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October.  That’s it.

Marathon training starts November 18.  I’m ready.

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Training Pause…

f1dc2cad6b36e8f3277d9e224ea19561I ran a 5K last week.  I didn’t even have a race report, because I went to bed that day.  And slept.  In the days before the race, I lifted (without gloves) in the gym…(I’m sure this is where I got the virus)…and then swam at 6am in the gym pool the day before the race.  Sunday came, and I didn’t even get online.  Since coming home Monday, I’ve hacked up a lung (nice visual), and am still sick.

I’m on an inhaler, antibiotics, cough drops, aspirin, Mucinex (had to stop that due to a weird rash), and water. And, I’ve been there for 8 days.

No running, no gym.  In the old days, I would have sucked it up, laced up, and got out there.  Then look for sympathy for something I did to myself that was so stupid…

Today, I head to the gym, for some light walking on the treadmill, try to lift a few weights.  But.  If it doesn’t work out, I can’t beat myself up with my old runners’ head.  This time, I’m smart.  And, I know that I will feel better at some point.

In the middle of a training program, some drama must certainly fall.  Whether it’s being sick, or some life changing event, we simply must deal with it the best way we can.  So I write the letter S (for sick, not rest) on my plan…for 8 days.  To signify that sometimes, life hands you the cards and your little plans take a back seat.

I hate when that happens.

 

Thinner. Stronger. Older. Wiser.

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Today ends the first week of training for the Modesto Half Marathon.  Not having run more than 3 miles since about May of 2012, I was eager to get started.  I posted this plan a week or so ago, and just laid low.  On Sunday night, I realized that the plan I laid out actually started that day, so I laced up and went out for 2 miles in the cold.

This plan is different for me because I’m employing weights 3x a week, instead of my usual 6 days of Hanson running.  I lifted on Monday, Thursday and will tomorrow, because I’m after that elusive pull up.  Right now I can hang comfortably for 8 seconds.  I can do 3 assisted pull-ups.

For week 1, I ran 9 miles total.  I ran a long run of 4 on Wednesday, and my foot is fine.  I felt really good, but very slow and sluggish today.  I’m slowly (emphasize slowly) trying to take off the 8% of the weight I gained since my race weight day back in May.  (That’s 14 pounds).  Currently, I have 3 off already.  I gained a few here and there, then got the cast and boot …and there went 5 more.  At the holidays, 5 more came back on with unrestrained eating …So.  That is the quest.

Today as I was running, I was struggling.  I have no idea why, after a great run on Wednesday.  I credit my 4 other bloggy gal pals who have enthusiastically joined a weight loss challenge with spurring me on to better my body.  We are currently putting up our Thinspiration pictures, and a theme is emerging.  It’s not enough to be thin as I was when I raced in May.  It’s more important to be strong.  Thinner, stronger, older, wiser.

Thus ends Week 1.

718.87 miles

218635756881994079_lWidlGJc_cI have two more miles to run for 2012, to make 718.27.  I thought I had them on schedule for tomorrow.  Then, I looked at my plan.  I have had a wonderful yummy dinner.  And now.  I must go run.  THEN, this number will be the final for 2012:  718.27.

Today, my Half Marathon plan starts.  Modesto Half Marathon scheduled for March 24…first race back post stress fracture.  First REAL race…I did do a 5K this year, but I didn’t train for it.

So.  Here it is.  The path.  The plan.  And…here I am.  Celebrating my 54th New Years on the planet.  I’m coming back.  And I have a lot of work to do…

Time to lace up.  I’m out.

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Olympic Love. August. Day 3.

There are enough irksome and troublesome things in life; aren’t things just as bad at the Olympic festival?  Aren’t you scorched by the fierce heat?  Aren’t you crushed in the crowd?  Isn’t it difficult to freshen yourself up?  Doesn’t the rain soak you to the skin?  Aren’t you bothered by the noise, the din and other nuisances?  But it seems to me that you are well able to bear and indeed gladly endure all this, when you think of the gripping spectacles that you will see.  ~Epictetus~ 1st-2nd century, A.D.

Today starts track and field.

Afghanistan women compete.  Dressed in head to toe.

But.  They get to.  They are allowed.

This is that time of the event.

When all of us.  The dreamers.

We compete for PRs, for new goals and distances.

Or we just fantasize about the time when once again.

We can lace up and toe the line.

Good luck to all the athletes!!

Where is the Olympic glory?  It is where you should always look for glory-within the individual. ~Will-Weber

this is the house that i built.

So, it’s been a week.  I have spent the days analyzing the race, the events that led up to the race, and ultimately, as I’ve always been taught…what part I did have in this, um, debacle.

There are no excuses for my epic fail at San Luis Obispo.  For the first time in a really long time, I owned this training plan, and have no one except myself to look toward to fix it for the next one, which is, by the way, Tucson Marathon in December of this year.  In that vein, I tried to look at the reasons my race turned out as it did…as a way of accurately assess the situation.

  1. There were two medical situations that happened that were out of my control.  About 8 weeks ago, I got a sinus infection that lasted a week, or 40 miles.  A week before the marathon, my foot was jacked.  I couldn’t walk.  My doctor told me not to run, and to get an X-Ray, which of course showed nothing, and now it’s just sore, but I may or may not get the MRI this week.  This is not an excuse.  However, it’s a reason.
  2. I was under some emotional distress of a personal nature by the time I toed the line at 6am last Sunday.  Nauseous, sad, scared…and by mile 4, I realized that none of those feelings would change anything, so I had a choice.  Bail or ask for guidance from my Higher Power…so I did.  Ask for help.  A fellow marathoner told me she was amazed I even got to the start line to begin with…
  3. At mile 11, I asked a runner who was coming back from the loop how far the turn around was.  Up until that time, my splits were good.  I was on pace for what I thought was a possible PR for sure, but I gave away my mental game at that moment.  I gave it to the guy who said, “It’s a half mile.”  It turned out to be 1.5 miles.  This is an excuse that I used for awhile…but I gave someone else the power.  Irritated with myself.
  4. Here’s a definite situation.  I thought I had run consistent 12:04 splits, and when I got home and uploaded the data, the Garmin said something like 12:35ish for 5 miles.  I seriously thought I was at my target pace, when in fact, much much slower.  So, two things need to happen.  I don’t know if it was a fluke, because it’s never happened, so I will be starting to pay real close attention to this.  It’s possible that I was so out of it that I simply wasn’t paying attention…but, I don’t know what happened.
  5. Mental Training.  I love the Hanson plan, and will continue to use it, but I think in addition, I need to journal, or do some mental/emotional training.  Must train my brain and my heart, because as you know, my legs were beyond ready.  They were perfectly ready.  I think it’s like one of those disaster trainings we have in the Red Cross.  I should have been prepared for anything…and, I wasn’t.
  6. Other people on the course.  Here is the joker in the deck.  You can never prepare for the people or things that will trigger you.  There was the girl I’ve run with before with her non-stop talking.  I put my head down, because I couldn’t engage in a conversation.  The team mentality.  I’m just not a part of the team when it comes to race day.  I subscribe to different training, and I feel self-centered and paranoid as I envision the conversations they are having.  I will say it was great to see my mentor at mile 15.  She was the reason I started team.  There was a man on the team that I ran with for 5 or 6 miles who was hurting.  I think I got sucked into that energy as well.  I allowed this to own my head.  My fault, completely.

My nutrition was perfect.  For the first time, I ran with my own Clif Shots and water.  I could have eaten more the day before…as I had water, some pasta, some desserts, and went to bed with very little in my stomach.  I’m happy with how I planned my bathroom breaks.  I had enough where-with-all to pack wipes, etc.  There were many many good elements here.

I had no excuse not to start the race.  I knew that not only would I start, but I would finish.  However, I knew that morning it would be ugly.  And, it was.  It definitely was not my day.  There are no excuses.  There are only reasons and plans to repair.

It’s like a hurricane comes and rips up the ground.  I can sit around and blame the hurricane, but that doesn’t help me right the foundation any faster.  Just fix it.  We can talk about the weather later, and how I could have or should have better prepared.  Meanwhile, the house needs to be re-built.

Taper Madness X 5

Taper.

Taper. Madness.

I don’t have it yet, but I guarantee you, that if any of the last 4 marathons are predictors, it’s gonna happen in about 4 days or so.

Here’s what it looks like for me.

  1. Start worrying about the weather.  It’s April 22.  Is it April showers bring May flowers, or will it be extraordinarily, unseasonably windy/hot/cold/rainy?  I start to check the weather on my phone about 10 days before the marathon.  Obsessively.  Morning.  Night.  
  2. Germ Paranoia.   If you are coughing or sneezing, I race out of the room, and grab sanitizer.  At the end of the Meeting, when everyone else gets up to say the Lord’s Prayer and hold hands?  That’s the moment I’m going to the bathroom.
  3. Course Obsession.   I start looking at the course description.  San Luis Obispo says, “rolling hills and vineyards”, which means big ass hills and no shade.  I start looking at the Aid stations.  The loops.  Those tiny little numbers on the course map.  The arrows.  
  4. Fueling.  In the next two weeks, I’ll be deciding what to take.  This marathon gives Clif Shots.  The exact flavor I’ve been training with.  Do I bring more?  Do I bring my own water for the first time?  Do I rely on the abundance of nutrition they say they will have?  These thoughts will be with me all week.
  5. What to Wear.  Should I wear the black outfit that fits the best, or do I wear white because it’s going to be sunny? Which hat?  Which bra?  Will I remember everything on my list, and will I be able to have my cuts heal before race day.  What about my socks?  Which ones work?  I start to obsess about forgetting my shoes at home.
  6. Pacers.  Do I find the 5:15 pace guy and stay with him, or because I’ve trained solo, should I just run solo?  What happens if I find the pacer, then lose the pacer?  What if he’s a talker?  I can’t deal with that?  GAH.
  7. Race preparation.  Have I run enough?  Could I have done more?  What if my legs die at mile 16, 11, 22?  The only good part about this is knowing that I usually hit a mile 18 wall.  Every time.  I am starting to accept this.  During taper, I wonder if the plan I’ve used is okay.  Is it the right one?
  8. Will I be embarrassed?  The haters, and there always are some…will they be right?  Like, yeah, look at her thinking she can run another marathon at age 53.  Who does she think she is?  Will I bonk and forget how to run?  Will I cry?
16 days away.  This is just the beginning.
Happy Taper.