Monday, June 9, 2014

Marathon Training Week 1

Here I am. Once again. This will be my second attempt to run a marathon. Second time's a charm, right?

So are you wondering why I decided to do this? Me too! Just kidding. Sort of. The truth is that I am drawn to run a marathon for a whole bunch of reasons I am unable to articulate clearly. It just feels like I am meant to do it. Is that weird? I had come very close to running one last year when at the very end of my training, having just hit an 18 mile long run, I broke my rib. It was heartbreaking.

Since then, I have wrestled with whether to try again. I have been running without a plan and in spite of my running partner regularly yet kindly suggesting that I may need a goal, I have been running around feeling lost. 

I was afraid.

That's especially interesting considering my theme since Mother's Day has been "brave." I was actually asked to give the Mother's Day homily at my church. I had a hard time deciding if I should do it. I ended up saying yes after I went out for a run and in my head and heart asked my mom what I should do. As soon as I asked the question, the song, "Brave" came on. I immediately knew I had to find my courage to say what I want to say.... And let the words fall out. Honestly.... I included the audio link at the end if you are interested in giving it a listen :)

So back to why I have been afraid to just set the marathon goal again. It was harder to commit this time around. First, I'm guessing, because I knew what was coming. I had already had a taste of the hard work, the commitment required and the utter dedication needed to make it to the start line, let alone the finish. It's really hard. Really hard. And if it weren't everyone would do it, right? Like a friend told me last year, if you finish a marathon you are automatically a 1%-er. I'm still not exactly sure what that stat means, but I liked it immediately and I still do!

So here's how I found my brave and how I arrived at the end of my first week of marathon training for the second time.

I had this dream.

I was in a crowded room sitting by the 91 yr old marathon runner, Harriette Thompson. We both seemed to be waiting. As we sat there my mom appeared across from us the moment the thought of her came into my mind. She looked at me with an expression I had never seen on her face when she was alive. It was as if she were seeing me for the very 1st time. I broke the silence & said, "I miss you, mom."

My mom leaned in & wrapped her arms around me to hug me and as she did, she slowly disappeared into me. My arms were left wrapped around my own body. 

It all seemed so real. I woke up literally crying in my sleep but with this intense urge to register for the full marathon. My fear was just gone. I knew it was time to try again.

So on to the good stuff! Week one is done! Here's what my week looked like from a training perspective. I am using the Hal Higdon Marathon Training schedule:

Monday Rest day
Tues Ran 3 miles Fast!
Wed Ran 3 miles Not quite as fast! I started feeling 42...
Thursday Ran 3 miles A little fast
Friday Cross training at the gym and weights. Arms, abs, and legs
Saturday 7 mile long run, slow
Sunday Cross training at the gym

The above was fit in between working full time, my business, the kiddos soccer practices, piano lessons, 3rd grade orientation complete with a crash course in the Common Core (I will save that for another post!) and my sister Mary's 60th birthday!! My sister Mary got sick at 2 years old with a high fever. The fever caused her to have convulsions and her brain was deprived of oxygen. She went into a coma. First the doctors said she would never come out of it. She proved them wrong. Then they told my parents she would be what they called a "vegetable" all her life. Wrong again. Lastly, they said she would be lucky to live to puberty. You tell me?? She looks more alive and happy than most people I know!! It was a very special day :)

Oh and I almost forgot....a dog-napping! Some neighbors kids decided to go in the back yard and dog-nap our cute little Chloe! Look at this face...... Poor girl. I'm happy to say she is home safe and sound :)

So how has the marathon mental training been going? (This is hardest piece for me) I crushed my very first 3 mile run with a personal record of 23:43, a pace 7:53 per mile! I felt amazing!!! It put my mind set right where it needed to be.

The next day was harder and slower with my 3 mile pace at 9:02 per mile. My brain was a little less positive. The 3rd day I felt pretty tired. I don't think my 42 year old body is used to the consecutive running days yet but I ran 3 miles at a pace of 8:46 per mile. Think 91 year old runner. Endurance, baby. Gotta rebuild the endurance :)

I took Friday off from running and I tried to prepare for Saturday's long run. I decided I was going to make the decision to look forward to it. It was like rekindling a relationship with myself. My long runs used to be sacred to me last summer. I always came home from them more peaceful, centered and feeling like a real bad-a$$ :) So whenever my fear and lack of confidence crept in I reminded myself of all of those feelings. I kept my self talk positive.

And guess what?

Saturday's 7 miler felt great!! Well, the first mile sucked. Actually the first and almost half of the second. I argued with my brain during that portion. 

It was all the old stuff........My ankle hurts. I think the side of my right foot hurts. Oh man what if the peroneal tendonitis comes back? Wasn't it my left foot, not my right last time? What if I don't make it? I don't want to let people down.

But by mile 2 I had settled in my pace and I had gotten into my bubble. My body felt really strong. I loved the feeling of my tight, (albeit sore!) abs. It reminded me of my strength. Maybe that's part of my attraction to the marathon? It reminds me that I am a survivor. I'm strong. I'm alive. It connects me to something I can't explain.

Thanks for coming along this journey with me! I'm heading into next week feeling ready!! Bring it!

Link to my Mother's Day audio homily
Disclaimer: Keep in mind.. I am a writer, not a public speaker! This was recorded in front of over 1,000 people and I was reallyyyy nervous!

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