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Tonight’s Treadmill Torture

Dale and I are trying to change the way we live.  We are not dieting or exercising; we are in the process of making a new lifestyle together.   After years of bad habits and bad excuses; its not always easy.  But I want to show my children a better way.

 

A week ago I ran my first ½ marathon and the next day began craziness!  The last 6 days has been filled with the whole family having fevers, horrible coughs, never ending whinnying and feeling like we’ve been hit by a MAC truck.  I’m guessing we all have a bad case of the flu with maybe a side of bronchitis.  But I’m just a mom not a doctor. J  In any case, my husband was away for the first several days of it, so I took care of three little sick ones by my self for 3 days.

 

Less then 24 hours before the flu hit my house, I was asked to do a huge Scentsy event this same weekend.  So even with my fever, I did all the packing and prepping that it takes.  Let me say, its not easy to label papers straight when your head is spinning.  So for the next 3 days, I am up before 7 am.  If you know me, this is huge for me.  I am not a morning person.  I prefer to stay up at night and sleep in.  I’ve always wished I was a morning person and wished that I could have a normal sleep pattern but this topic is for different blog post.  Lets just say that 7am normally is a huge feat by itself with out adding the other things with it.  And after getting up, I worked and worked hard at a Bluegrass Festival on my feet all day; not getting to bed till midnight and doing it all again the next day.

 

Why am I mentioning all of this when the post says its about treadmill torture?  Cause the girl 6 months ago would have enjoyed all the fair flavors of her choice and not thought once about a work out.

 

Instead of an Elephant Ear, I packed a lunch box of Kashi crackers, berries and oranges to have for snacks.  I also brought water with me.  I let myself pick one place for lunch at the fair though.

 

Now I made some great choices but I know this is a work in progress.  On the last night, Dale and I went to Golden Corral for dinner.   I made a great salad and then filled my plate with lots of green veggies I love; broccoli, cabbage, zucchini, green beans.  I felt great.

 

I went back to the buffet and got a roll, a brownie, some peach cobbler and some bread pudding.  Don’t worry I don’t eat all that.  I ate the roll but I only had one very small bite of each the desserts.  And it didn’t take long.  Just 3 bites and I looked up at Dale and said, “Remember how I said I felt with the first place?” “Ya” “Well, now I feel miserable and gross!”

 

I had thought several times throughout the day that I needed a run.  Now after dinner, I felt miserable but knew what had to be done.  I start to dread it and try to talk my self out of it.

So after an hour drive, kids are to be taken care of and Dale is going back out.  I had a few choices here.  I could get the sleep that I so really want.  I could veg out and watch some tv.  But it plagues my mind that since the ½ marathon I’ve only had one 3 mile walk.  So almost in auto mode, I find that I’m grabbing work out clothes and my running shoes.

 

Now, I just ate, on my feet all day, kids driving me crazy, been sick for days, I’m so tired…. Ya this run is torture.  The run, probably one of the toughest in a long time but yet I cant explain it.  It feels soooooo good!  5 miles later; I’m pretty proud of me.  I like where I’m headed.  I like this lifestyle much better.

7 things nobody tells you about running a marathon

Last Sunday I ran my second marathon. I’m not an athlete. I’m not a runner. I’m a fat guy trying to find a way to not be so fat. Like a lot of people, “lose weight” is a permanent fixture in my New Year’s Resolutions and “Run a Marathon” was on the bucket list. Seems reasonable to attempt to accomplish both goals at the same time, right?

It took me two marathons to figure out that running is more than a bucket list item. I believe its an important part of the human experience. When you decide to run a marathon, you will get a lot of interesting information from a lot of people in your life. Here are a few things nobody is going to tell you:

1 – It won’t change your life.

Life Changing Event Ahead Road Sign
Don’t get me wrong – you learn a lot about yourself when you endure the miles and miles of training, the hours and hours of solitude, and the two or three pairs of shoes you go through in the process. But life changing?

Everyone will tell you it changes you forever. That you will never be the same. I believe these are things marathon runners say to make themselves feel better about having spent this much time dedicated to a single event.

Trust me – Monday morning rolls around and you go to work and you read your email and talk about how short the weekend was and read the text your wife just sent you about something the kids did that was cute or how you’re out of toilet paper and she needs to you pick some up on the way home – just like last week before you finished a marathon.

Life continues.

2 – People aren’t impressed

FakeImpressed

“I ran a marathon” to the average person sounds like “did you know I hold the world record for eating the most scorpions in a single sitting?”

You are bragging that you did something they think is stupid. They will say they are impressed. But listen to the words, really listen to the tone in their voice. That’s not admiration. Its intrigue.Things like “Wow – I could never do that” are often accompanied by “I’m exhausted just thinking about it”.

Translation: I would never do that because it sounds like a stupid thing to do. But hey, you did so, um go you?

I don’t mean for this to discourage you from running a marathon – just make sure you are doing it for your reasons regardless of what others might or might not find impressive.

3 – People have no clue how far a marathon is

How_Far

Here’s a real thing that was said to me last week: “My dad ran a 10 mile marathon last year”… um, no, no he didn’t run a 10 mile marathon. A marathon is 26.22 miles.

The fabled Greek run that the marathon is based on, is not a precise distant, but since the 1924 Olympics – the Marathon is 26.22 miles (based on the distance set at the 1908 Olympics). A Half Marathon is 13.1 miles. Which is pretty easy to work out once you know how far a marathon is.

Of course the confusion is easy to understand since Marathon Relays, Quarter Marathons, and Mini-Marathons (all with varying lengths) have popped up everywhere across the US.


4 – You may gain weight the week before the Marathon

gainedweight

This one is difficult to understand at first and I’ve only done two, so maybe my sample data isn’t large enough to draw this conclusion, but I gained ten pound the week before the first marathon and five pounds the week before this one.

I think the reason is the taper down period of training. You run miles and miles during training – each weekend you face a new challenging distance. Then suddenly, three weeks out, you run 20 miles and stop. You don’t stop running entirely, but the runs are shorter – much shorter.

Add that to the constant conversation around “carb’ing up” before a race and you have a recipe for disastrous weight gain.  The first time I was so discouraged by the scale moving in the wrong direction that I lapsed into emotional binge eating and gained another 20 lbs in the weeks following the race.

5 – Fat people, Old people, Fat AND Old people run marathons – faster than you.
fat-runner
I know this may not apply to you if you are working on becoming a Boston Qualifier. But my point is, you can’t judge a persons abilities on their outward appearance.

For almost all of mile 9, I was chasing a lady older than Ronald Reagan. It was a real struggle to pass her. And that might make sense considering I was “running” a 13:38 min/mile pace until you realize she was walking! Seriously – she walked the entire time, never moving in anything that could be considered jogging or running and I barely caught up to her.

Another dude was easily 300lbs+, carrying a backpack FULL of 30+ Gu packs and at least 4 Gatorade bottles. He finished before I did. I caught up to him a couple of times during the course, but he left me in the dust around mile 15 and I never saw him again.

6 – You don’t have to run the whole waywalkingmarathon

I was jogging past a walking participate at mile 3 when a spectator thought the walker was in need of encouragement and yelled out with obvious concern; “don’t quit, you can do this”.

The walker responded with “this is a scheduled walk – I’m fine!” Many people have scheduled walking breaks to get them through the 26.2 miles – and in the end, does it really matter how they get it done?

7 – Its supposed to be FUNhave_fun

Yes, its supposed to be FUN. Remember when you were a kid and you wanted to race for everything? You said things like “last one there is a rotten egg!” and “I’ll race ya!”. My kids see an open field of grass and their first thought is “Can we run?!?!?!”

Running IS playing! Its not just a way to lose weight – although, it seems like a great way to do so. A marathon isn’t something you are likely to “win” unless you happen to be from Kenya. But you can have fun and you can enjoy it and it doesn’t have to be about the pain of it or the early hours of it or the ice bath likely to follow it.

Have fun!

That’s it. I have a lot of little stories from the marathon – I may turn them into posts as well – here are some highlights:

  • An excited runner from out of state named Joel, I met on the train before the race who later remembered me and yelled out my name in encouragement when we passed each other later on the course
  • A lady who asked me to write on her shirt at mile 8 and then talked to me about how her clothes caused her to chaff and her boobs to bleed
  • A conversion between a cute couple over how bad she had to poop
  • An old man that told me I was too happy at mile 18 because running was supposed to hurt
  • A friend showing up in his Sunday church clothes to cheer me on, but decided to run with me for two miles instead
  • hitting “the wall” at mile 24 but running through the pain to reach my goal of finishing in under 6 hours.

They’re all great stories, none of which end with my life being forever changed. But I enjoyed them and I’m proud of my accomplishment. You don’t have to be.

PF Chang 1/2 Marathon 2014

I cant believe it!  I really did it!  I finished my first marathon.

 

Over for years ago, Dale had to drag me out of the house for a 5k.  I remember getting back and sitting in the recliner thinking there’s no way I’m going to live.  He had to bring me water and I didn’t move for a very long time.  He mentioned that night in September that he wanted to start to run.  He talked of races and I thought he was just crazy.

 

For the next several months, I learned a lot about myself and began my running journey.  I could see it how it was changing our lives and started making goals.  The first was to do the Coast to Coast Disney Challenge.  I wasn’t sure when or how about that one.  Dale wanted to do a marathon with my brother in the summer so we began to train for it.  I made it my goal to do the ½.

 

In March of 2010, I had a bad injury that would take me from running for over 3 years.  I was unable to meet that goal of doing the ½.  It was a huge disappointment.  I sat with the kids in the hotel room as my husband, brother and sister in law all ran the event; thinking about my injury and wishing I was running.

 

I’ve had to start slow.  I have had a long ways to come.  But Sunday I finally completed my first ½ marathon.  My goal was to do it in 3 hours and 30 minutes; 15 minute miles.  My official time is 3 hours 17 minutes and 30 seconds.  Is it an amazing time? No. But its my best time ever.

 

MILE 1  I had planned to walk the first mile so that I don’t go too fast but Dale had put my time as something phenomenal cause I was in the first corral.  I thought it would be rude to run.  I did get in the way back so they didn’t run over me.  The first mile felt so good.  I normally have shoulder pain during my first few miles but I felt great.  Like I was being pushed while running on a trampoline.  I really liked the band who had a cool double decker bus and was on stilts.  I completed mile one in 12:40min/mile

 

MILE 2  I knew I needed to slow down a bit.  I tried to force myself to go slower.  I didn’t want to tucker out too quick.  The next mile seemed to go very fast though.  I completed mile two in 13:10min/mile

 

MILE 3  I decided to run what felt comfortable and stop trying to slow down.  In my head, I was thinking later it might come in handy that I’m a head of my time goal.  I completed mile three feeling great at 13:00min/mile

 

MILE 4  I slowed down for my first scheduled walk, water and GU break.  During training I had found a GU helpful at ever 4 miles so that was the plan today.  I completed mile four at 14:24min/mile

 

MILE 5  Feeling great and wondering how Dale is doing.  I completed mile five at 13:47min/mile

 

MILE 6  I’m feeling warmer and really wishing for some water but not only no water at this mile; the time clock for the race isn’t working.  I’m really thankful for the early birthday gift from Dale, my new Garmin Forerunner 220 in a pretty white and purple.  My legs are feeling a lil heavy, wonder if I’m going a little up hill.  I completed mile six at 15:36min/mile

 

MILE 7 Poured some water on my face, arms, back and accidentally drenched the front of my shirt.  I worried bout phone getting wet but feeling better.  I drank some too of course.  After some water I’m feeling a lot better.  I completed mile seven at 14:03min/mile

 

MILE 8 OH NO!  No water at my scheduled water and GU break.  I keep jogging along.  I’m really hungry now.  A little ½ way thru mile 8, there’s a water at the beginning of an in and out.  Get my GU down with some and on my way.  I’m jogging but this is a straight shot up a mountain.  I decided I might as well walk the steep path since it would take less effort.  I completed mile eight at 16:33min/mile

 

MILE 9  Feeling the GU and water hit and going down the mountain now…feeling soooo good!  Nice breeze right here too!  I completed mile nine at 14:49min/mile

 

MILE 10  Another little hill and just jogging nicely along at my normal pace.  I completed mile ten at 15:10min/mile

 

MILE 11  I noticed I’m really ahead of schedule and wonder if I pick it up if I could have this done in 3 hours!!  I completed mile eleven at 13:59min/mile

 

MILE 12  I realize that I don’t want to do it in 3 hours. If I do I’d have to rethink my up coming goals.  I slow down but now I’m feeling starved!!  I really should be taking my last GU but no water at this mile.  I start to walk because I’m very lightheaded.  I’m sooooo hungry.   Craving some grapes or a clementine really bad.  I begin think if I faint will they let me finish.  I start sucking on the GU without water.   I completed mile twelve at 15:58min/mile

 

MILE 13.1  The last .6 miles was so hard.  I’m not really tired just so hungry and cant make my legs go faster.  I walk and jog off and on.  When I get to the bridge, I try to push a lil harder though.  But still even though I don’t want to, I find myself lightheaded and walking. When I see the finish line, I get a lil more gush of power and sprint.  I find myself slowing as I get to the arch.  A second after I step over the finish mat, I hear my phone say I have a text.  When I finish, I’m so disoriented and light headed.  Emotion floods me.  I’m fiddling; trying to get my senses together, trying to shut off my garmin, music, mapmyrun and my HIGDON app.  People are saying things to me and one gives me my medal.  About time.  I finally get my app turned off.  It says the last 1.1 miles (+ the disoriented time) was 16:15

I look at my text and find out that was a notification that Dale had crossed the 13.1 mile with me.  That made me smile.

 

I tried to stand to get a photo with my medal but for some reason the guy took another person then me right next to him so I decided to try to find some water and something to eat.

 

I did it!!  I finished my ½ marathon.  Lots of weeks of training, lots of months waiting, lots of years wondering if it would ever be possible.. but its in the record books.  I did it!