Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Mission impossible

Earlier this month I completed a marathon. I never thought I’d be able to run a marathon, but if you asked me which was more likely: completing a marathon or doing one pull up, I’d tell you the marathon would be easier to accomplish although both would be un-realistic goals for me.

My newest challenge for myself: one pull-up. I’ve attempted to do this before sometime last year. Eventually I lost interest, stopped practicing and never got to the full pull up because I let myself think it just wasn’t possible. It took too long and I got tired of trying. Occasionally I hang on my pull up bar and still wish I could do one.

I asked my younger brother if I trained to do a pull up like I trained for the marathon how long he thought it would take me before I could do one. He told me one month. I’m going to double that time because my upper body strength is non-existent, I’m not sure if I have it in me to train for anything again like I trained for the marathon, and I think 60 days is still pushing it even if I trained consistently. My goal is to give myself 1 pull up for my birthday this year. I know that “nothing is impossible” but if there is, this is one thing that would be for me. My mom tells me that pull ups are not in my genetics because even as a kid in school she couldn’t do a pull up. I don’t recall ever being able to do a pull up as a kid either. I have done chin ups (over 20 years ago); Never a pull up.

I wish I could say with confidence that “I can do this.” I can’t even pretend that I believe it, but I hope that I can. I discovered I can accomplish more than I thought of myself with the marathon, so I’m still going to try.  One pull-up by July 29. I hope I can do it.


Thursday, May 9, 2013

26.2 miles

It’s over! It was kind of surreal starting out the run in the first few miles and thinking that the last 5 months and 2 weeks had been for that exact moment and it was happening. The run wasn’t any worse than any of my other long runs. Better even, just because I knew it was the last time I had to do it. I kept thinking “the great thing about today is I never have to do it again!” I just had to finish.

The race started at 0700, but the runners had to be there by 0430. It was freezing cold and dark waiting for the race to start. When we first started running, the sun was up, but still cold. I was afraid all my energy would have been depleted through all my shivering before we even started. I looked at my hands as we started and my nails were blue…and I wasn’t wearing polish. I tried to adjust my earphones and couldn’t tell if I was touching them in my ear or not because my fingers were numb. It warmed up fairly quickly and by the end was even a bit too warm and very sunny.

I finished at 05:40:30. 13 minutes/mile average pace overall. Pretty slow. I kept a slow 5mph jog for the first half for 12 minute miles, and then after mile 11 or 12 I got so dang tired. After the half mark I had to start alternating walking with jogging and slowed down to a 14 minute/mile average pace. 2 of my brothers also ran, and I finished over an hour behind them. Either way, slow or not I finished!


I accomplished all of my goals: 1. Finish. 2. Not be the last person 3. Finish before traffic control and aid stations broke down. 4. Be able to smile at the end. I read a few weeks before the race that the course would close after 6 hours- participants still going were welcome to finish the course but traffic help would be gone. I did NOT want to be finishing after everybody left and I was nervous I would. BUT, I finished, I finished before the course closed, and I was not the last person! I think there were about 220 participants in the full marathon, and there were about 20 that came in after I did. In my gender age group I came in 9th out of 11, so even there I wasn’t last. The race went pretty well and I felt so good (emotionally anyway) when it was done! Physically I was dehydrated, too nauseated to eat anything right away and exhausted. I remember thinking I didn't get any new blisters because I couldn't feel any hot spots and startled myself when I took my socks off in our hotel room and saw a monster of a blister on the side of the ball of my right foot. It was very tender and sore after that. I guess my endorphins were doing their job during the run.
Once we got back to the room I had a half a bagel, and we went out to eat at Tucanos. So good. I felt much better after I ate. I really wanted an ice cream sundae (for like the last however many months) so my mom bought ice cream and toppings and I got my ice cream sundae that night. I have had ice cream every single day since the marathon.

I was surprised how sore I was on Sunday. I’m used to being the most sore and stiff the day of my long run, and then by the next day being able to walk normally, not be in any pain but just have tired muscles. I could hardly move Sunday morning. Walking was painful and stairs were worse. Monday I was still stiff and sore but able to get up and down a bit easier and Tuesday I started to feel like how I expected to feel on Sunday. I went for a little mile and a half jog with my sister yesterday (Tuesday). We jogged the first half and walked the last half. It felt good to move, but my knees are still feeling it going downhill.

I went to my parent’s house for 2 nights once we got back from Utah where I finally got my hair cut! I didn’t have 10 inches for locks of love, but I had about 9 inches. I couldn’t wait another 2 months to cut my hair, and I really wanted my hair cut since my marathon was done, so I found Pantene Beautiful Lengths that partner with the American Cancer Society to create free wigs for women who lose their hair due to chemo- they only need 8 inches. http://www.pantene.com/en-US/PanteneBeautifulLengths/Pages/default.aspx I had my favorite hair stylist (Susan Davis in Antioch- always gives me the cutest cuts) cut my hair and I mailed my 9 inches to Pantene Beautiful Lengths when we were done.

Starting with day one of training in the last week of November through May 4th (including the marathon) I ran a total of about 603 miles.
November= 16.55 miles
December= 88 miles
January= 104.72 miles
February= 116.39 miles
March= 121.55 miles
April= 129.48 miles
May= an unknown distance walked/jogged for about 15 minutes + 26.2 miles

I ran 4 days a week, and missed only 1 running day on a day I had to work and wasn't feeling very well. If you're thinking you would like to run a marathon, make sure you really want to. I feel like I'm proof any healthy person with functioning legs can complete a marathon, but it takes a big commitment and a significant amount of time out of your life to train for it. You either have to really love running, or have a lot of self discipline.

Tonight I’m finally home to my own bed after about a week of being gone either in Utah or my parent’s house. I’ll sleep so good.