Sunday, March 10, 2013

Enough is Enough

This week has been one long pity party. Yes, my "A" race sucked air...literally... Yes, I know I did the best I could, but there is still that part of me that is so angry that it didn't come together.  I can sputter the platitudes we all know.  "Anything can happen on race day."  "You gave it your best." And so on and so forth.  Maybe this week has just been about healing my lungs and my body. Maybe it is just a pouting toddler after not getting her way. Either way, I have spent time lying on the couch, reading book after book, craving sugar and all this with my lower lip out. 

I hire a coach to help me do reach my goals.  I always hit every workout.  I work hard.  I give my all in every plank, Roman twist, and push up.  I never give up.  Not this week.  Coach is seeing lots of red when she looks at my log.  The freakiest thing is that I didn't even want to run.  There, I said it.  I didn't want to run.  That NEVER happens to me.  I crave running like an addict craves a fix.  Even though running has not been a part of my life for long, I am hooked.  It gives me release for emotions.  It is the only time that is all about me.  When I run, I don't have to care for anyone else.  I firmly believe I would still be in therapy if it weren't for running. 

This week, I felt like it was futile.  I work hard. I hit the workouts and I still can't reach that elusive sub-4 marathon.  I am stronger than ever.  My body hardly tired.  I stood tall for over 5 hours on that course.  Still, my body failed me.  In a way that I never imagined.  I thought I considered every possibility of failure.  I envisioned everything I could think of and worked through my plan.  If my back hurt, if my shin bothered me, if my gut was unhappy.  Yet, all those were fine.  Asthma?!  Never occurred to me.  I never struggle with it unless I am running 5k pace.  To have a severe attack at mile 8, threw me.  But I still hung on mentally.  After all, it was just an anomaly. Nothing to worry about. It was over and done. But it wasn't. It kept coming back.  And there was nothing I could do about it.  Use the inhaler and keep moving forward. 

This week, I have wondered why I do it.  Why do I run for more than just the fun of it?  Why do I race?  Why do I strive to be better than I am?  It all comes down to one thing.  I love it.  I love pushing myself and finding I can do more than I think I can.  I love finding the strength inside me to push a little harder.  That sub-4 marathon is out there. I will find it.  I may not run another marathon this year, but I will run another and, then, probably another more. I am coming for it.  I will not give up.  This race may or may not have been anomaly, but this week was.  I am not who I was this week. I am not defeated.  I am stronger than my emotions.

Enough of this "poor me" attitude.  So I did not get what I wanted this time.  Get over it and move on.  Suck it up, Buttercup!

Sunday, March 03, 2013

Veni, Vidi, Vici

I came, I saw, I conquered.  

It is 4:30 am the day after the Phoenix marathon.  I slept great for 6 hours and now my mind is racing.  So much to work out in my mind.  Last evening I met up with the PRS Fit team again.  I told Coach Jeff that I was disappointed--good, but still disappointed.  

I am not disappointed with me or the race I finished.  I am disappointed that not everything came together perfectly.  I am disappointed that even though everything within my control was smooth, there were things beyond my control.  

I have never had the epiphany people talk about after running a marathon. I never had the light dawn after my first that suddenly realizing I could do anything. Even this time there was no real enlightening.  I have never doubted I could finish the distance.  I only wondered how quickly I could do so.  

When I had a severe asthma attack at mile 8, I knew my time goals were shot.  I lost a couple of minutes at the side of the road.  That may not seem like much, but when you are pushing you limit for 26.2 miles, it is a lifetime.  I still thought I would  just use my inhaler, keep on running and a PR was waiting for me at the finish line.  By mile 10, that had slipped away, too.  I was working too hard holding 10:00 pace, much less holding a 9:30 for that PR.  

I know I am strong.  I know I am determined stubborn.  I know that I will do whatever I can to finish.  Yet I didn't realize how optimistic I can be.  It hurt to let it go.  Yet I just kept telling myself, "It is what it is. Let it all go.  Do what you can with what you have." The quote from Winston Churchill kept coming to mind.  "Never, never, never give up."  I cannot tell you how many times I repeated that in my head, out loud and any other way I needed. I told myself run when I could and walk when I had to.  I made myself walk no strolling.  However, I was moving it was the fastest I could move.  When I saw Dad, Loretta and Jeff, I told them I was good.  And it was the truth. I was good.  I started giving high fives to all the kids along the course.  I smiled and talked to other runners.  I had fun.  

Truly the hardest part of this was knowing everything I struggled with in past marathons were not issues.  My body was strong with no real pain.  I had some nausea, but no real issues.  And my brain never, never, never gave up. My asthma had never been an issue.  It came out of nowhere and knocked me down.  Yet I conquered it.  Not in the way I would like, but I did not let it stop me. 

Please pardon my rambling. I just needed the catharsis of writing this morning.  So many emotions running through my mind.  When I get home and pull up my splits, I will do an actual race report.  For now, it is just processing the emotions of a tough, tough race.  

Sunday, February 24, 2013


Okay. Tonight I am stressing. Not about the marathon. I have way too much to do before I get to stressing about that. Probably once I am away from the business... The thing is when one operates a 24/7 care home where you--as in me and the hubs--are on site--as in our home--all but about 24 hours of each week, it is hard to leave. There is so many lists of things that have to be done that my staff--who are fantastic--have no idea when and how. Not to brag, but I have a knack to get people with dementia to do what needs to be done with it appearing to be their idea. I call myself a master manipulator. If it needs to get done, I will find a way to convince my peeps to do it and laugh about it even if they hate every minute. (I really try to only use this skill on my residents...although, I have found me starting to try it on the hubs...that does not end well!)
Yet, here I type with a list a mile long before me. Must. Stop. Procrastinating.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Dreams Becoming Reality

"Stop dreaming and put it to reality!"

I got this text 2 weeks ago.  I was starting to freak out about the Phoenix Marathon coming up on March 2nd.  I texted my coach. "I think my fear comes from how big my goal is...I feel ready for a marathon, but scared to shoot for a fast one.  I guess I need a pep talk or a reality check..." Her response was perfect.  Exactly the pep talk I needed.  Seven words to make me realize I needed to keep dreaming.  And I needed to keep working to achieve that dream!

Over the last weeks, I have put in the work.  Between core work, upper body weights and functional strength, I am stronger than ever before.  Every run had a purpose. There were zone 2 runs with surges, step up runs, fartleks and race pace runs.  I ran both slower and faster than I thought myself capable.

The scariest run was a week ago.  My last long run was 18 miles with 13 at race pace.  Let me tell you that talking about running a Boston qualifier at a 3:55 doesn't sound that hard.  However, when I figure that is an 8:59 pace over 26.2 miles, I get scared. This is a BIG, FREAKING GOAL.  Yet, at the same time, aren't goals supposed to be scary?  If a goal is an easy thing to accomplish, why even set one.  So this time I set a BFG.  No more of the "I think I can" or "I'll try" then giving in the last miles. No more letting the doubts creep in and letting my mind loose focus.

I love the marathon.  I love the pain of running long.  And running a marathon in 4:30 is not that big of a challenge for me anymore.  I want more. So, here it is, in black and white.  I am shooting for a 3:54:59 at the Phoenix marathon in 7 days. I do have this in me.  I can run through the doubt and fear.  I can run through the fatigue.  I can run through the pain.  And I can do all this while running fast!

Seven days and counting.