Monday, July 9, 2012

Marathon Training Week 6: Cut Back

Thanks to a revised schedule, this week was a cutback week so I had 6 miles on the calendar for yesterday. Seems I have been cutting back on ALL my workouts this week.... A lot of that was due to the renovations that we are doing right now, but those are almost done so no more trying to use that as an excuse! I do love my excuses. Anyway, as soon as that is done, I will post some before and after pictures, but today we will talk about the run. After a week of 90-110 degree weather (Holy Shitake, was it HOT) we had a front move through which brought a tease of rain and MUCH cooler temperatures. So when I stepped out the door yesterday morning, I was almost a bit chilly in the 70 degrees! I stood in the driveway texting as much to Laurie, and I started getting goosebumps! I had to warm up so I went off down the road. When I turned on my GymBoss, I discovered that I had run last weeks 14+ miles at a 1:30 to 1 interval NOT the 1:1 that I thought I was doing. I did the shorter run at a 1:1. I THINK I may prefer the 1:30 to 1 but we will see. Maybe for the cutback runs I will do a 1:30 to 1 and then on the LONG runs I will do 1:1. Its all experimental. For whatever reason, i had 8 miles stuck in my head for my distance. I was cruising along on the other side of town when I hit 6 miles and realized that was what I was supposed to do for this week! I was DONE?!

Probably a good thing because my stomach was starting to growl again. I think I am going to have to retool my pre-run breakfast. Lately it just doesn't seem to be cutting it, for whatever reason. I always have oatmeal made with 1/2 water and 1/2 almond milk, banana and walnuts. It has just not been holding me over like it used to. I could get through a Half with no problems. I am wondering if it is a result of all the weight training I have been doing.... I am not good with the nutrition aspect of things (obviously!!!) and I still have a lot to learn. I am wondering if my increased muscle mass needs more fuel? Makes sense, but I could totally be making that up too. If you know, or have a suggestion, I am open to hearing it. More Protein? I realize that I will have to fuel more during the Marathon, but this was a 6 mile run. I just don't think I should have gotten that hungry. Anyhoo, by the time I made it back across down I had run 7 miles. Not the 8 I thought I needed to run, but not the 6 that was scheduled.

Overall, I felt good. I have some issues with an ache in my right hip/thigh/bum area that I am going to go have Dr. Lake work out for me. I imagine I will be seeing more of her in the coming weeks when the mileage really starts increasing. Next week is 17 miles. This is the first real new distance.
While it has been a long time, I have run 14 miles before. I will be going up to the Quad Cities to do that with Laurie. It will be my first run with the Training Group. I am a little nervous, because to me, this is going to tell me a lot about my ability to do this thing. I know that right now, if I need to make changes, I have two months to tweak. At this point, I have plenty of time, but time will be running out here shortly. This is one situation when I can NOT wait for the last second. I am not going to be able to wing this and fake my way through it. I am going to get just what I put into it, and if I want to keep from going down in a blaze of... anti glory, I better get my ass in gear. No more slacking on the ST and the 2 short weekly runs. i haven't been slacking THAT bad, but I can easily see it getting completely out of control. It seems to be a constant battle of believing that I can do this and the fear that i will fail.

 I need to WILL not fall victim to my own self sabotage that I have become so very good at doing. That is why I am so glad I am doing this with Laurie because she knows me, and she knows my tendencies to ruin my own best intentions. If she sees me doing that, she will 'gently' chide me back onto the right path.
I have big book of excuses. I have for my whole life. It what got me to 300 pounds in the first place. Now I find myself standing in front of the mirror picking apart every part of my body...again. Finding imperfections. I'm tired of it. This is to prove that even imperfections can't hold me back from what I want to achieve. If to no one else but myself.

Until Next Time, Run On and Be Happy.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Marathon Training Week 5: Firecracker 5K

Last year I had my race schedule loaded with 5Ks. If there was a race within driving distance, I was there. One of my favorites was a local race in East Moline, IL, the Firecracker Run 5K/10K. I did the 5K distance and it was such a flat easy route and the spectators were awesome... I knew crossing the Finish Line that I would definitely do that one again. I had tried to get Laurie to do it with me, but she didn't. I don't remember why, probably didn't fit into her schedule last year. This year was different. Of course, they were giving away nice swag this year for the 30th Anniversary, and who can turn down a Finisher's Medal ESPECIALLY for a 5K! This year we made it family affair! The Running Roses were at the Firecracker Run. Matthew didn't run with us this time, but Hayden did the Kid's Run. From the moment we got there he kept asking if it was time to run. He was going to try to run the 5K with me! Matthew served as official photographer. It was hot this year. Last year wasn't too bad, but this year was HOT!. When I got a cup at the water stop, half was consumed and half went down my back, or over my head, or down my front... you get the picture. The misters and the sprinklers were helpful. It was good though. I maintained a 12 minute mile, which was fine with me for the temperature. After the race Laurie and Jim had their celebratory beer, and Hayden and I had watermelon, grapes and water. We had lots of fun, but the boys were all getting overheated and grumpy. Had we driven 2 cars Laurie and I probably would have stayed to watch the Hospital Bed Races and the Guns vs Hoses charity race, but like I said, the boys were ready to go. Hayden slept all the way home. I love when we spend family time together and it is focused around health and fitness! I do believe this may become an Independence Day tradition for the Running Roses!!

Grandpa Rosies and Hayden checking to see if their Bibs are on straight:

Is it time to run yet?

Jim and Matthew walking to the Start:

Hayden cheering on the runners:

Here comes Mommy:

I hear the best little voice yelling "Yay, Mommy!":

Me and Hayden at the Start Line for the Kids' Run:

Cute little Finish Line:

inding us coming down the street is kind of like a game of 'Where's Waldo?':

Group Picture:

Laurie aand her Beer:

Running Partners:

Laurie and Jiim and their Beer:

Forcig Hayden to say 'Cheese" while looking into the sun. Oops:

One of my favorite pictures of the day:

Laurie's look of "giddy":

Hayden's Bib and bling:

My Awesome Race Bling:

Tee shirt, stein, personalized Bib and BLING:

Hayden's tee shirt, Bib and Bling:

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Marathon Training Week 5: Here We Go...

Ah, Week 5. Week 5 was a Milestone week. A make it or break it type week. My running psyche has been rather fragile as of late with some bad/painful finishes   Week 5 was the  first real test: 14 miles. Its not that I haven’t ever run 14 miles before, I have, it has just been a VERY LONG TIME. I know that from this point out it is going to be mental training as much (if not more) than physical training. My brain is so accustomed to my current routine that I can accurately run my intervals w/o my GymBoss beeping in my ear to within a few seconds.  If I can mentally react to the routine of my intervals, how would I react to reaching my regular stopping point of 13.1. Would my brain shut me down at that point just because my Garmin said 13.1? I couldn’t NOT wear my Garmin, but I was a little concerned with the mental effect the distance would have on me. I had a sneaky plan. I planned to pause my Garmin for half a mile so that way I was ½ mile further than what my Garmin said.  I set out early, before sun rise as usual. I was feeling pretty good. Under advisement of some experienced and trusted running friends, I changed up my MT intervals from my HM intervals.  Since my brain (and body) is so conditioned to run 13.1 miles at a specified interval, if I changed up the intervals it may make the transition smoother. It totally did! I LOVE my new intervals! I dropped from a 2:1 to a 1:1 and I LOVE it. I actually run faster at a 1:1, though I don't think it I was supposed to... I still need to tweak with it, but I think I have a few miles to do that! 

I made my way through town, mentally mapping my route so that I would make it to 12 miles before I started back for home. Unfortunately around Mile 5, and across town, I was starting to feel the water I was drinking. I came to Westview Park and lo and behold there was a portapotty sitting in the parking lot from the Youth Baseball Games. Dare I? I usually run a couple laps around the park anyway which ticks off a couple miles so I approached the glory potty. :) I slowly pulled the door open, unsure of what would be inside. You just never know. We have rowdy teenagers who would think it would be funny to deface property. Its a park right on the edge of town surrounded by cornfields so it wouldn't be out of the realm of possibility that there would be a stray raccoon or something inside. Luckily for me, it was totally clean. There wasn't any TP, but I always have a tissue in my fuel belt. Awesome! Back on track, I took this opportunity to implement my Garmin plan. I ran around the park because I know its just a little over a half of a mile. Then I turned my Garmin back on and continued running.  I was feeling really good. I tend to get hungry around mile 9 or 10. My stomach starts growling so I stashed a granola bar in my fuel belt. It was nice to have when my stomach started growling!  I was just tooling around, up and down dead end streets and around blocks, loving every minute of it. I don't even think that I was miserable at any point. Which is HUGE!!! Here I am running FOURTEEN miles and feeling good. I looked down and I was at 13 miles already! BUT with my trickery earlier in the run I was actually OVER 13.5! I headed back to the house and ended up with 14.63 which would have been a hair over 15 miles.

This was a HUGE week for me. I had it in my head that, while there was never a doubt in my mind about whether or not I would do this, the question was whether I would be completely destroyed at the end. You know, completely and utterly miserable. Now I realize that 14 miles is a far cry from 26, but still, this week made me feel hopeful that it wouldn't be a miserable experience. I have no visions or glory about crossing the finish line full of peppy energy and glowing. I know I will be an exhausted, sweaty mess of a human being, but barely recognizable as such, but NOW I have hope that through the tears will be a genuine smile reflective of what I had just accomplished.  I know now that I will enjoy at LEAST half of it, and really, anything over than is just icing on the cake! If I can "breeze through" the first 20 miles then I can fight my way through the last 6.2. Fighting is something I am used to doing. Get me to 20 and I will get myself home. I know it.

Until next time, Run On and Be Happy.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Marathon Training Week 4: Tough Week

Week 3 called for a 12 mile run. Ok, no problem. 12 is totally doable. There with Isolated Thunderstorms in the forecast for the weekend, but it was only a 40% chance so USUALLY that means a few sprinkles and lots of clouds. So I got everything ready to go, got up at my usual 4am, and I thought I saw some lightening, but I wasn't sure. So I peered out the window of the kitchen and it looked like it was getting light to the east so I geared up and headed out the door... to a VERY different looking sight to the southwest. I tried to judge how long I had before all that lightening reached me. I could PROBABLY finish a 5 mile loop, but was I going to risk being stranded 3 miles from home in the open country roads during a thunderstorm? I made it about 4 blocks before common sense overruled the stubborn runner in  my head. I headed back to the house, and the rain started. I guess I will just wait it out. I went back into the house to de-gear. I was just brewing myself a cup of coffee as the electricity went off. Well, I guess I made the right choice. The power would go out 3-4 more times before the storm was over. Matthew came out (its only about 4:30am so this is a BIG deal since he had stayed late to paint the living room) from the bedroom and seemed happy to see me standing there. "Its really early, what are you doing up?" "I was prepared to go get you." Awwwwww.... He knows me so well. He knew that I was stubborn enough to try to outrun a thunderstorm. Since I was up anyway, I decided to finish painting the Living Room. If I couldn't run, I might as well finish the painting, right? Then when the painting was done, I would be free to run. Unfortunately, the rain lasted a while. I mean, good because we REALLY needed a good rain. Well, ANY rain was needed, but a good rain was desperately needed. It was WAY later than I usually start running, and it was already HOT. It was about 20 minutes to noon when I finally hit the road. The rain passed, the power was back on, so I regeared and headed out the door. I was suffering. The humidity was INSANELY high since it was directly after a thunderstorm. I texted Laurie about 3ish miles in to see if the humidity was getting to her too. She said it was tough, but she was getting hers done and had about 2 miles left. I made it to 5 miles and had to call Matthew to come get me. It was too hot and I was running out of fluids. He had to wake Hayden up from his nap (which made me feel AWFUL) but came and got me (and brought ice cold Gatorade which never tasted so good). I went home and finished 5 more miles on the  treadmill. I decided to call it good at 10 miles. I am not worried about adding miles at this point. I already know that I can finish 13 miles so I felt it was more important to take care of myself.

That was the ultimate lesson from Week 3: taking care of yourself. There is a difference between pride and stupidity though it may be a fine line. Pride almost had me trying to outrun a thunderstorm. Stupid. Pride almost had be running 12 miles is the midday heat and humidity of a Midwestern summer day. Stupid. Pride. Stupidity. Pride. Stupidity. Thank goodness for the sense to know the difference. pride is good and appropriate and can be a very powerful motivational tool, but it can also make you try stupid stuff for your ego. Be proud, but don't be stupid about it!

Until next time, Be Happy and Run On.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Marathon Training Week 3: Going Goofy

I have reached Week 3 of MT. Its going well and the transition feels comfortable and natural like it was meant to be. Now having never run a marathon before, I don't know how it will go, but I am confident that I will finish. So confident that I had been tossing around the idea of going down to WDW with Laurie in January and running in the WDW Marathon weekend though I wasn't sure which distance I would decide on: Half Marathon or Full Marathon. I never really imagined I would decide on what I did....

If any of you have been following my journey (well, really OUR journey) you already know how much the Rose family loves Disney. All things Disney, but WDW is our Happy Place. We have a Chase Disney Rewards credit card and with that you receive special discounts for WDW parks, resorts, and events. EVENTS. LOL. They we offering a rather lucrative discount on the races for the WDWM weekend. Namely, for the Goofy Challenge.

Running Goofy has been in the back of my mind. I had an itch to do it. The discount wasn't quite enough to tip the scales towards going for it. I mean, realistically, I had never done a FULL. I couldn't even decided which distance I was going to do in the first place. Then on one fateful day I received a message from Laurie (who was already registered for Goofy). It was the last day of the discount and Goofy capacity had jumped to 82% Full. I was going to go for it when it hit 80%.  I think I knew all along that I was going to do this. I know me, and I would have been miserable standing back and watching Laurie do something that I SO wanted to do. As bad as it may sound, and she knows that its true, I would be overcome with jealousy when she earned 3 medals and the glory, so to say, that would go with finishing the Goofy Challenge. So I decided to buy myself a 30th Birthday present and bought my way into the Goofy Challenge. My hands were shaking the whole time. I was so excited. I still kind of can't believe that I did it and when I think about it, I still get butterflies.  I had major sticker shock. I knew it was going to be a lot, even with the discount, but it was the fact that I was going trough with it. It wasn't until I was faced with the very REAL possibility of NOT being able to do it, I realized how much I truly wanted it. I couldn't face missing my chance. So I am officially registered for the Goofy Challenge!
In case you are not familiar with the Goofy Challenge, it is where you participate (and FINISH) BOTH distance races during WDWM Weekend. See? I couldn't decide WHICH distance to run so now I am doing BOTH! First is the WDW Half Marathon that takes place on Saturday (January 12th if you are interested).
 The HM comes with a Donald Duck Finisher's Medal. Last year's Donald Medal  is actually what made me want to run this event in the first place.
This is obviously an image of last year's medal

The next part of the Challenge is the WDW Full Marathon on Sunday. This year is the 20th Anniversary of the WDW Marathon so you know its going to be phenomenal. Disney always puts on a great show, but for such a big birthday, the celebration is going to be HUGE!
And I CANNOT wait to be a part of it!

So once you finish the Half, AND the Full you get the third Goofy Challenge Medal. Gonna have to leave extra room in my carry on! Speaking of extra room, with a bit of arm twisting, we may end up adding the 5K on Friday and do the Dopey Challenge. No special medal for that, but a fourth for finishing the 5K.

So I was a little nervous about this whole endeavor. It IS a bit intimating. I downloaded the training plan that Jeff Galloway designed just for running the Goofy Challenge and started penciling in the training runs, and strangely, as if meant to be, it fit right into our existing Fall Race Schedule! The long run distances fell on weeks we already had HM scheduled. It was a sign. I have never been one to question when the starts align because I have always believed that things happen as they should, when they should. This was DEFINITELY one of those times. I am back to being excited. I feel like things are falling in place for this year. I will begin 2013 by going completely Goofy!

Until next time, Run On and Be Happy!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Marathon Training: Week 2

Week Two would bring a familiar distance: 10 miles. I am comfortable here and I have a nice rooute carved into the pavement around the north part of town. I do try to stay on our side of the railroad tracks because I am more familiar with which routes are which distances. I have a 2 mile, a 3 mile, a 5 mile and a 7 mile route burned into my brain. I keep to these particular loops because I know people live a ll along each route, so if I ever have to stop or feel like I am in trouble, then I know I have help all along the loop. Let's face it, I may be running around a small town, but it is typically early adn dark, and bad things can happpen just like anywhere else so I tend to stick to my well worn path. Its also good to know that I can stop at home to fill up my water or go to the bathroom at the end of each loop. This can be a blessing or a curse because sometimes it is VERY tempting to stop at home and just STAY at home, but I haven't done that as of yet, but it is still tempting! I'd say for Week 2 things went pretty well. I was running pain free which is always good. I think a part of me still fears that the foot pain will retrn. At least I know that Dr Jesse will be able to fix me again if it dares to return! 

Anyway, I hit the road about 4:30 am. I start early to beat the heat. As I have mentioned before, I have to wattch the heat because of my MS and since I have chosen the hottest summer we have had since moving back from Alaska in which to train for a marathon, heat is a BIT of a concern. The best thing about running that early are the sunrises.  They are so prettty. the pale pink light as it begins to spill over the deep green of the corn fields that surround Wilton, it is a beauty all its own.  When I breathe deeply I can taste the sweetness of the clovers.  The humidity brings out the sweetness and it smells like summer. I think one of the unsung benefits of running  are the complete moments of perfect zen that I have on this early morning runs. It is me, the road and the town that I grew up in. I am the only one out that early and its all mine. I do like running my town. Sure, its small. Sure its the same route every week, but I am ok with that. It builds up a different kind of endurance, but it also builds an appreciation for Wilton that I wouldn't otherwise have.  My training runs have been slow and laid back. I plan to keep it that way. Even if it mean waking up at 2 am, I will keep my laid back training plan. I am serious about this, and I am not going to risk burning myself out or hurting myself by going too fast. This for me, and about me and that is how I am going to keep it. So if I want to stop and take a few pictures on my route, why shouldn't I? I want to document this whole process and I intend to do just that!

I invite you to come along my route now. I snapped a few pictures with my phone at several points along the run. i did my 7 mile route, stopped at the house for more fluids and a potty break and then finished with my 3 mile loop. It wasa hot and sweaty run, but this summer they will ALL be that way!!

So far I have been pretty happy with training. It is nice to be back on a regular running schedule. I am hoping that it will get me back into shpae. I am sure it will, but I am a bit frustrated that I let it get this out of hand. BUT that is for a different day. Today is for Week Two and Week Two ROCKED!!!

Until Next Time, Run On and Be Happy.