Blog Archive

Monday, July 29, 2013

Week 9 - The Road to 26.2

One week away from the halfway point of it seems perfectly natural for the bouts of doubt to start crowding in my mind.  I went back to see when my big "freak out I should just quit" moment was for the half was week 7 and week I'm pretty much on time.  The miles are daunting but what I am worried about the most is that I have yet to hit the open road.  Everything has been on the treadmill since I completed the half marathon in early June.  I could use the excuse that the weather has been hot and humid, but that is not really the reason.  There are two actually - - 1) I am afraid that the pain will come rushing back and 2) I want my training walk/run paths for the marathon to be different from the ones I used for the half marathon.  The good news is...I will get past these two hurdles this coming weekend.  I will push the fear aside and set forth on the new paths that will inspire me as I go after those 26 miles.  I took a picture of my official long distance training gear...very Maryland.  I would not have imagined that the UMD running shorts that my sister gave me for Christmas last year would end up being perfect for the journey I would take during the summer/fall of 2013. 

Despite my freaking out, it was a good training week...I only missed one walk/run on Thursday...but I did strength training that day so I clocked some form of work.  I have decided that is unrealistic to think that I can clock time at the gym two times or for two different activities on the same day.  In keeping with this, I made a big decision and dropped Pilates on Monday nights.  The level of stress it was causing knowing I had to get to class by 7:30pm and then to have to do a 45/60 min walk/run after was too much.  At this point, I really just need to start honing in on things for the second half of training (10 weeks to go!!)...hydrating, eating smarter, and resting.  Right now sticking with my training plan (with limited variation) is comforting.  I do love to check things off of lists...and I just don't have the energy to do more than what it has outlined for me to do.  The plan is structured the way that is for a reason. 

Given a busy errand filled Saturday AM, I decided to do my 12 miles on Sunday.  It was the first time I had done a 3/1 mix (3 min. walk/1 min run) made for a really fun experience actually.  I felt like a true rockstar for the first six miles...I felt graceful and sleek and unstoppable.  From six to ten...I was still feeling pretty good...not as unstoppable...I was hydrating more and popped a couple of Gummi Lifesavers.  From 10 to 11 was torture...when I got to 11 miles I felt really out of it...I wasn't exactly seeing stars...but I actually had to slow down and stop altogether.  I sat down on the edge of the treadmill to get my barrings...had a bit more water and popped a few more Gummi Lifesavers.  I took my was probably less than five minutes...all the while knowing that I was going to get that last mile no matter what.  I got my 12.  Done!!

While I was plugging away at the miles, I was thinking about my good friend N who was in Texas doing her first Olympic Distance Triathlon.  She is one of my biggest supporters...she is an Iron Girl...she can do anything she puts her mind too.  Because she can, I know I can.  I was lucky enough to be able to cheer her on when she did her first Iron Girl.  I had a Giraffe (her favorite animal) balloon flying high in the air in hopes that she could see it while racing...especially during the swim.  See her swim, bike, and run her way to the finish line was something I will never forget.  Part of the reason why I am going after these 26 miles (and got 13.1 miles in June) is because I knew that she believed I could do it.  That is what it is all about really...believing.  I believe that I will get 26.2 miles on October 12. 

Friday, July 26, 2013

Everyone Should Know a Joel...

When I was younger, like any Type A, list-making 12 year old, I created a mental list of things that I wanted my life to be. (Truth...I still add to it!!)  I remember thinking that I wanted to have many meaningful relationships with different kinds of people.  Being a socially inept introvert doesn't exactly make achieving this goal easy, but even with this personality flaw, I have been very lucky.  You find the people you are meant to find...when you need to find them. 

I have written about Joel many times...he was camper I met my first year volunteering at Camp Fantastic...and knowing him changed my life.  He was wise.  He was enlightened.  He was okay with whatever his cancer journey was going to bring him.  He was funny.  He had great taste in music.  He adored his older brother.  He made me a sign to hang in my office.  He asked me to dance.  He was Joel West Baillie.  He is one of too many reasons I work hard at work.  He is my hero.

Meeting My Hero's Parents and Niece
In the magical way the world (and internet) works...even though Joel is out and about in the universe...I am lucky in that I have been able to connect with his family over the years.  When Joel's brother Nate and his wife (Karen) were in town a few years ago on New Years...we decided to finally meet in person.  It was so much fun to talk about Joel...we became fast friends. 

This past Spring...Nate and Karen had a baby girl...Joelene.  A perfect namesake...a perfect everything.  I felt really special to receive an invite to her baptism.  I felt even more special in being able to meet Joel's Mom and addition to Joelene (of course).  I had corresponded with his Mom via email after she had read several of my past journal entries about Joel a few years ago.  She thanked me again for writing them.  After a long hug, we talked about all kinds of things.  We reminisced about his amazing memorial.  We talked about a camp family weekend that we had all attended.  She was funny and wise...just like Joel.  I talked about my work.  I talked about my writing.  She was so encouraging.  So positive.  So free.  

For a writer, there is nothing more powerful then when someone thanks you for your words.  For me, just knowing that someone reads my words is enough.  I remember at Joel's memorial there was an entire table dedicated to all of the stories he had written.  One in particular that stands out in my mind was an essay...about how he envisioned his life down the road.  At the time, I remember thinking how lucky I was to have so much "down the road" time.  I also remember wondering if I was living it the best way that I could.  I know this much, I'm definitely living my "down the road" time much better now than I was then.

Past Musings on Joel

He would have been sixteen - -

The Joel sign moves again - -

Remembering Joel - -

On being centered - -

First Year at Camp Pictures (2002) - -

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Week 8 - The Road to 26.2

My sister knows just what to do... when is the summer haze going to lift?  It was another not so stellar week in terms of training...I don't know if it was the heat or the fact that I have a bunch of things all happening at once or maybe both?  I have not been bringing my A Game these past two weeks.  I had a six day hiatus from seeing Gym...SIX DAYS!!!  I was back on track by last Friday...with some quality time on the elliptical.  Fun on Friday night and Saturday late AM plans meant that my 10 miles needed to be delayed until Sunday.  Sunday is supposed to be a rest day...but with lots of things happening the next few weeks...I'm going to have to make my long distance day on Sunday instead of Saturday.  As long as I get it done...that is all that matters...right?

I finally put all of my long distance training walk/runs in my calendar so that I can manage my weekend schedule more efficiently.  There are limits to what you can do when you need to walk/run 12, 14, 16, 18, and 20 miles on a particular Saturday (or Sunday).  Yes...these distances will all happen before the marathon in October.  It is crazy to think that the longest distance I did while training for the half marathon was 10 miles.  I'm both panicked and excited to see how I progress through these miles.  I am so slow...but my hope is that it won't matter...all I want to do is finish.  I need to get these 26 miles.

As I keep plugging away at the training, there are lots of things that keep me motivated.  Every like and comment on Facebook.  Every favorite and reply on Twitter.  Every text message that I get while on my long distance walk/runs.  This past sister sent me a text (she is in Grey, I am in green)..there is something to be said for sibling ESP.  The miles didn't feel as horrible as I thought they would, but they could have felt better.  I was chipping away mile by mile...but getting her note gave me extra "energy legs".  Counting down the last of the 10 miles helped...obviously I was on a treadmill...hence my ability to actually reply.  It amazes me how much support you can feel even if just electronically.  I feel like I always have someone cheering me along from the sidelines...even though I get my miles all alone. 

Monday, July 15, 2013

Week 7 - The Road to 26.2 was a real lackluster week in terms of training.  I was focused on nutrition...but I had lots of fun stuff on the calendar...and that definitely shifted my priorities for the week.  I know that over the span of 20 weeks...there will be ups and downs.  Life can't plan everything...flexibility is need to balance the fun and the work.  I missed every walk/run of the week...Monday, Thursday, and Saturday (should have been 6 miles).  Monday was interrupted because of work (although I did Pilates).  Thursday was interrupted because of fun dinner plans (although I did strength training in the AM).  Saturday was just lazy...too much tailgating on Friday makes an early AM run on Saturday difficult.  Too much fun on Saturday and plans early on Sunday AM and then later in the PM...make rescheduling said 6 miles difficult.  I decided to just let it go and rest my legs...Week 8 is a whole new everything.  The fun of Week 7 will be my fuel...

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Week 6 - The Road to 26.2

Lilly keeping my Powerade Zero Chilly...
It was not the greatest week of was not the worst week of training...but I am excited to move on to Week 7.  My focus points for Week 6 were to 1) get to bed early, 2) eat healthy, and 3) get outside on Saturday to get those 9 miles.  So...let's say that I think I went to bed earlier...but I am not entirely sure.  I did not have the greatest nutrition week and I did not get outside on Saturday.  But the good news is...I did 9 miles and my knee felt pretty good!!  Even though I didn't hit all of my goals...I learned a few things.  1) Doing my stretches in the pool is awesome...I think I may be hooked.  My range of motion was insane...and it helped in making me less sore on Sunday.  This is going to become part of my regular routine for least until the marathon.  2)  My Lilly Pulitzer Lunch Tote fits perfectly in my gym bag and keeps water and powerade zero perfectly chilled.  YES!!!  3)  I was reminded to let my intuition guide me.  I made a decision to cease my PT appointments.  Once I learned all the seemed like more time away from my training plan then I was willing to spend.  The appointments after work meant I couldn't train after work.  Getting up super early every day of the week is just not practical given my long hours at work.  It was stressing me out.

That is the key point...the whole reason why I am training to get the miles and why I spend time with Gym is to help me manage my stress (and my T1 Diabetes).  It is key actually.  My job is crazy...and I love it...but my escape from the crazy comes in mainly two forms - - my time at the gym/training and watching soccer.  I'm embracing taking the extra time in other ways.  I never used to be disciplined in my I have some strategic moves...and I'm using them as "zen moments" before and after workouts.  All in all...I feel like I'm headed in the right direction.  I can't ask for more than that.