All Things Marathon

OMG.  Less than a month.  A month from today I will have ran a marathon.  Could this really be, finally, happening??  I have never been this close, having to back out twice, and it is starting to get very real.  Wow. Holy wow!

I have shyed away from really talking about the marathon and my training for two reasons.  The first reason being that there are some opinions I don’t want.  There is a plan for everyone; I like my plan and feel good about what I am doing.  Often, I know I can be discouraged by what others may say if they do not agree with what I am doing or how I am doing such things. (Does that even makes sense?)  Also, I haven’t talked much about it, because in all honesty, its big enough.  I am not running this to break any records, get to Boston or anything like that.  My sole purpose for running this marathon is for myself.  So that I can say I did something bigger than myself and something that I never imagined I would do.  From day one there have only been two goals.  Finish injury free and finish happy.  Time. Does. Not. Matter.

In my day to day life, no one cares about how fast I run, what my splits are or what time the clock says when I cross the finish line.  But with my teammates and in the blog world, a lot of focus is placed on times, paces, splits, goal times and etc.  For someone who runs on the slower side, like myself, this can be discouraging.  When I read that walking takes away from the glory of a marathon or when I read that everyone should finish in such a such time, I feel discouraged.  And the most important part of my training has been to stay positive.  I have had to restrict from reading some blogs and training with groups, so that I can keep a positive mentality.  And trust me, I know (most) people do not make statements to hurt anyone, but do so without realizing what it can do to a person’s pysche.  Although I am a very strong person, I am also very sensitive.  I have made major efforts to improve my confidence and keep positive through this training.  And so far, mostly so good!

While I haven’t talked much about the marathon up until now, I probably won’t be able to talk about anything BUT the marathon for the next four weeks!  I have so many questions and feelings…I totally get how major this is, regardless of how different my goals might be from others.  The marathon truly is such a personal journey.  And in less than a month I will be running (and yes, walking) with thousands of others on their own personal journeys.  There is something so significant to me about all of this that I get emotional when I think about the day.  I have visioned it so many times.  During training runs, visioning the race helps me so much.  I think about the crowds, my family and friends, the music, the energy and of course the finish line.  I try not to think about the exhaustion, the pain and the time!  I am going to be out there a long time.  But at the end of that long time will be the long-awaited finish line.  And that will make it all worth it.

Every day is different- Some days I love the training, some days I hate it. Some days I feel strong and others not-so-much. Some days I am excited and others scared to death.  But on November 20th, 2011, I am going to toe the line of my very first marathon.  And I have a feeling that the feeling I will have in those first moments, and in the moments crossing the finish lines, are ones I cannot begin to imagine.  Only live.  And I get chills thinking about it.

Can you remember how you felt in the weeks and days leading up to your first marathon?  Please share 🙂

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Music For My Ears

I have roughly 4 half-written marathon type posts.  If I wasn’t so busy eating, running, working, icing, running, sleeping, working, running, rolling, working, eating, sleeping, rolling, running and eating, I might have time to finish them!  Seriousy, how do you people do it?????  I feel like all I do is eat and sleep whenever I am not working or running!

One of the things I have really concentrated on during training, is my mental health.  I know how important it is to stay physically healthy through the training but for me, I know come race day, I am going to need to be mentally with the program!  I have been posting photos to my facebook as daily motivations, I have photos on my mirror at home and desk at work and I spend time visualizing the marathon almost every night.  But the one thing I am doing that I think will help me the most is also the craziest- I have done every single long run without music.  Every single one.  I used to refuse running more than two miles unless I had my IPOD and now I am running almost 20 miles, music-less. 

To be honest, I like being without the music.  It forces me to focus on my body; how I am feeling, what I am feeling and moreover, my thoughts.  When you are out there that long, going as slow as I do, self-reflection is unavoidable.  I would be remiss if I did not say that this training has taught me more about myself and what I am capable of, then I ever thought possible. 

And yet, the notion that I am going to complete 26.2 miles in less than five week, blows my mind completely.  It leaves me wondering if I am ever going to be able to wrap my head around it until I actually do it. 

I know that come race day there will be ups…and downs…and ups.  I know I will be challenged in crazy ways.  I am trying to be preapred…so even though I am not training with music, you better believe I am going to run with it!

That said, here is my playlist thus far. 

Bachman Turner Overdrive You aint seen nothing yet
Black Eyed Peas Pump It
Black Eyed Peas I got a feeling
Bon Jovi Who says you cant go home
Bon Jovi It’s my life
Bruce Springsteen Born to Run
Bruce Springsteen Hungry Heart
Bruce Springsteen Glory Days
Chris Brown w/Lil Wayne Transform Ya
Christina A. Fighter
Dierks Bently Free and Easy
Don Henley Boys of Summer
Drake Forever
Eminem Lose Yourself
Eminem/Lil Wayne No love
Estelle American Boy
Fleetwood Mac Go your own way
Garbage Only happy when it rains
Jay Sean Down
Jay-Z Run this town
Jets Crush on you
Journey Don’t stop believing
Justin Timberlake Sexyback
Katy Perry Waking up in vegas
Kayne West Stronger
Kayne West Jesus Walks
Kenny Chesney Big Star
Kesha Tik tok
Killers Mr. Brightside
Lil Kim The jump off
Lil Wayne Mr. Carter
Lil Wayne with Jay-Z Mr. Carter
Lil Wayne/Chris Brown Look at me now
Michael Jackson Don’t stop till you get enough
Michael Jackson Man in the mirror
Michael Jackson The way you make me feel
Midnight Oil Beds are burning
Miley Cirus Party in the USA
Miley Cirus The Climb
Natasha Bedingfield Unwritten
Nikki Minaj Super Bass
No doubt Spiderwebs
No doubt Just a girl
Pink  Raise your glass
Pink  Just like a pill
Pink  So What
Queen/David Bowie Under Pressure
Rick Ross Boss
Rick Springfield Jesse’s girl
Rob Base It takes two
Rob Base Joy and Pain
Rolling Stones Start me up
Rusted Root Send me on my way
Sheryl Crow Soak up the sun
Sugarland Settlin
Taylor Swift Love Story
Tina Turner Proud Mary
Tom Petty Running down a dream
Tom Petty I Won’t back down
U2 Beautiful Day
Van Halen Running with the devil
Young the Giant My Body

 With very few exceptions, most of this music is geared towards the paces I feel like I will be running throughout the marathon.  And when I say running, I should note: running/jogging/walking. 

What are you favorite songs to run/jog/walk to?  I am looking to add another 30 songs…I like pretty much all music, so let me know what you recommend!!!!!

 

It Shall Not Go Unnoticed

One year ago today, the blog world lost a great guy and I lost a great friend.  A year ago today, I woke up ready to race Warrior Dash but was presented with some sad news as soon as I opened my Facebook.

Rick was a great blog friend, always ready with a funny comment and great advice.  I have missed him through this last year- we intended to meet in Boston, and while I felt his presence there, he was so very missed.  I have missed his humor while I have gone through many ups and downs with my racing this year and I think of him often.  I know Rick will be on my mind as I run Philly this year.

One year- so much happens in a year.  Days might go slow, but man does time fly.

Hope you are resting, and running, happy 🙂

30 Days Of Truth- Day 9

Day 9- Someone you didn’t want to let go of, but just drifted

This is easy.  Her name is Kara.  I survived high school because of Kara.  And at times, I survived life because of Kara.

Kara and I met on the first day of high school.  She had a spacious end locker for the first few hours of freshman year.  Some little girl (me) came and ruined this blissful happiness though because she could not reach her top locker.  Thus began what would eventually become the friendship of Kara and Jill.  By the end of freshman year, Kara had finally forgiven me for stealing her locker.  When Sophomore year rolled around, we both joined Interact and found ourselves spending a lot of time together.  We were different in every way but the at the same time we were so much alike.  During that summer, we began hanging out on a more regular basis.  And pretty much from there we were inseprable. 

Our friendship never faltered through high school and college.   Through relationships, various hair colors, ups and downs with other friends, big moves, graduations…everything.  Kara was the first person I ever drank with, who I took some of my best shore vacations with and who knew me better than I knew myself.   We were there for each other through everything.  Every memory I have for the series of years we were close, somehow involves Kara. 

Unfortunately, after college she moved with her boyfriend and our time spent together became less and less.  Emails and phone calls became sparse and at some point we just stopped making time for each other.  As alike as we were for all those years, our adult lives took us down completely different paths.  I have only seen Kara twice in the last 3 years. I think about her often.  I have nothing but love for the girl who I feel shaped much of who I am. 

Do I wish we were still close?  Of course.  But I think our friendship served a purpose (for both of us) and I respect that we have moved forward in different directions.  I feel like the next time I see her, it’ll be like we were never apart.  Kara and I will always be able to pick up where we left off.  Even though we have drifted, I don’t think we will ever let go of each other in heart.

 

Day 1 –> Something you hate about yourself

Day 2 –> Something you love about yourself

Day 3 –> Something you have to forgive yourself for

Day 4 –> Something you have to forgive someone else for

Day 5 –> Something you hope to do in your life

Day 6 –> Something you hope you never have to do in your life

Day 7 –>Someone who has made your life worth living

Day 8 –> Someone who made your life hell or treated you like shit

Marathon Motivation

As my training cycle begins to get real serious, and the marathon begins to peek its head out from the horizon…and I begin to be exhausted every day and on the verge of eating my own hand every minute…I decided over the weekend that I need a motivation overhaul! 

Here are some of the photos that I have been posting on my mirror, bedroom walls and work desk.  Whatever it takes, right!

 

 

How do you best motivate yourself?  Do you use quotes or photos or certain mantras?