Monday, October 15, 2012

"I AM fit! I'm just slow!" and other lessons from training for a marathon

It's been a lovely two days of rest.  I'm not gonna lie, Sunday (cross train), Monday (rest) and Friday (rest) are my favorite 3 days of my training plan.  They're not my favorites for the reason you may think, though.  I love these days because they give me a chance to reflect on what the heck I just accomplished (a whole lot) and what's still ahead (ok, a heck of a lot more!).  

They give my good old quads, calves, hips and hamstrings time to let me know that while I might have asked a lot of them over the past week, they are there for me and are ready to step up for the next mileage/speed increase I'm about to ask of them.  It's nice to know that even though it may seem like a bad idea to run up that giant hill- because let's be honest, your legs are cursing you, your lungs are screaming and your brain just wants to take a nap- your body actually thanks you later for the challenge.  It's always a good kind of tired knowing that you abused your body in the right way.   

I sat down this afternoon with my revised training plan, and taped the various pieces of paper together.  Yes, I am pretty old school so I literally cut up two different plans with scissors and taped them back together, while crossing out and adding parts in order to adjust for the extra weeks I have between now and March 16th.  Most marathon training plans are somewhere between 15 and 20 weeks, so I'm lucky that I have some cushion time just in case I need to repeat a week's mileage/get sick/get injured. Fingers crossed none of that actually happens, but it has before so I'm building it into the schedule this time.

You can totally see the tape!!

It's pretty terrifying to see my mileage build from around 15 miles a week all the way up to a peak of 40 a few weeks before the actual race.  I'm trying to trust the process and do the whole "train smarter not harder" thing, but it's still intimidating.  I'm even reading a book called "Marathoning for Mortals" by John Bingham and Jenny Hadfield, all about, well, running a marathon if you're not an elite athlete.  I think my favorite passage is John's description of wearing a heart rate monitor for the first time.  After his race, he and the creator of the monitor that he was testing  looked over the data, only to find that it said he ran at 80% of his maximum heart rate for over 5 hours (that's pretty impressive).  The creator's comment was that the data were clearly wrong, because "do you know how fit you'd have to be to keep your heart rate at 80% for 5 hours?"  John's response was, "I am fit!  I'm just slow!"  

Yup.  That's one of the mantras I repeat to myself as I run/jog/slog/whatever you want to call it through my Saturday runs.  This past Saturday I covered 6.5 miles, my pace was great, and my legs felt awesome at the end.  The only thing that almost threw me off were my thoughts about how it would feel to finish the race on marathon day.  I thought about how awesome it will be to see Lizbeth at the finish line, and maaaaan, that was enough to make the trail in front of me go blurry for a few minutes.  Those happy tears definitely got me through the last 1/2 mile with a little extra speed (even if I couldn't quite see where I was going!).  

Liz has several more rounds of chemo to get through, but the new cocktail she's been given seems to be a big step up from the last one.  My thoughts are with her every single day, and I can't wait to hear about all the good days she has ahead!

In the meantime, I'm brainstorming all sorts of ideas for fundraisers for Team Hope!  Here's a sneak peak at one I'm working on:
Colored Pencil Bracelet! Complimented by OCRF bracelet, of course!

I have to give credit for the idea to two awesome ladies who volunteered at Mary Open Doors, the non-profit I worked for in Belize last year.  Anna and Savannah made tons of these bracelets to sell to raise money for different organizations, and I wear mine a lot.  I absolutely LOVE my bracelet, and get compliments on it all the time!  What do you think?  I've already gotten to work on them, and I'll let everyone know once I have some finished!  

In other super awesome way cool news, I got my race kit in the mail the other day from OCRF Team Hope!  They sent me a load of swag, including a FANCY Team Hope Tri top, some sweet running socks, a running hat (it even fits my big head!), a really really really nice hydration belt with a pocket for keys, gels, etc. and an ID tag (I like this adjustable version so much better than the velcro belt ones I have now), some OCRF sticky notes, and a bag to stash all of my gear in on race day.  Thanks to OCRF Team Hope for all of your support!  
Ooooh fancy swag!  

Speaking of support, let's keep those donations coming!  We're over 25% which is incredible! We still have a ways to go to get to $5,000, so think about giving even a $10 donation today HERE!

Have an awesome week, y'all!

Peace and love, 

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