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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Week 22 - After the 26.2

So if the first post race recovery week was sublime, maybe I should have expected that things would go awry in the second.  I thought it would be even better, so I was really surprised when things started falling apart.  I felt like I was getting a cold.  I was exhausted.  My knee was bothering me more than it did after the race. Everything seemed to hit me at once...and work was more hectic then normal...I was slogging through the days.  As a result, it ended up being a bye week. It would have been the week where I would have started run/walking again, but I knew I was not up to it.  I was really disappointed, but I did clock some time with Gym on Saturday...and that made me feel at tad better.  

I did make one big decision about readying myself for whatever new fitness-related goals I set.  I need to go back and finish physical therapy to fix my right knee/hip issue once and for all.  I abandoned PT in early July because it was cutting into my training time.  I decided that getting my 26 miles was more important then fixing the problem.  I accepted the risk knowing that (at worst) I would have to limit myself to just walking because of the pain.  Now, I want to see how well I can do with no pain at all or at least less pain.  I'm ready to take the time.  I need to take the time, because ignoring the issue isn't going to make it go away.  And I still have many more miles ahead of me...

Since I did not get any miles...I don't have a picture for this week.  Instead, I thought I would post about my favorite random happening in Week 22.  A spur of the moment visit to my favorite cupcake shop to pick up a dessert... 
Frostings...my favorite cupcakery...

Always let the Type 1 Diabetic pick out dessert...

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Week 21 - After the 26.2

Post Race Awesome...
Post Race Recovery...it has a really nice ring to it. I am on the other side of those 26.2 miles...still figuring out how to write about it.  If I even can.  It was so perfect.  It was bliss.  I just want to hold it close.  Maybe there are some things that are so wonderful you don't need to write about them.  I think this is something that I may have just realized.

It was a good week...I hit every mark on the training plan...which I guess isn't a training plan anymore?  In the days just after the race...my legs were really stiff if I sat still too long.  I wasn't sleeping well, but I wasn't really tired either.  I thought I was going to be exhausted, but I wasn't. I made it to RFK to watch DC United play after the race.  I was out and about walking around Baltimore the next day...just with a slightly slower gait.  My knee was an issue but it was only bothering me a tiny bit.  By Tuesday, I was taking stairs with no wincing.  I was back at the gym, feeling fantastic.

I was really looking forward to getting my 2 miles on Saturday AM at the Soccerplex.  Only walking, no running.  I could definitely feel myself tire as I was making my way around the trail that has become like a home away from home.  Funny to think 2 miles were exhausting after clocking much longer distances.  With soccer games and practices surrounded me as well as the pitch where my love for soccer began, I was beaming...just like on race day.  It is a really special place...and I'm pretty sure...I will keep getting miles there...even though the marathon is over.

The next set of miles begin...
  

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Week 20 - The Road to 26.2

Just one item left on the list...
The last week of training was bliss...it was more mental then physical.  As I looked back over my tattered plan full of purple X's, I felt really. really happy.  There was much work.  It was measured.  It was sequential.  It was fun.  I enjoyed every moment. The miles...so many miles.  The hydration...so much hydration.  The songs...so much great music.  The surroundings...the Maryland Soccerplex was the perfect home for all the long Saturday mornings hitting the pavement.  Every Friday night when I had to choose to not have as much fun as I would have liked to have.  All the lovely shoes I decided not to wear to be sure my plantar faciitis would not be an issue.  It was all worth it.

Packed and Ready to go...
On Thursday, I was re-reading all of my training notes...all of them had so much more context.  I was listening to my "Final Miles" playlist over and over. As I left for Baltimore on Friday...the bliss continued...I was calm.  After all of the intense training, I knew that I could do it.  I had developed all the possible race scenarios in my head.  I knew I would get the miles, the amount of time and pace did not matter.  I just wanted to finish.  I knew that I could finish.  I stopped to soak up the last minutes before leaving...all of my stuff piled together ready to hit the road.  All of the pieces together in one place.  20 weeks of work ready to be tested.  There were only hours between me and the starting line.  Ready, Set, Go...
Yes...my gym bag has jewelry...all my lucky charms!!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

In these final days...

My only guide...
I am going to miss all of this...this feeling...in the magical space of before.  The smiles thinking of what is to come because you know something really fantastic is going to happen.  This is the space I am in right now and I'm trying not to take any of it for granted.  It is Thursday.  Saturday is just two wakes away now.  I'm hydrating, resting, stretching, writing, reading, and visualizing.  It is an easy training week but I have been focusing most on my mind.  I'm looking through my training notes.  I'm surrounding myself with inspiration.  All of my training...both for the half and full marathon came from one book that I read in February...Marathoning for Mortals by John Bingham.  

When I first started out...I wanted to just walk both.  Now...I walk and run.  I knew immediately as the pages quickly turned that I could do it.  I could complete a half marathon and a full marathon.  And now...I'm just two days away...and I am already forever changed.  Here are a few of my favorite lines...
  • It's a mind-set, not miles, that separates those who do from those who dream (pg. 1)
  • Everything changes when you decide to train.  Your goals change. Your life structure changes. Your risks change.  Eventually your rewards even change. (pg. 13)
  • Anyone, even a mortal like you, who is willing to carve the time out of his or her life and commit to a training program can go the distance. (pg. 25)
  • Who you can be doesn't depend on who you have been. (pg. 46)
  • At the moment when your body begins to tire, you must make the conscientious decision to think your way to the finish. (pg 98) 
  • Getting to the starting line takes more courage than finding your way to the finish. (pg. 171)
  • The marathon is 20 miles of hope followed by 6 miles of truth. (pg. 201)
And then there is the music...music...like following soccer...gets me through life and keeps my head on straight.  I created a playlist called "Final Miles" filled with all those songs that fuel me.  They give me energy. They fill my heart.  They infuse strength.  They make me a better me.  Songs that have fueled me since I was a little girl.  Songs that are more recent.  It is all I have been listening too.  When I wake up in the AM. In the car.  At the gym.  When writing.  I am completely immersed.  Here are a few of them and why they mean so much...
  • Saint Elmo's Fire (Man in Motion) - John Parr  (When I interviewed for the job changed the course of my career...this song was playing on the radio when I started my car.)
  • Dreams - Van Halen  (Probably one of the best songs ever..."So baby dry your eyes, save all the tears you've cried....Ohh that's what dreams are made of.)
  • Enter Sandman - Metallica (This is the song that plays when the Maryland Men's Soccer Team takes the pitch.)
  • Back in Black - AC/DC (This is the song that plays when Talon takes the pitch before DC United Games.)
  • This is the One - The Stone Roses (This is the song that plays when Manchester United takes the pitch.  After Rocky's Fanfare...ahem...which may also be on the playlist.)
  • Windy - The Association (This was my first ever favorite song...I heard it on an oldies station when I really little and it became my personal anthem instantly.)
There are many others...because music is my everything...Bob Marley, Kid Cudi, Avicii,  Foster the People, Pretenders, Big Country, Porno for Pyros, Coldplay...and still more. It spans many years of believing in whatever I have set my mind too.  It may take longer than you want it to...but keep the focus...save the tears...spread your wings...that's what dreams are made of!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Week 19 - The Road to 26.2

I used the stove!!!
Deep Breaths.  Week 19.  The marathon is almost here!!  I hit every mark on my training plan...with slight adjustments to the number of miles.  My knee is still twinging...even when I just walk normally through the day.  But I have set my mind on the fact that I will get to the starting line no matter what.  I got a new strength training workout on Thursday AM...so much core...which is so what I need.  My trainer and race day buddy and friend Stacy K. said that I should not do any strength training the week before the race (insert my sad face here - nothing makes me feel more like a bad ass than strength training).  So the next time I do the new workout will be after the marathon.  This is actually how I classify anything on my schedule now...before marathon...after marathon. 

There have been so many moments over the past several months where I have stopped myself to take things in.  These flashes of time where I slow down and realize how different my life is.  When I have two different pairs of Nike's in my gym bag for the same day.  When I synch my Nike + Sportband and watch the number of miles accumulate (I have been averaging more than 50 miles a month).  When I look at my legs.  When I jump out of my seat at soccer games to cheer.  When I run up the stairs.  When I run.  When I used the stove this past Saturday AM to warm new inserts for my running shoes.  I used the stove.  I warmed inserts for shoes.  I stood for two minutes to immediately shape them for use.  I then rocked three miles on the treadmill...my knee was not even an issue.  It all feels really, really good.  There are just days now between me and 26 miles.  I will walk and run through one of my most favorite places...around three bodies of water!!  I will be calm.  I will be focused.  I am ready.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Week 18 - The Road to 26.2

Just take it like a champ...even the stairs...
So the 20 miles in Week 17 did me in...I ended up taking almost all of Week 18 off.  It took some time for me to accept it...but the knee trouble coupled with falling down the stairs...I decided that maybe I needed to just declare it a bye week.  I did not see Gym until Saturday for a little bit of elliptical work.  I was supposed to do 10 miles...but I was afraid.  The truth is...I felt horrible all week...like a sloth...a sloth filled with tremendous guilt and an incredible amount of fear.  The fear of hurting myself even more kept me from trying anything training-related.

Stairs ended up being a theme for the week...they are always my nemesis after a long walk/run...even without the right knee twinges.  As it turned out I had to take them more than usual in Week 18.  I had to park further away then usual at work.  There was even a firedrill included in the fun...11 flights down and 11 flights up.  I took them faster than I had the last time we had a firedrill...even with my knee...and that felt pretty good.  I did not get out of breath.  It was a testament to the work I have been putting in since late February.  I am not a sloth.  Even with my knee as it is...I know that I can still do this.  I have made up my mind.  I have less than two to go and I will get this done.  Fear is a colossal waste of energy...in the grand scheme of things...this is just blip in the journey...I have no broken bones...I can still walk...life is good.  I remind myself constantly that I do not need a medal at the end...I just want to finish.  And finish I shall...pushing all the fear behind me by just moving forward.