She’s (Sort of) Back!

No, I haven’t fallen off the face of the earth. And I certainly haven’t given up running!

 

Since the last time I posted, I’ve completed the Hot Chocolate 15K, the Too Cold to Hold 5K, the Fort Worth Zoo Run, and the DC Wonder Woman 5K! There’s also been a cold, travel, and two licensing exams for work (PS I passed both on the first try). And while I’ve managed (to varying degrees) to keep running, but now I’m having to dial it back for a while.

 

Why? Two words: plantar fasciitis. The “good news” is this isn’t my first time dealing with plantar fasciitis, so at least I know what to do. The bad news is I have to lay off running for a bit to give my foot a chance to get back to normal. So, for the next few weeks, I get to spend a lot of time on my bike (when it’s not raining), a lot of time in the pool, and a lot of time just cross training, in general.

I Don’t Wanna

Running is not all fun and sunshine all the time, and any runner who tells you otherwise is lying to you. Are there plenty of times in my life when I can’t wait to lace up my shoes and get out the door? Sure. But, lately, that hasn’t been the case for me. It is a battle to run right now. Not because of injury. Not because of weather (although, that’ doesn’t help). Right now, it’s a struggle to lace up and get out the door. I have landed on hardcore “I don’t wanna!” And there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight.

 

Normally, this isn’t that big a deal. All of us, as runners, hit that point where we’d rather do something else. But, given I have a 15K on February 9th and a 5K on February 16th, the timing of this running funk is less than ideal, to say the least. I’m not going to drop out of either race. But at this rather, neither of them are going to be pretty. And this isn’t to say that, because I’m avoiding running I’m avoiding all workouts all together: I’ve been doing a 30-day yoga challenge on YouTube (shout out to Yoga with Adriene), and I still get to the gym for strength training. I’ve also been breaking in a new bicycle when the weather cooperates. Rest assured I haven’t turned into a complete couch potato.

 

I just don’t feel like running, right now. It’ll pass, but it’s definitely not fun when “I don’t wanna” has two races on the calendar and slams up against “but you gotta.” So, yeah, this should be fun.

Remembering the First Marathon

Today marked another running of the Walt Disney World Marathon. Thanks to Facebook’s Memories feature, I’ve been flooded with reminders throughout the week from my own time in Orlando. And thanks to RunDisney’s Instagram account, I found myself looking at pictures of the days’ events and wishing I could be there to run it, again.

 

The funny thing is that, before Disney, I’d never had any desire a marathon. Matter of fact, I remember telling anyone who’d listen that I’d never run a marathon (why TF would I run a distance that killed a teenager?). And then my oldest sister picked up running…and decided she wanted to run a marathon. So of course, my other sister (who ran the New York City Marathon in 2003) and I got roped into going on this journey. If it’d been anybody else, I probably wouldn’t laughed in their face.  (It’s amazing what you end up doing for family, right?) But, I agreed and took some comfort in the knowledge the insanity is hereditary.

 

Most of my training leading up to the race is a blur. But, so much of the race, itself, is still fresh in my brain. Disney was a race unlike anything else I’d run up to that point or since then. To their credit, Disney goes out of their way to make this a fun marathon, and I had my share of fun along the course. (After all, what other race is going to give me the chance to stop and ride a rollercoaster halfway through the race?) And while I may have hated the world from mile 18 to mile 25, nothing topped the joy and satisfaction of crossing that finish line!

 

Disney made me challenge myself as a runner in a way I hadn’t before. Every step of training, and every step of the race made me realize I was capable of more than I could’ve imagined before the race (true story: I remember tearing up somewhere after mile 20 when I realized I was actually going to finish the race, after all). Disney made me a marathoner, and I’m looking forward to the day when I get to run Disney, again.

What’s Next?

On January 1st, I ran a mile in 11:59. And yesterday, January 5th, I ran a 5K in 34:36. After a hectic December, those aren’t horrible numbers. And yet, if I have it my way, those numbers will be lower on December 31st.

 

Given my experience with Dallas, it’s tempting to sign up for another half or full marathon. And yet, that’s not what I’m planning on doing this year. There will be more half marathons and full marathons in 2020; as a matter of fact, I’m currently looking at running the Cowtown Marathon in Fort Worth in 2020.

 

But as far as 2019 goes, I want to dial it back in terms of race distance, so I’m looking for lots of 5Ks and 10Ks to fill my schedule. And in between those shorter races, I want to focus on picking up the pace. The hope is that, come December, my mile time is 10 minutes or less, and my 5K time is 30 minutes or less. With the right work, those goals are doable, but they’re still challenging enough to make my running year interesting.

 

And I do love a good challenge. 😉

 

Happy New Year!

#chasing26.2: Thoughts on Dallas and Finishing a Marathon

Merry (belated) Christmas, and (almost) Happy New Year! I know for many of us—myself included—the end of the year can be a blur of activities, parties, family, etc. But, I hope that—in the midst of the food, the gifts, and the activities—you still find time to stop and rest.

Needless to say, my life didn’t stop after finishing Dallas. Between a work trip, playing for two weddings, and the usual end-of-year antics, today is one of the first times I’ve had to really sit down and write. Plus, if we’re keeping it honest, it’s also taken this long because I’ve been trying (and still am trying, in some ways) to really get my head around the entire marathon experience. And while I’m still not sure I’ve managed to completely “process” it all, I still want to share where I’m at, so far.

First of all, I can’t tell you how happy I am to have actually finished Dallas, this year. The DNF from 2016 bugged me in ways you can’t begin to imagine, and at times it even had me wondering if my finishing Disney was a fluke. Yes, finishing Dallas this year—regardless of the time—meant that I accomplished my goal (and who doesn’t love accomplishing a goal they’ve set for themselves?). But, more than that, finishing Dallas was the “win” I needed to remind myself that running at this distance is possible for me.

But, even as I’ve reveled in the satisfaction of completing a marathon, Dallas made me realize that I still have so much to learn when it comes to this distance. I’ve run 9 or 10 half marathons to date; I’ve finished the Disney World Marathon; and part of me thought I knew what I was getting into when I signed up to run another marathon. And yet, Dallas reminded me that 26.2 is a completely different animal. This distance that will stretch you—and break you, if I’m being honest—in ways you’d never thought possible. It is not for the faint of heart. A marathon will take everything you have, and still ask for more. So, even with all the races I’ve finished before, even with all the miles I’ve logged over the years, Dallas showed me that running marathons is still new and uncharted territory for me.

But here’s the thing: for all the time marathoning takes (both in training and on race day), for all the sore muscles and injuries, for all the internal angst about whether I could finish, I wouldn’t trade the experience for anything. Running marathons has taught me about myself—not just what I lack, but what I am. It’s forced me to prioritize and be creative with my time so the rest of my life doesn’t go off the rails. It’s helped me learn to push myself to places and distances I never thought possible when I first started running. It’s taught me how to listen to my body. It’s taught me the value of rest. It’s made me a better person.

And while it’s going to be a while before my next marathon, I’m definitely looking forward to running more marathons in the future. 😉

Mission Accomplished

In 2016, I tried to run the Dallas Marathon and didn’t finish. I made it 15 miles before I had to give up due to injury, etc.

Yesterday I set out with one goal in mind: finish all 26.2 miles of the course.

Today, I’m happy to say I did it: all 26.2 miles. All the way around White Rock Lake. I did it!

There’s lots to say, and even now I still find myself on a rollercoaster of emotions around the experience. But that’s going to have to wait for another post or two (or 12).

In the meantime, I’m off work today, and got to sleep in (ie not have an alarm go off at 4AM for the first time in MONTHS). Up next is a mani-pedi followed by a massage in the afternoon along with a few errands.

Now to go hobble my way to the shower.

🎵 Tomorrow is the Judgment Day 🎵

🎵 Tomorrow we’ll discover what our God in Heaven has in store! One more dawn. One more day. ONE DAY MORE! 🎵 –“One Day More,” Les Miserables 

 

Welp, I’ve put together the gear bag for tomorrow. Everything that needs to charge is charging. And I’ve laid out my outfit for tomorrow.

 

Now all that’s left is a good night’s sleep, breakfast in the morning, and what I’m hoping turns out to be an amazing day.

 

For anyone that wants to follow along, go to the BMW Dallas Marathon’s website and follow the instructions for downloading the tracking app. Once it’s installed, type in my bib# (1259), and get real-time updates from the comfort of your own home!

2 Days to Race Day…

…and it’s still cold and wet!

But, despite the crappy weather, I’m still trying to contain my excitement for Sunday. Yes, that’s right, I said excitement.

Why the excitement?

1) I got off work at noon and don’t go back until Tuesday morning! (ProTip: if you ever decide to run a half or full marathon, take as much time off as you can before/after the race. Trust me on this.)

2) Getting off early meant today was packet pickup! Getting my bib and race shirt always help things become a little more tangible. It’s one of the last items on my “race prep” checklist, and it just moves me one step closer to all the fun of Sunday.

3 Days to Race Day…

…and, of course, the rain moved in today. By all accounts, the rain is supposed to clear out by Sunday, so I’m not worried…yet.

In the meantime, I’ve made out the grocery list for this weekend’s dinner (lasagna), and now I’m off to bed.

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