Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Get the Balloons...It's Time for a Party!

Ohhhhh...You thought this was going to be a fun party???? Okay, so my title might be a little misleading...*wink*

So where do I begin? Do I start with the excuses I gave myself or do I start with the explanation of why I should be allowed a pity party? Or do I start with just owning up to my spectactularly horrible marathon training?

#1. I had a really stressful week last week. I won't go into the boring details just suffice it to say that there was some capital "D" - DRAMA that really just wore me down. And then let's throw in work stress and a horrific allergy attack on Thursday and we can pretty much skim the surface of the stress.

#2. It's leading up to Aunt Flo's visit so emotions are on high alert, nothing feels like it fits, I want to eat everything in sight, and the boss brought in new bags of chocolate for the candy jar. All a recipe for disaster.

#3. After a week of unseasonably good weather, it decided to warm way the heck back up for Thursday - Saturday of this week. When's my long run? Saturday morning.

#4. I narrowly missed getting my car towed Friday morning, which meant running down the sidewalk in sandals nowhere near "smart running apparel". Okay, so here's the short version. My neighborhood HOA was repaving all the streets in the 'hood in chunks which meant being creative with parking on the day of the paving in our "chunk". That was on Thursday and we were all rather pleased that on Friday I already had the day off so once we parked the car on the street we didn't have to worry about figuring out how to get out again on Friday morning. Well, except for the fact that where we parked it on Thursday night was the section that was getting paved on Friday morning!!! The notice stated that all cars had to be off the street by 7:00 AM or would be towed at owner's expense. I realized at 7:30 AM that we had actually parked in the "green section", better known as the Friday, June 20th section. So I quickly slipped on the sandals I had worn to work the previous day, grabbed the keys and started walking over to the parking spot with that pit of despair in my belly expecting to see my car gone. As I turned the corner I saw a tow truck backing up towards a sedan car that was parked in the vicinity of my car so you absolutely KNOW I took off at a sprint at that point, right? Thankfully (unfortunately for the car's owner) the car that was being loaded on the truck at that point in time was the one in FRONT of mine, so crisis averted, but WHEW. It was crazy!! And the rest of the day my shins were just tender and sore...hmmm...you think sprinting down the sidewalk in sandals maybe wasn't the bestest idea in the whole wide world? But at least it wasn't for naught because I was able to park my car in the garage at that point.

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So there you have at least some of what my problem is and then just go ahead and throw on top of that a HORRIBLE long run in the middle of marathon training and that recipe for disaster I mentioned in #2 above turns into a fully baked cake for my little pity party!!

Seriously though, I would be lying if I didn't have a whole lot of doubts right about now when it comes to if I feel like this marathon thing is actually a good idea. I was out on my run on Saturday and it was just tough from the get-go. My shins hurt from the sidewalk sprint in sandals, the sun was shining brightly in the sky even at the early hour I was out, there wasn't even a whiff of a breeze to be had, and I'd been through a ridiculous amount of stress for what seemed like weeks on end.

It's wasn't pretty, friends. I tried and tried and tried to get my head in the right space but was never truly successful. And then I started to think: "What am I going to do when I am struggling at the race?" "How am I going to survive a long, hot summer of training like this?" "Man, it's boring as hell out here and I feel like I'm wandering in the desert for 40 years of solitude." "I'll walk until I get to that rock, okay, the next rock; alright, I'll really start running at that curve up ahead." "Who do you think you are...running a marathon! You can't even do the training, what are you going to do at the race...walk the whole thing and finish in 12 gazillion hours?" "I can't do this alone..."

And that's how it went...my brain on the constant hamster wheel.

But that last thought is the one that truly sticks with me...I think I need to admit that I don't think I can handle these long runs all by myself. It is just totally motivation sucking, brain draining, morale killing, no good  and no fun to run for hours and hours all by myself in the hot summer sun on a dusty trail just me and an occasional "real runner" speeding by me once every hour or so. I mean, the stats speak for themselves - I was out there for 3 1/2 hours people and only ran (if you can even call it that) 12 miles!!! I was supposed to do 15. I am so far behind on my training it is becoming ridiculous.

But I haven't called it quits just yet, but I'm definitely rethinking my plan of attack. I am officially halfway there so I have 10 weeks left until race day to get my act together. I might need to enlist my BFF to ride her bicycle while I run...maybe she will even need to carry a Starbucks or cupcake tied to string behind her to keep me going! I might need to join a run club but the only problem there is that there isn't anything local so it will mean driving for 45-60 minutes in a single direction. When you're already taking so much time away from the family, every little bit is precious so that's a tough pill to swallow for me. But I'm not willing to concede defeat...I WILL FIND A WAY!!!

Any suggestions, feedback, help??? PLEASE??? :-)

Or criticism from YOURSELF...right?


  1. Congrats on not getting your car towed. That would've sucked big time! But your poor legs. :-(

    I wish I knew what to say to make it easier for you to decide on the marathon. Of course I want to cheer lead and say "you can do this!" and be Rainbow Brite. But I also don't want you to push yourself to the point where you're doing this and your body isn't fully ready either, ya know? Only you can answer that question for sure and only you know if it's a physical thing or a mental thing and if it's mental, how much does it mean to you?

    Does SP have a running group near you? Could you start one in your area? I'm sure others want it too but don't know where to start.

    I'm sure none of that helped. LOL Sorry

    1. Oh but it does help!!! Because you know it helps me realize that IF I ever get to the point in training where it truly is absolutely NO FUN, then that is it. Running, for me, is a joyful activity and if the drive to accomplish the goal erases that, then the goal isn't worth it (right now). The other part it helps me realize is that if the stars aren't aligning and it just doesn't come together and I bump down to the half marathon, that's OKAY. It's not the end of the world...there are bigger things in life. Thank you for your unending support!!! I truly, truly, truly appreciate it!! Now if I could just get you here to Cali to actually cheer lead that would be all-caps AWESOME!!! ;-)

  2. There is this girl that I know from Sparkpeople who wanted to be a runner. This is what she wrote when she ran on her first day. "Monday - I completed W1D1 of C25K!! That's right - I actually RAN! Okay, so it is jogging for short intervals but I did it! LOL My sister even got up and came and joined me at the un-Godly hour of 4:00 AM!! We both did it...we are training for the 5K at Disneyland in September and have just enough time to completed C25K before doing the 5K. Can't wait!! I am bound and determined to get the medal for finishing because you only get it if you complete at a 15 minute/mile pace. This will be the first time I participate in a 5K that actually has a pace limit. So I am anxious to challenge myself! I'm also excited about starting The Challenge today. I can tell already that it is going to push me to my outer limits! But I'm ready for that! I am going to deviate just a tad and do the strength on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday instead of the M/W/F that they currently have it on. That will work better with my "running" schedule! hehehehe - It just delights me to be able to say that!!!


    I guess I need to give a little background - I have always told myself that I'm not a runner. Even as a child when I was skinny and fit I hated to run. After a few minutes when my legs would ache and my lungs would burn I would give in and walk. I always told myself I was a "sprinter". So as I started walking a few years back I still maintained that I just wasn't a runner. Then I stopped even walking and when I started back up again earlier this year that was still the thought. BUT in between I had watched some Biggest Loser and I saw these people actually running and I kept saying to myself, 'If they can do it, why can't I???' And I kept saying it and saying it and saying it...but yet never actually started running.

    Well, when my sister said we need to do this Disneyland 5K and I saw that to get the medal I would definitely have to run at least part of the way (my walking pace is about 17 minutes/mile) I said, now is the time! It is time to be DONE with telling myself I can't do it! I CAN DO IT!!! And I WILL DO IT!!! I am going to run that 5K in September!!!!! And when I am crossing the finish line I will be able to yell out "I AM SO DONE - GIVE ME MY MEDAL!!!"

    Can't wait for that day!!! "

    A little while later she wrote this that sounded so poetic: "Today, I got to run. (Yesterday was a Xtrain day, so that meant only walking). It was hot and it was humid. The only coolness I got was from the breeze I generated by running! But at the same time, one of the things I love most about running is that you DO generate a breeze! Freaking cool if you ask me!! So today I ran. And I think for a lot of it I ran off the frustration I've been feeling lately. I left the iPod at home and just focused on the stars, my form, my rhythmic breathing, the sweat running down my neck, the way it felt to feel my lungs rise and collapse, to feel my feet roll and push me off...It may have been hot and humid, but it was an awesome run and it made so much of a difference."

    She also wrote about Domino effects and how one domino of negative thinking can spiral you into a lifetime of bad decisions. It bothers me that you reference a "real runner." You are a real runner. You have overcome lethargy, weight, stress, P.M.S., injury, etc and you still run. Listen to your body and make decisions....but don't let negative thinking get you. You've had shin splints before and conquered it, you've done long runs in the hot summer by yourself before and conquered it, You've run a marathon before. You are totally capable. Get your friend to ride, drive to join the group....do what it takes because you are a runner and you can do this!

    1. Oh Kathy...you make me cry!!!! I so needed that...I don't even know the words to say just how much I needed to be reminded of how joyful I was that I could run even when it sucked!! hahaha I need to channel that same joy now. I know I can do this. You are right. I AM A RUNNER and my runner's heart can be bigger than my runner's hamster brain. I love you, my friend!! Thank you!!!!!!

  3. And this is what is MOST difficult about the marathon - the training. I know you are having self doubts. Even the fastest people in the world have self-doubts. Mental training is a part of the marathon training. But I know you can do it. Your goal for the Marathon is to cross the finish line. Keep telling yourself that. "My goal is to cross the finish line." And yes, it is tough to run it alone. I think finding a workout partner that can accompany you will be key to completing the long runs. Enroll a different person - co-worker, sister, son, DIL. Make it a family outing by placing them in different mile markers (water stations). Let them know how important this is for you. I know they will have pride in you and in themselves for supporting you come Marathon day.

    1. Great ideas, Luisa!! And you're right - the training is as much mental, if not more, than it is physical. Thank you, thank you, thank you for your advice and support!!