Wednesday, January 23, 2013
So for the last... oh, like 8 months... I've been thinking about what I would write when I decided to check back in to SparkPeople... but the thoughts in my head just didn't quite make it from my frazzled brain into an actual entry.
A brief recap...
I went on to train for that marathon after last year's Cotton Row. I rarely hit my weekly mileage targets, but just trying to adjust to life as a mommy of 2 really took the edge off those misses. My average pace was a little slower than I would have hoped, but I was glad to be out there... running each chance I got.
I ran a half at the end of June as part of Hal Higdon's training plan. My time was slower than I'd hoped by about 15 minutes, but it was a remarkable race in that - just prior to the start, it was announced that headphones were not allowed. Now, that in and of itself was annoying, but as a result... I was more aware of my fellow runners. It was hot and humid and I was miserable, especially by the last quarter mile, to the point that I was convinced walking was the only way I'd be able to finish. At that point, an older gentleman whom I'd passed by earlier and exchanged smiles & pleasant words with ran by me. As he passed me, I cheered him on... He turned to me, suddenly recognizing me, and said, "come on and run with me, girl". That was honestly the most pleasant quarter mile of the entire race. To run with someone. To run & chat with a friend. My friend LeRoy from KY. We crossed the finish line together, and even though I wasn't too pleased with my time, I was beaming because for the first time, I'd met someone at the race. Because of LeRoy's compassion, I didn't have to finish that race alone. It might sound crazy, but it was just very special to me.
After that half, I just hung on for the rest of the summer leading up to the full. My hubby often worked crazy hours, so I couldn't really get out to run during the times I would have preferred some days as I didn't want to hire a sitter. And some days I just didn't WANT to run. In retrospect, missing an easy run here and there didn't make a big difference, but where I really missed out was on my long runs... I was supposed to make it to 20 miles on my long runs... which I had scheduled twice before the race I believe... but the longest I ran before the event was like 16.5. I didn't really do any crosstraining of note, either - which was not smart on my part.
When I first dreamed of running a marathon, I set my sights on running it in 4 hours. As the event approached, I expanded that to 4-4:30. The Parrott Predictor estimated my marathon time would be in that window each week of my training (when I actually ran at least 26.2 miles). It seemed doable and so I dared to dream.
I ran the first half in the same time I ran the event in June, which put me hitting my time goal if I could just finish the second half in as good or better time. But wouldn't you know it... right around 16.5 miles... I slammed into the wall. I could barely walk. I was hot, tired, and sweaty. I berated myself for signing up for this thing. For not putting in enough miles. Not adequately training. For not getting enough sleep the previous two nights. Time and time again, I'd try to start running again, but after a couple of strides, my body screamed that it couldn't endure it, so I was forced to walk. This went on for what felt like ages.
Then as luck would have it.... an older fella who'd complimented me on being best dressed seemed to fall into the same pace as me. He was doing run/walk intervals. When he went to do a run interval, I asked if I could tag along. He agreed and we continued to follow his interval program from probably about mile 20/22 on... I felt so blessed to have someone to share the agony of that sweltering late summer MS day with me and have such a lovely conversation with Murray. An Ironman veteran from Memphis. I must admit I feel sorry for him because I was pretty well talking out of my head at times.
At the end, he urged me to finish strong - I think he was probably tired of my crazy chatter, but I certainly appreciated his company. Would you believe I full out sprinted the last quarter of a mile? It was the weirdest thing.
At any rate, I was so excited to see my mom and hubby at the finish line. And even though I was about to fall out... it wasn't long (like an hour or so) before I started dreaming of my next marathon. I was in SOOOOO much pain, but weirdly, I was proud of it. It makes very little sense. The only thing I can compare it to is the way I felt just after my children were born. Go figure.
I took almost a month off after that due to a sharp pain in my heel, but after a while I went to our local Fleet Feet to be fitted for some new shoes. Brought home a couple pairs of men's shoes. Tried to get into a routine for the last three months of the year, but only mildly succeeded toward the end of December.
2012 for me in a word: humbling. I had all these grandiose plans, but I just managed to get by and honestly, I'm ok with that.
I am hoping that I will be able to get back to the level I was at before I got pregnant in 2013, though. I've increased my running mileage and started logging my food intake in LoseIt again, but this week I've been working to include more strength training as I think it was key to positive direction I was going back in 2011.
Just one day at a time. I'll get there. :)