Friday, October 17, 2008

what to do with one's self...

Day 5 of no running or exercise. I'm getting better - only 2.5 more days on antibiotics - which is good b/c it's reeking havic on my stomach... haven't taken cough medicine during the day for the last couple of days. Cough seems to flare up in the evening mostly... I told steve i was going to go for a run on saturday - and I had a massive coughing attack. Think that was my body's way of saying hey dummy - get completely better before you try running me down again. It's going to be hard - but i am going to try and give my body a full week off to get completely better before i run. In the meantime I feel lost. No workouts to over analyze or worry about -- just worrying about the size of my waistline as I continue to eat like I am running a marathon everyday. Not being able to finish a race is even more frustrating than just a bad race. I was disappointed after the pig in may - but I still ran my little heart out and got a p.r. - there was some accomplishment there - but this failed attempt at a run is killing me. If only I had not tried to squeeze in my last 20 miler when i was sick... perhaps i would have gotten better after a week... perhaps not. Should i try and run another race? Have I lost too much fitness being sick for the last 4.5 weeks?
It's more than a let down to train for 4 months for something and just not have it happen - it's like something's missing - I don't think i really want to run another marathon right now - don't know that i have it in me - and I worry that it would be really ugly if I tried... It's just really weird - it's like traveling a long way to get somewhere - only when you get there - wherever your were suppose to be going isn't there. What do you do? turn back around? go off in another direction? or just keep plugging along in the same direction - and hope that the place you were looking for will show up a few miles down the road?
So I sent in our race applications for the buckeye 50k -- other than that - i just don't know what is next. I wish i could enjoy this down time - but when you didn't complete the goal you set out to do - you can't really enjoy the rest in the same way...
have a good weekend everyone!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Worst Case Scenario

Let me start off by congratulating Amie and Janet on the perfect day Sunday - perfect weather - perfect race everything went perfectly according to plan! I am soooo very excited for them!

That being said - going into yesterday's race - i had the mentality of "worse case scenario - i just finish" ha ha ha ha. Well... is there such a thing as the "even worse case scenario?" As amie said - she knew i was in trouble when i couldn't keep up with them walking to the starting line because of the sharp pains in my ribs. I ran the first mile with amie - and knew i just couldn't do it - that I wasn't 100% yet. And suprisingly I was ok - with that - i backed off my pace and decided to just take it easy and run a nice even paced marathon. Well I was walking by mile two. I couldn't breath - and even worse... I had sharp shooting pains in my ribs and side stitch - like pain that was really just soreness from all the coughing i had been doing.
So i backed down the pace to about a 9 minute mile - figured i can do this for the rest of the race - heck all of my long runs were faster than that. Not so - by the time i got to lock 29 (mile 3.5) I was seriously doubting if I would be able to finish - but i kept plugging on - walking and running. I tried to tell myself to only take a walk break every mile - but it quickly became every half mile and every quarter mile. At mile 6.5 my family was cheering for me like crazy and they kept saying "your time is fine" i think at that point i would have still been around a 4 hour pace - which would have been "fine" However, I was slowly getting worse. I had absoultely nothing in me - there was no deep place to dig down to - I have never felt so weak before. I told elizabeth i felt like i had the strength of a piece of paper. Well i passed my family at lock 29 again and I stopped to talk to them. I said I don't know that i can finish this to day - I've got nothing in me. I wasn't upset - i wasn't being dramatic or head case - i simply knew my body couldn't do this. They tried to get me to get in the car with them at that point - but i said - no i'm going to make it back to boston store. When i passed Elizabeth - she said - if you are having fun keep going - if not it's not worth it. Well i passed thru the halfway mark at 2:15 - yeah i know about a half hour off pace - but with the way i felt i figured if i could finish with a 4:30 - i would be just fine with that. At boston store - i convinced steve to come with me - but all i could do was walk. I would try to "jog" for about 30 seconds and I would start coughing so badly that I couldn't breath. Steve figured i should stop - but i said "no i'm finishing what I started" So we walked... if you can call 20min/mile even walking. I tried so hard - but that's all my body would do. I decided if my family was at station road i would accept a ride home. Well - they weren't there. So I thought - they must be at the turn - i'll get a ride there - well the turn was way further out than i thought - I had to sit down a few times before we got there - and when we got there - it was just in the middle of the road - the closest access point was station road. So the very cheerful volunteer crew there lent me a cell phone and I called my dad to come meet us at station road. So i made it to almost mile 22. You may be thinking - if you made it that far - why not just finish? At the rate I was moving - it would have taken me at least an hour and a half to finsh those four miles - which would have put me past the cut off -and would have done more damage than good. When i finally came to grips that i was going to quit - i started to cry - i trained harder for this race - than any previous races - and until about 4 weeks ago when i got this nasty bug - i was in my best shape ever. Well i soon learned that crying does not help one breath - and the coughing and associated pain in my stomach and ribs quickly made me stop crying and wallowing in my own self pity. Steve was great to walk all those miles with me - especially with the way the rangers were out there chasing people off the path. I think they looked at me - and thought - well if she falls down - and at least he'll have to pick her up - so they kind of ignored the fact that he didn't have a bib number on or a chip on his shoe. So that's that. I trained for four months and I couldn't even finish the race.
I went to the doctor for my follow up appointment. Ruptured ear drum - still ruptured... ribs - bruised from all the violent coughing -- mental note if your ribs hurt while walking to the start line - call it a day and enter a different race! Still have the ear infections and bronchitis. So round two of the antibiotics and if i'm not better in a week - i have referral to get a chest xray. Good news though - she's pretty sure that it's not pnemonia. I get winded walking around the house - but if i sit still on my butt i feel pretty good. Dr. steve says no exercise this week at all - and i can't argue with him. What does that mean for this marathon season? I don't know yet - we'll see how quickly i can get better - but i think i may just let this one go - and focus on running a fun race at disney in january... whew that was one long post!

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

holy crap

the towpath marathon is in 4 well 3 days. do you count today and they day of the event? or just the days in between. No matter -- it's ALMOST here. I am going back and forth between - oh this is going to be fun - just think of it as another run in the park - to feeling really pumped and knowing this is going to be a great race to realizing that the meds the doctor put me on are causing me to shake and giving me all sorts of stomach issues.

I guess that's the evil/beauty of a marathon - you train for four months and you never know what you are going to get race day. Ugh - i can't spend the next 3-4 days being nervous... must think positive good thoughts....

Monday, October 06, 2008

I busted my ear drum

I've been feeling under the weather for almost three weeks now. I'm not dying but I don't feel well - and rather than going away it's getting worse. Well with the marathon now only six days away - i finally went to the doctor. I was crossing my fingers that she wouldn't say "it's just a cold - have some chicken soup" that she would actually give me some drugs to make this thing go away! So she informs me that i have bronchitis and an ear infection - and... a ruptured ear drum. I knew I ruptured it last week - it hurt so bad - but everyone at work laughed at me -- turns out I really did it! So the doc said if I'm not breathing better by the end of the week - to call and she'll get me an inhaler. So hopefully by the end of this week i'll be feeling like my old self and be ready to crush this marathon!! Glad this wasn't all in my head - and that I really have been sick and that I actually have something to make it better!

Thursday, October 02, 2008

A B and C goals

After some email chat with my wise running friend mr whittaker... I am feeling wayyyy better about next sunday. First off - Brian will be out there around mile 20-22 - and is going to run me in if i need it - which will be awesome - especially if my super speedy cohorts have left me by that point! Number two - brian was telling me to set an A B and C goal -all of which I will be satisfied with... so here they go.

A. 3:40:49

B. 3:50

C. Break 4 hrs

Hopefully it will be an "A" kind of day... but hey a "C" is a passing grade as well no? I was also looking at the calendar - b/c come end of january my current job position should be changing. Well to put that amount of time in perspective - I will have run 2 marathons (towpath and disney) and hopefully my first 50k (buckeye winter 50k) between now and the time I get into my new position. Crazy when I look at it that way.

Last night Steve and I ran on pine lane for about 6 miles - it gets dark so fast! When we got done I noticed they have signs posted saying that the towpath will be closed october 12th for the marathon!!! I can't believe it's almost here!!

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

digging out of a funk

Training had been going so well... then a few weeks before taper - I ran into a few injuries. I was able to still run well but had to cut back a bit - to keep my foot on track. Well after a couple weeks of that - apparently my foot decided it wanted a real rest so it went out and got a nasty cold and stuck it in my head and lungs. Such a nasty cold that I did not run my 20 miler on the sunday morning I planned. I actually bailed on my running buddies that morning - which in my eyes is a big no no. So determined to get the miles in - i did my run monday night. I pushed too hard... and basically knocked myself out for the week. Friday night I decided to do the akron half marathon. So we ran down to akron got me signed up - grabbed some dinner and went to bed. I woke up every hour on the hour b/c I was afraid I would over sleep. Got down to the race with plenty of time - warmed up a little bit - but was so out of it - i thought the race started down by the stadium - so i was wandering around confused. I eventually made it up to the start. My goal was to run a little faster than race pace. Just so I could see how that felt - and practice getting through the water stops and staying on pace. Well the first mile felt like i was really pushing it. It was a 8:19 -- when your goal marathon pace is 8:24 -- that's not exactly pushing it. So mile 2 - i started walking. I felt awful. It was like I was in a dream where no matter how hard you try you can't run - even though someone is chasing you. It took everything i had not to duck into the parking and get in my car and leave without finishing the race. I told myself that I couldn't wear my shirt from the race if i didn't finished - and besides - no matter how bad a day I am having - i'm not going to quit a race. So I plodded on. Walked a lot. Learned that I need to take my water belt with me. The race seemed to like to taunt you with the idea of a water stop. you would see a sign that said "aid station ahead" and I swear it would be another half mile til you got the water. It seemed long enough when you were thirsty - that you started thinking perhaps you missed the water stop. So anyway - it was an ugly ugly ugly day. Not as slow as my first half marathon - but almost 25 minutes slower than i ran at the river run. So what are you going to do? Well if you are me you worry and freak out and start doubting yourself. Well that was Saturday. Yesterday (Tuesday) amie asked if i was up for our last real track workout. I was not - i was nervous that I forgot how to run. But i knew i needed to go. It ended up being a good workout. I whined and complained because task mater glen was there - and he was trying to make sure that we weren't giving ourselves too much recovery time (which we still did) It made for a tough workout - and i was a little worried about over doing it. But - even with going out to fast on my first set - I kept the others consistant and right in the right pace zone. So I left the track feeling a 1000 times better.
On my drive home I got to thinking about the upcoming towpath and started worrying about the bq. Then I started laughing at myself. If you would have told me when I was training for my first marathon (4:48) that i would someday be obsessing about qualifying for boston - i would have laughed in your face. When did I go from - let's see if i can finish a marathon - to hmm i like this running stuff - i'd like to try to get faster - to this self depricating freak that is worried about running a 3:40. It's good to have goals - but why can't I ever be proud of myself for what i have done? I'm never going to win a marathon - I'm never going to go to the olympics - but I'm a pretty good runner. If you look at the common person - we are all pretty damn good runners. We run marathons and triathlons for goodness sake - we do something that most people don't even attempt! So i'm going to go out there in less than 2 weeks - knowing that i'm a pretty good damn runner. I am going to have the best run i can -- the towpath is home turf - I know the course well. It's going to hurt - but i am going to run smart - and i am not going to feel sorry for myself when things start to hurt. I am going to go out and try to qualify for boston. If it doesn't happen - then i am going to run the best race I can - and go for the biggest pr I can. and ... i am going to be damn proud of myself for finishing my 4th marathon. I will qualify for boston either in two weeks or someday - but i need to remember to run for the love of the sport - and not get so bogged down with splits and times and paces. i need to run to run - because it is what helps keep me right.