Sunday, January 25, 2009

Pictures of Anthony, Ladies' Man

Anthony introducing himself to Layla...
You got me on my knees, Layla... I'm begging darlin' please Layla...

Training for Half Marathon

Well two massages later I think my recovery from the marathon is complete. I took a 3 day hiatus from running and was pretty much chomping at the bit by the third day. I'm back at it in full swing now, but thankfully, only doing half the mileage I did in marathon training. Right now I'm working on speed as it is mine and Adam's goal to break 2 hours the Gasparilla half marathon, which is scheduled for March 1st. At the Atlanta half on Thanksgiving I finished in 2:04. My goal then was 2:10, and if I'd had any idea I was that close I would've picked up the pace, to say the least! I'm getting another crack at it though and the focus of my training for the next month will be consistently running 9:00-9:10/min miles. I ran 10 yesterday at a 9:05 average pace, plus I'm running on shoes that need to be replaced. I'm waiting until a week or two before the race to buy new ones because I know how I can fly on new shoes.

I saw Auntie Chiara posted some pics from our marathon weekend on her blog (thank you for that!) I want to add a few along with a story that needs to be immortalized. My son, always the ladies' man, saw a little girl that caught his eye while we were waiting for dinner at Downtown Disney. She was probably three, maybe four, and quite a little cutie with a headful of blonde curls. Anthony immediately chased her down and threw his arms around her in a hug, and even shook her hand! Both families just cracked up at the spectacle, and Anthony did not want to let her go when it was time for her family to move on. Her name was Layla.

Monday, January 12, 2009


Clock Time4:56:02
Chip Time4:43:32
Overall Place5378 / 14940
Gender Place1855 / 7139
Division Place322 / 1166
Age Grade47.8%
5 Mile57:09
10 Mile1:47:29
Half Split2:19:35
20 Mile3:33:43

I did it! I did it! I did it! I did it!

I ran the 2009 Disney Marathon yesterday. I don't know how to exactly describe the experience, other than saying it was unforgettable. It's hard to articulate the mass of physical and mental thoughts and feelings you get when running 26.2 miles for the first time. Friday and Saturday nights, there was nervousness and anxiousness. Sunday morning, as I got up at 3:20am to start getting ready, I felt completely super-charged. As the fireworks and starting gun went off, and we waited in the very large pack slowly moving towards the start line like a heard of cattle, I felt like a very small fish swimming towards an ocean.

Around mile 4, the very tight pack started to break up, and I felt relieved.

By mile 6, I had found my "sweet spot", my groove, and lipsynched along to my favorite songs as I coasted along.

Mile 9 brought the entrance in to the Magic Kingdom, and a somewhat emotional moment rounding the corner and heading down Main Street USA, the Cinderella Castle in front of me, the streets lined with cheering spectators. I thought about my first trip to Disney World at age 5, which I vividly remember, plus the photograph capturing the moment in time when I first saw Cinderella's Castle. Would've never dreamed I'd someday be running a marathon through those same streets!

Miles 12-16 were sheer boredom down the long, uneventful road between the Magic Kingdom and the Animal Kingdom. Interest in this stretch was brought by Erin's need to pee and our decision to duck in the woods rather than wait in a port-a-potty line (No, I didn't have any toilet paper and I haven't squatted in the woods in about 10 years!)

By mile 17, we were entering the Animal Kingdom, and I could see the proverbial wall looming ahead of me as I started to tire. I enjoyed running through the Animal Kingdom, but was distracted by the 8 miles that remained.

By mile 19, I had smacked right into that imaginary wall and with legs of fire, continued to press forward, becoming annoyed by the fact that Erin remained a good 5-10 paces ahead of me at any given moment.

Mile 20-- thrilled to be within a 10K of the finish line but felt a little worried, knowing I had never run above 20 miles before and didn't know what this No-Man's Land would be like. By this point everything below the waist was really hurting, my hips, my knees, my ankles, how could I possibly keep this up for 6 more miles?

Mile 21... WTF?!... the route had us run half a mile straight down the road and then double back. They couldn't make up another mile somewhere else other than that?!

At Mile 22, Erin was still ahead of me and I was getting even more irritated that she didn't seem nearly as tired as me or all the people around us. If anything, she was speeding up. WTF?! Where the heck did this super-girl come from?

I don't remember any of Mile 23. I think I blocked it out.

Mile 24. Erin glanced back at me from the more than 20 paces she had gotten ahead. I waived her down frantically, and when she slowed to allow me to catch up, I snapped at her: "I thought we could at least two the last two miles together". Yeah, I was exhausted, in terrible pain, and pissed as hell that she was still bouncing around like the g.d. energizer bunny while myself and everyone around us fell apart at the seams. What kind of crack did she smoke that morning to get that superhuman resolve?

Mile 25. Ran through the World Showcase of EPCOT center, wondering when the hell EPCOT got so big. No longer appreciated the crowds of cheering spectators, and wished I could smack the next person that said Almost there! or The finish line is just around the corner! REALLY wish I could smack Erin when she asks, "Are you able to run a little faster?" NO, you psycho, I'm NOT!

Mile 26. Tears.

Rounding the corner, I could see the finish line and began scanning the massive crowd lining the road, hoping my family was able to secure a good spot to see me finish. Right as we approached the finish line, I grabbed Erin's hand and we raised them up for the camera, hoping to get the million dollar shot for the photographers as our time chips beeped, signaling the torture to finally be over! Suddenly I spotted Sheramy and my dad in the crowd-- I don't know if it was delirium but I never did see my mom, Adam, or Anthony, though they were right beside Sheramy. I started to worry something was wrong.

I tried to stretch as best I could so I wouldn't get stiff, but when you're that exhausted it's hard to even stand up. I wobbled over to the family reunion area to meet my posse, happy to hear mom, Adam, and Anthony did see me finish, though I didn't see them. Erin immediately started talking about when she wants to run her next one, and I told her she was on her own.

Will I ever do another marathon? I don't know. It's an experience like no other, and you only do your first one once. I get the same thrill from half marathons with only half the training and pain afterwards. But... there is a challenge out there I will need to tackle sometime in the future, and I only started thinking of it because it really annoyed me there was something bigger and better than what I had achieved, and it was right under my nose the whole time.

The Goofy Challenge.

Am I goofy enough to even contemplate it? I've been accused of worse!

For now I'll just focus on my next challenge, and one that hopefully will allow me to walk normally the next day... Gasparilla Half Marathon, March 1st, 2009, which Adam and I will run together and will attempt to break 2 hours.

It's nice to always have a goal to work towards!

In health,
My Marathon Mommy

Thursday, January 8, 2009

The 2DW officially begins!

After my Pilates class this morning, I jumped on the treadmill to do a quick and easy two miles, the last of my training. As of now marathon training is officially OVER and the 2DW begins! I can't say I feel nervous exactly-- more anxious. I know I've done everything I could do to this point, and I can just hope all that training pays off in a great run. I'm feeling much better about the weather forecast today. They're now calling for cloudy skies and a low of 45, high of 67. That is ideal running weather. Earlier this week it was supposed to be sunny and 75, which would've made it way too warm for a comfortable run. Let's hope the current forecast holds and we have grey skies and a nice comfortably cool temp.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

In the 2DW

When you're trying to conceive, they call the two week wait between ovulation and Aunt Flo the "2WW" (2 week wait). When you're training for a marathon, the training plan tapers you down for three weeks following the big 20 mile run, and the week before the race is very light-- a 3 mile, a 4 mile, and a 2 mile run, then two days of complete rest before the race. Tomorrow, I do the ridiculously easy 2 mile run, and then.... nothing. I'll be in the 2DW (two day wait). No cross training, no jogging, nada. Just two full days of rest to help my body rest and get ready for Sunday. After tomorrow, the training is officially over.

I am relieved to not be anchored down to an extensive training schedule anymore but at the same time, it's become such a part of my routine that it will be really weird not to have it. It's not like I'm going to stop running-- we already have two half marathons planned in March-- but I've run halfs before, and will be very well conditioned for those races and won't have to put a lot of extensive training into preparing for those.

Will I run another marathon? Honestly, I don't know. There's been so much put time and effort put into this that I'm not sure I'd want to do it all again. But, I haven't run the race yet, haven't felt the excitement of the crowd or the exhilaration of crossing the finish line, so I may change my mind over time, who knows. But, you only run your first marathon once, so even if I do run another one in the future, it won't be like this first time. I'm planning to enjoy every moment of it!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Less than a week to go!

I can't believe it's less than a week until the marathon! I started planning for this very shortly after completing the half marathon last year, and here I am, about to embark on the great journey! Lots of things to worry about this week--drinking plenty of water, getting my fruits and veggies in (especially my Vit. C!), not getting a last minute injury, and staying healthy. My parents arrive on Thursday, and Saturday together with them and Sheramy, Anthony, Adam, and I will head to Orlando.

One thing I did this past week was ask my family and close friends for song suggestions for my iPod. I wanted a little piece of all my favorite people with me as run the long road, so that when I'm feeling the most tired and defeated, I'll remember the people I love to propel me through. I'm even going to put one of Anthony's favorite songs on there-- "Calling All Movers" by the Imagination Movers. That song makes me laugh because I think of him running around like crazy whenever it comes on. I'll think of him, and Adam, and my family waiting for me on the other end of the 26.2, and that will help me run like Forrest Gump!

On a side note, Adam just pulled Biscotti from where she was hanging on the screen of our porch. Last night we saw "Marley and Me" in the theater, the story of "the world's worst dog". Now, in our best Owen Wilson voices, we call Miss Scotti "the world's worst cat".