Pre-Marathon Expo

Let’s see if I can get this post out with proper spelling, etc unlike the night before.  I guess that’s what happens when you are blogging at 930 PM trying to get words out and thinking one thing while typing another.  Sigh.

When I went to pick up my bib yesterday there was a Running Health Expo as well, different companies selling all sorts of running gear as a precursor to the race.  I’ve never been to one so it was pretty neat, at least for women.  Sorry guys, I know they were selling stuff for you too, but let’s be honest, this was all about women.  Shirts, skirts, socks, running bras, onesies for babies and the almighty headband.

The first part of the Expo was the “Brooks” store.  I happened to migrate over to the shoes where the salesman asked me would I like to try on a pair.  Yes.  As
I was trying on the holy grail of moderate stability shoes, the young man said
oh so cavalierly “you know if you spend $150.00 you’ll be a VIP”.  I looked at him quizzically.  “You know, Very Important Potty”.  At that moment the clouds parted, light shone down and a choir of angels descended.  What does that mean, I asked.
“You don’t have to wait, you get to use the special potties”. You mean I can potty like a rock star?  Yes, oh my yes.  I began to have visions of Charmin served up on silver trays as I walked into my USDA Grade A porta potty.  Hmmm.  He continued to look at me with a twinkle in his eye.  You’re good, I said.  Again he batted those baby
blues.  Alas, I had to let him down gently, I’m afraid I’m not in the market for new shoes at the moment, so I sulked my way over to the sports bras.

So many choices and so many colors.  There is no discussion here, yes…I’ll take that one.  Sigh, yes I’ll need a small.  Walking…walking…STOP! Oh my LAWD what do we have here?  After leaving the spectacular land of sports bras I found myself in headband heaven.  All women runners are aware of the headband craze.  I wish I had a dollar for every time I heard “That’s so cute”!  My goodness.  They have us hook, line and sinker.  Do I need another headband, no.  Did I buy another headband, of course.  Walking…walking…ooooh compression leg sleeves.  The woman at the kiosk asks, “should I measure you”?  Yes.  I’ll take those.   Walking…walking.  Hmmm, I’ve lost my friend Kathi, oooh Jamba Juice.  Yes.  Finally found Kathi and we took our photos.

Laurel and Kathi Laurel and Kathi Arch0001

Believe it or not, I got out of there fairly cheaply.  It was a lot of fun and I came home with some good stuff.  So this is what it looks like for tomorrow.  Throw-away gloves, body glide, temporary inspirational tattoos, compression socks, new rockin’ headband and my give away ~ give away.  I have a courage bracelet that I plan to wear on the run.  When I finish the race I plan to pass it on to someone else.  Think of it as a good luck charm.

Expo Visit

Passion Post #3 ~ Disappointment Breeds Victory

I truly believe that disappointment and failure breeds the passion for victory and success.  That feeling of wanting something so badly, only in the end not to obtain or achieve your goal is a hard lesson.  I’ve experienced that disappointment through sports, education and life. Some of those life experiences worse than others.  One things for sure, I’ve always had this tenacity to come back and fight harder.

Circa late 1970s and I’m in Middle School in Victoria, TX.  I’m in the 6th grade and interested in trying out for the girls basketball team.  I love basketball and I wanted to be on the team, so badly.  The day comes to try out and let’s just say…hmmm I had a lot of work to do.  All in all I thought I did fairly well and when try outs were over we were told that the team postings would be listed on the locker room wall by the end of the week.

Friday was finally here and there was a buzz of excitement in the air.  If you’ve ever tried out for any sport, you are well aware of the jitters that go along with waiting to find out if you made the team.  I make my way down the cream-colored, fluorescent lighted hallway.  I see the two lists on the wall.  One is for the “A” team and the other the “B” team ~ the A team being the more skilled.  I move to the front of the crowd, I can already see disappointment in some girls faces and joy in others.  Some girls are running away crying and others laughing wildly.  You know that feeling in the pit of your stomach, the twisting of nervousness and the lump that forms in your throat waiting for good or bad news, I had it.  I look at the A list and my name is not there.  Okay, I understand that one.  I step to the right to look at the B list…and my name isn’t there either.  Disappointment ~ that split second of reality that occurs when the realization failure is taking place.  That point between anger, sadness and bewilderment.  I was disappointed.  I turned to my friend Stacy, who also didn’t make the team, and said let’s try out for something else.

I was already plotting my comeback.  I wouldn’t be denied.  No way ~ no how.  So, we had to settle for tennis that year.  No offense to all the tennis players, tennis is great.  Really.  Ok, it wasn’t great for me, but it kept me busy.

That winter I practiced my basketball skills every day.  I’m not kidding, every day.  I wanted to be on the team and I was willing to do what it took to make the team.  I dribbled here, there and everywhere.  I improved.  When it came time to try out in 7th grade I made the B team.  Again, I wanted to be better and again I practiced.  I let my passion for the sport lead me.  By 8th grade I was on the A team, starting point guard.  It wasn’t easy, but through hard work and not giving up I achieved my goal.

I picked up my race bib for my first marathon today, the St. Louis Rock and Roll Marathon.  This moment took me back to that time in middle school.  The marathon is a goal I want to achieve.  There were moments when I thought I would never get to this point.  Through hard work and perseverance I will run in my first marathon at age 45.  My passion has brought me to this place.  The marathon is only the vehicle for this passion.  As you know, it’s the journey.Laurel

Mileage Recap 13 – 19 Oct/Marathon training

Last weeks run began the slow decline leading up to the St. Louis Rock and Roll Marathon this Sunday.  I wouldn’t say I’m nervous yet, maybe more agitated.  I’m trying to focus on nutrition, sleep and those little pains that crop up.  My right hamstring is hurting, I think I’m getting shin splints in the left leg and the left knee hurts a little.  Can you say ~ overuse.  Not bad, but none-the-less they have caused me some issues on my long runs.  I am using the foam roller, stretching, icing and trying to keep all things in check.  So nervous no, but agitated yes.

My short runs during the week were fairly uneventful.  My long run on Saturday was eight miles.  I started out sure-footed and into a mile of it my right hamstring started acting up.  Not bad, but the pain makes my right leg feel heavy.  I found myself having to concentrate more on my form.  It was a little easier because I had just taken my first Gu Energy Gel.  I was trying to gauge if I really felt that kick of energy.  I think I did!

MarathonI don’t care what flavor you want to call it.  You can call it “Best thing since slice bread”.  It’s still an energy gel.  It tastes like an energy gel.  Ice cream…it ain’t!

I also ran with compression socks for the first time.  Pink compression socks!  Every so often I would look down at my calves and sigh.  I love you pink socks…eh hem sorry, but it did take my mind of the pain a bit.

compression socksI LOVE THESE ~ they really helped and felt great.  LOVE THEM.

Around mile four I actually caught myself yawning.  Thank goodness for the skunk on the side of the road.  It was a close call.  If the stink hadn’t been so bad I might have stopped for a nap and thank goodness it still stunk on the way back too.  Really.  I’m really glad.

skunk

The week unfolded as follows:

Sun ~ rest

Mon ~ 3.33 miles

Tues ~ 1:15 yoga and 3 miles on the elliptical

Wed ~ 1.83 miles (walked)

Thurs ~ Rest

Fri ~ Rest

Sat ~ 8 miles

Total for the week = 16.16.  Pain and all…grateful that 10,442.42 remains.

Final week marathon tips

Good advice before the marathon.

Run and Jump

There’s only a week to go to the 2013 Dublin Marathon. Those of us who have run marathons before will already know how we’ll manage the next seven days – while still feeling excited and slightly apprehensive, of course. (You never take a marathon for granted, no matter how experienced you are.)

If next Monday’s race is your first marathon then you’re in uncharted waters. How should you prepare? How much should you run this week? Do you really need to eat your body weight in pasta the night before the marathon?

Different runners have different rituals and techniques for the pre-race week, all developed through experience and advice.

So, with that derrière-covering caveat made clear, here’s what I’ll be doing this week.

Sleep: Getting plenty of sleep should be your top priority this week, so that you recharge your batteries after months of training. Your goal is to…

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Mileage Recap 7 – 12 Oct

Another week of training down!  I’m beginning to taper for the St. Louis Rock and Roll Marathon on 27 Oct.  I’ve read a lot about different people’s experience on tapering.  The common denominator seems to be the restlessness and anticipation before the race, i.e. sitting still and going on shorter runs to give your body a break.  I’m going to go out on a limb here….I LOVE TAPER TIME!

Taper Week

Courtesy of tubefilter.com

                

Yeah, that’s right ~ I love me some taper….

I’ve been working hard and have a lot of mileage under my belt, so I welcome a little bit of lower intensity to focus on my body, eating properly and easing my mind about the race.  The runs this week were normal and fairly uneventful.  Had the pleasure of running with my friend Kathi this Saturday for the long run.  Kathi is fast, but I enjoy the push.

The weather here in the Midwest is very unpredictable.  Wanted to get out of the house at 7 am and received an update on my phone that lightning was within 5 nautical miles of the base.  I look out the window and everything looks great.  Eh, I’m going.

It’s a cool morning, slightly overcast and an easy run of 9 miles ahead of us.  Kathi is so polite; she can tell when I need to slow down.  She just finished a marathon the week before (her fourth) and was giving me some good advice.  If you are running your first race, doesn’t matter the length, it’s always good to get advice from someone who has completed that length of a race.  They will give you the true ups and downs of what’s going on and how they felt during the run and what to expect.  Granted each race is a little different, but you get the picture.  Nothing beats experience.

Out running on our main road the road kill is in full force.  Sigh….running side-by-side I find myself dodging this and that.  I’m beginning to think I’m running an obstacle race this morning.  What is that?  Kathi, “It’s weird how it gets so flat“.  I’m just bracing for the stink!  Me, “Is that seven or eight now?”  We get to our turn around point and we see the weather off in the distance.  Around mile 5.5 it starts pouring.  You know when you’re with a good running buddy when you both start laughing.  I love running in the rain.  There’s something so freeing.  It’s beyond the fact that you are getting soaked.  You remember when you were young and it was raining outside?  Your parents would yell at you to get into the house.  You’re going to catch a cold!  And you would run around in defiance!  Hey, at least I did.  Well, let me tell you, that feeling you had at five feels the same at forty-five.  The way the drops hit your face.  It was cool and warm at the same time.  Lean your head back and watch those big drops fall down.  We laughed all the way home.  Being rained on…look at it as a blessing and character building and we Army folk like to say ~ good training!

Last week’s workout:

Mon ~ 4.7 miles

Tues ~ 1:15 yoga

Wed ~ 8 miles

Thurs ~ 5 miles

Fri ~ rest

Sat ~ 9.01

Sun ~ rest

Total miles for the week = 26.71 with 10,458.58 (rainy possibly) miles remaining.  Happy miles to you!

Mileage Recap 1 ~ 6 Oct

It’s true…

Michael Jordan QuoteI won’t lie, marathon training is getting ha**…challenging:)

I’m tired this week.  Not super tired, but I can feel this marathon training starting to take a bit of a toll.  It’s challenging.  I woke up with every intention of running the long run on Saturday like I always do, but I was just too tired and sore from cross training on Thursday.  I was up all night Friday.  I just couldn’t seem to get to sleep.  I will admit, I was worried about the long run.  How will my body react?  Am I eating the best I can (uh, no)?  What if I pass out on the side of the road?  Hey, some other runner can write about stuff they see on the side of the road and include me~ lol.  By the way I did see Marlboro Silver Pack, nail clippers and road kill.

Marlboro Silver

When you need Ultra Light – yeah!

It’s challenging and I’m scared.  Admitting you’re scared to do something you’ve never done isn’t a sign of weakness.  It’s an affirmation of treading into the unknown, trying something new, or stepping outside your comfort zone.  The results will be good or bad.  So, I got myself together and moved my long run to Sunday.  I was supposed to run the 5K Graffiti Run today, but I sacrificed that for marathon training.  Yes I know, why did I sign up for that race ~ eh, don’t ask that question, poor planning.

I started out around 7:30 a.m. this morning.  The funny thing about the long runs is you want to get started early as possible, because you don’t want to waste the whole day!  I felt really good until I got about 7 miles down the road and I had to…go to the bathroom.  Sigh.  When I run to Mascoutah there is a little man-made lake to the right. People go there and fish or feed the ducks.  There is also a Porta-Potty in the parking lot.  It’s been there for ever ~ not the same one mind you.

Porta Potty

It looks just like this one!

It is also very clean.  Ok, as clean as a porta can be.  I shuffled right on over and took care of business ~ then back on the road.

It was a beautiful morning to run.  Clear, about 55 degrees and only a little windy, perfect running weather. Pace was respectable and breathing wasn’t a problem.  Plenty of water, had a pit stop for a banana, some gels, and part of a Cliff Bar along the way.  I’ve noticed on these longer runs I need a little something extra besides water.  I get hungry.  So, a little bit of energy is good for me.

My feet started hurting around mile 10.  I made a concerted effort to mentally move that pain.  Focused on my hips a bit more and was able to get past the discomfort.  Around mile 15 the foot pain was back and I really felt I was shuffling.  The rest of the body felt great but the legs were heavy.

The will to train must be greater than the will to win.  It was a challenge.  Instead of focusing on the pain I took in the scene around me.  The wind is rustling through the trees and golden leaves are slowly floating down in front of me.  There are bursts of cool air mixed with warm letting me know Fall is here.  The soy beans in the field to the left are slowly transitioning from green to dried brown and soon will be harvested.  Then I start to think about my Aunt who passed away last Saturday.  She was in pain but the drugs made her “comfortable”.  I felt a little guilty about my foot pain.

Challenge accepted ~ 16 miles completed for the long run and 10,485.29 remaining.  Happy miles to you.

Workout recap starting Oct 1

Tues ~ rest

Wed ~ 8 miles

Thur ~ 4.67 miles and cross training (kettle bells, pull-ups, weighted wall ball, and burpees

Fri and Sat ~ rest

Sun ~ 16 mile long run

Mileage Recap 22 – 30 September

Last week was fun.  It took me off my regular training for the marathon but that’s alright.   A few niggles here and there, but feeling pretty good.  I have ended the month  of September completing 95.41 miles.  Happily have 10,513.96 miles remaining.  Hope you are reaching all of your goals, running and otherwise.  A very happy day to you.

Schedule is as follows:

Sunday – 22 Sept – Rest

Monday – Too much motorcycle riding on Sunday 🙂

Tuesday – Yoga 1:15 hrs

Wednesday – 8 miles

Thursday – 5

Friday – Rest

Saturday – 3.1  Warrior Dash!

Sunday – Rest

Monday – 5.02