Tuesday, April 26, 2011

I could run 500 miles and I could run 500 more...

I love this corny stuff… Nike celebrates my 500th mile ran. Even though I've run more (this is just since getting Nike+ ) It still makes me happy :)

Did 16 miles this morning. Not. Easy. But psyched that I did it!  this weekend I'll be running my anniversary half at the Jersey Shore!







Sunday, April 24, 2011

The good news and not so great news

Our movie poster up at the theater! The red guitar! 
Hello running buddies!

Last week I was in Nashville to celebrate the world premiere of the film I worked on as a producer, "Happy On The Ground: 8 Days at GRAMMY Camp," at the Nashville Film Festival.

It was an exciting week and an awesome experience to see our film on the big screen in front of an audience of strangers -- all who seemed to really love the film. We followed our screening with a really cool after-party that was hosted by Ben Folds. It was neat.

Of course all this moving and shaking left me with little running time. I am proud to say I got a few miles in while in Nashville. It was beautiful there. I did a paltry little 2 mile walk/run the first day (I was super dehydrated and had about 20 minutes to kill) and then I did a four miler.  While it was a far cry from what I should've been doing, the pride comes in because I had to find that time and in the past I wouldn't have done anything at all. At least I gave it a shot and hopefully, next time, I'll give it a better shot.

Upon my return this past Thursday, my schedule has not become lighter and I'm yet to really run miles I should be. But, again, I'm proud of what I'm getting in. 2 miles, 3 miles, 2 miles and five miles today. (I was going to do 6 today but the heat broke me down and I walked the last home - teaches me to remember to bring my water!)

While I'm not doing what I'd like to/supposed to be doing but I'm doing something which is more than the old me would be doing -- I'm rolling with the punches and stealing in time when I can. This week I plan to hunker down and concentrate in being in good enough form to run/walk/crawl this marathon in June. OY. I wish I had 2 more months!

So the good news is, I'm hanging in. I'm not throwing in the towel - I'm not giving up. This is great news for me who's always been so black and white - if I couldn't run 8 miles on an 8 mile day, then I'd do nothing. So even if it's only 2 out of 8 - while it's not ideal it's better than nothing. The not so great news… well, I'm woefully behind in training and it's going to make the marathon even more challenging. Eh. It is what it is as they say.

I have plans on getting the 16 I was supposed to do over the weekend either tomorrow or Tuesday morning - really early in the morn -- and then this weekend I run the Jersey Shore half - My anniversary run! I'm looking forward to it, though a little bummed that no one is going down with me. I'm on my own. I'll have to be content to run for the bling and the cool strangers rooting me on. Someday, I'll have someone with a sign out there for me :)

And sad news - Sara at Words to Run by lost her mom this past Thursday. Her mom was a runner and training for her first quarter marathon and suddenly passed away. My heart is heavy for Sara and today I spent most of my run thinking of her. Please keep her in your thoughts and prayers.


Sunday, April 10, 2011

Pain is temporary pride forever -- 16 miles!

I ran 16 miles today -- holy cow! 16 miles! It was one of the harder things I've done in my life but I am so happy after today's run. 

The first few miles I'm usually a little itchy. It seems, leave it to me, I am allergic to running. Stop laughing. I'm serious. This is where 99% of my friends sarcastically insert, "yeah. Me too." 

I always get itchy hives when I run and it's been a mystery. I thought it was the pants, then I thought it was the detergent, then I just chalked it up to being a weird-o, but nope, it's been determined - I have something called exercise-induced Urticaria  it's not that big of a deal - the hives go away after a half an hour after running and they (random folks on the internet) say I can take an otc allergy med before running to help (haven't tried that yet) but it is annoying to be running and itchy.  Oh well. But, yeah. Awesome. At least I'm not a weird-o (at least for this reason).

Anyway, despite looking like a crazy person as I scratch my legs while I'm running, I am pretty strong up until 8 miles and then the hips and lower back pain kicks in -- thankfully by miles 12 and above the lactic acid and cramping have taken over my hamstrings and glutes, so that I no longer think about the hip pain so much. LOL and by this time, I've totally forgotten about the hives… so that's all good. :)

But in-spite of all the discomfort, I really felt great today. I felt alive and focused. When things got tough with pain I chanted, "Pain is temporary, pride forever" I remembered how running for 2 minutes straight once felt impossible, and then running a mile without walking an impossible dream and now -- today I ran for SIXTEEN MILES… just ten-point-two short of the finish line.

And yes, upping the miles even more is scary and intimidating but I believe in believing that I can do it. I love the Ford quote, "If you believe you can or you believe you cannot - you are right."

While I'm still not the quickest runner in the park and I'm still eating lots of fancy looking runners dust, I felt super victorious today and I really, really, mentally needed to get to mileage like this.

I am not going to sweat this training anymore. I'm going to do the very best I can. I'm going to get to San Diego and then somehow I will run a marathon.



Wednesday, April 6, 2011

My marathon journey: A rocky course to get to the starting line

This full marathon journey training has been challenging on every single level for me. It's been surprisingly a thousand times harder than the training for my first half marathon. Sure, the miles are more, the training more intense but it's not so much that.

The first time around, I had so much support, people sincerely "rooting" me on -- that feeling of love really carried me through the times that I questioned the journey. But, this is where I must put on my big girl pants and muddle through. This is no one else's journey but mine.  Those who do support me, however, have risen to the occasion and have really kept me going.

There have been the other obstacles too. I've been hit with injuries, confronted with time issues, buried in a winter of snow, even struggled with finding the right sneakers for my 'over-pronating' wide feet that couldn't seem to settle into the right fit. I've battled my own insecurities, hours of tedious treadmill long runs, travel, stress, depression and whatever else we all have to deal with on a daily basis.

This course has not been fast and flat - it's been uphill and a bitch the whole way.

I'm feeling woefully under-trained - last year I didn't miss one yard of the training prescribed for me, this time around, short runs have been altered, long runs aborted and things have been willy nilly.

my running buddy - literally on the path during my last long run
Last week I did a long run of 14.5 miles. It wasn't easy but it was a great long run and I silently thanked the running Gods for that much needed gift.  This past week I was to run 16 -- I went out there fully prepared and with the mind-set to do it -- until hail/rain/gusty wind put an end to it - I wound up with about 12. My schedule has been tweaked once again from Coach Leslie - I have not given up.

I just need to get to that finish line. But I need to push myself to the starting line first.

There have been more times than I would care to admit that thoughts of quitting has bubbled up.  Every day - I consider raising the white flag. I could drop to the RNR half and easily complete that - receive my medal and 'rock out' in San Diego. But that medal wouldn't erase the letters that would be branded on my brain - 'DNF'.

So with all of this - why am I doing this?

I ask myself this question a lot - especially during the second half of a long run...

Some days I struggle to answer it but at its very core the answer is simple - I made it a goal. I decided to tell myself and the world that this is something I want to accomplish - this is something I can accomplish. Giving up now would do nothing for me. Will I be trained enough? Will I be able to do 26.2? I'm not even sure anymore but I would rather try and fail than never try at all. If I 'fall' at mile 16 or 18 or 22 - I'll be disappointed - probably devastated but quitting before I even get to the starting line? It's just not an option.

It's not about being perfect - it's about persevering. I've read from other runners that it's often not their "PR" races that is their proudest accomplishment - it's the race where everything went wrong, the weather bad, the wrong sneakers packed, the forgotten gels or illness… where they faced a really tough battle and got to that finish line anyway.

It would be easy to quit and probably even met with some support and relief from some folks in my life - but I will not quit. I will not give up. I've always given up when things got tough or uncomfortable. If I'm ever going to really change my life then I have to be willing to suffer through being out of my comfort zone. Life throws us curves - it's not the time to curl up into the fetal position and cry (as much as I'd like to some days!) It's the time to work harder and dig deep and believe.

"There is no passion to be found playing small - in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living" -Nelson Mandela


PS: Congrats Jason on your amazing Half Iron-Man finish!! So proud and excited for you - check out his race report here.