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Thursday, February 21, 2013

Taper Time

I HATE the taper!!  I know I should be resting to allow myself to properly recover from all of the long training hours I have done, but mentally, my mind says I should be going, going, going!!  With only 9 days to race day, I am starting to feel the anxiousness of the taper.  During the taper, I typically get sick, but this time I have been filling my body with healthy, whole foods, lots of vitamins, minerals and probiotics.  So far, I have been able to fend off any potential illness heading my way.

I'm excited for race day!!  It has been a few years since I have run a stand-alone marathon, so I am a little nervous.  I know I will successfully finish.  Then why am I nervous you might ask?  That is an easy answer...I have a time goal in mind for finishing this marathon.  Hopefully the nerves will fuel a performance that will allow me to achieve my goal.

Little Rock Marathon...I hope you're ready...HERE I COME!!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

My Longest SUCKMILL Run

After last year's mild winter weather, I decided to train for a March marathon this year.  Our most recent Iowa weather has not been the best for my outdoor run training...Last Sunday we had a freezing rain/snow mix and this last Wednesday we had a snow day at school due to a snow storm with lots of blowing winds.  Thursday and Friday we had high temperatures at or below 0 degrees Fahrenheit with the windchill factored in.

What is a girl to do in these weather conditions?!?!?!?!?  Hit the mill...the SUCKMILL that is!!

I decided to run on the treadmill in the workout room at school, so I wouldn't have to potentially give up my treadmill at the gym.  I knew this would provide me with VERY LIMITED company on a Friday afternoon/evening as there are very few people who use these facilities to begin with...let alone on a Friday.  The first hour wasn't so bad...a couple of teachers were using the facilities, so I had company for the whole hour.  This allowed me to keep my mind off of the run and enjoy conversations from others.  I took the first hour to warm up nice and easy gearing up physically and mentally for what would be a long run.  Since the treadmill stops at an hour, I decided I better take a photo of the treadmill after each hour to help me remember how far I had ran.

Hour 1 complete

The second hour was ok as well.  My husband came to school to complete his hour run on a treadmill next to me, so I was able to chat with him.  I decided to increase my pace a little for this second hour.

Hour 2 complete

After completing my second hour I thought, "I'm 2/3 of the way done.  I CAN do this!!"  I started off the 3rd hour at the same pace I was at for my second hour.  At this point, I felt good and was mentally confident about the run.  After about 20 minutes, my mind started to play games with me and I began to doubt myself.  "Can I really finish this last hour?  Why am I doing this again?  Oh...Is that a cramp in my calf?  Boy am I getting tired.  Maybe I should just stop running.  UGH!!  This is a LONG, BORING run!!"  That is when I called upon my husband to come chat with me...he was still in the workout room lifting weights.  I needed the change from being in my own head and knew he would help motivate me to keep going.  He talked with me for about 20 minutes and then decided to head home.  This left me with 20 minutes to complete on my own.  Could I do it????  I decided I WOULD do it and pushed forward!!

Hour 3 complete

I was SO HAPPY to have that treadmill quit for the last time!!  I thought about a friend who recently ran for 24 hours on the treadmill to raise money for MS.  I had a new found appreciation and respect for him and his accomplishment!!  It made my 3 hours on the treadmill seem so minuscule!!  After 19.01 miles in 3 hours and some serious stretching, it was now time for a shower and a LOT of food!!  Man was I hungry!!