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Monday, August 26, 2013

Week 12 and 13 - The Road to 26.2

Starbucks reward after miles on the board walk...
It is a double dose kind of update...there was a not so steller week (Week 12) and a stellar week (Week 13).  Despite being on vacation during Week 12...I did manage to hit a few marks on my training plan.  I did my walk/run on Monday, swam in the ocean on Tuesday (although not enough cardio to truly be able to check it off on my plan), and I did my required walk on Wednesday.  The rest of the week fell to pieces...I think it was mainly the fact that I was doing office work while away...and in the AMs when I would have been training...I was on my laptop.  And then I was on my laptop in the PMs.  And then in the evenings too.  It made me just a bit bitter...which was ridiculous...because I still had the ocean in view.  This was the first time in the 19 years I have been working that I took a week off to go somewhere.  So perhaps I just need to learn how to go on vacation properly.  I should do it more often...practice makes perfect right?   
Tired Nike + Sportband

The other complication was that I was worried I was getting a cold, so I tried to take it easy in terms of my workouts.  I definitely wasn't feeling in top form.  It is terrible to feel like a slug.  I decided to push off my long distance until Sunday...but I was not able to finish.  It was horrible...I got 2 of 8 miles.  I felt like a failure.  Even my Nike + Sport band was disappointed...it decided to stop working.  Not being able to get those miles scared me...maybe it is what I needed to get my butt back in gear.  With only 8 weeks until the marathon...there is no time to waste.  I need to focus on the work in front of me...no more slacking.


Longest Distance Yet!!!
The lowly feelings of Week 12 fell away as I charged into Week 13 feeling motivated and ready to cross off every single item on my training plan that week.  I was back at work...juggling several things during 13 hour work days...but I managed to carve out the time to spend quality time with Gym again and get in my long distance walk/run too.  It felt awesome to check every single day off of my plan...knowing that I worked hard six out of seven days.  My 16 miles at the Soccerplex were super charged until about 14.5 miles...I ended up walking the last mile...but I did it.  I got my 16 miles.  The weather and atmosphere could not have been better.  Every soccer field was filled with either games or drills....the cricket field as well.  Teams waiting to take the fields were warming up on the grassy side areas.  Seeing all the families lined up on the sidelines sitting in chairs, chatting, taking pictures, and supplying snacks/water/Gatorade.  It was inspiring.  As I plugged away...getting mile after mile...I kept reminding myself about where I was physically the first time I visited the Soccerplex (exactly two years ago today) and where I am now.  I never would have imagined then that I would be training for a marathon.  Since that day...I have not only been consistently clocking time at the Gym but I have also gradually over these past two years expanded my world.  Following the sport of soccer changed everything...

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Week 11 - The Road to 26.2

14 miles...Soccer Fields and Sugarloaf...good stuff...
And now we are passed the halfway point in training and I wish that I was at the frantic pace that I was at for the half marathon.  There are way too many "skip" days when I look at my progress...I have got to break through this slump.  Maybe it has been knowing that I had a quick trip to Chicago...and getting ready for a longer break at the beach.  Maybe it is because it is summer and your state of mind is just different. Maybe that is okay and I am stressing too much. The good news is...I was in good form for my 14 miles on Saturday.  In truth...pain started around 9.5 miles...but I kept pushing.  I kept up my walk/run intervals right up until the end.  Unlike the half marathon...I was able to keep running.  Unlike the half marathon...I could bend my knee the rest of the day.  I was walking gingerly and stairs took some finesse...but by Sunday AM...I was pretty much back to normal except navigating steps.  I'm focusing on the positive...I got through it.  I will keep getting through it.  One mile at a time.  

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Week 10 - The Road to 26.2

A good six miles to get back in the groove...
The halfway point of training and I was still lagging...but I finally got back outside to do my long distance walk/run.  This was huge and long overdue.  I had been avoiding it.  Part of the reason why I had not been back outside to do my long distances was that I could not settle on where to actually do them.  I wanted to get training miles in a new location.  I wanted more elevations.  I wanted new surroundings for inspiration and motivation.

After blogging last week about getting back to the basics...I started to think about the very first soccer game that I went to.  It was at the Maryland Soccer Plex...as the winds of a hurricane were starting to swirl in the warm August evening air.  I was forever changed.  So as I made my way around the paths outlining the Plex...I thought about how different things are now from back when I first attended that game.  Back then, my goal was to just get to the gym five days a week.  Now, I'm training for a marathon.  It  felt amazing as I ran the hills.  It is a whole new space to hold all the work I will do to get these 26 miles.

As I walked and ran...I saw two teams playing cricket, their were little girls doing soccer drills, a mixed age group of adults playing soccer, girls and boys teams warming up, grounds crew caring for newly seeded fields, and lots of goals stacked and turned in various positions around the paths.  It was perfect.  It added one other thought to my brain space while I get the miles...wondering if I will work up the courage to take an adult soccer clinic once those 26 miles are behind me.  Would I be a keeper?  A mid-fielder? Part of the backline? Could I be a forward?  All of which points to the fact that following the game of soccer has changed my life.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Back to the Basics...

Is it a slump?  Am I lazy?  Is it just another "off" week?  It is Friday.  I saw Gym last on Tuesday.  That is all the training I have done this week.  What is going on?  Am I that exhausted from getting a PR on my 12 mile Sunday?  I need to get my act together...October is just two months away!!  I know panic is normal...my biggest fear (like anyone) is getting picked-up off of the course because I am too slow.  So much of this is a mental game...and I have to push through all the noise.  I need to ignore it.  I need to visualize getting to the start.  I need to focus on two things ...on October 12, 2013 I will do two things...get my 26 miles and get to RFK before DC United kick-off at 7pm.  I can do this.  I will do this!!

I was looking for something today to help me get so go again...and I found it.  I was cleaning and filing some old emails and I found a bunch of pictures that had been emailed to me in 2011 from different events in May and August.  I still have much work to do...but I have really changed since then.  As I have written before, I went to a soccer game in late August 2011 and everything changed.  Everything.  I re-read my first blog about it - -  2011 World Changer - Soccer Fandom.  And just like that...the motivation returns.  The progress continues.  I never would have imagined then that in 2013 I would have three fitness related goals (walk 10 miles - DONE, walk/run a half marathon - DONE, and walk/run a marathon).  I'm excited that as I chip away at my last fitness goal...I will get see my most favorite soccer team start their season.   There is something magical about Ludwig Field...this is my favorite picture.  It was from the first game of the season last year.  This is my motivation.