Sunday, July 6, 2014

Marathon Training Wk 4 & 5: Keep on Keepin On :)

It's been an interesting 2 weeks. I had to scale back week 4. I think I may have tweaked my Achilles after my long run in the new sneakers. I so totally knew better than that :(

I also came to grips with the fact that my once cute little size 6.5 feet are no more. Running has demolished them. In addition to blisters and details I will spare you, what I always thought was simply a wide foot, has developed into a condition thanks to running. See for yourself....

Need a clue??


Great. Just what every girl wants. Fortunately I don't take myself (or my feet) too seriously! Honestly though, they've been hurting more and more so I caved & bought an orthotic. Stay tuned for a review for any of my fellow suffer-ers :( 

PS Please keep reading... I promise my feet will not be making another appearance ;)

Anyway, I struggled all week with accepting that I needed to turn the volume down. It was a scheduled scale back week in mileage in preparation for increasing my mileage the next 2 weeks. I was scheduled to do:

Tues 3 miles
Wed 5 miles
Thurs 3 miles
Saturday 7 miles

I ended up taking Tuesday completely off, icing my foot and going to bed after dinner, getting a much needed 12 hours of sleep!
I ran 3 miles on Wednesday 8:32 pace
I begrudgingly took Thursday off, my foot still not feeling quite right
5 miles on Friday, 9:12 pace
3.1 miles Sat, 8:11 pace
5 miles Sun, 9:31 pace, 2 miles short of what I was supposed to do

I'm now in week 5 and I have to admit I've been a little nervous about what this week will bring since I was short mileage and a running day last week. I really need to stick to the training schedule this week. Here's the schedule of runs:

Tues 3 mi
Wed 6 mi
Thurs 3 mi
Sat 12 mi

I somehow managed to follow the Wk 5 run schedule.

My favorite run was Wednesday's 6 miler before work. I woke up at 5am to do it. It was my first sunrise run this season. It rocked! On my way to the lake I came upon this rainbow and I instantly thought to myself, good morning mom. Ironically when I pulled this from the picture file it was automatically saved as picture 324. The irony is that the numbers 3-2-4 always pop up in this way for me. 324 was my mom's house number my entire life. These moments are reminders that she is still so much a part of my life.

The sunrise on the lake further down the road was amazing!

My 12 mile long run yesterday was quite an adventure. They say that your body has memory and your muscles remember. I think I must be the exception to this. Yesterday's run was really tough on my body, my hips specifically. I suppose you could argue that my mind wasn't helping my body. I was battling my own negativity from the moment I woke up. 

So I started later than I had wanted to, opting to sleep in a bit. I didn't plan my route like I usually do nor did I get my running clothes ready the night before like I usually do. One might say I was setting myself up for failure. One, being me. So, yea, I got out late. This was my attempt to psych myself up to do the run. I posted to my little running buddy in, I Run for Michael. I Run for Michael is a group that matches runners up with kids that can't run due to some kind of disability. You post back and forth to each other once you are matched. My match is in the UK. I knew if I posted to her that I was doing 12 miles for us that there would be no way I would let her down.

I took off around 10am. At the end of my street I decided at the last minute to veer off and do a nearby trail, my thinking being it was flat and would be good for my Achilles issue, whatever the heck is wrong with it.

The trail felt great on my body. It was cushy on my legs too however it wreaked havoc with my allergies. These are some pics from the first few miles.

 I came upon this cool old bridge.

You would never know my dad was a steeplejack and constructed bridges as a profession. I must not have gotten the gene. The truth is I hate heights, and crossing bridges. So I did what any 42 year old woman would do. I tried to put a smile on my face and I took a selfie in front of my fear before I ran very gingerly across :)

After I crossed the bridge the trail started to get more narrow and I started feeling closed in. My allergies were in full swing with watering eyes and a runny nose. I tried to tell myself how good this was for my legs but my mind was having no part of it. I really wanted to like the trail but the truth was that I just didn't. I talked to myself much of the way.

Why can't you just enjoy this? Most people love trails. Keep going.

But each of these thoughts were followed up with...

This sucks. I feel closed in. The trail is so narrow. The grass is slowing me down. No one knows I'm out here. What if I trip again? This is so lonely. I wish I could pass someone.

The truth was that I longed for the open road. I don't know if it's simply the fact that I am an extrovert at heart and I get my energy from being with people, or that I was afraid so deep in the woods alone, or if I was feeling claustrophobic, or if it was simply my allergies, or all of the above!

I suddenly found myself finding the nearest road and heading in what I thought was the direction of the lake. It turned out to be sort of the right direction. I got a little turned around and let's just say it was the long scenic way to the lake. The scenic route meant navigating a highway and 2 traffic circles :) 

Nonetheless the open road was exactly what I needed. I felt free and connected and moving again!

Here's the lake when I finally got there.

And the City Pier with the cute little old boathouses!

I think I was at about 7 miles by this point. I took a quick bathroom break while I was on the pier, stretched and headed out again. By 9 miles I was really starting to feel it. I decided I needed water & fuel by 10 miles. I drank some water & ate a few strawberries.The half of a banana with peanut butter I had eaten when I woke up just wasn't doing it for me.

I really had to talk myself out of not quitting at this point. I was sitting under a tree stretching and for the first time I thought about just stopping. I wondered for the millionth time why the heck I was even doing this. If this run hurt this much what will next week's run of 13.1 feel like? I know better than to look ahead & get out of the present moment on my runs.

I had no answers as to the why's or if's anyway. 

But then Chantelle popped in my head. I thought about her finishing her race. She finds the strength to do races with a motorized wheel chair, leg braces and most recently her walker.

My sister Mary popped in my head. She trucks through every single day as difficult as it may be, with a smile on her face.

And with that I just got up and started running again. 

My hips still hurt. I counted repeatedly to get through the last 2 miles. But the feeling when I was done made it all worth it.


Maybe so. Do you wish I had something more concrete as to why I kept going?

Me too. Maybe next week :)

I ended 30 minutes later in the ice cold wave pool below at our local water park. My legs felt like they had reached heaven. Here is a pic I am quite sure I would have never shared 3 years ago. Even after losing a bunch of weight, my inner fat girl cringes, noticing that my thighs are bigger than I would like. I still lack the coveted 6 pack. And when I look closely I see the tiny faint lines on my stomach, left over gifts from 13 and 8 years ago, from being the home to my two precious babies for 9 long months. I remember my friend once telling me, be proud of your mom body, you're a tiger and you earned your stripes!

Nope. I was buried in shame. I wouldn't have accepted myself as-is or had the confidence to post my imperfect self for the world to see. I would have waited for perfection and there is just no such thing. Running changed that. Running changed me.

Maybe that's what drives me to just keep on keepin on, one run at a time.

"There is no need to be perfect to inspire others. Let others be inspired by how you deal with your imperfections." unknown

See you week 6 :)