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 🙂

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

Joining The “Boot” Club

So there ya have it!

Here’s the deal.  My Plantar Fasciitis has been flaring up really badly; I wake up in the morning and can hardly stand, let alone put weight on it and run.  But the thing is, once I get moving and do run, I feel fine.  But anyone who has ever suffered from any level of PF knows that it that doesn’t mean I am okay.  My plantar fascia ligaments are pretty inflamed right now.  And in an effort to be proactive, my doctor ordered me to wear this to hopefully stabilize my ligaments.  Right now, my spirits are pretty high and I am feeling positive about this whole ordeal.  The really positive part is that I am still able to run and work out.  And I will be working two nights a week as long as I can handle it.  But at all other times, it’s all about the boot!  Given that this is all about being proactive, I know it is up to me to decide when I can and cannot workout.  I actually feel really lucky that I have a doctor that is also a good friend.  A doctor who is a marathon runner and a mulitple Ironman finisher.  A doctor who gets it, knows what it right for as an athlete and cares about me as a patient and a friend.  I feel lucky that I have a doctor who believes in being proactive so that long term goal focus isn’t lost.  That is probably why I am smiling in the photo- yeah, the boot sucks.  It is heavy, uncomfortable and not exactly a fashion statement.  But in the end, this is going to help me.  And I didn’t have to face a season-ending injury before getting relief.

For right now, I am taking it one day at a time.  You know…whatever gets me to that finish line in Novemeber!

Monday Brain Exchange Week 25- 2011 Excitement

Every Monday, at the end of the current weeks M.B.E answer, I will post a question for the following week.  This way you can cue your post for Monday if you wish.  If Monday doesn’t work for you, you can still play along any day of the week that works best. If you want to play along, all you have to do is post the question and your answer on your own blog.  Link your post to my blog so that I know you have participated, and in the following weeks post, I will link all the participant blogs from the prior week.

This Weeks Topic: 2011 Racing

This Weeks Question: What race are you most excited for in 2011?  Any destination races?  Are you trying out a new distance.  Tell us what it is in general you are looking forward to when it comes to 2011 racing.

The race I am most excited for is NJ State.  It was my favorite race last year and I am looking to do even better this year.  The second race I am most excited for isn’t even one I am running, and that race is Boston!  I am so excited to meet so many of you and watch the race that Monday 🙂

And as for trips…well, this is me so of course I have trips planned!  First up, Shamrock 8K in VA Beach.  Then hopefully I’ll get into the B.A.A 5K for when I am in Boston.  I am also planning to travel to New York for the Boilermaker in July to celebrate my 30th birthday.  _____________________________________________________________________________________________________

Next Weeks Topic: Extreme Weather & Keeping it Fun

Next Weeks Question: Do you deal with any types of extreme weather where you live?  Heat warnings, a lot of snow, frequent tornados?  How do you keep your workouts fresh and fun when you are stuck indoors?