Friday, May 27, 2011

TWENTY miles, I ran twenty miles!!

OMG! I ran 20 miles.

I needed to run 20 miles.

I was dreading running 20 miles.

I didn't really need to run 20 - Coach Lesley told me it would suffice for me to do 16 or 18 and more important that I have a good run than a bad one with a lot of miles.  I entertained doing less more than once.

But I needed to do 20, to just mentally *know* I could.  In my heart I feel that if I can run 20 I can do 26.2 - it was an important number to hit for my mental preparedness and a huge milestone in the face of all the bumps in my training I've hit along the way.

But I will not lie. I was dreading it.

My 16 miles and 18 mile long runs hurt. A lot. And they weren't very encouraging that I could actually pull off much more. I also dreaded it because as much as I like to run, running for 3-4 hours just doesn't give me a thrill. I mean I get bored watching my favorite band in concert after 2 hours or so, so ya know. The prospect of running for a million hours… Well. That's just tough to get amped for.

But be that as it may, I sucked it up and headed out for the 20.

I did things way different this time. I decided that I would do my own "Galloway" experiment with walking and running. Since I'm not aiming for any sort of time on this thing - my big goal is just to finish,  I would see if that would do me any better. I also purposely slowed my run waaaay down.

What a huge difference.

I will not say it was easy but even at 20 miles the "wall" never came. In my last two runs I hit walls around 13 - 14 miles and thought I was gonna die.

The first 13 I walked for a tenth of a mile at the end of every mile - it actually made things enjoyable. I walked, hydrated, popped a jelly bean and let go of any sort of "time" deadline. It really kept me fresh. Past 15 I walked much, much more and that was more because of stomach cramps than leg issues. Again, I was OK with walking as I needed to. I didn't berate myself - I know that for me and where I am at with training, I'm going to be walking a lot those latter miles so I might as well embrace it.

Sure I will be slow, there will be no record breaking time, no BQ'ing that's for sure :D but I will be a marathoner and I think this approach will not only allow me to finish but keep me injury free and make the experience a good one!!!

Now, hopefully I'll have the discipline on game day to keep my roll slow and stick to the plan!! ;)

20 miles! No matter what happens from this day forward, no one can take that away from me and I'm soooo happy about it.


Friday, May 20, 2011

Ten reasons why I'll be running this marathon no matter what

Yeah, I know I've been the most uninspiring blogger ever… Setbacks, aches, pains, complaining, whining… Yee ha. It's a miracle I have any followers anymore - and thank you for the four of you who still check in from time to time :)

Oh, it hasn't gotten any easier since my last post. I felt slightly better the other day, enough to try to run and that turned into a 2 mile run/walk after getting lightheaded and nauseous about 2 seconds in.  The last two days I've dealt with a killer migraine that has been reigned in by overdosing amounts of Excedrin.  Oy. 15 days away from a marathon and I haven't run in 8 days. FABULOUS.

So what's gonna happen on race day? A whole lotta "sucking it up, buttercup" a whole 26. 2 miles of freakin' sucking it up. That's what. There's really no choice in the matter.

Despite all the bellyachin' and cryin' and everything else I've gotta do this.

Ten reasons why there is no turning back:

10. I've invested in too much stuff. I have gu's and sports beans, hydration packs and all kinds of crap that really only marathoners need. I will not have these things go to waste.
9.  Instead of worrying about the time I haven't run, I'll be damned if I let all those 3 and 4 hour long runs go to waste.
8. The bling of-course.
7.  I bought this shiny 26.2 decal begging to be stuck on the back of my trashy little car to jazz it up. This will be a whole $2.50 down the tubes if it remains un-stuck.
6.  I paid a whole lotta money for SD entry fees, flights, etc - it would be quite ridiculous to waste it now.
5.  If Dean K. can run across the FREAKIN' USA and EMZ can run for 24 hours on a FREAKIN' treadmill, then I surely can figure a way to crawl my way for 26.2 in San Diego.
4.  For Lesley, my coach and friend who I know will drag my ass if she has to, for Jason B. who I know will be cheering me on from afar and for Sara P and her mother Darlene who I'll be running 25th and 26th miles for. You guys have no idea what you mean to me right now.
3.  I spent some of my sick time downloading about a million new songs for my iPod and I'm looking forward to the jam.
2.  Pain is temporary and pride is forever. I will be devastated if I don't do this. Quitting is not an option so that leaves me with a marathon to run.
1.  Because on June 6th I will wake up a marathoner.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


OH how I'm being tested.

Last week was busy but I got my long run of 18 miles in. I have been fudging the other runs during the week -- usually getting in slightly less then I should on the other given days due to an overwhelming schedule. But I strive to get something in and the long run day is sacred.

I was going to get an extra 10 miler in last week just to add some extra miles under my belt. I was planning on doing that on Thursday. As I was getting ready to go, I got the call from my son's school. "He's sick, please come pick him up." OK. Foiled again. My husband was nice enough to pick him up which gave me a few minutes to run a quick 3 miles to get something in.

So Friday rolls around, I knew running would be tough as I'd be taking care of my son all day but thought I'd aim to do something Friday night after hubby got home. Friday night came and I was hit over the head with the "I'm so tired I could die" stick. So I didn't go -- I thought to myself, "Saturday I'll do ten, rest Sunday and aim for my 20 on Monday."

Well, Saturday came and I got hit with the "I'm so sick I could die" stick. Wow. 103.5 fevers, vomiting, chills, you name it, I had it. Foiled again.

It's Tuesday and its the first time I don't have a fever in days but I still feel crappy. Doc wants me to wait a few days to run.  OMG. I am dying.

I feel hit over the head with the "how the hell am I ever going to pull off a marathon" stick.  I'm so freaking out. I feel so under-trained.  I'll get the 20 in somehow. And then 16 an then taper down but it's going to be sticky and I'm disappointed in myself for not finding a way to get myself better trained for this thing. I know it was a battle of snowstorms, injuries, business trips and illness but still - I feel like I put myself in a position to be going into this thing in a really tough place.

image from:
My last long run of 18 miles was really, super hard. I hit the wall at mile 14 and the last four miles was an all-out battle of focus to get to 18 I don't know what I'm going to do if I hit the wall at mile 14 and have to stick it out for 12 more miles.  UGH. FREAKING. OUT.


Sunday, May 8, 2011

Best Mother's Day Ever! New race

It's only 10:15 AM and so far this is turning out to be a great Mother's Day.

Gift #1: I awoke to a beautiful day - blue skies and sunshine for miles.

Gift #2: I make my way to the kitchen to find my two favorite guys all smiles and standing around the most beautiful bouquet of flowers.  (There was a Mother's Day balloon that was included but my son was dying to play with it so it's floating around here someplace!)  :)

Gifte #3: My 3 year-old somehow knew to get me a gift card for iTunes to start loading up my iPod for the big upcoming marathon!

But here's the biggest and best gift of them all. My husband who hasn't been so physically active has decided to take a big step. This morning he found a 5K training program and decided he wanted to start training for a 5K! So we found a 5K six weeks out for June 19 which lands us on FATHER'S DAY and together - we'll run my husband's FIRST 5K!!  I'm so excited that he's committing to a healthy path and I think he's going to rock it!

So this is what we're running and by coincidence this 5K takes place where I do most of my long runs - it's a beautiful park and the perfect place to 5K.

I am one happy Momma today.

Side note: I was supposed to do my long run today 18 miles. But decided to wake up way early tomorrow and knock it out in the wee early morning. The park is going to be jammed-packed today and I really didn't want to spend hours away from the family on Mother's Day. So today it will be the park, playing, maybe a little BBQ and I couldn't be more excited for a perfect day.

I'm looking forward to the big  challenge tomorrow.

Happy Mother's Day!


Monday, May 2, 2011

VICTORY! Jersey Shore Anniversary half marathon recap

It's a beauty
I am overjoyed, yesterday was a perfect race in every way.

The sun was shining, the temperature was perfect, the crowd once again amazing - everything in place for a great day.

I got up nice and early: 4:30 AM to make my trek southward down to the Jersey Shore. I chewed on a well-earned bagel (mmmm gave those carb-y ass-fateners up long ago but figured I'd have one for "fuel") and guzzled my coffee to go.

Once on location, I found Frannie who decided to make this half her second.

We found our places to run. I decided I wanted to run this race in 2:30 (or around a 11min mile) - a lofty goal as my long runs on a good day say that I am around 2:37. My last race in September I did in 3:03 and the a year ago I did this very race at 3:19.  Sure I'm a slower runner but a runner none-the-less!

Anyway, I must've used the potty about 50 times (well at least 3 times) before the start. And son-of-a gun wouldn't ya know it, by the time I was crossing the start line I had to go again. While I was deeply trying to enjoy the moment and I was - I couldn't help but be distracted. Instead of focusing on "the need for speed," all I could think of was, the "need to pee."  So, for the first time ever, I jumped on a potty line in the middle of a race between mile 2-3.  UGH. I probably lost around 5 mins. or so but I did feel 1,000 times better.

SIDE NOTE:  I know you hardcore folks will just pee on yourselves and save that time. As tempting as that was, I decided against it. Though never say never.

Back to the race. I felt strong mentally and physically and was knocking out miles left and right. It was such a far cry from my last race - for the first time I really felt like a runner. And a runner that wasn't just trying to finish but to finish with a purpose.

OH THIS IS WHAT WE TRAIN FOR. For moments that feel like this.
Into the last mile - Friend Amy caught me excited to see her
The last two miles were run along the ocean and I promised myself that I was going to save something to make those miles really count. That last mile, I turned my music off and ran like I'd never had. I was wooing with the crowds, pushing myself to go as fast as possible, adrenaline doing it's thing and fist pumping like a crazy, middle-aged Jersey girl the whole way! Nike+ data says I was running at a 9:03 at one point during that last mile which is insanely fast for me, never mind to be pulling it off at the end of a 13 mile race!

About that 2:30 goal? That goal that I was worried would be too much to achieve… Hmm, well how's 2:24 grab ya?  11:01 pace… Now if I hadn't stopped to potty, I would've been sub 2:20 and prob. around 10:49 pace! WHAT? SHUT UP! :0)


Thanks to all of you who've been a part of this journey. The Jersey Shore marathon is one I plan to participate in every year. It's really well organized and just awesome. I would encourage anyone to try this one.

Some signs that made me laugh yesterday:

"Worst parade ever!" "Run faster, Snookie is gaining on you!"  "No matter what, last year was worse!" (Last year it was record breaking heat 90 degrees and humid)

And thank you to my bff Amy who came to see me at the finish line -- it meant a lot to me.

Onward and upward - in just (holy freakin' crap) 33 days I'll be taking on 26.2…