Training, Training, Training….

Over the past 17 weeks I feel like my life has been consumed with training for the OKC Memorial marathon.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy about it, it has just made it a little harder to have the energy to blog, blog, blog.  Sorry.

Well the 17 weeks has come to an end, okay almost that will happen on Sunday.  But the good news is that I’m tapering and now I have all this time because I can’t exercise as much.  So I thought I would tell you about something fun I did with my marathon friend, Judy.  You remember her, she was the one that we cheered and carried each over my last marathon and her first marathon.  Nothing like finding new friends during a race.

Anyway we both live outside of Boston so she texted me to say that Meb was going to be giving a talk about his book and the admission price included the talk plus a signed copy of his book, Meb for Mortals.  (I haven’t started reading it yet but I am looking forward to it.)  So that was the plan on Friday to go in, have a little dinner and hang out with Meb.

Friday morning she texted me and said that she might be able to get out early and wondered if I wanted to go to the Marathon Expo.  “Yes” was my immediate answer and I could hardly wait!   So off I went.

As I stood in front of the expo center I was overwhelmed by all the runners and did find myself saying, “One of these days I will be picking up my number here” (or least that is what I really want!).

We had a great time exploring the Expo and didn’t stop talking about running the whole time.  She had just finished the Rotterdam marathon the week before and it was fun to hear about her experience as I prepare for mine.  After a quick bite to eat it was on to see Meb.  All I can say is “he is awesome”.  He was so humble and so inspiring.  He answered some questions that were contributed from the audience but for the most part he told us stories about his life and his running.  If you ever get a chance to see him or hear him talk, please do.

Now off to clean the house a little because I have all this pent up energy with no place for it to go.  I love to taper, I love to taper, I love to taper……

Here are a few pics from the day:

The sign I thought was so funny on the subway because I can so relate!

The Subway gets into routing too.

The finish line

The finish line

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The memorial for the 4 who died in 2013

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Waiting for the Meb talk with Judy

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High fiving the crowd

High fiving the crowd

Amby Burfoot  on the left and Mebs cowriter Scott

Amby Burfoot on the left and Mebs cowriter Scott

Love the stories he told.  Go Meb.

Love the stories he told. Go Meb.

 

 

Last Very Long Run Day

How was your Easter Sunday?  We had a great day.  Started the day off with church and came home for a late breakfast and hopes that the sun would finally break through and let us go on our adventure outside.    The plan was for my favorite pit crew to bike alongside me and provide me extra water if needed and encouragement when the miles got tough.

We loaded up the bike and headed to a place where the snow had melted and we could safely ride and run for 20 miles which is my last very long run before the marathon at the end of the month.  It was wonderful to be outside even if the wind was blowing us all around, I’ll take it!  So much better than the treadmill any day!!!

I was also excited that I was having calf pain and yesterday I went and picked up some calf sleeves to try out.  The good news is that I only had calf pain at the end when my legs were so tired they were just pushing me to finish.  I also figured out that the treadmill has ruined my gait and that is what brought on the leg pain to begin with.  After mile 2 on my run I noticed that my heals where already killing me and I pushed myself forward on my foot to a mid-strike (which I thought I was doing because that is how I usually run) only to discover that the heal pain went away and that my calves immediately found relief.  Yeah!!!  Now don’t get me wrong I am thankful that I have been able to train through this crazy snowy winter but I think over the next 3 weeks I’m gonna try to do most of my running outside to work on getting that gait back before the marathon.

So the countdown is on!  I am so glad that this training plan is coming to an end.  I have enjoyed it and I think it has really helped me but the true test will be at the marathon.

Here are some pics from the run:

And we are off!

And we are off!

Figuring out my gait and making some corrections.

Figuring out my gait and making some corrections.  Lots of concentration!

I figured it out!! Happy Girl!

I figured it out!! Happy Girl!

Did I mention it was windy?!

Did I mention it was windy?!

Getting towards the end.  I think I was saying only 3 more miles and a few more hills!

Getting towards the end. I think I was saying only 3 more miles and a few more hills!

So I might be stuck!

So I might be stuck!

Very surprised how little hip pain I had but it never hurts to stretch them out.

Very surprised how little hip pain I had but it never hurts to stretch them out.  Oh and that is a smile not a grimace.  :-)

Dave my pit crew.  Best pit crew ever!

Dave my pit crew. Best pit crew ever!

The final results

The final results

 

How was your Easter?  Do anything fun?

Happy Easter!

Finally Outside!!!

IMG_0996I was so excited today.  I got out of work and it was over 60 degrees with clear skies.  I raced (okay drove and tried to keep it within the speed limit) home so I could throw on my shoes and get a run outside.  Did I mention I was sooooo excited?!

Off I went with a goal of 6 miles because, of course, that is what the plan called for.  It became apparent very quickly that I was not going to make 6 miles.  My calves tightened up even after my repeated stops to stretch them out.  I started to get mad and aggravated but just decided to enjoy the weather and turn the run into a walk run because I didn’t want to hurt myself, after all I have a marathon in less than 4 weeks!

After making it home I spent a good 20 minutes stretching and rolling my legs and changing my attitude.  I wanted to run 6 miles but I only ran 4 so I changed my thought to, “Yeah, I’m glad I got to get outside and run.”

Ignore the reflective white legs!

Ignore the reflective white legs!

I was stressed about getting hurt and what am I going to do about the marathon so I changed the thought to, “I’m glad I took it easy because I would hate to get hurt before the marathon.  So glad that I can roll out my legs, put on my compression socks and relax so my legs will feel better tomorrow and for my long run this weekend.”

This is what I teach my clients all the time.  It’s about changing your attitude and your thoughts.  I try to practice it on a daily basis and I can say it was helpful today.  Now don’t get me wrong, I still want to get out there and run those two miles that I did not finish today but in thinking about it, I would rather be healthy to continue my training than push myself and get hurt especially this close to the race.

Do you ever have runs that don’t go like you planned?  What do you do?

Taking a moment…

Let me start this by saying I am a person of faith.  A person who believes in something greater than myself.  I call this person God and believe that he watches over me and protects me.  The reason I say this is because there are moments in my day where I believe that things happen for a reason and I am being protected.

I think if you take a moment and look around in your day and become aware of what is happening you might actually see these moments happening too.  For example, when I’m in a hurry and I just can’t seem to get anywhere because cars are cutting me off or I keep hitting red lights, I think, “well I guess someone is trying to slow me down.”  This is generally true and helps me realize that I will get to where I am going in due time.

This came to play again yesterday when I was sitting at a light and decided to take my watch off because I was headed to the gym.  As the light turned green I reached over and put the watch in my purse and hesitated just enough that when I looked up I saw someone come flying through the red light.  He would have hit my driver’s side and probably would have injured me pretty badly but instead there was this moment.  Usually I am chomping at the bit to get through the light because it takes so long but I was very thankful for that moment.  Thankful that I listened and hesitated.

Anyone else ever have these moments?  Do you ever take a moment to think about times in your day that did not go as you planned?  Might be worth taking a moment to look back and see.

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Running and Running, never actually getting anywhere but making progress!

DSC_0955I’m back.  I know, I feel like I say that a lot or at least once a month.  Over the past few months my running has taken over and when I get home the last thing I think you might want to hear about is my running.  I’m finishing up my marathon training which means I have one more 20 mile run and then the tapering begins.  Yippee!!!

This training has been very different from the other marathon training I have done in the past because of the treadmill running.   When I say treadmill running I mean, almost all the runs I have had since January have been on the treadmill.  I have completed even my 20 mile runs on the treadmill.  All I can say is they are as hard as they sound.  So that is the part where I am running and running and never actually getting anywhere!

Fortunately this past weekend I got to participate in a race the Savin Rock Half Marathon.  An actual race that was outside!  Running with people!  It seemed like it was so long since the last time I ran a race and it was because it was on January 1st.  My half marathon in February was canceled due to you guessed it, snow!

I was looking forward to this race because it was along the sea coast (I’m fairly certain that I am attracted to races that run along the sea).  I was watching the weather forecast (you know you do it too!) and was just hoping for the best.  Well I guess I should have known I was in for it when it started snowing on the way to race and just got worse as we drove the 2 hour drive (which actually took 3 hrs).  I, of course, had to spend a little time watching the forecast again because I was thinking surely this won’t last.  The weathermen were predicting snow to stop and it to clear up by race time.  This allowed me to at least get a little sleep (actually I slept like a rock until about 4 am which I think is pretty good when you have a race at 8am!).

And we are off!

And we are off!

After a shower and a little oatmeal, I took a glance outside the hotel room and noticed it looked a little slick but the snow had stopped.  I went downstairs for a little orange juice and met up with a fellow runner.  We chatted it up a bit he was running the marathon and it was going to be his 31st marathon.  Holy crap, I thought training for my 4th marathon was a big endeavor but I can’t even imagine running 31.  He is part of the marathon maniacs who run a race in all 50 states.  I think that sounds fun but I might have to do the half marathon part of the maniacs (haven’t signed up for any of that at this point though).

We got to the race with about an hour to spare before it started and grabbed the last parking spot!  Yeah us!  Spent some time warming up and hanging out inside the convention center waiting for the start.  It was just cold out with a little spitting of rain but nothing really unexpected.  I loved this race, they had plenty of space for all of us to keep warm and the start line was right outside the door so we didn’t have to stand outside and get to cold before it began.

Looking good the first 200 yards!

Looking good the first 200 yards!

Soon we were off, it was a little crowded at first because we started on a path but after the first mile it dumped us out on the road where it all opened up including the sky!  Yes, I said it! It started to snow!  Oops weathermen were off AGAIN!  Anyway on we ran up some hills that seemed to never quit (mental note: maybe arrive in time to drive the route you are going to run before you get out there!)  It was a gentle snow (if there is such a thing).  It got crazy snowy the farther we ran and the longer we were out there.  I mean the snowflakes were so big that when they hit you in the eye you had to wipe your eyes because it blocked your vision.  This became a little difficult on the hills because you would go up them and your feet would slide backwards and then going downhill you had to go slow because your feet would slide out from under you and you would end up ice skating.  It made it a little tricky but really I had a good time.  Then the last three miles it was snowing so hard you could almost hear the snow hitting the ground which made for very soggy feet because it was thick.  Honestly I think this was a fitting race to demonstrate how hard marathon training in New England has been this year.

As I neared the end of the race, I was having some doubts about whether I had even made progress during my marathon training especially since it had been almost DSC_0977exclusively on the treadmill.  Luckily the doubts mostly went away when I crossed the finish line in 1:54:17.  It was a really great time for this race course and the hills and it really did feel good.  When I found out that I got 4th in my division, I felt even more confident.  I am happy that I chose the training plan I did and I am hoping that it translates into a great marathon race.  I have some big goals but really the idea of the marathon in April is to make it to the finish with a smile on my face and confidence that I can do this.  The time I do it in will be secondary (don’t get me wrong I have a big goal’s for time).   1 month of training left!!!

So running and running, never actually getting anywhere but making progress.

Progress has been made.  Feeling stronger, a little faster and more confident that OKC Memorial Marathon will be another one of those Runs to Remember.

Enjoy the rest of the pics:

Here I come but it's a little snowy!

Here I come but it’s a little snowy!

Huge flakes at mile 9 and one last hill til I'm close to done!

Huge flakes at mile 9 and one last hill til I’m close to done!

Done!!

Done!!

Not the most flattering but look at that snow!

Not the most flattering but look at that snow on my hair and eyebrows!