Friday, September 14, 2012

Total Revamp--Epic Fail-And a Confession...

First the revamp fail. Then the confession....

The Revamp of my OBX Marathon Training Plan is not going so well. I'm not ashamed to admit when things flop. In fact, I'm not even surprised when things flop these days. I am actually pleasantly surprised when things DON'T flop. My schedule has been whonky lately and my long runs have been suffering. I missed my 15 miler last weekend and don't see me doing much more than 8 this coming weekend. LB will be coming along on his bike and he hasn't ridden that far before so we will see how it goes.

I am seriously evaluating my ability to safely run OBX. The last thing I want is another two month set-back where I am unable to walk, run, swim, bike, or move. I know from experience that 26.2 is not a distance race that I can just cruise on up to the start line ill prepared for, and make it to the finish unscathed. That has disaster written all over it. I saw how well that went over at Big Sur and I was better prepared for that race than this one, but still not appropriately trained.

So what is going on in 5 Mile land? Lots. What is the confession? Really the last year, since my dad died, has been a whirlwind, an emotional roller-coaster. I have been in a tail-spin, a tornado, of confusion and frustration. But then again, it hasn't been ALL bad. I have had some really great moments and I use those to reconnect, to come back to reality, to realize that life is good, I have people. And my people have me. Sometimes when I step back and analyze the past year it is like a bad after school program on USA and I wonder, "Is this really my life? How did my life come to this? To be this topsy-turvy?How is it that I could seriously be on the Jerry Springer Show?" My dad died in October, it's hard to believe it's been almost a year. Then in March The Hubs moved out and is on the fast track to becoming X-Hubs. That's right. Going to the big D and don't mean Dallas.....It was difficult for me, difficult to process, to accept, to come to terms with. It's been difficult to hold it in, to not let you all know what has been going on and why I have been so absent or so off with my training, why I seemed to have lost my wit and humor.  I have felt like I was keeping a big dark secret from you all. But then again, it wasn't something I was able or ready to talk about and how do you just come out and say it? Many of you picked up on it a few months ago, sent me emails to check in, and have been in close contact regularly. It has helped so much, more than you can imagine. And I sit here today, just like yesterday and hopefully tomorrow, knowing that everything will be A-Okay. How do I know? Because I just do....I am strong, I ran a marathon or two or three and an a half, afterall. And I have already seen that God is good, my family is amazing, my friends are out of this world supportive, and I can, do and will have a smile on my face. So you see, exciting things and changes are happening here in 5 Mile Land! I am excited to see where life takes me and LB. Where we end up, the adventures we will have, and the stories I will tell. So there you have it. Will I have a few more bumps in the road? Of course. Will it keep me down? Absolutely not


Friday, September 7, 2012

Total Revamp

So I have had to face reality and admit that my marathon "plan" is not really a plan at all. I have been winging it....that's not working out so well, as evidenced by my inability to run 13.1 miles without stopping. Yeah yeah, it was hot and humid....but still I could have slowed my pace and jogged the race. Either way, fact is that I needed to get my plan on paper, in front of me....

So I revamped it...

I feel better having a plan in front of me. I do much better knowing what is expected of me from day to day...I thought I'd be able to wing it, run here and there without a plan. But that just wasn't working for me.  I was certainly rethinking my OBX full marathon during Virginia Beach. I don't want to come into yet another marathon ill prepared. That was no fun at all. I'm also hoping to avoid surgery post marathon, but it's still on the table. 

This week's training hasn't been the best. Monday I rested, Tuesday had an easy 3.5 miles, Wednesday the stupid creepy stray dog was back and I didn't feel like getting bit so I opted for an evening run, I was hungry and tired so only did 3. I planned to run last night too but got sidelined by a huge thunderstorm. I can run in the rain, don't like it but I can do it....however I don't run in lightening. Something about getting stuck just doesn't sound fun to me. This evening I'll be getting in a few short miles and then some short miles Saturday. My Go-To Running Buddy, J-Ninja, will be away this weekend (booo!) so I get to run with my newest running buddy, Liz! It's so great to have options...even though J-Ninja is not happy about it....

It just went downhill from there.....
Anyone else have clingy, jealous running partners?? Just kidding, I kid, I kid....I feel so fortunate to have my running partners and miss them when we don't get our 2+ hours a week of chatting in. 

So I have to admit something, but I'll deny it if you ever try to bring it up again: I'm excited for fall. GASP! I know, the Lover of Summer just said that....well it's true, for now, I am excited about fall. There I said it. There is much to look forward to in the coming months and just like summer has sunshine and beaches, fall has it's own attractions, and I don't mean the Spiced Pumpkin Latte from Starbucks.... What are you most excited about with fall coming?

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Virginia Beach 13.1 Recap...

I came, I ran. I ran slow.

But all that matters is that I finished, I got my medal, I didn't die, and my knee doesn't hurt. Some might be upset or disappointed in running a race about 20 minutes slower than their last, but not me. I know I did the best I could do on that particular day and it just so happens to be a Personal Worst (PW) half marathon finish time by about 50 seconds. Meh....what ever.

The day started early, but not stupid early. We were only 2 blocks from a shuttle pick-up so that helped.

Dark and early, heading to the start.
These feet....

Ready to Rock!
We got to the start at about 6:25, 35 minutes before the start. We headed straight to the porta-potty line and there we remained until about 3 minutes after the start. If there is one thing I have learned while racing larger races like the Rock n Roll series it is this: I'm not in it to win it, corral doesn't matter, and it's chip time anyway. The race started and a the first 5 waves were on their way when Rachel and I jumped in the back of corral 8.

For the first time in a year I ran with music. I haven't been doing this lately but for whatever reason I through on Pandora and headed out. This lasted until the uphill-or overpass rather, around mile three. Service was shotty and the music kept loading and skipping, so I turned it off and ran to the bands, the crowd, and my own hot, tired thoughts. The first 10k wasn't so bad actually. I was cruising right along to a good pace of 8:50 to 9:10 min/mile. But I was getting hotter every minute. It was that kind of hot where no matter what you just can't cool off. I noticed my clothes were soaking, like drenched. But it wasn't raining. I could wring my shirt and water/sweat would drip out. The humidity was so bad. The thing with humidity is that you get hot, you sweat. But the sweat doesn't evaporate, it's the evaporation that cools you off. In an attempt to cool myself I would pour water on my head and down my back, but this didn't really help either. It felt good, sure. But it was the same as sweat, it just made me wet, not cooler.

It was at the 10k mark I told myself that I didn't want to die. That wasn't in my plans for this day. I also didn't want to have a heat stroke or pass out. I had goose bumps, you know the ones you get when you are so hot and you can't cool? I had to bring my run to a brisk walk to try to cool off. My face felt like it was melting, it was burning from the heat. I kind of felt like I was boiling on the inside and melting on the outside.  So from this point forward, in an effort to not be like one of the 6,000 who either passed out, had a heat stroke, heat exhaust, or just plain quit, I decided I'd run/walk the remainder. Around mile 8 my hands and fingers were so swollen it felt like my fingers were going to explode. When I came up on the next aid station I grabbed three salt packs, for the first time ever in my racing history. I opened one and ate it like it was freaking candy. Weird....but it was good and it helped a little.

So many people were falling out and at least three that I saw were in really bad shape, laid out on the ground, unconscious, receiving IV's and an ambulance ride. One female was so bad I am certain she was ceasing. It was awful. At that moment I was reassured that my decision to run/walk was A-OK. It's just not worth the risk. I had not been training for a fast 13.1, in fact this was more of a training run to cover the distance. And it was for fun.

The course was decent, but I'll admit I don't remember too much of it. When we came back around toward the boardwalk and the finish the crow grew. Around mile 12 I decided I'd just run it on home. And I did. Once I hit the board walk the temperature felt like it rose a good 10 degrees at least. The heat from the sand and the crowd of people made me feel suffocated. I felt like I just wanted to get away, to get out of the crowd, so i kept going. Finally the finish line was there, right in front of was not pretty but it was a finish, and it's a finish I am proud of.

Signature Pose

I received my medal and wandered through the line, got my picture snapped, grabbed some gatorade, water, and chocolate milk. I felt queasy and hot and gross. I wanted to take my clothes off and jump in the ocean....I shuffled through the sand to our designated meeting place, Letter Z. Andrea was there waiting. We exchanged our battle stories and decided to head off the sand and lay in the grass.  Slowly the rest of our crew made it in and we were all done and alive.

We all took our shoes off and headed to the water...

Mess of shoes, gatorade, socks...
We did it! 

I do it for the Bling!

When it was all said and done I checked the app to see what we were dealing with, weather wise. It was a disgusting 94% humidity and 76 degree. I can handle the 76 degrees, but put that with 94% humidity and you've got a bad combo....

One more medal added to the collection!

In the end it was a fun race and a great girl's weekend! Next up---OBX 26.2...who's in?

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Virginia Beach 13.1...

Oh a few hours we will be heading to the start of the Virginia Beach Half Marathon. I don't exactly feel trained but I am confident I'll come out with a finish.

We headed to the Expo to get our swag and bibs then hurried to lunch so we could hit the beach. Priorities people...priorities.

It's been a while since you've seen my Race Pile!

So we will see how it goes! I'm hoping for three things: That my knee holds up, that it's not too hot and humid, and that I have a good time. That's not too much to ask. Is it?


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