Thursday, April 30, 2015

And now we TAPER....

And now, now things are seeming all too real.  I just finished up my last week of real training. And I am officially in taper mode for the next two weeks.  The nerves are kicking in as is the little voice of doubt that lives in my head.  I am doing my best to keep it at bay but I know I am under trained and it knows exactly what to say to strike the fear of a DNF in my heart.

Marathon Training Week 16:

The Miles:
Tuesday ~ 6.5 miles
Wednesday Morning ~ 1.76 miles (then limped and cried home)
Wednesday Afternoon ~ 2.52 miles (first time ever pushing the youngest two while my oldest rode her bike!)
Friday ~ 4.5 miles
Saturday ~ 5.01 miles (Baby Shower and a Birthday party had me splitting the 10 to make time for it all)
Saturday Evening ~ 4.73 miles (again with the hip problem ahhhhh!)

The Routes:
Same ole boring home routes.  Yet I was dreaming of the Newport routes and reliving them in my mind as I ran along.  It was also so amazing to have a route that I could take all the kids on with me.

Still below average for the temps! It isn't cold compared to January running but I wish it was warmer.  I would love to have it the temp that makes you just want to run and run and run and run.  I am hoping that it warms soon and that May 10th is a spectacular spring day!

Same as ever.  I didn't even use an fuel.  Which makes me a bit nervous.  I do not feel confident in my plans for fueling yet....

Lessons Learned:
What a week this was.  The excitement of being done the toughest part of training and the anxiety of knowing I am slightly under trained.  The fear of a DNF is real, especially after finishing this week with some hip problems.  I am not sure how or why they started but I have now run a few times where I come limping home to ice, rest, and roll taking a day or two off and then testing out the hip again.  I have learned to listen to my body.  It doesn't matter if you have a sitter for the kids, that you inconvenienced them to watch your kids so you could run.  If you are hurting than STOP, come home and just let it go.  I have also learned that there is a difference between sticking with a dream and goal and being stupidly stubborn.  See it is the end of the money and I am close, close to having a 100 mile month.  And you know what?  I have to let it go.  Running an extra three miles isn't going to help me, my hip or my goal of running the marathon.  It is OK if my monthly mileage falls short.  It doesn't make me a real runner to have 100 miles this month.  It makes me a real runner because I know I AM a runner because I run and I am starting to be smart enough about the running to heal some injuries and not just keep pushing through.  Before I was a runner, before I let myself acknowledge that title I would make excuse after excuse as to why it wasn't good to run that day, that night, that weekend.  Today, I fight the opposite battle.  I have to recognize that these are NOT excuses for not running but legit reasons to stop for the day, the night or that weekend.  My body is adjusting to the miles, and still nursing a baby.  It is recovering from a pregnancy and birth and still trying to build endurance.  I am putting it through a lot and if my hip, or back or even soul just needs a break then I need to take it.  I am NOT failing I am growing.

Speaking of taking the stroller out with me, who is going to participate in National Stroller Running Day on May 31st?

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Figuring more of me out! Weeks 14 and 15

When things get tough, when I start to doubt, when I feel alone, when I need a hug but can't ask, when I am scared, when I find that there is a chance I may fail.  I hide.  I withdraw and get quiet and lazy with making time to write.  My marathon training is winding down and yet now I am finding it harder and harder to put the training weeks up on the blog.  To write about them. To dig deep and
discover what they are telling me.  I am finding that I am burying them.  Running the miles and then forgetting about my thoughts while out there.  Which is funny.  I just came off a back injury, I am seeing a chiropractor three days a week and I missed most of week 14.  Only getting in two runs, thankfully one of which was a long 16 miler.  I should be thrilled to be back running and sticking with training.  I should be ecstatic that I hit a 16 miler, 16 whole miles with the help of some running friends coming off that back injury yet, I hid.  Following that week, I had one of the MOST enjoyable training weeks.  Nailing every run and finding myself doing it alone.  Just me.  The first time ever going over 10 with out having some chunk of my run with a buddy.  All of this leads me to believe I am way more conflicted about running this marathon than I thought I was.  I need some time to sort things out.

Marathon training week 14:

The Miles:
Wednesday 6.57
Saturday 16.02

The Routes:
Same old same old.  Circles of the local roads that I have been training on for the last 13 weeks.  Up and down the same roads.  I have come to know every pot hole, puddle, dog and most likely area to wave to kids or say hello to someone doing yard work.

Spring for the most part really is here.  It hasn't been super warm but it's been getting there.  Saturday morning I headed out early and was greeted by the chirping birds and the sun. No snow, which was a first for this training cycle :)

No changes, although I am having sock problems and am struggling to find a good pair for long distances.

Lessons Learned:
I can make come backs.  Just because I have these little set backs doesn't mean that I can't push
through.  I can run long and I can do it without crying.  This 16 miler was much different from the first one, in fact after it I felt like I could go another 10.  HUGE gains in believing in myself :)

Marathon Week 15 training:

The Miles:
Tuesday 8.01
Thursday 16.01
Friday 9.01
Saturday 3.01

The Routes:
OH MY GOODNESS these routes!!!!! I had an opportunity to travel down to Newport, RI with my husband on his business trip.  I am forever thankful that family and friends stepped in and helped me out with the kids so that I could go.  I woke up Thursday morning kid less and alone with no plans.  I smiled, I knew that I had the whole day before me to run, so why not do my Saturday long run.  I talked with some locals and made a plan.  I set out and just ran.  I ran down Bellevue Avenue.  Home of the Newport Mansions.  The views of these summer "cottages" from the Guilded Age were just breathtaking.  Then I hit the end and turned onto the Cliff Walk.  Those Mansions I just saw the back of?  Yeah I was now in front of them.  Sandwiched between the centuries old houses and the Atlantic Ocean.  I was in pure joy.  So much in fact, I went right back out less than 24 hours later to run the route again with my husband.  I still can't get over those views.

SPRING!!!!! In fact, Tuesday's run I ended up in just a tank top and it was so delightful to be down to minimum layers! The long run in Newport on Thursday was just sun and sea and so soul searchingly delightful.  Even the rain on Friday, the pouring rain for all 9 miles was spring like.  The head winds not so much but I was running in the rain on the coast and I was happy.

Running alone in a new place, especially after my little "run in" that happened on my own turf Tuesday night I donned an alarm.  A little clip that when removed lets out a piercing alarm.  It was easy to run with, however, I forgot it was there.  Let's just say that I couldn't hear out of my left ear for a few days after I tried undressing.  I forgot it was on and when I took my shirt off it set ripped the alarm off and it went off in my ear.  Fun times :)

Lessons Learned:
I had the strongest week running ever.  Tuesdays 8 miler was beautiful.  I stopped to enjoy the deer, the sun set and the peepers.  (My first official sign of spring!!!) I had a small scare when I was running behind the main road and I was surrounded by three bigger than me high school boys.  My first thought was I can't out run them, my second I should have mace or my alarm on me.  But it didn't take me long to realize that in the dusk they simply thought I was much younger than my years and were actually hitting on me.  Which then sent me back home amused and in awe of the
confidence of high school boys.  Lesson, run in the safe lights and bring alarms or mace.  Thursdays 16 miler was done COMPLETELY alone.  Just me, the sun and the sea.  No music, no conversation.  It was the first time that I had ever done over 10 without having some chunk of my run with a running buddy.  I had the mental toughness to do it.  To stick it out. To overcome fears of being alone in a place I didn't know.  To run blind and "naked"  It was freeing!

Have you ever run in Newport?  I had a total love affair with the routes there and can not wait to go back! 

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Figuring it out and then starting over AGAIN

AHHHHHH I am going to say it, actually say it out loud and then hope to hell it is true.  I am pretty almost, certainly positive that training is HARDER than the actual marathon.  Just when you think
you have it figured out, things are going well, you totally have this. Life happens.  Life is always happening.  I am a mom to three, things never ever ever EVER go as planned. And when they do I wait, I wait for something to come up that I hadn't noticed or I had forgotten about.  I am a mom, a mom to three and a runner, there is ALWAYS a wrench.  If someone could see the way my brain worked they would see that all day long every day and actually even most of the night as well my brain is recalculating, re planing, making back up plans and changing this and squeezing in that.  I just never know what I am going to be dealing with at any particular moment.  Headed out the door, everyone is happy, dressed, fed and yet the dog will vomit on the carpet.  Or running on time and someone will have to poop as soon as the last car seat buckle is clipped causing three kids to be unloaded and rushed back into the house to start the leaving process all over again.

This is what happened to my training, LIFE.

Week 12 Marathon Training:

The Miles:

Wednesday ~ 7.06 miles
Thursday ~ 4.03 miles
Saturday ~ 10 miles

The Weather:

Spring is slowly fighting off the winter chill.  It isn't that warm yet but the layers are not as thick and the face masks have come off.  I still ran in snow on Saturday as we joked that it was a long run day therefore, it would snow.  And it did.  Just spitting snow but snow none the less came from the sky.


Absolutely nothing new.  In fact, I have gotten really into the same loop that I will just do multiple times.  It has some good hills and is mostly traffic free.

Lessons Learned:

This week was my come back week.  The kids were really sick and I fell victim at the beginning of the week but nothing too drastic.  I had a hard time balancing it all and therefore the house fell victim.  And by that I mean it was a complete and utter disaster.  Laundry, although clean, was piled high on every surface.  We pushed everything aside in the family room and set up the bounce house.  The kids had been going crazy for outdoor play but with the temps and the ground still covered in snow it was a great option to bounce the crazies out. Dishes are slow to be done.  Often resulting in me doing breakfast dishes at lunch and lunch dishes at dinner.  It was honestly, a disaster.  Which means of course that it will be seen.  I was so fortunate to have a running buddy for Saturday's snowy
long run that I got up, fueled up and hit the road to meet up with her.  Our loops however lead back to my house for some water and a bathroom break.  Here is the lesson I learned: Your house is a disaster, a war zone, and yet as a runner you open the door for another runner to come in without even blinking.  My husband later showed me video of what the house looked like when she came in to use the bathroom.  He was embarrassed and couldn't figure out why I wasn't.  I simply said "she's a runner, she gets it".  Had it been anyone else and I probably would have loaded the van and went into hiding.  Joined the protective witness program.  But when I apologized she said "you have three really young kids, you amaze me by even being out here training."  It hit me right then and there runners accept other runners in all their disaster filled glory.

Which leads me into,

Marathon Training week 13

The Miles:

Monday ~ 6.57
Tuesday ~ 4.57

The Weather:

Pretty darn perfectly gorgeously the beginning of spring.  I even ran in shorts one evening and the sunsets and birds and melting snow was just wonderful.


The same old same old.  However, I have recently roped another friend into running and the route takes me right by her house so I have been picking her up and running with her a bit before dropping her off and continuing on.  It makes for more interesting runs and I absolutely love company.  I am much more a group runner than a solo one.

Lessons Learned:  

Life happens.  After feeling confident in my new plan, missing one of last weeks runs due to sickness and feeling OK with it all knowing I was going to rock this week and take on 16 miles again, hopefully better than I had the last time, I wasn't prepared to be knocked off my feet.  Literally.  My back went out while cooking lunch on Wednesday.  I was literally brought to my knees.  I could not move, walk, laugh, lay, stand.  I was in pain.  Terrible pain.  To be honest it is the beginning of training week 14 and I am still unable to walk straight and have yet to run.  I should be panicking, stressing, worrying about not being trained enough.  Yet I realized, something.  A few weeks ago I
read a blog where she had said it is better to be under trained and to tackle a challenge than to be over trained and injured.  That has clicked with me.  I know I will be back.  In fact, as soon as I feel like I can handle running my chiropractor told me to go for it.  I know that I am going to put my best into this training.  It is hard, it has been hard.  The winter training, the learning curves, the discovering of me and how far I can go.  It has all been hard.  It has been hard but I have been training.  I may not be text book trained.  But I have heart, I have dedication and I know what it feels like to push through. Just like I now know what it feels like to stop and rest.  I know that I can do this.  I can finish up these last 4 weeks.  I know I can go to that start line with the training I end up with and rock what I can.  I also know that I can and will pull out if I have too.  Although, right now my fight isn't up yet.  I still have some time, although not much ;)