Monday, April 26, 2010

the okc marathon.

Well. Marathon number two was... something. I told The Lawyer last week that one thing we can be sure of is that it will be an experience we will always remember. That is ringing true, and a pretty darn good call if I do say so myself!

I was a DNF at the 2010 OKC Memorial Marathon. And you better believe the only reason I was a DNF is because the EMT's wouldn't let me pick up my IV bag and go the last 1.5 miles I had left to run before my body shut me down. Silly EMTs. They also clearly ignored my request to just wheel me in the stretcher the next 1.5 miles. I was all (through my sobs), "come on guys, you're in great shape, you can do it..." as they simply smiled and continued shoving my stretcher into an ambulance.

I have a lot to share, and am still recovering. So as the week wears on I'll share the entire race story, it's a good one. You didn't think I'd have a marathon story that wasn't did you?! For now I am doing fine, resting at home. What took me down was a bad case of leg cramps (calves, hamstrings and quads, with the calves being the shining star of evil, natch) that started at mile 13.1 and finally (and literally) took me down at 24.7 thanks to who knows what. The best assumption of the three doctors and multiple nurses and physical therapists who worked on me was severe dehydration and lack of nutrients all combined with the elements.

What I do know is that when I made it to the medical tent and was sobbing and in a lot of pain, I was still so much better off than the runners in the beds around me. For that I am grateful. The circumstances and placement of where I went down were truly divine in my opinion. There were EMTs and police and volunteers at my side within a minute. The medical care I received was far superior to any I have ever had in my life, they know what they are doing in OKC! This truly is a spectacularly put together race.

So in the end, no redemption. That marathon will forever be... THAT marathon. But as my good buddy Lea pointed out to me yesterday. You have to go big or go home. And I have to say, staying true to my form, I went out pretty stinking big!

Stay tuned. And congratulations are in order to my amazing friend The Lawyer who finished marathon number two and got herself a PR while she was at it! And to Indi who ran her first Half Marathon (welcome to the club my dear friend) and to Ashley who went and nabbed herself a PR during the Half as well.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

two weeks to 'm' day.

Technically it's 12 days, but whatever. I'm feeling uninspired to blog about my training. Maybe it's just nerves and my superstition setting in, I don't know. What I do know is that I'm feeling good physically. I ran 12 warm and very windy miles Saturday morning and felt like I could keep going (if i had water). Really those 12 miles were the most interesting part of my week. So I'll blather about those.

It wasn't an early run on Saturday, I met my original running buddy Katie (she was pretty much one of my first friends/running buddies when I moved back to this town). We even realized on Saturday that we've been running together for five years now. Hard to believe. I call her old faithful (i mean that in the best way possible of course)! She has a running group from work she runs with Saturday mornings, and is running the OKC HM. This week our mileage finally aligned, it was like MAGIC. A few from her running group didn't show, but two of the guys did. One a veteran runner, who knows how many marathons this guy has done, dozens and dozens it seemed. The other one a fairly new runner. It was fun to run with these guys because they were a bit speedier and the conversation was just plain entertaining, different than running with a group of women. We spent a good portion of the run we did with them (they took off after three miles for a shorter run) talking about marathons and triathlons and half ironmans (which i'm considering getting into, maybe).

My favorite was when the veteran was talking to me about the Chicago marathon (which he has run five times) and said it's not so crowded or bad if you can enter a fast marathon time from another race (i.e. OKC) and get into a good corral. I laughed at that. A lot. Explained how THAT last marathon went and I wasn't hopeful of swinging that, and I loved his response. "Oh." Yeah, just "oh." Enough said. It still makes me laugh. So I told him all about how I'm out for marathon revenge redemption and told him my plan. He was nice about it, but I knew he was thinking "ROOKIE." But meh, he's right. I am.

The good news is I think I've found my summer Saturday running group now too. Katie and I have a goal for the summer. Speed. Which is what I say every summer, maybe this time it will happen. I'm looking forward to having some speedier people to push me on an average "long" run this summer. So it's settled. Find new summer early morning running buddies. Check. Find a fast Saturday running group, check, check.

All of this summer running business is of course to distract myself from the marathon crazy that's been happening in my head the past week and has no sign of stopping. I'm good at distracting myself when I need to, so I just plan my summer running. Perfect, right?! Yeah, it's only semi-working.

The good news in that is that I do have a plan for the OKC marathon, before, during and after, which is something I need. I'm a planning nerd. The other good thing is that I'm consistently sleeping well lately, which is rare, so that's a plus. I'm feeling strong and ready to go overall. It's just the doubts stacking up in my head that I'm an idiot for thinking I can do this again that are getting to me. I worry. It's natural, right?! My biggest dilemma right now is how much to cross train (yoga, weights, spin) and how much NOT to. I think that's driving me crazy more than anything. So any advice on that front veteran marathoners, would be greatly appreciated.

And I'm spent. Twelve days.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

this is going to require a lot of coffee.

Oh my. This day started at 4:15a, when my alarm started screaming at me. You know when you get jolted awake far to early, almost like you are getting scared awake? You sit up fast, breathing hard, and shaking wondering what the heck just happened? Yeah, that was me. And I sat in my bed thinking of all the very valid reasons I should lay back down instead of getting up to go for an eight mile run (like my warm bed, or my warm bed, and my warm bed, or my warm bed. warm. bed). Pouring gasoline in my eyes and eating nuts sounded more favorable (you have to understand, nuts and i? not friends. oh, but gasoline and i? BESTIES). I fought the temptation to lay back down with every fiber of my being, but remembered why I was getting up.

To go run with this girl and what I'm deeming her 'gang.' Not her "hey gang." No, a rolling hard, not messing around, we will screw you up kinda of gang. Anyone who can breeze by a woman pointing a gun at them at 5:30 in the morning are not a force to be reckoned with my friends. Mmm-hmmm. That's right. They don't mess around. Clearly, because if they were, they wouldn't get up AND RUN EIGHT MILES AT FIVE IN THE MORNING!

Honestly though, I have been worried about finding some new morning running buddies for the summer and fall since my summer running buddies from last year are out of commission now. I can't complain one bit that an early morning running buddy fell in my lap in the way of Hannah and her training buddies. It's just those initial first days of early morning running that really kick my butt. I mean REALLY. Getting up was absolutely worth it, the weather was perfect for running and Hannah and her buddies didn't disappoint one bit. It was such a good run. In my opinion, there is almost nothing as satisfying as knowing you ran eight miles before the sun came up.... wait, did that sound redneck? Bad country song? I apologize. But it's true!

I warned Hannah in advance I'm not a friendly morning person so I might not chat much, that thrown on top of a semi-challenging week basically equals a quiet FWR. Which was true, I didn't talk much (i bet the lawyer is jealous), but I loved listening to them talk about their fund raising efforts and life and....trees..... It was a quite perfect eight miler really. Hannah is going to get a big surprise when she finally hangs out with me in the middle of the day after I've been heavily caffeinated and realizes I won't shut up, but I'll let her figure that one out on her own.

So today. Coffee. And lots of it. My morning, like I said, started at 4:15a and won't end until I get home from work around 10:30p. And yes I'm pointing this out for the eighteenth time so you will tell me how fantastic I am and help me not feel like that was a bad choice..... chirp...... oozing sarcasm complete. I sure did reward myself (and all my calories burned) with a big fat cup of delicious from Starbucks, and I have a feeling there will be another one of those in my near future, because I'm already struggling and it's still early. But it's all part of the deal. The deal of trying to be a dedicated runner while still being a responsible employee and human being in the cycle of starting up morning running again. And I wouldn't change a thing, meeting some new running buddies wins over sleep. And maybe next week I'll get more sleep the night before..... stupid Breaking Dawn (and nerves about running with new girls). Yeah interweb, I'm one of THOSE.

Monday, April 5, 2010

three weeks to 'm' day.

Twenty-two miles. Done. Time to taper, and I. AM. HAPPY. I think tapering makes a lot of people nutso, but I don't think I've run enough marathons to get to that point. Plus I'm busy enough outside of marathon training, I'm not worried. Plus there's the cross training I plan to continue doing to keep my legs occupied. Moving on, early Saturday morning The Lawyer and I set off for our last long run. I was so nervous about doing the 22 miler that I couldn't sleep well at all the night before, I was race nervous. I'm not sure why, I think maybe it's partly to do with the fear of injury that is always looming in the back of my mind now. Constantly. Despite smart training, and feeling fantastic (for the most part) the entire training cycle, the evil little injury gnome is never far from my thoughts. Saturday was no exception.

In the end I had no reason to worry, our run was great, better than I was expecting in fact. It started out at 36 degrees in the cold dark morning and ended up sunny and windy at 67 degrees. I think we are both hoping that is what the weather in OKC will be. Even though it was a little windy Saturday (about 15 mph), it was bearable normal plains states windy, not last year OKC windy. As long as the wind is tempered, like it was on Saturday, during the marathon, I won't mind it a bit. It will be manageable. Those 22 were the confidence booster I've been needing for the race, and made me feel hopeful about redemption. I finished feeling like I could run another 4.2 if I needed to. That's all that mattered to me.

So I learned something on those 22 miles Interweb. Um, first off you should know we ran by cows. Yep, quite a few times, as we often do on a long run. I mean it's Kansas, and even though we live in a city, there are still random places that have cows, don't ask. Anyway, as we were running by them I was all... hey, do you think anyone has ever tried to ride a cow? Right. The Lawyer in all her infinite patience for me was all, well yes. They are called bulls. Mmm-hmm... proud Kansas girl. Right here. I was still confused, which was directed to Edder during a conversation last night. A conversation that he mentioned he'd like to pretend never happened. The conversation where we went round and round about cows and bulls and steers... and buffalo to get the whole situation sorted out in my 'bad Kansan' brain. HEY I didn't grow up on a farm! Let's just say I am now well educated on livestock. And interweb, people DO ride cows (shhhhh....they're called bullriders).

At least I know that half of 2.5 miles is NOT point of fact, 1.75, coughahemlawyer. Lesson, don't attempt math or thinking much after running 19.5 miles. Really, just don't attempt much of anything. Just give up, finish the run, then go get some chocolate milk.

Lastly. Even though I have Duke winning in my NCAA bracket (random last minute choice on my part), and even though there are five bags of Milanos on the line for me (um, our bracket consists of six runner girls who love good cookies, what did you expect?!), I'm still not so secretly hoping Butler wins. Because I'm hoping it's the year of the underdog. So far it's looking hopeful.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

best part of my day.

First off. It's my good friend Indika's Birthday today. She has a blahg of her very own, so feel free to go wish this little running Sri Lankan a happy day and good luck with her first upcoming Half Marathon. She's the best! We went to college together and randomly met up again on Facebook a year and a half ago and realized we were both running. It's been so fantastic having her back in my life again.

In addition to that, I'm pretty sure the fact that THIS GIRL (a fellow blahggie) and I realized that we not only live in the same town, are not only runners and are running marathons in the next few months, not only go to the same yoga studio (well i haven't gone in awhile), but in addition, our husbands have the same career, ranked pretty high in my day.

Ohhhh it's a good day when you get a 'find' like this my friends. Pretty sure Hannah is going to be subjected to The Lawyer and I now on a regular basis. LUCKY. But hey, after I stalked her and let her know flat out I'm creepy, she responded saying she already approves of me, so meh.

Basically we spent the day going back and forth over all our commonalities, squealing like 10 year old girls (i'm sure you were doing that too hannah, i just KNOW it) during each email, reviewing all the people we know. Yep, 10 year old girls! I'm already trying to convince her to be a summer running buddy!

What a small, small blahggie world we live in. I like it. Insert girl squeal here!

(oh and should i make a lame disclaimer that this is in no way shape or form some kind of stupid april fool's thing? well, there it is, lame disclaimer. people, i meant all of that!)