Saturday, July 24, 2010
I haven't felt right since the Half Marathon. My energy feels sapped, getting up in the morning is nearly impossible, and I hardly even enjoy going out for a run. I've started my official marathon training with Hal Higdon's Novice Supreme, and am now into week 3. I can barely motivate enough to get through a 3 mile run. I skip runs, put them off, and am doing no cross training. In my favor, I have incorporated a couple days of hills and sprints on the smaller mileage days. I'm now considering changing to John Bingham's training, because it seems more...technical I guess is the word. I'm really looking to have a better time than predicted, and it seems Bingham's may help me with a few speed drills.
Right now the biggest challenge is just getting off my ass. I literally just want to sleep instead of run, all the time.
I wonder if this is post race let down I have read about.
I wonder how long it will last.
I wonder if motivation will come naturally.
I wish I had someone with experience to talk to about this.
I have to trust that this is a process, and it will work itself out.
I am worried I can't do it.
I feel like I'm trapped in a cage of my own making, and I'm too lazy to find the key.
Sunday, June 20, 2010
First off, a little celebrating and bragging: WOOOOO-HOOOO! I did it. Thirteen-point-one-freaking-miles! Yes I am proud of myself. I set a goal. I planned the work, I worked the plan. Six months ago I got the ok to jog ONE mile, and a week ago I made it 13.1! (Toot-toot! That's me honking my own horn!)
Now for some details... I started out strong and spent the first 3 miles smiling all the way. My "strategy", if I had one, was to use the first bathroom stop, assuming most people wouldn't. Then I would cruise along the rest of the race not having to go. That did pan out. There were only 2 people waiting at the 1.5 mile mark which was the first water/potty stop. (I didn't have to stop the rest of the race!) At mile 3 my iPod died. Horrifying! As I reset and reset it I started getting very nervous. Music is the thing that motivates me, and the one run I have done without music proved very hard for me. I don't like to listen to my own breathing because it reminds me how tired I am! I had planned for that too, though, and brought out my second iPod, which was also not responding! Not good news for me. I finally got the first one working again, but the Nike software wouldn't work. Fine. I would have to watch my pace on my watch and do the math, whatever, just GIVE ME MUSIC to plod along to!
This was about the time I hit my first hill. I knew there were hills I hadn't trained for, but I had no idea how big those hills were. This first one was something like a 650 foot ascent and it just killed me. I spent much of the first half of the race angry that I had walked part of it. But it just went on, and on and on and I thought I would never stop climbing.
After that killer hill things went along ok. I was maintaining a 12 minute mile but was ok with that as the route was very hilly. Seems Worcester only has uphills! I had no pain whatsoever and had taken my Gu at miles 4 and 8 and was drinking water often. (I think I saved some time being able to cruise through the water stops without stopping.)
Somewhere towards the end of mile 8 someone shoved a knife in my back and began twisting all the way through Mile 9. I had to walk some more, and the more I walked the more angry and defeated I felt. The start of Mile 10 was another big hill, the second largest in the race. By then I had vomited twice in my mouth (too embarrassed to lean over and let it out, as there were others nearby). I walked most of Mile 10 and 11. I started feeling a bit woozy, broke out in goosebumps and had hazy vision on my right. I stopped at the aid station at Mile 11.5 and took Gatorade and water, and ate an extra Gu that I had brought in my shorts pocket "just in case". By Mile 12 I was feeling good enough to do a jog/walk pattern that I kept up until about the halfway point and then I ran the rest.
I spotted my niece toward the end and her smile and encouragement was enough to give me the last bit of energy I needed to finish looking strong. I may not have felt strong, but I came across that way. My brother, girlfriend and my son were all at the Finish Line waiting for me, cheering, clapping and holding the big posters they had made for me.
Someone handed me a medal, someone took my timing chip, and suddenly I was surrounded by love and hugs. I was tired but exhilarated. I had finished!
I have to say I am disappointed in how I performed. I really wanted 2:30 and ended up with 2:46. But it's not so much the time difference as much as how I suffered through so much of it. I thought I was stronger. I knew I should have been training for hills but didn't do it, that is disappointing. I was moaning and groaning and nearly crying on the course - not something I would want anyone to see, but I was unable to control it and stopped caring at some point. It was SO much harder than I thought it would be. But I did finish. Four hundred runners did not finish. I wasn't dead last...I only beat about 60 people, but that's not what it was about anyway. At least I started. I said I would do it and I did it.
HAHAHA does this medal make my butt look fast?
Wednesday, June 09, 2010
To ease stress, Mexican children often employ Worry Dolls, putting them under their pillow at night and waking up to see the dolls have gone, carrying the worries with them. Well I don't have dolls but I do have a blog so I will lay out my fears about my upcoming half marathon here and maybe that will be enough to get them off my mind, at least for a little while.
I have heard it said that training is 90% physical and 10% mental, but that race day is the exact opposite. My legs, heart and lungs have proven that they can withstand 12 miles of pavement, so I am not too concerned about adding 1.1 miles more. My left brain, however, is waging war, and my pre-race jitters have begun. Here they are, in no particular order:
1) I DON'T KNOW THE COURSE - Knowing the route is like, number one in race preparation. What can I do? Not much. Go with the flow, literally. Follow the pack and hope it's well marked in case I end up alone. I believe it will be. I can study the elevation map to know when to expect hills, and I can carry street directions in my fuel belt. It is what it is.
2) WAS IT 11 MILES OR 12?? - My Nike+ iPod may or may not have dropped up to a mile during my training, something I didn't find out until I had completed my 11 mile run. So when I did the 12 mile, was it accurate? Am I really adding only 1.1 miles or is there a chance it will be 2.1? Not much I can do about this one either. And it doesn't really matter, because the course I am running WILL BE 13.1, whether my software says so or not.
3) TROT TROT TO BOSTON - or Worcester, close enough... What can I say about my fear of runners trots? I am so seriously freaked out about this that I have actually taken Immodium before a 5k, and I carry wet-wipes in my fuel belt because I read they are good to have "just in case". This is another time when knowing the route would be really helpful, as I would know where port-o-pottys would be. Meh.
4) HILLS - According to the elevation charts there are 3 good size hills. Why oh why didn't I train for hills?
5) TIME - My pace is so consistent that my Nike charts read like a flat line. I could literally say to Vida, " I'm running 7 miles, be back in 77 minutes" and I would be. Exactly. I felt confident that during the race I could give my family a time frame within 15 minutes to look for me at the finish. But if my mileage isn't right (see #2 above) then my time is wrong also. I am worried that my family will be bored, impatient, etc. if they have to wait longer than I tell them. Here's another one I have to kiss up to heaven because I can't run any faster than I do without jeopardizing my chances of finishing. I think I will give them a wide time estimate and make sure Luke's DS has a full charge. What more can I do?
My first half-marathon is 5 days away. I am scared and excited and exhilirated and doubtful and hopeful. The leg fracture, physical therapy, 200 training miles! The days it was so cold my fingers froze, running in the heat, running in the rain, leg cramps, side cramps, all the pride, all the pain - everything has been leading up to this moment and I want to savor it for a long time. So there you go Worry Dolls, when I lay me down to sleep tonight you can lace up your little running shoes and run your asses back to Mexico and take my worries with you!
Monday, May 10, 2010
I ran the Mom's On The Run 5k on Sunday with my son and girlfriend. My goal was to beat last year's time for that route (37:50) In addition, I wanted to beat my PR in general (32:23).
The race had over 600 runners, many of whom were young children, which caused a very bad bottleneck at the start. I bobbed and weaved around kids, strollers and even a dog, trying not to worry about the precious seconds they were costing me. Once I got around and passed many of them, the road seemed to widen and I had plenty of room and tried to get into a groove. I passed the first mile marker somewhere around 10:04 (I had forgotten to set my watch)!
The race seemed to fly by and I could not believe it when I made the final turn for the home stretch. I could see the clock up ahead and whaatt??? Under 32 minutes?? I swear I could hear it ticking the final seconds ...31:55, 31:56, 31:57. I put the hammer down and ran out everything I had in me. I wanted under 32! I flew through the finish and onto the mat and was greeted by my son as I was slowing down. He had finished around 25 minutes and was proudly showing me his medal. I checked my camera to see if my mom had snapped a picture of me with the clock - nope. I would have to wait for the final results. When I did, I was thrilled to see 32:00 exactly! I had smashed my PR by 1:23 AND shattered my PR for that course by over 5 and a half minutes!
I am so proud of that race and it will take a long time to wipe the smile off my face!
Saturday, April 03, 2010
Today was my first race since being sidelined last October with 2 leg fractures. I had set out this morning hoping to beat my best, but once the race started I got really nervous and backed off a little bit. As I came around the final turn I could see the clock and was bummed thinking I was about 10 seconds behind my best time. But when I got home, I checked my stats and realized I was actually 2 seconds AHEAD of my best time.
Of course it was only a PR by 2 seconds, but I'll take it! Slow and steady is NOT my style, but I worked so hard to come back from that injury and am really proud to say I ran the whole time, and am PAIN FREE!
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