Wednesday, December 31, 2008

To Bill

Thinking of you today.

We love you and miss you.

You're always in our hearts, Dad.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Domestic Diva

This has nothing to do with running but I have to write a quick blog about this. I realized this morning that I was the perfect picture of domestic diva! I taught yoga this morning at the Y, and wore one of my new yoga outfits with matching top and stretchy yoga pants. Afterwards, I had Baby Boot Camp class, and then decided to take Anthony to the park because it was such a nice morning. We stopped by Starbucks to get me a latte and Anthony some vanilla milk, and then headed to the park. There I was, with my matching yoga outfit, sunglasses, perfect handsome little kid on one hip, and Starbucks coffee in the other hand. Jesus! I was such a parody of domesticity that I had to laugh at myself. Oh well, at least I was wearing the yoga clothes because I had taught two classes that morning, not just because they looked good! I had actually sweated on them!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

2 weeks from today!

2 weeks from today, I'll have completed the Disney marathon! I can hardly believe how fast the time has flown. It's been a crazy year. Christmas has come and gone already. It was a very good Christmas-- we went up to Georgia to spend it with the family this year. Perhaps that wasn't our smartest idea, since we had just been up there 3 weeks before for Thanksgiving, but it turned out to be a great trip. We spent the first half of the week with my family, and the second half with Adam's. We even got to go out on a real date with our friends Rich and Tracy, and got to have both dinner and a movie without it costing us $30 in babysitting money! Ah, the perks of grandmothers.

I realized I forgot to blog about my 20 mile run. All that buildup and I don't even talk about it. Whoops! Well, it's over, I can say that about it. Actually, it wasn't that bad, though it was pretty darn warm that morning and it really made me worry about how hard the marathon will be if it's that warm on the 11th. We've been lucky in that it's been pretty cool most of our long runs; in fact, the previous week, I wore a warm up jacket and long pants for the entire run. It was in the 70's for most of the 20 mile run, which isn't bad if you're outside just hanging out but sucks when you're working out that much, plus there was NO shade along our route. We finished in 3:23, which was remarkable time, just over 10 minute miles. If we were to continue on that pace for the marathon we would finish in about 4 and a half hours, which I'd be thrilled with. That last six miles will be tough though. Pretty much once you get beyond 20 miles, it's all mental. there's not a whole lot you can do to prepare your body for that kind of stress.

I feel really confident going into this last two weeks. We are tapering down now in mileage to prepare for the big day, so I'm going to be focusing on cross training and strength building until then. I'm beginning to be able to imagine myself and Erin crossing the finish line and getting the coveted medal. It's been an incredible journey of training, and in some ways I'm sorry to see it end, but it will be nice not to spend every Saturday morning running for hours at a time.

let's hope for COOL WEATHER two weeks from today!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

22 Days!!

Aaaaahhhhhhhhh!!! 22 days to go!! I can't believe we're in the home stretch. One more big push forward with our 20 miler on Saturday, and then we start to taper down to get ready for the big day. Erin and I were both sick this week with nasty colds, but despite that we got out and did our shorter runs and the 10 miler last night. We've run through heat, cold, wind, rain, sickness, injuries... and it all comes down to one day. I just hope I've gotten all the funk out and will be healthy and ready come January 11th.

Christmas is in one week! This whole holiday season has flown by. The weeks between Thanksgiving and now are a blur. We took Anthony to do some fun holiday things, including
the train ride to the "north pole" and to Christmas Lane this week. He loved the lights and the choo-choo.

I've started writing a new novel. We'll see if I can actually finish this one, unlike all the half written novels I've started before. I won't say what it's about here (I don't want any casual browsers stealing my ideas! Ha ha) but let's just say it's at topic very close to my heart!

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night....

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

My Longest Long Run, Part 3

Hey, I just noticed my countdown clock is down to 31 days! Holy sh*t! Time is a-flying. It's a good thing too, to quote one of my life heroes, Jimmy Buffett...

And now I must confess I can use the rest...
I can't run at this pace very long...
Yes it's quite insane...
I think it hurts my brain...
But it cleans me out and then I can go on

It's been quite a ride, and as we move through the heart of this thing and the highest mileage, I feel more prepared to take this on but even more ready for it to be over. It's not the race itself-- it's the training. Our "medium" run in the middle of the week is up to 9 miles this week, 10 next. It's hard to find an hour and a half after dark to go run, especially for poor Erin who is rushing home from work busting her butt to meet me on time. I thank Adam for being so gracious and supportive of my running, and be willing to take extra Anthony care time so I can get 'er done.

We did our 18 mile training run this past Sunday. Only one more big run to go: the 20 miler in two weeks. The 18 wasn't bad, but I'm a moron and ate food court chinese food the night before, so I spent the first half of the run battling a sour stomach and heart burn. Then, my left knee started aching a bit around mile 15, and later that night I had quite a bit of pain on the back of that same knee. I iced it down and stayed off of it yesterday, and am skipping a 4 mile training run today in order to take the extra day of rest. It's feeling better today though so I don't think it's anything to be overly concerned about. I'm not taking any chances though, I've devoted way too much time and effort to this to get sidelined in the homestretch!!

Erin told me she was planning to have a picture of a friend of hers who had died in Iraq this summer screen printed onto the back of the shirt she's going to wear for the marathon. I'm going to do the same thing with a picture of Bill. I've thought a lot about him during my training. Nothing makes you more aware of your breath and of being alive than endurance training. When it's just you and your breath out there on the open road, you have nothing to do but think about it and be grateful for it. I remember 3 years ago when Bill was sick at Christmas, and a week later as we sat by his bedside in the hospice... how he struggled to breathe his last breaths. I don't think we ever take enough time to be grateful for every clean and easy breath we take, and this training has made me so aware of that. I dedicate this run to him.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

spanning the seasons

Atlanta Half Marathon Official Time: 2 hours, 4 minutes! Whoo-hoo! My goal was 2:10, and to know I not only beat that goal, but shaved 20 full minutes off my time from Disney last January, makes me extremely proud. It was quite a run, one of the best I've ever done. I'm already thinking of my post-marathon goal now-- finish the half in under 2 hours. If I had known I was going to be that close, I would've booked it even more to hit the 1:59 mark!

So as Erin and I were out doing our 9 mile training run last night, it started getting dark around 5:45pm. I started thinking as we were running past houses lit by Christmas lights how my running has carried over time. After the half marathon last January, I hit a whole new level of interest and excitement with my running. Even with my goal a year away, I continued to train, even through the dog days of summer when it was a too hot to run at 7:00am.

When we started our official training schedule in September, it was still hot, and even though we still had daylight at 7:00pm, you couldn't get out before then because of the heat and/or summer afternoon thunderstorms. As the long runs increased from the first week, 6 miles, to this week's upcoming 18 miles, we kept going, never missing a training day, never cheating, never stopping. The rainy season slowed, the oppressive humidity dried up, and an occasional comfortable day started slipping in. Night fell earlier and earlier, and it's continued to get cooler and cooler. We've run from summer straight through fall and into winter (granted, not that our seasons are very pronounced in Florida, but you get the idea!). We've run distances I never thought possible. I took 20 full minutes off my half marathon time. I feel stronger mentally and physically than I ever have in my life, and the race still looms ahead of us, a mere 6 weeks away!