Sunday, May 23, 2010

Not Alone Anymore

Yesterday was the first workout in a very long time where I was not alone. My coaches, Paul and VV, were with me during the entire 12 miles. But I realized later that day that I really have not been alone through this challenging journey. Even on my long workouts when I have not been able to run and everyone else left me behind, I have not been alone. The spirits of my grandmother and uncle who lost their battles to cancer have been with me all the time. Knowing that I am making a difference in the lives of current cancer patients also keeps me going. In addition to these people, all my donors and supporters that have made my journey to San Diego possible, they have been with me during each workout. Two of my friends used the word "epiphany" this I too have had an journey has not been one that I have experienced alone.

One my teammates recognized the amount of commitment I have put into training for this marathon, the full marathon. She said that if it had been her in my shoes she would have dropped down to the half marathon. But I didn't! I have done everything in my power to complete the entire marathon. I have endured countless workouts with pain and learned how to make my legs stronger that will eventually reduce that pain. Watching my teammates run ahead of me is difficult, yet I continue to do what my body says is best. I wear two bracelets at all times. One says: Train Endure Achieve Matter. The other one says: Relentless.

Relentless...that just about sums up my entire personality. I am not a quitter. I learned a great motto a long time ago while I was in the Coast Guard...improvise, adapt, overcome! This is what I have done to accomplish my mission! So I will continue to walk until I can run again. I will continue to ice and stretch everyday. I will continue to build strength in my legs with each leg lift. I am not alone...I never have been!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

20 miler...

Saturday was my biggest challenge...finish a 20 miler. This was the deciding factor in my training. If I could finish 20 miles with no pain then I could finish the entire marathon on June 6th...all 26.2 miles!!

The course was new to me but not my team. They have been subjected to this route during several previous long workouts...however, I was out of town!
Anyway, we walked as a team for the first 3 miles as a warm up. Then I completed the next 17 miles alone, with my iTunes. Thank you Angie for putting 7 hours of pump up music together for days such as this one.

The hills were difficult and the humidity made breathing a challenge, but the worst thing was not having water at our preset water stop. Apparently someone stole it! Can you believe it? Who would steal our water? So after completing 11.5 miles I carried a bottle of water for the duration of the workout!

My right knee, the one with tendinitis, did not bother me. However, my left knee felt pressure going down Deer Avenue (the dreaded hill). Each 4.25 mile loop made it worse but not to the point of pain, thank goodness! The blisters, ah the blisters, they appeared during the final 4.25 mile loop. It felt like my skin was tearing from the sole of my left foot. When I finally finished the 20 miler I was afraid to remove my socks. Fortunately, no tears! And Coach VV provided a bucket for a foot ice bath....not to mention mimosas, watermelon, and salty snacks!!!

Below is a photo of me, Angie, and Coach VV. We are soaking our feet in the ice water..but you can't see the proof.

We had lunch as a TEAM at the East Shore Cafe in Daphne. It was hard to walk after that and the drive home was exhausting. I even called my mom just so I could stay awake on the Bay Bridge. My final stop before heading home was to purchase ice for my ice bath. 30 pounds...30 pounds!!!
So I took my ice bath, showered, and took a nap...the shortest nap of my entire training, only one hour!
Sunday morning I slept in til 10:30...I haven't done that in a VERY, VERY long time! Then I went to my 1 hour massage...highly recommended after such a demanding workout!

This Saturday...only 12 miles...ONLY 12! It is funny that only 12 miles seems so little after completing 20 miles. I am tapering for the big event...only 17 days away!!! Butterflies in my stomach...already!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Nike Preview Party

Thursday I was fortunate to participate in the Nike Women's Marathon Preview Party. I was a member of the fashion show modeling Nike running attire. The Campaign Manager, Molly, coaches, and participants spoke about the benefits of training and fundraising through Team In Training. Hopefully we inspired many women and men to sign up for this wonderful event to help support The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

Nashville Half-Marathon

Last weekend I completed my first half-marathon. Rain, thunder, lightning, and the threat of tornadoes could not stop me from finishing those 13.1 miles. Between mile 10 and 11, I was forced to seek shelter in a warehouse along the course. After waiting fifteen minutes, a medical official said the weather was not going to improve and we could finish the race at our own risk. I only had 2.6 miles to go so I high tailed it out of that warehouse.

I steadily increased my pace...pumping my arms to make me go faster. I had the finish line in my mind and nothing was going to stop me now. My mentor, Tish, met me near mile 12 and walked with me until we saw my coach Paul. Paul walked with me for a short distance, explaining the route to the finish line. At this point the finish line was in sight.

Soaking wet, with sore shins, I crossed the finish line in 3 hours 46 minutes and 18 seconds. Had I not been pulled from the course I would have finished in the time I had predicted when I registered for the half marathon, 3:30.0. But I cannot control Mother Nature!

The best part of the race...I HAD ABSOLUTELY NO KNEE PAIN!!!

Here are some of the highlights of my race weekend: