Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Same thing, different year

2.6 miles, 26:00 on treadmill

Supposed to be a much grander run. Apparently a double-double and milkshake for lunch= disaster on the treadmill. That unpleasant gurgle turned into a scream of terror as I ran out of that place. So, mileage cut short.

This time last year, I registered for my first marathon. It was my plan b, just in case I couldn't find a teaching job. I wanted to have something I could work towards, something I could accomplish to feel like I was still moving forward in life. And it worked.

In the past 12 months, I have completed my credential, earned my Master's degree, nearly completed my BTSA, and ran 2 marathons, improving my PR by nearly 20 minutes. I have already completed two of my goals for the new year: set new marathon PR and donate blood. I have had a very accomplished year.  The new challenge is not to let my new life complications get in the way of my sense of accomplishment and my ability to see that I am not failing in life. I'm not going to let these grey clouds rain on my parade!

So, I have been thinking to myself tonight, hours after I received my final reduction in force notice (pink slip) if I should register for my 3rd marathon to help get me through the next couple months and give me something to focus on.

There is something about the marathon, a comfort that other races do not hold. Maybe it is my personality, the desire to always be striving towards something big, that helps me feel better in my own skin. To feel like I am still doing my best, living life to it's fullest, despite other things that seem to be falling apart. But I have realized that I am in a place in my training where, if I want to continue to enjoy a sense of accomplishment in a race, I need to step up training. This means learning to manage my stress and all the nasty things that come with it so I can stick to a training plan. How do I overcome all the anxiety, worry, and depression that so often accompanies a major life change? This is the question I need to answer if I am going to break 5 hours and really grow into the runner I have the potential to become. Is it a good idea to register for next race?

I am glad I didn't register for NWM. I need to register for a race that won't put financial strain on me if I am out of work. Maybe something flat so I can feel confident going in and increase the likelihood that I will get that feeling of accomplishment that, given the current state of the economy and education, I might really need.

This weekend will help me kick start the positive thinking train, help me get back on track and keep my spirits up: Tomorrow the fabulous, gorgeous, and intelligent Maggie will be coming over to cook dinner and elliptical. Friday I get to see a crazy fun old HS/college friend from out of state for a really yummy dinner. And Saturday my absolute favorite, glowing, mama-to-be is coming over for elliptical/breakfast/and hopefully some treats (hopefully baby likes sweetie pies!). The universe has surely aligned quite a posse of ladies to make sure there are no pity parties this weekend.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Good Things: Easter Edition

3 miles on treadmill, 10:00 pace

I will admit, I was a little nervous to get my run on. I was really worried that I might have a lingering injury like after NWM in October, when I erroneously thought I had a stress fracture in my foot. But, 3 miles at 10:00 pace with minimal pain was FANTASTIC! My back gave me some troubles by the end (I've had a huge knot in my lower back since the race) and my knee was a little sassy for the first quarter mile, but running felt amazing and I hope it fuels me to get out more this week. After all, if I am ever going to break 5 hours I need to log more miles!

Good Things:

My awesome mom sent me bunny flowers for Easter since I wouldn't be doing anything celebratory. The wonderful Maggie invited me to church, which I considered but ultimately was too intimated because it was Catholic church. I am glad she did because it has me more serious about finding a congregation of my own. I hope she reads this so she doesn't think I completely blew her off and can see how much I appreciated her gesture even though I am too lame to show her or text her back. These two things pretty much make my Easter. That, and knowing later I will get to talk to all my family peeps on the phone.

This week, I also hope to get back on with the running club and train with real, live people. Thursday will be my first group run. I am nervous about being fast enough but excited because I know running with faster people will ultimately make me faster and get me faster to my sub-5 goal. And a group run next Saturday as well. This is getting serious folks.

My final BTSA document check is Friday, which means that the bulk of the work for the first year of clearing my teaching credential will be behind me. Although I have yet to actually complete all the documents, I have pretty much figured out how all of it is going to go in my head, have all the my documents and materials gathered. One that is done, I can celebrate when a long time friend is in town. We should also be celebrating a job offer for JF, which means this is going to be a very champagne week!

What will you be celebrating this week? Do you attend religious services anywhere? How did you pick your congregation?

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Not missing a beat...

Cross Train 30 min Elliptical 

It took about 2 days for the race endorphins to kick in. Or maybe it took 2 days for the pain to wear off enough to feel the endorphins. Either way, I am definitely ready for my next race and ready to take my training to the next level.

After reading Xaarlin's (Pain is Nothing) tweets, I decided to follow her lead and get back into marathon shape by jumping on the elliptical. The BF thinks I am insane for working out so quickly after the marathon, but it felt SO GOOD. My hips aren't quite back to normal, but my back already feels better, as do my knees. I think a good shake out is exactly what I needed. You could have never convinced me that working out when sore could make you feel better, but now I am a believer.

So, here is the moment of insanity. While at the expo in Boston, I stopped by the Big Sur International Marathon table, and they told me they had some spots they needed to fill for the Boston to Big Sur challenge next weekend. Yes, that would mean running another marathon 8 days from now. Since I can finally sit down and get up without crying out in pain, I thought I should send them an email and tell them I am in if they still have a space.

Last time I did something crazy like this, I landed myself in Boston. Is this crazy? Kinda. Stupid? Most likely. A once and a life time opportunity? OH BABY! I don't count on getting an email back confirming they will take me (said the same thing about Boston), but I am still waiting anxiously. I mean, seriously, how cool would this be? (I know what you are thinking... I have a mental illness... you are probably right).

Big Sur or not, I really want to start training for a my next marathon and half marathon. I don't think I am going to do Nike Women's Marathon after all, I am a little bothered by their lack of organization. I would much rather spend my entry fees on a race I haven't done that is better organized. The search for the next challenge is officially on!

UPDATE: THEY DID NOT HAVE SPACE. Too bad, but probably for the better :) I would have probably just injured myself anyways

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Boston in Pictures

Oh Boston. I am still in immense amounts of pain. Looking back through the pictures, I realized my Garmin was a little off (maybe it paused when I was running slower? IDK) so I only PR'd by about 20 minutes, not 30. NBD. That is still a huge PR.

I realized that I have a lot of potential (look at my early splits here bib #26525) and with some convincing have accepted the fact that if I had proper training (ie a trainer) I could BQ if I put in the time and effort. I just need someone to help me develop discipline. I am going to toot my own horn here: 2 marathons in 6 months. Not too shabby for a chick who couldn't run a mile 3 years ago.

Boston was short notice: 8 weeks to train, in a time where training was not ideal (finish MA, pink slips at work, blah blah blah). I didn't get the training miles in I wanted, I lost track of my fuel intake during the race and under-fueled, SUNBURNED (I did have sunscreen on fyi), and was not disciplined enough to take it slower (although I did slow myself down).  Despite all this, I still got a PR. Did I mention I got a PR? Still pretty stoked on my PR (ok, I am done).

Now, as promised by the title of this post, the best of Boston, in pictures:
Waiting in line for the bus with Charlyn, who also won an entry
I have always wanted to meet up with another blogger/runner. So happy I was able to meet Charlyn, who is just plain amazing, as is her dad. Talk about good people :)
Like a kid in field trip mode, super excited to be on the bus
So many people waiting to start.
Waiting for our turn to start
Fast food. Well, faster than me. Not Charlyn.
Boston is all about the fans. Everyone is so supportive.

If I would line my classroom with people like this, all my kids would feel like winners.

Not sure who these ladies were, but they were awesome.

Haven't tried the number yet. Wonder if she has changed it by now.

...before the hill kills you.

I loved these guys. They gave me extra push when I needed it.
Drinking on the roof. Good thing there were tons of medics everywhere. Boston Marathon=just another reason to tailgate. But on your roof.
If my legs and back weren't busy breaking, I am sure heart would have been too
Don't tease me.
yeah right girlfriend.
Wellesley was overwhelming, but in a good way. So much love.
if you like making love at midnight....
Smiling, because I had no idea how miserable I would be the next time I stood in that place.

Me at the finish the day before. I was a hot mess at the finish, so I am glad I took these shots before the race.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


They weren't joking when they said Boston was wicked hard. Although I estimate I pr'd by about 30 minutes, this race felt impossibly hard. Every moved so fast at the start it was terribly difficult to follow my pacing guide. Even checking the Garmin every 30 seconds and slowing myself down, my splits for the first half were way too fast...some even 90 seconds faster than they should have been, and that was after slowing down. Had I done a better job with my splits, I may have finished under 5 hours. My next race WILL be sub 5!!!

Good things: the support on the course and from the communities is wonderful. It overwhelms you with joy. People are so kind, strangers cheer you like you are family. The volunteers are top notch and the race is run like a well organized machine. It really is a first class race. This is one of my favorite towns in America. It is so easy to navigate, great dining and a ton of fun.

Bad things: this is the course from hell. The first half is down hill and it is really hard to run conservatively with such an elite crowd. Boston is an expensive town so this is a very expensive race to run. I am in an insane amount of pain and for a minute I considered quitting running altogether (like that would really happen).

Someday, when I earn a BQ, I will come back give this course a swift kick in butt. I think I am going to look for a flat marathon to boost my confidence and looking into doing half marathons to improve my time and pacing. I am pretty sure that if I can conjure up some discipline, I could make huge gains in no time at all. Which, let's face it, I might be slow but I did shave a HUGE amount of time off my pr while running a notoriously difficult course. It that doesn't scream potential, I don't know what does!

More pictures and details to come once I am back on the best coast. Thanks for all your support!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Being on the plane surrounded by other marathoners is already curing the anxiety. That, and all the love and well wishes being sent my way. I am officially transitioned from nervous back to really really excited.

Early this week I resolved to give marathons a break. They are a lot of work both physically and emotionally. But seated amongst finishers jackets and eager racers, the bug is reminding me I probably couldn't stop racing if I tried.

I can't wait to do a race update. Yay for happy race endorphin times!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Race Weekend

Here's the deal:

Boston anxiety has consumed me. I am freaking out about being alone during the race and in the hotel.

The culprits:

* I feel like I don't deserve to be racing. I feel like a cheater for running without qualifying or raising money for a charity. Because of this, I feel awkward talking about the race and explaining to people that I am not fast. Especially people who ran it in the past and worked really hard to qualify.

* I am super paranoid about injuries. Last marathon I had to walk and hard terrible pain in my knee and hip. My knee has felt weird all week. Probably just my imagination, but it is still freaking me out. I want to run. I know I can have a great PR if I can just run and not walk.

* I am afraid of not finishing and disappointing my Boston peeps, and mom, who really helped fund some of the travel expenses to make this a reality. I know they wouldn't be disappointed, and that the only disappointed person will be myself, but as much as I try to convince myself of the logic, I still am freaking out.

Hence no posts, no mileage updates, and pretty much going dark for the past few weeks. I realize I did the same thing before NWM in October. How do other runners deal with the pre-race jitters with so much grace?

HOWEVER, I promise the next post will be exciting and full of positive news, a hopefully a new marathon PR, perhaps a sub 5 hour finish, and tons of great pictures.

24 hours until I leave for the airport. 72 hours until I am drinking to my victory.