Archive

Posts Tagged ‘2014 Austin Marathon’

Thoughts before my second marathon

February 14, 2014 Leave a comment

First of all – hello! Just when I think I can’t get busier, somehow, I do. I haven’t done a very good job of blogging about my training (okay, none) but I have so many thoughts swirling around my head right now so thought I’d get them out on my blog.

This Sunday, February 16th, I will be running my second marathon.  If you are a friend or family member of mine (or neighbor, or friend of neighbor, or neighbor’s cousin, or anyone listening to 590KLBJ late this afternoon), you already know this!

I’ve approached my training and this race in a very different way than I did for my first marathon in Dallas (click here for that race report (http://wp.me/p1f5C8-3l).  Leading up to the Dallas Marathon, I was running at least three, usually four and sometimes five, days per week.  I was doing more core and strength work.  When I did my work outs, I paid close attention to my paces, goal times, pretty much everything I could.  I had a spreadsheet going.  Studied my Garmin Training Center religiously.  If I was going to run a marathon, I was going to do the best I could do given my schedule and available time. I worked really, really hard.  There were several others in our group who were also training for their first full or for the half and I did feel like we were all one, big, happy (albeit scared) family.  I had one very dear friend (Denise E.) who trained with me at my pace.  It was just the two of us.  If I didn’t show up, she’d be running by herself and vice versa and that happened minimally.  We were each others life lines.  There were no other options but we really didn’t need or want any other options, to be honest.  We had each other and that’s all we needed.  We shared so much and grew so close.  It was also the HOTTEST summer/fall on record that year.  On some evening runs, we’d start our run when the temps were over 100 degrees and that’s not even including the heat index.  To call it brutal would be an understatement. I ended up getting sick a few times and needed some special therapy to help with tight muscles for several weeks.  Hurt really bad, but worked.  It was INTENSE!  I enjoyed it, but it was HARD.  Getting sick not that long before my race really hurt my confidence, but we pulled out a 5:38 under rainy, breezy, and 40 degree temps.  My back seized up @ mile 18 and I was in a world of pain. But we did it!

Fast forward to this training season.  I’ve run twice per week most weeks with some 3-day run weeks.  On my non-running days, I’ve walked a lot more this time around and tried to incorporate strength and core, but really not like I should have.  I’ve been training with three other fabulous women so if 1-2 of us are absent, there’s still someone to run with.  It’s been nice!  It’s also been (what I would guess) is the, if not one of the, COLDEST winters on record.  We’ve run more than one training run when it was below freezing or close to it.  There’s been ice a couple of times, too.  We’ve run longer distances more frequently than last time.  But I haven’t been sick ONCE.  I thought I was going to finally succumb earlier this week when both of my kids came down with stuff, but Zicam, rest, extra fluids, and maybe divine intervention kept me healthy.  I haven’t had any injuries.  I’ve had the aches and pains that come with running 14, 16, 18, 20, and even one 22-mile long runs, but nothing that sent me  to a doctor or physical therapist.  It’s been a very different training experience this time around.  I think I should have done more, probably, but I did what I could do to balance out my training with my life.  I haven’t missed much of my kids things or needs and I haven’t been so stressed out about fitting everything in so I feel more even keeled emotionally this time around, too.

There are positives and negatives about both training experiences.  I know I’ll do this again in a couple of years and I’m sure that training cycle will bring on another completely different experience.  It’s kind of the fun thing about running, honestly.  Keeps you on your toes.

This Sunday, I face my second marathon.  I might be undertrained physically, but mentally, I feel strong.  I know I can do this.  I finally figured out what it meant to RACE during my last Austin Half Marathon two years ago and that knowledge should serve me well (http://wp.me/p1f5C8-3L).  I know I will be uncomfortable for over 5 1/2 hours (hopefully not much more than that) and it will be hard, but I can do it.  The weather is not looking ideal, but it will work.  It should be cool enough long enough to try and reach my goal of beating my first marathon time of 5:3838.  I have a pace band printed out for a 5:36 finish time for guidance.

I’m going to think about the lesson I keep learning and seeing over and over and over again and use it to my advantage.  The lesson is: YOU CAN FIND SOMETHING GOOD, EVEN IN BAD TIMES. When I hurt, when the weather isn’t what I want it to be, when I feel discouraged, I will turn it around and find the good.  I’ll focus in on the great crowd support I’m fully anticipating.  I can’t even count how many people have told me they’ll be out there cheering me on.  Really.  And there are a good handful of people who will be looking for me to jump in and run some miles with me towards the end, too.  So sweet. So thoughtful.  So comforting.  When I’m having a particularly tough time, I’m going to think about the people I’ve loved in my life, especially my grandparents, and the lessons I learned from them. The good times we shared together.  Just reel in the love. I’ll also remember some of my favorite Bible verses which will be written on my pace band, too:

I can do all things in God who strengthens me.   — Philippians 4:13

But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded.   —  2 Chronicles 15:7

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.  —  Matthew 6: 21

Seek the LORD and his strength; seek his presence continually!  —  1 Chronicles 16:11

 

I’m ready for this. Let’s go.

Advertisements