I’ve officially starting the 20 mile runs in preparation for the marathon. Running for 4 hours is a surreal experience. I thought prior to running these uber long runs I truly understood pain, suffering, joy, endurance, and satisfaction. But I was only experiencing a fraction of those emotions. The 20 mile runs take a lot more preparation both physical and mental. The mental part for me usually takes a full two days of psyching myself up for it. I’ve started using gels to help supplement the protein bars I usually eat. I have discovered that eating a small bit of protein bar every hour rather than waiting until I think I need it,helps immensely!
I’m also coming to terms with the fact that after all of this training, I will be running the Portland Marathon in a little more than 6 weeks. And yes, it makes me feel slightly nauseous, scared, excited, and slightly depressed. I have been working towards this goal for almost a year. What am I going to do after I run the marathon? What’s next?
I’m tentatively looking at races in 2011. I’m thinking my goal for 2011 will be to get faster. Slogging through 20 miles at such a slow speed is incentive enough to get faster. So perhaps the marathon isn’t the end but the beginning of this adventure.
Yesterday after running the half marathon, I went back to the hotel, took a shower, and checked out. I went to Subway and had my favorite sandwich, chicken breast on wheat. Then I drove the 3 hours home. Actually it didn’t take me quite 3 hours. I was hot, tired, and thirsty so I was pretty motivated to risk a speeding ticket.
I have chafe marks under both arms and on my abdomen from where my sports bra rubbed. I’ve been battling chafe for sometime now and thought I had it all figured out. I’m not sure if I didn’t use enough triple antibiotic ointment on my chafe prone areas or what. But I have the worst case of chafe I’ve ever had. And the heat makes me sweat which makes the chafe burn. And then there is the boil on my thigh. But no one wants to hear about that.
I spent the majority of the yesterday afternoon hydrating myself and resting. Okay and complaining about the heat, chafe, etc. Today the chafe looks much better but I’m sore. My shoulders, back, and calves are sore. I think that during the hilly part of the course I hunched over rather than remaining upright which would lead to the soreness in my shoulders and back and of course the chafe on my abdomen.
I’m resting today and probably tomorrow. I’m still contemplating the sprint triathlon at the end of July. I have a lot of competing priorities right now including retaking the GMAT. My first attempt was terrible partly due to my test anxiety and my lack of preparedness. I’m rescheduled to take it again in August. I’m also rethinking my training plan for the Portland Marathon based on my performance at the half marathon. I need to start increasing the length and speed of my runs. I think I could also benefit from dropping some weight.
Resting for me gives me a lot of time to think and evaluate where I am at in attaining my goals. Sometimes I think that’s not always the best thing as I’m very critical of myself. I know I need to ease up on myself at times. I know am very capable of doing great things and don’t want to sell myself short by not shooting for the stars. But the journey to the stars is exhausting at times.
Last Sunday I made it to 14.5. It wasn’t pretty but I made it. Afterwords, I wasn’t as hungry or as tired as I had been when I ran the 13.4 miles. I think it was the psychological aspect of starting the treadmill three times as the club limit is only 65 minutes at a time. I’m still not entirely sure why there is a limit as the average time spent on a treadmill in my gym is probably around 35-40 minutes.
It’s interesting watching people come in and work out for an hour or two and then watching them leave while I am still running. I run on the treadmill because Portland is rainy and cold and I have access to water and a bathroom. Both of which are awesome. One of my goals is to run outside during my shorter runs weather and daylight permitting.
It’s weird but when I was running less than 10 miles at a time, no one ever paid any attention to me. But now its like I’ve been given access to a secret club. On Sunday I got a fist bump from a fellow gym member. He was impressed with my efforts and suggested several races I might want to think about. A lot more people have come out of the wood work asking to go run with me and several people have asked for my advice about running injuries or how to get started.
My advice on getting started running is to start. Put on your shoes and put one foot in front of the other. When you get so winded you can’t hold conversation, slow down. If you can speed up again after a couple of minutes, go ahead. If you haven’t been active in a while, see your doctor first. The ‘secret’ is to keep it up. Go out 3-6 days a week. Consistently. I run better when I lift weights 2-3 times a week. That’s my advice.
So here are the photos. It ain’t pretty but I did it!
This Friday is my birthday (October 30th). Now that I am over a certain age, I no longer feel its necessary to tell people exactly what birthday it is. But its my birthday. A few years ago, I started an evaluation period of my life. I choose to do it around my birthday rather than around New Years Day. For the week leading up to my birthday, I start making lists of important accomplishments and goals for next year.
I try to evaluate each year taking into account the various events that have taken place* (war, birth, death, etc) to see how I did. This years asterisk is definitely the effect the economy had on my job, financial aid opportunities for Andy, and his continued difficulties finding part-time work.
This year was definitely a ‘mixed blessings’ kind of year. My layoff in allowed me to re-prioritize the things in my life. But it also had a terrible impact on my 401k and our savings. I was able to take classes at the community college that I had been eyeing for the last year or so. I’ve developed great relationships with individuals who saved me during the months I was laid off. Andy and I were able to have a pretty great time this summer camping, splashing around (I refuse to call it swimming!), and traveling to get oysters. And I now have a job that I enjoy!
I don’t want to lose any momentum that I’ve gained. I need to continue taking classes on Adobe Creative Suites4 because it’s definitely a use-it-or-lose-it type of skill. Photoshop will be the next class that I take. I also want to set up a few websites for myself one of which will show case some of the work I have done in the last year. And of course there is the marathon.
I’ve put some of my writing and craft projects on hold for the time being. I recognize that at times I do bite off more than I can chew. I want to be able to devote the time, energy and passion to projects that I take on. I am also electing not to volunteer with the Portland chapter of the American Marketing Association again this year. I do think that I might volunteer with the Oregon Road Runners Association.
I am channeling a lot of time and energy into a side work project that is providing me with a lot of valuable experience. I’m also getting to work with a small company which I absolutely love! The vast majority of the project will be complete at the end of the year (or I will have figured out how to better juggle all the activities I’m involved in) and I will then take some additional classes. At that time, I will probably reevaluate what I’m spending my time, energy and passion on. So stay tuned!
Posted in Aleta 2.0, Marathon training, running, School, technology, technology issues
Tagged birthday, Marathon training, personal evaluation, Photoshop, running, side work