Friday, February 29, 2008

Last day of training.....

I went to the gym this morning for my "on-the-ball" core exercise class. I think Jim made it a little tough on purpose!!! Haha!!! After the class I ran with the Runner's Club. Mike, his son, another man and I did an easy 2 miles. I left my watch at home so I'd concentrate on leisurely pacing myself. It was pretty windy and we ran against the wind going out. It was a nice fun run. Bratty Mike took off on me, I think he was testing my ability to stay on pace no matter what. That's ok Mike, I will out run you someday. xoxoxo.....LOL (show off!!!)

I'm going to pick up my packet tonight. My son has Pinewood Derby races tomorrow and my daughter has a birthday party to go to, it'll be easier to grab it tonight. Tomorrow night my husband and I will go to dinner and stay at a hotel near the starting line. I'm looking forward to spending a quiet, relaxing evening with my husband.

I plan on waking up at 3am, do some yoga and stretching. I can't decide what to bring to eat in the morning....I know it won't be a mexican omlette!!! (love those)

My husband will video the start, take a few pictures then shoot home to get the kids. I'm hoping to finish in 5 hours so they'll meet me at the finish line around 11am (I'm hoping....LOL) I'll post the video and pictures here as soon as I can. I know I won't be walking too far from home Sunday night!!!

I'm having some funky emotions today. I feel so weird. Reminds me of when I went into labor. I remember being excited to be done with being pregnant but scared of labor. I knew it would be a long and painful process, but so worth it in the end. I remember concentrating on holding that tiny little person I'd been waiting to see, just wanting to kiss and love him or her. Of course having my kids was a much more important event, but the emotional ups and downs seem the same. For the marathon, training is what I've been doing for 5 months. Now it's time to see it to the end. There won't be a precious baby for me at the finish line, but a sense of accomplishment will be there. My friends and family will be there. I'll go through the labor of completing my goal (with no epidural!!) My prize at the end will be knowing I started something that was important to me and saw it to the end. I found a great sport that I really enjoy, I've met some new friends who I've come to care about and I feel healthier than I have in a long time!

I'm going to take it easy tonight and tomorrow. Save the energy for the big race. I'm very excited!!!


Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Last Couple Training Runs

The marathon is so close! I'm very excited, kinda worried. Jim gave me the last part of my training instructions yesterday. Today I was supposed to run for an hour. It was a practice that had me running for 9 minutes, walking while hydrating/gel pack for 1 minute. So I hit my stopwatch at the starting point and started off very slow.

I went out 30 minutes, turned and came back. When I got to the place I'd begun I hit my stopwatch. 45:52. Doesn't make any sense. I ran faster on the last half?? The only thing I can think of, is that I've been training for this marathon since the first time my feet hit the pavement back in October, and Jim has trained me to conserve energy in the beginning. That way I have something left for the last leg of every run. So I'm used to speeding up when I know I'm almost done. I really thought I was keeping a steady pace. I went out and drove the loop I ran and it was exactly 4 miles.

I'll mention it to Jim tomorrow.

The run felt great, I was very hot (88 degrees out today) but overall I felt terrific. No achilles pain and the gatorade/gel pack combo didn't bother my stomach. I didn't drink the whole pack though. A little more than half. I did notice I seemed to sweat more today, I don't know if it was because I was properly hydrated this time or because it was so hot out. I don't usually drink during a short run like that. But anyway I feel great.

Tomorrow I have yoga and elliptical training. Not sure the extent of that yet, Jim will let me know after yoga. Thursday I have core exercise class, not sure what else. Friday I'll run with the YMCA Runner's Club. It's supposed to be a light easy run, but I'd LOVE to see how fast I can do it. Depends on who runs with me. If it's Jim, he'll reign me in...if it's Mike, he'll make me

Saturday is rest day. Rest from training anyway. My son Robby has his Pinewood Derby race in the morning, then we'll take him to lunch. We have a hotel for the night before the marathon, so we'll head out for that once everyone is settled in.

I am very excited!!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Boca Grande 5K

I woke up at about 5am this morning for the race. Had my usual bagel with peanut butter, juice and this time a Slim Fast. My stomach can't handle the energy drinks right before the races and I noticed the Slim Fast has just about the same stuff in it. I tried those instead before a few of my long runs and I did fine with them. They taste 100% better too.

This was my 4th race, and last race before the marathon. As you know, I pulled my achilles and just got over the flu so I had 2 things I was watching for during this race. Most important was how that achilles would feel and secondly, if I could beat Mike Moses. JUST KIDDING!! HA!! Ok, not really kidding. I did want to beat him, but I knew I couldn't. And I was right, he left me in the dust. Whatever, his day to lose to ME is approaching.

Anyway, I was also watching (and feeling) how my endurance would be. Jim told me to run the 5K either before or after the actual race in addition to, but I decided to just enjoy today. I'm finally getting to know some people who I don't get to talk to anywhere but at the races so I wanted to visit a little. I'm glad I did, I saw many people....Chuck Johnson is one of my faves, he did awesome, coming in at 1st place for his age division. (YAY CHUCK) I saw Jackie and Sherry, who both did phenomenally well (GO GIRLS....we need to run together soon) Josephine (blue sneakers) was there (I love her!!) I got to talk with a lot of Zoomers too. Great group of people. The support I got from so many people today gives me the confidence to run that marathon. It's a wonderful feeling having people come and give words of support. I drove home today thinking about how well everyone did, and I'm happy to be a part of it all. I wish I could name them all here, but I know you all know who you are. xxxooo

SO...I took off at the starting line, a little quick but in much better control than I've had in the past. I kept up with Mike for about 2 minutes (LOL) then fell in behind him. I concentrated on finding my pace and realized I felt very comfortable as I passed marker 1 mile 9:30 minutes in. I kept that pace and walked the water table. Got right back into it and really felt fine. Of course now, sitting here, I can't help thinking I should have gone faster but I know I did the right thing keeping that pace.

I want to go much slower for the marathon, about 11-12 minute pace for that. Anyway, I saw Bethany around mile marker 3, as she was running the 5k AGAIN (no wonder she has such a killer bod) She yelled out good job, gave me a boost, and I picked up my speed a fraction. I saw my neighbor PJ (we call him the hunky fireman here in the He's a Boca firefighter. He knows CPR. HAHA!! He's gonna kill me for this....heehee....When I saw the finish line I sprang into action! I passed 'em on the left, I passed 'em on the right....I flewwww....ok, I'm exaggerating a tad. I only passed 2 people and that was by mere seconds but it still felt great. I looked at my watch and saw I probably wouldn't beat my 30:52 PR from the last 5K. I was hoping to beat that. Oh well. But wait....guess what? I did beat it. By 2 seconds!!! I got a kick out of that.

The difference between the last 2 races was huge though. I was not as exhausted this time and my muscles are not bothering me at all, even right now. I see that my overall endurance and physical feeling is much better now. Which tells me this: I COULD have gone faster, but I was in control this time. I stayed on pace for once. This means more to me than beating my PR. My chances of finishing the marathon and actually doing well is coming into focus. I learned to pace myself above trying to win today and for me, that's a pretty big deal. I feel like I hit a new level of running this morning. I feel in control, healthy, ready, willing and able to run my first marathon in a week. I'd love to finish in 5 hours, but you know what? I'm going to that marathon in a new frame of mind: To finish happy. To have a good time. To talk with people along the way and relish the experience.

Jim told me I was an athlete last week. To hear those words from the person who has helped me all this way, who trained me and taught me this specific method to running a marathon was thrilling. It meant more to me than any medal I've won. As I stood there cheering on my fellow Zoomers and runners as they got their trophies this morning, I wasn't called. I placed 8th in my age division. I leaned over to Chuck and said..."I didn't win this one", But I felt more proud of myself in today's race than in any other race I've run, because today's race, I was in control. I ran this race as an athlete. So I did win.