Monday, October 19, 2009

I AM A MARATHONER! feels great to say that. It's hard to believe it's all over. All those months of training, and anticipation, and it's over in a matter of hours.

It was great day, and perfect for running. It started out cool. It was only 33 degrees at the start of the race. I was really concerned about how to dress for this, because I really haven't run in cold temps yet. All my training started in June, so it was never really cool. I wore some old sweatpants and sweatshirt just to keep warm while we hung out before the race got started. Thank goodness I did that. It was REALLY cold. We went inside one of the downtown buildings to stay warm for about 15 minutes before the race started, and that helped, but it was really chilly.

We started near the back of the pack. We weren't all the way back, but probably back further than we should have been because it we were weaving in and out of walkers for the first mile. It took us 18 minutes to even GET to the starting line! But in all reality, it didn't matter, since our time started getting clocked once we crossed the start line.

It was Kathy, Jeff and I running the first half together. Jeff was running the half marathon, and would turn off at the 13 mile mark towards the finish line. The first half of the race was great. All the excitement and all the people really made it so much fun. I loved having the music every half mile or so. We kept a pretty good pace for the first half. My goal was to have us maintain a 5 mile in an hour pace throughout, and we were just short of that in the first half. Jeff has some issues with shin splints, so that was kind of holding us back a little.

After Jeff took off near the finish line, Kathy and I moved on. We ran up high street, through the short north, towards campus. I was really surprised by the sudden drop off in support at that point. Really, hardly anyone around. At the same time, it was a cold sunday morning, so I don't blame people for not being out! I was most surprised going down 15th avenue on campus, which is fraternity and sorority row, and there was not a sole supporter out there! Definitely not like you hear about in the Boston marathon!

Things were going well until about the 19 mile mark. For some reason, I just really started to struggle at that point. I think part of it was that I needed my inhaler, and thank god I brought it along. I ended up using it twice in the second half of the run and both times it seemed to help pull me through. But at the 19 mile mark, I couldn't tell if the problem was my breathing, or if I needed more fuel. Hard to tell. I didn't feel like I had hit a "wall", but I was just struggling. But by mile 22 I seemed to pull through it okay. But for whatever reason, miles 19-21 were really tough for me, even tougher than the last couple miles. We still ran, but our walk breaks were longer.

I really enjoyed the run down Neil Avenue in Victorian Village. It was just really pretty. I love the houses there, and it was nice to run through my old stomping grounds, since I lived down there for 5.5 years. We passed an older runner who was basically be carried by a spectator. Their picture was in the local paper today. The runner was a 75 year old chaplain from a nearby air force base, and he collapsed in the last 5 miles. That spectator was there to cheer someone else on, but he carried that 75 year old the last 5 miles across the finish line! I'm telling you, those are the things that just make me love this sport. I feel like running brings out the best in people.

As we approached the finish line, I began getting chills. It was hard to believe it was all coming to an end. All those months of training, all those long runs on the weekends, etc. It was an incredible feeling. Kathy grabbed my hand as we started down the stretch to the finish line. What an awesome feeling! It was the best! And in spite of all the nutritious food they had available at the end, the first thing I ate was a krispy kreme donut! I figured this was the one time I really didn't need to have any guilt about eating one! lol!

We didn't stay long after the marathon. There wasn't really a reason to, as the activities were winding down at that point, and there was really nobody around to celebrate with that we knew. I really wanted to get home to get in an ice bath too.

Once home, I took my ice bath, and then laid down in bed for about 1.5 hours. The longer I laid there, the more sore I was feeling. I couldn't sleep, but remember laying in bed thinking "i'm so sore...I should be in the hospital where someone can care for me". LOL! That should give you an idea of how sore I really was feeling (and maybe how mentally drained I was feeling too!). I think part of the problem was that I couldn't eat. I was so exhausted that the thought of eating made me feel sick. Once I was finally able to eat, I started to feel much better.

I managed to get up at my usual 5 a.m. wake up time and make it into work. I worry about tomorrow, because typically I'm more sore two days after a long run than the day after. We'll see how it goes. My quads and inner thighs are still very sore (thank goodness for handicap stalls in the bathrooms!). I'm taking ibuprofin right on schedule through tomorrow, to keep the muscle soreness at bay. But I know I'll be fine.

Several people have asked me if I'll do another full. Kathy and I were discussing our next full marathon at mile 25, so that's a good thing. Of course, today, I'm not feeling quite so confident! I know that the half marathons are great. They are challenging (although seem easy at this particular moment in comparison to what I just did), but the halfs are just the right length I think.

I totally do not want to stop running. I get something from running that I've never gotten from any other type of exercise that I've done. I can't even really explain it, but it helps me in many ways. I feel like I can think better, relieve stress unlike any other type of exercise allows me to do, I sleep better, and I feel like I really accomplish something when I finish a run.

The only thing I need to work on is not being disappointed in my running speed. I will never win a race, and will never be fast. Our marathon time was 5:27:57, which I'm THRILLED with. But when I look at the stats, I see how close I was to finishing so far behind thousands of others, and how slow in my age group, division, etc. I need to work on that, because I really DID run a marathon, and that is quite an accomplishment in and of itself.

Running this marathon has proven to me that if I set a goal, and follow a reasonable plan to achieve that goal, that I certainly can do it. I suppose you can say that it really put some faith into myself that I really can achieve something if I really set my mind to it, and work hard for it.

So where do I go from here? I'm moving into maintenance mode with the running. My plan is to run 4 miles twice a week during the week, and on the weekends maybe do a 6 mile run or so. I need to shift my focus to strength training three times a week. I've only gained a pound or two since training for this marathon, but I'm up a half to a full size in my clothes. I need to shed the fat, and back off of the carbs now. I decided that I need to attack my desire to lose weight/inches with the same dedication that I put forth in training for the marathon. So that is my plan for the next couple of months.

Kathy and I are looking at the various schedules for fulls and half marathons for the spring, and will probably pick something to work towards. I need to have races as goals, because they are just great ways for me to stick to a plan and stay motivated. I think training for a half would be best for the spring. We'll see. Kathy and I also talked about getting involved in our running group and seeing if we can rope more people into training to run halfs or fulls, people who have not run before. We'll see how that goes. Maybe we'll talk to the running group coordinators about it at the post race party that is next week.

And last but not least, I just have to say how much I love my husband! He's been the greatest throughout all this training, and has been so supportive. On top of it all, because Kathy had conflicts for two of the half marathons during our training that we had signed up for, Jeff jumped in and took her place so I didn't have to go it alone. He walked the first one and ended up with horrible blisters, and couldn't walk for a week. He ran the second one, and did GREAT! Since then, he has continued running, and he ran the first half of the marathon with Kathy and I. I'm just so proud of him for getting into this with me. And although his reasons for running differ from mine, I love having him beside me doing something that I love to do. He'll never read this blog, but I just have to say how wonderful of a husband he is. I'm really, really blessed.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Training is Complete

Last night I ran the final run that is in my training program for the marathon. It was a 3 mile run. And honestly, it went GREAT. I ran after work, outside. The temp was around 53 or so, and I wore shorts and a short sleeve shirt which was perfect for the temps. My time was good too. I ran the three miles in 31 minutes and 20 some seconds.

I'm getting a little nervous now for the race. It's not bad nervous though. It's more about the unknown. I have some things that I'm trying to do to get ready. I need to go buy a cheap pair of gloves to wear during the race that I can pitch when it warms up. I might also grab a cheap sweatshirt or something to throw off to keep me warm early on. Moreso for pre-race. I know I'll be plenty warm once I get through the first two miles.

I've already started hydrating really well, which is probably why my run was so good yesterday. I drank a ton of water. I'm trying to increase my carb intake this week too.

I'm taking some time off on friday and will go down to the convention center with Jeff and the boys to pick up my race packet. The nice thing is that the running group I'm training with has their own booth and they've picked up all our packets for us, so we just need to find their booth. I don't think the lines should be too long anyway on friday afternoon.

So, my goal right now is simply to remain healthy. Alex is home with the H1N1 virus. He's on the recovery side now though, and by last night, had a great improvement. Zach is also home sick, with a terrible croupy cough. Neither are going to school today. Thank goodness Jeff can be home with them, although he also needs to stay healthy for Sunday, since he's running the half!
I'm SO proud of him. This is his third half marathon in the last three months! Who would have thought? NOT HIM! lol!

Don't know if I'll post again until after the marathon. Wish me luck!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Wednesday October 7th - 5 mile run

I did my five mile run last night after work. I just ran it inside because it was so windy outside, and I didn't want to fight the breeze. It was a good run. These taper weeks are mentally tough. Although it was a good run, it felt long. I started thinking to myself "geez, how in the world will I be able to run 26.2 miles when this five mile run feels SO long?". But I know its all mental. I mean, just two weeks ago I ran 20 miles with no problem. I'm going to guess that the taper next week will be even tougher.
Our long run this week is 11 miles. We're doing this one with the training group on saturday morning. We've missed the last several because of the 20 mile race, and also because we had other things going on during the weekend so Kathy and I moved our long runs to friday afternoon. It will be nice to do one last long run with the group before the marathon.
At this point, I'm now starting to hope and pray for good weather that morning of the marathon. I know I'll still do fine even if its nice, but it sure would be great to have "perfect" weather!
I really can't believe this is the home stretch. All I have left to do is the 11 mile run on saturday, a five mile run on monday, and a 3 mile run later next week. Then the marathon. Wow. I really can't believe the time is here now for this. I know I can do it. But I'm still feeling some nerves. It's strange though...the nerves didn't set in until today. And I don't even know what I'm nervous about!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Only two more weeks

Did our weekly long run yesterday with Kathy. We lucked out and the rain stopped about an hour before we met up. it actually ended up being a pretty nice afternoon for the the mid 60's, slight breeze, etc. But boy, Kathy and I were both saying we can really tell the difference between running first thing in the morning after a good night of sleep, and running in the afternoon after a long day/week at work. We just don't feel as strong. Anyhow, we were scheduled for 16 miles, but we stopped at 14.25. I honestly think that we weren't fully recovered from running the 20 miles on sunday. But it wasn't bad. But it just seemed really LONG, and our pace was much slower than it was for our 20 miles on sunday. Of course, the 20 mile run was a race too, so maybe that made a difference. But whatever. I don't feel bad. We're in our taper now anyway.
I also didn't take an ice bath yesterday after the run. I just didn't feel like it, and didn't feel like I would be so sore that I really would need it. And I felt perfectly fine this morning. So that was kind of nice. Still having some issues with my two toenails. It appears that I really have some blisters UNDER the nail. That sure is what it looks like. I'm SURE its from running in the wet socks and shoes when we did the 20 miles. I'm sure I'll lose those toenails too. Its not pretty!
So next week looks really good to me. I have a five mile run, a six mile run, and an 11 mile for our long run. I'm doing the five or six mile run tomorrow. I'm just going to run in the neighborhood, something that I've not done in a long time, and I'm actually really looking forward to it. I "could" run the rail trail, but I think I might just do the hood. I'll see what kind of mood I'm in. The only nice thing about the trail is that I don't have to worry about traffic at all.
I really cannot believe the marathon is only two weeks away. I was telling Kathy that I hear all the time about how you should "enjoy the journey", and not just focus on the destination. I can honestly say that I truly have loved the journey. In fact, I told Kathy that I've really enjoyed the journey SO much that I fear that I'll be disappointed at the destination! I have read about post marathon depression, and fear that I will quickly fall into that. I love training for "events". I have finally found what it is that keeps me going and its events. I love having an event to work towards, and to have a plan all laid out for me, so all i have to do is follow it, and it requires little "thinking" on my part.
Kathy and I talked about our plans after the marathon. We both really want to focus on weightloss and strength training. Starting the week after the marathon, I'm back to ST three times a week. Running will go on the back burner but I'm still going to do it for cardio. I'll probably run 2-3 days a week. And the diet is getting hit hard, with the same intensity in which I put forth in my marathon training. I'm frustrated at having have gone up a size in clothes. WTH? Since I started the marathon training in June, I'm up 1.5 lbs. Not much eh? That would be FINE if I haven't ALSO gone up an entire size. I'm confused how that has happened. Seems as if I were building some muscle in my legs and butt from all the running that I would be LOSING or getting smaller in those areas. My only explanation is that I'm also gaining fat? But then, the scale has only increased 1.5 lbs? I don't know. I can't figure it out. However, I miss how I feel when I'm strength training, and its the only way I can think of to get back to how I was feeling, and get smaller. But again, I will focus on that AFTER the marathon.

Monday, September 28, 2009

20 mile run

Kathy and I did our 20 mile race today. It was set up for people training for the marathon, and what was great was that the course was laid out, water and gatorade provided, and of course, we get a medal and a shirt for being in it.
I got up at 4:30 a.m. to get there. While getting ready, I could still hear the rain. UGH. It seemed to let up by the time I got there, but after waiting in the bathroom lines in the building we had access to, just before the race started at 7, it started to downpour. They told us that they were starting at 7 a.m. no matter what. So at 7 a.m. we all ran to the start line. It rained for, gosh, the first 11-15 miles or so? hard to remember. My feet were soaked. My shorts were soaked. It was not fun.
However, in spite of that, it was one of the best runs I've ever had. Kathy too! Our pace was great! For 20 miles, we came in at under four hours. Our finish time was 3:54! Awesome! And honestly, we felt really good afterwards! This totally gave us the confidence to know we can push through another six miles with the marathon! I took an ice bath, but a short one, because I was soaked through when I got home, and chilled to the bone already. I also really didn't feel the need for the ice bath, but figured it would do me good anyway. I'm a little tired, but not really sore or anything. But for some reason, when I do long runs, it hits me two days later, not the day of the run or even the next day.
Anyhow, now begins the taper. I only have a six mile run, a seven mile run and a 16 mile run this week. The runs only get shorter from here on out! Yeah!

Monday, September 21, 2009

The 16 mile run, and gearing up for the 20 miles!

We got our 16 mile run in on friday afternoon. It was a really good run. The weather was a little bit cooler than the previous week when we did the 18 miles, and temp plays a huge part in how good I feel during a run. Jeff ran with Kathy and I. He was scheduled for 12 miles, but ran 13 with us. He's doing great! And it was nice to have a third person along with us for a change. He also helped to keep our pace down a little which I think helped in the long run. However, I think it was almost too slow. I've found that there is a fine line between running too slow and not slow enough. And sometimes when I don't run fast enough, I feel more sore and fatigued.
I did an ice bath after the run, because I think they help. I had started to wonder if the problem was my shoes, because although they only have maybe 250 miles or so on them, in the past few weeks, my knees and feet have been getting more and more achy. Well, I ordered a new pair of the same shoes and got them on friday. I ran in them yesterday and did 9 miles yesterday in the new shoes, and WHAT A DIFFERENCE! Clearly, my shoes had been breaking down, and my body was feeling it. I felt GREAT after the 9 miles yesterday, and didn't even feel the need for the ice bath. HUGE, HUGE improvement. No achy feet, and no achy knees.
Anyhow, today is a rest day, and tomorrow I run 6 miles. I'm then not scheduled for anything else until the 20 mile run next sunday. I think on thursday or friday I may run 2 miles, just to kind of shake things out before the race. Otherwise, I plan to enjoy the break and give my legs a rest. Sunday will be a big day, as its our one chance to experiment with pace, fueling, etc. before the marathon. I can't believe it's almost here!

Monday, September 14, 2009

The 18 Mile Run

Kathy and I did our 18 mile run on friday afternoon. Well, a couple things to say about it. It was getting really tough near the end. I honestly feel there were a couple of things that really made it tougher than the 17 miles we ran the previous weekend. First, I'm so freaking tired at the end of the work week, run or not. I knew running at the end of the week after working all day and getting up at 5 a.m. everyday, was going to be tough. I've gotten accustomed to running after a good nights sleep and in the morning when I'm refreshed.

Also, it was 80 degrees out. When I am used to running in the 60's, that's a HUGE difference. Also, I think we started out too fast. When we are running that far, we have GOT to slow down. Our pace was a 10:00 - 10:30 pace for a good amount of the run toward the first half. My garmin had our overall pace down to a 13:20 or something like that, but we did a lot of walking in the last few miles. I don't really care about the average pace. I just want to get through the marathon and cross the finish line, but I don't want to be one of those people that are barely coherent when I do! Anyhow, I know what the issues were, and I know I will have better runs. But overall, its wasn't bad.

I went home and did an ice bath. I used an entire bag of ice, and sat in the bath for 25 minutes. I SWEAR that helped. I really didn't feel bad. IN fact, on the drive home, my knees were so achy that all I could think about was submerging them in ice water, and god, it felt great! I'm seriously starting to love those baths!

I didn't feel too bad the next day either. In fact, I felt a little better than I did after the 17 mile run, so I'm thinking that the long ice bath, as well as the ibuprofin regime I'm doing, totally helped.

Looks like we may do the next long run, 16 miles, this friday afternoon too. Its supposed to be cooler out which will help. I'm just happy to get the run over with. This week I have a four mile run to do, which I will do today, and a seven mile, which I may do tomorrow. Wow, those seem like a walk in the park! only 7 miles? I feel like I'm in heaven! lol!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Gearing up for the 18 miler

Wednesday September 9th

I did my six mile run for the week after work yesterday. It was back to back with the 9 mile run, but I really felt like I felt good enough to get it in, and I really want to give myself a couple of days of rest before the 18 mile run. So I have today, tomorrow and most of the day on friday to rest my legs up.

Yesterdays run went exceptionally well. I ran on the treadmill due to weather issues, but it was actually a nice change of pace. I ran at a 5.4 pace, which used to be really tough for me, but actually, it was a nice easy pace yesterday. So either the drugs I had in my system were really hurting me more than I know and now that they've worked themselves out I'm doing great, or my fitness level overall is just REALLY improving.

On a bad note, the scale is up. Frustrating, with all the running I'm doing. I'm only up 3 pounds from when I started a few months back. I can't tell if some is muscle though. I would THINK that my legs would be building some muscle from all this running. SURELY THEY are getting stronger. Anyhow, it's also that time of month, so maybe I'm just retaining some water. Who knows. When this marathon is over, I'm really going to have to focus on the weightloss. Until then, I really just want to maintain. I'd actually love to shave off five pounds before the marathon, but we'll see.

Anyhow, thats really all to report. I'll post about the 18 mile run on friday if I have any energy left after running it!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

September 8th

Wow, its been awhile since I updated this. Let's see...Last week, instead of my 16 mile run, I participated in the Spirit of Columbus half marathon. I won't go into details, but it was a really poorly run race. Running out of water was the worst of it...we didn't get water until mile 6.5. Pretty bad. But all in all, it was a great replacement run, as I got to run it with Jeff and it was his very first half marathon that he was running. Lots of fun and a great course, since it was mainly downhill!

This past weekend was my longest run yet. Kathy and I started running at 5:45 a.m. at Easton. We didn't take the path because it was too dark still, so we ran around the town center, which was actually pretty cool. Usually that place is swarming with people, so it was a little eerie to be there when not a soul was around. But we did the 17 miles, and it really wasn't bad at all. Tiring, but not bad. I went home and did an ice bath, and ended up taking a 15 minute snooze during the buckeye halftime. That did wonders for how I felt. Later in the day, my quads were feeling really sore, like I had done some weightlifting with the legs, but otherwise I felt fine. The next day, on Sunday, my upper shoulders were really sore. I can tell that I need to work on relaxing my upper body. I must have been a little tense at times.

Then on monday, Kathy and I got our longest "short run" for the week in. It was a 9 mile run. We met early, at 7 a.m., and got it in. I'm so glad we went when we did because it started sprinkling as we walked to our car. We finished just in time. It was a little tough to do that run when we were still sore from the long run on saturday, but I'm glad we got it in. Tonight I'm doing the 6 mile run, and then taking a couple of days off to get fully recovered for the 18 mile run we are doing on friday afternoon. I'm hoping that the weather holds out for us because I REALLY don't want to run in the rain.

Not much else to report. This is the month when we are really getting into the thick of the training, with all the really long runs. Kathy and I signed up for "The Home Stretch" 20 mile race, since we were scheduled for a 20 mile run that weekend anyway. That will be a great test of how things will go. I'm just happy to be able to run 20 miles without carrying water with me for a change!

Anyhow, guess thats all for now!

Monday, August 24, 2009

15 Mile Run - 8/22/09

Saturday was my 15 mile run, the longest I've run yet! Kathy and I met up and started our run early, around 6:30 a.m. before the group run. I'm SO glad that we did that, as we were able to get six miles out of the way before the group run. We ran the other 9 miles with Eric Frueth from the Columbus Running Company.

We have been SO lucky, because the temps were GREAT on saturday. It was only in the low 60's when we started out and I'd guess it was only around 70 when we finished. It took us 3 hours and 4 minutes to do the 15 minutes.

Surprisingly enough, I felt really good afterwards. I mean, I was tired when we got to 15 miles and I was glad it was over, but I COULD have gone on a bit more, especially if I took more frequent or longer walk breaks.

When I got home, I did the ice bath thing. I'm REALLY glad I did because I think it made a big difference. I had no leg soreness at all. And I didn't even feel drained...until about 3-4 hours later. And then I laid down and figured I would take a nap, but for whatever reason, I just couldn't sleep. But I laid in bed, and just rested, and I think that helped a lot too. Because as the evening wore on, I didn't feel tired at all. In fact, Jeff and I got home around midnight after meeting up with Kathy and her friends, and I STILL wasn't feeling tired. It was so strange. However, on sunday afternoon, it hit me and all at once I was totally exhausted. In fact, at 6 o'clock I looked at the clock to see how much longer it was before I could go to bed and when I saw I still had a few hours, I didn't know if I would make it!

I was supposed to do a full body strength training yesterday, but didn't. We had too much going on, as we went to my sisters to celebrate my dad's birthday, and then to the dedication and open house for the new high school. By the time we got home, it was late afternoon and I was spent.

Today I'm scheduled to do a six mile run, but I'm thinking I might make it my 7 mile run for the week to get it out of the way. The temps are still really nice, so I may try to do it outside. I have to take the boys to school when I get off work to meet their teachers, and then I'm going to go do the run.

My plan is to make tomorrow a full body strength training day. I'm thinking as my mileage increases, I may only be able to get in two full body ST a week instead of three. We'll see. Two is better than nothing.

I've not been journaling my food. I just need a break from doing it. I'll probably go back to it in a week or so, but I just want to not think about it for awhile.

Anyhow, that's the update. This weeks plan is looking like this, but of course, is subject to change!

Monday: 7 mile run
Tuesday: FB strength training
Wednesday: Rest or six mile run
Thursday: 6 mile run or ST
Friday: Rest
Saturday: Rest
Sunday: The Spirit of Columbus half marathon

Oh, and I forgot to mention the half marathon. We signed up last night. I'm doing this instead of the 16 mile run I'm scheduled for because Kathy won't be around to run with me, and nobody in the running group runs as slow as I do. So instead of doing all those miles by myself, I figured I'd do the half. Jeff is doing it with me. I'm a little nervous about this one, but for one reason only. They have a time limit on it. YIKES! I realize that keeping a 15 minute mile isn't all that hard, but Jeff wants to do 3:2 intervals, so not sure where that will place us time wise. And I don't want to push him to do 4:1's because I think that might be too much, especially since he hasn't really trained enough to do a half. Anyhow, the pressure is on! At least the course is pretty much downhill!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Catching Up 8/21/09

I need to get this blog updated. I went to the cardiologist on wednesday and the short version is, everything is fine. It clearly WAS the thyroid meds causing the problem with the heart, although he did mention that my "condition" was something that I have probably had since I was a baby. When he left the room, Jeff and I looked at each other and said "what condition?" lol! Oh well. Apparently its nothing to be concerned about. I'm just happy to be able to breathe again!

While I was there, they did a stress test, and another EKG as well. The cool part about having that done was that I could actually find out my true max HR. It was 190. The doc said that as long as I stay at or under that, not to worry about my HR, so that's good to know too. Basically, he suggested using the rate of perceived exertion, which I pretty much do. I mean, if I can't breathe, I slow down. :) The one thing he DID tell me that was that I really need to increase the salt in my diet. He said just drinking gatorade during runs is not enough. I need to increase the salt in my diet throughout the week, because my BP is very low, and with all the running, if I'm lacking salt, the heart has to work that much harder. So I'm going to make an effort to try and do that I guess. I've just never been a salt person.

ANYHOW, Marathon training is back on. I've been recovering this week from the half marathon walk last sunday. I'm still feeling some pain in the back of my legs behind the knees. I iced both legs in that area for at least 30 minutes last night, and took some ibuprofin. I'm a little concerned about the long run tomorrow, as I did the scheduled 7 mile run last night, and it started hurting just past the two mile mark. I managed to run through it though. Interestingly enough, it hurts more when I walk than when I run, so it was easier to run, and I just did longer intervals. I might have to do that tomorrow if it gets too bad.

Also interesting is that during my run yesterday, my HR was FINALLY coming back down. I mean, it was even in the 150's for a good part of the run. I can tell that my body is getting back to normal. The breathing is better, the HR is better. Now, i just need to get injury free!

Last night I also did the exercises for the plantar fasciitis. It's not been bothering me too bad lately, but probably because I've not been running all that much. Anyhow, I need to get better about doing the exercises and such.

So, that brings us up to date. Today is a rest day. I might do some weights this evening. Not sure. We've only done one strength training session this week, so I probably SHOULD do it. But I want to also feel rested for the long run tomorrow morning. Kathy and I are meeting early to get an early start before the heat of the day sets in. This weekends run is at Easton. We should get a good hour in before we meet up with the group. We are scheduled to run 15 miles tomorrow. That will be my longest yet I think.

The following weekend is when we are scheduled to run 16, but I think I'm going to do the half marathon instead. I need to ask Eric if not running those extra three miles will make a difference. I suppose I could run an extra three miles sometime on that same day after the half if its really all that important.

That catches us up to date! Later. :)

Monday, August 17, 2009

First Place Winner!

I'm still reeling from the half marathon that Jeff and I walked in yesterday. I am still in shock that I won first place in the entire walkers division, and with that, first place in the female walkers group as well!!!! I seriously do not think I've ever placed first in anything in my entire life. And what is so funny is that I totally had no thoughts going into yesterdays race of even placing, let alone finishing first! I'm just going to copy and past what I wrote on the PNP website, as its easier than typing it all out again.

Almost the entire race, Jeff and I were in second and third (we aren't counting the fact that there were four girls ahead of us who were "walkers" but ran part of it, so they would have been disqualified). Anyhow, even those four girls slowed way down in the last half. Well, I had been going slower than I would have for Jeff, so at mile 10.5, Jeff said to just go and win it if I could. There was only this old guy (probably 70+ years old) who was way ahead most of the race, and the two girls that would run occassionally. Well, I didn't cheat at all...I walked, but man, I was MOVIN'! I pass the girls just before mile 12 and passed the old man just after mile 12 and took a big lead the rest of the way. So I ended up finishing first place overall in the walkers division, and first place in the female walker division. Jeff did great too. He finished second place in the mens' walker division. Not sure where overall...maybe 6th in walkers? But I'm so totally excited about this! I honestly don't think I've ever finished in first place in ANYTHING my entire life. I CERTAINLY didn't go into that half marathon this morning thinking I'd get first place! Anyhow, I was so exicted and couldn't wait to share with you all!

And I'm SO proud of Jeff. He was such a trooper and really was moving the entire race. He's probably going to hate me now though. He's sitting in a tub full of cold water to try and recoup. I am not sure he'll be able to even walk the rest of the day! lol! But he really did great. I'm really so proud of him!

Now, we checked the race results and it looks like the two girls who came in after me (the ones who had cheated by running for parts of it) were disqualified (as they SHOULD have been!). however, they still walked home with the plaques. Obviously someone reports that they were running. Oh well. Still, I'm pretty happy with the outcome for both Jeff and I.

However, I'm VERY sore today. The feet are good. I just am VERY sore behind the knees. I probably pulled some muscles or tendons or something. My butt and hamstring muscles are sore, but more like I just did a strength training workout, so they don't bother me, but the place behind my knees is very sore. I don't even think I can run like I had planned to tomorrow, but we'll see how another day of rest and some ice and ibuprofin do with it.

Oh, and to get the tech info in here...I finished the race in 3:10:51 which came out to be around a 14:30 /mile pace. Pretty decent I think. What's really funny is that for some reason, they have my time on the results page down as 2:40:51 which has me beating my RUNNING half marathon time by 2 minutes as a walker!!!! lol! But I know the real time was 30 minutes more than that, as they started the walkers out 30 minutes before the runners.

So, it was fun. Now I'm hoping that on wednesday I'll have clearance to start running again. I have a 15 mile run to do on saturday. Then depending on what the doc says, and whether or not jeff wants to do it, we may sign up to run in "The Spirit of Columbus Half Marathon" the following weekend. I'm scheduled for a 16 mile run that weekend, but would just replace that with the half marathon. I would probably just do a 3 mile run later in the day that day to get in the mileage.

Anyhow, I'll know more after wednesday, and after Jeff and I have recovered some more. I had thought I might do a six mile run today, but there is no way. I need more rest time and I need to listen to my body. So today is a day of rest. No ST either. tomorrow I may attempt the run, and if I can, I"ll get in a ST session too. This week may be a 2 ST session instead of 3, depending upon our recovery.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Friday August 14th - I Still Remain Hopeful!

So I had the echocardiogram on Wednesday afternoon. That went well, I suppose. The sonographer talked and talked and talked. I really just wanted to lay there quietly and watch the screen. Anyhow, when it was all said and done, she told me that they would probably call me with the results by the end of the week (although its friday now and I"ve not heard a thing). I didn't really expect to hear anything. I figured that they would tell me what the results were of the echo when I meet with the other cardiologist next wednesday morning.

Anyhow, she then said "I can tell you this. I'm not running to go get the doctor". Basically, in my opinion, indicating that there was nothing seriously wrong going on. Then she said "I think I know what the problem is", so I asked her what she thought. She said she thinks I have something called supraventricular tachycardia. Pretty much an arythmia of the heart where the heart rate spikes up and comes back down again. Not much different than what I thought was going on.

She also hooked me up with an event monitor. I did a short run of about 1.75 to 2 miles after I left there, and did a few recordings. But I could tell then that I seemed to be improving, because I was able to run for a couple of minutes without being out of breath. Unlike last week where I was only able to run for about 30 seconds. Then Thursday I had about 5 or 6 episodes of the shortness of breath and heart palps. But today? Things are good. I've not made a single recording on the monitor.

Also, my primary doc's nurse called me yesterday. She said that they had gotten in the test results from the blood work and my thyroid levels WERE elevated, and both my doctor and the cardiologist want me to stay off the thyroid meds. Well, then I was pretty much right I think! I suspected that the thyroid meds were the cause of all of this. It was all just too coincidental that the shortness of breath and heart palpatations started just days after the thyroid meds were increased.

Anyhow, I did a four mile run yesterday and it was great. I did 4:1 intervals the whole time, and twice i did 9:1. Incredible! I felt like a million bucks afterwards. The only thing is that my HR was way high when I was running. It was in the high 170's and low 180's, which is still way higher than usual. I don't know what is up with that.

I'm scheduled for the Columbus half marathon on sunday. Even though I feel like i could run it, I'm walking it. That's following the doctors orders, and besides, I'm a little afraid of running it when my HR is still so elevated, even though the breathing seems to be better. Better safe than sorry. But i'm keeping my fingers crossed that next wednesday I will get the green light to resume my training and can do the next scheduled long run which is 15 miles.

So the plan is:
Tonight - one hour of strength training
Tomorrow - Day of rest
Sunday - half marathon
Monday - ST and short walk or run
Tuesday - six mile run/walk
Wednesday - ST
And anything after that is dependent upon what the doc says.

I forgot to mention that I've been doing great getting in three days of ST a week. Love the feeling of getting stronger again! I've really missed the weight training and I'm glad I"ve got it back in the schedule and I'm already feeling the results!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Will the training continue?

I know its been a week since I posted. A lot has happened, and I might as well put it out here. I really don't know if the marathon training will continue. And I won't know for another week. Here's what has transpired.

Last wednesday I went to my doctor and they were going to do the bloodwork to test my thyroid levels to see if that is what was causing the breathing problem and heart palpatations. When I told them that the heart palpatations were really bad, they decided to do an EKG. The doctor came in and told me that they found something on the EKG. He said the EKG showed something called a short PR interval, and that it was indicative of LGL Syndrome or WPW syndrome. Basically an electrical problem with the heart. He told me no more running until I see a cardiologist, and they were calling a cardiologist to get me in asap.

Well, I couldn't get in until Monday (yesterday). The cardiologist I saw walked in with the results of the EKG and said that those results were not unusual. He said that 3% of the population would have an EKG like that and that it didn't mean that there was anything wrong. He said only 1% actually have anything wrong with them, and more than likely I'm just fine. We talked about the symptoms and how they came about showing up, and then he did an exam where he listened to my lungs and my heart. He listened to my heart for quite some time and then said that it looks like I may fall in that 1% group.

He told me that there were a few things to know. First, that I wouldn't die from a heart attack because of this. Second, that this will not shorten my life span at all. And third, that they can fix this problem. He told me that he was scheduling me for an echocardiogram (and ultrasound of the heart). That he wanted me to wear a monitor that will monitor my heart for one week, and then he wanted me to meet with the cardiologist on their staff that specializes in this particular problem. He told me not to lose any sleep over it, because they can fix this.

I think that is easier said than done though! Anyhow, I go in this afternoon for the echocardiogram, and afterwards they will hook up the heart monitor for me. I go in a week from today to meet with the other cardiologist. Jeff is going to go with me. I figured it would help if they were going to talk about anything important to have an extra pair of ears in case i don't hear it all or understand everything.

I asked about doing the run/walk for the half marathon I'm signed up for this weekend. He said no running, but he did say I could walk it. So I'm walking it on sunday and Jeff is walking it with me (what a good guy!). Kathy had something come up and can't do it, which is okay, because I couldn't run it anyway.

I've taken a few walks since last week. I walked 5 miles last night. I tried the other day to do a run walk, but I just can't do it. Even last night, on the 5 mile walk, there were a couple of times when I thought I'd have to head home, or almost just sat on the curb because my heart was really racing. Just walking, my HR got up to the 150's. My average HR when it was all said and done was 139, which isn't bad, but geez, that's WALKING. We'll see how it goes on sunday. I'm not going to push it. Jeff actually walks slower than I do, so that will probably be best for me.

I really don't know what all this means for the marathon training. Part of the reason I'm walking the half marathon this weekend is because I feel like if there is any possibility that I can continue the marathon training, that I need to at least get miles in, even if it means that I'm walking them. Also, Jeff and I are doing GREAT with keeping up with the Strength training. We've been doing it 3 times a week. We've already done two one-hour full-body strength training sessions this week.

Anyhow, that's where things stand right now. I will know more a week from today when all the testing is complete and I meet with the specialist. In the meantime, I doubt I'll have much to post.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed that this is only a bump and I can continue the training. Time will tell.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Workout Results 8/3/09

I forgot to update with Monday's workout. I ran 7 miles on monday after work. It was tough again. I pretty much did a 1:1 run walk the entire way, and walked most of the last two miles. But, I figure that 7 miles is 7 miles, no matter how its done.

After I did the run, I went home and rested for awhile. Then Jeff wanted to do the Strength training. I didn't really feel like it, but I did it anyway, and of course, I'm glad that I did.

Yesterday (Tuesday) was a day of rest. Its just how it kind of worked out. I think I needed it anyway. Tonight I'm going to do a 3 mile run. I'm scheduled to do 6 miles tomorrow, but I have a 5K that I'm running in, so I figured that I still wanted to get the mileage in for the week, so I'd run three tonight and the three tomorrow. I'm really hoping that the breathing is better tonight.

I've actually been feeling slightly better. The shortness of breath was better yesterday, but the heart palpatations were bad in the afternoon and evening. But I'm feeling much better this morning on both issues.

Yesterday afternoon I had the appointment at Max Sports to have my right foot looked at. They don't think I need orthotics. He said that I have plantar fasciitis, which I have suspected for awhile. He gave me some exercises to do for it, I have to ice it using a frozen water bottle after my runs, and I have a splint like device that I have to wear to bed at night. OMG. I wore it last night. The thing looks like a brace and goes all the way up to my knee. Talk about uncomfortable! But, wow, what a DIFFERENCE it made this morning when I got out of bed! holy cow. My foot felt great! I guess its just a matter of getting used to the thing. It's tough though. I go back in three weeks for a follow up.

This afternoon I have the appointment with my regular doc to do some bloodwork to see where the tsh levels are for my thyroid to see if that is the problem with my heart rate and breathing. I think I'll get the results back as soon as tomorrow, or friday at the latest.

Anyhow, the plan for the week: Today is a 3 mile run (which seems like nothing!) along with Strength training tonight. Tomorrow is the 5K race. Friday is ST. And saturday is the 14 mile run. Looks to be a busy week!

Monday, August 3, 2009

12 Mile Run - 8/1

Saturdays run was a 12 mile run. We had great weather for was in the 60's when we started out. We ran this one in Dublin, and it took us all the way out to Glacier Ridge Metro Park, the place where Kathy and I had that awful run before I left for vacation. I decided to run by how I felt. I think I got just over the 3 mile mark when I told Kathy and the other girl we were running with to move on. Although we were doing the 4:1 intervals, I just couldn't run 4 minutes at a time. It was so damn frustrating. I decided to just do 1:1 intervals, and go as far and as long as I could. Well, I made it the whole 12 miles. My time was something ridiculous, something around 2:45 or so (I forgot to stop my timer when I got back to the store). I'm SO frustrated.

Anyhow, there are some positives. My recovery from that run was good. Meaning, my calves and legs didn't feel bad at all later that afternoon, and the next day, they felt great. I also didn't have too much of a problem with my right foot in the arch area. I did stop twice during the run to stretch my calves because at one point, the right calf really tightened up. I think that stopping to stretch it really helped.

I think I may know the cause of the breathing issues. Why didn't this occur to me before when it has progressively gotten worse? I think its the thyroid meds that I'm taking. the doctor had me increase my dose back in june, and within days I started having the racing heart and shortness of breath. I called him after being on it a couple of weeks and he still wanted me to stay on it, so I have. But seems like those same symptoms are only getting worse. SO, yesterday, I didn't take the pill. No difference yesterday. In fact, my heart was racing more than normal, and I had a hard time breathing even on a stroll in the neighborhood. But this morning, my breathing is MUCH better, or appears to be anyway.

Anyhow, I WILL call my doc this morning to let them know that I'm stopping it. We'll see what they say. I want to make sure there aren't serious side effects from stopping it suddenly, but then, what can be more severe than not being able to breathe?!!!!!

Tonight I'm doing a 7 mile run. I think that wednesday I'll do a light 2 or 3 mile run, to get in the mileage, because thursday I would normally do the six mile run but I'm signed up to run in a 5K race. Anyhow, that's the plan this week. I'm also getting in at least two of the ST workouts in. I'd really like to do those monday, wednesday and friday, but not sure how up I'll be to doing it after a 7 mile run. I'll play it by ear.

Tomorrow is my appointment with the max sports performance place, to have my foot looked at.
I'm looking forward to finding out what the problem is and what can be done to help it.

no stats to report from saturdays run except that I ran 12 miles in almost 3 hours. I forgot to wear my HR monitor.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Workout Results 7/30

I did the five mile run with keeping the HR at or below 142. It was NOT easy. First, no matter how slow I went, if I started to run at all (and I use the term "run" loosely), it would skyrocket. I ran most of the run at 4.0 mph, but again, most of the run was a walk. In fact, I could WALK at 4.0, which I did, and anytime I turned it into a jog, after 30 seconds, the HR would go so high that I would have to go back to walking. Frustrating to say the least. Oddly enough, I could bump up the running to 4.6, and have the same effect, meaning I could run at 4.6 for 30-40 seconds and then have to go back to a walk. Basically, anytime I ran, no matter at what speed, I could only run for about 30 seconds.

I don't know that I can do that and continue to train for the marathon. On the Mark Allen message boards, one of the other coaches responded to my post as well and said that often times, people fine that they start this approach AFTER their event, because they find it too difficult to train like this while training for an event. I thought as a compromise, what I might do is to make my weekday runs keeping the HR lower, and the long run, just run it as I feel comfortable.

We'll see how it goes, because this weekends run is a 12 mile run. Since we have pacers to run with, I'm going to run with the 12 min/mile pacer, and walk as I feel like i need to, doing my usual 5:1, or maybe even do 3:1. I will go by how I feel.

I'm also calling today to schedule an appointment with the sports clinic to get in and have my foot looked at. we'll see what they say, but I'm going to guess that I'll need some custom orthotics. I better get them made before my miles get too high!

Yesterdays stats: 5 mile run. 1 hr 14 minutes. Avg HR 139, max 163. 537 calories burned

Today's plan: Full body strength training. It will be the third one this week. Yeah!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Workout Results 7/29

Tonight I did the Get Ripped strength training workout. It was, again, a really good workout. Jeff did the workout with me, which I really enjoyed because for whatever reason, the time seemed to go faster with him being there with me doing everything.

Also, today I posted to Mark Allen, an ironman triathlete who has lots of coaching experience in regards to heart rate training. He suggested that for the next six weeks that I train at or below my max HR of 142 and then I can pick it back up for the marathon. Its going to be tough to do, because that most likely means that I'll often have to walk to get my HR down. That makes it REALLY hard to get long runs in and done in a reasonable time. But I'm going to give it a go. Besides, the worst of the long runs aren't until september, so at least for the next four weeks, I can do my best to give it a go. I'm hoping that by training lower, that maybe I won't feel so nauseated after my runs.

No question that once the marathon is over, all my aerobic training is going to be in the aerobic zone, which means I'm going to really have to slow it down. The good news is, my workouts will probably feel like a piece of cake. The bad news is, no doubt I won't be burning nearly as many calories! It's a trade off I guess.

Tomorrow, its a five mile run. Bring it on!

Workout Results 7/28

I was scheduled for a 5 mile run today, but I ran six miles instead. I wanted to swap it with Thursdays 6 mile run because I don't have as much time to run on thursday and those extra minutes will make a difference. The run was better than the last couple of runs. First, my foot didn't start hurting during the run. So that was good. But geez, my heart rate was still WAY up. I kept bringing the speed down to see where I needed to be to get it out of the 170's, and even running at 4.2, which I can basically WALK, I could STILL only get my HR down in the 160's. The the thing is, I FEEL crappy when I run with my HR that high. Yet again, about an hour after the run, I felt sick. Nauseated. I'm sure it had to do with running with a high HR. i don't know what the heck is going on. This just really started.

Prior to the run, I met with one of the personal trainers at the gym, because I wanted to get some additional stretches for the calves, which are SO tight right now. She gave me some stretches to do, but also we discussed my foot pain. She said she had the exact same issue until she had custom orthotics. She also went through all the insoles and stuff like I'm doing. She also recommended doing an ice bath for that foot. Well, I tried the ice bath for it, and I could only handle maybe 10 seconds of the foot in the ice bath before it felt like it was getting a charlie horse. It's that feeling like my foot was getting an ice cream headache! Anyhow, even though it wasn't in there that long, I DO think that seemed to make a difference, as the foot felt much better throughout the evening and even this morning when I first got up.

Today I'll be doing a full body strength training. I'm very committed now to getting in a minimum of 2 full body strength training sessions each week. My pants have been getting tighter and I hate it. I just began a new challenge for 8 weeks with the online training group I work with, and Jeff is doing it with me. I think the challenge will really help to keep me focused with the food, the strength training and the running. I would just LOVE to shed some inches!

Then tomorrrow, its a 5 mile run, and friday, if i can squeeze it in, I may do another ST session. Looks like sundays will have to be my rest day.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Back from Vacation

I've been off on vacation in Myrtle Beach, so I haven't had a chance to update the blog until now. This might be a little lengthy.

Let's see...the day we left for vacation, I got up early and did our 10 mile long run for the week with Kathy. We met at Glacier Ridge Metro park, and decided to try one of the trails for some trail running. It was mostly grass. What a mistake. In fact, the whole run totally stunk for various reasons. First, because we weren't doing the group run and wouldn't have water stations, I decided to use my new hydration belt. Big mistake. The stupid thing kept riding up on me. The water sloshing around didn't bother me, but the belt moving up on my waist totally bothered me.

Then, we ended up on the bridel trail, so we ended up having to watch out for big piles of horse poop. Between that and making sure I didn't twist my ankle in the divits along the trail, it was just not fun. We finally got onto some trail that went into the woods, which was really nice, however, it is obviously one not used much since Kathy and I ended up with mouthfulls of cobwebs as we ran through it! By the time we finally got onto a paved trail, we had only gone a few miles or so, and frankly, my legs were already tuckered out from running on the trail. It seemed so much harder than running on pavement. The rest of the run was lousy because I just didn't have the energy in me. I had to stop and do a lot of walk breaks.

Kathy and I each had ticks on us afterwards. Not good. We both seemed to agree that we will never do that again! Trail running just isn't for me I guess.

While on vacation, I did two 5-mile runs. The first one I did on tuesday, and it went great. The second one I did on friday. It was not a great run. I did it inside on the hotel workout room. The room was like a suana. In fact, I had wondered if it would have been just as easy or cooler to run outside! I even contemplated stopping at two miles, it was THAT hot. But somehow I suffered through it. To add to the already tough workout, my right foot and calf were really bothering me.

Saturday we had our drive home. 10 hours in the car. Each time we got out of the car, my right foot was really hurting me. I was limping into the rest areas. My calves were really tight too. I feel like I have really deep muscle aches in the calves. But the right foot, in the arch, feels like I'm walking on a ball or something.

Then yesterday, Sunday, I was scheduled to do my long run for the week. 11 miles. I went to the Y to do it. God, yet another miserable run. First, I could not for the life of me get my HR down. At only running 5.0 mph, it was in the 170's. What the heck? Do I dropped down the speed to try and get my hr down into the 150's. I couldn't get it down. I had to walk to drop it down. I finally found that by running around 4.2 mph I could get it into the 150's. But geez, I do my walk breaks at 4.0 mph! And you could say that I should throw out the HRM and go by how I feel, but honestly, I felt lousy when my HR was so high. My heart was racing, I couldn't catch my breath. I'd had a little bit of asthma over the week, so I wasn't surprised about not catching my breath. But if I was going by the RPE chart, I still could not carry on a conversation when my HR was so high. So I don't know what that all means. Am I overtraining? Am I getting sick?

It took me 2.5 hours to do the 11 miles. I had to walk the last 1.25 miles because my right foot and calf were hurting so bad. I can't even believe I made it the whole 11 miles. I really didn't think I would.

I went home, and took a cold bath to soak my foot and legs. I couldn't do an ice bath but figured a cold bath might do some good. I could barely walk later in the afternoon. Then I started feeling really sick. I took a short nap on the sofa, and felt like I had a fever. I was really nauseated too. Eventually it all passed. I had a hard time getting to sleep last night. I went to bed at 9:30 and was still awake at midnight. I don't know if this is all related or not, but I really just felt like crap yesterday.

I'm feeling better today, but my foot is still hurting. It throbs even when I'm not walking on it. I'm icing it and taking ibuprofin. But to be honest, I'm giving some serious thought to ending the marathon training. :( I really don't like feeling this bad. I don't like being in this much pain. My right foot has always given me problems. I'm sure its plantar fascietis or something of the likes of it. Its just plain painful right now, whatever the problem is. I've tried to run through it over the past few months, but as my mileage is increasing, I just don't know that I can continue to do so.

I'm thinking...this is a really tough decision to make. I'll see how I feel as the week progresses.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Workout Results 7/15

This was a speedwork day. Kathy and I met at the track and we warmed up by walking a mile around the track. The instructions were to run 8-10 laps around the track about 3/4 of the way around, and then walk the last quarter of the lap and repeat. It was okay, but I struggled, mostly because it was really humid, so the air was really heavy. It was tough for me to breathe. But we did it.

Workout results: 52 minutes (includes warm up and cool down). 3.45 miles. HR average 134 (76%), Max HR 183 (103%). 357 calories burned.

We've moved the long run up to Friday since I'll be leaving for vacation on friday afternoon. We have 10 miles to do and we are meeting at a metro park to do it. I'm looking forward to running somewhere different, so I think it will be a good run.

Thank god for Kathy though. I could NEVER do this without her. I REALLY did not feel up to doing the speedwork and easily could have talked myself out of doing it. But knowing that I had to go because Kathy was going made me go and of course, I'm glad now that I did. Having a runnning partner makes all the difference in the world, and I would encourage anyone who is training for a marathon to get a partner (you just can't have Kathy!). :)

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Workout Results 7/13

Today was a four mile run. I ran it inside on the treadmill at the Y because I didn't want to run outside in the heat of the day. It actually went pretty well. I took it nice and easy. I was a little worried because I haven't had a day of rest since doing the long run saturday, but the run was actually pretty good. Tomorrow is my rest day from running. It might be a complete rest day, but I was hoping to do some strength training.

Workout results: 4 miles. 54 minutes. 458 calories burned. Avg HR 151 (85%), Max HR 170 (96%)

Monday, July 13, 2009

Workout Results 7/11 - 7/12

The long run on saturday was an 8 mile run. I suppose you could say we lucked out on the weather because it didn't start raining until after we finished our run, but it was really humid out, rain or no rain! We started out the run way too fast. What the heck was I thinking? I am NOT doing that again. It was tough enough with the humidity, but add in the way-too-fast pace, the fact that I ate like crap the day before, and it was basically a recipe for disaster. Oh, and we can also add in that there were some hills in this run!

The first half of the run wasn't all that bad, to be honest, but the last half couldn't be done fast enough. I had to do a lot more walking than usual. I also forgot to take my ibuprofin before the run, so my knees were kind of feeling it too. Anyhow, lesson learned. I need to really slow the pace down, ESPECIALLY for the long runs, and I need to adjust for the heat as well.

Then Sunday was supposed to be a day of rest. But I'm having to move all my runs up this week because we're leaving for our vacation on Friday. So since I'll be doing the long run Friday morning, I need to move everything up. So Sunday morning, I did a five mile run.

I thought that it might be pretty darn hard to do the 5 mile run after doing an 8 mile just 24 hours earlier, but really, it wasn't too bad. I kept the pace REALLY slow. In fact, my garmin showed me running anywhere from an 11 - 12:30 pace. But I didn't care. My goal was actually to keep my HR down, and it took going that slow to keep it to a reasonable level. Plus, it was hot. The temp guage at home said it was 64 when I left, but honestly, with the sun beating down, it felt at least 10 degrees hotter. But really, it was a good run. However, about 2 miles into it, my right foot started hurting. In fact, it was hurting enough that I had to walk. I thought I would have to give up the run, and hoped to even just make it home by walking. I didn't have a choice because I didn't have a phone with. I was limping. But after about 5 minutes of walking, I tried to run again. No dice. Walked a couple minutes more, and then tried running again. I wondered if the foot was hurting from the way I was running because I was running so slow. So I started running faster, and sure enough, the pain completely disappeared. I've had this happen before. When I run slow, I'm MUST be doing something that is putting extra pressure on that foot.

Anyhow, I eventually slowed it down again, and it was fine. No problems for the rest of the run. Then Sunday evening we went out for our weekly "family walk". We were about a quarter mile from home, and all of a sudden the bottom of the right foot started to kill me. Out of nowhere. The pain this time was closer to the heel though. I had to stop walking for just a few seconds , and then the pain went away. Anyhow, I don't know what is going on. I hope it will be okay for the runs later this week.

So, the plan this week is a 4 mile run today, Strength training Tuesday, Speedwork Wednesday, Day of rest Thursday, and 10 mile run Friday.

Workout results from Saturday: 8 miles, 1 hr, 43 minutes. 950 calories burned. Average HR 156 (89%), max 194 (110%).

Workout results from Sunday: 5 miles. 1 hr 5 minutes. 523 calories burned. Avg. HR 149 (84%), max 170 (96%).

Friday, July 10, 2009

Workout Results 7/9

Not a whole lot to report. Today was a scheduled 4 mile run. My body was actually feeling like it needed today to be a day of rest, but I didn't want to move the run to friday because its the day before the long run, and I knew I would need that day to rest.

I ran inside on the treadmill for the four miles. My HR was way up the entire run. Probably because my body is feeling it. It's the last mile, I played around with the speed on the treadmill. I figured for the last mile, I'd try and bring my HR down to a reasonable level. Like see if i could get it into the low 150's. Most of the run, I'd only been running at a speed of 5.1, and the HR fluctuated betweek 162 and 169. So I brought the speed down to 4.6. It only went down into the low 160's. Sometimes it would go down to 159 or 158, but geez louise, I do my walk breaks at 4.0, so its not like I really could have run that much slower! I'm guessing its a sign of overtraining or something. Not sure.

I was thinking yesterday about the whole HR training. Phil Maffetone has this program for HR training where you really need to slow the running down to bring the HR down so eventually you can run faster at a lower HR. I think after the marathon, and as I enter into the winter months when there aren't races and events, that I'm going to focus on getting the HR down.

Workout Stats: 4 mile run on treadmill. 50 minutes. 450 calories burned. Average HR 156 (88%), HR max 174.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Workout Results 7/8

The speedwork session was the plan for the day. Kathy and I met at the track and started warming up by walking and slow jogging around the track. When the others showed up, we started the speedwork, doing fast runs on the straightaways, and then walking the curves. We did that for two miles (8 times around the track). The total workout was 52 minutes long, and 4 miles. I burned 461 calories. My average HR was 154, and my max HR was 186.

My knees were hurting a bit when we first started the workout, but after I got warmed up, they were just fine. What is up with that? Overall, I'm feeling good though. I really am enjoying the speedwork.

Thursday is a 4 mile run day, and then saturday is the group run, and we're scheduled to run 8 miles. I sure hope the rain holds off on saturday morning. I've yet to do any running in the rain, and I can't imagine that 8 miles running in the rain would be much fun!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Workout Results 7/7

Today was a scheduled cross-training day. I want to make a big effort to get the weights in twice a week, so it was a strength training day for me. I decided to use an old Firm tape to workout to (Tough Tape 2). Unlike most of my other Firm tapes, it does not incorporate cardio, it is simply Strength Training. Well, I don't know how many years its been since I used it, but it has been awhile. I forgot how dated the thing is. First, the women were wearing panty hose and leotards, and the old reebok high top tennis shoes. Definitely back in the 80's! lol! Anyhow, I hated the workout when it first started. But once I got into it, it was a really good workout. I was working up a sweat, and I wasn't even using heavy weights. Because it's been awhile since I did strength training, I decided to go lighter than I normally would have. But it's a good thing. By the time we finished arms and shoulders, my arms were shaking. In fact, Zach wanted to play some basketball when I was done, and I barely had the strength to shoot the ball!

I think I'm going to look for another type of ST video though. I need something more current. I have a Cathe one, which is pretty good. But I need some variety. My Firm ones, the more current ones, are good, but I think I want something that is more focused on ST and not the mix of cardio and ST.

Workout stats: 36 minute workout. I didn't wear my HR monitor so no other stats to report!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Workout Results 7/06

I had a four mile run yesterday. I had to run it on the treadmill because of the temps outside. This was a tough run. I think the race on saturday had an impact. I decided that I had wanted to make it an "easy run" day, so figured I would slow down the pace to keep my HR down. Well, my HR just didn't want to stay down. I ended up running at 4.7 mph just to keep it reasonable (in the mid to high 150's). And I really thought that I was going to have to stop around the two mile point. I just didn't have it in me. It was one of those runs where my legs were feeling heavy, but worse yet, I just couldn't get my breathing pattern down right.

But once I hit 2 miles, things started to fall into place. I kept the pace slow. I played around a little with ways to get my HR down. Interestingly enough, a slight difference in where I hold my arms made a big impact on decreasing my HR. I played with it several times. If I kept my arms lower, rather than at a 90 degree angle, my HR dropped anywhere from 5-10 numbers! Keeping them lower seemed to relax my upper body more which I think is what caused the HR to lower. It's definitely something I need to start paying more attention to when I'm running outside. I will be really interested in hearing what they say if they do a form clinic in our training group.

I think another reason my HR may have been up is due to overtraining from the run on saturday. I think my body probably needed a little more time to recover after doing that run, but oh well. Today is a cross training day. I'm going to do weights this evening.

Workout results: 4.55 mile run. 59 minutes. 5 acceleration glides. 495 calories burned. Avg HR 150 (85%), max 174 (98%).

Monday, July 6, 2009

Dieting and Marathon Training

Although I've not really gained anything while I've been running, I've not lost either. I had hopes that with all the miles that I'd be putting in for the marathon training that just MAYBE I could drop a few pounds. Maybe those 5-10 pounds that cling desperately to my body? But so far, no progress. I know part of the problem. I've been journaling my food for YEARS. It's an old Weight Watcher habit that I've not been able to break. And I know that I'm probably consuming too many calories. It's all about calories in versus calories out, right? Maybe.

I did an experiment a few weeks ago when I decided to do a one week free trial on Weight Watchers. The Weight Watcher program has you count points, but I tracked both points and calories. My daily calories came out to around 1000 calories a day with sticking to the alloted points, and I could add more in for the exercise I did on any given day. But honestly, I was starving on that plan! And I had much less energy making running very difficult.

With some playing around with the calories, I determined that I could lose on around 1500 calories a day. That seems to be my magic number. That is a slow loss too, at about a half a pound to a pound a week. I'm actually good with that. My problem since figuring that out has been sticking to that number. But I really feel the need to focus on the diet now because I feel like the extra weight is weighing me down, and I'd feel so much better with shedding some of it.

So I'm now beginning to focus on the eating. I think I do pretty well, actually, with eating healthy foods. I've got slumps now and then, but when I look back to how I was a year ago, or 3 years ago, its a drastic change. Slowly but surely I will get to where I should be in my food choices. But for now, I'm very pleased at how well I do. Where I fall short is sticking to the 1500 calories. I am a girl that likes quantity! I like to feel full and hate feeling hungry.

I figured that now is the best time to address the food issue during my training, because honestly, I have read so much about people gaining weight while marathon training. That is the LAST thing that I want to happen! Right now, even though the scale isn't showing a gain in weight, I feel that my clothes are fitting tighter. Oddly enough, I took my measurements last weekend just to see HOW much bigger I've gotten, and the measurements were the same as a couple of months ago, but I just FEEL bigger. I wonder if I'm losing muscle tone from not lifting like I was. I'd like to add in some weight training, but I'll admit, its tough. With four days of running, I'm hard pressed to find the time to get in the weights. But it looks like I'm going to have to make it a priority.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

July 4th Race Report

I ran in a 10 mile Fourth of July Race this morning. Our long run called for a 7 mile run this morning, but hey, what's 3 more miles? :) I had run 2 miles on friday morning, as I was supposed to get three miles in on thursday and just didn't feel like it. I figured those three extra miles make up for that one mile I didn't run earlier in the week.

The race went well. Kathy and I finished in just under 2 hrs. We were really moving. We did the 4:1 run/walk, although missed a few of the walks early on. Anyhow, I'm pertty happy we finished in just under 2 hours. Our time was somewhere around 1:58:15. We were at the back of the pack, but we weren't the last runners to finish!

Running stats: 10 miles, 1:58:15. 1136 calories burned. HR average 92% (lol!...yeah...we were movin'!). Our overall average pace including the walk breaks came out to be 11:50.

And I felt pretty good after the race. I did, however, take a two hour nap this afternoon! I think that's because I got up at 5:15 this morning, not because I ran 10 miles! :)

Thursday, July 2, 2009

The First Speed Work Training

Last night was the first night of Speed Work. Really, I tried to get out of doing this. Earlier in the week I sent Eric an email and said that I'd read that first time marathons shouldn't do any speedwork as it will lead to injury etc. He wrote back and explained why we're doing it, what we're doing, etc. and essentially convinced me that I need to do it. At least try it. So I decided I would go and if I hated it, I just wouldn't do it again.

So last night we were meeting at the store and running a one mile run to the track for our warm up. As I was driving to the store, I was wondering why I was dreading it so much. The harsh reality was that I was thinking how stupid it was that I was a 43 year old woman on my way to go run on the middle school track. And it just seemed "foolish". Then I started thinking how foolish it seemed that at 43, I was going to try and run a marathon. THEN, I started remembering everything about the mental aspect of training for an running a marathon, and how I need to get the negative thoughts out of my head, so I quickly made those thoughts go away. And by the way, I'm not going to "TRY and run a marathon". I'm actually going to RUN a marathon. I know I can do it.

Anyhow, Kathy and I ran to the school, and we did one lap around the track before Eric showed up. He gave us our instructions which were to run 8 laps around at an increased pace, then slow down for 200 meters, and then start the next lap. I honestly didn't think that I could do 8 laps. I wore my Garmin (and again, let me say how much I LOVE that thing!). When we were running, our laps were in the 8:30 to 9:00 min. per mile pace. So we were moving (well, at least for me!). I was really feeling the workout by the time we were done. But I have to say that I LOVED doing this. First, although it was hard, I actually felt better picking up the pace because it seemed to really loosen me up. My back, which usually really hurts in the lower back after a run, felt great. I need to look into why my back seems to tense up so much when I'm running slower. But it just felt great.

My knees had been REALLY achy prior to the run, and I was afraid that doing the speed work would worsen the knees, but actually, my knees feel really good today. Much better than yesterday. So overall, it was a GREAT workout.

Workout stats: 1 hr. 11 minutes. Calories burned = 600. Avg. HR 150, max 224 (yikes!). 5.65 miles run total.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Week 2 Monday's Run

I was scheduled for a four mile run on monday. I ended up doing it on the treadmill at the Y because, well, it was just too warm and breezy out for me to run it outside. It was a good workout though, and I did 5 acceleration glides at the finish. It felt really good to do those.

One of the things I need to start focusing on again is my eating. I'm still journaling my food along with my workouts, but I wanted to keep my food around the 1500 calorie range, and I've been up into the 1700's lately. I've also started eating more carbs than usual. It's great for helping fuel my runs, but bad for me in that it leads to some major bloating for me, which I hate and makes me more uncomfortable when I run! I need to find that happy medium!

Anyhow, for the record...yesterdays workout:

4.7 mile run on treadmill - one hour (includes warm up and cool down walk). Avg. HR 152 (86%). 518 Calories burned. 5 glides. Ran at 5.1 most of the run.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Week 2 Training

We had our first run at Easton this weekend. I am really glad now that I went, because the path we ran on was SO nice. Geez, I wish they had that on my side of town! It was shaded and just really nice. We ended up running almost the entire run instead of doing the run/walk. We ran with the 12 minute mile group. They went a little slower, and were running around a 12:30 pace which was actually a GREAT pace for me. It was comfortable enough to run the entire way at that pace. My knees were a little achy towards the end, but not terrible by any means. Anyhow, it was a very enjoyable run. I felt great afterwards.

So we begin week two training this week with runs Monday, Wednesday and Thursday, and a long run on Saturday. Wednesday is supposed to be speedwork. I'm really unsure about that and what it entails. I may just shoot Eric off an email and ask a little more about it. Or maybe I'll just go and see how this first one is and whether or not I like it. Last night I was reading Galloways book and he was talking about how, for marathoning, doing one mile repeats has proven to give the best results for improving speed, but I really don't know exactly what that entails either! Again, I'll probably email Eric and ask.

I didn't get up at 4 a.m. this morning to do my run. I actually had thought of doing the run last night, but we (I should say "I") decided that Sunday evenings would be our family walk or bike ride night. We only walked two miles (I finally used my Garmin which I freaking LOVE!). But two miles was about as long as Jeff and the boys could take I think. Alex ran for some of it, and Zach rode his bike. So I'll be doing my four mile run tonight after work, and will be running it inside on the treadmill since its still going to be too warm outside.

I've also decided that I HAVE to get back to some strength training for my cross training. So twice a week (would love to get a third one in) I'll be doing "The Firm"videos. They provide me a full body workout, so I think those would be the best to follow. I also like that it also incorporates cardio so it gets the calorie burn up there. I might occassionally do a Cathe Video. Ideally I'd like to get those in on Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday, but I'll be flexible with it.

Next weekend, instead of the scheduled 7 mile run, I've signed up for a 10 mile race on the fourth of July in Hilliard. I'm actually kind of dreading it but for no reason other than its being run on the rails to trails path which is SO incredibly boring. But I know having Kathy there to run with will help tremendously! It sure does help to have people to run with!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Thursdays Treadmill Run

Thursday June 25th

Instead of getting up at 4 a.m. to run, I decided to make my Thursday runs a run on the treadmill. It gives me a break from getting up at 4 a.m. during the work week, and it also is much cooler running inside. It was only a 3 mile run that i had to do. I still can't figure out why my HR is always so high when I'm running. I tried to keep it low which kept me running at 5 mph. The funny thing is, if I ran faster than that, like 5.3 or 5.4, it still stayed around the same. If I went lower, it still stayed around the same. I don't get it. I just decided to run at what felt natural. I also did a few walk breaks, but not many. I think I did three total walk breaks for about 40 seconds each. I wanted to just use walk breaks when I felt like I needed them, versus doing them every four minutes or whatever. Basically, I just felt like running at the speed I felt like running and walking when I felt like i needed to. Every now and then I feel like I have the need to just run, and not be bound by any specific guidelines on how fast to run, how often to stop, etc.

When I finished, I felt great actually. It was a good run. One of those that when I finished, I felt like I could have gone longer. Today (Friday) is a day of rest, with tomorrow being a six mile run with the group run.

Run stats: 3.5 miles on treadmill. 45 minutes. 386 calories burned. Average HR 151 (86%) and max HR 170 (96%). Ran mostly at 5.0 mph with only a few short walk breaks.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


Yesterday was a crosstraining day for me, according to the schedule. I really was a little unsure what I wanted to do. I took a 3 mile power walk at lunchtime, and then went to the gym after work and did a 30 minute (6.5 mile) bike ride on the stationary bike. I really hate the bike, but I know that its a good crosstraining exercise to work on my quads to try and balance them out with the workout that the hamstrings are getting from the running. I was going to do some weights last night, but in all honesty, I just plain forgot about it! All night I kept thinking that there was something I needed to do, and couldn't remember what it was. It wasn't until I was going to bed that I remembered that I had wanted to do some upper body strength training. Oh well. I did, however, read up on crosstraining. I already knew the benefits, but my issue was deciding what is the best crosstraining to do in order to improve my running. Looks like it doesn't really matter in the end, but the bike and strength training seem to be my best options, so I'll be doing those most of the time for the crosstraining, as well as occassional walking (just because I like taking walks!).

This morning was another 4 a.m. run. The temps were around 65 degrees. I'm glad I got the run in, as there is an air quality alert out for today, which means with my asthma that it wouldn't be good to be out running today! The temps should hit 90. Yet another reason to not run later in the day. Anyhow, it was a 3 mile run.

I have another 3 mile run scheduled for tomorrow and then the group 6 mile run on saturday. I'm actually dreading the saturday drive. I don't love this idea of driving clear across town to go running. But I'll give it a try. Especially for these shorter runs. I can see where I might want to do it for the real long runs, but to drive 35 minutes to do a 6 mile run? Hmmm...seems kind of silly.

Running Stats: 4 a.m. run. 38 minutes, 3.2 miles. Avg HR 148 (84%). 332 calories burned. Temp was around 65 degrees. I felt good for this run. Plenty of energy.

Monday, June 22, 2009

The First 4 a.m. Run

Monday June 22nd

Because the summer heat is upon us, I've had to make a decision to change the time I normally run. For the last year, I pretty much have run immediately after leaving work, starting my runs around 3:30 pm. But It's just way too hot now to run at that time. So, I've decided that I need to get up early to do these runs. This morning was my first 4. a.m. run.

I had everything laid out the night before...all my clothes, my heart rate monitor, my reflective arm bands, ipod, etc. I needed it to be as mindless as possible in terms of getting my butt out the door. That was good planning. The roughest part was simply rolling out of bed and getting dressed.

I had mapped out four miles the night before as well on However, as I began down the street, it occurred to me that I might have to change my route. I don't know WHY, but not a single street light was working in my neighborhood. Fortunately, my street is at the back of the neighborhood and the next subdivision is only a block away, so I got their subdivision and saw that all their street lights were just fine. I now see why its been so easy for all the car break-ins to have occurred in our neighborhood! Anyhow, I thought maybe by the time I entered back into my neighborhood on the route I planned that maybe the lights would be back on. So I continued with my plan.

It is so peaceful at that hour. I had decided not to turn on my ipod, as I was concerned that if somebody WAS out at that hour, I needed to be able to hear, for personal safety reasons. You know, I really enjoyed running without my ipod. Next time I'm not even going to wear it. Just the sound of bullfrogs by the retention ponds, as well as my feet hitting the ground, and some occassional sprinkler systems going off. Really, it was awesome.

I only saw one person on my run, and that was about at 4:45 a.m. He was walking down the sidewalk, and as I ran by, he stopped and watched me. Kind of creepy. He probably wondered what the heck someone was doing out running at that hour! Little did he know that I was approaching the end of my run!

Anyhow, I ran the run as planned, without the streetlights. I'll call the city this morning to see about getting them working. Also, I did three strides after I hit the four mile mark and was headed home. That's the first time I've done those. I was supposed to do 4-10 strides, but whose counting, right? :)

I know this...running without the sun blazing down on me made a HUGE difference in how the run felt. It was one of the best runs I've had in awhile. Next early morning run will be Wednesday birthday!

Running info: 50 minutes, Avg. HR 152, Max HR 178, 470 calories burned.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

The First Group Run

Saturday June 30th

Today was the first group run. We met in Dublin at the Dublin location of the Columbus Running Company Store. I wasn't sure how this would go. Other than the half marathon and 5K race I've done, I've not really run with anyone else, but actually, after running the half marathon and having company, I really think I prefer the group runs!

They had pacers for each group, and there were about 4 of us in the run/walk group and we were doing an interval of 4:1 for the run/walks. Jim was our pacer. We were scheduled for a four mile run. The run started a little after 8 a.m. due to some announcements. The run went well, but I agree with Kathy's comment made after the run that we really don't need a pacer. I think we do a fine job by ourselves. I'm still trying to deal with my intolerance to heat, which I think is a result of some medication I'm on. And that morning, although only in the low 70's, was still pretty hot for me, and as a result my heart rate was way up there for the duration of the run. It was in the 170's pretty much the whole run. I've figured out that when I run and keep pace where my HR is in the 150's, I feel GREAT. 160's is "OK", but I feel best in the mid to low 150's. So you can imagine how I felt by the end of the run with it having been in the 170's. Not great, by any means. Because it was a short run, it was okay. But I'm slowing it down next week. The heat is an issue and I'm just going to have to adjust my pace to deal with it. We seemed to be running around an 11:30 pace according to Jim's Garmin, which is great. I'm running around an 11 minute mile when the temps are not so hot. Sometimes even better than that. I put a call into the doc because of the heat intolerance. I go in a few weeks to have some bloodwork done to see if there is a problem, but he wants me on the meds a little longer.

All in all, though, the group run was good. Next week the run is at Easton. I certainly don't love the idea of driving clear across town for a group run, but I'll give it a try. It's a 35 minute drive there, so we'll see how much I feel like doing that on the weekends.

This week, I'm scheduled to do a four mile run tomorrow, with glides at the end of the run. Then wednesday and thursday are 3 mile runs I think. Maybe there is a four miler. I can't remember the schedule off hand. Anyhow, what will be challenging is that because of the heat (high 80's all week), I will be getting up at the crack of dawn to do my runs. 4 a.m. OMG. I am dreading it, but trying to tell myself how great it will be to start my day out with a run. We'll see how well THAT goes!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Marathon Training Kickoff Party!

June 11th, 2009

This blog is being created to document my journey on my quest to be a Marathon Runner. I'm beginning my training now to participate in the Columbus Marathon on October 18th, 2009 in Columbus Ohio.

It still feels a little awkward to call myself "a runner". I didn't start running until the beginning of August of 2008. I began by following the Couch to 5K program (see I really just decided to follow the program to prove to myself that if I WANTED to, I could run three miles. I figured once I finished the program, I would go back to doing the other cardio stuff I much preferred. But I felt like I needed some sort of goal or something to strive for at that time. Well, lo and behold, once I finished the program I didn't want to stop running. Not because I found that I LOVED running, by any means, but moreso that after completing the program, I couldn't bear to let all the hard work that it took to get me to that point just disappear! So I maintained the running, by running 3 miles, 3 times a week. In January of 2009, a friend (formerly my kids babysitter), really encouraged me to sign up for the Commit to be Fit Half Marathon. I trained for the half marathon, and ran it with my friend Kathy (and another friend of hers). It was one of the best experiences of my life. (see my finish line photo! Oh, and that was NOT my Net time on the clock. I finished it in 2:42...not bad for my first half marathon). Really, after I crossed that finish line, I really felt like there is nothing in this world that I couldn't accomplish if I set my mind to it and really prepared myself to do what I needed to do in order to achieve it. Nothing could have said it better than John "the Penguin" Binghams saying... "The miracle isn't that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start".

After that race, I just knew I NEEDED to try to run a full marathon. First, I LOVED having a goal to train towards. I became so focused on that goal, and it really took my mind off of some of the difficult things going on in other parts of my life. Running became my outlet for stress. It helps me to clear my mind, and I felt better able to handle what life throws at me.

But I KNEW I couldn't just go into the marathon training without having some support. So Kathy and I are training and running the marathon together. We have joined a training group called The Sole of Columbus Running Training group to prepare for this journey. They are providing us with a training plan to follow, running clinics, group runs, etc. Last night, we had the kickoff party at Buck Mulligans Pub in Gahanna. We met a few people who will be taking part in the training, and everyone seems very nice, especially the guys from the stores that are running the program. I feel VERY comfortable with my choice of training groups. I'm most excited to have a group of people to do these long runs with on saturday mornings, as well as the fact that they will have water stations set up for us for those long runs! I did all my long runs by myself when I trained for the half marathon, and let's just say that is way too much time for me to be by myself thinking!

Our first long run with the group is on June 20th. Until then, I'm kind of on my own. I've been trying to increase my running to 4 days a week. I'm doing three short runs during the week of 3-4 miles each run, and then a long run on the weekend. Right now, I'm just doing between 6 and 8 miles on the weekend.

We should be getting our training program next week, which will outline the number of miles for each run. I should probably mention that when I say run, I actually do a run/walk. A lot of times I just run my short runs straight through, but for the long runs, I do walk breaks. Generally I do a 4:1 or 5:1 split, with four minutes running, one minute walking. I didn't start out that way when I did the couch to 5K program, but several people really encouraged me to try doing the run/walk intervals, and now I'm stuck with it. I just feel so much better when I incorporate walk breaks. Anyhow, I pretty much follow the Jeff Galloway run/walk program, and plan on doing that when I run the marathon in the fall.

I'm setting up this blog because I want to journal my experiences as I train for this event in my life. Someone asked me why I wanted to do this. You know, I feel pretty good about myself overall, but here's the honest-to-god truth as to why I want to run a marathon. There is nothing really special about me. I'm just your average person, living an average life. I LOVE my life, don't get me wrong. But really, there is nothing special about me. Well, there is a VERY small percentage of the population who has ever run a marathon. Being part of that group is something that sets me apart from everyone else. I just want this one thing to have as something that sets me apart from the average Joe.
And you know, I KNOW there are a lot of other people out there that can run circles around me, win races in their age group or gender group or whatnot. But I don't care. I didn't start running until I was 42 years old. I'm never going to win a race. I'm really doing this all for me, and not for anyone else. But geez, look at all the people that participate in races. Thousands. There are only a few winners that get the awards. But we're all winners, right? A lot of people can't even get out there to run. There was a quote I found on the web, and it pretty much summed it up for me...
" You need to look back, not just at the people who are running behind you but especially at those who don't run and never will... those who run but don't race...those who started training for a race but didn't carry through...those who got to the starting line but didn't cross the finish line...those who once raced better than you but no longer run at all. You're still here. Take pride in wherever you finish. Look at all the people you've outlasted. "- Joe Henderson"