Another Mile Marker

strengthpersistance

Today I passed another mile marker in running. Today I finished 6 weeks of physical therapy, 15 weeks after my first marathon.

What a journey these past 15 weeks have been. Frustration, doubt, hope, physical and mental pain. Today, I won.

I’m so glad I stuck with it and didn’t throw in the towel for an easier way out, even though there were times (namely, week 3 of PT) that I thought it just wasn’t working.

Honestly, just 2 weeks ago I had a melt down because the pain hadn’t gone away in 10 full days. That’s just after we discovered how my hip hates the treadmill and my PT poked around in my hip, which was uncomfortable, but did the trick. The week after that (last week) was the best running week I’ve had since before the marathon. I’m happy to report this week is much like last week.

I haven’t ran the race yet, we’re still 24 days away, but I’m not and haven’t been measuring my success by the race. My success is being measured everyday in the little victories I accomplish from running another mile farther, waking up without pain, and getting excited instead of getting anxious to run.

I am so excited and not to be boastful, but proud of how far I’ve come. Literally, 10 weeks ago I couldn’t even run a mile without having to stop because of the pain. I’m now up to 6 miles, pain-free.

So, 6 weeks of PT.

That’s 2 hours each week dedicated to strengthening exercises one-on-one with my therapist, lots of poking/pressing/pulling around in my hip by my PT, extra exercises at home for 20+ minutes/night 6 days per week, trying to decide if I should get an MRI (never did and glad I didn’t!), all while trying to increase my mileage so I have some kind of shot of finishing this half marathon. I’m confident I will now.

On to bigger and better things! Details to come…

P.S. If you need some inspiration today, here’s an oldie but goodie!

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It’s Race Week!

Is it really here?

I’m down to the week I thought was SOO far away all this time. I’m running a marathon in 5 days!

Tapering has went pretty well…considering.

Week 1 of Tapering

This was just after I completed my last long training run of 20 miles. I got sick the very next day and it took 4-5 days for me to finally get rid of it. I normally kick a cold in 1-2 days. My immune system was definitely beat up because of all my training.

I made sure and took it easy that week, trying not to push myself too hard. I ran 2.5 out of 4 miles on Wednesday, (I completely missed my 5 mile run on Tuesday), and on Thursday I ran 3.5 out of 5 miles. I felt pretty good about it considering all I wanted to do was lay on the couch and drink tea…which I did a lot of afterwards. I made sure I got at least 8 hours of sleep each night. I think one night I even got 10. I drank lots of great tea and ate A. TON. of fruits and veggies. Filled up on Naked Juice, ate minimally processed foods, and I was back in the game for my 12 mile run on Sunday.

The 12-miler went well considering I was coming off a week of sickness. I did have to stop to blow my nose in the bathroom at the park though (TMI?). I was fine after that!

Week 2 of Tapering

After I’d gotten over the physical stress of being sick and I could re-focus myself on being well, I began to freak out. In every way possible.

At the top of my list was my recent realization that I would probably not be using gels during the marathon. During my 19 mile run in FL I somehow got an aversion to them and I am lucky to get more than a quarter of the packet now.

No big deal, right? They make lots of other nutritional supplements for runners. However.. this was TWO WEEKS before the marathon, no long runs left, and no time to experiment with chews.

The only experience I’ve had with chews was during the half marathon in April. I used the Clif Block Shots but they are so sticky and get stuck in my teeth. Attractive.

So my cousin recommended Power Bar energy blast chews. They actually taste delicious (strawberry banana flavor) and don’t stick to my teeth. Problem solved. Except I have no idea what the timing should be for eating the chews.

Since then I think I’ve figured out a plan, but I’ve not tested it so *curse.*

While all of this mental agony is bearing down on me, instead of being able to run to release stress, I had to run less. That is the point of tapering, after all. You can see how quickly I lost my sanity..

All in all, last week was a huge mental game. I started to doubt if I did enough (classic). Remember how I missed weekday runs because I had to run my long runs during the week because of all the traveling?

Again, I freaked out about nutrition and fueling during the race. Oh and just when I decided I was ok with using the chews, I realized I had nothing to carry them with. Therefore, I ended up priority shipping this baby to my house on Tuesday last week.

I also made a trip to Goodwill and got some sweatpants, a sweatshirt, and a long-sleeve shirt so I can wear it to the starting line at 5:30am and then toss it at 7:30 when the race actually begins. Those clothes get donated back to Goodwill so it’s all good.

As far as actual running, I ran 4 miles Tuesday, 3 miles Wednesday, 4 miles Thursday, and 8 miles Saturday. Easy peasy.

Week 3 Tapering

So far, this week has been a complete turn around of last week.

I’m mellowing out (despite running even less), I’m getting confident, and I’m starting to realize that this will still be a great triumph, even if I do end up hitting “the wall” or I don’t finish in my time goal, as long as I finish.

Realistically, since it is my first marathon my goal should just be to finish. But anyone that knows me, knows that I’m too competitive with myself to accept ordinary. This I why I freaked out about the fueling aspect.

Beth’s mental talk, “If I don’t get it perfect, I’ll hit the wall.” “If I hit the wall, I’ll have to slow significantly or walk, losing minutes, losing reach of my time goal.”

If, if, if.

This is actually pretty hard for me to admit. I’m normally a really positive person. I work to block out negative talk from others because I believe if you’re surrounded by negative people, you’ll become a negative person, or at least develop those thoughts. And how happy is a life like that?

So.. I’ve been working on that and as I mentioned, this week is going much better and much more positively than last week!

I’m not quite sure where or when I began imagining that I could run like Kara Goucher or some ridiculously fast time. Probably because I read too many articles about running..from experts. Olympic experts. Duh – I am not an olympian. I mean, I know I’m small and mighty, but not that mighty. My 8:30-9:00 minute miles are still fast… just not that fast.

The running schedule for this week looks like this:

3 miles Tuesday

2 mile walk Wednesday

2 mile easy run Friday

I think I can handle that. 🙂

We leave for Savannah on Thursday after work. It’s 6 hours from our house, so we’ll get in at a reasonable time that night. Friday is the expo and I’m really excited for that!

We’ve organized who is bringing what for our homemade pasta dinner that night – yum! Carb loading begins on Wednesday!!

Saturday is going to be a super early morning. I will probably set my alarm for 4:45 or 5:00. Our shuttle leaves Tybee Island at either 5:30 or 6:00 (our choice) and takes a half hour to get to the starting line for a last minute stop to the port-a-potty. Eeee!!

I still need safety pins. Dang.

I can’t wait to share how the race goes!!

Thank you for all of the supportive comments I’ve got over the course of training, via Facebook, Twitter, e-mail, on the blog, in person, etc.

While I do love to run, there have been times where it’s been a struggle to get out the door. All of your positive words have made a difference in my attitude, so thank you again. I’ll be thinking of you as I pass each mile marker. All 26.2 of them!