Monday, June 1, 2009

I am a finisher!

I am sitting in Grandma Jane's den at the moment taking advantage of her massaging chair.  As you know I have spent the last 6 months training for the Rock N Roll Marathon in San Diego which occurred yesterday.  Since I got back to California from Colorado I had a hard time training, I was hitting walls very early into my runs and was completely drained of any energy.  I was very anxious and worried that would not be able to do the marathon at all until 2 weeks ago.  I decided I would do the marathon and try to finish in anyway I could.  Then I went out for a run and 10 miles later I hadn't walked once and I knew I could still pull it off.  I did my longest run last Monday and then flew to Detroit with my parents to begin my brother's wedding celebrations.  We had a wonderful time in Detroit, the wedding was beautiful and the couple very clearly happy and madly in love.  I was the emotional sap the entire day and cried more than my Mom!  I couldn't be more thrilled to welcome Brittani into our family and am thinking relaxing thoughts for them while they honeymoon in Antigua this week.
The wedding was friday and saturday I flew out L.A. and met up with my friends Shannon and Jocelyn.  We headed out the San Diego and picked up Jocelyn's sister Jenna who had decided to join us at the last minute but didn't have any expectations of finishing the marathon.  We were all exhausted and got into bed around 9pm and woke up at 4:30am to head to the start line.
I was nervous, it was sinking in that I was about to attempt something absolutely ridiculous!  We got to the start line and stretched out before entering our corral to start the race.  I joined Jocelyn and Jenna in the 6hr 30min corral.  There were SOOOOOOOOOOOO many people, it took us 10 mins to go from our corral to the actual start line!  The 3 of us hung together for the the first 9 miles and we were making good time and running very consistent 12 min miles.  Around mile 10 Jocelyn stopped to fix her shoe and I went ahead we didn't end up meeting up again until the finish line.  Miles 8 to 12 were my least favorite because they were on the highway and cantilevered, running on the slant is very tiring and easy to injury yourself on.  I was really happy to run up the on ramp and turn into Fashion Valley with the flat road!  I saw Shannon at mile 13 and I was feeling great I hadn't walked yet and was in the zone.  Apparently I looked good too because Shannon said I looked like I had just run 5 miles instead of 13!  Shannon picked up some pretzels cause I was worried about losing too much salt.  It wasn't exactly hot in San Diego but we were sweating a lot.  It was an overcast morning with some drizzle so the humidity was more than I had expected.  I was very anxious about fueling and hydrating during the race so I took the approach of not turning anything down.  I took a drink at all stations, took Cytomax ( a Gatorade like drink) when they offered it and at the last few took both. Around mile 15 I took two tylenol from the medical aid tent, that made the last part of the marathon much easier.  Nothing was hurting at the time but it took the edge off of my joint pain and minor muscle tweaks.  I knew I was in good shape because between mile 16 and 25 you could see people's pain in their movements.  I was still jogging at that point and feeling good.  It's always painful to go from walking back to running but it dissipates if you push through the first minute.  I tried not to walk for long periods because I knew the longer I walked the harder it would be to start running again.  Instead I walked shorter amounts a bit more frequently.  I still didn't walk anywhere near as much as I thought I would.  

I didn't do any appreciable walking til I hit mile 16 but I was still running at least 90% of each mile.  It wasn't until I hit mile 18 and was still feeling so great that I realized I was going to finish the marathon better than I had thought I could.  Mile 20 came and went with no problems, it was kind of cruel that the most infamous mile in any marathon was on the incline of a bridge, thanks Rock N Roll you made my day *rolls eyes*.  Mile 20 is known as "The Wall" it is the most common place that runner's hit the wall as far as energy, if there was a wall there I ran through it and never knew it was there.  I felt great, my feet hurt but nothing I couldn't push through.  I finished the last 6 miles with about 10 minutes of walking and a sprint across the finish line.  Shannon was right there and as soon as I saw her I burst into tears as did she.  

I am officially a marathon finisher, it's something I never thought I would be able to do.  Not only did I finish it but I enjoyed it!  I actually had fun the whole time and would willingly do another one!  I crossed the line at 5 hours and 48 minutes, Jenna finished 3 minutes before more and I waited for Jocelyn to cross at 6 horus and 8 minutes, she cried as well which made me cry again!  We got our finisher's medals, which are really heavy!  I think it's hilarious that after 26.2 miles of running they expect us to be able to hold up our necks with these heavy ass medals on!  I wouldn't trade mine for the world though!

I am defiantly sore but nothing like what I had expected.  I'm just about as sore as I have been after my other long runs.  My knees are the worst though, they have taken a lot of pounding and are talking back!  My shoulders are very tight as well so I am keeping heat on them to keep them loose.  I am going to treat myself to a massage this week cause I earned it!  I had my camera with me on the course and I took videos at different points which I am posting here so be sure to check those out!  When I get photos from jocelyn and shannon I will post those as well.  There was a live feed of the finish line that my parents were able to watch me finish.  The feed will be post on their website this week so if you want to see me finish go check it out!  I am bib #12215 and I finished around 5:58 on the finish line clock.  This is the link to my results.  

I will post another recap of the race later on but I knew many of you were eager to hear how it went!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Less than a week to RnR!!!!!!!!!!

Howdy all!  

So I've been running this week and biking so as to not wear out my legs again.  Yesterday I went for my longest run but unfortunately had to stop 3 miles shy of my intended distance.  I woke up and headed out and felt fantastic through the first 3 hours of the run until in the last half hour my monthly friend reared it's ugly head with back and stomach cramps.  Had it not been for that I would have finished 18 miles in a about 4 hours and feeling great!  I feel prepared for the marathon and ready to get into my corral.

My friend Erin was up for a visit and it was so good to talk to her because she's done a marathon and many other running races.  When she tells me she has no doubts I will finish the marathon I knew I could do it.  I was pleasantly surprised with how quickly the 3.5 hour run passed it wasn't has boring as I thought it would be at all.  I ran the first 10 miles without any walking and then didn't walk as much as I thought would through the last 5 miles.  My body hurt but nothing that I couldn't just grin and bear.  

I can't believe RnR is less than 6 days away!  I am sitting in the Oakland Airport right now waiting to board my flight to Detroit for my brother's wedding on Friday.  I plan on running 2 to 3 times while I'm there, just short 6 milers or less to keep my heart in shape but nothing too taxing.  I've tweaked a muscle in my groin which has been tender on the last 2 runs.  If it's still sore tomorrow and Thursday I'm going to focus more on swimming than running to less the pull on it.  I have my outfit picked out and my body glide in my suitcase!  I am so excited to do this marathon.  The training part of it for the last 6 months has been fun but now that we are so close I am really ready to have it over with.  Aside from actually finishing the Marathon I have achieved the goals that I meant a lot to me, I have stayed with the training program as best as I could (meaning I actually went running on regular basis), I increased my fitness level, and I enjoy running now it's no longer painful.  I know after the marathon I will continue to run, I've found my favorite distance is 10 miles, they have been my best runs and my most enjoyable.


Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Hurts so good!

I'm back in action and feeling amazing! Yesterday I got up at 6 and headed out to see how I felt running.  I've noticed that my runs are a lot more successful in the morning as opposed to mid-day or evening.  I didn't set any goals other than to just get out and try.  10 miles later I felt AMAZING!  I ran 10 miles WITHOUT WALKING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  
I couldn't believe it, I thought I had done 12 miles so I was flipping out when I did it in 2 hours but then I realized I had miscalculated my laps in this one neighborhood. But who cares I still ran the entire time! I didn't walk until I was in sight of my house which is only possible about .10 of mile out. I started crying around mile 6 because I realized I was back in the game and that doing the marathon was still very possible.

I am so happy to know that my wind and fitness level are still intact. I've been so scared these past few months that I was losing them since I couldn't run at the same level. This past month has been so hard on me because I have wanted this so badly. It's also been hard for another important reason, every time I have started a training or weight loss regime I have started out fine then hit a roadblock, become discouraged and quit.  It's exactly what happened here, and it killed me because I had come so far in this endeavor.  This has been the first time I've actually seen the results of my hard work, being able to run 7, 8, 9, 10 then 12 miles made me feel so accomplished.  Then I moved home and felt as those I had smacked straight into a concrete wall.  The quitter in my went to work and I allowed this speed bump to become an impassable mountain. My Mom recognized what was happening and that's why last Sunday she worked me over.  I finally recognized what I was doing and decided to work with my challenge instead of raging against it.  

I wanted to push for more mileage yesterday but didn't want to push it and hurt myself.  It was so great not to have that energy crash a mile in.  Instead of pushing it on one day I got up again this morning and ran 8 miles, which even though I slept in between the runs was hella hard!  My hips and legs were very sore so going out running again was hard.  Runner's World talked about ways to train for a marathon without a lot of time in your day, one of the suggestions was to spilt your long run over two days because it will tax your body the same as in one day.  So Monday was 10 and today was 8 which is similar to an 18 mile run.  Oh it felt like it too!  It really made me understand what the 2nd half of this marathon is going to be like, painful!  But I was very pleased with how I was able to push myself and make it comfortable and  still ran over all the hills!  So San Diego here I come!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Turning a Corner

I spent today talking to my Mom about this whole thing and feeling awful that I'm not as excited as I should be for San Diego.  I made a decision, I'm going to run the Marathon. I will be at the start line in San Diego at 6:30am with Jocelyn, whether or not I cross the finish line is another story.  I've been really hard on myself for not feeling well. But I can't feel sorry for myself anymore, I just have to work with what I have. I am going to just keep running as much as I can until the marathon.  If I have to drop out then I have to drop out but I won't give up before I've evened tried.  I told Jocelyn I'd be there with her and I will at least start it with her.

And now I'm excited I get to see my best friends and make some awesome memories.  This will be my first marathon but will not be my last!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Depressed as Hell

Howdy all,

I am so down, I don't think I've been this down since I broke up with my ex-boyfriend a year ago. It's not looking like I'm going to be able to do this marathon, at least not the way I was hoping too. Mentally I am totally psyched out of running because every time I've tried in the last month has been a disaster minus one glorious 6 miler a few weeks ago. I am crushed that I am not well.  I am still waiting to hear about the blood tests that I had done on Tuesday. I am praying that it will be something with a simple fix in enough time for me to at least have the energy to drag through 26.2 miles.

It is heartbreaking to have your dream so close but it feels like it's slipping through your fingers. The marathon was my idea, I was the one who roped Jocelyn and Shannon into it.  The thought of not running next to Jocelyn 14 days makes me cry. She is doing so well, she is a testament to hard-work and perseverance. I feel awful because I'm not jumping up and down about San Diego right now and she is and she should be she's ready and going to do great.

My parents are telling me to chill and not run, what's the big deal? No one understands the pain and the suffering you go through to do this unless you've done it. I am trying to decide what I'm going to do, not run and cheer Jocelyn on louder than even her sister could do (Sorry Jenna but I would at least owe her that.) or run and take my chances that I have to drop out.  I'd love advice, feedback, anything.  This fucking sucks and there's no nicer way of putting it. I WANT MY MARATHON!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Where the hell have you been?

ok so it's been an obscene amount of time since I have posted to my blog and now we are 17 days away from the marathon.  I'm sure many of you are wondering where my training is at now, well it's at a dead stop and has been for a few weeks unfortunately.  Last I left you I was getting ready to go to Eugene for Grad School open house, I actually blogged from my phone but it didn't get posted so I will post that one for you to see where I was then.  While I was in Eugene I did a 6 mile run in just about an hour which is really fast for me.  It was my first time running at sea level in 6 months and it felt really good. The next day I woke up and was sick, I had a sinus/flu type of thing.  I flew back to Colorado that day which only made it worse.  When I got to Colorado we got hit by 3 huge snow storms and it completely shut down my running along with being sick.  So then I moved back home to California for the final phase of training and the transition between Colorado and Oregon.

I haven't felt like myself since I got home.  I tried to go for a run the day after I got home with my parents on their bikes and it was ugly. I tried some GU before I left and it tore up my stomach so I had to give up 4 miles in and my Dad came back with the car and picked me up.  I tried to take it easy since I had been working 60hr weeks for the last month I was in Colorado plus running.  I kept trying to run but I just felt sick and about a mile in crashed.  So I took some time off to rest then 2 weeks ago I ran 6 miles and felt great then I did a bunch of 4 mile speed workouts and felt like I was back on track.  Then I went up to Eugene to get a place to live and was so drained of energy the entire time I couldn't run while I was there. Then I came home and tried for a 12 mile run last friday, I felt fantastic up to mile 3 and then I crashed.  It felt like I had been running for 10 miles but I was only at mile 3.  I pushed through and ended up with a 9 miler but I probably only ran about 50% of it since I had to walk the last 3 miles home.  I have been sleeping 8+ hours every night and still waking up tired and crashing in the middle of the day.

I went to the doctor yesterday and they are doing some blood tests so next week hopefully I'll have an answer as to what is going on.  I am thinking it's anemia or a thyroid problem, the doctor is ruling out Mono but he was leaning towards some kind of virus that is hanging on in my system.  Either way I am not a happy camper.  I have been dreaming of this marathon for so long and now it's so close and I don't know if I will be physically capable of doing it.  Unless the doctor tells me I can't run it I think I will just try and if I have to drop out I have to drop out.  Please pray for me that my energy and motivation returns and that my body will respond to the rest.  I am going to try later today for a 6 miler because I'm feeling pretty good today.

Also if you'd like check out the photos of my new place in Eugene!  Best part? There's is a huge park with an awesome running trail next door!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

So close...

Well after a rest from running this week I decided to hit it hard and go for 12 miles today. I have been skiing all week, because we've gotten hit with this FANTASTIC storm! 35 inches of new snow in 7 days, and I got in 4 powder days this week! I could not be happier. Yesterday I wanted to do my long run but I've had 4 days in a row where I've had to be at work before the sun was up so needless to say yesterday I was a bit tired so I relaxed at home. I worked 6am to 10am this morning and it was a nice sunny day so I decided to go for it.

First of all I have to say that I didn't give myself enough of a time buffer for this run. I wanted to start at 11 but didn't leave until 11:45 and I had to be at work at 2:15. The first 6 miles were fantastic, I felt great, nice pace, very comfortable and fun. Then as I neared my turn around point the wind picked up which was great to get me to my turn around. However I turned around and ran smack into the wind. I felt the extra effort and I definatly had to work much harder. My back fatigued much earlier than I had expected and that made it even more difficult to finish the run. Mentally I was on top of it though, I kept myself up beat and pushing forward.

It is very clear to me now that I have to focus more on strengthing my core and back, it's going to play a huge roll on finishing this race in May. I also became very aware that my runs are reaching to point where I shouldn't be running without water or gatorade. I was really thirsty today and there was only so much snow I could eat to compensate. This week I'm going to go in search of a water bottle lumbar pack. If anyone has any recommendations I'd greatly appreciate it!

The end of the run was really painful, my feet hurt and my back was fatigued, I also ran out of time so I couldn't push for the full 12 but instead I did 11.7 miles, close enough? I am going to try for 13 next week but only after I get in 2 mid-distance runs this week. I was reading my Runner's World and discovered that my long runs should be half of my total weekly distance. Lately I've just been doing my long runs and 1 or 2 3 mile runs, definatly time to up the mileage!

Congrats to Jocelyn for finally getting to Central Park for a run. It's amazing how different the road is compared to a treadmill!