Monday, October 25, 2010

Life goes on....

I can't believe that the 1/2 Marathon was only a week or so ago.  This recovery week has been a long one.  I think I've felt every emotion from euphoria to deep grief and reached a new level of exhaustion.  And maybe it's because of this exhaustion that every emotion seems deeper. 

I went to see a local production of 'Rent' this week.  It was a great, I went to see it with good friends.  It was at a dinner theater in Columbia.  As I was watching it I couldn't help but think of  Uncle.  It was one of his favorite musicals, if not his favorite.  He talked about it all the time.   He talked about the song 'No Day But Today' while he was preparing for the NYC Marathon and how that song helped him deal with his mother's death and we sang '525,600 Minutes' at his funeral.  I put that song on my Ipod while I was training too, it helped me too.  It was in a theater that he would have loved too.  Anyway, it's hard to see this musical and not think of him.  I held it together for most of it, but I cried all the way home. I ached because I missed him so much!!  I think some of it was just let down from the race, because I was so high on life after the race, that I don't think I let that emotion in.   So it was almost a perfect way to allow me to process the last part of the journey. 

As reality kind of settled back in our house, new emotions showed up, fear, suspicion and anger.  The evening of the marathon, our neighbors from across the street walked over to our house and brought me flowers, which was so incredibly thoughtful.  They walked back to their house and got right in their car and went to a friend's house for dinner.  15 minutes after they left, someone broke into their house, they kicked in the glass on their back door and stole over $10,000 worth of stuff.  My neighbors were apparently being watched.  They went through the house and trashed it, went through the dresser drawers.  Such a huge violation!!  This didn't happen in the middle of the night, this happened at 8:15 in the evening!!!   We were up, I was getting the girls ready for bed and they were watching a movie with my Dad.  We didn't see anything.  The next thing I saw were police cars out in the street.  It was such a shock.  Another house down the street was broken into as well and 2 houses right across from us had their locks tampered with. 

We live in a lovely tight knit community, this has rattled all of us.  It has left me feeling uncomfortable in my own house.  I feel violated even though it wasn't my house, but it was my neighborhood.  Last night, as we were getting ready for bed, we heard a helicopter circling over head for over 20 minutes.  I asked Seth if he had seen anything out the window and he said he hadn't.  I was a little worried, but I wasn't sure I wanted to know what was going on.  I went to sleep and slept soundly. 

This morning as we were walking back to the house after dropping Sarah off at school, our neighbor was waiting for me to tell me about what had happened last night.  Apparently the helicopter was looking for someone who had tried to break into a house a few streets away and he had run away and had run on the path right next to our house.  Our address was on the police scanner!  They did not find him.  But now, they are increasing patrols on our street and hopefully this close call scared him off and the mayhem will stop for awhile or end totally.  We are being a lot more careful, but I'm going to try not to let it control me.  I pray every night to keep us all safe and I have to trust that.  All our neighbors are on the lookout and keeping their eyes open.  I don't want to be afraid in my own home! 

On a happier note, the girls are doing well, having some trouble listening but other than that ok.  They both love school and are so excited about Halloween.  Sarah is going to be Jasmine from Aladdin and Emma is going to be Tiana, from Princess and the Frog.  Emma is coughing again, no fever though.  Hopefully we can keep the sickness away, although it wouldn't be Halloween if Em wasn't sick, she has been sick for every one.  She is having breathing treatments twice a day, keep your fingers crossed that will work. 

We have also jumped into doing some landscaping and it feels good.  I have always hated the shrubs that we in front of our house.  So I chopped them up on Friday, Seth dug them up on Saturday and we bought new shrubs.  On Sunday after church, Seth planted and mulched them, while I raked up leaves with the girls.  We were outside all day, it was great!  I have plans for the other bush in front of our house and the trees on each end of the house!  I'm really enjoying, planning, shopping, cutting and digging these up ourselves.  I didn't think I would enjoy it, but I have loved it! 

So it has been an eventful recovery week, I'm pretty sure that I need to get back to the gym.  I think that is another reason, I've been kind of down this week.  I need to get those endorphins going!   Sign up for the VT City Marathon relay doesn't start until January, but I'm already planning on it!!    But in the mean time, I have a bunch of things to do around here.

Monday, October 18, 2010

2 hours 55 minutes!!

Hello, sorry it has been a while since I wrote, not much going on with my training during the taper weeks.  But on Saturday, I ran and finished the Baltimore 1/2 Marathon in 2 hours and 55 minutes.  It was a beautiful but incredibly windy day.  I felt like I was running into the wind most of the time, my eyes watered and my lungs burned some of the time.  And as I had heard, some of the hills were brutal.  But I really thought of all my family and friends who had encouraged me and that truly helped me keep going. 

To honor Uncle, my cousin Jessica came up with me wearing something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue, since they ran it the day after our wedding 6 years ago and I was running it the day after our anniversary.  So for something blue, I had my shoes and my capris, for something new, I had my Ipod armband, and some SuperGirl silly bands (that were the same "S" shape as Superman - another way to honor my Uncle), for something borrowed, I struggled a bit, but had Seth's car key (which I know is kind of a stretch, but I worked with what I had) and for something old I had a pin from the Statue of Liberty's bicentennial in 1986, I carried that in my pocket, I was afraid it would come off and I would lose it.  But that was also in tribute to Uncle!!   I had also found some New York City stickers, so I put 2 Statue of Liberty stickers and a subway sign sticker on my waist band.  And then I also found some yellow flower stickers, that I'm pretty sure weren't supposed to be buttercups, but that's what I wanted them to be, so I put those on my waist band too. They all stayed on during the race, except one buttercup!   

I met my friend Joni, and her husband Kevin and daughter Chloe at the Light Rail Station at 7:00 and we took the train into the city.  We watched the start of the full marathon, although somehow we missed the guy parachuting out of the helicopter, oh well.  We were off to get Chloe ready for the Kids Fun run.  There was a lot of excitement in the air but I was trying to not let all it all get to me, I just kept saying I was going for a run.  I didn't get to see Chloe run because Seth called and they had made it into the city so I went to meet them. 

We walked over to the starting area, I got into my wave and waiting to cross the starting line.  I saw my family right before I started and it was fantastic.  I was worried about my first couple of miles and my right calf that had been hurting for a week or so.  I wore an Icy Hot Patch on and it seemed to really help.  I got through my first couple of miles with no problems.  I ran through parts of Baltimore I had never been before.  The best part of it was that there were people all along the course, they were out cheering us along.  Kids were out in the street wanting to high five you, it was fantastic!  It really helped and made me smile. 

I had bought a long sleeve shirt to wear under my running shirt, I was worried about the cold and I thought if I got hot, I could just pull up my sleeves.  Well around mile 7, I looked at my hands and my fingers were SO incredibly swollen, my rings hurt.  I couldn't figure out what was going on, I had water at all the water stations and I had just had a cup of Gatorade.  I thought maybe something was wrong with my sodium.  I tried moving them more and putting them over my head.  I was wearing an armband for my Ipod, but both my hands were swollen.  And I was starting to wonder if I should look for a medic or something.  I mean, they were that swollen.  Then a lightbulb went off in my head, that maybe my sleeves that I had pulled up was to tight and that was the problem.  Sure enough, once I pulled them down, the swelling started going down.  Funny now, not so funny at mile 7.

We ran around a lake, that was very pretty and helped to keep things interesting.  As we got closer to the finish line, more and more people were out cheering.  In one neighborhood, they were handing out beer for the "last hill" of the course.  People were handing out gummy bears.  It was very festive!!

Around mile 11, I started getting really tired, I ate some of my Chomps, and that picked me up a bit, I also grabbed a banana at one of the water stations.  That helped some too.   I tried to channel my "inner Kenyan," like my friend Andrea said to me.  And I kept trudging along.  I kept running and in the distance, Camden Yards and the giant Coke sign appeared, so I knew I was close.  But I was really struggling.  As I approached and got about a half mile (maybe not even that far) away from the finish line, I heard my girls, Seth, my Dad, Randy and Charlie cheering me on.  And that is what I really, really needed.  It perked me up so much that I picked up my pace and smiled the rest of the way!  Apparently, Sarah was sad that I "didn't even stop."  The crowds got bigger as I crossed the finished line and they were cheering everyone on. 

Crossing the finish line was a pretty incredible moment!  I sort of wished my family had been there, but was also glad that they were further away to help me get through the last little leg of it.  The clock said 3:14 and I was kind of disappointed that I had finished in over 3 hours, even though I promised myself that I just really wanted to finish it, I really wanted to finish in under 3 hours.  I had hoped for 2:30, but would have been glad for under 3.  When I got home, I checked the website and my chip time said 2 hours 55 minutes, I was so thrilled!!!  Since I was in the last wave to start, it took me that long to get to the start line! 

I met up with my family and we all took the train back to our house for stew.  I wasn't sore, I wasn't tired, but I knew that was coming.  I actually had an amazing amount of energy and I think I was even talking faster than I usually do.  It was a lovely afternoon. 

I'm so grateful that my Dad, Randy and Charlie came down to be here for the race, it meant SO much to me.  Also, this was the first time Seth and the girls had really seen me run.  I felt like Uncle was with me for most of the run, I had asked him several times to be there :)  It was such a magnificent day!!!!  I'm really proud of my 39 year old self!!  And I'm already looking forward to running the Vermont City Marathon as a relay with my cousin Jessica in May!!!  Although I'm not quite ready to run again just yet, my right calf is pretty sore.  And I'm wicked tired!  I'm hoping to get to the gym on Wednesday.  But I will run again!!  I know I can do it!!  And I know that my Uncle is smiling down on his new running niece!!!  I think he would be wicked proud!! 

Thank you all for your incredible support and encouragement over the past few months!! I have been truly overwhelmed!!!  I couldn't have done it without all of you, so thank you, thank you,, thank you from the bottom of my heart!!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Taper Weeks!!

Wow, it's been a while since I've posted.  Since September 16th, I have run 52.8 miles.  YIKES!  And while I'm really proud of that, I think I have reached a new level of exhaustion.  I had very little motivation to do anything else really.  I ran while both girls were at school and on the weekends.  The runs went well for the most part, my left calf has been bothering me though.  It was all I could do to get them to school and we had a couple playdates.  My house was kind of a wreck.  My back had been bothering me too, so I was pretty discouraged even though the running part was going ok.  I really was just happy sitting on the couch, watching my children play, not doing anything.  I'm not sure if I had ever been that tired.  And I just didn't think that I should be. 

On Saturday morning, we got up, Seth took the girls to soccer practice and I headed out for my longest training run, I was scheduled to run for 12 miles!  I was feeling pretty confident, I decided that I was going to try to really push through the first couple of miles and it wasn't fun but it wasn't that bad.  I saw several people wearing the Baltimore Marathon shirts, so I cheered them on when they went past me.  It was sunny and almost chilly, so it felt great while I was running.  Things were tough the first couple of miles and then I hit a great pace.  At mile 9 though I started getting tired and hungry, which hadn't really happened before. I stopped for a moment at the water fountain each lap around.  I finished my 12.2 mile run in 2 hours and 26 minutes with an average pace of a 12 minute mile.  I was pretty excited! 

I guess because my longest run is over now until the marathon, I'm seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.  I know, unless something weird happens, that I will finish the 1/2 marathon.  And it looks like there is a really decent chance I will finish under 3 hours.  I will be ecstatic if I could do it 2 1/2 hours.  So we shall see.  I'm feeling a renewed sense of energy.  Even though it's been cloudy and rainy, things seem brighter around here.  When I got home from the run on Saturday, I even cleaned my house!  Then after church on Sunday, we had friends over for lunch.  My friend Joni is running the 1/2 Marathon too, so we made a game plan for the morning.  Her husband Kevin and their daughter will hang out with Seth, our girls, my Dad, Melissa, Randy and Charlie!!  I can't wait to see everyone!!!  So I'm starting to feel good about the day.  I like having a plan, it makes me feel better. 

I went to Road Runner Sports today and picked up some gels and some chews to try out during my run.  I will try them out on my shorter runs.  Hopefully, they won't upset my belly but will give me that extra needed energy during the race.  I'm afraid I made another rookie mistake, I should have tried these out weeks ago. But hopefully, it will all work out. 

So this week, I have 2, 6 miles runs and then an 8 mile this weekend and then it's even less next week.  It's hard to believe that 2 weeks from now it will all be a memory!  A very happy one, hopefully!!!