Done… 26.2!

There is a lot to write about since this first ever marathon is finished.  I am not sure I can put it into words just yet but I thought I would share this photo collage my daughter did for me.  I will follow up with a blog probably tomorrow about this “Run to Remember” that I will not soon forget.

marathon

What I have learned from tapering…….

Not sure if it is too soon to post this as my first marathon is not until Sunday (by the way that little statement is freaking me out) but I’m gonna do it anyway because, well, I want too.  🙂 taper1

Some of the things I have learned in the past few weeks from tapering is that I NEED to run!  I need to get outside, smell the fresh air and exercise.  I know I can exercise in anyway but there is nothing like getting outside and watching the sun set (because I run after work) and reviewing your day, realizing what you have learned today and storing it in your memory banks as well as stretching the legs all day from sitting and listening to clients. 

I am not a good taperer (not sure that is a word) but I’m not!  I enjoy pushing myself on a regular basis to see how far I can go and at the end of the day I like to have that feeling of achievement to end my day (who doesn’t)!

People hear you are training for a marathon and during the taper they tend to inquire more about how far you are running today.  I grumpily reply: “not far enough!”  I learned I am not a pleasant person to be around during a taper.  Why is this?  Well I think I figured it out.  Normally I spend quite a bit of my free time running and when I am tapering I tend to have a lot more free time.  I think I am forgetting things I use to do when I was not running all the time.  Let’s think about it, normally I spend at least 3.5 hours on a Sunday running, stretching and showering and now when I have that extra three and a half hours on a Sunday, I don’t know what to do with myself.  (Oh the perils of a soon to be marathon runner!)

So now for a little therapy because clearly I NEED it too!…….  What am I going to do with what I learned about myself?  First answer, suck it up because it will be over on Sunday and then I have to figure out what is next (by the way, I hear there is another marathon next month so if I like this distance, why not sign up for another one.  I’m in shape, right?!).  Second, our mind is a powerful thing.  I know, I know, I already knew that so why repeat it.  Well mainly because I feel like we need a reminder (by “we”, I mean “me”).  While talking to my other half at dinner about the race, he kept saying “don’t overthink this thing”.  I heard him and I am hoping it is sinking in (probably isn’t because I am stubborn but I will save that insight for a later post).  And finally what is important in all of this tapering, running, marathon stuff is that I get to the line on Sunday.  It has taken about 10 full months of training, I have done all I know how to do at this point, and just getting to the line is a huge thing that some never do.  Okay and then there is this wonderful picture I saw from the London Marathon which says it all (especially because I live in Massachusetts and have dealt with a very long week):CORRECTION-ATHLETICS-GBR-MARATHON

 

Thanks for listening/reading.

Oh my!!!

bostonAs a person who lives in Massachusetts and always calls today, “Marathon Monday”, I am overwhelmed at the events that occurred today in Boston.  I have shed some tears and been sick to my stomach since I heard the news.  I could hardly wait to get home from work to see the results and feel the joy of marathoners to give me that last training burst before my marathon in a few weeks and now I just sit in shock while watching the coverage on the news.

A wonderful thing occurs in such tragedies like this, we reach out to each other and try to understand “why”.  We rely on each other and look for hope.  We become stronger.

I have no more words to even digest this whole thing at this time but I found this quote that I thought was appropriate right now.

“Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don’t be afraid.”

Thoughts on a run

runRunning is truly a mental game!  Here are some of the random thoughts that went through my head on my last long run today.

“Yeah for last double digit run before the marathon.

Am I fast or slow, oh, I am slow

(looking down) are my legs in molasses?  They feel like it.

I must be running uphill all the way!

Yeah mile 1, oops that was only the ½ mile marker, wow this could be a really long run!

Wow this rail trail is full of bikes.  Why do they have to get so close to me.  I don’t have to run in the grass just because they are bigger.  Share the trail!

Yeah another runner! Bye other runner!

So glad they remind people to pick up after their pets.  Wow there are quite a few people who don’t pick up after their pet!

If people are supposed to pick up after their dog, why aren’t horse riders responsible for their horses.  There seem to be droppings everywhere

Yeah halfway!

Yippee.  Time to relax into the music after I made it through the tough miles (the first 6!)

Where did all these people come from?

Wonder if I can catch that runner?!

(singing to myself with the music)…(don’t know the words just making them up and then finally getting to the words)… I workout! (sung in the most confident way possible)

Mile 10, I love you.  Almost done.

1.5 miles left to go… time to push the pace.

I can totally catch that runner!  Look out, here I come.

Hi runner…bye runner!

Last little bit push it all you can, you will feel better about it!

Yeah!!  Done!

12 miles complete now where is my car!”run1

Do you ever have these crazy thoughts?  Or am I all alone!  (There were more, like STOP but I left those out.)

Not a fan of the taper!!!

taperCaution: I am focused on running right now as my first ever marathon is getting closer so if not interested in reading about my crazy running struggles you might want to stop now!

As I start this thing called a taper for the first time ever, I have noticed something, my shorter runs are awful!  I am not sure why.  Is it the anxiety of knowing the race is soon?  Is it the pressure I have put on myself to even run this far?  I don’t know.  All I know is that what use to be the worst part of my run, the first 3 miles, has now lasted until mile 5 where I get some strange burst of energy.  The one good thing that has come out of it is that I am pushing beyond my limits and that is happening with almost every run.  I hope this bodes well for the marathon.  Each day I go out (and fortunately I have been able to go outside to do these runs) I tell myself the minimum amount I want to run and I push myself to make it that far and then I challenge myself to go a little farther.  I hope/know this will help with the run.  These mind games I keep playing with myself seem to be working.  Today, I set out to do 3 miles and ended up doing 6.25 miles.  Yeah for pushing a little harder! taper1

I know I need to taper and if you ask me a taper would be running once or twice a week for as far as you think you should go.  But I am trying to actually follow a plan for the taper so I don’t over train (I assume that is worse than training to much).  I almost feel like I am running more days but getting less distance or maybe I am just getting anxious like I said earlier.  Starting to question my sanity a little more!  Dreading every run until the big one because I am scared?!  I don’t know but like I have said in the past, I am my own worst client so this running that use to get me out of my head is now so in my head that I can’t get out of its way.  HELP!!!!  (Fairly certain tomorrow is a day off from running!  It is supposed to be raining and cold anyway!)taper2

Family!

We all have them whether we would like to admit it or not.  We have a family!  We also have opportunities to create new families.   Whether we move far away from our original family, find ourselves the last of our original family, or are just simply around the same people all the time due to your children’s activities and create a bond through shared experiences.  This is what has happened to us.

Most of my family members together last year.

Most of my family members together last year.

Over the past 12 years while my daughter has been competing in dance competitions, we have been a part of several different dance families but none as long as this current family.  We travel together, share food together, deal with our children’s crazy moods together, laugh together and here recently cry together (or at least for me).  This current family has been together for about 8 years with some going and new people coming in but the values are all the same.  We want to see our girls/ladies shine, express themselves, learn teamwork, build their confidence and most of all have fun.

Teen/Senior family members after doing an awesome job competing today.

Teen/Senior family members after doing an awesome job competing today.

Well today was one of those moments that I began to realize that it is coming to an end.  My daughter is graduating and even though there will be college dance performances to go to, this is it.  We have one regional competition left and one national competition left this summer.  The thought that kept going through my head all day as I went in and out of tearful moments was, “It felt like it just started and then it was over.”  Did I cherish each moment?  Did I take a moment to breathe and enjoy?  For the most part the answer is “yes”.  But you better believe I will be trying to do more of that over the next few months.

Then what?  A new “running family”?  I’m not sure.  All I know is that this idea of family and the people who have been part of our lives up to this point have made an impression on me.  I’ve grown by knowing each one and have enjoyed creating a new family through this shared experience.

How about your family connections?  Do they play a big role in your daily life? 

This Happened today!

I am part of a 30 day photo post on facebook and one of my favorite things was the topic of today.  We had to post “this happened today” in our own interpretation but it had to be today.  Here is what I posted:

today

The best part about it is that you take the time to be present (talked about in a previous post as something I am working on!).  Since I spend a lot of time in my car I am usually rushing from one place to the next but today.  I slowed down.  I took the long way!  I looked around.  I enjoyed the windows down for a change.  It was wonderful.  I also dreamed of having my running clothes on because it would have been perfect but instead I stayed working.  Oh well, hopefully tomorrow.

So what would you take a picture of?  How would you frame what happened to you today?

Being Present

presentIn mid-march I wrote this blog talking about community experiences.  One of the experiences that stimulated the blog was meeting a fellow runner who gave me some great advice.  Well tonight that experience continued and it was overwhelmingly cool.  I went for a run at the gym and there my new friend was, on the treadmill next to me.  We proceeded to chat for the next 8 miles.  That was one of the quickest 8 mile runs I have ever had.  I learned that we have so much in present1common besides running, like being in the same field for work (therapy) and we seem to think the same way.  It is always great to expand ourselves by taking the chance to make new friends and new running friends is a bonus for someone who has done all of this training by herself (except for my wonderful bloggers who are a great support).

I don’t know about you but as I get older I find it harder to make new friends.  It’s not because I’m not willing to be open to others.  It might be because I think everyone is busy and maybe already has their lifetime friends.  I have been told that I can talk to anyone and I usually do, which probably comes from being from the South.  We are just overly friendly!  But how many times do we open ourselves up to new experiences.  I know I get in a routine and at times just keep my head down and plug away at the task at hand.  I’m trying to learn to look up, smile at strangers (okay that might sound a little creepy), but make others know that I see them.  Some things I have recently started to do to be more present for people: When at the grocery store, I try to address the cashier by name (I mean really they have the nametags on for a reason) and thank her/him.  When I make a call asking for assistance from someone, I try to address them by name at the end of the conversation so they don’t just feel like a number (PS – I think addressing them by name helps in getting what you want too).  I am really just trying to be more present and hey, if I make new friends along the way I chalk that up as an added bonus!present2