Thursday, May 29, 2014

My Marathon

Wow year end gets crazier and crazier with each kiddo being in school.  What a wonderful time of year, but man is it busy.  Sorry I didn't get this posted sooner, but here is how my marathon journey went start to finish!

I was in the middle of a battle with depression and my sweet friend Teramie was calling me about every day to check in on me and try to boost my spirits.  She had called one day and said, hey girl let's sign up for a marathon!  My immediate reaction was no! As would any normal person would react.  But she persisted... she said the peer pressure things like Come on, we need a challenge, anyone can do a half but how many people ever run a marathon.... so I said I would think about it... I then called my friend Kiesha who is my running guru and knows all things running.  I asked her if she thought I was capable of doing one, and if she thought so what advice she had for me... She said yes of course as long as you have the time to train properly.  Her advice was to look at a marathon training schedule and see if I thought I had the time I needed to do it.  Then find a race that fit into that time frame... so after much debate between which race we should do Teramie and I decided on the Ogden Marathon...  So the training began, after consulting a few running groups to find out how they trained I decided to follow Hal Higdon's training plan for beginners.  And I began to run, as I started I was shocked how slow I was compared to what I had been last summer when I was in much better shape, but I kept at it and I slowly watched my pace begin to come down and my miles begin to add up.  I copied down the training plan so I could cross off each run after I had completed it, if I missed a run I would circle it so I knew that one hadn't gotten done.  I went back and looked I completed 56 training runs and only missed about 5 but never my long run.  With each run I began to enjoy it more and look forward to the next.... finally I was at 15 miles and this was officially the farthest I have ever ran.  It was exhilarating to beat my mileage each week after that and have a new PR!  I also found a running buddy down in our new area or at least closer to me than Logan.  We would run usually once run during the week together and most of my long runs together.  It felt good to run with someone and to have a friend to spend all those hours with.  My husband was a huge support in helping with the kids and kicking me out the door (sometimes literally) when I didn't feel like going for a run.  I worked on my music play list (which helps me a lot)  nothing like a good song to push you when you don't want to go anymore.  I did strength training and core work several times a week and tried to get in some bike time too.  I was really good with all of this until I hit about my 15 mile mark, then I started to notice how sore I was to run and I felt it was inhibiting me from doing well.  So I stopped and just focused on running (looking back this was a huge mistake).  I focused on my food and how to eat and fuel for my runs (I am still not sure I have this figured out) but I  am finding it much better than when I started.  I started working on my hydration and making sure I was getting plenty of water.  In the process I also gained about 6lbs... this was not part of my plan but apparently it is pretty common.  And here I was thinking I was going to shed some lbs. with all this running.  I tried to incorporate different runs, up hill, down hill (these were favored), intervals, fartleks, and tempo runs.  I put in 17 long weeks of training and at my furthest ran 20 miles in preparation for this big event.  Well the day came and we stayed in Ogden so we could get our rest (this didn't happen), but it was I nice thought.

Here is what I wrote right after my marathon:
Candace, Teramie and Myself waiting at the start

I had trained really hard for this, for 17 weeks, and I spent almost every Saturday/Sunday running a long run that took hours to finish in all kinds of weather from down pour to blizzard to wind and a few sunny days but nothing super hot. I have had a ton of support especially from my awesome hubby. I had runs that were awesome, I had runs that were not awesome, I had so many PR's in distance and even a few in speed on some shorter runs. It has been an amazing emotion filled journey to today. I woke up at a crazy hour to go run the furthest distance I have ever ran before. We stood in the cold morning air around a fire for a couple hours until it was race time. They started with the national anthem which I LOVE!!! I started out awesome, was running at a nice 9:45 pace for my first 3 miles then I slowed a bit reserving some of my energy remembering I still had 23.2 miles left to run I felt awesome and I was doing great until about mile 7 my knee started to hurt a bit... thankfully my friend Karlee had come up to pace with me and met me at mile 8 with some Ibuprofen... I kept on after that doing pretty good and steady until about mile 14... for some reason this is where my pain began to get worse and I slowed quite a bit... so we did some walk run and played leap frog with the 5 hour pacer (my goal was 5 hours) so I really didn't want to see him pass me. But finally at mile 16 there was no pacer in site for me to leap frog... and I may have shed a few angry tears but I kept on keeping on walk then run, walk then run... I was grateful to have someone there to keep pushing me. There were several moments where I felt really strong, and then several where I wanted to quit... I even found a nice cave at mile 21 that I had decided I wanted to just go lay down in and quit... but of course I didn't... I had people at the finish line waiting for me. So I pushed and kept on... So many emotions that flooded my thoughts on a full spectrum of good and bad. I saw my first "fans" at mile 23 and I was sooo glad to see my husband and boys and in-laws cheering me on. I may have shed a few tears of gratitude over the overwhelming feeling of support. So I kept on, still with the walk then run, but it was a lot more walk than I wanted. I did this until the finish line where I got to cross with my two oldest kiddos. My heart was so full from the support of my friends and family. Thank you so much to everyone who stayed in the heat to watch me finish, and who helped me in my journey by either your kind words of encouragement, being a running buddy, helping arrange hotel rooms, helping me with my stuff after, just being there. I had a bit of sting to my finish as I obviously didn't meet my goal of 5 hours and that hurt... but I finished a marathon!!! 
Mile 1 awesome I got this 
Mile 2 awesome I got this 
Mile 3 ummm... I need a pit stop 
Mile 4 awesome I got this... I think I might be able to make up my time 
Mile 5 Yup I am gaining back that pit stop time 
Mile 6 hmmm I still have 20 miles to go maybe I ought to slow it a bit 
Mile 7 man my knee is hurting a little but I can push through this 
Mile 8 Karlee please bring me some pain killers 
Mile 9 I got this. 
Mile 10 this is so beautiful, I can do this 
Mile 11 this is getting harder but I got this 
Mile 12 man I am hurting, and i need another pit stop 
Mile 13 is that the 5 hour pacer behind us... ok I gotta pick it up I can't let him pass me 
Mile 14 what the hill!!! ok I am not going to kill all my energy on this hill... take it slow 
Mile 15 man my knee is still not cooperating 
Mile 16 uh oh there goes the 5 hour pacer... this sucks 
Mile 17 ummm I don't love this why isn't my body cooperating 
MIle 18 FUUUU I hate this and it is hot... why did I do this 
Mile 19 I want to chop of my legs (and maybe Teramie's legs for talking me into this), this sucks and I am hurting in places I have never hurt before 
MIle 20 zone out (don't really remember this mile) 
Mile 21 Ok walk run, I got this but there is cave... maybe I can just crawl in there it looks cool... I will just stay there and possibly die... guess not. Are we there yet. 
Mile 22 Out of the canyon...I HATE THIS! I am in pain... but I got this... I am going to finish 
Mile 23 MY FAMILY!!! Oh that was refreshing.... Ok I can do this 
Mile 24 ummm... I may crawl across the finish line... my knee, my hammy, my hips, my everything hurts... 
Mile 25 Karlee leaves and I get to finish on my own... just go almost there.. random stranger physically pushes me when I stop to walk... and leaves me with an encouraging you got this finish strong! I love runners!!! 

Guess you get to stretch your neck... I cannot for the life of me get this to post correctly :/

Mile 26 MY FAMILY!!! MY FRIENDS!!! MY KIDS!!!! Ok just .2 to go Finally I am there, later and more pain filled than I wanted but I DID IT!!!

All in all I am really proud of this accomplishment!  And I found a little more of myself in this journey!

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