Scenery helps with mileage

I had a lot of mileage last week… and I did it on purpose because I knew I’d have to travel this week and I wasn’t sure what kind of impact that would have on a running schedule.

I managed 3 miles with Janet and Margaret last weekend (after heavy mileage in the days before that) and then a rest day on Monday.

 

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It was a busy work week, but I managed to get 4-5 miles in on Thur and Friday and then set out on Saturday for a long one. I had enough time to head out a new way and if made too big a loop, I could walk part of it.

I started on one of my normal routes but then detoured to head down the water. I knew where I wanted to go because it was a leg of the 18 mile route Joanie Benoit Samuelson gave me last year. Only, I didn’t really know how long this new combo would be. I guessed somewhere between 9-12 miles, but was really hoping it would be more like 9….

And it was 10 on the nose!

That beautiful scenery in the photo was at mile 5.5 – the perfect “pick-me-up” to keep going.

Sunday was just a shortie 3 miles.

The week ahead is jammed with travel to RI and a bunch of other crazy life commitments, so I’m not sure if it will be a good mileage week.

But, since good scenery really helps, I’m going to deliberately start searching pretty routes to keep me going this summer.

ready – set -race… and then relax

Well, last Sunday, I went out on my own and knocked out 9 miles. It was hot and humid, and even though much of the mileage was in the shade, we Mainers are pretty intolerant of heat and humidity, especially when they are combined. So, 9 miles was my limit. I was happy, though, because that’s the longest I’ve run since the marathon in November.

After that, the next days were mix of 2 to 5 mile runs, with Thursday as a rest day.

Because on Friday, the 4th of July, I joined in the LL Bean 10k in Freeport, ME.  I wasn’t planning on doing this race. I’ve been nursing my foot for months and didn’t need to spend money on yet another entry fee for race I might end up skipping. But, at the last minute, my friends Kat and Ryan said they were running, and I said, “Ok!”  And then I learned that Margaret was going to be in Maine for the 4th and she would run it, too.

So, on Friday morning, we ran in the humidity and fog, but no rain.  I finished with my fastest race pace ever! I’m sure my pace was helped by Janet who had first coached her Couch to 5K crew early in the morning and then came to the LL Bean race to cheer for us. I saw Janet at the 5.5 mile mark as I was climbing a long hill and she bopped on into the road and ran next to me until I got to mile 6, whispering, “Come on – you got this- you’re looking strong.”  She’s such a great friend. I probably would have slowed down at the end because it was so hard then, but with her running alongside, I really tried for the homestretch.

race results

Not long after the race, Arthur really hit and we had torrential downpours and power outages through night. I had a lazy start to the morning yesterday, waiting for the rain to let up. Then, I stepped out for a light run – just to stay loose. But I had a lot on my mind, so I went a little further, and further, and finally trotted back into my driveway with 10.2 miles behind me.  I dropped myself into an ice bath to take care of sore feet and legs, then went to get lunch with my daughter, Lucy.  It was middle of the afternoon before we got lunch and we were both so hungry, we were grateful for the massive portions at Bernie’s restaurant in Falmouth. (As you can see, Lucy’s haddock sandwich is the size of her head.)

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And then, today, I picked up Janet at 7:30 am and we drove to Biddeford Pool to meet up with Margaret. I was a bit tired from my over-mileage effort yesterday, so I stopped at 3 miles while they continued on to finish a loop. (Dad – notice that I took your advice and stopped before hurting myself! 🙂  )

It’s worth the drive to get to scenery like this:

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We even took a break for a selfie:

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And then we went to the general store, bought coffee and breakfast, and sat outside to relax, visit, rest, and enjoy the view (those are my Hokas! I love the Hokas.):

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I’ve got a bunch of travel this week and a crazy schedule for the days I’m actually in the office, so I expect mileage to light and worry free.

On the road again…

Last time I posted, in *January*, Maine was in a deep freeze and I was complaining about plantar fasciitis.  Let’s just say, in all respects, it was a LONG winter, weather-wise and exercise-wise.

I just couldn’t get myself to deal with the gym and do the therapeutic workouts on the rowing machine or elliptical.  I’m not a gym girl. So, I made up my own workout – not the same cardio as running, but a regular routine that worked on strength.  It helped me keep focus and I stayed generally fit.

Ever heard of a Bodyblade?  Neither had I.  And then I tried one out and … it is one serious piece of equipment. It’s a long piece of fiberglass with weights on the end and a handle in the middle. You grip the middle, and cause a rhythmic motion and that works *everything*.

Here is the Bodyblade:

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So, anyway, I had a routine of the Bodyblade, 40 lunges, and a 7 lb kettlebell, 6 days a week.   To deal with the foot issue, I rolled out my foot on a special (not so nice) nobby ball that was supposed to help loosen up the tight fascia in my foot. Then, along with those exercises, I slowly started running again.  Just 2 miles at a time, a couple times per week. Then 3 miles. Then 2 or 3, etc.  And now, I’m getting some real mileage back.

However, I am not completely recovered from the plantar fasciitis, so I have to do the following:

1. run with tight tape (and yes, the angle of this photo does make my ankle look really, really strange. It doesn’t really look like that.)

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2. A post-run ice bath for my poor foot.

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3. Then, a therapeutic compression sock especially for plantar fasciitis (and I have to sleep with the sock on, too!)

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The good news is that I’m actually getting somewhere.  I logged over 20 miles last week, with an 8 miler last Sunday. (Though, I stopped at mile 7 for a quick hello to a neighbor who was outside in his driveway, and then it was actually a 15 min chat, so I got a bit of a rest before getting that last mile in.)

And, if you’ve read this blog before, or if you actually know me in person, then you know that there is a probably a goal embedded in this mileage effort.  Indeed, multiple goals exist.

For instance, I no longer have horses. This leaves a huge hole in my life for a lot of reasons, including regular exercise and a daily time commitment to caring for them.  Running takes time and effort and planning, so it helps to fill that tremendous void of an effort that I loved so much.  In this way, my goal is to use running to distract myself from the loss, finding an alternative outlet.

Also, running connects me to other people, though I mostly run alone. But, I know that Janet and Margaret are there, working on their own goals, logging their miles in achievement, with focus.  And, sometimes we’ll run together.  Margaret will be in Maine for the 4th of July. I am running the LLBean 10k on that day with a couple of friends from work, and Margaret will join us. 🙂  Janet is coaching a Couch to 5K group, so she’ll be with them on the 4th.

And, running is helping me keep my head together as there are days when the intense push-pull of my life could get me so mixed up that I would want to just stand still. But running keeps me moving forward – literally and figuratively.

So, I’m on the road again. I am aiming for October 5 – either the Maine Half Marathon or the Maine Marathon, depending on what I’m ready for.  Janet really wants to do the Philly marathon again, but it’s so late in November this year that it puts the heavy distance training during my busiest travel time which is pretty complicated. But, as Janet pointed out, Philly is relatively flat and has fans cheering for the whole 26.2 miles.  Maine is hilly, 1/10 of the runners, and not so many fans. It’s lonely and hard.  I’m not sure I need lonely and hard. So maybe Janet and I will just do the half marathon on Oct 5th and then decide about Philly.  Too soon to say.

However, I just went out and planted a water stop for tomorrow morning’s run – I am going to head out before it’s too hot and just see how far I can go….

Onward!

Plant What?

Okay, okay.  My blog is no longer about preparing for my 1st marathon. Now it’s just a blog, somewhat related to the experience of running – the ups, downs, starts and…stops.

You may recall that my first blog entry last summer was pretty lame. I went on and on about the marathon registration as a surrender to the peer pressure of my very fit and persuasive friends, Janet and Margaret.  I said that I had never even really enjoyed running, and how I just did it to stay in shape as time allowed, that I had no shame in being slow, and that I had no burning desire to get faster. At the time, I just wanted to finish the marathon.

As I was packing in the mileage and suffering the  heat of China, the long weekend runs, the ice baths, the sore feet and ankles, the hunger, the fatigue, I was also amazing myself with what my body could do.

When the marathon was over, I kept running – lightly. At first I said it was to keep from getting stiff. Then I said it was to keep the fitness I had gained.

As it turns out, I LIKE RUNNING.  After all that work, I’m fit enough to put on my kicks and pound out a 5-8 miler without feeling wrecked for the rest of the day. I like the fresh air. I like the exercise. I like the alone time and I like the company of my running friends when I can join them.  I like the goals I put in place each time I set out.

I embraced this revelation and  signed up for a February 10 mile race with Janet.

And now… I am sidelined completely.   Keep in mind, I made it through 4 months of training without any major injury. Sure, I had tendonitis, my feet hurt, I endured some seriously nasty physical therapy. But I walked away from the finish line right into an ice bath and then right back to my regular life. No injuries.

Now… I have a very painful condition common to runners. (Insert sound of thunder here) – PLANTAR FASCIITIS – (Close with thunder claps.)   My right heel hurt so much that it kept me up at night, I couldn’t walk, sit, or stand comfortably. I was downing Advil tabs like they were Sweet Tarts.

These pictures show what is wrong: plantar photo 2 plantar photo

I went to see Dusty. A big a hello from him, a high five for my marathon, and then… a sad slow shake of the head as he dealt with my foot.  Plantar fasciitis is a beast. A mean, gripping inflammation of the tight fascia from heel to toe. The treatment? REST.  Ice,heat, tape.  And REST.  The arc trainer and elliptical are out – they still strain fascia. Swimming is allowed, but I don’t swim. ( I can swim. As in, I can stay alive if I fall in the water, but I am not a swimmer.)

So I hit the rowing machine. In the gym, I ran into a friend who last saw me before the marathon. He asked me how I was doing but before I answered, he said, “Well,you must be injured because nobody rows unless they have to.”  J

Fortunately,  the machine has a game mode where every pull of the “oar” throws an electronic  dart at target on the screen in front me… if I have good form, I get a bulls-eye and 50 points. So, at least I have something to concentrate on as I row to nowhere in the basement of the gym.

Here is a picture of what the game looks like: dart game

But it’s not outside, It’s not with my friends. And it’s not… running.

I am in San Diego, CA for meetings. Right now, Maine, (where I live) is in the grips of an astonishing deep freeze, the Polar Vortex. We haven’t been able to get warm for weeks.  I knew this trip was on the calendar and I was dreaming of putting on shorts, my shoes, and running in 70 degrees.

I’m not at all complaining about being in California. Not at all. I am just sorry that I can’t even enjoy outdoor exercise that doesn’t require 35 layers of frostbite protection.  This is the bike path outside my hotel room – 65 degrees and calling for me.

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But, the treatment plans for plantar fasciitis are pretty consistent –  and they all focus on rest.  (Trust me, I’ve Googled it, looking for some study somewhere that would justify light running during recovery. There isn’t one like that.)

Now that I know I like this activity, I will be good about what it takes to get better. I’ll have to miss the 10 miler, and probably the 20 miler that Janet is determined to get me to do in May. But, I will get back out on the road at some point. In the meantime, I’ll focus on what’s allowed.

Winter Wonderland? Winter CRAZYLand

Hello Everyone.

I know that the premise of my blog was marathon prep, and since the marathon is complete, you’re probably not interested in more posts.  But, I do have some post-marathon updates that I feel compelled to share.

First, let’s discuss endorphins and the legendary “runners’ high.”  I don’t think in all the 400+ miles of training that I ever felt that “high” or rush of a good feeling after a run. I was proud of myself. I was tired. I was hungry. But not “high.”    I’m not sure what I expected that “high” to be like, but this is how I know it happened:

  • Last 6 miles of the race:  “I will NEVER do this again.”  (Reality)
  • One hour after the race:   ” I don’t think I’ll EVER do that again.”  (Reality in motion)
  • Six hours later: “Maybe if I did another marathon, I could have a better finish.”  (Climbing away from reality…)
  • Next day: “Let’s do another marathon!” Janet and I search online for any marathon within driving distance in the next 2 months.  (Unhinged from reality, aka the mind-altering “HIGH”)
  • Two days later:  “Let’s not do a winter marathon”  Janet, “Let’s not.”  (Coming down from the “high”)
  • Four days later: “No more marathons.”   (Back to reality)

Honestly, I don’t know if I’ll ever do another marathon. But, I do know that getting ready for the marathon got me in pretty good shape and I don’t want all that to go to waste, so I am trying to keep legit running in my schedule. Janet feels the same way.  So, we signed up for a 10 mile race in southern Maine (The Mid-Winter Classic in Cape Elizabeth)  so that we would have a reason to go out in the cold and stay in shape but not feel compelled to run for hours and hours and hours all in the same day as if we were training for a marathon. 

But, 10 miles is a big enough distance that I can’t blow it off and therefore have to keep regular running in my routine. This is a particularly busy time at work *and* I have some other commitments that are taking a huge amount of time, so I have to fit the running in when I can. I’m telling you this to justify why I was running outside this morning in single digit temperatures. 

We got some beautiful snow and then a deep freeze.  This is how pretty things look at my house:

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But, when I got up this morning, it was 1.2 degrees.  ONE POINT TWO.  So, I did barn chores first, hoping it would warm up a bit before I had to go run.  It did warm up.  It warmed up to 2. 7 degrees.  I bundled up and started off.  The first .5 mile was really, really cold.  Then my body warmed up and I actually started to sweat, unzipped my jacket just a little.  Mile 2.5, the front of my hands, front of my thighs, and my chin were really cold. It was cold enough that my eyes were watering for most of the run, and by mile 3, I had ice on my upper and lower eyelashes. So much ice, in fact, that I could hear my ice-ball-lashes “clicking” when I would blink. The ice was too stuck to just wipe off  my lashes as I was running. When I got home, I had to cup my bare hands over my eyes to warm up enough to help the ice balls slide off. 

THAT is Winter Crazyland, my friends.  That is what it looks like.  

When I got back home, I checked the temperature, and sure enough, it was still pretty cold.  A mere 3.2 degrees outside and only 59.5 inside. 

 

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Janet and I have brainwashed 3 other women to run with us on Saturday morning, distances between 5-8 miles depending on who wants to turn off where, in very cold temps. Can’t wait to welcome them into CrazyLand.

Onward!

 

 

Marathon Complete!

We did it.

We started at an un-Godly hour, in the dark… walking the 1.5 miles from the hotel to the starting corrals. The Marriott had so many runners staying there that they had two full tables of bananas for us in the lobby this morning. (No pic of that, today!)

Here is a picture of Janet and Margaret as we walk to the start and evidence that we got to the right place:, and then a pic of us waiting – in the dark – before we loaded into our purple corral.

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The logistics of this race were impressive and the planners had really thought of everything – except they missed the math on the ratio of porta-potty to runners – check out the sea of people trying to take care of business before the race:

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Then, we loaded into our purple corral for runners hoping to finish between 4:15-4:30 hours. Here is pic of the sign, with balloons attached, that the PACER runner had to hold, above his head, for the entire marathon so that anyone trying to run a 4:15 pace could stay with him. Unbelievable athleticism:

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(*BTW, I was aiming for about 4.5 hrs, so I didn’t stick with that guy, but stayed with the 4:30 pacer for while and she talked to the group while leading with a sign!)

We were glad to have our Goodwill outfits because we waited outside in the dark chilliness for a couple of hours before getting into the corral. Here’s a selfie shot (kind of silly since there were 30,000 people standing right there who could have taken a photo for us…) right before we shed our warm duds and started to run:

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And then we were off! We stayed together for about 1 mile, and then started to separate – it was too crowded to stay three across and it was just easier to go off at our own paces.

Here’s how it went:

Miles 1-13: great music, great fans, I probably got high-fived by 100 people, including little kids, who were yelling my name and telling me I was great. Who doesn’t love that?

Mile 13:the half marathoners turned off here, and it was HARD to stay left to stick with the marathon – we could hear the cheering of the finish line and the announcer, but we went the other way to repeat the distance.

Miles 14-20: once we went left and went past the half way, we were committed, and headed up the Schuylkill river for an out and back, with great fans waiting for us. And the good thing about an out and back, is that those ahead of you pass you on the return, which meant that as Margaret came by, she high fived me! Janet and I bumped into each other at the mile 17 water stop and stayed together for a little while, and then split again.

Miles 20-26: these were really hard! I had kept a solid cruising speed that was similar to our training runs and I had been feeling good, but a mile 21, I started to get sloppy. I was kicking my ankles with my feet, my knee started to feel numb, the base of my neck was burning with fatigue, and I got stung by something on my left shoulder. I had been tracking toward a 4:35 finish, but picked up a lot of extra minutes in the last 6 miles. Still, I kept telling myself, “FORWARD motion – just keep going forward…

Miles 26-26.2: the last .2 was the best because I was definitely out of gas, and then all of a sudden, my friend Julie yelled for me on my left, and then as I passed her, my daughter Ellie, a bunch of her friends, and Janet’s son, Conor, yelled from the right. I was so cheered and excited that before I knew it, I crossed the finish line!!!

Great inspiration on this race, including signs like this:

  • Too bad Philippides didn’t die at mile 20
  • Good luck, Roger – PS, I’m pregnant!
  • Worst parade ever
  • Embrace your pace
  • There is a day you won’t be able to do this, but not today!

At the finish, Margaret and Janet and I found each other, and then we found our fan support!

Here are pics of the very important people who pulled us through to the finish with their love and cheering:

IMG_1824 IMG_1829 IMG_1827Janet and Conor

We headed back to the hotel and took care of ourselves – showers, ice baths, foam rollers, ibuprofen and … plain old ice therapy:

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After getting cleaned up and refreshed, Maragaret had to leave us. So, Janet and I went out for nachos and margaritas, since that’s how this whole thing started, anyway. And then, because this is the last day I get to eat like a marathoner, I bought dessert from the Wawa market to bring to the hotel room:

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And, finally, a victory picture of the three of us, at the finish line, proud of our accomplishment! (L to R: Janet, me, Margaret)

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A friend of mine asked me today how I felt doing it – my reply, “I’ve never been so psyched about feeling so miserable.”

That about sums it up.

Thanks for reading through my journey with me!

 

T minus … 12 hrs (not much time!)

We’re here!  I’ve been in Philadelphia for several days and I brought a really, really big bag.  Mostly, the big bag is because I wanted to bring the foam roller, so then it was easy to just keep packing. So easy in fact, that Janet made me pack her stuff, too, so that all she had to deal with was a carry on bag the size of a lipstick tube.

The race-ready portion of my packing list included:

  • Foam roller
  • Tennis ball (for rolling out particularly tough knots)
  • Small knobby ball roller for bottoms of feet
  • Ibuprofen
  • Ziploc baggies for ice therapy post-race
  • Silicon stick
  • Athletic tape for any body parts that need to be taped up/on/in place.

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Also, I brought Bowdoin running “singlets” (sleeveless athletic tops) but it turns out the Size M could fit a first grader, so we won’t wear those. 🙂

The weather report has been all over the place – from 60% to 10% to 30% to 10% chance of rain. We are now at no chance of rain  – cloudy, temps between 55-65 degrees.  Sounds pretty good to us!

We also have a potential fan base coming … my daughter, Ellie, plus 4 of her friends, plus my BFF, Julie Twitmyer, plus Janet’s son, Conor.

I’ve been here since Thursday for a work event.  On Friday morning, our breakfast had a nice fruit plate, but it didn’t include bananas. I wanted to eat a banana every day this week to prepare for the marathon, so the lack of bananas was a problem.  I politely asked the dining room person if I could have a banana, and he went and brought me one. SO nice.

Then, this morning, when I came to breakfast, instead of a plate of assorted fruit, we had this instead:

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I’m hoping that the 30 other women traveling with me wanted bananas as much as I did and weren’t too sad about the lack of pineapple and blackberries.

Janet and Margaret arrived this afternoon. Wahoo!  Our hotel is right next door to the Expo where we went to pick up our bibs. We picked up our numbers and Janet and I moved up two corrals. We are now in Blue Corral with Margaret.

Then, we went to the Reading Terminal Market where we indulged on all the carbs we could possibly need.  Here’s a photo of Margaret and Janet in the market, looking pretty psyched:

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Then, I bought chocolate from this place:

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And – here are the bib numbers:

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We have to be through security at 5 a.m. At the moment, we’re in a disagreement about when we need to get up and be out the door.  But, one way or another, we’ll get into our corral and cross the start line!

Onward!

Arrived in Philly – online race tips…

The online version of Competitor Running had a piece marathon tips, with a nod toward solid training efforts:

“…to accomplish many of the aforementioned training adaptations, you need to practice running on tired legs or with low energy levels. This philosophy is often called “accumulated fatigue.” Basically, this means that the fatigue from one workout accumulates and transfers to the next so that you’re always starting a workout or a long run a little tired from your previous training.”

Since I’ve been “accumulating fatigue” for the last 20 years, nevermind the last 18 weeks of training, I think I’m ready.
Onward!

Olympian Joanie Benoit Samuelson – her advice to me

I posted this weekend that I was really anxious about getting through the marathon.

Then, just now, this morning, this email hit my inbox:

Run your own race out there and believe in yourself and training. Smooth running ahead.

Cheers,

Joanie

Below is a photo of (L to R)  Me, Joanie, Margaret and Janet.  Joanie led us on a 6+ mile run as we began our marathon training in July.

LIFE HIGHLIGHT!

.cropped joanie run july 2

T minus 1 week – a Fear and Gear Redux

The countdown is really on.  I got my official runner email from the Philadelphia Marathon!  I’m number Bib Number 15680.  Janet and I are in the LAST start corral (blue) because when we registered, we put in an estimated a generous finish time of 5 hrs. Margaret is in a faster corral (purple) because she estimated a really good finish time.  Our training runs are pointing to less than 5 hrs, so Janet and I may try to get into the next corral forward (orange.) We’ll check that out when we pick up our bibs for real on Saturday.

With one week left to go, here’s a review of training:

  • I’ve run more than 400 training miles
  • I’ve run in NY, ME, MA, PA, Canada, and China
  • I’ve spent about 12 hrs in physical therapy
  • I’ve spent too much money on shoes, socks, silicone stick, running bras, tape, energy gels
  • I’ve gained 2 lbs
  • I’ve lost 1.5 inches
  • I’ve gotten carded 3 times since September

17 weeks ago, I wrote a post called “Fear and Gear” – basically an introduction to the way my mind can take distance anxiety and translate it into hyperfocus on details that I feel I can control. Examples were worries about whether my gear would fit, not fit, rub, fall apart, fall off. Whatever.

In  time since that post, my fear has legitimately focused on cramps, shoving the long runs into an over-full life schedule, weather impediments, food, travel commitments, and… of course… the ongoing physical discomfort of running distance.

However, as the runs have gotten longer, the focus has been on how to successfully complete the distance in front of me – and figuring it out. I chunked it up. I changed my diet. I changed my shoes. I did lots of awful physical therapy. I got it done.  The longer the distances, the more I focused on real obstacles.

Now, with 7 days left, I’m tapering. That means I don’t have that much time devoted to running, leaving my mind free to find fear. And whether I’ve got the right gear.

I need to choose shoes. I have three different pairs.  I have run hundreds of miles in the Hokas. So, I’ve been planning on using those for the marathon. But, last week, I thought, “WAIT.  With over 400 miles on the Hokas, they probably need to be replaced. But is it bad to switch shoes with only 2 weeks to go? Probably not. But maybe I should. Should I? Probably not.”  And then I bought new shoes.   Below, you can see my well-worn Hokas Stinsons on the left. Then, you can see my NEW Hoka Bondis on the right.

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Interestingly, the new ones don’t look quite as ri-dunk-u-lous as my worn ones. (Sales must have been tough given the Muppet look, and the designers are clearly building a more traditional looking shoe.) It seemed like I could safely make the switch since the sales rep reported all the same support benefits of the Muppet version.  NOT so.   I ran 7 miles in the new Hokas and my right foot ached so much, it woke me up during the night.

No problem, I’ll marathon in my Muppets.  Except, now I worry that I really strained my right foot and no shoe will help me on race day. But, I can’t buy new Muppet Hokas because the running store doesn’t have them in stock.  So, I’ll be running on old Hokas.

I’d like to run in shorts. I don’t like running tights – no matter the brand, cut, size, squish, it always feels like they are falling down when I run. I hate the tights, but I love my shorts.  In Maine, morning runs are now in 22- 38 degrees, and that would NOT be awesome in shorts for 26.2 miles on race day. But, the race is not in Maine, it’s in Pennsylvania, so I’m counting on a moderate mid-Atlantic temp, somewhere between 45-55 degrees.  PLEASE be that warm, so that I can wear my shorts.  My favorite shorts are by New Balance, shown below. They have shorts within the shorts, a flat waist band, and an ID zip pocket in the back (as seen in photo of back of shorts.) I love these shorts. I have 3 pairs of them.

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We have to be up really, really early on race day because we have to be through security by 5:00 a.m.  The race doesn’t start until 7 a.m.    That’s two hours we’ll be outside waiting and we only get a small baggie to store a few small belongings to pick up at the finish. That means, we need to be able to go in shorts and t-shirts and pretend we’re not cold for 2 hrs OR go to Goodwill and drop 10 bucks on a big long sleeve and cozy fleece zip up.  I won’t be able to keep the new duds as I’ll have to leave them behind at the start, but at least I won’t be frozen it place when the gun goes off. (On the upside, discarded runner clothes get picked up and donated to charity,  so that’s good.)  Check out Goodwill finds:

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I also am now afraid of my Hot Spot cramp. This is different than my side-stitch cramp. The Hot Spot is on my right side, low, the size of a quarter, and when it hurts, it hurts all the time, especially if I’m pounding on the roads.  If that happens, I get a compensatory cramp that will stop me.  I think this is gluten related.  I haven’t eaten gluten for the better part of a year (except I probably ate it in China, which probably contributed to my problems there) but, without thinking, I ate the MOST delicious dessert last night a work banquet. It’s called the Bowdoin Log. It’s ice cream rolled in crushed chocolate cookie smothered in fudge sauce.  I licked the plate. THEN I remembered that the cookie crumbs would have gluten in them and, sure enough, a couple of hours later, my Hot Spot said hello.  I am hoping that my body deals with this gluten invader quickly and forgets about it before next Sunday.

And then, Janet, is pretty much out to sabotage me. In the course of 48 hrs, she sent me a screen shot of the Weather Channel’s 10 day forecast, showing 60% chance of rain on race day. I called her and said not nice things.   Then, yesterday morning, we met up for our 8 miler run and since I didn’t have my Garmin to check my pacing, she led at blistering speed. We finished the 8 miles pretty fast, and that was a victory, but I was nauseous for the next 6 hours.

This week, I only have about 12 more miles to run in total, then 2 days of no running, then Sunday is race day.

I’ll post again with pre-race preparations.

Onward!