Sunday, February 26, 2012

Adios February!

To be blunt-- February has sucked! I have been completely distracted with my schedule at work and as a result, I haven't been able to fully commit to my training schedule the past couple of weeks. In the midst of the chaos though, I have managed to squeeze in my long runs on the weekend. I am slowly but surely still moving closer towards my goal to complete a marathon on April 15.

Today I completed a 16 mile run. It took 2 hours and 40 minutes. It was hard.  My muscles are sore. But despite the challenges, I am very proud of my accomplishment. I have been able to get to a place while I'm running that I can completely relax and just run. I wasn't really sure that I could ever get to a place mentally where I could disconnect from all the other distractions in life and just be in a moment, but running provides that time for me. When I first started this journey, I was constantly distracted. I needed to change the music; I focused on every muscle twinge; temperature; and mostly my own self doubt about my ability to be "a runner".

In the midst of my distractions this month, I have missed the part of running that let me blow of steam and shake off the stress from the day and think about something other than my To-Do List. Especially the last couple of weeks, running has become something on my To-Do List rather than the escape it had come to be. I am hoping that now that some major events got checked off my list this weekend, I will start to look forward to that time at the beginning or end of the school day as a time of release rather than an obligation.

So I will start March with a fresh perspective and new energy. Here are some of the things I'm excited about in March
1)  My little brother is getting married!
2) Day Light Savings Time Ending--- Longer Days= more time for get outside and off the treadmill!
3) Spring Break
4) Capital of Texas 10K with Allison
5)  Running 20 miles--- this is both exciting and scary-- but it is the longest run prior to marathon! (and I'm only under this by 4 miles right now!)

Sunday, February 12, 2012

I've officially reached the end of my comfort zone...

This week was REALLY busy and the rest of the month is not looking like it will slow down. In the course of the week, I have managed to complete the longest week of training yet and possibly one of the hardest weeks of training since I started this whole running thing.

The week started out pretty strong with me getting out of bed at 5am on Monday to run my usual 3 miles-- EASY.  Tuesday held a before school meeting and a basketball game after school and a scheduled 7 miler-- couldn't fit in the run that day and planned for an after school run on Wednesday. I had a meeting for our Greece/Italy trip at 6:30 pm on Wednesday so I packed my running clothes and headed out to the greenway for my 7 miles in between the end of school and the meeting. It was hard and I didn't really enjoy myself much. On Thursday I rounded out the week with a 4 miler-- I had to stop midrun and stretch out my hamstrings --which annoys me. The light at the end of the tunnel was that Saturday was a step back on my long run and was only 10 miles AND I was going to get to run long with my friend Hope, who has a few marathons under her belt, and I knew a companion would help break the monotony of running long.

Yesterday, I got up early and stretched, ate a carb-tastic breakfast, and suited up for what I anticipated would be a much easier 10 miles than I had had in awhile. It was chilly, but not frigid by any means;
Mistake # 1--- thinking 10 miles could be easy after the whole week had sucked
Mistake # 2--- Wearing too many layers which resulted in fidgeting and stopping to remove gloves, and jacket
Mistake # 3--- Not being super diligent about stretching all week
The result was a HARD 10 miles-- even with a great companion---my mind going crazy the whole time. Here were a few of the thoughts that crossed my mind at some point:
  • If 10 miles is this hard how the HELL am I going to complete an additional 16.2 miles.
  • Ouch--- my butt hurts.
  • Why can't I feel my feet?
  • Maybe I need new shoes-- or socks---- or a miracle
  • Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr
  • I wonder how gross I look with all this snot running down my face.
One of my friends from college, Cynthia, is  training for a half and is also keeping a blog to chronicle her journey.  Funny to think we both tried to run in college and did the Cowtown 5K together. We've both come a long way since then.  She posted today about her training week and based her blog around the the following quote,
"I'm not telling you it's going to be easy, I'm telling you its going to be worth it."
It was something I needed to hear.   I know how good I felt when I finished the first 13.1--- and then ran sub 9 minute miles for 2nd  13.1 a few weeks ago-- all things I was convinced I was incapable of doing not very long ago.  I venture into new territory this week with a new mantra to repeat -- "life begins at the end of your comfort zone".  On Saturday, I'm running 15 miles-- I'm nervous about the mileage but I am going to do something that I HAVE NEVER DONE BEFORE. I'll be living beyond my comfort zone---easy; no BUT exciting; ABSOLUTELY

One mile at a time.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Double Digit Weekends

Tired and hungry are two sensations that are beginning to become permanent fixtures in my life. From now until the weekend before the marathon I'll be covering anywhere from 10-20 miles on my weekend runs. Part of me is really proud of myself for going on this journey... the other part of me is thinking that I may have gone off the deep end!

I don't really have too much to report or any excellent insight to give into my running this week. I took a few days off after the half last week and got back on schedule by Wednesday.Yesterday we went to Houston for the "Energy for Life" walk for my sweet nephew Trace. The walk benefits and promotes mitochondrial disease research and awareness, a disease which Trace has been diagnosed with now for a couple of years.  I love getting to spend time with Trace; he reminds me to be appreciative of all the blessings in my life, that joy is possible in any situation, and that energy comes in more than one medium!

I'll leave you with a little runners humor that I discovered on I may have to print out a couple of these!