Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Stressed Out!!!

This is an understatement. I will not bore you with my thoughts because they are far from fun or kind for that matter. My moods are so across the bored I can barely keep up with myself...possibly because I was taking a running break after the marathon, this never proves to be a good idea. Somedays I wish my life story was written with all of the answers so I could quit making the wrong decisions. Do not give me the "life's not easy" crap, I find this to be annoying!!!

I was surfing some blogs today and ran across another poem that I like and had forgotten about. This actually helped my wacky mood and I continue to plod on making decisions and not worrying about the outcome...this little engine can!!!

Note- It's long and a little mushy, so if you're not the mushy kind don't read it;)

The Invitation

By Oriah Mountain Dreamer

It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living.

I want to know what you ache for

and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing.

It doesn’t interest me how old you are.

I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool

for love

for your dream

for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon...

I want to know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow

if you have been opened by life’s betrayals

or have become shriveled and closed

from fear of further pain.

I want to know if you can sit with pain

mine or your own

without moving to hide it

or fade it
or fix it.

I want to know if you can be with joy

mine or your own

if you can dance with wildness

and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes

without cautioning us

to be careful

to be realistic

to remember the limitations of being human.

It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling me 

is true.

I want to know if you can 

disappoint another 

to be true to yourself.

If you can bear the accusation of betrayal

and not betray your own soul.

If you can be faithless

and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see Beauty

even when it is not pretty

every day.

And if you can source your own life 

from its presence.

I want to know if you can live with failure

yours and mine

and still stand at the edge of the lake

and shout to the silver of the full moon,


It doesn’t interest me

to know where you live or how much money you have.

I want to know if you can get up

after the night of grief and despair

weary and bruised to the bone

and do what needs to be done

to feed the children.

It doesn’t interest me who you know

or how you came to be here.

I want to know if you will stand

in the center of the fire

with me

and not shrink back.

It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom

you have studied.

I want to know what sustains you

from the inside

when all else falls away.

I want to know if you can be alone 

with yourself

and if you truly like the company you keep

in the empty moments.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Race Day!!!

**Disclaimer- this is super long so brace yourself, skim or don't read...luv you mean it;)**

The day I thought would never get here...4am game on!!!

Didn't get much sleep the night before not that I expected anything different. I did sleep 10 hrs both Thursday and Friday night. Have I mentioned how important sleep is to me???

Back to race day- the morning was exciting while putting everything on, double checking my list of things to walk out the door with...I'm texting and e-mailing my runner friends who are up & responding...gotta love race day emotions! Before race start pretty uneventful- this is a good thing;)

My one complaint for this race is the starting coral, seriously walkers need NOT be in the front. Everyone has a right to race but if you're slow, you know who you are, move to the back of the line!!! I crossed the starting line and I'll be if I didn't have to go around a line of walkers. I decided to just jump into oncoming traffic, this always seems like good idea to me;) I figure I can jump back on the right side of the cones once I see Johnny Law who is waving my back in...whatever;)

Let's just say the first mile I was busy rearranging all the crap I had on. Gu bouncing everywhere that I thought for sure were going to cause my shorts to drop to the ground, definite problem...tuck all 8 into the shorts, damn those packets are sharp I'm too nervous to feel anything at this point I know I will pay for this later, and I do.

I'm not going to torture you with a mile by mile play just the miles I think I can remember. My plan was to gu every 4 miles. We're hitting the 4th mile and my thumbs aren't functioning at all. I have to stop jump out of the way to get the first one opened...this is NOT how I want to start my, I've got cranky girl (this is me) to deal with. The good news is I hang a right onto 5th street and immediately see Silke & Bobby who start screaming for me...this puts a smile on my face...100 yards and it's the first spotting of Tim and Kenny, ok, things ARE going to get better. My coach said things will change throughout the race.

I can't find my marathon goal pace (MGP) for the life of me. I've got a pace band on that I can't look at just can't take that pressure right now. I'm trying to remember everything my coach said to think brain is like mush and we're not even at 6 miles. Mile 7 is our first hill on Veterans Blvd...not too bad. Hit the hills on Enfield & Exposition at this point I knew it was going to be a long and rough day. Mile 10 there are the people I've been training with (Pam, Kim E., Mark) going bananas for me...I love my cheerleaders...again a smile on my face. I told that handsome man I could enjoy this;) At mile 11 I come to terms that my A goal of 3:40 (Boston Qualifying time) is out the window...I choose to focus on the good and keep putting one foot in front of the other and keep a smile on my face. I was going to fake it until I made it to the end, which is exactly what I did.

I honestly, felt like crap up until mile 13 at which point my coach is in my head saying things WILL CHANGE at this time I said yes, they are GOING to change. It took a few more miles until rhythm finally set in, granted not at the pace I wanted but it was rhythm and flow that I need to keep me moving. I was focusing on the sidelines, the posters (my favorite- toenails are for sissy's), the kids giving high 5s. Anything to distract my mind from what I was actually doing and keeping me from thinking how much longer I would be torturing my body. I honestly wasn't sure how I was getting to that finish line or if I would get there. I told myself at the start I would NOT let the demons in or tell me I couldn't do this...I was in charge and not taking no for an answer...this proves to be a good decision because it took every ounce of strength I never knew I had to get this race done!

At mile 18 I was starting to go cross-eyed...I wasn't sticking to my gu/hydration plan, shame on me. However, once we got to mile 20 I knew I could get to the end and at the time I thought if I can just keep this under 4 hours I'll be satisfied. My first marathon was a 4:04 finish.

Mile 21- I see Tony's smiling face which I'm kind enough to throw him a sweaty shirt to keep. I can be soooo generous at times;) Ruthie has a new megaphone which she's screaming my name- I LOVE IT!! This is perfect timing because I know I'm hanging a left on Ave. H and it's a slow steady incline...have I mentioned this course NEVER stops climbing...someone mentioned elevation starts to drop at mile 18 but somehow we're constantly climbing...this is over my head.

My favorite cheer section, other than the finish line, mile 22 as we're turning onto Red River...those spectators were going NUTS...I got the chills running through there. Anna, another Rogue, was screaming for me and ringing that cowbell. Honestly, we need more cowbell;) Thanks Anna- it meant the world to me!

Mile 24- Jane (aka Banana) on her bike turns around and rides beside me for the entire mile...this makes me perk up, get into form which always helps the running. She's telling me I look HOT! Honesty, need not apply;) I love it!!! Mile 25, this is going uphill mind you, Panther tells me I look beautiful, again honesty, need not apply;)I'm lovin' it!!!!

We're down to the final mile and I dug deep, picked up the pace and took off!!! Coming around that capital people are fighting to hold on and others telling them no seriously, it's all downhill from here. There are fellow Rogues screaming for me and almost in my face at this time I can't wipe that smile off my face. I'm rounding the capital onto Congress and there they are, my training buddies (Pam, Kim E. Mark) again going bananas screaming for me, I'm just trying to hold it together at this point and count down the blocks to the finishers shoot.

I got 'er done by the skin of my teeth. My B goal turned out to be keeping it under 3:50- final time,according to my watch, 3:49:59.

I honestly couldn't be happier with this race. It was a tough course, great weather and I had fun;)

Monday, February 12, 2007

Can One Have Fun While Running a Marathon?

A few days ago I was exchanging e-mails with a very handsome man that I don't know very well and am pretty sure he's a big playboy. Flirting is good for everyone;) For some odd known reason he offered to run part of the marathon with me. Remember I said I don't know him very well so I took this as a strange offering but one I wouldn't pass up since I'm not sure what I'll feel like in that last 10K.

The more I thought about it the more I realized I didn't want to share this moment with him. I don't know how he runs or if he's even fast enough (humor me on the fast part), can he handle it if I get emotional or more than likely as I get bitchy towards the end. Running for me is very personal. I want to share this moment with the people I've been training with, people I've trained with in the past, friends that have had to listen to me bitch, moan, and groan for the past 6 months, the strangers that come out to cheer their loved ones on, volunteers & the people I'll meet on the course. These are the people I want to share this moment with.

I did get lucky and this handsome man will be out of town. The whole point of this post is he said I hope you have a fantastic time. He stopped himself and asked "Can someone have fun while running a marathon"? This question made me smile and without hesitation I answered yes, one can have fun while running a marthon. I love this question and it came at just the right time as my nerves are on high and I become obsessed with every little aspect of the race the question slows me down and reminds me to enjoy it.


Sunday, February 11, 2007

What's My Purpose?

I'm talking about my purpose for the AT&T Marathon not my life purpose...that one I don't think I'll ever figure out. We'll keep this post simple.

Tonight was our pre-marathon dinner where Coach Sisson gives us a "sermon" before the marathon. He had 5 key points to think about over the next 7 days the main one for me to figure out is my purpose for this race. Apparently, qualifying for Boston is not deep enough. I tend to agree with him on this one.

I'm not sure that I know how to define my purpose for this race. I think it has more to do with me driving myself through the pain/hardship mentally, to not give up when the going gets tough, to keep putting one foot in front of the other no matter what my brain is telling me, and more importantly to trust myself ("trust in your training, Frank"). I've done the mileage, driven the course, visualized the course (this thing is unforgiving), now I just need to show up, execute and enjoy it. That last part sounds sick I know but if you've run a marathon you know what I'm talking about. Six months of training comes down to 1 day- ENJOY IT!!!

It's going to be a great race!!!

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Taper Time

As they say all good things must come to an end...I realize that sounds bizarre once you see that I'm talking about marathon training. Don't get me wrong the training is often brutal and tiring but taper is crazy time for me.

Taper brings out the beast in me. My cravings for junk/fattening food gets out of control. I kid you not I had a big huge family size bag of plain m&ms last week as well as a pint of mint chocolate chip ice cream. Not to worry it wasn't at the same time. I rarely eat like this except for now. The need for insane amounts of alcohol escalates- I think there is a fear of not ever having another drink again- 2 weeks can seem like forever. Sleep can't get enough of it. I wouldn't be surprised if I was asleep by 8:30pm tonight. Last but not least an easy 30 minute run feels like I'm running a marathon. This one freaks me out the most...I start to wonder how the heck I'm going to run another 3+ hours on top of this.

The final kicker for today's taper madness...I checked our running forum to read a post from a speedy nerd in our group- we'll keep him anonyomous this go 'round. He apparently goes to some website to see weather conditions 15 days in advance. As of today Feb 18th will be about 57 degrees- with wind and rain. Honestly, this isn't anything I want to know about quite yet...I'm crossing my fingers this is just a wrong prediction from the weatherman. A girl's gotta have hope;)

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Rogue Tough!!

Rogue Tough is what I'll need to be come marathon day. This morning we did a marathon goal pace run (aka- mgp) on the course from miles 8-16ish. Lemme tell you this section of the course is going to require some serious focus and positive talk to myself...if I'm lucky I'll be able to torture Jon with my psycho-babble to keep us/me going. Those rollers on Exposition are annoying and make slight inclines seem flat, this is honestly what we thought this morning once we took our left on Jackson...Today was mentally tough I started breaking down and it's pitch black, I can't exactly "see" what I'm doing. I battled the bad thoughts and overrode them, which was very necessary considering the last stretch was Great Northern (aka- lab course). I swear we can get rid of that road...I can't think of a worse stretch of road in this city...I'm sure it has something to do with the fact I'm only on it when running...SURRENDER ME NOW!!!

I must say I heart my coaches- Ruth & Steve. They've been stressing out this week after driving the finalized marathon course and have changed our work-outs to make sure we've spent enough time on the course on foot and getting as much mgp pacing in as possible. This morning wasn't scheduled to be on the mid-section of the course and they changed it. It was a little tricky considering it's a "work-day" and this was a point to point run...For those that don't know Ruth & Steve they both have trucks and oh, yeah we had to ride back with them in these tiny trucks back to our cars. Finally being short has paid off- I was blessed with riding on the inside of the truck. Yes, there were poor souls in the back and those that were super "unlucky" and rode with Steve you were stuck on Mopac and taking the longest route back to your warm vehicle.

Oh, yeah- I'm ROGUE TOUGH!!!