Thursday, July 21, 2011

Training for Marathon #2

I've read somewhere that you're not supposed to sign up for another marathon until you've forgotten your first. Well that's impossible. I try to take in the memories of Grandma's Marathon whenever I can because it was such a great experience.

I waited about three weeks to sign up for the Des Moines Marathon on October 16th. I've heard great things about it and I'm excited to be able to train with so many people. There's a whole slew of Freaky Fast Runners and the running crew back in Northeast Nebraska that signed up for either the full or half marathon - mom included.

If I'm intimidated by anything it's the thought of training in this heat. I've slugged through some runs in hot weather and it's been brutal. How I miss those snow covered February mornings!

I know signing up for a fall marathon was the right move for me though. Mostly because the word I use to describe my first marathon is "home". It just felt like home to me. Before/during/after the race I knew that this was where I belonged. Despite the fact that I was doing something I'd never done before I felt comfort. I was with an extended family of sorts and consumed by happiness and camaraderie.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

My First Date With 26.2

My first date with 26.2 was a success! The entire weekend up in Duluth, Minnesota for Grandma's Marathon was memorable. For starters, Minnesota holds such a special place in my heart. Vacationing in Hackensack all those years growing up and recently great training runs in Rochester and Osakis on the Paul Bunyan Trail have made me fall in the love with the state. That's why I wanted to run my first one up north. To make it 10x better, my mom decided to run and three other friends joined in too.

Everybody finished and was relatively pleased with their times. I came across at 4:25:43.

People told me you learn a lot about yourself during a marathon - they are right. Here we go (in no particular order)

  1. Nobody ever told me the moment you stop running is the most painful. It was a mix of legs locking up and near hypothermia.
  2. The main advice I was given was to run the first half slower than I want to. I would agree. I felt pretty comfortable the first half but I think running a little slower at the beginning would have helped my overall time.
  3. The PEOPLE are what makes the marathon such a great experience. The people I roadtripped to the race with - mom, Laura, Chris & Krista...the ultra girls we met on the bus ride to the starting line...the random conversations with people during the race...hearing wild marathon stories from the Rubber Ducky Man and his posse -- all of those people added to the incredible experience.
  4. Krista, Mom, Me, Laura, Chris
  5. I am capable of much more than I think.
  6. Talking to your legs and telling them to move out loud at mile 24 does help.
  7. Race volunteers are some of the most amazing people. Who willingly stands outside in cold wet conditions, cheering on random strangers while they spill the water cups you're handing them? Time to get out my thank you notes...
  8. Even as I sit sore and stiff legged while typing this, I have a wild urge to google more marathons.
  9. What are your thoughts on the Des Moines Marathon? It's one I'm mulling over...
  10. I've never felt so alive than during the marathon. Just the steady forward movement, watching the lake to my left, work stress behind me, all the like-minded people flooding around me, my mother in my heart, and my thoughts with Him.
  11. There will be definitely be a second date. In fact, I think this has the makings of a long-term relationship.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Let the Games Begin!

Time for the road trip to begin! We're headed to Duluth, Minnesota today to run Grandma's Marathon on Saturday. I'm fortunate that I'll get to share my first marathon experience with 4 other amazing women.

#1 My mom: caravan driver, leader of the crazies
#2 Mom's friend Krista Heineman from Pender: ran with her at several local races, the woman is silently fierce!
#3 Laura Carmona Ceraolo: lives in Lincoln and we've ran enough Saturday looong runs together for me to learn she's a woman who can persevere through anything - especially some injuries she's been fighting
#4 Chris Hamill-Tewes: Laura's friend who lives in Omaha. Got to party with her once. I don't know if she can run but she can sure dance!
#5 - ME!

So here it is - goal time.
My overall goal is for everyone to finish and have an amazing experience. I want to celebrate the training I've put in and the good lifestyle changes I've made. I'm setting out to run with the 4:15 pacer and hope to have the courage to run smart - especially the first half of the race. The constant advice I've been told is to not go out too fast. I also pray for the strength to fight through the pain. I wish for my friends and especially my mother to run their own race and be proud of whatever time they cross the finish line.

My ultimate goal is to run for HIM. To praise Him with each step.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

I'd Rather Feel Pain Than Nothing At All...

I'm far from a psychology expert...but one thing from Psychology 101 stood out to me - the Pleasure-Pain Principle. According to Sigmund Freud, it's the concept that early on in life we seek immediate pleasure and avoid suffering in order to satisfy our biological and psychological needs. It seemed to make sense. It wasn't until I realized I'd lived a lot of my life this way and found it to be unsatisfying and needed a different way of life.

Ex - college binge drinking, overeating

When I started to take running seriously I realized enduring pain can lead to deferred gratification that is 10x as sweet as immediate pleasure.

Ex - the endorphins after a run, the feeling of stepping on a scale and seeing a lower number

The road to making dreams come true will hurt initially but as my friends Three Days Grace say, "I'd Rather Feel Pain Than Nothing At All"...take a listen.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Starting to Feel It

I'm starting to feel it - the anxiousness, the excitement, the anticipation, and the nagging twinges and tweaks that go with the mass of miles I'm putting my body through.

I've been fortunate that I've avoided any major injuries and the pangs I've felt have went away within the week with an ice/ibuprofin routine. Occasionally I'll cross train or rest a day to give the legs a break.

With my 2nd 20 miler behind me, I'm starting the process of a slow taper. My plan is to run more during the week knowing I don't have to do a major weekend run. I'm also starting to see the scale budge a little which is exciting!

Mostly what I feel right now is gratitude. Gratitude for the many people who've helped get me ready for this marathon. I rarely run alone and the only thing better than the endorphin rush of a good run is getting to share that feeling with others.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


Is there anything better than getting snail mail from your mama? Well, when you're sick and feeling a little sorry for yourself the answer is NO.

My running pneumonia is starting to get the best of me. I stayed home from work today which took a lot because I have tons to do. I've also been icing my foot 3x a day trying to get rid of this inflammation. So just when I'm feeling like I'm falling apart and far from the marathoner I'm trying to become, I check my mail.

A package from mom.

The PERFECT running shorts. Perfect size and perfect fit so my Smith thighs don't rub together and chafe. There's not enough body glide in the world :). And even better - secret slim pockets for ibuprofin and gu.

Best of all, a handwritten note wishing me luck on my second 20 miler. She's doing her 20 this weekend too. I'm so lucky that we're in this together.

Suddenly, I don't feel so bad anymore.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Running Pneumonia

Broke down and went to the doc today. She says I have walking pneumonia. I call it running pneumonia.


(Scaling back)