30 November 2009
We've had it turned completely off for a while now. No biggie, it hasn't been that cold. Until today. I woke up shivering and checked the weather. It was 42. (5 for my dear Canadians!) Hmm, to wear a jacket or not? My biggest fear while running is not being hit by a car, or chased by the boogeyman or a dog. Nope, my biggest fear is getting too hot.
This is Texas after all.
I made the choice to don a jacket and I was glad that I did. Okay, let's be honest, I donned a jacket, my ear warmers and gloves. I slipped off my ear warmers mid way and kept zipping and unzipping my jacket to ventilate. It's official - jacket weather is near! It's supposed to continue to get colder this week. We can expect lows in the 30's for the next few days. That's cold for Texas y'all!
I called the heater man as soon as I got home.
To extend my long weekend, I took the day off from work. Went back to bed after my run, did some laundry, called the heaterman, had a doctor's appointment, got my vehicle registered. Exciting stuff.
I did find a heart shaped tortilla while making breakfast tacos!
I signed up to run the RnR Half in March. This will be the first year for RnR in Dallas. I ran this same course this year and I have the privilege of paying nearly twice as much now that RnR is hosting. Hoping to PR to make it worth it!
US continues to replay the Ironman World Championships over and over. I continue to watch and obsess. My doctor is not helping. She was looking up local sprint tris for the Spring for me. (and humoring my talk about the half Ironman held in Austin each October...)
Because I'm a super dork, when I recorded my mileage this morning I noticed I was only 4 miles away from hitting 100 this month. Clearly this meant that I must head back out for 4 more miles. I did just that this evening. Is that even semi-normal? I was logging 140+ easily each month during marathon training. I knew I wouldn't be able to sleep tonight if I was 4 miles short of 100 for November. Oh, and they were 4 amazing miles! My time was 41.35. Not bad, I'm slowly picking up the pace again.
I better, White Rock is only two weeks away! I'm not hoping to PR (but secretly I am.) I'm just running this one to get my half legs back. Remember what a great race I had last year???
Oh yes, and I'm giving up eating out for the month of December. I do this from time to time, mostly because I'm crazy. Considering making it a once a week benefit, not cold turkey. We eat out alot. Like alot, alot. I'll keep you posted.
November was a great month. I'm a little sad to see it go. December holds great promise though!
23 November 2009
Together that makes 1000 miles I'd walk (run.) This morning, in the very wee hours, in the darkness the fog and in the cold, that's just what I did. I crossed that threshold of 1000 miles.
I think I'm more amazed at that than crossing the finish line of the marathon. 1000 miles this year.
Hmm, wonder what I'll run next year?
Of course, running all those miles (not at once clearly, I'm not Dean Karnazes) makes your legs sore. Everyone is raving about Recover Socks. Everyone. No Meat Athlete is giving away a pair of Recovery Socks!!! Check out his awesome blog (he qualified for Boston last month!) and enter to win a pair!
18 November 2009
There were birds everywhere! Must have been thousands of them, just swirling and swarming, each looking for a place to light. I sat at the light for a while (traffic, grr) and watched them fight for a place to rest.I wonder if that's what runners look like, in a race, to all those non-runners who glance out the window on race day. Thousands of people, scampering about, fighting to get ahead of the runner in front of them, swirling about the road, restless.
Just like those birds, we know exactly what we're doing though.
Scamper on y'all!
16 November 2009
And no, I'm not plugged in. That's my iPod. I rarely run with an iPod because I always run with friends. Since I was heading out solo, I queued up a playlist and took off. No worries, I only put in one earbud so I can still hear cars and the boogey man. I could also hear the leaves crunchy beneath my feet. Autumn is in full force! I was also using my new app from Map My Run. Since my phone has a built in GPS, I can track my run. (no need for a Garmin since I always run with my phone!) I've only used it twice now, but it's fairly accurate. Tonight I covered 5 miles in 50:33. I wish you could see the elevation - it's crazy! Apparently my hood is hillier than I knew. And this is what I look like after 5 hilly miles in 50 minutes!To be fair, that face is after 5 miles, my weak @$$ exercises and sit ups. Yep, I'm working on a new challenge! This quarter it's the 200 Sit Up Challenge. I was only able to do 45 in the 2 minute eval last week. I'm hoping for 80 in six weeks!!!
This weekend I had a the privilege of attending the wedding of such a sweet friend. Laura listened to God's call in her life and picked up to work as a missionary. Overseas. In a country that isn't exactly friendly to Christians. And there she met Daniel. Boy meets girl, they fall in love. And at last they married. It was one of the most joyous weddings I've ever witnessed. From the song they walked in to, Lucky by Jason Mraz and CC, to the worship held during the ceremony to the first dance...all filled with such obvious joy for Christ and for one another. I wish them all the best!
Reprised my role as Creeshy's date. We once again split the cake. I took chocolate, she took white and we shared. Mmmm, friends that share cake are the best!We took a cue from Britney and Jules was #3 in our party. Every party is better with Jules! I may at some point during the reception, been unable to separate two glasses, hail a member of the waitstaff and ask him to take them from me because "I don't want to set them down, I've had my paws all over them." Sometimes I forget that regular people just don't get my particular brand of humor.
I'm thinking about taking swim lessons this Winter. Because isn't Winter the most obv time to take swim lessons??? Yeah, I know how to swim. I could totes save my life if I had to...but I don't know how to swim efficiently. And if I'm going to get talked into a sprint triathlon, well I should prob know how to swim. My doctor (who is a triathlete) assured me that a lot of beginner TAs use cheapo mountain bikes from Target. (and that is exactly what I have) She's probably just telling me that so she can point and laugh, but at this point I have no reason NOT to trust her.
We shall see.
15 November 2009
04 November 2009
You know, the 40th anniversary of the race? The year an American won again? Yeah, it was cool.
We hopped back on the subway with about a zillion other runners and more than a few still drunk Halloween revelers. Before we knew it we were at Battery Park. Michelle bade her man farewell and we got in line for the Staten Island ferry. The looong line. But we had time, so no worries. We tried to take a photo on the ferry and some jolly Aussies asked if we wanted them to take it. Sure! Love those friendly foreigners! Funny thing, they took the photo and then asked if I would take their pic. Sure! And then e-mail it to them. They didn't have a camera. Ha! Technology. Here are my new best Australian friends. (aside from you, Kristen, of course)
Arrived on Staten Island, and was shuffled to a bus. Okay, it's barely 7 am and I've already been on a subway, a boat and now a bus. It's like transportation overload! The bus took us the the Start Line Extravaganza. Do you know what over 40,000 runners plus loved ones, plus volunteers, plus race officials, plus media looks like? Chaos!
We saw a Frenchman dressed as the Eiffel Tower. And yes, he ran the entire race with that contraption. A fireman all decked out in full gear. And yes, he too ran the entire race like that. Lots of firemen on the course. I asked Michelle, "Why is it that all firemen seem to be young and cute?" It's one of those little mysteries of life, isn't it?
We were in the Orange Wave and the last to start. I think we got moving well after 10:20. Because of this, it wasn't nearly as congested as I had heard. Which was nice. But also, a little underwhelming. Spectators are not allowed on the bridges so it was eerily quiet the first mile. Yep, the race starts uphill on a bridge that is over a mile long. A long, cold, windy, quiet mile long. But spectacular! Factoid: The Verrazano-Narrows Bridge is the longest suspension bridge in North and South Americas. Surpasses even the Golden Gate Bridge. East Coast!
I felt great on race day. My head and heart were in it, I felt strong. Ready to take on the marathon. I knew I had a sub 5 in me. I just knew it. The weather was perfect, the crowd was out in full force. I had this down.
I didn't take many pictures during the race because, you know, I was running and all. The crowd was fantastic! We started off on Staten Island, crossed the bridge into Brooklyn and what a welcome it was! The entire burrough must have come out! I've never seen that many people cheer on a race course...and we were at the back! There were bands, church choirs, jugglers, bagpipers, banjo players, people blaring music from apartment windows, lots of cowbells, drums...shouting, cheering, encouraging, signs, banners...little kids high fiving. (one cautious mom even had her kids wearing rubber gloves - sign o'the time!) I feel the word awesome is totally overused and misused, but this was truly awesome.
We ran behind these guys for a while. And let me tell you, the view from behind was not so great! I saw more behind than I bargained for!
Around mile 10 my knee started to complain. I stopped at a first aid tent and downed a few Tylenol, hoping to ward off the hurts.
Here I am at the halfway mark. And just so we are clear, the clock started when the first wave started, not us. It did not take us that long to cover 13.1 miles! At this point, we were still on track to finish around 5 hours.
We continued on across the Pulaski Bridge into Queens. Where, the reception was just as grand as Brooklyn. We saw several wheelchair athletes, and not the sport chairs, but people in regular hospital wheelchairs. Saw a guy with no legs. Just a single prosthetic and crutches. Wow. I was so inspired by these individuals. Every day is a challenge for them and yet here they are, competing in a marathon. Made me feel about this big.
Crossing the Queensboro Bridge was an experience. Once again, no spectators so it fell silent. Just us, the wind and our thoughts. I was still in 100%, loving every minute of it. My coach told us we'd likely fall apart mentally at mile 15, but here I was approaching mile 16 feeling as fresh as if it were mile 2. I was loving this distance! In my head I was already planning my next marathon. If only that little nagging pain in my taped knee would just hush.
Michelle's husband Greg met up with us just over the bridge. I think it did her good to see her man and get a quick boost of encouragement. Back in Manhattan, we headed up 1st Ave. No wall in sight, I was trying my best to ignore the screaming in my knee. I got to see my man at 103rd, just before mile 19. I was trying my best not to mention my pain, hopeful that if I just didn't say it out loud, it would go away. Have you tried this tactic? It doesn't work. We continued on our journey to the Bronx. I pretty much wanted to throw myself over the Willis Ave Bridge. But vanity wouldn't let me. There is absolutely NO WAY I'd die (or quit) in the Bronx. Please people. Speaking of the Bronx...it was a very different experience from every other burrough.Different in that while all other neighborhood streets had been lined with spectators, we were met with nearly empty streets, save for the7 to 8 police officers on each corner. It was eerily different.
I've resorted to a hobble/walk method at this point. I'm basically dragging my right leg behind me, wincing with every step. What made me even more sad, is that I still felt so strong except for this one little thing, the excruciating pain. My head was still in it, my heart was still in it, I was still pumped. I just couldn't ignore my knee. The crowd was amazing as we re-entered Manhattan's Harlem. You just don't know what it's like to hear your name until you've heard it shouted on the streets of NYC. Thank you to everyone that hollared at me to "Hook 'Em" or who told me they were proud of me, or assured me I could do it. You'll never now how motivating you were!
We began mile 23 headed down 5th Ave. Central Park on our right we were on the home stretch. I never hit the dreaded wall, either physically or emotionally. I was loving every minute of this race. Except, well, for the whole knee not being a team player thing.
Paula Radcliffe! She finished just a bit faster than me...
Then things changed. I fell apart just after mile 25. Not out of exhaustion, but frustration. I had stumbled 3 or 4 times, my knee just wasn't supporting my weight any longer. I was so angry that I couldn't control my body. I worked so hard, I was totally prepared. And I was IN IT. Yet my knee had other plans. I stumbled once more, almost falling completely over. I'm not proud, but I might have let our a very loud bad word. Not my prettiest moment. What had started out as a great day, had slowly deteriorated into my own personal hell. How could I feel at once so strong and yet so weak?
I finished. That's what I'm calling it. I finished. I did not run a marathon, I finished one. I knew my injury could very well prevent me from achieving the time I knew I was capable of, but the reality was very hurtful and very disappointing.
Crossing the finish line was so anticlimactic. Was it really over? I was tired, but not exhausted. If my knee wasn't such a bad sport, I've could have easily run a few more miles. Strangely, spectators were not allowed past the finish line. It was quiet. We all walked zombie like towards we knew not what. There had been hydration stations galore during the course, but no water in sight at the finish line. Food? Water? Medals? Was there anything else? I realize now my brain was deprived of blood and I wasn't doing my best thinking. I got my medal, my mylar blanket but was still fuming that Michelle had to beg a single bottle off water off a Red Cross volunteer for us both to share. I wandered aimlessly towards Central Park West. My marathon dream had been achieved, sorta. And I didn't know what to think, other than, "Now what?"
Still a little stunned that it was all over, here we are with our medals. Did you feel that way after your first marathon? Confused? All that training, all those months of thinking of nothing else, all those hours of running, all those carefully planned meals, thinking of nothing else but running and then, poof, it's over in the time it takes to cross that last mat. I'm still baffled. I didn't feel relieved, of glad it was over. I just felt let down by my body and confused as to what to do next. The whole course had been carefully planned out for me, all I had to do was follow the runner in front of me and then suddenly I'm dropped in the middle of Central Park with absolutely no direction. Lost in a sea of mylar, desperate for water. We stood awkwardly on the sidewalk for a few minutes. I honestly didn't know what to do next. Flummoxed.
I slowly made my way back towards the Upper West Side restaurants. Dinner is a fog. I remember not being hungry, but thinking that I should eat. And then proceeding to inhale every last morsel of food set in front of me. Guess not eating anything but Shot Bloks all day and running for over 5 hours straight will make a girl hungry after all.
So. Now I've completed a marathon. I didn't make even my "backup" time, but I finished. And I'm pleased with that. I got to run my first marathon in the greatest city, in one of the largest marathons with my bestest running buddy, Michelle. From start to (near) finish it was an amazing experience. And I'm ready to start thinking about my next one...