

    You totally rock! Way to go!

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MOCOHOLO 8/23/2012 10:29AM

    You're amazing! And your enthusiasm is contagious! I love it!!

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LAURIETAIT 8/22/2012 8:35PM

    You rock!
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MICHSTATE 8/22/2012 5:01PM

    Awesome job!!!! You are getting up there in miles!!!:-)

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KT-NICHOLS-13 8/22/2012 2:02PM

    Great Job.

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