Tuesday, October 27, 2009

6 miles, that's all

That's all that stands between me and 26.2, I'm not sure if I'm ready. Not sure if you are ever ready for a marathon. No matter how many you run, there is always a goal. That goal may vary from marathon to marathon and be very different for each participant but there is a goal. For me the goal has changed from the start of my training, I'm sure that's true for many, but the goal is still there. My time goal changed and for a while it was all about injury and just getting to the starting line, now I just want to have fun. If I get more specific than that, you will all know if I accomplished it or not and that's too much pressure! For now I need to make it to NY without getting lost, find my number and then find a warm place to wait until the start :)

There are 2 runs left before NYC, 3 miles each. What are the goals for those? No pain, no injury, work out the nervous bugs before the starting line. I think I can meet 2 of 3 of those, but am sure the nerves will be with me until it's all over!

Days till NYC: 4
Miles trained today: 3

Thursday, October 22, 2009

early mornings

There was a debate this morning, continue my dream about how to make a burrito or go for a run. Thankfully we got out the door, I knew how the run would go, not sure about that dream. We live in a busy neighborhood, so there is just something special about being out there when it's all quiet. Some neighbors are just waking, others have a few hours left of sleep. Mia can run with us without panicking about the traffic. We could run down the middle of Mineral Spring Ave. without second thought. Just the 2 of us with the dog. Not too much conversation, easy pace (remember we are tapering), slowly waking up. Before we know it we have hit May St and are walking it into the house Things are busier now, more neighbors are awake, there are more cars on the road. We are also brighter, high-fiving at the end of the run, planning our days and discussing what dinner should be tonight. It's amazing what a difference 31 minutes can make.

Days till NYC: 9
Miles trained today: 3

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Nothing left to do but smile

So we made it to the taper! Oh, sweet taper. The marathon is in 11 days, the training is effectively done. No more long runs, no speed workouts, no nothing. Well, not quite nothing but pretty close. There are a few things I have to do:

1. Accept the taper
Training didn't go as planned, injury in September threw me for a loop. I had to throw my plan out the window and improvise. With 11 days to go, I can't squeeze in one more 16 miler. I can't change how we trained. I feel strong, stronger than I have for previous marathons. I'm feeling good and able to run, these injuries threatened to sideline me, but they didn't.

2. Stay Healthy
Easier said that done, this H1N1 has me sweating! I have become terrified of all symptoms of illness and am contemplating walking around with a mask. 26.2 will be hard enough healthy, I don't need a head cold to help me to the finish line. So if you are sick, stay away from me, it's not you it's me!

3. Don't get bored
When training for a marathon the training becomes your life, or at least a very big part of it. I ate, slept and dreamed about training. Spent hours pouring over my logs, looking at what I've done in the past. Joe's least favorite saying is "lets do the math", trying to count up miles. Now what? I'm going to do some short runs, stay on the bike and get excited!

11 days to go, only have to focus on the above 3 points, easier said than done! I can say again the training didn't go as planned, but I am very pleased with the miles we put in. I have been running hard since June 4th, I'm as ready as I'm going to be, have overcome and healed some painful injuries. Let's hit the fast forward button and get moving on finishing this!

Days till NYC: 11
Miles trained today: 3.2

Monday, October 12, 2009

A confidence builder

We are getting close, very close. Only 1 or 2 long runs to go. Last week was pretty much a disaster, we got the miles in but it felt pretty shitty. I was no rush to get back out there today, but we are at the point where there is no time for procrastination. After debating going today or at 3am tomorrow morning, we got our butts on the road. Changing things up a little we headed to the East Bay Bike Path for an out an back.

Here goes nothing. Slowly but surely I found my groove, had music today and found that approx every 3.5 songs ticked by a mile. At mile 6 we realized this was going to be a race against day light, rather than go 8 out and back we shortened it to 7. Things were going well until mile 9.5, my body started to throw a fit. Started with the bottom of the foot under my bog toe, OW! When I ignored that the achilles started to get tight, OW! Still pushing forward the ankle and knee joints entered into the chorus!! This would be a hell of a lot easier if my body would get on board and start cooperating! Had we not been 5+ miles from the car I might have thought about walking for a while, but then we are going to be stuck out here in the dark. Mile 11 I reached for more Gu hoping that would help quiet every one down and get us to the finish. It worked. We started to fly along, I wasn't dragging behind Joe. Realizing that I was enjoying myself at mile 12 was very odd. We stopped at 14, by choice, I felt good. What is the point in 2 more miles, I need to end on a high note. That and it was pitch black out and getting pretty chilly :)

Today was the run I needed, I have been starting at the directions on deferring my entry since last week. Due to injury my training hasn't gone as planned and I'm there but not where I would have been without injury. Today showed me that I know how to run long. I can run long and not have it kill me. I can run long and have a good time! That said I'm sure come mile 22 on 11/1 I'll have a few choice words flying out of my mouth. But by that point I'll be close to finishing the NEW YORK CITY MARATHON!!!!

Days till NYC: 19
Miles trained today: 14

Sunday, October 11, 2009

And the winner is...

We have just retruned from a whirl-wind weekend in White Haven PA visiting Joe's sister. She has recently been bit by the running bug (YIPEE) and we really wanted to have the chance to run a 5k with her. This morning we woke bright and early and headed out to the Rotary 5k Chicken Dinner Run. We were unable to locate past results for this race, so were going in blindly. Things started to make sense when we walked into registration and were warmly greeted by a man who appeared to be the race director "Welcome, we'll give you the discounted rate of $20". Likely due to the lack of change, but none the less we smiled and submitted our forms. He was pleased and mentioned that the turn out was more than expected, 15 runners. Oh God, what did we get ourselves into. Too late now, we were here and dressed for a race.

We had about 30 mins till gun time and Joe quickly pointed out that there were no numbers, how the hell was this going to be timed?!? We walk down to the start line, there are 3 females, Jenn (my sister-in-law), myself and a young woman (who looked about 13). I have a chance here! Who cares that it's by default! I start to take this a little more seriously. The director explained the course, easy enough, out and back on a levee (whatever that is). Simple, flat, beautiful scenery. All I had to do was not be dead last and this would be a success.

Off we go and very quickly I find myself saved by an elderly walker, he would be last! Off we go, it was nice. Jenn and I stuck together for the first mile or so. I haven't done a 5k for a few months and went out too fast. Breathing rapidly I found my groove, the markers were very clearly painted on the ground. I didn't have my watch, but could tell we were going at a good clip with how quickly every quarter mile would pass. Soon we passed the 13 year old, SWEET! I'm guaranteed for 2nd overall female, and Jenn is out of my age group so I have the age group in the bag now as well. Goal is now: don't die!

Pretty soon I see people heading back, before I know it I can see the guy at the turn around spot, Joe passes me in the other direction, laughing! We were being directed to turn around too early!! We turned around just shy of the mile and a quarter mark. Oh well, I'm in it to win it. Off I go heading to the finish. We finish up in good spirits, smiles across all 3 faces! The "elites" of the group go out and figure out that we ran 2.4 miles. Not to shabby, I had an 8:34 pace.

But the best was yet to come!! I have never cared about the awards ceremony of a race, typically the first to leave. Today was different, we waited for them to come out with the results, which was funny itself. Finally the director gathers us on the steps, Overall male, who cares. OVERALL FEMALE: JENN PANDITHER!! My sister-in-law!! Who just started to run!! We swarm her with photos like it was a kindergarten graduation. Then, drum-roll please, 1ST FEMALE AGE 20-29: SARAH MACEDO!!! Yes, I won! Again more pictures, the locals wondered what was wrong with these dramatic Rhode Islanders. Poor Joe, he was a looser among winners, but we still love him and will allow him to continue to train with the newly crowned elites!

A great day to have fun with running!

Miles trained today: 2.4
Days till NYC: 20
Medals earned today: 1

Sunday, October 4, 2009

The Accidental Athlete

I have to admit it, I got arrogant, very arrogant. Over the last 3 or 4 weeks I've been struggling with one injury or another, just things that keep getting in my way. I thought I had found a solution, well I did find one. Staying off my legs during the week and using the bike and the pool as a supplement, and it's been working. Not like running 40 miles a week does, but a close second. I had hoped for 18 miles today, foolish! Two weeks ago I was able to get through 12 and it was close to 3 weeks before that when we hit 16. I should have had more manageable goals, not that it matters now. My body is only going to do so much and today after 3 hours it called it quits. It actually tried to several miles earlier and I ignored it!

Here's the thing, I have no reason to get pissy about this. 14 miles is FAR, VERY FAR. This whole training has been as much about learning patience and flexibility as it has been about the actual running. Maybe I had the high goal because in the back of my mind I wasn't convinced that I would get in any miles, if we had started and the ankle started to scream, we would have stopped well before 14. I have time to get in 1 or 2 more long runs, and more importantly have a plan to keep myself healthy.

I was never supposed to do this in the beginning, I've never been an athlete, never been interested in anything more than watching the Sox with a beer in my hand. Some how I ended up here, training to run NYC. I was all a mistake, I joined this running club because I was bored with Joe in school. So I began to run a few miles every now and again, then I start running with a friend as she trains for NYC (or was it Boston that year??), I started to think if she's doing this, I can too. Foolish! Next think I know we are crossing the finish line in Newport! And you can't stop with just one, gotta do it faster!! All this running is a gift, I'm not sure why I like the marathon, it hurts like hell and pushes the body further than it's meant to go. After runs like this and months like this past September I have to remind myself that this was all an accident and I should just enjoy the ride!

Days till NYC: 27 (Oh Shit!)
Miles trained today: 14