Semi-Annual Update

Oh, hey there! I’m here for my semi-annual update 🙂 It’s crazy to think that the last time I posted here, I was 37 weeks pregnant and now I have this little 4.5 month old:

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Nicky is a fairly easy baby and has a smile for everyone. I feel like our family is complete now and that we are so lucky to have him.

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Having a second baby has been harder in some ways and easier in many ways than having just one. With your first baby, EVERYTHING changes. At least for me, as I’d never had a dog and only had two cats that were my husband’s, I had never really had a living thing that depended on me. Going from only being responsible for myself to having a little being that needed me to do everything for him was rough. With this new baby, I haven’t had tomake such a monumental life change, we’ve just added him right into our life.IMG_6886.JPG

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What has been challenging has been learning to juggle two kids and dealing with my little three-nager. 🙂 Max never really went through the “terrible twos,” but three has been a different story! I love him to pieces though, and he comes by his strong will and stubbornness honestly. I’m trying to give him as much love and grace as I can, while also setting limits for him. It has been super difficult, but I feel like things are finally settling down and he’s adjusting to no longer being an only child, no longer wearing diapers (YAY!!!!!!!), going to preschool and sleeping in a big boy bed. A lot has changed for this sweet boy and all things considered, he’s doing amazing with the changes. I would certainly be throwing tantrums if so much of my life had been turned upside down! I’m trying to carve out one-on-one time for him as much as possible and fortunately have some wonderful babysitters who will watch the baby so I can spend undivided time with Max.

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Baby Nicholas has been just a joy. He sleeps well at night—daytime naps aren’t really his “thing”—eats like he’s marathon training and loves to jump in his jumper. I can set him down and do stuff, which is crazy to me as Max was the type of baby who liked to be held all the time. He babbles like crazy and he loves to laugh. He’s just a fun little dude.

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So that’s the “Motherhood” part of Motherhood and Marathons, but what about the “Marathons” part? Well, I’m back to running, but I have yet to do any races. I was nervous for the return to running, but it was pretty smooth. I just can’t seem to get in as many miles as I would like to because there are not enough hours in the day. Most weeks, I am lucky to crack into the 20s as far as mileage goes. I look back at even just over a year ago when a 40-mile week was a cutback for me and I just laugh. With less time for running, I try to maximize by making every run count. So if I only have 30 minutes after both kids are in bed, I’ll do sprints on the treadmill or bump up the incline as high as I can stand. Nothing groundbreaking, but I try to mix it up.

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Me running a race. This picture is old (November 2015 – pregnant and didn’t know it!) 

I also try not to get upset when I can’t get a run in on a given day, and I take every opportunity I get to run—even if it’s only 10 minutes. I do get cranky if I go more than 2 days without a run or some kind of workout, so avoiding that is key. My husband will literally push me out the door sometimes when he knows I need a run. Hopefully, there are some jogging stroller runs in my future. I found a sweet used double jogging stroller at a consignment sale that I cannot wait to bust out. The recommended age to use it is 6 months and up, so you better believe I am counting down the days until I can use it and also praying for a mild winter. Nicky can’t ride in the single jogging stroller yet either, unless I buy a car seat adapter and a completely different car seat and I just really don’t want to spend the money. I can wait 6 more weeks. I think.

I did sign up to run the Indianapolis Monumental Half Marathon at the beginning of November and I didn’t make it to the start line. Nicky was sick and had a very rough (AKA no sleep) night and I just could not motivate myself to go. So I didn’t! In hindsight, it was kind of silly to sign up to run a race when I had a > 3-month-old baby, but I figured it was worth a shot. I also hadn’t done any runs longer than 8 miles at that point, so I was probably going to have a rough time at the end. So instead, I spent the morning snuggling with my boys. Snuggles are better than races any day.

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Snuggles > Running

I am signed up to run the Santa Hustle Half Marathon in a few weeks, so we’ll see if I make it. My sister and I did a long run (10 miles!) on Thanksgiving and it felt pretty good! I doubt this will be a PR race, but it will be fun to get 2 hours off mom duty on a Sunday morning. Other than that, I don’t plan to run any races until the Spring. I’m sure I have mentioned this many times, but my husband and I have pretty opposite work schedules. He works a few nights during the week and all weekend long, while I’m a M-F 9-5er. This is great for childcare, but not so great for seeing each other and definitely not conducive to Saturday morning races. Pretty much all the races around here are on Saturdays (WHY?!), so I really have to be choosy about which ones I do. I’m not paying a babysitter to run a race every weekend or even every month. Santa Hustle is on a Sunday, so the husband will be home to watch the kids! Other than that, I’m waiting until April to do anything. And I might have my eye on a full marathon because I like putting myself through insane amounts of stress trying to squeeze in runs, care for my kids and work. Really though, I LIKE marathon training and I don’t have any other hobbies besides online shopping and drinking copious amounts of diet coke, so why not? 🙂

 

Anyway, lately I am OBSESSED with podcasts. I’m on the bandwagon hard right now. My #basic status is definitely official. I listen when I’m running or when I am commuting to work. My current faves are:

One Bad Mother – So funny, so real

Another Mother Runner

I’ll Have Another – So good and the host lives in Indianapolis, too!

How I Built This – Makes me want to be a #bosslady

Oh No Ross and Carrie

This American Life

But I need your help here. What other podcasts should I be listening to? I need to add more to my list!

 

Thank you for reading my very lengthy check-in. Hopefully, I’ll be back soon 🙂

 

 

Mildewy Wet Dog

I have absolutely nothing to wear.

Finding running/workout clothes for a growing bump is a BITCH.

I should rephrase that. Finding running/workout clothes for a growing bump without spending ridiculous amounts of money is a BITCH.

When I was pregnant with Max, I bought two maternity training tanks and a pair of pants from Old Navy. I also bought two pairs of Nike running shorts on super sale in bigger sizes. That was it. Part of this was because I didn’t start showing until a lot later in my pregnancy, and also because I wore my regular running clothes and just stretched them out.

This time around, I’m struggling. I’m showing a lot sooner than I did with Max. I swear at almost 20 weeks I look like I did with Max at 28+ weeks. Supposedly this is because your body just remembers what to do and does it way faster. Or maybe because I like Reese’s peanut butter cups a little too much. Whatever, it’s probably some combination of the two.

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I also am wiser this time around. I stretched out many of my favorite running items during my previous pregnancy, and they never went back. At the time I thought I was so smart squeezing myself into too tight capris and tanks and that I was saving sooo much money. Then I tried to put those clothes back on a few months after Max was born and they were so stretched out they were unwearable. Fail.

So, I’m faced with needing to buy some new running/workout clothes. “Athleta has some cute stuff!” a well-meaning friend told me. Sure, it’s cute—but not cute enough to pay $80 for a pair of pants I will only wear for another 4.5 months!

“Target has cheap maternity clothes,” they said. Since every other pregnant woman in North America knows this, they scoop up all the good sizes. Sure, if I wear an XL or an XS, I’m in business at Target. But I wear neither, so I’m screwed.

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I guess I’m back to the Old Navy drawing board. Fortunately, they have a 30% or 40% off sale nearly every damn day. But hurry, because the sale ends today! And then starts again tomorrow. If anyone ever pays full price at Old Navy or Gap, they are doing life wrong.

I’m starting to forget the point of this post? Oh yeah, I basically wear the same outfit on repeat for running or riding my bike trainer or DVDs. My husband politely informed me the other day that my maternity workout pants smell like mildew. By politely inform, I mean he said, “Gross, you smell disgusting. Like a mildewy wet dog.” Max overheard and has been running around the house chanting “MILDEWY WET DOG!” at the top of his lungs. This is my life in a nutshell.

Anything sounds cute coming out of his mouth. Also, yes it's February and he's still wearing Santa pajamas. If it still fits, he wears it!
Anything sounds cute coming out of his mouth. Also, yes it’s February and he’s still wearing Santa pajamas. If it still fits, he wears it!

I’ll just leave you with that. I’m off to buy some clothes that actually fit and don’t smell.

Have a mildewy wet dog kind of day, friends!

Halloween and Last Week’s Running Recap

Things got pretty serious up in here yesterday. While I started running to get me through some deep stuff, I continue to run because I just plain love it. It’s fun. It helps my mood and keeps me sane. It’s not always serious – in fact, it almost never is 🙂

Let’s lighten things up today and talk about Halloween and go over last week’s running, shall we?

Halloween flowers from the hubby :)
Halloween flowers from the hubby 🙂

It feels weird to be writing about Halloween – it seems like everyone has already moved on to Christmas at this point. My Starbucks this morning is in a red cup, I’ve already begun hearing Christmas music and the Toys ‘R’ Us massive toy catalog came this weekend.

Um, WHAT ABOUT THANKSGIVING PEOPLE?

Sorry for yelling at you guys. 🙂 I just really like Thanksgiving. I was explaining it to Max last night and he seemed pretty on board. My description was this: “All you have to do is show up at Amma’s house (my mother-in-law), eat lots of yummy food and DO NOTHING. It’s glorious.” He definitely agreed with me.

Let’s rewind though to Halloween. It was Max’s first time trick-or-treating. He was 6-months-old for his first Halloween, so we decided to skip it. Last year, he was 18 months and we were planning on going to a few houses, but it ended up snowing. This year, nothing was stopping us!

Mickey Mouse getting ready for candy!
Mickey Mouse getting ready for candy!

We went with my friend and her son, who is Max’s age too. Both of our husbands work at the same restaurant and were both working 😦 so we were on our own.

Mickey and Frankenstein being goofy
Mickey and Frankenstein being goofy

These two little cuties were so much fun! They were bubbling over with the excitement of candy and costumes. They kept ringing doorbells and then immediately saying “Trick-or-treat!” to closed doors. It was so adorable.

Trick-or-treat pros
Trick-or-treat pros

We were out for a solid two hours and carried the boys for ¾ of that time. Max asked me to pick him up after about 15 minutes! My arms were burning by the end of the night!

Mickey walking - this lasted about 15 minutes...
Mickey walking – this lasted about 15 minutes…

Overall, Max’s first time was a success! The boys ended up playing and eating candy at my house until after 9 :30 or so – which means Max didn’t go to bed until 10:30. We were all exhausted on Sunday.

This was from Halloween during the day, but the skeleton outfit was too cute not to share!
This was from Halloween during the day, but the skeleton outfit was too cute not to share!

I woke up Sunday morning to sore arms and a sore hip. Carrying Max for so long kicked my butt. Imagine carrying a 30-ish pound medicine ball for almost 2 hours. And the medicine ball is also moving around, screaming for candy and sticking lolly pops in your hair. That was my arm workout Saturday night :). It’s Tuesday, and my arms are still a little sore.

On to running…

What should I call last week? Indianapolis Marathon recovery week #2? Monumental Marathon taper week #2? I have no idea.

I actually took last week easier than the week before (Indianapolis Marathon recovery week 1). I went a bit too hard that first week after the Indy race. Did I really need to run 40 miles? DUMB. I felt good that week, but it caught up to me this past week. I felt pretty run down and a little achy.

And here’s the thing about training for me: I know what I SHOULD do. But, I think I’m some sort of superwoman and I can do what I WANT (which is not take time off from running after a marathon) and that I’ll be fine. Add that to the list of things I need to work on. Acceptance is the first step 🙂

A gorgeous fall scene from one of my runs last week
A gorgeous fall scene from one of my runs last week

So here’s how last week shook out:

Monday: 4 miles 8:56 pace

Tuesday: 6 miles 8:02 pace

Wednesday: 5 miles 8:49 pace

Thursday: 7.2 miles 8:31 pace

Friday: 9.2 miles 9:00 pace

Saturday: 4.25 miles 7:51 pace

Sunday: REST

TOTAL: 35.65 miles

I took this Monday off as well, and today was a laid-back 7 miles. I’ll probably run 5-6 tomorrow and Thursday, then take Friday completely off. Then MARATHON on Saturday!

I have decided that I will run the full on Saturday. However, I’m going into it with no expectations. My goals are to finish and to listen to my body. If my body wants to run 11-minute miles – then that’s what I am doing! I am making a promise to myself today that I do not need to prove anything, but that I do need to take it easy and treat my body kindly. I need it to keep on running with me for another 50+ years.

The Monumental is a beautiful race through my city, and right now the weather looks good! This will just be a fun jaunt through Indianapolis 🙂

That’s all I have today. Anyone run NYC? Who’s racing this weekend? Did you go trick-or-treating?

To Run the Half or The Full – A Monumental Decision

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I’m sill waffling back and forth as to whether I should run the full or the half at the Monumental Marathon. If I don’t decide within the week, I’ll be stuck with a marathon bib.

I can still back out in the middle of the race—the half-marathoners go their own way around mile 6. But then I’ll be the person with the marathon bib that all the volunteers are yelling at to go the other way. And then I have to yell back, “I changed my mind! I’m running the half instead!”

I’ve obviously been there before.

I’m struggling to decide what to do, so I figure the best way to decide is to lay out the reasons for and against running the full.

Reason to Run the Full #1

I want to redeem myself.

 The Indianapolis Marathon on October 17th did not pan out how I would have liked it to. I believe that I have a 3:4x:xx somewhere in me.

Reason to Not Run the Full #1

Redeeming myself may not be physically possible.

Realistically, it’s going to be tough to pull out a PR 3 weeks after another marathon. I have done these races back to back before, but I was not going for a time goal. I ran them both fairly easy and my times were only a few minutes apart. BUT, in 2010 and in 2011, I ran the first marathon faster. I remember my legs feel weird at the Monumental both times.

Reason to Run the Full #2

I love running full marathons.

I just do. I’m probably more equipped and better built for half marathons, but fulls are my jam. I love the feeling of accomplishment that comes with running 26.2 miles. I can’t really explain it.

Reason to Not Run the Full #2

Extra time with little man. 

I am taking the day before the Monumental off and I have the entire following week off, so I will definitely be getting lots of time with him. But hey, ANYTIME with him is awesome. If I run the half, I get home to him a couple of hours earlier. Plus, I will be able to actually chase him around and play with him, instead of hobbling like a zombie.

Reason to Run the Full #3

I will want to race the half, and may not be ready for racing just yet.

If I choose to run the half, I’m really going to want to race it. It’s hard to keep that competitive drive down. My body may not be ready for the hard effort.

Reason to Not Run the Full #3

I might be able to pull out a big half PR.

On the other hand, after lots of long runs and a recent full, I might be able to pull out a nice half PR. I tested out a few more faster miles this morning, and it felt pretty good:

Tuesday

What this really boils down to is that I want to run another full marathon and have a good race. And by good race, I don’t mean that I have to run the time I’m shooting for or even PR, but I want to HAVE FUN. I did not have fun at the Indianapolis Marathon. I had put to much pressure on myself to enjoy it.

I also have the secret hope that my speed and endurance are still there from this training cycle, and that I will be able to run a PR race. This may just be wishful thinking.

I will continue to change my mind 50 times this week. Indecision is one of my strongest character traits.

It wouldn't be one of my blog posts without a picture of Max!
It wouldn’t be one of my blog posts without a picture of Max!

Have you ever run goal races in the span of a few weeks? How did it go? Would you do it again?

What would you do if you were me?

Recovery Week Running Recap

Thank you all for your kind words about last week’s race. I’m getting over it. I went into the race with 3 goals, the last being to at least have fun, and I missed all of these goals. While this made me feel as if I had “failed” I’m realizing that failing would have been to quit when I knew I wasn’t going to meet these goals (Either to BQ, PR or have fun). But I suffered through it, and I am proud of that.

Re-reading my post and trying to imagine that I was reading someone else’s re-cap, I came to the realization that I am pretty hard on myself. I think that’s part of the nature of runners. We strive to be our best selves and we push ourselves hard to meet goals and if we miss them, we are upset and blame ourselves. We have the inherent need to become better and when we don’t, it’s very upsetting. I do believe that pushing yourself hard can really pay off, but you also need to be kind to yourself and remember that you are human. So, I had a bad day? Who cares? I’m going to use the letdown to fuel me for my next race.

And now, on to last week’s running recap.

Monday: REST

Tuesday: Easy 3 AM, Easy 4 lunchtime

Wednesday: Easy 4, PIYO DVD in the evening

Thursday: Easy 5

Friday: 6 miles AM with a few fast miles thrown in, 2 miles PM

Saturday: Attempted long run, quit at 10 – easy pace

Sunday: 6 mile progression

Total miles: 40

Also, lots of foam rolling, stretching and light yoga

And the details:

I woke up Sunday morning pretty sore. I did not run at all, but I did take Max to a birthday party for my niece and nephew who were turning one. I did quite a lot of chasing after Max and playing with kids. Somehow, I always end up as the adult playing with about 10 kids. I suppose I am a kid at heart 🙂

This guy keeps me young :)
This guy keeps me young 🙂

By Monday the soreness was greatly reduced, but I again did nothing. I was ITCHING to run. Like, if I didn’t run soon I was going to lose my mind. Maybe I need to find some additional stress relievers?

Tuesday morning I did a short, easy 3 miles. It felt GOOD. I’ve find that the first run back after a race often feels a little stiff, but I didn’t notice any of that. I still had a little bit of soreness, and this run helped to release it.

I had a light day at work, and the opportunity to run at lunch that day. Who am I to turn down a run opportunity? I ran 4 easy miles on part of the marathon course from the Indianapolis Marathon. It was weird how different I felt on Tuesday as opposed to race day. I felt relaxed and smooth and I wasn’t hating life, like I had been at the race. What a difference it makes to run without the pressure of a race. I realize the pressure is self-imposed, but it’s just amazing how different it feels to run for fun versus race.

Wednesday, Thursday and Friday’s runs were fairly unremarkable. I was able to get some speed out of these legs on Friday, so that was encouraging.

Saturday, I intended to run 14-16 miles. I am running the Monumental in 2 weeks, and in that weird place where I’m recovering from a marathon, but preparing for another. I figured a semi-long run at a very slow pace might give me some confidence and keep my endurance up.

In hindsight, this probably wasn’t a good idea. I felt pretty worn out by about mile 6. I cut my loop short and ended the run at 10 miles. My body needed some more recovery and I was fine with that.

I slept from 9 PM to 7 AM Saturday night, which is a lot more sleep than I usually get. My body is definitely craving rest, so these next two weeks before the Monumental will be all about easy runs and as much sleep as possible.

Sunday, I did eek out a pretty decent run. It was an unplanned progression, with my last mile at 7:58. Then, I slept 10 hours again last night.

I’m still not 100% sure I will run the full at the Monumental on November 6th. I’m going to see how this week of running goes.

How was your week in running? Are you recovering from a race or getting ready for one?

That Time I Failed Miserably

Sadly, I did not BQ on Saturday.

I didn’t even PR.

I ran nearly 2 minutes slower than my PR.

What happened? Well, I’m not 100% sure. I’ve thought about it a lot and I think there were a few factors that led to my missed goal.

We’ll get to those in a minute. First, let’s rewind and recap the race.

I took the day off on Friday, the day before the race. I slept in till 8 and then had to wake Max up at 8:30. WHO IS THIS KID? I think he knew I needed the rest.

At the apple orchard
At the apple orchard

We spent the day as a family, picking apples, drinking cider slushies and relaxing. I felt very anxious all day—a total departure from my zen-like attitude toward the race of late. To be honest, I was doubting my ability to finish, second-guessing my training and just worried. It was weird, because I don’t normally feel this way before a race. I’m usually a little nervous, but mainly excited. It wasn’t fun.

Race morning I got up at 6, dressed and ate a bagel. It was chilly out – about 32 – with a predicted high of 55. I wore a lightweight long-sleeve tech shirt and shorts, with a throwaway hoodie and pants.

I got to the race early, stayed warm in my car and then met up with my sister. I felt like I might puke for some reason. I got in my corral and the gun went off. Go time!

*NOTE: I am using the split times I have from Strava. These times are innacurate from about mile 19 on because Strava auto-pauses when I stop—and I stopped a lot those last few miles. For 19 on, I’ll give an estimated time based on my finish time. If I can get garmin connect to load up, I’ll update the splits at a later time, as these are more accurate.

The race started and I struggled to get in a good position. I was jumping and dodging people and I could tell that I was going pretty fast. My Garmin was jumping all over the place as I slowed down when I was stuck behind people and sped up to pass. Mile 1- 7:59

The next few miles were a blur. I knew I was going too fast. But I thought that I might be able to hang on. I did plenty of fast finish long runs. I can do this. Miles 2-7 – 8:04, 8:17, 8:12, 8:18, 8:24, 8:26

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Around mile 8, this hills started. Damn, I should have done more hill training. Just hang on around 8:30 pace and you’ll make it up after the hill section. Around mile 10, a guy running barefoot fell into step with me. I was fascinated by his feet, which were so dirty and calloused, they made mine look pretty. He was a badass. Miles 8-11 –8:33, 8:13, 8:26, 8:41

The hills were finally over. Instead of picking up the pace, I found myself slipping. I was hurting. Already? We got to the point where the half-marathoners turn to finish. I want to go finish with them. I convinced myself to keep going. I knew, right there, that it was going to be a rough 13 more miles. Miles 12-13-8:33, 8:31

run-2

At this point, I figured I could salvage the race as long as I held onto an 8:30-8:40 pace. I could still PR. But hanging on proved harder than I thought. At some point during these miles, I told myself that a 9:00 pace was fine. So I stuck to that. This is when I mentally gave up. I even asked myself, “Why am I doing this?” And I could not come up with one reason why. I was hurting. I was tired. My brain was done. I couldn’t believe how early in the race this had happened. WTF is happening? Miles 14-19 –8:40, 8:42, 8:45, 8:55, 9:00, 8:57

Hating life at this moment...probably one of my worst race photos ever.
Hating life at this moment…probably one of my worst race photos ever.

At mile 21, I saw my sister. This is an out and back course, and you run adjacent to other runners ahead of you for a few miles. She was at 17 and looked so strong. She yelled and waved and told me how awesome I was doing. She gave me some life I desperately needed. I can do this. Just hang on to a 9 min pace. Nope, the pace continued to slip. And then I started stopping at every water stop, which was about every mile. I stopped for up to 30 seconds each time. I was OVER IT. Miles 20-26 –roughly 9:30 average (don’t have correct splits from my Strava due to auto-pause feature)

We crested the only real hill in the second half and then took a curvy road to the finish. I knew I was almost done and tried to dig deep, but I had nothing. My legs felt like lead and my left hamstring was screaming at me. And then, I saw my husband holding Max, my mother- and father-in-law, and my husband’s aunt and uncle. I nearly lost it as Max cheered for me. Seeing all these people that care about me out there helped me finish.

Waving to my family!
Waving to my family!
Here comes the ugly cry
Here comes the ugly cry

I was done. Thank God it’s OVER!

DONE. OVER IT.
DONE. OVER IT.

Max ran to me and then got really upset about the foil blanket. I threw it out and hugged my sweet boy and my husband. His parents and aunt and uncle told me how great I did and were just so nice. I tried to hold back the tears because I was so disappointed. I just couldn’t figure out what happened.

Overall Stats: Final Time: 3:53:54. (8:56 pace)

9th out of 55 in my division

38Th female out of 286

129th place overall

I am disappointed, sad and a little embarrassed. I told so many people, including anyone who reads this blog, that I was going for a BQ. It sucks to have people ask how it went and have to tell them that not only did I not BQ, but I didn’t even PR and I missed my goal by almost 20 minutes.

I’m frustrated with myself and with the marathon distance. Pretty sure I told my father-in-law as we walked back to the car after the race that I was done with marathons.

After processing this race for a few days, I’ve come to few conclusions as to why this race went so poorly for me and some solutions to these issues to put into practice ASAP:

I went out too fast. RUN SLOW AT THE BEGINNING OF RACES EVEN IF YOU FEEL GOOD. Duh.

I gave up mentally. Stay positive and believe in yourself. YOU CAN DO THIS.

I should’ve done more hill training. Run hills once a week. Boom. Easy.

I’m not as physically strong as I need to be. Do more strength training. Cut back on mileage if necessary to squeeze it in. No excuses.

I’m sure there’s other things that I did wrong at the race and during training, but these seem like the most likely culprits and the most fixable.

It’s disheartening to me that I trained pretty hard for 4 months, getting up at the crack of dawn most days and running 6-7 days a week only to fail. I’m still kind of bitter about that.

I’m also really humbled to realize that after 8 full marathons and 7 half marathons, I’m only just now learning how to race. I find it easier to do the training and the workouts than it is to mentally figure out racing and follow-through with a race plan. It’s just plain hard.

But, I’m trying to put this all into perspective. This is not a big deal. There are people with real problems out there. It’s just running. I just need to get over it. 2 years ago I would have been over the moon about a sub-4. I have to remember how far I’ve come.

So, here’s what’s next: I am signed up for the Monumental Marathon on November 7th. I originally signed up on a whim a few weeks ago when they posted on Facebook that they were 95% full. I blame taper crazies and the race director’s clever ploy to add urgency to the purchase. I figured Fort Harrison would be my “A” race and then I would take it really easy at the Monumental or step down to the half if I didn’t feel rested enough. I did run these two races back to back in 2010 and 2011, so I believe I can do it. But, I’m feeling so over the marathon distance that I’m not sure what I’m going to do yet.

My husband planted the seed that the Monumental could be my redemption race, but I’m almost positive I won’t be recovered enough to full out race. I’ll decide the week of whether I will run the full or half, and whether I feel recovered enough to try to PR (3:52:11 is my PR).

I still feel like I have a ton to say about this race, about how frustrated and mad at myself I am and how jaded I am with marathons, but I think this post is getting a little long. If you’ve made it this far, I applaud you for listening to my whining this long.

To sum it up: It wasn’t my day.

Highs and Lows of The Last 7 Weeks of Marathon Training

In 3 days I’ll be running a marathon.

20th_Annual_Indianapolis_Marathon_and_Half_Marathon

Scratch that – 3 days from now I’ll be done running a marathon, cuddling on the couch with my sweet 2-year-old and double-fisting a mimosa and a chocolate milkshake from Steak’n’Shake.

Lunch___Dinner___Specialty_Milkshakes___Double_Chocolate_Fudge___Menu___Steak__n_Shake

No matter what happens on Saturday, I feel really good about this training cycle. I was flexible, I didn’t beat myself up, and I enjoyed running while not letting it interfere with my life.

Win-win-win.

I won’t bore you with 7 weeks of training logs. Or maybe that interests you? I doubt it. Let’s just cover the highs and the lows of the second half of Indianapolis Marathon – Home Page training, shall we?

The Lows

Injury Scare-I wore ridiculously high wedges to my brother’s wedding Labor Day weekend—this after 13 consecutive days of running because I’m a moron. I woke up the next morning with so much achiness in my shin that I thought it was a stress fracture. I’m also a tad bit dramatic when I think I’m injured. I took a few days off, and realized that it was getting steadily better. Then I put two and two together and figured it was the damn shoes. I swore I would not wear wedges or heels until after the marathon.

Hubs and I at the wedding, I couldn't find any good picks of the offending shoes. They have since been burned.
Hubs and I at the wedding, I couldn’t find any good picks of the offending shoes. They have since been burned.

A Week of Treadmill Running-I traveled to Boulder, CO the second week of September for work. I was in BOULDER. Ya know, running mecca? I didn’t get to run outside once the whole time I was there. Thanks to work all day everyday from 8:30 to 6:30, followed by dinners out, the only time I had to run was early. I didn’t want to run in the dark somewhere I don’t know, so I made friends with the treadmill. #travelingrunnerfail

It stinks that I didn’t get to enjoy the beautiful Boulder trails, but on the plus side, I did some killer speedwork.

Long Run Fail– I got home from said trip to Boulder late Friday night and planned to do a 20-miler early Saturday morning before I picked Max up at the in-laws. The run started at 5 and I felt like death. Maybe it was due to lack of sleep all week, a little too much alcohol 5 days straight and some serious humidity, but that was a sad attempt. I capped it at 17-miles and tried not to stress too much about my craptastic performance. My overall pace was fine, but I felt like I was barely moving and that I could never, ever run 26.2 miles.

17mi

The Highs

Long Run Success- After my failed attempt, I went for another 20-miler a week later. I managed to drag my butt out of bed at 4 and was outside and moving by 4:15. I was motivated by the fact that I won’t have to get up that early again for a long, long time.

20

It was pretty much a perfect long run. It felt nice and comfortable, and I actually enjoyed that the majority of the run was in the dark. I also listened to an excellent book, which made the time fly by—The Admissions by Meg Mitchell Moore. I’ve had to run super early this whole training cycle in order to be home when Max wakes up, and for some of my runs I’ve done the first part on the treadmill and the second half outside. This saves me from running in the dark the whole time, but also makes for a more painful second half. Something about the treadmill kicks my butt, which is why I just wanted to do this whole run outside.

Early Morning Runs-I’ve successfully made the transition to a morning runner. I was able to get in so many more runs because I’ve stuck to the morning plan. At this point, I actually wake-up a few minutes before my alarm goes off. WHO AM I?

 

Must run in the morning so I have time to play drums with this guy!
Must run in the morning so I have time to play drums with this guy!

No Stress-I’ve had a cool as a cucumber approach to this training cycle and I feel a lot less beaten down. Usually, by the time my taper comes around I feel physically and mentally drained. And then I spend three weeks obsessing over whether I did enough. Not this time. Life is so full these days that running is not the main thing on my mind—and I love that. I get up, I do my run and get my “me-time” and then it’s on to my day. I’ve found when I don’t expend so much mental energy on my running that I actually run a lot stronger.

Unrelated...but cute
Unrelated…but cute

The Outcome

Well, we’ll find out on Saturday, right? I will say that overall, I think that I am in shape to run close to a BQ, but it’s going to have to be a perfect day. I strongly believe that a PR is in reach, as long as I take the first few miles SLOW. I’m guessing I’ll end up somewhere in the 3:40s possible upper 3:30s. I know, that’s a big range. But I’ve run enough marathons to know that ANYTHING can happen.

Cruising on my way to PR city!
Running last year’s Monumental Marathon

Ultimately, all I really care about is running in the moment and enjoying the race. This is the last year that there will be a full marathon at this race (the half will continue next year- not sure if they will change the name?) and I want to savor the beautiful course. The Indianapolis Marathon was my very first full in 2007 and I’m so sad it will be gone next year. I’ve run the half or the full every year since then except for 2008 and 2014, and I want to relish running my hometown marathon one last time. Finishing this year will definitely be bittersweet.

Do you have a race that you hold near and dear?

Who’s racing this weekend? If you’ve already done a fall race, tell me about it! I’m so out of the loop!