Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Wayne's World Marathon - Party time? Excellent?

I finished the Wayne's World Marathon with an official time of 8:03:09.  I was targeting finishing in less than 8 hours and almost did it.  According to my Nike Run Club app, I was under 8 hours but that is because Nike stops when you stop so I "lost" about 10 minutes at the fuel table/water station.  I'm good with it.  I was not last!  I actually passed up 2 people who had been about 12 minutes ahead of me.  My last loop was difficult and satisfying. 

I have found that with each long run/new distance I have a transition point.  I have a bit of a breakdown or major breakdown.  Much like transitioning during childbirth, I am different and maybe a slightly better me afterward.  At Hell's Hills it was about mile 13 or so.  At Wayne's World, it was mile 22 or so.  I was running on the bridge for the 8th time knowing I had to do it one more time and I just couldn't.  Brandon Flower's Crossfire was playing and I was crying.  I wanted to quit but I knew I had really come too far to stop now.  I wasn't sure if I started the last loop I could finish it but I also knew I would regret it for the rest of my life if I stopped.  I was in pain in all realms: physical, mental, spiritual.  As I walked into the water station I was still in transition.  DH took my water pack but snapped my phone belt which just about ended my day.  Now he didn't break it.  He just undid the snap because it was my water pack.  I was tired, transitioning, and oh yeah facing 3 more miles.  I was not rational in that moment. 

My last loop once I got going became an amazing growth experience.  I run 30/30 intervals; however, I spent a few miles just walking and ignoring my intervals.  See if I stuck to them I would have finished well under 8 hours but I digress.  I took off from the water station running.  I ran for about 2 minutes convinced that if I stopped running I would just stop maybe even die, transition time is a bitch, people.  After 2 minutes, I realized there was no way I could run the next 3 miles without walking some so I made a deal with myself, for the last loop I would stick to the intervals and if I drop dead at the finish then it was just meant to be that way.  As I passed things, I would amp myself up with the thought, "I never have to fucking see this again!" 

I could feel myself get stronger with each step.  I could feel the finish.  I could feel the accomplishment of a goal. I just had to push a little bit longer.  I caught up to 2 people.  I was, in theory, going to finish with them but I was just feeling my pace so I just kept going.  I ran straight into DH's arm and had my tears of victory.  Then the pit crew came into view.  They had been taking care of me for over 8 hours.  They shoved, lovingly and expertly, soda, pickle juice, bananas, and just about anything else a good water station has in my face and hands.  They gave me high fives.  They gave me hugs.  They gave me knowing looks that said, "Next time you'll do even better and yes there will be a next time." 

I can't say enough good things about Running the Distance, LLC.  The race was wonderful.  The description on the race site was spot on.  The volunteers cheered us on by name.  They create a community around the race.  I was a little sad to not be running the next day with them.  I will be back to run with them.  Maybe I'll run the actual triple someday and not just Wayne's World. 

So was Wayne's World a partytime excellent marathon?  I would say so.  Well I give it excellent.  Was it a partytime?  Considering it was the closest to a birthday I have had in years, I'll give it a partytime too.  Yes, it was partytime, excellent!

Monday, June 3, 2019

Happy Birthday to me! 40 & a Marathoner

So you read that correctly, I turned 40 recently.  On that day to celebrate, I ran my 1st marathon.  Technically, I ran it before I turned 40 since I finished before my birth time!

My journey to the marathon was not easy.  Actually, the marathon itself wasn't exactly easy either.  In 12 months, I went from running 5k to completing a marathon and it was all because of cancer, my dad's cancer.

I've written before about my want/need to run away from the whole situation.  I call it the summer of suck but it started back in March of 2018 really.  I wanted to be a good person and stay at a job that I felt called to do but completely burned out on.  They say when the holy spirit is speaking to you, it will move anything and everything to get you to listen.  I never listen in a timely manner!

I wonder what I would be doing had I listen when everything started to turn.  What if I had stepped away when I first felt it instead of fighting the current?  No one can say for sure, but I'm pretty sure that I would not be on this side of 40 as a marathoner.

I could make the long list of clues but it is a pretty painful and personal list.  I will say that I have lost a lot since March 2018.  I lost a lot of sleep.  I cried a lot of tears.  I swallowed my pride a lot.  I nearly blew up my marriage.  I blew up my career.  I faced the possible loss of my dad and my youngest daughter.

I'll be writing a post on lessons learned along the 26.2 miles of the Wayne's World marathon.  But for those of you who have been reading this barely legible scribble for the last 10 years, I figured you would at least like to know that I did, in fact, accomplish my goal to finish a marathon before I turned 40!

Thursday, May 9, 2019

1 year ago: #cancersux

One year ago today I sat in my dad's doctor's office and heard the doctor say cancer.  My dad had been told by his PCP about 2 weeks before that this was the most likely explication for all of his symptoms but this was the official word: colon cancer. 

As of last week my dad is officially in remission!  We had to go back to the surgeon this past Monday for a finding on his CT scan but she is taking a watch and wait approach.  Apparently, the finding were normal for him and his distance from his last chemotherapy session.  So now he is in remission and ordered into recovery phase.  He still needs to rest but he won't need to travel to see a doctor for 3 months!  He gets to relax the whole summer!

DH, Gymgirl, Baby Lala, and I were with my dad when he rang the bell for his last chemo treatment!  It was pretty emotional for me.  As we drove away from Temple, I could feel my age.  The weight of the previous year seemed lifted but the effects not so much.

This journey has not been easy.  My dad was on death's door twice.  The 1st one was so close and honestly without divine intervention my dad would have died in June of last year.  Had it not been for Baby Lala's well placed kick, new MRIs, and a good surgeon, my dad would have died before we could have gotten him to the hospital.  When I think of how close it was I just can't even.

This last year was full of transitions for us.  Not only did my dad nearly die, Baby Lala almost died as well, and then I blew up my career.  I almost don't recognize my life, in a good way.

I feel like I really grew up in this last year.  I am more set in the things I will accept and demand.  I can't work at job just because.  I need to feel not only useful but respected as well.  I won't ignore symptoms of illness.  Had my dad gone to the doctor when his symptoms started he might still have his large intestine.  If I had waited 24 more hours to run Lala to her doctor she might have died before we even realized we were in real trouble.  I won't ignore my needs and just push through. 

Yes this last year was difficult.  At points I was pretty sure I couldn't make it.  I just wanted to run away and never come back.  Instead of running away, I started running.  Since my dad's diagnosed, I have run over 400 miles.  I've found that the running smooths my mind.  The crazier life gets the more important running has become to me feeling "normal."  I'm 17 days from turning 40.  17 days from completing my first marathon.  The last year of my 30s has been hard and all I can really say is, "Look at me, surviving and shit!"

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

#NoExcuses & #TeamTurtlePower

So I use the title hashtags when I post my running pics on IG but the other day someone posted a blog about being a mom of young children and never having time to run so don't no excuses her.  I've been wanting to write but simply have been too crazy busy and/or tired until now. 

Here is what I mean with #noexcuses: I am making choices.  See I don't run everyday.  I don't run on schedule.  I don't always make my goal of running 3 times a week and I'm okay with that.  I'm okay with choosing to not run.  See #noexcuses is about me asserting my choice to not run, to skip my workout, to run fewer miles than scheduled, and hell to fuck the time and just enjoy the run while I'm out there.  I have a 2-year-old and a 9-year-old.  So I do have a small child at home and completely understand putting your children, especially young ones, before your workouts.  Ladies, assert yourself and choose your kids!  They are little for such a short time.  My kids needed me is not an excuse it is a valid choice.  No further explanation needed for missing your workout.  I don't want to make or use excuses.  I want to choose.  I want to own my choices.  I need to own them.  So when I #noexcuses know that I 100% support you not running.  Do you!  No excuses, do you!

As for #teamturtle, I struggle with the whole being a slow runner thing.  Back in the day, as in high school, I ran cross country and I was the slow runner.  I ran somewhere between an 10:30-11:00 min mile.  I would kill for that now.  Lord can I be as slow as when I was in high school!?  Now I'm on the 13-14 min mile club.  For some reason in my mind I need to beat 15 min miles.  15 minutes seems pretty arbitrary to me but it is stuck in my mind that way.  With my trail race in a couple of week, I have found that trails runs have me averaging about 17 minute miles and I'm good with it.  But anyways, my point is I know some people would kill for my 13 minute miles.  I go around apologizing for being so slow and someone else wants to shoot me for being so fast.  Instead of being envious of the people who qualify for Boston, I want to work on being supportive of the runners who dream of 13 minute miles, 20 minute miles, just running/walking/crawling 1 mile.  We all start somewhere and we need to make sure we cheer other newbies.  Yes I will always be jealous of the thin gazelle-like runners who run 8-min miles as a slow recovery run but I want to be there cheering for my fellow runners at the back of the pack.  We are runner because we say we are and we get out there.  Our mile time does not equal our worth as runner, our value as runners, or the quality of our miles.  24 minute mile, 13 minute mile, and 8 minute mile are all a mile!