Sunday, December 20, 2009

Run 10 for '10 Virtual Group Run

Run 10 for '10
Virtual Group Run

On January 1st, 2010, we need to ring in the new year right! Run either 10K (6.2 miles) or 10 miles any time on New Years' Day and tell me about it in the comments section---who, where, when, etc. You can even divide it up--you can run 5 in the morning and 5 in the afternoon as long as you total a distance of 10 miles or 10K.

Are you in for 10?

Please pass it on!

Friday, December 18, 2009

To Be or Not to Be?

My fall 2009 marathon was not to be. You guessed it, I got the stomach bug! Shortly after my last post, my stomach started rumbling and grumbling and it, um, didn't end well. This is three days later and I feel about 75% better. Of course it takes 100% of a person to run 26.2 (110%??). My little one is the only one who has been spared from the bug, but she's running a low-grade fever today. Easy decision. She only wants mommy when she's well, much less sick!

So, I'm looking at late 2010 races. I need a marathon training break. I've been in training for nearly 6 months. I'm planning a couple of spring half-marathons though!

Short term, I'm just going to run for fun--what a concept!! I'm hoping to run 10 on January 1st to ring in 2010. That seems fitting.

I will leave you with our 2009 family Christmas photo. Someone was feeling a little Grinch-y.

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Are Ya Kidding Me???

In my last post, I mentioned how I had 9 days left to continue to get my energy back and recover from bronchitis, I just had to avoid more illness.

Well....... on Saturday night, Hubby and I were out at a Christmas party when I got a call from my sitter. My 9 year old son had thrown up all over his bed, carpet, room, etc. Thus began a VERY. LONG. NIGHT. He was throwing up while simultaneously having explosive diarrhea for the next 7 to 8 hours. How does a skinny-9-year old even contain that much "stuff"???? He was a trooper though. He didn't cry about it (probably had no fluids left!). Unfortunately, he was rarely able to make it to the bathroom in time, so there was much scrubbing, steam cleaning, washing, and sanitizing of pretty much everything in the house. After several hours of sleep, however, he was as good as new---though probably 10 pounds lighter.

Then on Monday afternoon, my husband called and told me he had what our son has. He, too, had a rough night, but since he's a 41-year-old man, I figured he was ok on his own, and I retreated to the guest room. It was better for everyone that way. I did take him ginger ale occasionally and check to make sure he was still breathing. He's better today, though not quite 100%. Kids bounce back faster, I guess. (Especially kids with ADHD like my son. They REALLY bounce!)

And finally, TODAY, two hours after I dropped her off, my 7-year-old daughter's school called and said she had gotten sick and needed to be picked up. Was I surprised? Not in the least. Bless her heart, she threw up while waiting in line to use the restroom. She was so close. I thought she'd be mortified that she tossed her cookies in front of her entire class, but she wasn't. Maybe mortification comes later than age 7! She spent the afternoon napping on the bathroom floor. She had the least awful case of the three of them though.

So, now what? I am supposed to run my makeup marathon on Sunday. Rotavirus or some random stomach bug is in my house. Maybe I should just check into a hotel. :-)

Seriously, I have made peace with the situation. If I don't get it---and I am being careful and washing my hands and spraying Lysol and using hand sanitizer---I'll run on Sunday. If I do get a 7-8 hour vomiting/diarrhea virus Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday, I guess marathon #2 was not meant to be.

We have had a very healthy fall. I can't really complain. No one got the swine flu or seasonal flu, we've avoided strep, and my kids have each only missed like 1 day of school. It's just the timing kind of stinks!

There will be other marathons---of that I am certain! But I'm not writing this one off just yet. I was a classroom teacher for 9 years, hopefully that counts for something immunity-wise!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Taper 2.0

Taper 2.0 is going fairly well! In my 3 weeks of Taper 1.0, I ran 25 miles, 21 miles, and 11 miles. My glyclogen was replenished. My muscles were rested. Then with the illness, I missed the WHOLE POINT OF SAID TAPER, the actual race, so began Taper 2.0.

On Monday, I logged 6 miles with my friend Kathy. On Tuesday, I just did 2 easy ones on the treadmill. On Wednesday, I ran 5 miles. (That was the day I finally registered for the race. I had to make sure I had some semblance of energy back and could BREATHE while running.) Today I ran 12 miles (the same mileage as the first week of taper waaay back when....)

While my runs haven't been abundantly energetic, I finished them. I only cough when I stop. The 12 today was challenging because I could really tell my energy level wasn't where it was pre-virus. I felt pretty ok for a few miles, but then I felt really slow and it was a struggle by the end. (Can one get out of shape that fast???) I have 9 days to feel better and better (and avoid more illness please, God!). Hopefully, I'll arrive in Jacksonville as good as new (almost).

One bad part of today's run was at mile 4, I rolled my right ankle. Again. I rolled it back in March while training for my first marathon by stepping in a hole on a 16-miler, then again on an 18 miler two weeks later (on a flat surface--it was just weak). Well today on the exact same flat surface, my ankle just had a moment of weakness and rolled completely to the outside. I guess I'll be wearing my ankle brace for stability in this marathon just like last time! (And I have a feeling there will be a few other ankle braces and knee braces as many marathoners are pretty beat up by the time they hit the starting line.) I am blessed that it's not sprained or broken--I was able to run 8 more miles on it with mild discomfort. I'm going to ice it a little later.

I've been thinking about my GOALS for the Jacksonville Marathon next weekend. Originally for the Memphis Marathon, my goal was going to be A. 4:45 or less, B. 5:00 or less, and C. under 5:14. (I wanted to at least beat that Biggest Loser dude Rudy who ran 5:14 after never running over 15 miles in his life.) I would have really put pressure on myself to do that. I also would have put pressure on myself to keep up with my two friends (who wound up with a 4:56). I would have been devastated if I couldn't keep up and got left behind. So, maybe it's GOOD that I got sick and couldn't run that marathon. I was way too wrapped up in time and pace and what others were running.

I'm going into Jacksonville with different kinds of goals. A. To have fun, to smile, to enjoy the experience. B. To be thankful that I'm able to participate in this sport and in, for me, the pinnacle of my sport. C. To finish in good shape. Yes, under 5:00 would still be nice or at least beating my previous 5:17 time from April. But, I think the main thing is to just go into it with the RIGHT ATTITUDE. My body is going to do what it is going to do. My mind-- I can control that!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

FYI If You Live in Clarksville...

If you are interested in training with a group for the Country Music Half-Marathon on April 24, 2010, I'll be offering a beginners and an intermediate training group starting on Monday, January 25. We'll have group runs on Monday night from the Y (with childcare provided) and Saturday mornings (various locations-no childcare). Either before or after our Monday runs, we'll have short information sessions on nutrition and hydration for runners, running safety, stretching, integrating weight training, speed work, race strategy, pacing, and MORE. It's a 12-week training program, and the cost is $60 to the YMCA. The training plans can be individualized by a certified running coach (me) to meet YOUR needs.

Prior to the start of this training, runners need to be at a long run of 4-5 miles, and that can be a run/walk of 4-5 miles. Class is limited to 30.

An INFORMATION MEETING has been scheduled for 5:30 p.m. on Monday, January 11. Sign ups will be January 18-24. The first class is January 25 at 5:30 p.m. Start planning NOW!

If you don't live in Clarksville and want to take a look at the plan, shoot me an e-mail.

***All "Pitt Crew" half-marathon team alumni are welcome to join in on the Saturday runs at no cost!***

I'll also be offering a CLARKSVILLE MINI MARATHONERS 10-week class on Thursdays at 5:30 p.m. for children 5-13 who want to do the Country Music Kids' Marathon. It's only $20. Children will run 25.2 miles on their own and during our class and run that last marathon mile on the CMM race course on Friday, April 23.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Thank You!!

Thanks to everyone for offering advice and wisdom!

I am feeling better energy-wise, still have a little lingering cough and congestion, but I no longer feel SICK. That is a good thing.

I went for a 6-mile test run this morning at about 20-seconds faster than goal marathon pace. It was tough, I'll admit (there were BIG hills). But my chest did not hurt. I did not cough during the run, just a little afterward. It really helped me decide between options A., B., and C.

And the winner is......

I think the main deciding factor between goals A. Jacksonville in 2 weeks and B. Mercedes Marathon in 11 weeks is that last night my husband said, "I don't think I can handle you in marathon training for 11 more weeks."

Me, either. Looks like I'm heading to Jacksonville. I plan to register tomorrow! I may have to adjust my race goals a bit, but I think the "pancake flat" course will help a lot.

My first marathon last April was for all those kids who picked me last in gym. (You know who you are.) This one is for ME.

My friend Casey reminded me to look at this marathon not as something I "have" to do, but something I "get" to do. In her words, "it's not a hassle...not a burden... it's a freedom." I dig that.

After the marathon, I look forward to running "free" for a while--no training plan, no upcoming races. Casey also shared this quote from What Women Want:

"She's running. It's early. It's quiet. Just the sound of her feet on the asphalt. No pressure, no stress. This is the one place she can be herself, look any way she wants, dress, think any way she wants. No game playing. No rules."

I miss that kind of running.

But I need to finish what I started. Honestly, I'm NERVOUS about this marathon coming off an illness. I'm NERVOUS about running in a new city with 500 strangers, not a familiar face in the crowd. I had planned a marathon with a bunch of friends, a couple of whom were similar to my pace. I just hope I don't have a lonely 26.2, you know? Maybe I should write PLEASE TALK TO ME on the back of my shirt!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Can I Really Just Walk Away? Need Advice, Please

After running the Country Music Marathon in 5:17 during the freak heat wave last April, I wasn't one of those people who said, "Never again." I said, "I want ANOTHER SHOT at this marathon thing so I can see what I can really do." I trained harder, longer, and smarter from July through December. I shaved over 2 minutes off my half-marathon time. Then two days before the race, I got bronchitis.

It appears to me I have two options--- just walk away from 5 months of training without running a marathon OR find a new one to run.

Can I really just walk away without closure? I ran 528 miles during 5 months of training. I ran 140 miles in October alone.

If I have to have CLOSURE, I have a few options. However, if I do re-enter the training phase after 3 weeks of taper and mentally "finishing" with the training, I wonder if I can regain my marathon mojo?


A. In two weeks, I could do the Jacksonville, FL marathon. It's the closest race that still has slots open. Five weeks is a little long for taper, so this week I would run a couple of 5-milers and on Friday, I would run a 12-14 miler. This would involve airfare, hotel, and car rental.

B. On February 14, the Mercedes Marathon is in Birmingham, AL, and is less than 4 hours away--definitely drivable. Unfortunately, I'd have 11 more weeks of marathon training. After 20 weeks. That's a 31-week training period. I'd have to do another 20-miler, plus at least a 16-miler and 18-miler sometime in December and January. Since my friends just completed their marathon and need a little recovery time, I may be running solo.

C. Take a little break over the holidays. Let my body and mind recover from marathon training because the TRAINING is really the hard part. Just run some half-marathons in the spring and plan for a fall marathon in 2010. Starting from scratch.

In the midst of all this, there is another factor: a little thing called BURNOUT. I'm on the precipice, but haven't fallen off. Yet.

SOME GOOD NEWS: (because I could use some!) I have a meeting on Tuesday with the YMCA to discuss my January half-marathon and 5K training groups! They want to add in a 3rd group---a kids' running group as well for a 1-mile fun run. Looks like I'll have a job as a running coach starting in late January/early February!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

I'm Out--- No Marathon

I have bronchitis. It is viral, so it is not responding to antibiotics that I've been on for 5 days. Feeling worse and running a fever. Developed the cough during the night. It burns in my chest.

Running 26.2 in 30-degree weather is not advised.

My 9-year old and husband are sick, too.

This marathon just wasn't meant to be.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Marathon or Burst???

Marathon countdown: 4 days. Sinus infection: 3 days and going strong.

I had self-diagnosed myself with a sinus infection (I have had them every winter for the past 30 years!) on Sunday and started on some Augmentin I found in the cabinet. I know, only the BEST medical care for me!

Monday dawned and I was a little worse. Today I got up and still had not improved after 2 days of antibiotics. So, I ran over to Doc in a Box (again, only the BEST medical care for me) and saw an actual doctor. I told her about the marathon 4 days away and how I was feeling like crud. She agreed with my assessment of a sinus infection and said I had also have fluid in my ears. She prescribed something strong and expensive: Levaquin. (I may have jacked up that spelling.) I go fill it and $166 later, I have meds. After leaving the pharmacy, I decided to actually read the enclosed literature and discovered Levaquin has one rather bad side effect: it can cause tendons to rupture, especially during strenuous activity-- most often the Achilles tendon. Hmmmm. Running 26.2 miles. Strenuous? I think SO.

I called the pharmacy and discussed it with the pharmacist --- she didn't recommend it four days before a marathon. Then she actually agreed to take it back and refund my money! That was one nice pharmacist. Then I called the doc in the box back. They actually let me talk to the doctor. She said that side effect is extremely rare, but if I'd be more comfortable with another medicine, she'd call it in. I was thinking, "Duh."

So I got one called Bioxin for only $17 and it doesn't cause spontaneous RUPTURE of any body parts. It's main side effect is diarrhea. Awesome.