Run-iversary

I miss running. I miss running a lot. Lately as I been driving like a crazy woman to work and back, picking up and dropping off children, I will pass places that I used to run when I was training for the marathon. It is the “far away” places that get to me the most. I see them and I can remember how I was feeling. Pacific Spirit Park across form #’s 1 and 2’s school, The MacD’s in Kerrisdale that became a regular bathroom stop on long runs, the intersection of West 33rd and Granville…crossing Granville always made me feel like I was truly doing a long run.

I am too busy to run right now. I usually make an argument about this, knowing that I must always give myself that push to just make time- but I have less than no time… I’m fighting to stay a float here. Just a sampling of what is going on; I’m working 2 days (plus 1 short morning) a week, I am WAY behind in this for-credit university course that I am taking and trying desperately to catch up, we are full on in reno-hell here . Our downstairs is unusable, everything is jammed into the upstairs, there is dust and debris everywhere with a constant parade of trade guys coming through the house, and the ol’man goes to work and then comes home to work on the house which means that I have to do all the extra-curricular activities on my own, these include for this week 9 hockey times (games and practices) 2 piano lessons, 1 choir rehearsal, 1 1st Communion class, 1 Confirmation Class and 2 dance classes. I have not gone to bed before Midnight and I have gotten out of bed at 5:30 everyday. And then there’s the homework, (mine and their’s )and lunches and cooking for 8 people everyday. Oh yeah, and I’m taking the boys to U2 tonight and I have tickets to see David Sedaris Sunday. STOP THE MADNESS!!

I am really not complaining per say, it is more like I am trying to let myself off the hook for not getting out there to pound the pavement, because I do, for whatever reason feel a tad “guilty” for not running.

 

But mostly I just miss it. My body misses it. I just don’t feel right.

October 31st marks the anniversary of my Marathon journey. I cannot believe it was a year ago that I started this whole thing. In the back of my head I have a plan that would see me, on Nov 1st, starting it all over again. That is what I would like to do, I would however also like a nap. We’ll play it by ear.

4:45:29

It’s 2 days post race and I am finally sitting down to write about it. I really wish I had had the time and energy to do it immediately after the whole thing was over because it would likely be a slightly different story.  It’s much like (look out, here comes the childbirth analogy!) giving birth- I was exhausted, yet totally buzzed following the race, still able to recount every painful step (OK they weren’t ALL painful) I could probably better describe how brutal the last 6 miles in particular were but, just like childbirth, somehow the memory of the pain starts fading away and I’m already to the point of thinking “It wasn’t THAT bad!”

Really I don’t think it could have gone any better for me and where I was physically and mentally on that day. Taking into account the injuries I dealt with, the family stresses and illness that were going on and just the fact that I haven’t slept more than 5 hours in years I feel like I nailed it. It went exactly according to plan.

The weather was perfect, sunny but not hot. The company was perfect, njb and I got dropped off close to the start line and hung out and jabbered away our nervousness while we waited and then agreed to start together but run our own races, as she runs a faster pace then me and I was going to stick to my; run 10 mins, walk 1 programme. The first few miles were difficult mentally as I really felt like running a faster pace and I found it very very hard to stop for the walk breaks but it truly paid off for me in the long run because I kept probably my most steady pace EVER, a 10:53/min mile. The first half I did in 2:22:25- and finished in 4:45:29. I never really felt that I was slowing to a shuffle of any sort (which usually happened on long runs) although there were a few miles, like at the start and then again at miles 17 and 18 that I felt like I had a burst of energy. My knees started threatening to “go” on me at around miles 8 and 9 but quieted down miraculously- except for mile 21 when I got one big jolt of pain like a thunderbolt in my left knee- I thought “No way, it’s too late now- I’m going to finish this thing” and the pain was gone! I never hit “THE WALL”- although from mile 20- to the end everything felt harder and I was just totally longing for it to be over. At mile 22 when my watch started beeping, (the signal for me to take my walk break- thanks to njb for setting that up for me… a Godsend!) I decided that I would not stop for the walk breaks anymore partially because I just wanted to get the damn race over with a quickly as possible but also because I really felt scared that I might not be able to start running again if I were to stop!

Coming down the home stretch I was searching for the ol’ man and the kids and was getting worried because I couldn’t find them- but finally! there they were right at the line- I gave them some high fives and then crossed and got jumbled up in the crowd of runners- got my medal and then had to pass all the food- which at that point just made me feel queasy… in fact I had to pass the Gatorade table and that almost did me in I don’t think I can look at Gatorade or GU gel packs for a loooooong time!

I actually started shivering and felt dizzy and sat down on the curb for a bit but that passed pretty quick.

 

I woke up at 4 am the next day with my legs twitching and got up to take a bath- that day walking was very difficult and stairs excruciating- of course it was an extra busy day with the kids but I just did it. Yesterday I was very very tired, the legs were still sore but the knee pain gone, and today just slightly stiff and less tired. I even considered going for a swim today as it was childcare day at the gym but talked myself out of it deciding to force some more rest on myself. I might try for a couple of miles on the treadmill tomorrow, and then 3 or 4 miles outside on the weekend.

Best thing about the race? I didn’t have to pee!!!! That amazed me and acually kept me distracted for much of the race as I kept thinking ” I can’t believe I don’t have to pee!” as I passed yet another porta-potty- I drank both my containers of water and took both Gatorade and water at each station- but still no pee!!

 

Worse thing about the race? Hmmmm… I guess the last 6 miles but really that’s what makes it all worth it, non? 

 

Would I do it again? You betcha. I really don’t know when yet but I would like to work up to taking out the walk breaks and improving my time. This will require not just running but lots more strength training and to try and avoid injury.

 

Hey guess what?! I ran a marathon.

6.2 to go…

It’s official… I’m tapering (or weaning as a friend called it- I kinda like that, I’m weaning myself off the dreaded long runs…)

 

Saturday’s 20 miler was bitter sweet- but it’s done- and I was initially kind of excited for what lays ahead (the actual race on May 3rd) but now I’m getting a little butterfly-y/nervous and I still have 2.5 weeks to go.

I am feeling a little worse for wear from the very long (3:51:20) 20 mile run. It is Wednesday (ran it on Saturday) and I’m still hurting. Not in a stiff kind of way like after the half when going up and down stairs was difficult, but more in a beat up kind of way. I went out for the scheduled 8 miles last night and had to cut it a wee short (7.39) because my knee was acting up which make me very very nervous)-  Today I had the opportunity to get a swim in and then I will not run again until Friday when I have a 12 miler. I will stretch and ice and heat the muscle and I just got an IT band rolley thing to roll the muscle on.

So the sweet part of the 20 miles was that I finished and the bitter part was that my training partner- had to jump ship at 14-15 miles due to knee problems, the fact that I have also been there with almost identical problems made it upsetting because I so know how very frustrating it can be and especially for her as she has gone pretty much injury free until now, but I came back and so will she, 2.5 weeks is a long time. I must say having someone to run with made a huge difference, there were a few moments where I so did not think I could continue- one was on the the hill just before UBC (we ran from Main/7th- down to False Creek ,along the seawall to  the UBC “SUB” and back) and the other spot was at Kits beach on the way back just before she had to call it quits- I stopped and walked with her a bit- and was able to pick it up again and finish. The last 2 miles I was grunting out loud on the busy seawall but I did not care- I just kept practicing what I would yell at people if the looked at me the wrong way “I JUST RAN 20 MILES!!!!”

The weather was not so swell- it rained on and off and was rather chilly and windy on the way back, but as experienced running Mum from preschool pointed out- it is not likely the weather will be any worse than that a month from now- which I suppose is a big plus.

Having the 20 miles out of the way is helping get my head around running 26.2- what’s another 6.2 miles? It was important for me seeing as I hadn’t been able to get the 18 miler in- so I am happy for it- hurtin’ but happy.

I plan to really try and focus on my nutrition over the next few weeks because that has been a tough one. The thing about long distance running and being a busy Mum is that it makes you feel hungry ALL the time but it’s often hard to prepare something healthy BEFORE I scarf down 10 cookies or chips and ruin my appetite. There is always healthy food around but it always takes preparation and the junk is just so much more tempting and convenient.  I am trying really hard to drink water (always forget) and stop scarfing the junk. The “nice” thing is I am eating all this junk and my weight still at the lowest it’s been since, like, my late 20’s or 4 kids ago- doesn’t help when you’re trying to resist those sweets!

 

All in all, I am feeling positive- I am even already wondering what I will do after this thing is over…   hmmmmm…

Goals=Good

I’m making a huge effort to squeeze a post in here because I had a great run last night and had time to think about my crazy life and then thought I have to write this down because when I look back on this journey to my first marathon I don’t want to JUST remember the crap and how hard it was, I want to remember how it has changed my life, and it has.

I realized last night as I was out there pounding the pavement after a long day with the kids and the feeding everyone and making sure they were either ready for bed or doing homework- that yes, this is crazy and nuts and insane trying to fit in this training with everything else that’s been going on in my life but thank God I had this goal! Because I am absolutely certain that anything to do with me, my health etc would have been the first thing to go when all the shit hit the fan with family stresses and illness etc. It is always the first thing to go. If I had just been trying to run to stay in shape the runs would have gone out the door weeks ago – but because I had this huge goal looming over me, and a PAID entry fee to a race, I just had to get out there- yes, I missed some sessions but I always felt like I was going somewhere in the training- I never abandoned it.

I did 10 miles after supper last night and it just felt really really great- and somehow I upped my pace by almost 1 min/mile! Huge for me. I really felt like I could have easily continued running at the end which is a very very good thing as Saturday njb and I tackle the longest training run before the race- 20 miles. At the moment I am actually kind of pumped- but I don’t want to jinx myself- The thing that has worked best for me is really to just think- “I am going out and running for 4 hours on Saturday” and then it’s just the ol’ one foot in front of the other…