Sunday, October 4, 2009

2 weeks from today

Here we are! The last two weeks of my training and the one thing that makes me smile above all else: TAPERING! Yesterday I had an awesome 19 mile run! I felt great, which surprised me considering my last long run of only 13-14 miles didn't go so well (lets not forget that I only started training a month ago). But I did it! And all under 3 hours! Not so fun that I'm feeling the effects of that run today, but the satisfaction of knowing what my body (and mind) is capable of accomplishing is so much more rewarding than the physical hurt.

From here on out, I think I may continue on with this whole marathon thing. I thought for sure I was done after the first, but here I am, getting ready to run the second, and already making plans to run the third. Funny how you can be so determined and set on something, but before you know it, you're on a completely different path...a path that is much better than the one you had intended for yourself. Yup, I'm nuts and hate running, but I also absolutely love it! I know many of you out there know exactly what I mean, but for those who don't, just start and you'll figure it out.

I'm really excited for this race! It's a new life with new beginnings, and I'm hoping the memories that still continue to flood my mind with marathon #1 will settle after I kick some butt in Columbus ;) What happened to me then is in no doubt the driving force behind this race because if I can it through all of that, I can make it through any other curve ball that's thrown my way. You know what they say: "I hate growing, but I'm so glad I've grown."

I can do everything through him who gives me strength. - Phillippians 4:13

Monday, September 14, 2009

the storm has settled

Man, I feel like every time I begin to write on this thing I always start out with, "so much has happened the past few months." Well, it's true. The last 3 have been somewhat of a slippery slope but after some much needed self-reflection, I'm back!

Immediately following the Disney marathon in January, I signed up for marathon #2. I was ready. I was excited, and I was determined to not let anything/anyone get in the way of that (been there done that). Unfortunately, we all know the phrase "easier said than done." But with some time and a total re-transformation of how I live my life, here I am...ready to run the Columbus marathon. Oh, I think I failed to mention that...ummm I haven't trained :/

Originally, I was going to skip the race altogether but then came to truly realize that you have got to set yourself to a goal and do whatever it takes to get there because what you struggle with (and push through) along the way will only make you stronger. Well, with the race a mere month away (October 18th), I've decided to grit my teeth, train as much as I can up until then, and RUN THE MARATHON! My body will ache, my feet will be blistered and I will probably want to curse the ground I walk on when I attempt a 26.2 mile run without proper training, but I REFUSE to let these struggles of mine effect me. I know I can do this! It's mind over matter and ONE FOOT IN FRONT OF THE OTHER!

Anyone can give up. It's the easiest thing in the world to do, but to hold it together when everyone else would understand if you fell, that's true strength.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

making it through the storm

Official marathon training started this past sunday and I've made it off to a great start! Although I had to let myself walk for close to a mile, I got my 10 miler in and began to remember why I started this whole running thing in the first place. Aside from the pounding blisters on my feet, I feel great and am ready for today's 4-6 miler followed by the ever so famous ab ripper! 

Although I will be training alone most of the time for marathon 2k9, I am not alone. Some things have happened in my life recently where normally I would just put running off, sit on my butt in misery and convince myself that it was the end of the world...not anymore! I refuse to let life end where it shouldn't and I refuse to miss out on a training run just because "i'm not feeling up to it." I've learned that life does not stop and wait for you to get off your butt and find happiness, and thats one thing running, at least this time around, has allowed me to do. It is my is my release...and it is the one thing that allows me to think without actually thinking.

Monday, May 25, 2009

marathon #2 here i come...

So instead of filling you in on every little detail during these last 4 months since I ran my marathon I'll give you the most important details (and the one most runners will hate me for): I haven't been running all.

I thought I was a true runner and what I thought would be about a 2-3 week break from running turned into 4 months...laziness is what I think you call it. Of course I didn't stop cold turkey, but I'm starting to feel the effects and find that the 4 month break wasn't such a good idea as I slowly begin huffing and puffing through my training for marathon #2. Ever since I completed my marathon, my motivation to train is almost none...yikes

I don't know why, but running is all mental for me, and it always has been. I've never liked it much and as crazy as it sounds I guess you could say that is why I do it. I'm not so much addicted to the actual running part itself but to what I feel once I've crossed that finish line. I've been reading all these books about how running, at least for some people, is a form of stress relief, and let me just say that if I ran to de-stress myself, I'd be the lucky one. In fact, I'm pretty sure just the thought of running stresses me out, and I've come to the conclusion that running and I have a love-hate relationship. But here I am...all suited up and ready for a run in the rain.

All it takes is day to get yourself out there and run, and my problem at this point is consistency. The consistency of making up my mind that I will run 5 days a week and the constant commitment that I will get my butt up and run on saturday AND sunday. 

I'll get there...I've got to. Marathon #2 is just a mere 146 days away...

Saturday, January 17, 2009

i'm hooked

Ok so after about 5 minutes of really thinking about it, I've decided that I will not stop at one. Yes, I'd have to say that, thanks to Kaity, I am hooked to this marathon thing. Don't know how long I'll keep it up for, but lets hope my body agrees with it. I registered for the Columbus marathon (10.18.09) a few days ago and although its not until October, I registered so I had no way to back out. I guess all those people who said, "oh you think you'll stop after one friend said that and he's on his 37th one," were right hahaha...well, to some extent.

This past week I've been reflecting on race day and have to admit that it really was one of the most uplifting and euphoric experiences. Not only that but an out-of-body one as well. I can't really explain that one, but if you're a runner I'm hoping you get what I'm saying. And I don't mean to boast and brag but I am so proud of myself. I thought gymnastics and diving were mental, and they are, but nothing will ever compare to the mental preparation for running a marathon...and i did it!...26.2 miles. How many people (compared to the rest of the world) can actually say that? We are awesome!

A few more days of rest and its time to start training all over again.... :)

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


Ok so I'm just going to cut to the chase... I FINISHED MY FIRST MARATHON! And it was a indescribable experience with so many ups and downs, but as soon as my arms raised in the air and my two feet crossed that finish line, every obstacle, cramp, pain, etc. never seemed to matter. I can't even begin to describe the satisfaction I felt once I realized I had finally finished what I had been working so hard for these past 8 months, but I'm going to try...

The night before the race is where I guess it all started. Not only did we have to prepare to board a bus BEFORE 4 am just to make it to the starting line on time, but also the 2:40 wake up call just so we could fuel our bodies with delicious pancakes, oatmeal, and bananas with peanut butter. It almost impossible for me to get any food down, thanks to the nerves, but also impossible for me to sleep past 1 am. Yup, that's right, I woke up at 12:52 and enjoyed some nice tossing and turning for what seemed to be an eternity. Yet, thanks to my adrenaline, I would be able to function until at least 10 pm the night of the race.

We boarded the bus around 3:45 am and were on our way to the starting line. For once my body was feeling great! No aches, no pains....not even the slightest bit of worry that I would have to stop thanks to my ever so broken body a couple weeks before. Just positive thoughts and plenty of vaseline. When we got there all I can say is people...EVERYWHERE. Since I ran a half marathon I was somewhat used to the crowd, but Mickey? Not so much. His mouth just dropped open and he stopped dead in his tracks, especially when he saw the line for the bathrooms, which we went to probably 3 times before the actual start of the race. Thank you nerves! We made our way through the thousands of people and began that mile or so trek towards the starting line, not even realizing that at that point, we had both been up for a good 4 hours already.

All we could keep saying to each other was "I can't believe we are actually here. I can't believe we made it." When we got to the starting line we were all divided up into our corrals, which was somewhat frustrating since I wanted to get as close as I could to the starting line so I didn't have to walk for eternity before I started running, but I guess you can't have everything you've hoped for. Instead I just took that extra time as my time to talk to myself, get all the negative thoughts kinked out and only to start hoping for the best and know that, no matter what, I would finish.

The marathon started off with a bang..literally. Mickey and Minnie, along with every other Disney character possible, and some fireworks were there to see us off. And all I could keep thinking was that everything we had worked for came down to this one moment. The first 5 miles were a sinch as I hoped they would be considering I had 21 more to go. We were doing great and thanks to the crowds and cheering fans that kept that adrenaline pumping, we would continue to stay that way. Things were going just as we as planned - we drank early and often, kept a steady pace, and made sure not to concentrate too much on the other people around us. Before we knew it we had made it to our 13 mile split, which we ended up finishing around 2:02 (note to self: the Brazilian that would finish the whole marathon just 18 minutes later was probably already on mile 23.)

Now, I was informed of this whole "hitting the wall" thing and luckily I don't ever think I really got to that point. However, I got the full experience from Mickey who hit it just where we were told we would...the 20 mile mark. His mind had gotten the best of him and he literally thought his legs were going to collapse. Being an athlete for most of my life and having to mentally prepare for everything possible, I tried my hardest not to let my frustration and competitive side surface because, after all, I was running what most people don't even drive in a day. I just had to stay calm. I had to get him through it, but my encouraging "it's only one foot in front of the other," talk wasn't able to overpower his pain...or so I thought. I had had enough...everyone was going through the same things he was. Everyone had hit that wall and was feeling what he was feeling. His pain wasn't different from anyone elses, so in my mind, he had no reason to stop. I had to give him some perspective and let him know that because I knew he could get through it. He had gotten through the majority of the race and had only 6 more miles to go, and although I cringed at the thought of 6 more miles, I couldn't let him see that I, myself, was beginning to struggle. Mickey's legs reached the point of exhaustion and he had to stop at an aid station before finding out that he had strained both hamstrings. Orders were to walk for a few miles before he regained his strength, so although I wish I could have kept running, I walked with him for 3 miles. I didn't ever want to leave Mickey's side, but I needed to run those last 2 miles...for myself. I don't want to say I didn't feel accomplished, but its just something I needed in order to feel complete satisfaction. To feel as though I tried my absolute best during those almost 5 hours. I needed to sprint across that finish line...and I did! All in 4:50:23...and finishing 241'st out of the 700+ girls in my age group. I'd say I did pretty dang well for a first time marathoner :)

I'm pretty sure somewhere in those millions of thoughts of mine I told myself that this would be my first and last marathon. And I still feel that way just a little bit...BUT I'm going to run another one...or two. I have already planned to make it back home in October to run the Columbus marathon (still need to sign up for it), and I have to get a rock n' roller coaster one in there somewhere, so I guess I must plan accordingly. All I know is that I want to finish these next two between 4 and 4 1/2 hours. My first goal was to just finish the dang thing... to feel the support of the crowd...and that accomplishing euphoric feeling that I had done what I went to do, but my not only race against the clock, but race against myself.

Despite the build up of lactic acid in my legs and my stress fractured foot, and my sore hips and broken knees...(ok i'll just stop there hahaha)...I will never stop pushing myself. Congratulations to all those marathoners out there! I don't know how you do it over and over and over, but I hope to join you all soon! Thanks everyone for their support and encouraging words. This has been an unbelievable experience that I will never forget!!

Friday, January 9, 2009

2 days out

It only felt like a few weeks ago that I was counting down from 110 days until the marathon, so where did this being 2 days away from race day come from? Everything I have worked so hard for has come down to this very moment where I will put myself through probably the most grueling 4 1/2 hours of my life. But its all worth it. I've started thinking more about why I trained for this in the first place and I guess you could say its not only for me, but for all of those people who knew I hated running and who knew I could never keep going for more than maybe 15 minutes. It is for that moment at Big Easts last February when I couldn't compete because of that unexpected surgery. And it is for everything that has kept me from doing what I had always wanted.

In some ways it feels as though all of this hasn't happened and its hard to picture what its going to be like on Sunday. All I know is that the race starts at 6 am and I have to be on a bus by 4 am to make sure I'm there early enough to get as close as I can to the starting line. But hey, I'll be in Florida so none of that matters, right?

The past week has been great as far as preparing goes. I have been eating non-stop (which is always a plus) and have been drinking more fluids than my body thought was possible. The self-talk, believe it or not, has helped tons. I always used to talk to myself when I was doing gymnastics and diving, but never did I think you needed it as much as you do when it comes to running. I'm just ready for Marathon day...I'm ready to talk myself through every little ache...pain...cramp...and the not so little "hitting the wall." I'm just ready to experience what will hopefully one of the most fulfilling things of my life. So here I to Disney World...the happiest place on earth + a 26.2 mile run hahaha

I'll keep everyone posted when I get down to Florida.