Wow! I certainly didn’t expect to achieve a new PR (personal record) and definitely not by 10 mins. Last November, I ran a 2:28 (again, that’s 2 hours and 28 mins) at the Norfolk Harbor Half Marathon in Norfolk, VA. On Saturday, I ran a 2:18! Before, I had a pacer and a whole group of people I was running alongside. This current race had no pacers, very little course support, and it’s a 3 mile loop – which means I am running the same route each loop. #boring
But I felt good and was basically running off of pace versus staying tuned into my watch and monitoring every number. When I saw 2 hrs at almost 11.5 miles, I was tired, but I thought oh my, I could really PR today.
Overall, I’m sore. There is some hip pain and a large blister on my left foot, but I know, no matter the time, I can make it through tomorrow’s race. And even if I hate it, I have a shiny new PR as consolation!
Day 2 Thoughts:
When I woke up at 5am to eat my oatmeal, I wasn’t feeling it. My body was sore, the blister was looking particularly angry, and I had to give myself a long pep talk just to get out of bed. I told myself I at least had to try. It’s what I trained for. 18 weeks of training culminating in this weekend where I had two chances to prove to myself I can do it.
As I began running, seeing many of the same faces from yesterday, I started to loosen up. It got hot quick so I shed all the extra layers, including the Camelbak and ran until I was ready to either slow my pace or walk. After the first lap (remember each lap is a 5k aka 3 miles), I knew unless I broke something or was forced to stop, I would continue. Lap #3 was a philosophical turning point. I kept thinking about my Munchkin – the challenges she will face in her life and how I am preparing myself to be by her side. A thought that continues to stick with me is she is not my excuse to do hard things, sometimes she’s not even my reason. (It can be hard to convey what I mean here. Be open minded.) What she is to me is my audience. She’s always watching. And if she sees me sucking it up and and showing up every time, then perhaps those values will also translate to her own life. Time will tell.
In saying all this, allow me to get to the point. You’re welcome! 2:27. I almost couldn’t believe it. To think I had to talk myself into getting started and these tired legs managed a what would have been a PR prior to the day before inspires confidence in a future marathon goal. I may not can walk much later – and definitely not tomorrow – but right now my smile speaks for itself.
I ask you –
What’s my chance of feeling 100% within 24 hours? – I know, I’m laughing, too
“Rest is best, rest is best!” When I tried to find a photo of Daniel Tiger, a bottle of Jack Daniels popped up so maybe that’s the only sign you need.
Much conversation exists on the power of rest. Mental, physical, spiritual – rest binds us. It replenishes our entire body; burning the candle at both ends has been shown to decrease productivity and your ability to fight disease, among many other awful side effects.
You may have nutrition down to a science and you regularly work out, but aren’t seeing the results you deserve. Check your sleep patterns. I often encounter men and women who tell me they sleep, on average, 4 hours or less per night. WHAT?! When I recover from my shock, which has ceased because I hear this response a lot now, I ask what the reasons behind not sleeping are. Work. Family. Stress. Life. Stress about all of the above.So you’re telling me you’re stressed and not sleeping stresses you out even more so the cycle continues? Pretty much.
A common misconception is the ability to “make up” sleep. I’m guilty of this, too. As a teenager, out all night doing things we shouldn’t discuss, I figured it was okay because I could just take a long nap on Sunday and be caught up for the new week! Yeah right. Once the sleep schedule is disrupted and you’re consistently not getting enough sleep (recommended 7-8 hours nightly) then it’s gone. There’s no make up day to this portion of the test. We have failed. The only way to recover is to establish a sleep routine and stick with it.
As it always goes, this is easier said than done. I firmly believe some people are night owls and some of us are destined for early mornings and 8pm bedtimes. If you can’t see me waving my hands in the air, look closer. I really wish I understood this mystery. BUT – I think clocks can be reset with dedication and commitment. Perhaps the addition of a very loud alarm clock helps. In any case, losing sleep is nothing good.
I ask you –
How much sleep do you typically receive?
Are you a night owl or an early riser?
List some barriers to getting a good nights’ sleep. – Caffeine, a full stomach…
My apologies there’s no photos for this post – since I didn’t personally attend the marathon myself, I would have had to use stock photos and those just aren’t as much fun!
After conversing with several people who ran the Marine Corps Marathon (MCM), I’m toggling between keeping my commitment to running it as my first (read: potentially only) marathon. As much as I love people, 50,000 of them makes my heart race. Even if I was to start and stay in the back of the pack, the chance of being exceptionally close to any runner is still high. Though course support is definitely what the MCM has in full force, my decision is based on other factors, as well.
Location, travel, training, and weather have me questioning the MCM. I can only imagine how beautiful the DC area is in the Fall and I love traveling so those aren’t my concerns. The training plan is a little iffy, but the weather I have to train in is highest on my list and the sheer amount of other runners is numero dos. It may seem silly to worry about these things; however, when you pour your time and money into an activity you always hope for the best outcome. Control freak much?
Training through the summer is limited in my own situation. The notorious Texas heat translates to a lot of indoor treadmill running which, in my opinion, doesn’t mimic outdoor running well. I can definitely tell a difference when I’ve trained primarily on a treadmill vs. outdoors. Also, and I know I keep circling back to it, I have no desire to run within arm’s distance of hundreds of people for 26.2 miles. That’s a big no thanks from me. So what’s my other options?
Option A: Find a new marathon. Not a bad idea. Although I loved the idea of the MCM because it’s a veteran’s support community, there are tons of other marathons available. By being a little more choosy on what marathon to participate in, I can decide what fits my training cycle best, too. I could find a local (Texas) marathon in the Spring – I’d already looked at a few of them before. Or…
Option B: Run the MCM. Surely I can recruit at least one other person to run with me that day. Perhaps someone who has already completed it and would like to voluntold themselves to be my pacer/motivator/conversationalist. Also someone who won’t allow me to take a hard turn to port when the going gets tough. Anyone? No? That’s ok because the beauty in being voluntold is it’s not really an option! Standby for heavy rolls. Side note: it took 3 tries to get that verbiage correct and I know 95% of my readers have no Navy experience but for the 5% who do – please appreciate my intent!
The bright side is there’s still plenty of time to decide. Unless I want to go with a marathon in Spring 2020. But I committed to writing then. So writing I must. Training will continue, but I don’t know for what race. The show must go on!
Have you read the story of the person who changed their Roomba to curse when it bumps into things? That’s me! I’m the cursing Roomba! How do you think the gym gets clean? Fairies?!
The other day I mentioned a need for someone to follow me around and take notes of the great things I dream of when running. It’s mostly nonsense and can span the range of highly emotional to very inspirational. Any takers? Bring your own golf cart.
Friends and family joke about the volume of calls I’ve made to local law enforcement on the drive. Seriously though, I see the most random s**t! The other night my own neighbor tried to run me off the road in his white challenger. If I hadn’t been too tired to fight back and also fearful he had a gun, I would’ve stopped and yelled. I’m only assuming it was a male, I really don’t know. Women must band together. But I would’ve yelled at her, too!
Here’s a few other random things:
Lucky Charms. Yes. The end.
Look at all these leaves! One day it was 75° and beautiful out. The next was 25° and wind gusts to 40mph. The aftermath –
Happy (almost) Thanksgiving to you all. I will return next week with stories of family, humor, and, let’s hope not, violence. But have you met my family? Anything is possible. Please answer all collect calls.
I ask you –
Is there a patent on the cursing Roomba or is there still room for me in that market?
What’s your favorite cereal? – Lucky Charms, Cinnamon Toast Crunch: my top 2
Where are you traveling for Thanksgiving? Any tips for keeping my sanity?
Should be no secret cards are my love language. I enjoy the process of writing a message inside a blank card, addressing it, placing the correct postage on the front of the envelope, and raising the small red flag on my mailbox to indicate I have something important to be delivered.
Recently I mailed 3 cards within a few days of each other, for various reasons. Usually cards are a ‘just because’. Remember opening the mailbox when you were a child and receiving a colorful envelope with your very own name on it? Did you feel excited? Even as adults that same feeling still exists. And it’s amazing. My grandmothers and great aunt instilled in me a sense of thankfulness. It was required as a child to send thank you cards after holidays and birthdays and any other time you received a gift. Some may say this is an antiquated practice now – who has time to send a thank you card. I do. You do.
Truth be told, I felt a little disappointed when I didn’t receive a response from the cards I sent. Only 1 of the 3 recipients said thank you for thinking of them. A real thank you. One didn’t reply at all. Tis better to give than to receive. However, acknowledgment goes a long way. My feelings may have been a little hurt at the lack of thanks…but I think the real culprit was the level of appreciation, i.e. I’m not sure if it was there.
Do you appreciate what your body does for you? How often do you consider all the work your fingers, hands, and feet complete in a day? It may seem silly. We often take for granted what others do for us and, in that, we’re taking for granted what we do for ourselves. We treat our bodies like garbage cans, feeding it junk and expecting it to give a peak performance. Trash in, trash out.
The symbolism between writing cards to express your feelings for someone and showing your body gratitude is not lost on me. No, I don’t see anyone writing letters to themselves, though maybe we should, but your soul’s love language may be equal if not greater than the love you show yourself by treating your body well. Massage. Healthy foods. Strength training. Conditioning. Working on balance. All ways to treat your body right. I know we get busy and we forget to say thank you. But you should thank yourself every day in some small way.
I ask you –
What’s your love language?
How does the above indicate how you treat yourself?
Do you know how to mail a letter and address it properly?
PRT (physical readiness test for all you non-Navy people) next week so I should probably start running today. Right? Ummm no.
Swimsuit season begins tomorrow so Monday should be a good time to have the body I want to achieve. Right? Again, no.
Are you getting the drift or do I need to input more examples of how this never works? Honestly, I don’t get it. In our society of instant potatoes (that’s what I call our propensity to have everything we want immediately) why do we wait so long to make changes to ourselves? Why do we wait until the doctor says we have heart disease to realize our weight, lifestyle, and choices are out of control?
I think it’s because we don’t notice the small changes day to day. For example, you mowed the grass last weekend. Each day it’s been slowly growing back to its prior form. But you won’t notice until next Friday when you drive by. The grass didn’t grow overnight. It gradually made its way to shin-length. Same with our health. But the more you “let it go”, the more it goes. I’m a free agent – I cannot be controlled!
So when did this happen? Today. Yesterday. It keeps happening! But we’re busy people and we don’t realize it until it is too late. Except it’s never too late!
What is wrong with starting today? NOTHING! I post regularly about making changes immediately. We both know if you say tomorrow then something will come up and tomorrow will be pushed further into the future. Today looks like the only choice to me. Do it.
A very lovely lady in my life likes to use the phrase “I’m in good shape for the shape I’m in!” Her advanced age brings about a certain wisdom and truth that can only come from living as healthily and happily as possible. Do you wonder what you’ll be like as you age? All the time! Will I be an angry old lady because I didn’t live the life meant for me or will I be teaching the millenial alternative to step aerobics at age 95? Time will tell. Days progress and march forward like tiny ants on their way to the candy wrapper dreams are made of.