Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Marathon Training Is ON!!!

I'm training for The Gasparilla Full Marathon on February 28, 2010. Sarasota Grouper Full has been discontinued and this is the last year for Gasparilla to host a full, so I'm happy to get to run it. It's a beautiful course, cool and flat. A perfect run for you-know-what.

I am into my 3rd week of training and feel so good! By slowing down my long run pace, I can go on FOREVER without any walk breaks. Eating better (oatmeal), potassium and B-12s have made a big difference. A month ago I had trouble with 5 miles, having to walk and feeling weak. Last weekend was my longest run since almost a year ago and here are the details...

Friday afternoon my husband and I headed out for our bi-yearly kid-free weekend away. We just drove up to Siesta Key and stayed until Sunday. We talked about my 11 miler and decided Saturday morning would be perfect. Bobby had his bike and would be my traveling water station. But we woke up to rain and cold weather. We went to breakfast, hit the mall for some Christmas shopping and had some lunch. By 1pm it had cleared up and was looking better.

We went back to the resort for a nap about 2pm. I woke up at 3pm and literally threw my running clothes on and was out the door before I could change my mind. It was about 68 degrees and I know you northerners are thinking PERFECT weather, but this Florida chick was C-O-L-D. And I hate being cold.

I had on my new NB running skirt (which kept falling down until I finally had some sweat to keep it up) my new NB visor and a sleeveless running top. I knew I'd be fine by my 2nd mile. My training guide called for 11 miles with a 10:40-11:20 pace. This is the endurance phase for a 4 hour marathon. It's all about getting the miles down, not speed. But you know me. I always go out too fast.

First 2 miles were 9:21 and 9:34. And that's with trying to go slow. Trying to tame the horses...arghhhhh!!!!

Mile 3...9:56
4...10:01 (this is the pace I wanted to hold
5...9:03 (WHAT??? I was warmed up!!!)
6...11:04 (slowed for a water stop w/hubby AND ran headfirst into the wind)
7...10:26 (making my way back to a 10)
8...9:52 (feeling very good)
11...9:32 (gotta love me a neg split!!!!)

I had some blueberry-pomagranate chews and 2 gel packs, same flavor. PURE yumminess!!! It was all I could do to eat them one at a time every 2 miles (or sooner). Oh delish!!!! I'm going to hang a gel pack off the front of my visor like the bunny at the horse races! Yummmmmmmm. My husband rode up beside me and handed me an open bottle of h2o so I didn't have to slow down at all after that 6 mile point. I'm going to string some chews on a nylon thread as a bracelet on my next long run. Bite em off as I go, like a candy jewelry thing. Maybe the cooler weather will keep them from getting messy. I'll let ya know how that goes.

At the end of the 11 miles, I honestly could have kept on running. What an awesome feeling it was stopping at mile 11 and knowing I could have kept going. Bobby was putting his bike in the van as I came down the street and I ran to him, crying. What a baby, huh? It was a pivital moment though. A couple months ago the doctor told me I would not run another marathon. After that 11 miles I know he's wrong. I CAN do it. I am so happy!

I have a friend on my FaceBook that I have known since 4th grade. Ray is a runner who has 8 marathons under his belt and is running Boston for the 4th time! I told him my splits and explained my training guide and asked him if he thought I could do a 3:50:59 instead of a 4:00. He says YES! He advised me to add some weekly mileage and to do some 800s instead of the 400's. That's all I needed to give me a bolt of hope to BQ. I want it. I need it. I will have it.

Regina talked about fear in her last post. I soooo truly understand what she's saying. Fear will hold me back if I allow it. Fear will keep me from my goal if I let it take hold. Fear has icy fingers that will grip the hopes and dreams I have for myself if given half the chance.

Not this time buddy. This girl is going to run Boston WITHOUT fear.