Thursday, October 29, 2009

5K to Carpet Cleaning....

Yes, yes, I do lead a glamorous life!  As you know, this week has been busy, busy, busy. I'm glad to say that once the carpet-cleaning-man leaves my stress will be over for the week!!  Who would have thought that getting your carpet (and area rugs) cleaned would be so stressful?! 

So yes, I tend to do things non-traditionally.  After running a marathon on October 18th, I decided to try out a 5K.  I've always been a bit weary of 5Ks because they are essentially sprints and I'm pretty sure God created me as one of those non-fast-twitch-muscle-types!  Regardless, it was for a good cause and hubby was excited to "race".  Now mind you, this was my first post-marathon run and the devil Jillian had cursed me the day previous.  But all excuses aside, I had hoped to run under 30 minutes.  I came in at 30:13 (9:45/mile).  I was a bit disappointed, until I realized I don't really have a competitive bone in my body and I'm just glad to have had the experience.  Pretty lame, I know.  Now hubby and I had made no verbal commitments to stay together.  I mean, the furthest he had run prior to the race was 1.9 miles.  I figured there would be some walking involved for him.  He finished at a respectable 32:12 (10:24/mile).  He was pretty angry at me for not staying with him the entire time, but holy cow....he had run THREE times time prior to the race.  He did fantastic and I'm only a tad bit envious of his ability to "get in shape" so quickly.  Men.... My pride/ego will not get in the way next time, so for the Turkey Trot....we will stay together!

The rest of the week's activities have gone on as scheduled.  I won't say "without a hitch" because there's always a hitch when kids are involved!  The costume parade was fun (minus the 10 minutes I had to spend fighting with the kids to actually put their costumes on and get in the car).  The flu mist vaccinations went remarkably smoothly.  Making the oreo/spider cookies was a major PITB, but I got it done at 11pm.  Work yesterday  Last night we de-cluttered and rearranged furniture in preparation for today's carpet cleaning.  Today sweet Caroline had to spend 4 hours at the daycare to continue "transitioning" into her classroom.  My parents (and usual babysitters) are leaving for a 2 week Meditterrean cruise today.  That means I had to find an alternate babysitting service!  She's never been left with anyone but family and she's such a sensitive....Mommy's girl!  I've been taking her for a few hours at a time for the last 2 weeks to the daycare.  She cries and cries and is just so pathetic.  Luckily I only work part time and she'll only have to go 4 days in the next two weeks.  Just more emotional (and physical) stess to add to my life.

I'm so glad to be back on my workout schedule.  Getting up at 5:15am yesterday was no fun, but it feels good to use muscles that haven't been used in awhile!  My workout plan is as follows (hubby permitting):

Monday - Weight training/Cardio
Tuesday - Run
Wednesday - Cardio
Thursday - Run
Friday - Weight training/Cardio
Saturday - Run (longish)
Sunday - RELAX!

I don't belong to a gym (essentially because I'm cheap and don't really have the time to *go* to a gym) so all my workouts are done at home in my state of the art workout room....aka the dark, dingy basement. gets the job done.  I've compiled quite a collection of workout DVDs and when I get bored of those, I check out videos from the library.  Gosh, I'm such a Mom.  But like I gets the job done!  And speaking of getting the job carpets are clean!!  Time to go pick up my baby girl and have one last lunch with my parents and sister before they leave.

Monday, October 26, 2009

She's baaaaaack!

With hubby deciding to take up running, I lost my Monday morning run time.  I don't exercise in the evening.  It's generally against everything I believe in (get up, get it out of the way, don't have it hang over your head all day)!  So I brought back an oldie-but-goodie......Jillian!  Jillian effectively helped me to lose 60 pounds in 6 months (along with watching caloric intake, of course), so I'm a believer in her workouts.  Today I decided to do "No More Trouble Zones".    I got this video when I was training for my first 1/2 and have really only done it in it's entirety a handful of times.  I got out my lightest weights (5 pounds) and got through the whole thing.  I've gotta say though, 12 hours later, I'm already feeling it!  It's good to feel that again (and not have to worry about it impeding my "training").  The other great news is that my right leg/shin didn't hurt at all.  I guess taking a whole week off from exercise paid off.  We'll see tomorrow.  I'm lacing up my shoes tomorrow for my first post-marathon run.  Hubby and I (and another couple) are doing a Halloween 5K to support the local Children's Hospital.  This is my FIRST 5K....and I definitely won't be "racing".  That word really doesn't even fit in my vocabulary.  Hubby just starting running (again) last week, he's up to about 1.5-2 miles.  We'll be taking it slooooow!  Since we signed up so late, the race shirts were picked over.  I never thought I would be swimming in a size large.  Oh's for a good cause, right?!  And I will NOT be wearing a costume.  I had to dress up for a Halloween party this weekend (Phidippides none the less....gotta show off that medal somehow, right?!). 

Tomorrow is going to be busy, busy.  My Mom's group is going to a local assisted living facility to put on a Halloween costume parade.  Then the kids get their flu mist vaccines later in the day (note to self: have bribery items available).  Tomorrow night is the 5K run.  Oh yeah, and I have to bring the treats for Braden's party at preschool on Wednesday.  I spent a large amount of time today searching for everything I need for THESE little cuties, and still haven't found everything I need!  So annoying.  I guess I can add another trip to the grocery store to the agenda for tomorrow.  I can sleep when I'm dead....right?

One last thing....Tall Mom is having another great giveaway, thanks to the people at Brooks and their new Brooks For Her line.  What better way to show your support for Breast Cancer Awareness than to sport one of their products down the road?!  I'm thinking I'd look pretty nice in the jacket, myself!  Check out the links above to find your PINK gear!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

The Virgin is no more....New Look and New Name!!

Thanks to my creative director (aka Hubby), The Virgin Marathon Mommy has a new name!!  Welcome to

26.2 and a Mommy too!

With the new name and all, I figured it was only fitting to change the background design, too!  Now, I'm not really sure how to change the actual domain for the time being, you can find me here....just with a new title!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Post-Marathon Musings...

I have so much swimming around in my head and will likely never be able to get it all out concisely! I find myself somewhere between feeling like I just did something really great to it not being a big deal at all. And really in the grand scheme of things, it isn't a big deal. I've just devoted the past 16 weeks of my life to it and find it hard to just let it go.... So with that said, here are some things that really stand out to me.

Race-Day Miracles:
1) Beautiful, sunny, cool, dry, skies!
2) NO tummy issues!
3) NO pain at all in my right leg/shin!
4) Feeling great at the finish line
5) No wardrobe mishaps
6) Not having to stop once to go potty! (I didn't even go until we got back to the hotel!)
7) Deciding at mile 24 that there would definitely be another marathon in my future!

Fun Memories:
1) The guy running near us (with a pink head dress) yelling and screaming at the top of his lungs. We were hoping we'd have his energy around mile 23, but he was only doing the half.
2) My sister getting called "Gi-nay" at one of the water stations. She's my soul sister!
3) The Asian kid yelling out "vanilla" in the most monotonous voice ever at the Cliff Shot station
4) Cheering for and thanking the bands/entertainment along the course
5) Seeing all the little kids out cheering for their mom/dad
6) Dedicating the last 6 miles to special people in my life:
Mile 20 - Taylor Jones (my 4 year old friend fighting AML)
Mile 21 - My grandparents
Mile 22 - My parents
Mile 23 - My hubby
Mile 24 - My kiddos
Mile 25 - God
Mile 26 - ME!

Marathon Mishaps:
1) Forgetting my handheld water bottle in the hotel room
2) Bummer of a Expo
3) Horrible race week anxiety
4) Being told by a MD at work that I had enough time to stop and have a barbeque with my finishing time.....

I find myself in that post-race funk. The DOMS was pretty much gone by Wednesday. My right leg pain has resurfaced, so I decided to take a whole week off from running/exercising. I've exercised 4-6 days/ week for the past 17 months straight. I feel like a sloth doing nothing! Hubby has now decided he wants to start running, so it looks like my running days will be cut back to 3 days a week. That's fine with me, considering the winter months are ahead! I really feel like I've lost a lot of muscle tone (from lack of serious weight training the past 16 weeks), so I look forward to adding some more cross-training into my exercise routine.

So what's next?? I'm thinking maybe the Kentucky Derby MiniMarathon on April 24, 2010.... and maybe the Flying Pig Half on May 2, 2010? With only being able to run 3 days per week over the winter, a full just isn't in the near future!

I'm hoping to have more pictures soon.....

Here's a pic of the sweet roses huby got me:

He must have not got the matchy-match memo.... Oh well, yellow is pretty close to orange! :-)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Marathon Recap!

I have a feeling this is going to be a long one.....just a warning!

We left for Columbus on Saturday afternoon around 11:15am. Despite the multitude of delicious and different restaurants in the city, I asked hubby if he wouldn't mind taking me to Cracker Barrel for lunch. He reluctantly agreed. My mood had been so tense leading up to the race that he wasn't about to ask why! If you know anything about my hubby and I, it is that we love good food! We love going to new places, preferably non-chain type places. Sadly, if you remember, I had made the Cracker Barrel Chicken and Dumplings before my first 16 miler and 20 miler. I don't tend to be too superstitious, but that meal had served me well in the past, so I figured....why not?! We enjoyed a delicous (and child-free) lunch and then headed to the Expo. We got there around 2:00pm. The expo was a bit of a let down, but it was nice to peruse the booths child-free! Hubby had never been to an expo before, so he enjoyed it too. I picked up my t-shirt, poster and bib and we headed to the hotel to check in. It wasn't really until then that it hit me....I was going to run a FULL marathon. Our dinner reservations weren't until 7:00pm, so I tried to take a little nap, but was too anxious. I pulled out my book (Dan Brown's new one) but found that to be even more anxiety-inducing! I painted my fingernails ORANGE (you know, to match my shoes, shirt, and hair ribbon). I thought Tall Mom would be so proud! Dinner at Buca di Beppo was good and fun, as usual. After dinner we called it a night and headed back to the hotel. I laid everything out for the next morning. I opened up my book again and found my heart racing and the pages turning quicker and quicker at 11:00pm. I knew I had to put the book down and just try to sleep! I probably got about 4 or 5 decent hours of sleep.
(BIL, Sister, Mom, Dad, Me and Hubby after dinner)

(my gear all ready to go!)

When the alarm went off at 6:30am, I was READY to get up! We were to meet my sister and Mike in the lobby of the hotel at 7:00am. I gulped down my blueberry Roctane, took my Immodium AD and we were off.
(Me and my sweet $4 Goodwill "throw away" pants that I couldn't part with)

The city was full of life for so early in the morning. Cars and people were pouring into the city from everywhere. We got about 1/4 of a mile from our hotel and I realized I had left my amphipod in the hotel room fridge! Oops! Nice hubby ran back and got it for me! As we got to the starting area, it was jam-packed with runners and spectators. We couldn't get anywhere, so we ended up starting by the 5:30 pace group. We were so far back, we couldn't hear any instructions (didn't even know they were giving any!) or the gun go off. About 12 minutes later, we finally crossed the starting line and we were off. They had a band playing at the start and the streets were lined with spectators. It was so exciting as we scanned the sidelines for family and friends. It was pretty chilly (around 33 degrees) but the sun was just coming up and it looked to be a beautifull day ahead.

Miles 1-5:
This part of the course was essentially flat and lined with people almost the entire stretch. We passed by the Franklin Park Conservatory and headed into an area of town called Bexley. This is home to some of the most gorgeous, old mansions in the state! We went through a couple of the neighborhoods (where the governor was out shaking hands with the runners), and looped around the park and back to the road we initially came down on. Hubby was on his bike, in hopes of catching us every 5 miles or so on the course. I had hoped to take off my sweatshirt and take my first GU around mile 5, when we saw my hubby. He wasn't able to get as far as he (I) had wanted, so we ended up seeing my parents first, around mile 5.5. My Mom had made a sign for us that said "Run Like Two Hot Mamas" and my Dad had a fun horn he was squeezing. I took off my sweatshirt at this point and took my first GU. We took a quick picture and then we were off.

Miles 6-10:
Around mile 6.5, we finally found hubby. He claims we were running faster than anticipated! I was happy to see him, but wasn't ready to take my pants off yet!
(first hubby encounter on the course)
He took off on his bike and planned to meet us again around mile 10. From there, we headed back into the downtown area and into German Village. This area is very quaint and had lots of spectators. We looped around yet another park and into the Brewery District.

Miles 10-15:
By mile 11 we still hadn't seen hubby again and I was getting anxious. I wanted to stay on track with my GUs (but didn't want to make everyone stop 15 billion times) and I was ready to take my pants off! Mike was also in need of some ibuprofen, which hubby had in his bag. I ended up just taking my GU on the run around mile 11. Finally, around mile 12, we saw hubby again. I gave him my pants, took my ibuprofen, gave Mike some ibuprofen, filled my water bottle and we were off! He planned to catch us around mile 15, but I had wised up that these were not concrete plans! It was tough getting around the city on bike! We continued up High Street another 3 miles. I thought this stretch of road would be pretty long, but it actually went by pretty fast. We saw the half-marathoners turn off for their finish on the left. Mentally, I just couldn't look at the finish line, so I kept looking straight ahead and trudged up one of the only real hills on the course. I said to my sister "no turning back now!" and we held our heads high as we continued on the FULL marathon course.
*Our half split was 2:22:53 *

Miles 16-19:
The bulk of this section of the course took us through The Ohio State University campus. Ohio State is not known as a particularly pretty campus, but on this day, it was beautiful and so nostalgic! We ran down 15th Avenue, home to sorority/fraternity row. Sadly, it was SILENT. We all guessed they were still hung over from the night before. We found my parents cheering wildly across the street from my beloved Kappa Delta house. About a half-mile later, we saw hubby again. I remember telling him "I feel good!" and he was off to catch us around mile 20. I took my 3rd GU somewhere around 15 or 16. I just kept thinking of my training book (take your nutrition early and often). I still hadn't had to stop to pee by this point, despite taking in what seemed like lots of water. Miles 17-18 found us out on the West Campus of OSU and was one of the only areas of poorly supported course. By mile 19 though, we had re-entered some neighborhoods and it was nice to see people cheering again! I was hoping to see my friend around here, but she never made it out.

Miles 20-24:

I had decided that at mile 20, I would turn on my iPod for added support. We had lost our friend Mike by this time and I was slowing down. My sister was consistently 10-20 feet ahead of me. I wanted to be mentally psyched up and prepared for this last part of the journey. I was scared for what these next few miles might bring. I think the anticipation was worse than the reality of it! I had the perfect playlist lined up. At mile 20 my sister stopped to use the port-o-potty, I put on my headphones, stretched, took my 4th GU, filled my water bottle and "cleared the slate" mentally. The first song up was "The Final Countdown". I got chills as tears welled up in my eyes. This was it. I was fulfilling a long awaited dream. I felt like I was floating through the air. I couldn't believe how good I felt. The next song up was "Everlasting God". Couldn't have come at a better time. By this time I was running down the street, oblivious to all the spectators, in my own world, mouthing the words to the song. This was my zen moment!! I knew we were heading into a boring portion of the course and I think mentally that brought me down. I started to contemplate walking (besides through the water stations, which we had pretty much been doing the entire time). At mile 23 I took my 5th and final GU and my sister told me "We're not stopping again!" It was starting to hurt to start/stop at this point. I agreed, but knew my legs were getting pretty tight and sore. Around mile 24 we saw hubby (and my BIL). This was the first time I *needed* him for support. He rode along with me for a bit and then finally just got off his bike and walked with me. It was just what I needed to re-charge my legs/mind. I'm not sure I ever really hit the wall, but if I did, this was my moment. They were handing out candy buckeyes and while the thought of them made me want to puke at that point in time, hubby got a couple for post-race. Hubby and BIL then went on to catch us at the finish line.

Miles 25-26:

These last few miles are a blur. I never had the "so close, yet so far away" feeling that I'd experienced in my previous half marathons. They had lined the course with balloon archways and flags. By this point, it was a celebration! I had my iPod blaring by this time and looked over to see my hubby (suprisngly) running next to me. I knew I was close and I felt great. I'll never forget heading up the last little incline and the song "Open The Eyes of My Heart" was on. The sun was shining and it was a beautiful day. Running felt effortless. My parents were right around mile marker 26. We took one last quick picture, turned the corner and ran down the hill to the finish line. The finish line was packed with people. I couldn't see or hear any of them though. I was in my own, happy world. Nothing else mattered and I suddenly wanted time to stop. I wanted to take it all in and remember this moment. I grabbed my sisters hand and we held them high as we crossed the finish line. We had done it and felt GREAT doing it. Our finishing time was 4:56:50.

(Mile 26!!!!)

I really expected to feel completely horrible in the finishing area. We got wrapped in our mylar blankets and had medals placed around our necks. I had to hold back tears at this point! Next up was the photo area. No fake smile needed this time! I was on top of the world. We got our finishers hat and made our way through the food. Water, bagels, bananas, donuts, milk, chips. I took a bottle of water, ate a donut in about 10 seconds flat, grabbed a bottle of milk and bag of chips and made our way out. Luckily, we ran right into hubby and my parents. We exchanged congratulatory hugs, took pictures and realized we needed to head back to the hotel to check out ASAP! Hubby had ditched his bike along the way, so he needed to go back and get his bike. I walked back to the hotel by myself and was in shock. Did I really just finish a marathon? Could it really have been that easy? I mean, if *I* completed a marathon, it's got to be easy, right?! It didn't matter though. Nothing mattered. I had set a goal and accomplished it.

Back at the hotel I made 3 trips to the ice machine to fill up ice buckets for my ice bath (hubby was still getting his bike and putting it in the car). This was crucial to my recovery and I wasn't about to skip it! I settled into the ice bath, turned on my iPod again and this is when the tears came. Tears of joy, of course! The water didn't even seem cold to me anymore as I was transported back to the zen place in my mind! 15 minutes passed quickly, but I was still happy to get out and into some warm water! I showered quickly, got dressed and we checked out of the hotel with about 6 minutes to spare! We met my sister and BIL in the lobby and headed out to a yummy Mexican lunch. Mexican food and ice cream almost always follow my long runs! After lunch we headed home to see the kids. It was good to see them and they were happy to see us! Although I was getting kind of stiff and achy, I really felt pretty good. I couldn't believe it.

And really, if I had one word to describe this experience, it would be unbelievable. To this day, if I hadn't had pictures of myself actually doing it, I don't know that I would have believed it! My muscles on Monday morning told a different story though! They were very much believers in the marathon experience! I still have so much to process and have a feeling of sadness that this whole great event is over. You never get your first time back..... Which leads me to ponder. What should the new name of my blog be?? I'm no longer a marathon virgin.

Stay tuned....and more pictures to come!

Sunday, October 18, 2009


Holy Cow....I did it!! I felt GREAT, had FUN and finished under my goal of 5 hours!!


Details to follow......

Saturday, October 17, 2009

And then there was one.....Or 26.2!!!

We're leaving in just a few minutes to head up to Columbus. I can't believe this day is finally here. I slept great last night, thanks to Advil PM. 9+ hours! Can't beat that with 2 little ones in the house! I've checked and double checked everything. Although I still feel like I might be forgetting something.... don't you hate that?! Hubby and I will grab some lunch on the way, stop at the Expo (which will hopefully be much better than the Air Force expo) and then check into our hotel. We have reservations at 7:00 pm at Buca di Beppo. Carb-loading at it's best!! My best friend (who lives in Columbus) is meeting us for dinner. She's always a blast to be around and will be just what my mind needs! I've been looking at our long run splits, trying to figure out what pace we should aim for. As I've said all along, I have no time goal. My "race plan" is a simple one: Take it one GU at a time! That said, we will probably hang out somewhere between 4:45-5:00 hours. Sad, but true! Keeping a pace group in our sights will hopefully keep us motivated, although it sounds like the spectators in Columbus are fantastic. Let's hope!! I'm really looking forward to running through my alma mater. I put some OSU Marching Band on my iPod to get me in the spirit! Well, there's not much else to say. I'm ready and committed to finish this thing strong. It's go time, baby!!!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Day 62: First Time Jitters....An Analogy

This is technically day 62 of my training, but with my schedule calling for only a 3 mile walk to keep me loose.....I opted for sleeping in until 8:00am. I wanted to rest my right leg and it was cold and rainy....and I would have had to get up at 5:15am to do it!

The marathon jitters are upon me. I never thought I'd lose my appetite, but it's gone. Now don't think for a second that that has caused me to stop eating (that would be crazy), but it's more utilitarian at this point. No fun in it! Another unusual event for me....insomnia. I could drink a 2 liter of diet coke right before bed and sleep all night. This week, I've laid awake for too many hours to count. Reminds me of the kiddos' newborn days, which got me thinking..... Pregnancy/birth really is a lot like training/running a marathon.

You find out you're pregnant and are filled with joy, excitement and a healthy dose of fear. My first day of training was June 29th. I felt on top of the world, embarking on this great endeavor. I was also terrified. I'd only been running 9 months at that time. I didn't know what to expect, but I knew I'd be demanding more of myself than ever before. People say that pregnancy is the easiest part of parenting, but that doesn't mean it's easy. The aches, pains, nausea, vomiting, anxiety, and never-ending worry is brutal. During training, I questioned every single twinge, I questioned whether I was following the right training plan, I questioned why I was doing this, I was FULL of questions. But I was confident. I wanted this so badly. I was devoted (or obsessed as some people may say). Pregnancy carries it's share of ups and downs. I remember the extreme joy I felt when I found out we were having a little boy. I remember carefully picking out the baby's bedding, room decor, furniture, etc. I also remember being terrified of the labor and delivery process. Could I handle it? Was it really all that bad? Would my baby be healthy? Had these 40 weeks of gestation prepared me for D-day? And that feeling right there is where I'm at right now with my marathon training. Would my training be as useless as the birth preparation classes were? Will I be able to break through the wall, or will I crumble like I did turning transitional labor? What's done is done. I didn't miss one training run, I didn't skip out on one single mile of ANY of the training runs. I followed the rules. I did all that I could. But will it be enough, come M-day? I can only hope those last 6.2 miles are as "easy" as the pushing phase of labor. 4 contractions, 21 minutes and just like that it was done. I had a beautiful, healthy baby boy in my arms. Complete and utter joy and satisfaction washed over my body and mind. A true Miracle and Blessing from God had been given to us. This is the joy I look forward to at the finish line. I'm trying to remain positive. As the week has gone on, I've gone from worried, to scared, to psyched! I'm ready to take this thing on. I'm ready for it to be DONE. FINISHED. COMPLETED. I will prevail. There is no alternative. And you know what else I'm looking forward to....SLEEP. Unlike a new parent, you can be sure that Sunday night, I will sleep!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Day 61 - Dogs' Day....

It's definitely not the dog day's of summer, but the 50 degree temperatures brought out every.single.dogwalker. in the neighborhood! That never makes for a smooth run. We even ran into a stray dog. I felt badly that I didn't have my cell phone on me to call the safety department. Hopefully the little guy made it home safely! Enough about the dogs though. For our "last" run the dingo and I tackled some hills. I wanted to push myself, in hopes of gaining some more confidence. My leg was iffy in the beginning, but the pain did eventually subside, AND I haven't had to alter my stride any! It's weird, because now the spot is *really* tender to the touch. More tender to the touch than it's ever been. Not sure what that means. In any case, I feel pretty confident that keeping me dosed up on ibuprofen will take care of that issue on M-day. I just like to know what I'm really dealing with and haven't been taking the ibuprofen. I made it up all the hills and felt pretty good. I'm debating on whether I'll even do the scheduled 3 mile walk on Thursday? I know it won't do anything for my training, it's just to keep me loose. I'd really like to rest this leg as much as possible. We'll see.... I'm still debating what to wear on M-day too. I foresee a trip to Dick's today. Time to ice the leg and shower. The day must go on!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Day 60 - It's the Final Countdown!

Thanks to the new addition of "Monsters of Rock" to my iPod playlist, this was the first song to play during my workout today. Pretty fitting....with 6 days to go!! As much as I've disliked having to get up on Monday mornings, before work, to was bittersweet knowing that this would be my last Monday morning run (for awhile at least). 3 miles just seems like a joke to me, but when my leg pain returned, I was happy it was only 3! It seems weird that tomorrow will be my last "real" run before the marathon. Thursday calls for a 3 mile walk. So, true to my nature, I've started making lists and trying to mentally prepare for this weekend. Without the heavy running schedule, I have so much more time! I had my first marathon dream. I had gotten there late and forgotten to take my Immodium, Roctane and ibuprofen before the race. I wasn't panicked in my dream. I just told my hubby to meet me a bit sooner on the race course so I could take them. Yeah...those are my pre-run I would be that calm! In any case, it was nice to be so calm about it. That's exactly the mentality I'm trying to channel!! Tonight I plan on finalizing my marathon playlist. Not sure if I'll actually end up listening to it. There's suppose to be 60 bands on the course and I do have my sister to talk to! I just want to be prepared in case I have a repeat of my AF 1/2. Oh wait, postive thinking.... In any case, it makes me feel better to check these mundane things off my list.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Day 59 - Affirmation

Today's run was an affirmation. An affirmation of all the hardwork and dedication I've put towards this marathon. It wasn't my best-feeling run by a long shot, but I did it! I decided to "sleep in" and not run until closer to the marathon start time (7:30am). I haven't run that late in a long while, and I wanted to see how I felt at that time. I got decent sleep last night, thanks to 600mg ibuprofen and a cold/allergy pill. The achiness in my throat/neck and chest was gone! My right leg felt good! I took a couple puffs on my inhaler just to help open my lungs more. I was a bit underdressed for the weather (I'm such a bad judge), but warmed up pretty quickly. As we started out I noticed the pain in my right leg was significantly less. I didn't even have to do the silly gimp-run-short-step maneuver I'd been having to do for the first 5-10 minutes of the past 2 weeks' runs!! I'd rate my pain at about a 4/10. My lungs were not too happy to be out there today and let me know about if for the first 3 miles. I almost felt like a beginning runner. So out of breath, that I wanted to puke! Not a great feeling. But I pushed past it, got the gunk out of my lungs and went on with the run. I noticed Every.Single.Incline. Minor or major incline, my lack of oxygen was evident in my leg muscles and lungs! Still, I trudged on. Somewhere around 5 miles I realized my right leg didn't hurt AT ALL. I had to think about the pain to even get it to register at a 1/10! Thank you GOD! What did start bothering me however, was that pesky neuroma pain in my right toes. I took a few short walk breaks through intersections and that was enough for the pain to dissipate some. I didn't even notice it the last mile or so!

Clearly this wasn't a great run, but I perservered and pushed through it. Something I didn't do during the AF Half. I remembered why I set out on this adventure and how much it truly means to me. My positive attitude is back. I have a sense of renewed strength and determination. I will NOT let thoughts of me (or the kids) getting sick ruin my pre-race week. And with that said, I will eat, hydrate and rest for the coming week. 8 more days baby!!

PS - I decided rain or shine on Marathon Day, I needed to get a couple more pairs of my favorite running socks. Retail therapy can go a long way for a girl's attitude too!!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Day 58 - Paranoia

I was feeling so good after Tuesday's run. I took Wednesday off and then ran a measly 3 miles on Thursday. Although the pain started at a 6/10 and went down to a 3/10 (better than Tuesday), my leg started to hurt more AFTER the run. What the heck?! Sadly, that's not my biggest issue (anymore). I'm pretty sure if I continue to ice/stretch/strengthen/ibuprofen, I'll be okay.

I am so freaked out by getting sick. I had a cold last week, which went away early this week. By Wednesday night I was starting to feel sick again. I can tell it's all in my throat right now, which means it will settle into my chest soon. ACK!! Add to that the H1N1/seasonal flu paranoia at work (remember, I work at a hospital) and I'm Freaked.Out. I don't want to take the kids anywhere. They are germ magnets!! I don't want to do anything but sit around and sip hot tea and antioxidant-full soups. I don't even like tea....but if there's something that will make me better, I'm all for it! Hopefully this is all just part of the normal first-timer taper jitters. I wake up giving myself these little mental pep talks (rest WILL make me stronger, I will NOT get sick, etc, etc). Doesn't actually make for very restful sleep, if you know what I mean. Add to that uncertainty about what I'm actually wearing on M-day. Guess I could check a 10-day forcast now....YIKES!! I felt so strong and confident after our 20-miler. Where did that go.....I'm pleading for it to return!

ETA: Great, I just checked the 10-day forcast. 60% chance of RAIN. Low of 43 degrees, high 55 degrees. I'll take the temperatures....just not the RAIN. Boo, hoo!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Day 57 - Let the healing begin!

Today's run wasn't anything spectacular. My pace is actually getting slower and slower. I'll blame it on 1) my right leg 2) a dingo who has decided he needs to stop frequently 3) I've become a bit weary of sidewalks in the pitch black. My leg pain was at about a 7/10 at the beginning of the run and after it was warmed up, went down to about a 4/10. Very manageable and now that I know my leg's not breaking with every step...I'm okay with that! I wore a new top today. I found it on sale and had to have it for my winter wardrobe. The one I have is in a dark pink, but it looks just like THIS. I was a tad bit too hot in it this morning, but it was so comfy! I was thinking about wearing it on M-Day....but we'll just have to see what the weather has in store. I don't know if the hood would bother me after so many miles/hours? I stretched and iced my leg good after my run, and will work on my strength exercises later. I really hope the healing can begin.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Day 55 & 56 - The beginning of the end

My taper has officially begun!! A 9.5 mile "long run" just isn't right! But I'm really not complaining. I've been stuffy, had a runny nose and headache for the past 6 days. To top it off, our long run on Saturday started out by me completely biting it on the ground. Silly pitch-black morning runs. My right leg/shin has continued to hurt, despite icing and ibuprofen. I've been trying to take care of myself, resting as much as possible, wearing supportive shoes as much as possible, etc. After today's measly 3.5 mile run with the pain feeling no better than it did last Monday, I made an appointment at the sports injury clinic at my hospital. I knew regardless of what the MD said, I was probably going to still keep running. I was just hoping he'd have some advice to help, or at least not further hurt myself. So I came home from work, woke the kids up from their peaceful naps and loaded them into the car for the appointment. Luckily I had time to gather up some good behavior bribery items (markers/coloring book/new matchbox car/tiny play doh container/swedish fish). Worked like a charm because the kids were really good. Caroline didn't really want me to go get the x-ray done, but a nice PT came in to entertain her. Aren't those PTs just the nicest people?! Anyway, the x-ray showed no stress fracture. Hooray!! Apparently they can take 2-4 weeks to show up on an x-ray though, so I'm not out of the woods. The pain appeared after my 20-miler, about 9 days ago. There was no sign of healing activity around the bone, so I guess that's good too. I was given some exercises and stretches to do and told to call back in a week if the pain isn't gone or at least better. Then he would do a bone scan for a definitive diagnosis. He also told me in no uncertain terms that there would be "no marathon" if the bone scan came back positive for a stress fracture. I feel kinda silly that this really could just be shin splints. I hadn't been doing any of my shin splint exercises, because the pain was so much more intense than my typical shin pain. My right calf has been one big ball of muscle knots for the past few weeks, so it does make sense. Perhaps it will help me mentally to know that with each step my right tibia isn't going to break in half.... So the ball is in my court and I will call back if I'm not feeling better. Mmmm....maybe? We'll see.

As a side note, he did point out two spots on my right tibia that showed previous damage. He said severe illness, a break, trauma, stress, etc could cause these rings (like rings on a tree). But these were from early teenage years. Interestingly enough, I've never had any sort of damage or trauma. I did aerobics and dance when I was younger, but nothing serious. Just kind of interesting. And with that, I'm off to stretch and do my exercises (and pray for complete and utter healing for M-day).

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Day 54 - Frost! all I have to say about this morning's weather! Luckily I warmed up quickly. The good news is that I got in all 5 miles of my hilly route and my toes/neuroma didn't hurt at all. The bad news is that I was painfully slow and my right shin still hurts. I took ibuprofen before bed, so that helped some. The pain eventually does go away (after about 4 miles). I've been icing like crazy and trying to rest. As much as you can rest taking care of 2 small children. I just don't know what else to do. I seriously considered skipping my run, but I've never done that. I didn't want to break my streak! Thank goodness for tapering and "long" run of only 9 miles this weekend. I've mentioned that I'm a worrier by nature and I can't help but worry about this. It hurts and I want it to go away! I'd go to the doctor, but I'm pretty sure I don't want to hear what he'd have to say. Not this close to the marathon, at least. So with that said, I'm accepting any and all healing prayers and words of wisdom!