Monday, June 25, 2012

Marion Race Report

One more before I dive into Marathon Training posts. I do believe I am now 4 weeks behind on those! Maybe I need to start putting in a bit more effort to get caught up! Anyway, I am skipping over the Quad Cities Distance Classic just because there wasn't anything real special about that one other than it was the first anniversary of my first Half Marathon. It was my 11th HM in 12 months and I was pretty excited about that fact. Unfortunately, it didn't go as well as I wanted. I was still in pain even after a couple session with the Mistress of Pain, Dr. Lake. By the time Marion rolled around I was in DESPERATE need for a good run. A race where I didn't limp over the Finish Line. Marion was truly a last minute decision and took some major arranging by my Running Partner as by the time we caught wind that the Race Director had changed from offering a Finisher's Certificate (Lame) to a Medal, the race was sold out. Laurie made some arrangements to buy the bibs of some runners who had decided not to run the race after all, and suddenly we were making last minute reservations. We weren't going to stay in a hotel to start with, we were just going to leave Butt Crack Early from my house and drive the hour in the morning. Since we still had to pick up our newly acquired Race Packets, we decided a hotel would be a better idea. Better may not be the right word. Word to the wise, you do get what you pay for and when it comes to a $35 room at the Howard Johnson, you are better off using that $35 to buy an air mattress and sleep in your in-laws office building two buildings down. Add it to our book of adventures, I suppose... My husband and I share a larger bed than the one Laurie and I slept in that night!

It DID have a fridge and a microwave, but those were small comforts. We were counting down the hours before we could check out and go to packet pickup! Plus, it was a (formerly) smoking room. Everything else I can deal with, cuz face it, it was just for a few hours, but the stale stank of the smoke was making my nose run and my throat burn. Awesome.

I don't think I slept too bad considering the situation. I usually just sleep in my race clothes the night of a Half cuz it saves time in the morning. I cooked my oatmeal up in the microwave, grabbed some coffee and got the heck out of Dodge! Like I said, we were counting the hours till we could check out! On our way to the Start to get our packets, we did see a burning car. Can't say I have ever seen that before! It smelled horrible! LOL The Fire Department was there but it looked like they were just there to make sure it didn't get out of control. I hoped that it wasn't a sign or something! We got to the Start with PLENTY of time to spare (should have stopped for some more coffee?), got our packets and waited to head over
Getting there early paid off in the parking department. I took that photo from the car! Soon was start time We said hellos to some friends and walked to the Starting Line. There was an interesting bridge situation that occurred towards the beginning of the race All the runner had to cross a little Pedestrian Bridge to get to the path. It was quite the bottle neck:
This was the first year fo0r this Half, and I think next year they should try something else in regards to this part of the route. Otherwise it was your standard run.  It was pretty darn warm. I was grateful to the citizens of Marion who had their sprinklers running They were a Godsend and I ran through every one of them! I was actually feeling pretty good (considering the heat) I wasn't in pain like I had been in the past few races.  I needed to finish this one strong before my Running Mojo was gone for good.  I had been in a downward spiral since my Mom's first hospitalization, and I needed something to go well before I was to far gone to find my way back Turns out Marion was my ticket. It wasn't pretty by any means It was rough, and hot, and slow, but it was relatively pain free.

Towards Mile 10 (I think) we came to a roundabout and I realized that I hadn't really been taking any pictures Usually by this point I am too focused on my run and getting worn out so I don't take pictures in the latter stages, but this roundabout had a really awesome sculpture in the middle of it that inspired me to get the camera out and snap some pictures.

HAHA! That was about all the pictures I took during the race. There wasn't a whole lot of shade to speak of. We were closing in on the last 3 miles and people on the streets would say "The last mile is all down hill and lots of shade" The LAST MILE? At this point, all that means to me is I have 2 miles of sun to go, but I did it I finished with no pain in my foot and I couldn't have been happier!

Half Marathon #12 was in the books. Laurie was off to do a Back to Back in Rockford the next day. I was supposed to, but my stars didn't align for that one as my husband was being confirmed at our church. Turns out it was for the best. Laurie struggled in the heat, and I am very sensitive to heat because of my MS.. I have to watch my core temp because if it gets too high I could send myself into a relapse. I was disappointed that I couldn't do a B2B, but I know in my heart it was for the best I want to keep myself in healthy running shape and that would have done some nasty stuff to my body. I know that I was not meant to do that particular B2B but I will have other (cooler) opportunities.

So that is it for Marion I don't know that I will do this one again next year, but who knows? Next up will be Marathon Training Week #1 and the Galesburg  Express Half Marathon. Until then:

Run On and Be Happy!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Decisions Made

Marathon training officially started on June 3rd. It seems a bit surreal to think that I am training for a Marathon, but I think the strangest part, for me, is how natural the transition feels, like I was always meant to go down this path. I would always *tisk, tisk* when Laurie would say “I will never do a marathon.” I would always respond (whether she was talking to me or not) “Never say never, my dear.” You just don’t know what is laying in wait around the corner. I think I always knew I would. Maybe for pride, maybe for the challenge, maybe just so I can say that I did it, I always knew I would one day. It is just hard to believe that ‘someday’ is about 87 days away. Together, Laurie and I will run the Air Force Marathon in Dayton OH.

 I tossed around which race I would make my first. It’s a special thing, you know? I wanted it to be our AWESOME hometown race the Quad Cities Marathon. QCM was a week after the AF Marathon which Laurie had decided would be her first Full. I was going to run the Half at AF with my husband. That was the plan and I wasn’t going to change it. Matthew and I were going to do AF together. He is an AF Veteran, and we spent his service years in Alaska at Elmendorf AFB in Anchorage. I wanted to run AF with him, but in all honesty, I didn’t want my Running Partner to do her first Full without me. Jealousy? Yeah, probably, but its more than that, I mean, I would do my first Full the next week and I didn’t like that idea. Not knowing how her recovery time would line up, (no matter how determined she was to run 2 Marathons in a week) it was the idea of running MY first Full without HER that I didn’t like. There was a chance that she would do a Half at QCM and I would be there staring down the barrel of a very long gun without my Partner. After speaking with a trustworthy, experienced local runner whom I respect immensely, who said that do to the sparse crowd support towards the middle of the Marathon course QCM was probably NOT the best one to make my first Full, I changed my mind. He has done QC several times and he loves the race, but he didn’t think that it would make a good choice, I decided to flip my weekends. I talked it over with Matthew and we decided that I would run AF with Laurie and then QCM Half with him (at his pace, no faster).The stars have aligned and we are officially in training. I will have a separate post about the details of our AF weekend and the Running Roses’ Road trip to Dayton. 

I don't really even think I am nervous. Ok, maybe not OVERLY nervous. I am always nervous before I do something totally new.  I am comfortable with my routine. I don't like to do things outside of my comfort and I like to stay close to home. its just the way I am. Even Matthew wasn't surprised when I told him. I thought he would make a bigger deal. I mean, my training is a big time commitment from him too. I am going to be going out doing long training runs and he will be home with Mr. Hayden. His response? "Ok." That's it. Just an air of "you aren't telling me anything I didn't already know." This thought will be repeated a couple months later when I make my next 'crazy' announcement. I guess it is a natural progression for him too. My 'announcement' came as no surprise. So in the last couple months I have been laying the groundwork for my training. I am on a regular Strength Training schedule, which is a feat in and of itself since i am not one for ST. I THOUGHT I hated it. Turns out I really enjoy it, and more so, I am enjoying the changes I am starting to see in my mirror. I wanted to drop some weight, and tone up a bit before I got into the meat and potatoes of the Marathon Training Program. I am not as far along the weight loss goal as I wanted to be, but with a regular running schedule again, I should see it happen pretty quickly.

I am currently on Week 8 of Jamie Eason's Live Fit 12 Week Program. I really love it. Its easy to follow and more importantly it was a set ST schedule that had me getting up every morning looking forward to lifting (which I had never done in the past). Since I hadn't done any formal schedule before, I wouldn't see results, and then convince myself it wasn't working and that I didn't like ST and then i would quit. Turns out, I was wrong. I really enjoy it, and I am seeing really results. I think when I am done with the 12 Weeks, I am going to repeat Phase Two and Three of the program just to up the weights, but my possibilities are open to a couple different choices. I have to finish the 12 weeks first. I want to finish it. I can't say I have ever started this kind of program and actually followed it through all the way to the end.  That will be a milestonee for me.
I think this could have been two posts, but oh well, its my blog and i will make them as long and rambley as I want! HA! Next Post will be Week one of MT which was the Galesburg Half Marathon. The pictures are still on my camera (*gasp*) so I will get those uploaded and ready to post! Until then....

Run On and Be Happy!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

And so it begins...

I am following in Laurie's footsteps and setting up a blog to document and share my Marathon Training and various adventures in running.  I am really excited about this new adventure to September's Air Force Marathon. I am terrified and so excited, but it feels like it is a natural progression. I will be adding to, and tweaking this blog along the way. It will also include non-running issues and events, but I think you will see that everything relates back to running one way or another. In mindset, release, or motivation, every comes back to that run eventually.