Sunday, September 28, 2008

4 weeks til Spinx Run Fest Marathon

Well, as I'm typing this, I'm out of town, away from my home computer. If my PDA is accurate, it looks like I only ran twice this week. When I return home, I'll check my running log and make any edits necessary to this blog.

Wednesday, 9/24, I started my run on the treadmill because it was getting dark when I arrived home. Immediate impact was painful to my legs. At a half-mile, I wondered if running on the road would be better for my legs or if I should just skip tonight. When I went upstairs, my dog Tasha, was incredibly excited seeing me in running gear, and was wagging her tail by the door. So I decided to just go for a "fun run" with her. I put on her harness and out the door we went. My goal was 2 miles because I haven't run with her in many months and I didn't want to over-do it. We headed out the door and at the 1-mile mark, she was still going strong so we continued on to 1.5 miles and then turned around. I let her set the pace. She pulled me briskly down the hill much faster than I would have gone alone in the dark. For that, I was grateful! Shortly after 2 miles she started slowing down. We alternated jogging with walking for the last mile. What started out as a not so great run on the treadmill, turned into a great run/walk with Tasha. It certainly wasn't a PR pace, but it was a truly wonderful bonding experience. I need to take her out on more runs. (Total miles 9/24 = 0.5 + 3.17 = 3.67)

Thursday was a long day at work. I had hoped to leave early to get a run in, but that didn't happen.

I took Friday off of work completely. My goal was for a 15 mile run in the morning. After dropping my daughter off at school, I went to Stone Mountain for a challenging run. I got there later than I had hoped to and also had more things that I needed to accomplish before our trip than when I set my goal the day before. So my 15-mile goal was downgraded to 10-miles. I started out strong, but the last few miles were painful due to chafing in an area that I thought I had applied Body Glide. I finished the 10 miles feeling energetic, but had raw pain. I called it quits and had lunch at Ponko Chicken before searching for an hour for a gas station that actually had gas. I was astonished at how many stations were empty! I finally found one with gas and had to wait in line for a half-hour to fill up. This made me even more grateful that I decided to go with 10 miles (2 loops) rather than 15 miles (3 loops). I was beginning to wonder if I would have to cancel our weekend plans... Then back home to shower and finish packing... After school, I picked my daughter up and we went straight to Southern Cross Ranch. We had our choice of three rooms and we picked the Seminole Room which had a great view of the pasture. We ate dinner, played scrabble, and actually watched the McCain/Obama debate until we both were too tired to stay awake any longer.

Saturday morning we had breakfast and then went to the stables for our first ride of the day. We were happy to see Britta! When we were at Southern Cross Ranch this summer, Britta was our favorite guide. She took us trotting and cantering (my first) and truly made the rides a wonderful experience. My daughter really enjoyed riding with her and asked for her specifically on other rides during our vacation. She had only been at the ranch for a week, on a 3-month work/visit from Germany. She told us this summer that October 9th would be her last day so we said we'd come back before she left. So we spent Saturday, 9/27, horseback riding through the trails at the ranch with Britta, trotting and cantering on numerous occassions. I talked about running with another guest who ran a marathon once many years ago, but I didn't actually run today, nor had I planned to.

I wanted to run on Sunday, but had too many things to do to get ready for my upcoming trip to Wilmington, NC. I spent the day doing housework instead. I also struggled with looking at my schedule and the training plan. The Hal Higdon Novice plan calls for a long run of 20 miles next Sunday. My daughter will be with me that day, but will be with her dad the following weekend, so I think I'll postpone the 20-miler by a week so I don't spend an entire day running on the treadmill with her watching TV, when I can be having quality time with her.

Miles run this week: 13.67
Days run this week: 2

Sunday, September 21, 2008

5 weeks til Spinx Run Fest Marathon

Once upon a time, in the spring of 2008, my friend Ty talked me into signing up for the Walt Disney World marathon in January 2009. (Or did I convince her to do it one more year?) Our familes would all go and we would have a great vacation, culminating in her husband and our kids watching us finish the marathon. What a grand dream! But sadly, she destroyed her knee and now running is just a dream for her future...

I tried to talk my sister into joining us, but she convinced me to do the Spinx Run Fest marathon in Greenville, SC in October 2008. Disney was too far of a drive for her with young twins in their first year of kindergarten. Since she was going to do the marathon in Greenville, I decided to join her and registered for it shortly afterwards, reserving an expensive hotel room in downtown Greenville, just blocks from the start/finish.

A week ago, my sister called me to tell me she spent the afternoon at the emergency room and was diagnosed with double pneumonia. She said she put off calling me because it would be relaying that she most likely won't be able to do the marathon with me. I sensed the nervousness in her voice and tried to reassure her that her healing was much more important than running a marathon in October 2008. There are thousands more that will be held in the future. I could empathize with her on another level. I've had to back out of several marathons because of injuries. I had planned to run the Sarasota marathon in March 2008, but due to another meniscus tear, I had to down-grade. I really should have cancelled all-together, but instead, I did the half-marathon so I would have a weekend event with my sister. My daugher heard bits and pieces of the conversation, and afterwards asked me if I would still run the marathon without her Aunt. I told her I hadn't really had enough time to think about it. (She's heard me complain lately about how hard the long runs have been.) She told me that I had put in many hours of training, and I'm not injured, so she thought I should continue training and do it. The Greenville marathon is not one that I would have chosen on my own for my first marathon, because the course description mentions hilly. But, I have paid the registration fee and have been training towards it. My long runs in the past few weeks have not been great, but after talking to my daughter Monday night, she instilled in me a stronger ambition.
I didn't complete the entirety of my planned runs this week, but did run as much as I could. Tuesday I ran my scheduled 4 miles. Wednesday I only ran 6 (instead of 9) because I slept too late and had to work. Thursday was another ill day. Friday I ran 3 miles in the evening on the treadmill.

I typically do my long runs on Sunday's but we had plans to go to Silver Cloud Farm that day, so I did my long run on Saturday instead. I planned to do it Saturday morning, but I had an upset stomach. I felt better in the afternoon. I began my 18-mile treadmill run around 4:30 p.m. I expected that my daughter would have made herself dinner, but she didn't. She came to the basement when I was at 16.73 miles. I told her I had 1.27 miles to go. She cheered me on and said she was waiting on me to have dinner with her. I was truly delirious at that point. I somehow made it to 18 miles. Thanks to the snickers bar, Clif Shot, Virginia Tech vs UNC football game, CSI Miami, and running podcasts for getting me through the distance. It was easier and faster than my last few long runs. Maybe Snickers Rulz!

Miles run this week: 32.01
Days run this week: 5

Sunday, September 14, 2008

6 weeks til Spinx Marathon

Well, I had grand plans to blog regularly, but that hasn't happened. So I'll start here and maybe work my way back (or forward). I'm attempting to follow the Hal Higdon Novice marathon training plan, but if I start posting backwards, you'll quickly notice that I'm using it more as a guide than an absolute. My training week starts on Monday. This week was scheduled to be a "step back" week, according to the training schedule. However, I stepped back a lot farther than the plan suggested. I did get in 4 runs this week, but most of them weren't as long as they were supposed to be. My feet were still killing me after last Sunday's run. I did get in a great 4-mile run on Wrightsville Beach at sunrise on Tuesday, while my co-worker went for a leisurely walk. This photo doesn't do the magnificent sunrise justice. My phone camera doesn't produce nearly as nice photos as my digital camera. Because of traveling with a co-worker and the sun rising later than it used to, I changed my scheduled 8-miler to a 3-mile speed work session on the beach at sunrise on Wednesday morning. I had planned to get up early Saturday and run the 10-mile ATC race, but I opted to sleep late instead. I've been incredibly tired this week. Because my heels hurt so badly during Saturday's afternoon attempted run, I had low expectations for Sunday's long run. I went to a trail that I've never run on for a change, the Suwannee Greenway. I went slow on purpose to explore the trail and limit additional damage to my feet. I really like this trail, just wish it were longer... On the positive side, my feet didn't hurt nearly as bad in my Nike's as they have been in my NB 903.

Day (Schedule) Actual, location
Monday (off day) off day
Tuesday (4 miles) 4 miles, Wrightsville Beach
Wednesday (8 miles) 3 miles speed work, Wrightsville Beach
Thursday (4 miles) off day/travel
Friday (off day) off day
Saturday (cross train) 2 miles, near home
Sunday (12 miles) 7.76 miles, Suwannee Greenway
Miles run this week: 16.76
Days run this week: 4