🎵 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!

4 Days to Race Day…

(Jesse impatiently waiting for the human to quit taking a picture so we can get to the task at hand!)

 

…and it seemed only right to finish off my last run of race training with my favorite running buddy!

 

Part of the reason I have Jesse is because I’ve always wanted a dog as a running buddy: his need for exercise/stimulation helps keep me consistent with running when there’s not a race on the calendar and a training schedule to hold me accountable. Running with him helps me work on picking up the pace, and he gets to be outside and run around. It’s a win-win situation for both of us.

 

We had a great little arrangement until this past spring when we learned Jesse was actually heartworm positive. He underwent a series of three shots to kill the heartworm, and it required some time off from running. And by time off, I mean a combined 60 days of little/no activity! By the time he was cleared to return to activity, I’d already started marathon training, and I didn’t have the time to stay on top of my schedule and work with him to get him back in shape. Yes, even the four-legged runners can get out of shape. They may be faster than us human runners, but in some respects, they’re not that different from us when it comes to running.

 

I only needed a short run this morning, so I figured bringing the running buddy out of retirement wouldn’t be the worst way to finish out training. And, true to form, Jesse was more than willing to come along! More than the added effort of a faster pace, running with Jesse is a dose of joy. It’s not always a seamless venture (he did try to go after a skunk one time), but it’s hard to be in a bad mood after running with him. Jesse loves to be outside and gets downright giddy when given the chance to run. And I speak from experience when I say his joy and enthusiasm are infectious. So what better way to round out 16 weeks of work, early mornings, cranky calves, tendonitis, and dropping temperatures than a dose of joy compliments of Jesse?

 

All that’s left now is more stretching, lots of carbs, packet pickup…and Sunday morning.

5 Days to Race Day…

…and this morning’s strength training session was replaced by some time on my yoga mat. Ultimately, the goal of these last few days is to take it “easy.” This is the point in the schedule where I get to dial the work back and let myself recharge as I get ready for Sunday. So, for me, that means one last easy run tomorrow morning with lots of stretching & relaxation throughout the week.

 

As it stands, I’m looking at a mix of clouds and sun for Sunday’s race with a high of 45 degrees. (NOTE: this is also the point where I start to check the weather forecasts…a lot.) As running conditions go, that’s really not so bad. Ultimately, as long as it’s not raining, I’ll take it! 😉

 

All in all, I’m still excited, even as I’m busy at work trying to dot every “I” and cross every “T” before noon on Friday. Tendonitis notwithstanding, training has gone well, and I’m looking forward to seeing the results of all the work I’ve put in for the last 16 weeks.

6 Days to Race Day…

…and all seems right with the world. I managed a 3-mile, pain-free run this morning before work, and I managed to run it right at my goal race pace. So far, everything is as it should be, physically, and my stamina doesn’t seem to have taken too much of a hit after 2 weeks off.

 

It might be race week, but it was still Monday. So even as I’m winding down and prepping for Sunday, today was still so much launching back into the work week after a weekend and wondering if it’s too soon to start counting down to noon on Friday (three cheers for half days).

 

The overwhelming feeling of the day has been gratitude. I’m grateful the doctor cleared me to run. I’m grateful my overall fitness is still where it needs to be after a break. I’m grateful for cooler running temperatures (with the right layers, it’s really not so bad). I’m grateful that—by and large—training has gone well. And I’m grateful that, come Sunday, I get the chance to stand at another starting line.

Welp…

 

I’m glad the weekend went so well. Remember that on-and-off foot pain I mentioned during the Trinity River Half Marathon? Well, that foot pain came roaring back Saturday night after the race. And hung around on Sunday. And continued to hang around today. Basically, I haven’t walked without a limp since sometime Saturday evening.

 

So, I got the afternoon off and made my way to the doctor’s office. On the upside, the doctor didn’t see any obvious fractures on the x-rays. And that’s about all I know. In the meantime, I get to sport the walking boot, ice my foot, and take ibuprofen until I can see the practice’s sports medicine expert…next Wednesday.

 

Will Mallory get to run Dallas, after all?

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Tune in next week to find out!

Why Am I Doing This, Again?

Dallas isn’t my first marathon. That honor goes to the Walt Disney World Marathon of 2016. It’s not even my first time to attempt to run Dallas. The first time I tried to run Dallas as a full marathon was December of 2016. Having run Disney in January of that year, I figured a second marathon to finish the year wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world. (Besides, I’ve always been a fan of long races in November – March because they help ensure I keep running through the holiday stress and holiday eating.) It didn’t go well that year: between calf cramps and other setbacks, I ended up making it to mile 15 before I had to throw in the towel. And that’s how I notched the first DNF (did not finish) of my running life.

 

That DNF has bugged me. It still bugs me. So, this go around is about “setting the record straight.” I’m not that worried about how long it takes me to get to the finish line (although, if a miracle happens and I manage to qualify for Boston, I won’t object 😉). I’m just more concerned that I complete the entire course, this time. This is really about me proving to myself that I’ve done this before and that I can do it, again.

 

Every part of me wants to panic…mostly because that’s what I tend to do with less that 5 weeks to race day. And, yes, part of me has actually considered dropping down to the half marathon, instead. But–barring illness or injury–I’m still planning on running the full. All signs point to 26.2…again.

5 Weeks to Race Day…

…and it’s hard not to panic. Most of my training runs have left me feeling like finishing this marathon is doable…at least the training runs under 13 miles leave me feeling that way. Anything longer than that has been ugly, brutal, and slow. Painfully slow. In fact, those long runs have been slow enough that I honestly have to consider whether it wouldn’t be better to drop from the full marathon down to the half marathon.

 

I’ve still got some time to decide one way or the other. Would I rather be running and finishing the full? Hell yes. But, if the writing on the wall says I’m not going to be able to finish the full marathon, methinks it’d be better to scale back and accomplish what I can by running the half marathon.

So Far, So Good

I’m coming up on the halfway point of training. In other words, I’ve got about 8 more weeks until the Dallas Marathon. And so far, aside from a ridiculous amount of rain, training has been mostly uneventful: just the usual 6 days of training around a full-time job, marriage, etc. And yet, I must admit that this round of training has actually felt easier than training for Rock N Roll Dublin.

 

I realize “easier” is a wildly relative term when we’re talking about marathon training, so let me explain. My goal for Dublin was to try and set a new PR. This time, however, my only goal is to finish—no time goal; just get across the finish line upright and in my own power. When I ran Dallas in 2016, I didn’t finish; I made it to mile 15 before I had to throw in the towel…and it’s bugged me ever since.

 

So, this time, around, my only goal for this race is to set the record straight and cover all 26.2 miles of the course. I don’t care if it takes me 6 hours or if I end up qualifying for Boston (it’s a long shot, but a girl can dream, right? 😉). And because that’s the only goal—finish well—this round of training feels vastly different even as it involves considerably more time and mileage. Running to finish has taken an enormous amount of weight off my shoulders. It’s granted me a clarity about my own abilities as a runner that I didn’t quite have the last time around.

 

Maybe I should forego the time goals more often.

Back to the Grind!

You know I’m back like I never left (I never left)

Another sprint, another step (another step)

Another day, another breath (another breath)

Been chasing dreams, but I never slept (I never slept)

 

With Rock N Roll Dublin done, you may be wondering, “What’s next?”

 

Well, what’s next is the BMW Dallas Marathon in December, with a few shorter races along the way during the training schedule. As of today, it’s 16 weeks until race day, and that ever familiar cycle started over with a 30-minute run in the pre-dawn hours and Texas humidity. And yet, for the achy feet, cranky hamstring, and sluggish pace, this morning’s run still left me feeling like I could conquer the world and ready for the next round of training.

 

No two races are the same, so it stands to reason that no two training cycles are the same. The first run of training feels like flipping to a blank page in a new journal: I really don’t have a clue what’s coming over the course of the next few weeks. Do I have goals in mind? Sure. Are there things I want to learn or do better? Absolutely. But, when all is said and done, each training cycle is its own journey; all I can do is take it one day at a time, one mile at a time, and see what unfolds. I’ve had races where that blank training slate felt daunting and left me more than a little anxious. But this time? Bring. It. ON!

 

I feel glorious, glorious

Got a chance to start again

I was born for this, born for this

It’s who I am, how could I forget?

I made it through the darkest part of the night

And now I see the sunrise

Now I feel glorious, glorious

I feel glorious, glorious

–Glorious, Macklemore feat. Skylar Grey

 

PS For anyone that’s interested, I do plan on recapping my experience in Dublin. Working on that particular post (or two? I haven’t decided yet) has turned into one of those moments where all the words and thoughts in my head try to work their way out at the exact same time. So, bear with me while I work through pulling that story together.

 

PPS For anyone that enjoys running to music, check out this cover of Macklemore’s “Glorious” as performed by the cast of NBC’s (now cancelled…*sob*) show Rise. This song may or may not have been on repeat as I ran this morning. 😉

 

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