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?

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!

Made it through but it hurt (25/31)

All I wanted to do was get my long run done outside today.  All I wanted to do was run and feel my feet hitting the pavement and enjoy the sunshine.  All I wanted to do was not go to the gym to run 20 miles.

Well guess what, what I wanted and what I did were not in alignment!

I spent the late morning and early afternoon with friends I had not seen in a while and had planned to get my run in around 2.  I was kind of on track but did have to start around 2:30.  The wind was crazy windy and they talked about the temps plunging this afternoon setting us up for a blizzard on Tuesday (that’s right about 2 feet of snow is what they are predicting for my area).  I drove through the area I wanted to run and they had not plowed the sidewalks like they usually do so I knew right away that this was gonna have to be inside.  😦

I did however make the best of it.  I actually used headphones and watched a college basketball game which was great.  I got to see a legendary coach win his 1000 game in a very close game, it was a great distraction to what I was doing.

Because treadmills at the gym only let you go 10 miles before they shut off I had to break my run up, which would make it easy to quit or for me made it easier to make it through.  I did 8 miles, then took a quick trip to the bathroom, then 8 more and got some more water, and then finally the last 4, each time resetting the machine and stretching just enough to get it started again.  I also added some hills in every once in a while, nothing real long but maybe a mile here and there just to spice things up a little and actually give the legs a break.

I was glad to get the run done but this one took all the motivation I could muster to make it through.  When I restarted the treadmill for the last 4 miles I had some energy and was telling myself, “you can do this”.  But by the time I got 1.5 miles in to the last 4 I was hurtin’.  I went back to my mantra from 5 days ago during my sprints:“you will not meet your goals with easy!”   It would be easy to quit and say, “Hey at least I’ve done 17.5 miles that counts right!”  It would have been easy to at any time in the next 2.5 miles to stop because believe me, my legs began to scream and I began to have a few cramps in my legs.  But I kept hydrating, kept pushing and saying to myself “you will not meet your goals with easy!”  So glad to finish and so glad to stretch out, roll my legs, soak in a tub, and put on warm clothes and call it done!

On another note, I guess winter has finally made it to my area so I might be resigned to the treadmill for these long runs for a while.  If it truly snows as much as they are predicting, it will be a little while til the streets are clear enough to run on them again.  Don’t get me wrong, we won’t be trapped because we have lots of snowplows and they clear the roads well but being on the roads with huge mounds of snow is not safe because drivers can’t see you very well.  So I’ll take my chances inside.

I would say my training is going well, 4 full weeks completed, only 17 more weeks until the marathon!  It will be here before I know it.

How is your Janathon going?  Last full week!  Did you set in goals during this long first month of the year?  Did you hit them or are you close?  Mine was to stay fulling engaged in my plan.  I have exercised on each day I have planned and really working on my core.  Thanks for a great first month Janathon!

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I know I’m gonna feel this tomorrow – Janathon 6/31

As part of my crazy “Run less, Run Faster” training plan I am following for my next marathon, today was sprints.  I might have liked them more if I was actually outside doing them instead of on the treadmill but when the temp is down in the teens and it’s dark, I enjoy the warmth of the indoors.  So inside I went.

Here is what it looked like:

1 mile warm up at 6.7 (on the treadmill)

1 X 800 at 7.8

1 X 800 at 8.2

3 X 800 at 8.7

1 mile cool down at 7, but sped up at the end because I wanted to finish 5 miles in 40 and just missed at 40:03 for 5 miles.

Ab stuff:

3 sets of 30 – crunches and side crunches with legs in the air

3 sets of 12: Bridges, Clam shells, leg lifts

3 supermans for 30 seconds each

Then some stretching.

As I sit here and stiffen up and every once in a while get up, all I can think is “I’m gonna feel this tomorrow!”  I don’t know about you but I think it will be worth it in the end.

How was your 6th day of Janthon?  Have any fun workouts you want to share?  Please do.

Hug a Runner Day

Today is Hug a Runner Day!  I don’t know about you but the first thing I want after I finish a race or run is a nice hug.  I have had quite a few over the years.  Here is an example:

Runfie side hug of my biggest supporter on a cold New Years Day.

Runfie side hug of my biggest supporter on a cold New Years Day.

Hyannis Half with Bill Rogers and Dick Beardsley - nice fun hug at the expo

Hyannis Half with Bill Rogers and Dick Beardsley – nice fun hug at the expo

Bill, me and Mark Bravo at the OKC marathon expo in April

Bill, me and Mark Bravo at the OKC marathon expo in April

Me and Dick at the OKC expo

Me and Dick at the OKC expo

Marathon Scott who helped me across the finish line of the OKC marathon in April

Marathon Scott who helped me across the finish line of the OKC marathon in April

Me and Peggy at the OKC marathon in 2013 when I was able to cross by myself.

Me and Peggy at the OKC marathon in 2013 when I was able to cross by myself.

Me and Judy in October at my 2nd marathon of the year and her very first!  Love new running friends.

Me and Judy in October at my 2nd marathon of the year and her very first! Love new running friends.

My sis and me at the Rock and Roll Vegas Half this past Sunday!

My sis and me at the Rock and Roll Vegas Half this past Sunday!

My beautiful little girl after my first ever marathon.

My beautiful little girl after my first ever marathon.

But must end with my biggest supporter and love of my life, Dave.  He gives the best hugs!!!

But must end with my biggest supporter and love of my life, Dave. He gives the best hugs!!!

Now it is your job to go HUG A RUNNER!  I don’t care if they are sweaty!  Share the warmth!  🙂

 

I broke my promise…

promisesI broke my promise to myself that I would not run for the week after the marathon.  Well, today I broke it!  And you know what?  I’m okay with it.  I just did a very slow dreadmill run of 4 miles and then lots of stretching when I was done.  I think I broke down because Sunday’s marathon was so good, my recovery has gone well with just a few aches and pains (which the massage helped) and I just wanted to get back to something I love (oh and there is the pesky half marathon I have on November 16th that is on my mind too).

I was reading a lot of posts about marathon recovery (after all it is marathon season so there are lots of people writing about it).  I read that you are supposed to wait a day for every mile you run.  26 days!  What!  I don’t think I could not run for 26 days!  Really I thought I was doing good to not run until 4 days after.  I do however promise to take it easy.  I know I have the conditioning to run, feel pretty ready for Vegas on the 16th but I have to do something!

I have been looking at some core workouts to start doing.  I really feel like this is a weakness that I have.  I work on my core most of the time but for the past month leading up to the marathon I was slacking to get the miles in.  Anyone have any good core workouts they do?  Also I think I am going to continue to focus on my hips and stretching.  They have been a little achy since the marathon but really I am in pretty good shape.

So in all… promise broken but really have no issue with it.  Still in recovery mode, taking it easy and will probably not run again until Saturday or Sunday and hopefully those miles will be outside.

Please feel free to provide me with some great core workouts or other stretching exercises that you love and think I should try.

A Great Day to run a Marathon

Sorry for my absence… I’ve been stressing about my marathon that happened today so I have not felt like writing.  But as I often promise, I will try to get a little better.  I know, I know… as a therapist  I should follow my own advice but believe me when I say (and have said before) I am my own worst therapist.  I do pretty good most of the time but become overwhelmed when it’s something like a marathon.

Today being overwhelmed actually helped.  I went into the race telling myself to slow down and just enjoy the race and shockingly that is what I did.  I had a great first half and in the second half battled with some leg spasms but slowed down, hydrated, and kept on pushing.

Then I met a new friend, Judy.  I thought she was struggling around mile 22 so I turned around and told her, “you got this”.  (Turns out she was on the phone and was saying “okay, okay”)  Anyway, I had started to walk a little and she came up and grabbed my arm and said, “we got this”.  We spent the next 4 miles, running and walking and talking.  It was the best.  She tried to push me at the end to go on and I said, “No way, we are doing this together.”  At that point she put her arm around me and I did the same and we ran across the finish line as the announcer said our names.  It was incredible.

I love the running community!  We go out as strangers doing something we love together and we push and encourage each other to finish. There were so many times along this course that I was able to run with others, encourage others and be the one that others encouraged.  I am so thankful that I have been given the ability to run as well as the desire to push myself.  I am sure I will do another marathon eventually but have decided that I really enjoy the Half marathon the most (okay other short races are pretty good too).  Today just reminded me that I can set some lofty goals and achieve them if I just put my mind to it (okay now I sound like my motivational Monday quotes, but it is true)!

I hope if you ran this weekend, you met or exceeded your goals.  And remember sometimes the goal is just about getting out there.  I did something I never thought I would be able to do…I had a great time running a marathon, met a new friend, got a PR of 4:34:46, and I’m able to walk today with little difficulty (we will see about tomorrow).

As always, enjoy the pics and have a wonderful week:

 

Very cold and windy at the in the corral.

Very cold and windy at the beginning in the corral.

I don't want to take off the sweatshirt!

I don’t want to take off the sweatshirt!

Here we go!

Here we go!

At mile 13, coming down the hill listening to the crowd and music.  (excuse the big headed man who decided to photobomb my pic)

At mile 13, coming down the hill listening to the crowd and music. (excuse the big headed man who decided to photobomb my pic)

Only 13 more to go!

Only 13 more to go!

Me and my new friend Judy!

Me and my new friend Judy!

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We look so good wrapped in foil!

We look so good wrapped in foil!

The new PR

The new PR

Stick a fork in me, I'm done!!!

Stick a fork in me, I’m done!!!