It seems like just the other week that running 5 or 6 miles would not be hard. To my frustration and surprise, after running this morning, it was hard!!! It's only been a few weeks post-marathon and while I haven't been outside running, I have been working out at the gym. Guess I'm using different muscles, because I huffed and puffed my way through 5.4 miles today. I realize this is when I am supposed to enjoy some down time, recovering after the marathon, but holy cow, the fact that I feel as though I have lost my speed in a few weeks is incredible! I am signed up to do the White Rock 1/2 marathon in Dallas next weekend so we'll see how that goes. I'm going to try to get in 9 this weekend. More than anything, I need to probably lace up my shoes and get back outside. Even in the cold weather, workouts must go on! (sigh) Any motivational tips for running in cold weather?
I did it! I ran for the first time post marathon. I managed to get in a mere 3.2 miles, but they were good ones! I felt good as well, although I feel like I have a few little spots in my foot that I might need to keep an eye on...but...it was good overall! I'm not ready for any big distances, but with the White Rock half coming up, I need to get in a few more longer runs (longer than 3.2 miles) in the near future.
Given the Thanksgiving spirit, I had to voice that I am grateful for many things...especially for my health. God has truly blessed me with a healthy set of legs, lungs, training friends and a support group. Without these, I would not have been able to come as far as I have over these years. Many more good times enjoy!
Have a wonderful and healthy Thanksgiving holiday.
I can hardly believe that it's been almost a week since I took on the 26.2 mile course in San Antonio! It was memorable and most exciting...I am going back to Boston!!!!!
The morning started off perfectly. I felt rested, hydrated and fueled. My running friend, Juli, was my roommate for the weekend, as were our marathon "Sherpas", Don and Wendy. As Juli and I conversed about what to wear, what to eat, how we couldn't believe we were running yet ANOTHER marathon, etc., it just felt like it was going to be a bad run in my book. My motivation was down and I just wanted to get the race over with.
Juli, Don, Wendy and I piled in Wendy's car and drove to the start. Thanks to a few "connections", we had a VIP parking pass and therefore passed the mile long line of runners waiting to board the shuttle bus to the start line. At the start, due to our VIP passes again, we were able to go in to a "VIP start line tent "- complete with heaters, kleenex and port-a-potties galore! It was cold at the start...in the 40s, but that was really a good thing in my book. The VIP start line area was perfect, although it didn't change the fact I wasn't mentally ready to race.
Next thing I knew, we were at the start line. I lucked out and was in corral #4 out of 30 corrals. There are 1,000 runners per corral, so that meant that I wouldn't have to weave in and out of runners for the first few miles. The Air Force planes flew over, the National Anthem was sung, the Rock 'n' Roll race director came on to wish us luck and started the Rocky music (not really Rocky music, but I always think marathons should play that at the start line), and we were off!!
I kept up with my group of Dallas running friends, including Juli, the first 5 or 6 miles. We ran past the Alamodome at mile 4, ran through several great crowds, but no matter how much I tried to think of this as fun, it wasn't. I knew I wanted to re-qualify for Boston, but wasn't sure this was my day. Then...at mile 6...something happened. It wasn't the fact we were going downhill, or that a great song came on my Shuffle, or that I took an Endurolyte pill (a pill that helps to replace your electrolytes during exercise)...my mind flipped a switch. I started thinking..."OK, if this isn't fun, make it fun, enjoy the run, you're been training WAY too long to have a bad race, the weather is perfect, the crowd is great, you feel great now, just ENJOY it." After that point, the word "ENJOY" became my mantra. I ran with the pace group for a 3-hour 40-minute marathon, and they were great. One even wore a hat with a beer stein on it...so I guess you can say I was running for beer most of my marathon!
At mile 10, it seemed like we should be half way (at 13.1), but I felt good. I was enjoying the run. The sun was out and the course stayed flat. I saw my friend Whitney at mile 11 and it was awesome! She drove down from Dallas with her boyfriend to watch us. How energizing! At that point on the course, crossing mile 11, was actually where I noticed the mile 23 sign on the other side of the street. I made a hopeful comment to the runners around me saying "wow, we've already gotten 23 miles under our belt...I feel great!" It wasn't really THAT funny because we all knew the next time we would see that sign, we would probably not be feeling as good as we were at that moment. I also knew that the course had a loop so I would get to see Whitney again - probably around mile 23.
The point of the run that I usually hit my wall is miles 14-19. For some reason, I didn't even think about it when running through miles I kept up with the pace group, thought about when I was going to take my next Power Gel, thought about the beer hat and how hot that guy must be, thought about how cool it would be to re-qualify for Boston and that I might actually do it, and thought about the fact I was actually ENJOYING my run!
I did continue to enjoy it until mile 19. Did someone flip a switch on my legs? Perhaps tell my energy level to fall off? SOMETHING odd happened. I started slipping mentally and physically. I quickly took another Power Gel and drank some water. I checked my Garmin and my pace was steady at an 8:15 mile. I told myself that I could afford to slow up just a bit. I shook out my arms. Switched my songs. I started thinking that I might see Whitney at 23 and maybe that would spur me on.
Miles 19-23 were SOOO hard. The comment that pulled me through was one a friend told me after he walked the Breast Cancer 3DAY. He said when he felt awful, to breate in power (of Christ to spur me on) and out pain. In power, out pain. In power, out pain. I did that and thought about the fact I needed to simply hang in there. It would hurt more if I had to walk. If I stopped, I would never make my qualifying time for Boston. This was point where "the wall" happens. This is where I knew I needed to dig deeper than I ever had before and to make things happen.
....Mile 23! There was Whitney!! SO fun to see her. OK, I had 3.2 miles left. I can run this ANY old day. My legs are turning numb, I don't understand why people are telling me I look so good (seriously?! I do?! I'm running a marathon...NO ONE looks good). I also smile at my friends who I see towards mile 25. They cheer me on - there are my Sherpa's - Wendy and Don. Taking pictures, telling me I look great (yeah...right...). I am so jealous that they don't hurt like I do or feel like I do. I wish I could trade legs with them and finish the marathon. The mile 25 marker hits. I look at my Garmin and I'm running an 8:17 pace. "Just FINISH, Beth," I tell myself, "just get there...you are going to go to Boston...you can do this....dig deep....find a good song on the Shuffle...push it in...in power, out pain..." I take a quick inventory and don't need anymore Power Gel or water. If I took in anything else at that point, I would throw up. My legs are programmed right now. I turn the corner and see a little hill, but according to my legs, it's Mt. Evans...My Garmin beeps and I notice it says 26 miles. I am almost there. .2 left. I turn another corner and wonder "where the #$& is the finish line", according to my Garmin, I should be finishing NOW...where are those balloons that arch over the word "FINISH LINE"? Where IS IT? I turn another corner and go under a highway...my Garmin looses satellite but I am mad at this point since the Garmin seems to lie. I turn one more corner and see it....see them....the balloons that make up the most beautiful site I have ever seen. The FINISH!!!!!!
I crossed the finish line at 3:39:something. I re-qualified for Boston! I saw my Sherpas at the finish, took some pictures, shuffled to the VIP finish line tent and cracked a beer. A great post marathon recovery drink. Cheers to marathon #10, cheers to Boston, cheers to 25 weeks of training, cheers for my Sherpas Don and Wendy, for the pace leader and his beer hat, to my Shuffle, to my mantra's "ENJOY" and "In Power, Out Pain" , to the fact my lying-Garmin said I ran 26.5 miles (.3 more than a marathon) and cheers to a great course in San Antonio.
I'm almost there! Can't wait for the big day. I had an easy 5 miles this morning and felt just fine. I feel like I have been training for so long, and I have been, but the pre-marathon excitement is setting in. One moment I am excited to run my marathon and to enjoy the 26.2 mile course, and the next minute I am so nervous I can't sit still. I know this is normal, but surely after so many marathons under the belt I would feel differently. Not at all. I wonder if the pro's feel this way too? I am going to assume so.
As for my donations, my GOAL is to fundraise $3,000 and I am just over half way there. I know I can raise the additional funds, but it's harder than I thought! After talking to friends that have fundraised for events like this and after reading tips about raising funds...well...they all say that you need to email your friends and family multiple times, but I am cutting it close since my race is on Sunday! I am hoping I can bring in the rest of my donations within the next week or so. I feel badly asking for donations in this terrible economy, but I know that breast cancer doesn't stop even if the economy is impacted and that's why now, more than ever, Komen needs those dollars to fund the research that will get us closer to finding the cures!
Preparations. This means sleep, lots of water, lots of prayers, visualization of the marathon and staying healthy! Vitamin C, washing my hands, making sure if I run that I don't trip, etc. I am trying to not fill up on refined sugars, but I bought some marshmallows last week and they are my favorite! I could eat them each meal. Maybe I will limit it to 2 mellows per meal for the week, and if I crash a mile 22, I will blame it on the mellow.
The time has come...almost...to taper! I was supposed to run my final long run of 22 miles on Saturday, but I am out of town for work. SO, I am going to run before work tomorrow morning. I think I have come to realize that because I'm running 22 miles, showering and heading in to work, that makes me a "hard-core" runner...right? Either that, or the fact that I'm driving myself mentally crazy trying to figure out when I'm going to get my run in....Monday morning, Monday after work, should I split it in to Monday before work and then after work...it's that little voice that gets in my head and says..."If you don't get the 22 in, you will fail at the marathon". I hate that little voice! It's the same one that creeps up at mile 22 during the race itself and says "what the heck are you doing running another marathon - are you seriously putting your body through this AGAIN?" Yes. I am. And I will probably do it another time after San Antonio!
In any event, I have been struggling with my lower back. I tweaked it last weekend after running 8 miles, cooled down, raced the Race for the Cure (7:30 pace 5K, which I was happy about), then cooled down again before stretching. I went to the chiropractor and I feel better, but because of the pain I've been in, I have been doing spin and have just been taking a few days off. It's amazing how quickly I can funnel in to wanting to be lazy all the time after just taking a few days off! My back feels better today and I'm hoping that during and after 22, it will be okay.
Also - if you are interested in donating to my fundraising efforts, I am a little over half way to my goal of raising $3,000 for Komen! My fundraising link is: h Thank you in advance for your support!
I can't believe I am in week 23 of marathon training! Seems like I have been training forever! I must say that I FINALLY am feeling better (no more allergies, thank goodness) and with the weather a bit cooler in Dallas, it feels like I have an extra "gear" for workouts! I have been traveling a lot for work and have had to run a few long runs on my own (the 20 on my own was rough...) but my pace has been fast and I've felt good. My last long run is this weekend (I have 22 on tap), and after that, I will start to taper. Unlike other years, I don't feel injured or have many pains, but I equate that to the fact I haven't been consistently running each week. I don't think my body can handle lots of speed and track during the week if I'm training for over 18 weeks (how long it took me to train for Boston). It's hard right now to keep up my motivation with running especially since a lot of my running group has stopped training (they ran their marathon's already)...but...I'll be finished before I know it! I'll keep you all posted as I start to taper! Enjoy the fall....
I wanted to share that my training friend, who is also fundraising for Susan G. Komen for the Cure Team Marathon, just lost her Aunt to breast cancer. While her Aunt had 3 different "fights" with breast cancer, she passed away this past week. It is incredibly sad for me to hear this, but motivates me to raise more funds so that no one has to hear those words again. There are too many wonderful areas of research that are being funded in the breast cancer world for us not to raise money each and every day!
Well it's been too long since I've updated my blog!! I have to say that I'm a bit frustrated with training right now! I had a great 18 mile run the other weekend (at race pace - probably not the best idea, but the cooler weather felt great!) but during the week I have been suffering from the WORST allergies. Ever. I have tried almost every drug on the shelf and I still can't get it right! When I wake up with a sore throat and stuffy head, the last thing I feel like doing is running!! I have tried to get through it by getting the miles in, but not the "hard" workouts. My mom says that after the first freeze of the year, I should feel better, but seriously!! In Dallas that could mean December! :_| In any event, I have my next long run this weekend so we'll see how I feel. I am going to have to run in Chicago since I'll be there for work and to see friends (good luck Chicago Marathon runners!), but it might be nice running in a different city. So...hopefully for my next post...I'll be feeling much better. Until then...sniffle, sniffle, sneeze, sneeze!!!
Well, it's happen...again...the second time I've been sick within a month! Becuase of being sick and traveling for work, I've missed the last 2 weekends runs. I missed 16 last weekend and then a 13 mile race today. I've been on the couch feeling guilty for not having fun, but when you're sick...you're sick and you need to rest. Not only that, it's one of those awful chest colds, so I KNOW that is when it's also bad to run...when it's in the chest. I'm hoping this next week I will be able to get some good runs in. Luckily I'm not traveling, and the weather is perfect, so I have high hopes. I'm supposed to run 18 this next Saturday and then my fundraiser is Saturday night!! I'm going to host a happy hour with another friend who is running San Antonio. Looking forward to raising lots of $$ for Komen! The last few runs I've had haven't been good, so fingers crossed....I'd LOVE to re-qualify for Boston in San Antonio, but I've got 2 more months until race day! More running to come...Happy Saturday!
Finally!!! I ran 13 today as a training run and I FINALLY feel good! The weather was a bit cooler and it just seemed like I had an extra gear. A few of my training buddies pushed me through the middle of the run, but we were able to hold an 8:12ish pace for most of the way...after a frustrating start to my training season, I am ready to run! I have really had a hard time being mentally motivated to wake up early and run, but I think the weather and the fact I've taken a few "mental" days off has helped. I still can't believe San Antonio is over 2 months away, but I'm sure the higher mileage phase will go by quickly. I was also impressed with the fact I had 2 beers last night and they didn't seem to effect me today! Maybe next week I'll try 3?! I need to pick up some new running shoes and some more Power Gel for this next week but otherwise, I feel pretty good with training!
The Team Marathon program at Komen is really starting to take off - what a dream come true! I just hope that each runner has a great experience - they are doing so much for the cause. Hearing stories of why people are running has brought me to tears several times at work! It's why I come in each day and want so many people to get involved...too many lives are lost to breast cancer! I am planning a fundraising happy hour coming up and hope that I can raise a lot of money as well!
After running 16 miles on Saturday and feeling just awful when I finished, I figured it was time to start a blog about my training and life experience and how they truly go hand in hand. I felt bad going in to the run on Saturday like I was getting a cold, and sure enough, after "pushing myself" during the run and then staying up all night Saturday night (sometimes I think us drinkers have a running problem) - I am officially taking today and probably tomorrow off. I hear that a cold lasts 2 weeks so I should just "push through" but I have never been big on running while being sick. That might change after I get too frustrated with not running! I would love more than anything to re-qualify for Boston, but I need to get in the swing of running more times per week, changing my diet to a bit more veggies and fruits, and adding more yoga and massage....let's see how I feel tomorrow morning. I think my group is supposed to do hills, but I'm going to opt for the "regular" easy route.
I am starting a blog to share about my experiences in life, in training and how they work hand in hand. I have run 9 marathons, qualified for Boston once, been injured more times than I care to count and am trying to maintain a decent social life!